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there was no harm in it, for strangers liked the false tea as well, or better, than the true; and that it was impossible to load with true tea all the ships that came for it; China could not furnish such a quantity; and, if the demand went on increasing as it had done some years past, all the leaves of all the trees in the country would not be sufficient to answer it. This tea was sold cheap, as he understood twenty catty of it (a catty is near our pound) for about an ounce of silver. They did not drink it themselves, but said it was not unwholesome, if drunk moderately.
That after some time he set out in the train of seven merchants for Canton, with a passport from the mandarin, going partly by land, but chiefly by water in canals. That they stopt a week in a part of the country where a great deal of China ware is made; that many farmers had little furnaces in some out-house, where they worked at leisure times, and made, some nothing but tea-cups, others nothing but saucers, &c., which they sold to country shopkeepers, who collected quantities for the merchants. The ware is there very cheap. He could have bought a dozen pretty cups and saucers for as much silver as is in an English half-crown.
He says it is not true, that they have large wheel carriages in China, driven by the wind; at least he never saw or heard of any such; but that the wheelbarrow porters indeed, when passing some great open countries, do sometimes, if the wind is fair, spread a thin cotton sail, supported by a light bamboo mast, which they stick up on their wheelbarrows, and it helps them along. That he once saw a fleet of near three hundred sail of those wheelbarrows, each with a double wheel. That, when he arrived at Canton, he did not make himself known to the English there, but
got down as soon as he could to Macao, hoping to meet with his Portuguese captain; but he had never returned. That he worked there in rigging of vessels, till he had an opportunity of coming home to Europe; and, hearing on his arrival here, from an old comrade in the packet, that his sweetheart is married, and that the Resolution and Endeavour got home, he shall decline going to England yet a while, fearing he may be punished for carrying off the boat; therefore he has shipped himself, as I wrote you before, on a voyage to America. He was between three and four years in China. This is the substance of what I got from him, and nearly as he related it. He gave me the names of some places, but I found them hard to remember, and cannot recollect them.