תמונות בעמוד

also in some of the streams of Kohistan ; but I have not yet received specimens from these districts; the report however, is not at all improbable, and I believe myself it will be found all along the line of greatest elevation of the Hindoo Kosh and Indian Caucasus.

Whether this gold occurs originally in a disseminated state throughout the strata from which it is detached, or whether there exist distinct repositories of the metal, and in connection with some of the beds of iron, which from the iron sand that accompanies the gold must be intersected by the streams, is a subject for future inquiry. To the best of my recollection, all the gold brought to London by the Brazilian Mining Company is found accompanying iron, whether in the alluvial deposits from which it is washed, or the mines where it is worked.

Specimens withont number have been brought to me from various parts of the country, supposed by the golden hue of the one, and the silvery whiteness of the other, to belong to the precious metals. In none, however, have I been able to recognise any thing beyond the sulphuret of iron under different forms, and a compound perhaps of sulphur, arsenic, and iron. There are some specimens, however, respecting which I am not quite certain, and these I shall transmit for chemical examination. Having nothing but my blowpipe apparatus to depend upon, when any doubt exists as to the constitutions of a mineral, it is desirable that they should be subjected to the test of analysis. On one occasion I tried a specimen from a deposit in Dobundee, (the ore extemally has the appearance of an ore of silver,) and I saw a small head which appeared not unlike impure silver, but since then I have repeated the trial frequently without com to any satisfactory result. The fragment of a mineral, however, which is submitted to the action of the blowpipe is so very minute, being no larger than a grain of pepper, that I should not wish these attempts to be considered final. Argentiferous arsenical iron is worked in Germany as an ore of silver, and should that metal be discovered in this country, it will probably be found in combination with some of these ores, or what is still more likely, with some of the numerous veins of lead which are to be met with.

Amongst all the specimens of iron pyrites, which have been brought to me, I have seen nothing that could be termed curiferous. Latterly, I have heard several reports of the existence of silver, but the Afghans are so addicted to the marvellous, and so easily imposed upon by designing alchymists, that I would never attach the smallest credit to them, unless a specimen of the mineral be produced. By all accounts, the Huzareh country must be the richest in minerals of any other in Afghanistan, from the number of old mines said to be there, and the remains of ancient cities in their neighbourhood, which would seem to indicate, that its mineral wealth in former times had been the cause of attraction. Whether silver may exist amongst these mines, is a point to be ascertained.

A story was told me lately by Aga Hoossain, a merchant of Herat, that at Mough in the Eimough or Eimouk country, there is an inscription in the Hebrew character, on a large black slab, to the effect, that in the days of king Jumshed, (1274 years ago,) the following mines were discovered :

3 of Silver,

1 of Copper, 1 of Lapis Lazuli,

2 of Lead, 3 of Iron,

1 of Sulphur. I doubt the genuineness of the whole story, but there is I believe no doubt of the fact, that old mines do exist there, and what they are, is yet to be ascertained. My informant says that he saw a number of old grinding stones in a stream close by the mines, which are believed to have been used by the ancients for crushing ore. It is reported also among some of the Huzarehs, that a number of golden vessels were discovered once in some of the old mines of their country, and there is a tradition of gold mines having been worked, but that the vein or veins are now lost. To tales like these I attach no importance, further than as a stimulus to, and a necessity for, investigation. I believe, moreover, from the specimens of iron, lead, copper, sulphur, and coal, which have been brought to me from thence, that the whole of that country is a rich mineral tract, and if the precious metals do exist there, as they are generally found in small quantity, it must be remembered, that their discovery is not likely to take place all at once, but to be the work probably of time and patient inquiry. A speck of gold in a piece of quartz may point to a deposit of that metal ; or an accidental circumstance, (such as a Populzye chief related to me the other day,) may lead to the discovery of silver : namely, that many years ago small particles of it had been observed in a stone on which a fire had been lighted.

A specimen of cinnabar, (sulphuret of mercury,) was brought to me once by a villager, who said he had found it in the neighbourhood of Sultanpore near Jelallabad; but as I did not find any traces of it the rocks in that vicinity, the probability is, it may have been dropped there by accident. Cinnabar is a rich ore of quicksilver, it is a production of Thibet, and if it be ever found in this country, it will more likely be discovered in the direction of the Kohi Baba range than elsewhere. I lately heard also of a very heavy red coloured stone, which is used by the natives in that quarter as a pigment, and sent for a specimen of it, but the individual I commissioned has not yet arrived. A person who was returning from that country the other day with a collection of specimens, was unfortunately robbed of every thing he had. Were the Huzarehs any other people, I should conclude from the description of the mineral that was given, and their manner of using it, that it was cinnabar, but they are such a perfectly rude and ignorant race, that I fear it will be found to be simply the red oxide of iron. Should gold dust be ever collected on the great scale, or veins of the precious metals be discovered and worked in this country, a mine of quicksilver would be of great importance for the necessary amalgamation works ; bui this is at present a very vague speculation. I have mentioned the existence of copper in the Ghilzye and Huzareh territories,

Copper. specimens also from Bagour have come under notice.* Lead seems to abound in the Huzareh districts, in Ghorabund of Kohistan, and in

Wurduk. The lead of the former two is of an excellent quality, the latter is inferior, and of a harsher character. The ore is the sul

* The price of lead in Cabool in time of Dost Mahomed Khan was Rs. 15 per Cabool seer, at present its sells for Rs. 3.



phuret of lead, and that which I have seen from the Huzareh country, occurs in the form of the carbonate likewise. Lead is also stated to be found in Bungesb, and a specimen of it from the Sufued Koh has been brought me lately.

With regard to antimony, I find that what is sold in the bazar of Cabool as such Antimony. is a sulphuret of lead. Occasionally, perhaps, a proportion of antimony may be combined with it, forming what is called the sulphuret of lead and antimony.

I could not convince a vender of antimony, upon one occasion, that what he brought me as pure specimen of that mineral, was not so in reality, until I submitted a fragment of it to the action of the blowpipe, and on disengaging the sulphur, showed him what excellent lead was produced. Having at the time a small piece of massive sulphuret of antimony in my possession, and which, to the eye of the antimony dealer presented very much the same external character as his own, I then placed a fragment of it in the flame of the blowpipe, and the antimony immediately melted, and was absorbed by the charcoal, giving off the white fumes peculiar to it, and no trace of lead was observed.

That antimony, however, exists in this country, is beyond a doubt. It is mentioned in the report of the late Dr. LORD on Ghorabund as occurring in that district, and I myself saw in the possession of an officer, a mass of pure antimony, which was found in the neighbourhood of Quetta.

Graphite, or plumbago, is a production of this country. I have a specimen of it,
Plumbago. reported to be from the vicinity of Kohi Daumun.
Specimens of sulphur have been brought me from the Huzareh country, and it is

reported as occurring there in vast quantity. Saltpetre is produced Sulphur, &c.

abundantly from the soil. Rock salt I observed in the hills near Jelal. labad by the Soorkbao river, but in too small quantity to be worth working; a sample of it from Altamoor also has been sent me, but I do not suppose it is in sufficient abundance there, to be of any consequence. Marble occurs at Mydan, and probably in many other places, but this and gypsum, and minerals of that sort, it will be time enough to direct attention to, when the country has made sufficient progress in the arts, to render them objects of value for economical purposes.

The most important minerals of Northern Afghanistan, are the following :

Iron. This mineral is found in many parts of the country, particularly in the Huzareh, the Ghilzye, the Bajour, and the Wuzeeree territories. *

Lead is found in the Huzareh districts, in Wurduk, and in Kohistan.
Copper is found in the Huzareh, the Ghilzye, and Bajour territories.

* In Captain HERBERT's report on the minerals of the Himalaya, published in the 18th volume of the Asiatic Researches, he makes the following observation in his account of the lead mines :-" A singular fact is, that the ore and reduced metal sell by weight for the same price at Kalsi, the near est town. I could not learn the reason of this, but suppose that the produce of sulphur pays the expence of reducing the ore.” When I read this, I suspected there might be a portion of the ore, known to be argentiferous ; but it is evident that the purest is selected at Kalsi as at Cabool, and sold under the general term of soor ma, or antimony.

Gold is found in several streams north of the Cabool river,
Coal is found in the Huzareh, the Ghilzye, and the Wuzeeree districts.
Sulphur is found in the Huzareh districts.

Here then are materials for commencing the work of civilization in this rude and barbarous region, giving a stimulus to its commerce, increasing its revenues, and affording employment to its indigent, but hardy and industriously inclined population.

A remark has been made, that “the mountains in this world no doubt abound in mines, but that the people must be enlightened before they can be worked.” And in what way might I ask, is this period of enlightenment to be brought about ? Are these great mineral repositories intended to lie idle in the meantime, to form merely the subject of a scientific theme, and furnish a few specimens for the cabinets of the curious-or, are they designed by an unerring Hand for the great moral end, not only of administering to the immediate wants of the people, bu their very extraction to be the means of exercising their energies, mental as well as physical, improving their habits, and thereby contributing effectually to raise them from the brutal condition into which they have fallen ?*

Let this nation be taught the practical manual arts, so as to enable them to turn the productions of their country to account, let the hand of the Afghan, under the eye of the European, unlock that wealth which is intended for his use,-then may we expect to see the rays of civilization break in upon the moral and intellectual gloom which pervades this darkened land.

In a casual conversation I had lately with the intelligent Barukzye chief I have alluded to (Oosmen Khan) he observed :-“ If the feeling of the English people towards this country be as you describe it, and its various resources receive that attention which it is out of the power of my own countrymen, from their poverty and ignorance to bestow on them, then not only will Cabool become happy and contented, but surrounding nations, on seeing the prosperity of Cabool, will desire of themselves to come under the protection of the English."

Opening of the Topes at the Caves of Kanari, near Bombay, and the

relics found in them. By DR. JAMES BIRD. The Caves of Kanari, situated on the island of Salsette, and two miles beyond the village of Tulsi, are distant twenty miles from the fort of Bombay, and six from Tannah. The made road from Bombay conducts the visitor as far as the village of Vihar, four miles north of which is the mountain where the caves are excavated. They have been described by several travellers, and are noticed, in A. D. 399, by the Buddhist priest and pilgrim “ Ea-Hian,” who visited the seats of his religion in India, and whose travels have been translated by M. Remusat. The cavern temple is described by him to consist of five stories, each story containing numerous chambers or cells, cut out of the solid rock, and tenanted by Arhats; a description which answers very closely to the circumstances of the Kanari excavations, which rise from the base to the summit of the mountain in six stories, and are connected to each other by steps cut in the solid rock. The kingdom in which they are situated is said to be distant from Kia-shi or Varanasi, two hundred yojans to the south, and is called Ta-thsen Dach-chin.

Immediately in front of the large arched cave, and on a ledge of the mountain, some thirty or forty feet below, there are several small Thopas, or monumental receptacles for the bones of a Buddha, or Rahat, built of cut stone at the base. These were once of a pyramidal shape, but are now much dilapidated, and appear like a heap of stones. Several years ago I thought of opening some of them, in expectation of obtaining coins or other relics ; but found no favorable opportunity until lately, when several lengthened visits, in company with Doctor Heddle, gave me the desired means of doing so.

The success of General Ventura, M. Court, and others, in their search after relics from the topes of the Punjab and Kabul, gave me additional hope that I should find something worthy of the labour, and I am glad to report, that these expectations have not been disappointed.

The largest of the topes selected for examination, appeared to have been one time between twelve or sixteen feet in height. It was much di

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