Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/272

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?40 Notice o? Khoten. government, and generally in tea. His son, who succeeds to his rank, deprived of the power of profiting by his father's experience, acquires information only from his own opportunity and energies; and, whatever his mental acquisitions may be, he generally dies bs?ore they are communicated to his heir. By this nefarious system the Chinese prevent, as they conceive, the accumulation of much wisdom and experience in any Kaimuk chief, and the risk of il? producing the political elevation of the Kalmuk race. ' The Moosulman population of Khoteu now, as in the time of Marco Polo, are principally engaged in works of agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, aud have little disposition for the profession of arms. ' The domestic animals of the country of Khoten are horses, iu great numbers, of a hardy kind, but of a small size. Yaks bred on the mountains, and common neat cattle on the plains. Sheep of the Doomba, or broad-tailed variety, are reared in vast numbers, but the tails of these are much. smaller than those of the Kosak Chicf ;--their wool is very fine but short, as it is shorn twice a-year. opinion of the Chinese government entertained by its distant subjects :--" The Kalmuk chief is informed by ? message couched in terms most complimentary to his tonduct, that his presence at court will be highly gratifying to the emperor; and if the chief plead indisposition, he is allowed to defer his visit to the second year, but no longer. On his arrival at Peking he is received with the groat?st attention and re- spect, is lodged and entertained at the expense of the emperor, speedily inta'odueed to the sovereign, is most graciously noticed and loaded wkh presents, at least to double the value of those he has offered to the acceptance of the monarch, and after aresi. denca of a stated period, seldom exceeding eight days, has his audience of leave, and departs with some incree? of titular honour. At every military station, or corps de garde, on the road of which there are said to be the enormons number of three hundred and sixty between Peking and Yarkund, he is furnished with all the accommodations he and his attendants can stand in need of? and amongst which tea constitutes a never-falling article. ' "To some officer of considerable rank the imperial order to administer poison to the ?msnspeeting Kalmuk has been previously communicated. Its egeet? lhough slow, ?xe sure. So fsmil!?, it would seem, are the Chinese with thisinstrument of de- structlon, that its very agents occasionally become its voluntary victims. For when the Chinese governors of places,' far removed from the seat of supreme government, have abueed fiteir power, and received such an intimation as convinces them that the ta-lbunal to which they are responsible have proof of their delinquency, they, if their crime be of a capital nature, generally prefer the poisoned cup, which preserves their persons from public disgrace, and their property from confiscation, to the risk of losing life, honour, and estates, by the hand of the executioner. I speak here from reports of transactions stated tohsve ocourred on the frontier I After and ? investimreof iusigni? and droeses? along with a propo. rtioned ?o his rank and for the individuals during the early por- he nearly reaches thai; i extlnguished t?gether." '