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gentlemen, is one of the causes that have made foreigners so unpopular in China. It should be remembered that, speaking generally, the Chinese have no intimate knowledge of foreigners, who all dress alike, and speak languages they do not understand; accordingly, they treat all foreigners alike.
It has been commonly supposed that missionaries are the sole cause of anti-foreign feeling in China, and that they are to be held responsible for the late uprising. I believe that this charge against them as a body is unfair. Before going any further, I wish to state that the missionaries in China, some of whom I know personally, are, with a few exceptions, respectable and honorable men. They have done a great deal of good in China by translating useful works into the Chinese language, and by publishing scientific and educational journals, which give valuable information to hose Chinese who do not understand any foreign language. They have also established some schools in the country and thus advanced the cause of education. The medical missionaries especially have been remarkably successful in their philanthropic work. They have established free hospitals and dispensaries, and dispensed medicine to poor sick Chinese. In time of famine they have been foremost and active in affording relief to the distressed. In short, it is difficult to estimate the amount of good work done in educational and other lines by these good men and women.
On the other hand, we must not be blind to the fact that some of their brethren in their excessive zeal to convert Chinese to their faith have been indiscreet in their conduct. In order to get as many converts as possible, they have not been very particular in their examination of candidates who presented themselves for admission to church membership. They have not been careful in excluding those who wished to join the church with some other object in view than the laudable one of becoming true Christians. Frequently a Chinese asks that he be admitted to a church because by so
doing he hopes to secure foreign protection. Thus instances are not wanting of missionaries interfering in the administration of justice in Chinese courts, and using their influence to secure a favorable decision for their converts. Chinese officials naturally deem such interference on the part of missionaries in disputes or suits between purely Chinese subjects as an attempt to dictate the course of judicial procedure. I do not here refer to the merits of those cases in which Chinese converts are interested. Perhaps the native Christians have good cause for complaint. But the fact that the missionaries plead for one of the litigants naturally gives offence to the non-Christian Chinese on the other side. Hence another cause of unpopularity of foreigners among the Chinese.
By treaty, missionaries have a right to go to any part of China and reside there for the purpose of propagating their religious doctrines,-a right not possessed by other foreigners in China. Now foreigners in China reside in the treaty ports open to foreign trade, and the Chinese who live in those ports have an opportunity to come in contact with
But in the interior, the general mass of the people very seldom see a foreigner. When a missionary comes among them, it can be easily understood that he cannot but excite a great deal of curiosity.
The other day I noticed in the Century Magazine an account of Dr. Crawford's experience as a missionary in the interior of China. He has been residing in that country with his wife for a half century. It is stated that when he first came to China to preach the gospel, he considered it hardly compatible with the dignity of an American citizen to adopt the Chinese dress, as the Western garb appeared to him an advantage in his mission, more liable to attract the attention and respect of the population in the different places he visited. In fact, no effort was needed to get an audience together, for great crowds usually collected about him, anxious to learn what the tall stranger with the stovepipe hat, narrow trousers and leather boots had to say. But hardly had he begun to preach to them in their own language than they became bolder, investigated the cut of his coat and trousers, felt the materials between their fingers, touched his boots, and interrupted him continually with all sorts of questions—how the leather boots were put on and off, where he got the trousers, how much the materials cost and where he had learned their language. Tired of these continual interruptions, he at last determined to satisfy the curiosity of his listeners from the very outset. Arriving in the next village, he addressed the crowd assembled about him as follows: “Brothers, I hail from America; my trousers are made of wool stuff, to be got at Shanghai for two ' tiao' per yard; my boots are made of calf-skin, and are put on in the same way as the socks you are wearing; your language I acquired in Peking, and I have come to tell you about the true God,” etc. This, however, satisfied the audience but little. They waited patiently until he had finished, and then, they again began questioning him about his trousers. Finally he became convinced that it was by far the best policy to adopt the Chinese dress, and for nearly fifty years he has worn no other. This shows the curiosity with which foreigners are regarded by the Chinese.
In every country foreigners with their distinctive national dress venturing into the unfrequented regions of the interior naturally attract the gaze and excite the curiosity of the natives. I am glad that some of the missionaries have adopted the Chinese dress, which, in my humble opinion, is more comfortable than any other. There are many others, however, who retain their national costume in China. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the missionaries, especially those who still retain their own national dress, to exercise the utmost discretion and caution not only in what they say but also in what they do. When persons of this character, in their peculiar position, preach a foreign doctrine in the interior, publicly condemning the cherished traditions of China, proclaiming the worship of ancestors and idols to be a useless performance, and saying to their hearers that they must discard such practices and embrace the only true religion, as they call it, or else they will be condemned to everlasting fireput yourselves in the position of the Chinese people, and you will have no difficulty in understanding their feeling under such circumstances ! Is it unnatural that such actions should create unfavorable impressions among the natives with regard to foreigners? I do not blame the missionaries for their activity in preaching the gospel. It is their profession. Nor do I blame them for residing in the interior, because they are there in accordance with treaty stipulations. I only wish to point out the peculiar and delicate position in which these good men are placed. Some of them, no doubt, have been successful in their work without encountering much opposition. But in this world all men are not cautious and discreet, and missionaries are not exceptions to this rule.
The general attitude of foreigners toward the Chinese has had a great deal to do with the opinion and feeling entertained by the natives toward them. The Chinese are a receptive people and extremely susceptible of impressions and influences. They are not apt to forget either a favor or an injury. The former excites in their breast as much gratitude as the latter resentment. In case of an injury, though they may not retaliate, their feeling against the offender is none the less strong. This, I suppose, is human nature, which is the same the world over. The Chinese in this respect are following the precept of Confucius, who has taught them to “requite injury with justice and kindness with kindness." I confess that this is not so noble and grand as the Christian doctrine, “Love your enemies ; bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you.” But this doctrine is so noble and grand that no weak and frail mortal, at least in our generation, has been able to attain to it. I am afraid that it has become a dead letter.
rate, I cannot recall from my limited experience a single person or nation that has ever acted up to that precept. Let us now examine the attitude of foreigners toward the natives in China. This is a delicate subject. Still, if you wish to know the truth, it is necessary to touch upon it, though the task is by no means a pleasant one. All foreigners in China enjoy special advantages and rights accorded to them by treaty. They do not come to the country by sufferance, but . have a right to come and reside therein. Moreover, they carry with them the laws of their respective countries. The local authorities have no jurisdiction over them. They are only subject to the control of the officials of their own country. The natural consequence is that foreigners form a sort of privileged class with peculiar rights and advantages, which are denied to the natives, and, by reason of their freedom from local control, consider themselves as superior beings—more as lords of the country than as strangers in a strange land.
When they find the customs and manners of the country different from those to which they have been accustomed, they not only disregard them but often do not refrain from expressing their opinions in the most offensive way. The long-cherished traditions and institutions of the country are frequently treated by them with contempt. In this way they excite the ill-feeling of the natives. Moreover, their conduct toward the Chinese is, in other respects, by no means exemplary. Take, for instance, their business intercourse with the natives. Chinese merchants who go to foreign houses to give orders for goods have not always met with the courtesies and civilities due to men of their position. Instances are not wanting of customers being treated with positive rudeness. I am glad to find that such conduct has not been so noticeable in recent years. Again, the general mass of the people receive scant courtesy at the hands of foreigners. If you go to China and stay at any of the treaty ports, you will often see Chinese coolies caned and kicked