MY LIFE IN CHINA AND AMERICA
necessity of introducing railroads to transport the mineral products from the interior to the ports.
I did not expect this proposition to be adopted and carried out, because China at that time had no mining engineers who could be depended upon to develop the mines, nor were the people free from the Fung Shui superstition. I had no faith whatever in the success of this proposition, but simply put it in writing to show how ambitious I was to have the government wake up to the possibilities of the development of its vast resources.
The encroachment of foreign powers upon the independent sovereignty of Cliina has always been watched by me with the most intense interest. No one who is at all acquainted with Roman Catholicism can fail to be impressed with the unwarranted pretensions and assumptions of the Romish church in China. She claims civil juris-
- The doctrine held by the Chinese in relation to the spirits or genii that rule over winds and waters, especially running streams and subterranean waters. This doctrine is universal and inveterate among the Chinese, and in a great measure prompts their hostility to railroads and telegraphs, since they believe that such structures anger the spirits of the air and waters and consequently cause floods and typhoons. — Standard Dictionary.