Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

Thus perished one of the strongest armies of the Tai-piug rebellion, and the west of China escaped being laid waste by fire and sword.

Mr. Baber during his tours saw a good deal and heard more of native tribes which are found in Szechuen Province which are called Lolos. He has given many very interesting statements in regard to their manners and customs and their relation to the Chinese Government but they are too desultory to be quoted, we can only refer our readers to the book itself. But one very important discovery he made we copy in his own language.

It was here [in a large farm-honse in which he found accommodation for the night] that I made the most interesting discovery of the journey. The master did not return till the next morning, but in the meantime we learnt that he was a Lolo of rank, and that this part of the country on the right bank of the Gold River, over which his family once reigned, had submitted to the Chinese under his grandfather. He had received a Chinese education....... The room in which I was installed measured some 25 feet by 14 feet, and one-third of the floor was covered to an arerage depth of 18 inches with bundles of waste manuscript and printed papers...... While travelling along the border, I had been many times assured that the Lolos possess books.......I had made every effort to obtain one of their books, but withont success..... Here then at Ya-k'ou, au expiring hope prompted me to examine the mass of fugitive literature which encumbered the floor of my chamber. After a hasty dinner I summoned my native clerk and we began an exhaustive exploration of thousands of documents We did not complete our work till after midniglit. We found nothing to our parprise in any of the packages; but under the last few, almost in the furthest corner, we dis. cerned with gloating eyes the scrap of writing of which a facsimile is appended-a specimen of Lolo characters with the sound of each word or syllable approximately indicated in Chinese.

It might have been expected that the Lolo writing would turn out to be some form of Pali. It shows, however, no relation to that system, but seems to take after the Chinese method. In any case the discovery possesses no small value and raises so many interesting questions that a little exultation may be pardoned. A new people may be discovered anywhere, a new language any day; but a new system of writing is a find of exceeding rarity. Many a rival galled the kibes of Columbus, but the achievement of Cadmus has been estimated so astonishing that his very existence is now denied! pp. 125-126.

There are many other very interesting passages we would gladly extract but we must restrict ourselves. We need not, after presenting to our readers these interesting quotations urge them to read the book. We feel assured that every one that can procure a copy will read this most interesting book of travels in China which has been published for many years. This book will lead many to conclude that there is still much country in China to be explored and much natural scenery yet to be visited and many objects of great interest to be discovered. It is very desirable that all travellers would make a record of such interesting phenomenon and publish their obseryations to the world. We must add one more short selection.

In the mountainous region west of Kiating I discovered two kinds of tea of so unexpected a nature that I scarcely venture to mention them. In the monasteries on Mount ()-ui, I was regaled by the monks with an infusion of tea which is naturally sweet, tasting like coarse congou with a plentiful addition of brown sugar. It is only grown on the slopes of the mountain and by the monks...... The other variety, preposter.

ous as the statement may appear, has a natural flavour of milk, or perhaps more exactly of butter. What is more interesting than this oddity is the fact that it is a wild tea, growing in its native elevated habitat withont any aid from human cultiva. tion. An unimpeachable instance of a wild ten-plant has never yet been adduced in China. The wild tea in question is found in the uninhabited wilderness west of Kia. ting and south of Yachow, at heights of 6000 feet and upwards, and was described to me as a leafy shrub 15 feet high, with a stem some four inches thick. Every part of the plant, except the root, is used for making the infusion. p. 201.

But we most stop and refer our readers again to the book itself. We part with this production of our author in the hope that we may soon have the pleasure of perusing other works from his facile pen.

A READER.

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN OPIUM SMOKER.

By J. DUDGEON, M.D. THE THE following is taken from the autobiography of a former opium

smoker, for some years my Chinese pundit. It speaks for itself, and may be found interesting as giving a native view of the subject. The paper in Chinese is tersily written. The author has refrained from opium now for many years. He is a Roman Catholic and narrowly escaped being massacred at Tientsin in 1871. Since then he has resided at Peking, where he is engaged as a teacher of mandarin to foreigners. His calculation of the amount of money spent upon the vice in China is appalling. In any case it must be very large-incomparably larger than is usually estimated by foreigners :

Opium is the Ying tsu hra, and formerly China had none. People began to know of this drug in the Yuen and Ming dynasties—they had heard of it but they had never seen it. The first real acquaintance with it began in the early years of the reign of the Emperor Tau Kwang of this present dynasty. Foreigners brought it and the Cantonese first took to it. In the 17th vear of Tao Kwang (1837) a Censor Hwang Chioh-tse sent up a memorial stating that this substance injured the people. The result was an edict from the Emperor allowing six months to get cured of the vice. During this period many recovered, but others did not and so the Emperor added three months more. If after this extra period, the smokers fail to abandon the vice, the puuishment will be death to them, decapitation to the sellers and strangulation to the buyers of the drug. At that time I smoked opium before the issue of the edict, and was consequently banished to Chin tai (place of soldiers, near Kalgan). I lost my office and emoluments; at home I had nothing wherewith to support father, mother and wife. Being myself a smoker, I know well the injury it inflicts, and thus I came to learn that large and small officials and merchants also partook of the drug. The injury it produced was this; (1) it injured the body, (2) squandered money, (3) delayed business, (4) resulted in the sale of wife and children. The poison and the damage are therefore not light or trifling

Wan

In smoking. I found the opium drying and heating; that it could cure diarrhoea and spermatorrhoea, and that after smoking for a long time, for many days became sleepless, and that my vivacity and virility were both destroved. I found when women resorted to the habit that they became libidinous and smokers do not distinguish between male and female. All smoke together, not man and wife together, but different people's wives, and so immorality of an exceedingly grievous character resulted from the mixing up of the sexes in opium smoking. In Chilli, according to my calculation, there may be at present one million persons who smoke; the habit is not always the same—some large, others small, but al? together on an average, each man uses eight candareens of silver. There is thus spent cach day about 8 wan of taels (80,000 taels). China has eighteen provinces; at this rate there is spent 144 w (1,440,000 taels) per day; 4320 wan (43,200,000 taels) per month and in one year of twelve months 5 wan wan 1810 wan taels (518,400,000). We spend all this money and the smokers lose their capacity for making money, so it comes that the country gets every day poorer; bad people numerous and the good suffer in conjunction with the bad. To turn the people to good habits, is to frighten the good so that they will not take to it; those who smoke must be made to feel ashamed. How is this to be done? The Emperor must issue an edict, to inform all the officials and people—the smokers must be placed all together whether iu oņe street, or lane, or village, or town. In the country they must all dwell together in "opium” villages, quite irrespective of official rank and position. Beggars, playactors, all must be put into one place. The high officials will thus lose face and must consequently take measures to get rid of the vice. . Those smokers who are willing to give up the habit, must render up their pipes and lamps and sign a pledge, and only then will they be allowed to mix with the good people. When they have repented and got cured they become good subjects. If there be any who cannot or will not give it up, they must just remain there till death. When one dies there will be one smoker less. By this plan, the good people will not take to the pipe and the smokers dying off my country will soon be rid of the vice. Great officers of government must be sent to foreign countries to arrange about the prohibition of foreign opium. Some people say that on account of this being a large business affair, the foreigners will not be willing to agree to this. All say that foreigners have purposely taken up this trade and prosecutè it with all their might in order to injure the Chinese people and obtain their silver. In my opinion, this is not the reason. All say that foreign missionaries come to preach Christianity in order to injure us. We have never heard even of little countries being injured and destroyed, because religion was propagated in them. Truly the business is prosecuted because much money is made by it; and because there are people who cat so there are foreign merchants who bring it. If no body ate, the business would cease; the foreigners would cease to carry on a trade in which they did not make money. If great officials were sent abroad to negotiate, foreign countries would not 'refuse to arrange this matter.

Foreigners and Chinese are friends and not enemies. There is ample room for a mutual remunerative trade, why then do foreigners continue to engage in a trade that results in nothing but injury to us?

Smoking opium causes injury to the five viscera and six organs which communicate with the outside. The lungs are injured, for the hair breaks and falls off ; the heart is injured, for the face gets black; the spleen is injured for the face becomes yellow and the lips dark; the kindneys are injured for man loses his strength; the liver is injured for people become angry and the face livid ; the stomach is injured for the appetite is gone; the large intestines are damaged for there is constipation; thegallbladder is injured for the smoker cannot sleep and there is timidity. I know these faults for I have smoked for many years.

Besides it destroys Chinese native customs—men and women huddle together, respectable women become whores, one's heart gets destroyed, and people become thieves, liars, etc.

It destroys wealth --very wealthy people soon become poor.
It shortens life.

Description of the Smoker's Progress. At first he laughs—has a good house; rooms well furnished; a good wife; good eating and drinking; he lies smoking; whatever he desires he can secure.. When all the money is spent, then he experiences misery; everything but the habit can be parted with and thus he steals and lies to get his appetite appeased. At first his apparatus is costly and beautiful, of silver and ivory ; afterwards he is reduced to an earthen pipe and a broken dish. This misery is greater than the joy. The joy lasted a few days; the miscry for long. The subjects of the Emperor become depraved; sons cannot exercise filial piety; husbands cannot look after their wives; fathers cannot govern and instruct their sons, and among his friends he loses caste and faith. Brethren on this account fight and separate households. The five relations (sovereign and subject, father and son, husband and wife, elder and younger brother-friends) are all destroyed. A man without the five relations what is he?

On beginning to partake of the drug, one feels comfortable ; the smoke enters the air passages—thence to the lungs, afterwards to the heart, then throughout the whole body and the body feels pleasure. It is here where immorality comes in. It cures cough and indigestion and raises the vital spirits where these are absent. At the commencement everything is comfortable and improved. After a long time however it is unsuccessful in every one of these cases.

To cure this habit, do not hurry. Get the heart to separate and wean itself from the pipe and not think of it. A large habit can be overcome in one month, a small one, in half that time; the pipe and lamp must however be removed to a distance so that they cannot be seen. Get into a large roomy place and take exercise, read books, look at flowers, etc. ; when hungry eat, when thirsty drink tea and eat antiopium medicine and the cure is certain. People who wish to day to give it up, but on seeing the opium next day, suddenly take to it, these cannot be cured irrespective of good doctors or good medicine. These are the faults I have experienced and the plan of cure.

NOTES ON THE HISTORY OF SUCHOW.

BY REV. A. P. PARKER.

III.

PAGODAS.

THE
HIE origin and the proposed benefit of pagodas is involved in con-

siderable obscurity, though of course it must be understood that so far as the Chinese are concerned, these structures being built by believers in Buddhism and being generally under the control of Buddhist priests, are of Buddhist origin. I have seen it stated by an English writer that “these towers originate in the Indian tradition that when Buddha died his body was divided into eight parts which were enclosed in so many urns to be deposited in towers of eight floors. The number of these floors is however variable. Some are round, some are square, some are hexagonal or octagonal, and they are built of wood, of brick, and sometimes partly of earthenware, (porcelain] like that most celebrated tower at Nanking the facing of which being of porcelain has procured for it the name of The Porcelain Tower,' so familiar to us all from our childhood. It is now in ruins......Of these structures it should be premised that instead of indicating by their number any sort of deep religious feeling pervading the country, they are rather to be regarded as being the result of old customs, and as store houses for trumpery, Buddhist relics, &c.” And, he might have added, as one of the agencies used to bring good luck to the country.

Some pagodas were originally built as topes, or monuments, over the graves of noted Buddhist priests, as well as store houses for relics, as, for instance the Great Pagoda of Suchow. Some were built from motives of filial picty, like the “Auspicious Light Pagoda,” which is situated just inside the south gate of this city, and which was built by Sun-kuen (FF: Pi), the founder of the Wu dynasty, to requite his mother's favor. It was (and is still) believed that a pagoda helps a soul, for whom it is built, or even illuminated, out of purgatory (though how it does this, does not appear to be very clearly understood). Hence Sun-kuen's purpose was to help his mother out of purgatory by means of this pagoda.

Others are built (at least in recent times) to correct the fung shui, or luck of a region, as in the case of the black square pagoda, or Bell Tower, near the east gate of the city. But what a pagoda does to ward off evil, or what occult influence it exerts to induce good, the common people seem to know very little about. Every body is familiar with the expression “correct the fung shui(TE F15), but as to how this is done very confused notions seem to prevail. Some say that, according to the principles of geomancy, on the left of a person or place is

« AnkstesnisTęsti »