on the grief overpowered all my strenuous efforts not to weep, then the master would send one of the older boys to help me. He stands behind me while I sit, grasps my hand which holds the brush, and to my heart's content traces figures like the master's in perfection.
The copy-book is made of the tenacious soft Japanese paper, many sheets of which are bound together. Each of the forty-eight characters is studied separately; it is written large so that the learner may see where a bold stroke is required and where a mild touch. After the alphabet we learn to write Chinese characters. The copy-books become black after a while, being dried and used again; therefore they need not be perfectly white at first; usually they are made of the sheets of an old ledger. I used to see on the pages of the copy-books made for me by my father, old debts and credits, and the names of the parties concerned in them, dating back to grandfather's time; they disappeared collectively under my wild dash and sweep of india ink.