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grapher; and when this large force, an actual disciplined army, shamefully let itself be surprised and swept off by a night attack of an inferior body of the Alaman, he underwent captivity and hardship in the tents of the wild men, until it was found possible to come to terms with his captors for his ransom, constantly increasing in the amount demanded. The tribe among whom he resided, too, are the most savage and untameable of the whole race; they form its largest division, and their country is inaccessible as yet to the only chastising power which combines strength and public spirit; in other words, to Russia. These Tekkeh, or children of the he-goat,' are the great and typical Turkoman tribe, holding the same position in that race that the Anezeh hold among the Arabs, or the Comanche among the south-western American Indians. If there were white or brown slave marts in Texas as well as black slave marts, that State would exactly represent settled and Uzbek Turkistan in this latter comparison, which we trust Texan readers will excuse for the sake of the completeness of the remaining analogy. The northern provinces of Mexico--Durango and Chihuahualong stood in identically the same position of a regular hunting ground for Comanche slave-forays that Khorasan stands in towards the Turkomans. The Turkomans in no way resemble the hordes of Timur, overwhelming for conquest's sake, destroying all who resisted, yet always reconstructing and making codes of law in a rough and barbaric but not unjust fashion,—the Yasa of Jenghiz and the Tuzukât of Timur. They are rather as a chronic and unchecked disease, eating its way by corrosion into the body of Persia, and almost into the very vitals of its most extensive province. There is nothing in the world more worthy of commiseration than the fate of the wretched Persians who are the victims of these man-stealers. Yet, after all, it only requires public honesty, good management, and disciplined effort on the part of Persia to hold in check, if not actually to break up and destroy their power. ' And it is just this power, the most hateful feature in Turkistan, which is secured for a long time to come from the wholesome control of Russian conquest by its unapproachable position in the interior,

The closing remarks of this work may perhaps serve to revive a subject of former uneasiness and warmth of discussion among ourselves which has now long lain dormant. Russian encroachment in Central Asia, at one time arrested by the strong hand of winter, laid on the advancing army of Perofski, has for twenty years past substituted a system of military colonies, steadily pushed forward from post to post, for one of direct military invasion,

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the recent wells were dug, impassable in the west, is narrow enough in the east to allow regular troops to pass, with due control of the route, to the valley of the Jaxartes, and the fertile Khanate of Khokand. The barrier of inner Central Asia has now been passed. Russia has for a moment resumed her old military attitude of defiant aggression; and some, if not all, of the Khokand territory, after such resistance as the natives, untutored in war, could offer, has fallen a prey to her victorious arms. On arriving in England, brimful of this news, which had also come to us by driblets through Indian channels, Mr. Vámbéry heard everywhere that it was an absurdity to conceive it to affect our interests or our position in any way. • Let us,' he was told, “hear no more of a question so worn and so out of fashion. If Russia undertakes the meritorious and onerous task of civilization, in such wild and barbarous regions, so much the better for all. England has not the slightest cause to watch such a policy with envy or jealousy.' And Mr. Vámbéry is not quite satisfied with this easy optimistic view of a subject which was enough to destroy the sleep and half-empty the purses of the whole past generation of our statesmen.

For our own part, we profess to understand the meaning of both parties, and are not without sympathy for each. Five-andtwenty years ago Mr. Vámbéry would have found every man of us, Lords and Commons, Palmerston and Urquhart, dailies, weeklies, and quarterlies, hungry and battling for scraps of information about Turkistan, like Turkish street-dogs round a

But now he finds that he has brought his Central Asiatic wares to a very heavy and sluggish market, and he is naturally discontented at meeting with either carelessness or antagonism. On the other hand, so far as the view thus alleged to be the prevalent one in England is the result of conviction, based on a direct increase of knowledge, and on a subordination of petty narrow instincts of hostility or blind self-preservation to the broader interests of humanity rightly perceived, we sympathise with it, and entirely justify our countrymen. But we believe this to be the case only exceptionally, and that our vanity leads us to mistake that for acquiescence which is in reality but apathy. We willingly lend our ears therefore to Mr. Vámbéry when he protests against utterances which are, to a great extent, but the voice of the sluggard complaining that we have roused him too soon—and all the more when the voice, as is its wont, is too self-complacent, not to say pragmatical and self-righteous, in its tones. The last generation bragged in its complacency about the keys of India and the Douranee empire, just as the present generation is bragging about humanity and the British lion lying down with the Russian bear; and it was equally free from misgivings as to its own work. Now we do not like, oldfashioned as we are, this sudden volte-face, turning our back on and stultifying our past selves in this way. Our self-love, not greater, perhaps, than that of other nations, has a window in its breast, and its visceral workings and contortions, under the fierce crave of constant hunger, lie open to the whole world. But Mr. Vámbéry, a stranger among us, who has never read a year's consecutive files of any newspaper, knows nothing of its operations, and is quite unused to the process by which we extract the nutritive matter of self-satisfaction out of circumstances not wholly satisfactory. He therefore seems to grumble a little at the line taken with regard to his political suggestions, which, indeed, are of the very slightest and briefest nature.

We confess we do not hold the circumstances to be wholly, or at least unconditionally, satisfactory. It is assuredly a great boon to humanity that some of the most fertile countries in the world should be restored to life, and touched by the breath of material progress. It is matter of thankfulness that bad and cruel tyrannies, held disgraceful among Asiatic nations themselves, should crumble to dust at the first blow from the Northern giant. To us it seems a matter of absolute certainty that Russia must advance as it were by a law of growth until she has firmly planted her standard on the northern foot of the Hindoo Koosh. Her advance, imperceptible from day to day, is, and has been, slow and resistless as the advance of an Atlantic tide. The nearer England and Russia agree upon certain limits to be maintained immutably by their own moderation, mutual good understanding, and by what may become ultimately their essential identity of policy in Asia, the less will be the chances of hostile collision, and the better for the world. But what we look upon with apprehension is the fathomless gulf of Afghanistan, ever raging with intrigue and discord-never apparently to settle down into a fixed government. This gulf, from the nature of the country, seems likely for a long time to intervene between the two powerful empires. Russian policy has always run in the groove of political intrigue, and her agents cannot perhaps extricate themselves from it if they would; we too are under constant temptation to coquet with the politics of these states ; either party may be led by Asiatic adroitness, the ambition of frontier officers, or other causes,

a course which

may lure both parties on into a monstrous expenditure of blood and treasure. I should like, indeed,' says Mr. Vámbéry, to see the politician who would affirm that Russia, once in possession of Turkistan, would be able to withstand the temptation of advancing, either personally



or by her representatives, into Afghanistan and Northern India, where political intrigues are said always to find a fruitful soil.' No doubt, if there be a defective joint in the defensive armour of our Indian empire, that joint is more liable to be probed now than before. We must just make up our ininds to this. But this gives us all the more reason for tightening the rivets. If there be such a joint in an otherwise noble fabric, it is the want of sympathy between a high and typical European race and the ultra-Asiatic race over which it rules.

There is one condition upon which alone the Russian tenure of Turkistan will be a source of clear satisfaction to us, and that is, a thorough understanding between London and St. Petersburg. What we now deprecate in England is apathy and want of knowledge on the subject—the loose humanitarian or egotistical makeshift writing and the constant oscillation between utter neglect and raving panic. There are even now pamphlets and newspaper articles-1

- more in India than here-written under the last of these influences; perhaps even statesmen may be found here not quite free from it. But if we cannot be roused from apathy by anything short of a panic, we own that we prefer even the panic for the sake of the information we are thereby stimulated to acquire. Information about current politics in this quarter which the unofficial public gets is very meagre and confused, and rarely altogether correct. Something is vouchsafed by Russia, or is picked out of Continental papers; something filters westwards through Persia and Turkey; most of it-perhaps the least authentic part -is taken from the correspondence supplied to Indian papers by their native akhbâr navís or news-writers in Central Asia-mere retailers of bazaar gossip ; and these hardly enable us to construct an intelligible story with all the help of check and countercheck.* When panic rages in England, it is mostly roused by the sensation articles of the Indian press on this last set of alleged facts-articles often written with smartness and ability equal to the best metropolitan standard, but generally provincial in their vehement way of pushing their idea to its extremest. They are unrestrained by the self-control and sense of responsibility so remarkable in our best London papers, because they exercise a less direct influence over Government operations. The energetic and working English class to which their writers belong--the active, ardent, inexorable Englishman whom, when in the harness of progress, we now idealise under the name of

* The • Morning Post' we may distinguish among our jouruals for its assiduous observation and judicious selection of Continental news on the subject. Its own commentary we think a little too tinged with Russophobia, though this perhaps is unavoidable, as the only way of attracting attention.

AngloAnglo-Saxon, has never felt the restraint of a land frontier putting him face to face with an equally powerful empire, such as is familiar to anybody at Paris, Vienna, or Berlin. In India, one of a visibly dominant race, he is apt to become as one ' Jura negans sibi nata,' and he is getting to chafe under the prospect of such a frontier which is likely to enforce on him a new position and new responsibilities. In perusing his facts we are prone to adopt his extreme conclusions; and this goes far to account for our bursts of panic when we are moved at all. The occasional outbreaks of overbearing offensiveness or contumely towards natives, the slight estimation of their ideals and their literature, which are the only blot on our occupation in India, and one for which our Government is not in the least to blame, are evils which must be mitigated, and our sympathy with natives will have to be increased, in front of a power whose whole command over Asiatics is said to lie in her placing them on a footing of social equality with her own central race, and her absence of all caste feeling. Too much has been said, it may be, on the Continent, about her capacity for sympathy and absorption - her Assimilationsfähigkeit,' as those wonderful Germans call it: too little has been said here, we are sure. It may be well to reflect that the words nigger-classic,' applied to Firdausi and Hafız, are not as yet to be found in the Russian dictionaries; and that the two great vernacular languages of extra - Arabian Asia, neglected here, are taught in Russia with admirable vigour and success.

In India nobody is taught Turki, knows anything about it, or seems to have heard of it; and Persian, when learnt voluntarily by us, is learnt as a dead, not as a vernacular language—as the Persian of “Stratfordatte-Bow,' not of the Eastern Frenchmen of Isfahan. Yet the encouragement of Persian study, we believe, would go far in breaking up the standing Mussulman Hetairía which frets under and almost menaces our rule. If Hindustani, adopted by us as the future general language of India, is to be a language, and not a jargon, it must become so by means of its alliance with Persian, the speech which all Indian Mussulmans have at their heart, and use as the one feeder, or channel of other feeders, for all their abstract thought, their politics, science, and poetry.

Military invasion of the territories of a Power holding the Khyber and the Bolan defiles we conceive to be so utterly out of the question as not to be worth a moment's unprofessional discussion. A stampede of irregulars, Timur and Jenghiz fashion, is to the holders of the passes but as a cloud of mosquitos. A regular army would have to cross six passes, only open for a few months, to get from Turkistan to Cabul; and Cabul, viewed and




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