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The palace was there; we drew near by degrees—
How even and nice looked its chevaux-de-frise!*

It really looked handsome, majestic and grand,
In the midst, just before us, three lofty gates stand;
I can see, written over the great central one,
Three large golden characters thus: Li chêng mên.†

I hear that the grounds are quite forty li round,
In their precincts the green fir and cypress abound;
That 'neath their dark shade roam myriads of deer—
For no hunter dare think of disturbing them here.

At the gate all the nobs are drawn up in two rows,
And the chair smoothly enters 'midst many kotows;
What takes place inside I'm not able to state,
But what the guards did I'll proceed to relate.

We were all very tired and hungry, and dry;
Our clothing disordered, our hats all awry;

Our faces with sweat and with dirt were besmeared-
I must say a clean-looking lot we appeared.

* 轄罕木 Hsia-kan-mu, a word derived from the Manchu. These are three or four feet in height, made of wood, and placed on both sides of the entrances of palaces, yamens, etc.

gate."

E might be translated "Beautiful principal

Off we went in small groups to look out for cribs,
Having beds rather softer than ground to the ribs ;
Some hunted up friends where they lodgings could get,
Some hunted up people with "Lodgings to let."

The dames knew their business and made a good squeeze,
But they managed to make us feel quite at our ease;
They didn't use powder, cosmetics-what not—
But each on her neck a large goitre had got.

We were told off to duties-not distressingly hard--
For we didn't mind now and then going on guard;
What with one thing and t'other the time slipped away,
And 'ere long we got, what we wanted-our pay.

When the weather grew cold there were somewhere about
Three thousand fur coats-(dog and fox skin) served out—
Or they ought to have been ;-we were nicely sucked in-
They were sheep-made from myriads of pieces of skin.

Ere long, from Peking we received an express,
Stating they were all safe and well out of the mess;
Entreating the monarch to come back post-haste,
And once more the pleasures of government taste.

A day was appointed on which to go back;

It came, but all of us looked pretty black,
When told 'twas postponed, we'd got longer to stay,
The Emperor now having altered the day.

* I am told that nearly every second woman has that unsightly swelling; it is attributed to the water.

He didn't apparently feel half-inclined

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To return-for he never could make up his mind: 'Twas "yes" at one moment, the next it was no; One day it was "stop here," the next it was "go."

He concluded at last he had better stay here,*
Pass the winter in quiet and go back next year;
His departure to Peking was too long delayed,-
He died, and his corse to Tung-ling was conveyed.+

*He was persuaded to stay by his Ministers, who probably dreaded he would be compelled to give audiences to foreigners, and thus become enlightened as to the doings of the mandarins.

One of the family burial places of the reigning family. The other is Hsi-ling. Curiously enough, in this dynasty no Emperor is buried in the same place as his father; consequently, the Emperors are buried at Tungling and Hsi-ling alternately-Thus Hsien-feng was buried at Tung-ling; Tao-kuang at Hsi-ling; Chia-ching at Tungling; Chien-lung at Hsi-ling; Yung-cheng at Tung-ling; Kang-hsi at Hsi-ling; Shun-chih at Tung-ling. The story goes that the effigy only of Shun-chih was buried at Tungling, though he privately retired to Wu-tai-shan, and became a priest. Numbers of Tatars go there annually to worship at the place on that account.

THE STONE LIONS OF LU-KOU

BRIDGE.*

Should the traveller go

To the bridge of Lu-kou

Distant from Peking about thirty li;

When once he gets there

If he 's leisure to spare,
He'll no doubt a wond'rous phenomenon see.

* Lu-kou bridge,, is distant from Peking about 30 li. It lies in a westerly direction from the Chang-i gate, PA stone road, made by Liu-chin,

, a eunuch of the Ming dynasty, leads to, and terminates at the bridge, which is much older than the road, having, it is supposed, been built during the Tang dynasty.

It is the general belief that no one has ever succeeded in counting the stone lions on the parapets at the sides of the bridge though it seems a very easy undertaking.

For,-on either hand,

Some stone lions stand

Or squat or recline on the parapets mounted;

The number's not great,

Yet, strange to relate,

No mortal has ever those stone lions counted.

Of the many who've tried,

Some have sickened and died;

Some have gone raving mad in the frantic endeavourSome count on day by day,

'Till they grow old and grey,—

But no one succeeds should he count on for ever.

Many persons have wondered,

As there seems scarce a hundred

That the task should be one of such very great labour; They may sneer and pooh-pooh it—

Let one try to do it—

He'll soon find himself just as bad as his neighbour.

One expert fellow hit on the plan of first pasting a piece of red paper on each side of the stone lions and afterwards counting them, but he is said to have died, leaving his task unfinished. Every one in the neighbourhood of Peking knows the legend, and many attempt to count the lions, but all have given up the task as hopeless.

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