23 JANUARY 1909, Page 25


[Under this heading itS notice suoh Books of the tusk al hoe, not Wen rsserved for 11111141117 in other ferns.] The Lawrences of the Punjab. By Frederick P. Gibbon. (J. M. Dent and Co. 4s. 8d. net.)—Mr. Gibbon tells very well the stories with which we are all more or less familiar,—the energetic action by which John ,Lawrence utilised the resources of the Punjab to save the British rule in India, and the heroism of Henry Lawrence when he was shut up in Lucknow. But it is in what be tells us of things less commonly known, the patient working of the two men in the days before the Mutiny, that the special value of his volume is to be found. Henry, the elder of the two—he was born in 1806, John in 1811—went out to India with a. com- mission in the artillery in 1822; John went out seven years later, and was appointed a District Officer at Delhi. They had, therefore, many years of service before the Mutiny crisis came to try so effectively what they were worth. The two co-operated in many ways to make possible the great work of which the accomplish- ment, it may be said, fell to John. 'There had passed, it will be seen, a whole generation of human life before the two brothers were called upon to do their crowning service. This period cannot be too carefully studied, for it is full of lessons for all British readers, and especially for all who have anything to do, whether in the executive or the legislative line, with our rule in India. Mr. Gibbon deals with the subject in a most lucid exposition. He is eminently fair and impartial. There is, indeed, nothing which a biographer might wish to conceal. But the brothers had differences, and made mistakes. These are candidly told, and the tolling makes us somehow think more highly of the men than ever.