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vantages to be made of its situa- The climate is healthy, the viotion and productions.
lent heat of the summer months Cochin China, called by the na- being tempered by regular breezes tives Anam, extends from about from the sea; September, Octathe twentieth degree of north la- ber and November, are the season titude to Pulo Condore, which lies of the rains. The low lands are in eight degrees forty minutes. It then frequently and suddenly overis bounded by the kingdom of flowed by immense torrents of Tonquin on the north, from which water which fall from the mounit is separated by the river Sun- tains. The inundations happen gen; by the kingdom of Laos, generally once a fortnight, and and a range of mountains which last for three or four days at a divides it from Cambodia on the time. In December, January, and west ; and by that part of the February, there are also frequent eastern ocean, generally called rains, brought by cold northerly the China Sea, on the south and winds, which distinguish this east.
country with a winter different The kingdom is divided into from any other in the east. twelve provinces all lying upon The inundations have the same the sea-coast, and succeeding effect here as the periodical overeach other from north to south in flowings of the Nile in Egypt; the following order,
and render the country one of the In the possession of the Ton- most fruitful in the world. In quinese, Ding oie, Cong-bing, many parts the land produces Ding-cat, Hué, or the Court. three crops of grain in the year.
In the possession of Ignaac, All the fruits of India are found Cham, Cong-nai, Quinion.
in Dubious whether subdued by with many of those of China. Ignaac, or in the possession of No country in the east, and perthe king. Phuyen, Bing-Khang, haps none in the world, produces Nha-Tong, Bing thoan or Champa. richer, or a greater variety of ar
In the possession of the king, ticles, proper for carrying on an Donai.
advantageous commerce : cinnaThe breadth of the country mon, pepper, cardamoms, silk, bears no proportion to its length. cotton, sugar, aglua wood, (lig. Few of the provinces extend fur- num aloës) sapan wood, and ivory, ther than a degree from east to are the principal. West; some less than twenty Gold is taken almost pure from miles ; Donai, which is properly the mines, and before the troubles a province of Cambodia, is much great quantities were brought larger.
from the hills in dust, and bartered The whole country is inter- by the rude inhabitants of them sected by rivers, which although for rice, cloths, and iron. It was not large enough to admit vessels from them also the Agula and Caof great burthen, yet are exceed- lambae woods were procured with ingly well calculated for promoting quantities of wax, honey and ivory. inland commerce. Their streams For some years past, the commuare gentle, and the water elear. nication between the bills and the
low lands have been entirely tribute for the liberty of bringing cut off.
down the produce of their hills, The animals of Cochin China and bartering it for such commoare bullocks, goats, swine, and dities as they stood in need of. buffaloes, elephants, camels, and They are a savage race of people, horses. In the woods are found very black, and resemble in their the wild boar, tiger, and rhino- features, the Caffrees. ceros, with plenty of deer. The Monsieur Le Gae, a Frenchman poultry is excellent, and the fish who was in Cochin China in the caught on the coast abundant and year one thousand seven hundred delicious. The flesh of the ele- and twenty, mention's another race phant, which I never heard that of people, distinct from the Cochin any other nation thought eatable, Chinese, who inhabit the province is accounted a great dainty by the of Champa, called Loys. He also Cochin Chinese ; and when the says the Muhammadan is one of king or the viceroy of a province the prevailing religions. But from kills one, pieces are sent about to the most particular inquiries I the principal mandarines as a most made, I did not find that there are acceptable present. The breeding now any people distinguished by of bullocks is little attended to, that name, and I never met with their flesh is not esteemed as food, a Musulman in the country. and they are made no use of in It was about the year one tilling the land, which is per- thousand two hundred and eighty formed by buffaloes. As for milk- of the Christian era, that the first ing their cattle, they are totally un- Tartar prince became possessed of acquainted with the art ; strange the throne of China. This revoas this may appear to us, who lution afforded an opportunity to have been accustomed to find the the western provinces bordering most savage nations we have dis- on the sea, to throw off their decovered, depending for a consi- pendance, and they were formed derable part of their food on the into a kingdom under a prince, milk of their cattle and flocks, yet whose descendant now reigns in I am inclined to think that the Tonquin, and is called Knahuse of it was formerly unknown Whang. About the beginning of amongst the nations from the the fifteenth century, a large body Straits of Malacca eastward ; the of people from these provinces Malays make no use of milk, the being disaffected to the GovernChinese very little ; amongst the ment, joined under a leader of latter it was probably introduced abilities, and marched to the southby the Tartars.
ward. Meeting with little op. The Aborigines of Cochin China position, they soon became masters are called Moyes, and are the of Cochin China as far as Cape people who inhabit the chain of Avrilla. The Moys, the original mountains which separates it from inhabitants, retired to the hills Cambodia. To these strong holds bordering their country to the they were driven when the present westward, where they have ever possessors invaded the country. since remained. The emigrants, They formerly paid an annual under their conductor, founded
the the kingdom of Cochin China, ing betel, or sipping tea: conHis successor extended it to the trary to the custom in China, they great river of Cambodia, and raised are not shut up, and if unmarried, it to a degree of splendor and a temporary connexion with stranopulence; the continual wars theygers who arrive in the country is were engaged in with the Tonqui- deemed no dishonour. Merchants nese, who considered them as often employ them as their facrebels, about one hundred and tors and brokers, and it is said fifty years ago, induced the Cochin the firmest reliance may be placed Chinese to build a wall, on the on their fidelity. southern extremity of the province The habit of the men and women of Dingnoi, to prevent the irrup- is cut after the same fashion, and tions of the Tonquinese. Every is one of the most modest I know communication by sea was for- of: it is a loose robe buttoning bidden under the severest penal- with a small collar round the neck, ties. Long wars and mutual jea- and folding over the breast like a lousies have rendered the Tonqui- banyan gown, with large long nese and Cochin Chinese invete- sleeves which cover the hands. rate and implacable enemies. In People of rank, and especially the the year one thousand seven hun- ladies, wear several of these gowns dred and sixty-four, when the one over the other; the undermost Pocock Indiaman was in Cochin reaches to the ground, the sucChina, the country was in a flou- ceeding ones are each shorter than rishing condition, and governed the other, so that the display of by a prince of abilities; soon after the different colours makes a gaudy her departure, his son, whose appearance as they walk along. misfortunes and fate I have briefly Such are the few particulars given an account of in the fore- relative to Cochin China, that going narrative, succeeded to the occur to me as curious or interestthrone, and anarchy and confusion ing. It now only remains to shew ensued.
how aconnexion with this country The Cochin Chinese bear evi- may prove beneficial to my own, dent marks of being derived from and to conclude the subject. the same stock as the Chinese. The drain of specie from the They resemble them in their fea- Company's settlements in India is tures and in most of their man become a matter of such serious ners and customs : "heir religion import, that I make no doubt any is the same, their oral language, plan which may be offered to rethough different, appears formed medy so growing an evil, will be upon the same principles, and deemed worthy of consideration. they use the same characters in I am sanguine in my expectatious writing. They are a courteous, that a settlement in Cochin China affable, inoffensive race, rather in would conduce to that desirable clined to indolence. The ladies end, and also be productive of are by far the most active; they many other advantages. usually manage all the concerns, Our two little vessels brought while their lazy lords sit upon from Cochin China to the amount their haunches, smoking, chew- of about sixty thousand rupees in
gold gold and silver bullion. Had we with us, purchased with the staples been paid for all we sold, the sum of India and of Europe ; Turon would have been much more con- would become the emporium for siderable. The Rumbold, the year them, where our ships bound to before, also brought bullion to a Canton, from whence it is only considerable amount. This money five Jays sail, might call and rewas received on account of sales ceive them. The quantity proof Bengal and Madras cloths, curable it is impossible to deteropium, iron, copper, lead, hard- mine; whatever it might be, it ware, and glass. Some inquiries would prove a saving of so much were made for broad cloth, but specie to Great Britain or India, we unfortunately had none. These as the value of the commodities are matters of a trifling nature. amounted to in China; in a few In the sequel I hope to fix the years there is every reason to be. attention to many of greater im- lieve, a very considerable investportance.
ment might be provided. The situation of Cochin China Our trade to China has ever is excellently well adopted to con- been burthened with enormous merce. Its vicinity to China, imposts and exactions; these, Tonquin, Japan, Combodia, Siam, under various pretences, are an. the Malay coast, the Philippines, nually increasing, and in process Borneo, the Moluccas, &c. renders of time may become insupportable. the intercourse with all these It is an opinion latterly grown countries short and easy. The current that the Chinese are decommodious harbours found on sirous of totally excluding all Euthe coast, particularly that of ropeans from their country : may Turon, afford a safe retreat for we not hazard a conjecture, that ships of any burden, during the the vexations they oblige them to most tempestuous seasons of the suffer are the premeditated schemes year.
of this politic people to effect it? The nations of Europe, having Were such an event to happen, hitherto found it impossible to the want of a settlement to the provide cargoes sufficiently valua- eastward would be severely felt. ble to barter for the commodities The Chinese would export their of China, are obliged to make up own commodities, and Java or the deficiency by sending thither the Philippines, as the nearest immense quantities of bullion, by ports, would become the marts which means it has, for a number for them. As there is no reason of years past, drained the eastern to suppose that our inability to and western worlds of their specie. procure them from the first hand The number of junks annually would hinder their consumption, resorting to Cochin China plainly we must buy them either from the proves how much the productions Dutch or from the Spaniards. A of it are in demand among the settlement in Cochin China will Chinese. These productions, had give us a superior advantage to we a settlement and a confirmed either, both as its situation is influence in the country, might nearer, and the Chinese are more with ease be brought to center accustomed to resort thither ; in
all all events there is reason to sup- chin China are, for the most part, pose it will enable us to procure clothed in canvass, a coarse cotton the commodities of China at a cloth brought from China ; but much more reasonable rate than the preference which I had oppornow purchased by our factors at tunity of observing they gave to Canton, and certainly on less hu- Bengal cloths, on account of their miliating terms to the nation. being wider and cheaper, would Large colonies of Chinese have soon induce them to adopt the use from time to time emigrated from of them. the parent country and fixed their The demand for opium, al. abode in different parts of Cochin ready, in some measure, become a China; these have their corres necessary of life to the Chinese, spondents in every seaport of the would increase in proportion to empire; through their means, the facility of procuring it. The teas, China ware, and the various importation of it no longer conother articles, the objects of our fined to Canton, but carried by commerce with China, might be the junks in every seaport in the imported in junks to our own set- country, would spread the detlements, equally good in quality, mand of this drug to the remotest and cheaper, as the Chinese are parts of the empire. exempted from the exorbitant But what inspires the most flatduties levied on foreigners. Some tering hopes from an establishof the best workmen might be ment in this country is its rich encouraged to settle in Cochin gold mines; celebrated for ages China, and under their direction as producing the richest ore, so manufactories carried to as great pure that the simple action of fire a degree of perfection as in China is said to be sufficient to refine it; itself.
I omitted no opportunity of makThe intercourse between Japan ing inquiries respecting this vaand Cochin China might be re- luable article, and was informed newed, and we might participate that mines were formed in difin a trade for many years mono- ferent parts of the northern propolized by the Dutch.
vinces, particularly in Hué, where An advantageous trade might the ore lay so near the surface of be carried on with the Philippine the earth that it was dug up with Islands, and Madras and Bengal little labour. Under the direction goods introduced amongst them of a skilful metallurgist, what by means of the junks for the might not be expected from such consumption of Spanish America. a source?
The Siamese and Cambodians Great as the commercial advanwould bring the produce of their tages are, the political ones rerespective countries and barter er sulting from a settlement in Cochin sell them for such articles as they China would be scarce inferior. wanted from Cochin China Turon Bay would not only afford Amongst them it is probable a a secure retreat to our Indiamen vent might be found for quanti- in case of their losing their pasties of Bengal cloths.
. sage to China; but from thence The lower class of people in Co- we might also intercept the fleets