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Leave Ning-po for the Bohea mountains My guides A flag and its history The Green River again Spring scenery on its banks Yen-chow and Ta-yang A storm in a creek Boatwomen A Chinese Mrs. Caudle and a curtain lecture Natural productions Funereal cypress and other trees Our boat seized for debt and the sail taken away A Chinese creditor Town of Nan-che Its houses, gardens, and trade Vale of Nan-che Productions and fertility City of Chu-chu-foo Moschetoes and Moscheto "tobacco" Arrive at Chang-shan.
I WAS not quite satisfied with the result of my journey up the river Min. Although one of my men had brought me a fine collection of tea-plants and seeds from the celebrated black-tea country, and although the expedition was planned so that he could scarcely have procured them elsewhere, had he wished to deceive me, I confess I felt that it would be much more satisfactory if I could visit the district myself. I did not like the idea of returning to Europe without being perfectly certain that I had introduced the tea-plant from the best black-tea districts of China into the Government plantations in the North-western Provinces of India. There may have been a lingering desire to cross the Bohea mountains and to visit the far-famed Woo-e-shan. At all events I made up my mind to make another attempt, and determined to start from Ning-po, where the people are not so greatly prejudiced against foreigners as they are farther to the south, about Foo-chow and Canton.
The man who had just returned from that country expressed his willingness to accompany me, and as he was well acquainted with the road I could not have found a better guide. He showed me a small triangular flag which he had in his possession, and which he had obtained from a mandarin with whom he formerly travelled to Peking, and told me that with this in our hands no one would dare to interfere with us. I confess I was rather sceptical as to the power of this flag, but allowed him to have his own way.
Having hired a boat, we left Ning-po on the evening of the 15th of May. The tide and wind being both in our favour, we swept rapidly up the river, passing in quick succession the British consulate and the houses of the missionaries, which stand on the river's banks. It was a dull and dreary evening, and the rain began to fall heavily as the darkness closed in around us. I felt rather low-spirited; I could not conceal from my mind that the journey I had undertaken was a long one, and perhaps full of danger. My road lay through countries almost unknown, and the guide I had with me was not fully to be depended upon. But the die was cast, and, committing myself to the care of Him who can preserve us alike in all places, I resolved to encounter the difficulties and dangers of the road with a good heart.
My servant now presented himself, and reminded me that it was time to make a change in my "outward man," and adopt the costume of the country. When this operation was finished I doubt whether my nearest friends would have known me. Indeed, when I looked into the glass I scarcely recognised myself. "You will do very well," said my servant; "and when we reach the town of Nan-che I shall buy a summer hat, which will make the dress more perfect."
The next morning at daylight we found ourselves passing a town of considerable size, named Yu-yeou, which had been visited by our troops during the war. This is a walled city. The walls and ramparts enclose a hill of considerable extent, on whose summit many Buddhist temples have been erected. The suburbs stretch along the banks of the river, and form the principal part of the town. A few miles beyond this the river becomes narrow, and seems to be lost in a network of canals, showing that we were near its source. Soon after this we arrived at the drawbridge, or inclined plane, which I have noticed in a former chapter.
A curious circumstance happened whilst we, with about fifty other boats, were waiting for our turn of the windlass. Most of these boats had come from Ning-po with the same tide as ourselves, and were going to the little town or village of Pak-wan. We had to wait about an hour until our turn came. During this time a strong noisy fellow of a boatman, evidently a bully, who was astern of us all, began to get impatient, and came pushing past the other boats, thinking to get over before his turn came. Amidst a great deal of clamour and threats he succeeded in passing many of the boats ahead of him, and at last got as far as mine. As we had been waiting for some time, I did not like the idea of this man getting past us, but, not wishing to have any disturbance, I determined not to interfere between him and my boatmen. My servant, however, who was a spirited and powerful man, had evidently made up his mind upon the subject, and was determined that the fellow should not pass us. When he came up he began pushing our boat aside as he had done the others, and in a blustering manner desired us to allow him to get on, as he was in a great hurry. "You cannot pass this boat," said one of our crew, and at the same time pushed the bow of our boat against the bank of the canal so as to shut up the passage. "Oh, but I will," replied he, and, notwithstanding the angry remonstrances of our boat's crew, continued pushing us aside, and endeavouring to get past. Sing-Hoo, for that was my servant's name, now went out, and in an angry manner asked the fellow what he meant. "Do you know," said he, "that there is a mandarin in this boat? you had better take care what you are about." "I don't care for mandarins," said the man; "I must get on." "Oh, very well," replied Hoo, "we shall see;" and he walked into the boat. Taking the small triangular flag already noticed, he walked quietly out and fastened it to the mast of our boat. "There," said he to the other, "will you pass now?" Greatly to my astonishment our blustering friend became all at once as meek as a lamb, stammered out some excuses for his conduct, and sat quietly down on the stern of his boat to wait his turn like the rest, while the different boats' crews, who had witnessed the circumstance, had a good laugh at his expense.
Sing-Hoo now came to me with a smile on his countenance, and said, "You see the effects which may be produced by this little flag." I acknowledged it had astonished me, and asked him to tell me more about it. He said that some years before he had been in the service of a mandarin connected with the imperial family, and had travelled with him and his family to Shantung and Peking. The flag now in his possession had been carried by them in all their travels, and had always protected them from insult. On his return to his own province the old gentleman had made him a present of it so he told me and he had often used it on occasions like the present. He spoke with great pride of serving in the imperial family; he had seen the old emperor Taou-kwang, and had worn the yellow livery, which he still had in his possession.
Two ropes, connected with the windlass, were now fastened to the stern of our boat, and we were drawn up the inclined plane, and launched on the higher canal. A few miles further on we came to another canal still higher, and were drawn up and launched in the same way. The second canal leads to and terminates at the small town of Pak-wan, which I have already noticed. Leaving our boat here, we walked across to the canal which leads to Shaou-hing-foo and Nechow, where we engaged another boat, and proceeded on our journey. But as I came down this way before, and have fully described the route in a former chapter, I need not say much regarding it here.
We arrived at the small town of Nechow on the following day. Here we took our passage in a large boat, and proceeded up the Hwuy-chow, or Green River. I may remind the reader that this river falls into the sea a little below Hang-chow-foo. Being, as it were, the highway or chief road from the northern parts of Fokien, as well as from Kiang-see and Hwuy-chow, to the large towns of Hang-chow-foo, Soo-chow-foo, and Shanghae, on the eastern coast, nearly all the black and green teas of commerce, which are exported from northern China, come down this way. As this subject may prove of some interest to the merchant, I shall take a survey of the whole route in a subsequent chapter.
When we got upon the Green River, having a fair wind, we sailed rapidly onwards. There were several passengers on board our boat besides ourselves. They were all country people from the westward, knew little of foreigners, and seemed to have no idea that I was one. My servant, I believe, told them that I came from some far distant province beyond the great wall, and with this information, indefinite as it was, they seemed to be perfectly satisfied. Besides, I was now well acquainted with their habits and manners, I could eat with the chopsticks as well as any of them, and my dress was, I believe, scrupulously correct, even to the glossy black tail, which had been grafted on my own hair, and which hung gracefully down nearly to my heels.
I have already described the scenery on this beautiful river as it appeared to me on a former occasion. It was autumn then, and vegetation was tinged with many different hues. Now it was spring-time; the rains had begun to fall, and hill and valley were clothed in the liveliest green. The hill-streams were gushing down the ravines, and forming hundreds of beautiful waterfalls. This is a striking part of the country at all times, and it is difficult to say whether it is most beautiful in autumn or in spring.
On the evening of the third day after leaving Nechow the old city of Yen-chow-foo came in sight. The river here flows through a fine and fertile valley, in which the city is situated. "This beautiful vale abounds with camphor and tallow trees." So it is written in a map which the learned Jesuits made many years ago; and such I found to be the case. A little below the town two rivers unite. One, as I have already noticed, comes from the north-west, and rises amongst the hills of Hwuy-chow, and it was this one which I ascended the previous autumn. The other flows from the south-west, and has its sources amongst the mountains bordering on Fokien, and partly amongst some hills north-west of the town of Chang-shan, where the three provinces of Chekiang, Gnan-hoei, and Kiang-see meet.
My route lay up the latter and largest river. I was now about to enter upon new ground which I had never trodden before. Knowing that if I accomplished the object I had in view it would be necessary to travel upwards of 200 miles by land, and that too over a mountainous country, I had determined upon taking with me as little luggage of any kind as possible. My servant, however, had a strange propensity of accumulating as we went along. If we started with ever so little, his portion was sure to increase to an inconvenient size in a very short time. As he had relations in Yen-chow-foo, I warned him to leave everything with them, except a few necessary clothes and a mat to sleep upon. This he was the more readily inclined to do, as he had been obliged to dispose of, at a loss, a fine new trunk which he had bought in Foo-chow, when he started on his former expedition up the river Min. Having seen him pack up everything, except the indispensable articles already specified, I sent him on shore to leave the package at the house of his relation.
We got under way early next morning, and about midday arrived at a small town named To-yang, situated on the left bank of the river, near one of the rapids, which were now becoming frequent on this part of the river, which is beyond the influence of the tide. By great exertion we succeeded in getting our boat up the rapid, and, as the men were very tired, we decided on remaining at Ta-yang for the remainder of the day. This gave me an opportunity of examining at my leisure the natural productions of this part of the country.
When I returned from my rambles, I found that our boat had been removed from her station abreast of the town, and drawn up into a small creek, where she was made fast for the night. The sky had been black and threatening for some hours, and there was now every indication of a severe thunder-storm. After dark a great number of small boats came into the creek where we were, in order to be safe from the flood which the people expected to come down the river. I shall never forget the confusion and noise which took place as the last boats came hurrying in. Each person seemed perfectly indifferent as to what might befal his neighbour, provided he was only safe himself. Our boat came in for a share of ill usage, and got many a bump as the others rushed past.
All the Yen-chow and Nan-che boats are what we may call family boats, that is, the captain or proprietor carries his wife and family along with him, while the Hwuy-chow people, who go up the other branch of this river, leave their families at home. The women always take a prominent part in the management of the boat, sculling and poling as well as the men. If they equal their better halves in these laborious duties, they far exceed them when any disturbance takes place in which the tongue has to play a leading part. In the evening in question, as the numerous boats came in to anchor in the creek, they drove each other about in great confusion. The main stream being very rapid, the boats coming down it shot into the creek with great velocity. The night was very dark, and heavy drops of rain began to fall. The thunder-storm, which had been threatening for some time, came gradually up against the wind, and now and then bright flashes of fire lighted up the creek, and showed us the motley groups by which we were surrounded. The boatmen were shouting in angry tones as the different boats came rudely in contact; children were screaming, and the shrill voices of the women were heard in all directions, giving orders to the men and scolding each other. A person unacquainted with the habits of these people would have thought that something very dreadful was about to happen. I had seen such scenes too often, however, to feel any alarm, and, although the rain came through the roof of my boat and soaked my bed, I confess I was rather amused than otherwise.
The Chinese had good reasons for the precautions they had taken. In two hours the river came down sweeping everything before it. Had any of our boats been in the stream they would have been torn from their anchors and probably dashed to pieces. Such mountain-floods are not unfrequent on these rivers, and the boatmen, who know them well, take great care to be out of the stream before they come down, particularly if this is likely to happen at night.
We were all safely moored at last, and the conflict of tongues, as well as of the elements, gradually ceased. Now and then a remark was made upon what had taken place, and the good-humoured laugh which followed showed that the person bore no ill-will against those with whom he had had a war of words a few minutes before.
In our boat the good lady was the only one who seemed ill at ease. Her husband, who had gone on shore before dark, had not returned, and she was evidently a little jealous of his proceedings when out of her sight. The result proved that she had good reasons for her uneasiness, for when the man returned, about three o'clock in the morning, he was in a state of intoxication. The good lady a Mrs. Caudle in her way did not spare him, and at the same time gave me an opportunity of hearing a Chinese curtain lecture. Mrs. Amee was not a whit behind her great prototype, for she soon put her husband to sleep, and as she talked till a late hour I followed his example.
When I awoke the next morning the storm and all its effects had passed away. The sun was just tinging the tops of the hills, and every tree and bush was glistening with heavy drops of rain and dew. The river had fallen considerably, but the stream was still too rapid for our progress upwards, so I had an early breakfast and went on shore.
The low lands through which this river flows were now much broader the hills appeared to fall back, and a beautiful rich valley was disclosed to view. The soil of this valley is a deep sandy loam, resting on a bed of gravel. I observed some patches of the mulberry and tea plants under cultivation; but the tallow-tree (Stillingia sebifera) is evidently the staple production of the district. The number of these trees cultivated in the province of Chekiang is immense, and shows that the tallow and oil expressed from their seeds must be considered articles of great importance and value. Groups of pine-trees were observed scattered over the country. They marked the last resting-places of the dead, and had a pleasing and pretty effect. Amongst these pines I frequently observed the beautiful weeping cypress (Cupressus funebris) which I had discovered in the green-tea country the autumn before. It is certainly a handsome and striking tree.
The camphor-tree is also common in this valley, and so is the tong-eau or oil-tree, which I have already described. Amongst grains, rice is cultivated in the low lands, whilst wheat, barley, millet, and Indian corn are grown on higher elevations, where the land is comparatively dry.
About three o'clock in the afternoon, the stream having become less rapid, we proceeded on our journey. Between Ta-yang and Nan-che we had many rapids to pass, but the wind being fair we made good progress. The next day, about two o'clock, we were within 30 le of Nan-che, and had every prospect of being able to reach it the same evening. A circumstance happened, however, which detained us by the way. We had been sailing quickly up the right side of the river for some time, and, as we had reached a rapid, it was necessary to cross to the other side to pass it "close in-shore." As soon as we got across, four men, who had been concealed behind a bank, suddenly jumped up and seized our boat. A noisy altercation now took place between our crew and the strangers in a dialect which was perfectly unknown to me. I called Sing-Hoo, who, Chinaman like, was already in the midst of the fray, and asked him what was the matter. He told me that the captain of our boat on a former voyage had bought some rice, for which he had not paid, and that the creditor and some of his friends had come with the determination of getting the money, or, if not, they intended to carry off our sail. This was tantamount to stopping our boat, for we could not stem the current, which was still very strong, if our sail was taken away from us.
When I went out I found two men already on the roof of the boat, unbending and hauling down the sail. The old creditor was standing in the bows, coolly looking on, and watching the progress of his men. Our captain had retired to the stern, where he was quietly smoking his pipe. His wife, however, was not taking things so tranquilly. She was stamping about I beg her pardon, I ought to say skipping with her little feet, in a towering rage, now running to the creditor, and now to her husband. At one time she tried to coax, at another to storm, but all was of no avail. "Pay me the debt," said the obdurate creditor, "or I must take the sail." She begged him to allow the boat to proceed to Nan-che and deliver the cargo, when the debt should be paid. "Ah," said he, "I did that once before, and, instead of paying me, you got a fresh cargo, and ran down to Hang-chow-foo. No, no, you must pay me here, and while I have your sail there is no great danger of your running away." Threats, promises, and coaxing were alike useless, the old man was inexorable. The sail was unbent, one of the men got it on his shoulders, and our visitors walked away.
This was a serious mishap to me, as I could see no means of getting on to Nan-che. At last Sing-Hoo proposed to walk to the town, and bring down a small boat for me and the luggage. This appeared to be the best plan under the circumstances, so I consented, and he took his departure. The people in the boat did not seem to give themselves much uneasiness about the business. With the exception of the captain and his wife, they all lay down in their berths, and were soon fast asleep.
At daylight on the following morning I was awakened by a noise in the boat, and on opening my eyes I observed the captain standing on the bows and threatening to drown himself in the river. He was held back by his wife and one of his men, who were both entreating him to desist from his purpose and to come inside. He struggled with great violence until he shook them both off, when he commenced deliberately to throw off his clothes. The others looked on in silence, and as he was still intoxicated I fully expected to see him plunge into the stream. When left to himself, however, he seemed to change his mind, and, after looking moodily on the river for a few seconds, he walked quietly into the boat, called for his pipe and began to smoke. Soon afterwards he started for Nan-che to try and raise some money to satisfy his creditor.
About mid-day my servant arrived with a small boat which he had brought to take me on to Nanche. A dispute now arose between him and the captain's wife about four hundred cash one shilling and sixpence which he had agreed to pay for the small boat. According to his ideas of justice the proprietors of the large boat were bound either to take us on to Nan-che themselves, or to pay for our conveyance thither. As they did not do the former, he determined to deduct the charge for the small boat from the amount of the bill which was presented for the food with which they had supplied us on our way up. I saw plainly enough we should have a great disturbance if the money was not paid, and advised him to pay it at once. This, however, he strongly protested against, and began getting our luggage out into the small boat. In the mean time the woman declared she would rather go with us than lose her four hundred cash. As good as her word, she scrambled into the small boat, and called to one of her people to hand in her child, a young thing about a year old. The whole scene, to one not concerned, must have been highly amusing. It would have been very inconvenient for me to travel with such baggage, so, to cut the matter short and stop all further proceedings, I ordered Sing-Hoo to pay the money. Our luggage being removed into the small boat, we shoved her off, and by dint of sculling and tracking got up to Nan-che about six o'clock the same evening.
Nan-che, or, as it is sometimes called in the maps, Lanchee, is about 120 le westward from Yen-chow-foo. It is one of the prettiest Chinese towns which I have seen, and reminded me of an English place more than a Chinese one. The houses are generally two-storied and have a clean and neat appearance. It is built along the banks of the river, and has a picturesque hill behind it: an old tower or pagoda in ruins heightens the general effect of the scene. The town is about two and a half or three miles round, and probably contains about 200,000 inhabitants. The river in front of it is covered with boats, which are constantly plying between it and Yen-chow, Hang-chow, and many other towns both to the east and west.
Sing-Hoo was anxious to make a great many purchases in this town. He told me that everything was good which came out of Nan-che, and advised me to lay in a large stock of provisions for the remainder of our journey by water. In the mean time we had engaged another boat to take us to the town of Chang-shan, a city situated near the source of this river, or as far up as it is navigable. By the time this business was settled and our purchases on board it was nearly dark. Having had little to eat during the day, we were hungry and weary enough. Our new boatmen, however, were very kind and attentive to all our wants. An excellent dinner was soon ready, consisting of rice, fish, eggs, and vegetables, added to which we had some of the good things of Nan-che, such as cakes and wine, which had been highly recommended by Sing-Hoo.
The next morning I went on shore to see the town, and also to inspect some gardens in which plants are kept for sale. I had been informed that Nan-che
boasted of three or four nurseries; and as it is a central place, and at a great distance from Shanghae, Ning-po, and the other coast towns, I was not without hope of finding some new and valuable plants worthy of being sent to England.
I passed through some crowded streets of the same description as those at Shanghae. All Chinese towns have a striking resemblance to each other; the shops are built and arranged in the same way, they contain the same kinds of articles, and everything about them seems alike. A person, therefore, who has seen one large Chinese city can form a good idea of all the rest in the empire.
I found the nursery-gardens in the suburbs of the town. I examined three of them, but could find nothing new or worth taking away. They contained large quantities of jasmines (Jasminum Sambac), clerodendrons, roses, azaleas, camellias, and nelumbiums, but nothing that was new to me, or that I had not found in abundance nearer the coast. The gardeners were extremely civil, and did not seem to have the slightest idea that a foreigner stood before them. The only thing which surprised them was the information that their gardens did not contain the flowers which I wanted. They inquired the names of the plants I was looking for, and I told them that I wanted new ones, such as were not to be found in the gardens at Soo-chow, Hang-chow, and places nearer the coast. "Ah," said they, "you cannot expect to find in Nan-che anything which is not in Soo-chow." My visit being fruitless, I returned to my boat, when we got under way and proceeded on our journey.
The vale of Nan-che is even more beautiful than that in which the city of Yen-chow stands. It is surrounded by hills, dotted over with clumps of pine, cypress, and camphor-trees, traversed by a branching and winding river, and extremely fertile. The tallow-tree is cultivated in great abundance; in many places, indeed, the lowland is nearly covered with it. At the time of my visit its fresh green leaves contrasted finely with the dark and sombre cypress and pine. The whole valley seems, as it were, one vast and beautiful garden surrounded and apparently hemmed in by hills; but as we sailed up the river to the westward the hills gradually opened and the valley became much broader. I found afterwards that it extended from Ta-yang, a little above Yen-chow-foo, to Chang-shan on the borders of the province of Kiang-see. The distant hills seemed rugged and barren, and, even with Chinese industry, quite unfitted for agricultural purposes.
Ninety le from Nan-che I arrived at a small place named Long-yeou, also on the banks of the river. Three pretty pagodas were seen here, all placed on the most picturesque spots that could be found. The camphor-tree is very numerous and attains a large size. It was the time of the summer harvest when I was there, and the people were busily employed in cutting and threshing out their crops of wheat and barley. Hemp was largely cultivated for making ropes and other articles much in demand amongst the boat-people. I also observed large quantities of buckwheat, Indian corn, millet, and soy growing in the fields. A species of berberis, apparently a variety of our English one, was cultivated rather extensively, but for what purpose I could not learn, probably for medicine or as a dye.
Above Long-yeou the river became in many places narrow and very rapid. Several old water-wheels were observed half sanded up and completely useless. Trees and bushes dipped their branches into the stream, and reminded me of the country rivers in England. We passed a great number of small villages, but saw no place of any size or importance until we reached Chu-chu-foo, a large city 90 le west from Long-yeou and 180 from Nan-che.
Soon after daylight on the 1st of June two pagodas came in sight, and indicated, as they always do, our near approach to some important town. This was Chu-chu-foo, which was then only three or four miles distant. As we approached nearer to it, groves of orange-trees became common. The tea-plant was also extensively cultivated, but the produce is not considered first-rate. Earth-nuts (Arachis hypoga) and soy are plentiful, both of these crops delighting in a light sandy soil. A great number of low hills are seen in the midst of the plain. The soil of these hills or hillocks is generally perfectly barren, and of a brick-red the colour of the calcaereous sandstone of the district. The Chinese do not make many attempts to cultivate them.
At Chu-chu-foo there is a pretty bridge of boats, through which we passed. This bridge is taken away when the river is likely to become much swollen by heavy rains. Although this city ranks in the second class, it is not a very important one, at least in a mercantile point of view. It is not large, its walls are scarcely more than two miles in circumference, and there are many large spaces inside on which there are no buildings. Politically it ranks higher than Nan-che, but it is far from being such an important place. We remained here for a few hours to procure some necessaries, and then proceeded onwards.
About a mile above the city two rivers unite their waters: one comes from the south-west, and has its source on the northern side of the Fokien mountains; the other flows from the west, and rises a few miles above Chang-shan, the town to which I was now bound. We went up the left branch, which was very narrow, shallow, and oftentimes rapid.
In the evening we stopped with some other boats like our own near a small village, where we proposed to pass the night. The day had been very warm, and the moschetoes were now becoming very troublesome. The night before this, neither my servant nor myself had been able to close our eyes, and I now saw with dread these pests actually swarming around us, and anticipated another sleepless night. Our boatmen, who heard us talking about them, asked Sing-Hoo why he did not go and buy some moscheto tobacco, which they said might be had in the village, and which would drive all the moschetoes out of the boat. I immediately despatched him to procure some of this invaluable substance. In a few minutes he returned with four long sticks in his hand, not unlike those commonly used for burning incense in the temples, only somewhat longer and coarser in appearance. He informed me they cost only two cash each certainly cheap enough if they answered the purpose.
Two of these sticks were now lighted and suspended from the roof of the boat. They had not been burning five minutes when every moscheto in the boat sought other quarters. We were quite delighted, and enjoyed a sound and refreshing sleep, for which we were most thankful. I had always dreaded these insects during this journey, as I did not carry curtains with me on account of their bulk. I now found, however, that there was no need of them wherever we could procure the moscheto tobacco.
Various substances are employed by the Chinese to drive away moschetoes. This which we had just purchased was made with the sawings of resinous woods I believe procured from juniper-trees and mixed with some combustible matter to make it burn. A piece of split bamboo, three or four feet in length, is then covered all over with this substance. When finished it is as thick as a rattan or small cane. The upper end of the bamboo has a slit in it for hooking on to any nail in the wall, or to the roof of a boat. When once lighted, it goes on burning upwards until within six inches of the hook, beyond which there is no combustible matter, and it then dies out. A somewhat fragrant smell is given out during combustion, which, at a distance, is not disagreeable. Sometimes the sawdust is put up in coils of paper, and is then burned on the floors of the houses. Various species of wormwood are likewise employed for the same purpose. The stems and leaves of these plants are twisted and dried, and probably dipped in some preparation to make them burn.
The moscheto has a mortal aversion to all these substances, and wherever they are burning there the little tormentors will not come. I procured the sticks in question, and burnt them daily, after this; and although the insects were often swarming when I entered the boat or an inn, the moment their "tobacco" was lighted they quickly disappeared, and left me to sit at my ease, or to enjoy a refreshing sleep. Whoever discovered this precious tobacco was a benefactor to his country, and should have been honoured with the blue button and peacock's feather at the least. But I suppose, like all other Chinese discoveries, it is so old that the name of its original discoverer cannot now be traced.
We were now evidently approaching the head of the Vale of Nan-che, and one of the sources of the Green River. The hill from which the town of Chang-shan takes its name was pointed out to me, and in a short time afterwards the masts of the boats and the town itself came into view. Having a strong fair wind, we sailed rapidly over the current, and were soon moored in safety amongst a great number of other boats within a short distance of the town.
The river being no longer navigable, it was necessary for me to prosecute my journey by land. I determined therefore to remain at Chang-shan for the night, in order to make arrangements for the change of conveyance.