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their active powers, by facrificing, their actions. Their example, as in imitation of females of superior far as it was good, serves as an rank, to the prejudice in favour of incitement to travel in the same little feet; and tho the operation path. The descendants from ? for this purpose is not attempted at common stock, visit the tombs of fo early a period of their infancy, or their forefathers together, at fiated followed up afterwards with such times. This joint care, and indeed persevering care, as in the case of other occafions, collect and unite ladies with whom beauty can be the most remote relations. They come an object of more attention, cannot lose fight of each other; enough is practised to cripple and and seldom become indifferent to disfigure them.
their respective concerns. The “ Notwithstanding all the merit child is bound to labour and to of these helpmates to their huf- provide for his parents' maintebands, the latter arrogate an extra- nance and comfort, and the brother ordinary dominion over them, and for the brother and sister that are in hold them at such a distance, as not extreme want; the failure of which always to allow them to fit at table, duty would be followed by such behind which, in such case, they detestation, that it is not necessary attend as handinaids. This domini- to enforce it by positive law. Even on is tempered, indeed, by the max- the most distant kinsinan, reduced ims of mild conduct in the differ- to misery by accident or ill health, ent relations of life, inculcated from has a claim on his kindred for relief. early childhoc: amongst the lowest Manners, stronger far than laws, as well as highest clafles of society. and indeed inclination, produced The old persons of a family live and nurtured by intercourse and generally with the young. The intimacy, fecure asistance for him. former serye to moderate any occa Thefe babits and manners fully ex. fional impetuofily, violence, or par- plain the fact already mentioned, fion of the latter. The influence which unhappily appears extraorof age over youth is supported by dinary to Europeans, that no fpecthe sentiments of nature, by the ha- tacles of distress are seen, to excite bit of obedience, by the precepts of the compatiion, and implore the camorality ingrafted in the law of fual charity of individuals. It is the land, and by the unremitted to be added, that this circumstance policy and honest arts of parents to is not owing to the number of inihat effect. They who are past la- ftitutions of public benevolence. bour, deal out the rules which they The with, indeed, of the Persian had learned, and the wisdom which monarch is not realized in China, experience taught them, to those that none thould be in want of the who are rifing to manhood, or to succour administered in hospitals; those lately arrived at it. Plain but those establishments are rensentences of morals are written up dered little neceitary, where the in the common hall, where the link which unites all the branches male branches of the family assem- of a family, brings aid to the suffer: ble. Some one, at least, is capable ing part of it without delay, and of reading them to the rest. In al- without humiliation. most every house is hung up a ta “ It feldom, indeed, happens blet of the ancestors of the persons that the infirmities of men, or the then residing in it. References are weakness of children, render them often made, in conversation, to utterly incapable of making some
return of industry for the fubfiftence their private virtues, or public serthey receive. In the manufactures vices, and by the honours conferred carried on within doors, very mate- upon them in consequence, by the rial assistance may often be afforded, government, is much more refpectwith little exertion of strength; and ed than new men. The supposed abroad, the soil is light, and tillage descendants of Confucius are aleasy. Oxen are used for plough ways treated with particular re. ing in this part of China, being too gard; and immunities have been cold for buffaloes, which are pre- granted to them by the Emperors. ferred where they can be reared. The ambition of an illustrious deCattle are yoked by the neck, in- seent is so general, that the Empefiead of being so by the horns, as rors have often granted titles to the upon the continent of Europe.” deceased ancestors of a living man
“ The reader will observe, that of merit. Indeed, every means are the names of the Chinese mention- tried to stimulate to good, and to ed in this work, are, independently deter from evil, actions, by the reof the additions of their qualities, ward of praise, as well as by the all of one fyllable; as is every word dread of ihame. A public regifter,
in the Chinese language. The ad- called the Book of Merit, is kept . ditions are the more necessary, as a for the purpose of recording every
name implies no distinction in fa- striking instance of meritorious your of the family which bears it. conduct; and, in the enumeration There are but one hundred family of a man's titles, the number of names known throughout the em. times that his name had been so pire; and the expreflion of the inserted, is particularly mentioned. hundred names is often used as For faults, on the other hand, he is a collective term for the whole subject to be degraded; and it is Chinese nation. Individuals, how- not deemed futficient that he ever, occasionally allume, at diffe- thould aflume only his reduced rent periods, or under different cir- title; but he must likewife add cumstances of their lives, other ap- to his name the fact of his degradapellations expreflive of some quali- tion.” ty or event. Each family name is • In China there is less inequaborne by persons of all classes. I lity in the fortunes, than in the dentity of such names implies, conditions, of men. The ancient however, some connection. All annals of the empire teftify that, who bear it, may attend the hall of for a long period of time, the earth, their supposed common ancestors. like the other elements of nature, A Chinese feldom, if ever, marries was enjoyed by its inhabitants ala woman of his family name; but moftin common. Their country was the sons and daughters of fifters divided into small equal districts; married to huibands of two diffe- every district was cultivated conrent names, marry frequently; jointly by eight labouring families, those of two brothers bearing the which composed each hamlet, and same name, cannot. Tho names, they enjoyed all the profit of their always do not denote distinctions, labours, except a certain share of and tho no hereditary nobility ex- the produce reserved for public exifts in China, pedigree is there an pences. It was true, indeed, that object of much attention. He who after a revolution, deplored in all can reckon his ancestors to a di- the Chinele histories, which hap. ftant period, as if distinguithed by pened prior to the Christian era,
the usurper granted all the lands a- The delegated authority of govern-
classes of men in China. Men of reckoned a discredit to be without letters, from whom the mandarines pffspring They who had none are taken; cultivators of the adopted those of others, who be- grounds and mechanics, includ. came theirs - exclusively. In case ing merchants. In Pekin alone is of marriage, should a wife prove conferred the highest degree of libarren, a second might be espoused terature upon those who, in public in the lifetime of the first. The examinations, are found most able in opulent were allowed, as in most the sciences of morality and governparts of the Fait, to keep concu ment, as taught in the ancient ChiLines without reproach. The child- nese writers; with which studies, ren of such were considered as be the history of their country is intiing thoic of the legitimate wife, to- mately blended. Among such grawards whom they were bred in sen- duates all the civil offices in the timents of duty and affection ; and state are diftributed by the emperor; tley partook in all the rights of le- and they compose all the great trigitimacy.
bunals of the empire. The candi• From the operations of all those dates for those degrees, are fuch as causes, there was a constant tenden- have succeeded in similar examinacy to iere) wealıb: and few could tions in the principal city of each fucceed to such an accumulation of province. Those who have been it as to render tliem independent of chosen in the cities of the second any efforts of their own for its in- order, or chief town of every dicreare. Eerdes, wealth alone con strict in the province, are the candifers in China but little inportance, dates in the provincial capital. and no power: nor is property, They who fail in the first and fi• without office, always perfectly le cond claffes have fill a claim on cure. . There is no hereditary dig- fubordinate offices, proportioned to nity, which might accompany, and the clats in which they had lucgive is pre-emincace and weight. ceeded. Thoie examinations
carried on with great folemnity, as those of mathematics, of mediand apparent fairness. Military cine, of public works, of literature rank is likewise given to those who and history. The whole is a reguare found, upon competition, to ex lar and consistent systein, establishcel in the military art, and in war ed at a very early period, continulike exercises.
ed with little alterations through “ The great tribunals are situat every dynasty, and revived, after ed, for the sake of convenience, any interruption from the caprice near the southern gate of the im or pallions of particular princes. perial palace at Pekin. To them, ac Whatever deviation had been made counts of all the transactions of the by the present family on the throne, empire, are regularly transmitted. arises from the admiision of as They are councils of reference from many Tartars as Chinese into every the emperor, to whom they report tribuinal. The opinions of the every business of moment, with the former are supposed always to premotives for the advice which they ponderate. Many of them, indeed, offer on the occasion. There is a are men of considerable talents, and body of doctrine composed from the strength of mind, as well as powritings of the earliest ages of the lithed manners. The old viceroy empire, confirmed by subsequent of Pe-che-lee, is of a Tartar race. Jawgivers and fovereigns, and trant “ The estimated population of mitted from age to age with in- Pekin was carried in the last cencreasing veneration, which serves as tury, by the jesuit Grimaldi, as rules to guide the judgment of those quoted by Gemelli Carreri, to fixtribunals. This doctrine seems in- teen millions. Another missionary deed founded on the broadest bafis reduces, at least that of the Tartar of universal juftice, and on the city, to one million and a quarter. pureft principles of humanity. According to the best information
“ His imperial majesty generally given to the embally, the whole conforms to the suggestions of those was about three millions. The low tribunals, One tribunal is directed houses of Pekin seem scarcely suf. to consider the qualifications of the ficient for so vast a population; but different mandarines for different very little room is occupied by a offices, and to propose their re Chinese family, at least in the midmoval when found incapable or un dling and lower clailes of life. In just. One has for object, the pre
their houses there are no superfluservation of the manners or morals onis apartments. A Chinele dwelof the empire, called by Euro- ling is generally surrounded by a peans the tribunal of ceremonies, wall, six or seven feet high. Withwhich it regulates on the maxim, in this inclosure, a whole family, of that exterior forms contribute not a three generations, will all their relittle to prevent the breach of mo spective wives and children, will ral rules. The moít arduous and frequently be found. One small critical, is the tribunal of censors ; roorn is made to serve for the inditaking into its consideration the ef. viduals of each branch of the famifeet of subsifting laws, the conduct ly, sleeping in different beds, dividof the other tribunals, of the princesed only by mats hanging from the and great officers of state, and even ceiling. One common room is used of the emperor himself. There are for eating. feveral subordinate tribunals, such “ The prevalence of this custom
of retaining the several branches of “ The early marriages of men in a family under the same roof, is at- easy circumstances have been altended with important effects. It ready mentioned; with the poor, renders the younger temperate and marriage is a measure of prudence, orderly in their conduct, under the because the children, particularly authority and example of the older; the fons, are bound to maintain and it enables the whole to subsist, their parents. Whatever is stronglike soldiers in a mess, with more ly recommended and generally economy and advantage. Notwith- practised, is at length considered as standing this arrangement, the la- a kind of religious duty; and this bouring poor are reduced to the use union, as such, takes place whenof vegetable food, with a very rare ever there is the least prospect of and scanty relish of any animal sub- subsistence for a future family. stance; the price of labour being That prospeit, however, is not algenerally found to bear as small a ways realized; and children, born proportion every where to the rate without means being had of providdemanded for provisions, as the ing for them, are sometimes abancommon people will content to luf- doned by the wretched authors of fer.
their being. It muft have been the “ The crowds of people at Pekin most dire and absolute neceflity do not prevent it from being which led to this unnatural and healthy. The Chinese live, indeed, shocking act, when first it was much in the open air, increasing or committed. It was reconciled, afdiminishing the quantity of their terwards, in fone measure, to the apparel according to the weather. mind, by superstition coming in aid The atmosphere is dry, and does to render it a holy offering to the not engender putrid disorders; and 1pirit of the adjoining river, in excefles productive of them seldom which the infant was thrown, with are committed.
a gourd suspended from its neck, to “Great order is preserved among keep it from immediate drowning. such multitudes; and the commis - The philosophers of China, fion of crimes is rare. Every tenth who have with equal ability and housekeeper, somewhat in the man- effect inculcated the maxims of finer of the ancient tithing-men in lial piety, have left, in great meaEngland, is answerable for the con- sure, the parental affection to its duct of the nine neighbouring fa- own natural influence, which does milies, as far as he may be supposed not always maintain its empire as capable of controlling it. The po- effectually as sentiments enforced lice is obterved with particular by early and repeated precept. ftri&ness within the walls. The Thus, in China, parents are less city partakes of the regularity and frequently neglected than infants interior fafety of a camp; but is are exposed. The laws of the emsubject also to its contraints. In pire, to corroborate the difpofition the suburbs only, public women are to filial obedience, furnith an opregistered and licented. They are portunity for punithing any breach not indeed very numerous, being of it, by leaving a man's offspring proportioned to the small number entirely within his power; and haof single men, and of husbands ab- bit seems to have familiarited a no sent from their families to be found tion that life only becomes truly in the metropolis.
precious, and inattention to it cri