Selected Works of Lu Hsun - Vol. 2

Selected Works of Lu Hsun - Vol. 2

Selected Works of Lu Hsun - Vol. 2

Selected Works of Lu Hsun - Vol. 2

Excerpt

In one of Yen Fu's books, the title and text of which I forget, I once found a statement the gist of which was as follows: "You see many children in the streets of Peking, darting in and out among the carriage wheels and horses' hooves, and I am always afraid they will be knocked down and killed. When I think of the sort of men and women they will grow into, I feel very worried too." Actually it is the same elsewhere, only the number of carriages and horses varies. Here in Peking the situation has not changed, and I often have similar misgivings. For one thing, I respect Yen Fu. The translator of Huxley Evolution and Ethics is not just anyone: here was a Chinese towards the end of the nineteenth century with a keen sense of perception.

Tousled and grubby, the children of the poor roam the streets, while the pampered offspring of the rich and mighty loll about at home. And, grown up, they all drift aimlessly through life, just like their fathers before them, if not worse.

So by looking at boys and girls in their teens you can guess what China will be like twenty years hence. By observing young men in their twenties--most of whom have children of their own who call them "Daddy"--you can tell what their sons and grandsons will be like, and what China will be like in sixty or seventy years.

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