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From The Quarterly Review. I Bokhara seems not to have been of CENTRAL ASIA.*
much antiquity at the Mahommedan conThe first two works on our list were is-quest. Moslem writers, cited by Vámsued before the late revival of excitement béry as asserting that the city's name about Central Asian questions. The pub- meant in the language of the idolaters lication must, in each case, have been in- “a place of study," indicate its true origin. spired by a happy prescience, or guided The site is said to have been a hollow by singular good fortune.
covered with marshy jungle. Here, then, Of Professor Vámbéry's book, we can- l amid the reeds and wild-fowl, some pious not speak at such length as it might just- Buddhist ascetics established their Vily claim. It is the only history of Bo-hára, just as the early monks of our own khara in existence ; the narrative is main-l lands sat down amidst the fens of Ely or tained with surprising spirit ; and the Glastonbury. It is interesting thus to proportions assigned to each period are trace in the name of Holy Bokhara a adjusted with great judgment, and free flood-mark, in the extreme north-west, of from prolixity. The author uses a vari- that strange influence of Hindu religion ety of new Oriental sources, and intro- which has spread in an opposite quarter duces us to dynasties now named in an to far Japan and the Moluccas. European book for the first time. They, indeed, as might be expected, are not We had selected for extract passages the dynasties whose history affords treating of the accession of the Amír the most attractive episodes. The at- Maasum (1784), and his invasion of Merv, tention must flag over the barren wars because they touch characteristics of and bigotries of the later Uzbeg rule, till Central Asia; the pharisaic Islamism of that rule reaches a climax of degradation Bokhara ; the slaving raids, which are in Nasrullah Khan, best identified to the scourge of the whole Khorasan fronEnglish readers as the unpunished mur-tier; the processes by which tracts of derer of Conolly and Stoddart, father of Asia, once fertile and populous, become the present Amír Mozaffar, on whose un- the irretrievable prey of barrenness. But happy head, as Professor Vámbéry re-space affords but one extract, which we marks, the ancient Hebrew proverb, that take from a letter addressed to the Amír “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, by Aga Mahommed Shah in 1797, and and the children's teeth are set on edge,” which contains a remarkable recognition of has found a rare and rapid completeness the national unity of the Turkish races : of verification. In the base reign of Dost thou perchance wish to renew the old Nasrullah a new and vast power rises wars between Iran and Turan? For such a luridly on the horizon of Bokhara.
task thou art verily not suficient. To play
with the tail of the lion, to tickle the tiger in * 1. History of Bokhara, from the Earliest Period
the ear, is not the part of a prudent man. Yet down to the Present. By Arminius Vámbéry. London, 1873.
| all men are descended from Adam and Eve, 2. A Journey to the Source of the River Oxus. By and if thou art proud of thy relationship to Captain John Wood, Indian Navy. New Edition, / Turanian princes, know that my descent is edited by his Son. With an Essay on the Geography
also from the same. ... We all of us owe of the Valley of the Orus. By Colonel Henry Yule, 1 C.B. 1872.
thanks to God, the Almighty, that he hath 3. Correspondence with Russia respecting Central given the dominion over Turan and Iran, over Asia. Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Rúm, Rús, China, and India, to the exalted Command of Her Majesty. 1873. Nos. 1 and 2. family of Turk. Let each be content. ... I (Quoted below as A and B.)
4. Die Russca in Centralasien. Von F. v. Hell. also will dwell in peace within the ancient wald. Wien, 1369.
boundaries of Iran, and none of us will pass 5. a General Report on the I'uszufzais. By H. W. over the Oxus. — P. 355. Be lew, Assistant Surgeon, Corps of Guides. Lahore,
?! It is indeed a notable fact that for more 1894.
6. Report on Peshawar District. By Major H. than eight centuries at least, unless the James, C.B. Lahore, 1371.
w Janarchy that followed the death of Nadir 7. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. Vol. XXVIII.: Notes on Kafiristan; and Vol. XXXI. : Shah show a kind of exception, no dyAccount of Suwat, &c. By Captain H. G. Raverty. Inasty of other than Turanian blood has reigned in Iran; nor, during that time, disguises of the familiar Balkh and B1has any dynasty of Iranian blood held dakhshan ; whilst we hardly recognize the high power anywhere in Asia.
Lion of the Panjáb under the form of The English of Vámbéry's work is far Rondjit, or Naoshera (more strictly Note above the ordinary run of anonymous shaira), the scene of his triumph over the translations. There are some odd mis- Afghans, under that of Nutcherov. takes in it, but they evidently spring from The last chapter of the “ History of the translator's want of familiarity with Bokhara” is headed “ Emir Mocaru Oriental subjects, and not from defective eddin and the House of Romanor." This knowledge of either German or English. gives a spirited sketch of Russian prog. Dr. Vámbéry gives us incidentally many ress in Turkestan. Vámbéry, it need not curious etymologies. We are glad to be- be said, is no friend to Russian agytadlieve him when he tells us that Mankbar- dizement, but in this history he writes ni, the cognomen of Jalaluddin, the gal- impartially and does full justice to Rus. lant king of Chorasmia, meaning “the sian valour and enterprise. Sniveller," is an error for Mangbardi, In General Duhamel's memorandum on “ the Heaven-sent." Still the meanings a diversion against British India, rewhich he assigns to the names of the cently published by the "Allgemeine Zei. Tartar tribes are trivial enough. He tung," on nothing is so much stress laid considers the name of the great tribe of as on the necessity of Afghan alliance. Kerait to have been a corruption of Kirit, And it was a just perception of this that “ Grey Dog.” Nanghit, the tribe to led to our fatal enterprise of 188. The which the reigning house of Bokhara be- importance attached to the Russia longs, he interprets as “Sick Dog”! agency in that quarter was perfectly weil Kungrat, the race from which the Khans founded, however disastrous the shape of Cathay used to select their hand- that our rulers gave to their consequent maidens, according to that strange sys- action. The third part of a century tem of competitive marks described by the measure of a generation - has passed Marco Polo, and still surviving as an since then, and great indeed has been the Uzbeg clan, is “ Chestnut Horse ; ” and approximation of the two empires. The Oirat, another tribe of great fame in advance has not been all on the Russian the Mongol wars, is “ Grey Horse." We side. In 1838 our frontier posts were on hesitate when our author asserts the sur- the left bank of the Sutlej, and of these name of Timour, Gurgán, as commonly Ferozpore alone was within 300 miles of written, to be properly Köreken, meaning the Indus. In 1873 the Indus and all its “ Handsome," and to be merely the name | Indian tributaries are within our frontier, fo the particular family from which the which practically extends to the foot of conqueror was sprung. We have always the Bolan Pass leading to Southern understood the title Gurgán, to be a Mon- Afghanistan, as well as to the jaws of the gol term, meaning “ Son-in-law,” which Khyber leading to Kábul. Russia was was applied formally to chiess espoused then at Orenburg ; she is now at Sumarto ladies of the Great Khan's family, and kand; and her troops have been at Shahr which was bestowed on Timour because Sabz. Roundly speaking the direct inone of his wives was a daughter of the terval between Ferozpore and Orenburg last Mongol emperor at Cambaluc. Hence was more than 1800 miles, that between he is called by the Chinese Timour l'uma, Peshawar and Samarkand is less than a term having the same application. 500.
We bow to Professor Vámbéry's Ozbes, The history of the Russian advance without adopting a symbol that only puz- from the old frontier has been sketched zles an English reader; and we doubt in former numbers of this Review by the not he has reasons for writing Belkh and hand of a master. The last of these Bedakhshan (though why in the name of consistency not Bedekhshan ?), but in See “Quarterly Review" for October, 1865, and an English book we protest against these October, 1863.
brought the narrative to the battle of the territory from the Aral to the ThianIrjár and the capture of Khojand.
shan and the Zungarian frontier. GenThe battle of Irjár, fought May 20th eral Kaufmann was selected for the new 1S66, at a spot near the left bank of the government. The Amír in this interval Jaxartes between Tashkand and Khojand, made some half-hearted and futile aiwas won by the Russians at very small tempts at negotiation, followed by recost; their friendly historian von Hello newed hostilities. In May, 1868, the wald says, “Some dozens of wounded Russian advanced posts were at Tashwere the loss spoken of ;" * but it was an Kopruk, or “the Stone Bridge,” on one important day in the history of Central of the branches of the Zarafshán, or Rive Asia.
er of Samarkand. On the 13th the force The Amír of Bokhara there first came about 8000 men and 16 guns) went forinto personal contact with Russian disci- ward. A vain attempt was made to stop pline, courage, and artillery ; he had to them by a pretence of negotiations ; but fiee for his life, leaving his whole camp General Kiufmann paid no attention, equipage, guns, and material. It was dif- and the Zarafshán was crossed in the ficult to maintain illusions when Russian face of the Uzbeg batteries. The Amír's round-shot were bowling by him, and troops, amounting to some 40,000 men, Cossack spears pressing upon his crup- and posted most favourably, left their per; and, for the first time, the hard guns and ran as soon as the Russians shell of arrogance and ignorance was drew near. The gates of Samarkand pierced by some perception of his own were closed against the fugitives, but ineffable weakness before the power that opened to the enemy. he had provoked. Vámbéry calls Irjár The Amír's last attempt at resistance the Canne of Turkestan, but perhaps against the invaders was made (June 14) Plassey would be a happier parallel, not at Sirpúl, about sixty miles on the Boonly in the results of the victory, but in khara side of Samarkand, ending, as usual, the disparity of the victor's force and the in the complete rout and dispersion of insignificance of his losses. Khojand the Amír's forces and capture of their was stormed a fortnight later (6th June). guns, and was followed by the peace The half of Khokand, with two out of its which transferred to Russia all the Bothree most important cities, had now khara territory from Katte-Kurghán eastpassed into the Russian empire, and the ward, accompanied by a war indemnity Khan heid what was left him at the pleas- and the fullest concession of commercial ure of the Czar; the Russians, therefore, privileges.* had nothing to dread in rear of their ad- Simultaneously an episode occurred at vance to Bokhara. The Amír looked far Samarkand which reads like a repetition and near for help in vain.
of events in India. Major von Stempel had Count Dashkoff, who had succeeded to been left behind in the old citadel with dethe command, advanced. The fortress tachments amounting to 658 men includof Uratippa was stormed on the 2nd ing sick. A force brought by Jura and October, 1866; and Jizzakh on the 18th. Baba Bey, the chiefs of Kitáb and Shahr A pause followed, during which an impe- Sabz, to the aid of Bokhara, and consistrial ukase ( 16th (28th) July, 1867] recon- ling of many thousands, after an attempt structed the Russian administration in to decoy the garrison to a distance from Central Asia, placing under one general the walls, with the treacherous connigovernment of Turkestan the whole of vance of the native officials, entered the
city, and for eight days continued their Yet this Austrian writer speaks of the “ murderous assaults, by day and night, upon the very fire" of the Amir's artillery, and says he was provided
imperfect defences of the citadel. These through English aid with excellent rifled cannon and Miniě small-arms. It is strange that so intelligent a were maintained in the most heroic and writer can be so credulous. He is surpassed, however, by the Petersburg Mir, which states that England is organizing Chinese troops in H'estern China to use * We nowhere find a trustworthy statement of the against the Russians! -- Times, March 29th.
indefatigable manner, with heavy loss in-lin the jaws of Dis. Bokhara, alread deed (221 killed and wounded), but with more than half devoured, out parting with an inch of ground ; and ch
| Che 'l capo ha dentro e fuor le gambe mena; on the 20th June the return of General Kaufmann brought relief to this illus- Khokand, mutilated and still, but his trious garrison.
head yet spared, We may mistrust the objects of the
Vedi come si storce, e non fa motto. conquering Russian, or feel that his interest and ours are hard to reconcile : ! Khiva, “che par sì membruto," the most but it is impossible to feel much compas
| bloated sinner of the three, even is he sion for the conquered Uzbeg. The feels the “maciulla," the heckle of the memory of Conolly and Stoddart is mighty grinders closing upon him, ces enough to bar that.' Nor surely can any up a show of the old insolence. Englishman read the details of Russian! There is one particular name which feats like this defence of Samarkand | haunts the geographical utterances of without a glow of sympathy, and the re- some of our daily teachers, as the cle of membrance of many a parallel story on King Charles 1. haunted the memories Indian soil.
of one of Mr. Dickens's eccentrics --- it is Not long afterwards the Amír had to the Bolor Dágh. At one time conviction seal his humiliation by calling in Russian dawns of the fact that this Bolor Dish aid to put down a rebellion which his heir, belongs, like phlogiston or the primx* Abdul Malik Mirza, bad raised, with the mobile, to an obsolete system. But it is assistance of the chiefs of Shahr Sabz on only for a moment; a few dau's pass, and the south of the Aksai mountains, which we find our old friend the Bolor Dach bound the valley of the Zarafshán. Karshi revived, like the “ De il that was del (November 1868), and, on a renewed oc- in the old Scotch rhyme, and playing 25 casion two years later, Shahr Sabz itself, important a part as ever. the cradle of Timour, * were occupied by The reality represented in some me 15Gencral Abramoff, but faithfully made ure by this name of Bolor Dágh, coover to the Amír of Bokhara.
demned to geographical obiivion by the Evidently, however, it rests with Rus
error and fiction with which it has got sia to advance ber boundary to the Oxus inextricably connected, is the mounti: when she thinks it for her advantage. mass on which lies the great plateau of And in the recent correspondence be
Pamir. M. Severtzoff and some other tween Lord Granville and Prince Gort- geographers give this miss the name of chakoff the probability of that advance Tsung-ling, applied to it by the Chinese seems almost frankly implied.
from time immemorial, and which has That correspondence and the discus- perhaps as fair a claim to adoption as sions on it have brou rht up many names those of kuen-lun and Thian-shan, which destined perhaps to be better known, but have long acquired all the rights of cit. heretofore little famibar. Nor has this izenship. But we shall adhere to the sudden revival of the Central Asian ques- name of Pamir as less outlandish. This tion in a new phase found some of our seems to be the “ Mountain Parnassus' most potent authorities of the press well of Aristotle, “the greatest of all iha: efup in their reography. To quote exam- ist towards the winter sunrise," from ples would be invidious, though it would which flowed down Indus, Bactrus. be the best justification of our desire to Choaspes, Araxes, and other rivers of the devote the remainder of this paper to an largest size. To this the old Parsi traciattempt, aided by free use of the works tions seem to point as the origin and before us, to sketch some of the main nucleus of the Aryan migrations. And facts of the geography of the countries to this day it is a centre round which between the two empires, and especially cluster in a very remarkable manner frisof the tracts named in the recent corre- ments of old Aryan nations. On this spondence.
central boss of Asia the oldest ManomWe must limit our field, and do not in- medan invaders would seem, by their tend to touch on the three great northern identification with Gihon end Phison of Khanates. Their fate seems fixed as that the great rivers which descend from its of the three sinners whom Dante beheld sides, to have believed that the terres
| rial paradise was to be sought. This is
the northern Imaus of Ptolemy, over • This is the Sherri Yebst taken possession of by which caravans passed to Serica for slik. the Russians according to B. p. 51. One incies at first that they had secured a buti of some famous dry vintage. | Anu our most modern geographers Concur with Ptolemy in regarding this great neutral name which our Indian travellers physical and political watershed as but a had already given it of Kizil Yart. prolongation of the great Himalya To Taking this sierra as the northern limthis day, thirty-five years after Captain it, the Pamir Steppe may be reckoned to Wood's winter journey to one of the chief have a length of about 180 miles from sources of the Oxus on the Pamir pla- north to south, with a breadth of about teau, no second European has stood half. It rises at the highest part to 15,upon that upper story of the world ; 600 feet above the sea, and seems to conand though native explorers have round-sist in the main of stretches of tolerably ed his data and extended route-measure-level ground, broken and divided by low ments across the whole breadth of the rounded hills, and in many places whitengreat watershed, it is still to that officer ed with salts, but interspersed with that we are indebted for the core and patches of willow and thorny shrubs, and spine of our geography of the Upper in summer with tracts of luxuriant grass, Oxus. We regret that Captain Alexan- the fattening properties of which have der Wood, in republishing his father's been extolled by various travellers from narrative, did not give us a regular biog- Marco Polo downwards. Many lakes, raphy of the author.* The slight sketch apparently shallow and varying in extent that he does present of his history, the with the season, are scattered over the charm of character which shines from surface. Deer (or some animal so called the narrative itself, and the high import by native travellers) are numerous near ance and interest of his exploration mark the waters, and the great sheep to which him as one entitled to a permanent place Mr. Blyth gave the name of Ovis Poli, afamong English worthies.
ter the traveller who first mentioned it, If we look to the Pamir plateau, prop- seems to be found all over the plateau. erly so called, the whole drainage of its According to one native traveller the wild surface flows by various branches either yak, a characteristic animal of the higher to the Oxus, or to that great central drain Himalya, is also found on Pamir. of Eastern Turkestan which our maps. To the eastward some of the offshoots call Tarim Gol, terminating in Lake Lob, of Pamir rise high into the regions of a basin without outlet, of which we know eternal snow before dropping into the but the name. The old tradition of the plains of Kashgar or the valleys of the Chinese, based perhaps upon the appar- Yarkand river and its tributa ies. On ent disproportion of this recipient to the these upper waters a small secluded vast amount of drainage directed towards State, spoken of already as ancient in the it, has always regarded the Tarim as the seventh century, had maintained itself in veritable origin of the Hoang-ho, which essential independence from time immewas supposed to dive underground like a morial. Latterly it bore the name of Saricolossal Arethusa, and to reappear near kol, or of Tashkurghán (“Stone Fort”) the Chinese frontier. Neither Indus nor from the wall of massive stone that girds Jaxartes draws any supplies from the its old capital. Much interest attaches proper surface of the plateau, though the to it as having been till the other day the former is fed from its southern spurs, and one surviving community of Aryan race the latter also may be regarded as receiv- to the eastward of Imaus. In 1869 it was ing contributions from its northern coun- annexed by the present ruler of Kashgar; terforts in the upper valleys of Khokand. the representative of its ancient Tajik
Strictly speaking, however, Pamir is lords was driven out,* and the whole of divided from the Khokand mountains by his people were swept away to be replaced another and lower plateau, called the by Kirghiz herdsmen. Steppe of Alai. A vast sierra runs like a 'Below this is Eastern Turkestan, a barrier wall from east to west between country which till very recently had been these two Steppes, rising in some glori for centuries rigidly inaccessible. It ous peaks to 25,000 feet above the sea. forms a great elevated basin, encircled, To this the eminent traveller Fedchenko, except on the east, where the Great Gobi who first descried it from the north, has shuts it in, by mountains among the highgiven from the Russian standpoint the est in the world. The southern and name of Trans-Alai. To us, looking western parts of the basin, where the from India, it would be Cis-Alai or Trans- cities of Khotan, Yarkand, and Kashgar, Pamir, and it seems better to retain the have existed from unknown dates, stand
* And surely a portrait of him in the good old fashion would have forined an apter and more valuable frontis • He appears, from an allusion in the Russian papers, piece than the horrid crocodiles that usurp that place. 'to have found his way to Tashkand.