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The following quotations are derived from this com- | cine, though the Chinese were familiar with the circumentary:

"To improve from day to day is a great virtue. He who in study advances a step every day, has not lost his time and his years.

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The path of heaven is simple and clear; but the path of the sage is made only with effort and perseverance.

"It is the sage alone who knows how to advance or to recede; to preserve or to see destroyed, without losing his tranquillity: it is only the sage who can do so.

"A virtuous man, in the midst of difficulties, will adhere to his virtuous purpose, even to loss of life."

Beside the Y-King, the Chinese reckon three other ancient books, or king, which rank with it, and are held in almost equal veneration. These are the ShooKing, or Chou-King, a collection of historical documents edited by Confucius; the Shi-King, or Chi-King, a compilation of ancient poems, formed also by Confucius; and the Li-ki, or Ly-ki, which treats of propriety in dress, demeanor, conversation, and the ordinary conduct of life. In the Li-ki are concentrated the ideas and maxims of the ancient Chinese regarding morals and behavior; and it has probably contributed more towards forming their character, during the last two thousand years, than all the other classics united.

Confucius was born in the year 549 B. C., and is justly considered the greatest of Chinese philosophers. His works are to this day held in the highest reverence, and constitute the most cherished portion of Chinese literature. Their practical portion consists chiefly in maxims which inculcate the virtues of justice, patience, mercy, prudence, and fortitude, and, above all, obedience to superiors. Filial piety, and the duty of submission to magistracy, were his favorite themes of commendation. On the whole, his works furnish a pure code of morals, founded in the good of mankind, without reference to a future state. We have not space to notice the numerous works of philosophers which have appeared since the age of Confucius, nor can we enter into details respecting several other topics of interest. In regard to medi

This greatest of Chinese philosophers was born in the petty kingdom of Lú. The Chinese, in their embellishment of his history, tell us that his birth was attended with heavenly music, filling the air; that two dragons were seen winding over the roof, and that five characters were observed on his breast, declaring him to be "the maker of a rule for settling the world." He was left an orphan at an early age, and though poor and unknown, attracted attention from the gravity of his manners and his attention to study. At the age of twenty-four, he lost his mother, and, wishing to mourn for her the customary period of three years, resigned an office he held under the government, and devoted himself to study. Becoming convinced that the social virtues were best cultivated by an observance of the ancient usages of the country, he resolved to devote his life to their permanent establishment in China. He established schools wherein to teach his philosophy to such pupils as would go forth and spread his doctrines through the empire. He passed much time in travelling and visiting the courts of the various petty princes, in company with his disciples. Like Aristotle, he used to teach them while walking, deriving instruction from what they saw; and he seldom omitted to improve an occasion for pointing a moral. As he advanced in age and in reputation, his house at Lú became a sort of lyceum, open to every one who wished to receive instruction. His manner of teaching was, to allow his disciples or others to come and go when they pleased, asking his opinion on such points, either in morals, politics, history, or literature, as they wished to have explained. He gave them liberty to choose their subject, and then discoursed upon it. From these conversations, treasured up by his disciples, they afterwards composed the Lun Ya, now one of the Four Books. His disciples numbered some three

lation of the blood about sixteen centuries before it was known in Europe, and though inoculation for the small-pox was practised by them some hundred years before it was adopted in Christendom-it would seem that they are ignorant of anatomy, and that their medical practice is mingled with the most absurd jugglery.

History has been cultivated by the Chinese with great assiduity, and they possess several works of high repute among themselves. That which is entitled Shoo-King, edited by Confucius, contains the early annals of the empire, and is held in a degree of esteem almost amounting to reverence. To this we may add, that there are several works on government, including the codes of laws established by the empire. Poetry is pursued with ardor, and is held in high esteem by the Chinese; yet their works, having different objects for comparison and illustration from ours, and different trains of association, can hardly be highly relished by us. Instead of the Alps or the Apennines, the grandeur of mountain scenery is suggested to the Chinese by the Kuen-lun and the Tan-yu chains, which, though probably more elevated, do not convey to the ear the same lofty ideas. For the rose and the violet, we have the flower lan, and the herb yu-lu. Instead of the dove, the wild goose portrays to Chinese fancy the image of a tender and faithful lover.

It would appear that Chinese verse is not destitute of harmony, and that rhyme is often used, sometimes even to an extent of sixteen consecutive lines. The following extracts from the Shi-king afford a good specimen of the more ancient poetry :—

"The bland south wind breathes upon and cherishes the sap of these plants; hence the grove flourishes, and appears to rise anew. But our mother is distressed with labor and care.

"The bland south wind cherishes, by breathing on them, understanding, but we are men of no estimation. the woods of this grove. Our mother excels in prudence and

"The cool fountain, bursting forth, waters the lower part thousand; a select portion of whom attached themselves to his person, lived with him, and followed him wherever he went, and to them he intrusted the promulgation of his doctrines.

The prince of Lú dying, Confucius was invited to court by his son. The entire management of the state was soon committed to his hands. Under his direction, the prosperity of the kingdom was such, that the neighboring states took the alarm; and the prince of Tsi, by intrigues and plots, to which the young prince of Lú was induced to become privy, forced Confucius to leave his native land, and retire into another state. For sixteen years he continued to write and discourse, and at the expiration of this period, returned to his own country, where he devoted himself to polishing and completing his works. Toward the end of his life, when he had finished the revision of the "Five Classes," he, with great solemnity, dedicated them to Heaven. Chinese pictures, representing this scene, portray the sage in an attitude of supplication, and a rainbow descending from the sky upon the book, while his scholars stand around in admiring wonder. In his seventy-third year, a few days before his death, Confucius, leaning upon his staff, tottered about the house, exclaiming, —

"The great mountain is broken!

The strong beam is thrown down! The wise man is decayed!" Seven days after, he died. His favorite pupil, Tszkung, mourned for him six years in a shed, erected by the side of his grave, and then returned home. In every district in the empire, there is a temple dedicated to his memory, and incense is burnt every morning and evening before his name, which is suspended in every school-house.

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The rain has ceased, and the shining summits are apparent in the void expanse.

The moon is up, and looks like a bright pearl over the expanded palm.

One might imagine that the Great Spirit had stretched forth

an arm

There is some pathos in this complaint of broken From afar, from beyond the sea, and was numbering the friendship :

"The soft and gentle wind brings rain along with it. I and thou were sharers in labor and in poverty; then you cherished me in your bosom; now, having become happy, you have left me, and are lost to me.

"The wind is soft and gentle; yet when it blows over the tops of the mountains, every plant withers, every tree is dried up. You forget my virtues, and think only of trifling complaints against me."

The epithalamia, celebrating the marriage of princes, are among the gayest pieces in this collection. The picture of a perfect beauty, drawn three thousand years ago, is illustrated by images very different from those which would occur to a European fancy.

"The great lady is of lofty stature, and wears splendid robes beneath others of a dark color. She is the daughter of the king of Tsi; she marries the king of Onei; the king of Hing has married her elder sister; the Prince Tari-Kong has married the younger.

"Her hands are like a budding and tender plant; the skin of her face resembles well-prepared fat. Her neck is like one of the worms Tsion and Tsi. Her teeth are like the kernels of the gourd. Her eyebrows resemble the light filaments of newly-formed silk. She smiles most sweetly, and her laugh is agreeable. The pupil of her eye is black, and how well are the white and black distinguished!"

The following invitation to decent gayety is given at the entrance of the new year-a grand period of Chinese festival: :

"Now the crickets have crept into the house; now the end of the year approaches; let us indulge in gayety, lest the sun and moon should seem to have finished their course in vain; but amid our joy let there be no offence against the rules of moderation. Nothing should transgress the proper bound. Duty must still be remembered. Sweet is pleasure, but it must be conjoined with virtue. The good man, in the midst of his joy, keeps a strict watch over himself."

The disorders of a drunken party are not ill portrayed in the following passage:

"The guests sit down at first with great politeness, treating each other with mutual respect: thus they continue till overcome with wine. They then forget all modesty and propriety, run dancing backward and forward. They raise wild and senseless shouts, overturn the most precious cups, dance in sport, and, as they dance, their feet slide from beneath them; their cap, inverted, becomes loosely attached to the head, and seems about to fall off; while their body bends this way and that, and they can scarcely stand: still they madly dance. Some run wildly away, amid tumultuous good wishes from the rest; others remain, and infringe the laws of virtue. It is well to indulge in wine; but modcration must be carefully observed."

The modern compositions, though not held in the same veneration, appear to display a considerable improvement. They are still, indeed, only short effusions, composed of mingled reflection and imagery; but these two elements are more naturally and intimately blended, and exhibited in a more poetical form. Mr. Davis has furnished us with some specimens of this school. The following is marked by peculiarly bold and lofty imagery:

"See the fine variegated peaks of yon mountain, connected like the fingers of the hand,

And rising up from the south, as a wall, midway to heaven. At night, it would pluck, from the inverted concave, the stars of the milky way;

During the day, it explores the zenith, and plays with the clouds.

nations."

drawn with some force in the following lines: The picture of a clever but reckless profligate is

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"The paths of trouble heedlessly he braves,
Now shines a wit, and now a madman raves.
His outward form by nature's bounty dressed,
Foul weeds usurped the wilderness, his breast;
And bred in tumult, ignorant of rule,
He hated letters- an accomplished fool.
In act depraved, contaminate in mind,
Strange had he feared the censures of mankind.
Titles and wealth to him no joys impart;
By penury pinched, he sank beneath the smart.
O wretch to flee the good thy fate intends!
O, hopeless to thy country and thy friends!
In uselessness the first beneath the sky,
And cursed, in sinning, with supremacy.
Minions of pride and luxury, lend an ear,
And shun his follies, if his fate ye fear."

The following poem was written by a Chinese who paid a visit to London about the year 1813. It was written in his native tongue, and addressed to his countrymen. The translation is furnished by Mr. Davis.

LONDON.

"Afar in the ocean, towards the extremities of the north-
west,
There is a nation, or country, called England.
The clime is frigid, and you are compelled to approach
fire.

The houses are so lofty that you may pluck the stars.
The pious inhabitants respect the ceremonies of worship,
And the virtuous among them ever read the sacred books.
They bear a peculiar enmity towards the French nation;
The weapons of war rest not for a moment between them.
"Their fertile hills, adorned with the richest luxuriance,
Resemble, in the outline of their summits, the arched eye-
brow of a fair woman.

sex,

nature.

The inhabitants are inspired with a respect for the female
Who, in this land, correspond with the perfect features of
Their young maidens have cheeks resembling red blossoms,
And the complexion of their beauties is like the white gem.
Of old has connubial affection been highly esteemed among
them,
Husband and wife delighting in mutual harmony.

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"In the summer evenings, through the hamlets and gardens beyond the town,

Crowds of walkers ramble without number.
The grass is allowed to grow as a provision for horses,
And enclosures of wooden rails form pastures for cattle.
The harvest is gathered in with the singing of songs
The loiterers roam in search of flowers without end,
And call to each other to return in good time,
Lest the foggy clouds bewilder and detain them.

"The two banks of the river lie to the north and south;

tion;

Three bridges interrupt the stream, and form a communica-
While men and horses pace among the clouds.
Vessels of every kind pass between the arches,
A thousand masses of stone rise one above the other,
And the river flows through nine channels:
The bridge of Loyang, which out-tops all in our empire,
Is in shape and size somewhat like these."

In works of fiction Chinese literature abounds. These are, for the most part, short tales, without point or moral, and might seem designed rather for children than adult readers. Among this class of publications,

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we may notice the Tsze Pun Yu, which is a Chinese | of bamboo; three sides are hung with curtains of cotcollection of tales, romances, fables, &c. It contains ton cloth, while the front is left open to the audience. no less than seven hundred tales, the titles of some Under these humiliating circumstances, there do not of them being, Ghost of a Fortune-Teller, a Stolen seem to have arisen any great names, to which the Thunderbolt, the Literary Fox advising Men to Chinese people can refer with pride, as national drambecome Fairies, Elves begging Fish, the Man with atists. Numerous pieces have, however, been proThree Heads, the Devil turned Watchmaker, a Pig duced, particularly under the dynasty of the Tang. acting the Priest of Taou, the Enchanted Town, the A collection has been formed of one hundred and Ass of a Mahometan Lady, a Demon bearing Chil- ninety-nine volumes, from which are selected a hundren, Vulcan's Toys, &c. The following is a trans- dred plays, supposed to comprehend the flower of this lation from this work, made by a youth at Canton, class of productions. Of these, only five have been who was studying the Chinese language; and will translated—namely, two tragedies, the Orphan of afford a specimen of a Chinese book of "small talk." Tchao, by Father Premare, and the Sorrows of Han, The Sagacious Pig.-"In the district of Suhchow, in by Mr. Davis; and three comedies, the Heir in his Keangnan, a man was murdered, and his body thrown into Old Age, by the latter gentleman, the Circle of Chalk, One of the officers, having long sought in vain for by M. Stanislas Julien, and the Intrigues of a Waitingthe murderer, was riding by the well one day, when a pig Maid, by M. Bazin. This certainly is but a small came before his horse, and set up a most bitter cry. His attendants not being able to drive the pig away, the officer portion of so great a mass; yet, as it consists of fasaid to them, What does the pig want? whereupon the vorite productions chosen by judicious translators, the pig kneeled before him, and made the kou-tou. The officer Chinese drama will not, probably, have cause to comthen bade his attendants to follow the pig, which immedi- plain of being judged according to such specimens. ately rose up and led them to a house; and, entering the door, crawled under a bed, and began rooting up the ground, and continued doing so until he had uncovered a bloody knife. The attendants immediately seized the master of the nouse, who, on examination, proved to be the murderer.

a well.

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"The villagers, having deliberated on the case, took the pig, and supported him in one of the temples of Buddha. Visitors came frequently to see him, and gave money for his support, saying, Such a sagacious pig deserves to be rewarded.' After more than ten years, he died, and the priests of the temple, having procured for him a coffin, buried him with due formality."

On perusing even the best of these compositions, we at once discover that the dialogue is nearly as rude and inartificial as the scenery. Instead of allowing characters and events to be developed in the progress of the piece, each performer, on his first entry, addresses the audience, and informs them who and what he is, what remarkable deeds he has performed, and what are his present views and intentions. On these occasions, he speaks completely in the style of a third person, stating, without veil or palliation, the most enorThe drama, as might be expected, constitutes a pop-mous crimes, either committed or contemplated. The ular form of Chinese literature, though it labors under unities, which have been considered so essential to a great imperfections, and is not regularly exhibited on classic drama, are completely trampled under foot; any public theatre. Its professors are merely invited and even the license, as to time and place, to which to private houses, and paid for each performance. Shakspeare has accustomed a British audience, is far The sovereign himself does not bestow any patronage exceeded. The Orphan of Tchao is born in the first on the art, beyond hiring the best actors, when he act, and before the end of the drama figures as a grown wishes to enjoy their wit or talents. No entertainment, man. In the Circle of Chalk, a young lady, in one however, given by the prince, or any great man, is scene, receives and accepts proposals of marriage; in considered complete without a dramatic exhibition; the next, she appears with a daughter aged five years. and every spacious dwelling, and even the principal The tragedies labor under a much more serious defect, inns, have a large hall set apart for the purpose. in the absence of impassioned and poetic dialogue. Among less opulent individuals, a subscription is occa- The performer, in the most critical and trying moments, sionally made, to bear in common the expense of a makes no attempt to express his sorrows in correspondplay. It is reckoned that several hundred companies ing language. Action alone is employed, which affords find employment in Pekin; and along the rivers and a genuine, indeed, though not very dramatic indication great canals, numerous strolling parties live in barges. of the depth of his feelings. The hero, in the most A troop usually consists of eight or ten persons, mostly tragic scenes, strangles himself, or stabs his enemy, slaves of the manager, who accordingly occupy a very with the same coolness as if he had been sitting down mean place in public estimation. To purchase a free to table. child for the purpose of educating him as an actor, is punished by a hundred strokes of the bamboo; and no free female is allowed to marry into that class. To this contempt for the performers, as well as to the low standard of the drama among the Chinese, who seem to view it merely as the amusement of an idle hour, may be ascribed the depressed state in which it continues to exist. The dramatic poet has liberty and employment, but he has not honor, which seems quite as necessary for the production of any thing great in the arts. Scenery and stage effect, which indeed the places of performance would render very difficult to produce, are never attempted. A theatre can at any time be erected in two hours: a platform of boards is elevated, six or seven feet from the ground, on posts

In concluding our view of Chinese literature, we feel constrained to remark, that it is chiefly valuable as throwing light upon the character of the most populous nation on the globe, and not on account of any impor tant materials which it can directly contribute to our stores of thought. There is scarcely a fact in science, a passage in philosophy, an illustration in poetry, or plot in a play, to be found in the whole circle of Chinese books, which, if rendered into English, would serve to benefit our own literature. We cannot but feel, in spite of the great antiquity of the nation, notwithstanding the practical wisdom displayed in government, and the ingenuity evinced in the arts, that, in all the higher qualities of the intellect, the Chinese are an inferior people.

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CHAPTER CCXXXV.

Arts and Inventions- Great Wall

The Great Wall of China.

hook at the time of my visit. A large pair of shears having one blade fixed in a heavy block of wood, and the other furnished with a long handle to serve as a lever, stood beside him. Bringing a piece of metal, of the necessary dimensions, from the forge, at a white heat, he placed it between the blades of this instrument, and cut it into shape with equal ease and despatch.”

blacksmith-the manufacturer of various iron instruments, from a sword to a hoe. This man well underCanal. stood the modifying properties of heat, and took the THREE of the most important inventions or discov- fullest advantage of them, in all the practical coneries of modern times-so considered in Europe-cerns of his business. He was forming a reapinghad doubtless their origin in China. These are the art of printing, the composition of gunpowder, and the magnetic compass. It is certain that the art of printing was practised in China during the tenth century of our era. The mode of operation there is different from ours, but the main principle is the same. From various causes, their books are cheaper than those of Europe, three or four volumes of any ordinary work, of the octavo size and shape, being had for a sum equivalent to fifty cents. The paper which they use is of different qualities, being manufactured from various materials from rice-straw, the inner bark of a spècies of morus, from bamboo, and also from cotton. Their invention of paper dates from A. D. 95. That which is called Indian ink, in this country, is what the Chinese use in writing, and is of their own manufacture.

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The application of gunpowder to firearms was probably derived from the West, however ancient may have been its discovery among the Chinese. In gunnery, they have always acknowledged their great inferiority to Europeans. As to priority of invention in the case of the magnetic compass, there can be little hesitation in ascribing it to the Chinese, for it is noticed in their annals as early as A. D. 1117. The mariner's compass being in use among the Arabs about the year 1242, it was doubtless communicated to them either directly or indirectly by the Chinese, and by this means became known in Europe during the crusades. The ingenuity of the Chinese is conspicuously displayed in the simple modes by which they contrive to abridge labor, in their arts and manufactures, and occasionally to avail themselves of a mechanical advantage, without the aid of scientific knowledge. Says Dr Abeel, "Chance led me to the shop of a

The Chinese possess considerable skill in various branches of the manufacture of metals. They have! the art of casting iron into very thin plates, and of repairing vessels constructed of these, by means of a small furnace and blow-pipe, which are carried about by itinerant workmen. Their wrought-iron work is not so neat as that of the English, but is very efficient.

In the ornamental processes of carving wood, ivory, and other substances, the people of China greatly excel the rest of the world. Their skill and industry are not less shown in cutting the hardest materials, as exemplified in their snuff-bottles of agate and rock crystal. These are hollowed into perfect bottles of about two inches in length, through the openings in the neck, not a quarter of an inch in diameter. What is still more wonderful, the crystal bottles are inscribed on the inside with minute characters, so as to be read through the transparent substance!

The two principal manufactures of China-those of silk and porcelain-might alone serve to give the Chinese a high rank among the nations of the world. Their originality in these articles has never been contested. The invention of these is carried by tradition into the mythological periods. Their care of the silkworm, which furnishes the material of their silk manufactures, is very exact and methodical, but cannot here be detailed. The Chinese particularly excel in the fabrication of damasks and flowered satins.

No

FINE ARTS AMONG THE CHINESE.

469

perfect imitation of their crape has ever yet been | Chinese books are, for the most part, executed almost made; and they manufacture a species of washing silk, called, at Canton, pongee, whose softness increases by use.

In regard to the porcelain of China, it is indisputably the original from which the similar manufactures of Europe were borrowed. The first porcelain furnace of which account is given, was in Keang-sy, the same province where it is now principally made. This was about the commencement of the seventh century of our era. Of the substances of which this manufacture is made, and the process of making it, we cannot speak in this succinct outline. It is a most beautiful invention; the better kinds have not yet been surpassed in respect to substance, but as regards the painting and gilding, they must yield precedence to the productions of Europe.

As relates to the fine arts, they doubtless do not greatly excel, in the European sense. In this department of mental effort, some allowances are always to be made for the peculiarities of national taste, which is generally admitted to be a most capricious thing. The arts of drawing and painting do not rank so high among the Chinese as among Europeans. They have, therefore, met with less encouragement and made less progress. In works which do not require a scientific adherence to the laws of perspective, they sometimes succeed admirably. Insects, birds, fruits, and flowers, are very beautifully painted, and the splendor and variety of their colors surpass all that is known in the West. One thing in European art they do not fully enter into, and that is shading; they stoutly object to the introduction of shadows in painting. Mr. Barrow states, that "when several portraits, by the best European artists, intended as presents to the emperor, were exposed to view, the mandarins, observing the variety of tints occasioned by the light and shade, asked whether the originals had the right and left sides of the figure of different colors!" The wood-cuts in

entirely in outline. These are occasionally very spirited, as well as true to life. The drawings on which they place the chief value among themselves, are in water colors and Indian ink, sketched, in a very slight manner, either upon fine paper or silk.

In sculpture, the Chinese are extremely defective, which could scarcely fail to be the case, in view of their policy of discountenancing luxury, the want of encouragement at home, and their ignorance of the efforts of other nations in this art. Their sculptured figures in stone are altogether uncouth in form and proportion; but this deficiency is in some degree made up by a very considerable share of skill in modelling with soft materials. Their gods are always represented in modelled clay.

The Chinese music, as an art, cannot take rank with that of Europeans. Their gamut is imperfect, and they have no idea of semitones. There is never more than one melody, however great the number of performers. As Confucius frequently speaks of music, its antiquity will not be denied; and the encouragement which he gives to its cultivation might have been expected, in the course of time, to produce something better than the imperfect art existing there at this day. Certain characters are used to express the names of the notes in their extremely limited scale.

The number of their musical instruments is very large. They consist of different species of lutes and guitars; several flutes and other wind instruments; an indifferent fiddle of three strings; a sort of harmonicon with wires, touched with two slender slips of bamboo; systems of bells, and pieces of sonorous metals, and drums covered with the skins of snakes. They string their instruments with silk and wire, in the room of catgut. Many of the people have a ready ear for music, though accompanied by bad national taste.

Chinese architecture is entirely different from that

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