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into our konak, and informed us that he was anxious to enter into the service of a European. He was a native of Abbasack, and had fought against the Russians; he had also been the pilgrimage to Mecca, and picked up a smattering of Turkish. Altogether, though wild and uncouth in appearance, there was something so amiable and prepossessing in his face, that I at once offered to engage him and his horse at the monthly stipend of thirty shillings. Salary, however, was evidently "no consider ation" with my friend Hadji Mustapha, who only desired the novelty of the employment with a European, and thenceforward took me under his patronising care.
Nor would it have been possible to find a more good-humoured, affectionate, and hard-working slave than this faithful creature afterwards proved. Thoroughly unsophisticated, his service was rather that of a devoted friend than a paid domestic. It was refreshing to be waited upon by one utterly ignorant of the ordinary relations subsisting between master and servant to receive from him good advice when well, and the most unremitting attention when ill. He united in his person the functions of groom, for he took care of five horses; cook upon emergencies; valet after he had been initiated into the mysteries of the toilet, which at first amazed him exceedingly; nurse when, unfortunately, the occasion offered, and tutor and guardian always. He was the only servant I had throughout the Transcaucasian campaign of the Turkish army, and subsequently accompanied me to Constantinople, where I parted from him with regret, and where he astonished the world upon the quay at Tophanè by straining me to his bosom. His costume by that time had become a curious mixture of English and Circassian, for he had a great weakness for civilised apparel, and, though thoroughly honest, was a little covetous of his master's goods. It was impossible to resist his insinuating appeal when he admiringly contemplated a pair of thick shooting-boots of mine, and then glanced ruefully at his own worn-out tsuaka or moccasins. fact, if the truth must be told, Hadji
Mustapha was an incorrigible beggar, and kept himself supplied with clothes very cleverly. His wardrobe gradually expanded during our residence in camp, and I used constantly to see garments transferred from the backs of other servants to his own. He was such a universal favourite, and so ready to do good-natured things, and take any amount of trouble, that he deserved all he got. Poor Hadji! I gave him a character, in which I endeavoured to describe his merits, and recommended him to Misserie's good offices at Constantinople, but I fear he will not again find an English master. There is a difficulty in communicating with him, which will operate as a serious objection. Nor could any bystander have understood the jargon of Turkish, English, and Circassian, which formed a sort of language of our own invention, and by which we held communion.
We had now reached the southeastern frontier of Ubooch. There is a narrow district intervening between this province and Abkhasia called Djikethie, inhabited by a tribe who speak the Asgar language, and who were reported by our guides to have Russian sympathies. They decidedly objected to the idea of our travelling through the interior of this province, and indeed we had had quite enough of clambering over successive ranges; so we bent our steps seaward, and, passing the Russian fort of Mamai, followed the coast to Ardiller. At Soucha, another Russian fort, now dismantled, we found a number of brass guns in a perfectly good state of preservation. The Circassians were revelling in the domain of their old enemies, little dreaming that the day would soon come when the barrier would again be established which should cut them off from intercourse with the whole civilised world. We, too, as we rode along the shingly beach, under shelter of gigantic forest-trees, speculated upon the happy future which seemed now in store for this devoted land-when its resources should be developed, and intercourse with Europe produce its beneficial influence upon the benighted population.
We found practical evidence of the truth of the assertion of our guides as to the alteration which existed in the sentiments of the people among whom we were now journeying, when we arrived at our night's quarters at Ardiller. Some of the villagers came in to inspect us, and, accustomed as they were to Russians, manifested no curiosity, and very little interest in
One of these, a fine stalwart fellow, with a disagreeable sneer upon his countenance, informed us, without circumlocution, that he was heart and soul a Russian. He said he regretted their departure exceedingly, and hoped soon to see them back again; whereupon one of our Circassian guides, of an impetuous disposition, applied an epithet to the speaker which has its equivalent in civilised, but not in polite society, accompanying the same with a gesture so menacing that we feared for the public peace. As we wished to have some more conversation with our new acquaintance, we persuaded all the Circassians to leave the room. He then said that it was by no means to be wondered at that he should regret the departure of the Russians, as their presence always secured a profitable market for corn and vegetables; for the garrison had orders to buy the produce of the country at exorbitant prices. But this was not the only method resorted to for obtaining the good-will of the people. Our informant assured us that he received a monthly salary of seven rubles, on condition that he maintained friendly relations with the Russians, and exercised his influence in their behalf among the natives.
formed him that he might retire, and he contemplated the hostile party who were waiting to receive him outside. We felt very little pity for him, and were not surprised to hear the sounds of strife proceed from the yard. It was perfectly dark, and we could only speculate upon what was probably passing. Nor did we think it wise to interfere; but L rushed out with his usual impetuous curiosity, and came back with an excited account of an affray. However, quiet was gradually restored, and our Circassians came dropping in after a little, with satisfied countenances, like dogs who lick their lips after feasting on the produce of the chase. It was clear, however, that the locality was by no means congenial to our friends, and they informed us of their intention to return on the following day to Ubooch. To this we made no objection, as we hourly expected the return of the Cyclops to the coast, and had agreed that she was to look in for us at this point. We were, moreover, gainers by the intimate relations which had been maintained between the inhabitants of the village and the garrison of the fort, situated on the coast about a mile and a half distant. There were all sorts of evidences of civilisation apparent about our habitation. It was a large wooden building, containing two rooms, constructed of planks, and with a shingle roof, a most comfortable fire-place, a couple of couches, and various other articles of furniture unknown in Circassia, the whole belonging to an old lady, who overwhelmed us with civility, and entertained us most sumptuously. We were detained at Ardiller for three days, during which time we were dependent entirely upon the hospitality of this exemplary person. It is true that we received a pressing invitation from a neighbouring great man to honour his konak with our presence, and we were very much disposed to do so; but we were assured that it would give such mortal offence to our kind hostess, and cast so dire a reflection upon her hospitality in the eyes of the surrounding population, that the move was given up. Meantime we rode
It was therefore most natural that the people of Ubooch, who voluntarily deprived themselves of these advantages for the sake of freedom, and suffered all the inconveniences resulting from a determined hostility to Russia, should have felt doubly indignant with the base conduct of these Djikethians, who were ready to sell their independence for a wretched pecuniary advantage, and then boasted of their treachery in their very faces. We were amused at the hesitation which this fine gentleman displayed when we in
could not turn our backs upon
about the country exploring the neighbourhood, and sketching its beauties. The fort, as usual, consisted of four walls, enclosing a number of tall poplars and a great deal of rubbish. All the forts to the north of Souchoum were dismantled by the Russians prior to their evacuation; but Souchoum itself was left untouched, as Prince Michael assured the Russians that, if they damaged the place in any way, the people of the country would rise and cut off their retreat. As the weather was by no means propitious, we congratulated ourselves upon our good quarters, and did not regret the abrupt conclusion of our tour. The Circassians, too, lingered on in spite of their hostile feelings towards the country-people, and seemed disposed to be somewhat intractable when the important duty of recompensing them for their trouble was to be entered upon.
Like thorough savages, they resorted to all sorts of manoeuvres to screw more out of us than they were
entitled to. First, they disputed the
It was indeed difficult to be angry with these men on the very ground which their gallant countrymen had rendered sacred by many a deed of noble daring; and we were ready to forget that acquisitiveness, which is so often the mark of barbarians, amid scenes with which so much that was heroic was associated. We
place taken by the venerable Hadji, who more than avenged the death of his gallant grandson. The Russians admitted to a loss of five hundred men on this occasion, and gave up any further idea of punishing the Uboochians, or entering their country. We passed over the scene of this bloody conflict on our ride from Soucha to Ardiller. There is unfortunately now no great Ubooch warrior. The most dashing young man of the tribe, and a descendant of the Hadji, was, at the period of our visit, only burning for an opportunity of maintaining the credit of the family; and with this view put himself at the head of the cavalry contingent which was supplied by the district to Omer Pasha. Izak Bey was indeed one of the handsomest and most gallant young fellows I ever saw; he was in the thickest of the fight on the eventful day of the Ingour, and we lay together under the same cloak by the bivouac-fire that night on the bloody battle-field. Poor fellow, he succumbed under the hardships of the retreat, and died of typhus fever at Choloni the day before I left the army.
In the course of my journeys upon the Circassian coast, I had now visited some eight or nine of these abandoned Russian forts, and always with sensations very different from those which usually accompany the contemplation of scenes of ruin and desolation. Here the sight of dismantled walls, and tottering towers, and heaps of rubbish, gave rise, not to feelings of melancholy, but of satisfaction and of triumph;-of satisfaction that a noble and free-hearted people should be relieved of the presence of foreign invaders; and of triumph, that this result had been due entirely to our navy. It was pleasant, then, to see Circassians cultivating gardens which formerly supplied their enemies with vegetables, and building their cottages within gunshot of those loopholed walls, then so harmless; and melancholy is it now to think that Russian cannon will soon again fill up the empty embrasures, and Russian soldiers reconstruct and reoccupy the ruined and deserted barracks; that the gardens will again be abandoned by their rightful owners, and their cottages destroyed. The effect
of any clause in the late treaty preventing the reconstruction of these forts, is more important than people in this country have been disposed to allow. It has been contended that the Circassians had no claim to our sympathies on the score of co-operation, and that therefore any stipulation in their favour was uncalled for. In the first place, it is easy to show that they co-operated with us whenever they were asked, and could do so; and, in the second, it is not because the Circassians deserve their independence that we should endeavour to secure it for them, any more than it was the purity of the Sultan's government which induced us to undertake a war which had for its object "the integrity and independence of his empire." We acted in this from self-interested motives, and we have only neglected to stipulate against the reconstruction of the Circassian forts, because we did not see that our interest demanded it; or if perchance we did, France did not, and we were not in a position to insist upon it. The future will show that her policy in this was as shortsighted as was ours in concurring in it. The whole question of Eastern aggression by Russia hinges upon the existence of this line of forts. Without them, Russia can never hope to subdue Circassia, any more than she could have taken Kars if she had left one gate open. The success of the Russian war in the Caucasus depends upon the efficacy of the blockade ; that can only be secured by the reconstruction of these forts. When these are rebuilt, and Circassia will be again thrown upon its own limited resources, the latter will at last be exhausted, the besieged country will capitulate, and the only barrier to Russian aggression in the East will thus be swept away. So long as a strip of independent country remains to separate Russia from her Transcaucasian provinces, their value is not only depreciated, but the difficulty of extending her frontier in that direction is increased, as her armies are in danger of being cut off, and reinforcements can only be brought up with risk.
Thus at this moment she hesitates to annex those provinces of Ghilan
and Mazenderan to the south of the Caspian, which have been mortgaged to her by Persia. If, therefore, Russia intends to relinquish her Eastern policy, she need not care for the subjugation of Circassia, as the country itself is too impracticable to be of any intrinsic value; but if, as will undoubtedly be the case, Russia recommences her war with Circassia and the reconstruction of these forts, then we may infer that she has not relinquished that policy, but that she intends again to threaten Turkey when a convenient season offers- not this time upon the banks of the Danube, but on those of the Araxes. It is supposed that the rectification of the Bessarabian frontier will secure us against a repetition of the siege of Silistria. The non-reconstruction of the Circassian forts was the only guarantee we could have had against the recurrence of the siege of Kars. It is a pity that the work was left half done. But this is not all. If these forts are rebuilt, that clause of the treaty which announces that the coasts of the Black Sea are for the future opened to the commercial enterprise of all nations will be remarkably restricted. The coast from Anaklea to Anapa will be hermetically sealed against the enterprise of all nations. The Russian troops, posted at short intervals along it, will no more allow a bale of Manchester calicoes to be carried into the country, than they would have allowed a bag of biscuits to be taken into Kars. They will, at all events, bring their blockade within the terms of that clause of the treaty which says, "A blockade, in order to be binding, must be effective." Thus, unless Russia relinquishes her cherished policy in Asia, and admits the independence of Circassia-a most improbable event-the resources of that country will remain undeve loped, its mineral wealth will never be explored, its magnificent forests, teeming with valuable timber, will never ring with the sound of the and the box-trees, unequalled in the world, will decay where they stand. The small patches of cultivation in the fertile valleys will never be enlarged beyond what is necessary for a scanty population. The
grapes will wither upon the vinesteins, and the fruit which loads the trees rot where it falls. And yet the nation does not exist who would appreciate more thoroughly the advantages of a free and unrestricted commerce. Whenever the opportunity has offered, they have manifested a spirit of mercantile enterprise which only proves how anxious they are for intercourse with other nations, and how speedily civilisation would exercise over them its benign influences; but, like ourselves, they are ready to sacrifice their internal prosperity to their liberty, and would rather be annihilated as a nation, savage but free, than purchase that degraded civilisation which Russia offers them, at the price of their independence.
With respect to the absence of any co-operation on the part of the Circassians, that is easily accounted for with regard to the eastern part of the range. There are two reasons which doubtless operated with Schamyl: one was, that his assistance was never asked; and another, that he had no army and it is universally admitted that it is impossible for a general to carry on a campaign in an enemy's country without one. Nevertheless our statesmen expected this of Schamyl, and of all the other chieftains in the range; the fact being that Circassians are guerillas without either land - transport or commissariat corps, or artillery, or infantry, or anything, in fact, but ponies, and are indomitable upon their own mountaintops. If, therefore, we had expected their co-operation, we should have asked them to do something in their own country-block up the Russian passes, for instance- and had we sent them a few regular soldiers and some money, we should have had their cooperation most cordially offered. As it was, when we asked the Naib to attack the Russians, he did, and got well beaten in Karachai; and when we asked the people of Ubooch to raise a contingent, they did, and their irregular horse accompanied Omer Pasha on the campaign, until all the horses died of starvation, as they were allowed neither pay nor rations, and were forbidden to plunder, and the men returned on foot to their