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Dragons and dragon lore by Ernest Ingersoll

By Ernest Ingersoll

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That the inhabitants of this world all live under the sway of the influences of heaven and earth, and that every one desirous of securing his own felicity must live in perfect harmony with those influences. . " Few Chinese even now are enlightened or brave enough to put up any sort of building except in accordance with the theories of feng-shui, which often require childish particulars. " So writes De Groot. " Ball quotes an example of how feng-shui may be troublesome to both European and native attempts at progress in Western fashion.

That black should be associated with the cold north seems more intelligible, and that to the black north would be opposed the red of the fiery south; but that white should belong to the west because autumn comes with the winds from that quarter, heralded by white frosts, seems a far-fetched explanation. And when we pursue the ulterior significance of the colours into still wider regions; when we find blue associated with wood, red with fire, white with metal, black with water; still more when we are told that the five colours have each correspondences with the emotions (white with mourning, for instance, and black with worry), and not only with these but with musical notes, with the senses and with flavours, I fear the august common-sense of the Occident becomes affronted and impatient.

Blue appears originally not to have been distinguished from green--at least the same word was used for both--and it was associated with the east because of the coming of spring with its green. That black should be associated with the cold north seems more intelligible, and that to the black north would be opposed the red of the fiery south; but that white should belong to the west because autumn comes with the winds from that quarter, heralded by white frosts, seems a far-fetched explanation. And when we pursue the ulterior significance of the colours into still wider regions; when we find blue associated with wood, red with fire, white with metal, black with water; still more when we are told that the five colours have each correspondences with the emotions (white with mourning, for instance, and black with worry), and not only with these but with musical notes, with the senses and with flavours, I fear the august common-sense of the Occident becomes affronted and impatient.

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