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had all been purchased) with a view to escape death by suffocation. Four scrolls were presented without any request for permission-two of them in acknowledgement of the supernatural virtues of Mr. Porter's method of 'Healing the World.' Of the other two, one was found to be from a village where we formerly had two or three members, who were dropped because they never came on Sundays. On examining the names on the scrolls, the excommunicated individuals are ascertained to be the responsible parties, representing many more. As this couplet is somewhat singular in its origin, and contains an ingenious allusion to the functions of the Shepherd (), it is appended: Complimentary Couplet to the Shepherds, by two Excommunicated Sheep.
'The Shepherd feeds-his kindness is deep--all are fed and clothed;
The Master sets the standard-the Doctrine is established, many believe and follow. 牧養深恩公推解
Had the smallest encouragement been extended to such testimonials, there would have been no assignable limit to their number. The reception of scrolls is, indeed, a much simpler affair than that of Tablets, but if conducted on a large scale, as ours must certainly have been, would inevitably have become burdensome.
For a day and two nights before the fixed date, our compound presented the appearance of a place where a Fair is to be held. All night long men tramped back and forth, and each one of the busy throng was 'something in the yard.' All day on that Mad-Monday, the kettles were full of various forms of food, cooked by the bushel. Here again, Chinese and Occidental habits are quite irreconcilable. Except in engaging Theatrical Companies, arrangements are seldom made for a fixed price for anything-and no extras. Everyone is to be fed as long as he remains about, and the assistants often come early and stay long. Besides this, no one ever knows how many may be expected. What with Cooks, Deputy Cooks, Coolies bringing water &c., men bringing tables and benches, and a small Army putting up mathouses, it did not seem at all surprising (though somewhat depressing as an item of news) to learn that about eighty persons were 'browsing around' in our lot on this Monday! All day carts were arriving with poles, mats, benches and tables. The mat-structures rapidly took shape-an outer room 25 × 35 feet, an inner Guest Hall () surrounded with an ornamental roof like a temple, the middle apartment 15 × 25 and each wing 15 x 15. Behind these, the principal hall for the Feast, 42 × 50. The Guest Hall, or Reception Room, decorated in Chinese style, was
This expression conceals two Historical allusions too long to be here explained, and embodied in the phrase Tui Shih Chieh I
hung with Antithetical Couplets, &c., and in the middle a gigantic Old Age () character, showed its head only, being concealed by an expansive portrait of the late American 'Emperor.' For we were invited to contribute our quota to the decorations-notably two standing mirrors, much admired, a pair of Peking vases, two clocks, and an 'eightsound music box' () so called because it could play only four tunes, positively struck on three of those, confining itself exclusively to the remaining one. 'Better one well learned, than a thousand halflearned’(不要千著會,只要一着熟。)
The second hand couplets which were rented with the mats and poles as part of the furniture, were soon buried under those sent in, as already described, expressly for the occasion. All the previous nightmen kept watch, some sleeping on the village wall, which forms a considerable part of the boundary of the compound-for it was necessary to keep a good look out. Ready for the Feast, were lying in the Kitchen department, four tremendous Hogs, and other supplementary trifles had been prepared, such as forty-five chickens, fifty and more salt fish, over 1,200 eggs, and somewhere between three and four thousand Chinese bread cakes (). When one is eating one's own, he eats until the tears come, but when he is eating at other people's expense, he eats himself into a perspiration' (ZHECA*. KARE.). There were no doubts on this occasion, as to whose food was eaten. We saw no tears, but there was an abundance of perspiration! The selection of an appropriate costume for such an occasion presented a difficulty. We happened to be nearly out of long Confucian robes, (except night-gowns) never having hitherto found it necessary to keep them in stock. At length by a happy inspiration one Shepherd was attired in a Japanese silk dressing-gown, and the other in a steel grey linen duster, each very long, each fastened by a cord with red tassels, and each much admired! Before the exercises. began, an Individual was introduced as Band-master, who fell reverently on one knee, and presented what appeared to be a little account book. It was far too early to settle his bill-nor was this his errand. His memorandum-book was a catalogue of 'operas' or pieces to which his company was equal, and from which we were to choose. The very first one stumbled upon, happened to be called the 'Harmonious Waters of the Wei' (), which was chosen out of respect to the memory of the late Chiang T'ai Kung (4), who was engaged in this identical piece in fishing on his platform with his straight iron rod, awaiting the Chou Emperor's summous to become a Minister of State. On purely professional grounds, however, Dr. Porter, suggested as a suitable variation a few strains from the piece on the opposite
page, in which the God of Medicine, Yao Wang (E) was feeling the pulse of Niang Niang () with a telephone (), (thus anticipating Grey and Edison). A special pavilion had been erected for the Band, and there they 'blew' the most doleful strains almost all day, but they might have thrown overboard Chiang Tzu Ya altogether, and sung pæons to Huang Ch'oo and his rebellion, and substituted Yen Wang for Yao Wang, for all we knew to the contrary.
About 9 a.m. we were notified that the Procession was at the gates. Everyone else appeared to be there too, insomuch that it was with difficulty that we could make the proper bows of welcome, without being pushed over into the dust. The Tablet, a huge plank more than five feet long, two inches thick, about two feet wide, and handsomely spattered with gilt, came on a table (happily it ate nothing) 'borne of four.' After the reciprocal boors, the villagers filed into the court-yard, between two lines of about one hundred and fifty ChurchMembers assembled to receive them on behalf of the Shepherds. Of these members, some had come from villages fifteen miles away. Behind the villagers, and their Tablet, came the Shepherds (in their red-tasselled duster and dressing-gown), and after them the Churchmembers and their Tablet. Arrived at the outer apartment of the mat-house, the villagers were ranged on one side, and the Churchmembers on the other. The Christian character of the ceremony was recognized in the singing of the Doxology, and in a Prayer. After this, the villagers in a mass saluted the Shepherds, and the Shepherds simultaneously saluted the villagers (PE). Then the villagers and the Church-members simultaneously saluted each other. The villagers were next escorted to the inner rooms, whereupon the Church-members and the Shepherds exchanged salutations. The Ladies were then invited to appear, and were saluted in turn by the villagers and by the Church-members-the terrible Band all this time either fishing in the Waters of the Harmonious Wei (a harmony lost upon Shepherds and Shepherdesses) or feeling the Lady's pulse with the String, we being entirely unable to decide which. After this we were allowed to roam about in comparative freedom until an hour or so later when the other Village Tablet arrived-thus delaying by so much the Feasts-when similar ceremonies were observed, except that the Ladies escaped a presentation. The theory was that they were to remain in strict seclusion, except when the women Church-members called, (of whom, with children, there were about two dozen, 'none but members admitted') and a mat fence had been erected with a view to keeping those precincts secure. But the Chinese are not naturally a bashful folk, and in the country,
especially, there is neither round nor
square (E), so that what with peeping over the fence, and crawling under it, and slinking around the other end, it was hard work to keep even the 'inner apartments' free from invasion. Some of the women Church-members had come from considerable distances, and many others would have been glad to do so, but for the almost insurmountable difficulties of transportation. After the women had finished their Feast, they all spent a considerable part of the afternoon in a visit to the Ladies.
By the time the main Ceremonies had been completed, the attention of nearly every one-especially those who had come from a long distance, and who, as yet, had seen no signs of food, began to be turned to the 'inner man.' 'He that attends to his interior self has business,' especially on an occasion like the present. The consequences of the unexpected deluge attending the last Tablet were soon apparent. There was not room at the tables for all at once, the Tablet-bearing Villages were therefore regarded as the guests of honor, entitled to the first place, and the Church-members who came to receive them, cheerfully waited. Lest the Feasts should prove inadequate in some particular, those first served-the villagers-had everything complete ()ten bowls all in the proper order. Although there was a great abundance of food, the Church-members' meal was more promiscuous, and ten sat at a table instead of eight, the bowls being fewer in number. Before they even had a chance to dine at all, it was already three or four o'clock! An equal number of Occidental 'Christians' would have whiled away the weary hours by gloomily and impatiently scolding and snarling at their environment, but these patient Chinese, to whom time is not money, and who always intend in such cases to make it up when the meal does come, remained in the most perfect good humor all day. Oh, it is no matter about us, we are all in the family. It does not singnify if we wait until dark.' Such was their temper, and extremely fortunate did it prove for them, that they were able to preserve it. For when the villagers had 'completely done,' and took their departure (the Shepherds begging them not to forsake them!) and had been escorted to the street in due form, an emergeney arose. The report of the strange performances at P'ang Chia Chuang, had gone all abroad. People had collected from all the villages about, and even from great distances. An impression prevailed that there was to be a grand exposition of Foreign Valuables and Rarities, such as Railways, Music-boxes, Electric-batteries, and Steamboats. The same misapprehension in regard to the real nature of Foreign inventions, was exhibited a few days later by a Chinese woman, who gravely inquired of one of the ladies: 'Have you really not brought a steam cotton
mill with you?' Arrived at the place, the crowd found a high wall around every part of the premises, which to their disgust, prevented anything from being seen. A part of the village wall which commands a view of our compound, was packed all day. Others contrived to scale the walls in the rear of the premises, and hung there for hours in joyful misery. All the neighboring high trees, were secured as 'reserved seats' from morning to night. Yet but a minute fraction were able, after all, to see anything, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain any kind of control over the gatewhich in a Chinese house would not even have been attempted. If every body is not freely admitted everywhere, there is much bad talk and bad feeling; and impossible as it is to allow ourselves to be trampled in the dust all day, by a wild throng of curiosity hunters, eager to see a miracle or other curio, it was evidently especially desirable in our case to make some concession to the curiosity of outsiders. Fortunately, one house was entirely empty, the Church-members patiently consented still further to defer their meal, and some dozens of them were appointed a posse comitatus, two or three in each room, to see that no damage was done, and to urge the crowds, like Little Jo, to "move on." Under this guidance, they were able to make 'the grand tour' of the whole house. We had, however, but a very inadequate notion of the multitudes outside. "Crowd," remarked one of the Churchmembers, "why the crowd in Heaven won't be as big as that!" It was like a State Fair! Pedlars of water-melons, cakes, and other eatables came from distant places, and set up booths and tents at our front-gate and drove a brisk trade. All day the throngs without had been impatiently steaming and stewing in the sun, and great numbers must have gone away disappointed. When at length permission to enter was given, and 'unloose their anxiety' as to what a Foreign house is like, it was like opening a 'mouth' in the Grand Canal. The yard was filled in an instant. When the house doors were opened, a steady stream poured in on one side and out at the other, for an hour or two. More than twelve hundred of these 'tramps' were counted, and the total must certainly have been in excess of fifteen hundred-a large proportion of them from some distance. That such an invasion could at this time be allowed, was most fortunate, for it can never be practicable again. Its occurrence once, shows that we do not fear inspection. We had hoped for an opportunity which never presented itself before, to say some things to our new Neighbors which it would have been a most auspicious opportunity to utter. The circumstances, however, rendered this entirely impracticable. By the time the Church-members had finished their meal, it was time for them to go home. Before some of them could have reached there,