This is a simple record of my days and nights, my thoughts and dreams, in the mystic isles of the South Seas, written without authority of science or exactitude of knowledge. These are merely the vivid impressions of my life in Tahiti and Moorea, the merriest, most fascinating world of all the cosmos; of the songs I sang, the dances I danced, the men and women, white and tawny, with whom I was joyous or melancholy; the adventures at sea or on the reef, upon the sapphire lagoon, and on the silver beaches of the most beautiful of tropics.
ay in a retired spot, brooding, apparently over his fate. He never smiled, though I who have been much in China, tried to stir him from his sadness by exclamations and gestures. His race has a very keen sense of humor. They see a thousand funny things about them, and laugh inwardly; but they never see anything amusing in themselves. The individual man conceives himself a dignified figure in a world of burlesque.
This man's face was rid of any self-pity. I think he was stunned by the horror of the thing, that he, a man of Chinese letters, who had departed from the centuried custom of his pundit caste of remaining in their own country, who had left his family or clan to increase his store of lesser knowledge, should be denied the door by these inferior nations of the West. He might have recalled Chien Lung, a Manchu emperor, who, when apologized to in writing by a Dutch governor of Batavia who had murdered almost all the Chinese there, replied that China had no interest in wretches who had left their nat