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• From The Kxaminer. "Hour after hour went by, and onr steeds had

Travels in (he Regions of the Upper and been changed a second time; thoso wo started Lower Amoor and the Russian Acquisi- w'<h seeming as fresh as when they left tlie noul. tion* on the Confines of India and China. } In ollr routo llicro wtts no change visible,— it

With Adventures among the and the Manrs,

Toungouz, Touzemtz, Goldi, and Gelyaks: the Hunting and Pastoral Tribes. By Thomas W'idam Atkinson, F. R. 0. S.,

was still the same plain ; there was not Bo much 'floating in the air, that, by casting a er the steppe, could give n slight variation to the scene. At noon I called a halt, to look round with my glass ; but nothing appeared on tho sandy waste. When mid-day had passed,

F. 0. S., Author of " Oriental and West- ' my attendants desired to stop. The horses were ern Siberia." With a Map and Numerous piqueted in three groups, but we could procure Illustrations. Hurst and Blackett. them neither grass nor water. The Kirghis pro

Mi? A-nmionv whn in n fnrmpr wnrt rtn« dul'cd 6mokctl liorso flesh and their Koumis bot, MR. Atkinson, WHO in a lormer work, nag ,, am, t,l(,y nn(| the Cosgacka djned A iece

more than sketched Siberia, in this volume | of boilct, „,„•„„„ hnvi ,)cen pec|lrcd fron*>,Mt extends his account of a great region almost ; njght.g fengt> 011 ,|,is j mndu my „„„». unknown to the traveller, and, following the 1 •• While the men were taking their meal I example of the Russians, masters the Amoor. I walked along about half n mile. The whole His new work closes with a valuable topo- ! horizon was swept with my glass, but neither graphical detail of the course of the Amoor, I man, animal, nor bird could bo seen. One of with tables of the natural history of the re- «'>e Kirghis galloped up to me, bringing my gion, and with an ample index that exhibits I horse, and urged me to be gone. Having re

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while it adds to the substantial value of a narrative against which we can object only

that it is written perhaps with a little too , progre9S. nnd ,ho,,gh we had gone over a conmuch deference to the taste of the general . sjderablo distance, nothing could be observed to reader who must, above all things, be amused. {indicate that we were drawing near a grassy rcIt is enough to say of Mr. Atkinson that he gion. No' landmark was visible, no rock prois an artist who has devoted himself for many traded through tho sterile soil; neither thorny years to the enjoyment of wild s_cenery and shrub, nor flowering plant appeared, to indicate adventure among the remote tribes Vhom, together with their steppes and pasturages,

he describes -, that his activity seems to Inindefatigable and that he is of all Englishmen, probably of all men, the one who knows j

tho approach to a habitable region. All around wag ' Kizil-kpora' (red sand).

"What a solemn stilincss reigns on these vast nrid plains, deserted alike by man, beast, and birdl Men speak of tho solitude of dense tor

-. . lests: I have ridden through their dark shades

most about the remote Asiatic tracts to which for days together; but there was the sighing of he has devoted his entire attention. His en- the breeze, the rustling of the leaves, tho crcakjoyment of life and adventure among the en- i ing of the branches; sometimes the crash of one ca'mpments of the great horde of the Kirghis of these giants of tho forest, which, in falling, Tartars is delightfully fresh, and gives vi- 1 woke up many an echo, causing tho wild ani

vacity as well as accuracy to all his descriptions. He is not dry, even when in the deserts. This, for example, is his account of a day's ride across the waste:

"There was a belt along the edge of tho desert, about two miles in width, on which tufts of rough grass were growing, and broad patches of plants having succulent leaves and deep crimson flowers. These wcro quickly passed, and we entered upon a sandy waste, which, to tho south, the cast, and the west, appeared a sea of sand. Stopping my horse, I glanced back at the aoul and the herds we had left: a few camels and horses only could be seen, now diminished utmost to specks; but the yourts and the people were no longer visible. I desired the Kirgliis to point out the direction of our route, which was nearly south-west, and then wctstartcd onwards. For many miles tho sand was hard like a floor, over which wo pushed on at a rapid pace. After this wo found it soft in places, and raised into thousands of little mounds by the wind. Our horses were now changed, and in an hour these mounds were passed, when we were again on a good surface, -till riding hard.

mats to growl, nnd the frightened birds to utter shrieks of alarm. This was not solitude: the leaves and trees found tongues, and sent forth voices; but on these dreary deserts no sound was heard to break the death-like silence which hangs perpetually over the blighted region.

"Fourteen hours had passed, and still n desert was before us. The sun was just sinking below the horizon. The Kirghis assured me that two hours more would take us to tho postures and to water; but they doubted our finding an aonl in the dark. Our horses began to feel the distance wo had travelled, and now we changed them every hour. We still kept on nt n good speed ; and though two more hours had elapsed, there were no signs of herbage. It bad become quite dark, and the stars wcro shining brilliantly in the deep blue vault. My guides altered their course, going more to the south. On inquiring why tliey mado this change, one Of them pointed to a star, intimating that by that they must direct their course.

"Wo travelled onward, sometimes glancing at tho planets above, and then anxiously scanning the gloom around, in tho hope of discerning the fire of some dwelling that would furnish

food and water for our animals. Having ridden on in this manner for many miles, one of tlie men stopped suddenly, sprang from (lift horse, and discovered that we hud reached vegetation. The horses became more lively, and increased their speed, hy which the Kirghis knew that water wus not far off. In less than half an hour they plunged with us into n stream, and eagerly began to quench their terrible thirst, after their long and toilsome journey."

When the Emperor Nicholas, in 1848, converted the people on the Trans Baikal into Cossacks with a view to carrying out his plans for extension of territory upon the Amoor, the change closed the silver mines of Nertchinsk, and stopped the supply of native lead. Search was made for mines, and there •were found near Tchingiz-tau, among the Kirghis, far beyond the Russian frontier, mines from which vast quantities of lead, besides much silver, could be obtained. A meeting for negotiating transfer of the land was arranged therefore between the Kirghis Sultan and the Russian director of mines in the Altai. The minerals are distributed over a space nearly twenty miles long by eight broad, but the chief of the mines saw that a broader district, which included a small river, had to be secured. The settlement began, of course, with feasting of the chiefs :—

"Their appetites having been fully satisfied, the director deemed it a favorable moment to commence proceedings. He therefore desired his interpreter to ask the price at which the sultan valued the stony tract, and the pastures on its western side, with the stream of water which bounded it In that direction. In reply, the sultan stated that he and the chiefs were willing to sell the land with the mineral!- on the following terms, viz.: That two hundred and fifty pieces of silver (meaning silver roubles) should be paid to him, and a gold medal added, like the one prcscnied by the Emperor Alexander I. to Sultan ISoultmia. Also, thai another sum of one hundred silver roubles should be paid to the mulla and the chiefs, to be equally divided among them. But he said that the river they could not dispose of, as that was necessnry for their pastures, and for watering their cattle.

"The director now told them that he must absolutely insist on the river being included, as he could noi purchase the mines without it. Nor would it, he said, be injurious to the tribes, as their cattle cculd drink at the stream before it entered the mining district, where it passed for many miles through their pastures. He, however, promised to add something more to the amount named bv the sultan, if this point was ceded to him. leaving stated this, he ordered the two hundred and fifty new and shining roubles to be placed on the tables; the large gold medal, with its broad red ribbon, was taken out of its rase and placed near the money; and one hundred roubles more counted down for the mulla and the chiefs. A gold-laced, scarlet coat i.n.1 a sabre were now added to the heap in

tended for the sultan ; a kalat or long tobe, of vivid colors, and n gold imperial, were put ou tho table for each of the chiefs and the mulla. The interpreter was instructed to tell the sultan that all these things woulil be given if tho river were included in the purchase; if not, the negotiation would be at an end, as no further oner would be made. They were not prepared for this mode of settling the matter; it seemed far too abrupt, as their transactions usually occupy days; mdccd, sometimes weeks are consumed in settling their bargains, time being no object with them. They looked at each other with I astonishment, and then at the valuables spread out before them, anxious to secure them, but still desiring to get more.

"Having spoken together for some minutes, the sultan said that it would take time for them to consider the matter; adding, that they would consult all the tribes about it, and give an answer in a few days. The director fully understood what was meant by this, and that they intcmled delaying their decision until something more was offered; and knowing that this would be continued for an indefinite period if once permitted, he told the sultan that, as the matter had been under the consideration of himself, the mulla, chiefs, and tribes, for several months, they could not require any farther time Besidos, he had taken n long journey to meet them, and now he could not, under any circumstances, admit of delay. It therefore became necessary that tlfcy sho'uld definitely decide, before the council broke up, whether they accepted his offer or not; finally ho assured them that, if they once left his yourt without concluding the bargain, be should start on his return within an hour.

"Without further remark the sultan began examining the sabre and the coat, desiring that the latter should be tried on. He was quickly invested with it, and viewed the extraordinary change that appeared in his person with perfect satisfaction. The gold medal was bung on his breast, producing a great effect; but when a. Cqssack buckled the sabre on his waist, this settled the point. He would have given half the rivers in the steppe sooner than bo stripped of his weapon and finery.

"In a few minutes the mulla and chiefs were bedecked in their new clothing, evidently on the best terms with themselves, and vastly admiring each other. The money was handed to the sultan, which be rolled up in his shawl and secured round his waist, as this was too precious in his eyes to be trusted to any other hands. The mulla and chiefs followed his example. Shortly afterwards life sultan stamped his Real on a document transferring to the great White Khan the whole district shown on n map prepared beforehand, with all the gold, silver, and other minerals it might contain, its pastures, and the river. Thus, for a sum of about one hundred and fifty pounds, his imperial majesty acquired mines and a freehold property in the Kirghis Steppe, which will, 1 have no doubt, expand rapidly towards all the points of the compass. These mines arc of immense value, and arc now j sending their contributions to the imperial mint.

"The council broke up, and all parties were satisfied. When the sultan left the yourt and appeared before his tribe in all his splendor, nothing could exceed their astonishment; they evidently thought no earthly monarch could surpass him in grandeur."

A Kirghis horse race differs greatly from that of a Goodwood Cup day, for it is over a course thirty or forty miles long, the object being to test the endurance of the horse as well as his speed. The festivities attendant on this advantageous contract with the director of the mines ended with a horse race, in •which the distance of thirty-three miles was run in an hour and forty-two minutes. Carriage travelling behind these horses must be exciting. Mr. Atkinson describes two such rides. One was in a tarantas and twelve:—

"The author, with an artillery officer, in a light tarantas, had once been driven with Cossack horses to an aoul about sixty vcrsts from the piquet, where our attendants left us to return home with their horses the following morning. Having spent some days in pheasant shooting, we prepared to leave our hospitable host, to visit another chief, who lived at a five hours' ride distant. Our friend provided us with horses and an escort of his Kirghis, who, with the help of oar two Cossacks, succeeded in fastening six to our tarantas. One of our men mounted the box, and took the reins of the wheelers, and four Kirghis rode the others. But all their efforts could not make them move the carriage a single yard.

"The old chief was exceedingly angry, and ordered six more to be attached, with "broad straps of hide across their chests, and ropes forming traces—rather slender tackle for rampant and plunging animals. The lines of horses and men made a formidable contrast with onr small vehicle at their heels ; but the chief felt that the honor of his cattle was at stake. When the word was given to proceed, some of the team reared and plunged on one side, as they felt the traces tighten against their ribs ; others bounded in the opposite direction, seemingly intent upon tearing the carriage in half. During the confusion which followed the leaders made a double, and rushed up to the carriage, appearing more inclined to ride than draw. After many efforts they were once more got into line, with mounted Kirghis on both sides of each pair. This succeeded, and awny they went at a gallop, while the Kirghis shouted with joy as they rushed onward over the plain. •

"This was a scene I shall never forget. The men were enraptured, caring nothing for the bounds of the carriage, which rendered it no easy matter to keep our seats. Even the horses entered into the spirit of the race, for this it more resembled than travelling. After about an hour's gallop the steeds became more reconciled to their work ; still, some refractory animal occasionally showed a desire to be free and range over the vast plain around him. Night was closing in fast when we dashed up to the aoul of the chief, the team white with foam, greatly to the sur

prise of the people. I have mentioned this incident to show what the Kirghis will do with horses that have never been in harness ; but the danger is too great to be pleasant, and my fellow traveller, as well as myself, thought one such risk sufficient."

Nevertheless greater risk was run some time afterwards in a sledge and three.

Many details in the work will interest the naturalist. We quote an anecdote destined, no doubt, to find its way into muny a boy's book:—

"I have mentioned in my former work that the bearcoot is trained for hunting by the Kirghis. But I have said nothing; of his prowess in his wild state, when he sports on his own account, and sometimes plunders other ravagcrs of their prey. The following incident will illustrate his power and courage, besides showing that he would prove a formidable opponent to any unarmed man, if hunger prompted him to dispute possession of his game.

"Three of these dark monarchs of the sky were seen soaring high above the crags to the south, which were too abrupt to ride over. Wo therefore piqueted our horses to feed, and began to ascend the mountain slope. In about an hour and a half we reached the summit, and descended into a small wooded valley, when we observed the bcarcoots wheeling round towards the upper end, in which direction we hastened. Having gone at a quick walk for about three miles, we reached a rocky glen tlfat led us into a valley of the Bean, known to be a favorite resort of the animals we were seeking. A small torrent ran foaming through its centre, and mountains rose on each side far above the snowline. In singular contrast with the rich foliage and luxuriant herbage in the valley, the lower slopes facing the south were almost destitute of verdure, while thoso facing the north were clothed with a dense forest.

"We had scarcely entered this sylvan spot when a singular spectacle was presented to our view. A liirgc maral had been hunted down by three wolves, who had just seized him, and the ravenous brutes were tearing the noble animal to pieces while yet breathing. We instantly prepared to inflict punishment on two of the beasts, and crept quietly along under cover to get within range. We succeeded, and were levelling our rifles, when Scrga: called my attention to two large bearcoots, poising aloft and preparing for a swoop. He whispered," Don't tire, and we shall see some grand Rport."

"Presently one of the eagles shot down like an arrow, and was almost instantly followed by the other. When within about forty yards of the group, the wolves caught sight of them, and instantly stood on the defensive, showing their long yellow fangs, and uttering a savage howl. In a few seconds the first bearcoot struck his prey : one talon was fixed on his back, the other on the upper part of his neck, completely securing the head, while he tore out the wolfs liver with his beak. The other bearcoot had seized another wolf, and shortly both were as lifeless as the animal they had hunted.

"The third brute snarled when his comrades set up their wailing howls, and started for the cover; be was soon within range, when a puff of while smoke rose from Serge's rifle, and the wolf rolled over, dead. The report startled the bearcoots, but we remained concealed, and they commenced their repast on the stag. Their attack had been made with so much gallantry, that neithpr the old hunter nor myself could raise a rifle against them, or disturb their banquet. When satisfied, they soared up to some lofty crags, and Serga? took off the skins of the poachers, which he intended keeping as trophies bravely won by die eagles.

"My old friend hod spent thirty years in the vast forests and mountains of Asia. Ho was thoroughly acquainted with the habits of the an

imals, ami the feathered race that inhabit them; and the during attack by the bcarcoots was the most interesting scene he had witnessed."

We have quoted only from those lighter portions of the book which will ensure its popularity, but it is most to be valued for its interesting geographical details and for the sketches of characteristic scenery with which, it is illustrated. Mr. Atkinson cares quite as much for plains, rivers, and mountains a» for men in those far lands; he has a painter'* pleasure in the rock and water, and as to the ground he traverses, has also science enough to tell him what to tell.

Thb wor4 "ventilate " is of no modern origin; it was used in England before the existence of America was known to civilized man.

It was the ordinary term used in courts of law from the earliest day to signify the raising of a discussion on any point. (See Du Cange, "Ventilare cuusam—cam ngituro, de ea dissorere.")

An instance of its use in France is cited, \.i>. 1367 :—

"Et toutes lenrs causes tnues ct & raouvoir, soicnt ventillccs ct dcterminees ... en nostre clmmbrc de 1'arlement."

Another instance is cited more than two centuries earlier:—

"Cumque din hsec causa fuit vontilata."

In pleadings in our own courts, especially the ecclesiastical, the word is of ordinary occurrence, and has been used for at least scveu centuries.

X. X.

Your American correspondent H. N. will find that the word "ventilate was used in England in its present sense above three hundred years ago. It is in Sir T. Elyot's Governour, and in Bishop Hall's '•"'..' Religion, the quotation front •which, being shorter, I add:—

"The ventilation of these points diffused them to the knowledge of the world." C. 2.

Harrington also has it in his Oceana; and other examples will bo found both in Johnson's and Richardson's Dictionaries. D. S.

This word has long been used by the French in the sense to which I suppose II. N. alludes. The Dictionnaire de I'Acaae'mie has the following:—

"Vcntiler, v. a. II signifie aussi, discnter une affaire, agiter, debattre une question avant quo d'cn delibe'reren forme, llfaut veatiler prtmierement cette affaire; ce sens est vieux."

Arno's Court. John Williams.

—Notes and Queries.

Four-bladed Clover.—J. N. asks for some corroboration for belief ia this incantation, and I may mention that in the west as well as in the "far north" of our country, although the belief has not fairly died out, it is in a rapid state of decay. Boys and girU in their summer rambles in the fields may yet sometimes be discovered carefully searching for the four-leaved clover, not however as nn object of superstition, but as one of curiosity, being extremely rare to be found.

Its use in dispersing the power of "glamour," or of witchcraft, has been famous since the most ancient times; indeed nobody knows how long. A curious illustration may bo cited from the Last Battell of the Soule in Death, by Mr. Zachary Boyd, 1629 (p. 68; reprint, 1831, p. 24), wherein "The Pastour" says to "The Sicko Man " :—

"Sir—it shall bee your farre best to suffer the lone of Christ swallow vp the lone and all other considerations of worldlie thinges, as Mote* his serpent swallowed vp Ike serpent of the 3farjieians. VVhateiier scemcth pleasant into this world vnto the natural! eye, it is but by juggling of the senses: If wo haiie the grace of God, this grace shall be indccde like ns :> fotire-nooked Claiier, is in the opinion of some, viz. a most powcrfull meanes njrninst the juggling of the sight: If wee could seeke this grace, it would let vs see the vanitie of such thinges which beguile the natural senses." —Notes and Queries. G. N.

From The Sntnrday Review, 21 July. INTERVENTION IN SYRIA. It is now some time since any event has occurred calculated to cause so much disquietude as the massacres in Syria. The outbreak assumed a new character when a large city like Damascus was successfully attacked, and the fanaticism which had .previously been engaged in the destruction of hillside villages ran riot in the capital of Syria. The loss of life has been terrible, and thousands have to mourn homes burnt or pillaged, and relatives killed or carried off to a fate worse than death. But the sufferings of the Syrian Christians, great as they have been, seem a small matter by the side of the grave consequences to which these massacres will probably give rise. The sultan appears to have written a note to the emperor expressing the sorrow which the outbreak has caused him. He may well be sorry and alarmed. It is hard for him to deal with Christians, but it is harder still to have to punish Mahometans. The plot discovered last September at Constantinople revealed one of the most serious dangers with •which the Ottoman government is threatened. The conspiracy then detected was a movement of the subject Mahometan races against the dominant race and the whole system of government which has been adopted in recent times by the Porte. The outlying Mafcometan tribes seem to be penetrated with a notion that the Porte is at once faithless to its religion and inefficient in its administration. It is considered wicked and weak; and a notion more dangerous to a government could not be entertained. For some years these tribes have been longing for an opportunity to recall the nominal head of their religion to a sense of his duty; and a combination of circumstances has inspired the belief that it would be safe and easy to do so. The Porte must, therefore, watch the mission pf Fuad Pasha with the greatest apprehension. If he acts fairly, and makes an example of the offenders so striking as to prevent an imitation of their offence, he will encourage the persuasion that his government is false to its religion. If ho attempts to compromise matters, and to exact only a colorable vengeance, he will strengthen the conviction .that his government is weak. The relations of the sultan to his Mahometan subjects are therefore full of difficulties j but his relations to the Christians are still more embarrassing. The sorrow which he states himself to have felt on hearing of the massacres will be considerably heightened when he reads the ominous article in the Constitut fain I. He will find that a scribe who is known only to hold the pen while the emperor dictates has announced that the time

of bearing with the impotence of the Turkish empire is over. France is prepared to see the government of Syria pass into firmer hands. No intimation is given as to the future to which Turkey and Syria are destined; but France has taken the first step, and it is a very long step, towards ending the rule of the sultan on the borders of the Mediterranean.

Any alteration in the position of the Turkish empire affects England so nearly that this manifesto in the Constitvtionnel, evidently intended to pave the way for French intervention in Syria, is scarcely less alarming to us than it is to the Turks. It is useless to shut our eyes to the fact that the influence of France m the eastern corner of the Mediterranean is spreading very rapidly. The Christians of Candia have gone over by thousands to the Latin Church, in order to secure French protection; and the little vitality that exists in Syrian Christianity is all on the side of the power which is supposed to befriend the popo. We cannot compete with the French in this combination of politics and religion among half-savage tribes like the Christians of the Lebanon. Protestantism is admirably adapted to the area of intellectual civilization, or to the simple savages of such utterly barbarous tribes as are open to the influence of the fatherly care and personal courage of English missionaries. But it is not suited to tribes whose notion of Christianity is that it is a name to fight for, and who love to compensate for the crimes of bandits by ceremonial observances and asceticism. Our bishopric at Jerusalem is a dead failure, whereas Latin Christianity is not only an enduring but an increasing religion in the Eastern Mediterranean. The French have a basis of intervention which we have not, just as the Russians have a basis of intervention in the Christian population of European Turkey. The threat of intervention-held out in tlie Ccriutitutionnd is therefore very alarming. For it must be remembered that the occupation of Syria is only one part of a great scheme of French policy which has for some years been steadily pursued. The idea which" floats before the eyes of those who think it is the business of France to reconstruct the map of the world consists in the foundation of a great dependency which shall rival British India, and make France the mistress of Europe. This dependency is. to include Algeria, Egypt, and Syria, the eastern coast of Africa, and Madagascar. This may only be a dream, arid, as most Englishmen would think, a I foolish dream; but steady endeavors to lay the foundation for at least a possibility of 'realizing it are made every year. The Suez i Canal has been so managed that, if France

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