Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co., Ltd,
Text on page 80
SIAM AND CHINA
a In ceremonies only we are princes, for the rest we labour as Government employees.a
He spoke in his calm, clear voice and correct English of the awakening of Siam:
a Siam began to awake sixty years ago as a result of the action of my fatheraKing Mongkut. After much meditation in the monasteries he realized that Siam had either to change or die. So he commenced teaching his sons, founding a school for us which was directed by English masters. At thirteen years of age I entered the army and to earn the stripes I had to live the life of an ordinary soldier.
a Still young, by invitation of my brother, King Chulalongkorn, I became first Minister of Public Instruction.
a At the commencement we had to pay the families in order to get them to send their children to school. Afterwards what obstinacy we had to overcome with the priests, above all with those of a certain age, before we got them to adopt the new system! We made many of them come from the interior to study pedagogy and didactics and thus become convinced, after visiting the new schools of Bangkok, of the improvements to be attained.
a Thus, little by little, even the priests became confirmed to modem ideas; and now in many Wats (temples) one is taught as in the best lay schools.a
Then we talked of China and the great disorder in that Empire. The Prince is always convinced that China is not ripe for a republic and he drew comparisons between the present movement and the French Revolution.