페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

2

the very books on which Christianity is based. He is one more

eand we fear will not be the last-writer, who leaves the obvious truth for recondite illusion, and who fails to see that the remains of ancient patriarchal traditions and the identity of human nature in all ages and climes account easily for much of the similarity not only between Buddhism and Christianity, but among all the religions of the Earth.

II. The Recrudescence of Leprosy, by William TEBB (Swan Sonnenschein and Co. 1893), contains very full information regarding · Leprosy, brought down to date, from official and professional reports and

from private information, including the substance of the report of the Leprosy commission in India. It proves conclusively that the disease does exist in very many places, and infects very many persons, - that no cure has yet been discovered for it and that there seems little hope of such a discovery in the future, -and that the unfortunate victims are often experimented upon by some medical men in charge of them, in a manner and to an extent which should bring them within the grasp of penal servitude: a horrible instance is given at p. 348. But Mr. Tebb fails completely to establish that Leprosy is on the increase. Cases have doubtless been brought more prominently forward, since Father Damien's lamented death; but closer examination does not mean increase. The only comparative statistics given are those from the Indian census of 1881 and 1891; and these show a clear decrease. But Mr. Tebb, who has a prejudged point to prove, at once tries to twist this startling fact. His purpose being to cast discredit on vaccination, he supplements his very interesting and useful researches into Leprosy with wholesale condemnation of vaccination as the principal agent in its increase. To this, too, the Indian statistics give a clear contradiction. Vaccination, however, can hold its own, from its usefulness, acknowledged by the profession. The dangers so much insisted on are being gradually reduced to a minimum, and are due to culpable and avoidable negligence, rather than to the operation itself. Divested of its anti-vaccination bias, Mr. Tebb's work is very important as a manual of the present state of Leprosy, for those who take an interest in the unsavoury subject.

12. Japan as we saw it, by M. BICKERSTETH. (London : Longmans and Co. 1893 ; 215.) The reader must be prepared to find that the greater part of this book deals with Japan as a field of missionary labour, the remainder treating pleasantly of the country and its people, with the usual travellers' episodes of journeys and difficulties, feasts and receptions, etc. There is also a good deal of detail on the great earthquake of October, 1891, which is of interest. The numerous illustrations, too, are very good, even though they include such un-Japanese things as photographs of Europeans; and there is much entertaining reading, even if there is little if anything new about Japan itself. The details of missionary work given are of importance to the understanding of the case. There is some unconscious humour,-as when the Anglican Bishop informs his English relatives that a certain learned Buddhist priest--a Japanese by birthpreaches "in very good Japanese !" The book is particularly valuable to the thinker who wishes, from a comparison of various authors on Japan, to

form a clear idea of the country and its future. This makes Miss Bickersteth's work of great importance, though “ Japan as we saw it” was seen through a pair of extra strong missionary spectacles, as befitted the daughter and sister of Bishops and the Secretary of the Guild of St. Paul. Still, even so great a personage might restrain her pen a little more from a rather excessively Pharisaical self-laudation, and write with more respect of those who hold different opinions. At p. 108, she admits that “Christianity though present in greater force than in the days of Xavier, is, alas, not proportionately stronger," and then alludes to the "endless splits' of Non-conformity," as though the Anglican Church was free from "splits"; and next dares to stigmatize the Christianity of the great Xavier as “imperfect truly.” Is it not in “The Newcomes ” that Thackeray asks us to imagine “Queen Guinevere's lady's-maid's-lady'smaid patronizing Sir Launcelot”?

13. The Children's Japan, by Mrs. W. H. Smith (Tokio : T. Hasegawa, and London : Sampson Low and Co., 1893), is a pleasantly written little description of Japan in a style suited for children. It is beautifully illustrated, and is printed on a cream-coloured Japanese paper which looks and feels very like crêpe--extremely strong, and practically indestructible. The illustrations, all Japanese in style, show great multiplicity of colour combined with much delicacy in the tints. The leaves are bound together with blue silk ribbon. Not only will the book serve as an interesting and instructive present for a child and be a novel and lasting toy, but it will be welcome to all as a splendid specimen of æsthetic work, which we hope will find many imitations. Why should not most of our books for children be got up in this manner?

14. Rhyming Legends of Ind, by H. R. GRACEY. (Calcutta and London : Thacker and Co., 6s.) Here are ten Indian stories related pleasantly enough in jingling rhymes, which recall memories of Ingoldsby, though Mr. Gracey falls short of the go and ease of that master of comic versification. If legend mean a venerable traditional tale, none of these ten is a real legend ; but they are ten tales, funny in their degree, in very good verse. The reader who takes them up in the hope of finding accounts of Rajput chivalry or Moslem valour will be somewhat disappointed ; but the book, of which the style reflects the greatest credit on its publishers, will help to amuse much and also to instruct a little. Among others, we find the rather stale tale of the griff who shot a buffalo in mistake for a Nil-gai, the point of which, though we are not Scotch, we are still unable to perceive, though we have heard it repeated, with many variations, more times than we care to count.

15. Letters from Queensland, reprinted from the Times(London: Macmillan and Co., 1893 ; 25. 6d.), open to the reader in 6 chapters a mine of information on the actual state and future prospects of an important colony. The question of Kanaka labour is boldly faced.; and from personal observation the writer explodes much exaggeration regarding its alleged evils : the more interesting question of Indian coolie immigration, however, is not touched. We learn much concerning the Sugar industry of Queensland-in fact, except gold-digging and stock-rearing, there is no other.

The mineral resources of the country are detailed ; and these show a mass of wealth in other things besides gold. The political aspects of Queensland and the proposed subdivision of its legislature are clearly stated ; and the author makes out a good case in favour of division into two if not three parts. Well written and full of information, the book is a welcome boon to all who wish to study our Colonial Empire. It is a little strange, though not surprising to us, to note that even in the last letter which appeared in the Times in February last, there was no prognostication of the terrible financial crisis, which, like a typhoon, has wrecked almost every Australian Bank.

16. More about the Mongols, by JAMES GILMOUR. (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1893 ; 5.) We reviewed favourably the lamented author's “ Among the Mongols,” just one year ago ; and the present companion volume, edited from Mr. Gilmour's papers by Mr. R. Lovett, scarcely yields in interest to that charming book. Sketches of native manners and character, the reflection of the writer's own simple and devoted life, a chapter on Mongol meteorology and another on Mongol Camels form the best part of the book. The tirade against tobacco (chap. x.) seems a little fanatical. The whole is very interesting and pleasing

17. Indian Wisdom, by SIR MONIER MONIER - WILLIAMS, K.C.S.I. (London: Luzac and Co. 1893; £ 1 is.) This is a new edition of Sir Monier's well-known work, in which he fulfils his purpose of giving a compendious summary of Sanskrit literature, with select specimens, translated into English. The learned professor's thorough mastery of his subject enables him to deal effectively with his difficult task, and his book enables the outsider not only to form some idea of the immense extent and depth of this literature, but to gauge its greatness and (as must occur in all things human) also its incidental littlenesses. The Vedic hymns are followed by the Brahmanas and Upanishads, and the 6 systems of Philosophy. Readers who are not well versed in Indian studies will be surprised to find here that scarcely a Greek or even modern metaphysical or logical speculation is to be found, which has not its prototype or counterpart in ancient Sanskrit. The Bhagavadgita, the Smritis, the Vidangas are touched upon, including Panini's grammar and Patanjali's Great Commentary on it.

it. The various Sutras are discussed; and at greater length the Dharma Sastras or law books of the Hindus. The Indian Epics and the Rámáyana and Mahábhárata are considered, and in chap. xiv. are compared with each other and with Homer, a very interesting operation; and choice specimens of religious and moral sentiments are given, with their parallels from Scripture. Sir Monier goes on to the Indian Drama, then to the Puranas. He omits nothing that enters the scope of his work; he is choice in his selections and accurate in his comments; and the result is a work as instructive and sound as it is pleasant to read, full of matter for reflection. It tells of the immense stores of wisdom, sometimes mixed with the follies of the frailty of human nature, which the ancient sages of India accumulated, and which still in part await excavation.

18. Official Year Book of the Scientific and Learned. Societies of Great Britain and Ireland. (London: C. Griffin and Co., 1893; 7s.6d.) This -the 10th annual issue--is a very handy book of reference, and a very useful one. It is divided into 14 sections, each dealing with a special class of societies, and giving in alphabetical order all the societies entering into its scope, the principal officers and the address of each society. In many cases the papers read during the last year are mentioned, and in general the book is very complete.

19. Bimetallism and Monometallism, by the Most REV. DR. WALSH. (Dublin : Browne and Nolan, 1893 ; 6d.) The Archbishop of Dublin gives us a pamphlet of just over 100 pages, in which he discusses this vexed matter, especially in its bearing on the Irish land question ; and he puts his views with clearness and vigour. His study of the question is seen to be both deep and extensive. His Grace is, of course, a Bimetallist ; and his special object is to show how Monometallism with its fluctuating price for silver, though beneficial to the rich, is disastrous to the poorer country. The special circumstances of the farmer in Ireland, with rents judicially fixed for 15 years, and annual payments to Government fixed for 49 years, must lead to ruin. His Grace brings forward in support of his views a cloud of authorities--including Mr. Balfour and Mr. Giffen,-and shows, by a practical consensus, that permanent charges are becoming more burdensome. There is only one defect in His Grace's utterance :-no practical solution is offered, though several are discussed. Few doubt that something should be done: the real question is, What?

20. The Portuguese Records relating to the East Indies, by F.C. DANVERS. (London: The India Office, 1893.) The investigation, rather tardily ordered by the India Office in 1891, of the Portuguese archives regarding Indian records, has been ably made by Mr. Danvers, who praises the Portuguese system of preserving them, and their courtesy in allowing him every facility for his object. In his preface (entitled Report) he explains what are the documents in the Portuguese archives, their locality and condition, and the hiatus that occur in them. He then gives, in 168 pages, summaries and extracts from these documents. That they contain much that is novel and interesting, goes without saying. For instance, it is not generally known how conscientiously Philip II. of Spain, on getting Portugal also in 1580, kept the two administrations separate, and nominated none but Portuguese to offices in what had been Portuguese territory (p. 2). The present flourishing state of Bombay justifies the refusal of De Mello e Castro in 1662 to surrender it to the English: he calls it “the best port your Majesty possesses in India, with which that of Lisbon is not to be compared” (p. 65). The king, however, insisted on the honourable fulfilment of his engagement; but loud complaints follow that the English did not fulfil their part in it with equal exactness. The records extend beyond India. They give the Portuguese operations in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, in Ceylon and Malacca, Macao and Formosa, China and Japan. At p. 114 is Albuquerque's quixotic scheme in 1513 for carrying off Muhammad's body from Medina, with the view of holding it to ransom in exchange for the temple of Jerusalem. The book does not, of course, do more than skim the archives, and even that but partially ; but we are very

grateful for it, especially with the gratitude which consists in a longing for more favours to come. The Secretary of State spends much money on worse things than continuing the efforts of which the book under review is only the first result.

21. Primitive Religions, by G. T. BETTANY, M.A. (London : Ward, Lock and Co., 1891 ; 25. 6d.)

22. The great Indian Religions, by the same Author and Publishers (1892; 25. 6d.).

These are the first two volumes of the Series “The World's Religions," of which the 3rd, on Muhammadanism and other religions of Mediterranean countries, we reviewed in our January 1893 issue. As a rule, most people have very hazy ideas of all religions, except their own,-and very frequently even of that, and few things tend to make men bigoted and one-sided so much as want of knowledge on this point. Hence one of the most fascinating of studies is that of comparative religion,-by which, however, we do not mean indifference or laxity in the observance of one's own. This series of text books by Mr. Bettany will be of great help to the general reader; for he gives in them very fair summaries of his wide reading, among many competent authorities, on the subject of each religion. The first of the series deals with Primitive Religions. There is a general introduction treating of various observances and forms, such as Animism, totemism, and a host of other 'isms, together with explanations of various terms used in the study of religions. Next follow the lower forms of the subject, gradually rising through Australian, Polynesian, Milanesian and African religions, to those of America, and of the Aborigines of India. Confucianism, Tao-ism and Shinto-ism conclude the volume. The other book deals with Hinduism and Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism. The treatment of all these subjects indicates much reading and thought, a good method, and a simple and clear style ; and the descriptions of the religions are accurately and well detailed, for Mr. Bettany follows reliable writers. Here and there we have noted a little vagueness in giving the pith of a system, though the details are numerous—notably in Confucianism, Taoism and Shinto-ism. But these are rather philosophic systems of ethics, than real positive religions, and what there is of distinctive religion in them, may perhaps be due to the deposit left on them, like the silt of an Oriental flood, by the high tide of Buddhism. The series, as the author justly remarks, rather furnishes the material for comparison than offers any system of comparative religion. This, however, was not his object; and the science is still young, and its students are by no means agreed even on its first principles. Personally, we think this is due to the fact that most of them regard the higher forms of religion as gradual developments from a crude state, instead of considering them as the renewed growth of primeval traditions, after they had been overlaid by barbarism. The savage man was and is the degradation of the original civilization.

23. A History of Currency in the British Colonies, by ROBERT CHALMERS, B.A. (London: H.M.'s Stationery Office, 1893; 1os.) This painstaking and exhaustive volume on the currency of the British possessions throughout the world, comes particularly opportune just now, when the

« 이전계속 »