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Title: China and the Chinese
Author: Giles, Herbert Allen, 1845-1935
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "China and the Chinese" ***

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                CHINA AND THE CHINESE

                CHINA AND THE CHINESE


              HERBERT ALLEN GILES, LL.D.


                      NEW YORK
            THE MACMILLAN COMPANY, Agents.
                   66 Fifth Avenue


               _All rights reserved._

                  Copyright, 1902,

        Set up and electrotyped October, 1902.

                   Norwood Press
         J. S. Cushing & Co.—Berwick & Smith
                Norwood Mass. U.S.A.


The following Lectures were delivered during March, 1902, at Columbia
University, in the city of New York, to inaugurate the foundation by
General Horace W. Carpentier of the Dean Lung Chair of Chinese.

By the express desire of the authorities of Columbia University these
Lectures are now printed, and they may serve to record an important and
interesting departure in Oriental studies.

It is not pretended that Chinese scholarship will be in any way advanced
by this publication. The Lectures, slight in themselves, were never
meant for advanced students, but rather to draw attention to, and
possibly arouse some interest in, a subject which will occupy a larger
space in the future than in the present or in the past.


  Cambridge, England,
  April 15, 1902.




  Its Importance—Its Difficulty—The Colloquial—Dialects—"Mandarin"—Absence
  of Grammar—Illustrations—Pidgin-English—Scarcity of Vocables—The
  Tones—Coupled Words—The Written Language—The Indicators—Picture
  Characters—Pictures of Ideas—The Phonetics—Some Faulty Analyses ...    3



  The Cambridge (Eng.) Library—(A) The Confucian Canon—(B)
  Dynastic History—The "Historical Record"—The "Mirror of
  History"—Biography—Encyclopædias—How arranged—Collections
  of Reprints—The Imperial Statutes—The Penal Code—(C)
  Geography—Topography—An Old Volume—Account of Strange Nations—(D)
  Poetry—Novels—Romance of the Three Kingdoms—Plays—(E) Dictionaries—The
  Concordance—Its Arrangement—Imperial Catalogue—Senior Classics ...    37



  The Emperor—Provincial Government—Circuits—Prefectures—Magistracies—
  Headboroughs—The People—The Magistrate—Other Provincial Officials—The
  Prefect—The Intendant of Circuit (_Tao-t'ai_)—Viceroy and
  Governor—Taxation—Mencius on "the People"—Personal Liberty—New
  Imposts—Combination—Illustrations ...                                 73



  Relative Values of Chinese and Greek in Mental and Moral Training—Lord
  Granville—Wên T'ien-hsiang—Han Yü—An Emperor—A Land of
  Opposites—Coincidences between Chinese and Greek Civilisations—The
  Question of Greek Influence—Greek Words in Chinese—Coincidences in
  Chinese and Western Literature—Students of Chinese wanted ...        107



  Religions in China—What is Tao?—Lao Tzŭ—The _Tao Tê Ching_—Its
  Claims—The Philosophy of Lao Tzŭ—-Developed by Chuang Tzŭ—His View
  of Tao—A Taoist Poet—Symptoms of Decay—The Elixir of Life—Alchemy—The
  Black Art—Struggle between Buddhism and Taoism—They borrow from One
  Another—The Corruption of Tao—Its Last State ...                     141



  Origin of the Queue—Social Life—An Eyeglass—Street Etiquette—Guest
  and Host—The Position of Women—Infanticide—Training and Education of
  Women—The Wife's Status—Ancestral Worship—Widows—Foot-binding—Henpecked
  Husbands—The Chinaman a Mystery—Customs vary with Places—Dog's
  Flesh—Substitutes at Executions—Doctors—Conclusion ...               175





If the Chinese people were to file one by one past a given point, the
interesting procession would never come to an end. Before the last man
of those living to-day had gone by, another and a new generation would
have grown up, and so on for ever and ever.

The importance, as a factor in the sum of human affairs, of this vast
nation,—of its language, of its literature, of its religions, of its
history, of its manners and customs,—goes therefore without saying. Yet
a serious attention to China and her affairs is of very recent growth.
Twenty-five years ago there was but one professor of Chinese in the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; and even that one spent his
time more in adorning his profession than in imparting his knowledge to
classes of eager students. Now there are all together five chairs of
Chinese, the occupants of which are all more or less actively employed.
But we are still sadly lacking in what Columbia University appears to
have obtained by the stroke of a generous pen,—adequate funds for
endowment. Meanwhile, I venture to offer my respectful congratulations
to Columbia University on having surmounted this initial difficulty, and
also to prophesy that the foresight of the liberal donor will be amply
justified before many years are over.

I have often been asked if Chinese is, or is not, a difficult language
to learn. To this question it is quite impossible to give a categorical
answer, for the simple reason that Chinese consists of at least two
languages, one colloquial and the other written, which for all practical
purposes are about as distinct as they well could be.

Colloquial Chinese is a comparatively easy matter. It is, in fact, more
easily acquired in the early stages than colloquial French or German. A
student will begin to speak from the very first, for the simple reason
that there is no other way. There are no Declensions or Conjugations
to be learned, and consequently no Paradigms or Irregular Verbs.

In a day or two the student should be able to say a few simple things.
After three months he should be able to deal with his ordinary
requirements; and after six months he should be able to chatter away
more or less accurately on a variety of interesting subjects. A great
deal depends upon the method by which he is taught.

The written or book language, on the other hand, may fairly be regarded
as a sufficient study for a lifetime; not because of the peculiar
script, which yields when systematically attacked, but because the style
of the book language is often so extremely terse as to make it obscure,
and sometimes so lavishly ornate that without wide reading it is not
easy to follow the figurative phraseology, and historical and
mythological allusions, which confront one on every page.

There are plenty of men, and some women, nowadays, who can carry on a
conversation in Chinese with the utmost facility, and even with grace.
Some speak so well as to be practically indistinguishable from Chinamen.

There are comparatively few men, and I venture to say still fewer, if
any, women, who can read an ordinary Chinese book with ease, or write an
ordinary Chinese letter at all.

Speaking of women as students of Chinese, there have been so far only
two who have really placed themselves in the front rank. It gives me
great pleasure to add that both these ladies, lady missionaries, were
natives of America, and that it was my privilege while in China to know
them both. In my early studies of Chinese I received much advice and
assistance from one of them, the late Miss Lydia Fay. Later on, I came
to entertain a high respect for the scholarship and literary attainments
of Miss Adèle M. Fielde, a well-known authoress.

Before starting upon a course of colloquial Chinese, it is necessary for
the student to consider in what part of China he proposes to put his
knowledge into practice. If he intends to settle or do business in
Peking, it is absolute waste of time for him to learn the dialect of
Shanghai. Theoretically, there is but one language spoken by the Chinese
people in China proper,—over an area of some two million square miles,
say twenty-five times the area of England and Scotland together.
Practically, there are about eight well-marked dialects, all clearly of
a common stock, but so distinct as to constitute eight different
languages, any two of which are quite as unlike as English and Dutch.

These dialects may be said to fringe the coast line of the Empire of
China. Starting from Canton and coasting northward, before we have left
behind us the province in which Canton is situated, Kuangtung, we reach
Swatow, where a totally new dialect is spoken. A short run now brings
us to Amoy, the dialect of which, though somewhat resembling that of
Swatow, is still very different in many respects. Our next stage is
Foochow, which is in the same province as Amoy, but possesses a special
dialect of its own. Then on to Wênchow, with another dialect, and so on
to Ningpo with yet another, widely spoken also in Shanghai, though the
latter place really has a _patois_ of its own.

Farther north to Chefoo, and thence to Peking, we come at last into the
range of the great dialect, popularly known as Mandarin, which sweeps
round behind the narrow strip of coast occupied by the various dialects
above mentioned, and dominates a hinterland constituting about
four-fifths of China proper. It is obvious, then, that for a person who
settles in a coast district, the dialect of that district must be his
chief care, while for the traveller and explorer Mandarin will probably
stand him in best stead.

The dialect of Peking is now regarded as standard "Mandarin"; but
previous to the year 1425 the capital was at Nanking, and the dialect of
Nanking was the Mandarin then in vogue. Consequently, Pekingese is the
language which all Chinese officials are now bound to speak.

Those who come from certain parts of the vast hinterland speak Mandarin
almost as a mother tongue, while those from the seaboard and certain
adjacent parts of the interior have nearly as much difficulty in
acquiring it, and quite as much difficulty in speaking it with a correct
accent, as the average foreigner.

The importance of Mandarin, the "official language" as the Chinese call
it, is beyond question. It is the vehicle of oral communication between
all Chinese officials, even in cases where they come from the same part
of the country and speak the same _patois_, between officials and their
servants, between judge and prisoner. Thus, in every court of justice
throughout the Empire the proceedings are carried on in Mandarin,
although none of the parties to the case may understand a single word.
The prosecutor, on his knees, tells his story in his native dialect.
This story is rendered into Mandarin by an official interpreter for the
benefit of the magistrate; the magistrate asks his questions or makes
his remarks in Mandarin, and these are translated into the local dialect
for the benefit of the litigants. Even if the magistrate knows the
dialect himself,—as is often the case, although no magistrate may hold
office in his own province,—still it is not strictly permissible for him
to make use of the local dialect for magisterial purposes.

It may be added that in all large centres, such as Canton, Foochow, and
Amoy, there will be found, among the well-to-do tradesmen and merchants,
many who can make themselves intelligible in something which
approximates to the dialect of Peking, not to mention that two out of
the above three cities are garrisoned by Manchu troops, who of course
speak that dialect as their native tongue.

Such is Mandarin. It may be compared to a limited extent with Urdu, the
camp language of India. It is obviously the form of colloquial which
should be studied by all, except those who have special interests in
special districts, in which case, of course, the _patois_ of the
locality comes to the front.

We will now suppose that the student has made up his mind to learn
Mandarin. The most natural thing for him, then, to do will be to look
around him for a grammar. He may have trouble in finding one. Such works
do actually exist, and they have been, for the most part, to quote a
familiar trade-mark, "made in Germany." They are certainly not made by
the Chinese, who do not possess, and never have possessed, in their
language, an equivalent term for grammar. The language is quite beyond
reach of the application of such rules as have been successfully deduced
from Latin and Greek.

The Chinese seem always to have spoken in monosyllables, and these
monosyllables seem always to have been incapable of inflection,
agglutination, or change of any kind. They are in reality root-ideas,
and are capable of adapting themselves to their surroundings, and of
playing each one such varied parts as noun, verb (transitive, neuter,
or even causal), adverb, and conjunction.

The word 我 _wo_, which for convenience' sake I call "I," must be
rendered into English by "me" whenever it is the object of some other
word, which, also for convenience' sake, I call a verb. It has further
such extended senses as "egoistic" and "subjective."

    For example: 我爱他 _wo ai t'a_.

The first of these characters, which is really the root-idea of "self,"
stands here for the pronoun of the first person; the last, which is
really the root-idea of "not self," "other," stands for the pronoun of
the third person; and the middle character for the root-idea of "love."

This might mean in English, "I love him," or "I love her," or "I love
it,"—for there is no gender in Chinese, any more than there is any other
indication of grammatical susceptibilities. We can only decide if "him,"
"her," or "it" is intended by the context, or by the circumstances of
the case.

Now if we were to transpose what I must still call the pronouns,
although they are not pronouns except when we make them so, we should

    他爱我 _t'a ai wo_

"he, she, _or_ it loves me," the only change which the Chinese words
have undergone being one of position; while in English, in addition to
the inflection of the pronouns, the "love" of the first person becomes
"loves" in the third person.

Again, supposing we wished to write down—

    "People love him (or her),"

we should have—

    人爱他 _jen ai t'a_,

in which once more the noticeable feature is that the middle character,
although passing from the singular to the plural number, suffers no
change of any kind whatever.

Further, the character for "man" is in the plural simply because such a
rendering is the only one which the genius of the Chinese language will
here tolerate, helped out by the fact that the word by itself does not
mean "_a_ man," but rather what we may call the root-idea of humanity.

Such terms as "a man," or "six men," or "some men," or "many men," would
be expressed each in its own particular way.

"All men," for instance, would involve merely the duplication of the
character _jen_:—

    人人爱他 _jen jen ai t'a_.

It is the same with tenses in Chinese. They are not brought out by
inflection, but by the use of additional words.

来 _lai_ is the root-idea of "coming," and lends itself as follows to the
exigencies of conjugation:—

Standing alone, it is imperative:—

    来 _Lai!_ = "come!" "here!"

    我来 _wo lai_ = "I come, _or_ am coming."

    他来 _t'a lai_ = "he comes, _or_ is coming."

And by inserting 不 _pu_, a root-idea of negation,—

    他不来 _t'a pu lai_ = "he comes not, _or_ is not coming."

To express an interrogative, we say,—

    他来不来 _t'a lai pu lai_ = "he come no come?" _i.e._ "is he coming?"

submitting the two alternatives for the person addressed to choose from
in reply.

The indefinite past tense is formed by adding the word 了 _liao_ or _lo_

    他来了 _t'a lai lo_ = "he come finish," = "he has come."

This may be turned into the definite past tense by inserting some
indication of time; _e.g._

    他早上来了 = "he came this morning."

Here we see that the same words may be indefinite or definite according
to circumstances.

It is perhaps more startling to find that the same words may be both
active and passive.

Thus, 丢 _tiu_ is the root-idea of "loss," "to lose," and 了 puts it into
the past tense.

Now 我丢了 means, and can only mean, "I have lost"—something understood,
or to be expressed. Strike out 我 and substitute 書 "a book." No Chinaman
would think that the new sentence meant "The book has lost"—something
understood, or to be expressed, as for instance its cover; but he would
grasp at once the real sense, "The book is or has been lost."

In the case of such, a phrase as "The book has lost" its cover, quite a
different word would be used for "lost."

We have the same phenomenon in English. In the _New York Times_ of
February 13, I read, "Mr. So-and-so dined," meaning not that Mr.
So-and-so took his dinner, but had been entertained at dinner by a party
of friends,—a neuter verb transformed into a passive verb by the logic
of circumstances.

By a like process the word 死 _ssŭ_ "to die" may also mean "to make to
die" = "to kill."

The word 金 _chin_ which stands for "gold" as a substantive may also
stand, as in English, for an adjective, and for a verb, "to gold,"
_i.e._ to regard as gold, to value highly.

There is nothing in Chinese like love, loving, lovely, as noun
substantive, verb, and adverb. The word, written or spoken, remains
invariably, so far as its own economy is concerned, the same. Its
function in a sentence is governed entirely by position and by the
influence of other words upon it, coupled with the inexorable logic
of attendant circumstances.

When a Chinaman comes up to you and says, "You wantchee my, no
wantchee," he is doing no foolish thing, at any rate from his own point
of view. To save himself the trouble of learning grammatical English, he
is taking the language and divesting it of all troublesome inflections,
until he has at his control a set of root-ideas, with which he can
juggle as in his own tongue. In other words, "you wantchee my, no
wantchee," is nothing more nor less than literally rendered Chinese:—

    你要我不要 _ni yao wo, pu yao_ = do you want me or not?

In this "pidgin" English he can express himself as in Chinese by merely
changing the positions of the words:—

"He wantchee my." "My wantchee he."

"My belong Englishman."

"That knife belong my."

Some years back, when I was leaving China for England with young
children, their faithful Chinese nurse kept on repeating to the little
ones the following remarkable sentence, "My too muchey solly you go
steamah; you no solly my."

All this is very absurd, no doubt; still it is _bona fide_ Chinese,
and illustrates very forcibly how an intelligible language may be
constructed of root-ideas arranged in logical sequence.

If the last word had now been said in reference to colloquial, it would
be as easy for us to learn to speak Chinese as it is for a Chinaman to
learn to speak Pidgin-English. There is, however, a great obstacle still
in the way of the student. The Chinese language is peculiarly lacking
in vocables; that is to say, it possesses very few sounds for the
conveyance of speech. The dialect of Peking is restricted to four
hundred and twenty, and as every word in the language must fall under
one or other of those sounds, it follows that if there are 42,000 words
in the language (and the standard dictionary contains 44,000), there
is an average of 100 words to each sound. Of course, if any sound
had less than 100 words attached to it, some other sound would have
proportionately more. Thus, accepting the average, we should have 100
things or ideas, all expressed in speech, for instance, by the one
single sound _I_.

The confusion likely to arise from such conditions needs not to be
enlarged upon; it is at once obvious, and probably gave rise to the
following sapient remark by a globe-trotting author, which I took from
a newspaper in England:—

"In China, the letter _I_ has one hundred and forty-five different ways
of being pronounced, and each pronunciation has a different meaning."

It would be difficult to squeeze more misleading nonsense into a smaller
compass. Imagine the agonies of a Chinese infant school, struggling
with the letter _I_ pronounced in 145 different ways, with a different
meaning to each! It will suffice to say, what everybody here present
must know, that Chinese is not in any sense an alphabetic language, and
that consequently there can be no such thing as "the letter _I_."

When closely examined, this great difficulty of many words with but one
common sound melts rapidly away, until there is but a fairly small
residuum with which the student has to contend. The same difficulty
confronts us, to a slighter extent, even in English. If I say, "I met a
bore in Broadway," I may mean one of several things. I may mean a tidal
wave, which is at once put out of court by the logic of circumstances.
Or I may mean a wild animal, which also has circumstances against it.

To return to Chinese. In the first place, although there are no doubt
42,000 separate written characters in the Chinese language, about
one-tenth of that number, 4200, would more than suffice for the needs of
an average speaker. Adopting this scale, we have 420 sounds and 4200
words, or ten words to each sound,—still a sufficient hindrance to
anything like certain intelligibility of speech. But this is not the
whole case. The ten characters, for instance, under each sound, are
distributed over four separate groups, formed by certain modulations of
the voice, known as Tones, so that actually there would be only an
average of 2½ words liable to absolute confusion. Thus 烟 yen^1 means
"smoke"; 鹽 yen^2 means "salt"; 眼 yen^3 means "an eye"; and 雁 yen^4 means
"a goose."

These modulations are not readily distinguished at first; but the ear is
easily trained, and it soon becomes difficult to mistake them.

Nor is this all. The Chinese, although their language is monosyllabic,
do not make an extensive use of monosyllables in speech to express a
single thing or idea. They couple their words in pairs.

Thus, for "eye" they would say, not _yen_, which strictly means "hole,"
or "socket," but _yen ching_, the added word _ching_, which means
"eyeball," tying down the term to the application required, namely,

In like manner it is not customary to talk about _yen_, "salt," as we
do, but to restrict the term as required in each case by the addition of
some explanatory word; for instance, 白盐 "white salt," _i.e._ "table
salt"; 黑盐 "black salt," _i.e._ "coarse salt"; all of which tends very
much to prevent confusion with other words pronounced in the same tone.

There are also certain words used as suffixes, which help to separate
terms which might otherwise be confused. Thus 裹 _kuo_^3 means "to wrap,"
and 果 _kuo_^3 means "fruit," the two being identical in sound and tone.
And _yao kuo_ might mean either "I want fruit" or "I want to wrap." No
one, however, says _kuo_ for "fruit," but _kuo tzŭ_. The suffix _tzŭ_
renders confusion impossible.

Of course there is no confusion in reading a book, where each thing or
idea, although of the same sound and tone, is represented by a different

On the whole, it may be said that misconceptions in the colloquial are
not altogether due to the fact that the Chinese language is poorly
provided with sounds. Many persons, otherwise gifted, are quite unable
to learn any foreign tongue.

Let us now turn to the machinery by means of which the Chinese arrest
the winged words of speech, and give to mere thought and utterance a
more concrete and a more lasting form.

The written language has one advantage over the colloquial: it is
uniformly the same all over China; and the same document is equally
intelligible to natives of Peking and Canton, just as the Arabic and
Roman numerals are understood all over Europe, although pronounced
differently by various nations.

To this fact some have attributed the stability of the Chinese Empire
and the permanence of her political and social institutions.

If we take the written language of to-day, which is to all intents and
purposes the written language of twenty-five hundred years ago, we gaze
at first on what seems to be a confused mass of separate signs, each
sign being apparently a fortuitous concourse of dots and dashes.
Gradually, however, the eye comes to perceive that every now and again
there is to be found in one character a certain portion which has
already been observed in another, and this may well have given rise to
the idea that each character is built up of parts equivalent to our
letters of the alphabet. These portions are of two kinds, and must be
considered under two separate heads.

Under the first head come a variety of words, which also occur as
substantive characters, such as dog, vegetation, tree, disease, metal,
words, fish, bird, man, woman. These are found to indicate the direction
in which the sense of the whole character is to be sought.

Thus, whenever 犭 "dog" occurs in a character, the reader may prepare for
the name of some animal, as for instance 狮 _shih_ "lion," 猫 _mao_ "cat,"
狼 _lang_ "wolf", 猪 _ehu_ "pig."

Two of these are interesting words. (1) There are no lions in China;
_shih_ is merely an imitation of the Persian word _shír_. (2) _Mao_, the
term for a "cat," is obviously an example of onomatopoeia.

The character 犭 will also indicate in many cases such attributes as
猾 _hua_ "tricky," 狠 _hên_, "aggressive," 猛 _mêng_ "fierce," and other
characteristics of animals.

Similarly, 艹 _ts'ao_ "vegetation" will hint at some plant; _e.g._ 草
_ts'ao_ "grass," 荷 _ho_ "the lily," 芝 _chih_ "the plant of immortality."

木 _mu_ "a tree" usually points toward some species of tree; _e.g._ 松
_sung_ "a fir tree," 桑 _sang_ "a mulberry tree"; and by extension it
points toward anything of wood, as 板 _pan_ "a board," 桌 _cho_ "a table,"
椅 _i_ "a chair," and so on.

So 魚 _yü_ "a fish" and 鳥 _niao_ "a bird" are found in all characters of
ichthyological or ornithological types, respectively.

人 _jen_ "a man" is found in a large number of characters dealing with
humanity under varied aspects; _e.g._ 你 _ni_ "thou," 他 _t'a_ "he," 作
_tso_ "to make," 仗 _chang_ "a weapon," 傑 _chieh_ "a hero," 儒 _ju_
"a scholar," "a Confucianist"; while it has been pointed out that such
words as 奸 _chien_ "treacherous," 媚 _mei_ "to flatter," and 妒 _tu_
"jealousy," are all written with the indicator 女 _nü_ "woman" at the

The question now arises how these significant parts got into their
present position. Have they always been there, and was the script
artificially constructed off-hand, as is the case with Mongolian and
Manchu? The answer to this question can hardly be presented in a few
words, but involves the following considerations.

It seems to be quite certain that in very early times, when the
possibility and advantage of committing thought to writing first
suggested themselves to the Chinese mind, rude pictures of _things_
formed the whole stock in trade. Such were

[Illustration: Sun, moon, mountains, hand, child, wood, bending official,
mouth, ox, and claws.]

in many of which it is not difficult to trace the modern forms of

    日 月 山 手 子 木 臣 口 牛 爪

It may here be noted that there was a tendency to curves so long as the
characters were scratched on bamboo tablets with a metal stylus. With
the invention of paper in the first century A.D., and the substitution
of a hair-pencil for the stylus, verticals and horizontals came more
into vogue.

The second step was the combination of two pictures to make a third; for
instance, a mouth with something coming out of it is "the tongue," 舌;
a mouth with something else coming out of it is "speech," "words," 言;
two trees put side by side make the picture of a "forest," 林.

The next step was to produce pictures of ideas. For instance, there
already existed in speech a word _ming_, meaning "bright." To express
this, the Chinese placed in juxtaposition the two brightest things known
to them. Thus 日 the "sun" and 月 the "moon" were combined to form 明
_ming_ "bright." There is as yet no suggestion of phonetic influence.
The combined character has a sound quite different from that of either
of its component parts, which are _jih_ and _yüeh_ respectively.

In like manner, 日 "sun" and 木 "tree," combined as 東, "the sun seen
rising through trees," signified "the east"; 言 "words" and 舌 "tongue" =
話 "speech"; 友 (old form [Illustration]) "two hands" = "friendship"; 女
"woman" and 子 "child" = 好 "good"; 女 "woman" and 生 "birth," "born of a
woman" = 姓 "clan name," showing that the ancient Chinese traced through
the mother and not through the father; 勿 streamers used in signalling a
negative = "do not!"

From 林 "two trees," the picture of a forest, we come to 森 "three trees,"
suggesting the idea of density of growth and darkness; 孝 "a child at the
feet of an old man" = "filial piety"; 戈 "a spear" and 手 "to kill,"
suggesting the defensive attitude of individuals in primeval times = 我
"I, me"; 我 "I, my," and 羊 "sheep," suggesting the obligation to respect
another man's flocks = 義 "duty toward one's neighbour"; 大 "large" and 羊
"sheep" = 美 "beautiful"; and 善, "virtuous," also has "sheep" as a
component part,—why we do not very satisfactorily make out, except that
of course the sheep would play an important rôle among early pastoral
tribes. The idea conveyed by what we call the conjunction "and" is
expressed in Chinese by an ideogram, viz. 及, which was originally the
picture of a hand, seizing what might be the tail of the coat of a man
preceding, _scilicet_ following.

The third and greatest step in the art of writing was reached when the
Chinese, who had been trying to make one character do for several
similar-sounding words of different meanings, suddenly bethought
themselves of distinguishing these several similar-sounding words by
adding to the original character employed some other character
indicative of the special sense in which each was to be understood.
Thus, in speech the sound _ting_ meant "the sting of an insect," and was
appropriately pictured by what is now written 丁.

There were, however, other words also expressed by the sound _ting_,
such as "a boil," "the top or tip," "to command," "a nail," "an ingot,"
and "to arrange." These would be distinguished in speech by the tones
and suffixes, as already described; but in writing, if 丁 were used for
all alike, confusion would of necessity arise. To remedy this, it
occurred to some one in very early ages to make 丁, and other similar
pictures of things or ideas, serve as what we now call Phonetics, _i.e._
the part which suggests the sound of the character, and to add in each
case an indicator of the special sense intended to be conveyed. Thus,
taking 丁 as the phonetic base, in order to express _ting_, "a boil," the
indicator for "disease," 疒, was added, making 疔; for _ting_, "the top,"
the indicator for "head," 页, was added, making 顶; for "to command," the
symbol for "mouth," 口 was added, making 叮; for "nail," and also for
"ingot," the symbol for "metal," 金, was added, making 釘; and for "to
arrange," the symbol for "speech," 言, was added, making 訂. We thus
obtain five new words, which, so far as the written language is
concerned, are easily distinguishable one from another, namely, _ting_
"a sting," disease-_ting_ = "a boil," head-_ting_ = "the top,"
mouth-_ting_ = "to command," metal-_ting_ = "a nail," speech-_ting_ =
"to arrange." In like manner, the words for "mouth," "to rap," and "a
button," were all pronounced _k'ou_. Having got 口 _k'ou_ as the picture
of a mouth, that was taken as the phonetic base, and to express "to
rap," the symbol for "hand," 手 or 扌, was added, making 扣; while to
express "button," the symbol for "metal," 金 was added, making 釦. So that
we have _k'ou_ = "mouth," hand-_k'ou_ = "to rap," and metal-_k'ou_ =

Let us take a picture of an idea. We have 東 _tung_ = the sun seen
through the trees,—"the east." When the early Chinese wished to write
down _tung_ "to freeze," they simply took the already existing 東 as the
phonetic base, and added to it "an icicle," 冫, thus 凍. And when they
wanted to write down _tung_ "a beam," instead of "icicle," they put the
obvious indicator 木 "wood," thus 棟.

We have now got the two portions into which the vast majority of Chinese
characters can be easily resolved.

There is first the phonetic base, itself a character originally intended
to represent some thing or idea, and then borrowed to represent other
things and ideas similarly pronounced; and secondly, the indicator,
another character added to the phonetic base in order to distinguish
between the various things and ideas for which the same phonetic base
was used.

All characters, however, do not yield at once to the application of our
rule. 要 _yao_ "to will, to want," is composed of 西 "west" and 女 "woman."
What has western woman to do with the sign of the future? In the days
before writing, the Chinese called the waist of the body _yao_. By and
by they wrote 要, a rude picture of man with his arms akimbo and his legs
crossed, thus accentuating the narrower portion, the waist. Then, when
it was necessary to write down _yao_, "to will," they simply borrowed
the already existing word for "waist." In later times, when writing
became more exact, they took the indicator 月 "flesh," and added it
wherever the idea of waist had to be conveyed. And thus 腰 it is still
written, while _yao_, "to will, to want," has usurped the character
originally invented for "waist."

In some of their own identifications native Chinese scholars have often
shown themselves hopelessly at sea. For instance, 天 "the sky,"
figuratively God, was explained by the first Chinese lexicographer,
whose work has come down to us from about one hundred years after the
Christian era, as composed of 一 "one" and 大 "great," the "one great"
thing; whereas it was simply, under its oldest form, [Illustration], a
rude anthropomorphic picture of the Deity.

Even the early Jesuit Fathers of the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries, to whom we owe so much for pioneer work in the domain of
Sinology, were not without occasional lapses of the kind, due no doubt
to a laudable if excessive zeal. Finding the character 船, which is the
common word for "a ship," as indicated by 舟, the earlier
picture-character for "boat" seen on the left-hand side, one ingenious
Father proceeded to analyse it as follows:—

    舟 "ship," 八 "eight," 口 "mouth" = eight mouths on a ship—"the Ark."

But the right-hand portion is merely the phonetic of the character; it
was originally 铅 "lead," which gave the sound required; then the
indicator "boat" was substituted for "metal."

So with the word 禁 "to prohibit." Because it could be analysed into two
木木 "trees" and 示 "a divine proclamation," an allusion was discovered
therein to the two trees and the proclamation of the Garden of Eden;
whereas again the proper analysis is into indicator and phonetic.

Nor is such misplaced ingenuity confined to the Roman Catholic Church.
In 1892 a Protestant missionary published and circulated broadcast what
he said was "evidence in favour of the Gospels," being nothing less than
a prophecy of Christ's coming hidden in the Chinese character 來 "to
come." He pointed out that this was composed of [Illustration] "a
cross," with two 人人 "men," one on each side, and a "greater man" 人 in
the middle.

That analysis is all very well for the character as it stands now; but
before the Christian era this same character was written [Illustration]
and was a picture, not of men and of a cross, but of a sheaf of corn. It
came to mean "come," says the Chinese etymologist, "because corn _comes"
from heaven."

Such is the written language of China, and such indeed it was, already
under the dominion of the phonetic system, by which endless new
combinations may still be formed, at the very earliest point to which
history, as distinguished from legend, will carry us,—some eight or nine
centuries B.C. There are no genuine remains of pure picture-writing, to
enable us to judge how far the Chinese had got before the phonetic
system was invented, though many attempts have been made to palm off
gross forgeries as such.

The great majority of characters, as I have said, are capable of being
easily resolved into the two important parts which I have attempted to
describe—the original phonetic portion, which guides toward
pronunciation, and the added indicator, which guides toward the sense.

Even the practical student, who desires to learn to read and write
Chinese for purely business purposes, will find himself constrained to
follow out this analysis, if he wishes to commit to memory a serviceable
number of characters. With no other hold upon them beyond their mere
outlines, he will find the characters so bewildering, so elusive, as to
present almost insuperable difficulties.

But under the influence of systematic study, coupled with a fair amount
of perseverance, these difficulties disappear, and leave the triumphant
student amply rewarded for his pains.




The endowment of a Chinese chair at Columbia University naturally
suggests the acquisition of a good Chinese library. At the University of
Cambridge, England, there is what I can only characterise as an ideal
Chinese library. It was not bought off-hand in the market,—such a
collection indeed would never come into the market,—but the books were
patiently and carefully brought together by my predecessor in the
Chinese chair during a period of over forty years' residence in China.
The result is an admirable selection of representative works, always in
good, and sometimes in rare, editions, covering the whole field of what
is most valuable in Chinese literature.

I now propose, with your approval, to give a slight sketch of the
Cambridge Library, in which I spend a portion of almost every day of
my life, and which I further venture to recommend as the type of that
collection which Columbia University should endeavour to place upon
her shelves.

The Chinese library at Cambridge consists of 4304 volumes, roughly
distributed under seven heads. These volumes, it should be stated, are
not the usual thin, paper-covered volumes of an ordinary Chinese work,
but they consist each of several of the original Chinese volumes bound
together in cloth or leather, lettered on the back, and standing on the
shelves, as our books do, instead of lying flat, as is the custom in

Division A contains, first of all, the Confucian Canon, which now
consists of nine separate works.

There is the mystic _Book of Changes_, that is to say, the eight changes
or combinations which can be produced by a line and a broken line,
either one of which is repeated twice with the other, or three times by

        ---------  ---   ---  ---------
        ---------  ---   ---  ---------  etc.
        ---   ---  ---------  ---------

These trigrams are said to have been copied from the back of a tortoise
by an ancient monarch, who doubled them into hexagrams, and so increased
the combinations to sixty-four, each one of which represents some active
or passive power in nature.

Confucius said that if he could devote fifty years to the study of this
work, he might come to be without great faults; but neither native nor
foreign scholars can really make anything out of it. Some regard it as a
Book of Fate. One erratic genius of the West has gone so far as to say
that it is only a vocabulary of the language of some old Central Asian

We are on somewhat firmer ground with the _Book of History_, which is
a collection of very ancient historical documents, going back twenty
centuries B.C., arranged and edited by Confucius. These documents, mere
fragments as they are, give us glimpses of China's early civilisation,
centuries before the historical period, to which we shall come later on,
can fairly be said to begin.

Then we have the _Book of Odes_, consisting of some three hundred
ballads, also rescued by Confucius from oblivion, on which as a basis
the great superstructure of modern Chinese poetry has been raised.

Next comes an historical work by Confucius, known as the _Spring and
Autumn_: it should be Springs and Autumns, for the title refers to the
yearly records, to the annals, in fact, of the native State of Confucius

The fifth in the series is the _Book of Rites_. This deals, as its title
indicates, with ceremonial, and contains an infinite number of rules for
the guidance of personal conduct under a variety of conditions and
circumstances. It was compiled at a comparatively late date, the close
of the second century B.C., and scarcely ranks in authority with the
other four.

The above are called the Five Classics; they were for many centuries six
in number, a _Book of Music_ being included, and they were engraved on
forty-six huge stone tablets about the year 170 A.D. Only mutilated
portions of these tablets still remain.

The other four works which make up the Confucian Canon are known as the
Four Books. They consist of a short moral treatise entitled the _Great
Learning_, or Learning for Adults; the _Doctrine of the Mean_, another
short philosophical treatise; the _Analects_, or conversations of
Confucius with his disciples, and other details of the sage's daily
life; and lastly, similar conversations of Mencius with his disciples
and with various feudal nobles who sought his advice.

These nine works are practically learned by heart by the Chinese
undergraduate. But there are in addition many commentaries and
exegetical works—the best of which stand in the Cambridge
Library—designed to elucidate the true purport of the Canon; and these
must also be studied. They range from the commentary of K'ung An-kuo of
the second century B.C., a descendant of Confucius in the twelfth
degree, down to that of Yüan Yüan, a well-known scholar who only died so
recently as 1849. These commentaries include both of the two great
schools of interpretation, the earlier of which was accepted until the
twelfth century A.D., when it was set aside by China's most brilliant
scholar, Chu Hsi, who substituted the interpretation still in vogue, and
obligatory at the public competitive examinations which admit to an
official career.

Archæological works referring to the Canon have been published in great
numbers. The very first book in our Catalogue is an account of every
article mentioned in these old records, accompanied in all cases by
woodcuts. Thus the foreign student may see not only the robes and caps
in which ancient worthies of the Confucian epoch appeared, but their
chariots, their banners, their weapons, and general paraphernalia of
everyday life.

Side by side with the sacred books of Confucianism stand the heterodox
writings of the Taoist philosophers, the nominal founder of which
school, known as Lao Tzŭ, flourished at an unknown date before
Confucius. Some of these are deeply interesting; others have not escaped
the suspicion of forgery—a suspicion which attaches more or less to any
works produced before the famous Burning of the Books, in B.C. 211, from
which the Confucian Canon was preserved almost by a miracle. An Emperor
at that date made an attempt to destroy all literature, so that a fresh
start might be made from himself.

But I do not intend to detain you at present over Taoism, about which I
hope to say more on a subsequent occasion. Still less shall I have
anything to say on the few Buddhist works which are also to be found in
the Cambridge collection. It is rather along less well-beaten paths that
I shall ask you to accompany me now.

In Division B, the first thing which catches the eye is a long line of
217 thick volumes, about a foot in height. These are the dynastic
histories of China, in a uniform edition published in the year 1747,
under the auspices of the famous Emperor Ch'ien Lung, who himself
contributed a Preface.

The first of this series, known as _The Historical Record_, was produced
by a very remarkable man, named Ssŭ-ma Ch'ien, sometimes called the
Father of History, the Herodotus of China, who died nearly one hundred
years B.C.; and over his most notable work it may not be unprofitable to
linger awhile.

Starting with the five legendary Emperors, some 2700 years B.C., the
historian begins by giving the annals of each reign under the various
more or less legendary dynasties which succeeded, and thence onward
right down to his own times, the last five or six hundred years, _i.e._
from about 700 B.C., belonging to a genuinely historical period. These
annals form Part I of the five parts into which the historian divides
his scheme.

Part II is occupied by chronological tables of the Emperors and their
reigns, of the suzerains and vassal nobles under the feudal system which
was introduced about 1100 B.C., and also of the nobles created to form
an aristocracy after the feudal system had been swept away and replaced
by the old Imperial rule, about 200 B.C.

Part III consists of eight important and interesting chapters: (1) on
the Rites and Ceremonies of the period covered, (2) on Music, (3) on the
Pitch-pipes, a series of twelve bamboo tubes of varying lengths, the
notes from which were supposed to be bound up in some mysterious way
with the good and bad fortunes of mankind, (4) on the Calendar, (5) on
the Stars, (6) on the Imperial Sacrifices to Heaven and Earth, (7) on
the Waterways of the Empire, and lastly (8) on Commerce, Coinage, etc.

Part IV deals with the reigns, so to speak, of the vassal nobles under
the feudal system, the reigns of the suzerains having been already
included in Part I.

Part V consists of biographies of the most eminent men who came to the
front during the whole period covered.

These biographies are by no means confined to virtuous statesmen or
heroic generals, as we might very reasonably have expected. The Chinese
historian took a much broader view of his responsibilities to future
ages, and along with the above virtuous statesmen and heroic generals
he included lives of famous assassins, of tyrannical officials, of
courtiers, of flatterers, of men with nothing beyond the gift of the
gab, of politicians, of fortune-tellers, and the like.

This principle seems now to be widely recognised in the compilation of
biographical collections. It was initiated by a Chinese historian one
hundred years B.C.

His great work has come down to us as near as possible intact. To the
Chinese it is, and always has been, a priceless treasure; so much so
that every succeeding Dynastic History has been modelled pretty much
upon the same lines.

The custom has always been for the incoming dynasty to issue the history
of the dynasty it has overthrown, based upon materials which have been
gathered daily during the latter's lease of power. At this moment the
Historiographer's Department in Peking should be noting down current
events for the use of posterity, in the established belief that all
dynasties, even the most powerful, come to an end some day.

In addition to the Dynastic History proper, a custom has grown up of
compiling what is called the "Veritable Record" of the life of the
reigning Emperor. This is supposed to be written up every day, and with
an absolute fidelity which it is unnecessary to suspect, since the
Emperors are never allowed under any circumstances to cast an eye over
their own records.

When the Hanlin College was burnt down, in 1900, some said that the
"Veritable Records" of the present dynasty were destroyed. Others
alleged that they had been carted away several days previously. However
this may be, the "Veritable Records" of the great Ming dynasty, which
came to a close in 1644, after three hundred years of power, are safe in
Division B of the Cambridge Library, filling eighty-four large volumes
of manuscript.

The next historical epoch is that of Ssŭ-ma Kuang, a leading statesman
and scholar of the eleventh century A.D., who, after nineteen years of
continuous labour, produced a general history of China, in the form of
a chronological narrative, beginning with the fourth century B.C. and
ending with the middle of the tenth century A.D. This work, which is
popularly known as _The Mirror of History_, and is quite independent
of the dynastic histories, fills thirty-three of our large bound-up

There is a quaint passage in the old man's Preface, dated 1084, and
addressed to the Emperor:—

"Your servant's physical strength is now relaxed; his eyes are
short-sighted and dim; of his teeth but a few remain. His memory is so
impaired that the events of the moment are forgotten as he turns away
from them, his energies having been wholly exhausted in the production
of this book. He therefore hopes that your Majesty will pardon his vain
attempt for the sake of his loyal intention, and in moments of leisure
will deign to cast the Sacred Glance over this work, so as to learn from
the rise and fall of former dynasties the secret of the successes and
failures of the present hour. Then, if such knowledge shall be applied
for the advantage of the Empire, even though your servant may lay his
bones in the Yellow Springs, the aim and ambition of his life will be

Biography, as we have already seen, is to some extent provided for under
the dynastic histories. Its scope, however, has been limited in later
times, so far as the Historiographer's Department is concerned, to such
officials as have been named by Imperial edict for inclusion in the
national records. Consequently, there has always been a vast output of
private biographical literature, dealing with the lives of poets,
painters, priests, hermits, villains, and others, whose good and evil
deeds would have been long since forgotten, like those of the heroes
before Agamemnon, but for the care of some enthusiastic biographer.

Among our eight or ten collections of this kind, there is one which
deserves a special notice. This work is entitled _Biographies of
Eminent Women_, and it fills four extra-large volumes, containing 310
lives in all. The idea of thus immortalising the most deserving of his
countrywomen first occurred to a writer named Liu Hsiang, who flourished
just before the Christian era. I am not aware that his original work is
still procurable; the present work was based upon one by another writer,
of the third century A.D., and is brought down to modern times, being
published in 1779. Each biography is accompanied by a full-page
illustration of some scene in which the lady distinguished herself,—all
from the pencil of a well-known artist.

Three good-sized encyclopædias, uniformly bound up in ninety-eight large
volumes, may fairly claim a moment's notice, not only as evidencing the
persistent literary industry of the Chinese, but because they are all
three perfect mines of information on subjects of interest to the
foreign student.

The first dates from the very beginning of the ninth century, and deals
chiefly with the Administration of Government, Political Economy, and
National Defences, besides Rites, Music, and subordinate questions.

The second dates from the twelfth century, and deals with the same
subjects, having additional sections on History and Chronology, Writing,
Pronunciation, Astronomy, Bibliography, Prodigies, Fauna and Flora,
Foreign Nations, etc.

The third, and best known to foreign scholars, is the encyclopædia of
Ma Tuan-lin of the fourteenth century. It is on much the same lines as
the other two, being actually based upon the first, but has of course
the advantage of being some centuries later.

The above three works are in a uniform edition, published in the middle
of the eighteenth century under orders from the Emperor Ch'ien Lung.

There are also several other encyclopædias of information on general
topics, extending to a good many volumes in each case.

One of these contains interesting extracts on all manner of subjects
taken from the lighter literature of China, such as Dreams, Palmistry,
Reminiscences of a Previous State of Existence, and even Resurrection
after Death. It was cut on blocks for printing in A.D. 981, only fifty
years after the first edition of the Confucian Canon was printed. The
Cambridge copy cannot claim to date from 981, but it does date from

Another work of the same kind was the _San Ts'ai T'u Hui_, issued in
1609, which is bound up in seventeen thick volumes. It is especially
interesting for the variety of topics on which information is given, and
also because it is profusely illustrated with full-page woodcuts. It has
chapters on Geography, with maps; on Ethnology, Language, the Arts and
Sciences, and even on various forms of Athletics, including the feats of
rope-dancers and acrobats, sword-play, boxing, wrestling, and foot-ball.

Under Tricks and Magic we see a man swallowing a sword, or walking
through fire, while hard by an acrobat is bending backward and drinking
from cups arranged upon the ground.

The chapters on Drawing are exceptionally good; they contain some
specimen landscapes of almost faultless perspective, and also clever
examples of free-hand drawing. Portrait-painting is dealt with, and ten
illustrations are given of the ten angles at which a face may be drawn.
The first shows one-tenth of the face from the right side, the second
two-tenths, and so on, waxing to full-face five-tenths; then waning sets
in on the left side, four, three, and two-tenths, until ten-tenths shows
nothing more than the back of the sitter's head.

There is a well-known Chinese story which tells how a very stingy man
took a paltry sum of money to an artist—payment is always exacted in
advance—and asked him to paint his portrait. The artist at once complied
with his request, but in an hour or so, when the portrait was finished,
nothing was visible save the back of the sitter's head. "What does this
mean?" cried the latter, indignantly. "Oh," replied the artist, "I
thought a man who paid so little as you wouldn't care to show his face!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Perhaps some one may wonder how it is possible to arrange an
encyclopædia for reference when the language in which it is written
happens to possess no alphabet.

Arrangement under Categories is the favourite method, and it is employed
in the following way:—

A number of such words as Heaven, Earth, Time, Man, Plants, Beasts,
Birds, Fishes, Minerals, and others are chosen, and the subjects are
grouped under these headings. Thus, Eclipses would come under Heaven,
Geomancy under Earth, the Passions under Man, though all classification
is not quite so simple as these specimens, and search is often prolonged
by failing to hit upon the right Category. Even when the Category is the
right one, many pages of Index have frequently to be turned over; but
once fix the reference in the Index, and the rest is easy, the
catch-word in each case being printed on the margin of each page, just
where the finger comes when turning the pages rapidly over.

The Chinese are very fond of collections of reprints, published in
uniform editions and often extending to several hundred volumes. My
earliest acquaintance with literature is associated with such a
collection in English. It was called _The Family Library_, and ran to
over a hundred volumes, if I recollect rightly, and included the works
of Washington Irving and the immortal story of _Rip Van Winkle_. There
is also a Chinese Rip Van Winkle, a tale of a man who, wandering one day
in the mountains, came upon two boys playing checkers; and after
watching them for some time, and eating some dates they gave him, he
discovered that the handle of an axe he was carrying had mouldered into
dust. Returning home, he found, as the Chinese poet puts it,

  "City and suburb as of old,
   But hearts that loved him long since cold."

Seven generations had passed away in the interim.

The Cambridge Library possesses several of these collections of
reprints. One of them is perhaps extra valuable because the wooden
blocks from which it was printed were destroyed during the T'ai-p'ing
Rebellion, some forty years ago.

I may mention here, though not properly belonging to this section, that
we possess a good collection of the curious pamphlets issued by the
T'ai-p'ing rebels.

Other interesting works to be found in Division B are the Statutes of
the present dynasty, which began in 1644, and even those of the previous
dynasty, the latter being an edition of 1576.

Then there is the Penal Code of this dynasty, in several editions;
various collections of precedents; handbooks for magistrates, with
recorded decisions and illustrative cases.

A magistrate or judge in China is not expected to know anything about

Attached to the office of every official who may be called upon to try
criminal cases is a law expert, to whom the judge or magistrate may
refer, when he has any doubt, in private, just as our unpaid justices of
the peace in England refer for guidance to the qualified official
attached to the court.

Before passing on to the next section, one last volume, taken at
haphazard, bears the weird title, _A Record in Dark Blood_. This work
contains notices of eminent statesmen and others, who met violent
deaths, each accompanied by a telling illustration of the tragic scene.
Some of the incidents go far to dispose of the belief that patriotism is
quite unknown to the Chinese.

       *       *       *       *       *

Division C is devoted to Geography and to Topography. Here stands the
Imperial Geography of the Empire, in twenty-four large volumes, with
maps, in the edition of 1745. Here, too, stand many of the Topographies
for which China is justly celebrated. Every Prefecture and every
District, or Department,—and the latter number about fifteen
hundred,—has its Topography, a kind of local history, with all the
noticeable features of the District, its bridges, temples, and like
buildings, duly described, together with biographies of all natives of
the District who have risen to distinction in any way. Each Topography
would occupy about two feet of shelf; consequently a complete collection
of all the Topographies of China, piled one upon the other, would form a
vertical column as high as the Eiffel Tower. Yet Topography is only an
outlying branch of Chinese literature.

Division C further contains the oldest printed book in the Cambridge
University Library, and a very interesting one to boot. It is entitled
_An Account of Strange Nations_, and was published between 1368 and
1398. Its contents consist of short notices of about 150 nationalities
known more or less to the Chinese, and the value of these is much
enhanced by the woodcuts which accompany each notice.

Among the rest we find Koreans, Japanese, Hsiung-nu (the forefathers of
the Huns), Kitan Tartars, tribes of Central Asia, Arabs, Persians, and
even Portuguese, Jean de Montecorvino, who had been appointed archbishop
of Peking in 1308, having died there in 1330. Of course there are a few
pictures of legendary peoples, such as the Long-armed Nation, the
One-eyed Nation, the Dog-headed Nation, the Anthropophagi,

              "and men whose heads
  Do grow beneath their shoulders."

There is also an account of Fusang, the country where grew the famous
plant which some have tried to identify with the Mexican aloe, thus
securing the discovery of America for the Chinese.

The existence of many of these nations is duly recorded by Pliny in his
_Natural History_, in words curiously identical with those we find in
the Chinese records.

Some strange birds and animals are given at the end of this book, the
most interesting of all being an accurate picture of the zebra, here
called the _Fu-lu_, which means "Deer of Happiness," but which is
undoubtedly a rough attempt at _fara_, an old Arabic term for the wild
ass. Now, the zebra being quite unknown in Asia, the puzzle is, how the
Chinese came to be so well acquainted with it at that early date.

The condition of the book is as good as could be expected, after six
hundred years of wear and tear. Each leaf, here and there defective, is
carefully mounted on sheets of stiff paper, and all together very few
characters are really illegible, though sometimes the paper has slipped
upon the printing-block, and has thus given, in several cases, a double

Alongside of this stands the modern work of the kind, published in 1761,
with an introductory poem from the pen of the Emperor Ch'ien Lung. It
contains a much longer list of nations, including the British, French,
Spanish, Dutch, Russians, Swedes, and others, and the illustrations—a
man and woman of each country—are perfect triumphs of the block-cutter's
art, the lines being inconceivably fine.

       *       *       *       *       *

Division D contains Poetry, Novels, and Plays. Under Poetry, in addition
to collections of the works of this or that writer, there are numerous
anthologies, to which the Chinese are very partial. The mass of Chinese
poetry is so vast, that it is hopeless for the general reader to do much
more than familiarise himself with the best specimens of the greatest
poets. It is interesting to note that all the more extensive anthologies
include a considerable number of poems by women, some of quite a high

Two years ago, an eminent scientist at Cambridge said to me, "Have the
Chinese anything in the nature of poetry in their language?" In reply to
this, I told him of a question once put to me by a friendly Mandarin in
China: "Have you foreigners got books in your honourable country?" We
are apt to smile at Chinese ignorance of Western institutions; but if we
were Chinamen, the smile perhaps would sometimes be the other way about.

Such novels as we have in our library belong entirely to what may be
called the classical school, and may from many points of view be
regarded as genuine works of art. Besides these, there is in the market
a huge quantity of fiction which appeals to the less highly educated
classes, and even to those who are absolutely unable to read. For the
latter, there are professional readers and story-tellers, who may often
be seen at some convenient point in a Chinese town, delighting large
audiences of coolies with tales of love, and war, and heroism, and
self-sacrifice. These readers do not read the actual words of the book,
which no coolie would understand, but transpose the book-language into
the colloquial as they go along.

_À propos_ of novels, I should like just to mention one, a romantic
novel of war and adventure, based upon the _History of the Three
Kingdoms_, third century A.D., an epoch when China was split up under
three separate sovereigns, who fought one another very much after the
style of the Wars of the Roses in English history. This novel, a very
long one, occupies perhaps the warmest corner in the hearts of the
Chinese people. They never tire of listening to its stirring episodes,
its hair-breadth escapes, its successful ruses, and its appalling

Some twelve years ago, a friend of mine undertook to translate it into
English. After writing out a complete translation,—a gigantic task,—he
rewrote the whole from beginning to end, revising every page thoroughly.
In the spring of 1900, after ten years of toil, it was ready for the
press; three months later it had been reduced to ashes by the Boxers at

  "Sunt lacrymae rerum ..."

Chinese plays in the acting editions may be bought singly at
street-stalls for less than a cent apiece. For the library, many good
collections have been made, and published in handsome editions.

This class of literature, however, does not stand upon a high level, but
corresponds with the low social status of the actor; and it is a curious
fact—true also of novels—that many of the best efforts are anonymous.

Plays by women are also to be found; but I have never yet come across,
either on the stage or in literature, any of those remarkable dramas
which are supposed to run on month after month, even into years.

       *       *       *       *       *

Division E is a very important one for students of the Chinese language.
Here we find a number of works of reference, most of which may be
characterised as indispensable, and the great majority of which are
easily procurable at the present day.

Beginning with dictionaries, we have the famous work of Hsü Shên, who
died about A.D. 120. There was at that date no such thing as a Chinese
dictionary, although the language had already been for some centuries
ripe for such a production, and accordingly Hsü Shên set to work to fill
the void. He collected 9353 written characters,—presumably all that were
in existence at the time,—to which he added 1163 duplicates, _i.e._
various forms of writing the same character, and then arranged them in
groups under those parts which, as we have already seen in the preceding
Lecture, are indicators of the direction in which the sense of a
character is to be looked for. Thus, all characters containing the
element 犭 "dog" were brought together; all those containing 艹
"vegetation," 疒 "disease," etc.

So far as we know, this system originated with him; and we are therefore
not surprised to find that in his hands it was on a clumsier scale than
that in vogue to-day. Hsü Shên uses no fewer than 540 of these
indicators, and even when the indicator to a character is satisfactorily
ascertained, it still remains to search through all the characters under
that particular group. Printing from movable types would have been
impossible under such a system.

In the modern standard dictionary, published in 1716, under the
direction of the Emperor K'ang Hsi, there are only 214 indicators
employed, and there is a further sub-arrangement of these groups
according to the number of strokes in the other, the phonetic portion of
the character. Thus, the indicators "hand," "wood," "fire," "water," or
whatever it may be, settle the group in which a given character will be
found, and the number of strokes in the remaining portion will refer it
to a comparatively small sub-group, from which it can be readily picked
out. For instance, 松 "a fir tree" will be found under the indicator 木
"tree," sub-group No. 4, because the remaining portion 公 consists of
four strokes in writing.

Good copies of this dictionary are not too easily obtained nowadays. The
"Palace" edition, as it is called, is on beautifully white paper, and is
a splendid specimen of typography.

A most wonderful literary feat was achieved under the direction of the
before-mentioned Emperor K'ang Hsi, when a general Concordance to the
phraseology of all literature was compiled and published for general
use. Word-concordances to the Bible and to Shakespeare are generally
looked upon as no small undertakings, but what about a
phrase-concordance to all literature? Well, in 1711 this was
successfully carried out, and remains to-day as a monument of the
literary enterprise of the great Manchu-Tartar monarch with whose name
it is inseparably associated.

The term "literature" here means serious literature, the classics,
histories, poetry, and the works of philosophers, of recognised
authorities, and of brilliant writers generally.

It was not possible, for obvious reasons, to arrange this collection of
phrases according to the 214 indicators, as in a dictionary of words. It
is arranged according to the Tones and Rhymes.

Let me try to express all this in terms of English literature. Reading
a famous poem, I come across the lines

  "And every shepherd tells his tale
   Under the hawthorn in the dale."

Now suppose that I do not know the meaning of "tells his tale." [I
recollect perfectly that as a boy I thought it meant "whispered the old
story into the ear of a shepherdess."] I determine to hunt it up in the
Concordance. First of all, I find out from the Dictionary, if I do not
know, to what Tone _tale_, always the last word of the phrase, belongs.
Under that tone will be found various groups of words, each with a
key-word which is called the Rhyme, that is to say, a key-word with
which all the words in this group rhyme. There are only 106 of these
key-words all together distributed over the Tones, and every word in the
Chinese language must rhyme with one of them.

The question of rhyme in Chinese is a curious one, and before going any
farther it may be as well to try to clear it up a little. All Chinese
poetry is in rhyme; there is no such thing as blank verse. The _Odes_,
collected and edited by Confucius, provide the standard of rhyme. Any
words which are found to rhyme there may be used as rhymes anywhere
else, and no others. The result is, that the number of rhyme-groups is
restricted to 106; and not only that, but of course words which rhymed
to the ear five hundred years B.C. do so no longer in 1902. Yet such are
the only authorised rhymes to be used in poetry, and any attempt to
ignore the rule would insure disastrous failure at the public

This point may to some extent be illustrated in English. The first two
lines of the _Canterbury Tales_, which I will take to represent the
_Odes_, run thus in modern speech:—

  "When that Aprilis with his showers sweet,
   The drought of March hath pierced to the root."

No one nowadays rhymes _sweet_ with _root_. Neither did Chaucer; the two
words, _sote_ and _rote_, were in his days perfect rhymes. But if we
were Chinese, we should now rhyme _sweet_ with _root_, because, so to
speak, Chaucer did so.

When the Tone of a word is known, it is also known in which quarter of
the whole work to look; and when the Rhyme is known, it is also known
in which part of that quarter the key-word, or rhyme, will be found.
Suppose the key-word to be _gale_, it might be necessary to turn over
a good many pages before finding, neatly printed in the margin, the
required word, _tale_. Under _tale_ I should first of all find phrases
of two words, _e.g._ "traveller's tale," "fairy-tale"; and I should have
to look on until I came to groups of three characters, _e.g._ "old
wife's tale," "tells his tale," and so forth. Finally, under "tells his
tale" I should still not find, what all students would like so much, a
plain explanation of what the phrase means, but only a collection of the
chief passages in literature in which "tells his tale" occurs. In one
of these there would probably be some allusion to sheep, and in another
to counting, and so it would become pretty plain that when a shepherd
"tells his tale," he does not whisper soft nothings into the ear of a
shepherdess, but is much more prosaically engaged in counting the number
of his sheep.

Our Cambridge copy of the Concordance is bound up in 44 thick volumes.
Each volume contains on an average 840 pages, and each page about 400
characters. This gives a sum total of about 37,000 pages, and about
15,000,000 characters. Translated into English, this work would be
one-third as large again, 100 pages of Chinese text being equal to about
130 of English.

In the year 1772 the enlightened Emperor Ch'ien Lung, who then sat upon
the throne, gave orders that a descriptive Catalogue should be prepared
of the books in the Imperial Library. And in order to enhance its
literary value, his Majesty issued invitations to the leading provincial
officials to take part in the enterprise by securing and forwarding to
Peking any rare books they might be able to come across.

The scheme proved in every way successful. Many old works were rescued
from oblivion and ultimate destruction, and in 1795 a very wonderful
Catalogue was laid before the world in print. It fills twenty-six octavo
volumes of about five hundred pages to each, the works enumerated being
divided into four classes,—the Confucian Canon, History, Philosophy, and
General Literature. Under each work we have first of all an historical
sketch of its origin, with date of publication, etc., when known; and
secondly, a careful critique dealing with its merits and defects. All
together, some eight thousand to ten thousand works are entered and
examined as above, and the names of those officials who responded to the
Imperial call are always scrupulously recorded in connection with the
books they supplied.

Among many illustrated books, there is a curious volume in the Library
published about twenty-five years ago, which contains short notices of
all the Senior Classics of the Ming dynasty, A.D. 1368-1644. They number
only seventy-six in all, because the triennial examination had not then
come into force; whereas during the present dynasty, between 1644 and
twenty-five years ago, a shorter period, there have been no fewer than
one hundred Senior Classics, whose names are all duly recorded in a

The pictures which accompany the letterpress are sometimes of quite
pathetic interest.

In one instance, the candidate, after his journey to Peking, where the
examination is held, has gone home to await the result, and is sitting
at dinner with his friends, when suddenly the much-longed-for messenger
bursts in with the astounding news. In the old days this news was
carried to all parts of the country by trained runners; nowadays the
telegraph wires do the business at a great saving of time and muscle,
with the usual sacrifice of romance.

Another student has gone home, and settled down to work again, not
daring even to hope for success; but overcome with fatigue and anxiety,
he falls asleep over his books. In the accompanying picture we see his
dream,—a thin curl, as it were of vapour, coming forth from the top of
his head and broadening out as it goes, until wide enough to contain the
representation of a man, in feature like himself, surrounded by an
admiring crowd, who acclaim him Senior Classic. With a start the
illusion is dispelled, and the dreamer awakes to find himself famous.

To those who have followed me so far, it must, I hope, be clear that,
whatever else the Chinese may be, they are above all a literary people.
They have cultivated literature as no other people ever has done, and
they cultivate it still.

Literary merit leads to an official career, the only career worth
anything in the eyes of the Chinese nation.

From his earliest school days the Chinese boy is taught that men without
education are but horses or cows in coats and trousers, and that success
at the public examinations is the greatest prize this world has to

To be among the fortunate three hundred out of about twelve thousand
candidates, who contend once every three years for the highest degree,
is to be enrolled among the Immortals for ever; while the Senior Classic
at a final competition before the Emperor not only covers himself, but
even his remote ancestors, his native village, his district, his
prefecture, and even his province, with a glory almost of celestial




Theoretically speaking, the Empire of China is ruled by an autocratic
monarch, responsible only to God, whose representative he is on earth.

Once every year the Emperor prays at the Temple of Heaven, and
sacrifices in solemn state upon its altar. He puts himself, as it were,
into communication with the Supreme Being, and reports upon the fidelity
with which he has carried out his Imperial trust.

If the Emperor rules wisely and well, with only the happiness of his
people at heart, there will be no sign from above, beyond peace and
plenty in the Empire, and now and then a double ear of corn in the
fields—a phenomenon which will be duly recorded in the _Peking Gazette_.
But should there be anything like laxness or incapacity, or still worse,
degradation and vice, then a comet may perhaps appear, a pestilence may
rage, or a famine, to warn the erring ruler to give up his evil ways.

And just as the Emperor is responsible to Heaven, so are the viceroys
and governors of the eighteen provinces—to speak only of China
proper—nominally responsible to him, in reality to the six departments
of state at Peking, which constitute the central government, and to
which a seventh has recently been added—a department for foreign

So long as all goes well—and in ordinary times that "all" is confined
to a regular and sufficient supply of revenue paid into the Imperial
Treasury—viceroys and governors of provinces are, as nearly as can be,
independent rulers, each in his own domain.

For purposes of government, in the ordinary sense of the term, the 18
provinces are subdivided into 80 areas known as "circuits," and over
each of these is set a high official, who is called an intendant of
circuit, or in Chinese a _Tao-t'ai_. His circuit consists of 2 or more
prefectures, of which there are in all 282 distributed among the 80
circuits, or about an average of 3 prefectures to each.

Every prefecture is in turn subdivided into several magistracies, of
which there are 1477 in all, distributed among the 282 prefectures,
or about an average of 5 magistracies to each.

Immediately below the magistrates may be said to come the people; though
naturally an official who rules over an area as big as an average
English county can scarcely be brought into personal touch with all
those under his jurisdiction. This difficulty is bridged over by the
appointment of a number of head men, or headboroughs, who are furnished
with wooden seals, and who are held responsible for the peace and good
order of the wards or boroughs over which they are set. The post is
considered an honourable one, involving as it does a quasi-official
status. It is also more or less lucrative, as it is necessary that all
petitions to the magistrate, all conveyances of land, and other legal
instruments, should bear the seal of the head man, as a guarantee of
good faith, a small fee being payable on each notarial act.

On the other hand, the post is occasionally burdensome and trying in the
extreme. For instance, if a head man fails to produce any criminals or
accused persons, either belonging to, or known to be, in his district,
he is liable to be bambooed or otherwise severely punished.

In ordinary life the head man is not distinguishable from the masses of
his fellow-countrymen. He may often be seen working like the rest, and
even walking about with bare legs and bare feet.

Thus in a descending scale we have the Emperor, the viceroys and
governors of the 18 provinces, the intendants, or _Tao-t'ais_, of the 80
circuits, the prefects of the 282 prefectures, the magistrates of the
1477 magistracies, the myriad headboroughs, and the people.

The district magistrates, so far as officials are concerned, are the
real rulers of China, and in conjunction with the prefects are popularly
called "father-and-mother" officials, as though they stood _in loco
parentium_ to the people, whom, by the way, they in turn often speak of,
even in official documents, as "the babies."

The ranks of these magistrates are replenished by drafts of those
_literati_ who have succeeded in taking the third, or highest, degree.
Thus, the first step on the ladder is open to all who can win their way
by successful competition at certain literary examinations, so long as
each candidate can show that none of his ancestors for three generations
have been either actors, barbers and chiropodists, priests,
executioners, or official servants.

Want of means may be said to offer no obstacle in China to ambition and
desire for advancement. The slightest aptitude in a boy for learning
would be carefully noted, and if found to be the genuine article, would
be still more carefully fostered. Not only are there plenty of free
schools in China, but there are plenty of persons ready to help in so
good a cause. Many a high official has risen from the furrowed fields,
his educational expenses as a student, and his travelling expenses as a
candidate, being paid by subscription in his native place. Once
successful, he can easily find a professional money-lender who will
provide the comparatively large sums required for his outfit and journey
to his post, whither this worthy actually accompanies him, to remain
until he is repaid in full, with interest.

A successful candidate, however, is not usually sent straight from
the examination-hall to occupy the important position of district
magistrate. He is attached to some magistracy as an expectant official,
and from time to time his capacity is tested by a case, more or less
important, which is entrusted to his management as deputy.

The duties of a district magistrate are so numerous and so varied that
one man could not possibly cope with them all. At the same time he is
fully responsible. In addition to presiding over a court of first
instance for all criminal trials in his district, he has to act as
coroner (without a jury) at all inquests, collect and remit the
land-tax, register all conveyances of land and house-property, act as
preliminary examiner of candidates for literary degrees, and perform a
host of miscellaneous offices, even to praying for rain or fine weather
in cases of drought or inundation. He is up, if anything, before the
lark; and at night, often late at night, he is listening to the
protestations of prisoners or bambooing recalcitrant witnesses.

But inasmuch as the district may often be a large one, and two inquests
may be going on in two different directions on the same day, or there
may be other conflicting claims upon his time, he has constantly to
depute his duties to a subordinate, whose usual duties, if he has any,
have to be taken by some one else, and so on. Thus it is that the
expectant official every now and then gets his chance.

This scheme leaves out of consideration a number of provincial
officials, who preside over departments which branch, as it were, from
the main trunk, and of whom a few words only need now be said.

There are several "commissioners," as they are sometimes called; for
instance, the commissioner of finance, otherwise known as the provincial
treasurer, who is charged with the fiscal administration of his
particular province, and who controls the nomination of nearly all the
minor appointments in the civil service, subject to the approval of the

Then there is the commissioner of justice, or provincial judge,
responsible for the due administration of justice in his province.

There is also the salt commissioner, who collects the revenue derived
from the government monopoly of the salt trade; and the grain
commissioner, who looks after the grain-tax, and sees that the tribute
rice is annually forwarded to Peking, for the use of the Imperial Court.

There are also military officials, belonging to two separate and
distinct army organisations.

The Manchus, when they conquered the Empire, placed garrisons of their
own troops, under the command of Manchu generals, at various important
strategic points; and the Tartar generals, as they are called, still
remain, ranking nominally just above the viceroy of the province, over
whose actions they are supposed to keep a careful watch.

Then there is a provincial army, with a provincial commander-in-chief,

Now let us return to the main trunk, working upward by way of

We have reached the people and their head men, or headboroughs, over
whom is set the magistrate, with a nominal salary which would be quite
insufficient for his needs, even if he were ever to draw it. For he has
a large staff to keep up; some few of whom, no doubt, keep themselves by
fees and _douceurs_ of various kinds obtained from litigants and others
who have business to transact.

The income on which the magistrate lives, and from which, after a life
of incessant toil, he saves a moderate competence for the requirements
of his family, is deducted from the gross revenues of his magistracy,
leaving a net amount to be forwarded to the Imperial Treasury. So long
as his superiors are satisfied with what he remits, no questions are
asked as to original totals. It is recognised that he must live, and the
value of every magistracy is known within a few hundred ounces of silver
one way or the other.

Above the magistrate, and in control of several magistracies, comes the
prefect, who has to satisfy his superiors in the same way. He has the
general supervision of all civil business in his prefecture, and to him
must be referred every appeal case from the magistracies under his
jurisdiction, before it can be filed in a higher court.

Above him comes the intendant of circuit, or _Tao-t'ai_, in control of
several prefectures, to whom the same rule applies as to satisfying
demands of superiors; and above him come the governor and viceroy, who
must also satisfy the demands of the state departments in Peking.

It would now appear, from what has been already stated, that all a
viceroy or governor has to do is to exact sufficient revenue from
immediate subordinates, and leave them to exact the amounts necessary
from _their_ subordinates, and so on down the scale until we reach the
people. The whole question therefore resolves itself into this, What can
the people be made to pay?

The answer to that question will be somewhat of a staggerer to those who
from distance, or from want of close observation, regard the Chinese as
a down-trodden people, on a level with the Fellahin of Egypt in past
times. For the answer, so far as my own experience goes, is that only so
much can be got out of the Chinese people as the people themselves are
ready and willing to pay. In other words, with all their show of an
autocratic ruler and a paternal government, the people of China tax

I am now about to do more than state this opinion; I am going to try to
prove it.

The philosopher Mencius, who flourished about one hundred years after
Confucius, and who is mainly responsible for the final triumph of the
Confucian doctrine, was himself not so much a teacher of ethics as
a teacher of political science. He spent a great part of his life
wandering from feudal state to feudal state, advising the various vassal
nobles how to order their dominions with the maximum of peace and
prosperity and the minimum of misery and bloodshed.

One of these nobles, Duke Wên, asked Mencius concerning the proper way
to govern a state.

"The affairs of the people," replied the philosopher, "must not be
neglected. For the way of the people is thus: If they have a fixed
livelihood, their hearts will also be fixed; but if they have not a
fixed livelihood, neither will their hearts be fixed. And if they have
not fixed hearts, there is nothing in the way of crime which they will
not commit. Then, when they have involved themselves in guilt, to follow
up and punish them,—this is but to ensnare them."

In another passage Mencius says: "The tyrants of the last two dynasties,
Chieh and Chou, lost the Empire because they lost the people, by which I
mean that they lost the hearts of the people. There is a way to get the
Empire;—get the people, and you have the Empire. There is a way to get
the people;—get their hearts, and you have them. There is a way to get
their hearts;—do for them what they wish, and avoid doing what they do
not wish."

Those are strong words, especially when we consider that they come from
one of China's most sacred books, regarded by the Chinese with as much
veneration as the Bible by us,—a portion of that Confucian Canon, the
principles of which it is the object of every student to master, and
should be the object of every Chinese official to carry into practice.

But those words are mild compared with another utterance by Mencius in
the same direction.

"The people are the most important element in a nation; the gods come
next; the sovereign is the least important of all."

We have here, in Chinese dress, wherein indeed much of Western wisdom
will be found, if students will only look for it, very much the same
sentiment as in the familiar lines by Oliver Goldsmith:—

  "Princes and lords may flourish or may fade,—
   A breath can make them, as a breath has made;
   But a bold peasantry, their country's pride
   When once destroyed, can never be supplied."

The question now arises, Are all these solemn sayings of Mencius to be
regarded as nothing more than mere literary rodomontade, wherewith to
beguile an enslaved people? Do the mandarins keep the word of promise to
the ear and break it to the hope? Or do the Chinese people enjoy in real
life the recognition which should be accorded to them by the terms of
the Confucian Canon?

Every one who has lived in China, and has kept his eyes open, must have
noticed what a large measure of personal freedom is enjoyed by even the
meanest subject of the Son of Heaven. Any Chinaman may travel all over
China without asking any one's leave to start, and without having to
report himself, or be reported by his innkeeper, at any place at which
he may choose to stop. He requires no passport. He may set up any
legitimate business at any place. He is not even obliged to be educated,
or to follow any particular calling. He is not obliged to serve as a
soldier or sailor. There are no sumptuary laws, nor even any municipal
laws. Outside the penal code, which has been pronounced by competent
Western lawyers to be a very ably constructed instrument of government,
there is nothing at all in the way of law, civil law being altogether
absent as a state institution. Even the penal code is not too rigidly
enforced. So long as a man keeps clear of secret societies and remains a
decent and respectable member of his family and of his clan, he has very
little to fear from the officials. The old ballad of the husbandman,
which has come down to us from a very early date indeed, already hints
at some such satisfactory state of things. It runs thus:—

  "Work, work,—from the rising sun
   Till sunset comes and the day is done
       I plough the sod,
       And harrow the clod,
   And meat and drink both come to me,—
   Ah, what care I for the powers that be?"

Many petty offences which are often dealt with very harshly in England,
pass in China almost unnoticed. No shopkeeper or farmer would be fool
enough to charge a hungry man with stealing food, for the simple reason
that no magistrate would convict. It is the shopkeeper's or farmer's
business to see that such petty thefts cannot occur. Various other
points might be noticed; but we must get back to taxation, which is
really the _crux_ of the whole position.

All together the Chinese people may be said to be lightly taxed. There
is the land-tax, in money and in kind; a tax on salt; and various
_octroi_ and customs-duties, all of which are more or less fixed
quantities, so that the approximate amount which each province should
contribute to the central government is well known at Peking, just as it
is well known in each province what amounts, approximately speaking,
should be handed up by the various grades of territorial officials.

I have already stated that municipal government is unknown; consequently
there are no municipal rates to be paid, no water-rate, no poor-rate,
and not a cent for either sanitation or education. And so long as the
Imperial taxes are such as the people have grown accustomed to, they are
paid cheerfully, even if sometimes with difficulty, and nothing is said.

A curious instance of this conservative spirit in the Chinese people,
even when operating against their own interests, may be found in the tax
known as _likin_, against which foreign governments have struggled so
long in vain. This tax, originally one-tenth per cent on all sales, was
voluntarily imposed upon themselves by the people, among whom it was at
first very popular, with a view of making up the deficiency in the
land-tax of China caused by the T'ai-p'ing Rebellion and subsequent
troubles. It was to be set apart for military purposes only,—hence its
common name "war-tax,"—and was alleged by the Tsung-li Yamên to be
adopted merely as a temporary measure. Yet, though forty years have
elapsed, it still continues to be collected as if it were one of the
fundamental taxes of the Empire, and the objections to it are raised,
not by the people of China, but by foreign merchants with whose trade
it interferes.

Here we have already one instance of voluntary self-taxation on the part
of the people; what I have yet to show is that all taxation, even though
not initiated as in this case by the people, must still receive the
stamp of popular approval before being put into force. On this point I
took a good many notes during a fairly long residence in China, leading
to conclusions which seem to me irresistible.

Let us suppose that the high authorities of a province have determined,
for pressing reasons, to make certain changes in the incidence of
taxation, or have called upon their subordinates to devise means for
causing larger sums to find their way into the provincial treasury.
The invariable usage, previous to the imposition of a new tax, or
change in the old, is for the magistrate concerned to send for the
leading merchants whose interests may be involved, or for the headboroughs
and village elders, according to the circumstances in each case, and to
discuss the proposition in private. Over an informal entertainment, over
tea and pipes, the magistrate pleads the necessities of the case, and
the peremptory orders of his superiors; the merchants or village elders,
feeling that, as in the case of _likin_ above mentioned, when taxes
come they come to stay, resist on principle the new departure by every
argument at their control. The negotiation ends, in ninety-nine
instances out of a hundred, in a compromise. In the hundredth instance
the people may think it right to give way, or the mandarin may give way,
in which case things remain _in statu quo_, and nothing further is heard
of the matter.

There occur cases, however, happily rare, in which neither will give
way—at first. Then comes the tug of war. A proclamation is issued,
describing the tax, or the change, or whatever it may be, and the
people, if their interests are sufficiently involved, prepare to resist.

Combination has been raised in China to the level of a fine art. Nowhere
on earth can be found such perfect cohesion of units against forces
which would crush each unit, taken individually, beyond recognition.
Every trade, every calling, even the meanest, has its guild, or
association, the members of which are ever ready to protect one another
with perfect unanimity, and often great self-sacrifice. And combination
is the weapon with which the people resist, and successfully resist, any
attempt on the part of the governing classes to lay upon them loads
greater than they can or will bear. The Chinese are withal an
exceptionally law-abiding people, and entertain a deep-seated respect
for authority. But their obedience and their deference have pecuniary

I will now pass from the abstract to the concrete, and draw upon my
note-book for illustrations of this theory that the Chinese are a
self-taxing and self-governing people.

Under date October 10, 1880, from Chung-king in the province of
Ssŭch'uan, the following story will be found in the _North China
Herald_, told by a correspondent:—

"Yesterday the Pah-shien magistrate issued a proclamation, saying that
he was going to raise a tax of 200 _cash_ on each pig killed by the
pork-butchers of this city, and the butchers were to reimburse
themselves by adding 2 _cash_ per _pound_ to the price of pork. The
butchers, who had already refused to pay 100 _cash_ per hog, under the
late magistrate, were not likely to submit to the payment of 200 under
this one, and so resolved not to kill pigs until the grievance was
removed; and this morning a party of them went about the town and seized
all the pork they saw exposed for sale. Then the whole of the butchers,
over five hundred at least, shut themselves up in their guild, where the
magistrate tried to force an entry with two hundred or three hundred of
his runners. The butchers, however, refused to open the door, and the
magistrate had to retire very much excited, threatening to bring them to
terms. People are inclined to think the magistrate acted wrongly in
taking a large force with him, saying he ought to have gone alone."

Three days later, October 13:—

"There is great excitement throughout the city, and I am told that the
troops are under arms. I have heard several volleys of small arms being
fired off, as if in platoon exercise. All the shops are shut, people
being afraid that the authorities may deal severely with the butchers,
and that bad characters will profit by the excitement to rob and plunder
the shops."

Two days later, October 15:—

"The pork-butchers are still holding out in their guild-house, and
refuse to recommence business until the officials have promised that the
tax on pigs will not be enforced now or hereafter. The prefect has been
going the rounds of the city calling on the good people of his
prefecture to open their shops and transact business as usual, saying
that the tax on pigs did not concern other people, but only the

One day later, October 16:—

"The Pah-shien magistrate has issued a proclamation apologising to the
people generally, and to the butchers particularly, for his share of the
work in trying to increase the obnoxious tax on pigs. So the officials
have all miserably failed in squeezing a _cash_ out of the 'sovereign
people' of Ssŭch'uan."

I have a similar story from Hangchow, in Chehkiang, under date April 10,
1889, which begins as follows:—

"The great city of Hangchow is extremely dry. There are probably seven
hundred thousand people here, but not a drop of tea can be bought in any
of the public tea-houses. There is a strike in tea. The tea-houses are
all closed by common agreement, to resist a tax, imposed in the
beginning of the year, to raise money for the sufferers by famine."

In the next communication from this correspondent, we read, "The strike
of the keepers of tea-shops ended very quietly a few days after it
began, by the officials agreeing to accept the sum of fifteen hundred
dollars once for all, and release tea from taxation."

This is what happened recently in Pakhoi, in the province of

"Without the consent of the dealers, a new local tax was imposed on the
raw opium in preparation for use in the opium shops. The imposition of
this tax brought to light the fact, hitherto kept secret, that of the
opium consumed in Pakhoi and its district, only sixty-two per cent was
imported drug, the remaining third being native opium, which was
smuggled into Pakhoi, and avoided all taxation. The new tax brought this
smuggled opium under contribution, and this was more than the local
opium interest would stand. The opium dealers adopted the usual tactics
of shutting their shops, thus transferring the _onus_ of opposition to
their customers. These last paid a threatening visit to the chief
authority of Pakhoi, and then wrecked the newly established tax-office.
This indication of popular feeling was enough for the local authorities
at Lien-chou, the district city, and the tax was changed so as to fall
on the foreign opium, the illicit native supply being discreetly
ignored, and all rioters forgiven."

So much for taxation. Let us take an instance of interference with
prescriptive rights, in connection with the great incorruptible viceroy,
Chang Chih-tung, to whom we are all so much indebted for his attitude
during the Siege of the Legations in 1900.

Ten years ago, when starting his iron-works at Wuchang, in the province
of Hupeh, he ordered the substitution of a drawbridge over a creek for
the old bridge which had stood there from time immemorial, the object
being to let steamers pass freely up and down. Unfortunately, the old
bridge was destroyed before the new one was ready. What was the result?

"The people rushed to the Yamên, and insisted by deputation and
mass-brawling on the restoration of the bridge.

"Finally, the viceroy thought it worth his while to issue a rhyming
proclamation, assuring the people that what he was doing was for their
good, and justifying his several schemes."

Yet Chang Chih-tung always has been, and is still, one of the strongest
officials who ever sat upon a viceroy's throne.

In November, 1882, there was a very serious military riot in Hankow, on
the opposite side of the Yang-tsze to Wuchang. It arose out of a report
that four soldiers had been arrested and were to be secretly beheaded
the same night. This rising might have assumed very serious dimensions,
but for the prompt submission of the viceroy to the soldiers' demands.
As it was, the whole city was thrown into a state of the utmost alarm.
Few of the inhabitants slept through the night. The streets were filled
with a terror-stricken population, expecting at any moment to hear that
the prison doors had been forced, and the criminals let loose to join
the soldiers in their determination to kill the officials, plunder the
treasury, and sack the city. Many citizens are said to have fled from
the place; and the sudden rush upon the _cash_ shops, to convert paper
notes into silver, brought some of them to the verge of bankruptcy.

I have recorded, under March, 1891, a case in which several Manchus were
sentenced by the magistrate of Chinkiang, at the instance of the local
general, to a bambooing for rowdy behaviour. This is what followed:—

"The friends of the prisoners, to the number of about three hundred,
assembled at the city temple, vowing vengeance on the magistrate and
general. They proceeded to the yamên of the general, wrecked the wall
and part of the premises, and put the city in an uproar. The magistrate
fled with his family to the Tao-t'ai's yamên, where two hundred regular
troops were sent to protect him against the fury of the Manchus, who
threatened his life."

This is what happened to another magistrate in Kiangsu. He had
imprisoned a tax-collector for being in arrears with his money; and the
tax-collector's wife, frantic with rage, rushed to the magistracy and
demanded his release. Unfortunately, she was suffering from severe
asthma; and this, coupled with her anger, caused her death actually in
the magistrate's court. The people then smashed and wrecked the
magistracy, and pummelled and bruised the magistrate himself, who
ultimately effected his escape in disguise and hid himself in a private

Every one who has lived in China knows how dangerous are the periods
when vast numbers of students congregate for the public examinations.
Here is an example.

At Canton, in June, 1880, a student took back a coat he had purchased
for half a dollar at a second-hand clothes shop, and wished to have
it changed. The shopkeeper gave him rather an impatient answer, and
thereupon the student called in a band of his brother B.A.'s to claim
justice for literature. They seized a reckoning-board, or abacus, that
lay on the counter, struck one of the assistants in the shop, and drew
blood. The shopkeeper then beat an alarm on his gong, and summoned
friends and neighbours to the rescue. Word was at once passed to bands
of students in the neighbourhood, who promptly obeyed the call of a
distressed comrade, and blows were delivered right and left. The
shopkeepers summoned the district magistrate to the scene. Upon his
arrival he ordered several of the literary ringleaders, who had been
seized and bound by the shopkeepers, to be carried off and impounded.
In the course of the evening he sentenced them to be beaten. A body
of more than a hundred students then went to his yamên and demanded the
immediate release of the prisoners. The magistrate grew nervous, yielded
to their threats, and sent several of the offending students home in
sedan-chairs. The magistrate then seized the assistants in the shop
where the row began and sentenced them to be beaten on the mouth.

Next morning ten thousand shops were closed in the city and suburbs. The
shopkeepers said they could not do business under such an administration
of law. In the course of the morning a large meeting of the students
was held in a college adjoining the examination hall. The district
magistrate went out to confer with them. The students cracked his gong,
and shattered his sedan-chair with showers of stones, and then prodded
him with their fans and umbrellas, and bespattered him with dirt as his
followers tried to carry him away on their shoulders. He was quite
seriously hurt.

The prefect then met a large deputation of the shopkeepers in their
guild-house in the course of the day, and expressed his dissatisfaction
at the way in which the district magistrate had acted. A settlement was
thus reached, which included fireworks for the students, and business
was resumed.

       *       *       *       *       *

Any individual who is aggrieved by the action, or inaction, of a Chinese
official may have immediate recourse to the following method for
obtaining justice, witnessed by me twice during my residence in China,
and known as "crying one's wrongs."

Dressed in the grey sackcloth garb of a mourner, the injured party,
accompanied by as many friends as he or she can collect together, will
proceed to the public residence of the offending mandarin, and there
howl and be otherwise objectionable, day and night, until some relief is
given. The populace is invariably on the side of the wronged person; and
if the wrong is deep, or the delay in righting it too long, there is
always great risk of an outbreak, with the usual scene of house-wrecking
and general violence.

It may now well be asked, how justice can ever be administered under
such circumstances, which seem enough to paralyse authority in the
presence of any evil-doer who can bring up his friends to the rescue.

To begin with, there is in China, certainly at all great centres, a
large criminal population without friends,—men who have fallen from
their high estate through inveterate gambling, indulgence in
opium-smoking, or more rarely alcohol. No one raises a finger to protect
these from the utmost vengeance of the law.

Then again, the Chinese, just as they tax themselves, so do they
administer justice to themselves. Trade disputes, petty and great alike,
are never carried into court, there being no recognised civil law in
China beyond custom; they are settled by the guilds or trades-unions,
as a rule to the satisfaction of all parties. Many criminal cases are
equally settled out of court, and the offender is punished by agreement
of the clan-elders or heads of families, and nothing is said; for
compounding a felony is not a crime, but a virtue, in the eyes of the
Chinese, who look on all litigation with aversion and contempt.

In the case of murder, however, and some forms of manslaughter, the
ingrained conviction that a life should always be given for a life often
outweighs any money value that could be offered, and the majesty of the
law is upheld at any sacrifice.

It is not uncommon for an accused person to challenge his accuser to a
kind of trial by ordeal, at the local temple.

Kneeling before the altar, at midnight, in the presence of a crowd of
witnesses, the accused man will solemnly burn a sheet of paper, on which
he has written, or caused to be written, an oath, totally denying his
guilt, and calling upon the gods to strike him dead upon the spot, or
his accuser, if either one is deviating in the slightest degree from the
actual truth.

This is indeed a severe ordeal to a superstitious people, whatever it
may seem to us. Even the mandarins avail themselves of similar devices
in cases where they are unable to clear up a mystery in the ordinary

In a well-known case of a murder by a gang of ruffians, the magistrate,
being unable to fix the guilt of the fatal blow upon any one of the
gang, told them that he was going to apply to the gods. He then caused
them all to be dressed in black coats, as is usual with condemned
criminals, and arranged them in a dark shed, with their faces to the
wall, saying that, in response to his prayers, a demon would be sent to
mark the back of the guilty man. When at length the accused were brought
out of the shed, one of them actually had a white mark on his back, and
he at once confessed. In order to outwit the demon he had slily placed
his back against the wall, which by the magistrate's secret orders had
previously received a coat of whitewash.

I will conclude with a case which came under my own personal
observation, and which first set me definitely on the track of
democratic government in China.

In 1882 I was vice-consul at Pagoda Anchorage, a port near the famous
Foochow Arsenal which was bombarded by Admiral Courbet in 1884. My house
and garden were on an eminence overlooking the arsenal, which was about
half a mile distant. One morning, after breakfast, the head official
servant came to tell me there was trouble at the arsenal. A military
mandarin, employed there as superintendent of some department, had that
morning early kicked his cook, a boy of seventeen, in the stomach, and
the boy, a weakly lad, had died within an hour. The boy's widowed mother
was sitting by the body in the mandarin's house, and a large crowd of
workmen had formed a complete ring outside, quietly awaiting the arrival
and decision of the authorities.

By five o'clock in the afternoon, a deputy had arrived from the
magistracy at Foochow, twelve miles distant, empowered to hold the usual
inquest on behalf of the magistrate. The inquest was duly held, and the
verdict was "accidental homicide."

In shorter time than it takes me to tell the story, the deputy's
sedan-chair and paraphernalia of office were smashed to atoms. He
himself was seized, his official hat and robe were torn to shreds, and
he was bundled unceremoniously, not altogether unbruised, through the
back door and through the ring of onlookers, into the paddy-fields
beyond. Then the ring closed up again, and a low, threatening murmur
broke out which I could plainly hear from my garden. There was no
violence, no attempt to lynch the man; the crowd merely waited for
justice. That crowd remained there all night, encircling the murderer,
the victim, and the mother. Bulletins were brought to me every hour,
and no one went to bed.

Meanwhile the news had reached the viceroy, and by half-past nine next
morning the smoke of a steam-launch was seen away up the bends of the
river. This time it bore the district magistrate himself, with
instructions from the viceroy to hold a new inquest.

At about ten o'clock he landed, and was received with respectful
silence. By eleven o'clock the murderer's head was off and the crowd had




The study of Chinese presents at least one advantage over the study of
the Greek and Roman classics; I might add, of Hebrew, of Syriac, and
even of Sanskrit. It may be pursued for two distinct objects. The first,
and most important object to many, is to acquire a practical
acquaintance with a _living_ language, spoken and written by about
one-third of the existing population of the earth, with a view to the
extension of commercial enterprise, and to the profits and benefits
which may legitimately accrue therefrom. The second is precisely that
object in pursuit of which we apply ourselves so steadily to the
literatures and civilisations of Greece and Rome.

Sir Richard Jebb, in his essay on "Humanism in Education," points out
that even less than a hundred years ago the classics still held a
virtual monopoly, so far as literary studies were concerned, in the
public schools and universities of England. "The culture which they
supplied," he argues, "while limited in the sphere of its operation,
had long been an efficient and vital influence, not only in forming
men of letters and learning, but in training men who afterwards gained
distinction in public life and in various active careers."

Long centuries had fixed so firmly in the minds of our forefathers a
belief, and no doubt to some extent a justifiable belief, in the perfect
character of the languages, the literatures, the arts, and some of the
social and political institutions of ancient Greece and Rome, that a
century or so ago there seemed to be nothing else worth the attention of
an intellectual man. The comparatively recent introduction of Sanskrit
was received in the classical world, not merely with coldness, but with
strenuous opposition; and all the genius of its pioneer scholars was
needed to secure the meed of recognition which it now enjoys as an
important field of research. The Regius Professorship of Greek in the
University of Cambridge, England, was founded in 1540; but it was not
until 1867, more than three centuries later, that Sanskrit was admitted
into the university curriculum. It is still impossible to gain a degree
through the medium of Chinese, but signs are not wanting that the
necessity for such a step will be more widely recognised in the near

All the material lies ready to hand. There is a written language, which
for difficulty is unrivalled, polished and perfected by centuries of the
minutest scholarship, until it is impossible to conceive anything more
subtly artistic as a vehicle of human thought. Those mental gymnastics,
of such importance in the training of youth, which were once claimed
exclusively for the languages of Greece and Rome, may be performed
equally well in the Chinese language. The educated classes in China
would be recognised anywhere as men of trained minds, able to carry on
sustained and complex arguments without violating any of the
Aristotelian canons, although as a matter of fact they never heard of
Aristotle and possess no such work in all their extensive literature as
a treatise on logic. The affairs of their huge empire are carried on,
and in my opinion very successfully carried on—with some reservations,
of course—by men who have had to get their mental gymnastics wholly and
solely out of Chinese.

I am not aware that their diplomatists suffer by comparison with ours.
The Marquis Tsêng and Li Hung-chang, for instance, representing opposite
schools, were admitted masters of their craft, and made not a few of our
own diplomatists look rather small beside them.

Speaking further of the study of the Greek and Roman classics, Sir
Richard Jebb says: "There can be no better proof that such a discipline
has penetrated the mind, and has been assimilated, than if, in the
crises of life, a man recurs to the great thoughts and images of the
literature in which he has been trained, and finds there what braces and
fortifies him, a comfort, an inspiration, an utterance for his deeper

Sir Richard Jebb then quotes a touching story of Lord Granville, who was
President of the Council in 1762, and whose last hours were rapidly
approaching. In reply to a suggestion that, considering his state
of health, some important work should be postponed, he uttered the
following impassioned words from the Iliad, spoken by Sarpedon to
Glaucus: "Ah, friend, if, once escaped from this battle, we were for
ever to be ageless and immortal, I would not myself fight in the
foremost ranks, nor would I send thee into the war that giveth men
renown; but now,—since ten thousand fates of death beset us every day,
and these no mortal may escape or avoid,—now let us go forward."

Such was the discipline of the Greek and Roman classics upon the mind of
Lord Granville at a great crisis in his life.

Let us now turn to the story of a Chinese statesman, nourished only upon
what has been too hastily stigmatised as "the dry bones of Chinese

Wên T'ien-hsiang was born in A.D. 1236. At the age of twenty-one he came
out first on the list of successful candidates for the highest literary
degree. Upon the draft-list submitted to the Emperor he had been placed
seventh; but his Majesty, after looking over the essays, drew the grand
examiner's attention to the originality and excellence of that of Wên
T'ien-hsiang, and the examiner—himself a great scholar and no
sycophant—saw that the Emperor was right, and altered the places

Four or five years later Wên T'ien-hsiang attracted attention by
demanding the execution of a statesman who had advised that the Court
should quit the capital and flee before the advance of the victorious
Mongols. Then followed many years of hard fighting, in the course of
which his raw levies were several times severely defeated, and he
himself was once taken prisoner by the Mongol general, Bayan, mentioned
by Marco Polo. He managed to escape on that occasion; but in 1278 the
plague broke out in his camp, and he was again defeated and taken
prisoner. He was sent to Peking, and every effort was made to induce him
to own allegiance to the Mongol conqueror, but without success. He was
kept several years in prison. Here is a well-known poem which he wrote
while in captivity:—

"There is in the universe an _Aura_, an influence which permeates all
things, and makes them what they are. Below, it shapes forth land and
water; above, the sun and the stars. In man it is called spirit; and
there is nowhere where it is not.

"In times of national tranquillity, this spirit lies hidden in the
harmony which prevails. Only at some great epoch is it manifested widely

Here Wên T'ien-hsiang recalls, and dwells lovingly upon, a number of
historical examples of loyalty and devotion. He then proceeds:—

"Such is this grand and glorious spirit which endureth for all
generations; and which, linked with the sun and moon, knows neither
beginning nor end. The foundation of all that is great and good in
heaven and earth, it is itself born from the everlasting obligations
which are due by man to man.

"Alas! the fates were against me; I was without resource. Bound with
fetters, hurried away toward the north, death would have been sweet
indeed; but that boon was refused.

"My dungeon is lighted by the will-o'-the-wisp alone: no breath of
spring cheers the murky solitude in which I dwell. The ox and the barb
herd together in one stall: the rooster and the phoenix feed together
from one dish. Exposed to mist and dew, I had many times thought to die;
and yet, through the seasons of two revolving years, disease hovered
around me in vain. The dark, unhealthy soil to me became Paradise
itself. For there was that within me which misfortune could not steal
away. And so I remained firm, gazing at the white clouds floating
over my head, and bearing in my heart a sorrow boundless as the sky.

"The sun of those dead heroes has long since set, but their record is
before me still. And, while the wind whistles under the eaves, I open my
books and read; and lo! in their presence my heart glows with a borrowed

At length, Wên T'ien-hsiang was summoned into the presence of Kublai
Khan, who said to him, "What is it you want?" "By the grace of his late
Majesty of the Sung dynasty," he replied, "I became his Majesty's
minister. I cannot serve two masters. I only ask to die." Accordingly he
was executed, meeting his death with composure, and making a final
obeisance toward the south, as though his own sovereign was still
reigning in his capital.

May we not then plead that this Chinese statesman, equally with Lord
Granville, at a crisis of his life, recurred to the great thoughts and
images of the literature in which he had been trained, and found there
what braced and fortified him, a comfort, an inspiration, an utterance
for his deeper feelings?

Chinese history teems with the names of men who, with no higher source
of inspiration than the Confucian Canon, have yet shown that they can
nobly live and bravely die.

Han Yü of the eighth and ninth centuries was one of China's most
brilliant statesmen and writers, and rose rapidly to the highest offices
of State. When once in power, he began to attack abuses, and was
degraded and banished. Later on, when the Court, led by a weak Emperor,
was going crazy over Buddhism, he presented a scathing Memorial to the
Throne, from the effect of which it may well be said that Buddhism has
not yet recovered. The Emperor was furious, and Han Yü narrowly escaped
with his life. He was banished to the extreme wilds of Kuangtung, not
far from the now flourishing Treaty Port of Swatow, where he did so much
useful work in civilising the aborigines, that he was finally recalled.

Those wilds have long since disappeared as such, but the memory of
Han Yü remains, a treasure for ever. In a temple which contains his
portrait, and which is dedicated to him, a grateful posterity has put
up a tablet bearing the following legend, "Wherever he passed, he

The last Emperor of the Ming dynasty, which was overthrown by rebels
and then supplanted by the Manchus in 1644, was also a man who in the
Elysian fields might well hold up his head among monarchs. He seems to
have inherited with the throne a legacy of national disorder similar to
that which eventually brought about the ruin of Louis XVI of France.
With all the best intentions possible, he was unable to stem the tide.
Over-taxation brought in its train, as it always does in China, first
resistance and then rebellion. The Emperor was besieged in Peking by a
rebel army; the Treasury was empty; there were too few soldiers to man
the walls; and the capital fell.

On the previous night, the Emperor, who had refused to flee, slew the
eldest Princess, commanded the Empress to commit suicide, and sent his
three sons into hiding. At dawn the bell was struck for the Court to
assemble; but no one came. His Majesty then ascended the well-known hill
in the Palace grounds, and wrote a last decree on the lapel of his

"Poor in virtue, and of contemptible personality, I have incurred the
wrath of high Heaven. My ministers have deceived me. I am ashamed to
meet my ancestors; and therefore I myself take off my cap of State, and
with my hair covering my face, await dismemberment at the hands of you

Instead of the usual formula, "Respect this!" the Emperor added, "Spare
my people!"

He then hanged himself, and the great Ming dynasty was no more.

       *       *       *       *       *

Chinese studies have always laboured under this disadvantage,—that the
ludicrous side of China and her civilisation was the one which first
attracted the attention of foreigners; and to a great extent it does so
still. There was a time when China was regarded as a Land of Opposites,
_i.e._ diametrically opposed to us in every imaginable direction. For
instance, in China the left hand is the place of honour; men keep their
hats on in company; use fans; mount their horses on the off side; begin
dinner with fruit and end it with soup; shake their own instead of their
friends' hands when meeting; begin at what we call the wrong end of a
book and read from right to left down vertical columns; wear white for
mourning; have huge visiting-cards instead of small ones; prevent
criminals from having their hair cut; regard the south as the standard
point of the compass; begin to build a house by putting on the roof
first; besides many other nicer distinctions, the mere enumeration of
which would occupy much of the time at my disposal.

The other side of the medal, showing the similarities, and even the
identities, has been unduly neglected; and yet it is precisely from a
study of these similarities and identities that the best results can be

A glance at any good dictionary of classical antiquities will at once
reveal the minute and painstaking care with which even the small details
of life in ancient Greece have been examined into and discussed. The
Chinese have done like work for themselves; and many of their
beautifully illustrated dictionaries of archæology would compare not
unfavourably with anything we have to show.

There are also many details of modern everyday existence in China which
may fairly be quoted to show that Chinese civilisation is not, after
all, that comic condition of topsy-turvey-dom which the term usually
seems to connote.

The Chinese house may not be a facsimile of a Greek house,—far from it.
Still, we may note its position, facing south, in order to have as much
sun in winter and as little in summer as possible; its division into
men's and women's apartments; the fact that the doors are in two leaves
and open inward; the rings or handles on the doors; the portable
braziers used in the rooms in cold weather; and the shrines of the
household gods;—all of which characteristics are to be found equally in
the Greek house.

There are also points of resemblance between the lives led by Chinese
and Athenian ladies, beyond the fact that the former occupy a secluded
portion of the house. The Chinese do not admit their women to social
entertainments, and prefer, as we are told was the case with Athenian
husbands, to dine by themselves rather than expose their wives to the
gaze of their friends. If the Athenian dame "went out at all, it was to
see some religious procession, or to a funeral; and if sufficiently
advanced in years she might occasionally visit a female friend, and take
breakfast with her."

And so in China, it is religion which breaks the monotony of female
life, and collects within the temples, on the various festivals, an
array of painted faces and embroidered skirts that present, even to the
European eye, a not unpleasing spectacle.

That painting the face was universal among the women of Greece, much
after the fashion which we now see in China, has been placed beyond all
doubt, the pigments used in both cases being white lead and some kind of
vegetable red, with lampblack for the eyebrows.

In marriage, we find the Chinese aiming, like the Greeks, at equality of
rank and fortune between the contracting parties, or, as the Chinese put
it, in the guise of a household word, at a due correspondence between
the doorways of the betrothed couple. As in Greece, so in China, we find
the marriage arranged by the parents; the veiled bride; the ceremony of
fetching her from her father's house; the equality of man and wife; the
toleration of subordinate wives, and many other points of contact.

The same sights and scenes which are daily enacted at any of the great
Chinese centres of population seem also to have been enacted in the
Athenian market-place, with its simmering kettles of boiled peas and
other vegetables, and its chapmen and retailers of all kinds of
miscellaneous goods. In both we have the public story-teller, surrounded
by a well-packed group of fascinated and eager listeners.

The puppet-shows, ἀγάλματα νευρόσπαστα, which Herodotus tells us were
introduced into Greece from Egypt, are constantly to be seen in Chinese
cities, and date from the second century B.C.,—a suggestive period, as
I shall hope to show later on.

The Chinese say that these puppets originated in China as follows:—

The first Emperor of the Han dynasty was besieged, about 200 B.C., in a
northern city, by a vast army of Hsiung-nu, the ancestors of the Huns,
under the command of the famous chieftain, Mao-tun. One of the Chinese
generals with the besieged Emperor discovered that Mao-tun's wife, who
was in command on one side of the city, was an extremely jealous woman;
and he forthwith caused a number of wooden puppets, representing
beautiful girls and worked by strings, to be exhibited on the wall
overlooking the chieftain's camp. At this, we are told, the lady's fears
for her husband's fidelity were aroused, and she drew off her forces.

The above account may be dismissed as a tale, in which case we are left
with Punch and Judy on our hands.

To return to city sights. The tricks of street-jugglers as witnessed in
China seem to be very much those of ancient Greece. In both countries we
have such feats as jumping about amongst naked swords, spitting fire
from the mouth, and passing a sword down the throat.

Then there are the advertisements on the walls; the mule-carts and
mule-litters; the sunshades, or umbrellas, carried by women in Greece,
by both sexes in China.

The Japanese language is said to contain no terms of abuse, so refined
are the inhabitants of that earthly paradise. The Chinese language more
than makes up for this deficiency; and it is certainly curious that, as
in ancient Greece, the names of animals are not frequently used in this
connection, with the sole exception of the dog. No Chinaman will stand
being called a dog, although he really has a great regard for the
animal, as a friend whose fidelity is proof even against poverty.

In the ivory shops in China will be found many specimens of the carver's
craft which will bear comparison, for the patience and skill required,
with the greatest triumphs of Greek workmen. Both nations have
reproduced the human hand in ivory; the Greeks used it as an ornament
for a hairpin; the Chinese attach it to a slender rod about a foot and
a half in length, and use it as a back-scratcher.

The Chinese drama, which we can only trace vaguely to Central Asian
sources, and no farther back than the twelfth century of our era, has
some points of contact with the Greek drama. In Greece the plays began
at sunrise and continued all day, as they do still on the open-air
stages of rural districts in China, in both cases performed entirely
by men, without interval between the pieces, without curtain, without
prompter, and without any attempt at realism.

As formerly in Greece, so now in China, the words of the play are partly
spoken and partly sung, the voice of the actor being, in both countries,
of the highest importance. Like the Greek actor before masks were
invented, the Chinese actor paints his face, and the thick-soled boot
which raises the Chinese tragedian from the ground is very much the
counterpart of the cothurnus.

The arrangement by which the Greek gods appeared in a kind of balcony,
looking out as it were from the heights of Olympus, is well known to the
Chinese stage; while the methodical character of Greek tragic dancing,
with the chorus moving right and left, is strangely paralleled in the
dances performed at the worship of Confucius in the Confucian temples,
details of which may be seen in any illustrated Chinese encyclopædia.

Games with dice are of a high antiquity in Greece; they date in China
only from the second century A.D., having been introduced from the West
under the name of _shu p'u_, a term which has so far defied

The custom of fighting quails was once a political institution in
Athens, and under early dynasties it was a favourite amusement at the
Imperial Court of China.

The game of "guess-fingers" is another form of amusement common to both
countries. So also is the custom of drinking by rule, under the guidance
of a toast-master, with fines of deep draughts of wine to be swallowed
by those who fail in capping verses, answering conundrums, recognising
quotations; to which may be added the custom of introducing
singing-girls toward the close of the entertainment.

At Athens, too, it was customary to begin a drinking-bout with small
cups, and resort to larger ones later on, a process which must be
familiar to all readers of Chinese novels, wherein, toward the close of
the revel, the half-drunken hero invariably calls for more capacious
goblets. Neither does the ordinary Chinaman approve of a short allowance
of wine at his banquets, as witness the following story, translated from
a Chinese book of anecdotes.

A stingy man, who had invited some guests to dinner, told his servant
not to fill up their wine-cups to the brim, as is usual. During the
meal, one of the guests said to his host, "These cups of yours are too
deep; you should have them cut down." "Why so?" inquired the host.
"Well," replied the guest, "you don't seem to use the top part for

There is another story of a man who went to dine at a house where the
wine-cups were very small, and who, on taking his seat at table,
suddenly burst out into groans and lamentations. "What is the matter
with you?" cried the host, in alarm. "Ah," replied his guest, "my
feelings overcame me. My poor father, when dining with a friend who had
cups like yours, lost his life, by accidentally swallowing one."

The water-clock, or _clepsydra_, has been known to the Chinese for
centuries. Where did it come from? Is it a mere coincidence that the
ancient Greeks used water-clocks?

Is it a coincidence that the Greeks used an abacus, or counting-board,
on which the beads slid up and down in vertical grooves, while on the
Chinese counting-board the only difference is that the beads slide up
and down on vertical rods?

Is it a mere coincidence that the olive should be associated in China,
as in Greece, with propitiation? To this day, a Chinaman who wishes to
make up a quarrel will send a piece of red paper containing an olive, in
token of friendly feeling; and the acceptance of this means that the
quarrel is at an end.

The olive was supposed by the Greeks to have been brought by Hercules
from the land of the Hyperboreans; the Chinese say it was introduced
into China in the second century B.C.

The extraordinary similarities between the Chinese and Pythagorean
systems of music place it beyond a doubt that one must have been derived
from the other. The early Jesuit fathers declared that the ancient
Greeks borrowed their music from the Chinese; but we know now that the
music in question did not exist in China until two centuries after its
appearance in Greece.

The music of the Confucian age perished, books and instruments together,
at the Burning of the Books, in B.C. 212; and we read that in the first
part of the second century B.C. the hereditary music-master was
altogether ignorant of his art. Where did the new art come from? And how
are its Greek characteristics to be accounted for?

There are also equally extraordinary similarities between the Chinese
and Greek calendars.

For instance, in B.C. 104 the Chinese adopted a cycle of nineteen years,
a period which was found to bring together the solar and the lunar

But this is precisely the cycle, ἐννεακαιδεκαετηρίς, said to have been
introduced by Meton in the fifth century B.C., and adopted at Athens
about B.C. 330.

Have we here another coincidence of no particular importance?

The above list might be very much extended. Meanwhile, the question
arises: Are there any records of any kind in China which might lead us
to suppose that the Chinese ever came into contact in any way with the
civilisation of ancient Greece?

We know from Chinese history that, so far back as the second century
B.C., victorious Chinese generals carried their arms far into Central
Asia, and succeeded in annexing such distant regions as Khoten, Kokand,
and the Pamirs. About B.C. 138 a statesman named Chang Ch'ien was sent
on a mission to Bactria, but was taken prisoner by the Hsiung-nu, the
forebears of the Huns, and detained in captivity for over ten years. He
finally managed to escape, and proceeded to Fergana, and thence on to
Bactria, returning home in B.C. 126, after having been once more
captured by the Hsiung-nu and again detained for about a year.

Now Bactria was then a Greek kingdom, which had been founded by Diodotus
in B.C. 256; and it would appear to have had, already for some time,
commercial relations with China, for Chang Ch'ien reported that he had
seen Chinese merchandise exposed there in the markets for sale. We
farther learn that Chang Ch'ien brought back with him the walnut and the
grape, previously unknown in China, and taught his countrymen the art of
making wine.

The wine of the Confucian period was like the wine of to-day in China,
an ardent spirit distilled from rice. There is no grape-wine in China
now, although grapes are plentiful and good. But we know from the poetry
which has been preserved to us, as well as from the researches of
Chinese archæologists, that grape-wine was largely used in China for
many centuries subsequent to the date of Chang Ch'ien; in fact, down to
the beginning of the fifteenth century, if not later.

One writer says it was brought, together with the "heavenly horse," from
Persia, when the extreme West was opened up, a century or so before the
Christian era, as already mentioned.

I must now make what may well appear to be an uncalled-for digression;
but it will only be a temporary digression, and will bring us back in a
few minutes to the grape, the heavenly horse, and to Persia.

Mirrors seem to have been known to the Chinese from the earliest ages.
One authority places them so far back as 2500 B.C. They are at any rate
mentioned in the _Odes_, say 800 B.C., and were made of polished copper,
being in shape, according to the earliest dictionary, like a large

About one hundred years B.C., a new kind of mirror comes into vogue,
called by an entirely new name, not before used. In common with the word
previously employed, its indicator is "metal," showing under which
kingdom it falls,—_i.e._ a mirror of metal. These new mirrors were
small disks of melted metal, highly polished on one side and profusely
decorated with carvings on the other,—a description which exactly
tallies with that of the ancient Greek mirror. Specimens survived to
comparatively recent times, and it is even alleged that many of these
old mirrors are in existence still. A large number of illustrations of
them are given in the great encyclopædia of the eighteenth century, and
the fifth of these, in chronological order, second century B.C., is
remarkable as being ornamented with the well-known "key," or Greek
pattern, so common in Chinese decoration.

Another is covered with birds flying about among branches of pomegranate
laden with fruit cut in halves to show the seeds.

Shortly afterward we come to a mirror so lavishly decorated with bunches
of grapes and vine-leaves that the eye is arrested at once. Interspersed
with these are several animals, among others the lion, which is unknown
in China. The Chinese word for "lion," as I stated in my first lecture,
is _shih_, an imitation of the Persian _shír_. There is also a lion's
head with a bar in its mouth, recalling the door-handles to temples in
ancient Greece. Besides the snake, the tortoise, and the sea-otter,
there is what is far more remarkable than any of these, namely, a horse
with wings.

On comparing the latter with Pegasus as he appears in sculpture, it is
quite impossible to doubt that the Chinese is a copy of the Greek
animal. The former is said to have come down from heaven, and was
caught, according to tradition, on the banks of a river in B.C. 120.

The name for pomegranate in China is "the Parthian fruit," showing that
it was introduced from Parthia, the Chinese equivalent for Parthia being
安息 _Ansik_, which is an easy corruption of the Greek Ἀρσάκης, the first
king of Parthia.

The term for grape is admittedly of foreign origin, like the fruit
itself. It is 葡萄 _pu t'ou_. Here it is easy to recognise the Greek word
Βότρυς, a cluster, or bunch, of grapes.

Similarly, the Chinese word for "radish," 蘿蔔 _lo po_, also of foreign
origin, is no doubt a corruption of ῥάφη, it being of course well known
that the Chinese cannot pronounce an initial _r_.

There is one term, especially, in Chinese which at once carries
conviction as to its Greek origin. This is the term for watermelon.
The two Chinese characters chosen to represent the sound mean "Western
gourd," _i.e._ the gourd which came from the West. Some Chinese say, on
no authority in particular, that it was introduced by the Kitan Tartars;
others say that it was introduced by the first Emperor of the so-called
Golden Tartars. But the Chinese term is still pronounced _si kua_, which
is absolutely identical with the Greek word σικύα, of which Liddell and
Scott say, "perhaps the melon." For these three words it would now
scarcely be rash to substitute "the watermelon."

We are not on quite such firm ground when we compare the Chinese kalends
and ides with similar divisions of the Roman month.

Still it is interesting to note that in ancient China, the first day of
every month was publicly proclaimed, a sheep being sacrificed on each
occasion; also, that the Latin word _kalendae_ meant the day when the
order of days was proclaimed.

Further, that the term in Chinese for ides means to look at, to see,
because on that day we can see the moon; and also that the Latin word
_idus_, the etymology of which has not been absolutely established, may
possibly come from the Greek ἰδεῖν "to see," just as _kalendae_ comes
from καλεῖν "to proclaim."

As to many of the analogies, more or less interesting, to be found in
the literatures of China and of Western nations, it is not difficult to
say how they got into their Chinese setting.

For instance, we read in the History of the Ming Dynasty, A.D.
1368-1644, a full account of the method by which the Spaniards, in the
sixteenth century, managed to obtain first a footing in, and then the
sovereignty over, some islands which have now passed under the American
flag. The following words, not quite without interest at the present
day, are translated from the above-mentioned account of the

"The Fulanghis (_i.e._ the Franks), who at that time had succeeded by
violence in establishing trade relations with Luzon (the old name of
the Philippines), saw that the nation was weak, and might easily be
conquered. Accordingly, they sent rich presents to the king of the
country, begging him to grant them a piece of land as big as a bull's
hide, for building houses to live in. The king, not suspecting guile,
conceded their request, whereupon the Fulanghis cut the hide into strips
and joined them together, making many hundreds of ten-foot measures in
length; and then, having surrounded with these a piece of ground, called
upon the king to stand by his promise. The king was much alarmed; but
his word had been pledged, and there was no alternative but to submit.
So he allowed them to have the ground, charging a small ground-rent as
was the custom. But no sooner had the Fulanghis got the ground than they
put up houses and ramparts and arranged their fire-weapons (cannon) and
engines of attack. Then, seizing their opportunity, they killed the
king, drove out the people, and took possession of the country."

It is scarcely credible that Chinese historians would have recorded such
an incident unless some trick of the kind had actually been carried out
by the Spaniards, in imitation of the famous classical story of the
foundation of Carthage.

A professional writer of marvellous tales who flourished in the
seventeenth century tells a similar story of the early Dutch settlers:—

"Formerly, when the Dutch were permitted to trade with China, the
officer in command of the coast defences would not allow them, on
account of their great numbers, to come ashore. The Dutch begged very
hard for the grant of a piece of land such as a carpet would cover; and
the officer above mentioned, thinking that this could not be very large,
acceded to their request. A carpet was accordingly laid down, big enough
for about two people to stand on; but by dint of stretching, it was
soon able to accommodate four or five; and so the foreigners went on,
stretching and stretching, until at last it covered about an acre, and
by and by, with the help of their knives, they had filched a piece of
ground several miles in extent."

       *       *       *       *       *

These two stories must have sprung from one and the same source. It is
not, however, always so simple a matter to see how other Western
incidents found their way into Chinese literature. For instance, there
is a popular anecdote to be found in a Chinese jest-book, which is
almost word for word with another anecdote in Greek literature:—

A soldier, who was escorting a Buddhist priest, charged with some crime,
to a prison at a distance, being very anxious not to forget anything,
kept saying over and over the four things he had to think about, viz.:
himself, his bundle, his umbrella, and the priest. At night he got
drunk, and the Buddhist priest, after first shaving the soldier's head,
ran away. When the soldier awaked, he began his formula, "Myself,
bundle, umbrella—O dear!" cried he, putting his hands to his head, "the
priest has gone. Stop a moment," he added, finding his hands in contact
with a bald head, "here's the priest; it is I who have run away."

       *       *       *       *       *

As found in Greek literature, the story, attributed to Hierocles, but
probably much later, says that the prisoner was a bald-headed man, a
condition which is suggested to the Chinese reader by the introduction
of a Buddhist priest.

Whether the Chinese got this story from the Greeks, or the Greeks got it
from the Chinese, I do not pretend to know. The fact is that we students
of Chinese at the present day know very little beyond the vague outlines
of what there is to be known. Students of Greek have long since divided
up their subject under such heads as pure scholarship, history,
philosophy, archæology, and then again have made subdivisions of these.
In the Chinese field nothing of the kind has yet been done. The
consequence is that the labourers in that field, compelled to work over
a large superficies, are only able to turn out more or less superficial
work. The cry is for more students, practical students of the written
and colloquial languages, for the purposes of diplomatic intercourse
and the development of commerce; and also students of the history,
philosophy, archæology, and religions of China, men whose contributions
to our present stock of knowledge may throw light upon many important
points, which, for lack of workmen, have hitherto remained neglected and




China is popularly supposed to have three religions,—Confucianism,
Buddhism, and Taoism.

The first is not, and never has been, a religion, being nothing more
than a system of social and political morality; the second is indeed a
religion, but an alien religion; only the last, and the least known, is
of native growth.

The Chinese themselves get over the verbal difficulty by calling these
the Three Doctrines.

There have been, at various epochs, other religions in China, and some
still remain; the above, however, is the classification commonly in use,
all other religions having been regarded up to recent times as devoid of
spiritual importance.

Mahommedanism appeared in China in 628 A.D., and is there to this day,
having more than once threatened the stability of the Empire.

In 631 the Nestorian Christians arrived, to become later on a
flourishing sect, though all trace of them, beyond their famous Tablet,
has long since vanished.

It has also been established in recent years that the Zoroastrians, and
subsequently the Manichæans, were in China in these early centuries,
but nothing now remains of them except the name, a specially invented
character, which was equally applied to both.

In the twelfth century the Jews had a synagogue at K'ai-fêng Fu, in
Central China, but it is not absolutely certain when they first reached
the country. Some say, immediately after the Captivity; others put it
much later. In 1850 several Hebrew rolls of parts of the Pentateuch, in
the square character, with vowel-points, were obtained from the above
city. There were then no professing Jews to be found, but in recent
years a movement has been set on foot to revive the old faith.

Roman Catholicism may be said to have existed in China since the close
of the sixteenth century, though there was actually an Archbishop of
Peking, Jean de Montecorvino, who died there in 1330.

In the last year of the eighteenth century the first Protestant
missionary arrived. The first American missionaries followed in 1830.
They found China, as it is now, nominally under the sway of the Three

So much has been written on Confucianism, and so much more on Buddhism,
that I propose to confine myself entirely to Taoism, which seems to have
attracted too little the attention of the general public. In fact, a
quite recent work, which professes to deal among other things with the
history of China, omits all discussion of this particular religion.

Taoism is the religion of Tao; as to what Tao is, or what it means, we
are told upon the highest authority that it is quite impossible to say.
This does not seem a very hopeful beginning; but

  "even the weariest river
   Winds somewhere safe to sea,"

and I shall therefore make an effort to set before you a clue, which, I
trust, will lead toward at any rate a partial elucidation of the

At some unknown period in remote antiquity, there appears to have lived
a philosopher, known to posterity as Lao Tzŭ, who taught men, among
other things, to return good for evil. His parentage, birth, and life
have been overloaded in the course of centuries with legend. Finally, he
is said to have foreseen a national cataclysm, and to have disappeared
into the West, leaving behind him a book, now called the _Tao-Tê-Ching_,
which, for many reasons, he could not possibly have written.

The little we really know of Lao Tzŭ is gathered from traditional
utterances of his, scattered here and there in the works of later
disciples of his school. Many of these sayings, though by no means all
of them, with much other matter of a totally different character, have
been brought together in the form of a treatise, and the heterogeneous
whole has been ascribed to Lao Tzŭ himself.

Before proceeding with our examination of Tao, it is desirable to show
why this work may safely be regarded as a forgery of a later age.

Attempts have been made, by the simple process of interpolation in
classical texts, to prove that Lao Tzŭ lived in the same century as that
in which Confucius was born; and also that, when the former was a very
old man, the two sages met; and further that the interviews ended very
much to the astonishment of Confucius. All this, however, has been set
aside by the best native scholarship ever produced in China, as the work
of later hands.

Further, there was another philosopher of the same name, who really was
contemporary with Confucius, and it is held by many Chinese critics that
the two have been confused, perhaps with malice aforethought.

We can only say for certain that after Lao Tzŭ came Confucius—at what
interval we do not know. Now, in all the works of Confucius, whether as
writer or as editor, and throughout all his posthumously published
Discourses, there is not a single word of allusion either to Lao Tzŭ or
to this treatise. The alleged interviews have been left altogether

One hundred years after Confucius came Mencius, China's second sage. In
all his pages of political advice to feudal nobles, and all his
conversations with his disciples, much more voluminous than the
Discourses of Confucius, there is equally no allusion to Lao Tzŭ, nor to
the treatise.

It has been pointed out by an eminent Chinese critic of the fifteenth
and sixteenth centuries, that Mencius spent his life chiefly in
attacking the various heterodox systems which then prevailed, such as
the extreme altruistic system of Mo Ti and the extreme egoistic system
of Yang Chu; and it is urged—in my opinion with overwhelming force—that
if the _Tao-Tê-Ching_ had existed in the days of Mencius, it must
necessarily have been recognised and treated as a mischievous work,
likely to alienate men's minds from the one perfect and orthodox

Chuang Tzŭ, a philosopher of the fourth century B.C., devoted himself to
elucidating and illuminating the teaching of Lao Tzŭ. His work, which
has survived to the present day, will shortly occupy our attention. For
the moment it is only necessary to say that it contains many of the
Master's traditional sayings, but never once mentions a treatise.

In the third century B.C. there lived another famous Taoist writer, Han
Fei Tzŭ, who devotes the best part of two whole sections of his work to
explaining and illustrating the sayings of Lao Tzŭ. Yet he never
mentions the treatise. He deals with many sayings of Lao Tzŭ now to be
found in the treatise, but he does not take them in the order in which
they now stand, and he introduces several others which do not occur at
all in the treatise, having apparently been overlooked by the compiler.

In the second century B.C. there lived another famous Taoist writer,
Huai-nan Tzŭ, who devotes a long chapter to illustrating the doctrines
of Lao Tzŭ. He never mentions a book.

One hundred years B.C. comes the historian Ssŭ-ma Ch'ien, whose
brilliant work, the first of the Dynastic Histories, I have already had
occasion to bring to your notice. In his brief memoir of Lao Tzŭ, he
does mention a book in five thousand and more characters; but he
mentions it in such a way as to make it clear beyond all doubt that he
himself could never have seen it; and moreover, in addition to the fact
that no date is given, either of the birth or death of Lao Tzŭ, the
account is so tinged with the supernatural as to raise a strong
suspicion that some part of it did not really come from the pen of the
great historian.

About two hundred years later appeared the first Chinese dictionary,
already alluded to in a previous lecture. This work was intended as a
collection of all the written characters known at date of publication;
and we can well imagine that, with Lao Tzŭ's short treatise before him,
there would be no difficulty in including all the words found therein.
Such, however, is not the case. There are many characters in the
treatise which are not to be found in the dictionary, and in one
particular instance the omission is very remarkable.

Much other internal evidence against the genuineness of this work might
here be adduced. I will content myself with a single, and a ludicrous,
item, which shows how carelessly it was pieced together.

Sentences occur in the _Tao-Tê-Ching_ which positively contain, in
addition to some actual words by Lao Tzŭ, words from a commentator's
explanation, which have been mistaken by the forger for a part of Lao
Tzŭ's own utterance.

Add to this the striking fact that the great mass of Chinese critical
scholarship is entirely adverse to the claims put forward on behalf of
the treatise,—a man who believes in it as the genuine work of Lao Tzŭ
being generally regarded among educated Chinese as an amiable crank,
much as many people now regard any one who credits the plays of
Shakespeare to Lord Bacon,—and I think we may safely dismiss the
question without further ado.

It will be more interesting to turn to any sayings of Lao Tzŭ which we
can confidently regard as genuine; and those are such as occur in the
writings of some of the philosophers above-mentioned, from which they
were evidently collected by a pious impostor, and, with the aid of
unmistakable padding, were woven into the treatise, of which we may now
take a long leave.

Lao Tzŭ imagined the universe to be informed by an omnipresent,
omnipotent Principle, which he called _Tao_. Now this word _Tao_ means
primarily "a road," "a way"; and Lao Tzŭ's Principle may therefore be
conveniently translated by "the Way."

Fearing, however, some confusion from the use of this term, the
philosopher was careful to explain that "the way which can be walked
upon is not the eternal Way." But he never tells us definitely what the
Way is. In one place he says it cannot find expression in words; in
another he says, "Those who know do not tell; those who tell do not

The latter saying was used by a famous poet as a weapon of ridicule
against the treatise. "If those who know," he argued, "do not tell, how
comes it that Lao Tzŭ put his own knowledge into a book of five thousand
and more words?"

We are assured, however, by Lao Tzŭ that "just as without going out of
doors we can know the whole world, so without looking out of window we
can know the Way."

Again we have, "Without moving, you shall know; without looking, you
shall see; without doing, you shall achieve."

Meanwhile, we are left to gather from isolated maxims some shadowy idea
of what Lao Tzŭ meant by the Way.

It seems to have been a perpetual accommodation of self to one's
surroundings, with the minimum of effort, all progress being spontaneous
and in the line of least resistance.

From this it is a mere step to doing nothing at all, the famous doctrine
of Inaction, with all its paradoxes, which is really the criterion of
Lao Tzŭ's philosophy and will be always associated with Lao Tzŭ's name.

Thus he says, "Perfect virtue does nothing, and consequently there is
nothing which it does not do."

Again, "The softest things in the world overcome the hardest; that which
has no substance enters where there is no crevice."

"Leave all things to take their natural courses, and do not interfere."

"Only he who does nothing for his life's sake can be truly said to value
his life."

"Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish,"—do not overdo
it. Do not try to force results. The well-known Greek injunction, "not
to go beyond one's destiny," οὐκ ὑπὲρ μόρον, might well have fallen from
Lao Tzŭ's lips.

All this is the Way, which Lao Tzŭ tells us is "like the drawing of a
bow,—it brings down the high and exalts the low," reducing all things
to a uniform plane.

He also says that if the Way prevails on earth, horses will be used for
agricultural purposes; if the Way does not prevail, they will be used
for war.

Many of Lao Tzŭ's sayings are mere moral maxims for use in everyday

"Put yourself behind, and the world will put you in front; put yourself
in front, and the world will put you behind."

"To the good I would be good; to the not-good I would also be good, in
order to make them good."

All together, with the comparatively few scraps of Lao Tzŭ's wisdom to
be found in the treatise, we should be hard put to understand the value
of Tao, and still more to find sufficient basis for a philosophical
system, were it not for his disciple, Chuang Tzŭ, of the fourth century
B.C., who produced a work expanding and illustrating the Way of his
great Master, so rich in thought and so brilliant from a literary point
of view that, although branded since the triumph of Confucianism with
the brand of heterodoxy, it still remains a storehouse of current
quotation and a model of composition for all time.

Let us go back to _Tao_, in which, Chuang Tzŭ tells us, man is born, as
fishes are born in water; for, as he says in another place, there is
nowhere where _Tao_ is not. But _Tao_ cannot be heard; heard, it is not
_Tao_. It cannot be seen; seen, it is not _Tao_. It cannot be spoken;
spoken, it is not _Tao_. Although it imparts form, it is itself
formless, and cannot therefore have a name, since form precedes name.

The unsubstantiality of _Tao_ is further dwelt upon as follows:—

"Were _Tao_ something which could be presented, there is no man but
would present it to his sovereign or to his parents. Could it be
imparted or given, there is no man but would impart it to his brother
or give it to his child. But this is impossible. For unless there is a
suitable endowment within, _Tao_ will not abide; and unless there is
outward correctness, _Tao_ will not operate."

It would seem therefore that _Tao_ is something which altogether
transcends the physical senses of man and is correspondingly difficult
of attainment. Chuang Tzŭ comes thus to the rescue:—

"By absence of thought, by absence of cogitation, _Tao_ may be known.
By resting in nothing, by according in nothing, _Tao_ may be approached.
By following nothing, by pursuing nothing, _Tao_ may be attained."

What there was before the universe, was _Tao_. _Tao_ makes things what
they are, but is not itself a thing. Nothing can produce _Tao_; yet
everything has Tao within it, and continues to produce it without end.

"Rest in Inaction," says Chuang Tzŭ, "and the world will be good of
itself. Cast your slough. Spit forth intelligence. Ignore all
differences. Become one with the Infinite. Release your mind. Free your
soul. Be vacuous. Be nothing!"

Chuang Tzŭ lays especial emphasis on the cultivation of the natural as
opposed to the artificial.

"Horses and oxen have four feet; that is the natural. Put a halter on a
horse's head, a string through a bullock's nose; that is the

"A drunken man who falls out of a cart, though he may suffer, does not
die. His bones are the same as other people's; but he meets his accident
in a different way. His spirit is in a condition of security. He is not
conscious of riding in the cart; neither is he conscious of falling out
of it. Ideas of life, death, fear, etc., cannot penetrate his breast;
and so he does not suffer from contact with objective existences. And if
such security is to be got from wine, how much more is it to be got from

The doctrine of Relativity in space and time, which Chuang Tzŭ deduces
from Lao Tzŭ's teachings, is largely introduced by the disciple.

"There is nothing under the canopy of Heaven greater than an autumn
spikelet. A vast mountain is a small thing. The universe and I came into
being together; and all things therein are One.

"In the light of _Tao_, affirmative is reconciled with negative;
objective is identified with subjective. And when subjective and
objective are both without their correlates, that is the very axis of
_Tao_. And when that axis passes through the centre at which all
infinities converge, positive and negative alike blend into an infinite

Thus, morally speaking, we can escape from the world and self, and can
reverse and look down upon the world's judgments; while in the
speculative region we get behind and beyond the contradictions of
ordinary thought and speech. A perfect man is the result. He becomes, as
it were, a spiritual being. As Chuang Tzŭ puts it:—

"Were the ocean itself scorched up, he would not feel hot. Were the
Milky Way frozen hard, he would not feel cold. Were the mountains
to be riven with thunder, and the great deep to be thrown up by storm,
he would not tremble. In such case, he would mount upon the clouds of
Heaven, and driving the sun and moon before him, would pass beyond the
limits of this external world, where death and life have no more victory
over man."

We have now an all-embracing One, beyond the limits of this world, and
we have man perfected and refined until he is no longer a prey to
objective existences. Lao Tzŭ has already hinted at "the Whence, and oh,
Heavens, the Whither." He said that to emerge was life, and to return
was death. Chuang Tzŭ makes it clear that what man emerges from is some
transcendental state in the Infinite; and that to the Infinite he may
ultimately return.

"How," he asks, "do I know that love of life is not a delusion after
all? How do I know that he who dreads to die is not like a child who has
lost the way, and cannot find his home?

"Those who dream of the banquet wake to lamentation and sorrow. Those
who dream of lamentation and sorrow wake to join the hunt. While they
dream, they do not know that they dream. Some will even interpret the
very dream they are dreaming; and only when they awake do they know it
was a dream. By and by comes the Great Awakening, and then we find out
that this life is really a great dream. Fools think they are awake now,
and flatter themselves they know if they are really princes or peasants.
Confucius and you are both mere dreams; and I, who say you are dreams,—I
am but a dream myself.

"Take no heed," he adds, "of time, nor of right and wrong; but passing
into the realm of the Infinite, find your final rest therein."

An abstract Infinite, however, soon ceased to satisfy the natural
cravings of the great body of Taoist followers. Chuang Tzŭ had already
placed the source of human life beyond the limits of our visible
universe; and in order to secure a return thither, it was only necessary
to refine away the grossness of our material selves according to the
doctrine of the Way. It thus came about that the One, in whose
obliterating unity all seemingly opposed conditions were to be
indistinguishably blended, began to be regarded as a fixed point of
dazzling intellectual luminosity, in remote ether, around which circled
for ever and ever, in the supremest glory of motion, the souls of those
who had successfully passed through the ordeal of life, and who had left
the slough of humanity behind them.

Let me quote some lines from a great Taoist poet, Ssŭ-k'ung T'u, written
to support this view. His poem consists of twenty-four stanzas, each
twelve lines in length, and each dealing with some well-known phase of
Taoist doctrine.

  "Expenditure of force leads to outward decay,
   Spiritual existence means inward fulness.
   Let us revert to Nothing and enter the Absolute,
   Hoarding up strength for Energy.
   Freighted with eternal principles,
   Athwart the mighty void,
   Where cloud-masses darken,
   And the wind blows ceaseless around,
   Beyond the range of conceptions,
   Let us gain the Centre,
   And there hold fast without violence,
   Fed from an inexhaustible supply."

In this, the first, stanza we are warned against taxing, or even using,
our physical powers, instead of aiming, as we should, at a purely
spiritual existence, by virtue of which we shall ultimately be wafted
away to the distant Centre in the Infinite.

  "Lo, the Immortal, borne by spirituality,
   His hand grasping a lotus-flower,
   Away to Time everlasting,
   Trackless through the regions of Space!"

These four lines from stanza v give us a glimpse of the liberated mortal
on his upward journey. The lotus-flower, which the poet has placed in
his hand, is one of those loans from Buddhism to which I shall recur by
and by.

  "As iron from the mines,
   As silver from lead,
   So purify thy heart,
   Loving the limpid and clean.
   Like a clear pool in spring,
   With its wondrous mirrored shapes,
   So make for the spotless and true,
   And riding the moonbeam revert to the Spiritual."

These eight lines from stanza vii, which might be entitled "Smelting,"
show us the refining process by which spirituality is to be attained.

Seclusion and abandonment of the artificial are also extolled in stanza

  "Following our own bent,
   Let us enjoy the Natural, free from curb,
   Rich with what comes to hand,
   Hoping some day to be with the Infinite.
   To build a hut beneath the pines,
   With uncovered head to pore over poetry,
   Knowing only morning and eve,
   But not what season it may be ...
   Then, if happiness is ours
   Why must there be Action?
   If of our own selves we can reach this point,
   Can we not be said to have attained?"

Utterances of this kind are responsible for the lives of many Taoist
hermits who from time to time have withdrawn from the world, devoting
themselves to the pursuit of true happiness, on the mountains.

  "After gazing abstractedly upon expression and substance,
   The mind returns with a spiritual image,
   As when seeking the outlines of waves,
   As when painting the glory of spring.
   The changing shapes of wind-swept clouds,
   The energies of flowers and plants,
   The rolling breakers of ocean,
   The crags and cliffs of mountains,
   All these are like mighty TAO,
   Skilfully woven into earthly surroundings ...
   To obtain likeness without form
   Is not that to possess the man?"

This stanza means that man should become like the contour of waves, like
the glory of spring,—something which to a beholder is a mental image,
without constant physical form or substance. Then motion supervenes; not
motion as we know it, but a transcendental state of revolution in the
Infinite. This is the subject of stanza xxiv:—

  "Like a whirling water-wheel,
   Like rolling pearls,—
   Yet how are these worthy to be named?
   They are but adaptations for fools.
   There is the mighty axis of Earth,
   The never resting pole of Heaven;
   Let us grasp _their_ clue,
   And with _them_ be blended in One,
   Beyond the bounds of thought,
   Circling for ever in the great Void,
   An orbit of a thousand years,—
   Yes, this is the key to my theme."

All that might be dignified by the name of pure Taoism ends here. From
this point the descent to lower regions is both easy and rapid.

I am not speaking now in a chronological sense, but of the highest
intellectual point reached by the doctrines of Taoism, which began to
decline long before the writer of this poem, himself a pure Taoist of
the tenth century, was born.

The idea mentioned above, that the grosser elements of man's nature
might be refined away and immortality attained, seems to have suggested
an immortality, not merely in an unseen world, but even in this one, to
be secured by an imaginary elixir of life. Certain at any rate it is,
that so far back as a century or so before the Christian era, the desire
to discover this elixir had become a national craze.

The following story is historical, and dates from about 200 B.C.:—

"A certain person having forwarded some elixir of immortality to the
Prince of Ching, it was received as usual by the doorkeeper. 'Is this to
be swallowed?' enquired the Chief Warden of the palace. 'It is,' replied
the doorkeeper. Thereupon, the Chief Warden purloined and swallowed it.
At this, the Prince was exceedingly angry and ordered his immediate
execution; but the Chief Warden sent a friend to plead for him, saying,
'Your Highness's servant asked the doorkeeper if the drug was to be
swallowed, and as he replied in the affirmative, your servant
accordingly swallowed it. The blame rests entirely with the doorkeeper.
Besides, if the elixir of life is presented to your Highness, and
because your servant swallows it, your Highness slays him, that elixir
is clearly the elixir of death; and for your Highness thus to put to
death an innocent official is simply for your Highness to be made the
sport of men.' The Prince spared his life."

The later Taoist was not content with attempts to compound an elixir. He
invented a whole series of physical exercises, consisting mostly of
positions, or postures, in which it was necessary to sit or stand,
sometimes for an hour or so at a time, in the hope of prolonging life.
Such absurdities as swallowing the saliva three times in every two hours
were also held to be conducive to long life.

There is perhaps more to be said for a system of deep breathing,
especially of morning air, which was added on the strength of the
following passage in Chuang Tzŭ:—

"The pure men of old slept without dreams, and waked without anxiety.
They ate without discrimination, breathing deep breaths. For pure men
draw breath from their uttermost depths; the vulgar only from their

A Chinese official with whom I became acquainted in the island of
Formosa was outwardly a Confucianist, but inwardly a Taoist of the
deepest dye. He used to practise the above exercises and deep breathing
in his spare moments, and strongly urged me to try them. Apparently they
were no safeguard against malarial fever, of which he died about a year
or so afterward.

Associated closely with the elixir of immortality is the practice of
alchemy, which beyond all doubt was an importation from Greece by way of

We read in the Historical Record, under date 133 B.C., of a man who
appeared at court and persuaded the Emperor that gold could be made out
of cinnabar or red sulphide of mercury; and that if dishes made of the
gold thus produced were used for food, the result would be prolongation
of life, even to immortality. He pretended to be immortal himself; and
when he died, as he did within the year, the infatuated Emperor
believed, in the words of the historian, "that he was only transfigured
and not really dead," and accordingly gave orders to continue the

For many centuries the attempt to turn base metal into gold occupied a
leading place in the researches of Chinese philosophers. Volumes have
been written on the subject, and are still studied by a few.

The best-known of these has been attributed to a Taoist hermit who
flourished in the second century A.D., and was summoned to court, but
refused the invitation, being, as he described himself, a lowly man,
living simply, and with no love for power and glory. The work in
question was actually mistaken for a commentary on the _Book of
Changes_, mentioned in a former lecture, though it is in reality a
treatise upon alchemy, and also upon the concoction of pills of
immortality. It was forwarded to me some years ago by a gentleman in
America, with a request that I would translate it as a labour of love;
but I was obliged to decline what seemed to me a useless task,
especially as the book was really written by another man, of the same
name as the hermit, who lived more than twelve hundred years later.

The author is said to have ultimately succeeded in compounding these
pills of immortality, and to have administered one by way of experiment
to a dog, which at once fell down dead. He then swallowed one himself,
with the same result; whereupon his elder brother, with firm faith, and
undismayed by what he saw before him, swallowed a third pill. The same
fate overtook him, and this shook the confidence of a remaining younger
brother, who went off to make arrangements for burying the bodies. But
by the time he had returned the trio had recovered, and were straightway
enrolled among the ranks of the immortals.

As another instance of the rubbish in which the modern Taoist delights
to believe, I may quote the story of the Prince of Huai-nan, second
century B.C., who is said, after years of patient experiment, to have
finally discovered the elixir of life. Immediately on tasting the drug,
his body became imponderable, and he began to rise heavenward. Startled
probably by this new sensation, he dropped the cup out of which he had
been drinking, into the courtyard; whereupon his dogs and poultry
finished up the dregs, and were soon sailing up to heaven after him.

It was an easy transition from alchemy and the elixir of life to magic
and the black art in general. Those Taoists who, by their manner of
life, or their reputed successes in the above two fields of research,
attracted public attention, came to be regarded as magicians or wizards,
in communication with, and in control of, the unseen powers of darkness.
The accounts of their combats with evil spirits, to be found in many of
the lower-class novels, are eagerly devoured by the Chinese, who even
now frequently call in Taoist priests to exorcise some demon which is
supposed to be exerting an evil influence on the family.

As a specimen, there is a story of a young man who had fallen under the
influence of a beautiful young girl, when he met a Taoist priest in the
street, who started on seeing him, and said that his face showed signs
that he had been bewitched. Hurrying home, the young man found his door
locked; and on creeping softly up to the window and looking in, he saw a
hideous devil, with a green face and jagged teeth like a saw, spreading
a human skin on the bed, and painting it with a paint-brush. The devil
then threw aside the brush, and giving the skin a shake-out, just as you
would a coat, cast it over its shoulders, when lo! there stood the girl.

The story goes on to say that the devil-girl killed the young man,
ripping him open and tearing out his heart; after which the priest
engaged in terrible conflict with her. Finally—and here we seem to be
suddenly transported to the story of the fisherman in the _Arabian
Nights_—she became a dense column of smoke curling up from the ground,
and then the priest took from his vest an uncorked gourd, and threw it
right into the midst of the smoke. A sucking noise was heard, and the
whole column was drawn into the gourd; after which the priest corked it
up closely, and carried it away with him.

The search for the elixir of life was too fascinating to be readily
given up. It was carried on with more or less vigour for centuries, as
we learn from the following Memorial to the Throne, dating from the
ninth century A.D., presented by an aggrieved Confucianist:—

"Of late years the court has been overrun by a host of 'professors,' who
pretend to have the secret of immortality.

"Now supposing that such beings as immortals really did exist—would
they not be likely to hide themselves in deep mountain recesses, far
from the ken of man? On the other hand, persons who hang about the
vestibules of the rich and great, and brag of their wonderful powers in
big words,—what are they more than common adventurers in search of
pelf? How should their nonsense be credited, and their drugs devoured?
Besides, even medicines to cure bodily ailments are not to be swallowed
casually, morning, noon, and night. How much less, then, this poisonous,
fiery gold-stone, which the viscera of man must be utterly unable to

Thus gradually Taoism lost its early simple characteristics associated
with the name of Lao Tzŭ. The _Tao_ developed by Chuang Tzŭ, in the
light of which all things became one, paved the way for One Concrete
Ruler of the universe; and the dazzling centre, far away in space,
became the heaven which was to be the resting-place of virtuous mortals
after death. Then came Buddhism, with its attractive ritual and its
manifold consolations, and put an end once for all to the ancient
glories of the teachings of Lao Tzŭ.

The older text-books date the first appearance of Buddhism in China from
67 A.D., when in consequence of a dream the reigning Emperor sent a
mission to the West, and was rewarded by obtaining copies of parts of
the Canon, brought to China by Kashiapmadunga, an Indian priest, who,
after translating a portion into Chinese, fell ill and died.

But we know now that Buddhist monks had already appeared in China so
early as 230 B.C. The monks were thrown into prison, but were said to
have been released in the night by an angel.

Still, it was not until the third or fourth century of our era that the
new religion began to make itself appreciably felt. "When this came
about, there ensued a long and fierce struggle between the Buddhists and
the Taoists, resulting, after alternating triumphs and defeats on both
sides, in that mutual toleration which obtains at the present day.

Each religion began early to borrow from the other. In the words of the
philosopher Chu Hsi, of the eleventh century, "Buddhism stole the best
features of Taoism; Taoism stole the worst features of Buddhism. It is
as though one took a jewel from the other, and the loser recouped the
loss with a stone."

From Buddhism the Taoists borrowed their whole scheme of temples,
priests, nuns, and ritual. They drew up liturgies to resemble the
Buddhist _sûtras_; and also prayers for the dead. They adopted the idea
of a Trinity, consisting of Lao Tzŭ, the mythological Adam of China,
and the Ruler of the Universe, before mentioned; and they further
appropriated the Buddhist Purgatory with all its frightful terrors and
tortures after death.

Nowadays it takes an expert to distinguish between the temples and
priests of the two religions, and members of both hierarchies are often
simultaneously summoned by persons needing religious consolation or
ceremonial of any kind.

The pure and artless _Tao_ of Lao Tzŭ, etherealised by the lofty
speculations of Chuang Tzŭ, has long since become the vehicle of base
and worthless superstition.




A foreigner arriving for the first time in China will be especially
struck by three points to which he is not accustomed at home.

The people will consist almost entirely of men; they will all wear their
hair plaited in queues; and they will all be exactly alike.

The seclusion of women causes the traveller least surprise of the three,
being a custom much more rigorously enforced in other Oriental
countries; and directly he gets accustomed to the uniform absence of
beard and moustache, he soon finds out that the Chinese people are not
one whit more alike facially than his own countrymen of the West.

A Chinaman cannot wear a beard before he is forty, unless he happens to
have a married son. He also shaves the whole head with the exception of
a round patch at the back, from which the much-prized queue is grown.

There are some strange misconceptions as to the origin and meaning of
the queue, more perhaps on the other side of the Atlantic, where we are
not so accustomed to Chinamen as you are in America. Some associate the
queue with religion, and gravely state that without it no Chinaman could
be hauled into Paradise. Others know that queues have only been worn by
the Chinese for about two hundred and fifty years, and that they were
imposed as a badge of conquest by the Manchu-Tartars, the present rulers
of China. Previous to 1644 the Chinese clothed their bodies and dressed
their hair in the style of the modern Japanese,—of course I mean those
Japanese who still wear what is wrongly known as "the beautiful native
dress of Japan,"—wrongly, because as a matter of fact the Japanese
borrowed their dress, as well as their literature, philosophy, and early
lessons in art, from China. The Japanese dress is the dress of the Ming
period in China, 1368-1644.

It remains still to be seen whence and wherefore the Manchu-Tartars
obtained this strange fashion of the queue.

The Tartars may be said to have depended almost for their very existence
upon the horse; and in old pictures the Tartar is often seen lying
curled up asleep with his horse, illustrating the mutual affection and
dependence between master and beast. Out of sheer gratitude and respect
for his noble ally, the man took upon himself the form of the animal,
growing a queue in imitation of the horse's tail.

Unsupported by any other evidence, this somewhat grotesque theory would
fall to the ground. But there _is_ other evidence, of a rather striking
character, which, taken in conjunction with what has been said, seems to
me to settle the matter.

Official coats, as seen in China at the present day, are made with very
peculiar sleeves, shaped like a horse's leg, and ending in what is an
unmistakable hoof, completely covering the hand. These are actually
known to the Chinese as "horse-shoe sleeves"; and, encased therein, a
Chinaman's arms certainly look very much like a horse's forelegs. The
tail completes the picture.

When the Tartars conquered China two hundred and fifty years ago, there
was at first a strenuous fight against the queue, and it has been said
that the turbans still worn by the Southern Chinese were originally
adopted as a means of concealing the hateful Manchu badge. Nowadays
every Chinaman looks upon his queue as an integral and honourable part
of himself. If he cannot grow one, he must have recourse to art, for he
could not appear tailless, either in this world or the next.

False queues are to be seen hanging in the streets for sale. They are
usually worn by burglars, and come off in your hand when you think you
have caught your man. Prisoners are often led to, and from, gaol by
their queues, sometimes three or four being tied together in a gang.

False hair is not confined entirely to the masculine queue. Chinese
ladies often use it as a kind of chignon; and it is an historical fact
that a famous Empress, who set aside the Emperor and ruled China with an
Elizabethan hand from A.D. 684 to 705, used to present herself in the
Council Chamber, before her astonished ministers, fortified by an
artificial beard.

Dyeing the hair, too, has been practised in China certainly from the
Christian era, if not earlier, chiefly by men whose hair and beards
begin to grow grey too soon. One of the proudest titles of the Chinese,
carrying them back as it does to prehistoric times, is that of the
Black-haired People, also a title, perhaps a mere coincidence, of the
ancient Accadians. In spite, however, of the universality of black hair
in both men and women, there are exceptions to the rule, and I myself
have seen a Chinese albino, with the usual light-coloured hair and pink

       *       *       *       *       *

The Rev. Dr. Arthur Smith, an American missionary, has long been known
for his keen insight into the workings of the Chinese mind. In his last
book, _China in Convulsion_, under the head of "Protestant Missions," he
makes the following important statement,—important not only to those
who intend to take part in missionary work, but also to the official, to
the explorer, and to the merchant:—

"It would be unfair," he says, "not to point out that when a large body
of Occidentals, imperfectly acquainted with the Chinese language,
etiquette, modes of thought, and intellectual presuppositions, begins on
a large and universal scale the preaching of an uncompromising system of
morals and doctrines like Christianity, there must be much which,
unconsciously to themselves, rouses Chinese prejudices."

The following maxim comes from Confucius:—

"If you visit a foreign State, ask what the prohibitions are; if you go
into a strange neighbourhood, enquire what the manners and customs are."
Certainly it is altogether desirable that a foreigner going to China,
whether in an official capacity, or as merchant, missionary, or
traveller, should have some acquaintance with the ordinary rules and
ceremonial of Chinese social life. Such knowledge will often go far to
smooth away Chinese prejudices against the barbarian, and on occasions
might conceivably aid in averting a catastrophe.

It is true that Lao Tzŭ said, "Ceremonies are but the veneer of loyalty
and good faith." His words, however, have not prevailed against the
teaching of Confucius, who was an ardent believer in the value of
ceremonial. One of the latter's disciples wished, as a humanitarian, to
abolish the sacrifice of a sheep upon the first day of every month; but
Confucius rebuked him, saying, "My son, you love the sheep; I love the

When, during his last visit to England, Li Hung-chang made remarks
about Mr. Chamberlain's eyeglass, he was considered by many to be
wanting in common politeness. But from the Chinese point of view it was
Mr. Chamberlain who was offending—quite unwittingly, of course—against
an important canon of good taste. It is a distinct breach of Chinese
etiquette to wear spectacles while speaking to an equal. The Chinese
invariably remove their glasses when conversing; for what reason I have
never been able to discover. One thing is quite certain: they do not
like being looked at through a medium of glass or crystal, and it costs
the foreigner nothing to fall in with their harmless prejudice.

Chinese street etiquette is also quite different from our own, a fact
usually ignored by blustering foreigners, who march through a Chinese
town as if the place belonged to them, and not infrequently complain
that coolies and others will not "get out of their way." Now there is
a graduated scale of Chinese street rights in this particular respect,
to which, as being recognised by the Chinese themselves, it would be
advisable for foreigners to pay some attention. In England it has
been successfully maintained that the roadway belongs to all equally,
foot-passengers, equestrians, and carriage-passengers alike. Not so in
China; the ordinary foot-passenger is bound to "get out of the way" of
the lowest coolie who is carrying a load; that same coolie must make
way, even at great inconvenience to himself, for a sedan-chair; an empty
chair yields the way to a chair with somebody inside; a chair, inasmuch
as being more manageable, gets out of the way of a horse; and horse,
chair, coolie, and foot-passenger, all clear the road for a wedding or
other procession, or for the retinue of a mandarin.

At the same time a Chinaman may stop his cart or barrow, or dump down
his load, just where-ever he pleases, and other persons have to make the
best of what is left of the road. I have even seen a theatrical stage
built right across a street, completely blocking it, so that all traffic
had to be diverted from its regular course. There are no municipal
regulations and no police in China, so that the people have to arrange
things among themselves; and, considering the difficulties inherent in
such an absence of government, it may fairly be said that they succeed
remarkably well.

When two friends meet in the street, either may put up his fan and
screen his face; whereupon the other will pass by without a sign of
recognition. The meaning is simply, "Too busy to stop for a chat," and
the custom, open and above-board as it is, compares favourably perhaps
with the "Not at home" of Western civilisation.

I do not know of any Chinese humorist who ever, as in the old story,
shouted out to a visitor, "I am not at home." Confucius himself
certainly came very near to doing so. It is on record that when an
unwelcome visitor came to call, the sage sent out to say that he was too
ill to receive guests, at the same time seizing his harpsichord and
singing to it from an open window, in order to expose the hollowness of
his own plea.

Any one on horseback, or riding in a sedan-chair, who happens to meet a
friend walking, must dismount before venturing to salute him. However to
obviate the constant inconvenience of so doing, the foot-passenger is in
duty bound to screen his face as above; and thus, by a fiction which
deceives nobody, much unnecessary trouble is saved.

When two mandarins of equal rank find themselves face to face in their
sedan-chairs, those attendants among their retinues who carry the
enormous wooden fans rush forward and insert these between the passing
chairs, so that their masters may be presumed not to see each other and
consequently not be obliged to get out.

No subordinate can ever meet a higher mandarin in this way; the former
must turn down some by-street immediately on hearing the approaching
gong of his superior officer. A mandarin's rank can be told by the
number of consecutive strokes on the gong, ranging from thirteen for a
viceroy to seven for a magistrate.

Take the case of a Chinese visitor. He should be received at the front
door, and be conducted by the host to a reception-room, the host being
careful to see that the visitor is always slightly in advance. The act
of sitting down should be simultaneous, so that neither party is
standing while the other is seated. If the host wishes to be very
attentive, he may take a cup of tea from his servant's hands and himself
arrange it for his guest.

Here comes another most important and universal rule: in handing
anything to, or receiving anything from, an equal both hands must be
used. A servant should hand a cup of tea with both hands, except when
serving his master and a guest. Then he takes one cup in each hand, and
hands them with the arms crossed. I was told that the crossing was in
order to exhibit to each the "heart," _i.e._ the palm, of the hand, in
token of loyalty.

There is a curious custom in connection with the invariable cup of tea
served to a visitor on arrival which is often violated by foreigners, to
the great amusement of the Chinese. The tea in question, known as
guest-tea, is not intended for ordinary drinking purposes, for which
wine is usually provided. No sooner does the guest raise the cup of tea
to his lips, or even touch it with his hand, than a shout is heard from
the servants, which means that the interview is at an end and that the
visitor's sedan-chair is to be got ready. Drinking this tea is, in fact,
a signal for departure. A host may similarly, without breach of good
manners, be the first to drink, and thus delicately notify the guest
that he has business engagements elsewhere.

Then again, it is the rule to place the guest at one's left hand, though
curiously enough this only dates from the middle of the fourteenth
century, previous to which the right hand was the place of honour.

Finally, when the guest takes his leave, it is proper to escort him back
to the front door. That, at any rate, is sufficient, though it is not
unusual to accompany a guest some part of his return journey. In fact,
the Chinese proverb says, "If you escort a man at all, escort him all
the way." This, however, is rhetorical rather than practical, somewhat
after the style of another well-known Chinese proverb, "If you bow at
all, bow low."

A Chinese invitation to dinner differs somewhat from a similar
compliment in the West. You will receive a red envelope containing a
red card,—red being the colour associated with festivity,—on which
it is stated that by noon on a given day the floor will be swept, the
wine-cups washed, and your host in waiting to meet your chariot. Later
on, a second invitation will arrive, couched in the same terms; and
again another on the day of the banquet, asking you to be punctual to
the minute. To this you pay no attention, but make preparations to
arrive about 4 P.M., previous to which another and more urgent summons
may very possibly have been sent. All this is conventional, and the
guests assemble at the same hour, to separate about 9 P.M.

Women take no part in Chinese social entertainments except among their
own sex. It is not even permissible to enquire after the wife of one's
host. Her very existence is ignored. A man will talk with pleasure about
his children, especially if his quiver is well stocked with boys.

In this connection I may say that the position of women in China still
seems to be very widely misunderstood. Not only that, but a very
frightful crime is alleged against the Chinese people as a common
practice in everyday life, which, if not actually approved, meets
everywhere with toleration.

I allude to the charge of infanticide, confined of course to girls, for
it has not often been suggested that Chinese parents do away with such a
valuable asset as a boy.

Miss Gordon Cumming, the traveller, in her _Wanderings in China_, has
the following impassioned paragraph in reference to her visit to

"The delicate fragrance (of the roses and honeysuckle), alas! cannot
overpower the appalling odours which here and there assail us, poisoning
the freshness of the evening breezes.

"These are wafted from the Baby Towers, two of which we had to pass.
These are square towers, with small windows, about twelve feet from the
ground, somewhat resembling pigeon-towers; these strange dove-cotes are
built to receive the bodies of such babies as die too young to have
fully developed souls, and therefore there is no necessity to waste
coffins on them, or even to take the trouble of burying them in the
bosom of mother earth. So the insignificant little corpse is handed over
to a coolie, who, for the sum of forty _cash_, equal to about five
cents, carries it away, ostensibly to throw it into one of these towers;
but if he should not choose to go so far, he gets rid of it somehow,—no
questions are asked, and there are plenty of prowling dogs ever on the
watch seeking what they may devour. To-day several poor uncoffined mites
were lying outside the towers, shrouded only in a morsel of old
matting—apparently they had been brought by some one who had failed to
throw them in at the window ('about twelve feet from the ground'), in
which, by the way, one had stuck fast!

"Some of these poor little creatures are brought here alive and left to
die, and some of these have been rescued and carried to foundling
hospitals. The neighbourhood was so pestiferous that we could only pause
a moment to look at 'an institution' which, although so horrible, is so
characteristic of this race, who pay such unbounded reverence to the
powerful dead who could harm them. Most of the bodies deposited here are
those of girl babies who have been intentionally put to death, but older
children are often thrown in."

With regard to this, I will only say that I lived all together for over
four years within a mile or so of these Towers, which I frequently
passed during the evening walk; and so far from ever seeing "several
poor uncoffined mites lying outside the towers, shrouded only in a
morsel of old matting," which Miss Gordon Cumming has described, I never
even saw one single instance of a tower being put to the purpose for
which it was built, viz.: as a burying-place for the dead infants of
people too poor to spend money upon a grave. As for living children
being thrown in, I think I shall be able to dispose of that statement a
little later on. Miss Gordon Cumming did not add that these towers are
cleared out at regular intervals by a Chinese charitable society which
exists for that purpose, the bodies burnt, and the ashes reverently

Mrs. Bird-Bishop, the traveller, is reported to have stated at a public
lecture in 1897, that "one of the most distressing features of Chinese
life was the contempt for women. Of eleven Bible-women whom she had seen
at a meeting in China, there was not one who had not put an end to at
least five girl-babies."

A Jesuit missionary has published a quarto volume, running to more than
270 pages, and containing many illustrations of infanticide, and the
judgments of Heaven which always come upon those who commit this crime.

Finally, if you ask of any Chinaman, he will infallibly tell you that
infanticide exists to an enormous extent everywhere in China; and as
though in corroboration of his words, alongside many a pool in South
China may be found a stone tablet bearing an inscription to the effect
that "Female children may not be drowned here." This would appear to end
the discussion; but it does not.

To begin with, the Chinese are very prone to exaggerate, especially to
foreigners, even their vices. They seem to think that some credit may be
extracted from anything, provided it is on a sufficiently imposing
scale, and I do not at all doubt the fact that eleven Bible-women told
Mrs. Bird-Bishop that they had each destroyed five girl-babies. It is
just what I should have expected. I remember, when I first went to Amoy,
it had been stated in print by a reckless foreigner that crucifixion of
a most horrible kind was one of the common punishments of the place. On
enquiring from the Chinese writer attached to the Consulate, the man
assured me that the story was quite true and that I could easily see for
myself. I told him that I was very anxious to do so, and promised him a
hundred dollars for the first case he might bring to my notice. Three
years later I left Amoy, with the hundred dollars still unclaimed.

Further, those Chinese who have any money to spare are much given to
good works, chiefly, I feel bound to add, in view of the recompense
their descendants will receive in this world and they themselves in the
next; also, because a rich man who does nothing in the way of charity
comes to be regarded with disapprobation by his poorer neighbours.
Such persons print and circulate gratis all kinds of religious tracts,
against gambling, wine-drinking, opium-smoking, infanticide, and so
forth; and these are the persons who set up the stone tablets
above-mentioned, regardless whether infanticide happens to be practised
or not.

Of course infanticide is known in China, just as it is known, too well
known, in England and elsewhere. What I hope to be able to show is that
infanticide is not more prevalent in China than in the Christian
communities of the West.

Let me begin by urging, what no one who has lived in China will deny,
that Chinese parents seem to be excessively fond of all their children,
male and female. A son is often spoken of playfully as a little dog,—a
puppy, in fact; a girl is often spoken of as "a thousand ounces of
gold," a jewel, and so forth. Sons are no doubt preferred; but is that
feeling peculiar to the Chinese?

A great deal too much has been made of a passage in the _Odes_, which
says that baby-sons should have sceptres to play with, while
baby-daughters should have tiles.

The allotment of these toys is not quite so disparaging as it seems. The
sceptre is indeed the symbol of rule; but the tile too has an honourable
signification, a tile being used in ancient China as a weight for the
spindle,—and consequently as a symbol of woman's work in the household.

Then, again, even a girl has a market value. Some will buy and rear them
to be servants; others, to be wives for their sons; while native
foundling hospitals, endowed by charitable Chinese, will actually pay a
small fee for every girl handed over them.

It is also curious to note how recent careful observers have several
times stated that they can find no trace of infanticide in their own
immediate districts, though they hear that it is extensively practised
in some other, generally distant, parts of the country.

After all, it is really a question which can be decided inferentially by

Every Chinese youth, when he reaches the age of eighteen, has a sacred
duty to perform: he must marry. Broadly speaking, every adult Chinaman
in the Empire has a wife; well-to-do merchants, mandarins, and others
have subordinate wives, two, three, and even four. The Emperor has
seventy-two. This being the case, and granting also a widespread
destruction of female children, it must follow that girls are born in an
overwhelmingly large proportion to boys, utterly unheard-of in any other
part of the world.

Are, then, Chinese women the down-trodden, degraded creatures we used to
imagine Moslem women to be?

I think this question must be answered in the negative. The young
Chinese woman in a well-to-do establishment is indeed secluded, in the
sense that her circle is limited to the family and to mends of the same

From time immemorial it has been the rule in China that men and women
should not pass things to one another,—for fear their hands might
touch. A local Pharisee tried to entangle the great Mencius in his
speech, asking him if a man who saw his sister-in-law drowning might
venture to pull her out. "A man," replied the philosopher, "who failed
to do so, would be no better than a wolf."

The Chinese lady may go out to pay calls, and even visit temples for
religious purposes, unveiled, veils for women having been abolished in
the first years of the seventh century of our era. Only brides wear them

Girls are finally separated from boys at seven or eight years of age,
when the latter go to school.

Some say that Chinese girls receive no education. If so, what is the
explanation of the large educational literature provided expressly for

One Chinese authoress, who wrote a work on the education of women,
complains that women can never expect more than ten years for their
education, _i.e._ the years between childhood and marriage.

The fact is that among the literary classes girls often receive a fair
education, as witness the mass of poetry published by Chinese women. One
of the Dynastic Histories was partly written by a woman. Her brother,
who was engaged on it, died, and she completed his work.

About the year 235 A.D., women were actually admitted to official life,
and some of them rose to important government posts. By the eighth
century, however, all trace of this system had disappeared.

The women of the poorer classes are not educated at all; nor indeed are
the men. Both sexes have to work as burden-carriers and field labourers;
and of course in such cases the restrictions mentioned above cannot be
rigorously enforced.

Women of the shopkeeper class often display great aptitude for business,
and render invaluable assistance to their husbands. As in France, they
usually keep the cash-box.

A mandarin's seal of office is his most important possession. If he
loses it, he may lose his post. Without the seal, nothing can be done;
with it, everything. Extraordinary precautions are taken when
transmitting new seals from Peking to the provinces. Every official seal
is made with four small feet projecting from the four corners of its
face, making it look like a small table. Of these, the maker breaks off
one when he hands the seal over to the Board. Before forwarding to the
Viceroy of the province, another foot is removed by the Board. A third
is similarly disposed of by the Viceroy, and the last by the official
for whose use it is intended. This is to prevent its employment by any
other than the person authorised. The seal is then handed over to the
mandarin's wife, in whose charge it always remains, she alone having the
power to produce it, or withhold it, as required.

A Chinese woman shares the titles accorded to her husband. When the
latter is promoted, the title of the wife is correspondingly advanced.
She also shares all posthumous honours, and her spirit, equally with her
husband's, is soothed by the ceremonies of ancestral worship.

"Ancestral worship" is a phrase of ominous import, suggesting as it does
the famous dispute which began to rage early in the eighteenth century
and is still raging to-day.

In every Chinese house stand small wooden tablets, bearing the names of
deceased parents, grandparents, and earlier ancestors. Plates of meat
and cups of wine are on certain occasions set before these tablets,
in the belief that the spirits of the dead occupy the tablets and
enjoy the offerings. The latter are afterward eaten by the family; but
pious Chinese assert that the flavour of the food and wine has been
abstracted. Similar offerings are made once a year at the tombs where
the family ancestors lie buried.

The question now arises, Are these offerings set forth in the same
spirit which prompts us to place flowers on graves, adorn statues, and
hold memorial services?

If so, a Chinese convert to Christianity may well be permitted to embody
these old observances with the ceremonial of his new faith.

Or do these observances really constitute worship? _i.e._ are the
offerings made with a view to propitiate the spirits of the dead, and
obtain from them increase of worldly prosperity and happiness?

In the latter case, ministers of the Christian faith would of course be
justified in refusing to blend ancestral worship with the teachings of

It would no doubt be very desirable to bring about a compromise, and
discover some _modus vivendi_ for the Chinese convert, other than that
of throwing over Confucianism with all its influence for good, and of
severing all family and social ties, and beginning life again as an
outcast in his own country; but I feel bound to say that in my opinion
these ancestral observances can only be regarded, strictly speaking, as
worship and as nothing else.

To return to the Chinese woman. She enjoys some privileges not shared by
men. She is exempt from the punishment of the bamboo, and, as a party to
a case, is always more or less a source of anxiety to the presiding
magistrate. No Chinaman will enter into a dispute with a woman if he can
help it,—not from any chivalrous feeling, but from a conviction that he
will surely be worsted in the end.

If she becomes a widow, a Chinese woman is not supposed to marry again,
though in practice she very often does so. A widow who remains unmarried
for thirty years may be recommended to the Throne for some mark of
favour, such as an honorary tablet, or an ornamental archway, to be put
up near her home. It is essential, however, that her widowhood should
have begun before she was thirty years of age.

Remarriage is viewed by many widows with horror. In my own family I once
employed a nurse—herself one of seven sisters—who was a widow, and who
had also lost half the little finger of her left hand. The connecting
link between these two details is not so apparent to us as it might be
to the Chinese. After her husband's death the widow decided that she
would never marry again, and in order to seal irrevocably her vow, she
seized a meat-chopper and lopped off half her finger on the spot. The
finger-top was placed in her husband's coffin, and the lid was closed.

This woman, who was a Christian, and the widow of a native preacher, had
large, _i.e._ unbound, feet. Nevertheless, she bound the feet of her
only daughter, because, as she explained, it is so difficult to get a
girl married unless she has small feet.

Here we have the real obstacle to the abolition of this horrible custom,
which vast numbers of intelligent Chinese would be only too glad to get
rid of, if fashion did not stand in the way.

There has been in existence now for some years a well-meaning
association, known as the Natural Foot Society, supported by both
Chinese and foreigners, with the avowed object of putting an end to the
practice of foot-binding. We hear favourable accounts of its progress;
but until there is something like a national movement, it will not do to
be too sanguine.

We must remember that in 1664 one of China's wisest and greatest
Emperors, in the plenitude of his power issued an Imperial edict
forbidding parents in future to bind the feet of their girls. Four years
later the edict was withdrawn.

The Emperor was K'ang Hsi, whose name you have already heard in
connection with the standard dictionary of the Chinese language and
other works brought out under his patronage. A Tartar himself,
unaccustomed to the sight of Tartar women struggling in such fetters, he
had no sympathy with the custom; but against the Chinese people, banded
together to safeguard their liberty of action in a purely domestic
matter, he was quite unable to prevail.

Within the last few weeks another edict has gone forth, directed against
the practice of foot-binding. Let us hope it will have a better fate.

Many years ago the prefect of T'ai-wan Fu said to me, in the course of
an informal conversation after a friendly dinner, "Do you foreigners
fear the inner ones?"—and on my asking what was meant, he told me that
a great many Chinese stood in absolute awe of their wives. "_He_ does,"
added the prefect, pointing to the district magistrate, a rather
truculent-looking individual, who was at the dinner-party; and the other
guests went into a roar of laughter.

The general statement by the prefect is borne out by the fact that the
"henpecked husband" is constantly held up to ridicule in humorous
literature, which would be quite impossible if there were no foundation
of fact.

I have translated one of these stories, trivial enough in itself, but,
like the proverbial straw, well adapted for showing which way the wind
blows. Here it is:—

Ten henpecked husbands agreed to form themselves into a society for
resisting the oppression of their wives. At the first meeting they were
sitting talking over their pipes, when suddenly the ten wives, who had
got wind of the movement, appeared on the scene.

There was a general stampede, and nine of the husbands incontinently
bolted through another door, only one remaining unmoved to face the
music. The ladies merely smiled contemptuously at the success of their
raid, and went away.

The nine husbands them all agreed that the bold tenth man, who had not
run away, should be at once appointed their president; but on coming to
offer him the post, they found that he had died of fright!

To judge by the following story, the Chinese woman's patience is
sometimes put to a severe test.

A scholar of old was so absent-minded, that on one occasion, when he was
changing houses, he forgot to take his wife. This was reported to
Confucius as a most unworthy act. "Nay," replied the Master, "it is
indeed bad to forget one's wife; but 'tis worse to forget one's self!"

Points of this kind are, no doubt, trivial, as I have said above,
and may be regarded by many even as flippant; but the fact is that a
successful study of the Chinese people cannot possibly be confined to
their classics and higher literature, and to the problem of their origin
and subsequent development where we now find them. It must embrace the
lesser, not to say meaner, details of their everyday life, if we are
ever to pierce the mystery which still to a great extent surrounds them.

In this sense an Italian student of Chinese, Baron Vitale, has gone so
far as to put together and publish a collection of Chinese nursery
rhymes, from which it is not difficult to infer that Chinese babies are
very much as other babies are in other parts of the world.

And it has always seemed to me that the Chinese baby's father and
mother, so far as the ordinary springs of action go, are very much of a
pattern with the rest of mankind.

One reason why the Chinaman remains a mystery to so many is due, no
doubt, to the vast amount of nonsense which is published about him.

First of all, China is a very large country, and from want of proper
means of communication for many centuries, there has been nothing like
extensive intercourse between North, South, East, West, and Central. Of
course the officials visit all parts of the Empire, as they are
transferred from post to post; but the bulk of the people never get far
beyond the range of their own district city.

The consequence is that as regards manners and customs, while retaining
an indelible national imprint, the Chinese people have drifted apart
into separate local communities; so that what is true of one part of the
country is by no means necessarily true of another.

The Chinese themselves say that manners, which they think are due to
climatic influences, change every thirty miles; customs, which they
attribute to local idiosyncrasies, change every three hundred miles.

Now, a globe-trotter goes to Canton, and as one of the sights of that
huge collection of human beings, he is taken to shops,—there used to be
three,—where the flesh of dogs, fed for the purpose, is sold as food.

He comes home, and writes a book, and says that the Chinese people live
on dogs' flesh.

When I was a boy, I thought that every Frenchman had a frog for
breakfast. Each statement would be about equally true. In the north of
China, dogs' flesh is unknown; and even in the south, during all my
years in China I never succeeded in finding any Chinaman who either
could, or would, admit that he had actually tasted it.

Take the random statement that any rich man condemned to death can
procure a substitute by payment of so much. So long as we believe stuff
of that kind, so long will the Chinese remain a mystery for us, it being
difficult to deduce true conclusions from false premises.

As a matter of fact, that is, so far as my own observations go, the
Chinese people value life every whit as highly as we do, and a
substitute of the kind would be quite unprocurable under ordinary
circumstances. It is thinkable that some poor wretch, himself under
sentence of death, might be substituted with the connivance of the
officials, to hoodwink foreigners; but even then the difficulties would
be so great as to render the scheme almost impracticable.

For in China everything leaks out. There is none of that secrecy
necessary to conceal and carry out such a plot.

At any rate, the uncertainty which gathers around many of these points
emphasises the necessity of more and more accurate scholarship in
Chinese, and more and more accurate information on the people of China
and their ways.

How the latter article is supplied to us in England, you may judge from
some extracts which I have recently taken from respectable daily and
weekly newspapers.

For instance, "China has only one hundred physicians to a population of
four hundred millions."

To me it is inconceivable how such rubbish can be printed, especially
when it is quite easy to find out that there is no medical diploma in
China, and that any man who chooses is free to set up as a doctor.

By a pleasant fiction, he charges no fees; a fixed sum, however, is paid
to him for each visit, as "horse-money,"—I need hardly add, in advance.

There are, as with us, many successful, and consequently fashionable,
doctors whose "horse-money" runs well into double figures. Their success
must be due more to good luck and strictly innocent prescriptions than
to any guidance they can find in the extensive medical literature of

All together, medicine is a somewhat risky profession, as failure to
cure is occasionally resented by surviving relatives.

There is a story of a doctor who had mismanaged a case, and was seized
by the patient's family and tied up. In the night he managed to free
himself, and escaped by swimming across a river. When he got home, he
found his son, who had just begun to study medicine, and he said to him,
"Don't be in a hurry with your books; the first and most important thing
is to learn to swim!"

Here is another newspaper gem: "In China, the land of opposites, the
dials of the clocks are made to turn round, while the hands stand

Personally, I never noticed this arrangement.

Again: "Some of the tops with which the Chinese amuse themselves are as
large as barrels. It takes three men to spin one, and it gives off a
sound that may be heard several hundred yards away."

"The Chinese National Anthem is so long that it takes half a day to sing

"Chinese women devote very little superfluous time to hair-dressing.
Their tresses are arranged once a month, and they sleep with their heads
in boxes."

What we want in place of all this is a serious and systematic
examination of the manners and customs, and modes of thought, of the
Chinese people.

Their long line of Dynastic Histories must be explored and their
literature ransacked by students who have got through the early years of
drudgery inseparable from the peculiar nature of the written language,
and who are prepared to devote themselves, not, as we do now, to a
general knowledge of the whole, but to a thorough acquaintance with some
particular branch.

The immediate advantages of such a course, as I must point out once
more, for the last time, to commerce and to diplomatic relations will be
incalculable. And they will be shared in by the student of history,
philosophy, and religion, who will then for the first time be able to
assign to China her proper place in the family of nations.

The founder of this Chinese Chair has placed these advantages within the
grasp of Columbia University.



  _Account of Strange Nations_, book in Cambridge collection, 58.

  Albinos, Chinese, 181.

  Alchemy, Taoist practice, 166-168.

  _Analects_, Confucian Canon, 42.

  Ancestral worship, China, 199-201.

  Ancestry of Chinese traced through mother in ancient times, 27.

  Ancient Greece, _see_ Greece.

  "And," idea in Chinese written character, 28.

    Chinese dictionaries and work, 120.
    Confucian Canon, archæological works referring to, 43.
    "Ark," erroneous analysis of Chinese written character, 34.

  Athenian and Chinese women, points of resemblance, 121.

  Baby Towers, Chinese infanticide, 190-192.

    Alchemy, practice imported into China, 166
    Mission of Chang Ch'ien, 130-131

  Bamboo tables, style of Chinese writing, 26

    _Historical Record_, 46-47.
    National and private records, 49-50.

  _Biographies of Eminent Women_, description, 50.

  Bird-Bishop, Mrs., statement as to infanticide, 192, 193.

  Black art, Taoism, 168-170.

  Black-haired People, title of Chinese, 181.

  _Book of Changes_, Confucian Canon, 40.

  _Book of History_, Confucian Canon, 41.

  _Book of Odes, see Odes_.

  _Book of Music_, Confucian Canon, 42.

  _Books of Rites_, Confucian Canon, 42.

  Books, Chinese, _see_ Library, Cambridge University.

  Buddhism in China—
    Borrowing from Tao, 172.
    Buddhist priest anecdote, 138.
    Cambridge collection, Buddhist works, 44.
    Date of appearance, 171, 172.
    Struggle with Taoism, 172.

  Burning of the Books, 44, 129.

  Butchers, tax on, resisted, 93-95.

  Calendars, Greek and Chinese, similarities, 129.

  Cambridge University library, _see_ Library.

  Canon, _see_ Confucian Canon.

    Dogs' flesh shops, 207.
    Riot, 1880, 99-101.

  Catalogue of books in Imperial Library, China, 69-70.

  Ceremonies, valued by Confucius, 182.

  Chamberlain, J., eyeglass remarked on by Li Hung-chang, 182-183.

  Chang Ch'ien, mission to Bactria, 130-131.

  Chang Chih-tung, viceroy, bridge incident, 97.

  Changes, Book of, Confucian Canon, 40.

  Charities, Chinese, 193-194.

  Characters of Chinese language, _see_ Language.

  Ch'ien Lung, Emperor, catalogue enterprise, 69.

    Fondness of parents for, 194.
    Girls, _see that title_.
    Infanticide, _see that title_.
    Nursery rhymes published by Baron Vitale, 206.
    Toys, passage in the _Odes_, 195.

    Albinos, 181.
    Alchemy, 166-168.
    Ancestral worship, 199-201.
    Ancestry traced through mother in ancient times, 27.
    Anecdote, Grecian, in Chinese jest-book, 138.
    Archæology, _see that title_.
    Bactria, _see that title_.
    Biographies, _see that title_.
    Black art, 168-170.
    Buddhism, _see that title_.
    Burning of the Books, 44, 129.
    Calendars, Grecian characteristics, 129.
    Cambridge University library, _see_ Library.
    Canton, _see that title_.
    Chang Ch'ien, mission to Bactria, 130-131.
    Charities, 193-194.
    Children, _see that title_.
    City sights resembling Grecian, 122-124.
    Clocks, _see that title_.
    Columbia University, endowment of Chinese chair, 4, 37, 211.
    Combination, 92.
    Confucius _and_ Confucian Canon, _see those titles_.
    Counting board, likeness to Grecian, 128.
    Crucifixion, alleged punishment, 193.
    "Crying one's wrongs," 101-102.
    Customs varying with places, 207.
    Dictionaries, _see that title_.
    Diplomatists, _see_ Statesmen.
    Doctors, "horse-money," etc., 209-210.
    Dogs' flesh, Canton shops, 207.
    Drama, _see_ Plays.
    Dress, _see that title_.
    Dutch settlement, story of, 137.
    Dynasties and Dynastic histories, _see those titles_.
    Education, _see that title_.
    Elixir of life, 163-170.
    Emperors, _see that title_.
    Encyclopædias, _see that title_.
    Entertainments, Grecian points of contact, 126.
    Erroneous ideas of Chinese life, 189-210.
    Etiquette, _see that title_.
    Exaggeration, fault of Chinese, 193.
    Execution substitutes, erroneous idea, 208.
    Eyeglasses, _see that title_.
    Facial differences of Chinese, 177.
    First impressions of foreigners, 177.
    Foot-binding, _see that title_.
    Games, Grecian similarities, 126.
    Girls, _see that title_.
    Government, _see that title_.
    Greek influence, _see_ Greece.
    Guests, _see_ Visitors.
    Hair, _see that title_.
    Han Yü, great works of, 117.
    Hankow military riot, 1882, 97.
    "Heavenly horse", 131-133.
    "Henpecked husbands", 204.
    History, _see that title_.
    Horses, _see that title_.
    House, Greek characteristics, 120-121.
    Huai-nan, Prince of, _see that title_.
    Immortality, _see that title_.
    Infanticide, _see that title_.
    Ivory carvings, Grecian resemblances, 124-125.
    Jesuits in China, _see that title_.
    Jews, 144.
    Jugglers similar to Grecian, 124.
    Justice, _see that title_.
    K'ang Hsi, Emperor, _see that title_.
    Kiangsu riot, 99.
    Language, _see that title_.
    Lao Tzŭ, _see_ Taoism.
    Library, Cambridge University, _see that title_.
    Library, Imperial, catalogue, 69-70.
    Li Hung-chang, _see that title_.
    "Lion," word for, 23, 133.
    Literary qualities of nation, 72.
    Literature, _see that title_.
    Magic, _see that title_.
    Magistrates, _see that title_.
    Mahommedanism, 143.
    Manchus, imprisonment, 1891, people's fury, 98.
    Mandarin language _and_ Mandarins, _see those titles_.
    Manichæans, 144.
    Marriage customs, _see that title_.
    Mencius, _see that title_.
    Mental and moral training, relative values of Greek and Chinese,
    Mirrors, ancient Chinese and Greek, 132-133.
    Murder, conviction for, illustrations, 103-106.
    Music, _see that title_.
    Mystery—the Chinaman a mystery, 206, 208.
    Nestorian Christians, 143.
    Newspaper extracts, 209-210.
    Novels, 61-62.
    Official coats, "horse-shoe sleeves," 179.
    Official positions, _see that title_.
    Olive, Greek and Chinese associations, 128.
    Opposites—China regarded as land of opposites, 119, 210.
    Penal code, 56, 87-88.
    Personal freedom, 87-88.
    Plays, _see that title_.
    Poetry, _see that title_.
    Population, vastness of, 3.
    Portrait-painting, _see that title_.
    Protestant missionaries, 144.
    Puppet shows, alleged origin, 123.
    Quails, fighting, common custom in Greece and China, 126.
    Queue _see that title_.
    Readers, professional, 61.
    Religions, _see that title_.
    Rhyme, 67-68.
    Riots—people's self-government, 97-101.
    Rip Van Winkle, story of, 55.
    Roman Catholicism, 144.
    _Romance of Three Kingdoms_, novel, 61-62.
    Self-government, illustrations, 69-106.
    Self-taxation, _see_ Taxation.
    Senior Classics _see that title_.
    Social life, knowledge of, 181-182.
    Spanish seizure of islands, method of, 136.
    Statesmen, _see that title_.
    Statutes of present dynasty, 56.
    Story-tellers, 61, 123.
    Street etiquette and rights, 183-186.
    Study of Chinese affairs—
      Advantages of study, 140, 211.
      Columbia University endowment, 4, 37, 211.
      Language, _see that title_.
      People, study of, 205-206.
      Recent growth of study, 3.
      Students needed, 139, 208, 211.
    Taoism, _see that title_.
    Taxation _see that title_.
    Viceroys, 76, 82, 83.
    Visitors, _see that title_.
    Water-clocks, Grecian, 128.
    Watermelon, term for, Greek origin, 134.
    Wên T'ien-hsiang, influence of Chinese literature and training on,
    Western incidents in literature, 135-139.
    Widows, 201-202.
    Wine, introduction of grape-wine, 131.
    Wine-drinking, _see that title_.
    Women, _see that title_.
    Wuchang bridge incident, 97.
    Zebra, picture of, in ancient Chinese book, 59.
    Zoroastrians in, 144.

  Christians, Nestorian, in China, 143.

  Christianity and ancestral worship in China, 109-201.

  Chuang Tzŭ, Taoist writer, 148, 154-160, 165, 171.

  Chu Hsi, commentary, 43.

  Chung-king, tax on pigs resisted, 93-95.

  Circuits, division of provinces into, 76, 83.

  Classics, study of, relative values of Chinese and Greek training,

  Clocks, Chinese—
     Newspaper extract, 210.
     Water-clocks, Grecian and Chinese, 128.

  Coats, official, "horse-shoe sleeves," 179.

  Colloquial language, _see_ Language.

  Columbia University, endowment of Chinese chair, 4, 37, 211.

  Combination against taxation, 92.

  Commentaries, Confucian Canon, 43.

  Commissioners, provincial government, 81.

  Concordance to phraseology of Chinese literature, 65-69.

  Confucian Canon, Cambridge University Library—
    _Analects_, 42.
    Archæological works, 43.
    _Book of Changes_, 40.
    _Book of History_, 41.
    _Book of Music_, 42.
    _Book of Odes_, _see Odes_.
    _Book of Rites_, 42.
    Commentaries, 43.
    Conversations of Mencius with disciples, 42.
    _Doctrine of the Mean_, 42.
    Five Classics, 40-42.
    Four Books, 42.
    _Great Learning_, 42.
    _Spring and Autumn_, 41.

    Acquaintance with Lao Tzŭ alleged, 146-147.
    Confucian Canon, _see that title_.
    Maxims and sayings, 182, 205.
    Unwelcome visitor anecdote, 185.
    Value of ceremonial, 182.

  Counting-board, Chinese, likeness to Grecian, 128.

  Crucifixion, alleged punishment in China, 193.

  "Crying one's wrongs," 101-102.

  Cumming, Miss G.—infanticide in China, 189-192.

  Dialects, Chinese language, 6-10.

  Dice games in Greece and China, 126.

  Dictionaries, Chinese—
     Cambridge library collection—
       Concordance to phraseology, 65-69.
       Hsü Shên, work of, 63-64.
       Modern standard dictionary, 64-65.
     Encyclopædias, _see that title_.
     Lao Tzŭ's treatise, characters not found in dictionary, 149-150.

  Dinner, invitation to, 188.

  Diplomatists, _see_ Statesmen.

  Doctors, Chinese, "horse-money," etc., 209-210.

  _Doctrine of the Mean_, Confucian Canon, 42.

  Doctrines, _see_ Religions.

  Dogs' flesh, Canton shops, 207.

  Drama, _see_ Plays.

  Drawing, chapters on, in Chinese encyclopædia, 53.

  Dress, Chinese—
    Official coats, 179.
    Veils for women, abolition of, 197.

  Dress, Japanese, misconception as to, 178.

  Dutch settlement in China, story of, 137.

  Dyeing the hair, practice of, 180.

  Dynastic histories—
    Cambridge collection—
      Biographies, _see that title_.
      Edition of 1747, 45.
      Encyclopædias, _see that title_.
      _Historical Record, see that title_.
      _Mirror of History_, by Tsŭma Kuang.
      Penal Code, 56.
      _Record in Dark Blood_, 57.
      Reprints, 55.
      Statutes of present dynasty, 56.
      "Veritable Record", 48.
    Woman's work, 197.

  Dynasties of China—
    Histories, _see_ Dynastic histories.
    History compilation custom, 47.
    Ming dynasty, _see that title_.
    Statutes of present dynasty, 56.

    Value of, 72, 79
    Women, 197-198.

  Elixir of life, Taoist doctrine, 163, 170.

  Emperors of China—
    Ch'ien Lung, catalogue enterprise, 69.
    Government of the Emperor, 75.
    K'ang Hsi, _see that title_.
    Ming dynasty, character and end of last Emperor, 117-119.

  Encyclopædias, Cambridge collection, 51-54.
    Arrangement, 54.
    Drawing, chapters on, 53.
    Portrait-painting topic, 53.
    _San T'sai Tu Hui_, 52-53.
    [_See also_ Dictionaries.]

  England, Cambridge University library, _see_ Library.

  English—"pidgin" English, 17.

  Entertainments, Chinese and Grecian, 126-127.

    Glasses, removal when conversing, 183.
    Street etiquette, 183-186.
    Visitors, _see that title_.

  Exaggeration, Chinese, 193.

  Execution substitutes, erroneous idea, 208.

    Chamberlain's, J., remarks by Li Hung-chang, 182-183.
    Chinese etiquette, removal of spectacles, 183.

  _Family Library_, Chinese reprints.

  Fay, Miss, student of Chinese, 6.

  Fielde, Miss, student of Chinese, 6.

  Finance commissioner, provincial official, 81.

  Five Classics, Confucian Canon, 40-42.

    Edicts prohibiting, 203.
    Fashion, obstacle to abolition, 202.

  Fulangbis, seizure of islands from China, 136.

  Fusang, account of, in Chinese book, 58.

  Games, Chinese, similarity to Grecian, 126.

  Geography, Chinese, Cambridge collection, 57.

    Education, 197.
    Foot-binding, _see that title_.
    Market value, 195.
    [_See also_ Women]

  Glasses, _see_ Eyeglasses.

  "God," analysis of Chinese written character, 33.

    Circuits, 76, 83.
    "Crying one's wrongs," 101-103.
    Dynasties, _see that title_.
    Emperors, _see that title_.
    Headboroughs, 77-78.
    Justice, _see that title_.
    Magistrates, _see that title_.
    Mandarins, _see that title_.
    Mencius, quotations from, 84-87.
    Ming dynasty, _see that title_.
    Official positions, _see that title_.
    Penal Code, 56, 87-88.
    Prefectures, 76, 83.
    Provincial government, _see that title_.
    Scale of governors, 78.
    Self-government illustrations, 96-106.
    Viceroys, 76, 82, 83.

  Governors of provinces, 76, 83.

  Grain commissioner, provincial official, 81.

  Granville, Lord, influence of the classics on, 112.

  Grammar, Chinese, absence of, 10.

  Grape-wine introduced into China, 131.

  _Great Learning_, Confucian Canon, 42.

  Greece, ancient Greece and China—
    Archæology, Greek and Chinese, 120.
    Bactria, _see that title_.
    Buddhist priest anecdote in Chinese jest-book, 188.
    Calendars, 129.
    City sights in China, 123-124.
    Classics, relative values of Chinese and Greek training, 109-119.
    Coincidences between Chinese and Greek civilisations, 120-139.
    Counting-board, 128.
    Entertainments, 126-127.
    Games, 126.
    "Heavenly horse," 131, 133.
    House, Chinese, Greek characteristics, 120-131.
    Ivory carvings, 124-125.
    Language, terms of abuse, 124.
    Literatures of China and western nations, analogies, 135-139.
    Marriage, similar customs, 122.
    Mirrors, 132-133.
    Music, 129.
    Olives, 128.
    Plays, 125-126.
    Quails, fighting, 126.
    Question of Greek influence, 130-133.
    Water-clock, 128.
    Wine-drinking, 126-127.
    Women, points of resemblance, 121-122.
    Words, Chinese, Greek origin, 133-135.

  "Guess-fingers," game of, common to Greece and China, 126.

  Guests, _see_ Visitors.

    Black-haired People, title of Chinese, 181.
    Dyeing, 180.
    False hair, 180.
    Queue, _see that title_.

  Han Fei Tzŭ, writer on Taoism, 148.

  Hangchow tea strike, 95.

  Hankow military riot, 1882, 97.

  Han Yü, statesman, great works of, 117.

  Headboroughs, government of Chinese boroughs, 77-78.

  "Heavenly horse," origin of, 131, 133.

  Hebrews in China, 144.

  "Henpecked husbands," 204.

  _Historical Record_—
    Alchemy, 166.
    Sketch of contents, 45-47.

    B.C., 130.
    _Book of History_, Confucian Canon, 41.
    Dynastic histories, _see that title._
    _Mirror of History_, 49.

  Holland—story of Dutch settlement in China, 137.

  "Horse-money," Chinese doctors' fees, 209.

    "Heavenly horse," 131, 133.
    Official coats, "horse-shoe sleeves," 179.
    Respect for, origin of queue, 179.

  House, Chinese, Greek characteristics, 120-121.

  Hsü Shên dictionary, 63-64.

  Huai-nan, Prince of—
    Discovery of elixir of life, 168.
    Taoist writings, 149.

  Husbands, "henpecked," 204.

  Immortality, Taoist doctrine—
    Elixir of life, 163-170.
    Memorial of aggrieved Confucianist, 170.
    Pills of immortality concocted, effect of, 167.

  Imperial Library catalogue, 69-70.

  Imperial statutes, present Chinese dynasty, 56.

  Inaction, doctrine of, Lao Tzŭ's philosophy, 152, 156.

    Baby Towers, 190-192.
    Bird-Bishop, Mrs., statement of, 192,193.
    Chinese exaggeration, 192-193.
    Cumming, Miss G., writings of, 189-192.
    Drowning children in pools, 192-193.
    Jesuit writings, illustrations, 192.
    Market value of girls, 195.
    Negative argument, 193-195.
    [See also _Children._]

  Intendant of circuit, official, 76, 83.

  Invitation to dinner, 188.

  Ivory carvings, Greek and Chinese, 124-125.

    Dress, misconception as to, 178.
    Language, absence of terms of abuse, 124.

  Jebb, Sir K., influence of the classics in mental training, case of
    Lord Granville, 109-113.

  Jesuits in China—
    Infanticide illustrations in writings, 192.
    Music of Greeks borrowed from Chinese, alleged, 129.
    Translation of Chinese character into "ark," 34.

  Jews in China, 144.

  Jugglers, Chinese and Grecian, 124.

    Administration of, 102-104.
    Commissioner of, 81.

  K'ang Hsi, Emperor—
    Dictionary and phrase-concordance ordered, 64, 65.
    Foot-binding prohibited by, 203.

  Kiangsu riot, 99.

  Language, Chinese—
      Coupling of words, 20.
      Dialects, number and distinction of, 6-10.
      Lack of vocables, 17-21.
      Mandarin, _see that title_.
      Monosyllables, incapable of inflection, 10-17.
      Rhyme, 67-68.
      Simpleness of study, 4-5.
      Suffixes, 21.
      Tenses, 13-15.
      Tones, _see that title_.
    Dialects, number and distinction of, 6-10.
    Dictionaries, _see that title_.
    Grammar, absence of, 10.
    Greek words, 133-135.
    "Lion," word for, 23,133.
    Mandarin language, _see that title_.
    "Pidgin" English, 17.
    Study of—
      Advantages and objects of study, 107.
      Relative values of Chinese and Greek, 109.
      Students of Chinese wanted, 139.
      Women students—Misses Fay and Fielde, 6.
    Terms of abuse, 124.
    Tones, _see that title_.
      Bamboo tablets, 26.
      Conjunction "and," 28.
      Difficulty of study, 5-6.
      Errors in analysis of words, 33-35.
      Non-application of rule in cases, 32.
      Number of words, 18, 19.
      Origin and development, 25-32.
      Paper, invention of, 26.
      Parts of written characters, 22-28.
      Phonetic basis and indicator, 29-36.
        Hsü Shên dictionary, 63-64.
        Modern standard dictionary, 64-65.
      Pictures of words and ideas, 25-28.
      Uniformity all over China, 22.

  Language, Japanese, absence of terms of abuse, 124.

  Lao Tzŭ, _see_ Taoism.

  Library, Cambridge University, collection of Chinese books—
    Account of strange nations, 58.
    Binding of volumes, etc., 40.
    Biographies, _see that title_.
    Buddhist works, 44.
    Catalogue of Imperial Chinese Library, 69-70.
    Collection of the books, 39.
    Concordance to phraseology of all literature, 65-69.
    Confucian Canon, _see that title_.
    Dictionaries, _see that title_.
    Division A, 40-44.
    Division B, 45-57.
    Division C, 47-60.
    Division D, 60-63.
    Division E, 63.
    Dynastic histories, _see that title_.
    Encyclopædias, _see that title_.
    Geography of the Empire, 57.
    Historical collection, _see_ Dynastic histories.
    Illustrated books—notices of Senior Classics of Ming dynasty, 70-71.
    Novels, 61-62.
    Number of volumes, 40.
    Oldest printed book in the library, 58.
    Plays, 62-63.
    Poetry, 60.
    Reference works, 63.
    Reprints, 55.
    T'ai-p'ing rebels, pamphlets, 56.
    Taoist writings, 44.
    Topographies, 57-30.

  Library, Imperial, China, catalogue, 69-70.

  Life, elixir of, Taoist doctrine, 163-170.

  Li Hung-chang—
    Diplomatic abilities, 112.
    Remark on Mr. Chamberlain's eyeglass, 182-183.

  _Likin_, self-taxation of Chinese, 89-90.

  "Lion," Chinese word for, 23, 133.

  Literary qualities of Chinese nation, 72.

  Literature, Chinese—
    Cambridge University library, _see_ Library.
    Concordance to phraseology, 65-69.
    Relative values of Chinese and Greek in mental and moral training,
    Western incidents in, 133-139.

  Liu Hsiang, _Biographies of Eminent Women_, 50.

  Luzon (Philippines), Spanish seizure, 136.

    Jugglers, Chinese and Grecian, 124.
    Taoist black art,  168-170.

    Advancement in ranks, 78.
    Deputy official, test of, 79-80.
    Division of prefectures into magistracies, 76.
    Duties, 80.
    Expenses of education no obstacle,  79.
    Income, 82-83.
    Law experts in offices, 56.
    Real rulers of China, 78.

  Mahommedanism in China, 143.

  Manchus, imprisonment, 1891, people's fury, 98.

  Mandarin language—
    Importance of "official language," 7-10.
    Sounds for conveyance of speech, lack of, 17-21.
    Study of, 10-21.
    [_See also_ Language.]

    Meeting in street, 186.
    Seal of office, 198-199.

  Manichæans in China, 144.

  Marriage customs—
    Grecian customs, similarity of, 122.
    Widows, 201-202.
    Wives, number of, 196.

    Attacks on heterodox systems, 147.
    Conversations with disciples, book of Confucian Canon, 42.
    Lao Tzŭ, no allusion to, in writings, 147.
    Quotations from, 84-87, 196-197.

  Ming dynasty—
    Emperor, character and end of last Emperor, 117-119.
    History, quotations, 136.
    Overthrow, 118-119.
    Senior Classics, illustrated books, 70-71.

  _Mirror of History_, by Ssŭ-ma Kuang, 49.

  Mirrors, ancient Chinese and Greek, 132-133.

  Missionaries, Protestant, in China, 144.

  Monosyllables, Chinese language, incapable of inflection, 10-17.

  Murder, conviction for, illustrations, 103-106.

    _Book of Music_, Confucian Canon, 42.
    Burning of the Books, music destroyed, 129.
    Greek characteristics, 129.

  Nestorian Christians in China, 143.

  Netherlands—story of Dutch settlement in China, 137.

  Novels, Chinese, 61-62.

  Odes, Book of, Confucian Canon, 41.
    Mirrors mentioned in, 132.
    Standard of rhyme, 67.
    Toys of boy and girl babies, 195.

  Official coats, "horse-shoe sleeves," 179.

  Official positions in China—
    Law experts in offices of judge of criminal cases, 56.
    Senior Classics, _see that title_.
    Value of, 72.
    Women once admitted to, 198.
    [_See also_ Government.]

  Olives, Greek and Chinese associations, 128.

  Opposites, China regarded as land of, 119, 210.

  Painting the face, custom of Chinese and Grecian women, 122.

  Pakhoi, opium tax resisted, 95-96.

  Paper, invention of, effect on style of Chinese writing, 26.

  Pegasus—Chinese "heavenly horse" compared, 133.

  Peking, dialect of, standard Mandarin, 8.

  Penal Code, Chinese, 56, 87-88.

  Persia—"heavenly horse" in China, 131,133.

  Philippines, Spanish seizure from China, 136.

  Phonetic basis and indicator, _see_ Language—Written.

  Phraseology concordance, Chinese, 65-69.

  "Pidgin" English, 17.

  Pigs, tax on, resisted, 93-95.

  Pills of immortality, concoction and effect of, 107.

    Editions of, 62-33.
    Grecian similarities, 125-126.

    Cambridge collection, 60.
    Taoist poet, quotations from, 160-163.
    Women writers, 60, 197.

  Population, Chinese, vastness of, 3.

  Portrait-painting, Chinese—
    Encyclopædia topic, 53.
    Story, 53.

  Prefectures, division of circuits, 76, 83.

  Priest, Buddhist priest anecdote, 138.

  Prince Huai-nan, _see_ Huai-nan.

  Protestant missionaries in China, 144.

  Provincial government—
    Division of provinces, 76, 78.
    Governors, 76, 83.
    Officials, commissioners, etc., 81-82.
    Viceroys, 76, 82, 83.

  Puppet-shows, China, alleged origin of, 123.

  Pythagorean and Chinese systems of music, similarity of, 129.

  Quails, fighting, Grecian and Chinese custom, 126.

    False hair, 180.
    Tartars, fight against queue, 179.
    Theories as to origin, 178-179.

  Readers, professional, Chinese, 61.

  _Record in Dark Blood_, historical section, Cambridge, 57.

  Relativity, doctrine of, Lao Tzŭ's teachings, 156.

    Buddhism, _see that title_.
    Classification—Three Doctrines, 143, 145.
    Confucian Canon, _see that title_.
    Jews, 144.
    Lao Tzŭ, _see_ Taoism.
    Mahommedanism, 143.
    Manichæans, 144.
    Nestorian Christians, 143.
    Protestant missionaries, 144.
    Roman Catholicism, 144.
    Taoism, _see that title_.
    Zoroastrians, 144.

  Reprints, Chinese—
    Cambridge collection, 55.
    _Family Library_, 55.

  Rhyme, Chinese, 67-68.

  Riots, Chinese, people's self-government, 97-101.

  Rip Van Winkle, Chinese, story of, 55.

  Rites, Book of, Confucian Canon, 42.

  Roman Catholicism in China, 144.

  Roman classics, relative values of Chinese and Greek training, 109-110.

  _Romance of Three Kingdoms_, novel, 61-62.

  Salt commissioner, provincial official, 81.

  Sanskrit, introduction of, 110.

  _San Ts'ai T'u Hui_ encyclopædia, 52-53.

  Seal of office of mandarin, 198-199.

  Self-government illustrations, 96-106.

  Self-taxation, _see_ Taxation.

  Senior Classics—
    Honours of, 72.
    Illustrated book in Cambridge collection, 70-71.

  Shopkeepers, women's business ability, 198.

  Smith, Rev. Dr. A., statement as to prejudice against Christianity,

  Social life, knowledge of, necessary to foreigner in China, 181-182.

  Spanish seizure of islands from China, 136.

  Spectacles, _see_ Eyeglasses.

  Speech, Chinese, _see_ Language.

  Spring and Autumn, Confucian Canon, 41.

  Ssŭ-k'ung T'u, Taoist poet, quotations from, 160-163.

  Ssŭ-ma Ch'ien—
    _Historical Record_, 45-47.
    Memoir of Lao Tzŭ, 149.

  Ssŭ-ma Kuang, author of _The Mirror of History_, 48-49.

    Chang Ch'ien, mission to Bactria, 130-131.
    Compared with men from other countries, 112.
    Han Yü, great works of, 117.
    Li Hung-chang, _see that title_.
    Wên T'ien-hsiang, influence of Chinese literature on, 113-116.

  Statutes, present Chinese dynasty, 56.

  Story-tellers in Chinese towns, 61, 123.

  Street etiquette and rights, 183-186.

  Strikes—tea strike, Hangchow, 95.

  Study of Chinese affairs, _see_ China.

  Suffixes, Chinese language, 21.

  T'ai-p'ing rebels, pamphlets of, 56.

    Alchemy, 166-168.
    Black art, 186-170.
    Borrowing from Buddhists, 172.
    Cambridge Library, collection of writings, 44.
    Chuang Tzŭ, writer on Taoism, 148, 154-160, 165, 171.
    Corruption of the Tao, 171-173
    Decline, 163.
    Elixir of life, 163-170.
    Genuineness of _Tao-Tê-Ching_, evidences against, 146-151.
    Han Fei Tzŭ, writer on Taoism, 148.
    Huai-nan Tzŭ, writer on Taoism, 149.
    Immortality, _see that title_.
    Inaction doctrine, 152, 156.
    Last state, 143.
    Legends of Lao Tzŭ, 145-146.
    Philosophy of, 151-163, 182.
    Poet, quotations from, 160-163.
    Relativity doctrine, 156.
    Struggle with Buddhists, 172.

  Tao-t'ai, intendant of circuit, 76, 83.

  _Tao-Té-Ching_, evidences against genuineness, 146-151.

  Tartar generals, provincial governors, 82.

    Combination and resistance, 92-96.
    Lightness of taxation, 89.
    New imposts, people's approval necessary before enforcement, 90-92.
    Opium tax resisted, 95-96.
    Pigs, tax on, resisted, 93-95.
    Self-taxation, 84.
      Illustrations, 92-96.
      _Likin_ tax, 89-90.
    Tea strike, 95.

  Tea, serving and drinking, 187.

  Tea strike, Hangchow, 95.

  Tenses, Chinese language, 13-15.

  "Three Doctrines," 143, 145.

  Tones, Chinese language, 20
    Arrangement of concordance to phraseology, 66-68.

  Topographies, Chinese, Cambridge collection, 57-60.

  University, Columbia, endowment of Chinese chair, 4, 37, 211.

  University of Cambridge, Library, _see_ Library.

  Veils for women, abolition of, 197.

  "Veritable Record," Cambridge collection, 48.

  Viceroys, Chinese, 76, 82, 83.

  Visitors, Chinese etiquette, 186-189.
    Invitation to dinner, 188.
    Left-hand, place of honour, 187.
    Tea, serving and drinking, 187.

  Vitale, Baron, publication of Chinese nursery rhymes, 206.

  Water-clocks, Chinese and Grecian, 128.

  Watermelon, Chinese term for, Greek origin, 134.

  Wên Tien-hsiang, influence of Chinese literature and training on,

  Western incidents in Chinese literature, 135-139.

  Widows, Chinese, 201-202.

  Wine, introduction of grape-wine into China, 131.

    Anecdotes, 127-128.
    Grecian resemblances, 126-127.
    Guest-tea, 187.

    "Henpecked husbands," 204.
    Status, etc., 196, 198, 199.
    [_See also_ Women.]

    Ancestry of ancient Chinese traced through mother, 27.
    _Biographies of Eminent Women_, 50.
    Disregard of, 189.
    Education, 197-198.
    False hair, 180.
    Foot-binding, _see that title_.
    Girls, _see that title_.
    Greek similarities, 121-122.
    "Henpecked husbands," 204.
    Official life, 198.
    Painting the face, custom, 122.
    Poems by, 60, 197.
    Privileges not shared by men, 201.
    Seclusion, 177, 196.
    Shopkeepers, business ability, 198.
    Veils, abolition of, 197.
    Widows, 201-202.
    Wives, _see that title_.

  Written Chinese language, _see_ Language.

  Wuchang bridge incident, 97.

  Yüan Yüan, commentary, Confucian Canon, 43.

  Zebra, picture of, in ancient Chinese book, 59.

  Zoroastrians in China, 144.

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