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CHINA AND THE CHINESE.
ordered to shut and lock it again. The process of examination is thus settled in a few seconds, and you are allowed to proceed on board the schooner, and choose your berth for the night.
LANDING AT MACAO, AND PASSAGE FROM THENCE TO CANTON; OR, A SAIL UP THE PEARL RIVER. MACAO is situated upon a peninsula at the southern extremity of Heang Shan, an island in the magnificent estuary of the Canton River, and therefore lies on the left hand of seafaring men in their voyage to that city. Now, after an individual has endured the tedium of crossing the line, amidst heavy rains and long calms, a month's driving before a gale of wind in the southern ocean, and then sweated under the sultry heats of the Chinese Sea, till, in all, four moons or more have passed over his head, he hails, with a thrill-your way, about twenty miles from Macao. It is a conical island, ing sense of delight, the sight of the well-built edifices of Macao as they glisten in the sun, and readily consents to pay the Chinese pilot a certain number of dollars, to allow a partner to convey him ashore in the boat that had brought the said pilot to the ship. The sum varies, as a Chinaman knows how to "ask enough;" but, if I remember rightly, I paid six dollars for a distance of about eight miles, which was not unreasonable. As the boat draws within the semicircular indentation of the land in front of Macao, a shoal of little skiffs, or floating cots, gather round, and a peal of voices"My boote," "My boote!"-salute the ear of the stranger. The beings from whom these sounds issue are the "Tanka women," who make their little vessels both their home and the means of their livelihood. Their countenance is often comely, always goodhumoured; their clothing neat and becoming; their persons short, but very erect; their feet small, and so well proportioned that a lady of the West might fairly envy them. The shortness of their stature seems to arise from their habits, which have betimes introduced them to an acquaintance with hard labour and thought
The first objects that meet you on the way are the Nine Islands, a cluster of small islets that are strewed upon the surface of the water, like so many ant-hills. If your passage is in the summer, when the wind is from the north-west, or the south-west monsoon prevails, you advance gaily towards the point of your destination, with a calm or two, perhaps, during the hotter parts of the day. If, on the contrary, your passage be during the winter, when the north-east monsoon prevails, you not unfrequently get a foul wind and rough weather, which modify the pleasure of a trip not a little. The island of Lintin, or Linting, as it ought to be spelt, lies in terminating in a peak, which renders it a conspicuous object from a great distance. Some of the nooks near the shore wear an inviting green; but, like many of the hills in this part of China, they are not clothed with trees. No inconsiderable portion of this estuary is covered with fishing-stakes, which give the navigator no small degree of annoyance, especially in the night. Many hundred Chinese, of all ages and sizes, are occupied in watching over these contrivances, and securing such fish as happen to be caught within their toils. If the schooner approaches these stakes unwarily, the loud call of the fisher warns him against doing a piece of mischief for which he would never think of atoning, and the getting into circumstances which are by no means to be desired. To these fishing-stakes the white dolphins are very great foes, without, perhaps, intending to do any harm. They are a merry race of creatures, and often amuse themselves, like the dolphins on this side of the world, in leaping out of the water, in lines of greater or less inclination to the vertical. When young, they are of a grey colour; but as they increase in size, this grey changes to a pinky white, which, as far as I can judge, is proportioned to the age of the fish. The fondness which these dolphins feel for aerial excursions does not appear unaccountable, when we remember they breathe that element, not when diffused in thin solution, like the true fish, but as it floats in life-sustaining streams around us. The
place in the tropic-bird, where the young are mottled with black and white, but assume a spotless white when full-grown. This fact I ascertained by personal observation, when I visited the Matilda reef in the southern Pacific, about thirteen years ago.
The eager sounds we have just mentioned are meant as a challenge to the stranger, who is pressed with an anxiety of feeling, that has scarcely its fellow, to divide himself into half-a-score shares, and go ashore in as many Tanka boats. But, as this is impossible, he descends into one, and takes his seat upon a camp-change which the colour undergoes is analogous to what takes stool or a four-footed settle of bambu, amidst an obstreperous din created by the disappointed parties. In a second or two all is hushed, and he is at leisure to survey with interest the comfort and neatness that are visible in every corner of this floating edifice. A stranger has only one thing to abate his satisfaction, and that is found in his own breast. Report has told him that the Chinese have a dislike to foreigners, and are unwilling to admit them to a full participation in those sentiments of esteem and kindness which they deal out to one another. He feels, reasons, and acts upon this assumption, and views them from a position in which he cannot judge of them truly, nor excite in them those spontaneous effluences of kindness which he would like to see. If, however, he is a man of experience, he pays his hostess a quarter of a dollar; but if he is somewhat "green," or moved by generosity, he gives her four times that sum, which is usually the lowest amount of her demands. She is obliged to land him opposite to the Chinese custom-house, which, through the wretched imbecility of the Portuguese, is allowed to hoist its official flag and tax foreigners within a few yards of the governor's residence. The fee paid to this custom-house is one dollar for each person; it is a sort of paying one's footing upon the "celestial" land. If you refuse, the sum is exacted of the poor boatwoman who conveyed you generosity, therefore, prompts you to payment.
After the stranger has saluted his friends, or beaten up for a few acquaintances, by means of commendatory letters, which is not a difficult thing, as the residents are hospitable and courteous, he prepares for the necessary voyage to Canton. This was usually performed in one of the schooners, which at intervals plied between Macao and Canton, to carry passengers, goods, and so forth. The fare was for some time ten dollars, and the passenger, of course, provided for himself. Every one, when he sets out for the place of embarkation, is followed by one or more Colies, carrying fowls, eggs, rice, wine, ale, and items for the tea-table, with a stock of all kinds of fruit, besides his luggage. He is obliged by authority to start from the landing opposite to the custom-house, where his trunks are opened and examined by the Chinese officers. This, with a little tact, is generally a very slight business, though, without it, oftentimes a source of great annoyance. No fraud or bribery is needed among the ingredients of this tact-a civil and patient demeanour, with the keys in your hand, are all that is required. Your servant takes them when the officer comes up, opens the trunk, and begins to lift up the clothes; but is at once
The hills on the island whereon Macao is situate are lofty and barren, and present a peculiarly rugged appearance. These, as you proceed up the river, stretch to a distance partly behind and partly to the left, or, as seamen say, upon your larboard quarter. On your right you have series of lofty hills, of rude and castellated forms. Their barrenness I once imputed to the nature of the soil, or rather to the rock from which it is derived, since it contains quartz in abundance, with mica, but very little feldspar, or material for clay. I learned, however, to infer that this was chiefly owing to the keen winds from the north and east, which hinder the growth of vegetables, wherever they have a free and constant access. A few miles above Macao, on the west, is the anchorage of Cum-sing-moon, formed by an island and an indentation in the coast. Here the foreign ships used to lie during the summer months, and brave the typhon in July or August, with very little shelter from the land, by which they were too partially surrounded. Here I landed in my last visit to China, and was very courteously treated by the inhabitants, who were much amused at my botanical pursuits, and still more in inspecting my clothes, boxes, pins, and so on. I bought some sweet cakes of a man, and presented an old lady who was sitting by with one. This act of attention seemed to overwhelm her-she smiled, blushed, and sat motionless in a conscious fit of confusion. Stretching far to the west is the harbour of Cap-suy-moon, to which the vessels were compelled to repair, after they had been driven away from Cum-sing-moon, for the misconduct of the opium-dealers, who sold the drug to buyers, under the patronage of the government cruisers, whose commanders received a fee for every chest that was lowered down the ship's side.
After the ebbs and flows of a day or two, the voyager comes in sight of the "Bocca Tigris," or narrow entrance into what is more evidently a branch of the Canton River; for, on the outside of this, one might fancy oneself at sea, from the breadth of the estuary. The hills near this entrance, on the left side, are of a peculiar form-gibbous, or hump-backed, on one side, and nearly perpendicular on the other. It seems that after the hill had been formed by the upheaving of the strata below, as in the case of other risings and acclivities, a circumscribed action lifted one half of the hill
above the other, and gave it a form that one might easily liken to an Egyptian sphinx, or to some wild beast in the act of couching. One of these has been compared to a tiger, whence the Portuguese term this entrance the "Bocca Tigris,"-bocca signifying "mouth." These hills, by their rifted shape, present some symptoms of volcanic action, and give notice to the eye of the geologist that formations of this kind cannot be very far off. A conjecture drawn from these appearances was verified when I visited Hong-kong, which is composed of trap, and, by its waterfalls and peaks, shows its proximity to the seat of those terrible but magnificent phenomena.
pagodas. The original design of these singular edifices has often been a matter of question; but we shall not be far from the truth, perhaps, if we guess that they were at first intended for altars reared to the heaven which, in the earliest departure from the knowledge of the true God, usurped his place. They are built of various materials, and generally in a series of stories for the convenience of erection. The Chinese seem to think that they exert a kindly influence upon the surrounding country, in the way of obtaining rain and fruitful showers.
The plains of alluvium, to which we adverted just now, are divided into fields by raised terraces of earth; for a Chinese On your right is the beautiful little anchorage of Chuen-pe, farmer's estate is just the inverse of ours in the mode of plotting formed in part by a jutting ridge of hills, whose summits are the ground. For with us the field is dry land, and the fence, or fairly crested with pine-trees. On the extremity of the hilly pro-line of demarcation, a ditch for letting off the water; with him, jection is a small watch-tower, which, among the shady fir-trees, the way-mark is a bank of dry land, while the field is a splash of has a very picturesque effect. Around this point, within the water. Upon these terraces, near the margin of the water, the withdrawing nook, is seen the Chinese squadron, which presents a plantain-tree is set in rows, which within a few months rises from a spectacle that has very little of the sublime about it, as these vessels sprout to a tree, bears a load of fruit, and dies to make way for its are rigged in a very unsightly manner, and their sides are without successors, which germinate in offsets from the same root. These port-holes to give them any martial effect. The guns rest upon rows have a very pretty appearance, and thus are a source of the upper deck, and make their appearance near the middle of the beauty as well as utility. They do not, however, please us more vessel, where a certain portion of the gunwale, or parapet, is than the Lichi, which is planted in the same way, but a little removed for their accommodation. They are small, mounted farther from the water's edge. The tree is a sort of pollard, from upon a sorry imitation of a carriage, and are, I believe, incapable frequent pruning, and has a head that is nearly hemispheric upon a of elevation or depression, except by a recourse to a tedious and trunk of not more than ten or fifteen feet in height. The foliage clumsy contrivance. It was in this lonely nook that the redoubted is of a deep green, which is a beautiful groundwork for the red dye fleet of Admiral Kwan lately attacked her Majesty's sloops, and of the fruit. The effect is not one that dazzles the eye by a would have been sent to the bottom with his fleet, had our vessels splendour of contrasted colours vividly striking upon the sense, continued their fire. but one on which the lover of nature's beauty delights to gaze at leisure.
On each side of the entrance the Chinese have erected fortifications, to keep out aggressors. I forgot, when upon the spot, to reckon the number of guns; but they are enow, if well manned, to disable any ship that should attempt to pass up. In the face of these fortifications, with one, two, or three others upon the islands hard by, the Imogene and the Andromache attempted to enter the Bogue, as this entrance is otherwise called, at the command of Lord Napier, in 1834, and, amidst calms and baffling winds, effected their purpose. The pleasant nook and the forts, amidst a curious and interesting scenery, are destined, perchance, to be the silent witnesses of some preliminaries, that in their issue will break off the yoke that presses so heavily upon
the neck of the Chinese.
After the stranger has entered the Bogue, a new scene presents itself a smooth and even lapse of water, gliding in soft tranquillity between two verdant banks. These banks are the alluvium which the current has brought down and deposited in its present situation; and thus shows how, in many instances, a river not only brings water to irrigate the soil, but even the soil itself, where the hilly portions, from the nature of the rock, or the meteoric changes that act upon them, are not susceptive of ready cultivation. By what a simple cause is a most beneficial effect produced!-the water sweeps the soil from the mountains by the greatness of its velocity, and when it has gained a level, and lost its momentum, lets it fall gradually to the bottom of the channel, where it is most shallow; and in this way gives origin to islands and the fertile plains that skirt the hills upon the main land. On the right you have rice-fields without number, which are of such an inviting green, that the character for this grass has a tropical sense of fair or beautiful, when used in composition. As the tide runs down nearly eighteen out of twenty-four hours, your progress is generally slow and tedious, and the monotonous hours of a tranquil night and a scorching day are varied only by taking up and letting go your anchor. It would not be difficult to land and refresh yourself with a walk; but the conduct of the Chinese magistrates, who never let slip an opportunity of rendering the minds of the common people evil-affected towards the stranger, has rendered such a walk a little hazardous. And here I cannot acquit John Bull altogether of blame; for, to be plain with him, his carriage is too overbearing when he encounters the inhabitants of other soils. He may, perhaps, fancy that his good qualities, and above all his noted generosity, may make amends for rudeness; but the natives seldom understand the matter in this light. They would prefer a look of kindness, or an expression of civility, to the whole amount of his unknown perfections. Many of my predecessors in these passages from Macao to Canton have landed, and walked about the country without insult and annoyance; and, for my part, I should have been glad of the same opportunities. On your left, upon an isolated hill of a rounded outline, stands one of those structures which the obliging humour of our painters and engravers has rendered so familiar to our eye-I mean the
We now approach Whampoa, where the foreign vessels are obliged to anchor, to take in their cargoes. Here the English language is heard on all sides, in a curious mongrel when uttered by Chinese, but such as answers the purpose of buyer and seller, servant and master. Strangers never resorted to a practice more prejudicial to their reputation, than when they made up their minds that a Chinaman should communicate with them in such a broken dialect; for he has been led to think that we have not wit enough to learn his language, and that our own is so poor and scanty that he could learn it in about six weeks. The island of Whampoa, which here divides this part of the river into two channels, is low in most of its extent, but here and there rises into a hillock. one stands a very curious pagoda, which is surrounded by scaffoldings from top to bottom, whether for beauty or architectural purposes I did not learn.
French Island and Dane's Island are tolerably elevated, and are of a picturesque kind, especially as the hills are terraced in some places. On these foreigners often take an excursion; and as the Chinese here are most of them acquaintances, disturbances are unfrequent.
A Chinese village appears in the distance, as if it were seated in a grove; and is therefore a specimen of the native taste, which delights in the combination of trees and houses,-a taste by no means alien from our own, though I must confess the Chinese have the advantage of us; for they have neither a glistening expanse of white, nor an offensive groundwork of red colours, which in such large proportions do not harmonise with the tints around them. Their bricks are small and of a bluish-grey colour, and, being parted in construction by narrow white lines, they have a very neat appearance. The gable-ends of the cottage are expanded into a round lobe or facing at the top, and wind in a revolute manner towards the eaves. The native builder by this means contrives to exchange straight lines for others of various curvature; an idea which he pursues in finishing the ridge of the roof—for, instead of a straight line, we have a crest that is figured so as to secure a variety of inflections. The gable-ends are finished with great neatness and taste; and it is these that impart a singularity to the aspect of the village now supposed to be within our ken.
As we draw near to Canton, we find few objects of an architectural kind to elicit our admiration. There is an edifice on our right, which is a combination of the temple and the pagoda, and, being under the shade of some spreading trees, has a very pretty effect; a Chinese fort or two, which were erected in consequence of the "hammering" the Imogene and the Andromache gave to the forts at the Bogue, in 1834: a very small allowance of skill and intrepidity would suffice to take them. There are besides two objects, called the French and the Dutch Folly, the remains of some defences erected some years ago by the Dutch and French, with the view of obtaining a footing in China. But the eye wan
ders over a scene clustered with houses, or green with plantations, and descries nothing to impress one with any feeling of wonder at the ingenuity or vast conception of constructive man. The river near the city is covered with craft of every description. Among the rest, the unwieldy Chin-chew junk makes no inconsiderable figure, with its high head and stern, and its masts, without the beautiful apparatus of lesser masts, or the picturesque display of shrouds and stays, as with us. Swarms of small boats, with their awning, which resembles the top or hood of a carrier's van, glide past you in every direction, as they waft goods or passengers to their different destinations. Besides these, we see at anchor, or sailing past us, large hulks filled with the wares of the merchant, and have a far greater adaptation to the purposes of utility than they have to awaken sentiments of delight in the mind of the beholder. A different spectacle is presented by the flower-boats, and others of a similar construction, occupied by families of the wealthy, who love to roam and to enjoy a kind of amphibious life. These are a sort of floating house, with a flat roof and upright sides, and chapiters or cornices of fantastic carvings; they are also panelled, and adorned with a vast deal of open-work; they are often painted green, with a profusion of gilded points and flowers. In a word, they are very beautiful, in a sense which we can readily appreciate; and nothing seems wanting to recommend them to the heart as well as to the eye but the thought that they are the abodes of innocence and truth. The inmates are often seen upon the roof, or looking out in the carlier parts of the day; and, though their characters are degraded, such is the force of that modesty so highly extolled in China, that we seldom detect anything improper in their deportment. The boats occupied by families rival these in beauty of workmanship, but are far less prodigal in gaiety of gold and colours. There is a decorum in this which the stranger can casily understand and feel. As we pass, the father, mother, and daughters present themselves, and return a look of complacency carelessly thrown upon them with smiles and laughs of the most good-natured and exhilarating kind. On such occasions, we see Chinese beauty set off by that shamefacedness so characteristic of the country.
We are now supposed to be in front of the European factories, which are a line of edifices built in foreign style, and present a very goodly sight. I said a "line," but perhaps I might have said a square with as much propriety; for each gate within the line or façade conducts you to a multitude of dwellings and warehouses, in which some of the most enterprising of merchants transact their business or lay up their stores. Apart from these factories, there is not a single specimen of architecture to merit a moment's attention; buildings we have without number, but all alike mean and contemptible in their aspect. The style and taste which pleased us so well when we beheld a hamlet bosomed in a grove, here disappoints us beyond measure. We land, perhaps, at the steps that conduct us to a garden once owned by the East India Company, where the trees and shrubs in full bloom perchance comfort the eye, and make us ready to forgive the Chinese architect, who never seems to have been aware that a city of cottages makes a very despicable figure.
intermediate pillars unnecessary, and, I dare say, valued himself upon the skill he had displayed in the contrivance. The Chinese viewed the matter in a different light, and felt that to hang a roof upon nothing was only possible in a dream: he applied, therefore, to the chief of the factory, and stated his reasons with so much effect, that he obtained an order for the rearing of sundry unwieldy pillars for helping a roof which could have helped itself. The foreigner was mortified exceedingly; but his science went for nothing with a man who ought to have been a Chinese, or anything else, for the mind and conception he had. To relieve the unsightliness, he fluted the pillars; but this was only to gain a second discomfiture, for the Chinese architect and the AngloChinese chief decided that they looked better without it: there they stand, therefore, in all their naked and useless deformity. They say it broke the poor man's heart.
From Macao to Nine Islands, 6 Sailing distance from Macao to the
From Whampoa to Canton, 12 miles.
MANY years ago we remember to have read a laughable introduction to one of the Westminster plays, where the scene is laid in a police-office, the parties accused being a party of rioters who had made a disturbance in the theatre. Their defence is taken up by a young lawyer, himself one of the delinquents, who ingeniously argues, that since man is by nature an imitative creature, it is perfectly lawful for him to bellow, to bleat, to howl, or to hiss, (offences charged against the prisoners,) since in so doing they act in strict accordance with nature, the universal law. Much the same sort of argument seems made use of by very many who live by gulling their neighbours in an infinite variety of ways. They probably argue that since man is by nature a gullible creature, and as to be gulled it is necessary that some should gull, it follows that it is naturally lawful to gull; and so quiet their consciences, if they chance to have any, which may be doubtful. The English, though not easily cheated in sober business, are wonderfully apt to be taken by anything novel or uncommon: our natural caution seems to forsake us, and we run headlong into the snare.
About a year ago, we formed one of an edified group, who, in one of the narrow lanes of the "city," listened to the vociferations of a knave, who, after the fashion of a trick as old and as respectable as "ring-dropping," was trying to sell sovereigns at a halfpenny each. It was a wager, the brazen-faced rascal said, and he was almost breathless with his exertions, trying to sell them in a given time. "It won't do," said we; people in the very heart of our great city' are not to be hoaxed-the money market' is too near hand." At that moment a brother of the then Lord Mayor (Wilson) happening to pass, spoke to a policeman; and the sovereign" rogue darted into a public-house. The suburbs of the metropolis, however, present a finer field for experiment. Que morning lately we were startled at hearing a most unaccountable vociferation in the street, and stepping to the window, beheld a man dressed in a shabby Newmarket coat and a red belcher handkerchief, apparently a sort of underling of the sporting world, pacing up and down at a most rapid rate, speaking all the while at the very top of a somewhat powerful voice. We at first imagined him to be some poor lunatic escaped from his keepers, but were quickiy undeceived, when, on listening further, we heard the following pretty piece of eloquence :-"Fifty goolden sovereigns at three-pence each, to decide a most important wager between Captain Smith and Captain Brown-the parties are now waiting for the decision. Fifty goolden sovereigns at three-pence each. The wager is, that in the short space of half an hour I shall dispose of fifty goolden sovereigns at three-pence each-in the short space of one half hour-fifty goolden sovereigns at threepence each."
The factories are surmounted with broad terraces, where the foreigners refresh themselves morning and evening with the winds that happen to blow in the hotter seasons of the year. From one of these we can take a survey of the whole city of Canton, with the lofty hills that lie upon the back and north side of it,-a countless display of buildings congregated together in thick and confused array, without a single structure of size or elevation to relieve the monotonous sameness of the entire landscape. This has arisen from the deficiency of Chinese architectural skill, which will not allow them to form a roof of any considerable span. Instead of rafters and tie-beams, and other mechanical contrivances for resisting a lateral pressure, their beams run from end to end, and must be helped by pillars, if there be any breadth in the slope at all. The general reader may not have directed his attention to the manner in which our roofs are constructed, and therefore may not understand me; but this I may say, without the risk of being unintelligible, that every ingenious device which a workman takes among us to strengthen his roof, and to render pillars unnecessary, is altogether overlooked by the Chinese. In front of the factory once tenanted by the chiefs of the East India Company is a large quadrangular gallery, covered by a broad roof, So ran the tenor of his speech, which he incessantly repeated, and used as a promenade. This was built by an English architect, walking up and down during the whole time, with a most hurried who was obliged to use Chinese assistants. At the head of these and yet important aspect, displaying in his left hand a heap of assistants was a man who laid claim to certain architectural preten-yellow metal, while his right hand, elevated in air, gave additional sions, and thought himself more than a match for the "fank-kwei” builder. The latter, of course, constructed the roof so as to render All the neighbourhood was in a state of excitement, and every
effect to his eloquence.
window showed one curious face, and many more than one. Fifty golden sovereigns at three-pence a-piece-but still a little lingering hesitation was displayed as to who should be the first to ventureit might be a cheat. But, then, Captain Smith and Captain Brown, who could resist such names? Military gentlemen will sometimes do such extraordinary things—and, then, there was the ready cash in the left hand of the proclaimer of these glad tidings. "Bless me," said each good lady," 'tis no great loss after all, and if it be true, why should not I have one of these fifty sovereigns that are going a-begging? I see them in his hand, and I have not been to market so often as not to know false coin from real. I'm not to be deceived in a hurry-three-pence for a sovereign; well, to be sure, young men will do foolish things-Betty, Betty, take this three-pence and buy me a sovereign."
And, Betty, no less eager than her mistress, darted out, intent upon getting one for herself as well as her mistress. The example was quickly followed, and how many three-pences the rogue pocketed we know not, but he probably thought it prudent not to stay too long in one quarter, lest some indignant individuals of the masculine gender might sally out and inflict summary justice on the general deceiver; for, as may be expected, his golden sovereigns were any thing but genuine, as the Yankees say. Nevertheless, his scheme must have prospered, for only three days after we encountered this unblushing varlet, not a quarter of a mile from the spot where we first beheld him, proclaiming the great bet between Captain Smith and Captain Brown, the parties who were still waiting; and his success did not seem to have diminished.
It is one characteristic of a commercial world, that, when a successful speculation in any particular line has occurred, others will follow the track. So it is in the roguish world. A few days after the appearance of the agent of Captain Smith and Captain Brown, two opponents (for this party hunted in couples) appeared on the field, and judiciously observing that females had been the chief purchasers on the former occasions, (we would not say but that some greedy males had been ensconced in back parlours, modestly unwilling to make any display of avarice,) these new pretenders advertised that they were provided with "finelypolished scissors, warranted not to be purchased under sixpence at any shop in London, together with weekly paper, (what this might be we did not ascertain), merely to advertise the paper." Their success seemed to equal, if not surpass, that of our friend with the "goolden sovereigns."
It is good to laugh. We are not weeping philosophers, and such things as we have related may be fairly laughed at, even with those who have been the sufferers; but we may draw a lesson from such apparently trivial circumstances. They may be well applied to much more important matters, and we must all take care not to pay our three-pence for a "goolden sovereign;" or, in the wellknown language of a practical philosopher, Benjamin Franklin, "Not to pay too dear for our whistle."
HISTORY OF AN UNGKA APE.
THE late Mr. Bennet, in his "Wanderings in New South Wales, Batavia, Pedir Coast, Singapore, and China; being the Journal of a Naturalist in those countries during 1832, 1833, and 1834," gives us the following history of an Ungka ape :
"During a visit to Singapore in 1830, I procured, through the kindness of E. Boustead, Esq., a male specimen of the Ungka ape (Hylobates syndactyla). The animal had been recently brought by a Malay lad, in a proa, from the Menangkabau country, in the interior of Sumatra. The Malays at Singapore always called the creature Ungka; but I observe, in the Linnean Transactions, it is called, by Sir Stamford Raffles, Siamang; and the Ungka is therein described as a different animal,-the same as that under the name of Onko, in the splendid work on the Mammalia (vols. v. and vi.) by F. Cuvier. The natives, however, at Singapore denied this being the Siamang, at the same time stating that the Siamang resembled it in form, but differed in having the eyebrows and hair around the face of a white colour.
"The Hylobates syndactyla is described and figured also in Dr. Horsfield's Zoology of Java; but the engraving does not give a correct idea of the animal, nor have I as yet seen one that does. Three beautiful drawings were taken for me, from the specimen I possessed, after its death, in different positions; and having preserved the skeleton in the skin, its general appearance was more natural than stuffed specimens usually are; they were executed by the able pencil of Charles Landseer, Esq.
"On board the ship Sophia, during the passage to England,
ample opportunities were afforded me to study this singularly interesting little animal.
"In colour, the animal was of a beautiful jet-black, being covered with coarse hair over the whole body. The face has no hair, except on the sides, as whiskers, and the hair stands forward from the forehead over the eyes: there is very little beard. The skin of the face is black; the arms are very long: the hair on the arms runs in one direction, viz., downwards; that on the fore-arm, upwards: the hands are long and narrow, fingers long and tapering; thumb short, not reaching farther than the first joint of the forefinger; the palms of the hands and soles of the feet are bare and black; the legs are short, in proportion to the arms and body; the feet are long, prehensile, and, when the animal is in a sitting posture, are turned inwards, and the toes are usually bent. The first and second toes are united (except at the last joint) by amembrane. From this circumstance the animal has derived its specific He invariably walks in the erect posture when on a level surface, and then the arms either hang down, enabling him sometimes to assist himself with his knuckles; or, what is more usual, he keeps his arms uplifted, in nearly an erect position, with the hands pendent, ready to seize a rope, and climb up on the approach of danger, or on the obtrusion of strangers. He walks rather quick in the erect posture, but with a waddling gait, and is soon run down, if, whilst pursued, he has no opportunity of escaping by climbing.
"On the foot are five toes, the great toe being placed like the thumb of the hand: the form of the foot is somewhat similar to that of the hand, having an equally prehensile power; the great toe has a capability of much extension outwards, which enlarges the surface of the foot when the animal walks. The toes are short; the great toe is the longest. The eyes are close together, with the irides of a hazel colour; the upper eyelids have lashes, the lower have none. The nose is confluent with the face, except at the nostrils, which are a little elevated. The mouth large, ears small, resembling the human, except in being deficient in the pendent lobe. He has nails on the fingers and toes, and has hard tubercles on the tuberosities of the ischium, but is destitute of a tail, or even the rudiment of one.
"His food is various: he preferred vegetable diet, as rice, plantains, &c., and was ravenously fond of carrots, of which we had some quantity preserved on board. Although when at dinner he would behave well, not intruding his paw into our plates, having acquired politeness,' as Jack would say, by being on board, yet, when the carrots appeared, all his decorum was lost in his eager desire for them; and it required some exertion to keep him from attacking them with tooth and paw,' unmindful whether we wished it or not, and against all the laws and regulations of the table. A piece of carrot would draw him from one end of the table to the other, over which he would walk, without disturbing a single article, although the ship was rolling at the time; so admirably can these animals balance themselves. This is well seen when they play about the rigging of a ship at sea: often, when springing from rope to rope, have I expected to see him buffeting the waves, and as often did I find that all my fears were ground
spirits. Of animal food, he preferred fowl; but a lizard having been "He would drink tea, coffee, or chocolate, but neither wine nor caught on board, it was placed before him, when he seized the reptile instantly in his paw, and greedily devoured it. He was also very fond of sweetmeats, such as jams, jellies, dates, &c.; and no child with the sweetest tooth' ever evinced more delight after 'bons-bons' than did this little creature. Some Manilla sweet cakes that were on board he was always eager to procure, and would not unfrequently enter the cabin in which they were kept, and endeavour to lift up the cover of the jar : he was not less fond of onions, although their acridity caused him to sneeze and loll out his tongue: when he took one, he used to put it into his mouth, and immediately eat it with great rapidity.
"The first instance I observed of his attachment to liberty was soon after he had been presented to me by Mr. Boustead. On entering the yard in which he was tied up, one morning, I was not well pleased at observing him busily engaged in removing his belt, to which the cord or chain was fixed (which, as I afterwards understood, had been loosened on purpose), at the same time whining and uttering a peculiar squeaking noise. As soon as he had succeeded in procuring his liberty, he walked, in his usual erect posture, towards some Malays, who were standing near the place; and, after hugging the legs of several of the party, without, however, permitting them to take him in their arms, he went to a Malay lad, who seemed to be the object of his search; for, on