The Land of the Boxers

Cover of book The Land of the Boxers
Categories: Fiction » Children

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IN foreign settlement of Tientsin and the -L Chinese city are entirely separate, and lie some distance apart. The former, resembling more a European town than an alien lodgment in the heart of the Celestial Empire, boasts wide roads and well-kept streets, large offices and lofty warehouses, good public buildings and comfortable villas, a racecourse and a polo-ground. It is divided into the Concessions of the various nationalities, of which the English, in size and mercantile importance, is easily first. The difference between it and the next largest?the French?is very marked. The latter, though possessing a few good streets, several hotels, and at least one long business thoroughfare with fine shops, speaks all too plainly of stagnation. The British quarter, bustling, crowded, tells just as clearly of thriving trade. In it are found most of the banks, the offices of the more considerable merchants, and all the municipal buildings. The Chinese city, perhaps, has more charm for the lover of the picturesque, though it is less interesting now than formerly, since the formidable embrasured wall surrounding it has been pulled down by order of the Allied generals. In it stands a grim memento of another outburst of fanaticism against the hated foreigner?the ruins of the Roman Catholic Cathedral, destroyed by the Chinese in 1870. The city itself is like unto all other Celestial cities. Narrow lanes, low houses, ill-kept thoroughfares, gaudiness and dirt intermingled, stench and filth abominable. To it, however, was wont to go the seeker after curiosities, choice silks, or rich furs from Manchuria and Corea. But the retributive looting that fell on it after its capture has left it bare indeed. On the platform of the railway station almost the first friendly face w...

The Land of the Boxers
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