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In Ceylon, as is pointed out by Mr. A. G. H. Wise, who has actively pressed this question on the attention of Mr. Brodrick and Mr. Lyttelton, we have as yet nothing definite to announce, as the Report of the Government Commission on the subject has not yet been published. It is rumoured, however, that the Commissioners recommend compulsory education throughout the island. There is no doubt that much room for improvement exists in the educational system of Ceylon; and all true friends of progress would welcome such a change, which could not fail to be of benefit to the Colony, provided that the education were confined to instruction in the vernacular, and that no attempt were made to force sectarian teaching on the children against the wish of the parents, whether Buddhists or Hindus.
CHINA AND RELIGION.
Somebody in Cambridge-possibly the charming reviewer himself has sent me a lengthy review of my poor book "China and Religion," marked, in writing, "Cambridge Review," from which I conclude that the undeserved notice in question has appeared in a publication of that name. I say "charming," firstly, because it is clear from his remarks that the reviewer belongs to that supreme social grade of mankind which regularly and closely studies its Asiatic Quarterly Review; and, secondly, because he has not one single word to say in favour of my book, thus fulfilling the high desideratum of the Publishers' Union, Publishers' Society, (or whatever may be the correct name for the precincts in which those heroic men do habitually congregate); to wit, that a good slashing attack is by far the best "selling" recommendation that can be vouchsafed to a book. I could wish that such obscure Metropolitan. journals as the Athenæum, Outlook, Standard, Morning Post, Catholic Times, Medodist Times, New Age, Chronicle, Guardian, Record, etc., not to mention the thirty or forty Scotch, Irish, provincial English, Colonial, and foreign
newspapers, which have, with such forgiving tolerance, noticed the said book, had given a timely thought to the same pre-eminent financial considerations, and had gauged their all too "kindly lights" by the fierce flash thus shot forth from the hub of the universe on the banks of the Cam. To use the words of the unemployed, "Curse your charity! give me work (to do, in replying) !" I am reminded of a picture that appeared a dozen years ago in Punch: "Why, confound it, sir" (quoth a rival artist), "your perspective is bad, there is no decent colour, the shading is impossible," etc. "What on earth is there to justify its admission into the Academy?" The reply was: "Why, the pickchaw, of course!"
There are, however, one or two specific points in connection with which the spirituel reviewer is really at fault himself. He says the book is "mostly a réchauffé of a number of magazine articles." This is quite wrong. It is still more untrue to say that they have been left "almost in their original patch-work state." Every single chapter but one was freshly written for the publisher, and not the slightest fragment of any chapter except that particular one is in any way a réchauffé; or has any part of the introduction, or of the eleven other chapters ever appeared in print before, though, of course, old facts may be (and must be) stated in similar language as occasion may require. The exceptional chapter is the one on Confucius, half of which has appeared before (Asiatic Quarterly Review, April, 1897); and it now appears afresh because the publisher's "examiner" himself voluntarily suggested that "Confucius would be quite readable even as it now stands." Then, as to the "spurious text known as the Taoist classic," why find fault with the translation if the original be spurious? So far as I have been able to ascertain, no Chinese historian or author of repute, at any date whatever, has ever suggested that the classic is in any degree spurious; on the contrary, it has been steadily quoted as an unshakable text dynasty by dynasty, century by century, ever since it
was written. Is it possible that the Cambridge reviewer has fallen under the glamour of Dr. Herbert Giles's influence (Professor of Chinese at Cambridge)? Certainly, in his youthful days, Professor Giles rashly contended for the spuriousness of Lao-tsz's classic; but Dr. Legge, Dr. Chalmers, and other of the sinological giants of the day, at once (and giving their full reasons, which I have found to be correct) mercilessly ridiculed this view, which, I believe, has never been accepted by any sinologist of sound standing: indeed, Professor Giles's son, Mr. Lionel Giles, M.A. (Oxon), published last year (1904) a little book called the "Sayings of Lao-tzu," which was favourably reviewed by me in the Asiatic Quarterly Review for January, 1905,* and which seemed to me to be a part recantation, at least, of his father's obsolete and "cranky" views. True, even supposing that the reviewer of "China and Religion" has, indeed, allowed himself to be influenced by Professor Giles's views, these views, in the case of insignificant persons like the present writer-not to speak of Lao-tsz himself—are apt (I must warn him) to vary with the distensions or contractions of Professor Giles's unusually large heart; for I myself have been frequently denounced as a spurious sinologue, and praised as a consummate master, by the same lively scholar at different periods of his career.
As to M. Revon's work on "Shinntoïsme," I have contributed a notice of it for this issue of the Asiatic Quarterly Review, and when the Cambridge reviewer hazards the remark that "it is, indeed, charitable to hope that they (ie., my humble words on Shintoism) were written prior to the publication of M. Revon's work," I have great pleasure in informing him in reply that his charity is here not at all misplaced. My chapter was written in May last, and was printed in June; I have no idea when M. Revon's book was printed, but he (though a perfect stranger to me) sent me a copy of it on September 30 last, accompanied by a very polite letter, in exchange for which I had the
* See Asiatic Quarterly Review for January, 1905, p. 207.
pleasure to send him in return my own book, and to do him at the same time the small service he sought from me. As to the philosopher Vainancius, contrary to what the Cambridge reviewer supposes, I possess his work in the original.
As to the views of Mencius or the origin of man's disposition, I refer to his "original sin," or what Dr. Legge calls his "lost mind."
Since my Cambridge admirer has been so good as to express sympathy with me on account of the unsaleability of my literary wares, and to give the "trade" a fillip by going for me" in good publisher-desired form, I take the liberty of utilizing the hospitable machinery of the Asiatic Quarterly Review in order to make the following corrections of more real mistakes or misprints in my book:
Page 29, seventh line from bottom, add "no" before "longer."
Page 67, for "legis" read "leges."
Page 69, for 2,200 read 2,100.
Page 172, for "their faith" read "the Jewish faith."
There are a few more trifling corrections to be made; but, thanks to Mr. John Murray's admirable mechanical organization, they are exceedingly unimportant, and, together with certain organic emendations to be made at the suggestion of special authorities on Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Orthodoxy, Catholicism, etc., they will receive due attention in the second edition. I shall also look up the other defects pointed out by the Cambridge reviewer, and, if I find he is right, I will be right too. Finally, I take this opportunity to correct a misprint in the Asiatic Quarterly Review for October last, p. 398: M. Jean HUC should be M. Jean HUE-a distinction which touches the whole point of that particular criticism made by me on Professor Douglas' work.
I am, etc.,
November 30, 1905.
E. H. PARKER.
REVIEWS AND NOTICES.
A. J. CAMBRIDGE AND CO.; BOMBAY, AND 31, NEWGATE STREET, LONDON, 1905.
1. The Mahábhárata: A Criticism, by C. V. Vaidyá, M.A., LL.B., Hon. Fellow of the University of Bombay. The author tells us, in his preface that, as the result of careful investigation, he has arrived at certain conclusions concerning Indian epic poetry. These ideas he proposes to develop in a series of treatises, of which the one now before us is the first. In this instalment he sets forth his views on the Mahábhárata considered from the literary and historical standpoints. His next instalment will deal with the second great Hindú epic, the Rámáyan, in which he will view this popular favourite from similar standpoints; while the last of the series is to contain a survey of the social, religious, and intellectual conditions of the Aryan race between the years 3000 and 300 before the Christian era, as evidenced by these two venerable epics.
It has often been complained by Hindús that the men who have sought to interpret the East to the West have been persons of alien race and alien religion-the intended inference being that such interpretation has not been all that Hindú sentiment could have desired. On this account all such attempts as the present one to fulfil the function. are decidedly to be welcomed. But if all Hindú writers on Hinduism had been as competent as Mr. Vaidyá, European writers would never have ventured upon the task. There is no denying that a work on the Indian epic poems was needed by persons of the missionary class in India, and by European Orientalists in general. Mr. Vaidyá has done good service in thus interpreting the East to the West. Many to whom those epics have hitherto been as a sealed book will be convinced that "there were great men before