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melting snows, had sufficiently decreased to be fordable without danger. An hour beyond, we crossed the Sookootti Tchai ; and at the distance of 47 hours from Hekim Khan, we
passed the small Mussulman village of Mullah Ibrahim Ogloo, three miles to the right of our road. The country, as we approached Mullah Ibrahim Ogloo, became barren again. Near this village is a small castle, once the residence of an Aga, or Mutsellim. On observing that the whole was in ruins, I inquired of our Mohammedan Sooroojee (the postilion who comes in charge of the post horses) the cause of its abandonment; he answered emphatically, “ Oppression.” After descending into the valley through which the Mamman Tchai runs, we commenced crossing over an undulating plain, well cultivated. To the left of the road, on the banks of the stream, is the small village of Kurnuk. To our right, bounded by a range of high mountains, was an extensive plain of hills, somewhat resembling a sea covered with mighty waves. At 3 P.M. we reached Tahir Kioi, a village containing forty families of the followers of Hassein Ali.
Oct. 18th.Left Tahir Kioi at 6 A.M. and reached Kabban Maaden at 2, the mules not until 5 P.M. The country between was undulating, and occasionally well cultivated. We saw but a few villages at some distance from the road; and in the course of the day crossed the Eleghi Soo and the Saookli Soo, both tributaries of the Euphrates. As we approached the town, the region around was romantic and grand in the extreme; the high and barren hills of twenty different shades were heaped together, as if at the time of their formation an attempt had been made to compress them into the smallest space possible; nor could we conceive, until we abruptly came in sight of its waters, how the Euphrates found its way through the pent-up mass of hills. The river, where we crossed it in a boat in company
with our horses, was now about one hundred yards wide. Of these boats there are but two on the ferry, made very much in the form of an immense slipper, with an open stern and flat bottom, for the better accommodation of quadrupeds of all descriptions, which walk into them as orderly as possible, to take their passage across the water.
The town of Kabban Maaden appears to be in a more flourishing state than any other we had yet passed. The Christians here did not complain of oppression, a singular exception without a parallel in our journey. There are in the town, besides Moslem, two hundred Greek families, with two churches and a monastery in the vicinity; it is also the seat of a Greek Bishop. The Armenians number four hundred families; they also have two churches, and are reckoned under the jurisdiction of the Bishop at Sivas.
Oct. 19th. Early this morning we went to see the smelting of the ore dug out of the mines. There were two furnaces employed, one worked by Greeks, the other by Germans and Hungarians, which together produce daily 30 lbs. of mixed metal, silver and lead; of this the Greeks produce 10 lbs. the Franks 20 lbs. The precious metal is separated from the lead at a different furnace, worked exclusively by the natives, and only at night. The whole business is superintended by a European overseer.
Left Kabban Maaden at 9 A.M. and for three hours we journeyed through a deep gorge, over an extremely rough and dangerous road, which sometimes lay at the bottom of the gorge, at other times wound along the rugged sides of the mountains. We met no village in our direct route until we reached Arpaoot, six hours from Kabban Maaden, situated in an extensive and well-cultivated plain, abounding in vineyards. Having suffered much from the heat during the day, we wished to have remained here for the night, especially as it was a Christian village, inhabited entirely by Armenians; but we found a troop of Albanians had been quartered there for fifteen days, and these mercenaries were still eating up the scanty provisions of the poor people like a swarm of locusts. We pursued our journey for an hour longer, when we reached the wretched village of Petté, consisting of eight miserable dwellings, inhabited by Moslem, who were not induced to give us a shelter for the night without much ado. Not one of the half-ruined huts was fit for any human creature to lodge in; so we spread out our carpet on a terrace under a temporary covering, and there spent the night.
Oct. 20th.—Left Petté at 6 A.M. and before 9 reached Mezraa, where we were obliged to stop and change horses. On our way we passed the large village of Kulaughi, near which is a monastery, both belonging to the Armenians. The plain in which Mezraa is situated reminded me very much of some parts of our native land; but how different is the condition, thought I, of the villagers who tenant those little dwellings, from which the curling smoke is ascending towards an azure sky, and whose labour it is that renders the scene around us so beautiful, to that of my countrymen in a similar situation of life! The heart sickens at the contrast, which only those can fully know who have witnessed the misery and oppression of almost all classes, but especially of the Christians, under the infidel and tyrannical government of the Turks.
The pashas of Kharpoot usually reside at Mezraa. The town is about three miles distant, and distinctly seen from the village. Kharpoot is the seat of a Syrian (Jacobite) Bishop, who has tive hundred families within his diocese, which joins that of Urfa, the ancient Edessa. Many of the villages to the south-east are inhabited partly by Jacobites and partly by Moslem.
While we rested at the Menzil Khaneh, or post-house, an opportunity was afforded us of witnessing the entrance of a new pasha into Mezran. The number of officials of all ranks from the town and villages around, Curdish Sheikhs, Mutsellims, Kahyas, and others, in their gaudy and best apparel, met together on this occasion to greet the new comer, made the scene both novel and attractive. A troop of Albanians and a company of regular soldiers were drawn up in a line to salute his Excellency as he passed, while two brass cannons were continually being discharged in honour of the event. But amidst all this pageantry and apparent rejoicing, how much distress had this new appointment already occasioned, and how much reason had the people to regret the arrival of another master! At whatever town or village a pasha and his suite (in this instance consisting of three hundred mounted followers) put up for a longer or a shorter time on their journey, the poor inhabitants are obliged to supply all their wants, at the peril of the bastinado or something worse, other payment being out of the question with those inland tyrants. This is the third appointment to this pashalic during the current year; and as every new governor, having most likely obtained his office by a large bribe, seeks to make good his money with interest during his uncertain continuance in office, well knowing that the exhibition of a larger bribe will, in all probability, procure his deposition, it invariably happens that the poor subjects are ground to the dust by the new exactions of every new master who is sent to rule over them. They may talk of the Hatti Shereef in London or Paris, and extol the toleration and justice which it promises to all classes of subjects in the Sultan's dominions, but I doubt whether it is better than a dead letter, except under the immediate observation of high European authority; in the interior, at least, it is as though it were not.
Left Mezraa at 10. A.M.; and after we had crossed several hills and well-cultivated valleys, and passed through three or four villages, we reached Mollah Kioi, a small Mohammedan town, at 2 P.m., when, after much difficulty, we obtained a small lobby to lodge in for the night, as every house was occupied by Albanian troopers. The town contains, besides Moslem, sixteen Armenian families.
Oct. 21st.—Left Mollah Kioi at 4 A.m., and after reaching the extremity of the plain, we began the ascent of the rugged and almost perpendicular mountains which rise beyond it. We crossed the summit, and came in sight of the Gioljik Lake, just as the sun was rising from behind the dark and towering out
posts of the Taurus, shedding a grandeur over the mountain scene which no language can adequately describe. The lake is hemmed in by gigantic rocks, and presents the appearance of a huge basin. After crossing its northern extremity, we entered the Ante-Taurus, and having forded the Tigris almost at its source, we rested awhile at a Khan before we began the most fatiguing part of our journey which lay before us.
On leaving the khan, we began the ascent of the Taurus, winding our way for the most part over the sloping sides of the mountain, in continual danger of being precipitated off the narrow pathway, and plunged some hundred feet into the deep gorges below. The road at present averages a yard in width, having been lately improved by Hafiz Pasha, before whose time it was hardly safe for a foot passenger, although the principal caravan route from the interior to the metropolis. The mountains here, and for inany miles around, are almost barren, having been stripped of their wood to supply fuel for the mines at Arghana Maaden. Yet the scenery is still grand, and even beautiful; and the intelligent traveller can scarcely help feeling, while he passes over these rugged and lofty heights, how magnificent a creature man is, and how great must be that God who created and formed such gigantic masses of earth, moulded them at his pleasure, and fixed them immovable without any other power than his own. After reaching the summit of the Taurus, we commenced the difficult descent to Arghana Maaden, a small town situated on the two sides of a deep gorge, and so shut in by the hills scarcely to be visible before the traveller appears to be close upon it. The road, however, winds very much; and we were all thoroughly tired before we found ourselves lodged in the house of one of the principal Christian inhabitants, where the bey had appointed our quarters. Most of the people here are connected in some way with the copper mines, which are let out by the Government to forty native merchants, who are supplied with fuel for the work, and receive ten-twelfths of a penny for every pound of metal which they prepare for refining (I have before mentioned that the metal is taken to Toca to undergo this process.) There being scarcely any wood left in the vicinity, the poor Curds are obliged to bring it from a distance of seven or eight days for a mere trifle. Nine furnaces are kept continually at work, which produce in twenty-four hours from 2,800 to 3,000 lbs. of alloyed metal. Grapes abound in the town, from which excellent wine is made ; the vineyards grow almost wild in the mountains.
The Mohammedan population of Arghana Maaden amounts to one hundred and fifty families, with a mosque; the Greeks number two hundred houses, one church, four priests, and a
school, in which ancient Greek is taught; they are under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Kabban Maaden. The Armenians amount to one hundred and ninety families, who have also one church, and are reckoned a part of the diocese of the Bishop of Arabkir.
Oct. 22d.—Left Arghana Maaden at 6 A.M., and after descending the Taurus, which occupied us three hours, we reached Arghana. The road, until we approached within two miles of the town, was less precipitous than that we traversed yesterday. Five miles distant from the mines we crossed a second and larger stream of the Tigris over a good bridge. Arghana is situated partly on the summit and partly on the side of a precipitous hill, over which the ascent is extremely rugged and difficult. A Mohammedan informed me, with apparent disrelish, that there were two Christians to one Mussulman inhabiting the town. On inquiry, I learned that the Armenians amounted to four hundred families, with two churches and a large monastery; the latter is perched on the pinnacle of a high rock at a little distance from the town, and commands an extensive view of the wide plain which stretches for many miles towards the south. There are no Greeks resident here. The Armenians, like those of Arghana Maaden, are under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Bishop of Arabkir.
The bey of the mines had sent a cawass, or orderly, with us as far as Arghana, whence we were supplied with two of the most miserable-looking fellows as guards it is possible to conceive. One was armed with a rusty sword, girt round his waist with a camel's-hair rope; the other carried an old musket over his shoulder, without any ammunition. This was the escort which was ordered to conduct us safely as far as the Curdish encampment of Begtash Aya, half way to Diarbekir. The poor creatures were almost naked, and kept pace with our horses for nearly six hours. They had evidently been picked up in the streets of the town, and forced into our service.
Our road from Arghana lay over an extensive plain, covered with long grass parched up by the sun, but scarcely presenting on its whole surface any signs of cultivation. It was literally a desert; and the monotony of the level country over which we travelled was only relieved by the line of the Karajah Dugh, which rose to a considerable height to the south of our route. At 4 P.M. we reached the Curdish encampment, and were kindly received by the Aga, who ordered one division of his large marquee to be cleared out for our reception. The encampment consisted of about thirty tents, scattered round that of the chief; and when we arrived, all the inmates seemed busied in preparing their evening repast, little thinking that