Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/238
This page has been validated.
A WAYFARER IN CHINA
While in Chia-ting I crossed the river one day to see the great Buddha from near by, but it is very difficult to get a good view of the image. The river runs at the foot of the cliff at such a rate that it was all the boatmen could do to keep us off the rocks, and looking down from above, the overhanging shrubs and grasses almost hide it from sight. There is an interesting monastery on the summit of the hill, called the "Monastery of the Voice of the Waters." Here I spent a delightful hour wandering through the neglected garden and looking over the treasures of the place, a rather remarkable collection of drawings and inscriptions engraved on slate, the work of distinguished visitors of past times, some dating back even to the Sung period. There were landscapes extremely well done, others were merely a flower or branch of a blooming shrub, but all bore some classic quotation in ornamental Chinese character. I bought of the priest for a dollar a bundle of really fine rubbings of these engravings. At another monastery a gallery full of images of the "Lo-han," the worthiest of Buddha's disciples, was being tidied up. The variety of pose and expression in these fifty-odd life-size images was extraordinary, and some of them were wonderfully
in the roar of a deluge. I was told how the gleeful faces turned to horror as the flood swept on like a moving wall, and overwhelmed twelve thousand souls."