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ENGLISH 京香julia2016磁力链接A NINE-STORIED PAGODA. A NINE-STORIED PAGODA.
The usual way of going to Pekin is by the road from Tien-tsin, while the return journey is by boat along the river. The road is about[Pg 356] ninety miles long, and is one of the worst in the world, when we consider how long it has been in use. According to Chinese history, it was built about two thousand years ago. Frank said he could readily believe that it was at least two thousand years old, and Fred thought it had never been repaired since it was first opened to the public. It was paved with large stones for a good portion of the way, and these stones have been worn into deep ruts, so that the track is anything but agreeable for a carriage. The only wheeled vehicles in this part of China are carts[Pg 357] without springs, and mounted on a single axle; the body rests directly on the axle, so that every jolt is conveyed to the person inside, and he feels after a day's journey very much as though he had been run through a winnowing-machine.
The plans of the Doctor included a journey up the great river, the Yang-tse. There was abundant opportunity for the proposed voyage, as there were two lines of steamers making regular trips as far as Han-kow, about six hundred miles from Shanghai. One line was the property of a Chinese company, and the other of an English one. The Chinese company's boats were of American build, and formerly belonged to an American firm that had large business relations in the East. The business of navigating the Yang-tse-kiang had been very profitable, and at one time it was said that the boats had made money enough to sink them if it were all put into silver and piled on their decks. But there was a decline when an opposition line came into the field and caused a heavy reduction of the prices for freight and passage. In the early days of steam navigation on[Pg 329] the Yang-tse-kiang a passage from Shanghai to Han-kow cost four hundred dollars, and the price of freight was in proportion. For several years the Americans had a monopoly of the business, and could do pretty much as they liked. When the opposition began, the fares went down, down, down; and at the time our friends were in China the passage to Han-kow was to be had for twenty-four dollarsquite a decline from four hundred to twenty-four."The word typhoon comes from the Japanese 'Tai-Fun,' which means 'great wind,' and the meaning is admirably descriptive of the thing itself. There is no greater wind in the world than a typhoon; the traditional wind that would blow the hair off the back of a dog is as nothing to it. A cyclone is the same sort of thing, and the two terms are interchangeable; cyclone is the name of European origin, while typhoon comes from the Asiatic. "'I'll make old vases for you if you want themwill make them just as I made these.'
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Joe Johnston's shattered army was at Jackson, about forty-five miles to northward; beleaguered Vicksburg was in the Northwest, a trifle farther away; Natchez lay southwest, still more distant; and nearly twice as far in the south was our heartbroken New Orleans. We had paused to recuperate our animals, and there was a rumor that we were to get new clothing. Anyhow we had rags with honor, and a right to make as much noise as we chose.The day was perfectly clear, but suddenly a cloud appeared to be forming like a thick mist. As they came nearer to it they discovered what it was, and made the discovery through their sense of feeling. It[Pg 345] was a cloud of locusts moving from the southern to the northern bank of the river; they had devastated a large area, and were now hastening to fresh woods and pastures new. They filled the air so densely as to obscure the sun, and for more than an hour the steamer was enveloped in them. These locusts are the scourge of China, as they are of other countries. They are worse in some years than in others, and in several instances they have been the cause of local famines, or of great scarcity.
"The term cloisonn comes from the French word cloison, which means a field or enclosure, and you will see as you go on how appropriate it is to this kind of work. If you examine the bowl which you will find in the box, you[Pg 244] will see that it has a groundwork of light blue, and that on this groundwork there are fine threads of brass enclosing little squares and other figures in colors quite different from the body of the bowl. If you look at the cover, you will find that these squares and figures are repeated, and also that there are three circles, like plates with serrated edges, that seem to be lying on the top of the cover. These plates, or circles, have pictures of flowers on them, and the designs of the flowers on each one are different from those of the other two. Every leaf and petal is distinct from the others by means of the brass wires, and the colors do not at any time run together.A SAMURAI IN WINTER DRESS. A SAMURAI IN WINTER DRESS.
The path wound among the rocks and scori?, and through the beds of lava. Altogether they found the ascent a most trying one, and sometimes half wished that they had left the visit to Fusiyama out of their calculations when they were planning how to use their time in Japan. But it was too late to turn back now, and they kept on and on, encouraging each other with cheering words, stopping frequently to take breath and to look at the wonderful panorama that was unfolded to their gaze. The air grew light and lighter as they went on, and by-and-by the periods when they halted, panting and half suffocated, became as long as those devoted to climbing. They experienced the same difficulty that all travellers encounter at high elevations, and Fred remembered what he had read of Humboldt's ascent of the high peaks of the Andes, where the lungs seemed ready to burst and the blood spurted from the faces of himself and his companions in consequence of the rarity of the atmosphere.When the party sailed from Yokohama, they found themselves on board a steamer which was, and was not, Japanese. She was built in New York, and formerly ran between that city and Aspinwall. Subsequently she was sent to Japan in the service of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, and was sold, along with several other American steamers, to a Japanese company. This company was formed with Japanese capital, and its management was Japanese; but the ships were foreign, and the officers and engineers were mostly English or American.
THE TEA-PLANT. THE TEA-PLANT.[Pg 225]
"I am his clerk." In the car a flash of joy and then great decorum."It's a very simple matter," said Captain B, "when you know about it. The fact is, that we were once very near losing our lives by Chinese pirates, and we don't propose to have another risk like it."
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