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Tomsk, on the Ohy, at the junction of the Tom, has considerable trade and 11,000 inhabitants. Barnaul, a mining town, and the centre of all the forges and foundries in the Altaian mountains, is situated near the junction of the Barnaul and the Oby, 100 mile: S. E. of Koihyvane. Yeniseisk, on the Yenisey, has 8,000 inhabitants, and a famous fair which is frequented by merchants from every part of Siberia. Yakutek, on the Lepa, has 3,000 inhabitants and a flourishing for trade.
Population.] The number of inhabitants is estimated at about 2,700,000. The mass of the population in Siberia consists of the native tribes, who are subject to the Russian government, but on whom the yoke presses very lightly, they being merely obliged to pay a certain tribute annually. These tribes are numerous and wholly dissimilar to each other. The tracts in the south and east are occupied by the Mongols, and by the Burats, a nation of the same race. They exhibit the same features and follow the same pursuits with the rest of their nation who inhabit the vast regions of Central Asia. These tribes inhabit the banks of the Selenga, of the lake Baikal, and of the Upper Yenisey. The southern parts of the government of Tobolsk are filled by various. tribes of Tartars who subsist principally by pasturage, particularly by the rearing of horses. The northern districts are possessed by hunting tribes, peculiar to itself, not found in any other part of Asia. The principal are the Tungouses upon the Yenisey, the Ostiaks upon the Oby, the Yakoutes upon the Lena, the Samoieds upon the whole northern coast eastward to the Lena, the Tchouichis at the N. E. extremity of Asia. The European inhabitants of Siberia consist almost exclusively of the troops occupying a series of fortified posts, scattered at wide intervais over This vast dominion, and the descendants of those anhappy persons who were doomed, by the government, to exile in these dreary regions.
Religion.] The religion generally diffused throughout this territory consists of that widely extended sysłem of Boodh, or of the Lamas, which has its central seat in Tibet, but is generally professed over all the east and centre of Asia. It is here called Shamanism. On the Upper Selinga, to the south of lake Baikal, is the residence of the Bandida Lama, the pope or bead of the religion in this part of Asia. Christianity has hitherto made very little progress among the natives of Asiatic Russia ; though considerable efforts have recently been made, and with some success, both by the Russian government and the British missionary societies.
Commerce.) The commerce of Siberia consists chiefly of tiro branches. The first is formed by the exportation of iis metals and furs ; the second is a mere transit trade, consisting in the overland intercourse of Russia with the Chinese empire. The former is in a great measure in the hands of the government, who have monopolized the most valuable mines, and to whom the tribute of all the wandering tribes is paid in furs.
Inland Navigation.] Notwithstanding the course of the great rivers is from south to north, the merchants carry on a navigable intercourse from west to east, with very few interruptions, across the whole of Siberia. Soon after crossing the Ural mountains they descend the Tobol to Tobolsk ; then descend the Irtish to its junction with the Oby, and then by ascending that river and one of its tributaries, they come almost to Yeniseisk. After a short land carriage they embark on the Yenisey, and by the Tongouska and Angara are conveyed to Irkutsk. A short land carriage then places them upon the Lena, which they descend, till a liitle below Yakutsk they find a tributary which conveys them to the foot of the Stanovoy mountains ; after the laborious passage of which, they find a small river, which transports them to Okhotsk, on the shore of the sea of the same name. The merchants trading to China follow the same route, as far as Irkutsk ; thence they cross the lake of Baikal, and ascend the Selenga to Kiachta, the theatre of this commerce.
Kamtschatka.] Kamtschatka is a large peninsula forming part of the government of Irkutsk, and lying between the Pacific ocean on the east and the sea of Okhotsk on the west. It is trape ersed through its wbole length from N. to S. by a chain of lofty mountains. The number of inhaliitants by the last census was only 2,843. They live almost exclusively by fishing and hunting. Instead of rein-deer they use dogs to draw their sledges over the snow and ice.
Islands.] The Aleutian islands are about 40 in number, and er. tend in the form of a bow from the peninsula of Kamtschatka to that of Alaska in North America. The inhabitants are few in number and subsist principally by fishing and hunting. The Kurile islands extend in a S. W. direction from the southern point of Kamtschatka to the isle of Jesso, which belongs to Japan. Ser. eral of the islands at the southern extremity of the group are subject to the Japanese. The population of the whole is said not to exceed 1,400.
Situation and Extent.] Arabia is bounded N. by the pachalics of Bagdad and Damascus in Asiatic Turkey ; E. by the Persian gulf; S. by the Indian ocean; and W. by the Red sea. It ex. tends from 12° to 34° N. lat, and from 33° to 59° E. lon. The area, according to Arrowsmith's chart, is 1,030,000 square miles.
Divisions. | Arabia was divided by the ancients into three parts ; Arabia Felix, or Happy Arabia, comprising the southwestern part of the country, bordering on the lodian ocean, and on the southern part of the Red sea; Arabia Petroea, lying on the Red sea north of Arabia Felix ; and Arabia Deserta, much the largest division, embracing all the eastern and northern part of the country. These names are still in common use among Europeans ; the natives, however, divide the country into five parts, as follows, 1. Yemen. 2. Hedsjas. 3. Oman. 4. Lachsa. 5. Nedsjed. The first of these seems to correspond with Arabia Felix; the second with Arabia Petroea, and the three last with Arabia Deserta.
Face of the Country.) Arabia is an arid desert interspersed with a few fertile spots, which appear like islands in a desolate ocean. Stony mountains and sandy plains form the prominent features in the surface of this past peninsula. To the north it shoots out into a very extensive desert, lying between Syria and the countries on the Euphrates. The whole coast of Arabia, from Suez to the head of the Persian gulf, is formed of a plain called the Tehama, which presents a picture of the most complete desolation. The interior is diversified by extensive ranges of mountains, but there is no river of any consequence in all Arabia, almost every stream either losing itself in the sandy plains or expanding into moors and fens.
Climate.] lo the mountainous parts the climate is temperate, but in the plains intolerable heat prevails. A hot and pestiferous wind, called the Simoom, frequently blows over the desert and instantly suffocates the unwary traveller; and whole caravans are sometimes buried by moving clouds of sand raised by the wind, lo almost every part of the country they suffer for want of water.
Soil and Productions.). The soil, wherever it is well watered, exhibits an uncommon fertility, but where this is not the case it degenerates into a waste, affording barely a scanty support to a few wild animals and the camels of the wandering Arabs. The inost fertile district is Yemen or Arabia Felix, which in many parts is cultivated like a garden. The principal productions are coffee, myrrh, aloes, frankincense, pepper, and tropical fruits.
Animals.] The camel and the horse are produced in greater perfection in Arabia than in any other country. The camel is wonderfully fitted by Providence for traversing the hot and parched desert. His stomach is formed for the retention of a large supply of water, and he is thus enabled to travel for six or eight days without drinking. His feet are made of a hard fleshy substance, well fitted to resist the heat of the sand. The ordinary pace of the camel employed in caravans is slow; being at the rate of two or three miles an hour for seven or eight hours in a day. He usually carries 800 pounds on his back, which is not taken off during the journey : when weary he kneels down to rest, and sleeps with his load upon his back.
The Arabian horses have been celebrated in ail ages. They are remarkable for speed, admirably adapted for battle, very
sprightly, full of fire, and they never appear fatigued ; they are besides extremely docile. Nothing can exceed the care taken by the Arabs in training their horses, and very particular attention is paid to the purity of the breed. Their pedigree is counted as carefully as that of their masters, being often traced as far back as 2,000 years. A horse of high birth will sell for a thousand crowns.
Chief Towns.) Mecca, celebrated as the birth-place of Ma. homet, is situated in a dry, barren, and rocky country 40 miles inland from the Red sea, in lat. 21° 18' N. It is entirely supported by the concourse of pilgrims from every part of the Mahometan world. The chief ornament of Mecca is the famous temple, in the interior of which is the Kaaba or house of the prophet, a plain square building built of stone. The most sacred relic in the Kaaba is the stone said to have been brought by the angel Ga: briel to form the foundation of the edifice. The grand ceremony through which pilgrims pass is that of going seven times round the Kaaba, reciting verses and psalms in honor of God and tbe prophet, and kissing each time the sacred stone. They are then conducted to the well of Zemzem, situated in the same part of the temple, where they take large draughts, and undergo a thorongh ablution in its holy waters. Another ceremony, considered as of eqnal virtue, is the pilgrimage to Mount Arafat, situated about 30 miles to the south of the city. The population of Mecca was formerly estimated at 100,000, but is now reduced to 16,000 or 18.000, the resort of pilgrims within a few years having greatly diminished. Jidda on the Red sea serves as the port of Mecca
Medina, 176 miles N. of Mecca, is celebrated as containing the tomb of Mahomet, around which 300 silver lamps are kept continually burning. The population is 6,000. Jambo on the Red sea is the port of Medina.
Mucha, situated near the southern extremity of Arabia, is the principal port on the Red sea, and the channel through which almost all the intercourse of Europe with this part of the world is carried on.
The great article of export is coffee, which is cele. brated as the finest in the world. The population is estimated at 5,000.
Sana, the capital of Yemen, is a handsome city situated 128 miles N. N. E. of Mocha.
Mascat, the principal port on the eastern coast, carries on an extensive trade with the British settlements in India, the Malay peninsula, the Red sea, and the eastern coast of Africa. It is under the government of an independent chief. The Arabs of Mascat are considered fine sailors, and their power at sea was at one time so formidable, and exercised in so piratical a manner, as to give serious alarm to the English. Of late, bowever, they have become quite civilized and orderly, and Europeans are now treated here with more respect than in any other part of Arabia.
Curiosities. Near the head of the Red sea, 150 miles S. E of Suez, is Mount Sinai, where God delivered to Moses the ten commandments, and immediately west of it is Mount Horeb, where the
angel appeared in the burning bush. These mountains are now inhabited by monks, who pretend to show the very spot where the miracles happened.
Population.] The number of inbabitants is commonly estimated at 10 or 12,000,000. They are almost exclusively Arabs, a part of whom dwell in towns and villages, but the greater number are migratory.
Bedouins.] The wandering Arabs of the desert are called Bedouins. They all live under tents, and migrate with their families and property from place to place in quest of subsistence. Many tribes are notorious robbers, and without a sufficient force, or a passport from one of their chiefs, it is dangerous to pass through any territory occupied by them.' The rights of hospitality, however, are held in sacred observance, and an asylum once granted proves a security to the most defenceless. These predatory tribes are dispersed through the deserts in various parts of Asia and Africa, and are dreaded by all the ciyilized people around them.
Language.] The prevailing language is the Arabic, which is one of the most extensively diffused languages in the world. It is spoken not only in Arabia, but in Syria, Persia, Tartary, part of India and of China, half of Africa, and on all the coast of the Mediterranean.
Mahometanism.] Arabia was the birth-place of Mahomet and is still the centre of his religion. Every true Mahometan believes that there is one God, and but one, and that Mahomet is his prophet. He says his prayers tive times every day; at day break, at noon, middle of the afternoon, at sun-set and at twilight; he abstains from pork and spiritous liquors; at one season of the year he neither eats, drinks nor smokes between sun-rise and sunset, for 30 days in succession; and once in his life he performs ą pilgrimage to Mecca.
Wahabees.) The Wababees are a new sect of Mahometans, who originated about the middle of the last century, and acknowledge Abdoul Wahab as their founder. They believe in the unity of the Deity and the genuineness of the koran, but reject all the trailitions and all the worship paid to saints and the successors of Mahomet. The most memorable era in their history was in 1803, when they entered Mecca and destroyed 80 splendid tombs, erected in honour of the descendants of Mahomet. In 1804 the v took Medina, and these two holy cities continued for a long time in their possession. They are now masters of all the interior of Arabia and of parts of the sea coast, and are supposed able to muster an army of 120,000 men. Within a few years, however, the Turkish pacha of Egypt has succeeded in expelling them from Mecca and Medina.
Government.) Arabia is divided among a number of independent tribes or clans, each governed by its own chief, called imam, emir or sheich, and confederacies are often formed among these for mutual defence. The city of Mecca and its dependencies, however, acknowledge at present thc sovereignty of the Grand