Puslapio vaizdai

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 floors, 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 de Che-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 proy- 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.

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F we should visit a collection of living ibis altogether, we should visit him in his

birds and watch the daily life of a native home, some cypress-shadowed bayou wood-ibis, he would not be likely to oc- in Florida. cupy a high place in our estimation as re- High up in the dead cypresses, half hidgards beauty or intelligence. Poor fellow, den by the swaying moss, we may see many even his names are awry or meaningless, nests -- large loosely built platforms. As for he is more of a stork than an ibis, and we approach the dismal solitudes, moccaas to his scientific name (Tantalus locula- sin-snakes, blacker even than the water tor), it signifies nothing.

through which they undulate, move slugFew birds appear more stupid in captiv- gishly away. We hear the loud reveille of ity than a wood-ibis. His bald pate, his a pileated woodpecker, and as we noisily staring eyes, and his awkward motions splash over a hidden, sunken log, a loud perhaps prejudice one against him, but it flapping of wings is heard, and the woodgives one a feeling of irritation to see him pecker's roll is drowned in a confused fall over his own feet, and, through lack clatter of beaks--the only voice of the of wit, stand in a cement-lined pool and wood-ibis. A flock of snow-white forms for hours patiently tap the bottom with his

passes out from the cypress darkness into foot, trembling with eagerness the while the bright sunlight. as he watches for impossible worms to And now if we retrace our steps to the come to the surface. Even when he takes pine-land prairie, we shall see the woodto wing, the effort is such that his head ibis at his best. Here the moccasin gives and legs rack back and forth until it place to the rattler, the green scum and seems as though they would part from his the reeds to bright fowers, the drumming body.

of the woodpecker to the scream of the Yet he is happy in captivity, for his eagle. High above all, awkwardness meals of fish are regular and abundant, and shaken off, neck and legs no longer clumto eat is his greatest joy. Simply inordinate sily apparent, the ibis looks down and is the bulk of fish which he can consume. shames us. His black pinions, contrasting Nature has been kind to him in this with the snowy white of his body, are set respect at least, for if any sharp fins and motionless. As gracefully as a swalor spines irritate his distended digestive low he swings round and upward; as system, it is no trouble at all for him lightly as a feather he drifts with the to unload, and reswallow his meal, taking breeze or turns in a beautiful curve, soarcare this time that it is more comfortably ing back over his aërial path. Perfect packed. His coat of feathers often waxes master of his art, we realize that he is one dingy in confinement, his inner man, or, of the finest Ayers among the birds. rather, bird, demanding so much of his Higher and higher he goes, circle upon attention.

circle, Alapping or sailing at will, until our But it is unfair to judge him thus. Na- sight marks him as a speck against the ture did not adapt all creatures for display blue.

He disappears, comes into view in a cage, even though it be of generous again as the sunlight glints from his back, proportions. Before condemning the wood

and vanishes from our straining eyes.

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