WE have not been able to gain an exact Knowledge of some extraordinary Animals, which are said to be found in the Mountains ; and what they relate of some in particular is so extravagant,that it is unworthy of the Attention of the Publick. That which they constantly affirm of the Animal Sin sin , makes one think it is a kind of an Ape. They say that it is the Size of a Man, and resembles Mankind in almost all its Actions.
There is another which they call Gin hiung, that is, a Man-Bear, which must be only understood of the extraordinary Bigness of that kind of Bears compared with Man. In like manner Ma-ou, a Stag-Horse, is only a kind of Stag as high as the little Horses of Se tchuen and Yun nan.
But that which is related in their Books of the Horse-Ttger, ought to be look'd upon as all fabulous. He does not differ, say they, in any thing from a Horse, but in his Scales wherewith he is covered, and by his Claws, which resemble a Tiger's ; but more especially by his sanguinary Disposition, which makes him leave the Water in the Spring-Season, to devour both Man and Beast,
That which is related of the Musk-Deer, [Hiang tchang se] is agreeable to Truth ; for this Animal is not very uncommon. It is a kind of a Deer without Horns, with Hair of a blackish Colour. The Musk-bag is composed of a very thin Skin, covered with Hair extremely fine. The Flesh is good to eat, and is even served up at the best fables. There will be occasion to speak of it hereafter.
In the Southern Provinces there are Parrots of all Sorts, exactly resembling those brought from America. They have the same Plumage, and the same Aptness for Talking ; but they are not comparable to the Bird call'd [Kni ki] the Golden Hen. There is no Species in Europe any thing like it. The Liveliness of the Red and Yellow, the Plume on the Head, the delicate Shadowing of the Tail, the Variety of Colours of the Wings, together with a well-shaped Body, have doubtless given occasion for the Epithet of Golden conferred on this Fowl, to shew its Preference over the most valuable of the Feather'd Kind. Besides, the Flesh is more delicate than that of a Pheasant, so that, on all Accounts, not one of the Eastern Birds can be more desirable than this in our European Countries.
Among the beautiful Birds the Hai tsing may justly be counted one. It is very uncommon, and is found only in the District of Han tchongfou in the Province of Chem si, and in some Parts of Tartary. It is not inferiour in Beauty to our finest Falcons, and in Strength and Bigness is much superior ; so that it may be cal, led the King of the Birds of Prey in Tartary and China,
The Butterflies of the Mountain Lo-feou-chan, are likewise greatly esteem'd. It is situated in the District of Hoei tcheoufou, of the Province of Quantong. The largest and most uncommon among them are sent to Court, where they are made use of for a particular kind of Ornament. Their Colours are wonderfully diversify'd, and lively to surprising degree. These Butterflies are much larger than those in Europe. In the Daytime they are without Motion on the Trees, and consequently are easily taken , but in the Night they flutter about much in the same manner as of Bat, and many of them seem to be almost as large. There are others of a less Kind, much sought after, but no way comparable to these.