Canton, 26 July 1893

According to the original plan I should have departed for Macao already during the night but the great interest about Canton that had developed in me, made me ask Mr. Drew to extend his hospitality for another day, especially as I had not fully completed my shopping. As I could easily add a day in Canton from my point of view because we were in advance of our official plan due to the cancellation of Bangkok and as our dear host showed himself very pleased with our intention, our stay was in fact extended for a day.

My first action was to rush into the Chinese city, again in palanquins, to devote my time to furniture dealers and again to painters. We had split into two parties in order to complete all the intended purchases. Until the late afternoon we negotiated, bargained, haggled and bought in the city. And even shortly before our departure we could not stop doing business as a merchant of lace and namely of silk clothing came to visit us on Shamian.

When heaven granted us a friendly sun shine in the afternoon, we drove to a college situated at a side arm of the Pearl river. The college had been built by the previous governor in order to foster Chinese higher education. The foundation consisted of numerous temple-like buildings in a row that were connected by halls and corridors and contained large examination, lecture and conference halls whose walls were covered with sayings out of the writings of sages. One wing of rooms is intended to take in students.

Not far from the college was a village, actually a suburb of Canton with large institutions for the artificial hatching of ducks. In low rooms, the duck eggs are stored in layers in baskets that are stuffed with paper and exposed for about three weeks to a high but regular temperature. After this delay the chirping of the young in the eggs is audible — I have checked this personally — and soon the small ducklings break out of the shell and look astonished out to the world. Quickly placing in a wet environment, they immediately feel at home. The Chinese palate is strangely very keen on nearly hatched eggs and just hatched ducklings so that these hatcheries make good business. Our native cicerone added to their profit by buying some nearly hatched eggs during the visit for his supper.

As Mr. Drew told me during the farewell dinner, during my stay in Canton, there were many questions asked about the foreign prince. In the grilling that Mr. Drew had to endure for my sake the questioners mostly wanted to know how many women I had and having been told that I did not have a single dear wife, they left shaking their head in disbelief.

We said a heartfelt good-bye to our hosts whose efforts I owe that our stay in Canton was so very satisfying and embarked on the „Tschuen-tiao“  in order to steer downstream to Macao at a gorgeous full moon — China’s best fireworker. Illuminated by magical light, the landscape lay in front of us which I enjoyed for a long time on deck, swimming on the shaky, glittering Guangzhouwan, and apreciating the joy of breathing in fresh air.

Links

  • Location: Canton
  • ANNO – on 26.07.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is closed for summer until 15 September. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing a ballet „Die goldene Märchenwelt“.

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