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with these reeds so nearly at hand. If we had to go to a distance for them, we could never support the fatigue, and we could make no salt.'
“ The second sort of land is the upland. Upon this they raise annually two cropsone of some sort of grain, such as wheat, barley, &c., which is reaped in May; the other of rice or cotton, which is reaped in September. The culture of the rice is the most laborious, as it must be kept constantly under water, and is all transplanted by hand. The water they use is the sea-water from the canals; and · by an admirable arrangement of Providence,' says the excellent missionary, “this water, which is salt at all other times of the year, becomes fresh when they have occasion to use it in irrigating the crop.'
" There is a third sort of land, scattered in spots about the island, of a grey color, and apparently sterile, but which the people turn to good account, by making salt of it. It appears to be saturated with this article. They collect the earth into heaps, upon which they pour water. This running through, carries the salt with it in solution, and is after. ,wards boiled down over furnaces by the women and children. In this way they provide salt for their own consumption, and obtain an article for trade with the neighboring continent.
“The produce of their agricultural and manufacturing labor beyond their own consumption, is exchanged to a considerable extent, for fish, fresh and salted, which are among the staple articles of food. Very few of the natives are employed in the fisheries: but at the proper season, an infinite number of fishing boats arrive, loaded with fresh fish of excellent quality.' Some of these are particularly described. One of the best weighs, on the average, not less than forty pounds; another, called the yellow fish, resembles the cod. “It is incredible what quantities of these fish are consumed fresh, along the whole coast of the continent, from To-Keen to Shan-Toong, beside those that are salted where they are taken. All these fish are sold at very low prices, although the charges are considerable; for,' says the worthy father, the dealers are obliged, in the first place, to purchase a permit to carry on the trade from the Mandarin ; then to go twenty leagues into the country to get a supply of ice; then to buy the fish as it comes from the net, and place it on layers of ice in the hold of their junks, as they pack herrings in casks at Dieppe. In this way fish is transported to distant places, and is still sold extremely cheap.'
All this does not look much like absolute starvation ; but “these,” says the father, “is far from being sufficient to supply the wants of the prodigious multitude of the inhabitants of the island.” Between the sixth and the ninth months they import immense quantities of salted fish from the continent. It is made along the whole coast, from the mouth of the river to Shan-Toong. Large tracts upon the shore are so arranged, that at the season when the fish from the sea or from the river frequent them, the water is let off, and the fish are taken by hand. They are then salted, and sold to the islanders at very low rates.
“ The soil is not favorable to fruits, but is excellent for vegetables, of which they have the greatest abundance. From the seeds of some of these they make oil of very good quality, which is used for sauces. Our French cooks,' says the father,' would be rather surprised to learn that the Chinese are not behind them in gastronomic science. Their dishes are not inferior to ours in flavor, and are much less costly. With a few beans and a little flour of rice or wheat, they know how to prepare a variety of dishes of excellent favor.' “ The
most common meat is pork : it is better than that of Europe, and is considered by the Chinese as far superior to that of any other country. Geese, ducks, and especially fowls, are very abundant, and much cheaper than in Europe. In winter the coast is covered with wild fowl, which are taken in nets. Cows are used only for work.
“ There are no grapes on the island, but the inhabitants have wine in abundance, made from rice. The rice is steeped in water with some other ingredients for twenty or thirty days. It is afterwards boiled, and when the grain is dissolved, the liqnor ferments and sends up a thick vapor. This operation being over, there remains in the vessel a pure wine, which is drawn off and preserved in earthen jars. From the lees they prepare a distilled spirit, equal in strength to our brandy.
“ Large numbers of persons are employed in carrying on the trade, required by these exchanges; and this extensive commerce gives support to a part of the inconceirable multitude of ihe inhabitants. It is never interrupted, excepting on the first days of the year, which are devoted to visiting and amusement. At all other times there is a continual coming and going in town and country. Some are bringing from the continent an immense quantity of rice, that which is raised on the island not being sufficient to support the people for two months. Others are carrying to the continent their cotton—their clothes, and their other manufactures, or returning with all sorts of supplies, which find a
ready sale. I have seen traders, for example, who, within three or four days after their return, had sold as many as six thousand cases proper for the season.
" The very poorest persons, with a litte economy, find an easy subsistence. Many families, composed of father, mother, and two or three children, beginning with a capital of a dollar or two, live comfortably on the profit of their little business, wear silk dresses on gala days, and in a few years, amass enough to be able to carry on an extensive trade. This is a matter of daily occurrence. A person so situated, determines, for example, to open a little house of refreshment; with bis dollar or two in hand, he buys a little sugar, wheat-flour and rice. These articles he makes up into cakes, and exposes them for sale an hour or two before day-light, to kindle, (as they say here.) the appetite of travellers. No sovner is the shop open, than the whole stock is taken off' by the villagers and travellers, the workmen, porters, suitors in the courts, and the boys, (for everybody here rises betimes,) so that before noon the shopman has already doubled his capital three or four times over, and is ready to stock his shop on a larger scale the following day.
" There are about four thousand soldiers stationed on the island, who receive a sum in money equivalent to about five cents, and a measure (about a pound) of rice a day, which is the quantity considered sufficient for a man's subsistence. They are occasionally reviewed, but, at other times, they are allowed to employ themselves in any way they prefer; so that the place of a common soldier is a good business, and is sought for, instead of being shunned, as in Europe. There are also, on the island, about four hundred literary graduates, “ promoted men," as they are called, that is, persons who have distinguished themselves at the great triennial literary examination for the province, and receive a pension from the government, with a right to an appointment on the occurrence of a vacancy. There are also ten or a dozen persons who have received the higher degrees, and a large number between the ages of sixteen and forty, who come every three years to attend the examination and qualify themselves for promotion. At the head of the administration of the island is a Mandarin of the literary class, who receives and pays over the taxes, dispenses justice iu civil and criminal cases, and maintains the public peace. The people, though considered less polished in their manners than some of their neighbors, are courteous, cheerful, and in general kind to each other in their mutual intercourse ; presente ing, on the whole, the appearance of an eminently thriving, prosperous, and well ordered community."
Here, then, is another example, precisely parallel to that of the Netherlands in Europe,—which, of itself, entirely demolishes the permanent starvation theory in all its parts. The island has attained the utmost possible density of population under every disadvantage of soil, climate and mode of settlement. What then becomes of the supposition, that population naturally keeps pace with fertility of soil? Again: the climate does not afford from its own products the means of feeding the people for two out of the twelve months, notwithstanding which, the supply of provisions at the lowest rates and of all descriptions,-fish, flesh, fowl, fruits and vegetables, is unexhausted and inexhaustible. What then becomes of the doctrine, that, as soon as the best soils are taken into cultivation, population presses against the means of subsistence,-in other words,—that there is a permanent scarcity ? One such case, I repeat, is, of itself, a complete and unanswerable refutation of the whole theory
It is time, however, to close this long, and, I fear, very tedious letter. I have endeavored to show, that the depressed " abject poverty” of the working classes in China, which has been adduced by Malthus and others in proof of the correctness of the anti-population theory, is entirely unreal and imaginary-" that, far from being less favorably situated in regard to the supply of the necessaries and comforts of life, than the same class in other countries,-they are probably better fed, clothed, lodged, in one word, better paid, than the working class of, perhaps, any other part of the world. It is true, that money wages are lower than they are with us in the United States, though not lower than they are on an average in Great Britain and on the continent of Europe ; but I need not say to an experienced teacher of political economy, that the rate of money wages is no test of the real reward of labor, which is determined by the amount of the necessaries and comforts of life, which the labor
er's money wages place at his disposal. If the laborer in New-England, receiving a paper dollar every day, can barely make the two ends of the year meet, and in China, receiving only fifteen copper cents a day lives better, and can have, if he chooses, thirty-three dollars in the Savings' Bank at the year's end, it is apparent, that the reward of labor, or the rate of wages, is really higher in China than it is even in New-England.
It would be easy to show that in this, and all other cases, density of population, far from being a cause of comparative scarcity, is itself the proximate cause of the comparative abundance of the necessaries and comforts of life which we witness in China, and most other densely peopled countries. Assuming this to be true, the further question would then present itself, why the operation of the principle is not as uniform as it is beneficial ;—why, since densely peopled countries, like Coina and Holland, are overflowing with wealth as well as inhabitants, while others, like Ireland,far more fertile and equally populous,—are constantly poor, and at times sinking into the gulph of absolute starvation ? This is the great problem that now agitates the public mind in Great Britain, and for which her enlightened statesmen are now laboring, as yet without any very satisfactory result, to find a solution. These questions have already been discussed in a summary way in the preceding parts of this correspondence, and cannot, of course, be resumed at the close of a long letter. The general answer to the second would undoubtedly be, that the naturally beneficial influences of the progress and density of population, where it fails to be realized, is defeated by the effect of vicious po. litical institutions. So far the solution of the problem is comparatively easy. To discover in each case the particular form of misgovernment which does the mischief, is a more difficult matter, and another still harder task is to find and apply the proper remedy. The combined wisdom of all the great statesmen in England—and they seem to be now co-operating with extraordinary unanimity and good faith for the purpose-will not, I fear, be more than sufficient to effect it. The case is one of immediate life and death to half the population of Ireland, and, on a larger view, involves the prosperity and even existence of the vast future of the British Empire.
My present object has been merely to apply to China the principles which were briefly stated in the preceding parts of this correspondence. It has been a source of great satisfaction to me to find them confirmed, instead of being, as you appeared to think that they would be, confuted, by this striking and splendid example.
Having seen in the newspapers, since I wrote to you last, a notice of your having resigned the place of Professor in the University of Virginia, and not knowing exactly your present residence, I transmit this letter to my friend, Mr. O'Sullivan, with directions to forward it to you. As the letters that have passed between us on this subject have been published in the Democratic Review, I shall also authorise him, if he thinks proper, to procure the insertion of this in the same journal. Should you feel disposed to continue the correspondence, I shall be most happy to ear from you farther on the subject, and to furnish you with such information upon this, or any other topic, as may be within my reach.
I am, dear Sir, very truly and faithfully,
A. H. EVERETT.
in the University of Virginia
If any thinker in the world of thought,
And both will take thy hand with reverence.
LE KAIN IN THE CIARACTER OF TENDOME .
TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OF PITRE CHEVALIER.
There was a representation at the Théatre Française on the evening of the 10th of October, 1763. The tragedy of Adelaide Duguesclin was performed, a drama highly attractive, although far from perfect as a piece of composition, which was applauded with enthusiasm at its revival, after having unworthily fallen, at its first representation, beneath a malicious cabal of the pit.
The actor who played the part of Vendôme, in which he made his first appearance for the season, was the celebrated Le Kain, that tragedian whom Voltaire, as he flattered himself, had given to the stage; that man who had drawn tears from the eyes of Louis XV., and, according to his own confession, for the first time in his life; that actor, finally, who had already made the fortune of the Théâtre Française, though he received but a paltry pittance from its treasury.
The court and the city met at this double dramatic festival. Some had come, according to custom, to witness a spectacle which was at that time so much the fashion, others to see the spectators, the
spectatresses rather, and all to behold the favorite actor, who was to perform the principal part. Beautiful women, above all, seemed in the ascendant in this brilliant circle, and a triple row of charming faces, decorated with all the luxury of the age, appeared in a semicircle, beneath the rays of the huge central lustre, as they lined the boxes and the gilded galleries.
A general shout of rapture saluted Le Kain at his entrance upon the stage, and the most enthusiastic did not fail to applaud him, before he opened his lips. It is true, that, by a superiority of talent common to all great actors, Le Kain commenced playing as soon as he entered, and appeared at once, from the recesses of the scene, not only with the costume and outward form, but with the physiognomy and character also of the fictitious personage to which he was about to lend life and reality. It was this admirable talent, of adapting his mien and gestures, nay, the slightest movement of his features, to the parts which he undertook, that united in him, according to the testimony of the Baron de Grimm, two natures, directly in opposition to each other-off the stage, a man more than usually ugly, with coarse, unpleasing features, a heavy, unwieldy form, a hoarse and disagreeable voice, and manners entirely destitute of elegance; upon the stage, a hero, a king, with features, the most noble, or the most touching, a mien, the most imposing and the most graceful, a voice the most tenderly pathetic, and that rare combination of irresistible perfections, which often drew from women, who were convinced of his ugliness, involuntary exclamations upon his beauty. Witness the Marquise de Pompadour, who, an hour after she had found him frightful in a gallery of the Palace of Versailles, exclaimed, ou seeing him appear upon the stage under the turban of Orosman :