2021-04-18 10:22:39

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ENGLISH "What, a leather-curtained spring-wagon?"There was a hush of attention among them as the lieutenant and I saluted. His left hand was gone at the wrist and the sleeve pinned back on itself. He asked my name; I told him. In the car there was a stir of deepening interest. I inquired if he was the post-quartermaster here. He was.

[Pg 390]

SQUEEZING THE FINGERS. SQUEEZING THE FINGERS."We passed the ruins of forts and towers every few miles, and our guide pointed out some of the towers that were formerly used for conveying intelligence by means of signal-fires. They are now falling to pieces, and are of no further use.THE PATH IN ENOSHIMA. THE PATH IN ENOSHIMA.

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Frank made a careful note of the figures indicating the height of the statue. He found that the whole structure, including the pedestal, measured sixty feet from the ground to the top of the head, and that the figure alone was forty-three feet high. It was in a sitting, or rather a squatting, posture, with the hands partly folded and turned upwards, with the knuckles touching each other. The eyes were closed, and there was an expression of calm repose on the features such as one rarely sees in statuary. There was something very grand and impressive in this towering statue, and the boys gazed upon it with unfeigned admiration.They descended the river to the sea, and then turned to the northward. Nothing of moment occurred as the steamer moved along on her course, and on the morning of the third day from Shanghai they were entering the mouth of the Pei-ho River. The Doctor pointed out the famous Taku forts through the thin mist that overhung the water, and the boys naturally asked what the Taku forts had done to make themselves famous.

"Not by any means," the Doctor answered. "The government gave to each man a money allowance, or gift, to take the place of his pension, and let him do with it whatever he pleased. Some of them spent it in dissipation, and found themselves eventually without a penny, and with no means of obtaining anything. They were then obliged to go to work like other people, and some of them had a very hard time to exist. I was told in Yokohama that some of the former Samurai were working as coolies in various ways, not only in that city, but all through the empire. A good many of them have found employment among the foreign merchants[Pg 220] as clerks and salesmen, and there are many in government employ in the offices at Tokio and in other cities. The officers you saw at the custom-house were probably ex-Samurai, and ten years ago they would have been wearing two swords apiece. The Japanese book-keeper you saw in the office of the American merchant on whom we called the day of our arrival was once a Samurai of high degree. He spent his government allowance in a short time after receiving it, and was then compelled to find employment or starve. He tried the starvation system a short time, and concluded he did not like it. He turned his education to account by undertaking to keep the Japanese accounts of a foreign merchant, and his employer is well pleased with him.

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"At the last place where we stopped before reaching the Great Wall we found the people very insolent, both to us and to the men in our employ. They said rude things to us, and perhaps it was fortunate that we did not understand Chinese, or we might have been disposed to resent their impudence, and so found ourselves in worse trouble. Our guide said something to a lama, or priest, and he managed to make the people quiet, partly by persuasion and partly by threats. Some of the men had been drinking too freely of sam-shoo, which has the same effect on them as whiskey has on people in America. It is not unusual for strangers in this part of China to be pelted with stones; but the natives are afraid to do much more than this, as they would thereby get into trouble.

"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.They passed a house where some artists were at work with the tools of their trade on the floor before them, forming a neat and curious collection. There were little saucers filled with paints of various colors, and the ever-present teapot with its refreshing contents. There were three persons in the group, and they kept steadily at their occupation without regarding the visitors who were looking at them. They were engaged upon pictures on thin paper, intended for the ornamentation of boxes for packing small articles of merchandise. Larger pictures are placed on an easel, as with us, but the small ones are invariably held in the hand.

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Apr-18 10:22:39