An authentic account of an embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China : including cursory observations made, and information obtained in travelling through that ancient empire, and a small part of Chinese Tartary ; together with a relation of the voyage undertaken on the occasion of His Majesty's ship the Lion, and the ship Hindostan, in the East India company's service, to the Yellow Sea and Gulf of Pekin, as well as of their return to Europe ; taken chiefly from the papers of His Excellency the Earl of Macartney, Sir Erasmus Gower, and of other gentlemen in the several departments of the embassy [Volume 2: Text]


Date: 1797



Binding: all vols. in tree calf tooled in gilt. Vols. 1-2 (text) have spine title "Macartney's / embassy / to China" on red labels, vol. nos. on red overlay on green labels; edges sprinkled blue. Vol. 3 (plates) has title "Macartney / embassy / plates" on black spine label; edges yellow; guard tissues; purple ribbon place marker. Vols. 1-2 have armorial bookplates of Sr. James Colquhoun of Luss Bart., v. 3 has that of James Beveridge Duncan of Damside.

Engraved frontispiece port. of Qianlong, v. 1, after William Alexander, the expedition's draughtsman. Frontispiece of Earl Macartney, v. 2, after painting by T. Hickey. Engraved illustrative tail-pieces. Plates mostly after Alexander by various engravers. Maps by B. Baker after John Barrow's drawings.

Vol. 2 has separate added title page, plate vol. does not.

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VIII. Frontispiece. Portrait of his Excellency the Earl of Macartney, Embassador extraordinary from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China.

IX. The Hai-vang, or Neptune of the Chinese, as he appears in Haiching-miau, or temple of the sea god at Ta-coo. In one hand he holds a magnet, as emblematic of security; and a dolphin in the other, to shew his sovereignty over the inhabitants of the sea; his head, beard, and hair, are evidently intended as a personification of water.

X. Two men throwing water out of a river into a reservoir on the bank, by swinging a basket with a pair of ropes fixed to its opposite sides. The bucket that is suspended at the end of a pole, which turns upon another fixed upon the bank, is drawn by hand to be filled with water; it is then more than counterpoised by the weight which is fixed to the other extremity of the pole, and consequently drawn up without further trouble. Such machines are frequent along the banks of the Pei-ho, and other rivers of China, for raising water for the grounds.

A female divinity in the temple of Tong-choo-foo, taken from a figure of wood. From the eye depicted on a brass plate, which is held in her hands, it is probably intended as a personification of Prudence. In a bronze vessel standing near her are burning some matches made from the dust of sandal wood, and mixed with other perfumes.

A bronze vessel, five or six feet in height, standing on a hexagonal pedestal of stone in the middle of one of the courts of the temple at Tongchoo-foo. In tripods such as these, perfumed matches, pieces of tin foil, gilt and painted paper, or any other kind of burnt offerings, are placed by those who visit the temple, for the purpose of consulting their destiny.

XIII. The method by which large and heavy packages are transported from one place to another on men's shoulders. The plan will explain the manner of fixing the poles so that thirty-two men may apply themselves (two at each extremity of the poles, that are parallel to the sides of the package) with an equal division of the burden.

XIV. The method of carrying sedan chairs belonging to persons of rank.

XV. The manner of crushing rice and other grain or pulse, by raising a lever with the foot, at the opposite extremity of which is fixed a coneshaped stone, that falls into a semicircular bason of the same material.

XVI. A statue of bronze, intended as a representation of a lion, one of which is placed at each side of the great gateway of the first court leading to the hall of audience, at the palace of Yuen-men-yuen.

XVII. The Throne of the Emperor of China in the hall of audience at Yuen-men-yuen. This throne is of carved wood, somewhat darker than, but much resembling, mahogany. The platform is covered with English scarlet broadcloth, and the imperial chair with yellow silk. The characters on the parallelogram above it, are epithets in praise of the Emperor, and that in the lozenge is that of/oo, which signifies felicity, a character in high estimation among the Chinese. This character, written by the hand of the Emperor, is sometimes purchased by the curious Chinese at a very high price.

XVIII. A carved Sceptre of jade stone, emblematical in China of peace and felicity. One of the same figure, hut of agate, was sent to his Ma)tsty, one was presented to the Embassador, and another to the Minister Plenipotentiary; the purse annexed to the sceptre was given by the Emperor to the Embassador's page.

XIX. An Agate of extraordinary size, supported on a marble pedestal in one of the Emperor's palaces in the gardens at Zhe-hol. This agate is four feet in length, is carved into a landscape, and bears a copy of verses written by the present Emperor.

XX. A mass of indurated earth and gravel, cemented together so as to have the appearance of solid rock; it is pyramidal, and stands on its smaller base on one of the hills near the town of Zhe-hol. Its height is about two hundred feet.

XXI. The Lui-shin, or spirit that presides over thunder, the Jupiter of the Chinese. This figure has the wings, beak, and talons of an eagle. In his right hand he holds a mallet, to strike the kettle-drums with which he is surrounded, whose noise is intended to convey the idea of thunder, whilst his left is filled with a volume of undulating lines, very much resembling those in the hands of some of the Grecian Jupiters, and evidently meant to convey the same idea, namely, that of the thunderbolt, or lightning.

XXII. Two fishermen bearino; their boat on their shoulders towards a lake in which they mean to fish, with the species of corvorant, that the Chinese have rendered docile and expert in that kind of employment.

XXIII. The manner of thawing up a large net upon the deck of a fishing boat. Many fishermen with their families have no other habitation but boats such as these.

XXIV. An exact portrait of a Chinese bridge, and a barge with its masts struck, or lowered down, to enable it to pass under the arch.

XXV. One of the methods used in China for working the chain-pump, to raise Avater for agricultural purposes, out of one reservoir to another.

XXVI. Chinese plough, such as are most generally in use throughout the country. It has but one handle, and no coulter, this last being deemed unnecessary, as there is no lay-ground, and consequently no turf to cut thro in China.

XXVII. The Camelia Sesanqua, called by the Chinese Tcha-wha, or flower of tea, a plant which grows in great abundance, and without much cultivation, on the hills of the southern provinces. From the nut, or berry, of this plant, very much resembling, but larger than, the tea-seed, the Chinese express a very fine esculent oil, which is in high estimation with them.

XXVIII. The Cave of Camoens at Macao, in which this poet is said to have composed his famous poem of the Lusiad : the column that appears to support the immense overhanging rock is modern, and perfectly unnecessary, the stone having for ages continued to hang without the aid of the pillar.

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Publisher: London : G. Nicol





ISBN-10: N/A

Date Added: 2020-06-07

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