Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/123

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111
THE DESERT OF GOBI AND THE HIMALAYAS.

parks with botanical gardens, future generations will know how to provide them, probably with better means and service, and in any case with closer-lying interest and benefit. At present it would be an extravagance, a vain illusion, and a needless and costly experiment, to go for the establishment of a botanical garden beyond the Central Park, which is so well adapted to the purpose, and to create from the beginning a "grand botanical garden" at a considerable distance in a wholly unprepared territory. — Translated and abridged for the Popular Science Monthly from the March number of Pharmaceutische Rundschau.


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THE DESERT OF GOBI AND THE HIMALAYAS.

By Lieutenant F. E. YOUNGHUSBAND.[1]

THE Royal Geographical Society enjoyed a profitable evening a few months ago in hearing an account by Lieutenant F. E. Younghusband of a journey which he had made across Central Asia from Manchuria and Peking to Kashmir, over the Mustagh Pass, and the discussion upon it, in which officers learned in Indian geography took part. The author started in the summer of 1885, with Mr. H. E. M. James, who has since published in the book called "The Long White Mountain" the best account of Manchuria that we have. The travelers separated, after a pleasant and profitable journey, at Newchang, Mr. James to return home by way of Chifu and America, and Lieutenant Younghusband to travel back to India through Mongolia and Chinese Turkistan.

Respecting the field of the earlier journey, the author asserts that "few countries could repay the traveler better for his labors than Manchuria. It is a noble country, and well worthy of being the birthplace of the successive dynasties which issuing from it have conquered all the countries round, and of that dynasty which to-day holds sway over the most populous empire in the world. The fertility of the soil is extraordinary; the plain country is richly cultivated and dotted over with flourishing villages and thriving market towns, and the hills are covered with magnificent forests of oak and elm. The mineral resources are at present undeveloped, but coal and iron, gold and silver are known to be procurable. The climate is healthy and invigorating, but very cold in winter, when the temperature varies from 10° below zero Fahr. in the south to 40° or more below zero in the north. Rivers are numerous and large." The principal river is the Sun-

  1. Condensed from the author's paper in the "Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society."