Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

New Forces in Old China

Part 2 out of 8

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.8 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

plastered houses were not inviting. A Chinese seldom thinks
of making repairs. He builds once, usually with rough stone
plastered with mud or with sun-dried brick. The roof is
thatched and the floor is the beaten earth, although in the
better houses it is stone or brick. In time, the mud-plaster
or, if the walls are of sun-dried brick, the wall itself begins to
disintegrate. But it is let alone, as long as it does not make
the house uninhabitable, while paint is unknown. So the general
appearance of a Chinese town is squalid and tumbledown.
Even the yamen of a district magistrate presents
crumbling walls, unkempt courtyards, rickety buildings and
paper-covered windows full of holes. The palaces of the rich
are often expensive, but the Asiatic has little of our ideas of
comfort and order.

The Rev. J. P. Bruce and Mr. R. C. Forsyth, of the English
Baptist mission, the only members of the station who were
present, gave us a hearty welcome. The green shrubbery,
the bath-tub, the dinner of roast beef and the clean bedroom,
were like a bit of hospitable old England set down in China.
None of the buildings here were injured by the Boxers. But
the marauders took whatever they could use, as dishes, utensils,
glass, linen, clothes, silver and plated ware, jewelry, etc., the
total loss being 4,000, including 1,000 for machinery.
That machinery has an interesting history. One of the members
of the mission, Mr. A. G. Jones, conceived the idea of
relieving the poverty of the Chinese by introducing cotton
weaving. Having some private means and being a mechanical
genius, he spent two years and 1,000 in devising the
necessary machinery, much of which he made himself. He
had completed the plant and was trying to induce the Chinese
to organize a company of Christians who would operate the
factory, when the building was burned by the Boxers and the
machinery reduced to a heap of twisted scrap-iron.

The women we met in these interior districts had only
partially bound feet, though they were still far from the natural
size. It was surprising to see how freely the women walked,
especially as several that I saw were carrying babies. But it
was rather a stumpy walk. Women of the higher class have
smaller feet and never walk in the public streets.

We left Ching-chou-fu Monday morning, our genial hosts,
including Mr. Shipway, who remained here, accompanying us
a couple of miles. The trees were more numerous, and as the
weather was cool, I greatly enjoyed the day. But the next
day, we plodded under dripping skies and through sticky mud
to Chang-tien, where a night of unusual discomfort in an inn
literally alive with fleas and mosquitoes prepared us to enjoy a
tiffin with a lonely English Baptist outpost, the genial Rev.
William A. Wills, at Chou-tsun, which we reached at noon
the following day, and then, thirty li further on, the gracious
hospitality of the main station at Chou-ping. Only three men
were present of the regular station force of seven families and
two single women, but they gave us all the more abundant
welcome in their isolation and loneliness. Of the 2,577
Chinese Christians of this station, 132 were murdered by the
Boxers and seventy or more died from consequent exposure and

A vast, low lying plain begins forty li north of Chou-ping
and extends northeastward as far as Tien-tsin. This plain is subject
to destructive inundations from the Yellow River and the
scenes of ruin and suffering are sometimes appalling. Our unattractive
inn the next night was a two-story brick building
with iron doors, stone floors, walls two and a-half feet thick and
rooms dark, gloomy, ill-smelling as a dungeon and of course
swarming with vermin, as savage bites promptly testified. My
missionary companion said that it was probably an old pawnshop.
Pawnbroking is esteemed an honourable, as well as
lucrative, business in China, and the brokers are influential
men and often have considerable property in their shops. The
people are so poor that they sometimes pawn their winter clothes
in summer and their summer ones in winter.

At noon the next day, we reached Chinan-fu, having made
seventy li in six hours over muddy roads. Dr. James B. Neal
of the Presbyterian mission was alone in the city and gave us
hospitable welcome to his home and to the splendid missionary
work of the station, though he rather suggestively stopped our
coolies when they were about to carry our bedding into the
house. He was wise, too, for that bedding had been used in
too many native inns to be prudently admitted to a well-
ordered household.

As we walked through the city, the narrow streets were
literally jammed, for it was market day. Foreigners had been
scarce since the Boxer outbreak a year before. Besides, many
of the people were from the country where foreigners are
seldom seen anyway. So we made as great a sensation as a
circus in an American city. A multitude followed us, and
wherever we stopped hundreds packed the narrow streets.
Our soldiers cleared the way, but they had no difficulty, for
though the people were inquisitive they were not hostile.
Three magnificent springs burst forth in the heart of the city,
one as large as the famous spring in Roanoke, Virginia, which
supplies all that city with water. It was about a hundred feet
across. The water might easily be piped all over Chinan-fu.
But this is China, and so the people patiently walk to the
springs for their daily supply.



WE were now approaching the most sacred places of
China. On a hot July afternoon of the second day
from Chinan-fu, the capital of the province, we saw
the noble proportions of Tai-shan, the holy mountain. The
Chinese have five sacred mountains, but this is the most venerated
of all. Its altitude is not great, only a little over 4,000
feet, but it rises so directly from the plain and its outlines are
so majestic that it is really imposing. To the Chinese its
height is awe-inspiring, for in all the eighteen provinces there
is no loftier peak.

Stopping for the night at the ancient city of Tai-an-fu at the
base of the mountain, we set out at six the next morning in
chairs swung between poles borne by stalwart coolies. My
curiosity was aroused when I found that they were Mohammedans
and, as they cordially responded to my questionings, I
found them very interesting. Centuries ago, their ancestors
came to China as mercenaries, and taking Chinese wives settled
in the country. But they have never intermarried since.
They have adopted the dress and language of the Chinese, but
otherwise they continue almost as distinct as the Jews in
America. They instruct their children in the doctrines of
Islam, though the Mohammedan rule that the Koran must not
be translated has prevented all but a few literati from obtaining
any knowledge of the book itself. They have done little
proselyting, but natural increase, occasional reenforcements
and the adoption of famine children have gradually swelled
their ranks until they now number many millions in various
parts of China. In some provinces they are very strong, particularly
in Yun-nan and Kan-su where they are said to form a
majority of the population. They are notorious for turbulence
and are popularly known as ``Mohammedan thieves.'' It
must be admitted that they not infrequently justify their reputation
for robbery, murder and counterfeiting. More than
once they have fomented bloody revolutions, one of them, the
great Panthay rebellion of 1885-1874, costing the lives of no
less than two million Moslems before it was suppressed.

But those who bore me up the long slope of Tai-shan were
as good-natured as they were muscular. There is no difficulty
about ascending the mountain, for a stone-paved path about
ten feet wide runs from base to summit. The maker of this
road is unknown as the earliest records and monuments refer
only to repairs. But he builded well and evidently with ``an
unlimited command of naked human strength,'' for the blocks
of stone are heavy and the masonry of the walls and bridges is
still massive.

As the slope becomes steeper, the path merges into long
flights of solid stone steps. Near the summit, these steps
become so precipitous that the traveller is apt to feel a little
dizzy, especially in descending, for the chair coolies race down
the steep stairway in a way that suggests alarming possibilities
in the event of a misstep or a broken rope. But the men are
sure-footed and mishaps seldom occur. The path is bordered
by a low wall and lined with noble old trees. Ancient temples,
quaint hamlets, numerous tea-houses and a few nunneries with
vicious women are scattered along the route. A beautiful
stream tumbles noisily down the mountainside close at hand,
alternating swift rapids and deep, quiet pools, while as the
traveller rises, he gains magnificent vistas of the adjacent mountains
and the wide cultivated plain, yellow with ripening wheat,
green with growing millet, and thickly dotted with the groves
beneath which cluster the low houses of the villages.

Up this long, steep pathway to the Buddhist temples on the
summit, multitudes of Chinese pilgrims toil each year, firmly
believing that the journey will bring them merit. We reflected
with a feeling of awe that

``The path by which we ascended has been trodden by the feet of men for
more than four thousand years. One hundred and fifty generations have
come and gone since the great Shun here offered up his yearly sacrifice to
heaven. Fifteen hundred years before the bard of Greece composed his
Epic, nearly one thousand years before Moses stood on Pisgah's mount
and gazed over into the promised land, far back through the centuries
when the world was young and humanity yet in its cradle, did the children
of men ascend the vast shaggy sides of this same mountain, probably
by this same path, and always to worship.''[15]

[15] The Rev. Dr. Paul D. Bergen, pamphlet.

After a night at Hsia-chang, we resumed our journey a little
after daylight. The early morning air was delightfully cool
and bracing, but the sun's rays became fierce as we entered the
dry, sandy bed of the Wen River. By the time we reached the
broad, shallow stream itself, I envied the two mules and the
donkey that managed to fall into a hole, though I would have
been happier if they had been thoughtful enough to discard my
spare clothes and my food box before they tumbled into the
muddy water. The whole day was unusually hot so that by
the time we reached Ning-yang, we were ready for a night's
rest which even fighting mules, vicious vermin, and quarrelling
Chinese gamblers in the inn courtyard could not entirely

As we approached Chining-chou, the country became almost
perfectly flat, a vast prairie. It was carefully cultivated
everywhere, the kao-liang and poppy predominating. The soil was
apparently rich, and the landscape was relieved from monotony
by the green of the cultivated fields and the foliage of the village
trees. Dominating all is the rather imposing walled city
of Chining-chou. The high, strong wall, the handsome gates
and towers, the trees bordering the little stream and the
crowded streets looked quite metropolitan. With its imme-
diate suburbs built Chinese fashion close to the wall, Chining-
chou has 150,000 inhabitants. It is a business city with a
considerable trade, the produce of a wide adjacent region
being brought to it for shipment, as it is on the Grand Canal
which gives easy and cheap facilities for exporting and importing
freight. There is, moreover, no loss in exchange as the
danger of shipping bullion silver makes the Chining business
men eager to accept drafts for use in paying for the goods they
buy in Shanghai. Consequently there is a better price for
silver here than anywhere else in Shantung. The main street
is narrow, shaded by matting laid on kao-liang stalks and
lined with busy shops. Along the Grand Canal, there is a
veritable ``Vanity Fair'' filled with clothing booths and deafening
with the cries of itinerant vendors.

But the loneliness of the missionary in Chining-chou is
great, for he is far from congenial companionship. The tragedies
of life are particularly heavy at such an isolated post.
Mr. Laughlin showed me the house where his wife's body lay
for a month after her death in May, 1899. Then, with his
nine-year old daughter, he took the body in a house-boat down
the Grand Canal to Chin-kiang, a journey of sixteen days.
What a heart-breaking journey it must have been as the clumsy
boat crept slowly along the sluggish canal and the silent stars
looked down on the lonely husband beside the coffin of his
beloved wife. Yet he bravely returned to Chining-chou and
while I travelled on, he remained with only Dr. Lyon for a
companion. I was sorry to part with them for we had shared
many long-to-be-remembered experiences, while at that time
there was believed to be no small risk in remaining at such an
isolated post. But Dr. Johnson and I had to go, and so early
on the morning of June 17, we bade the brave fellows an affectionate
good-bye and left them in that far interior city, standing
at the East Gate till we were out of sight.

Fortunately, the day was fine for rain would have made the
flat, black soil almost impassible. But as it was, we had a
comfortable, dustless ride of sixty li to Yen-chou-fu, a city of
unusually massive walls, whose 60,000 people are reputed to be
the most fiercely anti-foreign in Shantung. Comparatively few
foreigners had been seen in this region and many of them had
been mobbed. The Roman Catholic priests, who are the only
missionaries here, have repeatedly been attacked, while an English
traveller was also savagely assaulted by these turbulent conservatives.
But the Roman Catholics with characteristic determination
fought it out, the German consul coming from
Peking to support them, and at the time of my visit, they were
building a splendid church, the money like that for the Chining-chou
cathedral, coming from the indemnity for the murder
of the two priests in 1897, which was in this diocese. Though
great crowds stared silently at us, no disrespect was shown.
On the contrary, we found that by order of the district magistrate
an inn had been specially prepared for us, with a plentiful
supply of rugs and cushions and screens, while a few minutes
after our arrival, the magistrate sent with his compliments a
feast of twenty-five dishes. Another stage of nine miles
brought us at four o'clock to the famous holy city of China,
Ku-fu, the home and the grave of Confucius.

Leaving our shendzas at an inn, we mounted the cavalry
horses of our escort and hurried to the celebrated temple which
stands on the site of Confucius' house. But to our keen
disappointment, the massive gates were closed. The keeper, in
response to our knocks, peered through a crevice, and explained
that it was the great feast of the fifth day of the fifth
month, that the Duke was offering sacrifices, and that no one,
not even officials, could enter till the sacrifices were completed.
``When will that be?'' we queried. ``They will continue all
night and all day to-morrow,'' was the reply. We urged the
shortness of our stay and solemnly promised to keep out of the
Duke's way. The keeper's eyes watered as he imagined a
present, but he replied that he did not dare let us in as his
orders were strict and disobedience might cost him his position
if not his life. So we sorrowfully turned away, and pushing
through the dense throng which had swiftly assembled at the
sight of a foreigner, we rode through the city and along the far-
famed Spirit Road to the Most Holy Grove in which lies the
body of Confucius. It is three li, about a mile, from the city
gate. The road is shaded by ancient cedars and is called the
Spirit Road because the spirit of Confucius is believed to walk
back and forth upon it by night.

The famous cemetery is in three parts. The outer is said to
be fifteen miles in circumference and is the burial-place of all
who bear the honoured name of Confucius. Within, there is
a smaller enclosure of about ten acres, which is the family burial
place of the dukes who are lineal descendants of Confucius,
mighty men who rank with the proudest governors of provinces.
Within this second enclosure, is the Most Holy Cemetery itself,
a plot of about two acres, shaded like the others by fine old
cedars and cypresses. Here are only three graves, marked by
huge mounds under which lie the dust of Confucius, his son
and his grandson. That of the Sage, we estimated to be
twenty-five feet high and 250 feet in circumference. In front
of it is a stone monument about fifteen feet high, four feet wide
and sixteen inches thick. Lying prone before that is another
stone of nearly the same size supported by a heavy stone
pedestal. There is no name, but on the upright monument are
Chinese characters which Dr. Charles Johnson, my travelling
companion, translated: ``The Acme of Perfection and Learning-
Promoting King,'' or more freely--``The Most Illustrious
Sage and Princely Teacher.''

Uncut grass and weeds grew rankly upon the mounds and all
over the cemetery, giving everything an unkempt appearance.
One species is said to grow nowhere else in China and to have
such magical power in interpreting truth that if a leaf is laid
upon an abstruse passage of Confucius, the meaning will immediately
become clear. There are several small buildings in
the enclosure, but dust and decay reign in all, for there is no
merit in repairing a building that some one else has erected.
As with his house, the Chinese will spend money freely to build
a temple, but after that he does nothing. So even in the most
sacred places, arches and walls and columns are usually crumbling,
grounds are dirty and pavement stones out of place.

A feeling of awe came over me as I remembered that, with the
possible exception of Buddha, the man whose dust lay before
me had probably influenced more human beings than any other
man whom the world has seen. Even Christ Himself has thus
far not been known to so many people as Confucius, nor has
any nation in which Christ is known so thoroughly accepted
His teachings as China has accepted those of Confucius. Dr.
Legge indeed declares that ``after long study of his character
and opinions, I am unable to regard him as a great man,''
while Dr. Gibson ``seeks in vain in his recorded life and words
for the secret of his power,'' and can only conjecture in explanation
that ``he is for all time the typical Chinaman; but
his greatness lies in his displaying the type on a grand scale,
not in creating it.'' But it is difficult even for the non-Chinese
mind to look at such a man with unbiassed eyes. Surely we
need not begrudge the meed of greatness to one who has
moulded so many hundreds of millions of human beings for
2,400 years and who is more influential at the end of that period
than at its beginning. Grant that ``he is for all time the
typical Chinaman.'' Could a small man have incarnated ``for
all time'' the spirit of one-third of the human race? All over
China the evidences of Confucius' power can be seen. Temples
rise on every hand. Ancestral tablets adorn every house.
The writings of the sage are diligently studied by the whole
population. When, centuries ago, a jealous Emperor ruthlessly
burned the Confucian books, patient scholars reproduced
them, and to prevent a recurrence of such iconoclastic fury, the
Great Confucian Temple and the Hall of Classics in Peking
were erected and the books were inscribed on long rows of stone
monuments so that they could never be destroyed again. As a
token of the present attitude of the Imperial family, the Emperor
once in a decade proceeds in solemn state to this temple
and enthroned there expounds a passage of the sacred writings.
For more than two millenniums, the boys of the most numerous
people in the world have committed to memory the Confucian
primer which declares that ``affection between father and son,
concord between husband and wife, kindness on the part of the
elder brother and deference on the part of the younger, order
between seniors and juniors, sincerity between friends and associates,
respect on the part of the ruler and loyalty on that of
the minister--these are the ten righteous courses equally binding
on all men;'' that ``the five regular constituents of our
moral nature are benevolence, righteousness, propriety, knowledge,
and truth;'' and that ``the five blessings are long life
wealth, tranquillity, desire for virtue and a natural death.''

Surely these are noble principles. That their influence has
been beneficial in many respects, it would be folly to deny.
They have lifted the Chinese above the level of many other
Asiatic nations by creating a more stable social order, by inculcating
respect for parents and rulers, and by so honouring the
mother that woman has a higher position in China than in most
other non-Christian lands.

And yet Confucianism has been and is the most formidable
obstacle to the regeneration of China. While it teaches some
great truths, it ignores others that are vital. It has lifted the
Chinese above the level of barbarism only to fix them almost
immovably upon a plane considerably lower than Christianity.
It has developed such a smug satisfaction with existing conditions
that millions are well-nigh impervious to the influences
of the modern world. It has debased respect for parents into
a blind worship of ancestors so that a dead father, who may
have been an ignorant and vicious man, takes the place of the
living and righteous God. It has fostered not only premature
marriages but concubinage in the anxiety to have sons who
will care for parents in age and minister to them after death.
It makes the child virtually a slave to the caprice or passion of
the parent. It leads to a reverence for the past that makes
change a disrespect to the dead, so that all progress is made
exceedingly difficult and society becomes fossilized. ``Whatever
is is right'' and ``custom'' is sacred. Man is led so to
centralize his thought on his own family that he becomes selfish
and provincial in spirit and conduct, with no outlook beyond
his own narrow sphere. Expenditures which the poor can ill-
afford are remorselessly exacted for the maintenance of ancestral
worship so that the living are often impoverished for the sake
of the dead. $151,752,000 annually, ancestral worship is said
to cost--a heavy drain upon a people the majority of whom
spend their lives in the most abject poverty, while the development
of true patriotism and a strong and well-governed State has
been effectively prevented by making the individual solicitous
only for his own family and callously indifferent to the welfare
of his country. Confucianism therefore is China's weakness
as well as China's strength, the foe of all progress, the stagnation
of all life.

Confucianism, too, halts on the threshold of life's profoundest
problems. It has only dead maxims for the hour of deepest
need. It gives no vision of a future beyond the grave. It is
virtually an agnostic code of morals with some racial variations.
Wu Ting Fang, formerly Chinese Minister to the
United States, frankly declares that ``Confucianism is not a religion
in the practical sense of the word,'' and that ``Confucius
would be called an agnostic in these days.'' To ``the
Venerable Teacher'' himself, philosophy opened no door of
hope. Asked about this one day by a troubled inquirer, he
dismissed the question with the characteristic aphorism--
``Imperfectly acquainted with life, how can we know death?''
And there the myriad millions of Confucianists have dully
stood ever since, their faces towards the dead past, the future
a darkness out of which no voice comes.

But just because their illustrious guide took them to the
verge of the dark unknown and left them there, other teachers
came in to occupy the region left so invitingly open. Less
rational than Confucius, their success showed anew that the
human mind cannot rest in a spiritual vacuum and that if
faith does not enter, superstition will. Taoism and Buddhism
proceeded to people the air and the future with strange and
awful shapes. Popular Chinese belief as to the future is gruesomely
illustrated in the Temple of Horrors in Canton with its
formidable collection of wooden figures illustrating the various
modes of punishment--sawing, decapitation, boiling in oil,
covering with a hot bell, etc. At funerals, bits of perforated
paper are freely scattered about in the hope that the inquisitive
spirits will stop to examine them and thus give the body a
chance to pass. In any Chinese cemetery, one may see little
tables in front of the graves covered with tea, sweetmeats and
sheets of gilt and silver paper, so that if a spirit is hungry,
thirsty or in need of funds, it can get drink, food or money
from the gold or silver mines (paper).

In the Temple for Sickness, in Canton, where multitudes of
sufferers pray to the gods for healing, we saw an old woman
kneeling before a statue of Buddha, holding aloft two blocks of
wood and then throwing them to the floor. If the flat side of
one and the oval side of the other were uppermost, the omen
was good, but if the same sides were up, it was bad. Others
shook a box of numbered sticks till one popped out and then
a paper bearing the corresponding number gave the issue of the
disease. The stones of the court were worn by many feet and
the pathos of the place was pitiful.

Theoretically, ``Confucianism is a system of morals, Taoism
a deification of nature and Buddhism a system of metaphysics.
But in practice all three have undergone many modifications.

With every age the character of Taoism has changed.
The philosophy of its founder is now only an antiquarian curiosity.
Modern Taoism is of such a motley character as almost
to defy any attempt to educe a well-ordered system from its
chaos.''[16] As for Buddhism, its founder would not recognize
it, if he could visit China to-day. The lines:--

``Ten Buddhist nuns, and nine are bad;
The odd one left is doubtless mad----''

are suggestive of the depth to which the religion of Guatama
has fallen.

[16] Smith, ``Rex Christus,'' pp. 62, 72.

Indeed, it would be a mistake to suppose that the Chinese
people are divided into three religious bodies as, for example,
Americans are divided into Protestants, Roman Catholics and
Jews. Each individual Chinese is at the same time a Confucian,
a Buddhist and a Taoist, observing the ceremonies of
all three faiths as circumstances may require, a Confucian
when he worships his ancestors, a Buddhist when he implores
the aid of the Goddess of Mercy, and a Taoist when he seeks
to propitiate the omnipresent fung-shuy (spirits of wind and
water), and he has no more thought of inconsistency than an
American who is at the same time a Methodist, a Republican
and a Mason. Dr. S. H. Chester says that when he was in
Shanghai, he saw a Taoist priest conducting Confucian worship
in a Buddhist temple. Even if inconsistency were proved to
the Chinese, he would not be in the least disturbed for he cares
nothing for such considerations. ``Hence it is that the Chinese
religion of to-day has become an inextricable blending of
the three systems.''[17] ``The ancient simplicity of the state religion
has been so far corrupted as to combine in one ritual
gods, ghosts, flags and cannon. It has become at once essentially
polytheistic and pantheistic.''[18]

[17] Gibson, ``Mission Methods and Mission Policy in South China.''

[18] Williams, ``Middle Kingdom.''

The result is that the average Chinese lives a life of terror
under the sway of imaginary demons. He erects a rectangular
pillar in front of his door so that the dreaded spirits cannot
enter his house without making an impossible turn. He gives
his tiled roof an upward slant at each of the eaves so that any
spirit attempting to descend will be shunted off into space.
Nor is this superstition confined to the lower classes. The
haughty, foreign-travelled Li Hung Chang abjectly grovelled
on the bank of the Yellow River to propitiate an alleged demon
that was believed to be the cause of a disastrous flood, and as
late as June 4, 1903, the North-China Daily News published
the following imperial decree:

``Owing to the continued drought, in spite of our prayers for rain, we
hereby command Chen Pih, Governor of Peking, to proceed to the Dragon
temple at Kanshan-hsien, Chih-li Province, and bring from thence to
Peking an iron tablet possessing rain-producing virtues, which we will
place up for adoration and thereby bring forth the much-desired rain.''

And so the followers of the most ``rational'' of teachers are
among the most superstitious people in the world. In attempting
to clear the mind of error, the great agnostic simply left it
``empty, swept and garnished for seven other spirits worse than
the first.''

As in the deepening twilight we thoughtfully left the last
resting-place of the mighty dead, a platoon of thirty Chinese
soldiers approached, drew their swords, dropped upon one
knee and shouted. The movement was so unexpected and the
shout so startlingly strident that my horse shied in terror and I
had visions of immediate massacre. But having learned that
politeness is current coin the world over, as soon as I could
control my prancing horse, I raised my hat and bowed.
Whereupon the soldiers rose, wheeled into line and marched
ahead of us to our inn in the city. Dr. Johnson explained that
the words shouted in unison were: ``May the Great Man have
Peace,'' and that the platoon was an escort of honour from the
yamen of the district magistrate!

On the way, we stopped to visit the temple of Yen, the
favorite disciple whose early death left Confucius disconsolate.
The grounds are spacious. There is a remarkably fine
tree, tall, graceful and with silvery white bark. A huge stone
turtle was reverently kissed by one of our escort, who fondly
believed that he who kissed the turtle's mouth would never be
ill. But as usual in China, the temple itself, though originally
it must have been beautiful, is now crumbling in decay.

It was late when we returned, and as we were about to retire,
wearied with the toils of the day, the district magistrate called
with an imposing retinue and cordially inquired whether we
had seen all that we wished to see. When we replied that we
had been unable to enter the great temple, he graciously said
that he would have pleasure in informing the Duke, who would
be sure to arrange for our visit. The result was a message at
two o'clock in the morning to the effect that we might visit the
temple at daylight in the interval between the cessation of the
sacrifices of the night and their resumption at seven o'clock in
the morning. Accordingly we rose at three o'clock, and after
a hurried breakfast by candle-light, we proceeded to the temple.
About a hundred Chinese were awaiting us, among them two
men in official dress. We did not deem it courteous to ask
who or what they were, but we supposed them to be from the
magistrate's yamen, and as they were evidently familiar with
the temple, we gladly complied with their cordial invitation to
follow them.

I wish I had power to describe adequately all we saw in that
vast enclosure of about thirty acres, with its stately trees, its
paved avenues, its massive monuments, and, above all, its
imposing temple and scores of related buildings. One was the
Lieh Kew Kwei Chang Tien, the Temple of the Wall of the
Many Countries. Here are 120 tablets, each about sixteen by
twenty-two inches, and in the centre three larger ones measuring
two feet in width by four and a-half feet in height. In
front of these is a stone three and a-half feet by four and a-half,
and bearing the inscription: ``Tribute from the Ten Thousand
Countries of the World.'' The Chinese solemnly believe that
in these tablets all the nations of the earth have acknowledged
the preeminence of Confucius.

Then we visited three gloomy buildings where the animals for
sacrifice are killed--one for cattle, one for sheep and one for
pigs. Beyond them, we entered temples to the wife of Confucius,
to his parents and to the ``Five Generations of
Ancestors,'' though the last-mentioned contains tablets to nine
generations instead of five. On every side are scores of monuments,
erected by or in honour of famous kings, some of them
by the monarchs of dynasties which flourished before the Christian

Most notable of all is the great temple of the sage himself,
standing well back on a spacious stone-paved terrace, around
which runs a handsome marble balustrade. The eye is at once
arrested by the twenty-eight noble marble pillars, ten in front,
ten in the rear and four at each end. The ten in front are
round and elaborately carved, as magnificent a series of columns
as I ever saw. The others are smooth, octagonal pillars, but
traced with various designs in black.

Within, there are twelve other columns about four feet in
diameter and twenty-five feet high, each cut from a single tree
and beautifully polished. Naturally, the central object of
interest is a figure of Confucius of heroic size but impossible
features. In front is the tablet with costly lacquered ornaments
and pedestals, and an altar on which were a bullock and
two pigs, each carefully scraped and dressed and lying with
heads towards the statue and tablet. In several other temples,
notably in the one to the Five Generations of Ancestors, other
animals were lying, some evidently offered the day before and
others awaiting the worship of the day now beginning.
Altogether I counted nineteen sacrificial animals--one bullock,
eight sheep and ten pigs. The great temple is of noble proportions,
with an overhanging roof of enormous size but constructed
on such graceful lines as to be exquisitely beautiful.
But within dust reigns, while without as usual the grass and
weeds grow unchecked.

Last of all we visited the library, though the name is a
misnomer, for there are no books in it and our courteous guides
said there never had been. We ascended the narrow stairs
leading from the vast, empty, dusty room on the lower floor
through an equally empty second story to the third and topmost
story, which is the home of hundreds of doves. Going
out on the narrow balustrade under the eaves in the gray dawn
of the morning, I looked upon the gorgeous gilded roof of the
temple near by and then down upon the many ancient buildings,
the darkly solemn pines, the massive monuments resting
on ponderous stone turtles, and the group of Chinese standing
among the shadows and with faces turned curiously upward.
Suddenly a dove flew over my head and then the sun rose
slowly and majestically above the sombre tree-tops, throwing
splendid floods of light upon us who stood aloft. But the
Chinese below were in the sombre shades of a night that for
them had not yet fully ended. I would fain believe that the
physical was a parable of the spiritual. All the maxims of the
Acme of Perfection and Learning-Promoting King have not
brought the Chinese out of moral twilight. After all these
centuries of ceaseless toil, they still remain amid the mists and
shadows. But their faces are beginning to turn towards the
light of a day whose sun already touches the mountain-tops.
Some even now are in that ``marvellous light,'' and it cannot
be long before shining hosts of God shall pour down the
mountain-sides, chasing on noiseless feet and across wide plains
the swiftly retreating night ``until the day dawn and the
shadows flee away.''

At the outer gate, we bade good-bye to the dignified officials
who had so hospitably conducted us through this venerable and
historic place and who had taken such kindly pains to explain
its ancient relics and customs. Who were they? we secretly
wondered. Imagine our feelings when the lieutenant in command
of our escort afterwards informed us that they were the
guardian of the temple and the Duke himself!

Leaving the city of the mighty dead, we journeyed through
a lovely region guarded by distant mountains. At the walled
city of Si-sui, sixty li distant, soldiers met us and apparently
the whole population lined the streets as we rode to our inn,
where the yamen secretary was awaiting us with a feast.
This inn, too, had been specially cleaned, and there were
cushions, red cloths for the seats, and a screen for the door.
In the afternoon, the country became rougher. But while the
soil was thinner, the scenery was finer, an undulating region
traversed by a shining river and bounded by mountains
which gradually drew nearer. One hundred and ten li from
Ku-fu, we stopped for the night at Pien-kiao, a small city with
an unusually poor inn but a magnificent spring. It gushed up
over an area twenty-five feet square and with such volume that
the stream ran away like a mill-race. The Emperor Kien Lung
built a retaining wall about the spring and a temple and summer-
house adjoining. The wall is as solid as ever, but only a
few crumbling pillars and fragments remain of the temple and
pavilion. The Emperor affirmed that he was told in a vision
that if he would build a stone boat, the waters of the spring
would float it to Nanking whither he wished to go. So he
built the boat of heavy cut stone, with a twelve-foot beam and
a length of fifty-five feet. It is still there with the prow five
feet above the ground, but the rest of the boat has sunk almost
to the level of the earth about it. Is the old Emperor's idea any
more absurd to us than our iron boats would have been to him?

The sun struggled long with heavy mists the following morning
and the air was so cool that I had to wrap myself in a
blanket in the shendza. By eight, the sun gained the victory
and we had another breezy, perfect June day. But the road
was stony and trying beyond anything we had yet seen. The
villages were evidently poorer, as might be expected on such a
rocky soil. The people stared silently and did not so often return
my smiles. Whether they were sullen or simply boorish
and unaccustomed to foreigners I could only conjecture. Few
white men had been seen there.

A hard day's journey of 140 li through a rocky region
brought us to Fei-hsien. Rain was falling the next morning
and the Chinese muleteers do not like to travel in rain. But
the prospect was for a steady pour and as we were in a wretched
inn and only ninety li from Ichou-fu, we wanted to go on.
A present of 600 small cash for each muleteer (twenty
cents) overcame all scruples. Just as I had comfortably
ensconced myself in my shendza with an oilcloth on top and a
rubber blanket in front, I saw a centipede on my leg, but I
managed to slay him before he bit me. By nine, the rain
ceased and though the clouds still threatened, we had a cool
and comfortable ride through hundreds of fields of peanuts,
indigo and millet to I-tang, where we stopped for tiffin at a
squalid inn kept by a tall, dilapidated looking Chinese, who rejoiced
in the name of Confucius. He was really a descendant
of the sage and was very proud of the fact that his bones were
in due time to rest in the sacred cemetery at Ku-fu.

By 5:40 P. M. we reached Ichou-fu, where the solitary Rev.
W. W. Faris was glad to see another white man. A
stay of several days was marked by many pleasant incidents.
There was much of interest for a visitor to see. The mission
work at Ichou-fu, Presbyterian, includes two hospitals, one for
men and one for women, a chapel and separate day schools for
boys and girls. The church has about a hundred members
and in the outstations there are ten other organized churches
besides ten unorganized congregations. All these churches
and congregations provide their own chapels and pay their own
running expenses. Here also the officials were most courteous.
The Prefect, who promptly called with a retinue of fifty
soldiers and attendants, was a masterful looking man who
conversed with intelligence on a wide variety of topics. The
day before our departure, we gave a feast to the leading men
of the city in return for their many courtesies. Every invitation
was accepted and thirty-five guests were present. They
remained till late and were apparently highly pleased.

Late in the evening, a youth who had painfully walked 180
li, came to Dr. Johnson's dispensary and presented the following
note of introduction:

``Our office a servant who getting a yellow sick, which
suffered a few year and cured for nothing. he trusted me to
beg you to save his sick and I now ordered him to going before
you to beg you remedy facely. With many thanks to you,
``Yours sincerely,
``V. T. GEE.''

Having done all that was possible in so short a time to
``save his sick,'' we resumed our journey, thirty Chinese
Christians accompanying us to the River I, a li from the city.
The atmosphere was gloriously clear and on the second day
out, crossing some high ridges, we had superb views of wide
cultivated valleys, and of Ku-chou, a famous city that is said
to contain more literary graduates than any other city of its
size in the province.

Then followed a more level country with interminable fields
of kao-liang and many orchards of walnuts, pears and cherries,
while low mountains rose in the background. Men and horses
were tired after our long and hard journey, and the mules'
backs were becoming very sore. But the end drew near and
the fifth day from Ichow-fu we reached Yueh-kou, the border
of the German hinterland. The German line is near Kiaochou,
but the rule is that Chinese soldiers must not come beyond
this point, 100 li from the line, and that German
soldiers shall not cross it going the other way except on the line
of the railroad. Here therefore our escort had to leave us, as
Chinese and Germans have agreed that any armed men crossing
the line may be fired on, and even if there should be no
casualty, both the German and Chinese authorities might justly
have protested if Americans violated the compact. I suggested
going on without an escort to our proposed night stop thirty
li further. But my more experienced companions thought it
dangerous to spend the night alone at an inn within this belt,
as the villagers near the line were as bitter against foreigners
as any in the province, the German brusqueness and ruthlessness
having greatly exasperated them.

So we spent the night at Yueh-kou. No one interfered with
us the next day and by getting an early start, we covered ninety
long li to Kiao-chou by noon. After five weeks in a mule
litter, it seemed wonderful to make 138 li in three hours in a
railway car. By 6:50 P. M., we reached Tsing-tau, having,
the missionaries said, succeeded in ``hustling the East to a
remarkable degree.'' My note-book reads--``A bath, clean
clothes, a hot supper and a good night's sleep removed the
last vestige of weariness.''



THE hardships of interior travelling were less than I
had supposed. It is true that there were many
experiences which, if enumerated, would make a formidable
list. But each as it arose appeared insignificant. As a
whole, the trip was as enjoyable as any vacation tour. The
weather was as a rule fine. The sun was often hot in the
middle of the day, but cool breezes usually tempered the heat
of the afternoon, while the nights required the protection of
blankets. There was some rain at times, but not enough to
impede seriously our progress. It was altogether the most
perfect May and June weather I have ever seen. Nor was it
exceptional, according to Dr. Charles Johnson who has spent
many years in North China. But of course I saw Shantung
at its most favourable period. July and August are wet and
hot, while the winters are clear and cold.

I found a trunk an unmitigated nuisance. Though it was
made to order for a pack-mule, no pack-mules could be hired in
that harvest season, and the trunk was too heavy for one side
of a donkey, even after transferring all practicable articles to
the shendza. So it had to be put in a cart, and as a cart cannot
keep up with a shendza, I was often separated from my
trunk for days at a time. Besides, a couple valises would have
held all necessary clothing anyway. I took a light folding cot
and a bag held a thin mattress, small pillow, sheets and two
light blankets, so that I had a very comfortable bed under the
always necessary mosquito net.

We also took a supply of tinned food to which we could
usually add by purchase en route chickens and eggs, while occasionally
in the proper season, we could secure string-beans,
onions, cucumbers, apricots, peanuts, walnuts and radishes.
So we fared well. The native food cannot be wisely depended
upon by a foreigner. He cannot maintain his strength, as the
poorer Chinese do, on a diet of rice and unleavened bread,
while the food of the well-to-do classes, when it can be had, is
apt to be so greasy and peculiar as to incite his digestive apparatus
to revolt. Indeed, a Chinese feast is one of his most
serious experiences. Most heartily, indeed, did I appreciate
the kindly motives of the magistrates who invited me to these
feasts, for their purpose was as generously hospitable as the
purpose of any American who invites a visitor to dinner. But
the Chinese bill-of-fare includes dishes that are rather trying to
a Christian palate, and good form requires the guest to taste at
least each dish, for if he fails to do so, he makes his host
``lose face''--a serious breach of etiquette in China. For
example, here is the menu of a typical Chinese feast to which
I was invited, the dishes being served in the order given,
sweets coming first and soup towards the last in this land of

1. Small cakes (five kinds), sliced pears, candied peanuts,
raw water-chestnuts, cooked water-chestnuts, hard-boiled ducks'
eggs (cut into small pieces), candied walnuts, honied walnuts,
shredded chicken, apricot seeds, sliced pickled plums, sliced
dried smoked ham (cut into tiny pieces), shredded sea moss,
watermelon seeds, shrimps, bamboo sprouts, jellied haws. All
the above dishes were cold. Then followed hot:

2. Shrimps served in the shell with vinegar, sea-slugs with
shredded chicken, bits of sweetened pork and shredded dough
--the pork and sea-slugs being cooked and served in fragrant

3. Bamboo sprouts, stewed chicken kidneys.

4. Spring chicken cooked crisp in oil.

5. Stewed sea-slugs with ginger root and bean curd,
stewed fungus with reed roots and ginger tops (all hot).

6. Tarts with candied jelly, sugar dumplings with dates.

7. Hot pudding made of ``the eight precious vegetables,''
consisting of dates, watermelon seeds, chopped walnuts, chopped
chestnuts, preserved oranges, lotus seeds, and two kinds of rice,
all mixed and served in syrup--a delicious dish.

8. Shelled shrimps with roots of reeds and bits of hard-
boiled eggs, all in one bowl with fragrant oil, biscuits coated
with sweet seeds.

9. Glutinous rice in little layers with browned sugar between,
minced pork dumplings, steamed biscuits.

10. Omelette with sea-slugs and bamboo sprouts, all in oil,
bits of chicken stewed in oil, pork with small dumplings of
flour and starch.

11. Stewed pigs' kidneys, shrimps stewed in oil, date pie.

12. Vermicelli and egg soup.

13. Stewed pork balls, reed roots, bits of hard-boiled yolks
of eggs, all in oil.

14. Birds' nest soup.

The appetite being pretty well sated by this time, the following
delicacies were served to taper off with:

15. Chicken boiled in oil, pork swimming in a great bowl
of its own fat, stewed fish stomachs, egg soup.

16. Steamed biscuit.

Tea was served from the beginning and throughout the feast.
It was made on the table by pouring hot water into a small pot
half full of tea leaves, the pot being refilled as needed. The
tea was served without cream or sugar, and was mild and delicious.
Rice whiskey in tiny cups is usually served at feasts,
though it was often omitted from the feasts given to us. The
Chinese assert that the alcohol is necessary ``to cut the grease.''
There is certainly enough grease to cut.

The guests sit at small round tables, each accommodating
about four. There are, of course, no plates or knives or forks
though small china spoons are used for the soups. All the
food is cut into small pieces before being brought to the table,
so that no further cutting is supposed to be necessary. Each
article of food is brought on in a single dish, which is placed
in the centre of the table, and then each guest helps himself
out of the common dish with his chop-sticks, the same chop-
sticks being used during the entire meal. It is considered a
mark of distinguished courtesy for the host to fish around in
the dish with his own chop-sticks for a choice morsel and place
it in front of the guest. With profound emotion, at almost
every feast that I attended in China, I saw my considerate
hosts take the chop-sticks which had made many trips to their
own mouths, stir around in the central dish for a particularly fine
titbit and deposit it on the table before me. And of course,
not to be outdone in politeness, I ate these dainty morsels with
smiles of gratified pride. As each of the Chinese at the table
deemed himself my host, and as the Chinese are extremely
polite and attentive to their guests, the table soon became wet
and greasy from the pieces of pork, slugs and chicken placed
upon it as well as from the drippings from the chop-sticks in
their constant trips from the serving bowls.

However, two small brass bowls, fitting together, are placed
beside each guest, who is expected to sip a little water from the
upper one, rinse his mouth with it and expectorate it into the
lower one. The emotion of the foreign visitor is intensified
when he learns that it is counted polite to make all the noise
possible by smacking the lips as a sign that the food is delicious,
sucking the tea or soup noisily from the spoon to show
that it is hot, and belching to show that it is enjoyed. Often,
a dignified official would let his tea stand until it was cold, but
when he took it up, he would suck it with a loud noise as if it
were scalding hot, as he was too polite to act as if it were cold.

But the American or European, who inwardly groans at a
Chinese repast and who felicitates himself on the alleged
superior methods of his own race, may well consider how his
own customs impress a Celestial. A Chinese gentleman who
was making a tour of Europe and America wrote to a relative
in China as follows:

``You cannot civilize these foreign devils. They are beyond redemption.
They will live for weeks and months without touching a mouthful
of rice, but they eat the flesh of bullocks and sheep in enormous quantities.
That is why they smell so badly; they smell like sheep themselves.
Every day they take a bath to rid themselves of their disagreeable odours
but they do not succeed. Nor do they eat their meat cooked in small
pieces. It is carried into the room in large chunks, often half raw, and
they cut and slash and tear it apart. They eat with knives and prongs.
It makes a civilized being perfectly nervous. One fancies himself in the
presence of sword-swallowers. They even sit down at the same table with
women, and the latter are served first, reversing the order of nature.''

So I humbly adapted myself as best I could to Chinese customs
and learned to like many of the natives' dishes, though to
the last, there were some that I merely nibbled to ``save the
face'' of mine host. Some of the dishes were really excellent
and as a rule all were well-cooked, although the oil in which
much of the food was steeped made it rather greasy. My digestive
apparatus is pretty good, but it would take a copper-
lined stomach to partake without disaster of a typical Chinese
feast. But for that matter so it would to eat a traditional New
England dinner of boiled salt pork, corned beef, cabbage, turnips,
onions and potatoes, followed by a desert of mince pie
and plum pudding and all washed down by copious draughts
of hard cider.

Chinese inns do not impoverish even the economical traveller.
Our bill for our tiffin stop was usually 100 small cash, a little
more than three cents, for our entire party of about a score of
men and animals. For the night, the common charge was 700
cash, twenty-three cents. Travellers are expected to provide
their own food and bedding and to pay a small extra sum for
the rice and fodder used by their servants and mules, but even
then the cost appears ridiculously small to a foreigner. Still,
the most thoroughly seasoned traveller can hardly consider a
Chinese inn a comfortable residence. It is simply a rough,
one-story building enclosing an open courtyard. The rooms
are destitute of furniture except occasionally a rude table. The
floor is the beaten earth, foul with the use of scores and perhaps
hundreds of years. The windows are covered with oiled
paper which admits only a dim light and no air at all. The
walls are begrimed with smoke and covered with cobwebs.
Across the end of the room is the inevitable kang--a brick platform
under which the cooking fire is built and on which the
traveller squats by day and sleeps by night. The unhappy
white man who has not been prudent enough to bring a cot
with him feels as if he were sleeping on a hot stove with ``the
lid off.''

The inns between Ichou-fu and Chining-chou were the poorest
I saw, and if a man has stopped in one of them, he has been
fairly initiated into the discomforts of travelling in China. But
wherever one goes, the heat and smoke and bad air, together
with the vermin which literally swarms on the kang and floor
and walls, combine to make a night in a Chinese inn an experience
that is not easily forgotten. However, the foreign
traveller soon learns, perforce, to be less fastidious than at home
and I found myself hungry enough to eat heartily and tired
enough to sleep soundly in spite of the dirt and bugs. But the
heat and bad air as the summer advanced were not so easily
mastered, and so I began to sleep in the open courtyard, finding
chattering Chinese and squealing mules less objectionable
than the foul-smelling, vermin-infested inns, since outside I had
at least plenty of cool, fresh air.

There is no privacy in a Chinese inn. The doors, when
there are any, are innocent of locks and keys, while the Chinese
guests as well as the innkeeper's family and the people of the
neighbourhood have an inquisitiveness that is not in the least
tempered by bashfulness. But nothing was ever stolen, though
some of our supplies must have been attractive to many of the
poverty stricken men who crowded about us. On one occasion,
an inn-employee, who was sent to exchange a bank-note
for cash, did not return. There was much excited jabbering,
but Mr. Laughlin firmly though kindly held the innkeeper responsible
and that worthy admitted that he knew who had taken
the money and refunded it. So all was peace. The innkeeper
was probably in collusion with the thief. This was our
only trouble of the kind, though we slept night after night in
the public inns with all our goods lying about wholly unprotected.
Occasionally, especially in the larger towns, there was
a night watchman. But he was a noisy nuisance. To convince
his employers that he was awake, he frequently clapped
together two pieces of wood. All night long that strident
clack, clack, clack, resounded every few seconds. It is an odd
custom, for of course it advertises to thieves the location of the
watchman. But there is much in China that is odd to an

On a tour in Asia, the foreigner who does not wish to be ill
will exercise reasonable care. It looks smart to take insufficient
sleep, snatch a hurried meal out of a tin can, drink unboiled
water and walk or ride in the sun without a pith hat or an
umbrella. Some foreigners who ought to know better are careless
about these things and good-naturedly chaff one who is
more particular. But while one should not be unnecessarily
fussy, yet if he is courageous enough to be sensible, he will not
only preserve his health, but be physically benefited by his
tour, while the heedless man will probably be floored by dysentery
or even if he escapes that scourge will reach his destination
so worn out that he must take days or perhaps weeks to recuperate.
I was not ill a day, made what Dr. Bergen called
``the record tour of Shantung,'' and came out in splendid
health and spirits just because I had nerve enough to insist on
taking reasonable time for eating and sleeping, boiling my
drinking water, and buying the fresh vegetables and fruit with
which the country abounded. From this view-point, Dr.
Charles F. Johnson, who escorted me from Chining-chou to
Tsing-tau, was a model. With no loss of time, with but trifling
additional expense and with comparatively little extra trouble,
he had an appetizing table, while water bottles and fruit tins
were always cooled in buckets of well water so that they were
grateful to a dusty, thirsty throat. It is not difficult to make
oneself fairly comfortable in travelling even when nearly all
modern conveniences are wanting and it pays to take the necessary

Throughout the tour, we were watched in a way that was
suggestive. When United States Consul Fowler first told me
that Governor Yuan Shih Kai would send a military escort
with me, I said that I was not proud, that I did not care to go
through Shantung with the pomp and panoply of war, that I
was on a peaceful, conciliatory errand, and preferred to travel
with only my missionary companions. But he replied that
while the province was then quiet, no one could tell what an
hour might bring forth, that in the tension that existed even a
local and sporadic attack on a foreigner might be a signal for a
new outbreak, that the Governor was trying to keep the people
in hand, and that as he was held responsible for consequences
he must be allowed to have his own men in charge of a foreign
party that purposed to journey so far into the interior. So, of
course, I yielded.

When I lifted up my eyes and looked on the escort at Kiao-
chou, I felt that my fears of pomp and panoply had been
groundless, for the ``escort'' consisted of two disreputable-
looking coolies who had apparently been picked up on the
street and who were armed with antiquated flint-locks that
were more dangerous to their bearers than to an enemy. I am
sure that these ``guards'' would have been the first to run at
the slightest sign of danger. We did not see them again till
we reached Kaomi, where we gave them a present and sent
them back, glad to be rid of them. We afterwards learned
that they were only the retainers of the local Kiao-chou yamen
to see us to the border of the hinterland, which Governor
Yuan's troops were not permitted to cross.

But the men who met us at the border were soldiers of
another type--powerful looking cavalrymen on excellent horses.
Remembering the stories we had heard regarding the murder
of foreigners by Chinese troops who had been sent ostensibly
to guard them, we were relieved to find that there were only
three of them, and as there were three of us, we felt safe, for we
believed that in an emergency we could whip them. When
on leaving Wei-hsien the number increased to five and then to
six, we became dubious. But we concluded that as we were
active, stalwart men, we might in a pinch manage twice our
number of Chinese soldiers or, if worst came to worst, as we
were unencumbered by women, children or luggage, we could
sprint, on the old maxim,

``He that fights and runs away
Will live to fight another day.''

But when a little later, the force grew to eleven and then to
fifteen, we were hopelessly out-classed, especially as they were
well-mounted and armed not only with swords but with modern
magazine rifles.

The result, however, proved that our fears were groundless,
for the men were good soldiers, intelligent, respectful, well-
drilled, and thoroughly disciplined. They treated us with
strict military etiquette, standing at attention and saluting in
the most approved military fashion whenever they spoke to us
or we to them. I was not accustomed to travelling in such
state. Our three shendzas meant six mules and three muleteers,
one for each shendza. Our cook and ``boy'' each had
a donkey, and a pack-mule was necessary for our food supplies.
So including the men and horses of the escort, we
usually had nineteen men and twenty animals and a part of the
time we had even a larger number. We therefore made quite
a procession, and attracted considerable attention. I suspect,
however, that some of those shrewd Chinese were not deceived
as to my humble station at home for one man asked the missionary
who accompanied me whether I travelled with an escort
in America!

The lieutenant commanding our escort said that he received
forty-two taels a month,[19] the sergeants eleven taels, and the
privates nine taels. The men buy their own food, but their
clothing, horses, provender, etc., are furnished by the Government.
This is big pay for China. The lieutenant further said
that Governor Yuan Shih Kai had thirty regiments of a nominal
strength of 500 each and an actual strength of 250, making
a total of 7,500, and that the soldiers had been drilled by
German officers at Tien-tsin. There are no foreign officers
now connected with the force, but there are two foreign educated
Chinese who receive 300 taels a month each. He further
said that all the men with us had killed Boxers and that he
was confident that they could rout 1,000 of them. An illustration
of the reputation of these troops occurred during my
visit in Paoting-fu a little later. A messenger breathlessly
reported that the Allied Villagers, who had banded themselves
together to resist the collection of indemnity, had captured a
city only ninety li southward and that they intended to march
on Paoting-fu itself. Three thousand of Yuan Shih Kai's
troops had been ordered to go to Peking to prepare for the
return of the Emperor and Empress Dowager, but the French
general at Paoting-fu had forbade them coming beyond a point
a hundred li south of Paoting-fu, so that they were then encamped
there awaiting further orders. The Prefect hastily wired
Viceroy Li Hung Chang in Peking asking him to order these
troops to retake the recaptured city, as the Imperial troops were
``needed here,'' a euphemism for saying that they were useless.
Li Hung Chang gave the desired order and the seasoned troops
of Yuan Shih Kai made short work of the Allied Villagers.

[19] A tael equals sixty-five cents at the present rate of exchange.

At any rate, those who escorted me through Shantung were
certainly good soldiers. They had splendid horses and took
good care of them, while several evenings they gave us as fine
exhibitions of sword drill as I ever saw. I was interested to
find that seven of them belonged to a total abstinence society,
though none of them were Christians. I became really attached
to them. They were very patient, although my journey
compelled them to make a long and hard march for which they
received no extra pay. On the last evening of the trip, I gave
them a feast in the most approved Chinese style. I made a
little farewell address and gave the officer in charge the following
letter which seemed to please them greatly:--

``June 27th, 1901.
``To His Excellency,
``General Yuan Shih Kai,

``Governor of the Province of Shantung, China,
``In completing my tour of the Province of Shantung, I have pleasure
in expressing my high appreciation, and that of the missionaries of the
Presbyterian Church who accompanied me, of the excellent conduct of the
soldiers who formed our escort under the command of (Lieutenant) Wang
Pa Chung. Both he and his troopers were courteous and faithful, attentive
to every duty and meriting our admiration for the perfection of their

``We regret the death of one of their horses, but we are satisfied that
the soldier was in no way to blame. The animal died in the inn courtyard
early in the morning.

``I have had pleasure in giving the officer and his men a feast. In
addition I offered them a present, but the Wang Pa Chung declined to
accept it.

``Thanking you for your courtesy in detailing such good soldiers for
our escort,

``I have, sir, the honour to be
``Your obedient servant,
(Signed) ``ARTHUR J. BROWN.''

I was impressed by the refusal to accept the present, which
was a considerable sum to Chinese. But the men were evidently
under strict orders. The lieutenant was polite and
grateful, but he said that he ``could not accept a gift if it were
ten thousand taels.''

During the whole tour, these soldiers watched us with a fidelity
that was almost embarrassing at times. Not for a moment
did they lose sight of us except when we were in the mission
compounds. If we took a walk about a village, they followed
us. Eating, sleeping or travelling, we were always watched.
Several times we tried to escape such espionage, or to induce
the soldiers to turn back. We did not feel our need of them,
nor did I desire my peaceful mission to be associated with military
display. Besides, if hostility had been manifested, a
dozen Chinese soldiers would have been of little avail among
those swarming millions. But our efforts and protests were
vain and we had no alternative but to submit with the best
grace possible.

Nor was this all, for many of the magistrates whose districts
we crossed en route added other attentions. Indeed, they appeared
to be almost nervously anxious that no mishap should
befall us. I had sent no announcement of my coming to any
one except my missionary friends, nor had I asked for any favour
or protection save the usual passport through the United States
Consul. But the first Tao-tai I met politely inquired about my
route, and, as I afterwards learned, sent word to the next
magistrate. He in turn forwarded the word to the one beyond,
and so on throughout the whole trip. As we approached a
city, uniformed attendants from the chief magistrate's yamen
usually met us and escorted us, sometimes with much display
of banners and trumpets and armed guards, to an inn which
had been prepared for our reception by having a little of its
dirt swept into the corners and a few of its bugs killed. Then
would come a feast of many courses of Chinese delicacies. A
call from the magistrate himself often followed, and he would
chat amicably while great crowds stood silently about.

There was something half pathetic about the attentions we
received. Our journey was like a triumphal procession. For
example, twenty li from Chang Ku a messenger on horseback
met us. He had evidently been on the watch, for after kneeling
he galloped back with the news of our approach. Soon
a dozen soldiers in scarlet uniforms appeared, saluted, wheeled
and marched before us to an inn where we found rugs on the
floor and kangs, a cloth on the table and two elevated seats
covered with scarlet robes. Attendants from the yamen with
their red tasselled helmets were numerous and attentive.
Basins of water were brought and presently the magistrate sent
an elaborate feast. As we finished the repast, the magistrate
himself called. He was very affable and made quite a long
call. In like manner the district magistrate of Fei-hsien sent
his secretary, personal flags and twenty soldiers twenty li to
meet us. They knelt as we approached and shouted in
unison--``We wish the great man peace!'' So as usual we
entered the town with pomp and circumstance, our own escort
added to the local one making a brave show.

And these were typical experiences. We could not prevent
them and to resent them would have made the official ``lose
face'' and so embittered him. At Pien-kiao, where a hundred
of Governor Yuan Shih Kai's troops were stationed, the whole
garrison turned out, meeting us a couple of miles from the city
and escorting us to our inn with blares of trumpets which
Dr. Johnson said were only sounded for high officials.
We were awakened at three o'clock the next morning by the
bellowing of calves and the braying of mules in the inn courtyard,
and as we had our longest day's journey ahead of us, we
rose, breakfasted at four by candle-light and were on the road
at a quarter of five. But in spite of the early hour, the whole
garrison again turned out and lined the road at ``present
arms'' as we passed.

Think of the mayor of an American city of fifty or a hundred
thousand habitants hastening to call in state on three
unknown travellers, who were simply stopping for luncheon at a
hotel, and sending a couple dozen policemen to escort them in
and out of town! The Shantung Chinese are a strong, proud,
independent people, and it must have cost them something to be
so effusive to foreigners. There was doubtless in it some real
regard for Americans and American missionaries. But policy
was probably also a factor. The officials felt that any further
attack on foreigners would be a pretext for further foreign
aggression, an excuse for Germany to advance from Kiao-chou,
and they were anxious not to give occasion for it. Each
official was apparently determined to make it plain that he was
doing his duty in trying to protect these foreigners so that if
they got hurt it would not be his fault. Perhaps, too, he was
not averse to showing the populace that foreigners had to be
guarded. I was half ashamed to travel in that way. But I
could not help myself. Sometimes I felt that the guard was not
so much for us as for the Chinese, assuring nervous officials that
foreigners should have no further excuse for aggression and
warning the evil-disposed that they must not commit acts
which might get the officials into trouble.

Whatever the reasons were, they were plainly impersonal.
No one of us had any official status nor were we as individuals
of any consequence whatever to Chinese officials. We were
simply white men and as such we were regarded as representatives
of a race which had made its power felt. Perhaps
the soldiers and the orders of Governor Yuan Shih Kai had
much to do with the quietness of the people, but some way
I felt perfectly safe. Whether any attack would have been
made if I had been allowed to journey quietly with my one or
two missionary companions, I am not competent to judge.
Foreigners who had lived many years in China told me before
starting that my life would not be safe beyond rifle shot.
They have told me since that the profuse attentions that we received
were mere pretence, that the very officials who welcomed
us as honoured guests probably cursed our race as soon
as our backs were turned, and that if the people had not understood
from the presence of troops and from the magistrates'
marked personal attentions that we were not to be molested,
we might have met with violence in a dozen places. The
opinions of such experienced men were not to be lightly set

All I can say is that on these suppositions the Chinese are
masters of the art of dissimulation, for in all our journeyings
through the very heart of the region where the Boxers originated,
and where the anti-foreign hatred was said to be bitterest,
we saw not a sign of unfriendliness. The typical official received
us with the courtesy of a ``gentleman of the old school.''
The vast throngs that quickly assembled at every stopping
place, while silent, were respectful. We tried to behave decently
ourselves, to speak kindly to every man, to pay fair
prices for what we bought; in short, to act just as we would
have acted in America. And every man to whom we smiled,
smiled in return. Wherever we asked a civil question we got
a civil answer. Coolies would stop their barrows, farmers
leave their fields to direct us aright. In all our travelling in
the interior, amid a population so dense that we constantly
marvelled, we never heard a rude word or saw a hostile sign.
I naturally find it difficult to believe that those pleasant,
obliging people would have killed us if they had not been restrained
by their magistrates, and that the officials who exerted
themselves to show us all possible honour would have gladly
murdered us if they had dared.

And yet less than a year before, the Chinese had angrily destroyed
the property and venomously sought the lives of foreigners
who were as peaceably disposed as we were, ruthlessly
hunting men and women who had never done them wrong, and
who had devoted their lives to teaching the young and healing
the sick and preaching the gospel of love and good will. Why
they did this we shall have occasion to observe in a later


The Commercial Force and the Economic



[20] Part of this chapter appeared as an article in the American Monthly
Review of Reviews, October, 1904.

SEVERAL outside forces have pressed steadily and heavily
upon the exclusiveness and conservatism of the
Chinese, and though they have not yet succeeded in
changing the essential character of the nation, they have set
in motion vast movements which have already convulsed great
sections of the Empire and which are destined to affect stupendous
transformations. The first of these forces is foreign

To understand the operation of this force, we must consider
that its impact has been enormously increased by the extension
of facilities for intercommunication. The extent to which these
have revolutionized the world is one of the most extraordinary
features of our extraordinary age. It is startlingly significant
of the change that has taken place that Russia and Japan, nations
7,000 miles apart by land and a still greater distance by
water, are able in the opening years of the twentieth century
to wage war in a region which one army can reach in four
weeks and the other in four days, and that all the rest of the
world can receive daily information as to the progress of the
conflict. A half century ago, Russia could no more have sent
a large army to Manchuria than to the moon, while down to
the opening of her ports by Commodore Perry in 1854, the few
wooden vessels that made the long journey to Japan found an
unprogressive and bitterly anti-foreign heathen nation with an
edict issued in 1638 still on its statute books declaring--``So
long as the sun shall continue to warm the earth, let no Christian
be so bold as to come to Japan; and let all know that the
King of Spain himself, or the Christian's God, or the great God
of all, if He dare violate this command, shall pay for it with
his head.''

Nor were other far-eastern peoples any more hospitable.
China, save for a few port cities, was as impenetrable as when
in 1552 the dying Xavier had cried--``O Rock, Rock, when
wilt thou open!'' Siam excluded all foreigners until the century's
first quarter had passed, and Laos saw no white man till
1868. A handful of British traders were so greedily determined
to keep all India as a private commercial preserve that,
forgetting their own indebtedness to Christianity, they sneered
at the proposal to send missionaries to India as ``the maddest,
most expensive, most unwarranted project ever proposed by a
lunatic enthusiast,'' while as late as 1857, a director of the
East India Company declared that ``he would rather see a band
of devils in India than a band of missionaries.'' Korea was
rightly called ``the hermit nation'' until 1882; and as for
Africa, it was not till 1873 that the world learned of that part
of it in which the heroic Livingstone died on his knees, not till
1877 that Stanley staggered into a West Coast settlement after
a desperate journey of 999 days from Zanzibar through Central
Africa, not till 1884 that the Berlin Conference formed the
International Association of the Congo guaranteeing that which
has not yet been realized ``liberty of conscience'' and ``the
free and public exercise of every creed.''

Even in America within the memory of men still living, the
lumbering, white-topped ``prairie schooner'' was the only
conveyance for the tedious overland journey to California.
Hardy frontiersmen were fighting Indians in the Mississippi
Valley, and the bold Whitman was ``half a year'' in bearing a
message from Oregon to Washington.

The Hon. John W. Foster tells us in his ``Century of American
Diplomacy'' that ``General Lane, the first territorial governor
of Oregon, left his home in Indiana, August 27, 1848,
and desiring to reach his destination as soon as possible, travelling
overland to San Francisco and thence by ship, reached his
post on the first of March following--the journey occupying
six months. At the time our treaty of peace and independence
was signed in 1783, two stage-coaches were sufficient for all the
passengers and nearly all the freight between New York and
Boston.'' It is only seventy years since the Rev. John Lowrie,
with his bride and Mr. and Mrs. Reed, rode horseback from
Pittsburg through flooded rivers and over the Allegheny
Mountains to Philadelphia, whence it took them four and
a-half months to reach Calcutta.

Nor was this all, for scores of the conveniences and even
necessities of our modern life were unknown at the beginning
of the nineteenth century. To get some idea of the vastness
of the revolution in the conditions of living, we have but to
remind ourselves that ``in the year 1800 no steamer ploughed
the waters; no locomotive traversed an inch of soil; no photographic
plate had ever been kissed by sunlight; no telephone
had ever talked from town to town; steam had never driven
mighty mills and electric currents had never been harnessed
into telegraph and trolley wires.''[21] ``In all the land there was no
power loom, no power press, no large manufactory in textiles,
wood or iron, no canal. The possibilities of electricity in
light, heat and power were unknown and unsuspected. The
cotton gin had just begun its revolutionary work. Intercommunication
was difficult, the postal service slow and costly,
literature scanty and mostly of inferior quality.''[22]

[21] The Rev. Dr. Theodore Cuyler.

[22] Address of the Bishops of the M. E. Church, 1900.

How marvellously the application of steam as a motive
power has united once widely separated regions. So swiftly
have the changes come and so quickly have we adapted ourselves
to them that it is difficult to realize the magnitude of the
transformation that has been achieved. We can ride from
Pittsburg to Philadelphia in eight hours and to Calcutta in
twenty-two days. The journey across our own continent is no
longer marked by the ox-cart and the campfire and the bones
of perished expeditions. It is simply a pleasant trip of less
than a week, and in an emergency in August, 1903, Henry P.
Lowe travelled from New York to Los Angeles, 3,241 miles, in
seventy-three hours and twenty-one minutes. Populous states
covered with a network of railway and telegraph lines invite
the nations of the world to join them in celebrating at St.
Louis the ``Purchase'' of a region which a hundred years ago
was as foreign to the American people as the Philippines now
are. The Rev. Dr. Calvin Mateer, who in 1863 was six
months in reaching Chefoo, China, on a voyage from whose
hardships his wife never fully recovered, returned in a comfortable
journey of one month in 1902. To-day, for all practical
purposes, China is nearer New York than California once

No waters are too remote for the modern steamer. Its smoke
trails across every sea and far up every navigable stream. Ten
mail steamers regularly run on the Siberian Yenisei, while the
Obi, flowing from the snows of the Little Altai Mountains,
bears 302 steam vessels on various parts of its 2,000-mile
journey to the Obi Gulf on the Arctic Ocean. Stanley could
now go from Glasgow to Stanley Falls in forty-three days.
Already there are forty-six steamers on the Upper Congo.
From Cape Town, a railway 2,000 miles long runs via Bulawayo
to Beira on the Portuguese coast, while branch lines reach
several formerly inaccessible mining and agricultural regions.
June 22, 1904, almost the whole population of Cape Town
cheered the departure of the first through train for Victoria
Falls, where the British Association for the Advancement of
Science has been invited to meet in 1905. Uganda is reached
by rail. Five hundred and eighty miles of track unite Mombasa
and Victoria Nyanza. Sleeping and dining cars safely
run the 575 miles from Cairo to Khartoum where only five
years ago Lord Kitchener fought the savage hordes of the
Mahdi. The Englishman's dream of a railroad from Cairo to
the Cape is more than half realized, for 2,800 miles are already
completed. In 1903, Japan had 4,237 miles of well managed
railways which in 1902 carried 111,211,208 passengers
14,409,752 tons of freight. India is gridironed by 25,373
miles of steel rails which in 1901 carried 195,000,000 passengers.
A railroad parallels the Burmese Irrawaddy to Bhamo and
Mandalay. In Siam you can ride by rail from Bangkok northward
to Korat and westward to Petchaburee. The Trans-
Siberian Railway now connects St. Petersburg and Peking. In
Korea, the line from Chemulpho to Seoul connects with lines
under construction both southward and northward, so that ere
long one can journey by rail from Fusan on the Korean Strait
to Wiju on the Yalu River. As the former is but ten hours by
sea from Japan and as the latter is to form a junction with the
Trans-Siberian Railway, a land journey in a sleeping car will
soon be practicable from London and Paris to the capitals of
China and Korea, and, save for the ferry across the Korean
Strait, to any part of the Mikado's kingdom. The locomotive
runs noisily from Jaffa to venerable Jerusalem and from Beirut
over the passes of Lebanon to Damascus, the oldest city in the
world. A projected line will run from there to the Mohammedan
Mecca, so that soon the Moslem pilgrims will abandon
the camel for the passenger coach. Most wonderful of all is
the Anatolian Railway which is to run through the heart of
Asia Minor, traversing the Karamanian plateau, the Taurus
Mountains and the Cilician valleys to Haran where Abraham
tarried, and Nineveh where Jonah preached, and Babylon
where Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, and Bagdad
where Haroun-al-Raschid ruled, to Koweit on the Persian Gulf.

In a single month forty-five Philadelphia engines have been
ordered for India. The American locomotive is to-day speeding
across the steppes of Siberia, through the valleys of Japan,
across the uplands of Burmah and around the mountainsides
of South America. ``Yankee bridge-builders have cast up a
highway in the desert where the chariot of Cambyses was
swallowed up by the sands. The steel of Pennsylvania spans
the Atbara, makes a road to Meroe,'' and crosses the rivers of
Peru. Trains on the two imperial highways of Africa--the
one from Cairo to the Cape and the other from the upper Nile
to the Red Sea--are to be hauled by American engines over
American bridges, while the ``forty centuries'' which Napoleon
Bonaparte said looked down from the pyramids see not the
soldiers of France, but the manufacturing agents of Europe and
America. Whether or not we are to have a political imperialism,
we already have an industrial imperialism.

Walter J. Ballard declares[23] that the aggregate capital invested
in railways at the end of 1902 was $36,850,000,000 and
that the total mileage was 532,500 distributed as follows:--
United States ................... 202,471
Europe .......................... 180,708
Asia ............................ 41,814
South America ................... 28,654
North America (Except U. S.) .... 24,032
Australia ....................... 15,649
Africa .......................... 14,187

[23] New York Sun, July 13, 1903.

Jules Verne's story, ``Around the World in Eighty Days''
was deemed fantastic in 1873. But in 1903, James Willis
Sayre of Seattle, Washington, travelled completely around the
world in fifty-four days and nine hours, while the Russian
Minister of Railroads issues the following schedule of
possibilities when the Trans-Siberian Railroad has completed its

From St. Petersburg to Vladivostok ..... 10 days
`` Vladivostok to San Francisco ....... 10 ``
`` San Francisco to New York .......... 4<1/2> ``
`` New York to Bremen ................. 7 ``
`` Bremen to St. Petersburg ........... 1<1/2> ``
Total ............................. 33 days

As for the risks incident to such a tour, it is significant that
for my own journey around the world, a conservative insurance
company, for a consideration of only fifty dollars, guaranteed
for a year to indemnify me in case of incapacitating accident to
the extent of fifty dollars a week and in case of death to pay
my heirs $10,000. And the company made money on the
arrangement, for I met with neither illness nor accident. With
a very few unimportant exceptions, there are now no hermit
nations, for the remotest lands are within quick and easy reach.

And now electricity has ushered in an era more wondrous
still. Trolley cars run through the streets of Seoul and
Bangkok. The Empress Dowager of China wires her decrees
to the Provincial Governors. Telegraph lines belt the globe,
enabling even the provincial journal to print the news of the
entire world during the preceding twenty-four hours. We
know to-day what occurred yesterday in Tokyo and Beirut,
Shanghai and Batanga. The total length of all telegraph
lines in the world is 4,908,921 miles,--the nerves of our
modern civilization. And it is remarkable not only that
Europe has 1,764,790 miles, America 2,516,548 miles and
Australia 277,419 miles, but that Africa has 99,409 miles and
Asia 310,685 miles, Japan alone having, in 1903, 84,000 miles
beside 108,000 miles of telephone wires.

I found the telegraph in Siam and Korea, in China and the
Philippines, in Burma, India, Arabia, Egypt and Palestine.
Camping one night in far Northern Laos after a toilsome ride
on elephants, I realized that I was 12,500 miles from home, at
as remote a point almost as it would be possible for man to
reach. All about was the wilderness, relieved only by the few
houses of a small village. But walking into that tiny hamlet, I
found at the police station a telephone connecting with the
telegraph office at Chieng-mai, so that, though I was on the
other side of the planet, I could have sent a telegram to my
New York office in a few minutes. Nor was this an exceptional
experience, for the telegraph is all over Laos, as indeed
it is over many other Asiatic lands.

From the recesses of Africa comes the report that the Congo
telegraph line, which will ultimately stretch across the entire
belt of Central Africa, already runs 800 miles up the Congo
River from the ocean to Kwamouth, the junction of the
Kassai and Congo Rivers. A Belgian paper states that ``a
telegram dispatched from Kwamouth on January 15th was
delivered at Boma half an hour later. For the future, the
Kassai is thus placed in direct and rapid communication with
the seat of Government, and Europe is also brought close to the
centre of Africa. Only a few years ago, news took at least two
months to reach Boma from the Kassai, and the reply would
not be received under another two months, and this only if the
parties were available and the steamer ready to start.''

More significant still are the submarine cables which aggregate
1,751 in number and over 200,000 miles in length and
which annually transmit more than 6,000,000 messages,
annihilating the time and distance which formerly separated
nations. When King William IV of England died in 1837,
the news was thirty-five days in reaching America. But when
Queen Victoria passed away January 22, 1901, at 6:30 P. M.,
the afternoon papers describing the event were being sold in
the streets of New York at 3:30 P. M. of the same day! As I
rose to address a union meeting of the English speaking residents
of Canton, China, on that fateful September day of 1901,
a message was handed me which read, ``President McKinley is
dead.'' So that by means of the submarine cable, that little
company of Englishmen and Americans in far-off China bowed
in grief and prayer simultaneously with multitudes in the home

Not only Europe and America, but Siberia and Australia,
New Zealand and New Caledonia, Korea and the Kameruns,
Laos and Persia are within the sweep of this modern system of
intercommunication. The latest as well as one of the most
important links in this world system is the Commercial
Pacific Cable between Manila and San Francisco.

President Roosevelt gave a significant illustration of the perfection
of this system when, on the completion of the
Commercial Pacific Cable July 4, 1903, he flashed a message
around the earth in twelve minutes, while a second message
sent by Clarence H. Mackay, President of the Pacific Cable
Company, made the circuit of the earth in nine minutes.

What additional possibilities are involved in the wireless
system of telegraphy we can only conjecture, but it is already
apparent that this system has passed the experimental stage
and that it is destined to achieve still more amazing results. A
startling illustration of its possibilities was given by the
Japanese fleet March 22, 1904. A cruiser lay off Port Arthur
and by wireless messages enabled battleships, riding safely
eight miles away, to bombard fortifications which they could
not see and which could not see them.

Commerce has taken swift and massive advantages of these
facilities for intercommunication. Its ships whiten every sea.
The products of European and American manufacture are
flooding the earth. The United States Treasury Bureau of
Statistics (1903) estimates that the value of the manufactured
articles which enter into the international commerce of the
world is four billions of dollars and that of this vast total, the
United States furnishes 400,000,000, its foreign trade having
increased over 100 per cent. since 1895. While the bulk of
the foreign trade of the United States is with Europe, American
business men are gradually awaking to the greatness of their
opportunity in Asia. A characteristic example of their aggressiveness
was given when President James J. Hill, of the Great
Northern Railroad, testified before a Government Commission,
October 20, 1902:--

``We arranged with a line of steamers to connect with our road so that
we could get the Oriental outlet. I remember when the Japanese were
going to buy rails, I asked them where they were going to buy, and they
said in England or Belgium. I asked them to wait until I telegraphed.
I wired and made the rates, so that we made the price $1.50 a ton lower
and sold for America 40,000 tons of rails. Then I got them to try a little
of the American cotton, telling them if it was not satisfactory I would pay
for the cotton, and the result was satisfactory.''

In these ways, the interrelation of nations is becoming
closer and closer, their separation from the world's life more
and more difficult. Dr. Josiah Strong well observes:--

``Until the nineteenth century, there was but little contact between
different peoples throughout the world. They were separated, not only
by distances hard to overcome, but by differences of speech, of faith, of
mental habit and mode of life, of custom and costume, of government and
law, and isolation tended steadily to emphasize the divergence which already
existed. Thus increasing differences of environment perpetuated
and intensified the differences of civilization which they had created. In
other words, until the nineteenth century, the stream of tendency down
all the ages was towards diversity. Then came the change, the results
of which are, in their magnitude and importance, beyond calculation.
Steam annihilated nine-tenths of space, and electricity has cancelled the
remainder. Isolation is, therefore, becoming impossible, for the world is
now a neighbourhood. This means that differences of environment will,
from this time on, become constantly less. The swift ships of commerce
are mighty shuttles which are weaving the nations together into one great
web of life.''



THE result of the operation of this commercial force is
an economic revolution of vast proportions. When
ever I went in Asia, I found wider interest in this subject
than in the aggressions of European nations. The reason
is obvious. The common people in Asia care little for politics,
but the price of food and raiment touches every man, woman
and child at a sensitive point. Almost everywhere, the old
days of cheap living are passing away. Steamers, railways,
telegraphs, newspapers, labour-saving machinery, and the introduction
of western ideas are slowly but surely revolutionizing
the Orient. Shantung wheat, which formerly had no market
beyond a radius of a few dozen miles from the wheat-field, can
now be shipped by railroad and steamship to any part of the
world, and every Chinese buyer has to pay more for it in consequence.
In like manner new facilities for export have doubled,
trebled and, in some places, quadrupled the price of rice in
China, Siam and Japan. The Consul-General of the United
States at Shanghai reports that the prices of seventeen staple
articles of export have increased sixteen per cent. in twenty
years while in Japan the increase in the same articles for the
same period was thirty-one per cent.[25]

[24] Part of this chapter appeared as an article in the Century Magazine,
March, 1904.
[25] ``Commercial China,'' p. 2902.

The depreciation in the value of silver has still further complicated
the situation. The common Chinese tael, which formerly
bought from 1,500 to 1,800 cash (the current coin of
China), now buys only 950 cash. The Shanghai tael brings
897 cash, and the Mexican dollar only 665. This of course,
means that the common people, who use only cash, have to pay
a larger number of them for the necessaries of life. The same
difficulty is being felt to a greater or less extent in many other
countries of Asia, while in China, an already serious advance
in prices is being heightened by the heavy import taxes which
have been levied to meet the indemnity imposed by the Western
Powers on account of the Boxer outbreak.

The prices of labour and materials have sharply advanced in
consequence of the enormous demands incident to the construction
of railways, with their stations, shops and round-houses,
the vast engineering schemes of the Germans at Tsing-tau, the
British at Wei-hai Wei and the Russians at Port Arthur, the
extensive scale on which the Legations have rebuilt in Peking,
the reconstruction of virtually the entire business portions of
both Peking and Tien-tsin, as well as the coincident rebuilding
of the mission stations of all denominations, Protestant and
Catholic. It will be readily understood what all this activity
means in a land where there are as yet but limited supplies of
the kind of skilled labourers required for foreign buildings, and
where the requisite materials must be imported from Europe
and America by firms who ``are not in China for their health.''

It is futile to hope that the competition will be materially less
next year, or the year after, or the year after that. Commerce
and politics are planning works in China which will not be completed
for many years. Railway officials told me of projected
lines which will require decades for construction. China has
entered upon an era of commercial development. The Western
world has come to stay, and while there may be temporary
reactions, as there have been at home, prices are not likely to
return to their former level. There are vast interior regions
which will not be affected for an indefinite period, but for the
coast provinces, primitive conditions are passing forever.

The knowledge of modern inventions and of other foods
and articles has created new wants. The Chinese peasant is no
longer content to burn bean oil; he wants kerosene. In
scores of humble Laos homes and markets I saw American
lamps costing twenty rupees apiece, and a magistrate proudly
showed me a collection of nineteen of these shining articles.
Forty thousand dollars worth of these lamps were sold in Siam
last year. The narrow streets of Canton are brilliant with German
chandeliers and myriads of private houses throughout the
Empire are lighted by foreign lamps. The desire of the
Asiatic to possess foreign lamps is only equalled by his passion
for foreign clocks. I counted twenty-seven in the private
apartments of the Emperor of China and my wife counted
nineteen in a single room of the Empress Dowager's palace,
while cheaper ones tick to the delighted wonder of myriads of
humbler people. The ambitious Syrian scorns the mud roof
of his ancestors and will only be satisfied with bright red tiles
imported from France. In almost every Asiatic city I visited,
I found shops crowded with articles of foreign manufacture.
``Made in Germany'' is as familiar a phrase in Siam as in
America. Many children in China are arrayed only in the atmosphere,
but when I was in Taian-fu, in the far interior of
Shantung, hundreds of parents were in consternation because
the magistrate had just placarded the walls with an edict announcing
that hereafter boys and girls must wear clothes and
that they would be arrested if found on the streets naked. At
a banquet given to the foreign ministers by the Emperor and
the Empress Dowager in the famous Summer Palace twelve
miles from Peking, the distinguished guests cut York ham with
Sheffield knives and drank French wines out of German glasses.
Everywhere articles of foreign manufacture are in demand,
and shrewd Chinese merchants are stocking their shops with
increasing quantities of European and American goods. The
new Chinese Presbyterian Church at Wei-hsien typifies the elements
that are entering Asia for it contains Chinese brick,
Oregon fir beams, German steel binding-plates and rods, Belgian
glass, Manchurian pine pews, and British cement.

India is eagerly buying American rifles, tools, boots and
shoes, while vast regions which depend upon irrigation are becoming
interested in American well-boring outfits. Persia is
demanding increasing quantities of American padlocks, sewing-
machines and agricultural implements. German, English and
American machinery is equipping great cotton factories in
Japan. I saw Russian and American oil tins in the remotest
villages of Korea. Strolling along the river bank one evening
in Paknampo, Siam, I heard a familiar whirring sound and
entering found a bare-legged Siamese busily at work on a sewing-
machine of American make. Nearly five hundred of them
are sold in Siam every year, and I found them in most of the
cities that I visited in other Asiatic countries. When I left
Lampoon on an elephant, six hundred miles north of Bangkok,
a Laos gentleman rode beside me for several miles on an American
bicycle. There are thousands of them in Siam. His
Majesty himself frequently rides one and His Royal Highness,
Prince Damrong, is president of a bicycle club of four hundred
members. The king's palace is lighted by electricity and the
Government buildings are equipped with telephones, and as the
nobles and merchants see the brilliancy of the former and the
convenience of the latter, they want them, too. In many
parts of Asia people, who but a decade or two ago were satisfied
with the crudest appliances of primitive life, are now
learning to use steam and electrical machinery, to like Oregon
flour, Chicago beef, Pittsburg pickles and London jam, and to
see the utility of foreign wire, nails, cutlery, drugs, paints and

Many other illustrations of a changed condition might be
cited. Knowledge increases wants and the Oriental is acquiring
knowledge. He demands a hundred things to-day that his
grandfather never heard of, and when he goes to the shops to
buy his daily food, he finds that the new market for it which
the foreigner has opened has increased the price.

Americans are the very last people who can consistently
criticise this tendency in Asia. It is the foreigner who has
created it, and the American is the most prodigal of all foreigners.
I never realized until I visited other lands how extravagant
is the scale of American life, not only among the
rich, but the so-called poor. My morning walk to my New
York office takes me along Christopher Street, and I have often
seen in the garbage cans of tenement houses pieces of bread
and meat and half-eaten vegetables and fruit that would give
the average Asiatic the feast of a lifetime. In Europe, Americans
are notorious as spendthrifts. In the Philippine Islands,
they have thrown about their money in a way which has inaugurated
an era of reckless lavishness comparable only to the
California days of ``forty-nine.'' In the port cities of China,
the porters asked me extortionate prices because I was an
American. Two or three coolies would seize a suit case or
change it from man to man every few minutes, on the pretense
that it was heavy. In Tien-tsin, you hire a jinrikisha and
presently you find a second man pushing behind, though the
road is smooth as a floor. In a few minutes a third appears to
push on the other side, and once a fourth took hold between
the second and third. All of course demand pay, and it is
difficult to shake them off. They do not understand your protests,
or they pretend not to, and you have to be emphatic to
get rid of them. At Tong-ku, my sampan men calmly insisted
on two dollars for a service that was worth but forty cents.
Everywhere, I found that it was wiser to make all purchases
and bargains through trusty native Christians, or to ascertain
in advance what a given service was really worth, pay it and
walk off, deaf to all protestations and complaints, even though
as in Seoul, Korea, the men plaintively sat around for hours.
In Cairo, a certain hotel charged me on the supposition that
because I was an American, I was a millionaire or a fool--perhaps
both. True, we have hack-drivers and hotel-keepers in
America who are equally rapacious, and a New Yorker in particular
need not go away from home to be overcharged. But
it is just because we have become so accustomed to this careless
profusion at home that we exhibit it abroad.

But it is useless to protest against the increased cost of living
in Asia. It is as much beyond individual control as the tides.
The causes which are producing it are not even national but

Nor should we ignore the fact that this movement is, in
some respects at least, beneficial. It means a higher and
broader scale of life and such a life always costs more than a
low and narrow one. This economic revolution in Asia is a
concomitant of a Christian civilization which brings not only
higher prices but wider intellectual and spiritual horizons, a
general enlarging and uplifting of the whole range of life.
There are indeed some vicious influences accompanying this
movement, as brighter lights usually have deeper shadows.

But surely it is for good and not for evil that the farmers of
Hunan can now ship their peanuts to England and with the
proceeds vary the eternal monotony of a rice-diet; that the
girls of Siam are being taught by missionary example that
modesty requires the purchase of a garment for street wear
which will cover at least the breasts; that the Korean should
learn that it is better to have a larger house so that the girls of
the family need not sleep in the same room as the boys; and
that all China should discover the advantages of roads over
rutty, corkscrew paths, of sanitation over heaps of putrid garbage
and of wooden floors over filth-encrusted ground. Christianity
inevitably involves some of these things, and to some
extent the awakening of Asia to the need of them is a part of
the beneficent influence of a gospel which always and everywhere
renders men dissatisfied with a narrow, squalid existence.
To make a man decent morally is to beget in him a
desire to be decent physically.

The native Christians, especially the pastors and teachers,
are the very ones who first feel this movement towards a
higher physical life. Nor should we repress it in them, for it
means an environment more favourable to morals and to the
stability of Christian character as well as a healthful example
to the community in which they live. To say, therefore, that
the average annual income of a Hindu is rupees twenty-seven
(nine dollars) is not to adduce a reason for holding the pastors
and evangelists of India down to that scale. They should, indeed,
live near enough to the plane of their countrymen to keep
in sympathetic touch with them. But they should not be expected
or allowed to huddle in the dark, unventilated hovels of
the masses of the people, or, by confining themselves to one
scanty meal a day, have that gaunt, half-famished look which
makes my heart ache every time I think of the walking skeletons
I saw in India. I am not ashamed but proud of the fact
that it costs the average Christian more to live in Asia than it

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest