Page:In Korea with Marquis Ito (1908).djvu/312

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CHAPTER XII RULERS AND PEOPLE

A just appreciation of the mental and moral characteristics of alien races is a delicate and difficult task to achieve, even for the experienced student of such subjects. From others it is scarcely fair, no matter how favorable the opportunities for observation may have been, to expect any large measure of real success in the accomplishment of this task. The more important reasons for the failure of most attempts in race psychology may be resolved into the following two: a limitation of the observer's own experiences, which prevents sympathy and, therefore, breadth of interpretation; and the inability to rise above the more strictly personal point of view. In both these respects, women are on the whole decidedly inferior to men; accordingly, their account of the ethnic peculiarities of the ideas, motives, and morals of foreign peoples is customarily less trustworthy. The inquirer after a judicial estimate of the native character will find this fact amply illustrated in Korea. But what is more weighty in its influence as bearing upon such a problem as that now under discussion is this: all the inherent difficulties are enhanced when it is required to understand and appreciate an Oriental race by a member of a distinctively Western civilization. It is without doubt true that all men, of whatever race or degree of civilization, are essentially alike; they constitute what certain authorities in anthropology have fitly called "a spiritual unity." But for the individual who cannot expect