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They have a very thin, as well as tough, sort of paper made of refuse silk, which, in combination with the split bamboo, is excellently adapted to the purpose. The kites are made to assume every possible shape; and, at some distance, it is impossible occasionally to distinguish them from real birds. By means of round holes, supplied with vibrating cords, or other substances, they contrive to produce a loud humming noise, something like that of a top, occasioned by the rapid passage of the air as it is opposed to the kite. At a particular season of the year, not only boys, but grown men, take a part in this amusement, and the sport sometimes consists in trying to bring each other's kites down by dividing the strings.
The taste of the Chinese court as to its amusements was observed by the several embassies to be nearly as puerile as that of most other Asiatics. Farces, tumbling, and fireworks were the usual diversions with which the Emperor and his guests were regaled. Two of the Sovereigns of this Tartar dynasty, Kanghy and Kien-loong, maintained the hardy and warlike habits of the Manchows by frequent hunting expeditions to the northward of the Great wall. They proceeded at the head of a little army, by which the garre was enclosed in rings, and thus exposed to the skill of the Emperor and his grandees. We find, from Père Gerbillon's account of his hunting expedition with Kang-hy, that a portion of the train consisted of falconers, each of whom had the charge of a single bird. The personal skill and prowess of Kâng-hy appear to have been considerable, and we have the following description from Gerbillon of the death of a large bear:-" This animal being heavy and unable to run for any length of time, he stopped on the declivity of a hill, and the Emperor, standing on the side of the opposite hill, shot him at leisure,
and with the first arrow pierced his side with a deadly wound. When the animal found himself hurt, he gave a dreadful roar, and turned his head with fury towards the arrow that stuck in his belly. In the endeavour to pull it out, he broke it short, and then, running a few paces further he stopped exhausted. The Emperor, upon this, alighting from his horse took a half-pike, used by the Manchows against tigers, and accompanied by four of the ablest hunters armed in the same way, he approached the bear and killed him outright with a stab of his half-pike."
The amusements of the Emperor's court on the ice, during the severe winters of Peking, are thus given by Van Braam, who was one of the Dutch mission which proceeded from Canton soon after Lord Macartney's embassy :-“ The Emperor made his appearance on a sort of sledge, supported by the figures of four dragons. This machine was moved about by several mandarins, some dragging before, and others pushing behind. The four principal ministers of state were also drawn upon the ice in their sledges by inferior mandarins. Whole troops of civil and military officers soon appeared, some on sledges, some on skaits, and others playing at football on the ice, and he that picked up the ball was rewarded by the Emperor. The ball was then hung up in a kind of arch, and several mandarins shot at it, in passing on skaits, with their bows and arrows. Their skaits were cut off short under the heel, and the fore part was turned up at right angles.” These diversions are quite in the spirit of the Tartars, whose original habits were strongly opposed to those of the quiet and effeminate Chinese. However robust and athletic the labouring classes in the southern provinces of the empire, those who are not supported by bodily exertion are in general extremely feeble and inactive. Unlike the European gentry, they seldom mount on
a horse, unless of the military profession; and as nobody who can afford a chair ever moves in any other way, the benefits of walking are also lost to them. Nothing surprises one of these Chinese gentlemen more than the voluntary exertion which Europeans impose on themselves for the sake of health, as well as amusement. Much of this inactivity of habit must of course be attributed to the great heat of the climate during a considerable portion of the year; and they would be greater sufferers from their sedentary lives, were it not for the beneficial custom of living entirely in the open air, with warm clothing, during even the winter months—that is, in the south; for, to the northward, the extreme cold compels them to resort to their stoves and flues, with closed windows and doors. The apartments of houses at Canton are always built quite open to the south, though defended from the bleak northerly winds by windows of oystershells, or glass.
MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
Costume of better Classes-Absence of Arms or Weapons from Dress
Summer and Winter Costume-Paucity of Linen-General use of Furs and Skins-Sudden changes of Fashion not known-All modes prescribed by a particular Tribunal-Singular Honours to just MagistratesShaving and Shampooing-Female Dress-Chinese Dwellings-Description of a large Mansion-Tiling of Roofs-Gardens-Furniture--Taste for Antiques-Travelling—by Land-Government Post not available to Individuals-Printed Itineraries-Travelling by Water-Public Passageboats-Passing a Sluice on the Canal-Same practice 600 years ago.
“ WHEN dressed, every Chinese of any station wears by his side a variety of accoutrements, which would strike a stranger as being of a warlike character, but which prove, on examination, to be very peaceful appendages. A worked silk sheath encloses
box, suspended to the belt, supplies flint and steel for
lighting the pipe; and the tobacco is carried in an embroidered purse or pouch." Dr. Abel thus de
scribes the appearance of the first well-dressed Chinese whom he saw on reaching the shores of the Yellow sea. Arms are, in fact, never worn on the person except by soldiers on parade; and even the military mandarins do not wear swords on ordinary occasions of ceremony. The common people are not