- 时间：2021-01-25 21:38:32
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"Why, hardly, if I'm behindhand now. Is it so fine as that?"
"We went near the prison while we were in the Tartar city, and so it was proposed that we should see what there was inside. It was the most horrible place I have ever seen, and the wonder is that men can be found inhuman enough to condemn people to be shut up there. There was a large cage so full of men that there was not room on the floor for them all to lie down at once, even if they had been as close together as sardines in a can. We could see through the bars of the cage, as if the captives had been wild animals instead of human beings, and they looked so worn and wretched that we all pitied them very much. If a man is sent to prison in China,[Pg 372] and has no money to pay for his food, he will die of starvation, as the jailers are not required by law to feed the prisoners under their charge. There were men chained, with iron collars around their necks; and others tied, with their hands and feet brought close together. The suffering was terrible, and we were glad to come away after a very few minutes. It is positive that we do not want to see another prison as long as we stay in this country.
The Chinese cart is too short for an average-sized person to lie in at full length, and too low to allow him to sit erect; it has a small window on each side, so placed that it is next to impossible to look out and see what there is along the route. Altogether it is a most uncomfortable vehicle to travel in, and the boys thought they would go on foot rather than ride in one of them.
"Japan abounds in sulphur, and the supply is said to be inexhaustible. The copper used at the mint for making the Japanese small coins is of native production, and so is most of the silver; but occasionally the supply of the latter metal runs short, and then American silver comes into play. Last year nearly half a million trade-dollars were melted at the mint at Osaka, to be made into Japanese yens, and this year a large number have met a similar fate. The American trade-dollar has not yet become a popular coin for circulation in Japan and China, but is in good demand for the melting-pot. But I suppose we do not care what they do with our silver money so long as they pay for it; and the more they melt up, the better we shall be pleased."
"Then we went to see the great bell, which is one of the wonders of the world, though it is not so large as the bell at Moscow. It is said to[Pg 367] weigh 112,000 pounds, but how they ever weighed it I don't know. It is a foot thick at the rim, about twenty feet high, and fifteen feet in diameter; it was cast more than two hundred years ago, and is covered all over, inside and outside, with Chinese characters. There is a little hole in the top of it where people try to throw copper cash. If they succeed, it is a sign that they will be fortunate in life; and if they fail, they must leave the money as an offering to the temple. All of us tried till we had thrown away a double-handful of cash, but we didn't get a single one of them through the hole. So if we fail now in anything, you will know the reason.
BOILING THE POT. BOILING THE POT.