« PreviousContinue »
land, which included not only, as already stated, the Indian peninsula, a large portion of Africa from the Cape to the Sahara, together with Sinai and the island of Madagascar, but also great parts of Brazil and Argentina; and (4) Antarctis, with Patagonia and Australia. These, with a few exceptions, have not been affected by folding movements since Carboniferous times, which, in the northern hemisphere, have spent their force either in front or in the rear of those movements.
Such are the conclusions which are worked out in 'Das Antlitz' with a wealth of detail that could only have been accumulated by incessant, almost incredible, labour. As the process has been inevitably gradual, its results, as expressed in this treatise, sometimes lack the clearness of one continuously written, in which each branch of the subject has been taken up in its turn and worked out once for all, perhaps even with some superfluous detail. The author's style is not a model of lucidity; and the translators must have occasionally found their task a hard one. It has, however, been excellently done; for, though here and there the turn of a phrase may suggest a German original, we forget this as a rule. They have, however, occasionally rendered themselves less intelligible by a fondness for terms known only to the younger school of geologists, or for words of rare occurrence in our own language. Readers may have a fair knowledge of science and yet be a little bewildered by 'holisopy,' 'isopy' and 'heteropy,' which confront him in two or three consecutive lines; 'quer-Andinean' is less intelligible than across the Andes' or 'transverse to the Andes'; the phrase a 'rift valley' less accurate than a 'troughfault valley.' Flaws,' for a class of dislocation causing earth-movements, is no improvement on 'faults,' for it implies the cause rather than the consequence of a displacement; 'stowing' is no better than 'packing' or 'crowding up,' for it has to be employed in an unusual sense; nor is 'colk' an improvement on the familiar 'pot-hole' for a cavity worn in a rock by whirling water aided by stones.
We should not have noticed these small matters were they not the outcome of a tendency which is becoming harmful to the cause of science. As this progresses and knowledge multiplies, technical terms must inevitably
increase in number. They serve as time-savers, like chemical formulæ and algebraical symbols; but, like a hedge of wait-a-bit thorns, they deter from any approach to the science men of ordinary education or those trained in other branches. This may be a loss even to specialists' in geology, for they may fall into the danger of losing their sense of proportion by an over-minute concentration on details, and so may be the better rather than the worse for the criticism from the standpoint of educated common-sense. But the defects which we have noticed are but motes in the sunbeam, which it seems almost ungenerous to mention, so deeply are we indebted to Dr Hertha Sollas, on whom has fallen the main burden of the translation, and Prof. Sollas, her father, by whom it has been directed and revised. The book has cost them some years of heavy labour, but they may find a reward in feeling that they have made Das Antlitz der Erde' accessible to students imperfectly acquainted with German, and have thus assisted the progress of geology.
Thanks are also due to the Delegates of the Clarendon Press for the excellent 'get-up' of the work and for their public spirit in entering, for the sake of science, upon an undertaking which can hardly be remunerative. Most of all do we owe gratitude to Prof. Suess himself. This work has been the main labour, and will be a worthy monument, of his life. Though we have ventured here and there to express doubts as to his conclusions, and though our personal knowledge of certain districts leads us to think that he depends too much on the improved hypotheses of some latter-day geologists, we gladly acknowledge his zeal, his industry, his conscientiousness, and his obvious desire to be impartial. He has given us a book which is a perfect treasury of informatiou, and which, when completed by a good index, will be consulted, like an encyclopædia, for many years to come, since it embodies almost everything that is known of the earth's geological history in these opening years of the twentieth century.
T. G. BONNEY,
Art. 12.-THE CHINESE REVOLUTION.
1. China under the Dowager Empress. By J. O. P. Bland and E. Backhouse. London: Heinemann, 1910.
2. Two years in the Forbidden City. By Princess Der Ling. London: Fisher Unwin, 1912.
3. Intellectual and Political Currents in the Far East. By Prof. Paul S. Reinsch. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1912.
4. Lion and Dragon in Northern China. By R. E. Johnston. London: Murray, 1910.
5. The China Correspondents of the 'Times.'
THE Manchu, or Great Pure Dynasty, which ascended the Dragon Throne by right of conquest nearly three centuries ago, has ceased to reign. Vainly did it drain the cup of humiliation in a series of extraordinary penitential 'decrees' before resigning itself to the final act of abdication. A Republic has been proclaimed, and proclaimed under the very seal of the young Dowager Empress, acting on behalf of the six-year-old infant Emperor to whom are reserved the shadowy rights and privileges of a rex sacrificulus. Yuan Shih-k'ai, the astute soldier statesman who, fourteen years ago, might have saved his country had he not betrayed the unfortunate Emperor Kuang Hsü and his Reform friends into the hands of the masterful Old Buddha,' has assumed the Presidency of the Republic with the acquiescence and support of the revolutionary leaders at Nanking, A delegation from the so-called National Assembly of Nanking, which itself represents only a number of selfconstituted revolutionary committees formed in other provinces, has reached Peking to negotiate with Yuan Shih-k'ai with regard to the future government of the country. But the Treasury is empty, and, though various cosmopolitan groups are engaged in an insane competition for the privilege of spoon-feeding it, not the least heavy of the mill-stones that hang about the new Republic's neck is the growing burden of foreign indebtedness piled up during the last eighteen years. Within a few days of Yuan Shih-k'ai's assumption of the Presidency the troops upon whose fidelity he chiefly relied broke into open mutiny and dispersed, after
looting the capital under his very eyes. The maintenance of order in Peking seems now to depend, strangely enough, upon the Manchu forces recruited from the bannermen of the deposed dynasty, and, in the last resort, upon the presence of the foreign Legation guards, which the Powers have all recently reinforced. In Nanking and other cities of the Middle and Lower Yangtsze Valley, as well as in the chief towns on the coast, the revolutionary authorities have also maintained or restored some semblance of order.
Not much detailed information is so far available with regard to the condition of things prevailing in the more remote provinces of the Empire. All we know is that the revolutionary movement spread like wild-fire from city to city; in some places almost peacefully, in others amid scenes of frightful barbarity, as at Sianfu, the old Imperial city to which the Court fled in 1900, where 10,000 Manchus are stated to have been massacred in cold blood. The representatives of Imperial authority, Viceroys, Governors, Tartar Generals, submitted or fled, or, less frequently, fell victims at their posts to the fury of the populace and the mutinous soldiery. The great province of Szechuan, with its 60,000,000 inhabitants, declared itself independent; so also Kansu and, it would seem, Yunnan. It is no exaggeration to say that in a great part of the country, with the disappearance of the old constituted authorities, a reign of anarchy set in, of which the end is not yet. Civil war on a large scale ceased with the armistice concluded after the recapture of Wuchang and the neighbouring cities of the Middle Yangtsze by Yuan Shihk'ai's forces, and the fall of Nanking into the hands of the rebels in November, but the presence of large armed forces, ill paid and undisciplined, constitutes one of the most serious dangers to which the new régime is exposed; and from all parts of China stories of marauding bands living on pillage and blackmail are, it may be feared, merely an earnest of worse things to come. Happily there have been very few cases of outrage upon foreigners, and in general no display of anti-foreign feeling.
All this has happened within less than six months since the first rioting in Szechuan, and within less than four years since death removed almost at the same hour the poor phantom-Emperor Kuang Hsü and the merciless
old woman whose extraordinary personality lives for all time in the pages of Messrs Bland and Backhouse's book, the most thrilling and the most important document which China has ever yielded to the West. A nation comprising one-fifth of the human race, hitherto regarded as the most immutable of nations, has plunged suddenly headlong into the unknown. Seldom has the world witnessed a more startling drama; yet so absorbed are we in our own affairs that, even in this country, notwithstanding the great commercial and financial interests we ourselves have at stake, it has been watched hitherto with little more than perfunctory curiosity, and, one might be inclined to add, with an optimism for which it is difficult to see any valid grounds. Without for a moment underrating such assets in a great national crisis as the patience and long-suffering endurance of the Chinese masses, the spirit of compromise which is one of the characteristic features of the race, and the 'sweet reasonableness' which, it must be admitted, has hitherto marked the negotiations between the rival camps at Nanking and at Peking, few would be so rash as to believe that the proclamation of a new form of government can at once arrest the vast and unknown forces so suddenly and violently let loose. Few, in fact, would be so rash as to indulge in predictions of any kind. The materials are not yet at hand for any trustworthy account or reasoned appreciation of what has already happened. All one can do is to read, so far as they go, the signs of the times, and to seek, in trying to interpret them, for such analogies as history may furnish for the guidance of judgment.
Hence one naturally turns in the first place to Japan, in every way so much nearer to China and so much more closely and even vitally interested in the future of China than any of the Western nations.
'The greatest mistake which you Western people, and more especially you English people, made in all your dealings with China was to help the Manchus in putting down the Taiping Rebellion. The history of China shows that, by some fateful dispensation, the appointed term comes sooner or later to all her successive dynasties. When they have become incapable of performing their proper functions in the State, discontent makes itself irresistibly felt, widespread disturbances occur, and ulti