5 JUNE 1880, Page 22

Confucianism and Taouism. By Robert K. Douglas. (Society for Promoting

Christian Knowledge.)—Professor Douglas modestly dis- claims having written an exhaustive work on the subjects included in his title. The study required for such a work would be too vast for any one person to undertake. More than twenty centuries have pro- duced an enormous mass of literature dealing with the two systems, and to review this completely would be as impossible as to perform the same task for Christianity. But readers of this very interesting little volume have no reason for dissatisfaction. They have in it an excellent and really popular account of the subject, " popular " not being, in this instance, at all equivalent to superficial. The life of Confucius is scarcely presented with the same clearness as are the outlines of his moral and political teaching. The biographical materials are remarkably plentiful, more so than in any other case of a life so remote in point of time. Not the portraiture of Socrates himself (who is nearer to our era by some eighty years) is presented with so many details. These might, we think, have been used with more literary effect. Apart from this, we have nothing but praise for a most carefully-written and instructive volume, which must take high place in the excellent series to which it belongs,—"Non-Chriatian Religions Systems."