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1I.—-Journal of a Tour through Georgie, Persia, and Mesopotamia. By Capt. Mignon, Bombay European Regimen.t,Fellnw of the Limwaaa Society. of London. and M. R. A. S.

At the commencement of the year 1830, after travelling over a large portion of the Russian dominions, Ireached the capital of Georgia; with an intention of prosecuting my journey through those provinces of Persia, which have not been visited by Europeans for many years. W‘ith this view I took advantage of the departure of the Persian Prince Knosnou Minn, with whom I‘ had been for some time associated, and who was now with a numerous suite on his return to his native country, from the court of St. Petersburgh, where he had been deputed by his own Government, to explain the causes which led to the massacre of M. GRIBOJEDOFF, the Russian ambassador, and his whole retinue. This melancholy occurrence took place at Tehran, the capital of the Persian kingdom, in February, 1829.

Knosuou Muxzn is the fifth son of His Royal Highness Anus M‘mz A, the heir-apparent to the Persianthrone, by a. Khoi woman of inferior rank and family. He is about three and twenty years of age, of'mi,dZ dle stature, and like the majority of Persians, possesses great politesse, and‘ much naiveté in conversation.

On the 31st of January, we left the sublime chain of “ Frosty Cauca-. sue“ in the rear, covered with perpetual snows, and following the course ofthe river Koor (the Cyrus of the ancients), in a south-easterly

direction, entered at once upon the plains of; the ancient Iberia, which _'

lays stretching before us, till lost in the blue haze of distance,,and pre. senting to the eye a most uninteresting and even depressing effect. At this season it was peculiarly so, every passing cloud sprinkled flakes of snow on our track, and threatened a heavy fall. Our road passed through a succession of‘ low hills of a gravelly soil',,lightly mixed with earth, though sufficiently fertile when water for the purposes of irrigation can be procured. On the bank of' the river, at a short distance from the village of Saganlook, our proposed quarters, we observed some time-worn memorials of ‘the extinct dynasty of the last Georgian kings. Of these, the remains of an old‘ fortress, on the nearest heights, and near it two as ancient towers, with the remains of a bridge, were not the least conspicuous objects. This village, which is about ten miles from Tiflis, was the place marked out for the termination of our first day's march, and the houses were so small and wretched, as to be scarcely discernible from the, inequalities of the ground. Their description corresponds precisely with those mentioned by XENOPHON in the Anahasis, or expedition of Craus into Persia. In book IV. chap. v. he says,

“- Their dwellings were under ground, the mouth resembling that of a well, but spacious below; there was an entrance dug for the cattle, but the inhabitants descended by ladders. In these houses were goats, sheep, cows, and fowls, with their young.” Throughout Georgia the inhabitants make an excavation in the ground, and then build up the sides with large stones. Upon this they lay rafters, and cover the whole with earth, so that in walking through a village, it is very difiicult to tell whether you are upon a house-top or on the bare ground. An aperture is left at the top to light the room inhabited by the family, who are only divided from the cattle by a thin planked partition.

To the traveller indeed, nothing very enlivening presents itself ; the roofless remains of hamlets that have been destroyed by the tyranny of rulers frequently occur, and old burying places which mark the spots Where man once has been. Every thing, in short, indicates that the Government is a bitter enemy to the prosperity of the people.

At Saganlook, the range of mountains made an acute angle, direct south ; and thence continued stretching along the acclivities which formed an alpine wall to our road. On quitting the village we bade adieu to the often travelled Erivan road, and some crumbling towers ; and descended a narrow ravine into a valley bounded by an inconsiderable but romantically situated lake. The hills on our right presented the habitations of the peasantry; who appeared poor and wretched. On leaving the valley, an abrupt ascent brought us to an open tract of country. The plain to the southward of our route was bounded by a fiat horizon, from which every successive mountain rose, as we advanced, like objects when first seen at sea; while to the eastward of our direction, the turbid river Cyrus playfully meandered through a fine though uncultivated soil, until it was lost in the capricious stratification of the inhospitable looking mountains.

This part of Georgia is now called Kartalinia, and was the ancient Iberia. PTOLEMY describes it as bordered on the north by the Saunatian mountains; to the south by a part of Armenia; to the east by Albania, and to the west by Colchis. Many of its towns and villages are mentioned by him, and also by Sranno, who travelled through this country, and who speaks of its being a luxurious and flourishing state. A distressing contrast it now presents! An independent kingdom, reduced to the abject situation of a province ; and not immediately to the sovereign power itself, which might dispense consequence with near union; but through the double vassalage of a medium, being an appendage to another subject province—-that of Georgia. Invasions from rival neighbours swept ofi the brave population of this little kingdom ; and the final blow was struck by those who possessed ambition, without}

the manliness to maintain it themselves. ' Like other powers who have

committed national suicide, they taught the Les-guys the passes of their

‘country. The Iberian chiefs, in times of civil discords, subsidized

these warlike barbarians to fight their battles, who in their turn trampled on these lords, and soon reduced a people who had such ineflicient leaders. Hence, the country sunk under oppression, and the peasantry gave themselves up to despair, from which its present possessors are neither calculated, nor willing to rouse them.

Towards dusk, we reached a post called Dimoorchikal, where we took an escort of Cossacks, having to go some distance to attain our proposed sojourn for the night. We had not advanced more than a mile or two, ere it became quite dark; yet, I could distinguish that the deepening gloom was occasioned by the closing in of a. valley, the hills of which drew so close to each other, as to exclude all trace of the road ;and we had nothing to guide us from stepping into the Koor, that was lashing the rocks at our side, but the warning noise of its course, and now and then a glimmering of light from the moon through some friendly chasm in the rocky canopy above us.

. At ten o'clock we arrived at Beerchaly, a wretched village, situated on the banks of the river Gram, which flows from the Koor, thus forming two sides of a triangle. The former is an insignificant stream, but the latter requires a particular notice in this place. This noble river (the Cyrus of the classic ages) has its source in the mountains which form the western boundary of the province of Akiska near Kars, and which are a ramification of Mount Caucasus. From the recesses of this branch issue several small rivulets, which uniting a little to the eastward of Akhalzikh, flows through a part of the Turkish territories, and gradually augments its stream by the reception of several minor rivers in its course. Although its windings are very capricious, its general direction is to the eastward, rolling onward through fertile and extensive plains in its course to the capital of Georgia. From this point it takes a south-easterly direction, and is considerably augmented by the Alazan from the north-east, and the Araxes from the south, when it becomes navigable for large boats. On nearing the Caspian, it divides itself into two branches, and flowing onward through the province of Mogaum, unites its waters with the sea.

From the accounts of ancient authors, it would appear that the Cyrus was formerly navigable to a much higher point than it is at present; Pnmr, in particular, describes the route by which goods were conveyed from India to the Euxine. “ Having arrived at Bactria," he observes, "the merchandize then descends the lcarus, as far as the Oxus ; and is thence carried down to the Caspian. They then cross that sea to

the mouth of the Cyrus, where they ascend that river, and, on going N N

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