Page:Inside Canton.djvu/192

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191
INSIDE CANTON.

boo for the sake of a few piastres." At last, however, a painter, bolder than the rest, agreed to make us the three copies required, upon condition that he might come to work in the French hong, in a double-locked room; and every time we went to have a look at him, this sequestered man of the brush said to us, with a lugubrious face, in Anglo-Chino-Portuguese:—

"How can jou thus expose yourselves to the danger of being scourged in the market-place? Shall you get much for these pictures in France that you run this risk so lightly?"

At last, however, we got our copies, and the portrait is one of those which Rondot has given to the world in one of our collections of engravings. But does not the embargo placed by the Emperors of China upon the circulation of their likenesses prove that they are quite aware how ugly they are?

Pan-se-Chen was quite up in the stirrups at having to do with such connoisseurs as we were; his pride in the situation was so excessive that he determined to show us all his treasures in a single day. So we crossed the garden, and went up to his bedroom. This is, at Canton, what the celebrated room of M. Sauvageot is at Paris—an apartment I have not had an opportunity of admiring. To have the entrée of this sanctuary is a positive initiation; it is penetrating into a new China, or rather into ancient