Imatges de pÓgina

on the anthropology, let us say, of the British Empire, in twenty-four volumes, with an index and an atlas. It would be a beneficial work, because it would go a long way towards educating the British public in the cares, opportunities, and responsibilities of the Empire.

Comparative anthropology has not yet come into existence in a complete form-that is to say, no individual or group of scientific men have yet had the means or time or knowledge to compare carefully and conclusively the anatomy of each racial type, species, or sub-species, one with another. In a limited manner this has been done through the comparison of skulls—shape, length, and breadth; capacity and facial angle; and, in a much less degree, by the proportion of the bones of the skeleton, the poise and curve of the spine. Comparisons have, at any rate, been made between such extremes as the highest type of Caucasian and the negro or Australasian.

. Some comparisons have also been made in the head-hair-as to whether it is round, oval, or elliptic in section ; its colour, straightness, or tendency to curl. But in a general way, as contrasted with our intimate knowledge of the comparative anatomy of the different species of cat, of horses, asses, and zebras, of cattle and dogs, we are still most remarkably uninformed as to the comparative anatomy of mankind. Such types as the fair-haired Caucasian races of Europe and America are as well known to us in all the details of their anatomical structure and physical condition as we could expect in the twentieth century and in the inheritors of the science that began with Aristotle ; but what has been definitely recorded as to the anatomy of the Arab, Tartar, Chinaman, Negrito, Papuan, Hindu, Ainu, Esquimaux, Malay, Australian, Amerindian, Veddah, and even most types of negro? I mean, in comparison to the white man of northern Europe and America,

As regards the negro, we are better informed than about any other human race than our own, because for at least a century the physical structure of the Aframerican has undergone careful scientific investigation by the surgeons and anatomists of the United States ; but the negro after two or three centuries of settlement in the New World may have already begun to differ in blood and bone, bowel and muscle, from the aboriginal native of Africa. Already he finds himself as prone as the European to suffer from the diseases of Africa, should he return there. He has lost the relative immunity to malarial fever of an African type which his West African forefathers possessed.

We know, in short, so little about the structure of all the living races of mankind (as compared one with another, and again with the forms nearest allied to humanity amongst the apes) that I return to my first assertion in stating that the science of Human Comparative Anatomy has scarcely yet been established on a sound basis.

We know so little on this subject that we are not able to decide whether all the living races of mankind are merely local varieties of a

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single species, whether some of them are to be elevated to the rank of a sub-species, or whether three or more types are sufficiently divergent to be considered separate species of a single genus-of the isolated genus Homo. Anthropology, however, brings out forcibly the fact that all men are brothers under their skins; the study of this science therefore is the best corrective of intolerance, cruelty, racial arrogance, and narrow-minded conceit. It is perhaps in our own country, it should be everywhere—the science of kings and rulers.



EVERY one who has made any sort of impartial study of, or enquiry into, the causes of the disastrous famines with which various parts of our Indian Empire are so frequently cursed and blighted agrees that they are due to one cause alone, the failure of rainfall. This is a physical cause arising from the influence of the strength or weakness of aerial currents, the south-west and the north-east monsoon winds; and the greater or less amount of rainfall that these winds bring depends entirely on conditions existing outside of India, and beyond the control of either the Indian Government or the Indian people. India always has been, and still is, mainly an agricultural country. Out of its total population nearly two-thirds, or about two hundred million souls, are dependent on agriculture for a livelihood; while the holdings are usually small, and the cultivated area is only a little over one acre per head of the total population. And in many parts agriculture is carried on under extremely uncertain and precarious conditions as to the natural supply of a sufficient amount of soil-moisture being provided by these otherwise fairly regular monsoon winds. The southwest or summer monsoon, after sweeping, saturated with moisture, across the Indian Ocean, generally bursts over Burma in May and over India in June ; and this marks the beginning of the agricultural year, following two to three months of intense heat, during which the bare earth has been scorched and torrified under the fierce glare of a blazing sun in a brazen, cloudless sky, which bakes the soil hard and makes it sterile through lack of moisture.

As soon as the thirsty land gets sufficiently softened by rainfall ploughing begins, and during the next two to four months before the monsoon ceases, in September or October, or later in Burma, the various crops of millets and rice are grown for the autumn harvest, the more important for the food-supply of the people. The choice between these two main classes of crops depends chiefly on the local average amount of rainfall; in each case, however, successful agriculture depends not only on the total amount of the rainfall, but also on its favourable distribution. Heavy rains flood the low-lying tracts, while deficient rainfall and long breaks in between good showers cause drought on the higher lands. In October the ploughing and sowing


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for the spring harvest begins, which includes wheat, barley, and pulses among foodstuffs in the north, and millets in the south ; and these crops are dependent on the north-east or winter monsoon rains, which break late in November or early in December along the Madras coast, and about Christmas in the other parts of India which they affect.

As the result of these climatic conditions, governed by circumstances entirely beyond human control, the vast territory of the Indian Empire, about 1,100,000 square miles in area, is naturally parcelled out into more or less well-defined zones of average annual rainfall, which determine the character of the agricultural crops that can be raised. The coasts of Bombay and Burma, upon which the south-west monsoon winds first impinge and deposit much of their moisture, and the cool, thickly wooded mountain tracts in the north-east of Bengal and in Assam, have an annual average rainfall of over 100 inches. In the immediate vicinity of these three zones of heaviest rainfall, and extending all along the base of the Himalayas and throughout the deltas of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra in the Bengals, and the plains of the Lower Irrawaddy, the Sittang, and the Lower Salwin in Burma, there is an average rainfall varying from fifty to a hundred inches; and in these areas rice cultivation can be carried on with this natural water-supply. Fringing this belt of ample rainfall along the Himalayas and including the whole of Oudh, then stretching north-west only as a thinner belt, but reaching down to the Ganges delta, and thence extending over the whole of the rest of Bengal proper, the Central Provinces, most of the Central Indian States, and the northern part of Madras, comes the zone of thirty to fifty inches, whose north-western limit forms roughly a convex arc drawn from Baroda, at the head of the Gulf of Cambay, to not far above Allahabad, where the Jumna effects its junction with the Ganges, while its north-western limit describes a very sinuous line from the Tapti River to the mouth of the Kistna. In the rest of Southern India, comprising the Deccan and the greater part of Madras, the average rainfall varies between ten and thirty inches, and beyond the north-eastern limit similar averages obtain for the greater part of the United Provinces, the south-eastern Rajputana States, and the Punjab; while the Thar or Rajputana desert to the west of Bikanir and all the lower Indus valley and westwards across Beluchistan form an arid zone having under ten inches of rainfall. A large part of Central Burma forms a zone of thirty to fifty inches, while the core of the province forming the middle of the old kingdom of Ava has even less than that.

So far as variations from the normal average rainfall are concerned, the tracts blessed with fifty inches or above are much more likely to suffer from inundation than from drought; but throughout the whole of the rest of India—and that means over about four-fifths of the total area, or nearly 875,000 square miles—there is always, except in irrigated tracts, a greater or less danger of a weak monsoon current failing to bring sufficient rainfall to satisfy the minima requirements for successful agriculture.

Naturally, too, the highest average temperatures occur in the arid tracts, the climax being attained in the Rajputana desert, which falls within the high isotherm of 90° Fahr. Another result of this widely differing rainfall is the extreme variation in the distribution and the character of the remaining woodlands, which still cover 250,000 square miles, or nearly one-fourth of the total area of India. In wet zones having a fall of over seventy-five inches evergreen tree-forests prevail ; in the tracts with from about thirty to seventy-five inches the quasievergreen and purely deciduous forests vary greatly according to rainfall, elevation, soil, configuration, &c., while in the dry and the arid tracts with less than thirty inches the vegetation is usually scanty and more or less scrub-like.

As has been briefly indicated above, any irregularity or weakness in the rain-bringing monsoon currents, and especially in the great south-western monsoon which profoundly affects the whole of India except the eastern portion of Madras, is bound to influence the agricultural crops to a greater or less extent wherever their thriving is dependent solely on rainfall. Whenever any considerable irregularity occurs, and more particularly when there is a shortage of rain, cropfailure and consequent scarcity are bound to be the direct and immediate results. And this not only affects the landowners and the tenant occupiers, but also the poorest labouring classes who work in the fields for hire, as then there is less work for them. But even when there is a scarcity, this does not necessarily mean that famine is about to ensue. Extremely thrifty as a rule, the Indian peasant can generally survive with admirable equanimity the loss of one bad season; and by means of the good railway-net, food-grain can now be easily poured into tracts where scarcity is announced. But not being a capitalist, and the individual holdings being usually small, his credit with the local money-lenders soon shrinks when a harvest fails. And when, as is unfortunately now so very often the case, there has been a succession of years of drought, then the resources of the patient and resigned Indian peasant soon become exhausted, and famine appears with all its horrible sufferings and their terrible after-effects in the shape of epidemic diseases. On their crops failing the poorer agricultural classes first try to eke out a scanty livelihood by gathering and eating wild fruits and roots in any neighbouring jungles, and it is only when the hard pressure of actual want becomes keenly felt that they can bring themselves to quit their fields and go to the test works opened by Government for famine relief. And so strongly is the Indian peasant bound to his ancestral holding by caste and by all that he believes in, that he absolutely declines to remove from his

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