THE mainstay of Chinese life is the bamboo. In fact, the bamboos of the Celestial Empire are more valuable than her mines, and, next to rice and silk, yield the greatest revenue. Let us enter a Chinese dwelling. Within, hanging upon the rafters, we see a number of hooks of prickly bamboo, on which hang pieces of dried meat and other provisions. In one corner are a waterproof coat and hat, each wrought out of leaves of bamboo. Elsewhere we observe agricultural implements, chiefly fashioned from this plant; and except a deal top of the table, all the furniture of the simple abode is of the same material. The fishing net, the baskets of diverse shapes, the paper and pens, the grain measures, the wine cups, the water ladles, the chopsticks, are all of bamboo. The man who dwells here is feasting on the tender shoots of the plant. Ask him of his earliest impressions, and he will tell you that they came to him through the basketwork of a bamboo cradle. Speak of the end to which we are all hastening, and he will express a wish to sleep beneath some bamboo brake on a green hillside.