Only men and boys act on the Chinese stage. There are no women, though the female sex is personated. This has its advantages. Woman is kept out of harm; she is not subject to the indignities and temptations which beset her among other peoples who employ her services. Of course there are good and virtuous women on the stage—very many, I trust! But it will be admitted that the life of an actress is one of trial. She must of necessity be brought into intercourse with an element whose moral ideals are not the loftiest, and she must have unusual strength of character to preserve her integrity. She can do it! I believe that men and women can resist temptation in all spheres, in all vocations of life; I have great faith in humanity, especially when sustained by divine helps; but we must not subject the bow to too much tension lest it break. The personating of characters which have in them a spice of wickedness, the taking of the part in a play which represents the downfall of a virtuous person, the setting forth of the passions of love and hatred, must in time produce a powerful effect on the mind of a young woman, and there is danger that the neophyte on the stage will be contaminated with the base things of life before strength of character is developed. The Chinese are to be commended in this respect, whatever their motive in excluding their women from the stage. The reproduction of Greek plays, in some of our universities, where only men take the parts, shows what could be done among us on the stage, and successfully.
The Chinese actors whom I saw, exhibited a great deal of human nature in their acting. There was the full display of the human passions; and they entered into their work with zest as if it were real life. Some of the men in the audience were smoking cigars, others cigarettes. The Asiatic has a fondness for cigarettes. You see the men of the East smoking everywhere, whether in Syria, or Egypt, or Nubia, or Arabia. And is it not true that men are much the same the world over, in their pastimes and pursuits, their loves and their pleasures?
THE JOSS-HOUSE, CHINESE IMMIGRATION AND CHINESE THEOLOGY
In Chinatown—Conception of God—The Joss House—Chinese Mottoes—The Joss a Chinaman—Greek and Egyptian Ideas of God—Different Types of Madonnas—Chinese Worship and Machine Prayers—The Joss-House and the Christian Church—Chinese Immigration—Chinamen in the United States—A Plague Spot—Fire Crackers and Incense Sticks—The Lion and the Hen—The Man with Tears of Blood—Filial Piety—The Joss—Origin of the World—Creation of Man—Spirits of the Dead—Ancestral Rites—The Chinese Emperor—What Might Have Been—The Hand of God.