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HONOURS TO JUST MAGISTRATES,
of any public magistrate, whose government has been marked by moderation and justice. A deputation sometimes waits on him with a habit composed of every variety of colour, a coat of many colours," as if made by a general contribution from the people. With this he is solemnly invested, and though of course the garment is not intended to be worn, it is preserved as an honourable relic in the family. On quitting the district, he is accompanied by the crowds that follow his chair, or kneel by the way-side, while at intervals on the road are placed tables of provisions and sticks of incense burning. These honours were shown to a late Fooyuen of Canton, a man of a most eccentric, but upright character, who, unlike so many others in his situation, would never take anything from the Hong merchants or others under his authority. He seemed to have a supreme indifference for human grandeur, and at length retired by his own choice, and the Emperor's permission, into private life, from whence it is said he became a devotee of Budh. On his quitting Canton, a very singular ceremony was observed, in conformity with ancient Chinese usage on such rare occasions; when he had accepted the various demonstrations of homage and respect from those who had been deputed by the people to wait on him, he proceeded from his residence towards the city gates, and being there arrived, his boots were taken off, to be preserved as a valued relic, while their place was supplied by a new pair. This was repeated more than once as he proceeded on his way, the boots which he had only once drawn on being regarded as precious memorials. The conduct of the higher magistrates cannot fail to be influenced sometimes by the ambition of earning such popular honours, and there can be little doubt that in places less exposed to the contagion of vice and temptation than Canton, there are good m ates in China as well as elsewhere.
But to return to costumes. The head of the men, as we have before noticed, is invariably shaven, except at the top, whence the tail depends in conformity with the Tartar custom; the only change being in mourning, when the hair is allowed to grow. The Chinese having so little beard, the principal work for the razor is on the head, and consequently no person ever shaves himself. The great number of barbers is a striking feature in all towns, and sufficiently explained by the prevailing custom. They exercise the additional function of shampooing, which, with the antecedent shave, occupies altogether a considerable time. Every barber carries about with him, slung from a stick across his shoulder, all the instruments of his vocation in a compendious form. On one side hangs a stool, under which are drawers containing his instruments; and this is counterpoised at the other end by a small charcoal-furnace, under a vessel of water which it serves to heat. Their razors are extremely clumsy in appearance, but very keen and efficient in use. It is not the custom for the men to wear moustaches before forty years of age, nor beards before sixty. These generally grow in thin tufts, and it is only in a few individuals that they assume the bushy appearance observable in other Asiatics.
The women would frequently be very pretty, were it not for the shocking custom of daubing their faces with white and red paint, to which may be added the deformity of cramped feet. In point of health, however, this is in a great degree made up by the total absence of tight lacing, and of all ligatures and confinements whatever about the vital parts. The consequence is, that their children are born very straight limbed, and births are scarcely ever attended with disaster. Their dress is extremely modest and becoming, and, in the higher classes, as splendid as the most exquisite silks and em
broidery can make it; for the Chinese certainly reserve the best of their silk manufactures for themselves. What we often choose to call dress they would regard as absolute nudity, and all close fitting to the shape as only displaying what it affects to conceal.
Unmarried women wear their hair hanging down in long tresses, and the putting up of the hair is one of the ceremonies preparatory to marriage. It is twisted up towards the back of the head, ornamented with flowers or jewels, and fastened with two bodkins stuck in crosswise. They sometimes wear an ornament representing the foong-hoâng, or Chinese phenix, composed of gold and jewels, the wings hovering, and the beak of the bird hanging over the forehead, on an elastic spring. After a certain time of life, the women wear a silk wrapper round the head, in lieu of any other dress. The eyebrows of the young women are fashioned until they represent a fine curved line, which is compared to the new moon when only a day or two old, or to the young leaflet of the willow.
Pink and green, two colours often worn by women, are confined exclusively to them, and never seen on men. The ordinary dress is a large-sleeved robe of silk, or of cotton among the poorer sort, over a longer garment, sometimes of a pink colour; under which are loose trousers which are fastened round the ankle, just above the small foot and tight shoe. A proverbial expression among the Chinese, for the concealment of defects, is—“long robes to hide large feet." Notwithstanding this, the Tartar women, or their lords, have had the good sense to preserve the ladies' feet of the natural size. In other respects, however, they dress nearly as the Chinese, and paint their faces white and red in the same style.
The ordinary dress of men among the labouring
classes is extremely well suited to give full play to the body: it consists in summer of only à pair of loose cotton trousers tied round the middle, and a shirt or smock, equally loose, hanging over it. In very hot weather the smock is thrown off altogether, and only the trousers retained. They defend the head from the sun by a very broad umbrella-shaped hat of bamboo slips interwoven, which in winter is exchanged for a felt cap; and in rainy weather they have cloaks of a species of flags or reeds, from which the water runs as from a pent-house. A
large portion of the peasantry wear no shoes, but some are furnished, particularly those who carry heavy burthens, with sandals of straw to protect the feet.
In describing the dwellings of the Chinese, we may observe that, in their ordinary plan, they bear a curious resemblance to the remains of the Roman