Page:Inside Canton.djvu/222

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221
INSIDE CANTON.

CHAPTER XII.

EDUCATION AND LITERATURE IN CANTON.

Canton is not only a great focus of commerce, and a city of pleasure and luxury; it is also a literary and cultivated city. Hither come, every three years, the siou-tsaï of the viceroyalty of Kuang-ton and Kuang-si, to undergo, before a member of the College of the Han-Lin, delegated by the Emperor, an examination by which they may earn the degree of kiu-jèn.

There is not a country in the world where there are such facilities of education for children of all ranks as China. In this empire, not a village, not a hamlet, however small, but has its day-school and evening-school. In the rural districts, the heads of the nearest houses join together to appoint a school-master, whom they instal in the most centrally-situated house of their quarter. All the schools are supported at the cost of the parents; the Government is innocent of any "organisation of instruction;" its interference comes somewhat later, and aims to test and verify, in some sort, the outcome of the instruction received.

A Chinese proverb says, that there are more doc-