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Djeng-û-tai two hours, as the phaeton was minus a wheel and seat, which were added. The road passes over a high range, with a grand view. Over a foreground of maizefields and orchards towered a precipitous rock, crowned by a Tâtar aoul or village. From Ûrma to Levashì is a barren limestone district with little grass, yet huge flocks of small cattle and doomhas, or fat-tailed sheep, of various colours, graze over it. At Levashi were grapes at 1d. a-pound, raw eggs, and whole sheep. The scenery now assumes a wildly picturesque character. The great cliffs of limestone, of which the sierra outline is the line of outcrop or strike, are buttressed by later formations of shale, into whose sides the erosion of ages has worn countless channels. The shapes of these are so uncommon that they resemble the forms of great mastodons, or huge mammals of a globe tenanted by creatures of, to us, unfamiliar outlines. Suddenly on either side the rocks open out fan-wise. Here lies the village of Hojal-Mâkhi, in the valley of the Kazi-Kûm-Koi-Sû. Mountains shield the valley from the north: under their shelter flourish the vine, the apple, and maize. The moon now shone on small villages of white-washed houses with redtiled roofs, tiny mosques with toy minarets, dûkhans or inns, where dirt and vermin reign undisturbed. The zigzags of the road, cut out of chalk, were almost dazzling in their alter

nations of light and shade. Fearful precipices loomed below, whilst the limestone crags towered in almost steely brightness high above. The clefts shelter the eagle, the vulture, the kite, and the lammergeïer, who before dark were soaring thousands of feet above the traveller. Thus to Gûnìb. The inhabitants wear the Lesghian bourka or long cloak, and conical caps of fur. The Dâghestânis are fierce and wild. They are Sunni Muhammadans; their women are unveiled. This race is the most ignorant and backward in the Caucasus. Its members, like all mountaineers, are hardy, brave, and hospitable towards strangers. Passionate and quick to strike, they constantly quarrel amongst themselves, using kindjal or pistol on the slightest provocation. In the words of one of my guides, "These fellows think no more of taking a human life than a cup of tea."

These are the "Tartars" who swarm into Bakù, calling the oil-fields their own. Useless to argue that without foreign capital and intelligence they could never have developed their riches. Their chief rivals, and now enemies, are the Armenians. Wherever there is work to be done, or a kopeck to be earned in the Caucasus, the Armenian makes his way. He tells you his race was conquered neither by Assyrian, Persian, Turk, or Russian; yet the ancient kingdom of Armenia is held partly by each of the last three. He is

certainly not slothful in busi- died. Others were born in the ness, but in spite of his history open. Seldom has misery apof victories I doubt his solidity pealed to me so much as did the in war. It would be far easier sufferings of these poor men, to brush away the Russian women, and children, driven battalions recruited from Ar- across the frontier to die by menia than those from the the Hamidié Kurds of the North, who are tough as oak Sultan. Indeed such a sight, and hard to beat back. Some, save in a famine district in indeed, call the Armenian India, cannot now, thank God, timid; but if we turn to the be seen in the world. The records of blazing Bakù we Armenians I have met have shall find he can hold his own. If we except the edict of von Plèhve, prompted by Pobiedònostseff, since fortunately rescinded by the Emperor, confiscating the revenues of their church, the Armenians have not been badly treated by the Russians. When, some years ago, the Kurds drove 80,000 starving Armenians across the Russo-Turkish frontier, of whom half passed into the province of Kârs and half into Erivân, Russia did not know how to cope with the mass of misery. The Emperor subscribed two million roubles (£200,000) out of his private purse for the relief of the sufferers, and as much more was collected in the empire. The Catholicos, or Patriarch of the Armenian Church, fed a number of these starving creatures. When I was at Etchmiadzin, the residence of the Catholicos, almost under the shade of Araràt, I came across many half-famished creatures who fell like wolves on the rinds of cheese


eggshells that dropped from our phaeton. The good monks at the convent did all in their power to help their fellow-countrymen, yet many

always shown the greatest gratitude to England for her endeavours on their behalf. The names of Gladstone and Westminster are always accompanied by blessings when in their mouths.

To have seen so much of a people's sorrows makes one a pro-Armenian. At Bitlis, close to the Lake of Vân, a Kurd met one of these unfortunates in the middle of the street, in broad daylight. He was displeased at seeing the Armenian wearing a dagger, and said to him, "Give me your kindjal." The Armenian, instead of promptly acceding to his request by giving him five inches of its cold steel,-the proper answer in these countries to such an impertinent demand, -meekly handed the weapon to his interlocutor. Without a moment's hesitation the Kurd plunged the kindjal into the heart of the Armenian, who sank without a groan at his feet! I can give time and place exactly of this, one of a hundred similar occur

rences. But opinions vary as to the relative qualities of these races. Some consider the Kurds as bad as the devil they worship, and without any good


quality save great personal ments of Kutaïs, Tiflis, and bravery. Colonel K- a Elizavetpol. It became an inRussian, has a distinctly un- dependent kingdom soon after favourable opinion of the the death of Alexander of Armenian. Macedon. In the tenth to thirteenth centuries it was at its apogee. Then began the inroads of Persians and Turks, against whom the Georgians fought with great bravery. Georgia was subdivided in the fifteenth century and annexed by Russia in 1801. The architecture of such churches as that of St Timothy, at Timotìsubâni, for instance, some ten miles from Borjom, shows to what excellence that art had attained. The castles of Gogia and Pétri-Tsiké, two brothers, who were the Montagu and Capulet of the Kûra's banks, are magnificent ruins. Every tourist in the Caucasus has seen the castle of Queen Tamàra, the Semiramis and Cleopatra of Georgia, of whom Lèrmont of writes

"He more than equals the Kurd in ferocity and brutality when an opportunity arises, but is conspicuously lacking in the personal courage of the latter. I have seen the bodies of two Kurds who had been tied to

gether and then tortured to death by fire. I have seen the mutilated remains of another Kurd who, with skinned feet, was forced to dance by the persuasive powers of red-hot ramrods driven into his chest."

The same officer speaks of a Kurd child of twelve being slowly and painfully murdered before the eyes of his grandfather, an old man of seventyfive, who subsequently suffered a similar fate! The Kurds made themselves very objectionable to the Cossacks on the banks of the Aras, by shooting at them at any and all times. In retaliation, the Cossacks determined to take the lives of ten Kurds for that of each of their comrades so murdered. The dead Kurds' shoes were placed on the Cossacks' graves. It was only when "seven Cossack graves had been decorated with seventy pairs of Kurdish shoes" that the Kurds were induced to give up the practice of Cossack sniping. I am indebted to M. E. Demidoff, Prince San Donato, for these details.

When we speak of the Georgians, the most important people of Trans-Caucasia, we have to deal with quite a different civilisation. Georgia comprises the actual govern

"In Darial's rocky gorges deep,
Where Terek's water madly moves,
There is a castle on the steep-
The scene of Queen Tamara's loves.
She seemed to play an angel's part,
Black as a demon's was her heart.
The weary traveller from below
Looked on Tamara's window-glow,
And, gazing on the twinkling light,
Went in to sup and pass the night.


But as the rays of rosy dawn
Gilded the mountains in the morn,
Silence fell on Tamara's halls,
And Terek's madly rushing wave
A mangled corpse bore to its grave!"

Such is the Queen of the legend, whose lovers paid with their lives. There was a real

Queen of Georgia of this name in the twelfth century. The

Georgians of to-day are a he knew his responsibilities. polished race, and their capital, It should be remembered that Tiflis, is one of the most beauti- up to now, whilst disorders ful and interesting cities in the have broken out at Batûm, Russian Empire. Kutaïs, Shusha, Elizavètpol, Such a people as this might Erivân, Nahitchevân, and be trusted with some measure Bakù, of which the world of self-government. For some has heard only too much,—no months past the inhabitants of rioting or misbehaviour had Tiflis have exercised the right happened at Tiflis. This of public meeting, and perhaps makes the conduct of the 1500 to 2000 have assembled police the more extraordinary. many times in their hall where Several police officers now the Duma, or town council, appeared at the door of the meets. Quite lately the hall and ordered the crowd to General-Commanding, General leave. Their orders were disYatzkevitch, a very different obeyed. Then a Cossack officer man from his predecessor from the General-Commanding General Frése, forbade all (for the Governor-General of public meetings. On a highly the Caucasus, Count Vorontnervous and excitable people, zòff- Dàshkoff, was unluckily such an order acted like oil away at Kizlovòdsk, a wateron a fire. Various meetings ing-place in the Kûbàn governdid take place, at which sedi- ment) repeated the order to tious cries were raised. The disperse, and some few people mayor and council attended obeyed. In the official version these meetings, but endeavoured issued by General Yatzkèvitch, to restrain the popular passions, it is said that a shot was now and at the same time to protect fired. This is denied, and it the people from the police. seems true that the crowd was unarmed. The account of what followed is thus given by the correspondent of The Times,' and has not been contradicted. I quote his words :


On September 11 a scene was enacted in Tiflis that throws the horrors of Batûm and Shusha into the shade. A large crowd assembled at about 7 P.M., burst into the town hall, and proceeded to hold a meeting. The General, on hearing of this, telephoned to the Mayor, requesting him to take immediate measures to disperse the assemblage. The addressing the people in the hall.

"Be that as it may, just at this time some Cossacks in a gallery on the other side of a courtyard on which the hall looks could see plainly by the electric light an orator

Mayor answered that he had
no means of doing so. The
General replied that he held
him responsible for the con-
sequences of this answer, to
which the Mayor replied that

Across the court and through the
open window they shot him dead.
The exits from the hall are three-
one below and one at each end of the
semicircular gallery above.
nothing further been done by the
troops, there must have been con-
siderable loss of life in the panic

which followed. But at each entrance there were Cossacks, and as the people forced their way out they were everywhere shot down without mercy. The exits from the hall are all narrow, and in one place the unfortunate people were driven down a flight of stairs by Cossacks behind them into a passage where a locked porte cochère with glass upper part seemed to offer a hope of escape. There were soldiers outside, how ever, who fired into the people there, so that they were between two fires. The Cossacks followed afterwards

and used their swords."

Over 100 killed and wounded was the answer of General Yatzkevitch to the peaceable desire of the Georgians of Tiflis to hear the debate of the members of their own Town Council!

All the members of the Tiflis Town Council resigned as a protest against the massacre in the town hall, all the shops and factories were closed. The publication of newspapers was prohibited, and the railway and tramway services were stopped. The revolutionary party issued proclamations in favour of a general rising. It is a great pity that Count VorontzòffDàshkoff was away from Tiflis. Russian generals commanding districts are very often officers of narrow views, who imagine that the only answer to any popular clamour is the rifle. The Georgians will now be as hard to deal with as the Armenians. Prince Louis Napoleon's report on the massacres around Erivân goes to show that the Tartars were deliberate aggressors there. Viewed in the light of these facts, Count Voront

In the

zòff-Dashkoff's warning to the people against secret associations seems to the Armenians The like a threat. 'Rûss' stated lately that the Armenians have been systematically hounded into an attitude of hostility towards the Government. And this opinion is shared, not only by Russians, but by many others. Zangezùrsk district, near the Persian border, many Armenian villages were destroyed and hundreds of people killed. The whole Tartar population rose, and were joined by 4000 armed Kurds from the Persian bank of the Aras. The Armenian Bishop of Shùsha telegraphed to Tiflis giving an appalling account of the devastation at that place, and urgently appealed for food, funds, &c., for the starving people. For five days the fighting between Tartars and Armenians continued. After that a reconciliation was effected, the inhabitants of the place were disarmed, and the Kurds and Persians returned to their homes. These disastrous affairs cannot fail to cause a weakening of Russia's prestige, not only in Persia, but in Central Asia also.

When Prince Vorontzòff, the Grand Duke Michael Nikolaievitch, and later General Chérémétieff, occupied the position of Governors-General of the Caucasus, they endeavoured to calm racial antipathies, and lived amongst if not a contented at all events a quiet population. With the last Viceroy, Prince Galitzin, it was other

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