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pidated at many points, and incapable of opposing the least resistance. It is six miles in circuit, but is far from including the whole of the city; vast suburbs surround it, and their extremities join the country villages, so that it is difficult to assign their limits. The river Ta-kia is divided into two branches, over one of which is a floating bridge formed of thirteen boats bound together by iron chains. This bridge unites the city to the suburb where most trade is carried on. In other respects, one might almost say that an immense bridge of boats covered the surface of the river, so many junks are there which occupy its whole width.
The streets of Ningpo, especially in the neighbourhood of the river, are lined with shops, and immense storehouses. Each quarter seems to have its own occupation and trade. Thus in one, the manufacture of silks prevails, in another that of cottons. Here are carpets and furs, there repositories of furniture. We cannot stop before each shop. However, it would be profitable to study these small details of the great city, to observe in their exercise the tastes and manners of the buyers and consumers, and to recognize, frequently, a resemblance between the Chinese and Europeans, which passes unnoticed. Thus I shall adduce as an example, the druggists' shops, where medicines, more numerous perhaps than those of Europe, are ranged with the same care and in an order equally perfect; the libraries, where the poorest Chinese buys, at a very moderate price, the works of Confucius, as well as the sacred paper which he is about to burn at the neighbouring pagoda in honour of the great philosopher; the manufacture of gods, where each comes to buy the image which he shall adore on his domestic altar; the magazines of curiosities, where the rich man displays his capricious fancy on a crowd of old porcelain, antique bronzes, and medallions effaced by time; the studies of painters, whose designs selected with taste, are destined to ornament the interior of every Chinese house; brokers' shops, frequented by the poor; magazines of shoes, of lanterns, and of tobacco; the exchanges of money and pawnbrokeries, where they lend upon pledges. Luxury has everywhere the same demands and misery the same wants. There are, besides, a great number of eating-houses and of tea-shops, for the most part in the neighbourhood of the gates and in the suburbs. Is it not the same in our cities?
We might also make in Ningpo a tour almost picturesque. The city is very ancient. It encloses some old monuments, the appearance of which attests the power of past ages. First, the tower of Ningpo, as celebrated in China as the famous one of Nakin, is hexagonal, it is of six stories, and is ascended by 150 steps, which gives a height of about forty-five metres. It is built of brick, and has on each side and on each story a window of moderate size. It is now a mere ruin, the bricks are loosened, and the grass, that leprosy of time, makes inroads upon the walls. An old bonze in rags keeps the monument and opens the gate. We see at once that the English have been here. The walls are covered with names and dates. Each soldier of the victorious army has thought it a duty to enter his name in this aged book, the last page of which has been stained by the hand of barbarians.
A European can walk in the streets of Ningpo without being followed, as at Canton, by a dense crowd which constrains his movements, watches his steps, and sometimes becomes hostile. Curiosity is here artless and almost discreet. Everywhere one is welcomed into the shops, invited to sit down, to take tea, to smoke. He can believe himself in a friendly country. Still no city in China suffered the evils of war more than Ningpo.' They show the long and narrow streets where the English cut down by grape-shot, the people in the moment of revolt. The recollection of that period of disasters cannot yet be effaced, and fear, no doubt, has a large share in the benevolent disposition of the people. But at Ningpo sooner than elsewhere the time will come for a more sincere friendship and a freer sympathy.
Ningpo has not yet succeeded in attracting foreign commerce to its port. Its situation on the bauks of a river which receives a great number of tributaries; its proximity to the silk manufactures, and the districts producing the green tea; the easy manners of the inhabitants—all seem at first sight calculated to ensure it a large share in the profits, which the ports recently opened ought to derive from the direct trade with Europe. Hitherto, these anticipations have not been realised. The proximity of Shanghai has injured Ningpo. Situated at a small distance to the north, and on the extreme limit of the trade allowed between China and Europe, Shanghai can extend her exclusive influence over a larger space, and Ningpo finds herself circumscribed by the vast circle of the operations of her ancient rival. Besides the most important and the principal objects of industry of the country, the cotton and cloth sold as Nankin stuffs, have now to contend against the combined effects of Bengal cotton and English cloths. It is beyond a doubt that the products of Europe will finally carry the day over the antiquated manufactures of the Celestial Empire.
Finally,—the last injury received by Ningpo was this:- When the power of trading was reserved to Canton alone, all merchandize, European or other, which passed up or down the coast of China, stopped at each of the seaports. Navigation, in consequence of ancient custom and the construction of the junks, was wholly confined to coasting. Each port supplied, through its rivers and the numerous canals of the interior, the circle which its situation assigned to it, and received in some measure a right of passage from the merchandize destined to go farther. But now that direct communication is allowed, that European vessels tend more and more to supplant the junks, and engross the transport, each of the ports formerly touched at must experience a sensible diminution in the importance of its navigation; and Ningpo finds itself in this respect in the worst condition, since it occupies on the coast one of the intermediate points between Canton and Shanghai.
The English have from the first established a consulate at Ningpo, but the establishment has been reduced. In 1845 there was but a single merchant and some American missionaries. This was the whole European population. In other respects one cannot yet form a decided opinion upon the future trade of Ningpo. The evacuation of Chusan NO. 4.-VOL. XVII.
will, perhaps, give an activity to that port which it has hitherto wanted.
The archipelago of Chusan is situated within sight and at a small distance from the coast of Che-kiang of which it is a dependency. It is composed of a group of islands very numerous. Chusan, the largest of these islands, has given its name to the whole of the archipelago.
When the English made Hongkong be conceded to them, they knew not the value of Chusan. They had only found it an insalubrious land, where they had lost many lives by fever and cholera, and where they supposed it was impossible to establish a durable settlement. In their haste to take possession, they chose Hongkong, because of its fine harbour. They would now willingly exchange their barren rock for the position they have just abandoned. Chusan is fifty miles in circumference, and twenty-one in its greatest length. The island is covered with mountains, in the midst of which extend fertile valleys. Rice, cotton, tea, the tallow-tree, some varieties of pulse and fruits are its principal productions. The climate cannot be called salubrious, but by the sanatory precautions that have been taken since its occupation, the mortality in the English garrison has considerably diminished.
Tinghai is the capital of the island. The barracks, the hospital, and the different English establishments, are situated on the space between the walls and the shore. As all these buildings, according to the terms of the treaty, are to be delivered to the Chinese, in the same state they are at the time of evacuation, they are only sheds. Some Chinese shops are established around the camp.
Tinghai owes a peculiarity in its appearance to the presence of the English. It is a city in some sort anomalous. It has not become English, but it is no longer Chinese. A part of the ancient inhabitants have withdrawn to Ningpo. One is quite astonished to see the houses and the streets peopled by red dresses and by policemen; the pagodas transformed into guard-houses, and the idols dressed with sword-belts, the sabres, and muskets of our soldiers. Nevertheless, the English administration ought to benefit the Chinese population of Chusan, no exactions, no imposts; besides a garrison of 800 men, a station of shipsof-war, a continual movement of trading-vessels which come to victual, the residence of several European merchants, and consequently, a considerable expenditure of money, a good part of which remains in the hands of the Chinese.
Finally, there are sold in Tinghai, European merchandize, and large cargoes of opium, which the native boats land secretly along the whole coast.
This focus for smuggling would be of the highest importance to the English. Established on an island, far from the superintendence of the Chinese mandarins, within reach of the Yang-tsze-keang, and of the Yellow River, which by their different branches, and a multitude of canals, communicate with the most remote regions of the Empire, it might concentrate, under a firm administration, the operations of foreign commerce, and inundate the Celestial Empire with the contents of its magazines.
Let any difficulty arise; let China studying the treaties, attempt some day to shackle the European commerce, and to reconquer her solitude; two steamers leaving the port of Tinghai, would be sufficient to blockade the two rivers and to convert her home into a prison. In every relation, commercial, political, and military, there exists not in the whole Empire a position which presents the advantages of Chusan.
Towards the end of 1845, the garrison of this island was preparing for the evacuation which ought to have taken place in February, 1846. The last mail from China informs us, that the English troops had withdrawn on the 25th of August, and that the forts had been restored to the Chinese. The Chinese debt having been paid off in full, restitution of the pledge became due. The English may have hesitated to relinquish Chusan, but they felt it necessary to honour the signature of their sovereign.
REMARKS ON THE TENASSERIM PROVINCES.
By Commander J. E. Bingham. THE Tenasserim Provinces extend from about 17° 40' to 127° N., they possess a healthy climate, agreeing well with the European constitution, as shewn by the returns of deaths in the Royal regiments formerly stationed on the coast.
The thermometer ranges in the shade, during the hot months, from 75° to 98° in December, January, and part of February; however, it will, at dawn be down to 54°, rising to 75o and upwards by 2 P.M., but never exceeding 85°, while in the south-west monsoon it will average 76o.
For days, at this season, the sun remains obscured and the rains are very heavy, commencing with moderate showers in May, and terminating in the early part of October with heavy squalls of thunder and lightning during these months inclusive.
At Maulmain the maximum fall of rain has been 224.0 inches, the minimum 11316 inches, the average of six years gives 180 inches per year.
At Tavoy, the fall in the same months reach the maximum of 2 40,6 inches, and the minimum 1751.0 inches, the six yearly average being 216 inches. With such an immense fall of water, it is not surprising that the climate of these provinces, more especially during this season, possess an extreme humidity; a fact of which we soon became aware, from the destruction by damp and mildew of clothes, books, &c., indeed every thing that was perishable, and that was not either soldered down or constantly aired by fires.
These provinces, if fully developed, contain vast resources. A very small population with but little capital, are the principal sources of this want of development.
The present Commissioner, J. R. Colvin, Esq., is turning his attention to draw out some of these vast riches, and, as a primary step has proposed to the Bengal Government, to allow the permanent purchase of land, instead of the present loose tenure under which it is at present held by its occupiers; by these means he hopes to induce capitalists to settle here, as they now do at Penang and Province Wellesley
These provinces are intersected by rivers and streams in every direction, which with the construction of a few roads, would give an easy means of transporting the produce to the coast.
The Amherst province produces the teak, vast forests of which abound in certain localities; but the teak is not indigenous to the southward of 16° N., and this tree also shuns the immediate neighbourhood of the coast. At Maulmain the timber trade has swallowed up all others, and the indiscriminate cutting in the forest, has caused much wanton destruction, but which, by the regulations now introduced, is partially stopped.
The teak brought to the Maulmain market is probably equal to any for ship-building in India, like the teak of other parts it is subject to holes and flaws, which cannot be discerned until the logs are cut into. Its good qualities are many, its specific gravity being as 43 to 45, and its fexibility as 900 to 850, as compared with Malabar teak, while the small quantity of perilignous acid it contains, renders it valuable for iron fastnings.
There are but two species of teak brought to the market in any quantity, though there are several other kinds occasionally brought down, and many which the Burmese name, pretending to be able to distinguish them and the forest in which they grow; but, which they totally failed in doing upon trial, these two kinds are the Kyoon Paroom and Kyoon Kyouk, Rock Teak; the first is a light coloured wood, open in its grain and rather spongy, abounds in all the forests, and floats very shortly after being cut down, it attains a great height and girth, and comes to maturity in about eighty years.
The second, on the contrary, is hard, close grained, and floated with difficulty, after having been killed three years. It is of slow growth and seldom attains the height and girth of the “ Paroom,” which may be accounted for by its being found in a cold, poor, clayey soil; this, with some other description, grows to the age of 150 and 200 years.
The other kinds may be enumerated, as the Kyoon Nway, Noo, Proo, Boh, and Black Teak.
The first is scarce; the second, from its knotty appearance and wavy grain, is designated Noo (Leprous), it is used for furniture; the third, from its bark, leaf, and wood being white, takes the cognomen of Proo (White); while the fourth, only used in house-building, rejoices in that of Boo (Bastard).
The Black Teak I should much doubt being a separate kind, it is rarely found; I have seen but one log of it during the four months I was at Maulmain; the peculiarity of colour is probably produced by the tree growing where iron ore strongly predominates in the soil
At Maulmain the teak is distinguished by the name of the forest it