Images de page


2. The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate-Mesopotamia, Persia, and Central Asia, from the Moslem Conquest to the time of Timur (Cambridge Geographical Series), by G. LE STRANGE. This scholarly work is the sequel to the author's "Baghdâd under the Abbasid Caliphate," and the care and labour with which it is compiled merits all praise. Arabia is omitted from the present volume, though it was usually under the empire of the Abbasids, and the author hopes that some other scholar will finish his great work by describing the historical geography of that country, the African kingdoms, and the western Caliphate of Spain. Mr. Le Strange divides his subject into the provinces of 'Irâk, or Babylonia, of which the capital was Baghdâd, Jazirah which embraced Mosul, the Upper Euphrates; Rûm or Asia Minor including Trebezond, Aydin, Ephesus, and Smyrna, Adharbâyjan, Gilân, and the North-Western provinces, among which were Gurjistân or Georgia and Armenia, Jibâl or Irâk ‘Ajam, the Greek Media, Khuzistan, Fars, Kirmân, the Great Desert, and Makrân, Sijistan, Kühistan, Kûmis, Tabaristan and Jurjân, Khurâsân, the Oxus, Khwârizm, Sughd and Samarkand, to which Bukhârâ was attached, and the Jaxartes provinces. This wide range is copiously illustrated with maps, and the author has not only contrived to digest most of what the early Moslem travellers have to say on the subject of the geography, topography, and trade routes of this enormous district, but also to make his book interesting in no small degree. The difficulty in doing this must have been very great, as he relies upon the writings of twenty-four Moslem writers of geography ranging from Ibn Khurdâdbih (A.D. 864) to Abu-l-Ghazi (A.D. 1604), and gives many quotations from their works, while at the same time pointing out that their statements may not always have been correct on every point. To Eastern historians this book will be very welcome



and valuable. They will find from the copious index references to statements on topography ready to their hand, and will be able easily to verify the geographer's descriptions of towns, curious scraps of local information, and sites of battles, from the original sources. We ourselves are glad to be able to say that we owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Le Strange for having placed his erudite book before us.-A. F. S.


3. A Tamil Prose Reader, by the REV. G. U. POPE, M.A., D.D., Balliol College, Oxford. This volume forms Part V. of the well-known Handbook, in connection with which it must be used, and to which it accordingly gives copious references. Dr. Pope does not confine himself to the features usual in books of the kind, and represented here by easy stories, classical prose, and selections from the Pañcha-Tanthiram for higher proficiency students. He devotes a whole chapter to reports and other official documents of the class with which Indian civil servants have constantly to deal, and a further one to petitions and official correspondence, explaining as he goes along all that is likely to cause any difficulty, as, for instance, the Hindustani words clothed in Tamil garb by Mohammedan subordinates. He also gives specimens, accompanying them by the correct version, and pointing out the chief differences-in footnotes-of the language spoken by the illiterate majority, and of the misspelled and ungrammatical letters one often has to decipher. His reproductions of the latter bring into relief such things as the insertion of the y in yeluthi for eluthi, and the general neglect of pulli and punctuation, or the substitution of one form of consonant for another. All this is palpably of the greatest use, so far as it goes; but the person not used to reading Tamil letters has another serious difficulty to contend with, and it is to be hoped Dr. Pope will give him a helping hand here too, by means of an appendix to his next edition. We all

know how hard it is to read certain handwriting in our own language, and it is naturally far more so when the characters. are foreign. A few pages at the end of the book, giving facsimiles of Tamil letters, with the printed version under each word, and any notes Dr. Pope may think necessary, would form an invaluable addition to an already valuable guide.-C.


4. Géographie de l'Empire de Chine (Cours Superieur), by Rev. L. RICHARD, S.J. (Hia Chï-shi). This work of 600 pages ought, as was originally intended, properly to have been corrected and finished by Father St. Le Gall, whose extraordinarily accurate knowledge of the Chinese language and manners particularly fitted him for the task. A Cours Inférieur, being an "extract" from, or a précis of, the excellent work now under review, has a separate existence, and the original idea was to provide a class-book for the Jesuit schools in France, or at least for French classes; but it has been found necessary to recast the multifarious knowledge in such a way that Chinese and other foreigners, not too familiar with the niceties of French literary discourse, may be able to utilize the book easily too. Hence specially great pains have been taken with the co-ordination and convenient arrangement of matter. Recourse has been had to every author, no matter what his country, his religion, or his irreligion (e.g., the brothers Réclus), who could throw light on any geographical subject, whether from a political, commercial, religious, or physical point of view; and, in fact, physical geography is the chief feature of this admirable publication, which, besides its own numerous charts, maps, and plans, is provided with an outside pocket, containing an excellent up-to-date Chinese-French map of China, and a list of all the commissioned officers in the Empire, with their towns. Book I., with seven sections and twenty chapters, treats of the eighteen provinces, their features, means of communication, fauna, flora, population,

productions, hydrography, climate, etc. Book II., in six chapters, treats in the same way of Manchuria, Mongolia, Turkestan, Tibet, Corea, and Formosa (though this last is -practically these two last are now Japanese). At the end of each chapter is given a list of authorities that may be consulted by any close student who may desire specialist information; but, as a matter of fact, everything reasonably desired, and in any way connected with the economy of the Chinese State, may be found in this single volume itself, so far at least as "outsiders 'outsiders" are concerned. are concerned. Anyone who desires to write on Chinese subjects may now safely steer himself clear of ridiculous error, if he will only consult Père Richard's handy little volume, which (a most unusual and welcome thing in French books) is, moreover, provided with a very complete index.-E. H. PARKER.



5. The Philosophy of the Upanishads, PAUL DEUSSEN, PH.D., Professor of Philosophy in the University of Kiel. Authorized English translation by Rev. A. S. Geden, M.A., tutor in Old-Testament languages, and literature, and classics, Wesleyan College, Richmond. The best exposition of the Upanishads that has hitherto appeared in the English language was published by Trübner more than a quarter of a century ago, and it is now in more respects than one out-ofdate. At the present moment no adequate exposition of their philosophy and contents is extant in our language. The present translation of the German exposition is described on the title-page as "authorized," because it is put forth with the sanction of Dr. Deussen. Besides a very elaborate table of contents at the beginning of the volume, there is at the end an index of names and matters, followed by a very full index of every reference made in the course of the work to the Sanskrit original-all this in addition to countless and minute notes and references at

the foot of the pages throughout the volume. Altogether, the mechanical structure of the work and the arrangement of the subject-matter are such as to meet the requirements of the industrious and researchful student.

The study of the systems thought out by the ancient. Indian sages has a humbling lesson for us all in these enlightened days. The more these systems are known, the more is the thought borne in upon us that "that there is nothing new under the sun "-that there is no philosophy evolved from the minds of modern men which was not also evolved from the minds of those quiet, gentle-spirited, and devout ascetics who wandered about in the umbrageous jungles and forests of Asia in unknown ages in the past. Nor is there anything of a worldly, work-a-day, wageearning nature in their thinkings. They had no passion for personal ease or aggrandizement, no desire for fame or notoriety; no lust of wealth. They, as nearly as possible, practised the thing they preached-unearthliness, detachment, other-worldliness. In all that is essentially characteristic of an original philosopher, the men whose excogitations are enshrined in the Vedas and the Upanishads left us an example which we may admire at a distance-but to which, by the very conditions of our modern existence, we may not hope to attain. In the more than 400 pages of this admirably-printed octavo volume, there will be found. abundant material for profitable and stimulating thought, as well for the general inquirer as for the more technical student of the wisdom of the ancient Aryans.-B.




6. With the Abyssnians in Somaliland, by MAJOR J. Willes Jennings, D.S.O., R.A.M.C., and CHRISTOPHER Addison, M.D., with a preface by COLONEL A. N. ROCHFORT, C.B. 1902-1903 Brigadier-General H. W. Manning commanded an expedition in Somaliland against the "Mad Mullah," whose

« PrécédentContinuer »