"One day a favorite lady of the emperor's palace persuaded the emperor to give the signal, to see how long it would take for the generals and the army to get to Pekin. He gave the signal, and the army came, but the generals were very angry when they found they had been called together just to amuse a woman. They went back to their homes, and the affair was supposed to be forgotten.
The party rested a portion of a day at Hakone, and then went on their way. Travelling by cango had become so wearisome that they engaged a horse-train for a part of the way, and had themselves and their baggage carried on the backs of Japanese steeds. They found this an improvement on the old plan, though the horses were rather more unruly than the cango coolies, and frequently made a serious disturbance. Occasionally, when the train was ready to start, the beasts would indulge in a general kicking-match all around, to the great detriment of their burdens, whether animate or otherwise. The best and gentlest horses had been selected for[Pg 206] riding, and consequently the greatest amount of circus performances was with the baggage animals. The grooms had all they wished to attend to to keep the beasts under subjection, and not infrequently they came out of the contest with gashes and other blemishes on their variegated skins. But they showed great courage in contending with the vicious brutes, and it is said of a Japanese betto that he will fearlessly attack the most ill-tempered horse in the country, and not be satisfied till he has conquered him..
"The term cloisonn茅 comes from the French word cloison, which means a field or enclosure, and you will see as you go on how appropriate it is to this kind of work. If you examine the bowl which you will find in the box, you[Pg 244] will see that it has a groundwork of light blue, and that on this groundwork there are fine threads of brass enclosing little squares and other figures in colors quite different from the body of the bowl. If you look at the cover, you will find that these squares and figures are repeated, and also that there are three circles, like plates with serrated edges, that seem to be lying on the top of the cover. These plates, or circles, have pictures of flowers on them, and the designs of the flowers on each one are different from those of the other two. Every leaf and petal is distinct from the others by means of the brass wires, and the colors do not at any time run together.
? British Council
Frank had his eye on a sampan that was darting about like an active fish, first in one direction and then in another. It was propelled by a single oar in the hands of a brown-skinned boatman, who was not encumbered with a large amount of superfluous clothing. The oar was in two pieces鈥攁 blade and a handle鈥攍ashed together in such a way that they did not form a straight line. At first Frank thought there was something wrong about it; but he soon observed that the oars in all the boats were of the same pattern, and made in the same way. They were worked like sculls rather than like oars. The man kept the oar constantly beneath the water; and, as he moved it forwards and back, he turned it partly around. A rope near his hand regulated the distance the oar could be turned, and also kept it from rising out of the water or going too far below the surface..
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