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ENGLISH 波多野结衣4人服侍Both the boys were greatly interested in the various processes of work that were visible on shore. Groups of men were to be seen cutting reeds for fuel, or for the roofs of houses, where they make a warm thatch that keeps out the rain and snow. Other groups were gathering cotton, hemp, millet, and other products of the earth; and at several points there were men with blue hands, who were extracting indigo from the plant which[Pg 346] produces it. The plant is bruised and soaked in water till the coloring-matter is drawn out; the indigo settles to the bottom of the tub, and the water is poured off; and after being dried in the sun, the cake forms the indigo of commerce. In many places there were little stages about thirty feet high, and just large enough at the top for one man, who worked there patiently and alone. Frank could not make out the employment of these men, and neither could Fred. After puzzling awhile over the matter, they referred it to Doctor Bronson.VIGNETTE FROM THE NATIONAL BANK-NOTES. VIGNETTE FROM THE NATIONAL BANK-NOTES.
"Another thing," said Fred"why is it that the grooms are covered with tattoo-marks, and wear so little clothing?"
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"I knew it!" she said delightedly. "But tell me, honor bright,"--she sparkled with amusement--"you're not regularly enlisted, are you?"
"A little way off from this ploughman there was a man threshing grain on some slats; they looked like a small ladder placed on an incline, and the way he did the work was to take a handful of grain and thresh it against the slats till he had knocked out all the kernels and left nothing but the straw. Such a thing as a threshing-machine would astonish them very much, I should think, and I don't believe they would allow it to run.[Pg 333] Labor is so cheap in China that they don't want any machinery to save it; when you can hire a man for five cents a day, and even less, you haven't any occasion to economize."10 rin make 1 sen, equal to 1 cent.
He selected a robe of a delicate blue, and finely embroidered with silk of various colors. The embroideries represented flowers and leaves in curious combinations; and when the robe was placed on a frame where the light could fall full upon it, Frank thought he had never seen anything[Pg 241] half so pretty. And it is proper to add that he bought two of these robes. Why he should buy two, when he had only one sisterand she would not be likely to want two wrappers of the same kindI leave the reader to guess.My thanks were few and awkward, for there still hung to the missive a basting thread, and it was as warm as a nestling bird. I bent low--everybody was emotional in those days--kissed the fragrant thing, thrust it into my bosom, and blushed worse than Camille."Certainly, my boy," the Doctor answered, "there are thirteen rivers and canals in Osaka, so that the city has an abundance of water communication. The streets are generally at right angles, and there are more than a hundred bridges over the water-ways. From this circumstance Osaka has received the name of the Venice of Japan, and she certainly deserves it. Formerly her commerce by water was very great, and you would see a large fleet of junks in the river below the town. The opening of the railway to Kobe has somewhat diminished the traffic by water; but it is still quite extensive, and employs a goodly amount of capital.
"If I should name half the temples and public places we have seen I should make you wish, perhaps, that I had not written at all, as the list alone would be tedious, and I could no more give you an idea of the peculiar beauty and attractions of each than I could describe the perfume of each flower in a bouquet from the hands of the florist. One temple had a large cemetery attached to it, and we walked around looking at the inscriptions in a language which we could not read, and studying symbols we could not understand. The temple stands in a grove, as do nearly all the temples of Kioto, and the place reminded us very much of some of our burial-places at home.Frank's practical argument about instinct received the approval of his friends, and then the topic of conversation was changed to something else.
"We have seen one of the famous bells of Japan, or rather of Kioto, for it is this city that has always been celebrated for its bells. The greatest of them lies on the ground just outside of one of the temples, and it is not a piece of property that a man could put in his pocket and walk off with. It is fourteen feet high, twenty-four feet in circumference, and ten inches thick. How much it weighs nobody knows, as the Japanese never made a pair of scales large enough to weigh it with. The Japanese[Pg 298] bells have generally a very sweet tone, and to hear them booming out on the evening air is not by any means disagreeable. The art of casting them was carried to a state of great perfection, and stood higher, two or three centuries ago than it does at present.Frank had several fish-hooks in his pockets, and was determined not to be behind Fred in making a trade. His eye rested on a family group that was evidently returning from a fishing excursion; the man was carrying some fishing-tackle and a small bag, while the woman bore a basket of fish on her head and held a child to her breast. A boy six or eight years old was dragging a live tortoise by a string, and it occurred to Frank to free the tortoise from captivity."Everybody says that one Chinese town is so much like another that a single one will do for a sample. This is undoubtedly true of the most of them, but you should make exceptions in the case of Canton and Pekin. They are of extra importance; and as one is in the extreme north, and the other in the far south, they have distinctive features of their own. We shall have a chance to talk about them by-and-by. As for Chin-kiang, I did not see anything worth notice while walking through it that I had not already seen at Shanghai, except, perhaps, that the dogs barked at us, and the cats ruffled their backs and tails, and fled from us as though we were bull-dogs. A pony tried to kick Fred as he walked by the brute,[Pg 332] and only missed his mark by a couple of inches. You see that the dumb animals were not disposed to welcome us hospitably. They were evidently put up to their conduct by their masters, who do not like the strangers any more than the dogs and cats do, and are only prevented from showing their spite by the fear that the foreigners will blow their towns out of existence if any of them are injured.
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