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burnt. As to the inside, all the walls, instead of wainscot, were lined with hardened and painted tiles, like the little square tiles we call gally tiles in England, all made of the finest China, and the figures exceeding fine indeed, with extraordinary variety of colours, mixed with gold, many tiles making but one figure, but joined so artificially with mortar, being made of the fame earth, that it was very hard to see where the tiles met. The floors of the rooms were of the same composition, and as hard as the earthen floors we have in use in several parts of England, especially Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, &c. as hard as stone, and smooth, but not burnt and painted, except some smaller rooms, like closets, which were all, as it were, paved with the same tile; the cielings, and in a word, all the plaistering-work in the whole house, were of the same earth ; and, after all, the roof was covered with tiles of the fame, but of a deep shining black.
This was a China warehouse indeed, truly and literally to be called so; and, had I not been upon
the journey, I could have staid some days to see and examine the particulars of it. They told me there were fountains and fish-ponds in the garden, all paved at the bottom and sides with the same, and fine statues set up in rows on the walks, entirely formed of the porcelain earth, and burnt whole.
As this is one of the fingularities of China, fo they may be allowed to excel in it; but I am very sure, they excel in their accounts of it; for they told me fuch incredible things of their performance in crockery-ware, for such it is, that I care not to relate, as knowing it could not be true :One told me, in particular, of a workman that made VOL. II.
a ship, with all its tackle, and masts, and fails, in earthen-ware, big enough to carry fifty men. If he had told me he launched it, and made a voyage to Japan in it, I might have said something to it indeed; but as it was, I knew the whole story, which was, in short, asking pardon for the word, that the fellow lied; fo I smiled, and said nothing to it.
This odd fight kept me two hours behind the caravan, for which the leader of it for the day fined me about the value of three shillings; and told me, if it had been three days journey without the wall, as it was three days within, he must have fined me four times as much, and made me ask pardon the next council day: fo I promised to be more orderly; for, indeed, I found afterwards the orders made for keeping all together were absolutely necessary for our common fafety.
In two days more we passed the great China wall, made for a fortification against the Tartars ; and a very great work it is, going over hills and mountains in an endless track, where the rocks are impassable, and the precipices such as no enemy could posfibly enter, or, indeed, climb up, or where, if they did, no wall could hinder them. They tell us, its length is near a thousand Englisə miles, but that the country is five hundred, in a straight measured line, which the wall bounds, without measuring the windings and turnings it takes : 'tis about four fathom high, and as many thick in some places.
I stood still an hour, or thereabouts, without trespassing on our orders, for so long the caravan was in passing the gate ; I say, I stood still an hour to look at it, on every fide, near, and far off, I
mean, what was within my view; and the guide of our caravan, who had been extolling it for the wonder of the world, was mighty eager to hear my opinion of it. I told him it was a most excellent thing to keep off the Tartars, which he happened not to understand as I meant it, and so took it for a compliment: but the old pilot laughed: O Seignior Inglese, said he, you speak in colours. In colours ! faid I, what do you mean by that? Why you speak what looks white this way, and black that way; gay one way, and dull another way : you tell him it is a good wall to keep out Tartars ; you tell me, by that, it is good for nothing but to keep out Tartars; or, will keep out none but Tartars: I understand you, Seignior Inglese, I understand you, said he, joking ; but Seignior Chinese understand you his own way.
Well said I, Seignior, do you think it would stand out an army of our country people, with a good train of artillery; or our engineers, with two companies of miners ? Would they not batter it down in ten days, that an army might enter in battalia, or blow it up into the air, foundation and all, that there should be no sign of it left ? Ay, ay, said he, I know that. The Chinese wanted mightily to know what I said, and I gave him leave to tell him a few days after, for we were then almost out of their country, and he was to leave us in a little time afterwards ; but when he knew what I had said, he was dumb all the rest of the way, and we heard no more of his fine story of the Chinese power and greatness while he staid.
After we had passed this mighty Nothing, called a wall, something like the Picts wall, fo famous in Northumberland, and built by the Romans, we began
to find the country thinly inhabited, and the people rather confined to live in fortified towns and cities, as being subject to the inroads and depredations of the Tartars, who rob in great armies, and therefore are not to be resisted by the naked inhabitants of an open country.
And here I began to find the necessity of keeping together in a caravan, as we travelled; for we faw several troops of Tartars roving about; but when I came to see them distinctly, I wondered how that the Chinese empire could be conquered by such contemptible fellows; for they are a mere herd or crowd of wild fellows, keeping no order, and understanding no discipline, or manner of fight.
Their horses are poor, lean, starved creatures, taught nothing, and are fit for nothing ; and this we found the first day we saw them, which was after we entered the wilder part of the country. Our leader for the day gave leave for about sixteen of us to go a hunting, as they call it; and what was this but hunting of sheep! However, it may be called hunting too; for the creatures are the wildest, and swiftest of foot, that ever I saw of their kind; only they will not run a great way, and you are sure of sport when you begin the chace; for they appear generally by thirty or forty in a flock, and, like true sheep, always keep together when they fly.
In pursuit of this odd fort of game, it was our hap to meet with about forty Tartars : Whether they were hunting mutton as we were, or whether they looked for another kind of prey, I know not; but as soon as they saw us, one of them blew a kind of horn very loud, but with a barbarous found that I
had never heard before ; and, by the way, never care to hear again. We all supposed this was to call their friends about them; and so it was; for in less than half a quarter of an hour, a troop of forty or fifty more appeared at about a mile distance; but our work was over first, as it happened.
One of the Scots merchants of Moscow happened to be amongst us; and as soon as he heard the horn, he told us, in short, that we had nothing to do but to charge them immediately, without loss of time and, drawing us up in a line, he asked, If we were resolved? We told him, We were ready to follow him : So he rode directly up to them. They stood gazing at us, like a mere crowd, drawn up in no order, nor shewing the face of any order at all; but as foon as they saw us advance, they let fly their arrows; which, however, missed us very happily : It seems they mistook not their aim, but their distance; for their arrows all fell a little short of us, but with so true an aim, that had we been about twenty yards nearer, we must have had several men wounded, if not killed.
Immediately we halted; and though it was at a great distance, we fired, and sent them leaden bullets for wooden arrows, following our shot full gallop, resolving to fall in among them sword in hand; for so our bold Scot that led us, directed. He was, indeed, but a merchant, but he behaved with that via gour and bravery on this occasion, and yet with such a cool courage too, that I never saw any man in action fitter for command. As soon as we came up to them, we fired our pistols in their faces, and then drew; but they fled in the greatest confusion imaginable; the