COREA or Korea, the Kaoli of the Chinese, called Chaou Seen by the natives. Corea is a kingdom in a large peninsula, stretching from lat. 42° 19' N. southwards to the Straits of Corea, area 91,000' square utiles.
The peninsula of Corea bears a strong resem blance in its physical aspects to Italy. An axial range of mountains runs close to aud parallel with the east coast ; the rivers which flow westward from it, and fall into the China Sea, being of con siderable length, and those that flow eastward into the Sea of Japan, small and unimportant. Re garding the west coast but little is known. It is for the most part a flat and uninteresting coast, inhabited by a class of people reportid to be rude and inhospitable, and dangerous to navigation on account of rapids and high tides. The east coast, on the contrary, is a magnificently wooded series of mountain spurs, running down front the axial range of the country close to the water's edge, and visible inany miles at sett. It is conterminous with the coast of Russian Tartary, and has been accu rately surveyed again and again by Russian men of-war. The whole coast is one grand succession of hills and mountains, forest-clad at their stumnits, and covered on their lower slopes with a jungle of dwarf oaks, creepers, stunted pines, and a dense undergrowth of shrubs and grasses of every variety. Tigers abound, and pits to catch them may be seen close to the villages with which every valley is studded.
Corea is an independent state, perfectly sove reign within her own borders, with a peaceful and industrious population, who desiro nothing better than that they be left alone to earn their own bread in their own way. The hills which cover the east of the country are given over to wild beasts, it is true ; but wherever cultivation by simple methods is possible, there it swarms with millions of people, and there is no reason to believe that they are not perfectly satisfied with them selves, their rulers, and their country.
The Coreans are in physique the finest people in Eastern Asia, and in bearing much more manly than it is the fashion to represent them, but they aro as a nation absolutely unarmed. They have lived in such complete seclusion, that they are frightened with strange sounds and sights even, although this is the timidity of ignorance, not of craven spirit.
Although Corea is thus described as an inde pendent sovereign state, in the sense that her municipal laws, her executive, the succession to her throne, and the treaty relations she has entered into with Japan, are purely of her own creation, sho is in another sense a feudatory of China. The senices which she performs, whatever nifty have been their origin, are now-a-days perforrned front sentimental, not political motives, and her title to the sovereignty she possesses is not based on their due performance. To speak strictly, they consist of a formal recognition by the emperor of China of each successive king, and the despatch to Pekin at stated in tervals of a mission bearing tribute. Its border on Russian territory has been surveyed. It is the most easterly part of the Asiatic continent, and is separated from the Chinese empire by the Than - pe - chang or Pe - then - shan, the white headed mountains, a formidable range. The native prior race are of 3fongoloid origin, but the mercantile population arc said to belong to the Indo-European race. The native race averages 5i feet, have a wheaten-yellow colour, prominent cheek-bones, heavy jaw, flat and crushed root of nose, wide nostrils, rather large mouth, thick lips, oblique eyes, coarse, thick, blackish hair, frequently tinged with red, thick eyebrows, thin beard. They have a tradition that they sprang from a black eow on the shores of the Japan Sea. It has innumerable islands on its W., S., and E. coasts, the largest being Kang-wha on tho west, Quelpart on the south, and 011ongto on the east. Quelpart mountains rise to 6600 feet above the sea. The total inhabitants of the peninsula and ishuuls are estimated at 16 millions. Some of tho mountains rise to 10,000 feet above the sea. The capital and residence of its kings is Saoul, with 100,000 to 150,000 inhabitants. The higher classes have a tendency to the Turanian physical type, as with the Japanese and those of Siberia.
They are polygamie, and purchase their wives. Their women aro secluded. The dead are buried In wooden coffins, or wrapped in sheets. Rice is the chief article of diet ; they eat largely, and Irink much alcoholic fluid ; are fond of music, honest, good-natured.—Ernest Offerl's Forbidden Laud ; Yule, Cathay, ii. 268.