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Children collecting manure

Children collecting manure.jpg Children eating their mealThumbnailsAn officer of the Corps of BowmenChildren eating their mealThumbnailsAn officer of the Corps of Bowmen

The collecting and preparing of manure of various descriptions, and making it up into cakes for sale, occupy a very considerable population of the lowest class of society, and for the most part is the employment of the aged and children. No agriculturists, perhaps, understand the value of manure better than the Chinese, and certainly none are so well skilled in the economical distribution of it. It is quite ridiculous to see the avidity with which young children follow a traveller on horseback for the chance of catching what the animal may emit, which is immediately caught up, and thrown into the basket; and if the traveller himself should contribute his portion, it is considered as more valuable than that from the animal.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Picturesque Representations of the Dress and Manners of the Chinese, by William Alexander Published 1814
Child Labour, China