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driven from their possessions to seek they had no means of recruiting them shelter in Persia.
-their pride was wounded by the arStill the peasantry had perhaps lost rogance and assumed superiority of nothing by the change, and under a the Russian officers, and they saw more judicious government, the ab- themselves sinking without a hope of sence of the chiefs might have been redemption into the mass of the comproductive of benefit to the lower classe mon people. It is true, that the Ruse es, and even the differences of reli- sian service was open to them, and gious prejudice and observance might some of them availed themselves of have been overlooked in the enjoy- this gracious provision-but the conment of superior worldly advantages sequence of these men was confined to under a good government. But we their native soil, and lived only in the fear that Russia, with all her boasted feudal attachment of their dependents. toleration in religious matters, is, after To enter the Russian army was to all, a bigoted superior, and with all abandon these, and to do so, they were her pretensions to moderation, a harsh forced to lay aside their national hamaster. Her civil servants, of the bits, sometimes even their religious lower grades at least, are miserably feelings, and to mix with the other corrupt, and drawn from classes of officers, on terms inconsistent with the society in which they are not likely to preservation of their peculiar tenets. acquire enlightened views or elevated Even the Georgian and Armenian principles. The service is considered Christians complained of the rigour degrading, and respect is reserved for with which the Russian authorities the military: On the other hand, the exacted a strict compliance with Rusofficers of the army in Georgia, ex- sian habits, and were mortified to find, cepting those in the higher ranks, are that in adhering to their national cusfor the most part, persons of mean toms, even in regard to the dress and birth and no education, and they are conduct of their wives and daughters, generally insolent, overbearing, and they gave umbrage to their superiors. tyrannical to those under them. With At the same time, the chiefs who subordinate officers of such a charace had found an asylum in Persia, took ter, what government can be popular advantage of the discontents which with strangers, or effective over a proud the measures of the government or the people? The revenue levied from the conduct of its officers had excited, and country was not exorbitant, but the carried on incessant intrigues with mode of exacting it was oppressive; their former adherents, which doubtand while the government affected to less tended to foment feelings hostile respect the feelings and even the pre- to the existing state of affairs, and judices of its subjects, they were con- warmed their own hopes while it gratinually violated and disregarded by tified their revenge. its agents. The chiefs had been remoa The defects in the civil administraved, but the nobles were still unpro- tion might possibly, however, have vided for. Their power and influence been tolerated, and the rising generanecessarily fell on the accession of a tion, knowing no better times, and goad. new authority with which theirs was ed by no recollections of past splenincompatible. Their revenues were dour or exhausted influence, might dissipated by their extravagance, and have grown up in habitual submission
quiet enjoyment of them during his life, he adopted General Madatoff (the Russian commander of the province) his heir, to the prejudice of his brother and other relations; but the Khan continued to live longer than, from his irregular habits and bad constitution, had been anticipated, and a plot was accordingly devised for getting rid of him. A feud had for some time existed between Mehdee Koolee Khan and Jaffer Koolee Khan, another noble of Karabaugh. The latter, while travelling at night, was fired upon by some men concealed in a thicket by the roadside, and wounded in the hand. Mehdee Koolee Khan was charged with an attempt to make away with Jaffer Koolee, and though he protested his innocence, and offered his aid in apprehending the ruffians, his mind, naturally weak, was so successfully worked upon by his disinterested heir, that, by his advice, he fled into Persia. Circumstances bave since occurred which seem fully to establish Mehdee Koolce Khan's innocence.
to an authority which was obnoxious Persian authorities, and the uncourtly to their fathers. But there was another and uncompromising manner in which evil of greater magnitude. In most he appeared determined to force a comof the provinces, the Mahommedans pliance with all his demands in every had been the rulers and the Christians negotiation for a settlement of his dif. their subjects. When the power of ferences with the courts of Tehran Russia was consolidated, the Chris- and Tabreez, seemed to indicate a detians became the favoured people, and sire to drive the Shah to some act of domineered over their former rulers hostility ; while the discussions then with all the senseless insolenceof eman, pending between Russia and the Porte cipated slaves. In some places, they arising, as they had done, out of the scoffed at the religious rites of the Mae demands of the former, made it easy hommedans, and in others, attempt to impress a belief that the Emperor ed to interrupt their most sacred cere, contemplated the total subversion of monies. The Moollahs had lost much Islamism. of their importance, and with it their Such was the state of men's minds revenues had declined. The form of in the Russian provinces, when the government was opposed to their inte discussions between the Shah and his rests, and they became upposed to the Imperial Majesty began to assume a government. No effective measures threatening aspect. The death of the were adopted to soothe or to restrain Emperor Alexander and the confusion them, and as the only means they pose which followed it, tended to foster sessed of recovering their power or hopes, which, till then, few had dared preserving what remained to them, to entertain. Persia, the seat of the they endeavoured to rekindle religious Sheeah greatness and power, was able feelings in their flocks. In doing so, to call to her aid the whole influence it was impossible to avoid casting some of the acknowledged head of the sect, degree of odium on the government, and through him could at all times which they considered infidel, and con- divide the allegiance of the Georgian sequently infamous. The shame of Mahommedans with Russia. The resubmitting to the yoke of unbelieving fugee chiefs were available instruments foreigners, became a favourite theme in her hands to stir men up to rebelfor declamation. Every outrage, and lion; and holding these powers, more even every incidental disregard of Ma. especially the former, at her disposal, hommedan feeling or prejudice, was while the government of Georgia was represented to be a part of a systematic exulting in its strength, and taunting attack on their faith, and there is rea- her with reproaches for her weakness, son to believe that the conduct of the it would have required more than huRussian officers, and of the troops un- man forbearance not to use them in der their command, nay, even of the the negotiations and discussions in government itself, was not always well which she was engaged. But as the calculated to controvert such an inter- power was great, it was proportionally pretation of their designs. The pil. difficult to control or direct its opergrims from those countries who re- ation, and we have already shown sorted to the tombs at Kerbelaee and how great a share it had in causing Nujjif carried thither exaggerated ac- the war. counts of the evils and dangers to In the month of July 1826, Abbas which the disciples of Islam were ex. Meerza, the heir apparent to the posed under the Russian yoke, and throne of Persia, moved from the royal roused the fears of the spiritual chief camp at Sooltaneeah, to put himself at of the Sheeals. The almost total ex- the head of his own army, reinforced by tirpation of Mahommedanism from a large body of the Shah's troops, which, the Crimea became a familiar illustra- under the command of Ismael Meertion of their fears, and an evidence za, a younger son of his Majesty, had that they were well founded. The been sent in advance a few days before. disputes of Russia with Persia regard. It was his Royal Highness's intention to ing their frontier, the haughty and cross the Araxes by the bridge called offensive bearing of the Governor-Ge- Pool i khoda afereen, and push into Kaneral of Georgia towards the highest rabaugh before General İladatoff, who
• Vol. XXI. p. 161.
was then known to be absent, could town and fortress on the frontiers of have returned to make preparations Talish. for the defence of the province, and Several members of the hereditary even, if possible, before the various family of this province still, however, detachments occupying that line of adhered to the Russian interests, and frontier could have thrown themselves Mabommed Hoossein Khan, a young into the fort of Sheesha. It was of man of some influence, and head of a the utmost importance that the Pere division of the tribe, who had been on sian army should arrive before this unfriendly terms with Meer Hassan, fortress previous to its being effective sought the protection of the Russian ly garrisoned, for some discontented commander at Lankeran, and obtainKarabaughees, who composed a majo- ed from him a party of a hundred men rity of the troops stationed there, had and two guns, to assist in protecting opened a communication with their his country and his followers from the hereditary chief, Mehdee Koolee Khan, threatened violence of his cousin. then a refugee at the court of Abbas Finding, however, that Meer Hassan Meerza, and had promised to procure had been joined by so large a Persian its surrender if his Royal Highness force, and perceiving that he had nowould appear before it.
thing further to hope from the assistBut the Prince's army had not yet ance of Russia, Mahommed Hoossein crossed the Arras (Araxes), when the made overtures to Mahommed Khan, war broke out in another quarter. and, as a proof of the sincerity of his Meer Hassan Khan, the hereditary professions, offered to deliver up the chief of Talish, desirous to emancipate detachment which had been sent to himself from the control of Russia, his assistance. This perfidious prohad for some time been in corresponds posal was agreed to the Russian ence with Persia, and the Russian party was surprised and surrounded, commanderin Lankeran, finding cause and, after a feeble attempt to resist, to suspect his fidelity, seized his wife, surrendered to the Persians. Mahome and ordered her to be detained in the med Khan and Meer Hassan, uniting island of Saree as a hostage for the their forces, now marched upon Lane conduct of her husband. This out- keran, and blockaded the place on the. rage of Mahommedan custom and land-side ; but the Russian troops evafeeling enabled the Khan to engage cuated it on the third or fourth day, his dependents, already disposed to and contrived to carry with them, to revolt, in an attempt to rescue his the island of Saree, their families and wife from the party of soldiers who property, as well as some members of escorted her. He collected a small the Talish family, who, either from body of followers, and attacked the fear of Meer Hassan, or hope of fuRussian detachment on its march to ture advantage, still took part with Lankeran, and though he did not suc- Russia. The evacuation of Lankeran ceed in releasing their prisoner, this liberated the whole province, which act of hostility, which was the first was thus abandoned without an atblow struck in the war, irretrievably tempt to maintain it, and the enemy committed him with the Russian go- was scarcely out of sight when Mae vernment. He accordingly lost no hommed Khan, acceding to the wishes time in rousing the people of Talish, of Meer Hassan, actuated by a desire and immediately solicited support and to gratify his troops, and, no doubt; assistance from the Shah, declaring that hoping to share the spoil, permitted he restored the province to his Majesty, the army to plunder the followers and and that he only desired to be investe adherents of Mahommed Hoossein ed with the government by his lawful Khan. This atrocious proceeding had sovereign. On the receipt of this in the good effect of uniting the whole telligence Mahommed Khan Kajar, province under Meer Hassan, and his with a corps consisting of 7000 horse, cousin repaired to the Shah's camp to 3000 foot, and four light field-pieces, seek redress, which was readily prohastened to the assistance of the in- mised. However barbarous the treatsurgents, who had assembled in con- mentexperienced by Mahommed Hoose siderable force; and the royal camp sein may have been, few sympathized was shortly after moved in advance with him in his distress, and even from Sooltánceah to Ardebil, a Persian those who had most largely benefited by his treachery to Russia, looked on The intention which had been enter. the calamity with which he had been tained by the discontented Karavisited, as an appropriate punishment baughees to deliver up the fort to his for his former perfidy.
Royal Highness was frustrated by the In the meantime, Abbas Meerza precautions of Colonel Riot, and there had crossed the Arras; but instead of remained little chance of getting pospushing rapidly on to Sheesha, which session of the place unless by a regular would probably have enabled him to siege, which was immediately underget possession of the fortress, he ale taken. lowed several days to pass in useless The advance of Abbas Meerza into communications with the discontented Karabaugh was the signal for the ocinhabitants, and detached his eldest cupation of Gokcheh by the troops of son, Mahommed Meerza, with Meh- Erivan. A Russian detachment, of dee Koolee Khan, and a considerable about two hundred men, which was body of troops, to enter Karabaugh posted in this district, was attacked by by the circuitous route of Nukhshi. Hoossein Khan, Sirdar, and after a van and Gerrooss, and thus gave Co- determined resistance, in which one lonel Riot, who commanded in the half of its number was killed, and a absence of General Madatoff, time to large proportion of the remainder disa call in several detachments, to gare abled, its commanding officer woundrison the fort with Russian troops, ed, and its ammunition expended, the and to put himself in a posture of remnant of that gallant little band defence.
laid down their arms. The Sirdar im. The corps which had taken the route mediately ordered his brother, Hassan of Nukhshivan found at Gerrooss a Khan, to advance with a considerable Russian battalion, with two guns, and force towards Loree, a strong position a few Cossaks, who were preparing to covering the road to Tiflis, on which fall back on Sheesha; and, with the General Sewardzameedzoff, who comassistance of a body of insurgents of manded in Pambek, had retired, after the province, succeeded in cutting off abandoning Kara, Kliseah, and Humits retreat, and in delaying its march mumloo, burning the magazines and till a part of the Prince's army had cantonments, and carrying away the come up.
The Russians defended inhabitants. Hassan Khan laid waste themselves for some time, but one of the country to the confines of the their guns having been dismounted, Russian camp, burnt the standing and a tumbril blown up by the fire corn, made prisoners some Armenians of the Persian artillery, and being ex. who had not taken shelter at Loree; hausted by the heat of the day, and and in a predatory excursion into the distressed for want of water, they laid Russian territory, carried off from the down their arms.
vicinity of Tiflis an unfortunate Gere • The conduct of this corps was not man colony which had recently been calculated to impress the Persians with settled there. On his return from this a high sense of the courage or disci. expedition, he continued to hover pline of the Russian army. About about the enemy, and to engage them a thousand men, with their Lieut.. in occasional skirmishes. He endeaColonel, Major, and several inferior voured to cut off their supplies and officers, had surrendered, while one of interrupt their communications, and their field-pieces remained effective, though he could make no impression and the soldiers had from thirty to on their position, he succeeded in keepforty rounds of ammunition in their ing up a continual alarm. pouches. It is true that they were The Russian officer commanding at surrounded and opposed to a force se- Ganja was induced, on the advance of veral times their number; but they the Persian army to Sheesha, to admit were not above ten miles from their can- a considerable number of the inhabittonments under Sheesha; and though ants of the town into the fort, and, not they were no doubt exposed to a heavy suspecting their disaffection, marched fire, they had not been so closely presse with the greater part of the garrison ed, nor had they yet suffered so severe. to the assistance of the brigade at Loly, as to justify, in well-disciplined ree, which, as it consisted of only 3000 troops, the course they adopted. infantry, with a small body of cavalry
After this success, Abbas Meerza and some artillery, was not considered advanced to Sheesha, and invested it, competent to maintain itself, and protect the Armenians who were collected of Sheesha. This fortress Abbas Meer. with it, should Hassan Khan be large- za still continued to besiege, and pro. ly reinforced. But the garrison had posals for its surrender, on certain no sooner been weakened by the march conditions, were made by the comof this detachment, than the Mahom. mander. An engagement was even enmedans rose upon the remaining Rus- tered into to deliver up the place, if it sians, and having mastered them, so- was not relieved in ten days, and hos. licited assistance from Abbas Meerza, tages were given by the garrison for who was still before Sheesha. His the fulfilment of this agreement; but Royal Highness immediately sent five it soon became obvious that Colonel thousand men, under the command of Riot only sought to gain time, and his son, Mahommed Meerza, with that he had no intention of surrenderAmeer Khan, Sirdar, and Oogoorloo ing the place as long as he could by Khan, hereditary chief of Ganja, to any means hold it. Much time had garrison the place, while, with the been lost by the Persians in fruitless main body of his army, he continued negotiations, without any prospect of the siege.
their being brought to a favourable Towards the end of August, the result,—the more important duties of Prince Sheikh Allee Meerza, with a the siege had been neglected, and cir. body of horse, joined Mahommed cumstances shortly after occurred Khan on the frontiers of Talish, and which changed the aspect of affairs. having crossed the river Koor (Cyrus) On the first intelligence of the adby a floating bridge, took the Island vance of the Persians into the Russian of Salian, in which there were large territory, General Yermoloff (Gover. magazines of flour, and advanced into nor-general and Commander-in-chief Sheerwan, to co-operate with Musto. in Georgia) called in all his more adpha Khan, hereditary chief of the pro- vanced posts, abandoned all his fronvince, who had been a refugee in Peré tier stations, and ordered the several sia, and on the breaking out of the corps which were cantoned in the inwar had returned to his tribe, and vaded provinces, to fall back upon Tie collected a considerable body of men, flis, where, in the end of August, he with whom he was acting against the had thus collected about fifteen thou. Russians. The sons of Seleem Khan, sand men. It is not for us to question too, had returned from their asylum the skill and judgment displayed in in Turkey, to their hereditary pos- adopting such a system of defence, sessions in the adjoining province of nor do we know the exact nature of Shekkee, and were now in a position the advantages which were balanced to aid the Persian and Sheerwan for against the evils of abandoning the ces; and the discontented mountain- frontier provinces to the enemy, witheers of the eastern extremity of the out making an attempt to defend any Caucasus, had made a descent into of them, (for we understand that the the low countries, driving the Ruse defence of Sheesha was contrary to or sian detachments that occupied it into ders,) or to confirm the well-disposed the fortified towns of Derbend and and intimidate the wavering part of Badkoo, in which places they were the population; nor do we pretend to blockaded by a body of insurgents un- set up our opinion of the greater beneder Soorkhaec Kban, Lezgee, and Ibra- fits likely to have resulted from conhim Khan, of Badkao, who had emerged centrating on some point in advance, from their seclusion in Persia, where rather than falling back upon the road they bad sought refuge, to take a part to Russia, and thus inducing a belief against the common enemy. A Rus- that preparations were making to evai sian force which occupied the district cuate Georgia altogether. We have of Koobba, had been defeated by the our own theory upon these matters, Persian and Sheerwan troops, and obli- which we may develop on a more fit ged to retire upon Tiflis. A direct ting occasion, but this we may safely communication was opened between pronounce, that in Persia the moral the Persian armies of Erivan, Kara- effect of these movements was great, baugh, and Sheerwan ; and this latter and that thousands, who had thought province, as well as Shekkee, Talish, the war a hopeless and a ruinous unMoghan, and Ganja, had been entire dertaking, now began to hesitate, and ly evacuated by the Russians, while to doubt whether they had not been in Karabaugh they held only the fort deceived in estimating so highly as