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The strict seclusion in which ladies are immured, by the tyranny of custom, among Muhammadan families has long operated as a great hindrance to their intellectual development. In poetry, no doubt, they have often been brilliantly distinguished, because poeta nascitur, non fit. And in tradition, too, they have held an honoured place, because, in the intimacy of family life, the wives and daughters of the Apostle and his companions necessarily enjoyed constant opportunities of hearing, directly or through some intermediary, the sayings of the revered Teacher. But in subjects requiring instruction from masters outside the family circle, women were obviously at a great disadvantage. A few, indeed, like the medieval Princess Khaula, who was sister of Saifu dDaula, Chief of Aleppo, a city and state in Syria, and died A.H. 352 (A.D. 963), and like the modern Princess Sikandar Begam, who was ruler of Bhopal, a state in Central India, and died A.D. 1868, might be enabled, by the accident of high position, and the possession of superior mental gifts, to show themselves the equals of men. But such gifts were so exceptional as almost to take their possessors out of the category of women; for Saifu dDaula's poet laureate, Al Mutanabbi, says of Khaula.
وان تكُن خُلُقَتْ أُنتي لَقَدْ خُلقَتْ كَرِيمَة غَيْرَ أُنتي العقلِ والحَسَب
And, if she have been created female, assuredly she has been created noble, not feminine in reason and understanding. The vast majority of women passed through life destitute of even the very rudiments of education, though in some families, which attached particular importance to religious instruction, the girls were taught to read books of devotion. The Bride's Mirror marks a new departure in the education of native girls in Upper India, being a purely secular work—in fact, a novel-written by a Muhammadan gentleman of good family and liberal views for the instruction and amusement of his little daughters. Its fame having soon spread abroad in his Ward (Maḥalla), some ladies from neighbouring houses would drop in to hear it read, and others would borrow the manuscript to read to their own families. And being eventually brought under the appreciative notice of Sir William Muir, then Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West Provinces of India, now Principal of the Edinburgh University, it was awarded one of the valuable prizes recently instituted by that enlightened and sympathetic Administrator for the encouragement of original native literature. It had, indeed, a strong claim to such a prize, being, as its author states, “absolutely the first original work of its kind in the language." It is a novel descriptive of home life in families of the middle class among the Muhammadans of Upper India. It traces the careers of two girls, Akbari Khānam and Asghari Khānam, daughters of Dūrandesh Khan, who seems to have earned a comfortable income from some employment on the hills. The elder girl, Akbari, is married to a young man in her own rank of life, named Muḥammad Aqil, and the younger, Asghari, to his younger brother, Muḥammad Kāmil. At the commencement of their married lives, as the author points out (p. 53), the apparent advantages were all on the side of the elder sister. "Akbari was married at sixteen years of age, while
Asghari at the time of her marriage was not even quite thirteen. When Akbari was married, her bridegroom, Muḥammad Ãqil, was already employed on a salary of ten rupees a month; while Asghari's bridegroom, Muḥammad Kamil, was still at school. In comparison with Muḥammad Aqil, Muḥammad Kamil had less knowledge, and less intelligence too. Akbari for two whole years remained free from the worry of children, while God made Asghari a mother in the second year of her marriage, at such a tender age. Akbari never had occasion to go outside the city, while Asghari remained travelling for years. In no way, then, was Asghari's condition good in comparison with Akbari's condition; but Asghari had been well trained from her youth upwards, and day by day prosperity increased in her house: so that no one knows even the name of Akbari; while the mansion of the 'sensible daughter-in-law '"-a nickname given to Asghari—“in the 'Lady's Market' stands so high that it holds converse with the sky, and from the name of the lady Asghari that Ward is known as the 'Lady's Market.'" The object of the story is to show how these changes in the fortunes of the two sisters were gradually produced by the differences in their training and characters. It must not be supposed that Asghari's married life was unchequered by misfortune; on the contrary, she was afflicted with the loss of a son, Muḥammad Adil, at the age of four, and of a daughter, Baṭūl, at the age of seven; and the book ends with a lengthy letter (pp. 176-184) from her father, Durandesh Khān, exhorting her to patience and fortitude under her bereavement. This letter is very curious, because its exhortations are founded partly upon a dreary pessimism, and partly upon the immemorial fatalism of the East. "What certainty is there of this, that we shall live till our children grow up, or that they will live till we grow old ?", which seems to recall Juvenal's melancholy description of old age:
"Ut vigeant sensus animi, ducenda tamen sunt
Again, "Whoever is born in the world, it is the immutable decree of God that he should die," which sounds like an echo of the sentiment expressed by the Arab poet ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Az Ziba'rà al Ķurashi as Sahmi aṣ Saḥābi more than twelve centuries before :
Then, if death have annihilated them, what the mother bears is for death! But of comfort, of consolation, of the hope of reunion with the departed child, there is not a trace. Indeed, the letter seems to lay down the cheerless doctrine that the closest relationship is for ever dissolved by death. "The world is not our home; we have to go and live in another place; no one belongs to us, nor we to anyone; if we be father of any one, it is only for a few days; and if we be son of any one, it also is only for a few days. If we see anyone die, what matter for regret is it?" How different is this tone of philosophical detachment from the touching defence offered by the founder of the Muhammadan faith for his own display of emotion over the death-bed of his infant son, Ibrahim: "Verily, the eye
sheds tears, and the heart grieves; but we say not aught but what may please our Lord; and verily we, by thy departure, O Ibrahim, are indeed grieved!"* The letter certainly makes an inartistic ending for the story, being out of harmony with its simple and natural tone.
The present edition of the Bride's Mirror is printed in the Roman character in usum tironum, being intended by Mr. Ward as a "text-book in Hindustani for English ladies who desire to study that language." It is furnished with a complete vocabulary, and with copious grammatical and exegetical notes. In order to give beginners a fair start, Mr. Ward considerately appends an English translation of the author's preface and introduction; and, for the profit and pleasure of advanced students, an elaborate note on the system of transliteration, including an interesting dissertation on the prosodical quantity of syllables in Hindustani, is provided. The book is a valuable contribution to our knowledge of the people and their language. The story raises the veil hiding the inner life of respectable native families from the gaze of foreign observers, and shows the people as they really are in their own homes; and the fact that its author belongs to a Delhi family is a guarantee for the purity and elegance of its diction. The vocabulary extends over nearly 300 columns, and any student who may learn to read this story with facility will have acquired a stock of words and idiomatic phrases amply sufficient for all ordinary colloquial and literary purposes.
There is a trifling misprint, "Who could I send ?" for "Whom," in p. 26, note 1, otherwise the book is singularly free from typographical blemishes. M. S. HOWELL.
G. HAESSEL; LEIPZIG.
12. The Expedition of 1898 to Turfan, part i., by D. KLEMENTZ and DR. RADLOFF. Encouraged by the important results which his courageous wife's discovery of Tunyukuk's monument secured, Mr. D. Klementz at once placed his services at the disposal of the Russian Government for the purpose of examining the old Ouigour capitals of Astana, Idikut-shari, Karahodjo, and Turfan, which, like the Burmese capitals of Sagaing, Ava, Amarapura, and Mandalay, are practically different "phases" of the same place. Turfan, according to the distinguished Russian savant, Dr. Bretschneider, means ' residence" in Mongol, and probably also in Turkish. The word only came into use as the name of a seat of government about the middle of the fourteenth century, when the Mongols were being driven out of China; it does not once occur in Mongol history. The word Hodjo (to which the Mongols add the prefix "Kara") appears in the histories of the Cathayan and Nüchên dynasties which preceded in North China that of the Genghizides, in each case in connection with the Ouigours, who paid tribute to Peking in all three cases.
* The text of this tradition is given in the Sahiḥ of Al Bukhārī (Krehl's edition vol. i., p. 328), where is a misprint for; and in other works. One version adds, "O Ibrāhīm, if 'twere not that it"-meaning the Divine revelation of the life to come- -"is a true command and a faithful promise, and that the last of us shall overtake the first of us, we should grieve for thee more violently than this!"
For a detailed account of Mr. Klementz's discoveries, and for a connected history of medieval Turfan, I must refer those interested to an extended notice in the next China Review. It will suffice to state here that Dr. Radloff has translated a number of old Turkish and Ouigour documents unearthed by the energetic explorer who conducted the expedition, and Mr. Klementz gives us numerous photographs and plates in order to illustrate what he has achieved. In their zeal for Asiatic archæology and history, the Russian and French Governments and learned societies are distinctly ahead of ours, which for the present must take a back seat. E. H. PARKER.
KEGAN PAUL AND Co.; LONDON, 1899.
13. British Empire Series, vol. i. This, the first volume of the series, deals with India, Ceylon, the Straits Settlements, British North Borneo, and Hong-Kong; and it contains a couple of excellent maps, the one exhibiting India, Burmah, and the trans-Himalayan portion of the Chinese Empire, and the other the islands of the Eastern Archipelago. The volume includes twenty-three lectures which were delivered at the South Place Institute, Finsbury, on Sunday afternoons during the years. 1895 to 1898. The lectures were organized for the purpose of affording trustworthy information concerning the various colonies of our Empire in different parts of the world: four other volumes dealing with "British Africa," " ," "British America," etc., will follow. The lecturers (who are all of them well-known persons in the world of literature) have been selected regardless of race or creed, and one of them is a lady, Mrs. Ernest Hart, already known to the public as the author of some useful works. The volume includes lectures on all the divisions of India, as well the Native States as the territories under European rule. All the lecturers go into more or less of detail (stating facts and supplying figures) concerning the different races which inhabit the various divisions treated of-their origins, their numbers, their languages, their occupations, their religions, etc. The essays do not err in respect of length, occupying, on an average, some five-and-twenty pages, nor are they any of them tedious. Besides essays on the several geographical and political divisions of the country, we have also essays on the condition of women-folk among the different races of the community, on the various industries of the people, on the administration of justice, on the history and treatment of famines, and on other matters of public importance. The papers on the Straits Settlements and the other portions of the Empire dealt with take up in a similar manner the public questions connected therewith, showing the general advance of our Asiatic colonies and dependencies since the times when they respectively passed into the possession of the Crown. There are also papers on ancient India and on the India of pre-Mutiny times. And upon the whole the volume may be said to include the history of India and the neighbouring colonies from the earliest times to the present.
The essays are well written, well edited, and well printed. They are not of the "dry-as-dust" description; they are more in the style of the article of the popular review-in the manner of the popular lecture prepared for a miscellaneous London audience. The work is invaluable as a repertory of trustworthy and up-to-date information regarding the lands of which it treats. The writers are persons who may each be regarded as an authority in the department on which he writes. Men like Sir Ray.nond West, Lord Wenlock, and Sir Andrew Clarke (not to exhaust the list) are men whose reputation as administrators and as penmen is already made, and who would have much to lose by inaccuracy as to facts and unsoundness in reasoning. The work is pleasant reading, and interesting withal. It is an admirable work for statesmen and politicians, and is well fitted to be placed in the hands of young men about to seek their life-sphere in the higher walks of our country's service in the Far East. The absence of an index of any sort or kind will detract from the usefulness of the book as a work of reference (for it is as such that it will be mainly used); but it is already a thick volume-about 550 pages all told-and this doubtless led to the omission. But if, even now, a good index could be added, it would enhance greatly the usefulness of a most valuable work.
KELLY AND WALSH; SHANGHAI.
14. Map of China and the Surrounding Regions, by E. BRETSCHneider. Second edition, thoroughly revised, sold by Iliin, St. Petersburg. The Asiatic Quarterly Review for 1896 (p. 195) published a report upon this excellent English map, which can, as before, be obtained at Stanford's. Dr. Bretschneider's splendid labours in the Sinological field have since obtained for him the well-merited honour of election to be a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and also the gold medal of the Russian Geographical Society. The revised edition is coloured, and is thus brighter to the eye and easier for consultation than before. The Russian, German, and British direct "spheres " in the north are marked off; but apparently the engraver's plates were cut before the corresponding French and English spheres in the south were delimitated. The defective parts noticed in the first edition about the Burmese and Tonquinese frontiers have been remedied; and the recent railways have been added so far as they were completed when the map was ready for publication. I have had the first edition in daily use for nearly four years, and have found it extraordinarily accurate and vividly illustrative. What is badly wanted now is a reduced English map on the same scale of the Manchurian and Tibeto-Mongolian regions, for the full-sized Russian maps, though as perfect as possible, are useless to those who cannot spell out a few words of Russian. No one is more competent than Dr. Bretschneider to undertake this duty, and no one in Europe possesses in a higher degree the general public confidence. E. H. PARKER.