« ZurückWeiter »
mises happiness to the people on in the beak of an eagle, to expreso conditions which were, no doubt, the devouring effects of thunder, originally intended to confist in the as bis wings do his swiftness. With performance of moral duties; but one hand he grasps a thunderbolt, in lieu of which are too frequently and in the other is held a truncheon Substituted those of contributions for strikingseveral kettle-drums with towards the erection or repair of which he is he surrounded. The temples, the maintenance of pricits, talons of an eagle are sometimes and a fri&t attention to particular represented as fixed upon the axis cbservances. The negle&t of these of a wheel, upon which, with added is announced as punishable by the velocity, he rolls among the clouds. souls of the defaulters passing into In the original from whence this the bodies of the meanest animals, description is taken, the dreadful in whom the sufferings are to be effeets of this terrific spirit beneath proportioned to the transgreffions the clouds are pointed out by the committed in the human form." appearance of animals ftruck dead,
“ The temples of Pekin are not and lying prostrate on the ground, equal to its palaces. The religion buildings overturned, and trees of the Emperor is new in China, torn up by the roots." and its worniip is performed with “No legal tax is imposed in most magnificence in Tartary. The China on the score of religion. Ce. mandarines, the men of letters, remnonies are ordained by it, in the from whom are selected the magis performance of which some time is traies who govern the empire, and necessarily consumed, and sacrifices possess the upper ranks of life, ve• are required, which occasion experate rather than they adore Con- pence, on the new and full moon; fucius; and meet to honour and and in spring and autumn; and celebrate his memory in halls of a likewise in the beginning of the fimple but neat construction. The year. On the latter occañon, par. pumerous and lower clafses of the ticularly, much dislipation takes people are less able than inclined place. Some good also is effected. to contribute much towards the Acquaintances renew their suferection of large and costly edifices pended intercourse; friends offend. for public worthip. Their religious ed are reconciled; every thing dates attention is much engaged, belides, as from a new era. The pooreft with their household gods. Every cottager looks forward and prehouse has its altar and its deities, pares, during the preceding months, The books of their mythology con- for an interval, however brief, of zain representations of those who enjoying life, after haviog so long preside over their persons and pro• dragged on laboriously the burden perties, as well as over exterior ob- of it." jects likely to affect them. In the “The Chinese have no Sunday, representation of Lui-bin, or spirit nor even such a divifion as a week. prefiding over thunder, the violence The temples are, however, oper of that meteor, which nothing is every day for the visits of devotees. supposed capable of withstanding, Persons of that description have, the velocity of the lightning, which from time to time, made grants, nothing can exceed, and their though to no great amount, for the upited effects, are represented by a maintenance of their clergy; but monftrous Sgure, who is involved no lands are subject to ecclefiaftical io clouds. His chin is terminated tithes." 5 .
" The country about Tong- tal writers. A roller is likewise
The race of those spotted horses any fields to be seen in pasture.
* The mixture of eastern and care of their domestic concerns; for western cuftoms, is to be seen some- they carry on most of the trades times in China. Thus in the neigh. which can be exercised within bourhood of Tung.choo-fuo, the doors. Not only they rear fillseason of the harveit gave occafion worms, and spin the cotton, which to observe, that the corn is some. last is in general use for both sexes times threshed with the common of the people ; but the women are Aail of Europe, and fometimes almoft the sole weavers throughout preffed out by cattle treading on the empire. Yet few of them fail the theaf, as is described by Orien- to injure their healths, or at leak
their active powers, by: sacrificing their actions. Their exansple, as in imitation of females of fuperior far as it was good, serves a an rank, to the prejudice in favour of incitement to travel in the time liule teet; and though the operation path. The descendants from a for this purpose is not attempted at common lock, visit the tombs of so early a period of their infancy, or their forefathers together, at stated followed up afterwards with lucl times. This joint care, and indeed persevering care, as in the cale of other occafions, colleat and unite ladies with whom beauty can be the most reinote relations. They come an object of more attention, cannot lofe light of each other ; enough is practised to cripple and and seldom become indifferent to disfigure them.
their respective concerns. The “Nutwithstanding all the merit child is bound to labour and to of these helpniates to their hul provide for his parents' mainte. bands, the laiter arrogate an extra- nance and comfort, and the brother ordinary dominion over them, and for the brother and filter that are in hold them at such a distance, as pot extreme want; the failure of which always to allow theni to fit at table, duty would be followed by such behind which, in such case, they at. detaliati: 1), that it is not necessary tend as handinaids. This dominion to enforce it by poGtive law. Even is tempered, indeed, by the maxims the most diftant kinsman reduced of mild conduct in the different to mitery by accident or ill health, relations of life, inculcated from has a claim on his kindred for relief. early childhood amongst the lowest Manners, Atronger far than laws, as well as higlieit classes of society. and indeed inclination, produced The old periods of a family live and nurtured by intercourse and generally with the young. The intimacy, secure assistance for him. toriner serve to moderate any occa- These habits and manners fully exfonal impetuofity, violence, or plain the fact already mentioned, passion of the latter. The influence which unbappily appears extraorof age over youth is supported by dinary to Europeans, that no spec. the sentiments of nature, by the ha- tacles of distress are seen, to excite bit of obedience, by the precepts of the compassion, and implore the morality ingrafted in the law of casual charity of individuals. It is the land, and by the unremitted po. to be added, that this circumstance licy and honest hearts of parents to is not owing to the number of inthat effect. They who are part ditutions of public benevolence. labour, dealout the rules which they The with, indeed, of the Persian had learned, and the wisdom which monarch is not realized in China, experience taught them, to those that wone Mould be in want of the who are rising to maohood, or to succour adminiftered in hospitals; those lately arrived at it. Flain but those establishments are renfertences of morals are written up dered little necessary, where the in he common hall, where the link which unites all the branchet male branches of the family assem- of a family, brings aid to the sufferble. Some one, at least, is capable ing part of it without delay, and of reading them to the rest. In als without humiliation. most every bouse is hung up a ta- "It seldom, indeed, happens blet of the ancestors of the persons that the infirmities of men, or che then residing in it. References are weakness of children, render them oftea made , in conversation, to utterly incapable of making some
return of industry for the fubá stence their private virtues, or public serthey receive. In the manufactures vices, and by the honours conferred carried on within doors, very mate. upon them in consequence, by the rial affistance may often be afforded, governinent, is much more retpectwith little exertion of strength; and ed than new men. The supposed abroad, the soil is light, and tillage descendants of Confucius are aleasy. Oxen are used for plough. ways treated with particular reing in this part of China, being too gard, and immunities have been told for buffaloes, which are pre granted to them by the emperors. ferred where they can be reared. The ambition of an illustrious dea, Cattle are yoked by the neck, in- scent is so general, that the empestead of being so by the horns, as rors have often granted titles to the upon the continent of Europe.” deceased ancestors of a living man
" The reader will observe, that of merit. Indeed, every means are the names of the Chinese mention. tried to stimulate to good, and to ed in this work, are, independently deter from evil, actions, by the reof the additions of their qualities, ward of praise, as well as by the all of one fyllable; as is every word dread of thame. A public register, in the Chinese language. The ad. called the Book of Merit, is kept ditions are the more neceffary, as a for the purpose of recording every name implies no diftinction 'in fa- striking instance of meritorious vour of the family which bears it. conduct; and, in the enumeration There are but one hundred family of a man's titles, the number of james knowo throughout the em. times that his name has been so pire; and the expression of the inserted, is particularly mentioned. hundred names is often used as For faults, on the other hand, he is a collective term for the whole subject to be degraded; and it is Chinese nation. Individuals, how. not deemed fufficient that he ever, occasionally assume, at differs mould assume only his reduced ent periods, or under different cir- title ; but he must likewise add cumitances of their lives, other to his name the fact of his degraappellations expressive of some qua- dation.". . lity or event. Each tamily naine “In China there is less inequais borne by persons of all classes. lity in the fortunés, than in the Identity of such names implies, conditions of men. The ancient however, some connection. All annals of the empire tertify that, who bear it may attend the hall of for a long period of time, the earth, their supposed common ancestors. like the other elements of nature, A Chinese seldom, if ever, marries was enjoyed by its inhabitants, ala woman of his family name; but most in common. Their country was the fons and daughters of Gfters divided into Tmall equal districts; married to husbands of two dif. every district was cultivated con. ferent names, marry frequently; jointly by eight labouring families, those of two brother's bearing the which composed each hainlet, and fanie name, cannot. Though names they enjoyed all the profit of their always do not denote distinctions, labours, except à certain share of and though no hereditary nobility the produce reserved for public exexists in China, pedigree is there an pences. It was true, indeed, that object of much attention. He who after a revolution, deplored in all can reckon his ancestors to a dif. the Chinese histories, which haptant period, as if distioguished by pened prior to the Christian era,
the usurper granted all the lands The delegated authority of goveraaway to the partners of his victories, ment often leans more heavily on leaving to the cultivators of the the unprotected rich, than on the foil a small pittance only, out of poor, who are less obje&s of tempt. the revenue which it yielded. Pro- ation. And it is a common reperty in land also became hereditary; mark among the Chinese, that for: but in process of time the most con- times either by being parcelled out fiderable domairs were subdivided to many heirs, or by being loft is into very moderate parcels by the commercial speculations, gaming, fucceflive distribution of the poslef- or extravagance, or extorted by op fions of every father equally among pressive mandarines, feldom conall his sons: the daughters being tinue to be considerable in the inalways married without dower. It dividuals of the same family beyond very rarely happened that there was the third generation. To ascend but an only son to enjoy the whole again the ladder of ambition, it is property of his deceased parents ; neceffary, by long and laborious and it could scarcely be iacreased by study, to excel in the learning of the collateral fucceffion. For the ha country, which alone qualifies for bits of the country, as well as the public employments. dictates of nature, led moft men" There are properly but three there to marry early. It was classes of men in China. Men of reckened a discredit to be without letters, from whom the mandarines offspring. They who had none, are taken ; cultivators of the adopted those of others, who be- ground; and mechanics, includcame theirs exclufvely. In case ing merchants. In Pekin alone is of marriage, Ihould a wife prove conferred the higheft degree of libarren, a second night be espoused terature upon those who, in public in the life-line of the first. The examinations are found most able in opulent were allowed, as in moft the sciences of morality and governa parts of the East, to keep concu. inent, as taught in the ancient Chibines without reproach. The chil. nese writers; with which Itudies, dren of such sese considered as be the history of their cuuntry is iati. ing those of the legitimate wife, to- mately blended. Among luch grawards whom they were bred in fen- duates all the civil offices in the timents of duty and affection; and 'ftateare distributed by the emperor; they partook in all the rights of le. and they compose all the great trigitimacy.
bunals of the empire. The candi« From the operations of all those dates for those degrees, are such as causes, there was a constant tendency have succeeded in similar examinato level wealth: and few could suc. tions in the principal city of each ceed to such an accumulation of it province. Those who have been as to render them independent of chosen in the cities of the second 'any efforts of their own for its in- order, or chief town of every dil. 'create. Besides, wealth alone con- triết in the province, are the candifers in China but little importance, dates in the provincial capital. and no power: nor is property, They wbo fail in the first and sewithout office, always perfeAly fe• cond classes have still a claim on cure. There is no hereditary dig. subordinate offices, proportioned to nity, which might accompany, and the class in which they had sucgive it pre-eminence and weight. ceeded. Those examinations are