2021-04-18 10:25:11

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ENGLISH CHAPTER XXIX.

HONG-KONG AND CANTON.CHINESE PIRATES.

He flashed back a glare of rebuke and then bellowed to heaven and earth, "Oh, the devil and Tom Walker! I don't keep run of sutlers and citizens!" He took a circuit, standing in his stirrups and calling orders to his teamsters, and as he neared me again he said very gently, "Good Lord! my boy, don't you know better than to shoot your mouth off like that? You'll find nobody with the Major but Ned Ferry, and I don't say you'll find him."No clocks, no pictures on the walls, no mirrors; in fact, the room was quite bare of ornament.MEN TOWING BOATS NEAR OSAKA. MEN TOWING BOATS NEAR OSAKA.

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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?STANDING IN A CAGE. STANDING IN A CAGE.

THE HELMSMAN AT HIS POST. THE HELMSMAN AT HIS POST."As we have learned the principles of this new language," Frank remarked, "we ought to be able to understand some proverbs in it. For instance, here are four that contain whole heaps of good advice, besides showing us how to read pidgin English:

"A little way off from this ploughman there was a man threshing grain on some slats; they looked like a small ladder placed on an incline, and the way he did the work was to take a handful of grain and thresh it against the slats till he had knocked out all the kernels and left nothing but the straw. Such a thing as a threshing-machine would astonish them very much, I should think, and I don't believe they would allow it to run.[Pg 333] Labor is so cheap in China that they don't want any machinery to save it; when you can hire a man for five cents a day, and even less, you haven't any occasion to economize."The orchestra furnishes music by means of the guitar, or 'samisen.' It is played something like our guitar, except that a piece of ivory is used for striking the strings, and is always used in a concert that has any pretence to being properly arranged. There are two or three other instruments, one of them a small drum, which they play upon with the fingers; but it is not so common as the samisen, and I don't think it is so well liked. Then they have flutes, and some of them are very sweet, and harmonize well with the samisen; but the singers do not like them for an accompaniment[Pg 235] unless they have powerful voices. The samisen-players generally sing, and in the theatres the musicians form a part of the chorus. A good deal of the play is explained by the chorus; and if there are any obscure points, the audience is told what they are. I remember seeing the same thing almost exactly, or, at any rate, the same thing in principle, in the performance of "Henry V." at a theatre in New York several years ago, so that this idea of having the play explained by the chorus cannot be claimed as a Japanese invention.

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In a small book entitled "John, or Our Chinese Relations," Frank found something relating to pidgin English, which he copied into his note-book for future reference. When he had done with the volume, it was borrowed by Fred for the same purpose, and the boys gave a vote of thanks to the author for saving them the trouble to hunt up the information by asking questions of their friends. What they selected was as follows:From their own observations and the notes and accounts of travellers who had preceded them, the boys made the following description of Pekin:"They did not try to throw each other, as we do when we wrestle, but they tried to push from one side of the ring to the other. I couldn't understand this until the Doctor told me that it is not necessary for one of the men to be thrown. All that is to be done is for one of them to push the other outside the ring; and even if he only gets one foot out, the game is up. Only once during all we saw of the match did anybody get thrown down, as we should expect to see him in a wrestling match in America. And when he did get fairly on the ground, it was not very easy for him to rise, which is probably the reason why the rules of the Japanese ring are so different from ours.

CANAL SCENE SOUTH OF SHANGHAI. CANAL SCENE SOUTH OF SHANGHAI."Not a great distance from the five-storied pagoda we saw the leper hospital, where the unfortunate people who suffer from leprosy are compelled to live, and soon to die. The sight was a horrible one, and we did not want to stay long among the sufferers. We had expected to find a large[Pg 414] building, like a hospital in America, but instead of this there were several small buildings, grouped together in a little village, some of the houses having garden patches near them. The people were lying or sitting around in the sun, and some few of them were at work in the gardens. The most were not able to do anything, as they were suffering from the disease, which was slowly killing or crippling them.Fred admitted the force of the argument, but thought there would be an advantage in writing while the subject was fresh in their minds. While they were debating the pros and cons of the case, the Doctor came into the room, and the question was appealed to him. After careful deliberation, he rendered a decision that covered the case to the perfect satisfaction of both the disputants.

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