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out of mutilated Chinese characters; but in the last three cases the visible efforts never seem to have achieved enduring practical result at all, and are at present quite undecipherable; whilst in the two former instances the "vernacular," or adapted writing, has never produced any literature worthy of the name, and has always taken a "back-seat" and been merely ancillary to the more lucid Chinese; and even that in a half-ashamed sort of way. It has only been in Japan, vigorous, "cocky" Japan, that native energy has been strong enough to assert itself to the extent of imposing its own development of Chinese upon true Chinese on absolutely equal terms. Just as the despised vernaculars of Europe were centuries before they could "catch on" in turn and displace the Latin monopoly of literature, so the majiri or "mixture" of Japanese has had to fight hard and obstinately in order to displace the pure Chinese monopoly of literature in Japan.
Even as a work of art, Mr. Chamberlain's book is deserving of a place on the drawing-room table, for the plates are beautifully finished and the character models are perfect. The only thing in true art the Chinese have ever achieved is calligraphy; and if they appear to have achieved it elsewhere, as in porcelain for instance, it is because their best porcelain largely depends upon calligraphy for its grace and ornament. Upon this calligraphy the Japanese have successfully ventured to improve; and though they have adhered to classic models to the last, they have managed to impart a dash and a verve to the demotic forms which the best Chinese masters of antiquity might envy.
But, apart from its artistic value, Mr. Chamberlain's noble work saves the student from profitless grinding. It marshals forth the why and the wherefore of each apparently complicated rule in such an orderly and systematic way that any industrious learner may now achieve, with the minimum of native technical assistance, results which hitherto certainly not a dozen Europeans have ever managed. Some people may be inclined to ask: Is the victory worth achieving? It is certainly a great thing to be able to glance quickly through the best Japanese newspapers; and in time of war a man who could promptly decipher important communications would be invaluable, not to mention the importance of being able to correspond freely and safely with an ally or an enemy. In any case, Mr. Chamberlain's book is the first systematic one of its kind, and it will probably continue to be the best for many generations.
SANDS AND Co.; LONDON, 1899.
E. H. PARKER.
18. China, by HAROLD E. GORST ("The Imperial Interest Library," edited by HAMISH HENDRY). Mr. Gorst has produced a very readable book, and has certainly succeeded in showing up very clearly some of the chief points in the political problems which present themselves to us, now that up-to-date events have altered the bearings of the general outlook in the Far East. The author, who has evidently not been to China, to a certain extent disarms criticism at the outset by paying his possible critics the compliment of assuring them that almost any one of them would have done better than himself, had that one seen fit to take up the task to which Mr. Gorst has devoted his energies. It is, however, by no means certain
that such is the case.
Almost everyone in the Far East has, or has had, his own private axe to grind, or his own biased ideas to air, and it is just as well that a complete outsider, taking up the ravelled ends of interested controversy for himself, should endeavour to produce an independent pattern of his own working, and this from a purely objective point of view. Taking a general survey of the whole situation, Mr. Gorst falls promptly into line with those who think that Great Britain has sadly neglected her duty, and criminally let slip her many opportunities. Perhaps it is a wholesome thing for Her Majesty's Governments that they should be periodically gibbeted as incompetents, just as it is sound policy for the Navy League to keep the Admiralty up to the mark by drawing ghastly pictures of our coming naval decadence: in the same way, to descend to a much lower step in the scale, it is on the whole good that Consuls should occasionally be locally stigmatized as "duffers," so that they may not take things too easy when a missionary gets his head punched, or a British trader has his cargo of pigs confiscated; his cottons subjected to likin, extortion, and detention, and so on. In pointing to the successes of Russia, Germany, and France, Mr. Gorst seems inclined to slur over as a mere nothing our own important territorial extension opposite Hongkong, and to lay all possible stress upon the (alleged) fact that barren Wei-hai Wei is the only "compensation" we can point to. The Lu-Han Railway, the Fives-Lille concession (a miserable failure as yet), the Nan-ning Line, the proposed (as yet only proposed) purely German lines to Tsinan and Wei Hien, all loom very big in his eyes; whilst the British concessions, which really are equal to all the others put together, and the only ones likely to really pay quickly, are pooh-poohed as though they were mere asses masquerading in lions' skins. England owes all she possesses to the energy of her sons, especially her trading sons; her Government has always manipulated the brake rather than the whip or spur, and therefore on the whole it is perhaps well that the flesh of Her Majesty's Ministers should be made to creep occasionally in order that they may not relapse into indolence. But, whilst this is admitted, after all there is a good deal to be said for Sir Claude Macdonald's point of view, namely, that we have come out of the scrimmage pretty well-in fact, very well-after all. If we failed to foresee what a fraud Chinese "power" was, we did so in the good company of France, Russia, and Germany. If we failed to get those Powers to join us in stopping the war, that was no fault of ours; and if we refused to join them in meanly defrauding Japan of her hard-earned rights, we at any rate secured for ourselves morally in the eyes of both China and Japan a better permanent position than the three Powers did. China's kind "friends" commenced to grab before any thought of aggrandisement entered the brain of her "enemy," who thus stood aside to see common fair play. Japan, a country which possesses in an unrivalled degree both the means and the power to preserve impenetrable secrecy, is digesting her unforgettable insult in ominous silence. What with the smothered enmity of Japan, the wedging in of Germany, and the advent of the United States into the Pacific, Russia's prospects of securing China were never more remote than they are now. Moreover, the Economist has clearly proved her to be financially at least
as badly off as Japan. Man for man, the Japanese (especially in the summer season) are better fighters and marchers than the Russians. They cost one-tenth the sum to feed, present 50 per cent. less surface for the bullets to hit, fear no sun, are individually intelligent, require next to no baggage, and know absolutely no fear. They are as much ducks on the water as they are monkeys on the hills, and if war were to break out to-day it is as likely as not that they would, left alone with Russia, get the best of it sur toute la ligne. This, then, is one result of a crafty policy. Again, who can blame us for not foreseeing the action of Germany at Kiao Chou? As a matter of fact, it now rather suits us; but it was impossible to be proud of hitting a man under the belt when he was down, still less to predict such a departure from the rules of diplomatic sport. The fact is, if we have been slow to see the new position, at least we have not lost our heads or done anything despicable. At present Russia's policy seems to be to detach American sympathies from the "open door" by offering them the bait of first refusals of land at Ta-lien Wan.
So much for the main political idea which runs through Mr. Gorst's book. By all means let us keep poking up our Government to activity, but let us take a liberal grain of mental salt before we seriously swallow our proffered doses of regret at lost opportunities. The excellent article in the last number of the Revue des Deux Mondes shows that nos bons amis les Anglais are viewed by the French political adventurers in a very different light from that in which our Jingoes present them to us. As to the other chapters in the book, those on China's Resources, the Yangtze Valley, the Records of the Past, Civilization, Scientific Ignorance, Farming, Family Life, Artisans, Modern Factories, Guilds, Literati, Government and Mandarins, Religion, Missionaries, Army, Relations with Europe, Recent Developments, etc.-all these are written in a pleasant, readable style; and if they display here and there inaccuracies, these are mostly of the kind involved in the celebrated description of a crab as "a red fish which walks backwards"; that is, any man who has correct and specific information on any definite subject at once discerns numerous trivial mistakes in points of detail, though these little flaws are not as a rule of such a kind as to make the book an unsafe guide for the "man in the street," to whom it may therefore honestly be recommended as a good, popular work, without any pretensions to profundity or authoritativeness, but giving in the main a fair presentment of China as she now stands, and of her new political possibilities as they are usually conceived.
The pictures are very good, though some of them seem to be old friends, and the women have all been taken from one province. The man on p. 115 is certainly no merchant; he looks like a Mandarin's card-bearer or out-door manager, and wears Northern official attire: he might possibly be a Muhammadan horse-dealer from the Government studs.-E. H. PARker.
OUR LIBRARY TABLE.
The Fuzoku Gaho. A modern publication. An illustrated magazine of the manners and customs of the Japanese. Printed and published in Tokyo, Japan. This number illustrates and treats in the text the calamity
of the seismic wave that struck the coast between Sendai and Aomora in July, 1896, on the festival day of Tango no Sekku or the Boys' Feast of Flags.
The Upanishads, 3 vols., published by V. C. Seshacharri, B.A., B.L., M.R.A.S., and printed by G. A. Natesan and Co., Esplanade, Madras. The Upanishads and Sri Sankara's Commentary, translated by S. Sitarama Sastri, B.A. The first volume contains the Isa, Kena, and Mundaka; the second, Katha and Prasna; the third (and the fourth, not yet published), the Chha'ndogya, translated by Pandit Gangânâtha Jha, M.A., F.T.S., of Darbhanga. The translations are exact, very readable, exceedingly well printed in a very convenient and handy form.
Travels in the Transvaal, by CHARLES J. H. HALCOMBE. (London: Thomas Burleigh.) An instructive account of the experiences of a traveller in the Transvaal, his adventures and impressions of Cape life.
Bulawayo up to Date, edited and enlarged by WALTER H. WILLS and J. HALL, jun., 1899. (London: Simpkin Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co., Limited.) A very useful guide to all who desire important information in an authentic form of the vast region now known as Rhodesia, including references to Mashonaland, Matabeleland, and adjoining regions, with pleasing illustrations of Mr. Cecil Rhodes, the Marquis of Abercorn, Mr. Maguire, and others connected with Rhodesia.
In a Corner of Asia, by HUGH CLIFFORD. (London: T. Fisher Unwin.) This handy and readable little volume gives tales and impressions of men and things in the Malay Peninsula, by one who admires its scenery and loves its races and people, their habits and curious customs. The author says: "Since my brown friends and their surroundings have been to me things very real and very lovable, these tales have written themselves, bringing me much pleasure in their fashioning; and if they serve to pass an idle hour for others, they will have achieved perhaps the only object for which they are fitted."
Transvaal War Atlas. (London: Thomas Nelson and Sons, Paternoster Row.) Twenty-three pages of well-got-up maps, followed by an interesting description of the Boers and Boerland. Well worth a shilling.
Arabic Self-Taught (Syrian), with English Phonetic Pronunciations, by C. A. THIMM, F.R.G.S.; edited by A. HASSAM and Professor G. HAGOPIAN. (London: E. Marlborough and Co., Old Bailey.) This useful little work gives, in a simple, clear, and distinct manner, vocabularies, elements of grammar, idiomatic phrases and dialogues, travel talk, and a short dictionary on English and Arabic. It contains also very useful suggestions to a beginner who desires to acquire a rudimentary knowledge of the language. The system of transliteration has been carefully arranged to give the correct phonetic pronunciation, in accordance with the plan recommended by the Oriental Congress. Those proposing to travel in Egypt and the Sudan will find this primer exceedingly useful.
Natural and Artificial Methods of Ventilation. (London: Robert Boyle and Son, Limited.) A short compilation of the best authorities on an important subject relating to health and the means to be adopted, on
an intelligent comprehension of the laws which govern the movements of air, and the utilization of the natural forces which are necessary in their operation.
New Century Library. The works of Charles Dickens. Vol. I., "The Pickwick Club." (Edinburgh, London, and New York: Thomas Nelson and Sons.) The special feature of the series which are to compose this library is, that the volumes are to be of pocket-size, the type a large and beautiful long primer on very thin paper, called "royal" India paper. The library is an entirely new departure, and these small India volumes will doubtless be welcomed alike for pocket and library use.
We acknowledge with thanks the reception of the following:
Tuberculosis, the Journal of the National Association for the Prevention of Consumption and other Forms of Tuberculosis, vol. i., No. 1 (published by the Association, 20, Hanover Square, W.);-Climate, a Quarterly Journal of Health and Travel, vol. i., No. 1 (Livingstone College, Stratford, E., and Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co.);-The War and its Causes, by G. P. GOOCH, M.A. (The Transvaal Committee, St. Ermin's Mansions, Westminster, S.W.);-The Periodical (Oxford University Press Warehouse, London);-Shaddarcaneshu en religionsstudie. I. Prolegomena till den indiskt ortodoxa filosofien (af Oscar Valentin, Stockholm, Fosterlandsstiftelsens forlags-expedition);-Catalogue of the Sanskrit Manuscripts in the Library of the India Office. Part VI. Sanskrit Literature. B. Poetical Literature. I. Epic Literature. II. Pauranik Literature;-Report on the Administration of the Local Boards in the Bombay Presidency, including Sind, for the year 1897-98 (Government Press, Bombay, 1899) ;—Annual Progress Report of the Archeological Survey Circle, North-Western Provinces and Oudh, for the year ending June 30th, 1899;-La Grande Revue de l'Exposition, 1900 (Supplement illustré de la Revue des Revues), No. 1, November, 1899 (Avenue de l'Opera 12, Paris) ;—Mittheilungen der Anthropologischen Gesellschaft in Wien, vol. xxix., part 5 ;—Biblia, the American monthly of Oriental Research (Meriden, Conn., U.S.A.);-La Revue des Revues (Paris);-La Revue Générale Belge (Brussels);---La Minerva (Rome);— The Contemporary Review (London: Isbister and Co.);-The National Review (E. Arnold);-Le Bulletin des Sommaires (Paris);-Public Opinion, the American weekly (New York);-The Canadian Gazette (London);— The Indian Magazine and Review (London: A. Constable and Co.) ;Comptes rendus des séances de la Société de Geographie (Paris);—Le Tour du Monde (London and Paris: Hachette);-From George Newnes, Limited, London the last three numbers of The Strand Magazine-The Royal Atlas of England and Wales, parts 12-15-The Wide World Magazine, October, November, December, 1899-The Captain, vol. ii., parts 7-9— Through the Dark Continent, by H. M. Stanley, part 18 (now complete)— The Arabian Nights, parts 7-12 (complete in 20 parts)-Tit-Bits' Citizens' Library The Romance of the Victoria Cross-Tit-Bits' Monster Rhyme Book and Unbeaten Tracts in Japan, by Mrs. Bishop, part 1 (to be completed in 8 parts);-The North American Review, October, November,