AKBAR'S FORMER BIOGRAPHER.
(To TEE EDITOR or THE " SPECTATOR.")
lent,—Mr. Vincent Saline's new biography of Akbar no doubt deserves the praise it received from your reviewer (July 28th), but those who know the former Life of the great Emperor by Count v. Noer (born Prince Frederic of Schleswig-Holstein Auguatenburg), either in the original or in the excellent French translation, which was "crowned" by the French Academy in 1888, must have seen with astonishment the description of it as "a dismally eulogistic account of the autocrat by a 'Teutonic admirer of that form of government." Count v. Noer, who before and after he left Trinity College, Cambridge, had friend- ships with many notable Englishmen, friendships formed in part during his long visits to India, and who passed a great part of his life in Paris and in England, was hardly likely to have a great surpassing love for autocratic governments. He tells us himself what he did most admire in Akbar (I quote from hf. Bonet Maury's translation, for I have not the original):— " Ce qni lei assure is jamais une place eminente parmi Its bienfaiteurs de l'hunianite, c'est d'avoir fait rdgner la tolerance hi plus complete et In pies admirable."
Casually turning over the pages again I find admiration expressed for other things. One was that Akbar abolished slavery, so far as it resulted from war; a second, that he ordered a portion of his meals to be given to the poor before he was served himself; a third, that he erected a splendid memorial to his vanquished enemy; a fourth, that he raised the age of marriage and permitted the remarriage of widows; a fifth, that on hearing that a woman was about to be forced by her son against her will to be burnt alive on her husband's death, be had his swiftest horse saddled and rode off himself venire it terre, arriving just in time to save the proposed victim. For these things he is praised. The author died before the book was completed, and it might never have come out at n11 but for the faithful service to the memory of their friend of some English Orientalists HILO helped hie widow, a meet accomplished woman, to put the finishing Lurches. Are we to alter our estimate of a dead scholar " because of the war"? I hope not. Germany has done enough evil with- out our giving it leave to de us the worst evil of all : that of changing our character.—I am, Sir, &a, A Fauna OF MANY ORIENTALISTS.