Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/271

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Notice on Khote?. Abulghazi also observes, that "les habitans de la ville font pour la plupart profession du cuite de Mahomet"--Marsden, vol. i. p. 153 and a preceding sentence in the same quotation leads the reader to believe that the Kalmuks formed the smaller part of the popu- lation; which is affirmed by Tooranee merchants to have been the case when Khoten was conquered by the Chinese. But the victors deported all the Kalmuks of that country to the cities* of Eela and their districts, in the latter of which their population amounts to about two hundred thousand families, whose residences extend for six days' journey from the cities of Eela in every direc- tion. The breeding of cattle forms the principal employment of the Kalmuks. These are camels, horses, cows, sheep, and goats; and for every hundred head they raise, they pay one to the emperor as a quit-rent. ? The Kalmuks?' bring annually from ten to twenty thousand three-year-old geldings to Eels for sale ;rothey are ordinarily from thirteen and a half to fourteen hands high, and are sold in droves at about twelve for a yamboo, or ingot of silver, which, at the currency of oue hundred and eighty rupees, gives an average of fifteen rupees a horse. These horses are taken to Aksoo, Yar- kund, Kashgar, Indejan, Khoten, and even to Bokhara, and resold principally for carrying loads of merchandise. ? The warlike character and vast numbers of the wandering and widely-spread family of the Kalmuks, which are scattered over a large portion of Russia, Siberia, and China, afford occasional employment to the Chinese government in practising means to prevent their military spirit producing the political aggrandizement of the Kalmuk nation. One expedient is that of dividing their numbers by transporting their masses, by portions, into different parts of the empire when they become formidably great in any one district. The other--and for the honour of human nature one would wish it were an exaggeration---consists in destroying the chief of each horde; for it is asserted, that when the son of a chief attains that age at which his mother transfers him from her care to that of his father, or from ten to fifteen, the latter is always taken off by poison s administered by order of the Chinese

  • ' Several cities united to form the city situated on the river of this name.'

? ' The Kalmuks are employed also as cavalry in the armies of China, and form part of the immense garrison, or standing army, of Eela. The other troops in its cities, composed of Mangoos, of the same family with the emperor, are cavalry armed with swords alone. The $ooloongs are cavalry who use only bows and arrows, and the Karakuthaees are infantry who are alone armed with guns. In former times, by Kuthaee was meant ?as reported to me) the countries occupied by the Moosulmans on this side of the Great Wall, and by Karakuthaee the country within it? but the distinction has now merged in the general term of Kuthaee.' ? ' The following is the accountgiven by Mr. Moorc. roft's informant of the manner in which this crime is effected. The whole story is chiefly cm'ious as showing the Digitized by GOOglC