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“Though unworthy, high Heaven has bestowed upon me its choicest favors. I received from the blessed ancestors of my husband the most valuable of all gifts, when I brought into the world a son destined to succeed him. The emperor, always full of tenderness and respect for his mother, has omitted nothing that lay in his power to render my life happy. He never failed to come every morning and evening either to salute me, or to see me eat. He was constantly contriving means to gratify my heart. He danced in my presence, recited the poems he composed, showed me paintings which no hand but his own had touched, and decorated my apartments with them himself. All these attentions penetrated to the bottom of my soul. I forgot my age, and my old frame was filled with new vigor.”

At the close of the long and magnificent procession which followed this empress to her grave, were pages bearing her mirrors, boxes, jewels, fans, &c.; and last of all the walking stick on which she had leaned in her old age, was carried along with peculiar food without great exertion. Her dutiful step-daughter nursed her several years from her own breast often rising in the night to afford her nourishment. In the month of April, the Chinese visit the tombs of their parents, however distant, to pluck up the weeds, repeat certain ceremonies, and deposit wine and provisions. When the Tartars invaded China, they availed themselves of the filial piety of the people, and marched against them with their captive mothers ranged in front of the troops. In some cases, where this experiment was tried, the women fell by their own hands, calling out to their sons to revenge the death of those who would not consent to be an obstacle in the way of their courage. At this trying period the Chinese women, disguised as men, labored with the utmost zeal, carrying wood, stones, &c. to rebuild the fortifications. A widow of any considerable rank seldom marries again. Those of high station esteem it a sacred duty to show this mark of veneration for the memory of a husband, even if they have been but a few days married, or even if the marriage contract had been settled at the time of his death. & The poorer classes of widows are often sold for the benefit of their deceased husband's relations, who are desirous of regaining the money originally paid for them. The arrangement is often made without their knowledge, and in spite of their resistance. As soon as the bargain is concluded; the new proprietor sends a palanquin well guarded, and the widow is locked up in it, and sent to his house. If avaricious rela


yeneration. Xo, Chinese books are full of anecdotes of filial

piety. “The mother of Ouang-Ouei-Yuen had ever
expressed great apprehensions of thunder, and when
she saw it approaching always requested her son not
to leave her. After her death, whenever he heard a
storm coming on, he hastened to his mother's grave,
and said softly, ‘I am here, mother.’”
Another story is told of a young woman whose
mother-in-law, being without teeth, could not take
‘VOL. I. 11

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tives force a woman to this step before the customary period of mourning expires, she can obtain redress by application to the mandarins. A widow who is averse to a second marriage, and has no one on whom she can rely to repay the original price, may avoid it by becoming a bonze or nun. Of these there are two orders in China. One have their heads shaved, and covered with a black cap, wear dark robes, and live together in communities, like convents; the other class dress more elegantly, and are not confined to any particular place of abode. The female bonzes are not as numerous, or so much respected, as formerly. In 1787, one of them, who pretended to perform miracles, and predict future events, gained such unbounded influence over the minds of women of rank and wealth, that her vanity and ostentation became excessive. She received homage on a kind of throne, and ventured to wear the light yellow robes appropriated to the imperial family. Until this period, Chinese women had been allowed to visit temples served by these priestesses; but the enraged emperor, having put the ambitious bonze to death, forthwith issued the following decree: “All persons of the female sex, of whatever quality and condition, are forbidden upon any pretext whatsoever to enter a temple, or to quit their houses except in cases of absolute necessity. Fathers, husbands, brothers, sons, or relatives, are commanded to keep them at home, upon pain of being themselves severely punished. After this prohibition, any woman who shall enter a temple shall be apprehended and imprisoned, till some one shall appear to claim her, and to undergo the punishment due to his negligence.” By the despotic laws of China a man not only suffers for his own crimes, but it is often ordained that his wife, all his mistresses, his children, and his near relations, shall be put to death, or sold into slavery. Suicide is said to be more common with both sexes in China, than in any part of the world. The habits of this singular people are very uncleanly. They seldom wash their garments, and do not, like most Asiatics, bathe frequently. It is said that the bandages round the women's little feet sometimes drop to pieces without ever having been changed. - t Great numbers of people live continually in boats on the water. The children are tied to the raft with ropes, so that they can run about; and sometimes their mothers fasten an empty gourd about their necks, to keep them above water, in case they fall overboard. Many persons born in these floating dwellings never quit them till they die. Some of the Chinese customs are much despised by their Tartar conquerors. The Tartar women, instead of cramping their feet, add to their natural length by shoes with a long curved toe. The Chi nese, in derision, call them Tartar junks, from the resemblance they bear to those vessels. These women have a frank confident look, and appear freely in the streets, either walking, riding on horseback after the fashion of men, or carried by two bearers on a little open carriage supported by one wheel. Like the Chinese women, they cover their faces with paint, but have maturally a more delicate complexion. They are in general well formed. A small waist is regarded by them as a peculiar characteristic of beauty. Their hair is turned up all round, tied on the top of the head, after the Chinese fashion, and almost always adorned with flowers. The constant habit of smoking and chewing betel makes their teeth yellow. At the new and full moon Tartar women sacrifice to a household god, called the Spirit of the Door. Two lighted tapers are placed on a small altar, and leaves of gold and silver paper are burned in a pan of perfumes. This is done with the idea of warding off certain malignant influences, which might bring disasters on the dwelling. Many of the conquerors, who did not bring wives with them, married Chinese women, and their descendants are still called Tartars. It is said that when they conquered the province of Nankin, they made prisoners of all the women, whom they did not choose to appropriate to themselves. Old and young were tied up in sacks, and sold at the same price. A Chinese artisan, who had but ten shillings, went to market, with the rest, to try his luck. His money was exactly the price required; so he seized a sack, slung it over his shoulders, and pushed through the crowd to examine his bargain. When he found he had bought an ugly old woman, he was so enraged that he was about to throw the unfortunate creature into the river. But she begged him to spare her

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