The Hennessey Clipper (Hennessey, Okla.), Vol. 20, No. 2, Ed. 1 Thursday, May 27, 1909 Page: 8 of 10
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NOWLEDGE of thehome life
K| of the denizens of the
1 Chinese empire is very
meager. The author met
a young man, a mem-
ber of the highest aristocra-
cy, who had spent some
time in Europe and America, studying
these countries with the intention of
using the knowledge thus gained in bet-
tering the condition of his countrymen.
A long voyage afforded many oppor-
tunities for intimate intercourse with
this young man, who was certainly a
most amiable Chinaman. As he had
learned to appreciate the progress in for-
eign countries, he returned home with a
good idea concerning the defects of the
Before continuing the Journey to
Shanghai we concluded to stop at Hong-
gong, where he had relatives. Nothing
could be more charming than the man-
ner of reception by these amiable, and,
to me, highly interesting persons.
In his home was found the long wished
for opportunity to make a personal study
of life in Chinese families, as well as the
customs and habits of the general pub-
lic. Thus the author was indebted to
accident for affording to me this most
welcome opportunity of gaining Insight
Into the life of this highly interesting
The Chinese conception of beauty is
certainly peculiar in many ways. The
young men pull out the hairs of their
growing beards by the roots, but when
they reach the mature age of 40 they
permit their hirsute ornament to grow
quite long, as this is supposed to give
an air of wisdom and dignity. The fa-
miliar braid of hair grown on the crown of
the head dates back to the time when the
Tartars compelled the Chinese to shave the
rest of their heads.
While obesity is considered a mark of beau-
ty in a man, it is looked upon as a great de-
lect in women, who strive by every means in
their power to preserve their slenderness of
iigure. Men of high rank and scholars culti-
vate enormously long finger nails, to show
that they are not engaged in manual labor.
Chinese women of rank are seldom seen
by foreigners. At home they amuse them-
selves by adorning their hair with artificial
flowers and gold and silver chaplets, as well
as chains. Their hair is either confined in
u net or allowed to hang loose.
A large percentage of Chinese make their
'will p. sHArrr.
dare to evade it. Funeral solemnities j
in China are worthy of observation. J
When a person of rank dies the |
body is embalmed and enveloped in
costly robes, after which it is placed
in a costly coffin, in which it lies in
state on a catalfque, surrounded
with lighted torches and a profusion
of beautiful flowers.
Here the women, relatives and
friends prostrate themselves, touch-
ing the ground with their foreheads,
while the air is filled with clouds
The Chinese make provision for
their coffins during lifetime, even
the poorest finding ways and means
to prepare for their last resting
place, for a Chinese coffin is very
costly and a magnificent affair, as
anyone who has ever seen a funeral
In order to show his filial respect
a son will often keep the embalmed
body of his father in the house for
two or three years. The father ex-
ercises authority over all the son
possesses, including his children,
whom, if they offend him, he may
► *•* A
and American customs, the
parents of the girl are not
expected to give her a mar-
riage portion, but the pros-
pective bridegroom Is re-
q ired to pay to them a
stipulated sum, which is
then expended in purchas-
ing the bride's wardrobe,
etc. All the preliminaries
concluded, the marriage
ceremonies may proceed.
First of all the relatives
and friends send congratu-
lations In the shape of
presents and cards, at the
same time inquiring after
the names of the prospec-
home entirely upon the water, many of them
being fishermen. The latter are clad merely
in cocoanut leaves, one of these tied 011 the
back, thus serving as an umbrella, without
hindering them in their work. The fashion
of carrying fans, so universal throughout Chi-
na. has been adopted by other countries.
Dress to some extent is regulated by law,
certain colors designating the rank or social
station of the wearer. Thus the right to wear
yellow belongs exclusively to the emperor
and princes, and certain mandarins are the
only persons entitled to wear garments of red
satin, but only on certain occasions.
White is the color or mourning, and cannot
be too much soiled, in order to show how in-
different the mourner is to personal appear-
ance, and that all Ills thoughts and feelings
are centered in his grief for the departed..
The colors worn by the populace are blue
The Chinese show great respect and defer-
ence for the aged, and are as a rule of hu-
mane and gentle disposition. The merchant
is thoroughly honorable in his dealings, and,
above all, invariably keeps his word. The
honesty of the Chinese laundresses Is beyond
question; everything is returned without ex-
ception, even neatly mended.
The so-called "washer girls" live in little
boats, called • sampans," that usually house
several families; men. women, children and
household utensils all being crowded together
In a small space, and one often Bees the fat
father smoking and loafing In comfort while
bis wife propels all alone the heavy cralt
with a single paddle, sometimes with a baby
strapped on her back.
Courtship and marriage ceremonies differ
essentially from ours. I11 the first place (he
Miung people have nothing at all to do with
&ettling everything. Contrary to European
tive bride and
is, of course, a
ity, as they
for a long
date of the
being very su-
p e r s t i -
tlous, they con-
sult the alma-
nac so that a
lucky day may
be chosen. In
the young man
ents upon his
whom he has
Tills, at least, is the custom
When the wedding day arrives the oriae
is handed into a sedan chair, which is mag-
nificently adorned with garlands and arti-
ficial flowers. This is followed by the serv-
ants bearing her belongings, which consist
of clothing, ornaments and jewels. Some of
the servants carry lighted torches, though the
hour may be high noon.
The sedan is preceded by a band of musi-
cians. followed by the relatives and guests.
The nearest relative of the bridegroom holds
in his hand the key of the sedan, which is
locked, the windows being grated.
When the bridal party reaches the house
it is met at the door by the bridegroom,
who. upon receiving from his relative the key,
unlocks the door of the sedan, and now for
the first time beholds the bride chosen for him.
It is not difficult to picture to one's self
the eager expectation with which the young
man opens the door of the stage that holds
her with whom he is destined to live the rest
of his life, and once In a while It happens
that he is so disappointed at the sight of
the woman chosen for him that he slams
the door of the Bedan and sends back the
undesirable bride to her parents. Such cases
are rare, however, as the bridegroom forfeits
the money paid to the parents and the pres-
ents bestowed upon the girl.
When the bride-to-be alights her future lord
takoB her by the hand and leads her into the
In the hall at one wedding a special table
was reserved for the bridal couple, the guests
being seated at small tables, the meu in one
room and the women in another.
Before taking their seats the young couple
bowed four times profoundly to an imaginary
spirit, Tien, supposed to preside over heaven.
When they finally
sat down they each
had to pour a glass
of wine on the floor
before they were al-
lowed to eat. A
plate of food was al-
so set aside for their
As soon as they
had tasted the vi-
ands the bridegroom arose and invited his
bride to drink, in response to which she also
arose, returning the compliment. Two goblets
of wine were now brought in, from which
both bridegroom and bride drank alternately,
pouring the remainder on the floor.
This last ceremony made them husband and
After a while the newly made wife Joins
the women, while her husband invites the
men to another apartment, where he enter-
tains them. In China it would be just as
preposterous for a bride to wear white as it
would be in other countries were she to ap-
pear in black at the altar.
A wife who deserts her husband is sen-
tenced to be flogged, and may be regarded as
a slave of her husband; but if she mar-
ries the man with whom she elopes her for-
mer husband can have her strangled.
Grounds for divorce include a violent temper,
a vicious tongue, disobedience or theft. Al-
though divorce is authorized by law, it Is rare-
ly appealed to by the better class. Chinese hus-
bands are so extremely watchful that the wife
is not allowed to speak to any man, not even
to a near relative, except in the presence of
The different branches of a family usually
keep house together under the same roof for
reasons of economy. For poor persons, who
live entirely 011 vegetables, this joint house-
keeping means a great saving.
The lot of the peasant women is indeed a
sad one. The men tyrannize over them,
keeping them in constant subjection. When
a husband thinks he has reason to be dis-
pleased with his wife or there has been a
quarrel, he compels her to stand before his
chair at meals and wait on him. Besides
this, she is made to eat with the servants.
The older women always live together
with the young ones, in order to nip in the
bud any show of temper, and implicit obe-
dience is demanded. In every house a set
ot rules for moral guidance is hung up in
the common hall, where the male members
of the family assemble from time to time.
A characteristic trait of the Chinese is
their clannishness, and family reunions are
encouraged by periodical visits to the graves
of their ancestors. A genealogical tablet is
found in every house, and in conversation
frequent reference is made to the deeds of
To work for their parents Is the duty of
the children, and If any of their brothers
or sisters should be In trouble they must go
to their assistance. There is no written law
to this effect, but nonfulfillment of this
sacred filial duty would entail such lasting
disgrace upon the offender that no one would
sell. A funeral procession is always preceded
by a large nuknber of persons bearing little
pasteboard figures representing slaves, camels
and horses. The departed is supposed to meet |
spirits who have the power of imbuing these
figures with life, so that they may both serve
and entertain him. Then follow the daughters,
the wife and the other relatives, all in sedan
chairs. These women fill the air with howls
and lamentations, so that if they cannot be
seen they certainly make themselves hearjl.
When a mandarin of high rank celebrates
his birthday the members of the Chinese "400"
assemble in sections and repair to the official's
residence, where they line up in the hall. Then
one of them, presenting a glass of cordial to
the mandarin, says:
"Behold the wine; may it bring the joy!"
Another presents him with candies, saying:
"We bring the sugar of long life!" and then
the rest follow suit. The offerings consist
for the most part of candles and such things.
When one mandarin meets another of high
rank he at once stops his sedan and salutes
his colleague with profound bows.
When two of equal rank meet they salute
each other in their sedans by crossing their
hands upon the chest and bowing, which they
continue as long as they can see each other.
At the large dinners of state given from
time to time by high officials small tables,
one for each guest are set in the hall.
The Chinese may be great epicures, but
it would take an American stomach a hun-
dred years or more before it could learn to
relish such things as silkworms, the larvae
r r the sphinx moth, earth worms and jelly
Another delicacy much prized by the Chi-
nese is a species of giant spider.
They care very little for milk, cheese and
butter; neither do they eat much beef, veal
Toward the close of the banquet our host
led the way into the garden. In the mean-
time the servants cleared the tables and car-
ried water, for on our return to the hall there
was a general washing of hands, one of the
servants holding the bowl, while another
poured the water. This ceremony performed,
we sat down to enjoy a really delicious fruit,
winding up with tea and cigars.
But there was still another suprise in store.
At the end of the feast the servants went
around among the guests taking up a collec-
tion for the benefit of their master in order
to defray the costs of the banquet. Other
countries, other ways!
And yet the Chinese think their habits and
customs so perfect that they look down on all
foreigners as being far behind In civilization.
At least this was the case until Just a few
Employer—What! want another
raise? Why, you're getting $5 a
Office Boy—Yessir; but I'm engaged
now, and my girl wants to be took
ECZEMA COVERED HIM.
Itching Torture Was Beyond Words-
Slept Only from Sheer Exhaustion
—Relieved in 24 Hours and
Cured by Cuticura In a Month.
"I am seventy-seven years old, and
some years ago I was taken with ec-
zema from head to foot. I was sick
for six months and what I suffered
tongue could not tell. I could not
sleep day or night because of that
dreadful itching; when I did Bleep i^
was from sheer exhaustion. I was
one mass of irritation; it was even in
my scalp. The doctor's medicine
seemed to make me worse and I was
almost out of my mind. I got a
set of the Cuticura Soap, Ointment and
Resolvent. I used, them persistently
for twenty-four hours. That night I
slept like an infant, the first solid
night's sleep I had had for six months.
In a month I was cured. W. Harrison
Smith, Mt. Kisco, N. Y„ Feb. 3, 1908."
Potter Ilrutj & Chom. Corp., Solo 1'rops., Boston.
While work on a new building was
going on in a southern town not long
ago an old negro employed as a hod-
carrier suddenly slipped while Gear-
ing the third story and plunged head-
long to the ground. Several passers-
by rushed over expecting to find a
man dead with a broken neck, as the
old fellow had struck squarely on the
top of his head. Finding the old man
still alive some one emptied the con-
tents of a whisky bottle down hit
throat. In a few moments the old
negro sat up and looked around.
"How do you feel now, uncle?"
asked a bystander kindly.
"Well, sah," came the reply, "I wui
sorter cornfused when I fust started,
but now dat I's hit I's all right!"
He had dined exceedingly well and
was standing in the hotel lobby, hat-
less, and looking exactly as if he were
quite at home there. It was no won-
der that the hotel guest walked up to
him and inquired imperiously;
"Where's the news stand?"
The guest glared.
"I'll report you for Insolence," he
"Huh?" inquired he who had dined
well. "R'port m'?"
"Say, what are you? A bellboy or
a detective or—what?"
"I'm a haberdasher," answered the
other, with a pleasant smile.
The other snorted and withdrew.
Mrs. Howe's Opinion.
Mrs. Julia Ward Howe's sense of
the ridiculous has always been a sa-
ving grace, leading her to avoid grand-
iloquence. On one occasion a lady
at Newport, trying to get a fine senti-
ment out of her, said, one moonlit
evening on a vine-hung veranda:
"Mrs. Howe, do say something lovely
about my piazza!" Whereupon every
one listened for the reply. In her
delicately cultivated voice Mrs. Howe
responded; "I think it is a bully
plaz."—New York Herald.
Gardens with Schools.
The school-garden idea has been re-
markably developed in San Antonio,
Tex., which is said to have more
gardens attached to its schools than
any other place of its size in the
world. There are 949 of these culti-
vated plots attached to the 29 schools,
the gardens varying from one tenth t«
one-quarter of an acre.
Food Did It.
After using laxative and cathartic
medicines from childhood a case of
chronic and apparently incurable con-
stipation yielded to the scientific food,
Grape-Nuts, in a few days. 1
"From early childhood I suffered
with such terrible constipation that I
had to use laxatives continuously go-
ing from one drug to another and suf-
fering more or less all the time.
"A prominent physician whom I con-
sulted told me the muscles of the di-
gestive organs were partially par-
alyzed and could not perform their
work without help of some kind, so I
have tried at different times about
every laxative and cathartic known,
but found no help that was at all per-
manent. I had finally become discour-
aged and had given my case up as
hopeless when I began to use the pre-
digested food, Grape-Nuts.
"Although I had not expected this
food to help my trouble, to my great
surprise Grape-Nuts digested imme-
diately from the first and in a few
days I was convinced that this was
just what my system needed.
"The bowels performed their func-
tions regularly and I am now com-
pletely and permanently cured of this
"Truly the power of scientific food
must be unlimited." "There's a
Read "The Road to Wellville," In pkgs.
Ever rend the nhove letterf A ntw
one nppeiirM front time to time. They
• re ffcnulne, true, uatl full of burn AM
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Sprague, G. E. The Hennessey Clipper (Hennessey, Okla.), Vol. 20, No. 2, Ed. 1 Thursday, May 27, 1909, newspaper, May 27, 1909; Hennessey, Oklahoma. (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc105659/m1/8/: accessed April 23, 2019), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.