Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/319

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ТНE RHUBARB PLANT.

291

the richest; they are natives of the province of Shan-si, and by their superior enterprise have monopolised most of the Central Asian trade. There is also a community of Mongol merchants and Turkestan traders come from Turfan. The author gives no details concerning the trade, merely remarking that the local consumption of tobacco and brandy is enormous.

We have omitted, for the sake of brevity, the author's remarks on the peculiarities of the Urumchi country, its wonderful boars, and its snakes with tails so stumpy as to have the appearance of having been cut off. We also readily omit his sketch of the manners and morals of the inhabitants and the dissipated lives led there by the foreign merchants; he observes, amongst other things, how easily the Chinese merchants accustom themselves to the gay life at Urumchi and forget their homes; and how it frequently happens that the families of such persons petition government to take measures to oblige their relatives to return, and that in consequence these are summarily arrested and sent back to China under escort.


THE RHUBARB PLANT.

P. 81.

The following Note is a translation of an article which appeared in Regel's 'Garten Flora' (January 1875), from the pen of Professor Maximovitch, of St. Petersburg, who is at present engaged in preparing for publication the botanical results of Colonel Prejevalsky's expedition, and to whose kindness I am also indebted for the illustration of the Rhubarb plant on page 82 of this volume.

By way of introduction, I give an extract from 'Purchas, his Pilgrimage,' 'a collection of travels in all parts of the world,' published in London in 1617: —

'In the same province of Tanguth is Succuir,[1] whose mountains are clothed with rheubarbe, from whence it is by

  1. i.e. Suh-chau.