Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/633

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
623
MODERN MONGOLS.

still the hardiest soldiers of Europe, the most unconquerable by hardships, wounds and hunger. The burden-carriers of Constantinople are still the stoutest men of our latter-day world. We might as well impeach the degeneracy of the Circassian highlanders, who resisted the power of the Russian monarchy for sixty-five years, and in their last stronghold stood at bay with drawn hunting knives—after blunting their sabres and exhausting a stock of ammunition purchased by the sacrifice of their herds and harvests. For these heroic mountaineers, too, were Mongols, kinsmen of the martial Turkomans and chivalrous Magyars. The Turanian race—a synonym of the Pan-Mongolians—comprises as many different types as the Aryans and Semites taken together.

In 1863 some twenty clans of the vanquished highlanders left the Caucasus en masse to settle in the mountains of the Turkish province of Adrianople. They will share the fate of their protectors, and may soon be obliged to follow their flight across the Hellespont.

But the final expulsion of the West Mongols will, after all, mean only that the Caucasians have recovered lost ground, and freed at least Europe from an intrusive tribe of their most persistent and most formidable rivals.