are expressly set forth in the Mahabharata,43 showing how far the Hindu sages went in inculcating the observance of courtesy between kith and kin; but to honour their parents was a very special admonition. 'Which are the duties that it is most necessary to practise?' asks Yudhishthira, and Bhishma makes reply:

The worship of mother, father, and preceptor. . . . He who observeth that duty here on earth attaineth high renown and abodes of happiness hereafter. .. One should never disobey them. . . By always obeying the father, one may pass safely through this world. By obeying the mother, one may gain felicity in the next world. . . . Never eat before they have eaten, nor reserve for thyself choicer food than for them; never ascribe any blame to them; always wait upon them humbly. . . . Thus thou shalt attain glory, distinction, honour, and abodes of happiness in the next world. . . . The mother is greater than ten fathers, or even than the whole world. There is none so worthy of reverence as the mother. . By refraining from punishing one's father and mother even if they commit wrong, no fault is incurred. . . . They that injure in thought or deed their preceptor, father, or mother, incur the most heinous sin. No evil-doer is like unto them. That son whom his parents have reared and who when he groweth up doth not in his turn maintain them, is guilty of the most heinous sin. No evil-doer is like unto him.44


The mother is always looked up to with special reverence in Hinduism. 'No mode of life is better than that of serving one's mother," says Bhishma. Moreover, Hinduism goes farther than the Bible, for it even enjoins special rules of conduct towards the father-in-law and mother-in-law, the observance of which might be thought by some Occidentals to be a particularly severe test of virtue.


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Thou shalt not kill. To kill any creature wantonly was with the Hindus an act of sin. Those cruel and evil-hearted men who deprive other creatures of life are like venomous snakes, a source of danger to all.' 46 In other passages the duty of abstention from injuring any creature is mentioned: The conclusion which the wise come to is that the religion whose aim is to refrain from injuring any creature should gain approval from the righteous.' Even for cutting down living trees a penalty was prescribed. But, on the other hand, the Hindu sages recognised the fact that destruction is going on every instant in the world around us. 'This mobile and immobile universe is food for all that liveth. Thus have the gods decreed. . . . Even ascetics cannot live without destroying life. In water, upon earth, and in fruits there are countless living things. We do not sin if we support life by them, since what greater duty


43 Udyoga Parva xxxviii.
44 Santi Parva cviii. 1-29.
45 Ibid. clxi. 9.

46 Ibid. cxliii. 14.
47 Ibid. xxi. 10-11.
48 Ibid. xxxvi. 34.

can there be than to maintain life?' 49 The Mahabharata contains some scathing comments on cruelty in sport. He who with savage looks taketh the lives of other creatures, who seizeth strong sticks to injure them, who appeareth with weapons upraised, who slaughtereth living things, who is lacking in compassion, who spreadeth confusion among living things, who spareth nothing, neither worms nor ants, who is filled with cruelty, such a man descendeth into hell.' 50 Again, we read : 'He who is cruel in behaviour, who filleth all creatures with fear, who doeth injury to others with the hands or feet, or cords, staves, or brickbats, or hard lumps of earth, or by any other methods of causing injury and pain . . . he who hunteth creatures and maketh them tremble for terror, he who doeth this will surely descend into hell.' 51 Abstention from cruelty was with the Hindus one of the highest forms of religion.

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Thou shalt not commit adultery. As one turns the pages of the Mahabharata the passages urging purity of life seem almost endless. On both sexes the same injunction is laid. He' [the householder] 'should be satisfied with his own wedded wife.' 52 'He who taketh to himself the wife of a man who hath trusted in him . . . incurreth the sin of slaying a Brahman.' 53 'Virtuous wives . . . are are embodiments of domestic happiness.' 54 Fearful penalties are laid down in other places for the sin of adultery, showing that the Hindu standard of morality in this matter coincided entirely with that held up for imitation in the seventh Commandment.

Thou shalt not steal. He who robbeth another's wealth, robbeth from him his religion also,' 55 is a saying in the great epic, meaning that riches enable a man to perform the duties of his religion. Protection of his people by exterminating robbers was one of the duties of a king. It speaks well for ancient India that there seem to be fewer precepts directly forbidding theft than those which enjoin the bestowal of gifts. Theft, of course, is discountenanced in every one of the many passages which bid men lay aside desire and the passion of covetousness, appropriation of the wealth of others being expressly mentioned as one of the evils that proceed from covetousness, that vice which the sages said was the source of sin and irreligion and hypocrisy and guile.


Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. In the Mahabharata the virtue of truth is impressed upon the Hindu as strongly as the Biblical Commandment urged it upon the

49 Santi Parva xv. 22-5.

50 Anusasana Parva cxliv. 49-51.

51 Ibid. cxlv. 32-4.

52 Santi Parva lxi. 11.

53 Udyoga Parva xxxvi.

54 Ibid. xxxvii.

55 Santi Parva viii. 13.

56 Ibid. clviii. 18.

Jew. In the Hindu epic it is recorded: 'He who is a witness is so because he hath seen, heard, and comprehended a thing, therefore he should ever speak the truth. A witness who speaketh the truth never loseth his religious merit and worldly wealth as well.' 57 Such was the moral code of the ancient Hindus concerning witnesses. If a man when asked a question did not reply, though knowing the answer, he was said to be guilty of a grave offence, equal to half the sin of a lie; if he replied falsely, though aware of the truth, he was deemed guilty of the whole penalty for a lie. 'He who knoweth should speak the truth without dissimulation," '58 is the teaching of the Mahabharata. Over and over again falsehood is included among the list of sins to be shunned by men; over and over again the virtue of truth is lauded to the skies.

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Thou shalt not covet. Covetousness and ignorance are the same, says the Mahabharata; the one arises from the other. 'Covetousness is the root of all faults: therefore all should shun covetousness. By shunning covetousness thou shalt attain felicity both here and hereafter.' 5 The only cure for covetousness, it says, is tranquillity of soul. The passages in which freedom from all desire is inculcated are so numerous as to make it impossible by quotation to give any idea of the stress laid upon this point. The ancient sages knew that covetousness meant more than desire for merely material good, that it could extend itself to every impulse which animates the heart of man, and that in covetousness every kind of fault is found. So they prohibited all desires if man would attain happiness. Desires were to be drawn in, they said, as a tortoise draws in his limbs. Even men of great merit and wisdom, they knew, were not free from temptation to this vice. If they had had a Decalogue, like the Hebrews, 'Thou shalt not covet' would, I think, have come nearer the first than the last of the list of duties towards one's neighbour.

Instances of such similarities between Christianity and Hinduism as are quoted in the foregoing pages might easily be multiplied from the eighteen volumes of the Mahabharata without having any recourse to the Bhagavad Gita, but enough has been advanced to show that the essentials of the Christian moral code are to be found in the fundamental doctrines of Hindu morality. Doctrines such as I have put forward, which are both Christian and Hindu in their nature, have been taught in Hindu India for centuries before the Christian era through the Mahabharata, a poem which in the Sanskrit original is adored by the learned. Hindu, and in the various Indian vernaculars is most popular

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from end to end of the vast continent of India. So the Hindu sages, many centuries before the advent of the Messiah in Palestine, laid the foundation of a moral code in India similar to that of Christianity. They often explained their moral teachings. For instance, the highest law of morality taught by Christ was, no doubt, 'Love thy neighbour as thyself,' though why one should love one's neighbour as one's self is not explicitly stated anywhere in the Bible. But the Hindu Rishis, who about twenty centuries before the Sermon on the Mount likewise enunciated that great precept, gave also the reason underlying it. In the words Tat tvam asi ('that thou art ') they told the native of Hindustan that he must love his neighbour because he himself is his neighbour. 'Lift up the veil of illusion' (Maya), they said, 'and thou shalt see that thou art thy neighbour.'

My comments on Christianity and Hinduism may possibly appeal to those among others who feel interested in Christian missionary labours. Some may argue that, as Christian doctrine already exists in Hinduism, there is all the greater scope for the extension of Christian missionary work in India; another set of people, looking on the matter from a different point of view, may perhaps draw exactly the reverse conclusion, and say that, as so much of Christianity is included in the Hindu conception of religion, there is no room for a separate propaganda. A third set, whom I should style practical Imperialists, may like to take advantage of the establishment of the new Hindu University to emphasise to the students those points in Hinduism which are, a's I have shown, essentials of Christianity. In so doing they might disarm the opposition of the orthodox Hindu, which at present is always levelled against the dissemination of Christian doctrine as a separate teaching in the Indian Empire. Broad-minded Christian missionaries who sincerely desire the message of their Saviour to be more widely known throughout India will perhaps welcome my suggestion, and put themselves into intimate touch with those leaders of Hindu thought who have dived deep into Western culture and who are the supporters of the proposed University.




WHILE turning over some old letters and papers in the charter room at Dunglass I came across a manuscript entitled Notes of an Interview with Buonaparte at St. Helena on the 13th of August 1817. It was good to handle. I knew that an account of Basil Hall's visit to Napoleon had been published in 1818. This was clearly the original manuscript of the narrative which, he explains himself, was drawn up from the notes he had made immediately after the interview, while the impression of all he had seen and heard was fresh in his mind. It was, however, evident that the account then published was only an abridged version of the narrative now before me.

Basil Hall was born in 1788, and was the second son of Sir James Hall, of Dunglass, and Helen, daughter of Lord Selkirk. He entered the Navy in 1802. As an explorer, scientist, and man of letters he was well known. His books of travel and discovery were much read during the early and middle part of last century, and his Fragments, one of the best known of his books, went into several editions. In 1816 he accompanied Lord Amherst's mission to China, in command of H.M.S. Lyra. While the Ambassador was employed in the interior of China the ships of the Embassy visited the coast of Corea and the great Loochoo Island. Out of compliment to Captain Hall, certain islands close to the present Port Arthur were named the Sir James Hall group, and a bay on the mainland was called Basil's Bay. It was on his way home from this voyage of diplomacy, discovery, and adventure that he anchored at St. Helena, and had the good fortune to obtain an interview with Napoleon.

Sir James Hall, the first Englishman Napoleon ever saw,' succeeded to the baronetcy, in 1776, while still a minor, and, like many young men of the time, was sent abroad to complete his education. During part of this period he stayed with a relation at the Château de Brienne, and attended the classes at the Military School during the time that Napoleon Buonaparte was a pupil at that establishment. The relation in question, William Hamilton, was a son of William Hamilton of Bangour, the Jacobite and

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