Page:My life in China and America.djvu/183

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per month. No other expectant official of the province — not even an expectant Taotai (an official of the fourth rank) — could command such a salary.

Ting Yih Chang was at the time Taotai of Shanghai. He and I became great friends. He rose rapidly in official rank and became successively salt commissioner, provincial treasurer and Taotai or governor of Kiang Nan. Through him, I also rose in official rank and was decorated with the peacock's feather. While Ting Yih Chang was salt commissioner, I accompanied him to Yang Chow and was engaged in translating Colton's geography into Chinese, for about six months. I then returned to Shanghai to resume my position as government interpreter and translator. I had plenty of time on my hands. I took to translating “Parsons on Contracts,” which I thought might be useful to the Chinese. In this work I was fortunate in securing the services of a Chinese scholar to help me. I found him well versed in mathematics and in all Chinese official business, besides being a fine Chinese scholar and writer. He finally persuaded me not to continue the translation, as there was some doubt as to whether such a work, even when finished, would be in demand, because the