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The allusion here is to the horrible mode of execution sometimes practised by native rulers, when a trained elephant takes up the criminal, flings him on the ground, and tramples him to death. But mere talk is empty breath.

"Jo garji-so barsi ka?

Jo poonwaisi-so kare ka?"

(Much thunder, little rain;

Much talk, little done.)

The author of the next adage plainly had no belief in either ghosts or words of exorcism:

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Any sketch, however slight, of Hindu proverbial philosophy that entirely omitted reference to the prevalent Oriental estimate of women would be very defective. That estimate is highly unfavourable; whether justly so or not, is hard to say. Most Europeans believe it to be most unjust; but certainly their experience of any, save the women of the lower orders, is very limited. It is possible enough that the barbarous and life-long incarceration to which the upper classes (Hindu and Muhammadan alike) subject their women has really deteriorated female character; for it is as true in the East as in the West that Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do." But if this be so, who is to blame for the fact? The male Oriental, like Adam, has not the faintest shadow of scruple in laying the whole burden on the woman.


"Zan, zámin, zar

Yih tino fasád ka ghar"

(In woman, land or gold,

The cause of every ill is told).

So says the Persian proverb. The Hindi is still more brutal and ruthless :

"Káli bhalk na sêt

Máro donosi eki khêt"

(Bad are women, black and white;
In one field kill both outright).

According to another popular sentence, they are murderous, deceitful, and incomprehensible.

"Tina charitz na jane koi

Khapam ka galla katke satti howe"

(A treacherous wife will take thy life,
And then desire to share thy pyre).

A bitter sneer at the moral frailty, coupled with the religious tendency of women and also at the hypocrisy of the priests, is contained in the following quatrain, which is very popular :

(A wife loquitur):

"Patthal pujan maisi cholisi

O pi apne ki laj

Patthal pujat pi mile

Ek pautti-do kaj "

(To cure my husband I set out,

And visited a shrine;

Both cure and husband there I found,

And double joy was mine).

The Hindu wife has gone to pray Mahaded for her husband's recovery from sickness, and, while at her devotions, meets a Brahman, who supplants the absent spouse.

If smoke presupposes fire, some gleams of truth must be behind these dark pictures. But if there be faults, surely their existence may be largely explained by the cramped, self-centred lives which our Hindu and Muhammadan fellow-citizens compel their women to lead. They, in fact, deal out to women the same harsh meed that is awarded to the very worst malefactors-viz., life-long incarceration. May we not justly quote to Indian detractors of women a very homely Hindu proverb

"Cholisi mesi cludh dohe

Aur nasib ko dosh de "

(You milk into a sieve, and yet

Are vexed so little milk to get)?

Our Indian brethren who clamour for admission to the chief seats in the offices of State and demand what they consider their rights, may well be asked to reflect whether

the attitude they assume towards a large portion of the population does not bar their approach to high positions of trust under a civilized Government. It is passing strange that men who are so keenly alive to what they esteem as their own due, have no regard whatever for the duty they themselves owe to their own wives and daughters. That the poor victims do not desire freedom is no answer and no excuse, for it only proves that women have not only been defrauded of their commonest rights by the men of Hindustan, but have been furthermore so degraded as not to know their degradation. Not till the Oriental has so far stepped out of his barbarism as to recognise woman as the free and equal companion of man will the average European accept him as on the same level of civilization, and accord to him the equality he seeks?

Even the faint light shed by such few specimens of proverbial wisdom as we have collected in the foregoing pages will have revealed to the reader something of Indian family and social life, with its passions and prejudices, its hopes and its fears.

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National life, indeed, exists not; it is not so much dead as uncreate. A French writer, M. Gabriel Charmes, very truly and profoundly says: "En Orient il n'y a jamais eu réellement de nation; la famille, la tribu, la religion constituent les seuls liens sociaux et politiques." There never yet was a Hindu Empire. Kingdoms and Principalities and States (more or less ephemeral) there have been, but no entity corresponding to the "India for the Indians" of blind British philosophy has ever existed.

Are the natives of India contented under our rule? So far as the administration of justice is concerned, there can be little doubt that they are absolutely satisfied with the fairness and impartiality with which the laws are applied and enforced. While the Muhammadan, in nine cases out of ten, has no confidence in the impartiality of a Hindu judge and a Hindu of a Muhammadan-both believe

* Revue des deux Mondes, August, 1883.

implicitly in our honour and good faith. Viewing the question from the political side, we may safely say that the attitude of the great mass of the population is one of indifference. Some agitation and clamour are raised now and again, it is true, by certain native cliques in Bengal. It must be remembered, however, that very small creatures have often very loud voices. The Bengali coteries in question are, compared to the mass of the people of India, infinitesimally small, and wholly unrepresentative. With all its many excellencies the gentle and timid Bengali race is the very last that would rise to supreme power were the British driven into the sea "bag and baggage."

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What, then, does the ordinary Indian really want? If my readers could be behind the purdah (curtain) when the Hindu thus interrogated gave his answer, they would hear some such words as these (the speaker's hands being joined palm to palm, and touching the down-bent forehead): Protector of the poor! you are my father and my mother! Whatever you say is right. Still, my lord, the income tikkus (tax) is very bad. Your Honour knows, also, that we pay 66 per cent. for our land, and cesses and license and octroii. If your Honour would save us from being bullied by your underlings, especially by the police, you would be an Avátar of Vishnu; and, my lord, the British Raj is 1,400 kos long and very glorious, but we don't require any female schools, because the less women are taught the less evil they will do; and if your Honour would order all robbers' hands to be chopped off, it would be much better than feeding the villains up in gaol; and if the Sirdar Bahadur would kindly oblige by ordering a little money to be spent on the village roads which we principally use, it would be very kind. Finally, the British have made the railroad and the telegraph, and they are gods, and you are my father and my mother. Sab ko salaam (peace be to all)."



By A. G. WISE.

THE Commission on Elementary Education in Ceylon, appointed in January, 1905, has presented its Report, which contains recommendations of a novel and important character. This Commission was appointed to inquire into and report on the Education Question, with a view to propose practical steps to give effect to the suggestions contained in the Report of the Committee appointed in 1901, and was also directed to report on the education of Tamil coolies employed on estates, and other matters connected with education in general. After an exhaustive description of the existing system of elementary education. in Ceylon, the Commissioners discuss the question whether the time is ripe for the introduction of a general system of compulsory education for boys. They They sum up strongly in favour of compulsory education for boys, pointing out that in most parts of the Colony boys who are not sent to school are not set to any regular work, that they are not acquiring habits of industry, but are for the most part of their time. running wild, or in many cases grow up without the most rudimentary sense of self-control. They rightly contend that a population of this kind is especially dangerous in a country like Ceylon, in which wealth is rapidly on the increase, even among the labouring classes; while, as in India, "the cultivator has been brought into contact with. the commercial world, and has been involved in transactions in which the illiterate man is at a great disadvantage." It is pointed out that the Dutch had an extensive and successful system of vernacular schools throughout the conquered districts of the island, at which attendance was enforced by fines, and the Commissioners strongly recommend compulsory education for boys (and in certain districts for

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