Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/323

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Collectanea. 295

mere symbol of a lock, without bolt or keyhole. The inscrip- tion on the girl's lock runs " Longevity, riches, and all you wish." The inscriptions on the birthday amulets (given to children on their birthday) also exhibited were, on the boy's amulet " Long life, happiness, wealth, honours, and promotion," and on the girl's amulet, marked with sacred red paint, " Long life and happiness" only. As Professor Headland of Peking writes in The Chinese Boy and Girl of the coming of a baby to a Chinese home : " If the child is a boy the parents are congratulated on every hand because of the " great happiness " that has come to their home. If it is a girl, and there are more girls than boys in the family, the old nurse goes about as if she had stolen it from somewhere, and, when she is congratulated, if congratulated she happens to be, she says with a sigh and a funereal face, " Only a ' small happiness,' but that isn't bad."

The following extract from the Nil Erh Ching or Classic for Girls, one of the two principal guides to right conduct in Chinese women, as translated in the rhythm of the original by Professor Headland in the Chinese Repository for December, 1895, similarly enforces the subordinate position of women, and is also of interest as giving the Chinese explanation of footbinding : —

Then a woman's upper garment,

And her skirt should teach again That, though living with her husband, she is on a different plane, She should follow and be humble, that it ne'er be said by men, That " the morning there is published by the crowing of the hen."

Have you ever learned the reason

For the binding of your feet ? 'Tis from fear that 'twill be easy to go out upon the street. It is not that they are handsome when thus like a crooked bow. That ten thousand wraps and bindings are thus bound around them so !

The greater value placed upon a boy naturally leads to the use by women of charms to secure the birth of a son rather than of a daughter, and Fig. 7 shows nan tsien or male money worn for this purpose. The side not seen is inscribed " wealth and long life," while the side seen shows a fir tree and the mythical beast kylin, which appeared to the mother before the birth of Confucius, and has been described as like a small cow with one horn, and covered with scales.