The Angara is cold as ice all the summer through, so cold, indeed, that to bathe in it is to court inevitable illness, and in winter a sled drive over its frozen surface is made in a temperature some degrees lower than that prevailing on the banks. This comes from the fact that its waters are fresh from the yet unfathomed depths of the Baikal, which during the five short months of summer has scarcely time to properly unfreeze. In winter the lake resembles in all respects a miniature Arctic Ocean, having its great ice hummocks and immense leads, over which the caravan sleds have to be ferried on large pieces of ice, just as in the frozen North. In winter, too, the air is so cold in the region above the lake that birds flying across its icy bosom sometimes drop down dead on the surface. Some authors say that seals have been caught in the lake of the same character as those found in the Arctic seas; for this assertion I have no proof. An immense caravan traffic is carried across the frozen lake every season between Russia and China. To accommodate this the Russian postal authorities once established a post house on the middle of the lake, where horses were kept for travelers.

But this was discontinued after one winter, when an early thaw suddenly set in, and horses, yemschliks and post house all disappeared beneath the ice, and were never seen more. In summer the lake is navigated by an antiquated steamer called the General Korsakoff, which ventures out in calm weather, but cannot face the violent storms and squalls that sometimes rise with sudden impetuosity. Irkutskians say, indeed, that it is only upon Lake Baikal and upon this old hull that a man really learns to pray from his heart. The lake is held in superstitious reverence by the natives. It is called by them Svyatoe More, or the Holy Lake, and they believe that no Christian was ever lost in its waters, for even when a person is drowned in it the waves always take the trouble to cast the body on shore.

Its length is 400 miles, its width an average of 35 miles, covers an area of 14,000 square miles and has a circumference of nearly 1,200 miles, being the largest fresh water lake in the Old World, and, next to the Caspian and the Aral, the largest inland sheet of water in Asia. Its shores are bold and rugged and very picturesque, in some places 1,000 feet high. In the surrounding forests are found game of the largest description, bears, deer, foxes, wolves, elk and these afford capital sport for the sportsmen of Irkutsk.

Around the coasts are many mineral springs, hot and cold, which have a great reputation among the Irkutskians. The hot springs of Yurka, on the Selenga, 200 versts from Verchore Udevisk and not many miles from the eastern shore of the Baikal, which have a temperature of 48 degrees Réaumur and whose waters are strongly impregnated with sulphur, are a favorite watering place for natives as well as Russians and Buriats.--Herald Correspondent with the Jeannette Search Expedition.