1134 A PICTURE-BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES
I was looking. Suddenly a little head emerged from one of them, and then half a body, the arms resting on the rim of the chimney-pot. " Hurrah ! " cried a voice. It was the little chimney-sweeper, who had for the first time in his life crept through a chimney and stuck out his head at the top. " Hurrah ! " Yes, certainly that was a very different thing from creeping about in the dark narrow chimneys ! the air blew so fresh, and he could look over the whole city towards the green wood. The sun was just rising. It shone round and great, just in his face, that beamed with triumph, though it was very prettily blacked with soot.
' " The whole town can see me now," he exclaimed, " and the moon can see me now, and the sun too. Hurrah ! " And he flourished his broom in triumph.'
f Last night I looked down upon a town in China,' said the Moon. * My beams irradiated the naked walls that form the streets there. Now and then, certainly, a door is seen, but it is locked, for what does the Chinaman care about the outer world ? Close wooden shutters covered the windows behind the walls of the houses; but through the windows of the temple a faint light glimmered. I looked in, and saw the quaint decorations within. From the floor to the ceiling pictures are painted in the most glaring colours and richly gilt—pictures representing the deeds of the gods here on earth. In each niche statues are placed, but they are almost entirely hidden by the coloured drapery and the banners that hang down. Before each idol (and they are all made of tin) stood a little altar with holy water, with flowers and burning wax lights on it. Above all the rest stood Fu, the chief deity, clad in a garment of yellow silk, for yellow is here the sacred colour. At the foot of the altar sat a living being, a young priest. He appeared to be praying, but in the midst of his prayer he seemed to fall into deep thought, and this must have been wrong, for his cheeks glowed and he held down his head. Poor Soui-hong ! Was he, perhaps, dreaming of working in the little flower-garden behind the high street wall ? And did that occupation seem more agreeable to him than watching the