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The city is very extensive, containing about 30,000 inhabitants; the houses are straggling; several small rivers meet here, and the conveyance from one part to another is mostly by water, for which purpose every substantial family keeps a commodious covered boat, and there are others for hire, that at any part may be had on call. The streets near the palace, which is a considerable distance from the beginning of the town, are regular, long, and very wide. The city is fortified according to European plan, and surrounded by a double fosse. The arsenal is said to be in the first order.
The country about Hué, though not fertile, is highly cultivated, and when near the shore, very picturesque. The city exhibits a very handsome and imposing appearance from the sea. A beautiful walk planted with trees surrounds the ramparts inside the city.
TRADE.-A considerable trade is carried on here with Cancao, Saigong, and all parts of their own coasts, in vessels of about 100 tons burthen, which ean easily go up to the city, the river having a bar, with only two fathoms at low water. The Chinese carry on a great trade here, having sometimes 30 junks in the river at a time. Their imports and exports are similar to those enumerated at Faifoe.
REGULATIONS.-Much scrupulousness is displayed in admitting persons to pass up the river. At the entrance is a battery, with a flag-staff; here the boats are brought to, and the chops, or passes, strictly examined.
TONQUIN.-The Gulph of Tonquin is bounded to the E. by the Island of Hai-nan, to the N. by the coast of China, and to the S. by the coast of Cochin-China; it is about 35 leagues wide, having numerous small islands within it, two of which, in the bottom of the Gulph, are marks for the two principal branches of Tonquin river. One of these mouths, or branches, is called Rokbo, and discharges itself into the sea near the N. W. corner of the Gulph, in.about 20° 6' N. latitude; this branch has not above twelve feet water at its entrance; it is, however, frequented by Chinese and Siamese vessels, which proceed up it to Hean.
DOMEA, the principal branch of Tonquin river, falls into the Gulph, about 20 leagues N. E. from the former, in latitude 20° 50′ N. It has a bar liable to shift; therefore ships commonly wait for a pilot. The pilots are fishermen, who live at a village called Batsha, near the mouth of the river, so situated, that they can see the ships, and hear the guns fired, to give notice of their arrival. The mark to approach the river is a mountain inland, called the Elephant, bearing about N. W. by W.; and when a small island, called Pearl Island, on the E. side of the road, is about N. N. E., three miles distant, it will be proper to anchor, and wait for a pilot. The depth of the river is various in different seasons, being 26 feet in the N. monsoon, and not
above 18 in the S. one; it is about a mile wide at its entrance, but becomes narrower upwards. About 6 or 7 leagues up is the town of Domea, which is handsome, situated close to the shore or the right hand side of the river; it consists of about 100 houses. The trade of the kingdom being carried on at Cachao, you proceed in country boats from this place; and it requires a sharp look-out to prevent your goods being plundered by the boatmen.
HEAN is about 40 miles above Domea, and 60 from the sea; it is situated on the E. side of the river, and is a town of considerable extent. Here the Chinese merchants reside; they were formerly settled at Cachao, but removed from thence by order of the Tonquinese Government, and prohibited from again returning: they, however, go there to buy and sell goods, but do not make it their constant residence. A little before reaching Hean, the main stream of the river divides into the two channels of Rokbo and Domea, up the former of which the Chinese and Siamese vessels come and anchor before Hean. The Governor of the province resides here, who gives his chop or pass to every vessel proceeding up or down the river.
CACHAO, the capital of Tonquin, (though now subject to CochinChina) is about 20 miles from Hean, or 80 from the sea; it is situated on the W. side of the river, is very large, but without any fortifications; many of the houses are built of brick, but the generality are of mud and timber, thatched with palm-leaves. The principal streets are wide, and mostly paved with small stones. The Kings of Tonquin made this city their constant residence.
TRADE. The natives carry on little or no trade themselves by sea; it is therefore transacted by the Chinese and Siamese vessels, and occasionally by Europeans. The articles imported are long cloths, red allejars, ordinary white betellees, brimstone, betel-nut, fine and coarse chintz, Caliatour wood, fine and coarse ginghams, large and small guns, fine white morees, putchock, pepper, ordinary white salempores, saltpetre, silver in coin, Cossimbuzar silk, and taffeties.
English broad cloth and other European commodities are in little estimation; the only colours of the first at all regarded, are red, black, grass green, and blue.
The returns made to the Chinese and other traders frequenting Tonquin, are aniseeds, cassia, China-root, earthen-ware, galangal, gold, ginger, lackered ware, musk, paper, rhubarb, raw silk, wrought silks, timber of sorts, tortoise-shell, and worm-seeds.
Of gold great quantities may be procured, about the same quality of China gold, from 92 to 94 touch. They manufacture many kinds of beautiful silks, pelongs, gauzes, &c., which are very cheap, and their lackered
ware used to be more esteemed than that of Japan. For these goods it is necessary to make an advance of one-third, or a half to the merchants, who are poor, and have no goods by them. The ships are generally obliged to wait till they are brought from the interior.
DUTIES. No customs inwards are paid, but merchants are obliged to make considerable presents. On silks and lackered ware exported, a duty of 5 per cent. is levied.
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS.-Bullocks, sheep, goats, and hogs are to be procured; likewise ducks, geese, and fowls, with a variety of wild game; and of fruits they have plantains, melons, pine-apples, guavas, &c. The river and bay abound with fish, and turtle is occasionally to be 'met with.
COINS.-Cash are the only coins here, and are of two sorts, large and small: 600 large and 1000 small cash make 1 maradoe. Accounts are kept in tales, mace, and candarines; all of which are regulated by the price of maradoes and copper cash.
The price of silver coins varies according to the quantity of silver brought in: of this variation the Chinese take advantage. Sometimes they allow 28 maradoes for a bar of silver of 10 tales weight; at others not more than 21. All the Mexican and pillar dollars imported are run into bar silver; these bars should weigh 10 tales each. They frequently alloy them, so that they are seldom so good as the dollar silver; though in payments they expect an allowance of three per cent., to make it their standard, as they term it.
WEIGHTS.-All goods are weighed by the Chinese dotchin. The King's weights hold out full 132 lbs. to a pecul of 100 catties; but every person should have a true dotchin of his own. The tale equals 1 oz. 4 dwts. 14 grs., being about 11 grains more than the Chinese tale.
MEASURES.-The Chinese covid and punta are in common use for long
HAI-NAN.-This island, which bounds the Gulph of Tonquin to the E., extends about 55 leagues in a N. E. and S. W. direction, and is about 25 leagues in breadth. The S. point, which is bold and rocky, is in latitude 18° 9′ N., longitude 109° 34' E. It is subject to the Chinese Government. The N. W. coast is but little known to Europeans. The S. E. coast has been surveyed by Capt. Ross, the East India Company's Marine Surveyor, who has furnished the following particulars :
YULINKAN BAY is formed by a rocky point on the S. E., 14 mile N. W. from the S. point of Hai-nan; the S. W. extreme is 4 miles further to the W. by N. About 1 mile to the N. of the S. E. point, and very near the E. shore of the bay, is a small island, named Zonby, in latitude 18° 11′ N.;
and 2 miles more to the N. W. is a narrow passage leading to an extensive salt-water lake. Yulinkan Bay is exposed to the wind and swell from the S. W. The usual anchorage for ships is about of a mile to the N. W. of Zonby, in 9 or 10 fathoms water, on a mud and sand bottom. A small ship may proceed sufficiently into the lake to ride in perfect security, and repair any damage. At a village at the back of the E. point of the passage into the lake are some wells of water, and bullocks may be obtained.
GALLONG BAY.-The W. extreme of this bay is a black rocky point, 2 miles to the E. of the S. point of Hai-nan; the E. extreme is 5 miles farther the E., a little to the N. of two small islands, named Brothers. E. Brother is in latitude 18° 11' N., longitude 109° 41′ E. The bay is 3 miles deep; about the middle is an island, W. of which are several large dry rocks. The usual anchorage for ships is between Middle Island and the E. shore of the bay, in 8 fathoms water, over sand and mud, the two extremes of the bay S. 414° E. and S. 50° W., distant about of a mile from the E. shore. In this station much swell is experienced with a S. E. wind. A few yards from the beach, a little to the W. of Middle Island, is a pond of fresh water. Bullocks may be met with, and plenty of fire-wood is procured in a small cove near the anchorage.
LUENGSOY, or LINGSOUI BAY.-The S. part of its point is in latitude 18° 22′ N., longitude 110° E. The coast between Luengsoy Point and the E. point of Gallong Bay forms a considerable curve in to the W. Two islands are near the shore, too small to afford shelter for ships. To the W. of the S. part of Luengsoy Point are several dry rocks, about of a mile off another point; 1 mile to the N. by W. of the latter is a narrow shallow passage, between two sandy points, leading into an extensive salt-water lake. This is supposed to be a place of some trade, from the number of junks seen at anchor.
Several islands, among which are Nankin and Tinhosa, as well as rocks, appear along the coast from Luengsoy Point.
It appears from Capt. Ross's statement, that the E. coast of Hai-nan has no place of safety for a ship to anchor in, and the bottom has in many places coral rocks. The land is better cultivated than to the S., and from the number of coco-nut trees, it would seem that the Chinese procure thence their coir, which is blacker than the common coir, and not so durable.
PROVISIONS AND Refreshments.—Bullocks are plentiful, though small. Capt. Ross says, the people on Hai-nan were found to be civil, and ready to part with refreshments when the Mandarins were not present; hut when the latter appeared, they proved just as arbitrary and rapacious as on the Coast of China.
THE S. coast of China, from the Gulph of Tonquin to the entrance of Canton river, has several bays and harbours, capable of receiving large ships; but they are not visited by Europeans, in consequence of their exclusion from all ports in the empire, except Canton, unless in cases of distress. The principal place is Tienpak, or Tien-pe-hien, in latitude 12° 22 N., and longitude 111° 13′ E., where immense quantities of salt are made, and several hundred junks are employed in transporting it to Canton, and the neighbouring places.
The entrance of the river of Canton is fronted by an Archipelago of islands, extending to the N. E. The southernmost of these is the Great Ladrone, in latitude 21° 57′ N., and longitude 113° 44′ E. The approach to this river is very safe, and there are no hidden dangers. Ships frequently push through the nearest convenient channel for Macao roads, without waiting for a pilot to conduct them.
MACAO, called Ou-moon by the Chinese, belongs to the Portuguese, and is the only settlement possessed by Europeans within the limits of the Chinese empire. The town, which is in latitude 22° 10′ N., and longitude 113° 32′ E., is on the S. extreme of a large island, separated from the continent by a small arm of the sea. The peninsula, upon which the town stands, is connected with the remainder of the island by a long narrow neck of land, not exceeding 100 yards in breadth; across it a wall has been erected, which projects into the water at each end, having a gate and guard-house in the centre for Chinese troops. Beyond this boundary of their possessions the Portuguese are seldom permitted to pass. The extent of their territory, which is completely under the jurisdiction of the Viceroy of Canton, although the Portuguese are permitted to retain the nominal government of the town, is from N. E. to S. W. about three miles, and its breadth not quite a mile.
Macao is a place of some extent; the houses are of stone, constructed on the European plan, but without exterior elegance; the streets are very