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The Diviner

The Diviner.jpg The Collector of refuse hairThumbnailsThe Infallible RemedyThe Collector of refuse hairThumbnailsThe Infallible Remedy

The sapient-looking gentleman, is one of the supposed fortune-tellers in China. Their name is legion, and in these sketches a few of the more prominent characters of this class will be introduced. When the mind of man is not enlightened by science and revelation, experience teaches us that it is a prey to various foolish and degrading super-stitions. No wonder, then, that in a country like China, where science has made comparatively so little progress, and where revelation has scarcely yet diffused her faintest beams, superstitions of every kind should be rife. It is a genial cli-mate and a kindly soil, in which they spring up `rank` and luxuriant. The workings of natural laws are at best but partially understood. For example, the thunder, the fire, the earthquake, the eclipse, are supposed to be not so much subject to certain laws, as under the authority and control of some capricious deity. The ancestor or god of thunder, tray-tsoo, is worshipped with peculiar honours in the summer months, when storms are prevalent. Then crowds of earnest devotees besiege his shrine. The spirit of fire has innumerable votaries, who deprecate his wrath in the dry season of autumn. The earthquake is ascribed to the convulsive struggles of a huge tortoise to shift the earth from off his back. The eclipse is said to be caused by a voracious dog, in his attempts to swallow the orb of day. And though, with regard to the eclipse, there are some who know better, and if they cannot themselves explain the true reason, know that it has to do with fixed laws, and occurs at regular periods, noted in the imperial alma-nacks, yet the same excitement still prevails when-ever the phenomenon occurs : gongs are beaten, and crackers are fired from every house to frighten away the hungry beast.

Pictures of the Chinese,
Drawn by Themselves
Described by Rev R H Cobbold, MA
Published in 1860
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