Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

View of Canton.

and crossing at right angles. The houses are low, with flat roofs. Along the principal streets are regular rows of shops, painted green, or sky blue, intermixed with gold, and making an elegant display of silks and porcelain, and other rich varieties of Chinese merchandise. The imperial palace here is grand beyond description. It is in the midst of a little town belonging to it, which is composed of numerous buildings, parks and gardens, and adorned with artificial mountains, vallies, lakes, and canals, where boats of pleasure pass, and various scenes of worldly entertainment are exhibited. Pop. of Pekin 1,500,000.

Canton is about 1,000 miles south of Pekin, and situated upon Can. ton river, navigable 300 miles into the interior. By means of this river, and the great Kiang-ku, together with the imperial canal, a water communication between these two cities is established, which is interrupted only by one range of mountains, which may be travelled over in a day. The suburbs of Canton are very extensive, and the river for four or five miles is covered with innumerable boats, in which multitudes of families reside permanently, and seldom go to the land. The streets are narrow, but well paved, and continually passed by a crowded population. The houses generally are of one story, and built of brick, without windows toward the streets. There are numerous towers and triumphal arches, and pagodas amply furnished with idols. Conspicuous among them is a lofty Mahometan mosque, which has been stand. ing 1,000 years. This is the greatest port in China, and the only one where European traders are admitted. 5000 vessels frequently lie before the city, and thirty millions pounds of tea have been exported in a year, besides vast quantities of silk, nankeen, China ware, tortoise shell, and other merchandise. Pop. 800,000.

Nankin is situated on the Kiang-ku, the largest river in the empire, and about half way between Pekin and Canton. It covers a vast extent of ground, 30 miles in circumference, and was once the imperial city. It has an extensive commerce, but is particularly distinguished for its manufactures of silk, and as the seat of learning. It is ornamented with lofty and splendid gates, and especially by a porcelain tower, or pagoda, of an octagonal form, nine stories high, and mounted by 800 steps. Pop. 800,000. Macao is a town belonging to the Portuguese, in the bay of Canton, 60 miles below the city.

The islands of Formosa on the south-east, and Hanion on the south, belong in part to China. The large peninsula of Corea also belongs to the Chinese government, and is inhabited by a people resembling the Chinese in character and manners. It is a fertile and populous region, especially the southern part. It contains 88,000 square miles, and eight millions of people. It is divided into eight provinces, embracing 33 grand cities, and 128 of inferior rank. Kingkitas is the capital.

QUESTIONS.

Where is Pekin, and what is its latitude? What large city in the U. States is on the same parallel? What is said of its shape? Circumference? Wall? How is the city divided? What of the streets and houses? Of the shops? Of the imperial palace? Pop. of Pekin? May it be considered the most populous of all cities? Where is Canton? By what means is a water communication opened between this and Pekin? What is said of the suburbs, and of the boats on the river? Are not foreigners obliged to remain in the suburbs? What of the streets, houses, and towers? What is said of it as a great port? Population? Where is Nankin? What of its circumference? For what most distinguished? How is the city ornamented? Population? What other great cities, and where situated? What islands belonging partly to China? What large peninsula? What is the capital of Corea? How many square miles, provinces, cities, and people does this peninsula embrace?

CHINESE TARTARY.

Extent 2,000,000 sq. ms.-Pop. 6,000,000.—3 per. sq. mile.

Chinese Tartary is about as large as the whole of the United States, but contains not more than half of its population. It constitutes a principal part of the elevated, central region of Asia, and consists chiefly of cold, unproductive table lands, and includes the immense desert of Cobi, or Shamo, which is traversed by large droves of little Mongolian horses. It has the Altaian mountains on the north, and the Belur Tag and Himmaleh on the west. The eastern section of Chinese Tartary is called Montchooria, occupied by the Montchoos, who are in their origin Mongul Tartars, but are marked with some degree of civilization, mary of them residing in towns and villages and resembling the Chinese in dress, manners, and religion.

The middle section is Mongolia, the proper country of the Monguls, or Mogul Tartars, who are a barbarous people, living a wandering pastoral life, lodging in tents of felt, professing Shamanism, or the worship of Fo, and governed by numerous petty princes, though tributary to China. The western section is divided into Soongina, the country of the Kalmuks, who are roving tribes, supported by hunting, and the

1

care of cattle, and Little Bucharia, which is inhabited by Tartars professing Mahometanism, or, in part, the worship of the Grand Lama. The principal cities in Chinese Tartary, are Seghalien and Chin-yang, on the east, and Yarkund and Cashgar on the west.

QUESTIONS.

Of what extent and population is Chinese Tartary? How bounded? What does it constitute? Of what does it consist chiefly? What desert does it include ? By what mountains is it bordered? What name is given to the eastern section? How are the Montchoos described? What is the middle section, and what is said of the Monguls? Into what two parts is the western section divided? What is said of the Kalmuks? What of the Bucharians? What two chief cities in the east part of Chinese Tartary? What two in the west ?

THIBET.

Extent 400,000 sq. ms.-Pop. 12,000,000.-30 per sq. mile.

Thibet constitutes a part of the Chinese empire, and is situated between the Himmaleh mountains on the south, dividing it from Hindoostan, and the Great Desert of Cobi, or Shamo, on the north, and extends from Little Thibet, on the West, to China, on the east. It is a territory three times as large as the island of Great Britain, with a population about equal to that of England, or the United States. It is the centre and summit of the Asiatic highlands, consisting of mountains, elevated plains, and deserts.

The atmosphere is dry and pure, and the climate uniformly cold and salubrious. Wheat and barley are produced in small quantities. There is but little vegetation and verdure, except in the rainy season, between May and September. Then the pastures in some districis are covered with numerous flocks and herds. The wool of the goat of Thibet is peculiarly celebrated, and of it are manufactured the fine, rich shawls of Cashmere. The Thibet ox is also noted for the soft, glossy hair it produces, which is a favorite article with the merchants of Asia.

The mineral treasures are abundant, consisting of gold, silver, quicksilver, and copper. The Thibetians are a mild race of Tartars, and worshippers of the Dalai Lama, or Grand Lama, who here resides, and holds his throne. He is supposed to be inspired by the supreme god Da, or Fo, and commissioned by him as his sovereign pontiff, or vicegerent upon earth. It is considered that he is immortal, and that when he appears to fail and die under infirmity, his soul merely relinquishes a worn-out habitation, and passes into another, new and vigorous, in the person of some infant of sacerdotal birth, whom the priests, by certain marks, pretend to be able to discover. Among the Thibetians, the Grand Lama is regarded as their king, as well as an object of worship. He is also highly venerated in Hindoostan, and is acknowledged as an object of adoration throughout the Chinese empire, and in part of Siberia, and other portions of Asia; so that multitudes from distant parts go as pilgrims to his seat, and pay their offerings and homage at his shrine. The emperor of China, however, in a civil

capacity, considers the people of Thibet dependent on himself, and receives their tribute.

The capital city is Lassa, where the viceroy from China resides. Within about seven miles of this city, at Patoli, on a mountain near the banks of the Burrampooter, stands the Grand Lama's palace, or tem. ple, which is decorated with pyramids of gold, and amply furnished through all its apartments, with splendid images and idols. The priests, called lamas, are almost numberless, and of different ranks and orders. There are 12 distinguished seminaries in Thibet, where instruction is given in astronomy, philosophy, theology, and medicine.

QUESTIONS.

Of what extent and population is Thibet? What are its boundaries? With what other countries is it compared? Of what is it the centre and summit? What of the atmosphere and climate? Of the productions? Of the vegetation and pastures? What wool is here celebrated? For what is the Thibet ox noted ? What treasures are mentioned? How are the Thibetians described? What is supposed concerning the Grand Lama? How is he considered immortal? How extensive is the adoration paid to him? To whom are the Thibetians tributary? What is the capital? How far from it is Patoli, and on what river? What noted palace stands there, and how described ? What of the priests? What is the name and height of the highest peak of the Himmaleh ?

EMPIRE OF JAPAN.

Extent 260,000 sq. ms.-Pop. 45,000,000.-173 per sq. mile.

This is one of the most remarkable empires in the world, both in respect to the nature of the country and the genius and character of the population. The empire consists of the three islands Niphon, Kinsiu, and Sikoke, with numerous smaller isles adjacent. The general surface of the islands is very broken, hilly, and mountainous, exhibiting lofty summits covered with perpetual snow, and intervening valleys of great fertility. The coasts are abrupt and rocky, and full of preci. pices; and the surrounding waters are filled with quicksands and whirlpools, and often agitated by violent storms, rendering all access difficult and dangerous. So common upon the islands are earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, that, though often very desolating, they have ceased in a great measure to move or frighten the natives, who have become inured and hardened to such scenes.

The soil and productions are similar to those of China, and agriculture here is equally patronized and as skilfully conducted. Rice is a general crop and the common food of the people. The tea shrub, and the mulberry, laurel, and camphor trees are found in abundance. There is also the varnish tree, which is peculiar to these islands, and of the juice of which the celebrated Japan varnish is made. With this the people polish their plates, dishes, and household furniture generally, and give them a very cleanly and brilliant appearance. The islands are very rich in minerals, especially in gold, silver, and copper.

The inhabitants resemble the Chinese in their persons and dress.

[blocks in formation]

They are remarkably ingenious and diligent in agriculture and in their manufactures, which are, most of them, excellent, and some of them unequalled..

The government is absolute and despotic, but is generally regulated in consistency with the public welfare. The laws are not numerous, but severe, and executed with impartiality. It is said that crimes are rare, and that obedience to parents, respect to superiors, and general subjection to the laws, are characteristics of this people. They have two emperors, a secular and a spiritual. The latter, called the Dairo, formerly held the supreme power, but his influence and dominion have been greatly reduced, and the secular emperor now predominates, and lives in wealth and splendor. The Japanese, like the people of China, are grossly idolatrous and superstitious, and obstinately set against the innovations of Christianity.

Jeddo, on the island of Niphon, is the capital of the empire, and one of the most populous and magnificent cities in Asia. In the centre is the splendid palace of the emperor, surrounded with walls and castles; and gardens of great extent and beauty. And there are also numerous palaces of the princes and nobles, who are required by the emperor to make this city their residence at least half of the year. The circumference of Jeddo is said to be 20 miles. Its commerce and manufactures are extensive and flourishing. Pop. 1,500,000.

Meaco, on the same island, is also a great city. It was, anciently, the metropolis of the empire. The Dairo, or spiritual sovereign, still holds his residence here, and it is the seat of learning and science and idolatrous superstition. The city, in its form, is a large plain, enclosed by mountains, regularly laid out in gardens, well watered, and interspersed with splendid temples and monasteries. It is distinguished for commerce, and its manufactures are rich and fine. Pop. 500,000. Nangasaki, on the island of Kiusiu, is a large sea-port, distinguished as the only one in the empire, at which the Dutch are permitted to trade. Their restrictions are severe, and all other Europeans are entirely rejected from the islands. The large island of Jesso is chiefly inhabited by the Ainos or Wild Kuriles, who have been subdued by the Japanese.

QUESTIONS.

What are the extent and population of the empire of Japan? In what respects is it a remarkable one? What islands does it consist of? In what direction are they from China and from Hindoostan? What sea and strait bound them on the west? What strait between Niphon and Jesso? What of the general surface of Japan? What of the coasts and surrounding waters ? What of earthquakes, &c.? What of the soil and productions? Of agriculture? What is the common food? What shrub and trees are specified? What of the varnish tree? What use is made of the juice? What minerals? Whom do the people resemble? For what are they remarkable? What of the government? Of the laws? Of crimes? What other characteristics of this people are mentioned? What two kinds of emperors have they? Are the Japanese grossly idolatrous? What is the capital and on what island? What is the latitude of Jeddo, and its longitude from London? Which of the United States in that latitude? How does Jeddo compare with other cities?

« ForrigeFortsæt »