Seven Maids of Far Cathay Being English Notes From A Chinese Class Book
Compiled By Bing Ding
Illustrated By Ai Lang
The custom of Americanism having been related unto me - "That one book shall take unto self one dedication" - I have honor to make speeches of presentation unto N-B-E, a Grandmother Genius of Geniuses.
The English Notes which go to make up this Chinese Class book are the result of a game which the President of the Woman's Anglo-Chinese College of Neuchang, China, induced the seven Chinese girls of the graduating class to play during the last six months of their College course. The Notes were read aloud in class, taken down by a stenographer, and afterwards arranged alphabetically by the Biographer assisted by the President of the College. At the request of interested friends the President has now permitted the publication of these Notes exactly as they were originally produced, without revision, that the unique atmosphere pervading them might not be lost.
Foreword Biographer Correspondent Diarist Essayist Folklorist Genius
"I Will Therefore Now Make Picture or Our Adorable College" (Frontispiece) "It Was He of the Bridge of the Ten Thousand Ages" "All Day Long Very Good Water, Very Much Pleasure" "I Find Many Idols of Uselessness" "Gui (Devil) Always Travel in Straight Line, Road Wind Around so Gui No Can Catch Traveler" Cliff Near the Monkey Mother's Home "All is of Great Stillness and Peace"
Because I drew the B - I have honor to commence this Class book. For once English A comes not at the head, for our Artist, (whoever is she?) can at the first do nothing.
It all began thus: The first of last semester in the English class Each, most horribly read. Miss Sterling, (our Adored Teacher), play with rings and shake head and say, "Girls, why do you all mispronounce that word, B-O-U-G-H-? It is pronounced - Bow - like this." She arise and make grand Kow-Tow, "Or like this," she shake head until little yellow curls all up and down dance and say, "Bow-wow! Bow-wow! Bow-wow!" The door open and Miss Powers, (our Honored President), come in. She say nothing, but Look! Ging Muoi giggle. Miss Sterling grow all white and pink like Chinese lady. Then Miss Powers speak much dignified:
"We are here to teach these young ladies the art of deportment; can it be that you were demonstrating a lesson on manners, Miss Sterling?"
Miss Sterling opens lips; no sound come out and her blue eyes with tears fill up. Most times so timid I cannot tell or act out what I most long to do, but I love Miss' Sterling.
"Miss Powers," I say, afraid forgetting, "May I have speech?"
Miss Powers smile with corners of mouth only and say, "Yes, Bing Ding, proceed."
"You know what kind girls we are, Miss Powers, of such a stupidness that we cannot of the English to learn. We only are to blame, not Miss Sterling," I say, then afraid remember and sit down.
"It is true that our language is very difficult for you," say Miss Powers most graciously. "And in order that you may learn to construct and pronounce it correctly, I propose that this last semester of your College course, you play a game that we may call 'English Notes.' Have any of you ever heard of it?" When we told her we had not so heard, she smile with chin also, and hold to view small package all of a whiteness.
"These are sealed envelopes," she say. "Each one contains one of the first seven letters of the English Alphabet: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, a letter for each girl. Miss Sterling, will you be kind enough to give them to the young ladies?"
It seemed of a purpose that to me came Miss Sterling last. Afterward, when I so state privately to her, she smile all about and say, "It is most fortunate that your envelope contains the B, Bing Ding, for being a Eurasion, you can write the English more fluently than the others." But that is of Biography unimportant, so I return to where I stop.
Fuku start to open envelope, Miss Powers hold out hand and say, "Wait, Fuku, and I will tell you about the game. It is played thus:"
"For the next five months, every Saturday each girl must deposit in my office letter-box an unsigned, written paper of not less than two hundred English words, on a topic corresponding to the word represented by the letter found in her envelope. For example: A stands for the Artist of the class. B - for the Biographer. C - Correspondent. D - Diarist. E - Essayist. F - Folklorist. G - Genius, to her goes my heartfelt sympathy." Miss Powers look at Miss Sterling and draw down corners of mouth and take on sadness. All Chinese girls grow solemnity, but Miss Sterling laugh, and we know it is of American funniness, and are much relieved.
"Bing Ding will distribute this writing paper which I wish you to use in preparing your articles," say Miss Powers, and again hold to view a package, this time of much largeness and most blue. "Six of you will begin playing the game this week. A, cannot play until next week; her name, alone, I must know that I may send her the papers to illustrate after they are typed."
"On next Monday afternoon and on all the following Mondays, I shall expect you to come to my study at Two of the clock, to drink tea and play your game. That is all now, Young Ladies, except that each girl must keep the secret of her letter; that is for her alone. Good after noon," and Miss Powers disappear with much graceful carriage, of which all Chinese girls admire but cannot to imitate.
Miss Powers great lady; of a tallness and much commanding, with snow hair and bright eyes - at times of a hardness like steel - of them we have much fear. For Miss Powers we have admiration greatly but our love we cannot show out to her; only can we show that to Miss Sterling who is of great dearness, with heart of so great bigness that for her we take the name of "Mother Heart." Each, to her gather and wish of her that she may play the new foreign game with us, but she make explanation that of the letters there are but seven, and soon all Chinese girl go to herself alone and open her envelope. As I have before spoken, B, was in mine. A Biographer I have now become. I shall at once at the Dictionary of the Centuries arrive and study to show forth the meaning of my word.
When we went forth on the first Monday afternoon to play our game and drink the tea of our Honored President, the Chrysanthemums were of great beauty. For many days the gardener had present pots of Chrysanthemums of great choiceness, so that the walks of the Compound and the steps leading to Miss Powers' study were of a two times border; inside part show tiny yellow and white hemispheres, outside part show much large yellow globes. When I behold Chrysanthemums to me alone I say, "Can it be English flower-book is of a rightness? 'That a heart to desolation is now left?' Perhaps the foreign game we cannot play." and I enter much afraid.
Miss Powers meet us on balcony and invite us in and to take seat; we have hesitation for Chinese must not at once sit down, but Miss Powers command, "Be seated, it is the American way." Then she wave hand to tray on table and say, "Young Ladies, here are your notes; I have had them put into type that you may not know whose notes you are reading. Go forward, Cui Ai, and select one to read aloud."
We watch with carefulness Cui Ai open paper and read of Folk-lore. I look about, but girls' faces all most composed and to me I think, "That paper is of Cui Ai's own make," when I see Fuku all of a shakiness and am full of doubt.
Miss Powers ask of each girl to read in turn until there is but one remainder, Fuku, who seems much offended that she comes at the last. She take paper, open, throw on floor with great noise. First time like little squeak of mouse, second time like Chinese Tom-Tom, and all time kick at paper on floor with much strength of purpose. We at once arise and when the foot of Fuku is high in air Da Hua make rescue of paper. Miss Powers say, "Be seated, Young Ladies," and we sit down with stillness; but Fuku keep most noisy. Miss Powers sit at telephone and by and by Dr. Ewing come and try to introduce Fuku into next-door room but she cry, "No, No, it is not my will to go! I shall of the paper now read." Then she again squeak and Tom-Tom, and Dr. Ewing draw up arm and put big slap in Fuku's nose centre. Fuku at once come to self and say, "Where am I?" When she look see us - six Chinese girls in a row sitting - she put up thumbs to cover face and it seem as if she would cry to death, and all time she whisper, "Take me away! Take me away! I belong not to the land! I am of the boat people!"
We look at Each, full of dumbness. A boat child! Born of a people without a foundation, whom the Gods had command to live all the many moons to come on the water and never again upon the land! Impossible! But Miss Powers put finger to lips and nod head, and we know that it is of a truth that Fuku has spoken.
By and by Fuku go with Dr. Ewing and Miss Powers say one half to ownself, one half to ourself, "Poor little girl," and look about at Each, most earnestly.
"Young Ladies, you have much to give thankfulness for," she say. "It is good to be well born. I shall tell you of Fuku that you may help her to overcome these unfortunate attacks. It is as she said, she is of the boats. When a little child playing on the deck of her boat-home, the rope fastened about her waist, parted, and she fell into the water. She struck her head as she went down, which I think partly accounts for these attacks; when she came up, an American who happened to be passing that point in a sampan, caught her by her long hair and tried to give her back to her parents, but they said, 'Return her to the water. The Water Gods have claimed her; she is theirs, not ours. We will not take her back.' So he brought her to me. Here she has grown up and from here, God willing, she will go forth into the world a noble woman!"
Then Miss Powers make a little prayer of Fuku and we drink of the tea and eat of the cakes of much sweetness. The clock strike five times before we leave the home of our Honored President.
When we arrive at her balcony a strange happening come to view. The Chrysanthemum pots were all departed. In their place were our lilies of China, nodding tiny heads in greeting as we pass over the walks to our dormitory. I go most quickly that I may arrive at the English Flower-book, for I know not the meaning of our lilies.
For five moons we play at game with greatest pleasure and much gaining of English. All read aloud with more understanding and our Honored President say we also write better. No Chinese girl know what other Chinese girl have written, so we talk of papers most freely and with great funniness.
One afternoon when we had complete our Readings and were drinking the tea of our Honored President, she say, "Do you realize, Young Ladies, that we shall meet together but once more, then our game is finished?"
When we told her that we had not so realized and were full of sorrow, she say, "I, too, am sorry for I have enjoyed the play." Then she look all about and of a suddenness request - "How many girls wish to commemorate our game?" We look at Each. Commemorate is an Americanism uncommon; we not the meaning know, but Miss Powers' bright eyes most kind and at once we hold up hands. She nod head and say, "I thought so! All of you! Each week I have marked the papers which you voted 'best.' If your Biographer will select and arrange them I will have them printed in book form that each girl may possess a Class book." We have haste to assure her that such a possession will be most pleasurable, and Eng Muoi jump on feet and say out loudly, "Our Honored President must also possess Class book." Fear comes at sound of voice and at once she sit down. Miss Powers smile most graciously and say, "Thank you, Eng Muoi, I would like one, but there is one condition, it is necessary that I shall know which girl has the B - not in her bonnet," she laugh, and we join with laughter, for we also have knowledge of the bonnet - B.
Next morning I have honor to walk from Chapel with Miss Powers (our Honored President) and tell to her of my troubles. By the Dictionary of the Centuries, a Biographer speaks of one human in one book. How then can I be a Biographer of correctness?
"But a Class book is different," Miss Powers say most polite. "It is a chronicle of College life, Bing Ding." I am much puzzled. On steamer days Cui Ai present Miss Sterling with American newspaper and say, "Here is Chronicle!" Is newspaper in America all the same as book? Miss Powers tell, in Class book must be something written by, and about Each; also something about Residence and Doings. I will therefore now make picture of our Adorable College. It is situate on hills of Island grown from the shining bosom of river Ping. At left hand the Monastery of Dreams stands of a whiteness of snow, from the tall mountain - Kushan. At right hand, if eyes follow glistening trail many Li (miles) by and by see blue of ocean of an unexplainable vastness. And all time - of gold with shining of Sun - of silver with Moonbeams play, sleeps the great, beautiful river Ping.
The seven buildings of our adorable College are of a brick and stand quite at the top of hill. From their feet green lawns run away down to hide their greennesses in shadow of wall which about the Compound encircles. This wall, of a ten-foot height, from grey stone is made. At top of stones, not too often, posts stand of a color like lawn, and upon posts looking at sky, sits the balustrade made of stone of a redness to be seen afar. When the wistaria is full of bloom many times have I wish to sit upon balustrade that I might make rain of wistaria blossoms upon Honorable Strangers making entrance through door in wall, but Sedia (the keeper of the gate) is of much strength and bigness and I do not dare.
Today when from Chapel we arrive, on breeze of morning come sound of Tom-Tom from without the Compound wall. All Chinese girl run down to gate. Miss Sterling enter in and Sedia at once close gate but not too quickly. In opening I view Chinese all about box in street-centre standing. On box, man; he make movement to turn face, and to me alone I cry, "It is He of the Bridge of the Ten Thousand Ages!" My soul is in darkness and my feet have wings. I fly far away. When I wish no more to fly I cannot cease, but go onward. At last I fall to earth and know no more.
When I awake it is in a place of strangeness - a room full of sunshine, making entrance through windows of much number. The walls and carpets are of the blue of the sky; the chairs, dressing-table and couch upon which I lie are all of a whiteness; the Mieng about me is again blue. I shut my eyes in wonderment; all is of beauty extraordinary! A hand comes to my miserable forehead and Mother Heart (Miss Sterling) give of sympathy to her unhappy child.
The memory of being like Fuku - not well born - smites my heart and bids my tongue be still. I speak not. By and by Miss Sterling whisper, "Why did you run away from the gate, Bing Ding?" I whisper return: "It was He of the Bridge of the Ten Thousand Ages. Of his power I have greatest fear. If He find, He will sell me to be a slave, for to him do I owe my most miserable existence." Miss Sterling's eyes flash of fire and she say, "No! No! I will have care."
Comfort to my heart creeps in, and I have speech with her of the Story Teller of the Streets. How, seventeen years past by, He was telling tales from box as now happen, and to Chinese all about standing, He say, "Do good deeds! Be of unselfishness! Have of others care!" One Chinese laugh and make large fun of Story Teller and say, "Why, O Wise Man, dost thou not perform goodnesses, thyself? Just now I pass over the Bridge of the Ten Thousand Ages and beside the stones of bridge I view babe of new birth. Go, thou, and take of it all care." To save his face the Story Teller went upon the bridge and took the babe unto his arms and house; but having children of much number, that night when all was dark that none could see, he went again upon his way and with him went the babe. I could no more speak.
Miss Sterling press my unworthy hand and say, "I know the rest, Bing Ding. He took you to an orphanage where we found you and brought you here that you might be educated. Have no fear; I will take care of you." I cry out of joy now, so happy to be of safety in Miss Sterling's heart.
Our I last game is played. Next week we graduate. The separation as of one family is upon us. We have been most happy in our Adorable College and are full of sadness that Each, alone her way must go. Some Chinese girls to be married, other Chinese girls, teachers to become. I, with Mother Heart to America, am going.
Times of much number have I been to the study of our Honored President to make arrangements of our Class book. With Miss Powers' assistance I have honor to select of the papers those that of our Adorable College make pictures of clearness. That when Each, goes by self, one reading in Class book will bring forth memories and together we will all be sitting, playing our game and drinking the tea of our Honored President. When so sitting, will please Each, give thought of kindliness to most humble Biographer, is the wish of your most unworthy.
Bing Ding. Woman's Anglo-Chinese College, Neuchang, China, June 15th.
Cherished and Honorable Mother, Moy Sen. Most respectful salutations. Bing Ang. Bing Ang.
Your lazy and careless child has much that she wishes to say to you, while her heart bleeds because she is separate by so many miles from the most to be revered Mother.
Though so great distance divide us, yet my heart is as near to you as ever; rivers and mountains will hinder us from seeing one another, but they can never give obstruction to our mutual love and help.
By day and by night I pray for your safety and I offer to heaven much incense, and also foods, and my hope is that no harm may come near to your house.
Before the rise of the sun each day I make my worship as you have taught me, though many of the girls in this College do not so, and sometimes I have very great fear that the Guis (devils) will all swallow up on this account.
One day Miss Sterling come into my room and say, "It offends me much to see so many tablets and images here; will you not place them away from sight at least?" This I do at once having greatest fear to offend and bring upon us all great troubles though not yet come.
Miss Sterling, so beautiful, so good, so full kind thoughts for every one, all girls in this College say, "She too kind, too good." Already I love Miss Sterling so much my heart ache to do some good thing for her.
Last night all girls in this College go take walk on far hills to see set of sun in Ocean; Miss Sterling walk by me and say, "Please try a little to speak out your thought when possible for how then can we help you to better ones?" I promise to try but I always so afraid, O I know I not worthy to speak out my mean thoughts to great people, who all so wise so clever.
For a long time Miss Sterling talk to me of her home in America across the great water, and she tell me many stories of how she live there, how all people live, what kind, beautiful country is America; sometimes I think I see bright tears in her eyes when she so talk, and then I feel sharp pain go into heart, for I well know that this time Miss Sterling think she like much to go to American home.
When Miss Sterling go to American home I surely cry to death; many other girls in the College say same thing.
Each girl in College have one duty for every day, mine very nice kind, must to look all about mails, what time come, what time go, when Steamers close, carry mail to rooms, keep care stamps and all writing materials.
All this make for me very great interest, when big mail come in, every body so much excitement, every body snatch letters then run away and read - read like hungry dog bite bone. Miss Sterling all time get very big letter, very large character on cover, color blue; when big blue letter not come, O then Miss Sterling too sad. One day I very bold and say: "Miss Sterling you very much love big blue letter?" she all smiling say, "Yes truly I do love big blue letter the very best of all."
This time we have very hard work, for spring time near, and much of work is to be done before we to our homes may go.
One day Miss Powers say, "Perhaps we are giving too much hard work just now, perhaps more better we go on river have play for one week." O then all College have greatest joy and excitement; girls all time talk, what can do, how can do. Some times girls talk too late at night, Matron have much hard work. When Matron say, "No more of talk tonight," then all very still for little while, then when Matron go far away, talk begin again, and go on and on. Matron have another bad trouble with girls, every Chinese girl think she die if air from night get into her lungs, so she go to bed and pull Mieng all over head and ears so no air can touch her. Today too sad thing happen, "Miss I Sterling fall ill, cannot to class room come, Dr. Ewing say cannot do work for many days, and ask Matron to send some good girl to help Nurse. Matron appoint me to go, I most happy to have honor, and because of this I can no more write at this time.
To My Honorable Family, Bing Ang. Bing Ang. Your Most Miserable and Contemptible Child. Neuchang, China. January 25th.
To My Honorable and Wise Mother, Moy Sen, Greetings. Bing Ang. Bing Ang.
Two Moons ago I have sorrow to tell you Miss Sterling very ill. This time I have great gladness to tell you she all well again and we all happiness once more.
Great joy and pain have gone over our heads like flocks of birds since last time I have Honor to write to you.
Both day and night I watch over Miss Sterling though Matron say many times I must to go into air or be ill. Nothing can my heart comfort but to every moment look to see if some little thing I may not do to relieve Miss Sterling from so great pain. Every day the burnings of the fever make fire in brain of our Adorable Miss Sterling until she know nothing of what say or of what do, this all too terrible, and make my heart to bleed most so of all when she cry out one name over and over again, this name sound like Dick, Dick, sometimes Dear Dick, then most times she try to rise up, but is too weak and so she sink back on pillows and lie so still, so still, I freeze with fear she be dead, O then I creep out and cry to death, and pray pray to heaven, and burn much incense, and then creep back and bend close over Miss Sterling to bear if any little wavering breath come from lips or not, for it seem to me she is surely to die.
One day very strange thing happen. Nurse go out and say I am to watch all what Miss Sterling do? if she call out or move to rise I must give to her of large bottle one portion. A very long time I watch every breath, then all suddenly Miss Sterling try to sit up, and cry out: "Where am I, What has happened? O yes I remember I am in China" - and she sink back on pillows, like one little baby she fall asleep, all so full of peace and so quiet and still. When Nurse come back and I tell her of all this, she say - "O yes the climax, now Miss Sterling will surely live I think." That moment such a joy, too great to bear, come into my heart, I could to shout for gladness, and all the other girls too glad also.
Now every day Miss Sterling one little bit stronger grow, so that Miss Powers promise us she soon will be able to go on beautiful river fete, for that day all wait with heart of gladness.
Bing Ang. Bing Ang. From Your Detestable and Foolish Child. Neuchang, China. March 20th.
Most Honorable and Wise Mother, Moy Sen, Greetings. Bing Ang. Bing Ang.
So wonderful thing happen since last time I write, my poor language can nothing show out of what my heart now hold.
Have patience with my dull and stupid writing while to you I give one complete history.
On the fifth day of this Moon Miss Powers say - "Tomorrow morning all girls in this College have clothing and beds ready packed, for river fete. Ten boats wait at Short Bridge landing. Ten of the clock strike all must be there. Each girl take one carrying basket, no more."
Next day two hours before rise of sun all girls run up and down make large noise and excitement.
Matron and Cook make much shoutings, Coolies work very hard to pack 30 food baskets, 20 bags rice, 20 live chickens, 60 carrying baskets, 3 cot beds for teachers, just outside gate 60 man and women Coolies wait to carry all safely to Boat.
This time every body talk at same time, most time shout, every body say Hurry! Hurry! Cook, because head man, talk most loudly, part time jump on table, wave long bamboo stick and command all to work rightly. After two hours time, yet no make start. What reason? Miss Powers come out and say very sternly, "Cook, why do you not send baskets to Boats? it is long past time." Cook say "All ready" and open gates, let outside Coolies come in, then sixty more Coolies shout and begin to fight, because every body will to carry the light loads, and no body will to carry the heavy ones! Again Cook climb on table and compel every one to do his work rightly.
Twelve o'clock strike, all things on board boats, every body happy to make start. River men have much trouble to get boats off because of high wind and waves against Bridge. At last all started safely, every body sing songs, play games, and enjoy to look see all things which pass on river.
All day very good water, very much pleasure, all night good sleep by bank of river placing Miengs on floor of Boats. Next day very happy till noon then come very high winds, and much rough water, after long time men begin loud shoutings, and take down high covers from overhead. "What matter, What matter?" every body cry out, all fear some trouble come, boatmen say - "Now come to rapids, very swift, very dangerous, many bad rocks."
I well remember how many boats go to pieces on such rocks, so I hide my head and see nothing, only shake with fear, only can hear screams, and know some boat has already gone on the rocks.
Now our Captain began to shout to our men the awful shout - "Buy your coffins," "Buy your coffins" and I know well that this means that we too will soon be on the rocks. Then I could only pray to heaven that we be not all drowned.
At last come one most awful crash, some girls catch hold of me and cry, others make most awful screamings, and because the boat is fast filling with water all try quickly to climb upon the rocks, only I am left in Boat at last, and am much too afraid to move. Suddenly one Coolie lift me by arm and throw me over on rocks with sacks of rice and baskets of bedding.
Now we all very sure it is to die that we have come on this great river, and so we wait.
Over us the sky shine in glory of sun set, nothing of this do we see, only do we know of cold and great fear and of wetness, and pain most miserable.
Where our other Boats, where our most dear Miss Sterling? We look up river and down, some boats top-side, some bottomside, two boats on rocks, like our own poor broken one. Now night comes swiftly, all grows dark and we more and more afraid, every one say - "Now we die!" "Now we die!" I alone think not so, but very sorrowful and cry in my heart, but not with my lips.
Whole heart eat out with fear that our most precious Miss Sterling may already be drowned, no body can to tell.
After long time we hear men calling loudly, one boat comes near to our rocks in darkness, we could only see one little lantern like insect flash.
"Who comes near our rocks?" we say, and through the black night comes Miss Sterling's voice to us. O what joy. Quickly I run to edge of rocks and hold out arms to her with heart beating loudly for gladness, all our miserable lives will now be saved we know this of a truth.
In one breath Miss Sterling cry out "Are all safe, Is no one hurt here?" and we say, "No one is hurt, only all so horribly afraid, so wet, and cold."
At once Miss Sterling have Coolies make big fire on rocks, make all dry and warm, get rice ready cooked then girls eat with long hair pins for chopsticks like playing at feast when children.
After long time Miengs quite dry, Miss Sterling say all must try to sleep, she so like Mother make all cover up warmly then no cover left for herself, I see this and make her take one half of my blanket and we lie down so closely I can hear poor Miss Sterling heart beat, O so fast and loudly, then I know she have much fear, but too proud, too brave to let girls know she also afraid; this all I cannot bear, so I put arms about Miss Sterling and beg her to let me be good helper to her, I say "Chinese girl very strong, American girl not so, our Chinese people very strange and make you afraid; dear Miss Sterling not any one can harm you while I live, believe me true."
Miss Sterling then say if any thing happen to her I must to write letter to Dr. Richard Newman and tell to him all what happen here, and he will of me take care because I her good friend. Then Miss Sterling tell me all about this Friend also all about when she very little girl she go live with old lady called Aunt because Father and Mother both die; this Aunt only go Church, nothing play, nothing laugh, nothing happy look see, always sad, always talk little girl some day go be Missionary. By and By little girl grow up, then Aunt say, "Now time come go Mission field."
That same time Miss Sterling very much love one man Dr. Newman he no like her go Mission pigeon; What can do? That time Miss Sterling break heart, but she say, No, I good girl, no turn back, no break promise to Aunt. Dr. Newman angry to death. Miss Sterling nothing say, only go away without good-by say. Long time Dr. Newman keep anger, no write letter, now write much blue letter and say all time, "Come back, Come back?"
This all give Miss Sterling too much sorrow, not know rest of heart, not know what to do; I perish of thought about all this, and I say "I will all well do for you that you may live and go back to this Doctor man that you so truly love some day quite soon."
Before Miss Sterling can reply make, we hear sudden loud shoutings from all parts of river, and because the light is beginning to come we can a little see, and wonderful things we do see, hundreds of boats come near our rocks. Miss Sterling cry with joyfulness, "O these men have come to save us." Chinese girl know these men do not save, well we know they come only to rob and murder and take slaves, for these are river pirates.
Now I know the time has surely come when I must with life protect Miss Sterling, so I cry to all people on rocks to take bamboo poles and fight for lives, not one pirate must come on rocks or we die. Every girl know this true, and our boatmen help and fight strongly; so fast do all hit at men with poles that they much surprised, and after a little while go away to talk and say - what do. Just that time Miss Sterling look see how water rise swiftly and she well know that soon our rocks will be covered and we all drown, so with face as white as paper she go to edge of rocks and call to one of pirate band and say - "I give you $20 gold if you will all to land carry." He only laugh and say - "$150 gold" she say "$50" he say "$120" she say "$75" he say "$100" she say, "All right $100" and in one minute all men begin work to carry us on shore.
Most girls very afraid and say pirates no keep word, no can trust to take to shore safely.
Miss Sterling and I say not so, Chinese always keep word even pirates do so.
Most strange, most wonderful when we land and turn back to look at rocks where we spend the night we see nothing but swift water running like wild horses over that place, and we know that so nearly had we been drowned that nothing could have us saved if Miss Sterling had not been so wise, so clever.
This letter is of too great longness already.
My Bing Ang to My Honorable Brothers and Sisters From Your Utterly Contemptible Child Neuchang, April 5th.
Most Wise and Honorable Mother, Moy Sen, Greetings. Bing Ang. Bing Ang.
After four adorable years in this most distinguished and advantageous College I am now about to go to the home of my Mother-in-law in this same village.
To go is like fire against my face.
Day and night I cease not to weep and nothing can turn me about from much weeping.
Miss Sterling come in to me often and say, "To marry is right and proper, my husband will be very wise because he is learned man, I go to live with kind, not cruel, Mother-in-law, I must not longer weep and refuse food."
Truly I try at all times to please Miss Sterling, but to cease I cannot.
I with all of wonder and nothing of understanding see how with joy and song like bird Miss Sterling go about the house packing trunks, boxes all things make ready to go America side to marry with Dr. Newman; truly she so happy she send out light from every part, from top of head to sole of foot. Miss Sterling say to me she no have fear of Mother-in-law what she say, how she do, how best to please Mother-in-law so as to escape beatings daily or other hard punishments.
Miss Sterling reveal to me how Dr. Newman have one adorable, beautiful home already builded, already furnished, where they two live without Mother-in-law to live with them.
I very glad and astonished about these things, so like beautiful, golden dream, while for my own marriage I have only terror, and cannot but weep all the day.
Today my betrothed came to College to have speech with me, also to make plans for our marriage; Miss Sterling come to fetch me to see Honorable betrothed, but finding my miserable eyes all swollen from many tears, contemptible nose all red, whole face most ugly, she begin to bathe face with Cologne and say she will not have such things; she will to betrothed freely speak that he must make separate home for me after the American way. My heart stand still with I know not what kind of fears, but Miss Sterling never mind, she drag me after her to Reception room, seat me before Honorable betrothed into whose face I dare not to look, and then she talk many hours to show out how much better way American way to make home.
I listen and tremble like awful chill. O, if Honorable betrothed would only listen and believe!
At last he speak giving good assurance that he will all carry out as Miss Sterling has requested. Then all my heart rise up and go out to Miss Sterling in blessing; when Honorable betrothed come and stand before me and make solemn promise. I in return beg Honorable betrothed to pardon the contemptible selfishness of selfish me, that such unspeakable gladness come to me with this promise.
Now almost I could love him that he this thing will do for poor unworthy me. Can it be that to Chinese girl also can come gladness to marry, and can come that love so wonderful, so strange that Miss Sterling has told me of?
Today beautiful gift come from Honorable betrothed one messenger bring to me large blue No. 1 Lacquer box, in box two gold and jade bracelets, most fine, most rare; when I try bracelets on arms all girls come look see, all say - "Too excellently fine," "Too dazzlingly beautiful," "Too costly," "All same high Official lady," - "All same Princess."
This give me much elevation of heart, but I careful not show out what feel, only say, "Gift too small, too ugly, too mean." This time Miss Sterling go with me to street to buy all things proper for wedding, I find in it great pleasure, and all the girls most interest to look see.
Another visit from Honorable betrothed, this time I Not afraid so much and can a little tell out, after Miss Sterling praise me, and say now I become as American girl not too timid. O these American ways very new, very strange to Chinese girl but now I have no more fear to marry and sit all day working on beautiful red Marriage shoes and weep not any more, truly this is magic, and not any devil magic to make fear come.
Now on my fingers I can count the days when you and my Honorable Sisters and Brothers will come to my Marriage. O then can speak out all things which now too ignorant, too afraid to write.
At all times my prayers go up to the heavens for your good safety and health, and good journey to this village.
Your Detestable and Most Foolish Child Neuchang, China June 18th.
1st Moon - 1st day.
Deign to listen to me, an unworthy member of the graduating class of the Woman's Anglo-Chinese College of Neuchang, for by lot I am Keeper of Diary of the class of which I have before spoken, and now make statement:
Firstly - That I know not how to so do and will make secret consultation among our most Learned Teachers that they may give unto me of their wisdom.
Lastly - That if the tongues of our Greatest Ones yield me not the so great secret, then will I ask of Dr. Ewing that I may look upon the book in which she writeth nightly, after the stars gleam forth.
5th day - Last night I made three journeyings - upon our Honored President (Miss Powers), our Adorable Teacher (Miss Sterling) and our Beloved Doctor (Miss Ewing). After diverse conversation, that they know not whereof my visit is made, I ask of each Honorable Person the so great question - "Of what does a diary consist?"
Our Honored President make explanation, "It is a register of explanation, happenings or duties and is daily happenings most useful for reference. I have kept one for years." The word duties she spake with stress of voice. Shall I then transcribe the College hours of hair-brushing or tooth-washing?
When to Miss Sterling I make question, her face become as the rosy dawn. "A diary is a book of so great intimacy that the writing there in is to be looked upon only by the eyes of him who writes - or - perhaps - one other," she make answer with slowness.
At the once knowledge of her so great secret grow within me and I think, "She also keepeth a diary and hath what they name in America - a Lover."
To Dr. Ewing I arrive at the last. She was seated within the Hospital office writing in a small, black volume. Upon the outside of volume was writ in large, golden letters, D-I-A-R-Y and beneath, in smaller forms, Alice Ewing. All these things mine eyes beheld before I ask of her my question.
"A Diary - why?" she make laughter as pleasant as the ripple of a tinkling brook. "What do you know about Diaries, Moonflower?" Then came the Matron in so great haste to beg of Dr. Ewing that she come at once unto the bedside of Fuku. "She hath an attack," saith the Matron and was departed.
"Remain here, Moonflower, and make speech with whoever come in," Dr. Ewing ask of me; and I with so great gladness sit down before the table upon which lieth the Book of the Golden Letters. For having asked my question of all the Honorable Ones and no Honorable One having answered in full I make resolution to look within the Book that the so great secret of success I may at the once learn.
Many persons make entrance and departure into office. It seemeth best to make study of Book when none are present to divert my thinkings. When FooFoo (the Chow dog) and I are alone I make haste to open Book. Within, the volume was writ in parts. One part days of week; other part, hours of day. Also the writings of Dr. Ewing were of so great smallness, to translate produced much troubles. Thereupon I make selection of one day alone, that I may best interpret the meanings of its hours. This is them:
From the Diary of Dr. Ewing:
8 a.m. Withdrew mole-tooth from the mouth of Eng Muoi. 9 a.m. No. 1 Cook's wife's sister-in-law make birth of big boy - weight, 12 knocks or pounds. 11 a.m. Transcribe letter of No to Y. M. C. A. Secretary. 12.30 Dr. Wardoff came to Tiffin. He hath given me six months to make answer to his clothes or suit. 2 p.m. Unbound feet of Luey See. Delicious operation. Time two hours. 5 p.m. Took from left ear of FooFoo bamboo tree.
Upon mine ear fall the sound of approaching feet-steps. Thereupon I at the once close Book and go to look within the ear of FooFoo who is full of gladsome barkings at Dr. Ewing making entrance. To her, I present good-night partings - and without delay make arrival at Dormitory where warmly wrapt in my Mieng of comfort I lie in readiness for sleep, but she come not. Upon her little bed in further corner my room-mate, Ging Muoi, make slumberings of so great audibleness I find not rest.
Again and again I make repetition of Dr. Ewing's Diary unto myself. Again and again Ging Muoi make whistlings through noses with much warmth of expression not unto herself. By and by I arise and remove from closet, bamboo stick unto the bedside of Ging Muoi; she awake with much suddenness and make end to whistles. At the once I return within my Mieng and come to so great decision - that on the morrows will I nothing of duties write - but all, of happenings. Sleep comes to mine eyelids and I dream.
2d Moon - 10th day - Upon yesterday fell the birthday of our Beloved Doctor Ewing. Miss Powers invite all to eat Tiffin at Faculty house. At the hour of noon we move upward upon Faculty steps, when our eyes behold legs and feet, only, of man making entrance upon Dr. Ewing's balcony. His upper parts were enclosed within a bouquet of much magnitude and his shoes were of the color of clay so that he present appearance like unto a single flower-pot of our gardens of the Compound. We call to mind the extensiveness of the feet and the inconsiderableness of the body of the most Honorable Secretary of the Y. M. C. A. and at the once make recognition of him.
Miss Powers (our Honored President) come out and say, "Come in and have seat." Thereupon we sit. Dr. Ewing make entrance from balcony with much redness of face and we donate birthday greetings unto her. A bell ring and Miss Powers say, "Let us go into the dining-room."
When all seated Dr. Ewing, invited, makes little prayer and the foreign feast begin, of a formality not like anything we know. We unfold napkins and spread them upon our laps to preserve clothes clean, and eat soup from the side of spoons which we push away from us, watching our Honorable Teachers with so great care because we know not what is the polite or what is the impolite. At close of feast Boy bring cups of smallness filled with coffee. Miss Sterling (our Adorable Teacher) put hand over cup, we do likewise, and say:
"Before we drink of the coffee, Young Ladies, I will tell you of an American birthday custom. It is called a Toast, and each one drinks to it standing. I will now make one to the health and longevity of Dr. Ewing."
All persons get to feet and Miss Sterling hold up cup and shake yellow curls and say to Dr. Ewing with so great solemnity, "May your path be strewn with roses and your husband meek as Moses." We all put cups to lips when man's voice come loudly from doorway: "Impossible! The roses are all right, but Moses would not stand a ghost of a chance with Dr. Ewing." We turn as one people and behold the Community Doctor (Dr. Wardoff) standing in the doorway, his arms also full of flowers. Our Honored President grow much dignified then she regard Dr. Ewing all of an adorable pinkiness, and she sink within chair and make much silent laughter.
Dr. Ewing take from Dr. Wardoff the flowers he hath brought unto her and cover her pinkiness of face in their blossoms of fragrance.
No. 1 Boy make entrance with yet another bouquet of flowers of so great magnificence and say with much strength of voice, as he present flowers unto the arms of Dr. Ewing: "From the Son of the Consul." Dr. Ewing drop all flowers upon floor. Dr. Wardoff scowl, look see watch and say, "I must be off!" making departure of quickness. We Chinese girls pick up flowers and place them within the arms of Dr. Ewing.
3d Moon - 15th day - This morning the Chinese boys from St. Marks arrive to Confirmation at Chapel. Upon left of aisle-centre they were seated, all Chinese girls, on right.
Eng Muoi receive Confirmation and seem of so great humbleness, Cui Ai, sitting at side whisper to me, "Can the change of heart of Eng Muoi be of everlastingness?" I answer not, being much occupied with view of Honorable Head Master of St. Marks; a man of much magnificence of person.
For the past Moon Eng Muoi hath made offers of lendings, bestowing upon other Chinese girls gifts of hairpins and bracelets and hath been of so great meekness, unlike her disposition of naturalness, that all Chinese girls say, "Unto Eng Muoi hath come the Goddess of Mercy." Now all know it is the God of the foreigner that hath made the difference.
Cui Ai displayed unto me her Beloved Betrothed. A small man he seemed, seated upon the bench before the Honorable Head Master of Magnificence.
We descend upon Chapel-steps one side; other side, descend Cui Ai's Beloved Betrothed and Honorable Head Master.
Miss Sterling say, "Cui Ai, do you wish to hold speech with your Betrothed?" Cui Ai and Beloved Betrothed stand all together before Miss Sterling. Dr. Ewing put hand upon arm of me, stop, say one - two words unto Honorable Head Master. Head Master speak back to her but Look at me. At the once my heart knocketh with so loud beating I have greatest fear that unto the ears of the Honorable Head Master will the sound thereof arrive.
4th Moon - 10th day - Today Dr. Ewing send for me. When I make entrance into Hospital-office Foo Foo bark welcomes and Dr. Ewing say, "Sit down, Moonflower, I have something to tell you." First she make speech of weather, next she make speech of health, last she make speech of Honorable Head Master of St. Marks, Quong Lee. It seemeth the Honorable Head Master of Magnificence having looked upon useless me findeth my uselessness good unto his sight, and hath presented Miss Powers, through Dr. Ewing, an offer of marriage with useless me.
"In America a suitor endeavors to learn if he is acceptable to the girl whom he wishes to marry before he asks her parents for her," Dr. Ewing make explanation. "Quong Lee is a Christian and knows of this custom so he came first to me. He is a fine man and would make you a good husband, Moonflower - what say you?"
Dr. Ewing sit on sofa beside me and smooth hair of useless brow, and look see deep down into my heart of uselessness and find there what I dare not to confess.
Already, when yet a child, I was betrothed to the son of the Exalted Friend of my August Father. Him I have never seen.
All these things I tell unto Dr. Ewing, and she make arrangements that on the morrow I go unto the House of my Mother-in-law there to abide for such a time as it seemeth best, until I behold in secret the face of my Betrothed - for "You shall not marry a man you have never seen; it is not right," say Dr. Ewing.
4th Moon - 16th day - For five days have I dwelt within the House of my Gifted and Capable Mother-in-law who hath for useless me all kindnesses and considerations. My heart of guilt lieth heavy within my breast. Today, in cleaning of House, I give of help unto Capable Mother-in-law and in closet obtain many Idols of uselessness. Long time I think so to say unto Capable Mother-in-law but have much fear. When she say unto me, "Hath the task of the closet come to accomplishment?" I say, "No, not so," and tell to her of foreign cleanliness. "Behold!" I say, and bring to view most filthy and awful Idol, "These are dirty old Idols! Let us cast them forth and clean the closet rightly," I speak on, fear forgetting.
Capable Mother-in-law nod head. I open window and fear returning, throw Idols into garden with great shakiness.
At noise of so loud violence Boy make appearance in garden walking with four legs. One pair, own legs; other pair, wooden legs. Upon his shoulders, also of a difference, sat a head of much bigness. He upward look see. I downward look see. Horror come upon my heart! Capable Mother-in-law at the once close window but I have knowledge that my Betrothed I have now beheld. With him I can never, never to marry. Tonight will I send chit (letter) to Dr. Ewing that she may help me to make departure of quickness from the House of most Gifted and Capable Mother-in-law.
5th Moon - 1st day - Last week I make return unto College. All Honorable Teachers and Chinese girls give greetings of gladness. This place so dear home I make wish all time here to dwell, then before mind come the Magnificent person of the Honorable Head Master of St. Marks and I think to change wish.
I tell unto Dr. Ewing of the Deformities of my Imperfect Betrothed and it seem as if I cry to death. If I do not will to marry with my Imperfect Betrothed, Peace of Fervid Mind and Ardent Heart will dwell no more within me. On the contrary, Lifelong Disgrace will sit by side forevermore. Nevertheless I cannot to possess him for husband.
This morning Dr. Ewing go unto my August Father to tell to him the useless troubles of his most useless daughter.
Firstly - August Father was of so great anger, his ears listened not unto Beloved Doctor making to speak, but he tell with lengthiness and loudness of voice of meddlesome persons' intrusiveness.
By and by August Father make pause to catch up breath, and Dr. Ewing quick to speak Deformities of Imperfect Betrothed, then August Father rest tongue and lend ears.
Lastly - August Father is again with so great anger that his Official Friend (my Exalted Father-in-law) hath not related unto him the story of his son's misshapen members, August Father give of promise unto Dr. Ewing that if she can to make arrangements of honorableness with Exalted Father-in-law, he will not marry poor, useless me unto Betrothed of Deformities.
At Tiffin arrive Community Doctor. With him Dr. Ewing hold much speech on Hospital-balcony.
From balcony went Dr. Wardoff to House of Capable Mother-in-law there to make visitation upon Imperfect Betrothed.
Tonight Head Boy of Community Doctor bring chit. I watch with carefulness Dr. Ewing making reading. She look see my interest of face and say, "It will all come right, Moonflower. Tomorrow afternoon we hold council. Run along to bed, now." I give unto her good night partings and retire within my Mieng but sleep not.
5th Moon - 2d day - When sun glow in window I arise and make entrance into garden. It is my week to make daily providings of flowers and I prepare many bouquets, one of greatest importance.
That I may know of Consultation Meeting, I ask of No. 1 Boy where shall repose my most important bouquet. No. 1 Boy say, "At Two of the clock, in Teakwood reception room our Honored President hold visitation of moment. Establish there the bouquet of so great importance." I so do. Thereupon look see all about. No person present. Quick I make withdrawal of screen to balcony window and go away.
At Two of the clock I stand behind screen and give heed to August Father and Exalted Father-in-law making greetings unto Honorable President. Dr. Wardoff also make entrance. No. 1 Boy produce tea and much speech of so great politeness take place.
"I am the bearer of ill tidings," say Dr. Wardoff unto Miss Powers.
"I am sorry," say Miss Powers. "Speak on."
Dr. Wardoff tell to her he has been to consult about son of his friend Wong Ging (Exalted Father-in-law make most honorable bow) and that son's heart is of so great enlargement that at any hour may come death to friend's son. (August Father shake head in sorrow deep), Miss Powers much sad, much shocked, much surprised.
Dr. Wardoff say on: "Therefore Wong Ging wishes me to state that it is with great sorrow he requests that the betrothal of his son to the beautiful daughter of his friend (Ling Ang) be now terminated."
Mental pain and much lamentation at the once come unto August Father; of so great sympathies for his Exalted Friend that tongue cannot to tell.
My Exalted Father-in-law partake of pain and sympathies freely; with him, also, tongue cannot to speak sorrow.
Destiny in face of August Father and Exalted Father-in-law dwells. I behold face of two from behind screen and catch at breath.
My Exalted Father-in-law make beginnings. "All things are possible to the Mighty! The Powerful are ever Generous! What sayeth my Mighty Friend? Will the loss of my most unhappy son make strainings of his Mercy?"
"It is well," my August Father make answer. "Wong Ging, thou art a worthy father of a most worthy son. To be Master of Accidents as well as of Arts is for one Noble Person of great enrichment and gaining!"
All Honorable persons arise and with cup of tea in hand take sip.
On wings of thunder come sounds of bombs outside in City. I make movement. Window at back fall down; screen in front fold over. No person look see. All have much callings from garden. Dr. Wardoff alone to me say, "Bombs mean much trouble. Go quickly and bid Dr. Ewing to come at once to Community Hospital."
In garden I make pause beside Boy bringing chit. "Bad man think to kill Governor of Province," say Boy. "Twenty men dead, many maim on Bridge of the Ten Thousand Ages."
5th Moon - 3d day - All of night we stay outside Compound at Community Hospital. Dr. Ewing grow so great tire I try to make lie down. She say, "No, No," and tell of one more leg to cut. Dr. Wardoff make arrival with cutter. Dr. Ewing help; I hold to sponge. Leg go off. Beloved Doctor face grow all of a whiteness; body sway, I try to catch but Dr. Wardoff give to me a push and take unto himself the body of unknowingness of Dr. Ewing. "She belong to me," he say. "Bring water." I bring of water and all time he say, "Darling-Dearest-Love!"
6th Moon - 12th day - It is night and the daylight sleepeth while the Moonbeams play. Fireflies make journeyings of pleasurings with their so small lanterns. Only the wonderful river Ping toils on in its silver bed. Under my window roses of fragrance beckon, beckon, with heads of wisdom. Perhaps I may win the favor of the Gods! The garden is full of the whisperings of Chance! Youth is headlong. I will descend.
Later - When I depart into garden I come upon Dr. Ewing. By side walk Y. M. C. A. Secretary. He of inconsiderableness of body and extensiveness of feet.
Dr. Ewing make silent beckonings to stand by side. I so do. Honorable Secretary of Y. M. C. A. most cross. "Send the girl away," he say, "I have not finished."
"But I have," Dr. Ewing say, with so great loftiness of head. "My answer will always be 'No!"
Then appear the son of the Consul and depart the Honorable Secretary of the Y. M. C. A. I make movement to proceed. Dr. Ewing link arm in mine and put stop to movement. Son of the Consul look see, with little sob make laugh and say, "So Moonflower remains. It's all the same! You can't put me off! I will say it! I love you!"
All time of speech Dr. Ewing try to make son of the Consul to stop. "Very, very sorry," she say, but of no use.
With so great sadness the son of the Consul take leavings and we make entrance into Hospital.
At our approach Community Doctor arise from shadow on balcony and stand forth in sheet of silver moonlight.
Dr. Ewing make pause and face seem all of a whiteness in moonshine. Community Doctor say, "Is it yes?" and open wide his arms of bigness that Dr. Ewing may creep therein. No more she beckon, "stay here," no more link arm; and I make entrance into office with heart of so great heaviness. Strange sounds of Kissings (an American custom) follow after; I put up thumbs unto ears and it seem as if I would cry to death; no longer Beloved Doctor hath need of poor, useless me.
Next day - Dr. Ewing tell to me this morning that all of arrangements are now perfection. To my Betrothed of Deformities (that once was) hath mine August Father given his Tea-House in Shanghai.
Tomorrow, to Teakwood reception room, at Four of the clock, cometh Quong Lee, the Honorable Head Master of Magnificence. To him in my so fine silken robes will I make appearance. The sun of my fortune is newly arisen! The event of my life approaches! It is well!
Every day since learning that upon me the so great honor fall to become Essayist, I have secretly and with great carefulness searched within the libraries of each of our Honored Instructors to find out what Essay is, and to gain information about this thing.
At last, O, so great happiness, I find in Miss Powers' library one great and important book called, "Essay on Man," by Honorable Pope; also one small, unimportant book called, "Studies in Prose Essays." Now surely all these things I can to know about Essay.
All day, all evening, and again next day, I read most secretly, hiding book quickly if any one come near, for no one must know of these readings in Honorable Pope.
"Surely," I say, "By and by I will find part easy to understand." Another day I read and hide away books, yet no more can to understand what Honorable Pope make meaning. This time head ache, eyes ache, heart ache. Truly all too sad, too sorrowful.
Next day have no heart to read more, but try one little while. Then, O too great joy, one part not before found reveal new meaning to me! Here all parts separate with large, plain numbers - 1-2-3 - like questions in great Examination. "Possibly," I say, "one Essay I can do like book of wisdom." The great and wise book say:
"Three roads are open for further expansion of the stimulation of the brain; for the sensory nerve finds three -
1st - Other Sensory nerves. 2d - Sympathetic nerves. 3d - Motor nerves. The transference of its excitation to other sensory nerves, consequently the production of an accompanying sensation in the other than actually stimulated parts, must be confined within a narrow range."
Wonderful! I think at once to begin; can surely write Essay of 1, 2, 3 parts, and then some one very learned will answer questions and I will all things know which for three, four years make deep trouble in my heart.
O too great happiness, I will my Essay at once begin.
Question I - Honorable Pope make much speech of brain, what meaning I know not; Chinese people oldest wisest people in whole world, Chinese people know all learning is put away in stomach. When men know many things all people say, "He have many characters in his stomach."
Foreign people say not so, they say all learning put in brain, top-side head. Foreigner very afraid to let sun shine on head, afraid melt brain - perhaps mix characters.
Dr. Ewing say, "Chinese must of Solar-Plexus take good care." I not know what meaning "Solar-Plexus;" yet I know Chinese people of so great age so great wisdom, surely all will of "Solar-Plexus" take great care.
Question II - One year ago today Miss Sterling call me to room to transcribe for her a letter to a dear friend in Peking, this friend very fond Chinese letter.
I make beginning so -
Honorable and most learned Mme. Bing Ang. Bing Ang.
"Your detestable and most contemptible friend wishes to know if you have eaten full, and if all of your household have eaten full, and are at peace."
"Your August consideration honorably vouchsafe as I have the honor to rejoice at your august robustness.
Then Miss Sterling stop me and say -
"Read me what is now written." I read; immediately Miss Sterling begin action like one crazy -
"Robustness! - Robustness!" she cry out. "Do you not know that - Robustness - means fat - a most awful insult to offer an American Lady"
Now what I wish most to know is, why is it that the most proper and polite Chinese is the most rude and impolite thing to write to an American lady?
Question III - One day every body run out of House because of loud angry quarrel in garden between Sedia and his wife Eksaw.
Dr. Ewing come quickly and say, "So loud talking must at once stop." Sedia say "Very sorry, Dr. Ewing, but what can do? If Eksaw want to be a man, and be boss, why she no put on skirts and be a man?"
Then Dr. Ewing laugh and say: "O you up-side-down people."
Why all people say Chinese make all things to stand on honorable heads, make honorable insides outsides, make honorable top sides down sides? Truly these things I cannot to understand.
Question IV - Every body know Chinese people greatest inventors in whole world, invent gunpowder, printing press, compass. Why Chinese way not best and wisest? Why, in this College, every body say must read from front to back of book? Why say eye of needle, when they mean nose of needle? Why speak to learned person without taking eye-glasses from face? Why is it best to serve dessert at the end and not at the beginning of a feast?
Dr. Ewing say one day when we go to walk in country, "This road just like one corkscrew," and ask of me the reason why? "Very good reason," I reply. "Chinese people know very well how to protect selves from Gui (devils). Gui always travel in straight line, roads wind around, so Gui no can catch traveler." Dr. Ewing look at me long time then say, "Can it be that after so long time in our great College you still believe such things as these?"
To this I only make reply - "Perhaps when your country become same age as China, you will learn how true these things are that I tell you." Then I take opportunity to tell Dr. Ewing why her friend's little child so very ill. Over the house in which this little child now sick to death grow vines, long vines that cover windows nearly up, and that hang down over roof, and doors, all truly most dangerous vines. Americans not know that Guis can enter house most easily where vines hang down over roofs and doors and windows; another most dangerous thing about this house is it have eaves about top side all turning down also. Now Chinese people can keep wicked devils out of all houses, all temples, because they know to build eaves to turn up, to throw devils into air, so no can come into house. I say surely baby in that foreign house must to die, and I feel very sorry, but can to do nothing because foreigner no listen to what poor ignorant Chinese girl say.
I well know how with whole heart Dr. Ewing love this little child, so one night I creep out so still, and carry long garden shears, and climb on step-ladder of window where baby so very sick, and cut away every little vine where hang down over window. That time very cold, very dark night make me very afraid, because angry Gui may come catch me protecting child, but I so much love little child, will try what can do. Next day Dr. Ewing say - "Dear little baby much better, now will to live." I know and no other know why baby live, but I keep secret down deep in heart, and feel greatest happiness.
For four days past have great Chinese New Year Feast been celebrated. Third day the greatest day of all. Every where in land much feasting, much of firework, much of congratulating. (Gung-hi).
Out side Compound wall, can hear soldiers marching in day, can see processions marching by night carrying lanterns and torches, with much music and fire-works.
Every body greet each other and say, "Seng Meng. Bing Ang." All girls in College most happy, because Honorable Teachers say, "For one week we now turn over College to students; we nothing say, nothing do. Students must plan all things, arrange all things, what most like to do;" every one quite joyous. Second and third day have great secret, we most wonderful, beautiful surprise give Honorable Teachers.
With large, red paper carefully written in black characters and folded into red envelope, we invite all to Chinese girls' reception hall at eight o'clock of third day.
Teachers much have wonderment. Girls all too great excitement. From village call No. 1 Good Feast Maker; he plan all things according to high official style. He say, "This feast must contain all very best; twenty-eight courses not enough, must have forty-two courses, with many special servants and on each table one Chafing dish."
All day keep doors locked many girls work to trim hall make all look like one-piece garden, every one so happy, faces shine like flower faces, Coolies very interest, come bring much Bamboo, Poinsettia, make one large arch over fire-place like arch way in street, then fill up over top and side with Bamboo, Cryptomeria bough, and build another archway or arbor to top of room, where build high seats for Honorable Teachers where sit at feast.
Many friends of girls send much beautiful lanterns, some look like fish, some look like bird, some like fire-balloon - all most large and bright.
Coolies hang lanterns from top of green arbors, then Coolies bring much big log and fill stone fire-place, ready for great fire at night to make room bright. Have wood fire and lanterns, no other light.
To make feast ready, twenty Coolies and girls work two days and nights, then great night come, and eight o'clock strike. Inside hall all prepare, all like one golden dream, great fire blaze up Chimney. Lanterns spread glow like red of sun set, all through green arbors, and through great room. A bell sounds. Ah, the Honorable Teachers have come!
Girls all stand in row beside the door and make low bowings as Teachers pass. Bing Ding invite to seats, and when all in place, girls also take seats and feast begin.
After Miss Powers say little word of blessing servants bring in covered dishes, and place on tables.
In middle of feast all suddenly begin great noise outside of hall, fire-crackers and rockets and Tom-Toms then all so still we very much surprised and know not who come to congratulate us. Then most wonderful, most beautiful Band begin to play under window and every body look at Da Hua because well we know it is St. Marks College Band and we know who is at the head of that Band, and why it plays for our feast. Da Hua dare not look up for she too knows it is for her that the Head Master is bringing congratulations thus. When the Band stops playing all clap hands for more, Miss Powers stand up and say, "Seng Meng. Bing Ang, and many times thank you. Ke Dang." Again beautiful music begin, and continue all through feast.
When feast is finished we hear more large fire-crackers and musicians go away. Honorable Instructors stand and Miss Powers begin to make polite thank you's and farewells.
Then I go forward because I have the Folk stories to introduce. I beg Honorable Teachers to remain a little while that we may relate to them some Chinese Folk-lore of our feasts and festivals, of which we have so many.
Quickly, like magic, Coolies carry tables and other feast furniture away, and move seats to centre of room, where make one-half circle before fire, Honorable Teachers in centre, and girls sitting on floor all about each side.
After some little explanations about stories of great enchantment to all Chinese people, I say to all, "Since this feast the very greatest of the whole year, we make selections of two other feasts for stories, and Cui Ai will tell the first story."
Cui Ai at once came to centre of wide half circle, and after making little bow, take seat on low hassock, Miss Sterling whisper to Dr. Ewing, "She look like fire-witch with the great flames framing her black head, and those long braids sweeping out over the floor."
Cui Ai begin with voice much of shakiness at first, after awhile grow strong, and all time so clear so plain Chinese girls whisper together that it wonderful to speak the difficult foreign language so clearly.
Cui Ai's Story. The Mid-Autumn Festival.
Our country has a feast every year, on the fifteenth day of the eighth moon, to commemorate King Dong Ming who invented the Musical Instruments.
This is the story:
When King Dong Ming was crowned King he loved a Sorcerer and promised him promotion and set him above all the Princes that were in the land with him.
One day the Sorcerer said to him - "I can take you up into the Moon," so King Dong Ming set many masons and carpenters to build a very high tower for looking at the Moon.
The tower was finished on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, just on the night that the moon was full.
That night King Dong Ming prepared a feast in the tower and sent for the Sorcerer to come and banquet with him.
When they had feasted they saw a ladder set up on the tower, the top of which reached the Moon.
King Dong Ming ascended to the Moon on this great ladder. When they reached there they saw many Moon Daughters all dressed in shining black robes, and crowned with flowers.
When the beautiful Moon Daughters saw two men coming in they all stood up and bowed very low before them and treated them with great kindness. Every girl played for them her Musical Instrument, such as the Psalteries, the Cymbals, the Harp, the Organ, and the Tymbal, then they sang songs in one grand concert.
King Dong Ming knew nothing more, until he found himself in a bed in the tower.
The King was very much surprised to find himself in bed, and without having come down the ladder into the tower, and very much surprised that the Sorcerer was not any longer with him. The King remembered all the songs which the girls had sung to him, and also all the shapes of all the Musical Instruments which they had played upon for him.
He sent for a skillful man and told him to make all the Instruments according to all that he had seen in the Moon.
Then King Dong Ming taught the people the use of the Instruments.
Chinese Musical Instruments date from that time.
Then the people began to imitate King Dong Ming on the 15th day of the 8th Moon by making a feast with their friends and their relations every year. They expect that they can see the beautiful Moon Palace, and hear the music from out this Palace if they only listen.
Ai Lang then took the story teller's place and began the wonderful story of the
Our Country has a Festival three days before Christmas to commemorate a family meeting again.
The story is as follows:
Once there was a man who wished to go a long journey, so he went down to a harbor and found a boat, he paid the boat hire for it, and then he went down into the boat, just then a mighty tempest was on the sea; the boat was about to be broken and the men were very much afraid; and the sailor thinking to do something against the wind fell overboard and was drowned.
Then the lone man could not bear up against the wind so he let the boat drive. The day went by, on, on the boat sailed, but no land appeared in sight.
The lone man grew sadder and sadder, he neither ate or slept, but spent his time praying to his Gods.
One morning he saw many birds fluttering around his masts, so that he knew the land was near.
Two hours after this the boat floated near to a great Mountain. On this Mountain many beasts had their homes. When the man realized this he was very much afraid, and he said to himself, "If I stay in this spot, in this boat I will starve soon; and if I go out and up the Mountain I will be killed by the wild beasts."
In the very midst of the young man's trouble and wonder who should come down the Mountain but a female Monkey. This Monkey was the Queen of the place; she led him to her cave and prepared a dinner for him, and sat with him at meat.
After a few days the female Monkey made a stately bow before him and asked him to become her husband.
Then the man said to himself, "If do not consent to her she will kill me, so I shall have to marry her to save my life, and perhaps after a time I shall have a good chance to go back to my home again."
So he promised to marry her.
On their wedding day there were many little Monkeys who came to congratulate her.
After a year the Monkey bore a baby to him.
When the boy was old enough his Mother took him out to hunt for game, which they carried home for dinner.
The man taught her to cook, so that they could roast the game quite nicely.
One day the man got very homesick so he went out, wishing to escape from his wife. Just that time the Monkey and her son were returning from their hunt. When they saw him come up they were very angry and led him home.
Next time she went out to hunt she left the boy at home to watch his Father.
After another year the Monkey bore him another son. When this second son was old enough his Mother made him a bow and arrow, and taught him to shoot the animals; from that day forth she always took her second son with her when she went out to shoot, leaving the oldest son at home to keep guard over the Father. The man always told this big boy about his home, and the big boy talked to his little brother about it, so that after a while the second boy began to refuse to go hunting with his Mother.
One day the man said to his sons, "If I go home I can only let one of you go with me," but they said "Surely we will both go with you," and the man saw that they would both go with him and he was much perplexed as to how he could bring it to pass.
One day soon after they saw a boat coming toward the Mountain, so they went down into it, the boat sailed away very quickly. When the Monkey came home and found that her husband and children were not there she began to search for them. Then she saw a great boat opposite her in which three men were sitting, she began to call to them and to cry, but the three waved their hands to her from the boat and gave her a silent farewell.
After a few days the boat reached the City in which the man was born.
When the man came to his home and his wife saw him and the two boys, she was very angry, because she thought that he had married another wife.
The man told her all about all his troubles and said, "If you will look at them very carefully then you will know that they are come from a breed of animals." When she so looked at the two boys she knew that this was true, and then she made a feast for him, and called in her friends and neighbors to come and rejoice with them.
The two boys' Step-Mother treated them very badly and always scolded them, saying, "Of what good are you, sons of an animal?" But after a few years the two boys became very famous Officers; and often talked about what their Step-Mother had called them, and after a while they went by boat to search for their own Mother.
At last when they reached the Mountain they saw a Monkey coming toward them with full eyes; then they knew it was their Mother and they wished to carry her home with them, but she had grown very savage, so that they could not lead her home. Then they remembered that their Father had told them that their Mother liked things made of rice, so they made a kind of dough of rice and stuck it upon the trees or grass, when the Monkey saw this she was very happy and began to eat the rice from the trees and grass.
The two Brothers stuck the rice upon every thing as they went upon their homeward way, and the Monkey came nearer and nearer to get the rice balls, at length she came very near to the boys' home, and they stuck the rice balls inside the court, when the Monkey came in there to get the rice, the boys bolted the door, and locked her in a room, and gave her well cooked things to eat and treated her well.
The hair on her body began to drop off, and she became very tame; and the two boys were very happy to get their own Mother again.
The Monkey was tempted home by her two sons in the winter time two days before Christmas, so from that time the people always make a feast with their families and roll rice balls on that day each year.
When people are rolling the rice balls they want the whole family present, because they think that if the whole family is together to make the rice balls, the whole family will have peace and prosperity throughout the coming year.
Geniuses are birthed not made.
Of that, the truth, I have confidence of the uttermost. Two possessions must be theirs - Longevity of Hair and Biliousness of Character. Likewise it is more better than a Father or Mother Genius has made proceedings. Most best that a Grandfather Genius walks in front. Then, is all of most wellness and the Genius is of excellency birthed.
No Honorable Ancestors of Geniuses have walked before me. No Longevity of Hair have I (since the all powerful fever raged in our Province). No Character of Biliousness, the Character of me being of unimportantness. How then can I, not having been birthed with properness become into one Genius on the instant? It is of uttermost impossibility, albeit the American friend of Miss Sterling say she teach to me many fine words of American Slang most profitable in works of Genius. Only can the Goddess of Mercy and perhaps the Foreign God a little, lend of aid to me in my extremities. To them I design the Poem below, of which you shall have readings. To composition, Poem take with much exactitude, six of hours and forty-five of moments. At endings of time, eyes ached and stomache have yearnings but Poem come out. I have extensive happiness for I now have knowings that, if of eats I partake of littleness, and make anointments of hair that it may to grow, I shall yet arrive at the business of Genius.
Give unto me of the sacred power, O, Goddess of Mercy, now, this hour, That into a GENIUS I may flower, Like silver dewdrops in summer shower.
Yesterday Miss Powers say in class - "Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them." Thus has the business of Genius been thrust upon me and I must get busy. For three days now, in searchings of library of Honored President, I come upon Eng Muoi also making searchings. She hide book, I hide book. Today I make findings of space of emptiness on book-shelf where yesterday stood Honorable Pope. Eng Muoi has taken him unto herself. Next where Honorable Pope once was and now is not, I found book of Honorable Lord Kames, most evident a Genius with knowledge of Geniuses incomparable. He says, "A Constitution of Warmth and Inflamableness must a Genius possess. Likewise a Delicacy of Taste and Sedateness." Three of these Constitutions have I - Warmth (of coldness I know not) Inflamableness (anger comes quickly unto my heart) Delicacy of Taste (is it not I who of foods make selectings for our feasts?) But Sedateness, I have it not. Perhaps if I hump me and make trackings I can to catch it.
We are making a journey, Miss Sterling, Ai Lang, Bing Ding and I to the Monastery of Dreams on the tall mountain Koshan. From the Compound we came in early morning time by boat and now in sedan chairs we ascend into the clouds. At each placement of rest we stop. While coolies catch at breath and smoke at pipe, we drink of tea and watch at view. It is most wondrous. Trees of a growth extraordinary. Rocks of mightiness each bearing an inscription from the Classics. Down side of mountain, tumbling into waterfalls over boulders of bigness flows a stream of the clearness of glass. Below, the "Happy Valley" stretches myriads of miles away, of green in shadow and gold in sunshine, all of uttermost beauty.
There are steps of stone that one may arrive at Tea-houses higher up mountain side. I beg of Miss Sterling that I may to leave chair and mount up steps. All girls come and we climb, making readings of rocks as we go. I find great comfort in my reading - "With what little wisdom is the world governed." For the business of Genius makes me tired and tonight I must become fresh, like unto a daisy, for out of me must I cough up a Poem.
We are nearing the Monastery. High in air above our heads, the bell from the Temple tolls. As we climb Miss Sterling tells of the wicked man who tolls it. For twenty-five years he has made penance for his wicked sins. He was doomed to toll the bell and never speak; now he cannot to speak one word, but tolls on. That's not dead easy. I have of sorrow for that man. Tonight I will to compose a Poem to him.
We enter the open court of the Monastery. All is of great stillness and peace. Only tinkling of fountain in centre of court makes soundings. Beyond fountain is lake full of brilliant colourings. By lake we make pauses and see that colourings are red, blue, green and gold fishes - most beautiful! At end of lake an old man sits by stand; on stand are cakes all strung on string like Chinese cash. We buy of the cakes, Bing Ding cut strings, and we enjoy much pleasurings in fishes feeding forgetful of hours. But Miss Sterling say, "The time is passing. If you wish your fortunes told we must go."
We mount up stone steps and enter Temple of the Prophets. Bing Ding, alone, makes way to Priest at altar and tells to him of her desire. From his Divining Sticks he makes selection of one and lays it upon the altar, then opens the Taheo (Book of Great Learning) and reads:
The accomplishment of thy plans rests with Heaven. The Spirits of the Earth, Sea and Air are propitious. Thou shalt ride far upon the Sea into Foreign Countries and return in safety. The Earth Spirit gives thee great power in things political through thy marriage to a high official of thy Country. Seven worthy sons shall be born unto thee and thy days shall be full and many.
Bing Ding was of manifest satisfaction when she join us sitting on seat at back of temple.
We hike on up other stone steps to the Temple of the Moon. I enter with Ai Lang, Miss Sterling and Bing Ding making readings of Classics outside on rocks.
Unto the Priest of Temple Ai Lang tell of her birth-moon, also hour and place of birthment.
He answer thus: The right way leads forward; the wrong way backward. Unto your choice bring wisdom. Within four angles of prominence lies your life. Leo rising, Cancer culminating. To your house Mars brings trouble but Venus overrules. You will bear a man child of exceeding greatness. Art is your talent; your hands your best possessions. See to it that you use them wisely.
Ai Lang give promise of wisdom and we make getaway unto Miss Sterling and Bing Ding.
Up yet another stone steps we mount to the highest Temple of all, set like a star in clouds at top of mountain - the Temple of Dreams. Inside of Temple most wonderful but at entrance of uttermost darkness. One step - two step I take alone (only one person can make entrance at one time) then comes light, soft like flush of dawn. Grows brighter, most bright, until over all things the Spirit of Fire spreads its mantle of red. I walk on, each step in changing light; Orange, Yellow, Blue, Green and Violet. At last I make stand at foot of rainbow before the High Priest of the Temple. Strange, most strange! Last night I dream of rainbow. I speak unto the Priest my dream. He make interpretation as follows: The rainbow you beheld in sleep is an omen of good promise. Likewise the street in which you walked in fear and darkness for Success crowns him who works to win. The violets you gathered at end of street were Happiness, Fame and Riches. All these shall be yours if you break not the string of Pearls that are entwined about your neck. Should one Pearl loosen and fall into space, Sorrow and Sadness shall be your portion. Beware of accidents unto the Pearls.
Much troubled, with hand to Pearls lest Misfortune come up with me - for clasp of necklace is of weakness - I make return through rainbow into world outside.
"The shadows are growing," Miss Sterling say. "Come, we must get down the mountain to to the boats at once!"
Tonight after we reach Compound, I cut out dinner and make anointment of hair, also stir my stumps to compose Poem. Time - five of hours - ten of moments. I have much hunger.
He sits in the belfry tower, Tolling the soft bell of Dreams. Four times he rings it each hour, Heaven with sound of it teems. Moons long past the Spirits said: "For untold Sins you must pay, Morning's gold but Evening's red, Your crimes must be paid each day." Worn and dark is He and old. On his soul his Sins have weighed. Twenty-five years He has tolled, Surely the price He has paid.
This morning at Ten of the clock we march by two's and two's into Chapel, Honored President and Teachers leading. Cui Ai adorned in light blue silk following. Tomorrow she marries. Today, Miss Powers trim Chapel and make for Cui Ai alone, Graduating Exercises most scrumptious.
First come little welcome speech of our Honored President then Cui Ai arise and speak Essay on Faith in our beloved Neuchang dialect. Sit down, and Chinese girls sing in chorus "Wings of Faith." Again Cui Ai arise and speak Essay on Hope in Classical Chinese. Sit down, and our Adorable Miss Sterling sing solo, "Keep on Hoping." Yet again Cui Ai arise and speak Essay on Charity, this time in English. Yet again sit down, and Chinese girls sing chorus of "Charity."
Miss Powers make speechings of presentations and unto Cui Ai give Diploma of Excellency. All is finished.
Cui Ai's Eager Betrothed, also Beauteous Mother and Sisters and Brothers also much beauteous Flowers make arrival upon platform at same time. All is most merry and of good fortune, and our sorrow that Cui Ai is not to wait for the graduation of the class, is now turned to joyfulness.
Later, we go with Cui Ai to gaze upon her jewels and fine clothings. Her No. 1 Chest of red lacquer holds many garments of fine silk of soft warmth and richness. In the tray, numberless bracelets, hair-pins, brooches and other ornaments have place.
No. 2 Chest, also of red lacquer, contain clothing more ordinary and household linens most plenteous.
All the time Cui Ai showing Chests, not down in the mouth but having smilings.
By and by I say, "Why do you look happy, Cui Ai? Why do you not make cryings? It is our custom."
Cui Ai make response: "Because of our dear Miss Sterling. She say it is of uttermost foolishness to make marriage and cryings at same time. It is not the American way to so do. American lady make first marriage, no cryings, sometimes later make cryings, but not always. Also I have great and copious joys for in my house of littleness I am to live unto myself and husband alone, not with Able Mother-in-law."
We wonder at the manifold good fortune of Cui Ai. It is not to believe that she live not in house of Able Mother-in-law. I have much doubtings.
I return unto my room and will to compose Poem on - "What is House without Mother-in-law?" but Poem no come out. I am floored with completeness. Six bells ring but I go not. Again I make anointment of hair and cut out dinner. I find book of rhyme-words and choose this list - "Air-fare, Where-wear, Prayer-ensnare." At the once I become up to snuff and Poem come unto me of so great quickness I have double joyings: Firstly, that Poem is of everlastingness of length; lastly, that with my rhyme-book, I can now become on to the job of Genius. Poem take of time, three of hours; of moments, four. I give of name unto Poem:
"The Three Graces."
Long New Moons ago, Three Graces most fair, Dwelt under one roof. And combing long hair, Made wishes to ride in Red Wedding Chair, Enwrapted in Red Veil; and Wedding Dress wear.
Most ancient was Faith, with belief that by prayer A Husband would come, appearing in air. Sun-time and Moon-time she'd pray, then declare: "He'll be here tonight; our roof-tree to share."
Miss Hope was a Grace without any care, Hoping a Husband to her would repair; Her thinks troubled not. She hoped he'd be there, But how he would come was not her affair.
Charity said: "Each our part we must bear, If we are to Marry. Men quickly scare. We must decide on the Time, Who and Where. Get up and get busy; Each, Do and Dare."
Each Grace went her way a riding her mare. Hope rode on Hopings. Miss Faith rode her Prayer. Still they ride on and at Charity glare; Her Wedding took place 'mid trumpetings blare.
The Moral is plain and not at all rare. Just praying and hoping failed for that pair. Be Up and Be Doing. Yourself never Tare, If ever a Husband you wish to ensnare.
With the shining of the Sun while yet the Moon has not gone to sleep, we six Chinese girls of the graduating class to which Cui Ai once belonged and now belongs not, come unto her room to adorn her for her marriage.
We have friendly quarrellings over the red slippers of so great smallness, which she has made herself - as to who shall place them on her tiny feet - also we snatch at hair-pins and bracelets, to be No. 1 aid at dressings.
Cui Ai pays scanty heed to the admonitions which her paid attendant is all time speeching unto her, but is full of cheerfulness at which we have much marvelings. At last, attendant place red wedding-veil on head and we fasten many brooches upon red wedding-gown. Over the bride's small hands Bing Ding slips jade bracelets and all is in placement.
The Mistress of Ceremonies (Miss Powers) enters and taking Cui Ai by hand, leads her into garden; we follow at distance of most respectfulness. Down the path they walk, past the wonderful red chair all of one blossom, even the poles covered with vines and flowers, and up the Chapel steps.
Inside Chapel, Miss Powers lead Cui Ai to altar where wait Groom and Minister, while Miss Sterling all time play Wedding March of Honorable Mendelssohn.
Outside Chapel, Chinese band play and friends fire crackers with so great noisesomeness that we can but hear Minister's word like whisperings. Whisperings cease, and Bride and Groom make proceedings down aisle side by side; Miss Powers at back, while Miss Sterling play Wedding March from Honorable Lohengrin.
Chinese crackers increase in noisesomeness. Groom puts Bride in her chair of beauty and takes his own chair of plainness behind her.
The Wedding Procession proceeds. At head comes Bride with her red lacquer Chests, Boxes, Bathtubs and Household utensils, each borne on poles by Coolies. Following these are hanging shelves, one upon the other, all suspended by poles carried by four bearers, each shelf containing some sweet or cakes. The lantern bearers with lanterns of uttermost gorgeousness come next, then follow the Groom's chair and his men friends. Also many pyramids of beauteous flowers. Of a truth Cui Ai's Procession of Marriage is most magnificent.
To the house of newness and littleness all in the Procession march on, but we go not until the evening of the sixth day.
When Procession make arrival at house of Groom, men friends enter in and servants at the once begin to pass foods. Upon each tray must friends place coins wrapped in red paper, for this is a custom that all men must observe.
All evening must Bride and Groom entertain guests; this time Cui Ai make introduction of so great foreign entertainments men cannot to make fun of poor, little Bride as before.
After I look see Marriage Procession I return unto my room and try to compose Poem of Wedding, but no Poem come out. One hour - Two hour - Three hour - then I crawl into my Mieng, a blooming idiot, for unto me has Poem given the go-by.
Three days later Cui Ai make return unto College. With her comes her husband of newness; to them our Honored President give of feast. All graduating Class present. Cui Ai possess looks of happiness; husband possess looks of uncomfortableness. American friend of Miss Sterling say, "Gloomy Gus!" Miss Sterling laugh and say, "Oh, no, just too many ladies present." I think I care not for Gloomy Gus husband; too much troubles.
At feast I partake little of eats. At the once I get a move on and safe within my room make yet again anointments of hair that I may to compose Poem. Time, two of hours. One of moments.
As a Genius! am but a jest, As a Poet, not one of the best, For from North, South, the East and the West, All agree that they wish would rest.
Tonight have I become a Genius-Poet for finality, for tomorrow we graduate. Therefore will all Friendly Ones in reading of these pages have rememberings of that of which I before make statement - "That the business of Genius has been thrust upon me, who have no Ancestors of Geniuses - no Longevity of Hair - no Biliousness of Character" - and excusings give unto me, a made - alas - not birthed GENIUS.
Here Conclude the End With Much Gaining of English. That Class Book Be Birthed Into Complete Completeness We Give of Thanks, Through Ai Lang Our Unworthy Artist and Bing Ding Our Also Unworthy Biographer, Unto Paul, The Elder and His Company of Honorables. Second Thankings Unto Herman A. Funke Who, During the Seveneth Moon (August) of the Year in America, 1916, Conduct Book Through Press - Tomoye - Which is Situate in City of San Francisco