Puslapio vaizdai

superintendent, or the business manager of and clever in the arts and crafts. Nor a college, when he divides the jobs within have they been dragged down into their his gift among his poor relatives is obeying pit of wolfish competition by wasteful the most imperative ethics he knows. vices. Opium-smoking and gambling do,

It is an axiom with the Chinese that indeed, ruin many a home, but it is certain anything is better than a fight. They that, even for untainted families and comurge compromise even upon the wronged munities, the plane of living is far lower man and blame him who contends stub- than in Western countries. They are not bornly for all his rights. This dread of victims of the rapacity of their rulers, for having trouble is reasonable in their cir- if their Government does little for them, cumstances. When a boat is so crowded it exacts little. In good times its fiscal that the gunwale is scarce a hand's-breadth claims are far from crushing. The basic above the water, a scuffle must be avoided conditions of prosperity, liberty of person at all costs, and each is expected to put up and security of property, are well estabwith a great deal before breaking the lished. There is, to be sure, no security peace.

for industrial investments; but property In their outlook on life most Chinese in land and in goods is reasonably well are rank materialists. They ply the stran- protected. Nor is the lot of the masses ger with questions as to his income, his due to exploitation. In the cities there is means, the cost of his belongings. They a sprinkling of rich, but out in the province cannily offer paper money instead of real one may travel for weeks and see no sign money at the graves of their dead, and sac- of a wealthy class-no 'mansion or fine rifice paper images of the valuables that

country place, no costume or equipage beonce were burned in the funeral-pyre. fitting the rich. There are great stretches They pray only for material benefits, never of fertile agricultural country where the for spiritual blessings; and they compare struggle for subsistence is stern, and yet shrewdly the luck-bringing powers of dif- the cultivator owns his land and impleferent josses and altars. Some sorry little ments and pays tribute to no man. backwoods shrine will get a reputation for For a grinding mass-poverty that cananswering prayer, and presently there will not be matched in the Occident there rebe half a cord of tablets heaped about it, mains but one general cause, namely, the testimonials to its success. If a drouth crowding of population upon the means of continues after fervent prayers for rain, subsistence. Why this people should so the resentful cultivators smash the idol. behave more than other peoples, why this Yet no one who comes into close touch gifted race should so recklessly multiply with the Chinese deems this utilitarianism as to condemn itself to a sordid struggle a race trait. They are, in fact, capable of for a bare existence, can be understood only the highest idealism. Among the few who when one understands the constitution of have come near to the thought of Buddha the Chinese family. or Jesus one finds faces saintlike in their It is believed that unless twice a year depth of spirituality. The materialism is certain rites are performed and paper imposed by hard economic conditions. It money is burned at a man's grave by a is the product of an age-long anxiety about male descendant, his spirit and the spirits to-morrow's rice and is not to be counter- of his fathers will wander forlorn in the acted by the influence of the petty propor- spirit world, “begging rice” of other spirtion the circumstances of which lift them its. Hence Mencius taught "there are above sordid anxieties.

three things which are unfilial; and to Most of the stock explanations of na- have no posterity is the greatest of them." tional poverty throw no light on the con- It is a man's first concern, therefore, to dition of the Chinese. They are not im- assure the succession in the male line. He poverished by the niggardliness of the soil, not only wants a number of sons, but, for China is one of the most bountiful since life is not long in China and the seats occupied by man. Their state is not making of a suitable match for a son is the the just recompense of sloth, for no people parent's prerogative, he wants to see his is better broken to heavy, unremitting toil. sons settled as soon as possible. Before The trouble is not lack of intelligence in his son is twenty-one he provides him with their work, for they are skilful farmers a wife as a matter of course, and the young couple live with him till the son can fend did the parish relief guaranteed under the for himself. There is none of our feeling old poor law of England. that a young man should not marry till he The burden of the child on the parent can support a family. This wholesome is lighter than with us, while the benefit pecuniary check on reproduction seems expected from the male child is much wholly wanting. The son's marriage is greater. Lacking our opportunities for the parents' affair, not his; for they pick saving and investment, the Chinese relv the girl and provide the home. In the col- upon the earnings of their sons to keep leges one out of twenty or ten, but some- them in their old age. A man looks upon times even one out of five, of the students his sons as his old-age pension. A girl is married, and not infrequently there are baby may be drowned or sold, a boy never. fathers among the members of the gradua- In a society so patriarchal that a teacher ting class.

forty years old with a family still turns As the bride should be younger than the over his monthly salary to his father as a groom, early marriage for sons makes early matter of common duty, the parents of one marriage for daughters. The average age son are pitied, while the parents of many of Chinese girls at marriage appears to be sons are congratulated. sixteen or seventeen years, although some Moreover, the very atmosphere of China put it at fifteen. In the cities reached by is charged with appreciation of progeny. foreign influence the age has advanced. From time immemorial, the things considIn Peking it is said to be eighteen, in ered most worth while have been posterity, Shanghai twenty, in Wu-chau twenty, in learning, and riches, in the order named. Swatow sixteen or eighteen, in Chungking This judgment of a remote epoch when seventeen or eighteen, where formerly it there was room for all survives into a time was fourteen or fifteen. Schooling, too, when the land groans under its burden of postpones marriage to about twenty, but population. So a man is still envied for not one girl in two thousand is in a gram- the number of descendants in the male mar school.

About two years ago the line who will walk in his funeral train. board of education at Peking ruled that Grandchildren and, still more, greatstudents in the government schools should grandchildren are counted the special not marry under twenty in the case of blessing of Heaven. girls and twenty-two in the case of boys. Hence a veritable passion to have off

At twenty virtually all girls save pros- spring, more offspring—as many as possititutes are wives, and nine tenths of the ble. I am told that in Kwangtung the young men are husbands.

This means

women are so eager for many children that in the Orient the generations come at that a mother places her suckling with a least a third closer together than they do wet-nurse so as to shorten the interval bein the Occident. Even if their average

tween births. In the Occident there are family were no larger than ours, they can plenty of parents willing to unload their outbreed us, for they get in four genera- superfluous children upon an institution, tions while we are rearing three. But whereas a Chinese parent never gives up a their families are larger because their pro- male child until he is in sore straits, and duction of children is not affected by cer- he reclaims it the moment he is able. The tain considerations which weigh with us. boy is a partly paid-up old-age-endowmentClan ties are so strong that if a poor man policy that will not lapse if he can help it. cannot feed his children, he can get fellow- What children's home with us would dare clansmen to adopt some of them. Thanks undertake, as does the Asile de la Sainteto ancestor-worship, there is a great deal Enfance among 320,000 Chinese in Hongmore adopting than we can imagine. In Kong, to care for all children offered, and fact, the demand for boys to be adopted by to give them back at the parents' convecouples who have no son has been eager nience? enough to call into being a brisk kidnap- With us a rich man may not lawfully ping trade that is giving trouble to the beget and rear more children than one Shanghai authorities. Then there are wife can bear him. In China the concufunds left by bygone clansmen for the re- bine has a legal status, her issue is legitilief of necessitous members. These stimu- mate, and a man may contribute to the late procreative recklessness precisely as population his children by as many women the year.

as he cares to take to himself. With us per cent. of the number of births within one sixth of the women between thirty and

The first census of Formosa thirty-five are unmarried. In China not seems to show that nearly half of the chilone woman in a thousand remains a spin- dren born to the Chinese there die within ster, so that nearly all the female repro- six months. ductive capacity of each generation is util- Not all this appalling loss is the result ized in child-bearing.

of poverty. The proportion of weakly inThus all things conspire to encourage fants is large, probably owing to the imthe Chinese to multiply freely without maturity of the mothers. The use of milk paying heed to the economic prospect. The is unknown in China, and so the babe that domestic system is a snare, and no Malthus cannot be suckled is doomed. Even when has ever startled China out of her deep it can, the ignorant mother starts it too satisfaction with her domestic system. She early on adult food. In some parts they believes that whatever may be wrong with stuff the mouth of the week-old infant her, her family is all right, and dreams of with a certain indigestible cake. The teaching the anarchic West filial piety and slaughter of the innocents by mothers who true propriety in the relations of the sexes. know nothing of how to care for the child It has never occurred to the thinkers of is ghastly. About the sixth and seventh the yellow race that the rate of multipli- years there is an unusual mortality among cation is one of the great factors in deter- girls, owing to the practice of foot-binding. mining the plane on which the masses live. Still, much of the child mortality is the Point out this axiom of political economy direct consequence of economic pressure. to a scholar, and he meets it with such saws A girl is only a burden, for she marries as “One more bowlful out of a big rice- before she is of use to her parents and is tub. makes no difference," "There is al- lost into her husband's family. Small wonways food for a chicken,” “The only son der, then, that probably one female infant will starve" (i.e., will be a ne'er-do-well). in ten is done away with at birth. Again, Or he may argue that there can be no rela- when the family is already large, the partion between density and poverty by citing ents despair of raising the child, and it perbig villages in which people are better off ishes from neglect. In Hu-peh a man exthan in neighboring little villages! plaining that two of his children have died

If people will blindly breed when there will say: "Tiu lio liang ko hai tsi” (“I have is no longer room to raise more food, the been relieved of two children"). Another penalty must fall somewhere. The deaths factor is lack of sufficient good food, which will somehow contrive to balance the also makes many children very small for births. It is a mercy that in China the their age. The heavy losses from measles, strain comes in the years of infancy, in- scarlet fever, and smallpox are closely constead of later on dragging down great nected with overcrowding. numbers of adults into a state of semi-star- For adults over-population not only vation in order to thin them out suffi- spells privation and drudgery, but it means ciently. The mortality among infants is a life averaging about fifteen years shorter well-nigh incredible. This woman has than ours. Small wonder, indeed, for in borne eleven children, and all are dead; some places human beings are so thick that that one is the mother of seven, all dying the earth is literally foul from them. Unyoung; another has only two left out of wittingly they poison the ground, they poieleven; another four left out of twelve. son the water, they poison the air, they Such were the cases that occurred offhand poison the growing crops. And while most to my informants. One missionary can- of them have enough to eat, little has been vassed his district and found that nine reserved from the sordid food quest. Here children out of ten never grew up. Dr. are people with standards, unquestionably McCartney of Chungking, after twenty civilized, peaceable, industrious, filial, poyears of practice, estimates that from sev- lite, faithful to their contracts, heedful of enty-five to eighty-five per cent. of the chil- the rights of others; yet their lives are dren born there die before the end of the dreary and squalid, for most of their marsecond year. The returns from Hong-Kong gins have been swept into the hopper for for 1909 show that the number of children the production of population. Two coarse, dying under one year of age is eighty-seven blue cotton garments clothe them. In summer the children go naked, and the to California and to Singapore. It has men strip to the waist. Thatched mud all been brought back or sent back by emihut, no chimney, smoke-blackened walls, grants. An equal amount is remitted anunglazed windows, rude, unpainted stools, nually through Amoy by Fuhkien men. a grimy table, dirt foors, where the pig The fine burnt-brick farm-houses with and the fowls dispute for scraps, and for bed stone foundations, the paved threshinga mud kang with a frazzled mat on it. No floors, and the stately ancestral halls that woods, grass, or flowers; no wood floors, astonish one in the rural villages along the carpets, curtains, wall-paper, table-cloths, coast of Fuhkien, are due to remittances or ornaments; no books, pictures, news- from emigrants. In the tiger-haunted, papers, or musical instruments; no sports wooded hills thirty miles from Fu-chau or amusements, few festivals or social gath- one comes on terraces proving former culerings: but everywhere children, naked, tivation of soils which it is no longer necsprawling, squirming, crawling, tumbling essary to till. in the dust-the one possession of which The near future of population in China the poorest family has an abundance, and may be predicted with some confidence. to which other possessions and interests are Within our time the Chinese will be fanatically sacrificed.

served by a government on the Western A newspaper paragraph notes that the model. Rebellions will cease, for grievherdmen for a country district of eleven ances will be redressed in time, or else the square miles in Anhwei return 14,000 souls, standing army will nip uprisings in the nearly 1300 to the square mile, or two to bud. When a net of railways enables a the acre! Yet it would be an error to paternal government to rush the surplus assume that at any given moment all of one province to feed the starving in parts of China are saturated with peo- another, famines will end. The opium ple. In Shansi thirty-odd years ago seven demon is already well-nigh throttled. The tenths of the inhabitants perished from confining walls of the city will be razed to famine, and the vacant spaces and the allow the pent-up people to spread. Wide crumbling walls that often meet the eye streets, parks, and sewers will be provided. there show that the gaps have never been Filtered water will be within reach of all. quite filled. Since the opening of the A university-trained medical profession railroad to Tai-yuan, the capital, wan- will grapple with disease. Everywhere derers from man-stifled Shan-tung are file health officers will make war on rats and tering into the province. The same is mosquitos, as to-day in Hong-Kong. Epitrue of Shen-si, which, besides losing five demics will be fought with quarantine and million of its people in the Mohammedan serum and isolation hospitals. Milk will uprising of the seventies, lost three tenths be available, and mothers will be instructed of its people by famine in 1900. Kan-su, how to care for their infants. In response Yunnan, and Kwangsi have never fully re- to such life-saving activities, the death-rate covered from the massacres following great in China ought to decline from the present rebellions, and one often comes on land, height of fifty or sixty per thousand to the once cultivated, that has reverted to wil- point it has already reached in a modernderness. The slaughters of the Taipings ized Japan, namely, twenty per thousand. left an abiding mark on Kiang-su and But to lower the birth-rate in equal deChe-kiang. Kwangtung and Fuhkien, the gree, that, alas! is quite another matter. maritime provinces of the South, have been The factors responsible for the present relieved by emigration. The tide first set fecundity of fifty-five or sixty per thousand in to Formosa and California, later it — three times that of the American stock turned to the Dutch Indies, Malay, and nowhere matched in the white man's Indo-China, Singapore, the Philippines, world, unless it be in certain districts in Burma, Siam, Borneo, and Australia. Russia and certain parishes in French CanAbout ten millions are settled outside of ada-will not yield so readily. It may China, with the result of greatly mitigating easily take the rest of this century to overthe struggle for existence in these prov- come ancestor-worship, early marriage, the inces. Within recent years $9,000,000 passion for big families, and the inferior has flowed into the Sanning district, from position of the wife. For at least a generawhich the first Kwangtung men went out tion or two China will produce people

rapidly, in the Oriental way, who will die ward thrust of surplus Chinese on ten off slowly in the Occidental way. When times this scale. With a third of the the death-rate has been planed down to adults able to read, with daily newspapers twenty, the birth-rate will still be more thrilling the remotest village with tidings than double, and the total will be growing of the great world, eighteen provinces at the rate of over two per cent. a year. will be pouring forth emigrants instead of Even with the aid of scientific agriculture two. To Mexico, Central and South it is of course impossible to make the America, Southeastern Asia, Asia-Minor, crops of China feed such an increase. It Africa, and even Europe, the blackmust emigrate or starve. It is the out- haired bread-seekers will stream; and then ward thrust of surplus Japanese that is “What shall we do with the Chinese ?" to-day producing dramatic political results from being in turn a Californian, an Ausin Korea and Manchuria. In forty or tralian, a Canadian, and a South African fifty years there will come a powerful out question, will become a world question.



"HERE is a quest that calls me I have ridden the wind,
when I am lone,

I have ridden the night,
The need to ride where the ways divide I have ridden the ghosts that flee
The Known from the Unknown.

From the vaults of death like a chilling I mount what thought is near me

breath And soon I reach the place,

Over eternity. The tenuous rim where the Seen grows And everywhere dim

Is the world laid bare-
And the Sightless hides its face.

Ether and star and clod -
Until I wind to the brink and find

But the cry, "Beyond lies God!"
I have ridden the wind,
I have ridden the sea,

It calls me and ever calls me,
I have ridden the moon and stars.

And vainly I reply, I have set my feet in the stirrup seat

"Fools only ride where the


divide Of a comet coursing Mars.

What Is from the Whence and Why." And everywhere

I'm lifted into the saddle Through the earth and air

Of thoughts too strong to tame, My thought speeds, lightning-shod,

And down the deeps and over the steeps It comes to a place where, checking pace,

I find-ever the same. It cries, Beyond lies God!

I have ridden the wind, It calls me out of the darkness,

I have ridden the stars, It calls me out of sleep,

I have ridden the force that flies “Ride! ride! for you must, to the end of With far intent through the firmament, Dust!"

And each to each allies. It bids, and on I sweep

And everywhere To the wide outposts of Being,

T'hat a thought may dare
Where there is Gulf alone;

To gallop, mine has trod,
And through a vast that was never passed Only to stand at last on the strand
I listen for life's tone.

Where just beyond lies God.

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