Notable Women of Modern China
BY MARGARET E. BURTON
Notable Women of Modern China
Illustrated, 12mo, cloth. Net $1.25
The author's earlier work on the general subject of Women's Education in China, indicates her ability to treat with peculiar interest and discernment the characters making up this volume of striking biographies. If these women are types to be followed by a great company of like aspirations the future of a nation is assured.
The Education of Women in China
Illustrated, 12mo, cloth. Net $1.25
"Thrilling is a strong word, but not too strong to be used in connection with The Education of Women in China. To many it will prove a revealing book and doubtless to all, even those well-informed upon the present condition of women. Miss Burton's book will interest all the reading public."—CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE.
Notable Women of Modern China
MARGARET E. BURTON
"THE EDUCATION OF WOMEN IN CHINA"
NEW YORK CHICAGO TORONTO
Fleming H. Revell Company
LONDON AND EDINBURGH
Copyright, 1912, by
FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY
New York: 158 Fifth Avenue Chicago: 125 N. Wabash Ave. Toronto: 25 Richmond St., W. London: 21 Paternoster Square Edinburgh: 100 Princes Street
TO MY FRIEND GRACE COPPOCK WHO TAUGHT ME TO KNOW AND LOVE THE WOMEN OF CHINA
During a stay of some months in China in the year of 1909, I had an opportunity to see something of the educational work for women, and to meet several of the educated women of that interesting country. I was greatly impressed, both by the excellent work done by the students in the schools, and by the useful, efficient lives of those who had completed their course of study. When I returned to America, and spoke of some of the things which the educated women of China were doing, I found that many people were greatly surprised to learn that Chinese women were capable of such achievements. It occurred to me, therefore, that it might be worth while to put the stories of a few of these women into a form which would make them accessible to the public.
It will be noted that the majority of the women of whose work I have written received a part of their education in America. My reason for selecting these women is not because those whose training has been received wholly in China are not doing equally good work, but because it is difficult to gather definite information in regard to the women whose lives have been spent entirely in their native country. The fact that most of the biographies in this book are of women in professional life is due to the same cause. The great aim of the girls' schools in China is, rightly, to furnish such training as shall prepare their students to be worthy wives and mothers, and the large majority of those who attend the schools find their highest subsequent usefulness in the home. But in China, as in other countries, the life of the woman in the home remains, for the most part, unwritten.
I have therefore told the stories of the women concerning whose work I have been able to obtain definite information, believing that they fairly represent the educated women of China who, wherever their education has been received, and in whatever sphere it is being used, are ably and bravely playing an important part in the moulding of the great new China.
For much of the material for these sketches I am indebted to friends of the women of whom I have written. To all such my hearty thanks are due. For personal reminiscences, letters, and photographs, I am most grateful.
M. E. B.
DR. HUe KING ENG
I. CHILDHOOD IN A CHRISTIAN HOME 15
II. EDUCATION IN CHINA AND AMERICA 23
III. BEGINNING MEDICAL WORK IN CHINA 39
IV. THE BELOVED PHYSICIAN 44
V. THE FAVOUR OF THE PEOPLE 58
I. THE MISTRESS OF A HOME OF WEALTH 73
II. WORK AMONG THE WOMEN OF THE UPPER CLASSES 82
III. A JOURNEY TO ENGLAND 90
IV. PATIENT IN TRIBULATION 101
DR. IDA KAHN
I. CHILDHOOD IN THREE COUNTRIES 115
II. AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 121
III. SEVEN YEARS IN KIUKIANG 126
IV. PIONEER WORK IN NANCHANG 140
DR. MARY STONE
I. WITH UNBOUND FEET 161
II. THE DANFORTH MEMORIAL HOSPITAL 169
III. WINNING FRIENDS IN AMERICA 183
IV. A VERSATILE WOMAN 190
YU KULIANG 221
I. EAGER FOR EDUCATION 233
II. AMONG HER OWN PEOPLE 244
III. THE POWER OF AN ENDLESS LIFE 254
Dr. Hue King Eng at the Time of Her Graduation from the Medical College Frontispiece
Dr. Hue's Medical Students 41
Dr. Hue's Christmas Party 61
Mrs. Ahok and Her Two Granddaughters 73
Reception Rooms in Chinese Homes of Wealth 83
Dr. Ida Kahn 115
A Nurse in Dr. Kahn's Hospital 138
One of Dr. Kahn's Guests 141
A Village Crowd 141
Dr. Mary Stone 161
Elizabeth Skelton Danforth Memorial Hospital, Kiukiang, China 172
Dr. Stone, Dr. Kahn, and Five of the Hospital Nurses 174
General Ward of the Danforth Memorial Hospital 182
Nurses of the Danforth Memorial Hospital 192
Yu Kuliang 221
Anna Stone 233
The Anna Stone Memorial 257
* * * * *
DR. HUe KING ENG
I. CHILDHOOD IN A CHRISTIAN HOME
II. EDUCATION IN CHINA AND AMERICA
III. BEGINNING MEDICAL WORK IN CHINA
IV. THE BELOVED PHYSICIAN
V. THE FAVOUR OF THE PEOPLE
* * * * *
DR. HUe KING ENG
CHILDHOOD IN A CHRISTIAN HOME
Among the earliest converts to Christianity in South China was Hue Yong Mi, the son of a military mandarin of Foochow. He had been a very devout Buddhist, whose struggles after spiritual peace, and whose efforts to obtain it through fasting, sacrifice, earnest study, and the most scrupulous obedience to all the forms of Buddhist worship, remind one strongly of the experiences of Saul of Tarsus. Like Saul too, Hue Yong Mi was, before his conversion, a vigorous and sincere opponent of Christianity. When his older brother became a Christian, Hue Yong Mi felt that his casting away of idols and abolishing of ancestral worship were crimes of such magnitude that the entire family "ought all with one heart to beat the drum and drive him from the house." He tells of finding a copy of the Bible in his father's bookcase one day, and how, in sudden rage, he tore it to pieces and threw the fragments on the floor, and then, not satisfied with destroying the book, wished that he had some sharp implement with which to cut out "the hated name Ya-su, which stared from the mutilated pages."
But when, through the efforts of the very brother whom he had persecuted, he too came to recognize the truth of Christianity, he became as devoted and tireless a worker for his Lord as was Paul the apostle, preaching in season and out of season, first as a layman, afterwards as an ordained minister of the Methodist Church. His work often led him to isolated and difficult fields; he was "in journeyings often, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils from his countrymen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness." But, alike in toil and persecution, he remained steadfast.
He was made a presiding elder at the time of the organization of the Foochow Conference in 1877, and from that time until his death, in 1893, he was, in the words of one of the missionaries of that district, "a pillar of strength in the church in China, because of his piety and wisdom and his literary ability, having, withal, an eloquent tongue which in the ardour of pulpit oratory gave to his fine six-foot physique a princely bearing."
A striking testimony to the power and beauty of this Christian man's character is a picture, painted by a Chinese artist, an old man over eighty years of age. This man was not a Christian, but after hearing Mr. Hue's preaching, and watching his consecrated life, he embodied in a painting his conception of the power of the "Cross Doctrine" as he knew it through Hue Yong Mi. The picture, which is five feet long and nearly three wide, and is finely executed in water colours, was presented to Mr. Hue by the artist. At first glance its central figure seems to be a tree, under which is a man reading from a book. Lower down are some rocks. But looking again one sees that the tree is a cross, and that in the rocks are plain semblances of human faces, more or less perfect, all turned toward the cross. The thought which the artist wished to express was that the "Cross Doctrine," as preached and lived by such as Hue Yong Mi, would turn even rocks into human beings.
The wife of Hue Yong Mi was brought up in a home of wealth and rank in Foochow. Her aristocratic birth was manifested by the size of her tiny embroidered shoe, which measured exactly three inches. When Hue Yong Mi was asked by the missionaries to become a minister, he was somewhat dismayed to learn that in the Methodist Church the minister's family must frequently move from place to place. In his own words, "The Chinese greatly esteem the place of their birth; if a man goes abroad it is considered a matter of affliction; for a family to move is an almost unheard of calamity." He replied, however, that although he had not known of the existence of the custom, he was entirely willing, for Christ's sake, to undertake the work of a minister in spite of it. The missionaries then asked if his wife would be willing to go with him. He answered that he could not tell until he went home and asked her. But when he had talked the matter over with her, this dainty, high-class lady replied, "It matters not to what place; if you are willing to go, I will go with you."
Within a few weeks they left Foochow to work among their first parishioners, a people who might well have caused the hearts of the young pastor and his wife to fail, for Hue Yong Mi says of them: "In front of their houses I saw piles of refuse, and filthy ditches. Within, all was very dirty—pigs, cattle, fowls, sheep, all together in the one house. Not a chair was there to sit on. All went out to work in the fields. They had no leisure to comb hair or wash faces.... None knew how to read the Chinese characters. Some held their books upside down; some mistook a whole column for one character." Mrs. Hue and the children were very ill with malarial fever while in this place, but in spite of all their hardships, a good work was done.
Mrs. Hue was as earnest a worker among the women as was her husband among the men, telling the good news to those who had never heard it, and strengthening her fellow-Christians. Many a programme of the Foochow Women's Conference bears the name of Mrs. Hue Yong Mi, for she could give addresses and read papers which were an inspiration to missionaries and Chinese alike. Her friend, Mrs. Sites, has written especially of her influence on the women whose lives she touched: "In the stations where the Methodist itinerancy sent Rev. Hue Yong Mi, this Christian household was something of a curiosity. The neighbouring women often called 'to see' in companies of three to twenty or more, and Mr. Hue expected his wife and children to preach the gospel to them just as faithfully as he did from the pulpit. There are many hundreds of Chinese women to whom this lovely Christian mother and little daughters gave the first knowledge of Christ and heaven." The same friend says of this wife and mother, "In privations oft, and in persecutions beyond the power of pen to narrate, she has become a model woman among her people."
In 1865, not long after a period of severe persecution, and while their hearts were saddened by the recent death of their little daughter, Hiong Kwang, another baby girl was born to Mr. and Mrs. Hue, and named Precious Peace, the Chinese for which is King Eng. Born of such parents, and growing up in such an environment, it is perhaps not surprising that unselfishness, steadfastness of purpose, and courage, both physical and moral, should be among the most prominent characteristics of Hue King Eng. One of the clearest memories of her childhood is of lying in bed night after night, listening to the murmur of her father's voice as he talked to someone who was interested in learning of the "Jesus way," and hearing the crash of stones and brickbats, the hurling of which through the doors and windows was too frequent an occurrence to interrupt these quiet talks.
Of course little King Eng's feet were bound, as were the feet of every other little girl of good family. But the binding process had scarcely begun when her father became convinced that this universal and ancient custom was a wrong one. He accordingly made the brave decision, unprecedented in that section of the country, that his daughters should have natural feet, and the bandages were taken off. This proceeding was viewed with great disapproval by his small daughter, for while it freed her from physical pain, her unbound feet were the source of constant comment and ridicule, far more galling to the sensitive child than the tight bandages had been. Now, an ardent advocate of natural feet, she often tells of her trials as a pioneer of the movement in Fuhkien province. "That I have the distinction of being the first girl who did not have her feet bound, is due to no effort of mine," she says, "for the neighbour women used to say, 'Rather a nice girl, but those feet!' 'Rather a bright girl, but those feet,' and 'Those feet,' 'Those feet' was all I heard, until I was ashamed to be seen."
Finally her mother, who did not wholly share her husband's view of the matter, took advantage of his absence from home, and replaced the bandages. When she would ask, "Can you stand them a little tighter?" the little devotee to the stern mandates of fashion and custom invariably replied, "Yes, mother, a little tighter"; for was she not going to be a lady and not hear "those feet," "those feet" any more! But when her father came home he had a long and serious talk with his wife about foot-binding, and off came the bandages again. Later the little girl went on a visit to a relative, who was greatly horrified at her large feet, and took it upon herself to bind them again, to the child's great delight. It was with an immense sense of her importance that she came hobbling home, supported on each side. Her mother was ill in bed at the time, but greatly to King Eng's disappointment, instead of being pleased, she bade her take the bandages off and burn them, and never replace them. To the child's plea that people were all saying "those feet," "those feet," until she was ashamed to meet any one, Mrs. Hue replied, "Tell them bound-footed girls never enter the emperor's palace." "And that," says Dr. Hue, "put a quietus on 'those feet,' and when I learned that all the world did not have bound feet I became more reconciled."
EDUCATION IN CHINA AND AMERICA
When she was old enough, King Eng became a pupil in the Foochow Boarding School for Girls, where she did good work as a student. No musical teaching was given in the school at that time, but King Eng was so eager to learn to play that the wife of one of the missionaries gave her lessons on her own organ. Her ability to play may have been one of the causes which led to the framing of a remarkable and eloquent appeal for the higher education of the Chinese girls, which should include music and English, sent in 1883 by the native pastors of Foochow and vicinity to the General Executive Committee of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, under whose auspices this school was carried on.
To the same committee there came at the same time another remarkable request, this one from Dr. Trask, then in charge of the Foochow Woman's Hospital. After leaving boarding school King Eng had been a student in the hospital, and Dr. Trask had become so much impressed with her adaptability to medical work, and her sympathetic spirit toward the suffering, that she longed to have her receive the advantages of a more thorough education than could be given her in Foochow. She accordingly wrote to the Executive Committee of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, speaking in the highest terms of Hue King Eng's ability and character, and urging that arrangements be made to bring her to America, to remain ten years if necessary, "that she might go back qualified to lift the womanhood of China to a higher plane, and able to superintend the medical work." She assured the committee that they would find that the results would justify them in doing this, and that none knew King Eng but to love her. Arrangements were soon made, largely through Mrs. Keen, secretary of the Philadelphia branch of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, and word was sent to Foochow that Dr. Trask's request had been approved.
This word found Hue King Eng ready to accept the opportunity which it offered her. It had not been easy for this young girl, only eighteen years old, to decide to leave her home and her country and take the long journey to a foreign land, whose language she could not speak, and whose customs were utterly strange to her, to remain there long enough to receive the college and medical education which would enable her to do the work planned for her on her return to China. So far as she knew she was the only Chinese young woman who had ever left China to seek an education in another country; and indeed she was the second, the only one who had preceded her being Dr. You Me King, the adopted daughter of Dr. and Mrs. McCartee, of Ningpo, who had gone to America with them a few years before. King Eng's parents did not oppose her going, but neither did they encourage it. They told her fully of the loneliness she would experience in a foreign country; the dangers and unpleasantness of the long ocean voyage she would have to take; and the unparalleled situation in which she would find herself on her return ten years later, unmarried at twenty-eight. But with a quiet faith and purpose, and a courage nothing short of heroic, King Eng answered, "If the Lord opens the way and the cablegram says 'Come,' I shall surely go; but if otherwise I shall do as best I can and labour at home."
Years afterward, when two other girls from the Foochow Boarding School were leaving China for a period of study in America, a farewell meeting was held for them in the school, at which Dr. Hue told how she had reached her decision to go. She said: "I was the first Fuhkien province girl to go to America.... My father told me, 'I cannot decide for you; you must pray to God. If you are to go, God will show you.' Then I felt God's word come to me, 'Fear not, for I will go with you wherever you go.' At that time the school girls were seldom with the missionary ladies and I could not speak any English, therefore I did not know any American politeness; and all my clothes and other daily-need-things were not proper to use in the western country. Although everything could not be according to my will, I trusted God with all my life, so nothing could change my heart."
In the spring of 1884, in charge of some missionaries going home on furlough, Hue King Eng left China for America. The journey was a long and rough one, and a steamer near theirs was wrecked. One of the missionaries, wondering how her faith was standing the test of these new and terrifying experiences, asked if she wanted to go back home. But she answered, "No, I do not think of going home at all." She felt that it was right for her to go to America, and although when she met her friends at the journey's end she confessed that sea-sickness and home-sickness had brought the tears many a night, she never faltered in her decision.
Upon landing in New York she went at once to Mrs. Keen in Philadelphia, and there met Dr. and Mrs. Sites, of Foochow, whom she had known from childhood, and who were then in Philadelphia attending the General Conference of the Methodist Church. She spent the summer with them, learning to read, write, and speak English, and in the autumn went with them to Delaware, Ohio, and entered Ohio Wesleyan University. Miss Martin, who was then preceptress of Monnett Hall, recalls King Eng's efforts to master English. "She was an apt pupil," she says, "yet she had many struggles with the language." A friend in Cleveland, with whom she spent a few weeks during her vacation, promised her that some day they would go around the square to see the reservoir. King Eng seemed much interested in this proposition and several times asked when they were to go. When they finally went, her friend was somewhat surprised to see that King Eng manifested very little interest in the reservoir; but when they reached home again it was evident that she had been interested, not in the reservoir, but in the proposed method of reaching it. "How can you go 'round' a 'square'?" she asked.
When she entered college she set herself the task of learning ten new words a day; but Miss Martin says that she sometimes had to unlearn several of them, owing to the fondness of her fellow students for slang. However, she was persevering, and in time learned to use the language easily. One of the teachers, who had returned a plate to her with an orange on it, still treasures a half sheet of paper which appeared on a returned plate of hers, on which King Eng had written:
"You taught me a lesson not long ago, Which I have learned, as I'll try to show. When you would return a plate to its owner, Of something upon it you must be the donor. One orange you put on that plate of mine, Two oranges find on this plate of thine."
She was a great favourite with both faculty and students. One of her fellow students shall tell of the impression she made: "Those who were at Monnett Hall at any time from 1884 to 1887 will remember a dainty little foreign lady, a sort of exotic blossom, whose silk-embroidered costumes, constructed in Chinese fashion, made her an object of interest to every girl in college. This was Dr. Hue King Eng, who came to prepare for her life work. Gentle, modest, winning, her heart fixed on a goal far ahead, she was an example to the earnest Christian girl and a rebuke to any who had self-seeking aims."
Another, looking back to her college days, and to the college life of Hue King Eng, "or, as she was familiarly and lovingly called, King Eng," writes, "She was so sweet and gracious, so simple in her faith and life, so charitable, that you felt it everywhere. I shall never forget standing in the hall one day with her and another girl, when a young man delivered some books. I asked his name. The young lady gave it, a well known name, and added that he had very little principle, or character. King Eng spoke up at once, and calling the other girl by name said, 'Yes, but his parents are fine people.'"
The King's Daughters' Society was organized during King Eng's stay at Ohio Wesleyan, and ten groups, of ten girls each, were formed among the students of Monnett Hall. King Eng, who was the leader of one of these groups, proposed that each girl in it should earn enough money to buy one of the King's Daughters' badges, and that they should be sent to some of the girls in the Foochow school, that they too might organize a society. She was eager that the girls should not only give the badges, but should earn them by their own efforts, that they might thus show the Chinese girls that American students did not consider any kind of work beneath them, but counted it an honour to serve their Master in any way possible.
During the April of King Eng's first year at Ohio Wesleyan University, special meetings were held in connection with the Day of Prayer for Colleges, one of them a large chapel service at which the president of the college and the preceptress spoke. The report of this meeting shows that King Eng did not wait until her return to China to begin active efforts to win others to the Christian life. "At the close of an address by Miss Martin, the preceptress, there stepped forward upon the rostrum our little Chinese student, Miss Hue King Eng, who, dressed in her full native costume, stood gracefully before these six hundred young men and women while she witnessed to the saving power of Christ.... The following evening, at our earnest revival service in the chapel of the ladies' boarding hall, there knelt the Chinese girl at the side of her American sister, helping her to find the Saviour; and the smile of gladness on her countenance at the closing of the meeting told the joy in her heart because her friend was converted. The faith of many has been made stronger by hearing the testimony of Miss Hue."
The statement of one of her fellow students is impressive: "She had a great influence over the girls, and during our revival seasons she usually led more to Christ than any other girl in the school. One mother, when she came to visit the school after such a meeting during which her own daughter had been converted, exclaimed, 'Little did I think when I was giving money for the work in China, that a Chinese girl would come to this country and be the means of leading my daughter to Christ.'"
Miss Martin tells of one student who had long resisted all appeals, but who would listen to King Eng when she would not hear any one else; and who was finally led by her to such a complete consecration that she afterward gave her life to missionary service in Japan.
During her vacation periods King Eng often addressed missionary meetings with marked success, winning such testimonies as these: "We are thanking God for that grand missionary meeting. It would have done your heart good to have heard the references to it in our Wednesday night prayer meeting," or, "One gentleman said to me, 'That was the best missionary meeting we ever had in Third Avenue.'" It was probably while doing such work as this that she had the experiences which led her to realize so keenly the blessing of the unbound feet which had caused her so many tribulations as a child, for she says that when she was running for trains in America she always remembered "Those feet," "Those feet," and was glad that she had them.
In the summer of 1886 she attended a meeting of the International Missionary Union, and there met Mrs. Baldwin, who had known her as a child in Foochow. Mrs. Baldwin wrote of the impression she made at this time: "Our dear little Chinese girl, Hue King Eng, won all hearts, as usual, by her sweet, gentle, trustful Christian character. To us who have known her from her infancy up, the meeting was of peculiar pleasure; and as she grasped my hand and in low, earnest, glad tones exclaimed in our Foochow dialect, 'Teacheress, all the same as seeing my own house people,' I could heartily respond, 'All the same.'"
At the same time she was making rapid progress in her studies. At the annual meeting of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society in 1886, "the marvellous progress of Hue King Eng was reported ... and tears of gladness filled many eyes as her implicit faith, her sturdy industry, and her untiring devotion were described."
She completed her course in Ohio Wesleyan University in four years, and in the autumn of 1888 entered the Woman's Medical College of Philadelphia, doing the regular class work, and making her home with her friend Mrs. Keen. After two years of work there, she was very ill with a fever for many weeks. When her strength began to come back, it was decided that she should stop studying for a time and go to China for the following year, as she was very eager to visit her home, especially as her father was ill. Her lifelong friend, Miss Ruth Sites, was also returning to Foochow at that time. So after securing a passport for Hue King Eng, in order that she might be able to return to America, the two girls made the trip together, spending Christmas in Yokohama, and enjoying a short visit to Tokio. The steamer stopped for a day at Kobe, and there Miss Hue had the pleasure of visiting Dr. You Me King, then practising medicine under the Southern Methodist Mission. Dr. You was the only Chinese woman who had ever left China for study up to the time of her own going. They had a day at Nagasaki also, where several college mates from Ohio Wesleyan were working; and two days were spent in Shanghai, during which Miss Hue visited Dr. Reifsnyder's splendid hospital. The trip from Shanghai to Foochow was the last part of the long journey, and they were soon in the quiet waters of the Min River. Miss Sites, writing back to America, said that she could never forget King Eng's look as she exclaimed, "The last wave is past. Now we are almost home." A brother and a brother-in-law came several miles down the river in a launch to meet her, and sedan chairs were waiting at the landing to take her to her home, where her parents were eagerly awaiting her. A reception of welcome was given for her and Miss Sites a few days later, which was for her father and mother one of the proudest occasions of their lives.
Some of the missionaries had wondered whether so many years of residence in America would not have changed King Eng, and whether some of the luxuries she had enjoyed there might not have become a necessity to her. With this in mind many little comforts unusual in a Chinese home had been put into her room. "But," one of them writes, "this was needless." King Eng was unchanged and all the attention she had received in America had left her unspoiled. This was doubtless largely due to the purity of her purpose in going. In bidding good-bye, a few years later, to some girls who were going to America for the first time, she said: "Some people do not want girls to go to America to study because they think when the girls are educated they will be proud. I think really we have nothing to be proud of. We Chinese girls have such a good opportunity to go to another country to study, not because God loves us better than any other persons, but because He loves all our people in China. Therefore He sends us to learn all the good things first, so that we may help our people. The more favour we receive the more debt we owe the Chinese women and girls. So wherever we go we must think how to benefit our people, and not do as we please, and then how can we be proud?"
The only cloud in this happy home-coming, after eight years of absence, was the illness of her father, who was suffering from consumption. But even this cloud was lightened by the help and cheer which King Eng was enabled to bring to him. Miss Sites wrote: "It is an unspeakable comfort to him to have King Eng with him, while she, with skill and wisdom learned in Philadelphia, attends to all his wants as no other Chinese could." Soon after King Eng's return her father was prostrated with a severe attack of grippe, which in his already weakened state, made his condition almost hopeless. Even the missionary doctor who attended him had no expectation that he would recover. "But," reads a letter from Mrs. Sites, "through the knowledge King Eng had acquired of caring for the sick, and her devotion to her father, with work unfaltering, and prayer unceasing, he was brought back to us."
For many years Rev. Hue Yong Mi had been planning to build a house, wherein he and his family might live after he was too feeble to preach, and which his family might have if he should be taken from them. At this time he had laid by enough money to carry out his plan, but his weakness was such that he could have done little, had it not been for the energy and vigour of his wide-awake daughter. She helped make the plans for the house, and afterward urged forward the building, so that a few months after her return the family moved out of the parsonage into a comfortable little home, built in Chinese style, but with glass windows and board floors.
In addition to the care of her father and the superintendence of the building of the new house, King Eng was kept very busy in the hospital, interpreting for the physicians in the daily clinics, and working among the in-patients. This experience was invaluable to her at this time in giving her a clearer knowledge of the especial preparation needed in her future work. She saw and learned much of the prevalent diseases among the women for whom she was preparing herself to work. She also taught a class of young women medical students, which gave her valuable experience in that line of work.
One of the missionaries has written of the impression she made during this stay in Foochow: "She was kept very busy in the hospital and her home, but she was always cheerful and helpful. Her Christian love and natural kindness drew to her the hearts of hundreds of suffering native women, who felt that there was sympathy for them in her every look and touch. Moreover, the affectionate regard in which she had been held by her missionary associates in Foochow has been vastly increased by her unassuming manner, and the meek and quiet spirit in which she mingled with us in work and prayer through the months."
The new home was beautifully situated, overlooking the river and receiving constant south breezes, which made it cool and comfortable in summer. It was hoped that in its quiet Mr. Hue might live for a number of years, and it was therefore decided that King Eng should return to America, to re-enter the Woman's Medical College of Philadelphia in the fall of 1892. On the return trip she said to Mrs. Sites, who was with her, "I have learned to trust God fully, else how could I be going away from my sick father whose every move and cough I had learned to hear so quickly through all the hours of the night, and still my heart be at rest?" Mrs. Sites adds, "Personally, her companionship on the voyage was a continual joy to me, notwithstanding my alarming and wearisome struggle while in Montreal to get permission for her to re-enter this alarmingly exclusive country."
Hue King Eng re-entered the Medical College in the autumn of 1892, graduating with honour the eighth of May, 1894. She spent the following year in hospital work, being fortunate enough to be chosen as surgeon's assistant in the Philadelphia Polyclinic, which gave her the privilege of attending all the clinics and lectures there.
BEGINNING MEDICAL WORK IN CHINA
In 1895 Dr. Hue returned to Foochow. She at once began work in the Foochow Hospital for women and children, being associated with Dr. Lyon, who wrote at the end of the year's work: "Dr. Hue, by her faithfulness and skill, has built up the dispensary until the number of the patients treated far exceeds that of last year. She has also been a great inspiration to our students, not only as teacher, but in right living and in Christian principles." The following year Dr. Lyon returned to America on her furlough, leaving the young physician in entire charge of the hospital work, a responsibility which she discharged so effectively that at the close of the year her co-labourers enthusiastically declared: "Sending Hue King Eng to America for a medical education was providing for one of the greatest blessings that ever came to Foochow. Skilled in her profession, kind and patient, Christlike in spirit, one of their very own, her influence cannot be measured."
At about this time Dr. Hue was honoured by being appointed by His Excellency, Li Hung Chang, as one of the two delegates from China to the Women's Congress held in London in 1898. But she was very seriously ill with pneumonia that year, and for weeks it was feared that she could not recover. A letter from Mrs. Lacy, then living in Foochow, reads: "Dr. Hue King Eng has been lying at the gates of death for nearly three weeks. Dr. Lyon said she was beyond all human aid. Most earnest and constant prayers by the native Christians have been offered in her behalf. We are glad to report a decided improvement in her condition although she is by no means out of danger yet. Dr. Hue is a very valuable worker, not only a most successful physician, but a very superior instructor in medicine, and is very greatly beloved by both natives and foreigners, and it does not seem as if she could be spared. We can but believe that God is going to honour the faith of His children and raise her up to do yet greater service for Him."
Gradually health and strength came back, and the next year it was reported that Dr. Hue had sufficiently recovered her health to teach one class in the Girls' Boarding School. A trip to the home of a married sister in Amoy, which gave her a sea voyage, and change of air and scene, completed her recovery and in 1899 she was strong enough to take charge of the Woolston Memorial Hospital.
The Foochow Hospital for women and children is situated on Nan Tai Island, three miles from the walled city of Foochow. The physicians had long felt the need of a similar work within the city walls, and a few years before Dr. Hue's return from America, work had been undertaken in the city. A small building was erected, in which forty in-patients could be accommodated. This little building was named the Woolston Memorial Hospital, and nurses from the Island hospital took turns in working in it, under the supervision of one of the physicians. But until Dr. Hue took charge of the work, in 1899, there had been no resident physician.
Some years later, in telling of her appointment to this work, Dr. Hue said: "It is very different from what I had heard of the city people being proud and hard to manage. I am glad God created Lot. If he did not help any one else he surely helped me. At the time I said nothing and went, simply because I did not want to be like Lot. No one knows how I shrank when I was asked to work in the city; for when I thought of the place, the pitiful picture of the Island hospital students would come most conspicuously before me. I can see them even now, wiping away the tears just as hard as they could when their turn came to go into the city; while the other students were like 'laughing Buddhas,' for their turn in the city hospital had expired. I am glad I can speak for myself to-day that in my five years' experience I have never had to shed a tear because the people were obstinate."
Nevertheless the first few months were not altogether easy ones. Dr. Hue herself tells the story of the beginnings of the work: "When I first took up my work in the city here, during the first few months what did I meet? People came and said that they wanted a foreign doctor. When our Bible woman told them that I had just returned from a foreign country, and that I knew foreign medicine, what was the immediate reply which I heard? 'No, I don't want a Chinese student, but I want a foreign doctor.' It made my Bible woman indignant, but by this time I usually stepped out and told them just where to go to find the foreign doctors. It surprised my hospital people that instead of feeling hurt I would do what I did."
It was only a few months, however, before the city people discovered that this "Chinese student" was a most valuable member of the community. By summer the work of the little hospital was so prosperous that Dr. Hue decided to keep the dispensary open for three mornings a week, even after the intense heat had necessitated the closing of the hospital proper. Some of the patients signified their approval of this decision by renting rooms in the neighbourhood, in order to be able to attend the dispensary on the open days.
During this first year of work in the Woolston Hospital Dr. Hue had two medical students in training, who also assisted her in the hospital work, one of them her younger sister, Hue Seuk Eng. She speaks warmly of their work among the patients, and of the patients' appreciation of what was done for them. "Very frequently," she wrote at the close of the year, "I hear the patients say, 'Truly my own parents, brothers, and sisters could never be so good, so patient, and do so carefully for us; especially when we are so filthy and foul in these sore places. Yes, this religion must be better than ours.'"
Thus, although the work was begun in fear and trembling, and the young physician had some obstacles to overcome, she treated 2,620 patients during the first year, and was able to report a most encouraging outlook at its close.
THE BELOVED PHYSICIAN
As Dr. Hue's work grew it fell into four main divisions; the dispensary work, the work among the hospital patients, visits to the homes of those too ill to come to her, and the superintendence of the training of medical students. The city hospital has been crowded almost from the very outset. The situation was somewhat relieved in 1904, by the building of a house for Dr. Hue on Black Rock Hill. This enabled her to move out of the hospital and thus enlarged the space available for patients; but the additional space was soon filled and the building was as crowded as before. Dr. Hue is utilizing the building to the best possible advantage. One of her fellow missionaries writes that every department is as well arranged as in any hospital she has ever seen; every nook and corner is clean and tidy, students are happy, helpful, and studious, and patients are cared for both physically and spiritually.
The hospital records hold many a story of those who found both physical and spiritual healing during their stay there. One day a woman over fifty, whose husband and son had died while she was very young, came to the hospital for treatment. When she was only twenty-two, crushed by her grief, and feeling, as she said, that there was no more pleasure in this world for her, she made a solemn vow before the idols that she would be a vegetarian for the rest of her life, hoping in this way to obtain reward in the next life. At the time she came to the hospital she had kept this vow sacredly for nearly thirty years, being so scrupulous in her observance of it that she even used her own cooking utensils in the hospital, lest some particle of animal matter should have adhered to the others and thus contaminate her food. She was so unostentatious about it, however, that Dr. Hue did not know she was a vegetarian until she prescribed milk for her.
While in the hospital this woman was greatly surprised to hear, in morning prayers every day, that which she could but admit was better than her old belief. Day by day she compared the Christian teaching with her old religion, until finally one morning, after she had been in the hospital about a week, she went to Dr. Hue after the service, and said: "Doctor, your religion is better than mine. I want to be a Christian, but very unfortunately I have made a solemn vow to idols, and now, if I should change my faith, these idols would punish me, my children, and children's children." The doctor assured her that she need not be afraid, since the idols to which she had made her vow were only wood and stone, powerless to harm her. She went off comforted, and a few hours later she created tremendous excitement through the hospital by preparing and eating the first meal of meat she had had for almost thirty years. Some of the patients were much frightened, for the vegetarian vow is considered a most sacred one which, when broken, can never be made again, and they feared that some dire calamity would overtake her. Nothing worse occurred, however, than an attack of indigestion, the natural consequence of too free indulgence in the flesh pots after so many years of abstinence; and the dauntless old lady announced her intention of enjoying many a similar meal in the days to come.
Her home was at some distance, and after she left the hospital nothing more was seen of her until three years later, when she appeared one day, bringing with her several patients for treatment. She had gained so much flesh, and looked so well, that she had to tell the doctor who she was. She said that after she went home, and her vegetarian friends saw the dishes of meat on her table and realized that she had broken her sacred vow, they were indignant and alarmed, and would have nothing to do with her. But within the previous year some of them had gradually begun to come to see her again. "I felt badly for their ignorance," she said, "but, oh, I was very glad to have the opportunity to tell them of what you had told me when I was converted."
At one time a former patient of the doctor's, who belonged to a prominent family in the city, brought an old man of seventy-one for treatment. The rule of the hospital is that only women and children shall be received as in-patients, so the doctor directed him to go to Dr. Kinnear's hospital. But the old man looked greatly disappointed and begged pitifully: "I am a poor old man and my limb is very painful; I-seng (doctor), do help me and have mercy upon me. Do not look upon me as a man, but a child." The doctor's tender heart finally prevailed and she made an exception of him. When the old man was cured he came back to the hospital regularly, every day, for the morning service. After listening attentively for a few weeks, he said to the doctor, "I-seng, I truly know this is a good religion and is just what I want, and I have decided to bow down to this very God."
His health did not improve as rapidly as the doctor thought it should; and upon making careful inquiries she learned that it was because the small amount of money which it was possible for him to earn, was not sufficient to provide him with the nourishing food he needed. She at once gave him some money, telling him to buy the sort of food which would build-up his strength, and not to tell any one that he had been given this help. But this was altogether too much to ask of the grateful old man, and "he went out and began to publish it." The family who had sent him to the doctor were much touched by this fresh evidence of her kindness, and thereafter they sent their son with the old man to the morning services each day, saying: "The Christian doctor is so good and kind. She has not only treated this poor man free of charge but has helped him with money. Surely this religion must be good."
Often patients come from far away villages to enter the hospital. One young girl from a town many miles up the Min River, who became a happy, eager Christian in the hospital, went home with the hope of coming back to study in the Girls' Boarding School the next year. She was very eager to tell the people of her village, in the meantime, of the glad truths she had learned. "I will be the only Christian in the village," she said. "How I wish Dr. Hue and Lau Sing-sang Moing (the Bible woman) would come and tell my people about the new religion. I will tell them all I know, but I don't know very much." One case is related of an old woman with double cataracts, whose son brought her on a wheelbarrow a distance of several hundred miles to consult Dr. Hue. The doctor performed a successful operation, restoring the woman's sight, and thereby earning the title of "The Miracle Lady."
A large work is done every year in the dispensary, where Dr. Hue receives patients each morning. This work has grown from 1,837 cases the first year to 24,091 in 1910, and has made literally thousands of friends for the doctor and her work. When she planned to erect the little building in which she lives on Black Rock Hill many people told her that they were sure the priests, especially those of the Black Rock Hill temple, would strongly object to the erection of a mission building on that site, which was considered a particularly sacred one. But Dr. Hue felt no anxiety in regard to that, for the priests had been coming to the dispensary for treatment for some months previous to the time of beginning the building. "Some have come from Singapore monastery," she wrote, "others from Kushan, still others from those in our own city. Thank God that their illnesses were quickly healed."
She tells of one of the Singapore priests who was so grateful to be well again that he came to the hospital one morning, dressed as for some festival occasion, and bringing with him two boxes of cakes and two Chinese scrolls, the Chinese characters of which he had himself written. These he presented to Dr. Hue with his lowest bow, saying, "If I had not come to you and taken your medicine I would have been dead, or at least I would not be able to go back to Singapore." Many priests even came to the morning services and listened attentively to what was said there.
A somewhat incidental but very useful work carried on largely in the dispensary, by the Bible women, is a crusade against foot-binding. Dr. Hue's useful life, and the important part her strong, natural feet play in it, is a most effective object-lesson; and the annual reports usually record a goodly number of those who have unbound their feet during the year.
The most difficult part of the work is that of visiting the sick in their homes, both because of the great distances that have to be covered, and because in many cases the doctor is not called except as a last resort. One of Dr. Hue's reports reads: "I am very sorry that we do not yet have foreign vehicles, railroads, or street cars. It takes much time to go from one place to another. Fortunately my Chinese people live near together, with their relatives, so when I am invited to go to see one case I often have to prescribe for sixteen or twenty cases before my return." Often when the doctor answers a call she finds that the patient has been ill for a long time, while the relatives have been seeking to obtain help from the Chinese doctor or from idols. She herself shall tell the story of an experience of this kind:
"Last week I was called to see a woman very ill with cholera. Her people had had all known doctors, both in and out of the city, and had consulted with and begged many idols to heal her, but the woman had grown worse and worse, until, when she was apparently hopeless, having been unconscious for two days, one of the doctors suggested to try me. I went at once, and found the room crowded with friends and relatives. They could not tell me fast enough what a good and filial woman she was, but that the idols had said certain spirits wanted her, and no amount of offerings could buy her back again. I told them that the woman was very ill, and that I feared it was too late for my medicine to help her. Many voices replied, 'We know, we know, and if she dies we will not blame you.' With a prayer, and three doses of medicine left for the woman to take, we left them."
"That afternoon her husband came to report that she was better. I went to see her and to my great surprise she was better. While there a famous idol arrived to drive out the evil spirit. I said, 'Do you want me, or do you want the idols? We cannot work together.' They insisted that I continue to prepare my medicine and said that the idol could wait. He did wait twenty minutes, and I have been told since that no one ever dared to ask an idol to wait before. Before leaving they promised me that the idol should not go near, or do anything outrageous to the woman. This is now the tenth day and the woman seems to have quite recovered."
"The woman's husband came yesterday and told me that not only he, but many friends and relatives, were convinced that the idols were false; for one idol would give one cause for the illness of his wife, and another idol would give another cause; while once they did not give the medicine sent by an idol and he (the medium) said later, 'The medicine has done her good.' The husband said, 'We see plainly that my wife was saved by your God, by you, and your medicine.'"
While Dr. Hue has done a great deal of work for the poor, her practice is by no means limited to that class, for she is often called to the homes of the official and wealthy classes. One grateful husband, whose wife and baby Dr. Hue had saved, told her that he would not only give money towards her new hospital himself, but would also help her to obtain subscriptions from his friends. "Chinese doctors have learned to use clinical thermometers," he observed, "but the Chinese medicine does not seem to fit the foreign thermometer, for the patients do not seem to get well as with the foreign medicine."
The first student to receive a diploma from the Woolston Memorial Hospital was Dr. Hue's sister, Hue Seuk Eng, who graduated in April, 1902. The graduation exercises, held in the Sing Bo Ting Ancestral Hall, which was willingly loaned for the occasion, created a keen interest, and numbers of the city people gathered to witness proceedings so unusual. Many of them said, "This is the first time a Christian service was ever held in a temple." But what was even more wonderful to them was the revelation of the possibilities of Chinese young womanhood which they received. Dr. Hue wrote that after the exercises an official who lived near by announced: "I will buy a girl seven or eight years old and I will have a tutor for her. Then I will send her to the Girls' Boarding School to study, and then she may go to Dr. Hue to study medicine. Then she will go to Sing Bo Ting Ancestral Temple, too, to receive her diploma. Besides, we will all be Christians." Others were heard to exclaim, "Who knew girls could do so much good to the world—more than our boys!"
When the exercises were over, greatly to Seuk Eng's surprise, her sedan chair was escorted all the way back to the hospital, to the accompaniment of the popping of hundreds of fire-crackers, set off in her honour. A Chinese feast was prepared for the guests in the hospital, after which another unexpected explosion of congratulatory fire-crackers took place. Thus ended in true Chinese fashion, amid noise and smoke, the first graduation exercises of the Woolston Memorial Hospital.
They were by no means the last, however, for this department of work has been steadily carried on ever since Dr. Hue took charge of the hospital. In 1904 she reported: "Our little medical school is getting on nicely. The success of the school is mostly due to our good teacher and the students themselves, who have a great desire to learn. They have had written examinations this year; the highest general average was 98 and the lowest 85. Can any one dare to think, 'What is the use to teach these Chinese people?'"
Dr. Hue wrote of the commencement exercises of the class graduating the following year: "Quite a number of the gentry, and the teachers of the government schools for young men, had asked to come to attend the graduating exercises; and of course we were very much pleased to have them. They did seem to enjoy it very much. Some of them have told my friends that they were surprised and delighted to see that their countrywomen could be so brave and do so well. They also wished that their students might have come to see and to listen for themselves. One of the gentry decided that day that his daughter should come to us to study medicine."
Up to this time no girl who did not have a diploma from a mission school had been admitted to the medical course of the Woolston Hospital. But in 1906, yielding to the great desire of many other young women to take medical training, Dr. Hue opened the course to any who could pass an examination on certain subjects which she considered essential prerequisites to a medical course. Four of the seven who presented themselves for examination were passed; only one was a Christian girl, two were daughters-in-law of officials, the other a daughter of one of the gentry.
An extract from the examination paper of one of them shows the real earnestness of purpose with which the work was undertaken. The first question asked was, "Please give your reasons for coming to study medicine?" "Alas, the women of my country are forgotten in the minds of the intellectual world. How could they think of a subject as important as the education of medicine! The result is that many lives are lost, simply on account of no women physicians for women. Though mission hospitals for women and children have been established for a number of years in the Fuhkien province they are far less than we need. For this reason I have a great desire for a medical education, hoping that I may be able to help, and to save my fellow sisters from suffering. It is for this reason I dare to apply for this instruction."
The graduates of the medical course are as yet not great in numbers, but they are doing earnest, efficient work. Some of them have remained in the hospital as assistants or matrons. Of a recent graduating class, one went to the Methodist hospital in Ngu-cheng to assist Dr. Li Bi Cu, the physician in charge; another went to a large village, to be the only physician practising Western medicine; the third to Tientsin, as an assistant in the Imperial Peiyang Woman's Medical College.
THE FAVOUR OF THE PEOPLE
As shown by the glimpses of Dr. Hue's work which have been given evangelistic work is carried on in conjunction with the medical work. Christian services are held each morning, and are attended by the dispensary patients, those of the hospital patients who are able to be up, the servants, and usually, also, by a number of visitors. The first year after taking charge of the hospital Dr. Hue was able to report: "Not only some of the in-patients, but also some of our morning dispensary patients, were converted and joined the church on probation. We are rejoicing over the fact that all the hospital servants, all my own servants, and also our teacher, have given their hearts to Christ. They said before a chapel full of patients in one of our morning services, that they would from that day on try to be Christians and to live a good life. So far (six months) they have proved themselves to be in earnest."
A few years later she writes: "In our morning prayers I have often looked and seen a chapel full of people. I have carefully looked over the crowd and I could easily recognize those who have just come to us, others who have been here longer. You wonder how I know it? Well, their faces show. Oftentimes our patients listen so attentively that they forget they are in a crowd. Sometimes one, two, three, or even more, speak up with one voice, 'The Jesus doctrine is truly good. What the leader said is nothing but the truth. Idols are false.'"
In addition to the morning services Christian work is constantly done by the Bible women who work in connection with the hospital. They hold meetings in the hospital wards, teach the hospital patients to read the Bible, do personal work among those waiting their turn in the dispensary, and visit in the homes. One of the missionaries who is a frequent visitor to the hospital says: "No hour of the week brings more fully the joy of service than the hour I spend in the City Hospital with the poor sick folk there. They are always so glad to hear, and so responsive. No wonder the Master loved to heal; and no wonder the Christian physician finds so many open doors."
It is not to be wondered at that those who have been ministered to by this tender, skilful Christian woman, and have watched her happy, busy life poured out in the service of the suffering ones about her, have become convinced that the beautiful doctrine which she teaches and lives is true. Every year the hospital reports contain a record of those who have become Christians during the year as a result of the medical work. Moreover, the seeds sown in the early years of the hospital, some of which seemed to have fallen on rocky ground, were not all in vain. Dr. Hue's sister, reporting the work of 1908, writes: "After careful investigation we found that those seeds were sown deep enough, and with such attention, that even though seven, eight, or nine years have passed they are to-day still germinating, growing, and bearing fruit. After hearing and accepting the gospel, their lives are changed. They become brighter and more straightforward, and have a love for other people."
Christmas is a great event in the Woolston Memorial Hospital, not only for the patients and workers, but also for as many of the neighbours as can be accommodated in the chapel. There is never any difficulty with regard to unwilling guests; on the contrary, the neighbours invariably respond with almost disconcerting enthusiasm. The first year that they were invited to the Christmas exercises, red Chinese cards, reading "Admit one only," were distributed to one hundred and twenty families, one to each house, the choice of the member who should use it being left to the family. Careful explanations as to why all could not be invited were made; but in spite of this, during the days preceding Christmas, the doctor was besieged by the non-elect with requests for invitations.
The guests were invited for half-past seven Christmas evening, but the great majority of them were on hand at four o'clock waiting for the doors to be opened. When they were opened, and the guests began to pass in, presenting their red tickets, a new predicament arose; for it was discovered that many of these tickets were of their own manufacture, the number of those which were passed in far exceeding the number of those which had been given out. But when the doctor looked over the crowds, and saw how eager they were to get in, and how good-natured they were, she had not the heart to turn them away, so told the gatekeepers to let them in as long as they could find a place in which to stand. And although the chapel was crowded to its utmost seating and standing capacity, even the basement and the yard outside being filled, Dr. Hue said that no better behaved or more quiet crowd could have been desired. They listened attentively to the exercises, which were fully two hours long, and at the close, group by group, they all went up to thank the doctor for the pleasure she had provided for them, and then quietly dispersed.
Tea, cakes, and oranges had been provided for the invited guests, but as more than twice the number invited had arrived, it was found necessary to omit that part of the entertainment. However, the doctor sent her servants the following day to distribute the cakes and fruits among those for whom they had been provided. That the guests had enjoyed themselves was evident when the next Christmas drew near, for many either sent to Dr. Hue, or came themselves, to remind her not to forget to invite them to the Christmas entertainment. Nor did a single guest fail to appear on Christmas evening.
If a physician's chief reward is the gratitude and appreciation of those among whom he works, Dr. Hue is indeed rewarded for her self-forgetful service of those whom she lovingly terms "my Chinese." Appreciation of the work she is doing is convincingly shown by the way in which the people flock to her, and in their great eagerness to have the hospital kept open the year around. This has proved to be impossible, although every summer Dr. Hue has made an effort to continue the work, being willing to toil even through the intense heat of July and August, and, since the students must be given a vacation, with only half her usual corps of assistants. One summer she wrote with gratitude that the thermometer in her bedroom registered only 93 deg. that day, after two weeks of 99 deg. and even 100 deg., and added, "It would do you good if you could see how grateful these people are to see us keeping our hospital open; and we are very glad to be able to do something for them in this very trying hot season."
But the intense heat of a South China summer and the things that it brings with it, make it impossible to keep the work going continuously in the present crowded quarters. Often it is the dreaded plague which necessitates the closing of the hospital doors. One morning Dr. Hue heard that the neighbour directly across the street from the hospital had been stricken with this fatal disease. She closed the hospital at once, and put up a notice telling the patients why it was necessary to close, and assuring them that she would begin work again as soon as it was safe to do so. The next morning the notice had disappeared, and another one which was put up disappeared as promptly. An explanation of this was afforded Dr. Hue, by a remark which she overheard: "How can we stand having this hospital closed? We took the notice down in hope that the hospital would be opened." But when the plague is prevalent, the closing of the hospital is the only safe course to pursue; for one person, coming into the dispensary suffering from this disease, may do more harm in a few minutes than could be undone in many weeks.
A common and gracious way of expressing appreciation in China is the presentation of an honorary tablet, to be set up in one's reception room, on which is written an appreciation of the achievements of the recipient. These are constantly bestowed upon Dr. Hue by those patients who are wealthy enough to express their gratitude in this fashion.
A few years ago fire broke out in the middle of the night not far from the hospital. It burned up to the west wall of the hospital and all along the length of the wall, completely destroying all the houses in front of it. Then it was that the Chinese gave expression in very concrete form to their appreciation of their fellow-countrywoman, and the work which she was doing in that hospital. Dr. Hue says that the building might have been reduced to ashes in a moment had it not been for the faithful efforts of those who "were more willing to have their faces scorched and burned than to leave their work undone," and who laboured to such effect that nothing but the roof was seriously damaged. After the danger was over the people poured in to express their sympathy, and offer their congratulations that the damage was no greater, some of them bringing pots of tea and dishes of food. "This may not seem very wonderful to the people in a Christian country," says Dr. Hue, "but if you knew how the people usually are treated at such times you will agree with me when I say 'Wonderful.'" Fire is usually interpreted as an expression of the displeasure of the gods, and it is considered discreet not to interfere.
Appreciation of Dr. Hue's work is not limited to any one class of people. One day when she was watching the laying of the foundation of her home on Black Rock Hill, many of the people who lived near were gathered around, and she thought it would be a good opportunity to see how they felt about her coming there. So she asked an old "literary man" standing near her, "Ibah, are you glad to see us building? We will soon be your neighbours." Without any hesitation he replied, while the others signified hearty approval of his remarks: "We are all delighted. It is a hospital, and very different from building a church. I-seng (doctor), you have made many cures in our families. Of course you don't remember us, but even after the transmigration to either dog or hog we will remember you. You may be sure you are welcomed, only we are not good enough to be your neighbours." After the doctor had left, her chair-bearers told her that the people really meant what they said; for they had heard them say similar things when she was not there. Dr. Hue added, "I do feel very sorry that these people are still ignorant that a mission hospital is a part of the church, but they will know some day."
Nor has appreciation of the work been limited to words. From the magistrates down, the Chinese have readily subscribed gifts of money to the hospital work. Even the Chinese physicians, who have found Dr. Hue's scientific training so formidable a rival to their practice, have exhibited a most friendly spirit. Dr. Hue says of them: "The Chinese doctors have bravely brought their patients for us to heal. Some of them are well-known doctors in the city here, so their coming to us helps our work a good deal. These doctors are not at all conceited. They talk very openly and frankly before everybody."
That Dr. Hue is genuinely loved by her patients, and not valued simply as one from whom benefits are received, was evidenced during her mother's long last illness. During the many months when her mother was so ill, the doctor made the long trip of several miles, from her hospital to her home, almost every night, returning each day for her morning clinics. This, and her care of her mother, added to all her other work, made such heavy days that the patients often said: "Dr. Hue must be very tired. We must save her from working too hard."
This, however, is more easily said than done; for Dr. Hue's sympathetic heart makes it very hard for her to spare herself as long as any one needs her help. For nine years after taking charge of the Woolston Memorial Hospital she worked almost unceasingly, with practically no vacations except those caused by the necessity of closing the hospital in the summer, and these she made as brief as possible. But during all this time the work had been steadily increasing, until finally, in 1907, when the number who thronged the hospital and dispensary was greater than ever before, the doctor's health broke down under the strain, and, although with the greatest reluctance, she was forced to stop work. Her fellow-missionaries insisted that she leave the city during the terrific heat of summer, and go to Sharp Peak for some rest. She had been there only two days when she was taken dangerously ill, and for weeks and months the gravest anxiety was felt concerning her. But she received the best of care and nursing, and finally, in March of the following year, she began gradually to recover.
Some advised that the hospital be closed. But Dr. Hue's younger sister, Hue Seuk Eng, who had received her medical training in the Woolston Memorial Hospital under Dr. Hue King Eng, and had been associated with her sister in the hospital work for some years, said that to close the hospital would be a great shock to Dr. Hue, and a bitter disappointment to the people, and that she would undertake to keep it open. "The load was indeed very heavy and my heart was truly frightened," she admitted afterward. "Every day I just repeated that comforting verse, 'He leadeth me,' and marched forward."
At first the people did not have the confidence in Hue Seuk Eng which they had in Dr. Hue King Eng. Hue Seuk Eng tells of their great eagerness to see her sister: "The faith of many of the patients has been so strong that they thought their illness would at once be cured, or at least lessened, if they could only touch Dr. Hue's garment or hear her voice, or merely look into her face. During these months of sickness many people came wishing to see 'the great Dr. Hue.' They did not want to see me, whom they termed 'the little Dr. Hue.' Some of the leading gentry pleaded with the hospital servants to present their cards to Dr. Hue, and she would be sure to come out to see their sick friends. For it is fully nine years since she was appointed to take charge of this city work, and never once has she been so ill. Indeed, it is the first time she has not been able to respond to pressing calls for medical treatment. So often were heard the words, 'I want the doctor whose hair is dressed on the top of her head and who has graduated from an American college,' that my fellow workers advised the same coiffure in order to avoid trouble; but I told them when the question was asked again just to answer, 'This is Dr. Hue's younger sister, and she will do the best she can.'"
As Dr. Hue grew stronger she was able to consult with her sister as to the hospital work; the nurses and students gave the young physician whole-hearted co-operation; and in time of need Dr. Kinnear, of the American Board, whose hospital is not far away, was always ready to advise and help. Thus the hospital work was successfully carried on under the "Great Dr. Hue's sister, Dr. Hue No. 2," until Dr. Hue King Eng was again able to take charge of it.
As busy as ever, Dr. Hue is back at her work with renewed strength. "I just 'look up and lend a hand,'" she says, in the words of the motto of The King's Daughters' Society of her college. But hundreds and thousands of the suffering ones of her country rise up to call her blessed for the loving, skilful ministry of that hand which has been lent to their needs untiringly for many years, and which they hope will be their strength and comfort for years to come.
That her friends in America recognize the splendid service she is rendering in China, is evidenced by the fact that at its last Commencement her Alma Mater, Ohio Wesleyan University, conferred upon her the honorary degree of Master of Science.
* * * * *
I. THE MISTRESS OF A HOME OF WEALTH
II. WORK AMONG THE WOMEN OF THE UPPER CLASSES
III. A JOURNEY TO ENGLAND
IV. PATIENT IN TRIBULATION
* * * * *
THE MISTRESS OF A HOME OF WEALTH
One of the most prominent men in Foochow during the latter half of the last century was Mr. Ahok, a wealthy Chinese merchant. One who had known him for years speaks of him as "a man of remarkable business integrity and generosity of nature." He was very friendly to the Americans and English living in Foochow, and Dr. Baldwin, of the Methodist Mission, was, during all his stay in China, Mr. Ahok's most trusted friend and adviser. Mrs. Baldwin gives a very attractive picture of this Chinese gentleman:
"When any great calamity through fire or flood came to the people, he was quick to respond with the most liberal aid; and I have known him in times of cholera or epidemic sickness to have thousands of packages of medicine put up by our foreign physicians, for him to give to the sick people. In all our acquaintance with him I never knew him to turn a deaf ear to an appeal for help; in a neighbouring city he supported alone a foundling asylum, in which were one hundred little castaway girls to whom he supplied nurses, clothing, etc., and he assured us that no one besides Mr. Baldwin and myself knew of it. He had for some time been accustomed to come to advise and consult Mr. Baldwin on various matters, and when going away would give him a power of attorney to sign for the firm."
When Mr. Ahok was married, he urged Dr. and Mrs. Baldwin to be present at the ceremony, and gave them the privilege of bringing foreign friends with them if they so desired. His wife was a member of a family of high rank, the sister of a mandarin, and the possessor of an aristocratic little foot two inches and a half long. Outside of those educated in the mission schools, she was the first Chinese woman that Mrs. Baldwin had met who could read and write. One day not long after the wedding, Dr. Baldwin met Mr. Ahok, and disregarding the Chinese custom which makes it a breach of etiquette to inquire after a man's wife, asked about Mrs. Ahok. Mr. Ahok at once answered with evident pride, "She all the same one mandarin; she reads books all the day." He was very proud of her unusual ability, and the confidence and sympathy which soon existed between him and his wife was much greater than is usual in a non-Christian home in China. Mrs. Ahok shared her husband's warm feeling for his foreign friends. The words of Mrs. Baldwin, who knew her intimately, characterize her well:
"She was, from my first meeting with her, ever a friend of me and mine.... She was a woman of strong character, of fine personal appearance, always attired in elegant dress, and so perfect in her observance of the elaborate code of Chinese etiquette that it was ever a marvel to me how she remembered the smallest details of the exacting courtesy, never failing to meet the terse and telling instruction of the standard book on etiquette for girls and women, 'As a guest demand nothing, as a hostess exhaust courtesy....' The better I knew her the more I esteemed her."
Mr. Ahok had two beautiful homes in Foochow; one a very fine Chinese house, the other an English residence, elegantly furnished with carpets, pictures, piano, and all other foreign furnishings required for comfort and beauty. In these two homes he and his wife entertained with great hospitality. Mrs. Baldwin says that she has often seen almost the entire foreign community of Foochow, officials, missionaries, and business people, entertained in the Ahoks' home, sometimes in Chinese fashion, sometimes in foreign. It is, of course, contrary to Chinese custom for the mistress of the home to appear before gentlemen outside of her own family. Mrs. Ahok, however, knowing that it was the custom in England and America for the hostess to dispense hospitality to her guests, gradually accustomed herself to appearing as hostess at all gatherings where there were foreign guests; first at small dinners, and later in larger companies. One who was a frequent guest in the home says, "It was a constant surprise to me to see this Chinese lady, so accustomed to seclusion, ever so modestly self-possessed, and in courteous, ladylike bearing, equal to every occasion."
But although ready to conform to foreign custom when entertaining foreign guests in her home, it was several years before Mrs. Ahok was willing to attend similar gatherings in other homes. She frequently called at the home of her friend, Mrs. Baldwin, but never when there were strangers there. On one occasion when Mrs. Baldwin was entertaining a few guests at dinner, she invited Mr. Ahok to dine with them. He accepted readily, and Mrs. Baldwin went on to say: "We very much desire that Mrs. Ahok should come with you. We know your customs, but you have known us for a long time. Cannot Mrs. Ahok make an exception and come on this occasion?" He seemed very much troubled and replied: "I would very greatly like to have my wife come, and she would enjoy doing so, and if there were no one here but Mr. Baldwin and you she would come. But other men will be here, and if she came her chair bearers would know it and her name be injured."
As has been seen, Mr. Ahok was always very friendly to the missionaries and in sympathy with their work. The Anglo-Chinese College of the Methodist Mission, for example, was made possible by his generous gift. But it was some years before he became a Christian. When the step was finally taken, however, he proved to be a most ardent worker, giving generously to the work of several denominations in various parts of China, holding Christian services in his home, and doing earnest personal work among those with whom he came in contact in the transaction of his business, both in Foochow and on his trips to other cities.
Mrs. Ahok was a very devout Buddhist and had no desire at all to learn of Christianity. She was, however, eager to learn English, and consented to learn it through the Bible, since Miss Foster, the English missionary who had been asked to instruct her in English, would consent to give time from her other work only on that condition. "I have often found her with the house full of idols, incense being burned before them," reads a letter from one of her friends. "Our hearts were often discouraged, fearing that this Chinese lady would always love the idols." Even after her husband had become a Christian Mrs. Ahok insisted that she would never forsake the worship of her ancestors and follow the foreign religion. "But," said Mrs. Baldwin, "I felt very sure that a woman of her mind and character would yet follow her husband into the better life. Within a year after, she became a most earnest, loving, working disciple of Christ, ready to deny herself and bear her cross in many ways most trying to a Chinese lady."
Both Mrs. Ahok and her husband had intense opposition to meet, for it was not to be expected that members of families of such high rank should forsake the religion of their fathers without encountering bitter protest from their kindred. The opposition of mother and mother-in-law, both of whom lived in the home with them, was especially hard to bear. Mrs. Ahok's mother was intensely hostile to Christianity, and did everything possible to make things so unpleasant for her daughter that she would renounce her new faith. Mr. Ahok's mother was no less opposed at first; but gradually she became more willing to learn about Christianity, and for some time alternated between her idol worship and the Sunday and mid-week services and family prayers which Mr. Ahok held in his home. At length, after having thus compared the two religions for some time, she announced: "You may take my idol away. Hereafter your God shall be my God." From that time on she was a radiant Christian, and it was not long until Mrs. Ahok's mother followed her example.
At the time of the death of Mr. Ahok's mother, there occurred an interesting example of the way in which a Chinese can become an earnest Christian without becoming less Chinese thereby. In that part of China the wealthy families, and many of those of the middle classes, begin on the seventh day after a death a series of "meritorious" ceremonies for the repose and general benefit of the soul of the departed. In one form or another the ceremonies are repeated every seventh day thereafter until the forty-ninth day. Buddhist or Taoist priests are hired to conduct the ceremonies. Mr. Ahok, probably partly that he might not antagonize his relatives and friends by a disregard of their funeral customs, partly because of the opportunity for spreading the knowledge of Christianity thus afforded, followed the custom of having such a gathering every seventh day. But instead of non-Christian ceremonies being held, the truths of Christianity were preached.
Mrs. Ahok proved to be as active a worker as was her husband. When she had been a Christian only a very short time, the leader for the Friday night meeting held in their home failed to arrive. Evidently her husband was away on one of his business trips, for there was no one else there who could take charge of the service. So Mrs. Ahok said, "I will lead it, though I am not very well instructed in the doctrines of Christianity." In telling of it afterward she said: "I read about the woman who lost the piece of money and took a candle and searched for it; and about the sheep that was lost and found; and then there was singing and prayer; and I spoke to them, and I was able to speak a great deal for them to hear. God helped me and blessed me greatly in the service."
Soon after she had become a Christian she wrote a letter to the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Church, to be read at their annual meeting. In it she says: "The time for your meeting is so near that thoughts of it are constantly in my heart.... We have meetings in our hong (store), and also meetings in our house every Friday evening. The praise for leading us to know the doctrine, and open the meetings, is all due to the sisters who have not minded that the road to China led them so away from their own country, but have come to teach us of Christianity. Although I do not presume to say that my heart has been deeply sown with gospel seed, yet I know that it has been changed into a different heart.... Now I send you this letter of greeting, thanking you for your favours, and praising you for your great virtues. May God bless your fervour and spread abroad the doctrine of Christianity in my country. This is what I always pray."
WORK AMONG THE WOMEN OF THE UPPER CLASSES
Interested in every form of Christian service, Mrs. Ahok was especially eager to share the joy of her new-found faith with the women of her own class, the wealthy aristocratic ladies whose secluded lives were so barren and empty, and to whom it was so difficult for a missionary to obtain access. She threw herself with whole-hearted eagerness into the work of the Church of England Zenana Society, whose mission is to these very women, and many are the testimonies to the inestimable value of the work which she did. As one of the missionaries wrote: "She is of immense usefulness in getting the houses open, as she knows the high-class families, and is intensely earnest herself that her fellow-countrywomen should receive the glad news too. Her knowledge of the endless Chinese etiquette and customs, too, is of great service." How difficult it would have been to carry on work of this kind successfully without the help of a Chinese lady of the "four hundred," can be judged from the accounts of the work which the missionaries wrote home from time to time.
"We have paid our first visit to some of the rich families in the city. Mrs. Ahok sent a coolie on the day before to ask if they could see us, and they having signified their willingness, we agreed to meet Mrs. Ahok and go with her. We had some dinner at 12 o'clock, as the city is so far away it takes a great deal of time to go, and then started in our sedan chairs to meet Mrs. Ahok. We found her ready, waiting for us, dressed in a most lovely coral pink jacket, beautifully embroidered, and with very pretty ornaments in her hair...."
"After an hour and a half's ride through the narrow, crowded streets of the suburbs we reached the city gates; then through more streets even more thronged, till we reached the house. We were carried through the large outer door, then through a small courtyard, and our chairs put down in a row facing the partition which shut off the next portion of the house. There we had to sit some little time, as I fancy the ladies had not quite finished dressing, but at last out came one of the heads of the family and invited us in. We got out of our chairs and in turn made a sort of low bow to the newcomer, shaking our own hands (Chinese fashion) all the time. This over, she escorted us into an inner room.... There was a rug on the floor, a round table, some very high chairs with straight backs, and some mirrors. We sat in state some few minutes and then more ladies came in one after another, and each one we had to salute in the same ceremonious way...."
"We had to drink tea when we first went in, and later quite a meal was spread on the round table, cakes, fruits, and tea again. We sat at the table with about three of the principal ladies, and the others looked on. I was a good deal struck with the respectful way the young women treat the older ones, always rising when they enter the room, and remaining standing until they are seated.... We were invited to go and inspect the house, and I was soon quite bewildered at the number of courtyards with rooms all round, which we were led through. I think I was never before in so large a house in China, all one story, but it must cover a great deal of ground. The number of people, too, seemed very great; wives, sons' wives, brothers' wives, children in dozens and scores, servants and slave girls to any number—altogether in that one establishment, one hundred and twenty people."
"At last we finished our tour of inspection, and arrived again in the inner court; but alas! more refreshments were waiting, a bowl of soup for each of us, with some white stuff inside.... We got through the greater part of the concoction, wiped our mouths with a cloth wrung out in very hot water presented to us by a slave girl, and began to take our leave, bowed to the ladies of the house, begged them to be seated, informed them that we had given them much trouble, but felt grateful for their kindness, and amid repeated requests to 'walk slowly, slowly,' we reached our chairs, alternately calling our thanks, and requests to them to be seated. It is a great thing, going with Mrs. Ahok, for one has a good opportunity of learning many little customs which please them greatly."
"We then proceeded to another house, where we went through much the same etiquette. We were received by a very pleasant old lady and her daughter-in-law, a nice young woman with four dear little children, three of them boys. The old lady is a widow; her husband when living was a mandarin, and her eldest son is now at Peking, preparing to be a mandarin also. We were obliged to drink tea again, and after some time the old lady invited us into her own bedroom, a very much cleaner room than one sees generally, with white matting on the floor and some good furniture. She was very proud of it, but according to Chinese fashion kept exclaiming that it was such a dirty bad room, that she could hardly ask us into it, but we must excuse it, as it was 'an old woman's room.' We had the concertina brought in again and sang several hymns to which they listened very quietly. One of us read a verse and explained it before singing it, and Mrs. Ahok joined heartily, most bravely acknowledging herself to be a Christian, and telling her friends how happy she was. We then went through the house, and about the middle of the establishment we came on a little enclosure where trees were growing, and a pond of water with a rookery behind it looked quite pretty.... When we left they begged us to come again, and Mrs. Ahok is so pleased with the reception we received that she is anxious, if possible, to arrange for us to go again next week."
Even more formidable than ceremonious social calls in wealthy Chinese homes, is the thought of entertaining the aristocracy in one's own home.
"I want to tell you about our grand feast," one lady writes. "We had been entertained at several houses, and wished to try to get on more friendly terms with some of the rich city ladies. We feared that they would never be willing to come so far, they so seldom leave their houses for anything. However, through our unfailing friend, Mrs. Ahok, we sent invitations asking them to come and dine with us.... Sixteen ladies promised to come. The day before, we had to remind them of the day and hour; but according to Chinese etiquette we only sent our cards, and the messenger explained his errand...."
"Well, at last the day arrived, and we were busy all the morning making the house look as bright as we could, and getting chairs put about in the verandas and passages. Mrs. Ahok came first, very kindly, and advised us how best to set the tables, etc. She ordered the feast for us, as the Chinese always do, from a shop. So much is paid for a table and everything is provided. Mrs. Ahok lent us all her own pretty things for the table, lovely little silver cups, ornamented silver spoons, red china tea cups with silver stands, and ivory chopsticks mounted with silver; so we were very grand. We had two tables, ten at each. We were twenty in all, counting ourselves."
"At last they began to arrive, and we were kept busy receiving, and conducting them to their seats in the drawing-room. Tea had to be offered at once, and that was hard to manage as none of our men servants might come into the room; so Tuang had to do it all. I do wish you could have peeped in and seen them all sitting about our drawing-room. To us it was a sight that made our hearts dance for joy—and it was a pretty sight too. Some dresses were quite lovely, all the colours of the rainbow, and beautifully embroidered...."
"Next on the programme came what the Chinese call 'Tieng sieng,' fruit and cakes; and during the interval they wandered all over the house examining everything, and we moved about, talking first to one and then to another. Several little things much encouraged us—their friendly, pleasant manner and evident pleasure, and the earnest way in which they pressed us to go again to visit them. One old lady, of a rich mandarin family, said to me in a confidential way, behind her fan: 'Come and see me some day when you have plenty of time, and tell me all about the doctrine, slowly, slowly. I would like to understand about it.'"
"At last the feast was announced, and then came the critical point—seating them at table. One table is supposed to be high, the other low, in point of honour, and at each table the seats are all in order (one, two, three, four, etc.), and it is a mortal offence to give a low seat to one who should be placed high. Mrs. Ahok came to our aid again and pointed out each lady according to her rank and Miss —— escorted her to her place. We ourselves had, of course, to take the lowest places."
"Mrs. Ahok then asked a blessing and we began. The principal dish is placed in the centre of the table and the hostess with her own chopsticks helps the guests, all the time urging them to eat, and apologizing for the food, saying she is sorry she has nothing fit for them to eat. Mrs. Ahok did the chief part of these duties for us, and we tried to watch her and do as she did. About two hours we sat at the table, and at last, when we were nearly exhausted, bowls of hot water were brought in, and a cloth wrung out was handed to each person to wash her mouth and hands. The effect on these powdered and painted faces was very funny, but Mrs. Ahok had prepared us for this emergency also, and had sent over her own dressing box—such a beautiful large one—fitted up with everything they could need, powders, paints, and all complete. The ladies were quite charmed and delighted to find such a thing in a foreign house, and adjourned upstairs with great delight to beautify themselves. We heard them telling each other that it was just as if they had been at home...."
"At length they said they must go, and we had great leave-taking, bowing and scraping, and thanks, and apologies for having troubled us so much, and assurances on our part that it was all pleasure; and finally off they went, and we sat down to cool ourselves, and drink tea, and chat with Mrs. Ahok. She was very glad and thankful that all went off so well, but quite tired after her exertions, and sat holding her poor little bound feet in her hands, saying they did ache so."
A JOURNEY TO ENGLAND
One day when Mrs. Ahok went to call on one of her English friends, Miss Bradshaw, she was startled to find that the physician had ordered her to leave for England on the next steamer, sailing three days later. "I wish you could go with me, Mrs. Ahok," Miss Bradshaw said, when she had told her of the physician's decision. This was a very remarkable suggestion to make to this little Chinese woman, whose life had been such a secluded one that a few years before she would not even accept an invitation to dinner with the Baldwins, since there were to be foreign gentlemen present. Only a short time before, when the Baldwins were returning to America and Mrs. Ahok had gone with them, on her husband's launch, to the steamer anchorage, twelve miles away, they had considered it a great honour, since this Chinese friend had never been so far from home before. But Mrs. Ahok's response was even more remarkable than Miss Bradshaw's proposition; for in three days her little Chinese trunks packed and ticketed, "Dublin, Ireland." Mr. Ahok had heartily consented to his wife's going; and she, unwilling to have her sick friend take the long journey alone, and mindful of the service she might perform for her people in England, by telling of their need and pleading for workers, quickly decided to go.
A letter from a friend who was with her the day she sailed shows the spirit with which she took this remarkable step: "I was impressed with two things; her implicit confidence in her missionary friend, and her sweet, innocent trust in the love and care of her Heavenly Father. She was leaving an elegant home and a large household, and in giving last advice to servants and children her voice was clear and joyous, but I noticed that she often furtively wiped the tears off her cheeks. In her good-bye to her dearly loved aged mother, whose grief was inconsolable, she said: 'Don't grieve, don't worry, just pray and God will take care of me and I will come back. Then we will sit here together and I will have so many things to tell you.' Again and again she said to her children, 'Study your lessons diligently and pray night and morning.'"
Mrs. Ahok sailed from Foochow the 26th of January, 1890. At Hong Kong she was told, "There are a hundred miseries ahead of you," but she answered unflinchingly, "If there were a thousand more I would go." From Singapore she wrote to her husband:
"Yesterday we arrived here at twelve o'clock. Diong Chio (her servant, who accompanied her) wishes very much to go back to Foochow. But I think now I have come so far on the way, I wish very much to obey God's will and go on to England.... Yesterday we drove in a horse carriage to see Mrs. Cooke. We saw Mrs. Ting's relatives in the school.... It is very hot here, like Foochow in the sixth moon. I wish you very much to take care of yourself and take care of the children, and do not let them play too much.... I send chang angs (greetings) to the Christian brothers and sisters, so many I cannot name them all, but greet them all. Please sometimes comfort my mother's heart and cheer her that she may be happy in trusting in God all the time. Write to me in Chinese characters, and I can then read it myself; or sometimes, if more convenient, in English, and Miss Bradshaw will read it to me."
A letter from Penang, written two days later, reads:
"Leaving Singapore, a Chinese lady and gentleman came on board our boat to come to their home here in Penang. I saw the lady was very sad ... so I talked with them, and found they knew your friend in Singapore. I spoke to them of God and the Christian doctrine, and they were very glad to hear. When we arrived here they invited me to their house to breakfast, which was quite a feast. Their house is very beautiful, four stories high. They afterward took me to call on some friends, and then brought me back to the boat on time."
At Colombo she and Miss Bradshaw were met by Miss Bradshaw's sister and brother-in-law, whose home was in that city. Mrs. Ahok wrote from there: