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A SHORT NOTICE OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY'S TEA PLANTATIONS
aUTHOR OF THREE Y E A US """w A N D K li 1 N fi S IN CHINa.
WITH MAP AND ILLUSTRATIONS.
It is now about five years since I submitted to the public my 'Three Years' Wanderings in the Northern Provinces of China.' Shortly after the publication of that volume I was deputed by the Honourable the Court of Directors of the East India Company to proceed to China for the purpose of obtaining the finest varieties of the Tea-plant, as well as native manufacturers and implements, for the Government Tea plantations in the Himalayas. On the 20th of June, 1848, I left Southampton, with many other passengers, in the Peninsular and Oriental Company's steam-ship 'B-ipon,' Captain Moresby, I.N., and landed in Hong-kong on the 14th of August.
As I went far inland, and visited many districts almost unknown to Europeans, I now venture to lay an account of my travels and their results before the public. Blessed with a sound constitution and good health, I cared little for luxuries, and made light of the hardships of a traveller's life. New scenes, new countries, and new plants were day by day spread out before me and afforded gratification of the highest and purest kind. And even now, when on a different side of the globe and far removed from such scenes and such adventures, I often look back upon them with feelings of unalloyed pleasure.
The important objects of my mission have been brought to a successful termination. Upwards of twenty thousand tea-plants, eight first-rate manufacturers, and a large supply of implements were procured from the finest tea-districts of China, and conveyed in safety to the Himalayas. In the course of my travels I discovered many useful and ornamental trees and shrubs, some of which, such as the Funeral Cypress, will one day produce a striking and beautiful effect in our English landscape and in our cemeteries.
In publishing this account of my journey I may repeat what I said in the introduction to my former 'Wanderings:'—" I have no intention of writing or making a book upon China." My object is to give a peep into the Celestial Empire, to show its strange hills and romantic valleys, its rivers and canals, its natural productions, whether in the field, on the hillside, or in the garden, and its strange and interesting people, as they were seen by me in their every-day
life. As I hope my readers will accompany me through the whole of my journey, I shall have the pleasure of taking them to India and the Himalayas, and showing them the Government Tea plantations, from which much is expected, and which are likely to prove of great advantage, not only to India but also to England and her wide-spreading colonies.
Having thus given an idea of what may be expected in the following pages, I have only to express a hope that the work may be received by the public in the same kind spirit, and with the same indulgence and favour, that were shown to my former 'Wanderings.'
Brampton, April, 1852.