Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/128

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Some branches of the aboriginal race, the Miao-tse, are met with in the mountainous country beyond Kinhwa.

Hangchow is noted for its mulberry and silkworm culture and manufacture of silk. Both in the plains and on the terraces of the hills of Chekiang, rice in its different varieties is the principal crop. Tea is largely grown in the hill districts. The hill people are chiefly occupied in the cutting and carrying of bamboo and fir. River and sea fisheries are important; fleets of fishing-smacks of several thousand sail may be seen off the coast.

The country is intersected in all directions by natural and artificial waterways, and all these streams and canals are utilised for irrigating the boundless expanse of rice-fields. In April the view from the hilltops is exceedingly beautiful. The hills themselves, rising in some cases to 3000 feet above the plain, are clothed with yellow and red azaleas. Down below in the plains emerald patches of the most brilliant hue are seen. These are rice-seed beds nearly ready for transplanting into the irrigated fields. In August the scene is changed, but still remarkable for fresh beauty. Overhead is the arch of the blue summer sky, broken only by the white masses of the thunderstorm, still far away on the northern horizon. The groves of bamboo are swayed by the southerly monsoon, and far down in the plains there are breadths of golden grain ready for the sickle, yellow reaches intersected by the lines of Pride of India or of willows which mark the watercourses.

The province of Chekiang stretches nearly from the 27th to the 31st parallel of latitude N. The climate during nine months of the year is temperate, but the summer heat is great and the cold of January and February is severe. There are rainy seasons in June and September, the latter being the most unhealthy month of the year.

The province of Chekiang is governed by a Lieutenant-Governor, residing at Hangchow, who is under the Viceroy of the two provinces of Chekiang and Fukien, who resides at Foochow. The Governor is assisted by a Provincial Treasurer and a Provincial Judge, and within the province