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(whether they be long-term or short-term criminals) is an age-long problem. A benevolent Government is not satisfied with merely punishing the offender: it desires to render his term of imprisonment a period of improvement to him, so that his punishment may act as a deterrent against further crime, and send him forth eventually an improved man, to be no longer a pest to civilized society and a menace to public order and safety; in a word, it aims at making the criminal a reformed character. If the system of prison life has not had this effect upon him, it has in his case proved a failure, and inasmuch as (human nature being what it is) incarceration cannot be ended, it ought to be mended. The difficulty is more felt in the prisons of a civilized community, like that of the homelands, where productive labour carried on in prisons means so much the less for the deserving and non-criminal classes outside. For much of the work done by criminals in the gaols of non-civilized lands is work that would not be done at all if not done by prisoners-in other words, by a species of forced labour. And thus is the labour of convicts in those lands made contributory to the work which has to be done in laying the foundation of a state of human existence which later on will develop into civilization. Thus does the criminal contribute (without intending to do so) his share towards a better condition of existence in the localities where he has to work out his term of penal servitude. Lands like the “Van Diemen's Land” and the Botany Bay” of the earlier decades of the closing century serve to illustrate this remark, and the account given in the present work will afford the most recent confirmation of it. The great point is to get the criminal to feel interested in his work, and one way of gaining this desirable point is to lead him to see that his work tends to some useful purpose. Of course, there may be types of manhood which never seem responsive to such a motive, nor even to the prospect of foreshortening the term of imprisonment by ticket-of-leave. Failures there will always be in this as in every other department of life. But the authorities of British gaols, in whatever part of the world, may be relied upon to make every effort to bring about the best results, and to do it in the most effective manner and in the briefest space. The condition of incarcerated criminals has wonderfully improved since the publication of the enlightening work of the late Mr. Charles Reade, and much of the improvement of the prisoner's unhappy lot and of the ultimate advantages of our gaols to the law-abiding tax-payer is undoubtedly attributable to the influence of that noble work on the policy of our public men. But, in truth, the subject of the proper treatment of Government convicts has for a century past engaged the attention of some of the most kindhearted and gifted men that have ever been engaged in the public service. The result is that many of the forts, churches, gaols, law-courts, official residences, and other important public buildings now scattered over our Eastern possessions, have been the fruit of convict labour. And it is safe to say that they could never otherwise have been raised, since skilled European labour is not to be had. The result to the convict himself of
* We allude, of course, to his work entitled “Never Too Late to Mend.”
making him feel that he has a personal interest in his toil is that in the gaols of our Government in the Straits he learns an occupation at which he can earn an adequate maintenance, and when his time expires he even prefers to remain in the land of his exile to returning to the land of his birth ; while to the cause of civilization the result is that places like Sumatra, Java, and the Malay Peninsula are changed from scenes of savagery and unreclaimed jungle to scenes of honest toil and comfortable existence. All this and much besides is abundantly proved in the most useful volume now before us.
B. 6. The Second Afghan War, 1878-79-80 : its Causes, its Conduct, and its Consequences. By Colonel H. B. Hanna, formerly of the Punjab Frontier Force, and late commanding at Delhi. Vol. I. The present volume deals with the first branch of the subject—the causes of the war; and the author lays bare, in a concise and clear manner, from despatches and other authentic documents, “the errors of judgment which had brought it about," and "since those errors, crystallized into a policy, still persisted, and might any day involve India in hostilities with neighbours who, powerless to harm her whilst she confined herself within her natural limits, must become formidable as soon as those limits were overstepped,” hence the importance of the work. It is composed of eighteen chapters, dealing, among other subjects, with our relations with Afghanistan from 1855 to 1869, the negotiations with Russia, Sir Bartle Frere's memorandum and its consequences, the inauguration of the new policy, the Peshawar conference, the Russian mission, the British mission, the mobilization, the ultimatum, the Russian-Afghan correspondence, the plan of campaign, the Quetta reinforcements, and the Multan, Kuram, and Peshawar Valleys Field Forces. There are also appendices containing the translation of a letter from the Kabul envoy to Sir Lewis Pelly (our Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary), and the proclamation by the Viceroy of November, 1878, and a very copious index. The reader will be convinced that, failing to grasp the great difficulties with which Shere Ali had to contend, the Governments at home blundered and vacillated, leading the several Viceroys to evade our pledges to the Amir, hence misunderstandings and the war. The author, from his personal experience and minute investigations, has come to the following important conclusion :
Probably there was no British statesman in the ranks of either political party who would have been willing to sign away that freedom-i.e., Great Britain's 'freedom to decide, in each complication that might arise, what line of action she would adopt '—and this being the case, the superiority of Lord Lawrence's Afghan policy to that of his successors becomes apparent. Recognising, on the one hand, that the independence and integrity of Afghanistan were of importance, though not of vital importance to India—her security rested for him on far broader and stronger foundations-and, on the other, that the preservation of the former was the ruling passion of the Afghan people, and the maintenance of both the strongest desire of every Afghan Prince, Lawrence was prepared to give Shere Ali, in liberal measure, the means of defending his kingdom and upholding his power, unaccompanied by pledges or conditions of any kind, since pledges and conditions were certain to lead to misunderstandings, and to suspicions and disappointments on both sides. Under this policy, the dispute between Persia and Afghanistan would have been settled by themselves, probably in favour of the latter State, certainly at an infinitesimal cost of life and treasure compared to the expenditure of both which was to flow from the British claim to determine the Amir's conduct towards his neighbours; and there could never have crept into Shere Ali's mind the feeling that he had been duped by fair words, out of which all meaning evaporated the moment he tried to ascertain what they were really worth to him ; whilst the Indian Government would have been preserved from the temptation to encroach upon his independence on the plea of defending it. Under this policy, the full responsibility for his actions left to the Amir would have proved quite as effectual in withholding him from giving wanton offence to Russia, as the desire to merit British aid against her, and nothing in its principles and aims would have debarred the British Government from bestowing that aid, should the rendering of it at any given moment seem in accord with the best interests of India. Under the policy which Lord Northbrook found in force and had to continue-a policy which is generally supposed to have been identical with that of Lord Lawrence, but which really differed from it fundamentally-it was impossible for that Viceroy altogether to avoid the appearance of taking back with one hand what he gave with the other; and if Nur Mahomed, nevertheless, left Simla still convinced that Afghanistan might rely upon the Indian Government to stand by her against Russia in case of need, that conviction did not rest upon the definite promises now offered to his Sovereign, but on that natural community of interests between India and Afghanistan, in the presence of an ambitious and rapidly-extending neighbour, which had always existed, and must, in his opinion, always continue to exist—a community of interests which the pecuniary liberality recommended by Lord Lawrence would have sufficiently recognised and promoted.”
We hope Colonel Hanna will be able to produce soon his second volume, which will no doubt prove as interesting and important as the first.
J. M. Dent AND Co. ; LONDON, 1899. 7. Natal: the Land and its Story (a geography and history, with maps), by ROBERT RUSSELL, Superintendent of Education, Natal. Great credit is due to the author for his concise account of the Colony of Natal (the Christmas Land, so called from its discovery on December 25, 1497, by Vasco da Gama), which has been, and is still, full of interest to us, in consequence of the important part it has played in the present war with the South African Republics. The war is not dealt with in its pages,
but the volume is replete with valuable information, both historical and other. wise, and is, moreover, based on the personal observation of the author, who spent a long official life in the service of the Colony. The book contains eighteen chapters, which treat amongst other subjects Geology, Mountains, Rivers, Climate, Productions of the Soil, Plants, People, Animals, etc. It has a good index, and also a useful map by Stanford, which has been drawn in the office of the Superintendent of Schools to accompany the school geography of the Colony.
DAVID DOUGLAS ; EDINBURGH, 1899. 8. In Western India, by Dr. MURRAY MITCHELL. Although this work commences with an account of the author's school-days, it must not be regarded as an autobiography in the commonly accepted sense of that term. It is quite true that he notes the various points of his personal history as the narrative proceeds—his voyage to India, his marriage, his return visits to Scotland, and other matters of personal interest-yet to set forth a biographical account of himself is not by any means the author's purpose. On the subject of a man's writing and publishing memoirs of himself, Dr. Mitchell would probably share the aversion commonly felt by educated persons. The work is, in fact, a most interesting account of the proceedings of the Church of Scotland Mission in the Bombay Presidency from the year 1838, when the author joined it. When a many-sided man like Dr. Mitchell throws himself so completely into the public movements of his day and generation as he has done for more than sixty years, the history of his work is in great measure the history of his time. Men have to be estimated, movements come up for consideration, and we have before us a living panorama of a very active and progressive period. Viewed in this way, the present work, though the history of a missionary, may be of interest to the readers of the Asiatic Quarterly Review. For the Review is not a professedly religious periodical. But there are many matters in the volume that have to do with politics, law, ethnology, social customs, and other things, which will render the book very interesting not only to religious persons, but also to the general reader. The work of the Church of Scotland in India has been largely of an educational nature; yet not by any means exclusively so, as this volume abundantly shows. No inquiry into the great subject of the effect upon India of English ascendancy there can be complete which overlooks the part enacted by the agents of missionary societies. For better, for worse, the societies are all represented there, and the present volume will show that they are there very much for the better. Dr. Mitchell has a pleasing style; the tone and manner of his writing secure immediate attention and interest, and prepossess the mind of the reader in favour of his narrative. The book is a decided gain to missionary literature.
FISHER UNWIN; LONDON, 1899. 9. Rajah Brooke, by Sir SPENCER ST. JOHN, G.C.M.G. The inspiring and profoundly interesting story of Sir James Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak, has by the enterprise of this public-spirited firm been now published in the “Builders of Greater Britain Series.” As his story, which began in the second decade of the century, ended with his decease some two-and-thirty years ago, it is one with which the oldest now among us began to be
interested as long ago as we can remember. The story has many times been told, but it loses none of its thrilling interest and fascination in the work now before us. The Rajah is here viewed as "the Englishman as Ruler of an Eastern State," and, indeed, he has rightly been assigned a place in a series of men like Sir Walter Raleigh and Lord Clive. Never was the “knighthood” more appropriately conferred than when the Queen gracefully offered the honour for his acceptance in token of her appreciation of the services he had rendered to the prestige of the Empire among the barbarous islands of the Eastern Archipelago. The life story of a man like Rajah Brooke necessarily contains many allusions to contemporary history, and to the men and doings of his time. This work is set forth in nine chapters, which are packed with information respecting the administration of those islands. The characteristics of Sir James Brooke-his manliness, his enterprise, his resourcefulness, his unselfishness, his beautiful tenderness and sympathy-were such as were bound to endear him to the hearts of Asiatics. Such a man secures their confidence and wins their loyalty. Young men who contemplate seeking a career in some portion of Asia could hardly do better than make a careful study of such a man as he, and read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the story of his inspiring life. The book contains a good index, and an appendix packed with information, and a portrait of the Rajah, whose countenance speaks of that shrewdness, promptitude, effectiveness, and wonderful kindliness which were such clear marks of his character. No right-minded Englishman could rise from the perusal of this book without feeling his best impulses stirred, and without realizing afresh how grand is the opportunity which life among Asiatic peoples affords of living to high and useful purpose. B.
FORZANI AND Co., ROME; LUZAC AND Co., LONDON ; 1899. 10. N Ce-Kiang, studio geografico-economico, by Dr. Mario Carli. This is an interesting account in Italian, as well as the latest work on the Chinese province of Che-Kiang. The author prefaces it with a historical introduction on the relations of foreign countries with China, more particularly as regards commerce. At one time one of the most populated and richest, although smallest of the eighteen provinces into which China proper is subdivided, it commenced to decline, and its decadence was accelerated in the middle of last century by a great fanine, which was followed by the destructive invasion of the Tai-pings, and again by a terrible pestilence and another famine. The population was reduced from 32,000,000 to 5,500,000,
but it has now increased to between 11,000,000 and 12,000,000. There are chapters on the principal rivers, the sea-coast, waterways, products, and an appendix giving the value of the exports and imports for the years 1895, 1896, and 1897. A very clear map accompanies this book.
HENRY FROWDE; LONDON, 1899. 11. The Bride's Mirror; or Mir-ātu l - Arūs, of Maulavi Nazir Ahmad, edited, in the Roman character, with a Vocabulary and Notes, by G. E. WARD, M.A., of Wadham College, Oxford, B.C.S. (retired).