XIV.8 A good custom in China

, par Stewart

The relations of China [1] tell us of the ceremony of opening the land, [2] which the emperor performsd every year. The idea was to incite the people to plow by this public and solemn act. [3]

Furthermore, the emperor is informed every year of the plowman who has the most distinguished himself in his occupation, and makes him a mandarin of the eighth order.

Among the ancient Persians, [4] on the eighth day of the month named Chorem-ruz, the kings would set aside their magnificence to eat with the plowmen. These institutions are admirable for the encouragement of agriculture.


[1Father du Halde, Description de l’empire de la Chine, vol. II, p. 72.

[2Several kings of the Indies do the same : The Kingdom of Siam by La Loubère, p. 69.

[3Ven-ti, third emperor of the third dynasty, tilled the earth with his own hands, and had silk prepared in his palace by the empress and her ladies : Description de l’empire de la Chine.

[4Mr. [Thomas] Hyde, Historia reliogionis veterum Persarum [‘The religious history of the ancient Persians’].