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The painted gate was one day to open to my step and admit upon the most guarded and exclusive threshold in all this great Eastern city. The possession of wealth is generally known to be a well-fitting key to most of our aristocratic and humbler mansions, but none could pass the porch of this high-born Chinaman unless possessed of that invisible and spiritual emblem which he first required.

-- Notebooks Category 15: The Orient > Chapter 3: China, Japan, Tibet > # 18

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