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TJTE SdTANTOlT TBIBUXE SATITRDAT , MORNDJ'tf. APRIL 13. 1895.
It Of and Makers About Books- TIIE REAL CHINAMAN. Few more entertaining books may be txpected to appear this year than Ches ter Holoombe's "The Real Chinaman" (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co.; for sale in Scranton by M. Norton). In the first place, it deals with an always interest ing; subject, concerning: which the ma jority of occidentals are profoundly, al beit unconsciously, ignorant. Second ly, it is brightly written by a gentleman who, having passed many years in China as Interpreter, secretary of lega tion and Acting minister of the United States, is well qualified to speak with authority concerning many phases of Chinese government, social life and na tion characteristics. And lastly, the book's mechanical tlneness, its profuse illustrations, wide margins, clear printing and novel imperial yellow binding in linen boards stamped with ' the golden dragon, emblematic of the Celestial empire, combine to make it a pleasureful bopk to read. Still another merit deserves to be noted. The author writes of China and the Chinese not as an apologist, critic or defender, but simply as an accurate narrator of facts. He describes things as they are, with holding few things essential to a truth ful picture of his subject, and adding no touches of prejudice or favoritism. The consequence is that he gives to the reader many new ideas that frequently prompt a revision of preconceived opin ions. The book Is divided Into fifteen chapters, the first Introductory to the extent of explaining the peculiar atti tude of the Chinese toward western na- ' tlons: the second describing the govern ment of China; and the remaining chap ters treating of the Chinese language, home life, social life, religions, super stitions, queues, courts of law, officials and people, education and literature, etiquette and ceremony, merchants and tricks of trade, the Chinese poor, and lastly the empire's little 'under stood financial system. These Various chapters, only a few of which can be here examined, are exceedingly read able. The writer of them omits to go into the question of the moral quallty of the Chinese character, possibly be cause he distrusts the fairness of apply ing to its measurement the standards familiar to more civilized peoples. But. as we shall have occasion to explain, this omission Is fortunately corrected by Henry Norman, In a book newly is sued concerning the orient. The work of Mr. Holcombe, so far as It goes. Is probably the best and certainly the most enjoyable picture of this peculiar nation available In the mass of contem porary literature bearing on eastern subjects. I. Most persons wonder why China re mains so continually impervious to the Influences of what we call civilization. The answer Is twofold. In the first piace, the governmental system In China, having descended almost Un changed from father to eon for more than 2.000 years, teaches in most lm- prfMstve fashion the self-sufficiency of the Chinese people, discourages Immi gration cr travel and makes it a cardi nal principle of the national philosophy if we may thus use the word that the customs of the fathers must be imitat ed vndevlatlngly by the sons. We may bptter understand this latter clause whan we learn that In China the male parent for the woman, as will be ex plained hereafter, has no standing whatever except as a creature of child bearing and burden Is "absolutely master of his son, entitled to his ser vice and obedience so long as the par ent lives. The son never becomes of age, In our sense of the word, until the father dies. The son must serve the father so long as the father lives, at the sacrifice of his own wife and children, if necessity arise; must honor him with an extravagant funeral at death, mourn him for three years, during which period his wife must not give birth to a child, and offer sacrifice twice each year, so long as he himself lives, at his father's tomb." The family, not the Individual, Is the unit In China. The emperor Is supposed to be the father of all Chinamen, hence to prop erty claim the Implicit obedience of all his subjects. And customs handed down from father to son become not often empty traditions, as with us, but vital and venerable obligations ground ed in the very depths of the China man's bfir.g. The fathers decreed non intrroourse with occidental nations; the sons In duty bound do tnelr best to obey, and so far as they are modern ized at all, are modernized against their will and in violence to all that they have been taught for a score of cen turies to hold most dear. The second reason for China's "offlsh ntss" toward pale-faced peoples may be exprereed In the adage that "the burned child dreads fire.'!. The first real Introduction of Chjna to the so called civilized world in this age was accomplished by force of British arms, sen; to punish China for destroying. In 1810. a rich cargo of opium which the British East India company, contrary to all principles of both equity and In ternational law, had surreptitiously tried to introduce Into China, for the dehast-ment of Its citizens. The opium thus destroyed was valued at $6,000,000. Great Britain forced China to pay 21. 000,000 Indemnity, and unconditionally cede to It the important island of Hong Kong. Later England, at point of bayonet, forced China to legalize the opium traffic or, more proptt ly speak ing, its oplu.,1 t-afflc and exacted other concessions that would, in civil ized lands, smack of highway robbery, but which, as applied to pagan China, were regarded as an "Inevitable con quest of occidental ideas." Other dem onstrations which China has had of "Christian" diplomacy have been equally prejudicial to a rapid over throw of native repugnance to Interna tional Intercourse. To these two reasons might be added third, in the complete ignorance which originally existed and largely till exists in the average Chinese mind touching Caucasians. Until recently It was an offense punishable by death for a Chinaman to be caught traveling outside the boundaries of his native land. Centuries of flattery heaped upon' the Chinese officials by provincial neighboring countries like Corea and Slam, had Inculcated the lrp. thai China wa the only land :on the earth wortfr considering , Tlwjrefdrey why should the Chinese care to have deal ings with mllk-complexloned Christian pagans who greeted them only to abuse them, rob them, and beat down their line self-esteem T The government of China Is patrlar- the .j'.. . ... Some of the Latest Volumes To Issue from the Press. chial. The emperor bosses everything and owns everything. Me chooses his subordinate councillors and executive officials, who In turn choose their assist ants. The father rules the family; a council of fathers rules the village, sec ondary, of course, to the emperor and his general representatives; and this order of progression is followed out until the province is reached, which corresponds to our state, - There are eighteen provinces In the Chinese em pire, and each enjbys a certain degree of home rule, which is never checked except when it conflicts with the Im perial wish or, what is practically the same thing, with what is supposed to be the Imperial wish. While the em peror Is venerated most profoundly and obeyed to a degree, Incapable of ex planation to Caucasian ears, the other officials are regarded very .much as public servants, to be respected only as parents or Instruments of the em peror. The Chinese system of civil promotion along the line of what there Is deemed merit makes it possible for any bright Chinese boy to hope to be come, if not president (or emperor), at least prime minister. The imperial powers of the emperor alone excepted, China Is governed very much on the tribal or democratic principle. A pecu liar fact Is that while the emperor owns everything, even to the lives of his 300, 000,000 or more subjects, his family and relatives are comparatively little es teemed. Mr. Holcombe says he has many a time had In his employ a man who, as a blood relative of the emperor, was entitled to wear the imperial yel low girdle, or badge of highest dis tinction; but he was a hod-carrier, and earned 6 cents a day. As showing the possibilities open to the ambitious, In China, the author elsewhere notes that one of the greatest of Chinese premiers, Shen Kuel Fen, "was the son of a street peddler who esteemed himself fortu nate If he made a profit of ten cents a day, from his business. Such cases are not exceptions. They form the rule." II. Very Interesting to the American are Mr. Holcombe's chapters on the home and Boclal life of the Chinese, for con cerning this subject hardly anything is known In this country. ; "In one re spect at least," he tells us, "China sets an example which all the world may wisely follow. In this empire every one marries and no one 'boards.' " But It must be conceded as an offset to this Item of superiority, that the Chinese marriage, so far as the bride is con cerned, is an emphatic failure. She not only has no voice in the selection of her marital lord and master, "but," the author informs us, "theoretically at least marries one whom she has never seen, and to whom she has never spoken. He, upon his part, has never seen her, had no share In making the selection, and has not the least reason to be other than wholly indifferent to her. In her new home the wife becomes simply a convenient under-servant. The most menial tasks, the heaviest burdens, are laid upon her. Her only Justification for continuing to live Is found in child-bearing.' Prior to that event she Is not even given the title of a married woman, but Is still spoken of or addressed as a girl. When Bhe becomes a mother, and especially If she bears a son, thenat last she Is entitled to a certain amount of respect and recognition as something higher than a beast of burden." Hut before this event occurs young wives, the author says, frequently commit suicide as the only escape from the Intolerable cruel ties of the mother-in-law,-, who, even in China, appears to rank as a promoter of domestic discord. It is impossible to exaggerate the so cial Jegredatlon which Chinese cus tom decrees as the lot of woman."" She Is never anything but a servant to her husband. "In the event of her death," writes Mr. Holcombe, "her sons must, by Chinese law, wear mourning and go about with unshaven heads for a period of 100 days. But her husband would render himself an object of ridicule and contempt among his friends If he put on mourning or expressed grief at her loss." In conversation with some high officials of the government of China the author once referred to the then recent death of the wife of the Prince Regent and remarked that of course the prince would go Into retire ment and lay aside his duties for a time. "Ov; no," replied one of the cabinet, v-.th a laugh, "the death of a wife counts for nothing with us. Why should the prince go Into mourning for her? He can get as many more as he wishes." And, as a matter of fact, the wealthier men of China do have many wives, at one tlme The emperor, In addition to four head wives, has usually from 75 to 100 assistant wives, or concubines; and Is "supposed to study the character of all his numerous sons by all these head assistant wives, and to select from the entire number that one best qualified to succeed him on the imperial throne." Women are seldom mentioned by men In China. They are not supposed to be seen by their neighbors except at a distance. It Is regarded as an Insult to ask a Chinaman how his wife Is. Apropos of this peculiar social canon, Mr. Holcombe narrates an interesting Illustration, which we reproduce In htB own language. '"In May, 1875,"- he writes, " news reached Peking that an honored Chinese official, ; then resident In the United States, had married an American lady. Soon after the receipt of this Intelligence the United States minister and I had occasion to vls.lt the Chinese foreign office. The minister In formed me that he. intended to con gratulate the Chinese officials upon this marriage. I advised him that it was contrary to Chinese notions of propriety to refer to such subjects, and that his remarks would be misunderstood. However, when the . party were, as usual, Beated around a table at the for eign office, tea had been served and the ordinary salutations exchanged, the minister requested me to say to Prince Kung, then at the .bead of the govern ment, that 'the relations between the United States. and China, which, had been of so friendly a character for many years, ought to be much strength ened by the fact that a distinguished Chinese officer'.; had married: a pretty Tankee girl.' I again remonstrated with the minister, -but upon his re newed request I repeated this remark in Chinese to 'the ' prince. We were seated around a circular table, and be sides the prince and two foreigners there were present six members' of the cabinet; "venerable and .'gray-headed men. For a moment there was dead silence, Eaoh minister of state looked down at his plate. None dared to speak. Then Prince Kung raised his head, looked at me in silence, and drawing a long breath, remarked: 'It Is fearfully hot today.' This was the'sole outcome of our minister's well-meant -. but ill timed congratulations." ; By reason of the fact that mixed as semblages of the two Sexes are for bidden by the Chinese social code, and that it Is even deemed a disgrace for a huBband to be seen walking, in public with his wife, the social functions of China are confined largely to men. Women of the better class sometimes exchange visits and drink tea after the fashion of our American1 "five o'clocks;" but never form large gatherings. All over three constitute a "crowd" which Is respected more for Its room than lta company. So great Is this aversion of the male Chinese to the company of the female, In public, that It is impossible for an American traveling with hla wife In China to get natives to drive the mule litters In which all Journeys are made that la, large sedan chairs transported by mules unless the two' tourists consent to occupy separate lit ters. Mr. Holcombe relates an Instance of this aversion which deserves to be repeated. It will be remembered that some years ago the Chinese govern ment, in a fit of Boon repented liberali ty, sent a delegation of Chinese young men to this country to be educated. The campaign of education proceeded so rapidly that one day the venerable Chinese director of these Mongolian pupils, while out driving, on a Sunday afternoon, espied one of his young men walking : home -from .Sunduy school, alongside a young lady. "The young gentleman politely bowed, and removed his hat to his superior. The conserva tive old disciple of , Confucius could hardly credit his eyes. Here was one of the boys under his charge, for whose moral and mental training he was re sponsible, actually walking In full day light upon the streets with a" young woman who was neither his sister nor his first cousin. This fact alone was quite sufficient to stamp the reputation of both the young people as hopelessly bad. But to complete the offense, the young man had the effrontery to re move his hat before his superior, an act which was of Itself a grave breach of Chinese etiquette. The Incident was reported to Peking, where It was looked upon, as the director himself viewed and characterized it, as an evidence that the students had quite lost their good manners and sense of decency. With other causes It led to the recall of the entire body of students." Perhaps one of the reasons why the Chinese do not indulge in our forms of soclul enjoyment is because they have been taught under the Confucian sys tem to regard dignity and statellness and repose as the greatest of social virtues. A Chinese gentleman seldom walks fast. He never runs. He In dulges In little laborious physical, exer cise. He Is ceremonious In the extreme, but after his own fashion." The female sex," says Mr. Holcombe, "has no place In his Idea of respectable pleasure, nor has violent exercise of any sort a place In his category of gentlemanly amuse ments." It Is. related that the first Chinese minister to this country was once Invited to a reception In Washing ton where dancing was the principal feature of the evening's entertainment. After watching the flushed and heated dancers for some time in undisguised amazement, and contrasting their vio lent exercise with their elegant and manifestly expensive costumes, he turned to a friend and inquired: "Why do they do that hard work? Cannot they afford to hire some one to do it for them?" Before we pass to other phases of the Chinese life and Character, we wish to refer to a notable custom, religiously observed In China, yet exceedingly gro tesque to occidentals. It has already been stated that the supreme duty of a Chinaman, next to his allegiance to the emperor, is toward his parents. One of the odd methods taken to emphasize this filial respect and affection Is thus desorlbed: . "It Is no uncommon sight Ira Peking or any other city of the em pire to see a company of men, headed by a band of music and many banners, parading the streets In a long proces sion, at the center of which are two .coffins. The absense of white, which Is the national mourning color, the lively strains of music land the general air of pleasure throughout the members of the party make It certain that they are not performing the last sad rites for the dead. The two coffins have been pur chased by the sons of, say, Mr. and Mrs. Chang, as slight tokens of filial affection and honor. And they are being carried with great pomp and display to the home of the old people, to whom they will be presented with pleasant speeches and appropriate replies from the sur prised recipients." An American par ent might question the spirit of such a gift But Chinese parents "have no such squeamish notions. They accept these .finely lacquered and decorated coffins as a final proof of the fore thought and affectionate cafe of their children. The. gifts are placed in the state apartments of their home, caretul ly protected from Injury and shown with great pride to their friends. The lugubrious side of the gift never strikes them. They see in It only the love, re spect and forethought of their children. It assures .their minds upon one point which Is of great Importance to a Chinese: It Is ia present pledge of .an honorable, dignified funeral.'' . i , III. When it is. said that the religion of China Is Confucianism, it needs to be explained that Confucius was purely a mural philosopher, who cared little for forms of worship and tnuoh for abstract maxims. Tl?"9 tne Chinese of today, al though given over to a .good deal of formalism"-In their religious rites,, are tolerant to a singular degree of other religions. It Is not the white man's re llglqn that these people resent when Christian missionaries' come - among them; It Is the white man's diametrical ly opposite customB of life and manners of thought. TheChlnese are Confucians with Buddhism superadded In distorted forms; yet there are millions -of Mo hammedans living at peace within the empire, and, strangest of .all, the au thor tells us that in the center of the province of Honan, which s to say nearly In the center of the Chinese em pire, is a single village of Jews, wflio have occupied substantially' their pres ent location since the dispersion of the tribes of Israel. Through all the cen turies they have,' in this undisturbed village, quietly preserved helr ancient ritual and (all other essential forms of their national identity. This bespeaks tolerance among the Chinese; but the Chinese aryt probably 4) operant ' for the reason that religion, as a rule, sits light ly on their shoulders, They become in tolerant only when- touched upon' that tender spot, their superstitions, In an earlier chapter Mr. Holcombe ex plains why, although the Chinese have latterly immigrated to America and some other countries in large numbers, they never form permanent colonlen, but after a period of migration always return to their native land. This is duo to the deeply rooted religious belief that unless the body of a Chinaman is in terred in the ancestral burying ground, that Chinaman's soul will not rest easy in the spirit land but wander about like a ghost perturbed. Perhaps the great est single manifestation of the hold which the somewhat platitudinous teachings of Confucius have acquired upon the multiplying millions of human beings who inhabit China is shown in the veneration which Confucianism commands to be paid by its followers to their ancestors. "So far as can be dis covered," our author informs us, "this worship of ancestors Is as old as the race. It is the most deeply rooted of all form of religion in the very fibre of the Chinese character and beyonu a ques tion, it will be the laat of all forms of false faith, to die out from among them." The masses believe that the spirits of the departed remain near the home occupied by them during life, and near the grave In which the body rests. They believe that these spirits are powerful to work good or ill to their descendants, and that hence they must be propitiated by offering's. Thus it is customary for all Chinese families, upon appointed 'holidays, to the accompani ment of exploding firecrackers, to place rlh feasts of baked meats, rice and cakes, together with rare wine and rich silks, updn the graves of their departed progenitors, in the hope that the spirits of these departed ones will eat, drink, clothe themselves and be induced to view with favor their thoughtful de scendants''ln the flesh. The spirits, of course, do these things only In a spiri tual sense; and what in left when they have satisfied their spiritual desires, is promptly disposed of by the more, ma terial providers thereof. .This Interest ing rite explains, among other things, why there, are no bachelors in China. For, unless one marry and have de scendants, how Is one to be clothed and fed after one is dead? Secondary to Confucianism Is Tao ism, a Jumble of complex superstitions and Idolatries difficult to be understood or. explained. Originally Taoism taught ascetlclam, or that" the study of pure reason and the mortification of bodily desires formed the sole duty of man. But nowadays, Taoism has degenerat ed into a craft qf mountebank priests and astrologers, who play upon the credulity of the ignorant masses for purposes of their own. Buddhism is also in general vogue, in corrupted .forms. Temples and shrines to Bud dha are numerous throughout the em pire. The worship in these temples is always individual, there being no such thing as Joint or congregational service known. A worshiper comes In, buys from the priest, for a few cash, several sticks of Incense, which the priest lights at the sacred flame. Those are handed to the worshiper, who places them In a bronze Incense-burner upon a table In front of the image of Buddha. He then prostrates himself upon a rug before the idol three times, each time knock ing his head thrice upon the floor, the priest meanwhile beating' a huge drum or bell, to attract Buddha's attention. This done, the worshiper rises and goes about his business. These Buddhistic temples advertise for trade, like any other species of business house; and even employ priestly solicitors to drum up cash-paying worshipers. These solicitors, or professional beg gars, to be more exact, generally at tract attention by some marked peculi arity of personal appearance. One had circular holes cut through his cheeks. Through these holes anr.Iron rod had been placed, so that ' both ends projected an Inch from the cheek. A half-circle hoop of Iron was looBely fastened to either end of the rod and passed around the back of the- head, where It was attached to a log chain several feet long. Another was boxed tightly within a wooden overcoat, Into which spikes were driven so as to pin him fast. The fellow set up a great howling, and any one who sympathized with his condition could contribute to ward his relief by buying of a nearby priest one of the offending spikes, which, upon payment of its price would be pulled out and given to the merciful purchaser as a souvenir of his warmth of heart. Not all self-inflicted cruelties are, however, calculated with a view to securUng alms. The author tells the following circumstance showing a sin cerity of faith which, despite its Idiocy, has a touch of the sublime: "One In tolerably hot and dusty afternoon I was resting at a wayside tea-house to the southwest of Peking when I saw a man approaching; and stirring the deep dust of the highway tn a very peculiar manner. The man would take one long step forward from a certain point, measure his length, face down ward, In the road, then place his feet in the spot marked In the dust by his forehead, take another step, measure his length again, oind so proceed, one step and one prostration, as the Chinese call it. At each prostration he knocked his head three times in the dust. The proceeding reminded me of the measuring worm of childhood. In answer to my questions, he said that a year before, when his omly son was very ill, he had made a vow that. If Buddha would restore the young, man to health, he would make a pilgrimage to Wu Tal Shan and back to his native village, making the entire Journey In the manner above described. The dis tance was nearly 2,000 miles, and he could measure only about three miles a day. As he was 78 years old, frail in appearance and about worn out, It was easy to see that he would not live to fulfill his vow. A callous lump as large as an egg had formed upon his forehead. Yet this man was shocked and angry at a suggestion that he should abandon his useless pilgrimage, and passed out of sight measuring the road with his feeble body." IV. . . The Chinaman may be tolerant In his Ideas concerning religion, of which he possesses little, but he does not carry this liberal spirit into the domain of his superstitions. The entire mental fabric of the Chinese nation, as Mr. Hol combe shows us. Is saturated with super stitious notions which hold the people In a vise-like grip. There Is hardly an act in the entire sphere of a Chinaman's activities which Is not guided in some degree by these grotesque beliefs, ' But perhaps the' easiest way to a clear un derstanding of thlB assertion Is to fol low the author through some of his In teresting recollections of specific vaga ries common amongst the Chinese. The most general class of superstitions in China relate to locality and are known by the untranslatable term of ''feng shul." The "feng shui" are the spirits of a given lot, house or acre, who must, at all hazards be propitiated. Clothe the spooks of our Yankee haunted houses with supernatural power to bless or destroy the corporeal owners of those houses, and you will have something closely aanalagous to the Chinaman's "feng shul." The Jdea of the latter is that each particular spot of ground has Its own spiritual forces, or influences, which are- affected, for better or worse, by the slightest change in the contour or condition of it! t These Influences may be friendly to one man and hostile to' another.' Thus, while the former may prosper in a certain house, the lat ter, moving Into It, will suffer serious misfortunes unless, by some alteration In the building or change In the "lay of the land," he shall succeed In appeasing the anger and exciting the gratitude of the locality's geomanttc powers. This superstition takes the deepest Imaginable hold upon the Chinese peo ple, from emperor to pauper. "Only a few years since," the author says, "a number of Chinese officials united in a petition to the throne asking that a stop be put to mining coal and Iron at a point forty miles distant from the im perial tombs, upon the plea that this mining would disturb the bones of the empress, who had recently been burled. A few .years earlier the viceroy at Foo Chow formally reported to the emperor that permission ought not to be granted to certain foreigners to erect buildings upon the slope of a hill within the walls of the city. He based his objection upon the asserted fact that a great dragon rested underneath Foo Chow and sup ported the foundations of the city; that at the spot named the veins and arteries of the dragon came near to the surface, and hence that the weight of the build ings, if constructed, would Impede his. circulation." Quite as Interesting, In Us way, Is the trouble experienced by the government officials In deciding upon a burial place for, the remains of the emperor Tung Chlh, who died In January, 1875, and was unable to find a satisfactory rest ing place, until the following October. The custom had been, up to that time, to bury imperial bodies alternately in an eastern and In a western cemetery, In tha hope that by this exact counter balancing of mortuary honors the "feng shut" of each cemetery would be afford ed no reason for Jealousy. Inasmuch as Tung Chlh's father had oeen Interred In the eastern cemetery, the general opinion properly was that Tung him self ought, In common fairness, to be deposited in the western place of burial. "But the court astrologers declared, as a result of their divinations, that no place could be found there where he might lie without Injury to the state, and hence that he must be burled else where. Months of Investigation, re peated references to different boards and departments of the public service, and numerous commands from the new emperor followed, until, after nine months of effort, It wns finally decided that he positively could not be Interred In the western cemetery, where he be longed, but with certain precautionary and conciliatory measures he might be put under ground In the eastern. This was done as the lesser of two evils. The whole empire had been stirred up over the question; It had been the vital topic at numerous councils of Btate, and a large sum of money, estimated at $250, 000, had been expended, all to determine at what spot the remains of a worthless and vicious young man might be put out of sight." In consequence of the ultra-fastldl-ousness of the "feng shul" of Chinese cemeteries, millions of occupied coffins are today, unbuiied. They are placed, hermetically sealed. In temples or par lors, pending an adjustment of the dif ferences between the surviving rela tives and the spirits of the burial ground. The methods by which the "feng shul" are finally placated are simple In the extreme. An astrologer is consulted and presented with a fee ; he goes Into a pow wow with the Inhabitants of the invisible kingdom; and brings back a message command ing that a tic be planted at a speci fied place In the cemetery, a stone added or removed, or some equally trivial alteration made. This done, the trouble ends, unless a second mes sage, communicated through the as trologerlikewise, for a consideration shall necessitate additional propiti atory offerings. ThlB topographical superstition of the "feng shul" Is actu ally recognized In the statutes of the empire. A Chinese may sue and re cover damages at law against another for any action which can be shown to the satisfaction of the Judge to have unfavorably affected the "feng shul" of his hpuse or place of business. "Years afco." Mr. Holcombe tells us. "the secretary of the Chinese treasury refused to permit a well-known Ameri can who resided next door to him, and who was In the service of the Chinese government, to build any chir.neys to his house, as they would affect the 'feng shul' of the secretary's residence. In consequence, the' American could have no adequate fires in his rooms during the cold winters. Later, the construction of a high chimney for some gas works In the capital reduced by more than one-half the value of all structures within a mile of the objectionable work." It Is evi dent that such a superstition, to which the whole people are committed, muBt operate as a considerable barrier to commercial and Individual progress: Belief in the "luckiness" of certain days obtains throughout ' China. The merchant will not begin business or the lover marry until the astrologers have named a favorable day. Every weighty enterprise must be undertaken in ac cordance with the advice of those who read the stars. In time of drought, if ordinary Incantations will not bring rain, the emperor, In his sacerdotal character as head of the religious sys tem of China, must go to the sacred altar of the Temple of Heaven, to which he alone Is privileged to penetrate, and there make sacrifices and supplicate for rain. If after three such pilgrimages the emperor's prayers are not an swered, he at once proceeds to play his trump card. "Several . hundred years ago," says the author, "a piece of iron was found In a well In a temple en closure several hundred miles to the southwest of Peking. It waB declared to have dropped Into the well from hea ven, and has since been kept as a sa cred relic In the temple. The emperor sends a commission, headed by an Im perial prince, to the temple to receive this bit of rusty Iron from the priests and carry. It to the capital. There it Is deposited with elaborate ceremonies In a temple, and on a) day named In ad vance by proclamation, the emperor proceeds to this temple, prostrates him self before the bit of iron, and prays to It for rain." What would happen should the iron once more disappoint his imperial, high mightiness Is not re lated. Minor superstitions are Innumerable. A dark-colored spherical stone, five feet In diameter, probably a meteorollte.was once found, centuries ago, and Invested with miraculous power, upon the theory that It had dropped from heaven. Suc ceeding . generations - of worshipers have kissed its surface smooth. One large locust tree, said by the na tives to be 4,000 years old, has been clothed by the , masses with supernatural qualities and Is visited yearly , by millions of worshipful' pil grims, who set its aid in the cure of disease. No.glrlor woman Is permitted to Venture near a well that is being; dug, for reason's known only to the Chinese themselves. .Finally, although. Chinese state dinners often comprise as high as 78 courses and last twelve hours, under I no circumstances are the plates changed.. The Chinese say to change the plates at dinner is a certain omen of in luck. .' , What Is the actual normal character of the Chinese people, considered with reference to morals? In. Mr. Holcombe's book this question is parried. The im pression one gets by reading It is that, considering all things, the Chinese is really a pretty good sort of fellow. Henry Norman, on the other hand, in his just-Issued book, "The People and Politics of the Far East," as we learn from an exhaustive review by Mr. Ha zletlne In the New York Sun, regards the Chinaman as the Incarnation of pretty nigh all that la vicious and cor rupt. Every Chinese official, except ing possibly one in a thousand, 1b In his judgment a liar, a thief and a tyrant; and he opines that the people who tolerate such officials are them selves not much better. Their beset ting vices, according to Mr. Norman, are dirt, falsehood, corruption and cruelty. The first goes without saying. The second and third are generally ad mitted, not even Mr. Holcombe caring to enter a denial. As for their cruelty, both to dumb animals and to human beings, Mr. Norman cites abundant evi dence. Hearing laughter In his stable, a friend of Mr. Norman, living in Pek ing, investigated. He discovered that two of his Chinese servants had caught a big rat, nailed its fore paws to a board, saturated it with kerosene, set fire to It and were watching its frantic movements, regarding them as exceed ingly funny. Professional kidnapers steal the children of white residents, take them to distant cities, blind them and sell them Into slavery. No matter what accident may happen to one of his countrymen, the typical Chinese will render no assistance until paid or promised pay. For Instance, a steam launch built at Hong Kong blew up on her trial trip, and, among others, the wife of the editor of a Hong Kong paper was thrown Into the water. Some Chinese in a sampan paddled up, and positively refused to take her on board until she had promised them fifty dol lars. Another member of the same party had to promise five hundred dol lars before a boatman would undertake to convey several of the survivors to Hong Kong. One of the latest news papers received from China tells how a boat, paddled by two men, carrying rice from Shanghai to Pootung, cap sized In the midst of a number of fish ing boats. The fishermen Immediately seized upon the rice and property be longing to the capsized boat, but took not the slightest notice of the drowning men. Do Chinese practice infanticide to a considerable extent? Mr. Norman maintains that they do; Mr. Holcombe, that they do not. We shall present both sides. Among the proofs cited in Mr. Norman's book are the following: One man, who had been In the employ of a foreigner for two years, and had received good wages, put his little girl to death because, as he said, he .could not afford to feed her. A woman, with out solicitation, told one of the foreign ladies that she had killed five children In order to go out as a nurse, nnd that her husband compelled her to do It. A man who passed for a gentleman vol unteered the Information that he had allowed two of his girls to die for want of care. It was, he explained, "only a small matter. We just wrapped them up In bedclothes, and very soon they were gone. I am a poor man; girls are a great expense and earn no money, and as we already had two we con cluded we could not keep any more." The testimony of a Chinese teacher Is as follows: "Infanticide is very com mon among the poor, and even among people In pretty easy circumstances. There Is hardly a family wherein at least one child has not been destroyed, and In some families four or five are disposed of. Nothing can be done. The officials know It, but say it is something they cannot control." Another man, who Is now a member of the Christian church, says that, in his village, there Is hardly a family that has not des troyed two or three children. A wo man testified that "It was very common for poor people to go Into rich families as wet nurses, because they receive good wages', and, in fact, they often destroyed their babies that they might do so." A lady contributor to the North China Dally News furnished the following statistics: "I find that 160 Chinese women, all over fifty years of age, had borne 631 sons and C38 daugh ters. Of the sons, nearly sixty per cent, had lived more than ten years, while, of the dnughters. only thirty eight per cent, had lived thus long. The 160 women, according to their own statement, had destroyed 158 of their daughters; but none had ever des troyed a boy. The probability Is that the number of Infanticides confessed to is considerably below the truth." Mr. Holcombe, while not denying that Infanticide may occur In rare Instances, thinks that the prevalence of the belief In Its general occurrence arises from a misapprehension. He admits that hundreds of children die every day and are literally carted outside the city or village limits, like garbage, to be thrown by the wagonfuls. Into trenches or pits and covered over with quicklime. But he contends that they are not deliber ately killed by their parents, but "are the victims of one of the most cruel and revolting superstitions that ever found lodgment In the human brain. When a child sickens It has, according to the means and intelligence of the parents, the same anxious care and medical at tendance that would be given among us; but If all remedies fall of effect, and death Is apparently near, the situation changes at once. The little thing la stripped naked and placed on the floor, which Is either of mud or brick, Just In side the outer door of the room. The parents leave It there and watch the issue. If, which Is seldom the rase, It survives the ordeal, It Is a true child of their own flesh and blood; If It dies, then AN ITALIAN SKY IS NOT AS' CLEAR k mm a mt a . " iTff! CARLSBAfti fPSrirftriini T IS INVALUABLE FOR Stomach derangements! Kidney and' It never was their child, but an evil spirit seeking admission to their hearth stone In order to work them mischief ruin, itence, it is thrown, into the Street to be ratherMl iin h tha oart.- No power could Induce them to n. proper Dunai in the family rest ing place for the. dead. That would mean Its adoption by them, and what sane Chinese would adnnt nn Avll .mlt.lt Into his family? This Is the theory, and ....... ins way tney argue and act; and the dead cart, with Its freight, is the fearful result. Evidently such treat ment kills many young children who under other circumstances would re- ., una me results of this supersti tion, are great ennnirh tn f..ll.. ...,. for a theory of willful infanticide." To the ordinary reader It will prob ably appear that the difference between ..... urmanana air. Holcombe touching this point Is one of name rather than fact' L. S. R. - AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS: Charles A. Dana's book, "The Art of Newspaper Muklng," is announced. Oertrude Atherton call Boston "the city of anaemic virtue und emasculated vice." "Oulda," according to one report. Is penniless and all her property has been told for debt. Mrs. Ward's "Marcella" is In its 12th edition in London, which means that tho 2oth thousand Is now on sale. Harper & Bros, have brought out a wel come paper edition of George MacDonuld's "Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood." Miss Braddon, thank heaven, Intends to write no more novels. She has already given to the world more than fifty works of fiction. Madame Sarah Grand Is getting better, and is spending some time in Purls, where, It Is said, she Is gathering material for an other book. The loth volume of Dr. Furness's vari orum edition of Shakespeare, "A Midsum mer Night's Dream," la about rady for publication. A volume of poems dealing chiefly with Egyptian subjects Is soon to be brought out by Miss Mathllde Blind. She cull tha book "Birds of Passage." A cloth-bound set of Harrier's Weekly from tho beginning January, 1S57, to 189a, inclusive 37 volumes, sold at Bangs & Co.'s auction room In New York on Thursday for $115.02. The first aeries of the "Chlmmle Fadden". papers Is now In Its 17th edition. Mr. Townsend, the author, will bring out a longer work, "A Daughter of the Tene ment," In the fall. Miss Gilder publishes In the Critic of April 6 nn amusing refutation of a story in the Philadelphia Times about the down fall ami decay of Clara Louise KelloKg, the "once gifted songstress." Tolstol'B new story Is called "Master and Man." It describes with pathos and sim plicity the way In which a commonplace, money-loving man sacrifices his life In a great storm to Bave that of his servant. The American Jewess Is the title of a new magazine hulling from Chicago. A portrait and biography of Mrs. Solomon, president of the National Council of Jew ish Women, Is given, while Dr. Emll O. Hlrsch pictures "The Modern Jewess." Current Literature says of Iesat Nassar, a new life of Christ: "This new life of Jesus Is a wonderful volume, one of the most important religious works that has appeared for many years." It Is written by Peter F., Anna F. and B. F. A. Mum reoy, Russians, born In Jerusalem. Lord Wolseley's book on Napoleon, which will appear this spring, is confined to the last disastrous years In the active career of the Emperor. 1812-5. The author claims that Napoleon failed In the mission he set for himself and that he was beaten at his own special game of war. The May number of Donahoe's Maga zine is to contain an article by Augustln Daly on his methods of preparinga Shakes pearean play for the stage. Rev. John Talbot Smith, of New York, will contrib ute for the same number of Donahoes an article on Augustln Daly himself. Copies of the llrst two-volume edition of Bryce's "American Commonwealth" are not only scarce, notwithstanding the fact that It numbered thousands of volumes, but are Increasing in value. A short timo ago, at one of Bang's & Co.'s sales, it fetched $11 a volume. The three-volume edition has sold as high as $:S.50 for the set. , G. P. Putnam's Sons announce for early publication "Dr. Izard," a new romance by Miss Anna Katharine Green, the au thor of "The Leavenworth Case," "Marked Personal," etc. This story Is described as quite distinct In character from the au thor's previous books. Of Miss Green's several romances nearly 750,000 copies have In all been sold. Francois Coppee's drama, "Pour la Couronne" ("For the Crown"), which has scored such a hit at the Odeon In Paris, is to be seen In. New York next autumn. Francois Coppee will cross the Atlantic to see the production. The play, which is tn five acts, deals with military treason. A son is driven, through a sense of his duty to his country und his love for It, to kill his father. The scene Is luld In the Balkan mountains. Librarian Spofford, of the Congressional library, reports that during the year 1K4 62,7ti2 copyrights were entered, against 5S, ft'.ii for HW3. and that 40,208 copyright pub lications of all kinds were received. Of the publications received, about 14,000 wero books, 15,000 musical compositions, 10,000 periodicals and 5,000 photographs, while the remainder were made up of dramatic com positions, engravings, chromos, prints, designs, maps and charts. There has been a steady increase in the International copy right. Max Simon Nordau, whose remarkable work entitled "Degeneration" Is such a savage attack upon all Europe (upon Wag ner and Zola, Ibsen and Maeterlinck, Tolstoi and Wilde), is of Jewish extraction , and was born at Budapest nearly forty six years ago. He began In 18S0 to prac tlve medicine In Paris, where he still re tires. Of his many books only two, be sides "Degeneration," have carried his name beyond the German and Austrian frontiers. One of them Is "Conventional Lies of Society," suppressed tn Austria and Russia ever since its first appear ance, and "Paradoxes," its worthy com panion. In "Degeneration," Dr. Nordau has undertaken to prove. In a scientific and elaborte argument, that a large per centage of society, In consequence of cer tain nervous conditions, has developed a tasta for the Inferior in art and muslo, and the depraved and even filthy In liter ature, and that the artists, composers and authors who furnish the supply are mor ally and mentally degenerate. - -