Across China on Foot eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 330 pages of information about Across China on Foot.

The question is, will he?

If he will, then the Occident has much to fear.  China, going ahead throughout the Empire as she is at the present moment in certain parts, will in course of time (as is only fair and natural to expect) have an army greater in numbers than is possible to any European power, and her food-bill will be two-thirds lower per head per fighting man.  Subsequently, granting that China fulfils our fears, and becomes as great a fighting power as military experts declare she will, even in our generation, by virtue of her numbers alone, apart from phenomenal powers of endurance, which as every writer on China and her people is agreed, is excelled by no other race on earth, she would be able to dictate terms to the West.  But, again, will she?  Will the people continue to live as they are living?

I personally believe that the Chinese will not.  I believe that as the nation progresses, more in accordance with lines of progress laid down by the West, so will her wants increase, and consequent expenses of life become greater.  The Yuen-nanese even are beginning to acknowledge that they have no ordinary comforts.  In other parts of the empire the people are already beginning to learn what comfort, sanitation, lighting, and general organization means—­in the home, in the city, in the country, in the nation.

And they are learning too that it all costs money, and means, perhaps, a higher state of social life.  For this they do not mind the money.  They are not going half-way—­they are going to be whole-hoggers.  And when in the future, near or far, we shall find them, as is almost inevitable, able to compete in everything with other nations, we shall find that they have not been successful in learning the source of strength without having absorbed also some of the weaknesses; they will not escape the vices, even if they learn some of the virtues of the West.—­E.J.D.]

CHAPTER XIX.

Peculiar forebodings of early morning. A would-be speaker of English. The young men of Yuen-nan and the Reform Movement. Teachers of English. Remarks on methods adopted. Disregard of the customs of centuries. A rushing Szech-wanese. Missionaries and the Educational Movement. Christianity and the position of the foreigner. Is the Chinese racially inferior to the European?  Interesting opinion. Peace of Europe and integrity of China. Chao-chow cook gets a bad time. The author’s levee.  Natural “culture” of the people. Story of the birth of boys. Notes on Hsiakwan. Experiences of the non-Chinese-speaking author at the inn. How he got the better of an official. A magnificent temple. Kwan-in and the priests.

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Across China on Foot from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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