Sivut kuvina

with two or three, which, when not in use, are conveniently hauled in upon the side. They are provided with oars, the loom and blade of which are fastened by withs, and run in a band attached to a stake. The mast in some of the large cargo boats consists of two sticks, resting on the gunwales and meeting above, and so arranged as to be hoisted at pleasure; in those designed for residences, no provision is made for a mast, the oars and scull being sufficient for the moving required. Fishing boats, lighters, and craft required for the outer waters, have one or two permanent masts. In all except the smallest, a wale or frame projects from the side, on which the boatmen walk when poling the vessel. The sails are made of common matting, and sewed into a single sheet, and provided with yards at the top and bottom and bamboo ribs on the face, which serve to retain the loops that run on the mast, and enable the boatmen to haul them close on the wind. A driver is sometimes placed on the taffrail, and a small foresail near the bow, but the mainsail is the chief dependence; no Chinese boat has a bowsprit. Few sailors are more expert at managing their craft than the Chinese on the coast, but the boatmen in the interior are greatly their inferiors for address and courage. The internal arrangement of the dwelling-boats is simple, nor are they as dirty as the houses. The better sort are from 60 to 80 feet long, and about 15 wide, divided into three rooms; the stem is sharp, and upholds a platform on which, when they are moored alongside, it is easy to pass from one boat to another. Each one is secured by ropes to large hawsers, which run along the whole line at the bow and stern. The room nearest the bow is a sort of porch to the principal apartment, which occupies about half the body of the boat; the two are separated by trellis panels or a bulkhead, but the sternmost room, or sleeping apart. ment, is carefully screened. The cooking and washing are performed on the high framework astern, which is admirably contrived by means of furnaces and other conveniences above, and hatches and partitions below deck, to serve all these purposes, contain all the fuel and water necessary, and answer for a sleeping place for servants. By means of awnings and frameworks, the top of the boat also subserves many objects of work or pleasure. The windows are closed with shutters and curtains, and the woodwork is fancifully carved and painted, and no incon


siderable expense bestowed upon beautifying and furnishing them. The handsomest are called hura ting, or flower-boats, and are let to parties for pleasure excursions on the river; a large proportion of them are also the abodes of public women. A large part of the boats at Canton are tankia boats, about 25 feet long, containing only one room, and covered with movable mats, so contrived as to cover the whole vessel; they are usually rowed by women, who thus earn a livelihood, while their husbands “go out to day's work.” In these cockboats whole families are reared, live, and die ; the room which serves for passengers by day, is a bedroom by night; a kitchen at one time, a washroom at another, and a nursery always. The inside partitions are movable, and when “house-cleaning ” is to be done, the boat is floated ashore, emptied to the skin, turned bottom up and breamed, the boards and furniture scrubbed, and the whole put to rights and floated off, the entire performance occupying two or three hours. The lighters, or chopboats, are of various sizes, and some of them serve indifferently for passage-boats or barges. Those in which tea, oil, and salt are transported are about 90 feet long, and will carry three or four hundred tons. The passage-boats are similar to the lighters, with the exception of a small cabin for women in the bow. The passengers bring their own bedding, and choose a place their own size in the main room, where as many sleep as can find a place, the residue accommodating themselves on deck. Many tens of these boats arrive and depart from Canton daily, so loaded down with passengers that they have been compared to floating ant-hills. There are many varieties of boats designed for travellers, some of them both commodious and fleet; a small kind, called hu'ai ting, or fast-boats, pass up and down the river from the outer anchorages to Canton. On the headwaters of the river Kan, the boats are of a peculiar. ly light construction, with upper works entirely of matting, and the hull like a crescent, and well fitted to encounter the rapids and rocks which beset their course. Besides the various kinds used for houses and passengers, the revenue service employ a narrow, sharp-built boat, propelled by forty or fifty rowers, at the rate of twelve or fourteen miles an hour. They are armed with swivels, spears, boarding-hooks, and pikes, and lined on the sides with a ghastly array of rattan shields painted with tigers’ heads. The smugglers about Canton have similarly made boats, and now and then simulate the government boats in their appearance, which, on their part, often compete with them in smuggling. Having no national flag, each officer hoists the titular banner belonging to his own office. Junks carry a great assortment of flags, but no private vessel can hoist the imperial yellow. The flags and streamers are triangular and square, of white, red, and other colors, most of them bearing inscriptions. The number of governmental boats and war junks, and those used for transporting the revenue and salt, is proportionately very small ; but if all the craft found on the rivers and coasts of China be included, their united tonnage probably exceeds that of all other nations put together. The dwellers on the water are not, as has been sometimes said, debarred from living ashore. A boat can be built cheaper than a brick house, and is equally comfortable ; it is kept clean easier, pays no ground-rent, and is not so obnoxious to fire and thieves. Most of them are constructed of fir or pine, and cost from thirty dollars for the tankia, or “egg-houses,” up to three and four thousand and more for the largest lighters and sea boats. Few, except the flower-boats, are painted, being smeared with wood oil; the seams are caulked with bamboo or rattan shavings mixed with wood oil, and paid over with a cement of oil and gypsum. Most of the sailing craft are flat-bottomed, sharp forward, and broad astern, and go about by means of the large rudder when beating to windward; the stern is open, and the rudder can be hoisted through it in shallow water. The anchors are of wood, with iron-bound flukes, and held by cables of coir or bamboo. The junks are larger than the river craft, but are inferior in usefulness. The three masts are single sticks, stepped in a framework and supported by stays, but having no yards or shrouds. The original model of a junk is said to be a huge sea monster; the teeth at the cutwater and top of the stern define its mouth, while the long boards on each side of the bow, form the armature of the head, the eyes being painted on them; the masts and sails are the fins, and the high stern is the tail frisking aloft. The cabins look more like niches in a sepulchre than the accommodations for a live passenger. The crew live upon deck most of the time, and most of them have an adven


ture of their own. The hold has no decks, and is divided into watertight compartments, a contrivance that has its advantages when the vessel strikes a rock, but prevents her carrying a cargo comparable to her size. The channel-wale is a large beam, and in some junks projects so much as to give the sides a bulging appearance. The quarter-galleries and frames about the stern are high and numerous, and add not a little to the danger of the vessel in heavy weather. The native commerce in junks is at present principally with Siam, Singapore, Borneo, and Japan; with all which countries it is rather decreasing than otherwise, for the Chinese merchants are learning that foreign vessels are both safer and cheaper. Most of the larger junks trading with Borneo and Siam employ Portuguese pilots; but even with their assistance and a favorable monsoon, many are annually lost. The number of pass ingers which are stowed into these vessels is very great, and when wrecked, a frightful loss of life frequently ensues. In February, 1822, Capt. Pearl, of the English ship Indiana, coming through Gaspar straits, fell in with the cargo and crew of a wrecked junk, and saved 198 persons out of 1600 with whom she had left Amoy, whom he landed at Pontianak ; this humane act cost him £11,000.* Other architectural works of the Chinese deserving notice are their bridges and honorary portals. There is good reason for supposing that the Chinese have been acquainted with the arch for many ages, though they make comparatively little use of it. The gentlemen attached to the several embassies have given many descriptions of the bridges they saw in the course of their journey; some with pointed arches, some semicircular, and others approaching the form of a horse-shoe, the transverse section of an ellipse, or even like the Greek Q, the space being widest at the top. In some, the arches are comparatively very high, for the accommodation of the masts of boats; and where there are no heavy wains or carriages to cross and jar the fabric, it can safely be made light. The balustrades and paving of some of the bridges near Peking and Hangchau are of marble, and adorned with statues of elephants, lions, and other animals, presenting in some instances a pleasing effect, notwithstanding the rudeness of the sculptures. In some places, cheaper structures made of wood are used, and at Ningpo is a serviceable bridge of boats. The one at Fuhchau has suffered some dilapidations since its description by Du Halde, and a close examination has shown it to be built in an inferior manner. Some of the mountain streams and passes in the west and north are crossed by rope bridges of ingenious construction. Mr. Lowrie describes a bridge at Changchau fu near Amoy, which from its appearance was perhaps built or repaired by government contract. “It is built on twenty-five piles of stone about thirty feet apart, and perhaps twenty feet each in height. Large round beams are laid from pile to pile, and smaller ones across in the simplest and rudest manner; earth is then placed above these, and the top paved with brick and stone. One would suppose that the work had been assigned to a number of different persons, and that each one had executed his part in such manner as best suited his own fancy, there being no regularity whatever in the paving. Bricks and stone were intermingled in the most confused manner, and the railing was here wood and there stone. We were particularly struck with the length of some of the granite stones used in paving the bridge; one was eight, another eleven, and three others eighteen paces, or about fortyfive feet long, and two broad. The bridge averaged eight or ten feet in width, and about half its length on both sides was occupied by shops.” A causeway of ninety arches crosses one of the feeders of the Grand canal near Hangchau fu, but Chinese skill unaided, is unable to erect such structures as those which span the Thames and Seine. The stones for the arch, in one bridge noticed by Barrow, were cut so as to form a segment of the arch, and at each end were morticed into transverse blocks of stone stretching across the bridge; they decreased in length from ten feet at the spring of the arch to three at the vertex, and the summit stone was morticed like the rest, into two transverse blocks lying next to it.f The tenons were short, and the disposition of the principal pieces such that a bridge built in this way would not support great weights or endure many ages. The mode of placing the pieces can be seen in the cut. In other instances, the stones

* Chinese Repository, Vol. VI., p. 149. WOL. II. 3

* Chinese Repository, Vol. XII., page 528. f Barrow's Travels, page 338.

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