22 JUNE 1878, Page 8

exertions. relief from the ports of the Empire to the

wretches What these incidents are it would be almost needlessly who so terribly need it. There are distinct traces of shame startling to explain, were it not for the fact that, if we are rightly in the manifesto of the Emperor on this awful famine. informed, every £1 which this country can send may prevent In an edict of the 22nd March he says,—" We, whose duty it a murder of the most hideous kind,—a murder of relatives by is to watch over the millions of our people with fostering care, relatives, to be followed by protracted cannibalism. Every feel that the loss of one of our subjects is the result of our £1 received from England, say the missionaries on the spot, misdoing ;"—and yet not only one, but five millions, are said to may save a life. But to save a life is nothing in comparison have perished already. While the Government is in this healthy with saving a parent from killing his children, or a child from condition of not undeserved remorse, it might be possible to killing his parents, for the same purposes for which they would get it to improve the roads by which the relief can be despatched that it reigned up to the moment of its extinction with the kill sheep or oxen, namely, in order to use them as meat. The full consent of its people, who even in imente asked for a con- 1 mere suggestion is one which revolts the very body almost as stitution, and not a de'clurance. Nobody, not even Prince Bis- ' much as it revolts the soul. Yet the dry official report says:—" In marck, ever questioned the title of the family, or denied its the earlier period of distress, the living fed upon the bodies of right to fight in 1866, or claimed to expel it on any the dead ; next, the strong devoured the weak ; and now the other ground than that its expulsion was to the interest general destitution has arrived at such a climax that men of the body of the German people. That argument devour those of their own flesh and blood. History contains was sound, and was admitted not only by the Germans, no record of so terrible and distressing a state of things ; and capital of Pekin. From Tientsin to Tai-Yuen, the centre of the worst of the famine districts, the distance is only THE CHINESE FAMINE IN SHANSI. about 200 miles,—not further probably than from London to to the sufferers. To do so would indeed enable the Chinese Government to establish relief works of the most useful kind, —if, at least, any of the sufferers have strength enough left for such work as this ; and the roads, when once made, would diminish the danger of like horrors in the future.

But however little we may be able to accomplish, a calamity to which the records of the world hardly offer any authen- ticated parallel, either in scale or in moral horror, is surely one which Englishmen should do what they can to check, even after the efforts they have made in India, where they justly felt that they had a share of responsibility for the calamity such as no one can charge upon them in the case of China. Five millions of dead„—more than all the souls in London and Calcutta together,—and thousands upon thousands in danger of what is worse than death, should not cry out to us to alleviate the unspeakable horrors of the moment, in vain.