[Illustration: A WATER-COOLIE]
The lock-carrier, again, is by no means the dirtiest individual in the land of Cho-sen, at least as far as it was my good fortune to see. Nevertheless, his clothes are invariably in a state of dilapidation, and, though intended to be white, are usually black with grease and dirt. As he is employed by the Government he wears the deepest mourning; his face, and one half of his body being actually hidden under the huge hat provided for deep mourners. He seldom possesses a pair of padded socks and sandals, and in the coldest days walks about bare-footed with his trousers turned up to the knees. He is visible only at sunrise and sunset, when he goes on his round to all the city gates in order to inspect the locks and bring or take away the keys. Slung down his back, he carries a large leather bag, something like a tennis bag, which contains numberless iron implements of different shapes and weights. He appears to be friendless and despised by everybody, and I have never seen him talk to any one. I rather pitied the poor fellow as I saw him go night after night, with his long unwashed face and hands, along the rampart of the wall from one gate to another. Apropos of this I once made a Corean very angry by remarking that “really the safety of the city could not be in dirtier hands.”
The Corean house—Doors and windows—Blinds—Rooms—The “Kan”—Roasting alive—Furniture—Treasures—The kitchen—Dinner-set—Food—Intoxicants —Gluttony—Capacity for food—Sleep—Modes of illumination—Autographs —Streets—Drainage—Smell.