Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/428

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to the Tsakhar domain, 3 to Ala-shan, 48 to Uliasutai (31 of these are to Kobdo), and 7 to the Ordos territory. In an illuminating chapter in More about the Mongols, Gilmour, the great Mongolian missionary, corrects what he calls common delusions about Mongolia. He says that the Mongols are " frequently spoken of as ' wandering tribes.' Now the truth is that any one who is conversant with Mongolia can go straight to the tent of almost any man he wishes to find, and that there is no more difficulty in seeking out a man's place of abode in Mongolia than in the case of a man in England." " Tribes and men have their fixed localities almost as distinct and definite as in China, England, or any settled country." He also corrects the general impression that Mongolia is a trackless region. He says : " On the contrary, there are great broad roads running through it in many directions ; roads not made by the hand of man, but it may be by camels' feet, yet, however made, as well marked and a good deal broader often than the king's highway in England. These roads are so well marked that on one occasion a foreigner and a native, neither of whom had ever travelled that way before, followed one of them for nearly two weeks, and never lost it, even in the night time." " Roads abound in Mongolia."

Further, " In Gobi the grass is mostly sparse, but there are regions where the grass grows as deep and thick almost as in an English hay-field, having in addition a profusion of flowers." The Mongolian Language. — Probably the best essay on this subject in the English language is to be found in the appendix of the life of James Gilmour of Mongolia. Mon- golian is not a monosyllabic language like Chinese, but has words of many syllables and has an alphabet. Moreover, the language differs so little in its dialects that all over Mongolia men meeting one another can communicate with each other with less difficulty than a Scotsman with an Englishman. It is really much easier of acquisition