Lawrence John Lumley Dundas Zetland.

On the outskirts of empire in Asia online

. (page 1 of 30)
Online LibraryLawrence John Lumley Dundas ZetlandOn the outskirts of empire in Asia → online text (page 1 of 30)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO




3 1822 02624 7171



£v jw|r •^<'\








-, r , 1^.1






*<'.».' ..



< .







-V '■



:.-. f'



7 *m 'n^f.



\^ ;'^r-:'-2f



. iv. - -•♦ A ♦^



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA^^




3 1822 02624 7171






/



Br THE SAME AUTHOR.



SPOKT AND POLITICS UNDER A
EASTERN SKY.

Demv 8vo, 21s. net.



Athenaeum. — "A useful contribution to our somewhat scanty sources of informa-
tion about tracts of country invested at this moment with peculiar interest."

St James's Gazette. — "A very varied and fascinating stor^ of travel in some of

the most interesting quarters of Asia The picture of the capital of Seistan, where,

within the last couple of years, a British Agent has been established, and of the covert
conflict of Russian and British interests in this important strategic province are very
interesting to the student of international politics, as well as for the sake of the
entertaining narrative itself. Excellent, too, is the account of the big-game shoot-
ing in the Himalayan highlands."

Pall Mall Gazette.—" We hope Lord Ronaldshay's book will help sluggish thinkers
at home to realise how deeply we are involved, and how little we can afford to relax
our influence on the region that lies between the Afghan frontier and the Persian
Gulf."

Civil and Military Gazette. — "A bright and amusing book of travel The

style is chatty and unpretentious, and the volume will be welcome to those who are
wearied of the rigmarole of political theses which constitutes the stock-in-trade of
the present day magazine-article writer when he discourses upon the affairs of foreign
countries. The photographs — the author's own— with which the book is illustrated
are excellent throughout."

Times. — " Two themes there are which have justified the existence of many books
of travel and seldom fail to wake a sympathetic echo in the mind of the Englishman.
A passion for sport and a taste for politics are innate in him, and a book which
reminds him of either fact or both does not generally make its appeal in vain. Lord
Ronaldshay's book, as its title declares, avowedly makes this appeal ; and by a grati-
fying simplicity of arrangement sport and politics are relegated to distinct halves of
it, so that in perusing it neither the sportsman nor the politician need, unless he
chooses, enter upon alien ground His story is an efifective, if involuntary, testi-
mony to his pluck and powers of endurance, which, on the whole, were very well
rewarded. It will probably attract others besides sportsmen, for the wild regions
above Kashmir and on the confines of Chinese Tibet always fascinate the reader, and
Lord Ronaldshay's narrative, while making no pretentions to literary adornment,
shows that he felt a delighted sympathy with the spirit of the vast solitudes through
which he wandered, and— more essential still— that he really describes things as he
saw them."

Westminster Gazette. — "Lord Ronaldshay's volume stands out from the average
sportsman's record. First of all, there is a ring of enthusiasm for the lonely heights
and the beauty of the wilderness throughout the whole book, which is very refreshing
in its boyishness and candour. Next, the roads chosen, first ou Asiatic hill-tops, and
afterwards from Simla through Beluchistan and the Caspian by land to London, are
almost entirely off what is now becoming the beaten track of the hunter of big game ;
and last, but not least, the author's dauntless and cheerful perseverance in excep-
tional hardships and trials of patience, lend a peculiar interest to every page."

Spectator. — " Lord Ronaldshay has achieved a rare success ; he has written a good
book of travels. The style is simple and well suited to the matter ; the interest is
not sacrificed to a pretence of fine writing ; and the author has sufificient literary
sense to produce the eflect at which he aims, whether he writes as a sportsman or a
politician."

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD & SONS, Edinburgh and London.



>^^p



GEISEL LIBRARY



GEISEL LIBRAKT ,^j-p



ON THE OUTSKIETS OF EMPIKE
IN ASIA




VIEW IN THE THIAN SHAN,



WAYNE S. VUCINICH



ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF EMPIRE
IN ASIA



BY

THE EARL OF RONALDSHAY

F.R.G.S.

AUTHOR OF ' SPORT AND POLITICS UNDER AN EASTERN SKY '



" It is in Asia once again that will be decided the destinies of the world.
In Asia will be founded and will increase great empires, and whoever
succeeds in making his voice heeded in the Far East will be able also to
speak in dominating accents to Europe." — Prince Henri d'Orleans :
Around Tonkin.



WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS

EDINBURGH AND LONDON

MCMIV



AU Eights reserved



PREFACE.



The object and scope of the present volume are set
forth at sufficient length in the opening chapter,
and no further explanation on this score is required
from me here. With regard to arrangement, it has
been my endeavour to place before the public an
account of some of the less accessible countries of
Asia and of the problems to which their existence
and present position give rise, which may appeal
equally to the general reader and to the student of
Eastern questions. With this object in view I have
caused to be inserted a number of illustrations,
reproductions in every case of photographs taken by
myself, in the hope that they may prove of assistance
to the reader in forming a mental picture of the
countries and peoples that I describe. The countries
through which I passed being many and various, I
have divided the volume into sections, each one of
which may be read without reference to the others.
In Section I. will be found a synopsis of the chapters
that follow ; in Sections II. -YI. a description of a
journey the length of an ancient continent ; and in



PREFACE.



the concluding section some account of the political
situation in the East with which this country is con-
fronted at the present time. Sections II. -VI. may be
said to consist in the main of a narrative of travel,
and, since my wanderings led me at one time through
an unrivalled sporting country, I have not hesitated
to include among them a section upon sport ; but
though devoted largely to a description of travel,
some political questions — the Baghdad railway problem
to wit — are discussed in them, something of history
is recalled, and such information as my inquiries in
various directions elicited is adduced for the benefit
of all who take a close interest in the peoples and
politics of Asia. It has been said of travellers — not
altogether without reason perhaps — that they forget
much that they have seen, and remember much that
they have not ! If I plead guilty to the former
charge, I may, I hope, in my own case conscientiously
take exception to the latter, since it has been my
practice, whenever seeing anything of interest or learn-
ing anything of importance from reliable sources, to
take instant note of it upon the spot.

It is, perhaps, hardly necessary for me to add that
I am indebted to many for much willing help and
sympathetic interest shown to me by my own country-
men and by foreigners alike, whether ojB&cial or other-
v/ise, whenever my wanderings have brought me in
contact with them in the remote corners of the East.
In this connection it is also my pleasant duty to
acknowledge my indebtedness to the proprietors of
' The Times ' for the ready assent which they gave



PREFACE.



to my request to be permitted to make use in the
present volume of articles from my pen which have
already appeared in their columns.

In conclusion, may I express the hope that there
may be found in the following pages sufficient of
interest to evoke from the reading public the same
indulgent reception for this, my second and more
ambitious volume, that they so readily accorded to
my first.

RONALDSHAY.



Av^ust 1904.



CONTENTS.



ACEOSS A CONTINENT.
CHAPTER I.

ACROSS A CONTINENT.

Object of the book — Length of journey and method of travel — The
desert — A site of ancient monarchies — Discomfort of travel — The
spell of the East — To the heart of Asia by rail — Performance at
a mosque — Monuments of the past — Central Asian post-roads —
Beyond the bounds of Russia — A great trans-continental railway
— -The political aspect — The return of the West to the East — The
remnants of Portuguese supremacy — The awakening of Russia —
The Powers in Asia — The objects of Great Britain and of Russia
— The policy of Tsar Nicholas 1.— Failure of the same — Ineptitude
of British policy in the past — Importance of British interests in
the East — Lord Curzon's views — The necessity of looking Asiatic
problems in the face .......



TURKEY IN ASIA.
CHAPTER II.

THE GATEWAY OP THE EAST.

Constantinople — The romance of the city on the Golden Horn — The
reality — Monuments of interest — The gulf between Europe and
Asia — Peculiarities of the East — The Haider- Pasha Ismid railway
— A climb to the Anatolian plateau — Lack of comfort on the
present Anatolian railway — Probabilities of the future — Konia —
Its streets — Improvement in the district under the adminstration
of Ferhit Pasha ....... 27



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER III.

ACROSS THE TAURUS.

Difficulties of travel iu the winter— An Eastern road—Th^ Axylon
plateau— Off the road at night— Eregli— Through the Taurus
mountains— The defile at Bozanti— A pleasant Christmas !— A
silver mine — Death of a Icaimakam—Bdidi weather — The Cilician
Gates— An ancient highway of nations— The trac^ of the future
railway not through the Gates— Reach the Cilician plain and
Mersina ,...•••• 34

CHAPTER IV.

CILICIA.

Cilicia, ancient and modern— Mersina, a typical seaport of the Near
East— Natural disadvantages as a port— The ancient harbour of
Tarsus— The ruins at Soli Pompeiopolis— St Paul's Institute at
Tarsus— Course of the Cydnus diverted by Justinian— The Dinek
Tash— Fallacy of the legend that it is the tomb of Sardanapalus
—Relics at Tarsus— The site of the ancient capital— Adana,
capital of Cilicia— Description of— Population of— The American
mission — Turkish rule — Want of public works — Instances of
official corruption— The cotton industry— Climate— Leave Adana
— Ruined castles — A gorgeous sunset — Nature of Eastern Cilicia
— Across the Giaour Dagh — Excavations at Zingerli — Reach
Aleppo .....••• *^

CHAPTER V.

ALEPPO TO DEIR-EL-ZOR.

Aleppo — Its bazaars — Population — Importance as a distributing
centre— More tales of Turkish administration— Routes between
Aleppo and Mossul— The northern route— The southern route—
The proposed railway route — Internal disorder — Reason for
travelling by southern route — Start from Aleppo — Nature of
country— A long march and a scanty dinner— Meskineh— The
lands of the Euphrates— Historical interest of the river banks—
Deir — A visit from a Turkish colonel — I secure an escort—
Road-making— The disadvantages of an absence of road . 53

CHAPTER VL

THE DESERT.

Crossing the Euphrates — The monotonous desolation of the country
—A surprise— A band of Arab marauders— A peaceful conclusion



CONTENTS.



— Arab propensities — The river Gozan of the Old Testament —
Crossing the Khabur river — The Mesopotamian steppe — A well
in the desert— Reach the Jebel Sinjar — The Yezidis — A punitive
expedition — An uncomfortable night — The country between Jebel
Sinjar and the Tigris — The aspect of Mesopotamia in spring and
in summer — Description by Sir Henry Layard . . .62



CHAPTER VII.



THE LANDS OP THE TIGRIS.



Curiosity concerning the past — Collections of ancient records — Time
the destroyer — Koyunjik and Nebi Yunus— Nimrud — The Ger-
mans at Babylon— Mossul — Down the Tigris on a raft — A useful
escort ! — Samara and its objects of pilgrimage — The Malwiyeh —
Latent wealth of the lands of the Tigris— Sir William Willcock's
scheme — British Government must interest themselves — Chaldsea
described by Herodotus— Reach Baghdad — The romance of Bagh-
dad is of the past — A gufa — Described by Herodotus — Baghdad
a commercial centre — Shortcomings of the Turkish Government
— Fate of a public benefactor — Trade of Baghdad — Lack of trans-
port — Extraordinary rates of freight — Great Britain must control
the country from Baghdad to the Persian Gulf . . .70

CHAPTER YIII.

THE BAGHDAD RAILWAY.

Railway projects in the past — The success of Germany— Lack of
interest of British Government in the past — English concessions
pass to other countries — The prophecy of the deputation of 1857
— The German Commission of 1899 — The concession of 1902 —
Proposed route of the line — Branch lines — Description of the
country through which the line will pass — The Taurus barrier —
Possibilities of Asia Minor — Lawlessness of Mesopotamia — Im-
portant towns all lie to the north— The right bank of the Tigris
preferred to the left — Centres of pilgrimage — Points to be re-
membered in criticising the line — The financial prospect— Inter-
national complications — Germanophobia in England — The line as
an alternative route for the Indian mails — The conditions upon
which Great Britain must insist as essential to her co-operation —
The position of Great Britain with regard to the railway— The
state of affairs at the present time . . . .84



CONTENTS.



PEESIA.
CHAPTER IX.

BAGHDAD TO KBRMANSHAH.

Persian characteristics — Methods of travel in Persia — Interesting
monuments of Western Persia — Nature of country on the
Turkish border — The legends of Shirin — Man walled up alive —
The Darcy concession — A strange dinner-party — The ascent to
the Persian highlands — A late winter — Reach Kermanshah —
Strategic position of — Population — Persian amenities ! — The
nakarreh khaneh — The rock sculptures of Bostan — Description of
— Inscriptions — Disfigurement of panels — • Opinion of the late
Shah concerning — Other remains . . . . .107

CHAPTER X.

KERMANSHAH TO TEHERAN.

E«mains at Kangavar — The inscriptions at Bisitun — Deciphered by
Sir H. Eawlinson — Description of the tablet above the inscrip-
tions — Ker Porter's surmise — Names and identities — Another in-
scription — The country between Kermanshah and Hamadan —
Hamadan — Population — Trade — The tombs of Esther and Mor-
decai — The tomb of Avicenna — A beautiful mosque — The Ganj-
nameh — A stone lion — The key to the decipherment of the
cuneiform alphabet — Gold — The question of the site of Ecbatana
of Deioces — The debauches of Alexander the Great — The decay
of Hamadan — The country between Hamadan and Teheran —
Execrable weather — Discomforts of travel — Reach Teher§,n . 121



CHAPTER XI.

TEHERAN.

Recent improvements at Teherfin — The city gates — Days of mourn-
ing — Interview with the Shah and with the Prime Minister — A
visit to the palace — A motley collection ! — The picture-gallery —
An extraordinary ceremony — Religious plays — Nature of the
country round the capital . . . . . .132



CONTENTS.



CHAPTEE XII.

PERSIA IN 1903.

"Tariffs" — Negotiations leading to a revision of the Custom duties
— Adverse effects upon British trade over-estimated — Present
state of affairs due to British insouciance in the past — The treaty
of Erzerum — Provisions of the new tariff — Effect upon Indian
trade — Great Britain's reply — Events on the Afghan border —
The MacMahon mission — Russian intrigue — Ways and communi-
cations^ — The situation in the capital — The fall of the Prime
Minister — A tribute to the British Minister . . .137

CHAPTER XIII.

THROUGH THE PORTALS OF PERSIA.

The highroad to Persia — A contrast in scenery — Cost of the chausse
— Disadvantages of — The object of Russia — A huge advertisement
— What the Persian thinks — Leave Teheran — Persian methods
— Teherdn to Resht — The silk industry — Obstacles encountered
between Resht and Enzeli — A false start — Off at last . .147



CENTRAL ASIA.
CHAPTER XIV.



Civilisation again — The commercial aspect of Baku — A weird sight —
Natural fire — An ancient fire-temple — The boilers of Balakhani —
A hundred tons of oil a-day — " Spouters " — The interior of a der-
rick — A calamity at an oil-well — Statistics of the oil trade — A
high excise duty — Price of oil in London and in Russia . 155

CHAPTER XV.

THE TRANSCASPIAN RAILWAY IN 1903.

Origin of the idea of railway communication with Central Asia —
The chimerical conception of M. de Lesseps — With the defeat
of Lomakin, railway schemes are revived — Lack of suitable trans-
port — General Annenkoff's line — England suspicious — The Pend-
jeh incident — Renewal of work on the Transcaspian railway —
Completion of the line — Leave Baku — Krasnovodsk — On board



xiv CONTENTS.



the train— Geok Teppe— A false report— The steppe in spring—
Khiva— Merve— The Murgab branch to the Afghan frontier— A
desert of sand— The bridge over the Oxus— Reach Bokhara . 163



CHAPTER XVI.

BOKHARA THE NOBLE.

New Bokhara— The fascination of Old Bokhara— Its bazaars— A
picture for an artist's brush— A scourge of the East— Monu-
ments of the past— The power of the King of Bokhara— The
citadel— Its ancient clock— A piteous tale— Violent death— The
State prison— Its jailer— The scene inside— Khanikoffs descrip-
tion of the lower dungeon— The story of Stoddart and ConoUy-
Nasrullah, King of Bokhara— The journey of Dr WolflF— The
notorious vermin pit— Bokhara described as it is to-day— Authori-
tative writers on Bokhara . . . . . .178



CHAPTER XVII.

SAMARKAND.

Samarkand one of the great cities of Central Asia— The vicissitudes
through which it has passed— Timur's capital— Description of
Timur— Samarkand taken by the Russians— A brilliant episode
—The buildings of Samarkand— The market square— A meal
in the bazaar— The tomb of Tamerlane— The mosque of Bibi
Khauum— The mosque of "the living king"— Ishak Khan— The
end of the railway ....... 192



CHAPTER XVIII.

ACROSS THE STEPPES OP TURKESTAN.

Russian capital in Asia — Old Tashkent — Its capture by the
Russians— Railway projects— The Tashkent-Orenburg line— The
Tomsk-Tashkent line— Advantages of post-roads— Carriages pur-
chased—Method of travelling— A post-house— Rate of speed at-
tainable—The steppes of Turkestan— The life of the steppe—
Tchimkent — The Chinese frontier — Through Semirechensk —
The Siberian frontier — Monotony of travel — The character of
the steppe borderland— Semipalatinsk— From Semipalatinsk to
Barnaul — Reach Barnaul ...... 199



CONTENTS.



CHAPTEK XIX.



KULJA.



Yakub Khan— Internal disorder in Kulja in the 'Sixties— Eussian
interference— A ghastly holocaust— Report of a Chinese oflScial—
Russian assurances— Tso-Chungt-'ang, a Chinee of "great stead-
fastness of purpose"— The reconquest of Turkestan by China-
Difficulties with Russia— Gordon summoned— The treaty of St
Petersburg— What Russia gained— The position of Kulja to-day
— Suidon — Kulja — Mineral wealth of the province — Tribes,
sedentary and nomadic — Kirgiz and Kalmuk — The Chinese
quarter— A visit to the Taotai— The future of Kulja— Russian
intrigue with Tibet . . . • • • .211



SPOET.
CHAPTER XX.

AMONG THE IBEX OF TURKESTAN.

A sportman's paradise— The way there— A lengthy bargain— To the
Oriyaas valley— Magnificent scenery— A Kalmuk Nimrod— A
48-inch ibex shot— Stormy weather— An evil beast— Vengeance—
A successful right-and-left— Marmots— The disappearance of an
ibex— Its head secured— Extremes of temperature— The luck of
ibex-shooting — A 51|-inch trophy — Kalmuk characteristics —
Another 50-inch head— Flooded rivers— Back to Kulja— Horn
measurements ....... 225

CHAPTER XXI.

AFTER WILD SHEEP IN THE SIBERIAN ALTAI.

The Altai— Mr Ney Elias observes numbers of large horns— Major
Cumberland's expedition— The way to the Altai— Time occupied
by the journey— Expense— Kosh-Agach— Nature of the country
—My Kalmuk hunter— The "Happy Valley"— A depressing
day— Rams sighted— A wounded ram— My first head— A move
into Mongolia— A big ram in view— Officious females— Nature's
spell — A desperate race — A terrible disappointment . . 24



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER XXII.



SPORT IN MONGOLIA.



A gazelle shot — Pombo's obtuseneas — A long stalk — A flat crawl —
An anxious wait — A big ram wounded — Pombo's jubilation — A
57-inch horn secured — A long ride in the dark — Ammon plentiful
— A pack of wolves — Cold — A 55 inch ram shot — A right-and-
left — Chase after a wounded ram — Stupidity of Kalmuks — The
wounded ram brought to bag — Preparations for leaving the
country — Horn measurements — Smuggling — Reach the Siberian
railway ........ 255



SIBERIA AND ITS RAILWAY.



CHAPTER XXIII.



CENTRAL SIBERIA.



The Government of Tomsk — The Altai mining district — Nature of
the country — An agricultural land — Three years' famine — The
fallow-land system — Absence of English-made goods — The reason
— The Siberian village — The Siberian peasant — The vodka curse
— The Government vodka monopoly — Vodka statistics — Barnaul
— A general store — The Altai highlands — Kosh-Agach — Eusso-
Mongol trade— The city of Tomsk — The mystery of Tomsk —
Feodor Kuzmitch — The mysterious death of Alexander I. —
"Alexander's House" at Tomsk — The university and techno-
logical institute — Population and position .... 267

CHAPTER XXIV.

THE GREAT SIBERIAN RAILWAY.

The spirit of discovery of the sixteenth century — Yermak — The con-
quest of Siberia — The treaty of Nertchinsk — Count Muravieff —
Need of communications in Siberia — Early railway schemes —
The Perm-Tiumen line built — The imperial rescript of March
1891 — The cost of the Siberian railway — The price of a ticket
— Western Siberia — The settlement of Novo Nicholaewsk —
Dairy-farming — The junction for Tomsk — Deficiencies of the
railway track — The monotony of the journey — Irkutsk — Its
origin — Its present position — Its chief buildings — The gold-
smelting laboratory ....... 282



CONTENTS.



CHAPTEE XXV.

THE EAST CHINESE KAILWAT.

Eussia's coup — The line to pass through Manchuria — Great Britain's
reply — The Manchurian railway agreement — A journey over the
Manchurian railway in the autumn of 1903 — Across Lake Baikal
—The frontier of Manchuria — Calibre of the line — Kharbin—
Military occupation — Article II. of the Manchurian Convention
of 1902 — The ambitions of Kharbin — Magnificent crops — Dalni —
Port Arthur — Russia's outlay in Manchuria — Niuchwang — The
Boxer outbreak Russia's opportunity^The situation at Niuch-
wang at the outbreak of hostilities — Mukden and Antung opened
to foreign trade — Peking the end of the journey . . . 299



ENGLAND IN ASIA.



CHAPTER XXVI.

THE NEAR EAST.

England and Russia in the East — The point of view from which
Asiatic questions must be regarded — " Without India the British
Empire could not exist " — The value of prestige — The commercial
and strategic aspects of the Near Eastern and the Par Eastern
questions — Turkey — The long-standing antagonism between
Russia and Turkey — Enter Germany — A novel solution of the
Turkish imbroglio — The Baghdad railway — Persia — Resemblance
between the Persian and Turkish problems — Indifference of Great
Britain in the past — The financial blunder of 1900— The Russo-
Persian railway agreement of 1890 — A policy adopted— The Vice-
roy's visit to the Persian Gulf and the Garter Mission to TeherS,n
— The Koweit incident — Ways and communications — Activity in
the field of commerce — The Nushki-Sistan route— The British
Government should become shareholders in the Imperial Bank
of Persia — The recrudescence of British power . . . 319



CHAPTEE XXVII.

A TIBETAN EPISODE.

A mystery-enshrouded land — Europeans who have seen Lhassa — The



Online LibraryLawrence John Lumley Dundas ZetlandOn the outskirts of empire in Asia → online text (page 1 of 30)