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as he cares to take to himself. With us one sixth of the women between thirty and thirty-five are unmarried. In China not one woman in a thousand remains a spinster, so that nearly all the female reproductive capacity of each generation is utilized in child-bearing.

Thus all things conspire to encourage the Chinese to multiply freely without paying heed to the economic prospect. The domestic system is a snare, and no Malthus has ever startled China out of her deep satisfaction with her domestic system. She believes that whatever may be wrong with her, her family is all right, and dreams of teaching the anarchic West filial piety and true propriety in the relations of the sexes. It has never occurred to the thinkers of the yellow race that the rate of multiplication is one of the great factors in determining the plane on which the masses live. Point out this axiom of political economy to a scholar, and he meets it with such saws as "One more bowlful out of a big ricetub makes no difference," "There is always food for a chicken," "The only son will starve" (i.e., will be a ne'er-do-well). Or he may argue that there can be no relation between density and poverty by citing big villages in which people are better off than in neighboring little villages!

If people will blindly breed when there is no longer room to raise more food, the penalty must fall somewhere. The deaths will somehow contrive to balance the births. It is a mercy that in China the strain comes in the years of infancy, instead of later on dragging down great numbers of adults into a state of semi-starvation in order to thin them out sufficiently. The mortality among infants is well-nigh incredible. This woman has borne eleven children, and all are dead; that one is the mother of seven, all dying young; another has only two left out of eleven; another four left out of twelve. Such were the cases that occurred offhand to my informants. One missionary canvassed his district and found that nine children out of ten never grew up. McCartney of Chungking, after twenty years of practice, estimates that from seventy-five to eighty-five per cent. of the children born there die before the end of the second year. The returns from Hong-Kong for 1909 show that the number of children dying under one year of age is eighty-seven


per cent. of the number of births within the year. The first census of Formosa seems to show that nearly half of the children born to the Chinese there die within six months.

Not all this appalling loss is the result of poverty. The proportion of weakly infants is large, probably owing to the immaturity of the mothers. The use of milk is unknown in China, and so the babe that cannot be suckled is doomed. Even when it can, the ignorant mother starts it too early on adult food. In some parts they stuff the mouth of the week-old infant with a certain indigestible cake. slaughter of the innocents by mothers who know nothing of how to care for the child is ghastly. About the sixth and seventh years there is an unusual mortality among girls, owing to the practice of foot-binding.


Still, much of the child mortality is the direct consequence of economic pressure. A girl is only a burden, for she marries before she is of use to her parents and is lost into her husband's family. Small wonder, then, that probably one female infant in ten is done away with at birth. Again, when the family is already large, the parents despair of raising the child, and it perishes from neglect. In Hu-peh a man explaining that two of his children have died will say: "Tiu lio liang ko hai tsi" ("I have been relieved of two children"). Another factor is lack of sufficient good food, which also makes many children very small for their age. The heavy losses from measles, scarlet fever, and smallpox are closely connected with overcrowding.

For adults over-population not only spells privation and drudgery, but it means a life averaging about fifteen years shorter than ours. Small wonder, indeed, for in some places human beings are so thick that the earth is literally foul from them. Unwittingly they poison the ground, they poison the water, they poison the air, they poison the growing crops. And while most of them have enough to eat, little has been reserved from the sordid food quest. Here are people with standards, unquestionably civilized, peaceable, industrious, filial, polite, faithful to their contracts, heedful of the rights of others; yet their lives are dreary and squalid, for most of their margins have been swept into the hopper for the production of population. Two coarse, blue cotton garments clothe them. In

summer the children go naked, and the men strip to the waist. Thatched mud hut, no chimney, smoke-blackened walls, unglazed windows, rude, unpainted stools, a grimy table, dirt floors, where the pig and the fowls dispute for scraps, and for bed a mud kang with a frazzled mat on it. No woods, grass, or flowers; no wood floors, carpets, curtains, wall-paper, table-cloths, or ornaments; no books, pictures, newspapers, or musical instruments; no sports or amusements, few festivals or social gatherings: but everywhere children, naked, sprawling, squirming, crawling, tumbling in the dust-the one possession of which the poorest family has an abundance, and to which other possessions and interests are fanatically sacrificed.

A newspaper paragraph notes that the herdmen for a country district of eleven square miles in Anhwei return 14,000 souls, nearly 1300 to the square mile, or two to the acre! Yet it would be an error to assume that at any given moment all parts of China are saturated with people. In Shansi thirty-odd years ago seven tenths of the inhabitants perished from famine, and the vacant spaces and the crumbling walls that often meet the eye there show that the gaps have never been quite filled. Since the opening of the railroad to Tai-yuan, the capital, wanderers from man-stifled Shan-tung are filtering into the province. The same is true of Shen-si, which, besides losing five million of its people in the Mohammedan uprising of the seventies, lost three tenths of its people by famine in 1900. Kan-su, Yunnan, and Kwangsi have never fully recovered from the massacres following great rebellions, and one often comes on land, once cultivated, that has reverted to wilderness. The slaughters of the Taipings left an abiding mark on Kiang-su and Che-kiang. Kwangtung and Fuhkien, the maritime provinces of the South, have been relieved by emigration. The tide first set in to Formosa and California, later it turned to the Dutch Indies, Malay, Indo-China, Singapore, the Philippines, Burma, Siam, Borneo, and Australia. About ten millions are settled outside of China, with the result of greatly mitigating the struggle for existence in these provinces. Within recent years $9,000,000 has flowed into the Sanning district, from which the first Kwangtung men went out

to California and to Singapore. It has all been brought back or sent back by emigrants. An equal amount is remitted annually through Amoy by Fuhkien men. The fine burnt-brick farm-houses with stone foundations, the paved threshingfloors, and the stately ancestral halls that astonish one in the rural villages along the coast of Fuhkien, are due to remittances from emigrants. In the tiger-haunted, wooded hills thirty miles from Fu-chau one comes on terraces proving former cultivation of soils which it is no longer necessary to till.

The near future of population in China may be predicted with some confidence. Within our time the Chinese will be served by a government on the Western model. Rebellions will cease, for grievances will be redressed in time, or else the standing army will nip uprisings in the bud. When a net of railways enables a paternal government to rush the surplus of one province to feed the starving in another, famines will end. The opium demon is already well-nigh throttled. The confining walls of the city will be razed to allow the pent-up people to spread. Wide streets, parks, and sewers will be provided. Filtered water will be within reach of all. A university-trained medical profession will grapple with disease. Everywhere health officers will make war on rats and mosquitos, as to-day in Hong-Kong. Epidemics will be fought with quarantine and serum and isolation hospitals. Milk will be available, and mothers will be instructed how to care for their infants. In response to such life-saving activities, the death-rate in China ought to decline from the present height of fifty or sixty per thousand to the point it has already reached in a modernized Japan, namely, twenty per thousand.

But to lower the birth-rate in equal degree, that, alas! is quite another matter. The factors responsible for the present fecundity of fifty-five or sixty per thousand -three times that of the American stock and nowhere matched in the white man's world, unless it be in certain districts in Russia and certain parishes in French Canada-will not yield so readily. It may easily take the rest of this century to overcome ancestor-worship, early marriage, the passion for big families, and the inferior position of the wife. For at least a generation or two China will produce people

rapidly, in the Oriental way, who will die off slowly in the Occidental way. When the death-rate has been planed down to twenty, the birth-rate will still be more than double, and the total will be growing at the rate of over two per cent. a year. Even with the aid of scientific agriculture it is of course impossible to make the crops of China feed such an increase. It must emigrate or starve. It is the outward thrust of surplus Japanese that is to-day producing dramatic political results in Korea and Manchuria. In forty or fifty years there will come a powerful out

ward thrust of surplus Chinese on ten times this scale. With a third of the adults able to read, with daily newspapers thrilling the remotest village with tidings of the great world, eighteen provinces will be pouring forth emigrants instead of two. To Mexico, Central and South America, Southeastern Asia, Asia-Minor, Africa, and even Europe, the blackhaired bread-seekers will stream; and then "What shall we do with the Chinese?" from being in turn a Californian, an Australian, a Canadian, and a South African question, will become a world question.

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And everywhere

That a thought may dare

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.




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

If we should visit a collection of living

wood-ibis, he would not be likely to occupy a high place in our estimation as regards beauty or intelligence. Poor fellow, even his names are awry or meaningless, for he is more of a stork than an ibis, and as to his scientific name (Tantalus loculator), it signifies nothing.

Few birds appear more stupid in captivity than a wood-ibis. His bald pate, his staring eyes, and his awkward motions perhaps prejudice one against him, but it gives one a feeling of irritation to see him fall over his own feet, and, through lack of wit, stand in a cement-lined pool and for hours patiently tap the bottom with his foot, trembling with eagerness the while as he watches for impossible worms to come to the surface. Even when he takes to wing, the effort is such that his head and legs rack back and forth until it seems as though they would part from his body.

Yet he is happy in captivity, for his meals of fish are regular and abundant, and to eat is his greatest joy. Simply inordinate is the bulk of fish which he can consume. Nature has been kind to him in this respect at least, for if any sharp fins or spines irritate his distended digestive system, it is no trouble at all for him to unload, and reswallow his meal, taking care this time that it is more comfortably packed. His coat of feathers often waxes dingy in confinement, his inner man, or, rather, bird, demanding so much of his attention.

But it is unfair to judge him thus. Nature did not adapt all creatures for display in a cage, even though it be of generous proportions. Before condemning the wood

native home, some cypress-shadowed bayou in Florida.

High up in the dead cypresses, half hidden by the swaying moss, we may see many nests-large loosely built platforms. As we approach the dismal solitudes, moccasin-snakes, blacker even than the water through which they undulate, move sluggishly away. We hear the loud reveille of a pileated woodpecker, and as we noisily splash over a hidden, sunken log, a loud flapping of wings is heard, and the woodpecker's roll is drowned in a confused clatter of beaks-the only voice of the wood-ibis. A flock of snow-white forms passes out from the cypress darkness into the bright sunlight.

And now if we retrace our steps to the pine-land prairie, we shall see the woodibis at his best. Here the moccasin gives place to the rattler, the green scum and the reeds to bright flowers, the drumming of the woodpecker to the scream of the eagle. High above all, awkwardness shaken off, neck and legs no longer clumsily apparent, the ibis looks down and shames us. shames us. His black pinions, contrasting with the snowy white of his body, are set and motionless. As gracefully as a swallow he swings round and upward; as lightly as a feather he drifts with the breeze or turns in a beautiful curve, soaring back over his aërial path. Perfect master of his art, we realize that he is one of the finest flyers among the birds.

Higher and higher he goes, circle upon circle, flapping or sailing at will, until our sight marks him as a speck against the blue. He disappears, comes into view again as the sunlight glints from his back, and vanishes from our straining eyes.

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