« ZurückWeiter »
No. 19. Falls of Gonye".
No. 20. Seoori sa Mei, or the Island of Water.
No. 22. South end of island Loyela, town of Mamochisane".
No. 23. Naliele, chief town of Borotse. There are two sets of lunar distances, and a nearly central occultation of Jupiter by the moon, for fixing this place in longitude. "The last glimpse of the outer edge of the planet was caught as it disappeared behind the dark limb of the moon." I have accordingly calculated the longitude from the first internal contact. The watch error is well known, consequently the longitude derived from the occultation should be an excellent determination.—T. M.
No. 24. "Linangelo, old town of Santuru; the site swallowed up by the iver except a few square yards. It is nearly the same latitude as the first lpital of Santuru, and on this account I took the latitude."
No. 25. "Katongo, where the Portuguese slave-merchant built his stockade."
No. 26. "At the point where the branch Marele parts from the main stream to form the large island of Nariele or Naliele." No. 27. "Quando village." No. 28. "Town of Libonta." No. 29. "Island of Tongane."
No. 30. Island of Cowrie. "The bank on which we landed to make the observations was of soft mud encircled by a slough, which prevented the boatmen from dispersing over the island as usual. Though they sat quietly near me, the presence of a number of men caused a vibration in the mercury. This circumstance, and its being too near noon to go elsewhere, made the observations less certain than the others. The confluence of the Loeti, with its light-coloured water, being almost 2 miles N. of the island, makes me regret the circumstances, for I had no other opportunity for observing so near the Loeti.
"I suppose the confluence of the Loeti with the main stream may be set down at lat. 14° 18', or 14° 19'."
No. 32. "Confluence of the Leeba or Londa with the main river or Leeambye."
This was Dr. Livingston's northernmost station up to the date of this communication.—T. M.
The table gives the observations and the results arranged in order of latitude northwards.
The earlier observations, which do not assist in the determination of positions, have been omitted ; also a few where, either in the hurry when reading off the instrument, the wrong numbers were registered, or the right misplaced.
The watch error has in general been calculated from each altitude, mainly for a check upon the altitudes; and in taking the mean, each result depends upon the number of relative observations.
With respect to the occultations by the moon, that of Jupiter at Sekeletu receives the weight 10 in comparison with the lunar distances at that station; and that of Jupiter at Naliele, the weight 20 in comparison with the lunars at that station. The resulting determinations are placed in brackets. The former has the weight 10 only, because the path of Jupiter behind that of the moon is near the S. pole of the moon, and the time is great in proportion to the arc; whereas the path at Naliele is nearly central.
No. 12, 2nd set. The longitude is computed from the relative altitudes of the moon and Jupiter.
Dr. Livingston states in his communication, that he took a great many
VOL. XXIV. X
observations at several places which he has not forwarded, thinking he had sent sufficient. Thus at Sekeletu he made seven separate sets, and at Sekhosi "others." These might alter the lunar distance results to a certain extent, but no practical advantage, except at Sekhosi, would be derived from them.
It will be perceived that the observations made on the present journey alter the longitude of the waggon-stand near Sekeletu, determined in the last, by a large amount, viz., from 26° E. of Greenwich to 23° 50', the true position in longitude being 2° 10' more westerly than was supposed. This correction will apply generally to all the positions S. of Sekeletu, including, it is presumed, even Lake Ngami.
In explanation: Dr. Livingston's sextant was injured by a fall on his journey in 1851, which broke one of the three attaching screws of the great mirror, and the mirror became loose, taking a position with respect to the plane of the instrument, according to the way in which the instrument was held. Upon examination of the observations, those only were adopted that appeared to be most accordant. Those rejected gave a less longitude.—T. M.
XX.—Report on the Russian Caravan Trade with China.
By Harry Park.es, Esq., F.r.g.s.
Read March 13, 1854.
Canton, from its position in the extreme south of the empire, can only be slightly influenced by a trade which is conducted on the Siberian frontier. None of the exports are drawn from this neighbourhood; and the few Russian goods that find their way here are seldom recognised as such by the consumers, but are vaguely spoken of by them as the productions of" the North."
It were superfluous to enter into any description of the towns of Kiakhfa and Mae-mae-chin, which, being situated on their respective frontiers, and separated only by a barrier, form, as is well known, the seat of this commerce. The advantages of the position (lat. 50° 21' N., and long. 106° 28' E.) are more equalised than might appear from a first glance, which shows the former to be distant about 4000 miles from Moscow, and the latter not more than 1000 from Peking. But the longer journey can be performed, however slowly, by means of good water transportation; whilst the shorter one lies through dismal desert land, where fodder for the beasts of burden is sometimes unprocurable.
The inhabitants of either town are permitted free access to each other throughout the day, but a total separation during the hours of night is rigorously enforced. Those in Mae-mae-chin consist solely of parties engaged in the traffic, numbering altogether, it is said, about 1500 persons, and being under the superintendence of Manchu officers appointed from Peking. They belong chiefly to the northern provinces of Chile and Shense, and appear to continue in the trade for a series of years, going and returning with their goods, and never being allowed to take with them their wives or families. Many, or most of them, speak Russian, transformed, however, into a peculiar patois by the novelties of pronunciation which they have allowed themselves to introduce; and this jargon, strange as it may sound, appears to be extensively adopted by both parties in their ordinary oral communications.
Not only is the trade essentially one of barter, but the use of money is strictly interdicted. The value of all the commodities is fixed by Commissioners, appointed on either side, who are presided over by their respective authorities. These parties meet, and draw up regulations determining the price of every article of import, and of the tea to be given in exchange for it;
the wapei viack kinds fetch, at the same place, only 1:40 dollar, and the scarlet, from its being the most expensive colour, 1.80 dollar per yard. As it would scarcely be possible for the Chinese to vend these cloths at
authorities. These parties meet, and draw up regulations deter rice of every article of import, and of the tea to be given in excha
en in exchange for it;
and not only the price of the tea, but the proportion of each sort to be bartered for the different articles. The Commissioners on the Chinese side would only be acting with the adroitness and artifice common to their nation if, as it is alleged, the arrangements they make for the conduct of the trade tell more to the advantage of their countrymen than to that of the Russians. That such is the case would appear from the circumstance of teas never remaining unsold at Mae-mae-chin; w hile Russian goods are often so depreciated in value as to wait until a second, or perhaps even a third year, for a market.
The arrival of the Chinese dealers with their teas at Mae-mae-chin is the signal for the commencement of the annual trade. The foremost of them ap|>ear in October; but as stocks must be received or the condition of the business of the season be known before the barter-rates can be determined, transactions are not immediately entered on, and the winter, or close of the year, becomes therefore the most active period of the trade, which is concluded with the return of spring.
Furs.—The demand on the part of the Chinese for furs from the Russian territories is limited, in a great measure, to those of inferior description; but this circumstance contributes greatly to the convenience of the Russian traders, as they thus obtain at Kiakhta a good market for their less valuable skins, which would not pay the cost of carriage from the coast of Siberia to European Russia. Squirrel and fox-skins, and the short curly lamb-skins of Astrachan, form by far the largest proportion of the peltry which they import. But although the Chinese purchase comparatively few of the valuable furs, such as those of the sable, marten, or others, they take considerable quantities of the tails and paws of these animals (which are carefully collected throughout Siberia expressly for the Kiakhta trade), and make from them those peculiar fur dresses, of patchwork-pattern, that may be seen so often in the North of China. The stocks forwarded to Canton, or the southern provinces, consist principally of young lamb and squirrel-skins, as these are suited, from their lightness, to the moderate cold of this part of the country. Skins and horns of the reindeer are also imported,—-the latter, when soft, being much valued by the Chinese for their medicinal properties.
Woollens.—The importation of Russian woollens must be very large to supply the extensive demand which exists for them in the north and centre of China. The thick heavy kinds which the Chinese call "Hala,"_al'ter the Russian name for wrappers or outside coverings, which are often made from cloths of this description, are chiefly in request, and are much used for cloaks and travelling dresses; those of red and green hues are also much esteemed, on account of the superior depth and brightness of these Russian colours. In length these cloths appear to vary from 20 to 30 yards, and in breadth from 62 to 64 inches. Of the other sorts of woollens received from Russia, many parcels are from Belgian or Saxon looms, and enjoy a good reputation among the Chinese on account of their thick soft texture and brilliant gloss. * Small parcels of Russian woollens are brought to Canton by the Teentsin junks, and by merchants from the northern provinces. But although the annual supply for this vicinity is limited, it is said, to 1000 or at most 2000 pieces, they meet the English goods at no great distance in the interior, and the result of the competition between these rival manufactures appears to be unfavourable to the latter. In Canton the average price of blue Russian cloth, the sort most largely imported, is 2J dollars per yard, but at Soochuw the same may be purchased in Chinese shops for nearly a dollar less; whilst he cheaper black kinds fetch, at the same place, only 140 dollar, and the •arlet, from its being the most expensive colour, l-80 dollar per yard. \s it would scarcely be possible for the Chinese to vend these cloths at