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Alexander von Humboldt: „Letter from Baron Humboldt“, in: ders., Sämtliche Schriften digital, herausgegeben von Oliver Lubrich und Thomas Nehrlich, Universität Bern 2021. URL: <https://humboldt.unibe.ch/text/1829-Lettre_de_M-04-neu> [abgerufen am 24.07.2024].

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Titel Letter from Baron Humboldt
Jahr 1829
Ort London
Nachweis
in: Morning Advertiser 12007 (19. Oktober 1829), [o. S.]; 12008 (20. Oktober 1829), [o. S.].
Sprache Englisch
Typografischer Befund Antiqua; Spaltensatz; Auszeichnung: Kursivierung.
Identifikation
Textnummer Druckausgabe: IV.98
Dateiname: 1829-Lettre_de_M-04-neu
Statistiken
Seitenanzahl: 2
Zeichenanzahl: 9763

Weitere Fassungen
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|Seitenumbruch|

LETTER FROM BARON HUMBOLDT.

(From the Journal du Commerce.) In a late account of the Sitting of the Academy of Sciences we alluded to a letter from Baron Humboldt, which was read to that learned Society. It was addressed to M. Arago, who wishes us to make it public. Com- merce is essentially connected with the progress of geo- graphic science, consequently our readers will read with interest the correspondence of that celebrated traveller. “Uat Kamenogorak, upon the Upper Irtisch, in Siberia, August 13, 1829. “I have been during the last two months, beyond the frontiers of Europe Eastward of Ural, and in the agitated life we lead, I have lost many opportunities of sending you signs of my existence and friendship. It is impossible in this letter, written in haste—(we are upon the frontier of the Steppe of the Kirgises, about four in the morning, and we proceed this night up to the eastward, towards Buckt@rmu, Narim, and the first post of Chinese Mongolia) it is impossible, I say, to communicate the precise observa- tions we have made since our departure from Petersburgh on the 20th of May. “You will find no other satisfaction in reading these lines than that of knowing, that the scientific object of my journey has been successful beyond my hopes; that not- withstanding the fatigues and the space we have travelled over (we have since our departure gone over 5,600 wersts, of which 1,320 were in this part of Asia,) my health is good; that I suffer with patience and courage; that I have to bestow much praise on my companions, M. Rose and M. Ehremberg; and that, laden with collections geological, botanical, and zoological, obtained from the Oural, the Altai, the Obi, the Irtisch, and the Oremburg, we hope to return to Berlin about the end of November. I cannot descrive all the amiable cares taken by the Rus- sian Government to facilitate the object of this excursion. “We travelled with three carriages, conducted by a su- perior officer of Mines, and preceded by a courier of the crown. We were occasionally provided with 30 or 40 horses at a station, and during the night and day relays were placed with the greatest order. I regard this as a mark of beneficence and personal attention; @is public homage offered to science; a noble munificence expanding in favour of modern civilization. “Our rout has been by Moscow, Nischmi Nowgorod, then upon the Wolga to Casan, and to the ruins of the Tartar City of Bulgaria, where the family of Tamerlain resided. This part of Russia, inhabited by Musulmans, covered with Greek churches and mosques, is very re- markable, giving, like the Ural, Baschkire, and the Altai, a lively interest to the fine researches of the “Asia Poliglotta” of M. Klaproth. From Casan we remounted the Oural by the picturesque valleys of Kungur and Perm. During the whole of the journey from Nischmi Nowgorod, to Catherine- bourgh, and the Palatinate of Nischne-Tagilsk, we were accompanied by Count Pohir, whom you may remember you saw at Paris, at the residence of the Duchess de Duras. He is exercising in these wild regions his ad- mirable talent for landscape painting. Fixed by his mar- riage in Russia, he is also actively occupied in working mines. I reached, amidst a train of romantic circumstances, the Asiatic declivity of the Ural, in the same caleche which conveyed me from Paris to Verona, to Naples, and to Berlin. It was in the best state, and did honour to its Parisian construction. “We have employed a month in visiting the gold mines of Borosowsk, the mines of Malachite, of Ta- gilsk, the iron and copper mines; the working for beryl and topazes; the washings for gold and platina. We were astonished at the gold pips (pepites) from two to three, and form eighteen to twenty livres in value, found a few inches below the grassy turf, where it had re- mained unknown during ages. It is the position and origin probably of those alluvions, generally mixed with fragments of grunstein, schiste chloriteux, and serpentine, which has been one of the principal objects of this journey. “The new discoveries beyond 59 and 60 degrees of latitude become very important. We find, with the teeth of ele- phants, fossils enveloped in alluvials of auriferous sand— Their formation succeeds the local destruction of those great animals. The amber and lignites discovered upon the eastern declivity of the Oural, are decidedly the most ancient. The auriferous sand found among grains of cinabar, copper, and other ores, have a brilliancy beyond the sparkling of the diamond. It is very remarkable, that in the middle and northern part of the Oural the platina is not found so abundant as on the western and European side. The richest lavages of gold, are upon the Asiatic declivity of the side of the Bartiraya. M. Rose discovered a beautiful group of christalized platina.” (To be continued.) |Seitenumbruch| LETTERS FROM BARON HUMBOLDT. (Concluded.) August, from the 8th to the 20th. The last lines of this are written on the 20th of August. I quitted the pen eight days since to take @@ distances; for this southern extremity of Siberia, where we find the sources of the Obim and the confines of the Chinese Mon- golia, requires much attention, with respect to geogra- phical position. The regularity of chronometers is altered by the rapidity of travelling. I have been since the 13th on a visit to the Chinese piquet (advanced post) in Son- garia. We were compelled to leave our carriages at Ust-Kamenogotsk, and to take for the dreadful roads of this country the long sledges of Siberia, in which we lie down. But before I speak of the journey we made to the celestial empire, I must resume the thread of our travels. After having visited the north of the Oural, by Wercho- @rna and Bagerlawsk, we took azimuths to determine the positions of its nothern feet, then inspected the mines of beryl and topaz of Mursinsk. We left Sicatherinburg between the 6th and 18th of July for Tobolsk, by Jiumere, where the family of Balu Chan formerly resided. We were desirous of pursuing a direct course by Om@k upon Stratoust, but the beauty of the season induced us to add the Altai and the Upper Irtisch, (a deviation of 3,000 werstes) to our primitve plan of operation. The Gover- nor General of Western Siberia, General Villiaminof, met us, accompanied by one of his Aides de Camp, M. de Yer- molof. General Litvinof, who commanded all the line of the Kirguises, put himself to the inconvenience of coming from Tomsk to the mountains of Kolivan to rejoin us, and co@@ us to the Chinese post. We arrived here by the Steppe of Bora@, where the mosquitos rival those of the Oronoque, and where they are stifled under a mask of horse hair. We have seen the romantic lake of Ke@wan, the famous mines of Schlangenberg (producing porphyry), those of Reiders and Sinianefski, which produce annually 40,000 pounds of auriferous silver. At Ust we had the first sight of the @hain of the Kirguises. They sent to the advance post of the Chinese at Mongo- lia, (Sougario,) to know whether they would receive us with General Litvinof. Permission was granted, but subject to Chinese etiquette. The Chinese commandant expected, notwithstanding the difference in rank, that they should pay him the first visit in his tent, and he informed them that he should do the same if he ever touched the Russian territory. We took the road for Batty by the little Fort of Buctorma, and by Kraswoyar, where we passed the night of the 16th and 17th of August, (new style,) observing the singular phenomena of Polar bandes.— (Pray examine at that time your magnetic registre) At Batty we found two Chinese encampments upon both sides of the Irtisch. They made a miserable appearance. The tents were occupied by the Mongols, or Cambanzes. A small Chinese temple stood upon a barren hill. Camels and two oxen were grazing in the valley. The two com- manders, one of whom had only left Pekin a week before, were of pure Chinese origin;—they are changed every three years. Dressed in silk, and each wearing a fine peacock’s feather in his cap, they received us with a gravity rather pleasing. Iin exchange for a few yards of cloth and red velvet, they gave me a Chinese book in five volumes; the subject is historical, and however common it may be, it will be a precious gift, because it is connected with this little excursion. Fortunately, this frontier of Mongolia has been a fruitful mine for rare plants and new insects. M. Ehrenberg has made ample collections; but that which renders the journey from the Altai very im- portant, is the circumstance, that in no other part of the two worlds has granite gneiss, and other primitive ores, given to much proof of eruption and expansion as at the Altai. We not only see granite penetrate in veins which run upwards, but it opens holes, and extends in a con- tinued manner more than 2,000 fathoms in length. The hills contain cones, and bells of granite, with porphyry in the form of fomes. The granite is intermixed with white stone, and veins of porphyry are seen running in every direction. M. Rose discovered in the north of the Ural a spot where the porphyry, forming round hodies, is divided into parallel rings, by coming in contact with calcarious jasper. I have seen such divisions and silicifications at Pe- drazio—I have remarked the temperature of the earth (it is often above 2 deg), the intensity and magnetic inclina- tion in places which Messrs. Hausteen and Ermann have not visited. Our observations confirm the motion of the clouds from East to West, which you alluded to in your report of the journey of M. Frecinet. The post is going off. I have not time to read over, nor correct this confused letter. I hope to be with you next summer. A thousand expressions of friendship to Gay Lussac.