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THOSE only who know what it is, night after night, to court sleep in defiance of the thundering of a hundred cannon-to be ever conscious, in their dreams of home, of the incessant whistle of shot and shell-and to be generally roused from a rickety stretcher by the explosion of a mine, can fully appreciate the comfort of a quiet cabin far removed from these disturbing influences, where the shrill pipe of the boatswain, or the morning sun gleaming in at the port-hole, remind him that another day of dolce far niente has dawned. It was upon a lovely morning in September last, and only a week prior to that great event the news of which is still echoing through the world, that I looked upon the magnificent range which skirts the southern shores of the Crimea, where wooded dells wind among the mountains, and vines and olives clothe its slopes, and white chateaus gleam from out the dark foliage of the overshadowing horsechestnut, and towering over all, the Tchatir Dagh abruptly rises and throws its sombre shade over the sunny landscape. Rounding Cape Takli, whose friendly beacon no longer exists to guide the benighted mariner, we soon after drop anchor beneath the newly-constructed fortifications of St. Paul, where the British flag would indicate that the white tents which crown the hill are those of our own soldiers, even were the tartan

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trews of a Highland regiment not so clearly discernible. But when we land and inspect the fort, we find ourselves surrounded as well by Turks and French, who here occupy such a position as to render any hostile movement, except with a larger body of troops than the Russians can now spare, unavailing.

It is about two miles across a gently undulating steppe from here to Kertch, the well-built mansions of which, from this distance, look as handsome and substantial as though it were still a flourishing mercantile emporium. As we enter, however, the delusion rapidly vanishes, and it was painful to witness a ruin and desolation so universal. Three years ago I had walked along the quay in the midst of a throng of gay promenaders. Fashionable ladies, escorted by well-dressed beaux, strolled by the water-side, or lingered round the band which played in the garden opposite the governor's house, for it was a Sunday afternoon in autumn, and all the world was enjoying the delicious air, which at this time of year renders the Crimean climate so particularly delightful. Then the market-place was full of bustle and activity; camel-carts and Tartar waggons, with scraggy ponies, crowded the streets; and Russian officials stalked pompously about, with that dignified air which increases in intensity, by geometrical progression, until it reaches the ninety-seventh clerk in

the police-office. Now how changed was the aspect of affairs! A couple of regiments of slouching Turks, preceded by the most villanous of music, tramped over the flagstones, shattered and displaced by recent explosions;lively Frenchmen were bargaining for water-melons with blear-eyed Tartars, or fishing for diminutive dolphin-shaped fish with improvised fishing-tackle;-British sentinels were keeping guard with measured tread over dilapidated mansions, and the shrill tones of the bagpipe echoed through deserted halls; every house was unroofed, every window encircled by a frame of charred wood: piles of rubbish blocked up the doorways; along the whole length of the principal street there was scarcely a habitable mansion left-scarcely a soul loitering under the shadow of the ruined walls. We toiled up the steep hill of Mithridates, and entered the museum. Here the destruction was even more universal than in the town, and the remains of works of ancient art, which had bravely borne the ravages of time, lay mutilated and destroyed by the barbarous hands of French and Turkish soldiers. Rank weeds were springing up in humid corners, creeping along the ground, over prostrate figures, fragments of antique vases, or blocks of marble covered with inscriptions; but so completely had the work of destruction been effected that I could find nothing among the debris worth preserving. There was nothing left but the view; that was always interesting, but now how changed in its character! We overlooked the roofless houses and crumbling walls of the town, the sunken ships in the bay, the grassy steppe beyond, and shutting in the prospect, the heights of Yenikale crowned with the fortifications of the Allies.

Under what widely different circumstances did I now enter almost the only entire house which still exists, and find myself seated at breakfast with a number of officers whom I had last seen at a Canadian pic-nic, and in the very room too in which I had formerly been hospitably entertained by our late vice-consul. Then, looking over the harbour full of shipping, our conversation was of trade;

now, we watched a footsore regiment march down the street on their return from a razzia, and talked of war.

There was nothing in the present condition of Kertch tempting enough to induce us to prolong our stay, and I was glad to shake off those feelings of melancholy which such scenes as I had witnessed could not fail to produce, on board the smart little gunboat in which we ran up the Cimmerian Bosphorus to Yenikale. Here the old Tartar town, always too dila pidated to suffer very much from the most strongly developed destructive tendencies, looked very little changed from the time when I last rambled along its single street in a Tartar waggon, There were not so many Tartars to be seen, and all the women had disappeared. There was the same variety in a military_point of view which we had seen at Kertch, the same style of fortification which we had inspected at St. Paul, but more substantial in its character, and the fortress seemed as well qualified to stand a siege as that of Sebastopol itself. The evening found us again under way, and at daylight next morning I looked through the port-hole of my cabin upon the walls of Anapa. There was nothing very inviting in its aspect from the seaward. The fort is built upon a curved promontory, which forms an insecure bay, and which presents a precipitous cliff upwards of fifty feet in height. The fortifications, which run along the summit of this cliff, are breached here and there by the ex plosions of the Russian mines, which were fired by themselves before evacu ating the place. To the left extends a wide plain, watered by a sluggish stream, upon which, some miles from its mouth, are situated two Cossack villages, now deserted. A range of sand-hills, covered with scrub, about five hundred feet in height, forms the background. We were received at the little pier by a number of Circassians, whose appearance is well calcu lated to impress a stranger for the first time visiting their country. fur-caps, as tall as those of a grenadier, surmount swarthy, sun-dried, but not irregular features; there is a fire in the eye and a compression of the lip, which marks that courage and resolution which they have so univer


sally displayed in their prolonged contests with the Russians. Their long coats, open at the breast, reach to the knee, and are confined at the waist by a leather girdle. A shirt covers the breast, and is closely fastened round the neck. Eight or ten ivory tubes, containing powder, are ranged upon each lappet of the coat, and form the most striking feature in the costume. A plenitude of knives and pistols garnish the waist belt. A short sword depends from the left side, and a rifle, covered with a sort of felt, swings at their back, and completes their warlike accoutrements. Red or yellow trousers are enclosed below the knee by a particoloured gaiter, and a red slipper, fitting closer than the Indian moccasin, makes the most perfect chaussure I ever remember to have seen. The picturesque effect of this costume is enhanced by a most independent bearing, and an insouciance and self-confidence which suggest that they probably understand the use of the weapons with which they are so abundantly supplied. When we had scrambled over a quantity of debris through the breach in the walls, we found ourselves in the principal street of the place. It was, however, even in a more ruinous condition than those we had seen at Kertch, for the agents had been, not the besiegers, but the besieged. If Turks are unsparing in the work of demolition, the Russians themselves understand still better the art of rendering every dwelling-house untenable, and every gun unserviceable, and they can hardly complain of the devastation caused by their enemies, when they themselves set them so brilliant an example.

Mounted Circassians, on wiry little ponies, were galloping in every direction. Their saddles are high and narrow; their stirrups so short, as to throw the knee almost at right angles to the horse. They seem at home only on horseback, and congregated in knots at the corners of the streets, or dismounted to ransack, in the hope of finding more spoil, some house which had already been thoroughly gutted. They watched us with no little curiosity as we walked up to a habitation which Sefer Pasha had put in decent repair, and where, seated on a high sofa smoking his chibouk, we found

him holding his court. The anteroom was filled with Circassian nobles of the highest grade, who saluted us as we passed, and then crowded round the doorway to watch proceedings. These consisted in pipes, coffee, and conversation, the result of which did not give us a very favourable impres sion of the representative of the Sublime Porte in these regions. Sefer Pasha is a Circassian by birth, but he has been in Turkish employ long enough to have acquired a taste for political intrigue, and the art of replenishing his purse and gratifying his private schemes of ambition at the expense of those whom he thinks he has a right to subject to such treatment. The Circassians as yet are too unsophisticated to have discovered this; and, carried away by religious zeal, they look with respect and affection upon the envoy of the Sultan. They do not conceive it possible that the head of their religion could be a party to any tampering with their civil liberty; and until that conviction dawns upon them, Ottoman influence will be predominant. Meantime unscrupulous Turkish agents, dotted along the coast, already begin to perceive that it is their interest to depreciate Europeans, who would not tolerate their iniquities, and to mislead this ignorant people as to our real designs with respect to their country. They are in consequence changing sensibly in their demeanour towards us. Instead of hailing us as allies as formerly, they look with coldness and suspicion upon our advances, and protest that they only wish to be left alone. They say, with some justice, that they know very little about us. And considering how little trouble we have taken either to acquire information about them, or to impart any, it is not to be wondered at if they deem us somewhat lukewarm in the cause we pretend to have so much at heart. never allowed a Turkish authority to set foot in a country to which they have no manner of claim, and dealt, by means of suitable agents, directly with the people themselves, or assisted them with troops, we should now have the whole country arrayed upon our side. There can be little doubt that before long such an

Had we

alliance will be of the highest possible importance to us. We have yet time to recall the Turks who are now doing so much mischief. If we could direct in a proper channel the influence they wield, it would be invaluable; but as no honest Turkish official can be found, that is an impossible contingency. It therefore becomes us to choose whether we shall attempt to cope with intriguing pashas, and by bribery or any other inducement persuade them to use their power for the public good; or whether, dispensing with such an unsatisfactory medium, we had not better find another, either through the nobles themselves in those parts of the country where they still have influence, or in those parts where their prestige is lost, by holding out to the people themselves such advantages, political or pecuniary, as should induce them to co-operate with us cordially in the event of future military operations in their direction. While, however, discussing the question of individual influence in Circassia, it would scarcely be fair to overlook the only man who has ever really effected a great social revolution in the country, and for the first time induced the inhabitants to organise themselves definitely for the defence of the country. The Naib or lieutenant of Schamyl is indeed a scarcely less remarkable man than the great warrior himself. Arriving as a mere traveller in the country, he went about administering to the Circassians an oath pledging them to eternal war with Russia, and levying fines upon those who either would not join the compact, or who, having joined it, failed to preserve their fidelity. By these means he soon acquired a paramount influence over a great portion of Circassia, not, however, without causing considerable apprehension to the usdens, or nobles, who perceived that their importance was diminished in proportion as that of the interloper increased. It would scarcely be politic at this juncture to enter more minutely into the present state of that part over which his influence to a greater or less extent still prevails, or to discuss the question of whether it can or cannot be turned to account by the Allied Powers. There can be no

doubt of the necessity of entertaining these points; and though the subject is one involved in great difficulty, its importance is such as to render it highly desirable that Government should lose no time in adopting a definite policy, and in pursuing it with vigour, which may insure to it a successful and satisfactory result.

Although the ignorance of the British public has been such as to lead them to depreciate in a great measure the value of the Circassian element in the question which is now absorbing their attention, it is to be hoped that, before this, its importance has been recog nised; and it will therefore be unne cessary to enter upon it now. The people themselves would prove hearty and cordial allies; and it is only to be wondered at, that, while we have given ourselves so much trouble, and degraded ourselves so unnecessarily in the eyes of Europe, by our attempts to enlist in our cause Powers who have no sympathy with it, and are under no circumstances to be trusted, we have not taken advantage of the co-operation of a hardy and indepen dent race, from whom we could gain assistance which would be far more valuable, and with whom we could form an alliance which would be far more honourable than with German despots.

Our visit to Sefer Pasha having terminated, we strolled round the fortifications of Anapa, and were struck with the pertinacity with which the Russians had destroyed everything connected with the means of defence. With one or two exceptions, the trunnions had been knocked off every gun, the platforms burnt, and here and there the fortifications levelled. From one point we had an extensive view over the plain, and could discern parties of mounted Circassians emerg ing here and there from clouds of dust, or driving cattle towards the town. The houses in Anapa are all isolated, and have been dotted about without much attempt at regularity. The hospital has been a handsome building; it is now roofless, and partly demolished. The church, however, with its green roof and belfry (from which the bell has been abstracted), is in good repair, and is converted into a Mahommedan mosque. We entered a house which had evidently been the

police-office, and waded about, knee deep in Russian documents, with two or three Circassians, who seemed to take a great interest in our proceed ings. We tried to learn from them a few words of their language; but the sounds were so hopeless, that, after a good deal of sneezing and coughing, as the nearest approaches we could make to them, we abandoned the attempt in despair.

which the western diplomatist has to contend. Those influences which are in the one case mainly to be depended upon, do not exist at all in the other, and there is consequently an estrangement between the tribes whose relative position has thus become changed.

It is only a few hours' run from Anapa to Sudjak Kaleh. The distance by land is only twenty-three miles. A long promontory, while it renders the distance considerably more by sea, forms one shore of the deep bay, at the end of which the town is situated.

I was struck with an episode which occurred while walking about the town, as being, under existing circumstances, fraught with a peculiar significance. A handsome old Circassian, followed by his squire or page, was From its handsome appearance I standing looking at a collection of could hardly believe that we should cannon-balls and ammunition, when find, upon landing, the same scenes of a slouching Turk, who happened devastation; but it was complete here to be passing, but did not profess as elsewhere: there were only two to be a sentry, told him peremp- habitable houses left in the place. The torily to move on. Upon the Circas- ruins were so entirely overgrown in sian either not hearing or not choos- places, that one might have suping to pay attention to this command, posed many years to have elapsed the Turk, with a most insulting ex- since their destruction. At least a pression, threw a large fragment of hundred mounted Circassians were wood at the page, which struck the collected in a shady angle of the ruined horse. His master took the hint, street as we approached, and greeted and moved on without uttering a syl- us in a hesitating manner, as though lable of remonstrance. Had this in- they were uncertain which party were cident occurred outside the walls, it the greatest intruders. They seemed is probable that it would have termi- to love to linger near the monuments nated in a somewhat different man- of a power now annihilated; and it is ner. In the two provinces which easy to understand the satisfaction form the north-west angle of Circas- with which they tread under foot these sia, of one of which (Natquoitch) memorials of the former invaders Anapa may be considered the ca- of their country. With what glee pital, the old feudal system has al- they scamper on their wiry ponies most disappeared, while in the pro- down the green-hill sides which they vinces upon the Kuban it is still in used once to cultivate, but which have force. The wily policy of concilia- been left untouched and unfruitful for tion, by wholesale bribery, pursued by many a long year. How merrily they Russia, resulted in the defection of journey along the sea-shore, no longer many of the nobles in these two pro- obliged to skulk down to it between vinces, which were at the same time forts, which prevented all intercourse chiefly exposed to the depredations with strangers except at a great risk; of her troops; and as one by one how they revel in their freedom-glory these men temporised with Russia, in dashing along roads made for Rusthey lost their hold upon the mass of sian artillery, in climbing up walls the people, whose animosity against over which Russian flags once waved, their common enemy remained in full and inhabiting (where they exist) force, and who did not derive the houses built for Russian soldiers. We same advantages from an alliance heard them shouting and firing off with her as their more wealthy mas- their guns as they galloped in triumph ters. The difference in the social about the deserted squares, thus givcondition of this part of Circassia ing vent to the exuberance of their from that of the interior and the pro- spirits upon again finding themselves vinces farther east, is the cause of in quiet possession of their own proone of the greatest difficulties with perty. Some of the chiefs whom we

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