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on shore, are transported by land for five days, to the banks of the Phasis, where they once more embark, and are conveyed down to the Euxine.” The Koor must have sunk wonderfully in its bed, since a traflic could be carried upon its stream to such a height, as to make the land carriage across to the river Phasis or River, only a journey of five days. GIBBON says, that the Koor is navigable as far up as Sarapona, a distance of a hundred miles from the sea, forty only of which would admit large vessels. From the information I have been able to collect upon the spot, I should say that this river will admit vessels drawing about five feet water as far up as its junction with the Alazan, but not until its being augmented by the Araxes, would vessels of considerable burden find a sufliciency of water. At present the Phasis is not navigable beyond Kotais, the capital of Immeretizi. Hence from the present shallowness of these two rivers, instead of goods beixg landed at a point on the Koor, whence they might arrive, after a jou/rney of only five days, at a corresponding point on the Phasis, they would be obliged to unship them so low down the river as to require at least sixteen days’ land transportation over a mountainous country, ere they could be reembarked upon the Phasis. We know also, that Snmucus Nwuon projected a connection between the Euxine and Caspian seas by means of a canal, which being only to be effected by the union of the two rivers in question, it is obvious that the idea could not have been conceived at all, unless the Koor and Phasis then possessed a more extensive navigation than they do at present.
On quitting Beerchaly, the valley opens with a considerable expanse, for several miles, crossing a rich soil, watered by branches of the Koor, whence we obtained snipes, ducks, and bitterns, in great plenty. Large flocks of pigeons flew continually over our heads, winging their way to some forlorn remains of forts upon the neighbouring heights, which are no longer worthy of being noted in the topography of Georgia, After three hours’ march we came upon the banks of the Koor, along Which we pursued our way for the rest of the day’s journey. A gorge in the mountains on the opposite shore was pointed out to me as a noted avenue whence the Lesguys issue to ravage the country. A Cossack guard is stationed there, and is said to be sufficient for the defence of the pass, as the old invaders do not at present hazard descents of any power. They are not often seen but in marauding parties, small enough to escape pursuit, as easily as they elude vigilance in making these excursions. It is only in war-time, when the Russian soldiers are drawn to more distant service, that they descend in numbers, and spread rapine and misery in every direction.
We reached Tasantoo just as night drew around us. On our right lay a range of mountains running south-east, amongst whose defiles we
were to pursue our journey on the rnorninr. On a height near a defile, an old stone fortress, black with time, and the shadows of the night, stood in mournful solitude; a well chosen position to have commanded the pass in earlier ages. At its base is a small Cossack station, and a detachment of infantry. Several massive fragments of
fallen masonry added to the dark solemnity of the scene. At nine next morning, we ascended the mountains, which were
sufliciently rugged, though not of the most formidable altitude. The road to the top was scarcely wide enough to admit a caléche to pass, and very rough all the way. We then descended the opposite side, by a track of much the same difficulty; but it gradually opened to our view a valley, which lay at the foot of some rich-looking hills, tra-. versed by a stream winding its fertilizing way to the north-east. In the middle of this valley some striking remains of a strong fortress still exist. After crossing the dry bed of a river, we reached Tayaz, where' we found warm and ample quarters. A supper consisting of eggs, milk, butter, and honey, was set before us. This latter luxury I might
have anticipated from the propitious aspect of the country for maintain-. ‘
ing colonies of bees; and I understood it to be an article of great profit to the inhabitants. Indeed, every thing spoke the fertility of the soil, and the hospitality of the people. They possess numerous herds of cattle, with plenty of wheat, barley, and millet.
At seven o'clock in the morning, we again sat forward on our journey, and halted at Zegaum, about three leagues distant. The road was unusually stony; and the river Algat was seen at a short distance. We often met caravans of mules laden with merchandize. The bales were placed in a right line, and the mules, when unladen, were left to themselves, and straying in every direction in quest of pasture. The merchandize was heaped up in small tents, guarded by one or two men. The right in the soil begins now to be marked out in a particular manner. Vast extents of land, enclosed with artificial fences, in which herds of oxen and cows fed, sufficiently indicate a right of property. The country, nevertheless, is for the most part uncultivated, and few‘ traces of agriculture appear. We passed some Georgians nearly naked, and loaded like beasts of burden. Such labourers are very rare, because the Georgians are in general lazy. A traveller, while passing through these solitudes, and beholding the state of abandon-; ment in which the virgin and fertile soil is left, cannot but feel indig-~ nation against its governors. The tracts where the silver mines were formerly worked lay due west from hence, the rocks which form them are of a yellowish hue. Indeed, the whole of this part of Georgia is rich in ores of different kinds, and particularly in copper. Leaving
these vestiges of exhausted wealth on our right, we crossed the Algat through a deep and rapid ford. On gaining the shore we rode on for Borsoom, distant about four-leagues. The road we traversed was, horribly bad, and we often sank deep into the mud. On passing the verge of a precipice, it was necessary. to shut our eyes that we might not be terrified by beholding danger in its most frightful aspect. Here we were forced to trust entirely to the experience of our mules, which are wonderfully sagacions in selecting paths; but notwithstanding their sagacity, they sometimes sank to the belly in holes of mud.
Our road continued south-east over trackless snows, through narrow glens, and occasionally over low hills, without a tree or shrub. At about a league distance from Ganja that town is discovered; which, with its numerous and extensive gardens, presents a most agreeable coup d'(r:il. It is situated in a wide-spreading plain, wherein many villages are scattered. Agriculture has not made great progress here‘, and this plain, which in Europe would present a luxuriant cultivation, exhibits but few traces of culture ; but the natural fertility of the soil gives rise to an abundant vegetation, consisting of useless plants.
Ganja, or Elizabeth Pol, as it is called by the Russians; is the first place of any note on approaching Persia from the north-west : it is built upon a broad mountain torrent, (over which is aruinous brick bridge of six arches,) beneath the Aligez mountains, which divide the beautiful province of Karabagh* from that of Irivan. I have observed that the approach to the town wears an imposing appearance, surrounded withinclosures, and resembling an oasis in the desert. As we entered,‘ however, this delusive aspect vanished, and we found ourselves passing through a large maze of utter ruins, abandoned suburbs, and crumbling wal1s——these conceal the houses from the eye of a traveller, until hepasses through a paltry bazar that extends for some hundred yards, partially occupied by shops of the most needful trades, and very scam tily supplied. Every thing breathes of poverty and oppression: in fact. with the exception of the house of the Russian commandant, the habitations are deplorable in the extreme, and all is totally at variance with English habits, customs, and comforts. A habitation was assigned us by the Russian General, who was acting as Mehmandar to the Persian Prince, and the best mat was spread on the floor, in the midst of which a fire burnt bright and cheerfully, while its Mussulman inmates prepared a good supper of fowls and eggs, followed by coffee, and the chibouque. We found the luxuries of Tifiis had not at all impaired our relish of this simple and friendly reception. Our servant, who
"' The appellative Karabagh signifies in the Turkish language “the black garden ;" implying Ithe richness and fertility of the whole district.
was a Yorkshireman, though not a little of a rogue, was‘a great gourmand. His constant prayer was to get plenty to eat and drink, and be sent safe home to his wife. “ Well Tnomas, where have you been today i” said I, as he entered the apartment. “ Only to the bazar, Sir, to get something to eat."—-“ And what did you procure there P” “ A kubobed goose, half of which I ate, and the rest I have put into my pocket for to-morrow’s march." ‘ =
‘Ganja contains five thousand inhabitants, who are all Mahommedans
of the Shiah sect. The language is a dialect of the Turkish, but the people read and write the Persian. The manufacture of silk is carried on to a great extent. This is for exportation, and a supply is regularly sent to the Russian market, though as yet little encouragement is held out. A small quantity found its way to Bombay, where it has been justly appreciated. The people of Ganja are very hostile to the
Russians from a religious feeling, but the peasantry are favourably\ disposed, as they evade various taxes which were exacted by their
Before proceeding further with a description of this interesting country, it may not be improper to bring into view some observations (derived from unquestionable authority)witb regard to that period when the Russian and Persian armies were opposed to each other, since this very plain is celebrated for the last decisive victory gained by the former troops over the latter during the campaign of 1826.
In 1795, AGA MAHOMMED KHAN, uncle to the present Shah, assembled a powerful army at Teheran, and moving rapidly into Georgia, defeated HERACLIUS near Tifiis, and entered that city before General Goonwncu, who commanded the Russian troops in the Caucasus, could arrive to oppose him. Determined to intimidate the Georgians by making an example of their capital, be abandoned it to the rapine of his soldiers ;. while the religious enthusiasm he excited in his army, and the natural ferocity of his troops, prepared them to take every advantage of the licence he had given.
' The Empress CATHERINE II., irritated by the vengeance which had fab len on Georgia, in consequence of its having transferred its allegiance to Russia, immediately declared war against Persia; and in the following year, Count Zunorr, at the head of a powerful force, marched upon Durbund, and took that fortress by assault.‘ He subsequently captured Ganja, Lankerdn, and the island of Saree on the Caspian Sea. At this period, PAUL ascended the throne of Russia, and recalled his army.
Acn Manomnnn KHAN was at this time in Khorasan, and on hearing of the Count’s successes, hastily returned to oppose him;but .ere he could reach the scene of action, Zunorr had already abandoned
his conquests. Innsnm KI-IULEEL KHAN, the chief of Karabagh, had hitherto suc
ceeded in holding the fort of Shesha against Ass MAHOMMED KHAN; but its inhabitants, wearied by the yearly plunder of their country, rose against their chief, compelled him to retire to Daghestan, and surrendered Shesha into the hands of the Shah, who was advancing with a sweeping army to invade Georgia. On his arrival at Shesha, he was murdered by one of his servants, whom he had threatened to put to death; and his successor, the present Shah, was too much occupied in establishing his authority to pursue the bold policy of his predecessor.
In 1798, Hnnacmus died, and left his crown to his son, whose short reign was disturbed by a rebellious brother, who, backed by the Lesguys, endeavoured to seize the kingdom. He was however completely defeated, and escaped into Persia. In 1800, the Emperor PAUL, incorporated Georgia with the Russian empire, and in 1801, the son of Hsnacmus was no more, and PAUL assassinated. On the accession of ALEXANDER, this act was confirmed, and shortly after, General Sansone.NOFF was appointed Governor General and Commander-in-chief of Georgia. He captured Ganja, and advancing to Irivan, encountered the Persian forces: an action ensued, in which the Persians were entirely routed. Snnsnnanorr then invested Irivan, which the governor refused to surrender ; but the Russians were in want of supplies, and consequently made a hasty retreat when the enemy hovered over their flanks, andcommitted great havoc by their nocturnal attacks. This was the‘ first time in which these armies had met in a general action. It maybe said to have commenced the war for the possession of Georgia.. About a year after this, Karabagh submitted to Russia, and in 1806,. Snnsnnanorr was assassinated at Bakou. .
The war continued till 1814, when by the mediation of Sir Goan OUSELEY, the ambassador extraordinary from the king of Great BritainL atreaty of peace was concluded. Persia ceded to Russia all her acquisitions south of Mount Caucasus, and agreed to entertain no navy on the Caspian ; while Russia engaged to aid the heir to the Persian throne against all competitors. Upon CoNs'rAN'r1NE’s abdication in favor of Nwnous, it was whispered at the Court of Teheran that violent disturbances had arisen at St. Petersburgh ; that in fact a civil war had broken out, and that the mountaineers of Caucasus had risen to assert their independence. It was known also that the interference of the J‘ Russians with the religious prejudices of the Mahommedan subjects had produced feelings of the most serious discontent. Proposals had been