EDUCATION. Differing as the Chinese people do so greatly in local peculiarities, their system of education has made them a nation, binding together the distant parts of the empire and holding them in close unity during the various conquests which they have undergone. Their system of education has been their chief defense, for by it they have conquered their conquerors and made them like themselves. Education means less personal development than the means of obtaining office, and consequently it is sought eagerly by all classes. The system of appoint ment to office by competitive literary examina tion has existed for nearly seventeen centuries: but as only a small fraction of aspirants can enter even the lower grades of salaried office. there exists necessarily a body of many millions of so-called literati. ln China proper not more than 6 per cent. of the men and 2 per cent. of the women can read an ordinary book. although traders and mechanics may be able to write fluently the characters needed for ordinary let ters and bookkeeping. using especially those which describe the articles used in their business, the technical terms, etc. The literary men, re joeted in the examinations, are found all over the empire. employed as teachers and in other clerical occupations. forming a class intensely conservative, which. for the most part, keeps
alive the ancient traditions and opposes every thing foreign. In every town or village there is a sehool, taught by one or more masters. The worship of letters is like a religion. and great reverence is shown for what is written or print ed. Education is almost entirely a matter of memory and the skillful use of the hrush-pen the mass of people. including many so-called eduedted men. have little notion of science. The Christian missionaries have succeeded in seat tering broadcast translations of Western works of science and literature, and the establishment of the Tung-wen College at Peking. in which in struction is given in modern languages, science. and literature, has imbued a number of Chinese with Western ideas. The eraduates of Govern ment schools and colleges are far outnumbered by those from the missionary colleges, who have thus created a public sentiment which loudly demands educational reform. Since 1S87.mathe maties are required in the public examinations. Technical education is at the arsenals and military and naval schools. In many of the treaty ports, especially in Shanghai. the centre of much edueational activity. and in llong Kong, newspapers published in Chinese circulate all over the empire.