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[236]

Chapter 23: Chinese labour.

More serious are the questions raised in San Francisco by the Chinese knack of learning trades. The Mongol's advent in America has brought into the front the great struggle for existence between eaters of beef and eaters of rice.

Living on rice, asking no luxuries beyond a whiff of opium and a pinch of tea, John Chinaman can toil for less money than a beef-eating fellow who requires a solid dinner, after which he likes to smoke his cuddy, drain his pot of beer, and top his surfeit with a whisky-smash. John will live and save where Pat must shrink and fall. The first Chinese who came over were labourers, and their first rivals were Irish navvies and hodmen. John drove these rivals off the field, doing more work at less cost, and pleasing his employers by his steady doings and his silent ways. John builds the

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