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none, if an inconceivable, laborious peculiar prince; others are under the
care, continued for centuries, had not direction of a chief, whom they choose
constrained Nature herself. We must arbitrarily and alternately; and some
often wonder at the temerity of uncul- solitary tribes, dispersed amongst the
tivated art, by which immeasurable rocks, are abandoned to themselves
gulphs are united by strong stone or and their barbarism.
wooden bridges; very dangerous, tho' Many are separated according to
passable roads, carried over impracti- their tribes; more according to their
cable rocks; streams confined to a par- race ; and all observe a perfect degree
ticular course ; and wholesome spring of equality and liberty! Even those
water carried every where by pipes, or who are subject to an hereditary
canals cut out of the rock; and cer- prince, only acknowledge him and his
tainly by men, to whom ought not to family as noble. There is neither ser-
be attributed either such industry or vant nor slave amongst them; and if
penetration. The sight of their hou- any one has gained particular merit
şes is awful, for they appear only to by striking actions, these, and not
lean against the rock, and yet they are his person, are the highest prized.
sufficiently commodious and firm. As They are the terror of the Arme-
the soil on most of the rocks is spa- nians, Persians, and Turks! Liberty
ring, or at least never too plentiful; teaches them valour, and that makes
and as the level is too small to give them formidable to all their neigh-
the proprietor sufficient room, he in- bours. The want of many of the
creases it to the very summit by well. moșt necessary articles of life obliges
contrived terraces, made of dry, thick them to become robbers, and to con-
walls, often very high and long ; fills sider every thing they can purloin as
the intermediate space with rubbish their lawfully-earned property. On
and stones, and at last with earth ; and that account, their weaker neighbours,
employs those terraces for gardening who inhabit the middle and front ran-
and agriculture, round which fruit- ges, are often exposed to their depre-
trees are planted, that give shade to dations, if they do not endeavour to
the field and to the inhabitant, and anticipate them by presents. For the
present a pleasant object to the eye. rocks, on which the Lesghae alone is
The maintenance of these terraces re- sufficiently known, and where he can
quiręs very great attention. Altho? find out his secret track, protect him
they carefully prevent the falling of from all foreign attacks and secure
the soil, yet they must, every year, him entirely. He fears neither accu-
carry up fresh with great labour, to sation nor punishment for his plunder-
be able to sow and reap to advantage ings; and is assured, that the least
these artificial fields which often ex. surprise which threatens him, imme-
tend miles, op to promote the growth diately calls forth men and defenders
of grass.

from all quarters; for, in the danger of
As different as the tribes and lan- any neighbour, the whole eountry
guages of the highest mountaineers are, watches for his protection; and, after
yet they are generally called Legi, the evil is averted, they return to their
Leksi, Lesghae, and Leginski, accord- huts, where, with salubrious air, and
ing to the difference of the customary fine water, they live to a great age.--
pronunciation of the limitrophe na- It even seems to flee from them; for
tions. They call themselves Legi, thirty and forty years appear to have
Leksi, and the whole south-west no effect on their vigorous constitu-
range of the mountain which they in- tions.
babit is named Lekistan, and Kiafir The ancestors of the Lesghaes,
Kumkk. Some are subject to their who were never sabdued by the A.


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rabs, opposed, at the beginning, the ren of different tribes and languages to
Mahommedan religion with all their intermarry.
power ; they even murdered the hero However wild, independent, and e-
and converter Abu Musselim. But qual they are among themselves ; yet,
their, descendants suffered themselves on account of order and personal secu-
to be circumcised, and the grave of rity, they are bound to follow an old
that devout man became their sacred Arabic law-book, called Ismail Koran,
relic. Yet some old tribes remain in that is generally received in eastern
a state of ignorance; blind heathens, Caucasus. The Irrpeli, Kubten, and
who trouble themselves about nothing Karapdugh tribes, are the possessors of
less than the doctrine of faith; make that book, and three elders are the ex-
to themselves a god out of every thing pounders of it. They represent a kind
that only causes a strong impression, of court of the highest appeal : for iť
and never change the object of their the accuser can gain no hearing from
veneration. A stone, the point of a other lawyers and judges, or the ac-
rock, the sun, moon, or a star, a spring, cused is not satisfied with their ver-
a stred

or tree, is often a divine ob- dict, they generally submit their cause
ject ; before which they never will de- to the determination of the Ismail Kon
ny and betray the truth, except when Even the princes of Caucasus
it is possible to make the object of ve are bound by it, as soon as a coin-
neration an expedient.

plaint against them is brought before
The Muselman, a neighbour of it; and though they very rarely em-
those heathens, is only distinguished ploy its decision to their advantage,
from them by circumcision, and the or palliate their injustice by any spe-
errors of a different superstition, which cious law, yet no one dares to oppose
is particularly peculiar to the rude or disobey that tribunal.
Lesghaes, and increases daily, as they Even the slave finds a hearing, if,
are not better instructed. For, as it dissatisfied with his master's treatment,
has often occurred, that they seized he accuses him. Robbing on the
and sold the Dervishes, or Mullahs, frontiers, tumults, maiming, murder,
*who wished to teach them the faith, &c. have their settled punishment.
the zeal for proselytism is extinguish. If, in the last case, the offended tribe
ed, and no converter will any longer will not procure satisfaction by some
visit them.

other means, and demands vengeance
Almost every tribe has its peculiar of blood, which is always avoided as
dialect, and really many words of a much as possible ; because then more
language foreign to the rest of Cauca. of the exasperated tribes, who take a
sus ; yet they understand one another part, are generally killed than can be
the more readily, because their ideas buried on the spot.
are not so decidedly elevated, as to re Adultery, fornication, and other un-
quire a refined intellect to express natural vices, are quite unknown &-
them. But each tribe understand mongst them : their statute book does
themselves best; and I might almost not even contain the names of such
maintain, that each was formerly a se crimes. Neither is it a custom among
parate people, with its peculiar lan- them, though some say it, that a stran.
guage. In letters, and other graphi- ger can go freely to a woman, if he
cal information, they employ the pure only lays his cap, shoes, and arms, be
old Arabic, and yet its preferable beau-fore the door, to intimate to the hus-
ty has never induced them to adopt it band, or to strangers, that the wife
generally. On the contrary, they are and her guest must not be disturbed.
so jealous of their old insufficient lan- This is as much unheard of, as incest
guage, that they will not allow child and suicide.


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- Duelling, now and then, takes place thee !"—Hereupon he receives the amongst the chiefs of the Lesghaes, smack on the hand, and presses, with which always ends, and must end, in both his, the right hand of the leader, the death of both combatants. When as long as he talks of his enterprise. their bitterness is so great, that neither If two or three grown-up brothers are the intercession of the judges, nor the in the same , house, only one engages respect due to their highest tribunalcan in robbery or war; but if there are avail, they meet the first opportunity more, they always observe the proporbeyond the frontiers, and begin a most tion of a third part going abroad, and violent attack with the dagger, ( Kint- the rest remaining at home, to labour schall,) and wound each other as long for their common good. as their strength remains; and when Any of the neighbouring Princes of the wearied hand can no longer hold Persia can rely upon the assistance of the dagger, and both combatants are these people, and receives the number rolling in blood, they scratch and bite of troops he wishes, if, besides the neto that degree, that often, even in cessary provisions, he pays each man death, one or other obstinately holds ten or twelve roubles, for that is the between his teeth a piece of Aesh, price of a campaign ; which, from the which he carries to the grave.- very day that the Lesghae finds himShould either survive, he dares not self at the appointed place, must end leave the field, nor much less demand in three months. assistance to bind up his wounds, but The manner of enlisting is tco parhe must wait for death ; and if it comes ticular not to be related. Those prinnot, the wounded often mournfully in. ces who require their assistance, first treats the passenger to put an end to send heralds, or criers, to the leaders his torment, which is insufferably im- of the tribes: after they have agreed bittered by the reproaches and taunts on the price, these messengers wander of the spectators

through the mountains, and prcclaim, As these people are mostly without that such and such a prince wants a trade and manufactures, and agricul- certain number of auxiliary troops, ature and breeding of cattle are even gainst this or that enemy.” Now, scarcely sufficient, and produce no tho' it often occurs that the messenfurther advantage, (for the soft, fine gers of the adverse parties meet, and sheep's wool, serves for their own use, employ their persuasive eloquence for and is manufactured by the women, the advantage of their lords; yet it is into coverlets, coarse stuffs, and felt not allowed, at the time, to declare hoscloaks,) so the husband has no other tilities against each other, nor that their means of supplying the wants of his auxiliaries should do it; but every one house than by war or plundering.- quietly passes the frontiers, and their Thus, then, they join the party of par- quarrels do not begin to be serious till ticular leaders (Belled,) who have they are arrived at the place of their gained their confidence ; them they destination. follow every where, without opposi As long as a Lesghae suffers no tion, and share good and bad luck to-failure of promises, he is very servicegether, as long as the hope of gain able ; for it is of no consequence to him leads them on, and their Belled has against whom he fights. It has happenbeen guilty of no errors. When any ed that brothers have fought against one betakes himself to them, and pro- brothers, and that a neighbour has kilmises obedience, he holds a piece of led his best friend, after they had chorotten wood, or a fire brand, in his sen their different chiefs, or entered hand, and says, “ May I become so, the service of this or that prince, with as soon as I am faithless, and forsake the hope of greater gain. If they per


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ceive any want of provisions ;, if they less would he beat him, (if he is not are prevented plundering, or no hopes refractory,) but he ingeniously tells induce them to it ; they go over to the him, “ It is no fault of thine that thou opposite party, and fight against him seekest thy freedom, for I should not who demanded their assistance. They do it a hair's breadth the less, were I readily undertake scouring parties, like in thy stead; the error is mihe own, bush-fighting, and avoid every thing that I had not secured thee better; tiresome and regular. They very art- but now, (while he smiles in his face, fully make sure of the enemy, and fall and ties his hands behind him,) thou on him unexpectedly. But if it hap- wilt certainly not escape from me apens, that both have approached near gain.” They do not murder the men to each other, and are still undetermi- whom they have stolen, not even when ned to attack, the boldest combatants they are pursued, and cannot carry

off challange their opponents to a duel by their prey; but if they have secured opprobrious epithets; others soon dothe their booty, they take care to inform same, and at last the whole army; and the friends and relations of the prithe onset becomes general by noise and soners, that they may treat for their hooting. When the campaign is o ransom. ver, the Lesghaes must immediately The Mahommedan Lesghae does receive their pay as well as for the not even spare his own brethren, when slain, that the relations of the dead they fall into his hands. Now, if

any may not suffer in the inheritance. In one is not rich enough to ransom himrobbing, and plundering they possess self, and the Lesghae is obliged to sell an incredible dexterity, and if the fu- him as a slave, but that is contrary gitive inhabitants have concealed their to their religion, as the prisoner was goods ever so secretly, a Lesghae is not taken in war, but stolen, and sure to find them. They are equal. might therefore excite too much attenly clever in immediately carrying off tion,) he obliges him, by threatentheir booty, or hiding it. If, for ex. ings, to call himself a Christian, gives ample, they have stolen a flock of him a Christian name, and then sells sheep, and must drive them away di- him. rectly; they cut some in two, fasten When the Lesghae, as victor, them by a long string to the saddle, takes prisoners in war, any one can thus drag them behind, and ride on a ransom himself for a tumann, (ten rougood pace; and it is incredible how bles,) but if qne Lesghae falls into the the whole flock follows, and by that hands of another, he must according means becomes a prey.

to an old treaty pay two tumanns. The Lesghaes are armed with a Prisoners of respectability are liberagun, pistols, dagger, and sabre, dress- ted for a greater sum optionally, and ed quite light in the Tartarian stile, even immediately, if they can give seand carry, without inconvience, their curity for the payment. Yet the life provisions in a wallet made of goat- of every prisoner of war depends enskin, called Ghuziri.

tirely upon the mercy of the conqueWhen they have been successful in ror. But should a Lesghae carry plundering and have kidnapped child-them to his house, they immediately ren, besides men, they take the for- enjoy the rights of slavery, which acmer, after much coaxing, on their cording to the Ismail Koran, are, that backs, and carry them over the moun- they cannot be sold, alienated, given tains and valleyse Should a prisoner away, nor killed beyond the frontiers escape, and be retaken, a Lesghae ne- of Caucasus. If the prisoner is incaver meets him with severity, much pable of ransoming himself, he mus

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serve in the house ten years, and it is Kumuk, kill as many fat sheep-as are his duty to attend to it in the best necessary for winter provision. The

ribs are laid in salt for some days, and Should the Lesghaes be unfortunate then dried in the air ; the rest of the in their predatory expeditions, or be meat is cut very small

, mixed with attacked by too strong a force, they salt, pepper, and coriander seeds, then brave death with incredible firmness, put into the guts, and hung for some and endure hunger and thirst, rather days in the air, or the smoke. These, than surrender themselves. To quench so similar to German sausages, are thirst, they drink the blood of their called Dolldurma, and are eaten either horses, and eat their rlesh; and cre- roasted, boiled, or even raw.

Anoditable witnesses in Georgia have ther kind of winter food consists of assured nie, that, after casting lots, chopped chine and other bone meat, they haves eaten some of their coin: baked in sheep's fat, and, after it is rades!

cold, completely covered with warm --- The Lesghae, seized as a robber, fat, and kept in pots. This dish that and condemned for his crimes, meets is always ready is called kau-urma. death with firm resignation. Without Flour, bread, millet, cheese, bussa, changing his features, he reclines his (sour flour water,) are always at hand, bare head over the left shoulder, holds and plenty of brandy : for the latter is his cap under his right arm, and waits, particularly prized, and drank in inwithout trembling, the stroke of death. credible quantities, without fear of In the same way he appears before consumption, fever, or dropsy. 3. great man courteously to salute The daily soup of the Lesghaes is him.

made of millet meal and sheep's fat When he is old, and unfit for plun- boiled in water, with which they can dering and war, he visits, as a friend, with difficulty dispense. Meat they all those whom he had so often harras- eat baked, and generally cold; other sed as an enemy; receives some fare- kinds of boiled food are seldom asked well presents, and then hides bimself for. There are even some tribes who for ever in the mountains. But he eat raw flesh. And yet Providence who has enriched himself by a long has given to these uncivilized beings course of plundering, and only waits such beautiful women ! -Women who the appointed hour of death, thinks to know nothing of sensibility, sweetness, insure his going to heaven by good or of the tender passions. Their black Works. He liberates some slaves ; di. hair hangs down in ringlets over their vides some sheep, goats, or cows, a

thick neck and bosom, unadorned, and mongst the poor; settles what sum yet beautiful; their fine form, their should be given for repairs of bridges piercing eye, their perfectly modelled and roads ; makes presents to mosques, features, deserve the admiration of the .and at last divulgés, (but not before he connoisseur. But women gifted with is on the brink of the grave) where such fascinating charms cannot tame his treasure, in gold, silver, of jewels, the barbarism of their husbands ! -Belies concealed, and then dies in perfect sides, they are really heroines, full of peace.

resolution, animation, and heroic pride, The interior of their household is by which they often shame their husvery uniform, and confined to the most bands. indispensable articles.

The opulent

The education of the children, and certainly enjoy their abundance, but the business of inuring them against without dissipation.

every misfortune, are left to the mo. At the end of November the Les- thers. In earliest infancy they are ghaes, as well as the tribes living in taught little but to sleep frequently,


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