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Kara-kul ("the Dragon lake" of the Chinese), seemed to be genuine, but the description of the town and river of Bolor were probably fictitious. The positions, morcover, of Badakhshan ("Fyzabad" of Wood) and Vokhan were reversed, the latter being far to the east of the former instead of to the west, as the "Travels" and longitudes would seem to indicate. Again, that there was ever a Chinese garrison in Badakhshan, as stated by the German, is opposed to our historical knowledge; and Malik Shah Buzurg resided at Fyzabad, and not at Vokhan. In continuation, the extent of the Pamír Steppes seemed to be much too contracted, and the positions of Tanglak and Terek-chai were transferred from the north to the south of the plateau; and it was further suspicious that in pursuing the valley of the Jaxartes to Kokand, there was no mention of Oosh, or Marghilan, or any of the other large towns of the district.'

The only rejoinder that has been hitherto made to this exposition of errors and impossibilities is something to the following effect. As far as the Russian surveys have extended along the valley of the Jaxartes, the correctness of the German maps has been abundantly verified, testifying beyond all possibility of dispute to their having been executed from actual observation, since at the commencement of the present century—indeed up to times comparatively modern-the whole country of Kokand was almost a 'terra incognita.' The same inference may be drawn from the German's description of Samarcand, which Mons. Khanikoff, who himself visited the city in 1841, declares to be rigidly accurate, though no other modern notice of the place is extant. The Russians again appear to underrate our Indian knowledge of the country between Cashmere and Kashgar, and to think that the alleged ocular observation of the German may be after all as trustworthy as the hearsay evidence of Elphinstone and Raverty, or of Moorcroft, Vigne, and Cunningham. At any rate they appeal to the singular coincidence between the testimony of the German writer and all subsequent information as to the products of the country and the remarkable manners and customs of the inhabitants, and they ask from what source such knowledge could have been acquired in 1806, if not from personal experience. Such arguments assuredly-if the date of 1806, which is endorsed at present on the Petersburg MS., be admitted to be genuine-do appear to be of the utmost cogency; and a not less strong collateral proof of authenticity is to be found in the admitted fact that, although the names assigned to the various localities are not to be recognised in modern geography, still most-or many of these names are philologically correct; Thibetan affixes, for example, being found on the Upper Indus, true Kaffir names in the mountains, Persian vocables in Badakhshan, a thoroughly Turkish nomenclature in Kashgar and Kokand,

Kokand, and even a bonâ fide Calmuck title referring to a Zungarian chief.*

Now in view of such a singular conflict of evidence, if we were called upon to pronounce judicially on the question of the authenticity of these remarkable travels, we should, we think, reject unhesitatingly the whole framework of the story, while we should admit to a certain extent the genuineness of the materials. We should disclaim all belief in the individuality of the German traveller, or in any of his pretended adventures, but we should think it not unlikely that the travels had been compiled and the maps executed from the information and experience of parties who had actually visited Central Asia at the close of the past or beginning of the present century, and had heard accounts of the routes and localities described; such accounts, however, being but imperfectly remembered, and being moreover in many cases so confounded in the report as to be hardly recognisable. With regard indeed to the opening chapters of the Journal, which from their obvious inapplicability to the line of country by Gilgit and Yassín, are sufficient to discredit the entire narrative, we have a suspicion that the route which it was intended to delineate was that conducting to the plateau of High Asia from Peshawer and not from Cashmere. The geographical nomenclature was probably fictitious from the outset; and it would be useless therefore to compare the itinerary with the map; but the general features of the Bajour and Cashcár valleys-as far as we are acquainted with them-would seem to correspond to some extent with the pseudo-traveller's description, and the transfer of the line of route moreover from the north-eastern to the southwestern quarter of the mountain range would serve to explain those notices of true Kaffir characteristics, for which, if the MS. be really of the date assigned to it-and for this the Russian Government is said to hold itself responsible-it would be otherwise impossible to account. We allude especially to the description of the auriferous streams, the vineyards and winebibbing propensities of the inhabitants, their arms, costume, and general appearance, their excessive jealousy of Mahommedans,

The following examples may be quoted of linguistic accuracy in the geographical nomenclature of the travels:--Lumba, which is a mountain ravine' in Balti, occurs in the names of the villages, supposed to be on the frontiers of Baltistan. Imbra-Embra (said to mean the seat of God ') is the name of a peak in the Kafferistan mountains, and Imra is really the Kaffir name for God. In Badakhshan there is the Persian name of Shah-rúd, or royal river,' and there are also numerous derehs or passes. Of true Turkish vocables about Cashgar we have kara-baliq, blank-fish; kara-agatch, black-wood; kara-kul, black lake;' ak-su, white-river: Tamgha, ‘a seal;' Ulús, a camp; kishlaq, a winter pasture,' &c.; and Zeican is also correctly quoted as a Calmuck or Mongolian title.

their singular customs in entertaining guests, their sacrifices and Pagan habits, and even the words which are reported of their language, together with other traits of verisimilitude, which at the commencement of the present century certainly could not have been learnt from any published authority. In the same manner it may be conjectured that the information regarding Badakhshan, Vakhan, Bolor† and Pamír, which is involved in inextricable confusion, was obtained second-hand at Kashgar, while the alleged accuracy of the details relating to the valley of the Jaxartes and Samarcand must be held to prove the actual presence of the agents in those localities. Who the agents may have been, or what was their object in weaving into a pretended personal narrative reports which in their plain unadorned official form would have been equally valuable to the Russian Government, it is of course impossible to ascertain. We have heard it surmised that the anonymous composition may have been a 'jeu d'esprit' of the celebrated Klaproth, founded partly on the vast stores of information regarding Central Asia which he had accumulated from Chinese, Mongolian, Arabic and mediæval authorities, and partly on the modern and unpublished reports of the Jewish agent, Agha Mehdi, Dr. Honigberger ‡ and others; and certainly if any one, who had not personally visited Turkestan, were capable of the mystification, he was the man; §


*For instance, Immir-umma is given as the name of the spot where the Kaffirs offer sacrifice; and this is the exact title applied by Elphinstone to the Kaffir temples. It means the place of God.' See Elphinstone's Cabul,' vol. ii. P. 379.

+ The notice of a large town entitled Bolor, and situated upon a river of the same name to the west of the Pamir plateau and north of Badakhshan, is entirely fabulous; and certainly suggests a modern date for the compilation, since Klaproth, misunderstanding his Chinese authorities, has fallen into precisely the same geographical error in his memoir in the Magasin Asiatique' for 1821. The name of Bolor or Belur was unknown to the old Mahommedan geographers, and is very rarely used even by modern Arabic or Persian writers. It owes its chief celebrity to the notices of Marco Polo and of the Chinese, and, as far as these authorities are concerned, agrees sufficiently well with the explanation first suggested, we believe, by Cunningham (see Ladakh,' p. 45), that it is nothing more than a corruption of the vernacular title of Palolo, by which Baltistan is known to the Dards. In this view Belur will apply to the whole country stretching from Ladakh to Pamír, including not only the modern Baltistan, but also Hunza-Nager, Gilgit, and Yassin. Bournouf's derivation of Belur from the Sanscrit Vidur, which is a name for the lapis-lazuli, though approved by Von Humboldt, has really nothing to recommend it but its ingenuity. The resemblance, indeed, of Bolor to the Persian word Bilúr, used for 'crystal,' is probably a mere accident.

Dr. Honigberger was a medical man in the Sheikh service who travelled from the Punjab by Cabul, Bokhara, and Kokand, and thence through Russia to Europe, shortly before the period of the Afghan war. Dr. Honigberger is still, we believe, residing in Cashmere, but we are not aware whether any detailed account of his travels has been ever published.

§ Suspicion has probably fallen on Klaproth because he is known at different periods

but here again the date of 1806, attached to the MS. and registered, as it is said, in the official archives of Russia, would seem to be fatally opposed to such an explanation, since Klaproth at that early period was only just commencing those Oriental studies for which he was afterwards so famous. We shall be glad, then, if the pending controversy between the English and Russian geographers leads to any definite result; not only in the interests of science, but with a view to the extrication of all unprejudiced enquirers from a state of most disagreeable suspense.

Our present sketch would be imperfect if we did not acknowledge the obligations which Indian and Central Asian geography lies under to its native auxiliaries. That Russia has largely profited by this source of supply has been already mentioned in our notice of Agha Mehdi, and the traders between Semipolatinsk and Cashmere; and the reports of English agents from the same countries have been not less valuable or extensive. Meer Izzet Ollah, indeed, who was Moorcroft's factotum in his early wanderings, was the first to make us acquainted with the high road from Ladakh by Yarkend and Kashgar to Kokand and Bokhara; and the same route was followed forty years later by another native agent, Khwajeh Ahmed Shah, who was sent from India in 1852 in search of Lieutenant Wyburd. Other travellers have since verified the accounts of the native explorers along different portions of the route, but no one else has traversed the entire line from point to point, nor is there any account of the route in English to be consulted by the student of geography but the above mentioned itineraries, first published in Calcutta periodicals. It must also be remembered that Captain Raverty was indebted to native travellers for all the geographical details contained in his excellent papers on Swát, on Kafferistan, on Chitral or Cashcár, and on Panj-korah, which have severally appeared in the Calcutta Asiatic Journals, and which afford us the only exact information that we as yet possess regarding what may some day become the high road of commerce between the Punjab periods of his life to have been engaged in the preparation of reports on Central Asia of a secret and confidential nature. One of these Reports, indeed, 'On the Geographical and Political Condition of the Countries intervening between Russia and India,' is said to have been purchased by our Government at the time of the Afghan war for the enormous sum of one thousand guineas, and to be still reposing in the archives of our Foreign Office, enriched with a large number of marginal notes in the handwriting of the late Lord Palmerston. If this be true, we would recommend the indefatigable President of our Royal Geographical Society to undertake the disinterment of the Report, not only in the interests of science, but with a view to its possible bearing on the vexed question of the authorship of the anonymous Russo-German manuscript.


and Tartary. This route was first investigated by Lieutenant Macartney, and is twice alluded to in Elphinstone's work on Cabul.* Edward Conolly attempted to explore it in 1840, but was driven from the mountains by the Bajouries, especially jealous at that time of an intrusion upon their fastnesses; nor indeed has any single European that we are aware of, except Mr. Gardiner, succeeded up to the present time in disarming suspicion, and obtaining access to this interesting region. The route in question, according to Raverty's information, follows up the Penj-korah branch of the Landaí river to Dír, the capital of the district (other authorities would conduct it up the Bajour river which lies in a parallel valley); it then crosses the Las-púr range to Drush in lower Cashcár, and from thence follows up the Cashcar or Chitral valley to Mastúj, where the road bifurcates, one branch continuing up the valley to the table-land of Pamír and descending on Yarkend, while the other, which has been already alluded to, crosses the great range to Badakhshan and the valley of the Oxus. Raverty says of this line of route:


The road is somewhat difficult between Panj-korah and Drush' (perhaps the line by the Bajour valley may be easier), but beyond it is very good, and the country is like a vast plain, gradually sloping upwards towards the high table-land of Pamír to the north-east; consequently there would be no difficulty for the passage of light artillery.' †

And a friend of Colonel Gardiner's, quoting his authority, uses almost the same language.

'The best road,' he says, 'to the north from Peshawer is by the Swát valley. It is a caravan road as far as Anveh (or Mastúj ?).‡ Colonel Gardiner travelled over this route, and describes the dividing range between the Anveh territory and the Badakhshan valley as very gradual and easy of ascent, and declares that guns could be taken over without dismounting them. There is no traffic by this route at present, owing to the war in Gilgit, but Colonel Gardiner always declared, and from all I have heard in the country I am quite ready to endorse his opinion, that the true road from Northern India to Yarkend, as well as the valley of the Oxus, was viâ the Swát and Chitral valleys.'

Again, in Major James's celebrated Report on the Kokand embassy in 1861, he particularises this route by the Bajour and Upper Kunér valleys, as the most direct, though, perhaps, the

*See Elphinstone's 'Cabul,' pp. 26 and 389.

+Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal,' No. 294, No. II., 1864, p. 130.

Anveh is only mentioned in one passage of the published Journal of Mr. Gardiner, p. 19; but it is probable that it was more fully described in the account of his journey through Kafferistan, which was lent to Sir A. Burnes, and was supposed to have been lost in the plunder of the Resident's house at Cabul.


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