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Title: Peeps Into China - Or: The Missionary's Children
Author: Phillips, Eliza Caroline
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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 "Peeps Into China - Or: The Missionary's Children" ***

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Internet Archive)



[Illustration: A STREET SHOWMAN.]



PEEPS INTO CHINA; OR, The Missionary's Children.

BY E. C. PHILLIPS,

          AUTHOR OF "TROPICAL READING-BOOKS," "THE ORPHANS," "BUNCHY,"
          "HILDA AND HER DOLL," ETC.

[Illustration]

          CASSELL & COMPANY, LIMITED:
          _LONDON, PARIS, NEW YORK & MELBOURNE._

          [ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.]



          To

          MY DEAR PARENTS,

          IN

          LOVING MEMORY.

          "Can I forget thy cares, from helpless years
          Thy tenderness for me?"



[Illustration: Contents.]


    CHAPTER                            PAGE
       I. THE COUNTRY RECTORY             9

      II. THE FIRST PEEP                 21

     III. THE RELIGIONS OF CHINA         44

      IV. CHINESE CHILDHOOD              69

       V. THE MERCHANT SHOWMAN           89

      VI. LITTLE CHU AND WOO-URH        100

     VII. LEONARD'S EXPLOIT IN FORMOSA  114

    VIII. THE BOAT POPULATION           134

      IX. AT CANTON                     153

       X. A BRIDE AND BRIDEGROOM        179

      XI. PROCESSIONS                   197

     XII. THE LAST PEEP                 208

[Illustration]

[Illustration]



CHAPTER I.

THE COUNTRY RECTORY.


[Illustration]

"NOT really; you can't mean it really!"

"As true as possible. Mother told me her _very own_ self," was the
emphatic reply.

Two children, brother and sister, the boy aged ten, the girl three years
older, were carrying on this conversation in the garden of a country
rectory.

"But really and truly, on your word of honour," repeated Leonard, as
though he could not believe what his sister had just related to him.

"I hope my word is always a word of honour; I thought everybody's word
ought to be that," Sybil Graham replied a little proudly, for when she
had run quickly to bring such important news to her brother, she could
not help feeling hurt that he should refuse to believe what she said.

"And we are really going there, and shall actually see the 'pig-tails'
in their own country, and the splendid kites they fly, and all the
wonderful things that father used to tell us about? Oh! it seems too
good to be true."

"But it is true," Sybil repeated with emphasis. "And I dare say we might
even see tea growing, as it does grow there, you know, and I suppose we
shall be carried about in sedan-chairs ourselves." She was really as
happy as her brother, only not so excitable.

At this moment their mother joined them. "Oh, mother!" the boy then
exclaimed, "how beautiful! Sybil has just told me, but I could not
believe her."

"I thought the news would delight you both very much," Mrs. Graham
answered. "Your father and I have been thinking about going to China for
some time, but we would not tell you anything about it until matters
were quite settled, and now everything seems to be satisfactorily
arranged for us to start in three months' time."

"That will be in August, then," they both said at once.

"Oh, how very beautiful!" Sybil exclaimed. "_I like my father to be a
missionary very much._ He must be glad too; isn't he, mother?"

"Very glad indeed, although the joy will entail some sadness also. I
expect your father will grieve a good deal to leave this dear little
country parish of ours, and the duties he has so loved to perform here,
but a wider field of usefulness having opened out for him, he is very
thankful to obey the call."

[Illustration: THE CHURCH.]

"And father will do it so well, mother," answered Sybil. "I wonder
whether I shall be able to do anything to help him there?"

"I think you have long since found out, Sybil," was her mother's loving
answer, "that you can always be doing something to help us."

Sybil and Leonard had as yet only learnt a part of the story. They had
still to learn the rest. This going to China would not be all beautiful,
all joy for them, especially for Sybil, with her very affectionate
nature and dread of saying "Good-byes," for she and Leonard were only to
be taken out on a trip--a pleasure tour--to see something of China, and
to return to England to go on with their education at the end of six
months.

Mr. Graham then calling his wife, the children were again left alone.

It was no easy matter to go as a missionary to China. This Mr. Graham
well knew, for his father, although only for a short time, had been one
over there before him, and had discovered--what so many other later
brother missionaries have found out also--that to obtain even a hearing
on the subject of religion from a Chinaman, who has been trained and
brought up to be a superstitious idolater, very vain of his wisdom and
antiquity as a nation, and to look upon Europeans as barbarians, is
often a most difficult matter.

Eighteen years before Mr. Graham the elder went out to Peking as one of
the first missionaries to China, and his only son, who had then just
qualified for the medical profession, accompanied him. A year later, the
father dying, his son returned at once to England, but with a changed
mind, determined now to seek holy orders and enter the ministry, instead
of following his profession, so as by thus doing to add one more to the
number of earnest clergy that his short stay in China had shown him were
so much needed. To carry out his resolution, he went to Oxford to
prepare, and soon after his ordination he married, and settled down, in
the little country village, where we find him, surrounded by his little
family.

Often since then had he contemplated leaving England for missionary
work, but until now he had been prevented from carrying his wishes into
effect.

His knowledge of medicine had not been lost to him, for many a sufferer
in the little, yet wide-spreading country parish, who lived at too great
a distance to send for the doctor for a slight ailment, had been very
thankful, when the clergyman came in to read and pray with him, to learn
from him what his slight ailment was, and how he could prevent its
becoming a great one.

And this knowledge would be most helpful and invaluable in China, where
Mr. Graham knew that the science of medicine was held in veneration by
the inhabitants, and gained a ready admission to those who were glad to
be cured of bodily ailments, but knew not how sick their souls were.

The missionary's slight acquaintance with the Chinese dialect, which,
when time permitted, he had endeavoured to keep up, would also be of
service to him when he arrived in China; for although the dialects of
the south, where he was going, were very different from those of the
north, the Mandarin, or Court language, spoken by the officials, was
understood in every part.

"That's why father's been reading all those books lately with the
pig-tail pictures in, and wonderful kites, and why he has been studying
the language without an alphabet," Leonard said, when he and his sister
were again alone. "If I hadn't been at school so much, I expect I should
have found out what was going to happen."

"I don't believe we should ever find out anything that father did not
wish us to know, however much we wanted to do so," answered Sybil. "But
isn't it splendid?--all but one thing, and that is having to leave
everybody, and my best friend Lily Keith. I shan't like doing that at
all."

"And I shall miss my friends too, of course," said Leonard; "but then I
expect we shall make some new ones; and I thought you were so fond of
writing letters. Why, you could write splendid ones from China, and tell
Lily what we see, and perhaps mother would draw you some pictures for
them, for she can draw anything, you know."

Sybil was comforted, for she was very fond of writing letters, and her
friend, she knew, would be very glad to have some from China.

Directly after the six o'clock dinner was the children's hour with
father, who, being a very busy man, had to regulate all his time; but
this one hour a day belonged entirely to his family, and unless anything
unforeseen happened, they had and claimed every moment of it.

Sybil came down-stairs first, and going up to her father, who was
sitting by a large bow window, gazing out of it, with a very serious
look on his face, she said with surprise as she kissed him: "You look
sad, dear father. Aren't you glad to go to China?"

He drew her on to his knee.

"Very glad, my darling," was the answer; "but I was just picturing to
myself some farewells that will have to be taken. I shall be very
sorry, too, to say 'Good-bye' here, where our lives have been so blessed
and our prayers so abundantly answered. We cannot help feeling sorry to
leave our old friends, can we?"

"But you don't look, father," she continued, "as if that were all that
you had been thinking."

"I dare say it was also about the work in which I am so soon to engage,
for that, Sybil, is full of grave responsibility; but now I think it is
my turn to ask what your thoughts are," he went on, for at that moment
Sybil was looking quite as grave as, just before, her father could have
looked.

"I was remembering two verses of a piece of poetry that I learnt last
term at school, which I think must have been written for missionaries,"
she replied.

[Illustration: MAP OF CHINA.]

Her father then asking her to repeat them to him, Sybil said:--

          "Sow ye beside all waters,
           Where the dew of heaven may fall;
           Ye shall reap, if ye be not weary,
           For the Spirit breathes o'er all.
           Sow, though the thorns may wound thee;
           One wore the thorns for thee;
           And, though the cold world scorn thee,
           Patient and hopeful be.
           Sow ye beside all waters,
           With a blessing and a prayer,
           Name Him whose hand upholds thee,
           And sow thou everywhere.

          "Work! in the wild waste places,
           Though none thy love may own;
           God guides the down of the thistle
           The wandering wind hath sown.
           Will Jesus chide thy weakness,
           Or call thy labour vain?
           The Word that for Him thou bearest
           Shall return to Him again.
           On!--with thine heart in heaven,
           Thy strength--thy Master's might,
           Till the wild waste places blossom
           In the warmth of a Saviour's light."

"Thank you, Sybil," said her father. "I am sure you will make a capital
little missionary's daughter some day."

"To what part of China are we going, father?" she then asked; "to the
same place where you were before?"

"No; quite in another direction. You know when I was last in China I was
at Peking, in the north, and now I am to be in Hong-Kong, an island in
the south; but we shall not go there direct, as I wish to take you to
see several places before finally landing."

"Wait a minute, please, father," Sybil then exclaimed, "while I just
fetch my map to look them out as you tell them to me." And as she spoke
she ran off, to return the next minute with an atlas, in which she found
these places as her father mentioned them: Shanghai, Amoy, the Island of
Formosa, Swatow, Hong-Kong, Macao, and Canton.

"I wish, father, you would tell us some day all you can remember about
Peking," then said Leonard, as he ran in and joined his father and
sister, having till now been very busy, first coaxing his good friend
the gardener to help him cut and put up some roosts in the fowl-house,
and then showing his handiwork to his mother. "You know what I mean:
something like what you used to tell us."

[Illustration: LEONARD IN THE GARDEN.]

"I will try to arouse up my memory, and tell you what I can on board
ship, when we shall have, I suppose, seven or eight weeks with very
little to do, and when you will, no doubt, be glad of some true stories
to while away the time."

"I wish we were going to start to-morrow," rejoined Leonard, who was, I
am afraid, a boy without a particle of that virtue which we call
"patience." He wanted his mother now to go into the poultry-yard with
him to see the roosts he had, and as she liked to enter into all his
pleasures and useful occupations, she was very pleased to go.

Before either of them came in again, Sybil had heard "the rest" from her
father; that she and Leonard were, after a six months' long holiday in
China, to return to England to continue their education. It was a
terrible blow to her, to whom a long separation from her parents seemed
almost like an impossibility. Her bright eyes filled with tears.

"Oh, father!" she said; "and leave you and mother?"

"It must be for a time, my darling, till your education is completed, as
your mother and I both wish you to remain at the school where you are,
but when school-days are over, about four years hence, I hope to be able
to have you out with us. It will be longer for poor old Leonard, won't
it?"

"I don't think I care to go to China now, father," Sybil then said.

"Oh yes you do, Sybil," was the answer; "you like your father to be a
missionary very much, you know, do you not?" Her mother had repeated
this saying. "And, my child," he continued, "you know that it must be a
dreadful trial for so very good and loving a mother as yours to part
from her children; but now that a call has come to me to do my Master's
work in a foreign land, and she is helping me to obey it, you would not
make her trial greater, would you, by letting her see you sad? Oh no! I
know you would not; but you would help us to do our duty more bravely.
Is it not so, my child?"

Sybil buried her face on her father's shoulder, and sobbed, but on
seeing her mother coming up the garden towards them, she quickly wiped
her tears away, and tried to look cheerful. Her father had gone wisely
to work in giving her such a reason for trying to overcome her sorrow,
and he knew that now she would set herself bravely to work to help, and
not to hinder, her parents' undertaking.

And they were not to be parted for nearly another year, she said to
herself, and meanwhile they were to have all sorts of enjoyments with
their parents.

Mrs. Graham brought a message from Leonard for Sybil to go and see his
roosts, which she at once obeyed, affectionately kissing her mother as
she passed her. That was to say that she knew, and a great deal more.

Another piece of news Sybil now conveyed to Leonard, and as she told it,
even he could not tell that it made her very unhappy. I wonder if he
believed at once this time!

[Illustration]

[Illustration]



CHAPTER II.

THE FIRST PEEP.


THE missionary's family party had set sail, and the steamship, in which
they were passengers, was now fairly out at sea.

As far as money was concerned, Mr. Graham had no anxieties, for being
the only son of a very wealthy man, who had lost his wife some time
before he died himself, Mr. Graham had, at his father's death, inherited
the whole of his large fortune.

"Now, father, don't you think it's high time you began to tell us about
old Peking?" Leonard said, a few days after they had sailed. "I did not
ask you at first, because we had plenty to do to look about us, but now
that there's nothing in the world but water to see anywhere, we should
so like to hear some stories; so please begin, if it won't trouble you
too much."

And sitting on deck, with Sybil on his right and Leonard on his left,
Mr. Graham did as he was requested, and gave his children what they
considered a very interesting description of a portion of that vast
empire which they were so soon to visit. "The Chinese," he began, "are a
very ancient race, so ancient, indeed, that the origin of their monarchy
is not known."

"Do you mind waiting one minute, father, just to tell me a thing I have
forgotten, and you told me once?" Leonard asked. "What does the word
China mean?"

"The ancient name for China, Tien-sha, means 'inferior only to heaven.'
Chinese history begins with the fabulous ages, two or three million
years ago, when the Chinese say that no land but theirs was inhabited,
and gods reigned upon the earth, which was made for them. After the
gods, they tell us, came mythical kings, who were giants, had the power
of working miracles, and lived for thousands of years; but it is really
supposed that the first people who passed beyond the deserts of Central
Asia settled in the province of Shen-si, which borders on Tartary, and
here laid the foundation of the present monarchy of China.

"Some Chinese historians think that their first mortal Emperor was
Fuh-hi, whose date of coming to the throne is fixed as early as 2,852
years B.C. He is described as possessing great virtues, and was called
by his subjects the 'Son of heaven'--a title which is still given to
Emperors of China, who are foolishly supposed, by some of their
subjects, to be of celestial origin. He is said to have taught them how
to keep laws and to live peaceably, also to have invented the arts of
music and numbers. Certainly the Chinese have understood music from very
early ages, and class it among the chief of the sciences.

[Illustration: MUSICIANS.]

"They have at least fifty different kinds of wind and string musical
instruments, made of wood, stone, or metal, and they play a great
deal, but especially upon their fiddle instruments. They do not like our
music at all.

"But now we must go back to a little more Chinese history. There is
nothing to prove that the Chinese existed as a nation before the time of
Yu the Great, whose date of accession is said to be 2,285 years B.C.,
and he is also included in the Legendary Period to which Fuh-hi belongs.
After the Legendary Period came the Semi-Historical Period in Chinese
history; the really Historical Period dating from the early part of the
eighth century before Christ.

"Different dynasties succeeded each other, till from the years 500 to
200 B.C. many petty kings, reigning over various provinces, waged war
against one another. At length a fierce warrior, named Ching-wang, went
to war with, and conquered, all of them, and made himself master of the
whole empire, about 200 years B.C., his government comprising about the
northern half of modern China. He was the first monarch of the dynasty
called Tsin, or Chin. Next he turned his arms against the Tartars, who
were a portion of those people whom we read of in history by the name of
Huns, and who were now making constant inroads into China. They were
capital soldiers--I believe every Tartar has now to be a soldier--and as
the Chinese dreaded them very much, the Emperor thought out a way to
keep them off. He erected a great wall along the whole extent of the
northern frontier of China, of very great height, thickness, and
strength, made of two walls of brick many feet apart, the space between
them being, for half the length of the wall, filled up with earth, and
the other half with gravel and rubbish. On it were square towers, which
were erected at about a hundred yards' distance from one another. Some
say this wall extended 1,500 miles from the sea to the most western
provinces of Shen-si; McCulloch says it is 1,250 miles in length. It was
carried over mountains and across rivers. Six horsemen could ride
abreast upon it. But there was great cruelty practised in its
construction, for the Emperor obliged every third labouring man in the
kingdom to work at this wall without payment.

[Illustration: GREAT WALL OF CHINA, GULF OF PE-CHI-LI.]

"It took five years to finish, and has now existed for more than two
thousand years. It is called Wan-li-chang, or Myriad-mile Wall."

"And did it keep out the Tartars?" Leonard asked.

"No; the little Emperor Tsai-tien, born in 1871, and now on the throne,
is, I believe, a descendant of theirs. He is called Kwang-su, which
means 'Continuation of glory.'"

"Does the Emperor's eldest son always reign?"

"No; the ablest or best son is generally chosen. Ching-wang seemed to
think that he was master of the whole universe, and called himself
Che-Hwang-ti, or First Emperor; and then to try to show that he was the
founder of the monarchy, he had, as he thought, all the historical
documents burnt that could prove otherwise, but did not succeed, for
some that had been hidden behind the walls of houses were found after
his death."

"What a quantity of stuff it must have taken to build the wall!" said
Leonard.

"Yes; the material in the Great Wall, including the earth in the middle
of it, is said to be more than enough to surround the circumference of
the earth, on two of its great circles, with two walls of six feet high
and two feet thick. Guards are stationed in the strong towers by which
the wall is fortified; every important pass having a strong fortress."

"And what is the height of the wall, father?" asked Leonard.

"About twenty feet; and there are steps of brick and stone for men on
foot to ascend, and slanting places for the cavalry."

"I shall like to see Chinese soldiers," Leonard said. "Did you ever see
them at drill, father?"

[Illustration: CHINESE ARTILLERY-MEN, PEKING.]

"I remember very well seeing a regiment of artillery at gun-drill one
day, but I believe there has been a new armament of Chinese artillery
since my time. I suppose you know, children," then said Mr. Graham,
"that Peking ranks----"

"For the number of its inhabitants," Sybil said quickly, "as the second
city in the world, only London having more inhabitants, Paris about the
same number."

"Yes; and it has----"

"About two million inhabitants."

"Yes; and as Peking was built many centuries before the Christian era,
it is a very old city. The name Peking means Court of the North. After
the conquest by the Tartars of the kingdom of Yen, of which Peking was
the capital, it became only a provincial town, when, at the beginning of
the fifteenth century, it was again made the capital of China. The
Chinese sovereigns used to live at Nanking, but when the Tartars had so
often invaded the country, they removed to the northern province, to
enable them the more easily to keep out the invaders."

"On our Chinese umbrella that we had in the dining-room fireplace at
home," said Sybil, "there was, I remember, a picture of Peking, and some
water was close by it, but I cannot remember what river Peking is on."

"It is situated in a large sandy plain on the Tunghui, a small tributary
of the Peiho. This city is again divided into the Chinese and Tartar
cities, the Imperial city, in which live the Emperor and his retainers,
and another in which the court officials have their residence.

"Like all other Chinese cities, they are surrounded by high walls. At
the north, south, east, and west sides of towns are large folding-gates,
which are often further secured by three inner gates. The one in the
south is that of honour, through which the Emperor passes, but which is
usually kept closed at other times.

[Illustration: CIEAN-MUN, OR CHEAN-GATE AT PEKING.]

"The wall of Peking, which is sixteen miles round, has two gates on
three sides and three on the other, of which the principal is Chean-Mun,
at the south of the Tartar city. Over the gate is a building occupied by
soldiers, who are there for purposes of defence.

[Illustration: CHINESE SOLDIER.]

[Illustration: STREET OF HATA-MÈNE-TA-KIE, PEKING.]

"The streets in Peking are very broad; we shall find them much narrower
in the south of China. They are raised in the centre, and covered with a
kind of stone, to form a smooth, hard surface. In summer they are often,
I remember, very dusty, and during the rainy seasons very dirty. At the
end of each street is a wooden barrier, which is guarded day and night
by soldiers. The barrier is closed at nine o'clock at night, after which
time the Chinese are only allowed to pass through if they have a very
good reason to give for being out so late.

"Order is well kept in the streets of Peking by the soldiers and police,
who may use their whips on troublesome customers whenever they think it
necessary to do so.

"The principal streets, or main thoroughfares, extending from one end of
the city to the other, are its only outlets. Trees grow in several of
these streets. Houses, in which the inhabitants live, are in smaller
streets or lanes, the houses themselves being often shut in by walls.

"Pagodas (which, you know, are temples to heathen gods, built in the
form of towers), monasteries, and churchyards, are all outside the
walls, and the city itself is principally kept for purposes of
commerce."

"We know what pagodas are like," Leonard said, "because we had two at
home for ornaments. I think we know many things through being so
fortunate as to have a father who has travelled."

[Illustration: CHINESE BARBER.]

"There is a great noise in some of the streets," Mr. Graham went on:
"for instance, in the Hata-mène-ta-kie, where many people are to be seen
bustling about and talking very loudly to one another. Tents are here
put up in which rice, fruit, and other things are sold, and any one
wishing for a pretty substantial meal can be supplied with it in the
Hata-mène-ta-kie, for before stoves stand the vendors of such meals, who
have cooked them ready for purchasers. Other tradesmen carry hampers,
slung across their shoulders, in which they keep their goods, whilst
they call out, from time to time, to let people know what these hampers
contain. Carts, horses, mules, wheel-barrows, and sedan-chairs pass
along, the whole place seeming to be alive with buyers and sellers. The
cobbler is sure to be somewhere close at hand in his movable workshop,
and first here and then there, as may best suit himself and employers,
the blacksmith pitches his tent, which sometimes consists of a large
umbrella; whilst, again, people can refresh themselves, if they do not
care for a heavier meal, with some soup or a patty at a soup stall.

"And the barber does not forget that he is a very useful person. There,
in the open streets, he communicates, by the tinkling of a little bell,
the fact that he is ready to shave the heads and arrange the cues or
pig-tails of those who may require his services; and as one man after
another takes the seat that has been put ready for him, the barber not
only shaves and plaits, but also frequently paints his customer's
eyebrows and gives his clothes a brush."

"Father, why do Chinamen wear pig-tails?" here broke in Leonard, who,
with Sybil, was very much interested in what he heard.

"After they were conquered by the Tartars they were obliged to wear
them, to show that they were in subjection to their conquerors; but now
the pig-tail is held in honour, and the longer it will grow the better
pleased is the Chinese gentleman who wears it. Some very bad criminals
have their tails cut off as a great punishment and disgrace.

"Well, what should you like to hear now?" Mr. Graham asked, after a
little pause.

"What Chinese shops are like, I think," said Sybil.

[Illustration: A SHOP IN PEKING.]

"Most of those in China are quite open in front; where we are going I
suppose we shall see very few, if any, shop-windows at all, but in
Peking many of the shops have glass windows. In China there are
certain streets for certain shops, where the different branches of
trade have generally their own sides of the road. A shop is called a
hong. Sometimes the master sits outside, waiting for his customers to
arrive.

[Illustration: SIGN-BOARD OF A CUSHION AND MATTING MANUFACTORY.]

"At the door of each hong are sign-boards, upon which are painted in
gold, or coloured letters, a motto instead of a name, and what the shop
offers for sale.

"I do not think," Mr. Graham then said, drawing, as he spoke, a little
representation of a sign-board out of his pocket-book, "that I ever
showed you this."

"Oh no!" both the children answered. "And what do those characters
mean?"

On another piece of paper Mr. Graham pointed out to them the following
interpretation:

               =Teën=
               =Yee=
               =Shun=
          Fung        Poo
          Seih        Tian
              =Tëen=

[Illustration: A TWO-WHEELED CART.]

"The three first large characters, which form the motto, may be taken to
signify that 'Heaven favours the prudent.' The other smaller characters
designate the nature of the business, a cushion and matting
manufactory; the last character, without which no sign-board is
complete, meaning shop or factory."

"I shall like to see these sign-boards very much when we get to China,"
Sybil said. "I should think they must make the streets look very
pretty."

Mr. Graham had illustrated several things which he had told the children
by some pictures which he had brought on board with him.

[Illustration: A YOUNG FARMER AND HIS PARENTS.]

Leonard was now looking again at that of Chean Mun, or Chean Gate, for
Mun means gate.

"I have been noticing, father," he then said, "that all the carts in
this picture have only two wheels."

"I never saw any in China with more," was the answer. "Both shut and
open carts (the latter being used as carriages) have all two wheels.
Those in common use are made of wood, the body of the cart resting on
an axle-tree, supported by the wheels. Horses and mules are very little
used in China, except for travelling and for conveying luggage long
distances. I remember also noticing that horses and ponies require very
little guiding in China. Sometimes they go without reins, when their
masters will perhaps walk beside them, carrying a whip. I have also seen
very polite drivers, who, whenever they met a friend, jumped off their
carts and walked on foot to pass one another.

[Illustration: A CHINESE JUNK.]

[Illustration: FLYING KITES.]

"Government servants generally use ponies, but as China is so densely
populated--having, it has been estimated, about four hundred million
inhabitants, and people find it so hard to obtain enough to support
themselves and families--they keep as few beasts of burden as possible.
The farmer employs the bullock a great deal, and in the north of China
the camel is also much used.

"Much trade is carried on by boats, and where there is no water, and
farmers are without other conveyances, they will sometimes push their
wives along the roads in wheel-barrows, sons giving their parents
similar drives. There are but few carriage-roads in many parts of
China."

"I wonder the Chinese do not make more, then," said Leonard.

"They cannot afford to do so, because to make them bread-producing land
would have to be done away with."

"What a number of rivers and bays there are in China!" said Sybil, who
was again examining her map. "And I see the Great Wall crosses the
Hwang-ho."

"And that's the fifth largest river in the world," Leonard answered.
"Only the Amazon, Mississippi, Nile, and Yantze-kiang are larger; and
the Grand Canal in China is the very largest canal in the world."

"I learnt once, too, that Hwang-ho meant 'Chinese sorrow.' Why is it
called that?"

"Because it has altered its course, which has caused great loss and
inconvenience to the Chinese."

"And what does 'Yantze-kiang' mean?"

"The son that spreads; this is their favourite river."

Geography was one of Leonard's favourite studies.

"Why do so many Chinese rivers end in ho and kiang?" he then asked,
looking over Sybil's map.

"Both words mean river--the Yantze and the Hwang rivers. And the Chinese
have all kinds of boats for use on their rivers. Here, my boy, is a
picture of a Chinese junk. Look at it well, and see if you can discover
anything peculiar about it."

Leonard looked for some time. "It has sails," he answered, "like
butterflies' wings."

"Yes; that is how the Chinese make many of their sails."

"But the kites are what I want to see so much," said Leonard, as though
the sails had reminded him of them again. "What are the most peculiar of
them like?"

"Like birds, insects, animals, clusters of birds, gods on clouds: all
kinds of things, in fact, are represented by these kites, which the
Chinese are most clever in making, and also in flying. I have seen old
men, of about seventy years of age, thoroughly enjoying flying their
kites. The Chinese do not care much for your, and my, favourite games,
Leonard: cricket and football."

"What games do they like?"

"They are very fond of battledore and shuttlecock, but instead of using
a battledore they hit the shuttlecock with their heads, elbows, or feet.
Seven or eight children play together, and nearly always aim the
shuttlecock rightly. Girls play at this game too, in spite of their
small feet. Tops, balls, see-saws, and quoits are also favourite toys
and games amongst the Chinese."

"I remember," Sybil said, "a girl at school having a Chinese
shuttlecock, and that was like a bird."

"Well, father, go on, please. What other amusements have they?" asked
Leonard.

"Puppet-shows for one thing I remember, which they exhibit in the
streets, as we do 'Punch and Judy.' The pictures in these shows are
exhibited by means of strings, which are either worked from behind or
from above the stand, and as the people look through a glass, the views
are displayed to them. A man standing at the side calls out loudly, and
beats a little gong to summon people to attend the show. And now I
think, as I am rather tired for to-day, I shall beat a little gong to
dismiss you from the show," Mr. Graham said, smiling, as he turned
towards his children, who never seemed to grow tired of listening.

"Very well, father; we will go now, and let you rest," Sybil replied,
standing up. "Thank you so much. To-morrow, you know, we shall come to
the show again, so please remember to sound the gong in good time." And
off they bounded, leaving Mr. Graham at liberty to go and seek his wife,
who was then lying down in her cabin.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]



CHAPTER III.

THE RELIGIONS OF CHINA.


[Illustration: LI-HUNG.]

"WILL you please tell us to-day, father, something about the religion of
the Chinese? I know they worship idols, but how do they believe in
them?" Sybil asked, as soon as their "Peep-show," as the children
continued to call their father's stories, began the next afternoon.
During the morning she had sat and read to her mother, who still felt
the motion of the vessel very much, and had therefore to lie down part
of the day.

"I will try to do so," was the answer; "but I think what you hear may
puzzle you a good deal, for they have very strange creeds."

"Did grandfather make many converts?"

"Very few indeed; but then he was one of our very first missionaries to
Peking, so was most thankful for the very little which he was enabled to
do.

[Illustration: A CITIZEN OF TIENT-SIN.]

"I remember two men for whose conversion from Buddhism he often gave
thanks. One was a citizen of Tientsin, where we landed on our way to the
capital.

"This good fellow, who was then a very questionable character, was
smoking his pipe in a most indifferent manner, when my father, through
his teacher, first addressed him. Missionaries in China, you know, have
teachers of the dialects."

"Shall you have one?"

"Of course. Well, this man would not listen at all at first, and was
very angry at my father's interference; but after a while we met him
again at Peking, and in time both he and his wife learnt to believe, and
to long for Christian baptism, before receiving which they not only left
off worshipping their family idols, but even destroyed them. A short
time ago I heard that this man had become a native lay teacher, and was
a great help to the mission, as he could, of course, always make himself
understood to his own countrymen, who were also not unlikely to be won
by his example."

"What was his name?" asked Leonard.

"Tung-Sean."

"And that of the other convert?"

"Li-Hung. He was a much older man, and was sitting, I remember, the day
we first saw him, in a field, resting from his work, and as he caught
sight of my father he began to call him all sorts of names, amongst
which was to be heard very often that of 'foreign devil.' I believe he
even looked for stones to throw at us. Your grandfather--always a very
quiet, self-possessed man--just dropped some tracts at his side,
translated into Chinese. We often saw Li-Hung again, and though he gave
us much trouble, a month before my father died he had the happiness also
of witnessing this man's conversion to the true faith."

"Grandfather must have been very pleased," Sybil said.

"He was; but I think now I have something rather interesting to tell you
of our journey from Tientsin to Peking. We went in carts drawn by two
mules, one in front of the other, and at night we slept at inns, where,
I think, you would like to hear about our sleeping accommodation. It was
winter, and as the Peking winter is cold, people there, to make
themselves warm at night, sleep on kangs. As these were different at
both inns to which we went, I will tell you about both.

[Illustration: A KANG.]

"In one the kang consisted of a platform built of brick, so much larger
than a bed that several people could sleep on it at once. A kind of
tunnel passed through the platform, which had a chimney at one end,
whilst at the other end, a little while before bed-time, a small
quantity of dry fuel was set on fire, when the flame passed through the
tunnel and out of the chimney. In this way the kang was warmed, when
felt matting was put upon it. Here we lay down, and were covered over
with a kind of cotton-wool counterpane.

[Illustration: BOATS ON THE RIVER PEI-HO AT TIENT-SIN.]

"The kang in the other inn was warmed by a little stove from underneath,
which also served in the day-time for cooking purposes, when the
bed-clothes were removed from the kang, on which mats, and even little
tables, were also sometimes put, until it became a sofa; so it was very
useful."

The children laughed.

"We are not hearing about the religion yet, though," Sybil said.

"Oh, do let us hear just a little more about Peking and Tientsin first,"
Leonard answered. "How far is Tientsin from the capital?"

"Eighty miles. And do you know what river it is on?"

Leonard considered. "It must be an important one, I should think, as it
carries things, doesn't it, from the sea-coast to near to Peking?"

"It is only a river of secondary importance, but the principal one of
the province of Pe-chili. Now for its name." Sybil referred to her map.

"The Pei-ho, of course," they exclaimed together. "And I suppose there
is ever so much traffic on it?" Leonard said; "with no end of ships to
be seen?"

"Yes, a good many may be seen there. I have a picture of boats on the
River Pei-ho."

"What sort of flags do Chinese boats have, father? I do not see any
hoisted here."

"The Imperial Navy is divided into river and sea-going vessels, the
former consisting of 1,900 ships, the latter of 918; and there are
188,000 sailors. Ships in the Imperial Navy generally fly a flag at the
main, on which red lines are drawn, or sometimes a tri-colour is hoisted
there instead. Red would, I suppose, be for safety, as this is the
'lucky' colour of the Chinese. At the stern of the vessel I remember
seeing the name of the official who directs and superintends the ship."

"Isn't Tientsin noted for something?" Sybil then asked.

[Illustration: MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.]

"Yes; for the treaty of June 26th, 1858, between the Chinese and
British, some of the terms of which were that the Christian religion
should be protected by Chinese authorities, that British subjects should
be allowed to travel in the country for pleasure or business, under
passports issued by their consul, and that the Queen might acquire a
building site at Peking."

"But now the religion, please, father," she said again.

"Very well; but you must pay great attention to what I say, or you will
not understand. Most of the Chinese are either Confucianists, Buddhists,
or Taouists, although there are also Jews and Mahometans amongst them.
At one time it is supposed that the people of China had really a
knowledge of the true God, and that when they worshipped, in much the
same sort of manner as did the patriarchs, Him whom they call Wang-teen,
or Shang-ti, which means Supreme Ruler, they worshipped God.

"But mixing with this an idolatrous worship of departed ancestors, they
nearly lost sight of the Supreme Ruler, the jealous God, Who, we know,
claims all our worship.

"About the latter half of the sixth century before Christ, Confucius, a
great and clever philosopher of China, who was born 551 B.C., wrote and
put together books that held very moral and good maxims, afterwards
called 'The Classics.'

"He taught that men must always be obedient to those to whom they are in
subjection: people to prince, child to parent, filial piety being
enforced before every other duty. He was very anxious to improve the
manners of the people; but women he ranked very low. Confucianism
is--but perhaps you will not understand this--more a philosophy than a
religion. Its followers have no particular form of worship, and no
priesthood. The Pearly Emperor, Supreme Ruler, is their deity, but
worship is seldom offered to him, and then only by a few.

"Although Confucius disapproved very much of idols, after he was dead
many of his followers worshipped him.

[Illustration: A MANDARIN.]

"Confucianists do not believe in a future state of rewards and
punishments, but think that their good and bad deeds will be rewarded
here by riches or poverty, long or short life, good or bad health.
Conscience is to lead people aright, and tell them when they do wrong.

"The high mandarins and literary people are generally Confucianists;
school-boys also worship an idol or tablet of the sage, in which his
spirit is supposed to dwell.

"There is a temple to the honour of 'The Great Teacher' in every large
town; and on great occasions, and always in spring-time and autumn,
sacrifices are here offered, the Emperor himself, as high priest,
presiding at these two ceremonies in Peking, the chief mandarins of his
court giving him assistance. In temples of Confucius idols are very
seldom to be seen.

"The Confucianists are taught that man was originally good, his nature
being given by heaven, and that sin came through union of the soul with
matter."

"What are mandarins, please, father?" asked Leonard.

"Chinese officials, of which there are many grades, and many in each
grade, all of whom are paid by Government. To every province there is a
viceroy, to every city a governor, and to the village a mandarin, who is
elected to rule over it for three years; and all these, again, have many
officers under them. There are also a great many military mandarins. A
great mark of imperial favour is to allow mandarins, civil or military,
to wear a peacock's feather in their caps, which hangs down over the
back, and the ball placed on the top shows, by its colour and material,
the rank of the wearer. Soldiers fighting very bravely are often buoyed
up with the hope of receiving one of these feathers.

"Mandarins, who stand in a sort of fatherly relationship towards their
people, although they do not always behave like fathers towards them,
look for implicit obedience from them."

"Can a mandarin be punished when he does wrong?" Leonard asked. "And
what sort of dress does he wear?"

[Illustration: A MANDARIN WITH PEACOCK'S FEATHER.]

"He can be punished when he does wrong; and as well as I can remember,
those mandarins that I saw, who were in high office, wore a long, loose
robe of blue silk, embroidered with gold threads. This reached to their
ankles, being fastened round their waists with a belt. Over this was a
violet tunic, coming just below the knees, which had very wide, long
sleeves, usually worn turned back, but if not, hanging over the hands."

"Will you please go on about the religion now, father?" Sybil then said.
"You had just told us that the Confucianists were taught that man was
made good."

"Yes; and their worship is paid almost entirely to their ancestors,
which worship they look upon as a continuation of the reverence they had
been taught to show them while on earth. I will tell you more about
ancestral worship presently.

"Many people, as you can well understand, were not satisfied with
Confucianism as a religion, as it could not satisfy their spiritual
wants, especially as the Pearly Emperor, or Supreme Ruler, generally
looked upon as the highest divinity worshipped by the Chinese, might
only be approached by the Emperor and his court; so another sect sprang
up, having a philosopher named La-outze, who was born 604 B.C., for its
founder. He thought that to grow perfect he must seclude himself from
other people, and in his retirement was always looking for the Taou-le,
the meaning of which you will hardly understand--the cause or the end of
all things. His followers are called Taouists. This philosopher says in
his book that 'it is by stillness, and contemplation, and union with
Taou, that virtue is to be achieved'--Taou here meaning a principle and
a way. He said that virtue consisted in losing sight of oneself, and
that man should love even his enemies, and go through life as if none of
his possessions belonged to himself. The Taouists say that 'Taou is
without substance, and eternal, and the universe coming from him exists
in the silent presence of Taou everywhere,' and that only those who
become very virtuous are happy.

"La-outze is now worshipped by the Taouists as the third of a trinity
of persons, called 'The Three Pure Ones.'

"He is said, when born, to have had long white hair, and is therefore
represented as an old man, and called 'old boy.' The Chinese assert that
his mother was fed with food from heaven, and that when he was born he
jumped up into the air, and said, as he pointed with his left hand to
heaven and his right hand to the earth, 'Heaven above, earth beneath:
only Taou is honourable.' The Taouist trinity are supposed to live in
the highest heaven; and Taouists used to spend a great deal of time in
seeking for a drink that they thought would make them live for ever.
Subduing evil is by some of them supposed to secure immortality to the
soul.

"Their priests are often very ignorant men, but they are believed in by
the people, and are employed by them to perform superstitious rites."

"Oh, father! Isn't it a dreadful pity that they should believe so many
things like Christians, even in a trinity, and the duty of loving one's
enemies, and only be heathens after all?"

"It is indeed; but the more we see of heathens, Sybil, the more we shall
notice how they cannot help feeling after truth and grasping some parts
of it, which seem as though they were a very necessity to religion.
These Taouist priests are often called in by the people to exorcise, or
drive away, evil spirits, to cure sick people and commune with the
dead."

"Oh, father! I do so like this Peep-show. Please tell us now about the
people of the other sect."

[Illustration: A BUDDHIST PRIEST.]

"They are the Buddhists, who also worship a trinity; indeed, Taouists
are thought to have taken that idea from them. As early as 250 B.C.
Buddhist missionaries came over from India to China, but the religion
did not really take root until an emperor named Hing, of the Han
dynasty, introduced it, in the first century of the Christian era, about
66 A.D. This emperor is said to have seen in a dream, in the year of our
Lord 61, an image of a foreign god coming into his palace, and in
consequence he was advised to adopt the religion of Buddha, when he sent
to India for an idol and some priests. Towards the end of the thirteenth
century there were more than 4,200 Buddhist temples in China, and more
than 213,000 monks. The Buddhist trinity is called Pihte, or the Three
Precious Ones: Buddha Past, Buddha Present, and Buddha Future, and
dreadfully ugly idols they are. The Buddhist's idea of heaven is
Nirvâna, or rest, or more properly speaking, extinction. The Chinese
Buddhist thinks that a man possesses three souls or spirits, one of
which accompanies the body to the grave, another passes into his
ancestral tablet to be worshipped, and the third enters into one, or
all, of the ten kingdoms of the Buddhistic hell, into which people pass
after death, there to receive punishments according to the lives they
have led upon earth. From the tenth kingdom they pass back to earth, to
inhabit the form of a man, beast, bird, or insect, as they may have
deserved, unless during life a man has attained to a certain state of
perfection, when he mounts to the highest heaven, and perhaps becomes a
god or buddha. But even from the Western Paradise a spirit has sometimes
to return to earth. Should a man have been good in all the various lives
that he has lived, he is supposed to attain, I believe, to this Nirvâna,
or extinction."

"What a wonderful belief!" Sybil said. "So they cannot believe at all in
the immortality of the soul?"

"No, they do not."

"I should like to see a Buddhist priest very much," Leonard said.

[Illustration: ENTRANCE TO A BUDDHIST MONASTERY.]

"I dare say you will see a good many when you get to China. They live
together in monasteries, sometimes in great numbers, and these
monasteries are prettily situated, surrounded by lakes and gardens. They
consist of a number of small buildings, to the principal of which is a
large entrance, that has inscriptions on either side of the gateway."

[Illustration: A MONASTERY.]

"Are the priests very good men?" asked Leonard.

[Illustration: A GONG.]

"Very often, I am afraid, just the reverse; but this is not to be
wondered at, for criminals in China, to escape from justice, will
sometimes shave their heads, and seek refuge by becoming Buddhist
priests. When they take their vows--some taking nine, some twelve--for
each one a cut is made in their arms to help them to remember it. Some
of the vows resemble the commandments setting forth our duty towards our
neighbour. A Buddhist priest, in China, wears a wide turn-over collar;
when he officiates he often dresses in a yellow robe made of silk or
cotton, but he is only allowed to wear silk when he does officiate. At
other times his garments are of white or ash colour, or he wears a long,
grey cowl with flowing sleeves. Buddhist priests shave all their hair
two or three times a month. They think it is of great use to repeat
their classics very often to the gods, and keep an account of the number
of times they say them on their beads. I fancy they use brooms wherewith
to sprinkle holy water. There are four special commandments for
Buddhists, both priests and people: not to destroy animal life, not to
steal, not to speak falsely, and not to drink wine. In monasteries the
refectories of the priests are very large, and they have all to sit at
dinner, so that the abbot, who is at their head, can see their faces.
They are called to breakfast and dinner by a gong, where they have to
appear in their cowls. Gongs are very much used in China, and are to be
seen at all the temples. When the priest, who presides, comes in, they
all rise, and putting their hands together, say grace. After the food
has been so blessed, some is put outside as an offering to the fowls of
the air. During dinner the priests may not speak, and on the walls of
the refectory are boards, on which are written warnings, such as not to
eat too quickly; also the rules of the monastery."

"That would not have done for you, Leonard, when you thought you would
be late for school, and gobbled your dinner anyhow," said Sybil.

"How many gods have the Chinese?" asked Leonard.

[Illustration: WORSHIP IN A LAMASARY, BUDDHIST TEMPLE.]

"So many that it would be impossible to say, and the Celestials (as the
Chinese are often called, from naming their country the Celestial Land)
are not particular how they worship them; Taouists, for instance,
worshipping those who are peculiarly Buddhist divinities, and Buddhists
invoking, in return, their gods. Indeed, the three religions have so
borrowed from one another, and people have believed so much as they
liked, that the Chinese themselves often do not know to which religion
they belong, and are either all or none, pretty well as they choose. The
Buddhism of China is not at all the pure Buddhism, and has been much
corrupted by its professors."

"Who was the founder of Buddhism?"

"An Indian prince, of beautiful character, born 620 B.C., and called
Shâkyamuni Buddha, who left wealth and luxury to go about relieving
suffering wherever he found it. After he died his followers believed
that he was transformed into a god, having three different forms."

"Tell us some of the gods, please."

"A god of rain; a god of wind; a god of thunder; a god of wealth, the
latter worshipped very much by tradesmen; a god of thieves; a goddess of
thunder; a guardian goddess of women and little children, called Kum-fa,
whose ten attendants watch over children, helping them to eat, and
teaching them to smile and walk; a god of wine; a god of fire; a goddess
of mercy; a goddess of sailors; a goddess of children, called 'Mother';
a god of the kitchen; a god of measles, a god of small-pox. Then the
Confucianists worship two stars, who are supposed to look after
literature and drawing, the former called the god of literature. And
besides household gods belonging to every family, there are a god of the
passing year, and numerous others. Many of the gods are deified persons
who once lived on earth."

[Illustration: TEMPLE OF THE MOON, PEKING.]

"What a number!" Sybil said. "But who, then, is the great Lama? You have
not told us anything about him yet, and I heard you speaking about him
the other day."

"There is another form of Buddhism, called Lamaism, and this, though it
prevails principally in Thibet and Mongolia, has also its followers in
Peking. The Great Lama, or Living Buddha, is the head of this."

"And he is a living man?"

"Yes; but his soul is said never to die; therefore, when he dies it is
supposed to pass into an infant whom the priests select by a likeness
that they trace to the late Lama. I one day saw worship going on in a
Lama temple."

"Have you a picture of it, father?" Leonard asked, who was getting a
little tired of these descriptions, which Sybil liked so much.

"Yes, and I think it a very good one. In the centre, facing the
worshippers, is a very large idol indeed of Buddha. To the right and
left of the temple are smaller idols. Some gods in temples do not
receive worship, but guard the doors. Incense is burning in front; the
high priest, to the right, is lifting up his hands in adoration, whilst
the people offer scented rods and tapers to Buddha. As they light their
offerings they kow-tow, or hit their heads upon the floor. This is the
Chinese way of reverent, respectful salutation. The devotees are grouped
in squares.

"Then I forgot to tell you that the Sun and Moon are also worshipped.
Whilst in Peking, I went to a temple of the Moon. It was on the day of
the autumnal equinox, when, at six o'clock in the evening, a very solemn
sacrifice is offered, and the great ladies of the capital meet to burn
their tapers. I approached this temple by a long avenue of beautiful
trees. The temple was large; but I noticed that more women than men had
come to attend the ceremonies."

"I thought the Chinese were clever people," Sybil said; "if so, how can
they believe in so many gods?"

"They have been trained to do so. They feel, I suppose, that they must
offer worship, and until a real knowledge of the true God can be planted
in their midst, they will remain slaves to idolatry. Many of the more
enlightened heathen, I believe, only regard their idols as
representations of the Deity they are feeling after, and not really as
the Deity Himself; although I fear many of the simpler sort, in
different degrees, regard their idols with great religious awe. Then,
many a Chinaman, again, will so often seem to have no religion at all!"

"Is it very difficult to teach the Chinese, father?"

"It is very difficult to find words, in their language, clearly to bring
home to them the great truths of the Bible; and Confucius having for
nearly twenty centuries held such a sway over their minds, they do not
care to listen to new teachers."

"I am so glad the Bible is now translated into Chinese, and that you are
taking some copies out with you. But how old these people must be!"

"The Chinese are a very ancient race, and had a literature 700 years
before Christ. They are very fond and proud of their country."

"Do Taouists and Buddhists believe in, and read, the writings of
Confucius?"

"To a great extent."

"And are there many Christians in China now?"

"The Church Missionary Society, at her six chief stations of Hong-Kong,
Foo-Chow, Ningpo, Hang-Chow, Shaou-hing, and Shanghai, now numbers 4,667
native followers, and 1,702 communicants, of whom nine are native
clergymen and 174 native Christian teachers. In China altogether there
are 40,000 Christian adherents. But what are these, when we think that
this vast empire alone contains 400,000,000 people, one-third of the
human race?"

"They will listen to you, father," Sybil said, looking up very brightly.
Sybil was a child who thought that there was nobody, except her own
mother, in the whole world to compare with her father.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]



CHAPTER IV.

CHINESE CHILDHOOD.


"I FORGOT to ask you, father," Leonard said, about a week later--for
during that time he and his sister had been otherwise engaged, and had
therefore not come to hear anything more about the Chinese and their
strange doings--"I forgot to ask you if Celestial boys wore pig-tails
too. I have never, I believe, seen a picture of a Chinese boy."

"Some have pig-tails, but some parents allow just a tuft of hair to grow
on a boy's head until he is eight or ten years old, and shave the rest.
Sometimes he wears the tuft longer; and I have also seen girls wearing
it on one or both sides of their heads."

"Father, will you tell us something now about the children?" Sybil then
asked.

"I know little babies of three days old often have their wrists tied
with red cotton cord, to which a charm is hung, which is, I suppose, to
bring it prosperity or drive away from it evil spirits. At a month old
its head is shaved for the first time, when, if its mother does not
shave it, a hair-dresser has to wear red in which to do it. A boy is
shaved before the ancestral tablet, but a girl before an image of the
goddess of children called 'Mother,' and thank-offerings are on this day
presented to the goddess."

"What does the ancestral tablet mean?"

"It consists of a piece of wood or stone, which is meant to represent
the dead. As I told you, one of the spirits of a dead man is supposed to
enter the tablet, and the more this is worshipped the happier the spirit
is supposed to be. On this tablet are names and inscriptions, which
sometimes represent several ancestors. After a certain time (I think the
fifth generation) the tablet is no longer worshipped, as by that time
the spirit is supposed to have passed into another body."

"Thank you. I understand that now," Sybil said. "Does anything else
happen on the grand shaving day?"

"Presents of painted ducks' eggs, cakes, and other things are sent to
the baby, and when it is four months old 'Mother' is thanked again, and
prayed to make the child grow fast, sleep well, and be good-tempered."
Sybil and Leonard laughed. "On this day the child also sits for the
first time in a chair, when his grandmother, his mother's mother, who
has to give him a great many presents, sends him some soft kind of
sugar-candy, which is put upon the chair, and when this has stuck the
baby is put upon it, and I suppose his clothes then stick to it also."

"What a fashion to learn to sit in a chair!" Leonard said. "And what's
done on his first birthday?"

"Another thank-offering is presented to 'Mother,' more presents come,
and the baby has to sit in front of a number of things, such as ink,
pens, scales, pencils, tools, books, fruit, gold, or anything the
parents like to arrange before him, and whatever he catches hold of
first will show them what his future character or occupation is likely
to be.

[Illustration: YUEN-SHUH, A LITTLE STUDENT.]

"But the worst part has now to come. As soon as the poor little fellow
can learn anything, he is taught to worship 'Mother' and other idols,
before which he has to bow down, and raise up his little hands, whilst
candles and incense are burnt in their honour. So it is no wonder that
as he grows older he learns his lesson thoroughly. At sixteen children
are supposed to leave childhood behind them, and there is a ceremony for
this."

"Do Chinese girls learn lessons? or is it only the boys?"

"In some parts of China there are, I believe, a few schools for young
ladies, and instruction is given to them by tutors at home; but although
two or three Chinese ladies have been celebrated for great literary
attainments, these are quite the exceptions, and there are only a very
few schools for any girls in China, except the mission schools. Those
for boys abound all over the country."

"Did you ever go into a boy's school, father?"

"Yes, into several, where I saw many a little intelligent-looking boy
working very hard at his lessons. One little boy, named Yuen-Shuh, told
me that he meant to get all the literary honours that he could. Chinese
boys are not allowed to talk at all in school-hours. Each boy has a desk
at which to sit, which is so arranged that he cannot speak to the boy
next to him. Little Yuen-Shuh had been to school since he was six years
old.

"Another boy was saying a lesson when I went in, and therefore standing
with his back to his teacher. Boys always say their lessons like this,
and it is called 'backing the book.' The teacher, as they repeat their
lessons, puts down their marks. When learning their lessons they repeat
them aloud. There are higher schools into which older boys pass, and the
great aim of the Chinese is to take literary honours, as nothing else
can give them a position of high rank; but even a peasant taking these
honours would rank as a gentleman."

"Will you take me to see a school in China?" Leonard then asked.

[Illustration: A CHINESE SCHOOL.]

His father, having promised to do so, went on to say to Leonard:
"Parents are very particular as to their choice of a schoolmaster, who
must be considered good, as well as able to teach; and to qualify
himself the master must, of course, know the doctrines of the ancient
sages. After all has been settled for a boy to go to school, the parents
always invite the schoolmaster to a dinner, given expressly for him.
Then a fortune-teller is asked to decide upon a 'lucky' day for the boy
to make his first appearance at school, when he takes the tutor a
present. No boy ever goes to school first on the anniversary of the day
on which Confucius died or was buried. On entering school, he turns to
the shrine of Confucius--an altar erected to his honour in every
school--and worships him, after which he salutes his teacher very
respectfully, hears what he has to do, and goes to his desk."

"And are there many holidays at Chinese schools?"

"At the new year and in the autumn there are always holidays, but
children also go home to keep all religious festivals, to celebrate the
birthdays of parents and grandparents, to worship their tablets, and at
the tombs of ancestors. Very often schoolmasters are men who have toiled
very hard at their books, and yet have not succeeded in taking a very
high degree, but sometimes having done so, they choose teaching for
their profession. Children are very much punished in China when they
break school-rules. Perhaps the punishment they fear most is to be
beaten with a broom, because they think that this may make them unlucky
for the rest of their lives."

"And they can never have an alphabet to learn," Sybil said, "when they
first go to school, as there is not one."

[Illustration: A VILLAGE SCHOOLMASTER.]

"No; instead of letters and words, they have to learn, and master,
characters. In some schools children learn names first; in others they
have reading lessons, where all the sentences consist of three
characters. As soon as possible they are set to learn the classic on
'Filial Piety.'"

"Now, father, will you please describe a Chinese house to us?"

"Those of the richer classes are surrounded by a high wall, and composed
of a number of rooms, generally on one floor. In large cities some
houses have another storey; but the Chinese think it 'unlucky' to live
above ground."

"The Chinese seem to think everything either lucky or unlucky," Sybil
said; "it does seem silly. I do not wonder that you always told me not
to say that word. I don't think I shall ever want to say it again now;
and I used to say it rather often, usen't I? But I did not mean to
interrupt you, so please go on now."

"Some houses are very large, which they have to be, in order to
accommodate several branches of the same family, who often live together
in different parts of them.

"There are generally three doors of entrance to a house, of which the
principal, in the centre, leads to the reception hall, into which
visitors are shown. I have seen the walls of rooms hung with white silk
or satin, on which sentences of good advice were written. All sorts of
beautiful lanterns hang from the sitting-room ceilings, sometimes by
silk cords. The furniture consists principally of chairs, tables, pretty
screens and cabinets, with many porcelain ornaments, and fans are very
numerous in a Chinese household. Most houses have very beautiful
gardens; even the poor try to have their houses surrounded by as much
ground as possible. Many houses also have verandahs, where the Chinaman
likes to smoke his evening pipe. Indeed, women, even ladies, smoke pipes
in China. I have a picture of a verandah scene in the south of China."

"Are these people rich or poor?" Sybil asked.

"Certainly not rich, but also not very poor."

"You were saying the other day, father, that Chinese people smoke
something else besides tobacco?" Leonard then asked.

"Opium."

"What is opium?"

"The juice of the poppy, which, after being made into a solid form, is
boiled down with water."

"Why did you say that opium-smoking was so dreadful?"

"You shall hear all about it, and then judge for yourself. The
opium-smoker, whilst engaged with his pipe, thinks of, and cares for,
nothing else in the whole world besides, and generally lies down to give
himself up to its more full enjoyment. Holding his pipe over the flame
of a small oil-lamp beside him, he lights the opium, and then gently
draws in the vapour which proceeds from it. Sometimes people smoke in
their own houses, and sometimes they resort to horrid places regularly
set apart for opium-smoking. In Hong-Kong, where we are going, there
will be many an opium-smoker who will buy this drug in quantities when
he cannot even afford to purchase clothing.

[Illustration: FAMILY SCENE--AFTER DINNER]

"If a man make a practice of smoking opium at stated times, even should
these times not be very frequent, he so acquires the habit of smoking,
that if, when the pipe be due it is not forthcoming, he is quite
unable to do his work, and wastes all his time thinking of and longing
for his pipe. The habit is sometimes acquired in less than a fortnight.
Opium may first be taken in a small quantity to cure toothache; the
small quantity leads to large quantities; the large quantities, or even
small ones taken regularly, lead at last to the man becoming an habitual
opium-smoker: and this means that the victim's health becomes injured,
and that he is unfit for any work. If he then leave off his opium, he
becomes ill, has dreadful pain, which sometimes lasts till he smokes
again; he has no appetite for food, cannot sleep at night, and looks
haggard and miserable. Sometimes if opium cannot be procured by him he
dies.

"And these men make themselves slaves for life to this horrid drug,
knowing before they touch it what it will do for them.

"Opium-smoking makes rich men poor, honest men thieves, and poor people
even sell their children to obtain the drug."

"And can't they be cured, father?" Sybil asked.

"Medical aid has been brought in to help them, but it generally fails;
and every now and then we hear of an opium-smoker becoming a Christian
and then overcoming the vice, but this is also very rare indeed. And
what does this teach us, children?"

They thought. "Never to acquire bad habits, I suppose," said Sybil, "for
fear they should grow upon us."

[Illustration: HABITUAL OPIUM-SMOKERS.]

"Yes; and because they do grow upon us. Everything to which we very much
accustom ourselves grows into a habit; therefore it is so very important
for both Chinese and English, for both grown-up and little people, to
cultivate good habits. And more especially is this important in the case
of young people, because so many of our habits, which remain with us and
influence our whole after-life, are formed in our childish days."

"And do people really sell their children?"

"They do, indeed; and some children are so filial that they will even
sell themselves for the good of their parents. There is very little that
a Chinaman will not do for a parent. One of their superstitions is that
if a father or mother be ill, and the child should cut away some of its
own flesh to mix in the parent's medicine, a cure would be effected; and
children have been known to cut pieces, for this purpose, out of their
own arms."

"What would happen," Sybil asked, "if a child were to do anything very
dreadful to a parent in China?"

"If a son kill a parent, he is put to death, his house is torn down, his
nearest neighbours are punished, and his schoolmaster is put to death;
the magistrate of the district would also suffer, and the governor of
the province would go down in rank."

"How unfair!" Leonard exclaimed, "when only one person did it."

"Why does all that happen?" Sybil asked.

"To show how great the man's sin is. The schoolmaster is punished
because it is thought that he did not bring up his pupil properly. Of
course, it is very unfair, but the Chinese are often very cruel in their
chastisments, and many criminals prefer death to some of the other
punishments. A great many also suffer capital punishment; sometimes as
many as ten thousand people in a year."

"Then, when children do wrong, their parents and schoolmasters are
blamed?"

"Very often their faults are attributed to their bringing-up."

"Oh! oughtn't we to be careful, then, Leonard? Fancy when we do wrong
people blaming father or mother!"

Leonard was then very anxious to hear more about Chinese punishments, so
his father told him an occurrence that he had once witnessed.

"A very usual way of punishing small offences," he began, "is by beating
with a bamboo; and whenever a mandarin finds that any one, under his
jurisdiction, has transgressed, he can use the bamboo. Parents use it on
their children even when they are thirty years of age. The poor Chinese
culprits used to be subject to very horrible tortures, such as having
their fingers or ankles squeezed until they made confession; but I
believe a good many of the worst tortures have now been done away with.
One in common use is the canque, which is a collar made of heavy wood,
with a hole in the centre for the head to come through. It is fastened
round the neck, and is worn from one to three months, preventing its
prisoner from lying down day or night. The captive remains in the street
instead of in prison, and is dependent upon his friends to feed him."

"What a shame!" Leonard said. "I'd like to be a magistrate in China, to
put that sort of cruelty down."

[Illustration: A CHINESE COURT OF LAW.]

[Illustration: CHINESE PUNISHMENT.]

"But now I am coming to a trial that I witnessed myself. I remember, as
I went into the Provincial Criminal Court, one day, seeing the judge
sitting behind a large table, covered with a red cloth. Secretaries,
interpreters, and turnkeys stood at each end of the table, only the
judge having a right to sit down. Soon after I arrived the prisoner was
led in by a chain who immediately threw himself down on the ground
before the judge. The crime brought against him was robbing an official
of high rank. It was thought that he could not have committed the
robbery alone, and was asked how it was effected, and who were his
accomplices. He would not say. Then he was beaten; but still this
brought no answer. Both an arm and a leg were then put into a board,
which made it almost impossible for him either to walk, or sit, or
stand. His poor back must have ached terribly; and while one man dragged
him along by a chain, another held a whip to urge him forward.

"And he had never committed the robbery after all, but gave himself up
in place of his father, a man named Wang-Yangsui, who was really the
culprit."

Tears were in Sybil's eyes as she listened.

[Illustration: POOR OLD WANG-YANGSUI IN THE CAGE.]

"And he suffered all that?" she said.

"Sons have been known to allow themselves to be transported to save
their parents, and then only to have felt that they did their duty."

"And in this case was the real culprit ever found out?"

"Yes; the father, moved with compassion for his boy, gave himself up."

"And did they not let him off," Leonard asked, "as the son had suffered
so much for him?"

"No; they put him into a cage in which were holes for his head and feet,
but in which he could neither sit down nor stand upright. Round the cage
was an inscription relating the nature of his crime."

"How long was he left there?"

"That I was not able to hear, but the day he was incarcerated I saw his
daughter feeding him with chop-sticks. These, which consist of two
sticks that people hold in the same hand wherewith to feed themselves,
instead of knives and forks, the Chinese always use when they eat. She
must have found it difficult to get to him, as she was carrying a
basket, as well as a baby on her back, for she had small feet, and women
with small feet cannot walk any distance, even without a load at all. It
is not the rule for lower class girls to have their feet made small,
though in some cases it is done. This woman had once been better off."

"Why do Chinese ladies have small feet?" Leonard asked.

"But, father," Sybil put in, "please tell us first what became of that
poor old man. I am so sorry he stole."

"I heard that great poverty had tempted him to do so, but that he
afterwards bitterly repented of the crime which he had committed. How
long he remained in the cage I was never able to ascertain; but I really
think now that we must close our 'Peep-show' for to-day."

"After we've heard about the small feet ladies, father. I think you have
just time for that."

"The feet of Chinese women would be no smaller than, perhaps not as
small as, other women's feet, were they not compressed."

"What does that mean?"

"Made smaller by being pressed."

"How painful it must be!"

"So it is. When very young, a little girl's foot is tightly bandaged
round, the end of the bandage being first laid on the inside of the
foot, then carried round the toes, under the foot, and round the heel
till the toes are drawn over the sole, in which an indentation becomes
made and the instep swells out. After a time the foot is soaked in hot
water, when some of the toes will occasionally drop off. Every time the
bandage is taken away another is put on, and tied more tightly. For the
first year there is, as we can imagine, dreadful pain, but after two
years the foot will become dead and cease to ache. You can therefore
understand that it is very uncomfortable for Chinese ladies to walk, and
if they go any distance they are carried on the backs of their female
slaves."

"Are all Chinese parents so silly as to have their little girls' feet
bandaged?"

"A few are strong-minded enough to break through the rule, and all the
Tartar ladies have natural feet. Anti-foot-binding societies have now
been formed by the Chinese gentry in Canton and Amoy."

"I wonder what made people first think of doing this?" Sybil said.

"Some people think that it was first done to help husbands to keep their
wives at home; others say that it was to copy an Empress who had a
deformed foot which she bandaged; but whatever the reason may have
been, we cannot but wish very, very strongly, that the cruel custom
might be soon completely done away with!"

"I shall like to see the ladies being carried on their slaves' backs,"
Leonard said. "That will be fun!"

"You will soon see it now," was his father's answer, "for we have been
six weeks at sea, and the captain says we may expect to be at Shanghai
in another ten days' time, so I think I had better not tell you any
more, and let you find out the rest for yourselves."

"I think we might have just one more 'Peep-show,'" Sybil replied, "and
hear how we get our tea-leaves. I think we ought to know about that
before we arrive."

The missionary smiled, and the next time his children wanted a
"Peep-show" very much, only a very little persuasion was required to
make him sit down between them and let them have it.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]



CHAPTER V.

THE MERCHANT SHOWMAN.


[Illustration]

"WELL, so it is to be about tea to-day," Mr. Graham at once began.
"Supposing I do not know anything about it, though; what are we to do
then? I know tea comes from an evergreen plant, something like a myrtle,
but that isn't much information, is it? Wait a minute, though,
children," he then went on, "and you shall have a proper lesson to-day."
And as he spoke Mr. Graham disappeared, soon to return with a fellow
passenger, a tea merchant, who would be the kind "show-man" for to-day.

"How far did you get?" he asked, as he sat amongst the group of father,
mother, and children, for Mrs. Graham had also come to "the show"
to-day.

"That tea was an evergreen plant, something like the myrtle," Sybil
said, laughing; and all laughed with her.

[Illustration: GATHERING TEA-LEAVES.]

[Illustration: SIFTING TEA.]

"Then I have it all to do, it seems. Well, the tea-plant yields a crop
after it has been planted three years, and there are three gatherings
during the year: one in the middle of April, the second at midsummer,
and the third in August and September. I suppose it will do if we begin
here. The plant requires very careful plucking, only one leaf being
allowed to be gathered at a time; and then a tree must never be plucked
too bare. Women and children, who are generally, though not always, the
tea gatherers, are obliged to wash their hands before they begin their
work, and have to understand that it is the medium-sized leaves which
they have to pick, leaving the larger ones to gather the dew. When the
baskets are full, into which the leaves have been dropped, they are
carried away hanging to a bamboo slung across the shoulders, which is a
very usual way of carrying things in China. The tea-plant is the most
important vegetable production of the 'Flowery Land.' But as there are,
you know, several kinds of tea, I think I had better tell you how that
called Congou, which, I suppose, you generally drink yourselves, is
prepared. The leaves are first spread out in the air to dry, after which
they are trodden by labourers, so that any moisture remaining in them,
after they have been exposed to the air or sun, may be pressed out;
after this they are again heaped together, and covered for the night
with cloths. In this state they remain all night, when a strange thing
happens to them, spontaneous heating changing the green leaves to black
or brown. They are now more fragrant and the taste has changed.

"The next process is to twist and crumple the leaves, by rubbing them
between the palms of the hands. In this crumpled state they are again
put in the sun, or if the day be wet, or the sky threatening, they are
baked over a charcoal fire.

"Leaves, arranged in a sieve, are placed in the middle of a
basket-frame, over a grate in which are hot embers of charcoal. After
some one has so stirred the leaves that they have all become heated
alike, they are ready to be sold to proprietors of tea-hongs in the
towns, when the proprietor has the leaves again put over the fire and
sifted.

"After this, women and girls separate all the bad leaves and stems from
the good ones; sitting, in order to do so, with baskets of leaves before
them, and very carefully picking out with both their hands all the bad
leaves and stems that the sieve has not got rid of. The light and
useless leaves are then divided from those that are heavy and good, when
the good are put into boxes lined with paper."

"What is scented Caper Tea?" Mr Graham asked.

"Oh, father! I am so glad that there's something you have to ask,"
Leonard said, "as you seemed to know _everything_."

[Illustration: SORTING TEA.]

"The leaves of scented Orange Pekoe," the merchant answered, "obtain
their fragrance by being mixed with the flowers of the Arabian
jessamine, and when scented enough, they are separated from the flowers
by sieves. Scented Caper Tea is made from some of the leaves of this
Orange Pekoe.

[Illustration: PRESSING BAGS OF TEA.]

[Illustration: TEA-TASTING.]

"Those leaves which are prepared at Canton are black or brown, with a
slight tinge of yellow or green. The tea-leaves growing on an extensive
range of hills in the district of Hokshan are often forwarded to
Canton, where they are made into caper in the following manner. But I
wonder if Leonard knows what 'shan' means?" the merchant interrupted. He
did, for he had seen in his geography that "shan" meant mountain. "A
tea-hong," the merchant continued, "is furnished with many pans, into
which seventeen or eighteen handfuls of leaves are put. These are
moistened with water, and stirred up by the hand. As soon as they are
soft they are put into coarse bags, which, tightly fastened, look like
large balls.

[Illustration: WEIGHING TEA.]

"These bags are moved backwards and forwards on the floor by men holding
on to wooden poles, and standing upon them. In each bag the leaves take
the form of pellets, or capers.

"The coarse leaves, gathered from finer ones, thus made into Caper,
after being well fired, are put into wooden troughs, and chopped into
several pieces, and it is these pieces which become the tea which we
call Caper."

"Thank you very much," said Mr. Graham. "I did not know anything of
this."

"Tea-merchants are most particular, before buying and selling tea, to
taste it and to test its quality.

"And before it is shipped away it is also very carefully weighed, when I
myself, I know, for instance, sit by, watching the process, and taking
account of the result."

"I suppose tea isn't ever sent about in wheel-barrows?" then said
Leonard, who liked very much indeed the idea of wheel-barrows with sails
up, such as he had heard about.

[Illustration: GOING TO MARKET.]

"I never saw it," was the merchant's reply; "but if you are interested
in wheel-barrows, you might like to hear about one that I once saw in
China. It was conveying not only goods, and the scales wherewith to
weigh them, to market, but the family also to whom the goods belonged.
The family party made a great impression upon me. The master of the
barrow was pushing it from behind, a donkey was pulling it in front, and
on the donkey rode a boy; a woman and two children were driven in the
wheel-barrow, besides the goods for market. I thought the man and donkey
must have a heavy load between them, but both seemed to work most
cheerfully and willingly; and a sail in the centre of the wheel-barrow,
gathering the full force of the wind, must have been a great help to
them.

"The donkey was guided by no reins, only by the voice of the boy on his
back, who carried a stick, but had no occasion to use it, although every
now and then he just raised it in the air. Sometimes the boy ran beside
the donkey. Anyhow suited the willing little beast, who was as anxious
as his master to do his best. A dog completed the number of the party.

"The man told me that he was truly fond of this dog, and gave him
'plenty chow-chow' (plenty to eat), and that he considered he owed all
his wealth to him, as he had once come to the house, and had since then
remained with the family.

"A strange dog coming to, and remaining at, a house is looked upon by
the Chinese as bringing good luck to the family, but a strange cat
coming is a bad omen."

The children laughed.

"This man certainly treated his dog very well, as do some few of his
countrymen; but, alas! alas! so many poor little faithful dogs in China,
as in other countries, lead anything but happy lives!"

[Illustration]

[Illustration]



CHAPTER VI.

LITTLE CHU AND WOO-URH.


[Illustration]

NO more story Peep-shows of what might be seen in China, no more
wondering what the Celestials would be like, for Sybil and Leonard had
now landed on Chinese soil, and were themselves at Shanghai, face to
face with its inhabitants.

Shanghai seemed, and was, a very busy place, but not a town of very
great importance in itself, owing, really, its recent prosperity to
having opened its port to foreign commerce. The custom-house, through
which the Grahams' boxes had to be passed, struck the children as a
very strange and beautiful building, quite different from anything that
they had seen before; and there was a great noise of chattering going on
outside, which sounded most unintelligible. Coolies were carrying bales
of silk and tea to and fro; there were also, ready at hand, some of the
sedan-chairs that Sybil had longed to see, and everywhere "pig-tails,"
or cues, as they were called, seemed to meet Leonard's gaze.

But the ships! Watching them was what he enjoyed better than anything
else. The town of Shanghai is situated on the River Woosung, a tributary
of the Yangtse-kiang, just at that point where it joins the great river,
and about one hundred ships were anchored before this busy, commercial
city. Many families resident there have their junks and a little home on
the river. There were some very pretty buildings to be seen at Shanghai,
and at one of these our little party stayed--on a visit to another
missionary from the Church of England--for the three days that they
remained there.

At some cities and towns, on the banks of rivers, floating hotels are to
be seen; and as people generally have to travel by water, and the
Chinese are not allowed to keep open their city-gates after nine o'clock
at night, these hotels prove very useful to those arriving too late to
enter the city. Lighted with lanterns, they look very pretty floating on
the water, and both Sybil and Leonard were very pleased to be taken over
a large floating hotel before they left Shanghai. Leonard was very
anxious to know how long this town had been open to foreign commerce,
and was told since the Opium War, which lasted from 1840 to 1842, when
the British, having occupied several Chinese cities, and having
captured Chinkiang in Hoopeh, were advancing to Nanking, and the Chinese
suing for peace, a treaty was concluded which opened the ports of Amoy,
Foochow, Shanghai, and Ningpo, in addition to Canton, to the British,
who were henceforward to appoint consuls to live in these towns.

The Chinese are very polite to foreigners in Shanghai; and as the kind
missionary who bade the Grahams welcome to his home endeavoured, during
their short stay, to interest and show them sights, they enjoyed
themselves very much. Sybil and Leonard could not help noticing how very
many people they met in spectacles, but they were told that the Chinese
suffer very much from ophthalmia, and that when they wear spectacles,
some of which are very large, they often have sore eyes.

"There is one thing I cannot understand the Chinese doing," Leonard said
one day to Sybil: "and that is, everybody that we have seen, as yet,
spoiling their tea by not taking any milk or sugar in it; and father
says all the Chinese drink tea like that, and call milk white blood, and
only use it in medicine."

"Tea like that would not suit us," Sybil answered, "as we like plenty of
both milk and sugar; but I dare say they think we spoil our tea by
putting such things into it."

A visit to some rice-fields, a little sight-seeing, a little more
watching of ships carrying rice and other products away, and then it was
time for the Grahams once more to take their seats on board.

[Illustration: THE CUSTOM-HOUSE, SHANGHAI.]

We can imagine how both children strained their eyes, as they steamed
farther and farther away from Shanghai, to see what that port looked
like in the distance, and how Sybil examined her map as they left the
province of Kiang-su, to see at what port, and in what province, they
would next touch.

This was Ningpo, in Che-kiang, but they did not land here; neither did
they go on shore at their next halting-place, Foochow, in the province
of Fu-kien. It was at Amoy, in the same province, where their father had
a missionary friend, who had invited them to pay him a few days' or a
week's visit, as would suit them best, that they next purposed landing,
and this they did about four days after they left Shanghai.

"Whoever thought," Sybil said one day on board, "that we should actually
be on the Yellow Sea ourselves? It seems almost too good to be true
now."

"I never knew people like to stare more at anybody than they seem to
like to stare at us here," Leonard thought to himself when first at
Amoy.

He and Sybil were then being very carefully observed by a group of
natives of that place, but Leonard had yet to become accustomed to being
stared at in China.

"And, father," he said later, "I wonder why so many of them wear
turbans? I did not notice people doing this at Shanghai."

[Illustration: A FLOATING HOTEL AT SHANGHAI.]

Mr. Graham did not know the reason of this either; but he and Leonard
were later informed that the men of Amoy adopted the turban to hide the
tail when they were made to wear it by their conquerors, and that they
never gave it up. Leonard was also told that they were good soldiers,
which, he said, he thought they looked. One thing remarkable about the
people of Amoy was that the different families seemed to consist
almost entirely of boys. A great many of the inhabitants were very poor,
living crowded together in dirty houses very barely furnished. Mrs.
Graham had not to be long in China to discover that cleanliness is not a
Chinese virtue. Sybil bought some very pretty artificial flowers of some
of the inhabitants of Amoy, which they had themselves made. They
manufactured them principally, she heard, to be placed on graves.

[Illustration: THE PORT OF SHANGHAI.]

Like other Chinese, these people were very superstitious. Here and there
large blocks of granite were to be met with, which were regarded by them
with reverence, and looked upon as good divinities. On one the Grahams
saw inscriptions, which related some history of the place.

Granite seemed to abound here, for the temples and monasteries were, for
the most part, erected on the heights between rocks of this description.

Two days after reaching Amoy, Sybil was dreadfully distressed, and
shocked, to see a little girl named Chu, of eleven years old, put up for
sale by her own parents. At ten dollars (£1) only was she valued; and
for this paltry sum the parents were ready to sell her to any one who
would bid it for her. They were very poor, and could not afford to keep
her any longer. She had four sisters and only two brothers; the youngest
of all, the baby, was to be drowned by her father, later on in the day,
in a tub of water. They had never done anything like this before: this
man and woman had never killed a child, although they had had five
girls, and many of their neighbours had thought nothing of destroying
most of their daughters so soon as they were born; but now, as the man
was ill, and able to earn so little, they had resolved to rid themselves
of two of them that day. If the baby lived, the mother comforted herself
by saying, she must be sold later, or grow up in poverty and misery.

Parents think it very necessary that their children should marry, and
sometimes sell, or give them away, to their friends, when they are quite
little, to be the future wives of the sons of their new owners.

If sold, they will then fetch about two dollars for every year that they
have lived; so a child of five years old would fetch ten dollars; and
this little girl, put up for sale, was now eleven years old; therefore
she was being offered, poor little thing, below half price. And some
little girls of Amoy have been even offered for sale for a few pence!

[Illustration: A FAMILY OF AMOY.]

It seemed incomprehensible to Sybil, as it must to us, that a mother
could wish either to kill or to sell her little child, but neither the
one nor the other event is uncommon in some parts of China, where the
parent is poor; and even amongst the well-to-do classes little girls are
sometimes put to death, if the parents have more daughters than they
care to rear, not only at Amoy, but at other places in the
neighbourhood; and even Chinese ladies will sometimes have their poor
little daughters put to death.

"Why do people not kill their boys too?" Sybil asked, when she heard all
about this.

[Illustration: THE MISSIONARY'S TEACHER.]

"Because when they grow up they can earn money that girls could not
earn; and not only can they help to support their parents when old, but
they can worship their ancestral tablets and keep up the family name."

"I am sure a girl would do this too."

"Her doing so would be considered of little use."

[Illustration: A VIEW OF AMOY, WITH A BLOCK OF GRANITE IN THE
FOREGROUND.]

It seemed that the very day before Mr. Graham arrived in Amoy, a widow
lady there had had her little baby girl destroyed, and then, in her
widow's dress, had sat down quietly to talk matters over with her
sister-in-law, who thought that she had acted very wisely. Killing a
daughter, in China, is hardly looked upon as being sinful. A widow's
mourning consists of all white and a band round the head, white being
Chinese deepest mourning.

[Illustration: LADIES OF AMOY.]

[Illustration: LITTLE CHU.]

Whilst Mr. Graham stood by, a purchaser for little Chu stepped forward,
holding the ten dollars in his hand; but the missionary was before him,
and through a teacher, whom he had already been able to engage, offered
the father twice that sum not to sell the little girl at all, but to let
him have her for a servant. He hesitated, as though he would rather sell
his child right off to any Chinaman than trust her to a foreign
"barbarian." But the sum tempted him; and although he could not
understand how receiving it did not give Chu altogether to her
purchaser, he seemed to be contented, especially when the teacher
explained that she would not be a slave, but would be paid for what work
she did. Little Chu was well off to have stepped into so happy a
service, and the baby was rescued also. A certain sum was to be paid
weekly to the father, towards her support, until he recovered his
health, if he would only spare her; and both parents, who really fondly
loved their children, were very glad to spare their baby, fifth girl
though she was. Her name was Woo-Urh, which means fifth girl.

It did not take long to have little Chu tidily dressed, with money that
her new master supplied, and her poor mother, who had some beads stowed
away, now looked them out and also put these on her. Chu was only eleven
years old, but poverty and care had given the little one an old
expression beyond her years. Chinese children of from ten to sixteen
years of age--about which time they are supposed to marry--have a fringe
cut over their foreheads, and Chu wore this fringe now. It has to grow
again before they marry.

That evening Chu was sent round to Mr. Graham's brother missionary's
house, where, as Sybil's little maid, she was housed for the two or
three days longer that they would spend at Amoy; and though Chu had come
to live with foreigners, in the family of a "barbarian," as her father
thought, we can well imagine that she had never been so happy in her
life. Mr. Graham had told her parents that when they reached Hong-Kong
he should send her to the mission school.

"And the father would have killed the baby himself!" said Sybil. "How
could he have done so?"

"That is the marvel; but it is generally the fathers who commit the
deed; other people might be punished if they interfered."

[Illustration]



CHAPTER VII.

LEONARD'S EXPLOIT IN FORMOSA.


ABOUT the middle of November, eleven weeks after Mr. Graham and his
family had left England, they arrived in the beautiful island of
Formosa, whither they had crossed over from Amoy.

Three more persons were now added to the travelling party--the teacher,
a Chinese maid, and little Chu, the latter having already begun to show
herself really useful.

[Illustration: ENTRANCE TO THE PORT OF TAKOW.]

There is but little fun in travelling, and one does not see half there
is to be seen unless one climbs; and as the Grahams were all bent on
having fun and seeing as much as they could, on reaching the port of
Takow, in Formosa, they ascended a very high mountain, called Monkey
Mountain, because it is the home of very many monkeys, and they were
rewarded by having, from its height, a capital view of the entrance to
the port. To the front of the mountain were some European houses,
belonging to English merchants from Amoy. The port of Takow is a very
difficult one at which to anchor, and is closed for commerce during six
months of the year, whilst the wind is blowing in an adverse direction;
but when the wind and tide are favourable, barks pass between some rocks
at the entrance to the port. It is only at the north that the water is
deep enough for merchant-ships to pass by. Here Leonard saw men fishing
quite differently from what he had ever seen people fish before; and as
they walked in the water behind their nets, which they seemed to manage
very cleverly, he wished so much that he could have been there with
them.

Takow is one of the four ports in Formosa which, through treaties, have
been thrown open to foreign trade, the others being those of Kelung,
Tamsui, and Taiwan-fu.

[Illustration: THE EXTREME NORTH OF TAKOW.]

Formosa, as its name implies, is a very lovely, picturesque island, and
the Spaniards, who first made it known to Europeans, named it "Isla
Formosa," which, in their language, means "beautiful island." Takow
seemed to abound in tropical vegetation, palm-trees being very
conspicuous. The gong, used everywhere in China, was much in use here
also; and as in other places men carried things by balancing them across
their shoulders, so also they did here. But as Mr. Graham's special
object in coming to this island was to visit Poahbi, the first centre of
the population of a tribe of aborigines, whom the Chinese have named
Pepohoans, or strangers of the plain, he moved on thither as quickly as
he could. The country through which they now passed was very beautiful,
palm-trees and bamboos overshadowing the way.

[Illustration: FISHERMEN OF TAKOW.]

Although it was the month of November, the weather was hot here, and
women, wearing white calico dresses, were hard at work in the fields.
Many of the women of Formosa had compressed feet, and most of the
children wore charms round their necks.

The Pepohoans used to live in fertile plains, but when greedy and
grasping Chinese drove them from the rich and beautiful lands that were
then theirs, and had belonged to their ancestors before them, they took
shelter, and made themselves homes, in mountain fastnesses.

Sybil and Leonard were charmed with the people of Poahbi, and thought
both their faces and manners very pretty. Although some of the people
stared at the foreigners, and laughed at them, many wished to make them
welcome in their midst. One woman gave them shelter for the night--a
very kind-hearted woman, with a dear little baby, and a very clean and
comfortable home. She was a Christian.

At Poahbi Mr. Graham saw a little Christian chapel, which the natives
had not only built, but which they also kept up, themselves. Pepohoans
are good builders, and do also much work in the fields. They have a most
affectionate remembrance of the Dutch, who were once their masters, but
who were afterwards expelled from Formosa by a Chinese pirate.

[Illustration: VIEW OF TAKOW, A TOWN IN FORMOSA.]

The huts, or bamboo cottages, of the Pepohoans, raised on terraces three
or four feet high, looked very picturesque, and consisted first of a
framework of bamboo, through which crossbars of reeds were run; the
whole being thickly covered over with clay. The houses were afterwards
whitened with lime. A barrier of prickly stems extended round the huts,
throwing a shade over them, whilst these dwellings often had for roofing
a thatch of dried leaves. Most things in Formosa were made of bamboo,
such as tables, chairs, beds, pails, rice-measures, jars, hats, pipes,
chop-sticks, goblets, paper, and pens. Many of the Pepohoans'
habitations were built on three sides of a four-cornered spot, with a
yard in the centre, where the families sometimes passed their evenings
together. The natives assembled here, in numbers, at about nine o'clock,
where they made a fire when it was cold. Old and young people here often
formed a circle on the ground, sitting together with their arms crossed,
smoking, and talking. It was not unusual for dogs also to surround them.
These people were fond of singing, but played no musical instruments.
Sybil said, directly she saw them, that they were just the sort of
people she liked, but this was before she heard that they ate serpents
and rats. The women had a quantity of hair, which they wound round their
heads like crowns. None of them painted their faces. Some of the men
were very badly dressed. All Pepohoans seemed to have very beautiful
black eyes. In the different villages the inhabitants were different,
and where they had most contact with the Chinese they dressed better,
but were less affable. They seemed to be a very honest race.

The Pepohoans are subject to the Chinese Government. Some of them, like
the Chinese, have been ruined by opium. The aborigines, consisting of
different tribes, talk different dialects. The people of one tribe, the
most savage of all, are very warlike, and think nothing of killing and
eating their Chinese neighbours when they get the chance to do so;
therefore, they are held in great terror. Sybil and Leonard would not
have liked to have visited this tribe, for they also hate Europeans.

[Illustration: MOUNTAINEERS OF FORMOSA.]

There was a grandness of beauty in this island of Formosa which could
not fail, more and more, to charm Mrs. Graham, and many a pretty sketch
did she here make, both for herself and for Sybil's letters. Sybil also
liked being here very much; "but if she had only seen," Leonard said,
what he and his father saw one day, when they went for a ramble
through the mountains, whilst Sybil was helping her mother to sketch by
keeping her company, and making clever little attempts at sketching
herself, "she would want to be off that very moment."

There were caverns in Formosa, and they were walking along, exploring
some, Leonard some little way in front of Mr. Graham, the teacher, and a
native guide, who followed a few yards behind, when the English boy
suddenly caught sight of two huge, yellow serpents twined round the
branch of an overhanging tree. No one but Leonard was near enough to see
them, and as the first creature stretched its dreadful-looking head out,
hissing towards him, the brave, self-possessed little fellow, who held a
stick in his hand, struck his deadly foe with it with all his might, and
hit and aimed so well that he had the satisfaction, the next moment, of
seeing the serpent roll over and over down the rock. But then the
further one (which, although rather smaller than the other, measured
about six feet) wound, in a moment, its wriggling body round the branch
of the tree, stretching its head out almost within reach of Leonard,
when the boy-guide and Mr. Graham, the same instant, came upon the spot.
The boy, accustomed to such encounters, at once dealt the snake a blow,
that caused it to lose its balance, and thus all were able to pass on
their way in thankfulness and safety.

When Sybil heard of the adventure she was very proud of her little
brother; but, as he had imagined when she heard that Formosa was
inhabited by serpents, she was glad also to think that it was settled
for them to leave that island for Swatow in two days' time.

[Illustration: PEPOHOANS AND THEIR HUT.]

That evening was spent very pleasantly comparing notes of adventure
with an English gentleman, who had been in Formosa for some time, and
now called upon Mr. Graham and his family, who were staying at the
consul's. He had seen and done a good deal, he said, but he spoke very
highly of Leonard's brave exploit.

[Illustration: HUT OF ONE OF THE SAVAGE TRIBES.]

In the course of his wanderings, he told them, he had visited the
village of Lalung, which is situated on the narrowest part of a large
river. During the rainy season the waters would here rise and cover a
vast bed, opening out a new passage across the land, and flowing away
towards the eastern plain. Great mountain heights surrounded the bed of
the river, and the violence of the torrent carried away very large
quantities of all sorts of rubbish, which the sea would collect, and
deposit, along the eastern coast. Mr. Hardy explained to Leonard how
this would account for the port of Thaï-ouan disappearing, and that of
Takow forming lower down.

[Illustration: SERPENTS OF FORMOSA.]

[Illustration: THE BED OF THE RIVER LALUNG DURING THE DRY SEASON.]

"Formosa," he continued, "shows very plainly how the violence of waters
can quite transform the physical aspect of a country."

Mr. Hardy then told them that he, with a guide, had once visited the bed
of the river of Lalung, during the dry season, as an explorer, when he
had taken off his boots and socks, so as to be able to walk wherever he
chose, and fathom the depth of the water in different parts.

How Leonard wished he had been with him on this occasion, which seemed
to him a regular voyage of discovery!

Two days later, as arranged, the Grahams made sail for Swatow. In
crossing the channel, which separates the island from the mainland,
Leonard, as usual, had some questions to ask.

"What made the Chinese call Formosa Tai-wan?"

"Because that word means the terraced harbour."

"The east coast hasn't a harbour at all, has it?"

"No; mountains are on the east, and to the west are flat and fertile
plains, and all the ports."

"I suppose you know, Sybil, that there are some wild beasts in Formosa?"
Leonard went on.

"Yes, I heard Mr. Hardy say so: leopards, tigers, and wolves."

"I think it's my turn to ask a question now," Mrs. Graham said. "I
wonder if you and Sybil can tell me what grows principally in Formosa?"

"Rice," Sybil began, "sugar, wheat, beans, tea, coffee, pepper."

"Cotton, tobacco, silk, oranges, peaches, and plums," Leonard ended. "We
saw most of these things growing ourselves, so we ought to know."

"Yes; and flax, indigo, camphor, and many fruits that you have not
mentioned."

"The Chinese part of the island, I suppose, belongs to Fukien?" Sybil
said, "as it is painted the same colour on my map."

"Yes."

What religion had the aborigines? she then wanted to know.

Mr. Graham answered this question by telling her that he believed they
had no priesthood at all.

"What a pity it is," Sybil said, "that a number of missionaries could
not be sent out there. I do so like the Pepohoans!"

"How long is it now since the Dutch were driven away?" Leonard asked.
"And how long were they in Formosa?"

"About 1634 the Dutch took possession of the island, and built several
forts, but a Chinese pirate drove them out in 1662, and made himself
king of the western part. In 1683 his descendants submitted to the
authority of the Chinese Emperor, to whom they are now tributary. The
Chinese colonists, however, often rebel."

"People have not known very long, have they, that the island of Formosa
is important?"

"No; only since about 1852."

"About how many inhabitants has Thaï-ouan, the capital?" Leonard asked.

"I should think about 70,000, but it is now decreasing in population."

"How much you know, father," Sybil said. "I wish I knew all you did!"

"I am afraid that is not very much; but if you notice things that you
come across, and try to remember what you hear and what you read, you
will soon gain plenty of knowledge and useful information."

[Illustration: SWATOW.]

"I wonder what Swatow is like?" Leonard then said; but he had not long
to wait to find out, for a week after leaving Formosa they landed at
Swatow, the port of Chaou-Chou-foo, in the province of Kwang-tung, where
once again, for a fortnight, they were made very welcome: this time by
some friends of the missionary with whom they had stayed at Amoy.

[Illustration: E-CHUNG.]

Their home, for the present, was very prettily situated on a range of
low hills. Many pieces of granite were scattered about on the summit of
these hills, as they were about Amoy, which some people say have been
caused to appear through volcanic irruptions. On them also were Chinese
inscriptions. Leonard was delighted because the Chinese teacher cut his
name on one of these pieces of granite. The houses of Swatow were built
with a kind of mortar, made of China clay, and attached to some of them
were very pretty gardens.

In front of the Consulate, which was a very large building, was a
flag-staff, with a flag flying.

[Illustration: WOMAN OF SWATOW.]

The ceilings of the house, in which the Grahams stayed, was painted with
flowers and birds, and some of the windows were also painted so as to
look like open fans. The Chinese are fond of decorating their rooms and
painting their ornaments, and the people of Swatow seemed to be better
painters than the Chinese; but they kept their pictures hidden, only a
very few of them producing any to show our friends. The people of Swatow
are also noted for fan-painting.

Sybil thought some of the women of Swatow rather nice-looking, but, like
other ladies of the "Flowery Land," they had a wonderful way of dressing
their hair. One woman, Leonard declared, had hers done to represent a
large shell. A young lady, to whom Sybil was introduced, had the
thickest hair that she had ever seen. She and other Chinese girls wore
it hanging down their backs in twists. She was just fifteen, and Sybil
was told that she was going to be married in about a year's time, so she
would soon have to begin to let her fringe grow. She was the daughter of
a rich man, and had such pretty, dark eyes.

Round a girl's and woman's head, or to fasten up her back hair,
ornaments are generally worn. E-Chung wore rather a large one round her
head. Sybil was allowed to spend an afternoon, and take some tea, with
this young lady, but they could not talk much together. E-Chung knew,
and spoke, a little of what is called pidgin, or business English,
because many business, or shop, people and those who mix most with the
English, speak this strange language to them; but Sybil could understand
hardly any of it. Before E-Chung heard that Sybil had a brother, she
said to her, "You one piecee chilo?" meaning to ask if she were the only
child. Then she was trying to describe somebody to Sybil whose
appearance did not please her, so she made an ugly grimace and said,
"That number one ugly man all-same so fashion," meaning "just like
this." Another time she meant to ask Sybil if she were not very rich, so
she said, "You can muchee money?"

The hair down Sybil's back was such a contrast to her friend's, as was
also her rather pale complexion. E-Chung wished very much to enamel
Sybil's face, as she did her own, and could not understand why she
should so persistently refuse to have it done.

Chinese ladies seldom do without their rouge, and often keep their
amahs, or maids, from three to four hours at a time doing their hair.

[Illustration: SYBIL.]

[Illustration]



CHAPTER VIII.

THE BOAT POPULATION.


MR. GRAHAM had thought of visiting Chaou-chou, a very fertile city on
the river Han, but was advised not to do so, as foreigners are disliked
by its inhabitants; and he was therefore told that they might have cause
to regret going thither. It used not to be an uncommon thing for these
people to greet an Englishman with a shower of stones. People have tried
to establish an English consulate there, but have not succeeded,
although the city is open to foreign commerce; and Jui Lin, the late
viceroy of Canton, succeeded in making people in the neighbourhood much
more orderly.

A very large bridge crosses the Han River at this place, a picture of
which the teacher had, and showed to the children. It is made of stone,
and composed of many arches, or rather square gateways, under which
ships pass to and fro. On the bridge, on each side of the causeway, are
houses and shops.

[Illustration: THE BRIDGE OF CHAOU CHOU.]

"I should not care much to live in them," said Leonard.

Nor would the teacher, he replied; for they did not look, and were not
supposed to be, at all safe.

[Illustration: ARCH OF THE BRIDGE OF CHAOU-CHOU.]

Two pieces of wood are suspended between the arches, which the
inhabitants take up in the day-time and let down at night, to prevent,
as they say, evil spirits passing under their homes and playing them
tricks.

It was a very happy fortnight that was spent at Swatow, and Sybil was
sorry to leave this port to go on to Hong-Kong. Somehow, although they
were not going to settle down now, and had still Macao and Canton to
visit, it seemed like bringing the end nearer--going much nearer to it,
when they went to Hong-Kong even for a few days, for there her parents
were to be left behind when she and Leonard returned to England. This
English colony, the little island of Hong-Kong, about eight miles in
length, is separated from the mainland by a very narrow strait, in the
midst of a number of small islands.

[Illustration: CHINESE BOAT-CHILDREN.]

The Bishop of Hong-Kong had kindly invited Mr. Graham and his family to
stay at his residence, St. Paul's College, during the few days that they
now remained at Hong-Kong, before continuing their tour and returning to
settle down, and the kind invitation had been gladly and gratefully
accepted.

[Illustration: CHAIR-MEN OF HONG-KONG.]

The missionary's party landed in a boat, or rather, in a floating house,
for the people to whom it belonged lived here, and it was their only
home.

The children had heard that there were so many inhabitants in China
that for very many of them there was no house accommodation, and that
these lived in boats, and were called the boat population; and Leonard
was delighted to be travelling in one of these house-boats himself, and
seeing the homes of the boat people. Their very little children were
tied to doors, and other parts of the boat, by long ropes. Those who
were three or four years old had floats round their backs, so that if
they fell overboard they would not sink, and their parents could jump in
after them. Most care seemed to be taken of the boys. Instead of being
dedicated to "Mother," boat-children, soon after they are born, are
dedicated to Kow-wong, or Nine Kings, and for three days and nights
before they marry, which ceremony takes place in the middle of the
night, Taouist priests chant prayers to the Kow-wong.

The boats in which live the Taouist priests, for the boat population,
are called Nam-Mo-Teng. These are anchored in certain parts, that the
priests may be sent for when needed. Their boats look partly like
temples, and have altars and idols, also incense burning within them.
The names of the priests who live there, and the rites they perform, are
written up in the boats. The boat people can have everything they
require without going on shore at all. There are even river barbers and
policemen, which latter are very necessary, considering that there are
so many pirates.

[Illustration: A PORTRAIT-PAINTER OF HONG-KONG.]

It seemed strange to Sybil and Leonard to think that boat-children never
went on shore, might never do so, and would even marry on board their
boat homes; but it did not seem at all strange to the little children
themselves, who played about on board quite as happily as did children
on shore. They looked strong, and seemed to be fond of one another. One
woman going along was very angry with one of her children, and for a
punishment threw him into the water, but he had a float on his back,
and was quickly brought back again. These women often carry their
children on their backs, but this is a most usual way of carrying
children in China, both amongst the land and water people.

Sybil had already often had her wish fulfilled, of travelling in
sedan-chairs, and as that is the regular mode of travelling in
Hong-Kong, directly they arrived here coolies were to be seen, standing
and sitting, on the pier beside their chairs, waiting for a fare. Very
eager they seemed to be to secure either people or their baggage. And
Sybil liked being borne along in these chairs even better than she had
expected.

The sedans were made of bamboo, covered with oil-cloth, and carried on
long poles. A great many sedan-chair-bearers have no fixed homes, living
day and night in the open air, and buying their food at stalls on the
road. They take care to keep their chairs in very good condition, ready
to hire out whenever they are needed. Leonard was charmed with his
bearers. They spoke such funny pigeon English to him, and made him
wonder why they would put "ee" to the end of so many of their words.
When Leonard once wished to speak to his father, who was on in front,
and succeeded in making his bearers understand this, one of them said
"My no can catchee." They admired the boy very much, and wanted to
persuade him to let them carry him one day to a "handsome
face-taking-man," but he could not understand at all, at first, that
they wanted him to let them carry him somewhere to have his portrait
taken. "My likee," one said, pointing to Leonard's face, "welly much."
The Chinese do not paint pictures very well, and sometimes, instead of a
brush, will use their fingers and nails.

[Illustration: VIEW OF HONG-KONG.]

The chair-men called Leonard "Captain" several times, which seemed to be
a common way of addressing strange "gentlemen."

They then asked him how Mr. Turner was, but he shook his head to show
that he knew nobody of this name. They either did not understand or
believe him.

"He hab got London-side," they explained.

Thinking that if he tacked a double "e" on to all his words he would be
speaking the language they talked so much, he said "No-ee know-ee," and
shook his head again. I think it was the expression on his face, and the
shake of his head, which made them understand at last what he wished to
say to them.

It seems that the natives of Hong-Kong, as well as other parts of China,
think that every Englishman must know every other Englishman; having,
indeed, such very small ideas of our important country, that they really
think our wealth consists in our possessing Hong-Kong.

[Illustration: THE CLOCK TOWER, HONG-KONG.]

The first view that the Grahams had of this little island was a chain of
mountains rising in the background to lofty peaks, and diminishing as
they approached the sea into small hills and steep rocks. Not so very
long ago, Sybil was told, Hong-Kong used to be a deserted island, though
it now contained flower-gardens, orchards, woods, large trees, beautiful
grass slopes, and very many buildings. The English town of Victoria was
built along the sea-coast. As Hong-Kong belongs to Great Britain, the
Government here was, of course, English; there were Christian temples,
as well as Buddhist, and many European edifices were conspicuous in the
Chinese streets. Then there were also large European club-houses, and,
best of all, the Cathedral. The sea-shore stretched round towards a
very beautiful port, which opened out to the west by a pass called
Lyce-moun, and to the east by the Lama Pass.

"I do think, do you know, Leonard," Sybil said, as she wished her
brother "Good-night" the evening after they had arrived at Hong-Kong,
"that China is rather a 'Flowery Land' after all. I do not think I shall
ever forget Formosa, at all events."

"We have seen pretty sights since we came to China," Leonard said,
agreeing with his sister.

The next day Sybil and he were taken into the Queen's Road, which
crossed the town from west to east, to the right of which was a regular
labyrinth of streets, some leading into very fine roads. In one part of
Hong-Kong nothing but shops and houses of business were to be seen. One
of its principal ornaments was the tall clock-tower, which made even
high trees beside it look quite small.

The most ancient houses of the colony are in a street that leads to the
clock-tower, and close by it is also the hotel of Hong-Kong. Into this
Sybil and Leonard were taken to have some tiffin, or lunch, whilst their
sedans and bearers waited for them not far off, under some trees.

Leonard took a good view afterwards of a man in a turban whom they
passed, because, as he was so important a person as a policeman, he
thought Sybil might like to describe him in one of her letters, and she
might perhaps forget what he was like.

Sybil had, as yet, only written one of her promised letters, but this
had been full of news, and had told of rides in sedan-chairs, little Chu
and Woo-urh, and all sorts of things; and before they moved on to
Macao, she had determined to write another letter, and tell of Leonard
saving himself from the serpent, and what they saw in Hong-Kong. This
seemed to be a very busy place. Steamers were always either coming or
going; and here, too, telegrams were constantly arriving. Besides
English merchants, Chinese, American, French, German, Hindoo merchants,
and others also traded with the little island, and shared what wealth
she had. Hong-Kong is very English-looking, compared with other places
in China, and the people are not only governed by English laws, but
their crimes are tried by English judges. But even at Canton, Shanghai,
and other ports where the English have settlements, they now claim, and
have a voice in trials for crime. It is only because Hong-Kong belongs
to the English that telegraph-wires are to be found there, as the
Chinese will not have them anywhere else, because they think that they
would offend the ghosts, or spirits, of the places through which they
would pass. For the same reason also the Chinese have hardly any
railroads. Even children could easily recognise here the introduction of
English ways and manners.

Lily Keith was very fond of shopping, therefore in her next letter Sybil
not only gave an account of Leonard's bravery, of which she was really
more proud than Leonard himself, but also described a visit that she had
paid to some shops.

          "We went to some of the best of all the shops in
          Hong-Kong to-day," she wrote, "and as we were
          going into the door of one, the proprietor came to
          meet us. Father said he was a merchant. He spoke
          English, and was very grandly dressed in silk, and
          wore worked shoes. His shopmen also wore very
          handsome clothes, and served us standing behind
          beautifully polished counters. In one part of the
          shop were all kinds of silk materials, and some
          stuff called grass-matting. We went down-stairs to
          see furniture and beautiful porcelain. The
          principal curiosities had come from Canton, so I
          suppose when we get there we shall find still
          better things; and in Canton people paint on that
          pretty rice paper. Across the road were meat,
          fish, vegetable, and puppy-dog shops. Yes, the
          Chinese do eat dogs: in some shops in Hong-Kong we
          have seen a number for sale; and they eat cats and
          rats too. We could tell a shop in which clothes
          were sold some little distance off, because an
          imitation jacket, or something of that sort, was
          hung up outside, as well as the long sign-boards,
          which told what kind of shops they were. Leonard
          says I am to tell you that a policeman was
          outside. He always knows policemen now by turbans
          that they wear, and they often hold a little cane
          in their hands; and on the pathway a man sat,
          wearing a hat just like one of those funny-looking
          things, with a point, that we wore for fun
          sometimes in the garden. There are no windows to
          the shops.

[Illustration: TEMPLE OF KWAN-YIN.]

          "Oh! but some of the Chinese do believe such
          strange things. The other day our amah told
          Leonard and me to chatter our teeth three times
          and blow. We could not understand what she meant
          us to do until she did it first. We had heard a
          crow caw, so she thought if we did not do this
          afterwards we should be very unlucky. The other
          day a coolie fell down and broke a number of
          things. He had not to replace any of them, but the
          master had to buy all the things again because it
          was fine weather. If it had been dirty and
          slippery, the boy must have bought them. None of
          us could understand the meaning of this till it
          was explained to us. If it had been a slippery
          day, the boy ought to have taken care, and it
          would have been very careless of him to fall; but
          if he did so in fine weather, some god must have
          made him slip, they think, and therefore he could
          not help it. The heathen Chinese have such a
          number of gods and goddesses.

[Illustration: A SHADOW-SHOW.]

          "The other day we passed the Temple of Kwan-Yin,
          the goddess of mercy. The Hong-Kong people think
          an immense deal of her, and her temple is in such
          a pretty place, with many trees round it. She is a
          Buddhist divinity. A number of beggars were
          outside begging, and they nearly always get
          something here. Very many Chinese beggars are
          blind, and there are also lepers in China.
          Barriers were put up to keep visitors, who were
          not wanted, such as evil spirits, from going in.
          People say that evil spirits only care to go
          through a straight way, and never trouble to go
          anywhere in a crooked direction. Over the doorway
          were some characters, which father's teacher has
          written out for me. They were, being read from
          right to left, backwards: 'Teën How Kov Meaou,'
          and signify, 'The Ancient Temple of the Queen of
          Heaven.' Tien-How is the goddess of sailors, and
          often called 'The Queen of Heaven.' To the right
          was a doctor's shop, where prescriptions were sold
          to the priests; and to the left an old priest was
          selling little tapers which the worshippers were
          to burn. We looked in for a few moments, and saw
          people kneeling down and asking the goddess to
          cure their sick friends. She was seated at the end
          of the temple, behind an altar, on which were
          bronze vases, candles, and lighted sticks of
          incense. A gong was outside, and on the walls of
          the temple were different representations of acts
          of mercy that the goddess was supposed to have
          performed. On the roof were dragons. The dragon is
          the Chinese god of rain.

          "Leonard says I am to tell you that some of the
          Celestials thought once that he was going to beat
          them because he carried a walking-stick. Chinamen,
          excepting policemen and mandarins, are only
          allowed to carry them when they grow old.

          "We saw a very strange sort of show the other day,
          called a shadow-show. A man, inside a kind of
          Punch and Judy house, made, with the help of a
          lantern, all sorts of figures, or rather, shadows,
          appear on the top of the Punch and Judy. It looked
          so strange, but Leonard said he thought the people
          looking at it were stranger still, what with the
          hats they wore and the funny way they did their
          hair. He declared one woman had horns. I never saw
          such pretty lanterns as the Chinese have. Father
          says that on the fifteenth day of their first
          month (which is not always the same, as their New
          Year's Day, like our Easter, is a movable feast
          regulated by the moon) there is a feast of
          lanterns, when all people, both on land and on the
          water, hang up most beautiful lamps, some being
          made to look like animals, balls of fire, or even
          like Kwan-Yin herself holding a child.

          "Is it not strange New Year's Day next year will
          be on the twenty-ninth of January, and in 1882 on
          February eighteenth?

          "I seem to have ever so much more to tell you, but
          I am too tired now to write it. I am glad you
          liked mother's pictures that I sent last time. I
          could only write that one short letter in Formosa.
          We are going on to Macao (it is pronounced Macow)
          the day after to-morrow, then we stay at Canton,
          and then come back here. It will be so dreadful
          when that time comes, but I try not to think about
          it. Dear mother does sometimes, I can see. We all
          went to the Cathedral on Sunday.

            "I hope I shall soon have a long letter from you.
               "Believe me, dear Lily,
                   "Always your affectionate friend,
                                         "SYBIL GRAHAM.

          "_Hong-Kong, December, 1880._"

[Illustration]

[Illustration]



CHAPTER IX.

AT CANTON.


[Illustration]

A PASSENGER-BOAT conveyed our little travellers, and their parents, in
three days, from Hong-Kong to Macao, a pretty little sea-side place at
the entrance of the Bocca Tigris, a little gulf, to the head of which is
the city of Canton.

Macao was not as full now as it had been during the summer months, when
many people resort thither from Canton for change of air and to enjoy
the fresh sea-breezes. A beautiful walk, called the Grand Parade,
surrounds its picturesque bay.

As Macao belongs to the Portuguese, a great many of the inhabitants
speak that language.

Mr. and Mrs. Graham and their children stayed, whilst at Macao, at the
Grand Hotel, which was situated on the Parade, where was also a very
pretty jetty, on which Sybil and Leonard liked very much to walk. Here,
again, the houses were painted. In a pretty street close by the Grand
Parade, protected on both sides by walls, the Grahams were shown houses
whose windows used to have barriers of iron. These houses, they were
told, were a kind of prison, called Emigration Agencies, but where in
reality poor coolies were kept for sale. This traffic had, happily, now
been done away with.

Some of the houses in Macao seemed to be painted all colours, and many
of the windows were bordered with red, the favourite colour. Most of the
houses could boast of large rooms. Not very much commerce seemed to be
carried on here. Leonard was one day taken to pay the European troops a
visit in their garrison.

At four o'clock in the afternoon many people walked upon the Parade.
Most of the Christians here were Roman Catholics, which was natural,
considering that the place belonged to the Portuguese. Bells, calling
people to church, rang two or three times a day, and these, and the
bugle-call from the garrison, were the principal sounds heard. It was
interesting to visit Macao, because here, in its quiet prettiness, the
poet Camoens, when banished, spent some of his lonely years, and wrote a
great part of his epic poem "Lusiad;" and here also a French painter,
named Chinnery, had produced some of his pretty paintings and sketches.
Sybil was old enough to care about such things, and to find both
pleasure and interest in visiting any places once made memorable by the
footprints left there of either good or great men; and when she had
heard the poet's story, she was very sorry for him!

[Illustration: MACAO.]

Camoens, who was the epic poet of Portugal, was born in Lisbon in 1524.
An epic poet is one who writes narratives, or stories, which often
relate heroic deeds. When banished by royal authority to Santarem,
Camoens joined the expedition of John III. against Morocco, and lost his
right eye in an engagement with the Moors in the Straits of Gibraltar.
People in Lisbon, who would not admire his poetry, now thought nothing
of his bravery. Sad and disappointed, he went to India in 1553; but
being offended by what he saw the Portuguese authorities doing in India,
he wrote a satire about them, called "Follies in India," and made fun of
the Viceroy. For doing this, he was banished to Macao in 1556, where he
lived for six years, writing "The Lusiad." On being recalled, he was
shipwrecked, and lost everything that he had in the world but this epic
poem, which he held in one hand above the waves, while he swam to shore
with the other; and after suffering many misfortunes, he arrived in
Lisbon in 1569, possessed of nothing else. He dedicated his poem to the
young king Sebastian, who allowed him to stay at the court, and gave him
a pension. But when Sebastian died he had nothing at all, and a faithful
Indian servant begged for him in the streets. At last he died in the
hospital at Lisbon, in 1579. Sixteen years later Camoens was
appreciated, and people hunted for his grave, to erect a monument to his
memory, but had much difficulty even in finding it.

The "Lusiad" celebrates the chief events in Portugal's history, and has
been called "a gallery of epic pictures, in which all the great
achievements of Portuguese heroism are represented." The poem has been
translated into English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Polish.

After a short, but pleasant, stay at Macao, the Grahams went on to
Canton.

"The last place but one," Sybil could not help whispering to Leonard on
board. "When we next arrive--" she went on, but tears starting into her
eyes seemed to drown the rest of the sentence. However, as some very
happy weeks had yet to be passed at Canton, neither she nor we must
anticipate. A long visit of two months was to be spent here at the
residence of a personal friend of Mr. Graham, the English consul of the
place.

A servant was stationed on the steps leading round to the Consulate, or
Yamen, to await the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Graham and their children.

This house was situated on a height, and occupied the site of an ancient
palace. It consisted of a suite of buildings, surrounded on one side by
a pretty garden, and on the other by a park, in which deer grazed. Both
Sybil and Leonard thought the deer very pretty; and quite near to the
Yamen was a pagoda of nine storeys, which the Emperor Wong-Ti, who
reigned about the middle of the sixteenth century, is supposed first to
have constructed.

"How little," Sybil and Leonard said to one another, "we ever thought,
when we examined our little ornamental pagodas at home, that we should
ever live quite near to a real one!"

A story relating to this pagoda, being told to Leonard, interested him a
good deal.

[Illustration: THE ENGLISH CONSULATE AT CANTON.]

In 1859 some English sailors climbed up the old building, which was then
in so tottering a condition that it was a really perilous ascent, and
when they reached the top the Chinese were dreadfully angry, for two
reasons: first, because they looked upon it as sacrilege; and secondly,
because from the height the sailors could look down upon their houses,
and the Chinese dislike very much indeed to be overlooked, especially by
"barbarians."

The consul and Leonard were soon very good friends, and the elder friend
very kindly did not weary of answering questions put to him by the
little boy.

"Why is your house called a yamen?"

"This word means the same as does consulate, the official residence of
the consul."

"What are you here for?"

The consul smiled. "To protect your interests and those, commercial and
otherwise, of every English citizen resident here."

"Who is that Jui-Lin of whom you have a picture? and is he alive now?"

"He died a few years ago, and was viceroy of Canton. He made so good a
governor that those provinces over which he ruled generally prospered
under his administration. It is in a great measure through his influence
that peaceable relations have, for some time, been established between
China and foreign countries. The Emperor Tau-Kwang, who came to the
throne in 1820, thought so well of him that he made him one of his
ministers. Later he became general of the Tartar garrison at Canton, and
soon after he was made viceroy. He established order in a very
troublesome district, where he made the clan villagers at last
acknowledge some authority, and so put the people and their property in
much greater security."

[Illustration: JUI-LIN, LATE VICEROY OF CANTON.]

Leonard said Canton was the place for him, for here he saw ships and
fishing to perfection. In Canton alone, the consul told him, it was
estimated that 300,000 persons had their homes on the water. One
Canton boat-woman, in whose passenger-boat they travelled, said that her
husband went on shore during the day to work, whilst she looked after
the passengers; but he seemed to be rather an exception, for most of the
boat population never went on shore at all, and as people on land go to
market to buy vegetables and other food, so everything in this line,
that they required, was brought, by boat, to them. Then, besides boats,
there were floating islands, on which people lived, and these consisted
of rafts of bamboos fastened together, with a thick bed of vegetable
soil covering the rafts. Here the owners set up houses, cultivated
rice-fields, and kept tame cattle and hogs. Swallows and pigeons here
built their nests in pretty surrounding gardens. Sails were put up on
the houses, and oars were often used to propel the islands along. Women
worked them frequently, with their babies fastened to their backs; and
little boys and girls would here also play together, having smaller
brothers and sisters thus attached to them. These floating islands,
Sybil and Leonard were told, were to be seen on almost all Chinese
lakes. Many floating houses were moored to one another.

Sometimes the boat population made such a noise. They seemed a
good-natured set of people, but every now and then they quarrelled, and
this was done very noisily. Then if a storm came on, they would call out
with fear. Those people who lived in river streets, where their houses
were close against the river, often complained of the noise that they
heard during the night. The boat population are often looked down upon
by the Chinese who live on land, and may not go in for the literary
examinations.

There were very many fishing villages about, and nothing made Leonard
happier than to be taken to one or another of them; he was so fond of
boats of all kinds. Fishing-boats in China had to obtain a license from
Government. Some of these sailed two and two abreast, at a distance,
from one another, of about three hundred feet, when a net was stretched
from ship to ship to enclose the fish. Names cut in the boats had
generally reference to good fortune. The name on one, which Leonard had
interpreted for him, was "Good Success."

[Illustration: CHINESE BOAT-WOMAN.]

[Illustration: A FISHING VILLAGE ON THE CANTON RIVER.]

In fishing as well as in other villages men go about hawking things for
sale, and carrying them, by ship, from one village to another. In the
bows of fishing vessels are large pairs of shears, which can be either
raised or lowered. A large dip-net, fastened to the shears, is drawn up
after remaining some time in the water, when the fish it contains are
emptied into a little hole in the middle of the ship, like a large
cistern, into which fresh water flows. The fishermen anchor their boats,
and then lower their dip-nets into the water by means of these shears,
which are made of bamboo, and attached to wooden platforms, resting on
posts. Huts are sometimes erected near the dip-nets, so that the
fishermen can shelter themselves from the hot sun. A great deal of
fishing with birds called cormorants is also carried on in China, when
one man will, perhaps, take out a hundred birds to fish for him,
fastening something to their throats to prevent them from swallowing the
fish when caught. As they return with them, they are given a little
piece that they can swallow.

After young fish are caught, they are fed with paste in the tanks, or
wells, into which they are put, and when they grow older little ponds
are made for them.

Sybil and Leonard were taken very often on the Canton river in all kinds
of boats, both large and small. In the stern of very many was an altar,
concealed generally behind a sliding door, but which, night and morning,
was drawn aside to admit the altar to view, and display the images of
household gods that were upon it.

Here were also small ancestral tablets, which were regularly worshipped,
and offerings of fruit and flowers were constantly offered to the
guardian god of the boat and the tablets when they were worshipped.
Tien-How, Queen of Heaven, also called Ma-chu, and other names, is much
worshipped by sailors, but each boat has its special guardian god.
Incense is burnt night and morning at the bow of the boat. The Grahams
very often travelled in a small ship called a sampan, which had a mat
roofing over the centre, and was driven forward, very frequently by
women, with two oars and a scull.

[Illustration: CHINESE FISHING.]

"I have seen just the sort of thing for you to sketch, mother," Sybil
said one day. Like her mother, she greatly admired what was beautiful,
and now, with her fellow-excursionists, the consul, her father, and
brother, returned home, from a ramble, very tired; "a dear little
pagoda, seven storeys high, very near to the banks of the river, with
mountains at the back and trees near to it, and a little village in the
distance; and on the opposite side of the river we saw two men and a
boy: the boy seemed to have a kite, but we thought it belonged to one of
the men, and he was just carrying it for him."

Mrs. Graham sometimes did not feel equal to long expeditions, of which
her children never grew tired, so then she would remain at home, or walk
through the pretty gardens and park.

The Canton, Chu-kiang, or Pearl River, has a great many names and
branches. The great western branch is called Kan-kiang, the northern
branch Pe-kiang, or Pearl River, and the eastern one Tong-kiang. On the
western branch the children found themselves surrounded by lovely
mountain scenery. From Canton to Whampoa it was called the Pearl River;
from Whampoa to Bocca Tigris, or Tiger's Mouth, Foo-mon; and beyond
Shek-moon towards Canton, the Covetous River. The passage to Macao was
the Wild Goose River. It was some time before Sybil and Leonard could
understand anything at all about these divisions.

One day, on the Pearl River, they came to a very pretty spot, where the
water was almost entirely land-locked by high ranges of hills, and here
they asked to be allowed to remain stationary, for a little while, to
look about them.

Another day they went very far indeed with their father and mother,
crossing the Fatchan River, where Leonard heard, with interest, that
Commodore Keppel engaged in a memorable battle in 1857. The river
divides the town of Fatchan into two equal parts. Then again they went
so far that they could not even think of returning home the same day,
and stayed the night on the road to a village called Wong-tong, which
was very countrified and pretty.

[Illustration: PAGODA ON THE BANKS OF THE CANTON RIVER.]

And once more they went--father, mother, and all--to a place quite
different from anything that they had yet seen, which was the village of
Polo-Hang. Here they found themselves in the midst of vast plains, on
the outskirts of which were to be seen lovely-looking hills of limestone
and rows of wonderfully-shaped mountains. Standing on one of these
mountains, they had a capital view of the Temple of Polo-Hang and its
surroundings, consisting of bare fields traversed by canals; and, at the
foot of the mountains of thickets of bamboo, whose light, feathery
branches swayed gently to and fro. Bamboo was very largely cultivated
here, and Sybil thought it such a fairy-like growth. Must not this scene
have been very lovely? Sybil was so glad that her mother had come to
see it. Then other hills appeared, covered with trees, and dotted here
and there with temples.

"Where _did_ they all come from?" Leonard asked.

Mr. Graham was looking very serious. This was a scene calculated to
leave a deep impression upon the beholders.

[Illustration: ON THE CANTON RIVER]

"From the hand of God," he said very quietly.

[Illustration: VILLAGE OF POLO-HANG IN CANTON.]

A week later, Sybil wrote again to her friend.


                              "_Canton, January, 1881._

          "MY DEAREST LILY,--We saw such a strange sight
          yesterday; and we could not help liking to see it,
          although, of course, it was very dreadful. We went
          inside a Buddhist temple at Canton. These
          temples are often called joss-houses; this one was
          the Temple of Five Hundred Gods. Fancy five
          hundred gods! and these idols were all there,
          arranged in different lines. They all seemed to
          look different, and some were dreadfully ugly. I
          saw beards on a few of their faces. In the part of
          the temple where, in a church, our altar would be,
          there was a terrible-looking thing: I suppose a
          very special god.

          "We saw one of the priests. He had his beads in
          one hand, and a fan in the other. Some of the
          priests are men who have committed great crimes,
          and have escaped to a monastery and had their
          heads shaved, so as not to be caught and punished.

          "Some of the idols were as large as if they were
          alive, and they had their arms in all sorts of
          different positions. Some held beads, and a few
          wore crowns; I think they were disciples of
          Buddha. The buildings of the temple, and the
          houses of the priests, were surrounded by lakes
          and gardens.

          "We have been able to get you a picture of part of
          the inside of the temple, so I send it to you; but
          Leonard says that he thinks as you'll have the
          picture (and he considers it a very good one) that
          you ought to know that this temple is said to have
          been founded about 520 years A.D., and to have
          been rebuilt in 1755. Fancy people wasting prayers
          before these images! Isn't it a pity that they
          don't know better? There are more than 120
          temples, or joss-houses, in Canton.

[Illustration: THE TEMPLE OF THE FIVE HUNDRED GODS, CANTON.]

          "The Chinese never eat with knives and forks, but
          with chop-sticks. These are generally small square
          pieces of bamboo, as large as a penholder, which
          they hold between the thumb and first finger of
          the right hand. I can't eat with them at all,
          nor can mother; and the other day, when she went
          out to lunch with some Chinese ladies, they sent
          for a knife and fork for her.

          "Chinese ladies in Canton never seem to be with
          their husbands in public, and they never walk in
          the streets with them. Some of them think us such
          barbarous people because we are so different from
          what they are.

          "The Chinese have such a funny way of paying
          formal visits, that I think I must tell you about
          it. They often go in sedan-chairs. Officers of the
          highest rank may have eight bearers, people of
          less rank have four, and ordinary people two. The
          state sedan-chair of an official is covered with
          green cloth, and the fringe on the roof and
          window-curtains has to be green too. So much seems
          to go by rank in China. For the first three ranks,
          the tips of poles may be of brass, in the form of
          a dragon's head; the fourth and fifth rank would
          have a lion's head. On the top of these chairs is
          a ball of tin. Leonard and I can tell the chairs
          very well now. Private gentlemen have blue cloth,
          and the ends of their poles are tipped with plain
          brass.

[Illustration: AN OFFICIAL'S PALANQUIN.]

          "Father says when an official calls upon another
          official in Peking, his servant sends in his
          visiting card. The official who is being called
          upon then sends out to know how his visitor is
          dressed, and if he hears that it is in full
          costume, he dresses himself in the same way, and
          then goes to the entrance of the house, and asks
          his visitor to get out of his carriage or chair,
          and come in. As they pass through a door of the
          gate, the gentleman, to whom the house belongs
          asks the visitor to go first, but he always says
          'No' until he has been asked three times, and
          then he walks first to the reception-hall, when
          the two stop again, and ask one another to go
          first. When they have come into the hall, father
          says, they kneel down, and knock their heads on
          the ground six times. This is performing the
          kow-tow. When they get up from this performance,
          the host arranges a chair for the other, and asks
          him to sit down, but he must not do this even till
          he has bowed again. I am sure I should forget when
          I had to make all these bows, and should be sure
          to do them at the wrong times.

          "After they have had a little talk, a servant is
          told to make some tea. I suppose the host would
          then say 'Yam-cha' to the other, for this means
          'Drink tea.' Before either gentleman drinks, both
          bow again, and soon afterwards the visitor gets
          up, and says, 'I want to take my leave.' They walk
          together to the grand entrance, but at every
          door-way the visitor has to bow, and ask his
          friend not to come any farther, although of course
          he must go, or it would not be polite. And then he
          stands at the entrance door till the carriage has
          driven off. The Chinese do bow so often, and
          little children have to do it too.

          "The consul told Leonard that when school-boys go
          to see their masters, they have to arrange the
          chair-cushions for their masters and themselves.
          The boy has to stand outside the visitor's hall
          till his master comes, and when he has been asked
          to go in, he gives him for a present a tael of
          silver, about 2s. 8d., which he holds up with both
          his hands. Then he looks towards the north,
          kneels, and knocks his head twice upon the ground,
          when the master bows. The boy asks how his
          teacher's parents are, who also asks after the
          boy's. He then invites his little guest to sit
          down; but every time the boy is asked a question
          by his teacher he has to stand up to answer it.
          When he leaves, he goes to the entrance door by
          himself. At school, the boys have to make a bow to
          the schoolmaster whenever they go in and out of
          the room.

          "You asked me in your letter if people have very
          many servants in China. Some have a very great
          number. Ordinary Chinese gentlemen might have a
          porter, two or three footmen, coolies for
          house-work, sedan-chair bearers, and a cook. Women
          servants are often bought by their masters. A rich
          man will have sometimes twenty or thirty slaves.
          People called 'go-betweens' generally buy them for
          the masters. We have very few servants of our own
          now, as we are on a visit. Mother's maid shows
          dear little Chu what to do. Female slaves attend
          upon the ladies and children, and we have often
          seen them carrying their mistresses with small
          feet. It does look so funny. In good families,
          father says, they are very well treated, but some
          maid-of-all-work slaves often run away because
          they are so unhappy.

          "Children are sometimes stolen to be slaves.
          Great-grandsons of slaves can buy their freedom. I
          am so glad I have my little Chu, because she
          cannot be bought or sold now: father made that
          agreement. I should not know nearly so much about
          the servants and slaves if I had not wanted to
          know what might have become of little Chu if we
          had not had her. Sometimes servants stand in the
          streets to be hired.

          "In a suburb of Canton, in a street called the
          Taiping Kai, we saw one morning a number of
          bricklayers, journeymen, and carpenters, waiting
          to be hired. The carpenters stand in a line on one
          side, and bricklayers on the other. Father said
          they had been there since five o'clock.

          "Another day we saw men carrying baskets, in which
          they were collecting every bit of paper they could
          find about the streets, which had been written
          upon. The Chinese have such respect for every
          little piece of paper, on which have been any
          Chinese characters, that they will not allow any
          parcels even to be wrapped up in them. When all
          these scraps have been collected, they are burnt
          in a furnace, and the ashes are put into baskets,
          carried in procession, and emptied into a stream.
          Slips of paper are pasted on walls, telling people
          to reverence lettered paper. Chinese characters
          are called 'eyes of the sage;' and some people
          think that if they are irreverent to the paper,
          they are so to the sages who invented them, and
          they will perhaps, for a punishment, be born blind
          in the next world.

          "Men become famous in China when they write very
          beautifully. They write with a brush and Indian
          ink. Father's teacher says there are three styles
          of writing Chinese characters, and that the
          literature of China is the first in Asia. A
          Chinaman writes from right to left, and all the
          writing consists of signs or characters. I cannot
          think how Chinese people understand either their
          writing or their conversation. One word will mean
          a number of things, and you know which word they
          mean by the sound of the voice and the stress on
          the word. Leonard asked the teacher one day what
          soldier was in Chinese, and he said, 'ping;' but
          he also told him that 'ping' meant ice, pancake,
          and other words too. 'Fu' is father, and 'Mu'
          mother. They think we have no written language.

          "Canton is entered by twelve outer, and four
          inner, gates. The name means 'City of Perfection.'
          Leonard and I are now going for a walk, with
          father, to the Street of Apothecaries, and
          to-morrow we are to see a bridal procession.

[Illustration: WAITING TO BE HIRED.]

          "There are such a number of narrow streets in
          Canton, and religious worship is carried on in the
          open streets, in front of shrines; and before the
          shops lighted sticks, called 'joss-sticks,' are
          put at dawn and sunset. The natives live in the
          narrow streets. Those in the European settlement,
          where we are, are larger.

          "The ports, which are open to foreign commerce,
          have European parts where the European inhabitants
          live.

                         "Always your affectionate
                                           "SYBIL GRAHAM."

[Illustration: A CHINESE WRITER ]

[Illustration]



CHAPTER X.

A BRIDE AND BRIDEGROOM.


[Illustration]

THE Street of Apothecaries was no exception to the general rule that
Sybil had laid down. It also was very narrow, and, like many other
streets in Canton, was so covered over at the top that in walking
through it the sun did not burn too fiercely, neither did the rain fall
upon the passers-by.

The shops opened right upon the street, which was very gay indeed with
sign-boards. Just in front of the shops were granite counters, on which
goods were shown to purchasers.

Many of the sign-boards rested on granite pedestals. On one side of each
shop was a little altar, dedicated to the god of wealth, or the god
supposed to preside over the special trade carried on within. Every
heathen Chinese merchant and shopkeeper has some little spot set apart
for this worship, although all the shops have not an altar, but many
only a piece of red paper pasted upon a wall, on which the characters
meaning "god of wealth" are written, and before which incense and
candles are burnt. Every day, as soon as the shop is opened, worship is
paid to this divinity.

[Illustration: THE STREET OF APOTHECARIES, CANTON.]

The counters and shelves inside these hongs were very handsome. The
accountant's desk was at the end of the hong, and here again the red
colour was not absent, for the scales and weights of the shop were
covered with cloth of that hue.

Beggars (some miserably and scantily dressed) are very numerous in
China, people making quite a profession of begging, when they visit
shops in companies, and there make a great disturbance until they
receive what they demand. These beggars are often governed by a
head-man, who was really first appointed to rule over them by the
mandarin, to save himself trouble. A head-man will sometimes make an
agreement with a hong proprietor, that if he will pay a sum of money
down beggars shall not molest him; and when he agrees to this, a notice
on red paper, stating the arrangement made, is hung up in the shop,
after which any native beggar applying for aid can be shown this, turned
out of the hong, and upon refusing to go, he can be beaten. But unless
such an arrangement has been made, beggars may neither be beaten nor
turned out of a shop, whatever annoyance they may offer, unless they
steal, or break some other law. Therefore it is that poor shop-keepers
feel themselves bound to pay money in order to avoid such annoyance.
When the head-man is paid a sum of money, he is supposed to divide it
amongst his band.

"I never heard such a shame!" Leonard exclaimed, when he saw one of
these beggars very troublesome in the Street of Apothecaries, and heard
the law with regard to them. "I wish I were a mandarin. I'd very soon
put a stop to poor shop-keepers being so persecuted."

[Illustration: A BEGGAR.]

[Illustration: BRIDESMAIDS]

That evening both Sybil and Leonard, feeling tired, went very early to
bed, as they wanted to be up in very good time in the morning, so as to
see the whole of the bridal procession, for the bridegroom sends very
early indeed in the morning for his bride. The bridal-chair which he
sends for her is often painted red. The one which the Grahams saw was of
this colour, and over the door were also strips of red paper. Before the
bride took her seat in the sedan, which was brought into the
reception-room of her home for her, she having eaten nothing that
morning, and having kow-towed very often to her parents, they covered
her head and face with a thick veil, so that she could not be seen. The
floor, from her room to the sedan, was covered with red carpet. When in
the sedan, four bread-cakes were tossed into the air by one of the
bridesmaids as an omen of good fortune. In front of the procession two
men carried large lighted lanterns, having the family name of the
bridegroom, cut in red paper, and pasted on them. Then came two men
bearing the family name of the bride, who were, however, only to go part
of the way. Other men followed, some carrying a large red umbrella,
others torches, and again some playing a band of music. Near the
bridal-chair brothers or friends of the bride walked. Half-way between
the two houses the friends of the bridegroom met the bride, and as they
approached the procession stopped.

The children were very much interested in watching what happened next.
The bride's friends brought out a large red card, on which was written
the bride's family name, and the other party produced a similar one,
bearing that of the bridegroom. These were exchanged with bows. The two
men at the head of the procession then walked, with their lanterns,
between the sedan-chair and the lantern-bearers, who carried the bride's
family name, and returned to their places in front, when the bride's
party turned round and went back to her father's house, carrying home
her family name, she being supposed to have now taken that of her
husband. Even her brothers went back also, and then the band played a
very lively air whilst the rest of the procession took her on.

Fireworks were let off along the road, and a great many outside the
bridegroom's door when the bride arrived. Her bridesmaids, who have to
keep with her throughout the day, accompanied the procession.

As the sedan-chair was taken into the reception-room, the torch-bearers
and musicians stayed near the door, and where it was put down the floor
was again covered with red carpet. The bridegroom then came and knocked
at the bridal door, but a married woman and a little boy, holding a
mirror, asked the bride to get out. Her bridesmaids helped her to
alight. The mirror was supposed to ward off evil influences.

[Illustration: BRIDE AND BRIDEGROOM.]

Sometimes, much for the same purpose, a bride is carried over a charcoal
fire on a servant's back, but this was not done on this occasion. All
this time the bride's face was hidden by her veil. She was then taken
into a room, where the bridegroom was waiting for her, and here they sat
down together for a few minutes, without speaking a word. Sometimes the
bridegroom sits on a high stool, while the bride throws herself down
before him, to show that she considers man superior to woman.

He then went into the reception-room, where he waited for his bride to
come to worship his ancestral tablets with him. A table was put in front
of the room, on which were two lighted candles and lighted incense. Two
goblets, chop-sticks, white sugar-cocks, and other things were on the
table, when the bride and bridegroom both knelt four times, bowing their
heads towards the earth. This was called "worshipping heaven and earth."
The ancestral tablets were on tables at the back, on which were also
lighted candles and incense. Turning round towards the tablets, they
worshipped them eight times, and then facing one another, they knelt
four times.

Wedding wine was now drunk, and the bride and bridegroom ate a small
piece from the same sugar-cock, which was to make them agree.

The thick veil was now taken off the bride, but her face was still
partly hidden by strings of pearl hanging from a bridal coronet.

It often happens that the bridegroom now sees his bride for the first
time, the two fathers having perhaps planned the marriage, asked a
fortune-teller's advice, sent go-betweens to make all the necessary
arrangements, chosen a lucky day, without the bride or bridegroom having
a voice in the matter. This was the case with the young couple, a great
part of whose wedding ceremony Sybil and Leonard had witnessed. Both
Chinese boys and girls marry sometimes when they are sixteen years of
age; these were very little older.

Many other ceremonies had to take place, such as kneeling very often
before the bridegroom's parents, when at last it was time for the
bride's heavy outer garments to be taken off, together with her
head-dress, so that her hair could be well arranged; but she was not
allowed to eat anything at all at the wedding dinner. Indeed, on her
wedding-day, she is hardly expected to touch food at all.

Many people came in to see her, and on this day she must be quite
natural, and wear no rouge at all. She has to stand up quietly to be
looked at, blessed, and have remarks made upon her appearance. Presents
are sent to the bridegroom's family. For three days the bride's parents
send her food, as she may not, during that time, eat what her husband
provides. In some districts of the province of Canton the bride leaves
her husband, and goes home again for a time after she is married, but
after marriage she is generally considered to belong almost entirely to
her husband's family, in a wing of whose house she lives with him, and
to whose parents she is supposed to help him to be filial. On many other
days the ancestral tablets have to be worshipped by the bride and
bridegroom, and amongst other gods and goddesses, those of the kitchen
have adoration paid to them.

[Illustration: AT A CHINESE FARM.]


                                 "_Canton, February, 1881._

          "MY DEAREST LILY.--Father took us to a lovely farm
          the other day" (Sybil wrote in another letter),
          "where we saw a little donkey, who was so well
          cared for that he seemed like one of the family.
          Leonard and I fed him for some time. We both
          thought that the farm-house was something like a
          Swiss cottage. Father said the walls were made of
          clay, and on these walls were scrolls, which were
          supposed to have power to keep the fox and wild
          cat away.

          "There were a few bullocks and cows here, but not
          many; their stalls were quite near to the house.
          We liked the village, to which we went, very much,
          and it was surrounded by high trees. Father says
          that the stables of the Chinese are like
          cart-sheds, but each stable has an altar in honour
          of the ruler of horses. In this city there is a
          large temple to this god.

          "We saw a number of bean, pea, rice, and
          cotton-fields, and had some sugar-cane given us to
          eat. Sugar-cane is grown in Canton, and we had
          some bean-curds to drink. We liked them very much.
          Mother says she was told that they were made in
          Canton overnight, and generally sold very early in
          the morning. The beans are ground to flour, which
          is strained, and then boiled slowly for an hour. I
          wonder if you would like it?

          "The Chinese are so fond of sugar-cane, and it
          grew in China before it grew anywhere else. Ever
          so many fruits and vegetables grow also in China,
          but there seem to be more rice-fields than any
          other. I will tell you a few of the vegetables:
          sweet potatoes, yams, tomatoes, cabbages,
          lettuces, turnips, and carrots; and some fruits
          are apricots, custard-apples, rose-apples, dates,
          oranges, pomegranates, melons, pumpkins, and ever
          so many others. Canton is in the tropics, but it
          is not hot here in the winter. There are such
          pretty water-lilies here, not only white, but also
          red and red-and-white. The Chinese look upon this
          lily as a sacred plant. Some shop-keepers use the
          leaves, in which to wrap up things, instead of
          paper.

          "Chinese people do very funny things. Because they
          think that their birds sometimes like change of
          air, they carry their cages out of doors with them
          for a walk. But I do so wish that they did not eat
          dogs! You see them being sold in the shops, and in
          one district of Canton a fair is held, where they
          are regularly sold for food. Many people like
          black dogs best. At the beginning of summer nearly
          everybody eats dog's flesh, when a ceremony takes
          place. If people eat it, they think that it will
          keep them from being ill in the summer. I am glad,
          for that reason, that I shall not be here in June,
          as the dogs are cruelly beaten the day before they
          are killed. Fancy, poor little things! I suppose
          that is to bring luck too! And yet the Cantonese
          think that they displease the gods when they eat
          dog's flesh, and we have seen it written on
          Buddhist temples that people ought not to eat
          'their faithful guardians.'

          "The Cantonese must not go into a temple to
          worship till they have been three whole days
          without eating any dog. One of the 'boys' here--he
          is a footman; but in China all these sort of
          people are called 'boys'--eats rats. He says he is
          getting bald, and if he eats them his hair will
          grow again. Horses are sometimes eaten too; and
          worms that spoil the rice-fields, father told me,
          are sent to the markets and sold to be eaten.
          Isn't that nasty? And a kind of swallow's nest is
          eaten even by ladies. It is lined with feathers,
          which are first removed; then it is scraped,
          washed, and pulled to pieces, when it looks white.
          People say it is something like blancmange. I
          should not like to eat it. Does it not seem
          greedy, when people have so much to eat, to take
          poor little birds'-nests which have been made with
          such pains by their owners?

          "There is a bird in China that has such a long
          tail: it is called the Golden Pheasant. The
          feathers of the cock bird are most beautiful. His
          throat and breast are like purple velvet, and his
          back looks like gold. The upper part of his very
          long tail is scarlet, and the rest yellow. When
          this pheasant lifts his head and neck-feathers he
          shows such a tuft!

          "There are a good many deer in China, which are
          also supposed to bring good fortune. Some Chinese
          are very cruel to animals. We have seen them
          carrying pigs, ducks, and geese fastened to a
          pole, hanging with their heads downwards; and some
          of their dogs look so hungry, and their beasts of
          burden so tired. We saw a dreadful thing one day,
          almost too dreadful to write about--a poor little
          dog running yelping through the streets with its
          tail cut off! A Taouist priest had cut it off, so
          that it should run screaming through all the house
          in which evil spirits were supposed to be, because
          this would drive them out; then the poor little
          dog rushed into the streets, where we saw it, and,
          fortunately, father was near enough to have it
          killed at once.

          "The people listen more to father than they do to
          many missionaries, because he goes to the
          dispensary and helps to cure them when they are
          ill.

          "I forgot to tell you that when we first went to
          the farm nobody saw us, because the farmer, his
          wife, daughter, and a labourer were all listening
          to a man reading to them. We thought he must have
          got hold of some of the Chinese classics. The
          pigeon-English people talk sometimes is so funny.
          They are so fond of the word 'piecee.' Instead of
          'one child,' they say 'one piecee chilo;' and if
          they had many children, I expect they would say
          'piecee muchee.'

          "Leonard makes very good shots at pigeon-English,
          and can talk it much better than I can. What we
          generally do is to put 'ee' at the end of our
          words; but when we spoke to the farmer he could
          not understand, and so said, 'You talkee me. Very
          good talkee.' When he wanted to tell us that his
          house was very large, he said, 'Number one largee,
          handsome howsow;' and for 'There is a child
          up-stairs,' he said, 'Have got chilo topside.'

          "You asked me how the Chinese dressed, so I must
          try to tell you this, although I have written you
          such a long letter already.

[Illustration: CHINESE LADIES.]

[Illustration: A VILLAGER.]

[Illustration: A COOLIE.]

          "Gentlemen and ladies seem to dress very much
          alike; and people cannot change their clothes as
          they choose, because there is a minister of
          ceremonies, who says of what colour, stuff, and
          shape things are to be made, and when winter and
          summer things are to be changed. Even a head-dress
          may not be altered as people like, or they might
          be breaking a law. And it is so funny about the
          nails; some people let some of their nails grow as
          long as they can, and are so proud when they are
          very long. No Chinaman wears a beard till he is
          forty. The outside robe of a gentleman is so long
          that it reaches to his ankles, and it is fastened
          with buttons. The sleeves are first broad, and
          then get narrower and narrower. A sash is tied
          round his waist, and from this chop-sticks, a
          tobacco-case, fans, and such-like things hang. The
          head-dress is a cap with a peak at the top. Men do
          not take off their hats to bow; indeed, they would
          put them on if they were off. In-doors they wear
          silk slippers, pointed and turned up at the toes.
          Chinese men are admired when they are stout, and
          women when they are thin. Women also have two
          robes, the top one often being made of satin, and
          reaching from the chin to the ground. Their
          sleeves are so long that they do instead of
          gloves. They always wear trousers, and often carry
          a pipe, for women smoke a great deal in China.
          Some, I think, are pretty. They have rather large
          eyes and red lips. Old ladies wear very quiet
          clothes. Mother says the Chinese are not at all
          clean people, and ought to change their clothes
          much oftener than they do. People wear shoes of
          silk, or cotton, with thick felt soles. The women
          spend hours having their hair done into all sorts
          of shapes, such as baskets, bird-cages, or
          anything they and their amahs can manufacture.
          Then besides ornaments in their hair, they wear
          ear-rings and bangles. Even boat-women wear these;
          and the ladies almost always paint their faces,
          to do which they have a kind of enamel. Chinese
          ladies have little useful occupation, and spend a
          great part of their time, mother says, when they
          are not doing embroidery, in gambling and adorning
          themselves.

          "The peasants wear a coarse linen shirt, covered
          by a cotton tunic, with thin trousers fastened to
          the ankles. In wet and cold weather they make a
          useful covering of net-work, into which are
          plaited rushes, or coarse dry grass, and they put
          on very large hats, made in the same way. The
          Chinese are not at all lazy people, for father
          says after their shutters are shut, and all looks
          dark from the outside, they are often at work, and
          they get up early too. When men grow old their
          tails get so thin. I saw such a wrinkled old man
          the other day, with hardly any tail at all. I
          think he must have been very sorry about that; he
          was an old villager.

          "Coolies wear their tails twisted round their
          heads. They do all the heavy work, and are
          porters, common house labourers, and sedan-chair
          bearers.

          "Leonard says if I write any more stuff he is sure
          you will not read it; but I hope you will think it
          interesting stuff, at all events, and, therefore,
          not mind my letter being so long. There seems to
          be so much to tell you when you have not been to
          China, and it seems selfish to keep all the
          pleasure of seeing such new things to myself. I
          meant to tell you about the New Year, which we
          have just kept, but I have not room. I hope you
          will write to me very soon. We all send love to
          you, and

                            "Believe me,
                         "Your very affectionate friend,
                                 "SYBIL GRAHAM."

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XI.

PROCESSIONS.


[Illustration]

A FORTNIGHT later Mr. Graham saw a large, Leonard a small, portion of a
funeral procession, and Sybil was very anxious afterwards to hear all
about it, for Leonard had told her that it seemed even grander than the
marriage one.

"Please, father," she said, "tell me all that the Chinese do when
anybody dies."

"I do not think I could tell you all," was her father's reply, "because
it would take too long, and I do not know all myself; but I dare say I
can tell you quite enough to satisfy your curiosity. When a Chinese
thinks that a relation is likely to die soon, he places him, with his
feet towards the door, on a bed of boards, arranging his best robes and
a hat, or cap, quite close to him, that he may be dressed in these just
before he dies. It would be considered a dreadful thing if he were to
die without putting them on. Soon after he is dead, a priest--usually a
priest of Taou--is called in to ask the spirit to make haste to Elysium,
and to cast the man's horoscope, so as to see how far the spirit has got
on its journey."

"What does casting his horoscope mean?"

"Finding out the hour of a man's birth, and then foretelling events by
the appearance of the heavens. More clothes are then put upon the dead
man, who, if he be a person of rank, would wear three silk robes. Gongs
are beaten, and when the body is placed in its coffin, every corner of
the room is beaten with a hammer, to frighten away bad spirits. A crown
is also put on any person of rank. Widows and children, to show their
grief, sit on the floor instead of on chairs for seven days, and sleep
on mats near to the husband and father's coffin. On the seventh day
letters are written to friends, informing them of the death, when they
send presents of money to help to defray the funeral expenses. I saw a
very strange letter of thanks yesterday, a copy of which had been sent
to each giver of a present, and besides money, food is sometimes given
or priests are sent. The letter, as far as I can remember, ran thus:
'This is to express the thanks of the orphaned son, who weeps tears of
blood, and bows his head; of the mourning brother, who weeps and bows
his head; of the mourning nephew, who wipes away his tears and bows his
head.' Then a letter is also written to the departed, and burnt, that it
may reach him, whilst cakes and other presents are also sent to him by
means of burning.

[Illustration: MEN ENGAGED TO WALK IN FUNERAL PROCESSIONS.]

"On the twenty-first day after death a banquet is prepared in honour
of the spirit, which is supposed, on that day, to come back to his home,
when the entrance doors are shut, for fear any one should come in and
vex the spirit. On the twenty-third day three large paper birds are put
on high poles in front of the house, to carry the soul to Elysium; and
for three days Buddhist priests pray to the ten kings of Buddhist hell
to hasten the flight of the departed soul to the Western Paradise.

"The coffin is kept in the house for seven weeks, where an altar is set
up, near to which the tablet and portrait of the deceased are put.
Banners, which are looked upon as letters of condolence, are fixed upon
the walls, and on these the merits of the dead man are inscribed.

"Pictures of the three Buddhas are also to be seen in the house. A lucky
place and day have then to be fixed, by fortune-tellers, for the burial,
and should these not be forthcoming, the coffin would be placed on a
hill till they can be found. Burial is considered of so much importance,
that should a man be drowned his spirit would be called back into a
figure of wood or paper, and buried with pomp. Before the grave-diggers
begin their work, members of the family worship the genii of the
mountain, and write letters to these gods, asking them to be so kind as
to allow the funeral to take place."

"But how are these letters made to 'arrive?'"

"They are set on fire and burnt."

"Leonard says he saw a number of people dressed in white in the
procession."

"Those were the relatives in deep mourning, white, you remember, being
the deepest, white and blue lesser, mourning."

[Illustration: CHE-YIN.]

"And he says he is sure he saw his friend Che-Yin among the mourners.
You know, father, Che-Yin is really a great friend of Leonard's, though
he is so much older than himself, and now he is taking great trouble to
teach him to play on the musical instrument which he plays so well
himself. I believe if Leonard were going to stay longer here he would
really learn to play it quite well. Is it not kind of Che-Yin? But I
must not interrupt you any more," Sybil went on, "and this is so
interesting. Leonard said he wondered so much what could be happening
once when he heard a tremendous noise, and saw people rushing out into
the streets screaming."

"I think I know what that meant," was the missionary's answer. "On the
day of burial the relatives weep and lament very loudly. They carry a
long white streamer, called a soul-cloth, to the ancestral hall, for the
spirit to say 'Good-bye' to its ancestors. At three or four o'clock in
the morning all decorations, that have been put up in front of the door,
are taken down, and a banquet is made ready, of which the spirit is
invited to partake. You remember I told you that they believe one spirit
is buried with the body. Well, some kind of paper is now again burnt,
while the spirit is asked to accompany the body, and the tablet and
portrait of the dead man are put in a sedan-chair by his eldest son,
over the top of which is a streamer of red satin, on which his name and
titles are written.

"Distant relations remain standing out in the streets; but I expect what
Leonard saw was people rushing out of the house, dreadfully frightened,
for fear that after all the day might not be lucky, and the spirit
should be vexed, and send trouble to them, in consequence.

"As the coffin is brought out offerings are also again presented to the
spirit. Two men walk first, carrying large lanterns, on which are
written the name, title, and age of the man who has died. Then come two
other men with a gong, which they beat from time to time."

"Leonard heard that."

"Then follow musicians, and behind these some men walk with flags,
others with red boards, on which are inscribed, in golden letters, the
titles of the ancestors of the deceased."

"Then Leonard saw some gold canopies and sedan-chairs."

"Offerings made to the dead are carried under gilded canopies, and these
canopies also follow the ancestral tablets. The portrait of the dead man
is in one sedan-chair, and his wooden tablet in another.

"I believe somewhere about here are more musicians, then comes a man
scattering pieces of paper fastened to tinfoil. This is supposed to be
mock-money for hungry ghosts, the souls of those people who have died at
corners of the streets, and this money is to make peace with them, so
that they shall not injure the soul of the man now being buried. The
eldest son carries a staff, whilst a person walks on either side to
support him."

"But Leonard said he saw a white cock, when he could not help laughing.
What could this be for?"

"The cock is also carried to call the soul to go with the body. Behind
the eldest son comes the bier, carried by men or drawn by horses.

"Many other persons follow. All the people that can, go in the
procession. Women with small feet, unless carried on their slaves'
backs, can only go a short way. At the grave, grains of rice are
scattered over the coffin, when the priest and all the people lift the
cock and bend their bodies forward three times. The tablet is taken out
of the chair, on which the nearest relation makes a mark with a red
pencil; then the sons kneel down, and a priest, if present, addresses
them."

"Then a priest is not obliged to go to the funeral?"

"No; sometimes only a man skilled in geomancy is present. Geomancy is a
kind of foretelling things, by means of little dots first made on the
ground and then on paper. The tablet is marked, I believe, to bring good
luck to the sons, and then every one knocks his head on the ground and
does homage to it."

Sybil was looking very serious, though she was smiling too.

"Oh, father!" she said, "how much you, and other missionaries, will have
to teach these people! What a pity it is that they cannot know that the
soul is never buried, and that they can't learn to worship and pray to
God, Who would send them such real happiness in answer to their
prayers!"

"It is indeed, my child," was the missionary's answer.

"And is anything more done for the dead after this except worship being
paid to them?"

"Yes; for many days feasts are prepared for the departed relative, hot
water is carried to him to wash his face and hands, and I have also
heard of another way that the Chinese have of 'conveying' spirits to the
kingdoms of Buddhistic hell. Little sedan-chairs are made of bamboo
splints and paper, with four little paper bearers, and sometimes there
is a fifth little paper man, holding an umbrella. These are burnt like
the paper mock-money; and sometimes, after the death of another friend,
a little paper trunk, full of paper clothes, is supplied for one already
dead, and burnt, when the senders believe that the person who died last
is conveying this trunk to the other in safety for them."

"They think that people need a great many things in the other world,
then," Sybil said. "And do children often worship at their parents'
tombs?"

"Yes; at certain seasons of the year they make pilgrimages to the tops
of high hills, or to other distant parts, where they prostrate
themselves, this being supposed to continue the homage and reverence
which they showed to them on earth; and they believe that in a great
measure the happiness of the spirits depends upon the adoration and
worship which they pay to them, whilst those who render it secure for
themselves favour from the gods. Twice a day do children also pay
adoration to their dead parents, before a shrine set up in the house to
the memory of departed ancestors."

"But what is the use of preparing feasts for the dead?" Sybil asked.
"They cannot think that the dead really eat the food?"

"They seem to do so, and not only lay a place for them, but even put
chop-sticks for their use."

Another procession Sybil and Leonard saw one day, and this Sybil
described in the last letter that she wrote to her friend, before she
left China. Some men carried an image of the Dragon King, others carried
gongs, drums, and green and black and yellow and white flags, whilst
boys, walking in the procession, called out loudly from time to time.

The children could not possibly imagine what this procession could be
all about.

Some characters were written on the flags.

One man who, as Leonard thought, had a very happy, smiling face, had a
pole slung across his shoulders, from which hung two buckets of water.
In his hand he held a green branch of a shrub which, from time to time,
he dipped in the water, and then sprinkled the ground; while he also
continually called out something. Other men were carrying sticks of
lighted incense. Most of the people, in the procession, wore white
clothes, and white caps without tassels.

[Illustration: SPRINKLING WATER.]

Sybil and Leonard were afterwards told that this was praying for rain,
because for some time there had been none.

The Dragon King was carried, because he is supposed to be the god of
rain. Besides the Dragon King there is a River Dragon, who is both
feared and worshipped. His mother, Loong-Moo, is often worshipped by
people engaged in river traffic.

The men and boys were calling out "Rain comes!" The yellow and white
banners were to represent wind and water, and the green and black,
clouds.

The inscription on the flags was, when translated, "Prayer is offered
for rain."

[Illustration]

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XII.

THE LAST PEEP.


[Illustration]

SYBIL had made several friends amongst Cantonese ladies and children,
and some very pleasant afternoons had she spent with them. The girls,
she noticed, generally wore cotton tunics and trousers. One little girl,
with whom she had spent a few hours, was in mourning, so she wore white,
bound with blue. Sybil could not help thinking that this was very pretty
mourning, but her brother's was still prettier, for his trousers were of
pale blue silk tied round the ankles, and he wore white shoes. His cue
was tied with blue. And there were such very pretty gardens belonging to
the houses in which they lived, with rockeries, fish-ponds, and
summer-houses almost large enough to live in.

One lady, whom Sybil visited, astonished her very much, because she had
an only boy, who was very pale-looking and delicate, and she called him
all sorts of names, and seemed to treat him so unkindly. When Sybil had
been ill herself, her mother had always treated her with such extra love
and care, and she fancied that all mothers behaved like this. Then the
Chinese love their boys so much, that one would therefore have thought
an only boy would be so very precious. The next time that she saw the
lady she had given away her child to be adopted by some one else. Mrs.
Graham heard the explanation to this unnatural conduct, and gave it to
Sybil. The woman really loved her boy most fondly, and would have given
anything she had to have him well, but she fancied that the gods were
malicious towards him, and that if she pretended to them that she did
not care for the child they would let him get well again. All that
conduct was to deceive the gods.

Mr. Graham had several times dined out at Chinese houses, and sometimes
his wife had accompanied him, but as Cantonese ladies never dine with
their husbands in public, where her doing so was likely to give any
offence, even though she were invited, she never went; but many Chinese
very well understand that there are quite different laws for Europeans
than there are for them, and these seemed to be glad to admit English
ladies, with their husbands, to be guests at their houses.

When Mr. and Mrs. Graham went to one of these dinners, knives and forks
were borrowed for them, and the other English visitors, in place of
chop-sticks. A china spoon and a two-pronged fork were set before each
person, and there were china wine-glasses. The table-napkins were of
brown paper. Basins of fruit, from which all helped themselves as they
liked, were in the middle of the table. There were a great many soups
and other courses. Every now and then the host took something out of a
basin with his chop-stick, and offered to put it into the mouths of his
guests. Out of politeness they were bound to accept these gifts. There
was not any beef, as no Chinaman eats beef. Music was played, and slaves
fanned the people during dinner.

Once when Sybil visited some of her young Chinese friends, the tea was
brought in to them in covered cups, and when they wanted more,
tea-leaves were put into the cups and boiling water was poured upon
them. She had learnt now to be able to drink tea without milk or sugar,
but she could not like it.

A two months' stay at Canton brought the children to the end of four
months and a half of their stay in China, and left but six weeks more
before they were to return to England. It was the middle of March when
the Grahams said "Good-bye" to their kind friends at the Yamen, and
returned to Hong-Kong. Sybil could not bear to say this farewell, as it
was the last but one, and she knew how very quickly six weeks would
pass.

They had all enjoyed their stay in Canton very much, and often thought
about the New Year's Day which had been kept, while they were there,
with such grand rejoicings. At midnight, on the last day of the old
year, a bell, never used except on this occasion, pealed forth, when, at
the signal, people rushed into the streets in crowds to let off
fireworks.

Every temple and every pagoda was lighted up, and people burnt incense
before idols in their own homes. Some streets are lighted in Canton by
lanterns, but, as a rule, the smaller streets are in darkness, with the
exception of paper lanterns, which hang, every now and then, from before
shops or private houses, and even these are put out by half-past nine
o'clock. Paraffin lamps are now being introduced along Chinese city
streets.

All New Year's night a great noise was to be heard, and in the morning
friends dressed in their best to call upon, and salute, one another.

In the streets they were to be seen prostrating themselves upon the
ground. Rich and poor alike had great rejoicings on New Year's Day, the
rich often keeping up their holiday for ten days.

Latterly Mr. Graham had been several times backwards and forwards to
Hong-Kong, where he had made his final arrangements.

The missionary, whose place he was about to fill, would, when he left
the island, take with him to England, besides his own family, Sybil and
Leonard Graham. Until they sailed, the Grahams would all stay with them
at the Mission House, when it would be handed over to Mr. Graham.

The other missionary had three children of his own, two daughters,
twelve and ten years old, and a son of nine, but as they had been absent
from Hong-Kong when the Grahams had been there before, the children had
not yet made one another's acquaintance.

The eldest, Katie, now became Sybil's very useful interpreter, for as
she had been born in China and lived there all her life, she could
understand, and speak, many Chinese dialects.

Sybil now knew several Chinese words herself. "Che-fan," or "Have you
eaten your rice?" was "How do you do?" though, as a rule, when people
said "How do you do?" to her it was "Chin-chin mississi?"

When she went out visiting, questions such as the following were
generally put to her, "What honourable name have you?" "What is the name
of your beautiful dwelling?" and "What age have you?" Had she been grown
up, this question would probably have been, "What is your venerable
age?"

Leonard was often told to "catchee plenty chow-chow," which means "eat a
very good dinner," but as somehow he generally seemed able to do this,
he hardly needed the kind advice.

Mrs. Graham's amah amused Sybil very much. She had been a great
traveller, having visited both England and America, and she liked
England much the best. One day she said to Sybil: "Melicä no good
countly. Welly bad chow-chow. Appool number one. My hab chow-chow sixty
pieces before bleakfast. Any man no got dollar, all hab got paper.
Number one foolo pidgin. No good countly. My no likee Melicä. My likee
England side more better." This meant: "America is not a good country.
It has very bad food, but first-rate apples. I ate sixty before
breakfast. No one has any dollars there, all use paper money. Very
foolish business. Not a good country. I do not like America. I like
England better."

Some pleasure or another was always forthcoming for Sybil and Leonard,
and the few last "Peep-shows" were very precious.

[Illustration: "SING-SONG."]

One day, when they were out, they saw a "Sing-Song," as the performance
was called. Under a canopy, in the open streets, children were acting
and dancing. To do so, they had dressed up in very gorgeous costumes,
their ornaments and head-dresses being grander, Leonard said, than
anything he had ever seen before; and the little Chinese actors
themselves seemed to be thoroughly at their ease, and quite at home, in
their grand attire.

"Why did that policeman come after you to-day, father, and take down the
name of the boat that we got into?" Leonard once asked, when he and his
father had been out together, and were returning home.

"Policemen have done that several times, if you had only noticed," was
the reply. "That was to guard us from pirates. They took the name of our
boat, so that the owner could be held responsible if we did not return
safely. The Chinese are dreadful pirates, and are generally on the
look-out for opportunities to rob. Sometimes a band of them will take
their passages in a ship, and when fairly out at sea will all rise in
mutiny against the captain and his officers, and perhaps murder them, so
as to be able to plunder as they choose."

"I should think the boat-policemen had plenty of work to do," Leonard
then said.

"Father, do you remember well when you were just eleven?" the child then
asked suddenly, going, as it seemed, right away from his present
subject. "Did you ever want to be a sailor then? ever think for certain
you would be one?"

"I do not remember ever having had that wish."

"Well, I have had it over and over again, and thought that there could
not be anything better in the world than going about in ships, and
seeing different places. I've wished to be a sailor for ever so many
years; but, you know, I don't wish it now."

[Illustration: FISHERMEN AND FISHERWOMEN.]

Mr. Graham smiled. I expect it was Leonard's "ever so many years" which
made him do so.

"Don't you?" his father asked. "Then what do you want to be now?"

"Something, father, I'm not half good enough for," the boy answered,
thoughtfully. "A missionary! Oh, father, I do so want to be a missionary
now, and come to China, as you and grandfather have done! Shouldn't you
like it too? I know mother would; and perhaps the Church Missionary
Society would send me out if I asked them."

"I should like nothing better, my little son," was the missionary's
reply.

A few minutes later Leonard was out of doors again, flying himself one
of the "wonderful kites," which a Chinaman had made for, and given to,
him, and his father was watching his little fellow with pleasure almost
amounting to pride.

Was this his impulsive boy's own thought, he wondered, or had his sister
suggested it to him.

Quite his own; but no doubt the quiet, gentle influence which Sybil
exerted over her younger brother was very good for him.

"Do you think, Sybil, that the heathen Chinese could teach the Christian
English anything?" Mr. Graham asked his daughter, as they sat and talked
together the very last evening.

"I am sure they could," she answered quickly; "many things. Filial love
and obedience for one, respect and reverence for old age for another;
and then, though they do believe such silly, superstitious things, there
seems to be such a reality, so much earnestness, about the way some of
them carry out their religion. They do not mind how early they get up
and go out to keep a religious festival, and they seem to ask a sort of
blessing, from their gods, on everything they do, and keep their fasts
and feasts so very regularly; but I think their love for their parents
beats everything. 'Boy' asked for a holiday yesterday, because it was
his mother's birthday, and got up very early to do his work before he
went." "Boy" was a kind of footman.

"Yes; parents' birthdays are kept up much more than are those of
children. Sometimes on their birthdays they will sit under a crimson
canopy, whilst their children kneel and perform the 'kow-tow' to them.
The fifty-first birthday, and every ten years afterwards, is celebrated
with great pomp, when religious ceremonies are often performed at the
Temple of Longevity. I believe thirty Buddhist priests will then
sometimes return thanks for three days.

"When a man is eighty-one, the fact is occasionally communicated to the
Emperor, who may then allow money to be given for a monumental arch to
be erected to the old man's honour.

"After parents are dead their birthdays are still celebrated in the
ancestral hall, where their portraits hang."

"I suppose children give their parents beautiful presents on their
birthdays?"

"When they begin to get old the best present that a child can, and does,
make a parent, and one which he values more than anything else, is a
coffin, because, you know, a Chinaman thinks that unless his body be
buried properly his spirit cannot rest.

"The Chinese are strange contradictions," Mr. Graham went on. "Although
they are very courageous in bearing torture, they are dreadful liars,
and a great liar is generally a great coward. Then they are sober and
industrious, but slaves to the opium drug; meek and gentle, but, at the
same time, treacherous and cruel; most dutiful to their parents, but
often very jealous of their neighbours; and then, perhaps strangest of
all, is their love towards their children, but yet their readiness to
put their girls to death."

Sybil was silent for several minutes. "Oh, father!" she then said,
"isn't the time dreadfully near now? Fancy leaving you and dear mother!
How can we?"

"You must go to _your_ work, darling, and we must stay here to do ours.
Is it not so?" Mr. Graham asked, in the dear, kind, soft voice that
Sybil loved so much, and which she always called his "preachy voice."
"But what shall give us comfort? what shall we think about when we are
trying to do our several duties, though apart, I hope contentedly and
well? That it is God who has called us to our several duties; it is His
Almighty will which we have now and always to obey; but remember, not
alone, not unaided, dear Sybil. Who will be our guide, stay, and
comfort, when we are separated from one another?"

Sybil knew, but could not answer, because she was crying.

[Illustration: WOMAN OF POAH-BI.]

"Your mother and I," Mr. Graham went on, "in commending our children to
the Fatherly love and care of Him Who gave you to us, know that we place
you in the safest keeping; and you yourselves have also both learnt,
have you not, how to go to our Father and 'Supreme Ruler' in earnest
prayer, whenever tempted to do what would displease Him? A missionary,
you know, is one who is sent on a mission--to fulfil a duty. A
missionary's children must not shrink from fulfilling, must not fail to
fulfil, the mission on which they are sent, must they?"

Sybil looked comforted. She liked this last "Peep-show" very much, and
kissed her father to show him that she did.

A few minutes later she said, "Do you know, father, I believe little Chu
is really beginning to believe and understand properly, for the other
day, when I was saying my prayers, she came and knelt down beside me,
and she would never kneel to our God before, even when she saw the
Christian woman at Poah-bi do so, with whom we stayed, and with whom she
was such good friends. I shall often remember that woman and her dear
little baby, which she tied to herself so funnily, because I liked them
so very much.

"Poor little Chu!" Sybil then went on. "I shall be so glad to see her
again when I come back to you, but I do not think she will like me to go
away."

"Chu will have to be a great deal at school now. She has her work to do
too, you know."

"How I shall think of you, father, and the Hong-Kong Mission on
Intercession Day, when it comes round, shan't I?"

"Yes, Sybil; and not only on Intercession Day, but always in your
prayers, you must remember to pray very fervently, both for Chinese and
other unbelievers, and not only for me, but for all who are seeking
their conversion."

"It seems a more real thing now to pray for," Sybil said.

"And to give thanks for too. Here in Hong-Kong we have great cause to be
thankful."

"What a dear old lady that was who was baptized on Sunday! but what was
the Christian name she chose? I could not hear it."

"Mong-Oi, which means 'desiring the love' (of Jesus)."

"That was a beautiful name, wasn't it? And there were a number of
communicants for here too. How many native communicants are there in
Hong-Kong?"

"Between sixty and seventy; and what is so comforting is that the
communicants seem to be really devout, and to realise what being a
communicant means for, and requires of, them, and it is no easy matter
at all for natives of China to embrace Christianity. Sometimes they have
to leave all their relations, and suffer much persecution in
consequence."

"When was the Hong-Kong mission begun?" Sybil asked.

"In 1862."

Although the results were far from what the zealous missionaries would
fain have seen them, Mr. Graham was right in saying that the Mission
from the Church of England to Hong-Kong had cause to take hope and be
thankful.

Several men and women were now under instruction both for baptism and
confirmation. The mission schools for boys numbered more than 190, and
for girls more than thirty, and here the children were religiously as
well as secularly instructed.

There were, although only two European missionaries and one native
clergyman, twenty-three native Christian teachers, and 183 native
Christians. The Mission comprised, besides St. Stephen's Church and the
agencies around it in the island of Hong-Kong, many out-stations in the
province of Quangtung occupied by native agents.

The Prayer Book, and, still better, the Holy Bible, translated into
their own tongue, were now circulated among the people, some of whom
were really learning to love and value them; and not only were the
services for the Christians well attended, but every evening the heathen
were to be seen in numbers going to hear sermons that were to be
preached for them.

Well, then, might Mr. Graham go forth to his new work with hope.

"How much you will have to do, father," Sybil said, "if you go to the
Medical Missionary Institution so often, and do all your other work
besides! But the people seem to be very grateful to you. 'Boy' said
yesterday that you were 'a hundred man good,' and I know what that
means: 'The best of men.'"

Mr. Graham smiled.

"I like, and it is good for us all," he said, "to have plenty to do; and
one work, you know, may help on the other."

"I expect mother will help you a very great deal too."

"She is sure to do that." Sybil knew she was.

All day long the child had spent beside her much-loved mother; now, for
another hour, she sat on and talked with her father, receiving good,
kind counsel, when Leonard, who had been closeted with his mother,
listening to her dear words of best advice, came in, with eyes swollen
from crying, and then the four sat together till it was long past
bed-time; but what of that? To-morrow, on board ship, there would be
nothing to keep them up late, when they could make up for to-night, and
go early to bed.

To-morrow came, as happy and sad to-morrows all alike will come; when
the mother gave her children their last kisses, the father their last
kisses and benedictions, and Sybil and Leonard Graham started on their
homeward voyage to England, leaving their parents very grateful for
having such good, kind friends to whose care on board ship to entrust
them.

Both children were to return at once to their former schools, and spend
their holidays together at Mrs. Graham's brother's house, who was also
the rector of a country parish, and where she knew they would very soon
feel quite at home.

Sybil and Leonard Graham, the children of brave parents, were brave
children themselves, and as they had promised not to grieve more then
they could help, they at once did battle with their tears, and before
long were talking really cheerfully with their friends.

"Who knows," Sybil said once to Leonard, when she and her brother found
themselves alone, "but what they might come over for a small
holiday-trip in two or three years' time? and if not, I believe when I
go out you are to go with me for another 'Peep-show' holiday, and to see
_them_!"

"Of course I ought to go whenever I can," Leonard answered, "as I'm
going to be a missionary out there myself."

Sybil had said "them" because she could not yet say, without crying,
those two dear, sacred words, father and mother, which stand alone in
the vocabulary of every language, and have no peers.

Mrs. Graham herself was then alone, shedding bitter tears, which she
had stifled until her children left her, but which she could keep back
no longer.

Yet, though her mother's loving heart was very sad and sore, she would
not weep long, but would, to the very best of her ability, go forth at
once to help her husband--who could not but feel sad now too--in the
good work in which she had encouraged him to embark, counting _all_ the
costs beforehand.

And Sybil, who had said "_I like my father to be a missionary very
much_," would not unsay the words now, though it took both her parents
so far away from her and Leonard. Oh no! since she had seen the great
need that there was for missionaries to China, she liked, even better
than before, her father "to be a missionary!"

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Bold text is surrounded by =equal signs= and italic text by
_underscores_.

Text uses uses varied hyphenation on the naming of the cities. This
includes both Fu-kien and Fukien, Poahbi and Poa-bi, and Pei-ho and
Peiho, among others.

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Page 31, Illustration caption: MÊNE changed to MÈNE (HATA-MÈNE-TA-KIE)

Page 74, "r st" changed to "rest" (rest of their lives)

Page 178, "Europeon" changed to "European" (the European settlement)

Page 196, "al" changed to "all" (soon. We all)

Page 212, twice the word "Melicä" was spelled with a macron over the
"a". This was replaced with a "ä" for this text version.





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