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the various component parts of the vast region loosely called Central Asia by us, and High Asia by the Germans, are neither precise nor clear, and require some modification on a more systematic basis. At one time, everything east of the Caspian, south of the Siberian frontier, and north of Persia and Afghanistan, was called Independent Tartary, in contradistinction to the immense space bounding it on the east, called sometimes Chinese Tartary, sometimes Mongolia, from the race of men then supposed exclusively to inhabit it. This last covered everything in the Chinese empire except China Proper, the Manchu country, and Tibet ; but its south-western portion, immediately adjoining the outlying dependencies of Northern India, was commonly called Little Bucharia--it is impossible to conceive why. A more extended intercourse with Asiatics has led to a better knowledge of the ethnology and geography of these parts, and consequently to the partial adoption of the more reasonable terminology which distinguishes them as Chinese Turkistan, Russian Turkistan, and Independent Turkistan. The Mongols are not a settled people, and have hardly any towns ;* indeed, so far as the country called Mongolia, west of the Gobi, has towns at all, these towns are of Turkish race in its oldest and purest form. But the unsettled and nomadic tribes of the same parts are equally of Turkish race, and even appear to form a majority rather than a minority as compared with the Mongols. These are the Kirghiz, who range eastwards up to the very desert of Gobi. This name is restricted to one branch alone among themselves, their general name being Kazâk. The Russians spell or
* The chief Mongol towns, such as Urga, lie on the high road between Pekin and the Russian frontier, traversed three or four times of late years by Europeans. The Mongols, however, have a native word, khoto, for a city; the Turks have no native word. Shahr is Persian—the ancient kshatram, the root of the kshatrapa, satrap, or town-ruler : keuy, to us a familiar name of Ottoman villages, is the Persian kúy, itself obsolete and poetical, but surviving in vernacular Persian in its diminutive kúcha, a street : kand, as old as the name of Alexander's Maracanda for Samarcand, is Persian, and means excavation or digging; borrowed by the Arabs, and under the form khandak, it gave the Saracenic and Venetian pame to the island of Candia: Baligh for bâylili
, known to us by the name Khan-baligh, Milton's and Marco Polo's Cambalu, given by the old Turks to the ` Imperial city' Pekin, has a Persian root, only living in poetry, and obsolete in the spoken language, Bûy, a rich man; so that it means “ a place of wealthy or great people.' Of this root we shall say more further on. It is curious that no systematic attempt has yet been made to investigate the civilisation of Central Asia by means of the evidence afforded by the Turkish language, after the manner so excellently applied to the Finnish by Arndt and to the Malay by Crawfurd, worthy of implicit trust so long as he is on Malay ground or water. The Turk's inherent helplessness on water is one of our most prominent stock fables about him. Yet the old dwellers by the Balkash had natire words for ship and boat, the large and the
mall; for mast, sail, stern, oar, nd rope; for bridge and road; oud so with other branches of invention. We have only space to mention the subject as a bare suggestion.
call this Kaisak, perhaps to distinguish them from the Slavonic Christian Cossacks, so well known to us, whose name, nevertheless, is the same, with a slight difference, as that of the wild Turk robbers. Chinese Turkistan, then, may be held to represent the former Little Bucharia, being the province called Altishehr, or the Six Cities, by its Turkish natives, and Nan-lu by the Chinese. To this may be added the area of Kirghiz pastoral migration within the Chinese empire. Russian Turkistan is actually the name officially adopted for the new government or province of that empire, comprising the Kirghiz steppe from the Aral to the Issik-kul, or Hot Lake, together with the recent conquests? — whatever may be their exact amount - from the territory of Khokand. Independent Turkistan consists of the three principalities or governments into which the Uzbek immigrant conquerors, the last wave of Turkish aggression in Asia, have crystallized or grouped themselves. The most inaccessible of these, Khokand, is, broadly speaking, the valley of the Upper Jaxartes, a very fertile and anciently-peopled district, the seat of both commerce and cultivation, having many towns bearing Persian names, and a considerable population of Tâjik, or extraIranian, Persian race. Our former maps showed a range of mountains running due north and south, forming right angles with the Altai and Himalaya, variously called Belût Tagh or Billûr Tagh, the Mountains of Clouds or of Crystal, as the eastern frontier of this country. This, under the name of Bolor, has been restricted of late to the southern portion alone, immediately abutting on the junction of the Himalaya and the so-called Hindu Kush. North of this the mountains trend eastwards, and form the southern boundary of the valley of the Jaxartes, the origin of which lies in the Muz-tagh, and the extension of which is much further to the east than has been laid down until very recently. The second principality is that of Bokhara. This is the valley of the Zar-afshan, or Gold-strewer, a river rising in those unknown mountains which lie between the headwaters of the Oxus and the upper Jaxartes, and which, so far as we know, shelter the undescribed Hill States of Hisar and Karategîn from the aggression of their Lowland neighbours.* To this may be added the central portion of the valley of the Oxus ; so that Bokhara corresponds in a general way with the ancient Bactriana, although it lost the essential part of that province when shorn of the territory of Balkh by the invasion of our old enemy and subsequent ally Dost Mohammed of Cabul. The third is Khiva. This is the lower valley of the Oxus, the ancient Chorasmia, in
* Hisêr is said to have been conquered last year by the Emir of Bokhara. Vol. 117.-No. 234.
the inscriptions Urarazmi, still called Khwârezm in Oriental classics and modern official style. All of these Governments are cast in precisely the same mould ; in all the dominant race is Uzbek Turkish, as distinguished from any other Turkish clan or subdivision; in all the subjugated class is of the old Persian race called Tajik, or, in Khiva, Sart, with a tendency to exchange its old language for the increasing Turkish. The soil is cultivated in all, except Khokand, by slave labour, the produce of slave forays carried on by nomadic tribes, under the control of the Uzbek authorities, at the expense of their more civilized or sectarian neighbours. From this source, too, domestic slavery is continually recruited with an unfailing supply of victims, and the wild tribes which kidnap for these infamous slave-marts are also the chief instruments of mutual warfare among the Princes themselves in their intestine feuds,
To the independent traveller from Western Europe this portion of Turkistan is practically accessible on the southern side alone. Access to Turkistan from the north, across the broad wastes of the Kirghiz steppe, naturally enough depends solely on the cooperation and goodwill of Russia, and that Power has, of course, always reserved its influence for its own agents employed on diplomatic or commercial business. Such reservation has not been so much from illiberality as from its having hitherto had no superfluous influence to bestow on travellers for other purposes in this quarter. We pass over, therefore, the northern approaches to Independent Turkistan, as also the eastern approaches from the Himalayan side through the Chinese provinces. To say nothing of the vigour and the wonderful detective adroitness displayed by the Chinese authorities in carrying out their system of strict exclusion
-an adroitness once baffled, however, by the Schlagintweits in their visit to Khoten-this part of the world is only just short of inaccessible physically. The pass from our tributary province of Ladakh, a dependency of Cashmere, which leads, under the name of Kara-korum, over the Muz-tagh, or Ice Mountains, is upwards of 19,000 feet high, and is, we believe, the second pass in the world in ascertained elevation. The long southern line, stretching from the south-eastern angle of the Caspian to the roots of the Himalaya, along which settled Asia stands, as it has ever stood, confronting nomadic and Scythian Asia, affords the only available choice of routes. These resolve themselves into two sets or groups, the Persian and the Afghan. The former group comprises two main roads, cach of which, however, has one or two subordinate alternative tracks, used when the others are unsafe from robbers or otherwise. One of these may be called the Hyrcanian route, leading from Mâzanderân to Khiva, across
the old bed of the Oxus, through the region of the Younut Turkomans. By this route Arthur Conolly tried to reach Khiva, but failed, having been kept wandering round and round in an aimless circle by his Turkoman escort, bent on defeating his object. The second route is that by Meshed and the Desert and Oasis of Merv,—a district which its very ancient name shows to have been always more or less a desert.* Of the Afghan routes, the principal is that from Herat, converging with the last-named Persian route at Merv. The second is, perhaps, better known to us than any, being that which passes from Cabul over the Hindoo Koosh to Bamiyân, and thence by the valley of Khulin to Balkh. Most of this was frequently traversed-once, for its mountain portion, by a military force -during our Afghan occupation. As things stand now and since the Afghan war, however, a traveller could only hope to enter Turkistan in this direction with the permission and the countenance of the Afghan authorities; and these, though their goodwill might be secured through a resolute exertion of influence by their powerful neighbour of Peshawer, are now more vigilant and suspicious, more sharp-set and skilled to nose out a lurking Frank, especially one of the English type, than even the
Uzbeks themselves. Nor, as we have said is the case with the Russians in Turkistan, would our authorities of North-western India throw away such influence for any considerations short of material State necessity. As for the south-western routes, any attempt to enter Turkistan from that side would not meet with any adequate support from Persia ; for Persia, save by fits and starts, is quite powerless to protect her own unfortunate subjects, and it could only be made with the consent and under the hazardous escort of marauding Turkomans, with whom the sale of human beings is not a mere transaction but an exciting passion.
When Turkistan is once reached, the difficulties and obstacles which there lie in the path of the Frank must be considered as originating with the rulers rather than with the mass of the people. Mahometanism has of late years here assumed a character of narrowness and bigotry as yet unexampled in the history of Islam, yet deriving its support from the most literal interpretation of the Koran and the Sunnet. This spirit of bigotry
* In Sanskrit Maru, a desert or dead soil: in the Zend Avesta Môuru, and even now locally often called mowr. It must always have been surrounded by deserts, however much greater must have been the proportion of fertile land in anciert times, irrigated by means of the Murghâb. Such deserts must not therefore be attributed to denudation of timber and desiccation produced by the hand of man, as we are apt to suppose too universally at present. 2 1 2
is further inflamed by the universal sentiment or avowed article of faith, that the Frank traveller is but the forerunner of the Frank conqueror. A hundred anecdotes referring to this feeling are scattered
and down works of recent travel in Central Asia, some of which may probably occur to the reader. The neatest Asiatic speech, and the one best embodying a formula, we think to be that of a former Grand Vizier of Persia, and bitter opponent -in Russian interest, and perhaps more—of England, Haji Mirza Aghasi, who once said to a diplomatist, with a curious anticipation of his imperial patron's simile, ‘Yes, Frank politics over here are like Frank doctoring—you come and feel our pulse, say we are very ill, then take our money, and bleed us to death.' We meditate with wonder on the ingenuity of argument which enables European officials to hold their own in controverting this position in discussion with shahs and viziers; we feel indeed much as Eothen felt when he admired his own dragoman trying to argue down the hostile Arabs who sought to compass his death, for making so good a fight out of an untenable line of defence. Here at home we can easily call down, ex machina, our new political god, material progress, and appeal transcendentally
, to the overruling rights of encroaching and civilized Europe when in contact with stagnant Asia. But it is difficult to put this into the Jaghatâi Turkish, so as to be acceptable, or even intelligible, to an Uzbek with a drawn sword, and the traveller's life in his grasp.
The Uzbek ruler feels himself already undergoing Eastern punishment — walled in alive, brick by brick, in the advancing and inexorable structure of Russian, and, as he also thinks, of English conquest and dominion. It is no wonder that he increases rather than relaxes his supervision of every stranger who visits his territories, and turns the spiritual as well as the temporal means at his command to account for this purpose. The recrudescence of that Mahometan bigotry which is now the distinguishing mark and the chief glory of the Uzbek in Islam, has waxed strong in Turkistan since the beginning of the century. It has no connexion with similar sentiments currently alleged and taken for granted, though on imperfect, confused, and unsifted evidence, to prevail in the Ottoman East. Nor does it seem to have been the result of the strong Puritan movement of the Wahhâbis—with which, as unorthodox or hyperorthodox, it would be in antagonism. Nor do we know, with our slight means of judging, whether it is affected by the orthodox continuation of the Wahhâbi movement transferred, under that name, to Indian ground, where, with augmented impulse, it worked, and yet works, with a fervour little known or noticed in