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Journal of a voyage along the coast of China from
the province of Canton to Leaoutung in Mantchou Tartary; 1832-33: by the Rev. CHARLES GUTZLAFF.
[The journal, which we here introduce, and which we shall conclude in our next number, contains a sketch of the third voyage which has been made along the coast of China by Mr. G., during the last two years. He em. barked for the first, on board a junk at Bankok, June 3d, 1831, reached Mantchou Tartary in November, and returned to Macao, Dec. 13th. On the second, he embarked Feb. 26th, visited several places in the provinces of Fuhkeěn and Chekeäng on his way up to Shantung, and from thence he passed to Corea, and returning by the Lewchew archipelago, reached Macao, Sept. 4th, 1832. For the third, he embarked on the 20th of last Oct., and returned on the 29th ult. This last voyage, in regard to direct intercourse with the people and opportunity for observation, far exceeded either of the preceding; and the journal, though brief, affords abundant evidence that to the people of China, the “foreign barbarians” are no un. welcome visitors.-We ought to add, that this journal was written for publication in England, and that at our request, the writer was induced to let it appear in the pages of the Repository.]
AFTER much consultation with others, and a conflict in my own mind, I embarked in the Sylph Capt. W., commander, and A. R., esquire, supercargo, Oct. 20th, 1832. The Sylph was a fast sailing vessel, well manned and armed. She had to beat up against a strong northeast monsoon, and to encounter very boisterous weather before reaching her destination, Teëntsin and Mantchou Tartary. From the moment we left Macao roads, we had to contest our whole course against wind and current. Furious gales, accompanied with rain and a tremendous sea, drove us several days along the coast, threatening destruction to our barque. But God who dwelleth on high did not forsake us; and, though often engulphed in the deep, his almighty hand upheld our sinking vessel. Only one Lascar was swept away; we heard his dying groan, but could lend no assistance. It was a dark, dismal night; we were thoroughly drenched with water; horror hovered around us. Many a wave swept over
our deck, but those which dashed against our poop were really terrible; three of them might have
October 26th, we lay to under a double reefed sail, and then ran into Ke-seak (Ke-shih) bay, on the east coast of Canton province. The harbor is lined with rocks. The coast is bleak and studded with granite; the interior is very fertile. Many villages and cities are visible from this place. We were soon visited by the fishermen, a boisterous and rough sort of people. In exchange for their fish, we gave them rice, but they were never satisfied with the quantity. Perceiving, however, that the barter yielded them a great profit, they brought vegetables, and offered themselves as brokers. Although this was an imperial naval station, they were by no means frightened by the presence of his majesty's officers. They received my books gladly, frequently repeating their thanks, and promising to circulate them far and wide amongst their friends.
- In this voyage I was provided with a choice stock of books, three times the number which I had in the preceding voyages.
During the night the wind subsided, and for the first time we enjoyed repose.
The next evening we visited Kap-che (Kă-tsze), a little to the east of Ke-seak. Here I was bailed by my friends, who called me their townsman, and expressed their delight in seeing me come back again. Books were in great demand, and the genuine joy in receiving them was visible in every countenance. I had been here a few months before, and traveled through many a village with the word of God in my hand. . It had drawn the attention of many, and the interest now manifested was truly encouraging.
The weather becoming gradually fair, though the wind was contrary, we were able by tacking to advance slowly. When we passed Namoh (Nanaou) in Fuhkeën, we saw occasionally large villages and cities along the coast, at which we could
only gaze, and were obliged to put into Lae-au (Nae-aou) bay. This is in the northern part of Fuhkeën, lat. 26 degrees N., and long. 120 degrees E.; a very excellent harbor, and almost land-locked. Anxious to proceed on our voyage we weighied anchor early next morning. The inhabitants in the neighborhood who had never seen a ship, came off in boats, but being rather distrustful they kept aloof.
When I hailed them they approached nearer and nearer, but by the time they came along side, we had already got under way. Tendering a book to an intelligent looking man, he was at first surprised at the strange gift, but then turning to his countrymen he read it aloud. Their attention was instantly drawn towards him; other requests were made, and within a few minutes, the ship was surrounded by clamorous applicants. The captain was beckoning them away, and loosened the painters, but they clung to our tackle and declared, “we must have these good books, and will not move without them." Such determination had the desired effect; I gave them freely what they so earnestly craved, and they went away exulting.
November 8th, we put into Pih-kwan, on the frontier of Chekeäng, in lat. 27 degrees 11 min., N., long. 120 degrees 22 minutes, E. This harbor is spacious, and by changing the berth, affords shelter against all winds. Here we visited several junks which were on their way to Shanghae. When books were offered to the crews, they refused to accept them, upon the plea of having nothing to give us as an equivalent; and upon hearing that they might receive them as a present, they made many bows, and said that they took them upon credit.
Innumerable native craft are always seen plying about, as we approach the emporiums of Keängnan and Chekeäng. These coasters seem to be an aquatic race, preferring the briny element to the comforts of the shore. Of all the Chinese fishermen, which is a very numerous class of people,
the natives of Fuhkeën are the most enterprising and daring. The greater part of the Chinese coast is visited by them; they brave all dangers for a scanty livelihood, and suffer the severest hardships to return to their families with five dollars after the toils of a whole year. Want and their lawless inclinations have frequently converted them into pirates; even at this moment they are the terror of the whole Chekeäng coast.
We had now (Nov. 15th) reached Keängnan; the winds were variable, and a month after our departure we saw the promontory of Shantung, and were beating towards Mantchou Tartary. It was now a year since I had been there; we landed at Fung-ming, a place to the south of Kae-chow. Some Shantung emigrants, who here constitute the most numerous part of the population, were quietly walking along the shore, when they saw "these strangers” start up to view. Instead of being startled they looked very gravely at us, and after having satisfied their curiosity in regard to our origin, they went on with their work. We had had a long conversation with the owner of a house, who had posted himself right in the way to prevent our entering his dwelling. I now thought it high time to make them a present of some books. When they found that I really intended to give these to them, they changed their tone, became friendly and hospitable. We entered their hovels of which the oven constituted the principal part, and, in fact, seems to be the drawing-room, bed, and kitchen. Pigs, asses; and goats lodged in an adjoining room very comfortably. Our host had provided a quantity of fuel from the stalks of the cotton plant, which grows here very abundantly. He had a very mumerous and healthy family of children dancing with delight about the strangers. Every body was well dressed in seven-fold, jackets and skills, and seemned also to be well fed; for the country abounds in all the necessaries of life, aud has abundance of
produce for exportation. When we left the people, now grown more familiar with us, they pressed forward to receive the word of eternal life, and were by no means deficient in compliments and thanks for the precious gift.
A few hours afterwards we arrived in the bay of Tung-tsze-kow, in lat. 39 deg. 23 min. N., long. 121 deg. 7 min. E., where we found a large fleet of junks, bound to the southern provinces, but now lying at anchor. They were all loaded with Mantchou produce. The people on board seemed openhearted, and answered our questions with great frankness. Their unanimous advice was, not to proceed farther to the north, because we should there meet with ice.-I can bear witness to their readiness to receive the tidings of salvation. Though their utter ignorance of Christianity opposed a strong barrier to their understanding our brief conversations, yet the books will speak to them at leisure. They may be only partly perused, or even some of them may be thrown away; yet many a tract and Bible will find readers, and impart knowledge necessary to the salvation of the soul. Filled with these thoughts we visited the valleys and hills around the bay. Very few traces of idolatry were visible in their houses; we saw only one temple dedicated to the Queen of Heaven, with the trophies of her saving power hung up-some junks in miniature. A few blind men were the overseers. found here a very intelligent people, who made rational inquiries of us, and who also read our books.—Nothing struck them so much as the construction of a watch. The fine calico of our shirts, and the broadcloth of our coats, also struck their fancy very much; but for their want of money they would have bought these at a high price.
The valleys along this coast present an alluvial soil.
In no part of the world perhaps does the sea recede so rapidly and constantly as in Leaoutung und Pild-chille. Every year adils to the land some