And must we not think freely, to find out which are in the right, whether the Bishops or the Bonzes? The Turkish priests, or dervises, have their Scripture which they call the Alcoran. The Jews have the Old Testament for their Scripture, and the Christians have both the Old and the New.
In the full light of the morning sun three heads were seen to be marked with vermilion, but, Oh, prodigy, no less than eleven heads were covered with black ink! "It no longer surprises me that these prayers should be so successful," murmured the secretary. "Indeed these bonzes are very conscientious!"
Little information, of course, was to be gathered there on questions directly affecting trade or politics, for it is a holy spot, exclusively appropriated to temples in tinsel and bonzes in rags; but it was impossible to wander over it as I did, visiting with entire impunity its most sacred recesses, without being forcibly reminded of the fact that one, at least, of the obstacles to intercourse between nations, which operates most powerfully in many parts, especially of the East, can hardly be said to exist in China.
He had travelled in Burma too, and inflamed the boy's imagination by telling him of the gorgeous temples of Rangoon and Mandalay; he had been like everybody else to Japan; and he had lived for six weeks up country in China, in a secluded Buddhist monastery perched on the edge of a precipice, like an eagle's nest, where his only associates were bonzes in yellow robes, and the stillness was only broken by the deep-toned temple bell, booming for vespers.
The subject bonzes looked darkly upon him, for he was but young, while many of them were bowed with age and aspired to hold the high office to which Yu Chan had been appointed.
After having made various libations with several liquors, which he spread over the offerings, the other bonzes replaced them on the altar. One of them then took a card, containing characters, from which he sung. Judging from the loud laughter of part of the auditory, the words seemed to have little analogy to the ceremony.
Their bodies are covered all over with bullets of crumbled paper which have been aimed at them through the bars, and which have stuck to their monstrous limbs like a white leprosy: this is the manner in which the faithful strive to appease them, by conveying to them their prayers written upon delicate leaflets by the pious bonzes.
"Is it taboo, then, to face the clergy with a Gladstone bag?" Bertram asked quite seriously, in that childlike tone of simple inquiry that Philip had noticed more than once before in him. "Your bonzes object to meet a man with luggage? They think it unlucky?" Frida and Philip looked at one another with quick glances, and laughed.
In his hatred to the Buddhist bonzes he favored the Jesuits, and Christianity found a clear field. With the advent of Hideyoshi there came a change. His early favor to the missionaries was followed by disgust, and in 1587 he issued a decree banishing them from the land.
As they say the Grand Lama of Thibet is very much fatigued by his character of divinity, and yawns on his altar as his bonzes kneel and worship him, many a home-god grows heartily sick of the reverence with which his family-devotees pursue him, and sighs for freedom and for his old life, and to be off the pedestal on which his dependants would have him sit for ever, whilst they adore him, and ply him with flowers, and hymns, and incense, and flattery; so, after a few years of his marriage my honest Lord Castlewood began to tire; all the high-flown raptures and devotional ceremonies with which his wife, his chief priestess, treated him, first sent him to sleep, and then drove him out of doors; for the truth must be told, that my lord was a jolly gentleman, with very little of the august or divine in his nature, though his fond wife persisted in revering it and, besides, he had to pay a penalty for this love, which persons of his disposition seldom like to defray: and, in a word, if he had a loving wife, had a very jealous and exacting one.