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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 647 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 01.

[7] This river is probably the Sirr or Sihon; and the mountains of
    Karatan and Arjun pervade the district, the two chains being separated
    by the river.—­E.

[8] Vochan, Vocham or Vakhan, on the river Vash.—­Forst.

[9] This observation was made on the mountains of Savoy and
    Switzerland, not many years ago, by M. de Luc, and published as a new
    discovery.  The phenomena must be owing to the diminished pressure of
    the atmosphere at this great elevation, by which water boils at a much
    lower temperature than is requisite for effective cookery:  A digester
    would effectually remove this evil, by enabling the water to become
    sufficiently hot, without being dissipated.—­E.

[10] Beloro, Belor, or Belur, according to Forster.  This immense
    extent of forty days journey through deserts, seems to include the
    deserts of Sultus, Cobi, and Shamo, and to reach to the frontiers of
    Kathay, or Northern China.—­E.

[11] Cascar, Chascar, Cassar, Kaschgar, or Hasicar, according to
    Forster.  Cashgar is at the western end of the great desert, instead of
    the eastern, as expressed in the text; indeed this route is most
    confusedly, and almost unintelligibly laid down, probably from
    corrupted transcription.  The series ought to have been, the high table
    land of Pamer, the province of Cashgar, and lastly, the desert of
    Pelow or Belur.  But care must be taken to distinguish this from the
    chain of Belur-tag, which runs north and south, between Great and
    Little Bucharia.—­E.

SECTION VI.

Of the city of Samarcand, the town of Lop, the Great Desert in its Neighbourhood, and other remarkable Passages.

Samarcand[1] is a great and famous city, in a fertile plain, and surrounded by fine gardens.  It is subject to the nephew of the great khan, and is inhabited by a mixed population of Christians and Mahometans, among whom there is little agreement; and in one of their disputes, the following miracle is said to have happened, about an hundred years ago.  Zagathai, the brother of the great khan, then governed this country, and was persuaded to become a Christian; and the Christians, through his favour, built a church in honour of St John the Baptist, which was constructed with such skill, that the whole roof seemed to depend for support upon one central pillar, which was founded upon a large stone, which, by the permission of Zagathai, had been taken from a building belonging to the Mahometans.  After the death of Zagathai, he was succeeded by a son who was not of the Christian faith, and from him the Mahometans obtained an order, by which the Christians were compelled to restore that stone; and though they offered a sum of money as a compensation, the Mahometans absolutely insisted to have the stone itself, hoping, by that means, to reduce the Christian church to ruins:  But the pillar lifted itself up, that the Mahometans, might remove the contested stone, and still continues suspended in the air.

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