22 AUGUST 1885, Page 26

Mr. Samuel Mossman, who edited the North China Herald, while

the late General Gordon was engaged in suppressing the Taiping rebel- lion, has published General Gordon's Private Diary of His Exploits in China (Sampson Low and Co.)—Everything about Gordon is interesting at the present moment ; and we do not say that Mr. Mossman has not been justified in publishing this diary. But we see nothing in it to justify its "amplification" into a history of " The Ever- Victorious Army." This work has already been adequately done by the late Mr. Andrew Wilson, and in a more condensed form by Dr. Hill, Mr. Hake, and Mr. Archibald Forbes. The diary cannot, more- over, be truly said to give us an insight into Gordon's personal character, as his Khartoum Journals unquestionably did, for it is as laconic as a speech by Mr. Alfred Jingle, and deals almost exclu- sively with Gordon's own military movements. Not much, for instance, can be made of this :—" 14th Oct.—Jones and forty of his rebel companions, including Porter and the notorious Barclay de Telly, came out and surrendered. W. G. Burgevine comes out on 17th Oct. Europeans left under Smith and others. Great relief to G. and the beleagured forces." It is due to Mr. Mossman to say that had his history of Gordon's career in China not been anticipated in all essentials by previous works, it would have deserved con- siderable commendation. Mr. Mammon's style, both in narrative and in explanation, is good. He also gives some fresh information on such subjects as the organisation—or disorganisation—of the Chinese troops when Gordon took the command of a section of them.