Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/312

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planted, and reaped about October. In the dry or winter season opium, wheat, and beans of various kinds are grown.

The healthiness of the greater part of the province, especially in its western section, has been emphasised by Captain Eyder—who has for long been occupied in surveying a great part of the province—in a paper read before the Geographical Society in London; his idea being that in the future this part of Yunnan may become the sanatorium for Burmah and Tonkin.

The quantity of opium grown is increasing yearly, and it is considered to be of a very good quality. The foreign drug is not generally used, except when brought in by officials for their own private consumption. The continually increasing growth of the poppy naturally leads to the greater use of the drug by the people, and their consequent deterioration. The ordinary Yunnanese, from whatever cause, is the most lethargic specimen of humanity that could well be imagined. Nothing seems to move him, not even the desire to make money, which is supposed to be such a distinctive characteristic of the Chinese in other parts of the Empire. Among the majority of workmen the general feeling seems to be—if you get enough for food and opium by half a day's work, why distress yourself by labouring the whole day! There can be little doubt but that the lazy, listless attitude of the mass of the inhabitants may be largely attributed to the widespread prevalence of opium eating and smoking. One grievance often referred to by the people is, that while Indian opium is allowed to enter China, Yunnan opium is not allowed to enter Burmah—though nevertheless much is smuggled into that country.

With regard to the people themselves, in addition to the Chinese—many of whom are immigrants from Szechwan, Hunan, Hupeh, and other provinces, even as far east as Kiangsu—there is a large number of the aboriginal tribes—some say between fifty and sixty—spread over the province. Some of these are only found, in any number, in the east. They have all distinct dialects, and some say distinct