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mosa, when the Tartars had dispossessed him of the main. The people of Fokien retain a hereditary aptitude for the sea, and chiefly supply the Emperor's war-junks with both sailors and commanders. A large proportion, too, of the trading junks that proceed to sea pertain to Fokien. Two circumstances probably tend to maintain the maritime propensities of the inhabitants :—first, this province is so far removed from the grand canal, as to afford fewer inducements to inland navigation and trade, always preferable, if practicable, to a Chinese; secondly, the proximity of the opposite coast of Formosa keeps up a constant intercourse by sea. The language or dialect of Fokien is so peculiar as hardly to be intelligible elsewhere, and this may chiefly be attributed to its long independence of the rest of the empire. Ch is always pronounced T, and hence the difference between cha and tea for the great staple production of China; the first name for tea being adopted by the Portuguese from Macao, and the second by the English from Amoy. This port, the name of which is a corruption of the native word Heamun, is well known to have been formerly the seat of the English trade, being placed on an island near the coast in latitude 24° 25'. Fokien is the great country of the black teas, and Bohea is a corruption of Vu-ee Shan, the hills where they are principally grown.
We have now taken a cursory view of the finest and most opulent parts of the empire. All the remainder are inland provinces, less known to Europeans, and probably much less suited to the purposes of comınerce. Of these, one of the largest is Hookuâng, divided by the vast lake Tongting Hoo*, with its tributaries, into two subordinate provinces, Hoo-pě.
* The English translation of Du Halde, we observe, states that the lake is very venomous, being thus absurdly rendered from the original, poissoneur.
and Hoo-nân; that is, “ north, and south of the lake : the last is to be distinguished from Ho-nân, a province to the north. Immediately adjoining, to the south-west, is the province of Kuang-sy, under the same viceroyalty with Canton, but greatly inferior in wealth. North of Kuang-sy lies Kuei-chow, a small mountainous province, of which the south boundary has always been independent. It is peopled by a race of mountaineers called Meaou-tse, who thus defy the Chinese in the midst of their empire. They gave the Government much trouble in 1832, and are said to have been “ soothed” rather than controlled,” to use favourite Chinese expressions.
The fact that an independent race of people should exist in the heart of a country so jealous of its dominion as China, is certainly a singular one. The principal seats of these mountaineers are between the provinces of Kuei-chow and Kuâng-sy, though some of them exist in other parts of the same ridge, and in the Chinese maps their borders or limits are marked off like those of a foreign country, and the space left vacant. L'Amiot has given an account of Kien-loong's expeditions against them; but as his narrative is taken from the official papers sent to the Emperor, which are in general not more correct or veracious than Napoleon's bulletins, it must be received with some allowances. According to him, the Viceroy of a neighbouring province had sent an army against the Meaou-tse, who enticed them into their mountains, and entirely cut off the Chinese with :heir general. To revenge this, Kien-loong despatched a leader named Akuei at the head of his best Tartar troops to subdue them. This person is said to have entered their country, and, in spite of all opposition, to have taken their king prisoner, and nearly exterminated the race. Still, however, they remain as independent as ever and the Chinese
are contented to keep them within their own limits by small fortresses erected on the borders.
The mountainous ridges occupied by this people extend full six degrees, or about 360 geographical miles from west to east, comprising the southern borders of Kuei-chow, with the northern of Kuâng-sy, and the north-west limits of the Canton province; but the Chinese contrive to weaken their force by separating their different tribes. The men do not shave their hair like the Tartars and Chinese, but wear it tied up,
in the ancient fashion of the latter people before they were conquered. The Chinese, in affected contempt, give them the names of Yaou-jin and Lâng-jin, dog-men and wolf-men. They are said to inhabit houses of one story raised on piles, occupying the upper part, and placing their domestic animals below. The Chinese, without entering their mountains, purchase the woods of their forests by agreement, and these being thrown into the rivers which intersect the hilly country, are floated down into the plains. They make their linen from a species of hemp, probably the material of what is called grass cloth at Canton; and likewise manufacture a kind of carpet for their own use. As soon as the children can walk, the Chinese say that the soles of their feet are seared with a hot iron, to enable them to tread on thorns and stones without pain; but this perhaps deserves little more credit than the grave assertion at Canton that the people have tails,--a piece of information which would have been duly appreciated by Lord Monboddo, in his speculations on the possible elongation of the vertebral chain in the human
In the month of February, 1832, a great rising took place among the Meaou-tse, extending to the neighbourhood of Lien-chow, on the north-west of Canton. The leader took the name of the “Golden Dragon,” and as
sumed a yellow dress: this gave great offence and alarm at Peking, and it was apprehended that some of the “ Triad Society," whose object is the overthrow of the Manchow Tartars, had got among them. They made their
way into the plains, and defeated several bodies of Chinese troops with considerable slaughter, including the loss of their arms and stores. The commanderin-chief of a neighbouring province was among the killed. The mountaineers possessed themselves of several towns, but issued notices to the Chinese people that they made war only against the Govern ment. Of a thousand men, sent from Canton to recruit the Emperor's forces, two hundred were ordered back again as entirely useless, from the baneful effects of opium.
The Viceroy of Canton (called by the English “ Governor Le”) proceeded against the insurgents, and though they at first retired, it was only to return to the amount, it is said, of 30,000, who engaged the Chinese army, and slew 2,000 of them, with a considerable number of mandarins. One officer of rank, who understood their language and customs, was sent to treat with them; but, on his entering their territory, they seized him and cut off his head, saying that the spirit of Chang-ke-urh (Jehanghir), the Mahometan Prince who was perfidiously murdered at Peking, had appeared and advised them to make no terms with the faithless. While “ Governor Le” was unsuccessful to the south, the Viceroy of Hoonân attacked the insurgents on the north, and retook one of the towns of which they had possessed themselves, killing a great number, and taking some of the chief men prisoners. At length, two imperial commissioners were sent from Peking, and they performed by policy much more than had been likely to be done by arms. Reports were spread of the innumerable forces that were coming to exter
minate the mountaineers, and they were at the same time invited to come to terms. At length it was agreed that they should confine themselves to their hills, and that the Chinese should not invade their territories; and the Emperor's troops were withdrawn. “ Governor Le,” however, was, in consequence of his ill success, deprived of his station at Canton, and ordered to proceed to Peking to be put upon his trial and degraded. The Viceroy of Hoonân, on the other hand, was honoured with the peacock's feather, a distinction of a military character, pendent from the back of the cap, and a multitude of rewards were conferred on others, significant of the important advantages which had been gained over the enemy. These, however, continue as independent as ever, and must be a source of some anxiety to the Manchow dynasty.
The province of Yun-nân, the most western part of China, which borders on the Burmese territory, and is not very far from Umerapura, the capital, is extremely mountainous, and abounds in inetals and other valuable minerals. Gold is found in the sands of the rivers, and the Keang, in this part of its course, is named Kin shâ, or golden-sanded. There is a saltwater well near Yaougân-foo. Towards the north-west of this province, on the borders of the Thibet country, is found the Yak, or cow of Thibet, the tail hairs of which are used in various manufactures, particularly carpets. The large province of Szechuen, lying N.E. of Yun-nân, is traversed by a portion of the great Keâng. From the name of snowy mountains,” applied by the Chinese to some of those which extend along the north-west of this province, bordering on the Thibet country, they must be of considerable elevation, and from their situation are probably higher than any in China. Salt springs are found here as in Yun-nân, towards the south-west. The province of