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BY JOHN FRANCIS DAVIS, Esq., F.R.S., &c.
GOVERNOR OF HONG-KONG.
A NEW EDITION, ENLARGED AND REVISED.
IN THREE VOLUMES.-VOL. I.
The Emperor Kien-Loong . . . . 58
House . . . . . . . . 219
The following work owes its origin to a collection of notes which the author made while resident in China; and these notes were compiled for a reason not altogether dissimilar to the motive which a French writer alleges for an undertaking of the same kind—“ le désir de tout connaître, en étant obligé de le décrire.” A residence of more than twenty years (which terminated in the author succeeding the late amiable and unfortunate Lord Napier as his Majesty's chief authority in China) has perhaps been calculated to mature and correct those opinions of the country and people which he had formed, as a very young man, in accompanying Lord Amherst on the embassy to Peking in 1816. If some acquaintance, besides, with the language and literature of the Chinese empire has not been of considerable assistance to him in increasing the extent and accuracy of his information, it must have been his own fault entirely, and not any want of opportunities and means.
It is singular that no general and systematic work on China has ever yet been produced in this country, notwithstanding that our immediate interest in the subject has been vastly greater than that of any other European nation. At the head of travels, both as to date and excellence, stand the authentic account of Lord Macartney's Mission by Staunton, and Barrow's