תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

Some 'fans' are not fans at all. The or less pointed, or ornamented after steel fan' is simply a bar of metal, some novel design. And so it is with shaped and painted to resemble an ordi- fans, which are made of different manary closed fan, and carried sometimes terial and of different sizes for different as a life-preserver, sometimes by the swell seasons of the year in proportion to the mobsmen and rowdies of China, to be quantity of breeze required. In the used at close quarters with murderous Miscellanies of the Western Capital * we effect. Of the same species is the well- read : ‘The fans of the Son of Heaven known ‘dagger fan,' which consists of are, for the summer, of feathers; for an elegant imitation in lacquer of a com- the winter, of silk ;' and in a poem by mon folding fan, but is really a sheath Ow-yang Hisu occurs this line : containing within its fair exterior a

In the tenth moon the people of the capital deadly blade, short and sharp, like a turn to their warm fans. small Malay kris. This dagger fan was

At the present day the distinction beinvented by the Japanese, and its im

tween warm and cold fans can hardly portation into China has always been be said to exist. Those for spring and strictly forbidden. Great numbers have,

autumn are smaller than those used in however, been successfully introduced into Canton, Foochow, and other large man luxury of summer and winter rings.

summer, reminding one of the old Romaritime cities, and they are now even It is also mauvais ton to be seen with a manufactured by the enterprising natives fan too early or too late in the year. of the first-mentioned port.

There are indeed no days absolutely A curious specimen of the fan is pro- fixed for the beginning and end of the duced in Formosa, consisting of a thick fan season, as in the case of the sumpithy leaf, shaped like a cone with the mer and winter hats worn by all emapex chopped off, and a short handle ployés of the Government, and which fitted to the line of severance, and bear

are supposed to be changed simultaneing upon its face a landscape or group ously all over the Empire ; but Chinese of figures burnt in with a hot iron. It

custom has made it as ridiculous for a was the invention of a needy scholar of

man to carry a fan before or after a cerTaiwan Fu, the capital city of Formosa,

tain conventional date as it would be who being in distressed circumstances with us to wear a white waistcoat in hit upon the above novelty as a means of March or November. replenishing his empty purse. The fan

During the summer months a bird'stook immensely for a time, long enough eye view of China would disclose a perin fact to make the fortune of the in- fect flutter of fans from one conf, ne to ventor, who for a considerable period the other. Punkahs are unknown to was at his wits’ end to meet the demand. the Chinese, except as an innovation of The rage for them has been now for the foreigner ; and it has been necessary some time spent, and they are only to coin a term expressly for them. Ocmade in small quantities, for sale more casionally they may be seen in the house as curiosities than anything else.

of some wealthy Chinese merchant, as, there are fashions in fans as in other for instance, in the establishment of the articles of human luxury in China as celebrated Howqua family at Canton ; elsewhere. Every year sees some fresh but even then they are regarded more as variety, differing perhaps imperceptibly a curiosity than as appliances of everyto the European eye from the favorite

day use. On the other hand, it can of the preceding season, but still suf- hardly be said that the idea of a general ficiently so to constitute a novelty, a fan or runkah has escaped the searchnew fashion for the wealthy Chinese ex- ing ingenuity of the Chinese ; for in the quisite. A foreigner may live for years work last quoted we are informed that amongst the Chinese and never notice

*under the Han dynasty [between sixany change to relieve the monotony of teen hundred and two thousand years their dress. Yet, as a matter of fact, ago) there lived at Ch'ang-an a very some variety, even of hat or shoes, is skilful workman, named Ting Huan, introduced almost annually. The fashionable cap is squarer or rounder at the

* Ch'ang-an, now Hsi-an Fu, the capital of top as the case may be ; the shoes more the province of Shensi.

who made a seven-wheel fan.' This dressing yourself stands. And, similarconsisted of seven large wheels, ten feet ly, two friends meeting in chairs should, in diameter, joined together, the whole strictly speaking, both dismount to sabeing turned by a single man, and keep- lute. But to avoid the obvious inconveing the place quite cool during the sum- nience of perpetually stopping and dismer months.' This description is a trifle mounting, in perhaps a crowded thortoo meagre to enab us to state with oughfare, at the appearance of every certainty the exact shape of the ma- friend, it has been arranged that the occhine in question. The paddle wheel of cupant, say of the chair, may hold his a steamer seems to come the nearest to fan up so as to screen his face from it ; and from the loftiness of Chinese view, and the two pass without further halls and reception rooms in general, ceremony, as if, in fact, they had never both official and private, no objection met. And such is the use to which, could be offered on the score of height. apart from their emblematical significa Be this as it may, such a machine would tion, the above-mentioned wooden fans at any rate be free from what is in Chi- would be put should the almost impossinese eyes the weak point of a punkah- ble contingency arise of two mandarins namely, its position with regard to the of equal rank meeting face to face in the person operated upon. A Chinaman street. The servants of each would fans his face, arms, legs, chest, and even hasten to interpose these great fans beback, as he may feel disposed at the mo- tween the passing chairs of their

respecment; but he objects strongly to a tive masters, who, by the aid of this draught of air falling on the top of his pleasant fiction, would be held not to head, and avoids it as much as possible. have become aware of each other's presAt meals, during the very hot weather, ence. A subordinate would turn up a servants usually stand behind their mas- side street and yield the road to his suters and slowly but steadily ply the large perior officer. feather fan, originally made from the Formerly there was a certain kind of feathers of a pheasant's tail, because the fan specially used as a screen to 'sepaEmperor Kao: Tsung of the Yin* dy- rate the sun, screen off the wind, and nasty on one occasion connected some obstruct the dust, just as well-to-do fortunate event with the auspicious crow- Chinamen now use the ordinary fan to ing of a pheasant.t Burden-carrying save their half-shaven heads from the coolies of the lowest stratum of Chinese scorching summer rays while they stroll society fan themselves as they hurry along or hurry by on business or pleasalong the streets weighed down by their

ure bent. The common coolie has his back-breaking loads. Little boys are wide mushroom-shaped hat, and the engaged to fan the workmen whose busi- official rides in a sedan-chair with his ness is carried on in the hot shops of a red umbrella carried like the wooden fan crowded Chinese city. The very sol- in procession before him ; but the middiers in the ranks fan themselves on pa- dle-class Chinaman, who may be unrade ; and among the insignia carried willing to throw away money in chair in the procession of every mandarin hire, trusts to his fan alone. As a matabove a certain rank there is to be found ter of fact, from the narrowness of the a huge wooden fan more resembling a streets in most Chinese cities, and the banner than anything else. And this matting with which these streets are in brings us to a rather curious phase of many cases roofed over, sufficient shade Chinese etiquette.

A Chinaman on is afforded to enable persons to move horseback or in a sedan chair, meeting freely about without further defence an equal of his acquaintance on foot, against the sun ; and for a walk across must forthwith dismount, be it only to country the inevitable umbrella would of make a passing bow. It is a serious course be called into play-no longer, breach of politeness to remain sitting however, the characteristic model of anwhile the person to whom you are ad- tiquity, with clumsy handle and coarse

oil-cloth top, but some cheap importa* More commonly known as Wu Ting, 1324- tion in European style, the conveni1265 B.C. † This story is told by Ts’ui Pao, in his Ku

ence of which in point of portability has chin-chu, or ' Antiquarian Researches.' long since been recognised by the Chi

,iܐ ܘܘܘ

nese. In such a city as Canton two tory. That term is' 10,000 li,' or a disopen umbrellas would more than fill the tance of over 3,000 English miles. The narrow roadway, and the risk of con- painter in question was named Wang stant collision would be great ; conse- Fei ; and the extent of a landscape he quently, umbrellas are only to be seen was able to produce on the surface of a on wet days, when the ordinary crowd mere ordinary fan was said to be limited is at a minimum. Even in Peking, only by the hyperbolical range of 10,where some of the streets are as wide as Regent Street, the convenience of the The fan is metaphorically known in fan recommends it as a sunshade in pref- the Chinese language as the ' Phænix erence to the more unwieldy umbrella. Tail’or the ‘ Jay's Wing,' terms which

The fan plays no inconsiderable rôle point to what were possibly the archein Chinese decorative art. Besides be- types of all fans, namely, the wings and ing the vehicle of both poetry and tails of birds, from which has been depainting, it is itself often introduced veloped the modern feather fan. The into designs of all kinds. Mullioned folding fan, by the way, is said by one windows are not unusually made in the authority* not to be a Chinese invention shape of the top part of a folding fan at all, but to have been introduced into spread out, that is, the paper or silk China by the Coreans, who sent a quanpart without the ribs ; and the full out- tity of them to the Emperor Yung Lê of line is often used to contain pictures or the Ming dynasty, amongst the other arverses painted or inscribed upon walls, ticles offered as tribute by the vassal as if an open fan had simply been nailed State.

State. The Emperor is further stated over the spot. History indeed has re- to have been so pleased with the novelty corded the case of one painter, Wang that orders were issued for their imitaYiian-chün, who so excelled in this par- tion by Chinese workmen. A fan is ticular line that people, like the birds also alluded to in figurative language as pecking at the grapes of Apelles, would a ‘strike the butterfly,' or a 'chase the often try to take down and examine Alies,' as a 'like the moon,' or a 'call more closely some of these beautiful the wind,' and as a 'screen the face,' a specimens of wall painting, which ap- name which should be taken in conpeared to be really fans hung up by a junction with the point of etiquette prethread or attached to a nail. It has viously mentioned. It is called been mentioned above that, with the change the season,' from its power of more refined of the Chinese, fans, includ- cooling the person fanned. This power ing both the ' screen’and the ‘folding' has been enlarged upon in an ode to a varieties, are almost invariably painted fan, written by a poet named Poh Chü-I, on one side and left blank on the other of which the following are specimen for the insertion of some appropriate lines : verses, which may be either original or

With thee, hot suns shall strike in vain the borrowed ; from which it will be seen that fans occupy to some extent in By thy aid gentle gales perennial blow; China the position of albums with us.

Thou mov'st an autumn breeze 'neath summer

skies ; To give any idea of the quaint designs Cease, and the round moon in my bosom lies. in figure and landscape painting, the marvellous birds, beasts, and insects

From the last line of this effusion, especially butterflies—which are to be which, as a translation, aims only at litfound on the more highly finished Chi- eral fidelity to the original, it is clear nese screens, is next to impossible with- that the particular kind of fan here alout reproducing the originals ; but a

luded to must be the round screen fan, few words on the versification just al

which Chinese poets never tire of comluded to, and on the fan language in paring with the full moon, and which, general, may not be uninteresting to

when not in use, is often laid ' in the There is, however, in the long bosom,' between the folds of the flowlist of fan-painting celebrities the name ing outer robe. As to inscriptions upon of one single artist, the nature of whose

a

snow;

* The Ch’ien-ch'o-lei-shu, an encyclopædia works is expressed by a term with which published in 1632. they have ever been associated in his- + Flourished A.D. 772-846.

some.

are

fans, they vary with every variety of hu- Pan, had been for some time the confiman thought and feeling.

The more dante of his Majesty, and the queen of usual kind treats in stilted language, the Imperial seraglio, and appears to pregnant with classical quotation and have believed that something more than obscure historical allusion, of some one an ordinary attachment of the hour exof the ever-changing aspects of nature. isted between herself and the Son of Others again are didactic ; and

Heaven. Gradually, however, she beliterary tours de force, occasionally of gan to find that her influence was on the a not very high order. The most cele- wane, and at length, unable to bear any brated of the latter class has been ac- longer her mortification and grief, she knowledged by universal consent to be a forwarded to the Emperor a circular couplet consisting of only eight charac- screen fan, on one side of which were ters, written at the eight corners of an inscribed the following lines : octagon fan belonging to the Emperor

O fair white silk, fresh from the weaver's loom, Chien Wên, of the Liang dynasty,* and

Clear as the frost, bright as the winter snow,said to have been the composition of the See, friendship fashions out of thee a fan ; monarch himself. The peculiarity of Round as the round moon shines in heaven this couplet is that the reader inay begin

above ;

At home, abroad, a close companion thou ; at any one of the eight characters, and

Stirring at every move the grateful gale. by reading round the way of the sun

And yet I fear, ah me! that autumn chills, find a couplet of perfect sense and per- Cooling the dying summer's torrid rage, fectly rhymed. Yet of all inscriptions Will see thee laid neglected on the shelf, on or about fans in China, few are to be All thought of by-gone days, by-gone, like

them. compared in point of pathos and poetic vigor with a certain stanza penned many Since the date of this poem, a desertcenturies ago by a favorite of the Em- ed wife has constantly been spoken of peror Ch’êng Ti, of the Han dynasty.t as an 'autumn fan.'—- Fraser's MagaThe lady in question, whose name was zine.

MR. BROWNING'S DRAMATIC IDYLLS.

BY MRS. SUTHERLAND ORR.

MR. BROWNING's“ Dramatic Idylls'' cumstance, and with emotions more startcontain all that the terms properly im- ling than sympathetic. It belies it in so ply ; very little of that which popular far that the unusual in its pictures adds association connects with them; and often not only to their impressiveness, though the graceful unrealities suggested but to their truth, recalling, as they do, by the word Idyllic could never be look- forgotten, rather than improbable aspects ed for in any work of his, he has exceed- of human life; and rough-hewn possied forecast in the opposite direction. bilities, rather than over-specialized The concentrated vigor of his latest vol- forms of human feeling. That the reume may startle even those who have sult is on the whole somewhat stern learnt by long experience that his genius and sad will be approved or disapprovis incapable of attenuation, and that ed according to the temperament of writing six short poems, instead of one the reader. It seems superfluous to long one, means with him, not the sus- say, what is implied by the shortness of pension of constructive effort, but a these poems, that they are free from all constructive effort multiplied so many tedious elaboration; or to add that the times. It justifies the stereotyped opin- intellectual matter which they contain ion concerning him by dealing chiefly is strictly subordinate to their dramatic with the unusual in character and cir- form.

“Pheidippides” differs from the five Reigned A.D. 550-551.

other Idylls as the classical conventionReigned B.C. 32 to B.C. 6. | Dramatic Idylls. By Robert Browning.

alities of a Greek subject differ from any London : Smith. Elder & Co., 1879. Boston: possible romance of northern life. It Houghton, Osgood & Co.

differs also in this respect, that though the most historical in treatment, it is the Quivering,—the limbs of me fretting as fire most pathetic. It is an episode in the

frets, an inch from dry wood :

Persia has come, Athens asks aid, and still life of an Athenian “runner,” who was

they debate ? despatched to Sparta to invoke aid Thunder, thou Zeus ! Athene, are Spartans a against the Persian invasion, and cov- quarry beyond ered the distance of 150 miles in 48 Swing of thy spear ? Phoibos and Artemis, hours ; and who ran again, and for the

clang them ‘Ye must!'" last time, from Marathon to Athens to

No bolt launched from Olumpos ? Lo, their tell the result of the battle. The earlier

answer at last !

Has Persia come,-does Athens ask aid, feat is recorded by Herodotus, and re

may Sparta befriend? ferred to by other writers, together Nowise precipitate judgment—too weighty the with the ambiguous reply of Sparta,

issue at stake! and the meeting with Pan at Mount Count we no time lost time which lags through Parnes, and receiving from him a prom- Ponder that precept of old, ‘No warfare, whatise of assistance. Lucian mentions the

ever the odds death of the messenger in the act of In your favor, so long as the moon, halfannouncing the victory. Mr. Brown

orbed, is unable to take ing has filled in this outline of semi- Full-circle her state in the sky!' Already she mythical fact, and placed Pheidippides Athens must wait, patient as we—who judgbefore us, not only in the passion of ment suspend." his patriotic impulse, but in all that Athens,—except for that sparkle,—thy name, I poetry of visible motion with which the had mouldered to ash ! Greek imagination would have clothed That sent a blaze through my blood ; off, off him.

and away was I back,

-Not one word to waste, one look to lose on Archons of Athens, topped by the tettix, see, I the false and the vile ! return !

Yet, “ O Gods of my land !" I cried, as each See, 'tis myself here standing alive, no spectre hillock and plain, that speaks !

Wood and stream, I knew, named, rushing Crowned with the myrtle, did you command past them again, me, Athens and you,

“Have: ye kept faith, proved mindful of “Run, Pheidippides, run and race, reach honors we paid you erewhile ? Sparta for aid !

Vain was the filleted victim, the fulsome liba. Persia has come, we are here, where is She?'' tion! Too rash Your command I obeyed,

Love in its choice, paid you so largely service Ran and raced : like stubble, some field which so slack !"

a fire runs through, Was the space between city and city : two

The beautiful imagery which illustrates days, two nights did I burn

the first race is repeated in the second. , Over the hills, under the dales, down pits and

He flung down his shield, up peaks.

Ran like fire once more : and the space 'twixt Into their midst I broke : breath served but the Fennel-field for “ Persia has come !

And Athens was stubble again, a field which a Persia bids Athens proffer slaves'-tribute, fire runs through.

water and earth; Razed to the ground is Eretria—but Athens, The metre itself, which Mr. Browning shall Athens sink,

employs for the first time, denotes this Drop into dust and die—the 'flower of Hellas blending of athletic force and heroic in

utterly die, Die, with the wide world spitting at Sparta, the spiration, and seems to throb with the stupid, the stander-by ?

unresting flight and rythmic footfall of Answer me quick, what'help, what hand do the “ day-long runner” who runs for his

you stretch o'er destruction's brink? How,-when? No care for my limbs !—there's sonal interest is supplied by the hope

An element of more per

country's life. lightning in all and someFresh and fit your message to bear, once lips which speeds Pheidippides on his last give it birth !"

errand. Pan has promised him release O my Athens-Sparta love thee? Did Sparta

from “the racer's toil,” and he can respond?

only construe such a release into freeEvery face of her leered in a furrow of envy, dom to marry the maiden whom he mistrust,

loves ; but the promise is more poeticMalice, --each eye of her gave me its glitter of ally fulfilled in the death which over

gratified hate ! Gravely they turned to take counsel, to cast

takes him in the hour of his crownfor excuses. I stood

ing achievement and of his country's

« הקודםהמשך »