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Letters from China and Japan
by John Dewey
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Yesterday we went to see a friend's house. It is interesting and I should like to live in one like it. There is no water except what the water man brings every day. This little house has eighteen rooms around a court. It means four separate roofs and going outdoors to get from one to another. When the mercury is at twenty below zero it would mean that just the same. All the ground floors have stone floors. We did not see all the rooms; there are paper windows in some and glass windows in some. In summer they put on a temporary roof of mats over the court. It is higher than the roofs and so allows ventilation and gives good shade.



June 5.

This is Thursday morning, and last night we heard that about one thousand students were arrested the day before. Yesterday afternoon a friend got a pass which permitted him to enter the building where the students were confined. They have filled up the building of Law, and have begun on the Science building, in consequence of which the faculty have to go to the Missionary buildings to-day to hold their faculty meeting. At four yesterday afternoon, the prisoners who had been put in that day at ten had had no food. One of our friends went out and got the University to appropriate some money and they ordered a carload of bread sent in. This bread means some little biscuit sometimes called raised biscuit at home. I think carload means one of the carts in which they are delivered. At any rate, the boys had some food, though not at the expense of the police. On the whole, the checkmate of the police seems surely impending. They will soon have the buildings full, as the students are getting more and more in earnest, and the most incredible part of it is that the police are surprised. They really thought the arrests would frighten the others from going on. So everybody is getting an education. This morning one of our friends here is going to take us up to the University to see the military encampment, and I hope he will take us inside also, though I hardly think he will do the latter.

As near as I can find out, the Chinese have reached that interesting stage of development when they must do something for women and do as little as they can, but in case they must have a girls' school they find that a convenient place to unload an antiquated official who really can't be endured any longer by real folks.

No one can tell to-day what the students' strike will bring next; it may bring a revolution, it may do anything surprising to the police, who seem to be as lacking in imagination as police are famous for being. Everyone here is getting ready to flee for the summer, which is very hot during July. On the whole, the heat is perhaps less hard to endure than the heat of New York, as it is so dry. But the dryness has its own effect and when those hard winds blow up the dust storms it gets on the nerves. Dust heaps up inside the house, and cuts the skin both inside and outside of the body. This is a lucky day, being cloudy and a little damp as if it might rain.

The Western Hill was an experience to remember. Stepping from a Ford limousine to a chair carried by four men and an outwalker alongside, we were thus taken by fifteen men to the temples, your father, an officer from the Department of Education, and I. The men walked over the paths in the dust and on stones which no one thinks of picking up. It was so astounding to call it a pleasure resort that we could only stare and remain dumb. We saw three temples and one royal garden. Five hundred Buddhas in one building, and all the buildings tumble-down and dirty. On top of one hill is a huge building which cost a million or more to build about four hundred years ago by someone for his tomb. Then he did something wrong, probably stole from the wrong person, and was not allowed to be buried there. Round the temple places the trees remain and give a refreshing oasis, and there are some beautiful springs. All the time we kept saying, "Trees ought to be planted." "Yes, but they take so long to grow," or, "Yes, but they will not grow, it is so dry," etc. Sometimes they would say, "Yes, we must plant some trees," or more likely, "Yes, I think we may plant some trees sometime, but we have an Arbor Day and the people cut down the trees or else they did." We would show that the trees would grow because they were there round the temples, and besides grass was growing and trees would grow where grass would grow in such dry weather, and they would say the same things over. It made the little forestry station in Nanking seem like a monumental advance, while that fearful sun was beating up the dust under the stones as the men gave us the Swedish massage in the motion of the chairs. Fifty men and more stood around as we got in and out of the car and five men apiece stood and waited for us as we walked round the temple and ate our lunch and spent the time sipping tea, and yet they cannot plant trees, and that is China.

The whole country is covered every inch with stones. Nature has supplied them, and falling walls are everywhere. We saw one great thing, however. They are building a new school house and orphanage for the children of that village. Many of the children are naked everywhere hereabouts and they stand with sunburned heads, their backs covered only with coats of dirt, eating their bean food in the street. Everywhere the food is laid out on tables by the roadside ready to eat. In one temple, a certain official here has promised to rebuild a small shrine which houses the laughing Buddha, who is made of bronze and was once covered with lacquer, which is now mostly split off. At present the only shade the god has is a roof of mats which they have braced up on the pile of ruins that once made a roof. The President of the Republic has built a lovely big gate like the old ones, because it is propitious and would bring him good fortune. But he has decided it was not propitious, something went wrong with the gods, I did not learn what it was; anyway, he is now tearing down one of the big buttresses on one side of it to see if fate will treat him more kindly then. Just what he wants of fate I did not learn either, but perhaps it is that fate should make him Emperor, as that seems to be their idea of curing poverty and political evils. I forgot to say that they never remove ruins; everything is left to lie as it falls or is falling, so one gets a good idea of how gods are constructed. Most of them were of clay, a sort of concrete built up on a wood frame, and badly as they need wood I have never seen a sign of piling up the fallen beams of a temple. Instead of that, you risk your life by walking under these falling roofs unless you have the sense to look after your own safety. In most of these Peking temples they do sweep the floors and even some of the statues look as if they had some time been dusted, though this last I am not certain about.



PEKING, June 5.

As has been remarked before, you never can tell. The students were stirred up by orders dissolving their associations, and by the "mandates" criticising the Japanese boycott and telling what valuable services the two men whose dismissal was demanded had rendered the country. So they got busy—the students. They were also angered because the industrial departments of two schools were ordered closed by the police. In these departments the students had set about seeing what things of Japanese importation could be replaced by hand labor without waiting for capital. After they worked it out in the school they went out to the shops and taught the people how to make them, and then peddled them about, making speeches at the same time. Well, yesterday when we went about we noticed that the students were speaking more than usual, and while the streets were full of soldiers the students were not interfered with; in the afternoon a procession of about a thousand students was even escorted by the police. Then in the evening a telephone came from the University that the tents around the University buildings where the students were imprisoned had been struck and the soldiers were all leaving. Then the students inside held a meeting and passed a resolution asking the government whether they were guaranteed freedom of speech, because if they were not, they would not leave the building merely to be arrested again, as they planned to go on speaking. So they embarrassed the government by remaining in "jail" all night. We haven't heard to-day what has happened, but the streets are free of soldiers, and there were no students talking anywhere we went, so I fancy a truce has been arranged while they try and fix things up. The government's ignominious surrender was partly due to the fact that the places of detention were getting full and about twice as many students spoke yesterday as the day before, when they arrested a thousand, and the government for the first time realized that they couldn't bulldoze the students; it was also partly due to the fact that the merchants in Shanghai struck the day before yesterday, and there is talk that the Peking merchants are organizing for the same purpose. This is, once more, a strange country; the so-called republic is a joke; all it has meant so far is that instead of the Emperor having a steady job, the job of ruling and looting is passed around to the clique that grabs power. One of the leading militarist party generals invited his dearest enemy to breakfast a while ago—within the last few months—in Peking, and then lined his guest against the wall and had him shot. Did this affect his status? He is still doing business at the old stand. But in some ways there is more democracy than we have; leaving out the women, there is complete social equality, and while the legislature is a perfect farce, public opinion, when it does express itself, as at the present time, has remarkable influence. Some think the worst officials will now resign and get out, others that the militarists will attempt a coup d'etat and seize still more power rather than back down. Fortunately, the latter seem to be divided at the present time. But all of the student (and teacher) crowd are much afraid that even if the present gang is thrown out, it will be only to replace them by another set just as bad, so they are refraining from appealing to the army for help.

Later.—The students have now asked that the chief of police come personally to escort them out and make an apology. In many ways, it seems like an opera bouffe, but there is no doubt that up to date they have shown more shrewdness and policy than the government, and are getting the latter where it is a laughing stock, which is fatal in China. But the government isn't inactive; they have appointed a new Minister of Education and a new Chancellor of the University, both respectable men, with no records and colorless characters. It is likely the Faculty will decline to receive the new Chancellor unless he makes a satisfactory declaration—which he obviously can't, and thus the row will begin all over again, with the Faculty involved. If the government dared, it would dissolve the University, but the scholar has a sacred reputation in China.



June 7.

The whole story of the students is funny and not the least funny part is that last Friday the students were speaking and parading with banners and cheers and the police standing near them like guardian angels, no one being arrested or molested. We heard that one student pouring out hot eloquence was respectfully requested to move his audience along a little for the reason that they were so numerous in statu quo as to impede traffic, and the policeman would not like to be held responsible for interfering with the traffic. Meantime, Saturday the government sent an apology to the students who were still in prison of their own free will waiting for the government to apologize and to give them the assurance of free speech, etc. The students are said to have left the building yesterday morning, though we have no accurate information. The Faculty of the University met and refused to recognize or accept the new Chancellor. They sent a committee to the government to tell them that, and one to the Chancellor to tell him also and to ask him to resign. It seems the newly-appointed Chancellor used to be at the head of the engineering school of the University, but he was kicked out in the political struggle. He is an official of the Yuan Shi Kai school and has become a rich rubber merchant in Malay, and anyway they do not want a mere rubber merchant as President of the University, and they think they may so explain that to the new Chancellor that he will not look upon the office as so attractive as he thought it was.

There is complete segregation in this city in all public gatherings, the women at the theaters are put off in one of those real galleries such as we think used to be and are not now. The place for the women in the hall of the Board of Education is good enough and on one side facing the hall so that all the men can look at them freely and so protect that famous modesty which I have heard more of in China than for many years previously.

Gasoline is one dollar a gallon here and a Ford car costs $1900. Ivory soap five for one dollar. Clean your dress for $2.50. Tooth paste one dollar a tube, vaseline 50 cents a small bottle. Washing three cents each, including dresses and men's coats and shirts; fine cook ten dollars a month. They have a very good one here, and I am going right on getting fat on delicious Chinese food. The new Rockefeller Institute, called the Union Medical College, is very near here, and they are making beautiful buildings in the old Chinese style, to say nothing of their Hygiene. They have just decided to open it to women, but I am rather suspicious the requirements will prevent the women's using it at first.

Peking is still much of a capital city and is divided into the diplomats and the missionaries. It seems there is not much lacking except the old Dowager Empress to make up the old Peking.



PEKING, June 10.

The students have taken the trick and won the game at the present moment—I decline to predict the morrow when it comes to China. Sunday morning I lectured at the auditorium of the Board of Education and at that time the officials there didn't know what had happened. But the government sent what is called a pacification delegate to the self-imprisoned students to say that the government recognized that it had made a mistake and apologized. Consequently the students marched triumphantly out, and yesterday their street meetings were bigger and more enthusiastic than ever. The day before they had hooted at four unofficial delegates who had asked them to please come out of jail, but who hadn't apologized. But the biggest victory is that it is now reported that the government will to-day issue a mandate dismissing the three men who are always called traitors—yesterday they had got to the point of offering to dismiss one, the one whose house was attacked by the students on the fourth of May, but they were told that that wouldn't be enough, so now they have surrendered still more. Whether this will satisfy the striking merchants or whether they will make further demands, having won the first round, doesn't yet appear. There are lots of rumors, of course. One is that the backdown is not only due to the strike of merchants, but to a fear that the soldiers could no longer be counted upon. There was even a rumor that a regiment at Western Hills was going to start for Peking to side with the students. Rumors are one of China's strong suits. When you realize that we have been here less than six weeks, you will have to admit that we have been seeing life. For a country that is regarded at home as stagnant and unchanging, there is certainly something doing.

This is the world's greatest kaleidoscope.

Wilson's Decoration Day Address has just been published; perhaps it sounds academic at home, but over here Chinese at least regard it as very practical—as, in fact, a definite threat. On the other hand, we continue to get tales of how the Washington State Department has declined to take the reports sent from here as authentic. Lately they have had a number of special agents over here, more or less secret, to get independent information.

In talking about democratic developments in America, whenever I make a remark such as the Americans do not depend upon the government to do things for them, but go ahead and do things for themselves, the response is immediate and emphatic. The Chinese are socially a very democratic people and their centralized government bores them.



June 16.

Chinesewise speaking, we are now having another lull. The three "traitors" have had their resignations accepted, the cabinet is undergoing reconstruction, the strike has been called off, both of students and merchants (the railwaymen striking was the last straw), and the mystery is what will happen next. There are evidences that the extreme militarists are spitting on their hands to take hold in spite of their defeat, and also that the President, who is said to be a moderate and skillful politician, is nursing things along to get matters more and more into his own hands. Although he issued a mandate against the students and commending the traitors, the students' victory seems to have strengthened him. I can't figure it out, but it is part of the general beginning to read at the back of the book. The idea seems to be that he has demonstrated the weakness of the militarists in the country, while in sticking in form by them he has given them no excuse for attacking him. They are attacking most everybody else in anonymous circulars. One was got out signed "Thirteen hundred and fifty-eight students," but giving no names, saying that the sole object of the strike was to regain Tsingtao, but that a few men had tried to turn the movement to their own ends, one wishing to be Chancellor of the University.



PEKING, June 20.

Some time ago I had decided to tell you that here I had found the human duplication of the bee colony in actual working order. China is it, and in all particulars lives up to the perfect socialization of the race. Nobody can do anything alone, nobody can do anything in a hurry. The hunt of the bee for her cell goes on before one's eyes all the time. When found, lo, the discovery that the cell was there all the time. Let me give you an example.

We go to the art school for lectures, enter by a door at the end of a long hall. Behind that hall is another large room and in back of the second room somewhere is a place where the men make the tea. Near the front door where we enter is the table where we are always asked to sit down before and after the lecture, whereat we sit down to partake of tea and other beverages, such as soda. Well, the teacups are kept in a cabinet at the front end of the first room right near the entrance door. Comes a grown man from the rear somewhere; silently and with stately tread he walks across the long room to the cabinet, takes one teacup in each hand and retreads the space towards the back. After sufficient time he returns bearing in his two hands these cups filled with hot tea. He puts these down on the table for us and then he takes two more cups from the cabinet, and retires once more, returning later as before. When bottles are opened they are brought near the table, because otherwise the soda would be spoiled in carrying open, never to save steps.

The Chinese kitchen is always several feet from the dining room, under a separate roof. Often you must cross a court in the open to get from one to another. As it has not rained since we have been here, I do not know what happens to the soup under the umbrella. But remember, the beehive is the thing in China, and it is the old-fashioned beehive in the barrel. When you look at the men who are doing it all they have the air of strong, quiet beings who might do almost anything, but when you get acquainted with them, how they do almost nothing is a marvelous achievement. At Ching Hua College, said being the famous Boxer Indemnity College, the houses are new and built by American initiative, and the kitchen is forty feet from the dining room door in those. I will not describe the kitchens, but when you see the clay stoves crumbling in places, no sink, and one window on one side of the rather dark room, a little room where the cook sleeps on a board and where both the men eat their own frugal meals, it is all the Middle Ages undisturbed.



PEKING, June 20.

Last weekend we went out about ten miles to Ching Hua College; this is the institution started with the returned Boxer Indemnity Fund; it's a high school with about two years college work; they have just graduated sixty or seventy who are going to America next year to finish up. They go all around, largely to small colleges and the Middle West state institutions, a good many to Tech and a number to Stevens, though none go to Columbia, because it is in a big city; just what improvement Hoboken is I don't know. China is full of Columbia men, but they went there for graduate work. No doubt it is wise keeping them away from a big city at first. Except for the instruction in Chinese, the teaching is all done in English, and the boys seem to speak English quite well already. It's a shame the way they will be treated, the insults they will have to put up with in America before they get really adjusted. And then when they get back here they have even a worse time getting readjusted. They have been idealizing their native land at the same time that they have got Americanized without knowing it, and they have a hard time to get a job to make a living. They have been told that they are the future saviors of their country and then their country doesn't want them for anything at all—and they can't help making comparisons and realizing the backwardness of China and its awful problems. At the same time at the bottom of his heart probably every Chinese is convinced of the superiority of Chinese civilization—and maybe they are right—three thousand years is quite a spell to hold on.

You may come over here some time in your life, so it will do no harm to learn about the money—about it, nobody but the Chinese bankers ever learn it. There are eleven dimes in a dollar and six twenty-cent pieces, and while there are only eleven coppers in a dime, there are one hundred and thirty-eight in a dollar. Consequently the thrifty always carry a pound or two of big coppers with them to pay 'ricksha men with. Then there are various kinds of paper money. We are going to Western Hills tomorrow night, and under instructions I bought some dollars at sixty-five cents apiece which are good for a whole dollar on this railway and apparently nowhere else. On the contrary, the foreigners are done all the time at the hotels; there they only give you five twenty-cent pieces in change for a dollar, and so on—but they are run by foreigners, and not by the wily Chinese. One thing you will be glad to know is that Peking is Americanized to the extent that we have ice cream at least once a day, two big helpings. This helps.

A word to the wise. Never ask a Chinese whether it is going to rain, or any other question about the coming weather. The turtle is supposed to be a weather prophet, and as the turtle is regarded as the vilest creature on earth, you can see what an insult such a question is. One of their subtle compliments to the Japanese during the late campaign was to take a straw hat, of Japanese make, which they had removed from a passerby's head, and cut it into the likeness of a turtle and then nail it up on a telephone post.

I find, by the way, that I didn't do the students justice when I compared their first demonstration here to a college boys' roughhouse; the whole thing was planned carefully, it seems, and was even pulled off earlier than would otherwise have been the case, because one of the political parties was going to demonstrate soon, and they were afraid their movement (coming at the same time) would make it look as if they were an agency of the political faction, and they wanted to act independently as students. To think of kids in our country from fourteen on, taking the lead in starting a big cleanup reform politics movement and shaming merchants and professional men into joining them. This is sure some country.



PEKING, June 23.

Last night we had a lovely dinner at the house of a Chinese official. All the guests were men except me and the fourteen-year-old daughter of the house. She was educated in an English school here and speaks beautiful English, besides being a talented and interesting girl. Chinese girls at her age seem older than ours. The family consists of five children and two wives. I found the reason the daughter was hostess was that it was embarrassing to choose between the two wives for hostess and they didn't want to give us a bad impression, so no wife appeared. We were given to understand that the reason for the non-appearance was that mother was sick. There is a new little baby six weeks old. The father is a delicate, refined little man, very proud of his children and fond of them, and they were all brought out to see us, even the six weeks older, who was very hot in a little red dress. Our host is the leader of a party of liberal progressives, and also an art collector. We had hopes he would show us his collection of things. He did not, except for the lovely porcelain that was on the table. The house is big and behind the wall of the Purple City, as they call the old Forbidden City, and it looks on the famous old pagoda, so it was interesting. We sat in the court for coffee and there seemed to be many more courts leading on one behind another as they do here, sometimes fourteen or more, with chains of houses around each one.

As for the dinner, I forgot to say that the cook is a remarkable man, Fukien, who gave us the most delicious Chinese cookery with French names attached on the menu. Cooking is apt to be named geographically here. Most everyone in Peking came from somewhere else, just as should be in a capital city. But they seem to keep the cooks and cook in accordance with the predilections of the old home province. They have adopted ice cream, showing the natural sense of the race, but the daughter of our host told me that they do not give it to the sick, as they still have the idea that the sick should have nothing cold.

They are now thrashing the wheat in this locality. That consists of cutting it with the sickle and having the women and children glean. The main crop is scattered on the floor, as it is called, being a hard piece of ground near the house, and then the wheat is treaded out by a pair of donkeys attached to a roller about as big as our garden roller. After it is out of the husk, it is winnowed by being tossed in the breeze, which takes the time of a number of people and leaves in a share of the mother earth. The crops are very thin round this region and they say that they are thinner than usual, as this is a drier year than usual. Corn is small, but there is some growing between here and the hills where we went, always in the little pieces of ground, of course. Peanuts and sweet potatoes are planted now, and they seem to be growing well in the dust, which has been wet by the recent day of rain.



PEKING, June 25.

Simple facts for home consumption. All boards in China are sawed by hand—two men and a saw, like a cross-cut buck-saw. At the new Hotel de Peking, a big building, instead of carrying window casings ready to put in, they are carrying big logs cut the proper length for a casing. Spitting is a common accomplishment. When a school girl wants excuse to leave her seat she walks across the room and spits vigorously in the spittoon. Little melons are now ready to eat. They come like ripe cucumbers, small, rather sweet. Coolies and boys eat them, skins and all, on the street. Children eat small green apples. Peaches are expensive, but those who can get the green hard ones eat them raw. The potted pomegranates are now in bloom and also in fruit in the pots. The color is a wonderful scarlet. The lotus ponds are in bloom—wonderful color in a deep rose. When the buds are nearly ready to open they look as if they were about to explode and fill the air with their intense color. The huge leaves are brilliant and lovely—light green and delicately veined. But the lotus was never made for art, and only religion could have made it acceptable to art. The sacred ponds are well kept and are in the old moats of the Purple City—Forbidden. There are twice as many men in Peking as women.

Sunday we went to a Chinese wedding. It was at the Naval Club—no difference in appearance from our ceremony. Bride and groom both in the conventional foreign dress. They had a ring. At the supper there were six tables full of men, and three partly full of women and children. Women take their children and their amahs everywhere in China—I mean wherever they go and provided they want to; it is the custom. None of the men spoke to the women at the wedding—except rare returned students. Eggs cost $1.00 for 120—we get all we want in our boarding house. Men take birds out for walks—either in cages or with one leg tied to a string attached to a stick on which the bird perches.



PEKING, June 27.

It's a wonder we were ever let out of Japan at all. It's fatal; I could now tell after reading ten lines of the writings of any traveler whether he ever journeyed beyond a certain point. You have to hand it to the Japanese. Their country is beautiful, their treatment of visitors is beautiful, and they have the most artistic knack of making the visible side of everything beautiful, or at least attractive. Deliberate deceit couldn't be one-tenth as effective; it's a real gift of art. They are the greatest manipulators of the outside of things that ever lived. I realized when I was there that they were a nation of specialists, but I didn't realize that foreign affairs and diplomacy were also such a specialized art.

The new acting Minister of Education has invited us to dinner soon. This man doesn't appear to have any past educational record, but he has pursued a conciliatory course; the other one resigned and disappeared when he found he couldn't control things. The really liberal element does not appear to be strong enough at present to influence politics practically. The struggle is between the extreme militarists, who are said to be under Japanese influence, and the group of somewhat colorless moderates headed by the President. As he gets a chance he appears to be putting his men in. The immediate gain seems to be negative in keeping the other crowd out instead of positive, but they are at least honest and will probably respond when there is enough organized liberal pressure brought to bear upon them.

It cannot be denied that it is hot here. Yesterday we went out in 'rickshas about the middle of the day and I don't believe I ever felt such heat. It is like the Yosemite, only considerably more intense as well as for longer periods of time. The only consolation one gets from noting that it isn't humid is that if it were, one couldn't live at all. But the desert sands aren't moist either. Your mother asked the coolie why he didn't wear a hat, and he said because it was too hot. Think of pulling a person at the rate of five or six miles an hour in the sun of a hundred and twenty or thirty with your head exposed. Most of the coolies who work in the sun have nothing on their heads. It's either survival of the fittest or inheritance of acquired characteristics. Their adaptation to every kind of physical discomfort is certainly one of the wonders of the world. You ought to see the places where they lie down to go to sleep. They have it all over Napoleon. This is also the country of itinerant domesticity. I doubt if lots of the 'ricksha men have any places to sleep except in their carts. And a large part of the population must buy their food of the street pedlars, who sell every conceivable cooked thing; then there are lots of cooked food stores besides the street men.



PEKING, July 2.

The rainy season has set in, and now we have floods and also coolness, the temperature having fallen from the late nineties to the early seventies, and life seems more worth living again.

This is a great country for pictures, and I am most anxious for one of a middle-aged Chinese, inclining to be fat, with a broad-brimmed straw hat, sitting on the back of a very small and placid cream colored donkey. He is fanning himself as the donkey moves imperceptibly along the highway, is satisfied with himself and at ease with the world, and everything in the world, whatever happens. This would be a good frontispiece for a book on China—and the joke wouldn't all be on the Chinese either.

To-day the report is that the Chinese delegates refused to sign the Paris treaty; the news seems too good to be true, but nobody can learn the facts. There are also rumors that the governmental military party, having got everything almost out of Japan that is coming to them and finding themselves on the unpopular side, are about to forget that they ever knew the Japanese and to come out very patriotic. This is also unconfirmed, but I suppose the only reason they would stay bought in any case is that there are no other bidders in the market.



PEKING, Wednesday, July 2.

The anxiety here is tense. The report is that the delegates did not sign, but so vaguely worded as to leave conjectures and no confirmation. Meanwhile the students' organizations, etc., have begun another attack against the government by demanding the dissolution of Parliament. Meantime there is no cabinet and the President can get no one to form one, and half those inside seem to be also on the strike because the other half are there.



PEKING, July 4.

We are going out to the Higher Normal this morning. The head of the industrial department is going to take us. The students are erecting three new school buildings this summer—they made the plans, designs, details, and are supervising the erection as well as doing the routine carpenter work. The head of the industrial department, who acted as our guide and host, has been organizing the "national industry" activity in connection with the students' agitation. He is now, among other things, trying to organize apprentice schools under guild control. The idea is to take the brightest apprentice available in each "factory"—really, of course, just a household group—and give them two hours' schooling a day with a view to introducing new methods and new products into the industry. They are going to take metal working here. Then he hopes it will spread all over China. You cannot imagine the industrial backwardness here, not only as compared with us but with Japan. Consequently their markets here are flooded with cheap flimsy Japan-made stuff, which they buy because it's cheap, the line of least resistance. But perhaps the Shantung business will be worth its cost. The cotton guild is very anxious to co-operate and they will supply capital if the schools can guarantee skilled workingmen, especially superintendents. Now they sell four million worth of cotton to Japan, where it is spun, and then buy back the same cotton in thread for fourteen million—which they weave. This is beside the large amount of woven cotton goods they import.

I find in reading books that the Awakening of China has been announced a dozen or more times by foreign travelers in the last ten years, so I hesitate to announce it again, but I think this is the first time the merchants and guilds have really been actively stirred to try to improve industrial methods. And if so, it is a real awakening—that and the combination with the students. I read the translations from Japanese every few days, and it would be very interesting to know whether their ignorance is real or assumed. Probably some of both—it is inconceivable that they should be as poor judges of Chinese psychology as the articles indicate. But at the same time they have to keep up a certain tone of belief among the people at home—namely, that the Chinese really prefer the Japanese to all other foreigners; for they realize their dependence upon them, and if they do not make common cause with them it is because foreigners, chiefly Americans, instigate it all from mercenary and political motives. As a matter of fact, I doubt if history knows of any such complete case of national dislike and distrust; it sometimes seems as if there hadn't been a single thing that the Japanese might have done to alienate the Chinese that they haven't tried. The Chinese would feel pretty sore at America for inviting them into the war and then leaving them in the lurch, if the Japanese papers and politicians hadn't spent all their time the last three months abusing America—then their sweet speeches in America. It will be interesting to watch and see just what particular string they trip on finally.

It's getting to the end of an Imperfect Day. We saw the school as per program and I find I made a mistake. The boys made the plans of the three buildings and are supervising their erection, but not doing the building. They are staying in school all summer, however—those in the woodworking class—and have taken a contract for making all the desks for the new buildings—the school gives them room and board (food and its preparation costs about five dollars per month), and they practically give their time. All the metal-working boys are staying in Peking and working in the shops to improve and diversify the products. Remember these are boys, eighteen to twenty, and that they are carrying on their propaganda for their country; that the summer averages one hundred in the shade in Peking, and you'll admit there is some stuff here.

This P.M. we went to a piece of the celebration. The piece we saw wasn't so very Fourth of Julyish, but it was interesting—Chinese sleight of hand. Their long robe is an advantage, but none the less it can't be so very easy to move about with a very large sized punch bowl filled to the brim with water, or with five glass bowls each with a gold fish in it, ready to bring out. It seems that sometimes the artist turns a somersault just as he brings out the big bowl of water, but we didn't get that. None of the tricks were complicated, but they were the neatest I ever saw. There is a home-made minstrel show to-night, but it rained, and as the show (and dance later) are in the open, we aren't going, as we intended.

You can't imagine what it means here for China not to have signed. The entire government has been for it—the President up to ten days before the signing said it was necessary. It was a victory for public opinion, and all set going by these little schoolboys and girls. Certainly the United States ought to be ashamed when China can do a thing of this sort.



Sunday, July 7.

We had quite another ride yesterday, sixty or seventy miles altogether. The reason for the macadam road is worth telling. When Yuan Shi Kai was planning to be Emperor his son broke his leg, and he heard the hot springs would be good for him. So one of the officials made a road to it. Some of the present day officials, including an ex-official who was recently forced to resign after being beaten up, now own the springs and hotel, so the road will continue to be taken care of. On the way we went through the village of the White Snake and also of the One Hundred Virtues.

Y. M. C. A.'s and Red Crossers are still coming from Siberia on their way home. I don't know whether they will talk freely when they get home. It is one mess, and the stories they will tell won't improve our foreign relations any. The Bolsheviki aren't the only ones that shoot up villages and take the loot—so far the Americans haven't done it.



PEKING, July 8.

This morning the papers here reported the denial of Japan that she had made a secret treaty with Germany. The opinion here seems to be that they did not, but merely that preliminaries had begun with reference to such a treaty. We heard at dinner the other day from responsible American officials here that, after America had completed the last of the arrangements for China to go into the war, the Japanese arranged to get a concession from Russia for the delivery on the part of the Japanese of China into the war on the side of the Allies.

Well, the Japanese are still at it with the cat out of the bag. It looks now as if they are getting ready to break up the present government in Japan. This is interpreted to mean that that breakup will be made to look as if it were in disapproval of the present mistakes in diplomacy and of the price of rice; and then they can put in a worse one there and the world will not know the difference, but will be made to think that Japan is reforming. Speaking of constitutionality in Japan, I ceased to worry about that as soon as I learned the older statesmen never troubled at all about who was elected, but just let the elections go through, as their business was so assured in other ways that the elections made no difference anyway, and that the same principle worked equally well in the matter of passing bills. No bill can ever come up without the approval of the powers that be and they know how it is coming out in spite of all discussions. No wonder change comes slowly and maybe it will have to come all at once in the form of a revolution if it comes in reality. It is now reported that Tsai, the Chancellor of the University here, has said he will come back on condition that the students do not move in future in any political matter without his consent, and I am not able to guess whether that is a concession or a clever way of seeming to agree with both sides at once. The announcement of Tsai's return means that things will soon be back in normal shape and ready for another upheaval.

We seem to be utterly stumped by the house situation. All the members of the Rockefeller Foundation get nice new houses built for them, and the houses are nice new Chinese ones but free from the poor qualities of those to be rented here. All the houses in Peking are built like our woodsheds, directly on the ground, raised a few inches from actual contact with the earth by a stone floor. The courts fill with water when the rains are hard and then they are moist for days, maybe weeks, and about two feet of wet seeps up the side of the walls. Yesterday we called on one of our Chinese friends here, and the whole place was in that state, but he did not seem to notice it. If he wants baths in the house it doubles the cost he pays the water wagon, and then after all the trouble of heating and carrying the water there is no way to dispose of the waste, except to get a man to come and carry it away in buckets. You would have endless occupation here just looking on to see how this bee colony can find so many ways of making life hard for itself. A gentleman at the Foundation has just been telling us how the coolies steal every little piece of metal, leftovers or screwed on, that they can get at. The privation of life sets up an entirely new set of standards for morals. No one, it appears, can be convicted for stealing food in China.



PEKING, July 8.

The Rockefeller buildings are lovely samples of what money can do. In the midst of this worn and weak city they stand out like illuminating monuments of the splendor of the past in proper combination with the modern idea. They are in the finest old style of Chinese architecture; green roofs instead of yellow, with three stories instead of one. One wonders how long it will take China to catch up and know what they are doing. It is said the Chinese are not at all inclined to go to their hospital for fear of the ultra foreign methods which they do not yet understand. On the other hand, there is no disposition on the part of the Institution to meet them half way as the missionaries have always done. There are a number of Chinese among the doctors and they have now opened all the work to the women. There is a great need for women doctors now in China, but evidently it will take a generation yet before this work will begin to be understood and will take its natural place in Chinese affairs. It is rather amusing that this splendid set of buildings quite surrounds and overshadows the biggest Japanese hospital and school that is in Peking, and they say the fact has quite humiliated the Japanese. At present the buildings are nearing completion, but all the old rubbishy structures of former times will have to be pulled down before these new ones can be seen in all their beauty. Among other things, they have built thirty-five houses also in Chinese style but with all the modern comforts, in which to house their faculty, and in addition to those there are a good many buildings which were taken over from the old medical missionary College, besides, perhaps, some that will be left from the palace of the Prince whose property they bought. Two fine old lions are an addition from the Prince, but no foreign family would stand the inconveniences and discomforts of the ancient Prince, in spite of all his wives.



PEKING, July 11.

They have the best melons here you ever saw. Their watermelons, which are sold on the street in such quantities as to put even the southern negroes to shame, are just like yellow ice cream in color, but they aren't as juicy as ours. Their musk melons aren't spicy like the ones at home at all, but are shaped like pears, only bigger and have an acid taste; in fact they are more like a cucumber with a little acid pep in them, only the seeds are all in the center like our melons. When you get macaroons and little cakes here in straight Chinese houses you realize that neither we nor the Europeans were the first to begin eating. They either boil or steam their bread—they eat wheat instead of rice in this part of the country—or fry it, and I have no doubt that doughnuts were brought home to grandma by some old seafaring captain. These things are all the stranger because, except for sponge cake, no such things are indigenous to Japan. So when you first get here you can hardly resist the impression that these things have been brought to China from America or Europe. Read a book called "Two Heroes of Cathay," by Luella Miner, and see how our country has treated some of these people in the past, and then you see them so fond of America and of Americans and you realize that in some ways they are ahead of us in what used to be known as Christianity before the war. I guess we wrote you from Hangchow about seeing the monument and shrine to two Chinese officials who were torn in pieces at the time of the Boxer rebellion because they changed a telegram to the provincial officers "Kill all foreigners" to read "Protect all foreigners." The shrine is kept up, of course, by the Chinese, and very few foreigners in China even know of the incident.

Their art is really childlike and all the new kinds of artists in America who think being queer is being primitive ought to come over here and study the Chinese in their native abodes. A great love of bright colors and a wonderful knowledge of how to combine them, a comparatively few patterns used over and over in all kinds of ways, and a preference for designs that illustrate some story or idea or that appeal to their sense of the funny—it's a good deal more childlike than what passes in Greenwich Village for the childlike in art.



Y.M.C.A., PEKING, July 17.

A young Korean arrived here in the evening and he was met here on our porch by a Chinese citizen who is also Korean. The newly arrived could speak very little English and by means of a triangle we were able to arrive at his story. It seems there is quite a leakage of Korean students over the Chinese border all the time. To become a Chinese student requires six years of residence, or else it was three; anyway enough to postpone the idea of going to America to study till rather late in case one wants to resort to that way of escape from Japanese oppression. The elder and the one who has become a Chinese citizen seemed a good deal excited; I fancy they are dramatic by nature, and made many gestures. He urged on me the importance of our going to Korea and he is going to bring us some pictures to look at. Well, it all set me thinking, and so I have been reading the Korean guide book and reflecting on the wonderful climate there and wondering if we can get a reasonable place to stay. My first discovery of the real seriousness of the Korean situation came across me in Japan early in March, when we had a holiday on account of the funeral of the Korean prince, for the reason that after the funeral and gradually in connection with it the Japanese Advertiser said it was rumored that the old Korean prince had committed suicide. Doubtless you may know the story there, and then again you may not. However, the facts have leaked one way and another and now it is known that the old man did commit suicide in order to prevent the marriage of the young prince, who has been brought up in Japan, to the Japanese princess. By etiquette his death, taking place three days or so before the date set for the wedding, prevented the marriage from taking place for two years, and it is hoped by the Koreans that before two years they could weaken the Japanese grip on Korea. We all know they have made a beginning since last March and the suicide did something to help that along. Now that Japan is advertising political reforms in Korea she would probably count on that reputation again to cover her real activities and intentions with the world at large for some time to come. The Japanese are like the Italian Padrones or other skillful newly rich; they have learned the western efficiency and in that they are at least a generation ahead of their neighbors. New knowledge to take advantage of the old experience which she has moved away from and understands so well, to make that experience contribute all it has towards building up and strengthening the new riches of herself. The excuse is the one of the short and easy road to success though in the long run it is destructive in its bearings. But a certain physical efficiency is what Japan surely has and she has made that go a little further than it really can go. It is just one more evidence of the failure of the Peace Conference to comprehend the excuses that Wilson is making for the concessions he has granted to the practical needs, as he calls them. We are now getting the first echoes from his speeches here.

When I reflect on the changed aspect of our minds and on the facts that we have become accustomed to gradually since coming here I realize we have much to explain to you which now seems a matter of course over here. We discovered from reading an old back number somewhere that an American traveler had been given the order of the Royal Treasure in Japan when he was there. This order is said to be bestowed on the Japanese alone. Before he received it he had made a public speech to the effect that as China was down and out and needed some protector it was natural that Japan should be that, as by all historical reasons she was fitted to be. It appears to be true that the Militarists here who are causing the trouble for China and who are able to hold the government on account of foreign support have that idea so far as the "natural" goes. The great man of China to-day is Hsu, commonly known as Little Hsu, which is a good nickname in English, Little Shoe. He has never been in the western hemisphere and he thinks it is better for China to give a part of her territory to the Japanese who will help them, than to hope for anything from the other foreigners, who only want to exploit them, and if once China can get a stable government with the aid of the Japanese militarists, then after that she can build herself into a nation. Meantime Little Shoe has gained by a sad fluke in the legislature the appointment of Military Dictator of Mongolia, and this means he is given full power to use his army for agricultural and any other enterprises he may choose. It means, in short, that he is absolute dictator of all Mongolia which is retained by China and which is bordered by Eastern Inner Mongolia which Japan controls under the twenty-one Demands by a ninety-nine-year lease under the same absolute conditions. These last few days since that act was consummated, nothing is happening so far as the public knows, and according to friends the government can go on indefinitely here with no cabinet and no responsibility to react to the public demands. The bulk of the nation is against this state of affairs, but with the support of foreigners and the lack of organization there is nothing to do but stand it and see the nation sold out to Japan and other grabbers. If you can get at Millard's Review, look at it and read especially the recent act of the Foreign Council which licensed the press—I mean they passed an Act to do so. Fortunately the Act is not legal and will not be ratified by the Chinese Council at Shanghai.

To this house come the officers of the Y. M.C.A. who are on the way home from Siberia and other places. The stories one hears here are full of horror and always the same. Our men are too few to accomplish anything and the whole affair is not any of our business anyway. Anyway the Canadians have a sense of virtue in getting out of it and going home, and well they may, say I. The Japanese have had 70,000 there at least and they may have shipped many more than that, for they have such a command of the railroads that there is no way of keeping track of them. I believe the conviction is they are taking in men according to their own judgment of the case all the time. Everybody agrees that the Japanese soldiers are hated by all the others and have generally proved themselves disagreeable, the Chinese being thoroughly liked.

Meantime the dissatisfaction in Japan over rice in particular and food in general is quite evidently becoming more and more acute. And it is interesting to read the interviews with Count Ishii which all end up in the same way, that the fear of bomb-throwers in the United States is becoming a very serious alarm among all. The Anti-American agitation was hard for us to understand while we were there, but its meaning is less obscure now. Will it be effective? Is another world war already preparing? It is said here that the students were very successful during the strike in converting soldiers to their ideas. The boys at the High Normal said they were disappointed when they were let out of jail at the University because they had not converted more than half the soldiers. The guards around those boys were changed every four hours.

It is raining most of the time and it is typical of the Chinese character that my teacher did not come because of the rain. You have to remember he never takes a 'ricksha, though he might have looked at it that it was better to pay a man than to lose the lesson. The mud in the roads here is much like the old days on Long Island before the gravel was put there, only it is softer and more slippery here, and the water stands.



PEKING, July 17.

We are pleased to learn that the Japanese censor hasn't detained all our letters, though since you call them incoherent there must be some gaps. I'm sure we never write anything incoherent if you get it all. The course of events has been a trifle incoherent if you don't sit up and hold its hands all the time. Since China didn't sign the peace treaty things have quite settled down here, however, and the lack of excitement after living on aerated news for a couple of months is quite a letdown. However, we live in hopes of revolution or a coup d'etat or some other little incident to liven up the dog days.

You will be pleased to know that the University Chancellor—see letters of early May—has finally announced that he will return to the University. It is supposed that the Government has assented to his conditions, among which is that the police won't interfere with the students, but will leave discipline to the University authorities. To resign and run away in order to be coaxed back is an art. It's too bad Wilson never studied it. The Chinese peace delegates reported back here that Lloyd George inquired what the twenty-one Demands were, as he had never heard of them. However, the Chinese hold Balfour as most responsible. In order to avoid any incoherence I will add that a Chinese servant informed a small boy in the household of one of our friends here that the Chinese are much more cleanly than the foreigners, for they have people come to them to clean their ears and said cleaners go way down in. This is an unanswerable argument.

I hear your mother downstairs engaged on the fascinating task of trying to make Chinese tones. I may tell you that there are only four hundred spoken words in Chinese, all monosyllables. But each one of these is spoken in a different tone, there being four tones in this part of the country and increasing as you go south till in Canton there are twelve or more. In writing there are only 214 radicals, which are then combined and mixed up in all sorts of ways. My last name here is Du, my given name is Wei. The Du is made up of two characters, one of which means tree and the other earth. They are written separately. Then Wei is made up of some more characters mixed up together, one character for woman and one for dart, and I don't know what else. Don't ask me how they decided that earth and tree put together made Du, for I can't tell.



PEKING, July 19.

I met the tutor, the English tutor, of the young Manchu Emperor, the other day—he has three Chinese tutors besides. He teaches him Math., Sciences, etc., besides English, which he has been doing for three months. It is characteristic of the Chinese that they not only didn't kill any of the royal family, but they left them one of the palaces in the Imperial City and an income of four million dollars Mex. a year, and within this palace the kid who is now thirteen is still Emperor, is called that, and is waited upon by the eunuch attendants who crawl before him on their hands and knees. At the same time he is, of course, practically a prisoner, being allowed to see his father and his younger brother once a month. Otherwise he has no children to play with at all. There is some romance left in China after all if you want to let your imagination play about this scene. The tutors don't kneel, although they address him as Your Majesty, or whatever it is in Chinese, and they walk in and he remains standing until the tutor is seated. This is the old custom, which shows the reverence in which even the old Tartars must have held education and learning. He has a Chinese garden in which to walk, but no place to ride or for sports. The tutor is trying to get the authorities to send him to the country, let him have playmates and sports, and also abolish the eunuch—but he seems to think they will more likely abolish him. The kid is quite bright, reads all the newspapers and is much interested in politics, keeps track of the Paris Conference, knows about the politicians in all the countries, and in short knows a good deal more about world politics than most boys of his age; also he is a good classical Chinese scholar. The Chinese don't seem to worry at all about the boy's becoming the center of intrigue and plots, but I imagine they sort of keep him in reserve with the idea that unless the people want monarchy back he never can do anything, while if they do let him back it will be the will of heaven.

I am afraid I haven't sufficiently impressed it upon you that this is the rainy season. It was impressed upon us yesterday afternoon, when the side street upon which we live was a flowing river a foot and a half deep. The main street on which the Y. M. C. A. building is situated was a solid lake from housewall to housewall, though not more than six inches or so. But the street is considerably wider than Broadway, so it was something of a sight. Peking has for many hundred years had sewers big enough for a man to stand up in, but they don't carry fast enough. Probably about this time you will be reading cables from some part of China about floods and the number of homeless. The Yellow River is known as the curse of China, so much damage is done. We were told that when the missionaries went down to do flood relief work a year or so ago, they were so busy that they didn't have time to preach, and they did so much good that when they were through they had to put up the bars to keep the Chinese from joining the churches en masse. We haven't heard, however, that they took the hint as to the best way of doing business. These floods go back largely if not wholly to the policy of the Chinese in stripping the forests. If you were to see the big coffins they are buried in and realize the large part of China's scant forests that must go into coffins you would favor a law that no man could die until he had planted a tree for his coffin and one extra.

One of our new friends here is quite an important politician, though quite out of it just now. He told a story last night which tickled the Chinese greatly. The Japanese minister here haunted the President and Prime Minister while the peace negotiations were on, and every day on the strength of what they told him cabled the Tokyo government that the Chinese delegates were surely going to sign. Now he is in a somewhat uncomfortable position making explanations to the home government. He sent a representative after they didn't sign to the above-mentioned friend to ask him whether the government had been fooling him all the time. He replied No, but that the Japanese should remember that there was one power greater than the government, namely, the people, and that the delegates had obeyed the people. The Japanese will never be able to make up their minds though whether they were being deliberately deceived or not. The worst of the whole thing, however, is that even intelligent Chinese are relying upon war between the United States and Japan, and when they find out that the United States won't go to war just on China's account, there will be some kind of a revulsion. But if the United States had used its power when the war closed to compel disarmament and get some kind of a just settlement, there would be no limit to its influence over here. As it is, they infer that the moral is that Might Controls, and that adds enormously to the moral power of Japan as against the United States. It is even plainer here than at home that if the United States wasn't going to see its "ideals" through, it shouldn't have professed any, but if it did profess them it ought to have made good on 'em even if we had to fight the whole world. However, our financial pressure, and the threat of withholding food and raw materials would have enabled Wilson to put anything over.

Another little incident is connected with the Chancellor of the University. Although he is not a politician at all, the Militarist party holds him responsible for their recent trials and the student outbreaks. So, although it announced that the Chancellor is coming back, the Anfu Club, the parliamentary organization of the militarists, is still trying to keep him out. The other night they gave a banquet to some University students and bribed them to start something. At the end they gave each one dollar extra for 'ricksha hire the next day, so there would be no excuse for not going to the meeting at the University. Fifteen turned up, but the spies on the other side heard something was going on and they rang the bell, collected about a hundred and locked the bribees in. Then they kept them in till they confessed the whole story (and put their names to a written confession) and turned over their resolutions and mimeographed papers which had been prepared for them in which they said they were really the majority of the students and did not want the Chancellor back, and that a noisy minority had imposed on the public, etc. The next day the Anfu papers told about an awful riot at the University, and how a certain person had instigated and led it, although he hadn't been at the University at all that day.



PEKING, July 24.

We expect to go to Manchuria, probably in September, and in October to Shansi, which is quite celebrated now because they have a civil governor who properly devotes himself to his job, and they are said to have sixty per cent or more of the children in school and to be prepared for compulsory education in 1920. It is the ease with which the Chinese do these things without any foreign assistance which makes you feel so hopeful for China on the one hand, and so disgusted on the other that they put up so patiently with inefficiency and graft most of the time. There seems to be a general impression that the present situation cannot continue indefinitely, but must take a turn one way or another. The student agitation has died down as an active political thing but continues intellectually. In Tientsin, for example, they publish several daily newspapers which sell for a copper apiece. A number of students have been arrested in Shantung lately by the Japanese, so I suppose the students are actively busy there. I fancy that when vacation began there was quite an exodus in that direction.

I am told that X——, our Japanese friend, is much disgusted with the Chinese about the Shantung business—that Japan has promised to return Shantung, etc., and that Japan can't do it until China gets a stable government to take care of things, because their present governments are so weak that China would simply give away her territory to some other power, and that the Chinese instead of attacking the Japanese ought to mind their own business and set their own house in order. There is enough truth in this so that it isn't surprising that so intelligent and liberal a person as X—— is taken in by it. But what such Japanese as he cannot realize, because the truth is never told to them, is how responsible the Japanese government is for fostering a weak and unrepresentative government here, and what a temptation to it a weak and divided China will continue to be, for it will serve indefinitely as an excuse for postponing the return of Shantung—as well as for interfering elsewhere. Anyone who knows the least thing about not only general disturbances in China but special causes of friction between China and Japan, can foresee that there will continue to be a series of plausible excuses for postponing the return promised—and anyway, as a matter of fact, what she has actually promised to return compared with the rights she would keep in her possession amount to little or nothing. Just this last week there was a clash in Manchuria and fifteen or twenty Japanese soldiers are reported killed by Chinese—there will always be incidents of that kind which will have to be settled first. If the other countries would only surrender their special concessions to the keeping of an international guarantee, they could force the hand of Japan, but I can't see Great Britain giving up Hong Kong. On the whole, however, Great Britain, next to us, and barring the opium business, has been the most decent of all the great powers in dealing with China. I started out with a prejudice to the contrary, and have been surprised to learn how little grabbing England has actually done here. Of course, India is the only thing she really cares about and her whole policy here is controlled by that consideration, with such incidental trade advantages as she can pick up.



(Later) July 27.

I think I wrote a while back about a little kid five years old or so who walked up the middle aisle at one of my lectures and stood for about fifteen minutes quite close to me, gazing at me most seriously and also wholly unembarrassed. Night before last we went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner, under the guardianship of a friend here. A little boy came into our coop and began most earnestly addressing me in Chinese. Out friend found out that he was asking me if I knew his third uncle. He was the kid of the lecture who had recognized me as the lecturer, and whose third uncle is now studying at Columbia. If you meet Mr. T—— congratulate him for me on his third nephew. The boy made us several calls during the evening, all equally serious and unconstrained. At one he asked me for my card, which he carefully wrapped up in ceremonial paper. The restaurant is near a lotus pond and they are now in their fullest bloom. I won't describe them beyond saying that the lotus is the lotus and advising you to come out next summer and see them.



PEKING, August 4.

I went to Tientsin to an educational conference for two days last week. It was called by the Commissioner of this Province for all the principals of the higher schools to discuss the questions connected with the opening of the schools in the fall. Most of the heads of schools are very conservative and were much opposed to the students' strikes, and also to the students' participation in politics. They are very nervous and timorous about the opening of the schools, for they think that the students after engaging in politics all summer won't lend themselves readily to school discipline—their high schools, etc., are all boarding schools—and will want to run the schools after having run the government for several months. The liberal minority, while they want the students to settle down to school work, think that the students' experiences will have been of great educational value and that they will come back with a new social viewpoint, and the teaching ought to be changed—and also the methods of school discipline—to meet the new situation.

I had a wonderful Chinese lunch at a private high school one day there. The school was started about fifteen years ago in a private house with six pupils; now they have twenty acres of land, eleven hundred pupils, and are putting up a first college building to open a freshman class of a hundred this fall—it's of high school grade now, all Chinese support and management, and non-missionary or Christian, although the principal is an active Christian and thinks Christ's teachings the only salvation for China. The chief patron is a non-English speaking, non-Christian scholar of the old type—but with modern ideas. The principal said that when three of them two years ago went around the world on an educational trip, this old scholar among them, the United States Government gave them a special secret service detective from New York to San Francisco, and this man was so impressed with the old Chinese gentleman that he said: "What kind of education can produce such a man as that, the finest gentleman I ever saw. You western educated gentlemen are spoiled in comparison with him." They certainly have the world beat in courtesy of manners—as much politeness as the Japanese but with much less manner, so it seems more natural. However, this type is not very common. I asked the principal what the effect of the missionary teaching was on the Chinese passivity and non-resistance. He said it differed very much as between Americans and English and among Americans between the older and the younger lot. The latter, especially the Y. M. C. A., have given up the non-interventionalist point of view and take the ground that Christianity ought to change social conditions. The Y. M. C. A. is, he says, a group of social workers rather than of missionaries in the old-fashioned sense—all of which is quite encouraging. Perhaps the Chinese will be the ones to rejuvenate Christianity by dropping its rot, wet and dry, and changing it into a social religion. The principal is a Teachers College man and one of the most influential educators in China. He speaks largely in picturesque metaphor, and I'm sorry I can't remember what he said. Among other things, in speaking of the energy of the Japanese and the inertia of the Chinese, he said the former were mercury, affected by every change about them, and the latter cotton wool that the heat didn't warm and cold didn't freeze. He confirmed my growing idea, however, that the conservatism of the Chinese was much more intellectual and deliberate, and less mere routine clinging to custom, than I used to suppose. Consequently, when their ideas do change, the people will change more thoroughly, more all the way through, than the Japanese.

It seems that the present acting Minister of Education was allowed to take office under three conditions—that he should dissolve the University, prevent the Chancellor from returning, and dismiss all the present heads of the higher schools here. He hasn't been able, of course, to accomplish one, and the Anfu Club is correspondingly sore. He is said to be a slick politician, and when he has been at dinner with our liberal friends he tells them how even he is calumniated—people say that he is a member of the Anfu Club.

I struck another side of China on my way home from Tientsin. I was introduced to an ex-Minister of Finance as my traveling companion. He is a Ph.D. in higher math. from America, and is a most intelligent man. But his theme of conversation was the need of a scientific investigation of spirits and spirit possession and divination, etc., in order to decide scientifically the existence of the soul and an overruling mind. Incidentally he told a fine lot of Chinese ghost stories. Aside from the coloring of the tales I don't know that there was anything especially Chinese about them. He certainly is much more intelligent about it than some of our American spiritualists. But the ghosts were certainly Chinese all right—spirit possession mostly. I suppose you know that the walls that stand in front of the better-to-do Chinese houses are there to keep spirits out—the spirits can't turn a corner, so when the wall is squarely in front of the location of the front door the house is safe. Otherwise they come in and take possession of somebody—if they aren't comfortable as they are. It seems there is quite a group of ex-politicians in Tientsin who are much interested in psychical research. Considering that China is the aboriginal home of ghosts, I can't see why the western investigators don't start their research here. These educated Chinese aren't credulous, so there is nothing crude about their ghost stories.



Transcriber's Note

Typographical errors in English were corrected. Spellings of non-English words were left as found.

THE END

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