« VorigeDoorgaan »
or come of Thee, and of Thine own do we give Thee!" All such donations for the Chinese Blind Mission will be gladly received by Miss C. F. Gordon Cumming, Glen-Earn House, Crieff, Scotland.-MISS C. F. GORDON CUMMING, in The Gentleman's Magazine.
need of no sustenance except water, and live nobody knows how many centuries longer.
Then there are composite beings each having the parts of several distinct animals. Among these is a dragon, which has "the head of a camel, the horns of a deer, the eyes of a demon, the ears of an ox, the body of a serpent, the scales of a carp, and the claws of an eagle.'
JAPANESE MYTHICAL CREA- The kilin or kirin is "the noblest
Mr. William Anderson, for some time medical officer to the British Legation in Tokio, Japan, has given us a most suggestive work on the Pictorial Arts of Japan. Among the matters treated of are: Mythical Animals, without any remarkable peculiarities of conformation, but gifted with supernatural attributes; such as the tiger, which lives to a thousand years, but whose hair becomes white. Then there is the fox, who at fifty can transform himself into a beautiful woman. At a hundred he gains some new powers, among which is that of becoming a mighty wizard, strong in all the powers of magic. But when he has reached the age of a thousand years, he becomes a celestial fox, of a golden color and having nine tails; who can go to heaven whenever he feels like it. Then there are animals distinguished mainly by their size or by the multiplication of their members. There are serpents eight hundred feet long, who can swallow an elephant; fcxes with nine tails; monkeys wit four. ears; fishes with ten heads an 1 one body, whose flesh is a specific against hoils; wonderful cranes which after they have reached the age of six hundred years have
form of the animal creation," and is the emblem of perfect good; it has the body of a deer, the tail of an ox, and a single horn. Those Occidentals who have ever happened to get sight of a live unicorn will be able to know how a kilin looks.
There is an immense number of anthropological myths, which Mr. Anderson divides into three main groups:
1. Persons born of woman with or without divine agency, who develop magical powers, work miracles, and attain a fabulous longevity. 2. Those distinguished by physical peculiarities of a fabulous nature. Among these are giants; dwarfs; perforated men, who are conveyed about by coolies by means of poles put through holes which conveni"ently exist in their bodies for this purpose; stomachless men, who, according to popular belief, "dare not laugh for they have no sides to hold;" men with enormously long legs, and those with similarly long arms; men with tails, who carefully dig holes where they sit in order to provide a receptacle for the appendage; and many other extraordinary beings, all of which are truthfully described, from Chinese works of authority and repute, in the great Japanese encyclopædia Wa-Kan-San Sai dzu
yé. 3. Transitional beings, who combine with human elements parts naturally appertaining to the lower animals: such are feathered men; those with human faces, but the wings and beak of a bird; mermen, who have human heads and arms attached to the body of a fish, and learn the secrets of the deep from the murmuring hollow of the Conchifer. To this section also belongs the vampire bride, who lures men to her deadly embraces till she has drained away their life-blood.
All or most of these strange creatures seem to be common to Japan and China. But the Japanese have some which are exclusively their own. Among these are giant centipedes, monster devil-fishes; earth-spiders, probably representing the troglodytes of old Japan; the raccoonfaced dog, which possesses in a minor degree the evil powers and tendencies of the fox; the wolf-like animal which produces thunder; the "whirling neck," or being which has the power of so elongating the neck that the head appears in places remote from the body; the man-devouring kappa, which frequents rivers and ponds, and politely challenges wayfarers to single combat; and many other equally strange creatures.- Nature.
ON HAND.-We congratulate the Boston magazine, Education, upon the success of its Educational Bureau;" and we copy a few paragraphs from its last "Bulletin Board:"
In the same office with this magazine is the Eastern Educational Bureau. This Bureau has in its membership not only competent primary school-teachers, but experienced teachers for all grades of schools.
This Bureau can furnish Colleges with and Towns with Superintendents of Professors of acknowledged ability; Cities experience and skill; Academies and Seminaries with Principals and special Teachers. We have, in particular, one excellent Superintendent for some first class city. There are also
members of the Bureau who are expert Musical Teachers; fine native German, French, Italian, and Spanish teachers; teachers of Drawing and Painting, KinderShould you wish gartens, etc.
a teacher to take the place of one to be married, or one who goes to another school, or leaves you for any reason, you will be likely to find here just the teacher you need. We have on our list a capital man for President of a New England College, or a first-class Western College or University; several Professors for chairs of Natural Sciences, Classics, Modern Languages, or English Literature and Rhetoric.
We have now ready a foot rule expressly for primary school work, made of stiff card-board, etc.
Education Facts on Civics, No. I., is a capital presentation of the necessity and origin of government by the people Send for a copy. and for the people.'
Education Tracts on Civics, No. II., is the best paper on how to teach civics in the schools, primary, grammar, and high, which has yet appeared. Send instrument to illustrate the power of the The lead pencil is an pen. This is especially true nowadays, for the lead pencil has taken the place of the pen to an extent alarming to the pen manufacturers. This is due to the greatly increased excellence of the lead pencil; and this degree of excellence is largely
due to the
says, 'I advise all parents to have their boys and girls taught shorthand-writing and type-writing. A shorthand writer who can type-write his notes would be safer from poverty than a great Greek scholar.' A boy or girl skilled in the correct use of the type-writer, possesses at once the means of earning a handsome income. Send for illustrated pamphlet, with full particulars." And so
In another part of Education we fird the following profound thought, which could hardly be more lucidly expressed: "There is absolutely no use trying to float a boat upstream in a strong current."
COMPETITION IN WHEAT
Growing wheat at a loss is an operation that cannot be persisted in for a long period on an extensive scale; and it is not surprising that, after three years of unremunerative prices, many British farmers are disposed to regard their struggle with foreign and colonial competitors as almost hopeless. That few farmers in the United Kingdom have been able to grow wheat without loss during the last three years, is generally admitted. Indeed, when the high rents and other expenses of years further back are considered, it is not too much to say, that wheat-growing has failed to yield a living profit in this country for the ten years ending with 1886. Since 1876 the area of the wheat crop of the United Kingdom has decreased by 767,448 acres, or by nearly 25 per cent.; and this was not because other corn crops paid well, for the net decrease in the area under all kinds of corn during the period has been 1,196,059 acres, which quantity has been absorbed in the increase of permanent pasture, cultivated grasses, and clover. But rents have gone down greatly since 1876, and farmers have learned how to cut down expenses in many ways, so that if they expected prices to range as they were from 1876 to 1882 inclusive, that is from an annual average price of 44s. 4d. to 56s. 9d. per quarter, wheat would probably be grown now as extensively as it was cultivated ten years ago. Of course, if the average price of wheat were never to be below 40s., it would sometimes be higher, and, supposing it to range from 40s. to 45s., as a general rule, there is reason to be
lieve that our farmers might easily be placed in a position to grow with profit a much larger acreage than they have produced during the last few years.
In proceeding to consider what grounds there are for expecting that, under fair conditions, wheat in the future may be profitably produced in this country, the cost of growing the crop is, of course, the first point to be dealt with. Now, the circumstances of farming, under the general heads of expenses and returns, vary so greatly, even. in our own country, that it is impossible to state with precision what is the minimum or the average cost of producing an acre of wheat. Indeed, it is not too much to say, that very few farmers know what it separately costs them to grow wheat. Again, it is difficult to apportion the miscellaneous expenses of a farm, which cannot be charged to any particular crop or even field. Yet, if certain rules of valuation were uniformly followed, estimates close enough for their purpose might be made. An effort to obtain such estimates from growers of wheat in all the principal producing districts of England was made by the Mark Lane Express in 1885.
For all England the average expense of producing the wheat crop came out at 81. Os. 7d. an acre, and the average returns at 81. 28. d., wheat being uniformly valued at 36s. a quarter. There was thus an average profit of 2s. an acre; but no interest on capital was charged, and comparatively few returns showed any profit, except when straw sold. It is also to be observed that, out of 200 returns, only a dozen put the rent at less than 17. an acre,
although thirty-seven out of the forty English counties were represented. Several charged for rent over 21. an acre, and some much higher amounts. If similar returns were collected now, rents would undoubtedly come out lower, and if wheatgrowing is to pay in England, the average rent should be below, rather than above, 17. per acre. Tithe rent-charge varied from a few pence to 10s. an acre, the average being a little over 48. Rates and taxes ranged in amount from 1s. 2d. to 11s. in extreme instances. The cost of manuring was most commonly put at 21. to 31. an acre. Now, the higher of these amounts is not enough to charge for farmyard-manure, if the selling value of the straw used in making it be charged; but then a large proportion of the correspondents could not sell straw, their agreements forbidding the sale, and in their case it was proper to charge only consuming value.
In his evidence given before the Royal Commission on Depression of Trade and Agriculture, Sir James Caird expressed the opinion that "good wheat land, when the rent is re-arranged, will continue to be cultivated even at 36s. a quarter" as the price of wheat. "The straw," he added, "is of considerable value in many parts of the country," and the possibility of selling it at a good price evidently entered into his calculations. Now 36s. a quarter was the price taken for the valuation of the grain in the returns above referred to, although it was above the average market price which was then or has been since generally current; and it has already been stated that several correspondents showed a satisfactory profit through the sale of
straw. But at 36s. only the best of the wheat lands would pay a living profit, and the wheat area will certainly continue to decrease in this country unless we have a higher quotation for the grain. Even with reduced rents it is doubtful whether wheat can be grown in this country at much if any less than 81. an acre, including interest on capital and other charges apt to be lost sight of in drawing up a balance-sheet.
The "ordinary average" yield of the wheat crop in England is nearly 29 bushels an acre, which, at 36s. a quarter (4s. 6d. a bushel), would return 67. 10s. 6d. If we allow 21. an acre for straw, the total amounts to 87. 10s. 6d., leaving a profit of only 10s. 6d. if the expenses are 81. That is certainly not a "living profit." Bearing in mind the fact, that crops fed on the land or in the yards, as a rule, do not yield any profit beyond the manure left by the animals which have consumed them, it is not extravagant to name 27. an acre as a mimimum satisfactory margin for interest and profit on the wheat crop, at any rate when straw as well as grain is sold off the land. To obtain that, the price of the grain must be 458. a quarter. But the existing area of wheat, and perhaps a small extension, would be grown at half this satisfactory profit, which could be obtained, according to the estimates, with wheat at 40s.
No doubt many readers will be disposed to regard this statement as a verdict of extinction for wheatgrowing in England. But it is the object of this article to show that the foreign wheat supply is not likely to be kept up at a lower range of prices than 40s. to 458. a quarter, which, as we have said, will possibly
be a remunerative rate for homegrown wheat. Recently, during the period of our vanishing wheat acreage, imports of wheat have increased so enormously, in spite of falling prices during a portion of the period, that people are apt to think that we can obtain all we require at almost any abatement of price. This glut of the market is, however, only temporary and accidental. The wheat acreage of the world had been increasing enormously for several years up to 1880, and, less uniformly, up to 1883. In the ten years ending with 1880, the wheat area of the United States rose from a little under nineteen millions to nearly thirty-eight million acres; a gain of nineteen million acres in one country alone. In Australia, in the ten years ending with 1884, there was an increase of over two million acres of wheat. The wheat area of all India, including the Native States, was over twenty-seven million acres last harvest, an increase of probably one-fourth of that large acreage since 1874, when India first began to export wheat on an extensive scale. Egypt helped to glut the wheat markets of Europe for several years after 1871; but during the last two years the Egyptian supply has been a mere trifle. Chili, again, made a great advance as a wheat-exporting country in 1872, but has made no further progress.
The increased supplies from the countries named have been far more than suflicient to supply the needs of the increased population of Europe. But will these supplies keep up at anything like current prices? Our argument is that they will not, and that they have already begun to fall off.
Our principal sources of wheat
Let us consider, then, the prosof these exporting countries. pects of wheat-growing in each wheat-growing pay in the United Does States at current prices, or has it paid at the prices of the last three tistician of the American Departyears? Mr. J. R. Dodge, the StaReport of 1885, writes:ment of Agriculture, in his Annual
"The value of an acre of wheat averaged only 8.38 dollars on an average yield of 13 bushels last year (1884), the lowest return of which there is any record, and a figure lower than the accredited estimate of the cost of production. It may confidently be assumed, therefore, that there is no profit in wheat-production at present prices. But there is a class of farmers who made a
profit on wheat in 1884. Those who secured 25 bushels per acre, or 20, obtained a small profit, provided the cost of fertilizers was not too large an element of it."
Now, this is said of the greatest