CHAPTER XXVII.THE REAL CONDITION OF CHINA AND HER PRESENT NEEDS.THE Confucian Classics are the chart by
which the rulers of China have endeavoured to navigate the ship of state. It is
the best chart ever constructed by man, and perhaps it is not too much to say,
with the late Dr. Williams, Dr. Legge, and others, that its authors may have
had in some sense a divine guidance. With what success the Chinese have
navigated their craft, into what waters they have sailed, and in what direction
they are at present steering — these are questions of capital importance now
that China is coming int...
CHAPTER XXVI.POLYTHEISM, PANTHEISM, ATHEISM.CONFUCIANISM, as a system of thought, is
among the most remarkable intellectual achievements of the race. It is true
that the Western reader cannot escape a feeling that much of what he finds in
the Confucian Classics is jejune. But it is not merely by perusing them that we
are to receive our most forcible impressions of what the Chinese Classics are
and have been, but by contemplating their effects. Here is the Chinese race, by
far the mightiest aggregation of human beings in any one nation on earth,
"with a written history extending as far b...
CHAPTER XXV. THE ABSENCE OF SINCERITY. THE Chinese ideograph which is commonly
translated "sincerity" is composed of the radicals denoting man and
words. Its meaning lies upon the surface. It is the last in the series of the
Five Constant Virtues enumerated by the Chinese, and in the opinion of many who
are well acquainted with them it is in fact about the last virtue which in the
Celestial Empire is likely to be met with on any considerable scale. Many who
know the Chinese will agree with the observation of Professor Kidd, who, after
speaking of the Chinese doctrine of "sincerity," con...
CHAPTER XXIV. MUTUAL SUSPICIONIT is an
indisputable truth that without a certain amount of mutual confidence it is
impossible for mankind to exist in an organised society, especially in a
society so highly organised and so complex as that of China. Assuming this as
an axiom, it is not the less necessary to direct our attention to a series of phenomena,
which, however inharmonious they may appear with our theory, are sufficiently
real to those who are acquainted with China. Much of what we shall have to say
of the mutual suspicion of the Chinese is by no means peculiar to this people;
CHAPTER XXIII. MUTUAL RESPONSIBILITY AND RESPECT FOR LAW.ONE of the most distinctive features of
Chinese society is that which is epitomised in the word
"responsibility," a word which carries with it a significance and
embraces a wealth of meaning to which Western lands are total strangers. In
those lands, as we well know, the individual is the unit and the nation is a
large collection of individuals. In China the unit of social life is found in
the family, the village, or the clan, and these are often convertible terms.
Thousands of Chinese villages comprise exclusively persons having ...
CHAPTER XXII. SOCIAL TYPHOONS. AMONG a population of such unexampled
density as in China, where families often of great size are crowded together in
narrow quarters, it is impossible that occasions for quarrels should not be
all-pervasive. "How many are there in your family?" you inquire of
your neighbour. "Between ten and twenty mouths," he replies.
"And do you have everything in common?" you ask. "Yes," is
the most common reply. Here, then, are fifteen or twenty human beings, probably
representing three, if not four, generations, who live from the income of the
same business or farm,...