Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/216

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to discomfort and dirt, and apparently lack the enterprise necessary to ameliorate their own condition. The cold of winter is met without any warming apparatus. They add warm clothing, but as their garments are rarely washed their condition at the end of winter can be better imagined than described. A common proverb runs: "A Hupeh man unless he has cleansed his feet does not sleep at night; a Honan man unless he fords a river never washes his feet."

This principle runs through everything: roads, houses, people, animals, all suffer from neglect. The land is well tilled, however, and the harvests are good. The people generally ascribe the blessings of harvest to God. "Trust in Heaven for food" is an everyday proverb. In this respect they contrast favourably with their neighbours in the north. They are not devoted to idolatry, and temples are everywhere falling into disrepair.

Though opium-smoking is general in the cities, the farming population is comparatively free from the vice. Hence they are a strong race of men, and being inured to hardship, they make good soldiers. Simplicity and reliability form good soil for "the seed of the Kingdom," and rich fruit may be expected in days to come.

In spite of the conservative nature of the people of Honan, development is apparent in many directions. In Kaifeng Fu, the capital of the province (a former capital of the Empire), schools for Western learning are established. The "Kao-teng-hsioh-t'ang," or college, was opened in 1902. It affords accommodation for 180 students, who are kept at Government expense. Only those who are selected by the educational authorities can enter. The course embraces both Chinese and foreign subjects. Mathematics, geography, grammar, and languages (English, French, and Japanese) are taught. There are in addition the intermediate (Chong-hsioh-t'ang) and the junior (Siao-hsioh-t'ang) schools, and recently other schools for selected candidates have been established. The best students from the College are sent to Peking to complete their studies.