The Lady Celestial at Homs.
General Tcheng-Ki-Tong contributes a very interesting letter on the Blue Stockings of China to the Paris ' Figaro,' in which lie introduces what proves to be a valiant defence of the lady Celestials by pointing out that besides the China as depicted by travellers, there is "a China which is not seen, because it hides itself modeßtly, but which is not the less worth while for Europeans to study." According to travellers' tales the Chinese woman is an illiterate slnve. This is an enormous mistake, arising out of the fact that Europeans, not being allowed to see Chinese women at home, write of them from heareay or from their own imagination. The real facts about the Chinese women are these :—" Shut up in her house, she is never talked about, but she is therefore all the busier. Silently, she fulfils her duties as wife and as mother, helps her husband and her son with her counsel, which is often more thoughtful,more wise and prudent, than the decisions of the man. Our Government knows how to appreciate the part played by the woman ; it often recompenses her by giving her title.a and honors, and by even allowing her to wear a uniform. Moreover, in urgent cases, and during the absence of her husband, the wife of the Chinese functionary has the right to take cases into her own hands, and to decide upon them as she thinks fit. lJut while the Chinese lady is thus emancipated she does not allow her emancipation to be proclaimed abroad, for, side by side with man, she holds a sufficiently important place to have no need of demanding more than is given to her. Man, on his part, is only too happy to allow her whom he loves to partake in his honors and fortune ; and woman, knowing full well that, alone, she cannot attain to her present prosperity, makes it her interest to bring her husband forward, to help him to advance. But, gifted as she is with many and great talents, her choicest ornament is still her modesty. Ever since the days of old has China celebrated its heroines, its lady historians, poets, and authors, but never has there been known among all the host of great women and good a single female politician, and this General Tcheng-Ki-Tong considers to be a very good thing, by which woman herself can only gain—'and we men also.' Since the days when Confucius wrote the three hundred odes in his ' Book of Women,' which are duo to the inspiration of a young girl, authoresses have always been honored in China, and they have alwayß been numerous, even to the present day, when the voices of many poetesses are listened to in the Far East. With regard to the subjects generally chosen by modern Chinese poetesses, the gallant general says:—' Their favourite subjects are always flowers, the moon, birds, the zephyr music, and, in fact, all the graceful themeß which strike the imagination, and the tenderness of which harmonises so well with the female character. It will always be a woman's tendency to turn towards thoßO delicate poetic regions where she feels at ease, and where she is truly ' at home,'" —•Pall Mall Gazette.'
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The Lady Celestial at Homs., Evening Star, Issue 7917, 27 May 1889
The Lady Celestial at Homs. Evening Star, Issue 7917, 27 May 1889
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