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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, July 01, 1900, Image 9

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1900-07-01/ed-1/seq-9/

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A Chinese view.
By Jhan fllun.
Ot'T of the awTcl opium war grew
the beginning of the Boxers. Be
fore th:it there had been peace in
China, iflsslonanes of all churches
had Hv«d within tb«- Yinlls of the Imperial
City and had tnugh* reli^jlon and sclenco
with the free consent dad even assistance
of the rulers.
China i3 so vast a country, so biff be
yonil the comprehension of Americans.
The ctntral government is almost un
known to whole rrovlrues.
Here the. pernie spend their lives In
happy Innocence f>f the troubles that
sweep round over the rest of the world,
kindled, famed and burre about by the
telegraph, newspapers and steamers.
The society of Box.T? was Intended or
iginally to Induce the people to take up>
warlike drill, lha: they m:sht be able to
defend tneir«clves.
Flower worship and the study of phllo
rophical pr.ems have bten all of the
cmuwm'nt!" of the Southern Chinese. In
the north, there hns always been raoro
«thle;!c spirit and devotion to ?port3, and.
it is ther* that the Itoxers have their
greatest power.
The (.'antimosc nml all nf the southern
("hiramrn FTi'iicrally are not members of
any of the Triad societies, most ct which
w*>re urKanlz«»! over a hundrctl years ago.
To Am«r:«-a the Chinese look for Jus
tire; the AmTieans arc cosmopolitan.
They have within their own country the
most wonderful ?rhcnl In the world. The
people of every race cathcrod together
¦where all .-an bo compared stde by side.
It Is this opj/.ortur.ity f.or the proper study
cf mankind that givts the Americana
their broad understanding of foreign af
fairs and strange conditions.
It has been accounted an honor to be
long to the organization; in Its ranks
there are members of most of the best
families of China
the empire, and that the doing. must be
very presently. 'Their -remedy . is to re
turn' to the- methods r which have pre
served them already ,through*a geological
age or bo; to preserve, themselves just as
they would fruit, by shutting off'OUtside
communication and- keeping sweet." Old
ways are best,-' they say. ¦ They arc the
conservatives of China. ¦• . ,
The radicals are represented by the Po
Wong Woey, or society for assisting, the
Emperor. They are. tho most progressive
and traveled -people of China, who fore
pee- that China -must fall in line with
the: procession, '.build railroads, public
works, steamers and have telegraphs and
free newspapers. . They, are -led byKang
Yu Wei. who is much favored by the Eng
li?h-speaking people • In <¦ China. ,
Who is the head of tho great Boxer
There are few members of the great
Chinese patriotic order here in San Fran
cisco, the Boxers in China being 'largely
in the Manchu and Tartar regions of the
north, while the Chinese In California
are nearly all from Canton and vicinity.
Among them the reformers have a large
following. .
While neither of these societies is
revolutionary or rebellious, they by no
means agree with each other or with the
present Government.- . •'• . •
That august adjunct to the sun. moon
and stars does not believe in doing any
thing. Jt is well satisfied .with itself, and
thinks the majesty of its presence suffi
cient defense against the assaults-of the
nations. '9tt3B3 RI 4wSStirottfiIEBNSP**i&ei
The Boxers, on the contrary, see that'
it is necessary to do something to save
Through it all they give careful at
tention to the expressions on their faces.
At ordinary times it is considered good
form to keep the face in immobile re
pofe, net Indulging in facial expressions
such as frowns and smileni That is very
vulcar from a Chinese point of view.
Boxer drill puts a different face upon
them. The command is then like the Ital
ian order, "Facclo . feroce" ("Look
fierce"). ¦ : j-;^», : -
They do _tt, too — perfect image for the
devil to *ropy after, sometimes. All those
thing? help. The Chinese say. "You can
not win a woman with frowns nor a
battle with smiles." The first part we
all know is true. Ask some soldier about
the other, or perhaps he can tell you
about both; soldier boys think of ev
cst Prominent among them Is the
curved sword which seems to be common
to all Asia, varying from the single arched
scimitar of the Turk to the wiggly kris
of the Sulu Islander, which seems to have
been modeled after a crawling snake.
¦ movement I.<a secret that none can guess.i
but It Is supposed to be a certain eunuch 1
who Is In great favor in tho Palace of tho
Forbidden City at ' -Peking, for many
Boxers have been seen drilling: beneath
Its walls. This drill, shown in the pic
turef, old and quaint though It be. Is
what ten million men are doing In China
One hundred hundred thousand men —
that makes ten million— practicing tho
Boxer drill. Thoro may not bo so many.
Is the guess of some military men. Per
haps there will be another guess coming.
..- Those ten million Boxers believe In
China for the Chinese. They have kept
China for themselves through fifty hun
dred years. Through tho times when
Tamerlane. Alexander and Caesar were
conquering the world. They are sure that,
China can bo kept together for awhile.
yet. . ,
Thrro nre not enough bullets cast to
kill them all. for it takes ever so many
pounds of lead to kill a man at Ions
range. Besides a Chinaman In not afraid
:¦ of .death. They always ray when thrsat
ened: "Auli. you kllly me. I no care."
And they do not either.
I>lfe with the Chinese is as they cay,
"Lai'taH yi.'hul tak yl," "Easy come and
rvisy go." One man dropped out -of tho
<00,000,000 does not leave as much vacancy
an -the hole caused by. pulling a needle
out of a mill pond. .
-The population of 'China Increases so
rapidly that their army would be replen-.
ished faster than all of the arts of war
could deplete it. . ¦
.The_wealth , of the nation In ready
* money is enormous. Their credit Is ' in
exhaustible, for they have no national
'debt.- ' - -•¦ ¦• ¦••-.<
¦Tho wealth of color and the elaborated
'ornamentation of the costumes worn by
Boxers on dress parade Is only suggested
by the photographs. The material is all
, of hand spun silk.-dypd in the brightest
of/primary colors. This silk is stiff with
embroidery finely worked and overlaid,
with gold bullion. Over this again are
small metal mirrors representing tho
-'•eyes" of "Buddha which flash in the sun
' as does the armor* of a mailed knight
Their weapons .-are numerous as the
sticks of a polfer^ and Jike the golf player
they: have an -attendant who bears their
arms for them.
Their ; swords and knives are ¦ their spe
cial pride arid are of the greatest in ter-
JJZ HO docs not sec that
[/ ' £/ henceforth every year
European commerce, Eu
ropean politics, European activity,
although actually gaining greater
force. end European connections, aU
though actually becoming more inti
vtatc, zi.HH nevertheless ultimately
sink in importance; zz'hilc the Pa
cii'c Ocean, its shores, its islands
and the rast regions beyond, zvill
bcccmc'thc chief theater of events
in the zcortd's great hereafter/
*7v? FEW norths ago few looked at
il Vl China as arythfng more than a
ft £ curious fjicl «n the map. Now it
is the tonvr of al! the world.
ard tho lloxcrs are the most wonderful
thine? in It. qtffpm
il is the swe'l thins in China io be
lorg to the Boxers . A good coetume
and outfit of weapons costs $500. gold.
The Boxr-r? do not liox so much, but they
drill like this: Kfght hours a day, as
hard as they can go it.
Their drill with the wapens takes the
JP-aee of lhr> various exercises which the
Turners go through or the drills of our
cadet ccrpp. In drilling with the big
knives th*>y swing anrl brandish them
T«T much as we do Indian clubs. .
With the knives Fwinging round their
heads in.: evcrchanging circles, they
whirl and rfnnce upon their feel in the
eame wav ihai an expert fencer does.
Parts ct the drill are grone through
f;u riding < n one leg only, the other held
poised hfcn •••: the air. That is to give
them good balance.

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