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Miscellany: R. F. Webster's Second Lecture On China

Miscellany: R. F. Webster's Second Lecture On China image
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Mr. Fletcher Webster delivered his cond and concluding leeture on China, Trcmont Temple, on VVednesday eveng. He said, having neglected, at his st leeture, to speak of Dr. Parker, to hom he only referred in a few words, id Di. Parker being a Mnssachusetts an, he would, in as brief a manner as assible, answer the question, who is Dr. ' arköri He is a Surgeon and Missionar, cmployed by the American Board of , ommissioners for Foreign Missions. ( [r. Webster had frequently seen him 3ting in both capacities, and in both as he entitled to the esteem and ide of all who knew him. He is the f ust Chinese scholar in China, speaks ( ie dialect of the Cantón and ■ in provinces - the latter is the ( iri or learned dialect. He is ■ jndent of the Hospi al nt Cantón, and j as performed surgical operalionson the _ lost distinguished men of the Empire, ( rom the borders of Russia to the , ices of Cantón. He is a man highly steemed, and better known tban any ther foreigner in China. Mr. Webster aid that the Lcgation could have hardly ;ot along without his counsel and aid. Mr. Webster then resumed the subject f the municipal government of China, nd said that while the government, in ts pólice department, was prompt and igorous, the thieves, on the other hand, re expert and daring, and put into re[uisition uil the skill of the pólice. The nembers of the legation, as soon as they vere establishcd ut Macao, were warned igainst burglars. These gentry, when hey enter a house, strip off their clothes tnd oil their bodies, put sharp knives in heir long hair, the only part by which hey can be seized to cut the fingers of hose attempting to arrest them. They lever enter a dark room, thus reversing he custom of our thieves, who never ener a light onc. Indeed every thing is eversed in China, and bcing on the olh?r side of the world f rom us, why should t not be so ? Their night is our day - :heir west our east - two friends, when hey meet, shake hands at each other, a safe custom surely uhere cutaneous disïases provail to a great extent,as in Chila. They mourn in white - they insist hat the needie points south - they place heir saucers on their cups - they are lerfectly certain that the sun goes round he enrth, and they know that the earth s flat and square - they pumsh the innocent for the guilty - and they reward the parent for the virtues of the child, aml why should not the habits of their thieves oe peculiar 1 One of the gentlemen of the íegation feil asleep in his room at Mncao, leaving the window open. While he slept,some adroit knaves ascended to the window, by the mean of a bamboo pole, placed against the side of the house. O'no of them seized the sword and pistols of the gentleman, which were placed near his bed, while another probably kept watch - and the rest stripped the room of every thing which itcontained, clothes, curiosities, &c. Had the gentleman been willing to incur the responsibilty of having the innocent punished with the guilty, he might have recovered his property. When a foreigner hires a house, some one presents himself as steward or com prador, who is generally a person ofme Hule wealth, and ofTers security for te s ability and honor. This comprador ai res all the servants, takes ihe keys and ar sumes the sole charge of all the proar jrty, the owner not having the slightest v sponsibility in the case whatever. The T eward holdB all the servauts responsibc e to him. And in the case of a loss A rough that mischievous thief, Mr. Nohr nhjy he compells the servants to make us i the loss by a general subscription. - er he comprador was responsible to the lo intleman of the legation, for his loss, ar id had the latter been disposed to make of implaint at the proper quarter, of the pc bbery committed upon him, the serre mis, all, innocent and guiliy, would til ive been bambooed till the guilty were th scovered. By this system, one great ra ject, niuch sought after by the lawgiv sp s of every country, is obtained, viz : oc e certainty of punishment - for every in ime some one is punished. There is nc i inevitable connection between crime tu id punishment ; and as the amount of K in is in proportion to evaporation, so tit punishment to crime, with this differh ice in the cases, that punishment, like lo in, in China falls on the just and unse st. soThe Chinese code of laws is very in minous - there is nothing which men ac n do or suffer, that is not provided for lai all the rites and ceremonies of relious worship are directed by law - so a e all the modes of social intercourse, th e most ordinary civilities of life, the a( anner of salutntions to a brother, a nt, orbetween friends. Even the style 'courtship is prescribed by law, though p am not quite sure, said Mr. Webster, te lat the tariff is strictly observed, in this pi iatter, and am rather inclinedto believe a: iat a contraband sigh and glance are o jmetimes indulged in. Even the b orin regulates the season of the year n nd when he puts on his snmmer or s $r cap, summer or winter it is in his ), istrict. C There are nine degrees of official rank, v stinguished by the button worn upon be top of the cap and by the peacock's j, eather. The highest is that of Kwang, fl hich corresponds with Duke, and coners the right to wear the red button, and j . two-eyed peacock's feather. All these j egrees of rank are bestowed as the vards of personal service or mcrit, and j onfer an honor upon descendants. The jeneral affairs of the Empire are maniged by several boards at Pekin ; these ire the boards of rites and ceremonies ; f finance and revenue ; of war ; of vorks ; (of this board Keying is a mem)er ;) of foreign affairs and dependent ' tates ; and of justice and punishmcnt. rhere are two councils, one of which orm's the Emperor's Cabinet ; and above ïll these is a board of censors. There is anothor instrument of govïrnment, which is a great gong in front sf the Emperor's palace, which any one may strike to demand an audience of the Emperor, if he has a grievance to complain of, for which he can find redress, in no other way. In the Chinese code of laws respect for parents and the worship of anceslors, are made the first of duties and the foremost of religious and political obligations. j Filial duties are made the themes of their romances and the subjects of their nursery tales. The Chinese reward the parent for the virtuesof the child - if dead, monuments are erected to his memory on the ground that he must have been a good father who has so good a son. Sons frequently ofler themselves for punishment in place of their parent. The father holds a higher claim ihan the wife, and in danger the former will be protected, while the latter is left to hor late. Days are expressly set apart to visit the tombs of ancestors. They go in families and ofler sacrificed and strew flowers over their graves. When these rites iire ended they partake of a family feast, seated in enclosures around the tombs ; cover the tables with pieces of colored paper, which represent various fruits and viands, and which are burned, to carry up food for their deceased ancestors. - And then, on retiring from these sacred resorts, little flags of colored paper are put up m various spots, and the whole hill-side is covered with them. Mr. Webster said that however we might condemn the extent to which this sentiment is carried, it is ra itself highly commendable. During the months of March, April and May, the legation remained at Macao, studying the language, and waiting intelligence of Keying. At last a letter arrived from him, dated 1500 miles to the West, eaying that he had been detained by want of water in the canal, and would be in Macao, in five minutes. The fivo minutes, according to the computation of time by the legation, lasted 20 days. Af last Keying arrived at Macao, took up his residence in themple, about two miles from the city, tle d announced his intontion of páyíng an i official visit, on the next day after his in rival, at 11 o'clock. The Chinese aré ex ry particular in matters of etiquette, to tieir cards are no little pieces of pasteard, but good sized sheets of paper. - nc i English gentleman once said that he m d got enough to paper a room. They tej e colored paper of every description, thi velopes of all sizes, from a pillow cnse Tl a purse. a seal alwnys, never a wafer, in d inscribe on the envelope ihe names W tho writer of the letter as well as the an rson to whom it is addressed. The tin iativo height of the names with their - les placed in parallel columns, shows ca e relntive rank of the two persons, the kn nk corresponding with the length of err ace occupied by the name. On one of casioti, a letter was sent to Mr. Cushof by Keying, the names on which were A J. 1 f ..f Mt rrtííH'A(l Klit l'1 --ne(] - on explanation was offered to Dl ying, who was afterwards very parular tliut the ñames should be of equal me ght. Keying's namo being much jgcr than Mr. Cushing's, there wus . . me difficuhy in making thsm of the h; ne height. This was done by Keying sa writing his own name in small n: ters', and Mr. Cushing's in charncters tii rgo enough for a guide post. tv1 hirty minutes beiore iveying arnvuu, nessenger came bringing the cards of 3 Comtnissioner and suite. Shorlly f. ter heappeared, and with him Chang, g( ang, and Too Ling, &c. Of Wang, e Lieut. Governor of the two Kwang ovinces, Mr. Webster spokc in oxalted rms ; he said he was a gentleman of as )lished manners, and of as easy address i you would find in any of the saloons ' the United States. He was G y handsome, and well formed. Chang j as a scholar, and a plain man - wore p lectacles, wilh glnsses as largo as a 1 o :r, set in black hom rings. When the a ommissioner drew n'ear, the tliree guns ii ere fited, the marines drawn up in the all presented a rms to receivo him. - [eylong was a tall dignified looking man bout sixty years of age. His face e.resses talent and decisión, and he has jng been one of the most eminent men i an empire ofthree hundred ruillions. ifter a liltle common conver.sation a xtion was provided, and the guests dearted. ' H f ITT -1. _i _._a ... '- --. j_L iL , i i i-v - ■f the Chinese. The Mandarins in f uil ress wear long robes of rich hoavy Bilk, q mbroidered with gold and covered by a f plendid riding coat. A girdle passes b round ihe waist fastened with a buckle f precious stones, and long boots Ij ened, reach to the knees. Around the leek is a string of beadsof stone in p v er, and of perfumed wood in summer. V cap ofdelicate straw or velvet is worn. precious stone ibrms the button and i pearl is worn in front. The richest dress they saw worn was on the stage in the nersonation of the ' ïeroes and sovreigns of the Empire. - Keying and suite were dressed in the ( plainest manner, wearing only the ( ;ock feathers and button. The actors , re all itinerant. There are no nent theatres, and there are no changes i)f scènes. No women nppear on the ' stage, their paris being represented by j boys. They all speak in falsetto. Their : playa are historical tragedies and low and disgusting comedies. They have an extensive literature, and their poetry bounds in tropes and figures. They are very fond of putting one thing for er - thus small feet are called "goldon i lilies," and buterflies are emblems of love and wooere - thus a fair one, Se-soli, says in a novel, "I will drop the screen to shield me from the influence of the moon and prevent the buttedlies from entering tny chamber." Another specimen of a different kind : The , perial troops put thé êncmy to fliglit; i 500,000 of the enemy lny dead in the morning ; blood ilowcd from the hills as a ' stream, and mustering the Imperial ' troops, which had dispersed in tho ' suit, they imrnediately commeneed cooking, for they were very hungry."otlier. A youl!) exclinnges vows yiia a maiden, but his releutless siro reqnires him to marry some other goldon lily. Ho and his fïrst love meet in secret in the garden. She says, You, sir, should in future not think about your slave Söslim, but marry the maid- (imagine the name, as we have done beforo) - and for a hundred years be happy wilh your wives." Then follows more sentiment ; I cannot disregard the person to whom you are to be wedded. When 1 liave entered the green grove, benenth the bright moon, your slave will not be jealous or cnvious of any one ;" and when she had spoken she leaned her head upon the garden railand wept as though her heart was brokon." Finally the your.gman mames botn me gomen une, d "tho wives being both happy dwell harmony tosrother. and endeavor to cel each other in thcir kind attentions hirn. of' But they have works of a higher charl()I ler. The works of Confucina are agC )tig the noblest specimens of moral in iching ever written. He predicted ihi it a prophct would appear in the West. wi ie Cliinese understood ihe art of prints01 ; long beforn it was discovered in thc Vl)l eslern world. Tiiey used gunpowder d manufactured numberless articles, ; compass was sed, and paper money cy the latler wna probably used and dis,1( rded long before bilis of exchange wore thi own to the Jews. Now the only coin lio iployed to cn.rry on the immense trnde co the empire, is a small cj'ux of the valué lhl . Tj one tcnth of a cent. foi


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