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HWA TSIEN KI..

that it had, even in the least degree, done much to make his countrymen popular seemed imminent. That the present sys- here. He does this by being at once cortem of keeping enormous armies on foot in dial and straightforward. As Lord Stanley time of peace, in order to be ready for war, said, it was a pleasure to work with him. was most disastrous and pregnant with fu- The old notion of diplomacy and diplomature mischief, appeared to him obvious; but tists is quite worn out. In former days it he confessed that he could find no simple was held to be the highest triumph in diand satisfactory remedy. He is much too plomatic circles to conceal every real sensible and well informed to believe in thought, and only to hint and insinuate projects of disarmament by arrangements aims and ambitions. Now business is done and stipulations as to the number of troops in a different way. A frank statement of and ships that each nation may keep in what is wanted on each side is followed by readiness. In fact, he could think of no a polite and, if possible, an exhaustive dissubstitute for standing armies, or of any cussion. This is much better and much means of lessening their amount. All that simpler; but, far from showing that diplohe thought could be done was to avert, in macy is an extinct trade, it only shows how each case as it arose, an open rupture. To much higher is its present standard, and, make wars few is, he thinks, an aim within far from diplomatists now having nothing to the reach of modern statesmen. This may do, they have to do very difficult things in be done, or at anyrate something may gen- the best possible manner. Simplicity is the erally be effected towards doing it by two height of art in this as in everything else.

In the first place, neutrals who are known to have no sinister motive or interest may exercise their influence to heal quar

From The Spectator. rels, suggest compromises, and remove grounds of difference. In the next place, nations may choose diplomatic representa

GOETHE, who was, in his old age at least, tives who will be prudent and conciliatory, very fond of the proprieties and decorousand who will do their best not to magnify nesses of life, even where they clearly small dissensions, and not to provoke bit- passed the bounds of artificiality, - perhaps terness and jealousy. As Mr. Gladstone partly, by way of reaction from the time truly said, the United States have been when he used to stand with his master the very wise and fortunate in this respect;

Duke of Weimar cracking horsewhips for a and for many years have sent to England silly wager in the market-place of Weimar, not only men among the foremost of those

- had a keen appreciation of the decorums, they had to send, but men who tried to do

- what the Chinese themselves call the justice to England as well as to America, Tao Li,- of Chinese fiction. There was and who, while upholding the honour and something stiff and old-fashioned about the protecting the interests of their own coun- great German poet as a child, and, when try, did not attempt to bully or provoke us,

once his youth was passed, the love for the deor to steal small advantages, and keep corous and the measured returned strongly alive petty quarrels. We, in our turn, upon him, nor was he ever more animated may be glad that, at the time when the than in praise of it. To Eckermann he banquet was going on, we had not to re- said in 1827, that the only difference beproach ourselves with having taken the ad-tween the Chinese pictures of life in such vice of those who despise the Americans fictions as he had read, and the German, is most, and having sent them a lord to daz- that with the Chinese “ Everything happens zle and delight them. Nothing could be in a clearer, purer, more moral manner. nore contemptuous than the proposal to Everything with them is reasonable, citizengive the post of American Minister always like, without great passion and poetical to a nobleman, whether he was fit or not, rapture, and has in that respect a good because the Americans were snobs, and deal of similarity to my Hermann and Dorwould be proud of talking to him. Expe- uthea, as well as to the English romances rienced and conciliatory men of business of Richardson. There is, however, this are what the Americans, like all other na- difference, that with the Chinese the life tions, want to find in the diplomatists sent of outward nature is always interwoven with to them; and Mr. Johnson is an excellent that of the human figures. One always example of what such men can do in a very hears the splashing of the goldfish in the short time, when they set about their task pond, the continuous singing of the birds in the right way:

He has not only made himself popular in England, although he

* The Flowery Scroll. A Chinese Novel. Transhas only been a few weeks here, but he has Iring, LL.D., F.R.S. London: W. H. Allen and Co. in the branches; the day is always bright distances, physical or moral, are not well and sunny, the night always clear; there is kept. This it is which, in spite of the tamea great deal about the moon, only it does ness, gives the air of extravagance and exnot change the aspect of the landscape; its aggeration to all the writing, descriptive or rays are conceived as bright as those of sentimental. While the outward and inthe sun itself. And the interior of the ward are so closely mingled, there is somehouses is as neat and elegant as their pic- thing childish in the apparent inability to tures; for example, I heard the pretty use more than one tone or tint at a time, maidens laugh, and when I caught sight of whether in describing feelings or scenes. them they were sitting on fine bamboo There is an entire absence of either pictorial chairs. There you have in a touch the or moral graduation. As the moonlight is most charming situation; for you cannot painted just as bright as the sunlight, so think of bamboo chairs without the great- there is no graduation in the picture of emoest lightness and elegance.” He went on tion. Ordinary courtesies take as intense a to remark that the substance of the Chinese colour as the most passionate lovers' sentifictions “ always turns on what is moral and ments. The modesty of self-depreciation seemly. And it is just in consequence of is even more exaggerated in its language this severe regulation in everything that than the humility of love. This is, however, the Chinese Empire sustained itself for rather a specially Oriental than a Chinese thousand of years, and will, by the same characteristic. Sir John Bowring mentions, quality, continue to sustain itself in the fu- what is well known, how the Chinese deture." No one can read this story, which spise our despatches for their plain and Sir John Bowring has translated for us, straightforward expressions, their absence without being reminded of Goethe's criti- of hyperbole. We remember seeing in cism. It is a very amusing story to one some old newspaper that a Chinese deputaquite unversed in Chinese fictions, though tion to Sir John stated that the deputies but a little of this sort of thing would cer- " wondered at the splendour of his Phænixtainly be too much. What one feels most, like appearance," - a statement which ceris the tame extravagance, if we may use a tainly out-tops the most lover-like extravasort of paradox, both of the life and of the gances of English poetry. So of the comstyle. Goethe is quite right in saying that mon compliments of life, Sir John tells us there is a civic, citizenlike, customary, con- what every one has probably heard before, siderate, in a word, tame air about them that which suggests a great resemblance to the life of the old-fashioned German cities, old

lated and illustrated with Notes by Sir John Bow.

“In all their intercourse the Chinese use Nuremberg, or Goethe's own city, old the most exaggerated expressions, in deprecation Frankfort. Everything is ceremonious with of themselves and their belongings, and of laudaout being aristocratic; the young are as

tion of the persons and possessions of those they pompous as the old; there is much bowing they call their • humble cottage,' — that, how

address. Their own abodes, however grand, and handing about, and large words to ever lowly, of him with whom they converse, the small actions ; but there is a pacific tone of illustrious palace. Evidences of this extravatown life and popular competition about it gant form of expression pervade this and all Chiall; the energy is all strictly confined with

nese novels.” in customary channels which it is an unheardof thing to transgress. The modes and im- Now, it is not the mere exaggeration of pulses of human action all resemble canals this sort of phraseology, so much as the loss rather than rivers ; they are artificial, meth- of perspective, which is necessarily proodical, carefully banked up, and connected duced by there being nothing stronger left together in formal net-works. But though to say where stronger emotions and passions the human life is so regulated, and tame, have to be represented, that strikes the and formal, the garden and open-air life of reader of a Chinese fiction. The meaningChina is interwoven, as Goethe says, com- less compliments of life are as emphatic as pletely with the human figures. The sun, its most passionate vows; and so, too, in and the moon, and the flowers, and the the painting of nature, as the buttercups trees, and the ponds, and the birds are in- and daisies, or whatever may be the Chinese corporated with - every phrase describing equivalents, are left out of the picture altohuman sentiment and purpose. Again, as gether, and we have nothing but the peonies Goethe also says, there is no graduation in and the lotuses and the chloranthuses, the the landscape effects; there is the same imagination gets fatigued with spots of want of perspective in the literary pictures equally ostentatious colour and the conseas in the Chinese painting; the moonlight quent absence of all tone in the art. Peris as bright and sharp as the sunlight; the haps it is in some measure in consequence

means.

that it had, even in the least degree, done much to make his countrymen popular seemed imminent. That the present sys- here. He does this by being at once cortem of keeping enormous armies on foot in dial and straightforward. As Lord Stanley time of peace, in order to be ready for war, said, it was a pleasure to work with him. was most disastrous and pregnant with fu- The old notion of diplomacy and diplomature mischief, appeared to him obvious; but tists is quite worn out. In former days it he confessed that he could find no simple was held to be the highest triumph in diand satisfactory remedy. He is much too plomatic circles to conceal every real sensible and well informed to believe in thought, and only to hint and insinuate projects of disarmament by arrangements aims and ambitions. Now business is done and stipulations as to the number of troops in a different way. A frank statement of and ships that each nation may keep in what is wanted on each side is followed by readiness. In fact, he could think of no a polite and, if possible, an exhaustive dissubstitute for standing armies, or of any cussion. This is much better and much means of lessening their amount. All that simpler; but, far from showing that diplohe thought could be done was to avert, in macy is an extinct trade, it only shows how each case as it arose, an open rupture. To much higher is its present standard, and, make wars few is, he thinks, an aim within far from diplomatists now having nothing to the reach of modern statesmen. This may do, they have to do very difficult things in be done, or at anyrate something may gen- the best possible manner. Simplicity is the erally be effected towards doing it by two height of art in this as in everything else.

In the first place, neutrals who are known to have no sinister motive or interest may exercise their influence to heal quar

From The Spectator. rels, suggest compromises, and remove

HWA TSIEN KI.* grounds of difference. In the next place, nations may choose diplomatic representa

GOETHE, who was, in his old age at least, tives who will be prudent and conciliatory, very fond of the proprieties and decorousand who will do their best not to magnify nesses of life, even where they clearly small dissensions, and not to provoke bit- passed the bounds of artificiality, - perhaps terness and jealousy. As Mr. Gladstone partly, by way of reaction from the time truly said, the United States have been when he used to stand with his master the very wise and fortunate in this respect;

Duke of Weimar cracking horsewhips for a and for many years have sent to England silly wager in the market-place of Weimar, not only men among the foremost of those

- had a keen appreciation of the decorums, they had to send, but men who tried to do

what the Chinese themselves call the justice to England as well as to America, Tao Li,- of Chinese fiction. There was and who, while upholding the honour and something stiff and old-fashioned about the protecting the interests of their own coun- great German poet as a child, and, when try, did not attempt to bully or provoke us,

once his youth was passed, the love for the de or to steal small advantages, and keep corous and the measured returned strongly alive petty quarrels. We, in our turn, upon him, nor was he ever more animated may be glad that, at the time when the than in praise of it. To Eckermann be banquet was going on, we had not to re- said in 1827, that the only difference beproach ourselves with having taken the ad-tween the Chinese pictures of life in such vice of those who despise the Americans fictions as he had read, and the German, is most, and having sent them a lord to daz- that with the Chinese - Everything happens zle and delight them. Nothing could be in a clearer, purer, more moral manner. nore, contemptuous than the proposal to Everything with them is reasonable, citizengive the post of American Minister always like, without great passion and poetica! to a nobleman, whether he was fit or not, rapture, and has in that respect a good because the Americans were snobs, and deal of similarity to my Hermann and Dire would be proud of talking to him. Expe- uthea, as well as to the English rienced and conciliatory ‘men of business of Richardson. There is, however, this are what the Americans, like all other na

difference, that with the Chinese the life tions, want to find in the diplomatists sent of outward nature is always interwoven with to them; and Mr. Johnson is an excellent that of the human figures. One always example of what such men can do in a very hears the splashing of the goldeisb in tbe short time, when they set about their task pond, the continuous singing of the birds in the right way. He has not only made himself popular in England, although he

* The Flowery Scroll. A Chinese Norel. Trats

lated and illustrated with Notes hr Sir Joha Wim has only been a few weeks here, but he has ring, LL.D., F.R.S. London: W. 1. Allen and la

romances

in the branches; the day is always bright distances, physical or moral, are not well and sunny, the night always clear; there is kept. This it is which, in spite of the tamea great deal about the moon, only it does ness, gives the air of extravagance and exnot change the aspect of the landscape; its aggeration to all the writing, descriptive or rays are conceived as bright as those of sentimental. While the outward and inthe sun itself. And the interior of the ward are so closely mingled, there is somehouses is as neat and elegant as their pic- thing childish in the apparent inability to tures; for example, I heard the pretty use more than one tone or tint at a time, maidens laugh, and when I caught sight of whether in describing feelings or scenes. them they were sitting on fine bamboo There is an entire absence of either pictorial chairs. There you have in a touch the or moral graduation. As the moonlight is most charming situation; for you cannot painted just as bright as the sunlight, so think of bamboo chairs without the great- there is no graduation in the picture of emoest lightness and elegance.” He went on tion. Ordinary courtesies take as intense a to remark that the substance of the Chinese colour as the most passionate lovers' sentifictions “always turns on what is moral and ments. The modesty of self-depreciation seemly. And it is just in consequence of is even more exaggerated in its language this severe regulation in everything that than the humility of love. This is, however, the Chinese Empire sustained itself for rather a specially Oriental than a Chinese thousand of

years, and will, by the same characteristic. Sir John Bowring mentions, quality, continue to sustain itself in the fu- what is well known, how the Chinese deture." No one can read this story, which spise our despatches for their plain and Sir John Bowring has translated for us, straightforward expressions, their absence without being reminded of Goethe's criti- of hyperbole. We remember seeing in cism. It is a very amusing story to one some old newspaper that a Chinese deputaquite unversed in Chinese fictions, though tion to Sir John stated that the deputies but a little of this sort of thing would cer- “wondered at the splendour of his Phænixtainly be too much. What one feels most, like appearance,"

- a statement which ceris the tame extravagance, if we may use a tainly out-tops the most lover-like extravasort of paradox, both of the life and of the gances of English poetry. So of the comstyle. Goethe is quite right in saying that mon compliments of life, Sir John tells us there is a civic, citizenlike, customary, con- what every one has probably heard before, siderate, in a word, tame air about them that which suggests a great resemblance to the life of the old-fashioned German cities, old

“In all their intercourse the Chinese use Nuremberg, or Goethe's own city, old the most exaggerated expressions, in deprecation Frankfort. Everything is ceremonious with of themselves and their belongings, and of laudaout being aristocratic; the young are as

tion of the persons and possessions of those they

address. pompous as the old ; there is much bowing they call their · humble cottage,' — that, how

Their own abodes, however grand, and handing about, and large words to small actions ; but there is a pacific tone of illustrious palace.' Evidences of this extrava

ever lowly, of him with whom they converse, 'the town life and popular competition about it gant form of expression pervade this and all Chiall; the energy is all strictly confined with

nese novels.” in customary channels which it is an unheardof thing to transgress. The modes and im- Now, it is not the mere exaggeration of pulses of human action all resemble canals this sort of phraseology, so much as the loss rather than rivers ; they are artificial, meth- of perspective, which is necessarily proodical, carefully banked up, and connected duced by there being nothing stronger left together in formal net-works. But though to say where stronger emotions and passions the human life is so regulated, and tame, have to be represented, that strikes the and formal, the garden and open-air life of reader of a Chinese fiction. The meaningChina is interwoven, as Goethe says, com- less compliments of life are as emphatic as pletely with the human figures. The sun, its most passionate vows; and so, too, in and the moon, and the flowers, and the the painting of nature, as the buttercups trees, and the ponds, and the birds are in- and daisies, or whatever may be the Chinese corporated with - every phrase describing equivalents, are left out of the picture altohuman sentiment and purpose. Again, as gether, and we have nothing but the peonies Goetbe also says, there is no graduation in and the lotuses and the chloranthuses, the the landscape effects; there is the same imagination gets fatigued with spots of want of perspective in the literary pictures equally ostentatious colour and the conseas in the Chinese painting; the moonlight quent absence of all tone in the art. Peris as bright and sharp as the sunlight; the haps it is in some measure in consequence

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of this that, in spite of the general tame- it,- her dominoes she fung about on all sides. ness of effect, the want of any conflict, of The sight of anything that had given her pleas. any stand-up fight, of any elasticity and va- ure was intolerably painful. "On whom shall I riety in the so-called action of the novel, wreak my vengeance? On you, faithless one! there is so much hysteric violence about on you, be my last curses!' And then she the various lovers despair. It would al- threw her embroidered silks and satins into the most seem as if the Orientals, having ex- ings of the toilet? Never, again, will I gird my

fire. What have I now to do with the adornhausted all the force of expression on tame self with an ornamented belt. No! I will forand ceremonious compliments, are forced

get everything. But know you, treacherous to get hold of something stronger than lan- Liang, that you are the cause of my destruction.' guage when they get to anything like real So, having burnt her garments, she broke her emotion; and are therefore compelled to golden nails. introduce floods of tears, shiverings, raids upon furniture, and suicide, as the only fit And of another young lady, when in a parexpressions of actual misery when they' de- oxysm of despair of a rather less keen orsire to paint it vividly. The range of ex- der, - despair for a betrothed husband whom pression which words can convey having she bas never seen or heard from, and who been entirely used up for the faintest and does not care for her,- it is told that “ she feeblest feelings, the Orientals are forced rouged herself no longer, dropped her paintto tear their garments, cast dust on their box, and was sorely afflicted," vowing to heads, and use, in short, violent action, wear“ silk dresses " no more. The “ breakwhen they want to delineate strong feelings. ing the golden nails” is a very expressive But this, as we said, is not, we fancy, spe- act of Chinese despair, just as letting them cially Chinese, but Oriental. What does grow, and crushing the feet till neither feet seem to be Chinese is the specially artificial nor hands are of any use, is very expresmode of conveying hysterical feeling,— the sive of the thorough artificiality of Chinese high-born mode of committing suicide, fashion. The very highest expression of for instance, by eating gold leaf, - the fash- despair short of suicide seems, in China, to ion whereby a young lady expresses a break- be expressed by the repudiation of the most ing heart by burning her cosmetics and her artificial amusements and conventions of backgammon board, and scattering her life,— the destruction of cosmetics, the scatdraughts and dominoes over the floor of tering of the dominoes and draughts, the her chamber. Here for instance is a pic- breaking of the golden nails. Where this ture of such a young lady's despair: same young lady recovers her lover, we

hear, “ Yao Sien's spirits revived, and from “ She threw her rouge and cosmetic box into that hour she began again to paint her eyethe pond, that she might show her determination brows." to abandon all care of her pretty face. I will One feels a certain dread, as one reads not even hope for peace or joy. I will seek my this picture of Chinese life, especially as reway to the yellow wells, and find forgetfulness gards the elaborate system of civil-service there." looking-glass and her costly lute and broke them competitive examinations, and the bureauin pieces. Who, in the world, cares for my mu

cratic spirit which seems ingrained in the sic, now,- Who will ever ask me how I look in very heart of Chinese lise, lest the Western the mirror ? Like a solitary phoenix,- like a

civilization should ever tend towards this lonely swallow,- I shall droop and die.' She goal. When one reads of a young lady threw her jasper flute away,—she tore the strings drowning under the eyes of some boatmen of her guitar,— But fell weeping like Yu Kwan, • who had beard cries of distress, but whose tears stained her silk garments. I would waited for orders, and took no steps to not yiell to the entreaties of Lung Yu, himself, save Yu Khing," and considers Sir John nor subject myself to be betrayed by a perfilious Bowring's note thereon, it is impossible not Liao Chi. I will rather die. A pile of yellow to feel a certain spasm of fear. This is Sir earth shall be my habitation.' She next burnt John Bowring's remark:her many-coloured pencils, and tore up her Howery note-paper. I will write no more poetry,- “ This is characteristic of the Chinese. I I will not leave a fragment bebind me. long have known robberies take place in crowiled only to sleep for ever among the flowers.' Next, streets, with not the slightest interference from she burnt her backgammon board, and scattered the passengers, or from persons looking out her draughts over all the chamber. · He has deceived me with treachery and lies! I think grow to the length of several inches, as an evidence on these Heeting moments of hope and bliss with that they are never employed in manual labour. vain regrets.

Whit, though my eyes weep They stain them ofn golden colour, and at night they blood, — what, though my sleeves are drenched are protected with metallic coverings to prevent

their being accidentally broken. To break the lung with tears! She seized her harp and broke nails is the last act of despair.”

** Chinese ladies of rank allow their nails to

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