THE CENTRE OF ANCIENT CIVILIZATION. By IL D. Daunt. (Bodley
Head. 10s. Od.)—This is one of those perverse fruits of misplaced ingenuity, which almost make one howl aloud. As a philologist Mr. Daunt is worse than George Borrow, and infinitely more absurd ; and on philo- logy he bases the most of his argument. In the name Hercules we discover " obviously, ur=votary of, and Kale the name of the great goddess," a description which fits David ; nn David and Hercules are one. Hercules alias David married Omphale, and there is an Imphal in Manipur in north-eastern India ; therefore it follows that David lived in Jerusalem in Manipur (one wonders if he played polo there) and not in Jeru- salem in Palestine. Or if you don't fancy this etymon, try' another : Imphal, this Manipur town, is " a cognate of ompha- los, a navel," and is therefore the same as " Ubdaki, the Huh of the World." (Quite early, it is plain, that world began to drop its h's). Now King Sargon of Akkad built a city coed Ubdaki la Lower Mesopotamia ; and as Ubdaki is Imphal, therefore Lower Mesopotamia is Manipur, whatever archaeological discoveries and geography say to the contrary. It's all as beautifully simple as one of Euclid's propositions. In Manipur, then, lay King David's Jerusalem and also the Garden of Eden ; the brook Kishon and the Brahmaputra, (some brook) are identical ; Saul was a Buddhist Abner, the famous Hebrew captain, fought at Troy disguised as Ajax ; and Solomon kept a commissioner at Rangoon (where also resided ,Sir Lancelot du Lake), because the Burmese term for a commissioner is yoon." With Dominic Sampson we can but fold the bands and cry Prodigious Or is all this a brave-souled attempt to pull the public leg at half a guinea a time ?