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that it had, even in the least degree, done much to make his countrymen popalar 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 intluence 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 horse whips 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,

а 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 animatei 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 bappens 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 because the Americans were snobs, and deal of similarity to my Hermann and Tierwould 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 lated and illustrated with Notes by Sir John Bow

* The Flowery Scroll. A Chinese Norel. Trans has only been a few weeks here, but he has ring, LL.D., F.R.S. London: W. 11. Allen and Co.

a good

in the branches; the day is always bright distances, physical or moral, are not well and sumy, 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 civie, 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

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

here. He does this by being at once cordial and straightforward. As Lord Stanley said, it was a pleasure to work with him. The old notion of diplomacy and diplomatists is quite worn out. In former days it was held to be the highest triumph in diplomatic circles to conceal every real thought, and only to hint and insinuate aims and ambitions. Now business is done in a different way. A frank statement of what is wanted on each side is followed by a polite and, if possible, an exhaustive discussion. This is much better and much simpler; but, far from showing that diplomacy is an extinct trade, it only shows how much higher is its present standard, and, far from diplomatists now having nothing to do, they have to do very difficult things in the best possible manner. Simplicity is the height of art in this as in everything else.

From The Spectator.

HWA TSIEN KI.*

GOETHE, who was, in his old age at least, very fond of the proprieties and decorousnesses of life, even where they clearly passed the bounds of artificiality,-perhaps partly by way of reaction from the time when he used to stand with his master the Duke of Weimar cracking horse whips for a silly wager in the market-place of Weimar, -had a keen appreciation of the decorums,

that it had, even in the least degree, | done much to make his countrymen popular seemed imminent. That the present system of keeping enormous armies on foot in time of peace, in order to be ready for war, was most disastrous and pregnant with future mischief, appeared to him obvious; but he confessed that he could find no simple and satisfactory remedy. He is much too sensible and well informed to believe in projects of disarmament by arrangements and stipulations as to the number of troops and ships that each nation may keep in readiness. In fact, he could think of no substitute for standing armies, or of any means of lessening their amount. All that he thought could be done was to avert, in each case as it arose, an open rupture. To make wars few is, he thinks, an aim within the reach of modern statesmen. This may be done, or at any rate something may generally be effected towards doing it by two means. In the first place, neutrals who are known to have no sinister motive or interest may exercise their influence to heal quarrels, suggest compromises, and remove grounds of difference. In the next place, nations may choose diplomatic representatives who will be prudent and conciliatory, and who will do their best not to magnify small dissensions, and not to provoke bitterness and jealousy. As Mr. Gladstone truly said, the United States have been very wise and fortunate in this respect: and for many years have sent to England not only men among the foremost of those what the Chinese themselves call the they had to send, but men who tried to do 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 To Eckermann he may be glad that, at the time when the than in praise of it. banquet was going on, we had not to re- said in 1827, that the only difference be proach 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 Dor would be proud of talking to him. Expeothea, as well as to the English romances There is, however, this rienced and conciliatory men of business of Richardson. 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 has only been a few weeks here, but he has

*The Flowery Scroll. A Chinese Novel. Trat lated and illustrated with Notes by Sir John Bow ring, LL.D., F.R.S. London: W. H. Allen and Co

in the branches; the day is always bright and sunny, the night always clear; there is a great deal about the moon, only it does not change the aspect of the landscape; its rays are conceived as bright as those of the sun itself. And the interior of the houses is as neat and elegant as their pictures; for example, I heard the pretty maidens laugh, and when I caught sight of them they were sitting on fine bamboo chairs. There you have in a touch the most charming situation; for you cannot think of bamboo chairs without the greatest lightness and elegance." He went on to remark that the substance of the Chinese fictions"always turns on what is moral and seemly. And it is just in consequence of this severe regulation in everything that the Chinese Empire sustained itself for thousand of years, and will, by the same quality, continue to sustain itself in the future." No one can read this story, which Sir John Bowring has translated for us, without being reminded of Goethe's criticism. It is a very amusing story to one quite unversed in Chinese fictions, though but a little of this sort of thing would certainly be too much. What one feels most, is the tame extravagance, if we may use a sort of paradox, both of the life and of the style. Goethe is quite right in saying that there is a civic, citizenlike, customary, considerate, in a word, tame air about them which suggests a great resemblance to the life of the old-fashioned German cities, old Nuremberg, or Goethe's own city, old Frankfort. Everything is ceremonious without being aristocratic; the young are as pompous as the old; there is much bowing and handing about, and large words to small actions; but there is a pacific tone of town life and popular competition about it all; the energy is all strictly confined within customary channels which it is an unheardof thing to transgress. The modes and impulses of human action all resemble canals rather than rivers; they are artificial, methodical, carefully banked up, and connected together in formal net-works. But though the human life is so regulated, and tame, and formal, the garden and open-air life of China is interwoven, as Goethe says, completely with the human figures. The sun, and the moon, and the flowers, and the trees, and the ponds, and the birds are incorporated with every phrase describing human sentiment and purpose. Again, as Goethe also says, there is no graduation in the landscape effects; there is the same want of perspective in the literary pictures as in the Chinese painting; the moonlight is as bright and sharp as the sunlight; the

distances, physical or moral, are not well kept. This it is which, in spite of the tameness, gives the air of extravagance and exaggeration to all the writing, descriptive or sentimental. While the outward and inward are so closely mingled, there is something childish in the apparent inability to use more than one tone or tint at a time, whether in describing feelings or scenes. There is an entire absence of either pictorial or moral graduation. As the moonlight is painted just as bright as the sunlight, so there is no graduation in the picture of emotion. Ordinary courtesies take as intense a colour as the most passionate lovers' sentiments. The modesty of self-depreciation is even more exaggerated in its language than the humility of love. This is, however, rather a specially Oriental than a Chinese characteristic. Sir John Bowring mentions, what is well known, how the Chinese despise our despatches for their plain and straightforward expressions, their absence of hyperbole. We remember seeing in some old newspaper that a Chinese deputation to Sir John stated that the deputies “wondered at the splendour of his Phoenixlike appearance,' "- a statement which certainly out-tops the most lover-like extravagances of English poetry. So of the common compliments of life, Sir John tells us what every one has probably heard before, that

"In all their intercourse the Chinese use

the most exaggerated expressions, in deprecation of themselves and their belongings, and of laudation of the persons and possessions of those they address. Their own abodes, however grand, they call their humble cottage,' - that, however lowly, of him with whom they converse,' the illustrious palace.' Evidences of this extravagant form of expression pervade this and all Chinese novels."

Now, it is not the mere exaggeration of this sort of phraseology, so much as the loss of perspective, which is necessarily produced by there being nothing stronger left to say where stronger emotions and passions have to be represented, that strikes the reader of a Chinese fiction. The meaningless compliments of life are as emphatic as its most passionate vows; and so, too, in the painting of nature, as the buttercups and daisies, or whatever may be the Chinese equivalents, are left out of the picture altogether, and we have nothing but the peonies and the lotuses and the chloranthuses, the imagination gets fatigued with spots of equally ostentatious colour and the consequent absence of all tone in the art. Perhaps it is in some measure in consequence

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The sight of anything that had given her pleasure was intolerably painful. On whom shall I wreak my vengeance? On you, faithless one! on you, be my last curses!' And then she threw her embroidered silks and satins into the fire. What have I now to do with the adornself with an ornamented belt. No! I will forings of the toilet? Never, again, will I gird myget everything. But know you, treacherous Liang, that you are the cause of my destruction.' So, having burnt her garments, she broke her golden nails." *

of this that, in spite of the general tame- | it,-her dominoes she flung about on all sides. ness of effect, the want of any conflict, of any stand-up fight, of any elasticity and variety in the so-called action of the novel, there is so much hysteric violence about the various lovers' despair. It would almost seem as if the Orientals, having exhausted all the force of expression on tame and ceremonious compliments, are forced to get hold of something stronger than language when they get to anything like real emotion; and are therefore compelled to 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 has 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 backgammon board, and scattering her draughts and dominoes over the floor of her chamber. Here for instance is a picture of such a young lady's despair :

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"She threw her rouge and cosmetic box into the pond, that she might show her determination to abandon all care of her pretty face. I will not even hope for peace or joy. I will seek my way to the yellow wells, and find forgetfulness there.' And then she took up her luxurious looking-glass and her costly lute and broke them in pieces. Who, in the world, cares for my music, now,- Who will ever ask me how I look in Like a solitary phoenix,-like a lonely swallow, I shall droop and die.' She threw her jasper flute away,-she tore the strings of her guitar,- But fell weeping like Yu Kwan, whose tears stained her silk garments. I would not yield to the entreaties of Lung Yu, himself, nor subject myself to be betrayed by a perfidious Liao Chi. I will rather die. A pile of yellow earth shall be my habitation.' She next burnt her many-coloured pencils, and tore up her flowery note-paper. I will write no more poetry,I will not leave a fragment behind me. I long only to sleep for ever among the flowers.' Next, she burnt her backgammon board, and scattered her draughts over all the chamber. He has deceived me with treachery and lies! I think on these fleeting moments of hope and bliss with vain regrets. What, though my eyes weep blood,-what, though my sleeves are drenched with tears!" She seized her harp and broke

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artificial amusements and conventions of life, the destruction of cosmetics, the scattering of the dominoes and draughts, the breaking of the golden nails. Where this same young lady recovers her lover, we hear, "Yao Sien's spirits revived, and from that hour she began again to paint her eyebrows."

One feels a certain dread, as one reads this picture of Chinese life, especially as regards the elaborate system of civil-service competitive examinations, and the bureaucratic spirit which seems ingrained in the very heart of Chinese life, lest the Western civilization should ever tend towards this goal. When one reads of a young lady drowning under the eyes of some boatmen who had heard cries of distress, but waited for orders, and took no steps to save Yu Khing," and considers Sir John Bowring's note thereon, it is impossible not to feel a certain spasm of fear. This is Sir John Bowring's remark:

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"This is characteristic of the Chinese. I have known robberies take place in crowded streets, with not the slightest interference from the passengers, or from persons looking out

*"Chinese ladies of rank allow their nails to

grow to the length of several inches, as an evidence that they are never employed in manual labour. They stain them of a golden colour, and at night they their being accidentally broken. To break the long are protected with metallic coverings, to prevent nails is the last act of despair."

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