Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/254

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been already referred to, and no visitor to Hunan can fail to be struck with the many changes now taking place. In my last year at Changsha the first athletic meeting on European lines for military and civil students was held in presence of the Governor.

To meet the growing demand and to give a Christian character to the education of the rising generation, Yale University, inspired by the Rev. H. P. Beach, has sent out representatives, and intends to support a first-class and complete educational (undenominational) work in the province. The missionary societies at work in Hunan have, I believe, agreed to entrust secondary and higher education to the Yale Mission, a decision that augurs well for the success of a most important branch of work. The staff at present consists of three professors with their families, and others are in training at home. Great difficulties have been experienced in obtaining suitable ground, and for the time being a hired house will be used. Progress is likely to be slow, as time will be needed to overcome conservatism and prejudice, but the quality and prospects of the people are worth the best efforts Yale can put forth.

From the above brief sketch it will have been seen that the Hunanese are full of character. Probably they represent, and have profited from a considerable admixture with, the warlike and independent aborigines still surviving in the province. They are noted for their pride, opulence, strength of mind, tenacity of purpose, and their administrative ability. To all who seek to enter into close relationships with them, sympathy and appreciation are essential. Intelligent, and possessing a manly, independent bearing, the Hunanese will certainly show themselves to be leaders in the new and reformed China now in process of creation.