Зображення сторінки

siderate warnings of a true friend. Even if this supposition be unfounded, it is wise to follow the maxim fas est et ab hoste doceri.

Throughout this translation I have endeavoured to interpret the author's ideas as faithfully as the nature of the two languages will permit. Perhaps censure may be. passed on me for thus exposing, according to the author's views, England's faults in her Eastern policy; but I here disclaim all advocacy of his opinions, and merely take upon myself the responsibility of having given utterance to them. Another inducement to my task was the opinion on this work expressed by Professor Vámbéry of Pesth— the eminent Orientalist and well-known traveller in Central Asia : namely, “His book is distinguished throughout by a thorough knowledge of the subject and an agreeable style of writing; the only drawback to it is that zeal for Russian interest has led him occasionally into unfairness in judging England.' This opinion from such a judge on all matters connected with Central Asia will plead for my small contribution to the slender store of information at present possessed of these almost unknown regions.

Although acquainted with German through a tenyears' service in the Austrian cavalry and staff corps and a constant study of that language, I have found many difficulties in translating this work into English, owing to the peculiarities of the modern style of writing, which differs so materially from that of the classical German

| Vide Arminius Vámbéry, History of Bokhara. London: H. S. King & Co., 1873, 8vo. p. 403, note 2.

writers. But to ensure accuracy I submitted my manuscript to the criticism of Mr, Moritz Lippner, a native of Germany, possessing a thorough knowledge of English as well as of his mother tongue, to whom I am indebted for many valuable suggestions.

The orthography of the Eastern and Russian words in English is perplexing and troublesome. As regards the latter, I have followed the system adopted in the compilation of the British Museum Catalogue, and beg here to offer my special thanks to Mr. John T. Naaké, one of the under-librarians of the Museum, who has kindly given me every assistance in this matter, in which he, as a Russian linguist, is so thoroughly conversant. As regards the Eastern words, which in the original are written according to the German method of spelling them, and are consequently unintelligible to any one unacquainted with that language, I have adopted the system recently introduced by the India Office, and followed by such distinguished writers as Colonel Yule, Sir Frederick Goldsmid, and other Oriental scholars. In all quotations I have strictly adhered to the spelling of the Eastern words in the originals, whether they be English, German, or French, and this will account for any incongruities that may occur ; but in the text I have endeavoured to follow one uniform system.

I beg here to express my sincere thanks to the librarians and other officials at the Foreign Office, the India Office, and the British Museum for the readiness with which they assisted me in my undertaking.

The map appended to this translation has been carefully executed from the latest surveys made by the Russiang and from the official map published in March 1873 at St. Petersburg.

Throughout the translation miles, where not specified as English, are German, and feet are Paris feet, designated by P.r. In order to facilitate calculations of distances and heights, where accuracy is desired, I have annexed a tabular forin to show the method of reducing all measures to the English standard.

T. W.


March 1874.

COMPARISON OF FOREIGN MEASURES . WITH ENGLISH. Russian foot = 1 English foot. | Paris foot (P.F.) + 1.066 English foot. 1 French metro - 3.980 English feet.

Russian verst - 0:662 English statute mile. 1 (terman mile-4610 English statute miles. | Nautical or English Goographical mile=l·152 English statute mile. 1 Russian square verst():439 English square mile. i Russian verst, linear mousure ** 3,500 English feet. 1 luglish statute mile -0,280 English foet.


TreT Ruskrar VRESTS INTO Evalisu Statuts UILES.
Versts * 5500 + 3980 = English statute miles


INTERESTS of the most varied kind are bound up with those vast territories, hitherto so little known, which are comprised under the general denomination of Central Asia. The historian knows this to have been once the trysting-place of the numerous powerful hordes of nomadic races, who penetrated into the very heart of Europe, spreading ruin and devastation like a deluge; the geographer knows this region as the one that is still the most imperfectly represented on the map, where rivers, mountains, and cities can only be traced in vague outlines ; the ethnologist recalls to his mind the group of Turanian peoples, together with indistinct ideas connected with them; and, lastly, the politician perhaps looks forward to the collision that may take place between the two greatest powers on earth—the one by sea, and the other by land.

But it is not this alone that involuntarily attracts our attention to Central Asia. In an age when both land and water are ploughed by steam, distances vanish altogether, and that which was once inaccessible now appears easy of access. The opening of the Suez Canal has already shortened the commercial route to the east of Asia ; sooner or later the Euphrates Valley Railway will become an accomplished fact, and then the golden land of India will be bound by bands of iron to the civilised world of


From year to year the construction of the extensive net of Russian railroads progresses, and when the line from Samara to Orenburg, now in course of construction, is completed, we shall be on the confines of the Kirghiz Steppe, through which in a short time military roads will conduct us to Bokhára and Samarcand—those marvellous cities of Islam lying in the very centre of the Asiatic continent. This is by no means the vision of an excited imagination ; for this bringing near of the distant East is partially taking place under our eyes, and that which I have just alluded to will be perhaps actually accomplished in the space of the next twenty years. It is therefore quite natural that science should have of late concentrated its attention on these almost unexplored regions, and is now endeavouring to raise the veil that has rested on them since the days of Marco Polo.

Explorations into Central Asia are being simultaneously carried on by the Russians and the Englishthe two great rivals in the Asiatic world. For many years the former have unceasingly been pushing forward towards the south and the east, and have at the latest period actually extended their sway over those parts to a considerable degree. Here scientific research follows, as

« НазадПродовжити »