Title


Chapter 2 SEVASTOPOL.—ODESSA.—VOSNESSENSK.

CHAPTER II.

SEVASTOPOL.—ODESSA.—VOSNESSENSK.

Men traveling on Horses

[45]

The situation of Sevastopol, as a naval port, is justly esteemed, and indeed, Europe presents few harbours so completely suited to the necessities of a large fleet. An arm of the sea, of an imposing breadth, has made itself a deep bed in the western coast of Taurida, and advances inland to a distance of two leagues. Within this magnificent basin are neither rocks nor dangerous reefs; its entrance [46] is convenient, and is defended by two formidable fortifi- cations, whose powerful batteries could sweep with ease across the broad mouth of the harbour. Having entered within the bay, on looking towards the southern coast, four spacious inlets are observed, offering so safe a shelter and so easy an access, that in one of them, the bay of ships (carabeinaya bonkhta), three-deckers may moor within a few yards of the land. Exactly between two of these inlets stands the city of Sevastopol, whose name in Greek signifies the august city ; this name will soon have effaced that of Ak-Tiar, still given to it by the Tatars, in memory of an ancient city, on the north side of the bay, not far from the barren hillock at the entrance of the port.

Soldier Guarding

Sevastopol covers with its houses the ground occupied at a remote period of antiquity by the extreme suburbs of Chersone, the city of the Heracleotes, long since vanished from the soil of Taurida, leaving its ruins to be swept away, as the city was before, by the hand of time.

The lofty hills which protect the roadstead, present, as far as the eye can reach, a prospect of endless desolation ; the coast is naked and barren, and well deserves the name of Ak-Tiar (white rock) given to it by the Tatars. The city itself, in the construction of whose streets no attempt has been made to avoid the irregularities of the soil, seems to wind with difficulty over [47] the jutting and steep rocks of the promontory. When the traveller, on disembarking at the custom-house, first beholds this city perched upon its white and burning rocks, he is tempted to retreat before so many obstacles, and his eye anxiously wanders in search of some more easy and less fiery mode of approach. One street rather more endurable than the rest, stretches at a considerable height, in a parallel direction with the great quay, and on either side of it are assembled whatever remarkable buildings the modern Sevastopol may boast of. Here the cathedral, built in the most elegant style of architecture, concentrates the humble devotion of the population. Further on, rises the tower of the Admiralty, displaying somewhat too ostentatiously a number of pillars out of proportion with the remainder of the building. Several rather handsome hotels, protected from the sun by numerous blinds, and a number of small gardens, in which all attempts at verdure are smothered by the dust, constitute the sum of all that is to be seen in this, the fine quarter of Sevastopol. If you bend your steps towards the summit of the city, you again meet with these gardens, discreetly screening little houses of tolerably clean appearance, but this portion of the city is exposed to violent winds, sweeping periodically over the naked soil, and raising a perfect storm of dust and sand. [48]

When you have reached the summit of the ascent, however, the trouble and fatigue are compensated by the beauty of the prospect. The eye embraces the entire port and its various establishments, forming a magnificent spectacle, especially when the whole of the Black Sea fleet spreads out its imposing array in the basin of the roadstead.

The variety and animation which the movement of the shipping gives to this otherwise severe prospect, may be judged by mentally passing in review the following fleet ploughing the surface of this sea :—

The Warsaw . . . 120 guns. Machmout . . . 90 guns.
Silistria . . . 90 guns. Catherine . . .90 guns.
Tchesma . . . 90 guns. Andrinople . . .90 guns.
Maria . . . 90 guns. Staloust . . . 90 guns.
Anapa . . . 90 guns. Pimen . . . 90 guns.
Pamik Ifstaphi . . . 90 guns.

Then the frigates :

Bourgas . . . 60 guns.Brailoff . . . 40 guns
Enos . . . 60 guns. Agathopol . . .60 guns.
Varna . . . 60 guns.Tenedos . . . 60 guns.
Anna . . . 40 guns.

The corvettes :—

Sizopoli . . . 14 guns.Orestes . . . 44 guns
Iphigenia . . . 24 guns.
[49]
The brig Mercury 20 guns.
Schooners
Ganetz (the Courier) 14 guns.
Vestavoi 14 guns.
The cutter Spechni (Rapid)
The tender Struia (Wave).

Just as we were completing the simple arrangements for establishing our quarters, an unusual stir in the city and in the port attracted our attention. It was caused by the arrival of a government steamer, " The Gromonocets " (Thunder-bearer), with Prince Menzicoff, Minister of the Imperial Marine, on board, who had been expected to review the fleet. The minister remained on board his vessel, and as soon as " The Gromonocets" had cast anchor, received visits from the various official bodies in the public service. Admiral Slavanieff, in command of the port of Sevastopol, was at that time suffering from severe illness, and we were deprived of the honour of being presented to him, contenting ourselves with forwarding our letter of introduction from Count Woronzoff. were more fortunate in the case of Mr. Hupton, the skillful engineer, who designed and directs the useful and important works of the port. His active and intelligent sons assist their father in conducting the immense undertakings executed with the aid of an army of military labourers. In every direction round Sevastopol, and to whichever shore you turn, long ranges of barracks are [50] seen for the reception of an important garrison ; even this abundance of military quarters, however, was at that time insufficient for the accommodation of the numerous soldiers employed on the costly constructions, and laborious earth-works, which are to change the aspect of this coast. In a short time, vast workshops, spacious esplanades, and deep basins will stand in the place of the chalk hills, which formerly overlooked the bays ; and already, by the effects of patient labour, these hills have been brought down to their level.

Thirty thousand men encamped in tents supply the hands by which these gigantic metamorphoses are accomplished, and it is a spectacle full of interest to see this army of labourers, all dressed in white linen, busily passing and repassing, amidst clouds of the dust which they are carrying away by sackfulls, it might almost be said by handfulls, from the former site of the levelled hillocks ; a perfect ant-hill, in which the infinite division of labour arrives at length at the same result as the motive power and machinery. Unfortunately, a fearful visitation had manifested itself amidst this active and persevering body ; intense ophthalmia, the ophthalmia of Egypt, contagious according to some, epidemic, as others believe, was committing ravages, evidences of which were but too painfully manifest. It was commonly attributed to the prodigious quantity of dust whirled about by the [51] winds along these hill sides, entirely bare since the commencement of the works. But whatever the cause, the evil is indeed a terrible one. Twenty-four hours are sufficient for the eye to become so entirely corrupt as to leave its socket.

We had already admired the bay of ships, and the unusual spectacle of large three-decked vessels commu- nicating with the shore by a plank laid across from the rock ; but we were far more astonished, on visiting the careening bay''.` The importance of Sevastopol, and the happy peculiars of its position, having been once recognised, the next step was to form basins and docks for refitting ; these objects have been admirably accom- plished by Mr. Hupton. A spacious basin has been sunk at some distance from the sea, and on a higher level. On the sides of this basin are five dry docks ; three of these are for first chess-vessels, the remaining two for frigates. With a sea almost without tides, the draining of these docks was a difficult problem to solve ; it was accomplished in the following manner :–At a distance of about eighteen versts, at the bottom of the great valley forming the roadstead, flowed, on a level of suitable height, a small river abundantly supplied with water. This river was taken possession of by the engi- neers, turned into another bed excavated in the rock, and passing at one time through a tunnel, at another over an [52] aqueduct, the Tchornaia-Retchha (black rivulet) was made to furnish the necessary supply of water to the docks. As all this water came from a considerable height, it was easy, by means of an ingenious combination of locks, to bring into the large basin, three hundred feet by four hundred, then being lined with splendid masonry, one vessel of 120 guns, two of eighty, and two frigates of sixty, to be placed into the five dry docks, which could be drained or sluiced at pleasure. Undoubtedly these are vast and noble works, and those which render a reign illustrious, and hand down to posterity the fame of an engineer. What struck us more particularly was, to see these same soldiers employed by turns in earth work, carpentering,. forging and masons' work, and acquitting themselves in all these various departments to admiration. Mr. Hupton, an Englishman by birth, accustomed as he had been in his own country to these industrial wonders, was in continual admiration at the facility with which these Russian people became successively, and in so short a time, skilled workmen in any craft to which they applied themselves. Let us add, that the Russian soldier is not only a skilful artisan, but naturally a docile workman, respectful without meanness, expert and active without boastfulness. The building docks of the Imperial navy are established at Nikolaïeff, a favourable situation, not only on account [53] of the nature of the position itself, but its convenience as regards the supply of timber floating down from central Russia. All that was required at Sevastopol, therefore, was a fitting dock, which purpose will be admirably answered by the recent constructions. Who could believe that the great enemy, the great destroyer of the ships in the beautiful waters of Sevastopol, is an imperceptible worm called the teredo navalis. The ravages of this little animal reduce the time which a Russian ship of war may be reckoned to last, to a period of eight years, an unfavourable condition for the Russian navy to labour under, as the ships of the English and French navy are reckoned to last an average period of fifteen years. Whatever experiments have been tried to preserve the ships from this cause of premature decay, have not apparently been followed by the success anticipated. It is truly afflicting to think that so contemptible an enemy should thus attack with impunity these large and stately structures, so nobly resting on the waters of one of the finest ports in the universe.

When we had visited all these interesting works, we set out on a sea trip to Inkermann. On leaving the docks, we remarked a beautiful fountain in course of constructions and destined to furnish an abundant supply of water to the fleet. A filtering apparatus constantly at work will supply this water for the demands of the [54] shipping in a perfectly pure state. When we had made our way through the midst of this busy and intelligent assemblage, we steered peacefully between the barren rocks and the last range of frigates extending to the farthest extremity of the port. Passing before a narrow valley, we observed, through the elegant arches of an aqueduct, an isolated house, somewhat in the form of a mosque,; rising from the midst of a clump of small oaks. This was the public garden, the rendezvous of the holiday makers from the city, which day by day is building itself, and while raising its ramparts, has already taken care to provide itself with this place of relaxation and repose. The first of May is the day when this remote spot chiefly resounds with noisy rejoicings. While we were examining the rather elegant pavilion forming the centre of these festive scenes, a number of workmen were finishing the ornaments and decorations of the interior, in anticipation of an event when they would be needed more than ever. It was not expected, but it was hoped, that the imperial family, after throwing a glance of encouragement at all these new creations, might perhaps deign to visit this spot devoted to amusement.

In the very extremity of the bay, the predominance of the soft over the sea-water is shown by au abundance of tall reeds, through which we easily made our way, urged by a pleasant breeze ; we then found ourselves in [55] the narrow but deep bed of the Tchornaïa-Retchka. Here the rocks grow wider apart, and the valley becomes broader; little meadows intersected by the windings of the stream, shaded by a few clumps of fine ash trees and lentisks (pistachia lentiscus), with their elegant foliage, afford a relief to the eye, wearied by the uniform grey tint of the coast. We disembarked on the right, beneath the trees, and commenced climbing up the adjoining rock, in which the new bed of the river has been excavated, and through which it will have to flow down to the docks. A flight of steps conveniently cut out, rendered our ascent easy ; this useful work had been inaugurated on the same day that an illustrious foreigner, Marshal Marmont, had visited the valley. On reaching the banks of the canal, it was not long ere we came to the tunnel, which pierces through a formidable mass of rocks. This aperture, which is entirely the work of the chisel, and required not less than fifteen months for its completion, is one hundred and thirty-three metres in length ; the height of the vault is ten feet, French measure ; on the left side, a footway has been left of sufficient breadth to allow free passage. The excavation was commenced at the same time at both extremities, the workmen meeting in the middle without any sensible deviation. To conclude our observations on this beautiful canal, destined to so useful an end, let us add that eleven [56] guard-houses, in the shape of elegant octagonal pavilions, have been erected on its banks. Not far from thence, we entered a number of spacious grottoes, the work of a religious sect seeking a shelter from persecution. A narrow door and a tortuous staircase, with a number of cells opening upon it, lead to a chapel, which still presents traces of ogives. From this chapel, through a large opening, may be seen throughout its entire length the pretty valley of Inkerman, and at the extreme end the immense stone block on which the ancient city stood. This pious abode, widowed of its austere denizens, now gives shelter to the soldiers employed on the canal works, who there enjoy a well-earned repose, upon couches not a whit softer than those of the departed monks.

RUINS OF INKERMAN (CRIMEA).
RUINS OF INKERMAN (CRIMEA).

The history of the Crimea furnishes but very uncer- tain information on the subject of Inkerman. According to some learned chroniclers, it was known in the ancient days of Greece as a flourishing town, called Theodosia; others claim it as the Stenos of the Greek geographers. Pallas, on the contrary, is disposed to believe that the Genoese were the first who established themselves on these precipitous rocks. A number of ruined walls, the remains of a few towers, and a great quantity of small grottoes, grouped in rows along the steep sides of the mountain, are all that can now be seen on a hasty visit. The inhabitants of Sevastopol, when they accompany you [57] on this excursion, generally advise as short a stay as possible, so evil is the renown of the surrounding marshes.

Accordingly, we returned towards Sevastopol, and on our way were allowed to go on board a fine frigate, called the " Bourgas." The perfect order of this vessel, and its beautiful lines, were worthy the remainder of the fleet ; but our admiration was entirely absorbed by the fine proportions and magnificent appearance of the " Warsaw," a three-decked vessel. It stood like a rock, overlooking the imposing array of naval force, embracing not less than twelve thousand men, and fifteen hundred guns.

The life of the inhabitants of Sevastopol is entirely domestic : so many obstacles, as we have pointed out, opposing themselves to out-door relaxation and parties of pleasure which elsewhere so agreeably charm away the evening. At the close of day scarcely did we see more than one or two boat parties at the same time with us enjoying the last rays of the setting sun. But though the inhabitants abstain from out-door life, they are, on the other hand, fond of society and the tranquil pleasures of home life. Those of my companions who were strangers to the citizen life of Russia, had an opportunity of observing it at Sevastopol in all its most amiable peculiarities. The polite, welcome, and obsequious attention to their guests is practised here to quite as high a degree as in the centre of the empire, and in no particular [58] is the proverbial hospitality of the Russians belied. A few customs are still preserved in certain families altogether patriarchal in their simplicity. Thus, in more than one house, your host will taste the wine which is in your glass ; and the custom of kissing ladies' hands still exists, for which kiss on the hand you receive one on the cheek.. Every evening the family and the friends of the finally assemble round a tea-table, where the conversation is far from languishing, but before ten o'clock every one has retired. At ten o'clock, Sevastopol enjoys the most complete calm, and the silence is unbroken, save by the distant tinkling of the bells in the vessels, striking the watches, and the challenges of the sentinels in the harbour, answered by the mournful baying of the dogs.

In ordinary times, Sevastopol reckons a population of thirty thousand soul—civilians, soldiers, or sailors serving in the port. Our arrival was at a fortunate moment, for the presence of the fleet, and the active army of workmen, more than doubled the number of inhabitants. It was principally in the approaches to the well-stocked market that an adequate idea of the population was obtained. The consumption of pastecs here was prodigious; whole mountains of this refreshing fruit, heaped up in the eve, disappeared every morning. An immense variety of fish was also sold at daybreak, [59] greatly to the satisfaction of our naturalists, who, by gaining the advance of the ordinary consumers, were enabled to make a selection for scientific purposes, out of the abundant take of the night.

All the necessaries of life are cheap enough here : wood and provender only sustain high prices, on account of the barren condition of all this part of the Crimea. Situated on a calcareous hill, Sevastopol is in no want of materials for building, of a sufficiently good quality ; but on account of the porous nature of the stone, it requires to be covered with a coating of composition, in order that the exterior of the buildings may have a neat and cleanly appearance. The splendid blocks of stone used in the construction of the docks are brought from a distant spot, which contributes not a little to increase the expense of these imperishable works. The cost already incurred amounted to five millions of roubles, and to all appearance it was likely to amount, eventually, to double that sum.

Not a single Tatar dwelling is to be found in the city ; nor is any to be seen at Severnaïa, a harbour for coasting vessels, facing Sevastopol, on the northern coast of the bay, as is indicated by its name, signifying northern village. Here may be seen a large number of government store- houses, built in a row, and protected by batteries. It should be noted, that few individuals of the Mussulman [60] order pass beyond the harbour ; they generally content themselves with taking up their stations, with their laden waggons, on the shore of Severnaia. Here, from morning till night, a noisy crowd of petty traders is busily assembled, purchasing provisions, fire-wood, and other wares, brought by Tatar caravans to this little port.

In the meantime, our two companions, whom we had left at Baghtcheh-Sarai, had joined the body of the expedition, though not without encountering some adventures. Arriving in the midst of a dark night on the quay of Sevastopol, without a guide to direct them through this city of precipitous streets, and possessing no other clue than the name of our host Cabalzar, a name of a somewhat cabalistic sound, our friends made their debut by stumbling among the piles of pastecs, and causing a general downfall of the fruit, which began rolling towards the sea. Hence an alarm was given, and the merchants, awakened at the noise, ran off in a panic, some after the fugitive pastecs, others in search of the authors of this disastrous rout, amidst a chorus of abusive epithets, which may be left to the imagination.

Fortunately, a custom-house officer interposed his authority for the protection of the strangers, who were sadly bewildered at their position ; peace was restored, and [61] after an hour's weary search and anxiety, our colleagues reached our door. Their disappointment may well be imagined, at the sight of the furniture in our gipsy lodging : on the faith of the great renown in which Sevastopol is held, they had cherished expectations of a very different character, and experienced a deception not uncommon in a traveller's life. Matters were shortly made up, and our cohort, now once more complete, ser- ried its ranks to do the honours of our rough bivouac to the new corners.

Not far from Sevastopol, in a south-easterly direction, stands a lighthouse, at the extremity of a long tongue of land, scarcely raised above the level of the waves ; this point is what the ancients called the Chersonese : it was the site of a powerful Greek colony, the last traces of which had disappeared long before the com- mencement of our era, leaving only a doubtful tradition as the sole relic of all its splendour. Mythology has, in this instance, associated itself to history, in order to mislead the records of man amidst the fabulous paths of the imagination. On a portion of this territory, and as far as the gates of Sevastopol, ruins of ancient walls are scattered over the soil, at equal intervals, forming lines, the regularity of which fail not to strike the attentive observer. Some persons have conjectured these parallelograms to be the ruins of the ancient Chersone— [62] that city which, it is said, was founded on the coast of Taurida by the Greek emigrants from Heraclea.

Some antiquaries, however, more scrupulous in their conclusions, would infer these symmetrical compartments to be nothing more than the traces of a division of lands, at an exceedingly remote period. The small depth of the foundations of these walls, now almost entirely swept away from the soil, will not allow of the supposition that any constructions of importance were ever based upon them. These ruins are to be found almost throughout the extent of the peninsula, which was once the Heracleotic Chersonese. At various intervals, the remains of monumental towers may also be seen, remarkable from the enormous size of the blocks of stone placed one upon the other, without cement. If from the extremity of the peninsula, on which stands the lighthouse, we follow the shore of the Black Sea towards the east, we shall be brought, along a sensible inclination, to the first plateaux of the chain of mountains of the Crimea, and hence, from the height of a majestic promontory— the Cape Parthenion of the Greeks—the glance dives down in astonishment upon the Chersonese, so small for its immortal renown ; and one is tempted to ask how this poor little nook of land could have given birth to such a treasure of traditions, fables, and poetry, which have acquired greater force than history. [63] How shall we judge of antiquity by this imperceptible fragment of the ancient world? Inquire for the site of the great ancient city—inquire for its laws, its institutions, its greatness, its duration: a few scattered stones will be your only answer ; and science will wander, groping with uncertain step, amidst these devastated fields. On this spot reigns poesy : history remains below, in the plain yonder. Would you witness the immortal scene of the drama of the Atrides, and of the Trojan war, which the world learned as it learned to read? Advance a few steps upon this sacred pro- montory, and behold the scene—the imperishable scene ! Far superior to that of the classical writers, it has not changed these three thousand years ; since old Homer first took possession of his poetical universe. On this very spot is the Temple of Diana Tauro- politana, with its blood-stained altars : you are now upon its formidable pavement. Behold the altar of the goddess : it is that square stone—a rude and primitive altar, like those of the Druids. Why those garlands and wreaths, upon a stone ever red with blood? To this spot moved the priestess ; and here the knife fell from the fraternal hand. Further on you will be shown the rock where, during many a long night, Orestes came from afar to appease the Emmenides. AEschylus and Sophocles have transmitted these illustrious names [64] in their tragedies. But whither is all this poetry leading us ? We are travellers, and not poets : let us return to reality.

It was on the 2tth of August, in the freshest hour of morning, that we touched at the beautiful Cape Parthenion of mythology, by the geographers of Genoa called Cape Fiorente. We had hired several travel- ling cars at Sevastopol, which were to take us the same day to Balaklava : the direct road we took, from north to south, formed a prolongation of the line assigned by the geographers and historians of antiquity, Strabo and Herodotus, as that followed by the ditch which anciently separated the Chersonese from the Crimea. This road, which lies across a barren steppe, suddenly comes upon a semicircle of rocks, apparently tumbling into the sea between two peaks, rising perpendicularly above the waves. This vast amphitheatre presents a most grandiose appearance, from the beautiful form of the rocks, and the stern character of the situation. On a shelf of rock, in the upper part of this natural circus, stands the monastery of St. George. Around the monastery are grouped, in the most picturesque fashion, a few smiling-looking houses, in the midst of which rises a church of considerable beauty, whose red metal roof and gilt cross glitter in the midst of the sombre landscape. Ten monks, under the orders of a li [65] venerable archbishop, whom we had met at Sevastopol, are the ordinary inhabitants of this majestic solitude : from this stock are supplied almost all the chaplains of the fleet. It was for this reason that only four were then occupying the monastery. Five of those absent were engaged on board the vessels, and the tenth brother was a prisoner among the Circassians, for whose ransom the convent was collecting, little by little, and with great difficulty, eight thousand roubles. Beside the simple abode of the monks, there are two houses of more spacious dimensions, in which families at certain periods seek among these rocks a retreat from the world. Any person is allowed to stroll at liberty upon the plateau which overhangs the convent, and which is reached by a vaulted staircase. With respect to the gardens of these good monks, they are rendered fertile and musical at once, by a beautifully clear and murmuring spring ; they stretch down towards a level beach, to which we were attracted by the irresistible seductions of a bath, sheltered both from the winds and the waves : we do not think that any one would a second time encounter the toils of the ascent to return.

Meanwhile, the promontory of Parthenion awaited us, and each of us turned his steps, as the bent of his studies led him, towards these picturesque heights. When we [66] had reached the extreme point, and were grouped upon a rock jutting out in the shape of an eagle's beak over the precipice below, the scene from this formidable height was full of majesty.

Imagine, on all sides, scattered afar, the most gigantic assemblage of rocky masses overturned, sharp pointed peaks, and tracts of sombre verdure, in the midst of which shone the little monkish settlement of St. George. From this height the depths of the sea were unrolled before us through the blueish tint on the surface of its waves ; immediately at our feet a gigantic shark was winding round the headland with all the skill of an experienced boatman, and gliding cautiously through the waters towards a flight of young gulls, that had settled down within a short distance. It was a scene worthy of admiration, resplendent with light and heat, and overarched by a bright blue sky, upon which the outlines of the vast landscape were sharply marked. At this spot, our two adventurous companions, MM. Huot and Raffet, left us to descend, a feat of no little difficulty, to the beach, lying at a depth of five hundred feet beneath us. Mr. Huot had espied there a few veins of lava, and Raffet wished to examine more closely two rocky peaks, which might have been called Orestes and Pylades. These two brother rocks, emerging from the depths of the sea, are accessible only to the vulture, and as there must [67] inevitably be some fable connected with such phenomena, the imagination of the inhabitants of these regions have not failed to place upon these barren heights, on the summit of these needles, as slender as the spires on the cathedral of Strasbourg, immense masses of gold dust. Gold dust is the universal dream of people who have ceased to believe in fairies or miracles. In their ignorance, they know not that gold hides itself within the bowels of the earth,—that it does not grow like lichen, on the surface of barren rocks,—and that to obtain it requires more labour than it is worth.

While our two companions were pursuing their hazardous journey, we continued our antiquarian researches ; but the first glow of our imaginations having cooled, we found ourselves face to face with reality, still beautiful, it is true, and yet only as prose may be beautiful. Many hours had now glided by, our baggage waggons, under the charge of Michael, had long since taken the road towards Balaklava, the appointed time of rendezvous was passed, and yet our companions appeared not. Our cries, our signals, the repeated discharge of fire-arms, remained unheeded, when at length a distant murmur, floating upwards from the sea-shore, suggested the idea of a case of distress. Rousseau, who had advanced to the extreme point of the cape, hastened in the direction indicated. In the meantime, plunged in the deepest [68] anxiety, we bethought ourselves by what means, if any serious accident had befallen one of our friends, he could be hoisted to the summit of this immense wall, or how the necessary assistance could be afforded, now that we had parted with our baggage, containing the instruments of Dr. Léveillé. Great was our distress, therefore, when, at length, Rousseau appeared on the crest of the promontory ; the report of a gun, immediately followed by another, gave the preconcerted signal ; it informed us that a misfortune had happened; but of what nature ? A few minutes afterwards, two télègues started off at a gallop, with the doctor and some other individuals, towards the fatal spot.

The event proved, Heaven be thanked, less serious than we had feared. Mr. Huot, worn out with fatigue from his daily and intrepid exertions, had been unable to reascend the precipitous sides of the promontory, and twice his strength had so far failed him that he was deprived of consciousness ; fortunately, M. Raffet, an energetic character, had come up with his comrade in time to assist him. The sufferer recovered his vigour in some degree by the effects of a sea-bath, while the shouts of the artist vainly re-echoed against the rocks without reaching us, so great was the space by which we were divided. Fresh exertions were then made by the sufferer, but they were followed by renewed fainting fits, and his pockets had [69] to be emptied of their contents, consisting of stones amounting to no less than a hundred pounds in weight, which he had hitherto carried with indomitable energy. Freed from this burthensome incumbrance, which, though he was sinking under it, he would not have sacrificed at any cost, our geologist at last reached a shelf of rocks where he could obtain assistance, and, on a bed of grass, prepared in one of the télègues, he was carried at a gentle pace to Balaklava.

Between St. Georges and Balaklava, the road follows the sinuosities of the plateaux as far as the pretty village of Kadikouï, the population of which is Greek. From this point, the valley of Balaklava commences, amidst verdant gardens and smiling orchards ; the valley slopes towards the south, and the traveller descends along it to the edge of a natural basin, surrounded by stately hills, into which the sea rushes through a narrow opening. Here stands the port of Balaklava, capable of being used as a safe anchorage for a great number of vessels, to which it would afford an admirable shelter. Seen from the middle, this basin might be taken for a lake, so completely is the entrance masked by the position of the mountains. The first glance at this strange and wild spot, suggests that it is the resort of smugglers, a veritable nest of pirates, as favourable for watching the expected prey, as for dividing the booty. Fortunately, however, an active [70] and severe guard is kept over this spot, so replete with temptations to the hardy adventurers of the sea. No vessel is allowed to enter the waters of Balaklava, destined henceforth to remain deserted; only one exception is made to this prohibition, which, previous to a modification introduced by Count Woronoff, was general, and that is in favour of ships in distress. And, indeed, it would have been too inhuman to doom unfortunate sailors to destruction on the iron-bound coast of the outer bay, when so near and safe a shelter could save their lives. Balaklava, therefore, now receives only a few fishing vessels, which return laden with their abundant takings, to seek a shelter amidst its lofty mountains.

Doomed thus to idleness, this little town on the eastern coast of the basin is without any trade ; its population, who are Greeks by origin, devote themselves to tillage, carried to an extent just sufficient for their own necessities; and but for the title of chief town of the arnaouts, Balaklava, in spite of its fine maritime situation, would scarcely deserve to find a place in the map. This, again, is an instance of fallen greatness. In ancient times, Balaklava was known by the name of Simbolon, or Ciinbalo. Strabo mentions it as a dependency of the Chersonese, and, without allowing himself to be troubled by the difficulty of the achievement, the illustrious geographer maintains that a wall once joined [71] the port of Simbolon with that of the great Chersonese. This wall must certainly have been a prodigious work, whether the author supposes it built upon land, or at the bottom of the water. What is perfectly certain, how- ever, is, that this natural harbour was first discovered and used by the Greeks. At a later period, the Genoese, who left but few places unoccupied, took possession of this inlet, and erected a fortress on the heights over- looking the entrance from the east, the ruins of which are still in existence. It was probably at this epoch that it received its present name, said to be derived from bella chiave. Several etymologists, it is true, refer the name to a Tatar origin, deriving it from the word Balouch, signifying fish ; but it is useless to dispute about the name of a mere ruin, long likely to remain so. Balaklava consists of an assemblage of dilapidated houses and enclosures, the walls of which are half broken down ; there is a principal street in it lined with deserted shops, a church, and the residence of the chief of the Greek battalion, and this sums up all that is worthy of notice in this little colony of arnaouts.

Our faithful Michael was waiting our arrival near one of the entrances to the town, and not a little anxious at our delay. The honest subaltern had already donned his full dress uniform, which was well brushed, and in as perfect trim as that of an officer in the guards. The [72] state of his uniform, indeed, was his first care whenever we made a short stay anywhere. He had obtained from Major Katschoni, chief of the arnaout corps, on the strength of our letters of recommendation, a billet on a poor old woman, a widow, who had given us up her own room, the only available one she possessed, and a kitchen, the hearth of which had long been cold. No sooner were we installed, than we were visited by the officers on duty at this station, who in the most cordial manner offered us their services. After a little rest, Mr. Huot's indisposition ceased to cause us any anxiety ; but, at the same moment, one of the servants accompanying us, who was extremely useful to us as an interpreter, was attacked with a violent fever; he, too, poor fellow, felt the effects of our wandering life. Our stay at Balaklava did not, however, extend beyond the time required by our naturalists for their excursions, and a visit we paid to the ruins of the Genoese fortifications.

The mountain on which these still very imposing walls and towers stand is so steep, that it is not easy to discover what advantage could be gained by the defence of a line of ramparts which do not cover the place itself. Situated on the highest summit, the principal buildings appeared sufficiently protected by the nature of the es- carpment itself ; the side of the mountain towards the sea [73] dives perpendicularly down, and towards the interior of the harbour its access, by a narrow path, is still extremely difficult. We examined several of these towers, the tallest of which, commanding the rest of the ruins, contains a vast cistern, near which are still to be seen the remains of conduits of baked clay. It requires no little resolution to reach this formidable plateau, but once there, a vast and magnificent prospect lies before you, on one side of which is the sea, the brown rocks surrounding the bay, and the winding channel leading to the harbour. To the north are the cultivated lands of the Greeks, and a series of rounded hillocks stretching out to a distant horizon. Half way up the steep stands a tower, on the exterior of which, at a considerable height, is a somewhat rudely sculptured bas-relief. In one of its divisions is the figure of a fish, seeming to favour the Tatar etymology of the name of this place ; two angels' faces, a cross, and an obliterated inscription complete the remainder of this piece of sculpture. The whole ground on which the fortress stands is strewn with masses of rock irregularly disposed. The frequent storms which burst over these heights have probably laid them bare within the last century or so, as it cannot be supposed that such a stronghold did not contain a clear space of some extent, upon which the troops of the garrison might be drawn up. This early monument, due to the Genoese, although of a singular [74] design, nevertheless impressed us with an elevated idea of the works undertaken by this powerful people for the security of a settlement which has left so many, and such grand traces on the soil of the Crimea.

The night we spent in Balaklava was so overpoweringly hot, that the greater number of us slept in the open air, in a little court-yard, the broken down walls of which allowed free entrance to a number of vagrant dogs.

On the evening of the 25th we had obtained a supply of Tatar horses, brought from a great distance, together with a small covered car, upon which our invalid was stretched, in the most convenient manner that could be devised. We proceeded thus towards the north, to seek a lodging in the middle of the woods, at the village of Varnoutka.

But our caravan, whose progress was delayed by the slow pace of the car, was soon dispersed in every direction. As night advanced, it began to rain ; and we had no other sign to guide us towards each other than the sound of the horses' feet upon the stony path. Meanwhile we had entered an extensive wood, intersected with deep ravines : the darkness became more and more impenetrable ; and when, at ten o'clock, we alighted in the court-yard of a Tatar habitation, in the village of Koutchouk-Mouscomia, we discovered that three of our companions were missing. Several Tatars [75] were sent out to explore the wood, and wandered a long time ere they came upon our lost comrades, whom they found in the midst of a coppice, from which there was no issue, just as they had made up their minds to signal their whereabouts by firing off a few shots. The good Tatars hesitated at first to approach people who intimated their distress in so noisy a manner ; but at last made up their minds, and brought them back to our common quarters. Once more collected together, we slept all that night on the clay floor of a little room, in which our poor hosts had heaped the fruits of an abundant harvest.

The ceiling of the apartment in which we were thus huddled together was low, and the supply of air was through two narrow windows, without panes, and closed with bars. Such is the custom among the Tatars in the summer ; when the winter is severe, paper is used as a substitute for the absent glass. Our hosts lit up in our honour a few dried branches, in a little chimney-place, and squatting round this fire, continued smoking their pipes, and resumed the conversation which we had interrupted. The low divan extending round this room was covered with carpeting, made of cow's hair. A few books were lying on a beam, among which was a printed koran, and one in manuscript, which our Tatar friends refused to part with at any price. The [76] next day, at dawn, we found our docile steeds ready for us : we had, according to the custom of the country, allowed them to wander, still laden, and even with their saddles and bridles on, to seek their pasture. These patient animals had not abused their liberty, for we soon found them again, tolerably wet, having feasted on a few blades of grass, and in as fresh a condition as could be desired. We traversed a country well laid out, in-terspersed with slopes and woodland, covered with the signs of good tillage, and reminding one of the peaceful and fertile scenes presented in some parts of England : in a short time, however, we reached Varnoutka. Along the whole road the labours of the harvest were going on ; and on every side horses were seen treading out the corn, while a number of men were winnowing it with shovels. In the forest near Varnoutka, in a shady spot, and on an expanse of fresh green turf, a wooden hospital had just been constructed, for the reception of the unfortunate soldiers attacked with ophthalmia, a disease so frequent in Sevastopol. A great number of these had already arrived at this salubrious spot, where the purity of the air, the absence of all dust, and the spectacle of so vast an expanse of beautiful verdure, must powerfully contribute towards their cure.

Passing through magnificent paths, shrouded beneath the shadow of ancient trees, we reached Baïdar. This [77] village is inhabited by Tatars, and gives its name to an extensive valley, running at right angles with the great mountain range on the coast. The valley of Baïdar is celebrated in Crimea for the character of stern beauty, which it owes to the lofty and majestic mountains which surround it.

We had now to have recourse to the means we possessed for insuring the hospitality of the Tatars. Our guide having sent for the ombachi, the municipal chief of the village, the latter quickly presented himself, and directed us to a house, of which we immediately took possession. Our first care was to prepare the repast, of which we all felt the want. A store of rice, with which we were provided, and some excellent milk, supplied our entire fare ; and our hosts, gathering round us, very willingly furnished the room, the fire, and the utensils. We did not perceive one woman ; the arrival of strangers being a signal for the retreat of these timid Mussulmans, who do not consider even the thick veil with which they envelope themselves a sufficient protection against the gaze of the profane.

There are eleven villages in the valley of Baïdar : and when we commenced our ascent of the mountains, to make for the coast, we could see them grouped in the midst of their orchards, overtopped by enormous round-headed walnut trees, and the finest oaks in all [78]

Crimea. From this valley springs the little river for the reception of whose waters the docks of Sevastopol are preparing—the Tachornaïa-Retchka, called by the Tatars Kaseli-Ouzen. Contrary to Mussulman usage, the cemeteries of the Tatars of the Crimea are left here without shade, upon a barren and stony slope, on which neither grass nor shrub is to be seen. A flat stone, of a schistous nature, standing at the head of the grave, is the only indication marking the unhonoured sepulchre.

While pursuing a number of birds, in great plenty, but extremely wild, we had ascended the easy slopes of the Yaïla range, crossed that imposing barrier, and were descending once more towards the coast. On the northern acclivity, which we climbed with great difficulty, the landscape is wild and stern, and the vegetation, hardy but stunted, bears witness to long sustained struggles against the destructive power of the winds. At the summit of the mountain, we stood transfixed in admiration of the splendid picture before us : we beheld the amphitheatre of Laspi glowing in the slant rays of the setting sun ; masses of rock, grouped with mar- vellous effect, glittering with light, and bathed in warm vapours, raised their crests above a vast crescent of verdure ; and this circle of tufted foliage, stretched out to a distance of two or three miles beyond, till it sank [79] down on the white sand of the sea-shore. Beyond the beach, on which the beauties of the scene were mirrored as in a glass, rose the sea, refulgent with the flaming tints of sunset.

On the slope of this beautiful valley of Laspi, into which we descended by a convenient path, overshadowed with foliage, we met with two little white houses, the sloping lands around which were carefully tilled. Two Frenchmen, brothers, inhabit this retreat, and direct the farming operations on an estate, or economia, as it is called in the language of the country, of which another Frenchman, General Potier, is the owner. The elder of these two brothers is the head of a numerous family. Educated in that brilliant establishment the Polytechnic School of France, which Napoleon called his hen with the golden eggs, and which has furnished so many worthy interpreters of the truths of science, M. Compère devotes the long days which he spends in this solitude to the cultivation of his cherished studies, and the education of a family of eight children, whom no outward influ- ences can wean away from his wise instruction. To M. Compère the younger chiefly fall the agricultural labours of this austere community. In this simple abode, unknown as we were, and arriving at night- fall, with the clatter of horses, baggage-waggons, and a numerous escort, we were received like old friends; [80] and the unalloyed and beaming joy which in a few minutes lit up the features of the host, was worth witnessing. He unfolded for our behoof all the treasures of his patient research, all the fruits of his stern solitude ; his rich herbals, his minerals, his fossils—all were at our disposal, had we been minded to abuse the generous emotions kindled in him by the sight of a number of his fellow-countrymen, who could understand his way of life, his studies, and the consolations afforded by science. These few hours of rest were beneficial to us all. At the expiration of twenty-four hours we took leave of our hosts of a day, with all the regret one feels at a separation of which we cannot calculate the term.

The road we had followed as far as Laspi still retains traces of the passage of the Empress Catherine, that woman, the track of whose giant step is everywhere deeply marked upon the soil of Russia. When she came to visit her newly conquered provinces, she halted, as we had done, on the summit of the mountain, and as her glance surveyed the richness and fertility with which nature had endowed the land, and the grandeur and majesty of the prospect not unworthy so noble a sovereign, the great Empress must have felt herself moved and transported with admiration. On leaving Laspi, and following the line of coast towards the east, you discover, [81] though not without much difficulty, a path winding its way above the precipices. Yielding to the pressing invitations of M. Compère, we had left with him our invalid and our excellent colleague, Dr. Léveillé, who were to join us on the morrow ; on the 27th, therefore, the remainder of the caravan set out towards Castropoulo, where the most complete hospitality awaited us, the estate bearing that name having been established on the coast by M. Nicolas de Demidoff, the father of our worthy leader.

In the first place, we returned to the beautiful path in the forest which had so charmed us on the previous evening ; but soon after, we had to dismount, and lead our unhappy horses by the bridle through the most extraordinary chaos of rocks imaginable. The sea was below us at a depth of five or six hundred feet, and we advanced in the midst of crumbling masses, with no path to guide us, and every now and then obliged to clamber over enormous stones, our wretched steeds falling several times, and occasionally receiving severe injuries. Our Tatar guides looked with the most imperturbable coolness at our efforts amidst all these difficulties, which did not terminate till we had reached the environs of Phoros, a Tatar village, whose name is a sufficient indication of its Greek origin. From this spot, the mountain chain assumes [82] a character which it preserves, as far as Yalta, a distance of fifteen leagues. The topmost crest of the Yaïla rises perpendicularly above the village, while the more gentle slope beneath allows of the cultivation of the soil, yielding abundant results down to the edge of the sea. Vines, mulberries and gigantic walnut trees, clothe these beautiful slopes with admirable verdure, occasionally interrupted by barren ravines, in which immense avalanches have torn up the soil, and opened broad clefts, through which, at every storm, torrents rush down into the gulf beneath. These passes are not without danger to the traveller crossing them. The path is not more than a few inches wide, and while one foot is dug into the mountain-side, the other is suspended over a bottomless abyss ; on these occasions it is that all the dexterity and instinct of the horses of the country are shown. They advance along these perilous ways with extraordinary caution, carefully sounding the nature of the ground before them ere they venture upon it, and as soon as they are assured that it is not likely to give way, they start off at a gallop, as though in mockery of the avoided danger.

Mitschatska and Moukhalatka, two other Tatar villages, were soon left behind by our caravan, who, conscious of the approach of night, stimulated the ardour of their steeds. We were unable to stop at one of [83] the most picturesque curiosities of the Crimea, along this path, lying to our left, viz., the passage of the ladders, called in the Tatar language AIerdven. If the traveller desires to reach the coast from Baidar without passing through the valley of Laspi, he has to ascend directly the northern declivity of the mountain, and in order to descend the vertical wall at the summit of the chain he must enter the pass of the ladders. Steps cut out in the rock, or made of trunks of trees ranged together in a zigzag direction, reach to an enormous height, and yet such is the security of this piece of rustic engineering, that these dizzy steps may be ascended on horseback, nor is there any record of an accident extant to chill the courage of the traveller, or shake his confidence in the rare qualities of his horse.

We were ourselves full of this pleasing sense of security, for though it was quite dark, we still galloped our horses along these dangerous paths, and we scarcely knew where we were, when a number of lights and voices welcoming us in the Russian language, spoken in the pure provencal accent, informed us that we had reached Castropoulo.

The steward of this property, assisted by a French vine-grower employed in the vineyards of Castropoulo, had prepared us a reception well calculated to make us forget the fatigues of our fortnight's journeyings, and [84] we spent the whole of the 28th of August on the estate, where we were joined by those of our companions who had remained behind. The name of Castropoulo, with its diminutive termination, was likely to have been applied to some small entrenchment, such, at least, is its signi- fication in the Greek language. A block of stone more than a hundred feet high, overlooking the sea, still bears some vestiges of defensive works, which may have led to the warlike designation given to this spot. In the present day, the purposes to which Castropoulo are ap- propriated are those of peace, and the most cherished of its fruits. An extensive vineyard, planted in 1829, and stocked with the choicest species of vine, selected with care, receives the ardent rays of a sun worthy of tinting the mellow grape of Spain. To say the truth, the wine does not yet correspond with the quality of the vine and the beauty of the grape ; but it is to be hoped that such fine vintages will not be lost for the want of good wine-makers, to take advantage of them. There is nothing remarkable in the dwelling-houses, except the good order in which they are kept; all the magnificence has been reserved for the cellar and the coopery : nothing can be handsomer, more complete, or better calculated for its purposes than this temple, erected to the wine-makers' industry. The construction of the building does honour to the architect, as the perfect [85] specimens of cooperage testify to the rare aptitude of the Russian and Siberian peasant for every species of handicraft. Brought hither from their distant homes, they were told, " You shall become coopers ; " and coopers they became. Castropoulo is situated in the most pic- turesque position. Above its rounded slopes the rich barrier of the Yaïla range still pursues its course, with its crests describing quaint and curious outlines, and its base buried in thick forests. When you have pro- ceeded along a path winding through the vineyard to a conservatory, filled with rare and precious plants, you again descend towards the sea, where a bath awaits you in the most limpid of waters, washing over a ground of fine sand, mixed with coloured pebbles. Unfortunately, upon this open shore there is neither creek or inlet for the reception of any craft ; and they would have to remain exposed to all the fury of the sea. This is the greater disadvantage, as up to the present day no road practicable by carts connects this residence with other parts of the shore. Soon, it is true, the fine road which we admired between Yalta and Aloupka will extend to this distance, and will bring life and activity into this western country, so well adapted for produc- tion.

On the 29th every one merrily mounted on horseback, and the steward accompanied us to the limits of the [86] estate confided to his care. We took the paths leading towards Aloupka ; and such, notwithstanding the difficulties of the route, was the ardour of our excellent steeds, that we hardly ceased galloping the whole way. To get the most out of the Tatar horses the rider must not seek to urge them with the knout, or excite them with the voice ; he would thus soon lose all credit with these sagacious and nimble animals. The true art is to bend the body forward, stretch one arm over the head of the animal, at the same time uttering a few hoarse and inarticulate cries, and you are carried away with the rapidity of lightning. Notwithstanding the speed at which we travelled, nothing escaped us in the rich landscapes with which we found ourselves from time to time surrounded. Koutchouk-Kouï, a small village as its name denotes, situated on an elevated spot, and inhabited by a few Tatars, can only be reached by paths of the most frightful ruggedness. Ever where in this locality traces are visible of a fearful landslip, which occurred about fifty years back, crushing beneath its rolling and tumbling masses a great number of inhabitants. The next place was Kikineïs, a rich and flourishing village, abounding in clear and rapid streams irrigating fields of a calmer aspect and a less irregular soil than we had hitherto met with. A little beyond this the road descends to the sea, and [87] follows a broad and level beach, which it leaves to ascend by a narrow pass among the rocks, flanking the gaping sides of the Limaine—a threatening headland which rises up abruptly in the shape of a boar's tusk. Then succeed the high road and smiling fields of Simms, crowded with blossoming trees : here you again behold, through the hedges of pomegranate trees, the pretty villas which so fascinated you when traversing the beautiful garden stretching from Aloupka to Yalta ; and finally you arrive at the residence of Count Woronzoff.

The governor-general had left his estate for Odessa, where every preparation was being made for the reception of the most illustrious of visitors. The grand military fêtes, long since announced, were now about to commence on the banks of the Boug; and several of us had been summoned to be present at the magnificent spectacle. Returning to Yalta on the 29th, after a fortnight's absence well employed, we re-entered, as in another home, beneath the roof of the Hotel Bartolucci, now richly laden with collections of every species of object, which had gradually waxed and increased during our expedition. Here we made a halt, profitably employing our time in classifying our cherished scientific acquisitions, and in laying out the plan of a fresh excursion, to be performed by those of us remaining in the Crimea. Meanwhile the " Peter the Great.' made its appearance in the Bay of Yalta; and [88] on the 1st of September it received on board that section of our caravan who were returning to Odessa, bound for Kosloff, on the western coast of the Crimea, to join, within the shortest possible interval, the nucleus of the expedition, which we shall dismiss for a moment, in order to say a few words on the warlike solemnities at that time being being celebrated on the plains of the province of Odessa.

A rapid and successful passage had united us in that capital with the active chief of our expedition, himself just returned from the Don, and who will now resume the narrative of our joint proceedings.

Being thus assembled together, and just as I was preparing to start without delay for Vosnessensk, we were unexpectedly detained by the sudden illness of M. Raffet, who, after a long and manly resistance, was now forced to pay his penalty to the fatigues of the voyage. But when he was reminded how fine an army he was about to have before his eyes, he made haste to cure; and, indeed, he must have been dead had he not been present in time at the Camp of Vosnessensk.

I have already spoken of the appearance presented by the steppe in the environs of Odessa. The road leading to Vosnessensk, one hundred and thirty-five versts in length, differs in no point from those through Bessarabia, selected at hazard over a plain without visible bounds. A few Russian villages and German colonies are scattered [89] at intervals over this wide space, where the extent of ground under tillage denotes the richness of the soil. Not a tree, however, is there to be seen : here and there a pond lies at the bottom of some depression in the level of the ground. At about five o'clock we reached the borders of the Boug, whose course is commanded by a large village called Cantacuzovska, situated on a steep hillock, whence we could discover to our astonishment the camp of Vosnessensk, that illustrious camp of which all Europe was to be the judge, and of which it already repeated marvellous accounts, though without believing them. Dazzling, indeed, was the appearance of this city, which yesterday was not, and which has sprung up under the hoofs of those formidable troops of cavalry. Imagine on the site of a wretched village, the sudden appearance of a flourishing city, full of noise, activity and power; a number of gardens, a parade ground, long streets containing more than three hundred houses, built on the same plan, and separated by equal intervals. All this had been planned and executed as by enchantment ; and at the time we arrived the space was scarcely wide enough for the moving crowd, the lodgings scarcely numerous enough for their occupiers. The cavalry, for whose display this fête on so imposing a scale was being prepared, were encamped along the course of the stream ; their lines extended to a distance [90] of fifteen versts, and were lost amidst the clumps of trees along the winding course of the Boug. The eye, from the spot where we stood, could only trace them by the light columns of smoke rising in the still evening air. The camp of infantry occupied an airy post above the city : it appeared like a long strip of brilliant white, upon the somewhat curved summit of the plateau. We crossed the Boug on a bridge of boats ; and after crossing the meadow, entered the city, echoing with the most bewildering din of carriages, horsemen, and pedestrians, to such a degree that we were ready to ask ourselves whether this was not a dream. We were directed to a house similar in form and position to all the rest; and distinguished by the number 359. Together with a house, the preparers of this grand hospitality placed at the disposal of each guest a servant, a droschki always ready to start at a moment's notice, a few simple articles of furniture, and the most necessary utensils : complete, admirable, royal and warlike hospitality.

Vosnessensk is the capital of a military colony ; and the mere aspect of the fields which surround it, already convey an idea of the benefits resulting from these useful institutions. The situation of the town is favourable ; and the vast meadows stretching out between it and the Boug, render it admirably adapted to form the central station of a large mass of cavalry. Never, [91] perhaps, was there so incredible an assemblage of horses on one point ; and it was this which constituted the singularly beautiful effect of these daily reviews, of these warlike evolutions—the resounding signals, the simu- lated combats—when the armed masses marched, halted, manoeuvred, and fought as one man—but as one long trained in the noble profession of arms. The whole morning was usually devoted to exercises and ma- noeuvring ; the evening was spent in festivities ; and the ball, the theatre, the drawing-rooms of Count de Witt, commander-general of the camp, or the imposing concert of military music commencing on the parade- ground at the hour of sounding the retreat, lay open to the choice of the visitor. The last attraction consisted of an admirable orchestra, such as long formed the dream of Mozart and Beethoven, in which fifteen hundred instruments, and the pure and thrilling voices of one thousand of the children of the colonists, executed by turns the most majestic compositions of the musical art. Sometimes an august invitation summoned to the palace those persons who had been admitted to the camp by H. M. the Emperor. All the military talent of Europe was worthily represented at the camp. Veteran soldiers, the noble survivors of every field of battle, and the princes of foreign states, were present at this grand field of study for the military art, and were treated with distinguished attention.

[92]

The Emperor arrived at the camp on the 29th of August ; Her Majesty the Empress made her entry on the 5th of September, on a mild and beautiful evening, and the next minute a splendid illumination burst forth in every direction, the ball-room sparkled with lights of all colours, and. the theatre, in which French plays were performed, was invaded by a brilliant crowd, the pit presenting one mass of colonels and generals. During this time the parade resounded with the voices of the juvenile troop, hailing with the strains of the beautiful national melody the presence of the happy and triumphant Empress of all the Russias.

Before we enter into a detailed account of our wonder-teeming stay at Vosnessensk, and of the imposing spectacles we witnessed there, we will here give the official list of the different corps which took part in these manoeuvres, the memory of which will be long preserved in Southern Russia. In passing in review, so to speak, this magnificent array of men and horses,—squadrons and regiments far surpassing the enumeration of warriors in the Iliad, it will be easily perceived the stage on which such vast spectacles were enacted must have been immense ; nothing but a perfect town, and a large one, could have sufficed to hold the spectators.

[93]

LIST OF TROOPS

Assembled near Vosnessensk for the Imperial Review, in 1827.

COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE TROOPS.

Inspector of Colonised Cavalry, Cavalry General, Count de Witt.

STAFF OP THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF.

Chief of the Staff: Lieutenant-General Zadonsky (pro tem.)

Quarter-Master General : Colonel Ladigensky (pro tem.)

Service Colonel (Subordinate Chief of the Staff) : Colonel Martos.

FIRST CORPS OF RESERVED CAVALRY.

Commander of the Corps : Cavalry General Nikitine.

STAFF OF THE CORPS.

Chief of the Staff: Lieutenant-General Zadonsky.

Quarter-Master General : Colonel Roselion Sochalsky.

Service Colonel (Subordinate Chief of the Staff): Lieutenant-Colonel Sinelnikoff.

[94]
FIRST DIVISION CF CUIRASSIERS.
Commander of the Division : Lieutenant-General Koskul.
Denomination of Troops. Commanders. Squadrons.
FIRST BRIGADE. Major-General Miien.
Regiments :
Ekaterinoslav Colonel Toumansky 8
H.I.H. Grand Duke Michael'sColonel Denissoff 8
SECOND BRIGADE.
Regiments :
Astrakan Lieutenant-Colonel Milevsky 8
Pakoff Colonel Tchérémissinoff 8
FIRST DIVISION OF LANCERS.
Commander of the Division : Lieutenant-General Palitzine.
FIRST BRIGADE. Major-General Lisogoub.
Regiments :
Belgorod Colonel Bobileff 8
Tchougooueff Colonel Masurkevitc 8
SECOND BRIGADE. Major-General Arsenieff.
Regiments :
Borisogoleb Lieutenant-Colonel Kolokoltzoff 8
Serpouchow Colonel Vijitsky 8
ARTILLERY
Of the First Corps of Reserved Cavalry.
FIRST DIVISION OF HORSE ARTILLERY. Colonel Tchadine.
Pieces.
Field Batteries, No. 15 . . . Lieutenant-Colonel Skatchkoff 8
Flying Batteries, No. 16 . . . Captain Kassovsky 8
Flying Batteries, No. 17 . . . Lieutenant-Colonel Schmidt 8
Flying Batteries, No. 18 . . . Lieutenant-Colonel Kiriloff . . . . 8
[95]

SECOND CORPS OF RESERVED CAVALRY.

Commander of the Corps : Lieutenant-General Baron Osten-Sacken.

STAFF.

Chief of the Staff: Major-General Bradke.

Quarter-Master General ; Colonel Balakireff.

Staff-Colonel : Lieutenant Colonel Schevitch.

SECOND DIVISION OF CUIRASSIERS.
Commander of' the Division : Lieutenant-Colonel Jachontoff.
FIRST BRIGADE, Major-General Piller.
Regiments : Squadrons
Order of St. George . . Colonel Engelhardt 8
Starodoub Colonel Reussner 8
SECOND BRIGADE, Major-General Somoff (pro tem.) 8
Regiments :
Prince Albert's, of Prussia . Colonel Count Rjevousky, Aide-decamp of II.M. the Emperor 8
H.I.H.Grand Duchess Helena's Colonel Fitinghoff 8
SECOND DIVISION OP LANCERS.
Commander of Division: Lieutenant-General Baron Korf.
FIRST BRIGADE, Major-General Prince Bagration.
Regiments :
Ucraine Colonel Lanskoy , . . 8
Novoarchangelsk Colonel Masloff 8
SECOND BRIGADE.
Regiments :
Novomirgorod Lieutenant-Colonel Velitchko . 8
Elisabetgrad . . . Colonel Kalagcorguy (pro tem.)8
[96]
ARTILLERY.
Of the Second Corps of Reserved Cavalry.
SECOND DIVISION OF HORSE ARTILLERY. Colonel Gitoff.
Pieces.
Field Battery, No. 19 Colonel Pitchouguine 8
Flying Battery, No. 20 Lieutenant-Colonel Schatilovitch 8
Flying Battery, No. 21 Volf 8
Flying Battery, No. 22 Colonel Vrubel 8

THIRD CORPS OF RESERVED CAVALRY.

Commander of the Corps : Aide-de-camp General, Cavalry General Potapoff.

STAFF,

Quarter-Master General, Colonel Zanden.

Staff Colonel : Colonel Vintouloff.

FIRST DIVISION OF DRAGOONS.
Commander of the Division Lieutenant-General Gerhel.
FIRST BRIGADE. Major-General Montresor.
Regiments : Squadrons.
Moscow Colonel Levenetz 12
Kargopol Colonel Pavbschef 12
SECOND BRIGADE.
Regiments :
Kinbourn Colonel Engelhardt 12
New Russia Colonel Boulanine 12
[97]
SECOND DIVISION OF DRAGOONS.
Commander of the Division : Lieutenant-General Grabbe.
FIRST BRIGADE. Major-General Schilling.
Regiments : Squadrons.
Kasan Colonel Kroutoff, Aide-de-camp to H.M. the Emperor 12
Riga Colonel Lebed 12
SECOND BRIGADE. Major-General Bartholomey.
Regiments :
Finland Colonel Zelensky 12
Tver Colonel Bronevsky 12
ARTILLERY
Of the Third Corps of Reserved Cavalry.
THIRD DIVISION OF HORSE ARTILLERY. Colonel Kouprianoff.
Pieces.
Field Battery No. 23 Colonel Vulfert 8
Flying Battery No. 24 Colonel Sokoloff 8
Flying Battery No. 25 Captain Kitch 8
Flying Battery No. 26Captain Abramovitch 8

CORPS OF COMBINED CAVALRY.

Commander of the Corps : Lieutenant-General Gerstenzveig.

STAFF.

Quarter-Master General: Colonel Ladigensky.

Staff Colonel : Colonel Schtcherbinsky.

[98]
THIRD DIVISION OF LIGHT CAVALRY.
Commander of the Division : Lieutenant-General Offenberg.
FIRST BRIGADE. Major-General Parodovsky.
Regiments of Lancers : Squadrons.
H. H. the Prince of Nassau's . Colonel Pencherjevsky 10
Volhynia Colonel Lesehern 10
SECOND BRIGADE. Major-General Plaoutine 10
Regiments of Hussars.
Prince Vitgenstein's Colonel Bogouchevsky 10
Prince of Orange's Colonel Count Orurk 10
FIFTH DIVISION OF LIGHT CAVALRY.
Commander of the Division : Lieutenant-General Glasenap.
FIRST BRIGADE. Major-General Borschoff.
Regiments of Lancers :
The Boug Lieutenant-Colonel Glotoff 10
Odessa Colonel Launitz 10
SECOND BRIGADE. Major-General Grotenhelm.
Regiments of Hussars :
Achtirka Colonel Vrangel 10
Alexandria Colonel Norvert 10
ARTILLERY
Of the Combined Cavalry.
COMBINED DIVISION OF HORSE ARTILLERY. Colonel Strik.
Batteries of the Third Brigade of Horse Artillery : Pieces.
Flying, No. 5 Lieutenant-Colonel Matveeff 8
Flying, No. 6 Captain Hahn 8
Batteries of the Fifth Division of Horse Artillery :
Flying, No. 9 Colonel Bruggen 8
Flying, No. 10 Captain Vrjossek 8
TOTAL OF THE FOUR CORPS.
Squadrons 304
Pieces 128
[99]

TROOPS NOT INCLUDED IN THE COMPOSITION OF THE FOUR CAVALRY CORPS.

CAVALRY
Squadrons.
1st. The Combined Squadron of Horse Guards in composed of two platoons of H. H. the Grand Duke Michael's Regiments of Lancers, and of two platoons of the Grodno Regiment of Hussars. Second Captain of the Grodno Regiment of Hussars, Jouraga 1
2nd. The first and Second Reserved Squadrons of Lancers and Hussars of the First, Second, Fourth, Sixth, and Seventh Divisions of Light Cavalry 40
3rd. The Regiment of Gendarmes 3
4th. The Division of Horse Pioneers Colonel Kaulbars 2
Total of Squadrons 46
INFANTRY
Batallions.
1st. The combined Batallion of Guards and Grenadiers is composed of Two Companies of Guards, one of the Lithuanian Regimanet of Volhynia, and Two Companies of Grenadier Corps, called Companies of the Grenadier Regiments of H. M. the Emperor Francis I. and of II. M. the King of Prussia. Major-General Stépanoff 1
2nd. Reserved Batallions of Grenadier Regiments: 1
Count Roumiantzoff's 1
Prince Souvoroff's 1
Carabineers of Astrakan 1
[100]
RESERVED DIVISION OF THIRD CORPSBatallions.
The Fifth Batallions12
Lieutenant-General Hartung
The Sixth Batallions12
Total of Batallions28
ARTILLERY.
pieces
Combined Battery of the Artillery of the Guards and of the GrenadiersColonel Drake8
OF THE LINE.
Two Reserved Batteries, Foot16
Two Batteries, Mounted16
Total of Pieces40
Escort Companies annexed to the First, Second, and Third Calvary Corps32
Cantonists of the Second CorpsSquadrons24
of Combined Cavalry, formingBatteries3
GRAND TOTAL
350  Squadrons.
28  Battalions.
168  Pieces.
32  Escort Companies.
24  Squadrons. (Cantonists.)
3  Batteries. (Cantonists.)

A Group of Soldiers




Text Archive Home | Book Details | Table of Contents