27 NOVEMBER 1909, Page 22


WE can say without any hesitation that this book is very good reading. Here is a story which, to use Sir Edmund Cox's words, is "really too glorious." When he was in Sind he wrote an article in an Indian magazine describing some excavations in Brahmanabad, in the course of which he had discovered a Macedonian soldier who had been shut up for twenty-two centuries in a vault, but happily recovering gave him some first-hand particulars about Alexander's campaigns. The Bombay Government thereupon wrote to the Superintendent of the Archaeological Survey desiring to know by what authority Sir E. Cox had made his excavations, and what he had done with the articles found, the Macedonian, of course, included. And this happened last year ! Of the value of our author's contribution to our knowledge of Indian life and British administration it is not possible to speak so definitely. That he has a claim to be listened to cannot be doubted. He stands, in a way, outside the regular hierarchy of the Indian Government, while he has long been in the closest relation with it. He gave up what seemed a promising academical career to take up tea-planting in India. Tea-planting, on a nearer view, did not please, and he became a schoolmaster. This also was not to his mind, and he was glad to get a berth as Assistant Political Agent at Kohalpur with special charge of a young lunatic Rajah. "I look back on the whole of this time with unmitigated disgust, " he writes. In 1883, when he had been in India some six years, he accepted an office in the Police. It was a drop in salary, from 825 rupees a month to 250, and it was a new beginning from the bottom. Bet it set him to what has been practically the work of his life. The impression left by his record of experience is that he is a keen observer, who has had many opportunities of learning about Indian matters, and has used them well. To take one example, he has a good deal to say about the Indian Police. He allows that a native ideal of the detection of crime is to torture the possible criminal and obtain a confession,—it was our ideal here not many centuries • My Thirty Years in India. By Sir Edmund C. Cox. London: Mills and Boon. [Se. net.] ago. But he thinks that it is not often put into practice. The police might like to do it, but they are afraid in view of the atrict Governmentprohibition. The accusations are commonly false; they are readily believed because they seem probable; and the accused avails himself of the state of public opinion, assisting it by inflicting some injury on himself which he attributes to the action of the police. The whole of our author's testimony on this matter is certainly worth study. Generally, while no " through-thick-and-thin " admirer of the British raj, he thinks that India has never been so well off.