The sloping roofs, with their multitude of
points and pinnacles, with their little bells and variegated tiles,
are only to be found in the temples and country-houses, but never in
the usual residences. At the entrance there were two painted gods:
these, according to the belief of the Chinese, keep off evil
The front part of the house consisted of several reception rooms,
without front walls, and immediately adjoining them, on the ground
floor, elegant parterres; and on the first floor magnificent
terraces, which were also decorated with flowers, and afforded a
most splendid view over the animated scene on the river, the
enchanting scenery around, and the mass of houses in the villages
situated about the walls of Canton.
Neat little cabinets surrounded these rooms, from which they were
only separated by walls that in many cases were adorned with the
most artistic paintings, and through which the eye could easily
penetrate. The most remarkable of these walls were those composed
of bamboos, which were as delicate as a veil, and plentifully
ornamented with painted flowers, or beautifully written proverbs.
A numberless quantity of chairs and a great many sofas were ranged
along the walls, from which I inferred that the Chinese are as much
accustomed to large assemblages as ourselves. I observed some arm-
chairs most skilfully cut out of a single piece of wood; others with
seats of beautiful marble-slabs; and others again of fine coloured
tiles or porcelain.