Page:Inside Canton.djvu/211

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dimple, which fixed the eye of the observer, and diminished the apparent size of the mouth. This device ought to find favour at the hands of the artists of our fashion-books, whose model women have mouths much smaller than their eyes.

While conversing with Pan-se-Chen about his house and his ménage, I begged Callery to ask him how it happened that, having so lovely and every way worthy a partner as Madame Li, he allowed himself the luxury of these tsié?

"What would you have me do?" answered the great mandarin; "I had them before I got married, and I cannot send them away now."

"Very good," I rejoined; "but it appears to me that you have bought some since."

"Undoubtedly! To be sure! It is a matter of luxury, of course; one cannot help certain superfluities in the way of expenditure. I am told that in your country rich men buy horses!"

"Yes; but after having bought them they do not for that reason keep them for ever in their stables; when their humour is satisfied they sell them, or exchange them …

"That is wise," said Pan-se-Chen, shaking his head sagely; "but a woman is not like a horse. She is tenderer; she does not kick, and she seldom bites; but she can speak; and it is not so easy to get rid of her, when she asks you to keep her, as it is to dispose of a horse!"