Page images
PDF
EPUB

LIST

OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE

PAGE

81

8

9

...

...

...

...

[ocr errors]

To face page

...

The Marble Bridge of Seventeen Arches, leading

to the Island in the Lake of Onane-Cheon-
Chane, China

Frontispiece
Entrance to the Harbour of Petropavlovski
Map of Siberia and Part of China ...

5 A Tungoose Encampment View of Nikolaievsk, the Capital of Amoorland A Siberian Dog Sledge

12 View of Lake Baïkal, Siberia

13 Prisoners on the Road to Siberia

17 View of Omsk, Siberia

20 Ostiak Hunters of Siberia

21 Map of China and Some of the Adjoining Countries 24 View in the Village of Polo-Hang, Province of Canton

25 View in the Village of Wong-Tong, Province of Canton

28 View on the Pei-Ho River, at Tien-Tsin, China 29 A Mosque in Pekin ...

32 A Pagoda, or Memorial Tower, in the Province of Quei-Chow, China

33 Sorting Tea in China

33 View of the City of Amoy, in the Province of Fo-Kien ...

36 View of Part of Swatow, in the Province of Quang-Tung

37 A Farm in the Province of Quang-Tung ...

10 Hata-Mene-ta-Kie Street, Pekin A Tradesman of Tien-Tsin, the Treaty Port of the

Province of Pe-Chili Chinese Artillerymen

49 Camels of the North of China

52 Chinese and Tartar Ladies

53 After Dinner: A Family Scene in China ...

57 A Street in Hong Kong View of the Rapids the Chu-Kiang, Canton, or Pearl River

61 A Chinese Cart

64 Fire on an Asiatic Steppe

65 A Street in Hong Kong

65 A Corean Palanquin ...

69 Mongol Kalkhas

72 A Sandstorm in the Desert

73 A Mongol Camel on the March

76 Scene in the Desert of Gobi...

80

Map of Central Asia, etc.
A Mongol Camp on the Move

84 A Street in Yarkand, Eastern Turkestan

85 Merchants of Yarkand, Eastern Turkestan

88 Gate of the Fort of Yangy-Shahr, Five Miles from Kasghar, Eastern Turkestan

89 A Kirghiz Bride

93 Tungans and Kalmuks of Kuldja'

96 Scene in a Village in the Laos Country

To face page

97 A “ Tartar” of Kuldja

97 A Tarantchi Mosque at Kuldja

100 Natives of the Valley of Spiti, Province of Ladak

104 View of the Salt Lake of Tsomoriri, Western Tibet

105 View in Leh, the Capital of Ladak ..

109 View in Pegu, British Burmah

112 View on the River Irrawaddy, Burmah

113 Idols on the Banks of the River Irrawaddy, Burmah

117 View of Bassac, Laos

121 A Village in the Interior of Laos

124 A Buddhist Wat, or Temple, at Bangkok, Siam... 128 A Hamlet and Bridge in Cambodia To face page 129 General View of Bankok and the Menam River ... 129 The Supreme King of Siam in his State Robes 132 The “Second King" of Siam in his State Robes 133 A Siamese War Elephant

136 View in Khong, Cambodia

140 Barges on the Mekong River, Cambodia ... 141 View on the Banks of the Mesap, Cambodia

144 View of Panompin, the Capital of Cambodia 145 Ruins on Mount Bakheng, Cambodia

148 The Main Street of Hué, Capital of the Kingdom of Anam ...

153 Anamite Workmen Inlaying with Mother-of-Pearl 156 Street View in Saigon

157 A Bullock Carriage in Cochin-China On the Course (Maidan), Calcutta, with a View of

Government House and the Ochterlony Monu-
ment ...

... To face page 161 Elephant Ploughing in Ceylon

161 View of Point de Galle, Ceylon

164 Map of Lower India and Ceylon

166

...

[ocr errors]

...

60

...

To face page

160

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

...

...

...

200

Cocoa-nut Plantation in Ceylon

169 Singhalese Dancer

172 Singhalese Cloth Seller

172 “ Burghers” of Ceylon

173 Singhalese of the Coast

173 View of Cape Comorin, the Southern Point of India

177 View in the Western Himalayas

180 View on the Ganges

184 View of the City of Benares

185 View of Simla

189 Scene in the Diamond Mines of Poonah

192 Gate of Alla-ud-Deen Koutab, near Delhi

To face page 193 Tiger Hunting with Elephants in India

193 The Great Banyan Tree (Ficus Indica) in the Botanical Gardens, ('alcutta ...

197 The Mausoleum of the Emperor Akbar, at Sikandra,

a Suburb of Agra City ... Hindoo Dancers, or Culhacks

201 View of the Port of Calcutta

20.5 The Mausoleum of Etmaddowlah, Agra

208 In Indigo Factory at Allahabad

209 The Hoosseinabad Imambara, Lucknow

212 Temple at Muchkoundi, near Dholepore

216 Palace at Lahore

217 Railway Travelling in India

220 Guadama, the Last Budha

224 Temples of the King at Ulwur To face page 225 Tea Plant (Thea viridis)

225 A Katamaran in the Surf before Madras

228 A Pagoda at Tanjore...

229 A Hindoo Pagoda at Malabar Hill, near Bombay 232 Parsec Cotton Merchants of Bombay

236 Entrance to the Cave-Temples of Kanhari, Isle of Salsette

237 The Principal Grotto of Kanhari, Isle of Salsette 241 Nautch, or Dancing Girls, at the Court of the Rana of Oodeypore

21

The Exterior of the Cemetery of Maha Sati, at
Ahar, near Oodeypore

218 The Mausoleum of Rajah Buktawur, at U'lwur 249 The Gopel Bhowan in the Palace of Digh

252 View of the City of Baroda (from the River Biswamintri)

253 View in Srinagar, Kashmir ...

256 Cemetery at Khiva

To face page 257 Indian Cotton Operatives

260 The Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum)

261 Sir Jung Bahadur

264 Palace of the Rajah of Nepaul

265 View of the Bolan Pass

268 View of Khelat

269 View of the City of Cabul

272 The Tomb of the Emperor Baber at Cabul

277 View of Yangi Hissar, at the foot of the Pamir Chain

281 A Kirghiz Sultan

284 View of Lake Victoria, l'amir Steppe

285 Bibi Khanym Place, Samarcand ... To face page 289 Crossing the Syr-Darya

289 Turkoman Women

292 Court of the Palace of the Ex-Khan of Khokan ... 293 Native Police at the Gate of the Mosque of Shah Zindeh, Samarcand

296 The Tomb of Saint Daniar-Palvan, near Samarcand 297 Map of Central Asia, Persia, Arabia, and Turkey in Asia

300 Scene on the Steppes of the Caspian

301 The Maidan Shah, or Royal Square, Ispahan 304 The Shah's Palace at Teheran

305 The Old South Gate, Teheran

308 The City Gate, Tabriz

312 View of Shiraz

313 Tower on the Site of the Ancient Raghes, Persia

(believed to be the Tomb of a Mongol
King)

316 The Tomb of Bayazid-Bastam at Charout-Bastam 317

...

...

...

THE COUNTRIES

OF THE WORLD.

CHAPTER I.

SIBERIA : KAMTCHATKA; AMOORLAND AND SIBERIA PROPER.

ROM America to Asia is geographically but a step. Behring Strait is, indeed,

at its narrowest point, only thirty-six miles wide. Here Prince of Wales Capeon the snows of which Eugène Sue, in his most famous work, places his “juif errant”-faces East Cape on the Asiatic shore, and as the Strait is at no place more than thirty fathoms in depth, it is more than probable that

in some of the changes which the volcanic region bas undergone, this connection between the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific has been opened within comparatively recent geological periods. The Diomede, and other islands in it, which now play to the tribes on either side the part of the Roman " termes ”—a commercial neutral groundmay be the last fragments of this vanished isthmus. Haze and fog often overhang the sea hereabouts, but owing to the shoaliness of its waters icebergs are rare. The walrus is found on its northern shores, and in the southern parts, as well as on the Aleutian islands, there is carried on a great trade in killing the sea otter (Vol. I., p. 305) and the fur seals, which, in spite of the war of extermination which until recently was waged against them, are still numerous on these lonely volcanic-shaken isles. Some of them, particularly Behring's Island, when first discovered, were inhabited by a species of sea-cow, the Rhytina Stelleri, on which Bebring and his companions fed, but the visits of hungry seamen soon exterminated it, and even a fragment of its skeleton is now rare in museums. The whole

group seems at one time to have been inhabited by Eskimo, and, indeed, the Aleuts are only members of the same widespread family.* The Eskimo, however, do not extend on the Asiatic shore further than Tuski Land; and it may be noted that the point of contact between the essentially American Eskimo and Asia is just where the long winter's ice would allow them to cross in their dog-sledges.

But the country we have now entered is a widely different one from the land we have left. Its northern regions are not so barren as the Arctic boundaries of America, and its southern plains and forests are not so luxuriant. It is a lone land nearly one million square miles larger than Europe, but is not, contrary to the common belief, desolate throughout, being in the more southern parts extremely rich and fruitful. It is thinly peopled, either by wandering heathen tribes herding reindeer, or gaining a precarious livelihood by hunting, or by Russian settlers, the majority of whom passed the Oural mountains from no wish of their own. Siberia, in a word, is, as all the world knows, the Russian penal colony, and though there are on the high roads of travel busy, populous, and even fine citiesjust as there were in Australia when that continent was our place of banishmenteverything in Siberia is tempered by the prevailing convict element. The “unfortunates" are everywhere, but as these exiles have in many cases been the foremost men in Russian public life, the material for progress in the great trans-Oural territory is great. Stretching from Cape Chelyuskin or Severo, the most northern point of Asia—the Promontorium Tabin of Pliny—it stretches south for nearly 2,000 miles, and from east to west for 3,600 miles. For political purposes the country is divided into the two great divisions of Western and Eastern Siberia, among which are distributed the Governments of Tobolsk, which contains over a million of inhabitants, Tomsk, Yeniseisk, Yakutsk, Irkutsk, Transbaīkalia, the Amoor Province, and the Littoral Province, which includes Kamtchatka and the shores of Behring Strait. Kamtchatka and the Amoor are, however, naturally separable from the rest of Siberia. Accordingly, it will be more convenient for our purpose to say a few words about each of them before sketching in fuller detail the great plains lying to the west.

* Dall: “On the Remains of Prehistoric Man in Caves of the Catherina Archipelago and the Aleutian Islands.” (“ Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge,” 1878.)

KAMTCHATKA.

This peninsula,* perhaps the dreariest part of the Russian empire, was not discovered by the Siberian conquerors until the close of the seventeenth century; but in 1697 the work of subjection began, and by 1711 the docile inhabitants, who were only a few savages living under petty chiefs, had submitted to their new masters, who, however, have never been able to gain much glory or revenue from the new territory. The tribute is paid in sable and other furs, and the coast affords few good harbours. The settlements of the “Littoral Province” are still in a very embryonic condition, and likely to continue so. Yet the first sight of Kamtchatka is, to the voyager in whose mind it is associated with “the wolf's long howl from Onalaska's shore," not unpleasing.

He expects ice, glaciers, and the bare lichened rocks of the country in the same latitude on the other side of America. Instead, his eye lights upon hills, covered with trees and verdant thickets, upon valleys white with clover and diversified with little groves of silver-barked birch, and even on rocks gay with wild roses and columbines, as he enters the harbour of Petropavlovski (p. 4), whose red-roofed and bark-thatched log-houses, and green-domed church, contrast pleasingly with the high hills, which “sweep in a great semicircle of foliage” round the quiet pond-like inlet of Avatcha Bay on which the village is placed. Petropavlovski, one of the most isolated of all the spots dedicated to the honour of Peter and Paul, has few “ lions” for the sight-seeing tourist. The two rude monuments to the memory of the famous navigators, Behring and La Perouse, are the visible signs of the better side of the Kamtchatkan village. The grass-grown fortifications, built during the Crimean War to repel the ill-advised and unsuccessful attack of the allied French and English squadrons, and the densely-peopled graveyard not far off, present the history of Petropavlovski in its less pleasing forms. The roar of the allies' cannon was, perhaps, the first intimation that the inhabitants-native Cossacks and peasants—ever had of Turkey and the “ Eastern Question.” But to this day it is customary, on the anniversary of the battle, for all the inhabitants to march in solemn procession “round the town and over the hill from which the storming party was thrown, chanting hymns of joy and praise for the victory.” The extreme length of the Peninsula of Kamtchatka is about 700 miles, and it is divided longitudinally by an almost continuous range of rugged mountains, containing many extinct volcanoes, in addition to five or six in a state of nearly continuous activity. To the north of this range is high level steppe or “dole," a dreary desert, the chosen home of the wandering “ reindeer Koriaks.” The central and southern parts of the peninsula are, according to Mr. Kennan, broken up by the spurs and foot-hills of the great mountain range into deep sequestered valleys of the wildest and most picturesque character, and afford scenery which, for majestic and varied beauty, is not surpassed in all Northern Asia. The climate, except in the north, is comparatively mild and equable, and the vegetation is luxuriant, beyond anything which our pre-conceived ideas of the country would ascribe to it. The population of the Littoral Province the Russian statists put down (in 1873) at 50,512, and of this number Mr. Kennan credits Kamtchatka with 5,000. Of these the Kamtchatkdals are the most numerous. They are settled in little log villages, chiefly near the mouth of the small rivers which rise in the central range and fall into the sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific, and are engaged in fishing, fur trapping, and the cultivation of rye, turnips, cabbages, and potatoes, which grow fairly well as far north as 58°. In the fertile valleys of the Kamtchatka river there are many such settlements, where, an American visitor affirms, the farmers, in spite of their isolation, enjoy as much material comfort as do the occupants of many of the rough, unkempt outposts of civilisation in the United States. The Russians are, for the most part, traders among the Kamtchatkdals, and some of them are freed exiles, or Cossacks of the rudest type. The latter also form the garrisons. The wandering Koriaks are a wild race, who shun civilisation, and rarely come farther south than latitude 58°, and then only for the purpose of trade. They wander about from place to place, depending for subsistence on their large herds of reindeer, and living in fur tents pitched in spots suitable for pasturing their domestic animals. The Russians are prudent enough not to attempt governing these independent folks too much. But the rest of the Kamtchatkdals are nominally ruled by an “Ispravnik,” or district governor, who is at once the judge and the collector of the annual “yassàk,” or tax of furs, which is levied on every male inhabitant in the province. But as in Kamtchatka, pack-horses, canoes, and dog sledges are the only means of getting about in a country where a road is unknown, his Excellency the Ispravnik is rarely seen outside Petropavlovski, where he has his head-quarters. Tagil is another

* The word “Kamtchatka” is derived from “Kontchatj," to terminate.

* Kennan : “ Tent Life in Siberia," p. 38.

« PreviousContinue »