THIS is one of the most fruitful Provinces of the Empire : It is bounded Westward with the Province of Pe tche li, and Part of Ho nan, Southward with Kiang nan, Eastward with the Gulph of Kiang nan, and Northward with the Gulph of Pe iche li. It. is divided into six Countries ; there are in it six Cities of the First Order, and 114 of the Second and Third Order, besides fifteen Forts built along the Coasts at the Mouth of Havens and Rivers, and several Islands in the Gulph, which are very populous, and have very good Havens. The Imperial Canal passes through Part of this Province ; it is through this Canal that all the Barks, which go from the Southward to Peking pass ; the Duties which they pay for the Merchandises they carry amount to 10,000,000. The Length of this Canal, the Thickness and the Height of the Dikes through which it runs, and which are made of hewen Stone, with Ornaments at proper distances, shew the admirable Industry of the Chinese. Besides this great Canal it is well water'd with Lakes, Rivers, and Brooks, which render it very fertile. It abounds with Rice, Millet, Wheat, Barley, Beans, and all sorts of Grain and Fruity and also with alt sorts of Fowls, as Capons, Pheasants, Partridges, Quails, and Hares, which are very cheap ; and also Fish, which are so plenty that they are sold for little or nothing.
There are Fruits of all kinds, especially Pears, which are excellent, Chestnuts, fine Peaches, divert sorts of Nuts, and multitudes of Prunes ; the Prunes and Pears are dry'd, and afterwards sent into other Provinces. There is a sort of Fruit which the Portuguese call Figs, and the Chinese Setse, which is to be found no where but in China; altho' it grows in other Provinces, this of Chan long hath the greatest Plenty of it.
This Fruit, of which I have spoken in other Places, is never ripe but towards the beginning of Autumn : It is commonly dry'd as the Figs are in Europe; and sold in the Empire, when it becomes white as if Flour had been thrown on it, and is covered by little and little with a Coat of Sugar. Some of it is excellent for Taste, and eats like our best dry'd Figs , such is that which is gathered in the Province of Chansi,
There is another Kind, which is green, and is never tender when full ripe, but is cut with a Knife like our Apples : The Trees which yield these Fruits, have very little need of Dressing. There are a kind of Worms, like our Caterpillars, which spin in the Fields a sort of white Silk, whose Threads stick to the Bushes and Shrubs, of which they make a coarser Silk than that which is made of the Silk Worms brought up in Houses, but closer and thicker.
ALTHO' this Capital is not built near the great Canal, yet all its Trade is upon it : About a League from this Town there is a large Village galled Leou keou keou, which is on the Banks of a River called Tsing ho, which runs into the Canal, and by which all the Merchandise of this Town is conveyed to it. The principal Commodity of this Country are the Silks called Kien tcheou. which are made of the Silk of the Worms like Caterpillars, already described, and are very lasting, and very cheap. The other Commodity is Chinese Glass, called Leou li, which is made at a large Town called Yen tching, within the District of this Capital : This sort of Glass is more brittle than that of Europe, and breaks when exposed to the Inclemencies of the Air.
Tsi nan is a very large and populous Place ; there are several Lakes within its Walls, from which Canals have been made through the City ; it is also beautified with very fine Buildings. There are within its District four Cities of the Second Order, and twenty six of the Third. The Country about it, which reaches to the Sea, is very fruitful in all kind of Grain, and abounds with Cattle. In some of its Mountains there are Iron Mines, and the Lakes are well flocked with Fish. The Flowers called Lien hoa, which I have mentioned several times, are very plentiful in this Country.
THE Territory depending upon this Capital is inclosed between two considerable Rivers, one to the North called Ta Tchin ho, and the other to the South call'd Hoang ho, besides several other small Rivers and Lakes, which abound with Fish, and make the Soil very fruitful. The Country is very well cultivated, and the Mountains are covered with Woods, and the Air mild and temperate. There are twenty seven Cities within the Jurisdiction of this Capital, whereof four are of the Second Order, and twenty three of the Third. One of these Cities called, Tei ning tcheou , is in no wise inferior to Ten tcheou , either in Magnitude, Number of Inhabitants, or Riches ; being seated in the midst of the great Canal, it is one of the most considerable Marts of the Empire.
There is another City called Kio feou kien, which is remarkable for being the Birth-Place of Confucius, the great Philosopher of this Nation, in Honour of whose Memory die Chinese have erected several Publick Monuments.
THIS City is situated upon the Banks of the great Canal, and is very rich, and a Place of great Trade. The Country within its District produces Corn, and Fruits of all sorts in great abundance, so that nothing is wanting either for the Necessaries or Pleasures of Life. There are three Cities of the Second Order, and fifteen of the Third, within its Jurisdiction.
There is one of these Cities called Lin tsin tcheou, which is very considerable for its Trade, and it is there that the grand Canal joins the River Oei ho. It is one of the most populous and trading Cities of the whole Empire, and is no less remarkable for its fine Buildings, but above all for a Tower of eight Stories high, which is without the Wall, whose Outside is of Porcelain, adorned with diverse Figures, and the Inside of polish'd Marble of different Colours ; in the Wall there is a Stair-Case, and at every Story a fine Gallery of Marble, with Iron Rails gilt ; at the Corner of each Gallery there are little Bells, which, being shaken with the Wind, make an agreeable Sound ; there are also several Idol Temples of curious Architecture.
THE Territory depending upon this City is partly watered with Rivers, and partly mountainous ; the Soil is very fruitful, and the Neighbourhood of the Sea supplies it with all necessaries of Life ; it abounds with Fish, whose Skins bring great Profit to the City. In this Country the Cows breed in their Bellies a yellow Stone, called by the Chinese, Nieou hoang, which sometimes is as big as the Egg of a Goose, but no harder than a soft Leaden Pencil, and is more esteem'd by the Chinese Physicians than the Bezoar-Stone , they say that when it is pulverised in hot Water, it immediately cures Defluxions and Catarrhs, in the same manner as the Stone which grows in a Bullock's Gall-Bladder cures the Jaundice. There is one City of the Second, ,and thirteen of the Third Order, within the Jurisdiction of this City.
THIS City is built on the Sea-Shore, and has a very convenient Harbour, with a strong Garrison, and several Vessels which guard the Gulph. Within its District are eight Cities, one of the Second Order, and seven of the Third : Part of these Cities are on the Continent, the others are Sea-Ports, where there are very good Oysters. Altho' the Country is mountainous, yet it is well watered with Rivers, and the Soil very fruitful. The Stone of Nieou hoang, is to be found here, as well as in the preceding City. The Bamboos or Reeds are square here, altho' round every where else.
THIS City is built upon a Promontory, and is surrounded by the Sea on one side, and by Mountains on the other. There are two Cities of the Second Order, and five of the Third, within its Jurisdiction, some of which stand by the Seaside, especially Kiao tcheou, the Situation of which renders it almost impregnable. The whole Country is watered with Rivers, which makes it very fruitful , and it is intermix'd with Plains and Mountains, especially towards the Seacoast.