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This I imagined to be the usual way of dressing the head by single unengaged youths, and of course must be very attractive.” Thus, what the wearer regarded as ill-looking, and wished to braid it into the tress as soon as it was long enough, is here taken as a device for beautifying himself in the eyes of those he never saw or cared to see. The people are vain of a long thick queue, and now and then play each other tricks with it, as well as

Tricks played with the queue.

use it as a ready means for correction; but nothing irritates them more than to cut it off. The headdress in winter consists of a silken skullcap, or felt hood; most men go bareheaded in summer, and screen their eyes with a fan. Outdoor laborers protect themselves from the heat with flat bamboo hats like umbrellas. As an illustration of the remark at the beginning of this chapter, it might be added, that if they were not worn on the head, these hats would be called trays or baskets, so unlike are they to the English article of that name. At Ningpo and other places, a common covering is the conical-shaped bonnet, sometimes with, and sometimes without, the fringe. The various forms, fabrics, colors, and ornaments of the dresses worn by the different grades of officers are regulated by sumptuary laws. Citron-yellow distinguishes the imperial family, but his majesty's apparel is less showy than many of his

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COSTUME AND ORNAMENTS OF OFFICERS. 33

courtiers, and in all that belongs to his own personal use there is an appearance of disregard of ornament. That which peculiarly distinguishes him is a kind of baton or sceptre made of jade, in such a shape that it can lie upon the hand and arm while sitting; the name is ju-i, signifying “as you please.” Perhaps the origin of this name is derived from a use similar to that ascribed to the golden sceptre of the king of Persia, which assured the safety of the person who came into his presence unbidden when it was held out to him. The five-clawed dragon is figured upon the dress and whatever pertains to the emperor, and in certain things to members of his family. The monarchs of China formerly wore a sort of flat-topped crown, shaped somewhat like a Cantab's cap, and having a row of jewels pendent from each side. The summer bonnet of officers is made of finely woven bamboo or straw, covered with a red fringe, depending from the vertex; in winter, it is covered or trimmed with fur. A string of amber beads hanging over the embroidered robes, the button on the apex of the cap, the clumsy thick-soled official boots, and a number of pouches and fobs for containing chopsticks, fans, flint, steel, and tobacco, and occasionally a watch or two hanging from the girdle, constitute the principal points of difference between the official and plebeian costume. The common people are not forbidden the use of the boots and caps, but the rosary and girdle, and especially the official insignia, they may not wear. No company of men can appear more splendid than a large party of Chinese officers in their winter robes, made of different colored crapes, trimmed with rich furs, and brilliant with gay embroidery. In winter a silk spencer, lined with fur or quilted, is worn over the robe, and forms a handsome and warm garment. Lambskins are much used, and the downy coats of unyeaned lambs when well curried bear a high price ; these, with the finer furs, and the pelage of hares, cats, rabbits, squirrels, &c., are worn by all ranks. Some years ago, a lad used to parade the streets of Canton, who presented an odd appearance in a long spencer made of a tiger's skin. The Chinese are fond of strong contrasts in the color of their garments, as yellow leggings showing underneath a light blue robe, itself set off by a purple spencer. The dress of women is likewise liable to few fluctuations, and

all ranks can be sure of a fashion lasting as long as a gown. The VOL. II. 3+

garments of both sexes among the common people resemble each other, with a few distinctions in color and shape. The tunic or gown is open in front, buttoning around the neck and down the side, and reaching to the knee; the trousers among the lower orders are usually worn over the stockings, but when fully dressed are both covered by a petticoat reaching to the feet. Laboring women, whose feet are of the natural size, often wear neither stockings nor shoes, or go slipshod. Women seldom wear white, blue being their favorite color. Both sexes have a paucity of linen in their habiliments, and if not a shiftless, the Chinese certainly are a shirtless race; and even such undergarments as they have are not too often washed. External elegance poorly compensates for personal uncleanliness; and hydrophobia, or a dread of water, may be said to be a national ailment, especially in the northern provinces. If cleanliness be next to godliness, as an old writer has remarked, it will not surprise any one to learn that the Chinese, having none of the latter, have but little of its neighbor. The headdress of married females is becoming and even elegant. The copious black hair is bound upon the head in an oval formed knot, which is secured in its place and shape by a broad pin placed lengthwise on it, and fastened by a shorter one thrust across and under the bow. The hair is drawn back from the forehead into the knot, and elevated a little in front by combing it over the finger; in order to make it lie smooth, the locks are drawn through resinous shavings moistened in warm water, which also adds an additional gloss, at the cost, however, of serious injury to the hair. In front of the knot, a tube is often inserted, in which a sprig or bunch of flowers can be placed. The cus. tom of wearing natural flowers in the hair is quite common in the southern provinces, especially when dressed for a visit. Mr. Stevens mentions that the animated appearance of the dense crowd which assembled on the bridge and banks of the river at Fuhchau when he passed, was still more enlivened by the flowers worn by the women. The women at Peking supply the want of natural by artificial flowers. No caps, bonnets, hoods, or veils, are worn abroad; a light bamboo hat or an umbrella protects from the sun. Matrons wear an embroidered fillet on the forehead, an inch or more wide, pointed between the eyebrows, and covering the front of the hair,

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