A General History And Collection Of Voyages And Travels - Volume 8 - By Robert Kerr












































 -  I have seen when some of
them lay dying, that there were set up seven burning perfumes, four of
them - Page 240
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I Have Seen When Some Of Them Lay Dying, That There Were Set Up Seven Burning Perfumes, Four Of Them Great Shining Lights, Arranged On A Cane Laid Across Two Crochets, Six Feet From The Ground, And Three Small Dim Lights On The Ground Directly Under The Others.

On asking frequently the meaning of this ceremony, I could never get any other answer than that it was the custom of China.

They do many other such foolish things, not knowing wherefore, but only that it has been so done by their ancestors.

They delight much in the exhibition of plays, and in singing, but certainly have the worst voices in the world. These plays and interludes are exhibited in honour of their gods, after burning sacrifices at the beginning, the priests many times kneeling down, and kissing the ground three times in quick succession. These plays are made most commonly when they think their junks are setting out from China, and likewise when they arrive at Bantam, and when they go away back to China. These plays sometimes begin at noon, and continue till next morning, being mostly exhibited in the open streets, on stages erected on purpose. They have likewise among them some soothsayers, who sometimes run raging up and down the streets, having drawn swords in their hands, tearing their hair like so many madmen, and throwing themselves on the ground. When in this frantic state, they themselves affirm, and it is believed by the Chinese, that they can foretell what is to happen.

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