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0249 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 249 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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Upper Oxus, the river which he represents himself as having travelled along for many days, and which his map shows as flowing from northeast by east to south-west by south, is made by Schlagintweit to flow from south by east to north by west. And the lake itself which Wood imagined that he saw lying east and west, is made by .Schlagintweit to lie south-east and north-west.

The chief difficulty found in adjusting the longitude of the cities of Chinese Turkestan, in accordance with Captain Montgomerie's approximate determination of Yarkand, arises from the impossibility of reconciling this with the difference between Ilchi and Yarkand in the Jesuit Tables. This amounts in those Tables to 4° 18'; whilst the collation of Montgomerie's position of Yarkand with the Jesuit position of Ilchi reduces it to 2° 51', and with the position which the former's own data induced him to assign to Ilchi it comes down to 1° 30'. It had indeed long been pretty certain that the Jesuit position of Ilchi was too far east ; and a communication, for which I have had to thank Captain Montgomerie since this went to press, reports later data obtained by Colonel Walker (who will no doubt publish them in detail) as fixing Ilchi approximatively to longitude 79° 25' and latitude 37° 8'. This longitude I have adopted in my map, whilst in regard to Yarkand I have stretched Captain Montgomerie's data westward as far as their circumstances seemed to justify (perhaps further than he would admit), assigning to it a longitude of 77°. This is still 36' further east than the assignment of any previous map, whilst it reduces the discrepancy from the Jesuit data in relation to Ilchi, though still leaving it inevitably large.

Next to this general uncertainty about the longitudes the great geographical puzzle about this region appears to be the identity of the main source of the Oxus. In addition to Wood's River, which he traced to the Sirikul Lake, most maps represent another, a longer and therefore perhaps greater, feeder from a more northern source, under the name of the River of Bolor or Wakhsh. Nor has the narrative of Wood's journey through the district of Wakhân yet displaced from our maps another position assigned to Wakhan or Vokhan upon this northern river.

Wood unluckily never treats these questions at all. Finding Wakhan upon the Panja, just where Macartney's map led him to expect it, he notices no other place of the name, nor does he allude to any other great branch of the river. And it may well be doubted if there is in truth any other Wakhan than that which Wood passed through.' The position

1 Edrisi speaks of Wakhan as the region in which the Jihun rises, lying towards Tibet. Abdulrazzak speaks of Mirza Ibrahim during a campaign in Badakhshan as advancing into Sagnrn, Ghancl (which Quatremère proposes to read Waghand or Wakhan), and Bamir, the exact order of Shagnân, Wakhân, and Pamir, as reported by Wood. Macartney's map, drawn up from information most carefully, many years before