Round the World
Andrew Carnegie

Part 2 out of 5

even the art of printing, and to her also alone the spectacle of a
people ruled by a code of laws and morals embracing the most
minute particulars, written two thousand four hundred years ago,
and taught to this day in the schools as the rules of life. It is
an old and true saying that almost any system of religion would
make one good enough if it were properly obeyed; certainly that of
Confucius would do so. I have been deeply impressed with his
greatness and purity. Dr. Davis writes in his work on China:
"Confucius embodied in sententious maxims the first principles of
morals and of government, and the purity and excellence of some of
his precepts will bear comparison with even those of the Gospel."
In Thornton's History of China I find this noteworthy passage: "It
may excite surprise, and even incredulity, to state that the
golden rule of our Saviour had been inculcated by Confucius five
centuries before almost in the same words." If any of my readers
wish a rare treat, I advise him to add at least the first volume
of the Rev. Dr. Legge's Life of Confucius to his library
immediately, and let him not entertain the idea that the sage was
a heathen or an unbeliever; far, very far from that, for one of
his most memorable passages explains that all worship belongs to
Shangti (the Supreme Ruler); no matter what forms or symbols are
used, the great God alone being the only true object of worship.
But I must resist this fit of Confucianism, reserving, however,
the privilege of regaling you with more of it by and bye, for
really it is too good not to be scattered among you. Meanwhile,
remember well what Matthew Arnold says:

"Children of men! the unseen Power, whose eye
For ever doth accompany mankind,
Hath look'd on no religion scornfully
That men did ever find.

Which has not taught weak wills how much they can?
Which has not fall'n on the dry heart like rain?
Which has not cried to sunk, self-weary man:
_Thou must be born again!_"

* * * * *

THURSDAY, December 5.

We reached Shanghai Thursday morning, and found excellent
accommodations at the Astor House, in the American settlement. The
Chinese Government has set apart for the accommodation of
foreigners a strip of land, about six miles long and one mile
wide, fronting the river. This is divided among the English,
French, and Americans. During the Taeping rebellion a few years
ago, thousands of natives flocked into this territory and found a
refuge under the foreign flags, and today it contains more than
seventy thousand Chinese, who do most of the retail business of
the city. The foreign population does not exceed two thousand. The
streets are broad, and as well cared for as in an English town,
and it is lighted with gas, has a fine steam fire organization,
and is thoroughly drained. It is here the natives of this district
are learning their first lesson of Western civilization, and at
length some impression has been made upon this hitherto immovable
mass and it begins to move. Mandarins come from the country to
enjoy a drive in the streets, for, let it not be forgotten, there
is not a street or road in the region, outside of the reservation,
in which a horse can travel; only footpaths, where a wheelbarrow
pushed by a man is the only possible vehicle. Now several wealthy
Chinese have set up their carriages, and may frequently be seen
driving; and I learn from many that when any are compelled to
visit their former residences elsewhere, they return to Shanghai
declaring that they could not live any longer in the old style.
But think of one-third of the race living at this late day without
a mile of railroad or of telegraph, or even of macadamized roads!
Communication in China is solely by means of the rivers, canals,
and small branches which have been led from the main channels to
every acre of ground for irrigating purposes, and by narrow
footpaths between the fields. But some of us will live to see this
changed. I saw in a newspaper an official notice permitting the
first telegraph line to be built. True, it is to be only a few
miles in length, extending from the sea to the port of Peking
(Tien-Tsin), but this is of course only a beginning. The question
of railroads is more serious, and what think you is the one
obstacle to their introduction? Graves--the "tombs of our
ancestors." China is one vast cemetery. Go where you will, in any
direction, the mounds of the dead intrude themselves upon you at
every step. There are no cemeteries or places set apart for burial
purposes; on the contrary, the Chinaman seems to prefer having his
dead buried on his own land, and as near to him as practicable. In
this neighborhood their mode of sepulture is revolting. The
coffins are not put into a grave at all, but are laid directly on
the surface of the ground and covered with but a few inches of
earth; and it is not at all uncommon for them to be wholly
exposed, simply laid out in the fields, and so close to the
roadside--I mean to the main roads built by Europeans near their
settlements--that you can almost touch them with the end of your
walking-stick as you pass. The stench from such coffins became so
offensive last year at the rifle range that the European
authorities had to enter complaint to the Chinese Mandarin. I was,
like all others, at first much shocked at the sight of these
evidences of mortality. One day I stood and counted a hundred and
thirty-four different mounds and exposed coffins within sight. I
am glad to say that in other parts of China this custom does not
prevail, the dead being buried in graves, and walls built above
them in the shape of a horseshoe. As is well known, the Chinese
worship their ancestors, and believe that much of their happiness
depends upon the respect shown to those to whom they owe their
lives. Cases have been known where successive afflictions have
been attributed to some defect in the resting-places of the dead;
their ancestors, "after life's fitful fever," were not sleeping
well, and at great expense the bones have been removed to another
place; but it is an extreme case when they venture to disturb the
dead. Every true son of the Empire of the Sun echoes the anathema
of Shakespeare,

"And curst be he who moves my bones."

One special feature of the Flowery Land is, I think, the
repugnance of the people to debt, or to credits in any form. As I
have remarked, they have no banks of issue; no promises to pay for
the Celestials; they deal only in the coin itself. All debts must
be paid at the beginning of each year. The Chinaman who does not
settle every account and enter upon the new year without an
obligation is accounted either very unfortunate or very regardless
of the duties of life. This aversion to debt, perhaps, accounts
for the fact that these four hundred millions of people had not a
penny of national debt until four years ago. But they have just
made a loan of $12,000,000, I believe, the first ever made by
China in all its thousands of years' history. This may be taken,
perhaps, as another proof that the empire is influenced by Western
ideas, but one cannot help regretting that her long reign of
freedom from debt should at last be stained, even for so paltry an
amount. If I were a Chinese statesman, I would never rest until
the last farthing of this debt was paid off. The fashion nowadays
in America is to urge that it is paying off its debt much too
fast. I am sorry for this. What an example to all lands we shall
give when the last bond of the nation is cancelled at Washington
amid public rejoicings! A republic's part is to give less advanced
nations, still under the influence of feudal institutions, such
lessons as this will be. Do not let us, however, underrate
England's part in. such a work. She has reduced her public debt
wonderfully, and the next twenty years is to see seventy millions
sterling more extinguished, unless legislation now existing for
this end is interfered with.

The general government of China is a very economical one, its
total revenue being only about $125,000,000 (£25,000,000). Of this
$15,000,000 is spent upon the army, a sum which for 400,000,000
people compares very favorably with that expended by other
nations. China has outgrown the so-called heroic age, in which
England still dwells, and has little need of armies. A government
not worth thirty cents (fifteen pence) per year for each
inhabitant, which is the cost in China, is not worth having.

* * * * *

FRIDAY, December 6.

In our stroll to-day Vandy and I came upon one of the gates of the
old city, of which there are six in a wall three miles in
circumference, and entered. It contains 300,000 people. We walked
some distance through its filthy, narrow alleys, and saw the poor
wretches in their dens working at all kinds of trades, from the
forging of iron to the production of Joss-money, but the
villainous smells soon overpowered me, and I had to get Vandy to
escort me out. He can go through anything of this kind without
flinching, and means to return; but I have seen enough of it, and
am sorry that human beings have to exist under such conditions.
The Chinese have no coined currency except a small bronze piece
worth one-tenth of a cent, called "cash." It has a hole in the
centre, and when a native goes to market he puts several lots of
them on strings, fifty or a hundred on each string, and throws
them round his neck; think of it, one thousand pieces, ten strings
of one hundred each, to make a dollar! Sometimes they are carried
in the market-basket. In larger operations Mexican and American
dollars are used, but away from the coast people decline to take
even these, insisting upon silver cast in the form of a horseshoe
and called "sice." This silver is hoarded here, and also in India,
and were it not for this its value would probably fall to a point
which would rule it out of the list of precious metals. The evils
of a silver currency are obvious to all here. Its value has
changed three times in one day since we have been in the country.
Business is seriously disturbed, and suffers from this cause, and
it is to such a plight that our misled silverites at home would
reduce us!

* * * * *

SATURDAY, December 7.

To-day we walked through the fish and vegetable markets. It was
funny to see the people making their purchases. Each one carries a
small stick with a weight attached to it. This serves as a
weighing-beam, and every fowl, fish, and vegetable is carefully
weighed by the customer. No cheating of a brother Celestial by the
seller. We pass now and then a shop where nothing is dealt in but
Joss-money; hundreds in every place are engaged in its
manufacture. It is made out of thin gold and silver paper, in the
horseshoe ingot form of genuine "sice." I bought a box containing
eight pieces for thirty cents. Some of it also is made in
imitation of silver dollars. This bogus money is laid upon the
altars of the temples as offerings to the gods, who are supposed
to find as much use for it as if it were genuine; and no doubt
this is the case. It would therefore be a great pity, says the
Heathen Chinee, to waste the real article, although I doubt not
the priests would infinitely prefer it.

We attended a "paper-hunt" in the afternoon. Between forty and
fifty riders, all Europeans, on small horses, started across
country, the route having been previously laid down by means of
small pieces of white paper scattered at every point where one of
the innumerable little creeks was to be crossed. The finish was a
rare sight. The banks of the creeks were very muddy, falls were
numerous, and several of the riders came in besmirched from head
to foot. Europeans take to horses here, and a race-course is
maintained. The animals are a small breed from the north, which
are now known as Shanghai ponies. I do not think I could enjoy the
sport of paper-hunting here. The exposed coffins and graves one
has to gallop over from end to end of the hunt are not calculated
to enhance one's pleasure; but perhaps one would in time get used
even to them, though I doubt it.

It was sad to see the roadway which had been prepared for the
railroad from Woosung, at the mouth of the river, to this city, a
distance of about twelve miles. The rails had actually been laid
in some places when a decree from Peking ordered their removal. No
better location in the empire could have been found to prove the
advantages of railway travel, and I believe, if it had been
finished, the Chinese would have quickly appreciated the benefits
to be derived from it. Britain will some day find in China its
best field for railway enterprise. By the time we next visit
Shanghai we expect to see not only the rails restored to this
line, but also many other miles in successful operation.

* * * * *

MONDAY, December 9.

We visited the ship-yard of Messrs. Boyd & Co., and found none but
native workmen employed. Blacksmiths receive about five dollars
per week, machinists six dollars; carpenters, sixty to sixty-five
cents per day. But this concern pays high wages, and requires its
men to equal Europeans, which I am told they do. Common gang labor
is contracted for with a head man, who engages to supply day by
day the number of coolies wanted at twenty cents a day per man.
Mr. Grant, the senior partner, told me he was buying Belgian iron
in large lots, assorted sizes, for £4 10s. per gross ton--just
about one cent per pound; ship plates at £6, equal to $29 per
gross ton, free on ship at Antwerp. Such figures prove the
severity of the struggle for existence among the iron
manufacturers of Europe.

The servants at the hotel pay a contractor two dollars per month
for food, they not being permitted to eat anything at the hotel. A
coolie's board costs about five cents per day. For this he gets an
abundance of coarse rice and cabbage spiced with pieces of dried
fish and pickles, and upon such a diet lives from year to year.
Clothing is estimated at two to three dollars per year. This is
the country of low prices, where one eschews luxuries and comes
down to first principles. Cab fare is five cents per mile for
ginrikshaws, which have been introduced from Japan, and are
generally used in Shanghai. At Tokio I remember cab fare was even
cheaper. We paid only eight cents per hour for a man and his
carriage, or seventy-five cents for the entire day. European
society here is quite extensive, and very pleasant and hospitable.
We are indebted to kind friends for numerous attentions. As
General Bailey, our worthy Consul-General, is a public official, I
may be permitted to express to him my special thanks. He was
unremitting in his efforts to render our visit agreeable. It is
from such men that America is to draw its trained diplomatists
when Civil-Service Reform has done its needed work.

We attended last night a very good amateur theatrical performance.
Shanghai society was present in force, and in full evening dress.
The preponderance of fine-looking young men, and the almost total
absence of young ladies, was most marked. The number of married
ladies was not great. In answer to my inquiry where the young
ladies were, I was informed that there were but few in town. One
was pointed out, but as she was engaged she scarcely counted. If
ladies will only be contented with unremitting attentions from a
crowd of handsome beaux, this is their paradise; but, as our lady
friend explained, none of these fine fellows can afford to marry:
they are clerks and assistants in the European houses, the
partners of which unfortunately are married already. I think it
but fair to mention this for the benefit of any of my fair young
friends who might otherwise think of visiting the East. The
absence of young ladies renders the taking of female parts by the
opposite sex a necessity. A splendid "singing chambermaid" of this
kind, dressed and looking the part to perfection, but with a deep
bass voice, caused peals of laughter every time he spoke. During
the evening there was a song cleverly introduced and sung by a
brawny Scot--a parody upon "May I like a soldier fall," beginning,

"Oh! may I like a Scotchman fall
Upon St. Andrew's Day."

It appears the Scotch residents had just been celebrating that
memorable night, having brought up from Hong Kong no less a
personage than the head piper of the Highlander Regiment to grace
the festival. But the pipes proved too much for the more
enthusiastic of the party, and capturing the piper about three
o'clock in the morning, they compelled him to march at their head
playing through the town. It may be readily surmised that

"If no fou, they just had plenty."

As long, however, as the martial strains continued, they managed,
arm and arm, to keep upright and together, but, unfortunately,
from some cause or other not clearly explained, at the turn of the
street Donald himself lost his footing, the bagpipes ceased, and
then, surging one against the other, without the music to keep
them in step, the mass was laid low, yelling to the last, however,
the "March of the Cameron Men." "Oh, what a fall was there, my
countrymen!" The Central Hotel was fortunately not far off, and by
the aid of wheelbarrows they were safely conveyed thither and
taken care of until morning. Ah, well, let the censorious take
note. This is not the first time, as the world knows, when the
sound of the pibroch has kept Scotchmen shoulder to shoulder, "one
stepping where the other fell," when upon them lay the issue of
the fight; nor shall it be the last. Burke pardoned something to
the spirit of liberty, and shall we do less to the august shade of
St. Andrew? Heaven forbid!

While bemoaning the absence of foreign young ladies here and in
Japan, I may as well tell those at home something of the marriage
customs of the East, for Japan, China, and India all have much in
common here. First and foremost, then, please understand that the
couple about to be married have nothing whatever to do with the
affair. The match has been made by the parents, and as a rule
neither has seen the other until after the contract has been
closed; and in many cases it is thought advisable that they should
meet for the first time when the ceremony begins. It is considered
one of the most important duties of a mother to select a wife for
each of her sons as he arrives at maturity, as a failure to do
this might involve the fearful catastrophe of a break in the
worship of the family's ancestors, and indeed of her own and her
husband's ashes, for there might be no men to perform the sacred
rites over them. The parents of the young men take the initiative,
but how to propose is said to be even more embarrassing than it
would be to the son himself, as a refusal implies that the lady's
parents consider the proposal much beneath them. There exists,
therefore, a class of "marriage brokers," who keep themselves
informed of the eligible sons and daughters in their circle, and
can sound the parents, name the _dot_ to be given or
required, and suggest and finally bring about a satisfactory
alliance without wounding the family pride upon either side. The
Chinese are very superstitious, and no union takes place without
the astrologer's sanction. He must consult the stars and see that
there is proper conjunction. If all is favorable, the marriage
takes place.

But now, my lady friends, don't imagine that the happy pair set up
a separate establishment, as you expect to do when you marry. No;
the wife goes in every case to reside with her mother-in-law, to
whom, as also to her husband's father, she renders implicit
obedience. This obedience to parents is the most conspicuous duty
in their religion. Should the daughter-in-law be disrespectful,
even, to her husband's parents, these would be upheld in putting
her away, even against the wish of her husband; and unless the son
happened to have an independent income or means of support, which
is very rarely the case, his parents would select for him another
wife who knew her duty better. The deference exacted and bestowed
not only by children but by grown men and women to their parents,
is wholly inconceivable by Americans; but, remember, their
religion teaches them that those from whom they derive existence
are entitled to their worship. No priest is required at a
marriage. The ceremony always takes place at the man's house, the
bride coming from her parents in grand procession through the
streets in a sedan chair with its blinds closely drawn, the
presents being ostentatiously displayed by men carrying them in
front. We saw several of these processions. I cannot give a tithe
of all the customs observed; they would fill pages. But one is
significant; the bride is required to kneel before the husband's
family tablet, and to worship his ancestors, her own being from
that moment apparently of no account to her, and her father gives
her, as his parting injunction, the command to yield hereafter to
her new parents the obedience and reverence hitherto his due.

When the entire day has been spent in the ceremonies required,
dinner for the couple is announced, and they are left alone with
each other for the first time in their lives; but she may not
partake one morsel of the feast, and, harder still, perhaps, not
one syllable must she speak. Etiquette demands that she "sit in
silence, grave and dignified," and she cannot break fast upon her
wedding day. The woman's chief study is a book giving minute
instructions for her guidance through life. In this are prescribed
the three great duties of woman: 1, obedience when a child to her
parents; 2, obedience when a wife to her husband; 3, obedience
when a widow to her eldest son. The government of man is thus
secured for the weaker vessel from the cradle to the grave. No
Eastern man could be made to believe that the influence of the
masculine intellect is not absolutely essential for the well-being
of the female; and so it undoubtedly will be in the East as long
as woman is uneducated. It is in America we find woman in her
highest development, higher even than the English standard, simply
because in the best circles she receives an education nearer to
that of man than is given her elsewhere.

By many such curious customs is secured the entire absorption of
the woman, her total eclipse as a separate individuality; there is
nothing left of her as far as law and usage can destroy her
rights. This is the Eastern idea. But she has her triumph later.
As a wife she knows there is little for her. Divorce is almost
sure unless she bear a son; but when, in the language of
Scripture, "a man-child is born"--presto change! she is a mother,
supreme, invested with a halo of sanctity which secures rank and
reverence from all. She becomes by this the equal of her lord, and
must be worshipped like him, and jointly with him, by succeeding
generations, for Confucius enjoins upon every son the erection of
the family tablets, to father and mother alike. Nor is her rule
confined to her own children, but, as before stated, to their
children as well to the latest day of her life, and the older she
becomes the more she is reverenced as being nearer to heaven,
dearer to the gods; and it is considered of much moment to any
family to be able to boast a great-great-grandmother living.

Do not mourn too much over the sad fate of a young Chinaman
compelled to marry one whom he has never seen, for indeed there
seems little difference between the young ladies of China. Thousands
of years of seclusion, of unvarying customs, have at last moulded
women into the same form, mentally and physically, and anything like
individuality can exist only to a small degree, and in exceptional
natures. They are as like as peas, and one may as well marry one as
another. If the husband has not the joys of love, neither has he the
anxieties pertaining to that super-sensitive condition; for she is
not to be his constant companion, nor his companion at all if he has
not drawn a prize.

The position of woman would seem, therefore, to be almost entirely
different from what it is with us: in youth she is nothing there,
in old age everything; with us it is the opposite. The "just mean"
between the two would probably yield better results than either.
In China a man may marry more than one woman, but the first only
is recognized as his legal wife; all others are her servants, and
bound to wait upon and obey her; and should there be children,
these are considered as children of the legal wife only, and it is
her they must worship, and not their real mother. Among the masses
wives are invariably bought from the parents, about ninety dollars
being a fair market price among poor people. This sum is supposed
to recompense them for the outlay involved in rearing the young
girl. But this custom is valuable in this, that the possession of
so large a sum by a young workingman is the best possible
guarantee that the son-in-law has acquired steady habits, and is
competent to provide for his family. If a test of this nature
could be applied with us, I think paterfamilias would not regard
it as the worst of institutions. These Chinese have ideas that are
sometimes worth thinking over.

* * * * *

FRIDAY, December 13.

Our intended trip up the Yang-tse has been interfered with by a
storm of rain and dense fog, but the days never seem long. We get
a little time to read up. Our book-table shows seven important
works on China and its people--all interesting. To-day is marked
by a notable invitation to dinner extended to us through General
Bailey. We are to have the honor--one not often bestowed upon
globe trotters--of dining with the Mandarin.

The dinner lasted more than three hours, and was composed of I
don't know how many courses. I depended upon Vandy to keep count,
but he found so much to wonder at that he lost the run when in the
teens. From birds'-nest soup, which, by the way, is insipid, to
shark's fin and bamboo shoots in rapid succession, we had it all.
I thought each course would surely be the last; but finally we did
get to sweet dishes, and I knew we were approaching the end. Then
came the bowl of rice and tea, which are supposed to be able to
neutralize the mess which has gone before. Our host pressed all to
drink frequently of a celebrated native wine, the champagne of
China, grown in his district, of the quality of which he seemed
very proud. Whenever he showed the bottom of his cup, guests were
expected to empty and replenish theirs. I did the best I could,
both as to tasting the compounds and drinking the wine, but I fear
I was voted not a great success in either. The natives were quite
hilarious, and smoked at intervals during the feast. They played
the ancient game of digits like Romans, and also a Japanese game
with the hands and arms, the loser in every case being compelled
to drain his cup. When tea was served, the Mandarin, through his
interpreter, addressed General Bailey, as the principal dignitary
present, thanking him for the great honor conferred upon his
humble self by those present having condescended to sit at his
table. The general's reply was equally polite and very happy, and
appeared to please our host greatly, who then hoped that the
illustrious travellers from America would be pleased with China
and return safely to their great country from their journey round
the world, adding that, having now got the telegraph, America and
China and all countries were brought nearer to one another, and
would know each other better. I replied that this was happily
true, and ventured to express the belief that as we knew each
other better we should also like each other more, and that as we,
and all modern nations, had learned so much from his country in
the past, I hoped that in return we might be able, to some extent
at least, to repay that debt by perhaps, showing China some things
which she could adopt with advantage. To this sentiment there was
a most cordial response.

Before rising from table the photograph of the host was presented
to each guest. I requested that his autograph be put upon ours,
that we could insert it in our albums among the eminent men we
met. He replied that he must then go at the very end, because he
had not on his Mandarin hat. But I asked the interpreter to assure
him that we in America did not care about the hat; "it was the
head that was in it" which had raised him so high. This appeared
to please the company inordinately, and we got the autograph, and
so ended our first, and, in all probability, our last, Mandarin
dinner. Vandy ate and drank of everything offered him, and this
morning, when I fully expected him to be as sick as a dog, and
with a head like to split, he surprised me by reporting himself as
all right, and telling me that in some respects Mandarin cooking
beats the world. I should mention that the politeness of our host
was overpowering. The first course he served himself to each
guest, his servants following him round the table and handing him
the dishes ("and I myself shall be your servant, sir, says good
Uncle Toby"), and upon entering, as well as upon retiring, he
stood in the open court outside of his threshold to welcome and to
bid farewell. The shaking of one's own hands instead of grasping
those of your friends is soon learned; but what a world of
pleasure the Chinaman misses by his mode!

Of course we saw none of the ladies of the household, nor were
they inquired for or referred to by any of us. If a Chinese
gentleman were asked how many children he had, he would probably
not count the girls at all, but at all events he would distinguish
thus: two children and a _girl_. When a boy is born the
father is overwhelmed with congratulations, presents are sent, and
rejoicing takes place. If the little stranger happen to be a girl,
the event is hushed up. No reference is ever made to the great
misfortune which has befallen the expectant father. Friends are
apprised of the result by advertisements carried through the
streets. Yellow strips of paper are used if the child is a boy;
_any other color_ means a girl. Among the poorer classes girl
babies are frequently drowned. Some estimate that in the Shanghai
district one-third are so destroyed; the excuse given by the
parents is that they cannot afford to rear a girl. Men monopolize
most of the occupations here, and a woman can earn little or
nothing; besides, a husband for every girl must be provided upon
some terms. After a certain age an unmarried woman is regarded as
disreputable, entailing something of disgrace upon her family; and
so China lacks that most useful, and, as far as my experience
goes, most unjustly maligned class--old maids.

A universal sameness prevails in China which soon becomes
monotonous. One street looks precisely like another. If a traveller
were set down in any city of China, he would be at a loss to tell
where he was. It might be Shanghai, Canton, or Peking. There are the
same rows of one-story, or, at most, one-and-a-half-story huts,
without the slightest attempt at ornament or variety. There are no
grand mansions scattered throughout the land, no city halls,
colleges or commercial exchanges, as with us, but one dead flat
level of low structures wherever you go. Probably the exactions to
which wealth is subject here has much to do with this; all are
concerned to hide their resources, but I am told the Chinese
educated mind has really reached the stage in which ostentatious
display is regarded with contempt. It seeks escape from ceremony and
show, in sweet simplicity of living, as most truly great men have
done and are doing more and more.

Life "_en grand seigneur_" has never been the foible of the
rich American, but as the seigneur is a species of recent growth
and has not yet had time to blossom into flower and show us just
to what his nature turns, we must watch his movements hereafter
with interest. So far, he seems endued with quiet tastes, as far
as personal parade is concerned. A few have built grand mansions,
but still live plainly in the matter of retinue and ceremonial.

Even in England one notes nowadays a general expression of
disappointment at the result of living up to one's rank, according
to the old standard. It is not altogether from lack of means to
maintain great style, although this is the real reason with the
majority, perhaps, who have abandoned former habits. Another cause
is operating, even with such as are wealthy: the squire or his
lordship is not the all in all of his district any more; and he is
educated now, in many cases, to enjoy intellectual pleasures,
which he finds incompatible with so much society and numerous
establishments with their endless staffs of servants to maintain.
Many of the stately homes of England, therefore, are for rent, and
their owners live more within themselves and in simpler manner
than before.

* * * * *

SHANGHAI, Saturday, December 14.

We leave for Hong Kong, eight hundred miles south, by the mail
steamer which sails at daylight. Our usual good fortune attends
us. The monsoon blew us to port one night sooner than we expected.
A night saved was quite an object, as the Geelong is a small
craft, and her rocking means something. Vandy was very ill, but I
managed to report regularly at table as usual. We slept on shore
Tuesday night, and the morning revealed one of the prettiest
places we have ever seen in the East. Hong Kong is an island about
twenty, six miles in circumference, situated one mile from the
mainland of China, and just at the mouth of the river leading to
Canton. There is scarcely an acre of level ground upon it except
one little spot which does duty as a race-course, and is not level
either by any means. A narrow strip fronting the water is occupied
by the city of Victoria, which extends about three miles, but back
of this the ground rises rapidly, and houses cluster upon the
steep sides of the mountain. Nevertheless, public gardens have
been laid out with exquisite taste and skill upon the hillside,
and excellent walks reach to the very top of the peak, more than
eighteen hundred feet high. So closely does this crag overhang the
town below that a stone could be dropped into the settlement from
its crest.

It is the thing in Hong Kong to do the Peak, and we did it, but
not in a manner very creditable to our staying powers, I fear. The
fact is, we had been tossed for sortie days upon a small ship. It
was exceedingly warm. I We were very tired (conscience suggested
another word for tired); in short, there were a dozen
reasons--good, bad, and indifferent--why two strong, lusty fellows
should, under the circumstances, be carried up instead of
attacking the Peak on foot; and so each of us, in a sedan chair,
borne by four strong coolies, managed to get to the top and enjoy
the splendid view, coming down in the same novel manner. It was
surprising, after we had returned, to find how decided a
misunderstanding had arisen between us on the subject. I had not
pressed walking up on Vandy's account, while he had only denied
himself that wished-for pleasure in deference to my supposed
inability. You see, had this point been made clearer before we
started, we might have had the walk after all. As it is, the
credit of both is fairly maintained, and I do think that neither
of us regrets the unfortunate misunderstanding; one gets so lazy
in these latitudes!

More than a hundred thousand Chinese have come from the main land
to reside in Hong Kong and enjoy the benefits of British rule, and
the population, which in 1841 was only five thousand, is now a
hundred and forty thousand. So the good work of reforming China
goes forward by the surest of all means, good example. It is at
such points as Hong Kong--one of the keys of the world--that
England does her real work and lifts up mankind.

* * * * *

THURSDAY, December 19.

We took the steamer for the Paris of the East, far-famed Canton,
distant ninety-five miles. The steamer is just an American river
boat, and we enjoyed the trip very highly. And here let me note
two strange customs which prevail in China. First, your passage
money generally embraces all the liquor, beer, or wine you choose
to consume on the trip. Such was the case to-day, and passengers
were free to call for anything they wished to drink at any time
(champagne excepted). The other custom is universal. There is no
coin in circulation but silver, and it is so heavy that Europeans
have adopted the habit of carrying none, giving for any debt
incurred I. O. U.'s, called "chits," which are sent in at the end
of each month for payment; a vicious custom, which leads to
deplorable excesses, especially in drinking and in gambling. Men
drink and gamble more freely when immediate payment is not
required, or when the chances of a lucky turn may recoup their
losses; besides, many who have no means to pay incur debts.
Indeed, so many cases of this kind have happened since "hard times
set in" that I am encouraged to hope the end of "chits"
approaches. The rule at the clubs now is that no chits can be
given beyond a trifling amount each month, and that they must be
promptly redeemed. Canton was reached by four in the afternoon,
and such a swarm of small boats as surrounded us was never seen
elsewhere. When we were a full mile from the wharf I saw the mass
begin to stir, and such a stir! and almost all rowed by women,
yelling and striving, and dashing one boat against another, in
their efforts to be first. One of the most active scrambled up the
guards and reached us on the upper deck almost before the boat had
stopped, and secured us as her spoil. How she and a young girl
handled our trunks, carrying them over intervening boats and then
coming back for us, giving us her hand to convey us to her craft!
No mistaking her business capacity, nor her ability to cope with
the strongest and most active man and capture two passengers to
his one. John is no match for a Canton boatwoman on water,
whatever he may be on land.

* * * * *

CANTON, Friday, December 20.

We have just returned from our first stroll through the narrow,
crowded alleys of Canton. Pictures and descriptions had prepared us
for what we were to see, but, as is usual in the East, we knew
nothing until we had seen for ourselves. In most cases the more one
reads or hears about a certain locality the more confused he is when
he visits it. He was a traveller who first said, "The eye and the
ear are close together, but what a distance between hearing and
seeing!" This recurs to me constantly. But to revert to Canton. We
decided to walk instead of following the custom of Europeans, who
generally take sedan chairs and dash through, seeing nothing in
detail. We cross the river by one of the innumerable boats rowed by
women, and are in the city. For five hours we are guided through
streets varying from six to ten feet in width through one continuous
mass of Chinamen. As for Chinawomen, they are rarely or never seen.
A few men are in silks; numbers of coolies, with loads, are almost
naked, but more, of a slightly higher order, are in rags; for the
Chinese, unlike their scrupulously clean brethren of Japan, appear
to pile on one tattered, greasy cloth rag over another until they
are a bundle of filth, against which you fear at every step lest you
may be pushed. The shops or booths on each side of the narrow
streets are resplendent just now, preparatory to the New-Year
celebrations, and those which make temple decorations a specialty
are brilliant in the extreme. As every shop, house or boat contains
an altar, which, as well as those in the public temples, must be
freshly decorated at the beginning of every year, the extent of this
trade is surprising, and all that tinsel can do with the most
gorgeous coloring imaginable is seen in this branch to perfection.
One thing appears very strange: even in the principal streets
various manufactures are carried on, the workmen being so close that
you can touch them from the pavement with your cane. We saw to-day
glass-making in a space not more than fifteen feet square, iron-
forging and shaping, cloth-weaving, the making of coffins (such
massive affairs these are, too, in China!), of Joss-sticks and
Joss-money, firecrackers, and many other articles. The front part of
the building is usually occupied by the shop for the sale of the
product, the ornamental shrine serving as a kind of screen to shut
off the manufacturing department; but by stepping behind you see
crowds of almost nude workmen, hard at work, making by hand with the
aid of the rudest appliances almost every article known. The wages
of a tradesman--a carpenter, for instance--is fifteen cents per day;
in addition the master has to give him three times per day his rice,
etc., estimated to cost six to eight cents more. The workmen are fed
by the employer, and allowed to sleep in and about the premises
somewhere or somehow. We saw freely exposed for sale dogs, rats, and
mice, all nicely dressed and hanging upon spits to tempt the hungry
passers-by, while above a large pot from which the steam was issuing
was a card, which, being translated by our guide, read, "A big black
cat within; ready soon." The dogs which are eaten are fed especially
for the purpose, and are hung up in state with labels setting forth
their superior merits. As far as I should have known, they might
have passed for delicious young roasting pigs, delicate enough in
flavor to have satisfied gentle Elia himself.

Our guide, in answer to numerous questions upon the subject,
informed us that some of his countrymen had acquired a taste for
dogs, while others had succumbed to the sweeter attractions of
cats; others again found rats their favorite morsel, but in all
cases these penchants are indulged in on the sly. Upon no account
would a Chinaman think of taking either of these peculiar
delicacies home, for it appears that mesdames, much to their
credit, have serious objections to their use. They draw the line
here, and the husband must confine the indulgence of his uncanny
longings to restaurants, and say nothing about it, or his lady
friends might mark him as one of whom "'twas said he ate strange
flesh." Contrary to the statement of travellers, I find this food
is not confined to the poorer classes. The price of it is about
the same as that of pork, and far beyond that of hare or deer. How
strange these people are! The price of a black dog or cat is fully
double that of a white one, the superstition being that the former
makes blood much faster than the other, while rats are supposed to
make the hair grow.

We returned to our hotel in time for luncheon, and in the afternoon
called upon Captain Lincoln, the United States Consul, to whom
General Bailey had given us letters which secured us a cordial
reception. The European settlement at Canton is very pretty, with
its broad, well-shaded avenues, exquisite flower-garden, and
lawn-tennis and croquet grounds. Its club-house is a gem, comprising
a small theatre, billiard-room and bowling- alley--everything
complete. The colonel took us for a stroll about the settlement, and
pressed us to join a party he was just about taking over the river
to visit the best flower-gardens of the city. We could not decline
such a treat, and this gave us the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Lincoln,
who is so well known in China as to be regarded somewhat in the
light of an historical character. Her collection of teapots promises
to render her famous. She boasts already of more than two hundred,
no two alike in form, and the record grows day by day; and the
melancholy feature is that there is no end for the passion save in
death, a mania for "a bit of the blue" ranking first in the list of
diseases for which materia medico, boasts no antidote.

Almost everything seems to have been tried in China during its
thousands of years of national life. We read for instance that in
A.D. 841 the emperor, seeing the evils of monasteries and
nunneries, suddenly closed them all and sent the inmates back to
their families. So far, perhaps, so good; but he also shut up all
the temples and told the priests to turn their faces in the
direction from which they came. He was far too "thorough," and
when the next emperor was so favored by heaven as to become the
discoverer of a veritable bone of Buddha and brought it to the
capital with many solemn ceremonies, the people were quite ready
for the inevitable reaction, and Buddhism was again restored. This
is a comparatively modern instance. Away back two hundred and more
years B.C., we find the famous builder of the Great Wall
attempting an impossible task with no better result. He was a
great reformer--indeed the first universal emperor of all existing
China, which was consolidated by his genius. The privileged
classes, of course, opposed his reforms and gave him much trouble
by holding up to the admiration of the people the feudal times of
the past, and extolling the heroes of those days to the
disadvantage of those of the present. At last the emperor resolved
to break with the past altogether, and ordered that all books
should be burned except such as referred to his own reign, that
all who even spoke of other books should be put to death; that
those who spoke of the past as superior to the present should be
put to death, and their relatives as well. Soon after this order,
more than four hundred who had disobeyed it were ordered to be
executed. Even the books of Confucius were not exempt; indeed
these were chief offenders, for the sage was remarkable for such
worship of the past as has scarcely a precedent in history.

Of course such an order could not be carried out. The condemned
books were secreted and all the more venerated from the dangers
which surrounded their possession. To-day we are thankful that so
many books exist telling truthfully of the past--those good old
times which were very bad times indeed. The history of the past
should be studied carefully that we may learn not what to copy,
but what to avoid. Let all the records be preserved.

I take it that to many blessings for which we have to thank the
Heathen Chinee may be added our axiom: "Resistance to tyrants is
obedience to God." The Emperor of China is in theory the most
absolute of rulers, and holds in his hands the power of life and
death--"whom he wills he slays, and whom he wills he keeps alive."
So runs the edict. It is the duty of the subject to render
implicit obedience. But here follows another duty no less
imperative: He is bound to resist the emperor's authority if he
"ceases to be a minister of God for the good of his people."
Confucius distinctly teaches "the sacred right of rebellion," and
the next highest authority, Mencius, puts it in even stronger
terms. This seems a striking anomaly, for the whole theory of
government to-day, as thousands of years ago, is the patriarchal
one: as the emperor is the Son of Heaven, so his people are the
sons of the emperor, and he alone can intercede between his
children and heaven. It is his prayers and sacrifices to which
supreme importance is attached. Notwithstanding all this, as we
have seen, the Chinaman believes it to be his duty to dethrone a
bad emperor and even to put him to death. You see, my friends, a
Chinese emperor can do wrong, which follows from his having power
direct from heaven to do anything; therefore the right to
decapitate him upon occasion must be reserved to the people. It is
only in England that the doctrine that the king can do no wrong
can safely be accepted. It is quite true there, for these
Islanders have so managed matters as not to allow that ornamental
appendage to do anything beyond opening fancy bazaars or laying
foundation stones, where even an hereditary monarch cannot go very
far astray.

On the 8th day of the 12th month, in the reign of Man-Ti, A.D.
593, occurred one of the most remarkable events in the history of
our race. An edict was issued that the various texts then in
circulation should be collected and engraved on wood, to be
printed and published. Here began the art of printing, but it was
not till a blacksmith named Pe-Ching, three or four hundred years
later, invented movable types that the astounding possibilities of
the invention were seen. Off hats to the memory of that learned
blacksmith! Tall oaks from little acorns grow; but surely never
before nor since has the world seen such stupendous results from
so small a change as that of substituting little pieces of wood,
each with one character upon it, for larger pieces which contained
many. That blacksmith has revolutionized the world. I shall never
pass one of the craft again without honoring him as distantly
related to Pe-Ching by virtue of his calling. Vulcan has done much
in the past in his smithy, forging the thunderbolts of war, but
put all such weapons together and I will back the movable types of
Pe-Ching for victory.

China carries the principle of home rule to a greater extent even
than the United States do, for each province not only manages its
own local affairs and levies its own taxes, but also supports its
only army and navy. This would seem fatal to the organization of
solid, vital forces; but as the Chinese have passed farther beyond
the barbarous thirst for so-called "glory" (disgrace, rather) than
western nations, it is not essential that either army or navy
should be efficient. Indeed, the less so the better.

I trust, however, the Chinese cannot rob the Republic of the
credit of having the poorest navy and smallest army among the
nations, for this I consider perhaps the foremost evidence that
America gives to the world that she is worthy to lead our race to
nobler issues than those which have so largely occupied it in the

* * * * *

SATURDAY, December 21.

To-day has been devoted, like yesterday, to Canton sights; but as
we had several distant places to visit, we took sedan chairs, and
went shouting along, four coolies each, Indian file, through the
town, forming quite a cavalcade, with our guide in front. It was
the same interminable maze of narrow, crowded thorough-fares,
crammed with human beings, that we had seen for the first time
yesterday. A great commotion was seen ahead at one place, out of
which emerged several men in crimson robes, bearing banners,
clearing the way and shouting out the name and dignities of a
mandarin who was approaching. An ornamented chair, borne aloft,
came into view, on which his lordship, an official of the third or
fourth button, sat in state, followed by two servants on ponies,
the only species of horseflesh we have seen in Canton. It is with
considerable difficulty that even these small animals get through,
and their use is confined to escorting high officials.

At almost every corner we pass crowds of poor wretches gambling in
various modes, from fantan down to dice and dominoes. Children
participate, and stake their "cash" with the elders; indeed, a
young Celestial rarely spends his stray coppers in candy without
tossing with the stall-keeper, double or quits; the little scamps
begin early, and at every counter we noticed the dice lying ready
to facilitate the operation. Is it any wonder that the vice of
gambling seems inherent in the Chinese character? We saw rather a
funny illustration of this practice, at which we couldn't help
laughing. A class of venders keep a large pot boiling on the
pavement in some partially secluded place, in which is an
assortment of odds and ends. Such a mess of tidbits--pieces of
liver, chicken, kidneys, beef, almost every conceivable thing!
These the owner stirs up, taking care, I thought, to bring the
largest bits adroitly to the surface. You should see the longing
faces of the hungry beggars around. One risks a cash (one-tenth of
a cent), a rattle of the dice--the customer has won. The fork is
handed to him, and he has two dabs in the pot. What a prize! Down
go the _bonnes bouches_ one after the other, and back goes
the fork to the pot-boiler, who again uses it to stir up in the
pot prizes to tempt the lucky owner of funds sufficient for the
indulgence of this piece of extravagance. I really believe the
poor, miserable, hungry wretches lounging around the pot derived
satisfaction from the odor emitted. And as the lucky gamester
gobbled his prizes, I imagined every one around involuntarily went
through the motion of smacking his lips, as if he shared in the
inward satisfaction of his lucky neighbor. Vandy almost
overwhelmed one of these people by handing him a cash to try his
fortune; but he thinks his man was too hungry to risk the dice,
and took the sure thing. He probably considered one bite in the
mouth worth two in the pot; but he wasn't a representative
Chinaman by any means.

At one point our guide in advance called a halt, and upon our
dismounting he led us into a walled enclosure, and startled us
with the information that we were in the execution grounds. He
pointed out spots still damp with the blood of criminals, several
jars containing the heads of victims, the protruding hair matted
with the lime used to decompose the flesh more rapidly, and a rude
cross still remaining upon which a woman had recently been
crucified and cut to pieces while alive. Her crime was the gravest
known to Chinese law: she had murdered her husband. Poor wretch!
probably he had not illy deserved his fate were the whole story
known, for the provocation which would nerve a woman in China to
rise against her husband and owner must be beyond human endurance.
Instead of this spot being set apart and shunned by man, woman and
child, as defiled by the horrors enacted within its walls, the
area was filled with large clay jars, used as stoves, the product
of a manufactory adjoining, set out there in rows to dry. Men
moved in and around them unconcernedly, and at the entrance and
within the enclosure there was a temporary fantan gambling shop,
composed of bamboo poles and mats, in full operation, surrounded
by crowds of people. Of a surety the Heathen Chinee is peculiar.
The grounds are of course cleared of everything upon "execution
days," and I suppose the swarming masses of Canton see no reason
why even this acre of notorious ground should be permitted to lie
useless several days in succession. There is nothing which is not
put to use in China.

Our next visit was more to our taste; it was to the place of the
literary examinations, which are held every third year. Here the
grounds are kept in good order, and exclusively devoted to this
noble use. It is well known that each province in China has public
examinations for its students. Those who are successful become
eligible for the higher examinations, which are held at Canton and
at two or three of the other great cities. Candidates who pass at
these are permitted to enter for the final struggle at Peking,
where success brings rank, honor, and fortune. At Canton the ten
acres of grounds are covered with long rows of brick sheds,
divided into stalls about six by four feet, with neither door nor
window, and open at the back; a narrow footway permits entrance,
and a blank wall forms the front of the succeeding row, and so on.
The stalls contain no furniture, but a board extending from the
front, half the length of the stall, and working backward and
forward in grooves in the wall, is used as a seat; a smaller one
higher up at the foot of the stall makes a writing-table, and
these combined made a bed. A small lamp is furnished, and the
aspirant remains for three days and nights writing upon subjects
given to him after he has entered the stall. No chance for
cramming here. Out of ten thousand six hundred who competed last
year, only eighty-two were found worthy to appear at Peking. I
believe only a certain number can succeed throughout the whole
Empire, and the standard is, therefore, kept very high.

Amid much which causes one to mourn for the backwardness of this
country, here is the bright jewel in her crown. China is, as far
as I know, the only nation which has advanced beyond the so-called
heroic age when the soldier claims precedence. England and America
must be content to claim that

"Peace hath her victories
No less renowned than war,"

while here the triumphs of peace are held in chief esteem. No
general, no conqueror, be his victories what they may, can ever in
China attain the highest rank. That is held only by successful
scholars who have shown the possession of literary talent. When
the news reaches a town or village that a townsman has been
victorious at Peking, a general rejoicing takes place, and
triumphal arches are built in his honor to witness for centuries
how deeply they appreciate the honor conferred upon the town by
their illustrious fellow-citizen. Upon his return the whole
population turns out to meet and welcome him, and his career
inspires other young men to emulate his virtues. Henceforth his
life is one of honor, for from this class the rulers of China are
taken. These are the Mandarins, and there is no other aristocracy
in China. Nor are his honors hereditary. His sons, if they would
be ennobled, must outstrip their fellows in knowledge, as their
father did before them. An aristocracy founded upon learning, and
composed of those who know the most, is an institution with which
we have no serious quarrel. It is claims from birth which make my
blood boil. These are an insult to every commoner, and we must not
rest until every trace of hereditary privilege is swept from the
earth. Neither king, queen, prince, nor lord should live in our
native isle to insult us if I had my way--and my way may come ere
I depart if I get the three score and ten allotted to mortals by
the psalmist.

Our trip to-day had another surprise for us. We were taken to the
city court and prison. A poor naked wretch was on his knees as we
entered, his back a mass of blood caused by the blows just
inflicted with the bamboo which an officer, standing close behind,
still held over the victim, ready to use again at a word from the
judge. What a quivering, miserable spectacle the culprit was! As I
write this I can see him tremble. His reputed crime was stealing,
but he had denied it, and the judge, not getting satisfactory
answers to his questions, had ordered the bamboo to be applied.
Another poor soul sat under torture, laced by ropes against a
large flat board in some diabolical manner so that his features
were distorted by pain, while at a short distance from the door
many hardened-looking criminals, all chained to large balls of
iron, awaited trial and sentence. The most enlightened of the
judges here still urge that it would be impossible to administer
justice without torture or physical punishment in order to force
replies from the accused. If you can compel a culprit to answer
every question which a trained examiner is allowed to put, it is
not difficult to convict the guilty. With us we forego that
advantage by requiring no man to convict himself. Here he has to
prove his innocence in a measure; at least he must tell a straight
story; and this he would never do, it is said, in China, unless he
were held in fear of bodily chastisement or torture. It is an
effectual mode of getting answers, as I can testify. The judge
asks a question which goes to the very root of the matter. The
wretch hesitates an instant. I thought I could see from his
supplicating gesture that he felt the true answer would expose his
guilt. "Bamboo, attend--ready!" Another instant, and the blow
descends, the trembling man stammers out his reply, and his
sentence is pronounced. Another, who has been cleverly allowed to
witness the manner in which recusant parties are dealt with, is
dragged before the judge, his back bared, and he falls on his
knees to make answer. No skilful lawyers here to defend and throw
around the prisoner the safeguards of the law; but neither is
there any upon the side of the prosecution. The accused has only
to satisfy the judge by giving a true account of himself and his
doings. I should say an innocent man would prefer this mode, a
guilty one detest it; and this seems a strong argument in its

My room fronts on the river, and is upon the second story of this
strange little hotel. This gives me fine views of the unceasing
traffic of the stream, but it is not without its disadvantages as
a place of rest at night. The Chinese gods, or devils rather, have
a strong fondness for fire-crackers, and these are set off at all
hours of the night by the more devout of the boat-women right
under my windows. I waken with a start every now and then, as an
unusally large bunch is fired. It occurred to me last night that
some of the extra fees bestowed upon our woman and her bright
little sister may be responsible for part of this species of
devotion. It is very likely that some part of their extra earnings
is considered due to their gods. I write this at nine in the
morning, and there are two boats busily engaged in their prayers
just now, one battery of crackers responding to the other. One
would almost think a naval war upon a small scale was raging. I
must plead ignorance till now of this strange manner of
propitiating the supernatural powers. If I ever read of it, it has
passed away and been forgotten, like a thousand things one reads
of. Another custom which interferes with slumber is the noise made
by the night watchman, who walks backward and forward beating a
tenor gong with a hard stick. One, two, three, slowly, followed by
two quick taps, is the signal that all is well. Extraordinary
precautions have to be taken in the cities against theft. Almost
every block has its watchman, and gates short distances apart are
shut at nine o'clock, after which only those known personally to
him are allowed to pass. One provision struck me as putting an
effectual check upon mischief of all kinds: no one is allowed to
walk after night without carrying a lantern, and one found
disregarding this law would be held "suspect." Our landlord told
me that the watchman would be sternly dealt with if a robbery
occurred, as he is held responsible for the safety of his block.

The boat population of Canton is famous as being something unique,
but it exceeds all ideas I had formed of it. It is said that three
hundred thousand people live in boats ranging from the size of a
skiff to that of a yawl. I have seen a family of six huddled
together in one of the former size, but these were the poorest of
the poor. The usual passenger boat is twenty feet long by four and
a half wide--the size of the hotel boats we use. We got into one
this morning, and as the crackers were going off from numerous
boats on all sides, our woman explained that the unusually
vigorous fusilade was owing to this being "Joss day." "All people
go Jossee Temple this day." "Do you go?" "No; have got Jossee here
on boatee." "Where? Show us." With that one of the girls at the
stern pushed aside two small sliding-doors in the extreme end of
the boat, and revealed a little shrine with a lamp ever burning,
and Joss sticks in the incense bowl. The entire family burst into
laughter at our surprise, evidently tickled with the idea that it
was a decidedly cute thing to have their Joss cooped up "Jack-in-
the-box" style. Yesterday the Emperor, at Peking, after fasting
all the previous day, would ascend into the Temple of Heaven,
accompanied by two thousand of his highest officials, and worship,
while his subjects celebrate the event by this fire-cracker

I was curious to see how a small yawl could be the residence of a
family, and examined several of them. The centre of the extreme
stern is occupied by the Joss temple, on either side of which
small dishes, cans, etc., are arranged; then comes an open space
extending across the boat, about four feet long, over which is
thrown a light board about six inches wide, upon which stands the
woman who sculls and steers the craft. A permanent bamboo roof is
built over about the next six feet of the boat, and around the
walls are hung a few ornaments, generally old-fashioned plates and
cheap prints from the English illustrated papers, while on a shelf
are those indispensable articles, the smoking pipes of the
family--large and curious affairs, with richly ornamented square
brass bowls about four and one-half by two inches in size. A tiny
china tea-set and various little "curios" are found in the best
boats. The next portion, where passengers sit, has nicely
cushioned seats running across the boat, and on each side as well,
and is also covered by the roof. Next to the bow is a platform
three feet deep, upon which stands the second woman, who rows or
poles the boat, as may be necessary. Under her feet is the
kitchen, and she has only to lift a board to show a small square
covered with clay, upon which a fire can be built. Pots and pans
are seen snugly stowed away around this, so that, by means of
movable platforms, trap-doors, etc., the entire boat is rendered
available to its very keel. At night, when the business of
carrying passengers is over, all the boards are made into a fine
flush deck, which is divided, in a very few minutes, into sleeping
apartments by means of bamboo poles and mats; and so it comes to
pass that what I was before disposed to believe almost impossible
is accomplished with a degree of comfort quite surprising. These
boat people live for less than ten cents a day. Rent there is
none; food costs about five cents per day for each person;
clothing does not cost two. From the child of eight to the great-
grandmother, all do something. When not otherwise engaged, they
sew, make Joss-sticks, slit bamboo, or do something or other, the
baby being strapped on the mother's back that her capacity for
work may not be interfered with; and her stepping backward and
forward as she sculls must be a soothing lullaby, for we haven't
heard a child crying yet in China. Upon such boats as I have here
attempted to describe, and many far smaller and destitute of
ornament, millions of the people of China live, move, and have
their being. Children-are born, old men die, upon them, and many
thousands of their occupants have never slept a night upon shore.

I was surprised to hear that there is no theatre at Canton. The
government had some time ago to prohibit night performances, as
they were constantly the scenes of disorder. The only amusement is
furnished upon large gayly decorated boats, where feasts are
given, at which girls belonging to the boats appear and sing. We
saw one of these, but it was a poor performance compared with our
experience in Japan.

* * * * *

SUNDAY, December 22.

We allowed our guide to leave us for to-day, and strolled about
alone. In the early part of our walk we heard music--a harmonium
and a well-known old hymn tune--and on entering a building found
Rev. Dr. Hopper preaching in Chinese. We had entered at the wrong
door, and were among the women, who are separated from the men by
a high, solid wall; but Mrs. Hopper rose and conducted us to the
other side, and after service the Doctor came and greeted us
cordially. We spent an hour in their house, and were surprised to
hear that both were old Pittsburghers. There were at church that
morning about thirty Chinamen, all of the poorer classes,
principally servants and dependents of Europeans. In the afternoon
we stumbled upon the large Catholic cathedral, which is now almost
ready for use. It is a magnificent granite structure, three
hundred feet long and eighty-eight feet wide. If anything can
impress the Chinese mind it must be grand mass in such a temple,
with its vaulted roof, stained windows, the swelling organ, and
all the "pride, pomp, and circumstance" of Catholic worship. As we
stood admiring, the saintly bishop approached and greeted us with
exquisite grace. He could not speak English, but. his French was
the easiest to understand of any I ever listened to, and my little
knowledge of the language enabled us to carry on an interesting
conversation. When I told him I had been in St. Peter's at Rome,
and had seen the Pope when the assembled thousands fell prostrate
before him as he advanced up the aisle, carried upon his
palanquin, he seemed much affected, and pressed us to visit his
quarters, apologizing, as he showed us into a poor one-story
building, for the poverty of his apartments, but adding that the
true _prêtre Catholique_ must needs dwell in poverty among
the poor of the earth. I asked if he did not expect to return to
France to die; but, laying his hand upon his heart, he answered
that he must not allow himself to think of France, since it had
pleased God to place him here. For thirty years he had labored
among these people, and among them he must die; it was the will of
God. There were only a table and a few chairs in this bishop's
palace, not even a mat or carpet on the floor; but he ordered a
servant to bring wine, of which he only tasted, while we drank
"_sa santé_." He subsequently took us to the orphanage, where
we saw eighty boys being educated. About an equal number of little
girls are in a separate building. If the Chinese are ever to be
reformed, this is the way to do it--get control of the young, and
teach them. As for the older generation, I fear it is too late to
do much with it. There are in and around Canton about five
thousand Chinese Catholics, mostly recruited, I understand, from
among the young, taken by these sagacious workers into their
schools and orphanages and other institutions, and educated as
Christians from their youth up.

When I told the good Bishop we spent our summers at Cresson, very
near Loretto, and often drove to Count Gallitzin's tomb, he
grasped my hand and gave me his benediction. Oh, blessed man! a
grand Catholic, Father Gallitzin!

Every one has heard of the great wall of China, which stretches
across the northern frontier from the sea to the westernmost
province, a distance of twelve to fifteen hundred miles. It is
fifteen to thirty feet high, with brick towers about forty feet
high at intervals along the whole route. This gigantic work was
begun in the third century before Christ by one of the greatest
rulers of men the world has ever seen, the Emperor Che Hwang, who
hoped that it would prove an insuperable barrier to the inroads of
the Tartar hordes. But a still greater warrior than he; Genghis
Khan, leader of the Mongols, showed in 1212 that it could be
overcome. To this day the Chinese dynasty is Tartar, but the four
hundred millions of people remain the same, having assimilated the
foreign element. The Tartars are fast becoming Chinese, although a
difference between the races is still clearly discernible. The
Heathen Chinee changes not. The Jews and the Scotch are perhaps
the races in Europe who preserve their types with the greatest
tenacity, but compared with the Chinese they must be considered
plasticity itself. Apart from their overwhelming numbers, which,
being of one unvarying type throughout, constitute a mass upon
which it is almost impossible to make much impression, one sees
how climate and conditions of life in China operate to bring to
the Chinese type all foreign elements, and to retain them there.
Mrs. McC. has just been explaining to me to-day how much trouble
she has to keep her children, for instance, from becoming young
Celestials. They are of pure Scotch parentage upon both sides, yet
are constantly alarming their fond mother by developing tastes
wholly opposed to hers in food, dress, habits, manners, language,
everything. It is just the same in India: the child of foreign
parents there must be taken home for years before he is seven or
eight years old, or he becomes a Hindoo. We have just such
differences at home in a less degree. If two brothers leave Boston
with their families, one for New Orleans, another for Chicago, the
differences in their grandchildren will be very noticeable. The
dream of some dreamer, that Englishmen can be grown in Hindostan
or Australia, or even in America (or in Ireland, for that matter),
will be rudely dispelled by a few weeks' residence in China or
India. The opening gowan transplanted from its Scottish glen loses
its modest charm and grows rank upon the prairies of the West even
in its second year. The shamrock pines away in exile beyond the
borders of its own Emerald Isle. Man, the most delicately touched
of all to fine issues, is also the creature of his surroundings,
even to a greater degree.

* * * * *

MONDAY, December 23.

Now for a frank confession. Like Mark Twain's preacher with the
car rhyme, "I have got it, got it bad"--the "curio" malady in one
of its most virulent types. Ever since we were dropped upon that
uncanny land of Japan the symptoms of forthcoming disorder have
not been wanting. I had to succumb occasionally, but rallied in
time to preserve a tolerably clean bill of health. But if I have
one weakness more than another, it is for the harmony of sweet
sounds, and this the tempter knew right well. I met my fate in the
famous Temple of Hoonan, in which is the most celebrated "gong" in
China. I struck it, and listened. For more than one full minute, I
believe, that bowl was a quivering mass of delicious sound. I
thought it would never cease to vibrate. In Japan I had counted
one that sounded fifty seconds, and its music rang in my ears for
days. I asked "Ah-Cum" why the temple would not sell this gong and
buy another far cheaper; for my opinion is, and my experience too,
that there is nothing in China that money will not buy. However,
this was an exception. Well, does the priest know where there are
any temple gongs that can be bought? Yes, three that belonged to a
temple destroyed by the rebels some years ago, and which were
still in the hands of curio dealers. The address was obtained, and
off we set to see them. I wish I could describe the places we
visited in our search, the collections of curios we saw! No
antiquary outside of Canton ever saw a tithe of the strange old
things we examined. One might stumble upon a magic mirror, or an
Aladdin's lamp, in some of these recesses, and scarcely wonder at
it; all is so strange. But to the gongs. There is a little bit of
history connected with one of them which is significant. We found
we had to get from one of the priests a certain ticket before the
article could be delivered. I thought a moment, and then:

"Oh, my prophetic soul, _my uncle_!"

It was even so. The priest had seen "his uncle," the curio dealer,
and in some moment of want or dire temptation had pledged the gong
of the temple for an advance. I got those which had a fairer record,
and told our guide I wanted the other if he could get it; but this
was impossible. Judge of my surprise, however, when the identical
gong reached me at Hong Kong. I have it, with the pawn mark
fortunately only partially obliterated, but so that the name of the
guilty priest is no longer legible. Ah-Cum must have bargained for
that ticket, the rogue, knowing I would pay the price; but really,
had that gong reached me while in Canton, and had it been possible
for me to return it to the right temple, I should not have thought,
under the circumstances, of carrying it off. It seems as if I were
in some degree a receiver of stolen goods; but as it only came to me
after we had reached Hong Kong, and I knew neither priest nor
temple, what could I do but decide to hold it myself until claimed
by the rightful owners? Therefore, my friends, one and all of you,
please take notice: whatever you may take a fancy to among my
curios, don't ask me for that gong. I don't feel my title quite as
clear as I could wish it, but I shall ease my conscience by agreeing
with myself to act as temporary custodian--only that and nothing
more. There are others beside temples' gongs, and I have to confess
to several (genuine "sous chows," all of them). Indeed to-day was
the curio day throughout. I cannot give even a partial record of the
spoils as our procession marched hotelward in the evening. I burst
into loud laughter as I eyed our party. In the advance was Ah-Cum,
the guide, bearing aloft a fearful idol, "the ugliest I could find
in China," this being Sister Lucy's characteristic commission; Vandy
followed with his pockets stuffed with "birds'-nests,"
"Joss-sticks," "temple money," and etceteras too numerous to
mention; then came two coolies, one after the other, naked as Adam
after he donned the fig-leaf, carrying the gongs, while I brought up
the rear with fans, vials, ivory carvings, and what-not. I cannot
tell what part of this maze of shops we had been in, but the curio
shops were so far from our hotel that not a man about them knew
where it was, although there is but one European hotel in the city,
consequently the coolies had to follow us. Vandy has just reported
that it will take nine boxes to hold our spoils from here. I
exclaim, Vandy, for goodness' sake let us get out of this
immediately and try to regain our good, hard common sense, and be
sound, practical men once more. Give me a _Pittsburgh Commercial_
and let me see the price of pig metal, and what is said of steel
rails and coke and manufactured iron, and all the rest of it; and
that monthly report of the Lucy Furnaces and of the Edgar Thomson,
both the largest upon record. Thanks! Ah! now I feel better. How is
it with thee, my friend? Fortunately Vandy felt the necessity for
keeping an eye upon me, and he never was in such danger himself. But
if any one can pass through Canton and escape a touch of the
Toodleian malady, which prompts one to buy everything one sees, I
warrant him sound to the core.

* * * * *

HONG KONG, Christmas Eve.

We returned this afternoon from Canton. After retiring I heard a
well-known sound--the ubiquitous mosquito. It was rather odd to be
compelled to rise and ring for our "boy" to put up mosquito-bars
on Christmas evening, but it had to be done. We talked till late
of home, and speculated upon what our friends would all be about
away up there almost above our heads--"topside," as John Chinaman
always expresses it. So far we have only one paper from home; no
letters, these having been missed at Shanghai. The news of the
triumph of hard money views rejoiced us greatly, as proving once
more that in grave emergencies the good sense of the people of
America can always be depended upon. One has only to visit the
East to see what evils the silver basis entails upon a nation.

The economy practised in China is striking. A sweet potato is sold
in halves, or even in quarters, if required; ferriage across the
river in a boat--a stream as wide as the Ohio at Pittsburgh--costs
one-fifth of a cent, and you can engage an entire boat for
yourself for a cent, if you wish to be extravagant; poultry is
sold by the piece, as we sell a sheep, the wings, breast, legs,
all having their price, and even the very feet of a chicken being
sold for soup. Common iron nails are laid out in lots of six each;
these have been used and used again, no one knows how often; we
see the people at work straightening old nails at every turn. You
can buy one-tenth of a cent's worth (1 cash) of either fish, soup,
or rice. Verily things are down to a fine point here!

In one of our strolls we came upon a string of ten blind beggars
wandering through the narrow, crowded street, the hands of each
upon the shoulders of the one in advance, the leader beating with
his cane upon the stone pavement, and all beseeching alms. It was
a strange sight. The Chinese Government gives to every blind
person a small monthly pittance, and well-dressed passers, I
observed, generally bestowed a cash upon the gang.

I have not said much about the temples of Canton or of China, as
they are poor affairs compared with those of Japan; besides, one
becomes sated with temples which are for the most part copies of
one another; the pagodas are much more picturesque at a distance
than when closely inspected. The Chinese actually prefer all their
places to smack of age, and repair them reluctantly, so that all
have a dilapidated air, which gives a very unfavorable impression
to a stranger. At best, China has nothing whatever to boast of in
the way of architecture. We did not see a structure of any kind
which would attract a moment's notice, a few pagodas and temples,
perhaps, excepted; but even these are poor and mean affairs.

The only temple worthy of mention I saw in any part of China is
that of the Sages. In it we were shown tolerably good busts of
five hundred of the most famous characters known to Chinese
history--all the writers, statesmen, and rulers who have
distinguished themselves for thousands of years. Among them,
curiously enough, Marco Polo has by some means found a place.
Compared with the hideous monsters worshipped in other temples, I
regarded this deification of the illustrious dead with sincere
satisfaction. No man can erect a house superior to what his rank
or station in life justifies. A public officer prescribes the
limit of expenditure, after investigating the affairs of the
intending builder, as every one in China tries to conceal his
wealth, fearing unjust exactions by the State. It is easy to see
why no palaces are forthcoming. This is not "liberty;" but I
suspect several of my friends who have erected palatial structures
of late years have seen reason to wish that such a safeguard had
existed when they began to build.

* * * * *


Yesterday's papers announced that the Hallelujah Chorus was to be
performed in the English Cathedral this morning at eight o'clock.
I had been so long out of the region of music that I rose early
and went to church. The Japanese and Chinese music grated so on my
ears, I longed to hear an organ once more. I enjoyed the service
very much. The music was well performed, and as for the sermon--I
had to be back for breakfast, you know. It was specially pleasing
to see at church the detachment of British soldiers, the more so
as they were Highlanders. My heart will warm to the tartan. One
strange feature I shall not soon forget. Several soldiers, in
their scarlet uniforms, sang in the choir. I scarcely ever see
soldiers without being saddened by the thought that the
civilization of the race is yet little better than a name when so
much must still be done to teach millions of men the surest way to
destroy their fellows; but I take hope from this omen--these
mighty men of war engaged this morning chanting the seraphic
strains which proclaim the coming of the better day when there
shall reign "on earth peace, good-will toward men."

Whatever old China may be doing, young China is progressing, for I
saw in the park this morning several youthful Celestials, with
their pigtails securely tied and out of the way, hard at cricket
and baseball. Nor were they "duffers" either, although our wee
Willie and his nine could no doubt, in the way of a "friendly"
inning or two, show the lads a sweet thing, especially in the
"underthrow," for which my little nephew, I hear, is famous.

We are all creatures of prejudice, of course, but I could not help
being somewhat shocked on Sunday, as I strolled about the
Cathedral, to see some thirty odd sedan chairs on the one side,
and I suppose as many on the other, each with two, three, and some
with four coolies in gorgeous liveries in attendance, all waiting
the closing of prayers, lying in the shade, and some of them
improving the opportunity to enjoy a quiet gamble with dice this
fine Sunday morning. It did not seem to me to be quite consistent
for some of my Scotch friends who stand so stoutly for Sabbath
observance to keep so many human beings on duty, say three for one
who worshipped, just to save them from walking a few short squares
to and from church, for the town is small and compact. But custom
has much to do with one's prejudices, for, after all, how is this
worse than to roll in one's carriage to our Fifth Avenue temples?
Yet this never struck me as so much out of the way before, and I
think, unless the future Mrs. C. seriously objects, we shall walk
to church as a rule--when we go. Really, three men kept at work
that one may pray seems just a shade out of proportion.

I astonished Vandy this morning by getting up early; but I did not
care to explain the reason for this phenomenon, which was that I
had to catch the Canton boat to send a note back to Ah-Cum asking
him to get me certain additional curios after all. While at Canton
I had manfully resisted the temptation, but the thought of leaving
China without the treasures proved overwhelming, and now my only
fear is lest Ah-Cum should fail me. I confessed to Vandy, after we
had had a glass of good wine at tiffin, and I shall not soon
forget his quiet smile. "You've got it bad, haven't you?" 'Twas
all he said, but you should have heard the touch of infinite pity
in his tone. Yes, I have got it bad, I know, but to-morrow we
shall escape from this old curiosity shop forever.

The fire-bell rang just after we retired, and from eleven o'clock
until now (two this afternoon--fifteen hours) a disastrous
conflagration has raged, often threatening to consume the entire
settlement; indeed, nothing could have saved it but the splendid
conduct of the 74th Highlanders. They were everywhere, and fought
the fire the whole night long. The singers of the morning were the
intrepid firemen of that tempestuous night. It was only by blowing
up row after row of buildings that the flames were confined to one
district. I saw the brave fellows march into the buildings upon
the edge of the swirling flames to lay the fuse. A moment after
their return the bugle would sound; then came the explosion, and
the men were off to another building to repeat the work. All was
done by bugle call, with military precision. Ten thousand times
more "glory" in this march to save than in all the charge at
Balaklava. Had equal pluck been shown on the field of battle, the
flag of that splendid regiment would have blazoned with another
war-cry. Let them place this record on their banners, instead of
the name of a city destroyed: December 25th, 1878. Hong Kong
_Saved!_ They have no prouder triumph to commemorate, even in
their glorious history.

I have not yet mentioned that slavery, in its mildest form, exists
in China; but the children of a slave are free, and custom, which
is all-powerful there, requires a master to give up his servant if
the latter can repay the amount originally paid for him; and those
who own a woman-servant are expected to provide a husband for her
when she becomes of age. The purchase of boys and girls is, as a
rule, confined to those who wish in this way to be provided with
servants who shall become part of the household and can be relied
upon. In no case can a master or mistress require a slave to
engage in any disreputable calling unless the purpose for which
the sale is made is clearly set forth, in which event the cost is
fully doubled. Without special provisions in the bill of sale, it
is understood that the servant is to perform a servant's ordinary
duties and to be fairly treated, and to be required to do no wrong

The firing of firecrackers caused me to speak to our boatman one
day, as I was annoyed by the noise, having always had a dislike
for sudden explosions. "Why don't you worship something good and
beautiful," I said; "some god that would detest such things as
firecrackers?" "So we do," said he, "in our hearts, but this is
not worship; it is sacrifice to the bad gods, so they will be
pleased and do one no harm." "But won't the good god be displeased
and do you harm?" "No, the good god would never harm any one." His
words were, as near as I can recollect them, "He no do badee; no
can; always likee he; much goodee; by-by kill bad Jossee may be;"
and so they go, good lord, good devil; no saying into whose hands
one may fall, as the sailor had it. I gave it up, as the business
woman came on board and took command, the husband going off to his
work elsewhere. This woman Susan--Black-eyed Susan, as we have
dubbed her--and her bright young sister-in-law continue to
interest us more and more, they are such active, intelligent
women. The girl is ornamented with bangles and heavy anklets, and
her earrings are of blue-bird feathers; her hair is banged, and
everything about her evinces the care of really good, respectable
people. I told Susan if I were a boatman I should try hard to save
money enough to buy her sister-in-law, and asked her price. "No
sellee you; sellee goodee Chinaman two hundred dollars." This was
said as a great boast, as the ordinary price for one in her
station is only ninety dollars. Our guide turned up his lip in
scorn and whispered to me, "She talkee with mouthee too muchee;
ninety dollar plenty." Perhaps he had his eye upon the maid for
his son. If so, I put in a good word for her, telling him I was
reputed one of the best judges of young ladies in America, that I
could tell their qualities at a glance, and that it was certain
she would make an excellent wife; and, what I thought would weigh
as much with him, I added that for a business woman who could
please travellers and get lots of money I did not believe she had
her equal in Canton. One always likes to help on a match when he
can, and something may come of this; who knows?

I wish to bear my testimony to the grand work which is going
forward at various places in China by means of the medical
departments of missions. There are fourteen hospitals of this kind
in the country, and patients from all parts flock to them. In
diseases of the eye unusual success seems to have been achieved,
and stories are told of mandarins almost blind who have been
restored to sight; and in dealing with cutaneous disorders, which
are very common, the doctors have also done wonders. A small
mission hospital established in the Island of Formosa only a few
years ago has already treated ten thousand patients, and I am
informed that the Canton establishment numbers its beneficiaries
by the hundred thousand. Whatever objection the people make to
missionaries, doctors are ever welcome, and regarded as
benefactors. Nor must we forget that the entire credit of this
indisputably grand work is wholly due to those who consider it a
sacred duty to endeavor to force their religious views upon the
consideration of the Chinese. One can hardly find terms strong
enough to speak fitly of the good missions are performing in this
department of their labors; and while upon this subject we should
remember that it is also to missionaries alone we owe almost all
we know of China and its literature. Even Confucius was given to
the world in English by a missionary. I take special pleasure in
saying all I justly can for those who are so universally decried
throughout the East. With scarcely an exception--indeed I do not
remember one--every European or American engaged in the East
speaks disparagingly of missionaries and their labors. I believe,
myself, that trying to force religious views upon those who only
tolerate them because the cannon stands behind ready to support
the preaching is not the better way, and that many more converts
would be made by "the word spoken in season" by ministers of the
European congregations now scattered throughout the East, and by
doctors and others with whom the natives are daily brought in
contact, if the paid propaganda were withdrawn; but this should
not prevent us from crediting the missionaries with the collateral
advantages which are now flowing from another branch of their
efforts. They are on the right track now; the M.D. is the best
pioneer of the D.D. There is another powerful lever at work in the
_Herald_, a weekly paper published in Shanghai and
distributed throughout the Empire. It is obtaining an immense
circulation. It gives each week an epitome of the most important
events occurring in every country, and America, I saw, headed the
list. A Mr. Allen, formerly connected with missions, is the
publisher, and he is probably doing more to revolutionize China
than all others combined.

China, as everybody knows, grows a great deal of tea, but few are
aware how great a proportion of this indispensable article she
produces, and how much of it she uses herself. Here are the
figures I see printed: Total production of the world, 1,300,000
net tons; China's portion, 1,150,000 tons, being about nine times
more than all the world beside. But what is more wonderful is that
China uses 1,000,000 tons per annum, and exports only 150,000
tons. But every one in China, upon all occasions, partakes of the
cup which cheers and does not inebriate. Neither sugar nor cream
is used in it; a little tea is placed in the cup and boiling water
poured over it and it is drunk immediately. The strength of the
tea is drawn in a few moments after the water is poured upon it.
The coloring matter leaves it later. It is therefore a great
mistake to use a teapot and allow tea to remain in it, and equally
to use either sugar or cream--at least such is the verdict of
those here who should know best. We quite agreed with them, and
recommend our readers to try the Chinese plan, always provided
they are so fortunate as to have a good sound article of pleasant
flavor. With most of the tea found in England, and especially so
with that generally used in America, the sugar and cream are no
doubt necessary to drown the "twang." A Chinaman would put this
practice on a par with putting sugar in Chateau Lafitte. Tea is
the wine of the Celestial. A mandarin will "talk" it to you as a
gourmet talks wine with us; dilate upon its quality and flavor,
for the grades are innumerable, and taste and sip and sip and
taste as your winebibber does--and smack his lips too. We are told
of teas so delicate in flavor that fifty miles of transportation
spoils them.

It is popularly supposed that a small-footed woman must be one of
rank, but this is an error. It is a matter of family ambition,
even among the poor, to have in the family at least one such
deformity. Gentlemen marry only small-footed women, and their
child might make a good match. If large-footed, this would be
impossible; but such hopes are sometimes doomed to disappointment,
or after marriage reverses may ensue; and so it happens that many
small feet stamp about in poverty and try to eke out a living
under disadvantages from which their less genteel neighbors are
free. The most remarkable feature in the streets is the total
absence of women of any class except such as drudge alongside of
men, and even these are not numerous, for man appears to
monopolize most of the work, at least in the cities. Occasionally
we pass a sedan chair, or one passes us, closely covered up, which
no doubt contains a lady of position compelled to visit some
temple or relative; but I do not recall seeing in China any woman
in a costume above that of the working classes, so jealously do
Chinamen sentence their ladies to seclusion. A curious
illustration of this occurred on our passage out. On our ship was
one of the leading Chinese merchants of San Francisco with his
wife. Rather than have her seen, even among the few cabin
passengers, he engaged a portion of the steerage, had it closely
boarded up and confined her in it, and she was never seen by any
of us during the entire voyage. He and she took their meals
together in the box. It was said that now and then at night she
was carried secretly on deck for a breath of air; of course with
her small feet she could not walk.

The steerage had to be fumigated at intervals and every soul was
ordered on deck before the process began. This necessity had
evidently not been taken into account by the exclusives, and much
difficulty did our good doctor encounter with them. The husband
declared that rather than be exposed to the gaze of the crowd, his
wife would run the risk of being fumigated to death. The operation
was postponed until a small cabin could be provided and the veiled
beauty taken secretly to it.

A Chinese woman in China would hold it disgraceful to expose her
face to a strange man. Queen Victoria, sober, sage matron and pink
of propriety as she is reputed, would not consider a lady properly
dressed for her levee--where the more strange men to gaze the
better--who did not expose her face and neck and shoulders to full
view. Education, my boy, education! all things right and all
things wrong within a very wide range of affairs. Chinese women
pinch the feet, ours pinch the waist, and each pities the other
for their woeful lack of knowledge and their wickedness in marring
God's image--and for their bad taste, which is, I fear, equally
heinous to the female mind.

Our visit to the Celestial Empire is now at an end. We sail at
noon by the French mail steamer Pie Ho for Singapore, fourteen
hundred miles south. The more we see of China the greater it
grows. A country much larger than the United States, with eight
times the population, and not one mile of telegraph or railroad in
it, in many districts not even one mile of public road broad
enough for anything wider than a wheelbarrow--and yet a reading
and writing people, a race of acknowledged mental power, with a
form of settled government the oldest in the world--how
inconsistent all this seems to us! But the reason for this
paradoxical condition of affairs is, I think, that the unequalled
resources of the country, which give to the people every necessary
of life and almost every luxury, encouraged them in early days to
eschew intercourse with the poorer lands around them, and then
their superiority as a race to all their neighbors led them quite
justifiably to conclude that all beyond were outside barbarians.
They rested content with the advanced position attained, and as
each successive generation copied the past, change became foreign
to their whole nature, and in this path they have stubbornly
persisted until the once inferior races of the West have far
outstripped them. Among these outside barbarians must be ranked
our noble selves, for it isn't one thousand years, let alone two,
since our ancestors were running about dressed in skins and eating
raw flesh--perhaps eating each other, as some allege--as ignorant
of their A B C's as of the theory of evolution or the nebular
hypothesis, when these Chinese were printing books and sailing
ships by the compass. If my English readers will not be too
greatly startled at the illustration, I will suggest that the
conduct of China and its results suggest a danger for them which
their statesmen should not be slow to perceive and remedy. England
once stood as much in advance of other Western nations as China
did in comparison with other lands, and she has apparently rested
till now with equal complacency in the belief of her superiority.
It is fast passing away. The English-speaking race throughout the
world no longer looks to the parent land for political guidance,
for instance, where Britain once reigned supreme. What English-
speaking community would now study her antiquated political
devices, her throne, her church and state, her primogeniture and
entail, her hereditary chamber, unequal representation, or lack of
representation rather, except that they might surely learn how to
avoid them! Over the day when all English-speaking people turned
instinctively to my native land for political example "Ichabod"
must be written. They now look elsewhere, follow other ideals, and
have adopted other ideas of government and the rights of man.

It is not too late yet, however, for England to regain her proper
place in the race if she will only wake up, rub her dear old eyes,
and see what the youngsters are about. "There is life in the old
dog yet." The world is not done with the glorious little island,
nor the island done with the world either. But no nation can
indulge in a very long sleep in these days of progress the world
over. England must remember,

"_To have done_, is to hang
Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail
In monumental mockery."

Recent events have undoubtedly awakened the foremost minds of
China to the fact that they have been asleep, not twenty years
only like our Rip, but twenty generations. They have recently
begun to build steamships, a line of telegraph is authorized,
postage stamps are being printed, and, best of all, for our
comfort, at the principal cities there is generally at least one
dealer who adheres to fixed prices for his goods. A daily paper is
now published in Chinese at Shanghai, and the English school there
is well patronized. All these things convince me that at last
Western civilization is making an impression. The inert mass
begins to move, and China will march forward ere long. The most
convincing proof of this is found, perhaps, in the fact that the
government appropriated in 1872 nearly two millions of dollars to
maintain a hundred and fifty students in the United States. These
are to be educated in our colleges and afterward employed
officially at home. No action could prove more conclusively that
China is at last awakening from her long centuries of repose.

But without railroads the material resources of the country can
never be thoroughly developed. I fear this will be among the last
features of our civilization which China will adopt, although the
most important for her progress, because, as before mentioned, a
railway cannot be built without desecrating graves by the
thousand, and this every true Chinaman would view with horror. Our
guide, although a remarkably intelligent man, and favorable to
improvements of all kinds, took his stand here, inflexibly
opposing the introduction of railways. No matter what material
advantages might accrue, nor how much money he might be offered,
no earthly consideration would induce him to disturb his
ancestors, who have lain in one place in uninterrupted succession
for nearly seven hundred years. If my friends Messrs. Garrison,
Field and Pullman, who have so skilfully managed to give us
elevated railroads without disturbing proprietary rights below,
wish to enhance their fame, let them ask a concession in the
Celestial Empire for railroads "topside," guaranteed to dodge
every grave, and I do not doubt their success. Such inborn
superstition as is here depicted dies hard, but it must pass away
with the spread of knowledge; it will, however, take time.
Nevertheless, China has a great future before it, as it has had a
great past, and instead of having passed her climacteric, I
predict that she is destined to reach a position of paramount
importance in the Eastern world.

* * * * *

TUESDAY, December 26.

The Pie Ho is a magnificent ship, and we are delighted at getting
under the auspices of a French cook once more, after the
experiences we have had in Chinese cookery. No doubt about the
preëminence of the French in regard to human food. Whoever sends
the raw material, the French send the cooks. The _table
d'hôte_, now common in England at the hotels, and the French
service found in private houses, all so very different from the
practice even since I began to revisit England, show how rapidly
the world is bowing to the French cuisine.

We are scudding along before the monsoon, the temperature that of
June, an agreeable change from Hong Kong, where the nights have been
chilly. We are out of the region of cold weather now for the
remainder of our travels. We reached Saigon, the capital of the
French settlement in Cochin China, at six this morning, after
sailing forty miles up a branch of the Cambodia. Lower Cochin China
belongs to France, and is under the rule of a colonial governor,
French troops being scattered through the provinces. It is a
low-lying district, celebrated only for growing more rice than any
other part of the world. Our ship took on large quantities of it for
France, but this is exceptional, the scarcity of freights being
everywhere so great that steamers are glad to get anything to carry.
The Saigonites are the lowest specimens of humanity we have yet
seen--miserable, sickly-looking creatures, and without the faintest
regard for cleanliness. Their long, coarse black hair hangs over
their shoulders in thick, tangled masses which apparently have never
known a comb. Every one chews the betel-nut without intermission,
young and old alike, and this so discolors the teeth and mouth as to
render them extremely disgusting. We drove about the town for a few
hours, but it was so hot we were compelled to return to the ship.
This is the God-forsaken-looking region about which France is now
disputing with China. I cannot but wish that every deputy had been
with me during the few days of my visit, that he might see what kind
of a land and what sort of human beings his country expected to
derive credit from by superintending.

What I have said previous to the foregoing paragraph was written on
the spot, and therefore I cannot be accused of being prejudiced by the
recent action of France, which has caused me, as its well-wisher,
much sincere regret. Any power acquired by France over this portion
of the world can be but illusory--wholly so. The importance even of
Saigon is so small that it offers no inducement to any of the
regular steamers to call as they pass. The French line alone visits
it under a subvention from the home government. A few poor French
people manage to exist after a fashion by trading with the ignorant
natives, and a few soldiers and a ship- of-war give some semblance
of French authority. But just as certain as the sun shines, should
any considerable commerce arise in Cochin China, the English will
absorb nine-tenths of it, and this by a law from which there is no

When the French people forced the government to withdraw from
Egypt they gave us reason to hope that Herbert Spencer's law,
which creates pacific principles in proportion that power is held
by the masses, had received a significant vindication. Let us hope
the republican element will ere long put its veto upon foolish
interference in Tonquin.

The night we spent at Saigon the French governor gave a grand
ball, five hundred invitations; but out of all this number how
many ladies, think you? Society here musters but thirty-five,
mammas and grandmammas included, and only three young ladies.
Think of it, ye belles of Cresson, Newport and Saratoga (Cresson
first, Mr. Printer, is quite correct)! fifteen officers in
dazzling uniforms for every lady!

We have on board several English merchants and one American, who
are taking a run home for a visit. The latter regrets that his
countrymen should be induced to drink green tea abominations, and
I console him by stating that a reform is surely near at hand.
These gentlemen agree that the American cotton goods are taking
the market and driving the adulterated English goods out. The
trade is increasing so fast that it was welcome intelligence for
them to be advised by the last mail that another large mill in
Massachusetts was being altered to make exclusively Chinese goods.
I congratulate my friend Edward Atkinson upon this result. But is
this new business to be permanent? I think not. The day is far
distant, I hope, when either labor or capital in America will have
to be content with the return obtained in a populous country like
Britain; and unless we have superior natural advantages we cannot
hope to compete with her. In cotton manufacture for the East we
have not any advantage, as I find that the cheapest way of
reaching China from New York is to ship via London. England can
bring the raw cotton from New Orleans or New York, and send the
manufactured goods to market for certainly not more than the cost
of transportation from the American mills to market, and therefore
England can retain that trade whenever she adopts the latest
improvements in mode of manufacture; and this she is as certain to
do as the sun shines, and probably to improve upon them.

* * * * *


The clock strikes twelve. Good-bye, 1878; and you, 1879, all hail!
Be as kind to us as the departed, and we shall in turn bless your
memory. This midnight hour of all the hours of the year is reputed
the best for framing good resolutions, but somehow those I have
tried at this season hitherto have not been exceptionally
fortunate in bearing good fruit. However, I have never "resolved"
on a New-Year's night before while suffering from heat and
mosquitoes. I conclude to hazard one, so here goes antipodal
resolution No. I. See what you are good for. I record it that it
may be the more deeply impressed upon my mind, and, if a failure,
that it may in print sternly stare me in the face, and not "down
at my bidding."

To-day we make our first acquaintance with punkas. They extend
throughout the cabin, ominous of hot weather, which I detest;
Vandy, on the other hand, revels in it, and it is his turn now.
Vandy handed me today a string of Cambodia money, sixty pieces,
which cost only two cents, showing to what fractions they reduce
exchanges in Cochin China. I have been careful to collect coins in
every place visited. Sock No. 1 is now full, and I have had to
start bag No. 2. I have some rare specimens; of Japan the set is
complete, from the gold cobang, worth $115, oblong, five inches
long by about three wide, down to the smallest copper piece. I
have some Chinese coins shaped like a St. Andrew's cross, dating
before Christ. The mania for coin collecting is another inherent
tendency the presence of which has probably never been suspected
in my disposition. But collecting the coin of the realm, when one
thinks of it, isn't at all foreign to my tastes. The form of
manifestation is different, that's all--old coin for new--the
"ruling love," to use a Swedenborgianism, being the same; and the
ruling love must be acted out, so Aunt tells me, even in heaven.
"Oh!" said L., when she heard this, "I wonder what they'll get for
Mr.----to do in the other world; there are no dollars and cents
there; but there will be the _golden harps_ for him to trim
and weigh." So he would still handle the siller, and be in his
element. Some time afterward, when this was recalled to L., she
declared that it was impossible that she could have said it.
"Mr.----trim and weigh! He would never be satisfied unless he were
_boiling it down solid_."

* * * * *

SINGAPORE, Saturday, January 4.

We reached Singapore at dusk. The drive through the town was a
curious one. Nowhere else can such a mixture of races be seen, and
each nationality was enjoying itself in its own peculiar
fashion--all except the Chinese, who were, as usual, hard at work
in their little dens. No recreation for this people. Work, work,
work! They never play, never smile, but plod away, from early
morning until late at night. The Chinaman's objection to giving
his creditor in New York a note was because it "walkee, walkee
alle timee; walkee, walkee, no sleepee." They seem to me to
emulate these objectionable obligations.

We saw in Singapore our first lot of Hindoos, moving about the
streets like ghosts, wrapped in webs of thin white cotton cloth,
which scissors, needle, or thread have never defiled. The cloth
must remain just as it came from the loom; no hat, no shoes, their
foreheads chalked, or painted in red with the stamp of the god
they worship and the caste to which they belong. They are a small,
slight race, with fine, delicate features.

I went out for a stroll before retiring, and hearing a great noise
up the street, followed and came up with a Hindoo procession. The
god was being paraded through the Hindoo portion of the town amid
the beating of drums and blowing of squeaking trumpets. The idol
was seated in a finely decorated temple upon wheels, drawn by
devotees, many of whom danced wildly around, while others bore
torches aloft, making altogether a very gorgeous display. Priests
stood at each side performing mysterious rites as the cortege
proceeded. It was my first sight of an idolatrous procession, and
it made a deep impression upon me, carrying me back to Sunday-
school days, and the terrible car of Juggernaut and all its

I have had many experiences in beds, from the generous feather
cover of the Germans to the canopy of state couch of England, but
to-night my couch was minus covering of any kind. Calling to
Vandy, I found he was in the same predicament. Each had instead a
long, stiff bolster lying lengthwise in the middle of the
mattress, the use of which neither of us could make out. We soon
discovered that there was no need of covering at the Equator; but
this bolster must have some use, if we could only find it. Upon
inquiring next day we ascertained that it is composed of a kind of
pith which has the property of keeping cool in the hottest
weather, and that it is the greatest relief at night to cultivate
the closest possible acquaintance with this strange bed-fellow; in
fact, in Singapore, "no family should be without it."

The island of Singapore, which is included in the British Straits
Settlements, is nearly seventy miles in circumference, with a
population of about one hundred thousand, one-half of which is
Chinese, the remainder Malays, Klings, Javanese, Hindoos, and
every other Eastern race under the sun, I believe, and a few
Europeans. Here the "survival of the fittest" is being fought out
under the protection of the British flag, which insures peace and
order wherever it floats. In this struggle we have no hesitation
in backing the Heathen Chinee against the field. Permanent
occupation by any Western race is of course out of the question.
An Englishman would inevitably cease to be an Englishman in a few,
a very few, generations, and it is therefore only a question of
time when the Chinese will drive every other race to the wall. No
race can possibly stand against them anywhere in the East.

On Sunday, Major Studer, United States Consul, and his
accomplished daughter, drove us to the house and gardens of the
leading Chinese merchant of this region, Mr. Wampoo, who received
and entertained us with great cordiality. His residence is
extensive and filled in every part with curios; but his gardens
are most celebrated, and far surpass anything of the kind we have
yet seen. His collection of Victoria Regia plants is said to be
the best in the world. Unfortunately none were in bloom, but a
flower was due, I understood, in about ten years! The kind old
gentleman invited us back to see it, and we accepted; but since
writing this we have heard, alas! that he has ceased to play his
part upon earth.

The newspapers here sometimes give strange local items. Here is
one from yesterday's _Times_:

"Tigers must be increasing on the island; a fine big male one was
caught in a pit on Christmas eve at the water-works." The fellow
was probably on the track of a Christmas dinner, and ventured to
the very suburbs of the town.

We were driven one day, by the major and Miss Studer, some ten or
twelve miles in the interior, passing through groves of cocoa and
betel-nut trees, both in full bearing, to a tapioca plantation,
where we saw many trees and plants new to us--the fan and sago
palms and many other varieties, bananas, nutmeg trees, bread
fruit, durion, gutta-percha trees and others. We also saw the
indigo plant under cultivation, and passed through fields of the
sensitive plant as we walked about, while pine-apples were
everywhere. We are in a new world of vegetation here, within a
degree of the Equator; but, rich as it is, there is still a
feeling of disappointment because it is all green--no bright hues,
no coloring, such as gives Florida its charm, or lends to an
American forest in autumn its unrivalled glory! It is always
summer, and the moisture of the tropics keeps everything green.
There is another cause of disappointment to one accustomed to the
primeval forest and its majestic trees. These monarchs cannot
develop themselves in the tropics, and in their stead we have only
underbrush, the "jungle" of the tiger, which does not at all come


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