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stood stone villas with slated roofs. cotton coats, which reached almost Along the sea-front a wide road ran to the ankles and stood out from by a substantial quay and stone piers. the hips with the fulness of skirts. For Chemulpo is a prosperous port, Opening towards the neck and showwith many European and Japanese 'ing other white cotton garments merchants, and a large colony of the underneath, these coats were enterprising subjects of the Mikado. fined under the arm-pits by a cord Only the lower classes work in Corea, passing round the body and tied in and commerce is left to the foreigner. front, hanging down in two long To right and left of the city were tassels. The head-gear of the more lines of hills, running back as far as respectable Coreans was exceedingly the eye could reach. The foreshore curious. A mitre-shaped skull-cap of extends well out, and at low tide a black gauze, about five inches high, large stretch of mud is uncovered; rested on the head, fitting closely so the steamers at anchor lay well around the temples and forehead. away from the town, protected by On this was placed, so that it stood the hills of islands and mainland. several inches above the wearer's hair,

As the GENKAI Maru brought up, a tall, round, broad-brimmed hat of she was surrounded by a flotilla of the same black gauze, stiffened with sampans, -long, shallow boats with bamboo fibres ; in shape it resembled square sterns and prows tapering to a the head-gear usually worn by the point. They were worked by brawny, comic Frenchman of the London muscular Coreans, who stood facing stage. Below the long coats appeared the bows and pushed, not pulled, trousers. Some of the labourers and their oars. My fellow-passengers con- the lower-class children wore darksisted of several British and German coloured padded garments ; but white military officers and a few Americans. cotton was the general rule. Along We all went ashore promptly, our the quay trudged coolies, carrying boatmen working with an

an energy

their loads fixed in a curious conthat I have never seen equalled by trivance on their backs. Two forked their kind anywhere else. Brought sticks were bound vertically to their in alongside a sloping stone landing- shoulders, just long enough to allow place, up which we walked, we passed the lower ends to rest on the ground a few custom-house officials, who took when the carrier sat down, thus supDo notice of us. The road ran by porting the weight of the burden. the quay round the harbour, leading In the forks was fastened a basket on the left to the railway-station, a made of matting, in which the loads few hundred yards away. Above us were placed. Its upper corners stood was a low hill, crowned by a European out from the shoulders at angles which villa, the residence of a foreign consul at a distance gave to the bearers the or merchant.

appearance of having wings. As we gained the quay, a crowd As the morning was now too far of loitering Coreans watched us with advanced to make it advisable to indolent curiosity. They were mostly visit Seoul that day, we determined clad in white cotton; the coolies, to devote the afternoon to an inspecbare-headed or with large, queer- tion of Chemulpo and reserve the shaped straw hats, wore short jackets, capital for the morrow. To make baggy knickerbockers, and bandages sure about the trains, we first directed like putties on their legs. The men our steps to the railway-station. This of a better class had long, voluminous was not an imposing structure. On


one platform was a plain, substantial little Japanese wooden house, the stone building containing the booking- ground floor a shop, the front of the offices, waiting-rooms, and a not par- upper part closed with sliding paper

a ticularly luxurious refreshment-room.

screens. Next to it was a Chinese The attendants, as well as the railway eating-house, boasting all the strange clerks, were Japanese. On the other and repulsive forms of food in which platform stood a small waiting-room; the Celestial delights. Then came a and further down was a long, high drinking-saloon, its shelves crowded engine-shed with galvanised iron roof. with bottles of Japanese beer, and Having learned all that we wanted over the door a sign-board bearing to know, we retraced our steps along the inscription in English Billiardthe quay and entered the town. room within.

Beside it stood a subThe business part of Chemulpo stantially-built brick house, the offices consists of a mixture of European of some European firm. Nor were and Japanese buildings, most of the the types of humanity which thronged shops being kept by the enterpris- the streets less curious or interesting. ing colonists from the neighbouring Towards us, toddling along on their Island Empire. From the sea-shore high wooden sandals, came a laughing, rise the tall chimneys of factories. chattering group of Japanese women We climbed a steep street running in grey or blue kimonos, their oiled up the face of the bill on which the hair twisted into fantastic shapes and town is built. The houses on either bristling with lacquered combs, flowers, side, with the exception of the and brightly-tasselled hair-pins. BeEuropean business offices, were rarely hind them walked a couple of Chinamore than one storey high, the most men, moving silently along with substantial buildings being a bank, felt-soled shoes. the Daibutsu Hotel, and the resi- The dress of the Corean women is dences of the foreigners. The street

very quaint. Long, voluminous white ended near the top of the hill, cotton dresses reaching to the ankle and we found ourselves among the show baggy trousers underneath, gardens and well-built houses of the which, ending at slippers with upconsuls and white merchants, some turned toos, give them somewhat the of whom we passed hard at work appearance of Turkish women. Over on a lawn-tennis ground. From the their head is thrown a long cloak, summit a spacious view lay around generally green, fastened under the

On the side furthest from the neck, the sleeves, through which the town stretched a bare plain dotted arms are never passed, hanging down with few villages, their tiny, over the shoulders. By this cloak flat-roofed hovels crowded together. hangs a tale, historical and interestBeyond was an interminable vista of ing. Once upon a time a king of hills, barren and treeless for the most Corea invited the officers of his army part. Along the coast winding inlets to a banquet in the palace at Seoul, pushed there way into the land, in complete ignorance that a military and islands lay in profusion on the conspiracy, aimed at his throne and sparkling sea.

life, was afoot.

The conspirators, Descending again into the town we who were among the guests, reroamed through the streets, our interest solved to seize their opportunity to divided between the quaint attire of murder the king during the progress the people and the strong contrast of the banquet.

On entering the of their buildings. Here was a queer palace, the officers deposited their


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large military cloaks in an ante- I walked up to them and intimated chamber and took their places in the by gestures my desire to photograph hall where the feast was spread them. They smilingly assented and waiting only a signal to fall on and posed themselves readily. The Corean, slay their host. But a number it should be observed, has not the of the women of Seoul had become same objection to having his portrait acquainted with the conspiracy. taken which characterises the ChinaLoyal to their monarch and unable

man ; even in Hong Kong and Macao to warn him in time, they went in I have seen 'ricksha coolies vehemently & body to the palace, and gained protest against the indignity and admittance into the ante-chamber. cover their faces with their hands, Seizing the officers' cloaks they entered rather than be exposed to the evil the banqueting-hall unobserved; some, eye of the devil-machine, as they stealing noiselessly up behind the consider the camera. But our military officers as they sat at the feast, fung friends seemed quite flattered, and the cloaks over their heads and stood patiently while I took their pinioned them in the folds, while portraits. others ran to the bewildered king, In Chemulpo, as elsewhere throughhurriedly warned him of the plotout the country, the money chiefly and spirited him safely away before in use, and most in favour, is Japthe baffled conspirators could release anese. The coinage of the kingdom is themselves from the grasp of their so debased that one yen (or Japanese brave captors. In token of his grati- dollar, worth about two shillings) is tude to his loyal female subjects, the equal to one dollar forty cents Corean. king decreed that in future the Indeed the national money is freCorean women


the quently refused and payment demilitary cloak, thrown over their manded in foreign silver; even good heads, as a mark of honour.

British Hong Kong dollars will not A little further down the street be accepted, unless by the Chinese we came upon three Corean soldiers. residents. I entered a Japanese The army has recently been reor- photographer's shop and endeavoured ganised by the Japanese, on whose to buy some views of the country troops it is modelled in dress and with these coins; but my kimono-clad equipment. These men, the first friend absolutely refused them. He Corean warriors we had seen, were proved equally obdurate when offered small and friendly-looking. They Corean money, and I could purchase were dressed in dark blue serge nothing. tunics and trousers, or knickerbockers On the following day we went with leg-bandages, and wore képis, or ashore early in the morning and prosmall shakoos, with a brass ornament ceeded to the railway-station to catch in front, similar to the chrysanthe the first train to the capital. Here mum of the Japanese troops. the monetary difficulty became acute, had a modern, breech-loading rifle, for the clerks in the booking-office and carried a number of small card- would not accept our Hong Kong board boxes and packages slung on dollars. However, we boarded the his back and tied there by handker- train without tickets and trusted to chiets in knapsack fashion. The luck. Engine-drivers, guards, rail. others were armed with nothing way officials of all sorts, were Japadeadlier than a fan. As they stopped

The carriages were

on the to gaze at us in cheerful curiosity, American principle, the difference



between first, second, and third class exchange their Hong Kong silver for consisting chiefly in the upholstering more useful coins. of the cars.

The scenery along the route was • The line to Seoul passes first near on the whole uninteresting. Level the sea, over creeks, by mud-fats, plains, swelling uplands, and rounded round the bases of barren hills, by hills, covered with long coarse grass, crowded villages with their flat-roofed, clumps of fir-trees and patches of squalid huts where unkempt peasants cultivation. The train ran for some gazed lethargically at the train. The distance beside a broad and placid country soon grows more open. The river, beyond which the houses of a

, hills are rounded; the plains, rising town clustered around the foot and in swelling upland covered with long up the sides of a small hill. Then, grass, are dotted with patches of suddenly turning, it crossed the river ragged firs. There is but little culti- on a fine iron bridge, ran through vation, though the soil seems fertile stretches of cultivated land, past enough. Occasionally we passed a more hills, and finally stopped at the house better built than usual, with terminus, which is situated outside tiled roof and stone or plastered walls, the walls of Seoul. The English hotel, the residence of some Corean who which I had seen advertised as far dared to let it be known that he was from the blare of military display," not gunk in the depths of poverty. was close to the station. It consisted For in this unprogressive land few of of a number of small Corean houses its inhabitants may boast of wealth. in a large courtyard surrounded by a Lot a man show signs of being better wooden palisade, close under the city off than his neighbours and, like walls, within which, and situated on hungry vultures, the corrupt officials a small eminence, the tower of the will at once swoop down upon him, British Legation was just visible, when fines and imprisonment will rising above the hotel. The energetic soon reduce him to the common English proprietor and his wife had level.

converted the unpromising - looking The stations along the line are buildings into very comfortable rooms, fairly numerous. European in ap

European in ap- the dining-room especially being a pearance, the contrast between the bright, cheerful apartment. As some plain, unromantic stone buildings of us had left the steamer too hurwith ticket-offices and waiting-rooms, riedly for any food that morning, we all in approved Western style, and asked for breakfast, and were soon the black-hatted, white-robed passen- served with an English meal of exgers with flying skirts bustling to cellent bacon and eggs ; out of place catch the train, was forcible.

as it seemed in this distant land, we When the conductor came through did ample justice to the home-like the carriages to collect the tickets, fare. Staying at the hotel were we explained that we had none and several 'guests, one or two mission. offered our Chinese dollars in payment aries with their families, a couple of of the fare. These he refused and in- American ladies on their travels, and sisted on Japanese yen. Eventually he an English colonel. After breakfast reluctantly accepted one dollar forty the landlord kindly procured a guide cents in Corean money from me for for us, and, engaging 'rickshas, te set the one dollar fare ; but my com- off to visit the city. panions were forced to wait until Seoul is somewhat similar in appearSeoul was reached, where they could ance to Pekin. It is surrounded by


high, embrasured walls pierced by to rest their necks on. While they
tunnel-likė gateways surmounted by slumbered the tram had come rushing
square or oblong towers with double along in the dark, with the inevitable
roofs and wide-spreading, upturned result that head and body parted
eaves similar to those of the Chinese company.
capital. Indeed, the place is practi- Turning off the main street, our
cally a smaller and a cleaner Pekin, 'rickshas rattled down a smaller one
and the whole land shows unmistake- running parallel to and near the city
able traces of the Chinese conquest. wall. In it was situated the Russian
From the broad main streets, lined Legation, with one of the Czar's
with one-storeyed houses bordered by soldiers on guard at the gate; further
deep, open drains, branch off narrow, down, on a slight eminence, stood the
evil-smelling lanes and alleys. The British Legation. Both these build-
buildings, both public and private, ings are of European architecture, the
are all of the Chinese type of archi- latter being surmounted by a square
tecture, the tiled roofs and the tower crowned by an open gallery with
upturned eaves being strongly remi- gabled roof. Plunging deeper into the
niseent of the Celestial Kingdom. city we came to an open space, on one
To our surprise, however, we saw a side of which we saw Seoul's second
single line of rails leading out of the hostelry, the Hôtel du Palais. We now
gate by which we entered and, as our began to understand the meaning of
ʼricksha-coolies ran us along inside the the phrase "blare of military display"
city, an electric tram-car flashed down in the advertisement of the Station
the street towards us. We stared in Hotel, as the rival establishment is
astonishment! Here in the capital called; for all round this quarter, in
of the Benighted Land, in slothful, every street, at each gateway, and at
backward Corea, was one of the latest every corner, stood double sentries,
examples of modern progress. The while guards were continually passing
car was small with no seats on the to and fro. The garrison of Seoul
top, and from the sloping roof the consisted, I believe, of about four
slanting trolley-arm ran to the over- thousand men ; and fully half the
head wire. The driver and conductor number must have been continually
were Japanese, as are all the em- employed on sentry-go.
ployees of the Company. The car At this square our party separated
was divided into two compartments; temporarily. Some went on to pay
and the seats, which ran along the a visit to the royal palaces and the
sides, were crowded with Coreans, of Queen's tomb; the rest of us, having

both sexes and all classes. The city done enough sight-seeing in Pekin
is covered with a network of tram- and North China generally to last us
lines, over which a regular and fre- for the rest of our lives, preferred
quent service is maintained during to wander afoot through the streets
the day. On the posts supporting and observe the ordinary life of the
the overhead wires were notices which, inhabitants. We gazed with interest
so our guide informed us, warned the at the little soldiers, the long-robed,
inhabitants of the city against using queer-hatted citizens, or the open-

, the rails as pillows during the night. fronted shops, where foods, emStrange as it may seem, many cases broideries, pipes, and many European had occurred where the ignorant articles were on sale. We made townspeople had lain down to sleep several purchases, mine including one on the track, utilising the cool iron of the curious gauze Corean hats and

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