The first five chapters of this book give an account of my early education, previous to going to America, where it was continued, first at Monson Academy, in Monson, Massachusetts, and later, at Yale College.
The sixth chapter begins with my reëntrance into the Chinese world, after an absence of eight years. Would it not be strange, if an Occidental education, continually exemplified by an Occidental civilization, had not wrought upon an Oriental such a metamorphosis in his inward nature as to make him feel and act as though he were a being coming from a different world, when he confronted one so diametrically different? This was precisely my case, and yet neither my patriotism nor the love of my fellow-countrymen had been weakened. On the contrary, they had increased in strength from sympathy. Hence, the succeeding chapters of my book will be found to be devoted to the working out of my educational scheme, as an expression of my undying love for China, and as the most feasible method to my mind, of reformation and regeneration for her.
With the sudden ending of the Educational Commission, and the recall of the one hundred and twenty students who formed the vanguard of the pioneers of modern education in China, my educational work was brought to a close.
Of the survivors of these students of 1872, a few by dint of hard, persistent industry, have at last come forth to stand in the front ranks of the leading statesmen of China, and it is through them that the original Chinese Educational Commission has been revived, though in a modified form, so that now, Chinese students are seen flocking to America and Europe from even the distant shores of Sinim for a scientific education.
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