Yesterday's papers announced that the Hallelujah Chorus was to be performed in the English Cathedral this morning at eight o'clock. I had been so long out of the region of music that I rose early and went to church. The Japanese and Chinese music grated so on my ears, I longed to hear an organ once more. I enjoyed the service very much. The music was well performed, and as for the sermon - I had to be back for breakfast, you know. It was specially pleasing to see at church the detachment of British soldiers, the more so as they were Highlanders. My heart will warm to the tartan. One strange feature I shall not soon forget. Several soldiers, in their scarlet uniforms, sang in the choir. I scarcely ever see soldiers without being saddened by the thought that the civilization of the race is yet little better than a name when so much must still be done to teach millions of men the surest way to destroy their fellows; but I take hope from this omen - these mighty men of war engaged this morning chanting the seraphic strains which proclaim the coming of the better day when there shall reign "on earth peace, good-will toward men."

Whatever old China may be doing, young China is progressing, for I saw in the park this morning several youthful Celestials, with their pigtails securely tied and out of the way, hard at cricket and baseball. Nor were they "duffers" either, although our wee Willie and his nine could no doubt, in the way of a "friendly" inning or two, show the lads a sweet thing, especially in the "underthrow," for which my little nephew, I hear, is famous.

We are all creatures of prejudice, of course, but I could not help being somewhat shocked on Sunday, as I strolled about the Cathedral, to see some thirty odd sedan chairs on the one side, and I suppose as many on the other, each with two, three, and some with four coolies in gorgeous liveries in attendance, all waiting the closing of prayers, lying in the shade, and some of them improving the opportunity to enjoy a quiet gamble with dice this fine Sunday morning. It did not seem to me to be quite consistent for some of my Scotch friends who stand so stoutly for Sabbath observance to keep so many human beings on duty, say three for one who worshipped, just to save them from walking a few short squares to and from church, for the town is small and compact. But custom has much to do with one's prejudices, for, after all, how is this worse than to roll in one's carriage to our Fifth Avenue temples? Yet this never struck me as so much out of the way before, and I think, unless the future Mrs. C. seriously objects, we shall walk to church as a rule - when we go. Really, three men kept at work that one may pray seems just a shade out of proportion.

I astonished Vandy this morning by getting up early; but I did not care to explain the reason for this phenomenon, which was that I had to catch the Canton boat to send a note back to Ah-Cum asking him to get me certain additional curios after all. While at Canton I had manfully resisted the temptation, but the thought of leaving China without the treasures proved overwhelming, and now my only fear is lest Ah-Cum should fail me. I confessed to Vandy, after we had had a glass of good wine at tiffin, and I shall not soon forget his quiet smile. "You've got it bad, haven't you?" 'Twas all he said, but you should have heard the touch of infinite pity in his tone. Yes, I have got it bad, I know, but to-morrow we shall escape from this old curiosity shop forever.

The fire-bell rang just after we retired, and from eleven o'clock until now (two this afternoon - fifteen hours) a disastrous conflagration has raged, often threatening to consume the entire settlement; indeed, nothing could have saved it but the splendid conduct of the 74th Highlanders. They were everywhere, and fought the fire the whole night long. The singers of the morning were the intrepid firemen of that tempestuous night. It was only by blowing up row after row of buildings that the flames were confined to one district. I saw the brave fellows march into the buildings upon the edge of the swirling flames to lay the fuse. A moment after their return the bugle would sound; then came the explosion, and the men were off to another building to repeat the work. All was done by bugle call, with military precision. Ten thousand times more "glory" in this march to save than in all the charge at Balaklava. Had equal pluck been shown on the field of battle, the flag of that splendid regiment would have blazoned with another war-cry. Let them place this record on their banners, instead of the name of a city destroyed: December 25th, 1878. Hong Kong Saved! They have no prouder triumph to commemorate, even in their glorious history.

I have not yet mentioned that slavery, in its mildest form, exists in China; but the children of a slave are free, and custom, which is all-powerful there, requires a master to give up his servant if the latter can repay the amount originally paid for him; and those who own a woman-servant are expected to provide a husband for her when she becomes of age. The purchase of boys and girls is, as a rule, confined to those who wish in this way to be provided with servants who shall become part of the household and can be relied upon. In no case can a master or mistress require a slave to engage in any disreputable calling unless the purpose for which the sale is made is clearly set forth, in which event the cost is fully doubled. Without special provisions in the bill of sale, it is understood that the servant is to perform a servant's ordinary duties and to be fairly treated, and to be required to do no wrong thing.

The firing of firecrackers caused me to speak to our boatman one day, as I was annoyed by the noise, having always had a dislike for sudden explosions. "Why don't you worship something good and beautiful," I said; "some god that would detest such things as firecrackers?" "So we do," said he, "in our hearts, but this is not worship; it is sacrifice to the bad gods, so they will be pleased and do one no harm." "But won't the good god be displeased and do you harm?" "No, the good god would never harm any one." His words were, as near as I can recollect them, "He no do badee; no can; always likee he; much goodee; by-by kill bad Jossee may be;" and so they go, good lord, good devil; no saying into whose hands one may fall, as the sailor had it. I gave it up, as the business woman came on board and took command, the husband going off to his work elsewhere. This woman Susan - Black-eyed Susan, as we have dubbed her - and her bright young sister-in-law continue to interest us more and more, they are such active, intelligent women. The girl is ornamented with bangles and heavy anklets, and her earrings are of blue-bird feathers; her hair is banged, and everything about her evinces the care of really good, respectable people. I told Susan if I were a boatman I should try hard to save money enough to buy her sister-in-law, and asked her price. "No sellee you; sellee goodee Chinaman two hundred dollars." This was said as a great boast, as the ordinary price for one in her station is only ninety dollars. Our guide turned up his lip in scorn and whispered to me, "She talkee with mouthee too muchee; ninety dollar plenty." Perhaps he had his eye upon the maid for his son. If so, I put in a good word for her, telling him I was reputed one of the best judges of young ladies in America, that I could tell their qualities at a glance, and that it was certain she would make an excellent wife; and, what I thought would weigh as much with him, I added that for a business woman who could please travellers and get lots of money I did not believe she had her equal in Canton. One always likes to help on a match when he can, and something may come of this; who knows?

I wish to bear my testimony to the grand work which is going forward at various places in China by means of the medical departments of missions. There are fourteen hospitals of this kind in the country, and patients from all parts flock to them. In diseases of the eye unusual success seems to have been achieved, and stories are told of mandarins almost blind who have been restored to sight; and in dealing with cutaneous disorders, which are very common, the doctors have also done wonders. A small mission hospital established in the Island of Formosa only a few years ago has already treated ten thousand patients, and I am informed that the Canton establishment numbers its beneficiaries by the hundred thousand. Whatever objection the people make to missionaries, doctors are ever welcome, and regarded as benefactors. Nor must we forget that the entire credit of this indisputably grand work is wholly due to those who consider it a sacred duty to endeavor to force their religious views upon the consideration of the Chinese. One can hardly find terms strong enough to speak fitly of the good missions are performing in this department of their labors; and while upon this subject we should remember that it is also to missionaries alone we owe almost all we know of China and its literature. Even Confucius was given to the world in English by a missionary. I take special pleasure in saying all I justly can for those who are so universally decried throughout the East. With scarcely an exception - indeed I do not remember one - every European or American engaged in the East speaks disparagingly of missionaries and their labors. I believe, myself, that trying to force religious views upon those who only tolerate them because the cannon stands behind ready to support the preaching is not the better way, and that many more converts would be made by "the word spoken in season" by ministers of the European congregations now scattered throughout the East, and by doctors and others with whom the natives are daily brought in contact, if the paid propaganda were withdrawn; but this should not prevent us from crediting the missionaries with the collateral advantages which are now flowing from another branch of their efforts. They are on the right track now; the M.D. is the best pioneer of the D.D. There is another powerful lever at work in the Herald, a weekly paper published in Shanghai and distributed throughout the Empire. It is obtaining an immense circulation. It gives each week an epitome of the most important events occurring in every country, and America, I saw, headed the list. A Mr. Allen, formerly connected with missions, is the publisher, and he is probably doing more to revolutionize China than all others combined.

China, as everybody knows, grows a great deal of tea, but few are aware how great a proportion of this indispensable article she produces, and how much of it she uses herself. Here are the figures I see printed: Total production of the world, 1,300,000 net tons; China's portion, 1,150,000 tons, being about nine times more than all the world beside. But what is more wonderful is that China uses 1,000,000 tons per annum, and exports only 150,000 tons. But every one in China, upon all occasions, partakes of the cup which cheers and does not inebriate. Neither sugar nor cream is used in it; a little tea is placed in the cup and boiling water poured over it and it is drunk immediately. The strength of the tea is drawn in a few moments after the water is poured upon it. The coloring matter leaves it later. It is therefore a great mistake to use a teapot and allow tea to remain in it, and equally to use either sugar or cream - at least such is the verdict of those here who should know best. We quite agreed with them, and recommend our readers to try the Chinese plan, always provided they are so fortunate as to have a good sound article of pleasant flavor. With most of the tea found in England, and especially so with that generally used in America, the sugar and cream are no doubt necessary to drown the "twang." A Chinaman would put this practice on a par with putting sugar in Chateau Lafitte. Tea is the wine of the Celestial. A mandarin will "talk" it to you as a gourmet talks wine with us; dilate upon its quality and flavor, for the grades are innumerable, and taste and sip and sip and taste as your winebibber does - and smack his lips too. We are told of teas so delicate in flavor that fifty miles of transportation spoils them.

It is popularly supposed that a small-footed woman must be one of rank, but this is an error. It is a matter of family ambition, even among the poor, to have in the family at least one such deformity. Gentlemen marry only small-footed women, and their child might make a good match. If large-footed, this would be impossible; but such hopes are sometimes doomed to disappointment, or after marriage reverses may ensue; and so it happens that many small feet stamp about in poverty and try to eke out a living under disadvantages from which their less genteel neighbors are free. The most remarkable feature in the streets is the total absence of women of any class except such as drudge alongside of men, and even these are not numerous, for man appears to monopolize most of the work, at least in the cities. Occasionally we pass a sedan chair, or one passes us, closely covered up, which no doubt contains a lady of position compelled to visit some temple or relative; but I do not recall seeing in China any woman in a costume above that of the working classes, so jealously do Chinamen sentence their ladies to seclusion. A curious illustration of this occurred on our passage out. On our ship was one of the leading Chinese merchants of San Francisco with his wife. Rather than have her seen, even among the few cabin passengers, he engaged a portion of the steerage, had it closely boarded up and confined her in it, and she was never seen by any of us during the entire voyage. He and she took their meals together in the box. It was said that now and then at night she was carried secretly on deck for a breath of air; of course with her small feet she could not walk.

The steerage had to be fumigated at intervals and every soul was ordered on deck before the process began. This necessity had evidently not been taken into account by the exclusives, and much difficulty did our good doctor encounter with them. The husband declared that rather than be exposed to the gaze of the crowd, his wife would run the risk of being fumigated to death. The operation was postponed until a small cabin could be provided and the veiled beauty taken secretly to it.

A Chinese woman in China would hold it disgraceful to expose her face to a strange man. Queen Victoria, sober, sage matron and pink of propriety as she is reputed, would not consider a lady properly dressed for her levee - where the more strange men to gaze the better - who did not expose her face and neck and shoulders to full view. Education, my boy, education! all things right and all things wrong within a very wide range of affairs. Chinese women pinch the feet, ours pinch the waist, and each pities the other for their woeful lack of knowledge and their wickedness in marring God's image - and for their bad taste, which is, I fear, equally heinous to the female mind.

Our visit to the Celestial Empire is now at an end. We sail at noon by the French mail steamer Pie Ho for Singapore, fourteen hundred miles south. The more we see of China the greater it grows. A country much larger than the United States, with eight times the population, and not one mile of telegraph or railroad in it, in many districts not even one mile of public road broad enough for anything wider than a wheelbarrow - and yet a reading and writing people, a race of acknowledged mental power, with a form of settled government the oldest in the world - how inconsistent all this seems to us! But the reason for this paradoxical condition of affairs is, I think, that the unequalled resources of the country, which give to the people every necessary of life and almost every luxury, encouraged them in early days to eschew intercourse with the poorer lands around them, and then their superiority as a race to all their neighbors led them quite justifiably to conclude that all beyond were outside barbarians. They rested content with the advanced position attained, and as each successive generation copied the past, change became foreign to their whole nature, and in this path they have stubbornly persisted until the once inferior races of the West have far outstripped them. Among these outside barbarians must be ranked our noble selves, for it isn't one thousand years, let alone two, since our ancestors were running about dressed in skins and eating raw flesh - perhaps eating each other, as some allege - as ignorant of their A B C's as of the theory of evolution or the nebular hypothesis, when these Chinese were printing books and sailing ships by the compass. If my English readers will not be too greatly startled at the illustration, I will suggest that the conduct of China and its results suggest a danger for them which their statesmen should not be slow to perceive and remedy. England once stood as much in advance of other Western nations as China did in comparison with other lands, and she has apparently rested till now with equal complacency in the belief of her superiority. It is fast passing away. The English-speaking race throughout the world no longer looks to the parent land for political guidance, for instance, where Britain once reigned supreme. What English- speaking community would now study her antiquated political devices, her throne, her church and state, her primogeniture and entail, her hereditary chamber, unequal representation, or lack of representation rather, except that they might surely learn how to avoid them! Over the day when all English-speaking people turned instinctively to my native land for political example "Ichabod" must be written. They now look elsewhere, follow other ideals, and have adopted other ideas of government and the rights of man.

It is not too late yet, however, for England to regain her proper place in the race if she will only wake up, rub her dear old eyes, and see what the youngsters are about. "There is life in the old dog yet." The world is not done with the glorious little island, nor the island done with the world either. But no nation can indulge in a very long sleep in these days of progress the world over. England must remember,

         "To have done, is to hang 
   Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail 
   In monumental mockery."

Recent events have undoubtedly awakened the foremost minds of China to the fact that they have been asleep, not twenty years only like our Rip, but twenty generations. They have recently begun to build steamships, a line of telegraph is authorized, postage stamps are being printed, and, best of all, for our comfort, at the principal cities there is generally at least one dealer who adheres to fixed prices for his goods. A daily paper is now published in Chinese at Shanghai, and the English school there is well patronized. All these things convince me that at last Western civilization is making an impression. The inert mass begins to move, and China will march forward ere long. The most convincing proof of this is found, perhaps, in the fact that the government appropriated in 1872 nearly two millions of dollars to maintain a hundred and fifty students in the United States. These are to be educated in our colleges and afterward employed officially at home. No action could prove more conclusively that China is at last awakening from her long centuries of repose.

But without railroads the material resources of the country can never be thoroughly developed. I fear this will be among the last features of our civilization which China will adopt, although the most important for her progress, because, as before mentioned, a railway cannot be built without desecrating graves by the thousand, and this every true Chinaman would view with horror. Our guide, although a remarkably intelligent man, and favorable to improvements of all kinds, took his stand here, inflexibly opposing the introduction of railways. No matter what material advantages might accrue, nor how much money he might be offered, no earthly consideration would induce him to disturb his ancestors, who have lain in one place in uninterrupted succession for nearly seven hundred years. If my friends Messrs. Garrison, Field and Pullman, who have so skilfully managed to give us elevated railroads without disturbing proprietary rights below, wish to enhance their fame, let them ask a concession in the Celestial Empire for railroads "topside," guaranteed to dodge every grave, and I do not doubt their success. Such inborn superstition as is here depicted dies hard, but it must pass away with the spread of knowledge; it will, however, take time. Nevertheless, China has a great future before it, as it has had a great past, and instead of having passed her climacteric, I predict that she is destined to reach a position of paramount importance in the Eastern world.

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