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Arnold Henry Savage Landor
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 237 pages of information about Corea or Cho-sen.
having been thoroughly fastened, Seoul was severed from the outer world till the following morning.  Adjoining the gate stood the gatekeeper’s house, and in front of the door of this, a rack with a few rusty and obsolete spears standing in a row, was left to take care of the town and its inhabitants, while the guardians, having finished the work of the day, retreated to the warm room inside to resume the game or gambling which the setting sun had interrupted, and which had occupied their day.  With the setting of the sun every noise ceased.  Every good citizen retired to his home, and I, too, therefore, deemed it advisable to follow suit.

There are no hotels in Seoul, with the exception of the very dirty Corean inns; but I was fortunate enough to meet at Chemulpo a Russian gentleman who, with his family, lived in Seoul, where he was employed as architect to His Majesty the King of Corea, and he most politely invited me to stay at his house for a few days; and it is to his kind hospitality, therefore, that I owe the fact that my first few nights at Seoul were spent comfortably and my days were well employed, my peregrinations round the town being also conducted under his guidance.

CHAPTER IV

The Coreans—­Their faces and heads—­Bachelors—­Married men—­Head-band—­Hats—­Hat-umbr
ellas—­Clothes—­Spectacles.

Being now settled for the time being in Seoul, I must introduce you to the Corean, not as a nation, you must understand, but as an individual.  It is a prevalent idea that the Coreans are Chinese, and therefore exactly like them in physique and appearance, and, if not like the Chinese, that they must be like their neighbours on the other side—­the Japanese.  As a matter of fact, they are like neither.  Naturally the continuous incursions of both Chinese and Japanese into this country have left distinct traces of their passage on the general appearance of the people; and, of course, the distinction which I shall endeavour to make is not so marked as that between whites and blacks, for the Coreans, speaking generally, do bear a certain resemblance to the other peoples of Mongolian origin.  Though belonging to this family, however, they form a perfectly distinct branch of it.  Not only that, but when you notice a crowd of Coreans you will be amazed to see among them people almost as white and with features closely approaching the Aryan, these being the higher classes in the kingdom.  The more common type is the yellow-skinned face, with slanting eyes, high cheek-bones, and thick, hanging lips.  But, again, you will observe faces much resembling the Thibetans and Hindoos, and if you carry your observations still further you will find all over the kingdom, mostly among the coolie classes, men as black as Africans, or like the people of Asia Minor.

For any one interested in types and crosses, I really do not know of a country more interesting than Cho-sen.  It seems as if specimens of almost every race populating Asia had reached and remained in the small peninsula, which fact would to some degree disprove the theory that all migrations have moved from the east towards the west and from north to south, and never vice versa.

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