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BOOK NOTICES.

Messrs. Louts Gillie axd Co., 75 Liverpool street, Sydney, have sent us the following works :—: — The Ahorigiws of Australia their origin, customs, language. By Roderick Flanagan. Neatly bound in cloth, price Is ; post free, Is 3d. The aborigines of Australia, like our own Maoris, have been for years a rapidly disappearing race, and are now reduced to a comparative handful. It must be admitted, however, that the natural intelligence of the aboriginal natives is by no means of a despicable order, and they can boast of not a few qualities deserving of more careful development than they have yet received at the hands of the white man. Such, at least, is the impression conveyed by a perusal of Mr. Flanagan's book. The author deals, not only with the origin and language of the natives, but also with their habits, modes of life, and characteristic racial qualities, and his account of the race is as interesting as it is complete. There is htill a wide difference of opinion as to what particular branch of the human family the Australian aboriginal belongs. Mr. Flanagan's view is that at some period "in the dark backward and abysm of time" these people possessed at least a few germs of civilisation, which it is possible to conceive as having been soon lost under the conditions which the struggle for existence imposed on them in their new home. The book is written in a clear and readable style, and contains a great

fund of interesting information about the primitive inhabitants of Australia. The following extract, describing the construction and properties of the boomerang, may not be uninteresting to some of our young readers :—": — " The boomerang may be formed of any tough, heavy piece of wood, and is about three-eighths of an inoh thick in the middle, gradually tapering off towardsjthe extremities, and rounded on each side from the centre until brought to an edge. Construction : — Let A B E be the arc of a circle ; the chord ADB equals 18 inches; the perpendicular, B D equals 17 inches ; the width, BC 3 inches. Thug constructed, the centre of gravity will fall exactly on the edge of its concave surface at C. When used as an offensive weapon it is usually thrown with the convex side outwards, but when intended to return it is held in the reverse position, although it will probably act in either position if properly managed."' B'thlc History ; containing the most remarkable events of the Old and New Testament, prepared for the use of Catholic Schools. Strong boards, cloth back. Price, Is. Post free, Is 3d. This is a perfect little book of its kind. Its object is to give a comprehensive account of the events recorded in the Old and New Testaments in a form that will be interesting to children, and it certainly fulfils its object. It is as full and complete as a history and as interesting and attractive as a story-book. For the convenience of teachers the matter has been divided into paragraphs, and questions have been added to aid the pupil. A summary of the contents and a list of the patriarchs will also be found a valuable addition. The chapters are short and pithy, and the work is embellished with numerous illustrations, which are far above the pictures generally found in books of the kind. We have no hesitation in most warmly recommending this little work ; in point of print, paper, illustrations, cheapness and general excellence it is all that the most exacting teacher could desire. A Guide to Confession and first Communion. By Rev. Father Woods. Price, 2d. Post free, 3d. This is a very simple but very practical help to a good Confession and a worthy Communion. Though intended primarily for children it will be found useful and helpful to the faithful of all ages In addition to directions and advice as to Confession and Communion it contains also a beautiful method of assisting at Mass. The little work is now in its fifteenth thousand, which shows that its value and usefulness have been very generally recognised.

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BOOK NOTICES. New Zealand Tablet, Volume XXV, Issue 13, 30 July 1897

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