This sad case illustrates the fallacy of supposing those who take to opium do not take to drink; and that, if the opium were prohibited, the drink curse would be introduced. A large per-centage of opium smokers, as already stated, consume also a great deal of spirits. The interdiction of the one would doubtless increase the consumption of the other. It is not, however, the question of the prohibition of one vice and the creation, as is so often supposed, of another. It has often been said that the human race must have some stimulant or narcotic; and, if they don't take to this, they will take to that. One country will take to opium, another to alcohol, a third to hemp, forgetting or ignoring the fact that the Chinese are largely addicted to opium, alcohol, tobacco, etc., the latter being in universal use by all classes, male as well as female.

Some have argued that temperament will always decide the form of stimalant which will prevail in any country; that, in the West, with the excitable and sanguine temperament, spirits will always hold the pre-eminence; and that, among Orientals, with the lymphatic temperament, opium will always prevail. Opium is certainly peculiarly suited to the Chinese constitution. But China, not to speak of Japan, is not by any means a country where the non-consumption of spirits is remarkable; and yearly evidence is Accumulating to show that morphia hypodermic injections, the eating of opium, and the drinking of laudanum, not to mention the extensive use of chloral and other narcotics, are very largely on the increase in the West.

In our estimation, the Chinese drinks are devoid of all fragrance, and there is a great want of variety. I have not the slightest doubt that much of the drinking, in which our people indulge, is owing to the aroma of the beverages, their great variety, mode of preparation and combination, to tempt the palate. Knowing the fiery nature of their spirit, the Chinese cannot carry their drinking to the extent of intoxication. Before this stage is reached, unpleasant symptoms supervene. On the other hand, their native wines are so mild that it is equally difficult to reach the point of intoxication consistent with all the circumstances that surround public drinking. This is a most happy self-moderating, self-regulating quality of the spirits and wines, not to mention other restraining reasons to be presently mentioned. Of course in some cases the extreme poverty, in spite of the cheapness of the spirits, obliges the drinker to stop short of intoxication. The Chinese say foreign wines are more intoxicating than their own, because they can drink of the foreign up to the point of intoxication; whereas, with their own spirits, the effects produced are such as to oblige them to stop short. The wine is, of course, much weaker than the spirits, and yet they are intoxicated with it sooner than with spirits. This point may help also to throw additional light on the meaning of the word tsieu in ancient times.

Fusil oil or Amylic alcohol, potato spirit or hydrated oxide of Amy], for it is known by all these names, the substance in Chinese spirits upon which this self-regulating principle depends, is a colourless liquid with a characteristic odour obtained as a by-product of crude spirit. It exhales a powerful and peculiarly suffocating odour, and leaves a burning taste. It is obtained in distillation by continuing the process after the pure and lighter spirit has been drawn off. The Chinese ignorance of the rectification of spirits, and their desire to add body, pungency, and strength to the spilit, and thus permit of dilution with water, is the cause of the presence of this most deleterious substance in their liquois. It consists of several alcohols, which boil at different temperatures, and is extremely difficult to separate in a complete manner. Towards the end of distillation, it passes over in considerable quantity. It is generally supposed to be the product of the fermentation of sugar. It is this substance which causes flushing of the face, mounting into their heads, burning sensation in the stomach which it disorders, causing vertigo and next day a feeling like one threatened with immediate illness, and induces them to remain in-doors to conceal their suffusion, although they are not really drunk. These effects manifest themselves before the stage of intoxication is reached, showing that the action of fusil oil on the nervous system is more rapid than that of alcohol. The Chinese attribute the cause of nearly all their diseases, the fons et origo malorum, to either spirits or anger. Stricture of the gullet and malignant disease of the stomach, so common in China, are to a large extent to be traced to this cause. At the same time, it is a sure antidote with the Chinese to drunkenness. Ignorance of the chemistry and of the rectifying of liquors is, therefore, the salvation of the Chinese. This, it appears to me, is at least part of the explanation of the uncommonness of drunkenness in China.