Изображения страниц

town, and the labours of its artisans are wholly directed to

COMMERCE the supply of articles for the home consumption. All, or nearly all, of the trades which are practised in the kingdom We have already remarked on the advantages which tinis are under the direction and superintendence of their re- capital possesses as a place of traffic. About the beginning spective guilds, or corporations; and this circumstance is of the last century, its commerce became considerable; yet said to operate as a severe restriction upon the exercise of in- though it continued afterwards to prosper, it did not increase dustry, as well as greatly to fetter individual enterprise. The rapidly until the war of the French revolution. The native mechanics have never been celebrated for their skill principal maritime countries of Europe were then involved or ingenuity; they are paid at a high rate, but they are in hostilities; but Denmark remained neutral, and enjoyed slow at their work, and display little taste in the execution a lucrative carrying-trade, which'extended not only through of it. The manufacture of woollen cloth is necessarily the European seas, but to India and China. "A large one of the most considerable; for the country is well adapted quantity of business and capital was thus transferred to to the rearing of sheep, and the article is one which forms Copenhagen; and the advantages which the merchants of an essential part of the people's dress. The number of this city derived were very extensive. This commerce, hands employed in the woollen manufactures of Copen- however, together with the other branches of the Danish hagen is very considerable; and there is, besides the private trade, was wholly destroyed by the hostilities which broke establishments, a government manufactory, for the supply out in 1807 between Great Britain and Denmark. From of the army and navy. This was established by Frederick that period till the end of the war, the mercantile interest the Fourth; it furnishes employment to 1200 persons, and of Denmark suffered severely; and it has never recovered vields annually between 140,000 and 150,000 ells. About the advantageous position which it previously held. seventy looms are employed in the manufacture of stockings, 'At present the commerce of Copenhagen is not very night-caps, mittens, and other articles of woollen hosiery; considerable, and it has even recently declined. The imbut of these a considerable supply is furnished by the ports into this capital are, anchors, pitch and tar, from peasants of Jutland, whose occupation during their long Sweden and Norway,-flax, hemp, masts, sail-cloth and Winter evenings consists in making stockings, partly for cordage, from Russia,-West India produce from the their own use, and partly for sale.

Danish possessions in the West Indies,- tobacco from In the neighbourhood of Copenhagen there is a manu: America, --wines and brandy from France. From England, factory of Manchester cloths, which was established upon the principal articles of direct import are, coal, earthenthe English plan by a Swede; it is well conducted, and ware, and salt; and in 1830, the quantity of coal sent was gives support to about two hundred people. The refining a hundred thousand tons, and of salt a million of bushels. of sugar also furnishes employment to a considerable The principal part of the trade between the Danish West number of worknien; for the greater part of the produce of India islands, (or rather St. Croix, which is the only one the Danish West India Islands comes to Copenhagen. The among them of value,) and the mother country, is in the distillation of spirits has always been an important branch | hands of the Copenhagen merchants; and the number of of manufacture in this capital; for in this country, as ships which arrived at the capital from St. Croix, in 1831, indeed, throughout the whole of the northern part of was twenty-three, of the aggregate burden of 5772 tons. Europe, the consumption of that article is large. A few The trade to the settlements in the East Indies is in the years ago, there were reckoned no fewer than 240 distilleries | hands of an exclusive company, but so trilling in its in Copenhagen, and brandy used to be exported to a con amount, that only one ship has latterly sailed from Copensiderable amount; but the manufacture is said to have hagen in the year. The exports from this city consist declined of late. The principal articles of manufacture chiefly of articles which are the produce of the soil, such besides those which we have enumerated, are leather, soap, as grain, butter, cheese, beef, pork, hides, horses, cattle, tobacco, porcelain, ironware, and linen.

and rape-seed, of which a large quantity is sent to Holland

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

LONDON : Publishe 1 by JOHN WILLIAME PARKER, WEST STRAND; and sold by all Booksellers,


[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE CHINESE. | Marco Polo, who visited China in the latter part of No. VÍ.

the thirteenth century. He tells us that the Chinese

did not employ hempen cordage in their vessels, ex. CHINESE BOAT-TRACKERS.

cepting for the masts and sails (the standing and The vast empire of China is intersected in every running rigging); "they have canes," he says, "of direction by rivers and canals, which form à more the length of fifteen paces, which they split in their extensive system of water-communication than exists whole length into very thin pieces, and these, by in any other country. From Canton in the south to twisting them together, they form into ropes three Pekin in the north,-a distance of nearly seventeen hundred paces long: so skilfully are they manufac. degrees of latitude,—the navigation is only once inter- tured, that they are equal in strength to cordage rupted, and then only for a space of four-and-twenty | made of hemp." His able commentator, Mr. Mars. miles. It is not our intention now to enter into the den, remarks, that persons who have seen the cables details of this system, or to describe the vessels belonging to the prows of the Eastern Islands might whieh are employed on these lines of communication ; | suppose that this account of twisting the bamboo into we purpose only to relate a few particulars concerning cordage was a mistake for the manufacture of cables this mode of navigation, and the elass of persons by by twisting the rattan, so commonly applied to that whom it is performed.

purpose; “but our author's correctness as to the The use of sails is general; but when cireumstances material is fully proved by the testimony of modera render them of no avail, the vessels are impelled by travellers." Van Braam, who was one of the Dutch means of oars, or dragged along with ropes from the ambassadors to the Emperor of China in 1791, says, bank of the river or canal. The oars are used in a " Their ropes of rattan, or, to speak more exactly, peculiar manner; there are two of them, turning bamboo, are of great advantage, because they unite upon pivots which are placed in narrow projecting lightness with strength." pieces of wood near the bow of the vessel, and not | Marco Polo adds, that " with these ropes vessels the stern, as is the practice of most other nations. are tracked along the rivers, by means of ten or They are of a large size, from six to ten men being twelve horses to each, as well upwards against the required to work each of them; and instead of being current as in the opposite direction." Upon this taken out of the water, as in the act of rowing, they sentence a curious remark may be made. Horses are moved backwards and forwards beneath the are not now used to track Chinese vessels; and from surface, " in a similar manner to what in England is the general immutability of Chinese customs, this understood by sculling." This mode of using the discrepancy between the practice of the present day oars is much better adapted to the crowded streams

and the statement of Marco Polo, might have been of China, than that of working them at the sides as urged, to impugn his fidelity, if the labours of in rowing. To lighten their labour, and assist them modern travellers had not firmly established his in keeping time with the strokes, the boatmen often reputation. Yet it is remarkable, as Mr. Davis obhave recourse to a rude air which is generally sung serves, that from this very instance of disagreement by the master, the whole of the crew joining in chorus. we derive an additional confirmation of his general Mr. Barrow, who accompanied Lord Macartney's correctness; for that the labour of tracking was once Embassy in 1793, has given a copy of the air, which performed by horses, we have a singular proof in the he frequently heard.

language of the warrants or commissions issued by On many a calm still evening, (he says,) when à dead

the emperor to his officers. The system is clearly silence reigned upon the water, have we listened with

explained by the Jesuit Duhalde, in his great work pleasure to this artless and unpolished air, which was sung,

on China ; after mentioning that the men to whom with little alteration, through the whole flent. Extraordinary 1 the task is now assigned are furnished by the manexertions of bodily strength, depeniling in a certain degree | darins of each city, he adds:on the wilingness of the mind, are frequently accompanied

The number of these men is determined according to the with exbilarating exclamations among the most savage people; but the Chinese song could not be considered in

number of the horses marked on the Cang-ho, or Patent of this point of view; like the exclamations of our seamen in

the Emperor, that is to say, at the rate of three men for hauling the ropes, or the oar-song of the Hebrideans,

each horse , so that if cight horses are marked for an envoy, which, as Dr. Johnson has observed, resembles the proce

he will be furnished with twenty-four men. leusmatic verse by which the rowers of Grecian galleys The trackers do not form a particular class in were animated, the chief object of the Chinese chorus

China: they are taken indiscriminately from among seemed to be that of combining cheerfulness with regularity.

the lower orders of the people. Their labour is ex. Verse sweetens toil, however rude the sound.

tremely severe; we read of their toiling for sixteen When the wind or the tide is unfavourable, or hours consecutively, against a stream whose swiftness when the vessels have to ascend a stream which has precluded the slightest intermission of their exertions. a rapid current, the system of tracking is adopted. They are obliged sometimes to wade up to the middle This is sitnilar to the system of towing practised on in mud, sometimes to swim across creeks, and immethe rivers and canals of our own country; but while diately afterwards, perhaps, to expose their naked we employ horses for the task, the Chinese employ bodies to a scorching sun. They are kept constantly men. The number of " trackers" to a boat varies to their work by a soldier, or “the lictor of some with its size, and with the strength of the opposing | petty police-officer," who follows them closely, carrywind or current; Lord Amherst's embassy was pro- ing in his hand an enormous whip, with wbich he vided with three bundred trackers, the number of lashes them as often as they show the least disposi. boats being twenty. Mr. Ellis, the historian of that tion to idleness, and with as little reluctance as if embassy, states the number as being for the larger | they were a team of horses. “They often slip into boats from twenty to twenty-five, for those of the narrow paths,” says the historian of an early Dutch second class twelve, and for the smaller seven. enibassy, “and are drowned; and if any grow faint

The track-ropes are commonly made of narrow and weary, there is one who follows, and never leaves strips of the strong siliceous substance wbich forms beating them till they go on or die.” The trackers of the outer covering of the bamboo, thus combining each boat are generally changed every day: they rethe greatest lightness with strength. These ropes are ceive for their labour a remuneration, very scanty accurately described by that faithful old traveller, | indeed, in reference to the price of provisions; and they have no allowance made to them for returning severity should rather be considered as isolated to the place from which they were taken.

instances of infirmity of temper on the part of in, As the canals and rivers of China are extensively dividuals, than be taken as samples of a general used by the officers of the government, the boatmen practice, will unfortunately not be found tenable, and others who are employed in their navigation are One of the mandarins to whom Lord Macartney occasionally the victims of that cruelty and oppres, addressed his ineffectual appeal, was remarkable for sion which, in spite of the paternal nature of the a kind and amiable disposition, which attracted the government, do not seem to be altogether absent

regards of our countrymen in an extraordinary from its administration, and altogether unknown to degree. Besides, we constantly read of similar cases; its various functionaries. In the narratives of tra. and an exaet parallel to one of those above mentioned vellers, we read repeatedly of the infliction of a may be found in the narrative of the first embassy « bambooing," which seems to be a punishment as which was sent by the Dutch East India Company in largely resorted to in the celestial empire, and often vear 1655. and which then traversed China

year 1655, and which then traversed China from with as little reason,--as the kindred process of Canton to Pekin, by the great line of water-commu. “bastinadoing," in Turkey and Persia.

nication. In their course from Nan-gan-foo towards The common practice of flogging with a bamboo, (says the great Yang-tse-kiang, or Yellow River, the party Mr. Barrow,) has generally been considered by the mis descended the stream called the Kan-kiang, " which sionaries in the light of a gentle correction, exercised by runs there as swift as an arrow from the bow, and is men in power over their inferiors just as a father would

full of banks, sands and shoals, so that, though they chastise his son, but not as a punishment to which disgrace

went down the stream, their ships were often in is attached. However lightly these gentlemen * may choose to treat this humiliating chastisement to which all

danger.” In this passage, a yacht, carrying one of are liable, from the prime-minister to the peasant, it is but

the anıbassadors, and the presents destined for the too often inflicted in the anger, and by the caprice, of a emperor, fell into a whirlpool, and, after being whirled man in office, and frequently with circumstances of uns about by the eddies, at last ran aground, and could warrantable cruelty and injustice.

not be got off without the trouble of unloading. When Lord Macartney's embassy descended the “ The mandarins commanded the watermen and Pei-ho (or White River) on its return from Pekin, master to be severely lashed with a thick leather the stream being very shallow, one of the accommo. whip for their neglect; but the ambassadors inter, dation barges got aground in the middle of the night, ceded for the latter." The former, we presume, were The air was piercingly cold; and the poor creatures left to their fate, as unworthy of the Dutchmen's inbelonging to the vessel were busy until sunrise in the terference; yet if blame could have rightly rested midst of the water, endeavouring to get her off. The with any one, where the navigation was so difficult, rest of the fleet had proceeded; and the patience of we may fairly infer, in the absence of evidence to the the superintending officer being exhausted, he ordered contrary, that it should have been with the master. his soldiers to flog the captain, and the whole crew. The lot of the trackers seems to be a harder one The punishment was accordingly inflicted, in the most than that of the boatmen. The appearance which unmerciful manner; and this, we are told, was they present, when engaged in their toilsome occupa“ their only reward for the use of the yacht, their tion, has generally excited the commiseration of tratime and labour, for two days." A still more re. vellers. There is often a large proportion of old men markable display of arbitrary power oçcurred, while and boys in their number, the embassy was ascending the Pei-no, from its Poor miserable men (says Dr. Morrison) passed cords mouth in the Yellow Sea, to the town of Tong across their breast, over one shoulder and under the other tcheow-foo, where the land journey to Pekin coin arm, and walked forward in a leaning posture, pulling at

the end of the rope, which had its other end fastened to the menced. It happened one morning that some of the

biyasi-head of the vessel to which they were giving motion. provisions, which it was the daily custom to supply to the embassy, were a little tainted,-a circumstance

Mr. Abel, who accompanied Lord Amherst's emnot very wonderful, considering that the weather was bassy, and who seems disposed to regard matters in extremely hot, the mercury in Fahrenheit's thermo a more favourable light than some others, after re. meter ranging from 82° to 88° in the shade. Never marking upon the uninteresting nature of the country theless, the officers to whom had been assigned the on the banks of the Pei-ho, between Ta-koo and Tientask of furnishing the supplies, were instantly de. sing, says: prived of their rank, and all their servants severely

The scenery had only novelty and strangeness to recombambooed. Lord Macartney interceded with the two

mend it; but had it possessed the attractions of Arcadia,

they would have been polluted by miserable objects of mandarins, Van-ta-gin and Chon-ta-gin, who had

wretched and naked men tracking our boats, and toiling been appointed to attend the embassy, from the first

often through a deep mire under a burning sun. These moment of disembarkation, in favour of the degraded

poor fellows were attended by overseers, who kept them to delinquents : he was heard with great attention, but their work, and prevented their desertion, but did not, as “ perceived that little indulgence or relaxation from far as I could observe, exert their authority with cruelty, strict discipline was to be expected on such occasions."

Scarcely had our eyes become in some degree familiarized

with their appearance, when they were offended by the The charitable supposition that these acts of

sight of a dead body frightfully swollen, lying on his back,

and floating down the river. Our boaimen passed it wiih• The missionaries alluded to by the writer, are the Jesuits who

out regard. I must confess, that in turning from the con. were permilcd a long time ago to settle at Pekin, but have gradually been expelled; they used to be the only authority for Euro. templation of such objects, I recovered with some difficulty peans on Chinese matters, but many of their statements are now found that state of mind which was necessary to an unprejudiced to require material correction. Another passage to the same effect as

examination of the country through which I was passing. that in the text may be quoted. “In travelling through the country, a day seldom escaped without our witnessing the application of the Where there are not persons whose constant occu.' Pan-lse, or bamboo. and generally in such a manner that it might be

pation is tracking, or where an extraordinary number called by any other name except a gentle correction. A Chinese suffering under this punishment, cries out in the most piteous manner; is required, the officers of the government impress a Tartar bears it in silence. A Chinese, alter receiving a certain

poor people wherever they can find them, for one number of strokes, falls down on his knees as a matter of course before him who ordered the punishment, thanking him in the most day's journey. As the service is very laborious, and humble manner for the fatherly kindness he had testified towards his very ill rewarded, considerable difficulty is often exson, is thus putting him in mind of his errors: a Tartar grumbles,

perienced in obtaining men to perform it. In order a ad disputes the point as to the right that a Chinese may have to flog him, or he turns away in solemn silence,"

to obviate the delay which might thus arise, it is

300—2 . -.. .

customary when a fleet is expected, to have the reliefs service had absconded; so that in addition to the noise of in readiness for their arrival; and for this purpose the gongs, and the trumpets, and crackers, our ears were

frequently assailed by the cries and lamentations of persons they are sometimes confined for a day or a night,

under the punishment of the bamboo, or the whip, for because, if left at liberty, they would infallibly run

claiming their exemption from joining the yachts, and away. When Lord Amherst's embassy arrived at a aoting as trackers. When the group that had been coltown called Kaou-yen-chow, four of the party went lected for this purpose was brought together in the morning, to see a temple which stands there, dedicated to it was impossible not to regard it with an eye of pity.

Most of them consisted of infirm and decrepit old men, Ming-keer-shěh-wang, or the “ten judges in Hades,"

and the rest were such lank, sickly-looking, ill-clothed according to Dr. Morrison; but they found its gate

creatures, that the whole group appeared to be much sitter chained up, and the seal of the magistrate of the

for an hospital, than for performing any kind of labour. town upon it. Two or three hundred miserable

Our companions pretended to say that every farmer who wretches were confined in it; and an attendant man rented lands upon the public rivers or canals, was obliged, darin told our countrymen that the boats having been by the tenure on which he held his lease, to furnish such a

number of men to track the vessels in the service of the expected the night before, these poor fellows had been

government, whenever it might be required; but that on pressed to track them; and the authorities appre

the present being an extraordinary occasion, they had rehending that if permitted to return to their homes,

| solved to pay them, as they called it, in a handsome manner, they would not come back, had shut them up the which was at the rate of something less than seven-pence preceding evening. With some difficulty the party a day, without any allowance for returning to their homes; obtained an entrance ; but they found the courts of a price for labour which bore no sort of proportion to that the temple in a condition which rendered a survey if of the necessaries of life, and it was even doubtful if this

pittance was ever paid to them. uot impracticable, at least very unpleasant. Despotism in China, (says Mr. Ellis,) as elsewhere,

Our engraving represents a group of trackers presses with least weight upon the lower orders; our cooking their meal over an earthen stove; the standing trackers have at different times struck for wages, and re- figure is employed in eating his rice after the usual fused to proceed until their just deníands were satisfied. fashion, -that is to say, by putting the edge of the

In a subsequent passage of his journal, the writer | bowl against his lower lip, and knocking the contents furnishes a fact not quite consistent with this

into nis mouth with the chopsticks. Their chief food opinion.

is rice; but, as a luxury, they sometimes indulge in

vegetables fried in rancid oil, or mixed up with animal Our trackers, (he says,) whether driven to it by being

offal. During Lord Macartney's journey, the persons overworked or underpaid, were very insubordinate; and the disturbance was not quelled till some of them had been employed about the vessels which carried the ambaspunished with the bamboo."

sador and his train, were accustomed to receive with

the greatest thankfulness the relics of the provisions The system of impressing men to serve as trackers

furnished to our countrymen; the very tea-leaves seems to be productive of much misery. So hateful

which had been used were sought after with avidity is the service, that the people strive in every way to

| (in China !) and boiled up, to afford a second decocavoid it. When Lord Macartney's embassy traversed China, those who had tracked the vessels throughout

tion. They had only two regular meals in the day,

one about ten o'clock in the morning, and the other the day generally deserted by night; they knew the difficulty which the officers would have in getting

at four or five in the afternoon; "they generally, others to relieve them; and they knew also that till

however, had the frying-pan on the fire at three or

four o'clock in the morning." The wine, or liquor, others were procured, their own services would be

which the embassy received in large jars, but which required. To supply their places, very harsh mea.

was so miserably bad as not to be used by the party, sures were commonly resorted to: the officers used

afforded a great treat to these poor people, whose to despatch their soldiers to the nearest village, where

circumstances seldom allowed them an opportunity the inhabitants, taken by surprise, would be forced

of touching such a luxury. out of their beds to join the yachts. Scarcely a

The trackers sometimes wear shoes made of straw, night occurred, in which some poor wretches did not suffer the lashes of the soldiers, for attempting to

such as are to be seen in the engraving; but they go escape, or for pleading the excuse of old age or in

more frequently with naked feet. The flat boards firmity. It was painful, we are assured, to behold

lying on the ground in the front of the picture, are the deplorable condition of some of these poor

applied by them to the breast when in the act of

tracking. Like the boatmen, the trackers have a creatures; several were half-naked, and appeared to be wasting and languishing for want of food. Mr.

song which they chant to inspirit them in their toil, Barrow gives a melancholy picture of their sufferings,

and to give unison to their efforts; they call it tseenin describing what occurred on the night of the 18th

| foo-ko, their own name being tseen-fou. of October (1793), when the embassy was approach

The greater part of it, (says Dr. Morrison,) is merely the

tone of exertion, interspersed with ing Canton.

a few expressions

alluding to the country they are passing, and the place to This being the night of the full moon, we were allowed which they look as the end of their toils. One person reto enjoy very little rest. The observance of the usual cere peats the sentences which have meaning, and the whole monies, which consist of firing their small petards, beating join in a chorus, “Hei-o Wo-to-heio," the import of which at intervals the noisy gong, harsh squalling music, and appears to be pull away, let us pull away. fire-works, required that our vessels should remain stationary; and these nocturnal orgies ceased only with the

The learned doctor requested a man to write down appearance of the sun. There was, however, another cause

a tracker's song, and it concluded by holding out the of detention at this place. In sailing against the stream

hope of a breakfast when they reached Teen-tsin. of the Eu-ho, it was necessary that the barges should be tracked by men, and these men were to be pressed or forced Young children are excellent judges of the motives and into the laborious service, from the villages bordering upon feelings of those who attempt to control them; and, if you the river. The usual way of doing this was to send out would win their love, and dispose them to comply with your the soldiers, or attendants of the officers, before the vessels reasonable requests, you must treat them with perfect in the dusk of the evening, to take the poor wretches by candour and uprightness. Never attempt to cheat, even surprise in their beds. But the ceremony of the full moon, the youngest, into a compliance with your wishes; for, by retarding their usual hour of retiring to rest, had put though you succeed at the time, you lessen your intluence, them on their guard; and on the approach of the emissaries by the loss of confider.ce which follows detection. Tho of government, all that were liable to bo pressed into this Young Lady's Friend.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »