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CHAPTER X.

THE CRIMEA.

FROM ODESSA TO BAGTCHESERAI.

Embark for Crimea.—Ancient and modern names of Black

Sea.- Monastery of St. George.-Balaclava.-Aiabooroon. -Cliffs. - Count Woronzow. - Increased value of land. Villages. — Madame Narischkine. Fruits. Wines. Prince Galitzin.—Princess Metchersky.—Country seats.Oreanda.-Land at Yalta.-Horses. -Saddles.-Aloupka. -Estate of count Woronzow. Diosperos lotus. - Mountain ash.-House and grounds.-Village of Kokoz.-— Road. - Kindness of Tartars. -Costumes. Shaven heads. Houses. — Party benighted. — Storm. - Bagtcheserai. Tartar privileges. - Etymology of Don Cossacks. — Languages compared. - Bazaar. - Sheep. - Dromedaries. -Blacksmiths. Schools.

Russian conquest.

- Palace of Tartar khans. — Gardens. — Apartments.

Hall of audience.-Frescoes.-Fountain court.-— Royal private mosque. - Déwan. – Harem. – Garden and tower. Mausoleum. -Royal cemetery.- Coffins.-Grand mosque.-Mohammedan service. - Missionaries ejected. -- Early hours. Fulfilment of prophecy. - Gipsies. — Ruins of old town. - Monastery of Assumption. — Yearly festival. - Asses laden with water. Difficult ascent. Fortress of Joofud Kalah. - Houses.-Market place.-Synagogues.-Karaite VOL, I.

S

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EMBARKATION FOR THE CRIMEA.

Jews.

· Hatred of Rabbinists. — Origin. – Doctrines. — Veneration for Scripture. Morals. — Civil laws. History. -Manuscripts.-School.—Valley of Jehoshaphat. Return to Bagtcheserai.

Many formal preliminaries and a minute examination of the traveller's baggage precede the grant of permission which enables him to leave Odessa for the Crimea. Furnished by count Woronzow with introductions calculated to secure a hospitable reception among the Tartars, we embarked on a sea, more, perhaps, than all others, liable to heavy squalls and fogs owing to the elevation of the mountains by which it is encompassed. A brisk wind blowing for some days had already excited the waters pent within contracted limits, and the waves were short and uneasy. The rain had fallen in torrents during the day; and we were soon convinced that the ancients had with good reason regarded this sea with alarm ; an alarm not altogether unjustifiable even in the present improved state of the science of navigation. The Greeks called it "Ağevos Tortos, The Inhospitable Sea, either on account of the savage

character of the inhabitants of its shores, or its frequent storms. The modern appellation has, probably, a similar origin; for we often call that black which we dislike; as a black

THE BLACK SEA.

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day, black weather, a black sea. When the Romans took possession of the coasts, and expelled the Getæ, Sarmatæ, and other barbarians who had previously occupied them, they changed the name from Inhospitable to Hospitable, from 'AÇevos (Axenos) to Eįžeivos (Euxinos). Singularly enough, the moderns retain both names; and paradoxically call it the Black Sea, or Euxine, that is, the Inhospitable or Hospitable sea.

After a voyage of about sixteen hours we descried, on an eminence opposite the town of Sebastopol, a Russian light-house, proclaiming the authority of the czar over the land where Iphigenia offered sacrifices on the altar of Diana. The chalky cliffs of the Crimean Tartary, or ancient Chersonesus, rise rudely and abruptly from the sea at the point known by the name of Cape Chersonesus, and increase gradually in height, assuming first a southeastern and then an eastern direction, till they attain an elevation of two thousand feet. Un, der their frowning brows we pursued our course to the Greek monastery of St. George, a long white building distinguished in the distance by a tower surmounted by a cross. It stands on the ancient Parthenium, close to the sites of the temple of Orestes and of another where

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COAST OF THE CRIMEA.

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Iphigenia officiated as priestess. Not far from the monastery a Genoese ruin points out the port of Balaclava, whence to Aiabooroon, or The White Cape, the cliffs become perceptibly higher and higher, exhibiting grand and terrific masses, here rising into the clouds, there disjointed from the main land and awaiting only the fiat of their great Creator to hurl themselves into the abyss. Throughout these, veins of red marble, mixing with the limestone, give a pleasing variety to their color. Strabo mentions that sailors navigating the Euxine could, from a certain point, discern the two shores of Europe and Asia; and Aiabooroon, called by the Greeks Kgroő pétwwov, or the Ram's head, which is the extreme south of the Crimea and very high land, is supposed to be the cape in Europe referred to, wbile Carambe on the shore of Paphlagonia is the corresponding Asiatic promontory. The whole of this southern coast is covered with vineyards and has become within the last seven years a rich and luxuriant garden. Count Woronzow has extensive possessions here, and the country, once left to the rude hands of Tartars, is now, owing principally to his exertions, cultivated and studded with the seats of Russian nobles. One of his estates, called Massandra, was originally bought from the

ESTATES OF RUSSIAN NOBLES.

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natives for five thousand rubles, then sold for twelve, and afterwards for ninety thousand; at present it is said to be worth a million : nor is this an unfair example of the proportion in which the price of land has risen since the Crimea became the favorite resort of its conquerors.

As we glided along, village after village passed before our eyes like the scenes in a camera obscura, each beautiful in its way and each succeeded by beauties different, but not inferior. Foros and Nitschatka are picturesquely situate on the slope of the Ayila chain of mountains, among forests which give cover to herds of deer and antelopes. Beyond these is Simeis, the residence of Madame Narischkine, whose father, general Rostoptchin, is believed to have set fire to Moscow, of which city he was the governor when Napoleon entered it. Proceeding a little further, Aloupka, the Xágaš of Ptolemy, a lovely spot embellished by the taste of its proprietor, count Woronzow, dawned on our view. Here we were saluted with nine guns, and the same playful compliment was repeatedly paid to the name borne by our steamer, “ Peter the Great.” On the adjoining estate of count Narischkine, olives, pomegranates, and figs grow in great luxuriance, with vines which

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