25 JANUARY 1896, Page 11

A Little History of China, and a Chinese Story. By

Alexander Brebner. (T. Fisher ITnwin.)—This is a pleasing combination, in a little volume which does not run to two hundred pages, of fact and fiction, the latter purporting to be a translation of a Chinese novel which came into Mr. Brebner's possession by a curious chance. The historical portion of the book is concisely and lucidly written, and as it deals briefly with Japan and Corea, and in a special chapter with the geography of China, it may fairly be described as a handbook to its subject. In " The Pleasing History," which is the name of the translated novel, Tieh-chung-u, a student with black, flashing eyes, and the son of a Pekin Mandarin, falls in love with Shuey-ping-sin, the daughter of another Mandarin. The young folk have great troubles, and are in tears every second page. But they seem to have endless resources, and certainly resort to endless devices ; and Tieh-chung-u has at least the soul of young Lochinvar,—so they get married in the long-run. " The Pleasing History " may not be very remarkable as a story, but it gives an admirable picture of Chinese social and domestic life. Altogether, this is a most interesting, valuable, and entertaining little book.