The Campaign of 1863  

Go Back   The Campaign of 1863 > Recruiting

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old 03-05-2019
Valens Valens is offline
Member
Private
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Gulf Coast in Alabama
Posts: 81
Default

See that action reports were mentioned in manual but I had had missed them. really happy to find them.
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 04-06-2019
Robert Banford Robert Banford is offline
Senior Member
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 152
Default

Valens......stand by. Either I will create a second account to give you a 1v1, or Caledonia/NEKid may do a 2v2 vs. The Banfords. I want you to play this game.
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 04-06-2019
Valens Valens is offline
Member
Private
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Gulf Coast in Alabama
Posts: 81
Default

Robert Banford

Thanks. Sounds good. Please tell me which game to get in. Right now I am signed up for 5477. I have an email saying game full but do not see that there is another player.

I am leaving on 5477 for the moment since think tyou are referring to this one. I'll watch forum today.

Valens
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 04-06-2019
Valens Valens is offline
Member
Private
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Gulf Coast in Alabama
Posts: 81
Default

Well last sentence of my last post was clear as mud.

Will continue on game 5477 and see what happens.

Thanks, Valens
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 06-06-2019
Froggy Froggy is offline
Senior Member
1st Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 423
Default

TRÜBNER’S
ORIENTAL SERIES.



[ii]


[iii]

THE LIFE OR LEGEND
OF
GAUDAMA
THE BUDDHA OF THE BURMESE.

With Annotations.

THE WAYS TO NEIBBAN, AND NOTICE ON THE
PHONGYIES OR BURMESE MONKS.

BY THE
RIGHT REVEREND P. BIGANDET,
BISHOP OF RAMATHA,
VICAR APOSTOLIC OF AVA AND PEGU.

IN TWO VOLUMES.
VOL. II.

Fourth Edition.

LONDON:
KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRÜBNER & CO. LTD.
BROADWAY HOUSE, CARTER LANE, E.C.
1912.

[iv]

The rights of translation and of reproduction are reserved.

Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co.
At the Ballantyne Press, Edinburgh


[v]

CONTENTS.



LEGEND OR LIFE OF THE BURMESE BUDDHA, CALLED GAUDAMA.

PAGE
CHAPTER I.
Buddha, being seventy-nine years old, delivers instructions to the Rahans—Preachings in the village of Patalie—Miraculous crossing of the Ganges—Conversion of a courtesan—Sickness of Buddha—His instructions to Ananda—Last moments and death of Thariputra—His eulogium by Buddha—Death of Maukalan—Reflections of Buddha on that event 1
CHAPTER II.
Voyage to Wethalie—Last temptation of Manh—Causes of earthquake—New instructions to the Rahans—Last meal of Buddha—His painful distemper—His conversation with one of the Malla Princes—Sign foreshowing Buddha’s coming death—Arrival in the Kootheinaron forest—Buddha lays himself on his couch—Wonders attending that event—Instructions to Ananda—Eulogium of Ananda by Buddha—Conversion of Thoubat—Last words of Buddha to the Rahans—His death 28
[vi]CHAPTER III.
Stanzas uttered after Buddha’s death—Ananda informs the Malla Princes of Buddha’s demise—Preparations for the funeral—Arrival of Kathaba at the spot where the body was exposed to public veneration—He worships the body—Wonder on that occasion—The burning of the corpse—Partition of the relics made by a Pounha called Dauna—Extraordinary honours paid to the relics by King Adzatathat—Death of that king and of Kathaba 75
CHAPTER IV.
After Buddha’s death, zeal of Kathaba in upholding genuine doctrines—He selects five hundred elders to become members of a council or assembly—Radzagio is fixed upon for the holding of the council—He repairs thither with a portion of the appointed members—Behaviour of the amiable Ananda previous to his departure for Radzagio—King Adzatathat supports Kathaba in his views—The hall for holding the council is prepared by his orders—Ananda is qualified in a miraculous manner for sitting as a member of the council—Holding of the council under the presidency of Kathaba—Establishment of the Religious era—Destruction of Wethalie by Adzatathat—The successors of that Prince—In the days of King Kalathoka a second council is held at Pataliputra under the presidency of Ratha—Causes that provoked the holding of a second assembly 101
CHAPTER V.
Kalathoka is succeeded by his eldest son, Baddasena—And finally by the youngest, Pitzamuka—This prince is killed and succeeded by a chief of robbers, named Ouggasena-nanda—King Tsanda-gutta—King Bandasura—Miraculous dreams of Athoka’s mother—King Athoka—His[vii] conversion—His zeal for Buddhism—Finding of the relics—Distribution of them—Third council held under the presidency of Mauggalipata—Preaching of religion in various countries, and particularly in Thaton—Voyage of Buddhagosa to Ceylon—Establishment of religion in Pagan—Various particulars relating to the importation of the Scriptures in Burmah 123
An Abstract of a few small Dzats, and of two principal ones, known as Nemi and Dzanecka 153
Remarks on the Sites and Names of the principal Places mentioned in the Legend or Life of Gaudama 177
The Seven Ways to Neibban 189
Art. I.—Of the Precepts 191
Art. II.—Of Meditation and its various Degrees 202
Art. III.—Of the Nature of Beings 212
Art. IV.—Of the Cause of the Form and of the Name, or of Master and Spirit 218
Art. V.—Of the True Meggas or Ways to Perfection 227
Art. VI.—Of the Progress in Perfect Science 233
Notice on the Phongyies, or Buddhist Monks, sometimes called Talapoins 241
Art. I.—A short Parallel between the Brahminical and Buddhistic Religious Orders 244
Art. II.—Nature of the Religious Order of Phongyies 251
Art. III.—Hierarchy of the Order 261
Art. IV.—Ordination, or Ceremonies observed at the Admission into the Society 272
[viii]Art. V.—Rules of the Order 282
Art. VI.—Occupations of the Buddhist Monks 296
Art. VII.—Religious Influence of the Phongyies—Respect and Veneration paid to them by the Laity 303
Addenda 321
On the word “Nat” 324


[1]

LEGEND OF THE BURMESE BUDDHA
CALLED
GAUDAMA.

CHAPTER I.


Buddha, being seventy-nine years old, delivers instructions to the Rahans—Preachings in the village of Patalie—Miraculous crossing of the Ganges—Conversion of a courtesan—Sickness of Buddha—His instructions to Ananda—Last moments and death of Thariputra—His eulogium by Buddha—Death of Maukalan—Reflections of Buddha on that event.
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 06-07-2019
Froggy Froggy is offline
Senior Member
1st Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 423
Default

LIFE AND SPORT IN CHINA







LIFE AND SPORT
IN CHINA




BY

OLIVER G. READY, B.A.







SECOND EDITION







LONDON
CHAPMAN & HALL, LIMITED
1904







Pagoda, near Hankow.

Pagoda, near Hankow.

Frontispiece.ToList





[v]

AUTHOR'S NOTE


The British public is greatly handicapped in forming an intelligent appreciation of happenings in China by a lack of that initial experience which can only be gained by residence in the country.

In this little work I have endeavoured to place before readers a sketch of things as I saw them, and to convey to their minds an idea of how Europeans live there, of their amusements, of their work, and of those things which are matters of daily interest to them, so that my book may serve as a kind of preface to that enthralling volume, the current history of China, as it is daily revealed in the press, in magazines and in learned works.

While confining myself herein to the lighter side of narrative, I am not unconscious of those intricate problems and deep studies connected with the Far East, but to which profound research and matured judgment must be applied, though information thereon, even when collected and published, would appeal mostly to the narrow circle of experts on matters Chinese.

The vast Empire of China with its hundreds of millions of toiling slaves, with its old, old civilisation reaching back for untold years prior to the dawn of history in the West, with its manners and customs [vi]so worn into the national character that they almost form the character itself, with its fertile plains, its sandy deserts, its lofty mountains, its mighty rivers, its torrid heat and arctic cold, its devastating floods, its cruel famines and loathsome epidemics, represents a mass, the contemplation of which staggers the mind and makes one ask, "What is Europe trying to do here? Does she hope to conquer, to change or to purify?"

After a residence of twelve years in various parts of the country I instinctively feel that while military occupation by the Great Powers may be possible, not only is China in a sense unconquerable, but that she is eminently a conquering nation, though not by clash of arms. Insidiously, remorselessly and viciously she will subdue apostles of the West who are sent to her, and unless persistently restrained will overflow into adjacent lands and conquer there by cheap labour and unremitting toil.

For the photographs I am indebted to the generosity of Mrs T. Child, as well as to T.T.H. Ferguson, A.J.E. Allen, Carlos Cabral and the late H. Hall, Esquires.





[vii]

CONTENTS



CHAP. PAGE
I. Anglo-Chinese Life 1
II. Servants and Tradesmen 26
III. Shooting 46
IV. Riding 73
V. Sailing 96
VI. Jamborees 119
VII. Around Peking 139
VIII. Here and There 169
IX. The Marriage Tie 197
X. Discussed Points: People, Language, Missionaries, Chances 212



[viii]

[ix]

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



PHOTO BY
Pagoda near Hankow H. Hall Frontispiece
The British Concession, Hankow Chinese To face page 3
House-Coolie, Boy, Cook, and "No. 2." T.T.H. Ferguson " 37
House-Boat on the Yangtse A.J.E. Allen " 50
The Cab of Northern China A.J.E. Allen " 75
The Old Grand-Stand, Hankow Races, 1888 Chinese " 87
Foochow Junk, showing Eye T.T.H. Ferguson " 98
Playing Fantan in Private House Carlos Cabral " 133
The Great Wall of China T.T.H. Ferguson " 158
Avenue of Stone Figures, Ming Tombs T.T.H. Ferguson " 161
A Typical Farm-House H. Hall " 177
Fishing-Junks in Macao Harbour at Chinese New Year Carlos Cabral " 189
Buddhist Priest and Acolyte holding Book T. Child " 228
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 06-07-2019
Froggy Froggy is offline
Senior Member
1st Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 423
Default

CHAPTER VIIToC

AROUND PEKING


The translation of the word Peking is "capital of the North," and is so called in contradistinction to Nanking[1] or "capital of the South."

Peking is not a Chinese city at all, although generally supposed to be so, but a Tartar city, which, instead of the jumble of narrow, paved streets habitually found in all Chinese towns, was originally designed and laid out on a plan probably excelling in grandeur that of any other city in the world. That the result, as seen in the city of to-day, is but a mockery of the magnificent idea which possessed the master mind that conceived it, is due to that trait of the Mongolian temperament which exhausts itself in the conception and completion of some gigantic undertaking, leaving it thenceforth to moulder and decay, until in succeeding ages it stands gaunt witness of human wisdom, folly and neglect. Such are Peking, the Great Wall and the Grand Canal.

Although adjoining the Tartar, there is a Chinese [140]city, it is so squalid and of such mean pretensions that with the exception of a single street it is of but little interest to Europeans, so that when speaking of Peking it is the Tartar city alone that one has in mind.

Surrounded by an immense rectangular wall, some sixty feet in height, with a width of twenty feet at the top and forty feet at the base, and pierced at regular intervals by picturesque and towering gateways, between which wide boulevards traverse the city from end to end and from side to side, but which, instead of being paved and lighted, are but lanes of filth, ankle deep in dust during dry weather, to be quickly changed by rain into rivers of black mud, continuously churned up by the wheels of springless carts, and spattered far and wide by the plunging feet of straining quadrupeds.

On either side of, and frequently several feet below, these highways are mud paths, along which pedestrians wend a varied way, avoiding cesspools, stepping over transverse timbers or circumventing squatters' huts, showered on the while by splashings from the highroad or blinded by clouds of refuse-laden dust.

The only attempt at lighting is by means of lanterns, which, with heavy wooden frames covered with paper instead of glass and placed at intervals [141]of perhaps a quarter of a mile, throw out rays to the extent of one candle-power each.

From the streets very few buildings of any pretensions can be discerned, while from the dominating eminence of the city wall a sea of roofs monotonous in equality of height and greyness of colour meets the eye, which sameness is mostly due to the facts that but few upper storeys exist, and that the residences of the wealthy, besides being screened by high outer walls, are so blended with shops and hovels that it is difficult to discriminate them.

In the heart of Peking, and surrounded by a twenty-foot wall coped with tiles glazed yellow and green, is the forbidden city, where the imperial palaces are grouped and from which Europeans were until recently jealously excluded.

The city walls; a few temples in varying stages of magnificence, tawdriness and decay; the remains of sewers which, built of solid blocks of stone and large enough to admit a donkey, show that formerly a scheme of drainage and sanitation existed although to-day there is nothing of the kind; an insignificant canal and a hill rumoured to be made of coal heaped there as a supply in case of siege; and one has seen the architectural wonders of the capital.

"Legation Quarter" prior to the Boxer troubles was but an indefinite area of the city in which the legations "happened" from time to time amongst a [142]squalid entourage of native buildings, and connected one with another by means of impossible thoroughfares which passed for streets.

A Russian diplomat once said to me that he considered Peking "dirty but nice," and this description exactly coincides with my own idea. This wasted body on a majestic frame carries one back with a single step to civilisation of a thousand years ago. Not the remnants displayed to tourists in Greece or Rome but the real thing, over which the Western spirit of change has as yet worked but little alteration.

In this vast museum of antiquities one finds at every turn objects of engrossing interest, and personally it seemed to me that many of the scenes depicted in Prescott's enchanting book, The Conquest of Mexico, might almost as well have been laid in this far-famed capital of the North. Great antiquity, isolation from the Western world, pride of race and empire, veneration for their own colossal literature, arrested civilisation and profound contempt for all things foreign, create a picture rich in detail, very mournful in subject and marvellous in perspective.

The means of getting about are by cart, on horseback or afoot, the sedan chair, which in other places furnishes the most comfortable conveyance, being here reserved for members of the Imperial [143]family and for high officials both native and foreign.

The carts, which ply for hire like cabs, are massive, springless tumbrils covered with a wain. In fine weather the passenger, with a view to less discomfort, usually sits on the splashboard with his back rubbing against the hind-quarters of the pony or mule and his feet dangling in front of the wheel, which plays on to them a continuous stream of dirt and dust. In windy weather one must crawl inside and sit on the floor tailor fashion, there being no seat, and then let down the curtain, thus effectually blocking all view but keeping out most of the dust, which, flying in blinding clouds, would quickly reduce one to a state of absolute filth, filling the clothes, hair, ears and mouth and guttering down from the nose and eyes. To this foul dust is due the terrible amount of ophthalmia and consequent blindness so prevalent throughout the East.

In rainy weather carts sink up to the axle in black liquid mud, which flies in all directions from the wheels, and at each footfall of horse or mule, splattering pedestrians and shop-fronts on the sidewalks and smothering other vehicles as they pass.

To such an indescribable state are the streets reduced by heavy rains that I actually remember a mule being drowned in the shafts by the side of one [144]of the main thoroughfares in the very heart of the city.

Luckily for all concerned there is a large percentage of beautiful weather, when mud and dust alike are absent and when one can canter noiselessly along the soft, yielding roads, which are then in much the same condition for riding as is Rotten Row.

On such mornings as these Peking is delightful, with its bright sun, cool, bracing air and interesting sights, while through the cloudless sky flocks of pigeons, having whistles of wood or clay fastened to their feet and tails, make strange yet pleasing sounds varied with every twist and turn of flight.

A noticeable trait of Chinese character, and one fostered, if not generated, by Buddhistic teaching, is an undemonstrative fondness for animals, or, I might rather say, a passive admission of their right to considerate treatment, and strangely enough animals, both wild and domesticated, appear to comprehend this sentiment, for while greatly scared at the approach of a European they usually take but little heed of the presence of Chinese.

It is a common thing to see a well-dressed Chinaman sauntering along holding up a bent stick to which a bird is attached by a string some four feet or so in length, so that the little prisoner can make short flights to the limit of its tether and return [145]again to its perch, gaily chirping and singing the while.

Another stroller will be carrying a wicker bird-cage on the hand, bent back and upraised to the shoulder, much as a waiter carries dishes, containing generally a Tientsin lark or other celebrated songster, and on arriving at some open spot will place the cage on the ground, and retiring to a short distance whistle to the bird, which will shortly burst into song, to the evident delight of both owner and bystanders.

Outside one of the gateways is a kind of bazaar, which we foreigners generally called "Bird-cage walk," for there the bird-fanciers lived, and birds of many different kinds were exposed for sale, not in cages, but quite tame, and quietly sitting on perches—parrots, larks, Java sparrows, etc., some of them tied by the leg, but not all.
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 06-07-2019
Froggy Froggy is offline
Senior Member
1st Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 423
Default

Here, too, were to be seen wicker baskets, much resembling orange crates, full of common sparrows, representing a regular supply for a regular demand. Benevolent old Chinamen, flâneurs and literati would visit this bazaar of an afternoon with the sole object of buying a few of these little birds for two or three cash each and then letting them fly away, a beatific smile betraying the salve to inward feelings generated by a knowledge of merit acquired, any miseries inflicted on the sparrows by capture and [146]confinement counting for nothing in the balance against the good work accomplished by their purchase and release.

The Chinese ideas of life and death are very dissimilar to our own.

With us, the responsibility of parents for the bringing up and well-being of the children is paramount, the fulfilment of such obligations being enforced both by legal and social pressure, while the responsibility of children for the care of their aged parents is almost nil.

Amongst the Chinese, children are considered to be the absolute chattels of the parents, with whose treatment of their offspring neither public opinion nor the country's laws have any right of interference. Infanticide can be, and undoubtedly is to a certain extent, practised, while the father is even said to be legally entitled to punish his grown-up children with death.

Children, on the other hand, are bound by every tie to obey, respect, support and even worship the authors of their being. Filial duty is the greatest of all virtues, and the man who fails in this respect is despised by everyone and takes rank with worthless characters and outcasts.

Our view of life is very finite. We are born, we die, are relegated to the unknown and quickly forgotten.

[147]A Chinaman regards himself as a disseverable part of the stream of life, by which he is borne into this world to live his life here, and then is borne on again to the abode of departed spirits without continuity of existence having been interrupted. At his death he is mourned with a whole-hearted sincerity by his entire family, who perform the obsequies with great respect and as much display as is compatible with their station in life. An imposing grave is built in a spot facing a pleasant prospect, while trees are planted, and sometimes even artificial pieces of water made, so that the disembodied spirit may be able to enjoy shady groves and cooling breezes. Sacrifices are offered at this shrine not once, but year after year, and by his children's children, with an absolute certainty of the spirit's existence and approving knowledge. This is the practice of ancestral worship, and greatly to be pitied is the man who leaves no son to perform sacrifices at his grave.

In Peking funeral processions assume gigantic proportions.

I have seen them more than a mile in length, and of such barbaric magnificence that they must have cost many thousands of ounces of silver.

Life-sized horses, camels, ostriches and other animals made of cardboard or cotton wool, houses of lath and paper, as well as strings of imitation gold [148]and silver money to be burnt at the grave and so wafted to the next world for use of the departed spirit, tablets embossed with golden Chinese characters, and lanterns of varied size and shape are carried in advance by an army of riffraff. A band of priests chanting, or playing weird dirges on instruments much resembling bagpipes in sound, immediately precedes the catafalque, an immense edifice from ten to fifteen feet in height, containing the coffin and covered with beautiful hangings of embroidered silk, and which is carried bodily on massive red poles some nine inches in diameter, by as many as forty or fifty bearers. Mourners with dishevelled hair and clothed in long white gowns follow on foot, in carts or in chairs, according to the rank held by the deceased.

Winter in Northern China is extremely severe, and Tientsin, the port of Peking, is yearly closed to navigation for six or eight weeks through the sea and river being frozen. The thermometer frequently falls below zero, but owing to a bright atmosphere the cold is not felt so much as might be expected. At night the stars blink and blaze with intense brilliancy, and the still, frosty air seems almost to ring with a metallic voice. Beggars and homeless wanderers are nightly frozen by the dozen, and the whole land lies powerless in the grip of King Frost.

My bedroom I could keep fairly warm by means [149]of a large American stove heated up till it was white, but in the mornings, on passing into my bathroom, which boasted a brick floor and paper windows, I found the temperature almost coinciding with that of the open air, albeit a small stove roared in the corner, while steam from the hot water in a wooden bath was so thick as to make the daylight dim. Ablutions were a hurried function, ending in precipitate retreat to the warmth of the bedroom. The small stove would burn itself out, the steam would congeal and disappear, and the bath water, unless removed, would be quickly frozen.

As winter wore on the sides of my bath-tub became coated with ice, which increased with every splash until there was a thickness of three or four inches, for it would have injured the bath to keep breaking it off, so that, ultimately, I took my morning tub in a nest of ice, only the bottom of which was completely thawed by the daily supply of hot water.

Along the streets, well-to-do Chinese appear swelled to double their usual proportions by furs and successive layers of wadded clothes, which are of such thickness as to hold the arms propped out at almost right angles to the bodies, while their heads are enveloped in bright-coloured hoods buttoning tight under the chin. Poor, half-naked beggars, clasping their rice-bowls and bent double by the [150]cold, shamble along, muttering and moaning, while their starving, rolling eyes scan the faces of passers-by in mute appeal for help or pity.

One evening, as I was riding along one of the principal streets, I saw a Chinaman carrying home a hot, steaming cake, something like a Yorkshire pudding with raisins in it, which he had just bought at a wayside cook-shop, when a beggar suddenly seized him by both wrists, and taking as large a mouthful as he could bite out of the pastry, shuffled off, heedless of the blows rained on him by the irate purchaser.

On the coldest days I have seen beggars collected in groups and gambling for the few cash they possessed, the total sum probably not exceeding a halfpenny. Naked, hungry and frozen, they watched with tense features and straining eyes the fatal issue of their throw for either a meal or death that night by cold and starvation.

Accustomed to want and misery, they appear pleased with any trifle that may fall into their hands, and on a bitter, windy day I have seen grown-up beggars on a waste patch flying a kite and enjoying the pastime with a gusto denied to more blasé pursuers of this aerial sport.

Ice in Northern China is seldom good, as owing to the frequent winds it is generally covered with dust, although occasionally at the beginning of [151]winter it is possible to get some fair skating before the first dust-storm.

At Peking an enormous mat shed is erected to keep out the dust, while the ground inside is flooded daily so as to secure good ice. This rink is a favourite afternoon resort of the European community, but the space is too limited and the attendance too crowded to admit of any really enjoyable skating by the light of a few oil lamps.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 06-07-2019
Froggy Froggy is offline
Senior Member
1st Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 423
Default

I have skated on the moat outside the city wall but it was not very good, the chief attraction being to watch Chinese performers. As a rule they wear only one skate, on which they propel themselves by striking the ice with the other foot until a certain speed has been attained, when they spread out their arms, bend forward until their noses almost touch the ice and raise the skateless foot high over their backs. This bird-like skim on one leg seems to be their ideal of graceful skating.

At this season the stately, two-humped camels, with beautiful coats of brown wool a foot in length, come down from Mongolia, bearing loads of meat and furs, together with frozen game and fish from Manchuria and the Amoor river, and coal from the mines north of Peking.

The Mongol teamster, clad in skins with the hair inside, trudges in front, leading the first camel by a string attached to its nose, while a cord tied to its [152]tail links it with the nose of the second camel, and so on, till the whole team of eight or ten are securely connected. They move along with graceful, easy stride, the only sound being the dull clanking of a heavy bell suspended from the leader's neck.

On one of the animals the Mongol's whole family is sometimes carried in two immense panniers, and the round, yellow faces of tiny children peer down from their lofty nursery on a strange and passing world.

I have also seen a calf camel, evidently cast by the way, being carried in a litter strapped to the back of its dam.

It has been told me by reliable Chinese that in winter upwards of ten thousand camels daily pass in and out of the gates of Peking. They are beautiful animals, of great height, and appear to be very meek and docile.

On one occasion, when returning at daylight from duck shooting near Marco Polo's bridge, I was tightly wedged in by several hundreds which were waiting to enter the western gateway. They looked down at me with their patient eyes as I shouted and prodded them with my whip in order to clear a way for my pony, but attempted neither to bite nor kick.

In spring their wool peels off in large flakes, giving them a ragged appearance, and is collected and woven into the celebrated Tientsin rugs.

[153]In summer, like the wildfowl, they disappear and go north to seek cool pastures in the Mongolian highlands.

Peking not being a seaport, and as yet but little influenced by foreign trade, the European community settled there is solely composed of the corps diplomatique and the legation guards, of the inspectorate of maritime customs, of professors of the various colleges, of missionaries and a few storekeepers.

During winter, when communication with the outer world is a matter of considerable difficulty, Peking society, which is naturally of a highly cosmopolitan order, amuses itself by a constant round of dinners, balls and receptions carried out with lavish hospitality, and to which the novelty of Oriental surroundings supplies an additional attraction.

In company with a French friend, who lived in Dry Flour Alley, I made an expedition to the Great Wall, which is two days' journey from the capital.

Mounted on ponies, with provisions and bedding packed into a cart drawn by two mules, we started while it was yet dark on a cold winter's morning.

Slowly making our way along frozen roads outside the walls of the forbidden city, we arrived at one of the gateways by daylight and passed out of Peking, following a wide and dusty road, where [154]we presently met streams of camels, mules, ponies, donkeys, carts and coolies, each bearing a load of some kind of produce wherewith to supply the markets of the great city.

It was early and bitterly cold, while everyone was too intent on his own business to do more than bestow a cursory glance on passers-by, so that our little caravan, freed from importuning curiosity, made good progress.

At about eleven o'clock we were scourged by a blinding dust-storm raised by a strong wind, to avoid which we were not sorry to take refuge in a wayside inn and there discuss an early tiffin. It was now discovered that the supply of bread necessary for our three days' trip had been left behind, so that we were obliged to content ourselves with native dough cakes, sticky and heavy as lead.

The room we occupied opened on to the courtyard of the inn, and being doorless, a small crowd of interested spectators quickly assembled to watch our every movement. This crowd continuing to grow until it consisted of several tens, my friend went out to expostulate with the innkeeper, but found that worthy busily engaged at the outer gate granting admission at five cash per head to all and sundry desirous of seeing the Europeans feed.

The wind having suddenly dropped and the [155]sand-storm subsided we continued our journey, arriving by nightfall at the village of Yang Fang, where we had arranged to sleep.

It was here that I came very near to shuffling off my mortal coil.

Throughout the North of China brick beds called kangs are universal. They are built about two feet in height, are oblong in shape and hollow inside, with a small aperture at one end, while the top is covered with grass matting. During the day a charcoal fire is lighted in this aperture, the hot air from which fills the interior of the structure and gradually warms the brickwork, which retains its heat throughout the night. The fire is then allowed to die down, when a wadded quilt, a thick blanket and a pillow will be found sufficient to make a most comfortable couch.

I had not seen one of these kangs before and the method of heating it had not been explained to me, so, the cold being intense, I placed fresh fuel on the smouldering embers the last thing before turning in. How long I had been asleep I do not know before I became conscious of a frightful nightmare. I was very hot and had lost all power to move. My tongue felt swollen and heavy, and my throat so dry and sore that when I tried to cry out it refused to utter a sound. My eyes were smarting, and having once opened them they would not close [156]again. My senses were clear and I knew that I was being asphyxiated, but was powerless to help myself. Horror-stricken, I watched the bright moonlight shining on the paper window until I lost consciousness.

The next thing I remember was cold air beating on my face, water in my mouth and trickling down my neck and chest, strong arms supporting me and the voice of my friend's mafoo calling to his master for a light, the moon having set.

I owed deliverance to the fortunate breaking of my pony's halter, as, having been freshly clipped, he had become restive from the cold, thereby causing the mafoo to enter my room for a spare one, which I always carried with me. The following morning I felt very shaky and had a splitting headache, but was able to continue the journey, gradually recovering as the day wore on.

It is perhaps needless to add that putting fresh charcoal on the fire was the cause of this contretemps, but I was then unaware of there being no flue to carry off the fumes.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2010 Mutant Entertainment Studios