« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
title taken from him; that Moo should be laid aside entirely ; that Soo should be degraded to the fifth rank, and that Kwang should be made a subordinate secretary of the 8th rank,
and next spring, on his return, be sent to Tartary to officiate there. The Emperor pitied his brother-in-law the Duke, and retained his title, but took from him all his important situations. Soo, if he behaved well eight years, might be permitted to supplicate restoration to his dignities. This however was like adding mockery to degradation, for Soo is now nearly seventy years of age, and will, should the grave not become his habitation ere the period of probation be expired, be unfitted by extreme old age to hold any important public situation.
The Duke and Moo reported from Tung-chow that the Embassador was daily performing the Tartar ceremony with a degree of venerdtion and respect that merited the highest commendation ; a statement founded on a positive untruth. Men who can deliberately and officially write an absolute falsehood sink very low, whatever their rank may be, in the estimation of every well-regulated mind. Their degradation can scarcely be regretted. The most ludicrous occurrence is the case of the loquacious Judge of Chih-le, who was introduced to the reader in the preceding pages. He went to Court and informed his Majesty of the lectures he had given, and the questions which he had put to the English. The answer he received was: “ I did not send you to lecture, nor to ask queś. tions, but to see the Embassy safely and quietly out of the Pro'vince; for your officiousness you shall suffer.” My Lord Judge was forthwith degraded and sent into banishment.
Notices respecting Mohammedans and Jews.
Mohammedans were found in every part of our journey. They frequently hold situations in the government.
On the evening of September 10th, whilst walking on shore, at a village called Too-leaou, about fifty miles from Teen-tsin, I observed written on the lantern of a poor huckster's shop Hwuy-Hwuy laou tëen, “ An old Mohammedan Shop.” On stopping to ask the owner, who was an old man, whence he came, he replied, from Se-yang, “The Western Ocean.” When urged to say, from what country of the west, he said he did not know. He understood his family' had been in the place he now was for five generations.
He informed me that there were many Mohammedans in the neighbourhood, they had a Le-pae Sze, « temple for worship;" they observed every third and seventh day, chiefly the seventh. They used for the Chinese word Teen, « Heaven,” the word Choo, « Lord or Sovereign.''
The old man could not read : he did not cease to sell commodities on the sabbath.
October 13th. At a temple of Fŭh, near Kwa-chow, met with a gentleman who held a situation in the government : on entering into conversation with him, it appeared that he was a Mohammedan.
He said he understood the Mohammedans came over to China during the dynasty Tang, about 1200 years ago.
In Chinese thé Mohammedans express the Deity by Choo, “Lord,” and not by Shin, “a god or spirit;" because, he said, « the gods (Shin) were included in things created.”
“We," said he, « venerate the Lord, who is the true Lord of what exists and what does not; the Creator of all things." He is “ not like any thing ; not to be compared to any thing: the one only true Lord." He called the sabbath by the name « Choo-ma-urh."
He informed me that at Kae-fung Foo, in Honan province, there were a few families denoted Teaou-kin Keaou, “ the pluckingsinew sect,” because they take away the sinews from all the flesh which they eat. They also had a Le-pae Sze, or Temple of Worship. They observed the eighth day as a Sabbath. He regarded them the same as the Tëen-chow Keaou, which is the name by which the Christians are known in China.
The above statement exactly corresponds with what is related in Grosier, on the authority of a Romish Missionary. That person saw and conversed with the people of whom he spake, and he considered them as Jews.
The gentlemen felt a little unwilling to converse on the subject of religion ; said it was not their custom to do it; but to satisfy the curiosity of a stranger, and as I had been civil to his brother, he now did so. The Priest of Buddah was sitting by and handing tea all the time.
November 27. At Nan-chang Foo, the capital of Keang-se, was visited by a young military Mohammedan officer. He said that in Keang-nan they had 36 Mosques; where we then were, there were three. He affirmed the same as the persons above mentioned respecting the terms used for the Deity. Respecting the Chinese word, “Heaven," and Shin, “ spirit,” he said, “ Heaven was created by the Lord, so were the (Shin) spirits.”
Their sabbath occurs on our Friday. In the Chinese Calendar it falls on the days Kang, New, Low, Kwei, which are four of seven characters applied to days successively. The teachers or priests they call Laou-sze Foo. There is one expounds, sitting, on the sabbath. Thirty or forty attend at Nan-chang foo. Require the people to pray five times a-day; the prayers are not translated from the Arabic. There are no books in Chinese containing the service or doctrines of the sect. The term in Arabic answering to the Chinese Hwuy-hwuy, he understands to be Moo-se-ne-ma-na, probably Musselman. Return on sabbath from the Mosque to their usual avocations.
The young officer said many of the sect were not very strict. He himself took a little wine to strengthen his arms for shooting with the bow.
Religion and Morals. In passing through a country, secluded from general intercourse with its inhabitants, little can be ascertained as to the effect of religious or moral principles on the human mind.
The very frequent decay and ruin' in which the temples of superstition were found by the present travellers, seemed to denote a decay of the sentiments which prompted the rearing of those edifices.
What the prophet Isaiah said of Judea two thousand years ago is still true of China, “ their land also is full of idols ; they worship the work of their own hands—that which their own fingers have made." Is. ii, 8.
The sect of Füh or Buddah, is more prevalent than that of Taou. There are some temples of the latter which appear occupied by the priests of the former. One temple occurred to the writer of this which seemed to be of neither sect. Bloody sacrifices had been offered to the idol, the steps to whose altar were yet red with gore. Time did not permit a fuller investigation, as there was no person on the spot who could give any satisfactory account of it. A calculator of the fates of men sat at the gate, with his apparatus about him, but he could not tell to whom the temple was dedicated. The fortune-telling superstition seemed very prevalent in some towns; the professors of the art kept regular shops.
"Tis liberty alone that gives the flower
China does not enjoy liberty. Her government is a military despotism. Her virtues and her vices are those of slaves. Always artful, suspicious, intriguing, the Chinese are complaisant and servile, or insolent and domineering, according to circumstances. They affect great care to prevent irregular intercourse of the sexes; and yet are well known to be very debauched. Indecent representations were found everywhere exposed the same as at Canton, The strong arm of power intimidates them, and they acquire a habit of departing from the truth. Of this numerous instances occurred in the course of the journey,
The Tartars were generally more proud and haughty. than the Chinese.
If « barbarity" or being “barbarous” expresses something savage, rude and cruel, the present inhabitants of China do not deserve the epithet; if it expresses a cunning selfish policy, endeavouring to deceive, to intimidate, or to brow-beat, as occasion may require, connected with an arrogant assumption of superiority on all occasions, instead of cultivating a liberal, candid, friendly intercourse with men of other nations, they are barbarians,
MARRIAGE OF NON-CONFORMISTS;
OUTLINES OF A BILL
FOR ESTABLISHING A MORE CERTAIN AND GENERAL REGISTER OF MARRIAGES, BIRTHS, AND DEATHS IN EACH
TO WHICH IS ADDED TAE
KING OF FRANCE,
FOR THE VERIFICATION OF THE MARRIAGES, BIRTHS,
AND DEATHS, OF THE NON-CATHOLICS.