"Several times we have seen men with wooden collars three or four feet square, and with a hole in the centre, where the poor fellow's neck comes through. It is made of plank about two inches thick, and you can see that the load is a heavy one for a man to carry. He cannot bring his arms to his head; and if he has no friends to feed him, or no money to pay some one else to do so, he must starve. On the upper surface of the plank is painted the name of the criminal, together with the crime he has committed and the time he has been ordered to wear the collar. This instrument is called a 'cangue,' and is said to be in use all over China from one end of the country to the other.
A BED OF TORTURE. A BED OF TORTURE.After the party had recovered from the fatigues of the journey to Fusiyama, the boys were on the lookout for something new. Various suggestions were made, and finally Frank proposed that they should go to a theatre. This was quite to Fred's liking, and so it did not take a long time to come to a determination on the subject. The Doctor agreed that the theatre was an interesting study, and so the matter was settled.Just as they were rising from table they were suddenly called on deck by the announcement of a wreck. An American bark had been dismasted by the gale and lay helpless on the water; her captain wished to be taken in tow to the mouth of the Yang-tse-kiang, and after some minutes spent in making a bargain, the matter was arranged and a line passed out."Then we went to see the great bell, which is one of the wonders of the world, though it is not so large as the bell at Moscow. It is said to[Pg 367] weigh 112,000 pounds, but how they ever weighed it I don't know. It is a foot thick at the rim, about twenty feet high, and fifteen feet in diameter; it was cast more than two hundred years ago, and is covered all over, inside and outside, with Chinese characters. There is a little hole in the top of it where people try to throw copper cash. If they succeed, it is a sign that they will be fortunate in life; and if they fail, they must leave the money as an offering to the temple. All of us tried till we had thrown away a double-handful of cash, but we didn't get a single one of them through the hole. So if we fail now in anything, you will know the reason.
"There they stood glaring, as I told you, and making a noise like animals about to fight. They stamped on the ground and made two or three rushes at each other, and then fell back to watch for a better chance. They kept this up a minute or so, and then darted in and clinched; and then you could see their great muscles swell, and realize that they were as strong as they were fat."Bankers and merchants call that the fluctuation of exchanges," said[Pg 27] Mr. Bassett; and with this remark he rose from the table, and the party broke up.Fred wanted ever so much to send home a goldfish with a very wide and beautiful tail. The fish didn't seem to be much unlike a common goldfish, except in the tail, which was triple, and looked like a piece of lace. As it swam around in the water, especially when the sun was shining on the globe, its tail seemed to have nearly as many colors as the rainbow, and both the boys were of opinion that no more beautiful fish was ever seen. But the proposal to send it to America was rather dampened by the statement of the Doctor that the experiment had been tried several times, and only succeeded in a very few instances. Almost all the fish died on the voyage over the Pacific; and even when they lived through that part of the trip, the overland journey from San Francisco to the Atlantic coast generally proved too much for them. The Japanese name for this fish is kin-giyo, and a pair of them may be bought for ten cents. It is said that a thousand dollars were offered for the first one that ever reached New York alive, which is a large advance on the price in Yokohama."The first kite I saw in the air in Japan was so much like a large bird[Pg 265] that I mistook it for one, and the delusion was kept up by a smaller one that seemed to be getting away from the other. The large one imitated the movements of a hawk to perfection, and it was some minutes before I could understand that it was nothing but a combination of sticks and paper and cords, instead of a real live bird. It rose and fell, and every few moments it swept down and seemed to be trying to swallow the little one out of sight. I never should have supposed such an imitation possible, and was thoroughly convinced that the Japanese must be very fond of kite-flying if they give it the study necessary to bring it to such a state of perfection.A favorite resort of the foreign residents of Yokohama during the summer months is the island of Enoshima. It is about twenty miles away, and is a noted place of pilgrimage for the Japanese, on account of certain shrines that are reputed to have a sacred character. Doctor Bronson arranged that his party should pay a visit to this island, as it was an interesting spot, and they could have a glimpse of Japanese life in the rural districts, and among the fishermen of the coast."The Japanese performances," Doctor Bronson continued, "do not all begin in the morning, but the most of them do, and they last the entire day. In China they have historic plays that require a week or more for their complete representation; but in Japan they are briefer in their ways, and a performance is not continued from one day to the next. They have greater variety here than in China, and the plays are less tedious both to one who understands the language and to one who does not. The Japanese are a gayer people than the Chinese, and consequently their plays are less serious in character.""A gentleman was once leaving New York for a trip to Europe, and many of his friends gave him commissions to execute for them. Some were thoughtful enough to give him the money for the articles they wanted; but the majority only said, 'I'll pay you when you get back, and I know how much it comes to.' When he returned, he told them that a singular circumstance had happened in regard to the commissions. 'The day after I sailed,' said he, 'I was in my room arranging the lists of things I was to get for my friends, and I placed the papers in two piles; those that had the money with them I put in one pile, and the money on top; and those that had no money with them I put in another pile. The wind came in and set things flying all around the room. The papers that had the money on them were held down by it, but those that had no money to[Pg 240] keep them in place were carried out of the window and lost in the sea. And so you see how it is that the commissions that my friends gave me the money for are the only ones I have been able to execute.'
- Pekin is not very far from the famous wall that was built to keep the empire of China from the hands of the Tartars. It is commonly mentioned as "The Great Wall," and certainly it is clearly entitled to the honor, as it is the greatest wall in the world. To go to Pekin without visiting the Great Wall would be to leave the journey incomplete; and therefore, one of the first things that our friends considered was how they should reach the wall, and how much time they would require for the excursion.
- LADIES AND CHILDREN AT PLAY. LADIES AND CHILDREN AT PLAY.
- Frank and Fred clapped their hands with delight, and thought of nothing else for some minutes than the journey to Fusiyama. It was an excursion they had wanted very much to make, and which very few visitors to Japan think of attempting. And now Doctor Bronson had arranged it for them, and they were to be off the next morning. Could anything be more fortunate?
- This completed the furniture of the room. When it was removed after dinner, Frank remarked that the only furniture remaining was Doctor Bronson, Fred, and himself. And, as they were quite weary after their ride, they were disposed to be as quiet as well-regulated furniture usually is.
- "Good-morning, Miss Effie. This is an unexpected pleasure."
- The Chinese have a way of catching fish which is peculiar to themselves, and much practised along the Yang-tse. A net several feet square hangs at the end of a long pole, and is lowered gently into the water and then suddenly raised. Any fish that happens to be swimming over the net at the time is liable to be taken in. He is lifted from the large net by means of a small scoop, and the raising and lowering process is resumed. Fred thought it was an excellent employment for a lazy man, and Frank suggested that it would be better for two lazy men than one, as they could keep each other company.
- WOMEN OF NAGASAKI. WOMEN OF NAGASAKI.
- "There's another river like it in the Pacific Ocean," Frank explained; "it is called the Japan Current, because it flows close to the coast of Japan. It goes through Behring Strait into the Arctic Ocean, and then it comes south by the coast of Greenland, and down by Newfoundland. That's what brings the icebergs south in the Atlantic, and puts them in the way of the steamers between New York and Liverpool. 更多 CPK 推荐