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Eastward over a dreary steppe, where he observed innumerable tumuli scattered over an expanse to the furthest stretch of sight. They are declared by Herodotus to have been regular places of interment for whole nations and tribes of ancient Scythia. Journeying onward, their route lay through the country of the Cossacks. It was a uniform cheerless waste, destitute alike of human and vegetable life, broken only by groupes of thistles six or seven feet high. The magnificent Don (the Tanäis of the ancients) flows through the country for more than a thousand wersts, and discharges itself into the sea of Azoff at its eastern extremity. Its banks abound in timber, which being thrown into the river, floats safely down to St. Demetry, where it is exported to Odessa and other ports on the Black Sea. From Rostow, it was not quite a day's journey to reach New Tcherkask, the new capital of the Donskoy country, and honoured by the residence of the illustrious Count Platoff. Here Sir Robert learned, that the Attaman was at his summer residence two miles distant, where he was welcomed as an old acquaintance (our Author is the brother-in-law of the late Prince Scherbatoff) by the venerable chieftain, and received with the most hospitable greeting.

• Next morning Count Platoff called upon me to see how his hospitable orders had been fulfilled. The hurry of spirits which followed the meeting of the day before, having now subsided with us both, I observed him more calmly; and, while in discourse, I could not but remark to myself, with foreboding regret, the difference between his present appearance, and the vigour of his frame even so late as the year 1816, when he was my guest at St. Petersburgh. The destroying effects of the campaign of 1812, were now too apparent in his countenance and figure; but his mind continued unimpaired, and each succeeding hour I passed in his society increased my veneration for its powers. He took me to dine with him at his house in Tcherkask, whither he was going to inspect the preparations he had ordered for welcoming his Imperial Highness.

The hour of dinner, in this country, is generally two o'clock; but Count Platoff always dined at five, or sometimes a little later. The manner of serving the repast, differs in nothing from the style at Moscow, excepting that more wine is drank. The wines most in use, came from the Greek islands; yet his excellency boasts his own red and white champaigne of the Don, which, when old, are hardly inferior to the wines of that name in France. I drank at the Attaman's table another sort of red wine as excellent as any from Bourdeaux. It is made by a family of Germans, whom his excellency brought from the Rhine. And, from these specimens, I have little doubt that were the like culture of the grape, and similar treatment of the juice when pressed from the fruit, pursued throughout the country, the Donskoy vineyards would produce wines that might rival, not only those of Greece, but of France and Germany.' Vol. I. p. 27, 28.

The new city owes its existence to Count Platoff, who founded

it about ten years ago. All Europe rings with his military fame: in his own country, he is the father of his people. The reader will be pleased at the rapid progress of this capital, which will remind him of the infancy of Dido's city in Virgil.

Miratur molem Æneas, magalia quondam;

Miratur portas, strepitumque, et strata viarum.'

Among other judicious measures, Platoff has established a school. But the number of its scholars are at present only thirtysix, for this warlike people care little for the embellishments of life, or the refinements of learning. A Cossack finds his own arms, clothing, and horse. When on service, the Emperor allows each man one ration and double for his horse. In the campaign of 1812, all the population capable of bearing arms were called out, and fifty thousand are computed to have fallen. The quota which this branch of the Cossack nation furnishes to Russia, is about eighty regiments, numbering from five hundred to six hundred men. That of the Attaman, which is the elite of the country, is twelve hundred men.

On the 15th of September, a visit was announced from his Imperial Highness the Grand Duke Michael. He was received with due ceremonials by Platoff, of which the chief is the customary present of bread and salt on a magnificent salver of gold. The bustle of this scene being over, Sir Robert made preparations for his departure. Nor was his venerable host unmindful of the arrangements that speed the parting guest, for he provided our Traveller with every thing that could administer to his comfort and safety till he could reach Tiflis, the termination of the Russian jurisdiction. From the brow of a very steep hill, the stupendous mountains of Caucasus first burst upon his

view.

No pen can express the emotion,' says he, which the sudden burst of this sublime range excited in my mind. I had seen almost all the wildest and most gigantic chains in Portugal and Spain, but none gave me an idea of the vastness and grandeur of that I now contemplated. This seemed nature's bulwark between the nations of Europe and of Asia. Elborus, amongst whose rocks tradition reports Prometheus to have been chained, stood, clad in primeval snows, a world of mountains in itself, towering above all, its white and radiant summits mingling with the heavens; while the pale and countless heads of the subordinate range, high in themselves, but far beneath its altitude, stretched along the horizon, till lost to sight in the soft fleeces of the clouds. Several rough and huge masses of black rock rose from the intermediate plain: their size was mountainous, but being viewed near the mighty Caucasus, and compared with them, they appeared little more than hills; yet the contrast was fine, their dark brows giving greater effect to the dazzling summits which towered above them. Poets hardly feign when they talk of the genius of a place.

I know not who could behold Caucasus, and not feel the spirit of its sublime solitudes awing his soul.' pp. 44-5.

Sir Robert takes notice of the kindness with which foreigners, more especially Englishmen, are received, when they travel in the Russian empire. Having crossed the Podrouma, the plain extended itself before him. The road lay through a steep and difficult ravine. The spot bore no inviting name, being called, from the frequent occurrence of robbery and murder, the Valley of Thieves. He arrived at Mozdock, on the banks of the Terek, his first step into Asia, on the 30th of September, (O. S.) without disaster. At Gregoropolis, being furnished with an escort of twelve Cossacks, he set forth on his way to WladyCaucasus, which he reached after a journey of twenty-two wersts. Here, having joined a convoy of merchants, they set out under an escort of forty soldiers and a few Cossacks, having received strict injunctions from the commander of the fort, to keep close together, for the road was beset with banditti.

We do not pretend to give either an abridgement or an analysis of our Traveller's journey over the narrow and steep defiles of Caucasus, referring those of our readers who are enamoured of picturesque description, and have an appetite for hair-breadth escapes, to the work itself: the engraving of the Pass at Derial on the river Terek, will convey to their imaginations no tame or inadequate idea of its horrors.-Tiflis, the capital of Georgia, is distant from St. Petersburgh 2627 wersts; its latitude is 41° 45'. It was founded by the Tzar Liewvang, who was attracted to the spot by the fame of its warm springs. The public baths are the daily resort of both sexes. The water is impregnated with sulphur, and its heat is from 15 to 16 degrees of Reaumur.

Within these twenty years, the higher ranks of the inhabitants of Tiflis have gradually lost much of their Asiatic manners; and it was a change to be expected, from their constant intercourse with the civil and military officers of the European empire, to which they had become a people. Such changes are not always at their earliest stage properly understood by the persons who adopt them; hence, nations who have been long in a state of vassalage, when they first break from their chains, usually mistake licence for liberty; and, in like manner, the fair inmates of an Eastern harem, when first allowed to shew their faces to other men than their husbands, may, perhaps, be excused, if they think that the veil of modesty can no longer be of any use. Amongst the lower orders in Tiflis, the effect of European companionship has been yet more decided. Owing to the numbers of Russian soldiers, who, from time to time, have been quartered in their houses, the customary lines of separation in those houses could no longer be preserved; and their owners were obliged to submit to the necessity of their wives being seen by their stranger guests. The morals of a soldier, with regard to women, are seldom rigid; and

these gentlemen, not making an exception to the rule, made the best of the opportunities afforded them by the occasional absence of the husbands, to eradicate all remains of female reserve, and its sacred domestic consequences, from the characters of their ignorant but pretty wives. When the women walk abroad, they still so far retain the old custom of concealment, as to wear its costume; and we see them tripping along, enveloped from head to foot in the large Asiatic veil, called a chadre; and, when any of these females happen to be standing at the doors, without this safeguard, I must do them the justice to say, that I have seen more than one retreat hastily into the house, on observing herself to be attentively looked at by a man. The beauty of the Georgian women cannot be disputed; having fine dark large eyes, very regular features, and a pleasing mild expression of countenance; and from these characteristics being general, if there be any thing in physiognomy, we must conclude that they are naturally sweet-tempered and amiable. The dress of the higher ranks is splendid, and carefully adjusted; but the lower order of females, notwithstanding they share the same taste for the ceremonies of the bath, and regularly go through them all, wear clothes which seldom make acquaintance with soap or water; consequently they appear often in rags, and always in dirt.' pp. 122—3.

The town does not appear to have undergone much alteration since it was visited by Chardin. Upon all occasions, Sir Robert appears the elegans formarum spectator.' We have a minute description of the dresses of the Georgian women.

A bandeau round the forehead, richly set with brilliants and other costly stones, confines a couple of black tresses, which hang down on each side of a face beautiful by nature, as its features testify, but so cased in enamel, that not a trace of its original texture can be seen; and, what is worse, the surface is rendered so stiff by its painted exterior, that not a line shews a particle of animation, excepting the eyes; which are large, dark, liquid, and full of a mild lustre, rendered in the highest degree lovely, by the shade of long black lashes, and the regularity of the arched eye-brow. A silken shawllike veil depends from the bandeau, flowing, off the shoulders, down the back; while a thin gauze handkerchief is fastened beneath the chin, binding the lower part of the face, and descending as low as the bosom, where it ties over the rest of the garments; shewing, through its light medium, the golden necklaces and other jewellery which decorate the vest. This latter piece of raiment is usually made of velvet, or silk richly embroidered, covering the bosom and entire waist. A close gown of brocade, with sleeves to the wrist, and an exceedingly long skirt, devolving on the ground all round, is put over the vest; but left open in front, as far as the bottom of the waist. The whole is then confined with a fine Kashmere shawl. The sleeves of the gown are open in front of the arm, but closed at pleasure by little pine-apple-shaped gold buttons and loops. Over all this, in cold weather (which was the season in which I saw these ladies) is added the oimah, or short pelisse, of gold brocade lined with fur; it flows loose to the figure, with wide sleeves; is open in front, reaching only

a little below the knees: and has a superb, as well as comfortable appearance. However, when the fair Georgians sit or stand together, in this gorgeous apparel, the inflexible stiffness of their position, and total absence of motion in features or complexion, give them the effect, rather of large waxen images, which open and shut their eyes by mechanical ingenuity, than that of living, breathing, lovely women.' pp. 135-6.

The avalanches of the Caucasus are as dreadful and calamitous as those of the Alps. The inhabitants calculate on a visitation of this kind once in seven or nine years. They are not peculiar to the winter season, but happen whenever, by the power of the sun or the weight of the snow, the masses are disengaged from their hold on the mountain. Of an awful calamity of this kind, which took place in November 1817, our Author gives a description.

The pale summit of the mountain Kasibeck, on the side which shelves down into a dark valley between Derial and the village which bears the mountain's name, had been seen abruptly to move. In an instant it was launched forward; and nothing was now beheld for the shaken snow and dreadful over-shadowing of the falling destruction. The noise that accompanied it, was the most stunning, bursting, and rolling onward, of all that must make death certain. As the avalanche rushed on, huge masses of rock, rifted from the mountain's side, were driving before it; and the snows and ice of centuries, pouring down in immense shattered forms and rending heaps, fell, like the fall of an earthquake; covering from human eye, villages, valleys, and people! What an awful moment, when all was still!-when the dreadful cries of man and beast were heard no more; and the tremendous avalanche lay a vast, motionless, white shroud on all around.

The magnitude of the destruction will readily be comprehended, when it is understood that the depth of the snow, which thus rolled downwards in sight of the appalled inhabitants of the valley, was full twenty-eight fathoms, that is, 186 feet; and its extent more than six wersts, or four miles, English. It immediately blocked up the course of the Terek, whose obstructed waters, beating up in immense billows, foaming and raging against this strange impediment, seemed, at times, ready to over-top it; but, still repelled by the firmness and height of the snow, it fell back on its bed with a roaring that proclaimed the dreadful scene to a vast distance. The overcharged waters then formed themselves into a lake, which spread down the whole valley, on the river-side of its tremendous barrier; thus completely barring all communication with Wlady Caucasus. Nearly twelve days elapsed, before the river had sapped its way through so immense a body of consolidated snow; but when it did make an opening, its flood, and fury, and devastating consequences, fell not far short of the dreadful ruin occasioned by the cause of its obstruction. Bridges, forts, every thing contiguous to its path, were washed away in the torrent.' pp. 146-147.

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