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- Seven Maids of Far Cathay - 7/10 -


"Three roads are open for further expansion of the stimulation of the brain; for the sensory nerve finds three -

1st - Other Sensory nerves. 2d - Sympathetic nerves. 3d - Motor nerves. The transference of its excitation to other sensory nerves, consequently the production of an accompanying sensation in the other than actually stimulated parts, must be confined within a narrow range."

Wonderful! I think at once to begin; can surely write Essay of 1, 2, 3 parts, and then some one very learned will answer questions and I will all things know which for three, four years make deep trouble in my heart.

O too great happiness, I will my Essay at once begin.

Question I - Honorable Pope make much speech of brain, what meaning I know not; Chinese people oldest wisest people in whole world, Chinese people know all learning is put away in stomach. When men know many things all people say, "He have many characters in his stomach."

Foreign people say not so, they say all learning put in brain, top-side head. Foreigner very afraid to let sun shine on head, afraid melt brain - perhaps mix characters.

Dr. Ewing say, "Chinese must of Solar-Plexus take good care." I not know what meaning "Solar-Plexus;" yet I know Chinese people of so great age so great wisdom, surely all will of "Solar-Plexus" take great care.

Question II - One year ago today Miss Sterling call me to room to transcribe for her a letter to a dear friend in Peking, this friend very fond Chinese letter.

I make beginning so -

Honorable and most learned Mme. Bing Ang. Bing Ang.

"Your detestable and most contemptible friend wishes to know if you have eaten full, and if all of your household have eaten full, and are at peace."

"Your August consideration honorably vouchsafe as I have the honor to rejoice at your august robustness.

Then Miss Sterling stop me and say -

"Read me what is now written." I read; immediately Miss Sterling begin action like one crazy -

"Robustness! - Robustness!" she cry out. "Do you not know that - Robustness - means fat - a most awful insult to offer an American Lady"

Now what I wish most to know is, why is it that the most proper and polite Chinese is the most rude and impolite thing to write to an American lady?

Question III - One day every body run out of House because of loud angry quarrel in garden between Sedia and his wife Eksaw.

Dr. Ewing come quickly and say, "So loud talking must at once stop." Sedia say "Very sorry, Dr. Ewing, but what can do? If Eksaw want to be a man, and be boss, why she no put on skirts and be a man?"

Then Dr. Ewing laugh and say: "O you up-side-down people."

Why all people say Chinese make all things to stand on honorable heads, make honorable insides outsides, make honorable top sides down sides? Truly these things I cannot to understand.

Question IV - Every body know Chinese people greatest inventors in whole world, invent gunpowder, printing press, compass. Why Chinese way not best and wisest? Why, in this College, every body say must read from front to back of book? Why say eye of needle, when they mean nose of needle? Why speak to learned person without taking eye-glasses from face? Why is it best to serve dessert at the end and not at the beginning of a feast?

Dr. Ewing say one day when we go to walk in country, "This road just like one corkscrew," and ask of me the reason why? "Very good reason," I reply. "Chinese people know very well how to protect selves from Gui (devils). Gui always travel in straight line, roads wind around, so Gui no can catch traveler." Dr. Ewing look at me long time then say, "Can it be that after so long time in our great College you still believe such things as these?"

To this I only make reply - "Perhaps when your country become same age as China, you will learn how true these things are that I tell you." Then I take opportunity to tell Dr. Ewing why her friend's little child so very ill. Over the house in which this little child now sick to death grow vines, long vines that cover windows nearly up, and that hang down over roof, and doors, all truly most dangerous vines. Americans not know that Guis can enter house most easily where vines hang down over roofs and doors and windows; another most dangerous thing about this house is it have eaves about top side all turning down also. Now Chinese people can keep wicked devils out of all houses, all temples, because they know to build eaves to turn up, to throw devils into air, so no can come into house. I say surely baby in that foreign house must to die, and I feel very sorry, but can to do nothing because foreigner no listen to what poor ignorant Chinese girl say.

I well know how with whole heart Dr. Ewing love this little child, so one night I creep out so still, and carry long garden shears, and climb on step-ladder of window where baby so very sick, and cut away every little vine where hang down over window. That time very cold, very dark night make me very afraid, because angry Gui may come catch me protecting child, but I so much love little child, will try what can do. Next day Dr. Ewing say - "Dear little baby much better, now will to live." I know and no other know why baby live, but I keep secret down deep in heart, and feel greatest happiness.

Folklorist

For four days past have great Chinese New Year Feast been celebrated. Third day the greatest day of all. Every where in land much feasting, much of firework, much of congratulating. (Gung-hi).

Out side Compound wall, can hear soldiers marching in day, can see processions marching by night carrying lanterns and torches, with much music and fire-works.

Every body greet each other and say, "Seng Meng. Bing Ang." All girls in College most happy, because Honorable Teachers say, "For one week we now turn over College to students; we nothing say, nothing do. Students must plan all things, arrange all things, what most like to do;" every one quite joyous. Second and third day have great secret, we most wonderful, beautiful surprise give Honorable Teachers.

With large, red paper carefully written in black characters and folded into red envelope, we invite all to Chinese girls' reception hall at eight o'clock of third day.

Teachers much have wonderment. Girls all too great excitement. From village call No. 1 Good Feast Maker; he plan all things according to high official style. He say, "This feast must contain all very best; twenty-eight courses not enough, must have forty-two courses, with many special servants and on each table one Chafing dish."

All day keep doors locked many girls work to trim hall make all look like one-piece garden, every one so happy, faces shine like flower faces, Coolies very interest, come bring much Bamboo, Poinsettia, make one large arch over fire-place like arch way in street, then fill up over top and side with Bamboo, Cryptomeria bough, and build another archway or arbor to top of room, where build high seats for Honorable Teachers where sit at feast.

Many friends of girls send much beautiful lanterns, some look like fish, some look like bird, some like fire-balloon - all most large and bright.

Coolies hang lanterns from top of green arbors, then Coolies bring much big log and fill stone fire-place, ready for great fire at night to make room bright. Have wood fire and lanterns, no other light.

To make feast ready, twenty Coolies and girls work two days and nights, then great night come, and eight o'clock strike. Inside hall all prepare, all like one golden dream, great fire blaze up Chimney. Lanterns spread glow like red of sun set, all through green arbors, and through great room. A bell sounds. Ah, the Honorable Teachers have come!

Girls all stand in row beside the door and make low bowings as Teachers pass. Bing Ding invite to seats, and when all in place, girls also take seats and feast begin.

After Miss Powers say little word of blessing servants bring in covered dishes, and place on tables.

In middle of feast all suddenly begin great noise outside of hall, fire-crackers and rockets and Tom-Toms then all so still we very much surprised and know not who come to congratulate us. Then most wonderful, most beautiful Band begin to play under window and every body look at Da Hua because well we know it is St. Marks College Band and we know who is at the head of that Band, and why it plays for our feast. Da Hua dare not look up for she too knows it is for her that the Head Master is bringing congratulations thus. When the Band stops playing all clap hands for more, Miss Powers stand up and say, "Seng Meng. Bing Ang, and many times thank you. Ke Dang." Again beautiful music begin, and continue all through feast.

When feast is finished we hear more large fire-crackers and musicians go away. Honorable Instructors stand and Miss Powers begin to make polite thank you's and farewells.

Then I go forward because I have the Folk stories to introduce. I beg Honorable Teachers to remain a little while that we may relate to them some Chinese Folk-lore of our feasts and festivals, of which we have so many.

Quickly, like magic, Coolies carry tables and other feast furniture away, and move seats to centre of room, where make one-half circle before fire, Honorable Teachers in centre, and girls sitting on floor all about each side.

After some little explanations about stories of great enchantment to all Chinese people, I say to all, "Since this feast the very greatest of the whole year, we make selections of two other feasts for stories, and Cui Ai will tell the first story."


Seven Maids of Far Cathay - 7/10

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