William H. Seward's Travels around the World

By William Henry Seward; Olive Risley Seward | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV.
THE COAST OF CHINA.

Woosung.--U. S. Ship Colorado.--Shanghai.--European "Concessions."--A Mandarin Procession.--Chi-Tajen and Sun-Tajen.--European and Chinese Civilization.--Foreign Prejudices against the Chinese.--The Shan Tung.--The Yellow Sea.--The News from France.--Chee-Foo, the Newport of China.--A Rough Voyage.

Woosung, October 17th.--A respite from politics, philanthropy morals. Why should we not allow ourselves to see things in the natural way, not to say that there is little more to be learned of the nature of the millstone, by looking into it, than there is by studying its surface?

A great ocean-sight was reserved for us on the Yellow Sea. Just at sunrise this morning, unnumbered whales appeared off the larboard bow, first throwing up glittering fountains of spray, then rolling their great, glossy, black backs upward, then with their huge forked tails waving adieu as they plunged under the waves. The shoal waters of the Chinese coast have the hue of the Missouri, and give the Yellow Sea its name.

We have crossed the great estuary of the Yang-tse-kiang, and arrived at Woosung, the outer haven of Shanghai, fourteen miles below that city. The country is on all sides a low plain, without landmark. Only three days ago, we left Japan, green as if it were June; here the fields are dry and brown. We have October without its mellowness, and yet Shanghai is only one degree south of Nagasaki. Are islands always warmer and more genial than continental shores? Did Sancho Panza understand this when he

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