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and driver ants, centipedes, scorpions, venomous spiders, foot-eating jiggers, besides leeches and the loathsome Guinea worm.
At sunset the land-breeze sets in hot and muggy, and dies before sunrise. Then there is generally a dead-still interlude, when the palm-fronds hang motionless, and the iron roofs crackle under the heat. Afterwards the slightly cooler sea-breeze drives a haze of spray ashore, so that the air is saturated with powdered brine, and every house reeks with moisture in spite of the temperature. Clothing cannot be kept free from mould, and most merchandise is packed in what does not prove to be impervious paper.
Beyond Accra the coast-line changes. The hills stretch back inland, and passing Pram-Pram, to which palm-oil barrels are rolled from the Volta country by hand at a cost which sometimes equals one pound the barrel, we reach the huge lagoons beside the Volta mouth. Unfortunately the river is shallow, and useless even for launches, except in the wet season, while the heavy surf and shifting bar preclude the construction of a harbour. Thus cargo coming down it is landed at Addah, and rolled across a wide strip of land for shipment through the breakers in open surf-boats. Next comes Jella Koffi, famous chiefly for its poultry, the toughest in the world, and leaving British territory, we pass on to the vast and partly unexplored lagoons of Dahomey.
The future of the Gold Coast colony is wrapped in more than usual uncertainty. That even without railroads its shipments of oil, kernels and timber will increase appears probable, while, with their extension, there would be a startling improvement. Rubber is doubtful. The trade has hitherto rapidly increased, but the supply cannot last for ever under present conditions. There is also always the possibility of surprising gold finds when the hinterland has been opened up, which may eclipse those of South Africa ; but all this
. lies, as it were, in suspense waiting the advent of the locomotive. It is difficult to carry produce or machinery along
yielding bridges of cane, or wade under heavy burdens through endless swamps and fords, while the porter is subject to epidemics of sickness and mutiny. The Shanti nation may long remain a source of anxiety, for King Prempeh’s tame submission was a surprise to many who knew his people. They are a warlike and enterprising race, while in case of a rising with one enthusiastic national purpose, it would be a very difficult matter to subdue them. No comments are made upon the present rebellion because before this article is published there will be lack of details.
This opens up the wide question of the white ruler's responsibility, and, whether high-handed measures did or did not offend the Shanti, it is apparently a fact that we deal in a somewhat arbitrary manner with the natives. Having seen them at work, the writer has the highest opinion of our West African officials ; indeed, he owes his existence to the care of one of those lately shut up in Kumasi. There is, however, rather much colour distinction, and we do not seem to have the gift of making personal friends of the black men which some of the Gallic officers possess. On the other hand, when it is a matter of methodical, conscientious observance of instructions in the face of heat, pestilence, or deluge, our representatives appear to be unequalled, though perhaps we move too much like a machine with cast-iron regulations, whose purport the native cannot understand. Still, in spite of brilliant examples, the black man is apparently not yet fitted to take a leading part in his own government, though it would possibly be well if his opinions were more frequently listened to. In Liberia, and to a lesser degree in Free Town, Sierra Leone, one sees native government run to seed, until it occasionally degenerates into a burlesque upon civilization. It generally goes ill with the European haled on some petty charge before the court at Free Town, where, if the coloured loafer revile him, the wise man answers not again. It is also certainly probable that if our troops were withdrawn, the Shanti and their northern friends would soon stamp out
such civilization as has been established upon the Gold Coast.
The seaboard races are traders born ; a few may become skilful mechanics, more commercial speculators, doctors, barristers, but they have not apparently either the virility or power of national organization to enable them to hold their own against savage foes. In this, at least, though they do not always recognise it, the presence of British military power is a bulwark and boon to them.
WAS 'ABDU-R-RAHIM THE TRANSLATOR OF
BĀBAR'S MEMOIRS INTO PERSIAN ?
By H. BEVERIDGE.
Since writing my article on this subject in this Review for July, I have received from the Keeper of the Alwar Palace Library a copy of the colophon to the manuscript of the Memoirs. It has been made by a native copyist, one Muḥammad Ibrāhīm of Delhi, and is more correct than my own. The two, however, agree in all important respects, such as the name of the writer, the date of writing, etc., and the only differences that need be noted are that the word in the first line, which I read as jy, turk, should be J;J, tuzak—i.e., institutes—and that the first word in the third line from the end should be to, ba yad, “ by hand,” and not banda, as I read it. The date, too, of the purchase of the manuscript by Rajah Banni Singh is 1893 Samvat, and not 1853, and corresponds to 1836 A.D.
I have also received copies of the impressions on the seals. They agree with my copies, except that the date on Humāyūn's seal is now given as 912. This, however, is an impossible date, for Humāyān was not born till 913, and I think that my reading, 942, must be correct. The impressions were smudged and difficult to read, and what I read as a 4 and the native copyist as a I might possibly be read as a 3 or a 6. The date on Akbar's two seals is 981, as given by me, and the words on them are Allāh Akbar jal Jalāla. A reference to Blochmann's translation of the Ain, p. 52, will show that Akbar used in the latter part of his reign a seal with such a device on it. The seal described there was quadrangular, whereas the seals on the Alwar manuscript are oval, or perhaps what Abul Fazl
* See pp. 114.123.
calls maḥrabī; but I do not think that this throws any doubt on their genuineness. Should any reader of this paper wish to see the copy of the colophon, etc., I shall have much pleasure in sending it to him.
But there is one great difficulty about accepting the evidence of the Alwar manuscript, and this is the occurrence therein of what may be called the shaving passage. It is the passage inserted by Humāyūn in his father's Memoirs, and which describes how he shaved himself for the first time when he was eighteen years of age. I mentioned the passage in my former article, but I confess that I failed to see its significance or to draw an inference from it. The passage occurs in all the Persian manuscripts of the Memoirs, and is thus translated by Erskine (pp. 302, 303): “At this same station and this same day, the razor or scissors were first applied to Humāyūn's beard. As my honoured father mentions in these commentaries the time of his first using the razor, in humble emulation of him I have commemorated the same circumstance regarding myself. I was then eighteen years of age. Now that I am forty-six, I, Muḥammad Humāyān, am transcribing a copy of these Memoirs from the copy in his late Majesty's own handwriting.” The Persian of this passage, as it appears in B. M. MS., Add. 26,200, and in Shīrāzī's imprint, will be found on pp. 444 and 445 of my wife's article in the R. A. S. J. for July last. Clearly, if the commonlyreceived reading and translation of the passage be correct, it could not have been written before 959 (1551-52), when Humāyān, who was born in 913, would be forty-six, and consequently the Alwar manuscript, which contains the passage as part of its text, cannot have been written in 937. The colophon, therefore, which gives 937 as the date of the completion of the copy, must have been taken from some older manuscript and tacked on to the Alwar manuscript, and the latter cannot be in the handwriting of 'Ali al Kātib, who died about 950. The occurrence of the passage is also inconsistent with Humāyūn's seal of 942 ;