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functions as editor and proof-corrector of the work have been discharged in a manner beyond all praise. It is in no respect a slipshod performance; workmanship so sound in its principles and so highly finished is bound to hold its own for all time.

The volume is important for the light it throws on the intimate life of Persia and on the literary history of that land. It derives great interest from its relation to Mázyár, who stands for the national and religious ideal of ancient Persia. But this is only one aspect of the subject-an aspect which may not have interest for all student temperaments; another aspect of it is that of the historic wars-as well internecine as foreign-as also of military and political matters in general. Besides all this, the work abounds in information and anecdotes regarding the long series of Persian potentates. The whole subject-matter of the volume is fraught with Oriental shrewdness and redolent of the Oriental flavour. The publication of such works ought to be hailed as opening up to the Western mind. the intellectual wealth of the wise men of the East hitherto hidden in musty and neglected MSS., and thus forming a groundwork on which future histories of that mysterious land might be built up.-B.

20. Das religiöse Leben des Hindus, von Ad. Stiegelmann, Stuttgart, 1905 ("Christenthum und Zeitgeist," Hefte zu Glauben und Wissen, Heft VI.). We are glad to see that Missionar Adolph Stiegelmann, who is now employed. in South Africa, has not forgotten India, in which he travelled and laboured so long. His last work deals with the religious life of the Hindus. Many manuals have appeared on this subject, notably the "Indische Religionsgeschichte" of the late Professor Hardy, in which a vast amount of learning, illuminated by critical acumen, is packed into a very small compass. Mr. Stiegelmann's work is more popular than Professor Hardy's, and is characterized by a freshness of description and a warmth of sympathy, which are the result of his minute observation of Indian

customs and rites, and his familiar intercourse with the people of our great dependency. At the same time we are bound to admit that he never fails to go back to origins, and traces with patient industry the development of Indian religion from its source in the Vedic hymns to the form it assumed at the close of last century. The reformation of Buddha and the rise of the modern Śaiva and Vaiṣṇava sects are described at considerable length, though the religion founded by Mahāvīra seems to have escaped notice. Philosophy, which in India is so intimately connected with religion, is not neglected.

The most noteworthy sections of this pamphlet seem to us to be those dealing with family life in modern India and modern Indian theism. In the former we cannot help feeling that we are reading the account of a man who has "seen with his own eyes," and knows how to distinguish the permanent from the transitory in Hinduism. Mr. Stiegelmann seems to have been naturally attracted by the noble figure of the great Bengali reformer Rammohun Roy, whose services to his countrymen are, perhaps, in these latter days a little too much overlooked. It is, perhaps, difficult for any European duly to appreciate the heroic courage which Rammohun Roy showed in publishing, about the year 1813, a pamphlet directed against the practice of burning Hindu widows alive with the dead bodies of their husbands. He showed equal courage as an advocate of theism against idolatry. He was the true founder of the movement, subsequently developed, on various lines, by Debendra Nath Tagore, Keśab Chandra Sen, Dayānanda Sarasvati, and others.

There can be no doubt that the religion of Kesab Chandra Sen and his successor, Pratap Chandra Mazumdar, has been profoundly influenced by Christianity. But there is good reason to think that Hindus who have not joined any theistic Church are not altogether impervious to Christian ideas. The following words of our author seem to describe admirably the present attitude of the

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Indian mind—in Bengal, at any rate on this subject: Many modern Hindus acquainted with the Bible read Hinduism in a Christian light, and instead of saying of our religion, as they would have done twenty years ago, 'It is not true,' say, 'It is not new.'" It is certainly a sign of the times that a distinguished Bengali, as we have lately seen to be the case, can, apparently without abandoning Hinduism, argue in favour of the existence of God, a future life, and the efficacy of prayer. It would appear to be our author's view that Christianity is exerting on modern Hinduism an influence similar to that which it exerted in the early ages of the Church on the religions of Mithra and Isis. In support of this we quote his concluding words:

"As Christianity triumphed over the religions of Greece and Rome, not by destroying them, but by absorbing into itself what was good and true in Greek philosophy and Roman law, so will it happen with India; her longings, her mysticism, and her speculation will be sanctified by Christ, and find in Him their fulfilment and elevation, and so the beautiful words of the Indian sage will come true :

"Lead me from unreality to reality,

From darkness to light,

From death to immortality.'"

GOLD AND SILVER WARES OF ASSAM.*

Speaking generally, the gold and silver wares of the province of Assam consist of articles of personal adornment, though here and there other objects are manufactured. Manipur produces a few gold and silver cups, hookahs, etc., these being principally used by the royal family of the State; Sylhet turns out occasional silver vases for "atar," silver sprinklers for rose-water, silver buttons, jugs, and so on; but few of these things show any artistic design. On the other hand, Assam jewellery

* "The Gold and Silver Wares of Assam." A monograph. By F. C. Henniker, 1.C.S. One shilling. 1905.

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is far from lacking in merit, though displaying a crudeness often traceable in Eastern productions of that class, while the precious stones used are neither very precious nor very well cut. But the work is eminently quaint and characteristic. The gold, too, is of a high degree of purity, for the Assamese goldsmiths' customers would not be satisfied with 14-carat or even 18-carat gold.

The number of people employed in the manufacture or sale of gold and silver ornaments, together with their dependents, was nearly 15,000 in 1901, or roughly per cent. of the population. Forhat, in the Sibsazar district, is the chief place for the manufacture of purely Assamese jewellery, and the speciality of the Jorhat workmen is their enamelling. The enamel is usually of three kinds—a dark blue, dark green, and white, but red and yellow are also sometimes used. It comes from Calcutta in blocks, exactly like glass slag in appearance. The finished ornament usually shows narrow threads of gold arranged in fanciful patterns in the body of the enamel. These are formed of wire, and are laid on before the enamel.

Among the chief articles in which enamel forms the main decorative feature are :

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1. Gejera. A boat-shaped shell of gold, suspended from a necklace of coral and gold beads. One side is enamelled, while the back is engraved gold, and the inside is filled with lac. Price, Rs. 80 to Rs. 100.

2. Thuria.-A pair of ear ornaments for women in the shape of small cylinders, one extremity of each expanding into a kind of flower, often ornamented with stones, and the sides enamelled. Price up to Rs. 140.

3. Keru.-Very similar to the above, but smaller. Price about Rs. 40.

4. Biri.-A cask-shaped locket, attached usually to a necklace. One side is enamelled, the other either plain or set with false rubies. Those worn by men cost Rs. 15 or Rs. 20; those worn by women are larger, and cost from Rs. 80 to Rs. 100.

5. Dugdugi.-A heart-shaped pendant for a necklace, very graceful in form, and usually tastefully decorated with an elaborate gold-wire pattern set in the enamel, the other side being usually set with stones.

Besides the above enamelled ornaments, a detailed list of necklaces of many patterns is given by Mr. Henniker, some with pendants set with rubies and emeralds, strings of small gold and coral beads with pendants, and a notably artistic trinket a gold chain, on which are slung filagree drum-shaped caskets. The work is described as very handsome. It must be borne in mind, though, nowhere, as a rule, does the goldsmith ordinarily keep a stock of wares ready for sale; he only makes articles to order, and the customer usually supplies the materials required.

It is said that the trade is declining, fewer articles of jewellery being ordered nowadays. Mr. Henniker remarks with truth that it would be a great pity if this characteristic and interesting industry should die out.

Sylhet has actually the largest number of persons dependent on the trade, and considerable skill is shown in embossing and chasing gold and silver vases, cups, and trays. Gold riband is sometimes plaited with ivory, making a pretty and artistic fan. The Khasias produce articles of a pattern peculiar to themselves, and quite different from anything else in the province. The local chiefs and women wear on State occasions gorgeous necklaces of large gold and coral beads, and at the annual dance the performers wear elaborate silver coronets, with a peak at the back, and a tassel at the end of a long rope hanging behind, all of silver.

On the whole, Assam jewellery is described as so different from anything else that it is difficult to obtain a good idea of it without a picture or seeing the original. A small exhibition was held in Shillong in June, 1904, and the collection was extremely attractive, and many of the articles for sale found ready purchasers. We entertain a hope hat Mr. Henniker's descriptions will arouse a general

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