30 APRIL 1892, Page 12

True Stories from African History. By W. Pimblett. (Griffith, Farran,

and Co.)—Mr. Pimblett undertakes to tell us various interesting things about Africa, "from the first Egyptian dynasty to the present day." The " correct date" of the first dynasty he takes to be 2300 B.C. It will probably surprise him to be told that Brugsch-Bey puts it 2,100 years earlier. But this is a trifle to what follows. Mr. Pimblett has a very good opinion of the Emperor Augustus. With this we need not quarrel. But when we read, "Even an order that was regarded with special contempt, namely, the monks, was protected by him ; Christian and infidel alike were ready to acknowledge his grace and thoughtfulness," words are wanting to express our astonishment. Augustus protecting the monks ! Christians acknowledging the grace and thoughtfulness of a Prince who died A.D. 13 ! The names of four gentlemen appear as publishers on the title-page. Did none of them know better than this ? The book was printed, we see, in the " Modern Athens." What was the " reader " about ? Truly, in the depths of human ignorance there is still a lower deep.—Miss Alice Pollard, who " com- piles " True Stories from Greek History (same publishers), must not be confounded with such a blunderer as Mr. Pim- blett. Still, it is unfortunate that the frontispiece to her " true stories " should be a picture of the " Wooden Horse in Troy." It would have been as well, again, not to speak of the interview between Crcesus and Solon as a " true story." It is just possible that the two may have met, but not under the circumstances described by Herodotus. Even when Miss Pollard gets to firm historical ground, she is not always exact. After relating that Miltiades was condemned to pay the whole expenses of the unlucky expedition to Paros, she writes : "This sum was paid by his son, Cimon, but Miltiades did not live to recover either his health or his ruined prospects." Any one would understand from this that Cimon paid the money in his father's lifetime. We are afraid that the story of the repentance of the Athenians for the execution of Socrates is not a " true story." We see that the name of Periander's son is spelt (twice) Lycophion. " Those that passetb by " is, we may venture to remark, not English. Notwithstanding these faults, Miss Pollard's book has merits.