Brookes’ Universal Gazetteer, page 196
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CHI    196    CHI

and military jurisdictions. Notwithstanding all
tho magnified impressions which have heretofore
prevailed, in reference to the supposed populous-*
ness of China, relatively to the extent of territory
in the two countries, its population is but little
more than half that of England and Wales; and,
although the numerical military force of China is
represented as exceeding 1,200,000 men, the state
revenues will be seen relatively not to amount
to 100th part of those of England. Yet, notwith-
standing the abject and servile condition to which
centuries of severe rules have subjected them, the
Chinese are, in general, a cheerful people; in-
deed, every thing relating to and connected with
China, in comparison with the communities and
institutions ofEurope, seems anomalous. With
a soil of more than ordinary fertility, in which all
the fruits and vegetable productions common to
Europe flourish, and which abounds in a variety
inestimably valuable peculiar to itself, and a peo-
ple proverbially and really industrious, famine fre-
quently prevails extensively. To unfold, howev-
er, these mysteries belongs more to the philoso-
pher than to the geographer.

In some of the provinces of China, part of the
exactions for the support of the government are
levied in kind, in grain and rice. This fact, whilst
it serves to show somewhat the nature of the soil
in the respective provinces, leads to the consider-
ation of a feature in the policy of China peculiar
at this time to itself but which appears in past
times to have been acted upon in Egypt and in
Rome; viz. that of storing up grain to meet the
exigences of occasional dearth. The average stock
maintained in China for this purpose is about

30,000,000 of Ski, equal to about 2,000,000 of En-
glish tons, in the proportion of one-sixth rice, and
the remainder in grain, chiefly maize and wheat;
and although this quantity is not more than equal
to two month’s subsistence for the aggregate pop-
ulation, yet, when it is considered that China
Proper extends through 20 degrees of latitude,
partly within the tropic of Cancer, and 25 degrees
of longitude, in which extensive range it is not
likely that a scarcity would at most pervade more
than one-fifth part, if so much, at one time, it is
probable that the quantity in question has proved,
by the experience of centuries, adequate to its
proposed object; and ijt is unquestionably a mea-
sure, if duly regulated, worthy the adoption of
every social community.

As there is scarcely a town or even a village
in China which has not the advantage either of
an arm of the sea or a canal, navigation is so com-
mon that almost as many people live on the wa-
ter as on land. The great canal runs from north
to south, from the city of Canton to the extremi-
ty of the empire; and by it all kinds of foreign
merchandize entered at that citv are conveyed
directly to Pekin, a distance of 825 miles. This
canal is about 50 feet wide, passes through or
near 41 large cities, an'd has 75 large sluices to
keep up the water, besides several thousand
bridges. China owes a great part of her riches
to these numerous canals, which are cut through
any kind of private property, not even excepting
the gardens of the emperor.

Among the birds maybe mentioned the cormo-
rant, which the Chinese train up for the purpose
of fishing. They tie a leather thong round the
lower part of their necks that they may not
swallow the fish they catch, and then throw the
cormorants into the river. The birds dive under
water and pursue the fish, and when they have

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this manner swallowed five or six fish, the keeners
call them and oblige them to vomit up all they
have taken.

Among the fruits peculiar to China, and in ad
dition to the orange, lemon, lime, citron, pome
granate, and the vine in great variety, are the
tse-tsc, a kind of fig; the li-tchi,.of the size of a
date, its stone covered with a soft juicy pulp, of
an exquisite taste, but dangerous when eaten to
excess; the long yen, or dragonseye, its pulp
white, tart, and juicy, not so agreeable to the
taste, but more wholesome than the li-tchi. Ot
esculent plants they have an infinity unknown to
Europe. They cultivate also the bottom of their
waters; the beds of their lakes, ponds, and rivu-
lets, producing crops unknown to us, particularly
of the pitsi, or water chestnut; the fruit of which
(found in a cover formed by its root) is exceed-
ingly wholesome, and of a very delicate taste.—

Among the trees peculiar to China are the tallow-
tree, the fruit of which is white, of the size of a
small walnut, and the pulp has the properties of
tallow ; the wax-tree producing a kind of white
wax, almost equal to that made by bees; the tsi-
chu, or varnish tree, which produces the admira-
ble Chinese varnish; the tie-ly-mou, or iron wood,    
I

the wood of which is so hard and heavy that it ,
sinks in the water, and the anchors of the Chi-
nese ships are made of it; the camphire-tree;
the bamboo reeds, which grow to the height and
size of a large tree; and, besides being used as na-
tural pipes to convey water, are employed for
numberless other purposes; the tea-plant, whose
leaves and flowers are of the following shape

also cotton, betel, and tobacco; the flowering
shrubs, flowers, herbs, and medicinal plants, are
exceedingly numerous. The tea plant grows
best in valleys and on the banks of riven, or the








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