24 DECEMBER 1904, Page 21

Sally : a Study, and other Tales of the Outskirts.

By Hugh Clifford. (W. Blackwood and Sons. Os.)—In the first of these striking sketches Mr. Clifford touches on a problem which must constantly confront the men who rule over certain portions of the scattered British Empire. That is the problem of the education of the sons of the native rulers of States under British protection. Are the boys to be left to the bad influ- ences of Eastern upbringing, or are they to be educated in England, only to find when they are grown up that they have lost their own birthright, and cannot, owing to the difference of race, really have the privileges of white men P In Mr. Clifford's story the English scheme of education is adopted, with consequences which are quite fatal to the happiness of the victim of the experiment. The other sketches seem written to illustrate Kipling's line, "For on the bones of the English the English flag is laid," and they almost all tell the story of some life sacrificed to the good of the Empire. The facts, unfortu- nately, are too often as shown by Mr. Clifford ; but as soon as Englishmen think the price too high, they will cease to possess an Empire. It is therefore perhaps wiser for those who are anxious to maintain our Imperial power not to dwell so exclu- sively as does Mr. Clifford on the tragedy of Imperial sacrifice. In any case, we must remember that the sacrifice is exacted in a high and noble cause. Taken as a whole, Mr. Clifford's book is a poignant contribution to what we may term the school of Im- perial fiction. We sincerely hope that in his new surroundings in the West Indies he will find time and fitting themes for further "Tales of the Outskirts."