This machine, like a baker’s cart, is the kind of wheel carriage which is most common in the country, and such as even the high officers of state ride in, when performing land journies in bad weather, and the driver invariably sits on the shaft in the aukward manner here represented. They have no springs, nor any seat in the inside, the persons using them always sitting cross-legged on a cushion at the bottom. In these carts the gentlemen of Lord Macartney’s embassy who had not horses, were accommodated, over a stone pavement full of rutts and holes. When ladies use them, a bamboo screen is let down in front to prevent their being stared at by passengers, and on each side, the light is admitted through a square hole just large enough for a person’s head.
Of the Tartar horse another specimen has been given in this work. This represents a Tartar dragoon armed with the common instruments, the bow, and a short sabre. This corps is probably of little use beyond that of carrying dispatches, and assisting in the imperial hunts in the forests of Tartary. All the cavalry that were seen by the British Embassy had a mean, irregular, and most unsoldierlike appearance.
The annexed is a portrait of a true Tartar horse, which seems to be pretty much of the same breed as those of the Cossacks. The Chinese horses are precisely of the same kind. In fact, no pains whatever appear to be taken either for improving the breed, or by attention to their food, cleanliness, or regular exercise, to increase the size, strength, or spirit of the animal. A currycomb, or any substitute for it, is unknown in China. Indeed horses are not much in use. Wherever the nature of the country admits of canals or navigable rivers, travelling and conveyance of every kind are principally performed on the water.