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water-carriage given by the universal system of irrigation, place the Demerara planter in a better position than his brethren in mountainous regions such as Jamaica, where the badness of the roads, and the consequent difficulty and expense of transporting produce to the sea, have been not the least among the many causes of ruin to the planters of that ill-fated island. The rarely gifted colony of British Guiana has but one want —the crying want of labor. The virgin soil needs only the hand of man to make it teem with sugar, and coffee, and cotton, and other products that minister to the industry and the comfort of civilized man all round the globe. But the whole population, including all races, is estimated at no more than a hundred and fifty thousand; while the neighboring colony of Barbadoes, little larger than one among the thousand islands which stud the broad bosom of the Essequibo, contains a population of a hundred and forty thousand souls.
The same sore want of labor oppresses the beautiful island of Trinidad, and the same measures have there been adopted to supply the void. The Demerara and Trinidad planters—who are for the most part navi homines, and a different class of men from that proud, soured, and somewhat sullen aristocrat, the old Jamaica planter— have vigorously set their shoulders to the wheel; and we may now reasonably hope that rapidly growing prosperity will be the reward of their sanguine and energetic speculation. They have borne the burden and the heat of the day. They have withstood the attack of the Anti-Slavery Society and all the powers of obstruction, and have come victorious out of the fight. The Imperial Parliament and the Colonial Office are now satisfied that the immigrant is generously treated, and that the whole system, when properly conducted, is "doubly blessed," promoting the well-being of the indentured laborer no less than that of his employer. Year by year the stream of immigration flows on from east to west; and as it flows, the area of cultivation is gradually extending. The Coolie population of British Guiana was estimated, in 1860, to number about 36,000; and the Chinese in the colony were reckoned at 6,000. And, according to the report of the agent-general for immigration in Trinidad, published in
the Colonial Blue-book of last session, there were 13,500 Coolies in the island, of whom more than 8,000 were indentured to estates. As regards Detnerara and Trinidad, the immigration is placed on a similar footing, and subject to similar regulations. There is variance in details, but the broad features and results of their systems are essentially the same; and if we briefly describe the plan adopted by the colony whose operations are conducted on the larger scale, we shall give a sketch sufficiently like, for our present purpose, of the system pursued by the lesser colony. In pursuance of the regulations enacted by the Demerara Legislature and confirmed by the crown, an agreement is made between the Calcutta or Madras Coolie and the Emmigration Agent of the Colony in India, by which the former binds himself to serve on any estate the Governor may appoint, for the term of five years from the day of his arrival in the colony. The whole expense of his introduction is borne, in the first instance, by the Colonial Treasury; but two-thirds of this expenditure is repaid to the colony, in annual instalments, by the planters to whom he may be indentured for the first five years of his residence. And such is the jealous care of the Imperial Government for the comfort and health of the Coolies on the voyage, that no ship is allowed to carry more than one immigrant for every three tons burden,—that is to say, double the space which is given to the English soldier in a troop-ship is demanded for the slender Asiatic, whose only want is a mat to lie on. Immediately on their arrival in the colony, the Coolies are proportionately assigned by the governor to such planters as have sent in requisitions for them in the preceding year; but the separation of husbands from wives, and of children under fifteen from their parents or natural protectors, is expressly forbidden. By the terms of the indenture, the Coolie agrees to serve the planter for three years, receiving the same rate of wages as is paid to the unindentured laborer. At the end of the third year, he has the option of continuing in the service of the planter to whom he was first indentured, or of making a new contract with another employer; and he has the same option at the end of the fourth year; or he may bring his indentured service to a close by paying twelve dollars for each of the first five years of his residence that j remained unexpired. At the end of five years, or hefore, by the payment in commutation of service, he becomes entitled to a certificate of industrial residence. Then he may elect to remain in absolute independence, or to enter into an indenture for another term of five years, for which he receives a bounty of fifty dollars; and he has in the second period of five years the same rights, as to changing employers and commutation of service, as he had in the first period. And at the end of ten years' residence be is entitled to a return-passage, at the expense of the colony, to the port of his native land from whence he came.
While the immigrant serves under indenture, the planter is bound to provide him with a proper cottage rent free, and with medical attendance when he falls sick; and it generally happens that he passes much of his first year, before he becomes acclimatized, in the estate hospital. The planter is at all times under the immediate supervision and control of the government in all that relates to the treatment of his indentured laborers. Twice a year each estate is inspected by the head of the Immigration Department; and an opportunity is given to every immigrant of expressing bis wants and seeking redress for his grievances. All matters in dispute between the employer and the indentured laborer, are referred to the decision of a magistrate; and for ill-usage, neglect, defects of drainage, or insufficiency of hospital accommodation, the governor may cancel the indentures, and remove all the immigrants from the estate of the delinquent planter. Under such easy conditions of life, the half-starved and attenuated Bengalee rapidly ripens into a sleek and able-bodied laborer. The mortality among them is not one-third of what it is at Calcutta; and the children that are born in the colony are far superior to their parents in strength and stature. And much as the Coolie thrives, bis wants are few and simple. His clothing is scanty, and his diet is spare; and thus the high rate of wages enables him to lay by the greater part of his earnings. He loves to hoard, and dearer to him, perhaps, than wife and child, is his growing deposit at the savings' bank. When the immigrant's term of residence is expired, comparatively few demand the return passage. They elect to
remain and trade in the land of their adoption. They abandon labor on the estates, and their hoarded earnings are the capital with which they start as retail storekeepers. In Trinidad most of the spirit stores, we believe, are now kept by Coolies; but in this, perhaps, their selection has been unhappy, for rum is the Coolie's bane. Now and then, however, a ship is chartered to carry a load of Coolies homewards, and they depart, bearing about them all the marks of prosperity. The wrists and the ankles, the ears and the noses of their wives and daughters, bear a heavy burden of silver ornaments, the spoil of the Egyptians. And we have seen it stated that no less a sum than £34,854 was deposited with the immigration agent in Trinidad, to be repaid through the Indian Treasury on their arrival in India, by 2,245 returning Coolies, of which number one-fifth were women and children. Nor did this large sum represent the -whole of their savings, for many carried their money with them on board ship. Such are the fruits of emigration to them, while the planter's permanent want — a supply of steady and certain labor—is being at length satisfied.
The Chinese immigration of the West Indies is still in its infancy, and it is early to judge results. But so far as the experiment has yet gone, it is full of promise for the future; though many and grave were the difficulties under which it commenced. The iniquitous traffic of kidnapping Chinese for the Cuban labor-market had poisoned the minds of the government and people with natural fears and suspicion. Now, however, the emigration has been legalized by the convention of Pekin, and the hindrances interposed by the Mandarins have been removed. Host happily, too, whole families—husbands, wives, and childrenhave been induced to emigrate together; for without a proportion of women the Asiatic element of a population becomes a very cesspool of pollution. In the colony to which he goes, the Chinese immigrant has the same rights and privileges as the Coolie; except that he acquires no claim to a return passage, and is regarded as a permanent settler. The planters, whose experience of them is the longest, consider them to be the best class of agricultural laborers. Superior to the Coolie, and equal, perhaps, to the negro in physical power and endurance, they leave the latter far behind in industry, intelligence, and fixity of purpose. Keen in the pursuit of money, they turn to trade, like the Coolie, as soon as their means permit, but they have not the Coolie's passion for hoarding; their rational choice is to spend and enjoy life. As market-gardeners they have no equals. Skill in the cultivation of provision-grounds seems to be their forte, unless it be dexterity in thieving. Immured as the Chinaman has been for centuries in the stifling pedantry of the national civilization, he is still a thorough citizen of the world. Drop him down in a remote corner of the western hemisphere, and he is ready in the first moments of his arrival to nod and smile and chat as he best can with all the strange and wondering faces that pass him by. Light-hearted, gay, and destitute of principle, he roams the globe with his opium-pipe and a fan. Should an overseer swear at him, or his dinner disagree with him, suicide is a short and easy way of escape always at hand. He flies from the
ills he knows, and leaves the dark morrow of eternity to take thought for itself.
And so, year by year, the strange medley of races gathers and grows. A century or two hence, will they have a common language, and what will it be? Something better, let us hope, than the monstrous jargon, which is all that remains of the strength and beauty of our language, when it comes from the negro's tongue. Will they marry and mix, and be fused by time into one homogeneous whole? or will the races flow on in separate and distinct channels? There is room for all now; but if we are to believe the stern creed of which Mr. Darwin is the prophet, the hour may come when the fell "struggle for existence " shall begin. The endemic productions of New Zealand are rapidly disappearing before the plants and animals introduced from Europe; and it may be the doom of the negro, as it has been of the Carib Indian, to faint and die exhausted in the battle of life, and give place to the new-comer.
Ladt Novelists.—Novels may be divided into two classes, those which are founded upon observation of life at first hand, and those which we merely founded upon the pictures of life given in other novels. Too many novels written by ladies belong to this last class. Such writers, indeed, as Miss Austen show that the narrow field of view which a Indy living in a dull English country village could command, might be made extensive enough to employ powers of the nicest observation and the most delicate imagination. Miss Bronte* is a still more striking example. Her only materials— a dull Yorkshire village and a dreary Belgian school—would, in most people's hands, have sent writers and readers to sleep, yet she succeeded not merely in forming a picture from them interesting, like a prc-Raphaclite painting, for prosaic accuracy, but what was far more difficult, in giving her portraits the force and dignity of highly imaginative works. In fact, the problem of making good novels out of bomely and confined materials is exactly one well fitted for feminine talents, and which has been triumphantly solved by many of our best female novelists. But when ladies are not content to do what, after all, every novelist must do,—to describe people they have seen and scenery they have visited,—they are apt to become the worst of novelists. They stray most widely and hopelessly from anything that ever does or can happen on earth. They have not had so many opportunities as men of seeing various of life, and they are more apt to accept
with guileless simplicity the reports of former observers. Thus, it is a well-known fact that men who write novels invariably fail grievously and infallibly whenever they have to describe the legal complications which have such a strange attraction for novelists; and yet most men have had occasion to acquire at least some vague popular notions concerning law and its intricacies; but when a lady has to describe a trial for murder, or to discuss the effect of a will, she probably docs not refer to any personal experiences, however faint, but only to her recollection of descriptions of trials for murder or difficulties about wills ,in the works of male novelists, who were themselves in outer darkness. Thus we only get a doubly diluted mixture of the real thing, we have merely the faulty reflection of a distorted image o'f the facts; and if the same principle is applied not only to the law but to the making love, and the quarrelling, and whatever else goes to filling up the lives of conventional characters of a novel, we get, as it were, a novel at second-hand, which bears the same kind of relation, in reality and distinctness, to general novels, that they bear to an account of real life. All the local color has been washed out in the process. Most women, according to Pope, have no characters at all. Most women's novels, we might add, have next to none. Too soft to bear any lasting mark of criticism, they are best distinguished as being in one, two, or three volumes.—London Review.
From St. James's Magazine. A LITTLE GIRL PICTURED.
BY FREDERICA 11I1EMER.
I HAVE a little girl at my hearth, in my home; she is not mine—I wish she were! But she is my daily enjoyment, and I cannot but wish that every home in this our world had such a little girl as its own! Not that I think little girls in general to be such precious rarities, for " there's plenty of them in the world,"—or a bit better, for the comfort and happiness of home, than an old lady, with mild eyes and sweet words of wisdom on her lips / and I know more than one little girl who adds not a whit to the comfort of home, but rather something the reverse. But my little girl, she whom I wish were mine, is the very reverse of the uncomfortable one. Nobody ever saw her surly or sour, or tiresome, or asking " What shall I do?" No, she seems born with a peculiar clearness of what she has to do in this world, and what she is here for. It is therefore, perhaps, that her eyes shine so cheerily and bright every day's morning, and that she is up and dressed almost as soon as she is awake. And then you tnight see her, washed, and nice and rosy as a dewy rosebud, standing by her mother's knees, thanking the good Father in heaven for the repose of the night and the life of the day, and imploring his blessing for all men—and, of course, for all little girls. After this she goes to work. She helps the maid to make fire in the oven; she likes to light the fire, and the wood seems to burn all the brighter when it is the little girl who lights it. Then she helps mamma at the breakfast-table; she knows precisely where papa and old grandmamma are to sit—what cups 'and things they prefer; she puts everything right. Then she starts off for little brother, " the baby," who is heard to grumble in his cradle; and she wants to prevent his getting out of humor in the morning, f»r which he has great aptitude. And j ust as he is beginning to grumble, lo! there she stands by his cradle smiling over him, taking him up, kissing him, commiserating and moralizing him at once, with those indescribable but melodious tones of which good little girls have alone the secret, and which make baby forget that he intended to quarrel with the world and his family, and lets him give way to a joyous smile. And now he must be dressed —
which is done by little sister, with goodhumored advice to stockings and boots, and other things, not to be "wrong-minded," not to be obstinate, etc., for "serve they must," — " do their duty they ought," and
"There, we are ready!" And now
baby is taken up in little sister's arms, and carried out to say good-morning to papa, and mamma, and grandmamma, and kiss and be kissed all round.
After this, he is to have his breakfast. It is the little girl who gives it him—who tastes the porridge, that it may not be too hot— who breathes cooling over it until it is just right, and carries it to his mouth with recommendations to open it wide grandly, so that the "king's schooner" may get right into port, and not make shipwreck at the entrance—the first spoonful is for the little brother, the next for herself.
After breakfast baby must amuse himself as he can, with his playthings: for the little girl must study her lessons, and be all attention to them.
She would not for the world that grandmother should shake her head when she recites them to her, or, maybe, give a meaning look to a certain corner of the room called the "shame corner," and where she knows that little girls and boys are put if they study very badly. But she has never stood there — and I do believe she never will.
It is just the same little girl who, two years ago, in the small children's school, when, upon the question, " What the Lord did the seventh day of creation?" and the children answered, " He rejoiced,"—elevated her clear voice and assumed, " but he was not at all tired, and he went to church!"
She is now a little older, and would not have answered so childishly. Still, I do not think she can even now think of repose or enjoyment, except in conjunction with some plan or project for the happiness of somebody else. You see it clearly in her face whenever she loiters, amusing herself, singing to her doll, or turning over the leaves of a book, or looking half-abstractedly on you or something else. She looks at once so good and so sweetly sly—she is clearly planning or plotting some little angel-trick! Nobody, be he a Swede or an Englishman, a Frenchman or a German, Dane or Italian, Christian or Pagan, ever looks at her atteulively without being compelled—I say compelled—to smile in a peculiar way, so that he or she becomes, as it were, beautified by the smile, which clearly says, if the eyes do not—" What a darling creature you are!" Yes; she is a. darling to everybody—and she is a cosmopolite; * for though you would hardly say, by her countenance, of what people she is, she unites, as it were, in one smile all peoples on earth, and everybody feels related to her by some magic love-tie. But do not fancy that my little girl has any intentions to win or to charm you. Not a bit; she has too many other weightier things to do and to think of. She is busy the whole day, in one way or another; and if she is musing or studying or playing, and she sees her mother doing some heavy household work, up she starts, wanting to help her. "It is not too heavy; no indeed, she is strong, very strong! Does she not carry baby in her arms many an hour, and is never tired?" She likes to be called "Little busy Martha; "and indeed she deserves that name, from morning, when she is helping everybody in the house, until night, when she lulls baby to sleep with the little sweetly melancholy song that has lulled most of us, women and men, in Swedeland, in our cradles:—
"The squirrel went to make hay on the lawn, With four of his brave little servants," etc.
Yet the sweetest hour of the day is, for the little girl, that in which she reposeth. Yes; but on the knee of her father, balancing in the rocking-chair, and listening to what he tells her of foreign countries, of savage men and customs, and of good men who go among them trying to make them better! Sometimes, attending to his words, her eyes will grow wider and wider, till they become as wells flowing over with tears. But the father knows the art to make them dry up again, and make the sun shine out of them, like Heaven's sun in the rainbow on the cloud.
Sometimes it is the little girl who has the
* "Cosmopolite:" Citizen of the world.—Die.
word, and tells papa stories out of her own mind:—and she has a large store of them. Now and then she is allowed to read aloud to him out of "Reading for the Home," or some other good magazine. (What, if she one day chance to read there this very talk about a little girl! It would be funny, but she would not know who it meant.)
Lastly, she discloses her own little heart in the bosom of the Good Father, telling him her secret anguish if she has committed some fault, or her most secret wishes and hopes. She has some ambitious ones, the little girl, for the time when she " shall be great." She has some ideas of building a house for father and mother, and grandmamma, but not for little brother, for he shall also become "great," and learn to help himself! And then, when she has put everything right at home, she will go out to the people of whom her father has just spoken, and join those men who try to make them better and happier; or she may, as Robinson Crusoe did, discover and cultivate some unknown island, "when she will be great." I would bet ten to one that when she becomes a great girl —cultivated, educated — she will nevertheless not be otherwise, only in larger proportions and consciously, than what she is, unconsciously, even now—a good and gladsome help to her fellow-beings, a true-hearted little servant of the Lord.
You know that Frederica Bremer, who has sent this story to me from Stockholm, Has written a great number of good books. She has travelled over America, visited many of the European countries, and after a residence of more than two years in Athens, has returned to her native Sweden with an enlarged mind, and a heart as fresh and warm as if—as if—she were still a little child! It is wonderful to me how well she writes English. I have not altered a single phrase; and though—(you children are to saucy)— you may call one or two of the expressions "funny," yet I know you will enjoy making the acquaintance of the good little girl whom my dear friend Frederica Bremer pictures!