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CHINESE BENEVOLENT INSTITUTIONS. 2S1
2. Two of the directors must reside in the building; one of them must receive the infants, prepare their registers, distripute them among the nurses, and be cashkeeper. The other inspects the establishment, sees if the nurses do their duty, whether the children be fat or lean, and marks all his observations in his semi-monthly report. The monthly salaries of these directors is 2000 cash (about $2). 3. Provides for an errand-boy on a stipend of 1400 cash a month. 4. Requires two wet-nurses to be engaged, who suckle the children when first brought in; monthly wages 2000 cash. 5. Directs the examination and registering of the infants, “noting the lines and fashion of the fingers, whether the five senses and the four limbs be perfect or not,” and then giving them to the nurses, each of whom receives 760 cash a month. 6. Speaks of the care to be taken in hiring nurses, and that no collusion be allowed to the neglect and detriment of the children. 7. Directs as to the items to be entered in the registers, such as the subscriptions and donations received, the names of those who adopt the children, &c. 8. Speaks of the four tickets to be issued; one is a receipt to the subscribers, one for the attendant physician, one to be sent to the apothecary, and the other a kind of bond to be entered into by the persons who adopt the children. 9. Regulates the mode of putting the children out to nurse, and the payment of those who suckle them. 10. Regulates the treatment of the children after the age of three years, in case no one has appeared to adopt them. 11. Provides for clothing the children. In April, a calico jacket and single trousers are given; in May, a bib and musquito curtains, and in September, a padded jacket and petticoat, cap, stockings, and cotton blanket. 12. “When a child has been cast away as a foundling, being thus cut off from the sympathies of father and mother, and our institution having received and brought it up, and eventually transferred it by adoption to other hands, if any one should falsely claim to be the said child's father and mother, presuming therefrom to take it away, the case shall be laid before the sub-prefect, and the offender punished.” 13. Requires that none but foundlings be received, and directs concerning parents who endeavor to get their offspring surreptitiously introduced. i H. Contains regulations regarding the adoption of the children, and directs the overseers to take every precaution that the girls be not taken for vicious purposes, or by those who will rear them for sale as concubines.
The names of forty-eight persons connected officially with the institution, and the report from the register for four years, 1839– 1842, are given under the following heads:
CLASSES OF INMATEs. 1839 1840 | 1841 1842
Old inmates, - 35 23 23 35
New ones admitted in the year, . 79 '70 114 91 New, received from Sungkiang fu, . 54 b0 34 Transferred by adoption, - - 75 53 50 25 Deceased before registering, . - 33 37 68 33 Deceased after registering, . - 32 21 30 25
From this it appears that the deaths in these four years were nearly one half of the children. The names of distinguished benefactors are recorded, and the report concludes by an appeal for funds, as the institution is nearly out of money. Various modes of raising supplies are proposed, and arguments are brought forward to induce people to give ; the appeal ends with the fol. lowing, which would answer almost equally well for the report of a charitable institution in western lands.
“If, for the extension of kindness to our fellow creatures, and to those poor and destitute who have no father and mother, all the good and benevolent would daily give one cash (Tory of a dollar), it would be sufficient for the maintenance of the foundlings one day. Let no one consider a small good unmeritorious, nor a small subscription as of no avail. Either you may induce others to subscribe by the vernal breeze from your mouth, or you may nourish the blade of benevolence in the field of happiness, or cherish the already sprouting bud. Thus by taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves, and using your endeavors to accomplish your object, you may immeasurably benefit and extend the institution.”
The details of the receipts and expenditures are given at the end of the report in a business-like manner. The annual expenditure was about $1550, and the receipts from all sources more than that, so that a balance of $5000 is reported on hand, four fifths of which was derived from interest on subscriptions invested, and on wares from pawnbrokers.
Similar establishments are found in all large towns, some of them partly supported by the government; all of them seem to
FOUNDLING hospitals. 283
- be of modern origin, less than two centuries old, and may have been imitated from, or suggested by, the Romanists. Candida, a distinguished convert in the days of Ricci, about 1710, did much to establish these institutions, and show the excellence of the religion she professed. Mr. Milne, who visited one at Ningpo, says, after entering the court, “A number of coarse looking women were peeping through the lattice at us, with squallababies at their breasts, and squalid boys and girls at their heels; these women are the nurses, and these children are the foundlings, each woman having two or three to look after. But I have rarely beheld such a collection of filthy, unwashen, ragged, brats. There are at present between sixty and seventy children, the boys on one side, the girls on the other. Boys remain here till the age of fourteen, when they are hired out or adopted; girls stay till sixteen, when they are betrothed as wives, or taken as concubines or servants. It is supported by the rental of lands and houses, and by an annual tax of thirty-six stone or shih (about 500 lbs.) of rice from each district in the department.” Charity is a virtue which thrives poorly in the selfish soil of heathenism, but even badly managed establishments like these are praiseworthy, and promise something better when higher teachings and principles shall have been engrafted into the public mind. The government is obliged to expend large sums almost every year, for relieving the necessities of the starving and the distressed, and strong calls are also made on the rich to give to these objects. In the drama of a History of a Lute, one of the scenes represents the defalcating commissary of grain arraigned before the prefect, and ordered to supply a woman with rice, who had complained against him that the granary was empty. He unwillingly did so, and afterwards took her bag away by force, as she was trying to carry it home, upbraiding her for her meanness in complaining. The police of cities find it necessary to distribute food to the poor, in order to preserve quiet in times of dearth: a late Peking Gazette mentions, that 461,129 mouths had been supplied in that city with food during ten days. Generally speaking, beggars in China soon end their life and sufferings together, for the number is great, and the people are callous to their miseries. The general condition of religion among the Chinese is effete; and the stately formalities of imperial worship, the doctrines of Confucius, the ceremonies of the Budhists, the sorceries of the Rationalists, alike fail to comfort and instruct. But superstition and the worship of ancestors, the two beliefs which hold the Chinese of all ranks and abilities in their thrall, are still strong; and the principal sway the two sects exert is owing to the connexion of their priests with the latter ceremonies. All have exerted all the power over the people they could, and all have failed to impart present happiness or assure future joy to their votaries. Confucianism is cold and unsatisfactory to the affectionate and inquiring mind; and the transcendental dreams of Rationalism, or the nonsensical vagaries of Budhism, are a little worse. All classes are the prey of unfounded fears and superstitions, and dwell in a mist of ignorance and error, which the light of true religion and knowledge alone can dissipate. It is a matter of humble gratitude that the rays of Christian light are beginning to enter, and beams from the Sun of Righteousness commencing to dawn upon the miscalled Celestial Empire. Besides the two leading idolatrous sects, there are also many societies and combinations existing among the people, partly religious, and partly political, two of which, the Pih Lien kiau and the Triad Society, have already been mentioned in Chapter VIII. The Wān kiang, or Incense-burning sect, is also denounced in the Sacred Commands, but has not been mentioned in late times. The Triad Society is comparatively peaceful in China itself in overt acts, the members of the various auxiliary societies contenting themselves with keeping alive the spirit of resistance to the Manchus, getting new members, and countenancing one another in their opposition; but in the ultramarine settlements of the Chinese in Siam, Singapore, Malacca, and the Archipelago, it has become a powerful body, and great cruelties are committed on those who refuse to join. The members are admitted with formalities bearing great resemblance to those of the Freemasons, and the professed objects of the society are the same. The novice swears before an idol to maintain inviolate secresy, and stands under naked swords while taking the oath, which is then read to him; he afterwards cuts off a cock's head, the usual form of swearing among all Chinese, intimating that a like fate awaits him if treacherous. There are countersigns known among the members, consisting of grips and motions of the fingers. Such is the secresy of their operations in China, however, that very lit
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tle is known of their numbers, internal organization, or character; and the dislike the mass of the people have of their machinations is the best security against their ultimate success. Local delusions, caused by some sharpwitted fellow, now and then arise in one part and another of the country, but they are speedily put down or dissipate of themselves. None of them are allowed to erect temples, or make a public exhibition or procession, and exhortations are from time to time issued by the magistrates against them; while the penalties annexed to the statute against all illegal associations give the rulers great power to crush whatever they may deem suspicious or treasonable. The Mohammedan sect has long been known and tolerated among the Chinese, and its adherents found their way to the Middle Kingdom during the Tang dynasty, or within a century after the hegira. They are found in all the provinces; some of them hold office and pass through the examinations to obtain it, but whether they worship Confucius and idols, or refuse on conscientious scruples, is not known ; early in the last century, the whole number in the country was computed to be half a million. There is a mosque in Canton, and the votaries “are distinguished from the other inhabitants as persons who have no idols, and who will not eat swine's flesh.” There is a mosque at Fuhchau and one at Changchau, to which a few persons resort; about a hundred of the sect live at Amoy, but throughout the southern provinces they are few in number and of inconsiderable influence. Mr. Milne visited the mosque in Ningpo, and made the acquaintance of the head-priest. “He is a man about forty-five years of age, of a remarkably benign and intelligent countenance and gentlemanly bearing. His native place is Shantung, but his ancestors came from Medina. He readily reads the Arabic scriptures, and talks that language fluently, but can neither read nor write Chinese, which is somewhat surprising considering he can talk it well, was born in China, and is a minister of religion among the Chinese. His supporters number between twenty and thirty families, and one or two of his adherents are officers. He took ‘me inte the place of worship which adjoins his apartments. A flight of steps leads into a room, covered with a plain roof, on either side of which lay a mass of dusty furniture and agricultural implements; the pillars are ornamented with sentences out of the Koran. Facing you is an ornamented pair of small doors