several independent excursions to its steep sides towards the west, whereas exploration. For example, I was at on the east they mount up more graduwork there in February, 1900, in the ally and by a step-like formation to the end of April, and the beginning of May, summit, which is usually 300 ft. to 350 1900, and again in June of the same ft. above the general level. This aryear, and each time I adopted a new rangement can only be due to one cause route and travelled along different -winds from the east. branches of the river, all of which were The greater part of the lakes which mapped. The contours here are so flat thus accompany the right bank of the that the stream is subject to the great- Tarim were mapped and sounded dur. est changes, and the current is continu- ing the summer of 1900. It is imposally seeking out new channels. At my sible here to enter into fuller details last visit the little settlements which with regard to the labyrinth of lakes, have grown up on the banks of the marshes, and collateral river river since the Chinese created the Lop which constitute the changeable delta region a separate administrative dis- of the Tarim. In fact, it would be trict were in danger of being deserted labor in vain to attempt to do so with: by the stream, and the inhabitants out a general map, and a general map were considering the advisability of can only be constructed when the carbuilding dams to retain the water. How tographical material which I have far they will be successful in this the brought home has been digested, a task future will determine, but the likeli- that will require at least three years hood is against them.

for its completion. The lakes which I The tendency of the Tarim to form mapped on the occasion of my first lateral or marginal lakes begins as high journey-Avullu-köll, Kara-köll, & Yanghi-köll, where I

still remain of the same dimensions and headquarters from December, 1899, to keep the same positions; but a number May, 1900, as well as an observation of fresh lakes have been formed in the station, at which my self-registering same region. In fact, the lower Tarim instruments were uninterruptedly at seems disposed to change its course enwork. Between Yanghi-köll and Arghan tirely. the right bank of the river is accom- 6. The Position of Lop-nor.–This inpanied by a chain of long lakes bor- teresting problem is now solved. The dered by sterile sands, with sand dunes ancient historical Lop-nor is situated as much as 300 ft. or more in height. precisely where Baron von Richthofen The lakes are elongated, and stretch considered that it had been discovered; from north-north-east to south-south- but its basin is, of course, now dried up. west, and are in every instance con- On its northern shore I found ruins of tinued by a series of depressions pene- towns, settlements, and temples, as trating into the heart of the thick well as a number of manuscripts, letmasses of sand. These depressions, ters of local origin, and tablets of tamwhich the natives call bayir, consist of arisk wood written on with Chinese a clay soil without a particle of inter- script, and dating from 264 to 465 A.D. mingled sand, and, except for a few Further, I discovered on the same sparse patches of kamish and tamarisks Dorthern shore of the ancient lake unclose beside the Cherchen-daria, are mistakable indications of a great caraabsolutely barren. The discussion as to van route. With the view of ascertainthe origin and construction of these de- ing definitively and thoroughly the pressions must be reserved for another contours of the region, I made in the occasion. The sand dunes turn their spring of 1901 precise levellings


had my

throughout the whole of the lake basin, where the various members of my caraand the result showed conclusively that van, human and animal, were, from the former Lop-nor and the present time to time, able to rest and recruit Kara-Koshun lie practically at the same themselves. In this way I was always level, and are only separated from one able to start with a fresh caravan, another by an insignificant swelling of thoroughly rested and vigorous. My first the ground. Kara-Koshun, however, expedition was made in the months of shows a decided tendency to return to July, August, September, and October, its former situation-a large lake which 1900. Starting from Mandarlik, beside took me four days to travel round hav- Gas-nor, I travelled due south as far as ing been formed to the north of it. Tbis 33 degrees 45 minutes N. lat., thence new lake is fed by several new streams west, north-west, north, and north-east, issuing out of Kara-Koshun, and carry. until I came back to my starting-point. ing a volume of not less than 1,060 A large part of the caravan, including cubic feet in the second.

one man, perished under the incredible 7. The Mountain Chain of Astyn-tagh hardships which are incidental to jourfrom the Meridian of Charklik to An- neying in these lofty regions, destitute ambar-ula.--This mountain chain was as they are of every species of vegecrossed and explored in several differ- tation. On both the out journey and ent places during the course of the year the return I had an opportunity to 1901, and the result of my investiga- cross over the various mountain chains tions shows that the chain is a double encountered, and clear up the orographone, not, as shown on our maps, single. ical structure of the Kwen-lun and the

8. The Desert of Gobi, west of Sa- complicated mountain system of Northchou.—This was journeyed across from ern Tibet. The positions of a large the south to the north in January, 1901. number of salt as well as freshwater It consists of the following belts or sec- lakes were determined, and their wations:-accumulated drift-sand, clay ters navigated by boat. At the same terraces, carved by the wind, and ka- time I took a number of interesting mish steppe. Then follow the low hill soundings, the greatest depth measured ranges which form the eastward con. being 15744 ft. The topographical re. tinuation of Kurruk-tagh; there again sults of this excursion were embodied we discovered traces of ancient cara- in a map of 150 sheets. van roads.

My second expedition started from 9. Eastern, Central, and Western the same base. Its object was to comTibet.-This mountainous region of plete the mapping of Northern Tibet, Central Asia was the particular object especially of the mountains to the north of my interest during this my last jour- of Kum-köll. This lake also was soundney, in that I had made up my mind to ed. These Tibetan lakes are dangerous explore as much of it as I possibly to navigate in a small open sailing. could. To this end I made several sep- boat; to do so is always attended with arate excursions into Tibet. Profiting a considerable amount of peril. from the experience learned in my for- But my principal and longest journey mer journey through the same region, through Tibet began at Charklik on I deemed it expedient to travel with a May 17, 1901. The route I selected went smaller caravan of perfectly fresh ani. first up the valley of the Charklik-su, mals, and as small a quantity of bag- then on to Kum-köll, and over the gage as might be, and so planned my Arka-tagh. After that I struck a line expeditions that I was always able to between the route followed by Littlego back to my base or principal camp. dale and followed by Prince Henri of Orleans and Bonvalot, and pene- sia most graciously appointed an escort trated southwards as far as 33 degrees of four Cossacks to attend upon me 45 minutes S. lat. There the caravan throughout. Than these I have never encamped, whilst, accompanied by two had more honest, more capable, or attendants, and in disguise, I made a braver men in my service. Whilst I perilous journey as far as the vicinity was absent on my excursions I always of Tengri-nor. There we were closely left my headquarters camp under the examined, and compelled to return to charge of one or two of them, and althe caravan, though the Dalai-Lama's ways had my confidence justified by emissaries treated us with the greatest finding everything in perfect order on respect and politeness. A second at. my return. tempt to penetrate south from the same My first journey of 1893-97 has been camping-place was frustrated at Sel- regarded as marking an advance in the lisy-tso by a force of 500 horsemen. knowledge of the geography of Central

After that I directed my course west- Asia. The last journey of 1899-1902, wards to Leh, avoiding both Nain from which I have just returned, has Singh's and Littledale's routes. This yielded results three times as rich as journey cost me the lives of two men those of the former journey, and in the and of almost all my animals. The course of it I have been enabled to lift baggage animals were yaks, which the veil which for a thousand years had were everywhere placed at my service hidden vast stretches of the mountain. by command of the Dalai-Lama. The ous and desert regions of the heart of results of this last journey in Tibet are Asia. My cartographical material exrecorded on a map of 370 sheets.

tends to no less than 1,149 sheets, and Whilst the survivors of my caravan if these were arranged end to end in a were resting at Leh during the winter long row they would stretch over a disof 1901-2, I took a run down into India, tance of 1,000 feet. This material I and shall ever retain a lively recollec- hope it will be possible to publish, tion of the hospitality and kindness either with the help of public funds or which were shown to me by Lord Cur- by private support. It will then constizon at Government House. In Bom- tute a mine of detailed information bay, also, I was welcomed as if I had about certain of the central regions of been an old friend by Lord Northcote, the great continent which have never and in every city I visited in India the before been trodden by any European, English people vied with one another in and very often by no Asiatic either. their friendly office towards me. Nor This cartographical material is concan I withhold the expression of my trolled by 114 astronomical determinaadmiration at the brilliant way in tions of place. For making these I used which England has for more than a an alta zimuth theodolite and three century administered that vast Empire. chronometers.

In April I broke up from Leh, and, A com meteorological journal crossing the Karakorum Pass, went was kept without interruption throughdown to Yarkand; thence travelling ria out, in part during my expeditions, in Kashgar and the Caspian Sea, I re- part also, and simultaneously, in my turned to Stockholm, where I arrived principal fixed camps, where a baroon June 27, 1902. The successful issue. graph and a thermograph were in conof this journey, which lasted altogether stant operation. The abundant materithree years and three days, was in als thus gathered in are now being great part owing to the circumstance worked up by Dr. Nils Ekholm, and that his Majesty the Emperor of Rus- will in due time be published, along

with the meteorological results of my ings, to illustrate various features apfirst journey. I took also over two pertaining to the provinces of physical thousand photographs, using for this geography. In a short résumé such as purpose an English camera and Eng- this it would not be possible even to lish-made plates, and the results leave indicate the great variety of different nothing to be desired. Anatomical col- observations which are embraced under lections of the higher animals were this heading. It must suffice to menmade, including aquatic animals in tion the measurements made in the spirits, and a herbarium was brought basin of the Tarim, upon which a vast together. All these materials will be amount of time was expended, but studied by experts. The geological which supply the essentials for deducprofiles of Tibet will be illustrated by ing the hydrographic character of that some seven hundred rock specimens river system. collected in that region. I have also For the present I have my hands full brought home a number of archæo- with the preparation of a popular delogical treasures from the ruins we dis. scription of my journey, which will be covered in the desert, amongst them most copiously illustrated. The scienseveral objects of extraordinary inter- tific results will be published later on est; and I made, further, a great quan- in a work especially intended for scientity of sketches, diagrams, and draw. tific students.

Sven Hedin, Geographical Journal.



[blocks in formation]

I was under six when I was sent to learn the alphabet of a school-master who taught in an orphan-asylum, to whose class-room were admitted, as day pupils, the children of certain well-todo families who paid a tuition fee. I went quite readily: for novelty has ever attracted me. If nature had given me strength to keep on as I began I should, perhaps, have become something remarkable. The master was a man of about fifty, lame, clean-shaven, bewigged, the very picture of an old barber, but of high spirits withal. He was meditating matrimony at that very time, and a little later, took to wife a girl of twenty who brought him days

of radiant happiness, during which he would stand upright, balanced with a certain stork-like grace upon his sound leg and apparently regarding the other as rather a good joke. He was not a cultivated man, but he had a keen and open intelligence; he knew how to teach,-a virtue very rarely possessed by teachers, and he made school pleasant. To teach nomenclature he had himself made a great number of maps on which were drawn and painted in brilliant colors fields and streets, interiors of houses and work-shops, and scenes illustrating all the trades where were represented many figures of men and animals. Those maps seemed to me master-pieces of art; I remember them with wonderful distinctness; and they made upon me an impression of

Translated for The Living Age.

such keen delight, that never since, in remember a little incident in which he all my life-Pardon me, oh Raphael! played a part. One day he was athave I received from painting such 'tacked by one of the children of the thorough satisfaction.

asylum, and the master, seizing the lat

ter by the ear and shaking his head Down the school-room, long and bare violently about, screamed in his face, as any barrack, stood side by side two “Don't you know, don't you know, misrows of roughly made desks, one for gui-ded wretch, that he is the son of a the day-pupils, the other for the chil. Judge?”–O tempora, o mores! The little dren belonging to the orphan-asylum, lame old man would give the same who all wore a costume of gray cloth. tweak-or maybe a harder one-to the The distinction was not confined to seat

ear to-day, but he would not accompany and clothing but extended also to the it by the same phrase. treatment received from the master,

I do not remember how long it took who drew a further line between the

me to learn to read. I fancy that I day-pupils belonging to the first fami

expended no more time on the process lies and those of the lower middle class.

than people do to-day after fifty years His voice, all bitterness for the paupers

of pedagogic progress. But I rememtook on a shade of consideration when

ber well how, one Sunday morning at he addressed tradesmen's sons, and be.

home, one of my brothers put a readcame honey to “gentlemen born.” He

ing book before my eyes to see how used to box the ears of the first, shake

much I knew, and that he was astonthe second by the arm, and never lay a ished to find I could read almost withhand on the last. I belonged to the

out hesitation. He told my father and shaken division. Among the un-touched mother who were greatly surprised and -How plainly I see him!-was the son delighted. I was delighted too by this of a banker. All the others regarded official acknowledgment that I had left him with the deepest reverence and of the ranks of the illiterate, but for a him was told the legend that at home reason of my own,-a delusion from he used to play "War," building his which I had a speedy and rude awakenforts of crown-pieces, and representing ing! I had fancied that it was only besieged and besiegers by silver francs, necessary to be able to read the words while their officers were Genovese gold it contained in order to find amusement coins, and the artillery lighted matches in the perusal of any book whatsoever, of the first quality. His mother was a as I saw grown people do. In this handsome woman, who used to visit illusion I took down that very day at the school every now and again, hazard a book in my father's library dressed in the height of the fashion. and began to read. It chanced to be Concerning this lady the oldest of the the Della Tirannide of Alfieri. I read boys in the asylum used to make under a half page, then re-read it and was their breath certain comments which I surprised and disgusted to find it as only understood years later. Then at absolutely unintelligible as if it had last, it became clear to me why the been Hebrew. I couldn't understand poor little fellow used to cry at times it. “Why is this so?” I asked myself. over certain jokes, which had then "It is written in Italian, I know how seemed to me only laughable. There to read, but I can't tell what it means." was, beside, the son of a judge of the I fancied I might have stumbled upon police-court. He used to threaten often a difficult book and tried another,-Giothat he would have me arrested, and I berti's Primato. Worse and worse!

« VorigeDoorgaan »