The Fifteenth Province of the Empire of China, Koei tcheou,

THIS Province is one of the smallest of China, lying between the Provinces of Hon quang, Se tchuen, Yun nan, and Quangsi, it contains ten Cities of the First Order, and thirty-eight of the Second and Third. 

It is full of inaccessible Mountains, and partly inhabited by People that would never submit to the Emperor, and who live independent of the Laws of the Empire. I have given an Account of them in the beginning of this Work. 

The Emperors have tried several times to people this Province, and have sent thither Chinese Colonies and Governors, with their Families ; there are abundance of Forts and Places of War, where they keep strong Garrisons ; The Taxes of this Province arc not sufficient to defray the Expence of their Subsistence, and the Emperor is obliged to send new Supplies every Year.

In the Mountains there are Mines of Gold, Silver, and Mercury, and it is from part of this Province that they get the Copper with which they make all the small Brass Money which is in the Empire, Between the Mountains there are very agreeable and fruitful Vallies, especially near the Rivers: Provisions are cheap, but not so plentiful as in other Places. There are no Silks, but they make Stuffs of a certain flesh which resembles Hemp, and is very proper for Summer-Cloaths.

Cows and Stags are in great plenty here, as also the best Horses of China ; there are likewise Multitudes of wild Hens, which are esteemed excellent. 

The First City, and Capital of the Province, Kuei yang fou. 

THIS is one of the smallest Cities of China, the Circuit of it being not above a league : The Houses are partly of Earth, and partly Brick : It is a Place of no Trade, the River not being navigable. It has within its Jurisdiction three Cities of the Second Order, and four of the Third ; as also a great many Forts round about it: The Country is smooth and level in some Places, in others it abounds with very steep Mountains. 

The Second City, Se tcheou fou. 

THIS City is seated on the Borders of the Province towards that of Hou quang, and hath only some Forts within its Jurisdiction. The whole Country is full of Mountains, and produces Quick-Silver, Cinnabar, and divers other Commodity, The Inhabitants are ignorant of all Chinese Learning, tho' they are not so barbarous as some others of the fame Province; they commonly go barefooted, and are so inured to Fatigue, that they can walk over Rocks with a surprising Swiftness. 

The Third City, Se an fou.

THIS City, which is built on the Banks of a fine River, and in an extensive Plain, hath within its District three Cities of the Third Order, and several Forts: It is surrounded on all sides by Mountains, some of which are inaccessible ; in time of War the Inhabitants shelter themfelvcs in these Mountains, and carry their Goods with them, to prevent seeing plundered by the Soldiers which croft their  Country: There arc a Savage People skulking a bout tfeofe Mountains, who have scarce any Communication with the Chinese. 

The Fourth City, Tchin yuen fou. 

THE District of this City is but very small, and comprehends only some Forts, and two Cities of the Third Order. The Country produces Pomegranates, Oranges, and the finest Flowers that are in all China. The Inhabitants of the Mountains have no Communication with the Chinese, and are next to Barbarians. 

The Fifth City, Che tsien fou. 

THIS City is situated between the two preceding ones ; its District is very small, having only some Forts, and one City of the Third Order in it. The Inhabitants of the Mountains, have something very different in their Manners from the Chinese Politeness, and both Men and Women go barefooted ; the Country produces a large Quantity of Quicksilver. 

The Sixth City, Tong gin fou. 

THIS is a Frontier-City of the Province, towards that of Hou quang , there is but one City and some Forts within its District, and there is abundance of Gold and Copper Mines to be met with here. The Communication of the Chinese with the Inhabitants  have civiliz'd them of late, tho' there were formerly mere Barbarians. 

The Seventh City, Ngan chan fou. 

THE Territory of this City is very mountainous and contains three Cities of the Second Order, and five of the Third, with several garrison'd Forts to keep in awe the neighbouring Inhabitants, who are independant, and live on the Mountains, The Vallies and Plains are well watered, and would be very fruitful if the People were more industrious, and given to Labour. 

The Eighth City, Tou yun fou. 

THE Jurisdiction of this City is but small, and comprehends only two Cities of the Second Order, and two of the Third : It is in the Neighbourhood of the Mountains which are inhabited by the Seng miao se, a People whom the Chinese could never subdue, and Who have their particular Government, I have mentioned in another Place: It is separated from them only by a River, and some steep mountains. 

The Ninth City, Ping yuen fou.  

THE Territory of this City is likewise in the Neighbourhood of these wild People, who are independant of the Empire of China, and who live on inaccessible Mountains. 

This District contains only two Cities of the Second Order, and two of the Third. The Soil produces excellent Tea, and all kinds of Oranges ; there is a kind of Linen Cloth made of a sort of Hemp very different from that of Europe. 

Tenth City, Ouei ning fou. 

THIS last City is built on the Bank of a fine Lake, in the midst of a Plain surrounded with Mountains, and has within its District three Cities of the Second Order, and three of the Third, besides several Forts with Garrisons for the Defense of the Country.