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The traitors and intriguers shall perish by the sword :
The paper with the oath is then thrown into a furnace, as it is believed that in this manner the oath will ascend to Heaven, and punishments fall on those who break it. This concludes the initiation ceremony, and the new member is now entitled to receive the linen diploma of membership, which he is enjoined always to keep on his person in case of falling into the power of pirates or robbers who may be members of the brotherhood. The remainder of the night is passed in merry-making, and at dawn the new members assume their ordinary attire and all return homewards.
The signs, tokens, and passwords of the fraternity are so numerous that their mere enumeration would fill a volume, and to recall them to mind on appropriate occasions would require a memory Chinese in its retentiveness. If a line of a verse in use by the Society is quoted by a member to anyone he meets, the latter, if belonging to the League, reveals the fact by continuing the stanza. When travelling, a brother, if desirous of ascertaining the road, might sing or say : I don't ask for South and North, or East and West, For since antiquity the speck of red is dazzling bright; My faithful heart and sun and moon [i.e. the Hung League) are manifest. Why should I griove, then, that people in the world won't stop and tell
Another brother hearing these lines would at once recognise the singer and put him on the right road. If a member is asked whence he came, he replies, 'I come from the East.' If questioned as to whither going, he answers, 'I want to go to the place where I can join the myriads of brethren.' Both answers reveal him to fellow initiates.
In entering a house, if the member wishes to ascertain if any of his fellow Hungs be there, he stops a moment on the threshold and enters by the left foot; his umbrella, with a handkerchief with a knot in it tied to the point, is placed in the left corner of the room; when taking his seat on a chair, if he points the toes of his shoes towards each other, he lets those who are enlightened see that he too is 'one who has done the eight salutations.'
If the owner of the house be absent, a pair of shoes left at the threshold with toes pointing towards each other will indicate that a brother has called. The position of shoes lying with soles upwards or downwards, the way the hat is held, the handkerchief carried, the collar buttoned, the queue worn, and so on, all are signs of recognition, warning, and mutual understanding amongst
the brethren. Tucking up the right leg of the pantaloons, whilst the left hangs down, betokens that the wearer is a Hung brother to those who have 'eyes to see.' There are especial verses to discover the reciter to innkeepers, pirates and robbers. Drawing certain lines with an umbrella, pulling blades of grass, knocking a stone off a heap in the road, pointing to a shred of cloth lying on the ground, and asking a question as to a bridge—all are means of secret intercommunication amongst the enlightened.
Although the secrets of the League are to be kept from their families if uninitiated, certain verses may be taught to such to save them from violence if taken by Hung pirates or robbers. The wife of a member is to repeat :
On the mountains a flower opens a speck of red.
There are also verses suitable for sisters and other relations in like predicament. Chop-sticks, tea-cups, the manner of drinking wine, of smoking, of helping oneself to vegetables, of chewing betel-in short, nearly all the actions are used as tokens and signs, in some cases, such as tea-drinking, almost amounting to using a secret language. The wearing of Triad badges and amulets, another custom, would seem almost superfluous with such a multiplicity of other means of recognition at command.
The Association is governed by Five Grand Masters, who are the Masters of its five principal lodges. Each lodge has its President, two Vice-Presidents, two Introducers or Vanguards, a Fiscal, thirteen Councillors, and some minor officials.
The Statutes of the League are seventy-two in number, added to which are twenty-one Regulations and ten Prohibitory Laws on Appointing Meetings in the Hall of Obedience to Hung. The laws of the Hung League apply to the conduct of the members in their daily life ; offenders are liable to blows varying in number according to the offence; to the loss of one or both ears; and in flagrant cases of guilt, the death penalty is ordained. For a member to carry on an intrigue with the wife, sister, or daughter of a brother Hung is an offence for which the punishment of death is considered due. In 1884, not far from Hong-Kong, portions of two human bodies were found floating in the sea. Inquiry was made, and the police discovered that the mutilated bodies were those of a Hakka man and woman, supposed to have been members of the Triad Society, who had been guilty of adultery. When the neighbours discovered the scandalous conduct of the couple, they tried to arrest them, but the pair took to their heels and fled. The woman was soon caught, and
the villagers continued to give chase to the man, all the time shouting ‘ Thief !' An Indian policeman heard the cry, and, under the impression that the man they were pursuing had really stolen something, stopped the delinquent and handed him over to the villagers, who forthwith tried the wretched man and woman before a Triad tribunal, which decreed the punishment of death and dismemberment for the erring couple; the sentence was forthwith carried out, and the pieces of the bodies flung into the sea. By the time the crime was discovered, those chiefly concerned in itincluding the husband of the murdered woman-had made good
Over a score of persons were arrested; charged with being concerned in the outrage, but so great was the influence of the Hung Society that it proved impossible to bring home the crime to any of them.
It has been estimated that in Hong-Kong at least a third of the Chinese men, and many of the women, are active members of the League ; no estimate can be formed of the numbers belonging to it in China itself.
The Hung League has long had a saying that 'Heaven and earth and man must be favourable to the overthrow of the Manchus.' That moment has come; it remains to be seen whether the remainder of the aspiration will be fulfilled and the Ming dynasty restored. Whatever happens, it is earnestly to be desired that the reign of Light may shine in the Middle Kingdom.
THE SOCIAL LIFE
There is something quite unique about Horace. That he has his limitations we are all well aware. No one knows them better than he knew them himself. Place him side by side with the most gifted poets of his own country, and these limitations become at once apparent. In intellectual majesty, in the sonorous and solemn stateliness of his verse, in the piercing power of his imagination, Lucretius ranks far above him. We shall not find in the Venusian either the spontaneity or the burning passion of Catullus. The haunting music in which Virgil half reveals and half conceals his tenderness of heart, his mysticism, his brooding sense of tears in mortal things, belongs to a world in which the fellow-poet to whom he was so deeply attached seems never to have moved at all.
But within his limits, and as the poet of social life, Horace stands unrivalled and alone. His mediocrity is the self-imposed mediocrity of conscious genius. It is not merely that for some two thousand years he has gone on attracting to himself an increasing host of friends. What is still more worthy of note is that his most intimate friends comprise such very diverse, we had almost said divergent, types. Men, for example, so wide apart in temperament and spirit a's Newman and Gibbon, Bossuet and Voltaire, Pope and Wordsworth, Thackeray and Gladstone, Rabelais and Charles Lamb, seem all to have felt in Horace a like attraction and to have made of him an intimate friend. The magnetic attraction to which such names as these collectively testify is a phenomenon of sufficient rarity to invite some attempt to explain it. And perhaps the most obvious explanation may be found in the poet's own personality. For behind the exquisite art of the Horatian lyrics, with their dexterous felicities of phrase and metre, and behind all the genial wit and wisdom of their author's social miscellanies and didactic writings, lies the spell of an irresistible personal charm.
Horace attracts us from so many different sides. Proteus of emotional moods, he is wholly innocent in his writings of any logical system, and belongs to no one philosophical school.
Of humble and even servile origin, we find him the pet of the patrician circle. By profession a civil servant, he is by favour a Sabine proprietor. He can laugh at the Stoic pedant and pick holes in the self-indulgent Epicurean. Intellectually a complete sceptic in his attitude towards the conventional polytheism of the day, he is by no means devoid of a sincere piety of heart, and clothes his vague sense of the divine in the forms of the popular beliefs. To-day he is all for love and wine, to-morrow for the simple life and the precepts of divine philosophy. A true Roman in his terseness, his dignity of speech, bis capacity for seriousness, his pride of patriotism, he is Greek in his literary grace and culture, and Italian in his love of beauty. Full of sympathy in bis own heart, he is able to see deep into the hearts of others. The easy and accessible level of thought and feeling on which he moves, the sense of companionship and intimacy which he inspires, his sterling common-sense, his close grasp of reality, his confidential friendliness of tone and manner, his frank admission of his own faults and frailties--all these familiar characteristics of our Venusian poet combine to widen his hold upon the world at large and to keep him in familiar touch with his innumerable readers. Most happily has one of his most devoted admirers, the satirist Persius, depicted him in the well-known lines of which we venture an imperfect rendering :
Flaccus, the rogue, can always raise a smile
It is important to bear in mind what manner of audience it was for whom this metrical Addison of Latin literature originally wrote. He did not address himself to the profanum vulgus, the mongrel rabble and 'dregs of Romulus' who had no higher interests than their daily panem et circenses, excitement and food, for be heartily despised and detested them. He was neither a Burns nor a Béranger. Nor did he write for the new plutocracy, though he carefully studied them as models for those life-like sketches of character which help to make his satires so attractive, so amusing and so unaging. He addressed himself, primarily, to the favoured guests of what was in his time the Holland House of Rome, the brilliant circle of men of affairs and men of letters, the quick-witted, well-educated, pleasure-loving Roman gentlemen, who met round the table of Augustus' great home-minister, Maecenas.
In Horace, never pedantic and never dull, a bon-vivant who was probably the most agreeable table-talker, story-teller, and Persius, Sat. I. 116.
? I. Sat. x. 78.91. VOL. LXXI-No. 422