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naturally rendered this people obnoxious to severe censure the infanticide* of female children. The presumed extent of this practice has been brought as an argument against the prevalence of parental feeling in China; but we believe that the amount of it has, by most writers, been overrated. No doubt but in occasional instances of female births, infanticide does exist; but these cases certainly occur only in the chief cities, and the most crowded population, where the difficulty of subsistence takes away all hope from the poorest persons of being able to rear their offspring. The Chinese are in general peculiarly fond of their children, and the attachment seems to be mutual. The instances at Canton (a very crowded and populous place) of the bodies of infants being seen floating are not frequent, and may reasonably, in some cases, be attributed to accident, where such multitudes are brought up from their birth in small boats. There never was a more absurd blunder than to charge to infanticide those instances in which the infants are found floating with a hollow gourd about their persons, as if the gourd was a part of the system of exposure! Why, the very object of attaching these gourds to the children living in boats is to save them from the risk of being drowned, and to float them until they can be pulled out of the water. That children should sometimes be found drowned in spite of this precaution, is possible enough; but to consider the gourds as part and parcel of their fate is about as reasonable and correct as if somebody should attribute all the deaths in England from drowning to the exertions of the Humane Societyt.
* This subject is not mentioned in the penal code.
+ Mons. de Guignes is quite right on this point. Quant à ce que l'on dit qu'elles attachent une calabasse sur le dos des enfans pour les faire flotter plus long-tems, afin de donner e
The Roman Catholic fathers, with all their complete and intimate knowledge of China, had a trick of giving their own colouring to such matters as bore in any way upon the honour and glory of the mission. We have seen that they dealt now and then in miracles : the mere over-statement, therefore, of the practice of infanticide was natural enough, when connected with the object; and Du Halde gives a pompous account of the fruits of the missionary exertions. The merit, however, was peculiar, and of an equivocal kind; for, instead of attempting on most occasions to save the lives of the children doomed to be drowned, they or their proselytes walked about to the houses, baptizing the new-born infants previous to death-a cheap, rapid, and easy work of charity.
_" Licebit, Injecto ter pulvere, curras. In their physical characteristics the Chinese are generally as superior to the nations which border on them, as in other points. It has often been remarked that a finer-shaped and more powerful race of men exist nowhere than the coolies, or porters, of Canton, and the weights which they carry with ease on a bamboo between two of them would break down most others. The freedom of their dress gives a developement to their limbs that renders many of the Chinese models for a statuary. As sailors, they have been found always much stronger and more efficient than Lascars on board of English ships, though the obstacles which exist to their entering into foreign service prevent their being frequently engaged. During the war, the difficulty of manning the Company's ships with English seamen was the occasion tems à quelque personne charitable de leur sauver la vie, elles ne le font que pour avoir elles-mêmes le moyen de les secourir dans le cas on les tomberoit à la rivière.
of great numbers being employed, though at a very heavy expense.
The superior physical character of the Chinese, in comparison with many other Asiatics, must in great measure be attributed to the general healthiness of their climate, notwithstanding the existence of very considerable, as well as rapid, vicissitudes of heat and cold. The extent to which cultivation and drainage have been carried in all the lower levels throughout the country, must, no doubt, have its share in the effect; and the general prevalence of active, as well as sober, habits in the bulk of the population, is another important circumstance. It may be observed here, that if that terrible scourge the cholera could be proved to have existed at all in China*, during the period in which it has occasioned such frightful ravages in other parts of the world, its extent and effects have been so inconsiderable as not to deserve serious notice. The idea which has prevailed in France, relative to the use of tea being a means of avoiding the disease, might seem to derive some corroboration from this general immunity in the country where tea is more extensively consumed than elsewhere.
When the cranium, or skull, of a Chinese is compared with those of a European and a negro, it is observable that what is called the facial angle, in the case of the first, is something of a medium between the other two; in other words, that the forehead and upper part of the face in the Chinese retire, or incline backward, rather more than in the European, but much less than in the African. The same remark holds in respect to the oblique insertion of the incisors, or front teeth. In the thickness of the lips the Chinese approaches, but by no means equals, the negro; nor is that feature at all so prominent
* The european shipping at Whampoa not included.
as in the latter. The nose is flattened, and the nostrils expanded in the Chinese, but not to the same extent as in the Æthiopian. In some points of physiology, the people whom we describe bear a considerable resemblance to the North American Indians. There is the same lank, black, and shining hair; the same obliquity of the eyes and eyebrows, turned upwards at the outer extremities; and a corresponding thinness and tufty growth of beard. The Chinese, too, is distinguished by a nearly total absence of hair from the surface of the body. In the smallness of the hands and feet, and of the bones of the body, compared with Europeans, he resembles the generality of Asiatics. We may remark here that the Esquimaux, as represented in the plates to Captain Lyon's voyage, bear a very striking simi. larity to the Tan-kea, or "boat-people," of the coast of China, who are treated by the Government as a different race from those on shore, and not allowed to intermarry with them. Whether the miserable inhabitants of the cold regions to the north have thus migrated southward, along the coast, at some former periods, in search of a more genial climate, must be a mere matter of conjecture in the absence of positive proof.
Though the Chinese are allied to the Mongols in the general cast of their features, the harsher points of the latter are softened down in the former considerably. It would be a hopeless task to attempt to explain, on any certain grounds, the mode in which China first became peopled. The only thing like testimony that we possess, out of China, relating to this subject, is in the Institutes of Menu, as quoted by Sir William Jones. It is there written, that
many families of the military class, having gradually abandoned the ordinances of the Veda, and the company of Brahmins, lived in a state of degradation, as the Chinas
and some other nations." A native historian certainly states that at a period corresponding to 1,200 years before Christ, “the Chinese nation was small and feeble, the Eastern foreigners (people between them and the east coast) numerous and strong," and that the former “gradually obtained a settlement in the middle of the country.
This, as far as it goes, might be construed into a proof that China, according to the opinion of Sir William Jones, was originally peopled in part from India.
But however that may be, the position hazarded by De Guignes, that the Chinese were a colony from Egypt, seems hardly capable of sufficient support from testimony, either direct or circumstantial.
Such a distant emigration could not have taken place without the knowledge and notice of the nations inhabiting the vast countries that intervene: besides which, there exists not the slightest shadow of resemblance between the hieroglyphics of Egypt and the Chinese characters. This point was first satisfactorily proved in a letter from Père Amiot at Peking to the Royal Society of London, who had applied to him for information. In one respect, indeed, we are ready to admit that there is a resemblance; but that is only in the use of the respective characters. The researches of Dr. Young first proved that the pictorial emblems of the sacred language of Egypt had been used in the Rosetta inscription, as symbols of sound in the expression of foreign names. Now, this is precisely what the Chinese do, from obvious necessity, in similar cases.
Their monosyllabic characters are used to represent the sounds of foreigners' names, and either connected by a line along the side, or otherwise distinguished by a small mark, for the same reason that the Egyptians enclosed theirs in an oval ring, or cartouche.
But to return to our immediate subject. People