THE Stone-Bridges are commonly built like ours, on large Piers of Stone, capable of refilling the Rapidity of the Stream, and sustaining the Weight of Arches wide enough for the passage of large Vessels. They are exceeding numerous, and the Emperor spares no Expence when the publick Good requires them to be built.
Of these, there is one very remarkable at Fau Tcheou fou Capital of Fo kien. The River over which it is built is half a League in Breadth; it is sometimes divided into small Arms, and sometimes separated by little Islands ; these are all united in joining the Islands by Bridges, which make altogether eight Furlongs or Chinese Lys, and seventy-six Toises.
The principal of these has alone above an hundred Arches built of white Stone, with Banisters on each Side handsomely carved ; upon which, at the distance of every ten Foot, are placed square Pilasters, whose bases are very large, resembling hollow Barks.
But that which excells all the rest, is at Suen tcheou fou, built over the Point of an Arm of the Sea, without which the passage would be sometimes dangerous, even in a Boat, It is 2500 Chinese Feet in Length, and 20 in Breadth. It is supported by 252. strong Piers, 126 on each Side. All the Stones are of the same Bigness, as well those which are laid from Pier to Pier, as those which are laid crosswise ; insomuch that it is difficult to comprehend how Stones of such an enormous Size should be placed in that regular Manner they are, or even raised on the high Piers on which they lie. After this, there is nothing of the Kind worth mentioning : But from the publick Buildings in general it may be observ'd, that these People are very lavish in every thing that regards the Publick, but good Economists in all their private Concerns.