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ranks of society. The crowd and confusion
were not a little augmented by men carrying
on their shoulders large baskets filled with
provisions; in loud voices, they alternately
crying the articles they offered for sale, and
shouting to the people who thronged the
streets. Every now and then a palanquin,
bearing one of the wealthy Chinese traders
to his place of business, would work its way
into a narrow lane, checking the course of the
living tide that poured through it, and
completely blocking up the thoroughfare.

All these narrow streets or lanes are
situated close to the city wall, upon which
many of them abut. Along the wall there
are many little doors or gates leading into
the interior of the city. These gates are closed
in the evening, and at all times foreigners are
strictly prohibited from passing through them.
If, as it frequently happens, an unlucky
foreign sailor, in the course of an idle stroll,
unwittingly passes through one of these
forbidden gates, a volley of stones, directed upon
him from all quarters, is the first intimation
he receives of his mistake.

After we had walked about two miles
through the labyrinth of narrow streets, we
came in sight of the celebrated wall. It is
about sixty feet high, and in most parts
covered with grass, moss, creeping plants, and
other kinds of vegetation; so that it has the
appearance of a garden wall. From the summit
of a little neighbouring hill, we obtained
a fine view over the city. It was a mere
chaos of small houses, between most of which
stood a single tree. We discerned no fine
streets or squares; no temples, or handsome
buildings of any kind. A single pagoda, five
stories high, was the only object that
reminded us we were surveying a Chinese

Our homeward course lay across fertile
uplands, and well-cultivated meadows and
fields. Many of the hills are cemeteries, and
are thickly scattered over with graves, marked
by little heaps of earth, and tombstones
about two feet high. Some of these stones
were nearly covered with inscriptions. Here
and there were family tombs, consisting of
large graves surrounded by walls in the form
of a horse-shoe. The Chinese do not inter all
their dead. They have another very peculiar
mode of burial, which consists in depositing
the corpse in tombs of masonry. These
tombs have two walls and a roof, the
unwalled sides being left open. They contain
two or three, and sometimes as many as
four coffins, which rest on wooden benches.
The coffins are made of trunks of trees
hollowed out.

The little villages or hamlets through
which we passed were marked by poverty and
dirtiness. In all of them I observed vast
numbers of poultry and pigs; but in the
course of the whole excursion I saw only two
horses and a buffalo. These animals were of
a very small species.

When near our journey's end, we met a
funeral. Its approach was announced by
strains of dismal music; and we had scarcely
time to look about us and to get out of the
way, when the procession advanced almost at
a running pace. First came the musicians,
followed by a few Chinese (probably relatives
of the deceased); next were two empty
palanquins, followed by the coffin, formed of
the hollowed stem of a tree. It was slung on a
pole, and carried by bearers. The procession
was closed by a few priests and a long train
of people, who followed from mere idle

The high priest wore a white head-dress,
with a triple point, looking not unlike three
fool's caps fastened together. The mourners
(who are all men) wore a piece of white cloth,
either tied round the arm or wound round
the head. White is the colour worn by the
Chinese for mourning. They are particularly
sensitive respecting death, and direct allusion
to it in conversation is considered highly
indecorous. When they speak of a funeral,
they call it " a white affair."


THE Old Sailor, whose autobiography we
lately published in successive chapters, under
the title of "The Story of a Sailor's Life," has
not finished his adventures yet. He is laid
up in the infirmary of Greenwich Hospital, at
this time, in consequence of an unfortunate
occurrence occasioned by the publication of a
passage in that chapter of his story, which
appeared in No. 63 of "Household Words,"
page 259a passage which has given pain, we
regret to learn, to the members of a highly
respectable London mercantile firm. It runs

"Mr. Scovell, being connected with a great many
country bankers, and a great many of them breaking,
Mr. Scovell was obliged to stop payment, and I got
a shilling in the pound for the little money that he
had of mine."

Having been assured, not only by the parties
most interested, but by other gentlemen, that
the statement that Mr. Scovell ever stopped
payment, is utterly incorrect, we wrote to
Gosport, and caused Francis Bergh (the Old
Sailor) to be questioned on the subject. When
the matter was explained to him, he was so
shocked at having, although unintentionally,
committed an error which compromises the
character of a gentleman who had been more
than once a benefactor to him, that he
instantly set off for London to explain personally
to ourselves, and to Mr. Scovell, the origin of
the mis-statement. He started on Monday,
the 16th of June, alone, and without letting
any one know whither he was going. Nothing