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of 300 livres, and a silver one of the fame kind, to be allotted in 1788.

The same year, after St. Louis's day, M. Christian's double prize, relating to the arts, will be allotted. To fix on vegetable and animal matter, or on their webs, in shades equally lively and variegated, the colour of lichens, and particularly of that which produces the archil : that is, to dye such substances with these materials, so that the colours shall be pronounced good. Specimens of the process, and proofs of each part of it, must be produced, so as to enable the Academy to judge that it will bear the action of the air or of washing. The prize is 6oo livres.

Description generale de la Chine; ou, Tableau de l'Etat actuel, &c.

i.e. tbe Prolont State of the Chinese Empire, &c. By the Abbé Groffier. Paris.

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ployment of many learned men in Europe, during the last and present century. A country where the man of letters: is superior to a soldier, nrust naturally interest the literati ; and this may be supposed one principal motive with them, for having praised the Chinese so highly. Some, however, have spoken with great contempt, of that nation, as of a people ceremonious to excess, artful, cowardly, and dishoneft. Both these opinions cannot be true; the first have seen the good only, and the latter only the bad ones: truth lies in the medium, A more just opinion may be formed from the present work, and which is equally valuable as an introduction or a supplement to the voluminous histories of the Chinese which have hitherto appeared,

These histories have one general inconvenience; the difficulty of reading and remembering names, with which they abound, compounded of many monofyilables, and of sounds and words conveying no idea to Europeans. The abbé Grollier appears to have consulted the best niemoirs the missionaries have published: these dificult names are used much more sparingly i and his book contains almost every thing interetting to European nations concerning that vaft empire.

The inhabitants do not call it China, but Tchong-Kooai, or the middle monarchy. Before their commerce with the Europeans, they imagined China was placed in the centre of the earth; and that all the other kingdoms, which, according ta, them, were seventy-two in number, were disposed like petty islands surrounding their empire, and, as fo many fatellites, dependent on their planet. They were much astonished at the knowledge of the Europeans in the arts and sciences, nor could they conceive how it might have been attained without the help of Chinese literature. They soon became more modeft; for, after having long fupposed themselves the only people on whom nature had bestowed the gift of fight, and that all others were

blind,

blind, they were, at length, obliged to confess the Europeans, . at least, had one eye.

According to calculations, extracted from a work published by command of the present emperor, the population of China should amount to two hundred millions. There is no other, country in the world where so vast a number of souls are united under one name, and governed by the same laws. The most. obvious causes of this excessive population are, 1. Filial piety and paternal prerogative, which is such, that a son is the moć valuable, and the most unalienable of a father's property. 2. The shame affixed to the memory of those who die with.. ont Offspring.' 3. The marriage of children, which is the thing of moft consequence to parents. 4. The frequent adoptions which alleviate the grief of families for the loss of. children, and perpetuate their different branches. s. The marriage of soldiers. 6. The immutability of taxation, which is always laid on land, and falls only indirectly on commerce and the arts. 7. The profound peace which the empire enjoys. 8. The exemption from vain prejudices of dishonour. able alliances. 9. Their public decency, and ignorance of European gallantry, &c.

Pekin, the capital of the empire, is a regular fquare, and divided into two cities; the first occupied by Chinese, the fecond by Tartars; and, without including the suburbs, is fix full leagues in circumference. The streets run very strait, about a hundred and twenty feet wide, a league in length, and lined with shops. Here, as in all other great cities, may be feen, a vast concourse of people and carriages, quacks, jugglers of all kinds, thieves, and justice watching their motions. Women, however, are not seen here ; they remain shut up in the interior parts of their houses. The filence and tranquillity which are so predominant in this immense city, after the clore of day, is another fingularity; the streets may, be said to be barricadoed, and no person is suffered to leave his house, but on very pressing occasions : violence and murders are therefore very uncommon.

As, Chinese architecture has only attained a certain degree of perfection, the very palace of the emperor is remarkable for nothing but the extent of ground it occupies, and the magazines it incloses, which are his property ; for the public trear. Ture is confided to the care of a sovereign tribunal,

Although the province of Pe-tcheli only extends to the forty: second degree of North latitude, the rivers are all so much frozen, during four months of the year, that horses and care riages with the most burthensome loads may cross them. What ' may appear extraordinary is, that, during these hard frosts, the fame piercing cold is not felt here as in Europe. It will be dif

ficult to explain this phænomenon, unless we attribute it to the quantity of nitre this province contains, and the serenity P. 4

of

of the sky, which, even during winter, is very feldom obscured by a cloud.

We shall forbear to follow the aothor in his description of other provinces, but shall select such curious circumstances as may appear most worthy of notice.

The walls of Nan-king form a circumference of between fifteen and fixteen leagues, two thirds of which are not in habited. Here are no public edifices corresponding to the reputation of a celebrated city, if we except its gates, which are very beautiful, and some temples, among which is the famous porcelain tower; it is two hundred feet high, and divided into nine stories, by fimple boards within, and without by cornices and small projections, covered with green varnished tiles. The first story is ascended by forty ftęps, the others by twenty-one

each. Yang-tçhioo is one of the most agreeable cities in the province of which Nan-king is the capital. The farmers of the falt revenue have built a pleasure-house there, for the emperor, which occupies more ground than middle-sized European cities. It is a collection of little hills, rocks raised by men, vallies, canals, sometimes wide, sometimes narrow, bordered in some places with carved ftone, and in others with rude rocks, scat. tered indiscriminately, a multitude of buildings, each different from the other, of halls, apartments, courts, galleries, open and inclosed i gardens, parterres, cascades, handsome bridges, bowers, and triumphal arches. Nothing is fublime, but the multiplicity of objects is striking, and obliges us to say, at laft, this is the habitation of a mighty master.'

One of the cities of the province of Ho-nan is celebrated for the tower which the famous Tcheco-korg built as an observatory. There is still an inftrument to be seen, which he employed to measure the shadow ar noon, in order to find the elevation of the pole. This astronomer lived a thousand years before Christ, and the Chinese pretend that he invented the compass.

Vines grow in the province of Shan-fi, and produce the best grapes found in that part of Asia. The Chinese might eafily make good wine of them, but they prefer drying them, and selling the raisins in the other provinces of the empire. Its mountains, also, furnish great quantities of coal; the inhabitants. pound and form it into paste, which kindles with difficulty, but when kindled produces a strong and durable fire. It is particularly used for their stoves, which are built with brick as in Germany; but the Chinese give these foves the form of little beds, on which they sleep during the night,

The city of Kang-rcheoo-fpo, the capital of the province of Kang-tong, is called Canton by the Europeans, and is one of the richest and most populous in all China. It is their emporium for Indian as well as European commerce. The iinmense quan. tity of money, which foreign vessels daily bring to that city, draws thither a concipal multitude of merchants from all the provinces; so that there is a certainty of finding, in its storehouses, the richest productions of the country, and the most valuable of the Chinese manufactures. This city has the advantage of being situated on the banks of a navigable river, which, by the means of canals, has communication with all the provinces : its banks, the country, and hills on each side of it, are cultivated, so as to afford the most agreeable prospect. An infinite number of boats of all sizes, which day and night cover the river, form a kind of floating city. These boats touch each other, are ranged like streets, and their innumerable inhabitants have no other dwelling. Each boat contains a family, with their children and grand children. At day-break these families de part, either to fish or to cultivate their fields of rice, of which there are two harvests every year. About four or five leagues from Canton is the celebrated village of Fo-lan, said to be the most populous in the world, and called a village bca cause it is not enclosed by walls, nor has a particular governor, although its commerce is immenfe, and it contains more houses and inhabitants than even Canton itself. It is said to be three leagues in circumference, and to contain a million of inhabitants *.

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Among other people subjected to the Chinese, are the Miaotrai, half-favage mountaineers, who inhabit the frontiers of Kang-tong. These people have been the most difficult of any to subdue ; nor were they entirely subjected till 1776, which was effected by the wise and persevering emperor Kien-long. The Miao-tsai gave many proofs of valour in defence of their country and their liberty; the very women fought with despe. rate obftinacy. The following tale is related of one of these patriotic women. Force and artifice had been employed, more than two months, to get possession of a fort, built on a very high rock, without success. Early one morning some centinels, hearing a noise, as of a person stepping with caution, perceived something moving; and two or three of the nimblest, by the help of cramping-irons fixed to their feet, climbed a little way up the rock, where they discovered a woman drawing water. : They seized her, and commanded her to inform thom who it was that had been so long obstinate in defence of the fort; to which the answered, •1. I am in want of water, and came by day-break, without suspecting I should have met you here.' She then discovered a secret path to them, by which they were conducted into the fort, where the had lingly remained, and was in fact the whole garrison ; fometimes firing her fysee, and at others, rolling down large stones on the foldiers, who vainly endeavoured to climb the rock.

[To be continued.] * We can scarcely conceive it possible for a town which is only three leagues in circumference to contain a million of inhabitants, and especially when we' secollect the low manner in which the Chinese build their houses.

MONTHLY

MONTHLY CATALOGUE.

POETRY.
The Protection of Providence : an Ode. Sacred to the Fame of

Mr. Howard. 4to. Is. 6d. Cadell.
ON

N the frost-arrested tide

Alone, unarmd, as Howard trød,
A familh'd monster by his fide
Growling crav'd his food from God.
The fill voice of Heaven callid;

The devourer ftood appall’d.
He faw the man, and howling ran
Back to his native wood.
The trav'ller pass'd-with repercussive roar

Deep Volga bursts his chains, and rolls along the shore.' İn illustration of this passage iwo texts of Scripture are quoted, which inform us that

" The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God." Psalm civ. “ Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder : the young

lion and dragon shalt thou trample under feet." Psalm xci.

Notwithstanding these Scriptural cxplanatory notes, we do not fully comprehend the meaning of this allegorical transaction: but, if the reader approves of it, we recommend the poem to him, as containing some other passages equally ingenious. Blenheim, a Poem. To which is added, a Blenheim Guide. In

fcribed to their Graces the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough. By the Rev. William Mavor. 410. 35. Cadell.

This noble monument of national gratitude, and the country adjacent, affords ample materials for imagery and pathos. Places where a Chaucer wrote, an Alfred and Edward Audied, a Henry the Second loved, and an Elizabeth had been confined, give a most extensive scope for fancy and reflection. These il. lustrious characters are here introduced, and pourtrayed in no jnelegant manner. The first duke of Marlborough, too much neglected both by the poet and historian, and his present successor, are likewise deservedly celebrated. A part of the encomium on the latter we submit to the reader, as no unfavourable specimen.

• Wealth, power, and titles--pageants of a day,
Ungrac'd with merit, shed a feeble ray.
Soon links the fame, not rais'd on true desert,
And all the praise, that lives not in the heart ;
Soon finks the pride from ancestry that flows:
The splendid villains are but public shots;

A while they blaze, and catch the fimple eyeg.
Then melt in air, like meteors in the sky

Not

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