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The Barley-Sugar Stall

The Barley-Sugar Stall.jpg Enamelled Chinese VaseThumbnailsChinese JugglersEnamelled Chinese VaseThumbnailsChinese JugglersEnamelled Chinese VaseThumbnailsChinese Jugglers

I have often noticed longing eyes watching the pan of boiling sugar at the corner of some thoroughfare, or under the porch of some well-frequented temple in China ; and as the desired consistency was attained, the sugar-stick drawn out to the proper thickness, the elegant spiral twist given by a dexterous movement of the hand, and as the long scissors snipped the transparent and fast-hardening stick into convenient inches,
You notice that the figure in our sketch has two baskets, or rather tubs, the one containing his goods in the form of sweetmeats of various devices, the other the fire-pans and implements necessary for their manufac-ture. When he moves from place to place, that short pole which is resting by his side is laid upon his shoulder, and a tub hangs on a hook at either end. Listen ! He is striking with a flat piece of brass his little sounding gong, which, with its clang, clang, clang, invites customers. Each trade has its own particular cry or call, some vocal, some, as in this case, instrumental. See ! an urchin, whose fingers are evidently so burnt with the money that they can hold it no longer, is running forward to make a purchase. You may tell he is very young, for his tail is not yet grown, his head is entirely shaved, save two little tufts of hair, which are twisted and bound up into a soft horn, and orna-mented with a piece of crimson silk. Though so young, yet he has his own mind about his money, and very likely will prefer giving that funny-look-ing wheel in front of the sweetmeats a turn, to know whether he is to have double the worth of his money in sugar, or none at all. The gambling spirit is even strong in infancy, and though the chances are that the sweetmeat-seller will gain, yet he cannot resist the temptation ; only think, if he should get two pieces of sugar instead of one ! If he loses, he will stand there watching while others take their turn ; if he wins, he will run home delighted with his success. Children are children all the world over, they will have their fun and frolic, the sweet tooth can never be pulled out; if it could, what would become of the poor lollipop-makers !



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