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Ngày tham gia: Nov 27, 2005
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Bài gửigửi: 03.10.2015    Tiêu đề: Trả lời với trích dẫn nội dung bài viết này

MỘT CHUYẾN DU HÀNH TỚI XỨ ĐÀNG NGOÀI (Chương II)


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CHAPTER II.
Tonquin, its Situation, Soil, Waters, and Provinces. Its natural Produce, Roots, Herbs, Fruits, and Trees. The Cam-chain and Cam-quit Oranges. Their Limes, &c. Their Betle and Lichea Fruit. The Pone-tree, Lack-trees, Mulberry-trees, and Rice. Their land Animals, Fowl tame and wild; Nets for wild Ducks, Locusts, Fish, Balachaun, Nuke mum-Pickle, Soy, and manner of Fishing. The Market, Provisions, Food and Cookery. Their Chau or Tea. The Temperature of their Air and Weather throughout the Year. Of the great Heats near the Tropicks. Of the yearly Land Floods here, and elsewhere in the Tor∣rid Zone, and of the overflowing of the Nile in Egypt. Of Storms called Tuffoons: and of the influence the Rains have on the Harvest at Tonquin, and elsewhere in the Torrid Zone.



The Kingdom of Tonquin is bounded to the North and North East with China, to the West with the Kingdom of Laos, to the S: and E. with Cochinchina and the Sea, which washes a part of this Kingdom. As to the particular bounds or extent of it, I cannot be a competent judge, coming to it by Sea, and going up directly to Cachao: but it is reasonable to believe it to be a pretty large Kingdom, by the many great Pro∣vinces which are said to be contained in it. That part of the Kingdom that borders on the Sea, is all

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very low Land: neither is there any Hill to be seen, but the Elephant Mountain, and a Ridge of a much less heighth, continued from thence to the mouth of the River of Domea. The Land for about 60 miles up in the Country is still very low, even and plain: nor is it much higher, for about 40 miles farther quite to Cachao, and beyond it; being without any sensible Hill, tho generally of a tolerable good heighth, and with some gentle risings here and there, that make it a fine pleasant Champian; and the further side of this also is more level than the Champian Country it self about Hean or Cachao. Farther still to the North, beyond all this, I have been inform'd that there is a chain of high Mountains, running cross the Country from East to West; but I could get no intimation of what is beyond them.

The Soil of this Country is generally very rich; That very low Land I speak of towards the Sea, is most black Earth, and the mould pretty deep. In some places there's very strong Clay. The Champian Land is generally yellowish or greyish earth, of a looser and more friable substance then the former: yet in some places it has a touch of the Clay too. In the plain Country, near the Mountains last men∣tioned, there are said to be some high steep rocks of Marble scattered up and down at unequal di∣stances, which standing in that large plain Savan∣nah, appear like so many great Towers or Castles: and they are the more visible, because the Land about them is not burdened with Wood, as in some places in its neighbourhood.
I have said somewhat already of the great River, and its 2 branches Rokbo and Domea, wherewith this Country is chiefly water'd: tho it is not distitute of many other pleasant streams, that are lost in these, in their course towards the Sea: and probably there are many others, that run immediately

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into the Sea, through their own channels, tho not so navigable as the other. The Country in general is very well watered; and by means of the great Navigable River and its Branches, it has the opportunity of Foreign Trade. This rises about the Mountains in the North, or from beyond them; whence running Southerly toward the Sea, it passes thro the before-mention'd plain of Marble Rocks, and by that time it comes to Cachao, which is about 40 or 50 miles to the South of the Mountains, 'tis about as broad as the Thames at Lambeth: vet so shallow in the dry Season, as that it may be forded on Horseback. At Hean 20 miles lower, us rather broader than the Thames at Gravesend; and so below Hean to the place where it divides it self.

The Kingdom of Tonquin is said to be divided into 8 large Provinces, viz. the East and West Provinces, the North and South Provinces, and the Province of Cachao in the middle between those 4: which 5 I take to be the principal Provinces, making the heart of the Country. The other 3, which are Tenan, Tenehoa, and Ngeam, lie more upon the Borders.
The Province of Tenan is the most Easterly, ha∣ving China on the S. E., the Island Aynam and the Sea on the S. and S. W., and the East Province on the N. W. This is but a small Province: its chiefest product is Rice.

The East Province stretches away from Tenan to the North Province, having also China on its East side, part of the South Province, and the Province ofCachao on the West; and the Sea on the South. This is a very large Province; 'tis chiefly low Land, and much of it Islands, especially the S. E. part of it, bordering on the Sea towards Tenan; and here the Sea makes the Cod of a Bay. It has abundance of Fishermen inhabiting near the Sea: but its chief

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produce is Rice: here is also good pasturage, and much Cattle, &c. Hean is the chief place of this Province, and the Seat of the Mandarin its Governor.
The S. Province is the triangular Island, made by Sea: the River of Domea is on it's E. side, dividing it from the East Province, and Rokbo on the West, dividing it from Tenan; having the Sea to its South. This Province is very low plain even Land, producing Rice in great abundance: here are large pastures, and abundance of Fishermen near the Sea.

Tenehoa (Thanh Hóa) to the West of Rokbo, has the West Province on its North, Aynam on its West, and the Sea on its South: this Province is also low Land, chiefly abounds in Rice and Cattle, and hath a great Trade in Fishing, as all the Sea Coast has in general.

The Province of Ngeam, hath Tenehoa on the East, and on the South and West it borders on Cochinchina (Đàng Trong), and has the West Province on its North. This is a pretty large Province, abounding with Rice and Cattle: and here are always Soldiers kept to guard the Frontiers from the Cochinchineses.

The West Provinces hath Ngeam on the South, the Kingdom of Laos on the West, the Province of Cachao on the East, and on the North the North Province. This is a large Province, and good Champion Land: rich in Soyl, partly woody, partly pasture. The product of this Province is chiefly in Lack; and here are bred a great abundance of Silk worms for making Silk.
The North Province is a large tract of Land, making the North side of this whole Kingdom. It hath the Kingdom of Laos on the West, and China on the East and North, the Kingdom of Bao Oi Baotan on the North West, and on the South it

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ders on 3 of the principal Provinces of Tonquin, viz. the West Province, that of Cachao, and the East Province. This North Province, as it is large, so it has variety of Land and Soyl; a great deal of plain Champion Land, and many high Mountains which yield Gold, &c. the wild Elephants of this Coun∣try are found most on these Mountains. The other parts of this Province produce Lack and Silk, &c.

The Province of Cachao, in the heart of the Kingdom, lies between the East, West, North, and South Provinces: 'tis a Champion pleasant Country: the Soil is yellow or grey earth: and 'tis pretty woody, with some Savannahs. It abounds with the two principal Commodities of their Trade, viz. Lack and Silk, and has some Rice: Nor are any of the Provinces destitute of these Commodities, tho in different proportions, each according to the respective Soil.

This Country has of its own growth all necessaries for the Life os Man. They have little occasion for eatable Roots, having such plenty of Rice; yet they have Yams and Potatoes for variety; which would thrive here as well as any where, were the Natives industrious to propagate them.
The Land is every where cloath'd with herbage of one kind or other, but the dry Land has the same Fate that most dry Lands have between the Tropicks,to be over-run with Purslain; which growing wild, and being pernicious to other ten∣der Herbs and Plants, they are at the pains to weed it out of their Fields and Gardens, tho tis very sweet, and makes a good Sallad for a hot Country.

There is a sort of Herb very common in this Country, which grows wild in stagnant Ponds, and floats on the surface of the water. It has a narrow, long, green thick leaf. It is much esteemed

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and eaten by the Natives who commend it for a very wholesom herb, and say that 'tis good to expel poyson. This Country produces many other sorts of wild herbs; and their, gardens also are well furnish'd with pleasant and wholsome ones, especially many Onions, of which here are great plenty.

Plantains and Bonanoes grow and thrive here as well as any where, but they are used here only as Fruit, and not for Bread, as in many places of America. Besides these here are divers sorts of excellent fruits, both Ground fruit and Tree fruit. The ground Fruits are Pumpkins, Melons, Pine-apples, &c. the Tree Fruits are Mangoes a few, Oranges, Limes, Coco-nuts, Guava's, Mulberry's, their much esteem'd Betle, a Fruit call'd Lichea, &c. The Oranges are of divers sorts, and two of them more excellent than the rest. One sort is called Cam-chain, the other is called Cam-quit. Cam, in theTonquinese Language signifies an Orange, but what the distinguishing words Cam and Quit signifie I know not.

The Cam-chain is a large Orange, of a yellowish colour: the rind is pretty thick and rough; and the inside is yellow like Amber. It has a most fragrant smell, and the taste is very delicious. This sort of Orange is the best that I did ever taste; I believe there are not better in the world: A man may eat freely of them; for they are so innocent, that they are not denied to such as have Fevers, and other sick people.

The Cam quit is a very small round Fruit, not above half so big as the former. It is of a deep red dolour, and the rind is very smooth and thin. The inside also is very red; the taste is not inferiour to the Cam-chain, but it is accounted very unwholesom fruit, especially to such as are subject to fluxes; for it both creates and heightens that

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distemper. These 2 sorts are very plentiful and cheap, and they are in season from October till February, but then the Cam-chain becomes redder, and the rind is also thinner. The other sorts of Oranges are not much esteemed.

The Limes of Tonquin are the largest I ever saw. They are commonly as big as an ordinary Limon, but rounder. The rind is of a pale yellow colour when ripe; very thin and smooth. They are extraordinary juicy, but not near so sharp, of tart in taste as the West Indian Limes.
Coco nuts and Guava's do thrive here very well: but there are not many of the latter.

The Betle of Tonquin is said to be the best in India, there is great plenty of it; and 'tis most esteemed when it is young, green, and tender; for 'tis then very juicy. At Mindanao also they like it best green: but in other places of the East-Indies it is commonly chew'd when it is hard and dry.
The Lichea is another delicate fruit. 'Tis as big as a small Pear, somewhat long shaped, of a reddish colour, the rind pretty thick and rough, the inside white, inclosing a large black kernel, in shape like a Bean.

The Country is in some part woody; but the low Land in general is either grassy pasture, or Rice Fields, only thick set with small Groves, which stand scattering very pleasantly, all over the low-Country. The Trees in the Groves are of divers sorts, and most unknown to us. There is good Timber, for building either Ships or Houses, and indifferent good Masts may here be had.

There is a Tree called by the Natives Pone, chiefly used for making Cabinets, or other wares to be lackered. This is a soft sort of wood, not much unlike Fir, but not so serviceable. Another Tree grows in this Country that yields the Lack, with which Cabinets and other fine things are overlaid.

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These grow plentifully in some places especially in the Champion Lands. Here are also Mulberry Trees in great plenty, to feed the Silk worms, from whence comes the chief Trade in the Country. The Leaves of the old Trees are not so nourishing to the Silk-worms, as those of the young Trees, and therefore they raise crops of young ones every year, to feed the Worms: for when the season is over, the young Trees are pluckt up by the roots, and more planted against the next year; so the Natives suffer none of these Trees to grow to bear Fruit. I heard of no Mulberries kept for eating, but some few raised by our English Merchants at Hean, and these bear but small hungry Fruit.

Here is good plenty of Rice, especially in the low Land, that is fatned by the overflowing Rivers. They have two crops every year, with great increase, if they have seasonable Rains and Floods. One crop is in May, and the other in November: and tho the low Land is sometimes overflown with water in the time of Harvest, yet they matter it not, but gather the crop and fetch it home wet in their Canoas; and making the Rice fast in small bundles, hang it up in their Houses to dry. This serves them for Bread-corn; and as the Country is very kindly for it, so their Inhabitants live chiefly of it.

Of Land Animals in this Country there are Elephants, Horses, Buffaloes, Bullocks, Goats, Deer, a few Sheep for their King, Hogs, Dogs, Cats, Lizards, Snakes, Scorpions, Centapees, Toads, Frogs, &c. The Country is so very populous, that they have but few Deer or wild Game for Hunting, unless it be in the remoter parts of the Kingdom. But they have abundance of Fowls both tame and wild. The tame Fowls are Cocks and Hens, and Ducks also in great plenty, of the same sort with ours. The Inhabitants have little

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Houses made purposely for the Ducks to lay their Eggs in, driving them in every night in laying time, and letting them out again in the morning. There are also some Geese, Parrots, Partridges, Para∣kites, Turtle Doves, &c. with many sorts of smal∣ler Birds. Of wild Water-fowls they have Ducks, Widgeons, Teals, Herons, Pelicans, and Crabcatchers, (which I shall describe in the Bay of Campeachy) and other smaller Water-fowls. The Duck, Widgeon, and Teal are innumerable: they breed here in the months of May, June, and July; then they fly only in couples: but from October to March you will see over all the low watry Lands great companies together: and I have no where seen such large flights, nor such plenty of Game. They are very shy since the Englishand Dutch settled here; for now the Natives as well as they shoot them: but before their arrival the Tonquinese took them only with Nets: neither is this custom left off yet. The Net that is us'd for this Game is made square, and either bigger or less according as they have occasion. They fix two Poles about 10 or 11 foot high, upright in the ground, near the Pond, where the Ducks haunt; and the Net has a head-cord, which is stretched out streight, made from the top of one Pole to the other; from whence the lower part of the Net hangs down loose towards the ground; and when in the evening they fly towards the Pond, many of them strike against the Net, and are there entangled.

There is a kind of Locust in Tonquin, in great abundance. This Creature is about the bigness of the top of a mans Finger, and as long as the first joynt. It breeds in the earth, especially in the banks of Rivers and Ditches in the low Country. In the months of January and February, which is the season of taking them, being then only seen, this creature first comes out of the Earth in huge

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swarms. It is then of a whitish colour, and having 2 small wings, like the wings of a Bee, at its first coming out of the Earth it takes its flight; but for want of strength or use falls down again in a short time. Such as strive to fly over the River, do commonly fall down into the water, and are drowned, or become a prey to the Fish of the River, or are carried out into the Sea to be devoured there: but the Natives in these months watch the Rivers, and take up thence multitudes, skimming them from off the Water with little Nets. They eat them fresh, broiled on the Coals; or pickle them to keep. They are plump and fat, and are much esteemed both by rich and poor, as good wholesome food, either fresh or pickled.

The Rivers and Ponds are stored with divers sorts of excellent Fish, besides abundance of Frogs, which they Angle for, being highly esteemed by the Tonquinese. The Sea too contributes much towards the support of the poor People, by yielding plentiful stores of Fish, that swarm on this Coast in their seasons, and which are commonly preferr'd before the River Fish. Of these here are divers sorts, besides Sea Turtle, which frequently come ashore on the Sandy Bays, in their seasons, to lay their Eggs. Here are also both Land crabs and Sea-crabs good store, and other Shell-fish, viz. Craw-fish, Shrimps, and Prawns. Here is one sort of small Fish much like an Anchovy, both in shape and size, which is very good pickled. There are other sorts of small Fish, which I know not the names of. One sort of them comes in great shoals near the shore, and these the Fishermen with their Nets take so plentifully as to load their Boats with them. Among these they generally take a great many Shrimps in their nets, which they carry ashore mixt together as they take them, and make Balachaun with them.

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Balachaun is a composition of a strong savor; yet a very delightsom dish to the Natives of this Country. To make it, they throw the Mixture of Shrimps and small Fish into a sort of weak pickle made with Salt and Water, and put into a tight earthen Vessel or Jar. The Pickle being thus weak, it keeps not the Fish firm and hard, neither is it probably so designed, for the Fish are never gutted. Therefore in a short time they turn all to a mash in the Vessel; and when they have lain thus a good while, so that the Fish is reduced to a pap, they then draw off the liquor into fresh Jars, and preserve it for use. The masht Fish that remains behind is called Balachaun, and the liquor pour'd off is call'd Nuke-Mum (nước mắm).

The poor people eat the Balachaun with their Rice. 'Tis rank scented, yet the taste is not altogether unpleasant; but rather savory, after one is a little used to it. The Nuke-Mum is of a paie brown colour, inclining to grey; and pretty clear. It is also very savory, and used as a good sauce for Fowls, not only by the Natives, but also by many Europeans, who esteem it equal with Soy. I have been told that Soy is made partly with a Fishy composition, and it seems most likely by the taste: tho a Gentleman of my ac∣quaintance, who was very intimate with one that sailed often from Tonquin to Japan, from whence the true Soy comes, told me, that it was made only with Wheat, and a sort of Beans mixt with Water and Salt.

Their way of Fishing differs little from ours: in the Rivers, they take some of their Fish with Hook and Line, others with Nets of several sorts. At the mouths of the Rivers, they set nets against the Stream or Tide. These have two long wings opening on each side the mouth of the Net, to guide the Fish into it; where passing through a narrow neck, they are caught in a bag at the farther end.

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Where the Rivers mouth is so wide, that the wings of the Net will not reach from side to side; as at Batsha particularly it will not, there they supply that defect, with long slender Canes, which they stick upright near one another in a row: for on both sides of the River, when the tide runs strong (which is the time that the Fish are moving) the limber Canes make such a ratling, by striking against each other, that thereby the Fish are scared from thence towards the Mouth of the Net; in the middle of the Stream.

Farther up the River, they have Nets made square like a great sheet. This sort hath two long Poles laid across each other. At this crossing of the Poles a long Rope is fastned; and the Net hangs down in a bag by its corners from them. To manage it there is a substantial post, set upright and firm in the River; and the top of it may be 8 or 10 foot above the water. On the top of this post there is a Mortice made, to receive a long pole, that lies athwart like the Beam of a Ballance: to the heavier end of which they tie the Rope, which holds the Net; and to the other end another Rope to pull up the Net on occasion. The Fishermen sink it with Stones to the Rivers bottom, and when they see any Fish come over it, one suddenly pulls the Rope at the opposite end of the beam, and heaves Net and Fish out of the Water. They take a great deal of Fish this way: and sometimes they use Drag-Nets, which go quite across, and sweep the Ri∣ver.

In the stagnant Ponds, such as the Mandarins have commonly about their Houses, they go in and trouble the water with their feet, till 'tis all muddy and thick: and as the Fish rise to the surface, they take what they please with small Nets, fastned to a hoop, at the end of a pole.

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For all these sorts of provision there are Markets duly kept all over Tonquin, one in a week, in a neighbourhood of 4 or 5 Villages; and held at each of them successively in its order: so that the same Village has not the Market return'd to it till 4 or 5 weeks after. These Markets are abundantly more stor'd with Rice (as being their chief subsistence, especially of the poorer sort) than either with Flesh or Fish, yet wants there not for Pork, and young Pigs good store, Ducks and Hens, plenty of Eggs, Fish great and small, fresh and salted Balachaun and Nuke-Mum (nước mắm), with all sorts of Roots, Herbs, and Fruits, even in these Country Markets. But at Cachao, where there are markets kept every day, they have besides these, Beef of Bullocks, Buffaloes Flesh, Goats Flesh, Horse Flesh, Cats and Dogs, (as I have been told) and Locusts.
They dress their food very cleanly, and make it savory: for which they have several ways unknown in Europe, but they have many sorts of dishes, that wou'd turn the Stomach of a stranger, which yet they themselves like very well; as particularly, a dish of raw Pork, which is very cheap and common. This is only Pork cut and minced very small, fat and lean together; which being afterwards made up in balls, on rolls like Sausages, and prest very hard together, is then neatly wrapt up in clean leaves, and without more ado, served up to the Table. Raw Beef is another dish, much esteemed at Cachao. When they kill a Bullock they singe the hair off with Fire, as we singe Bacon Hogs in England. Then they open it; and while the Flesh is yet hot, they cut good Collops from off the lean parts, and put them into very tart Vinegar; where it remains 3 or 4 hours or longer, till it is sufficiently soaked, and then, without more trouble, they take it out, and eat it with great delight. As for Horseflesh, I know not whether

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they kill any purposely for the Shambles; or whether they only do it when they are not likely to live; as I have seen them do their working Bullocks at Galicia in Old Spain; where the Cattel falling down with labour, and being so poor and tired, that they cannot rise, they are slaughtered, and sent to market, and I think I never eat worse Beef than at the Groin. The Horseflesh comes to Market at Cachao very frequently, and is as much esteemed as Beef. Elephants they eat also; and the Trunk of this Beast is an acceptable present for a Nobleman, and that too tho the beast dyes with Age or Sickness. For here are but few wild Elephants, and those so shy, that they are not easily taken. But the King having a great number of tame Elephants, when one of these dyes, 'tis given to the poor, who presently fetch away the Flesh; but the Trunk is cut in pieces, and presented to the Mandarins. Dogs and Cats are killed purposely for the Shambles, and their Flesh is much esteemed, by people of the best fashion, as I have been credibly informed. Great yellow Frogs also are much admired: especially when they come fresh out of the Pond. They have many other such choice dishes: and in all the Villages, at any time of the day, and be it market day or not, there are several to be sold by poor people, who make it their Trade. The most common sorts of Cookeries, next to boil'd Rice, is to dress little bits of Pork, spitted 5 or 6 of them at once, on a small skiver, and roasted. In the Markets also, and daily in every Village, there are Women sitting in the Streets, with a Pipkin over a small Fire, full of Chau (trầu), as they call it, a sort of very ordinary Tea, of a reddish brown colour, and 'tis their ordinary drink.

The Kingdom of Tonquin is in general healthy enough, especially in the dry season, when also it is very delightsom. For the seasons of the year

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at Tonquin, and all the Countries between the Tropicks, are distinguished into Wet and Dry, as properly as others are into Winter and Summer. But as the alteration from Winter to Summer, and vice versa is not made of a sudden, but with the interchangeable Weather of Spring and Autumn; so also toward the end of the dry season, there are some gentle showers now and then, that precede the violent wet months; and again toward the end of these, several fair days that introduce the dry time. These seasons are generally much alike at the same time of the year in all places of the Torrid Zone, on the same side of the Equator: but for 2 or 3 degrees on each side of it, the weather is more mixt and uncertain, (tho inclining to the wet extreme) and is often contrary to that which is then settled on the same side of the Equator more toward the Tropick. So that even when the wet Season is set in, in the Northern parts of the Torrid Zone, it may yet be dry weather for 2 or 3. degrees North of the Line: and the same may be said of the contrary Latitudes and Seasons. This I speak with respect to the driness or moisture of Countries in the Torrid Zone: but it may also hold good of their Heat or Cold, generally: for as to all these qualities there is a further difference arises from the make or situation of the Land, or other acci∣dental causes, besides what depends on the respective latitude or regard to the Sun. Thus the Bay of Compeachy in the West Indies, and that of Bengal in the East, in much the same latitude, are exceeding hot and moist; and whether their situation, being very low Countries, and the scarcity and faintness of the Sea-breezes, as in most Bays may not contribute hereunto, I leave others to judge. Yet even as to the Latitudes of these places, lying near the Tropicks, they are generally upon that account alone more inclined to great Heats,

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than places near the Equator. This is what I have experienc'd in many places in such Latitudes both in the East and West Indies, that the hottest parts of the World are these near the Tropicks, especially 3 or 4 Degrees within them; sensibly hotter than under the Line itself. Many reasons may be assign'd for this, beside the accidental ones from the make of the particular Countries, Tropical Winds, or the like. For the longest day at the Equator never exceeds 12 hours, and the night is always of the same length: But near the Tropicks the longest day is about 13 hours and an half; and an hour and an half being also taken from the night, what with the length of the day, and the shortness of the night, there is a difference of three hours; which is very cousiderable. Besides which, at such places as are about 3 degrees within the Tropicks, or in the Lat. of 20 Deg. N., the Sun comes within 2 or 3 degrees of the Zenith in the beginning of May; and having past the Zenith, goes not above 2 or 3 degrees beyond it, before it returns and passeth the Zenith once more; and by this means is at least 3 months within 4 degrees of the Zenith: so that they have the Sun in a manner over their heads from the beginning of May, till the latter end of July. Whereas when the Sun comes under the Line, in March or September, it immediately posts away to the North or the South, and is not 20 days in passing from 3 degrees on one side, to 3 degrees on the other side the Line. So that by his small stay there, the heat cannot be answerable to what it is near the Tropick, where he so long continues in a manner Vertical at Noon, and is so much longer above the Horizon each paaticular day, with the intervening of a shorter night.

But to return to Tonquin. During the wet months there 'tis excessive hot, especially whenever

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the Sun breaks out of the Clouds, and there is then but little Wind stirring: And I have been told by a Gentleman who liv'd there many years, that he thought it was the hottest place that ever he was in, tho he had been in many other parts of India. And as to the Rains, it has not the least share of them, tho neither altogether the greatest of what I have met with in the Torrid Zone; and even in the same Latitude, and on the same side of the Equator. The wet season begins here the latter end of April, or the beginning of May; and holds till the latter end of August: in which time are very violent Rains, some of many hours, others of 2 or 3 days continuance: Yet are not these Rains without some considerable intervals of fair weather, especially toward the beginning or end of the season.

By these Rains are caus'd those Land-floods, which never fail in these Countries between the Tropicks at their annual periods; all the Rivers then overflowing their Banks. This is a thing so well known to all who are any way acquainted with the Torrid Zone, that the cause of the overflowing of the Nile, to find out which the Ancients set their wits so much upon the rack, and fancied melting of Snows, and blowing of Etesiae, and I know not what, is now no longer a secret. For these floods must needs discharge themselves upon such low Lands as lie in their way; as the Land of Egypt does with respect to the Nile, coming a great way from within the Torrid Zone, and falling down from the higher Ethiopia. And any one who will be at the pains to compare the time of the Land flood in Egypt, with that of the Torrid Zone in any of the parts of it along which the Nile runs, will find that of Egypt so much later than the other, as 'twill be thought reasenable to allow for the daily progress of the Waters along so vast a tract

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of Ground. They might have made the same wonderment of any other Rivers which run any long course from out the Torrid Zone: but they knowing only the North Temperate Zone, and the Nile being the only great River known to come thither a great way from a Country near the Line, they made that only the subject of their enquiry: but the same effect must also follow from any great River that should run from out of the Torrid Zone into the South Temperate Zone. And as to the Torrid Zone, the yearly floods, and their cause, are every where as well known by people there, as the Rivers themselves. In America particularly, in Campeachy Rivers, in Rio Grande, and others, 'tis a vast havock is made by these floods; bringing down sometimes Trees of an incredible bigness; and these floods always come at the stated season of the year. In the dry part of Peru, along the coasts of Pacifick Sea, where it never rains, as it seldom does in Egypt, they have not only Floods, but Rivers themselves, made by the annual falling of Rain on the Mountains within Land; the Channels of which are dry all the rest of the year. This I have observ'd concerning the River Ylo, on the Coast of Peru, in my former Volume, p. 95. But it has this difference from the Floods of Egypt, that besides its being a River in the Torrid Zone, 'tis also in South Latitude; and so overflows at a contrary season of the year; to wit, at such time as the Sun being in Southern Signs, causes the Rains and Floods on that side the Line.

But to return from this digression, in August the weather at Tonquin is more moderate, as to heat or wet, yet not without some showers, and Septemberand October are more temperate still: yet the worst weather in all the year for Seamen, is in one of the 3 months last mentioned: for then the violent Storms, called Tuffoons, (Typhones) are expected.

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These winds are so very fierce, that for fear of them the Chinese that Trade thither, will not stir out of Harbour, till the end of October: after which month there is no more danger of any violent Storms, till the next year.

Tuffoons are a particular kind of violent Storms, blowing on the Coast of Tonquin, and the neighboring Coasts in the months of July, August, and September. They commonly happen near the full or change of the Moon, and are usually preceded by very fair weather, small winds and a clear Sky. Those small winds veer from the common Trade of that time of the year, which is here at S. W. and shuffles about to the N. and N. E. Before the Storm comes there appears a boding Cloud in the N. E. which is very black near the Horizon, but towards the upper edge, it looks of a dark copper colour, and higher still it is brighter, and afterwards it fades to a whitish glaring colour, at the very edge of the Cloud. This appears very amazing and ghastly, and is sometimes seen 12 hours before the Storm comes. When that Cloud begins to move apace, you may expect the Wind presently. It comes on fierce, and blows very violent at N. E. 12 hours more or less. It is also commonly accompanied with terrible claps of Thunder, large and frequent flashes of Lightning, and excessive hard rain.

When the Wind begins to abate it dyes away suddenly, and falling flat calm, it continues so an hour, more or less: then the wind comes about to the S. W. and it blows and rains as fierce from thence, as it did before at N. E. and as long.

November and December are 2 very dry, wholesom warm and pleasant months. January, February, and March are pretty dry: but then you have thick fogs in the morning, and sometimes drisling cold rains: the Air also in these 3 months, particularly in January and February is very sharp, especially

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when the wind is at North East, or North North East, whether because of the Quarter it blows from, or the Land it blows over I know not: for I have elsewhere observ'd such Winds to be Colder, where they have come from over Land. April is counted a moderate month, either as to heat or cold, driness or moisture.

This is ordinarily the state of their year: yet are not these various Seasons so exact in the returns, but that there may sometimes be the difference of a month, or more. Neither yet are the several Seasons, when they do come, altogether alike in all years. For sometimes the Rains are more violent and lasting, at other times more moderate; and some years they are not sufficient to produce reasonable Crops, or else they come so unsea∣sonably as to injure and destroy the Rice, or at least to advance it but little. For the Husbandry of this Country, and other Countries in the Torrid Zone depends on the Annual Floods, to moysten and fatten the Land, and if the wet season proves more dry than ordinary, so as that the Rice Land is not well dranched with the overflowings of the Rivers, the Crops will be but mean: and Rice being their Bread, the staff of Life with them, if that failes, such a populous Country as this cannot subsist, without being beholding to its Neighbours. But when it comes to that pass, that they must be supplyed by Sea, many of the poorer sort sell their Children to relieve their wants, and so preserve their Lives, whilst others that have not Children to sell, may be famished and dye miserable in the Streets.

This manner of Parents dealing with their Children is not peculiar to this Kingdom alone, but is customary in other places of the East Indies, especialy on the Coasts of Malabar and Coromandel. There a famine happens more frequently, and rages sometimes to a degree beyond belief: for those Countries

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are generally very dry, and less productive of Rice then Tonquin. Neither are there such large Rivers to fatten the Land: but all their Crop depends on Seasons of Rains only, to moisten the earth: and when those seasons fail, as they do very often, then they can have no Crop at all. Sometimes they have little or no rain in 3 or 4 years, and then they perish at a lamentable rate. Such a Famine as this happen'd 2 or 3 years before my going to Fort St. George,which raged so sore, that thousands of people perished for want, and happy were they that cou'd hold out, till they got to the Sea-port Towns, where the Europeans lived, to sell themselves to them, tho they were sure to be transported from their own Country presently. But the famine does never rage so much at Tonquin, neither may their greatest scarcity be so truly called a Famine: for in the worst of times there is Rice, and 'tis thro the poverty of the meaner people, that so many perish, or sell their Children, for they might else have Rice enough, had they money to buy it with: and when their Rice is thus dear, all other provisions are so proportionably.

There is a further difference between the Countries of Malabar and Coromandel, and this of Tonquin, that there the more Rain they have there, the greater is their blessing: but here they may have too much rain for the lower part of the Kingdom; but that is rare. When this happens, they have Banks to keep in the Rivers, and Ditches to drain the Land; tho sometimes to little purpose, when the floods are violent, and especially if out of season. For if the floods come in their seasons, tho they are great, and drown all the Land, yet are they not hurtful; but on the contrary, very beneficial, because the mud that they leave behind fattens the Land. And after all, if the low Land

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should be injured by the floods, the dry Champion Land yields the better increase, and helps out the other; as that does them also in more kindly seasons. In the dry seasons the low Lands have this ad∣vantage, that Channels are easily cut out of the River, to water them on each side. So that let the Seasons be wet or dry, this Country seldom suffers much. Indeed considering the number of its inhabitants, and the poverty of the major part, it is sometimes here, as in all populous Countries, very hard with the poor, especially the Trades people in the large Towns. For the Trade is very uncer∣tain, and the people are imployed according to the number of Ships that come thither, to fetch away their Goods: and if but few Ships come hither, as sometimes it happens, then the poor are ready to famish for want of work, whereby to get a sub∣sistance. And not only this, but most Silk Countries are stockt with great multitudes of poor people, who work cheap and live meanly on a little Rice: which if it is not very cheap, as it commonly is here, the poor people are not able to maintain themselves.

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MỘT CHUYẾN DU HÀNH TỚI XỨ ĐÀNG NGOÀI (Chương III)


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CHAPTER III.
Of the Natives of Tonquin: Their Form, Disposition, Capacity, Cloaths, Buildings, Villages, Groves, Banks, Ditches, and Gardens. Of Cachao,the Capital City. Ovens to secure goods from Fire; and other precautions against it. The Streets of the City, the Kings Palaces, and English andDutch Factories. An Artificial Mole above the City, to break the force of the Land floods. Of their Wives and Common women. Feasts at the Graves of the Dead, and Annual Feasts: their entertaining with Betle and Arek, &c. Their Religion, Idols, Pagods, Priests, Offerings, and Prayers. Their Language and Learning. Their Mechanick Arts, Trades, Manufactures, Commodities and Traffick.



Tonquin is very populous, being thick set with Villages; and the Natives in general are of a middle stature, and clean limb'd. They are of a Tawny Indian colour: but I think the fairest and clearest that I ever saw of that Complexion: for you may perceive a blush or change of colour in some of their faces, on any sudden surprize of passion; which I could never discern in any other Indians. Their faces are generally flattish, and of an oval form. Their noses and lips are proportionable enough, and altogether graceful. Their hair is black, long and lank, and very thick; and they wear it hanging down to their shoulders.

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Their teeth are as black as they can make them; for this being accounted a great ornament, they dye them of that colour, and are 3 or 4 days doing it. They do this when they are about 12 or 14 years old, both Boys and Girls: and during all the time of the operation they dare not take any nourishment, besides Water, Chau (trầu), or some liquid thing, and not much of that neither, for fear, I judge, of being poyson'd by the Dye, or Pigment. So that while this is doing they undergo very severe Penance: but as both Sexes, so all Qualities, the poor as well as the rich, must be in this fashion: they say they should else be like Brutes; and that 'twould be a great shame to them to be like Elephants or Dogs; which they compare those to that have white teeth.

They are generally dextrous, nimble, and active; and ingenious in any Mechanick science they profess. This may be seen by the multitude of fine Silks that are made here; and the curious Lacker work, that is yearly transported from thence. They are also laborious and diligent in their Callings: but the Country being so very populous, many of them are extreme poor for want of employment: and tho the Country is full of Silk, and other materials to work on, yet little is done, but when strange Ships arrive. For 'tis the Money and Goods that are brought hither, especially by the English and Dutch, that puts life into them: for the Handicrafts men have not Money to set themselves to work; and the Foreign Merchants are therefore forc'd to trust them with advance money (tiền đặt cọc), to the value of at least a third, or half their goods; and this for 2 or 3 months or more, before they have made their goods, and brought them in. So that they having no Goods ready by them, till they have Money from the Merchant strangers, the Ships that trade hither must of necessity

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stay here all the time that their Goods are making, which are commonly 5 or 6 months.

The Tonquinese make very good Servants; I think the best in India. For as they are generally apprehensive and docil, so are they faithful when hired, diligent and obedient. Yet they are low spirited: probably by reason of their living under an Arbitrary Government. They are patient in labour, but in sickness they are mightily dejected. They have one great fault extreme common among them, which is gaming. To this they are so universally addicted, Servants and all, that neither the awe of their Masters nor any thing else is sufficient to restrain them, till they have lost all they have, even their very Cloaths. This is a reigning Vice amongst the Eastern Nations, especially the Chinese, as I said in the 15th Chapter of my former Volume. And I may add, that the Chinese I found settled at Tonqnin, were no less given to it than those I met with elsewhere. For after they have lost their Money, Goods, and Cloaths they will stake down their Wives and Children: and lastly, as the dearest thing they have, will play upon tick, and mortgage their Hair upon honour: And whatever it cost 'em, they will be sure to redeem it. For a free Chinese, as these are, who have fled from the Tartars, would be as much asham'd of short Hair, as a Tonquinese of white Teeth.

The Cloaths of the Tonquinese are made either of Silk or Cotton. The poor people and Soldiers do chiefly wear Cotton cloath died to a dark tawny colour. The rich men and Mandarins commonly wear English Broad-cloath: the chief colours are red or green. When they appear before the King, they wear long Gowns which reach down to their heels: neither may any man appear in his presence but in such a garb. The great men have also long Caps made of the same that their Gowns

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are made of: but the middle sort of men and the poor commonly go bare-headed. Yet the Fishermen, and such Labourers as are by their employments more exposed to the weather, have broad brim'd Hats, made of Reeds, Straw, or Palmeto leaves. These Hats are as stiff as boards, and sit not plyant to their heads: for which reason they have Bandstrings or Necklaces fastened to their Hats; which coming under their chins are there tyed, to keep their Hats fast to their heads. These Hats are very ordinary things; they seldom wear them but in rainy weather: Their other Cloaths are very few and mean: a ragged pair of Britches commonly sussiceth them. Some have bad Jackets, but neither Shirt, Stockings, nor Shooes.

The Tonquinese buildings are but mean. Their Houses are small and low: the Walls are either Mud, or Watle bedawbed over: and the Roofs are thatched, and that very ill, especially in the Country. The Houses are too low to admit of Chambers; yet they have here 2 or 3 partitions on the ground floor, made with a watling of Canes or Sticks, for their several uses; In each of which there is a Window to let in the light. The Windows are only small square holes in the Walls, which they shut up at night with a Board, fitted for that purpose. The Rooms are but meanly furnished; with a poor Bed or two (or more, according to the bigness of the family) in the inner Room. The outer Rooms are furnish'd with Stools, Benches, or Chairs to sit on. There is also a Table, and on one side a little Altar, with two Incense-pots on it: nor is any House without its Altar. One of these Incense-pots has a small bundle of Rushes in it; the ends of which I always took notice had been burnt, and the sire put out. This outer Room is the place where they commonly dress their food: yet in fair weather they do it

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as frequently in the open air, at their doors, or in their yards; as being thereby the less incommoded by heat or smoak.
They dwell not in lone houses, but together in Villages: 'tis rare to see a single house by itself. The Country Villages commonly consist of 20, 30, or 40 houses, and are thick seated over all the Country; yet hardly to be seen till you come to their very doors, by reason of the Trees and Groves they are surrounded with. And 'tis as rare to see a Grove without a Village, in the low Country near the Sea, as to see a Village without a Grove: but the high Lands are full of Woods, and the Villages there stand all as in one great Forest. The Villages and Land about them do most belong to great men, and the Inhabitants are Tenants that manure and cultivate the ground.

The Villages in the low Land are also surrounded with great banks and deep ditches. These incompass the whole Grove, in which each Village stands.

The banks (đê, kè) are to keep the water from overflowing their gardens, and from coming into their houses in the wet time, when all the Land about them is under water, 2 or 3 foot deep. The ditches or trenches are to preserve the water in the dry time, with which they water their gardens when need requires. Every man lets water at pleasure, by little drains that run inward from the Town-ditch, into his own garden; and usually each mans yard or garden is parted from his neighbours by one of these little drains on each side. The houses lie scattering up and down in the Grove; no where joyning to one another, but each apart, and fenced in with a small hedge. Every house hath a small gate or stile to enter into the garden first, for the house stands in the middle of it: and the garden runs also from the backside of the house

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to the Town-Ditch, with its drain and hedge on each side. In the gardens every man has his own Fruit-trees, as Oranges, Limes, Betle, his Pumpkins, Melons, Pine-apples, and a great many Herbs. In the dry season these Grovy dwellings are very pleasant; but in the wet season they are altogether uncomfortable: for tho fenced in thus with banks, yet are they like so many Duck houses, all wet and dirty: neither can they pass from one Village to another, but mid-leg or to their knees in water, unless sometimes in Boats, which they keep for this purpose: but notwithstanding these, they are seldom out of mire and wet, even in the midst of the Village or Garden, so long as that season lasts. The Inhabitants of the higher part of the Kingdom are not troubled with such inconveniencies, but live more cleanly and comfortably, forasmuch as their Land is never overflown with water: and tho they live also in Villages or Towns as the former, yet they have no occasion to surround them with banks or trenches, but lie open to the Forest.

The Capital City Cachao, which stands in the high Country, about 80 miles from the Sea, on the West side of the River, and on a pretty level, yet rising ground, lies open in the same manner, without wall, bank, or ditch. There may be in Cachao about 20.000 Houses. The Houses are generally low, the walls of the Houses are of mud, and the covering thatch, yet some are built with brick, and the covering with pantile. Most of these Houses have a yard or backside belonging to them. In each yard, you shall see a small arched building made somewhat like an Oven, about 6 foot high, with the mouth on the ground. It is built from top to bottom with brick, all over daub'd thick with mud and dirt. If any house wants a yard, they have nevertheless such a kind of Oven as this, but

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smaller, set up in the middle of the House it self: and there is scarce a house in the City without one. The use of it is to thrust their chiefest goods into, when a Fire happens: for these low thatch'd Houses are very subject to take fire, especially in the dry times, to the destruction of many Houses in an instant, that often they have scarce time to secure their goods in the arched Ovens, tho so near them.

As every private person hath this contrivance, to secure his own goods, when a Fire happens, so the Government hath carefully ordered necessary means to be used for the preventing of Fire, or extinguishing it before it gets too great a head. For in the beginning of the dry season, every man must keep a great Jar of water on the top of his House, to be ready to pour down, as occasion shall serve. Besides this, he is to keep a long pole, with a basket or bowl at the end of it, to throw water out of the Kennels upon the houses. But if the Fire gets to such a head, that both these expedients fail, then they cut the straps that hold the Thatch of the Houses, and let it drop from the rafters to the ground. This is done with little trouble; for the Thatch is not laid on as ours, neither is it tyed on by single leaves, as in the West Indies, and many parts of the East Indies, where they Thatch with Palmeto or Palm tree leaves: but this is made up in Panes of 7 or 8 foot square, before it is laid on; so that 4 or 6 Panes more or less, according to the bigness of the House, will cover one side of it: and these Panes being only fastned in a few places to the rafters with Rattans, they are easily cut, and down drops half the covering at once, These panes are also better than loose thatch, as being more managable, in case any of them should fall on or near near the Oven where the Goods are; for they are easily dragg'd off to another

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place. The Neighbouring Houses may this way be soon uncovered, before the flame comes to them; and the Thatch either carried away, or at least laid where it may burn by itself. And for this purpose every man is ordered to keep a long Pole or Bambo at his door, with a Cutting-hook at the end of it, purposely for uncovering the houses: and if any man is found without his Jar upon the house, and his Bucket-pole and long Hook at his door, he will be punish'd severely for his neglect. They are rigorous in exacting this: for even with all this caution they are much and often damaged by Fire.

The principal streets in this City are very wide, tho some are but narrow. They are most of them pav'd, or pitch'd rather, with small Stones; but after a very ill manner. In the wet season they are very dirty; and in the dry time there are many stagnant ponds, and some ditches full of black stinking mud, in and about the City. This makes it unpleasant, and a man would think unwhole some too: yet it is healthy enough, as far as I perceiv'd, or could ever learn.

The Kings of Tonquin, who make this City their constant Residence, have two or three Palaces in it, such as they be. Two of them are very mean; they are built with timber, yet have they many great Guns planted in Houses near them, Stables for the Kings Elephants and Horses, and pretty large square spots of ground for the Soldiers to draw themselves up regularly before him. The third Palace is call'd the Palace Royal. It is more magnificently built than the other two: yet built also with timber, but all open, as the Divans in Turky are said to be. The wall that incompasseth it is most remarkable. It is said to be 3 leagues in circumference. The heighth of this Wall is about 15 or 16 foot, and almost as many

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broad or thick. It is faced up on both sides with Brick: there are several small Gates to go in and out at, but the main Gate faceth to the City. This they say is never opened, but when the Boua (Chúa ?) or Emperor goes in or comes out. There are two smaller Gates adjoyning to it, one on each side, which are opened on all occasions, for any concern'd there to pass in and out; but strangers are not permitted this liberty. Yet they may ascend to the top of the Wall, and walk round it; there being stairs at the Gate to go up by: and in some places the Walls are fallen down.

Within this Wall there are large Fish-ponds, where also there are Pleasure-Boats for the Emperors diversion. I shall defer speaking of him, whose Prison this is rather than Court, till the next Chapter, where I shall discourse of the Government.

The house of the English Factory, who are very few, is pleasantly seated on the North end of the City, fronting to the River. 'Tis a pretty handsome low built. House; the best that I saw in the City. There is a handsome Dining-room in the middle, and at each end convenient apartments for the Merchants, Factors, and Servants belong∣ing to the Company to live in, with other conveniences. This House stands parallel with the River; and at each end of it, there are smaller Houses for other uses, as Kitchin, Store-Houses, &c. runing in a line from the great House towards the River, making two Wings, and a square Court open to the River. In this square space, near the banks of the River, there stands a Flag-staff, purposely for the hoysing up the English Colours, on all occasions: for it is the custom of our Coun∣trymen aboard, to let fly their Colours on Sundays, and all other remarkable days.

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The Dutch Factory joyns to the English Factory on the South side: I was never in it, and therefore can say nothing of it, but what I have heard, that their ground is not so large as ours, tho they are the longest standers here by many years: for the English are but newly removed hither from Hean, where they resided altogether before.

There is nothing more in or about the City worth noting, but only a piece of work on the same side, up the River. This is a massy frame of Timber, ingeniously put together, and very artificially placed on great piles, that are set upright in the River, just by its banks. The piles are driven firmly into the ground, close one by another: and all the space between them and the bank is filled up with stones, and on them great Trees laid across, and pinn'd fast at each end to the piles: so that the whole fabrick must be moved before any part of it will yield. This piece of work is raised about 16 or 17 foot above the water in the dry time: but in the wet season the floods come within 2 or 3 foot of the top. It was made to resist the violence of the water in the rainy season: for the stream then presseth so hard against this place, that before this pile was built, it broke down the bank, and threatned to carry all before it, even to the ruining of the City, if this course had not timely been taken to prevent it. And so much the rather, because there is a large pond just within Land, and low ground between it and the City: so that had it made but a small breach into the pond, it would have come even to the skirts of the City. And tho the City stands so high as that the Land floods never reach it, yet the Land on which it stands being a sort of yielding Sand, could not be thought capable of always resisting such violence. For the natural floods do very often make great changes in the River, breaking down

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one point of Land, and making another point in the opposite side of the River; and that chiefly in this part of the Country, where it is bounded with high banks: for nearer the Sea, where it presently overflows, the floods do seldom make any consideable change, and move more quietly.

But to return to the people. They are courteous and civil to strangers, especially the trading people: but the great men are proud, haughty and ambitious; and the Souldiers very insolent. The poorer sort are very Thievish; insomuch that the Factors and Strangers that traffick hither are forced to keep good watch in the night to secure their goods, notwithstanding thesevere punishments they have against Thieves. They have indeed great opportunities of Thieving, the Houses being so slightly built: but they will work a way under ground, rather than fail; anduse many subtle stratagems. I am a stranger to any ceremonies used by them in Marriage, or at the Birth of a Child, or the like, if they use any: Polygamy is allowed of in this Country, and they buy their Wives of the Parents. The King and and great Men keep several, as their inclinations lead them, and their ability serves. The poor are stinted for want of means more than desire: for tho many are not able to buy, much less to maintain one Wife; yet most of them make a shift to get one, for here are some very low prized ones, that are glad to take up with poor Husbands. But then in hard times, the man must sell both Wife and Children, to buy Rice to maintain himself. Yet this is not so common here as in some places; as I before observed of the Malabar and Coromandel Coasts. This custom among them of buying Wives, easily degenerates into that other of hiring Misses, and gives great liberty to the young Women, who offer themselves of their

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own accord to any strangers, who will go to their price. There are of them of all prizes, from 100 Dollars to 5 Dollars, and the refuse of all will be caressed by the poor Seamen. Such as the Lascars, who are Moors of India, coming hither, in Vessels from Fort St. George, and other places: who yet have nothing to give them, but such fragments of Food, as their Commons will afford. Even the great men of Tonquin will offer their Daughters to the Merchants and Officers, tho their stay is not likely to be above 5 or 6 Months in the Country: neither are they affraid to be with Child by White men, for the Children will be much fairer than their Mothers, and consequently of greater repute, when they grow up, if they be Girls. Nor is it any great charge to breed them here: and at the worst if their Mothers are not able to maintain them, 'tis but selling them when they are young. But to return, the Women who thus let themselves to hire, if they have been so frugal as to save what they have got by these loose amours, they soon procure Husbands, that will love and esteem them well enough: and themselves also will prove afterwards obedient and faithful Wives. For 'tis said, that even while they are with strangers, they are very faithful to them; especially to such as remain long in the Country, or make annual returns hither, as the Dutch generally do. Many of these have gotten good Estates by their Tonquin Ladies; and that chiefly by trusting them with Money and Goods. For in this poor Country 'tis a great advantage to watch the Market: and these female Merchants having stocks will mightily improve them, taking their opportunities of buying raw Silk in the dead time of the year. With this they will employ the poor people, when work is scarce; and get it cheaper and better done, than when Ships are here: for then every man being employed

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and in a hurry of business, he will have his price according to the haste of work. And by this means they will get their Goods ready against the Ships arrive, and before the ordinary working season, to the profit both of the Merchant and the Pagally.

When a man dyes he is interr'd in his own Land, for here are no common Burying-places: and within a month afterwards the friends of the deceased, especially if he was the master of the family, must make a great feast of Flesh and Fruit at the Grave. 'Tis a thing belonging to the Priests office to assist at this solemnity; they are always there, and take care to see that the friends of the deceased have it duly performed. To make this Feast they are obliged to sell a piece of Land, tho they have Money enough otherways: which Money they bestow in such things as are necessary for the solemnity, which is more or less, according to the quality of the deceased. If he was a great man, there is a Tower of Wood erected over the Grave; it may be 7 or 8 foot square, and built 20 or 25 foot high. About 20 yards from the Tower, are little Sheds built with Stalls, to lay the Provisions on, both of Meat and Fruits of all sorts, and that in great plenty. Thither the Country people resort to fill their Bellies, for the Feast seems to be free for all comers, at least of the Neighbourhood. How it is drest or distributed about I know not; but there the People wait till 'tis ready. Then the Priest gets within the Tower, and climbs up to to the top, and looking out from thence, makes an oration to the People below. After this the Priest descends, and then they set fire to the foundation of the Tower, burn it down to the Ground: and when this is done they fall to their Meat. I saw one of these Grave-Feasts, which I shall have elsewhere occasion to mention.

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The Tonquinese have two Annual Feasts. The chief is at the first New Moon of the New Year: and their New Year begins with the first New Moon that falls out after the middle of January, for else that Moon is reckon'd to the old year. At this time they make merry and rejoyce 10 or 12 days, and then there is no business done, but every man makes himself as fine as may be, especially the common sort. These spend their time in gaming or sporting, and you shall see the Streets full of people, both Citizens and Country folks, gazing at several diverting exercises. Some set up Swings in the Streets, and get money of those that will swing in them. The Frames are contriv'd like ours in the Fields about London in Holiday times: but they who swing stand upright on the lower part of the Swing, which is only a stick standing on each end, being fastened to a pendulous rope, which they hold fast with their hands on each side; and they raise themselves to such prodigious heighth, that if the Swing should break they must needs break their Limbs at best, if not kill themselves outright. Others spend their time in drinking. Their ordinary drink is Tea: but they make themselves merry with hot Rack, which sometimes also they mix with their Tea. Either way it hath an odd nasty taste, but is very strong: and is therefore much esteemed by them: especially at this time, when they so much devote themselves to mirth, or madness, or even bestial drunkenness. The richer sort are more reserved: yet they will also be very merry at this time. The Nobles treat their friends with good cheer and the best Rack; but indeed there is, none good in this Country. Yet such as they have they esteem as a great Cordial; especially when Snakes and Scorpions have been infused therein, as I have been informed. This is not only accounted a great Cordial, but an antidote against the Leprosie, and

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all sorts of Poyson; and 'tis accounted a great piece of respect to any one to treat him with this Liquor. I had this relation from one that had been treated thus by many of the great men. They also at this time more especially chew abundance of Betle, and make presents thereof to one another.

The Betle Leaf is the great entertainment in the East for all Visitants; and 'tis always given with the Arek folded up in it. They make up the Arek in pellets fit for use by first peeling off the outer green hard rind of the Nuts, and then splitting it lengthways in 3 or 4 parts, more or less, according to its bigness. Then they dawb the Leaf all over with Chinam or Lime made into a Morter or Paste, and kept in a Box for this purpose, spreading it thin.

And here by the way I shall take notice of a slip in my former Volume, p. 318, which I desire may be corrected: the Nut being there by mistake call'd the Betle, and the Arek-tree call'd the Betletree, whereas Betle is the name of the Leaf they chew. In this Leaf, thus spread with Chinam, they roll up a flice of Arek-Nut, very neatly, and make a pellet of about an inch long, and as big as the top of ones finger. Every man here has a Box that will hold a great many of these pellets, in which they keep a store ready made up: for all persons, of what quality soever, from the Prince to the Reggar, chew abundance of it. The poorer sort carry a small pouchful about with them: But the Mandarins, or great men, have curious oval Boxes, made purposely for this use, that will hold 50 or 60 Betle pellets. These Boxes are neatly lacker'd and gilded, both inside and outside, with a cover to take off; and if any stranger visits them, especially Europeans, they are sure, among other good entertainment, to be treated with a Box of Betle. The Attendant that brings it holds it to the left

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hand of the stranger; who therewith taking off the cover, takes with his right hand the Nuts out of the Box. 'Twere an affront to take them, or give or receive any thing with the left hand, which is confin'd all over India to the viler uses.

It is accounted good breeding to commend the taste or neatness of this present; and they all love to be flatter'd. You thereby extremely please the master of the house, and engage him to be your friend: and afterwards you may be sure he will not fail to send his Servant with a present of Betle once in two or three mornings, with a complement to know how you do. This will cost you a small gratuity to the Servant, who joyfully acquaints his Master how gratefully you receiv'd the present: and this still engages him more; and he will complement you with great respect whenever he meets you. I was invited to one of these New-years Feasts by one of the Countrey, and accordingly went ashore, as many other Sea-men did upon like invitations. I know not what entertainment they had; but mine was like to be but mean, and therefore I presently left it. The staple Dish was Rice, which I have said before is the common food: Besides which, my friend, that he might the better entertain me and his other guests, had been in the morning a fishing in a Pond not far from his house, and had caught a huge mess of Frogs, and with great joy brought them home as soon as I came to his house. I wonder'd to see him turn out so many of these creatures into a Basket; and asking him what they were for? he told me to eat: but how he drest them I know not; I did not like his dainties so well as to stay and dine with him.

The other great Feast they have, is after their May crop is hous'd, about the beginning of June. At this Feast also they have publick Rejoycings; but much inferiour to those of their New years Feast.

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Their Religion is Paganism, and they are great Idolaters: Nevertheless they own an omnipotent, supream, over-ruling power, that beholds both them and their actions, and so far takes notice of them, as to reward the good and punish the bad in the other world. For they believe the immortality of the Soul: but the notion that they have of the Deity is very obscure. Yet by the figures which they make, representing this God, they manifestly shew that they do believe him to excel in sight, strength, courage and wisdom, justice, &c. For tho their Idols, which are made in human shapes are very different in their forms; yet they all represent somewhat extraordinary either in the countenance, or in the make of the body or limbs. Some are very corpulent and fat, others are very lean, some also have many eyes, others as many hands, and all grasping somewhat. Their aspects are also different, and in some measure representing what they are made to imitate, or there is somewhat in their hands or lying by them, to illustrate the meaning of the Figure. Several passions are also represented in the countenance of the Image, as love, hated, joy, grief. I was told of one Image, that was placed sitting on his Hams, with his Elbows resting on his Knees, and his Chin resting on his 2 Thumbs, for the supporting his Head, which lookt drooping forwards: his Eyes were mournfully lifted up towards Heaven, and the figure was so lean, and the countenance and whole composure was so sorrowful, that it was enough to move the beholder with pity and compassion. My Friend said he was much affected with the sight thereof.

There are other Images also, that are in the shape of Beasts, either Elephants or Horses: for I have not seen them in any other shape. The Pagodas or Idol Temples, are not sumptuous and mag∣nificent, as in some of the Neighbouring Kingdoms.

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They are generally built with Timber, and are but small and low: yet mostly covered with Pantile; especially the City Pagodas. But in the Country some of them are thatched. I saw the Horse and Elephant Idols only in the Country: and indeed I saw none of the Idols in the City Cachao, but was told they were generally in humane shapes.

The Horse and Elephant Images I saw, were both sorts about the bigness and height of a good Horse, each standing in the midst of a little Temple, just big enough to contain them, with their heads towards the Door: and sometimes one, sometimes two together in a Temple, which was always open. There were up and down in the Country other buildings, such as Pagodas, or Temples, Tombs, or the like, less than these; and not above the heighth of a man: but these were always shut so close, that I could not see what was within them.

There are many Pagan Priests belonging to these Pagodas, and 'tis reported that they are by the Laws tyed up to strict rules of living; as abstinence from Women, and strong drink especially and enjoin'd a poor sort of Life. Yet they don't seem to confine themselves much to these Rules: but their subsistance being chiefly from Offerings, and there being many of them, they are usually very poor The offering to the Priest is commonly 2 or 3 handfuls of Rice, a box of Betle, or some such like present. One thing the people resort to them for is fortune-telling, at which they pretend to be very expert, and will be much offended if any dispute their skill in that, or the truth of their Religion. Their Habitations are very little and mean, close by the Pagodas, where they constantly attend to offer the petitions of the poor people, that frequently resort thither on some such errand. For they have no set times of Devotion, neither do they seem to esteem one day above another, except

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their Annual Feasts. The people bring to th Priest in writing what Petition they have to make: and he reads it aloud before the Idol, and afterwards burns it in an Incense-pot, the supplicant all the while lying prostrate on the Ground.

I think the Mandarins and rich people seldom come to the Pagodas, but have a Clerk of their own, who reads the Petition in their own Courts or Yards: and it should seem by this, that the Mandarins have a better sense of the Deity, than the common People; for in these Yards, there is no Idol, before whom to perform the Ceremony, but 'tis done with Eyes lift up to Heaven. When they make this Petition they order a great deal of good meat to be drest, and calling all their Servants into the Court, where the Ceremony is to be performed, they place the food on a table, where also 2 Incense-pots are placed, and then the Mandarin presents a paper to the Clerk, who reads it with an audible voice. In the first place there is drawn up an ample account of all that God has blest him withal, as Health, Riches, Honour, Favour of his Prince, &c. and long Life, if he be old; and towards the conclusion, there is a Petition to God for a continuance of all these blessings, and a farther augmentation of them; especially with long life and favour of his Prince, which last they esteem as the greatest of all Bles∣sings. While this paper is reading the Master kneels down, and bows his face down to the Earth: and when the Clerk has done reading it, he puts it to the burning Rushes, that are in the Incensepot, where 'tis consumed. Then he flings in 3 or 4 little bundles of sacred paper, which is very fine and gilded; and when that also is burnt, he bids his Servants eat the Meat. This Relation I had from an English Gentlemen, who understood the Language very well, and was present at such a Ceremony. This burning of paper seems a great Custom

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among the Eastern Idolaters: and in my former Volume I observed the doing so by the Chinese, in a sacrifice they had at Bencouli.
The Tonquinese Language is spoken very much through the throat, but many words of it are pronounced through the teeth. It has a great affinity to theChinese Language, especially the Fokien dialect, as I have been inform'd: and tho their words are differently pronounc'd, yet they can understand each others writings, the characters and words being so near the same. The Court Language especially is very near the Chinese; for the Courtiers being all Scholars, they speak more elegantly; and it differs very much from the vulgar corrupted language. But for the Malayan Tongue, which Monsieur Tavernier's Brother in his History of Tonquin says is the Court Language, I could never hear by any person that it is spoken there, tho I have made particular enquiry about it; neither can I be of his opinion in that matter. For the Tonquinese have no manner of Trade with any Malayans that I could observe or learn, neither have any of their neighbours: and for what other grounds the Tonquinese should receive that language I know not. It is not probable that either Conquest, Trade or Religion could bring it in; nor do they travel towards Malacca, but towards China; and commonly 'tis from one of these causes that men learn the language of another Nation. The remarkable smoothness of that Language, I confess, might excite some people to learn it out of curiosity: but the Tonquinese are not so curious.

They have Schools of Learning, and Nurseries to tutor youth. The Characters they write in are the same with the Chinese, by what I could judge; and they write with a hair Pencil, not sitting at a Table as we do, but standing upright. They hold their Paper in one hand, and write with the other,

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making their Charracters very exact and fair. They write their lines right down from the top to the bottom, beginning the first line from the right hand, and so proceeding on towards the left. Af∣ter they can write, they are instructed in such Sciences as their Masters can tutor them in; and the Mathematicks are much studied by them. They seem to understand a little of Geometry and Arithmetick, and somewhat more of Astronomy. They have Almanacks among them: but I could not learn whether they are made in Tonquin, or brought to them from China.

Since the Jesuits came into these parts, some of them have improv'd themselves in Astronomy pretty much. They know from them the Revolutions of the Planets; they also learn of them natural Philosophy, and especially Ethicks: and when young Students are admitted or made Graduates, they pass thro a very strict examination. They compose something by way of trial, which they must be careful to have wholly their own, for if it is found out that they have been assisted, they are punished, degraded, and never admitted to a second examination.

The Tonquinese have learnt several Mechanick Arts and Trades, so that here are many Tradesmen, viz. Smiths, Carpenters, Sawyers, Joyners, Turners, Weavers, Tailors, Potters, Painters, Moneychangers, Paper-makers, Workers on Lacker ware, Bell-founders, &c. Their Saws are most in frames. and drawn forwards and backwards by two men. Money changing is a great profession here. It is managed by Women, who are very dextrous and ripe in this employment. They hold their cabals in the night, and know how to raise their Cash as well as the cunningest Stock-iobber in London.

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The Tonquinese make indifferent good Paper, of two sorts. One sort is made of Silk, the other of the rinds of Trees. This being pounded well with wooden Pestles in large Troughs, make the best writing Paper.

The vendible Commodities of this Kingdom are Gold, Musk, Silks, both wrought and raw, some Callicoes, Drugs of many sorts, Wood for Dying, Lacker Wares, Earthen-Wares, Salt, Anniseed, Wormseed, &c. There is much Gold in this Country: It is like the China Gold, as pure as that of Japan, and much finer. Eleven or twelve Tale of Silver brings one of Gold. A Tale is the name of a summ of About a Noble Engl. Besides, the raw Silk fetched from hence, here are several sorts of wrought Silks made for exportation, viz: Pe∣longs, Sues, Hawkins, Piniasco's, and Gaws The Pelongs and Gaws, are of each sort either plain or flower'd very neatly. They make several other sorts of Silk, but these are the principal that are bought by the English and Dutch.

The Lacker'd Ware that is made here, is not in∣feriour to any but that of Japan only, which is esteemed the best in the world; probably because the Japan wood is much better than this at Tonquin; for there seems not any considerable difference in the Paint or Varnish. The Lack of Tonquin is a sort of gummy juice, which drains out of the Bodies or limbs of Trees. It is gotten in such quantities by the Country people, that they daily bring it in great Tubs to the Markets at Cachao to sell, especially all the working season. The natural colour is white, and in substance thick like Cream: but the air will change its colour, and make it look blackish: and therefore the Country people that bring it to Town, cover it over with 2 or 3 sheets of paper, or leaves, to preserve it in its fresh native colour. The Cabinets, Desks, or any sort of

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Frames to be Lackered, are made of Fir, or Pone-tree: but the Joyners in this Country may not compare their work with that which the Europeans make: and in laying on the Lack upon good or fine joyned work they frequently spoil the joynts, edges, or corners of Drawers of Cabinets: Besides, our fashions of Utensils differ mightily from theirs, and for that reason Captain Poole, in his second Voyage to the Country, brought an ingenious Joyner with him, to make fashionable Commodities to be lackered here, as also Dealboards, which are much better than the Pone-wood of this Country.

The Work-houses (đình) where the Lacker is laid on, are accounted very unwholsom, by reason of a poisonous quality, said to be in the Lack, which fumes into the Brains through the Nostrils of those that work at it, making them break out in botches and biles; yet the scent is not strong, nor the smell unsavory. The Labourers at this Trade can work only in the dry season, or when the drying North Winds blow: for as they lay several Coats of Lack, one on another, so these must all have time to be throughly dry, before an outer Coat can be laid on the former. It grows blackish of itself, when exposed to the air; but the colour is heightned by Oyl, and other ingredients mixt with it. When the outside Coat is dry, they polish it to bring it to a gloss. This is done chiefly by often rubbing it with the ball or palm of their Hands. They can make the Lack of any colour, and temper it so as to make therewith good Glew, said to be the best in the world. It is also very cheap, and prohibited exportation. They make Varnish also with the Lack.

Here is also Turpentine in good plenty, and very cheap. Our Captain bought a considerable quantity for the Ships use: and of this the Carpenter

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made good Pitch, and used it for covering the Seams after they were caulk'd.

The Earthen-ware of this Country is course and of a grey colour, yet they make great quantities of small Earthen Dishes, that will hold half a pint or more. They are broader towards the brim than at the bottom, so that they may be stowed within one another. They have been sold by Europeans, in many of the Malayan Countries, and for that reason Captain Pool in his first Voyage, bought the best part of 100000, in hopes to sell them in his return homeward at Batavia; but not finding a market for them there, he carried them to Bencouli on the Island Sumatra, where he sold them at a great profit to GovernorBloom; and he also sold most of them at good advantage to the Native Malayans there: yet some thousands were still at the Fort when I came thither, the Country being glutted with them. Captain Weldon also bought 30 or 40000, and carried them to Fort St. George, but how he disposed of them I know not. The China wares which are much finer, have of late spoiled the sale of this Commodity in most places: yet at Rackan, in the Bay of Bengall, they are still esteem'd, and sell at a good rate.

The several sorts of Drugs bought and soldhere, are beyond my knowledge: but there is China root, Galingame, Rhubarb, Ginger, &c. Neither do I know whether any of these grow in this Country, for they are mostly imported from their Neighbours; tho as to the Ginger, I think it grows there. Here is also a sort of Fruit or Berry said to grow on small Bushes, called by the Dutch Annise, because its scent and taste is strong like that of the Anniseed. This Commodity is only exported hence by the Dutch, who carry it to Batavia, and there distil it among their Arack, to give it an Anniseed flavour. This sort of Arack is not fit to make

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Punch with, neither is it used that way, but for want of plain Arack. It is only used to take a Dram of by itself, by the Dutch chiefly, who in∣stead of Brandy, will swallow large Doses of it, tho it be strong: but 'tis also much used and esteemed all over the East Indies.

There is one sort of Dying wood in this Country much like the Campeachy Log-wood, tho whether the same, or Wood of greater value, I know not. I have heard that 'tis called Sappan Wood; and that it comes from Siam. It was smaller than what we usually cut in the Bay of Campeachy; for the biggest stick that I saw here was no bigger than my Leg, and most of it much smaller, and crooked. They have other sorts of Dyes, but I can give no account of them. They dye several colours here, but I have been told they are not lasting. They have many sorts of good tall Timber-trees in this Country, fit for any sorts of building: but, by relation, none very durable. For Masting the Fir and Pone Trees are the best Here is much Wormseed, but it grows not in this Kingdom. It is brought from within the Land, from the Kingdom of Boutan, or from the Province of Yunam (Vân Nam), bordering on this Kingdom, yet belonging to China. From thence comes the Musk and Rhubarb; and these 3 Commodities are said to be peculiar to Boutan and Yunam. The Musk grows in the Cods of Goats. The same Countries yield Gold also, and supply this Country with it: for whatever Gold Mines the Tonquinese are said to have in their own Mountains, yet they don't work up∣on them.

With all these rich Commodities, one would expect the people to be rich; but the generality are very poor, considering what a Trade is driven here. For they have little or no Trade by Sea themselves, except for eatables, as Rice, and Fish,

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which is spent in the Country: but the main Trade of the Country is maintained by the Chinese, English, Dutch, and other Merchant Strangers, who either reside here constantly, or make their annual returns hither. These export their Commodities, and import such as are vendible here. The Goods imported hither besides Silver, are Salt∣peter, Sulphur, English Broad-cloath, Cloathrashes, some Callicoes, Pepper and other Spices, Lead, great Guns &c. but of Guns the long Saker is most esteemed. For these Commodities you receive Money or Goods, according to contract: but the Country is so very poor, that, as I formerly observed, the Merchant commonly stays 3 or 4 months for his Goods, after he has paid for them; because the poor are not employ'd till Ships arrive in the Country, and then they are set to work by the Money that is brought thither in them. The King buys great Guns, and some pieces of Broad cloath: but his pay is so bad, that Merchants care not to deal with him, could they avoid it. But the trading people, by all accounts, are honest and just: that I heard a man say, who had traded there ten years, in which time he dealt for many thousands of pounds, that he did not in all that time lose 10 l.by them all.

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MỘT CHUYẾN DU HÀNH TỚI XỨ ĐÀNG NGOÀI (Chương IV)


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CHAPTER IV.
Of the Government of Tonquin. The 2 Kings Boua and Choua; the Revolt of the Cochinchinese, and Original of the present constitution at Tonquin. Of the Boua's confinement, and the Choua's or ruling Kings Person and Government; and the Treasure, Elephants and Artillery. Their manner of making Gunpowder. Of the Soldiers, their Arms, Employment, &c. Of the Naval Force, their fine Gallies and Management of them. The Watch kept in their Towns, their Justice, and punishing of Debtors, and Cri∣minals of all sorts. Of the Eunuch Mandarins: their promotion and Dispositions. Of their swearing upon a draught of Hens Blood: and the Trial by bitter Waters in Guinea. Of the Mandarins Entertainments: The Chop sticks used at Meals; and their kindness to Strangers.



This Kingdom is an absolute Monarchy, but of such a kind as is not in the world again; for it has two Kings, and each supreme in his particular way: The one is called Boua, the other Choua; which last name I have been told signifies Master. The Boua and his Ancestors were the sole Mo∣narchs ofTonquin; tho I know not whether as independent Soveraigns, or as Tributaries to China, of which they have been thought to have been a Frontier Province, if not a Colony: for there is a great affinity between them in their Language,

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Religion, and Customs. These a Kings they have at present, are not any way related in their Descent or Families: nor could I learn how long their Government has continued in the present form; but it appears to have been for some successions. The occasion is variously reported; but some give this account of it.

The Boua's, or antient Kings of Tonquin, were formerly Masters of Cochinchina, and kept that Na∣tion in subjection by an Army of Tonquinesecon∣stantly kept there, under a General or Deputy, who ruled them. When Cochinchina threw off the Tonquinese Yoak, the King had two great Generals, one in Cochinchina, and another in Tonquin itself. These two Generals differing, he who was in Cochinchina revolted from his Soveraign ofTonquin, and by his power over the Army there, made himself King of Cochinchina: since which these two Nations have always been at Wars; yet each Nation of late is rather on the defensive part than on the offensive. But when the General who Commanded in Cochinchina had been thus suc∣cessful in his revolt from under the Boua, the Tonquinese General took the Courage to do so too; and having gained the affections of his Army, de∣prived the King, his Master, of all the Regal power, and kept it with all the Revenues of the Crown in his own hands: yet leaving the other the Title of King; probably, because of the great zeal the people had for that Family. And thus the Kingdom came wholly into the power of this Tonquinese General, and his Heirs, who carry the Title of Choua; the Boua's of the antient Fami∣ly having only the shadow of that Authority they were formerly Masters of. The Boua lives the life of a kind of a Prisoner of State, within the old Palace, with his Women and Children; and diverts himself in Boats among his Fish-ponds

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within the Palace Walls, but never stirs without those bounds. He is held in great veneration by all the Tonquinese, and seemingly by the Choua also; who never offers any violence to him, but treats him with all imaginable respect. The people say they have no King but Boua; and seem to have sad apprehensions of the loss they should have, if he should dye without an Heir: and whenever the Choua comes into his presence, which is 2 or 3 times in the year, he useth abundance of Com∣pliments to him, and tells him that his very life is at his service, and that he governs and rules wholly to do him a kindness: and always gives him the upper hand. So also when any Ambassadors are sent from the Emperor of China, they will deliver their Message to none but theBoua, and have their Audience of him. Yet after all this pageantry, the Boua has only a few Servants to attend him, none of the Mandarins make their Court to him, nor is he allow'd any Guards: All the Magistracy and Soldiery, Treasure, and the ordering of all matters of Peace and War, are en∣tirely at the Choua's disposal; all preferment is from him, and the very Servants who attend the Boua, are such only as the Choua places about him. Besides these Servants, none are ever suffer'd to see the Boua, much less Strangers: so that I could learn nothing as to his person. But as to the Choua, I have been informed that he is an angry, ill-natured, leprous person. He lives in the second Palace, where he has ten or twelve Wives; but what Children I know not. He governs with absolute authority over the Subjects, and with great tyranny: for their Lives, Goods, and Estates are at his command. The Province ofTenehoa is said to have belonged properly to his Ancestors, who were great Mandarins before the usurpation. So that he now seems to have a particular value

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for it, and keeps his Treasure there, which, by report, is very great. This Treasure is buried in great Cisterns full of Water, made purposely for that use: and to secure it, he keeps a great many Soldiers there; and commits the charge, both of them and the Treasure to the Governour of the Province, who is one of his principal Eunuchs.

The Choua has always a strong guard of Soldiers about his Palace, and many large Stables for his Horses and Elephants. The Horses are about 13 or 14 hands high, and are kept very fat: there are 2 or 300 of them. The Elephants are kept in long Stables by themselves, each having a peculiar room or partition, with a Keeper to dress and feed him. The number of the Kings Elephants are about 150 or 200. They are watered and washed every day in the River.

Some of the Elephants are very gentle and governable, others are more indocil and unruly. When these rude ones are to pass through the Streets, tho only to be watered, the Rider or Dresser orders a Gong or Drum to be beaten before him, to warn People that an unruly Elephant is coming; and they presently clear the Streets and give a passage for the Beast; who will do mischief to any that are in the way, and their Riders or Keepers cannot restrain him.

Before the Choua's Palace, there is a large parade, or square place for the Soldiers to be drawn up. On one side there is a place for the Mandarins to sit, and see the Soldiers exercise, on the other side there is a shed, wherein all the Cannon and heavy Guns are lodged. There may be 50 or 60 Iron Guns from Falcon to Demy-Culverin, 2 or 3 whole Culverin or Demi-Cannon, and some old Iron Mortars lying on logs. The Guns are mounted on their Carriages, but the Carriages of these Guns are old and very ill made. There is one

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great Brass Gun, much bigger than the rest, supposed to be 8 or 9000 pound weight. It is of a taper bore; of a foot diameter at the mouth, but much smaller at the britch. It is an ill shaped thing, yet much estemeed by them, probably because it was cast here, and the biggest that ever they made. It was cast about 12 or 13 years ago, and it being so heavy, they cou'd not contrive to mount it, but were beholding to the English, to put it into the Carriage; where it now stands more for a show than service. But tho this is but an ordinary piece of workmanship, yet the Tonquinese understand how to run Metals, and are very expert in tempering the Earth, where with they make their mould.

These are all the great Guns, that I saw or heard of in this Kingdom, neither are here any Forts, yet the King keeps always a great many Soldiers. 'Tis said that he has always 70 or 80000 constantly in pay. These are most Foot, they are arm'd with Curtans or Sword, and Hand Guns of 3 foot and an half or 4 foot in the Barrel. The bore is about the bigness of our Horse Pistols, they are all Match locks, and they are very thick and heavy. The Soldiers do all make their own Powder. They have little Engins for mixing the ingredients, and make as small a quantity as they please. They know not how to corn it, and therefore it is in unequal lumps, some as big as the top of a mans Thumb, and some no bigger than a white Pea: neither have I seen any Powder well corn'd, that has been made in any of these Eastern Nations.

The Soldiers have each a Cartage Box, covered with leather, after the manner of the West Indian Privateers: but instead of Paper Cartages, these are filled with small hollow Canes, each containing a load or charge of Powder; which they empty out of the Cane into the Gun; so that each Box has in it, as it were, so many Bandeleers. Their Arms are kept

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very bright and clean: for which purpose every one of them has a hollow Bambo to lay over the Barrel of his Gun; and to keep the dust from it, as it lies over the rack in his House. When they march also in rainy weather, they have another Bambo, to cover their Guns. This is large enough to cover the whole Barrel, and very well lacker'd: so that it is not only handsome, but also preserves the Gun dry.

The Soldiers when they march are led by an Officer, who is leader of the File: and every File consists of 10 men: but as I have been informed by one who has seen them march, they don't keep their ranks in marching.

The Soldiers are most of them lusty strong well made men: for 'tis that chiefly recommends them to the Kings service. They must also have good Stomachs, for that is a greater recommendation then the former; neither can any man be entertain'd as a Soldier, that has not a greater stroke than ordinary at eating: for by this they judge of his strength and constitution. For which reason, when a Soldier comes to be listed, his Stomach is first proved with Rice, the common subsistence of the ordinary People in this Kingdom: and according as he acquits himself in this first tryal of his manhood, so he is either discharged or entertain'd in the service. 'Tis reported, that at these Tryals they commonly eat 8 or 9 cups of Rice, each containing a pint, and they are ever afterwards esteem'd and advanced, according to the first days service: and the greatest eaters are chiefly imploy'd as guards to the King, and commonly attend on his Person. The Province of Ngean breeds the lustiest men, and the best eaters: for that reason those of that Province are generally imploy'd as Soldiers. After 30 years service a Soldier may petition to be disbanded; and then the Village where he was born must send another man to serve in his room.

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The Horsemen are but few, and armed with Bows, and long Spears or Lances, like the Moors and Turks. Both these and the Foot Soldiers are very dexterous in using their weapons, and shoot very well with either with Gun or Bow; for they are often exercised by shooting at Marks. The King orders a shooting match once a year, and rewards the best marks-man with a fine Coat, or about 1000 Cash, as tis called, which is a summ about the value of a Dollar. The mark is a white earthen Cup, placed against a Bank. The distance they stand to fire at it is about 80 yards. He who breaks the first Cup has the finest Coat; for there are others also of less worth and finery for the rest, that have the good fortune to break the other Cups, or Cash in lieu of them. This is all at the Kings charge, who incourages this exercise very much, as a means to make them good Marks-men; and they generally prove such. They will load and fire the quickest of any People. They draw the Rammer at one motion, and powring down the Powder and Bullet, they ram all down at one motion more. Then they withdraw the Rammer, and put it into its place, at 2 motions more. All the 4 motions are performed very dexterously and quick: and when they shoot at a mark, they level, and fire at first sight, yet very success∣fully.

Tho the King of Tonquin has no Forts, yet he keeps always a great many Souldiers in the Frontier Towns of his Kingdom; especially on the S. W. part thereof, to check the Cochinchinese, his implacable Enemies: and tho there seldom happens a pitch'd Battel between them, yet there are often Skirmishings, which keep the Souldiers on each side upon their guards: and sometimes there are considerable excursions made by one or other party into the Enemies Territories, where they

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kill, spoyl, and bring away what booty they can find. The King also has always about 30.000 near his person, and quarter'd in or about Cachao, ready on all occasions. The Dry season is the time for his Armies to take the Field, or go against an Enemy: for in these Countries there is no marching in the Wet season. When he sends an Army by Land on any expedition, the General, and other great Officers are mounted on Elephants. These have neat little boarded Houses or Castles fastned on their backs, where the great men sit in state, secur'd from the Sun or Rain. They have no Field-pieces in their Armies, but instead thereof they carry on mens backs Guns that will carry a 4 ounce Shot. The barrels of these Guns are about 6 or 7 foot long: but tho one man carries one of them on his back, yet he cannot hold it out to fire, like small Guns, but rests it on its Carriage, which is another mans burden, and they two manage it between them. The Carriage is only a round piece of Wood, about 4 inches thick, and 6 or 7 foot long. One end of the Carriage is supported with two Legs, or a Fork of three foot high, the other rests on the ground. The Gun is placed on the top, where there is an Iron Socket for the Gun to rest in, and a Swivel to turn the Muzzel any way. From the britch of the Gun there is a short stock, for the man who fires the Gun to traverse it withal, and to rest it against his shoulder. The use of these Guns is to clear a Pass, or to fire over the Rivers, when the Enemy is so commodiously plac'd, that there is no other way to move him; and they are carry'd by these two men almost with as much ease as Muskets. In these Land-expeditions they carry but little baggage, besides their necessary Arms, Ammunition, and Provender: So that if they are routed they lightly scamper away; and generally

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in these Countries the Dispute is soon over, for they will not long sustain a smart Onset.

Besides the Souldiers on the Frontiers, and those who attend the King about Cachao, he has many others that keep guards in several parts of his Kingdom, especially in the great Roads, and on the Rivers. These search all exported goods, to see that no prohibited goods are sent out of the Kingdom, especially Arms: and no prohibited goods brought in. They also look after the Custome, and see that all goods have paid, before they may pass further. All Travellers are also search'd by them, and strictly examined; and if any persons are taken only on suspicion, they are used very severely, till they can clear themselves: So that no disaffected or rebellious person can stir, without being presently known; and this renders the King very safe in his Government.

The Kings Naval force consists only in a sort of flat bottom Gallies, and these seemingly designed more for State than service, except to transport Soldiers from one place to another. These Vessels are 50, 60, or 70 foot long, and about 10 or 12 foot broad in the waste; and the 2 ends near as many foot high out of the water, especially the hinderpart orStern: but the waste or middle of the Vessel is not above 2 foot and an half from the wa∣ter, that being the place, by which all the men go in and out. From thence towards each end, it is gently and very artificially raised, to a considerable heighth, so that the whole fabrick appears very graceful and pleasant, as it moves on the water. The head or forepart is not altogether so high as the Stern, neither is there so much cost bestowed on it for ornament: for tho it wants neither carv'd work nor painting, yet 'tis not comparable to that of the Stern, which has great variety of carving, and is curiously lacker'd and gilded. The place

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where the Captain sits is in the Stern, and is neatly covered to keep off the Sun or the Rain: and it being higher than any other part of the Vessel, appears like a little throne, especially that of the Generals Galley. This is more magnificent than the rest, tho all are built much of one form. From the Stern to the waste, it is covered over with a slight covering, to shelter the Men and their Arms from the Rain in the wet season, and the scorching Sun in the dry. Before the waste there are places for the Oars on each side, and a plain even Deck for the Rowers to stand by their tackling. Each Galley carries a small brass Gun, either Minion or Saker, which is planted afore, and looks out through a port in the Bow. They have a small Mast and Matt Sail, and they are rowed with from 16 or 20 to 24 Oars.

The Soldiers are always the men that row, and they are all naked, except that they have a narrow piece of black Cloath like a Sash about their Wastes, which is brought between their Thighs, and tuckt again under their Waste. Every one stands upright behind his Oar, which lies in its notch on the Gunnal, and he thrusts or pushes it forward with a great strength; and they plunge their Oars all at one instant into the Water, keeping exact time with each other: and that they may the better do this, there is one that strikes on a small Gong, or a wooden Instrument, before every stroke of the Oar. Then the Rowers all at once answer with a sort of a hollow noise, through the Throat, and a stamp on the deck with one foot, and immediately plunge their Oars into the Water. Thus the Gong and the Rowers alternately answer each other, making a sound that seems very pleasant and warlike to those who are at a small distance on the Water or Shoar.

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These Boats draw about 2 foot and a half water. They are only serviceable in Rivers, or at Sea near the Shoar, and that in very fair weather too. They are best in the broad Rivers near the Sea, where they may take the advantage of the Tides to help them: for tho they row pretty swift when they are light, yet when they have 60, 80, or 100 men aboard, as sometimes they have, they are heavy and row slowly against the stream. Nevertheless when there is occasion they must go against the stream a great way, tho they perform it with great labour.

The Soldiers in these Vessels are equipt with Bows, Swords, and Lances, and when many of them are sent on any expedition, they are divided into Squadrons. They are distinguished by their several Flags of different colours; as appeared by an expedition they made up the River, against some of their Northern Neighbours, while we were there. There were then about 60 of these Galleys sent out up the River; and they had from 16 to 40 Soldiers in each, all well armed. Their General was called Ungee Comei, who was a great Mandarin, and was the person appointed by the King to inspect into ourEnglish Traffick; being made director or protector of the English Factory, who used to speak of him as a generous man.

There were two more great Officers under him, each in a Vessel by himself. These three had Flags of distinction: the first was yellow, the second blue, the third red or green. They went away from Cachao towards the Mountains, but did not return while we were there: but since we came from thence, I have been informed that the expedition prov'd fruitless, and that the General Ungee Comei was much disgraced.

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When the Galleys are not in service, they are dragged ashoar, and placed in Houses built for that purpose; where they are set upright on their bottoms, made very clean, and kept neat and dry. These Galley-Houses are 50 or 60 paces from the River side; and when they bring the Galleys into them, there is a strong Rope brought round the stern of the Vessel, and both ends stretched along, one on each side: then 3 or 400 men, standing ready with the Rope in their hands, wait for the signal; which being given by the beat of a Gong, they begin to draw with all their strength, and making a great shricking noise, they run her up in a trice into her place. This also is their Soldiers work, who having thus Housed all their Galleys, return to their Land-service.

Some of the Souldiers are imploy'd also in keeping Watch and Ward, for the security of private men, as well as in the Kings business: and the Tonquinese are observ'd to keep good orders in the night in all Towns and Villages; but more particularly in the great Cities, amd especially at Caehao.There every Street is guarded with a strong watch, as well to keep silence, as to hinder any disorder. The Watch-men are armed with Staves, and stand in the Street by the Watch-houses, to examin every one that passeth by. There is also a Rope stretched cross the Street brest high, and no man may pass this place, till he is examin'd, unless he will venture to be soundly bang'd by the Watch. These men can handle their weapon so well, that if they design mischief, they will dextrously break a Leg or Thigh-bone, that being the place which they commonly strike at. There is a pair of Stocks by every Watch house, to secure night ramblers in: but for a small piece of Money a man may pass quiet enough, and for the

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most part only the poor are taken up. These Watch-men are Soldiers, but belong to the Governor or some other men of great power, who will hear no complaints against them, tho never so justly made: and therefore they often put men in the Stocks at their pleasure, and in the morning carry them before a Magistrate: who commonly fines the Prisoners to pay somewhat; and be it more or less, it falls part to the Magistrate. Neither dares any man complain of injustice upon such usage: in this case especially; tho his cause be never so just: and therefore patience is in this Country as ne∣cessary for poor people, as in any part of the World.

But notwithstanding these Abuses, they have one Custom in the administring Justice, that is pleasing enough. For if a difference or quarrel at any time happens between 2 mean men, and they are not to be reconciled without going before a Magistrate, he usually considering their Poverty, lays no heavy mulct on the offender, but injoyns him this as his penalty, that he shall treat the injur'd Person with a Jarr of Arack, and a Fowl, or a small Porker, that so feasting together, they may both drown all animosity in good liquor, and renew their Friendship.

But if it be a Controversy about a Debt, they take a very different Method. For the Debtors are many times order'd to be Prisoners in their Creditors houses where they are beaten, or kept with a log of wood made fast to their Legs, to hinder them from running away. These poor Prisoners eat nothing but Rice and drink Water, and are tyranically insulted over by their rigid Creditors, till the debt is satisfied. Their Corporal Punishments upon Malefactors, and some∣times upon others, are very severe. Some are loaden with Iron chains fastned to their Legs, with logs also like the Debtors, but now mention'd. Others have their Necks inclosed between 2 great

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heavy planks made like a Pillory, but moveable, for they carry it about with them where-ever they go, and even when they go to rest they are forced to lye down and sleep in it as they can.

There is another sort of punishing instrument not unlike this, called a Gongo (gông gỗ). This also is made to wear about the neck, but is shaped like a Ladder. The sides of it are 2 large Bamboes, of about 10 or 12 foot long, with several such rounds or sticks as Ladders have to keep the sides asunder; but much shorter: for the 2 side Bamboes are no farther asunder, than to admit of a narrow room for the Neck; and the 2 rounds in the middle are much at the same distance from each other, on each side the Neck, forming a little Square: thro which the man looks as if he were carrying a Ladder on his Shoulders, with his head through the rounds. If either of these Yoke's were to be taken off in a short time, as in 6, 9, or 12 hours, it would be no great matter: but to wear one of them a month, 2, 3, or longer, as I have been informed they sometimes do, seems to be a very severe punish∣ment. Yet 'tis some comfort to some, that they have the Liberty to walk abroad where they will: but others are both yoak'd and imprison'd: and the Prisoners in publick Prisons are used worse than a man would use a Dog, they being half starved and soundly beaten to boot.

They have a particular punishment, for such as are suspected to fire Houses, or who are thought to have occasioned the Fire through their neglect. The master of the House, where the Fire first breaks out, will hardly clear himself from suspicion, and the severity of the Law. The punishment in this case is to sit in a Chair of 12 or 14 foot high, bare-heade, d3 whole days successively in the hot scorching Sun: this Chair is set, for his greater disgrace, before the place where his House stood.

(Hết chương 4)
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Bài gửigửi: 03.10.2015    Tiêu đề: Trả lời với trích dẫn nội dung bài viết này



@PhanHong ơi,

Đoạn cuối của câu tiếng Anh cuối cùng ở trang 79 trong văn bản gốc là:
“… in the hot scorching Sun: this Chair is fet, for his greater disgrace, before the place where his Houfe ftood.”

Trong lúc bản tiếng Anh mà @PhanHong lấy từ Internet thì:

“… in the hot scorching Sun: this Chair is set, for his greater disgrace, before the place where his House stood.”

Tóm lại là ký tự s trong bản mới thay cho ký tự f trong bản cổ!

Liệu là tiếng anh cổ có khác với tiếng anh hiện đại không? Hay do bản chụp nhoè? (chẳng nhẽ nhoè cả 3)
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Bài gửigửi: 04.10.2015    Tiêu đề: Trả lời với trích dẫn nội dung bài viết này

@Haidq: Tất cả các chữ "s" đều trông gần giống chữ "f" anh ạ. Thiếu mất cái đuôi.
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Bài gửigửi: 04.10.2015    Tiêu đề: Trả lời với trích dẫn nội dung bài viết này

Trích dẫn:
PhanHong đã viết: @Haidq: Tất cả các chữ "s" đều trông gần giống chữ "f" anh ạ. Thiếu mất cái đuôi.


Không đúng!

Trong câu trích dẫn trên, nhiều chữ "s" vẫn là chữ "s"!

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Bài gửigửi: 05.10.2015    Tiêu đề: Trả lời với trích dẫn nội dung bài viết này

@Haidq: Đúng là lác đác một số nơi như vậy, đặc biệt là chứ "S" (in hoa) vẫn là chữ "S". Còn chữ "s" (viết thường), do thiếu cái đuôi, nên nhiều khi trông giống chữ "f". Còn chữ "f" (viết thường) thì có thêm cái gạch ngang anh ạ.



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