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Alphabet. There was a certain poetic justice in this confusion arising out of a letter by Prof. Max Müller. (Academy, nos. 1068, 1069.)
40. Simon Magus, by G. R. S. MEAD, B.A. (T.P.S., 7, Duke Street, Adelphi.) A scholarly treatment of a difficult subject. Everyone is acquainted with the allusion to Simon the Magician in the Acts of the Apostles, and theological students have further heard of the tradition identifying Simon with Paul. It has been reserved for Mr. Mead, however, to collect all the existing evidence of Simon's character and doctrine, and to piece together a sympathetic portrait from the sneers and condemnations of the too zealous Fathers of the Church.
The following story, from the Philosophumena (Hippolytus ?) has a very human interest : "Apsethus, the Libyan, wanted to become a god. But in spite of the greatest exertions he failed to realize his longing, and so he desired at any rate that people should think that he had become one.
“Well, he collected a large number of parrots and put them all into a cage. For there are a great many parrots in Libya, and they mimic the human voice very distinctly. So he kept the birds for some time, and taught them to say "Apsethus is a god.' And when, after a long time, the birds were trained, and could speak the sentence which he considered would make him to be thought a god, he opened the cage and let the parrots go in every direction. And the voice of the birds as they flew about, went into all Libya, and their words reached as far as the Greek Settlements. And thus the Libyans, astonished at the voice of the birds, and having no idea of the trick which had been played them by Apsethus, considered him to be a god.
“But one of the Greeks, correctly surmising the contrivance of the supposed god, not only confuted him by means of the self-same parrots, but also caused the total destruction of this boastful and vulgar fellow. For the Greek caught a number of the parrots, and retaught them to say, * Apsethus caged us and made us say “ Apsethus is a god."' And when the Libyans heard the recantation of the parrots, they all assembled together with one accord, and burnt Apsethus alive.”
41. The Death of Oenone, Akbar's Dream, and other poems, by ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON (Macmillan and Co.), is a most welcome little volume which probably every educated Englishman already possesses. We would however contrast the reality of “Oenone's death" with the tentative hymn in “Akbar's dream,” alike gems, but of which one was a creation of the mind of the great Poet Laureate, whilst the other was a sentiment derived from hearsay. The incomparable lines with which the former concludes have been so often quoted that we need not repeat them, but we almost prefer a mere translation of Abulfazl's inscription on a temple in Kashmir to the less real, if truly poetical, last lines of Akbar's Hymn. Compare for instance the former's “Thy elect have no dealings with either heresy or orthodoxy, for neither of them stands behind the screen of thy truth” with
“Warble bird and open flower, and men, below the dome of azure
Kneel adoring him the timeless in the flame that measures Time." Yet what would not Tennyson have made of an Oriental subject, if he had had the material of Arnold's “ Light of Asia”!
42. DR. MAX NORDAU has published the first part of a work on Degeneracy (Entartung–Carl Duncker, Berlin). We reserve a review of a work that promises to be the leading one of the age on the subject of which it treats to our next number by which time the second part will have appeared. There is no doubt that it will be translated into English, French and other languages of our degenerate civilization, the victims of which will, we hope, be stirred to healthier thought, if not action, by Dr. Nordau's incisive criticism of modern vagaries in Art, Language, Religion, and Social Life. It is fortunate that this distinguished Physiologist and traveller is able to impart the terrible truths of his scientific investigations in a style which will attract even those whose follies he chastizes. Wagnerites, Tolstoites, Preraphaelites and other mystics generally, as also all the glib “ Fin du siècle” smatterers will be reconciled to the medical treatment of their mental aberration by the sparkling wit, and vast general information of one who is facile princeps among German writers and publicspirited observers.
43. Rapport sur les Etudes Berbères, Éthiopiennes et Arabes, 1887-1891, par RENÉ BASSET. (Woking : The Oriental University Institute, 1892. 7s. 6d.) Not the least of the many good results achieved by the IXth International Congress of Orientalists held in London in 1891 was the series of papers by specialists, giving the principal work done and the books published from 1887 to 1891 in each of the sections in which the Congress was divided. The first of these to be published is the one under notice, in which the learned and erudite professor has with infinite pains given a succinct account of what has been achieved during the time indicated, in the matter of the three languages, which he takes up in separate sections. Everything of importance published, both great and small, finds its appropriate place, for nothing seems to have escaped the lynx-eyed professor. Students will therefore find here a perfect bibliography of each of these three languages, which will be a great help for further work in the same line.
A similar summary of research in the Hebrew and Aramaic languages, from the series of the same Congress, is in the Press, and will soon see the light. It was compiled by the learned Professor E. Montet of Geneva. The Chinese Summary, by Professor H. Cordier, is also announced. All these Summaries are being published by the Oriental University Institute, Woking, in a uniform size with the Asiatic Quarterly Review, and are at half price for members of the Congress, and for subscribers to the Review.
44. Notice sur les Dialectes Berbères des Harakta et du Djerid Tunisien, par RENÉ BASSET. (Woking: The Oriental University Institute, 1892. 25.) This is one of the most interesting papers contributed by the learned and versatile professor of the École Superieure des Lettres d’Algers to the IXth International Congress of Orientalists, London, 1891. It is the result of his personal investigations among the people who speak these hitherto unknown dialects of the Berber family. The paper comprises Grammatical notes, a few texts, and a comparative vocabulary, the whole forming a most interesting study for the learned in Berber and cognate tongues.
We hope to review in our next issue the Lietuviszkiejie Kasztai ir Rasztininkai of Mr. Girénas, who has sent several of his works to the Lisbon Congress, including a Lithuanian and Sanskrit ode in honour of Her Majesty. This prolific writer is also a great patriot and polyglot, and is an instance of the vitality and genius of his ancient race.
As we are going to Press we have received a very learned account from the famous Sinologist, Professor G. Schlegel of Leyden, of “La Stèle funéraire du Téghin Gioogh” and its Chinese, Russian, and German copyists. We reserve its review to our next issue as also Count Goblet d'Alviella's supplementary note on “The symbolical theme of the sacred tree between two monsters.”
OUR LIBRARY TABLE.
We beg to acknowledge with thanks the following works: 1. Proceedings of the Royal Colonial Institute, vol. 23 (1891-92). 2. Ibn Sina, the Arabic Text edited by Professor Dr. J. Forget, and printed by E. J. Brill of Leyden, worthy of the well-deserved reputation of both editor and publisher. 3. The Imperial Institute Year Book for 1892. 4. The Contemporary Review (Messrs. Isbister and Sons). 5. The Civilta Cattolica, which among other important articles has an interesting series of papers on the "Morrow of the Deluge” 6. The American Journal of Philology (John Hopkins, University Press). 7. The Scottish Geographical Society's Magazine. 8. Le Polybiblion. 9. The American Antiquarian (S. D. Peet, Chicago). 10. Biblia.
11. The Review of Reviews. 12. La Revue des Revues. 13. Le Bulletin des Sommaires. 14. Lucifer. 15. The Journal of the Society of Arts. 16. Boletin de la Sociedad Geografica de Madrid (Fortunet). 17. La Revue Generale. 18. Actes du Sme Congrès Inter. national des Orientalistes, Section I., “Sémitique A.” (E. J. Brill, Leyden). 19. Panslavism, by Mme. Elodie L. Mijatovich, a thoughtful well-written pamphlet. 20. The Toung Pao (E. J. Brill, Leyden). 21. Mittheilungen der Anthropologischen Gesellschaft in Wien, Publications of the Geographical Society of Paris for the Year 1892. 23. Public Opinion (Washington and New York). 24. Gesellschaft (Wilhelm Friedrich, Leipzig). 25. The Journal of the United Service Association, Simla.
Asiatic Quarterly Review,
AND ORIENTAL AND COLONIAL RECORD.
1.-BURMAN DACOITY AND PATRIOTISM.
BY GENERAL SIR H. N. D. PRENDERGAST, V.C., K.C.B.
It has often grieved me to hear the Burmans branded as Dacoits and cowards, not only by newspaper correspondents and letter writers, but also by officers and gentlemen of the Civil Service.
“Dacoit” and “ dacoity” are Indian legal terms which may be translated as “gang-robber” and “ gang-robbery.” Major Snodgrass never uses them in his narrative of the first Burmese War, and it seems probable that they were introduced by the Civil Authorities who were responsible for the government and good order of the districts occupied by the British after the treaty of Yandaboo.
They are freely used by Laurie and Fytche, the historians of the second Burman War, and by writers concerning Burma during and after the Burman Expedition of 1885. In an account of the condition of affairs in the middle of December, 1885, written by an able author, it is stated that 10,000 dacoits were already in motion, east and west of the Irrawaddy, north of Mandalay, that they were strong in the valley of the Chinwin River, and that the dacoits east of Minhla had been strengthened by fugitives from Gwe-gyoun Kamyo, a fortress on the Irrawaddy, which had been captured by the British. was cominenced on the 14th November, 1885, and a
month afterwards the Burman armies in the field are dubbed Dacoits, or robbers, although it was not till the ist January, 1886, that the Viceroy of India, by command of the Queen Empress, notified that Upper Burma had become part of her Majesty's dominions, and would be administered by British officers. To this day even the frontiers of Burma have not been settled. Now the Burmese troops east of Minhla, so flippantly termed
dacoits,” are detailed in the Royal Order of 7th November, 1885, as follows : The “Kinda Kalabyo” Regiment, the “Royal Glory Achievers Glory Achievers ” Regiment, the
Regiment, the “Cachari Horse" Regiment, the “ Auspicious Braves” Horse Regiment, the “ Elephanteers ” Regiment, Artillery, Body Guards and Volunteers, 5,000 strong under Thamidaw Wun as generalissimo to form the Taungdwengyi column, and four regiments of Infantry, five regiments of Cavalry with Artillery, Body Guards and Volunteers 10,000 strong to form the Toungoo Column. Among the eccentricities and paradoxes of the Burman Expedition may be noticed that the above-named Burman Regiments, with high-sounding titles, had come nominally under the command of the British General, who therefore commanded both the contending armies, and that he actually issued orders through the Hlotdau, or Council to these braves, to retire and lodge their arms at the British stations of Minhla, Pagan, Myingyan, and Ava, orders that were not implicitly obeyed, for the Taungdwengyi and Toungoo Columns were not broken up, although the troops under Colonel Dicken and Major Law had encountered them on several occasions, till the end of March, 1886, when converging detachments from Taungdwengyi, Hlinedet and the Irrawaddy were directed to attack them.
I think that enough has been said to show that the term dacoit ” is sometimes used in a very slack and unfair way, and that patriots and regular soldiers have often been thus opprobriously classed.
General Macmahon, who knows the people well, in his