tion comes round. There are men
who keep on trying all their lives for
the degree, and they tell of one man
who succeeded after he was eighty-
The candidates try all
sorts of tricks to smuggle in copies
of the books on which they are to
be examined, and also extra sheets of
paper ; but they are carefully search-
ed, and everything of the sort is
taken away from them.
" There is a story in Pidgin-Eng-
lish verse of how a Chinese student
befriended an American, who was a
photographer by profession. The
American believed that one good turn
deserved, another, and so, when the
A LITKKAKY GRADUATE IN HIS ROBES OF
41C THE BOY TRAVELLERS.
A SEDAN-CHAIR WITH FOUR BEAKERS.
examination time came round, he photographed 'The Classics' on the
finger-nails of his Oriental friend. The student was allowed to wear spec-
tacles during his examination, and so he bought a pair of magnifying-
glasses that enabled him to read every word that he wanted. ^ He came
out at the head of his class, and was no doubt very thankful that he had
done a kindly action towards a stranger.
" But the great sights of Canton we have not yet mentioned. These
are the streets, and they are by all odds the finest we have seen in the coun-
try. They are very narrow, few of them being more than six or eight feet
wide, and some of them less than the former figure. Xot a single wheel-
ed carriage can move in all Canton, and the only mode of locomotion is by
means of sedan-chairs. We had chairs every day with four bearers to each,
and it was strange to see how fast the men would walk in the dense crowds
without hitting any one. They kept calling out that they were coming,
and somehow a way was always made for them. Several times, when we
met other chairs, it was no easy matter to get by, and once we turned into
a side street to allow a mandarin's chair to pass along. We did knock
down some things from the fronts of stores, and several times the tops of
our chairs hit against the perpendicular sign-boards that hung from the
buildings. There are great numbers of signs, all of them perpendicular,
and they are painted in very gaudy colors, so that the effect is brilliant.
Sometimes, as you look ahead, the space between the two sides of the street
is quite filled with these signs, so that you cannot see anything else.
" The streets are not at all dirty, and in this respect are vastly different
from those of any other city we have seen in China. The authorities evi-
dently pay some attention to keeping them clean and preventing the ac-
cumulation of dirt. The fronts of many shops are fully open to the street,
and the merchants know how to arrange their wares in the most tempting
manner. You see lots of pretty things, and are constantly tempted to buy,
and it was very well for us that we agreed not to buy anything till the last
day, which we were to devote to shopping.
A SMALL FOOT WITH
" Nearly all the vast crowd in the streets con-
sisted of men ; now and then a woman was visi-
ble, but only rarely, except near the river-side,
where there were some of the class that live on
the water. We met some of the small-footed
women, and it was really painful to see them
stumping about as if they were barely able to
stand. Double your fist and put it down on
the table, and you have a fair resemblance of the
small foot of a Chinese woman ; and if you try
to walk on your fists, you can imagine how one
of these ladies gets along. Some of them have
to use canes to balance themselves, and running
is quite out of the question. The foot is com-
pressed in childhood, and not allowed to grow
much after five or six years of age. The com-
pression is done by tight bandages, that give
great pain at first, and sometimes cause severe
" We were rather impatient for the last day, when we could do t our
shopping and buy the things for our friends at home. There are so many
fine things for sale in Canton that it is
hard to determine where to begin and
where to leave off. A great many people
keep on buying till their money is all gone,
and some of them do not stop even then.
" The first things we looked at in our
shopping tour were silks, and we found
them of all kinds and descriptions that you
could name. There were silks for dresses
and silks for shawls, and they were of all
colors, from snowy white to jet - black.
Some people say that white and black are
not colors at all ; but if they were turned
loose among the silks of Canton, perhaps
they might change their minds. It is said
that there are fifty thousand people in Can-
ton engaged in making silk and other fab-
rics, and these include the embroiderers, of
whom there are several thousands. Chi-
PEASANT WOMAN WITH NATURAL FKKT.
418 THK HOY TRAVELLERS.
'inbroidery on silk is famous all over the world, and it lias the ad-
\antage over the embroidery of most other countries in being the same on
one side that it is on the other. We have selected some shawls that we
think will be very pretty when they are at home. They are pretty enough
now, but there are so many nice things all around that the articles we have
selected look just a little common.
" One good thing about going on a shopping excursion in Canton is
that most of the establishments for the sale of different articles are
grouped together, just as they are said to be in the bazaars of Cairo and
Damascus. Thus we find most of the silk-dealers in Silk Street, those
who sell mirrors and similar work are in Looking-glass Street, and the
workers in ivory are in a street by themselves. Then there is Curiosity
Street (or Curio Street, as it is generally called), where you can buy all sorts
of odds and ends of things, old and new, which come under the head of
Chinese curiosities. Lacquered ware and porcelain have their especial
quarters ; and so when you are in the region of any particular trade, you do
not have to walk about much to make your purchases. In the vicinity of
the river there are several large concerns where they have a general as-
sortment of goods, and you may buy lacquer and porcelain, silk and ivory,
and nearly everything else that is produced in Canton, under one roof.
" We have already described lacquer and cloisonne work in writing
from Japan. The Chinese productions in the same line are so much like
the Japanese that a description of one will do for the other. Some of the
shapes are different, and it is not difficult, after a little practice, to dis-
tinguish the Chinese from the Japanese; but the modes of working are
essentially the same. All things considered, we like the Japanese lacquer
better than the Chinese, as it has more variety, and the Japanese seem to
be more cunning than the Canton people in making those bewildering
little boxes with secret drawers and nooks and a great variety of shapes.
But when it comes to ivory carvings, we have something else to say.
"You can hardly have dreamed of the beautiful things we found in
Canton cut out of ivory. There were combs and brooches so delicate that
it seemed as if they could be blown to pieces by a breath ; and there were
boxes and card -cases with representations of landscapes, and men and
animals on them so small that we needed a microscope to see them dis-
tinctly. In one shop we saw the whole tusk of an elephant carved from
one end to the other so closely that you could hardly put a pin on it with-
out hitting some part of the work. They told us that the tusk had been
sent there by the gentleman who killed the elephant in India, and he was
having it carved to keep as a trophy. The carving had cost six hundred
IVORY CARVINGS, FANS. AND SHELL-WORK.
dollars ; and if it had been done
in America, it would have cost
nearer six thousand. Skilled la-
bor is cheap in China, just as un-
skilled labor is, and it is astonish-
ing for how little a man can be
employed on the kind of work
that would bring a high price in
Europe or America.
" Then there were carvings in
tortoise-shell of a great many
kinds, and all the forms you
could think of, together with
many you could not. The Chi-
nese tortoise-shell work used to
be the best in the world ; but
those who know about it say that
it is now equalled by the produc-
tions of Naples and Florence,
both in fineness and cheapness.
Then they had some beautiful
things in silver filigree and in
bronzes, and we bought a few of
each, so as to show what Canton
can do in this line.
" But such fans ! such fans !
They were so pretty that we
couldn't keep our eyes off them,
and we bought more of them,
perhaps, than we needed. In one
shop we would find something so
nice that we couldn't see how it
could be surpassed, and so we
would buy it ; and in the next we found something nicer yet, and so we
had to buy that. Anybody who has a liking for fans, and hasn't a mint
of money, had better keep out of the stores of Canton, or he will run a
risk of being ruined. The varieties are so great that we cannot begin
to name them. There were fans on silk, and fans on paper ; fans carved
in ivory, tortoise-shell, sandal-wood ; fans of feathers from various birds,
with rich paintings right on the surface of the feathers ; and a great many
A TABLET CARVED IN IVORY.
THE BOY TRAVELLERS.
other fans besides. There was one with frame and sticks of sandal-wood,
beautifully carved, while the body was of painted silk. There were groups
of figures on each side of the fan, and each figure had a face painted on
ivory which was afterwards glued to the silk. It was the prettiest thing
to be found for any price we could afford, and you can be sure that it was
secured for somebody at home.
We had a long search among the porcelain shops for some blue china
plates of what is called ' the willow pattern.' We must have gone into
twenty shops at least before we found them ; and, finally, when we did get
them, the dealer was as anxious to sell as we were to buy. He said he
had had those plates on hand a very long time, and nobody wanted them.
We did not tell him how rare they are at home, and how anxious people
are to get hold of them.
" The variety of porcelain in the Canton shops is very great, and a
simple list of what there is would fill several pages. They showed us
some of what they call egg-shell porcelain. It was so thin that you could
almost see through it, and so delicate that it had to be carefully handled.
The varieties of cups and saucers we could not begin to tell ; they make
them suited to every market in the world, and it is said that the greatest
part of what they make is of the shapes that are not used in China. Of
vases there was no end, and they were of all sizes, from a tiny cone for a
small bouquet up to a huge one capable of holding a barrel of water, with
plenty of room to spare. The trade in vases must be very great, if we are
to judge by the quantities and variety that we saw. Many of them were
very elaborate, and must have cost a great deal of money.
" But there is danger that you will get tired if we keep on much
longer about the sights of Canton, and particularly the shopping part of
it. Besides, we want to go out and see what there is in Hong-kong, and
perhaps we may run across something new in the Chinese part of the.
city that we shall want to buy. A good many people say that you can
buy Canton goods just as cheaply in Hong-kong as in the city they come
from. That may be so ; but then it is more satisfactory to get them there
and have the pleasure of buying them on the spot.
We'll stop now and say good-bye. We have seen China and Japan,
and had a splendid time. We think we have learned a great deal about
the two countries, and hope that what we have written about them has
been interesting to those for whom it was intended. We have tried to
see things, and think of them without partiality or prejudice. We believe
that the people of the East have the same claims to respect that ours have,
and that it is only a narrow mind that sneers at the ways of others be-
THE KM) OF THE STOKY.
cause they are not like its own. We know that there are many things in
which we are superior to the Orientals, but we also know that we have our
weak points, and might be profitably instructed by those whom some of
ns affect to despise. And the more we know these patient and industrious
people, the more we shall be likely to respect them. We are soon to leave
China, perhaps never to see it again; but both China and Japan will al-
ways be pleasant recollections to both
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