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nest which would be a tight fit for a worse than peccadillos. The jackdaw bird of half her size. White vouch- will steal for the mere fun of the thing, safes no explanation. But Mr. Dixon for he can make no possible use of plate tells us in his "Bird Life" that the or jewelry, and sometimes under cuckoo drops the egg on the ground temptation may make a snatch at a and then transports it to its destina- pheasant chick; sparrows are, of course, tion with beak or claw. Whereupon notorious thieves, but they rank DO two other questions suggest themselves, higher in crime than the sneaking pickand they can never be satisfactorily pockets. But the cuckoo, so to speak, solved. First, Does the careless mother is a murderer from his cradle; he violook out for a nest, before or after lates the sanctity of a hospitable hearth, dropping the egg? Secondly, How his first victims are his own fostermany eggs does she lay? For all we brothers, and before he tries his wings can tell it may be but a single one, or on the first flight he is imbrued in she may be prolific as a hen pheasant, fraternal blood, like any Amurath or though the fact that cuckoos are com- Bazajet. We are aware that some paratively scarce seems to tell against latter-day naturalists have denied that the latter theory. Yet, if they he tosses his fellow-nurslings out of somewhat
in England, the nest-we know that Lucrezia Borthey are
common elsewhere, gia and Richard Crookback have found and whereas they
solitaries ardent apologists--but we defy these with us, in other lands they are gre- ingenious gentlemen to prove their garious. We can speak, at least, as to negative, and all presumptions are what we have seen, and we have seen against them. In any case, in the them flitting about in coveys of eight young cuckoo's portentous voracity we or ten on the heath of Carhaix, and see the germs of the gay selfishness among the standing stones of Carnac. which characterizes him in later years. And very harmonious seemed their The gaping maw, expanding wider and somewhat sombre plumage and their wider day by day, swallows the food swift but uncanny flight with the gloom that should have sufficed for a whole of those superstition-haunted wastes, happy family, and for choice we should the gray memorials of Pagan worship. rather be killed offhand than doomed
To hear the cuckoo's cheery note, you to a lingering death of hunger. Lastly, might think he had the clearest con- there is an obvious moral to be drawn science in the world. He can have from the fond and foolish parents who neither memory nor moral sense, or he are ever on the wing, to satisfy the inwould not carry it off so gaily. We
satiate cravings of a nursling who only say nothing of the “raptores” who are waits for his wings to show his ina race apart, but the most disreputable gratitude. of birds as a rule are guilty of nothing
The Saturday Review.
The refusal of the Taotai of Shanghai the Empire are, however, not so easily to permit foreign steamers to trade be- observable. At present the strength of tween Shanghai and Chusan, and the those who cherish the teaching of attacks on the English surveying party K'ang is to sit still, and the punishat Weihaiwei, are two among many in- ments which overtook the signatories dications that the present rulers at to the protest against the deposition of Peking, having scotched the leaders the Emperor are object lessons which and principal objects of the reform are not likely to be forgotten by them. party, are now descending to details, But, though wrapped in an enforced and to the infliction of pin-pricks on all silence they are there, and are every outer barbarians who are presumably day gaining recruits and improving aiders and abettors of the unfortunate their stock of knowledge. K'ang Yu-wei and his followers. In Physicians recognize that in pursuance of these objects they are forms of disease the cessation of pain evincing a fixed determination to put is one of the most hopeless symptoms, beyond the pale everything that calls and an analogous state of affairs exists itself foreign, and more especially at the present moment in China, where every means of advancement towards the action of the Government is so enenlightenment which may have gained tirely divorced from the sentiment of the advocacy of the unfortunate the country that, oblivious of the unrest K'ang. This policy is not a wise one. in their midst, the rulers cry Peace, It reflects the feminine instinct of re- Peace, while war and revolution are venge, and displays a degree of igno- threatening. With blind obstinacy the rance of the forces they are combating Manchu rulers of the Empire are provwhich can only be explained by the ing themselves to be as much opposed light of their preceding blunders in the to reason and as much wedded to their same direction. For the moment we fossilized system of
government as may set aside the foreign difficulties they have ever been, while their imme. of the Empire. They are such as those diate actions have shown that the only who run may read, and will, we may reply they were willing to vouchsafe hope, be set right by the exercise of to reformers is the old-world formula firmness and discretion. The opponents of the executioner's sword. which the Empress and her Ministers But this weapon, though formidable are arraying against themselves within enough when wielded with the wide of
sweep common in Eastern countries, Society was established was to gain can, after all, only terrorize a compara- by some means or other the ear of the tive few. The leaders are sent to the intellectual classes. The founders felt execution ground, as was lately the that in a country such as China the case with the six reformers at Peking, motive power for the effectual working or are compelled to fly the country like of a change should come from above K'ang Yu-wei and Sun Yatsen, but and not from below, and that so long the seed sown remains in the land, and as the mandarins and literati were having fallen on a congenial soil is banded together in a league of ignoprobably destined to bring forth fruit rance, reforms would be impossible, at no very distant date. The rulers
except by the drastic method of revoluand the ruled are thus pulling in two tion. Their first efforts were directed, different directions. The authorities at
therefore, to supplying the educated Peking, uninfluenced by the opinions classes with a literature which should of the outer world, and supremely igno- enlighten their understandings, and rant of everything beyond their imme- show them a more perfect way diate ken, pursue their traditional knowledge than their native books were course, and attempt to force on a now able to point out. This was a wise step. inquiring and expanding nation a Pro- It will be remembered that the Jesuit crustean system of government which missionaries of the sixteenth and serduly suited the people in days gone by, enteenth centuries established thembut which is rapidly becoming impos- selves in the good graces of the Gov. sible now that light is beginning to ernment and gained a wide influence shine in the provinces and knowledge at Peking by publishing translations of to spread. Under the teachings of religious and scientific works in the K'ang Yu-wei and the influence of for- pure literary style which Chinese eign literature it is beginning to dawn scholars affect, and which is the only on the people that wisdom is not lim- guise under which they are willing to ited to the writings of Confucius and acquaint themselves with new facts. his followers; that there are other and Following this example the Society set better methods of advancement in to work, and, according to the Eleventh knowledge and in material prosperity Report it has already issued rather than are dreamt of in his philosophy; more than 120 works on religious, sciand that if the enemy is to be kept entific and historical subjects. The refrom the gates, it is absolutely neces- sult has been a triumphant success. sary that they should adopt other war- The books have circulated far and like methods than those which satisfied wide through the provinces and have all requirements when the world was met with a ready sale. That they young.
would have gained an audience in any One potent agency in bringing about circumstances there cannot be any this change in the popular mind has doubt, but unquestionably events have been the “Society for the Diffusion of fought in their favor. The war with Christian
and General Knowledge Japan produced a deep and widespread among the Chinese,” which, by circu- impression. The ruin of the native lating translations of European works armies and the destruction of their on religion, science and general sub- fleets brought home to the people for jects, has, during the twelve or thirteen the first time the fact that they were beyears of its existence, done a great and hind the age; and they eagerly turned increasingly great work.
for instruction towards the same The primary object with which the sources which had so successfully armed Japan in the day of battle. А swing. However disturbing this may strong impetus was thus given to the be to the Society's assets, it is a marked study of Western learning, and the ex- acknowledgment of the success of the tent of this impetus can best be gauged works they publish, and they may find by a comparison of the proceeds of some satisfaction in placing against the sales of the Society's books in the their diminished profits the conscious two years 1893, before the war, and ness that the objects of the Society are 1898, after it. In the first period 817 being served. dollars' worth were sold, while in the Not content with the ordinary system second period the sum of 18,457 dollars of publication, the Society seeks to cirwas realized. The books thus disposed of culate books and pamphlets among the treat all branches of Western learning, students at each of the 200 centres of such, for example, as geograpby, bis- examination.
has crowned tory, sciences and travel, besides the their efforts in this direction also. It: Bible. As an example of the way in is notorious that a great amount of litwhich those of their books which met the erature, not always of the most elevatpublic requirement were caught up, it ing character, is disseminated in this may be mentioned that when a popular way, the students too often carrying edition of Mackenzie's Nineteenth Cen- back to their villages the current literatury was brought out, 4,000 copies out ture of the restaurants and singing: of an edition of 5,000 were sold within rooms. If the Society can succeed in a fortnight. So unprecedented was substituting their publications for the such a rapid sale, and so continuous trashy, and worse than trashy, books was the demand for this and other which represent to the bucolic Chang works that the printing trade at Shang- the fascinating glitter of the city, they hai was completely nonplussed. The will do a great work. older houses could not meet the de- But above and beyond the efforts of mand on their resources, and new print- this Society the people are trying to ing establishments sprang up
work out their own salvation, and are sides. The price of paper went up by seeking for light with an ardor which leaps and bounds, and the binders were would have been deemed impossible quite unable to cope with the work before the Japanese war. Not only are thus suddenly demanded of them. they publishing on their own account
In China the law of copyright translations of foreign works which practically unknown, and the tempta- they deem likely to be useful, but they tion, therefore, to reprint works which are multiplying native newspapers at have justified their appearance by their such a rate that if there existed a Chipopularity is often too much for the nese Imperial Library, that establishsomewhat weak morality of Chinese ment would before long be reduced to publishers. These literary pirates, like the present overcrowded condition of their congeners further West, are con- the British Museum. In 1895 only stantly on the watch for any works nineteen native newspapers enlightened which are likely to repay the question- the dark minds of the people. In 1898 able enterprise of reprinting, and the this number was quadrupled, and the unwonted success of the Society's pub- stream has since been pouring out with lications instantly marked them down increased volume and without a check as fitting and profitable spoil. A num- until the Dowager Empress threw cold ber of these books have been reprinted water in a strongly worded edict on all in the province of Ssu-ch'uan, and in such enterprises. The same chilling inmost provinces the process is in full fluence has lately been used for the
suppression of the schools and colleges spite of the opposition of tbe Court; which were springing into life, and the and there is, speaking generally, a promoters of these establishments have seething mass of intellectual discontent in many cases had to yield. But though which will have to be reckoned with. for the time being some of the outward It is as futile to attempt to crush such symptoms of
the agitation may be a movement by the issuing of edicts checked, the movement is going steadily and the persecution of individuals as on. The greed with which Western it would be to try to check the course literature is being devoured is all the of the Yellow River by a barrier of more remarkable since only 10 per cent. bulrushes, and the government is makof the entire population are able to ing a fatal mistake in endeavoring to read, and it is by this small proportion trample on the agitation instead of of the people that the numerous editions guiding it. of the imported books are devoured. For the first time in the history of On all sides evidences of the spread of the people the educated classes have knowledge are observable, and travel- become aware of their ignorance, and lers have of late been amazed to find of their consequent impotence as officials in distant provinces who can nation, and are holding out their hands talk glibly on new scientific discoveries, for help. From their government they and who are intimately acquainted with asked for bread, and they were given the constitutional histories of Western a stone, and it now only remains for nations. Matters must have gone far them to work out their own enlightenwhen even so staunch an upholder of ment with such help as they can get the doctrine of China for the Chinese from the outside. It is a noticeable as the Viceroy Chang Chih-t’ung him- fact that the Chinese colonists in Caliself advocates the cause of Western fornia, the Straits Settlements and learning. In a recent State paper he elsewhere, are forming organizations recommends the addition of "mathe- and collecting money for the education matics, map-drawing and the elements of their stay-at-home country inen in of science" to the curriculum of the Western knowledge, while the foreign native schools, and "a wide grasp of Society, which has already been menhistory, the science of government and tioned, and other independent agencies the study of foreign languages" to that are doing their utmost to foster the of the colleges. The means by which praiseworthy efforts of native workers. he proposes to provide buildings for Like all large bodies, the Chinese peothose educational establishments have ple are slow in moving, but the time a touch of Oriental absolutism about will inevitably come when there will them which is, at least, thorough. "If be an impetus from within which will the worst comes to the worst," he says, compel them to push forward, and "seize the Buddhist and Taoist monas- when that psychological movement arteries. China possesses several my
rives the Dowager Empress's governriads of them; all have lands attached
ment will have either to bend or to to them, which have been given for
break before the national will; unless, charitable purposes, and if these were indeed, it shall have been already dissecured we should have enough for all missed by the action of the revolutionour needs."
ary forces which are always in being Throughout the Empire numberless
within the Chinese borders. native schools are doing good work in
Robert K. Douglas.
The Nineteenth Century.