The Yangtze Valley and Beyond
An Account of Journeys in China, Chiefly in the Province of Sze Chuan and Among the Man-tze of the Somo Territory
By Isabella Bird
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2010
Online Publication Date:July 2011
Original Publication Year:1899
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511709234.029
Subjects: East Asian history , Geography: general interest
An hour after leaving the great temples of Ta-miao, with their throngs of pilgrims and the remarkable friendliness of the people, we came upon the walls, gates, and towers of Tze-tung Hsien, the approach to which is denoted by a graceful eleven-storeyed pagoda on a neighbouring hill. I had not been through a large walled city since the riot at Liang-shan, and I had to brace myself up for entering this one, which has a reputed population of 27,000 people. The inhabitants were very orderly however, and though the streets were greatly crowded, the people looked pleasant. The Liang-shan riot is known to all the mandarins, and obviously they have no wish for a repetition of it, and I adhere to my belief that they are in most, if not in all cases, able to prevent attacks on foreigners.
Tze-tung Hsien is a clean and prosperous looking city, with wide streets lined by good shops, in which the goods are more displayed than is usual. It is surrounded with well-cultivated country, and good country houses, and trades in vegetable oils, cottons, and raw and spun silk, some of the strong, coarse “oak silk” being brought in for manufacture. Oil is made from the seeds of the aleurites cordata, rape seed, pea nuts, and opium seed.