THIS is one of the smallest Provinces of China, bounded on the East by Pe tche li, on the South by Ho nan , on the West by Chensi, and the North is separated from Tartary by the Great Wall. It has but five Cities of the First Order, and eighty five depending Cities : There are also several Forts built at certain distances to defend the Great Wall, and several Garrisons, which are larger and more populous than many of the other Towns. We learn from History, that the People of this Province were the first Inhabitants of China.
The Climate is healthful and agreeable, but very mountainous; some of these Mountains are very fruitful, and have abundance of Coal-Mines, which serve them for Fuel, Wood being not very plenty in this Province.
It abounds with all manner of Corn, excepting Rice, and furnishes Wheat and Millet to other Provinces: Its Vines have very good Raisins, fit to make Wine of, if the Chinese chose it, but they only dry them, and sell them to the whole Empire.
There is a great abundance of Musk, of Porphyry, of Marble, and Jasper of divers Colours, the Laps Lazuli is very common here ; and there are many Iron Mines, which Iron, when wrought, is afterwards sent into the other Provinces.
There are Lakes of Saltwater from which they draw Salt, and many Fountains of hot and boiling Water.
THIS City was formerly very fine, and beautify'd with a great many fine Palaces, which belonged to the Princes of the last Imperial Family, Tai ming chaon but they are all fallen to Ruin, and some Parts of the City are almost desolate, tho' the Place is healthful and agreeable. Besides the Silks which are wrought here (as elsewhere) they make fine Carpets, such as the Turkey ones, of all Sizes ; and as the Mountains furnish them with Iron, they have a great Trade in that Commodity.
This City is very ancient and populous, near three Leagues in Circuit, surrounded with strong Walls, and seated on the Bank of the River Fuen ho ; it has a very large District, which comprehends five Cities of the Second Order, and twenty of the Third.
There are on the neighbouring Mountains fine Monuments of Marble, and some of hewen Stone, besides Triumphal Arches, Statues of Heroes, Lions, Horses, and other Animals, very natural, and the whole surrounded by Forests of ancient Cypress-Trees, planted chequer-wise. This Country abounds with Musk, and here are fine Vessels made of Earth ; Lapis Lazuli is also very common here.
The River Fuen ho, which is often mentioned in the most ancient Chinese Books, runs through this Capital, as the River Ouei does thro' the City of Si nganfou, and afterwards both of them fall into the Yellow River, by which means they water the Provinces of Ho nan and of Kiang nan.
ALTHO' Pin yang is only the Second City of this Province, it is not at all inferior to the Capital, neither in Antiquity, Fertility of Soil, Extent of Districts, or Number of Cities depending upon it, which are thirty-four, viz. six of the Second Order, and twenty-eight of the Third ; several of them are very considerable, besides great numbers of Towns and Villages that are very populous. It is seated on the Bank of the River Fuen ho, and is upwards of four Miles round.
The Country, which is within its District, is partly Champaign, and partly Mountainous, and is well cultivated; the great River Hoang ho runs through it from West to North ; there is a Lake of Saltwater near Ngan y hien, from which they make Salt.
THE Territory of this City is not very large, having but eight Cities of the Third Order under its Jurisdiction, bur it is situated in a very agreeable Place, almost at the Head of the River Tso tsang ho. Altho' the Country is Mountainous, yet it is fruitful, and produces all Necessaries of Life. This whole District is very thick set with Towns and Villages.
THIS City is seated between the Capital and Pin yang, about half way ; it takes its Name from the River Fuen ho, on whose Banks it is built in a very commodious Situation for Trade : Its District is not very large, for it contains but one City of the Second Order, and seven of the Third, and the greater Part of them are built between the great River Hoang ho, and the River Fuen. Tho' the Country is Mountainous, it is well cultivated, and abounds with all Sorts of Grain and good Pasture. There are a great many Baths, and Fountains almost boiling hot, whose Waters differ in Colour and Taste.
THIS City is neither so ancient, nor so large as the others of the fame Province ; it is built in a very Mountainous Country, and is the only Place expose, to the Incursions of the Tartars ; it is very well fortified, according to the Manner of the Chinese, and has very strong Garrisons ; its Territory is surrounded with the Great Wall, which has Forts from Place to Place; its Jurisdiction is very large, and extended over four great Cities of the Second oder, and seven of the Third ; its Mountains abound with all kinds is in great plenty here ; and there is a kind of Jasper which is transparent, and as white as Agate ; Porphyry, Marble, and Jasper of all Colours are very plentiful ; and here is also a great Trade for Skins.