Billeder på siden

in opium forced upon her by the British. Strange that so much foreign assistance should have been necessary in the discovery of a "racial tendency" in the Chinese!

To recapitulate: the Chinese have known of the poppy for twelve centuries, have used opium as a medicine for nine centuries, have known of the method of securing raw opium from the capsule, or seed-pod, for six centuries, and have known of and practised smoking for considerably less than three centuries. China is an old country. She points with pride to an unbroken history of four thousand six hundred years. For three thousand four hundred years of that time she existed in blissful ignorance of the fact that there was any such thing as opium. For more than four thousand three hundred years she failed utterly to reveal what Mr. Bland would have us believe is a "racial tendency." Surely in the light of such facts we may at least assume an attitude of what that gentleman describes as "suspended judgment" before accepting the suggestion that opium smoking indicates a "racial tendency" of the Chinese.

Other lines along which help is needed are, instruction in seed selection, and in the problem of irrigation. The springfed mountain streams reaching the plains are diverted into ingenious and truly admirable systems of irrigating ditches. However, the mountains denuded of their forests frequently allow these streams to become, in the time of the summer rains, uncontrollable torrents that carry destruction instead of blessing to the villages of the plains. Reforestation will help in this matter, but there should also be an improvement in the system of irrigating canals, possibly through the construction of reservoirs, that will conserve the gifts of the summer rains and not allow them to rush into the lower reaches of the Yellow River carrying a wealth of loess soil as they go and leaving destruction in their train. Improvements are possible in the crops now produced in Shansi, both in kind and quality. There should be an extension of sericulture, for thousands of acres in the hills bordering the Yellow River are adapted to the production of the mulberry. The hemp, potatoes, and walnuts of the province should find ready markets at the coast were the problems of transporta

tion not so great. The fundamental question, therefore, in the development of agriculture as of mineral resources is one of transportation.

We take up now the manufacturing possibilities of the province. They may be suggested as we recapitulate some products of the region and mention a few others that have not yet been named. The existence of iron and coal fields side by side suggests the development of iron and steel foundries. Cotton and silk are both produced, and are now woven in primitive fashion in the homes of the peasants. Cotton mills and silk filatures are a possibility of the future. A large amount of excellent earthern and stone ware is turned out in simple kilns in several districts. This industry is capable of great expansion as the markets of the coast are brought nearer through improvements in transportation. The uplands, with their excellent oat straw, suggest possibilities in braid and paper, especially since there is an abundance of water power available. In Tan Ts'un in the Taiyuan prefecture are kilns where glass is produced, some bottles of small size being blown, but the chief products being fragile toys and flimsy ornaments. With modern machinery and methods this industry should be capable of development to commercial importance. Crude presses in many sections produce bean and hemp oil. Sheep and goat-skins and other hides are shipped in large quantities to America and Europe, especially France, but it surely will be possible, in the presence of a plentiful coal supply, abundant water power and cheap labor, to handle this raw product at home and export the manufactured article. Cordage, and willow and wicker ware, now manufactured in crude fashion and for local markets, give promise of great expansion, as there is an abundance of raw material and efficient labor. The vineyards of the Taiyuan prefecture already produce an excellent quality of wine and this industry is capable of great growth as it shall receive intelligent and adequate attention. Other possible lines of manufacture will readily occur to one who is acquainted with the raw products of the province. We have not mentioned flour-milling, nor a score of other industries now carried on by the Chinese. After all, we must

hark back to the question of transportation. Without cheap and adequate transportation none of these industries can be developed much beyond the point demanded by the necessities of the people of Shansi itself. With cheap and adequate transportation the possibilities stagger the imagination.

In closing a word should be said as to the possibilities in water-power in the mountains of the province. Numerous sparkling, spring-fed brooks and rivers of good volume invite the attention of the expert in hydraulics and suggest possibilities of industrial development even in districts where the coal supply is inadequate or inconvenient. This, in common, with the other possibilities mentioned above, sounds a challenge to the engineer, native and foreign, whose spirit of adventure responds to nature's call to unlock the doors of her treasure-houses and release the pent-up forces of her hills and valleys.


By Edward B. Drew, A.M., Commissioner of Chinese Imperial Maritime Customs, retired.

I propose to set before you, as best I may, the life work of Sir Robert Hart-a career which Professor Williams of Yale in his recent book on the Burlingame Mission pronounces "the most remarkable and creditable of any European, perhaps, in Asia during the (nineteenth) century."

To this China-loving company I would present my late chief as one who served China with a life-time's unflagging devotedness; and to this body of students I offer his achievements as a convincing example of that wholesome terrestrial kind of genius which is said to consist "in days' works."

Robert Hart was born in Portadown, County Armagh, in the north of Ireland, on February 20, 1835. He was the oldest of twelve children. His father Henry Hart was fairly well to do and a stern Wesleyan; his mother, a daughter of Mr. John Edgar, was a tender woman who ever held the affections of her children. Not long after Robert's birth the family moved to Hillsborough where he attended his first school, and where the family home long remained. At the age of eleven he was sent for a year to a Wesleyan school in Taunton, England; his father taking him there in person. At Taunton he began the study of Latin; and Latin he delighted in and read to the end of his life, it being his daily custom to read some classic author while taking his morning

His next move was to the Wesleyan Connexional School at Dublin. Here he was graduated at the top of his class at the age of fifteen, with a reputation for love of mischief, as well as for studiousness and a brilliant mind. His solicitous father elected to send him to the new Queen's

University at Belfast, rather than to Trinity College, Dublin-preferring to keep his son near home where he might watch closely over his conduct and where pious influences should guard his character.

In 1853, at the age of eighteen, young Hart received his B.A. degree. He had also taken scholarships and medals in literature and in logic, and had won the distinction of Senior Scholar. It was in this part of his career that he became a favorite student of McCosh, afterwards president of Princeton; and both Dr. McCosh and Sir Robert Hart ever recalled with pleasure their relations at this period, if indeed they did not actually correspond by letter so long as they lived.

Before determining his choice of a profession, Hart began studying for the master's degree; but while he was thus engaged, an opportunity offered itself for competing for a junior post in the British government's consular service in China. He entered as a candidate; but so distinguished had been his university career that he was given the appointment at once without examination. He arrived in China in 1854, and continued for five years in the British consular service, gradually acquiring the Chinese language while serving at Hongkong, Ningpo and Canton, and becoming familiar with both the British and Chinese side of international relations.

His early official experience was gained from the British governor of Hongkong, Sir John Bowring (well known by his noble hymns) and under such able consuls as Alcock, Thomas Taylor Meadows, and Parkes. For most of this period Hart's post was at Ningpo-near enough to the scene of the momentous events then enacting in China to excite the intensest interest of an observant, thoughtful and ambitious young man. The Taiping rebellion was in full career; the rebel leader had already been established at Nanking as his capital for a full year when Hart reached China; and from Ningpo he could observe the Taiping expeditions against Peking. In the study of these stirring times he must have found a stimulating example in his senior, Consul Meadows, who sympathised with the Taipings and in 1856 produced

« ForrigeFortsæt »