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A Chinese Mendicant

A Chinese Mendicant.jpg A Common sedan chairThumbnailsA Chinese lady of RankA Common sedan chairThumbnailsA Chinese lady of Rank

Begging is by no means a profitable trade in China, and few therefore pursue it except the monks of Fo and Tao-tzé, and a few impostors who go about pretending to foretell events and predict good or ill fortune. The annexed is the representation of a beggar of a different description. The piece of hollow wood in his hand is struck to draw attention, and the label on his back describes his condition, which is not exactly such as in other countries would excite much compassion. It states his unfortunate situation, as having no children to take care of him, to console him in affliction, to give him food when hungry, or medicine when sick. The want of children is considered in China as the greatest of all misfortunes, and is in reality so, as by the moral precepts of that nation, which have all the force of law, filial piety is looked upon as the first of moral virtues; and, however poor a child may be, he is bound to share his earnings with his aged parents.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Picturesque Representations of the Dress and Manners of the Chinese, by William Alexander Published 1814
Beggars, China