THIS Province is divided into two Parts, the East and West, and contains eight Fou or Cities of the First Order, and io6 of the Second and Third Orders, besides a great many Forts on the Great Wall. Kan tcheou, and So tcheou, are the most considerable Garrisons of this Province ; the Air is temperate, the People are mild, and more civil and affable to Strangers than the other Northern Chinese , the overflowing of the Rivers renders the Soil very fertile, which abounds with Wheat and Millet, but produces very little Rice. There are abundance of very good Gold Mines, but they are not suffer'd to be open'd : There are also great Quantities of Drugs, as Rhubarb, Honey, Wax, Musk , Cinnabar, and odoriferous Wood resembling Sandal, and abundance of Coal Mines. There are many Quarries of a certain soft Stone or Mineral, called Hiung hoang, of which they make Vessels ; and the Physicians esteem it as a sovereign Remedy against all sorts of Poison, malignant Fevers, and contagious Heats in the Dog Days. They steep this Mineral in Wine ; it is of a pale-red Colour, with a yellowish cast, and spotted with little Mack Points, and looks like the Substance of a Crayon, There is also a small, dark blue Stone, streak'd with white ; the Chinese say that when it is ground, and reduced to Powder, it's an excellent Remedy.
Stags and Deer are here in great multitudes, besides great numbers of Bears, Wild-Bulls, and other Animals resembling Tigers, whole Skins are very curious , there is a kind of Goat, from whence they get Musk, and certain Animals who have Wool on their Backs, whose Tail is very long, and the Flesh well tasted ; there is also a singular Kind of Bats as large as Hens, which the Chinese prefer to the most delicious Birds. They mix Wool and Goats-Hair, and make a very fine sort of Stuff, which they wear next to their Skin in Winter. There is a kind of Bird too, which is very beautiful, called the Golden Hen.
There are all sorts of Flowers, particularly one which they call The Queen of Flowers, resembling the Rose but finer, and hath larger Leaves, tho' the Smell is not so pleasant ; it has no Prickles; its Colour is Motley, Red and White, yet there are some of them Red and Yellow ; the Shrub on which they grow resembles our Elder-Tree ; in hot Climates they are obliged to cover it, to preserve it from the Heat of the Sun.
NEXT to Peking this is the largest and finest City of China, it is built in a great Plain, and is the residence of the Tsong tou of the two Provinces of Chan si and Se tchuen, as also the Governor of the Eastern Part of this Province. There are in its Jurisdiction six Cities of the Second Order, and thirty-one of the Third.
This City, for several Ages, was the Seat of the Chinese Emperors, and is yet very populous, and a Place of great Trade, especially in Mules, which they breed up in great Numbers, and send to Peking, where they are sold for five or six hundred Livres apiece, it being the usual Custom for all Persons of Distinction to have a Servant ride before them in the Streets.
The Walls of this City, which are well fortify'd with Towers, and surrounded with a deep Ditch, are about four Leagues in Circuit, and are very near a Square, the Sides being almost equal : Some of the Gates are very magnificent, and remarkable for their Height : The Houses are but very low, and ill-built, as they are generally over all China ; the Furniture is but indifferent, and Porcelain scarce, the Workmen being less skillful.
There is a strong Garrison of Tartars in this City, commanded by a Tsian kun, or General of their Nation, which are in a separate Quarter of the City, from which it is parted by a strong Wall : There are great Numbers of Mandarins here, who are most Tartars.
The Natives of the Country are stronger, braver, and more used to Fatigue than in the other Provinces : The Mountains which are in the Territory of Signanfou are very agreeable, and afford a kind of Earth which is extremely white, and highly valu'd by the Ladies, who use it to whiten their Skins.
THIS City is seated in an agreeable Plain, along the Banks of the River Yen ho : There are within its District three Cities of the Second Order, and sixteen of the, Third. Within its Walls is a high Mountain, which is remarkable for the fine Buildings that are upon it : There drops from its Mountains a certain Liquor they call Oil of Stone, which they burn in Lamps : The Country is very rich in Sable-Skins, and other rich Fur ; and there is Marble of all sorts.
THIS City is large, the Buildings are fine, and the Air temperate ; the Country in its Territory is well cultivated, and fruitful, being plentifully watered with Rivers and Brooks. In its District there are one City of the Second Order, and seven of the Third.
THIS City is seated on the Banks of the River Han : In its Territory there are two Cities of the Second Order, and fourteen other Towns of the Third ; it is watered by several Arms of the River. The City is large, and very populous ; the high Mountains and the Forests that surround it, make it very strong, and serve for Bulwarks , the Vallies are agreeable, and produce all Necessaries of Life in abundance.
This Country has great Quantities of Honey, Wax, and Cinnabar, Deer, Stags, and Bears are also very common; the Feet of these last are delicious Food for the Chinese.
The Way which was formerly made through the Mountains leading to the Capital is very surprising, upwards of one hundred thousand Men having been employ'd to complete it ; they levelled the Mountains, and made Bridges from one Mountain to another, and when the Vallies were too wide they erected Pillars to support them , these Bridges are part of the Road, and are prodigiously high, and upon which four Horsemen can ride abreast: There are Rails on each side to prevent Travellers from falling down, and Villages with Inns in them of for their Conveniency. Within the District of this Place there is a Bird of Prey which is very rare, called Hai tsing, something like our Falcons for Quickness and Courage , but when any are caught they immediately carry them to the Emperor's Falconry.
THIS City is situated upon an Arm of the River Kin ho. Here is Plenty of all things ; the Climate is very moderate ; the Prospect of the Mountains which surround it, together with the Waters, render it very agreeable : It has within its District: three Cities of the Second Order, and seven of the Third.
THIS City is very populous, and drives a great Trade . It is built on the Banks of the River Hoei, and surrounded with very high Mountains : It affords abundance of Musk, and the Mountains produce the Mineral Hiung hoang, as also the dark blue Stone, white-streaked, both which I have already mentioned. This City has in its Territories three Cities of the Second Order, and seven of the Third.
THIS City is built on the Banks of a River which falls into the Hoang ho, or Yellow River, Great Quantities of Gold are found in the Sand of the neighbouring Rivers and Brooks: The Country is very mountainous, abounding with Wild-Bulls, and a certain Kind of Animal resembling the Tiger, whose Skins are very valuable.
The Vallies are covered with Corn, and those that are near the Rivers with Cattle , in short the whole Territory is very fruitful : It consists of two Cities of the Second Order, and three of the Third.
THIS City has always been looked upon as a Barrier against the Incursions of the Tartars, and is very strongly fortified, according to the Chinese way ; the Country about it is very fruitful ; there is a kind of Herb called Kin see, that is to say, Golden Silk, which is look'd upon as a good Remedy, as likewise a kind of Bean which, as they say, is an admirable Specifick against any sort of Poison : This City has in its District but one City of the Second Order, and four Of the Third.
THO' Lan tcheou is a City only of the Second Order, and depending on the Preceding, yet it is a noted one in the Province, being the best of all those that are built on the Yellow River. The City is not very large, tho' it is the Capital of the Western Province, and the residence of the Governor. The chief Trade of this Place is Hides, which are brought from Tartary through Si ning and To pa ; as also Woollen Stuffs, the principal and most esteem'd of which is call'd Cou jong , it is a kind of Serge, very fine, and almost as dear as the common Satin, but it is hard to preserve it from being moth-eaten. There is another Stuff called Pe jong, which is subject to the same Inconveniency ; and a coarse Stuff made of Cows Hair, called Muou jong, which is very useful in snowy Weather. Notwithstanding all this Commerce, Lan tcheou is not accounted a rich City in China.