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the letter of their instructions, look out for the pirates, and when they appear clear off, doubtless on chivalrous. principles, and allow a fair fight to go on between them, and any helpless merchant-junks which are at hand.
We turn out of the main river, at a distance of fifty miles from its mouth, and pass up the tributary river, the Wang-poo. Close to the junction of the two rivers is Woo-sung, a large opium station, with a crowd of junks lying in front of it, and its extensive batteries, which once contained 150 guns, standing up behind it. Soon afterwards we come in sight of a number of European-looking masts, visible over the low bank; and then, getting round the intervening bend of the river, we open out to view Shanghae, with its white bungalows lining the bund or quay, which runs along the front of the English and French concession.
Immediately above the foreign concessions, and on the same side of the river, is the native town of Shanghae, a densely populated place, three-and-a-half miles in circuit, and with rather more than 100,000 inhabitants. It is said to be not, like Canton, the least dirty of Chinese cities; and as there are various rumours of small-pox being virulent in it at present, and it contains no buildings of interest, we shall be content with the view of it from the outside.
The English concession is rather larger in area than the native town, having a frontage to the river of twothirds of a mile, and reaching inland to a distance of a mile and a half. The half of it nearer the river is occupied by shops, houses of business, and dwelling-houses of the English residents, while the inner half contains a large Chinese suburb intersected by broad streets, a race-course, a cricket-ground, and some waste places.
While staying here, we find, as at Hongkong and Canton,
a ready welcome and continuous hospitality from our fellow-countrymen. Indeed an Anglo-Saxon will scarcely find a more hospitable country than China, as far as the English settlement go; and while there, he is sure to fall in for his share of the unstinted, almost lavish, way in which his fellow-countrymen live.
The establishments of commercial houses in China are conducted on a scale which would astonish the staff of a house in London or Liverpool; and yet it is said that the style of living is much more moderate now than it was ten years ago, when every firm was making a rapid fortune in tea or silk, or in both, and when one firm at least was spending 50,000l. per annum in the household expenses of its branches at five different treaty ports. Even now Shanghae seems to be one of the dearest places a man could choose to live in: we are told that the food alone of an Englishman, not living extravagantly, costs him from 30l. to 40l. per month, and a small house suitable to a bachelor can scarcely be had under 300l. a year.
One of the peculiarities of Shanghae is the changeableness of its temperature, especially in the spring and autumn months. A friend there tells us that he has left Shanghae in November for a boating and shooting excursion in the interior, and while on the first day the weather was so hot that the lightest clothing was necessary, and refuge had to be taken from the noonday sun under the covering of the boat, on the night of the second day the temperature fell so low that the canal was frozen thickly over, and the contents of the soda-water bottles in the boat became quite solid.
Though there is not much of interest in Shanghae itself, it is a good centre from which to start for other interesting parts of the country. Twenty years ago all that part of the Kiang-su Province which stretches from Shanghae up to
THE KIANG-SU PLAIN.
Nankin was the part of China which would most have impressed a traveller, and from which indeed most of the glowing descriptions of China, given by early travellers, was taken. At that time it well deserved its title of the 'Garden of China,' for in the fertility of its soil, the wealth of its cities, the industry, prosperity, and relative numbers of its inhabitants, and in the extent and perfection of its system of interior communication by canals, it bore away the palm from any other district in China. But now much of this is an uninhabited region, overrun with weeds and jungle, occupied by pheasants and snipe instead of by farmers and tea-growers. For during the long years of war between the Taipings and the Government this fertile, busy plain, became the scene of the devastations of both the Imperial and the Rebel armies. Crops were destroyed, or left to rot, after their cultivators had been slain; cities were sacked, homesteads burnt. The wealthy city of Soochow-the greatest manufacturing city in the empire, the Manchester of China, the circuit of whose walls was double that of the walls of Canton -was left after the rebellion in a state of ruin and inactivity. The same was the fate of Sung-kiang, Changhow, and many other cities of this crowded district; and it will be many years yet before the blighted province again smiles with all its old richness and luxuriance.
But there is a district to the south of Shanghae, in the adjoining province of Che-kiang, which suffered less severely from the scourge of civil war, and which perhaps comes next in fertility and wealth to what the Soochow plain once was. A canal route from Shanghae, through the great cities of Kia-hing and Hangchow, to Ningpo, would be a most interesting and quite practicable one; but as it would take a longer time than we can arrange for, we must be content to go straight to Ningpo by one
of the American steamers which ply regularly between that port and Shanghae.
Starting one evening, a thick fog compels us to lie at anchor through the night, outside the mouth of the Yang-tse. Next morning the fog disappears, and during the forenoon we run across the Hangchow Bay, catching sight, near the southern extremity of it, of the sea-wall, 130 miles in extent, built almost completely round the bay, to protect the land from inundations. At mid-day we enter the Ningpo river, and immediately afterwards pass abreast the fortified town of Chinhae, the scaling of whose walls gave some trouble to our marines thirty years ago.
Above Chinhae, the left, or north bank of the river, is a flat plain, which seems about equally divided into paddyfields and burial-grounds. The tombs here are not in the horse-shoe form as at Canton, but mere mounds of earth, generally with some picturesque stonework at the sides. But the tombs of the poorer people are often nothing more than a thick covering of bamboo or grass matting spread over the coffins, the sides or corners of which are often visible.
On the right or south bank of the river picturesque wooded hills, 1,500 to 2,000 feet high, come down to within a mile of the water's edge, while within a couple of hundred yards of the river are a number of curiouslooking houses, with low mud walls, high and thicklythatched roofs, each with one door only and no windows, and standing in the middle of a large field. These are Chinese ice-houses. Though Ningpo is in the same latitude as Cairo, frosts of considerable severity are usual there during the winter. At the approach of that season the owner of the ice-house floods his field to the depth of a foot or eighteen inches, and each morning at daybreak
his labourers collect whatever ice has been formed during the night and rake it into the house. In this most simple form of ice-house the ice is preserved through a summer which is much hotter than any summer ever experienced in England. It is sold at the rate of one penny, sometimes three halfpence, per pound, and it is chiefly used to preserve fish, of which large quantities are caught in the river.
Ten miles up the river from Chinhae we reach Ningpo, whose tall pagoda has been visible since we entered the river's mouth. As in Shanghae, the Foreign Settlement is situated below the native city.
Landing at the pier of the former, we soon make our way, by a bridge of boats stretching across a creek, into Ningpo proper. We find ourselves in streets as broad as, and scarcely more dirty than, those of Canton; but they lack some of the picturesqueness of the streets of the latter place, nor have the shops such a look of wealth and prosperity.
Ningpo, however, has the fame of excelling in more than one kind of wares; her gold and silversmiths, and her silk embroiderers, are renowned throughout China, and she is almost alone in her production of inlaid furniture. We pass through one street lined with shops containing a great variety of bedsteads, chairs, tables, cabinets, picture-frames, &c., all inlaid with a number of different kinds of woods, most frequent among which is one of a light chestnut colour.
Wending our way to the Seven-storied Pagoda, a rather dilapidated building, said to be 1,100 years old, we ascend to the top by a wooden staircase inside it, and obtain a panorama of the whole city. We can trace the circuit of the walls, five miles in extent, with the dense suburbs outside of them, and the denser quarters inside. Northwards and westwards, beyond the city, stretches a great