« AnteriorContinuar »
moving at such a rate. Mahomet the journey from Eupatoria to Sym-
ing little rural dairy in the Tartar
these caves. Arrival at Batcheserai,
tic capital, formed in an amphithea-
“ It would certainly be an unpar-
tunate master, if we were to depart
the principal articles of peace agreed
bled Catharine to have her captain favoured me with the following cus of the guards elected chan of the pe- rious anecdotes of his manner of liv. ninsula ; the right of choosing a so ing in the first mentioned city, where vereign being left
, of course, to the he had an opportunity of seeing him Tartars by the Ottoman court. almost every day.
“ This station be filled with dig “ The chan, he said, was a man of nity, till Prince Potemkin had the good figure, with a most piercing address to engage bin, in 1783, to eye, and possessed an excellent uncede his sovereignty to the imperial dersianding, pot, a little cultivated, crown of Russia, and retire into Wo. considering his country. His coun: ronetz on a yearly pension of 100,000 tenance was remarkably pale, with roubles; at which city, and at Ka- strong marks of inward grief preying touga, he resided for about two years, on his mind : a suspicion confirmed till, grown tired of a retreat among by his dress, which was always black, men differing from himself in reli- after he abdicated ; and he con: gion, customis, and manners, he pe- stantly wore a black-silk handkertitioned Catherine for permission to chief on his head, which was carried visit his relations at Constantino. up each side of his face from under ple.
his chin, and tied above his turban. “The empress granted his request; His laundress likewise discovered, by and the chan was received like a so the little circles which it left on his vereign, and a descendant of Maho- shirts, that he always wore a coat of met, by the bashaw of Cotchim, who mail under his clothes, probably to came out with a great retinue to meet ward off a sudden blow from any fahim; and after kissing the skirt of natic Mahometan, as he had near his robe, presented a letter from his two hundred about his person eren relation the grand sultan, inviting in his retirement, who constituted his him in the kindest language to his little court. However, in spite of capital, and assuring him that he was this precaution against a bidden ene. always ready to receive and succour my, he was a man of great courage in the unfortunate.
the field, and upon all occasions of “On this flattering invitation, Cha- danger; a singular proof of which he gin Girrey proceeded to Constanti
once gave, when obliged to take nople, where he was at first well re shelter among the Russian troops, ceived, but soon after ordered to re from an insurrection of his subjects tire to the island of Rhodes, which he during his short reign, instigated by was so well convinced was a species the Turkish party. The insurgents of exile, the forerunner of death, that having advanced against his defendhe sought the protection of the French ers, to the amount of 30,000 men, the consul, who, it is said, had actually chan stole away in the night from prepared a small vessel to favour his the small Russian army (if possible, escape; but, the wind being contra to prevent the effusion of blood next ry, the fatal bashaw arrived, and, by day), and rode directly into the the information of one of the unhap- midst of his revolted subjects, alone py chan's suite, whom he put to the and unarmed, demanding the cause torture, discovered his master hid of their discontent, and of what they under the consul's floor.
had to accuse him. This bold measure “ The bashaw chid the devoted so completely surprised and discome prince for flying from one sent by the posed the hostile army, that the sol. sultan to wait upon him, and do him Hiers declared they had no personal honour; but a dish of coffee, pre- enmity to their chan, but diad been sented him soon after, put a period led there by certain mursas, or chiefs, to a life full of misfortunes; and his without well knowing why. On this, head was sent to his kind relation, Chagin Girrey ordered the mursas to in the usual style of Turkish barba- be brought before him to declare rity and despotism.
their grievances; but they, being as The gentleman to whom I owe much confounded as their men, could the above relation, so little known to alledge nothing in the slightest deEurope, lived in great intimacy with gree satisfactory: whereupon be comChagin Girrey all the time that he manded the soldiers to hang them up dwelt in Woronetz, and occasionally as traitors; which they instantly did. visited him in Kalouga. He likewise He then quickly rode back alone to
the Russian quarters, which had been the riband of St. Andrew, with a in much alarm on finding him gone. diamond crescent, instead of the cross
* Nothing could be more simple and saint hanging to it as usual; on than his way of life, as he never had which he remarked, that, if the usual more than one dish at his table, insignia had been appended to it, his which was constantly boiled rice and religion would have forbidden him to mutton in the Tartar style, with wa. wear it, and without them it was ter for his drink : after which, he only a piece of riband with trinkets, took one small dish of coffee, and which he declined accepting.” p. 76 seldom ever smoked but when alone. -82. His chamber of state was covered Letter XXIV., Our traveller arwith blue cloth, without any other rives at the Jews Citadel, on a high furniture than a low Turkish sopha, insulated mountain, where she suson which he sat; and at night a high pects that she has discovered one of silver candlestick stood in the middle the lost tribes of Israel, of whom she of the room on the foor, with one gives the following account. wax candle in it. He commonly wore “ At a little distance from Batche: gloves, as he had a custom of ihrow- serai, on a high mountain, or rather ing a six pound cannon ball from one rock, stands an old fort called Tchihand to another, while he sat con fort Kalchsi, or the Jews Citadel, so versing with those about him.
named as having been from time im, “ His principal amusement he de- memorial inhabited by about 200 rived from his hawks and horses; of families of Jews, a people who, as we which he brought a number with him know, were very numerous in the from the Crimea: but as he could Taurida as far back as the ninth not enjoy the sport so well in the century, and in all probability much city, where he at first lived, the Arch- earlier. bishop of Woronetz gave up to him “ This fortified town seems to have his country house, a civility which he been the Phoulli of the ancients, and nobly rewarded, by presenting him in the middle ages, is called Kyrk by. with a large rich cross, set with dia- the noble Arabian geographer, Abulmonds, sứch as the Russian arch- feda, Prince of Hama, in Syria. bishops wear on their breasts sus Here, to the surprise of those acpended from the neck with a blue quainted with the Polish or northern ribbon. The chan erected several Jews, the children of Israel are found small Chinese buildings in the garden, with an air of cleanliness and prospewhere he gave the neighbouring gen- rity seldom seen among the former ; try little entertainments, and was so nay, even the streets of their little very generous that 'few visited him city is clean and neat; but whether without receiving some present, by the industry of the inhabitants, or
“The gentleman, who related these the water of heaven, I will not take anecdotes, shewed me a gold enamel. upon me to determine, as their high led snuif-box, and a gold watch, which rock may break the clouds, and wash Chagin bade him wear for his sake, their streets, without the aid of the that every time he took snuff, or Hebrews. marked the hour, he might think of " I could almost persuade myself him.
that I have found on this Tauric “ He once sent a diamond ring, of mountain, so long shut out from Eu20,000 roubles value, to a much re ropean curiosity by Turkish policy, spected minister at Petersburg; but one of the lost tribes; and I beg that the court prevented its delivery, and you will not make yourself too merry bade the messenger tell his master, atthe expence of my discovery, till you that a present to a Russian minister have heard my reasons for thinking was improper, although the chan had it so. accompanied the gift with a hand " First, then, this tribe is here. some little note, wherein he told his called Kavery Jasdi, or Black Jews, to excellency, that it was the oriental distinguish them from the rest of their custom to present marks of esteem to brethren, so numerous in Poland, those whom we love. On receiving and all the neighbouring countries, back this ring, with the reprimand, Turkey, &c. by whom they are most he only replied, that the 'Russians devoutly hated. did not hold those opinions wbile he “ Secondly, they differ from the had ministers. Catherine sent him others in taking the Tora, instead of
the Talmund, for their religious guide, ment we had glanced our eyes oret in keeping different fasts, and even , it, and in a solemn step conducted in the cut of their bair : for, while us back by the way we entered : or, the others reserve a circle, which in plain English, showed us the door they comb down on their foreheads, with equal gravity and civility. the Black Jews shave the whole head: “ It must appear to you a very in short, they seem to me to merit singular instance of Tartar liberality the attention of some of your rabbis and humanity, as it indeed did to us in England, where you must have at first sight, that they have left the Israelites of great learning, since even Jews for ages in possession of a fortiDr. Priestley found an able comba- fied city in the heart of their countant there.
try: however, on examining more at. “Can this be a detachment of the tentively the situation of the rock ancient colony, settled for so many upon which they live, I perceived ages in the neighbouring country of that the children of Israel owed this Georgia, who, their rabbis say, were privilege to their known industry: carried from Jerusalem to Media by for their citadel, although surround. the Musul Padishah, or king of Ni- ed by an old wall and turrets, is niveh, and who are, I believe, the placed on a high rock, without a drop only tribe at present in the state of of water, except what they can ob. husbandmen and cultivaters? a cu tain from the sky in rainy weather, rious fact which we learn from the or bring up from the plain, on asses, memoir published with Mr. Ellis's during a great part of the year: 50 map of Caucasus. As conjectures, that there is little wonder if so indowhen acknowledged as such, are ad- lent a people as the Tartars should mitted in much more serious works leave to a tribe, famous for industry than female tours, I shall hazard one and who probably are useful to them more :-Can this insulated tribe of in some way), a place of no military Black Jews be a remnant of an an- consequence, as the inhabitants are cient people called Melanchlocni, obliged to come down for every mentioned by all the classic authors pitcher of water that they want, duras dwelling on the Palus Mæotis, or ing the long dry season of a fine clisea of Asoff, though now lost, and mate. who were distinguished from all the “ It is, however, very probable that other nations of these countries by in ancient times, when the vanquishwearing a black garb, even in the . ed inhabitants of the vallies were obtime of Herodotus, as uncommon liged to take refuge in the nountains, now as then in this part of the and build such strong holds, there world?
was then some contrivance, as at Ba. “ On entering the Jews Citadel, Jaklara, to retain a stock of rainwe were received at the gate by the water for the use of the garrison, now elders, and by them conducted fallen to decay since the Turkish through it with great attention, al- conquest, when the mountain prioci. though no fair Susanna was of the palities were reduced, and the whole company. Their synagogue is, of peninsula brought to acknowledge course, an object of curiosity to one master, like your very submissive strangers. We found it a small, but spouse-only when she has all her snug hall, remarkably neat and clean, own way must be understood." p. 83 without any species of ornament, ex 85. cept what they regard as the greatest Letter XXV. describes the conof all, viz. the holy tabernacle, con finement of the deer in the park of taining their sacred writings in He- the chans, which is situated on a brew, on an antique roll of parch- flat mountain, by precipices from ment, according to the Mosaic law, whence our traveller descends into which did not permit the use of the a valley, and discovers the ruins of a Egyptian papyrus for that sacred city, she then climbs up another purpose, although in universal use mountain to a chapel cut out of its for every other manuscript in the side, and dedicated to the virgin; halcyon days of Jerusalem and the and gives a curious history of a female chosen sons of Israel. This valuable offering seen there.. relict was shewn us by a venerable “ A little rough path conducted us rabbi, who rolled up his precious from the bottom of the mountain ta charge in a mystic manner, the mo- the foot of a flight of steps, hewa
out of the rock, which leads up to tude and satisfaction, and it is acthe monastery, and which we mounted cordingly preserved with much care, beneath the rays of a burning sun. as an encouragement to other sterile
“ First, we came to a few little females to apply to the virgin in the wooden cells, stuck in a manner to the rocks, and suspended in a frigbt “ The numbers, however, of these ful style above the valley, probably charitable fathers are sadly reduced intended to try the courage, and re in these ungodly times, as now only duce the bodies, of pampered sinners, two remain out of seventy-two, the before entering the cool recesses of ancient complement; insomuch that the excavated rock; and there was the lower cells, to the scandal of resurely little danger of their carrying ligion, serve at the present moment in much of their worldly plumpness to lodge the neighbouring Hocks, inwith them, if they passed a summer stead of their own, as formerly:" p.88. in these sweet boxes by way of or Letters XLVIII. and XLIX. shew deal, and did not break their necks the exports from Calia, with accounts during the noviciate; an escape, bow- of the Nogay captives, and the traffic ever, which, in my opinion, would in Circassian women. be no slight mark of their being in “ There was formerly a very cam the number of the elect, and destined pital article of exportation, which no for the service of the virgin. One longer exists in any quantity, and solitary monk now occupies them that was butter, in high repute at alone, who is certainly arrived at a Constantinople; being furnished by state of body that might almost gain the numerous flocks of the Nogay him admission into a rabbit-hole. Tartars.
“A little farther up we met with “ We must add to these articles two cells cut in the rock (probably some others furnished by the neighthe second stage of probation) fur- bouring nations, who found Caffa the nished with some rude utensils; and, nearest and best market for the exin mounting still higher, we came to a portation of their horses, horse-lealittle vestibule, that opens into the iher, hare and fox-skins, &c. of which chapel, situated in the very heart of Cuban supplied a great quantity, as the living rock, and only lighted by Circassia did a great show of human the feeble rays which pass through this beauty, which was sold at this portanti-chamber, the less wanted, how to the best bidder, like the other arever, as, wax tapers are burning day ticles at market; a curious subject, and night in honour of the saint, and which I shall treat more at large in a add much, in my opinion, to the re
separate article, ligious awe inspired by the sanctu * But the Nogay Tartars likewise ary.
supplied Catia with a number of re* This chapel offers very little cu. male slaves, captured in their mariosity, independent of its situation rauding expeditions; and it is amazand construction, except a rude figure ing to observe the care which they of the virgin, and some old coins still take of their fair captives, that bung about it, the offerings of her they may bring the higher price; pious votaries ; but what attracted strictly guarding them from the sun, much of our attention was, a small and from all intercourse with their cradle hung on the wall, whose his own ugly race, while they are so far tory makes it interesting. It is the from discouraging, that they even grateful offering of a good woman, promote and solicit intrigues between who, having been long condemned to their fine women and any handsome barrenness, came to obtain the vir- European that may chance to pass gin's intercession in her favour, and through their country, in the hopes remained a few days in the sacred that they may thus augment their place, to liave the advantage of the stock of saleable beauty. p. 151." prayers of the holy fathers; when lo, There are fifty more letters, beside at the end of nine months (wonderful seren articles of'appendix; but as we. as it may appear), the pious Christian cannot go through the whole in the was delivered of a fine rosy boy, and present Number, this work will proon her recovery, came to otier the bably be resumed in the next 'vo. little cradle as á mark of her grati. lume.