Images de page


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

paschal or Easter communion, commences from 'on the outbreak of the war with Russia, its fortifica. Sbrovetide. These days were sometimes called ' tions were greatly extended. In the vicinity is an Fasting-tide or Fast-mass, names which are still intrenched camp in a position of great natural retained among the population in some parts of Great strength, which can accommodate from 40,000 to Britain. The name of S. was retained in Eng- 60,000 men. The more accessible approaches to land after the Reformation, although the practice the town are guarded by forts. The culture of wine of shriving,' in which it had its origin, was and grain, and the rearing of silk-worms, are the abandoned. The precept of shriving' having been chief employments; and the town is famous for its fulfilled, the faithful, upon the eve of entering manufactures of copper and tin wares, ready-made upon the Lent, were indulged with permission to clothes, and leather. Pop. 30,000, exclusive of the give themselves up to amusements, and to festive garrison. The Russians attacked the town in vain celebrations, of which the counterpart is still seen on three separate occasions—in 1774, in 1810, and in the continental carnival. In England, the pas in 1828. times of football, cock-fighting, bull-baiting, &c., SHUNT SYSTEM OF RIFLING is a very in were, down to a late period, recognised usages of genious arrangemeut for securing the accurate cenS.; and the festive banquets of the day are still tring of a projectile discharged from a rifled cannon. represented by the pancakes and fritters from To obtain precision of aim and range, it is absolutely which Pancake Tuesday took its name, and by the essential that the axis of a projectile should, at the . collops' which gave its title to Collop Monday. moment of discharge, coincide exactly with the axis These usages are gradually disappearing. . of the bore. This can scarcely be obtained unless

SHRUB (see SYRUP), a kind of liqueur made the shot fits with extreme tightness into the gun; chiefly in the West Indies. It consists of lime or and if it does so, and the gun is a muzzle-loader, it lemon-juice and syrup, to which a small portion of is scarcely possible to load it. The ordinary prinrum is added; other flavouring materials are used ciple has the projectile smaller than the bore, so as occasionally.

to pass readily into the gun, resting, of course, on SHRUBS are plants with woody stem and the bottom of the bore. The projectile is covered branches like trees, but of smaller size, not gener

with a soft metal, as lead, which expands with the ally exceeding 20 feet in height, and branching

pressure behind, and fits the shot tight into the

grooves; but from the fact that it rested at the siderable height. When a shrub is of small size commencement of the expansion) ou the bottom and much branched, it is often called a bush. There

of the bore, the axis of the shot is always below is no more important botanical distinction between

the axis of the bore. trees and shrubs, and the same genus very often

To obviate this, Sir includes species of both kinds. Many shrubs, as

William Armstrong honeysuckle, are climbers.

designed the shunt' In point of Law, whoever plants a shrub thereby

system, which in pracmakes it part of the soil, and it becomes à

tice has been found kind of fixture, incapable of being removed by

admirably effective. tenants. But if the tenant is a nurseryman,

In rifling the gun, the who makes a business of planting and removing

groove for 14 inches
from the muzzle con.

Fig. 1.
maliciously cuts, breaks, barks, or roots up a shrub sists of a wide, (leep
growing in a pleasure-ground, garden, or ground

| indentation (o in figs. 1 and 2), and at the side of it adjoining a dwelling-house, if the injury exceed one

Lone a narrow indentation of less depth, a; from 14 pound in value is guilty of felony, and liable to inches to 22 inches from the muzzle, this narrow penal servitude for three years; and wherever the groove gradually deepens, till it attains the level shrub is situated, if the damage amount to one of the broad groove, after which they run together shilling, the person is liable to be imprisoned or for a short distance, until a shunt at c, fig. 2, narrow's fined by a justice of the peace.

SHUGSHU'T, a small town of Turkey in Asia, in Anatolia, on the left bank of the Sakaria, 95 miles in direct line south-east of Constantinople. On an adjacent hill is the tomb of Othman (q. v.),

Fig. 2. founder of the Ottoman dynasty. The tomb, resembling the handsomest and most ancient of the Turkish sepulchres at Constantinople, stands

the whole groove on the same side as a to the

original width of b. Projecting from the shell amid a grove of cypresses and evergreen oaks. Pop.

(fig. 3) is an iron flange a, too high to pass the estimated at about 5000.

narrow groove, and SHUMALA'RI. See HIMALAYA.

still higher, by its SHU'MLA, a strongly fortified city of Bulgaria, side, a narrow band European Turkey, stands on the Little Balkan, 50 of zinc or of brass iniles west of Varna, and 60 miles south-south.

and 60 miles south-south. studs, b. Each of west of Silistria. It is bounded on the north and these passes freely west by mountains, and on the south and east by along the broad deep an unilulating plain furrowed by valleys that extend groove of the bore.

Fig. 3. north to the Danube. Its situation is pleasing, and As the shot is te character and distribution of its buildings give rammed home, the twist of the rifling brings the it a picturesque appearance. The roads from the iron flange against the edge d (figs. 1 and 2) of Turkish fortresses on the Lower Danube and in the the broad deep groove, which enables both the Dobrudscha on the north, and from the passes of flange and zinc band to pass freely until past s the Eastern Balkan on the south, converge upon S., (fig. 2), where the inclined plane ends. At c, howand for this reason it is an important strategic ever, where the groove becomes narrowed to only position. It contains an arsenal, military hospital, the width of the flange and band together, the large barracks, a citadel occupying a height, and shot is shunted over to the left. In this position surrounded with high and thick walls; and in 1853, it is rammed home. In coming out, of course, the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

pressure of the twist is reversed, and the zinc band neuralgia, rheumatism of the muscles ci mastication, presses against the straight edge e; on reaching f, and paralysis of the tongue. the force of the exploded powder behind drives the SIA'M (native name Thái = the Free, or Muang shot ou, while the inclined groove from f to g Thai = the Kingdom of the Free), the chief state of flattens down the zinc band, so that the projectile Indo-China, is bounded on the S. by the Gulf of

ceases to lie on the Siam and the Malay Peninsula. On the W., N., bottom of the bore, and I and E., the frontier-line is ill-defined and fluctuis firmly centred by its ating, owing to many tribes being only partially several bands on the under subjection, and to the constant wars of shallow grooves (what- | aggrandisement between S. and the Malayan and

number may Burmese races on the west, and the Cambodian and be) round the bore's | Cochin-Chinese races on the east. According to a circumference. The recent account, the country lies in lat. 4°-21° N., lead fitting at the back long. 96°_102° E. ; is 1200 miles in length, and of the shot has been about 350 miles in extreme breadth. Area estimmeanwhile driven by ated at from 190,000 to 290,000 sq. m.; pop. stated the explosion into the at from 5,000,000 to 6,300,000. The kingdom con

deep wide grooves, 80sists of 41' provinces, each governed by a Phaja, or Fig. 4-Going in. as to stop windage. functionary of the highest rank. There are numer

The Russians have | ous districts beyond the limits of the kingdom & shunt system borrowed from Sir W. Armstrong's, proper, as the Laos, Malayan, and Cambodian

but differing in details. I dependencies, which are more or less under subjecAmerican guns, on tion to S., and pay tribute generally once in three similar principles, have years. S. itself pays tribute to China, but only as been made experiment. I a matter of usage and convenience, for it receives ally. The invention from that country more than a return, in the remisdoes not appear to sion of duties upon Siamese vessels bound to Chinese have been yet applied | ports. Cambodia is situated between S. on the to small-arms.

west and Cochin-China, and as sovereignty over it The sections of the is claimed by both these countries, and as it is too muzzle in this article, | feeble to resist the claims, it pays tribute to both. figs. 4 and 5, are Surface, Hydrography, Coast-line, Soil, and necessarily exagger- | Climate. The mountains which cover the northern

ated in regard to the districts of the country, and form natural barriers Fig. 5.-Coming out. position of the shot, / along its east and west frontiers, are branches of

to shew the principle. the great system of the Himalaya. Though the In reality, there is only a minute difference between northern dependencies of S. are mountainous, the the diameters of bore and projectile.

kingdom proper is a vast plain, which only becomes SHU'SHA, a fortified town of Russian Trans.

hilly on its northern frontier. The great river of

the country, the Nile of S., is called by foreigners caucasia, in the government of Elizabethpol, and 120 miles south-west of the town of Shemakha It Menam, or more commonly, Meinanı; but the occupies a strong position on a mountain, accessible

Siamese call all rivers by this name, and distinguish only on one side, and contains upwards of 19,000

the river by adding to the name Menam the name inhabitants.

of the chief town or village on its banks; thus,

| Menam Bangkok is the river of Bangkok, that is, SHU'STER, a city of Persia, in Khuzistan, on the great river of the country, which Europeans and the Karun, 30 miles east-south-east of Dizful, at the other foreigners have agreed to call Meinam. This foot of a range of sandstone hills. In the early river, the great life-sustaining artery of the country, part of the present century, it was an important rises among the mountains of the Chinese province town and the capital of the province; but it was of Yunnan, whence it flows south, and after a course nearly depopulated by an epidemnic in 1832, and of more than 800 miles in this direction, throws was much damaged by an inundation in 1840. On itself by three months, which are from 6 to 8 a height stands the castle, commanded, however, by fathoms deep, into the Gulf of Siam, about 30 miles a loftier elevation. The walls have been allowed (18 miles in direct line) below Bangkok. It receives to fall, and a fourth part of the town is in ruins. a number of important affluents, notably the river Customs are collected here, but the trade is not Phitsalok, which joins it in lat. about 17° 35' N, extensive. Pop. about 25,000.

The annual inundation of the Meinam, the occasional SHUTTLE, the instrument used to carry the

non-occurrence of which entails failure on a great

portion of the rice-crops, commences in June, and weft-thread in weaving. See LOOM.

ends in November. Impregnated with the rich soil SIA’LOGOGUES are substances which, by which it brings from the interior, its waters, in local stimulating action, increase the secretion of August, overflow the banks to a height sometimes Saliva (q. v.). Amongst the substances which thus exceeding six feet above the ordinary level. The act as direct stimulants to the salivary glands, tract of country within the direct influence of the we may especially mention Horse-radish root, inundations is estimated at 12,000 sq. m.; but, Mezereon bark, and Pellitory root. Horse-radish properly speaking, the actual valley of the Meinam, root, when chewed, produces a copious flow of commencing 450 miles above the mouth of that saliva, and has been found useful in aiding deglu- river, and with an average breadth of 50 miles, has tition in cases of paralysis of the tongue. If an area of upwards of 22,000 sq. m., and forms a Mezereon bark is used in the same way, the saliva tract of country the fertility of which is not exceeded should be frequently ejected, in consequence of in any other quarter of the globe. Of the other the acrid properties which it absorbs from the drug. great rivers, the chief is the Mei-kong, which flows Pellitory root is the best of this class of remedies. through the eastern districts of the empire, and is said Fragments weighing from half a drachm to a to be 1600 miles long. The coast-line, fringing the drachm may be frequently chewed when we wish edge of the Gulf of Siam, may be roughly estim. to increase the flow of saliva in cases of facial ated it 1100 miles, exclusive of minor windings.




The principal ports on the coast-line are Paknam kinds are numerous. Excellent fish are found on (pop. 6500), defended by three forts ; Paklat, a few the coasts and in the rivers. miles above Paknam (pop. 7000), defended by a fort Minerals.--Gold is found among the mountains, on each side of the river; Meklong, at the mouth of and silver in combination with other metals; the river of the same name, long. 100° 10' E., a beau- copper, tin, lead, and iron are abundant, and are tiful city, with floating bazaars, fine pagodas and extensively worked by the Chinese. Precious gardens, and a pop. of 10,000; Chantaburi, long. about stones are found in great number and variety. 103° E., near the mouth of a river which, though | Manufactures.- Vases, urns, and other vessels, in short, fertilises with its inundations a considerable the manufacture of which gold is embossed upon district, a place of active trade with China and silver, are made here in great numbers, and have an Cochin-China, with a pop. of 6000; and Bangplasoi, oriental celebrity. Gold-beating, iron-founding, and 27 miles east-south-east of Paknam, engaged in a manufactures of fine cloth, glass wares, and pottery profitable fishery and in agriculture, pop. 6000. are carried on. The breadth of the Malayan Peninsula, in lat. 11° Commerce, Exports and Imports.-In formos N., is only 50 miles, and here two streams, the one times, Bangkok (q. v.) was the most commercial city Howing west to the Bay of Bengal, and the other east of the Cape of Good Hope, after Calcutta and east to the Gulf of Siam, offer great facilities for the Canton, and 60 British ships were engaged in trade construction of a ship-canal, for their sources being with the river Meinam. But in 1855, such had been near each other, a few miles of canalisation are all that the influence of bad legislation, and such the des. would be required to connect them, and thus form tructive progress of monopoly, that the foreign trade a sea-way across the peninsula, which would shorten had become reduced almost to nothing. Sir John the voyage between India and Eastern Asia by Bowring, Her Majesty's Plenipotentiary, arriving in many days, and often by weeks.-The climate of S., negotiated a treaty of friendship and commerce S. is, for a tropical region, salubrious ; the resident with the Siamese rulers (signed at Bangkok, April missionaries speak highly in its favour. The mean 1855), which provides that British subjects are per. temperature at Bangkok, for a series of eight years, mitted to trade freely in all the seaports of S., may was 81° 14' ; the maximum heat, within the same purchase lands, houses, &c., and may profess the space, was 97°, and the minimum 54o. Hurricanes Christian religion undisturbed. By this treaty, all and typhoons are almost unknown in S., though it monopolies are rescinded, British traders purchasing is visited every year by the south-west and north- directly from the producer, and selling directly to east monsoons--the former bringing clouds, thunder- the purchaser, without the interference of any third storms, and rain, the latter bringing refreshing party. Export duties are levied upon all goods weather.

that leave the country, but they pay one impost Agriculture, Flora, and Fauna.-—In S., few of the only, whether this be levied under the name of instruments in use in scientific agriculture are inland-tax, transit-duty, or duty on exportation. known, and in many parts of the country, in 1855, Prior to 1856, when the treaty first took effect, the ground was prepared for the seed by turning the British arrivals (including Mussulman vessels herds of buffaloes into the fields to trample down under the British flag) amounted to only 12 per the weeds and move the soil, and afterwards by annum ; in 1858, they amounted to 81° vessels; harrowing the ground with thorny shrubs. But and in 1863, the entries were 82 vessels, of 30,36,3 the soil here is so rich that the smallest outlay of tons, and the clearances 78 vessels, of 28,603 tons. capital and labour is rewarded by abundant harvests. In 1868, 408 vessels of all nations (not including A much more advanced system of agriculture, how. I junks), of 200,064 tons, entered and cleared the ever, has been introduced within recent years, and port of Bangkok. In the same year, the exports the quantity of agricultural products exported has amounted to $2,076,842. In 1865 the principal exgreatly increased. Rice and sugar are the principal ports were rice, 36,718 piculs (the picul = 1333 Ibs.); crops. Of the other products, the chief are Aquila, sugar, 81,966 piculs; and large quantities of stickor eagle-wood, renowned for its perfume, and lac, hides, salt, pepper, sapan wood, and the other proextensively used on that account at funerals, ducts and manufactures of the country, including a marriages, and other ceremonies in Eastern Asia; small quantity of cotton. These statistics are for the gutta-percha; cardamoms; gamboge; bamboo; the port of Bangkok alone. The revenue of the king is rattan; valuable palms; the guava ; mango; estimated at about $15,000,000, about five-sixths of daurien, esteemed the king of fruits in S. ; the which is raised by direct taxation, or poll-tax, the mangosteen, and many other fruit and other trees, remainder from vassal princes and sale of privileges. including teak and a variety of valuable ship and Inhabitants and Government.—The Siamese proper, house timbers. Among the animals, the most that is, the Thái race, form about a third of the famous is the elephant, which abounds in the entire population. They are gentle, timid, careless, forests. It is against the law of S. to kill elephants, and almost passionless. They differ in several as these animals are considered the property of the respects from many eastern nations. Lying, though king ; but many of them are nevertheless slain for frequently resorted to as a protection against the sake of their tusks. A variety of this animal, injustice and oppression, is not a national character. said to be peculiar to S., is the white elephant, istic. The Siamese are inclined to be idle, incon. which is not really white, but of a light mahogany | stant, and exacting ; but they are sincere, very colour. This animal is held in the highest venera affectionate in their domestic relations, witty in con. tion, the cause of which is, that he is supposed to versation, and, like the Chinese, expert in mimicry. be the incarnation of some future Buddha, and will | About a third of the whole population are Chinese, therefore bring blessings on the country which who are great emigrants, but who, wherever they possesses so great a treasure. He is fed upon fresh go, preserve their own language, customs, costume, grass, and sugar-canes and plantains, served in rich habits, and social organisation. There are, it is dishes, is covered with ornaments, inhabits a build- estimated, 1,500,000 Chinese in S. ; in Bangkok ing attached to the palace, enjoys the rank of alone there are 200,000. All the active business of nobility, and is tended by a staff of officers, guards, the country is in their hands. The Laos people valets, &c. Tigers abound, especially in the Laos (see SHAN STATES) are also very numerous in the country in the north; tiger-cats, rhinoceroses, boars, country, and there are considerable numbers of wild pigs, elks, and deer of many kinds, tenant the Malays and Cambodians. The religion of the woods. Crocodiles, lizards, and serpents of various Siamese is Buddhism (q. v.), which inculcates the SIAM-SIBERIA.

highest veneration for life in whatever form. A fatal. The Hungarian sisters, who lived about a Siamese will not kill vermin or serpents; and the century since, were united by the back, had one tameness of many creatures that in Europe flee from passage from the intestines, and each had one from the presence of man, is observed by all strangers. the urinary organs. They died when they were 22 The use of Betel (q. v.) is almost universal in Siam. years of age. The Siamese twins were purchased of All the belles of S. stain their teeth black. The their mother at Meklong, a city of Siam (q. v.), and Siamese are extremely ceremonious in their inter- were brought to America by Captain Coffin and Mr course one with another. An inferior crouches and Hunter in 1829. On examination, the connecting crawls on the ground before a dignitary, and speaks band seemed to have united them at first face to of himself as your slave-a hair--a little beast.' | face, but constant traction had so changed its direcThey are a small well-proportioned race, with olive- tion, that they stood partially side by side. Its coloured skin, and black hair, of which all that they length above was about two inches; below, nearly allow to grow is a tuft about two inches long on the four; from above, downwards, it measured three top of the head—the rest being shaven off. They inches; and its greatest thickness was one and a half are remarkably fond of jewellery and ornaments, inch. It is covered with skin, and when the centre and the dresses of the higher functionaries and is touched, both feel it; but on touching either side nobles is splendid and beautiful. They are fond of of the median line, only the nearest individual is music; have a number of good native instruments, sensible of it. The connection between the Siamese as well as the common European ones, and are twins presents many interesting points in regard to skilful performers.

physiology and pathology, for although they form The government is an absolute and hereditary two perfectly distinct beings, they appear most monarchy, and there are two kings. The First frequently to think, act, and move as one indiKing is the actual monarch; the Second King, who vidual. receives about one-third of the revenue, and has an After realising a competence by the exhibition army of 2000 men, seems to occupy the place of of themselves in the various countries of Europe first counsellor, and is invariably consulted by the and America, the Siamese twins settled in North First King before any decisive step in the administra- Carolina, where they were married to two sisters, tion of affairs is taken. Both the present monarchs and had' offspring. Owing to domestic quarrels, can speak and write English, have been careful however, two houses were found necessary, each and appreciative students of the great English living with his wife a week at a time alternately. writers, understand the use of the sextant and Ruined by the late disastrous war, the Siamese twins chronometer, and are well versed and deeply again exħibited themselves to the public, to repair interested in the mechanical arts. The kings are their shattered fortunes. assisted in the administration by a cabinet and! For a full account of the structural peculiarities council.

History. The annals of the Siamese begin about de l' Organisation d'Homme et des Animaux. five centuries B. C. But nothing authentic is known of the history of the country till 1350, in which

SIARA, properly, CEARA (q. v). year Ayuthia, the former capital, was founded. SIBBALD, SIR ROBERT, an eminent Scottish Cambodia was first conquered in 1532, and in this naturalist, born at Edinburgh, 15th April 1641, of century the Siamese dominion extended to Singa- a good family (the Sibbalds of Balyonie, in Fife), pore. The present dynasty ascended the throne in studied at the High School and university of

Catholic missionaries in S. since the year 1828, but studies at Leyden, Paris, and Angiers ; settled as 80 far as the Siamese are concerned, their labours a physician in Edinburgh in 1662, devoted much have been almost if not altogether fruitless. - For time to botany and zoology, and aided Sir Andrew further information on this most interesting country Balfour in establishing a botanic garden in Edinand people, see Bowring's Siam (Lond. 1857). (burgh. Having inherited an estate, he retired

SIAM, GULF OF, an important arm of the Chinese from medical practice, but continued his scientific Sea, is bounded on the N. and W. by Siam, on the pursuits; was appointed by Charles II. his Majesty's S.-W. by the Malay peninsula, and on the N.-E. Geographer for Scotland, and was encouraged to by Cambodia. At its entrance between Cambodia prepare a work on the geography and natural Point and the peninsula of Patani on the Malay | history of his native country. His death is supPeninsula, it is 235 miles wide, and from the line posed to have taken place in 1722. He published drawn between these two points it extends inland many pamphlets on medical subjects, natural in a north-west direction to the mouth of the history, Scottish history, antiquities, &c. The work Meinam, a distance of 450 miles. Four great rivers, for which he is now chiefly remembered is his nayivable to a considerable distance from their Scotia Illustrata, sive Prodromus Historiæ Naturalis, mouths, and the chief of which is the Meinam (see &c. (fol. Edin. 1684), a work of great merit for its SIAM), fall into the gulf. It is unvisited by hurri- time, but his Collection of Several Treatises in Folio

Later Times (Edin. 1739), is not without value. SI'AMESE TWINS, a name given to two youths, SIBERIA, a vast territory in Northern Asia, Eng and Chang, born of Chinese parents in Siam, belonging to Russia, and including all the Russian in 1811, having their bodies united by a band of possessions in that continent, with the exception of flesh, stretching from the end of one breast-bone to the Transcaucasian and Armenian provinces, is the same place in the opposite twin. The survival bounded on the N. by the Arctic Ocean ; on the E to advanced life of such a lusus naturce makes this by the seas of Kamtchatka, Okhotsk, and Japan, one of the most remarkable cases on record. A all of them arms of the Pacific Ocean ; on the W. union of the bodies of twins by various parts is not by the Ural Mountains, Ural River, and Caspian an unusual occurrence (see MONSTROSITY). Ambrose Sea. On the S., its boundary is constantly tending Paré has depicted instances of union by the back, southwards, and according to the latest authori. belly, and forehead. The last occurred in two girls, ties, consists at present of a line running in lat. who mved to the age of ten years, when one of them 45° N., between the Caspian and Aral Seas, crossing dying, a separation was made: the wound of the the latter to a point on the eastern shore in lat. 430 living girl assumed a bad character, and soon proved | 40' N., thence (enclosing the eastern seaboard of the SIBERIA.


Aral Sea. Its boundary thence eastward is undefined, of birch, fir, and larch, which clothe the plains since Samarkand, capital of Bokhara, in lat. 40°, was and hill-sides, and are interspersed with stretches annexed in 1868, and the N. borders of Afghanistan of pasture of moderate quality. After crossing will shortly be, if they are not already, the S. bound the parallel of lat. 64° N. in West S., and that ary of Russia, thence N.E. by the Thian Shan Mount- of lat. 61° N. in East S., the more hardy cereals, ains to the meridian of 80°, and N. and N.E. to the barley, oats, and rye, begin to appear, and the Altai Mountains, in lat. 49°, thence N.N.E. to lat. 55° soil increases in fertility, sometimes to an extraN., long. 96° E., S.E. to Kiachta (q. v.), eastward ordinary extent, thick woods of Siberian cedar to the Argun River, which it follows to the Amur, and other trees clothe the mountain sides, and the and the latter to long. 135o E., when it trends in a | valleys, especially along the banks of rivers, are ia S.S.E. direction, ascending the Usuri tributary for 200 a state of continuous cultivation. The fertility ;f miles, and then running straight S.W. to the sea in great portion of the governments of Tobolsk and lat. 42° 30' N., and long. 130° 30' E. S. is divided Tomsk, especially of the Baraba and Ishim steppes, for administrative purposes into the following 4 gov- is proverbial, and they are the great granaries ernments and 7 provinces :

of Russia and Northern Europe. The whole of Surface in Eng. sq. m. Pop. (1863).

Western S. is one great plain, sloping from its Governments

southern boundary, where the average elevation Tobolsk, .



is 2000 feet, northwards to the Arctic Ocean ; with Tomsk, .


716,576 Jeniseisk,



the exception of the small corner in the south-west, Irkutsk,


265,810 which is drained into the Caspian and Aral Seas. Provinces

Eastern S. is more hilly and less fertile than the Turkestan,


1,000,000 Transbaikal,



western portion, but the valleys and hill-sides afford Yakutsk, .


228,060 good pasture, though agriculture, from the nature of Amur,


the country, is little prosecuted. Four-fifths of S. Littoral,



is drained by the three immense rivers, Obi (q. v.), Ural, Turgai,

Yenesei (q. v.), and Lena (q. v.), which traverse the 780,765

1,300,000 Akmolnsk,

country throughout its whole breadth, and by a Semipalatinsk,

number of smaller rivers, all of which flow to the Total,* . . . 5,758,840

4,988,644 | Arctic Ocean ; the remainder either belongs to the or about five inhabitants to every 54 English sq.

Caspian and Ural basin, the various lake basins, or is miles. The northern and eastern shores are very irregular in form, jutting out frequently into bold

equently into hold themselves into the Pacific. S. has a large number peninsulas and promontories, and being indented / of lakes, some of which are little else than salt with numerous immense inlets, chief of which are

marshes ; the largest of them are Lake Baikal (q. v.), the estuaries of the Ubi (575 miles in length) and

Lake Balkash (q. v.), Lake Tchany, Lake Dzaisang, of the Yenesei; the Gulf of Anadir, and the sea

or Saisang, and Lake Issyk-kul. The chief mountainof Okhotsk. All the island groups to the north

range of s. is the Altai chain, which forms the of S., and the Aleutian Isles, some of the Kurile

southern boundary towards Mongolia, and ramifies Isles, and Sakhalin or Saghalien on the east

eastwards and northwards from the region of Lake coast, are considered to belong to Siberia. The

Baikal, covering a large portion of the surface of Liakhoff group, near the mouth of the Lena,

Eastern Siberia. The Stanovoi range stretches from consists of three islands, from 60 to 100 miles

the Amur north-east through Okhotsk; and there long by 20 to 40 broad, and of numberless islets :

are a few ranges of small height in the centre of they are completely barren, and present in their

Siberia. The Yablonnoi Mountains, which have long soil and subsoil alternate layers of sand and

found a place in books of geography, were shewn by ice, in which are embedded the fossil remains

the Russian exploring commission (1863) to have no of numerous animals. The greatest length of S.

existence, the place where they were supposed to be is 5600 miles from north-east to south-west, and

situated being an undulating plateau. Among the greatest breadth 2170 miles from north to

the wild animals of S. are the reindeer in the south. A country of such vast extent (one-half

northern flats, and on the high mountains of the larger than Europe) must necessarily exhibit great

south; the arctic or black fox, and white bear in varieties of climate ; and we accordingly find in the

the north; the sable, ermine, marmot, marten, northern regions, much of which lies far within the

squirrel, Caspian antelope, and wild sheep-all in Arctic Circle (Cape Sievero Vostochnii, the most

the south ; and the lynx, wolf, wild-boar, and northerly promontory of S., and of the Old World,

glutton are generally diffused. Camels are found being in lat. 78° 25' Ñ.), an extensive tract bordering

among the Kirghiz, along with the broad-tailed on the ocean, composed of swamp, moorland, and

sheep, the Russian sheep being also domesticated mossy flats, covered with snow and ice for one half

in $. ; and horses of good quality, an inferior of the year, and even during the greatest heats of

sort of cattle of the Russian breed, and a large summer, released from its icy bonds only to the

wolfish looking dog, used chiefly to draw sledges, depth of a few inches below the surface of the soil.

complete the list of domestic animals. Fresh and The ocean, its northern boundary, is frozen for miles

salt water fish abound, and feathered game is plenti. seaward during more than half the year, and during

ful in the south. The mineral wealth of S. is great: the remaining months, the numberless icebergs and

gold, silver, copper, and lead are found in all tho floes which crowd the sea, and continually come into

mountainous districts on the west and south; collision, render the navigation so dangerous that

platinum, iron, and precious stones, including no complete hydrographic survey of the coast has

diamonds, are found on the eastern slopes of the yet been made. On the southern boundary of this

Ural; zinc, antimony, arsenic, plumbago, and valusemi-barren zone, stunted misshapen bushes and

able emerald and topaz mines are worked in the trees are found; and as we advance southwards,

districts north of the Amur; and porphyry, mala

chite, jasper, and salt (from vegetation appears in the form of extensive forests

the steppes) are common. More than half of the inhabitants of the

central and western provinces are Russians and * The recent acquisitions in Bokhara have enlarged the area of

Poles, or of Russian and Polish descent, and Russia in Central Asia, but to what extent possession has actually! reached is not at present (Oct., 1871) ascertained. Portions of these have been sent to the country either as exiles, Eastern Turkestan will probably be annexed at an early date. l on account of political or criminal offences, or as

« PrécédentContinuer »