But it wuzn’t a minute before his eyes wuz took up with some images, some big ones covered with the most exquisite carvin’, down to them so small, if you’ll believe it, they wuz carved out of a single kernel of rice. And there wuz gold fish and a hundred other kinds of fishes, and you see there the common houses of the people and people livin’ in them jest as they do in their own country, and a royal palace, arched bridges, lanterns hangin’ everywhere, pagodas, temples, lagoons with ornamental boats, cascades, etc. All made a pretty picture, though curious.
Then in Asakusa, a native village of Japan, is forty stores and there you see the most beautiful display of rugs, carved ivory and wood, porcelain, jewels, fans, paintings, etc., and the workmen busy making ’em right before your eyes. And in the narrer streets jugglers, acrobats, fortune tellers are giving their mysterious performances. There are bands of music, jinrikishaws with men harnessed up in ’em, and you can ride in ’em if so inclined.
There wuz quite a number of places on the Pike that we passed that I kinder wanted to see, but Josiah wuzn’t willin’ to pay out too much money, and what interested me most wuz the foreign countries that I had never had a chance to see, they havin’ the misfortune to be so fur from Jonesville. But when we got to the Chinese Village, it had such a magnificent and showy front that Josiah never made an objection to goin’ inside.
I wuz dretful glad to go there, you know it is nater to want to do what you can’t. And China has been so determined to keep Josiah and I and the world out of her empire, I wuz glad enough to git in, and wuz real interested lookin’ at them queer yeller pig-tailed little creeters with dresses on, and their funny little houses.
There wuz a big Chinese theatre, and a Joss house where they worship Joss, whoever he or she may be, I wanted to have their religion explained to me, there wuz a guide there to do it.
But Josiah said that as a deacon he wouldn’t countenance it, for I might be led into idolatry. And when I argued with him he whispered to me:
“Samantha, if you insist on hangin’ round their meetin’ house here any longer I shall say out loud, ‘By Joss!’”
At that fearful threat I started on, I wouldn’t let him demean himself before the heathen.
You can see here in this country, as in Japan, native workers plyin’ their different trades, mechanics, painters, jewelers, etc., etc. Silk weavers usin’ the same old, onhandy looms they used centuries ago, ivory carvers fashionin’ elephants and other animals, and all on ’em tryin’ to sell to us in their high-pitched voices.
I had quite a number of emotions here in China a musin’ on the oldness and strangeness of their civilization, and wonderin’ if it would ever be merged into a newer, fresher life.
Blandina didn’t share my lofty emotions, she simpered some and said, “I believe they would make lovely husbands if their eyes wuz sot in straighter and they dressed different.”