Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/56

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28
A WAYFARER IN CHINA

ingness to adopt our ways does not necessarily mean that the Chinese prefer them to their own, but simply that they realize if they would meet us on equal terms they must meet us with our own weapons. Writing of the Boxer rising, Sir Charles Eliot summed up the Chinese position in a sentence, "Let us learn their tricks before we make an end of them." Now it might read, "Let us learn their tricks before they make an end of us." The drilling soldiers, the modern barracks, the elaborately equipped arsenals, as well as the military schools found all over China to-day, show which one of the Western "tricks" seems to the man of the Middle Kingdom of most immediate value. At the military school of Yunnan-fu they have a graphic way of enforcing the lesson to be learned. A short time ago the students gave a public dramatic performance, a sort of thing for which the Chinese have decided talent. One of the scenes showed an Englishman kicking his Hindu servant, while another represented an Annamese undergoing a beating at the hands of a Frenchman. The teaching was plain. "This will be your fate unless you are strong to resist." The English and French consuls protested formally, and the proper apologies were made, but no one believes that the lesson was forgotten.

It is not to be wondered at that the people of Yunnan are alive to the danger of foreign interference, for they see the British on the west and much