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undeniable; and there is no reason to find fault with this

impression.

But to return to the Japanese. They have seen us hurry on the conclusion of the second alliance before the end of the negotiations at Portsmouth, apparently to forestall one between them and Russia; and then, after getting all we wanted for ourselves, we seem to have drawn back and left Japan unsupported in her diplomatic fight, instead of offering her the capital which would have enabled her to defeat the Russo-American combination.

If the Japanese thus accounted for what had taken place, as may be gathered from Signor Barzini's remarks, it becomes easier to understand the riots and the attack made upon the British Legation, of all others, as well as upon the missionaries identified with us in the minds of all Asiatics.

Japan has now returned to her Sphinx-like attitude, so we need expect nothing more from her, save polite praise of the advantages which she has gained through her alliance with us, and through the Portsmouth treaty. But in the riots she has given us a momentary insight into her real feelings, all the more worthy of study because such revelations are

rare.

SOME HINDUSTANI PROVERBS.

COLLECTED BY THE LATE WILLIAM YOUNG, C.S.I., JUDICIAL COMMISSIONER OF OUDH.

WHAT manner of man is the average Hindu or the average Muhammadan of India? The physical peculiarities of our Indian fellow-citizens are tolerably familiar nowadays to the British public. But how much is known of their intellectual and moral calibre, of their social instincts, their civil and political aptitudes? Is not all this nearly a sealed book to most of us who live in Britain?

Yet British influence upon Indian affairs is now a vastly different thing from what it was fifty or even thirty years ago. Someone has said that if ever we lose India we shall lose her in the House of Commons. Certain it is that schemes of the gravest import are commonly initiated there for the supposed benefit of India, and British statesmen are more and more venturesome and comprehensive in their dealing with Indian problems.

We are far from pronouncing this fact to be an unmixed evil. But this much at least is clear--namely, that only the fullest knowledge, the most patient inquiry, and the calmest judgment, can properly qualify our rulers for the new and arduous duties they now assume. The necessity devolves upon us of acquiring more extensive and more intimate acquaintance with the life-habits of our Indian fellow-subjects, with their modes of thought and feeling, their ruling fears and passions, their commonest aspirations. Such knowledge is hard of acquirement. Men may live all their lives in India and never gain it. The outward facts lie patent to all, but their hidden meanings can only be read by him who has the divine gift of sympathy. Very slowly and painfully, bit by bit, the portions of the puzzle must be gathered, and at last pieced together into a well-fitting whole.

Political life is almost unknown in India. Corporate institutions, as we know them, exist only in the Presidency towns; and almost the only purely native examples of large associations are the still surviving village communities. Religious co-operation among the Hindus is feeble; but its place is more than filled by the powerful and universally prevalent system of caste. Individual life is (within certain limits, chiefly prescribed by caste) extraordinarily free. Provided caste rules be obeyed, there is scarcely any length to which the Hindustani may not go, both in word and deed, without any fear of the ban of his society.

Perhaps no clearer landmarks of common thought and sentiment are to be found—at least, are easily to be found— than in the proverbs prevalent among a people. Whatever intrinsically their worth, they show at least what such people esteems to be wisdom. In India the use of proverbs, adages, sententious distichs, or quatrains, is extremely frequent. High and low alike love them, and the judicious introduction of an old favourite will at once put the stranger in touch with a native interlocutor. The stolid face will brighten, the formal manner be laid aside, and sympathy and interest be at once awakened. No one can claim to know India well who has not some acquaintance with its proverbs, while the proficient student of Indian maxims will often be better able to comprehend the workings of the native mind than many a man who has spent a life in Calcutta or Bombay untinctured by native lore.

The task of conveying to an English reader an adequate idea of Indian proverbs is by no means easy. The genius of Eastern language differs very widely from that of English, while the excessive conciseness of many Hindu adages often makes a literal translation simply unintelligible. In the effort of the translator to be perspicuous, too often the charm of equipoise, the sparkle, are inevitably lost.

The Hindustani place-hunter is perhaps the most assiduous in the world. The sweet simplicity of a monthly salary, paid by a paymaster who never fails, has something

No more buffeting "Stick to your

ineffably attractive to the Eastern mind. with the winds and waves of Fortune! patron's skirt, and take care it is a strong one," says one proverb, which at least is believed in without faltering faith. The patron is to the umēdwár (place-hunter) the punctum stans in a very shaky world.

Get sifarish (good recommendations) above all, for, says the proverb:

"Sifárish-i-kutta bih az asp-i-tázi"

(Better than Arab horse, a dog well recommended).

It is, alas! but too true that many a sifárish-i-kutta (dog strongly recommended) owes his post at this moment (and in some cases a high post) mainly to the fact that he had sifárish. Remember Dowb" is as much a household word in India as in England. Of course the man must not be an impossible person. He must be decently presentable

for his post, for, says the Persian :

“Halwa khurdan ra rui bayad "

(To eat sweetmeats, one must have a mouth).

While the place-seeker should never neglect his lord's levée, should be ever humble, strenuous and ready to stick at nothing, there is in native opinion a correlative duty owed to him by the patron.

"Jo jáke sarau basse

Wáki wako laj"

(The hero shames to yield

The wretch beneath his shield).

A native master feels his own honour impugned when his servant is attacked, and to the utmost of his ability will aid and screen even the humblest follower should the latter get into any scrape. Should a retainer find himself at odds with the myrmidons of justice about some trespass, little or big, the master would instantly furnish the accused with legal assistance to defend himself, and not improbably would cause bribes to be distributed right and left on the man's behalf-in fact, would do all for him that he would wish done for himself in like case.

Nevertheless, the general verdict is that service is a hard life, and that agriculture is the only really worthy occupation.

“ Ootim khéti

Maddam Bau

Nikasht chakari

Bhik Nidau"

(Farming is the best trade;
Commerce pretty fair;

Service was by Devil made;

Better beg, I swear).

No wonder the Hindu praises the kind earth which provides so abundantly for all his wants. The fertility of the soil (despite overcropping and waste of manure for fuel) is marvellous, and in ordinary seasons provides all men with ample food in return for a moderate expenditure of labour. For nine months out of twelve a thatch suffices for shelter, a waistcloth and turban for garments. The "boon air" is itself a garment. The halt, maimed, blind, receive a sustenance freely yielded (without Poor Laws) by public charity. The obverse of the medal is seen, no doubt, in those dreadful times when famine year comes round. The agony of such a time those only know who have lived through it. The hot, breathless, brazen skies; the dusty, whitened land; the burnt-up herbage; the leafless trees; the dumb suffering of the cattle, and the human agony-all these sear into the brain the picture of famine in colours that last the lifetime. Yet, even in such dire straits, it is the peasantry who can endure the longest. The subsisters. on charity suffer first; next, the old men (like our hedgers and ditchers); then the petty village artificers and the servants of the poorer sort; and, lastly, the small shopkeepers and the peasantry themselves.

The happiness of a Hindu chuprassi (orderly) is perfect when he can get three clear hours from the solid day for his dinner. He will squat down, unclothe, wash his hands, knead and bake his damper, cook his pease-porridge, and then proceed slowly to eat through the huge pile of moist

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