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in de bread tray,' play "Ole Firginny on de white folks' plates dat dey was nuvar tire,' play 'Susanna gal.'”
stuffed full as a egg. 'De fiddler did n' pay no ’tention ter 'Eb'rybody down on Marse Jeems's all dem callin's-out. He de one gwine plantation say dey'd like ter have call out. Den he'd stan' up a minute Christmus all de year, 'stid uv des' one an' holler, "Time's a-flyin'. Choose week. All dat Christmus day you yo' pardners! Bow perlitely! Dat de could n' sca'cely hear yo'se'f talk. way! S'lute yo' pardners! Swing cor- Eb'rybody wuz tryin' to see how much ners! Cyarn' yo' hear de fiddle talkin'? noise dey could meck. De white folks, Hail, Columbia! Halleloo! Hol' yo'
Halleloo! Hol yo' up an' down de plantation, wuz firin' han's up highfilutin'! Look permiskus! off Christmus guns f’om sunup ter sunDat's de way! Dat's de way! Keep on down. Dey'd teck a big hick'nut tree dancin'!” An' dey sho did dance an' wid a nachul hollow in hit, or dey'd promenade, tel de bref mos' gin out. meck a hollow. Den dey'd fill dat hol
'Den de fiddler sho ter put his fiddle low plum-full uv gunpowder an' plug down an' call out, "I knows what you hit up. When de match wuz tetched ter wants. You wants some banjo music.” de powder, you sho did hear noise. When de banjo started up, de niggers Sometimes dey'd fill up bottles an' can' 'peared plum 'stracted. Dat’s de music isters wid gunpowder an' put 'em onder
' for niggers. Dey kin fling a souple toe barrels an' hogsheads an' set a match when de banjo talkin' ter 'em. But I to 'em. Eb'rybody'd holler, an' hurrah, got rheumatiz in my laig, an' I doan' an' whoop eb’ry time de 'sploshun come. dance dese days. I'd be skyeard ter Dat de way 't wuz all day long. dance too, kaze I mought cross my 'I nuvar did go down ter de cow-house foots, an' den de debble'd cotch me. I Christmus night, but I hear tell 'bout 'members de song: “He! Hi! Mr. Deb- what gwine-ons dey wuz down dar. ble! I knows youʼze at de doah. I Out in de fiel's, an' down in de cowknows youʼze grabblin' grabble wid house, an' out in de stables, all de catyo' ole sharp toe.”
tle knowed when midnight come. Des' 'Here I is studyin' so much 'bout de like roosters knows when ter crow. debble I mos' los' 'membrance uv all de When midnight come, all de cattle fell good Christmus vittles. Up at de house down on dey knees wid dey faces turned de table sho' did look scrumshus; ter de eas'. Dar dey 'mained, clean till a whole roas' pig at one eend uf de daylight. I sorry I did n' go down dar 'hogany table, wid a lemon in his mouf ter de cow-house an' see de cattle
prayan' red ribbon on his tail. Dey had tur- in', an' prayin', an' prayin'. Beastes keys too 'pon top uv turkeys, tame tur- got a heap uv sense. Dat dey is. I keys an' will turkeys, an' roas' ducks, b'leeve all de beastes is gwine ter an' fried chickens, an' baked hams, an' heab'n. I sho do. Hit sho'd be mighty mutton saddles, an' venison, an' - lonely up dar bedout any beastes. Gord 'a' massey! dey had so much good 'Folks doan' know how ter hab good vittles dat I ain' got de 'membrance uv Christmus times now like dey knowed one half uv all dat. Eb'rybody sho did on Marse Jeems's plantation down in git a fill-up wid good vittles. Den come Mis'sippy. Dem showuz good ole de de'sert: drop-cakes, an' hole-in-de Christmus times, mun! Dey doan' middle cakes, an' snowball cakes, an' know 'bout good Christmus times up jelly, an' ice-cream, an'apples, an' hyeah in Livi'ston. Dey ain' nuvar live blackberry cordial, an' pork wine. All down in Misʼsippy on Marse Jeems's de house-niggers got so much leavin's plantation.'
SOME TRAITS IN THE CHINESE CHARACTER
BY BERTRAND RUSSELL
THERE is a theory among Occiden- vious evils: the beggars, the terrible tals that the Chinaman is inscrutable, poverty, the prevalence of disease, the full of secret thoughts, and impossible anarchy and corruption in politics. for us to understand. It may
be that a Every energetic Westerner feels at first greater experience of China would have a strong desire to reform these evils, brought me to share this opinion; but I and of course they ought to be reformed. could see nothing to support it during But the Chinese, even those who are the time when I was working in that the victims of preventable misfortunes, country. I talked to the Chinese as I show a vast passive indifference to the should have talked to English people, excitement of the foreigners; they wait and they answered me much as English for it to go off, like the effervescence people would have answered a Chinese of soda-water. And gradually strange whom they considered educated and doubts creep into the mind of the benot wholly unintelligent. I do not be wildered traveler: after a period of inlieve in the myth of the 'subtle Orien- dignation, he begins to doubt all the tal’: I am convinced that in a game of maxims that he has hitherto accepted mutual deception an Englishman or without question. Is it really wise to be American can beat a Chinese nine times always guarding against future misout of ten. But as many comparative- fortune? Is it prudent to lose all enly poor Chinese have dealings with joyment of the present through thinkrich white men, the game is often played ing of the disasters that may come at only on one side. Then, no doubt, the some future date? Should our lives be white man is deceived and swindled; passed in building a mansion that we but not more than a Chinese mandarin shall never have leisure to inhabit? would be in London.
The Chinaman answers these quesOne of the most remarkable things tions in the negative, and therefore has about the Chinese is their power of se- to put up with poverty, disease, and curing the affection of foreigners. Al anarchy. But, to compensate for these most all Europeans like China, both evils, he has retained, as industrial those who come only as tourists and nations have not, the capacity for those who live there for many years. civilized enjoyment, for leisure and In spite of the Anglo-Japanese alliance, laughter, for pleasure in sunshine and I cannot recall a single Englishman in philosophical discourse. The Chinathe Far East who liked the Japanese man, of all classes, is more laughteras much as the Chinese. Those who loving than any other race with which I have lived long among them tend to am acquainted; he finds amusement acquire their outlook and their stand- in everything, and a dispute can always ards. New arrivals are struck by ob- be softened by a joke.
I remember one hot day, when a founded by a famous poet of the Tang party of us were crossing the hills in dynasty. It is this outlook that strikes chairs. The way was rough and very the Westerner as barbaric. steep, the work for the coolies very se- The Chinese, from the highest to the vere. At the highest point of our jour- lowest, have an imperturbable quiet ney, we stopped for ten minutes to let dignity, which is usually not destroyed, the men rest. Instantly they all sat even by a European education. They in a row, brought out their pipes, and are not self-assertive, either individbegan to laugh among themselves as if ually or nationally; their pride is too they had not a care in the world. In profound for self-assertion. They admit any country that had learned the vir- China's military weakness in compartue of forethought, they would have ison with foreign powers, but they do devoted the moments to complaining not consider efficiency in homicide of the heat, in order to increase their the most important quality in a man tip. We, being Europeans, spent the or a nation. I think that at bottom time worrying whether the automobile they almost all believe that China is would be waiting for us at the right the greatest nation in the world, and place. Well-to-do Chinese would have has the finest civilization. A Westernstarted a discussion as to whether the er cannot be expected to accept this universe moves in cycles or progresses view, because it is based on traditions by a rectilinear motion; or they might utterly different from his own. But have set to work to consider whether gradually one comes to feel that it is, the truly virtuous man shows complete at any rate, not an absurd view; that self-abnegation, or may, on occasion, it is, in fact, the logical outcome of a consider his own interest.
self-consistent standard of values. The One comes across white men occa- typical Westerner wishes to be the sionally who suffer under the delusion cause of as many changes as possible in that China is not a civilized country. his environment; the typical Chinaman Such men have quite forgotten what wishes to enjoy as much and as delicateconstitutes civilization. It is true that ly as possible. This difference is at the there are no trams in Peking, and that bottom of most of the contrast between the electric light is poor. It is true that China and the English-speaking world. there are places full of beauty, which We in the West make a fetish of Europeans itch to make hideous by 'progress,' which is the ethical camoudigging up coal. It is true that the edu- fage of the desire to be the cause of cated Chinaman is better at writing changes. If we are asked, for instance, poetry than at remembering the sort whether machinery has really improved of facts which can be looked up in the world, the question strikes us as foolWhitaker's Almanac. A European, in ish: it has brought great changes, and recommending a place of residence, therefore great 'progress. What we will tell
that it has a good train-ser- believe to be a love of progress is really, vice; the best quality he can conceive in nine cases out of ten, a love of power, in any place is that it should be easy to an enjoyment of the feeling that by get away from. But a Chinaman will
our fiat we can make things different. tell you nothing about the trains; if For the sake of this pleasure, a young you ask, he will tell you wrong. What American will work so hard that, by the he tells you is that there is a palace built time he has acquired his millions, he by an ancient emperor, and a retreat in has become a victim of dyspepsia, coma lake for scholars weary of the world, pelled to live on toast and water, and to
be a mere spectator of the feasts that worse they are performed, the better. he offers to his guests. But he consoles In China, where the government is lazy, himself with the thought that he can corrupt, and stupid, there is a degree control politics, and provoke or pre- of individual liberty which has been vent wars as may suit his investments. wholly lost in the rest of the world. It is this temperament that makes The laws are just as bad as elsewhere: Western nations 'progressive.'
occasionally, under foreign pressure, a man is imprisoned for Bolshevist prop
aganda, just as he might be in England II
or America. But this is quite exceptionThere
ambitious men al; as a rule, in practice, there is very in China, but they are less common little interference with free speech anda than among ourselves. And their am- free press. The individual does not feel bition takes a different form — not a obliged to follow the herd, as he has in better form, but one produced by the Europe since 1914, and in America preference of enjoyment to power. It since 1917. Men still think for themis a natural result of this preference selves, and are not afraid to announce that avarice is a widespread failing of the conclusions at which they arrive. the Chinese. Money brings the means Individualism has perished in the West, of enjoyment, therefore money is pas- but in China it survives, for good as sionately desired. With us, money is de- well as for evil. Self-respect and personsired chiefly as a means to power; politi- al dignity are possible for every
coolie cians, who can acquire power without in China, to a degree which is, among much money, are often content to re- ourselves, possible only for a few leadmain poor. In China, the tuchuns (mili- ing financiers. tary governors), who have the real The business of 'saving face,' which power, almost always use it for the sole often strikes foreigners in China as purpose of amassing a fortune. Their ludicrous, is only the carrying out of object is to escape to Japan at a suitable respect for personal dignity in the moment, with sufficient plunder to en- sphere of social manners. Everybody able them to enjoy life quietly for the has 'face,' even the humblest beggar; rest of their days. The fact that in es- there are humiliations that you must caping they lose power does not trouble not inflict upon him, if you are not to them in the least. It is, of course, ob- outrage the Chinese ethical code. If vious that such politicians, who spread you speak to a Chinaman in a way only devastation in the provinces com- that transgresses the code, he will laugh, mitted to their care, are far less harmful because your words must be taken as to the world than our own, who ruin spoken in jest if they are not to constiwhole continents in order to win an tute an offense. election campaign.
Once I thought that the students to The corruption and anarchy in Chi- whom I was lecturing were not as innese politics do much less harm than dustrious as they might be, and I told one would be inclined to expect. But them so in just the same words that I for the predatory desires of the Great should have used to English students in Powers, - especially Japan,—the harm the same circumstances. But I soon would be much less than is done by found I was making a mistake. They our own 'efficient governments. Nine all laughed uneasily, which surprised tenths of the activities of a modern me until I saw the reason. Chinese life, government are harmful; therefore, the
even among the most modernized, is
far more polite than anything to which the government almost without firing a we are accustomed. This, of course, in shot. terferes with efficiency, and also (what The same influence of public opinion is more serious) with sincerity and was decisive in the teachers' strike, truth in personal relations. If I were which was on the point of being settled Chinese, I should wish to see it mitiga- when I left Peking. The Government, ted. But to those who suffer from the which is always impecunious, owing to brutalities of the West, Chinese urbani- corruption, had left its teachers unpaid ty is very restful. Whether on the bal- for many months. At last, they struck ance it is better or worse than our to enforce payment, and went on a frankness, I shall not venture to decide. peaceful deputation to the Govern
The Chinese remind one of the Eng- ment, accompanied by many students. lish in their love of compromise and in There was a clash with the soldiers and their habit of bowing to public opin- police, and many teachers and students ion. Seldom is a conflict pushed to were more or less severely wounded. its ultimate brutal issue. The treat- This led to a terrific outcry, because the ment of the Manchu Emperor may be love of education in China is profound taken as a case in point. When a West- and widespread. The newspapers ern country becomes a republic, it is clamored for revolution. The Governcustomary to cut off the head of the ment had just spent nine million doldeposed monarch, or at least to cause lars in corrupt payments to three him to flee the country. But the Chinese teachers who had descended upon the have left the Emperor his title, his capital to extort blackmail. It could beautiful palace, his troops of eunuchs, not find any colorable pretext for reand an income of several million dol- fusing the few hundred thousands relars a year. He is a boy of fourteen, quired by the teachers, and it capitulaliving peaceably in the Forbidden City. ted in panic. I do not think there is any Once, in the course of a 'civil war, he Anglo-Saxon country where the interwas nominally restored to power for a ests of teachers would have roused the few weeks; but he was deposed again, same degree of public feeling. without being in any way punished for Nothing.astonishes a European more the use to which he had been put. in the Chinese than their patience.
Public opinion is a very real force in The educated Chinese are well aware China, when it can be roused. It was, of the foreign menace. They realize by all accounts, mainly responsible for acutely what the Japanese have done the downfall of the An Fu party in the in Manchuria and Shantung. They are summer of 1920. This party was pro- aware that the English in Hong Kong Japanese, and was accepting loans from are doing their utmost to bring to Japan. Hatred of Japan is the strong- naught the Canton attempt to introest and most widespread of political duce good government in the South. passions in China, and it was stirred up They know that all the great powers, by the students in fiery orations. The without exception, look with greedy An Fu party had, at first, a great pre- eyes upon the undeveloped resources ponderance of military strength; but of their country, especially its coal and their soldiers walked away when they iron. They have before them the excame to understand the cause for which ample of Japan, which, by developing a they were expected to fight. In the brutal militarism, a cast-iron discipline, end, the opponents of the An Fu party and a new reactionary religion, has were able to enter Peking and change succeeded in holding at bay the brutal