« السابقةمتابعة »
ud duck, withou eing half-a-dozen cottages, thru
We pass the night in the boat on the case mile from the entrance to the lake; and, with the as dire threats and alternative promises of extra mons the boatmen, succeed in reaching Ningpo again forenoon in time for the steamer to Shanghae.
each side of the road, and the place looks at least as clean as most parts of Ningpo or Canton. The villagers are poorly clothed, but their indigence seems tempered with a mixture of industry and contentment. The road we have mentioned would, by the bye, hardly obtain such a name in England; it is merely a narrow causeway of rough-hewn stones, scarcely broad enough for two men to walk abreast on it; on either side of it is a strip of grass, on which, in dry weather, the walking is pleasanter than on the uneven causeway. Except in a very few towns, there is not such a thing in Southern China as a bona fide road ; indeed, where there is such a total absence of wheeled vehicles, and such an elaborate system of canals, anything more than a footpath is unnecessary.
We approach the monastery of Tien Tung by a narrow and winding avenue, a mile in length, of Chinese pines, mingled with the Japanese cedar. The monastery boasts a very old foundation, and is much respected by the learned in China ; its courtyards, temple-halls and monks' chambers, cover a large space of ground, and are prettily imbedded in the thick woods which rise up the glen oneither side of it and behind it. Its style of architecture is of the stereotyped Chinese fashion, like that of the Ning-po temple, though not so elaborate; what is peculiarly pleasant about the building is that it is really clean. Nearly one hundred Buddhist monks reside in this pleasant sp They are said to be very hospitable, and will gladly give you sleeping-quarters if you are inclined to spend a few days among the surrounding pretty scenery. They will supply you with very palatable meals, made of an almost endless variety of vegetables, but their creed forbids them to eat or cook animal food, so that you must bring your own supply of that, unless you are a vegetarian like themselves.
We merely stay long enough to scramble up the glade behind the monastery, from the hill at the head of which there is a fine view of the surrounding hills and the seacoast to the east. In the afternoon we return to our boats, and instead of going straight back to Ningpo, turn aside, up another thread of the network of canals, till we reach the foot of a fine lake, six to eight miles in length, three to four in width, and surrounded on all sides by beautiful hills, such as we passed through on the way to Tien Tung. There is little sign of cultivation or of inhabitants round the lake, and a sportsman might wander over the hill-sides in pursuit of pheasants, or stroll along the margin of the lake for a chance shot at a wild duck, without meeting a dozen natives, or seeing half-a-dozen cottages, through the day.
We pass the night in the boat on the canal, at about a mile from the entrance to the lake; and, with the aid of dire threats and alternative promises of extra money to the boatmen, succeed in reaching Ningpo again next forenoon in time for the steamer to Shanghae.
Not the least interesting point of view from which to look at China is that which takes in its probable future relations with Western nations. And in all speculations on this subject, the Yang-tse-Keang must not be left out of consideration, for besides being the glory of Chinese rivers, it is destined, when the country is thoroughly opened to intercourse and commerce with other countries, to be, as its name—the Son of the Ocean’—might imply, a great highway of nations.
Considered merely in regard to its enormous length and size, and the geographical interest of the country through which it passes, the Yang-tse would be a river second to scarcely any in the world. Compare it even with the Amazon, and you find that while from the source to the
, mouth of the latter is a direct distance of 2,000 miles, in the former this distance is only 200 miles shorter. In the volume of its waters, and the distance to which it can be navigated, it bears away the palm easily from the Ganges or the Nile ; while upon its banks is a civilisation, still existing, possibly no less ancient than those for which those two historic streams are famous; and in regard to the number of human beings that dwell within reach of its fertilising influence in the value, variety, and quantity of the productions of the country which it drains - this kingly river might consider the Nile its distant and