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We were unwilling to concede even to that most useful public body, the honor of discharging a duty we felt to be peculiarly our own; our readers will doubtless be gratified at our thus enriching our pages.
In the next number we hope to communicate some information regarding the accomplished author; who, we understand is now a resident in Van Dieman's Land.-EDs.
Plan and Division of the Memoir.
The first 47 paragraphs compose an Introduction which treats of the natural division of the countries under view, their chief ranges of mountains and rivers. I here assign the extent in which
I understand the various names for countries, provinces, and districts; without this precaution the matter which follows would have been obscure or prolix, perhaps both. This is divided into four parts. The first part treats of Climate, and is divided into four sections, in which are discussed in their order, the temperature, the winds, the rains, and the salubrity. The second part treats of the Soil, and has no division. The third part treats of Natural History, and is divided into three sections ;-in the first, are mentioned the mines and mineral products of these kingdoms; in the second, the most remarkable vegetables; in the third, the animals and carriage. In this part of the memoir some matter has found a place which will scarcely be reckoned interesting in a public view, but which was naturally introduced from the desire of completing the plan originally proposed. The fourth part is an attempt to give some idea of the husbandry. The second, which I entitle "a review of the districts," details what are the chief occupations and means of subsistence, the chief live stock and kinds of grain, the plenty or scarcity of supplies, and some particulars of a miscellaneous nature; it concludes with an estimate of the population.
The following is a briefer sketch of the contents of this memoir:
I. Climate.-1 Temperature,-2 Winds,-3 Rains,-4 Salubrity.
III. Natural History.-1 Minerals,-2 Vegetables,-3 Animals.
Of the Climate, Soil, Products, and Husbandry of Afghanistan and the Neighbouring Countries.
In the following pages I treat of a wide extent of country, being nearly the whole of the space of which a map has lately been constructed by Lieut. Macartney. In a more particular manner will be treated Afghanistan, which is centrical in it. Such is the extent and diversity of this last country alone, that were our attention confined to it, still could a brief treatise contain but cursory notices even of the important parts of a subject so extensive; much more must it be so, when the neighbouring tracts are to be in some measure included in the survey. With respect to the accuracy also of the matter here offered, although it be hoped that there is a considerable preponderance of truth, it must be supposed that in the circumstances under which it has been collected and digested, the errors too must be numerous.
2. Afghanistan is bounded on the north by mountains which divide it from Kashkar and Budukhshan; other mountains divide it on the north-west from that part of Toorkistan which lies on this side of the Oxus, and that part of Khoorasan which extends north nearly to that river; on the west it includes a part of that famous geographical division; while beyond in this direction is the Persian Khoorasan ; to the south it has deserts and Bulochistan. The Indus from its exit from the lofty mountains in about the latitude of 45° N. sometimes constitutes its eastern boundary, and sometimes is comprehended in it, as will be in the sequel more fully explained. Discarding the provinces of Sindh and Kushmeer, as if parts of India, and also the provinces lately belonging to the monarchy in the south-east of Toorkistan, with the contiguous ones in the north-east of Khoorasan, the Afghan people and government may be considered as included within the 35th and 29th degrees of north latitude and the 62nd and 73rd of east longitude.
3. Without discussing the nature of the political connection between Bulochistan and the Afghan monarchy, it seems sufficient for us that there is a practical convenience in naming and considering them separately. Bulochistan, so called from two nations called Bulochis, who compose the bulk of its population, has Afghanistan to the north, a desert dividing it in that quarter from Seestan, (Seestan on the whole lies north-west of Bulochistan); to the west, deserts or very illpeopled tracts divide it from the Persian province Kirman; to the south is the sea; and to the east Sindh. The government of Sindh
possesses the port of Kirachee, which may be considered as locally within Bulochistan. The country is thus included within the 25th and 31st degrees of north latitude, and the 60th and 70th of east longitude.
4. We have already seen that Afghanistan embraces a part of Khoorasan, an ancient geographical division which has been recognized downwards from the earliest times, not merely in books but in common conversation, and that with little variation, notwithstanding the frequent changes of dominion and even of population in the country. We are not concerned with its southern or western boundaries. To the east it extends in one point to Mookr, and in that neighbourhood may be considered as ending where considerable heights begin; it thus includes the whole of the Dooranee country. Seestan too is but a division of it. In more northern latitudes its extent is more difficult to fix. The western part of the Paraparnisan range of hills with the valleys contained and the neighbouring plains— forming together the country of the Ymaks-both was and is considered as part of Khoorasan; but the eastern part of the same tract which the Huzaras possess may more properly be stiled a broad boundary between it and Hindoostan, in its largest sense, which includes Cabul and even Ghuznee. Still more to the north Khoorasan in ancient times extended to the confines of Budukhshan, thus including Mymuna, Undkho, Bulkh, Koonduz, Khoollum, Ghoree, and Talikan. Perhaps Budukhshan itself, and whatever lies on the left of the Punj or Upper Oxus, was formerly part of Khoorasan, while the country on the right was coarsely distinguished as that lying beyond the river (Mawaroolnahr.) But the usage of modern times is contrary to such an extension of the term, and restricts Khoorasan in this quarter nearly by the river Marghab. In Asia rivers seldom form boundaries, but rather are themselves considered as included in certain countries on both their banks, and thus Khoorasan may be allowed to comprehend a certain distance to its right, especially during its upper course. From where that stream empties itself into the Oxus, the Oxus is perhaps for a certain distance the boundary of Toorkistan to the north and Khoorasan to the south. In truth both banks of that great river, but especially the left, are here so barren, that limits are little regarded or understood. Towards the mouth of the river, Toorkistan extends considerably to the left of it, unless we consider Khwaruzm as distinct from either division.
5. The term Toorkistan in its present sense is but modern, and liable to some ambiguity. It may be said to contain the following provinces
1st, The ancient Khwaruzm, lying towards the mouth of the Oxus : chiefly, if not entirely to its left, and the Toorkman deserts extending from it towards the Caspian. 2nd, The tract we have just excluded from the modern Khoorasan, but not including Budukhshan. The natives having no appropriate name for it, I propose to distinguish it by its ancient one of Bactria. 3rd, The tract lying between the Oxus and Jaxartes, with a small territory beyond the latter river. 4th, The country beyond the Jaxartes inhabited by the Kuzzkas to the west and Kirghizes to the east ;-tribes but little advanced in society, or acquainted with agriculture. Beyond them to the north we come to the Russian dominions, and on the east the Chinese. A fifth tract to be called Chinese Toorkistan, and not to be included under the term of Toorkistan simply, is to be afterwards mentioned. These general terms will in the sequel be less used than others more particularly applicable to countries of far inferior extent; but preparatory to the enumeration of these, let us sketch the course of the mountains and hills, which chiefly mark out their boundaries and give them their character.
6. The first and greatest ridge is that which forms the boundary to the north of Afghanistan. It originates however near the right of the Burmhpootr river, and running thence in a westerly and northerly direction, forms a boundary of the plains of Hindoostan and the Punjub, which are watered by the streams that either originate in it or the lofty lands beyond it. Within it is contained the fertile valley of Kushmeer, and beyond Kushmeer it forms the lofty tract called Little Tibet, and bounds to the north Pukhlee, into which it seems to send a branch. Crossing the Indus it has no longer the same tendency to the north of west, but running in nearly 35° 25' north latitude separates Bhooner, Swad, and Punjkora, small districts now occupied by the Yoosufzyes, and into which its branches extend from Kashkar to the north. Arrived at the river commonly called from this last country, as originating in it, its greatest ridge appears to stretch in a direction to the south of west to a termination in the mountain Hindookoosh, but one minor ridge is detached along the left of the Kashkar river, which it divides from Bajaur to the Punjkora, while others on the right of that river form in their course the cragged country of the Kafeis, (but the Kafeis have some other portions of those mountains, and overhang the low valley of Lughuran. This grand chain has as a whole no acknowledged name among the natives, nor have the European authors yet agreed in one denomination to be given it. It is undoubtedly very lofty, not merely in its central ridge but in most of its lateral branches;
towards Afghanistan this height is usually gained very rapidly, so that not unfrequently low and hot valleys and plains lie at the foot of mountains white with perennial snow.
7. In the opposite quarter they do not preserve one character; Hindookoosh has a rapid descent into Budukhshan, which it divides from the valley of Cabul; more to the east there issues from the great northern ridge another, by geographers named Belur, a term corrupted from the Toorkee word Beloot, signifying a cloud, and which runs perhaps due north and divides Budukhshan, Durwaz, and Kuralegin on the west, from Kashkar on the east. Into all those countries, and beyond them into Toorkistan between the Oxus and Jaxartes, it sends branches generally of considerable height; but according to Lieut. Macartney it cannot be considered as extending beyond the river Jaxartes, which rises in its northern extremity not far from the farthest sources of the Oxus. The Kashkar river too seems to originate in the same neighbourhood but to the east of this range, along the foot of which it generally runs, and by which it is prevented running westwards towards the Caspian. To the left chiefly, or to the east of this river, is the country of Kashkar, which has on the south the great northern chain, so called as lying to the north of Afghanistan. This chain has here a moderate descent, and Kashkar appears to be generally speaking an high plain, which is as it were, supported by it. Many points however remain very obscure. Lieut. Macartney is of opinion that this high plain of Kashkar is surmounted to the north or north-east by another chain of mountains nearly parallel to the first, and in which originate, or partly originate, the Indus and the Kashkar river; and that these mountains in their north-western extremity join the northern extremity of the Belur chain. With respect to this other range which meets the Belur, it seems rather a slight height of land than a lofty ridge, and there is no absurdity in supposing it lower than the ridge first mentioned, though the streams generated in it pierce that ridge. In short, it seems probable that the table land is continued from Tibet as well as the mountains, and this table land naturally has a ridge from which the waters are turned contrary ways, but which need not be supposed lofty above its base. Certain it is that after entering Kashkar travellers from Peshawur to Yarkund, whose course is not very different from due north, have no very high mountains to pass. It is true Kashkar is not destitute of other mountains besides those bounding it to the south and west, but they do not appear to give a character to the country. The north-west part of this table land which lies north of