CHAPER XVI. PHYSICAL VITALITY. THAT physical vitality which forms so
important a background for other Chinese characteristics, deserves
consideration by itself. It may be regarded in four aspects : the reproductive
power of the Chinese race, its adaptation to different circumstances, its
longevity, and its recuperative power. The first impression which the traveller
derives from the phenomena of Chinese life is that of redundance. China seems
to be full of people. It seems to be so because it is so. Japan, too, appears
to have a large population, but it does not take a very discriminati...
CHAPTER XV. INDIFFERENCE TO COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE.IN what we have now to say, it must be
premised at the outset that all that is affirmed of Chinese indifference to comfort
and convenience respects not Oriental but Occidental standards, the principal
object being to show how totally different those standards are. Let us first direct our attention for a
moment to the Chinese dress. In speaking of Chinese contempt for foreigners, we
have already had occasion to mention that Western modes of apparel have very little
which is attractive to the Chinese; we are now forced to admit that ...
CHAPTER XIV.CONSERVATISM.IT is true of the Chinese, to a greater
degree than of any other nation in history, that their Golden Age is in the past.
The sages of antiquity themselves spoke with the deepest reverence of more
ancient "ancients." Confucius declared that he was not an originator,
but a transmitter. It was his mission to gather up what had once been known,
but long neglected or misunderstood. It was his painstaking fidelity in
accomplishing this task, as well as the high ability which he brought to it,
that gave the Master his extraordinary hold upon the people of his race. It...
CHAPTER XIII. THE ABSENCE OF PUBLIC SPIRIT. THE Book of Odes, one of the most ancient
of the Chinese Classics, contains the following prayer, supposed to be uttered
by the husbandmen:" May it rain first on our public fields, and afterwards
extend to our private ones." Whatever may have been true of the palmy days
of the Chou Dynasty and of those which preceded it, there can be no doubt that very
little praying is done in the present day, either by husbandmen or any other
private individuals, for rain which is to be applied "first" on the
"pubic fields." The Chinese government, as w...
CHAPTER 2Pan JinlianWu Song went to the inn near the Town Hall,
packed his baggage and his bedclothes, and told a soldier to carry them to his
brother's house. When Pan Jinlian saw him coming, she was as delighted as if
she had discovered a hidden treasure. She bustled about preparing a room for
her brother-in-law and setting everything to rights. Wu Song sent back the
orderly, and stayed the night at his brother's home. The next day, he rose very
early, and Jinlian hastened to heat water for him. He washed, combed and tied
his hair, and then made ready to go to the office to sign the r...
The Golden LotusCHAPTER 1When wealth has taken wing, the streets seem desolate.The strains of flute and stringed
zither are heard no more.The brave long sword has lost its
terror; its splendor is tarnished.The precious lute is broken, faded
its golden star.The marble stairs are deserted;
only the autumn dew visits them now.The moon shines lonely where once
were dancing feet and merry songs.The dancers are departed: the
singers have gone elsewhere.They return no more.Today they are but ashes in the
Western Tombs.Beautiful is this maiden; her
tender form gives promise of sweet womanhood,...