No thorough study of Chinese child life can be made until the wall of Chinese exclusiveness is broken down and the homes of the East are thrown open to the people of the West. Glimpses of that life however, are available, sufficient in number and character to give a fairly good idea of what it must be. The playground is by no means always hidden, least of all when it is the street. The Chinese nurse brings her Chinese rhymes, stories and games into the foreigner's home for the amusement of its little ones.
ortunate disposition to cultivate in children. There are constant sallies at the shaved noddle of the priest. They speak of his head as a gourd, and they class him with the tiger as a beast of prey.
Some of the rhymes illustrate the disposition of the Chinese to nickname every one, from the highest official in the empire to the meanest beggar on the street. One of the great men of the present dynasty, a prime minister and intimate friend of the emperor, goes by the name of Humpbacked Liu. Another may be Cross-eyed Wang, another Club-footed Chang, another Bald-headed Li. Any physical deformity or mental peculiarity may give him his nickname. Even foreigners suffer in reputation from this national bad habit.
A man whose face is covered with pockmarks is ridiculed by children in the following rhyme, which is only a sample of what might be produced on a score of other subjects:
Old pockmarked Ma, He climbed up a tree, A dog barked at him, And a man caught his knee, Which scared old Poxey Unti