Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/338

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THE CHINESE EMPIRE

264 THE CHINESE EMPIKE being rapidly cut down and floated away through Hunan to Hankow. Iron and coal are found in large quantities, but unfor- tunately in different localities, and the lack of facilities for transport renders the working of iron mines on any large scale an unprofitable undertaking. All the coal extracted is for local use. Silver, lead, copper, and zinc are to be found, but in what quantities we are not able to estimate. Quicksilver has been found from very early times, but some of the mines are now exhausted or nearly so, and some of them flooded. The soil is not fertile ; what native wealth there is in the province is in the bowels of the earth, and to develop these mineral resources in the absence of water- ways, railways are necessary. But when we think what a rocky labyrinth of hills this province is, we are not by any means hopeful as to the early introduction of the locomotive. The climate of the province is excellent. By reason of its altitude and latitude it is neither very hot in summer nor cold in winter. The thermometer in the shade is seldom seen as high as 90° or much below 30°. Rice is the staple food of all who can afford it ; for the rest there are Indian corn, oats, and such cereals as are grown on the hill-sides. The number of the different kinds of vegetables produced is amazing. Many of the fruits of Europe are pro- duced in the province, and some others, but the flavour of the native fruits cannot as a rule be comparable with those of Europe. Probably the Chinese do not know how, or will not take the trouble to cultivate them properly. Protestant missionary operations were commenced in Kw^EiCHOW in the year 1877, when Messrs. C. H. Judd and J. F. Broumton, both of the China Inland Mission, travelled through Hunan to Kweiyang Fu, the provincial capital. At that time General Mesny, of the Chinese Army, was residing in that city, and with his aid premises were secured. Mr. Judd, however, soon continued his itinerations, leaving Mr. Broumton in charge of the newly -opened Mission