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ENGLISH 京香julia番号全集"The Chinese have a great many gods, and pretty nearly every god has a temple in some part of Pekin. There is a fine temple to Confucius, which is surrounded by some trees that are said to be five hundred years old; the temple has a high roof which is very elaborately carved, and looks pretty both from a distance and when you are close by it. But there are no statues in the temple, as the Chinese do not worship Confucius through a statue, but by means of a tablet on which his name is inscribed. The other deities have their statues, and you may see the god of war with a long beard and mustache. The Chinese have very slight beards, and it is perhaps for this reason that they frequently represent their divinities as having a great deal of hair on their faces, so as to indicate their superiority to mortals. Then they have a god of literature, who is represented standing on the head of a large fish, and waving a pencil in his right hand, while he holds in his left a cap such as is worn by the literary graduates after they have received their degrees.[Pg 368] The god of literature is worshipped a great deal by everybody who is studying for a degree, and by those whose ancestors or other relatives have been successful in carrying away the honors at an examination. Think what it would be to have such a divinity in our colleges and schools[Pg 369] in America, and the amount of worship he would get if the students really believed in him!Of course many of the locusts fell on the deck of the steamer, and found their way to the cabins. The flight of the cloud was from south to north, and Frank observed a remarkable peculiarity about the movements of individual members of the immense swarm. He captured several and placed them on the cabin table. No matter in what direction he turned their heads, they immediately faced about towards the north, and as long as they were in the cabin they continued to try to escape on the northern side. After the boat had passed through the swarm, the boys released several of the captives, and found that, no matter how they were directed at the moment of their release, they immediately turned and flew away to the north.
CHAPTER XXI.And one teem more he plenty cly,
"And yet the guide was not so far out of the way, according to the Chinese idea. The Chinese bring food to the graves of their friends, and leave it there as an offering. The spirits of the dead are believed to linger around the spot and to eat this food, but it is really devoured by the priests and others who stay around the cemetery, and what they do not eat or carry away is consumed by the birds. At certain seasons they have grand festivals, when many thousands of people go to the cemeteries with offerings for the dead, and good things for themselves. The affair is more like a picnic than a ceremony of mourning; and when it breaks up, the mourners go to the theatre or some other place of amusement. The best burial-place is on a hill-side, and the tomb is made in the form of a terrace, or rather of three terraces, with steps leading up to them. As you look at it[Pg 413] from a little distance, the tomb has the shape of a horseshoe, or, better still, of 'Omega,' the last letter of the Greek alphabet.SIGNING THE TREATY OF TIEN-TSIN. SIGNING THE TREATY OF TIEN-TSIN.Maybe I did not say vindictive things inside me just then! The three nieces had turned open-mouthed upon one another and sunk down upon their luggage with averted faces.
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"In the theatre the singing goes on sometimes while the actors are on the stage, and we got tired of it in a little while. I don't suppose the Japanese get so tired of it, or they would stop having it. Some of them admit that it would be better to have the orchestra in front of the stage, as we do; but others say that so long as the chorus must do so much towards explaining the play, they had better remain where they are. The Japanese seem to like their theatre as it is, and therefore they will not be apt to change in a hurry.For three or four hours the wind continued to increase, and the waters to assume the shapes we have seen. The barometer had fallen steadily, and everything indicated that the arrival of the steamer at Shanghai, or at any other port, was by no means a matter of certainty. The order was issued for the passengers to go below, and our friends descended to the cabin. Just as they did so the decks were swept by a mass of water that seemed to have been lifted bodily from the sea by a gust of wind. The order to go below was not issued a moment too soon.almost pleasing. "Good-bye, Smith, remember your failings."
"We can travel by rail almost anywhere," said he, "and needn't come away from America to do so. Now, instead of going to Osaka by rail, which wouldn't be anything remarkable, suppose we go by a Japanese junk. I have been asking the hotel-keeper about it, and he says it is perfectly easy to do so, and that we can sail there with a fair wind in a few hours."From the temple they proceeded to a garden, where they had an opportunity of seeing some of the curious productions of the Chinese gardeners in the way of dwarfing trees and plants. There were small bushes in the shape of animals, boats, houses, and other things, and the resemblance was in many cases quite good. They do this by tying the limbs of the plants to little sticks of bamboo, or around wire frames shaped like the objects they wish to represent; and by tightening the bandages every[Pg 407] morning, and carefully watching the development of the work, they eventually accomplish their purpose. If they represent a dog or other animal, they generally give it a pair of great staring eyes of porcelain, and sometimes they equip its mouth with teeth of the same material. Many of the Chinese gardens are very prettily laid out, and there are some famous ones near Canton, belonging to wealthy merchants.
"Only the poorest kind of tea is made into bricks, and each brick is[Pg 350] about six inches wide, eight inches long, and one inch thick. After it has been pressed, it is dried in ovens; and when it is thoroughly dried and ready for packing, it is weighed, to make sure that it is up to the required standard. All bricks that are too light are thrown out, to be mixed up again and done over. Nearly all of this business is in Russian hands, for the reason that this kind of tea is sold only in Russia."
Fred asked if the statue was cast in a single piece. But after asking the question, he looked up and saw that the work was evidently done in sections, as the lines where the plates or sections were joined were plainly visible. But the plates were large, and the operation of making the statue was one that required the handling of some very heavy pieces. In many[Pg 167] places the statue was covered with inscriptions, which are said to be of a religious character."Sixty feet isn't so very much," Fred answered. "There are statues in Europe a great deal larger.""The abandonment of the custom began in the open ports, and is spreading through the country. It will spread in exactly the same ratio as Japan adopts other customs and ways of the rest of the world; and as fast as she takes on our Western civilization, just so fast will she drop such of her forms as are antagonistic to it."
"At the place where we reach the Great Wall there is a Chinese city called Chan-kia-kow; but it is known to the Russians as Kalgan. It is the frontier town of Mongolia, and the Russians have a great deal of commerce with it. It stands in a valley, and so high are the mountains around it that the sun does not rise until quite late in the forenoon. Doctor Bronson said there is a town somewhere in the Rocky[Pg 386] Mountains of America which is so shut in that the sun does not rise there until about eleven o'clock next day; and we thought it might possibly be a relative of Chan-kia-kow. There is an odd sort of population here, as the merchants who trade with the Russians are from all parts of China; and then there are Mongols from the Desert of Gobi, and a very fair number of real Russians."Don't you remember," Frank retorted, "our old teacher used to tell us that instinct was often superior to reason. Birds and animals and fishes make their annual migrations, and know exactly where they are going, which is more than most men could begin to do. These locusts are guided by instinct, and they are obliged to be, as they would starve if they had to reason about their movements, and study to know where to go. Just think of a locust sitting down to a map of China, when there were millions of other locusts all doing the same thing. They wouldn't have maps enough to go around; and when they got to a place they wanted to reach, they would find that others had been there before them and eaten up all the grass."Frank could not answer, and the question was propounded to Dr. Bronson; the latter shook his head, and then Fred responded, in triumph, "Because he is a slow pup." It was three seconds at least before Frank could see the point of the joke.
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