official, and exchanged the produce of one country for another.
Thus a gate was opened, here and there, to let in opium and to fetch out tea. Yet, taken as a whole, the countries stretching from the Hindu Koosh
to the Yellow Sea
were closed against the enterprise, sealed against the knowledge of mankind.
A stranger might not enter and a native could not leave the country.
was a land apart, having no relation with the outer world.
Even for natives there were classes and societies, which for social purposes were separated from each other like the castes in Bengal.
On every door there was a mystery.
A trader could not see his mandarin, nor could a mandarin speak to his prince.
Women were hidden in zenanas, and a hundred rules and rites divided class from class and man from man. Except a member of the Royal House
, no one could look on the “ Son of Heaven.”
Locked in his palace, ignorant alike of men and things, surrounded by female slaves, the ruler of one third of the human race passed his days in drinking tea, in smoking opium, and in fonding slaves.
In his besotted pride and ignorance, the Tartar
prince regarded every one