Oriental and Western Siberia: A Narrative of Seven Years' Exploration and Adventures in Siberia, Mongolia, the Kirghis Steppes, Chinese Tartary, and a Part of Central Asia

Oriental and Western Siberia: A Narrative of Seven Years' Exploration and Adventures in Siberia, Mongolia, the Kirghis Steppes, Chinese Tartary, and a Part of Central Asia

Read FREE!

Oriental and Western Siberia: A Narrative of Seven Years' Exploration and Adventures in Siberia, Mongolia, the Kirghis Steppes, Chinese Tartary, and a Part of Central Asia

Oriental and Western Siberia: A Narrative of Seven Years' Exploration and Adventures in Siberia, Mongolia, the Kirghis Steppes, Chinese Tartary, and a Part of Central Asia

Read FREE!

Excerpt

When the journey narrated in the following pages was undertaken, it was not with the intention of publishing either a book of Travels or any other work. My sole object was to sketch the scenery of Siberia, scarcely at all known to Europeans. While thus employed, I passed out of the Emperor of Russia's Asiatic dominions, having been provided with an especial passport by command of his imperial majesty, Nicholas the First, which enabled me to cross the frontier, as well as to re-enter the empire at any other points to which my rambles might lead me.

I have brought back faithful representations of the scenery, without taking any artistic liberties, preferring Nature in her own attractions to snatching a grace within the reach of Art.

Mine has been a tolerably wide field, extending from Kokhan on the west to the eastern end of the Baikal, and as far south as the Chinese town of Tchin-si, including that immense chain Syanshan, never before seen by any European, as well as a large portion of the western part of the Gobi, over which Genghis Khan marched his wild hordes toward the west--scenes on which no pencil has previously been employed--comprising a distance traversed of about 32,000 versts in carriages, 7100 in boats, and 20,300 on horseback--in all, 59,400 versts (about 39,500 miles) in the course of seven years. Neither the old Venetian nor the Jesuit priests could have visited these regions, their travels having been far to the south; nor am I aware that they brought back any pictorial representations of the scenes through which they wandered. Even the recent travelers Huc and Gaby, who visited . . .

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