附：SUN YAT SEN AND THE CHINESE REPUBLIC（选录）
I shall set to rest here the wide-spread and erroneous report of Sun Yat Sen’s having been born in Honolulu.
“What about this report, Doctor, that you were born in Honolulu?”I asked him.
He smiled. Sun always smiles the smile of friendship when he speaks of his followers.
“It is true that the report was circulated. You see, some of my over-zealous followers thought that I could obtain protection from the American Government against the Manchus by claiming to have been born in Honolulu, where, in fact, I did live for many years. So, of their own accord, they circulated this report; but ah, no! Choy Hung…Choy Hung…that is the hamlet of my birth, and the birthplace of my immediate forebears. I say immediate forebears, for we have lived only a few generations in Choy Hung. The village of our ancestral temples is at Kung Kun, on the East River.”
Now, foot-binding was from the Chinese viewpoint a good Chinese custom which all the members of the family indorsed with zest, for it maintained the respect of the family by showing that they conformed to custom. The victim endured stoically the years of torture, sustained by the thought that eventually she would wear the badge of a highly respectable Chinese lady.
The original idea of foot-binding presumably started in the imperial harem, where the girl victims had special treatment, including elevation of the feet and the administration of opium, both to relieve them from pains as well as to hold the foot to something of its original shape; for a great percentage of these foot-bindings result in mutilation that makes the existence of the victim that of a lifetime invalid. Many die of blood-poison, and I recall a young beggar woman who used to drag herself around on her knees in the vicinity of Quinsan Gardens in Shanghai, who had had one foot rotted off by the process, but who, as she went around on her knees begging, would hold the remaining tiny foot up very proudly, to show that she had, at all events, something of the quality of a Chinese lady.
However, sometimes special and expert service in the binding of a girl’s feet results in very small baby feet in the grown woman,which do not entirely detract from grace in walking; for the light toddling and tumbling forward with each step gives a graceful poise to the body, which has a great charm to the Chinese; indeed, this peculiar totter in the carriage gives the victim herself a great self-confidence through the addition to her beauty.
Attempts at foot-binding among the masses, with no precautions, result in great malpractices and in loss of limb and even life itself. Instead of frequent changes of the bands of cloth, the old bandages, soiled and filled with pus, are allowed to remain until they start complications that eventually club the foot, and nearly always break the arches, leaving a hoof-like deformity which makes the victim a hopeless cripple for life. Even the great percentage of cases of “successful”foot-binding results not only in a most distressing deformity to the feet, but in injury to the ankles as well; and as to the toes; well, the toes club up under the feet, making walking, even on the balls of the feet, excruciatingly painful.
The Sun family, being intensely Chinese, believed in all Chinese customs, including even foot-binding. Sun Yat Sen’s mother had come out of the foot-binding terror with great good luck for, as will be seen from the picture shown herewith, her feet had been bound so successfully and had become so small that she was obliged to carry a staff to sustain her as the years rolled along. It seems to me, however, that I can note from a study of this dear Chinese mother that there is still shown on her face something of the suffering which she endured in having her feet bound.
The Suns, in their hearts, undoubtedly admitted something of the barbarity of the practice, but it was Chinese, and therefore good; so Sun Yat Sen’s sister came up for her share of the foot-binding agony. Stoically she submitted to the clamp of the bandages which hold the foot riveted in an iron-like grasp, destroying the circulation of the blood in the lower limbs and setting the whole nervous system in mad rebellion against the torture. Night after night she would toss, moan, and murmur in her attempt to endure the pain, stoically awaiting for the dawn to come when she might have some rude treatment in an attempt to alleviate the pain. But with the dawn, her system racked with fatigue and pain, her sad lamentations would commence anew.
Finally Wen could stand it no longer. He loved his sister just as he loved every other member of the family circle. He went bravely to his mother.
“Oh, Mother, the pain is too great for her! Please do not bind the feet of my sister.”
It was one of Sun’s first pleas for reform. His mother shook her head sadly. I presume that she was somewhat shocked at this insubordination on the part of the good little brother Wen. I suppose that it seemed to her that Wen was disloyal to his sister in not wanting her to have pretty little fect.
“Wen, how can your sister have lily-like feet if she does not endure the pain?And, after all, it may not last so very long. Your sister is having good treatment. She is getting along very nicely. Your sister will be sorry when she grows up and reproach us if we neglect to give her the benefit of the foot-binding in conformity with the good Chinese custom.”
Wen earnestly listened to the sentiment of his mother expressed in words to the above effect. Again, however, he renewed his protests, declaring that there was no reason why Chinese women should mutilate their feet. Whereupon his mother brought forth the new and forceful argument of referring to the Hakkas. The Hakkas were an alien people who lived in that part of Kwantung. The Chinese did not consider the Hakkas their equal.
“Behold the Hakkas!”declared the mother of Wen. “No Hakka woman has bound feet. The hakkas do not bind their feet as do the Bandis or Chinese. Would you have your sister a Hakka woman or a Chinese woman? Would you have her as a stranger or as one of us?”
This, however, did not settle the argument nor end the protest. Finally, the mother, with her love for her son, and with her pity awakened anew for her daughter, became so affected that she refused to bind her daughter’s feet any longer and, Chinese fashion, turned the hard-hearted job over to a woman specialist of the village, who , in spite of Wen’s continued protests, prosecuted the practice to a successful end.
Sun, through his political influence, has done much to abolish this practice, which, fortunately, is now passing away.
I have indulged in the over-lengthy discussion of this episode because it seemed to me important in portraying the early character of the great Reformer, whose first reform was commenced at his own home-side in the plea,“Please do not bind my sister’s feet.”
据(美)Paul Linebarger, Sun Yat Sen and the Chinese Republic, New York & London: The Century Co., 1925年版。