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CAUCASIAN MOUNTAINS.

Tchetchintzi, abounds in forest, which, in some places, extends back to the projecting and lowest range of the Caucasus. Towards evening, we kept a sharp look-out towards the windings of the river; not knowing but some of the daring freebooters might burst forth upon us from the bushes in which they frequently lurk.

On entering Soldatskaia, we found it so completely filled with military, that had it not been for the commanding officer, who turned out two of his Kozaks in order to accommodate us, we should in all probability, have found it impossible to procure lodgings. The soldiers were to cross the Malka the following morning, in order to chastise the Kabardians for some depredations which they had made a few days before on the north of the line, and every thing wore the appearance of hostile préparation. Under the impressions naturally produced by the circumstances in which we were placed, we fell asleep, but were awakened about midnight by the sound of a female voice giving the alarm: "Tcherkess! Tcherkess!" through the window of an adjoining apartment. We instantly started from our couches, imagining that an actual attack had been made upon the village by the Circassians; but, on enquiry, we found that the word had been used in order to rouse our landlady, whose presence was wanted at a wedding that was being celebrated in one of the neighbouring houses.

On rising in the morning, we obtained our first view of the lofty snow-clad mountains of the Caucasus, rising in the most majestic grandeur

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from behind the lower and secondary ranges, which stretch along their base, so as to hide it completely from the view. The first rays of the morning sun were just beginning to be reflected from their summits, and the ruggedness of their structure, together with the altitude to which they raised their bold and pointed tops, presented a scene in some respects novel, though, to my eye, it seemed only an exhibition of the Icelandic Yökuls on a grander scale. What greatly contributes to deepen the impressions of admiration produced on the mind by the first view of the Caucasian mountains, is the suddenness of the transition from the perfect level over which the traveller may have been passing for months, in Russia, without meeting with a hillock to diversify the tedious uniformity of the scene.

Our route now lay across a steppe, which extended towards the north as far as the eye could reach. After crossing a small stream, called the Podkura, we came to the Kura, which we found flowing through a deep and winding valley, abounding in brush-wood and gardens. Having changed horses at Pavlovskaia, we proceeded forward to Georgievsk, which we reached after crossing the Podkuma, on the left bank of which it is situated.

Georgievsk is the government town of the Caucasus, but the noble associations which we naturally incline to connect with any thing relating to that majestic name, are far from being strengthened by the appearance of the fortress and the houses of which the town is composed. Its inhabitants being mostly military, who are constantly liable to

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change of habitation, they have no inducement to build good and substantial houses; and the prevalence of intermittent fevers, (of which nearly two-thirds of the inhabitants were ill at the time of our visit,) necessarily deters numbers from settling in it. With the exception of the house occupied by the commanding General, the court-houses, barracks, and hospital, all the rest are constructed of wattles, coated with clay, and white-washed. There are two churches in the town, one for the Russians, and another for the Armenians. It is surrounded by fortifications, which appear rapidly going to decay, except on the bank of the river, where it is well defended by nature. The number of inhabitants is estimated at 3,000.

In the evening we waited on his Excellency General Stahl, Commander-in-chief of the Russian troops on the Caucasian lines, and made the necessary arrangements with him for a meeting of the Caucasian Bible Society. Next morning we set off for the Scotch colony of Karass, accompanied by our Missionary friends, Messrs. Jack and Galloway, whom we unexpectedly met at the General's, and escorted by a guard of eight Kozaks. The road lay across a rising steppe covered with hay-ricks, leaving on our left a considerable village, inhabited partly by Kabardians, and partly by Abhazians; and after changing horses at the Lyssagorski Cordon, we ascended to an elevated level, having on the left the calcareous mountain Berelik, beyond which, towards the south and west, rose the Meshuka, or Hot Water Mountain, the Beshtow, and others more

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diminutive in size; but all combining, by the relative positions, and the distinct peculiarities of each, to present an interesting appearance.

After proceeding to the distance of several versts across this plain, we reached its southern termination, when all at once the colony burst upon our view; the village of Karass, situated on the sloping base of the Beshtow, between which, and the spot where we stood, intervened a fine valley, watered by a beautiful meandering rivulet, called the Yamucha, the verdant banks of which were covered with flocks and herds; while further to the right appeared the Tatar village of Naiman, a name long familiar to us from the published communications of the Missionaries. scending by a winding path into the valley, we crossed the stream, and reached the colony about five o'clock, where we were conducted by Mr. Jack to his house, in which he had kindly prepared us lodgings during our stay.

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CHAPTER XX.

Scotch Colony of Karass-History of the Mission—Its Importance-Missionary Qualifications-Kabardian Village-German Colonists-Hot Springs-Elburz-Mountain Excursion -Acidulated Spring-Karass,

KARASS, or as it is designated in the government papers, "The Scotch Colony," is situated on a gentle declivity, near the north-eastern base of the Beshtow, the central and highest of a semicircular range of mountains, occupying the high level between the rivers Kuma and Podkuma, and forming the terminating projection of the Caucasus in this direction. It derives its name from a Tatar Sultan, who, with several of his sons, lies interred a few versts north from the village. When first visited by the Missionaries in 1802, it contained a population of more than 500 inhabitants, all of whom were Mohammedans, natives of the surrounding regions, and speaking six or seven different languages: but in the spring of 1804, the plague, having broken out among the Kabardians and Tatars, made the most dreadful ravages both here and in the vicinity, and, together with the war, almost completely depopulated the neighbourhood, and dispersed the survivors into dif

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