Images de page

customs accruing on all goods entering from these Pro tectorates are collected at the coast ports of entry, and are included in the revenue of those governments. The Tripoli Arabs have availed themselves extensively of the parcel post, and Customs' dues amounting to about £600 have been collected on articles thus imported. The revenue from Customs, which had been nil in the previous years, amounted to £6,463 in 1903-1904.

The establishment of a coin currency has made progress, especially silver. This amounted in 1901 to £90,000; in 1904, 198,000. The Niger Company has now agreed to purchase produce with cash if demanded by the natives, and this will, of course, greatly promote the circulation of coinage.

The question of transport has engaged the attention of the High Commissioner for the past four years, and he now expresses the view that the best way of meeting the difficulty involved by the use of carriers along the main route between Zungeru and Kano, would be the construction of a very light surface rail or tramway, and by the provision of cart-roads and the introduction of wheeled transport. During 1904 some progress has been made in this direction. The railway surveyors, sent out by the Secretary of State, have completed their work, which may lead to the construction of a light and very cheap line from Baro on the Niger to Kano, which the Commissioner has long advocated. The section already constructed between Zungeru and the Kaduna at Barijuko (twenty-two miles) has proved invaluable. The construction of cartroads is progressing in various departments, as well as transports by water, both for goods and passengers. Also the erection of telegraph lines is proceeding to the extent of 564 miles.

Medical and meteorological services continue to be sustained, as well as police and prison arrangements.

The total revenue, including local Parliamentary grant contributions, from Southern Nigeria and Lagos amounted

in 1900-1901 to £135,729; it is estimated that in 1904-1905 it will be £519,945. The total expenditure, under various heads, in 1900-1901 amounted to £96,457; and for 19041905 it is estimated that it will amount to £505,282.

In regard to elementary schools, they are chiefly carried on by the Church and other Missionary Societies. But "a school conducted under Government auspices is greatly needed, where the sons of chiefs could be taught English, and fitted in various practical ways for the responsible positions they may later occupy, and where they might learn to understand the habits of thought of Europeans and to grow more in touch with them. There is also a great need for an establishment where educated Mallams might be taught English, and the reading and writing of Hansa in the Roman character, without prejudice to their religion, so as to fit them for employment as interpreters and political agents, etc."




THE author of this work announces it as being, when supplemented by a second volume, in substance his University Lectures for 1901-1904. He was led on to the subject, as he states, by a request which he received some few years ago from the trustees of the Sir J. Jejeebhoy Translation Fund of Bombay to write a book on the antiquity of the Avesta. The occasion of the request was the sudden change of opinion on the part of Dr. Mills' own colleague, Professor Darmesteter, who startled the world some years before by recalling his views as to the age of even the oldest portions of the Avesta, the Gathas.

Dr. Mills seems to be placed in a somewhat delicate position. He expresses himself in a very complimentary manner with regard to his singularly acquired opponent. After introductory matter, he devotes considerable space to a close discussion of the document called "Tansar's Letter," which was brought into prominence by an admirable edition by Professor Darmesteter, with a translation by Ahmed Bey Agaeff, a young Musulman from the Caucasus, at one time Darmesteter's pupil.

This was published and translated, apparently, in order to suggest that sufficient culture existed at the date of Ardashir for much Avesta to be written; and as collections and redactions of the Avesta documents must certainly have taken place at a time when the Zoroastrian religion. was being formally re-established as the State religion of the Persian Empire, the composition of matter which might well deserve the name of Avesta may have taken place there and then. To this Dr. Mills fully accedes;

* "Zarathushtra and the Greeks," Vol. I., pp. xiii + 208; being in substance University Lectures delivered in 1901-1903 by Dr. Lawrence Mills, Professor of Zend Philology in Oxford.-This work may be had from F. A. Brockhaus, Leipzig.

indeed, he does not attempt to limit the lateness of the age at which portions of the now extant Avesta may have been composed, and even suggests that such persons as Tansar could not well have helped writing or rewriting religious documents of the kind indicated. He opposed his colleague, chiefly, though not exclusively, as to the matter of the Gāthas. The French savant held at the latter period of his valuable life that even the Gathas were composed at so late a period as about the time of Christ, not precisely stating their exact date.

Both Professor Darmesteter and Dr. Mills recognise this alleged letter of Tansar's as containing, as it now stands, large portions of later interpolated matter, and both of them hold that there exists in it a nucleus of truth; that is to say, Dr. Mills holds that its nucleus corresponds to what we would term nowadays a "political pamphlet "; but he, Dr. Mills, carries his excisions far beyond those of the editor. In fact, he finds nearly the entire bulk of the piece in its present shape to be impossible as a composition of A.D. 226 or thereabouts. He is particularly struck with allusions to "predestination," etc., which have the familiar look of the religious discussions of Perso-Arab authorities from the ninth century on.

Dr. Mills repudiates the idea that the Gathas could have been written as late as the time of Christ, first and chiefly on account of their personal and passionate tone. He does not think that sentiment of the kind expressed would be contained in a dead language once spoken in Iran; and the Avesta speech had ceased to be a living tongue for centuries. He does not forget that much personal feeling has been expressed in a Sanskrit language which had long ceased to be spoken; but he does not think that the two cases afford a parallel. He can see no evidence that Iran possessed such centres of artificially cultivated literature as India did; and he deems it to be highly improbable that any persons situated as the Zarathushtra of the Gathas was, together with the other members of his circle, would

have made use of a dead language in addresses, some of them especially prepared for public recital. Two of the Gathas, as he shows, were introduced by expressions addressed to gatherings of the people, and were evidently composed to be memorized by the various local priests, and taught in their homes, "from near or from afar."

[ocr errors]

This likewise, as he thinks, disposes of the theory of intentional misrepresentation. He thinks it extremely unlikely that they could have been forged as impostures at so late a period as the Christian era. He seems to rest his case for their antiquity almost entirely upon internal evidence, and even says in one place that, "if any passage occurred in the Gathas which asserted that they were composed at any given early date, he would reject the place with contempt" (see his Preface to the Second Edition of the Gathas, English Verbatim and Free Metrical, 1900). This is going rather far. He probably means to emphasize his own extreme position in the critical school.

To lose sight of all external evidence seems to be out of all keeping with prevailing ways of looking at such things.. In the case of the Gathas, however, he has what would seem to be enough to mislead anyone in this direction, for next to the Behistun inscriptions, which strongly resemble the Gathas in this respect, they are, perhaps, the most 'personal" of all equally ancient compositions of their kind. To imitate such pieces in Ancient Iran at the late date of A.D. 1-226, so as to make them appear to be the compositions of a contemporaneous living person, seems to Dr. Mills to be a task beyond the power of any composer then present in that country, where literature did not flourish till much later.

The author devotes the rest of the book to a comparison of Vohumanah or Asha with the "Lógos" of the Greek philosophical writers, including Philo. This is done to controvert the opinion that these concepts, Vohumanah, Asha, etc., owe their origin to the suggestions of Philo Judæus.

« PrécédentContinuer »