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marcation, established in 1727 and 1768, has been preserved to this day. The first commercial dépôt has been established near the Kiakhta, ninety-one wersts from Selenginsk, and the second near the Gan, which falls into the Argoun at Tsouroukhaitou. All other commerce and connexion between the two empires was at the same time stopped. During the congress, Count Sawa gave a new organization to the Russian Mongols and Bouriates, who dwelt to the south and east of the Baikal. A body of armed men was formed for the purpose of guarding the frontiers. The chiefs of the tribes of Isangol, Sartal, Khori, and Podogrodskoi, were raised to the nobility in recompense for the services they had rendered at the congress; and pensions were settled on them and their descendants. Other chiefs were made members of the provincial courts of judicature, and the jurisdiction of their tribes entrusted to them. Every tribe received a standard to be displayed on great occasions. The chiefs of the Bouriates renewed their oath of allegiance, and were compelled to pay the whole amount of tribute for their subjects, and to furnish, in proportion to the strength of the tribe, horsemen, to guard the borders. Every outpost of these horsemen is commanded by a Russian subaltern. A border chancery was established at Selenginsk, whence all couriers going to the Ourga and Pekin were to be dispatched. Nine wersts farther, on the banks of the Tchikoi, a small fort with a church was raised. The goods destined for China arrive here by water, whence it has become the principal dépôt, and the custom-house for the Chinese trade has been established here. As soon as the congress had finished its labours in 1727, a caravan composed of 205 persons was despatched to Pekin, under the command of Lieut. Lange. In the following year the first Russian guard-house was built

near the Kiakhta. This fort was named

Troitzoi Sawsk Krepost, but is generally called Asiakhta. The border and commercial gate between the two empires had been fixed three wersts farther in the valley watered by the Kiakhta. There were two border columns raised, near which the commercial dépôts were established on each side, at a distance of 120 fathoms from one another. The Chinese column bears the Chinese inscription Mai yetchhu, and the Mandchou, Rhâdai ba, both meaning places of cominerce. In the centre of the Russian dépôt, which, like that of the Chinese, is square, is the bazaar, built of wood, in which is a chapel built of stone. On the east is a church, and on the south, near the Chinese gate, are the barracks, the great guard-house, and the governor’s house. The remainder of the space is occupied by the dwellings of the merchants. The whole is surrounded by chevaux-de-frise, and on each side is a gate, surmounted by a belfry. The Cossacs employed in the border service, together with their families, live outside the place, in a suburb, which contains, besides several public offices, three chapels, and is also surrounded by chevaux-de-frise. A little higher up is the fort Troitskoi Sawsk, which contains a commercial dépôt, and some offices. The road

thither is bordered on each side by a

very high parapet; it is cut by a stream, the bridge over which is closed by chevaux-de-frise, which are raised to give a passage to carriages. A sentinel stands near it; and travellers and goods going to or coming from the frontiers, must pass through this gate. This little town has a considerable population, spacious streets, and the houses, although built of wood, have a very meat appearance. The crowd of merchants of various nations and tribes, together with their servants and

the Cossacs of the garrison, give this

place a very animated appearance. A suburb is appropriated for the accommodation of travelling merchants and Russian Mongols, the latter of whom resort here for the purpose of exchanging their cattle for merchandize. They have brokers of their own mation, and sometimes fifty of them engage for an annual pay to do the service of the Cossacs. Russian peasants here exchange their furs, hides, and tallow, for Chinese articles. Upper. Kiakhta seems to be the most important place of the two. From both sides of the border columns a row of chevaux-de-frise extends for several leagues along the border, in order to prevent the cattle sold by the Russians from returning home again. The Chinese town is called Mai maitehin (place of commerce.) It is larger than the Russian dépôt, and surrounded by pallisades, having three gates on the north side, and as many on the south. The gates towards Russia are hidden by a wooden screen, with the word Fou (luck) written upon it, and which is to secure them against the influence of the evil eye, and even of incantations. There are guard-houses on the four angles of the town, and a a fifth on the western front, which has to watch over the numerous carts on which the Russians bring their goods, and which they leave under their care.

The Chinese have many gardens, wherein they grow their vegetables, without which they could not subsist. The stream is crossed by two bridges, near each of which are some wells of clear water, the water of the Kiakhta being so muddy as to render it unfit for use. The streets are straight, and lead from the gates, dividing the town into regular squares. On the central spot where the two principal streets intersect each other, is a tower of some height, with a place under it in which the government orders are posted up. These orders are commonly written in large characters, and pasted on boards. This tower is ascended by four flights of steps placed at the corners. Bells and sheets of metal and glass are suspended on the

Asiatic Journ.—No. 102.

edge of the roof, and at the least draught of air produce a chime, which delights the Chinese. The houses closely adjoin one another, having seldom any windows towards the street. The principal entrance to each house leads into a yard, round which the apartments are ranged. They are chiefly built of clay. On the outside of the door one generally reads the name of the proprietor, the allegorical title of his shop, or the words, happi

ness and long life. Towards the yard,

the houses and railings are painted with lively colours. On entering the door, the stranger is received by the master and his people, who drive away the large dogs from the yards, which are ready to tear every one to pieces. When seated in the drawing room, tea, sweet-meats, fruit, and tobacco are brought in. The rooms are either varnished or lined with painted or printed paper. The air is kept pure by means of a hole in the ceiling. The windows are made in the European fashion, with the exception of the pannels being filled up with fine paper instead of glass. In the middle of the window is an aperture which closes with a square of white mica, and which is opened when they want to look outside. The paper is protected against the effects of snow and rain by the projecting roof. Both streets and yards are kept exceedingly meat. The Chinese are very regular in their manners, but at the same time, extremely cunning. Those of them who trade here (for which privilege they pay a certain duty to their government) are all from the western parts of the provinces of Pet-che-lee and Chan-si. They are not allowed to have wives with them; and most of them have no other society than the young men who are in their service. Some rich men keep Mongol mistresses, who live under felt tents outside of the town. Most of the merchants speak the Mongol language, which they learn on their road hither. There are some, too, who speak the Russian well Wol. XVII. 4 M

at the Ourga and Kiakhta.

enough to transact their business without the assistance of any interpreter. Their pronunciation, however, is often unintelligible; still they have an advantage over the Russian merchants, who never learn the Chinese. Next to the governor’s house (who has always a guard of from fifty to one hundred horsemen in his yard), are two magnificent temples; one of which is consecrated to the Mongol hero, Gesur Khan, who lived about the second or third century of our era, and is considered as the tutelary saint of the present Mantchou dynasty. A board upon the altar bears an inscription to the following purport: “To the great and sublime reigning emperor Thai Tsing, ten thousand, ten thousand years.” There are several idols in this temple, but it is only visited by the Chinese. There is another splendid temple, dedicated to the god, to whom the famous Hindoo prayer Om ma nyde is addressed. The emperors being of the Buddha religion, keep patriarchs of this religion at Pekin, and Ji ho in Mongolia. It is also the faith of the principal Mantchou families, and of all the public functionaries The Foe religion, which is that of the majority of the Chinese, is only a sect of the Buddhists, and whose followers, although honouring the spirit of the DalaiLama as a divine emanation, do not consider him as the head of their church. South of this temple are two varnished columns, before the governor's house, which on solemn occasions are ornamented with standards, and, at night, with flaming torches. Many Mongols and Mantchoux of rank come here to purchase goods, as they can thus get them cheaper. There are also many Bokharians in this place for the sale of the rhubarb, of which they have the monopoly. There is a free communication between the Russians and Chinese during the day-time: but as soon as might approaches, the drum at Kiakhta, and a fire-ball launched from the yard of the Dzargotchi (Chi

mese Governor), give the signal for closing the gates of both places, and for every one to retire home. The whole of the police and military management is under the superintendence of this last-mentioned officer, with a variety of inferior officers under him. The establishment of the commercial dépôt at Kiakhta has answered its purpose completely, whilst that of Tsouroukhaitou has almost entirely failed, owing to the badness of its situation, and the difficulty of access on both sides. Indeed, the Chinese merely continue the commerce there for the purpose of conforming to the treaty. There were never more than six caravans sent to Pekin from 1727 to 1755, when the government gave up the privilege to its subjects, together with that of the trade of Kiakhta, since which, the latter has singularly prospered, and rendered the former entirely useless. Nevertheless, that commerce is not so prosperous as is generally thought; for the value of all the goods exchanged there, taken together, seldom exceeds one million sterling a year, and sometimes does not amount to more than one quarter of a million. The exportation of peltry has considerably decreased, since the English and Americans have imported so much of this article into Canton. In order to make up for this deficiency in the annual balance, large quantities of eoarse broad-cloth are sent there, which used to be formerly bought in Silesia, but which are now partly manufactured in Russia itself. . After the first treaty, in 1689, a column was raised on the east side of the mouth of the great Gerbitsi, and the left of the Amur, at a distance of 2250 ly (about 857 geog. miles), from the Mandchou town of Tsitsigar, and 1611 ly (about 614 geog. miles) from Sakhaliyan oula Rhouton. Upon this column, the whole of the treaty, consisting of seven articles, was inscribed in the Russian, Latin, Chinese, Mandchoux, and Mongol languages; and it is still in existence. Y. Z.


The bungalows which have long been erected by the Government of Madras with the charitable view of affording temporary shelter to the weary traveller, extend from that Presidency to the frontier of the Nizam's territories; where one first meets with serais, commonly known by the more familiar appellation of choultries, to which I shall presently advert: they consist of two roorns, a hall, and a verandah on three sides only, with suitable outoffices attached, and a well sunk for the supply of water. The scite selected for the erection of these bungalows, is generally in the neighbourhood of a tope of trees, at a short distance from the village, and commands a delightful and extensive prospect of the surrounding country. The first objects that, on alighting, attract a stranger's attention, are some peons belonging to the collector of the district, stationed there for the purpose of waiting on gentlemen travellers, with strict injunctions to attend to their requisitions; and they are sometimes accompanied by the Cutwal or Puttail of the village, who presents a written document, exhibiting a nerick of the provisions obtainable there, and bearing the signature of the collector in confirmation of the fairness of the prices laid down. According to this statement the necessary supplies are furnished; but when the account comes to be adjusted, which is always done in the dusk of the evening, few persons consider themselves bound scrupulously to abide by the regulations, under the plea that the charges are enormous. A begari is paid at the rate of one dub, or double pice, for every mile; and when it is taken into consideration that an individual travelling has seldom occasion for less than eight, ten, or twelve coolies, often more, while the length of each stage not unfrequently exceeds fourteen miles, it will be readily admitted that the rigorous observancy of the above regulations would naturally bear hard upon peregrinators, especially upon such as, owing to their circumstances in life, are not overflushed with silver. On occasions of this kind, it is not to be wondered at that a wordy altercation should break out; the Cutwal shewing a positive

determination to enforce an implicit observance of the established regulations, and the other party stoutly maintaining a spirit of resistance to this obdurate assumption of authority. The latter, however, invariably takes the precaution to see that every thing is first provided according to his wishes and necessities before he begins to proceed to such unpleasant extremes. Marching from Datchapilly, and proceeding in a somewhat northerly direction, after going over a distance of about eight miles, the progress of the traveller is suddenly intercepted by the Kistna river, whose banks are exceedingly high and steep in the dry season, when the water is remarkably low, though it is not fordable in any one place without boats, which here are made of baskets covered with thick black, seasoned leather, and of a circular form. These ferries being of a large size, are capable of transporting not only luggage of every kind, but also palanquins with their complement of bearers, and even carriages with their cattle. Owing to the peculiarity of their construction, they do not admit of being paddled in a strait-forward course, but go with a whirling motion which not a little retards their progress, and is always very disagreeable. On the opposite banks of the Kistna, whose current, from the face of the surrounding country intersected with lofty mountains on every side, joined to the natural declivio and steepness of its banks, runs smoothly throughout the year, stands the village of Warrapilly, marking the boundary of the Nizam's dominions. I once passed close to the Kistna, in the worst period of the monsoon, when the rains poured down in torrents, filling up every creek and nullah, and swelling the Kistna almost to overflowing, while the wind roared with a fury approaching to a storm, and yet I do not remember that this beautiful river was agitated in any extraordinary degree. At Warrapilly the traveller for the first time meets with a choultry, with which the extensive possessions of the Soubah of the Dekhan abound. These edifices exhibit no proud specimens of , aichitectural elegance suited to European taste, as they are of the simplest and most ordinary construction, and built after the Mahomcdan style. Their extreme length is from two to three hundred feet, and they are half that space in breadth. These serais consist of a vast number of little rooms adjoining one another, barely sufficient for the accommodation of a single person. The mosque stands facing the east, and was originally appropriated to religious purposes, though now all think themselves privileged to invade its quiet and sanctity. The centre of these choultries is an open space, overgrown with grass and shrubs, probably consigned for the use of cattle, and in some of them suitable apartments are appropriated for the exclusive convenience of native females. The lofty minarets of the mosques may be distinctly seen at the distance of two or three miles, and more if the country happen to be blessed with an open prospect: and at the time when these erections were originally finished, a faqueer had been attached to each, not only for the purpose of guarding the mosques from profanation, but also of keeping the buildings clean and in proper order. This description of service was usually rewarded by the voluntary contribution of Mahomedan pilgrims, who only were suffered to enter these sacred edifices in order to perform their morning and evening devotions; but now hardly a traveller arrives but he is sure to take possession of the very mosque itself, the walls of which are most shamefully disfigured with scraps of writing both in prose and verse in all languages; perhaps, left as lasting memorials of the gratitude of those who find shelter in them from the fatigues of peregrination, the scorching beams of a vertical sun, or the peltings of a furious storm.

It may not be irrelevant to mention here, that the serais or choultries in question, were originally founded by Meer Allum, late Minister to his Highness the present Nizam of Hydrabad, from his own private means. These buildings are not composed of common brick and mortar, like the bungalows erected under the auspices of the Madras Government, but of materials as different in quality as the edifices themselves are different in style and construction. Meer Allum, who had the envied reputation of being considered

an able minister and a shrewd politician, combined with the possession of unlimited power, exalted rank, and eminent station, all the milder and more cherished qualities of a generous and charitable disposition, a tender and confiding heart, benevolent feelings, and great integrity of principle. A few years, therefore, prior to his demise, desirous of leaving to an admiring posterity the most durable monument of his munificence, as during his life his uprightness of conduct in the impartial administration of justice and universal benevolence of character, which his very name significantly denoted, had shed a bright lustre on his reputation, and diffused an unfading radiance around his earthly career, he felt anxious of perpetuating his fame by an act that would not only exalt his renown among his contemporaries while the vital spark continued to animate his corporeal frame, but, at the same time, serve to immortalize his name in after ages. Accordingly, imparting his designs to his brother courtiers, or those satellites which are ever to be found crowding round the favourite of fortune, emitting a feeble splendour for a transient hour, and then withdrawing their diminished rays before the brighter effulgence of a rising sun, like the ignited insect that, attracted by the brilliancy of a glowing taper, heedlessly flutters round its lambent flame, and is then annihilated for ever; he set about carrying his laudable scheme into immediate execution. It was necessary for him only to issue his mandates to be peremptorily obeyed. Proper architects having been, therefore, provided, and the requisite funds raised, they were soon dispersed over the whole of the Nizam's country with the strictest orders to proceed with the work instanter, Large massy slabs cut out of the adjacent rocks were transported at an immense expense to the different scites where the edifices I have above alluded to were to be respectively erected in the manner described, no other material being employed on the occasion, except chunam, for the internal and external coating of the choultries, which must have been completed at a vast labour and expense, and after the lapse of several years; no doubt presenting at the commencement a grand and magnificent appearance, contrasted with the desolate state of the country

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