334 Old-time Schools and School-books
friends, court her father with brandy; when with fome difficulty he gains admittance to his fair one, he ofFers her a beaver's tongue, or fome other eatable, which fhe rejects before company, but accepts of in private.
The father evidently enjoyed his part of the courting and was loath to end his free supply of liquor. " This prolongs the courtfhip fometimes for three years," says the book.
I expected when I turned to the pages devoted to Asia that I would find rats named as an article of Chinese diet, but the rat myth seems to have been of later growth. None of the geographies refer to it until Peter Parley in 1830 shows a picture of a pedler " selling rats and puppies for pies." In spite of this lack Morse's information about the Chinese is by no means uninteresting, as will be seen by the cullings which follow: —
The Chinefe have particular ideas of beauty. They pluck up the hairs of the lower part of their faces by the roots with tweezers, leaving a few ftraggling ones by way of beard. Their complexion towards the north, is fair, towards the fouth, fwarthy; and the fatter a man is they think him the handfomer.
Language.] The Chinefe language contains only 330 words, all of one fyllable : but then each word is pronounced with fuch various modulations, and each with a different meaning, that it becomes more copious than could be eafily imagined, and enables them to exprefs themfelves very well, on the common occafions of life.
The Chinefe pretend, as a nation, to an antiquity beyond all meafure of credibility; and their annals have been carried beyond the period to which the fcripture chronology