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CHINESE THEATRE AND DANCES.         187
by some mandarin, in which case (in spite of the theoretical justice of China) it would probably be beyond recovery.*
We may mention here, a peculiar mode of pay­ing actors, in Cochin China.
The occasion described is an entertainment, the expenses of which were borne by the Quong, or provincial governor. An Englishman who was present, thus speaks of the affair,—" The Quong was there squatted on a raised platform in front of the actors, with a small drum before him, supported in a diagonal position, on which he would strike a tap every time any part of the performance pleased him; which was also a signal for his purse bearer to show a small string of about twenty cash to the actors. To my taste this spoiled the effect of the piece; for every time the cash fell among them, there would be a silence, and the next moment a scramble for the money; and it fell so frequently as almost to keep time with the discordant music of the orchestra.
The actors were engaged by the day, and in this manner received their payment, the amount of which depended upon the approbation of the Quong, and the number of times he encored them by tapping his drum. I could see that many of them paid far more attention to the drum than they did to their performance; though I suppose the amount thrown to them is equally divided. Sometimes the string on which the cash was tied, unluckily broke, and the money flew in all direc-
* La Fage, Mai. dee Chinoii, t. 1, p. 311.






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