페이지 이미지

tardy report of the Indian currency Commission is not yet published. A general survey of the question is followed by separate sections on the currency of the American, African, Australian, Mediterranean, and Oriental possessions of Britain. One appendix, short but full, treats of various foreign coins circulating in our possessions ; the other gives the Imperial legislation on the question ; and a copious and well-digested index concludes a most interesting and valuable book. Incidentally it furnishes a grave accusation of continued neglect on the part of the Imperial Government, in the treatment of the currency question of the colonies. Safe in her own currency, England has never done anything for that of her possessions till fairly driven to it, and has even then acted with a bad grace and often with egregious shortsightedness. No such thing as gradually working up to an Imperial coinage, suitable for the whole empire, seems ever to have dawned on her Majesty's advisers, though before the dislocation caused by the present so-called depreciation of silver, the matter could have been easily settled. Just now while the £ circulates in Australia and the Cape, dollars prevail on the W. Coast of Africa and in Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore (in the last they form the currency, but the Government accounts are kept in Rupees !!!), and the vanishing Rupee supplies India, Ceylon, and the Mauritius. From the nature of the case, some of the histories are more interesting than others, but all are complete : that of Malta takes us back to the Knights of St. John. The Indian coinage is judiciously begun with our own coinage ; and at pp. 344-5, is matter for serious reflection on the criminal folly which has led to the actual disastrous state of the Indian exchange. The book is of the utmost importance.

24. Epochs of Indian History: Ancient India, by ROMESH CHANDER DUTT, C.I.E. (London: Longman and Co., 1893, 2s.6d.) This is the first volume of a new series of Indian Histories, edited by John Adams, M.A. The plan is to entrust each distinctive epoch to a writer specially qualified to deal with it, and to treat rather of the peoples of India, their manners, customs, civilizations and religions, than with mere details of historical facts. Mr. Dutt takes the epoch B.C. 2000 to A.D. 800-a pretty wide one ; and, so far as the scope of the work is concerned, he leaves little to be desired. He writes good English—a rather rare qualification nowadays -but he is both prolix and verbose, and sometimes ultra-pedantic ; at p. 146 we have Haridvára for what even pundits call Hardwar. Mr. Dutt's special failing is in attempted parallels with European History; and here his mistakes are sometimes ludicrous. He often mentions the Dark Ages, but has no clear idea of their duration. He credits Cluny and Clairvaux with being centres of learning for France, ignorant of the fact that they belonged to a branch of the Benedictine order whose rules substitute manual labour for study. He is unnecessarily dogmatic on subjects still sub judice, as the date of the Samvat era. We hope the Editor will use his pencil a little more freely in the subsequent volumes of this series. In spite of the faults we have noted, we can honestly say that this little book should be perused by all students of Indian History, as giving the results of the varied studies and systematized conclusions of a good Sanskrit and English scholar.

25. Histoire du Peuple d'Israel, par ERNEST RENAN, tome 4ième (Paris : Calmann Levy, 1893.) This is the posthumous and therefore final volume of Renan's History, characteristic of the author in every way. The same charm of style, the same extent of reading, the same picturesqueness of grouping, the same anti-Christian spirit, the same almost atheistic tendency, the same boldness of statement, the same dogmatism of prejudiced conclusions, the same mixture of greatness and littleness. Beautifully written, it continues to give us not the real history of the Jews, but what Mr. Renan chooses to decide that this history should be. It is a polished and cultured guide, but a very untrustworthy one, in all except beauty of diction.

26. The English Baby in India, by Mrs. HOWARD KINGSCOTE. (London: J. and A. Churchill, 1893 ; 25. 6d.) Like all the technical publications of this well-known firm, this is a very useful handbook of the subject of which it treats. Mrs. Kingscote presents to the European wife and mother in India the results of her own experience and study; and in addition to general directions for preservation of health, she treats of most of the ills that infantiflesh is heir to. It promises to be a useful handbook, but she is careful to say that it cannot supersede the necessity for which the proverb honours physicians. It is odd to find it said (p. 96) that “the mother should carefully enquire into her child's diet;" we should have thought it was always known. There is a bitter anti-Indian spirit throughout the work, which we hope will be eliminated in succeeding editions : instances are at pp. 35, 101, 110, etc. The useful instructions given by Mrs. Kingscote will carry greater weight without this kind of twaddle. There are expressions which show that her experience in India has been comparatively limited, as "going away to eat rice." She is extra dogmatic too; and while learned men of medicine are still in doubt, she knows all about cholera (p. 130). Her prescriptions, which are generally innocuous, have the fault of not specifying the age of the child, or giving any directions for regulating doses according to age.

27. Indian Nights' Entertainment, by the Rev. C. SWYNNERTON, F.S.A. (London : Elliot Stock; £1 IIs. 6d.) The importance of popular tales can scarcely be overestimated. Modern folk-lorists deduce from them many important and true conclusions with many more just the reverse; and they are always pleasant to read. Mr. Swynnerton, therefore, has done a great service, in collecting from a corner of the Punjab and publishing 85 such tales (of varying length) in a large volume of 368 pages. In the Introduction-short and to the point-he classifies them under (1) Nursery tales, (2) Drolls, (3) National and professional tales, (4) Fables, and (5) Miscellaneous; but in the book itself he judiciously intermixes them, and thus avoids fatiguing the reader by monotony. In such collections the tales must, as a matter of course, vary considerably in interest ; here, however, nearly all are very good. Many are easily traceable; of many we know the congeners in other climes; and several are old friends with scarcely a disguise on. The book—which reflects great credit on the publishers and printers—is splendidly illustrated. Almost every page has a picture by native artists, executed with their characteristic minuteness and exactness of detail: a most interesting series, which will do much to familiarize Indian ways to the eyes of those who have not the chance of visiting distant countries. These illustrations form a very important item in the book, which is itself written in a clear and simple style. While amusing and instructing the young, and furnishing good materials for work to the student of folk-lore, it will be especially welcome as an old and valued friend to those who have resided in India. We can heartily recommend it.

28. The Anti-Foreign Riots in China, in 1891. (Shanghai : “North China Herald ” office; London: “The London and China Telegraph” office, 1892 ; 6s.) Over 300 closely printed pages in 8vo. are filled with reprints from the North China Herald, and a few other sources; and from these the reader may learn all that it is possible for a foreigner to gather and understand, regarding the causes and occasions of these unfortunate periodical riots and the means of preventing them in the future. But of more consequence still is the insight which they give to the thoughtful reader, into Chinese character and idiosyncrasy and into the by no means blameless system adopted by foreigners towards Chinese. If the Chinese are absurdly touchy and conservative and their officials often culpably apathetic and negligent, the foreigners frequently are equally unreasonable and aggressive. It is, therefore, hard to apportion justly the amount of blame attaching to each. We may, however, ask how the express command of our great Master (Mark vi. 11) is fulfilled by the persistence of missionaries in thrusting themselves into places which do not want them : is there no such thing as a particular, country not being yet ripe for the harvest ? At p. 104 is a letter from a Chinese, severely criticizing missionary deeds; and among the rest, he brings a direct charge—with chapter and verse-against French priests, of having acted as spies for the French troops. Now, though his other statements were traversed by other writers, this particular one has not been yet met, much less refuted. Since the Crusades taught us to supplement the tardy workings of divine grace with the sharper action of steel, and later on, of gunpowder, and since missionaries have taken to reconciling God and Mammon by simultaneously advocating Christianity and the “influence” of their own country, it is no wonder we have to deplore the comparative sterility of missionary work. This book, deserving of attentive and patient study, is, in general, of a rather anti-Chinese spirit; but the careful and just reader will be compelled to sigh over many of its disclosures, and to blush over not a few. The appendix on Hunan is of special interest.

29. The Simple Adventures of a Mem Sahib, by SARAH JEANNETTE DUNCAN. (London: Chatto and Windus, 1893; 75. 6d.) This book is not meant to be a novel in the usual acceptation of the word; for the inevitable marriage takes place early in its pages, only for the purpose of introducing the reader to a typical Indian household. On this peg the authoress hangs numerous happy and amusing sketches of Indian life and manners, into which her experience gives her a good insight. The scene for the most part is in Calcutta. The book is full of truthful sayings, lively descriptions, gentle satirical strokes, and finely touched delineations; and there is much lively and pleasant reading in its pages which are plentifully interspersed with good illustrations. The reader, however, should remember that Calcutta is not all India.

30. The Origin and Growth of the Healing Art, by EDWARD BERDOE. (London: Swan Sonnenschein and Co., 1893; 125. 6d.) Dr. Berdoe gives us a carefully-prepared history of medicine and surgery, treated with a thorough mastery of his subject. He starts with the medicine of primitive man; and it is an evidence of the exhaustive nature of the work, that he begins with the healing art as practised by the lower animals, and includes in his history, which quotes works as late as 1892, many living masters in his profession. No age or country has escaped his research ; and almost every subject, even indirectly connected with his purpose, is treated with more or less detail. Hence the book contains much curious matter, and is of interest not only to the professional but also to the general reader, who will find in its varied pages much both of instruction and amusement. After tracing the art from primitive man, through the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Asia (with an excellent chapter on Hindu medicine), and Greece, he brings it to medieval Europe, and the modern “scientifico period, from its dawn in the XVIth century to the present time. In their respective places, are short biographical notices of every name of note in the profession,-from the most ancient to Pasteur, Virchow, and Sir Andrew Clark, with mesmerism, and the germ theory. The work is well studied, well digested and well written, clear of prejudices, full in details, just in its judgments, and pleasant to read.

31. Recollection of an Egyptian Princess, by Her English Governess, Miss E. CHENNELLS. (London: W. Blackwood and Sons, 2 vols., 1893 ; 6s.) This is a faithful picture of life and character as described by an intelligent observer who conveys her knowledge in an agreeable form.

Miss Chennells' pupil, Princess Zeyneb, is the favourite daughter of Ismael Pasha, the ex-Khedive, who, not adverse to European ideas, allows her to be entirely under the influence of the English governess. The Princess, therefore, grows up little of a good Muhammedan. She does not keep the fast of Ramadan, takes to wearing European dress, etc., which, owing to the orthodox ideas of most of her people, was not looked upon by them with favour, still, she was much liked because of her kindly disposition to all around her. She marries Ibrahim Pasha, and is the only wife of her husband. Miss Chennells continues to be her companion after her marriage and till her untimely death. She has, therefore, every opportunity to make herself thoroughly acquainted with Harem life in all its phases, and she entertains the reader with almost every possible variety of its customs, such as betrothals, processions of the bride, curious superstition about brides, royal trousseaux, wedding fêtes, the etiquette observed on certain occasions, popular superstitions and strange stories, dancing and other amusements, purchase of slaves, the distinction made between black and white slaves, the treatment of European servants, etc.

Photography is popular in the Gynæceum. The Ramadan and Kurban Bairam festivities are faithfully observed in the Harem even when the mistresses are not orthodox or are disinclined to the exertion. The 2nd volume ends with a full account of the pomp and circumstance of the funeral of the Princess. Miss Chennells' work is in fact a collection of chatty little essays on Harem events, which are well written and delicate in tone and matter. The book is well got-up, and contains photographs of the chief personages concerned. The authoress avoids all scandal and thus sets a good example, not only to other writers, but also, and above all, to those who being admitted to positions of trust in Oriental families are bound, both by good taste and duty, to abstain from retailing “tales out of school.” Ismael Pasha is still alive, but is detained at the palace of Emirghian on the Bosphorus during the Sultan's pleasure, watching the events in Egypt which he can no longer control.

32. Arabic-English Dictionary, by the late W. T. WORTABET, with the collaboration of J. WORTABET, M.D., and H. PORTER, Ph.A. (London: Luzac and Co., 18s.) This Dictionary, printed in Beyrout, may be recommended to scholars, students and travellers as a carefully compiled work, containing a large number of references within a comparatively small compass (8vo., 814 pp.). Derivatives are invariably enumerated under their respective root-forms and there only; if the latter were distinguished from the former not merely by an asterisk, which does not always catch the eye, but also by being printed in larger and more prominent type, much trouble and confusion would be saved to the user of the dictionary; at present the “guiding” words at the top of each column are positively distracting. One looks, for instance, through K, and is suddenly startled by words beginning with A being printed in the corners of the pages, simply because some derivatives of each root beginning with K necessarily commence with-AK. It is impossible to express how annoying these supposed "guiding words” are, and how advantageous even their mere omission would be. The grammatical peculiarities, meanings and usages are well and carefully set forth; occasionally illustrative sentences or current idiomatic phrases are added. The only instances of omission which we have discovered are well and umbe which ought not to be absent, especially not the former. It may not be out of place here to remark that since the publication of the Arabic Dictionary by Dr. F. Steingass (London : W. Allen and Co.) no Arabic-English Dictionary has come into our hands, which for thoroughness and scholarship joined to convenience and "allround” usefulness even distantly approaches the excellence of that work.

33. The Sanskrit Monthly Magazine Vidyodaya entered in January last upon the 22nd year of its existence, a long lease for an Indian literary journal. Originally established at Lahore, it has appeared since April, 1882, at Calcutta, and continues to be largely subvented by the Oriental University Institute, Woking. Its object appears to be to place, at a very moderate price, in the hands of Sanskrit students selections from Sanskrit literature ranging from the Upanishads down to a translation of "Hamlet," and from abstruse philosophical treatises to the pleasant tales of the Purushaparikshâ. In the 5 fasciculi that have appeared in the current year we note especially instalments of Udayana's Kusumânjali and Atmatattvaviveka (of both of which works good printed editions already exist), and of an Advaitaprakaranam, the author of which is not specified. There are also

« 이전계속 »