A Woman's Journey Round The World, From Vienna To Brazil, Chili, Tahiti, China, Hindostan, Persia, And Asia Minor By Ida Pfeiffer

 -   These meetings or assemblies are supposed to
be for the transaction of business; but are not much other than
soirees - Page 590
A Woman's Journey Round The World, From Vienna To Brazil, Chili, Tahiti, China, Hindostan, Persia, And Asia Minor By Ida Pfeiffer - Page 590 of 708 - First - Home

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These Meetings Or Assemblies Are Supposed To Be For The Transaction Of Business; But Are Not Much Other Than Soirees, At Which The Ladies And Children Make Their Appearance In Elegant Full Dress.

One missionary receives his friends at breakfast, a second at dinner, the third at tea, several equipages and a number of servants stand in the court-yard.

Business is also attended to: the gentleman generally retire for half an hour or so; but the greater part of the time is passed in mere social amusement.

I do not think that it can be easy to gain the confidence of the natives in this way. Their foreign dress, and elegant mode of life, make the people feel too strongly the difference of rank, and inspire them with fear and reserve rather than confidence and love. They do not so readily venture to look up to people of wealth or rank, and the missionaries have consequently to exert themselves for some time until this timidity is overcome. The missionaries say that it is necessary to make this appearance, in order to create an impression and command respect; but I think that respect may be inspired by noble conduct, and that virtue will attract men more than external splendour.

Many of the missionaries believe that they might effect a great deal by preaching and issuing religious tracts in the native language in the towns and villages. They give the most attractive report of the multitude of people who crowd to hear their preaching and receive their tracts, and it might reasonably be thought that, according to their representations, at least half of their hearers would become converts to Christianity; but unfortunately the listening and receiving tracts is as good as no proof at all.

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