The Travels and Controversies of Friar Domingo Navarrete, 1618-1686 - Vol. 2

By Domingo Fernández Navarrete; J. S. Cummins | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV
MY JOURNEY TO THE IMPERIAL CITY, AND RESIDENCE THERE

1. As soon as a Boat was order'd, and Officers appointed to conduct me, these began to contrive to get Money of me. This sort of People is covetous all the World over; but there is a difference, for in China any Officer of the Civil Magistrate is satisfy'd with a little, and thankful for it; but in other parts a great deal goes but a little way, and they undervalue it. I will relate what happen'd to me there: They assign'd me an an Officer, who I fancy'd was too contentious, and I fear'd would be troublesome and impertinent upon the way. This matter depended on the Clerk, I sent him a Message, and a little Mony, desiring him to appoint another who was more courteous and civil. The Man deliver'd the Message, and only two Silver Ryals (a Shilling *). He consented, order'd another in his stead, and said, 'Your Master must have a sharp Eye if he knew that Man; I will appoint one who shall please him in all things, and serve him.' And so it prov'd; but would they do the like for a Chinese in our Country?

2. I forgot to relate how the City Kin Hoa had held out bravely against the Tartars, and it cost them their Trump-cards to take it. When taken, the Tartar General having promis'd to spare all Men, call'd together all the Citizens; and when they were all in a place, gave the Signal to his Men to fall on and they butcher'd 40,000. He was a cruel Man, named Ma Tie To who some years after was put to death at Court. That City was much impair'd, but, nevertheless, in my time it was paying 50000 Ducats a year in Taxes. The Town down the River where my two Companions resided, surrendred without drawing Sword, and so escap'd un- touch'd. Its Trade is great, the Duties there amount to 70000 Ducats a Year. The best Liquor of all China is there made of

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