IV. LIGHT AND SHADE.
THE CHIANG-CHIU VALLEY.
Among the jottings in Mr. Talmage’s diary for 1847-1848 we find mention of a tour to Chiang-chiu on September 23, 1847, in company with Messrs. Pohlman, Doty and Lloyd.
Chiang-chiu is a large city of 200,000 inhabitants, situated on a wide river, 30 miles west of Amoy. He writes: “Wherever we went we were accompanied by an immense throng of people. The most of them I suppose had never seen a white face. But few Europeans have visited the city. The city has an extensive wall, wider and I think more cleanly streets, and is larger than Amoy. In the rear of the city there are three watch towers. They are situated on very elevated ground. From these we had a very delightful view of the city and surrounding country. The scenery, it seemed to me, was the most beautiful I had ever witnessed. Within the circle of our vision lay that immense city with its extensive walls, its temples and pagoda, its river, bridges and boats, its gardens, its trees and shrubbery, and its densely crowded streets. Surrounding the city was spread out an extensive valley of some ten or fifteen miles in width and some twenty or twenty-five in length, covered with luxuriant vegetation. Through the midst of the valley might be marked the meandering track of the Chiang-chiu river, the whole region beautifully variegated with fruit trees, shade trees, and villages. Still further on, in every direction, our view was bounded by lofty hills whose cloud capped tops seemed as pillars on which the heavens rested. Nature had done her best to make this region a terrestrial paradise.”