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that it had, even in the least degree, done much to make his countrymen popular seemed imminent. That the present sys- here. He does this by being at once cortem of keeping enormous armies on foot in dial and straightforward. As Lord Stanley time of peace, in order to be ready for war, said, it was a pleasure to work with him. was most disastrous and pregnant with fu- The old notion of diplomacy and diplomature mischief, appeared to him obvious; but tists is quite worn out. In former days it he confessed that he could find no simple was held to be the highest triumph in diand satisfactory remedy. He is much too plomatic circles to conceal every real sensible and well informed to believe in thought, and only to hint and insinuate projects of disarmament by arrangements aims and ambitions. Now business is done and stipulations as to the number of troops in a different way. A frank statement of and ships that each nation may keep in what is wanted on each side is followed by readiness. In fact, he could think of no a polite and, if possible, an exhaustive dissubstitute for standing armies, or of any cussion. This is much better and much means of lessening their amount. All that simpler ; but, far from showing that diplohe thought could be done was to avert, in macy is an extinct trade, it only shows how each case as it arose, an open rupture. To much higher is its present standard, and, make wars few is, he thinks, an aim within far from diplomatists now having nothing to the reach of modern statesmen. This may do, they have to do very difficult things in be done, or at anyrate something may gen- the best possible manner. Simplicity is the erally be effected towards doing it by two height of art in this as in everything else. means. In the first place, neutrals who are known to have no sinister motive or interest may exercise their influence to heal quar
From The Spectator. rels, suggest compromises, and remove
HWA TSIEN KI.* grounds of difference. In the next place, nations may choose diplomatic representa
GOETHE, who was, in his old age at least, tives who will be prudent and conciliatory, very fond of the proprieties and decorousand who will do their best not to magnify nesses of life, even where they clearly small dissensions, and not to provoke bit- passed the bounds of artificiality, - perhaps terness and jealousy. As Mr. Gladstone partly by way of reaction from the time truly said, the United States have been when he used to stand with his master the very wise and fortunate in this respect;
Duke of Weimar cracking horsewhips for a and for many years have sent to England silly wager in the market-place of Weimar, not only men among the foremost of those -had a keen appreciation of the decorums, they had to send, but men who tried to do
what the Chinese themselves call the justice to England as well as to America,
Tao Li,- of Chinese fiction. There was and who, while upholding the honour and something stiff and old-fashioned about the protecting the interests of their own coun- great German poet as a child, and, when try, did not attempt to bully or provoke us, once his youth was passed, the love for the de or to steal small advantages, and keep corous and the measured returned strongly alive petty quarrels. We, in our turn, upon him, nor was he ever more animated may be glad that, at the time when the than in praise of it. To Eckermann he banquet was going on, we had not to re- said in 1827, that the only difference beproach ourselves with having taken the ad-tween the Chinese pictures of life in such vice of those who despise the Americans fictions as he had read, and the German, is most, and having sent them a lord to daz- that with the Chinese “Everything happens zle and delight them. Nothing could be in a clearer, purer, more moral manner
. nore contemptuous than the proposal to Everything with them is reasonable, citizengive the post of American Minister always like, without great passion and poetical to a nobleman, whether he was fit or not, rapture, and has in that respect a good because the Americans were snobs, and deal of similarity to my Hermann and Dorwould be proud of talking to him. Expe-uthea, as well as to the English romances rienced and conciliatory men of business of Richardson. There is, however, this are what the Americans, like all other na- difference, that with the Chinese the life tions, want to find in the diplomatists sent of outward nature is always interwoven with to them; and Mr. Johnson is an excellent that of the human figures. One always example of what such men can do in a very hears the splashing of the goldfish in the short time, when they set about their task pond, the continuous singing of the birds in the right way. He has not only made himself popular in England, although he lated and illustrated with Notes by Sir John Bot
* The Flowery Scroll. Á Chinese Norel. Trite has only been a few weeks here, but he has ring, LL.D., F.E.S. London: W. 1. Allen and ca
in the branches; the day is always bright distances, physical or moral, are not well and sunny, the night always clear; there is kept. This it is which, in spite of the tamea great deal about the moon, only it does ness, gives the air of extravagance and exnot change the aspect of the landscape ; its aggeration to all the writing, descriptive or rays are conceived as bright as those of sentimental. While the outward and inthe sun itself. And the interior of the ward are so closely mingled, there is somehouses is as neat and elegant as their pic- thing childish in the apparent inability to tures; for example, I heard the pretty use more than one tone or tint at a time, maidens laugh, and when I caught sight of whether in describing feelings or scenes. them they were sitting on fine bamboo There is an entire absence of either pictorial chairs. There you have in a touch the or moral graduation. As the moonlight is most charming situation; for you cannot painted just as bright as the sunlight, so think of bamboo chairs without the great- there is no graduation in the picture of emoest lightness and elegance.” He went on tion. Ordinary courtesies take as intense a to remark that the substance of the Chinese colour as the most passionate lovers' sentifictions “always turns on what is moral and ments. The modesty of self-depreciation seemly. And it is just in consequence of is even more exaggerated in its language this severe regulation in everything that than the humility of love. This is, however, the Chinese Empire sustained itself for rather a specially Oriental than a Chinese thousand of years, and will, by the same characteristic. Sir John Bowring mentions, quality, continue to sustain itself in the fu- what is well known, how the Chinese deture." No one can read this story, which spise our despatches for their plain and Sir John Bowring has translated for us, straightforward expressions, their absence without being reminded of Goethe's criti- of hyperbole. We remember seeing in cism. It is a very amusing story to one some old newspaper that a Chinese deputaquite unversed in Chinese fictions, though tion to Sir John stated that the deputies but a little of this sort of thing would cer- "wondered at the splendour of his Phenixtainly be too much. What one feels most, like appearance,"— a statement which ceris the tame extravagance, if we may use a tainly out-tops the most lover-like extravasort of paradox, both of the life and of the gances of English poetry. So of the comstyle. Goethe is quite right in saying that mon compliments of life, Sir John tells us there is a civic, citizenlike, customary, con- what every one has probably heard before, siderate, in a word, tame air about them that which suggests a great resemblance to the life of the old-fashioned German cities, old
“In all their intercourse the Chinese use Nuremberg, or Goethe's own city, old the most exaggerated expressions, in deprecation Frankfort. Everything is ceremonious with of themselves and their belongings, and of laudaout being aristocratic; the young are as
tion of the persons and possessions of those they
address. Their own abodes, however grand, pompous
as the old; there is much bowing they call their humble cottage,' — that, howand handing about, and large words to ever lowly, of him with whom they converse,' the small actions; but there is a pacific tone of illustrious palace. Evidences of this extravatown life and popular competition about it gant form of expression pervade this and all Chiall; the energy is all strictly confined with nese novels.” in customary channels which it is an unheardof thing to transgress. The modes and im- Now, it is not the mere exaggeration of pulses of human action all resemble canals this sort of phraseology, so much as the loss rather than rivers; they are artificial, meth- of perspective, which is necessarily proodical, carefully banked up, and connected duced by there being nothing stronger left together in formal net-works. But though to say where stronger emotions and passions the human life is so regulated, and tame, have to be represented, that strikes the and formal, the garden and open-air life of reader of a Chinese fiction. The meaningChina is interwoven, as Goethe says, com- less compliments of life are as emphatic as pletely with the human figures. Îhe sun, its most passionate vows; and so, too, in and the moon, and the flowers, and the the painting of nature, as the buttercups trees, and the ponds, and the birds are in- and daisies, or whatever may be the Chinese corporated with - every phrase describing equivalents, are left out of the picture altohuman sentiment and purpose. Again, as gether, and we have nothing but the peonies Goetbe also says,
there is no graduation in and the lotuses and the chloranthuses, the the landscape effects; there is the same imagination gets fatigued with spots of want of perspective in the literary pictures equally ostentatious colour and the conseas in the Chinese painting; the moonlight quent absence of all tone in the art. Peris as bright and sharp as the sunlight; the haps it is in some measure in consequence
of this that, in spite of the general tame- it,-her dominoes she fung about on all sides. ness of effect, the want of any conflict, of The sight of anything that had given her pleasany stand-up fight, of any elasticity and va ure was intolerably painful. "On whom shall I riety in the so-called action of the novel, wreak my vengeance? On you, faithless one!
And then she there is so much hysteric violence about on you, be my last curses!' the various lovers despair. It would al- threw her embroidered silks and satins into the most seem as if the Orientals, having ex- ings of the toilet? Never, again, will I gird my
fire. What have I now to do with the adornhausted all the force of expression on tame self with an ornamented belt. No! I will forand ceremonious compliments, are forced
get everything. But know you, treacherous to get hold of something stronger than lan- Liang, that you are the cause of my destruction.' guage when they get to anything like real So, having burnt her garments, she broke her emotion; and are therefore compelled to golden nails." * introduce floods of tears, shiverings, raids upon furniture, and suicide, as the only fit And of another young lady, when in a parexpressions of actual misery when they de- oxysm of despair of a rather less keen orsire to paint it vividly. The range of ex- der,- despair for a betrothed husband whom pression which words can convey having she has never seen or heard from, and who been entirely used up for the faintest and does not care for her,- it is told that " she feeblest feelings, the Orientals are forced rouged herself no longer, dropped her paintto tear their garments, cast dust on their box, and was sorely afflicted,” vowing to heads, and use, in short, violent action, wear “ silk dresses” no more. The“ breakwhen they want to delineate strong feelings. ing the golden nails” is a very expressive But this, as we said, is not, we fancy, spe- act of Chinese despair, just as letting them cially Chinese, but Oriental. What does grow, and crushing the feet till neither feet seem to be Chinese is the specially artificial nor hands are of any use, is very expresmode of conveying hysterical feeling, - the sive of the thorough artificiality of Chinese high-born mode of committing suicide, fashion. The very highest expression of for instance, by eating gold leaf, - the fash- despair short of suicide seems, in China, to ion whereby a young lady expresses a break- be expressed by the repudiation of the most ing heart by burning her cosmetics and her artificial amusements and conventions of backgammon board, and scattering her life,— the destruction of cosmetics, the scatdraughts and dominoes over the floor of tering of the dominoes and draughts, the her chamber. Here for instance is a pic- breaking of the golden nails. Where this ture of such a young lady's despair : same young lady recovers her lover, we
hear, “Yao Sien's spirits revived, and from “She threw her rouge and cosmetic box into that hour she began again to paint her eyethe pond, that she might show her determination brows." to abandon all care of her pretty face. 'I will One feels a certain dread, as one reads not even hope for peace or joy. I will seek my this picture of Chinese life, especially as reway to the yellow wells, and find forgetfulness gards the elaborate system of civil-service there." looking-glass and her costly lute and broke them competitive examinations, and the bureauin pieces. Who, in the world, cares for my mu
cratic spirit which seems ingrained in the sic, now,- Who will ever ask me how I look in very heart of Chinese life, lest the Western the mirror ? Like a solitary phoenix, like a civilization should ever tend towards this lonely swallow,- I shall droop and die. She goal. When one reads of a young lady threw her jasper flute away,—she tore the strings drowning under the eyes of some boatmen of her guitar, — But fell weeping like Yu Kwan, “ who had heard cries of distress, but whose tears stained her silk garments. I would waited for orders, and took no steps to not yield to the entreaties of Lung Yu, himself, save Yu Khing," and considers Sir John nor subject myself to be betrayed by a perfidious Bowring's note thereon, it is impossible not Liao Chi. I will rather die. A pile of yellow to feel a certain spasm of fear. This is Sir earth shall be my habitation. She next burnt John Bowring's remark :her many-coloured pencils, and tore up her flowery note-paper. 'I will write no more poetry,– “ This is characteristic of the Chinese. I I will not leave a fragment behind me. I long have known robberies take place in crowded only to sleep for ever among the flowers.' Next, streets, with not the slightest interference from she burnt her backgammon board, and scattered the passengers, or from persons looking out her draughts over all the chamber. He has deceived me with treachery and lies! I think grow to the length of several inches, as an evidence
** Chinese ladies of rank allow their nails to on these fleeting moments of hope and bliss with that they are never employed in manual labour. vain regrets.
What, though my eyes weep They stain them ofa golden colour, and at night they blood, — what, though my sleeves are drenched are protected with metallic coverings, to prevent
their being accidentally broken. To break the long with tears !'' She seized her harp and broke nails is the last act of despair.”
of their doors and windows, while the offences his parents by his eventually marrying both were committed. People were constantly drowned the heroines, for example, à dénouement of in Hong Kong, in the presence of those who which English novelists cannot avail theminight have saved them without any peril to selves,- it will be found full of curious and, themselves, and I was obliged to issue an ordi- to English readers, striking touches. nance, condemning the boats to confiscation whose owners refused to rescue those who had fillen into the water."
From The Spectator. The purely civic civilization of a crowded
THE TRUE DANGER OF TOBACCO. and over-populous empire is sure to end in something like this, at least without the The long struggle between the votaries presence of a strong spiritual power to and the opponents of Tobacco, which has leaven and exalt that secularism of idea raged at intervals for the last three hundred which the Chinese, the English, and the years, is, we suspect, very nearly at an end. Americans seem to exhibit naturally in al- | The world smokes, just as the world eats, and most equal degrees. A reviewer with whom sees as little necessity for defending the one we have had some little controversy lately, practice as the other. It recognizes evils arishas lamented the failure of the Darwinian ing from oversmoking just as it recognizes law of “natural selection in the struggle evils arising from overeating; but is no for existence" in the human world. We more alarmed by stories of paralysis proare not sure that in China it does not operate duced by cigars than by reports of apoplexy with almost the same force as in the lower from roast goose. It sets down the victims world of animal life. The account of the in either case as slightly silly persons, and deaths which take place during the compet- goes on its way with a remark about the itive examinations is a strict result of the uses of moderation. But that the Governtriumph of the Darwinian law:
ments of Europe have seized with natural
eagerness on a new and tempting opportu“ Late newspapers from China give some in- nity of taxation, and that there is but one teresting particulars of the resumption of com- mode of smoking, the nargbilé, which looks petitive examinations in Nan King, where they graceful, the women of the West would, we had been long interrupted by the presence of the believe, ere this, have adopted the practice, Tae Ping insurgents. An Imperial decree directed the examination hall to be opened in the the victory of the weed would be complete.
as their sisters in the East have done, and ancient capital of China. No less than two Mankind have discovered, in fact, a new thousand students presented themselves as candidates for the Kiu Jen, or Master of Arts de- pleasure so great that it tempts them to gree, and in consequence of the time which had overcome an instinctive disgust so genuine passed since the last examination, an unusual that the first cigar makes everybody sick, number, not less than 248 students, were pro- do not see any counter-balancing evil, and moted. So severe was the competition, that will not be lectured into giving the pleasure great numbers committed suicide, and many oth- up. Moralists indeed have pretty nearly ers died from over-exhaustion and anxiety. It abandoned their efforts in despair. A man is said that no less than 75 corpses were carried like Dean Close now and then says a harsh out from the examination-halls. They were re- word against an enjoyment which he regards moved by secret, underground passages, lest the as purely sensual, and an economist occagreat entrance should be profaned by the pressionally makes a fuss about the waste of pay this most awful penalty for undivulged of money it involves — a waste very curiously fences, which ought to have prevented them from great, if we assume that tobacco has no efentering into the competitive field.”
fect either for good or evil; but as a rule
these austere thinkers have concentrated And to this, mere secularism, however re- most of their attention upon alcohol, a much spectful of the rights of others, however less dubious subject for the eloquence of civic and citizenlike in Goethe's sense, nec- asceticism. The only serious attacks now essarily tends.
come from the fastidious, who in some counSir John Bowring has produced in this tries have contrived to make it bad taste to translation a very useful as well as amusing smoke in a woman's presence; and from book. Of course of its scholarship we can- physicians, who every now and then are not pretend to be judges in any degree. startled by isolated facts into reviewing the But of its freshness and interest we are; popular decision. Some such facts seem and quite apart from the features of the tale recently to have come before a well-known which are likely to be thought the most cu- physiologist, who, in St. Paul's Magazine rious,- the reconciliation of the views of for this month, does a little thinking aloud the two rival young ladies, the lover, and I upon the matter, arriving of course, with
some hesitation upon one point to be no The experience of mankind, which after ticed directly, at the popular conclusion. all is the best guide, is, we need not say, It is, he says, a fallacy to argue that be- in exact accord with this view, and tobacco cause nicotine in the concentrated form, or might be pronounced a harmless luxury but an overdose of ordinary tobacco, is poison- for one exceptional fact, which is noticed ous, therefore a smaller dose must in its by the writer in St. Paul's Magazine, but degree be poisonous too. Quantity alters which is dismissed far too summarily. He quality sometimes, as we see in the cases admits, with a freedom which will please of alcohol, opium, and even flesh meat, all the few resolute opponents of tobacco, that of which can be made to yield a strong poi- its use in excess is very injurious, producson, but in reasonable doses are innoxious ing nervous complaints, hysteria, mental or beneficial. The effect of the doses is weakness, and sometimes 'paralysis, and not cumulative when the smoker is in an or- very justly sets that aside as an evil incidinary state of health, any more than the dent to almost every habit of mankind. effect of daily glasses of wine or cups of Alcohol, coffee, and even ordinary food may tea, either of which may be taken for sev- all be made dangerous by taking too much, enty years with as little consequence at the and “the argument from excess is an exclose of life as at first. There are, no cess of argument ” — the only important doubt, states of health in which a small dose point as to that matter being the limit of may be highly injurious or even poisonous, moderation, which differs with every indiand the essayist in St. Paul's gives, with vidual, and with the state of the digestion characteristic clearness, an explanation of or each separate day, or even hour, tobacco this circumstance, the cause, as he thinks, before breakfast being injurious to many of much of the prejudice against tobacco : men who can smoke after it with impunity.
But those who use tobacco want an answer, “The stomach is quite capable of absorbing either from the lay physiologist of the St. the poison, but it absorbs it slowly compared Paul's or from the medical profession, to a with the rapidity of the process by which the poison is excreted; and in consequence of this much more subtle question. Has not togreater rapidity of excretion, although all the bacco a property belonging to very few subpoison may be absorbed, yet at no one moment stances which makes its use exceptionally is there sufficient quantity in the blood to pro- dangerous, much more dangerons, say, than duce injury. "Spread out the thunder into its that of alcohol, – the property, that is, minutest tones' says Schiller, “and it becomes a when adıninistered in an overdose, of effectlullaby for children. Spread out the deadliest ing some permanent change, probably in the poison in minute doses, and it becomes a med- spinal cord, which renders the victim for icine - as we know from the daily use of strych- ever after liable to injury from the minutest nine, prussic acid, and other energetic poisons, dose? This writer does not pretend to anin medical practice. Now when a poison is rap- swer that question as it could be answered idly excreted by the skin, lungs, and kidneys, so in the Lancet, but he has had special reason that an accumulation in the blood is prevented, all injury is avoided, a succession of minute to study the action of tobacco, and believes doses not being the same as one concentrated that the following three cases quoted in the dose. But if from any cause the rapidity of ex- magazine, from Dr. Druhen's work on tocretion be arrested, an acemulation takes place, bacco, point to the one real danger arising and thus a small dose comes to have the effect of from its use: a large dose. This is not hypothesis; it has been proved by Hermann of Berlin, who found that “ Case I. M. T., an advocate, aged thirty, of the dose of curare which was quite innocuous athletic frame, began in 1810 to manifest sympwhen injected into the stomach of a rabbit be toms of a spinal affection, which continued till came almost immediately fatal if the vessels of the summer of 1845. These symptoms fluctuthe kidneys were tied, thus preventing the excre- ated considerably, but they resisted all treattion from taking place through the kidneys. ment. At last, Druhen, suspecting that the disHermann also found, - what, indeed, Brown Ši. turbing cause was excessive smoking, persuaded quard had long ago proved, that the dose of his patient to give up this bad habit. All the alcohol which was fatal to an animal when left symptoms disappeared as if by enchantment, exposed to the cold, passed away without serious and at the end of one month the cure was comeffects when the animal was kept very warm, plete. M. T. enjoyed good health for some time, the heat accelerating and the cold retarding the but one day dining with the Doctor he entreated excretion from the skin."
to be allowed to indulge in a cigar. The perinis
sion was refused, but he persisted and smoked. But in the great majority of cases small • No sooner had he finished his second cigar than doses of tobacco are as entirely innocuous I saw him hastily quit the table. I rose also in as small doses of the very dangerous poison some anxiety, and he confessed that all his old contained in tea.
sensations had returned. This indication was