"Those Foreign Devils!": A Celestial on England and Englishmen

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Leadenhall Press, 1891 - China - 191 pages
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Page 57 - When sons and daughters are grown up, the parents need no longer look after them, but may let them be altogether their own masters. Children then regard their parents as strangers, and merely show them courtesy when they see them. The most respectful form of this courtesy is to apply their mouths to the right and left lips (sic) of the elder with a smacking sound.
Page 144 - The Rape of the Lock. Arabella must have passed down the road many a time on her way from Ufton to Hampton Court. " Where mighty Anna, whom three realms obey, Doth sometimes counsel take and sometimes tea," perhaps in the society of her celebrator ; for Pope himself was frequently a visitor at Ufton.
Page 159 - Error can explain why the often exploded idea crops up again and again that Chinese plays take weeks or months to act. As a matter of fact, several Chinese plays are got through in the course of a sitting, but, as in Shakespeare's time, the scenery is mostly left to be imagined, and hence it is not always easy for a foreign onlooker to tell when one play ends and another begins.
Page 157 - As a rule, however, the theatre is a temporary erection of matting and bamboos serving as stage and dressing room. The auditorium is the open air, for the actors, a strolling band, are paid by subscription, and every one is free to view the performance. A Chinese audience does not expect to be charged for admission ; indeed, so clearly expressed were the opinions of the Foochow populace on this point that the agent of a travelling foreign circus a few years back wrote to his principal to advise him...
Page 163 - Medicines are gulped down by the quart, in a heterogeneous mass, the prescriber holding that if one ingredient does not do its work another may. Their virtues, nevertheless, are many and mysterious. A missionary doctor was well acquainted with a native practitioner, a man of considerable intelligence and repute. Him he brought to his home one day and showed, with natural pride, his three fair-haired little girls. The native hastened to compliment his foreign friend : " Their complexions are indeed...
Page 57 - Even a mother does not kiss her baby, though she will press it to her cheek. The Chinese are of opinion that our marriage laws are very foolish.
Page 143 - Tea is properly made by placing a few leaves in a cup, and pouring on boiling water; it is drunk by covering the cup with a saucer, and sucking the infusion through the interstice. No sugar is added or required; for the tea-leaves used, being less thoroughly fired than those for foreign consumption, are far less acrid. The character (symbol) for " tea " is pronounced in the north ch'ak, but in Amoy and Swatow tay,—the original (and correct) pronunciation of our own word tea, preserved for us in...
Page 135 - ... bread, and the like, are set out as aids to conversation. More particularly are there invitations to skip and posture, when the host decides what man is to be the partner of what woman, and what woman of what man. Then with both arms grasping each other they leave the table in pairs, and leap, skip, posture, and prance, for their mutual gratification. A man and a woman previously unknown to one another may take part in it. They call this skipping tanshen (" dancing.") * The reason for this curious...
Page 59 - China to let beard or moustache grow before the age of forty. A civil magistrate, however, will let his grow as early as it will, as his object is to look old ; a military officer, for the contrary reason, shaves till late in life. Beards are always started in the first two years of each lustrum (at 21, 22 ; 26, 27 ; 31, 32, and so on), merely because a couplet runs— " One, two, three, four, five, Live, age, ail, die, strive.
Page 5 - ... jeer at him. * The author of an ingenious native work, " The Sights of Shanghai," draws attention to this reprehensible practice on the part, of foreigners and their wives, who " stroll about in the public gardens arm-in-arm and shoulder to shoulder, without any bashfulness whatever;" for no Chinaman (except in a Frenchman's book) ever takes a man's arm, much less a woman's. In

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