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The Estate Of A Chinese Merchant

The Estate Of A Chinese Merchant image
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A letter from Canton, on the llth of April, in the Gazette de France, ways: "I lately visited the estate of a Chinese merchant of Canton, named Pontingua, and on which he spends 3,000,000f. a year - an immense sum in a country where labor is to bo had almost for nothing. Tho propeity is larger than a king's domain. ïhis Chinaraan made his fortune in the opium trade, and is aaid to possess moro than lOU,OOO,OOOf. Ifci has litty wivcs and eighty domestica, without countiog thirty gardeners, laborers, &c, and owns in the oorth of Ohina a still fincr estáte. He has a grcat lik ing for the French, and reoeives thein well. Wlieu I went with two friuuds to visit his mansion, he had just left, but I was roceived by a steward, who eondueted us over the house to a vast garden, in whioh are the rarest flowers, and a wide alley leads to the principal entrance. "ïhe apartments are vast, tho floors being in marblo; they are ornainented with columns of the same material and of sandal-wood, enorusted with mother-ofpearl, gold, silver and precious stones. - Splendid looking-glasses, of a prodigious height, furniture iu precious wood covered with Japan lacquer, and magnificent carpeta of velvet and silk decórate the rooms. The apartments are separated from eaeh other by movable partioiaas of cyprcss and sandal-wood, which are ornamented with charining designs cut right through the wood, so as to pcrmit one room to bc scon from tho other. From the ceilings are suspended chanduliers ornamented witli precious alones "Therc are more thnn thirty piles oí building in the whole cdifice, wnich are united by covered galleries witli columns and pavements in marble. Tlic lodgiugs of the womon are decorated witli mui o than eastcrn splendoi'. Au eutire army in glit be lodged in the house and gnrunds. Watcr-coursus, on which are gilded junks traverse them in all direetions; and at intervals ye vast basins, iu whioh are swans, ibises, and an iufiuite varicty of i birds. There are also pagodas nine stories high, which are very remarkable; . somo iu marble, others ia saudle-wood, carved with great art. In the gardens are extensive aviaries of the rarest anc béautiful birds. In front of tho wo mcn's apartmontc iá a theatre, in wliieh a hundred actors eau perform, and so pla eed that pcople iu the apartments oan sec without dilfioulty. Near t!ie outer door is a printing office, in which M. Portin gua causes the niemoirs of his family to be prepared for posterity.'.