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DON JUAN VAN IIALEN'S 



IMPRISONMENT 



IN THE 



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DENGEONS OF THE INQUISITION 

AT MADRID, 

AND tOS ESCAPE IN IS 17 AND 1818; 

TO WHICH ABB ADDED- _- -,■ 



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HIS JOURNEY TO RUSSIA, 

HIS CAMPAIGN WITH THE ARMY OF Tft^&iUCASU$ *< 



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AND HIS RETURN TO SPAIN IN 1 



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SPITED FROM THE ORIGINAL SPANISH MANUSCRIPT, 

, BT THE AUTHOR OF 

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" DON ESTSBAN" AND " SANDOVAL." 



NEW-YORK : 



PRINTED BTJ. tr J. HARPBR, 



FOR COLLINS AND HANNAT, COLLINS AND CO., AND O. AND C. CARVlTI; — 
PHILADELPHIA, CARET, LEA, AND CARET, R. H. SMALL, AND TOWAR AND 
HOGAN J— BOSTON, RICHARDSON AND LORD, AND HULLIARD, GRAY, & CO. 



1828. 



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EDITOR'S PREFACE. 



In bringing the present work before the public, the Editor 
i begs leave to observe, that the original manuscript from which 

the Narrative is drawn, has for its ground- work the copious 
notes taken by Don Juan Van Halen at the time of his trials ; 
and that its details are further authenticated by letters, official 
documents, and other papers now in the author's possession. 
All of these the Editor has carefully examined, and compared 
.with the written and oral accounts of some of those gentlemen 
who have acted a part in the scenes described, especially in 
the first part of this work, to the irnth qL whi ch in e very 
particular they cordially join in bearing testimony. 

Some of the documents alluded to, the Editor has thought 
proper to introduce in the notes appended to the Narrative, 
not because he thinks they can add greater weight to state- 
ments which on their very face bear the stamp of truth and , 
impartiality ; but because he wishes to leave no weapons in 
the hands of a critic from whom he has experienced a treat- 
ment unwarranted either by the laws of criticism, the rules of 
good* breeding, or the precepts of moral rectitude. 

With respect to the work itself, it is composed of two parts, 

unconnected in subject with, though naturally following, each 

other. The first part is interesting, not only because it relates 

the adventures and sufferings of a man on whose destruction 

r> many powerful enemies were bent, and who succeeded in 



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iv editor's PREFACE. i 

making his escape in a manner partaking of romance ; but 
because it offers a true picture of the times, and of the charac- 
ter of modern inquisitors, whose sanguinary and revengeful 
spirit, when we take into account the softened manners of the 
age, yields in nothing to that which roused the barbarous and 
remorseless Torquemada and his fanatical associates to the 
horrible deeds they perpetrated. The second part is also 
interesting on more than one account ; first, as treating of a 
country little known, and which few have had a better oppor- 
tunity of examining than the author ; and secondly, as disclo- 
sing some of the resources of an empire whose influence is as 
baneful in Europe as it is beneficial in Asia. 

Of this, however, the public are to be the judges ; and the 
Editor willingly leaves it to the decision of those readers from 
whom he has himself experienced more than one favour. 



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- AUTHOR'S PREFACE. 



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DtjRWG the space of nine years that have elapsed since 

my pscape from the dungeons of the Inquisition of Madrid, 

I l»ve, for reasons which I shall briefly explain, endured in 

4lence the obloquy that has been lavished upon me by those 

<who are alike unacquainted with my character, the actions of 

r my life, and the motives that have influenced my. conduct. , 

The narrative of my misfortunes, therefore, though the more 
necessary to rectify the innocent errors of some and the wilful 
misrepresentations of others, and though written in'the purest 
Spirit Of truth and impartiality, will not be viewed with very 
favourable feelings either by those who are inimical to tha 
principles t advocate, or even by those who, though equally 
sincere with myself in the sacred rang* fr*^*h^h «r*> a n suffer, 
have questioned, without first condescending to inquire into, 
the sincerity of my conduct, and credited facts too absurd and 
improbable in themselves ever to affect my tranquillity or my 
honour. 

It is, however, not improbable that the silence I have hither- 
to observed may have confirmed some in their unjust suspi- 
cions ; but as it was dictated both by friendship and prudence, 
the sacrifice of my feelings became an imperative duty. Had 
I published these memoirs on my first arrival in England, the 
disclosures they contain would undoubtedly have led to the 
ruin not only of the patriots, who after niy escape still remained 
in the dungeons of the Inquisition, but of those generous friends 
by whose efforts I ultimately succeeded in evading the pursuit 
of our merciless enemies- Nor was the period of my return 



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VI AUTHOR S PREFACE. 

to Spain better adapted to give to the world details whifeh, by 
awakening resentments, would have marred those feelingjb of 
general reconciliation that constitute the proudest featur^ of 
our bloodless though unsuccessful revolution. 

Since that time, however, the events in which 1 was con- 
cerned having been more or less correctly stated in various 
publications, and the names of the individuals who shared, in 
them revealed, the necessity for withholding from the public 
the following Narrative has therefore ceased. The ftgme' 
circumstance encouraging me to hope that the details of thdre 
occurrences are not unworthy the attention of the public, and 
feeling that I owe this tribute as much to the history of our ; 
times as to myself, I venture, now that the inactivity of an 
exile's life leaves considerable leisure on my hands, to offer 
these pages to the world ; and though I do it with feelings of 
diffidence, it is not without a hope that the impartial readeqr 
will overlook the imperfections that may be found in the work,, 
and grant me his indulgence. 

Juan Vajn Halen s - , 

London, 1827. 






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» CHAPTER I. 

Hie Author's parentage— He serves in the nary— Employed in the Admiralty at Ma* 

4rid— Taken prisoner at Ferrol— His father also a prisoner and reduced in cireum- 

sertances — The author serves Joseph— He follows this king to Bordeaux, but returns 

t to serve his own countrymen— Arrive* at Barcelona— He obtains a copy of Marshal 

1 Sachet's signet — Plan to recover the Catalonian fortresses — The author takes an 

f active part in it— His success— Lerida, Mequinenza, and Monzon are surrendered 

j to the Spaniards— Their garrisons march oat. and are captured in a defile — The 

\ author is reinstated in his civil rights — He obtains a captaincy in the Catalonian 

/ army-*Restoration of Ferdinand Vll. — His inconsistencies— Secret association of 

patriots— Freemasons— Apostolical faction— Despotic government . . 25 

* 

CHAPTER II. 

\ 

i 

Snatouh corps destined for South America— The author visits his parents at Madrid 
—He commands a troop of dragoons at Jaen in Andalusia— General O'Donoju — 
The author, visiting the family Perez, is arrested by his Colonel— Generous con- 

tet of this officer— The author is conducted to the castle of Marvella. near Malaga 
Sinister presages of the Commandant — Visit of two friars — Extreme danger — 
Removal to Malaga- Count Montijo— Don Gonzalo Arostegui— The author owes 
hirlife to them — Copy of the rojai order for his military execution— Montijo is in 
favour with- the King— The King appears to have been ignorant of the contents of 
the royal order— The new governor of Malaga — Promulgation of his innocence — 
Be receives the commission ol Lieutenant-Colonel * . . . SI 

CHAPTER III. 

The author obtains leave of ^absence— He engages in the views of the IAbercdes— 
Repairs to Murcia— Power of the priests in that city— Vanity of the nobles- 
Family Pedigrees— Buildings of the Holy Office — Ustolaza — His infamy — Ill-con- 
. -ducted 'Institutions — Mulberry-trees of Murcia — Ignorance of the priests— Keli- 
"gious procession — Eiio, captain-general of Valencia — Silks of Murcia— Romero 
Alp'uettte — General Torrijos — Garay, the minister— Ronda — Don Antonio Calvo 
— Secret nogotiations— Calvo's treacherous endeavours to obtain information dis- 
covered—Medal — Don Ignacio Irribtrry — The author's papers are seized — Fidelity 
of his servants— The author is arrested — He is carried to the Inquisition . 36 



CHAPTER IV. 

Description of the dungeon into which the author is cast — First civilities of the inqui- 
sitor — Don Sirann del Rio is also seized by Irriberry — Esbry, a jeweller, is arrested 
at the fair of Lorca— CastaLeda the inquisitor— Conversation of the prisoners— 
The author petitions Ferdinand — Character of Esbry— Character of Romero Al- 
puente — The inquisitor anxious to have him in his custody- Castaiieda unlike the 
severer inquisitors , 45 



K 



Vill ' - CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER V. 



Removal to the new prison of the Holy Omxe^Dewriptkm— The author is sent for 
to Madrid— Letters from his oousin— Ctojlittes of Castaneda— Conversation with 
the jailer— Ceremony of exorcism— T%er< amor's devotions in the hall of tbe In- 
quisition — His departure from Murcia— He travels to Madrid under a strong escort 
•—Affection evinced towards him by the dragoons of his regiment— Anecdote of 
Serafin del Rio— Inn at Corral de Almajruez— Papers of the author laid before the 
King— Plan of Ocaoa— Arrival at Aranjuez — Eguia, minister of war — Histonr of 
an aid-de-camp— Arrival at Madrid— Description— Reception by the seniQf 7 inr- 
quisitor— Parting with Irriberry— Dungeon j 64 



CHAPTER VL 

Olavide, the first tenant of the author's new dungeon — Members composing the HNf y 
.Office — Sketch of the keepers — Messenger from the King's palace— Anecdotes-^- 
Ramirez de Arellano, a sycophant ol Ferdinand— The treachery of Calvo— The ai 
thor's reflections on his expected audience of the King— Scene m the dungeon wit 
Ramirez de Arellano— The King's dress, and his reception of the author— Dialogue 
between the Kin&and the author — Intemperate behaviour of Arellano— The Kingfi 
kind expression at parting— The author required to write to King Ferdinand fromi) 
his dunjgeon — Nature of the document which he addresses to the monarch— Obsequies, 
of the kings of Spam at the Escurial— Inquiries made by the author's brother— Hie* 
father is deceived by the inquisitors Qo 



CHAPTER VII. 

Description of the eamarilla— Chamorro, a waterman, becomes the companion of 
the King— Cabal of the camarilla— Preponderating influence of the Russian "am- 
bassador Tachiehef at Madrid— Rise ol Agustin Ugarte— Character of Don Fran- 
cisco Benavente— Conduct of the Archbishop of Oranada— Mode in which Antonio 
Calvo betrayed the author— Berdeia, an inquisitor— Eguia appoints a military 
fiscal for the trial of the author— The examination wdproce* verbal— Diaz Moral 
escapes to Gibraltar • , ( 75 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Villar Frontin urges the author to disclose the names of his partisans— Pablo Mier 
bishop of v Almeria and inquisitor-general, obtains the charge of the prisoner, and 
the dismissal of the military fiscal— Tribunal of inquisitors before whom the author 
appears— Arms of the Inquisition— Proceedings— An anecdote of the Inquisition, 
related by the jailer— Renewed interrogatory by Eaperanza— Attempt to force the 
author to implicate several respectable and noble individuals— He screens the Count 
Montijo and others 88 



CHAPTER IX. 

Tests administered by the inquisitors — Their disappointment— Feeling exhibited by 
the Jailer Marcelino— Extreme dejection of the sufferer — His anxious thoughts— 
. Fever— Insolence of Zorrilla— Indifference of the judges to bis physical sufferings 
from disease— Pizarro, secretary of state— The author's mother appeals to Garay 
in favour of her son— She next intercedes with the King himself— His cruel answers 
— Palafox— Riesco, the inquisitor, displaced— Berdeja succeeds to the vacant post 
—Anecdotes of Ferdinand VII, and or Garay 91 



f 



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CONTENTS. IX 

CHAPTER X. 



New qrfteavours by Esperanza and Zorrilla to wrest the author's secrets from him— 
Removed by masked servants from his dungeon to the chamber of torment— 
Zokilla addresses him in a criminatory summary— The author tortured— Manner 
in which this is done — He is carried insensible to his dungeon, where he finds him- 

' self loaded with fetters— After-agonies — Don Jos§ Gil, an army-surgeon, attends 
him— His humane interference — The author recognises the symptoms of approach- 
ing dissolution — His fetters are at length removed— His protracted illness — Young 
female attendant— Consolatory expressions of Dr. Gil , ... 90 

CHAPTER XI. 

Sketch of Ramona, the female orphan adopted by Mareelino the jailer— Precarious 
health of the author — Counsels given him by the surgeon — Prisons visited at Eas- 
ter — Don Manuel Centurion — Don Juanito's perfidy — Interest and compassion of 
Ramona for the author's sufferings — The author writes to his cousin, Captain Ja- 
eobo Murfy— Don Juanito ia taken ill— Ramona's assiduous kindness — Murfy's 
friendly reply — Conference with Ramona — Another prisoner whom the author sus- 
pects to be Calvo 106 

CHAPTER XII. 

Letter from the author's friends promising help — Timidity of Ramona— Constancy of 
hey resolution to aid the author — The surgeon declares him to be mad— Exertions 
of Jkifi friend* — Don Mareelino gives him hopes of a visit from his father — Ramona's 
apprehensions— She refuses to bring any destructive weapons — Plan of the author 
to escape . ... 115 

CHAPTER XIII. 

The jailer Don Juanito, having recovered, visits the author — His dungeon is rendered 
warmer — Important information respecting the doors— Portraits painted on the 
walli of a dungeon — The chapel called El Rosario— New plans of escape — The 
author writes to his friends on nis purposed flight—- Resolutions adopted by Ramona 
— Generous zeal of the author's friends — Don Marcelino's anecdotes and conver- 

v sation with his prisoner 122 

CHAPTER XIV. 

•• 

The author' required to assume, a new dress — Small gold cross found under his pillow 
— -Perilous exertion — The author bolts his dungeon doors, leaving Don Mareelino 
as his prisoner— He effects his escape to the kitchen — Meeting with Kamona — 
Hue and cry — He escapes — His friends meet him in the street— They give him an 
immediate disguise— Asylum — Heroine of the war of independence— He resides 
with Captain Nunez de Arenas — Generous spirit which animated the liberal party 
—Their increased numbers— Arco Aguero— Zorraquin— Infantes — Pacio— Domin- 
guez — Torrijos, and Romero Alpuente — Castaneda's hatred of the latter— Local 
situation of the Inquisition of the court at Madrid— Count of Montijo • 128 

CHAPTER XV. 

Scenes which took place in the prison — Discovery of the imprisoned jailer— Exami- 
^ nation of the prisoner of an adjoining cell respecting the late escape— The author 
visits Arco Aguero>«->His mother receives the first news of his flight from the in- 
quisitor Etenar— Return to the apartment of the Biscayan heroine— Her history— 

B C 



/ 



A CONTENTS. 

« 

Letter to Castaneda, inquisitor of Murcia— Ferdinand VII. appears entertained at 
the escape of the author — Spies of Arjona, corregider of Madrid— The author 
meets his friends severally on the Prado at night — His interview with his cousin 
Murfy— Anecdotes of Ramona— Fears for her safety— Adventure on the Ifcado— 
Curious superstition— -Masses for the dead— Marqms of Mataflorida— The inthor 
is apprised of his retreat being discovered — Don Juan Van Helen's card oDcom- 
pikneatB to Etenar, counsellor of the Inquisition ^ 136 

CHAPTER XVI. \ 

Obstacles to the author's quitting Spain— He has an interview with his brothers— 
A lady recognises him— Domiciliary visits — Adventure— The author obtains a 
passport under the designation of SueHo, public] commissioner — His two brothers 
insist on accompanying him in his journey — He passes through the gate of Alcala 
and quits the capital on the sane day — The inqtusitor-generaTa death • 149 

CHAPTER XVII. 

The author safely passes a squadron of cuirassiers — He sups with Don Facuneo In- 
fantes and Zorraquin at Alcala— Dangerous adventure at a seat of the Duke del In- 
fantado's — Comfortable lodging at Torremocho— Quarrel between the villagers and 
some foot-soldiers — Mountain of Moneayo— Town of Safra— Treacherous innkeeper 
—Police . officers — Successful passage of the river Ebro— Dragoons — Entertain- 
ment in the town of Olite — Pertifiage by a pretended diplomatist— The author 
avoids Panapeluna— Adviee received from the landlord of an inn near the Pyrenees— 
Stratagem— Village of Berrata—Efeomdo— Extreme peril in passing the barrier of 
the Pyrenees— The anther and companion pass the frontier, and enter Franee* 165 

CHAPTER XVin. 

The author and Polo assume the character of wool-merchants— Excellence of their 
horses — Adventures in France— Arrival at Bayonne — Bordeaux — They embark for 
Dover — Custom-house officers— Elections— The alien oAse— City of Isgtdon— - 
flbaaish emigrants— Polo returns by sea to Spain— Bvents at MadriaWPrmSedings 
of the Inquisition of the court— Singular end of Don Jusnito— the author resolves 
on leaving England * 196 

CHAPTER XIX. 

The author resolves on entering the Russian service— His interview with some gen- 
tlemen of the Russian legation in London— Don Fermin Tastet— Mr. Blodoff— 
Bon Antonio Qairoga— To* anthor embarks for Hamburgh— Mr. Strow, consul- 
general— Kfadness of BIr. Ton Beseler— Eton E. P. de Castr o Joshu ey from 
Hamburgh to Berlin— Spanish settlers— Arrival in the Prussian catoital— Von HeR, 
a merchant of Berlin— Account of Don Luis Landaburo— Visit to Counsellor Kraft, 
secretary of the Russian embassy— Genoese spy— The anthor quite Ber^n in com- 
pany with Secretary Koch 173 

CHAPTER XX. 

The travellers arrive at the Vistula— City of Konigsberg— Description— Road to 
Memel — Curishe Haft— Memel — A Muscovite merchant— Amber collected— They 
enter Russia— Village of Palangen — Russian travelling — Adventures— Mittau— Its 

5 alacc— Passage across the ice of the River Dwinn Bige Issjhiiliyof the ladies-— 
ouraey to St. Peteribnrgh— totseaperance Apathy of the saris of Livonia 
Wretched inns— The author takes leave of Mr. lEocfi at Dosf at 1*32 



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CHAPTER XXI. , 

&BMUB pott-vehicles and postilions — Accident— The author proceeds through the 
snows m ft sleeve— His arrival at Narva— Approaches St. Petersburgh— First dif- 
ficulties—Russian nobles — Or. Elisen— Interview with Prince Wolkonsky— Baron 
Rail—festival of the Btopkany— Blessing the frozen Neva— General Betancourt— 
Visit to Romansow — M. Zea Bermudes arrires on a mission to St. Petersburg^— 
Character ot Prince Andrew Galitxin— Hospitality and generosity of the Russians 
— friendship of Mr. S. L....— The nnthor petitions Alexander for «dTr"P" rt n into 
the Russian service . • . \ . . 180 

CHAPTER XXII. 

Description of St. Petersburgh— Palaces— Military parade— The square of Isaac— 
Statue of Peter the Great — Shop* — Imperial Bank— Church and convent of St. 
Alexander Newsky— The choir in the Greek church-service— Discipline of the 
military at St. Petersburgh— Trophies taken in Napoleon's retreat from Russia- 
Waxen image of Peter tie Great— Manners and customs— Military 'genius— The 
Carnival— Ine Russian mountains ; games on the ice so denommated— Description 
of this pastime — Palace of Tzarskoieselo— Hussars of the guard— Improvement in 
the Russian army — Triumphal arch— Napoleon and Alexander— Remarkable reli- 
gious festivals— Cathedral of our Lady of Kasan— Offerings of eggs— Return of 
spring— Visit to Cronstadt— Description of this port, and of the iwvy— Interesting 
anecdote 200 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

Hostility of the Spanish minister, Zea Bermudez, to the author— Intimation erven by 
Count Nesselrode-^Interview with Zen Bermudas— General Yersnolow— The nn- 
thor gains his suit with the Emperor — Saloon of models of the Russian uniforms 
LiberaJUy of the author's friends— Military evolutio ns Ceremonies observed at a 
marriage — The author quits $t. Petersburgh to join the army of Georgia— Journey 
to Moscow with Mamonoff— Palace of Tzarskoieselo . . 207 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

Travelling between St. Petersburgh and Moscow—Military colonies— Grand canal 
— Wold«i— Twer— The country described — First sight of Moscow— Agreeable stay 
at Moscow-— Present appearance of the ancient capital— Statue of KouzmaMiminn 
— Wladimir — General Betancourt at Nijnei Novgored— Great building in which 
the fair of St. Macarieff is held— Internal commerce describedV-Steam-boats on the 
Wolga— Otto of roses— Tea brought over land from China— •Merchants— »Boukharee 
.Tartars— Life of Napoleon written in Arabic— Camera obscure— Variety of elegant 
costumes— English traveller — The author's •meeting with his Spanish friends— Fair 
of Nijnei Novgorod— Serf comedians • . . . , . . 216 

CHAPTER XXV. 

Hie autborpro^eeds for Georgia— Seransk— Its fair— Penza— Beggars— Wolves- 
City of Woroneje— War between the Tzar Demetri and the Khan Mamay— The 
steppes— Town of Kasankaia— The UivW DoiH-The Kalmucks— Their tents— 
Tcnerkaske, capital of the Don Cossacks— Their customs and superstition — Fish 
—Wine of the banks of the Don — Serednly Yeguerb'k — The Tcherkasee or Cir- 
cassians — Their costume, physiognomy, &c— Attack of a courier — Arrival at 
Staropol — FirM view of the great Caucasian range— Gheorgulewsh, capital of the 
government of the Caucasus — Mozdok— River Terak, separating Europe and Asia 
— Father Henri, ft Jesuit from Namur settled at Mozdok— General Yermolow 
attacks the Tchetchnnkis 924 



Xli CONTESTS. 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

Arrival at Naur— Cossack settlements on the River Terak— Account of the Cossacks of 
the Terak— Their fidelity— Tcherlanaia— Schalkowskoie— Kalmucks— Andrei'ew- 
sky, capital of the province of the Tchetchenkis — Redoubt at Aksa'i — The author 
arrives at the head-quarters of General Yermolow— The general's tent or kivitka — 
His address to the officers lately arrived — His reception of the author— Defeat of 
the mountaineers and their prince — Capture of Andre'iewsky — Beautiful j»irl of 
Andre'iewsky — Description of costume— Character of Yermolow— His indefatigable 
attention to the duties of his office ..... 2$4 

CHAPTER XXVII. 

Russian embassy to Persia — Housse'in Kouli-Khan, Sardarof Erivan — Politic conduct 
of Yermolow in Persia — His disregard of etiquette at the court of Persia — Recep- 
tion of the Russian embassy by the Shah — Picture of this magnificent scene— The 
Kasbek and Elborus, mountains of the Caucasus — Description ot the chain of moun- 
tains— Character of the mountain tribes— Their love of war and pillage — The 
JLesghis— Barbarous habits of the Tchetchenkis — Their poniards — The Assetinians 
— Bfermits— Kabardines, activity of this tribe in warfare — Lesghi Tartars — Their 
country described— Frontier provinces of Russia — Benefits accruing to the popu- 
lation of the Caucasus by the extension of the Russian power . • 24S 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 

The Russian army in Georgia— Military, operations— The author sets out for Teflis 
the capital of Georgia — Bad discipline of the Asiatic troops in the Russian service 
— Schalkowakoie— Fogs— Cloaks denominated Bourkas— Military contingents — 
Service by the Cossacs of the Don, and of f he Terak— Wine of Kislar— The author 
arrives at Mozdok and revisits the Jesuit Henri — Conversations with the latter — 
Anecdote ......... 260 

CHAPTER XXIX. 

Appearance of the country near thejriver Terak — Game — Large Eagle — Redoubt of 
Elizabeth — The Kabardines — Town and fort of Wladi Caucasus — Pure atmosphere 
—The mountain-passes — Balta — Romantic scenery — Redoubt of Larskoj — Extra- 
ordinary rock and ancient fortress — Darial redoubt in the gorges of the (Caucasus — 
Course of the Terak — Mount Kasbek— Avalanches — Village of Kasbek — Kobi — 
TPKII of St. Christopher — Descent of the mountains at Kaichaw — River Aragua — 
Perpetual spring — Enchanting valleys of Georgia — Greek church at Ananur — 
Description of Georgia — Douchet— Meskbet — River Kur — The idol «Armasm — 
Arrival at Teflis 256 

CHAPTER XXX. 

Reception of the author by General Williaminoff— Baron Renemkamph— Father 
Philip — Colonel Nicolas Yermoloff— Baron Ungern — Reception of the travellers 
by the Georgian Prince Chaiakai'oft— Wine of Kahetia— Signachsfc, chief town of 
Kahetia— Town of Tielaw, its grapes — Tchitchivaze a Georgian prince — The 
author's first interview with Kliiuonhkoie the colonel of his regiment— Description 
of Karakhach— Us barracks — Details respecting the Russian army— Its organization 
—Work performed by the soldiery — Horses of Kabarda and Kara bail — Climate of 
Georgia — Numerous iackails — Barracks of Karakhach attacked by a few Lesghi 
Tartars— Tiger killed in attacking a sentinel — Belohakan, a city of the Eingalos 
— Barbarous triumph evinced by an Eingalo interpreter — l>e knoutt — Duelling — 
Anecdotes — Sporting in Georgia — Amusements of the officers — Yakouwovitch, 
his gallantry— The chaplain—- Bad surgeons — Encampment of Tzarskoie — Colony 
of Germans established near Teflis ...... 266 



\ 

I 

II 

t 

I* 

CHAPTER XXXI. 

Historical and topographical sketch of Georgia— The Princess Tamsr— Conquest by 
Dchenngnis Khan — The Tzars of Georgia— Division into petty kingdom*— The 
Georgians seek the protection of Russia — The Tzar Heracuus — Invasion by the 
Persians under Aga Mehetnet — Zouboff attacks Daghestan— Cruel death of Cha- 
rokh, an Asiatic prince— Assassination of Mehemet Shah — Sadek Khan— Baba 
Khan mount* the Persian throne a* Fetah-Ali-Shah — Abdication of HeracUus. 
Tzar oflGeorgta — His son George resigns his dominions to the Russi ans ■ Gen eral 
Tchitchfenow— Desperate act of the Georgian Tzarina — The Georgians profess 
the Greek creed— Armenian portion of the population— Capuchin missionaries— 
Temples m the idolaters — Administration of Yermolow— The Tartar principalities 
in atieeiaafee to Russia— Nougha — Costume of the inhabitants of Shirvan, and the 
tributaries ^p Russia — Commercial spirit of the Armenians — Warlike disposition of 
the Georgians— The Tartars described— Consolidation of the government . 880 

CHAPTER XXXII. 

Internal commerce— New bazaar— The caravanserais— Mixed society of Asiatics- 
Caravans— Carpets, cold tissues, Cashmere shawls— Jewellery— Manufactures— 
Cutlery— The steel of Korazan — Traffic in Georgian women— Furs of the black 
fox— Fruits and rose-trees of Georgia — Fertility — Georgia compared with Anda- 
lusia — Wheat from Odessa — Cultivation of rice — Vineyards of Kahetia — River 
Koura — Gardens surrounding Teflis— Celebrated hot baths of Teflis — Mode of 
being bathed by the Tartars — Toilet of the Georgian women — Their dances — 
Paint — Beauty — Lively imagination — Their chastity and fidelity— Pride of! the 
nobles— Feudal system in use— Persian language most in fashion— Dialects- 
Literature at a low ebb— Weddings — Motive for early marriages— Funeral of 
General Ahuerdoff— Funeral rites of the Georgians • f , 288 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 

Hospital at Teflis— Schools — Earthquakes— Public edifices and churches— Death of 
Princes Tchitchianow and ttristow by the treachery of the Khan of Bakon— 
Ancient fortress of Teflis destroyed— Priests confined in the dungeons — Crimes- 
Advent uies of Majors Lindsay and Mackintosh, on their return from Persia- 
Mission bf Mouravieff to Turcomania — Club, assembly-room, and public library 
— Reserve/ of the ladies of Georgia — Their dances and music — Ball at Prince 
MadatoJPs— Raptures of the Turcoman emissaries in witnessing the manners of 
Europe — Revolt in Imeretia— Assassination of Colonel Poussilewsky — Campaign 
against the rebellious Khans — Character of General Madatoff— Anecdote regarding 
Father Philip, a Capuchin missionary — Yermolow's reception of the Persian 
envoys— Departure of the expeditionary troops from Teflis . . 286 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 

Lieutenant-colonel Koizebue— Prince OibeUanoff— Route appointed for the staff of 
Prince Madatoff— Caverns of the nomade Tartan — Bridge of the river Khram— 
Advance to the provinces bordering on Persia— The officers regaled by a Georgian 
noble — Plains of Tchamkhor — Wild goats— Ancient pillar and redoubt of Tchaink- 
hor— Antique medal of Alexander the Great— Snakes — City of Elizabethpol— The 
old fortress — Qallant conduct of the Khan, who is slain— His cruelties— His de- 
moniac experiments — His immense treasures were concealed— His palace and 
tower— Description of the city— Wirtemburghero settled near Elizabethpol— Mo- 
notonous songs of the Georgians—The auth »r prosecutes his journey to Karabah— 
Important province of Karabah— River Khatehim dangerous — Ch^hboulak, ancient 
town— Snow-capped mountains — Sheep — Fortified defile— Beautiful cataract — 
Sturdy beggars, and their pretensions— Town of Choucha— River Cyrus — Fine 
climate— Intermittent fevers— The Araxes— The Khan of Karabah— Secrets of las 
harem— Sumptuous entertainment— Splendid Tartar of Nougha— Passage of the 
Kour . . .'« * • . . . <.. • . SOS 



> 

J 



XIV UUNYBNTS. 

CHAPTER XXXV. 

Bonaantic prospects— Grand dinner— The knoott unacted— Aretche— Delightful Tar- 
tar village* — Noogha- Major Badarskr, commandant—The palace-— Enchanting 
gardens— Population — Silk exported — Banquet— Review — Tartar cavalry described 
—Veteran horseman— His buffoonery— Pictures of Runstad's exploit*— Province of 
Nougha— Zarab— Tartar sofas and carpets — Hospitable tribes — Officer from Shirvan 
advances to receive General Madatoff— Encampment of native trooper-Orchestra . 
andpuncHinellos — City ol Shirvan — Horses of value in herds— Advance to Fittah 
— MadatolPs interview .with Mustapha, Khan of shirvan- The Khanjjs harem- 
Tent — Hi* ambition — Important conference— Treasures— Humane sysfem of Yer- 
jBOlow— Danger is apprehended at the hands of Mustapha— Georgian? captain, an 
amateur of sausic— Dmner given by the Khan a la Tartare— Ceremonies— Table 
service— The pilaw— Children of Mustapha Khan— Madatoff and tup officers quit 
Fittah— Fountain* with Arabic inscriptions— The party ascends tin? hill* of the 
Caucasus ......... SIS 

CHAPTER XXXVI. 

The Khan* or province of Bakou— Abundance of napfetha- Guebres— Persians and 
Hindoos worshipping fire— Tenets of Zoroaster's followers— Phenomena of naph- 
tha—Forests — Bridge over a frightful chasm of the rocks— ^Gorges of the Caucasus 
described— Magnificent and valuable timber — Ysa Beck— Rich lands— Chess a fa- 
vourite game of the Tartars — Veterinary practice— Town and province of Kuba — 
Craggy hanks of the Kulinka— Baron de Wrede the commandant— Ravines — Jea- 
lousy of the Kubans Gregorieff, commissary-general— Madame Gregorieff— Ashan 
Khan joins the Russian expedition — Scotch missionaries — The Bible translated into 
the Tartar and Eastern dialects— The troops march from Kuba — Cherry-trees- 
Bivouac— Fields covered with rose-trees — Abundant game— A large and exquisite 
partridge — Delightful province — Ashan's cavalry is headed by his valiant brother— 
Description— Town of Tchiakour — Park of artillery — Handsome females— Rich 

, carpets of Tchiakour— Difficult passage of the torrents — The troops march for the 
Daghestan SS4 

CHAPTER XXXVII. 

Arrival at the encampment of Prince Madatoff— Preparations of Sarghai Khan — The 
command of the cavalry is intrusted to Ashan Khan— Review of the Tartar contin- 
gents — Prince Orbellanoff— Dissension between Ashan Khan and his brother— Visit 
of the youthful sons of Ashan to Prince Madatoff— Military operations^Description 
of the town of Kourah— Fortress of ChiraghV- Deficiency of timber— Inhumanity 
•f the Lesghts— Advance upon Joserek — Position of Surghai Khatf— His cavalry 
described— Attack made by Ashan's horse— Ferocity of the combatants — Death of 
Asha» Khan's brother— The enemy's cavalry routed— Preparation* for a general 
attack on Joserek — Camp of Surghai Khan— Perilous post of the author- He suc- 
cessfully leads his column to the assault of Joserek — Surghai Khan flies — The Lea- » 
ffhis — Their arms and warfare— They- intrepidity — Conduct of the Russian soldier 
in action— His devotion — The author meets with a Tartar horseman, formerly of 
Napoleon's Mameluke guard ...... 3SS 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

Bffects of the clemency of the Russians after their victory— Ka£ykoumyk shuts its 
gates against Surghai Khan— Surghai deposed — His people are willing to swear 
allegiance to the Emperor Alexander— Rich arms and costume of the venerable 
hostages— A&han Khan elected prince of the conquered province of Kazykoumyk 
—Hie Russians march to that capital — Intricate roads — Description of the country 
— Deputation— Presents to. Prince Madatoff— City of Kazykoumyk— Installation 
of Ashan Khan— Tartar mode of signature— Cruelty of Surghai Khan towards his 
subjects — Mustapha Khan flies from Shirvan to Persia — Prince Orhellanoff's journey 
to Teflis by a new route— General Madatoff after bis victor*- evacuates the province, 
leaving it under the authority of Ashan— Services perwrmed by this feudatory 
Khan in the late war with Persia ...... 846 



CONTENTS. * XV 

CHAPTER XXXIX. 

MadatofF is revisited on his route by the sons of Ashan— Anecdote— Forests near 
Kuragh— Cherry-trees— At Kuba the Baron de Wrede delivers to the author a 

Scket from his father and friends annonnoing the political change in Spain — 
agnificent prospect from die mountain of Tchast— Brilliant carpets — Import- 
ant remains of antiquity — The author's loss of his horse — A soothsayer— Lovely 
district of Nougha— Village of Vendame— Visit to a wealthy Tartar— The author 
reaches Nougha — His arrival at Teflis — General Yermolow's reception of the of- 
ficers and troops upon their return — Don Juan Van Halen intimates to Yermolow 
a desire to return to Spain— General Betancourt's journey to the Caucasus and the 
Crimea — City of Kislar- Archeif, an Armenian proprietor of vineyards — Cultiva- 
tion of cotton — Betancourt's advice— The author travels with him— -Their travelling 
culinary apparatus— The steppes — Tcherlanaia— Description of the Kalmucks— 
Mozdok — The Terak — Subterraneous road in the Caucasus to avoid the avalanches 
—•Return to Teflis— Delightful scenery of Georgia— Rewards bestowed on the army 
of the Caucasus— Enmity of Alexander against the Spanish constitution — He 
dismisses the author from his service and banishes him— Reflections— Delicacy and 
generosity of Yermolow— The author's parting from General Betancourt 356 

CHAPTER XL. 

General Yermolow imparts to Don Juan Van Halen the order for his expulsion- 
Kindness of the general-in-chief— The author prepares to depart— His farewell of 
his friends — Exertions of Yermolow in a representation of the author to the Empe- 
ror—The general-in-chief presents his purse to the author— Baron Renemkamph 
accompanies him to Mozdok — The author arrives at Dubno in Volhynia— General 
Gomel gives him a friendly reception — Society in Dubno— Alexander consigns the 
author to the Austrians — Prince Reuss Plauen, governor of Leopold in Galitcia, 
takes charge of him— Humorous description of an Austrian grenadier who guards 
him— Mode in which the police conduct him privately through the dominions of 
Austria— His adventure at Lintz— Arrival at Passau — He is well received by the 
Bavarians, and is no longer under the surveillance of the police of despotism— He 
receives friendly advice at JLindau — He embarks on the lake of Constance— He, 
escorts a young lady to Zurich — Arrival at Berne—He travels through Geneva, 
I^ons, and the south of France, to Bayonne — Meeting with a Russian officer at 
Montpeltier— Don Juan Van Halen enters his native land and embraces his parents 
and friends W8 






i I 



PUBLIC LIBRARY. 




f '*■ - V- /;' 



} 



I' 



:V 



NARRATIVE 






OF 



WON JUAN VAN HALEN. 



CHAPTER I. 



The author's parentage— He serves in the nary-— Employed in the Admiralty at Ma- 
drid—Taken prisoner at Ferrol— His father also a prisoner and reduced in circum- 
stances—The author serves Joseph— He follows this king to Bordeaux, bat returns 
to serve his own countrymen — Arrives at Barcelona— He obtains a copy of Marshal 
Sachet's signet— Plan to recover the Cataloniati fortresses— The author takes an 
active part in it — His success — Lerida, Mequinenza, and Monzon are surrendered 
to the Spaniards — Their garrisons march out, and are captured in a defile— The 
author is reinstated in his civil rights — He obtains a captaincy in the Catalonia* 
army*— Restoration of Ferdinand VII. — His inconsistencies — Secret association of 
patriots— Freemasons— Apostolical faction— Despotic government. 



I was born in the isle of Leon, in Spain, on the 16th of February, 
1790. At that time my father, who is a native of Cadiz, and of 
Belgic origin, was still serving with distinction in the Spanish navy, 
in which he had been engaged, during several years of active service, 
in most of the naval combats of his time, and had received many 
honourable wounds. My mother, to whom he has always been most 
tenderly attached, is of an ancient Spanish family. 

I was sent, while very young, to the naval college, where, in the 
short space of fourteen months, I successfully underwent all my pub- 
lic examinations; in consequence of which I was immediately 
embarkec} on board a frigate, and, at the age of sixteen, had made 
two naval expeditions, the last of which was the memorable one that 
terminated at Trafalgar. Promoted at that period to the rank of 
lieutenant, I obtained the command of a gun-boat belonging to the 
flotilla of Malaga, in which service I was wounded. In the year 
1807, being included in the number of those subalterns who were to 
be employed in the Admiralty-office, I proceeded to Madrid. 

I still occupied this post in the capital at the time of Napoleon's 
invasion, which took place in the following year ; and, sharing in the 

D 






26 ttAAlUTIV£ OF 



r »».. 



noble indignation manifested by the people of Madrid on the memo- 
rable 2nd of May, I fought against our invaders till a dangerous 
wound arrested my efforts. 

Obligedto leave Madrid on the same day to avoid being shot, as was 
the fate of so many of my countrymen, I joined the army of Galicia, 
commanded by General Blake, and was employed under his imme- 
diate orders, till after the battle of Gorunna, when- Marshal Soult, 
laying siege to Ferrol, whicft was garrisoned by a few troops who 
had taken refuge there after that battle, obliged them to capitulate. 
By virtue of the second article of the capitulation, the generals and 
all the garrison (among whom I was one) were to take the oath 
of submission to King Joseph, and be restored to the situations they 
held previous to the invasion. For my part, sincerely believing that 
the time for resistance had passed, and that no efforts, however 
heroic, could ever prove successful against the victorious arms of our 
invader, nor prevent his usurpation, I readily submitted to take the 
oath required of me, still hoping to be more useful to my country 
by remaining on its soil, than by laying down my arms, and sftending 
my life in captivity. I therefore proceeded to Madrid, wjiich was the ' 
place of my destination. 

My lather, who had followed the national government 'as chief of 
one of the offices of the naval department, had just been taken pri- 
soner by the French, and conducted to Madrid, where I met him in 
the most pitiable condition, suffering much from his former wounds, 
and barely possessing the means of subsistence. Some men, who 
by their rank, talents, and established reputation, served as models to 
others in these delicate conjunctures, and who were greatly distin- 
v guished by King Joseph, interesting themselves in my father's wel- 
fare, used their influence to have me placed in the military suite of 
Joseph, as an officer of ordinance ; a post which I accepted without 
the least hesitation, persuaded that I should thus be in a situatforjto 
relieve my family, and avoid being employed in a hostile manner 
against my countrymen. 

Ever faithful to my engagements, I adhered to the cause 1 had 
espoused, not only during its prosperity, but followed Joseph in his 
bad fortunes to France ; where, however, I saw myself abandoned 
by him in a manner no less unkind than unmerited.* 

Whilst I was living retiredly at Bordeaux in 1813, 1 received the 
decree just issued by the Regency, in which most of the Spaniards 
who had espoused the cause of Joseph, and taken refuge in France, 
were invited to return to the bosom of their families, promising the 
oblivion of the past, and whatever recompences their mture services 
to their country might entitle them to. This Was what 1 most anx- " 
iously desired* The flattering hopes, which I had hitherto enter- 
tained, of seeing my country freed from the fanatical and oppressive 

* See ftfttte A. 



[ 



- DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 27 

yoke which had so long weighed on it by the only means it could be 
accomplished, namely, a change of dynasty, — were fast vanishing ; 
and 1 now plainly perceived how impossible it was for us to possess 
an independent king in the person of Joseph, whose authority was 
disregarded even by those who we|e sen* to support it, Moreover, 
as he had withdrawn to live privately at a country seat in France, 
(bow threatened by the allies with an invasion,) and as his power in 
Spun had entirely ceased, nor was it likely he would ever be able to 
recover it, my engagements with him were at an end- I refused all 
the proposals made to me in Paris to enter into the service of France, 
in the guards of honour that were then organizing to reinforce those 
in Germany ; and since the Spanish government, with no less wisdom 
than generosity, endeavoured to unite all parties by opening the gates 
of reconciliation, I resolved to return to my country, and devote to it 
my services. I therefore demanded of the French minister of war 
a passport to proceed to Barcelona, where Marshal Suchet had his 
head-quarters, still under my former character of officer in the service 
of Joseph ; and on my arrival at Bordeaux I wrote to the Spanish 
government, through the medium of some persons of note, announ- 
cing my resolution. 

Four days after my arrival at Barcelona, I received a letter from 
the second commander-in-chief of the national army in Catalonia, in 
which he informed me that the government having received my letter 
did not oppose any obstacle to my return, at the same time strongly 
advising me to do some essential service that should prove the since- 
rity of my declarations. For a long time I vainly endeavoured to 
devise the means to accomplish this, till at last it struck me that some 
important service might be rendered to the country by procuring a 
copy of the French general-in-chief s seal, to obtain which I had 
many obstacles to surmount, especially as it was never intrusted to 
me. Having this seal at length in my power, I concerted with the 
national troops the hour of my departure from Barcelona, which 
took plaee forty-six days after my arrival there, and joined them 
without difficulty. 

The seal having been examined and compared with those, found 
on (he intercepted letters of Marshal Suchet, a plan was formed, at 
a meeting of the generals, to effect, by means of supposed orders and 
capitulations, the evacuation of the fortified places occupied by the 
French on the other side of the Llobregat, on the ramparts of which 
waved a standard which had never been mine. The general with 
whom J had communicated was appointed to superintend the exe- 
cution of this plan, and a drawing-master of the college of Reus 
counterfeited all the signatures ; whilst I dressed in the French uni- 
form, and passing for an aide-de-camp of Marshal SucheV though 
unknown to any of the French generals with whom I was to treat, 
presented myself before all the strong places, and especially within 
the glacis of the fortress of Lerida, as a negotiator and the bearer of 
orders to the governor to evacuate it immediately whh- his troop* 



28 NARRATIVE OP 

Such an undertaking was no less arduous than perilous in its 
execution ; but success crowned my efforts, and Lerida, Mequinen- 
za, and Monzon, were restored to the nation. This stratagem, 
without endangering any other life than my own, or causing a single 
drop of blood to be shed, 4fcswered even beyond my most sanguine 
expectations, and produced results, the importanceeof which was 
fully proved by subsequent events. The French garrisons of the 
above-mentioned places, expecting to join their army, having arrived 
after four days' march at a narrow defile, were enveloped by supe- 
rior forces, and obliged to lay down their arms. I followed the 
national troops in their march as a private soldier in the files of the 
regiment of cuirassiers of Catalonia, who, like the rest of the 
troops and commanders, witnessed the decision with which I acted 
in behalf of the independence of my country. 

Thej general-in-chief, in acknowledgment of my services, re- 
solved that I should proceed to Madrid in the company of one of 
his aide-de-camps, to be presented to the government. 

On my arrival at the capital, I found that the gazette of the 
government had already announced to the public those events, say- 
ing among other things, when speaking of me : " This is a- young 
Spaniard, who, in the first days of our sacred struggle, acted the 
part of a true patriot, and has now confirmed the innate sentiments 
of such by exposing his life to the greatest dangers in behalf of his 
country, and in vindication of his opinions."* 

The Cortes, on being informed of those details, unanimously re- 
instated me in my rights of citizen, and recommended me to the 
government in the most flattering terms, concluding with these 
words : " and that Van Halen may continue to give days of glory 
and satisfaction to his country. "t 

The regency, in promoting me to the rank of captain, said in 
their brevet : " In reward of your extraordinary merit, and of the 
important service you have rendered to the country, in reconquering- 
from the enemy the strong places of Lerida, Mequinenza, and 
Monzon." J 

I have here presented the above expressions of approbation, 
not with the view to make a vain and ostentatious display of any 
merits I may have had, but because they not only offer the summary 
of all the details with which I might occupy the attention of the 
reader in giving anecdotes and disclosing secrets, (which discretion 
and delicacy also forbid,) but because they fer exceed all that the 
most outrageous vanity could ever prompt me to say in favpur of 
myself during this first period of my political existence. v ' 

Sent immediately after by the government to the army qf*Cata- 
lonia, 1 served under the immediate orders of the general-in-chief 
till the end of the campaign. 

* See the extraordinary gazette of the Regency, of February 20th, 1814* No. 24* 
t See the Journal of the Cortei, sitting of the 19th of March, 1814. 
t Royal commission of the 22d4 of March, 1814. 



v 



DON JUAN VAN* HALEN. 29 

tlere commences a new epoch, which, being the precursor of 
the great calamities that have since distracted my unhappy country, 
appears to me deserving of notice. 

Ferdinand had just been restored . to the nation. Our division 
was the first that receive*} him on the frontier* Every true Spa- 
niard, on seeing him appear on our side of the. Pyrenees, hoped 
that, during his long captivity, he would have learned something 
from experience, and that, grateful for the immense sacrifices they 
had made in his behalf, he would act the part of a father to his 
people. Vain expectations ! Ferdinand suffered himself to be ruled 
by men who had done little or nothing for their country. Regard- 
less of the heroism of those by whom he had just been rescued, he 
signalized his entry into the capital by trampling upon the sacred 
code which had been sanctioned by all the European monarchs, 
and which was certainly entitled to his oath. Perfidious as he was 
ungrateful, he solemnly promised what he never performed,* and 
betrayed those whom he had before flattered. Thus, the faithful 
representatives of their country, and his most distinguished defend- 
ers, were thrown into dungeons ; religious and political fanaticism 
was re-established in all its vigour ; and the destiny of a nation, 
whose generosity was only equalled by its misfortune, placed at the 
mercy of the Holy Office. 

Such a base victory, purchased by treachery and ingratitude, and 
proclaimed upon the 'scaffold, involved in its consequences a great 
number of illustrious victims, and endangered the safety of every 
patriot. Their intimate union, therefore, was indispensable ; and 
in these calamitous circumstances the utmost disinterestedness, se- 
crecy, mutdal intelligence, and unanimity, became necessary. The 
common danger consolidated their association ; a sacred oath united 
them ; and the secret societies were established under the masonic 
forms for an object purely political, namely, " To support a minis- 
try, or any body of men, who should endeavour to , persuade the 
King to fulfil his royal decree of the 4th of May, in which he pro- 
mised to establish a representative government in conformity with 
the ideas of the age." Such was the basis of this association. 

From that time there existed in Spain two parties, who were not 
yet so inveterate against eaeh other but that the wisdom of a pru- 
dent monarch might have succeeded in reconciling them ; yet, as it 
was, they offered a most striking contrast. * 

On one hand appeared the tribunal of blood, known by the name 
of the Holy Office, which has always been the most atrocious instru* 
ment of tyranny, — making victims or slaves of those who acknow- 
ledge as their Father the same God of mercy, proclaiming in the 
name of Jesus Christ the most revolting impieties, and sanctioning 
by their detestable conduct the sanguinary deeds which have for 

* See the royal decree of the 4th of May, 1814. 



30 NARRATIVE OF 

ever rendered hateful the memory of the Ferdinands and the Phi- 
lips. Upon this foundation arose in 1814 (as soon as they saw 
themselves masters of the King's mind,) the faction entitled Apos- 
tMc*l> or cfthe Faith. To it adhered with hypocritical zeal, and 
to the derision of the people, a great number of courtiers and pub- 
lic functionaries, all the communities of monks, and, lastly, that 
aeffish clasB of men who wished to enjoy the comforts of life at the 
expense of the most laborious part of the nation, in deiault of a 
wise administration. 

On the other hand, the close ties which united the patriotic men, 
who were resolved to perish or save the country, were daily in- 
creasing. Granada, towards the latter end of 1816, was the cradle 
of the association, and on the following year every city in Spain 
could boast of having a society ; such being the unanimous impulse 
by which they were all actuated. Many persons, civil, ecclesiasti- 
cal, and military, eminent for their rank and talents, who, at first 
intimidated by the violent proceedings of the ruling faction, had not 
dared to declare their intentions, awoke from their lethargy, and, 
sensible of the duties they owed to their outraged country, joined 
the association, inspiring them with the hope of soon seeing an end 
put to their calamities. 

The military youth, for the most part generous and intrepid, has- 
tened to offer at the altar of their country the noblest sacrifices ; and 
the army, so frequently the scourge of the people, began from that 
moment to see among their files and at their head, the heroic chief- 
tains who were to lead them to the temple of true glory* 

The unmerited death of the deeply lamented Porlier, who, like 
so many others, fell a victim to the hatred of our oppressors, far 
from intimidating these patriots in their generous efforts, rendered 
them more resolute ; so that, even previous to the treacherous death 
inflicted on the illustrious General Lacy, we every moment saw new 
victims sacrificed, and fresh avengers arise in their places. 

Notwithstanding this, I may safely assert that the Spanish charac- 
ter is not the best adapted for any kind of conspiracy. If bearing 
patiently unmerited misfortunes be considered as a virtue, no nation in 
Europe can boast of possessing a greater share of it, and scarcely any 
can look upon the regicide with greater horror. History proves the 
Spaniards to be the people who have committed the fewest outrages 
on the persons of their monarchs. The insurrections and revolutions 
of our country have always been provoked either by the intolerable 
abuses of our kings, or by the arbitrary and barbarous measures 
of inquisitors. 

From the moment that Ferdinand's despotism began, I wasamong 
the first to experience its rigours. I shall now proceed to the nar- 
rative of my misfortunes. 



DON JUAN VAN HALE>. 31 



CHAPTER II. 

Spunsh corps destined for South America— The author visits his parents at Madrid 
—He commands a troop of dragoons at Jaen in Andalusia— General 0*Donojo— 
The author, visiting the family Perez, is arretted by his Colonel— Generous gob* 
duet of this officer— The author is conducted to the castle of Marvella near Malaga 
—Sinister presages of the Commandant— Visit of two friars— Extreme danger- 
Removal to Malaga— Const Montijo— Don Gonsaio Arostegni— The author owes 
his life to them— Copy of the royal order for his military execution — Montijo is in 
favour with the King— The King appears to have been ignorant of the contents of 
the royal order— The new governor of Malaga— Promulgation of his innocence- 
He receives the commission of Lieutenant Colonel. 

At the general peace the Spanish army was divided into two bo- 
dies, one of which, composed of those battalions that had not re- 
ceived their licenses, quitted the frontiers of France to encamp in 
the environs of Cadiz, to be eventually embarked for South America ; 
and the other, which was not so well organized, took its canton- 
ments in the interior. Among the latter were some squadrons of 
light-horse, in which I commanded a company. On the way to our 
place of destination we passed through the capital, where I obtained 
leave to remain for a short time with my family. 

Madrid was then the theatre of all the disorders of the new go- 
vernment, and the prisons were crowded with the deputies and con- 
stitutional authorities. During the few days 1 remained there, I 
employed most of my time in visiting many of the illustrious prison- 
ers, this being the only consolation I was able to afford them. 

The city of Jaen, capital of the province of the same name, being 
the place of cantonment appointed for my regiment, I proceeded 
thither. From the first of my arrival, I visited at the house of one 
of the most respectable families of this city of the name of Perez, 
the head of which, an enlightened old man, had rendered himself 
an object of general esteem by his strenuous endeavours to encourage 
and improve agriculture. On the 8th of December, 1815, whilst 
the public mind still continued in a state of alarm on account of the 
numerous imprisonments of persons of distinction, among whom 
was General O'Donoju, who had filled the post of minister of war 
in the time of the Cortes, and to whom I was indebted for many 
marks of favour, I received an invitation from Perez to attend a fa- 
mily festival which they usually held on the above day. On my ar- 
rival there, I found a numerous company assembled, with whom I 
sat down to dinner in the best spirits, when, soon after, I was in- 
formed that my servant wished to speak with me, and learned from 
him that the colonel and an adjutant of my regiment, having pre- 
sented themselves at my lodgings, and not finding me at home, had 



32 NARRATIVE OF 

commanded him to seek me, desiring my immediate appearance. 
The guests attributed this sudden call to mere matters of duty, and 
they all continued enjoying the hilarity of the day. 

On entering my apartment, I found my colonel and the adjutant 
waiting for me, when the former addressed me in these words : " I 
am very sorry to be the bearer of such disagreeable news as I have 
to impart to you. I have just received a r6yal order, transmitted to 
me by the inspector of cavalry, to place you under arrest and seize 
all your papers. Agreeable to these commands, you will accom- 
pany the adjutant to the place. that is prepared for you/ 9 < 

I offered no reply to this, as any remark was useless to one who 
did nothing but obey orders : besides, I had no suspicion that the 
matter could be of any great importance. The only thing that could 
raise any anxiety in my mind was the arrest of the persons above 
indicated, and the well-known despotism of the government. I 
therefore followed the adjutant to the guard-room of the barracks 
of my regiment, where I remained with an officer and a sentry at 
sight. I was then informed that I might see any of my acquaint- 
ances, provided they first obtained permission from the proper au- 
thority, with various other requisites equally restrictive and molesting. 

The least timid of my friends profited by this permission to keep 
me company, and enliven the tedium of my confinement ; but their 
wild conjectures only contributed to increase the confusion of my 
own. In this state I remained for the space of nineteen days, when 
on the night of the 27th the colonel, Don Agustin de Hore, came 
to inform me that on the following day I was to set off for a castle 
on the coast of Malaga. The countenance of this chief betraying 
some emotion as he spoke, I ventured to ask him what could be the 
motive of such enigmatical dispositions. He then explained to me 
that the commandant-at-arms had that afternoon received a direct 
order from the ministry, couched in very severe language, for my 
immediate removal to the castle of Marvella with a strong escort ; 
adding that, under these circumstances, the only service he could 
render me was permitting me to name the officer who was to com- 
mand it, and placing his purse at my disposal should T stand in need 
of any pecuniary assistance. I expressed my gratitude to him for 
this kind offer, and mentioned the name of the officer who was most 
agreeable to me ; after which he informed me that he had destroyed 
some papers of mine which he thought might be sinisterly interpreted 
by the government, and, kindly pressing my hand, quitted the room 
greatly affected. This noble conduct on the part of this chief was 
the more commendable as we had not been on the best terms for 
some months. 

On the afternoon of the following day I commenced my journey, 
surrounded by an escort of thirty horsemen, and in the presence of 
an inquisitive populace, as usual in similar cases. We excited as 
much curiosity among the villagers in the places through which we 



- 7 iC ) 

1 1 

; r 


1 

1 


. '/ 4 


-'* 



3 



i r 






DON JUAN VAN HALElf. 3,3 

passed and sojourned, during the four days employed in reaching 
our destination. An old friend, whom 1 met on th« way, offered 
me the most secure means of escape to Gibraltar, which was within 
a short distance ; but neither the good faith which the officer re- 
sponsible for my person reposed in me, nor the attachment I had for 
him, nor the nature of my compromise, I thought, permitted me to 
avail myself of such an offer. We entered Marvella on the 22nd, at 
ten o'clock in the morning/ 

The castle of Marvella, which overlooks the strand, although 
almost demolished in the last war with- the French, and hardly offer- 
ing any shelter, had nevertheless a titular governor, who was an old 
retired officer, a narrow-minded man, and severe in the discharge of 
his functions. To him the officer of my escort had orders to deliver 
me ; but as the royal order of which the colonel spoke had already 
reached him, he was so well prepared to receive me,' that a few 
minutes after our arrival at the town I found myself in one of the 
rooms of the town-house, with a numerous guard of infantry, two 
sentries at sight, and an officer strictly charged with allowing no 
communication to be held with me. This silence was interrupted 
in the afternoon by the entrance of the governor accompanied by 
two friars, whom, as he himself expressed it, " he had taken the 
liberty to bring, that they might console me in the awful situation in 
which I stood; 1 ' adding that, " I ought to discharge the weight of 
my conscience in the bosoms of those holy men, and avail myself of 
the few moments that perhaps remained to me." 

It is impossible to express the astonishment I felt at hearing these 
words. In the first impulse of my surprise, I do not remember what 
I said to him. All I know is, that, shortly after, the three disap- 
peared, that the vigilance with which I was guarded was redoubled, 
and that the loud murmur of a populace, the more eager for novelty 
as the means to gratify it were fewer, contributed to render these 
hours some of the most unpleasant of my life. 

Towards the close of this harassing day, noise of whips and tram- 
pling of horses was heard, when soon after an officer presented him- 
self in the room, and drawing out a paper which he showed to the 
officer on guard, who immediately departed, seated himself by the 
bed on which I was reclining, and with a countenance expressive 
of satisfaction, though with a degree of mystery, disclosed to me the 
mission with which he was intrusted. " Doubtless,' 1 said he, " you 
are at this moment much alarmed at your situation ; but make your- 
self easy, for though you , may hitherto have, been, I may say, en 
capilla (in the condemned cell), I come with an escort to conduct 
you to Malaga, where both the governor and the captain-general 
are expecting you, to serve you in this emergency." 

I replied that I could not conceive bow, without an accusation, 
without declarations, without a verbal process, without a court-mar- 
tial, or a sentence passed or even read to me, I could be in the con* 

E 



34 NARRATIVE OF 

demned cell ; to which he said that he was obliged to omit an expla- 
nation of it, that I myself might hear it from the mouth of the military 
authority of Malaga ; adding that the effervescence of the people 
was very great, as the friars bad taken all possible pains to excite 
them against me, and that the events of the day required that our 
departure should take place in the dead of night. 

Although, doubtless, the people guessed what was in contempla- 
tion, and still remained, though in less numbers, at midnight in the 
square before the town house where I was confined, the piquet of 
cavalry assembled there, and at one o'clock the above-mentioned 
officer came to warn me of our departure, for which he took every 
necessary precaution ; so that we left Marvella without my seeing 
any thing more of the governor, accompanied by the dragoons~who 
formed the escort, and who were obliged to fight their way through 
a multitude of misled fanatics, whose purpose was to assassinate me, 
and who might have caused me some injury had it not been for the 
obscurity of the night. 

On the afternoon of the 25th we arrived within sight of Malaga ; 
but the officer of the escort had orders not to enter the city with 
me until it was dark. Accordingly it was eight o'clock before we 
arrived at the house of the captain-general of the province, the 
Count of Montijo, who by a fortunate chance was then in that city. 
We found him in his study with the governor, the brigade-general 
Don Gonzalo Arostegui.* They both closeted themselyes with me, 
when Montijo asked what was the cause assigned for my being taken 
to Marvella. I answered that I was perfectly ignorant of it, and 
gave them an account of what had happened to me from the mo- 
ment of my arrest until my leaving Marvella. Count Montijo, 
drawing a paper from his escritoire, then said to me : " This will 
explain it : read, and do not be alarmed ; for both the Governor 
and myself know our duty." 

1 read the paper, which was the royal order issued against me, 
the substance of which was as follows : — " It is his Majesty's plea- 
sure that the captain of cavalry of the regiment of chasseurs of Madrid, 
Don Juan Van Halen, arrested at Jaen by a royal order, and impli- 
cated in various subversive plans, and especially in the horrible 
conspiracy lately discovered against the precious life of his Majesty, 
be conducted to the castle of Marvella ; and it is farther his royal 
will that the said Van Halen be shot immediately on his arrival, 
without allowing him more time than is absolutely necessary to make 
his peace with Heaven, giving a full account of the same to his 
Majesty, &c. &c." 

On my returning this extraordinary document to Montijo, he told 
me that I was at liberty to select any lodging I pleased in the city, 

* 

* This gentleman is now living in the Hayanab, his native country, and to him I 
certainly owe my life. 



1 

DON JUAN VAN HALEW. 35 

where I should remain perfectly unmolested in the company of an 
officer. " I shall return," he added, u in the course of a few days 
to Granada, where you will follow me; and there I hope I shall 
shortly receive an answer to the express ' I sent yesterday to his 
Majesty. Make yourself easy ; take your repose, and let us meet 
again to-morrow." / - * 

I obeyed, and withdrew to take that rest of which I stood so much . 
in need, but which it was impossible for me to enjoy in my -present 
state of agitation. 

Count Montijo, captain-general of the province of Granada, was 
still at this time one of the favourites of the monarch. Being on 
terms of familiarity with him, and perfectly sincere in this affair, and 
having, moreover, a great deference for the opinions of General 
Arostegui, whose liberal ideas and rectitude of conduct rendered 
him an object of general esteem, he had agreed to do eve*y thing 
in his power to avoid the scandal which must have resulted from the 
atr^ious deed that was intended to be perpetrated on my person. 
Trusting, therefore, to the influence which he still exerted over the 
King's mind, he wrote privately to him, making an appeal to his 
feelings, and painting the horrible nature of this attempt in its true 
colours. It appears that the authors of these orders in the ministry 
had not only assumed the name of the King, but also omitted regis- 
tering the decree issued, as is invariably done with every official 
document. They had moreover sent direct orders to the governor 
of Marvella, who, being but a subaltern, was necessarily under the 
immediate command of the higher authorities of the province. Such 
conduct, therefore, was contrary to all the established rules of mili- 
tary etiquette, and likely to excite the suspicions of Count Montijo 
and of General Arostegui, as did actually happen. On the -other 
hand, the private letters received by Count Montijo from Madrid, 
relative to the proceedings of the. last got-up conspiracy, said not a 
word by" which I might be implicated in it. It. was on this account 
that this nobleman did not hesitate to take upon himself the respon- 
sibility of this affair, without even placing any other guard over me 
than that afforded by my word of honour. 

Meantime he had caused a report to be circulated respecting this 
affair,, by which he made it appear as a thing of no importance, 
which had originated in an error of the ministry. On his departure 
for Granada, I followed him equally free from all restraint, and im- 
mediately on his arrival there, lie sent an officer of dragoons to the 
chiefs of Jaen to request copies of the orders by which they had 
proceeded against me. During this interval, the express sent to 
Madrid by the count returned with an answer to his letter, which he 
showed me, and in which his Majesty said that, on learning the 
events imparted to him by the count, he had felt greatly surprised at 
orders given without his knowledge, of which not even a copy was 
found in the offices of {he ministry ; that he approved of all the 



\ 



3G NARRATIVE OF 

proceedings of the count ; and that he authorized him to set me at 
liberty, delivering to me a passport to rejoin my regiment. 

If the denouement of this affair should appear extraordinary, it 
would have been still more so had I submitted to present myself at 
my quarters with such an insignificant passport, when I was so sure 
of my innocence. Consequently, I begged the count to allow me 
to write to his Majesty through his medium ; and I represented to the 
King that my honour was so greatly compromised in consequence 
of the mysterious occurrences which had taken place, that it was 
impossible for me to present myself before my regiment without 
having first received an ample avowal of my innocence, concluding 
by entreating that his Majesty might be pleased to allow me to reside 
at Malaga until justice had been 1 done me. Meantime I obtained 
this permission from Count Montijo. 

On my arrival there, I found that the Governor Arostegui had just 
been deposed, and his office was now filled by a chief against whose 
whims I had more than once to contend, and who was as unfit for 
his post as bis subaltern the governor of Marvella. The choice of 
Malaga, therefore, as my place of residence was not a very happy 
one, and I was compelled to remain there till Count Montijo, by 
repeated applications, obtained a royal order from his Majesty which 
was to be circulated in all the division of the army, by which my 
innocence was proclaimed. A few days after, the inspector of ca- 
valry announced to me officially that his Majesty had, by special 
decree, been pleased to promote me to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, 
the brevet of which would be delivered to me on joining my regi- 
ment. 



CHAPTER III. 

The author obtains leave of absence— He engages in the views of the 
Repairs to Murcia — Power of the priests in that city — Vanity of the nobles- 
Family Pedigrees— Buildings of the Holy Office — Ostolaza— His infamy— Ill-con- 
ducted Institutions — Mulberry-trees of Mnrcio — Ignorance of the priests— Reli- 
gious procession— Elio, eaptain-general of Valencia— Silfcs of Murcia— Romero 
Alpuente— General Torrijos — Garay, the minister — Ronda— Don Antonio Calvo 
—Secret nogotiations — Calvo's treacherous endeavour* to obtain. information dis- 
covered — Medal — Don Ignacio Irri berry — The author's papers are seized— Fidelity 
of his servants — The author is arrested— He is carried to the Inquisition. 

The insidious means resorted to by the faction that swayed the 
rnind of the monarch, could not succeed in seducing the enlightened 
and virtuous men who knew the duties they owed to their country, 
neither could their corrupting manoBuvres triumph over every Span- 
iard ; hence, in the midst of the most frightful persecutions and 
disasters, a temple was raised to liberty. My late misfortunes con- 
tributed to make me feel its existence, and with the most sincere 



I 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 3? 

heart did I offer in June 1816 to sacrifice to it my repose and my 
life. Under the pretext of re-establishing my health, which through 
the posf. events had been mueh shaken, I solicited and obtained from 
the government four months' leave of absence, to take the mineral ■ 
waters in the centre of Andalusia. 

After spending some time there, I visited several cities, and did 
all that was in my power to unite the different secret societies thai 
were scattered over the province. Among these, that of Cadiz 
was remarkable for the respectable persons who composed it. At 
the expiration of the term granted me, I passed, in my way to 
Murcia, which was the place of cantonment just assigned to my 
regiment, through Granada, at that time the great nucleus of our 
rising association. My friends here, satisfied with my labours, au- 
thorized me to continue them in the district of my new residence, 
and I rejoined my regiment a few days after. 

Murcia is assuredly one of tl*e towns, in the interior of Spain, 
most backward in point of civilization. It can no more be placed 
on a parallel with Barcelona, Malaga, Cadiz, or Bilboa, than 
Morocco with St. Petersburgh. 1 shall here present the readier with 
a slight sketch of the state in which 1 found that city on my arrival 
there. 

Situated in the midst of a rich and fertile country, and enjoying 
one of the finest climates, Murcia is one of the towns where the 
clerical power rises in all its pride, and shares the blessings of the 
land with a badly educated nobility, whose ignorance can be equalled 
only by their vanity. 

A few days after my arrival at that city, I was invited to a ball 
given by the latter to celebrate Easter Sunday. The etiquette that 
preceded the invitations, the informations taken respecting the rank 
and character of the guests, and the researches made into their 
pedigrees, as well as the arms that adorned the front of the house 
destined for the festival, all seemed to promise the greatest magni- 
ficence. The whole orchestra, however, consisted of two blind 
fiddlers, whom I had the same day met playing in the streets ; and 
the refreshments were in perfect unison with the music ; a few 
pitchers of water, served by two servants clothed in old liveries, 
being all that the munificence of the Murcian nobility could afford. 
In contemplating this scene, I could not but repeat to myself the 
old Spanish proverb, which says, vanidad y pobreza, todo en una 
pieza. 

The edifice of the Inquisition had so much suffered during the 
war of independence that it lay almost in ruins ; Jiut such was the 
influence of the monks there, that they had succeeded in laying the 
foundations of a new one, larger and more sumptuous than the 
former, in spite of the public misery, and of the nakedness of the 
badly-jtaid military, who, in bringing to mind their late toils and 
triumphs, looked on the erection of a monument of barbarity and 
oppression with the most marked indignation. 



38 TSARfcATIVE OF 

A dignitary of the cathedral of Murcia, by name Ostolaza, for- 
merly confessor of the King and the royal family, well known in 
Spain for the immorality of his public and private conduct, had, 
tinder the pretext of taking under his protection the charitable in- 
stitution of the orphan girls, transformed it into a harem, Where he 
abandoned himself to all kinds of excesses. The details of the 
horrible conduct of that wretch are too disgusting to hold a place 
in these pages. 

Another benevolent institution, the seminary for boys, supported 
from its foundation by the treasures of the chapter, was in such a 
neglected state, that it might be considered rather as the school of 
ignorance and folly than as a place of public instruction. This 
neglect in the clergy, however, did not extend to their own interests ; 
for no sodner were the millions of mulberry- trees which adorn the 
numberless gardens of that beautiful part of the country known by 
the name of Huerta de Murcia, in full bloom, than they laid their 
great white cross on the most promising for the payment of the 
tithe. Ever ready to impose upon the credulity of the unfortunate 
husbandman, ,and keep him subject to its influence, the church of 
Murcia preserved, in the teeth of the knowledge of our age, the 
absurd custom of making an annual solemn procession with the 
object of bringing down rain from the clouds, which, at all seasons, 
is so scarce and necessary in that country. The miraculous image 
of this procession was brought from a hermitage to the cathedral, 
where it was left for a certain time ; but the members who com-' 
posed the chapter having evinced some longings to get it into their 
possession, the monks to whom the image belonged, suspecting 
their intention, would never deliver it into their hands without first 
obtaining a legal document, and a guarantee to prevent any attempt 
of the kind. Some clauses of the document were so truly absurd 
that, had it not been known to be the work of the priests themselves, 
any one might have taken it for that of some wag who wished to 
throw ridicule on their proceedings. 

On the other hand, the subaltern priests, in order to second those 
impositions, took great care to keep alive the ancient custom of 
making a rosary, or a procession known by the name of Ike Dawn, 
which was celebrated every Sunday, soon after midnight. As this 
was not the most convenient hour for the parish priests to preside 
over it, the procession consisted only of a crowd of vagabonds, 
who ran about the streets howling in the most frightful manner, and 
getting drunk at every public-house they met in their way, the money 
spent in those riot^being often at the expense of our lady of the 
Dawn ; for notwithstanding the vigilance of the parish clerks, that 
troop of raggamuffins, favoured with the obscurky of night, robbed 
the cases that contained the offerings made to the Virgin. 

General Elio was at that time the captain-general of the two 
provinces of Valencia and Murcia, and all the governors under hfe 



DON 4UAN VAN HALEN. 99 ' 

command were his creatures. The tyrannical conduct of that man 
is too notorious to render it necessary for me to say any thing re- 
specting him. The forces of the province of Malaga consisted of 
the regiment of infantry Lorena, commanded by the brigade-general 
Torrijos, three battalions of which composed the garrisons of 
Alicante, Carthagena, and Murcia ; and there was another detach- 
ment of troops at Origuela, besides the small number of cavalry 
that formed the skeleton of my regiment, who, as I have already 
observed, were at Murcia. Out. former colonel, Hore, had quitted 
the regiment, disgusted at the state in which it was kept ; and we 
had for chief a military of the old rlgime, as eccentric as he was 
ignorant, and whose presence invariably excited the laughter of the 
soldiers. 

Such .was, at the time of my arrival, the state of a province which 
under a wise and protecting government might, by the abundance 
and quality of its silks, have been rendered one of the richest in 
Europe. 

Amidst so many impediments as Murcia presented, the society we 
were able to form consisted only of the venerable magistrate and 
illustrious patriot, Romero Alpuente, the brigade-general Torrijos, 
and a few officers of his regiment and of my own. Our union, 
however, became the closer as our circle was the more contracted. 
"With the view to second the intended rising of Catalonia, at the 
head of which was General Lacy, I made some journeys to Alicante 
anjd Carthagena to establish there some new societies ; but when 
the forces of our province were ready to act in unison with those of 
Catalonia, the melancholy news of the imprisonment of General 
Lacy reached us. 

The army, who well knew the virtues of that distinguished general, 
far from being intimidated at these reverses, increased their efforts; 
and in 1817 the secret- authority of Granada was transferred to 
Madrid, precisely, at the time when the system of the celebrated 
minister Garay seemed to need a powerful support, to obtain by 
what the advocates of legitimacy call the legitimate means, (that is 
to say, by the King's own intimate persuasion,) that which the cry 
of the people caused him at last to grant. 

Shortly after General Lacy's assassination, the brigade general 
Torrijos received an anonymous letter* dated from Gibraltar, the 
handwriting of which, however, was known to him, and in which 
the writer requested to be informed what part Torrijos would take, 
in the event of some well-intentioned men declaring themselves for 
the good cause ; adding, that his friends expected, from the frank- 
ness of his character, a sincere answer to the above question ; but 
that whatever might be his final resolution, they fully relied on his 
discretion. The letter concluded by appointing a place of meeting. 

At the time of receiving this letter, Torrijos was residing at Car- 
thagena, from which place, owing to the duties of his station, it wa* 



40 



NARKATIVE OF 



i:* 



PS'' 
v 



if\ 



ft-' 



#■*■ 



impossible for him to absent himself in order to attend the appointed 
interview ; consequently he intrusted this afiair to me, desiring that 
I would visit the place of meeting. This was near Gibraltar, and as 
the greatest secrecy was necessary to avoid compromising any one, 
1 left Muroia, after obtaining from the colonel leave of absence for 
fifteen days, without taking with me a servant or a witness of any 
kind, except a Danish dog who followed me every where. 

On my way to the place of conference, I stopped at the village of 
Yelez Rubio to take some repose, and refresh my horse. I had re- 
ceived from one of my friends at Murcia letters of recommendation 
for two gentlemen who resided in fins place : the one was Don 
Antonio Calvo, chief of the customs ; and the other, Don Francisco 
Benavente, mayor of that district, and a rich proprietor of that coun- 
try, at whose house I alighted. As I had been given to understand 
that I might freely express my sentiments in their company, and as 
I seldom lost an opportunity of increasing the number of our 
friends, I did not hesitate in touching upon the wretched situation of 
the nation, and holding out a hope, founded upon good grounds, 
that our evils weuld soon be at an end. Finding that they entered 
into my feelings, I partly initiated them into the secret, concealing, 
however, in conformity to our regulations, the formal existence of 
any society. 

At dawn of the following day I parted from them, and passing 
through Granada, where £ stopped but a few hours, I reached on 
the fourth day Ronda, the place where the conference was to be 
held. Having presented myself at the appointed spot, I waited in 
vain for the mysterious individual, so that £ was obliged to retrace 
my steps back to Malaga without seeing him. Here £ found that 
my absence had caused some disagreement among my friends, which 
might have led to serious results, had T not succeeded in quelling 
them. A good understanding being thus established, the frequent 
meetings we were obliged to hold induced me to take a house near 
the barracks of my regiment, which being detached was well suited 
for our meetings, and in which I resided, the better to conceal our 
object. The officers of the regiment assembled there every day to 
hold their usual academical conferences on military tactics ; thus by 
making it appear that it was destined only for objects of duty, I de- 
stroyed any suspicions that might rise in the minds of my neighbours 
of any clandestine meetings, and accustomed them to see it well 
frequented. 
; £n the summer of that year, 1817, I received a visit from Don 
Antonio Calvo, who informed me of the misfortune which he had 
just experienced, of losing the employment he held from the govern- 
ment in consequence of a reform in the plan of customs, made by 
the minister Garay, by which he and his family were left without re- 
sources of any kind, and in the greatest distress. £ was moved by 
the account he gave me, and as my house was sufficiently large to 



*■ 






DON JUAN VAN HAL EN. 

/ 



41 



accommodate him during iyis stay at Murcia, I offered him an apart- 
ment, and my table, which he accepted, from this moment I lost 
bo opportunity of being useful to him, and rendering his situation as 
agreeable as was in my power. His object, however, being to pro- 
ceed to Madrid, by way of Granada, where his family was then 
residing, he requested me to give him letters of recommendation 
for my friends of the capital, that they might assist him in obtaining 
an employment fronj the ministry* and the means to transport him- 
self there. 

During the fifteen days he remained with me, he saw at my house 
only two individuals ; an honest jeweller called Raphael Esbri, by 
whom he had been introduced to me, and another countryman of 
his, an- unfortunate young man, by name Don Serafin del Rio, of 
* respectable parents, who, having a large family, had no means of 
supporting it ; and whose melancholy situation I could not alleviate 
in any other way than by offering him my table. With respect to 
our nocturnal meetings, he saw nothingtof them, as it so happened 
that a few days before his arrival we had suspended them for a time ; 
neither did he know of their existence, as I had been careful never 
to disclose it to him. 

A short time previous to his departure, I received a letter from 
Valencia, warning me of an approaching danger, though the nature 
of it was not explained. To avoid a surprise, however, I collected 
all those articles and papers which might criminate me ; but not 
thinking it prudent to trust the latter to any friend of mine residing 
at Murcia, I put them into a case, which I carefully nailed and deli- 
vered to Calvo, that he might place it in the hands of our common 
friend the mayor of Velez Rubio, requesting him to conceal it in 
some secure place. As for the rest, being articles of some bulk, I 
deposited them where they were never discovered. 

Calvo now took his departure, carrying two letters of recommen- 
dation from me ; one for a captain of the militia called Rocdque, 
and the other for a clergyman, a professor of the college of Santiago, 
who Were then residing at Granada, and who had it in their power to 
serve him. His warm expressions of gratitude, on taking leave of 
me, confirmed me in the belief that my benefits had not been be- 
stowed on a worthless man. We shall presently see how correct I 
was in my good opinion of him. 

A few days after bis departure, I received a letter from him dated 
from Granada, the contents of which were sufficiently alarming, 
saying among other things, " that having remarked a change in the 
conduct of Benavente, the mayor of Velez Rubio, who refused to 
take charge of my papers, and wishing to show his gratitude by 
something more than empty words, he had concealed them in a 
place where they would be perfectly secure ;" adding, u that he 
had visited the gentlemen for whom he had carried letters ; but 
that their offers of service being too vague to give him any hopes of 

F 



42 NARRATIVE OF 

efficient aid, he had resolved to proceed to Madrid, where I might 
forward my letters of recommendation for him." 

Two or three nights after my receiving this letter, being alone in 
my apartment, I heard my man-servant disputing in the kitchen with 
the cook. The former was an honest Asturian of about thirty, 
faithful, like all his countrymen ; and the latter was, in my opinion, 
too old to excite in him feelings of jealousy that might have given 
rise to their present wrangling. . Curious, therefore,* to know the 
motive of their disagreement, I listened attentively, and more than 
once caught the name of Calvo. On a nearer approach, I heard 
my man-servant say : — " You have failed in your duty towards our 
master : had he known it, or had I seen the scoundrel there, he 
should have rued his villany." f 

' The cook retorted that " her age and knowledge of the world 
was more than enough to enable her to get rid of such a man." 

I had now heard enough to wish to know the whole, consequently 
I called the servant, and doeired him to inform me of every thing, 
when I learned that while Calvo was residing at my house, profiting 
of an evening he remained at home alone with the cook, he had, 
under the pretext of making love to her, endeavoured to discover 
all that had passed in my house since she had first entered my ser- 
vice ; but finding that he could learn nothing from her, he had ended 
by entreating her not to disclose to me any thing of what had hap- 
pened between him and her. When I reproached her with having 
failed in her duty towards me by concealing those circumstances, 
she farther owned that, whenever I was absent from home, Calvo 
went all over the house, looking into every corner of it, and once 
she had found him reading and rummaging my papers ; but that, 
seeing the kindness with which I treated him, she would not inform 
me of it, lest J should not have given credit to her words. 

From all appearances, Calvo had visited a place in the house 
where I had concealed an engraved medal, bearing the allegorical 
figures and names of our association, which it was the intention of 
ray friends to {Mace secretly between the foundation stones of the 
Inquisition then erecting at Murcia, and which was to serve as a 
memorial to posterity that there existed another institution at the 
time when this horrible monument was raised, which strove for ' 
other objects than the extinction of knowledge and civilization. 

My alarm at hearing those facts may be easily conceived ; but 
Don Raphael Esbri who had introduced 'Calvo to me, and to whom 
I communicated them, endeavoured to quiet my apprehensions by 
attributing that conduct to mere curiosity. 

Calvo, on his arrival at Madrid, immediately informed me of it, 
again requesting letters of recommendation to all my friends, a 
favour which I had now a double motive for not granting ; but what 
principally astonished me was the rapidity of his journey, as by the 
dates of his letters he must have travelled post. This circumstance 



don juaw van julek. 43 

was sufficiently suspicions in itself) the contributions which we 
raised to relieve him in his distress being not so great as to permit 
this mode of travelling. 

The 21st of September was the day appointed for my new mis** 
fortunes. Orders had been issued by the government to General 
Elio to have me arrested with the most severe precautions ; a dun- 
geon in the Inquisition was preparing to receive me ; and Don 
Ignacio Irriberry, governor of Orijuela, was the person to whom the 
execution of those orders was intrusted. Having no confidence 
in the troops belonging to the regiment of Torrijos, he took a de- 
tachment of another corps, and, entering Murcia clandestinely v 
concerted with the inquisitors the necessary measures for my arrest* 

I was in th^ habit of returning home early in the evening ; but it 
happened by chance that, on the night appointed for my arrest, I 
had gone out at about eleven o'clock on some youthful frolic. An 
hour after my leaving home, the house was surrounded by soldiers, 
and two men enveloped in their cloaks advanced towards the door. 
Hy servant, who heard the loud and repeated knocks, appeared at 
the window, and was ordered by them to open the door. On his 
refusing to do so, they gave their names, one being the Governor 
Irriberry, and the other the senior inquisitor. The servant repre- 
sented to them that, whatever might be their office or authority, 
they raised unfavourable suspicions by coming at that hour, and 
that, if they did not withdraw, he would compel them, at the same 
time showing his carabine at the window. At this sight the senior 
inquisitor, fearing the consequences, abandoned the field to Irri- 
berry, who, more bold, caused some soldiers to advance, and force 
the door open, when he entered with his soldiers, to whom he gave 
orders to secure the servant and search the house. Whilst they 
were executing these orders, they discovered the cook in the act of 
leaping from a window, endeavouring to make her escape with the 
intention of seeking me, and warning me of the danger,. 

Meantime Irriberry directed his steps towards the place where 
I was in the habit of concealing my papers, as if he himself had 
been a witness to my most secret actions. Here he found a small 
leather box, in which I had secreted some of the papers that I did 
hot think proper to include among those I had delivered to Calvo ; 
after which he began to examine my drawers and trunks, putting 
aside whatever was not essential to his first searches ; but those once 
open, my uniforms and every other article of dress became the prey 
of the soldiery. 

At this time the voice of some one being heard in the street, Irri- 
berry, thinking it was I, ordered the soldiers to secure the person, 
whom they discovered to be a young officer who was returning 
home singing. Finding that he belonged to my regiment, the go* 
vernor ordered him to be confined in my chamber, to prevent my 
being informed of what was passing. 



44 NARRATIVE (|F 

Impatient of my absence, which he suspected was premeditated, 
Irriberry incessantly questioned the servants, from whom he could 
learn nothing ; the former answering with the same firmness he had 
always shown, but, without failing in his subordination to Irriberry, 
that it was very rarely I went out at night, and that he did not know 
the place where I might be found, since I was not in the habit of 
making confidantes of my domestics. 

Meantime an unexpected accident happened in the garden where 
I had gone to, which would have saved me from all my subsequent 
misfortunes, had I but known what was passing at home, and been 
able to reconcile it with other feelings. The door through which I 
had entered the garden being shut after me, and the key mislaid by 
one of the servants of the house, I could not leave it otherwise than 
by climbing the high walls which surrounded it. In this conjuncture 
a place of concealment was offered me, where I might have safely 
remained till the following evening ; but the fear of compromising 
v the honour of a family I so much esteemed, and that of failing to 
attend the daily academical meetings that were held at my house, 
which could not but draw upon me the attention of the officers, 
obliged me to decline it. 

It was about four o'clock in the morning when I reached my 
house, in which the greatest silence apparently reigned. Irriberry, 
who had just returned from a little excursion of wliich we shall 
speak hereafter, had learned enough to be convinced that my ab- 
sence was wholly accidental, and .that I should return at day-break. 
On my entering the house, I found both doors in the same state in 
which I had left them, and no sooner did I knock at the interior 
one, than my servant, compelled to show himself at the small win- 
dow just above it, put the usual question and opened it. Scarcely 
had I mounted a few steps, before I found myself surrounded by 
soldiers whose naked bayonets were pointed at my breast, a suffi- 
ciently ridiculous assault against an unarmed man, whose whole 
equipment consisted of a foraging cap, and a cloak which concealed 
the light dress I had assumed for that night. Whilst I east my eyes 
around with surprise at this multitude of soldiers, who seemed to 
have sprung up from the ground, Irriberry suddenly presented him- 
self on the stairs, saying in a haughty tone, and as if he had obtained 
a great triumph, " I arrest you in the name of the King, 1 ' adding 
several offensive epithets, and desiring me to follow him. He con- 
ducted me through several rooms, which offered evident signs. of the 
pillage that had taken place, to my chamber, where I met the ar- 
rested officer, whose name was Cardon, who put unobservedly into 
my hand the watch which I had left hanging at the bed-head, and 
which he had- saved from the rapacity of the soldiery. 

The rude conduct of Irriberry was the more surprising to me, 
as this general had served in the brigade of royal carabineers, whose 
officers were at all times distinguished for their circumspection and 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 45 

politeness* Sure of his prey, he filled the bouse with his vocifera- 
tions, expecting to find in it considerable sums of money, destined 
for the great conspiracy which he boasted to have stifled. Having, 
at his first arrival, seized all my papers and arms, and tolerated 
a pillage by which I was deprived even of my uniforms, he obsti- 
nately demanded my signature to the bundle of papers which his 
assessor had filed for him. I very naturally refused to comply with 
this absurd request, as it was impossible I could acknowledge as my 
own the confused mass of papers which he presented to me, and 
which he had rummaged and read in my absence. 

It was now that I learned for the first time the fatal destiny that 
awaited me. The day was dawning, and Irriberry ordered in my 
presence the bishop's carriage to- be fetched, that I might be con- 
veyed to the Inquisition. I requested to be allowed to gd on foot, 
to which he replied that the prisoners of the Inquisition were never 
accompanied there by an armed force ; adding ironically, " they 
have always the honour to be taken there in a convenient carriage." 
This being now ready, I entered it accompanied by Irriberry, his as- 
sessor, and ins aide-de-camp, who gave orders to some soldiers to 
follow the carriage on foot at a distance. Thus I lost sight of my 
home, my servants, my young comrades, and even of the hope of 
seeing again the light of day. 



CHAPTER IV. 

Description of the dungeon into which the author is east— First civilities of the inqui- 
sitor—Don Serafin del Rio is also seised by Irriherir—Esbiy, a jeweller, is arrested 
at the fair of Lorca— Castaneda the inquisitor — Conversation of the prisoners— 
The author petitions Ferdinand — Character of Esbry— Character of Romero Al- 
peente — The inquisitor anxious to have him in his custody— Castaneda unlike the 
severer inquisitors. 

It was five o'clock when we arrived before the gates of the In- 
quisition. The prisons of the new tribunal, although in a forward 
state, and carried on with greater activity than, the rest of the build- 
ing, were not yet completed ; consequently I was to be confined in 
the dungeons of the old one. Scarcely had we entered its gates, 
when the inquisitors and their subalterns made their appearance, 
and Irriberry delivered me into their hands, hinting to me that his 
mission was not yet terminated. The senior inquisitor then gave 
his orders to the jailer, who, leading the way down a flight of stairs, 
jjuided me through several subterraneous passages to my dungeon, 
which with four others had unfortunately survived the destruction of 
the principal part of the building. 

These dungeons, constructed in the primitive times of the Inqui- 



46 JfAJULATlYfc OF 

sition, were on a level with the river Segura, that traversed the town J 
so that the humidity, the cloud of gnats that entered through the 
narrow loop-holes with which the dungeon was partially lighted, the 
bench constructed of brick which served for a bed to the unhappy 
inmate, the chains and iron rings that hung from the walls, all con* 
tributed to render this abode the most frightful that ever met human 
sight. On being left alone in this place, my mind naturally recurred 
to the scenes of misery that these walls must have witnessed, and 
to the number of victims that must have s\uik within this grave. 

Doubtless the inquisitors had done every thing in their power to 
render this place as comfortable as possible, since the mattrass that 
was spread on the bench, the sheets and counterpane of the bed, 
with a little table beside a it, offered a singular contrast with the rest 
of the dungeon. 

The scenes of the morning had so much agitated me, that my 
blood rushed to my head, and I became insensible. This was im- 
mediately perceived by the inquisitors, who directed their familiars 
to apply leeches to my temples. 

At one in the afternoon the doors were again opened, and the 
senior inquisitor entered, followed by an attendant bringing a chair. 
On the latter withdrawing, he sat down near my bed, and spoke in 
the following words : " All your papers are in my hands ; we must 
examine them together, that you may sign an inventory. This, 
however, may be done to-morrow, when you will have recovered 
from your indisposition. A little rest, good assistance, and cleanli- 
ness, will contribute towards removing it. The apartments of the 
new building will be soon finished, and you will then quit this place 
to occupy one of the best. I am an advocate for cleanliness, and 
I would not have allowed in my time such places as this to be con- 
structed* They are horrible holes. — I take a bath every day, and 
dine between twelve and one, after which I will come and see that 
you are properly attended. All my subalterns are kind people. 
You must not judge of our prisons by what you see. My own feel- 
ings, my education, my religion, and my experience, every thing 
imposes upon me the duty of acting with humanity towards those 
who are in your unfortunate situation. Besides, you are not alto- 
gether under my dependance ; you are here only temporarily. — This 
morning, as I came along the streets, I met some individuals whose 
countenances betrayed much anxiety, You ought to know Romero 
Alpuente," added he, fixing his eyes steadily on mine. 

" I have seen him,' 9 said I, " but I have had little acquaintance 
with him." He smiled incredulously, called the alcaide, and wished 
me a good afternoon. The doors were then shut, and I remained 
reflecting on the last words of the inquisitor, which gave me room 
to fear that they sought for fresh victims. 

, The inconsiderate conduct of Irriberry had enabled me to discover 
the origin of this persecution, who ray delator was, and who were 
,tfae unfortunate individuals involved in it. 



1 

jr 



DON JCAN VAN IULEN. 47 

Whilst Irriberry's soldiers were committing in my house the dis- 
orders above related, this general, confident that I could not escape 
htm, left the house to the care of his aide-de-camp, and taking with 
him a party of infantry who were stationed on the bridge, proceeded 
with them to the bouse of the unfortunate Serafin del Rio, who lived 
in the suburbs on the other side of the river. As, long before his 
arrival there, Serafin and his whole family had retired to bed, it was 
only after repeated knocks that Irriberry succeeded in making him- 
self heard. Madame del Rio, far from suspecting the new misfor- 
tune that awaited her, was the first to leap from her bed, and answer 
the new disturbers of their sleep. On discovering who they were, 
she hastened to impart it to her husband, who went to the window 
to speak to Irriberry. Irritated by this delay, the latter perempto- 
rily ordered Serafin to open the door, threatening to burst it open if 
he refused to comply. Serafin, without showing any alarm, de- 
scended, followed by his afflicted wife and by some of his children, 
before whom he heard, with perfect resignation, the order for his 
arrest. Irriberry, though himself a father, saw without emotion, 
and even hastened, the tender separation of this unfortunate couple ; 
whilst Serafin, pressing with one arm his wife to his bosom, held 
out the other to his children who bathed it with their tears, recom- 
mending them to bear this misfortune with religious firmness, and 
put their trust in providence, which would not abandon them in their 
desolate situation. Knowing, as I do at present, the intensity of 
paternal feelings, I feel my heart beat at the remembrance of this 
afflicting scene. 

Serafin's houser underwent the same scrutiny as mine ; but Irri- 
berry found in it nothing that he sought. 

The jeweller Esbry, the friend of Calvo, was also to share our 
imprisonment ; but he was then absent from town, having gone to t 
the, fair of Lorca, which is within a few leagues of Murcia. No 
sooner had Irriberry seen me safely lodged than he set off for that 
place to arrest Esbry, who, much to his surprise, saw himself seized 
in the midst of a crowd of merchants who had gone to the fair, and 
who were not a tittle alarmed at these proceedings. On the follow- 
ing day, Esbijr was already immured in one of the dungeons of the 
Inquisition ; but so great was the privacy of these abodes, that, not- 
withstanding my watchfulness, the profound silence that reigned in 
them, and the accustomed clamour that preceded Irriberry's steps, 
who accompanied him to his prison, I did not notice, his arrival. 

At ten o'clock this general, who seemed to delight in visiting these 
places, entered my dungeon, accompanied by the jailer, and rudely 
bade me follow him, adding, " You will now do what you refused to 
do last night.'* 

" What ?" exclaimed I, " the inventory ?" 

" Ay, the inventory, the^inventory of your —" the expressions he 
added were so offensive, that 1 was at last under the necessity of 



■-'I 111 



:1B 



NARRATIVE OF 



reminding him that he was speaking to a gentleman and a soldier, 
who had a right to be treated with civility ; and that though at that 
moment I was not in a situation to exact a suitable satisfaction, he 
should give me an ample one on my liberation. From this moment 
lie restrained his ungentlemanly behaviour, and became more guarded 
in his expressions ; whilst at the same time he stepped back to allow 
me a passage through those subterraneous windings, and hating as- 
cended the stairs, we arrived at the great hall. Here we found* 
seated round a large table, the senior inquisitor, the commandant-at* 
arms of the city, his secretary, and Irriberry's assessor. The gene- 
ral took his seat among the rest, and desired me to sit beside him ; 
after which they commenced an examination of my papers, which 
were the same I had concealed in my house, and which had been 
seized on the night of my arrest. Irriberry put my commissions 
aside after I had acknowledged them as mine, saying that he was 
charged to send them to the minister of war, as well as the rest of 
the documents relative to the service. Whilst the gentlemen present 
were engaged in looking over some papers and parchments, the alle- 
gorical signs of which appeared to them singular, I profited by this, 
opportunity to thrust into my sleeve a letter which was certainly one 
of the most important of the whole collection, and which, as the 
examination of all the papers had not yet taken place, no one missed. 
Thus was I enabled to save from certain ruin several persons among 
whom was one of high rank, who far from being suspected by go- 
vernment, received some months after particular marks of favour 
from the King. 

More than two hours were spent in the examination of my papers. 
Irriberry then made a formal delivery of them to the senior inquisitor, 
requesting him to draw up the inventory, and have it signed by me. 
As it would have been useless and even prejudicial to me, to refuse 
complying with this formality, I put my signature to the inventory. 

I was on the point of being sent back to my dungeon, when a 
familiar entered the hall, and informed the Inquisitor that an officer 
of my regiment was in the antechamber, and demanded to see me, 
that I might sign some papers relative to the administration of the 
regiment, which I did in presence of them all. The officer, on 
withdrawing, shook me by the hand, and offered me in the name of 
his comrades any pecuniary assistance of which I might stand in 
need. I was on the point of expressing to him my thanks, when, 
the senior inquisitor undertook to answer for me, saying to the offices 
in a haughty tone, " that those who were in the Inquisition never 
stood in want of any thing." The officer withdrew, and I was re- 
conducted to my dungeon, where I had long wished to be in order 
to destroy the paper I had secreted, and which I was obliged to 
swallow as the safest means I could devise. 

Soon after one o'clock, the senior Inquisitor entered as on the 
preceding day. " General Irriberry," said he, /"is a man of some- 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 49 

what hot temper. I have learned that you have had some words 
with him, and perhaps you do not know the extent of the mischief 
to which that might lead. I know you tolerably well by the various 
informations T have had respecting you, as well as by your intimacy 
with my brother.* You have done right in signing the inventory of 
your papers : any refusal on your part would have been highly pre- 
judicial to you, the" more so as every thing is now discovered. There 
is only one individual residing at Granada who has hitherto suc- 
ceeded in eluding the vigilance of government, but who cannot 
much longer escape their strict searches." 

I easily perceived that he spoke in this manner only to alarm me 
by endeavouring to make me believe that all was lost ; but he only 
confirmed me in the opinion that Caiyo was the author of my pre- 
sent misfortunes. From what I could collect, Castaiieda had not 
yet received any orders from the supreme council of the Inquisition 
respecting me, so that he considered me only as a prisoner under 
his care, but dependent upon the immediate authorityof Irriberry, 
from whom he had received a confused account, in consequence of 
which he did not attach much importance to my arrest. He there- 
fore contented himself with only observing the ordinary formalities 
required with those who were under the safeguard of the Holy 
Office. On the other hand, as he had no personal resentment 
against me, and had probably been predisposed in my favour by his 
brother ; and as he was in the flower of his age, and did not seem 
to consider severity a duty paramount to those claimed by humanity 
I did not recognise in him a fellow-labourer of the monster Torque- 
mada, who, as the historian Llorente says, was born to render Chris- 
tianity execrated. 

Among the various things that Castaiieda asked me, was, if I 
desired that the chains hanging on the walls should be removed. I 
replied that what principally troubled me were the gnats, of which 
he might see swarms covering the black walls of the dungeon ; but 
that, as for the irons, I never imagined they were intended for me ; 
and that, above all, the want of exercise was the cause of the violent 
headaches fo which I was subject. He then promised to arrange 
matters so that I should be allowed to walk in the passages for art 
hour in the afternoon, a promise which he faithfully performed. 

As he had not even alluded to any persons of Murcia when he 
mentioned the individual of Granada, I was very anxious to ascertain 
if I had any companions of misfortune in the neighbouring dun- 
geons, and I waited with impatience for the moment of my promised 
walk. At last the hour having arrived, the jailer, who was a young 
priest, a novice in his office, and who had little knowledge of the 
world, came and opened the doors of my prison, saying to me on 

* This gentleman was an officer in the army, then residing in Mtarcia with leave of 
absence, and with whom I was on very good terms* His family name was Castaaeda, 
andVbe was a relation of the celebrated Ceballos. 

G 



50 



NARRATIVE OF 



withdrawing : " You can walk in this passage till my return ; but 
mind not to make any noise." Having shut the doors which com- 
municated with the interior, I began to examine the passage, con- 
vinced, from what he had said, that there were others under his safe- 
guard. This place was four feet wide by fifty long, having loop- 
holes near the ceiling that looked into a ditch close by the river, and 
admitted just light enough to see one's way. On one side there 
was a small staircase leading to the door which the jailer had just 
shut ; and on the other were the entrances to the five dungeons 
that were in the passage, all the doors of which were shut, except 
mine. 

Having ascertained that I was not watched, I began singing in a 

tone which might be audible in' the other prisons, when very soon 

after I heard some one calling me by my name. It was Serafin del 

Rio, who, overjoyed at hearing my voice, desired me to attend to 

what he had to say. It related to the manner of his arrest by Irri- 

berry, from wjiom he had collected enough to presume that myself 

and Esbry were his only companions of misft/rtune, and that he, as 

well as myself, could guess from whence the blow came. Having 

heard his account, I began to inform him of the occurrences which 

had taken place since our last meeting ; but my narrative was cut 

{ short by the noise of bolts at the top of the stairs, proceeding from 

' the jailer, who made no remark on my singing, which fortunately had 

not been heard by him, so deep was the passage in which we were 

yjuried. 

f. At eight o'clock in the evening, he brought my chocolate as 
isual ; but such were the clouds of gnats which the light of his 
lamp attracted, that I dispensed with it, that he and his light might 
disappear the sooner. I was • so greatly annoyed during the night 
by those insects, that I could not close my eyes ; I therefore spent the 
time in recapitulating the various events that had occurred. If, as ap- 
peared beyond all doubt, the treacherous Calvo was my betrayer, I 
might be certain that all the papers without exception, which I had 
delivered to him in the box, were now in the hands of government. 
This circumstance rendered my situation extremely critical, since 
that box contained all the correspondence addressed to me from 
persons, many of whom were of high rank and of great importance 
to our society, but whose signatures I had fortunately taken the 
precaution to erase, as also the names of well known persons alluded 
to in them. Besides those letters, there were other papers in my 
own handwriting, that proved me to be the author of a plan which 
I had presented to the society of Granada, and the object of which 
was to spread new ramifications throughout the peninsula. 

I considered my situation in Murcia (where I was almost insolated, 
at the mercy of the creatures of Elio, and far from the source of 
events) as extremely embarrassing. It was therefore necessary, in 
order to avert the blow which threatened me if my trial took place 
in tljat province, to cause it to be instituted .in the capital. I 



— <.T— "-?< 



BON JVAN VAN HALE IN 



51 



thought this plan the more feasible, as I was pretty certain that* 
Irriberry would not have failed to inform the government of the 
prompt and secret manner in which he had conducted my arfest, and 
which rendered it almost impossible for me to suspect by what acci- 
dent I had been discovered. I was still engaged in these reflec- 
tions, when the senior inquisitor came to pay me his usual visit. 

On being left by ourselves, I asked him without hesitation what 
had become of Irriberry, to which he candidly answered, that he had 
gone post to Valencia to consult General Elio. 1 again inquired if 
he knew when my trial would commence, and he replied that he did 
not, as it was not within the cognizance of the holy tribunal ; adding 
earnestly, a The incomprehensible tenor of your papers renders your 
situation extremely critical." This was precisely the answer I wish- 
ed for, to bring about the plan I had just conceived, and 1 told him, 
in a confidential manner, that the esteem he had inspired me with 
did not permit my concealing from him that, could I but obtain an 
audience of the King, all the enigmas of which he complained 
would be soon explained. " How ?" he exclaimed, " do you say 
so ? Then lose not an instant. I have at my disposal the means to 
forward your petition. Write to his Majesty, and I will send a 
courier immediately to inform General Irriberry of your resolution." 

He then called the keeper, and ordered him to bring the materials 
for writing, at the same time whispering something into his ear. 
Not many minutes elapsed before the jailer returned, and I wrote 
the following petition to the King : — 

" Sire, 

" Lieutenant-Colonel Don Juan Van Halen, confined 
in the dungeons of the Inquisition of this city by your Majesty's 
orders, convinced that this rigorous measure is caused by some 
sinister interpretation, apparently corroborated by the papers that 
have been found in his possession, and desiring to give a satisfactory 
explanation of their contents, humbly entreats your majesty to order 
his removal to Madrid, and to grant bim an audience, a grace 
which he hopes your majesty will not refuse him, May God pre- 
serve your Majesty's life, &c. In the dungeon of this tribunal, 

September 24th, 1817." 

Whilst I was writing these lines, Castaneda observed me very 
attentively. He then read them, folded the petition, and causing 
the writing materials to be removed, wished me a good afternoon. 

When the hour for my walk arrived, the jailer came to open the 
door of my dungeon; and on his disappearing, I imparted to Sera- 
fin what I had just resolved upon, as well as the motives which had 
induced me to do it. He approved of my plan, and I left him to 
try if I could converse with our other fellow prisoner. 

Though Esbry was in the dungeon contiguous to mine, unfortu- 
nately he was deaf, and I feared that the inquisitors would hear the 



52 NARRATIVE OF 

loud tones of my voice sooner than himself. Owing to his good 
humour, of which he had an inexhaustible fund, and to a habit be 
bad contracted of speaking aloud when he was alone, 1 discovered 
the place of his confinement. As I listened at the door of his dun- 
geon, I heard him frequently repeat the name of St. Thomas, and 
soon collected enough to know that it was the life of that saint be 
was reading. Far, however, from being edified by its perusal, the 
number of absurdities which the book contained excited his mirth to 
a degree that was highly ludicrous. He made the most droll com- 
ments, and now and then burst into loud laughter. I did all I could 
to be heard by him, but it was useless ; consequently I returned to 
Serafin, and communicated to him my bad success, which I was 
afraid might lead to some unpleasant results; but he was of 
opinion that we had nothing to fear from him, as the firmness of his 
character was proof against all the rigour of the' inquisitors. Besides, 
as he never preserved any papers, no accusation could be established 
against him, and it was very probable that, if he suspected Calvo to 
be the betrayer, he would deny all. 

Esbry was the sole support of a respectable and numerous family. 
A good son, good husband, and good father, he enjoyed, by his up- 
right conduct, the esteem and consideration even of those aristocrats 
who found nothing respectable out of their own circle. I was igno- 
rant of the circumstances attending his arrest, but 1 knew that 
nothing could be found in his house that might be prejudicial to him 
or to us. His name figured in my papers only in an allegorical 
manner, so that it was known but to a few of the initiated. He had, 
however, the misfortune of being acquainted with the author of our 
calamities, and might, perhaps, be accused of having engraved the 
medal, which it was our intention to place between the foundation- 
stones of the Inquisition. As it was important he should know that 
we had been betrayed by Calvo, f again made an effort to call his 
attention, but it was all in vain ; and i re-entered my dungeon with 
this new care on my mind. 

On that night the jailer brought with the chocolate a perfume, 
which, he said, was an antidote* against the gnats ; but the smoke 
escaping through the loop-hole, it proved ineffectual. Serafin, 
whose dungeon was separated from mine by a double stone wall, 
gave me to understand by his repeated knocks during the night, that 
he was as much tormented by the, gnats as myself; but fearing he 
might be heard above, I warned him of it on the following day. 

The senior inquisitor, Castaneda, paid me his visit at the usual 
hour. u I sent yesterday at three o'clock," said he, " an express to 
his Majesty with your petition, and wrote at the same time to several 
personages of the court, friends of mine. I have also informed 
General Irriberry, whom I suppose to be at Valencia, of your reso- 
lution, and I have no doubt that we shall obtain a favourable result. 
I am really grieved to see you thus suffering, whilst such truly dan- 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 53 

gerous and perverted men as Romero Alpuente should be freely 
walking about, and mocking the vigilance of the laws. Is it not so ? 
Be frank with me : give me this proof of your confidence." 

44 Sir," I answered, u I assure you I never heard him speak but of 
the love adventures of his youth. I have spent at his house some 
pleasant hours listening to the droll account he gave of his Dul- 
cineas. I always remarked that he avoided speaking of politics, 
adducing strong reasons for not meddling with them. You may be 
sure, Sir, that the historical romance of his incipient^ gallantries was 
the more amusing as one would be tempted to say, in looking at 
him, that he was the original from which Cervantes drew the por- 
trait of the hero of La Mancha." 

" No, no, Mr. Van Halen," retorted Castaneda. " Romero Al- 
puente is the hero of other exploits than those you mention. The 
anxiety be at present evinces is observed by all ; and," added he, 
in a tone foreign to the sentiments of moderation he had hitherto 
shown, u were he to fall into my hands, I would find a good place 
for him in this house, where, trust me, he should pass the rest of his 
days." 

. Castaneda's resentment against Romero Alpuente was well- 
founded ; for there never lived a more decided enemy of religious 
and civil despotism, or one more zealous for its overthrow, than this 
venerable old man, whom I loved as a father from the moment I 
became acquainted with him. From him I had imbibed the purest 
ideas on the subject of liberty and disinterested patriotism ; and as 
I feared that Castaneda's wishes might be fulfilled, I suffered not a 
little in feigning indifference at what he uttered. Fortunately the 
subject of gallantry gave a new turn to the conversation, in the 
course of which Castaneda hinted that a young lady, living at Ma- 
laga, had excited the sympathy of many by the extreme grief she 
had evinced at my misfortune ; adding, that it was whispered by 
those who pretended to be well-informed on the subject, that she 
■had been the cause of the delay experienced by Irriberry on the 
night of my arrest. As I had good reason for feigning ignorance of 
the lady, 1 took the whole as a joke ; and Castaneda continued the 
subject in a manner not altogether consistent with his profession, 
though he can by no means be said to be the only clergyman in 
Spain who ventures on this topic. 

In the evening I enjoyed my ordinary walk, and profited of the 
opportunity to inform Serafin of our conversation; I also struggled, 
though in vain, with Esbry's deafness, *and returned to my dungeon 
at the usual hour. 

On the following day Castaneda came to see me, but remained 
only a short time ; during which he proposed to me the perusal of 
some religious works. I chose the Gospel in Triumph, written by 
the unfortunate Olavide, which I read with pleasure. On with- 
drawing, he said that his occupations would prevent him from seeing 



54 NARRATIVE OF 

me next day, but that on the following he would not fail to come, 
in order to conduct me to a more comfortable and wholesome apart- 
ment, which had not yet been inhabited by any one. 

I have perhaps entered into details which may appear trifling to 
the reader ; but as Castaneda was the first inquisitor I came in con- 
tact with, and as his conduct towards me offers such a striking con- 
trast with that of his colleagues with whom I had afterwards the 
misfortune to deal, I thought it right, iirjustice to him, to mention 
those particulars. 



CHAPTER V. 

Removal to the new prison of the Holy Office— Description— The author is sent for to 
Madrid — Letters from his cousin — Civilities of Castaneda — Conversation with the 
jailer— Ceremony of exorcism- The author'sdevotions in the hall of the Inquisition 
—His departure from Mmrcia— pe travels to Madrid under a strong escort— Affection 
evinced towards him by the dragoons of his regiment— Anecdote of Serafin del Rio 
-Inn at Corral de Almaguez — Papers of the author laid before the King— Plain of 
Ocana— Arrival at Aranjues— Epaia, minister of war— History of an aide-de-camp 
—Arrival at Madrid — Description— Reception by the senior inqaiskor— Parting 
with Irriberry— Dungeon. 

On the first opportunity, that offered, I informed Serafin of the 
change of residence that was in contemplation ; but he already 
knew it, and wished it more ardently than myself, as he had been 
indulged in walking about the passage only during the short time 
required to clean what he humorously called his sewer. Fearing, 
however, that this change would be for the worse with respect to 
our daily communications, we concerted the plan we should adopt 
in case we were not near enough to converse together, or at least 
to know of "our common existence. I then proceeded towards the 
door of Esbry's dungeon with the intention of making a last effort 
to conquer his deafness, but all to no purpose. I perceived that he 
was not so gay as usual : he coughed frequently ; and now and 
then apostrophised in no measured terms the gnats, whom he called 
devils of priests transformed into gnats, by whom, he said, he was 
incessantly tormented, as if they were in the pay of the inquisitors. 
His physical defect, which at all times heightened the natural viva- 
city of his character, rendered him extremely impatient of his situ- 
ation ; while on the other hand we suffered equally from it, as we 
could not reasonably hope that, without a previous understanding, 
our answers would agree with his. 

On the following day, September 28th, soon after breakfast, I 
heard some noise in the passage, which I rightly attributed to the 
removal of my companions to their new habitation ; and some time 
after, I had the pleasure of seeing Castaneda arrive, accompanied 



DON JUAN VAN HALES. 



55 



by the jailer, to effect mine. We met with nothing worth notice on 
our way, except tha,t, as we removed farther from these subterra- 
neous passages, the air became purer, and I breathed more freely. 
On arriving at my new prison, which was on the second floor of the 
building, and which certainly could not be called a dungeon, Cas- 
taneda said to me, with an air of satisfaction, " You, Mr. Van Halen, 
are the first who ever inhabited this apartment. You see that we 
know how to unite, in its construction, security with salubrity and 
comfort. To-morrow the place you have just left will disappear, 
and with it all the disgusting objects you have seen." He then 
withdrew, followed by the jailer, who locked the double doors of 
my new prison. . - 

Situated as I have above hinted in the principal part of that exten- 
sive edifice, it was the first room on that floor, as appeared from the 
large No. I. painted on the outer door. Its size was five times larger 
than the one I had just left, and formed a perfect square of four-and- 
twenty feet : the floor was brick, and the ceiling, which was eighteen 
feet high, had at the top two large windows, cross-barred and look- 
ing into a gallery. The bed was placed on a large board, fastened 
to the wall by iron hinges, as were also the bench and the table. 
On the wall opposite the bed was a large cross, painted green, repre- 
senting that of the. Inquisition. 

I waited impatiently for the evening, to see whether I should now 
be allowed my accustomed walk ; but the day passed away without 
my experiencing this indulgence. In the afternoon, in the midst of 
the profound silence that reigned there, 1 heard very distinctly Serafin 
begin a hymn, by which he made me understand that he was not far 
off, nor discontented with his new abode ; but fearing that the jailer's 
suspicions might be excited, particularly as the prisoner mixed in his 
devout verses the number of his new prison, I did not think it prudent 
to answer him. At night the jailer left me a light, a novelty at which 
I studiously made no remark ; and I also observed in him (as I had 
indeed observed several times before,) a desire to speak with me ; 
but his shyness seemed insurmountable, and as I was convinced that 
in the Inquisition it was wiser to listen than to speak, I feigned not 
to perceive his embarrassment. This maxim, so difficult to be fol- 
lowed by those who breathe the atmosphere of a dungeon deprived 
of all human communication, was, I believe, of great service tame, 
as I had afterwards many opportunities of remarking. In the coujase 
of that day ! amused myself in tracing with my tooth-pick, on the 
pedestal of the green cross, some verses, bearing an allusion to the 
change of abode which I had experienced for the better. 

On the following day, the senior inquisitor, Castaneda, entered, 
dressed in his inquisitorial robes, and said to me, rubbing bis hands 
with an air of gravity, u I am at present very much occupied. I 
suppose you are pleased with your new apartment, and that there is 
no longer any occasion for your walking out ; I have, however, 



56 NARRATIVE OK 

desired the jailer to allow you now and then to take a turn or two in 
the gallery of the prison." At these words he observed tlje verses 
I had traced on the pedestal of the cross, which he read with a smile, 
and then withdrew, apparently well pleased. On the evening of that 
day I was allowed to go out into the gallery, though accompanied 
by the jailer, who did not leave me an instant. I passed several 
times before Serafin's prison ; but as, under these circumstances, it 
was impossible to say a word to him, I contented myself with con- 
versing as loud as possible with my companion, that he might un- 
derstand 1 was not alone. The walk lasted but a short time, and we 
returned to my prison, where the jailer, after much hesitation said, 
presenting a receipt for me to sign, that might enable him to receive, 
in my name a month's pay from the funds of my regiment, u that the 
senior inquisitor had desired him to keep the whole to meet the ex- 
penses I might occasion ; but that I might rely on his employing the 
money in a manner most agreeable to my wishes." 

I told him that he was welcome to the whole of the money, and 
that 1 only desired to be furnished with candles to burn in my prison 
during the night. He assured me that he would immediately pro- 
cure a sufficient number of wax candles for that purpose, and the 
more gladly as it would give me an opportunity of spending part of 
the night in reading the religious works with which they had fur- 
nished me. 

On the following day, I saw nothing of Castaiieda, neither was I 
allowed to walk in the gallery, so that I found no other means of con- 
versing with Serafin than by singing. In this manner the time 
passed away, without anything new occurring, till the evening of the 
2nd of October, when Castaiieda entered my prison, followed by the 
jailer bringing a chair, which he placed near my table. On the 
latter withdrawing, the inquisitor sat down, and drawing from his 
pocket a letter, said : " Well Sir, I have at last received the answer 
which I expected to your petition. General Irriberry will shortly be 
here, and you will set off to-morrow for Madrid. Meantime I will 
make every preparation necessary for the journey. The secretary 
of the Council of the Supreme* was the person who presented your 
petition to his Majesty. Here is what he writes to me on the 
subject." 

He then read to me some passages of the letter, the contents of 
which corroborated his former assertion, but from which I discovered 
that the said secretary was his brother, with more worldly-minded 
views than himself, as may appear from the following paragraph. 
" The affair which you have taken upon yourself my dear brother, is 
more delicate than you seem avvare of Do not, therefore, neglect 
to use every precaution to obtain from him some important commu- 
nication ; and recollect' that the result of the favour now granted 
him, (meaning me,) if unfortunate, may weigh heavily on yourself. 

* The tribunal at which the inquisitor-general presides is so called. 



»> 






»»N JUAN VAN HALEN. 57 

Oa the following day the jailer presented to me, by order of Cas- 
taneda, the inventory of all the' effects found in my house, none of 
which, he said, had been confiscated.' In putting my signature to 
the document, I added, that 1 placed every thing contained therein at the 
disposal of Don Serafindel Rio for the relief of his family, thus feigning 
ignorance of his arrest. While I was writing this, the jailer, who 
kept his eyes fixed on my paper, was taken by surprise, and uttered 
a few words respecting Serafin's absence from his family, which he 
quickly retracted, withdrawing immediately after, greatly confused. 
I then began singing to inform Serafin of my approaching departure. 

Early in the evening 1 received the unexpected visit of Castaneda, 
Irriberry, and the director of the posts, who came to treat of an affair 
sufficiently ridiculous. Since my arrest, some letters addressed to 
me had arrived at the post-office of Murcia, which they pretended 
they were not authorized to open until 1 had myself received them. 
I could scarcely refrain from smiling at hearing this declaration, as 
it was a .notorious fact that the government' of Spain made it a prac- 
tice to open even the most reserved correspondence of the ambas- 
sadors themselves. It was very evident, therefore, that such forma- 
lity was unnecessary to examine that of an individual, imprisoned, 
according to Irriberry's account, for high treason ; but I soon found 
that the author of this farce was that genera], who, wishing to con- 
ciliate me, had adopted the most extravagant means that could be 
devised. Having desired the jailer to pay the postage of my letters, 
they all withdrew except Irriberry. 

On breaking their seals, 1 immediately recognised the hand- 
writing, and delivered them to the general, who eagerly readihem. 
They were all from home with the exception of one, -which was from 
a cousin of mine, formerly an officer in the navy, and at that time 
holding a public office at Madrid, to whom I was greatly attached, 
and who will hereafter figure in my narrative. As he was still igno- 
rant of my situation, and had similar political notions with myself, he 
used in his letter some expressions which might have committed him 
with government. Irriberry read to me some of the objectionable 
passages it contained, saying earnestly as he returned it me, " bum 
that letter, arid know by this that I am a gentleman, and can prove it 
at a pinch." 

I was so greatly surprised at his conduct, that I scarcely knew 
what to answer, particularly as I entertained doubts of his sincerity. 
I however took the letter without making any remark, though I was 
not sorry to see that he should begin to act like a gentleman. The 
senior inquisitor now returned, followed by the jailer bringing a 
bundle of clothes for my journey. 

After a silence of some minutes, caused doubtless by Castaneda's 
curiosity to know the cdntents of the letters, and Irriberry's disincli- 
nation to gratify it, the inquisitor broke the pause by observing that 
all the preparations for the journey were made, the carriage was 

H ' 



58 NARRATIVE OV 

ready, and a change of horses ordered at several places on the road ; 
then, addressing himself to me, politely said, that he had placed in 
General Irriberry's hands his service of plate (which was really a 
very handsome one) for my use during the journey ; adding, that I 
might give my final orders concerning my servants. I replied, that 
with respect to my man-servant, the colonel of the regiment could 
dispose of him from the moment of my arrest, since he belonged to 
those destined to the service of the officers, and that as to the cook, 
I wished her to be sent to Madrid to my family, if such an arrange- 
ment was agreeable to herself, requesting at the same time that my 
Danish dog might be delivered to me ; but I was informed that he 
had died eight days before. 

Castaneda, accustomed as he was to a quiet and methodical life, 
withdrew to take some repose, that he might be able to be with us 
at the hour of parting ; and Irriberry followed him soon after to make 
the final arrangements for the journey. 

When the jailer came at ten o'clock to serve me a cup of 
chocolate, 1 was dressed, and ready to depart. He had under his 
arm a small parcel containing some wax candles, which he placed 
on the bed ; and sitting down before the table, fixed his eyes on me 
with an expression of interest, saying after considerable hesitation, 
u Pray, Sir, is it true what I have heard respecting you ?" 
What is it you have heard ?" I inquired. 
They say, Sir, that you are a bishop of freemasons ; that you 
teach the heresies and diabolical doctrines of that sect ; that you 
burn the images of our Saviour, and conspire against our holy reli- 
gion and our catholic monarch." 

I had the greatest difficulty in restraining my inclination to laugh 
at hearing such a ridiculous speech ; but not wishing to discourage 
him from continuing his conversation, I replied, that it was impossi- 
ble for me to answer such a string of absurd accusations ; that I 
was sorry to hear him talk in that way ; but that I was not so much 
offended at his repeating such foolish stories, as at his believing 
them. " Sir," he continued, " from the first moment I saw you, I 
have observed your actions and your manners very closely, and in 
truth 1 can say that I have found nothing blameable in them. I 
am also told that your father and mother are most respectable and 
religious people, whose conduct is a model of devotion to the* 
:vhole congregation of the Eucharisty at Madrid, and I am really 
<•- ieved to think that every religious person who knows you should 
- Mnder the necessity of considering you in the light of a heretic, 
. -: .'u-nunx-ated by our holy mother-church." 

•"his discourse appearing to me more important than I at first 
'► *; >iig!it it, I begged him openly to declare upon what foundation 
.•■•■ relieved me to be a heretic. " Sir," said he, "every one in the 
town is persuaded of it. Three days after your arrest, the landlord 
•f the house you inhabited, consulting his confessor, went with his 



u 



- DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 59 

whole family to hear a solemn mass celebrated at his parish. Im* 
mediately after the priest, dressed in his sacerdotal robes, and 
accompanied by the various attendants of the church, went in pro- 
cession, followed by the landlord's family, friends, and other of the 
faithful, to your house, where after the most edifying ceremony he 
exorcised it in order to expel the devil, who, every one believes, 
was in the house ; the whole terminating by having a cross placed 
on the roof, ft is the opinion of most people of Murcia, that, 
without this religious ceremony, the place would not have been 
habitable/' 

To form an exact idea of this singular dialogue, it would be 
necessary to have seen all the grimaces with which this deluded 
man accompanied it. At another time the recital of it would only 
have excited my mirth ; but when I considered the religious charac- 
ter of my father, and the grief such news would occasion him, as 
well as the unhappy lot of the unfortunate family of Serafin del 
•Rio, begging their bread among such a fanatical people, I could 
not help sighing at hearing an account so much calculated to 
increase my own sorrows. 

The jailer, perceiving that I was affected by it, turned the con- 
versation upon money matters, saying, as he. showed me the wax 
candles that remained, that he had brought them to me thinking 
they might be useful on the road. I told him that I destined them 
for a different purpose, requesting he would preserve them to light 
the altar in the great hall of the tribunal, after which I begged he 
would permit me to visit it in order to say my prayers. He was 
greatly astonished at this request, and joyfully acceded to it.* As I 
passed by Serafin's prison, I heard him sing a hymn, in which he 
had been engaged most part of the evening. He intended it as his 
farewell, which, indeed, was the last I ever heard him utter. • On 
.arriving at the hall, I knelt before the altar, at which the jailer 
evinced the utmost surprise. He stood motionless, as if he ac- 
tually could not believe his eyes ; but when I asked him to pray 
with me for the good result of my journey, he shed tears of joy, 
and from that time till the moment of my departure he continued 
in my company. ' 

It was one o'clock when Castaneda and Irriberry appeared. 
They desired mo to follow them, and on entering the gallery I ob- 
served three men enveloped in their cloaks, who escorted us through 
several streets, which we found deserted even by the watchmen, whilst 
the darkness of the night was interrupted only by the light of a 
lantern carried by one of the attendants. I walked between Irri- 
berry and Castaneda, with the three muffled men behind us ; the 
silence of those solitary streets being broken only by the sounds of 
our foot-steps, till having traversed the greatest part of the town, 
we arrived at the gate on the road to Madrid. We proceeded 
about a mile farther, when we reached a convent of Benedictine 



06 NARRATIVE Off 

monks, in front of which stood a carriage in readiness for us. 
Before my stepping into it, Castaneda took leave of me in a very 
friendly manner, requesting 1 would write to him the moment a 
favourable change had taken place in my situation. On entering 
the carriage, a detachment of infantry, who were in the convent, 
made their appearance, headed by Imberry's adjutant, who took hk 
seat in the carriage with his chief and myself, after which we began 
our journey at the slow pace indispensable to our escort. 

Before day-light, we had proceeded on our road four leagues from 
Murcia without meeting with a single person ; and at eight o'clock 
a detachment of cavalry, belonging to my regiment, and commanded 
by a sergeant, came to join us and relieve our escort. The secrecy 
observed at our departure rendered these troops ignorant of the 
object of their march ; but on arriving at a small village where we 
halted for a short time, and where I alighted from the carriage, I 
was very soon recognised both by the soldiers and the sergeant, who, 
seeing that I wished to light my cigar, approached to offer me his 
own for that purpose, at the same time whispering, " Sir, we are ail 
at your service if you wish to profit by the opportunity." I was too 
closely watched to be able to concert with him my escape, or 
scarcely to answer him. u Do nothing, I request," was all I could 
say to him at this or at any other time. 

We changed horses at this place, our escort being also relieved 
by an equal number of horsemen from the same regiment, and at 
seven in the evening we arrived at a solitary inn, where we passed 
the night. Irriberry had been very attentive to me the whole of 
that day, and had exerted all his powers of conversation to 
amu9e me. 

Early in the morning of the following day, we were already far 
from the wretched inn in which we had passed a most uncom- 
fortable night, and at noon arrived at Albacete, where we found 
waiting for us a numerous escort sent by Elio from Valencia. r ""After 
taking some refreshments, we continued our journey till we arrived 
at Corral de Almaguez, where we were to spend the night. 

In the course of that day, Irriberry told me some anecdotes re- 
specting various persons of Murcia, of a different kind from those 
related to me by the jailer. He also informed me, without making 
any mystery of it, that Serafin and Esbry remained in the prison I 
had just quitted, that the family of the latter had been more alarmed 
at his arrest than that of Serafin, who, on being asked in the inter- 
rogatory, lie had undergone three days previous to my departure 
whether he knew me, had answered in the affirmative, saying 
jocosely, on the subject of our dining so frequently together, that I 
deprived him of the company of his wife to make him the jester of 
my table, and that consequently our dining together did not signify 
a straw. As a proof of tfce ready wit and good humour of this 
unfortunate friend of mine/lrriberry read to me some verses, which 



4* 



BON JtfAN VAN HALEN. til 

be had copied from those traced by Serafin on the wall of his dun- 
geon, against the gnats by which he was so much tormented. I 
do not at present recollect them, but I know that I laughed heartily 
at hearing them. From what Irriberry said respecting Esbry and 
Serafin, he appeared to be much interested in their favour, particu- 
larly when he owned to me that their affair was not worthy of 
occupying the attention of the tribunal. 

The great inn of Corral de Almaguez, where we had just alighted, 
had more comfortable apartments than the one at which we had 
slept on the previous night. Irriberry, however, showed some dis- 
pleasure at seeing in the yard several equipages which seemed to 
indicate a great assemblage of travellers. He gave orders to the 
commanding officer to place sentries at the door ofour apartment ; 
but as the. curiosity of the travellers had been considerably excited 
by learning from the detachment in waiting for us, that they expected 
a mysterious personage on his way to Madrid, the staircase was 
crowded with them in hopes of ascertaining who I was ; but they 
were disappointed in their expectations, as I walked from the car- 
riage to the apartment so muffled up in my cloak, that it was im- 
possible for any one to recognise me. 

By one of those chances that sometimes occur in travelling, even 
in Spain, where the intercouse is not so great, I observed among 
the travellers an old officer of the navy, an intimate friend of my 
father, who, as I was afterwards informed, was removing with all 
his family from Madrid to Garthagena. Being of a frank and 
cheerful character, and equally unceremonious, no sooner did Irri- 
berry make his "appearance in the kitchen (which in the inns of 
Spain is the usual rendezvous of travellers of all ranks, particularly 
in winter) than he addressed himself to him to gain some informa- 
tion respecting me. As it may be easily believed, his curiosity re- 
mained ungratiiied ; but had he even suspected that it was the son 
of his friend, whom he had known from his earliest infancy, he 
would certainly have made an effort to speak to me, and give me 
news of my family, who were then residing at Madrid, and of 
whom I ardently wished to hear. 

Glad as I should have been of a visit from such a traveller, whose 
merry voice I could hear from my apartment, my resentment against 
Irriberry was not yet sufficiently appeased to allow of my asking him 
the smallest favour. Though his conduct towards me was certainly 
changed, the inconsequence of his character prevented a complete 
reconciliation ; so that, when he entered the apartment to sup with 
me, I said net a word on the subject ; while he, on his side, far from 
imagining I bad any acquaintances in the inn, conversed on different 
topics. During, this time his aide-de-camp, who, probably fatigued 
by the watch of the preceding night, stood in need of repose, was 
lying full length on the sofa, regaling us with his sonorous snoring. 

Two hours before day-break, every thing being ready for our 



i 



-•s 

i 4 



'V 






62 NARRATIVE OF 

departure, we left the inn long before any other traveller had 
thought of moving. The weather was fine, but the road so bad 
that it prevented our travelling at a quick pace. Irriberry then pro- 
posed my walking with him a short distance ; 1 agreed to it ; and 
leaving the aide-de-camp asleep in the carriage, I took Irriberry's 
arm, which he politely offered me. Had any one seen us at that 
moment, he would have supposed that the greatest intimacy existed 
between us. During this walk he related to me several circum- 
stances which had happened at the time of my arrest at Valencia, 
Murcia, and Granada ; but I observed that he avoided mentioning 
the names of certain persons, among others that of brigade-general 
Torrijos. He informed me that all the papers found in my house at 
Murcia were already in the hands of the King, as he had sent them 
to Madrid by an officer in his confidence, who, on presenting himself 
to General Eguia, minister of war, was asked by him whether my 
arrest had been carried into effect without opposition, and whether 
no signs of fermentation existed on his leaving that city. This 
proved to me how Calvo's denunciation must have been exagge- 
rated, in order to obtain from, the government a higher price for his 
perfidy. Irriberry added, that the officer had been introduced by 
Eguia to his Majesty, who received him most graciously, at the same 
time taking the case that contained my papers, which he put into his 
escritoire. 

It was Irriberry's opinion that the denouement of this affair would 
be as favourable as I could wish ; and so' firmly did he believe this, 
that, with his accustomed superficiality, he amused himself with 
describing the part which each of us should act on our arrival at 
court. 

Towards noon we reached the great plain of Ocana, where we 
saw a strong detachment of cuirassiers advancing towards us, the 
commanding officer of which, approaching the carriage, inquired 
for General Irriberry, who received from him a despatch which he 
perused, and then alighted to speak with the new comer. On re- 
entering the carriage, he ordered the coachman to quicken the pace 
of his mules, and informed me that the despatch was from the 
minister of war, but left me to guess its import. A few hours after, 
we arrived at the principle inn of Aranjuez. 

As it is only during the finest months of the year that the court 
resides here, the town was wholly deserted. In the inn the same 
formalities were observed with me as on the former night, with the 
exception that there were more sentries employed for my safeguard. 
Irriberry asked for his portmanteau, and ordering a post-chaise, set 
off soon after our arrival, having first recommended me to the care 
of his aide-de-camp, and assuring me that his absence would be but 
short My new guardian, trusting chiefly to the sentries, seemed to 
care very little about the recommendations of his chief, his whole 
floul being bent upon his supper. Once the repast served, and his 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 63 

gormandizing appetite gratified, he became more sociable, and 
treated me with several anecdotes, differing little from those related 
to me by the jailer, respecting the exorcisms of the priests of Ma- 
laga in my house. Perfectly satisfied with himself, he ended by 
supporting his narrative* with his'own authority, saying : " Probably* 
you will return soon to your post ; but that event has totally ruined 
you in the opinion of most. The soldiers themselves will always 
preserve the fatal prejudice of being commanded by an heretical 
chief." 

He said this in such a naive manner, that he rather excited my 
pity than my resentment, though, indeed, officers of his stamp were 
at that time so rare in the Spanish army, that he* would have been 
laughed at and ridiculed, even by the most ignorant private. His 
absurd manner of talking excited in me a wish to learn the history 
of his life, an* on the following day at breakfast he gratified my 
curiosity. Born in Arragon, he was a sexton at the beginning of 
the war of independence, when he enlisted as a private in one of 
the guerrillas, and, as he knew how to write, was shortly made a 
sergeant. Being afterwards employed in the major's office, he 
ascended to the rank of ensign, and at the close of the war was pro- 
moted to a lieutenancy, in which rank he served in the detachment 
of infantry under the orders of Irriberry, at whose house he con- 
ducted himself in a manner so basely officious towards the general's 
wife and family, that he was made his aide-de-camp. It seems, 
however, that the only hostile expedition in which he had figured to 
some purpose in the course of his military career, was in the affair j? 
of my arrest. r 

Having given me this sketch of his history, and swallowed his 
breakfast, he informed me that we were to set off in the afternoon. 
He then went out to give his orders, and returned shortly after to 
make his toilet. When lie re-appeared en grande tenue^ I recog- 
nised, among the articles of his dress, some which convinced me 
that, however religious in his expressions, and fanatical in his prac- 
tices, his conscience was not so scrupulously nice as to prevent him 
from wearing articles which he had secured at "the pillage of my 
house. Such were the officers on whom the Spanish government 
chiefly depended to carry on their oppressive measures. 

We left Aranjuez at two o'clock in the afternoon, escorted by a 
large body of cuirassiers, and continued our journey to Madrid, 
which is seven leagues distant from this royal seat. It was sunset 
when we reached our Lady of the Angels,* when the aide-de-camp, 
doubtless in conformity with the instructions he had received from 
Irriberry, desired the coachman to drive slowly, so that it was quite 
dark when we arrived at the turnpike on this side of the river Man- 
zanares, where we halted, and he immediately alighted. Soon after, 

. * A hermitage sr> called, situated near the road about a league from Madrid. 






64 NARRATIVE OF 

Irriberry came alone to the carriage door, and having informed me 
that another carriage was waiting for us, seized my hand, and, 
pressing it affectionately, asked me if I. had forgotten the vexations 
he had caused me. I was moved by this conduct, and answered him, 
with sincerity, that 1 had. " Let us then go to the other carriage," 
he added, " where the aide-de-camp of the minister of war is waiting 
for us." 

I followed him, imagining for a moment that the hopes 4 he had 
inspired me with were on the eve of being realized. Before setting 
off, he gave orders to the escort to remain behind, and named the 
hotel where his aide-de-camp was to proceed with the other equi- 
page. There was not a word said in our carriage by any of the 
party. On arriving before the gates of Madrid, we entered without 
being at all detained, and rode through the streets of San Geronimo 
and Preciados when the retreat was sounding. Soon after I per- 
ceived that our direction was not that of the palace, and my hopes 
entirely vanished when the carriage stopped at the door of the Inoisv 
sition of the Court, in the street of the same name. 7 '■'+ *•• 

We went in, and ascended a handsome stair-case that lad to the 
principal apartments of the building in which the senior inquisitor 
resided, and having passed through several rooms, entered a study 
where we found that inquisitor seated in au arm-chair. Irriberry 
mentioned my name to him, but this appeared unnecessary, as he 
seemed to know it well. He desired us to be seated, and addressed 
me two or three times (whilst we waited the arrival of the jailer, 
whom he ordered to be called,) with all the imperiousness of his 
class, and the impertinence of a man arrived at his dotage. 

On the jailer presenting himself, he asked him if the dungeon was 
ready, to which the other answered : " Which ? Does your honour 
mean Olavide's ?" 

" Yes," replied the inquisitor ; " conduct this gentleman thither ;" 
and then informed my two companions that their mission was at an 
end. Irriberry, seeing that I was on the point of withdrawing with 
the jailer, and being accustomed to go over all the prisons of Murcia 
without any obstacle, rose to follow me ; but the inquisitor detained 
him, saying with a restless and imperative air : " No, ft(r. Irriberry, 
that cannot be," adding, as he observed his surprise, u in^rar secret • 
prisons no person, whatever be his rank, is permitted to enter. It 
is only the judge and the attendants of the tribunal who ha?e that 
liberty, unless by special order from his Majesty." 

Irriberry then shook me by the hand with as much interest as he 
had shown insolence on former occasions, and I followed the jailer 
to the prison which occupied the interior part of the building, and 
which we entered through a long narrow passage. We descended 
several flights of stairs until we arrived at the dungeon prepared for 
me, at the doors of which we met another jailer, who was waiting 
for ns. I entered, and the doors were closed upon roe. 



I>ON JIT AN VAN HALEN. 65 



CHAPTER VL 

Obmde, the first tenant of the author 9 * new dangeon— Members composing the Holy 
Office— Sketch of the keepers— Messenger from the King's palace— Anecdotes— 
Ramirez de Arellano, a sycophant of Ferdinand— The treachery of Cairo— The au- 
thor's reflections on his expected audience of the King— Scene in the dungeon with 
Ramirez de Arellano— The King's dress, and his reception of the author— Dialogue 
between the King and the author— Intemperate behaviour of Arellano— The King's 
kind expression at parting— The author required to write to King Ferdinand from 
his dnngeon— Nature of the document which he addresses to the monarch— Obsequies 
of the kings of Spain at the Escorial— Inquiries made by the author's brother— His 
lather is deceired by the inquisitors. 

My new dungeon had been the abode of the unfortunate Olavide, 
for whom it was purposely constructed* in the most retired part of 
tt&k vast prison. It was built on the same plan as the first in which 
-rnad been confined in the Inquisition of Murcia, with the excep- 
tion only that the double doors had each a small aperture in the 
middle, strongly barred, the space that intervened between them 
being equal to the thickness of the wall. At about six paces from 
the dungeon, and on turning the short passage leading to it, was 
another door that separated this place from the rest of the prison, 
which was intersected by other passages and staircases, also enclosed 
fay doors, and which communicated with the apartments of the 
jailers. The members composing the Holy Office of the Court 
were the senior inquisitor, whose name I do not recollect, the 
jUcciJP Zorrilla, the two judges Esperanza and Riesco, (all of them 
belonging to the higher class of the clergy,) besides several fami- 
liars, and two keepers, whose names were Don Marcelino Velez 
Villa, and Don Juan Sanchez. The secret prison was surrounded 
by the various apartments which the above' members occupied, 
forming an extensive building, called the Inquisition of the Court. 

The first of the two keepers was a man of about thirty-two 
years of age, and had rather a prepossessing appearance. Heftad 
married, while very young, the daughter of his predecessor, who 
lived in the times of the unfortunate Olavide. Having no children 
of his own, he adopted an orphan girl, who performed the menial 
services of the place. The other keeper, who, though already in 
his twenty-eighth year, was usually called by the diminutive of his 
name, that is to say Don Juanito, had been brought up from his 
earliest infancy in the bosom of that tribunal. They were both 
laical, and of mean birth ; but their office, so degrading in the eyes 
of the majority, entitled them to the appellation of Don, which is 
the distinctive mark of nobility, though previous to entering in the 

* A hind of attorney general who prosecutes criminals in the King's name. 

I 



66 NARRATIVE OF 

exercise of their functions, they were obliged to give all those 
guarantees required by the Inquisition for the better security of its 
victims, and for the prevention of all corruption* 

I found the treatment, which I received in the Inquisition of the 
Court, more severe than that of Murcia. A greater cleanliness 
was, perhaps,' observable ; but it was necessary to eat in the Asiatic 
manner, the use of all steel or sharp instruments being forbidden, 
and the fbod served to me ready cut, with a wooden spoon to eat it 
with. 

On the day after my arrival, (the 11th of October,) I received 
the visit of two inquisitors, who, as J afterwards learned from the 
jailer, were the fiscal Zorrilla, and the judge Esperanza. They ap- 
peared to be between thirty and forty years of age, and affected a 
sympathy for my situation, which their satisfied looks strongly con- 
tradicted. From the few insignificant questions they put to me, it 
was very evident that curiosity was the sole object of their visit. 

During eight successive days I remained in a state of incertitude, 
seeing no other persons than the two jailers, who came alternately 
to attend on me, and clean my dungeon. In Murcia I was allowed 
to walk in the passage while this took place, but here I was re- 
moved to another close by, and carefully locked in, whilst the 
jailers, assisted by a third person, employed themselves, notwith- 
standing their ridiculous pretensions to nobility, and the badge hang- 
ing at their breasts,* in the most disgusting menial offices, after 
which I was reconducted to my dungeon. This usually took place 
every second or third day. 

At length on the 18th of the same month, soon after sun-set, Don 
Marcelino entered my dungeon followed by Zorrilla and another 
person wrapped up in his cloak, who, without saluting me, made a 
sign to the jailer to put down the chair he brought with him, and 
desiring him and Zorrilla to withdraw, immediately sat down. On 
throwing open his cloak*, I quickly recognised in him, notwithstand- 
ing the shabby dress^he wore, a messenger from the palace. He 
appeared to be above fifty years of age, and had ' a mean and 
wrinkled face, rendered still more unprepossessing by the malicious 
look of his quick eye, which seemed to characterize him as having 
long been familiarized with the vilest intrigues of the palace, a fact 
which he afterwards proved by the many indecent anecdotes he re- 
lated to me. " You have demanded an audience of his Majesty," 
he said in an arrogant manner : " this unparalleled favour is now 
granted you. Be open in your communications, and show yourself 
sensible of the honour done you. Remember that it is with the 
King, your master, you are going to speak. Take care how you 
behave." 

* AU the agents of the Inquisition are decorated with the order of the Holy Office, 
which they always wear hanging at their breasts by a red ribband. 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 67 

I replied, that I expected the audience with anxiety, that he 
might be certain of my fulfilling the duties I owed to myself and 
others, and that, if I succeeded in undeceiving his Majesty, my hap* 
piness would be complete. 

" To-morrow night about this time,'' he said, " you will have the 
felicity of seeing our beloved monarch ; but if you do not acquit 
yourself to his Majesty's complete satisfaction, tremble ; for there 
is no punishment, however rigorous, that you will not experience." 
He then began to relate to me a multitude of disgusting incidents 
of the palace, which he offered as virtuous instances of loyalty and 
devotion to the King, and which proved to me that this wretch was 
one of those who governed his Majesty's mind, and from whose 
undue influence I had every thing to apprehend. At length wearied 
of wearying me, he rose and called the jailer* who immediately en- 
tered with Zorrilla. " To-morrow," he said, addressing me as a 
school-master would a boy, " we shall see how you behave," and 
turning to the jailer, made him take the chair, saying, " and you 
mind that the gentleman be ready by to-morrow evening at this 
time. Farewell," he added as he withdrew ; " we shall meet again, 
and do not forget my advice." 

On being left alone, I began to reflect on all the villanies he had 
disclosed to me, and to make conjectures as to who a man of such 
mean appearance and high pretensions could be. Among the num- 
berless anecdotes with which he thought to intimidate me, there was 
one I could not easily forget. " I am a true and faithful friend of 
the King, our lord," he said. " I saw Richard,* that ruffian who 
formed a conspiracy to assassinate his Majesty. I saw him when 
he might have saved his life by discovering the plot to me, but his 
obstinacy in keeping it secret carried him to the scaffold. Such 
is the fruit of a criminal tenacity." This my visiter dignified with 
the name of advice. 

When Don Marcelino came to my dungeon, I asked him the 
name of the man who gave himself such airs. " He is a great friend 
of the King," he replied : " he followed him to France and every 
where." 

" His dress a*id manners, however," I observed, u are those of a 
runaway galley-slave." 

" OB, no !" exclaimed Don Marcelino, u he is a gentleman. 
What 1 don't you know the family of the Ramirez de Arellano ? 
Well, that is his name. . I suppose he came in that dress that he 
might not be recognised." 

I could not close my eyes during the whole night, my mind being 
too much engaged in devising the best means of presenting my fatal 
compromise to a king who was surrounded by men who delighted 
in visiting dungeons, and rendering more wretched the fate of their 

* He was executed ia Madrid in the year 1815 for high treason. 



68 narrative of * 

victims. My conversations with Castaneda, mid Irriberry's comma* 
nications, placed it beyond doubt that Calvo was my betrayer, and 
that all my papers were in the hands of the government Fortu- 
nately when I delivered them to him, they were in a very confused 
state, many of the letters being' written under feigned names, and 
the rest without signatures. Thus, though Calvo's treachery dis- 
closed to the King the existence of an -extensive secret society in 
Spain, the names of the hundreds of persons who composed it still 
remained a secret. It was evident, however, that I should now be 
called upon to explain every thing, or to bear alone the whole weight 
of the vengeance of our enemies. It was important I should avoid 
a complicated trial, as I well knew that the secret manoeuvres of the 
Inquisition were not so easily evaded. When we are young, our 
inexperience renders all things easy in our eyes ; we live in a world 
of our own, where all is illusion, and are often led by sanguine hope 
to meet the bitterest disappointment. I trusted to ray natural en- 
thusiasm, and to the eloquence that the intimate persuasion of the 
upright sentiments which actuated all my friends, could not fail to 
give me. At such a critical moment, I thought it rather advisable 
that the King should learn from my own lips the existence of a se- 
cret society in Spain, particularly if I could also persuade htm that 
it was so skilfully combined that the members who composed it did 
not know each other, and that, therefore, he would never succeed 
in discovering their names by intrusting my cause to a tribunal, 
where I alone would be made the victim ; but that if, on the other 
hand, his Majesty, to save the monarchy from the ruin that threat- 
ened it, would secretly place himself at the head of the society, and 
grant me my liberty that I might act as his agent in this affair, I 
would give the most effectual guarantees for the security of my 
person. 

When the keepers came to bring my breakfast /in the morning, 
they were accompanied by a familiar of the Inquisition, whom I soon 
discovered to be the barber, who performed on me his office in their 
presence. Previous to their withdrawing, they left me clean linen 
to wear in the evening, and the only uniform that had been saved 
from the pillage at Murcia. 

To judge by the extreme civility shown me by these men, I might 
have been induced to believe that this Was the last day of my impri- 
sonment. . At four o'clock in the afternoon they brought me a light, 
an indulgence which I had never before experienced, and at seven 
in the evening I heard a noise of doors, caused by the arrival of 
Arellano, whose appearance was now as> gaudy as it was before 
mean. He wore a dress covered with embroideries and decorations* 
which the King had lavished on those who at various epochs fol- 
lowed him. His hat, ornamented with a profusion of feathers, 
seemed nailed to his head, whilst both his hands were thrust into his 
coat pockets. On seeing me in my uniform, he said fiercely to Den 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 69 

t 

Marcelino : u What is the meaning of this ? Away with that uni- 
form. I will have nothing that may attract attention." 

He then withdrew with the jailer* for a abort time, bringing, oh 
their return, a hussar's frock-coat, which I sometimes wore, and the 
foraging cap I had on at the time of my arrest. On seeing myself 
thus attired, I could not help observing that my. new dress did not 
appear to me the most becoming for the august, presence of a mo- 
narch. 

On arriving at the exterior door of the dungeon, Ramirez de Arel- 
lano, whom I followed, suddenly turning round, drew his hands from* 
his pockets, and presenting two pistols at my breast, which I might 
easily have snatched fronv him, exclaimed, " Beware, for the least 
indiscretion will cost you your life/' 

" Take away those arms," I said to him, " and do not dishonour 
me by treating me as a ruffian. " The keeper, no less surprised than 
myself at this untimely and absurd threat, was even bold enough to 
hint, that in that place such acts of violence were forbidden, .and that 
the prisoners intrusted to his custody were always made to undergo 
a search which ensured them against all apprehensions. This was 
but too true ; for I had repeatedly been, before this day, subject to 
these' humiliating searches, and deprived of everjr thing by which I 
might have effected my destruction ; and if I preserved my watch, 
it was owing to the condescension of the jailers, who, however, had' 
adopted the precaution of taking out the glass, lest it might be used 
in a moment of desperation. 

After this scene, we* proceeded through that labyrinth of passages 
to the apartments of the jailer, where we were joined by a stranger, 
wrapped up in his cloak. On arriving at the street door, we all four 
entered the carriage which was waiting for us, my seat being be- 
tween the jailer and Arellano, who alone interrupted from time to 
time the silence of the party with the numberless absurdities that 
came into his head, imagining that this would be the first time in my 
life I had spoken with a king. Having shortly after arrived at the 
palace, we ascended to the principal gallery by an unfrequented 
staircase, and then entered through a secret door; having the ap- 
pearance of a window, to a smal^ apartment, which communicated 
with that of the King, and which bears the name of the Camarilla, 
Ramirez de Arellano left us three there, and went in, probably to 
announce our arrival. 

On the stranger throwing aside his cloak, I observed that he wore 
the uniform of private secretary to the King ; and, as I afterwards 
learned, his name was Villar Frontin. We had been waiting half-an- 
hour when an elegant young woman passed quickly*through the room 
where we sat, followed by Ramirez de Arellano, who, motioning to 
the jailer to remain there, desired me and Villar Frontin to follow 
him, his tremulous hands still thrust in the pockets of his livery coat. 
On reaching the saloon he cried, " Sire !" 



70 NARRATIVE OF 

" Whtt is the matter ?" inquired a tkick voice from within. 

" Here is Van Halen," replied Arellano. We were desired to 
enter, Villar Frontin remaining outside the door of the cabinet. The 
King was alone, sitting in the only chair that was in the room. As 
we entered, he rose and advanced a few steps towards us. We found 
him in a complete neglige, being without a cravat, and his waistcoat 
wholly unbottoned. . Before the arm-chair stood a large table, on 
which there were various papers, a portfolio, a writing-desk, and 
heaps of Havannah cigars spread about. Beside the table stood an 
escritoire, which probably was the same mentioned by Irriberry in 
which the King had locked my papers. As I approached him, I 
bent a knee to kiss his hand, according to the usual etiquette ; but 
he raised me, and said, u What do you want ? Why do you wish to 
see me ?" 

"Sire," I replied, " because I am quite confident that your Ma- 
jesty, if you would deign to hear me leisurely, will dismiss those 
prejudices against me, which you doubtless must have been inspired 
with, to have ordered the rigorous treatment I have experienced." 

" Well, but you belong to a conspiracy, and you ought to reveal 
it to me. I know it all. Are you not horror-stricken ? Who are 
your accomplices V 

" To desire the good of one's country, Sire, is not conspiring.* 
I feel no hesitation in revealing to your Majesty those good wishes ; 
on the contrary, I rejoice at having found an opportunity of dis- 
closing them to you. But if your Majesty know all, and know it 
correctly, there will be nothing more for me to add. Any farther 
explanation your Majesty may require will only contribute to soften 
your anger towards me, and to convince you that, if we have hi- 
therto concealed our object from your Majesty, it was to avoid the 
vengeance of those who are striving to render hateful your illustrious 
name." 

" Who are those who have so wilfully misled you ? Tell me who 
they are — do not hesitate." 

" Sire, if your Majesty know all, you must be aware that I have 
not been misled by any one ; but that I have always acted from self- 
conviction, -tod that the events of the times and the general mistrust 
have arrived at such a pitch that I do not personally know any one 
of those who labour in the same cause." 

* " But you must know the means by which they are to be disco- 
vered. Your duty is' to obey me. Choose my favour, or your dis- 
grace." 

" Sire, place yourself at our head, and you will then know every 
one of us." 

At these words Ramirez de Arellano came forward foaming with 
rage, and, raising his hands, exclaimed, in a most insolent and im- 

* See note B. 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 71 

proper tone for the presence of a monarch, ** To the seed, Sir ! to 
the seed. We want no preambles or sophisms here. There is 
paper ; takethis pen, here, here (pushing a pen and a sheet of paper 
towards me) here, you must write the names of ail the conspirators 
—no roundabouts, no subterfuges. His Majesty is the King of 
these realms, and there ought to be nothing hidden from him under the 
sun. I have read the Burroel (he meant the Barruel) ; I have .been 
in France, and I know what all those factions are. Where are the 
sacred oaths for your King and your religion ?" 

During the whole of the time of this furious ranting, I kept my 
eyes fixed on the King, who seemed converted into a statue from the 
moment Ramirez commenced speaking ; but when I saw him insist 
on my taking the pen, I said, without even looking at that despicable 
wretch, " Sire, I know no one." • 

" Sire, to the Inquisition with him," cried Ramirez. " The tri- 
bunal will easily extort them from him." 

The king, showing some displeasure at Ramirez's behaviour, said 
to me, " But it is impossible you should not know them." 

"Sire, if I meant to say what I could not prove, or if I wished to 
conceal a crime, I would rather avoid than seek the presence of my 
sovereign ; but if, being guilty, I sought it, once before your majesty 
I would profit of the opportunity to ask a pardon which my inno- 
cence does not need." 

The King remained for a few minutes thoughtful, his eyes fixed 
on me, and then said *, " Tell me by writing whatever you have to 
say." Another short pause 9 now ensued, after which he took a cigar 
from the table, lighted it, and asked me if I smoked. On my an* 
swering in the affirmative, he said to Arellano, who heard him with 
displeasure, "Carry him some cigars ;" and then motioned me to 
withdraw. When I took his hand to kiss it, he pressed mine with 
an air of interest, and as I turned round at the door to make my 
obeisance, I heard him say, while conversing with Arellano, u What 
a pity, such a youth ! . . ." A thousand times did I afterwards re- 
member this expression. I continued my way alone to the ante-room, 
where Villar Frontin and the jailer were waiting, and being soon 
after joined by Ramirez, we proceeded to the carriage, and thence 
to my fatal dwelling. During our short ride, Arellano was as un- 
meaningly loquacious as before ; but neither my head nor my hu- 
mour allowed me to give him any reply. I could see in him only 
one of the many perverse men by whom the King was ruled, and 
against whom all my efforts must prove ineffectual. I wished to 
lose sight of a creature so arrogant and depraved ; but he only left me 
when he saw me safely lodged in my dungeon. 

On the following morning, when the jailer entered with my break- 
fast, he brought a small packet containing about two hundred cigars, 
which, he said, had been delivered to him by a servant from the pa- 
lace, with a note, saying they were intended for me. At about noon. 



72 NARRATIVE OF 

the fiscal Zorrilla entered, bringing writing materials and several sheets 
of paper, ready numbered, and bearing his signature. He informed 
me he had been ordered to bring them that I might write to his Ma- 
jesty, and that he would return when I desired, to seal them in my 
presence, and send them privately to the King. I replied that he 
might return in a few hours. 

On being left alone, I began at once to write without making a 
rough copy, lest by keeping any of the sheets I might excite suspi- 
cion. I commenced my exposition to the king, in a manner in 
which my good intention compensated for my want of accuracy, by 
declaring that, convinced of the necessity of delivering his Majesty 
from the thraldom in which he was kept by those who surrounded 
him, and having received anonymous letters from persons animated 
by the same wish, f Had entered into* a correspondence with them 
without making any inquiry as to who they were, this being an in- 
dispensable condition to become a member of the association. In 
continuation, T said that many of the papers found among those 
in his Majesty's possession admitted of no explanation, as I had 
written them with no other object than mere amusement, and that if 
I had preserved the rest, it was because I did not see in them any 
thing that could be construed into treason, or even offend the dig- 
nity of the throne : that I was firmly convinced that, if his Majesty: 
would deign to place himself at the head of the association, and sus- 
pend all persecution, assigning a period of time sufficient for all the 
members who composed it to discover themselves privately to him, 
they would all declare with loyal sincerity their intentions, of what- 
ever nature they might be ; and, that I might be instrumental in 
bringing this about, 1 hoped his Majesty would be pleased to order 
my release, having previously received from me such guarantees as 
should be deemed sufficient : adding, that, were his Majesty to adopt 
this magnanimous resolution, "he would not only calm the general 
alarm, but effect a complete reconciliation, and at the same time 
prevent the calamitous results by which the acts of men driven to 
desperation are usually attended ; but that, if his Majesty, acceding 
to other counsels, disregarded my prayer, he would never succeed 
in obtaining the principal object of his wishes, as I was entirely ig- 
norant of the name, rank, or even residence of the persons to whom 
the letters found in my possession belonged. 

This was the only means I found to disappoint, not the curiosity 
or persona] inquietude of the King, but the malignant intentions of 
his unworthy favourites against so many illustrious persons who might 
be involved in my misfortunes through the letters, lists, and other 
papers, sold by the perfidious Calvo to the archbishop of Granada, 
or to the Inquisition. 

Lastly, I concluded my exposition by declaring that, far from 
considering myself criminal, I would ask no other favour from his 
Majesty, should my anxious wishes not meet his approbation, than 



DON JUAN JAN HALEN. 73 

to be removed to another prison, where I might be treated as became 
a soldier, whose trial did in no way fall under the cognizance of the 
Inquisition, my detention here being an additional motive for affile- - 
tion, not only to myself, but to my whole family, and especially to 
my devout and religious father. 

If the King would consult other persons of a different character 
from that of the ridiculous lacquey who introduced me to his pre- 
sence, these were some near his person who, assuredly, might make 
a deeper impression on his mind than the weak prayer issuing from 
the depths of a dungeon. Of this I was certain, and it was the last 
hope that remained to me. 

At about three, when it was already dark in my dungeon, Zorrilla 
returned to see if Lhad finished my letter, which, being ready, he sealed 
before me, and then withdrew. » # 

The exposition was to be sent by this inquisitor to the Escurial, 
which is seven leagues from Madrid, for which place the court had 
set off to celebrate in that monastery, during the first days of Novem- 
ber, the solemn obsequies performed there for the catholic Kings, 
whose remains are deposited in the magnificent pantheon of the con- 
vent. . This absence of the King, and the numerous consultations 
which my exposition woulcf occasion, accounted for my remaining 
for several days ignorant of its results. 

Meantime my father, who, as I have already observed, resided 
with the rest of my family at Madrid, having heard something re- 
specting my arrest at Murcia, became naturally anxious on my ac- 
count, and commissioned my two brothers to make inquiries. One 
of them, an aide-de-camp of General Morillo, who had just arrived 
on a. mission at the capital, learjaed from Irriberry (whom he was in 
the habit of meeting at the house of one of the first families in 
Madrid) enough to be convinced that I was no longer at Muroia. 
Indeed, this general now manifested so great an interest for me, that 
he had even revealed to my brother the object that had brought him 
to the capital, where he began to be neglected by the ministry. 
Anxious to ascertain the fact, my brother hastened to the Inquisi- 
tion to* inquire of the jailers if I was there, and if he could speak 
to me. Surprised at the singularity of his question, they answered 
that they did not know such a person ; but on his persisting to see 
me, alleging that he was my brother, they requested him in a surly 
manner to withdraw, and not to importune them with any more 
questions, as they had said enough. Seeing that he could gain no 
information from them, he desisted from any farther entreaties, 
y fc|ying as he departed, that if, notwithstanding their denial, I was 
oSltfined there, it would be a consolation for my family to be allow- 
ed; to supply any thing I might stand in need o£ for which purpose 
hedeft with them my father's address. 

Half doubting the truth of what Irriberry had related about me, 
from the manner in which the jailers had answered his inquiries, 

K 



'-4 



74 jSAKRATIVE OP 

being little aware that it is the business of their Hires to act the 
hypocrite, he went another day to the office of the inspection of 
cavalry, thinking he might be more fortunate in his endeavours. 
On bis arriving at the secretary's office, he observed an individual 
looking over some papers, who, wishing to dissemble the fact of his 
having been intimate with me, was endeavouring to spell my name, 
feigning a total ignorance of it. My brother, who knew he 
had been a comrade of mine, interrupted him by saying, " Van 
Halen you mean, youf former comrade and friend, whose name yon 
seem to have forgotten since he has met with misfortunes," and 
then left the office without gaining any farther information. • 

Ten days after my arrival at Madrid, my female servant reached 
my father's house, and gave my family an account of my imprison- 
ment at Murcia, which, indeed, was the first correct one they had 
hitherto received ; but as she herself was ignorant of ra$r departure 
from that city, it added little to what they already knew. My father, 
who very deservedly enjoyed the reputation of a religious man, was 
intimate with most of the principal ecclesiastics, and even with some 
of the inquisitors, among whom was the judge Riesco, who was 
much esteemed by him, and who had an apartment in the Inquisi- 
tion just above my dungeon. But notwithstanding his frequent 
visits to these men, the little distance that separated us, and the 
friendship existing between then*, he never obtained from them' the 
secret of my being at Madrid, nor could he ever learn the origin of 
my misfortunes. In the midst of his affliction, he sought at the 
foot of the altar the consolation .which a deceitful friendship could 
not afford him ; but such was his unsuspecting character, and 
charitable manner of thinking, that fee never for a moment imagined 
he was deceived by those who boasted of being the teachers of 
true morality and religion. 

No period of the Inquisition had been more favourable than the 
present to maintain the good opinion in which it was held by some, 
and the indifference with which it was looked upon by others. The 
former no longer saw those dreadful human sacrifices, known by 
the name of auto-de-fi, which moved even the hearts of fanatics ; 
and the latter, who had known no other Inquisition than that exist- 
ing at the time of Godoy, regarded as fictitious all that was report- 
ed of its rigours. Meantime the tribunal of the faith sought to 
maintain these illusions by exercising its horrors with impunity in 
the silence of its dungeons ; and though it is true that it could be 
considered only as an instrument of tyranny in the hands of the 
detestable men who obstructed every avenue to the throne, with no 
other view than self-aggrandizement, it would not become less for- 
midable on that account than it was in the times of the sanguinary 
Thilip II. 



B#N JUAN TAN HAtEN. ?l> 



CHAPTER VII. 

Inscription of the camarilla — Chamorro, a waterman, becomes the companion or 
the King— Cabal of the camarilla— Preponderating influence of the Russian am- 
bassador Tachichef at Madrid — Rise of Agustin Ugarte — Character of Don Fran* 
eiseo Benavente— -Conduct of the Archbishop of Granada — Mode in which Antonio 
Cairo betrayed the aathor — Berdeia, an inquisitor — Eguia appoints a military 
fiscal for the trial of the author— The examination and proces verbal—' Diaz Moral 
escapes to Gibraltar. 

Having mentioned the camarilla, a slight sketch of it becomes 
here indispensable. 

The camarilla takes its name from a small room in the King's 
apartments, formerly destined as a sitting-room for the, attendants of 
the second class, whose office was to answer the King's bell. The 
pleasure which Ferdinand, even from his infancy, always found in 
the company of the lowest and most vulgar servants of the royal 
household, made him so often frequent this place, that at last it 
became the general rendezvous of his friends, at the head of which 
was Chamorro, a fellow who had been a waterman the greater part 
of his life, and who accompanied the King to France in a very in- 
ferior situation. There also figured Ramirez de Arellano, who, 
from a shoe-black of the royal household, had ascended to the office 
of spy on both sexes, and was afterwards invested with the public 
character of chamberlain to his Majesty, as well as with that of 
honorary familiar of the Holy Office. As it was in the camarilla 
where most favours and offices were dispensed, all the swarm 'of am- 
bitious intriguers flocked there to obtain admittance ; so that the 
ante-rooms of the ministers were deserted, their porters lost their 
scandalous perquisites, and the ancient monopoly of the clerks in 
the offices of the secretary of state was annulled. Soon a nume- 
rous tertuHa (an evening society), composed of monks, inquisitors, 
counsellors, servile and mercenary poets, military sycophants, and a 
few Americans on the look-out for places, and enemies to the inde- 
pendence of their country, was formed in the camarilla. These 
^ were. the elements with which the secret society, called by some 
',' The Anchor of the Faith and of the King, began their labours. 
.. It was not long before they established a regular plan of commu- 
nication with all the captains-general of the provinces, the subaltern 
tribunals of the Inquisition, and especially with General Elio at 
Valencia, and with the Archbishop of Granada, the personal enemy 
of Count Montijo, who at the time of my arrest had been already 
deprived of his government'. 

Such were the men who held the reins of government, when the 
most distant cabinet of Europe, which one would have thought the 



76 NARRATIVE OF 

least interested in the destiny of Spain, began to assume an ascen- 
dancy in that pcean of disorders. The ridiculous brokerage of a 
few rotten ships of war, negotiated by the Russian government, 
was the first step by which the Russian ambassador Tachichef ob- 
tained an insight into the interior affairs of the government. The 
influence which he afterwards exerted was such, that even the cama- 
rilla — the great dispenser of favours and places, at whose mercy 
was the life and fate of every Spaniard — became as submissive to 
his will as a faction of Cossacks might have been. It was in vain 
that the higher nobility of Spain openly manifested their contempt 
for an ambassador who associated himself with the most depraved 
and low-born men of the capital. Those who have any knowledge 
of Agustin Ugarte, once a porter in the embassy of the much-es- 
teemed Strogonoif, and who have seen him afterwards, dressed 
more like a harlequin than a courtier, introduced by Tachichef into 
the palace, and going arm in arm with him through those royal gal- 
leries, will easily believe that in a court like that of Spain, wnere f o 
much etiquette is observed, such conduct on the part of the ambas- 
sador would not fail to draw upon him the scorn of every well-edu- 
cated man. I never knew Ugarte personally ; but the-public voice, 
which stigmatizes only when there exists a cause, represents him as 
the most despicable being who could ever have been chosen by any 
man to advance his own views ; but who, having succeeded in 
moulding the camarilla, as well as the King's mind, according to 
his pleasure, proved thereby that the united intellect of the whole 
party did not amount to the very contracted one of Ugarte's. 

The council of the supreme, its chief, the inquisitor-general, the 
subaltern tribunals, the familiars, all were at the disposal of the 
camarilla, who hoped to derive from them even more wealth than 
formerly flowed from the Americas ; because the arbitrary decrees, 
fulminated in secret by the Holy Office, sufficed to give an appear- 
ance of legality to the proceedings which they would gradually 
have instituted against the richest proprietors and nobility of the 
country to get possession of their fortunes, as had been done at the 
time when the Inquisition was first established. 

Such was the state of public affairs when I fell into the hands of 
this tribunal. I have already mentioned that Don Antonio Calvo 
was chief of the customs at Vclez Rubio, and an intimate friend 
of the mayor Don Francisco Benavente, with whom he spent most 
of his time ; but they were very differently situated in point of for- 
tune. Benavente was a wealthy proprietor, and of one of the best 
families of the province. He was an enlightened and liberal man, 
an agreeable and entertaining companion. Calvo had no other re- 
sources than his office ; this once lost, he had neither sufficient 
solidity of character to support a reverse of this nature, nor indus- 
try to supply honourably the want of fortune. He possessed the 
art. of dissembling to the highest degree, as I learned to my sorrow ; 



BON JUAN VAN HALEN. 77 

and ft certain cleverness, which he had acquired at Madrid, in the 
' house of a grandee of Spain where he had been brought up, and 
which goes a great way with men who are not in the habit of look- 
ing beyond the surface. I have never been able to learn positively 
what motives induced him to commit the treachery which he had 
already premeditated, when he came to my house at Murciu, lament- 
ing the loss of his office, and asking my assistance. I have heard 
there was a certain priest of Velez Rubio who had a share in this 
affair, and who succeeded in influencing his mind at the time he lost 
his situation ; and that Benavente, rather through timidity than 
from a wish to become an accomplice, gave such explanations of 
his limited acquaintance with me as screened him from danger ; his 
fears preventing him from communicating to* me, as in honour he 
was bound to- do, the suspicions he entertained against Calvo. The 
truth is, that this traitor, wishing to ge\ possession of all the papers 
and documents, which might serve to accomplish his treachery, and 
^having, as if by fatality, obtained from me the case which contained 
them, went triumphantly to Granada, accompanied by the priest of 
Velez Rubio, where he presented himself to the archbishop, and 
delivered to him the case intrusted to his care. . 

The archbishop, who was anxious to offer victims, to the rapacity 
of the camarilla, and who thought this a good opportunity to involve 
Count Montijo and other wealthy persons in my misfortunes, joy- 
fully received the case, and instructed Calvo. as to , the conduct he 
was to-pursue in delivering the two letters of recommendation I had 
, given, him, and in obtaining as much information from the two gen- 
tlemen to whom they were addressed, as might impeach them, as 
well as several other persons of my acquaintance. On the follow- 
ing day, Calvo called upon them, and faithfully following the in- 
structions of the archbishop, learned, not indeed. all that he wished, 
but sufficient to know that their opinions agreed with .mine." The 
archbishop, having examined all the papers contained in the box, 
and added his own observations on the similarity of the hand- 
writing of some of the letters, &c, resolved that Calvo, accompa- 
nied by an inquisitor of Granada, called Berdeja, a man very well 
adapted for this mission, should go post to Madrid, and present to 
the coryphceus of the camarilla the document obtained by the 
blackest perfidy of that vile Judas. 

On their arrival at the capital, the mission with which they were 
intrusted was soon accomplished. Berdeja, who had good reasons 
to expect that his journey would be productive of personal advan- 
tage, was desired to remain at Madrid, and Calvo was detained, I 
know not whether in a private house, or in a prison; under the ap- 
pearance of criminality. On the King learning from the camarilla 
the importance attached by the Archbishop of Granada to this 
afiair, and on bearing the glossary of the emissary Berdeja, he in- 
structed Eguia immediately to issue his orders to the captain-general 



78 NAftKArtYB or 

Elk) to proceed to my arrest in the maimer which has already hem 
detailed. 

Whatever might be the charges which our oppressors chose to 
bring against me, it was very evident'that not one proof could be 
gathered from the papers in their possession, by which T might be 
attainted of high treason, much less could I be accused of any crime 
against the religion which I professed. Notwithstanding these facts, 
instead of being detained in a military prison, as I had a right to 
expect, supposing that 1 were really guilty, I was immured in dun- 
geons which for so many ages bad caused the ruin and dishonour of 
the most virtuous families of the kingdom, and where I could expect 
no justice. 

The King, who, as I have already mentioned, had left Madrid for 
the Escurial, received my exposition on the evening of the some 
day on which it was written ; but surrounded as be was by Arellano 
and his camarilla friends, be formed no other opinion of its contents 
than that which was suggested by them. Anxious to discover new 
victims, they sought in it the names of those who in their imagina- 
tions were my accomplices ; but being disappointed in their expec- 
tations, they gave the greatest possible importance to the observa- 
tions written on the margin of my papers by the Archbishop of 
Granada, and worked on the King's mind till he sanctioned the 
violent measures which they had projected against me, and Which 
they termed energetical conduct. Some doubts, however, being 
raised respecting certain passages of my papers, they ordered Ber- 
deja to present himself at the Escurial that he might explain them, 
which* being done to their satisfaction, it was finally resolved that I 
should be given up to the tribunal. Orders being issued to this 
effect, the minister of war Eguia, to whom some of them had been 
addressed, wishing to be more thoroughly informed on the subject, 
succeeded, notwithstanding the strong opposition offered by the 
Camarilla, in causing the King to annul his first decree, and ap- 
pointed a military fiscal in whom he reposed his whole confidence, 
and who was the same man who filled that office in the trial of the 
commissary Richard. 

Displeased with this measure, the Camarilla, who were of the 
same opinion with the Archbishop of Granada, that no time should 
be lost in instituting proceedings against me lest any delay gave 
their intended victims time to place themselves out of their reach, 
represented to the King that three days were sufficient for the In- 
quisition to discover the whole plot. But Eguia, who was no less 
impatient to fill the dungeons with officers of the army, and who 
knew that the'lnquisition would not give him a daily account of 
their operations, though it might to the Camarilla, among the mem- 
bers of which were some in whom this cunning old man placed no 
confidence, urged that every thing tended to a military insurrection, 
and that, as an armed force would be required to check it, it wor 



D©tf JUAN VAN HALEM. 78 

indispensable he should hokl the key of this important afiair, that 
none might elude his prompt resolutions^ hoping that by having a 
fiscal entirely devoted to him, and whose iniquities recommended 
him to Arellano and his friends, every thing would be conducted 
according to his pleasure. Meanwhile, the King was the one who 
figured least ; to him all appeared to be actuated by zeal and fidelity 
to his person, consequently my representations had no chance of 
success in this contention. I was rather the prey which those can- 
nibals disputed among themselves. 

On the 25th of October, at ten in the morning, the jailer Don 
MarGelino entered my dungeon, followed by two military men, and 
bringing chairs and materials for writing. When 1 first saw diem, 
I thought that my explanation had been favourably received by the 
King, and that I was to be delivered to a military tribunal. Both 
officers belonged to the regiment of infantry of Valencey, one of 
them being a lieutenant colonel, of about forty years of age, having 
nothing martial either in his countenance or manners, though he as* 
sumed an air of importance, which but ill suited the ignoble appear- 
ance of his person. The other was a young subaltern, better look- 
ing, and with the true mien of a soldier. When the former had 
prepared the paper on which my declarations were to be written, b» 
broke the silence which he had observed on entering. a I am," 
said he, " the fiscal appointed by his excellency the minister of war, 
to draw ujl the verbal process which is to be instituted against you. 
That gentleman," pointing to his companion, "is the secretary 
whom 1 have chosen." 

Having thus explained the object of his visit, he proceeded to put 
to me the usual questions, such as my name, age, rank, d&cf con- 
cluding by asking me if I knew the cause of my imprisonment. I 
answered them all, remarking on the last, that I was ignorant of it 
In continuation, he desired me to state all the circumstances that 
had happened at the time of my arrest, showing a great curiosity to 
know where I was when the brigade-general Irriberry presented 
himself at my house, to execute his Majesty's orders. I gave him 
a detailed account, observing, with respect to his last question, that 
my regard for a person who had nothing to do with my present mis- 
fortunes forbade my answering it. He then asked what suspicions 
I entertained, which induced me to absent myself that night from 
my home. I replied that I had, none, and that my return home, and 
the dishabille in which I was found, were sufficient proofs of it. He 
now inquired if 1 had no other papers than those which had been 
seized, and whether I should know these again on seeing them. I 
replied that I should recognise them ; but that it was impossible for 
me to say whether there were others. Of this I was certain, that 
none of them were of importance. 

> He then cautiously drew from his pocket a paper, which he pe- 
rused for some time, and afterwards continued his interrogatory, 



V 



80 NARRATIVE OF 

asking me successively if I knew Don Jose Esbry, where I had first 
seen him, and what acquaintance I had with him j making similar 
inquiries respecting Don Serafin del Rio, Don Francisco Benavente, 
Don Antonio Calvo, Don Jose Diaz Moral (whom I supposed to be 
the fugitive), and Don Nicolas Rosique, -who was one of the two 
gentlemen for whom I had given Calvo letters of recommendation. 
I answered him that I knew them all, but that my acquaintance 
with them was but slight He y then inquired if I had had any corres- 
pondence with them, and for what object, with many other questions 
which, being trifling, have now escaped my memory. 

I remembered very well that, when I wrote to Calvo relative to 
the box containing my papers, I said to him in that letter, (which 
could not have reached him at Granada, but which I supposed was 
in the hands of government) that since Benavente would not take 
charge of my papers, I begged him to deliver them to Diaz Moral, 
who was the other gentleman for whom I had given him a letter of 
recommendation. As, however, my original plan was always to ap- 
pear ignorant of the person who had betrayed me, I confined myself, 
when questioned about Calvo, to an account of the manner in 
which I had treated him when he came to Murcia. The secretary 
who wrote down all I said, involuntarily started, as if struck with 
horror at the ungrateful conduct of that abhorred traitor. This 
was not perceived by the fiscal ; but I was too attentive to the 
motions of both for that impulse to escape me. 

At this stage of the interrogatory, the fiscal called Don Marce- 
lino, (who did not appear much .pleased with his situation of plan- 
toon at the exterior door) and asked him if there was not a more 
convenient table or place where to continue the examination ; to 
which he answered, that the inquisitors would be better able to 
inform him. 

He took the hint, and they all withdrew, leaving me in my dun- 
geon, where I employed myself in combining the most trifling 
details of this with the other interrogatories which I knew would 
succeed. 

At about 10 on the following morning, the jailer came to my 
dungeon, and desired me to follow him. We went through two 
passages, and ascended a flight of stairs that led to a third, at the 
end of which was a spacious saloon. Here I found the fiscal and 
his secretary seated at a large table, round which were several arm- 
chairs. On my entering, Don Marcelino withdrew, and the exami- 
nation commenced. The fiscal began by. silently perusing his 
private instructions, and, after various impertinent questions, came 
to the subject of the papers, untying a bundle of them, which was 
lying on the table, and among which I observed my exposition to 
the King. He took the inventory which had been made in the 
Inquisition of Murcia, and asked me in the same order, whether 1 
acknowledged those papers as mine. Having answered them 'all 



DON JUAN VAN HALE& &I 



ih the affirmative, he desired me to sign them again, and thcri 
assuming an air of importance, said thai he recommended me t& 
answer frankly whatever questions he chose to ask me, as other- 
wise 1 might be certain of rendering my situation still worse, and 
that any subterfuge would only degrade me in his eyes, and in those 
ef his Majesty. 

I begged him to 4 confine himself to his duties, for that, from the 
beginning, I had shown his Majesty that I knew mine. "The 
paper* which yon ihtrusfted to Don Antonio Calvo," said he, " have 
111 been seised, and he has been arrested." This be uttered as if 
a secret hid escaped him, but after a pause added, w It is useless for 
yOtt to endedvour to shield this individual, for every thing concern- 
ing htm is now discovered. Would you then acknowledge the 
papers if they were sbowri yott ?" 

On my answering in the affirmative, he put his hand under the 
table, which had on it a velvet covering, and drawing out the same 
box* winch I had delivered to Cahrb, asked, " Do you know this 
box? Is it not yours ?" 

On nfy admitting the feet, he begin successively to draw out of 
the ease the papers, and to present them to me, that 1 might declare 
whether they were riiine. I told him that in order to do this pro- 
perry, it Was indispensable for me to look carefully over them, to 
Which he subscribed, and I profited, by this circwotetance, of the 
enly advantage that was left me in my isolated situation, namely, of 
reading over the multit u de of papers in their possession, that I might 
be better able to meet the charges which Would be brought against 
me. This lengthened our exaaofinatiori so much, that its conclusion 
Was postponed to the Mowing day, a delay which I anxiously de- 
sired, ato it War impossible' fot me, notwithstanding aH my care, to 
retain in my mind the numberless naimife cireutristances which each 
of the papers embraced ; the mote sdy as I found them in the' 
ntost disordered state, which I suspected had been done with the 
view of d efeating What I now attempted. It was quite dark when 
the fiscal suspended his interrogatory, which had lasted for seven 
hour* without intermission, during which they took no other refresh- 
ment than a glass of wine and a biscuit. 

I was then reconducted to my dungeon, Where dinner Wan served 
me ; but of which I did not taste, Wishing to profit by the light 
usually left me till the tost tistt,k order to make a few notes on the 
Wall, with mf watch-key* on the most remarkable points of the 
papers which I had just looked over. The jailer came at the usual 
hour to take away the li&ht, and I spent the whole night struggling 
with the agitation of ihy mind. 

The multitude of papers contained in the box prolonged the 
examination for several successive days, during which I endured 
more mental suffering than I can well describe, the coarse and 
abusive language of the fiscal adding fresh bitterness to my wretched 



62 XfAMATIVfi OF 

situation. In vain, Co check the insolence with which he eterf 
moment outraged my feelings, I had insisted, from the commence* 
ment of the interrogatory, on having all he said written down, in 
the hope tiiat he would not like my judge* to read all he uttered. 
A stranger to every honourable sentiment, and disregarding the 
moderation with which I replied to his taunts, he persisted in hie 
system of abuse from first to last, rendering his presence more 
odious to me than was even the darkness of my dungeon. 

At length, the examination bring concluded, I signed the various 
interrogatories which had been written by the secretary, whom I 
desired to add the fb&owipg clause as indicative of my firm inten- 
tions : — " I hare nothing to alter in, or add tot, what I have already 
expressed, both in the exposition addressed by me to his Majesty, 
in consequence of the audience he was pleased to grant me, and in 
the interrogatories whiek I have since undergone ; and, moreover, 
I protest against the nature of my present confinement, which I 
consider as degrading tot *&d improper for, the military class to 
which I belong/' 

Although, while dictating the above, the fiscal attempted' several 
times to interrupt me, I would not desist from my purpose, end the 
secretary wrote it in my own words, whet* I again put my aig* 
nature to tins declaration. Every thing being now concluded, the 
fiscal closed the scene by delivering me to Don Mareelino, with 
Whom I returned to my dungeon, in* the silence of which I was to 
experience again the incertitude of the former week. 

At Granada the searches after Dias Moral had been fruitless, as, 
fortunately, being warned of the danger by an officer who com* 
manded one of the parties employed in his pursmt, he had succeeded 
in escaping to Gibraltar ; so that up to thai time fthe 30th of Oct ) t 
Serafin del Rio, and Esbry, who had remained in the prisons of Mur~ 
cia, were the only two who had tieen arrested. Copies of the verbal 
process instituted against them were sent to the inquisitor* of Mad- 
rid, that they might see if there existed any coincidence between 
their declarations and mine. As I have already mentioned, Serafia 
had agreed wi th me upon what he was to declare ; but with respect to 
fisbry, I had only die hope that he would persist in denying every 
thing, although I feared that his intimacy with Calvo offered a 
serious obstacle. I have never learned what his declarations were ; 
but if they ever gave the inquisitors a greater insight into the eon- 
tents of my papers, and enabled them to increase the number of 
the prisoners, as well as the charges brought against me, we ought 
So reflect on the isolated situation in winch he remained from the 
first instant of his arrest, tf> acquit him of the charge of p*#ft- 
hflimity. 



J*e>N JUAN VAN HAXEK t 35 



CHAPTER VIU. 

Villa* Front** «rge* the ««1»rt©disel©seti*iM*tnee©f his partisen§--Pabio toier, 
biffeonof Akseriaand fos^riator-ges^ral, obtains the cbarie of the prisoner, e»4 
die dismissal of the military fiscal— Tribunal of inquisitors before whom the author 
appears— Aran of the Inqm^tion— Proceeding*— An anecdote of the Inonbition, 
related by the jailer-~IUiiewed interrogatory by Espereaza— Attempt to force the 
author to implicate several respectable and noble indiriduals~-He screens the Count 
Montgo and others. 

Seven days had no* elapsed since my last interview with the fiscal ; 
daring which Iwas lost in conjectures, being unable to gain anyinform- 
atkm from Bon Marcelmo respecting the state of my trial, when, on 
the night of (he sixth of November, I received an unexpected visit. 
ViUaf Frontin, the King's secretary, who with Arellano had accom- 
panied me to the palace, entered my dungeon, and desiring Don 
Morcelino to return in two hours' time, remained alone with me* 
He explained in a few words the nature of his mission ; which was, 
to induce me to make the disclosures desired by his Majesty, 
respecting the individuals who composed the secret societies, de- 
livering to me, in a clear and •concise manner, the opinion be had 
formed of my case from the examination of all the documents on 
which my trial was grounded ; adding, that the King, on his return 
{torn the Bscurfal, had put into his hands other papers relating to 
me, by which it was evident that I was placed in a most critical 
situation, and that he knew of no other means of my extricating 
myself from it than by complying with his Majesty's wish, as he saw 
that otherwise the King was resolved to deliver me up to the rigour 
«f the tribunal. 

Vflfer Frontin was a man in (he prime of life, and of pleasing 
appearance ; and though the nature of his visit was so truly distress- 
ing to me, yet as I thought f discovered in him certain indications 
of sensibility, tirhicb, indeed, were the first I had seen in that cave 
of despair, I did not hesitate in making an appeal to his heart, 
with all the energy that my wounded honour, and the sacred duties 
which I had voluntarily entered into, dictated to me. I explained 
to him the painful dilemma in which his Majesty's wish placed me, 
and how preferable I thought the most cruel death to the bitter al- 
ternative of causing a number of innocent victims to be thrown 
into dungeons ; since by being thus rigorously compelled to make 
disclosures, the foundation of which could rest only on the most 
superficial conjectures, it was converting myself into an instrument 
of persecution, and rendering my memory hateful among my 
countrymen. I repeated to him again and again, that rather than 



M NARRATIVE py 

act the part of a denunciator, I would resignedly undergo the most 
excruciating tortures of the Inquisition ; and that I should consider 
an immediate death as an act of mercy. Indeed, so great was my 
agony at this moment, that language seemed inadequate to express 
my feelings. Villar Frontin, moved at my distress, remained silent 
and motionless for some mintues, fiis eye© fixed on mine with a de- 
gree of interest which I certainly did not expect from one in his 
situation. " Do not bo distressed, Van Haleo," ha said ; " I un- 
derstand you, and do not share the opinion of those by wtoMP you> 
are oppressed. I do you the justice to believe you innocent We 
fire alone : no one can hear us, and you are worthy of receiving 
from me a proof of confidence. I am incapable," he added with 
emotion, placing his han4 on his heart, " of persisting in the urn 
pleasant commission with which I have been charged by his Ma- 
jesty, and which must appear to you in detriment of my fcomw, 
But it is really a pity to see you sacrifice yourself to an, erroneous 
system, the theory of which is certainly seductive, but which is 
totally impracticable. He who, like myself, has in other times pro- 
fessed liberal ideas, and who has. experienced their futility, knows 
loo well the enormous distance there is between mora) and political 
notions, to. act in all cases according to. both. ]£ we were- all en- 
lightened, Satan himself would not be able to govern us. Our 
countrymen, however, are too iguorant to be ruled otherwise t&afl 
by an iron sceptre ; and a long time will elapse before tbeyjpay be 
brought to u,nderfitarjd their own interests. Till that epoch arrives, 
which can only take place when the King himself decides in ija 
favour, we must all $ail with the current p£ circumstances. Yon 
are younger than myself, and are a military xpajn • hut I have be$ft 
a judge, and have seen much of human nature* consequently I fcupw 
something of its ruling passions and characteristic- points. , I ana 
convinced that, if you die, your fiends will be consoled by knowing 
that they are delivered from the fears which night and day disturb 
their repose* Believe me, this i*a truth proceeding franp a, map of 
experience ; but you shall find me more a friend than a seducer.— <- 
Let us smoke a cigar, and converse of other npajters." JJe then 
spoke of some love-letters of nnne, which bad been found among 
my papers,,, two of wnich had heen preserved by the King, who 
was amused by their contents ; and afterwards related to nje various 
anecdotes pf -the. cQUjt, an<j of §qnp perspqs who interested them- 
selves in my destiny. 

Don Marcelino having made Jus appearance* Villar Frpotin took 
leave of me, and I never saw him again. 

I ought to observe here, that many pf the occurrences which 
took place in the Camarilla respecting me, and are now found in- 
serted in this, narrative according to the course of events, were 
communicated to me on my return to Spain by some friends of 
mine, who were connected with the men in power. Villar Fronting 



AON WAX V4N HALUN. 8a 

visit to my dungeon, however, was for some time * secret between 
him and the King, Areflano himself being ignorant of it till the 
inquisitors mentioned it to him. Tins man, actuated by tbe basest 
ettvy against the King's secretary,* pill every Spring into action to 
prevent him from having any part in this affair ; in which he thought 
11090 but he and his friends bad a right to interfere. 

The bishop of Almeria, Don Pablo Mier, then the inquisitor* 
geeeral, remonstrated with the King, declaring, that the conduct 
observed on that occasion was an insult to the Holy Office, whose 
judges we*e justly offended at the preference given to a military 
fiscal by allowing him to examinee prisoner confined in the In-' 
quisition. This remonstrance had the desired effect, and on the 
l^th of November the King gave his consent that the cause should 
be rosignrri into their hands, from which time my existence re- 
mained exclusively at their mercy. 

Stat since the King sent me the packet of cigars, Don Marce* 
line had every evening spent half an hour in my company ; and to 
amae ourselves usefully, I proposed his learning the French lan- 
g»*ge* which he seemed anxious to attain. On the night of the 
JJth, however, I saw nothing of him ; and on the following day 
hie reserve on one hand, and the cheerful countenance of Jus vile 
colleague, Den Juanko, .en the ether, lad me to suspect that some 
important change was about to take place. 

Indeed, the tribunal was preparing for that night. From the 
rer*staMi&ment of the modern Inquisition, no instance had ever 
titeeemd of a nocturnal sitting. At seven o'clock the two jailerd 
eame into my dungeon in foil dress, and with swords girded at their 
Waists, preceded fey Zorriila, who commanded them to search me: 
This they did with their usual rudeness ; after which the inquisitor 
ordered me, in a haughty manner, to fellow hint. I obeyed in 
silence, proceeding through the same passages and stairs that con- 
ducted to the saloon where I had attended tae military fiscal. 
{Wing kft4his to the fight, we entered a larger one, which was the 
hall of the taibunai, at the farther extremity of .which stood a long 
tftbie eo a platifose^ with the seats of the inquisitor? near it, that 
of tbeffceident being under a canopy. v On each side of the plat- 
form was a door, cemmemcating with a closet ; and opposite to it 
the entrance to the chapel A large cross wHh a palm and a sword 
transversely placed, bearing this motto, Exmrge^ Domine, etjudica 
eftftfjne turn*) which constitute the arms of the Inquisition, stood 
in the middle of the table, on which were burning a number of wax 
lights, a heap of papers lying on a corner of it, where the fiscal 
took his seaV I dad not see any black tapers, neither was the 

* AltelKh ViHti- Frentki himself hftionged to the Camarilla, hit humanity being 
incompatible with the feelings that actuated tbe re«t of its members, he was in the 
following year banished from Madrid by the King, through the intrigues of his own 
compenfons. 



86 ItABBATlTO Ot 



saloon bung with cloth of that odour, asf had heard wts the ease r 
all the blackness was concentrated in the hearts of my judges. 

Immediately after entering the hall I, was led to the platform to 
take the oath, which I did by placing my hand on the cross, which 
was laid down on the table for that purpose, and repeating sifter the 
senior inquisitor (who was the same old man I had seen on the night 
of my arrival at Madrid) an immensely long creed on all the mys- 
teries of the Catholic religion, and on the duties it imposes towards 
the inferior deities of the earth, &c. The ceremony being con* 
eluded, the fiscal ordered me to fell bad to the centre of the sa- 
loon, where a stool was placed for me, the jailers standing on each 
side of it. 

On my sitting down, Zorrilla delivered, in the midst of a profound 
silence, a discourse, which was chiefly distinguished by its immode- 
rate length, artful arrangement, and pomposity ~of language, and in 
which all my papers, replies to the interrogatories, and exposition 
to the King underwent the most minute and severe comments, 
every sentence of which .seemed dictated by rancour and malevo- 
lence. These were still more violently manifested when he touched 
upon the protest with which I had closed the interrogatories. In 
their eyes it was a crime that a soldier should complain of being 
detained prisoner among priests and friars. On Zorrilla ending his 
discourse, he commenced his examination, which was so skilfully 
prepared, that my answers were limited to a simple fe* or no ; as, 
"Is not such a person the writer of this letter? Was it not you who 
cut out the signature of this other t WNL you deny that these belong 
to the brigade-general Torrijos ?" &c. Such was uniformly the 
style of his interrogatory. All my answers, however, coincided 
with those I had given to the military fiscal ; and although I felt 
greatly embarrassed at some of these direct questions, particularly 
when the letters of General Torrijos were presented to me, (the sig- 
natures of which I had preserved, as they treated merely on matters 
of amusement; but through which circumstance the inquisitors 
were enabled to discover the one bearing no signature which he had 
written to me previous to my clandestine departure from Mwcta to 
Ronda, and in which he expressed sentiments of the purest pa- 
triotism) — I succeeded in defeating the hopes of my judges, who 
proudly imagined they would be able to extort from me dishonour- 
able denunciations. 

During the whole of that long sitting, Zorrilla was the only one 
who spoke and questioned me : now and then Esperanza leaned 
his head, and whispered something into his ear ; but neither the 
senior inquisitor, nor Riesco, uttered a word. It was past ten when 
the fiscal addressed his discourse to the judges, the words of which, 
however, I did not very distinctly hear ; after which he begged leave 
of the senior inquisitor to have my signature subjoined to what the 
secretary of the Inquisition had taken down, and which, without 



Mtf iUAXJ VUT HALEtf. ST 

Mag rend over tome, I tu desired to sign. Tht senior inquisitor 
Umbo ordered the jailors to reconduct me to^ny dungeon ; but before 
bating the hall, I addressed the tribunal for the purpose of being 
informed whether it was now time for me to name my advocate, as 
was the invariable practice in every trial. " Whom would you 
name ?" interrupted Zorrilla with the utmost eagerness. 

44 An advocate of Madrid," I replied, " who has known me for 
several years." 

44 What is his name! Where doeshe five !" again inquired Zor* 
tilla, almost breathless. 

44 Don Pedro Maria Cano ; he lives in the street of Preciadoe." 

I had no hesitation in mentioning his name, notwithstanding the 
danger there waa in hinting even remotely the name of any indi- 
vidual in the presence of these men; because Cano was not in- 
volved in my political compromise, nor were his connections in 
Madrid such as to render him a suspicious character in the eyes of 
government 

On Zorrilla hearing that gentleman's name, he said, in a disap- 
pointed tone, "No, it cannot be. When the time for your ap* 
pointing an advocate arrives, a list will be presented to you, in which 
you will find the names of three belonging to the Holy Office, out 
of which you may select one ; — no one else is permitted to advocate 
in this tribunal." ( 

As he uttered the last words, he cast on me a haughty and con- / 

temptuous look, and motioned to the jailers to take me away, which 
they did by nearly dragging me out, without allowing me to speak 
another word. 

The excessive agitation of my mind,' and the thirst which tor* 
mented me during the whole of that night, and which I was unable 
to quench, owing to the s e emi ngly intentional neglect of the jailers 
in leaving die jug empty which was usually filled with water, pre- 
vented my taking a moment's repose. 

My humour, soured by the treatment I received, showed itself to 
those by whom I was guarded, and did not fail to bring back upon 
me their displeasure, which they had the power to make me fed in 
a th o u san d different ways. Don Marcelino, who, as I have already 
observed, was less fit to exercise the violences belonging to his 
office than his companion, did not come so frequently on the follow- 
ing day as he had been in the habit of doing; so that I was 
obliged to endure the presence of Don Juanito, even during my 
dinner, which he contrived to render as unpleasant to me as had 
been die sitting of the preceding night. Wearied of hearing so 
many insolent remarks, I desired him to hold his peace ; but this 
had a contrary effect to what I expected. Assuming more than 
ever an air of humility, he said with his usual feminine voice, which, 
coming from a tall and corpulent man, made him appear very ridi- 
culous, — u He will gam nothing here who behaves ill to us : we 



^ 



88 ftiMtATivE or 

bate a remedy for every disease. I reeoUect that when I was still 
a boy, add tfae father-in-law of Don Marcetino the chief jailer* 
there was a French jeweller confined in these prisons* who was a 
most pertinacious heretic. He took it into bis hettd to deny every 
tfaiog to the Holy Tribunal, and to behave uncivilly to the jeJlenf 
and finally refused to take any food at see any one. One day, wfaes 
his dungeon was to be cleaned, and himself removed to another, 
the jailer, on opening the gates, found him armed with a log of 
wood which he had torn from die side of the bed T and with which 
he threatened to knock him down, if he attempted to enter* Per- 
haps, you imagine," he added, with a satisfied air, « tint that 
gabackt* had bis own way, and was left there to die, cursing Uke 
a renegade, and without confessing me crime ? Not so indeed j the 
jailer locked the doors without attempting to disarm him, arid in* 
formed the fiscal of it, who immediately caused six soldiers to censer 
from the square of Santo Domingo, close by, where a myv 4* g*fde 
was stationed ; and first administering to them the oath of secrecy, 
ordered them to the dungeon of the heretic to secure hhn. The 
first of the soldiers who went in was knocked down by the French- 
man % but Don Marceiino'a father-in-law, who was a man of un- 
common resolution and resources, suddenly armed the soldiers with 
lighted torches, which proved more useful than their bayonet* dr 
any other weapon. No sooner these men commenced dabbing: 
his face with the lights than that son of Lucifer remained a moment 
stupifled, and the next was rolhng on the ground, No resistance 
after that; he was as quiet as a lamb, whilst a strong pair of fetter* 
and another pair of manacles prevented his showing his tricks agamy 
though at last he died of despair, without manifesting the least con- 
trition ; so great was the influence whioh the devil exerted ofrar tar 
soul." 

It \b not very surprising if, with such stories as the above to sea- 
son my repast, I felt more disgust than appetite for what was jtfaced 
before me. On that night no light Was allowed me,, though it was 
customary to leave me one during the early part of the evening. 
On the following day I was again attended at dinner by the same 
jailer, who did every thing in his power to render it as disagreeable 
as possible, When, towards the end of it* he was relieved by Don 
Marcehno. My reelings had been wrought up to such a pitch, that 
when his companion remained alone with me, I could not refrain 
from exclaiming, " Would to God I could one day see tins place 
reduced to ashes !" At these words he fixed his eyes on me, bat 
remained silent, and his silence Was that of an honest man ; for 
never did the inquisitors express a knowledge of my imprudent 
anathema* though, as Don Juanko.had informed me, even on that 

* Nick-name ghtn in Spain to Frenchmen* 



DON JUAJf VAN HALEK. 30 

day, the jailers of the Holy Office were olliged to report to the 
tribunal all that the prisoners uttered. 

It is impossible for me not to feel indignant at relating the occur- 
rences that took place in those days of agony and despair, and at 
the premeditated cruelty displayed by every individual belonging to 
that unchristian and horrible tribunal. 

At six o'clock in the evening of this day, the 16th of November, 
Zonilla again entered my dungeon, accompanied by the two jailers, 
who were armed as on the preceding night, and conducted me to 
the hall of tfye tribunal. I was desired to sit down on the stool 
placed for me in the middle of the hail, my two guards standing on 
each side of me. Zorrilla was so hoarse, that his colleague 
Esperanza was obliged to perform the duties of his office, while the 
former employed himself in writing : with respect to the other 
members of the tribunal, they appeared more like statues than 
judges. During a short interval of silence, I heard a noise pro- 
ceeding from one of the closets beside the platform, the door of 
which I observed was not shut quite close, — a circumstance which 
proved to me that somebody was concealed there witnessing the 
proceedings.* 

When Esperanza had exhausted all his questions, the tenor of 
which was similar to those his colleague had addressed to me on 
the previous night, and he had sought by different arguments to ex- 
tort from me the denunciations for which they manifested so much 
eagerness, he asked me in a direct manner if I had answered the 
letters which I said I had receded anonymously, and with their sig- 
natures erased or cut out. Unconscious that they had any proofs of 
the contrary, I replied in the same terms as I had done on previous 
occasions. Esperanza then took some papers and a light from the 
table, and approaching me, desired one of the jailers to hold the 
candle, while he showed me several pages composed of little bits of 
written paper, which were sewn together on very thin tissue paper, 
sufficiently transparent to allow what was written on the back to be 
read with ease. — 4i That hand* writing," said he, u is yours ; — is it 
not ?" 

I immediately recognised it ; but there was no other resource left 
me than to deny it; accordingly I replied in the negative. — 
" What ? — Look well— read it," he returned, — leaving the papers 
in my hands, and resuming his seat. 

The treacherous Calvo had had the villany to collect all those 
pieces of papers whjeh formed the rough copies of various letters, 
and which with several others had been thrown aside by me to be 
burnt, and with incredible labour he put them together in order to 
be better able to accomplish his perfidious designs. They amounted 

* Some persons are of opinion that the indmcfaal concealed" there was the King ; 
but Hhave always thought it was Calvo, with whom every moment I expected to- be 
confronted. 

M 



9Q NARRATIVE OP 

in all to eight pages, and contained, among others, some copies of 
letters I had written to Torrijoa, and to Other persons of importance* 
whose names, however, were suppressed, but who nevertheless 
were therein represented as well known. 

Though I thought it probable I might be confronted with Calvo, 
I returned the papers to Esperanza, openly denying they were mine* 
At hearing this declaration, he 'could hardly contain his rage : he 
burst into abusive language and threats, affirming they' were in my 
hand-writing. — " Mark me, Sir," he added, " you are mistaken u 
you think that any of us will ever faH- to do his duty ; nor are we in 
want of the means to compel you to declare what you infamously, 
but vainly, attempt to conceal." 

Vain, were, indeed, all my endeavours to confine their charges 
to myself. The object of their questions was not so much to 
obtain an explanation of the isolated accusations that might be 
proved against myself, as to extort from me the names of persons 
who might become the more wealthy objects of their eager pursuit 
after riches, and of their thirst for blood. ' 

Esperanza now gave me to read another paper on which were 
written the names of more than five hundred persons, many of 
whom were generals, men of title, and even courtiers, with the 
generality of whom I had nchrer had the remotest connexion : in- 
deed, there were several (among others, the Prince of Anglona) 
whom I had never seen. In reading this list, it was impossible for 
me .not to show a degree of surprise, and feel a secret alarm at see- 
ing the names of so many respectable persons (some of whom 
really were members of our association) in the hands of those de* 
testable and cruel men. This was remarked by them, when 
Esperanza, receiving from me the list, asked if I was acquainted 
with all the individuals mentioned in it. I replied that I knew only 
a few of them, but that even with those few I had scarcely had any 
acquaintance. 

" This Holy Tribunal requires straight-forward answers," cried 
Esperanza : " we do not here understand such doubtful words as 
scarcely. — With whom among these persons had you any con- 
nexion ?" 

" It is not possible for me," I replied, u to repeat the names of 
those with whom I became acquainted at different periods without 
reading the list a second time." 

Esperanza then read h, and I named those persons with whom it 
was publicly known I was acquainted, inadvertently omkting, how- 
ever, the Count Montijo. On this being perceived by the inqui- 
sitor, he again read the list through ; and I, immediately guessing 
the intention with which it was done, mentioned that nobleman's 
name, as well as others which I had accidentally passed over ; my 
connexion with the Count being too well-known, and sufficiently 
justified by the humane conduct he had pursued towards me- at the 



PON iUAN VAH HALER. SI 

time of my first arrest, when, without his timely interference, i 
should have fallen a victim to my enemies. 

When the list had been read through, Esperanza questioned me 
so closely respecting Montijo, that it was easy to see how eager he 
and his friends were to implicate the Count in the present charge ; 
but as none of the papers in their possession alluded even remotely 
to the secret intimacy which at that time existed between us, the 
efforts of the inquisitor proved ineffectual. Similar questions were 
then put .to me respecting other individuals, which I also succeeded 
in eluding. 

It was half-past nine when the interrogatory terminated, and I 
was desired to sign as on the preceding night. While engaged in 
this ceremony, I had an opportunity of observing the countenances 
of these holy judges. In those of the two members of the Cama- 
rilla, namely Zorrilla and Esperanza, rage and malevolence were 
strongly depicted ; in that of tEe senior inquisitor the weight of 
years, joined to the exhaustion produced by that long sitting, which 
could not but be highly irksome for a decrepit old man, who was 
shortly to be called away from that hell over which he presided ; 
whilst in that of Riesco a certain air of interest and compassion 
was observable. At that time I was not at all aware of the friend- 
ship existing between this inquisitor and my afflicted father : hence, 
though I remarked the contrast his countenance offered to those of 
his colleagues, and respected the man,l did not feel for him the 
same regard which I should otherwise have entertained. 

Having signed as I was desired, 1 was reconducted to my dungeon. 



CHAPTER IX. 

?«sis administered by (he inquisitors— Their disappointment— Peeling exhibited by 
the jailer Marcelino— Extreme dejection of the sufferer— His anxious thoughts— 
Ferer— Insolence of Zorrilla— Indifference of the judges to his physical sufferings 
from disease— Pizarro, secretary of state— The author's mother appeals to Garay 
in favour of her son— She next intercedes with the King himself— His cruel answers 
—Palafox— Riesco, the inqoisitor, displaced— Berdeja succeeds to the vacant post 
—Anecdotes of Ferdinand VII, and or Garay, 

On the night of the 18th, the tribunal sat somewhat later than 
usual. 

The first thing I observed on entering the hall was Riesco's seat 
(of whom I saw nothing more) occupied by a new inquisitor, whose 
Iname, as I afterwards learned, was Berdeja, and whose countenance 
that of a. furious fanatic* Being desired to approach the table, 
Zorrilla administered to me the same oath I had taken on a former 
occasion, obliging me to go through a multitude of extravagant cere* 



92 NARRATIVE OF 

monies, and to repeat after him a long set of prayers, when he added 
— " Do you swear to having strictly adhered to the troth in, all the 
answers and declarations you hare given to this holy tribunal ?" 

"I swear." 

" Do you swear," he continued, u being aware of the religious 
duties of which you have been just reminded, and as an apostolic 
Roman Catholic, to have either intentionally or unintentionally 
omitted nothing, however trifling, that might tend to conceal or 
shield any person, fact, or crime against the majesty of God and of 
the King l h 

" I swear." 

" Do you swear it with a truly catholic conscience ? Are you 
quite sure you have forgotten nothing ? Do you wish to be allowed 
time to reconsider it ?" 

" I swear as a catholic, as a Spaniard, and as an honest man, that 
I believe to have forgotten nothing important in all the answers and 
declarations I have given before this tribunal." 

" Then sign your name." 

I took the pen that was handed to me, and signed. The coun- 
tenance of every one of my judges reddened with passion ; I could 
see a ferocious sternness spreading over their features, and by the 
restlessness of their looks and motions, that they panted for the hour 
of my destruction. No sooner had I done signing, than Zorrilla 
motioned with an air of impatience to the jailers, who, immediately 
advancing towards me, seized my arms, and with very wide leather 
straps bound them tightly together from the elbows to the wrists. 
The extreme indignation I felt at such treatment, and the circu- 
lation of the blood being partially stopped by the pressure of the 
straps, caused it to mount to my head, and I lost much of my usual 
serenity. 

Zorrilla then rose from his seat, and read to me a long admonition, 
in which the name of the Divine Redeemer, and that of the Inqui- 
sition, were profanely mentioned together, and in which the only 
thing essential I remarked was the following phrase : " We are here 
assembled by an especial order from his Majesty, our catholic sove- 
reign, to try this cause." 

The painful position in which I was forced to remain on account 
of this alligation being observed by Zorrilla, who thought I could not 
liear, him distinctly, he ordered me to approach the table, and to listen 
attentively to his discourse, in which he exaggerated what he called 
the evident proofs of my guilt, resulting from the inquiries, exami- 
nations, and declarations, taken from the moment of my arrest, con- 
cluding with the following threat : — " that if in four and twenty hours 
from that time I did not disclose in an unreserved manner all which 
with impious disloyalty I had attempted to conceal from the holy 
tribunal, I should be declared a perjurer, and in a state of pertinacity, 



DON JUAN TAN XALEN. 93 

and accordingly subject to the severest punishments reserved for 
similar cases." 

Momentarily seized with one of those impulses so natural to him 
who finds himself in such a painful conjuncture, I begged earnestly 
to know what they finally intended to exact from me. " The truth, 
the troth only," hastily interrupted Zorrilla: " on it depends either 
your salvation or your ruin. Be certain that all the crimes of those 
whom you endeavour to shield will weigh on yourself." 

To this I observed that I could not conscientiously gratify the 
wishes of the tribunal; because I should, in the very act of doing 
what was required of me, foil in the truth, as I did not possess the 
proofs which would be indispensable to declare the contrary of what 
1 had always avowed. In conclusion, I attempted an appeal to their 
feelings ; but the hearts of my judges were too much above human 
emotions to be moved by my address. Interrupted' by Zorrilla, who 
commenced his speech by pouring on me a torrent of abuse, I was 
forced to listen to all that his malignant rage dictated. * " None of 
those whom this holy tribunal has hitherto judged," he exclaimed 
with as much hypocrisy as fanaticism, " has ever dared to show an 
equal insolence. How do you, detestable infidel, presume to con- 
stitute yourself a judge of what you ought or ought not to declare, 
and pretend that you stand in need of proofs indispensable to tulfil 
yoor duties ? We shall to-morrow night see whether you entertain 
the same opinion. Hitherto the subterfuges of depraved individuals, 
Kke yourself, have never eluded the sagacity of the tribunal of the 
faith. True to our holy religion, and to the Ring, our catholic 
sovereign; firm, and incorruptible in our high and most virtuous 
duties, we are not to be deluded with pompous expressions and un- 
meaning excuses, too criminal in our eyes. Twenty-four hours the 
charity and circumspection of this holy tribunal still grants you to 
choose either your salvation or your ruin. Take him away!" he 
added, addressing the jailers. 

Don Juanrto, ever anxious to obey the orders of bis superiors, 
immediately approaching, took the end of the leather strap that hung 
from toy wrists, and obliged me to fall back. He then bowed to the 
judges, and taking the lead, conducted me to my dungeon, Don 
Marcelino following behind. Seeing that they intended to leave my 
arms bound, I begged them to give me some water to drink before 
they closed the doors on me. The latter, less insensible to my suf- 
ferings than his colleague, listened to ray entreaty, and poured some 
water in my mouth, at the same time saying, with some emotion, 
that they had been forbidden to speak to me, and uttering some 
exclamations of pity. Don Juanito, who observed it, told him ab- 
ruptly to make haste, and even dared to reproach him with acting 
contrary to his duties. On their closing the doors, it seemed as if 
their whole weight foil on my heart. 

Were I to trace here the crowd of bitter thoughts which harassed 



04 NARRATIVE Of 

me from that moment, my task would be interminable, nor could 1 
then present a true picture of the mental agony I endured ; I shall 
therefore leave it to the imagination of my readers. 

As early as one in the morning, I heard the distant sound of bolts 
becoming louder and louder, till the doors of my dungeon turning 
upon their hinges, I saw, by the feeble glimmerings of a lamp, the 
odious countenance of Zorrilla, who came in* followed by Don 
Juanito. I was lying on my bed when they entered, but the former, 
with his usual arrogance, ordered me to rise, murmuring all the 
while at the slow manner in which I was obliged to obey his com- 
mands. Among my other sufferings, I had been incessantly tor* 
merited by an excessive thirst, caused by a burning fever, which, as 
1 was deprived of the use of my arms, I had repeatedly, but vainly, 
endeavoured to quench ; nay, in one of my attempts 1 had been 
unfortunate enough to spill the water that remained in the jug. 
Unable to resist the intolerable thirst by which I was consumed, and 
overcoming my repugnance to ask any favours from my keepers, I 
begged them earnestly to give me a little water to drink. Disre- 
garding my prayer, they proceeded to search my person in a manner 
the most offensive to my feelings, and then looked under the mattress, 
and even examined the seams of the pillow, as well as my watch, 
which hung at the bed-head. x 

The search being concluded, I again entreated them to give me 
some water in the name of that religion so often blazoned by the 
members of the holy tribunal* Zorrilla, who heard me with A 
countenance in which the secret pleasure he felt at my distress was 
strongly depicted, ordered the jailer to bring a jug of water 
which was usually kept in the passage, and to pour some out into 
the washing basin, and then turning himself towards me, said in a 
heartless and disdainful tone, u Drink there, like the savages of 
Africa, since you would fain have as much religion as they." 

Afraid that this despicable man should, on some future occasion, 
again search the dungeon, and discover the notes I had traced on 
the wall behind the bed-head, no sooner did he withdraw than I 
hastened to rub them out with my feet, as they were no longer 
of any service to me, and might, if observed, be highly prejudicial. 

I spent the remainder of the night meditating on the dreadful fate 
that awaited me, the reality of which was becoming more apparent 
by every fresh circumstance that occurred. Zorrilla, who had now 
taken possession of the keys of my dungeon, hitherto under the 
principal control of Don Marcelino, was my constant visiter. In 
the morning he again came, followed by his worthy satellite Don 
Juanito, bringing a loaf of bread, which he insultingly threw at my 
feet. I stood in no need of it : water alone I craved, and water 
was left me in abundance in the same basin in which the inhuman 

« 

judge had resolved I should drink. 
On his return in the evening, he was accompanied by Esperanza, 



poir fOA» vLkx haLEN. 9& 

Who felt my temples, observing, with a feigned air of compassion* 
that 1 was in high fever, but that their humanity would soon find a 
remedy for it. The meaning of this was explained by my^eing 
shortly after conducted before the tribunal in that state of suffering., 
Here Zorrilla thrice asked me, in a very different sense from what 
the words imported^ whether I was prepared to do my duty ; adding, 
that he hoped I had thought about the consequences which other- 
wise would inevitably follow, tf I refused to answer, without any 
equivocation* all the questions that had been put to me The old 
senior inquisitor interrupting him said, " Read them over to him." 

" What for ?" returned Zorritia, displeased at his interference* 
" Let him say that he is prepared to do his duty, and then the tri- 
bunal will read them over : allow him time to examine them at his 
leisure, and treat him as a son of our holy church/' 

" Gentlemen," I replied, "the fever under which I am suffering 
prevents me from paying a due attention to the words which are 
addressed to me. I am not in a state to answer any interroga- 
tories." 

" How is this ?" exclaimed Berdeja, striking the table with his 
clenched hand. " Are you ignorant of the manner in which the 
inquisitors ought to be addressed ?" 

" It does not matter if you suffer even as much as you say," con- 
tinued Zorrilla, without noticing the indignation evinced by his col- 
league. " You were not born deaf, nor are you now so. Twenty- 
four hours have already elapsed-^-do you confess, or do you not ?" 

" I assure you, Sir, with all the sincerity of my heart, that I do 
not call to mind having any thing to confess. Let this tribunal do 
with me what they please. God, who from on High reads the hearts 
of all his creatures, sees what passes in mine." 

Zorrilla again urged the necessity of my making the disclosures 
demanded of me ; but seeing my firm determination of not comply- 
ing with their wishes, he rose from his seat, and desiring Don 
Juanito and another man, who filled the place of Don Marcelino, 
to follow us, led the way to my dungeon, where I was again con- 
fined. 

The excess of my physical and mental sufferings produced a kind 
of lethargy, during which I scarcely noticed the nocturnal visit 
which my oppressors did not fail to pay me, in order to disturb my 
repose as much* as lay in their power. 

Whilst these scenes were acting in the Inquisition, others no less 
affecting for me were occurring without its walls. My respectable 
father, whose extreme anxiety to discover the place of my confine- 
ment urged him to question whoever was likely to know any thing 
of the secret affairs of the court, to watch all countenances, and 
weigh even the most insignificant expressions, at length succeeded 
in obtaining from Riesco the fatal secret of my imprisonment in the 
Inquisition of Madrid. This clergyman, in whose bosom struggled 



96 karhativr qp 

the virtuous duti«* of friendship and religion with the cruel and 
severe ones of baa office, also wanned my father, when the critical 
moment arrived, of the dreadful trial reserved tor me, advising hi» 
noMo lose an instant in averting its execution. 

. Prevented by his wounds and infirmities from taking an active 
part, my father was ohliged to confide this bitter news to my mother, 
who, though filled with consternation, hastened to the palgce, and 
demanded from the captain of the guards an audience from his 
Majesty. Unable to obtain it so soon as her anxiety required, she 
proceeded to visit the ministers, froga whose insolent porters, (aroopg 
whom were some who stood under many obligations to my father,) 
she met a thousand slights, and scarcely less rudeness from them* 
selves. Eguia would not allow her even to state her case. I^ojzano 
de Torres refused to see her. Pizarro, who at that time was first 
secretary of state, and Don Martin Garay, minister of finance, were 
the only members of administration who would receive her. When, 
however, the former heard the cause of my mother's affliction, he 
told her that he was not well informed of the matter ; but tha,t "my 
misfortunes, perhaps, originated rather in my own impolitic manner 
of conducting my defence. He then politely took his leave, and 
did nothing to forward the object of her, wishes. Her distress in- 
creasing by every succeeding disappointment, she entered Garay's 
cabinet, and throwing herself at his feet, implored his good offices in 
my behalf. This minister, moved at her affliction, bestowed on her 
the most consoling expressions ; and though, like Pizarro, he ob- 
served that his knowledge of the affair was but slight, as he had not 
inquired into the origin of his Majesty's displeasure against me, he 
advised her to restrain her impatience a little, until he should find a 
favourable opportunity to render her some essential service, for 
which purpose he would exert aH the influence he might possess 
with the King ; adding, that if she succeeded in seeing him, she 
ought only to ask for my removal to another prison, that my trial 
might be carried on in the ordinary manner. Garay,* though often 
a witness to the arbitrary measures of a court, not at all suited to 
the rectitude of his principles, was moved even to tears on taking 
leave of my mother, to whom be reiterated bis offers of service, ad- 
vising her at the same time to try also other means of obtaining the 
audience from bis Majesty. 
In vain did this afflicted lady endeavour to accelerate tUs moment : 

* This excellent man retired won after from odpce, and fiaed bis residence at an 
estate he bad in Arragon. la July 1822, sw I went port through this province, the pos- 
tilion showed me the house of that minister as hems; that of a respectable individual 
who was the benefactor of the district I ordered him to drive to the door, and op my 
being announced, I met with the kindest reception from the host. As the celerity of 
my journey prevented my remaining any time with him, I was obliged to postpone to 
another opportunity his kind invitation of spending some days at his boose ; hot the 
oomse.of events removing me fiurtsjet and farther from that province, I saw then thw- 
ornament of our country for the flrst and last time* 



POIf JUA2J VAX* 9AL£N. 97 



she would probably have remained unnoticed for a long time, had it 
not been for one of those efficient men who are sometimes found 
about * court, and who undertook to procure her the desired 
audience. My mother, too prudent to allow herself to be accom- 
panied by her young daughter, presented herself alone at the palace 
at the appointed hour. 

The King was leaning against a marble, table, surrounded by the 
captain of the guards, and other noblemen on service, when ray 
mother entered the saloon of audience. " What do you desire ?" 
said the King on her kissing his hand. 

" Sire, only to entreat your Majesty that whatever be the crime 
of which my son is accused, and whatever the punishment awarded 
him, you may deign to lend a compassionate ear to the prayer of his 
afflicted mother." 

" Well! what is k you wish ?" interrupted the King. 

"That your Majesty may be pleased to order his removal to 
another prison, where his parents may have the consolation of hear- 
ing from him, and that his crime, if he have actually committed any, 
be made known to the world, to avoid the unfavourable interpreta- 
tion which is always attached to the errors of those Svho are con* 
fined within the walls of the Inquisition, and which every day weighs 
heavier on the heart of his religious father. Sire ! grant this favour 
to us, I entreat you. He is our most beloved spn, because he has 
always been the most unfortunate." 

" You would do better to forget him ; he does little honour to 
your name," the King observed. 

" Sire, recollect that two years ago some of his secret enemies, 
making use of your royal name, conspired against the life of my 
son, and that it was almost miraculously he escaped an ignominious 
death." 

" Well, it would have been better if be had died then." Saying 
this, he turned his back on her, and my unfortunate mother fell at 
his feet in a state of insensibility, violently striking her head against 
the marble table. On her recovering her senses, she found herself 
supported by a halberdier of the palace, who conducted her to a 
coach ; and in this pitiable condition she was conveyed home, where 
my afflicted father and sisters were impatiently waiting for her.* 

* Hie remembrance of this occurrence made me afterwards avoid, as much as lay 
in my power, the pretence of that sedneed monarch. In July of 1822, however, a com- 
minion from the junta of generals in Catalonia rendering my presence at Madrid un- 
avoidable, I was charged with informing the ministry of the state of the war in that 
province, which had become extremely critical. Finding myself, shortly after my 
arrival, in one of the secretary's offices, Geneva! Palafox, who was then on duty at 
the palace, came in and told me confidentially that the King was very desirous of seeine; 
me. I asked him frankly if it was a mere wish or a real order. He answered that it 
was not s> command. I then told him how repugnant snch an interview would he to> 
me, and that I wished to avoid it. The characteristic prudence of Palafox seconded 
my wish. On the following day, the minister of war spoke ojriay commission to the 
King, who said, " Which of the Van Halens has arrived I it it he who escaped from 

N 



g& 2U&1UTOTE OF 

My mother's prayer, so similar to my own, was a matter of sur- 
prise to the King, who would not believe that this coincidence, 
could be the effect of mere chance* Ramirez de Arellano endea- 
voured to persuade him that it ^ras to be attributed to Riesco, over 
whom he, in conjunction with his colleagues of the Camarilla, had 
obtained a triumph by depriving hint of his office and honour*. 
Wishing to carry matters ftrther, and have that humane inquisitor 
banished from Madrid, orders were issued shortly after for his im- 
mediate departure for Seville to fill hi* post of canon of that chap- 
ter, a situation far better suited to bis philosophic mind than that of 
¥f hich he bad been just deprive^ TfcU venerable ecclesiastic, who* 
by following the e«an\ple of his ancient colleague Llorente, might, 
during the time of the constitution, have given to the world a his- 
tory of the secret occurrences that took place among that sangui- 
nary triumvirate, did not think proper to reveal them to any one. 
it has, however, beeii asserted by a. person worthy of credit, who 
was intimate with him, that Riesco, seeing that vigorous measures, 
would be resorted to by the tribunal, had spoken with great energy 
to the King, as well *4 to ajl his colleagues, to the members of the 
Camarilla, and to the inquisitor-general, even previous to his dis- 
missal, when he had presented .himself before him, recommending 
that no other measures should be adopted towards me than those 
sanctioned by the religion of the Divine Redeemer, namely, mild 
persuasion ; and finally, that my respectable father should be allowed 
to visit me privately in my dungeon, to induce me to make the de- 
sired confessions. This is the only fact respecting Riesco for which 
there is some foundation, and which is in some measure confirmed 
by another, which, will appear in the sequel. From the moment he 
fell into disgrace, he requested bis friends to visit him no more 
during the few days he was to remain in the capital, and has since 
ipade it a constant practice to mention the subject to no one. 

With respect to his successor Berdeja, the public voice reported 
him to be the fruit of one of the many amorous frailties to which the 
inquisitor-general Mier was subject in his youth. 



the Inquisition? I have a great esteem for him. I bait not teen himiiace bit reform, 
from Rossi*. " Thii wm related to me by that minister oatha tame day it occurred, 
ajtd it perfectly efcaraeterfctie of Ferdimaad. 



• ' 



VI * 




4 



fcoft VfcAN van lULtH. 



S9 



CHAPTER X 

$fcw endemreiire *y Safieransa and SCorriUa to wrett the anther'* teereta from iuai— 
Removed by maaked servants from nie dungeon to (he chamber of torment— 
Zorrilla addresses him in a criminatory *umm*ry— The author tortured— Manner 
• in which this ia done— He ia carried insensible to hit dungeon, where he find* him- 
self loaded with fetter*— Ater-e*6iues--I>on Joee* Gil, an army-enrgeon, attends 
him— His humane interference— The author reeogniaea the symptoms of approach- 
ing dissolution— His fetters are at length removed— His protracted illneaa— Young 
female attendant— CoaaUitory expressions of Dr. Gil. 

The morning after the I tot siting of the tribunal, Zorrilla paid me 
another visit accompanied by Esperanza, who found my fever con- 
siderably increased. The slight inquiries of the latter respecting 
my health inspiring me with the hope thai I should find him more 
humane than his colleague*, who seemed to have no other object in 
his frequent visits to my diingetjn than to Witness my sufferings, I 
ventured to ask him the favour of being seen by a {physician, as every 
moment I felt my fever growing worse. On hearing this, he turned 
to Zorrilla, who met his look with a smile of incredulity. Mean- 
time some broth being brought to me, Esperanza helped me to it; 
as my arms were still bound, saying to Zorrilla that he wished to 
remain alone with me. The latter acceding to his wish imme- 
diately withdrew, and Esperanza, having waded through the usual 
revolting preambles of charity and religion, entered upon his task of 
persuasion to induce me to yield to the wishes of the tribunal, with 
arguments so preposterous, and proposals so basely insulting, that 
he offended me more than his worthy companion nad ever done. 
I therefore requested him to leave me, for that my unfortunate situ- 
ation rendered quiet necessary; He then Said that I should shortly 
repent my obstinacy, aid turning his back on me, reclosed the doors 
of my dungeon. 

Wishing to ascertain whether my feVer increased, those two 
inquisitors repeated their visits to my prison in the afternoon, and 
finding that it had taken a favourable turn, they expressed their, 
satisfaction, the true meaning of which 1 had soon opportunity of 
discovering. s 

At about eight o'clock at night of the same day (Nov. 20th); 
Don Juanito entered my dungeon with a lantern hi bis hand, fol- 
lowed by four other men, whose faces were concealed by a piece of 
black cloth, shaj&d above the head like a cone, and fiillmg over the? 
shoulders and chests, id the middle of which were two holes for the 
eyes. I was half asleep When the noise of the doors opening awok* 
me, and by the dim light of the lantern I perceived those JHghtfol 
apparitions. Imagining I ^rts labouring under 'tke effects of * 



I \ 



100 NARRATIVE or 

dream, I earnestly gazed awhile on the group, till one of them ap* 
proached, and pulling me by the leather strap with which my arms 1 
were bound, gave me to understand by signs that I was to rise* 
Having obeyed this summons, my face was covered with a leather 
mask, and in this' manner I was led out of the prison, jffter walk- 
ing through various passages on a level with that of my dungeon, 
we entered a room, where I heard 'ZdfriHa order my attendants to 
untie the strap. 

" Listen with attention," he then exclaimed, addressing me, 
•y "since you have hitherto been deaf to the advice which this holy 

tribunal has repeatedly given you in their spirit of peace, humanity, 
and religious charity. Propagator of secret and impious societies, 
established by the heresies of their members to destroy our holy 

r religion and the august throne of our catholic sovereign, you have 

maintained for the space of a year an uninterrupted correspondence 
with more than two hundred sectarians* You invented a project to 
form a second ramification to involve in your plans the most unin- 
formed and incautious classes of the kingdom ; you have attempted 
to deceive bis Majesty, to whom you spontaneously promised from 
Murcia to disclose with religious loyalty all you knew ; and instead 
of showing yourself sensible of the unexampled magnanimity with 
which he condescended to hear you, you did every thing in your 

\ power to mislead him, hoping to elude the just and deserved rigour 

of the laws by an accumulation of offences towards the supreme 
dignity of the altar and the throne; an abominable insult, that con* 
stitutes a new crime in aggravation to those which have already been 
proved." ' 

After a moment's silence, which I thought was intended fot their 
hearing my reply, he proceeded with increased energy * i<r This 
holy tribunal has at last recourse to rigour. It will extort from ydu 
the truths, which neither the duty of a religious oath, demanded 
without violence, nor the mild admonitions which have teen so often 
< v resorted to in order to induce you to make the desired declarations, 

have been able to obtain. This evident pertinacity obliges us to 
use a salutary severity. We judge the cause of our Divine Re- 
deemer and of our catholic King, and we shall know how to fulfil the 
high ministry with which the supreme spiritual and temporal au- 
thority has invested us. The most rigorous torments will be em- 
ployed to obtain from you these truths, or you shall expire in the 
midst of them. All the charges I have just mentioned in a sum- 
mary manner must be amply explained I yes ! — amply explained f 
justice, God, and the King require that it should be so. This holy 
tribunal will fulfil their duties — yes I" 

The agitation of the moment permitted me to utter only a few 
words, which, however, were not listened to, and I was hurried 
away to the farther end of the room, the jailer and bis assistants 
exerting all their strength to secure »jne. Having succeeded ii* 



t 



* 



! 



don Juan van hale*. 101 

Wising me from the ground, they placed under my arm-pits two 
high crutches, from which I remained suspended ; after which my 
right arm was tied to the corresponding crutch, whilst the left being 
kept in a* horizontal position, they encased my hand open in a 
wooden glove extending to the wrist, which shut very tightly, and 
from which two large iron bars ran as far as the shoulder, keeping 
the whole in the same position in which it was placed. My waist 
and legs were similarly bound to the crutches by which I was sup- 
ported ; so that I shortly remained without any other action than 
that of breathing, though with difficulty. After forty-eight hours, 
during which my arms had been constantly pinioned, I did not, till 
this moment, very acutely feel the pain caused by the tightness of 
the new binding. 

Having remained a short time in this painful position, that unmer- 
ciful tribunal returned to their former charges. Zorrilla with a 
tremulous voice, tha{ seemed to evince his thirst for blood and ven- 
geance, repeated the first of those he had just read, namely, whether 
I did not belong to a society whose object was to overthrow our 
holy religion, and the august throne of our catholic sovereign ? I re- 
plied, that it was impossible I should plead guilty to an accusation 
of that nature ; " Without any subterfuge, say whether it is so,' 7 he 
added in an angry tone. 

44 It is not, Sir," I replied. The glove which guided ray arm, 
and which seemed to be resting on the edge of a wheel, began now 
to turn, and with its movements I felt by degrees an acute pain, 
especially from the elbow to the shoulder, a general convulsion 
throughout my frame, and a cold sweat overspreading my face. 
The interrogatory continued ; but Zorilla's question of w Is it so ? 
Is it so ?" were the only words that struck my ear amidst the ex- 
cruciating pain I endured, which became so intense that I fainted 
away and heard no more the voices of those cannibals. 

When I recovered my senses, I found myself stretched on the 
Boor of my dungeon, my hands and feet secured with heavy fetters 
and manacles, fastened by a thick chain., the nails of which my tor- 
mentors were still rivetting. On this being concluded, the un- 
pleasant mask which obstructed my sight was removed, and I ob- 
served that Zorrilla and Don Juanito were the only persons that 
remained in the dungeon. Wishing to stifle before such hateful 
witnesses any expression of pain that might escape me amidst my 
severe sufferings, I closed tightly the lapel of my coat with my 
teeth ; but Zorrilla, who noticed it, said, loading me with abusive 
epithets, that rage and despair were the only pains I felt. 

Left by those wretches stretched in the same place, I could have 
wished that the doors, which closed after them, should never again 
open. Eternal sleep was all I desired, and all I asked of heaven. 
It was after much difficulty that I dragged myself to my bed. It 
seemed to me that the noise of my chains would awaken the vigi- 



Tn i ,. «, 



\ 



Itib NAXRATIVfc Of 

Usee of my jailors, whoso presence was tome the moot fetal of iaj 
torments. I spent the whole of the night struggling with the in- 
tense pains, which were the effects of the torture, an4 with the 
workings of my excited mind, which oflered but a horrible perspec- 
tive to my complicated misfortunes. This stale of mental agita- 
tion, and the burning fever which was every moment increasing! 
soon threw me into a delirium, during which I scarcely noticed the 
operation performed by my jailers of opening the seems of my coat 
to examine the state of my arm. 

I continued delirious during the whole day and night of the 21st ; 
but on the following morning I became sensible of the presence of 
the medical attendant of the secret prison, Don Jest Gil, surgeon 
of one of the regiments of the guards, a man rather advanced in 
years, of an abrupt but frank character, and of a humane disposi- 
tion, — a singular circumstance in a familiar of the HolyOmee.. He 
was accompanied by Don Juanko, who did not seem to agree with 
him as to the manner in which I was to be treated. On ZorrilU 
making his appearance, the surgeon said, without hesitation, that 
as long as I should be kept so cruelly pinioned, no amelioration 
could be expected. Zorrilla, who evinced much displeasure at his 
expressing himself thus openly, led him out of the dungeon into 
the passage where they remained talking for some time. On their 
return, poultices were applied to my arm to allay the inflammation ; 
but as the surgeon's request, that my chains should be removed, re- 
mained unattended to, I spent the whole of that day, or I should 
rather say of that eternal night, seeking in vain a (position in winch 
I might obtain some repose. This incessant restlessness fe^ tho 
fever which consumed me, and rendered my agony more fc>srible. . 

On the following day when the doctor saw me in that dreadful 
state, he exclaimed ; " Why should I come to see this ! Either 
these irons must be removed, or call me no more to attend." These* 
words, so different from those I was accustomed to hear my keepers 
Utter, penetrated to my heart's core ; and notwithstanding my en* 
deavours to repress the emotion I felt at this moment, my gyes be* 
trayed it in a manner too forcible not to be observed. Stern silence* 
accompanied by various signs of disapprobation, was the only reply 
given to the above observation, and Doctor Gil, as if hesitating oft 
what he was to do, quitted the dungeon without having prescribed 
any thing for my feltef.. He was followed by the rest ; but on ax* 
riving at the exterior door, I heard Zorrilla address the doctor m a 
manner which showed a perfect indifference for my existence. 

On the night of the same day I experienced the most dreadful 
agonies. No words are sufficiently adequate to express the suffer- 
ings, both of body and mind, by which I was overwhelmed, and 
which were farther aggravated by the treatment I received from my 
attendant Don Juanito, who bad been intrusted with the care of at- 
tending me, and whose greatest pleasure was to see raewaflfef. I 



J>ON JVMX TAT* HALES. 103 

anxiously hoped that the continuation of my troubles would accele- 
rmte the moment of mj dissolution, for which I earnestly prayed to 
heaven. It was the only consolation remaining to one who had no 
other prospect before his eyes than the most cruel torments and de- 
spair. I calculated that I could not lire above three days in my pre- 
sent condition ; for I remarked that though naturally robust, and in 
the very vigour of my age, a progressive decrease of strength, and 
a total indifference to my fate (which are the surest signs of an ap- 
proaching end), were hourly becoming more apparent. But the 
state of exasperation to which i had been reduced had such influence 
on my mind, that the nearer I came to the gates of death, the greater 
was my hatred for the human race ; the remembrance of the authors 
of my days being scarcely sufficient to soften at this awful moment 
the bard-heartedneas which was gaining an ascendancy over mj na- 
tural disposition. 

It is impossible for me to guess bow far Dr. Gil was influenced in 
my favour, otherwise than by the conduct he observed towards me. 
Tins has been one of those private occurrences of the Inquisition 
which 1 have never been able to investigate ; but whether the change 
that took place was owing to this individual f who, I understand, en- 
joyed the favour of the royal family, and or the inquisitor-general 
Mier), or whether the members of the tribunal feared that by my 
death they would be deprived of their triumph, it is certain that on 
the morning of the 26th 1 was freed from my chains. Zorrilla, who 
with Don Marcelino and Don Juantto was present when they were 
removed, had the effrontery of extolling this as a new act of mercy, 
adding the usual blasphemies with winch his hypocrisy enabled him 
to embellish his discourses. 

Although I looked upon this change as an idle ceremony, T could 
not help remarking the appearance of Don Marcelino as a favour- 
able omen of the future. This jailer, who was under many obliga- 
tions to the inquisitor Riesco, sensible of what he owed him, felt 
deeply his dismissal, and in some measure imitated the humanity of 
his patron, by feigning an illness and resigning the keys to his col- 
league, when he saw that matters were to be carried to extremities 
with me, until, afraid of losing his office, and seeing the final de- 
parture of Riesco, he resumed his duties* 

During the whole of this day, I was alternately visited by the two 
jailers. Don Marcelino, though always more attentive than his com- 
panion, did not evince much surprise at the evident alteration which 
had taken place in my situation since our last meeting. In obedience, 
however, to the orders of Dr. Gil, who had recommended that the 
variations of my fever should be strictly observed during the course 
of the night, he came frequently to see me and administer the ano- 
dyne winch had been prescribed for me. The benefit I derived from 
this improved attendance, and from the entire disencumbrance of 
niy irons, was not such as might have been expected. The injury 






X ' 



H>4 ' NARRATIVE OP 

they had caased appeared to me irremediable ; and I was the more 
willing to consider it in that light, as otherwise new and more cruel 
torments might be the consequence. Under these circumstances I 
always recurred to my last prayer, trusting that God, who read my 
inmost thoughts, and was a witness to my sufferings, would at length 
listen to it, and grant me the repose I so anxiously desired. 

On the 27th Dr. Gil again visited me, and examined my arm more 
attentively than he had hitherto done. He was accompanied only 
by Don Marcelino, though I could hear Don Juanito coughing in 
the passage near the door of my dungeon. The doctor, having al- 
ternately inquired of Don Marcelino and myself what kind of night 
I had passed, put to me several questions that indicated his ignorance v 
of the cause of my present condition, and of the cruel treatment 
which I ,had for so long experienced. Having prescribed to Don 
Marcelino the method which he was to follow, he took his leave, 
recommending that my dungeon should be kept as clean as possible, 
a measure the more necessary as it had not been cleaned or venti- 
lated for several days, the loop-hole of the prison being too small to 
admit sufficient air for that purpose. He hoped that diet, cleanli- 
ness, and sleep, would enable hiin to effect in me a complete cure ; 
and that I might obtain some repose, he told Don Marcelino the 
quantity of opium he was to give me* on that night, strictly recom- 
mending, as he left the dungeon, never to carry about him more 
than he should prescribe. Shortly after the doctor's departure, they 
began to execute his orders respecting the cleanliness of my dun- 
geon ; and as he had forbidden that I should be removed, lest my 
sufferings should be aggravated, I was not taken to another dungeon 
as had been done on former occasions. They therefore placed a 
screen before my bed that i might not be seen by the person em- 
ployed in sweeping it, who I soon perceived to be a female. Don 
Juanito, who affected to be greatly annoyed by the .inconvenience 
of the moment, was so deeply engaged in watching her movements* 
that he did not leave the screen for a moment ; but notwithstanding 
all his care, when they came to arrange my wretched bed, neither 
himself nor his companion could prevent my being seen by this new 
visiter. 

It was a young girl, the expression of whose countenance, during 
the rapid glance I caught of her, showed that, however humble her 
condition, she was not formed to dwell among inquisitors. Horror 
anil compassion were strongly portrayed in her animated features, 
and I observed that she repressed with difficulty the emotion she felt 
at this moment. Notwithstanding my extreme languor, I could not 
help noticing, and being moved at, the artless though energetic ex? 
pression of sensibility evinced by this young girl. 

Don Marcelino came to administer to me the opium at the hour 
prescribed by the doctor. I took it without the least mistrust, and 
with all the anxiety natural to one who had so long been a stranger 



m DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 105 

to repose. Dr. Gil had asked me in the morning, probably with 
the intention of fixing the quantity of opium I was to take, whether 
I had often taken it, to which I replied in the affirmative, in the hope 
that the pains I was enduring would be allayed by my taking a suf- 
ficient quantity, 

Don Marcelino having given me the medicine, and placed within 
my reach all that 1 might want during the night, left me to the se- 
pulchral silence of my dungeon, which remained perfectly undis- 
turbed. On the following morning Dr. Gil came very early to see 
me, flattering himself that he would find me much improved ; but 
even before I had informed him of it, he saw that the contrary was 
the case. Either the small quantity of opium, or the bad quality of it, 
or perhaps the infamous designs of my tormentors, one or all of these 
causes had kept me in such a dreadful state of restlessness during the 
whole night, that far from enjoying the least repose, I had struggled 
with sufferings hitherto unknown to me. Having heard the account 
I gave him, and my answers to the questions he put to me, he or- 
dered Don Marcelino to bring the opium from which the quantity 
given me had been taken. He examined it, and requested that no 
medicine should be administered to me until his return. During the 
short time that we remained alone, he said to me ; " This, Sir, is 
but a trifling affair. There are few of us who have not undergone 
troubles of some kind or other. Even myself, though you see me 
now in this uniform, had the folly in my youth to become a monk of 
San Juan de Dios, of which I soon repented. On leaving the con- 
vent, I made the last campaign against the French, and could count 
my troubles by the dozen." 

I have already mentioned that Dr. Gil was a man of an abrupt 
character ; but there was in him a fund of good nature that inspired 
one with confidence, especially in* my present condition. Whether 
I owed it to the influence he exerted in the Inquisition, or to other 
causes which were beyond my reach, it is certain that Don Juanito 
ceased to trouble me with his presence, and that Don Marcelino 
was wholly intrusted with the care of nursing me. This man, 
though not possessed of acute feelings, and having but a limited 
understanding (qualities rarely separated), and though too fond of 
his office to venture neglecting its cruel duties, was more of a novice 
than Don Juanito. It was easy to perceive by his manner of per- 
forming it, that he was a stranger to such employment. 

Towards evening Dr. Gil returned accompanied by this jailer, 
who had frequently visited me during the day. The doetor then 
gave me with his own hand the draught which he himself brought 
for me, exerting all his eloquence to persuade me that his medicine 
would prove efficacious ; after which he took his leave, giving some 
directions to Don Marcelino respecting me. An hour had scarcely 
elapsed, before I began to feel the effects of the draughty and fell 
into a profound sleep. 

O 



106 , NARRATIVE OF 

It was considerably after nine in the morning when I awoke, and 
though I felt all the effects consequent to a sleep stimulated by opium, 
my pains were less acute, and the fever had greatly decreased. Br. 
Gil had visited me early in the morning ; but unwilling to disturb 
my repose, returned at noon, and very soon perceived the benefit I 
had derived from the draught. From that moment he commenced 
the system he proposed to follow to effect my recovery, in which he 
afterwards persevered with constancy, though owing to causes which 
are beyond the reach of medicine, the improvement in my health 
was not so rapid as he expected. 

Notwithstanding my repeated requests that my dungeon should 
be properly cleaned, some days elapsed before it was attended to, 
and not until I was able to be removed to another. 

I am now arriving at a period of my history when some occur- 
rences happened to which I undoubtedly owe the preservation of 
my life. I will, therefore, pass slightly over the visits of Dr. Gil, to 
introduce to my readers the humble heroine, who will shortly figure 
in the narrative of mv misfortunes. 



CHAPTER XI. 

Sketch of Ramona, the female orphan adopted by Marcelino the jailer — Precarious 
health of the author — Counsels grren him by the surgeon — Prisons visited at Eas- 
ter — Don Manuel Centurion — Don Juanitofe perfidy — Interest and compassion of 
Ramona for the author's sufferings — The author writes to his cousin, Captain Ja- 
cobo Murfy— Don Juanito is taken ill— Ramona's assiduous kindness — Murfy's 
friendly reply — Conference with Ramona — Another prisoner whom the author sus- 
pects to be Cairo, 

Don Mascelino, having married the daughter of his predecessor 
in the hope of securing a situation in the Inquisition, soon after ob- 
tained permission from the Committee of Benevolence to take from 
the Foundling of Madrid a girl who might be brought up in his family 
in those habits of retirement which the service she was destined for 
seemed to require, and who, being treated as his own child, might 
render herself worthy of his entire confidence. Among the chil- 
dren brought for his choice, the lot fell on one whose name was 
Ramona. This girl, who had hitherto remained unacknowledged, 
was of a reserved disposition, and from her earliest infancy had 
shown a premature solidity of character which promised to answer 
the views of Don Marcelino, who consequently gave her the prefer- 
ence over her companions. 

Ramona was entering her sixteenth year, when in 1814 the Holy 
Office was re-established, and Don Marcelino employed as chief 
jailer of the secret prison of the court, as it was denominated. 



DON JUAN VAN HALEK. 107 

From that time Ramona was intrusted with the menial services of 
those prisons, in which, however, men were generally employed. 
The unalterable reserve of her character, the diligence and cleanli 
ness with which she performed her duties, and the little inclination 
she showed for any kind of amusement that was likely to divert her 
attention from them, gained her the confidence of all the familiars 
with the exception of Don Juanito, who, besides his hatred for her 
sex, being more constantly employed about the prison, and thereby 
prevented from applying some of his time to other occupations by 
which his mean avarice might be gratified, never lost an opportunity 
of injuring her, thereby to effect her removal. 

Don Marcelino, on the contrary, placing all his trust in her, per- 
mitted Ramona to enter every prison where her duties called her, 
without watching or following her. This confidence had become 
habitual in him, and as he never gave up to her the principal keys of 
any dungeon where she might be engaged, he believed that, both 
doors being shut, there could be no possible risk in trusting her : of 
this he thought his colleague must be equally persuaded. 

Little aware of the inquietudes of Don Juanito, or of the negli- 
gence of Don Marcelino, or even of the advantage I might derive 
from the trait of sensibility which I had remarked in the countenance 
of the young girl, and which, though consoling at the time, could 
make but little impression on an imagination disturbed by fever and 
delirium, I continued following the regimen prescribed by Dr. Gil, 
which, though strictly adhered to, did not produce so rapid an im- 
provement as he had anticipated. No sooner, however, was I able 
to get up, than the cleanliness of my dungeon was again attended 
to, and I was daily removed to another. 

The nponth of December was passing away without any great 
amelioration having taken place in my health. On the contrary, the 
rigour of the season, the constant dampness of that sepulchral 
abode, and the little clothing allowed me, brought on a pulmonary 
complaint accompanied by a convulsive cough, which scarcely per- 
mitted me to take any repose, and which retarded my convalescence. 

Dr. Gil, notwithstanding his hints to the inquisitors, and his well- 
known influence, began to meet with new obstacles in the way of 
my recovery. One day, towards the middle of December, when 
Don Marcelino happened to leave us a short time by ourselves, he 
spoke to me in the following words : " There are evils which ought 
to be considered as antidotes to others more fatal. It is not prudent 
you should entirely recover your health. Whilst I do not declare 
you in a state of perfect convalescence, you remain unmolested ; I 
might otherwise not always be able to accomplish my good wishes 
towards you. But, since hitherto I have been unable to obtain your 
removal to a better place, profit by the visit of prisons, which takes 
place on the Easter holyday, and ask to be allowed more clothing 
and a better bed." 



106 NARRATIVE OF 

The first words of Dr. Gil weighed on my heart more heavily than 
I can well describe, as they confirmed my own conjectures ; but 
such was the bad opinion I had formed of every individual belonging 
to the Inquisition, that it never entered my head to converse with 
him respecting the probable destiny that awaited me. 

Easter Sunday at length arrived, when my repose was disturbed 
very early in the morning by the jailers, who came to clean my dun- 
geon, on which they bestowed more pains than usutt}, improving the 
appearance of my bed, though not its comforts. 

Several familiars of the Inquisition, of those who figured only in 
the great ceremonies of certain festivities, to some of whom I was 
personally known, and others who were acquaintances of my father, 
but all of them induced by an idle curiosity, which the occurrences 
respecting Riesco and other events had given rise to, profiting of 
the right that the etiquette of the above day gave them, assembled 
at the usual hour in the Inquisition to visit its prison. This annual 
ceremony, which was originally instituted for the benevolent purpose 
of ascertaining whether the prisoners stood in want of any of those 
articles to which each was entitled by the regulations of the prisons, 
had under the present government become a mere pantomime. 
Consequently, it only lasted a. few iftinutes ; but these sufficed to 
gratify the curiosity of the visiters, who had no other object in view. 

In this instance, however, they were disappointed in their expec- 
tations, and I was spared the disagreeable presence of such men, 
from whom, notwithstanding Dr. Gil's advice, I would never have 
asked the smallest favour. Nevertheless, at the hour fixed Tor the 
visit, I could hear the distant noise of doors, and the murmur of 
their loud talking. I afterwards learned that another unfortunate 
individual, who was confined in one of the prisons near mine, had 
been visited by them, and that when Don M arcehno was leading 
them to the passage that conducted to my dungeon, Berdeja motion- 
ed him to stop, whilst Zorrilla, proceeding towards the stairs, told 
them they might withdraw, as their visit was concluded. As the 
number of persons who attended on this occasion was greater than 
usual, I may safely infer that my judges, fearing I might utter the 
many' complaints I should have been justified in making against them, 
adopted this method to prevent it. 

A long time elapsed before either of the jailers appeared, a cir- - 
cumstance from which I was led to suspect that the number of the 
prisoners was considerable, since the visit seemed to last so long. 
Among the familiars of the Inquisition duped by Zorrilla on that 
day, was Don Manuel Centurion, chamberlain of the King, and an 
old friend of my father, with whom he was in the habit of having 
his daily game at ombre. This credulous courtier, fully expecting 4 
to see me, had accompanied the rest of the familiars, with the sole 
intention of informing my father of the state in which he might find 
me. Don Juanito, who was this gentleman's agent for collecting 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 109 

Ms f evenues in the capital, being questioned by him respecting me, 
and afraid of incurring his displeasure, owned that I was still in 
those prisons ; without, however, neglecting this opportunity of 
working on the timidity and religious scruples of his employer, 
to break off the intimacy which subsisted between him and my 
father. The character of this hypocritical jailer was so black and 
foil of duplicity, that whilst on one hand he was my most cruel 
oppressor, on the other he affected to condole with my afflicted 
lather. 

My unhappy family, who on that day were waiting with the 
utmost anxiety the return of Centurion, hoping to have the poor 
consolation of learning something of my present situation, were 
filled with grief at the disappointment they experienced; especially 
my mother, who, feeling no less affected at it than at the heartless 
manner in which she was received by the King, fainted away in my 
sister's arms. 

Don Juanito, who came at noon to serve me my scanty portion, 
complained much of illness, but said nothing about the threatened 
visit, although by his dress I supposed it might be continued in the 
afternoon. When towards evening, Don Marcelino came to the 
dungeon, the pain in my chest was so great, that I intimated a wish 
to retire to bed. To this he made no objection ; but on the con- 
trary said that 1 might do so immediately, as the visit was now over. 
He then assisted me in undressing, and returned only at the hour 
Dr. Gil had requested the medicine should be administered to me. 
* From the moment I lay down in bed, I felt a little lump about 
the middle of it, which 1 at first thought was a button ; but on ray 
attempting to remove it, I found it to be the upper part of a drop 
ear-ring. This discovery was a balm to my heart ; for although 
my heavy misfortunes made me look upon every thing here with 
mistrust, still it was impossible to mistake its true meaning or its 
owner. As, however, I could neither see nor speak to her, nor 
even communicate by writing, I was puzzled how to ask an expla- 
nation. To devise the means of answering this sign was my con- 
stant occupation during the whole of that night. Hoping that my 
dungeon would be swept on the following day, I wound round the 
ear-ring some of my hair, and left it in the same place where I 
found it. This was the only sign of intelligence the least percepti- 
ble that occurred tome ; but as ray evil fortune still pursued me, 
three days elapsed before my dungeon was cleaned. The reason of 
this delay was Don Juanito's illness, which, I understood, was 
caused by his constant attendance in the dungeons. 

The day having at length arrived, and the cleaning of my dun- 
geon being performed, on my return thither 1 hastened to examine 
the place where I had found the ear-ring. It was no longer there ; 
but perceiving that my watch did not hang at the head of the bed, 
where I usually left it, I searched, and found it under the pillow* 



110 NARRATIVE OF 

observing with surprise that it pointed to the wrong hour. I own 
that I could not so easily guess the meaning of this second sign. 
In any other situation nothing could be more easily understood ; 
but confined in this subterraneous place, secured by five doors, and 
under the immediate vigilance of two jailers, how was it possible 
for me to keep an assignation ? 

On the following day, however, just at the hour indicated by the 
watch, I heard a slight noise accompanied with the words 4 * quick — 
quick," uttered impatiently, which caused all my, doubts to vanish. 
I leaped as well as I could from my bed, and hastened to the 
small opening of the interior door, which was on a line with that of 
the exterior, where I saw but indistinctly the race of Ramona, who 
addressed me in these words : " You are very unfortunate': I wish 
with all my heart to be of some service to you : what can I do for 
you ? Don Juanito is in bed — say quickly." 

44 My good girl," replied I, " do you know how to, read ?" 

"A little." 

" Gould you give me paper and a pencil ?" . 

" That is not in my power at present ; but," she added, looking 
back and leaving me an instant, " here is some." 

" Now give me a pin," 

She then thrust her arm, which though small could hardly pass 
through the opening in the door, and succeeded in giving me the 
pin fastened in the paper, which I found to be a folded piece for 
making cigars, and which had probably been dropped by Don 
Marcelino, who was in the habit of smoking. " My poor girl, pray 
to the Holy Virgin that Don Juanito's illness may be prolonged," 
said I, as I took the paper from her, after which she disappeared. 

Although I found myself so unexpectedly possessed of the entire 
good will of that kind-hearted girl, and of the paper, which was so 
essential to me, 1 was greatly embarrassed as to whom I should 
address myself; my mind being in such a disturbed state that I 
could not recollect the number of any of my friends' houses in the 
capital, and I was too well aware of the fatal consequences which 
would have ensued from a wrong direction. Besides the dwellings 
of many of them, who resided at Madrid or its environs, were un- 
known to me, while others, being military men, were constantly 
changing their quarters. .Whilst struggling with these difficulties, I 
remembered the residence of a cousin of mine, the same from 
whom Irriberry had given me a letter on the night when he had been 
so singularly generous in the prison of Murcia. This gentleman, a 
captain of a frigate, whose name was Don Jacobo Murfy, held a 
situation in the office of hydrography, where he had apartments, 
and where I concluded he might be found. To him, therefore, I 
resolved to write. 

At twelve o'clock in the day, Ramona had paid me her welcome 
visit, and at half-past one, my dinner was usually brought to me ; 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. Ill 

so that profiting of this short interval, as well as of the daylight, 
which was but very transient in my dungeon, 1 drew blood from my 
veins, and wrote to my cousin with my tooth-pick as follows : — 
" The ink with which this note is written, and the information you 
may gain from the bearer, will enable you to form an idea of the 
wretched situation to which I am reduced. I am surrounded with 
horrors ; but no one shall ever suffer through my want of constancy 
or caution. Endeavour to see Don Facundo Infantes, a friend of 
mine, and of Heceta, whom you know ; show him this paper, and 
act in concert with him. Farewell." 

I had just concluded these lines, when the noise of doors an- 
nounced the approach of the jailer, and i had time to conceal my 
note before he entered. My frugal repast being over, I was again 
left to the silence of my dungeon. Words are inadequate to de- 
scribe how heavy appeared to me the two days that elapsed before I 
saw Ramona who, however, availing herself of every opportunity, 
Jeft the same day under my pillow some folded paper, a pencil, and 
my watch pointing to eleven. 

Dr. Gil, who had not visited me for two days, came on that 
evening, and from his conversation with Don Marcelino, I learned 
that Don Juanito would be confined to his bed for some days. Not 
even the most efficacious medicine which the whole science could 
afford, would have relieved me half as much as did this agreeable 
news. He withdrew greatly displeased at finding that I had been 
overlooked in the visit to the prison, and that the clothing of my bed 
had not been increased, to which he attributed the little improve- 
ment perceivable in my health. My anxiety to see Ramona being 
now my principal cause of uneasiness, did not permit me to pay 
much attention either to the anger manifested by Dr. Gil, to my suf- 
focating cough and excessive pains of my disjointed arm, or to the 
other numberless afflictions to which I was a prey. 

At length the hour, which I so impatiently wished for,, arrived, and 
Ramona appeared a short time after, finding me already waiting at 
the door. " Age you better V 9 she inquired. 

" All my pains hajire vanished with your presence," I replied ; but 
interrupting me, she added, " Don Juanito continues confined to 
his bed, and my master (meaning Don Marcelino) is dressing to go 
out, as the tribunal does not sit during the Easter holydays. Tell 
me what I can do for you," 

" Are you resolved to serve me at all hazards ?" I asked. 
Strange question ! But to the point." 
Have you the, liberty to go out ?" 

" Not always ; but there are hours in the day when no one objects 
ID it ; besides I go every morning to the market." 

I wish you to carry this note to Don Jacobo Murfy, who resides 

at the office of hydrography, in the street of Alcala ; but that you 

* may hot excite his suspicions, you- must tell him all you know of my 



u 
u 



112 NARRATIVE OF 

situation, and show bun this watch from me, in which my name is 
enamelled. When he has heard yon, do what he may request.' 9 

" Is he a man of honour ? Have you much confidence in him ? 
Eeflect that there may be as many wicked men among your friends 
as among your enemies.* 

I replied, that I had as much confidence in him as in herself* 
" If it he so," she cried, " give me your watch and the note." 

I fastened them to the end of the broom, which she thrust through 
the opening in the doors, and they arrived safely to her hands. When 
she saw the colour of the writing, she asked if I could make no use 
of the pencil, to which I replied that the note was written before she 
gave it to me. " If," she remarked, " I find no opportunity of 
delivering my messages to you personally, you will find them under 
your pillow." 

u What is your name ?" I inquired. 

" Ramona. This is my only name. ' ' As she uttered these words, 
her voice changed, and hastily bidding me farewell, she withdrew. 

This sudden departure was to me a new motive of anxiety, as I 
had not sufficiently impressed upon her the necessity of her returning 
the watch as soon as possible, and I was afraid some new misfortune 
would ensue, were Don Maroelino by any chance to ask me the hour. 

On the following day, however, my dungeon being cleaned, I had 
fte pleasure of finding under the pillow my watch and a note, which, 
unfortunately, I was unable to read, owing to the darkness that pre* 
vailed in that place at the time of my return. I therefore spent in 
conjectures the whole night, which was the last of that, to me, 
cheerless year. 

The first day of the year 1818 at length dawned, and no sooner 
did the light enable me to see the writing of the above note, than I 
read the following reply from my cousin : — " Nothing can equal the 
surprise I experienced on receiving your note. I will immediately 
inform Infantes and Heceta of what I have learned of your wretched 
situation. Be assured, my affection for you will prompt me to exert 
my every nerve in your behalf. Heaven preserve you ! Adieu." 

I read these lines again and again, when the noise of doors an- 
nouncing the approach of some one, I saw Don Marcelino enter, 
attired in his gala dress. Notwithstanding the indifference with 
which I looked upon any change in the appearance of these men, I 
was afraid that this novelty might prevent me from seeing my mes- 
senger as soon as I expected. His fine dress, however, did not 
hinder him from performing the usual menial offices of the dungeon. 
Wishing to ascertain whether I had any thing to apprehend from the 
circumstance of his having assumed his gala dress, I told him that 
the pain I felt in my chest, and the desire to create perspiration, 
compelled me to remain in bed the whole day. " Tes, the weather 

* By tMs she alluded to a convenation she had overheard retpectisf Cairo, 






DON -*U AN TAN HALE N. 113 

is raw cold. You had better keep your bed," he said, with the fatuity 
of a starched inquisitor, and -then withdrew. 

On being left alone, I began to prepare another note to deliver to 
my. messenger, should she pay .me a visit on that day. The pencil 
was so bad, that I was obliged .to have recourse to the same kind of 
ink I had used on the former occasion*-; and thinking that my cousin 
must by this time -have seen Infantes, I addressed my note to the 
latter, saying that there were certain persons (whose names I spe- 
cified, and in particular Torrijos, for whose personal safety I felt 
greatly alarmed) who might be interrogated respecting the corres- 
pondence they bad held with me, and who ought absolutely to know 
that, throughout, all my declarations, I had carefully concealed their 
names,; so that the knowledge of their letters beingin the possession 
of the inquisitors ought not to be. a matter of anxiety to them. I 
added that he might assure them of -my firm determination never to 
..betray the name of any individual, and begged him immediately to 
write to Murcia, Granada, Valencia, and Cadiz, the places of resi- 
dence where those friends were likely to be found. 

I had scarcely concluded these lines, when I heard Ramona's 
whisper at the outer door. " I went the day before yesterday," 
she said, " to see the gentleman to whom your note was addressed. 
As I entered his room, he dismissed his servant, and was amazed 
beyond expression at seeing your note. To remove any doubt he 
might entertain, I showed him your watch, which he scarcely looked 
at, and asked me who I was. I gave him a full account of your 
situation, and begged him not to detain me long, as 1 had a distance 
to go. I also appointed a place nearer to the inquisition, where he 
might receive your messages. Having heard me, he went into his 
study and returned soon after, bringing me the note which I left 
under your pillow. I am to return to-morrow to the appointed place, 
according to his request, to see if there is any other jnessage for you. 
Have you any thing to send him ?" 

I .then delivered to her the note I had already written. u Don 
Juanito," she continued, u is still confined .to his bed, and my master 
is gone to the levee of the inquisitor-general." 

u So that you are my jailer to-day ?" 

" Would to God I were! Little do you know what kind of prison 
this is." 

" Have you been long in it ?" 

" Whilst I may be employed in your service, I beg you to ask no 
questions about me. I wish to act with all possible disinterestedness, 
and have no other desire than knowing if I can alleviate your mis- 
fortunes." . - 

" Are there any other prisoners confined in these dungeons ?" I 
inquired. 

M There isonly one more," she replied, " but his sufferings are not 
£qual to yours. My. master says he will soon be set at liberty." 
•j* * « P 



u. • 



Vl 



114 NARRATIVE OF 

" Have you seen him ?" 

" Yes, sir, for I clean his place without his being removed from it' 

" What kind of a man is he ?" 

"He is still young, and good-looking. He is always cheerful 
and singing, and has covered the walls with drawings. My master 
says they are portraits of French kings." 

On hearing this, the suspicion which I had formed respecting the 
pretended arrest of Calvo, with whom I expected every moment to 
be confronted, disappeared. >* Do you know his name ?" I again 
inquiried. 

" No, sir, nor even yours, until I saw it in your watch ; for both 

Don Juanito and my master call you the bird, since that blustering 

officer who once attended you (she meant the military fiscal) told them 

one night to keep a strict watch over you, for you were a bird of high 

flight. I was serving my master the chocolate when I heard H." 

She then related to me the various changes she had remarked in 
Don Marcelino and Don Juanito, exclaiming, as she spoke of the lat- 
ter and of his illness, " J should never have been able to render you any 
service without this fortunate chance. He is the only one by whom 
I am incessantly watched, and if he recovers, I know not what will 
become of you, as I shall not then so easily find an opportunity -of 
speaking with you." 

I then asked her who kept the keys of my dungeon ; to which she 
answered, that sometimes her master, and at others Don Juanito ; 
but that the former on going to bed, always placed them under his 
pillow ; adding, that some of them were very difficult to manage, the 
locks having some secret springs, and lastly, that although her master 
allowed her to enter the passages, he never trusted her with the keys 
of my dungeon. 

Having given me this information, she withdrew lest she should 
excite suspicion. Fearing to alarm her by disclosing too suddenly 
ray intentions, I was obliged to put to her those random questions. 
Not many minutes elapsed after her departure, when Don Marcelino 
made his appearance, bringing under his arm some books of Bossuet 
and St. Augustin, saying, as he gave them to me, that he had received 
them for my use from the secretary* of the council of the supreme, 
who had desired his compliments to me, hoping I would not forget 
myself or my father. Such was the constant theme of these pre- 
tended friends. 

On the following day, Ramona came about the time I expected 
her, and delivered to me a note, saying, " I have not seen the 
gentleman, but I found this paper in the place appointed for the pur- 
pose, and left yours there. Do not be surprised at seeing me thus 
agitated, and at my leaving you immediately. Don Juanito gets up 
to-day, and tile tribunal will sit in a few days. The Virgin will not 
hear my prayers." She bade me farewell, and withdrew. if 

• 

* The brother of the senior iaquififbr of Mnrci*, C&taneda. * 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN, 115 






CHAPTER XIL 

Letter from the authors frieiids promising help— Timidity of Ramona— Constancy of 
her resolution to aid the author— The surgeon declares him to be mad — Exertions 
of his friends— Don Mareelino rives him hopes of a visit from his father— Ramona's 
apprehensioiia—She refuses to onus; any destructive weapons— Plan of the author 
to escape. 

I 6ast my eyes on the note Ramona had just delivered to me, a 
few lines of which were written by my cousin, and the remainder in 
a disguised hand, which I attributed to Infantes : the following was 
the substance: — "Be sure your friends will immediately do their 
utmost to effect your deliverance. Reckon on our arms and on 
our purses' in any plans you may meditate, and tell us frankly all 
you may require to have them put into execution ; for no impedi- 
ments shall make us shrink from executing the sacred duties of 
friendship by which we are united." 

, An inexpressible joy filled my very soul. The enthusiasm I felt 
at reading these lines was such, that the darkness of my dungeon 
seemed to vanish, as well as the obstacles which before had appeared 
to me insurmountable. These flattering hopes, which the noble 
conduct of a poor servant girl alone had raised, might be too pre- 
mature ; but they succeeded in rescuing me from the depths of 
despair into which I was sunk. 

By the silence of my friends, and the assurance of Ramona that 
ythere was but one more prisoner in the vicinity of my dungeon, I 
/inferred that the Inquisition had not extended its persecutions so far 
l as the positive manner in which Zorrilla had made some of his 
/ charges gave me reason to fear. Agreeably to this inference, I 
began seriously to think about myself, not indeed as my judges 
advised me, but as sound reason suggested ; namely, how I could 
effect my deliverance. , Don Juanito's recovery, however, was an 
obstacle which opposed itself to it, no less so than the weak condi- 
tion to which I was reduced, as I clearly saw that, in order to exe- 
cute my plan, I must have recourse to force ; the intricate labyrinth 
of these subterraneous passages shutting out all hope of effecting it 
by any other means. Besides, I remarked, in the midst of Ramona's 
exalted generosity of character, a natural timidity which would not 
allow me to think of asking her assistance, as all the efforts of my 
friends in my favour might be rendered useless by the least waver- 
ing on her part at the moment of putting my plan into execution, 
and a thousand disasters ensue. 

I received these first advices from mv friends on the 2d of 



¥16 Narrative of 

January , and saw nothing of Ramona on the two Mowing days,. 
Don Marcelino, who appeared to be much occupied during the first 
days of the new year, remained but a short time with me ; and I 
observed that even at night, when he came to administer to me the 
draught, he did not as usual enter into convention with me re- 
specting the books which he had brought. 

On the 5th, while I was lost in u multitude of doubts and conjec- 
tures respecting the cause of llamona's delay, I heard a whisper at 
the outer door, which I immediately knew proceeded from her. 
On repairing to the aperture, she gave me some paper, and a better 
pencil than the one she had before furnished me with, and in a hurried 
and somewhat tremulous voice, said softly to me : " Be quick, and 
tell me in a low voice if you want any thing else. The prisoner who 
was confined* in the passage above this has been removed to a dun- 
geon close by, and I have not found before this time an opportunity 
of visiting you. Don Juanito left his room this morning, and has 
begun meddling as usual. Should I be closely watched by him, 
the best way for you will be to write to me, putting your note under 
the pillow.' l 

u Can you read well ? for I have much to say and to ask of you ; 
but should you be inclined to refuse granting; any of my requests, 
I" beg you will pity me no more; nor urge any vain consolations." 

" What can you require of me that I should be likely to refuse 
doing ? My fears are all on your account ; doubt not for a moment 
my willingness to serve you. Farewell." 

Between the paper she gave me, I found a note from my friends, 
equally expressive as the former, in which I was informed that ah\ I 
had recommended respecting Torrijos and my other friends haoji 
been done. I was, moroever, desired to say positively if r thought), 
I could combine with them my escape from prison, as they had\ 
already devised various plans to favour if; that they would send to 
me whatever I stood in need of to overcome the first difficulties ; 
and lastly, that if by some fatality my efforts failed, and I feared 
that a cruel death would be the consequence, they would so far do 
violence to their feelings as to send me the means of depriving my- 
self of life. „ 

My plan of escape was then different from that which I finally 
adopted, and there is no doubt that, had I attempted it by any other 
means than the one through which I effected it, all would have been 
discovered. I could undertake nothing without first consulting 
Ramona. The small double iron-barred window of my dungeon 
was so high that it was impossible for me to reach it, and the walls 
were composed of a material in which the least impression would 
have been immediately observed. On the other hand, the doors pf 
the dungeon were so contrived that, the one opening towards the 
other, the person passing through naturally exposed himself to be 



i 

i 



. DON JUAN VA3ST HALEN. 117 

crushed between them, particularly if he were unable to unlock the 
first, which I knew would be the case with me. With respect to 
the passages, staircases, arid windings, I had passed through' them 
several times ; but I did not perfectly recollect the avenue leading 
out of the prison to the apartments of the jailers, so that nothing 
was more easy than to lose myself ; n that labyrinth. The first step, 
therefore, to be taken was to disclose my plans to Ramona, and ask 
her advice. I was the more impatient to do this, as I feared that 
all my hopes might be frustrated by the complete recovery of Don 
Juanito. 

Dr. Gil visited me on that evening, and repeated what he had so 
often said, — that no improvement could be expected in my health 
as long as 1 remained without a fire in my dungeon, or I was not 
removed to a more comfortable one. Both his countenance and 
his words demonstrated that he was highly displeased at the manner 
in which I was treated, and that his visits would become less fre- 
quent. It was very evident that, notwithstanding his goodness of 
heart, he was wearied of attending on me. Previous to his with-/ 
drawing, he requested Don Marcelino to give me every night' the 
same medicine t had been taking ; adding that, unless absolutely 
wanted, he begged him not to send for him ; after which, address- 
ing himself to me, he said : u I am no longer wanted here, but I 
will nevertheless come occasionally to see you ;" and bidding me 
farewell in a tone of compassion, slowly walked out of the 
dungeon. 

On the morning of the following day (the 6th), Don Marcelino 
remained a long time with me, talking about the work of Bossuet, 
endeajpmring to ascertain how much I had read of it. I was sur- 
priseait should not for a moment enter the minds of those men, 
that one reduced to my unhappy condition must see in the maxims 
of religion contained in those books (which he received through the. 
medium of his oppressors, whose barbarous deeds offered the 
greatest contrast to the purity of the gospel, and to every principle 
of honour and rectitude) new motives for fomenting his abhorrence 
of their conduct. • 

At the usual hour Ramona made her appearance. " I bring no- 
thing for you to-day," she said, " although I have already been at 
the appointed place." 

" How is Don Juanito ?" 

" He seldom leaves his room. The other day he found himself 
the worse for going out, and as be is so nervous, he scarcely ever 
gives us the pleasure of his company." 

" I am happy to hear it," I replied, " because I do not think it 
safe for us to communicate by writing." 

" How !" she exclaimed ; " do you mistrust me, or do you be- 
lieve me indiscreet ?" 

ifc Neither," replied I ; " but I will now ask you the" last favour ; 



118 * NARRATIVE 9F 

^namely, to bring me two pistols, and a few other articles, which 
will be delivered to you by my friends." 

" Are you mad ?" she cried, " bbw horrible ! That I will never do. 
I have often heard my master say that you wished to destroy your- 
self, and he always had a long consultation with the doctor when- 
ever opium was prescribed for you. White I live, and am able to 
serve you, why should you wish to die ?" 

She said this, with so much earnestness, that I immediately en- 
deavoured to calm her alarm by assuring her that I wished those 
weapons id effect my deliverance, not to destroy myself. 

" Which way will you effect it ?" 

u Througn the door. Nothing easier* 99 , 

u You do not know the state of the prison at present. Do not 
bewilder me : give me time to observe things, and watch for an 
opportunity. 1 will apprise you of all that may Occur ; but do not 
expect even a pin from me to harm yourself with— no, never ! The 
physician remained some time last night sitting by the fire with my 
master and Don Juanito ; you formed their only subject of conver- 
sation, and I heard the doctor say, during the time I happened to 
be present, that the judges pressed him hard to put an end to his 
visits to you. My mistress asked him what ailed you ? to which he 
replied with a smile, that your illness was most difficult to cure ; in 
a word, that you were mad. To this my master said, showing some 
impatience, as he always d6fcs whenever he speaks of you, that, 
mad or sane, you had many firm supporters without, and that he 
would rather have thirty prisoners than the bird, who had so often 
deprived him of his sleep. The doctor replied, that there was not 
a single person without who ever thought of you. 9 ' 

Ramona related to me this conversation with the object 9$ con- 
vincing me that my keepers did not sleep on their watch, espe- 
cially when she added that every night her master took certain pre- 
cautions which he had never before taken. A noise in the passage 
now obliging her to quit me, I remained alone, forming new plans 
and conjectures. The idea of the doctor pronouncing me mad had 
before now struck me as the means of prolonging the inaction of 
the tribunal in the continuation of my trial. The denial given me 
by Ramona, so greatly disconcerted me, that notwithstanding the 
traits of generosity she had shown, I began to doubt whether she 
would serve me in an emergency. I was, however, too sensible of 
Ramona's kind services to lose all hope of her assistance. 

On the following day, I received a visit from Don Juanito, who 
did not fail to show his insolence to me, by saying among other 
things, that he found ine much improved, and that the friction on 
my legs (speaking ironically, of my fetters) was the surest specific 
to remove any oppression of the chest. I had beside me one of the 
books which I had been reading, and my first impulse was to throw 
?t at his head ; but restraining my anger, I opened it and took no 



I 



BON JUAN VAN HALEN. , 119 

farther notice of him during the time he remained with me. Soon 
after, however, Don Marcelino entered, and assuming an air of 
ga'yety, said, either through stupidity or malice, " Well ! how do 
you find Don Juanito after his illness ? Is he the worse for it, think 
yOu ? One can scarcely recognise him, he has grown so witty !" 
tfaos seconding with his foolish talk the insolence of his colleague. 

The appearance of Don Juanito produced its effects. Five days 
elapsed before I saw any thing of my messenger. On the sixth, on 
returning to my dungeon after it had been cleaned, I found in the 
usual place, a note in which my friends informed me that Torrijos 
had answered, " not to be alarmed on his account ; for that he, 
being a good fencer, would know how to parry the thrusts." I 
wrote, entreating them to undertake nothing for my escape without 
first consulting me ; Ramona having excited serious apprehensions 
in my mind respecting the suspicions of the jailers. 

On Don Marcelino coming in the evening to see me, he shut the 
doors after him, placed his lamp on the floor, and seating himself on 
my bed, began a flaming panegyric on the secretary of the council 
of the supreme, who, as he said, was very anxious to converse with 
me. I easily saw the drift of his eulogy, vriiich was to prepare me 
for a visit that had been long meditated. 

On the following day, Ramona came but for an instant, to take 
my answer to the note J had received from her, at the same time 
informing me that Don Juanito did not then watch her very closely, 
because he feared the damp air of those passages ; but that never- 
theless she could not remain with me any length of time till Sunday 
next She, however, came on the two preceding days to see if I 
wanted any dung. Every time I saw her, I mentioned the subject 
of my intended flight ; but her answers were short and intimidating ; 
so that the progress I had hitherto made to obtain that object was 
but trifling. 

On the night of the 16th Don Marcelino again- repeated to me 
what he had before mentioned. "Mr. Castaneda," said he, "is 
very impatient to see you. It is high time that you should think 
about yourself. I have no doubt that the visit which that gentle- 
man will by-and-by procure you will be very consoling to you ; 
but he wishes you to listen to the virtuous sentiments of the person 
whom you will see." 

" What visit can console me in this place ?" I asked. u Alas ! 
Don Marcelino, the visit of the masks I once saw here is too deeply 
imprinted on my memory to be forgotten by me as long as I live." 

" Be calm, my dear Sir," he returned : " I do not allude to such 
a visit. The most important thing at, present for you to think 
about is to get well. It is your father— yes ! your father, who is to 
come and see you." 

I own that I was surprised, though not agreeably ; for, knowing 
the intention of his wit, such an interview could not fail to be 



\%G ' NARRATIVE OP 

highly painful to me. Convinced, however, of. the necessity of 
gaining time, I told Don Marceliho that I was very much obliged 
to Mr. Castaneda for. his good wishes, and that I was most happy 
to hear that I should receive a visit from my respectable father. 
No sooner had I mentioned this, than Don Marcelino, evincing the 
greatest joy, seized the tight, and hastened away, doubtless to inform 
his employers of the result of his errand. 

Another day passed without my seeing Ramona ; but on the 
following, I heard her voice at the usual hour, saying joyfully, that 
on that day there was no tribunal, and that Don Juanito had not 
left his room ; adding that I might put to ber any questions I pleased. 
I profited by this opportunity to paint in the strongest colours $he 
true situation in which I stood, declaring to her that it was indis- 
pensable I should open myself a passage, or die. On hearing this, 
she uttered a thousand exclamations, and burst into a flood of team, 
keeping me for several minutes in a state of confusion. " It is im- 
possible," she cried, "for you to escape... .my master's death would 
be the consequence • . . horrible ! horrible ! I do not regard my own 
life — no I do not." 

" You will accompany me," exclaimed I, interrupting her. 

" Then I should dishonour myself, and I am lost for ever." 

In vain did I try every argument to persuade her to adopt this 
step : at length I asked her if she would bring me what my cousin 
would deliver to her. " I will bring nothing that may be injurious 
to you, or to my master : that is the only thing I will deny you. 
Dispose of me as you will ; ask me any thing you please Jo effect 
your escape ; I will refuse you nothing : but you must wait for an 
opportunity when every thing may weigh on Don Juanito. Let 
him be responsible for every thing : let him be the only sufferer — 
yes, the only one, for he deserves all. I will then bring you any 
thing you want, and lose my life to save yours ; but in putting your 
plan into execution, think of some means of avoiding bloodshed. 
Let neither yours nor my master's blood be spilt, I entreat you, 
and I am ready to do all for you, for I see that you must no longer 
abide here ; but you must not forget my entreaties." In this wild 
manner she proceeded for some time, until the fear of exciting sus- 
picions made her quit me. 

Since she agreed to procure for me the articles of which I stood 
in need, it was indifferent to me whether I formed my plan of es- 
cape upon Don Juanito, or upon Don Marcelino. Her timidity, 
however, required that I should not precipitate myself. 

On the morning of the 1 9th, as soon as the light penetrated into 
my dungeon, I wrote to my friends, informing them that I believed 
my escape to be practicable, especially if I might depend on their 
co-operation ; that I would inform them in my next letter of the 
kind of assistance I should require, and also fix the time for its exe- 
cution. : and lastly, that I begged them to procure me the means 



DON JUAN ^VAN HALEN. 



m 



for leaving Spain, through Portugal, in the company of another 
person with whom it was my intention to escape. , 

I meditated this journey without taking into consideration my de- 
plorable state of weakness, which would probably have exposed 1 me 
to some fatal disappointment, had not my friends arranged matters 
otherwise, through motives, the prudence of which 1 could not but 
acknowledge. 1 had just written my note when Don Marcelino 
entered, and renewed his conversation respecting the secretary of 
the council and the projected visit. I asked him if it would soon 
take place, to which he replied, that they waited only for my com- 
plete recovery to conduct me to an apartment of the Inquisition, 
where it was resolved my father should see me. It may be easily 
conceived how important it was for me to postpone that meeting, 
when there would be no other alternative left me than to betray my 
friends, or to submit to the torments which the cruelty of the arbiters 
of my destiny would devise. 

An' hour after Don Marcelino's visit, my confidential messenger 
came in great haste. The first thing was to give her the note, 
assuring her that, if my plans succeeded according to my wishes, 
nothing of what she feared would happen, especially if she would 
assist me in putting them into execution u Where does Don Ju- 
anito spend the evening ?" I then inquired. 

" Since he fell ill, he remains in his own room," she replied. . 

II What doors does Don Marcelino shut when he comes to bring 
the medicine ?" 

M I do not know, because I never enter the prison at that hour." 

u Observe it then for two or three times with all possible care, and 
inform me of it." 

" Is that all you wish ?" 

" That is enough, Ramona, " I replied ; " you will render me an 
essential service by your bringing me this intelligence," 

" Depend upon me, I will do it without fail," she said, and with- 
drew. 

Though I was constantly occupied with the subject of my in- 
tended Sight, I did not, however, overlook the fate of Ramona, 
whom I always intended to save. We had not yet agreed on this 
point, which I conceived offered many difficulties* It was very 
probable that, by describing to her the dangers attending it, she 
might be intimidated ; for she appeared to me more capable of 
feeling deeply than of acting with resolution : this at her age, and 
in her sex, was not surprising. On the other hand, I considered 
that it would be unjust in me to conceal from her the hazards of 
our undertaking ; and yet I had remarked of late that she had fore- 
gone much of that serenity which she had at first shown. I lost 
many an hour of repose in endeavouring to reconcile these differ- 
ences in my mind. 

Persuaded that the only practicable wav for me to make my 

q 



1^2 KAKRATIVE Off 

escape was through the doors, I kept my eyes constantly fixed orf 
them, as well as on every thing connected with that intricate laby- 
rinth ; and, as it was my intention to effect it during the night, I 
listened attentively, a little before Don M arcelino's last visit, to the 
echo of the passages, in order to ascertain whether or not be shut 
the doors after him, and if he were accompanied by any one ; but 
I could form no right judgment except of what immediately passed 
before my eyes. The two doors of my dungeon had each a strong 
bolt with a padlock to it, the same as the other five or six in the 
passages of the prison. As Don M arcelino was in the habit of 
coming unarmed every night, bringing, the medicine Jn one hand 
and the lamp in the other, I imagined that it would be easy for me 
to compel him to guide me out of the prison. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

The jailer Don Juanito, having recovered, visits the author— His dungeon is rendered 
warmer — Important information respecting the doors — Portraits painted on the 
walls of a dungeon — The chapel called £1 Rosario — New plans of escape— The 
author writes to his friends on his purposed flight— Resolutions adopted by Ramona 
—Generous zeal of the author's friends— Don Marcelino's anecdotes and conver- 
sation with his prisoner. 

Don Marcelino made his appearance on that night, accompa- 
nied by Don Juanito, and bringing more clothes for my bed. The 
latter said that, wishing my prompt recovery, they were going to 
improve the temperature of that apartment, (as he called it,) and 
that he would then be able occasionally to keep me company, 
adding a thousand impertinent observations respecting the trouble 
which he said T gave them all. I easily saw that the period of 
mildness Commenced, that my recovery might enable the inquisitors 
to repeat fresh cruelties towards me ; and the more I looked at 
Don Juanito's face, at his affected- manners and malicious smile, 
the more confirmed was I'in my conjectures. 

On the following morning, they both came in, bringing a brasier 
(according to the Spanish fashion) to warm the dungeon. Don 
Juanito repeated his visits on that day, enveloped in bis cloak. 
Whenever he happened to be alone with me, and saw me standing, 
he carried his hand to his bosom, where he concealed his arms. 
v " You, with that long beard, do not feel the cold," said he ; "but 
we, who walk along these passages, suffer a great deal in the 
winter." In this manner he went on, taunting me with ironical 
language, unpleasant to repeat, though very difficult to forget. My 
mind, however, was then more occupied with the obstacle which 



DQjf JUAN VAW HALEN. 123 

the presence of this man opposed to my seeing Ramona on that day 
than with his discourse. 

At length Sunday arrived ; and my jailers, wishing to profit of 
that holyday, took away the brasier very early, leaving me to the 
full enjoyment of my solitude. Soon after I had the pleasure of 
seeing Ramona. " Don Juanito is gone out with my master," she 
said, in a tremulous voice, " but. he is more vigilant than ever. 
Since his recovery he never ventured to enter the prison in the eve- 
ning till last night, when he came in, and remained wrapped up in 
his cloak at the. top of the first staircase. He ordered me to bring 
him & light, and taking from his pocket a book which he has carried 
about him for the last few days, began reading it with great at- 
tention." 

" Well, but what have you done ?" I interrupted. 

" I have twice followed the steps of my master. The night 
before last, I came nearly as far as here, and I heard him speak 
with you. He does not shut the doors after him ; but the whole 
prison remains in total darkness, as, except the light he leaves to 
the other prisoner close by, and that which he brings with him, 
no other is to be seen. The key of the third door is very difficult 
to manage ; he always takes it out when he opens the passages for 
me ; but when he comes alone he leaves it in the door. That key 
has been made since you were imprisoned here, and he never forgets 
, * to take * it with him on going to bed, as well as the two keys be- 
'..-</_>. V longing to these doors. Last night he had a long conversation with 

> ' Don Juanito about you : wishing to know what they had to say, I 

Concealed myself within hearing. That fool Don Juanito expressed 
himself very anxious that my master should read the book which he 
is himself perusing, saying that he would find in it the history of 
another bird as wicked and dangerous as yourself, who, he said, 
had escaped from several prisons, because the king of that country 
being a heretic had no inquisition, and consequently no jailers to be 
compared with those of the Holy Office." 

On hearing Ramona mention a heretic king, I soon guessed that 
the book which occupied the attention of Don Juanito was no 
other than the history of Baron de Trenck ; and wishing to induce 
her to accompany me in my flight, I related to her some part of it 
which bore some analogy to the generous conduct she had observed 
towards me. 

"I do not wish to imitate any one," she replied sharply. " Do 
not bring me examples of foreigners, who might be actuated by 
very different motives from mine. We Spanish women resemble 
none but ourselves, and we must act in our own way. You remind 
me of Don Juanito with his ridiculous comparisons. My master 
may or may not read that book ; and for myself I shall listen only 
to the impulses of my heart, and of my honour. If you succeed in 
escaping, I remain here in quiet, and sure of myself; and if you 






124 NARRATIVE OF 

fail, I shall know what to do without trying to imitate the actions of 
anyone." 

I endeavoured to engage her in this conversation so interesting to 
me, when she suddenly quitted me. Scarcely two minutes had 
elapsed before Don Juanito made his appearance, with a malicious 
smile on his couutenance, which made me fear he had discovered 
something ; but although Ramona's situation at that moment was 
very critical, her foresight prevented any misfortune. She had a 
little dog, so much attached to her that he followed her wherever 
she went, and which she was in the habit of leaving outside of the 
first door of the prison when she came to see me ; so that when- 
ever any one opened the door where it stood, it ran in to its mistress, 
thus announcing the approach of the person entering, whom it was 
easy for her to avoid meeting in the obscurity of those labyrinths. 

On the following day, I was taken by both jailers to* another dun- 
geon more distant than the one I was usually confined in whilst mine 
was preparing. On entering, I observed that the walls were covered 
with portraits, and Don M arcelino asked me what I thought of them. 
" You see," he added, "that we have here good painters. Amuse 
yourself with looking at the drawings whilst your place is getting 
ready." Having said this, they both left me. 

From the middle of this dungeon, which was larger and lighter 
than mine, I could see through the high window the steeple of a 
chapel called El Rosario. It was under the mats of this chapel, 
near the basin of holy water, where Ramon a left my notes for my 
friends. The portraits sketched on the walls represented Francis L, 
Columbus, Henry IV., and Cortez, and were done in such a mas- 
terly manner, that but for the materials with* which they were painted, 
they deserved a better place. Doubtless, the artist was not very 
distant from me. 

On returning to my dungeon, I found under my pillow a letter, 
in which there was a plan of every street in the vicinity of the prison. 
My friends, rejoiced at the hopes I had held out to them, described 
the places through which 1 ought to direct my course, and where I 
should meet one of the party, who would guide me to the asylum 
which was . prepared for me ; ' observing that the success of the 
project entirely depended on myself, for that every thing I should 
require in the way of assistance from without would be afforded me* 

From the moment I entertained the. hope of escaping, I com- 
menced taking notes of the occurrences which happened to me in 
the Inquisition, Ramona having furnished me with the means of 
doing this. It was my intention to deliver them to her, that she 
might convey them to my friends ; but such was the fatality that 
pursued me, that far from my seeing her at a moment when her 
presence was so necessary to concert with her my final arrange- 
ments, I was continually visited by one or other of the two jailers. 
Don Marcelino spent much of his time with me, always conversing 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 125 

about the intended visit, and of the favourable results which he 
hoped it would produce. I nevertheless discovered a great* uneasi- 
ness in my keepers, who seemed very anxious for my complete re- 
covery ; and I feared that the opportunity for putting my plan into 
execution would escape me by a farther delay. 

On the morning of the 25th, seeing that Ramona did not appear, 
I employed the short intervals in which I was alone in writing to my 
friends the following note : — 

" On the 30th of this month, between seven and eight in the 
evening, I shall attempt my escape ; and should t then be prevented, 
it will be on one of the following evenings. I am resolved to die 
if I fail in the execution of my plan ; but if 1 am fortunate enough 
to arrive among you, I must give myself up entirely to your direc- 
tion. " I then added a description of the singular attire in which 
I should present myself to them, that, by being informed of it, they 
might neither be surprised at my appearance, nor neglect to furnish 
me with some other articles of dress by which I might avoid detect 
tkm. This note I enclosed in another, addressed to Ramona, in 
which I imparted to her my final resolution, expressing an earnest 
desire that she should follow me, and begging her to inform me with 
all possible* haste of any unforeseen obstacle that' might arise to 
thwart my intentions. 

A few hours after I had written these notes, she came to do her 
work in my dungeon, and took them from under my pillow. I was, 
however, not fortunate enough to see her on that day ; and even on 
the following she did but just show herself and mention the name 
of Don Jtiantto, when she suddenly disappeared. At length, on the 
third day (the 28th), I saw her but for a few minutes, during which 
she had only time to say, " For God's sake do not attempt any 
thing until I have seen you. To-morrow the tribunal does not sit, 
and I will make an effort to come. 9 ' Her sudden departure made 
me suspect that some remarkable occurrence bad taken place at 
which she was alarmed. 

1 had already observed that, whenever the tribunal did not sit, my 
keepers bestowed but little of their time in attending upon me, con- 
sequently my solitude- was less disturbed Sunday having arrived, 
my jailers were, indeed, more sparing of their visits ; nevertheless I 
saw nothing of Ramona during the whole morning, which I spent 
in forming a thousand confused conjectures. I had never seen my 
messenger in the afternoon ; but on this day, at about three, I beard 
a noise which I thought.proceeded from my jailers, and was agreea- 
bly surprised at finding it was Ramona herself, who, delivering to 
me a note, said, " I must have caused you much uneasiness this 
morning, but it was unavoidable ; and T assure you I have been 
obliged to assign more than one pretext in order to induce my mas- 
ter to allow me free entrance into the prison this afternoon. I trem- 
ble with apprehension at what you purpose doing to-morrow." 



126 NARRATIVE OF 

" Purpose doing V ' I interrupted. " At what I will do to-morrow, 
you mean, or my name is not Van Halen." 

"Wait till Don Juanito be again confined to his room," she 
cried : u the weak state of his health gives me reason to hope this 
may soon be the case." 

" On a former occasion," returned I, " you advised me to deal 
entirely with Don Juanito, and now yoij advise the contrary." 

" On a former occasion I feared for my master's life ; now I fear 
for yours. Since Don Juanito's recovery he has seldom missed the 
nocturnal visit to the prison. You would meet with both, and, wo 
to me 1 what would then become of you ?" 

By this language Ramona, whose generous conduct had afforded 
me so much consolation, excited in me the most painful apprehen- 
sions, and added to my previous anxiety. No argument I could 
urge to induce her to follow me was of any avail ; and having ex- 
hausted all my means of persuasion, I at length said to her : " Tell 
me now your determination : will you or will you not come ?" 

u If you should hurt my master, or if you should stand in need 
of my assistance against Don Juanito, and lastly, if I see myself 
obliged to aid you in an open iqanner in either of these cases, I am 
lost, and I will go and die in any place or country where you may 
take me ; but if, on the contrary, it please heaven that you should 
obtain your liberty without having recourse to violence, then I have 
nothing to fear, and I ought to remain where I am, and return thanks 
to God for your liberation." 

Here tears seemed to choke her utterance, and she leaned her 
head against the door. u If you succeed," she continued, u with- 
out my interference, no suspicion can be attached to me ; but if I 
follow you, I convict myself at once." 

I again endeavoured to persuade her to accede to my wishes by 
adducing such reasons as in my opinion were less objectionable, 
and which my reader must suppose sincere in a man who was ac- 
tuated only by the deepest feelings of gratitude and admiration ; but 
even these were ineffectual. She firmly believed that there could 
be no worse union than that emanating from mere gratitude ; but 
she assured me that I might still reckon on her service, if, as she 
was persuaded, the state of my health prevented me from travelling. 
" Last night,*' she added, " Don Juanito did not accompany my 
master to the prison, and I took the opportunity of observing Don 
Marcelino, who did not shut any of the doors after him. Perhaps 
Don Juanito will attend to-night, or else to-morrow night ; but you 
will know whether he does so, by observing if the plate on which 
my master brings the glass containing your medicine have a border 
to it ; if it should not, you may be sure Don Juanito does "not 
watch outside. This man," she continued, u always has a poignard 
concealed about him. As for my master's arms, I will manage so 
that they may hurt neither you nor him." 



Doit Juan van halejn. 127 

* 

u What arms, then, shall I have recourse to if I should meet 
Don Juanito ?" I inquired. 

" If the plate have a border, I entreat you not to make the at- 
tempt," she replied, " both for your sake and mine." 

I then gave her the notes I had taken, the pencil, and every 
thing else which it was not prudent should be found upon me in 
case of my failing in the attempt, and requested her to deliver them 
to my friends. 

Ever since Ramona proffered her assistance to me, we had never 
spent so much time together, and so undisturbedly as on that after- 
noon. The reason of this was, that Don Marcelino's wife having 
on that day a visiter (a lady with whom she had been brought up), 
and Don Marcelino's politeness not allowing of their going alone to 
the promenade, he had, contrary to his custom, absented himself, 
leaving Ramona at home alone, Don Juanito, on the other hand, 
spent fnost of the festival days with his friends ; so that the only 
individuals about the prison on those occasions, were the servants 
of the inquisitors, and the inferior attendants of the tribunal. 

Night came, and Don Marcelino eiitered with the medicine in 
higher spirits than I had ever seen him. He related to me the vari- 
ous incidents that had amused him during his long walk, and then 
leaving the lamp with me, withdrew to visit, as I supposed, the other 
prisoner who was in my vicinity. 1 profited of this favourable op- 
portunity to read the paper delivered to me by Ramona, in which 
my friends declared themselves ready to protect my flight, saying, 
among other things, that from the 30th the friend who was to wait 
for me outside the doors of the Inquisition would attend every night 
at seven o'clock ; and referring to the plan already in my possession, 
they again pointed out to me the way I ought to follow on reaching 
the street They also gave me a description of the person who 
would meet me, and the watchword which we were to employ on 
this occasion. I was far from thinking that the precautions taken 
by my friends to favour my flight could be so extensive as they 
proved to be. 

On Don Marcelino's return, he again remained some time with 
me, his conversation turning on the everlasting topic of the intend- 
ed visit. Had this been the night appointed for my escape, I could 
have accomplished it with less difficulty ; for although I got into 
bed, immediately after taking the medicine, with my clothes on, as I 
generally did owing to the cold that prevailed in the dungeon, I had 
the jailer sitting by me, during the whole time he remained there, 
so entirely off his guard, that nothing could be easier for me than 
to have effected my escape. Desirous of giving me an idea of the 
mild treatment I should experience if matters were satisfactorily ar- 
ranged, as he said, he relatedjto me various anecdotes of the times 
of his father-in-law, who had had under his care a certain prisoner 
with whom he frequently used to go out walking in the evening, 



1&> JVAKRATIVfc QF 

• 

a circumstance rather singular for the Inquisition, but which there 
is no doubt happened in those times of moderation, when this tri- 
bunal reckoned among its members the philosophio Llorente. 

I had already examined well his person before he rose to with- 
draw, and I could discover no other arms than a pistol which he 
carried in the breast-pocket of his coat. As he closed the doors, 
I could not help exclaiming to myself, u To-morrow they shall give 
way before me, or I shall breathe my last within these walls." 



CHAPTER XIV. 

The author required to assume a new dress — Small gold cross found under his pillow 
—Perilous exertion— The author bolts his dungeon doors, leaving Don Marcelino 
as his prisoner — He effects his escape to the kitchen— Meeting with Kamoaa— 
Hue and cry— He escapes— His friends meet him in the street— They give him an 
immediate disguise— Asylum— Heroine of the war of independence— He resides 
with Captain Nunez de Arenas— Generous spirit which animated the liberal party , 
—•Their increased numbers— Arco Aguero— Zonraqutn— Iiifantea— Faoio— Donnin- 
guez — Torrijos, and Romero Alpuente— Castaheda's hatred of the latter— Local 
situation of the Inquisition of the court at Madrid — Count of Montijo. ' 

It was ten o'clock in the morning when the jailers entered, and 
the day dawned in my dungeon. " The weather is very foggy," 
said Don Marcelino ; and I inwardly prayed heaven that it might 
continue so till night. I was desired to take off the tattered jacket, 
companion of my disasters, and to put on a green surtout, the same 
I wore when I went to the audience of the King. 1 was also in- 
formed that the barber would be called to cut my hair and shave my 
beard (which by this time rivalled that of any Capuchin friar), Don 
Marcelino hinting that the intended visit was approaching. This 
alteration in my appearance would have been insignificant in itself, 
had not my friends been already apprized of the attire in which I 
thought I should have presented myself to them. ' 

At twelve o'clock dinner was brought to me, and at two I was 
conducted to the same dungeon where I had seen the paintings, and 
where I remained about an hour. On returning to my own, I has- 
tened to look under the pillow, and found a small gold cross, and 
the same ear-ring which first inspired me with hope, both fastened 
to a hair chain : such were the hostile weapons' which that innocent 
girl furnished me with to come out triumphant in my struggle. 

During the short time that the brasier was left with me on the 
morning of this day, I took a piece of charcoal, with which, in the 
afternoon, I wrote in one of the blank pages of Bossuet a few lines 
addressed to Don Marcelino to the following effect : " That' my 
evil fortune having placed me in the alternative of either being a 
traitor to my cause, or falling a victim to the cruelty of his employ- 



DON JUAN VAN HALkN. 12$ 

* 

ferfe* I had resolved to seek my liberty by forcible means ; that I dkf 
not hesitate to acknowledge he was the least inhuman of those whofti 
I had known in those dungeons ; and lastly, that should my adverse 
fate pursue me so far as to render my attempt fruitless, I begged him 
to respect my misfortunes, should I be again intrusted to his custo- 
dy." Thus I hoped to increase the confusion of my oppressors, if 
I succeeded in freeing myself from their grasp. 

Uncertain how to dispose of the present Ramona had left for me, 
upon reflecting that in the event of a failure it would afford the most 
evident proof of her being an accomplice in my premeditated escape, 
I was compelled, much to my regret, to throw the chain and cross 
through the loop-hole of my dungeon, preserving only the ear-ring, 
which by its shape 1 was able to conceal, and which I have always 
preserved. 

At length the hour for the execution of my plan drawing near, t 
listened attentively through the opening in the door, till hearing the 
distant noise of bolts, 1 retreated towards my bed. As soon as Don 
Marcelino entered, without recollecting the sign agreed upon re- 
specting the plate* and fearing that this might be my last opportunity, 
I advanced towards him, extinguished the light, and pushing him 
violently to the farthest corner of the dungeon, flew to the door* and 
rushing through, shut it upon him and drew the bolt, at the same 
moment that he recovering himself threatened my life. Once in 
the passage, I groped along in complete darkness ; but the astound* 
ing cries of the new prisoner echoed so loudly through those vaults* 
that fearing they might be heard, I no sooner arrived at the third 
door of that labyrinth, than locking it after me, I took out its ponde- 
rous key, with which I armed myself for want of a better weapon. 

I passed the dungeon of the other prisoner confined in those pas*- 
sages, who, far from imagining the scene that was acting, mistook 
my steps for those Of the jailer. Following my way at random* I 
twice lost myself in the various windings, and a thousand times did 
I curse the obscurity which threatened to frustrate all my hopes. 
At length, after groping about for seven or eight minutes* which 
appeared an eternity to me, I reached the last staircase, from which 
I could distinguish the glimmerings of a light. As I ascended the 
stairs, I grasped the key in the manner of a pistol, and soon after 
found myself at the threshold of a door wide open, that led to an 
outer kitchen, in the middle of which hung a lantern. I judged by 
this that I was already out of the prison ; but uncertain what direc- 
tion to follow, and hearing the voices of people in some part of the 
house, I stood still for a moment, and then hastened to the kitchen 
to look for a hatchet, or some other weapon that might serve me in 
case of meeting opposition. 

On entering, the first object that presented itself was Ramona* 
who stood pale and breathless, with a countenance in which as- 
tonishment was blended with anxiety and alarm. " What pistol fa 

R 



130 ZfAR&AgfYS or 

that ?-*where is my master ?" ahe exclaimed, after * moment's & 
fence, raising her clasped bands towards heaven* 

I calmed her apprehensions by showing her the key, when, im- 
mediately recovering her presence of mind, she drew from her bosom 
the notes I had given her, and returning them to we, pointed to a 
court which led to the outer door, saying ; " That is the way to the 
street My mistress and her guest are in the saloon : yon hear their 
voices. This is the very hour when she expects the arrival of seme 
friends, and I most immediately call out, because they knew I most 
necessarily see you before you get to the court For heaven's sake 
hasten away, for I can render you no farther assistance. 5 ' Saying 
this, ahe pressed my hands in her'a with deep emotion, and I hurried 
towards the court. As the remainder of my way was also involved 
in darkness, I lost some minutes in finding the right direction to the 
door, when the rustling of the bell-wipe served to guide me te it. 
Here I heard the voices of some persons outside, who certainly did 
not expect to meet with such a porter. 

Meantime Ramona, who was to open the door, on hearing the 
bell ring, began screaming for assistance, as if she had been hurt by 
some one passing in great haste. The ladies, alarmed, joined their 
cries to her's, and I opened the door amidst thie confusion, pushed 
down the person just entering, and reached the street, feeling as if I 
breathed a second life* 

'Following the direction pointed out to me by my friends* and 
avoiding the approach of some of the persons I saw luitong about 
the Inquisition, I turned the corner of that building, and met a tali 
man muffled up in his cloak, who, either having forgotten the watch* 
word agreed upon, or recognising me at the first moment, ex? 
claimed, " Van Helen ! Juan ! is it you ?" 

" Yes, it is," I cried, my heart leaping with joy at hearing the 
voice of a friend. As soon as I returned this answer, he grfve a 
shrill whistle, and suddenly I was surrounded by several other 
friends, among whom I recognised two old comrades of mine, whom 
I did not suppose so interested in my destiny. One took off my old 
cap, and placed his laced cocked-hat on my head ; another gave 
me a cloak, which, he said, had been purposely made for me ; a 
third desired me to follow him and fear nothing, for they would all 
lose their lives sooner than I should be retaken. They were all 
military men, whose high- wrought enthusiasm bad led them to ap- 

Kr on this occasion in full uniform and decorations ; and there is 
e doubt that, had I been pursued by my keepers, they would all 
bave perished at their hands. I followed my friends, enveloped in 
my cloak, though still with the green slippers I wore in the prison. 
On crossing over the street of San Bernardo, which runs parallel 
With the prison, one of those who accompanied me took the lead to 
guide us ; another remained with me ; -and the rest dispersed gra- 
dually as we advanced. On arriving at the street .of Tudescos, we 



/ 
/ 



DON JUAN VAN HALKN. 131 

stepped before a large newly-built house, the principal door o£ 
which, contrary to the Custom of the country, stood a little* open. 
Having etrteted and reached the first landing place, we met a large 
nrtsqu£rtidi**g party who wart just coming out of the principal 
fbomft. Although wrapped up n «y cloak, and my free well con- 
ceited, I #tfts afraid thai my shppersv attracting their attention, 
might toad to a discovery; and I fainted to thy friends that this 
house #id not appear to me the most suitable for a place of conceal* 
meat. They were, however, of a different opinion, and we con* 
tinued ascending the stairs till we reached the attics, where I (bund 
Hie asylum prepared for me intrusted to the care of one of the Spa- 
itish heroines, who had figured during the last war with the French 
in her native province, Biscay* She was still young, had an ani- 
mated countenance, and the clear complexion of the women of her 
province. Though she had been previously warned of my arrival, 
as she wee ignorant of most of the circumstances that led me there, 
she seemed a good deal surprised at aeeing me appear in that sin- 
gular dress and long heard. 

In Jter humble apartments, every thing was arranged with the most 
scrupulous neatness ; but trfy inquietude did not allow me at that 
moment to pay much attention to the objects around me, which 
being observed by her, who ignorant of the cause of ray uneasiness 
attributed k to mistrust, she hastened to dissipate it by assuring me 
that I had nothing to apprehend either from her, or in her house ; as 
from the moment she learnt the honourable charge that was to be 
intrusted to her, she had sent away her servant, and consequently 
she was the mistress, nurse, and only depositary of the secrets that 
might transpire within those walls. She then leisurely showed me 
the rooms that constituted her apartment, which were two bed* 
chambers, a small sitting-room, and a kitchen, the thin wall of 
tfhich separated the ether hatf of the garret, the abode of a poor 
tailor, who was encumbered with a numerous family, and deeply 
sunk hi every kind of misery. On % hearing her account of that mains 
distress, I could 1*0* help thinking that he might be induced to aB&- 
viaite Ins wretched situation by some fatal denunciation, should he 
ever'entertain a suspicion of the real character of his neighbour. I 
imparted to that good woman my apprehensions, as well as the 
accidental meeting with the masquerading party, and openly de- 
clared to her my resolution of not remaining there that night She 
agreed with me that there might be reason for fear, and did me the 
justice to believe that she in no way inspired me with mistrust. 

Captain Nunez de Arenas, an old friend of mine, aware that such 
an occurrence might happen, had, many days before my escape, 
hired an unfurnished apartment in a distant part of the town; in 
> which he caused to be brought a few articles of furniture, among 
^vhich was a sola-bedstead ; though by so doing he subjected him- 
self to a very different kind of suspicion. 

To this place I was conducted by my two guides* who agreed 



1SS NARRATIVE OF 

with me that there was danger in my remaining here ; and as they 
boarded with the families in whose houses tbey were quartered, to 
avoid exciting any suspicions they left me in my new asylum, assuring 
me that it would not be long before Nufiez de Arenas would ap- 
pear. It was even so ; for before many minutes had elapsed, I 
saw him enter, loaded, as one who goes to an encampment, with 
various indispensable things, which he was resolved to share with 
me as long as I should remain there. We were then ignorant that 
within a few steps of our abode lived the military fiscal, who had 
commenced the cause instituted against me. 

The night passed swiftly on, in mutually relating to each other the 
various adventures we had met with since our last parting. , Nunez 
de Arenas, deeply moved at the narrative of my sufferings,* and at 
the still visible marks of the barbarous treatment I had experienced, 
could scarcely contain his indignation, and with his natural energy 
swore an inextinguishable hatred to my persecutors, and an eternal 
friendship to me : he did more — he kept his word. 

Notwithstanding the tolerably correct information I possessed, 
previous to my arrest, of the extensive relations existing amosg my 
friends, and of the favourable ideas I had since formed of their 
increasing numbers, I never imagined they rested on such a solid 
basis of organization as that in which I found them at thetime of 
my escape from the Inquisition. I shall leave to a more expe- 
rienced writer the task of presenting in all their details the gallant 
actions which the events of that period gave rise to, and which may 
serve as an instructive lesson to every oppressive government, con- 
fining myself solely to those connected with my narrative. 

It is a fact no less honourable to the Spanish patriots than grati- 
fying for me to state, that among the individuals who acted with me 
in the same cause, there is only one whom we have had the grief 
to see steering in an opposite course from the noble one in which 
he had at first entered. I mean the Count of Montijo, who, wanting 
the high-mindedness required at a crisis when the national honour 
was at stake, listened only to his personal resentment, confounding 
the actors with the play, and principles with actions ; thus becoming 
the patfisan rather of circumstances than of reason. 

The directive power of the association, which was removed from 
Granada to Madrid shortly after my arrest, was nearly all composed 
of military men ; such as Area Aguero,t Zorraquin,| Infantes,§ 
Nunez de Arenas, H Facio,H Patricio and Juaquin Dominguez,** 

* See Note C. 

t Then a colonel, and afterwards general of the army of Estramadura. 

| Then brigade-general and officer of engineers, and afterwards general, and chief 
of the staff in the army of Mina. 

& Also an officer of engineers. 

I) Captain of artillery. 

IT Captain of the royal guards. 

*+ Two brothers; the one chief of the squadron of artillery stationed in the capita} 
did the other, lieatenant-colonel of a regiment in garrison at Madrid. 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 133 

Polo,* &c. &c, all under the presidency of a respectable magis- 
trate of the capita], whose high post brought him in close contact 
with the leading members of the government, and whose interesting 
family held one of the most select tertulias of Madrid, where men ef 
various parties- assembled, a circumstance which gave the chief of it 
an opportunity of learning what passed in the Camarilla from day 
to day, as well as the measures of espionage adopted by our enemies 
to discover the place of ray retreat. 

The precautions taken by my friends to communicate with each 
other were of such a nature, that without attracting the attention of 
anyone by holding meetings, or endangering the safety of the mem- ' 
bers, the most important question might be discussed in one day by 
means of what is called a triangular chain, where one of the three 
individuals who form a triangle is known to two more, who with 
himself constitute another, so that every deliberation ran from one 
to the other, whether it commenced at the head, the centre, or the 
extremity. Herrera, Davila, Belda, Solano, with other officers of 
artillery and engineers ; Luzuriaga, Villanueva, Saumell, Arjona, 
and a great many others of the civil class, as well as several of the 
individuals to whom the letters without signatures, which were in 
the possession of the inquisitors, belonged, composed the subaltern 
societies of the capital. .No sooner were they apprised of my situ- 
ation in the Inquisition, than they all began to act in concert in my 
behalf by means of the triangular chain. 

Nunez de Arenas, who, as I have said, spent the night with me, 
related to me, with his natural gayety of heart, many occurrences 
both amusing and important. From him I heard with grief that the 
brigade-general Torrijos, • the venerable magistrate Don Juan Ro- 
mero Alpuente, and several other friends, had been imprisoned in 
Alicante, and in the dungeons of the Inquisition of Murcia. This 
facfc my friends had studiously concealed from me whilst J was in 
the Inquisition, afraid that it might intimidate me in my projected 
plan of escape, which in their opinion was rendered the more indis- 
pensable, as they knew that fresh charges would be brought against 
me by the inquisitors, which might* have led to fresh calamities. 
Hence, from the moment they saw that the tribunal proceeded to 
fresh arrests, they resolved to snatch me, dead or alive, from the 
hands of its members, as it was natural to suppose that by my dis- 
appearance the multitude of proofs which might have resulted from 
an explanation of the papers belonging to me, were rendered null. 
This conclusion was verified by the event ; for on the inquisitors 
losing their prey, they followed up* the cause only for form's sake, 
and to vent their rage and disappointment on the prisoners who 
were still in their power, by multiplying their sufferings, and leaving 
them to die in their dungeons. 

* Captain of artillery. 



* 

nv^ 



1$4 narrative er 

The reader may remember the dialogue I had in the prisons of 
Mwrcia with the senior inquisitor Oastaiieda, and from it inftyr 
whether, Romero Alptente once in his power, he was likely to 
forget his promise of making him drink to the very dregs the bitter 
ctop which he waa bo anxious to administer. It is certain that Son 
deja, a year after Ay escape, drew up a document for the council of 
the supreme, in which it waa stated that nothing sufficiently import- 
ant, resulting from the proceedings instituted against the individuals 
confined in the prisons of Mureta and Valencia, implicated in my 
cause, waa found to justify the passing of a sentence *ef death 
against any of them ; and that the hope of again seizing me being 
relinquished, without which it was impossible to effect then* convic- 
tion* he was of opinion that, under the pretence of carrying on the 
trials, the prisoners should be kept in close confinement for any 
period of time that might be deemed proper. He then named those 
whom he recommended should be thus condemned to a perpetual 
imprisonment, a list of whom I have at this time in my po ssessi on ; 
whilst the rest, who appeared to him more insignificant, should be 
released. 

So great was the importance attached by my friends to my libera- 
dronv that even before they knew I was planning my escape, they 
had formed two projects with a similar object ; one of which was 
to undermine the prison, and the other to enter it on a dark night 
by force. I will describe its situation before I proceed to give an ac- 
count of both. 

The building of the Inquisition occupies a third part of the row 
of houses that feces the street ef die same name : the back looks 
towards that of San Bernardo ; one of its sides into the square of 
Santo Domingo ; and the other into the narrow street through 
which I first passed on the night I made my escape, and in the 
middle of which stood a large house, at that time inhabited by seve- 
ral officers of the staff whom the government bad appointed to 
write the military history of the war of independence. Manzanares 
and Polo, who were of that number, having the keys of that build-* 
ing at their disposal, had examined it well, and discovered that it was 
contiguous to the interior walls of the prison, and that from its 
cellars a subterraneous passage was practicable. Nufies de Arenas, 
however, who feared they might err in giving a proper direction to 
the mine, and thereby increase my sufferings, conceived the plan of 
attacking with the assistance of his friends all masked, the house of 
me jailers, and compel them to conduct them to my prison. 

While my friends were engaged in these plans, more or less re- 
tarded by unforeseen obstacles, they received my first note, in which 
I hinted the possibility of my escape in the company of another per- 
son, mentioning the kind of assistance I was likely to stand hi need 
of. This inspired them with fresh hopes, and they all acted with a 
disinterestedness and generosity of which there are few examples. 



BOB 4UAN VAW HALEN. 13d 

Immediately Nunez de Arenas repaired to Count Montijo, who 
being then very closely watched by the government, and surrounded 
by spies of all classes, was obliged to avoid the company of his sus- 
pected friends ; but who, on hearing the projected plan of escape, 
placed in Nunez's hands a considerable sum of money, which, how- 
ever, was afterwards returned to him untouched \ at the same time? 
offering one or more of his best horses, and whatever else might be 
required for my flight. Nunez assured me that the enthusiasm felt 
by our friends was sych, that every one of them was ready to 
sacrifice his all, if necessary, to rescue me. . 

Young Belda, who had undertaken to seek an asylum for me, 
spoke to the Biscayan woman, who readily offered to receive me, 
without however confiding to her either my name or circumstances. 
In consequence of the suspicions entertained not only by Arco 
Agiiero and Montijo, but by most of our friends respecting the ser- 
vices of Rapaona, my notes and the whole plan of my escape (which 
they feared was a snare laid by the inquisitors to secure those who 
should attend, and increase the number of their victims), it was re- 
solved, that only three should attend on the night of my escape. 
These were Polo, Belda, and Nunez. On the morning of the 30th, 
however, the least apprehensive resolved to share with the three 
others any dangers that might arise, by stationing themselves at 
night-fall in the various avenues to the prison. The two brothers, 
Patricio and Juaquin Dominguez, placed themselves opposite to 
the door through which I gained the street. They were the same 
whom I first saw and avoided meeting, and they noticed my un- 
ceremonious rencontre with Don MarCelino's visiter, who was a 
garde-de*corps. Maqzanares stood at the corner of the street, and 
was the one who spoke to ra$. Polo, Belda, and the two Dpmin- 
guez, were those who came at the signal of the above, and Patrjicio- 
the one who covered me with the cloak, and who by his character 
of command secured us against any impediments which the guards 
or patroles we might meet with were likely to occasion. Nunez r 
Herrera, Davila, Solano, and others, whom I did not then see r 
because they were stationed in an opposite direction tp the one I 
followed, were also of the number. Such were the well-cpncerted 
measures adopted by these trusty friends to ensure my escape. 



136 NARRATIVE OF 



CHAPTER XV. 



Scene* which took place in the prison— Discovery of the imprisoned jailer— Egami* 
nation of die prisoner of an adjoining cell respecting the late escape— The author 
visits Arco Aguero— His mother receives the first news of his flight from the in* 
quisitor Etenar— Return to the apartment of the Bkcayan heroine— Her history-*- 
Letter to Gastaoeda, inquisitor of Murcia— Ferdinand VII. appears entertained at 
the escape of the author— Spies of Ariona, corregidor of Madrid — The author 
meets his friends, severally on the Prado at night — His interview with his cousin 
Murfy— Anecdotes of Ramona— Fears for her safety — Adventure on the Prado*- 
Gurioas superstition*— Masses for the dead — Marquis of Mataflorida — The author 
is apprised of his retreat heing discovered — Don Juan Van Helen's card of com- 
pliments to Etenar, counsellor of the Inquisition. 

Whilst the occurrences described in the for egoing chapter were 
passing, another scene was acting in the prison. 

The wife of Don Marcelino, alarmed at Ramona's screams, and 
at the treatment her visiter had met with, and fearing for her hus- 
band's life, hastened regardless of all danger towards the dungeons, 
guided by Ramona, and followed by her guests. As she proceeded 
along the passages, she repeated Don Marcelino's name with loud 
cries, and fainted away on reaching the door which I had locked, 
and which prevented her farther ingress. Ramona has since con- 
fessed to me, that she was so greatly distressed at seeing the afflic- 
tion of her mistress, that she had resolved to denounce herself, when 
Don Juanito appearing, followed by several of the inferior attendants 
of the tribunal, who were attracted by those cries, abruptly bid them 
withdraw, and without paying any attention to the clamorous en- 
treaties of Don Marcelino, which echoed along the passages, en- 
tered the dungeon of the other prisoner, snatched the light which 
had been left him, and by which he was reading, and shut the re- 
maining doors of the prison. 

At eleven o'clock at night, Berdeja, accompanied by one of his 
colleagues, went into the prison, and causing the door of which I 
had the key to be forced, entered my dungeon, where they found 
Don Marcelino frantic with despair. A verbal process was imme- 
diately drawn up, his person examined, as well as the dungeon, and 
the books, in one of which they read the lines written with the char* 
coal, that I had left for tHeir perusal. Don Marcelino was then put 
under arrest, and Don Juanito made responsible for the security of 
his person, and for that of the whole family. Not contented with 
this, the inquisitors proceeded to examine my neighbour, who, far 
from having the remotest idea of what had occurred, was himself 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 137 

;Iost in conjectures respecting the cause of the uproar he had' heard.* 
"What have jou remarked to-night in this prison ?" inquired Ber- 
^eja, gravely. 

"The absence of that silence which eternally reigns in this 
place," he answered. 

u At what hour did you see the first jailer ?" returned the inqui- 
sitor. 

"Idont know, because here it is always night." 

" But did you not hear any strange noises ? Did you not hear the 
report of a pistol ?" 

He shrugged up his shoulders, and as if sharing in their astonish* 
merit, said nothing by which their curiosity might be gratified, and 
laughed at their loss and disappointment 

The inquisitor-general was sunk in a profound sleep when Ber- 
deja, accompanied by Don Juanito, presented himself at his palace, 
And awoke him to impart to him the disagreeable intelligence of my 
escape. So great was the shock he received by it that his health, 
already impaired by age, was materially injured from this night. 

On the day after my escape, I was visited and attended by several 
of my friends. The two brothers Pasate, both officers on half-pay. 
and who lived in a small retired house without a servant, were my 
chief cooks oalhat day ; whilst Nunez, who brought the provisions 
under his cloak, spread the cloth upon our sofa, and we sat down to 
our banquet. So strict and extensive was the espionage of the In* 
.quisition, that it would have been the height of imprudence in us to 
have trusted to servants. 

Meantime, Polo and Belda, who had ascertained .enough respect- 
ing the masquerading party to quiet our apprehensions, proposed 
my returning to the apartments of the Biscay an woman, who again 
showed herself offended at my departure from her house, which she 
attributed to a want of ^confidence in her. The rest of my friends 
being of opinion that there was no risk in residing with heiy I ac- 
ceded to their wishes ; and at night Patricio Dominguez and Man- 
z an ares came in -provided with wearing apparel for me, when, after 
a distribution of my spoils among them to serve as a memorial of 
that day, we set out for my new abode. On our road Manzanares 
hinted that he wished to take me to the house of a friend who lived 
close by ; and taking the lead, we all followed him. On arriving at 
the street of Foncarral, he knocked at the door of a small house, 
■where we were received by Arco Agiiero, who was waiting for us. 
This gallant chief, who frequented the first societies of the capital, 
was an fait of all the anecdotes of the court ; and from him 1 learned 

* In the year 1821, 1 met him in Madrid, and learned that the eause of fcis impri- 
sonment was in no way connected with politics. A few months after my escape, he 
was sent to a monastery in Castile, to perform there certain penances which the Holy 
Office deemed necessary for the salvation of his soul. He gave me a long and amu- 
sing narrative of his adventures. Indeed, I have known few men more witty or sa- 
tirical. * 

s 



138 NARRATIVE OF 

that my anxious mother, still ignorant of my escape, had presented 
herself on that day to the inquisitor Etenar, who was one of the least 
prejudiced against me, to plead for me, and interest him in my behalf, 
ftnd that this respectable old man surprised her agreeably by saying, 
" That all his influence could not effect half so much as what I had 
done for myself ; for that I had escaped from the prison sixteen 
hours ago." In this manner did the first intelligence of my flight 
reach my family. 

On our arrival at the apartments of the Biscayan woman, I ob- 
served that the greatest silence prevailed in the upper part of the 
house, and I was informed by her, that she had taken the precau- 
tion of telling the tailor and his family that she expected a guest 
who was in bad health and of very retired habits, and who, as she 
had been given to understand, would pay well provided he found 
the place quiet. This hint, together with the independent manner 
in which people live at Madrid in lodging-houses, produced the de- 
sired effect ; for during the whole time I remained there, no one 
ever troubled us, or showed the least curiosity. « 

My nurse seemed not at all a stranger to these kind of adventures. 
Belda, who was the only one of my friends who was intimately ac- 
quainted with her, related to me her history, of which the following 
is the substance. 

Still very young and an orphan at the time of Napoleon's invasion, 
she was residing in her native village, when a party of French gens- 
d'armes entered it, and murdered in cold blood a young man of the 
place of whom she was passionately fond. Frantic at the loss she 
experienced by his death, and burning to avenge on the intruders 
the deep injury she had sustained, she devoted herself from that day 
to the defence of her country, rendering very important services to 
the chiefs of the guerillas, who were engaged in the warfare of that 
province, until she was taken by the French, and conducted to 
France, to a depot of prisoners, where she suffered a thousand mise- 
ries and outrages from her jailers. Restored to her country at the 
general peace, the Spanish government granted her a mean pension, 
and the use of a medal, which she constantly wore, and by which 
she was distinguished wherever she went.* 

We had agreed at Arco Agiiero's that I should remain in Madrid 
until I had entirely recovered my health, attended by a surgeon of 
the name of Saumell, and that I should see in my asylum as few 
4Pmy friends as possible. We also agreed to form a system of 
.^espionage against the inquisitors themselves, Nunez de Arenas being 
the Fouch£ of our counterplot, whilst Belda and Polo offered to 
share with me. my solitude, to which 1 gladly subscribed. It was 
the general ppinion among our party that the report of my departure 
from Madrid should be widely spread, and with this object they 

* The Corses in 1820, in consideration of her services and sufferings, increased her 
pension to enable her to lire with more comfort. 



£0N JUAN VAN HALKN. J89 

wrote to their friends in the provinces, desiring them to propagate 
the rumour. There was no great difficulty in doing this with all the 
speed required by circumstances ; but we were ignorant then that 
trie inquisitors possessed sufficient data to believe the contrary. It 
was now my turn to put the seal to this plan. I remembered that 
the senior inquisitor of Murcia, Castaneda, had desired me to write 
to him immediately after obtaining my liberty. He had now under 
his power several very dear friends of ours, with whom it was de- 
sirable he should follow the same gentlemanly conduct which he 
had observed towards me. 1 resolved, therefore, to write him a letter 
expressive of the sentiments of gratitude I felt towards him > a copy 
of which I here present to my reader. ' 

" To Don Juan Castaneda, senior inquisitor of Murcia, &c. 

" Respected Sir, 

" In the alternative of losing my life or my honour, I resolved 
to free myself from the numberless acts of oppression which I en- 
dured with all possible humility in the sepulchral abode in which t 
had been immured. Having succeeded in forcibly obtaining my 
liberty, which during 131 days I vainly expected from the justice 
due to my innocence, and wishing to allay the fears of those who' 
take an interest in my destiny, I take the earliest opportunity to fulfil' 
the promise which 1 gave you of writing as soon as \ should enjoy 
this inestimable good. 

" I am aware that the motive which prompted y6u to make this 
request, when we parted at the gates of Murcia, was founded on 
very different hopes. You, doubtless, believed that wfcn I offered 
to speak privately to the King, the truth and sincerity which I pro- 
mised to use on that occasion would have had a different object in 
view. I can, however, assure you that I performed rny promise in 
the full meaning I then attached to it. I spoke to his Majesty, and 
laid before hi* eyes truths which, perchance, he may one day appre- 
ciate to the full extent of their worth. I disclosed auch facts as 
alone belonged to me. I did not overstep these limits ; the sacred 
duties which I had imposed on myself did not allow me to betray 
secrets which would have involved others in my own calamities. 
Hence, neither splendid offers, nor flattery, nor the contrast of every 
kind of affliction which I have endured throughout so many bitter 
days and nights, nor even the gloomy perspective that was* before my 
eyes — a death oh a bed of torture — could induce me to deviate from 
the path which honour and principle pointed out to me. I should 
cheerfully have resigned my life to preserve what 1 value more". 
This, which in the eyes of ignorance and depravity may appear the 
result of blind obstinacy, will not be so considered by the virtuous 
and enlightened man, who knows how to weigh in the sqale of reason 
the actions of his fellow-beings. 

*• L am now a wanderer in a foreign land ; but I do not fly like a 



140 Narrative of 

• 

seditious rebel, seeking a haunt where to Jiatch new conspiracies. 
No, I never was one. I go only to seek the company of a few ho- 
nourable men, with whom I may spend a peaceable existence during 
my painful exile. Should I one day be able to enjoy the same bene- 
fits in my unhappy country, I will gladly return to its bosom to com- 
fort my beloved parents in their old age, and manifest my gratitude 
to you for the generous conduct you observed towards me. 

u I have been subjected to many indignities, violences, and secret 
torments. Nothing seems to have been omitted to trample me down, 
and destroy me ; but the consciousness of my innocence rendered 
me superior to all : crime alone would have sunk under them ; 
and M although, as a man, I am not free from faults, my heart always 
revolted against depravity. You know little of me ; but if yoij read 
the proceedings of my- cause, you will see corroborated ifl theraf/hese 
truths, which offer sufficient matter for our consideration. I do not, 
however, aspire in this letter to a correspondence with you, neither 
do I wish that it should in any way compromise you with the go- 
vernment. My only object is to show that my heart is not known 
to the authors of my misfortunes ; and that it is and always will be 
grateful to you, from whom I now take my perhaps last farewell 

" I remain, &c. &c.'\ 

• 

This letter was dated from Bordeaux, February 20th, 1818, and 
was forwarded b^ Polo to a friend of his, who was then residing in 
that city, to be put in the post-office. Castaneda received it in du$ 
time, and beUeving it to have been written in the place from which 
it was dated, ne immediately forwarded it to his friends i& the capital. 

The inquisitors informed the King of my escape on the morning 
after it took place, as well as of the circumstances attending it. I 
have learned from a person who was then present, that Ferdinand, 
on hearing it, burst into a loud laugh. Ramirez de Arellano*, who 
was in the daily habit of hearing mass at a church contiguous to 
the palace, received the news of my flight when he was just return- 
ing from it to his breakfast, and frantic with rage, hastened to put in 
motion all the elements of the Camarilla. In accordance with the 
anxious wishes of the Bishop Mier, he prevailed on the whole mi- 
nistry to lend their assistance in endeavouring to discover my retreat. 
Immediately orders were issued to every inquisition in the kingdom, 
and to all the captains-general of the provinces, to keep a strict look 
out for me, whilst large* rewards were offered for my discovery. 

Arjona, who was a creature of the Camarilla, and one of its most 
active agents, held at this period the office of corregidor* of Madrid. 
His spies spread themselves like overflowing waters throughout 
every corner of the capital ; but such is the spirit of our age, that a 
brother of this same Arjona, a canon of the cathedral of Cordova. 

* A sort of police magistrate. 



DON JUAN VAN UALEN. 14 1 

at that time living at Madrid in the house of Ins brother, was one 
of the initiated in my flight ; and whilst the authorities were re- 
doubling their vigilance in my pursuit, this good ecclesiastic made 
^^^ every effort to shelter me from it. In one of the many conversations 
^m which Ins brother held with him respecting my escape, he said in a 
tone of exasperation : " Our hair will turn gray in this search after 
Van Halen ; but dearly shall he rue it, if ever we secure him V 9 

The surgeon Saumell, under whose care I now was, offered a 
coincidence no less singular than the above. He was a companion 
of Dr. Gil, and likewise a surgeon in the body guards. 

Nunez had now organized his cciinter inquisition, in which friend- 
ship did for us what neither gold nor the corrupting influence of my 
persecutors could accomplish for them. Secure from their pursuit, 
I passed my days in my humble abode fair more tranquilly than the 
plotters of my ruin in the vain ostentation of their saloons. From 
the first day Polo became my constantctortpanion, and sharja' cheer- 
1 fully with me my retirement ; but as circumstances imperiously re- 

flfe quired that the place of my residence should be known but to a few^ 

Wf I was alternately visited only by Belda, Nunez de Arenas, Zorraquin, 

^Arco.Agiiero, Infantes, and Manzanares. Itjfras, however* agreed 
► that I should occasionally go out at night, when the light of the 

moon -should not betray me, that I might have the pleasure of em- 
bracing many who were entitled to my deepest gratitude. 
! * As we had not yet been able to ascertain how far we might trust 

ourselves in private houses without incurring any risk of discovery, 
we fixed upon the Prado* as the most suitable place for our meet- * 
ings. Polo arranged the interviews, at which only those attended 
r whom he or Belda had previously warned. In these meetings friend- 

ship presented itself in its most glowing colours, and the anecdotes * 
of that period are very numerous. \. 

t Theiirst time I went out with Polo, Whfcft happened a few days 

# after my escape, unable to resist the desire . of passing before my 
father's house, which was within a short walk of the place of my 
residence, we proceeded thither, and I saw my sisters sitting witl* 
' my mother near the balcony, all of them quietly engaged in their' 

needlework ; whilst some men, stationed at various distances oppo- 
site to the windows, were watching their movements. This Polo 
and myself perceived only when we' were close to them ; but as, we 
were enveloped in our cloaks, we were fortunate enough to pass by* 
without any bad consequences resulting from this slight caprice of 
* mine, which, however, I was too cautious to repeat. From this 
circumstance we inferred that my enemies believed I had been im-* 
prudent enough to conceal myself in my father's bouse. 

My cousin was the first of my friends who was appointed to meet 
I - me. Polo entered his apartment to warn him of our meeting at the 

i' - • '' 

* A public promenade which embellishes the capital* 



142 NARRAtlVE OJT 

very moment when my father was sitting with him, expressing his fear* 
of my being retaken. Murfy, having heard Polo's communication, in- 
troduced him to ray father as a friend of mine, assuring him that he 
knew for certain I was already out of the kingdom. This allowable 
fiction had the effect of allaying my father's apprehensions. # 
Although before my, imprisonment I kept up a correspondence 

, with my cousin, and was now more closely united to him by new 
ties of gratitude, we had not seen each other for many years. 
Murfy had only returned to Spain about a year previous to this 
period from the South American seas, where I had met him in the 
first stage of my naval career, so that Polo introduced him to me 
when we met on the Prado. Ramona's messages were our first 
topic of conversation in this agreeable interview. My cousin re- 
lated to me the cautious manner in which she had delivered them ; 
the readiness and perspicuity with which she had answered all his 
questions ; the prudence she had displayed in arranging her plan of 
communication ; and lastly, the extraordinary disinterestedness she 
had evinced, refusing money or any kind of present. We did not 
then know what had become of her, nor was it possible for us even 
to imagine, an impenetrable wall concealing from our view the 
secret manoeuvres of the inquisitors. Murfy, who knew the time 
when she usually went out, had often, after my escape, gone to the 
place where he was in the habit of meeting her, with the object of 
ascertaining what had since taken place in the Inquisition, but he 
always returned without seeing any thing of her ; a circumstance 

♦from which we inferred that the rigours of the Holy Office had now 
reached her. It was, however, our firm opinion that a woman, who 
had done so much out of pure humanity, would, even in the midst 
of sufferings, know how to support the work she had herself raised, 
by showing as muchtormness and courage as she had evinced gene- 
rosity. One day that my cousin endeavoured to discover whether 
the tyranny of the inquisitors could intimidate her, she answered 
him in her usual laconic manner : " From a child I was brought 
up among those men. The Inquisition does not inspire me with 
fear ; it is rather the prisoner who inspires me with compassion." 
Another day that he showed his surprise at the inquisitors permitting 
a female to reside among them, or at all relying upon her, she re- 
torted, " If every woman had learned discretion in the same school 
as myself, we should hear less of our incapacity to keep a secret 
from those who are far weaker than ourselves." Lastly, my cousin 
imagining that she was actuated by love, the deep interest she 
manifested for my welfare justifying this belief, allowed himself a 
few jokes on gallant intrigues. Ramona, without stooping to prove 
the contrary by the thousand cogent reasons with which she might 
have convinced him, reddened, and casting on him a look of con- 
tempt, as she withdrew, said : " Do not give me such a wretched 
idea of yourself. Must our sex be necessarily frail, if we show an 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 143 

interest for a man whose life is in danger ?" I have deemed it pro- 
per to relate these anecdotes, which characterize one of the extra- 
ordinary women who are frequently met with among the Spanish 
females. 

Murfy, like many individuals found in Spain in calamitous epochs, 
who, though possessing enlightened minds, and feeling the necessity 
of a political regeneration, are nevertheless inactive spectators of 
the .struggle, was as ignorant of the real character of the Inquisition, 
when first Ramona came to wake him from his trance, as of the ^ • 
existence of any secret societies in Spain ; when my communica- 
tions led him to make the acquaintance of Nunez, Polo, and 
others, who were actively employed in bringing about the desired 
change in the government. On his return from the New World < 
where he had spent the best part of his youth, he passed through* 
France on his way to Spain, and made a short residence at Paris.* 
Here some wags, taking advantage of his natural simplicity or 
character, introduced him into a lodge of freemasons, where he \**} 
made to undergo * multitude of ridiculous ceremonies. Disgust? 1 " 
with the fraternity and their absurdities, .and imagining he wo$9^ 
find every where the same eagerness in its members to obtain con- "* 
tributions, and riot in expensive banquets, he renounced, a few days 
after being initiated in the mysteries of freemasonry, its panto- 
mimic duties ; looking with dltter contempt upon that which, if 
differently managed, would have appeared to him equally sacred 
and binding, but which could not be otherwise in a country where 
the subtlety of the government has done the utmost to destroy witH> 
what is ridiculous that which could not be obtained by rigour; the 
former being of itself sufficient to dissipate the illusion, while the 
latter excites curiosity by the very alarm it causes. The contempt, 
however, which my cousin entertained for the fraternity was so 
deeply rooted, that if, instead of the visit of my prudent messenger, 
he had received that of any of our friends, there is no doubt that, 
had he been accosted with the usual masonic signs, he would have 
considered him in the light of a punchinello, and have ordered 
him out of his house, while I should have continued pining in. my 
dungeon. 

My two young brothers, though not having the same cause of 
dislike as my cousin, shared his opinions on freemasonry. They 
were in habits of intimacy with Murfy, at whose house they fre- 
quently met Polo ; but as they were ignorant of the various cir- 
cumstances by which I had effected my liberty, tjtey did not even 
suspect that the guest with whom they frequently dined at ther? 
cousin's, was one of the principal characters in jjfat drama. As it 
was thought prudent not to inform them of any thing respecting me, 
they, like my father, were made to believe that 1 was already far 
from my native land. 

Th^ first essay of our nocturnal meetings having been accom- 



-* 



144 NARRATIVE OF^ 

plished without difficulty, we repeated our sallies "whenever we 
wished to see any of our friends. The Prado of Madrid is, during 
those months (February arid March), one of the coldest places 
within the walls of the capital ; but in return it was the most un- 
frequented and secure that we could select for that purpose. We 
were not, however, altogether free from alarms ; while, on the 
other hand, we ran the hazard of many unpleasant rencontres on 
our way from my dwelling to the Prado, which were a tolerable 
distance from each other. 

One of the friends who was to meet me there had married a lady 
whose excessive jealousy prompted her to commit every kind of ex- 
travagance. Resolved on following his steps, she chose for this pur- 
pose the night which we had appointed to meet her husband ; and the 
nearer she approached the place of rendezvous, the more she was 
confirmed in her suspicions. The feeble light of the lamps, and the 
Jark shade cast by the trees, while they concealed her from our 
ca w, enabled her to examine leisurely the sort of persons with 
h?om her husband conversed. Her jealousy feeing thus allayed, 

jjH was just returning, perfectly satisfied of her husband's fidelity, 
/'when in turning down an alley she met another friend of ours, who, 
muffled up in his cloak, was hastening to our rendezvous. Being 
in the habit of carrying on these occasions a long unsheathed 
sword, hanging from his arm, which was not at that moment suffi- 
ciently concealed, the lady, who saw the glittering of the steel, and 
whose imagination was in a constant state of excitement, suddenly 

{transformed* what before had appeared to her an intrigue of gallantry 
into a duel. Under this persuasion she rushed towards him, unmuffled 
him, and seizing his hands, prayed amidst sobs and tears that he 
would employ that steel in preserving the life of her beloved hus- 
band. Our friend, surprised at finding at such a time and in that 
solitary place his wife's sister, immediately understood the origin of 
her fears, and prudently explained the matter to her, advising her to 
return home, and restrain her unjust suspicions, which by the ex- 
treme violence of their expression might become fatal. This advice 
was the more just, as this unfortunate lady being frequently engaged 
with company at home, would send a servant after her husband to 
watch his movements. 

The streets of Madrid were at that period infested at night by a 
crowd of idle fellows, carrying a lantern in one hand and a little 
bell in the other, which they rang incessantly, terrifying the inhabit- 
ants with their mournful cries and gloomy songs, exhorting them to 
ft pent of their sins and^ive alms to say masses for the souls of 
those who had dife4 in mortal sin. So great was the sycophancy 
of many to the superstitious ideas of the government, that one fre- 
quently met among that rabble officers of the army, and decorated 
persons, girding their swords, and carrying their bells and lanterns. 
These public disturbers were vulgarly called the brethren of the 



/ 

BON JUAN VAN HALEN. 145 

mortal sin, and had free access to the cabinet of the minister of 
war. Polo and myself amused ourselves in observing them on our 
return from the Prado along the streets ; but one night, having ap- 
proached too near to see if we -knew any of them, we met with the 
military fiscal, whose acquaintance I had made in the Inquisition. 
This ridiculous man, who was stationed alone at the corner of a 
street, ringing his bell and waving his lantern, vociferated as I passed 
by him, without his ever suspecting who I was, to contribute with 
our purses to the mlvation of souls — less black, perhaps, than his 
own. By such hypocritical means as this, those who were em- 
ployed in enslaving the people by day, cheated them at night ; and 
such were the officers whom the doting minister Eguia wished to 
give to the Spanish army. 

, A few steps farther, and when it would have been indiscreet to 
retrogade, we perceived a great number of armed men* through the 
midst of whom we were obliged to pass. They were the Correjidor 
Arjona, and his police officers, who were just returning from 
making several domiciliary visits, not far from the place of my resi- 
dence, where his active spies had intimated to him I rwas likely to 
be found. This occurrence rendered us more circumspect in our 
nocturnal sallies, although it was not always in our power to follow 
the precepts that prudence and circumstances dictated. An acci- 
dent, which I ought to have despised, might have occasioned me 
more serious alarm, had its results teen such as I .had reason to 
anticipate. 

Colonel T***, whom I had known at Cadiz in 1816, at the head of , 
a patriotic association, was residing at Madrid at the period of my con- 
cealment. I learned that he, though with few connexions in the capi- 
tal, and but little initiated in the secrets of my flight, was spread- 
ing the rumour that I had betrayed to the tribunal the names of all 
my friends, with various other absurdities, which were contradicted 
by the mere fact of his enjoying his liberty, and of having, moreover, 
obtained a royal permission to repair to Madrid. I begged Polo 
to endeavour to see him, and without disclosing to him the ties that 
united us, much less my being a resident at Madrid, induce him 
openly to declare his sentiments. These were such as to corrobo- 
rate the disagreeable intelligence which I had previously received. 
Whilst I remained at Cadiz, he had manifested his esteem for me in 
such an unequivocal manner, that the inconsistency of his present 
conduct excited my indignation ; and forgetting the rencontre with, 
and searches of, Arjona, as well as the dangers by which I was sur- 
rounded 4 , I again requested Polo to arrange a meeting between the 
colonel and myself without the knowledge of my friends, which he 
did without opposition, much to my surprise ; as there exists a ma- 
terial difference between the man who acts from the first impulse of 
injured feelings, and the calm spectator who only weighs the conse- 
quences. But the fact was, that colonel T*** removed all doubt' 

T 




146 ' NARRATIVE OF 

by retracting all he had said, turning black into white, and reducing 
the question to— -nothing ; and as Polo was well aware that such 
would be the result from what he had observed in him since he ap- 
pointed the meeting, he threw no impediment in the way. 

Meantime Nunez, who had resolved to employ the same means 
against those who sought me as were used by them, did not visit me 
so frequently as he had at first done. With the object of following 
up his plan, he associated himself with an old friend of his, as enter* 
prising, bold and intelligent as himself, whom he intrusted with 
the execution of such parts of his project as the various duties he 
imposed upon himself prevented him from attending to. Circum- 
stances were favourable to their designs. The Marquis of Mata- 
florida (a man sufficiently notorious), familiar of the Holy 'Office, 
and fanatical jrespecting every thing relating to the Inquisition, had 
with his usuq) officiousness organized of his own accord a set of 
spies, whom he paid out of his own purse, and among whom figured 
with distinction an old Swiss officer ; who, knowing the weak poinis 
jin the character of the marquis, imposed upon his credulity, making 
him believe a thousand wonderful things. No one ventured to speak 
' to the King respecting my recapture so positively as this famous 
coryphaeus of absolute power. . 

The landlady of the house where he resided had two or three young 
daughters, with whom Nunez bad been acquainted Tor some years, and 
whom he was in the habit of visiting. Profiting of this intimacy, he 
requested them to watch, as much as lay in their power, the marquis 
ancMus associates, and listen to what was said in his apartment ; 
and in orde? to interest them more in his favour, he confided to 
them only what was prudent they should know. The young girls, 
willing to oblige him, concerted among themselves a plan of 
espionage on the marquis. A thin wall separating their bed-room 
from his apartment, they made a hole in it, which on the marquis* 
side was concealed by a picture, and at which one of them stationed 
herself, with* orders hot to. leave her post until she was relieved by 
one of her sisters { so that Matafiorida could not utter a word either 
^ alone or in company, that was not carefully noted down and re- 
peated to Nunez, who did not fail to draw his own conclusions from 
the intelligence he received. 

One morning the Swiss officer entered the marquis 9 apartment, 
assuring his employer that he had discovered where the lizard was 
hid, naming the street where I resided. The purse of Mataflorida 
was emptied into the Swiss' hands ; and Nunez's faithful sentries 
suspecting from the extraordinary generosity of the marquis that 
there was something important in that communication, hastened in 
search of Nunez, and informed him of what they had heard. 
Alarmed at this news, which was too well founded, he lost no time 
in warning us of it, and I immediately removed to a new asylum. 
The Swiss officer, however, was ignorant of the precise house ; and 



£ 



X 



DON «tUAN TAN HALEN. 147 

• 

as the street had many, although he redoubled his vigilance, and 
was assisted by all the power of Mataflorida, time passed on, they 
lost their clue, and having then returned to my former abode, I re* 
mained undisturbed, and secure from their pursuits. 

The inquisitor Zorrilla had. a. nephew for whom he professed a 
great attachment. This young man was .an officer of artillery, a 
comrade and a friend of Nunez's, who did not fail to recommend 
him to profit by this predilection, in order to -ascertain by a closer 
intimacy with his uncle all that might interest us. Zorrilla would 
occasionally talk with him about my escape, which, he assured 
him, had thrown them into the utmost confusion, at the same time 
hinting that they suspected I was still in Madrid, and that they 
trusted I could not escape their pursuits, as there was scarcely a 
town in the kingdom where their agents were not on the look out ; 
so that he still hoped for the complete discovery of our projects. 

Meanwhile the other associate of Nunez, who was related to some 
of the first families of Madrid, lost not a word of what transpired in 
the higher circles that was in any way important to us ; frequently 
turning into jokes circumsUaces sufficiently serious in themselves, 
of which the following is a specimen. 

The counsellor of the supreme, Etenar, of whom I have already 
spoken, being fond of the ostentatious gayeties of the great world, iu 
which most of his time was spent, celebrated in one of those days 
the anniversary of his birth ; for which purpose he invited to a splen- 
did dinner many persons of high rank, among whom were various 
foreign ambassadors. Nunez's friend was also a guest at this*, ban- 
quet. As it is the custom in Spain, on such occasions, for every 
visiter to leave his complimentary card with the porter, on the com- 
pany rising from table and repairing to the drawing-room to take 
their coffee, Nunez's friend taking aside one of the foreign gentle- 
men, who had nothing to fear from the Inquisition, imparted to him 
a joke which he had meditated, that he might bring it forward. 
The young foreigner pleased with the idea, amidst the good hu- 
mour that invariably reigns at these parties, addressed himself to 
Etenar in the presence of most of the guests, asking him if he had 
had many visiters on that day, and requesting to be allowed to look 
at the cards. The counsellor at first hesitated to comply with this ; 
but on the other repeating his request, he ordered them to be brought 
up, when a large salver full of cards was placed on the table. The 
guests, though suspecting something from the eagerness shown by 
the young foreigner, attributed it to the mere curiosity of ascertain- 
ing what ladies had left their compliments for the counsellor ; but 
they joined in the scrutiny of the cards, until they met with one 
larger than the rest, and adorned with various allegorical devices, on 
which the name of "Don Juan Van\ Hdlen in person" was written in 
large letters. The mirth then became general, and Etenar, who 
was too much a man of the world to show himself offended, joined 






f 

148 *" NARRATIVE OF 

r 

in the jokes and laughter of his friends* The anecdote soon spread 
among the idle persons of the court, who did not fail to pass their 
comments on it. 



CHAPTER XVI. , 

Obstacle* to the author's quitting Spain— He has an interview with his brothers— 
A lady recognises him — Domiciliary visits — Adventure — The author obtains a 
passport under the designation of Suelto, public commissioner — His two brothers 
insist on accompanying him in his journey— He passes through the gate of Aleala 
andtyiits the capital on the same day— The inquisitor-general's death. 

The spring was now advancing, the snows of the Pyrenees began 
to melt, and the defiles of the mountains offered me a free passage 
to seek a refuge in a foreign land. I was already sufficiently re- 
covered to support the fatigues of a journey. * 

The familiars of the Inquisition, believing that I was concealed in 
the villages of the Serrania* of Ronda, had made various excursions 
to those places in hopes of securing me, and were too much on their 
guard to allow me to think of flying to Gibraltar. On the frontiers 
of Portugal the most rigorous watch was likewise kept by the agents 
of the Holy Office, and our friends in those parts advised us by no 
means to attempt crossing the frontiers of that kingdom, whilst we 
received advices from Vittoria that domiciliary visits were daily 
made there. The familiars of the Inquisition, now attended by po- 
lice officers, and now by military men, had- every where disturbed 
the repose of many peaceable families, who had not the smallest idea 
of my place of concealment. 

My friends of Madrid, on the other hand, having informed those 
of the provinces respecting my situation, they all contributed pecu- 
niary means and timely advices to secure my flight. One of the 
latter, who resided at Miranda de Ebro, and who held an extensive 
correspondence with all the patriots of those districts, wrote to 
Polo on the 26th of April, saying : " Our friend Suelto (this was the 
name by which I was designated) must be very cautious in passing 
the bridges and barges, for all the guards stationed there are very 
vigilant, a high reward being offered to any of them who shall ap- 
prehend him." Another wrote that all the familiars of the king- 
dom communicated weekly with each other; and that the Holy 
Office had even in the smallest village an active agent, who was the 
more zealous in his searches as he considered himself a being of 
supeiior order, by wearing the badge of the tribunal, and possessing 
the privileges granted him in. detriment of his fellow-countrymen, 

* A mountainous district. 



V 



PON JtJAN VAN HALEN- 149 

Confined within the circle of this interminable chain,* we could only 
hope to overcome it by using the utmost prudence, and acting only 
upon well-concerted plans. 

Various, accidents, all of them coinciding with those which Nunez 
de Arenas investigated, clearly proved to us that the letter I had 
written to Castaneda, though having circulated among his col- 
leagues, was qot credited : first, because the inquisitors of Madrid 
knew very well I was not in a state to undertake the fatigues of a 
journey at the time when that letter was dated ; and secondly, 
because the correspondents they had at Bordeaux assured them the 
whole was a fiction. 

It was now the end of April, and though my friends had decided 
on my immediate departure, they had not yet agreed upon the exact 
plan that was to be adopted, in order to overcome the multitude of 
obstacles which stood in our way. From the first, however, Polo 
manifested his firm determination, whatever might be the manner in 
which my flight was . to be effected^ to share its dangers with me, 
until he saw me out of the reach of our enemies. This he openly 
declared to our friends, that they might arrange the plan of our 
departure accordingly. 

The lieutenant-colonel of the regiment of Valen^a, Don Patricio 
Dominguez, with whom one of my brothers was acquainted, in some 
of his conversations with him respecting me, had not been so strictly * 
reserved as my cousin Murfy ; and my brother, convinced that he 
knew more than he would avow, earnestly begged him to remove 
Jthe excessive inquietude of my family for my personal safety. With 
this view I had already written several letters, date*} from England, 
which had been mysteriously shown to my brothers, but which on a 
close examination, they had discovered to be a deception. > Domin- 
guez being constantly importuned by my brother, and doing him 
the justice due to his feelings, communicated to me what passed, 
assuring those friends of mine who objected to my seeing him, of 
the reliance they might place in his honour-; so that at length it 
was left to my choice whether I would receive him or not, and 
Dominguez withdrew authorized to arrange an interview as his pru- 
dence might best dictate. 

Early on the following day, my brother paid him a visit to learn 
the result of his application. Dominguez, who was about my size, 
had been measured fornry clothes, and happening to have at that 
moment some articles of dress for my equipment lying on a table, 
he pointed to them, and said that in a few minutes they would be in 
my possession, at the same time promising that not many days would 
elapse before he would see me. At length the day came, and my 
two brothers, accompanied by Dominguez, presented themselves at 
our place of rendezvous, where Murfy, Polo, and myself were already 

* See note P. ; 



150 NARRATIVE OF 

waiting for them. The interview was one of high interest to us all, 
Murry and myself being alternately reproached by my two young 
brothers for our want of confidence in them, we endeavoured to 
pacify them, by alleging the many prudent reasons we had for keep- 
ing it secret from any member of my family. Deaf to our reason* 
ings, and alive only to the dictates of their honour, and to the love 
they had for me, they would not believe that I could have friends as 
sincere as themselves. Fearing that in that moment of efferves- 
cence, they would require more concessions than it would be pru- 
dent in me to grant, I did not disclose to them my approaching de- 
parture. We were still engaged in our interesting contentions, 
when one of the patroles sent from the barracks of the regiment of 
Valencia, which were not very distant from the place of our meeting, 
seeing the group fortned by us six, advanced to »disperse us. Do- 
minguez, who whenever he attended at these interviews, wore the 
same dress as when he went on duty to the palace, hastened to meet 
the party, the officer of which, recognising his chief, withdrew with 
Ms men, and the danger that threatened us was averted. 

We had much trouble in persuading my brothers that no one could 
enter the place of my residence, as the least mistrust excited their 
indignation. The lateness of the hour obliging us to part, Domin- 
guez, Polo, and Murfy, wishing to set them the example, were the 
first to withdraw ; but no sooner did they find themselves alone with 
me, than they redoubled their entreaties to allow them to accompany 
me home. Obliged to conceal from them the true direction of my 
abode, that they might not suspect its vicinity to my father's house,' J 
walked with them the two third parts of Madrid, until I told them I 
was near my dwelling, and at last succeeded in persuading them to 
leave me. 

When I parted from them, I was about a mile distant from my 
place of residence, and wishing to gain the time I had thus lost, I 
took the shortest road home, which led through some streets close 
to the theatre. The play was just over, as I came near it ; and a 
crowd of people, among whom I hoped to pass unnoticed, were 
dispersing along the different streets in the neighbourhood ; but as 
it is difficult at any time to elude the penetrating glance of a female's 
eyes, a lady whose house I had formerly frequented, preceded by 
her servant carrying a lighted torch, followed my steps either de- 
signedly or ^accidentally, without my perceiving it, and recognised 
me, notwithstanding my being well muffled up in my cloak. As 
she drew near me, she pulled me gently by it, and whispered in my 
ear a phrase, the meaning of which could be known only to our- 
selves. Pretending not to understand it, I quickened my pace ; but 
it was all in vain. The more I endeavoured to avoid ber, the more 
intent she was on following me ; so that on arriving at a more re- 
tired street, r was in some measure compelled to answer her. This 
lady, who was ignorant of the powerful assistance I had met with 



DOtf JtfAN VAN HAL EN. " 151 

• 

from my numerous friends, anxious to serve me with all the means 
in her power, and persuade me to accept an asylum in her house, 
was on the point of dismissing, on some frivolous pretext, her ser- 
vant, to whom' fortunately I was not known ; but my arguments 
and entreaties prevailed on her at last to desist from a determination 
in which there was more generosity than prudence. This lady, 
whom I saw then for the last time, is now no more. 

My cousin was hi the habit of visiting at her house, and as she 
knew the affbction he professed for me, imagining that it would be 
an agreeable surprise for him to bear she had seen me, she informed 
him of it the first time they met. Murfy feigned incredulity on 
hearing her account, and she, who, notwithstanding her natural 
quickness, believed it to be real, piqued at not being credited, not 
only stated the conversation she had held with me, but in her anxiety 
to convince him, enlarged upon it at her pleasure. My cousin, who 
knew that this lady seldom went to the theatre unaccompanied by 
some friend or other, gave that as bis pretext for his incredulity, 
although he was well convinced that such a rencontre might have 
occurred. 

When danger no longer threatened me, Murfy without disclosing 
the name of the person, spoke to some of his friends of this meet- 
ing. One of these, wishing to punish the fatuity of a young man, 
who pretended to be cm fait of every thing, made him believe that 
at that time Polo and myself had entered a coffee-room, and taken 
our ice with some ladies, naming those of whom be boasted to be 
the favourite. The young man, full of resentment at hearing this, 
and having moreover his own reasons for being displeased with the 
ladies, not only believed the story, but propagated it ; adding, that 
he. himself was in the coffee-room at the time we entered ; though 
by such an assertion he only exposed himself to the ridicule of his 
friends. The anecdote, however, being thus put into circulation, 
travelled out of Spain, increasing in magnitude and disguises, till at 
last it reached England, and gave rise to the coffee-house gallantry, 
mentioned by the author of Sandoval when relating the events of 
that period.* v - 

It was not till the beginning of May, that every arrangement for 
our journey was completed. Don Eusebio Polo and myself were to 

* The above work wai published in London in too beginning of 1988. 

Many English readers, with tome of whom I became acquainted on my first visit to 
England, and for whom I have the highest consideration, saving since perused that 
won, credited the anecdote above alluded to ; a fact which I ascertained when in 
June 1826 1 again visited England, being interrogated by them respecting the truth of 
it. In answer to their questions I only begged them to reflect, whether it was likely 
I should have engaged in such gallantries at a time when the least imprudence on my 
part would have canted the rain of so many families, and of the generous friends who 
were risking their lives and fortunes in sheltering me from the pursuit of our enemies. 
I had the satisfaction to observe that they were convinced by my reasoning. In jus- 
tice, however, to the author of that work, I must add here, that though he has been 
led into an error by the misrepresentations of others, it is far from my thoughts to im- 
peach the general veracity of his work. 



152 NARRATIVE OF 

proceed through the least frequented roads towards Navarre, in onjer 
to gain ,the Pyrenees and enter France, through which we were to 
post as far as Calais, visiting on our way Bordeaux and Paris ; and 
lastly, take refuge in England, from which Polo was to return to 
Madrid with all possible secrecy and speed. 

On weighing the imminent dangers with which we were likely to 
meet by travelling under any disguise whatever, it struck us that, if 
we could, under the name which I had adopted since my flight, ob- 
tain a passport in which I should be designated as a public commis- 
sioner, it would then be easy for us to elude all suspicion, and avoid 
the unpleasant examinations by police officers and other agents of 
government, particularly if we travelled through a country in which 
I was not personally known. This idea having met the approbation 
of all my friends, it was immediately agreed that it should be put* 
into execution. To obtain a passport from the prime minister when 
the members of the Camarilla were constantly on the alert, was a 
matter of considerable difficulty ; it was, however, procured without 
either the minister who signed it, or the clerks through whose hands 
it passed, ever foreseeing the use for which it afterwards served. 

Notwithstanding the importance of this document* on the Spanish 
side of the Pyrenees, fearing that it would not be of equal service 
in France, where we should be obliged to keep up an appearance 
corresponding with our characters, and to visit the embassies, or else 
to excite the suspicions of the French police, it was agreed that, 
once out of Spain, we should assume the characters of wool-mer- 
chants from Castile, for which purpose a good collection of speci- 
mens was made for us, and a passport procured from the civil autho- 
rity to whom the power of granting them belonged. 

Meantime* Polo, whose intended absence was to remain a secret 
to the government, being an officer of the staffs easily obtained leave 
of absence to spend a few months with his family, who resided near 
Burgos. All our arrangements being completed, and provided with- 
the best maps and itineraries of the country, (of which many good 
ones were to be had in the offices of the staff,) we fixed the day of 
our departure. 

Many of our companions, whom I had not yet had the pleasure 
of embracing, agreed to assemble at the house of the two retired 
officers whom I have already mentioned, as it would have been im- 
prudent for so many of us to repair to our usual place of rendezvous. 
In this meeting of trusty and sincere friends, where I was honoured 
with the presidency, I returned my grateful thanks to them all, beg- 
ging that they would transmit the same to those, who from Corunna 
to Valencia, and from Cadiz to Bilboa, had taken an active part in 
the preservation of my life. I then took my leave, and received 
from all valuable testimonies of esteem and confidence, which wilt 
be eternally remembered by me. 

* See note E. 



DON JOAN VAN HALEJV. l&J 

After many a struggle witb myself, finding it impossible to over* 
come my anxiety to bid my brothers farewell, I bad another inter* 
view with them in the Prado. They were accompanied as before 
by Dominguez and Murfy ; but no sooner did J announce to them 
my approaching departure, than they expressed themselves so as to 
make me repent having yielded to my feelings. We bad the scene 
of the former meeting over again, their affection and wounded ho- 
nour bringing into action passions too easily excited ; whilst they 
considered it as an unpardonable affront not to be allowed to escort 
me, and share the dangers of my journey through Spain. I had re- 
course to every suggestion that prudence and reason dictated, my 
friends seconding me by their arguments and entreaties. Murfy 
presented the question in such a light as he thought could not fail 
to move their sensibility, by representing to them the fatal blow 
which qur family would receive, if by an unforeseen accident we all 
three were involved in one misfortune. But it was all in vain : their 
fixed resolution to accompany me, and the vehement expression of 
their feelings, made even the most serious reflection appear ridicu- 
lous. Moved at the enthusiastic affection they manifested, we were 
obliged to yield, and from that night permitted them to take an ac- 
tive part in the first steps towards my flight. This was disapproved 
of by many of our friends, who had not witnessed that affecting 
meeting, a mistrust at which I felt greatly hurt ; but the conduct of 
my brothers was such as to give them no reason to repent my having 
placed in them this confidence. 

On the evening preceding that of my departure, it was arranged 
that Polo should set off early in the morning for Alcala de Henares, 
accompanied by another friend who should take charge of my horse, 
whilst my two brothers were to ride out in the country, and towards 
evening walk their horses outside the gate of Alcala, through which 
I was to pass accompanied only by Belda. 

The fidelity and care shown me by the Biscayan woman during 
the whole time I remained in her humble abode, I thought, entitled 
her to a complete proof of confidence on my part. I therefore dis- 
closed to her my true name, pointing out from the windows of her 
apartment my father's house, which had always been before my 
eyes ; and lastly, I explained to her the mystery which had caused 
our seeking an asylum in her house. 

At length the hour of my departure arrived. I took leave of my 
kind nurse, and proceeded with Belda towards the gates. Polo and 
myself had fixed upon the last quarter of the moon that we might 
be able to travel during the night, should circumstances oblige us to 
it ; but this arrangement rendered my first steps for quitting the ca- 
pital more hazardous, by exposing me to disagreeable meetings in 
my way to the gates. Here, again, the passport of the prime minis- 
ter could be of no avail, as I was known by sight to most of the 
guards stationed there. There were also other dangers to be ap- 

U 



* *• 



164 NARRATIVE OF 

prehended, arising from the patroks of cuirassiers, who at night 
ranged outside the walls of the capital, and from the unforeseen ac- 
cidents that I might meet with during my ride to Alcala de Henares, 
which is five leagues distant from Madrid. Thus, the good or bad 
success of the first steps of my flight depended entirely oa chance. 
I was, however, prepared for the worst, and had accordingly formed 
a plan, which though fatal to me in its results, was the only one of 
which circumstances would admit. 

Eight was just striking when we arrived at the gates of Alcala. 
By a most fortunate accident the guards were occupied in examining 
a carriage that was leaving Madrid ; and being more intent on the 
munificence of the travellers than in the performance of their duties, 
we passed by without at all attracting their attention ; when at about 
a hundred paces from the gates, we met my brothers. As the fear 
of exciting suspicion had prevented them from bringing a third horse, 
as it was their wish, one of them was obliged to alight, that I might 
proceed on my journey. Under the pretext of intrusting him with 
a message, I succeeded in making him desist from his intention of 
following us on foot. Belda, who was in the secret, returned with 
him ; whilst my other brother and myself clapped spurs to our horses, 
and we lost sight of a city for ever memorable to me. 

By one of those singular coincidences which are met with only 
in the great boofc of destiny, on the very night that I was flying 
from the capital to shun the horrors of the Inquisition, the body of 
the inquisitor-general Mier, who had died on that morning, was 
lying in state in one of * the saloons of the palace, where he had 
issued the sanguinary decrees against me, and where he had treated 
with contempt the humane and religious" reflections of the upright 
Canon Riesco. He was now in the awful presence of his God, 
rendering an account of his actions ! 



1>0N JUAN VAN HALKN. 155 



CHAPTER XV1L 

The author safely passes a squadron of cuirassiers— He sups with Don Facundo In* 
sjuriet and Zosy aqnt i i at Alcala— Dangerous adventure at a seat of the Duke del In- 
fantado*s— Copiiortable lodging at Torremooho— Quarrel between the villagers and 
some foot-soldiers — Mountain of Moncayo — Town of Safra— Treacherous innkeeper 
—Police officers— Successful passage 1 of the river Ebro— Dragoons— Entertain- 
ment in jthe town of Olite— Peraiflagc by a pretended diplomatist — The author 
avoids Pampelnna — Advice received from the landlord of an inn near the Pyrenees 

' -^Stratagem — Village of Berroeta— Elizondo— Extreme peril in passing the barrier 
«f the Pyrenees — The author and companion pass the frontier, and enter France, 

• 

The detachment of cuirassiers on the road of Alcala had left the 
capital towards the close of the day, and my brother, who had 
observed it, believed that they must be at some distance from us, 
when just as we arrived at an elevated spot on the road, which over- 
looks the inn called Del EspirUu Santo, we distinguished the glit- 
tering of their cuirasses. My brother, who purposely rode in uni- 
form, and myself enveloped in my cloak, on seeing them within that 
short distance, did not think it prudent to call their attention by 
turning out of the road, which offered neither wood or any other 
place of concealment ; we, therefore, proceeded towards them, 
resolved to face the danger. Before arriving at the inn there is a 
turnpike, and beyond it a bridge. Having passed the former, we 
perceived that the troop had halted at the inn, where they were 
taking some refreshment. . My brother went towards them with the 
object of preventing all suspicion, and I followed him. The cuiras- 
siers, seeing an officer, paid no attention to his companion, and we 
passed the bridge unmolested ; after which we set off at full gal- 
lop, meeting no other obstacle, or even a traveller on our way. 
Four hours after, we saw the towers of Alcala, which is situated 
in the midst of a plain. As the school of engineers was esta- 
blished in this city, Don Facundo Infantes, who held a high situa- 
tion in it, residing there, we had appointed his house as the place of 
meeting. This gentleman, accompanied by the friend whom Polo 
had taken with him to bring my horse to Alcala, was waiting for 
me outside the gates, and on our approach came forward. Having 
alighted, I gave the horse to Polo's companion, and a parting em- 
brace to my brother, who with his new comrade turned his horse's 
head towards Madrid, whilst 1 followed Infantes into the town, and 
reached his house without meeting with the least obstacle. 

Here I found Polo and Zorraquin, with whom we sat down to 
supper, till hearing the clock strike two, we prepared for our de- 
parture, having first consulted the map, the itinerary, and the notes 
we had been furnished with respecting some parts of the road, 



156 NARRATIVE OF 

without forgetting to assume the dress corresponding to my supposed 
commission, as well as Polo, who was to pass for my secretary. 
Manzanares accompanied us on foot as far as the outskirts of the 
town, where, having taken leave of him, we quickened our pace, 
to quit before daylight the high road leading to Guadalaxara ; our 
intention being to avoid, as much as possible, passing through the 
cities that lay in our way. 

The splendour of the rising sun seemed to presage the success 
of our flight, and we travelled on, cheered by one of those de- 
lightful May mornings, when nature sheds its rays of beauty over 
every living object. Wishing to proceed as far from the ca- 
pital as the strength of .our horses would allow, we rode on 
without halting, until an incident, which might have proved very 
serious, obliged us to change our direction. Passing about 
noon near a country-house, and wanting some refreshment, we ad- 
vanced towards it, without at first remembering to whom it be- 
longed. Overpowered by the heat of a burning sun, I had thrown 
open my cloak ; when on arriving at a great court-yard belonging 
to the house, we were met by several large dogs, whose clamorous 
barking attracted the notice of the servants, who came out accom- 
panied by a man whose countenance was very familiar to me. 
Wishing to prevent his recognising me, I feigned to be afraid of 
the dogs, and rode out oT the court-yard, followed by Polo, Who 
immediately understood me; thus avoiding worse consequences 
than could result from the bites of the dogs. The fact is that 
we were on one of the estates of the Duke del Infantado, and that 
the man we observed among the servants was the duke's major- 
domo of that estate, who had formerly been steward in a family 
residing at Madrid, with whom I was in habits of the greatest inti- 
macy. This was the reason why we thought it prudent to cnango 
the direction of our road. 

Towards evening we arrived at a smaft village where colonels 
might very well have sojourned, but certainly, never diplomatic 
agents. The curate, of whom we soon heard good accounts, being 
absent, we went to the house of his father, who, never having 
learned to read, was perfectly satisfied with the coat of arms on my 
passport, the gold embroidery of my coat, and the timely lamenta- 
tions of my secretary for our accidental separation from our ser- 
vants. Our hone$t* Castilian host hastened to remedy this loss by 
intrusting the care of our horses to his servants. He then insisted 
on our taking the privileged seats near the fire, whilst he himself 
set about preparing the chocolate for us, and his good old wife our 
beds. Polo, who was more familiar with these scenes than myself, 
and more conversant with the manners of these people, knew how 
to turn every thing to account. He began a conversation on po- 
litics with our host, principally touching on rents and taxes, which 
&f£i made the good farmer speak his opinions freely. He lamented 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 157 

the petty tyranny of men in office, the unjust privileges of the 
hidalgo*, the innumerable barriers which opposed themselves to 
the industry of the'husbandman, and lastly spoke of the monarch 
with all the candour of rusticity, showing mat the disorders of the 
throne are felt even in the cabin of the peasant, when the appeals 
of the people are not only disregarded, but punished. 

Conducted by our host and hostess to the apartment where our 
beds were prepared, we soon forgot the adventures and fatigues of 
that day. The old man was punctual in calling us at the hour we 
had appointed* We saluted him in the kitchen at day-break, and 
then went to look at our horses, which we found already saddled, 
and the servant waiting our orders. Our host insisting on guiding 
us through the path that led to the road we were to follow, we took; 
our horses by the bridle, and walked on, admiring the beautiful val- 
leys that extend as far as the chain of the Somosierra mountains, to 
which the old man pointed with pride as the picturesque theatre 
where he had spent many a spring, and which had witnessed the 
bleaching of the venerable locks that fell about his shoulders. At 
parting, he shook us heartily by the hand, showing us the high road, 
and made us promise to visit him should we ever travel that road ; 
a civility as sincerely meant as it was kindly proffered. 

After some hours' travelling on the high road, we arrived at the 
little village called Torremocho, and soon after reached the inn a 
short distance beyond it, the loneliness of which seemed to invite us 
to refresh our horses, and repose ourselves awhile, but in which we 
were not free from alarms. Whilst Polo and myself were amusing 
ourselves with listening to the clamorous orders of the inn-keeper's 
wife, who was getting our dinner ready, which, notwithstanding her 
boisterous importance, consisted but of some fried eggs and asallad; 
the cries and shouts of the children, of which there is always an 
abundant crop in the huts of the poor, announced the approach of 
a troop of soldiers. Remembering the meeting I had on the night 
I left Madrid, we hastened to the door, where we met with a ser- 
geant and twelve foot-soldiers, who, on seeing my uniform, saluted 
me respectfully, causing our momentary fears to vanish. I inquired 
of them the object of their excursion, and learned they were in 
pursuit of highwaymen, who were not wanting in that part of the 
country. As it frequently happens in times of public misery that a 
father of a family has no other resource than to turn ' robber, the 
people of Torremocho, who were in this situation, as most probably 
was also the case with those of the inn, looked upon an armed 
force as they might upon an army of invaders. With respect to 
our present guests, they held out their scanty purse to procure some 
refreshments, but no attention was paid to them : they asked water, 
and they gave them what had been left by our horses ; the hostess 
had nothing for those veterans, and as it is not in the character of 
Castilians to dissemble if they feel wounded, the countenances began 



158 NARRATIVE OF 

on all sides to assume a cloudy aspect, threatening a conflict, always 
violent in a country where the passions of the people, when once 
roused, know no limits. Under these circumstances, it was impos- 
sible for Po\o and myself not to have a fellow-feeling for these poor 
soldiers, who, notwithstanding the privations they endured, showed 
the utmost prudence, discipline, and forbearance. We therefore 
condoled with them, and gave them the little assistance that lay in 
our power ; but foreseeing that a general affray would soon take 
place between the two parties, we judged it wise to leave them to 
fight their own battles, as otherwise, in the event of the soldiers 
being supported by their chief, it is very probable that the only per- 
sons apprehended would be ourselves. We, however, advised them 
to keep their tempers, and avoid any rupture ; an advice; which, m 
a similar situation, we ourselves should have found very difficult to 
follow, and mounting our horses we set off at a brisk pace. 

We traversed the country of Tadraque, having a few leagues to 
the right of our road the city of Siguenza, which we wished to leave 
far behind us before night-fall. The spirit of our horses seconded 
our intentions, and towards sun-set we saw, at some distance from 
the road, Sauquilio, a very small village, which we fixed upon as 
the termination of that day's journey. We learned from the young 1 
men of the neighbourhood that there were no soldiers stationed in 
it, and that it was now some time since they had seen any. On 
arriving", we found the members of the town-house assembled in the 
blacksmith's shop, which was the principal place of resort in the vil- 
lage ; and by our presence we interrupted the measured sounds of 
his hammer with which he was regaling the assembly. We asked 
quarters for the night, and the alcaide, more attentive to my person 
than to my passport, which he did not even attempt to spell, pointed 
out to us from where he stood a house, which certainly appeared the 
best in the village. As our servants had not yet joined us, the peo- 
ple of the house where we were quartered easily procured us a young 
man to take care of our horses. 

Neither the host nor hostess was so communicative as those who 
had sheltered us on the previous night. We therefore remained 
with them no longer than was absolutely necessary, and we rose, 
desiring our temporary groom to have the horses ready by day-break, 
and call us if we were yet asleep ; but the hostess, who heard our 
order, hastened to remind us that the following day was a festival, 
and that her confessor said mass at a very convenient hour for any 
traveller. We thought it prudent to thank her for her well-meant 
warning, and agreed to prolong our sleep until the church-bell should 
call us up. 

. I think it would be impossible to find in any other house in Cas- 
tile, or even throughout Spain, such a numerous collection of cats 
as we found here. This we perceived only when we got into bed, 
otherwise we might have dispensed with charging the servant to 



DON JUAN TAN HALEN. 159 

wmk* us, as, owing to the noise made by those animafe, we could 
not close our eyes during the whole night. The mewing, the racing, 
the fighting among them was such as to be almost alarming, and 
only to be matched by the diversified snorings, deep and loud, which 
issued from the adjoining dormitories ; so that long before the 
church-bell called the faithful to mass, we were on our legs. In 
giving the good morning to our hostess, I could not help speaking of 
the wretched night we had spent, showing my surprise at her keep- 
ing such an immense number of cats, when there were so many 
beggars in the village who I thought ought to have the preference. 
" Mr. Colonel," answered the hostess, as she buttoned the spatter- 
dashes of her unwieldy husband, u what can we do ? When we 
married, we had only two ; they have increased with our years, and 
we have given some of them to our neighbours. God provides for 
them ; shall we then throw them into the ditch ? The tricks of the 
little ones are our amusement, and I assure you that when a person 
is accustomed to their me wings, he is not disturbed by them." She 
then entered into the peculiar merits of her principal favourites, in- 
terrupting her panegyric only at the door of the church. 

The priest, on seeing us enter, sent the sacristan to conduct us to 
the seats of the members of the town-house, which were near the 
altar, and then commenced the service, our ears being suddenly as- 
sailed by the screams of old men, youths, and children, who 
crowded the choir of the church, and who gave a faithful representa- 
tion of the musical entertainment we had heard during the night. 
The mass over, Polo and myself thought it our duty to repay the 
attention of the priest by inviting him to take his chocolate with us. 
The hostess was delighted at this mark of respect in us, and 'busied 
herself in preparing it ; after which we took leave of them, and 
mounting our horses, endeavoured to gain the time we had thus 
lost. 

We travelled during the whole day without taking any .repose, and 
after sunset put up for the night at a small village called Moncayo, 
situated at the side of the mountain of the same name, which rises 
like a watch-tower over the two kingdoms of Arragon and Castile, 
which it separates, its elevated peak forming a most picturesque 
object. Wishing to avoid the inns as much as possible, for fear of 
some disagreeable encounter, Polo proceeded 'to the billiard-room, 
where we learned the alcaide was to be found, and from him he 
easily obtained quarters for the night, which we spent without 
having our repose disturbed but by the care of our horses, which, 
owing to the exposed situation of the stables, we were under the 
necessity of watching. 

Before day-light we were already on horseback, and proceeded 
through the high road towards the Ebro ; the numberless obstacles 
which the mountainous nature of the country offered, preventing 
our leaving it without exposing ourselves to lose our way. Among 



160 NARRATIVE OF 

the few larger towns we were obliged to pass through was that of 
Safra, which, by all accounts, we had reason to look upon with sus* 
picion, and which was marked in our itinerary for that day's jour* 
ney. Fortunately as we drew near it, the rain fell in such violent 
showers, that we traversed the town without seeing other objects 
worth remarking than the arms of the Inquisition, which were cut 
in stone over the doors of some houses, the owners of which, 
looking through the windows, did not seem much inclined to gra- 
tify their curiosity at the expense of getting wet through. 

Having left Safra about a league in our rear, we saw an inn a 
little removed from the high road, where we took shelter from the 
incessant rain, and established our quarters for the night, being 
already wet to the skin. We intrusted the care of our horses to 
the ostler, and took possession of the two beds offered us by the 
innkeeper. The music of Sauquillo, and the care of our horses at 
Moncayo, which had hindered me from taking any repose for the 
last two nights, with the soaking rain of that day, renewed my 
former pains in the arm, and prevented our departure on the follow- 
ing day. The kind attentions of my companion greatly contributed 
to hasten my recovery, and gave us the hope of shortly continuing 
our journey. The innkeeper, who was a great gossip, and conse- 
quently no less curious of other people's affairs, questioned us about 
our journey, and about the accident that had separated us from our . 
servants, relating to us in his turn the various adventures that had 
occurred at his inn, among which was the fright of General Reno- 
vales,* who, disguised as a monk, had passed the night in his inn ; 
a circumstance which was not discovered by him for some time after, 
and which he lamented, as having thereby lost the high reward 
offered for his apprehension. This despicable man, who, had he 
suspected my real character, would not have hesitated an instant in 
betraying me, informed us that the police officers, who belonged 
to the party stationed along the Ebro, were in the daily habit of 
visiting the inn, and that though probably the rains had kept them 
in Safra, they would not be long before they arrived. This infor- 
mation we received when it was too late for us to think of depart- 
ing ; but not wishing to remain there longer than was absolutely 
necessary, we told him of our determination to set off at day-break, 
paying him before hand the unreasonable bill which he presented to 
us, for the thirty-six hours we had remained in his house. 

We were on the point of leaving our room to proceed on our 
journey, when, from the window that looked into the road, we dis- 
tinguished six armed men coming towards the inn. On their knock- 
ing with their muskets, the door was immediately opened, and the 
first object which presented itself to their sight, was the ostler wait- 
ing for us under the gateway with our horses already saddled, 

* He was implicated in a conspiracy which obliged him to fly from Spain. 



V 



V 



DON JUAN VAR BALEN. 161 

maaaom to ascertain who these men were, we listened attentively 
te> the questions they pot to him, by which we soon discovered 
them to be the police officers Mentioned by the innkeeper. Polo 
immediately went down to speak to them, and managed things so 
weft, that the curiosity they had at first manifested was converted 
into respect They drank a glass of brandy to the heahh of the 
travellers, and without waking to see the innkeeper, who was still 
&et aaieept, hastened out of the inns worn which we also rode off as 
soon as we thought they wcrw at some distance from it. 
> Among the questions my secretary had asked the police officers, 
was, whether they had seen any thing of our servants, complaining 
Of the precious time we hud lest in waiting lor them at the inn, and 
of the want of our bqttor-case, which prevented him from offering 
them a glass* but which he supplied with some he purchased at the 
isn, that they might drink to the beekh of " Colonel Don Manuel 
Sueho." As we proceeded along the high road, laughing at the 
easy crodsbty of those who were even then in pursuit of me, and 
forming castles m the air, believing we had -already overcome not 
only the dangers that the line of the Ehro presented, but all those 
we had besides reason to fear, we saw at a distance the custom- 
house, and within sight of it t the barge, which had hitherto so much 
occupied our thoughts. On our approaching nearer, afi the guards 
and officers of the customs came out to meet us, when 1 showed 
from under my cloak, as if by chance, the sleeve of my coat, on the 
cuff of which wore the colonel's insignia,* whilst my secretary beg- 
ged them to desire our servants, whom we were hourly expecting, 
to hasten forward to join us. The men listened respectfully, and 
assured us tfa^y would not mil to obey our commands, and without 
father inconvenience, we proceeded towards the barge, thus over- 
coming one of the principal dangers of our journey. 

The wretched condition of the interior commerce, which under 
a*better government might be so extensive m mis part of the king- 
dom, kept the boatman in a state of complete inactivity. The poor 
feUow received us and our horses as a god-send, lamenting the great 
scarcity of passengers of any kind, and performing his work with 
the utmost diligence, for which we rewarded mm handsomely, 
though not according to the real service we felt be had rendered us. 
But though we were now leaving the Ebro behind, we had still to 
cross the kingdom of Navarre, where we had other dangers to en- 
counter, from which we feared that oar past successes might be of 
little avail. 

It was ami early in the morning, wbeft just before entering tba 
first village on our road, we met two dragoons', who were going to 
join a detiaehntent that had been seat there. The soldiers, who 

i 

* Id Spain, as in Austria, the superior officers are distinguished by the gold or 
8iWer5tripeswornonthecwofthecoat. 



162 NARRATIVE OF 

every where prefer a wandering life to the regular duties they ar# 
subject to with the main body, learning from Polo, who stopped to- 
converse with tfiem, that I was intrusted with an important commis- 
sion, begged him to use bis influence with me to obtain their offi- 
cer's permission for them to be our escort. My secretary, having 
ascertained that their officer did not know me* and elated by the 
success of our passage over the Ebro, conceived the singular idea 
of acceding to their request, and communicated to me his intention 
of showing the officer our passport; and should he obtain the sol- 
diers, on our arrival to the frontiers of France, he would send them 
to the minister of war Eguia, with a despatch in which our safe arri- 
val in a kingdom to which his power did not extend, should be duly 
announced* Tutored by experience, my fears were more ^easily 
roused than his, and I did not approve ©f his faneiful scheme, at 
which nevertheless it was impossible not to laughs. We* therefore* 
left the village and the dragoons, and proceeding onward, we reached 
towards noon a viMage called Centrenige, where we stopped to take 
some repose at the only inn in the place* which was as little fire-' 
quented as the barge and the read. ' 

The city of Olite, so celebrated in the annals of Navarre, was* 
towards the end of our day's journey ; but as we had no friends 
there, we determined to pass the night at some village beyond it. 
Before reaching it, however, it grew so dark that Polo, deeming it 
wiser to sojourn at Olite, proceeded with the passport to the muni* 
eipality, in order to obtain quarters for the night, in which he easily 
succeeded. By the arms sculptured over the door of the house to 
which we were sent, we judged that our host belonged to the nobi- 
lity of Olite, a fact which we soon ascertained. On the lady of the 
house being informed who we were, and of our having arrived with- 
out our attendants, she immediately sent one of her own to take care 
of our horses, and caused every thing we stood in want of to be 
brought to us, giving besides to the other servants orders which pre- 
saged more attention than we wished for. Whilst I was making my 
toilet to go and present my respects to our hostess* Polo called my 
attention to a murmur of voices that was heard in one of the adjoin- 
ing rooms ; but though we listened attentively, we could not form a 
correct idea of the cause of it, until having finished dressing, and 
proceeded towards the apartment of the hostess, we found on 
arriving at the door that the whole family were at evening prayers. 
Unwilling to disturb them, we were on the point of turning back, 
when the lady of the house hearing our steps, came out to meet us, 
and invited us to enter, politely regretting that her husband was not 
at home to assist her in doing the honours of the house. She then 
introduced us to a cousin of hers, a gentleman of very rustic appear- 
ance, to an assemblage of old women, to a Capuchin friar, and to a 
priest. Having examined this museum of living rarities, I cast a 
took at Polo, who, immediately understanding its meaning, received 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 16 



to 



with the utmost resignation, as well as myself, the polite invitation 
<of our hostess to spend the evening and take supper with them. 
We were then requested to take our seats, Polo having for his 
•neighbour the priest, who from the first moment we entered, dis- 
played the hateful badge of the Holy Office, in which he filled the 
post of familiar. He spoke of the court, of the benevolent dispo- 
sition of the King, and of the happiness of the people, whilst we in 
our turn extolled the importance of diplomacy, the skill and subtlety 
of the Spanish cabinet, which kept such a marked preponderance, 
over all others, and spoke of the general pacification of the Ame- 
ricas as a thing almost settled. Leaving to my secretary the entire 
care of pursuing this kind of conversation, the absurdity of which 
would have been apparent to any one except to our worthy familiar, 
for whom Sweden and Switzerland* were all one, I endeavoured to 
reply to the numberless questions of the hostess, the Capuchin, and 
ibe old women, who, though engaged in a game at cards, did not 
allow me a moment's respite. 

At length supper being announced, the conversation was inter- 
rupted, and we proceeded to the supper-room, where I took my 
seat beside the hostess, Polo being still more favoured than in the 
drawing-room, having the priest on one side, and the Capuchin oh 
the other. His good, humour, however, was unruffled, and he kept 
u£ the joviality of the company by his pertinent jokes. The suppers 
in Navarre are by no means frugal, and, doubtless, our hostess 
wished to impress us with a favourable idea of her affluence. On 
the other hand her affability spared me the trouble of entering the 
metaphysical labyrinth in which my friend had got entangled with 
his two neighbours, until, fortunately, the yawning of the priest, the 
nodding of the Capuchin, and the drowsy winking of the old women, 
made us withdraw. ' 

As it is not likely we should go quietly to bed while any one con- 
nected with the Inquisition was in the house, we first made sure that 
he had retired to his apartment. Our next care was to see that our 
horses were well attended, and having ascertained this, we desired 
the groom to have them ready saddled at break of day. When Polo 
and myself returned to our apartment, being unable to close our 
eyes during the whole night, we passed it in commenting on the 
absurd conversation we had held with the familiar and his friend the 
Capuchin, until the hour for our departure approaching, we rose, 
and mounting our horses, bid adieu to (Mite and its hospitable 
inhabitants. 

The city of Pamplona was in our line of march ; but it was ne- 
cessary we should avoid entering it, for being the seat of the pro- 
vincial government, the police were* more on the watch, and I 

* In Spanish the names of the above countries axe in their pronunciation so similar, 
{Suecia and Suiza), that the mistake of the familiar, in whom much geographical 
knowledge co.nld not be expected, is frequently committed by those of his ciath. 



164 KARBAllVE OF 

wag personally known to various individuals in office, among whora 
was the viceroy. In coming near, we rode across the fields that are 
in sight of it, and towards noon wo stopped a short time at an inn 
about three leagues beyond it la oar note book we wens recom- 
mended to sojourn that night at an inn, winch was removed onJy 
one day's march worn the desired term of our perilous jonroey. 
We were, besides, instructed to follow the advice of the innkeeper, 
(who by the tune of our arrival would be m some measure in the 
secret of my flight) respecting the best way of crossing the 
Pyrenees. 

On our arrival at the urn, we found the host sitting by the kitchen 
fire, and surrounded by several old men of the village. We asked 
lodging for the night, and Polo contrived so that ebortry after we 
had the innkeeper alone with us in our apartment. Having given 
htm the watchword by which he was to recognise us, and received 
his answer, we showed him the passport, explained its object, and 
asked his opinion and assistance to pass the frontiers* To this he 
said that we might, even on the following day, undertake the cross- 
ing the Pyrenees under the guidance of some smugglers, who woaid 
open a path for us through the snow. We agreed to consider of it. 
Whilst Polo and myself were occupied in discussing the natter, 
our host re-entered, showing some alarm, and informed us thmt*jur 
eudden arrival had excited the suspicions of the old men who w6r© 
in the kitchen, among whom was the notary. Polo immediately 
proceeded to the kitchen, where, drawing out his pocket-book, he 
began to look over some of the papers it contained, and in putting 
them up, dropped, as if by chance, our passport, and directly left 
the kitchen. The host who entered soon after Polo, and was in 
our scheme, taking up the passport, delivered it to the notary that 
he might read it aloud, when both their suspicions and oar alanr* 
ceased. 

When the host came to return as the passport, having already 
considered the proposal he had made us, we told him thai we did 
not think it prudent to intrust our safety to men who could not an- 
swer for their own, at the same tine recommending him to observe 
the utmost circumspection in speaking of us to any one. He offered 
to procure a guide ; but as he could not do this as soon as it was 
indispensable for us to depart, we were obliged to content ourselves 
with the information he gave us respecting the ante of the custom- 
houses, which we couH not avoid passing before we reached die 
French soil, and resolved to trust to chance, confiding in our ex- 
perience, resolution, and good horses. 

Early on the following lay wd bid tarewell to our worthy host, 
and travelled towards the frontiers, cheered by one of the finest 
days in May, which, under the pure sky of Navarre, seemed doubly 
beautiful and inspiring. Between ten and eleven we reached Ber- 
rueta, a small village, which was half-way of our day's journey. 



DON JUABT JAM HALEN. 165 

As ^ WW Hie festival of the Corpus Chrieu\most<of the inhabitants 
ware, at the taae of our arrival, engaged in the religious procession 
which is performed in every town and village of Spain. It is ens? 
(ternary in this part of the country to celebrate this day with a pub* 
fie dinner,, in wnich the want of splendour is frequently supplied 
with mirth and joviality, and in which ail family feuds and personal 
njamoeitie* aw reconciled. Tie host and hostess were so much 
occupied srith the preparations for the feast, that wefoatnd it more 
disncW to get any one to accept our payment, than to procure the 
refreshments. 

We left Benuete, wishing that the example of general reconcilia- 
tion offered by its inhabitants on this day, might he imitated througb- 
N out the pejraaula, and particularly by the rating faction. We had 
mow before oar eyes the picturesque sumsmts of the Pyrenees, and 
the delightful valleys that neve and there diversify the scenery along 
their basis ; hot though the sublssttty of these objects was wnesisti- 
fcle, and capable of absorbing the whole attention, yet I mast own 
that our minds were more engaged with the approaching dangers - 
to he apprehended from the guards and custom-dwuse officers, than 
in Gonteajfsauting the beauties of the sfuroandrng scenery. 

M three in the afternoon we passed through filizond®^ which , 
consists of one long street along the high road, and in which a 
party of guards is always stationed. As wo traversed it at a trot, 
I took care that my msigmas should not be concealed ; bat we 
were fortunate enough not to be observed by the guards, until we 
bad left the village, and then apparently without exciting their sus- 
picions. There now remained only the party stationed on the 
frontiers, whose hoftse we saw after two hours' travelling over a 
very "mountainous country. As we came nearer the spot, one of 
the many guards, who were on the look-out, hastened towards us, 
and demanded the passport. I delivered it, and we followed him, 
leading our horses as near as possible to die barrier, which, how- 
over, was occupied, as if intentionally, by several men. 

We were kept in the utmost suspense for fifteen long minutes, 
during which other officers placed themselves near our horses' heads, 
looking suspiciously at us. Polo, under the pretext of lighting his 
*ngar, began a conversation with one of them; but it led to frothing, 
the fellow answering only in monosyllables. 

Meantime we were repeatedly invited to alight, and go into the 
house ; but we declined this invitation, in #hich there was more 
duplicity than politeness, particularly as we could see the raying 
eyes of a man at the window intently bent upon me. Thus watched 
and surrounded, we were obliged to betray 110 signs of alarm ; in- 
deed, it seemed as if our very breathing was observed. At length the 
chief officer came out, and apologizing for the delay that we had 
experienced, said to me, pointing to a paper which he held in his 
hand, that my personal appearance and features so perfectly agreed 



MM! NARRATIVE OF 

4 

with those described in the warrant he held, that it required time to 
consider. Upon this a question arose of the most delicate nature, 
alleging on his part observations replete with justness and good 
sense, which I was obliged to parry with reasons founded on the 
mysteries of diplomacy. Passing to less important matters, he 
asked me whether I had seen the, authorities in my way through 
Pamplona. I answered in ti^e affirmative, and observed that his 
countenance brightened. "I have here," said he, showing me< 
another paper, " an order from the Viceroy of Navarre, in which I 
am desired to credit no passport that is not countersigned by his 
lordship." 1 observed to him, that the exalted rank of him who 
had signed mine was, in my opinion, entitled to an exception. At 
these words he looked successively at Polo and at myself, and then 
withdrew, evincing some confusion, whilst we returned for ten minutes 
longer to the same dumb scene previously acted. 

On his re-appearance, he politely returned the passport to me, 
ordered the gates of the barrier to be opened, and asking me a 
thousand pardons, took off his hat, and bid us farewell. 

Having passed the barrier, we rode slowly till we came to an angle 
in the road, which screened us from the sight of the officers, when 
we clapped spurs to our horses, and once sure we were in the 
French territory, we both alighted, and manifested the joy we felt 
by a tight embrace of mutual congratulation. 

I then cast a farewell look on the country of my birth, and 
throwing away the insignias of my assumed rank, put at once an 
-end to the character of Don Manuel Suelto, which I had so success? 
jfiiUy performed. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

The author and Polo assume the character of wool-merchants — Excellence of their 
•horses— Adventures in France — Arrival at Baronne— Pordeanx— They embark for 
Dover — Custom-house officers — Elections — The alien office — City of London-r 
Spanish emigrants — Polo returns by sea to Spain— Events at Madrid — Proceedings 
of the Inquisition of the court— Singular end of Don Juanito — the author resolves 
on leaving England* 

We were now* in France, transformed into wool-merchants, in 
which disguise we presented ourselves, with the passport our friends 
had procured for us, at the first custom-house we met, which was 
that of Ustariz. Our arms, the only articles we preserved belong- 
ing to our former characters, would here have appeared singular, 
were it not very customary to see the merchants arrive armed 
jcap-a-jrie, owing to the occasional rencontres to which travellers are 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 167 

exposed in these parts, from persons who are similarly employed as 
the peasants of Torremochd. 

If, on the Spanish side, I had engaged the whole attention of the 
guards, our horses fixed that of the French ; especially the one 1 
rode, which, by its southern origin and superior breed, increasing 
the formalities of entrance,* prevented us from reaching our inn tiH 
very late at night* Elated with the success of our flight, and with 
the idea that we were no longer within the reach of the inquisitors, 
every thing by which we were surrounded seemed as if reflected by 
an enchanted minor. it was, however, to- be presumed that the 
French police would not be long in discovering my real name. 
Polo, who was known only by a few, had not so much to apprehend ; 
but as our intention was to pass rapidly through France, visiting 
only such persons as we might safely confide in, and whom we had 
been recommended to see, we hoped to escape fresh vexations from 
the police. 

The inn-keeper, with all the good humour of a Frenchman, kept} 
us company during supper, and saw that our horses were weir 
attended ; after which we withdrew to our apartment, where we 
spent a night undisturbed even by dreams. It was late in the 
morning when we awoke; and having settled our account with 
the landlord ,♦ we left Ustariz, as we thought, in the direction of 
Bayonne ; but we had not gone very far before the loud impreca- 
tions of a peasant, whose corn our wandering horses were treading 
down, attracting our attention, tfs well as that of a gentleman who 
was walking near the spot, and who hastened to calm the anger of 
the husbandman, made us halt and discover our mistake. The gen- 
tleman, in whom we recognised an officer of Napoleon, informed 
us that we had missed our road, and were on our way to the Spanish 
frontiers, and after many civilities on his part, and grateful thanks 
on ours, he showed us the road to Bayonne, from which we had 
wandered two leagues. Towards the close of the day we reached 
the suburbs of that city, where we took up' our quarters at an inn. 

Polo, who, though no longer my secretary, still acted as such, 
under the pretext of my being in bad health, transacted all business 
with the police and consulates concerning our passport. He also 
paid a visit to a member of the Cortes, who with his family resided 
at Bayonne, and with whom we spent the greatest part of the time 
we were obliged to remain there. As we determined to travel in 
the diligence, our horses could no longer be of any service to us ; 
Polo, therefore, sold his to a Jew, who paid so poor a price for it, 
that rather than sacrifice mine in the same way, I gave it to our 
friend, who willingly took charge of it, as well as of our arms. We 
then left Bayonne in a diligence, which carried us to Bordeaux, 
where we made but a short stay, and afterwards proceeded to Paris, 
alighting at the Hotel de la Belgie, where some friends and coun- 
trymen of ours were living. As Polo had never been in this capi- 



168 DfAR*JtTIVe OF 

fail* oar residence here was protracted longer than we intended, 
owing to his desire of seeing its principal objects of cariosity. 
Previous to our departure, be did not fail to visit the embassy and 
the police office, from which he brought back the passport filled 
with scrawls and JUmr-4+U*; and again taking oar semis in the 
diligence, we travelled to Calais, where we embarked on board a 
packet-boat for Dover, bidding adieu to the country of the g«at- 
tfarmeg. The company ojft board appeared to us less inked than 
that we bad usually met with in the cbhguness. The Weather was 
remarkably toe, and in * few boors we were safely landed at 
Dover. 

Polo and myself, being ignorant of the strict fbrmahtfe& observed 
in the English custom-houses, had each brought a bottle of wine to 
pledge each other on our sale arrival in this land of refuge ; when we 
no sooner leaped on shore, than we were assailed by two custom-house 
officers, who, seeing our swollen pockets, in which we carried the 
bottles for that pious purpose, would not allow us to move a step 
without first prying into them. Having gratified their curiosity in 
hopes of getting rid of them, we found we had ondy rendered them 
more eager to obtain possession of the bottles ; and as neither of 
us could make himself understood, we thought it advisable to yield 
tbem their prey, after which we proceeded to our inn, having first 
seen our slender portmanteaus deposited in the customhouse. 

It was towards the end of June (1818) when we arrived in 
England ; at which time the whole country was actively engaged 
m the elections for the ensuing parliament. It would, perhaps, 
lie difficult to meet with two travellers so struck with the novelty of 
the scene that offered itself to our view than ourselves. Cars filled 
With voters, candidates carried about in triumph, taverns deiugea 
with beer, emblematic devices, flags of various colours, hats covered* 
with ribands, bands of music parading the streets, ami public ora- 
tors haranguing the people, — such was the singular spectacle we 
met with at Dover, and in every town through Which we passed, 
forming a striking contrast with the scenes of misery and oppression 
that were acting in our unfortunate country. 

Having with some difficulty made our way through the crowded 
streets, we reached the often* office, where we were asked the usual 
Questions respecting our passport, which had been previously depo- 
sited there by the Captain of the packet. Polo gave his assumed 
name, as it was indispensable for his future safety ; but as 1 had 
nothing more to fear, I frankly disclosed my real one. Our inter- 
rogator made no impertinent remarks on my transformation ; but, 
on the contrary, doing justice to the sentiments which had prompted 
that candid avowal, he contented himself with my signature j and 
from this moment I resumed the name which I had inherited from 
my forefathers. 

In the custom-house our portmanteaus underwent an examination : 



' DUN JUAN VAN HALEN. 169 

the officers, on seeing the specimens of wool which we brought from- 
Spain, pulled it apart, doubtless expecting to find pearls among it ; 
but having discovered their mistake, we received back our portman- 
teaus, though we lost sight altogether of the wine. We spent that 
night at Dover, and having charged the landlord to secure places for 
us in the first coach for London, it came punctually at the appointed 
hour, early on the following morning ; but as we were accustomed 
to see the unwieldy diligences of France, with their rope traces, 
heavy -booted postilions, and loud-cursing conducteurs, when we saw 
at the door of our inn the elegant and commodious vehicle that came 
for us, believing that it was the carriage of some wealthy man, who 
had just arrived, we were amusing ourselves with looking at it, and 
admiring its beautiful horses, whilst the coachman, who was beside 
us, but whom we did not understand, was impatiently waiting for us. 

We reached London on the afternoon of the same day, after 
having travelled through a country, the beauty and high cultivation 
of which, while it delighted us, called forth our admiration at every 
step. As we approached London, we were no less struck with the 
immense extent of ground which it occupies, spreading along the 
horizon farther than the eye could reach. Here we took up our 
abode at the fumble inn where we alighted, near the Exchange. 

Polo had now accomplished the generous object which he had 
had in view. I was safe in a land where the very name of the 
Inquisition is abhorred. It was not so with him : his immediate 
return to Spain would place him again within the reach of our ene- 
mies ; and if his absence abroad in my company, the secret of which 
was known to more than one friend, were to transpire by the slightest 
imprudence of any of them, he would be a lost man. 

On the day after our arrival, Polo acquainted two Spanish gentle- 
men, at that period emigrants in London, with this event, at the 
same time requesting them to procure for him, with all possible 
secrecy, a passage on board some vessel immediately going to Spain. 
This request was so diligently attended to by those gentlemen, that 
on the fourth day after our arrival in London, Polo sailed from the 
Thames on board a merchant vessel, bound for one of the north ports 
of the Peninsula, the captain of which, a Scotchman, showed him 
more hospitality than his duties demanded of him. Thus, then, was 
I separated from a young friend, who, during a hundred and fifty 
clays of constant alarms, had never quitted me^and who had shared 
with unalterable good humour the dangers by which I had been 
surrounded, acquiring by such noble conduct so many claims to my 
eternal gratitude and friendship; 

Polo's voyage to Spain was short and prosperous. On his arrival 
at Madrid, those who knew him, but were not in the secret of our 
flight, inquired if he had spent his time pleasantly at Burgos, little 
thinking he had taken so long a journey. A year afterwards, the 
heaw wheel of persecution reached .him, as well as Nunez de 

Y 



170 NARRATIVE OF 

Arenas, fielda, and many others who were engaged in the same 
generous and patriotic labours as himself. Cast into one of the 
worst dungeons of the public prison of the capital, he suffered tor- 
ments under which any one possessing, a less robust frame and vigo- 
rous mind would have sunk. He owed his liberty and his life to the 
revolution of the Isla, and is at present an exile.* 

Our friends learned the success of our flight only when Polo 
arrived among them. From that time I began to receive news from 
Spain, which, though more calamitous every time, were more ea- 
gerly expected by me. Murfy wrote with air the inquietude and 
alarm of a man whose destiny was ia the hands of a tender female, 
who, though possessed of an extraordinary firmness of character and 
superior mind, was now suffering under the oppressive yoke of the 
inquisitors. 

Before closing the subject of the Inquisition, it may not be im- 
proper to offer here a slight sketch of the occurrences subsequent 
to my flight, respecting those who have figured in the foregoing 
narrative, although by so doing I am anticipating epochs that in the 
natural course of events precede this, but which, having no connex- 
ion with each other, seem to justify this irregularity. 

The inquisitors, who, on the day after my escape, resolved that 
Don Marcelino and Ramona should be confined in separate, dun- 
geons, and allowed no communication whatever with the wife and 
guest of the imprisoned jailer, intrusted to Don Juanito the care of 
strictly attending to these injunctions. Assisted by several minions, 
placed under his Command, that despicable man had now an ample 
field to exercise towards the illustrious victim* whom he had always 
hated, those goading cruelties in which his inhuman heart delighted. 
Not a day elapsed without some fresh indignity being offered to her. 

On the other hand, the tribunal instituted a cause in which Ra- 
mona was implicated in a manner no less arbitrary than absurd ; 
for whilst Don Marcelino was accused of not having observed to- 
wards me, according to the enjoined rigour, the private regulations 
of the prison, and of visiting me unaccompanied by Don Juanito, 
she was charged with having opened the door of the prison that 
communicates with the jailers' apartment, her master declaring he 
had shut it when he came to bring me the medicine. This, as the 
reader is well aware, was not the fact ; but Don Marcelino, wishing 
to mitigate the anger of his superiors, made that declaration, which, 
fortunately for Ramona, was not believed by them, as otherwise the 
whole weight of their displeasure would have fallen on her. He 
also urged, with the view of dissipating the suspicions entertained 
by the judges, that he was not un accomplice in my flight, and as 
an acquittal from all blame, his being found shut up in my dungeon ; 
but the inquisitors, who believed that it might be part of the plan 
of my escape, and who were anxious to obtain the secret of it, 

* Since writing the above, we have learned with deep regret the death of this pa- 
triotic individual, in Gibraltar. 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 171 

complicated matters so much, that after several months of useless 
endeavours, they grew tired not only of the cause, but of inflicting 
punishment on those from whom they could obtain no satisfactory 
information, and, therefore, delivered them into other hands. Don 
Marcelino for allowing himself to be surprised by me, was con- 
demned to the galleys for ten years, and v&mona for no reason at 
all, to perpetual reclusion in a convent. 

This geneftms girl, after having supported with unshaken forti- 
tude all kinds of misery in the dungeons of the Inquisition, sick, and 
in the most deplorable state of wretchedness, without even endea- 
vouring to seek the means of alleviating her situation by communi- 
cating with Murfy, on whom she had so many claims, and who 
most assuredly would have assisted her, proceeded to the place of 
her confinement, where she continued suffering the heavy weight of 
her sentence till the political events of 1820 restored her to liberty. 
She then married a soldier of cuirassiers, to whom she had been 
'attached, even previous to her heroical misfortunes. Happy in the 
humble sphere in which she moved, neither herself nor her husband 
ever sought to ameliorate their condition when the opportunity 
offered. A stranger to political opinions, she had done all, suffered 
all, through the s^le impulse of humanity ; she therefore asked no 
recompense from the government, or from a single individual — the 
consciousness of having acted rightly was her sweetest reward. 
On my return to Spain, she found in me a brother, and she never 
aspired to more. * 

Don Marcelino, restorccAo liberty by the sarne political events, 
returned to Madrid, and setting forth the sufferings which he had 
unjustly undergone, obtained from the constitutional government an 
employment, certainly much more decorous than the disgraceful 
one which he had formerly exercised. 

His former colleague, Don Juanito, who of ajl the minions of the 
Inquisition was the only one who dared remain in Madrid in the 
midst of the exultation of a people who had just broken their chains, 
and who had the generosity to spare his life, was reserved for an 
end no less extraordinary than unexpected. Although he had no 
one to provide for but himself, and although he was possessed of 
the means of Jiving respectably by what his agency in collecting 
rents for several gentlemen of Madrid furnished him with, his avarice, 
which offers such a striking contrast to Ramona's disinterestedness, 
induced him to adopt a conduct at once unreasonable and incon- 
sistent. No sooner did he see his former colleague in his new post , 
than seized with the general epidemic, common to most countries 
among this unprincipled class of men, of acting a part, no matter 
what might be the subject of the piece, he actually had the effront- 
ery to sue for a place from the government, nay, to present himself 
in the saloons of th$ ministers, and claim it as if it were due to him. 
Meeting with more obstacles in the way of his ambition than he had 
at first imagined, and resolved to overcome them, the same map, 



172 NARRATIVE OF 

who in 1 820 still wore on his breast the sanguinary badge of the 
Holy Office, in 1822 assumed the uniform of the national militia, 
enlisting as a volunteer in the company of grenadiers of the first 
battalion of Madrid, and from that moment was the most punctual 
in discharging the dutijflhof his company. 

On the memorable 7th of July of the same year, when the troops 
of the royal guard attempted the counter revolution^ our volunteer 
hastened to join his ranks, who with the rest of the national militia 
of Madrid fought so gloriously in that unequal struggle, when just at 
the moment that the guards, vigorously pushed on all sides, were 
retreating, some of them to take shelter in the king's palace, Don 
Juanito, who with his comrades was triumphantly pursuing them, 
as he came near the palace, received a mortal wound from a mus- 
ket ball, and shortly after expired in the arms of some of his brave 
companions ; to whom, in his dying moments, he expressed the 
deepest remorse for his past misdeeds. Such was the singular end 
of a man, who had so much contributed to render more bitter those 
long days of misery which I spent in the dungeons of the Inquisition. 
I shall now resume the thread of my narrative. I had been al- 
ready five months in London. The retired life which my reduced 
circumstances obliged me to lead, was so contmry to my natural 
activity and habits, that every day my spirits became more and more 
depressed. My imagination, perpetually engrossed by my own 
disasters, and by those that weighed on my unhappy country, de- 
prived me of the serenity required fot any kind of study. • On the 
other hand, my condition of emlgrant^midst a wealthy people, who 
know not by experience the vicissitudes of revolutions, appeared to 
me more insupportable ; and Whenever I attended any party either 
in town or country, not all the affability and kindness I experienced 
could prevent my forming melancholy reflections, especially when 
after a splendid fete I returned to my humble abode, where the con- 
trast of poverty with luxury was so striking, that it never failed- to 
increase the dejection of my spirits. 

My private means were also disappearing, and I saw no other 
resources left me than either, to procure assistance by disclosing the 
secret of my flight to certain men, who though highly respectable 
were nevertheless strangers to me, or quit England, and seek an 
adventurer's life in some -remote country, where the interests of mjr 
own might not be injured. Nothing could be more humiliating to 
me than the first of these steps ; I therefore decided in favour of the 
latter. 

I consulted my friends in Spain, by whose advice and assistance 
I had hitherto profited ; and at the same time declared that I would 
no longer accept any more sacrifices at their hands. I waited for 
their approbation, and having received it, nothing more remained 
for me to do than to fix upon the country where I might, in a 
manner less repugnant to my feelings, terminate my painful pil- 
grimage. 



1 \ 



POX JUAN VAN HALE-N. 173 



CHAPTER XIX. 

The author resolves on entering the Russian service — His interview with some gen- 
tlemen of the Russian legation in London — Don Fermin Tastet — Mr. Bludoff— 
Don Antonio Qoiroga — The author embarks for Hamburgh — Mr. Strow, consul- 
general— Kindness of Mr. Von Header — Don £. P, de Castro— Journey from 
1 Hamburgh to Berlin — Spanish settlers — Arrival in the Prussian capital — Von Hall, 
a merchant of Berlin — Account of Don Luis Landaburo — Vi*it to Counsellor Kraft, 
secretary of the Russian embassy—- Genoese spy— The author quits Berlin in com- 
pany with Secretary Koch. 

The resolution I had formed of pursuing in some remote country 
the career of arms, in which I had been brought up, naturally led 
me to fix my eyes on Russia, whose forces were not likely to come 
into contact with those of Spain, and whose monarch, by far the 
most enlightened of the continental kings, was universally respected 
for the moderation with which he used his unlimited power, and for the 
liberal views he displayed in the internal policy of his empire. Under 
this favourable impression I finally decided upon Russia, communi- 
cating my intention of immediately proceeding thither to a worthy 
countryman of mine with whom I was intimately connected, and to 
a Spanish banker, Don Fermin Tastet, long established in London, 
and whose house I frequented. These gentlemen, the first to whom 
I disclosed my resolution, manifested the utmost surprise at hearing 
it, especially when they reflected on the slender foundations upon 
which my hopes were founded. Their sympathy, however, being 
excited by the confidence I placed in the success of my undertaking, 
the banker, who for many years had been intrusted with the pecu- 
niary interests of the Russian embassy in England, offered to exert 
his .influence in my favour. This he effectually accomplished, and 
the result of his friendly interference soon stimulated me to persevere 
in my plan ; and I was invited to visit one of the gentlemen of the 
Russian legation, who from the first showed a lively interest in my 
future destiny. 

A gentleman, a friend of the banker, who had been informed of 
my resolution, undertook to be my Mentor upon this occasion, and 
preached to me a sermon of two hours, which I then listened to with 
as much interest as it would be now tedious to repeat, in which he 
pretended to an intimate knowledge of the Russian character, ending 
tyy saying, " You are going to-morrow to visit a Russian gentleman ; 
mind to have your private plan well digested before the interview. 
The Inquisition has given as much celebrity to Spain as Napoleon 
to France, and you will be questioned about it and about Ferdinand ; 
your adventures will form the subject of conversation : display your 
moderation, my dear friend^ particularly when Spanish affairs are 







Jr. 



TU 



'«r 



r-- 



i..-£ 



J 74 



!S>RRATIVE OF 



brought forward. Indeed, the less is said about it the better ; be- 
cause it is not possible for the Russians to measure the immense 
distance existing between the events passing on the Guadalquivir and 
those of the Neva. If you fail in observing the utmost reserve, 
even with the best friend you rnay find among them, you are a lost 
man, for they will not prize your sentiments as they may deserve. 
In Russia they live under an enlightened despotism ; every thing is 
read there ; every thing is discussed. The conspirators who assas- 
sinated Paul attended a supper where they drank the health of the 
new emperor two hours before the murder took place, without 
making any great secret of it. This will give you an idea how things 
are managed among that people, and what difference there is be- 
tween their manners and ours. The Russians and the Spaniards 
know each other only through the writings of foreigners, in which 
we are represented as Algerines, and they as Cossacks.'* 

A few hours after this conversation I repaired to the appointed in- 
terview, having previously formed my plan according to the advice I 
had received from the above gentleman, the justness of whose ob- 
servations I had now, in some measure, an opportunity of ascertain- 
ing. On being introduced, I found the Russian gentleman reclining 
on a sofa, and smoking a long pipe. He received me with much 
politeness and affability, without however* rising from the sofa, plead- 
ing as an excuse his having lost a leg in the last campaign, which 
rendered his reclining posture at times necessary ; and, without put- 
ting to me any of the questions which had been imagined by my 
well-informed Mentor, proceeded to speak of my journey and of 
Petersburgh, as he might have done to a friend. He hinted, in the 
most delicate manner, that my recent misfortunes, and the resolution 
I had adopted, excited his deepest interest, and he promised to 
furnish me with letters of introduction to his friends of that capital 
and of Berlin. On the following day he presented me to the secre- 
tary of the embassy, Mr. Bludoff, at that time Charge* d' Affaires, 
from whom I was to obtain the most essential requisite for my jour- 
ney, nanfely the passport. Mr. Bludoff received me with the same 
affability as my introductor had done, advising me to procure as my 
introductor had done, advising me to procure as many letters of re- 
commendation as 1 possibly could, that I might be better able to 
obtain admission into the Russian service ; because the Emperor, 
owing to the numberless petitions that had been presented to him in 
France and Germany, had just issued an ukase, declaring that he 
would receive no more foreign officers into his army. He added 
that he feared my rank would render my endeavours to enter the 
service of the Emperor more difficult. I mentioned my willingness 
to serve even as a private soldier, and expressed such sentiments as 
a man at my age and in my situation would be likely to entertain ; 
but Mr. Bludoff smiled, and assured me that on my arrival at St. 
Petersburgh I should form a more correct opinion of his country- 



__ .£1^ 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 



175 



men, and dismiss the erroneous notions which I seemed to have im- 
bibed ; adding that he would forward the passport to me through 
the banker. 

November (1818) had just commenced, and soon the navigation 
of the Baltic would be entirely closed. My slender means required 
that I should proceed to Petersburgh by sea ; but thejast vessel for 
Riga having sailed from the Thames on the 18th, I ldst the oppor- 
tunity of sailing, owing to a delay that occurred in ^he delivery of 
the passport, occasioned by some obstacles which were started by 
the*6panish ambassador to prevent my departure. 

Whilst I was in this state of inaction, I received a letter from a 
lady, a friend of mine, residing at Cadiz ; in which, notwithstanding 
the well-founded fears I entertained of seeing no favourable change 
take place in the Spanish government so soon as it was to be wished, 
I read with pleasure a postscript,* written by an old friend and com- 
rade of mine, Colonel Don Antonio Quiroga, who had been in gar- 
rison with me at Jaen at the time of my first misfortunes. Uncer- 
tain, however, what conduct to follow on this occi^on, I communi- 
cated the contents of the postscript to some countrymen of mine, 
(with whom I was in ti g habit of dining in London at the same table) 
who dissuaded me fro y . entering into any correspondence with him 
upon the subject. ^ 

On the 20th of the <f .'mu month I found at the house of the banker 
the passport and sevt -al k a prs of recommendation, and I made the 
necessary preparations for - 5e J departure. 

These once concluded, 1 round myself master of a passport, ten 
letters of introduction^ a purse with scarcely sixty pounds in it, and 
a portmanteau of clothes more fit for the drawing-room than for 
travelling. Such were the slender means with which I resolved to 
meet the rigour of a climate' like that of Russia, and to undertake a 
journey by land, so long and painful, to seek my fortunes among a 
people of whose character I was totally ignorant, notwithstanding 
the various accounts I had read respecting them, and the informa- 
tion I was indebted for to the friend of the banker ; but to over- 
balance these inconveniences, I had good health, a better resolution, 
and the most sanguine hopes of success. 

When I communicated this resolution to those countrymen of 
mine with whom I usually dined, and who were as little informed on 
the subject as myself, they considered my undertaking as an act of 
despair, one prognosticating the loss of my ears or my nose by the 
severe frosts of the country, another my being sent to Siberia imme- 
diately on my arrival in Russia ; whilst those who were less inti- 
mately acquainted with me, looked upon it as an incomprehensible 
mystery in open contradiction to liberal principles. My determina- 
tion, however, was too firmly fixed to be shaken by the opinions of 
men who did not dive to the bottom of the secret of my enterprise 

* See note F. 



* » 



176 NARRATIVE OP 

— imperative necessity ; so that I listened to and laughed at their 
ominous forebodings, and finally took my leave of them. > 

On the 24th of November, I sailed from Cravesend on board an 
English merchant vessel bound for Hamburgh, which place we 
reached three jlaya after. As soon as the vessel cast anchor, I ex- 
pressed to the captain my desire of going ashore, with which he 
readily comjflied, and I soon landed on the quay with my luggage, 
which was nft so strictly searched as it had been on the shores of 
England, after whicji I proceeded to the hotel of the king of Prussia. 
My first care was to repair to the house of the Russian consul- 
general, Mr. Stroff, for whom I had a letter of introduction, and 
who received me very kindly, inviting me to visit him frequently du- 
ring my stay at Hamburgh. The rest of my recommendations were 
for some merchants residing there, from whom I likewise met a good 
reception, but who could be of little or no service to a military man. 
In justice, however, to a certain class of persons of that country, I 
ought to relate here a circumstance characteristic of their hospitality. 
In my endeavou^ to discover the house of one of the persons to 
whom I had been recommended, I entered by mistake that of a 
gentleman, a native of Hamburgh, by nameJVfr. Von Beseler, who 
very obligingly guided me to the place ofMvhich I was in search, 
and afterwards insisted on my dining with him on that day ; both he 
and his interesting family doing every thing » their power to render 
my residence in that city as pleasant as*>ossi|le. 

On the following day, whilst I w^Bvriting in my apartment, I 
received the unexpected visit of a SpaBard, Don S. L. . . ., whom I 
had known some years back in Madrid as an indefatigable place- 
hunter, though perfectly incapable of filling any, and who offered no 
apology for his present intrusion. In the course of conversation I 
soon ascertained that he was secretary to the Spanish consul- 
general, who at that time resided at Hamburgh, and that the object 
of his visit was to discover the motive of my journey there, which he 
supposed to be connected with some South American scheme, and 
•which would have furnished him with the pretext of taking some 
measures against me. 

While he was still with me, Mr. Von Beseler entered to invite me 
to spend the day with his family, and as he was already acquainted 
with some of the adventures of my life, manifested some alarm at 
seeing S. L. there. Notwithstanding the dulness of the latter, he 
soon perceived that his company could be dispensed with, and he 
took his leave, when Mr. Von Beseler said earnestly, u That man 
is not only a fool, but very ill-intentioned. I have met him before 
this, and I know he is reputed as such. He will bring you into 
trouble, if we do not prevent it. Finish your letters, and let us im- 
mediately go to Mr. Stroff, to solicit his protection ; and should this 
fail, we will take you to Alton a, where you may be beyond t\v> 
reach of danger.'' 






DON JUAN VAN HALEN. F77' 

I told him that I did not think the Russian consul, or even the 
government of the country, would/ever allow of my being in the 
least molested, to which Mr. Von Bejsoler replied, that the influence? 
of any small German state, was top limited. to- be safely confided in. 
We consequently proceeded to the hogse of the Russian consul, 
who, on being informed of the object of our visit, assured me that 1 
had nothing to fear, as, besides the guarantee which my passport 
afforded me, the character of Don Evaristo Perez de Castro, the 
immediate chief of L . . . ., was such as to dispel any apprehensions 
I might entertain. 

The diligence for Berlin left Hamburgh on that day, and as I only 
learned this when it was too late to profit of the opportunity, I was 
obliged to wait for the next, which did not start for three days, 
during which I passed most of my time in the society of Mr. Von 
Beseler's family. In this interval my letters for Berlin and Peters- 
hurgh increased, and L . . . ., under the pretext of giving me a letter 
for a friend of his in the last city, again attempted to see me ; but 
as I had ascertained that he had sounded the consul-general for the 
purpose of having me claimed from the government, I gave orders 
to the servants to deny me to him. ..... 

On the day before my departure, Mr. Von Beseler took me with his 
family to a country-house, beautifully situated near Altona, where he 
treated me with a banquet in the Spanish style, prepared by an old 
soldier of the army of the Marquis de la Romana, who had remained 
behind, and established himself as cook in this country-house. 

Early on the following day, I visited the Russian consul, from 
whom I received back my passport, as well as seme letters of intro- 
duction, and the most sincere wishes for the success of my journey. 
I also took my farewell of the amiable family of Mr. Von Beseler, 
who accompanied me to the diligence. Thus from the first moment^ 
of our accidental acquaintance, this gentleman showed me attentions 
which I could hardly have expected from the most intimate friend. 

The road from Hamburgh to Berlin was so dismal, the- diligence 
so excessively inconvenient, the inns so wretched, and the corupany 
every where so inferior, that I found no pleasure in any thing that . 
came within my notice. In Spain the inns are generally bad ; but- 
•there is a certain cheerfulness, which has been justly described by 
Cervantes. Not so in those which are met on the road to Berlin : 
every thing is dull beyond expression ; houses, landlords, dogs, fur- 
niture, every thing reminds one of All-Souls hay in Spain. 

Along the high road are seen a great number of houses inhabited 
.by Spaniards, who had accompanied La Romana in his expedition . 
with Bern adotte in 1806, and who having remained in the hospitals, 
afterwards married and established themselves in that country;. 
Wishing to know if they remembered their country and their ban- 
ners, I put the question to one who appeared still to retain his native 
vivacitv. He answered, that he had more reason to remember the 

Z 



kltS HAKRATIVE OF 

accursed surgeon, who was the cause of his remaining behind, by 
keeping him in the hospital till it was too late to join hi& comrades. 
He had two children, who spoke both Spanish and German very 
fluently, and who acted as my interpreters. 

The country was partially covered with snow, and the uninter- 
rupted dulness of the atmosphere increased the tedium of the jour- 
ney, till at length, towards the close of the second day, the aspect 
of the country changed ; and as we advanced, I easily perceived 
that we were approaching the residence of the Fredericks. Our 
intolerable carriage entered Berlin about noon at its usual slow 
pace ; and once my luggage and passport examined by the custom- 
house and police officers, I proceeded to the hotel of the Golden 
Angel, where I had been recommended to alight. In the evening 
I 'called upon Mr v Von Hall, a rich Jewish merchant, for whom I 
had brought a letter of introduction, and whom I found surrounded 
by a numerous family. Being invited to spend the evening in their 
society, which, owing to his birthday being celebrated on that day, 
was extremely well attended, the conversation turned upon Don 
Luis Landaburo, the Spanish Charge d' Affaires at Berlin, who was 
filling-pro tern, the post which his brother had just left vacant by an 
unpremeditated suicide. These two gentlemen, one of them a 
colonel, were of the number of those whose names the inquisitors 
• were unable to discover, and whose letters were in their possession. 
The account which the banker gave me of that unfortunate event 
made such an impression on me, that he easily remarked the deep 
interest 1 felt for them, and without informing me of it, wrote to the 
colonel, acquainting him of my arrival ; when soon after I was 
agreeably surprised by the presence of my friend, whose invitation 
to breakfast with. him on the following mornirijr, to talk without re- 
straint over our affairs, I gladly accepted. 

As my friend did not place much reliance on the attendants 
belonging to the embassy, I was announced to him under a feigned 
name. Our mutual misfortunes were the subject of conversation, 
my flight from the Inquisition being known to him rather through 
the public papers than by direct information from Spain ; while I 
was totally ignorant of the tragic death of his brother until it was 
mentioned to me by Mr. Von Hall. Since I parted from Polo, I 
had not enjoyed such a moment of unreserved confidence as that 
which I passed with my friend, who, on learning that I had a letter 
of recommendation for the secretary of the Russian embassy, advised 
me not to defer my visit, as he was the only person in Berlin who 
could be of any real service to me. 

On arriving at the house of the -secretary, Counsellor* Kraft, I 
caused myself to be announced, and meantime put my hand into 

* In Russia all the diplomatic agents belong to the Council of State, though their 
denomitfatiojiB differ according to their rank u the Council. 



1X>N JUAN VAN HAJLEN. 179 

my pocket for my letter of recommendation, which I found had dis- 
appeared, along with my pocket-book, which contained other letters, 
«s well as some notes, then of consequence to me. Having in vain 
searched and searched again, I hastily descended the stairs, to avoid 
giving a man, whom I had never seen, a sinister impression of my 
visit ; but 1 had hardly gained the street, when the servant came 
running after me, and the secretary himself appeared at the window, 
requesting my return. Obliged to appear before him without my 
credentials, I own I felt greatly embarrassed how to break the 
matter to him in such a manner as not to raise unfavourable sus- 
picions in his mind respecting my intentions or my understanding. 
This was the more increased as his countenance was the very pic- 
ture of intelligence ; and besides the servant who kept his eyes fixed 
on me, there was another spectator who witnessed the scene in a 
looking-glass, Apparently highly entertained at it. At length, after 
« few minutes siience, I informed him of my name, and that I was 
the bearer Of a letter which I had lost, and of a passport which I had 
inadvertently left at the hotel. He smiled, and inquired the hour 
when he might find me at home, adding that on the following morn- 
ing he would, repay me this visit, and after many civilities, accompa- 
nied me to the stairs, which I scarcely know whether I descended 
or rolled down, so great appeared to me the ridicule I must have 
excited. 

I hastened to the inn, and searched in every place ; but neither 
my pocket-book nor my letters were to be found. I then proceeded 
to the house of my Spanish friend, who, on hearing my loss, and 
suspecting one of those by whom he was surrounded, managed 
things so well, that the pocket-book was found secreted in a certain 
place, where a copy of its contents had been commenced by a 
Genoese spy, wjio considered it as a welcome offering to the inqui- 
sitors and his employers. I was no less rejoiced at the recovery 
"of my pocket-book, than surprised at the dexterity and barefaced- 
ness of the fellow who stole it ; particularly as the great coat, in the 
pocket of which it was, had been in my sight during breakfast. 

Early on the following day, while I was in my room conversing 
with Gustmann, my landlord, Who, supposing I should make a long 
stay at Berlin, was willing to give me lessons in German, Counsellor 
Kraft entered. I was now able to present him with the letter I 
brought for him, which he, however, put into his pocket without 
reading, saying with a smile that it was not necessary, as the Rus- 
sian secretary of Hamburgh, Mr. Koch, had just arrived, and given 
an account of my situation by the desire of the consul-general. 
Mr. Kraft, wishing to compensate for the unpleasantness of our first 
meeting, invited me to dine with him and Mr. Koch on the follow- 
ing day, an invitation which I accepted with double pleasure ; and 
feeing informed of the object of my journey, and of the kind of 
introductions I had for St. Petersburgh, he gave me a most accurate 



H 



r lfcO NARRATIVE OF 

jdea of the character, sentiments, and influence; of each of the pec- 
sons for whom I had letters. To say the truth, his information was 
such as greatly to damp my hopes ; and on weighing the numberless 
inconveniences I had to encounter, I came to the sudden resolution 
of proceeding to Vienna to meet the Emperor Alexander, who was 
on his way thither from Aix-la-Cbapelle, and to present myself to 
liira, in order to ascertain at once the probable consequence of my 
enterprise. Mr. Kraft did not at all approve pf this; on the con- 
trary, persuaded that my original plan was by far the best, he ex- 
horted me to persevere in it, and entered into a full explanation of 
the method of conducting such affairs as mine in his country. 

I found at first sight in Counsellor Kraft a sort of diplomatic 
frankness, which, although studied, was such as an emigrant would 
be glad often to meet with in society. His discourse, however, pro- 
duced in me a degree of irresolution which for some time was uncon- 
querable. Meanwhile, I visited every place worthy of notice in Berlin 
in the company of some of .my friends, and spent much of my time 
in a reading-room where I had been presented by one of the mem- 
bers. A foreigner, and particularly one in my circumstances, finds 
this extensive and beautiful city devoid of all interest from the 
% absence of social intercourse which even among the inhabitants 

is but contracted. The theatre, therefore, was the only resource 
of which I now and then availed myself, though most of my evenings 
.were spent at the house of an old Prussian general, to whom I had 
been introduced by my Spanish friend, who with myself formed his 
usual, party. 

On the day I dined with Mr. Kraft, he introduced- me to Mr. 
Koch, the secretary of the consul-general of Hamburgh, whom I 
had not seen during my residence there. This gentleman, who had 
obtained leave to repair to Livonia, his native country, spoke during 
dinner of his journey, and of the unpleasantness ofVaveUing alone. 
From the tenor of his conversation it was easy for me to discover 
,the good intention of his friend in this introduction, and the delicacy 
he observed in his wish to oblige me. My own, however, obliged 
jne to take no notice. of this hint, a conduct which I perceived ex- 
cited the surprise of Mr. Kraft. On the following day, when I 
called upon him as usual, he told me in a pointed manner, that his 
* friend was anxious I should accept the vacant seat in his carriage ; 
that the expenses of posts were the same ; and that such an offer, 
far from offending me, ought to be considered by me as a tender of 
friendship from a man, who, having heard the adventures of my life, 
felt interested in my future welfare, and who would defer his journey 
as long as it suited me. Having said this, he conducted me to the 
house of his friend, who repeated the offer he had made to me 
through Mr. Kraft. As I could aot consider it in any other light 
[ . than as a proof of his kind regard for me, -I accepted it, manifest- 

ing the pleasure I felt at his proposal ; and having no motive to 



DON JUAN VAN HAfcEN. 181 

defer my departure from Berlin, I placed myself entirely at his 
disposal. 

The good state of my wardrobe in some measure concealed my 
real situation ; but when once I became the travelling companion 
of Another, it could not fail to be soon. observed. It was about the 
middle of December, and I was going to undertake a journey 
unprovided with the fur clothing, which every respectable person 
wears in those climates, no less for comfort than fashion. As Mr- 
Koch did not travel in a carriage of his own, those who are 
acquainted with the open and inconvenient vehicle used in posting 
on the road to St. Petersburgh, and who, moreover, know the rigours 
of a northern climate from December forward, will be able to form 
a tolerable idea of the inconveniences that awaited me, and which 
I could not avoid for reasons not very difficult to be guessed. 

When my countryman, the colonel, learned this news, he warmly 
congratulated me on my good fortune. Knowing, as I did, that 
•the situation he filled was far from being lucrative, sinc'e for several 
months he had been living at his own expense without receiving the 
smallest remittance from the Spanish government, I had not men- 
tioned to him my reduced circumstances. Indeed, the more con- 
tracted they became, the less inclination I felt to disclose them ; 
♦but when the moment for our departure was at hand, my kind friend 
brought to mind the balance of an account- owing to me,, which I 
Jbad entirely forgotten, and which, on my refusing to accept, he 
converted into a present of two necessary articles of winter 
clothing. 

Mr. Von Hall, on my taking leave of him, increased the number 
of my letters of recommendation, and kindly offered to forward to 
Russia 1 the correspondence of my family and friends, an oiler 
which he never, failed to fulfil. 

Our departure took place on the 1 8th of December, when I left 
•the hotel of the Golden Angel, surprised at the moderate bill of the 
honest Gustmann, who, I think, had he not been afraid of wound- 
ing my delicacy, would not have presented me with any, and who, 
as he bid me farewell, lamented my not endeavouring to gain , ^ 
admission into the Prussian service. 

On my arriving at the hotel where Mr. Koch resided, I found the . 
post-chaise waiting at the door, and in" his apartment my protector ^| 

Mr. Kraft. My countryman, seeing the generous conduct observed 
by these gentlemen, did not hesitate to be present on this occasion, 
to the no small surprise of the latter, who believed us to be of 
opposite opinions. Thus, the Spanish Charge d' Affaires (a very 
singular circumstance at this or at any time) shared with the Rus- 
sian counsellor the friendly attention of bidding farewell to an erni- 
grant in my. situation 



'C*u 



A 



188 NARRATIVE OJP 



CHAPTER XX. 

The travellers arrive at the Vistula— City of Koninberg— DescripttoiwRoad to 
Memet — Corbhe Haft — Memel — A Muscovite merchant— Amber collected— They 
enter Russia— Village of Palanfen— Russian travelling— Adventares—Mittao— Its 
palace — Passage acroH the ice of the River Dwina— Riga— IndBstrref the ladies—- 
Journey to St. Petersburg!) — Intemperance— Apathy of the serai of Livonia— 
Wretched inns— The author takes leave of Mr. Koch at Dorpat. 

We left Berlin at eleven o'clock in the morning, toe weather 
being extremely foggy, and the ground partially covered with snow. 
From the first my travelling companion observed my slight clothing, 
the only articles of my winter dress consisting of a pair of furred 
boots and gloves, and of a Spanish cloak, which, being the same 
that my friends of Madrid furnished me with on the night of my 
escape, was sp much worn as to be of little or no use. This attire 
in Russia was no less singular than insufficient. Wishing, however, 
to conceal from Mr. Koch my real wants, and following the exam- 
ple of a proud Castilian, I assured him that I was so accustomed to 
this cloak as to stand in no need of warmer clothing, and that, 
though a Spaniard and born in a warm climate, 1 was as capable of 
resisting the rigour of a northern one as a native himself. 

We travelled the whole day along a road more frequented and 
less monotonous than that of Hamburgh, and reached towards 
night a post bouse, where we met with the Russian suite of the 
empress-mother, who was to leave Berlin for St. Petersburgh on 
the following day, and for whom most of the horses were engaged. 
It was with the greatest difficulty, therefore, that we succeeded in 
obtaining fresh horses, and not till after midnight that we were 
enabled to proceed, though always at the mercy of our phlegmatic 
postilions. Towards evening we arrived at Culm, on the banks of 
the wide Vistula, the waters of which being nearly frozen over, 
prevented our farther progress that nigjit, which we spent at an inn 
at no great distance from the river. 

The more intimate I became with my companion, the more I 
congratulated myself upon having made his acquaintance. The 
equanimity of his temper, his affability, delicacy, and above all his 
enlightened notions and great fund of information, which rendered 
liis conversation as varied as it was instructive, were more than 
sufficient to compensate for the many inconveniences of the journey. 

At break of day we left the inn, and whilst the postilion under* 
took to see the carriage safely landed on the opposite banks of the 
Vistula, we committed ourselves to the care of some bargemen, 
who, after struggling for three quarters of an hour against the 



DON JUAN TAN UALEN. 133 

floating ice, succeeded in effecting the passage. In this part of 
Prussia, formerly belonging to Poland, the attendance at the post- 
houses and at the inns was much improved ; so that on the fifth 
day of our departure from Berlin, we reached Konigsberg ; where 
Mr. Koch, desirous that I should form some idea of the large cities 
through which we passed, proposed a short stay. Various causes 
had hitherto prevented me from taking any notes of my journey ; 
hut the example of my excellent companion induced me to begin 
my journal here, without which it is probable I should have travelled 
on engrossed wkh the refections produced by the incertitude of my 
future ffye, and with as much indifference as my portmanteau. 

It is not unlikely but that I may now and then repeat what has 
been observed by other travellers under more favourable circum- 
stances, and whose minds were less embarrassed ; in which case, 
however, my testimony will confirm what another may have before 
said. At all events, as it is not my intention to enlarge much on 
places generally known, but only on countries less frequented, my 
laconism, I hope, will conciliate all. 

The city of Konigsberg is situated on the borders of the Frische 
Haft, and covers a considerable extent of unequal ground. It con- 
tains between sixty and seventy thousand inhabitants, and its 'com- 
merce consists chiefly of hemp, potash, wood, and grain, exported 
from Poland. Its garrison is, in my opinion, too small for such a 
large and important place. The palace of the grand master of the 
Teutonic order, who formerly resided here, still exists, though in a 
very neglected state. Mr. Koch and myself were conducted by a 
respectable Prussian veteran to the great Teutonic tower, from 
which the whole city and its environs are seen, doubtless affording, 
in summer, a magnificent caup-d^anl; though at this season, and 
especially on the day we visited it, we could see nothing but an ex- 
tensive sheet of snow, covering the ground, the trees, and the roofs 
of the houses. Indeed, were it not that the character of my com- 
panion was superior to any kind of practical jokes, I should have 
thought that his intention in taking me there was to put to trial my 
resistance against the cold, and punish me for having boasted of 
being impervious to the winter atmosphere of a northern climate. 
From the tower, Mr. Koch showed me the roads to Memel and 
Tilsit, both of which are in the direction of Russia ; but the 
weather was too hazy to allow my forming a correct idea of the bad 
choice made by Mr. Koch, in proceeding on our journey by that 
of Memel. 

We left Konigsberg, thirty-six hours after our arrival, by the 
Memel road, which is certainly deserving of notice. I never in- 
quired the whimsical motive of Mr. Koch in preferring it to that of 
Tilsit, by which I should have been glad to proceed, to see the 
memorable place where the destiny of my country was decided. 
From Konigsberg to Memel, the road is formed on a neck of soflT 



184 NARRATIVE OP 

and moving sand, which separates the waters of the Baltic from' 
those of a lake called Curische Haft, which, with another, gives 
rise to the river Memel, on the banks of which stands the city of 
the same name. We travelled tjie greatest part of our road lite- 
rally wading through water, with a double number of horses, though 
without scarcely knowing whether the wind, the water, or the 
horses, impelled the open and uncomfortable carriage in which Mr. 
Koch and myself were packed, together with our luggage. Wearied 
of the slowness of our conveyance, we no sooner came to dry 
ground than we alighted and travelled on foot two leagues, till we 
arrived at a place called Nidden, where we changed horses. Here 
we met a Muscovite merchant, who was on his way to Germany, 
carrying with him a great stock of ykra.* His personal appearance 
was no less curious to me than the sledges which I had seen for the 
first time of my life on the previous day : he wore a long beard, 
and the Muscovite dress ; but what principally amused me was the 
extravagant joy he manifested at hearing my companion speak his 
native language, and he showed himself so serviceable and attentive, 
that he did not rest till he procured us a change of horses, with 
which we proceeded on our journey through that sea of sand, at the 
same snail's pace as before. 

When we distinguished the lighthouse of Memel, we hailed its 
glimmering as cordially as might seamen on a stormy night ; and 
havjng at about ten o'clock arrived at the banks of the river Me- 
mel, where the sandy neck of land terminated, we crossed over in 
a boat to the port, and spent the night at a hotel, the landlord of 
which was not quite so moderate in his charges as the honest 
Gustmann ; the s bill we were here presented with for our beds and 
a breakfast, far exceeding that which the latter made out for the 
whole time of my residence at Berlin. 

Early in the morning we started with the same train of horses 
and postilions as on the - previous day. As we passed through the 
town, we observed that the streets were tolerably straight, and the 
houses regularly built : the great market-place, which is at one ex- 
tremity of the town, was very crowded at the time we drove 
through. ' On the outskirts of the town are a great number of 
sawing mills, the wood being generally brought from Poland and 
Lithuania by the Danga and the Memel : the neighbouring strands 
were crowded with fishermen, emploved in collecting amber, for 
which it was then the season. ' The weather was bright and serene, 
and the road as pleasant as it had been disagreeable on the former 
dav. 

Nimmersatz was the last relay or post-hor.se in Prussia where 
we changed horses. When we came in sight: of the Russian bar- 
rier, which was soon alter leaving that place, my friend advised me 

. * The salted roes of a fish, which in Russia arc eaten raw. 



] don Juan van halen. 183 

• 

to put my Spanish cloak aside ; " for there," said lie, pointing to 
the barrier, " we shall meet Cossacks, who, should they take a 
dislike to your cloak, may transfer it to your person, and then, 
heaven knows what may happen." This he said in a joking man- 
ner ; but as I had heard by no means favourable accounts of these 
men, I implicitly believed him, &nd throwing my cloak aside, 
doomed it for sale to the next Jew 1 should meet. 

On reaching the barrier, we were detained but a very short time : 
the commanding officer of the station, having spoken a few words 
with Mr. Koch, gave orders to a Cossack to accompany us as far as 
Palangen, which is the first village of Russia along this road. Here 
we alighted at the custom-house, where our luggage underwent a 
slight examination, and where the police officer wrote down my 
name, my profession, and the object of my journey ; an informa- 
tion which was to be immediately sent by post to St. Petersburgh, 
and which would reach that capital even before we should have 
proceeded half way on our road. The circumstance of my tra- 
velling in the company of an individual holding a public situation, 
very much lessened the many formalities to which a foreigner is sub- 
ject on the Russian frontiers. 

On leaving the office we were assailed by a number of Jewish 
coachmen, who offered to take us to Riga by short journeys ; but 
Mr. Koch, who knew the inconveniences resulting from this mode 
of travelling, paid no attention to them, and we proceeded to the 
carriage that was waiting for us at the post-house, when we left the 
tillage Palangen, which is inhabited by Polish Catholics and Jews, 
and is the only place belonging to Samogiria which is met with in 
proceeding towards the interior ; the next district, which com- 
mences within a short distance of that village, being that of Cour- 
: knd. 

The roads in Russia are measured by wersts, seven of which are 
equivalent to two French leagues. All the wersts are marked by 
wooden posts, painted with the national colours, and bearing a 
number, that denotes the* distance from St. Petersburgh. The 
length of each stage is graduated according to the nature of the 
ground, and is from eleven to twenty-six wersts. The charges of 
each relay are uniform throughout the empire, whether the traveller 
be a native or a foreigner ; military men; however, pay less. With" 
respect to the inns, they differ as in every country. 

As the weather was very fine, we travelled on without stopping 
any where during the whole day, and towards evening reached a 
post-house with voracious appetites. The master of it was an old 
German, who spoke French very fluently, and who' told us he had 
been in the service of Frederic II. ; thereupon he entered into a 
long and tedious account of himself, and showed us the scars of the 
Wounds he had received in the wars ; but, observing we were more 
anxious for our dinners than for the narrative of his exploits,' he said 

Aa 



IfcUJ , NAaRATlVE Of 

he had * princely repast to offer us, with exquisite wine to boot ; 
but when the moment arrived, we found it impossible, hungry as we 
were, to do more than taste the filthy wine and indigestible dishes 
that were brought before us. To crown the adventure, our postil- 
ion was no where to be found, and all the horses being engaged for 
the suite of the empress-mother, we were unable to proceed. Wish- 
ing, however, to avoid spending the night at such a wretched hovel, 
We obtained a change of horses by dint of flattering the German, 
and paying him in full the unreasonable bill he presented to us. 

The night was rather dark, and we had not seen the figure of our 
postilion, or even heard his voice ; but we suspected, by the slow* 
ness of his movements, that he was some old crony of his master* 
On arriving towards the end of the relay, he began to blow a bugle 
with all his might, surprising us with a number of flourishes. Mr. 
Koch informed me that we were going to cross a small river, and 
that the blast with which we had been regaled was a warning for 
the bargeman. Our vehicle then stopped before the door of an inn, 
which stood on an elevated spot, and the postilion, alighting, asked 
Mr. Koch's permission to enter the inn to drink a glass of brandy ,- 
whilst the bargeman answered his sign. It was midnight, and we 
expected soon to cross the river ; but after waiting a quarter of an 
hour for his return, and seeing that the fellow did not come out, I 
alighted and proceeded towards a window, where a light was per- 
ceivable. As I looked through it, I saw what I certainly did not 
expect, but what convinced me that the flourishes of bis bugle were 
addressed to a very different person from the bargeman. Our 
postilion was sitting near a table with a huge flagon beside him, 
and a wench on his knee. Provoked beyond expression at this 
unseasonable courtship, I shook the window till it flew open, and, 
before my companion had time to alight and witness the scene, both 
the hero and the heroine came to the door of the inn, the latter 
holding a lantern in her hand, by which I observed she was an ugly 
kitchen wench of about eighteen, and he a young man of five-and- 
twenty. Displeased with my interruption, he muttered something 
at my impatience, and at the unseasonableness of my call, and again 
blew his bugle, though by no means so vigorously as he had before 
done, after which we gained the barge, and continued our way 
without farther interruption. 

Although it was now towards the end of December, the weather 
was so extraordinarily mild, that I much doubt whether it was warmer 
in the south of Europe, a circumstance by no means common in 
this climate. In proportion as we advanced, the relays were better 
attended ; and I was much struck with the fragrance emitted by the 
pine forests of Couriand, which bordered each side of the road. 
Towards the close of the day, we reached the last post-house before 
coming to Mittau, the master of which was a young Couriand 
officer, who had just retired from the imperial service, and who wa«- 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 18? 

slightly acquainted with Mr. Koch. He gave us an excellent dinner, 
and kept us company, relating several amusing anecdotes of Mittau ; 
and when the moment of our departure arrived, he presented us with 
such a moderate bill of our expenses, as to convince us that he had 
not yet forgotten the practice of one of the few good qualities that 
are acquired in the military career,— disinterestedness. 

At ten o'clock at night we entered Mittau, and alighted at the 
hotel of the Eagle. This was the first night we began to experience 
the rigours of winter. 

Mittau, the ancient capital of the duchy of Courland, is far from 
being a populous town. Most of the houses are constructed of 
wood, and the remainder of brick ; the streets are regular, and 
very clean. The palace of the ancient dukes is* seen just at the en- 
trance of the town on the road to Riga, and is the same in which the 
royal emigrants of France resided. 

We left Mittau at noon on the following day. The frosts, which 
before our arrival there had already commenced, produced their ordi- 
nary effects, the rivers, lakes, and every sheet of water being frozen 
over. Half-way from that city to Riga, we crossed the river Gross* 
bach over a bridge to which, in 1812, the advanced troops of Napo- 
leon's great army reached. 

Having, contrary to our custom, stopped some time at one of the 
post-houses, it was eleven o'clock at night when we came to the 
banks of the Dwina, which, by the accounts we had received from 
various travellers, we had been led to believe was still navigable ; 
but the frosts had been so severe, that we found this broad river 
completely blocked up by the ice, and we were the first who crossed 
its frozen surface. The postilion, who seemed as willing to serve 
us as the fellow, on the ^previous night, had been eager to serve him- 
self, offered to take us over in the carriage without incurring any 
risk, and having trusted ourselves to his skill, we entered that im- 
posing sheet of ice, the brilliancy of which was rendered doubly 
dazzling by the reflection of the moon ; and, after half-an-hour's 
incertitude, we succeeded in reaching the opposite bank. The 
streets of Riga were so -solitary, that we lost much time and patience 
in finding some place where to spend the night : at length, we met 
with a lodging at an inferior hotel. 

We remained two days at Riga. The first thing I observed, in 
going out of the inn, was a monument in the middle of the square, 
on the pedestal of which is an inscription both in Russian and 
French, transmitting to posterity the triumph of the former over the 
European coalition, when its independence was threatened ; and I 
remarked that no exception was made in favour of a nation which 
was, even at that time, struggling for its own independence. 

The weather, though cold, was clear, and I proceeded to examine 
the part of the river over which we had crossed at midnight ; but 
the ice was now so thick, that the river was literally a public walk, 



1W NARRATIVE OF 

on which sledges, carriages, and skaters, were rapidly moving to and 
fro. In summer, this river is crowded with vessels of all nations* 
The citadel of Riga is finely situated. In it the unfortunate prince 
Ivan, who fell a victim to the intrigues, recorded in the history 
of the country, at the epoch of the Empress Elizabeth, met his 
tragic end. 

Tliga did not seem to me a very cheerful city. Mr. Koch, in 
order to compensate for the want of society, proposed our going to 
the theatre, of which he gave me a most brilliant description. On 
our repairing thither, 1 was so much disappointed both with the ap- 
pearance and size of the house, that 1 could not help remarking the 
same to Mr. Koch, who, having seen a good deal of the world, was 
a stranger to that national fanaticism so common to men who have' 
never travelled out of their own country. He laughed, and said 
that I should nevertheless find cause for amusement, and it was even 
so ; for no sooner had the ladies of Riga occupied their seats in the 
boxes, than I fancied myself in some work-room ; every one of them 
busily employing herself in knitting stockings, a labour which they 
performed with amazing dexterity of hand. This was to me a more 
novel and amusing spectacle than the performance, which 1 did 
not understand. On leaving the theatre, I was curious to see if the 
ladies continued their knitting during their drive home, but 1 observed 
they had put up their work for the night* 

As Mr. Koch's journey was to terminate half-way between Riga 
and St. Petersburg, he engaged a travelling vehicle, which, though 
open, was more comfortable than those furnished by the post-houses, 
and the driver of which agreed to regulate his days' journeys accord- 
ing to our pleasure. Our coachman was as cheerful and active as 
we had hitherto found most of our postilions dull and phlegmatic, 
and I should have been glad to have had his services to the capital, 
which is above five hundred and sixty wersts from Riga. Along the 
high road through Livonia, are found, at short distances, filthy pub- 
lic-houses, called in the country khartckamas, before the doors of 
which are usually seen a multitude of wretched carts and sledges, 
belonging to the peasants, who are so greatly addicted to brandy 
and strong liquors, that they spend whole hours in those places 
without paying the least regard to their horses, which they leave thus 
exposed to the inclemency of the weather, and which with them- 
selves belong to the gentlemen or noblemen of the country. Nothing 
proves so much the state of barbarism in which these men are sunk, 
es the manner in which they received the decree, issued about this 
time by the Emperor Alexander, for partly emancipating some of 
the Livonian serfs. These savages, unwilling to depend upon their 
own exertions for support, made all the resistance in their power to 
oppose that decree, the execution of which was at length intrusted 
to an armed force* 

We spent five days -in going from Riga to Dorpat, in the vieinity 



DON 8 VAX VAN HAL EN. 



189 



4>f which the family of my excellent companion resided. We passed 
some of the nights in the disgusting khartchamas, Wolmery and 
Walque being the only two villages where we found better accom- 
modation. In the inn of the latter we met a number of students 
returning to their homes for the vacation, and travelling together on' 
foot, with the same good humour and unsubdued spirits as those 
whom I had often met in Spain. 

On arriving at Dorpat, we alighted at a most comfortable inn, 
where my companion was well known. The night, so long in that 
country during the winter months, being very clear, we walked 
about the town, my friend taking great pleasure in showing me the 
places which he had frequented from his infancy r Dorpat, though 
by no means a large city, is well built ; and, according to my com- 
panion's account, there is much social intercourse among the inha- 
bitants, which I the more .easily believed, as I have always found the 
character of the Livonians kind and affable in the extreme. 

The intelligence, received by Mr. Koch on our arrival here, 
obliging him to accelerate our separation, we took leave of each 
other as two old friends might have done, on my part receiving from 
him unequivocal proofs of a generous and sincere friendship. I am 
convinced that, had he not been obliged immediately to join his 

, orphan sisters, of whom he was the only support, the term granted* 
him for this visit being but short, he would have accompanied me to 
the capital. As it was, foreseeing the inconveniences that awaited 
me, he endeavoured in some measure to obviate them, by drawing 
up a very minute itinerary from Dorpat to St. Petersburgh, which I 
still preserve as a memorial of his friendly conduct towards me, and 
by procuring me nfeuitte de po&te, an indispensable requisite to pro- 
ceed on my journey. He also gave me all the information he pos- 
sessed respecting the capital ; and, as he was aware that I could not 
speak a single word of Russian, he taught me a few phrases, to 

- relieve the pantomimic duties upon which 1 should be obliged to 
enter. 



4h 



1JK> MABRATIVE OF 



CHAPTER XXL 

\ 

Russian post*vehicles and postilions — Accident— The author proceed! through the 
snows in a sledge— His arrival at Narva — Approaches St. Petersburg— Firs I dif- 
ficulties — Russian nobles — Dr. Elisen— interview with Priuce Woikonsky— Baron 
Kail— Festival of the Epiphany— Blessing the frozen Neva— General Betancoort— 
Visit to ftomanaow — iVi. Zea Bernmdez arrives on a mission to St.' Petersburg!*— - 
Character of Prince Andrew Galitaii*— Hospitality and generosity of the Russians 
— Friendship of Mr. S. Ju....— The author petitions Alexander for admission into 
the Russian service. 

I was now to undertake ray journey alone in a sort of post-cart, 
called in the country telega, resembling a box without a lid placed 
upon two coarsely made y wooden axles, supported by four wheels, 
and drawn by two very small rough ponies. My portmanteau, 
being placed across the cart, I took my seat on it, whilst the 
postilion, seated on a board in the front of the Cjart, guided the 
horses, which were most wretchedly harnessed. We left Dorpat at 
the real post pace ; but my conductor, who had about as much in- 
tellect as his horses, paid as little attention as they to the" direction 
he was to follow, and we travelled on towards Riga, without my 
perceiving his mistake until we came to a rustic triumphal arch 
which had been prepared for the expected arrival of the Empress- 
Mother at some distance from Dorpat. To convince him of this 
mistake, 1 exhausted all the Russian phrases I had learned from my 
friend ; but he seemed to understand my signs better, and took the 
opposite direction. 

Hitherto there had been no falls of snow during our journey in. 
Russia ; bat on the morning of my departure from Dorpat, the 
earth was covered with it, and as we advanced, it increased. The 
country, therefore, offered to me no object which might engage my 
attention, and as I could not make myself understood by my pos- 
tilions, the time passed on heavily. . I had been advised by Mr. 
Koch to urge these men forward by bestowing on them a few 
copper pieces, which in any other country in Europe would have 
been thrown in my face, but which were received by the Russian 
postilions with the most extravagant demonstrations of gratitude. 
Indeed, some of them threw themselves on the ground, and em- 
braced my knees, while the cracking of their whips, and the velo- 
city of their horses, confirmed the sincere joy they felt. 

This kind of encouragement on my part, however, had nigh been 
of serious consequence to me. We had passed the great lake of 
Peipous, on which a number of fishermen have their dwellings, and 
earn their subsistence, when we reached the village of Schaudley, 
where, as at the former post-houses, I presented my license, and 
was immediately/furnished with a telega and horses. 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. .191 

Perceiving that my new postilion was well inclined to serve me, 
I made the usual offer, and no sooner were we out of the village, 
than he set his horses at full gallop, rashly urging their speed when 
he ought to hare checked it, till at length the horses became unruly, 
and he losing his command over them, the slight telega was dashed 
to pieces, and 1 was thrown to a great distance, striking my chest 
against a large stone ; whilst the postilion, still holding to the fore* 
wheels, was dragged over the snow for a considerable distance, 
without my being able to affora> him any assistance. After much 
trouble, and leaving my portmanteau on the road, I returned to the 
post-house, where 1 was immediately surrounded by several people, 
who administered to me all except what I really wanted, but vainly 
^ endeavoured to explain. As the motion of a post-cart could not 
fail to be unpleasant as long as 1 felt the effects of my fall, and as 
the snow was so thick on the ground, 1 asked for a sledge, and after 
considerable trouble succeeded in making them understand the ob- 
ject of my wishes. My clothing was certainly not the best adapted 
for this mode of travelling, and in a climate too, the .severity of 
which became greater as 1 advanced ; but persuaded that the dan- 
ger of being dragged on through the snow in a sledge at a rapid 
rate could not be great, with my usual inducements 1 stimulated the 
conductors to hasten forward, anxious only to reach the place of my 
destination, and unmindful of the pain in my chest, which I thought 
would have no serious results. In four and twenty hours after my 
departure from Dorpat, 1 reached Narva. 

On entering the city gates, a corporal asked for my passport, and 
soon after an officer came forward, who, seeing the state in which I 
was, advised me in French to take some repose at a hotel he men- 
tioned, and desired the postilion to conduct me thither, assuring me 
he would take care I should receive my passport signed by the pro- 
per authority. ' Having arrived at the hotel, the landlord, finding that 
I could not make myself understood, sent for a gentleman, who, like 
most people of his class in Russia, spoke French and German very 
fluently, and who was good enough to keep me company, and act as 
my interpreter. Although I found my chest much bruised and 
swollen, and was recommended immediately to procure medical ad- 
vice, as soon as my passport was brought to me, I declared my in- 
tention of proceeding on my journey,' being unwilling to make any 
stay at Narva. My obliging interpreter then hired a carriage for 
me, properly Russian, the coachman of which engaged to carry me 
to St. Petersburgh in four and twenty hours, at a price extremely 
moderate. 

This kind of carriage is so large that one may travel in it at full 
length. The coachman standing up, drives three horses abreast, 
the reins being suspended to a wooden arch, rising about two feet 
above the neck of the middle horse, and supported by the shafts of 
the carriage. From the arch hangs a large bell, which is an indie- 



192 NARRATIVE OF 

pensable appendage to a Russian travelling carriage. The charac- 
ter of the coachmen and postilions is uniformly cheerful throughout 
the empire, and offers a striking contrast to those of Germany. 
My present conductor, following the directions given him by my in- 
terpreter, placed in the carriage a mattress which J hired from the 
landlord, that I might travel the more comfortably,- and towards the 
close of the same day, I proceeded on my journey. 

On leaving Narva, we descended a steep hill at the foot of which 
meanders the river Naroussky, whose borders are celebrated in the 
life of Charles XII. of Sweden, as being the theatre where the 
greatest part of the essays of regular warfare were made, which 
gave rise to the organization of the gigantic armies of Russia. 

We made a short stay at midnight at a tolerable good inn, situ- 
ated in a solitary part of the road. The honest coachman did all in 
his power to make me understand the interest he felt for me, and his 
readiness to serve me ; but my chief anxiety was to know how far 
we were from St. Petersburg!], a curiosity which however remained 
ungratified. From Narva to the capital I perceived a progressive 
improvement in the population, in the attendance on the road, and' 
in the prospects of the country ; and just at the time promised by 
the coachman, .we arrived at the numerous country houses which: 
border each side of the road about a league from the capital. 

On arriving at the gates, a corporal desired me to alight, that I 
might speak with the officer on guard, who, seeing my indisposition, 
made many apologies, and begged that I would immediately return 
to the carriage, to which he accompanied me ; at the same time 
mentioning the formalities I was to observe respecting the police, 
and giving me some useful advice, saying among other things : — 
" You come from countries where any respectable person travels' 
without a servant, and is every where well received ; but here the 
masters of the hotel will think it strange that you should come 
unattended, and if I had one of my servants here at hand, I would 
with pleasure lend him to you, that you might avoid the disagreea- 
ble inconveniences which I fear you will experience." 

With this I was partly acquainted from- what Mr. Koch had men- 
tioned of the^ difficulty of finding private apartments in St. Peters- 
burgh, owing to the want of a certain middle class, who, in most 
cities of Europe, let a part of their houses for the sake of economy. 
The event proved that the officer's apprehensions were well founded ; 
for after driving about the principal streets /or more than four hours, 
we could find no lodging. On arriving at the hotel of London, to 
which 1 had been recommended by the gentleman of Narva, I ima- 
gined I should gain admittance by mentioning his name and recom- 
mendation ; but though I added many offers, I was not even listen-* 
ed to. They saw my want of good fur dress and the rustic carriage, 
in which I arrived without any attendant, and they shut the doors 
upon me. I experienced the, same treatment wherever I applied. 



\ 



DON JUAIf VAN HALEN. 193 

At length, as w<p passed before the hotel of Europe, which is situated 
opposite the palace, and is doubtless one of the best, I made ano- 
ther attempt, but certainly did not expect to succeed. The master 
of the hotel, however, without evincing the least disinclination to 
receive me, conducted me to* a large saloon (the only apartment he 
had then vacant) which I accepted without hesitation, requesting 
him to procure me a medical attendant to examine my chest, which 
had grown much worse during my day's journey. He gave imme- 
diate orders to this effect, procured me a servant to wait on me, and 
constituted himself my superintendent, little aware of the reduced 
state of my finances. 

When the surgeon came to visit me, he ordered an immense 
number of leeches to be applied to my chest, a prescription, which, 
though it doubtless saved me from a serious illness, made great in- 
roads on my diminished purse ; but I consoled myself by writing a 
few lines to my good friend at Dorpat, fearing I should not find one 
in the capital who could so effectually console me. 

Three days after my arrival, the inflammation being subdued, I 
prepared to make a salutary reform in the numerous retinue with 
which tfie serviceable landlord had supplied me, and to visit those 
persons, whom it was absolutely necessary I should see, to produce 
the desired change in my present desolate situation. 

The Count of Romansow, an ancient personage of -the court ; 
Count Soltikow, a general, retired from the service, who had figured 
in a former epoch ; the two brothers Tourgueniew,* and Dr. Elisen, 
all three counsellors of state; General Betancourt, a Spaniard by 
birth, director of the bridges and roads of the empire, and enjoying 
the favour of the monarch ; the bankers Livio, and the Baron Rail, 
with several other individuals of less note, were those for whom I 
had brought letters of recommendation. Mr. Kraft, the secretary 
of Embassy at Berlin, had pointed out to me those who Were more 
likely to forward the object of my journey ; but the magnificent 
appearance of their houses, the little respect paid in that country to 
one dressed as a private gentleman, and without decoratibns, and 
the recent rebukes I had experienced at the hotels,— every thing 
contributed to intimidate me. Still, as my circumstances admitted 
of no delay, I endeavoured, from the moment of my recovery, to 
devise the best means to obtain my object. 

On the day I intended to commence my visits, I put several ques- 
tions respecting the persons I wished to see, to the landlord, who 
answered them in a laconic manner, adding dryly, u That, previous 
to my proceeding any where, I must accompany him to the police 
office." Without making any remark on his change of conduct, 
which probably proceeded from a suspicion of the real state of my 

• 

* The youngest of these gentlemen, being implicated in the late plot, wa# sen- 
tenced to death, but, according to public rumour, was fortunate enough to escape to 
Scotland. 

Bb 



1&4 NARRATIVE OF 

purse, I went with him to that office, where the whole business 
consisted in my being confronted with the information' received from 
the frontiers respecting me. I was afterwards conducted by a 
servant of the hotel to the houses of some of the gentlemen for 
whom I had letters of introduction, and from whom 1 met with the 
kindest reception, a circumstance which encouraged me to form the 
most favourable omens. 

The Emperor Alexander had just arrived from Germany, and the 
whole of the imperial family was to assemble at St. Petersburgh at 
the beginning of the year, to celebrate, as usual, the solemn festival 
of the Epiphany. Dr. Elisen, to show the esteem he entertained 
for the person who had recommended me to him, gave a splendid 
dinner, to which he invited several persons to whom he wished to 
introduce me, and who might be of service in forwarding my views, 
for the completion of which I was imprudently anxious. 

Dazzled by the good reception I met with from the few persons 
I had seen, and urged on no less by my own impatience than by 
the advice of an individual, who was, perhaps, as ignorant as myself 
on these matters, a few days after my arrival at St. Petersburgh, 
I unseasonably presented myself at the palace of Prince Wolkonsky, 
major-general of the Emperor, who no sooner ascertained the ob- 
ject of my visit, than, abruptly interrupting me, he said, turning his 
back on me, " It cannot be ; his imperial majesty does not receive 
any more foreigners into his service ; there are already too many in 
his army." This did not admit of farther argument, and 1 stood 
for a moment in the utmost confusion, ignorant that, according to 
the etiquette of the court, I had deserved the treatment I expe- 
rienced. On my return to the hotel, I was harassed by the most 
painful reflections, which I did not even dare to impart to any of my 
acquaintances, afraid of incurring their ridicule. 

Baron Kail, who, notwithstanding his natural asperity of charac- 
ter, and his incessant mercantile occupations, had received me in 
the most hospitable manner, kindly presented me to his family, in 
whose society I endeavoured to forget the unpleasant check I had 
received ; and learning, in my intercourse with them, that the baron 
had influential friends in Sweden, 1 tried to interest him in my 
favour, that I might obtain a passport, and proceed to Stockholm. 
To such ridiculous extremes is he driven, who has not sufficient ex- 
perience of the great world. 

As the balcony of my apartments was opposite the palace, 1 had 
a fine view of the gorgeous pomp displayed on the festival of the 
Epiphany, when more than forty thousand men of the imperial 
guard filed off before the palace. This festival consists in blessing 
the frozen waters of the majestic Neva ; for which purpose a small 
wooden temple, richly ornamented, is erected in the middle of the 
river, to which the whole of the imperial family proceed on foot, 
followed by their numerous cpurt, and the choir of singers of the 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 195 

Emperor's chapel,* whose harmonious canticles are by far more 
impressive and better calculated to inspire one with religious vene- 
ration than any other kind of music. On the procession arriving at 
the temple, the archimandrite blesses the waters, or rather the solid 
mass of ice which the Neva presents, and on which the greatest 
part of the troops and artillery perform their evolutions, returning 
afterwards to the palace in the same order of procession. If an 
unprejudiced spectator cannot help smiling at the superstition ob- 
served at this festival, his admiration must be equally excited at the 
imposing appearance of the imperial guard on this day. A more 1 
brilliant re- union of troops cannot be exhibited by any European 
nation. 

As I had not yet presented myself to Count Romansovv, nor to 
General Betancourt, who possessed greater influence than any of 
the gentlemen I had hitherto seen, I resolved to visit them. . The 
latter received me with all the cordiality of a true countryman, and 
in a very different manner from what I had been led to expect by 
persons who were not friendly to him. This general, who had been 
# acquainted with my father at Madrid previous to his banishment in 
1807, caused by the political misrule of Godoy, and whilst he held 
the post of intendant of a province, was much amused with my ac- 
count of the reception I had met with from Prince Wolkonsky. 
Unwilling to raise false expectations, he did not hold out hopes that 
might have caused me any disappointment, although from the first 
he entertained the intention of exerting his influence in my favour, 
as will be seen hereafter. General Betancourt was greatly distin- 
guished by the Emperor for his talents, and for the probity- of his 
character. His merits, however, did not fail to excite the jealousy 
and animosity of some of the envious courtiers, who, though power- 
ful and influential, could never prevail on the Emperor to deprive 
him of the high post he so deservedly Ailed. 
% Having been advised by Betancourt to lose no time in visiting 
tne Count of Romansow, who was a friend of his, I hastened to his 
house, where, on arriving in one of the anterooms, I took oft* my 
great coat, to the extreme surprise of the numerous servants who 
filled the hall, and who seemed to entertain so much contempt for 
my. foreign dress, that I found the greatest difficulty in prevailing on 
them to announce me. At last I was conducted to a large saloon, 
and, after waiting a long time, saw a very old man enter, accom- 
panied by another person, who remained standing the whole time 
of my visit. The count, whose manners were those of a courtier, 
invited me to a seat, and taking another near me, held a small silver 
trumpet to his ear, and listened attentively to my short discourse ; 
when he replied, sometimes in a very low tone of voice, and some- 



* The Greek ritual does not permit inrtrumental nraiic in the temples of those 
who profeM that religion. 



19(> NARRATIVE OF 

times hollowing, accompanying his speech with a number of gri- 
maces ; put my letter in his pocket without reading it; made me a 
number of fine promises ; and here began and ended all the favours 
I ever received from this singular personage, who probably thought 
no more of me. 

The number of emigrant Spanish officers in the service of Russia 
amounted only to three, and these were employed in the interior of 
the empire, in the department under the. direction of Betaneourt, 
through whose influence they had some time since gained admis- 
sion ; but when I beheld, in the streets of St Petersburg^, officers 
similarly employed, and occupied in directing the public works, as 
if they were masons, I felt so great a repugnance for such occupa- 
tions, whatever might be their pecuniary advantages, that I should 
have preferred the most subaltern situation in the army. This 
opinion is shared by most of the Russian officers, who are, perhaps, 
the most disinterested of their class in Europe. 

After spending two weeks in the expensive lodging which I was 
compelled to accept in the hotel of Europe, the landlord informed 
me that he expected a foreigner of importance, for whom he wished . 
to prepare that apartment, and he begged me to remove to one ad- 
joining it, which was better suited to my circumstances. I gladly 
acceded to his wishes, without haying the remotest idea of whom 
my neighbour was to be. 

The day after my removal, I heard much noise in the saloon, 
where there was a door communicating with my room, and to my . 
surprise, very distinctly heard my native language spoken by the 
new comers. Whilst I was still in my room, an acquaintance of 
mine, who occasionally came to see me, ignorant of my having 
changed my apartments, entered my former ones as usual, and soon 
discovered his mistake. . Froni him I learned that my neighbour 
was no other than the Spanish minister plenipotentiary, Zea Ber- 
mudez, with his secretaries. 1 own that I was not much pleased 
with this news, and my first impulse was to leave the hotel ; but the 
fear of not being able to meet the landlord's bill made me abandon 
this resolution. Fortunately my visiter, being acquainted with the 
master of the hotel, arranged matters, so that I soon obtained a 
more distant apartment. * 

The good understanding existing between Zea Bermudez and 
General Betancourt's family, in which I experienced as much kind- 
ness and affection as if I had been a member of it, prevented my 
visiting them so frequently as I had been in the habit of doing, lest 
I might be the cause of some disagreement between them. By de- 
grees, however, they were entirely suspended for the present ; so 
that my principal care now was to avoid the snares, which I was 
almost certain would be laid for me by the agent of a government 
which had been the cause of all my disasters. 

Baron Rail had three sons, with whom 1 was in habits of inti- 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 197 

maey, and who, feeling a* lively interest for my .destiny, contrived an 
interview between myself and an aide-de-camp of the Emperor, a 
friend of theirs, whom they invited to breakfast at their house. On 
this occasion my past misfortunes formed the principal topic of con- 
versation. The aid-de-camp, who was the young prince, Andrew 
Galitzin, soon evinced for me the warmest interest, and a desire to 
be useful to me ; but unfortunately he had even less experience and 
circumspection than myself, qualities indispensable for those who, 
living under the gilded roofs of a palace, -seek the favour of a mo- 
narch. His good intentions, however, were prized by me as highly 
as' they deserved, and the more so as I was convinced how difficult 
it is, even in such a numerous court as that of St. Petersburgh, to 
meet with men who should feel interested for one who had suffered 
for political opinions, so rarely listened to by courtiers. If, there- 
fore, I did not find in Prince Galitzin that support which he so sin- 
cerely promised, or the success which he so confidently anticipated, 
I had in him an active agent nearer the source of favour than was 
the old and serviceable Elisen. 

On the other hand, the amiable family of Galitzin, which is one of 
the noblest of the empire^ by extending the circle of my acquaint- * 
ance, inspired me with hopes of obtaining, through the influence of 
the young prince, the object of my wishes. There were, besides, a 
multitude of circumstances which enhanced this valuable acqui- 
sition ; but the detail of which would swell this narrative too much, 
though it would prove the well founded repugnance of the Russians 
to the prosperity of foreigners. * 

Several other friends, all military men, to whom I had been gra- 
dually introduced, kindly offered to assist me in obtaining my suit 
from the Emperor. The generous conduct I experienced from these 
gentlemen, whom I was fortunate enough to inspire with a degree 
of confidence. 'which rarely falls to the lot of an adventurer in any 
country, induces me to speak in warm terms of a people so little 
known, and whose national character has been so much misrepre- 
sented by authors, who, it is evident, have never been admitted into 
the private circle of a Russian family. Were I not afraid of wound- 
ing the modesty of a number of persons of note, who loaded me with 
favours and marks of friendship, I should find the greatest pleasure 
in detailing the numberless benefits conferred on me with the utmost 
delicacy, from the first moment of my arrival at St. Petersburgh. 

The first care of my friends, who suspected the real state of my 
"circumstances, was to disencumber me from the debt I had con- 
tracted in the hotel, where I had been living six weeks. Count 

M came one day into my room, and told me that his friend 

Mr. Skaratin, whom I scarcely knew, being on the point of setting 
off for his estate beyond Moscow, where his family then resided, 
offered me an apartment in his mansion at St. Petersburgh, and the 
necessary attendance. To refuse such an offer as this in my present 



\ 

\ 



198 NARRATIVE OF 

situation would have, been absurd ; I therefore accepted it with plea** 
sure, and on the following day removed to the house of Mr. Skara* 
tin, where his steward presented me the serf destined for my service, 
whom I found equally faithful and attentive. Thus, fifty days after 
my, arrival at St. Petersburg!), I was furnished with magnificent 
apartments in a house abounding with every comfort, with servants 
always at my call, free access to the table and society of more -than 
thirty families of distinction, and the equipages of some; of my 
friends at my entire disposal. Such unbounded hospitality needs 
no comment. 

A' few days after my change of residence, General Betancourt 
sent for me, and informed me that, having, just seen the Emperor, 
and related to him the reception given me by his major-general, he 
advised me to address a petition to his majesty, through the medium 
of some respectable individual, who should privately deliver it to 
him ; and that, as he himself was in the habit of transacting busi- 
ness twice a month with the Emperor, he would take a fit opportu- 
nity of again mentioning the object of my endeavours. .He then 
gave me salutary advice, recommending me to avoid a rencontre 
with Zea Bermudez, of whose intentions he knew something, but 
which he y would always try to frustrate. He approved the mode- 
ration with which I usually spoke of my former sufferings, and 
advised me to continue increasing the number of my acquaintances 
in the higher circles, without whose influence it is very difficult to 
obtain any favours, either at the court of Russia or elsewhere. 

Dining one day at Count M ..... 's, with several of his friends, 
Prince Galitzin, suddenly entering, threw his arms around my neck, 
and said, with his natural heedlessness, before the whole company, 
" I congratulate you upon your good fortune ; your affair is con- 
cluded. " These words, uttered by an aid-de-camp of the Emperor, 
who was that day on duty near his person, and who came expressly 
from the palace to bring me this agreeable intelligence, seemed to 
place the matter beyond a doubt, and made me entirely forget that 
I had not yet written the petition to have obtained any favour from 
a monarch, perhaps the most circumspect and prudent of our age ; 
. whilst most of those friends present, placing implicit confidence in 
Galitzin's words, and without inquiring what post 1 had obtained, 
congratulated me on my success, and repeatedly toasted me. 
Meantime Prince Galitzin,, who could not long be absent from the 
palace, withdrew, leaving lis as much in the dark as when we 
first met. 

On the following day, before proceeding to General Betancourt's 
to acquaint him with this news, I called on Prince Galitzin, who had 
just returned from the palace, and who, on my asking him the 
details of this affair, answered, that he had spoken at length with 
the Emperor respecting me, and that his majesty had graciously 
replied that " he had heard of me, and the affair "was already set- 



/ 



DON JUAN VAN tiALEN. 199 

f 

tied ;" but that he had since ascertained that the affair to which 'the 
Emperor alluded had reference to his conversation with Betancourt. 
Whilst (was regretting my disappointment, Mr. S. L . . ., a friend 

of the Count M , entered. * This gentleman, to whom I was 

then introduced, soon became the best and most constant friend I 
found at St. Petersburgh ; the vicissitudes which I have since ex- 
perienced never having been able to damp the unabated ardour of 
his friendship. 

The opportunity for having my petition presented to the Empe- 
ror at length arrived ; but 1 was greatly puzzled how to express 
myself in such a manner as not to belie my sentiments, and yet say 
nothing that might be considered as offensive by the autocrat. In 
this dilemma, one of the personages who was in constant attendance 
at the . palace, and who was well acquainted with the Emperor's 
opinions, undertook the task of writing it for me. I shall here 
insert the* first lines of the petition, that the reader may see the tole- 
rance with which the chief (as he may be justly called) of the affairs 
of Europe received, at this period, opinions which are deemed by 
other sovereigns as treasonable, 

" Serb, 
' After experiencing, during five months, the most horrible treat- 
ment in the dungeons of the Inquisition from a cruel and fanatical 
faction, I had the good fortune tq escape, through the intervention 
of divine Providence. Compelled. to fly from my native country, 
and having lost all, except my honour and the esteem of my coun- 
trymen, protectors, .and benefactors, who procured me the means 
not only of evading the strict searches of my persecutors, but of 
taking sanctuary at the foot of your majesty's imperial throne, I 
humbly entreat your Majesty's protection." 

After a slight sketch of my military career, the petition terminated 
with begging his majesty to grant me an honourable place in the 
ranks of his army, in which it was my wish to serve" until other 
events might one day permit my return to my country. 

I placed this petition in the hands of a privy counsellor of the 
Emperor, charged with receiving all the expositions addressed to 
his majesty, and there it remained as if it had sunk to the bottom 
of a well. 



NARRATIVE 0* 



CHAPTER XXIf . 



Description of St. P«tanlnttgb— J alarw- -Militiry parade— Tie sqnare of btu- 
Slatue of Peter the Great— Shops— Imperial Bank— Church and convent of St. 
Alexander Ncwsky — The choir in the Greek church- terriee — Discipline of tb- 
military at St Petenhirnb— Trophiea taken in Napoleon's retreat front Rnraia- 
Waien imago of Peter the Great — Manners and custom! — Military genius-- Th 



iniiKff uf Peter the Great — Manners and custom! — Military eeniqs— The 

Uarniral — The Russian mountain! ; game* on the ice ao denominated — Description 
of thii pastime — Palace of Tiankoieaaln — Hussars of the guard — Improvement in 
the Rnuian army — Trinmphal arch — Napoleon and Alexander — Remarkable reli- 
gious festivals— Cathedral of our Lady af Kasan— Offerings of eggs— Return of 
spriur — Visit to Cmnitadt— Description of thia port, and of the navy — Interesting 

While my affair remains dormant in the handa of tbe Emperor, 
I will make a few observations on the capital and its inhabitants. 

St. Petersburg]! is embellished with a multitude of palaces. The 
first of these built by Peter the Great, is situated in a public pro- 
menade, called the summer garden, one of its moat remarkable 
objects, by its exquisite taste and workmanship, being the immense 
grating on the side of the Neva. An anecdote is related of an 
Englishman, who, having left England to visit this capital, had no 
sooner arrived before this palace., and admired the grating for a 
considerable time* than he immediately re-embarked to return home, 
saying that it was useless to go. to farther expense by remaining any 
time there, as it was impossible be could see any thing more 
euutiful. 
The palace, in which tbe imperial family resided during my stay 
ere, is called the winter palace, and is on a line with the splendid 
ullding of tbe Admiralty. It has a quadrangular form, and is 
chly ornamented, the principal facade looking towards the Place 
'Armes, and tbe other on the Neva. It communicates with a 
nailer palace, called the Hermitage, by means of a gallery con- 
ducted over an archway, through which the carriages pass. Here 
i seen a rich collection of pictures, among which are the portraits 
f Prince Eugene Beauharnais and the Duke of Wellington. There 
I'also a collection of fine engravings, and many rare and precious 
bjects. Tbe theatre of the court is in the Hermitage. 

There are other palaces belonging to the imperial family, but 
'hich are not inhabited, as the Marble palace, and that of Michael, 
'here the Emperor Paul I., father of the reigning monarch, met a 
agio end. Its appearance strikes one as singular in the present 
me, owing to the drawbridges, moats, and other hostile forms, 
r bich it still preserves, and which forcibly reminds one of the Bas- 
Ue. The Exchange is a very elegant and spacious building- 
tuated near the Neva. 



ixm JUAN VAN HALEN. 201 

^tliere is in the square of the palace a very large saloon, destined 
Jbr the daily parade during the winter months, the complicated 
structure of its immense roof being an object of general admiration; 
as the whole battalion on duty manoeuvres in this saloon with ease, 
under the orders of the Emperor, and in the presence of his nume- 
rous staff. There is still a larger one at Moscow, which was con- 
structed under the direction of Betancourt. As the military 
etiquette of Russia requires that there. should be a daily parade, the 
saloons are indispensable to shelter the soldiery from the rigour of 
the season. 

At the other extremity of the Admiralty is the square of Isaac, 
which is symmetrically placed with that of the palace. The beau- 
tiful church from which it takes its name, one side of the Admiralty, 
the facade of the senate-house, and the commencement of the 
bridge of boats, form the square, in the middle of which rises, on 
a rock of granite, an equestrian statue in, bronze of Peter the Great, 
executed in the reign of Catherine II. by a French artist, who by 
this work has established his claims to immortality. 

The Russian shops constitute a continuation of porticos in tire 
form of a trapezium. It was built by a company of Russian mer- 
chants, and no foreigner is ever allowed to carry on any kind of 
business there. Near this edifice is the imperial bank, which was 
built exclusively for this object upon an excellent plan, much admired 
for its simplicity. On the opposite side, not far from the bank, is 
the palace of the Knights of Malta, the chapel of which is tastefully 
ornamented, the most distinguished catholic families contributing to- 
its support by their liberal girls. 

The perspective, called Newsky, is a very wide and long street, 
which, commencing at the Admiralty, extends in a direct line as far 
as the celebrated convent of St. Alexander Newsky, a distance of 
three miles, intersected by three beautiful canals, which, during the 
summer months, facilitate the communication throughout the city. 
I attended a solemn festival, celebrated in the great church of this 
convent, and 1 must own that the magnificence of it surpassed even 
that displayed in the principal cathedrals of Spain. But what is 
particularly pleasing to a foreigner at these festivals is the choir of 
singers, always extremely select. Often in my moments of melan- 
choly have I found this recreation my best resource. 

The barracks of the infantry of the imperial guard are almost all 
in the best quarters of the town, and those of the few cavalry corps 
stationed in the capital possess all the conveniences that can possibly 
be wanted for its internal regulations, and military instruction and 
exercises. 

The extensive building of the staff office, situated in the Place 
d'Armes, and which has since been increased by adding to it the 
whole of the Hotel of Europe, which was contiguous to it, contains 
the different departments or sections which the general direction of 

Cc 



2tt& NARRATIVE OF 

the military affairs embraces, as well as a very well chosen library- of 
elementary works on the military art. 

Throughout the town are stationed a number of corps-de-gardes,, 
the soldiers of which are obliged to do the honours to every officer 
according to his rank ; and, as it is not permitted to any of the latter 
to go without his uniform and decorations in any part of the empire, 
the sentries are in a continual movement, and have never time for 
certain liberties which those of other countries often indulge in, 
contrary to the rules of discipline. Besides the Emperor Alexander 
was in the daily habit of walking out alone in the uniform of a 
general, and would suddenly present himself where he was least 
Expected, a circumstance which kept the. soldiers constantly on their 
guard. 

He likewise assisted every day at the parade without ever wearing. 
a great coat, whatever might be the severity of the weather, his 
example Being strictly followed by all the general officers, who were 
under the obligation of attending the parade, after which he gave 
audience in the saloon of the standards of the guard. 

In the church of St. Peter and St. Paul, which is in the citadel, 
are seen the trophies of the French army, taken in their retreat from. 
Moscow, some marshals' batons, and a great number of Turkish 
standards, many of which are stained with the blood of those from 
whose hands they were wrested. The state prison is in the citadel,- 
as are also the treasures of the crown. 

The saloons of the academy of sciences contain an infinite number 
of curiosities in animals, &c. and in costumes of the different nations 
of Asia and America. In a separate cabinet is sedh in wax the 
statue of Peter I. in the same costume he wore on the day of his 
marriage with Catherine I. It is said to be a very strong likeness, 
and is most exquisitely finished. 

In Russia, whoever is once received in the house of a nobleman, 
will always find a seat at his table. Nothing appears more singular 
throughout the empire than a bachelor, whether a native or a 
foreigner, living in retirement. There, all live either for society or 
war, and the youth show themselves as polite in the saloon as brave 
in the field. 

The carnival in Russia is spent in games peculiar to that country, 
the chief of which is sliding down the ice or Russian mountains. 
These rise between forty and fifty feet, and are fifteen or twenty feet 
wide, the scaffolding with which they are formed being placed in 
the middle of an extensive plain of ice, that the sledges on their 
descent may find ample room where to spend the velocity of their 
motion. The steepness and smoothness of the mountain, cause the 
sledges to descend at such a rapid rate, that for a long time after 
they are seen sliding on the plain of ice. It is calculated that a 
pistol ball fired from the mountain only gains one second in every 
hour on the rapid -motion of the sledge. When this stops, either by 



DON JUAN TAN HALKN. * 203 

itself or by means of the hands, which serve for a helm and for oars, 
the gentleman slings it on his back, as he might his skates, and 
offering his arm to the lady who has accompanied him, conducts 
her to the steps behind the mountain, on ascending which they repeat 
their amusement. 

Count M***** caused one of these mountains to be erected in 
his garden during the carnival. The assemblage of people, as is 
always the case, was very numerous, and they all successfully per- 
formed their descent. At length my turn came ; but as it was not 
likely that a native of Cadiz could show much dexterity in this exer- 
cise, I was obliged to content myself with the part of clown in the 
piece, and ran a race with my sledge. Fortunately, presaging what 
befell .me, I had taken the precaution not to invite any of the fair 
spectators to accompany me, as is the etiquette on these occasions.* 

These private amusements, though attended by very select com- 
pany, cannot be compared to the gay and animated scene presented 
on the Neva, whichat this time is frozen from four to five feet thick. 
The inhabitants of both sexes hold here their games and sports. 
The shops are all shut and deserted during the period that these 
amusements last, which is called by the Russians the meat and butter 
week, because these and other provisions are rigorously forbidden 
in Lent by the Greek church, and the whole population flocks 
towards the Neva, where handsome sledges and beautiful horses are 
seen on all sides. Rope-dancers, booths, and tents,, in which drink 
and provisions of every description are sold, form a part of this 
popular encampment. In the midst of these groupes, rise, in the 
form of pyramids, the Russian mountains, on whose steep sides is 
seen the incessant motion of people darting down in succession,! 
and adding to the pleasing confusion that prevails there. 

In one of my sledge excursions with Dr. Elisen,, I went to Tzars- 
koieselo, an imperial summer seat, where the regiment of the hussars 
of the guard is stationed. Among the officers of this corps, with 
whom I associated most during my residence at the capital, was the 
young Popoff, to whom 1 am indebted for many civilities, and whose 
father, a senator, was the intimate friend of Potemkin, the celebrated 
minister of Catharine II. The magnificence displayed by this body 
of hussars prevents any but youths of wealthy families from entering 
Chis corps, their pay being scarcely sufficient to defray the salaries 
of their servants. When one reflects on the condition in which th? 
Russian army was but a few years ago, and sees its present state, 

* At balls the gentlemen are invited by the ladies to dance, bat at these amuse- 
ments the contrary is the case. Both the lady and the gentleman sit in the sledge in 
tjie Asiatic manner, with their legs crossed, the lady in front, and the gentleman giving 
with his. hands any direction he pleases to the sledge, which is placed on two skates 
in order to increase its velocity. 

t JSvery descent from the mountain costs two copper pieces, called kopt'ika, 
which are equivalent to two farthings, and which, of course, are no greaX obstacle to 
Ifce repetition of this- pastime. 



204 NARRATIVE OF 

one cannot help admiring the progress which has since taken place,, 
and which it entirely owes to the late campaigns. This improve- 
ment is observable even in the most trifling details of its military 
regulations. 

At one of the entrances of Tzarskoieselo, is a triumphal arch in 
bronze of exquisite taste, erected by the Russian senate to the En> 
peror Alexander, in honour of his campaign in France, and dedi- 
cated by him to his army. This flattering homage appears, by an 
inscription in gold letters, on the cornice, in Russian on one side, 
and French on the other, which says, " To my dear companions in 
arms." The Emperor, on his return from the French campaign, 
caused his imperial guard to pass under it. Whilst I was admiriqg 
this arch, an old gentleman, to whom I had remarked " what a 
splendid sight such fine troops must on that day have offered," said 
to me, u Those sights may be considered as mere baubles. The 
whole of Europe would now be happy, had the French and the 
Russian emperors exchanged at Tilsit, in 1307, their crowns. This 
may appear a ridiculous idea ; but many crowns must yet be lost 
and won on the borders of the Niemen. Alexander, with his hand- 
some person, moderation, politeness, and, in a word, with his studied 
and subtle attractions, would have recalled to France its Henry IV., 
whilst we, with our modern Machiavel, would have hastened towards 
the Danube and covered with our armies the Byzantine soil. The 
great Greek confederacy, the only that can save Russia, would have 
been realized to the benefit of universal civilization. Asia, demand- 
ing conquests from an enlightened foe, presented to the offspring pf 
the French revolution a wider field wherein to spend the rest of his 
military career, and benefit the world more effectually." 

I also visited another imperial summer seat, called Petroff, situ- 
ated at a short distance from St. Petersburgh, in a different direc- 
tion from that of Tzarskoieselo, where I saw the new paper manu- 
factory, under the direction ef aft excellent English mechanic, much 
esteemed by the Emperor. He showed us some very large sheets 
pf paper, manufactured here, and which are used in the topographi- 
cal labours and charts of the staff. At the back, of the palace is a 
large artificial cascade, placed on an elevated spot, and facing the 
Neva, which empties itself here into the gulf of Cronstadt. I under- 
stand that, on a particular day in summer, the waters are made to 
play over the cascade, which, being lighted with an infinite number 
of reflectors, enclosed in crystal cases to preserve them from the 
damp, presents a most brilliant and variegated appearance, when its 
illuminated waters are seen from the Neva. 

The Russians celebrate the resurrection at midnight. This fes- 
tival is announced precisely at twelve by salutes from the citadel, at 
which moment the cry of " He has risen !" bursts from the mouth 
of every person, who, from the monarch to the humblest serf, em- 
brace each other in token of forgiveness of reciprocal offences* 



DON JUAN YAK HALEK. 205 

Every member of the court, either civil or military, must be in the 
presence of the Emperor and Empress at the time when the cannon 
fires the signal, to participate in the embraces and felicitations 
caused by that event. 

Desirous of seeing the •celebration of this festival in the Greek 
cathedral of our Lady of Kasan, where I was told a numerous 
concourse of people were to be met, I hastened thither, and thanks 
to the elbowing which I had learned in London, I succeeded in reach- 
ing the nave of the church a few minutes before the cannon fired 
The sepulchre was placed in the front of the tabernacle, and the 
popes, or priests, dressed in their sacerdotal robes, formed a pro- 
cession similar to that of the catholics before the resurrection, the 
church being magnificently illuminated. I was pressed on all sides 
!by persons of both sexes, for in the Greek churches every body 
"without distinction, and even the monarch himself, must remain 
standing ; but no sooner did the canticles, the bells, and the can- 
noh announce the denouement of this religious assembly, than I 
thought myself transported to the marriage of Canaan. Mutual 
felicitations were exchanged, in which I myself participated, as 
well as of the supper which the spectators had carried with them, 
consisting of pastry and cold meats, which they ate on the spot, in 
proof of the severe abstinence observed by them during the Jbrty 
preceding days. 

The whole of the capital is at this time illuminated, and on the 
following morning the etiquette requires that the ladies should be 
presented with what is called an Easter egg^ ornamented with ri- 
bands and bows, in token of felicitation for the resurrection. The 
lower class offer real eggs, more or less painted ; and the middle 
class porcelain ones, of which- a great number is sold during these 
days, some of them at a very high price. When a lady receives the 
present, she offers her hand to the gentleman, who kisses it ; and 
then bending forward, she applies her lips to his cheeks, a custom 
not at all indifferent to a man who is not habituated to this kind of 
salute. 

The rigours of winter are felt here long after Easter ; but the 
scene changes so suddenly in the month of May, that in less than 
a fortnight the Neva becomes navigable, the snow disappears from 
the fields, and the trees soon reassume their green clothing ; the 
country-houses are immediately inhabited and enlivened by the rural 
fetes, in which the Russians delight ; the days lengthen as rapidly 
as the winter nights seemed endless ; in fine, whether it be the 
strong contrast, or the endeavours of the Russians to profit of the 
few fine months that their climate allows, it is certain that in no 
country of Europe does the spring appear more smiling than in this. 
The first merchant vessels which enter the Neva are loaded with 
oranges and other fruits, the produce of warmer climates, of which 
there is a great consumption at St, Petersburg!), many families 



£06 Narrative of % 

being in the habit of going to Wassili-Ostroff, where there are; 
houses exclusively destined to the sale of these articles. 

When the Neva became navigable, Count M and his friend, 

Mr. S — . L — . invited me to a party to Cronstadt, in a steam-boat. 
In the dock-yard of this port, we saw several skeletons of ships ; 
I say skeletons, because every thing necessary for their completion 
was there collected, except good sailors. The crew of a Russian 
man-of-war offers as ridiculous an assemblage as a battalion, a 
squadron, or a train of artillery in North America. At the time we 
were at Cronstadt, they were fitting out a frigate, destined for the 
coasts of England and France, "which was to transport there an un- 
fortunate sister of Prince Galitzin, who was then with us. We saw 
the carpenters busily at work' in preparing the cabin for her, and 
rendering it as commodious as possible. This young lady, who had 
married a young Russian of a very distinguished family, had the in- 
discretion to receive a Jesuit at her house, and such was the fatal 
ascendancy which that priest gained over her mind, that it became 
much impaired and troubled with a thousand confused ideas on re- 
ligion. Her incautious husband, disregarding the good advice given 
him by some well-intentioned friends, paid no attention to this spi- 
ritual intercourse, till at length the lady lost her reason, and fell a 
prey to the most ungovernable fanaticism* to the great affliction of 
all her friends. The Emperor, who began already to be displeased 
with the improper conduct of the Jesuits, whom he had hitherto to- 
lerated in Russia, issued, about a year after, ins well-known decree, 
by which they were expelled from the empire ; and having always 
felt a great attachment for the family of this interesting victim, be 
ordered that a frigate should convey her to foreign countries, he/ 
physicians being of opinion that she might derive much benefit from 
the new scenes she would witness, and from the society she would, 
Sequent during her residence there. 



•** 



DON JUAN VAN HALtN. SOY 



CHAPTER XXHI. 



m of the Spanish minister, Zea 9ermudez, to the author— Intimation given by 
Count Nesselrode— Interview with Zea Bermndez — General Yermolow— The au- 
thor gains his suit with the Emperor— Saloon of model* of the Russian uniforms—* 
Liberality of the author's frienas— Military evolutions— Ceremonies observed at * 
xiarriage— The aathor quits St. Petersburgh to join the army of Georgian-Journey 
to MosOow with Mamonoff— Palace of Tzarskoieselo. 

Two months had now elapsed since I had delivered my petition 
to the Emperor, when General Betancourt informed me that the 
cause of this delay might be traced to the Spanish minister plenipo- 
tentiary, who was greatly incensed against me for not having pre- 
sented myself to him, especially as I had been lodging in the same 
notel where he resided, and knowing that he frequented some of 
the houses wnere I visited. 1 This was to me incomprehensible ; 
for, all things considered, it would have been preposterous that, ia 
my situation, I should have offered my homage to the representative 
of a government by which I was persecuted ; and, as I had never 
been acquainted with him in Spain, he could have no claims to any 
personal consideration. The general urged that it was prudent T 
Should take some steps to conciliate the Spanish minister, as his 
hostility could not fail to be highly prejudicial to the accomplish- 
ment of my plans, which he had hitherto endeavoured to thwart 
But I succeeded, by such arguments as the above, in convincing 
him that Zea Bermudez had no reason to be offended at my con- 
duct, as he could not find fault with me even in a political point of 
tiew, General Betancourt himself having often been a witness to 
the moderation with which I expressed myself respecting the scan- 
dalous proceedings of the Spanish government at this epoch. 

A few days after this, I received a note from Count Nesselrode, 
appointing an interview with his exceDence, who on my repairing 
thither said, after some prefatory observations, that his majesty could 
not admit me into his service without failing in those attentions that 
were owing to the representative of an allied monarch ; that the 
Spanish minister, having learned that his majesty was disposed to 
favour me, had addressed a note to the ministry, in which he ex- 
pressed his surprise that my petition should be listened to ; and that, 
if his majesty acceded to it, he should consider it as an affront 
offered to his sovereign. Lastly, the count said that if J did not 
remove these difficulties, the Emperor was resolved not to grant 
the favour 1 desired at his hands. I made to his excellency nearly 
the same observations I had made to General Betancourt ; but as 
in similar cases the best* arguments can be of little avail, the count 



208 KARItATIVE Ot 

expressed his regret that it was not in his power to remove the ob» ' 
i stacle ; but that he should be glad to hear of any favourable expla- 
nation taking place between Zea Bermudez and myself, in w£icl* 
case I might again call upon him without waiting a farther invi- 
tation. 

Having left the count, I hastened to General Betancourt, whom 
I informed of what had just passed. On hearing it, he immediately 
ordered his carriage, and leaving the affairs in which he was en- 
gaged, proceeded to visit the Spanish minister, the expression of 
his countenance convincing me that the arguments I had urged had 
not been thrown away upon him. Indeed, considering his influence 
and situation, entirely independent of Spain, and the good under- 
standing existing between him and the former, I doubted hot but 
it. would be easy for him to explain the matter unreservedly to Zea 
Bermudez. 

On the evening of this day I was invited to a party, at which to 
my great surprise, I met the Spanish minister ; the host and some- 
of his friends having planned this to amuse themselves at our ex- 
pense, by seeing that we took no notice of each other. Had I 
known that this joke had been previously concerted, I certainly 
would have waved all considerations, and shown Bermudez civilities 
which no compulsion would ever have extorted from me. " Span* 
ish pride," observed an elderly gentleman with whom I was ac- 
quainted, tapping his snuffbox, and whispering in my ear with an 
air of raillery, " my dear friend, this in Russia is a ridiculous panto- 
mime. The men laugh at it, and the ladies yawn." I was some- 
what embarrassed when I remarked in several of the countenances 
of the persons present a confirmation of what the old man had ex- 
pressed in rather plain terms ; and I took the first opportunity of 
withdrawing,, leaving him, whom my host called my adversary* 
master of the field. 

Early on the following morning General Betancourt sent for me r 
and addressed me thus ; " My dear sir, you must keep the promise 
I gave yesterday. I saw the Spanish minister, and his complaint 
against you is, that you have treated him with so much reserve and 
contempt, that notwithstanding your having resided in the same 
house with him, and sometimes met him, you have never shown 
him the least civility. In the situation in which you are, such con- 
duct is not the most prudent. * You ought to go and see him : ex- 
plain matters frankly to him, and try to excite his generosity — every 
thing else is unseasonable and absurd." 

When he ended his to me unpleasant admonition, I repeated, 
with more' vehemence thai} before, how repugnant it wis to me to 
ask any kind of intervention from a person who, from his public 
character, represented a government which was the cause of all my 
calamities ; adding, in the most softened terms, that I had hoped 
for a better result from his friendlv interference. " You have not a 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 209 

moment to lose," he said with some impatience. " The Spanish 
minister has owned to me that he has actually taken some steps 
against you." I observed to him how disgraceful it was to see the 
representative of Spain persecuting an unfortunate Spaniard to the 
very boundaries of Europe. He owned that he was wrong. "In 
fine let us talk no more about it ; I am not at liberty to tell every 
thing. You are in a situation that requires the utmost prudence ; 
you must see him. I am anxious to know the result of your visit, 
for I take as lively an interest in your affairs as in my own ; but be 
as discreet as circumstances require." 

Repugnant as this step was to me, I promised him I would go 
the next day to see the Spanish minister, as I stood in need of this 
time to prepare myself for a conference which I expected would be 
as disagreeable to the latter as to myself. The greatest part of my 
friends with whom I was in habits of intimacy had no direct influ- 
ence in the ministry ; but they had all the necessary tact and experi- 
ence to advise me how best to act in this singular visit, when I should 
be called to give the last proof of moderation required of me in 
this country. 

On the following day I went to the Hotel of Europe, and pre- 
sented myself to the Spanish minister, who, having desired those 
who were then with him to withdraw, politely invited me to be 
seated. He commenced with a long digression on affairs which 
had nothing to do with mine,, his language being that of a repentant 
liberal, relating among other things his first steps in favour of the 
constitution, when in 1812 he came as an envoy £ to the head- 
quarters of the Emperor to receive his sanction to that code, and 
afterwards introduced the topic in which I was most interested, 
saying in the most polite manner, that he should have been happy 
to have seen me before. " I am informed," he added, " that you 
have petitioned the Emperor to admit you into his service." 

4 * Yes, sir ; I have come to St. Petersburgh with no other view ; 
but my adverse fortune pursues me even here, and hitherto I have , 
not been able to succeed." 

" But have you reflected well upon it ?" 

" I have most maturely." 

" But you are fully aware that it is not at all common, or fitting, 
to see Spaniards enlist under foreign banners like the Swiss, now in 
one country, now in another, always wandering, and always adven- 
turous." 

" But, sir," I replied, " it is still a greater disgrace, particularly 
in the age we live in, to see so many of us suffering under the heavy 
and unmerited wrongs which have compelled us to become wan- 
derers in foreign countries." 

" Do not you think there is a means of conciliating every thing," 
he continued, interrupting me, " before you give more publicity, by 
the resolution you have taken, to the domestic troubles of our 

D d 



210 NARRATIVE OF 

country, which we are all obliged to conceal, that our national re* 
puiatioh may not suffer thereby ?" 

** Sir, my conduct in this respect must be known eveft to your- 
self. I have always avoided speaking of the Spanish government* 
and if hitherto I have not paid you a visit, H is not because I wished 
to offer you an incivility, but because I was afraid that, fttul I 
done so, my attention might have been misconstrued into an instill.'* 

" I am perfectly satisfied ; but I am going to make you a pro- 
posal which I think you will approve of. Would you not Ek6 to 
return to Spain, assume your, former rank in the army, and serve 
under the orders of Count Abisbal, who is to command the great 
expedition which is fitting out for South America ? Once united to 
your companions in arms, the government will forget the past. I 
can positively answer for the favourable result of this proposal, if 
you accept of it. I will besides defray the expenses of your jour- 
ney either by land or sea. I know that I can make you this offer. 
The king knows my conciliatory intentions ; I am certain that his 
majesty will fully approve of them." 

" Sir, your good intentions are not for me a sufficient guarantee. 
If I cannot enter the service of Russia, my situation will be pain- 
ful indeed ; but I will bear up with it, and never will I avail myself 
of such a proposal." 

After many other plausible arguments from the minister, whether 
sincere or not I cannot say, I told him that I was aware of the steps 
which he had taken against me, and that my wish was exclusively to 
be admitted into the service of the Emperor. In taking leave of 
him, he said that in future he would act as became a gentleman. 
Such was the result of an interview, which lasted two long hours, 
and which I thought would have terminated in a manner equally un- 
pleasant to both, and injurious to my interests. 

I went to General Betancourt immediately after, as he had re- 
quested, and when he heard the substance of the interview, he con- 
gratulated me, and mentioned some other favourable circumstances 
relating to a conversation he had lately had with the Emperor re- 
specting me, which he had till now thought proper to conceal. 
The family of the general, who had much esteem for the Spanish 
minister, and who felt no less interested in my destiny, manifested 
their joy at this favourable turn in my situation, in a manner which 
reminded me of my own family ; for notwithstanding their living in 
the midst of a court which is not the best adapted for cherishing 
such sentiments, and notwithstanding their having left Spain a great 
many years ago, they still preserved the warmest attachment for 
every thing connected with their native country.* 

• The daughters of General Betancourt embroidered, in the year 1812. the stand- 
ard! of a Spanish regiment, formed of the prisoners taken during Napoleon's cam- 
paign in Russia, and who were afterward* equipped by Alexander, and sent btfek to 
Spain, under the command of Colonel Don Alexandro O'Ponhel, brother to Count 



DON JUAF V A» HALEN. 211 

* 9 

My friends, to whom I communicated the particulars of this in- 
terview, were of opinion that the result would be* favourable, and 
that I ought to lose no time in presenting myself to Count Nessel* 
rede ; but believing that the Spanish minister might dislike my resi* 
deuce in the capital, and that if I obtained the favour I bad solicited 
in some regiment stationed at St. Petersburgh, I should not be able 
to* support the great expense to which officers are here subject, 
they all advised me to declare to the count, on the first interview, my 
wish to serve in the army of Georgia, the general-in-chief of which, 
Yermolow, had rendered himself an object of general admiration 
and esteem, not only to all the officers who had served under bis 
orders, but to the people under his government. 

Well convinced of the necessity of removing from the capital, 
and of serving under the orders of a general who would do justice 
to my good* intentions, I no sooner learned from Count Nesselrode 
that the principal obstacle was set aside by the Spanish minister 
himself, than 1 manifested to his excellence my wish of being em- 
ployed in Georgia.* I immediately perceived by his countenance 
that I had advanced a step towards my admission, and that my friends 
were right in advising me to make this declaration. 

During some weeks my affair remained apparently dormant, until 
at length General Betancpurt, who took the first opportunity of 
speaking to the Emperor about my petition, informed me that I 
would soon be relieved from flay uncertainty, and that, had I mot de* 
manded to be employed in Georgia, I would not have obtained the 
abject of my petition. 
v At length, on the anniversary of my flight from Madrid, I learned 

•from Count M , that my admission into the service of Russia 

was announced in^the prikazj Immediately a friend of mine and 
myself hastened to the printing-office of the staff, where my com* 
panion read to me the following paragraph : 

" His Majesty the emperor has been pleased, in the sitting of May 
16th, 1819, held at St. Petersburgh, to issue the following ordet. 
Nomination to the service — for the cavalry. The lieutenant-colonel 
of the Spanish army, Van Halen, admitted into the rank of major 
in the regiment of dragoons of Nijegorode. 

(Signed) Prince Wolkonsky, 
Chief of the Staff." 

On the following day I was presented to the sub-chief of the staff, 
Mr. Mentchikoff, with whom I conversed for some time, and who 
approved the election I had made of serving under the orders of 

Abisbal. It wu called the Imperial Alexander, and has distinguished itself in the de- 
fence of the national cause till after the disasters of 1823. 

* The Russian courtiers call Georgia the tVarm Siberia, because those "officers* 
u, «ii*£__i «-*i *u — u* *_ ml — i 1-*. .- ^ C0|intP y # They 9&j 



V 



2J4 



NARRATIVE OF 



Yermolow, promising to give me good recommendations on ifly de* 
parture. 

There is at St. Petersburgh a place called the Saloon of Models > 
which contains the equipments and accoutrements of every regiment y 
both cavalry and infantry, composing the imperial army. Every 
change, which takes place often under the direction of the Emperor 
himself, begins with the model, which is deposited in the saloon, 
whilst another perfectly similar is sent to its respective regiment. 
Thus the most scrupulous uniformity is observed both in the fashion 
and the colours. The tailors and other artisans repair to the saloon 
for their instructions, and any officer may completely equip himself at 
St. Petersburg!), though his regiment be on the frontiers of China. 

As the etiquette required that I should immediately assume my 
uniform, that I might present myself to the military authorities, i 
visited the saloon to give orders for my complete equipment ; but 
my friends, rejoiced at my good fortune, had been beforehand with 
me, and were secretly employed in providing everything I could 
stand in need of; so that, before I had given any orders, they pre- 
sented to me all that I could possibly desire, and even assisted me in 
putting on my uniform, after which they conducted me to a splendid 
banquet. Here I was surrounded by most of my friends, who had 
all assembled to celebrate my honourable admission into the Russian 
service. This was for me a truly memorable day. Neither jealousy 
nor dissimulation disturbed these happy moments : sincerity, deep- 
felt interest, and esteem for me, were the only feelings evinced, and, 
J am sure, entertained by these kind and generous friends. 

Owing to the reciprocal aversion existing between the mercantile 
and military classes in Russia, I no sooner assumed my uniform 
than, to my regret, I was obliged to renounce the society of almost 
all the merchants whose houses I had frequented, and to whom I 
was indebted for many civilities, while my intercourse with a certain 
class of people naturally became more frequent and friendly. 

As" an officer of the Russian army, it was incumbent on me to 
present myself to the Emperor ; but owing to the circumstance of 
his Majesty having, according to custom, left the capital with his 
family for his summer palace of Tzarskoieselo, which is twenty 
wersts from the capital, and the daily audience* having ceased, the 
day of my departure approached, without my having been able per- 
sonally to testify to his Majesty my deep gratitude. Anxious to do 
this, I was advised by my friends to attend to the fields of instruc- 
tion of the imperial guard at Tzarskoieselo as any other officer, cu- 
rious to see the feigned battles which were occasionally given there 
in the month of June. I chanced to go one day when a ludicrous 
occurrence took place, which excited the laughter of the spectators. 

* Military audiences, whether before the Emperor or his generals, always take 
place at the time of the parade ; and once the summtr-camp established, the daily 
partrde ceases, 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 313 

One of the columns of attack, which, on changing its direction to 
reinforce the centre of the line, was to take at the point of the bayo- 
net a village which was supposed to be the pivot of the operations 
of the enemy, had scarcely reached the required distance to com- 
mence the intended charge, when they saw on the side of the village 
some captains of merchant vessels, and several English clerks, most 
of them on foot, and the rest badly mounted, who, far from knowing 
the importance attached to that point, had chosen it to be better 
able to see the manoeuvres. On seeing that motley group, the 
young officers of the guards, who commanded the charge, took it 
into their heads to accelerate their pace, and no sooner was this ob- 
served by the former, than they all dispersed over the field, their long 
coats floating in the wind, and with no other defensive weapons than 
their telescopes. The emperor, who saw this farce, and remarked 
that it afforded no pleasure la the English ambassador, gave imme- 
diate orders to have an end put to it. 

My extreme anxiety to express my gratitude to his majesty re- 
mained unsatiated, and I was the more sorry for it, as it was my in- 
tention, should the Emperor have touched on the affairs of Spain, 
to have described them as they really stood ; for though I have not 
the presumption to believe that I could have succeeded in giving a 
hew bias to his policy, it was always a great step gained that he 
should be correctly informed of the real state of my unhappy coun- 
try, a zeal which his majesty could not attribute to motives of per- 
sonal interest, since the favour he had just conferred upon me had 
already gratified such expectations. 

One day that I conversed on this subject with the same elderly 
gentleman I have already mentioned, he said to rectify me in' my 
opinion, " If the Emperor had felt any interest for you, he would 
have addressed himself to you, and, according to his custom, ques- 
tioned you. He has received you into his service solely to put an 
end to the importunities of those who openly protect you, as well as 
to please general Betancourt, whom he so greatly favours* I know 
positively that Nesselrode has been several times with Betancourt, 
before his majesty adopted this determination, to see if it could be 
dispensed with ; but those who have advised you to ask to be em- 
ployed in the army of Yermolow, knew very well that it was only by 
such means you could succeed in your object ; for believe me, my 
dear friend, whatever opinion the Emperor may have been made to 
entertain respecting your political sufferings, it is enough that you 
have the reputation of a patriot to be received by him only to be 
sent to the warm Siberia. Betancourt wished that you should re- 
main here, that he might continue his protection to you ; but he has 
found insurmountable obstacles on the part of the Emperor. I know 
this through a good channel, and that general has been obliged to 
remain content with seeing you become a Caucasian. But every 
thing has its compensation. You are going to serve under the 



214 tfAKAATIVE QF 

orders of one of our first generals. You will admire him, and learn 
much from him, should you be employed near his person, I know. 
well the character of Alexis Petrowitch ( YermoJow), and your situa- 
tion, zeal, and activity, will excite his interest for you* You see that 
my opinion does not coincide with that of your protector Betan- 
court. At St Petersburgh they would have made a smart parade . 
officer of you ; but Yermolow makes good soldiers. You love your 
country too much to be considered by us in the light of the many 
foreign mercenaries who are now in the service of Russia, and 
whose pretensions to knowledge, which for above a century we have 
too dearly paid. for, renders them always intolerable." 

I could relate a number of anecdotes which characterize this sin", 
gular man, with whom I was on terms of intimacy, more on account 
of his eccentric character than for any other reason, as he never ap- 
proved any of my steps, nor felt. the least interest for any of my 
friends. Though a Russian, and a military man, he disliked every 
thing connected with the army. ' He had seen and read much, and 
there were few things that could surprise him. He knew a numbee 
of anecdotes of the court, each more singular than the other ; and 
1 received from him a present of an important manuscript, which) 
greatly to my regret, I was obliged to burn on leaving Russia, and 
which contained many interesting circumstances relating to tfie latter 
days of Paul I., to the wily conduct observed by the chief of the 
conspiracy, and to tfc* assassination. 

One day that I met him in his carriage,'he invited me to go and 
see a ceremony which he knew I had never witnessed in Russia. I 
told him I could not go, for I was much engaged. " Never mind," 
said he, " you must learn how to take things calmly. You must 
come with me, if it be but for a moment, to see a marriage accord- 
mg to the fashion of my countrymen. ' ' Having entered the carriage, 
we proceeded to a Greek church, where we found, in the middle of 
a circle formed by a numerous assemblage of relations, guests, and 
other spectators, the bride and bridegroom standing beside each 
other, before a priest, who had commenced the ceremony an hour 
previous to our arrival. During the whole of this time the brides- 
maid and man were obliged to hold over the heads of the betrothed 
two heavy crowns, richly ornamented ; but what principally amused 
me was the immobility of the latter, who seemed rather converted 
into statues, than animated by that ardent passion which accompanies 
this most important act of a man's private life. " Well," exclaimed 
my companion, " what do you think of it ? Have I done right, after 
fifty years celibacy, not to allow myself to be crowned either in the 
Greek or Roman fashion. May God render this young couple happy, 
but I like not their legitimacy ! You may now take my carriage, 
and proceed to your affairs, for I must remain here ; and when you 
are among the Circassians, compare tbcir marriage ceremonies with 
ours." 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 215 

Convinced of the necessity of hastening my departure from St. 
Pettraburgh to join my regiment in Georgia, I made the necessary 
preparations for a journey of five hundred post leagues. Previous 
to my departure* I had the pleasure of seeing at St. Petersburgh 
nry excellent companion, Mr. Koch, He seemed much surprised 
at seeing me in my new costume ? but I perceived, by his counte- 
nance more than by iris expressions, that he had himself taken as 
active a part in mntributing to my success, as it was possible for 
Okie at such a distance* 

{General Betafeeourt, whose conduct towards me had always been 
that of a father* had left the capital to inspect the works of the in- 
terior, which feH to his extensive department, two days before the 
prikaz announced the result of his efforts ; consequently I was de- 
prived of the pleasure of presenting myself to him in the Russian 
uniform, and again expressing my gratitude. 

Being ao% furnished not only with letters of recommendation, 
but with a tittle Portuguese negro servant, who had been presented 
to me by Prface Boris Gaiit4in, and a carriage provided with every 
thing I could possibly want, and which my friends had lavished on 
die With their usual generosity, I prepared for my departure, pre- 
senting to one of them the only gift I had in my power to bestow, 
but which was the best adapted to remind him of my residence 
ataoftg them ; namely, the trophy* I gained on the night of my es- 
cape from the Inquisition. 

One of my most intimate friends, Mr. Mamonoff, an aid-de- 
camp of the major-general, who was charged with a topographical 
mission to the field where the battle of Smolensko was fought, 
being about to depart, invited me to accompany him as far as 
Moscow. I ordered my servant to precede us with the carriage, 
and on the 23d of July joined my new travelling companion, and 
met at Tzarskoieselo all my friends, who were assembled at the 
house of Kruglikoff, captain of hussars of the guard, to bid me 
farewell. The weather was so beautiful, and the loneliness of this 
place, which the court had just left, so inviting, that our parting 
was prolonged till a late hour at night. We employed part of our 
time in visiting the palace, the gardens, and the great rotunda, 
which the Empress Catherine II. had caused to be built with the 
sole object of celebrating there certain private banquets, without 
being seen, heard, or observed by any of the attendants ; the seats, 

* Besides this memorial of my sufferings in the Inquisition, I had brought from 
Spain another equally interesting to me, which I placed in the hands of his Royal 
Highness the Duke of Sussex at his especial request, and with the approbation of 
those from whom I had received it. It consisted of a large parchment, in which the 
most prominent cireumscanees of my sufferings and escape were sketched in an alle- 
gorical manner ; with a brief explanation of those events, and the private signatures 
of those who had figured in them written in the centre. It had been given me by 
my friends of Madrid on the night I took my leave of them, as a token of their at- 
tachmcnlaod esteem forme. 



'■V 



216 NARRATIVE OF 

i 

plates, dishes, and every thing requisite for a sumptuous banquet 
being drawn up and down by machinery according to the signals 
of the bell belonging to each seat, and the demand of the particu- 
lar dish wanted written in pencil. There is a saloon in this palace, 
where the numerous costumes of the different countries of the em- 
pire are collected. With respect to the truly Russian costume, I 
had admired it, three days before my departure from St. Petersburg!], 
on a young, beautiful, and accomplished lady, who, to oblige me, 
had put it on, and danced the national dance. It is not possible 
for me to describe it ; but it is without contradiction one of the 
finest of any country in Europe. There is besides a cabinet con- 
taining a multitude of relievos and works in amber. This is all, 
either in this or any other of the imperial palaces, that will be likely 
to engage the attention of those who have once seen the interior 
magnificence of royal palaces in Spain. 

In the gardens of Tzarskoieselo there is, among other curious 
things, the tomb of Zemire, a favourite little dog of Catherine the 
Great, on which an epitaph written by Count Segur is inscribed.* 

Previous to our final separation, we sat down to supper, which 
we enlivened by singing Spanish patriotic songs, that many of my 
friends had learned from me, and at midnight we all rose from table, 
and I bid adieu to men from whom I had experienced the most 
noble and hospitable conduct, the remembrance of which will never 
be erased from my mind. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

Travelling between St Petersburg!! and Moscow— Military colonies— Grand canal 
—Woldai— Twer— The country described— First sight of Moscow— 'Agreeable stay 
at Moscow — Present appearance of the ancient capital — Stataeof Kouzma Miminn 
— Wladimir— General Betancourt at Nijnei Novgorod — Great building in which 
the fair of St. Maearieff is held— Internal commerce described — Steam-boats on the 
Wolga — Otto of roses — Tea brought over land from China — Merchants — Boukharee 
Tartars— Life of Napoleon written in Arabic— Camera obscura— Variety of elegant 
costumes— English traveller— The author's meeting with his Spanish friends— Fair 
of Nijnei Novgorod— Serf comedians. 

Immediately after taking leave of my friends, I entered the 
carriage with my travelling companion, and we proceeded on our 
way to Moscow. On the next morning, the 24th, we arrived at 
the fourth relay, called Toffna, where we breakfasted. In no coun- 
try is posting performed at such a rapid rate as in Russia. It sur- 
passes that in the south of France, and even the velocity of the 
posting on horseback in some parts of Spain. We arrived at about 

* See Memoires de Monsieur S£gur. yol. it. p. 527. 



** 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 



**7 



iibon at Podberezie, where an excellent dinner was served to ite, 
though, to avoid repetition, I ought to remark here that the attend- 
ance from St. Petersburgh to Moscow is equally good. We then 
continued our way, and succeeded in crossing the Wolkoff, thus 
avoiding a circuit of thirty wersts, which otherwise we should have 
been obliged to make by passing through Novgorod, a city to the 
right of that river. Not far from this place are the celebrated mili- 
tary colonies,* which have been so much spoken of in Europe, and 
which at present, according to the opinion of many, are neither mili- 
tary nor agricultural — they are nothing. In former times those 
places were the cradle of the famous Novgorodian Republic. ' 

At seven in the evening we arrived at Bronnitzi, and continued 
travelling the whole night on an excellent road, which but a few years 
ago was impassable. At day-break we reached Krestzi, and entered 
a road which for a considerable distance~runs near the banks of the 
great canal, which the extraordinary genius of Peter I. caused to ' 
be made, to open a communication between the Baltic and Caspian 
seas, and which has been lately bordered with granite. Although 
during the whole morning the road was by no means favourable to 
the horses, at three in the afternoon we reached a village called 
Wolda'i, the situation of which is extremely picturesque, being on 
the borders of a lake in which are a number of islets, and surround- 
ed by beautifully diversified hills, a Greek monastery, which ih 
former times possessed an extensive authority over the adjacent 
country, forming a prominent feature in the perspective. 

Whilst dinner was preparing at a very good inn where we stop- 
ped, Mr. Mamonoff and myself went to bathe in the lake, the heat, 
which was overpowering, rendering this ablution very pleasant ; and 
on our return to the inn we sat down to an excellent dinner 
with increased appetites. In proportion as we advanced, the road ' 
became worse, the great quantity of snow which covers the earth 
during seven or eight months in the year preventing its acquiring 
the . necessary solidity. In many places it is still formed of the 
boards with which Peter I. caused it to be covered for several hun- 
dred wersts', j and which occasion ih summer a very disagreeable 
motion, while on the other hand they seem better adapted to injure 
the carriages than to remedy the inconveniences of a swampy soil. 
Betancourt, who was intrusted with the care of removing these 
obstacles, had already made some progress towards attaining that 
object. # 

On the 2Gth, at noon, we stopped a moment at Torjok, in which 
place there are some excellent leather manufactories, and where t\*c 
bought a few articles. At nine o'clock, P.M. we arrived at Twer* 

* The same elderly gentleman residing at St. Petersburgh, of whom I hax* already 
spoken, also presented me with a manuscript treating of those establishments, and 
" " considerable talent ; but which I regret to say I lost in England, with 
papers 



written with considerable talent ; but which I regret to say I lost in England 
several other papers which I had left in the care of a friend of mine. 









*^J 



A 

/ 



r J 



ih 



NARRATIVE OF 



I 

where tea was served to us in a style that would not have disgraced* 
the best hotel in England. As from May to August the nights in 
this region are so short, the heat and the bad roads rendered our 
travelling here extremely tedious. It now and then reminded me 
of CastilJe ; the country also abounding in large monasteries, which 
possessed considerable wealth when the Russian government were 
less acquainted with their true interests. 

As we approached Moscow, the country assumed a more culti- 
vated aspect, and numerous villas adorned the prospect on each 
side of the road. On reaching an elevated spot about eight wersts 
from Moscow, this celebrated city burst upon our sight, spreading 
over a considerable space of ground, the famous Kremlin rising 
amidst a multitude of palaces, and the gilded cupolas of the nume- 
rous churches, rendered doubly brilliant by the rays of the setting, 
sun, offering a sight as novel to me as it was splendid and imposing. 
My companion, who had made the campaign of Moscow against 
Napoleon; pointed out to me the road by which the vanguard of 
the great army came, a point which, notwithstanding the distance, 
I was enabled to distinguish very clearly, owing to the elevation of 
the road through which the French reached the city, and on the 
highest part of which the government have the project of erecting 
a sumptuous temple to perpetuate the memory of it. On hearing 
from my friend the interesting account of the burning of Moscow, 
in which so much wealth was consumed, it was impossible, on 
casting one's e^es on the city, not to be struck with awe and admi- 
ration. 

About seven wersts from the city, we saw to the left of our road 
at palace which had been the residence of Peter the Great, and 
farther on, the state prison, standing in an isolated situation, and sur- 
rounded by a high wail. We entered the city at eight o'clock in the 
evening, and experienced none of those difficulties which I met 
with on my arrival at St Petersburgh. 

When, in Russia, an officer is on the point of setting off for the 
place of his destination, the minister of war delivers to him &feuitte de 
2M>ste, and the exact sum required to defray the expenses of posting. 
Thus the peasantry are never called upon, as is the case in Spain 
and other countries, to furnish the military with the means of con- 
veyance, to the great detriment of agriculture. 

My affairs at Moscow were confined to a visit to the governor- 
general, by whom thyfeuille de poste was to be signed ; but the 
negro, whom I had sent from St. Petersburgh with my carriage, had 
taken so little care of it, that I was obliged to dispose of it, and 
procure myself another, mor£ fit for travelling, which is called in 
the country kibitka,* and . without which* it is very likely I should 

* This vehicle resembles a cradle, and is covered with oil-skin. It has two seat* 
in front, one for the coachman, and the other for the servant, and is supported by 
iboi wheels, but has no springs. 



X 



*>0N JUAN TAN HALEN. 219 

•never have reached the Caucasus in a condition to perform any ser- 
vice. This detained me four days at Moscow, the first and last of 
which my companion and myself dined with the lady of one of our 
beat friends at St. Petersburg!}, and the second with the family of 
Prince Andrew Galitzin, who had just arrived from their country- 
house in the vicinity of Moscow. General Poltarasky, commandant 
of one of the brigades in garrison here, and greatly attached to the 
chief under whose orders I was going to serve, was a member of 
this family. My short sojourn at /Moscow did not permit mo to 
.examine the objects worthy of notice which are to be seen in a city 
so celebrated in the annals of our times, and which by its situation 
will not fail to figure in all the political events that may take place 
in Russia. 

Moscow and the numerous villas adjoining it are spread in a 
uniform manner over a circumference of forty wersts. The Krem- 
lin rises majestically almost in the centre of the city, and is sur- 
jrounded by several hundreds of field-pieces, taken on the retreat of 
Napoleon's grand army. Near this palace are seen the Russian 
shops, and immediately after, the numerous palaces of the Musco- 
vite nobility, on which the ravages committed by the flames are no 
longer observable. Although this city has been so long the resi- 
dence of the autocrats, and the principal theatre of their tyranny, 
there is a monument, which, even in Philadelphia, would excite the 
interest and veneration of every patriot ; namely, an extremely well 
•executed statue in bronze of Kouzma Miminn in the costume of a 
citizen. This man, who was a butcher of Nijnei Novgorod, suc- 
ceeded, in one of the great conflicts to which his country was ex- 
posed at the beginning of the" seventeenth century, in rousing the 
energies of his countrymen, and in assembling a respectable force, 
-which he placed under the command of a worthy and valiant man, 
who raised the siege of Moscow, and expelled the invaders from its 
soil. 

The streets of Moscow are very wide, but they are not so clean 
as those of St. Petersburgh, nor is there that gayety and bustle 
tvhich is the predominant features of those capitals where much 
commerce is carried on. The people, however, are even more 
hospitable, and the society more easy of access than at St. Peters- 
burgh. Had I accepted all the invitations I received, I must have 
remained at Moscow several weeks. 

The direct road to Caucasus, or to Persia, is through Toula, (a 
place celebrated for its manufactories of arms,) and continues after- 
wards by Woroneje towards the Don. That of Nijnei Novgorod, 
where at this time was held the great fair, is considerably removed 
from the former ; but as General Betancourt happened to be in this 
city, and I was desirous to bid him farewell, I made this circuit with 
pleasure. On the 31st of July, having parted from my travelling 
companion, who took the road to Smolensko, I followed in the op- 



,220 , NARRATIVE OF 

posite direction, shut up with my books and my young negro in the 
kibitka. This road was in rather better, condition than that from 
St Petersburgh to Moscow, and the travelling proportionally 
expeditious. 

Having experiencedta long delay at Poltava, I was prevented 
from reaching Pokrow till late in the afternoon ; and passing after- 
wards through Lipna, where I stopped a short time at an inn con- 
ducted in the English style, of which several are met with in Rus- 
sia, I continued travelling the whole night at a rapid rate, and at 
the break of day entered Wladimir, the capital of the government 
€$£ the same name, formerly the residence of the persecuted court 
of Russia, and at present one of the finest and cleanest cities of the 
interior. The public promenade borders the road conducting to the 
town, and extends to the river, which is crossed by a floating bridge. 

At the. next relay in Barakova, finding that all the horses were 
engaged for the colonel-general of the hussars of the guard, I hired 
horses of a peasant, and set off before him to avoid any farther 
delay. At the close of day I reached Soudagda, where there are 
other military colonies, similar to those of Novogorod, and early in 
the morning, Mourones, the capital of another government. It is 
situated on a hill overlooking the great river Oka, which is crossed 
by a barge. The great number of windmills that are seen here re- 
minded me of Memel ; but the surrounding country is much finer, 
l>eing fertilized by the waters of the river, and extremely well 
cultivated < 

On the ^th of August, at day-break, I arrived at the heights from 
which the city of Nijnei Novgorod is seen in the form of an amphi- 
theatre on the confluence of the two majestic rivers, the Oka and 
the Wolga. In one of the angles formed by their junction, and on 
the opposite side of the town, stands the building where the cele- 
brated fair is held. I reached the city so early in the morning, that 
it was with much difficulty I found a place where to alight, the inni 
here being for the most part very inferior to those found in the other 
cities in Russia. Having immediately sent- a servant to ascertain 
whether General Betancourt was still in town, I learned with plea- 
sure that he would be glad to see me without delay, and that he 
insisted en my taking up my quarters with him during my residence 
here. 

The city of Nijnei Novgorod is very celebrated in the annals of 
Russia, and still preserves some antiquities. The fair held here, 
known by the name of St. MakariefTs fair, because it originally 
terminated on the anniversary of the festival of this saint, is, accord- 
ing to the general opinion, the most numerously attended of any 
in Europe. Formerly it was held at a short distance from town on 
the banks of the Wolga, and on the estate of a nobleman of the 
country. It is asserted that the magazines and other buildings for 
the fair, which produced a considerable revenue to the proprietor, 



\ 



DON JUAN VAN HALKJ*. 221 

were intentiohally set on fire, and entirely consumed, and that the 
nobleman was prevented from rebuilding them. The Emperor 
Alexander then ordered an edifice to be built exclusively for this 
object, which should unite solidity with convenience, and offer such 
advantages as should invite merchants to concur and increase the 
revenues of the crown. Generar Betancourt formed the plan of the 
building, and inspected its execution, which was exclusively carried 
on under the immediate direction of Spanish military engineers. 

As this edifice is erected on one of the angles formed by the 
junction of the two rivers, its magazines, which are laid out in the 
form of galleries or porticos supported by iron pillars, and which 
occupy a quadrangular space of ground of about a thousand toises, 
are surrounded by canals. When I visited this place, it was nearly 
finished : it had been four years in constructing, and had cost the 
Russian treasury more than 10,000,000 of roubles (paper money*), 
a great part of this sum, however, being absorbed in the* subter- 
raneous works they had been obliged to construct, on account of 
the light and sandy soil on which the building is erected. It is, 
however, executed with the solidity of the Spanish buildings, and is 
guaranteed by the director for the space of a hundred years with- 
out repairing. It brings a revenue to the government of about a 
million and a half of roubles per annum. 

It cannot be doubted that both the fair and the town have gained 
much by the construction of this new building ; the former on 
account of the great accommodation which it affords to merchants, 
who can with more facility and economy convey their goods by 
water ; and the latter by the visible increase of population, and the 
wealth which it diffuses. 

The house belonging to the engineers intrusted with the direction 
of these works, and which was the same where General Betancourt 
then resided, stands opposite to the magazines, and near the great 
bridge of boats on the Oka, which facilitates the communication 
between the town and the fair. 

The most important commerce is carried on by the Russians'!" 
and the Boukharees, who bring manufactured goods in silk, cotton, 
cashmere shawls, (some of which sell as high as 6,000 roubles,) 
turquoises, and lapis lazuli, saltpetre, dried fruits, and various other 
things, and export, in return, sugar, coffee, cloths, arms, and articles 
in leather and iron, the greatest part of which come from the cele- 
brated manufactories of Toula. The Boukharees travel in caravans, 
and perform part of their way by the Wolga, their voyage being 
rendered at present more expeditious by the steamboats that navi- 

* At that time this money was 75 per cent, discount. 

f Accordiag to the general opinion, the Russian merchant is as little to be trusted 
as the Polish Jews, who are so renowned for cheating. A Boukharee, however, 
assured us that his countrymen made more advantageous bargains with the former 
than with any of the other merchants ; a circumstance the more singular, as the 
Boukharees are a people of great probity. 



222 - HARKAXIVE OP 

gate it. The greatest number of Russian merchants come from 
Moscow, among whom figure also some French marchands de& 
novveautes, who, though they only sell by retail, obtain great profits. 
The Armenians are not very numerous, their commerce being 
, principally carried on in Georgia.' I have likewise seen Turks and 
Greeks, whose principal traffic is in otto of roses, for which they 
never receive any merchandise in return. 

In Russia the consumption of tea is very considerable, and conse- 
quently, an article much in demand at this fair. One merchant alone, 
who had just arrived with his caravan from the frontiers of China, had 
this year on sale teas to the value of 3,000,000 of roubles."* This 
man, who came always accompanied by his young wife, a lady pos- 
sessing many personal attractions, yearly performed a journey to 
China at the head of his caravans. One day we met this lady at a 
shop buying four shawls, for which she paid 12,000 roubles. We 
were surprised at seeing that a woman, who scarcely frequented 
society for twenty days in the year, (most of her time being spent 
in travelling) should waste so much money in mere articles of lux- 
ury ; but she explained the riddle to us, when she noticed our sur- 
prise, by saying in a very graceful manner, that " as her husband 
liked to see her dressed in the European fashion, she bought those 
articles to wear them in their journey through the deserts, her only 
happiness consisting in pleasing him." 

The Boukharee Tartars are generally of a noble appearance, dress 
well, and are naturally peaceful and industrious. They are subject 
to an independent Khan, who resides at Boukharia, a city not far 
from Samarcand, the district of which they must cross to reach the 
frontiers of Russia, though not without danger. This they some- 
times elude by partial treaties with the armed hordes of Kirguisses, 
who protect them against their idle and rapacious neighbours. The 
Boukharees to their habits of industry join a great desire for inform- 
ation, and I have seen several of them perusing a memoir of Napo- 
leon, printed at Paris in Arabic, of which he caused many copies to> 
be sent to Tartary, and which is very popular among them. 

General Betancourt had, in the gallery of the house in which he 
resided, a camera obscura, which was sufficiently large to admit 
several persons, and where we took one of the Boukharees (who 
appeared the most sociable among them) to see the impression 
which the sight of so many living objects continually passing the 
bridge would make on his mind. To judge by the extreme surprise 
he at first evinced, he believed the whole to be supernatural ; but 
his inquietude became excessive, when he distinguished, among the 
moving groups, one of his countrymen and friends. Unable to un- 
derstand each other, we lost the doubtless original questions which 

* Tea is dearer at Nijnei than in England or JSorth America ; bat the favour ii 
much finer than that which crosses the $ea*. 



A 



DON JUAN VAN HAL^lSf. 22S 

tie Endeavoured to make us comprehend by violent and incessant 
gesticulations. 

The number of merchants assembled this year at the fitir was 
from 130,000 to 140,000 ; a multitude which naturally presented 
a great variety of costumes and countenances. Here was $een the 
Russian merchant, wrapped up in his blue caftan, beside his wife, 
arrayed in the national dress, and her hair adorned with a profusion 
of strings of pearls ; there the Persians and the Armenians, with 
their high caps of curly goat skin, and double hanging sleeves. 
Farther on, the Tartar of Boukharia, and that of Kasan, and of 
Mongolia ; while the Turk paced up and down with his usual indo- 
lence and slow gait, as if afraid the ground would give way beneath 
his steps. *The European merchant, whose dress appeared no less 
singular in the eyes of the former, than theirs jdid in ours, occupied 
a prominent station ; and amidst this mercantile Babylon, was an 
English traveller, as inquisitive as he appeared dissatisfied. He 
always went about accompanied by an Italian, called Filistri, who, 
having nothing better to do, served him as guide, both having ren- 
dered themselves remarkable to the merchants by a string of questions, 
and their economy in making purchases. The Tartars and other 
Asiatics, who believed them to be both English, and who had no 
other ideas of Englishmen than those which they had gathered from 
the memoirs of Napoleon, and from the confused and unfavourable 
accounts of the events passing in India, avoided them as if they 
were infected with the plague. 

In the evening the fair is transformed into a great Tivoli, where 
a theatre, . rope-dancers, Russian swings, jugglers, learned quadru- 
peds, sea-monsters, and many other amusing objects are seen, and 
engage the attention of the delighted multitude. At the same time, 
the higher class of society have their brilliant assemblies,, at which 
the most distinguished families of the country attend. General 
Betancourt, to whom I had given a description of the fete given by 
the nobility of Murcia, reminded me of it one night when we at- 
tended one of these elegant and splendid entertainments. Indeed, 
the same refinement and good taste, displayed in the higher circles 
of St. Petersburgh, are found in those of the most remote towns of 
the interior. In Russia, this class of people unite all the dignity of 
the English nobility with the gayety and agreeable manners of the 
French, before they became politicians. The ladies, who every 
where in Europe are the very soul of society, are no way inferior in 
personal attractions, affability, vivacity, and wit, to those of any 
other European country. 

By a very curious coincidence, the only three Spanish officers* in 
the service of Russia, whom General Betancourt employed in 
superintending the construction of the building for the fair, were all 

* Their names are Bausa, Biado, and Espejc. 



224 NARRATIVE OP 

of them old friends of mine. ' This agreeable meeting was a source 
of deep interest and pleasure to us all. One of them, participating 
in the strong attachment which Spaniards have for their native 
country, had with him an old female servant, a native of Andalusia, 
who once served us a breakfast almost entirely in the Spanish fashion, 
a circumstance as singular in this remote country, as would be, on 
the frontiers of China, the European toilet of the amiable wife of 
the tea-merchant. 

The fair ends at present on the 10th or 15th of August, three 
weeks after St. MakariefTs day, when a great number of boats are 
immediately loaded, and re-descend the Wolga with the Boukharees 
and other Tartars, Armenians, &c. who as they approach Astracan, 
which is 150 leagues from Nijnei Novgorod, soon disperse in different 
directions. 

Before dismissing the subject of the fair, I ought to mention here 
the only thing I remarked repugnant to my feelings ; namely, the 
public theatre, in which there is a company of /comedians wholly 
composed of serfs ^ belonging to a certain personage who makes 
a traffic of their exertions, and whom he often stimulates by harsh 
treatment. To hear an unhappy slave acting only on the boards the 
part of a hero or a freeman, creates a melancholy reflection, and 
one cannot help fancying that the proprietor himself is behind the 
scenes with the knout raised, acting the part of a prompter. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

The author proceeds for Georgia— Seransk — Its fair— Penza— Beggars— Wolves — 
City of Woroneje — War between the Tzar Demetri and the Khan Mamay — The 
steppes — Town of Kasankaia — The River Don — The Kalmucks — Their tents — 
Tcfcerkaske, capital of the Don Cossacks — Their customs and superstition — Fish 
— Wine of the banks of the Don — Seredni'y Yegueriik — The Tcherkases or Cir- 
cassians — Their costume, physiognomy, &c— Attack of a courier — Arrival at 
Staropol — First view of the great Caucasian range — GheorguTewsh, capital of the 
government of the Caucasus — Mozdok— River Terak, separating Europe and Asia 
— Father Henri, a Jesuit from Namur settled at Mozdok — General Yermolow 
attacks the Tchetchenkis. 

The time fixed for my departure from Nijnei Novgorod having 
arrived, I bid farewell to my kind protector and to the rest of my 
Spanish friends, and took the shortest road to <jfeorgia on the 15th 
of August, preferring to continue my journey alone to the company 
of some Armenian merchants, who had offered to travel with me to 
the place of my destination, whither they were going, but whose 
coarse manners were by no means inviting. In the hope of ren- 
dering my journey less tedious and fatiguing, I provided myself with 
a mattress for my kibitka, with some books, a gun, materials for 






&0N JUAN VAK HAL&N, 225 

drawing, a quantity of provisions* cigars, and, above ail, a good 
stock of patience. 

On the day after leaving Nijriei, I passed at day-break through 
Arsamas, after travelling- over a road rendered almost impassable by 
the incessant rains which had fallen within the last few days, and 
which were ushering in the long winter season of Russia ; the ther- 
mometer two days before my departure from Nijnei being at certain 
hours of the day 2° below zero. 

At Seransk, where I stopped a short time for the purpose of pro- 
curing some other* articleggwhich the fears I entertained respecting 
the poor accommodations on the road seemed to render necessary * 
I found another fair, though very inferior to that of Nijnei Novgorod, 
where a great number of horses for draught, most of them very fine, 
were exposed for sale. The water-melons of Saransk are excellent, 
in great abundance, and very cheap ; as are also all kinds of provi- 
sions, of which I bought sufficient for four or five days, in poultry 
and fruits, and paid only two roubles in paper. 

Notwithstanding, the communication between the two fairs, I 
found the road rather unfrequented, meeting only here and there a 
post erf Russian peasants, to whom the security of the road was in- 
trusted ; although it is very rarely that a traveller is attacked by 
robbers in Russia. 

Having left Seransk, I travelled on without any interruption till I 
reached a small hamlet, called Yermolow, in which I met with an 
unpleasant adventure at the post-house, where, from the chief down 
to the lowest servant, all were intoxicated, and where, amidst the 
noise and riot occasioned by this drunken group, neither the efforts 1 
or prayers of my postilion, or mine, were heard or regarded. At 
length, after the greatest trouble, we succeeded in inducing one of 
the postilions to take his seat on the kibitka, and proceed. But 
after driving a few wersts, he placed the reins in the hands of my 
little negro, and alighting, abandoned the carriage, equally unmindful 
of my offers or threats. Reeling and tumbling, he repeated the 
word priama (straight-forward), now pointing one way, and sow 
another ; and, as unfortunately this happened at a point* where 
several roads met, and where not a soul was to be seen, it consider- 
ably increased my uncertainty as to which of them to follow. 
Having, however, prevailed on him to show us $e road to Penza, 
we proceeded on our way ; but as I had been unable to induce him 
to give up his whip to my negro, we were obliged to resort to pebbles, 
as is often done by the Spanish muleteers, in order to urge forward 
the horses, and after considerable trouble we reached the next post- 
house in Sloboda. Here the master of the relay evinced some sur- 
prise at seeing me arrive without a postilion ; but when I explained 
to him the cause of it, he readily believed it, as the same had hap- 
pened to other travellers. 

The country in the vicinity of this place is very fertile, and is irri- 

F f 



226 NARRATIVE OF 

gated by the waters of the river Soura, which empties itself into the 
Wolga. It was midnight when we entered Penza, the capital of 
the government of the same name, and 80 leagues from Nijnei Nov- 
gorod. The master of the post-house had already retired to bed ; 
but he immediately arose on our arrival, and I judged, by the com- 
forts which his house afforded, that we were in a city very superior 
to the places through which we had just passed. After taking a 
cup of tea, to which I. had greatly accustomed myself since my 
arrival in Russia, I proceeded on my journey. 

In proportion as we removed from Nijnei Novgorod, I perceived 
a material difference in the temperature. We left Penza with a 
clear moonlight night, the silence of which was interrupted only by 
the merry songs and crackings of the whips of our Russian posti- 
lions, who are as noisy and full of mirth as the most buoyant zagales 
(post-boys) of Andalusia. From Penza to Woroneje, that is to say, 
in a distance of more than 500 >jtersts, the only two tolerable'places 
met with are Tambow, capital of the government of Tchembar, 
and Kirzanow. Korlow and a few others, which are beyond these, 
are so inconsiderable, that they have not' even obtained a place in 
the charts of the country. 

On the 19th I passed through Arguelek, where for the first time 
I met with Tartar postilions, as well as with a great number of beg- 
gars, a sight at which 1 was greatly surprised, as since my arrival in 
Russia I had not seen any. The appearance of these poor wretches 
by day, and that of the numerous wolves that at night roamed about 
the road, rendered our travelling here by no means . pleasant. On 
the morning of the 22nd we arrived at Woroneje, where I was obliged 
to remain a few hours in order to repair my kibitka. This city, 
which, like most of the towns in Russia, is built in a modern style, 
is rather handsome and populous; but once out of it, one meets 
only deserts for a considerable number of leagues, the post-houses 
themselves being miserable hovels, without chimneys, or any kind of 
accommodation. 

The fields of Woroneje, near the Don, are celebrated in the his- 
tory of Russia as having been at different epochs the theatre of 
great events. Towards the close of the 14th century, during the 
reign of the Tzar Dmitry, the great Khan Mamay invaded Russia 
at the head of 700,000 men, to extort from that warlike prince the 
shameful tribute which had hitherto been paid to the Tartars, but 
which he would no longer grant. Having, therefore, resolved to 
meet his enemy, he called all the neighbouring princes around him, 
and asked from a monastery of Trinitarians two celebrated monks, 
that they might act as leaders to his army. Dmitry then passed the 
Don at the head of 400,000 men, and met all the troops of the 
great Khan assembled near Woroneje. On the two armies coming 
in presence of each other, the Tzar caused all the bridges to be de- 
stroyed, to oblige his soldiers to conquer or die ; whilst a Tartar, 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. %%H 

advancing from the ranks, challenged any Russian to fight in single 
combat. Perewer, one of the two monks, accepted the challenge, 
and, without exchanging more than one blow, both combatants bit 
the dust, when immediately the battle commenced, and soon became 
general on every point. The great Prince Dmitry, though wounded 
and surrounded by enemies, succeeded in extricating himself, and 
obtained a complete victory over the invaders. This triumph, how- 
ever, cost him dearly; for after a campaign of only a few weeks, 
the Russians lost nine-tenths of their army. This immense loss may 
bo accounted for by the exterminating manner of making war in 
those times, and by the excesses into which the soldiers plunged 
after gaining a victory. 

I left Woroneje early in the afternoon.' The weather was ex- 
tremely fine ; but the appearance of the steppes, or deserts, which 
begin at Woroneje, and extend to the foot of the Caucasus, is barren 
and desolate beyond expression. I believe, however, that far from 
not being susceptible of cultivation, they might, with time and la- 
bour, become the most abundant granaries of Russia. Indeed, if 
they are not so now, it must be attributed to a bad administration, 
and to the. very scanty population of these districts. 

Pawlowsk and Bobrow are the only villages that are met with 
from Woroneje to Kasankaia, an extent of forty-five leagues. The 
two former places are considered as the capitals of districts which 
exist at present only in imagination. The service of posts in this 
high road from Moscow to the Don is very superior to that leading 
to Nijnei Novgorod, Penza, and the rest, over which I had just been 
travelling. 

Kasankaia forms the boundaries of the government of Woroneje, 
and that of the Cossacks of the Don, the winding course of which 
greatly inclining towards the east, doubtless prompted Peter the 
Great to undertake the colossal work of opening a communication 
between the Black and the Caspian seas by means of a canal of 
about seventy or eighty wersts in length, but which must be cut 
through a chain of mountains, a work which, when Constantinople 
becomes the third capital of the Russian empire, will not remain 
long unaccomplished. 

The majestic river Don is crossed at Kasankaia by a ferry, and 
the posts are then under the direction of Cossacks. On leaving 
this river behind, the monotony of the steppes was such, that a 
bird, a tree, or a hovel were as welcome to me as signs of land 
might be to a sailor after a long voyage. In crossing those deserts 
during the night of the 23d and on the following day, I met with 
several troops of wandering horses, and with some hordes of Kal- 
mucks, transporting from one place to another their kivitki, or 
tents, made of skins, where they all huddle together round a small 
fire, sheltered from the cold, the wind, and the rain. There I have 
seen the children contending for • a bope with the dogs, by whom 






; $2'6 JtfAREATiVE O* ~ 

they are continually attacked. The wealth of a Kalmuck consists 
of akivitka, more or less habitable, a few horses; some camels, and 
buffaloes. These idle wanderers are continually changing their 
residence, which lasts only so long as they find pasture for their 
cattle around the place of their encampment. To their love of 
idleness they join a passion for strong liquors, and a propensity to 
thieving, in which they indulge whenever they can do it without 
risk. 

I arrived on the morning of the 25th at the post-house near the 
modern Tcherkaske, the capital of the country of the Cossacks of 
the Don, and about thirty wersts from the old one, which bears the 
same name. Nothing is more irksome to an impatient traveller, 
who moreover is not overstocked with provisions, than to see the 
miserable postilions in vain exerting every nerve to urge forward 
their lean and exhausted horses. From Tcherkaske the road 
borders the heights on which the city stands as far as Bataiskai'a, a 
town inhabited by Cossacks, and the whole of which is neatly built 
of wood in a modern style. The river Don is again crossed here 
by a floating bridge. The mercantile riches of this town consist 
chiefly in timber, which comes down this river from Orel, a distance 
of about two hundred miles, and which is forwarded to the sea of 
Azoff. As 1 passed through the town, I alighted to see the market- 
place, and by the ornaments worn by some of the Cossack women, 
I perceived that their husbands or relations had been of the number 
of those who had exercised their trade of rapine from the banks of 
the Niemen to those of the Seine. 

The interior of the houses belonging to the Cossacks, to judge 
from those .which I saw near the capital, is a model of cleanliness 
and economy. In this respect they surpass all I have seen in Rus- 
sia. The small number of Cossacks, who succeed in exempting 
themselves from the military service, are devoted to commerce, in 
which their industry generally insures success. It is, doubtless, 
owing to this, that the greatest part of the Cossack population is 
found on the borders of the Don and of the Koubann, the sterility 
of the steppes being an impediment against their forming any set- 
tlements there. 

The Cossacks are hospitable at home ; but they carry their reli- 
gious scruples towards those who differ from them in creed, so far 
as to break the glass or plate used by their guests. These scruples, 
however, do not prevent them, when they are in foreign countries, 
from making as large a booty as they possibly can ; and indeed 
these spoils have at all times formed the principal wealth of the 
Cossacks of the Don. 

The post-houses in this country, especially those which are met 
with out of the towns, are generally wretched huts, having two 
divisions ; one for the traveller who would be foolish enough to 
sojourn there ; and the other for the postilions, the master of the 



i 

j 



DGN JtJAN VAN HALEN. 229 

post-house, and the man, called econome, who all live pell-mell. 
The duty of the master is to examine and register the traveller's 
feuille de poste, and to take care that he be expeditiously served ; 
and that of the latter to keep up the fire, for which a kind of straw 
cake, and brushwood alone is used, (as scarcely any wood; is found 
in these deserts,) and to furnish the traveller with whatever' provi- 
sions are in the house, which are, indeed, so scanty, that, were he 
to come unprovided, I suspect not all the exertions of Monsieur 
PEconome would prevent him from starving. The man who fills 
this office is always a disabled veteran, who is thus employed till he 
completes the twenty-five years of service, which the Russian go- 
vernment assigns to the Cossacks. I have no doubt that, had I 
understood their language, 1 should have heard from them an ac- 
count of their would-be military exploits, of which these men are 
very fond of boasting. 

The modern Tcherkaske, which is now the residence of the go- 
vernor, or hetman of the Cossacks, is a city extremely well situated. 
I have seen few spots in Russia more picturesque than the mountain 
on which it stands. It overlooks a vast plain, separated from the 
steppes, and watered by the wide Don and several other tributary 
streams, whilst the towns Stary-Tcherkaske, Bataiskaia, Rostow, 
and several others, form various groupes on the same horizon with 
Tcherkaske, and complete the harmony of the picture. 

The Don abounds in excellent fish, and its banks produce the 
wine properly called of the Don, which is drunk by the people of 
the country as a delicious nectar, but which Europeans will not find 
equally good, unless it be very old, when 'it resembles champagne. 
This flavour is particularly noticed in the wines of seme French 
vintners, who have established themselves in this country, where 
their industry does not remain unrewarded. 

At the time of my crossing the Don, we were nearly swept into 
the river by impetuous gusts of wind, accompanied by violent 
showers of rain and a fall of snow, which gave a most frightful 
aspect to the steppes, into which I very soon after entered. The 
farther I removed from the capital, horses, roads, post-hovels, every 
thing became gradually worse ; and such is the zig-zag which the 
road takes, to avoid the great number of marshes in the neighbour- 
hood of that city, that though I had travelled several leagues, when- 
ever I looked back, and the atmosphere cleared a little, I still saw 
the heights of Tcherkaske as if 1 had not advanced a werst It 
' may easily be conceived what a pleasant night I must have had in 
crossing those deserts with such bad horses and such dismal 
weather. Leaving it entirely to the care of my negro to see the 
feuitte de paste signed and registered at the various relays we met 
in our way, I scarcely quitted the carriage till the evening of the 
26th, when we arrived at Seredniy Yeguerlik, where those coming 
from Persia towards the Don are obliged to perform quarantine* 



230 NARRATIVE OF 

This place forms the boundary of the government of Tcherkaske* 
and that of the Caucasus. 

Whilst I was waiting for a change of horses, a man, having a 
more martial air, a different costume, and mounted on- a finer horse 
than those I had hitherto seen, approached me, and said, in a lan- 
guage which I had much difficulty in understanding, that he was 
charged with offering me an escort, a proffer which 1 declined ac- 
cepting, as I did not contemplate I was incurring any danger by 
travelling without it. The above place was the last post-house 
served by Cossacks, the Tcherkesses or Circassians, to whom the 
chief who had just spoken to me belonged, being now the people 
intrusted with this care. 

The costume of the Circassians, which has been generally adopted 
by all the inhabitants of this part of the Caucasus, is extremely 
simple and martial. It consists of a short cloth tunic of some light 
colour, fitting to the body, with long and wide sleeves. On each 
side of the breast are placed symmetrically several small tubes, to 
contain ammunition, more or less ornamented. On the head they 
wear a very light fur cap, and a long hood to protect them from the 
rain. Their wide trowsers resemble those of the Mamelukes ; and 
their arms consist of a dirk and a pistol at the belt, a damasquird 
sabre hanging at the side, and a long but light gun with a shoulder- 
belt. Their horses, though lean, are strong, light, and tractable, 
and their accoutrements are extremely well adapted for war. Like 
the Arabs, they use their stirrups as spurs, and carry a small whip 
fastened to their wrists, which does not at all seem to inconvenience 
them, and which they seldom lay aside even in their houses. They 
smoke a great deal with a small pipe, like the rest of the people of 
the Caucasus. Their countenances are not unlike those of the 
North American Indians, and their complexion is rather darker than 
that of the Cossaeks. 

The roads, after passing Yeguerlik, are not much better than 
those we had just left, although the service of the posts was rather 
improved. On the following day I had reason to regret having 
refused the escort. The fog did not permit me to distinguish any 
objects ; but soon after day-break I heard musket-shots not far dis- 
tant, and immediately after saw a Tcherkesse coming towards us at 
full gallop. I had alighted from the carriage, and loaded my goo 
to defend myself in case of an attack, intending to make a kind of 
parapet of the vehicle, when he approached me, and gave me to 
understand that he had been fighting with an armed party, who 
had attacked the courier. We retrograded towards a post, sta- 
tioned at a short distance in our rear, and soon after I saw the 
courier, who was on his way to St Petersburgh, arrive in a state 
which proved the danger he had just overcome. He told me that 
1 should act very imprudently were I to travel without an escort, to 
which I was entitled, the authorities being obliged to take every 



DOjS" JUAN VAN BALEJN. 231 

precaution for the safety of the officers, couriers, and other travel- 
lers. I was, therefore, compelled to remain there till I procured an 
escort, which was relieved at every relay, and with which I arrived 
on the evening of the same day at Statopol. From this place is 
seen a great part of the chain of the Caucasus, as well as the El- 
borus, which, apparently isolated, rises majestically before the 
others. The imposing sight which such an elevated and extensive 
chain of mountains, whose pinnacles are eternally covered with 
snow, presents, is the more impressive, as from St. Petersburgh to 
Staropol, a distance of four hundred leagues, there is scarcely any 
thing but plains. The Caucasus, moreover, reminds one of what 
history and mythology have transmitted to us respecting this cradle 
of the human race. 

Staropol is a city finely situated, and built upon a good model. 
It is tolerably well peopled ; but the total neglect of agriculture ren- 
ders almost fruitless the cares bestowed by the Russian govern- 
ment to make these new establishments prosper. 

Gheorgui'ewsb, which is the. capital of the government /of the 
Caucasus, is 1 70 worsts from the Don. In my way thither, 1 met 
some of the infantry regiments, recently destined for the army of 
Georgia, which had belonged to the corps under the orders of Count 
Worontzoff, who had just left France. On my arrival at that city, 
I was quartered at the house of a man who was a great sportsman, 
and who invited me to partake of his frugal repast. Here for the 
first time I partook of the excellent pheasants of the country, the 
flavour of which is superior to any I ever tasted. In this place I 
reposed myself for the first time since my departure from Nijnei 
Novgorod. 

On the evening of the following day I arrived at Mozdok. The 
road from Woroneje to this place is bordered on each side by rows 
of trees, as are all the roads of the empire, whether good or bad, 
except on the steppes ; and I remarked that all the trees were of an 
equal height, a circumstance which proves how well the energetic 
orders of Alexander are observed throughout the empire. 
' Mozdok is situated on a plain on the left bank of the river Terak, 
which winds through those valleys. It has its source in the bosom of 
the Caucasus, and empties itself into the Caspian sea, forming on 
that side the boundary between Europe and Asia. The small num- 
ber of noble families in this country, of whom some are natives of 
Georgia, are sunk into such a horrible state of misery, that they are 
confounded with the populace, owing to their inhabiting a country 
almost entirely peopled with freebooters. 

As throughout the Russian empire all religions are tolerated, the 
Jesuits, who are themselves the most intolerant, and who know how 
to profit of this freedom in every corner of the world, have some 
years since formed an establishment at Mozdok, where they had 
always apartments prepared for any catholic traveller who n^gbt 



232 NARRATIVE OF 

pass through Mozdok. Having presented myself to the military 
commandant of this city, and learned from him that General Yer- 
molow was then in the country of the Tchetchenkis, a province not 
very distant from Mozdok, on the northern side of the Caucasus, 
and that, to proceed thither, I should be obliged to leave my kibitka 
and various other things here, I begged him to inform me where I 
might deposite them until my return, when he referred me to the 
house belonging to the mission of the Jesuits, in which he said most 
of the officers travelling through were in the habit of lodging, as it 
afforded conveniences which were not to be found in any of the 
houses of the natives. I was not much inclined to avail myself of 
this information ; but when I visited the house where I was to be 
quartered, the intolerable bad smell, filth, vermin, and misery by 
which the family was surrounded, and above all my want of confi- 
dence in the host, induced me to apply at the house of the Jesuits. 

Here I was received very civilly by one of the two Jesuits of which 
the mission was composed, his companion being then absent on his 
professional duties, that is, confessing the catholics who were serving 
in the army. My present host, who was a native of Namur, ad- 
vanced in age, but very active, immediately showed me an apart- 
ment, which was clean and neatly furnished. I informed him of 
my intention to set off on the following day, but that I should be 
obliged by his keeping my apartment unoccupied until my return. 
He inquired of what religion I was, and discovered me to be a 
Spaniard by my pronunciation. In the evening he paid me a long 
visit, in which I learned that his name was Henri, and that he had 
emigrated from France at the time of the French Revolution, had 
since visited many distant countries, and even China, and had at 
length settled at the foot of the Caucasus. Though he appeared to 
me a man free from prejudice, I did net think proper to relate my 
adventures to him. 

The comforts and good attendance I met with at this place 
afforded a striking contrast with the want of cleanliness observable 
in all the houses of the town. I was instantly supplied with every 
thing I wanted, and I remember that, having mentioned to the Jesuit 
that my servant had lost his cap during his journey, he very soon 
afterwards brought me one for him, which was made by a lady 
belonging to the nobility of the town, who was under his spiritual 
guidance, and who, notwithstanding her pedigree, earned her liveli- 
hood by her needle ; in which, however, to judge from the speci- 
men I now saw, she did not appear to be a great proficient. 

The humble costume of this clergyman, the extreme simplicity of 
his own abode compared with the comforts of my apartment, his 
varied and instructive conversation, every thing prejudiced me in his 
favour ; but I perceived that notwithstanding his unassuming man- 
ners, be was better instructed in the military operations of General 
Yermotow than even the commandant-at-arms himself. From him 



l>ON JUAN VAN HALEflf. 230 

1 learned that the general-in-chief had some months since quitted 
his usual residence at Teflis, and was directing in person the opera* 
tions against the Tchetchenkis, whose hostile spirit was highly inju* 
rious to the whole line of the Terak, especially to the profitable 
establishment of Kislar, of which I shall hereafter speak. 

According to the tenor of the Jesuit's conversation, who, not- 
withstanding my reserve, endeavoured under various pretexts to dis* 
cover the object of my journey, I should be considered in the light 
of an intriguing spy by Yermolow, whom he reported as an enemy 
to all the foreigners who served in the Russian army, and from 
whom I was to expect the most uncourteous reception, and a treat- 
ment to expose me to the most imminent dangers, that he might at 
once rid himself of me. Father Henri spoke long on this subject, 
- and I own that his account made a great impression on me. I 
feared to see those jiopes frustrated with which I had been inspired 
at, St. Petersburgh respecting my chief, for whom I had hitherto felt 
a secret veneration, and in whom I had hoped to find my best pro- 
tector. Fortunately, the Jesuit himself was the first to calm the 
fears he had occasioned. Notwithstanding all the impartiality, and 
even humility which he had at first manifested, as he proceeded he 
became unguarded in his expressions, and said, among other things, 
that the only consolation of all the foreigners in that country was 
the spiritual friendship of this mission. 

In all other respects I found Father Henri a most benevolent, en- 
lightened^ and estimable man, possessing all the ardour and zeal of 
. an apostle, and all the affability, knowledge, and tolerance of one 
who had seen, read^and reflected much ; nor ought I to omit here 
that tjbe information and advice he gave me respecting the country 
and inhabitants I was to visit, were of the utmost service to me in 
more than one instance. 

Forty-eight hours after my arrival, I called again upon the com- 
mandant-at-arms, that he might give orders about the escort I was 
to take; and having deposited my kibitka in the place appropriated 
for them, I intrusted to the missionary the remainder of my super- 
fluous articles, and prepared to take my departure for the head- 
. quarters of General Yermolow. 



*t 



&J# NARRATIVE Or 



CHAPTER XlXVI. 

* 

Arrival at Naar— Oossaek settlements on the River Terek— Account #flh» CfliaaeaWof 
tbe Tank—Their fidejit j—Teherianaiar-SolialkwM^ 

sky, capital of the province of the Tchetchenkis— Redoubt at Aksai— The author 
arrtres at the head-quarters of General Yermolow— The gentraPa tent or kfrhkm*- 
UU address to the officers lately arrived— His reception of the author— Defeat oi 
the mountaineers and their prince— Capture of Andrelewsky— Beantifal ajirl of 
Andrelewsky— Description ofcostume— Character of Yermolow — His indefatigable 
attention to the duties of his office. 

I 

I usrr Mozdok on horseback at three in the afternoon of the SIM 
of August, followed by my negro and three Cossacks of the Don, 
who escorted me. The chain of the Caucasus was on our right, 
about 55 or 60 wersts distant, and parallel with our road, which lay 
along the left bank of the Terak, leading through fertile though Ktfle 
populated plains to Naur, 55 wersts from Mozdok, where we ar- 
rived towards the close of day. 

The line of the Terak, formerly deserted and dangerous, is at pre- 
sent inhabited by the colonies of Cossacks who settled here a few 
years back, and who are distinguished from the rest, not only because 
they bear the name of the river on the banks of which they lire, but 
because they differ in costume and manners, their activity in war 
also surpassing that of all others. These colonies, which commence 
at Naur, and extend along the river, are continually exposed to the 
attacks of the neighbouring mountaineers, who at various points 
easily ford the Terak, especially in autumn. There is a military 
chief in every village, who acts likewise in civil matters. To him 
the travellers apply for escort, relays, lodging, or any thing else they 
may stand in need of. The colonists are obliged to furnish the 
officers and the couriers with these things upon rather more mo- 
derate terms than those exacted from the merchants and other indi- 
viduals, who pass through these colonies. 

The costume fif the Cossacks of the Terak, the accoutrements of 
their horses, and their arms, differ little from the Circassians, or 
Tcherkesses. They never make use of the lance, as those of the 
Don. In their houses, which are always very clean, are seen the 
arms, saddle, bridle, &c, symmetrically placed, and in excellent 
condition. 

They profess the Greek religion, and in every room have an 
image, to which they reverentially bow every time they go in and 
out, as well as whenever they commence or conclude any house- 
hold affair, however trifling. This custom is also common among 
the Russians. The families of these Cossacks are very hospitable ; 
they receive travellers with great affability, and readily furnish them 



DON JUAN VAJS HALEN. 235 

with every thing they want on terms the most moderate ; but they 
ere as fanatical as those of the Dob, never again using the utensils 
trhiefa hare sefaed a person of a different religion* The escort of 
these Cossacks may always be confidently trusted to, as, in case of 
•stack, they wotftd all perish rather than abandon the individual they 



<Naw m plmamitiy situated and regularly built, as are indeed all 
the villages of these colonies, which are also surrounded by walk, to 
gtiferd them from a surprise. The commandant of these places 
eeMem grants an escort dtoimr the night : ! passed it at the bouse 
of one of these colonists, the lather of a numerous family, who on 
my arrive} were just returning from their agricultural labours. My 
negro greatly attracted the attention of the colonists, who could 
scarcely believe that his colour and woolly hair were natural. This 
occasioned many amusing scenes between the children of my host 
and him. In the bed-room assigned to me I found an excellent bed. 

At six o'clock on the morning of the .following day, I set off on 
horseback, escorted by two Cossacks of the Terak. The road was 
scarce l y distinguishable on account of the thick fog. It was my 
wish to reach on that day Schalkowskoi'e, a distance of 90 wersts, 
where the Terak is crossed before entering the country of the 
Tchetchenkis. At noon I arrived at a little village called Tcherla- 
naia, half-way of my day's journey. As I eould not be furnished 
here with horses, I procured, after much trouble, a sort of narrow 
cart, to which Bon Quixote's cage would have been a palace. It 
was drawn but by one bad horse, and the wheels being not quite 
round, the motion was insppportable. At a distance of a few 
worsts from this place we quitted the road to Kislar, end followed 
that along the Terak, which leads through thick forests. Had it 
not been for some Russian troops, who in the course of the morning 
ted passed along that read, and scared away the numerous banditti 
that infest it, I could not have ventured through those forests with 
my small escort. At length, having found post-horses in one of the 
relays, and traversed another forest, we arrived in the afternoon at 
Schalkowskoi'e, where we met two infantry regiments, who, like those 
I had seen at Gheorguiewsk, were coming from France, and were 
on their way to head-quarters. 

In this place, which is not very considerable, I entered the first 
house where I thought I saw hospitable faces, and where I established 
myself for the night at the invitation of the family, who very good 
naturedly presented me with some fruits of the season, the best I , 
ever tasted in any part of Russia, especially the water-melon, which 
is here very delicious. Having learned from the officers of the regi- 
ments above mentioned that their departure would soon take place, 
I resolved to proceed in their company. 

On the other side of the river, and opposite to Schalkowskoi'e there 
is a redoubt, considerable enough to resist the attacks to which it 



236 NARRATIVE OF 

was likely to be subject. It protected that part ofthe Terak whick 
is crossed by means of rafts, made of wood and osiers ; the singu- 
larity of which was greatly heightened by the sight of three huadred 
carts loaded with provisions, and an equal number of buffaloes eon* 
ducted by Kalmucks, crossing over with the greates* facility. These 
men, who are about as handsome as their buBaloes, although be- 
longing to the same race as those I had met in the steppes near the 
Don, are not in the habit of wandering like the former, but are es- 
tablished with their families in the interior of the country, near the 
Terak. They are, moreover, the most obedient, sober, and vigorous^ 
of the different tribes found about the Caucasus, They are gene- 
rally called upon to furnish the army with carts, whenever stores 
and provision are to be transported to various points of the Caucasus. 
The crossing of the Terak occupied two days, and it would have 
lasted two weeks, had not the military, intrusted with the care of the 
convoy, displayed the utmost activity. 

The province of the Tchetchenkis commences, at this point, im- 
mediately on crossing the Terak. It is inhabited by a fierce -and 
unmanageable people, the greatest part of whom are freebooters, 
and of whom more hereafter. Their capital is called Andreiew, or 
Andreiewsky, where, we learned, the Russian troops had established 
their head-quarters, after having completely routed the mountaineers. 
As we were obliged to proceed at the same pace with the buffaloes, 
our march was naturally slow ; but the picturesque views which the 
country offered at every step compensated in some measure for the 
tediousness of our journey. Towards the close of day we arrived 
with this singular caravan at a redoubt -(not far from a small village 
called Aksai), which was but a little time back the most advanced 
fortified post in this province. The commandant of the redoubt 
invited, several of us to take our punch with him, and received us in 
a subterraneous place where he said he bad lived for several years 
without his health ever having suffered from it. All those under 
his orders inhabited similar places, so that no other dwellings were 
seen above, but the tents belonging to the battalions we marched 
with. 

On the 6th at day-break, we commenced our march through a 
country, to the beauty and variety of which no pen could ever do 
justice ; and on the following day, towards evening, we approached 
Andreiewsky. Before reaching the city, the troops halted and sud* 
denly formed, when I found that the general-in-chief Yermolow had, , 
unaccompanied by any one, advanced on foot to meet this column. 
As all the troops of head-quarters, the officers on the staff, and the 
general-in-chief himself, were bivouacking before Andreiewsky, the 
battalions which had just arrived also pitched their tents there. I 
waited till the following day to present myself to the .man whom I was 
most anxious to know ; and meantime profiting by the kind invita* 



i 



DON JUAN VAN HALES. 



237 



tion of the major of one of the regiments with whom I came, I spent 
the night in his tent. 

The cannon announced the dawn, and I then beheld from the 
camp, which stood on an elevated spot, one of the most splendid 
sights I had evergeen, formed on one side by Andrei'ewsky, and on 
the others by fertile valleys and picturesque mountains. The body 
of officers with whom I had performed the last stages of my journey, 
and myself went to present ourselves to the general at six o'clock, 
the hour appointed on the preceding night for our visiting him. The 
tent of the general was what is called in the country a kivitka. It 
is in the form of a dome : the lower part is composed of a sort of 
trellis-work in wood, very light but solid, about five feet high ; the 
top is made of rather thick osiers ; and the whole is covered with a 
thick impenetrable cloth, manufactured in the country. It had a 
door on one side, and a sliding window on the other. Its diameter 
was between twenty-five and thirty feet. 

On our drawing near, an aid-de-camp of Yermolow came out 
to meet us, and conducted us to the general's kivitka, which was 
furnished with a camp-bed, a table, and two chairs. Yermolow 
embraced the chiefs and officers with whom he was acquainted, and 
who had made with him^he last campaign against Napoleon, and 
afterwards addressed himself to the whole circle, in the middle of 
which he stood in that martial attitude by which he is so much dis 
tinguished, entering at* some length into the subject of the present 
war, and making humdrous comparisons between the French cam- 
paign and that of the Caucasus, as well as on the diversity of objects 
offered by each. During his discourse, I observed the countenances 
of those by whom he was surrounded (among whom were officers 

' of great merit), and it gave me pleasure to see that they were ex- 
pressive of sincere attachment and respect; sentiments which, 

- among the military class, are entertained only for those who, in the 
midst of bivouacs, lavish the noblest sacrifices to their country. < 

Yermolow appeared to be about forty years of age. He is a very 
tall man, but well proportioned ; has a vigorous constitution, and 
an animated countenance, the expression of which at once stamps 
him as a man of superior mind. When he received us, he wore a 
military frock-coat with a red standing collar, epaulettes, and the 
riband of the order of St. George at the button-hole. On his bed 
lay a sabre, and a foraging cap, which completed his usual campaign - 
dress. When the officers retired, hemotioned me to remain. I had 
observed him sufficiently to be convinced that I mi^ht dispense with 
delivering my letters of recommendation to him, unless he himself 
alluded to them. The general, after congratulating me on my safe 
arrival, and welcoming me to bead-quarters, entered upon the sub- 
ject of my regiment, which he represented as being in the best pos- 
sible condition, though in a state of inactivity, owing to the kind of 

^warfare in which his army was at present engaged, in a mountainous 



238 NARRATIVE OF 

country, where no regular cavalry troops could be employed to ad* 
vantage, the country itself furnishing such horsemen as they stood 
in need qfc I expressed a wish to render myself .more useful, and 
took my leave of him, having first received an invitation to dine with 
him on that day* 

I then proceeded to the tent of the chief of the staffi €toaer*l 
WillkasinofE with whom I remained but a short time* and to wfeotn 
1 dettvored a letter from has friend, the sub-chief of the staff, Mr. 
Mentchikoff, after which I repaired to die tent of my comrade of 
bivouac, who, with several other officers, had also been invited to 
dine with Yermolow. 

Three days before our arrival at Andreiewsky, a victory had bean 
obtained over the united forces of the country, commanded by one 
of their princes, who, abandoning in his defeat the camp and the 
capital, the wounded and the dispersed, had retreated with the re- 
mains of his army into the almost impenetrable fastnesses of die 
mountains. The capital, which is said to contain more thsm twenty 
thousand inhabitants, all Mahometans, had been entirely evacuated 
by the people at the approach of an enemy whom they bad so 
greatly exasperated. A priest and a few old men, who had taken 
refuge in a mosque, were the only persons found in the city. 

Yermolow issued orders for the troops to bivouac before the city, 
at the same time strictly forbidding any soldiers to enter it, and 
causing his conciliatory intentions to be made known to the fright- 
ened inhabitants, through the medium of the did men who had 
been found in the mosque. This invitation, joined to the number- 
less inconveniences they were exposed to in the mountains, pro- 
duced the desired effect, and the wanderers very soon begaa to re* 
turn to their homes. ' , 

On the morning after our arrival, orders were given to some bat- 
talions to occupy the city, and* the head-quarters transferred their 
residence fropn their kivitki to a tower* contiguous to the mosque, 
and situated on the most elevated spot of the city, before which 
several field-pieces were placed, more with a view to intimidate 
than for any hostile purpose ; for it was observed that, among the 
families who returned, there were scarcely any men, a circumstance 
which proved either mistrust or warlike intentions. 
. The dinner invitations of General Yermolow during a campaign 
are perfectly unceremonious ;. indeed, so much so, that the gnesfs 
are often ignorant of the precise dinner-hour. In our way to the 
general's quarters, my comrade and myself, wishing to see some- 
thing of the city, walked through several streets, in one of which 
we observed two women looking out of a balcony, and earnestly 
beckoning to us. We were the more surprised at their appearance, 
as we believed that the Mahometan women of the Caucasus, Hke 

* In Aila the houses of noblemen are called towtn. 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 2S> 

those of Persia, were strictly confined to the interior of their 
houses, or that, at all events, they never went unveiled, a custom 
which we found was not general among the inhabitants of the Cau- 
casus. We, however, entered the house, and saw in the court two 
Russian grenadiers, who, by a mistake of their corpora), had taken 
their quarters here, and whose presence was the cause of the in- 
quietude manifested by the two ladies, who, with an old man, were 
the only inhabitants of the house. While the soldiers were ex- 
plaining these things to us, they appeared at the top of the stairs, 
end again renewed their invitation by violent gesticulations. On a 
nearer approach, we guessed by their age that they were mother and 
daughter. The former, who still preserved much of the freshness 
and beauty of youth, wore very wide trowsers, a short tunic, and a 
veil, which fell in graceful folds on her back, while round her neck 
she had some valuable jewels, though badly mounted. With re- 
spect to the daughter, who was scarcely fifteen years of age, she 
was so extraordinarily beautiful, that both my companion and my- 
self remained awhile motionless and struck with admiration. Never 
in my life have I seen a more perfect form. Her dress consisted of 
a short white tunic almost transparent, fastened only at the throat 
by a clasp. A veil, negligently thrown over one shoulder, permit- 
ted part of her beautiful ebony tresses to be seen. Her trowsers 
were of an extremely fine tissue, and her socks of the most delicate 
workmanship* The old man received us in a room adjoining the 
staircase: he was seated on the carpet, smoking a small pipe, 
according to the custom of the inhabitants of the Caucasus, who 
cultivate tobacco. He made repeated signs to us to sit down, that 
is to say, in the Asiatic manner, a posture extremely inconvenient 
for those who like ourselves wore long and tight trowsers, whilst 
the two beautiful women on their side earnestly seconded his re- 
quest. We complied " with it, though it was the first time that 
either of us had made the essay. The ladies, having left the room 
for a moment, returned with a salver of dried fruits, and a beverage 
made of sugar and milk ; but 1 was so much engaged in admiring 
their personal attractions, that I paid but little attention to their pre- 
sents. It appeared to me an inconceivable caprice of nature U> 
have produced such prodigies of perfection amidst such a rude and 
barbarous people, who value their women less than their stirrups* 
My companion, who like myself was obliged to accept of their re- 
freshments, remarked to me, whilst the old man was conversing 
with them, what celebrity a woman so transcendently beai^tiful as 
the daughter was, would acquire in any of the capitals of Europe, 
had she but received the benefits of a suitable education. '* 

Having remained with them a short time, during which they re- 
peatedly expressed their alarm at the sight of the military, who 
were seen about the streets, we endeavoured to quiet their appre- 
hensions, and recommending the soldiers to protect them from any 



n 



240 ' NARRATIVE OF 

insult, we left the house, to 'which I should often have returned* 
during my sojourn at Andreiewsky, had it not been that we were 
total strangers to each other's manners. We learned afterwards* 
that this family were not Mahometans, but belonged to those Jews 
who had settled many centuries back in the Caucasus. 

As we proceeded through the streets, we met numerous families 
returning to their homes, among whom we saw many beautiful 
figures half veiled. As Andreiewsky is the only manufacturing 
town of the Tchetchenkis, and the wealthiest, the fear of haying, 
their houses plundered induced the inhabitants to return to the city ; 
for, although the Russian soldiery are always objects of hatred to a 
Mussulman, as they have the reputation of never exercising the 
violences and outrages so common among these barbarous nations, 
the male population of the city, though as jealous of their women 
as the rest of the Asiatics, sent them first, deferring till the last 
moment their own return, which they believed would prove fatal to 
them ; the assassinations, robberies, and cruelties of every kind 
which they had hitherto committed with impunity, strongly exciting 
their apprehensions. 

On reaching the general's quarters, we found that the dinner had 
been ready an hour ; but as he was on this day engaged in preparing 
his despatches for the Emperor, in which he usually gave the most 
circumstantial accounts of the operations of his army, we still 
found time to spare. General Yermolow, usually called by his 
Christian name, Alexis Petrowitch,* is always his own secretary, 
confidant, and counsellor. According to the opinion of several 
distinguished persons of the capital, his confidential correspondence 
with the Emperor Alexander is of the highest interest, as it is re- 
plete with sublime sentiments, patriotic views, disinterested advice, 
and impartiality ; this modern Belisarius having no other ambition 
than the true prosperity of his country, and the splendour of jus 
sovereign's throne. 

While this indefatigable chief was thus engaged in his numerous 
duties, I walked with several officers in the garden ^belonging to the 
tower, which, being on an elevated situation, commanded many 
fine prospects. In passing through the dining-room I observed at 
the head of the table a plate of soup which was quite cold, and I 
was informed that the general never ate any thing hot, his dinner 
being usually served long before he sat down. In the mosque 
which is contiguous to the tower, and in which an obstinate resist- 
ance was made by the enemy, I picked up some parchments from 
Mecca, to make a present to the Jesuit of Mozdok. 

On our return to the' dining-room, I saw many more guests than 

* The Russians, whatever be their rank, caU each other by their Christian names ; 
thus, if even a drummer has' occasion to mention the general in chiefs name, he 
always says, Akxei Petrowitch, which in Russian means Alexia son of Peter. 



\ DON JUAN VAN HALKN, 24 i 

seats, a circumstance which I was told was very common, as Yer- 
molow received without any formality or etiquette whoever wished 
to make one at his table. But the servants easily supplied the want 
of seats, by placing on each side of the table wooden benches, 
which had been made by the soldiers, such articles of furniture 
being never used by the Asiatics. We were all waiting for the 
general to take our seats,, (as the military etiquette of the Russians 
requires that every one should take bis seat according to his rank,) 
when he entered, and having saluted us all with- usual good humour, 
and without making any distinction, took his seat at the side of the 
table, and inviting some of the chiefs to sit near rrim, he requested 
the major and myself to sit at the head of the table. 

Opposite to Yermolow was General Wiiliaminoff; the rest of 
the quests sat down without any distinction. The general had 
finished his dinner before we had scarcely begun ours. He con- 
versed familiarly with every one, and spoke to me of my journey 
from the capital, saying, that I was perhaps the first Spaniard who 
in our times had visited the Caucasus. In speaking of Spain he 
said, " It seems that in your country, people are sent to the Inqui- 
sition tambour battant; but how did you, major, succeed in slipping 
oat with the same facility ?" I replied, "A pas de charge, which 
alone could prove successful with the Inquisitors." He laughed, 
and treated the matter humorously, afterwards taking part in die 
conversation of General Wiiliaminoff, who spoke of Llorente's work, 
on which Yermolow made many excellent observations. This was 
the first and last time that he ever spoke to me of Spam. 

After dinner, wef walked up and down before the tower, the 
general every moment inquiring of the persons whom he employed 
for the purpose, what number of families had returned from the 
mountains, in which he seemed to take a great interest. I thought, 
from all that I had heard respecting the treacherous character of 
the inhabitants of Asia, that General Yermolow appeared too care- 
less of his personal safety, by absenting himself from us, and ven- 
turing' beyond the reach of a sentry accompanied only by some of 
the country people, probably spies, who like the rest of the inhabit- 
ants of the Caucasus, never part with their daggers even in their 
sleep. I made this remark to some of the officers, who replied* 
that the general trusted so much to the respect which he inspired 
even to his most inveterate enemies, that he never thought of 
danger ; and he was moreover persuaded, that were he to act other- 
wise, he would lose much of the prestige he enjoyed among a peo- 
ple, who prize nothing so highly as personal courage. 

Yermolow spends most of his afternoons in active occupations, 
and generally in the company of the young aid-de-camps, whom he 
takes a pleasure in forming ; but to none of whom he ever shows 
the least partiality, which frequently excites jealousy, and spreads 
disunion among the officers of an army. His orders, whether writ* 

Hh 



1 



248 NARRATIVE OF 

tea or verbal, are intrusted by him to the one who happens to be 
near his person. 

I have learned from persons who have known General Yermolow 
from his youth, that he always took the greatest pleasure in literary 
pursuits, and is deeply read in the classics, ft is not surprising 
then if, with his studious habits, he should detest both drinking and 
gambling, the last of which, so difficult to repress among his coun- 
trymen, he never tolerates. Indeed, it is the only thing in which 
he is intolerant, particularly if he feels any esteem for the person 
addicted to this vice. 

In the evening, when the friends who form his society withdraw, 
and his occupations permit it, he returns to his books and papers ; 
and as he never uses a watch, he seldom quits his studies till the 
sentry stationed near his wipdow, who is purposely placed there by 
his friends, reminds him of the lateness of the hour, by the noise he 
makes when he is relieved. He then throws himself on his couch, 
and before the cannon announces the daw, he is already on foot 
and visiting the camp. Such is the invariable conduct of a man bear* 
ing the weight of a multitude of cares, fatigues and responsibility, 
in the most extensive and complicated government of the Russian 
empire, especially at a time when its southern frontiers are in a state 
of insurrection. To treat the soldiers as if they were his own 
brothers ; to spare their blood as much as possible, and ensure and 
consolidate their successes ; to make himself loved and respected 
by all those under his orders ; to be neither rash nor timid, as says 
the Latin motto of his coat of arms ; — such is Alexei Petrowitch 
to his friends and his enemies. 

The baneful influence exerted by Russia in the affairs of my 
unhappy country, and the total impossibility of my again finding «n 
asylum in that empire, must render unsuspected the sentiments 
which I here avow, and which are dictated only by a regard for truth 
and impartiality, and by the respect I feel for a man whose public 
and private virtues render him an object of general esteem and 
admiration, except only to a few envious courtiers, inimical to the 
Hue interests of their country. 



ii 



j 



^ 



r 

i 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 24$ 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

Jtaasjan embassy to Persia— Houseein Kouli-Kban, Sardar of Erivan— Politic conduct 
of Yermolow in Persia— Hit disregard of etiquette at the court of Persia— Recep- 
tion of the Russian embassy by the Shah— Picture of this magnificent scene-VTbe 
Kasbek and Elborus, mountains of the Caucasus — Description of the chain of moun- 
tains—Character ot the mountain tribes— Their lore of war and pillage— -The 
Lesghis— Barbarous habits of the Tchetchenkis— Their poniards— The Assethnans 
— Hermits— Kabardines, actirity of this tribe in warfare — Lesghi Tartars— Their 
country described — Frontier provinces of Russia— Benefits accruing to the popu- 
lation of the Caucasus by the extension of the Russian power. 

The extraordinary embassy sent by the emperor Alexander,, 
after the European campaigns of 1813 and 1814, to the Shah of 
Persia, for the purpose of consolidating the late treaties of peace 
between the two potentates, was the real or supposed motive of 
General Yermolow's removal from St. Petersburgh. The interest- 
ing details of this mission are sufficiently known : they have been 
published by an officer who was an eye-witness, and who, having 
been my tent-companion, was on intimate terms with me. From 
him therefore, and from several other officers who formed part of 
this embassy, I have learned every circumstance connected with it ; 
so that I hope I shall not be taxed With presumption, if I here point 
out certain errors into which some foreign writers have fallen (whe- 
ther intentionally or not is best known to themselves) respecting 
the personal conduct of the ambassador, and that of the favourite 
of the Shah Housseln Kouli-Khan, Sardar of Erivan. 

It is said that Yermolow required of this prince, even with a 
degree of insolence, that he should render him the same honours as 
were due to the Shah himself, a request to which Kouli-Khan ac- 
ceded. They add, that the Russian ambassador, disregarding the 
ancient usages, so rigorously adhered to by the ambassadors of other 
great nations who had preceded him, abruptly refused to subscribe 
to them, though, it is asserted, that the etiquette at the court of 
Persia in appearing before the Shah, of taking off the boots or shoes 
instead of the hat, assuming a different constume, more or less ridi- 
culous in the eyes of a European, sitting on the ground, &c, is 
held by the Persians as sacred. And it is further affirmed, that the 
conduct of the ambassador was not only contrary to the pacific 
intentions of Alexander, but goading to the Persian court, and 
greatly calculated to prevent a sincere reconciliation. 

Houssein Kouli-Khan is the hero of Persia. The epithet of hero 
bears different significations according to the opinions of men and 
the customs of each country, The principal exploits of Kouli- 
Khan, however, consist in having committed the greatest horrors* 



•f 



\ 

\ 



£44 NARRATIVE OF. 

tne most prominent of which is his having put out the eyes of several 
l 5 princes, to secure the crown for his present master. This hero, 

-J very naturally enjoys the confidence of his sovereign, and who also 

: J possesses great influence on the mind of Abbas Mirza, the presump- 

'] ti*B heir to the throne, is the chief of the regular army of Persia. 

} But notwithstanding his constant intercourse with French and Eng- 

I lish officers, who have at different times undertaken to organize and 

instruct his troops, Kouli-Khan has not, nor ever will have, the least 
knowledge of the military art. To be more rash than valiant ; to 
manage a horse at the age of fifty-six as skilfully as the best horse- 
man in Persia ; constantly to be urging the Shah to. a war with 
Russia, and when defeated to conclude a peace with the firm reso- 
lution of exciting to revolt, by the basest means, the tribes of the 
Csfucasus, and of other provinces which form the boundaries of the 
empire ; to abandon himself to every excess in voluptuousness and 
intemperance, to such a degree as to fall asleep in the presence of 
a diplomatic body, and that in open contravention to the divine laws 
of his religion,— are the public and private qualifications that re- 
commended Kouli-Khan to the ambassador Yermolow. 

It is a fact, that this general caused that proud hero of Persia, 
who boasted of bending his head only to the sun and his master, to 
come out and receive him, and that he thereby experienced a humi- 
liation which in Persia is now used as a taunting proverb ; but 
Yermolow knew, that the most effectual means of bringing about 
the reconciliation desired by the Emperor Alexander, was by treating 
- the base flatterers and perfidious intriguers with whom he was going 
to negotiate in the manner he adopted. He knew, that the humi** 
liation he subjected this favourite to, would heighten in the fantastical 
imaginations of the Persians the Russian power, which is the only 
Conciliatory means that can be used with those destructive hordes, 
who never hesitate an instant in violating their treaties. Those 
however who know the personal character of Yermolow, and who 
are well acquainted with every circumstance connected with that 
embassy, know also that this general only adopted that conduct, 
which is indeed contrary to his real character, after very mature 
consideration ; and that he never made a parade of arrogance and 
haughtiness in Persia, as many other ambassadors have done in 
nations which are not in Asia. 

On General Yermolow arriving at the court of the Shah, be de- 
clared, previous to the solemn audience which that prince was to 
grant him, that neither he nor any one belonging'to his suite could, 
in thejr character of military officers of Russia, subscribe to take off 
any part of their uniform, or in other words, submit to the Asiatic 
ceremony of taking off their boots, nor assume a cloak, however 
rich, or any other kind of foreign dress ; nor, being a European, sit 
on the ground, as had been done by others through mere conde- 
scension. There is no doubt that this declaration wounded the 



"7 *~ 



DOS JUAN VAJji HALE$> 24B 

pride and deep-rooted fanaticism of the court of Persia, and that 
there were not wanting persons in it who construed it as a direct 
insult ; yet General Yermolow was never made acquainted with the 
repugnance it created, though they endeavoured to obtain his consent 
to their wishes by employing flattery and cunning, the characteristic 
features of this nation. The time for the audience having arrived, 
the Shah received the ambassador according to the declaration made 
by the latter, and with all the pomp and magnificence displayed by 
those sovereigns on the most solemn occasions. .The general and 
his suite entered with their boots and spurs on, according to Rus- 
sian etiquette, without regarding whether the carpets of the Shah 
were richer than those in the palaces of their sovereign. The gene- 
ral was conducted to a richly embroidered arm-chair, the first article 
of this kind of furniture which had ever been seen in, this place, and 
which proves that the repugnance on the part of the Shah could not 
h^ave been so great, since he -himself had ordered that seat to be 
made, and placed therefor the ambassador, in honour to the august 
prince he represented. 

I have seen the original picture taken on this occasion, in which 
the Shah is represented sitting according to the Eastern manner, his 
dress adorned with the finest diamonds and precious stones, some 
of which are concealed by his long black beard, so celebrated 
throughout Una empire. On each side of the throne are seen 
standing bis numerous children, symmetrically placed according to 
their size ; opposite to him ate some of his ministers, and at about 
the distance of twenty paces is the ambassador sitting in the splen- 
did arm-chair, with his hat in his hand, surrounded by his numerous 
suite, all of them standing. On the left of the Shah, not far from 
the throne, are four lictors, armed with their hatchets, and standing 
beside a large basin of water, where fall the heads of those victims 
whom the Shah often capriciously condemns by an almost imper- 
ceptible sign to the lictors, whose presence appeared to be an inte- 
gral part of this day's ceremony. During this audience the Shah 
lavished on the ambassador the most extravagant and fulsome com- 
pliments, comparing him to the sun and to the planets ; he conferred 
on the whole of the Russian legation the Persian order of the sun, 
and decorated the general with the cordon of this order, giving him 
among other presents the richest plaque in turquoises and diamonds 
that was ever presented by him. 

Though the treaties which gave rise to this embassy were then 
ratified by the Shah, the perfidious conduct of Persia, in great mea- 
sure, invalidated them ; and General Yermolow, who was imme- 
diately after that mission invested with the chief command of the 
army of Georgia, has met with many obstacles in the way of their 
execution. Without entering into details which would lead me far 
beyond my limits, I shall in the sequel say sufficient to prove, that 
the court of Persia never intended to observe those treaties, not* 



A 



2,4b iNARRATIVE OF 

withstanding the assurances of the agents* whom they are con- 
tinually sending to Teflis, and even to St. Peteraburgh, to 'justify 
their insidious conduct. 

To return now to the subject of the Caucasus. This prodigious 
barrier between Europe and Asia offers on every side the most va- 
ried and picturesque scenery. The two principal mountains which 
crown this extensive chain, are the Kasbek, rising in the form of a 
sugar-loaf, and eternally covered with snow, and Elborus, which is a 
few leagues to the east from the former. The breadth of this chain 
differs considerably ; but, even in its narrowest part, it is more than 
two hundred wersts across. There is a valley in its eastern part, 
called by the ancients Porta Cumana, which is above one hundred 
and fifty wersts in extent. From both sides of the Caucasus flow a 
great number of streams, which fertilize and embellish the country 
through which they wind their course, and which, as they unite, form 
considerable rivers. The mineral waters of these mountains are as 
abundant as they are efficacious in their virtues. 

Nearly a million of men, capable of bearing arms in their kind 

of warfare, inhabit these mountains. Children only twelve years 

of age are often seen participating in the dangers and rapine of their 

fathers, while others of fourteen, already disabled by their wounds, 

• are confined to their houses. 

These mountaineers are divided into various tribes, differing in 
language, customs, and religion. Independence would be their 
idol, were they in a more advanced state of civilization ; and were 
the internal dissensions to which they are constantly a prey, and 
which their fiery passions help to foment, to cease. But hitherto the 
characteristic marks of these tribes, more or less savage, are, a love 
of arms, and a decided inclination for pillage and assassination. Every 
thing concurs to prove, that these people, divided among themselves, 
and having an inveterate hatred of each other, have been strangers 
to the benefits of peace from the most remote periods of antiquity. 
They attack with a fury and impetuosity unknown even to the most 
warlike nations, and resist with the utmost desperation, often in their 
defeat biting off their tongues through rage at the disappointment. 
Vengeance, however, is the predominant passion of these moun- 
taineers, who, if before dying they should have been unable to gratify 

* During ay residence in the Russian capital a Khan, sent by the Shah with 
*everal presents for the Emperor, arrived there. This personage received many 
civilities from several persons of the court, and was invited to their fetes, at one of 
which, given by an aid-de-catnp of the Emperor, I was present. The customs of 
his country were so strictly observed towards him on this occasion, that every thing 
he could possibly desire had been anticipated. His entertainer presented me to him, 
believing that since he was shortly to return to his country we might possibly travel 
together, and I had afterwards many opportunities of seeing him. It was evident 
from the tenor of his conversation that fear alone, which he disguised underthe 
name of respect for General Termolow, was the true origin of his mission. I» &!f 
of my visits to him he presented me with a pair of Persian embroidered boot*, which 
I sent as a remembrance to General Afina, who was then an emigrant in Jtori* 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 247 

it, bequeath it in their last agonies to their children or their nearest 
relations, and this bequest is considered by them as a divine precept. 

The Caucasian, impelled by his love for pillage, which indeed is 
his only means of support, follows the first bold chief who raises 
the war cry. In the ardour of his impetuous attack, he is seen 
confounded with his leader, and sharing all his dangers ; but, like 
the corsairs, if he reap no real profit by his excursion, if he lose 
all hope of booty ; he abandons him with as much indifference as 
he showed eagerness to follow him. Always uncertain of his own 
existence, he is a stranger to the pleasures of domestic life. Pas- 
sionately fond of his personal independence, he is not linked by 
any moral feeling to those beautiful women with whom he lives, 
nor to the innocent children to whom he has given being. The 
greatest part of the inhabitants of the Caucasus never conceal their 
women from public view, whatever be the religion they profess ; (a 
custom so rigorously observed in Persia, and in some provinces 
which at present belong to Russia ;) on the contrary, they are indif- 
ferent about it, for they value them less than their horses. Hence 
when old age or infirmity compels them to abandon their career, 
the eldest son immediately takes possession of his father's arms and 
accoutrements, which descend from generation to generation, whilst 
the invalid veteran selects the darkest corner of the house, where he 
awaits the approach of death with a stoicism which would be very 
commendable, were it not the result of his uncivilized state. 

The population of the Caucasus has been increased at five differ- 
ent epochs. The Lesghis, who from the remotest period of time 
have inhabited that country, and who still preserve their pristine 
manners, inhabit, at the present day, the most prosperous provinces 
of the Caucasus. The Georgians, the.Monguls, the Arabs, and 
lastly the Tartars, are the others who have successively contributed 
to its population. Some of the inhabitants are still idolaters, a few 
Christians, and the majority Mahometans. 

The princess of Georgia Tamar, interested in the destiny of 
these tribes, succeeded in introducing the Christian religion among 
several of them ; but, some centuries after, when the Mahometans 
carried every where their victorious arms, Christianity gradually 
became extinct, and only a few ruins of churches now remain. 
The rest transmitted from one to another their respective religions, 
which they still preserve unchanged. The Scotch missionaries, who 
some years ago visited the Caucasus with the view of propagating 
the Christian religion, did not obtain the favourable result which 
they had anticipated ; neither have the efforts of the Jesuits been 
more successful. 

The Tchetchenkis are, of all the tribes of the Caucasus, the most 
addicted to pillage. Their houses are generally very uncomfortable 
hovels ; a skin spread before the "fire serves them for a bed, and 
their food consists of an indigestive kind of bread scarcely baked- 



TV! 



24H 2IAMATIV& OF 

upon heated stones, and of meat which they eat almost raw. When 
a Tehetchenki gets any brandy, which he only obtains by plunder, 
as none is ever made in this country, he is so enraptured with it, that 
he believes himself, transported into a paradise of delights. He 
drinks tiH he is intoxicated, and then all the other excesses follow. 

His predatory life does not allow him to devote any of his time to 
agriculture ; and the manufactures of the capital consist only of sock 
articles as are necessary for the warfare in which he is constantly 
engaged. Hence nothing else is seen there but arms, ammunition, 
horse-accoutrements, &c. ; the lace and other ornaments of the , 
dresses of the chiefs and nobles being worked by the women. A 
little barley, scarcely any wheat, some tobacco, and a great quantity 
of onions, constitute the whole produce of their agricultural labours ; 
nature, which is here so prodigal of its bounties, bestows the rest 
Whilst the men are engaged in hunting, or in their freebooting ex- 
cursions, or in rioting in every excess, far from their homes, to 
which they seldom return without some spoils, or a human prey, 
who is obliged to drag his wretched existence in slavery; their 
women occupy themselves in the household affairs, and in the care 
of their children. 

The Tchetchenkis are commonly of a lower stature than the 
Tartars, who inhabit the other side of the mountains ; but they are • 
equally robust and cunning. Their weapons consist of a gun, a 
pistol, a poniard, and sometimes a sabre. The lance and the arrow 
are not common among these mountaineers, these arms being chiefly 
used by the inhabitants of the plains. As they are in the habit of 
never parting with their weapons, especially with their poniard, 
which night and day they have at their side, the manner of wearing 
it marking the degree of martial elegance among them, their usual 
attitude, even at home, is to be grasping its hilt. This weapon is 
the most dreadful of any used by these men. The smallest bkute 
is afoot and a half long, and has two edges, so very sha#p, that it 
might serve the purpose of a razor. The greatest part of the blade 
is impregnated with a venomous composition which renders every 
wound mortal. In eases where their ruin appears inevitable, they 
either plunge the poniard in their own bosoms or throw it with great 
skiH at their nearest adversary. 

The costume of all the northern tribes of the Caucasus is sfarita* 
to that of the Circassians or Tcherkesses. 

The Assetkrians ate not such a freebooting race as the Tchet- 
chenkis ; but, according to the report of persons who know them 
well, they, if possible, surpass ail others in rancour and revenge ; 
of which the following is a specimen. An Assetinian, whose ftther 
had been murdered while he was still an infant, avenged his father s 
death on the assassin, as soon as he found himself strong enoog^^, 
cope with his adversary ; and, having thus gratified his ^^t?l 
revenge, carried to Me home the orphan child of the man W "*« 



\ 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. . 24& 

sacrificed, and intrusted it to the eare of his wife. This child, who 
was then but a few years old, grew up in the house of his self-con- 
stituted tutor, whose blood he then spilt £o avenge the death of his 
father. 

The Assetinians cultivate rice, which is their principal food. 
Their houses, customs, &c. are the same as those of the Tchet- 
chenkis. Their arms are still finer, and are bequeathed from father 
to son as the most sacred inheritance ; hence the great antiquity of 
those which have frequently been taken from them in the field of 
battle. If the rapacity of the Persians, and their predilection for 
the women of these countries, had not caused the frightful scenes 
of which till the present time Georgia has been the theatre, and 
obliged its princes to place themselves under the protection of a 
Christian Empire, they might, being in good intelligence with the 
Georgians and the Assetinians, who are in possession of all the de- 
files of the Caucasus, have rendered fruitless any attempt on the 
part of Russia to cross this barrier, whatever might have been the 
force employed to attain it. On the summit of the highest rocks, 
particularly in the country of the Assetinians, and where it seems 
impossible for any human being to climb, live some hermits, of dif- 
ferent religions, in the cavities of the rocks ; but where they, by no 
*** means spend a life of abstinence, as their superstitious countrymen 
place within their reach all sorts of provisions, andYeed the idleness 
in which these saints live. 

The Assetinians enjoy at present a state of peace, hunting and 
tending of cattle beiag their principal occupations. 

On each side of the military road of Mozdok near the entrance 
of the defiles are two tribes, known by the name of the Great and 
Little Kabarda, professing the Mahometan religion, who are more 
skilful horsemen than the Tchetchenkis, and occupy the Asiatic side 
of the Terak, Their principal arms are a long gun and a sabre. 
Some of their chiefs wear a coat of mail. They make use of the 
gun only in their flight through the plains, when, hooking the bridle 
on the pummel of their saddle, they manage their gun with both 
hands, and, turning on their short stirrups, take so good an aim that 
they seldom fail in hitting the object of their mark at an ordinary 
distance, even at full gallop. 

The country of the Lesghi Tartars, who occupy the greatest part 
of the opposite side of the mountains, extends to a considerable 
distance towards the Daghestan. The generality of these people 
are distinguished by their industrious habits, martial spirit, and the 
prodigious skill and agility with which they manage their horses and 
their arms in the steepest acclivities of the mountains. Their cos- 
tume is the same as the Persians and Georgians. Their character 
is circumspect and reserved, prudent in their popular deliberations, 
zealous in their observance of the law of the prophet, and careful of' 
their women. 

Ii 



'25© XURftATIVB OF 

There- are other tribes extending from the country of the Lesghta 
to the Daghestan. Shirvan and Kara wan are the principal provinces- 
incorporated with the Russian empire,. and forming the limits of 
Persia. 

All these numerous tribes, however, may be divided into three 
classes ; namely, the Tcherkesses, or Circassians, the Kabardines 
and the Tchetchenkis, who occupy the northern side of the Cau- 
casus, the Assetinians, who are on the road to Teflis, and who in 
fact belong to the Georgian family, and the Lesghis, who inhabit 
the eastern side of that chain of mountains* 

With respect to those tribes who are to the west of Mozdok, it 
appears that Russia has- made treaties with the Divan ; but the bad 
faith of the Porte, and still more its own interest, ave the cause that 
these nations still remain in the most deplorable state of barbarism ; 
so that the complete pacification of the Caucasus is a source of 
more trouble and expense to Russia, than might be a triumphal 
entry into Constantinople. Her unremitting efforts to attain this 
object, therefore, are entitled to the praises of the enlightened and 
Christian nations of Europe, as it cannot be disputed that the 
greatest benefit which can be rendered to humanity is to introduce 
civilization into countries whose inhabitants* now wanderers^ now 
slaves, and always at war with each other, perpetually renew, the 
scenes of cruelty of the dark ages, disregard the rights of property,, 
outrage the best feelings of man, tear asunder the closest ties of 
society, and delight only in lasciviousness, plunder, and assassina- 
tion. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

The Russian Army fo Georgia— Military operations— The author gets out for Teflis 
the capital of Georgia— Bad discipline of the Asiatic troops in the Russian service 
—Schalkowskoie— Fogs— Cloaks denominated Bourkas— Military contingents— 
Service by the Cossacs of the Don, and of the Terak— Wine of Kislar— The author 
arrives at Mozdok and revisits the Jesuit Henri— Conversations with the latter- 
Anecdote. 

The Caucasus was still in a state of insurrection, in consequence 
of the late war between Russia and Persia, when General Yermo- 
low was invested with the government of those provinces. The 
regular troops, notwithstanding the annual reinforcement sent to 
the different armies of the empire, did not amount to three com- 
plete divisions. The constant intrigues of the Persians, who, though 
they had subscribed by the late treaty of peace to the cession of 
some of the frontier provinces, still continued to encourage revolts, 
rendered necessary the military occupation of several important 



DON JUAN VAN HAKKN. 251 

points, and consequently fresh additions to the army of Georgia. 
The Emperor Alexander, who according to general opinion wished 
to remove from the centre of his states those soldiers who on ac- 
count -of their residence in France had imbibed notions at variance 
with passive obedience, ordered a great part of the infantry who 
had served under the command of Count WoronzofF to proceed to 
Georgia. 

General Yermolow, who was daily expecting the arrival of these 

.troops, quitted 'Ferns, the capital of Georgia, where he left his second 
in command Lieutenant-general WilliaminofT, brother to the chief 
of the staff, intrusted with the care of this province, and, crossing - 
the Caucasus, undertook in person the first operations against those 

' mountaineers who inhabited the northern side of the Caucasus, and 
whose lawless conduct called for immediate coercion. The plan 
which this general proposed to follow in order to repress their plun^ \ 

dering excursions, protect the troops either stationary or transitory, 
cause the authority, which they themselves should establish, to be 
respected, and shelter their more peaceable neighbours from their 
outrages, was by means of a chain of redoubts and fortresses 
established throughout the country. 

The obstinacy of the Tchetchenkis in persevering in their marau- 
ding system, which their priests fomented by promulgating as a 
divine precept, that God, after the creation of the world, authorized 
the inhabitants of the Caucasus to live at the expense of their neigh- 
hours, and their influence on the Kabardines, with whom they occa- 
sionally unite to attack the Christian colonies who are established 
on the line of the Terak, were the motives that induced General 
Yermolow to commence here his operations. Immediately on his 
arrival at the capital, he ordered that fortifications should be raised, 
not only in front of the city, but in all the principal avenues to the 
mountains, and communicating with the Terak, a measure the more 
necessary, as the troops after the battle which .decided the success 
of his expedition having remained some time at Andreiewsky, and 

, the resources of the country being extremely scanty, all the provi- 
sions were toJ>e brought from the line of the Terak. 

I had already spent three days at Andreiewsky, when the general- 
rn-chief delivered to me some despatches for his second at Teflis, 
from which city I was to proceed to the place where my regiment 
was quartered. A flying column being on the point of proceeding 
on an inferior expedition in my road, under the orders of Count 

» Tolstal, one of Yermolow's aid-de-camps, 1 profited of this oppor- 
tunity and left head-quarters on the evening of the 10th. This 
column was composed of one thousand infantry and three hundred 
horsemen, some of whom belonged to the squadrons contributed by 
the colonies of the Terak, and others were Tcherkesses and Tchet- 
chenkis, who served in the Russian army. Not far from Andreiew- 
sky, after crossing the mountains, there is a vast plain which extendta 



252 NARRATIVE OF , 

without interruption as far as the Terak. Beyond it is a redoubt, 
where we halted for the night. This was the first time I had tra- 
velled with this kind of troops. The most irregular guerillas of the 
army of the Faith in Spain could not be compared with them, so 
great was the disorder, noise, and dispersion of these Asiatics. It 
is impossible they could have been of any advantage, had the ene- 
my not been as undisciplined as themselves. 

The Cossacks of the Terak are most of them commanded, 
during active service, by officers drawn from the regular Russian 
cavalry. When they are with the regular army, their discipline 
and subordination equal those of the Russian soldiers ; but, once 
united with the mountaineers, thefy easily catch the contagion. 
Although I could not understand a word of the mixture of languages 
of these different horsemen,, I could easily perceive that the secret 
of the expedition of this column would not remain long unrevealed 
on their becoming acquainted with it. 

We spent the night in the redoubt, a prey to continual alarms, 
occasioned by the firing of arms, and tumult of these Asiatics. 
In the morning, when the hour of our departure arrived, neither 
the example of the regular troops nor that of the Cosiacks was: 
sufficient to induce them to collect their horses, which, like them" 
selves, were seen running about in all directions. The task of in- 
troducing the European discipline among the Mussulmans is likely 
to prove always unsuccessful, as it is an idea prevalent, not only 
among these tribes, but even among the Tartars and the Persians, 
that the true merit of a warrior consists in his personal courage, 
and that the military tactics of the Europeans are the result of their 
cowardice. Not all the examples and the severe lessons they have 
received are sufficient to convince them of the advantages of dis- 
cipline ; for, when they are defeated, they attribute it to the dis- 
pleasure of Heaven. 

On the 1 1th, at about noon, I parted from the column with eight 
Cossacks, assigned me by the chief of the column for my escort. 
A courier, who was carrying despatches to the Emperor, accompa- 
nied me as far as Schalkowskoie, where we arrived at night-fall. 
He immediately proceeded on his journey, and I passed the night 
at the same house where I had previously lodged. The Russian 
couriers have the rank of officers, and ascend according to their 
merit ; they wear a very simple uniform, and, for the better security 
of the despatches with which they are intrusted, they constantly 
carry, fastened to the chest by means of straps, a leather portfolio, 
with a lock, a key of which is kept at the offices of the ministry. 
They are obliged to travel night and day in a telega. Some cou- 
riers have travelled from the head-quarters of the Caucasus to St, 
Petersburgh in ten days. 

At Schalkowskoie, I met at the house of a Russian lady a young 
(French woman, who had abandoned her home at Nancy, and fol- 






DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 255 

lowed a Russian officer of the number of tho^e who had lately ar- 
rived at the Caucasus, and who had been obliged to leave her at this 
place, far from the field of operations. Notwithstanding her pretty 
figure, her national amiability, and her studied toilet, she by no 
means shone in this country, which may be properly called the nur- 
sery of beauties ; but she took her revenge by saying witty things, 
and making satires oh the rusticity of her rivals. 

I left Schalkowskoie on the following day, with such a thick fog 
as scarcely to permit us seeing our way, and which is very frequent 
on the borders of the Terak. But when a traveller is fortunate 
enough to pass this way on a clear day, the scenery, which shifts at 
every step, presents the most magnificent prospects, varied by the 
numberless configurations of the Caucasus. 

My host of Schalkowskoie had procured me a kind of black 
cloak, called Bourjta, of very thick cloth, truly water-proof, and 
resisting even the cut of a sabre. These cloaks are manufactured 
by the Lesghis, are fastened at the neck by two rings and a hand 
kerchief, or a strap, and are very generally used by the inhabitants 
of the Caucasus, Greorgia, and Persia. They have likewise been 
adopted by the Russians who serve in this country, and are as useful 
in the march as in the bivouac. 

. My escort was composed of four Cossacks, who, accustomed to 
the sudden attacks and ambuscades of the Tc.hetchenkis during the 
fog, proceeded through the forest on each side of me, with their 
gun in hand, ready to fire at the first onset. Having traversed this 
perilous forest without meeting with any accident, we arrived at a 
military station, the commandant of which invited me to breakfast 
with him, and another comrade of his, called Yefimowitch, who had 
just arrived from head-quarters, and with whom I had become ac- 
quainted there. I afterwards continued my journey in the company 
of the latter, conversing on the different objects we had met in our 
travels. 

All the colonists of the Terak, who occupy an extent of land of 
more than a hundred wersts, are formed into squadrons for active 
service, in which they are enlisted from fifteen to fifty years of age. 
Besides the escorts which they are bound to give to the convoys, 
officers, and couriers, as well as other local assistance which they 
must furnish during the passage of troops, in common with all the 
different countries of the empire, such as lodging, firing, &C, they 
are bound to keep always in readiness the third part of their mili- 
tary force, which is relieved from time to time by an equal number, 
that the agricultural labours and other domestic occupations may 
not be neglected ; for the produce of the general industry is equally 
divided among them all. These Cossacks, moreover, furnish to the 
troops on >the eastern side of the Caucasus a contingent of one or 
wo squadrons per quarter. ' * 
General Yermolow, well aware of the advantages which may be j 



•4 



» 



vm*^^<^ 



S54 NARRATIVE OF 

obtained from the good dispositions of these new colonists, axut 
'wishing to increase the artillery, caused some companies of Cossacks 
to be formed, whose services I shall have hereafter an opportunity 
of mentioning. 

The Cossacks* of the Terak when they are in active service re- 
ceive a small pay, with which they manage to live and keep their 
horses. Here they build and repair their own houses, as well as 
those of their officers and chiefs,' which are all constructed of 
wood, the neighbourhood furnishing a great abundance. When 
provisions are to be transported in great quantities, the cattle of the 
neighbouring Kalmucks are put in requisition, to avoid the serious 
injury which would otherwise be sustained by a colony which may be 
said to be yet in its infancy. 

The Cossacks of the Terak offer the strongest contrast, by their 
laborious habits, probity, and subordination, to their plundering 
neighbours of the mountains, in whose pacification none are more 
interested than these colonists. All the Tchetchenkis, however, 
who had escaped from the route of Andreiewsky had thrown them- 
selves on that side of the Terak which constitutes the furthest 
limits of their country. Parties of Cossacks were incessantly de- 
tached against them from the opposite bank, who seldom returned 
from their excursions without some trophies or booty. As we pro- 
ceeded on our way, we met at various distances markets of horses 
taken from the enemy, and about noon we arrived amidst this kind 
of fair at a small place twenty wersts from Naur,. where my compa- 
nion Yefimowitch resided, and had some colonists under his orders. 
His house had only one floor ; but the four rooms which it con- 
tained were well distributed, nor was the furniture so contemptible, 
though the greatest part of it had been made by the colonists. His 
attendants served us dinner with as much cleanliness as activity. 
This was the first time 1 remarked the excellent flavour of the wine 
of Kislar, which I had been drinking since my arrival in this country : 
it tastes very like that of Rioja in Spain, which like the former is 
little known to foreigners. During dinner I spoke to this officer 
of the Jesuits of Mozdok, to ascertain from him how they were 
looked upon in the country. Yefimowitch, who, without being a 
Catholic, knew them, passed many eulogies, especially on Father 
Henri, whose virtues and prudent conduct, he said, had gained him 
the esteem of the whole country, giving it as his opinion, that both 
were useful instruments for ameliorating the moral conduct o\ the 
people, particularly as they never meddled with po itics, as most of 
the members of their society are in the habit of don g. 

Having parted from Commandant Yefimowitch before sunset, I 
reached Naur at night, and at day-break set off with my escort for 

* When a Cossack la mentioned, be it of the Don or of the Terak, it is always 
understood to be a man on horseback ; for neither of them ever serves on foot, except 
in his own country, 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 255- 

Mozdok, where I arrived before noon. u What do you bring for me, 
my dear major ?" was the first question Father Henri put to me on- 
my alighting at the door of his dwelling. I answered that 1 brought 
him a curiosity, to which he said he hoped it was not the ears of 
some Tchetchensky ; and when I told him that it was a parchment 
of Mecca which I had taken in the mosque of Andrei'ewsky on pur- 
pose for him, and which, as he knew Arabic, would afford him some 
amusement, he added, " Oh, give it me, give it me ;. I will send it 
with the translation to my superiors as a remembrance from a Ca- 
tholic Spaniard. Well !" continued he after receiving the parch- 
ment, " how do you find Yermolow ?" 

Aware of the import of this question I answered it in the most 
laconic manner. " You little know the camelecyn you have but just 
seen," said he, and then proceeded to relate several political anec- 
dotes relative to the Emperor and this general, and which as I am not 
certain they are true, 1 omit, lie then added, that the only way 
which Alexander could devise to* remove this general from his per- 
son was by bestowing on him the chief command of this army of 
madmen, who, like their chief, would fall victims to the savages 
against whom they were fighting. " Yermolow," he concluded, 
" with all his policy, hates every foreigner, he cannot endure the 
Poles, and, whether heretic or no, he detests the priests. He is 
aware, however, of the benefit which the whole world has 4erived 
from our society ; he himself has owned this a thousand times to me, 
yet were he at St. Petersburgh, like the rest, would contribute to the 
blow which threatens the fathers in Russia, in contempt of the be- 
nefits which the Tzars have received from the Pope." 

It was easy for me to guess the benefits to which Father Henri 
alluded, and I replied, that I could not see the connexion between 
the events of the seventeenth century, and the good or bad qualities 
of General Yermolow. " When you become intimate with the Ca- 
tholic officers who serve in the army of {he Caucasus, you will per- 
ceive your error and agree with me respecting this general." 

Wishing to put an end to this subject, I told him that a foreigner 
Who came to serve in the Russian army ought not to scrutinize the 
private conduct of his chief, as his duties were confined to obedience, 
and the rendering himself useful ; but I could not help expressing, 
some surprise that a man whom every impartial person represented 
as a model of virtue, religion, and hospitality, and who was in fact 
so, should so suddenly overstep his natural modesty when the con- 
versation turned on political matters, which indeed are so foreign to 
the true ministry of a clergyman. To this Father Henri replied, 
with all his French vivacity, " What would become of our society 
were we not to meddle with temporal affairs ? Do you know what 
a French lady said at the time of the Revolution to Buonaparte, 
when he manifested some displeasure at hearing the ladies talk poli- 
tics ? ' When ladies,' said she, 4 lose their heads by the guillotine, 



25b' KARRATIVE OF 

it is high time they should talk politics.' When we are expelled 
from every state, and are to be reduced to the condition of a wan- 
dering tribe, it is high time, major, that the fathers of our society 
should interfere with politics.''' 

On the following day after my arrival at Mozdok, and previous to 
ray departure, Father Henri conducted me to a church which was 
then constructing, and requested me to make him a drawing for the 
altar-piece. To this I acceded with pleasure, adding a small gift 
towards the completion of this edifice, which was all that the mis- 
sionary would accept from me in return for his hospitality. I then^ 
bade him farewell and left Mozdok. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

Appearance of the country near the river Terak — Game — Large Eft lie — Redoubt of 
Elizabeth — The Kabardines — Town and fort of Wladi Caucasus — Pore atmosphere 
— The mountain-passes — Balta — Romantic scenery— Redoubt of Larskoii— Extra* 
ordinary rock and ancient fortress — Darial redoubt in the gorges of the Caucasus- 
Course of the Terak — Mount Kasbek — Avalanches — Village of Kasbek — Kobi — 
Hill of St. Christopher — Descent of the mountains at Kaichaw — River Aragum— 
Perpetual spring — Enchanting valley* of Georgia—- Greek church at Ananar— 
Description of Georgia — Douchet — Meskhet — River Kur — The idol Arraasm — 
Arrival at Teflis. 

• 

Beyond Mozdok, and before crossing the Terak, travellers coming 
from Georgia are obliged to perform quarantine, whilst those coming 
from the south meet on the opposite side with a similar impediment. 
General Yermolow has established several other quarantines as far 
as Teflis and throughout Georgia, with the view of preventing the 
introduction of the plague, which previous to his government had 
frequently been brought to this country by its neighbours, the Turks 
and the Persians. I crossed the Terak in a barge, and arrived early 
in the afternoon at the place of quarantine, where I underwent but 
a slight examination, as no danger was to be apprehended from the 
direction I came. 

From the river Terak to the foot of the Caucasus, there are three 
important military posts ; namely, the redoubt of Constantine, which 
is thirty-three wersts from the river ; that of Elizabeth, twenty-eight 
wersts further ; and the fortress of Wladi Caucasus, twenty- two 
wersts from the last. Every day at dawn a convoy, consisting of 
from a hundred and fifty to three hundred men, and almost always 
with a field-piece, proceeds from one point to the other, a very ne- 
cessary precaution to prevent any audacious attack from the bands 
of Kabardines and Tchcrkesses. who overrun the countrv on eacl' 
Ade of the road. 



♦ DON. JUAN VAN HALfcN. 28$ 

1 left the place of quarantine the next morning with the convoy* 
which did not reach till noon the first redoubt, where I was obliged 
to pass the night, in order to proceed in the same order of march 
on the following day. The troops stationed in these redoubts are 
very well lodged ; and, as these places likewise serve to shelter the 
Armenian merchants and other travellers in their journey through 
this country, there are inns, kept by Russians, or by people of the 
country, which are generally well provided with all sorts of provi- 
sions. The soldiers have, near the redoubts, gardens, which they 
cultivate for their own use ; and, as in every military cantotvnent m 
Russia, vapour-baths, which are much in use among the Russians. 

Between Mozdok and Wladi Caucasus, there are two extensive 
plains, intersected by a long chain of mountains of the second order, 
running almost parallel with the principal chain, and crowned with 
thick forests. From their summit is seen the redoubt of Constan- 
tino, 'and the line of the Terak. Game is so abundant here, that if 
the good order which ought to be observed in a convoy did not pre- 
vent the travellers from shooting, they alone would be able to furnish 
daily sufficient game for the troops of the redoubt. As I was walk* 
ing at a short distance from the vanguard, I observed something 
dark not far off, which I at first believed to be some men in ambush, x 
but which, on a nearer approach, proved to be an immense eagle, 
that did not offer to stir, though we passed within pistol-shot of it. 

The redoubt of Elizabeth, where we arrived on the following day, 
k situated in a plain, the soil of which is less fertile than that of the 
former. The first redoubt constructed by the Russians in this place, 
more than twenty years ago, was taken, after an obstinate resistance, 
by the Kabardines and the Tcherkesses, who reduced it to ruins. 
Near the redoubt are seen at present -some hovels of Kabardines, 
who are living under the protection of the government. Having 
forgotten the key of my portmanteau in the redoubt of Constantine, 
and mentioned it to one of the officers stationed here, he spoke to 
a Kabardine, who offered to bring it to me in a few hours. TJtis 
man presented himself to me on horseback, and wore a white band 
round his flat black cap, which I was told was a distinctive mark of 
a Kabardine priest.* On the following morning, at ^ay-break, the 
key was in my possession ; but the good Mahometan minister, with 
whom I was advised to make no agreement lest he should think I 
mistrusted him, made me pay very dearly for his nocturnal journey. 

Half-way between Elizabeth and Wladi Caucasus, the river 
Terak flows at a short distance from the road. On the banks of 
this river are seen some hamlets of Kabardines, who, though sub- 
mitted to the authority established here, are in the habit of shelter- 

* This same mark is worn among the qther tribes of the Caucasus by the Afutfnd" 
nans who have been at Mecca. 

Kk 




258 NARRATIVE OF 

ing their Marauding countrymen ; a circumstance which renders 
travelling, even in sight of this fortress, unsafe. 

We arrived before noon at Wladi Caucasus, which means, in 
Russian, the empire of the Caucasus, probably because it is the 
gate of the only practicable .passage through these mountains. 
This "town, which is but newly tuilt an a very regular plan, offers a 
striking contrast to the other places in this country. There is a 
military hospitat, very advantageously situated with respect to salu- 
brity ; and, as Wladi Caucasus is the residence of several families 
of empkyes, the society is a great inducement for any officer or 
traveller whose duties do not render his immediate departure neces- 
sary, to make a short stay in this place. The commandant of 
Wladi Caucasus, who is usually a colonel or a major-general, inha- 
bits a house belonging to government, situated in the finest part of 
the town, the walls of which are bathed by the Terak, which is 
again crossed by a wooden bridge. The many forests abounding 
with game, by which Wladi Caucasus is surrounded, the fertility of 
the neighbouring country, and the purity of the atmosphere, all 
contribute to make this city the most agreeable place of residence. 

I left Wladi Caucasus the day after my arrival with an escort of 
twenty infantry and two Cossacks, who accompanied me as far as 
a small Assetinian village called Balta, where there is a redoubt, in 
which I passed the night. 

After crossing the Terak, all the posts as far as the frontiers of 
Persia are served by Cossacks'of the Don, who furnish the army of 
Georgia with several regular squadrons, more or less numerous 
according to circumstances. These men do not only escort the 
travellers, but furnish them with horses, for which they are paid at 
the same rate as if they belonged to the post. In all the stations 
of Gossacks which are without the redoubts, there is a watch-tower, 
built of wood, in which a sentry is always posted to observe the 
surrounding country. From Wladi Caucasus till after crossing the 
defiles and the mountains, the escorts of infantry are relieved at 
short distances, the chain of redoubts maintaining an active com- ' 
municatioh, and contributing to the safety of the road. 

This from the above place to Balta proceeds along the brow of 
the mountains, and will only attract the attention of those who 
have not .seen the Pyrenees or the Alps ; but beyond that redoubt, 
every step offers a prodigy of nature or of art. When the rigour of 
the season, which in the Caucasus lasts from the month of November 
till March, is passed, the usual day's journey is from Balta to Kas- 
bek, a distance of twenty-five wersts. Several small villages 
perched in places almost inaccessible are passed, as well as two re- 
doubts, the first of which is called Larskoi, and the second Darial. 
On descending the height on which Balta stands, the road, the 
construction of which must have cost immense labour, passes 
through steep rocks, among which the Terak flows compressed into 



y 



1>0N JUAN VAN HALEN. 2&d> 

a narrow channel. Beyond it there is a natural arch formed by a 
rock extending eight or ten paces, and as the road proceeds along 
the borders of the impetuous torrent, its foaming waters fall in 
showers, scattering themselves over the road. From this spot is 
seen, on a great elevation, the redoubt Larskoi, beyond which the 
defiles as far as Darial are of such a nature, that a hundred men 
standing on the summits of the inaccessible rocks which form them, 
and hurling down missiles, would suffice to arrest the progress of 
the most formidable army, especially as there is no avenue by which 
those heights might be turned. In many parts of the road the rocks 
meet and form an archway, whose wide, fissures and cleft vaults 
seem as if they would every moment obstruct it. On leaving these 
defiles behind, and before reaching the redoubt of Darial, the Terak 
is again crossed by a bridge. Opposite to the entrance of the defile, 
and within a short distance of the bridge, rises in the middle of the 
river a rock seven hundred feet in height, on the summit of which 
is an old fortress, which for many ages has commanded this passage. , 
By placing on it a few cannon, and destroying the bridge, no human 
power could cross the Caucasus. 

If on one side we are struck with awe at the work of nature, on . 
the other we are no less surprised at seeing built on such a height 
a fortress which was provided with water by an aqueduct, the 
remains of which are still perceivable, and a vaulted road descend- 
ing to the river. On the summit of the rock the soil, which is 
capable of cultivation, would. maintain a garrison of eight hun- 
dred men. ' 

Darial in the Tartar language means a gate, and certainly no 
name could be more appropriate for this place, where the traveller 
is ocularly convinced of the horrible tyranny which Persia must 
have exercised over Georgia to oblige her to cut a passage through 
the Caucasus, in order to communicate with the empire to which 
its provinces now belong. Indeed, General Yermolow has done 
every thing in his power to open a road through the Daghestan ; 
but I shall have an opportunity of mentioning in the sequel the 
serious obstacles which oppose themselves to its execution. 

The commandant of the redoubt Darial, which is not far from 
the bridge, invited me, as a good comrade, to dine with him, and I 
own that had I been able to spend a day in the redoubt without 
inconveniencing him, I should have done so with the greatest plea- 
sure, so intense was my curiosity to see more of this interesting 
country, into which my entry was marked by an eclipse of the 
moon. This coincidence made the deepest impression on my 
imagination, which, excited as it was by the imposing objects that 
eurroifhded me, made me at the moment forget the simple causes 
which originated this partial darkness, and raised a thousand strange 
ideas in my mind. This, when we consider that the sight of the 



r 
i 



1 



260 xtiuutirE op 

Caucasus alone produces on every admirer of nature an almost 
supernatural impression, is by no means extraordinary. 

After DariaF the road offers a different aspect ; but, if possible, 
more imposing. On the right the Terak flows with an astounding 
noise, rendered more frightful by the deep silence that reigns in 
these solitudes, and loudly re-echoed on the left by the rocks, piled 
one above another, and which increage in height as we advanced.' 

Two wersts further the immense mount Kasbek is seen, rising in 
the form of a sugar-loaf, from the summit of which avalanches 
detach themselves almost yearly, and obstruct the road in such a 
manner that only a narrow passage iresembling a cavern is left for 
the 'traveller, and through which one proceeds as over a sheet of 
ice, until within one werst of the place called Kasbek. This kind 
of road offers many obstacles to the artillery, or to any sort of 
vehicle, and is altogether impracticable during the fall of the ava- 
lanches, when the travellers are obliged to pass by means of ropes, 
in the* use of which the Assetinians excel. It is not the pen but 
the pencil that can sketch the extraordinary aspect presented by 
that immense mass of snow furrowed by the waters of the Terak, 
which, dashing themselves from a succession of cascades, keep up 
a continual roaring truly awful in those rocky defiles. 

Although from Darial to Kasbek there is only seven wersts, they 
occupied me four hours, not so much on account of the difficulties 
offered by thevoad, as because my attention was continually attracted, 
either by the enormous precipices, down which the impetuous torrent 
rushed, and whose foam surpassed in whiteness that of the snow by 
which the mountains were covered, or by the diversity of shapes 
presented by the rocks. : 

The' small village of Kasbek is surrounded by meadow-land, which 
affords pasture to the cattle oY the few inhabitants of this place, 
where I found a much better lodging than I expected at the house 
of the late Colonel Kasbek, whose family is one of the most ancient 
pf the* Caucasus ; indeed so ancient, that it derived its name from 
the mountain, and descends from one of the chiefs of the Assetinians. 
This family profess the Greek religion, and the women have all the 
shyness of the Georgian females. They sejit me a bottle of wine 
of their own vintage, which greatly resembled Madeira both in taste 
and colour ; and when I went to present my respects to them and 
thank them for their eivilities, they all ran away, and hid themselves 
as if they saw a ghost. 

My apartment consisted of a saloon, furnished in the European - 
style, and which had been destined by the colonel, who was a man 
much attached to the Russians, fbr the greater convenience of tra- 
vellers. It was altogether detached from the. tower, and did not 
resemble the latter either in the interior or exterior of its apartment*, 
where f could sec the shadows of the women gliding like phantojns 
to and fro. From the window of my salpon I had a full view of the 



r 



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JK)» JUAN TAS HALEJV. 



2 til 



«^ 



mountain Kasbek, whose shining peak, illuminated by the rays of a 
clear moon, permitted me to distinguish, notwithstanding its being 
at the distance of thirty worsts, the snows drifted by the wind, 
which perpetually reigns in those regions, and falling in masses down 
its perpendicular sides. I was here told that an English traveller, 
-having prepared himself with every thing he stood in need of for 
the ascent, succeeded in reaching, accompanied by a guide, about 
the middle -of the mountain ; but, when he attempted to ascend 
higher, the pain he felt in the chest arid ears was so great, that he 
was obliged to content himself with leaving a mark, and retrace his. 
steps. It is asserted that the Kasbek is one of the three highest, 
points of the globe. 

The village of Kasbek contains above three hundred inhabitants, 
the greatest part of whom are shepherds and vassals of the present 
proprietor, the son of the ~ late colonel. The party of Cossacks, 
which is the only troop stationed here, as the inhabitants excite no 
apprehensions, all of them being Christians, are quartered in a 
house contiguous to that of the lord of the village. Hurricanes are 
here very frequent, either on account of the proximity to the moun- 
tain, or of the great elevation on which the village stands. One of 
them was experienced on the night of my sojourn here, and shook 
my apartment so much, that notwithstanding the solidity with which 
it was built, I expected at every moment to be buried under its ruins. 

I left Kasbek on the following morning at day-break, although the 
account I received respecting the state of the road was by no means 
encouraging, and although the rain and the wind were both high, 
and violent. My escort consisted only of six Cossacks belonging 
to this station ; but it was sufficient, as we had no danger to appre- 
hend. The road from the above village to Kobi, which is seventeen 
wersts distant, offers nothing very remarkable, except that the coun- 
try is a little more open. On the right of the road and in a small 
valley stands the redoubt of Kobi, where travellers find tolerably 
good lodgings, and a magazine of provisions, kept by a Russian, 
not very well provided. 

Beyond Kobi is a high mountain, over which the road passes, and 
at the foot of which are some ferruginous Waters, which have re- 
stored to health many persons who in Georgia were thought incura- 
ble. Although we were on horseback, and followed by a small 
escort of infantry accustomed to march jn these places, we spent 
seven hours in performing seventeen wersts, which is the distance 
between Kobi and Kaicbaur. The mountain'we ascended, which 
is called Kristogara, or St. Christopher, is the most elevated point 
the traveller meets in crossing the Caucasus. There is on the 
summit a wooden cross, and a cabin inhabited by an Assetunan 
family. At this point the course of the rivers which flow through 
the valleys of the Caucasus takes an opposite direction. The wind, 
tthicb during the whole day was very high, and which on the top of 



r 



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1 



^ 



2££ NARBAT1VL or 

the mountain blew furiously, gave me a tolerable idea of what *i 
must be in the middle of winter, when, according to the account I 
received from the officers of the redoubt, travelling in vehicles is 
quite impracticable, notwithstanding the excellence of the road, 
which has as much width and solidity as any in the empire. Indeed, 
the whole passage throughout these mountains is so obstructed du- 
ring that season, that the extraordinary couriers sent from Teflis to 
St. Petersburgh, are obliged to make use of ropes and other con- 
trivances to effect their passage through these defiles. 

The head of the Assetinian family established on the summit of 
St. Christopher, and whose good will 1 gained by presenting him 
with some brandy, a liquor of which the Assetinians are passionately 
i fond, accompanied me as far as the redoubt, and, as I was informed, 
had rendered many useful services to travellers, particularly in winter, 
when, to the great astonishment of all, his hot and family had 
hitherto resisted the excessive rigours of winter in that unsheltered 
situation, where they are almost buried in the snow. These atten- 
tions on his part are the more singular ; as, besides what I have 
already said respecting the character of the Assetinians, it is not 
long since some of his countrymen assassinated in the most cruel 
manner all the Russian soldiers whom they could, surprise in those 
difficult passages. It is necessary to have all the avarice of the 
Armenian merchants to support, with still more patience than their 
owa beasts, the painful conveyance of their merchandise ; preferring- 

* the numberless inconveniences of this road, rather than give the 
^least gratification to the inhabitants of the country, who might 
afford them such effectual assistance, and who would thereby take 
aft interest in the success of their undertakings ; while at present 
it is only by the presence of the troops that the mountaineers are 
prevented from plundering them. 

*On the following day I set off, accompanied by four Cossacks, 
and with remarkably fine weather to cheer my journey. We began 
descending the immense elevation on which Kaichaur is situated, 
and which is the last difficult passage of the Caucasus ; when, two 
hours after leaving that place, in exchange for the terrific beauties 
of nature, the most varied and enchanting scenery presented itself. 
At the bottom of the precipices, which we were now leaving in the 
rear, are seen scattered about several small villages and fertile val- 
leys, watered by the river Aragua, which has its source near St. 
Christopher, and which flows in an opposite direction to the Terak. 
In these valleys, which enjoy an eternal spring, the mildness of the 

i temperature formed the most striking contrast with the excessive 
cold which is felt during the crossing of St. Christopher, even in 
summer ; and in proportion as we advanced, Georgia burst on my 
.sight, covered, like Andalusia, with luxuriant fields, and hills crowned 
with woods, on many of which are seen the ruins of old towers and 
ancient fortresses. Even in the month of September the trees stiU 



] 



DON JUAN VAN BALEN. 268 

preserved the freshness of spring, while the harmonious warblings 
of an immense variety of birds, seemed to announce that we were 
on the point of treading on the favourite soil of the Creator of the 
Caucasus. 

On the long descent of Kaichaur being terminated, we crossed 
the Aragua by a bridge, on one side of which stands a pyramid 
of stone, marking the limits between the Assetinian territory and - 
Georgia ; and at eleven o'clock in the morning we arrived at Pas- 
sananur, the first village or redoubt which is met with in following 
the course of the Aragua, the borders of which are pleasantly, 
wooded. . The fine sky of Georgia makes a lively impression on 
the traveller, though he may have been born under that which em* 
bellishes the smiling borders of the Guadalquivir ; as do also the 
cheerful countenances and fine stature of the Georgians, contrasted 
with the gloomy air and mean appearance 6f the mountaineers. 

The road from Passananur to Ananur, a distance of twenty 
wersts, lies also between the valleys watered by the rapid Aragua, 
on both sides of which are seen among woods, now country houses, 
and now the ruins of the flanked towers, which in former times were 
the means of defence among the Georgians. My escort consisted 
only of two Cossacks ; but with whom I might very well have dis- 
pensed, as tfyere could be no danger in a road so much frequented. 
About three wersts from Ananur are^seen the turrets of the ancient 
Greek church, which is situated on a steep rock, overlooking the 
town, and opposite to the road. Before reaching the city we were 
obliged to perform quarantine at a lodging extremely damp, and 
well adapted to try the health of the mos,t robust man, where travel* 
lers are generally detained four-atod-tweftty- hours. 

Ananur, the population of which was formerly very great, con- 
tains at present between three and four thousand inhabitants. It is 
protected by a fortress, the command of which is intrusted to a 
colonel* of the army. The term of my detention at the place of 
quarantine having expired, I set off, accompanied only by a Cossack. 
This road, which before the arrival of General Yermolow in Geor- 
gia was as dangerous on account of the Lesghis as that passing 
through the country of the Kabardines, was in 1819 so safe as to" 
render any escort unnecessary. In proportion as I proceeded 
towards the interior of Georgia, I remarked a greater resemblance 
between this country and Andalusia ; the farms scattered here and 
there, and within sight of the road, perfectly resemble what in Spain 
is called cortijos ; the picturesque situation of the villages ; the fer- 
tility of the country ; the gayety of the peasants ; their merry and 
continual songs, and even their lazy habits, which their rich soil 
seems to encourage ; every thing assimilates the Georgians to the 
lower class of Andalusians. 

* A Russian colonel has no regiment, and if usually employed in a stationary 
aerriee. 



264 NARRATIVE OF 

i 

At a short distance from Ananur, after crossing a branch of the 
Aragua, is the new building for the quarantine, which General 
Yermolow has caused to be erected to replace that we had just left, 
and which is extremely well situated. I arrived at Douchet, which 
is nineteen wersts from Ananur, at sunset, and found a good lodging 
at the commandant at arms, who kindly invited me to spend the 
night at his bouse. 

Douchet is a larger place than Ananur, and enjoys the most de- 
lightful climate. In the evening, as I traversed the town to go 
to the commandant's residence, which is just outside the gates, I 
saw most of the inhabitants sitting at the doors of their houses, 
forming small circles, some chatting merrily, and others singing. 
The building where the commandant resided, is surrounded by a 
thick and high wall forming a perfect square. It is encircled by 
an exterior gallery, and has a large saloon in the centre, and a great 
number of smaller rooms ; all the windows are unglazed ; . but they 
have wooden blinds, curiously curved, in the, style of those of An- 
dalusia. It has only one floor, the whole built of stone ; the roof 
is flat, and forms a terrace. This place was the ordinary residence 
of one of the last Czars. In the saloon was held the supreme tri- 
bunal of a country which knew no law ; there the prince gave 
audience, and in imitation of the Shahs of Persia, exercised various 
atrocities and tyrannical acts. 

The commandant-at-arms, who was a great sportsman, accom- 
panied me very early in the morning till within a short distance of 
M eskhet, which is nineteen wersts from Douchet. Before arriving 
at the former town, there is. an extensive field on the borders of the 
Aragua, where the park of instruction for the artillery of the army of 
Georgia, which is usually stationed at Teflis, is yearly formed. 

Meskhet was the capital of the ancient Kurtchistan, now Georgia, 
The river Kur, formerly Cirus, bathes its ruined walls, and receives 
the waters of the Aragua. This city continued to be the seat of 
government for twenty centuries, till one of its Tzars transferred his 
^residence to Twilis, (which in the Georgian language signifies warm 
springs, and from which Teflis takes its name,) in the hope of de- - 
riving some benefit from its waters* The Georgians, referring to 
their ancient confused traditions, pretend, that Meskhet was founded 
by a near descendant of Noah, who named it after himself, choosing 
that spot on account of the unrivalled beauty of its situation. 
There is at Meskhet a church built of stone, which not all the fury 
of the Mussulmans has been able to destroy. The relievos of 

* AH the accounts I have seen respecting the origin of Teflis state, that it was 
founded in the eleventh century, by Tzar Liewvang, who, having discovered «omc 
warm springs daring a hunting expedition, resolved on building that city in the < 
neighbourhood : but the ancient temples of the Magi and other monuments of aati* 
quity which still exist at Teflis, are more authentic proofs of its earlier origin. It is 
ncsft aMe , therefore, that the above prince was urn first of the Tfiurs, who fixed hi* 
residence there, and who gave it its present name. 



DON JUAN VAN HALElf. 26S 

several groups of allegorical figures, which still exist, though a little 
injured, are sufficient to show the great merit of the work. 

In a corner of the walls of the ruined fortress there is a chapel, 
so small that it might more properly be called a niche, which, it is 
asserted, was used by the captive Nono as his sanctuary. The 
cross, made of broom, and tied with his hair, with which he con- 
verted the Tzar Mirian, and made so many proselytes, was carried 
into the mountains during the various invasions of the Mussulmans, 
and lastly to Moscow, where it was preserved until the Emperor 
' Alexander I. caused it to be returned to the Georgians. There is 
also a monastery, the dome of which is perforated by cannon balls, 
and which the Persians, unable to take possession of it, vainly en- 
deavoured to destroy. This monastery, situated on the borders of 
the Kur, contains the mortal remains of the noblest families of the 
country, and was the place where the coronation of the Tzars of 
Georgia was performed. The solidity with which it was originally 
built, and its present ruined state, give one an idea of the dreadful 
revolutions which it has undergone. The population of this city 
amounts but to little more than 500 inhabitants, whose dwellings are 
scattered over a space of ground which, in former times, presented 
80,000 combatants. 

On the borders of the river, and on the northern part of the city, 
are still seen the remains of a fortress, the foundations of which were 
laid twenty centuries ago. According to the traditions current in 
the country, this fortress enclosed a palace, where a Georgian 
princess, subject to violent passions, often invited the young travel- 
lers to sojourn ; and, after having gratified her illicit desires, caused 
them to be precipitated into . the river from the top of the tower, 
hoping by this means to conceal her criminal excesses. 

Within a few wersts of Meskhet there is a spring, which flows 
into the Kur, and which still preserves the name of Armasm Zkala, 
or the water of Armasm, an idol to whom in ancient times the 
princes immolated the first-born of their vassals. Idolatry having 
been substituted by the gospel, the idol met the same fate which in 
similar cases all idols meet The Lesghis, who now saw this place 
abandoned, descended from the neighbouring mountains, and es- 
tablished here their ambushes to surprise the passengers, whether 
men or women, whom they carried away to sell in Natalia or in 
Egypt. 

A chain of mountains extends from Meskhet fo the province of 
Imeretia as far as the coasts of the Black Sea. In these mountains 
are seen the caverns which served the unhappy inhabitants of the 
town as places of concealment, when the barbarians in their inva- 
sions sdught them as their prey. Indeed, the neighbourhood of 
Meskhet has not only been the theatre of atrocities in ancient times, 
but even in our own ; and, until the arrival of General Yermolow,- 
it was a place most dangerous for travellers, 

L 1 



266 TURRATrVE OF 

The Kur is crossed by a bridge, which, according to the opinion 
of antiquarians, was built at the epoch when Pompey was in Geor- 
gia. It has two great circular towers at each extremity, which, in 
those times, must have been sufficient to defend that passage, and 
have given a greater importance to Meskhet. Two or three wersts 
beyond this city the heights are left to the right, and the traveller 
enters the fertile soil of Teflis, where I saw the Georgian peasant 
ploughing the land with three or four couples of buffaloes, a method 
which must be attributed rajther to the routine of these men than to 
the nature of the ground. 

Five wersts before reaching Teflis, the city is seen spreading in 
the form of an amphitheatre, on the banks of the river Kur, at the 
extremity of a defile, formed by two bold ranges of mountains. 
On the left of the road, following the . course of the river, is the 
place of quarantine, where I was detained but a short time, it being 
established rather for the merchants, whose goods demand continual 
precautions, than for the travelling officers. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

Keception of the author by General Williaminoff— Baron Renemkainph— Father 
Philip— Colonel Nicolas Verm olofF— Baron tJngem— Reception of the travellers 
by the Georgian Prince Chalakaioff— Wine of Kahetia — Signchsk, chief town of 
Kahetia — Town of Tielaw, its granes — Tchitchivaze a Georgian prince — The 
author's first interview with KUmonskoie the colonel of his regiment — Description 
of Karakhach— Its barracks— Details respecting the Russian army — Its organization 
— Work performed by the soldiery — Horses of Eabarda and Karaway — Climate of 
Georgia — Numerous iackalls— Barracks of Karakhach attacked by a few Lesghi 
Tartan — Tiger killed in attacking a seotinel — Belohakan, a city of the Eingalos 
— Barbarous triumph evinced by an Eingalo interpreter — The knoutt— Duelling— 
Anecdotes — Sporting in Georgia — Amusements of the officers — Yakouworitcb, 
his gallantry — The chaplain—Bad surgeons — Encampment of Tzarskoie — Colony 
of Germans established near Teflis. 

On the morning after my arrival at the place of quarantine I 
entered Teflis, and immediately proceeded to General WilliaminofFs 
to deliver the despatches intrusted to me by the general-in-chief. 
I met the kindest reception from that general, who introduced me 
to the officers of the staff, who had remained at Teflis, and espe- 
cially to Baron Renemkamph, a young Livonian. • This officer in- 
sisted on my accepting an apartment in his house, and presented 
me to the best societies of that city. 

There were several European families residing here, most of 
whom belonged to the Russian employes ; those whom I jJrincipally 
visited being the governor's, General Van Howen's, and that of 
the general of artillery General Ahuerdoff. With respect to the 
Georgian ladies, although I felt the greatest curiosity to be inti- 



DON JUAN VAN BALEN. 267 

mately acquainted with them, the attachment they still evince for 
their ancient Asiatic customs, and consequently their retired habits, 
rendered their society but little attractive. 

fhe term of my residence at Teflis, however, did not so much 
depend on my will as on that of General WilliaminofFs, who, far 
from showing any displeasure at my sojourn, gave me a general in- 
vitation to his table, and to his library, in which he spends a great 
part of his time. Under such favourable auspices Teflis soon 
became for me a second St. Petersburgh ; but which I was shortly 
to quit in order to join my regiment, that was stationed at Karak- 
hach, one hundred and forty wersts to the east of Teflis. In this, 
however, I was prevented by an intermittent fever, which never left 
me during the eighteen months I remained in this country, and 
which in five weeks reduced me to a mere skeleton. 1 am con- 
vinced that without the unremitting attendance of Dr. Privil, phy- 
sician to the government, the cares of my excellent friend Renem- 
kamph, who treated me as if I were his brother, and the medicines 
and attentions of the good Father Philip, the Catholic missionary 
residing at Teflis, of whom I shall speak more in the » sequel, and 
who acted as my nurse, my fever would, doubtless, have-terminated 
fatally. One day when it was at the highest, my negro, taking ad- 
vantage of my situation, seized on my wardrobe and my purse, and 
proceeded, as I afterwards learned, in the company of an Armenian, 
to Persia, where, owing to the estimation in which they are held for 
certain ofiices in the harems, he was placed in that of the Shah ; 
so that I was obliged to content myself with the services of two 
Dennschtchiks* whom the colonel had just sent me from Karak- 
liach, who could scarcely understand my bad Russian. 

Two months having elapsed without any material improvement 
taking place in my health, and finding unavailing both the prescrip- 
tions of my doctor and the incessant attentions of my numerous 
friends, I resolved to join my regiment. Accordingly I set off from 
Teflis on the 16th of December, in the company of Colonel Nicolas 
Yermolow, cousin-german of the general-in-chief, and who com- 
manded- the regiment of grenadiers of Grousia, or Georgia, whose 
cantonments were in the same direction as those of mine. I was 
also accompanied by a new comrade of mine, Baron Ungern, lately 
arrived from Europe, who was proceeding to join our regiment in 
the rank of captain, and by several other officers, all on horseback, 
among whom was my friend Renemkamph, who rode some distance 
with us. 

Our road, though the shortest from Teflis to our place of destina- 
tion, was by no means the best, and as in this season, even in this 
mild climate, the country assumes the aspect of winter, (which, 

* Military servants assigned to the officers in the Russian army, accordi»«r <♦> 
tfyh* rank. 



363 NARRATIVE <MP 

however, only lasts in Georgia from December till the latter end of 
January,) it did not much attract my attention. After three boon* 
ride we arrived at the tower of Prince Chalakai'off, a young Geor- 
gian, who, being warned of our arrival, had made some preparations 
for our reception. 

The prince, in his Georgian costume, and surrounded by attend- 
ants bearing torches, came out to meet us, and conducted us to a 
spacious apartment of an almost oval form, splendidly illuminated, % 
around the walls of which was a wide continued bench, covered 
with beautiful tapestry, with cushions at the back, richly laced and 
embroidered, and which was to serve us both as seats and beds. 
The ladies and women of the tower, in our passage to this apart- 
ment, peeped, like the nuns in our convents, through the blinds, and 
chinks of the windows and doors ; so that the prince was the only 
one who did the honours of the house, though in a manner which 
in Georgia would be considered rather as the reception from a 
friend than from a mere acquaintance. 

As soon as we sat down we were all furnished with long pipes, 
according to the Russian and Georgian custom, while our enter* 
tainer caused a long table to be placed before us, and ordered sup- 
per to be brought, which consisted of several dishes of meat or 
poultry, boiled together with rice and dried fruits, with plenty of 
sugar, or honey, and saffron ; a medley which for a European was 
the most strange they could present. With respect to the plate 
service, &c., all was in the European manner ; but as the noble* 
men of this country have no head servant, or steward, the prince 
was obliged to be constantly supplying the deficiencies and neglects 
of his awkward attendants ; nor was he able to partake of the re- 
past tranquilly until towards its conclusion, when he topk his seat 
among us to drink, and served us the excellent wine of Kahetia 
with that frugality by which these people are distinguished. We 
drank from the Georgian cup, which is a horn of a touri* highly 
polished, and mounted in silver or gold, and which one is obliged to 
hold in the hand, and drink continually, since it cannot be laid down 
until it is perfectly empty, the etiquette of this country besides re- 
quiring, that the guest should pledge his host every time he drinks. 

The wine of Kahetia resembles in taste, colour, and mild effects, 
that of La Mancba, and especially that of' Valdepenas, which is so 
much in vogue at Madrid. As this wine is transported in Georgia, 
as in Spain, in skins, its flavour is a little spoiled ; but, nevertheless, 
it compensated for the strange dishes with which we had been re- 
galed, and kept up the hilarity of the company till midnight, when 
the table was removed, and the prince withdrew, and locked us in 

* The touri or tori is a quadruped resembling (although smaller) the etag, which 
U found About the mountain* of the Caucasus, and the river Kuban. Its haras are 
however considerably larger than the stag's, in proportion to its sue, and it is as- 
serted by the people here, that it has greater strength inthem than the strongest ball. 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. ' 2(j9 

the saloon, where, dressed as we were, we reclined on the cushions, 
and resigned ourselves to sleep* 

At dawn of the following day our host entered our room, and 
informed us that the carriage and horses of our party were ready ; 
we took our leave of him, and pursued our way by a bad road, 
across glens and torrent-beds. An hour after we arrived at Zaho- 
redsky, where the battalions of grenadiers of Georgia are encamped, 
and the situation of which is extremely well adapted to found a city. 

The house of the colonel is built on an excellent plan, /iot only 
to afford entertainment to the officers of the regiment, but for the 
hospitality which he so prodigally lavishes on his friends, and where 
he invited my new comrade and myself to spend a day. Among 
his officers the lieutenant-colonel of the regiment, the Georgian 
Prince Abhazoff, is distinguished for his personal qualities and mili- 
tary merit ; even at the age of fifteen he was decorated with the 
Russian order of St. George, a military decoration which in the 
most gallant regiment is scarcely possessed by four individuals. 

Colonel Yermolow, and several other officers, accompanied us as 
far as the meadows and stables belonging to the trains, of the re- 
giment, and soon after we arrived at the post-house of Manaba, 
which is fifty-four worsts from Teflis, and where we spent the night. 
Most of these houses, which are constructed of osiers and covered 
with clay, have only the necessary partitions for the reception of the 
officers, travellers, Cossacks, and horses, that may not chance to 
arrive. 

At day-break we proceeded on our journey, followed by two 
Cossacks, who were our escort. The morning was cold, and the 
frost during the night had hardened the little snow that lay on the 
fields, where we occasionally saw groups of sportsmen. At ten 
o'clock in the morning we arrived at Dampal, where we reposed 
ourselves awhile, and then proceeded to Signachsk, which is thirty- 
five worsts from Manaba. The road between these two towns is 
tolerably good, except just before entering the latter, which, being 
situated on a hill, offers a steep ascent. The fields, however, are 
well cultivated, and many of the country houses and farms, which 
are seen- scattered here and there, must present in summer, by their 
picturesque situation, delightful prospects. 

Signachsk, which in the insurrection of 1812 suffered dreadful 
depredations, is the capital of the province of Kahetia, and is con- 
sidered an important point on account of its proximity to the Les- 
ghi Tartars, who inhabit the country on the opposite bank of the 
river Alazann. It has a population of about three thousand inhabit- 
ants, who are protected by a garrison more or less numerous, accord- 
ing to the peaceable or hostile conduct observed by their neighbours. 
.The elevation on which Signachsk stands forms a part of a chain of 
mountains, which on one side extends towards Tielaw, the second 
city of Kahetia ; and on the other towards TzarskoYe, a mountain- 



270 NARRATIVE OF 

ous district, which runs parallel to the Caucasus, from which it is 
separated by extensive plains, fifteen and twenty wersts wide, co- 
vered, with forests watered by the Alazann, which empties itself into 
the Koura, at one hundred and fifty wersts from Signachsk to the 
southern extremity of the province. 

Tielaw, far wealthier than the capital on account of its vineyards, 
forms with the latter a barrier against the Lesghis. The richest 
lands in that district belong to Tchitchivaze, a Georgian prince, 
educated in Europe, who,, though serving in our regiment with the 
rank of colonel, had succeeded, without neglecting his military du- 
ties, in improving his valuable inheritance in such a manner that 
few Georgian nobles can cope with him in wealth. The grapes of 
Tielaw are larger, more succulent and delicate, than those gathered 
on the coast of Malaga. There is also throughout this province a 
great abundance of wild grapes, which, though they by.no means 
bear a comparison with the others, are nevertheless very good. The 
wine of Kahetia, therefore, is so plentiful, especially as it is not at 
all exported from Georgia, that the daily consumption at Teflis, is 
from two to four bottles per person. 

Mr. Makachew, the commandant-at-arms of Signachsk, to whom 
we addressed ourselves to obtain quarters for the night, invited us 
to pass it at his house, from the gallery of which we had a view of 
the Caucasus, the most magnificent I ever beheld. The atmosphere 
of Georgia, at all times so pure, was on this night doubly so, on 
account of the north wind which prevails during the winter season, 
and together with the brightness of the moon, whose rays illu- 
minated the snowy summits of that varied chain of mountains, pro- 
duce^ the most picturesque and brilliant effect, surpassing all 1 have 
ever seen both in the \lps and the Pyrenees. 

On -the following morning we set off on our journey in a carriage 
belonging to our colonel, which was returning empty to the Karak- 
hach, and to the use of which we were entitled. From Signachsk 
the descent is so precipitous, that we were obliged to alight, and 
walk for nearly five wersts, in the space of which we met, from dis*- 
tance to distance, water-mills, which, though very imperfect in their 
construction, furnish sufficient flour for the garrison and resident 
Europeans,* except in times of extraordinary drought. 

Having descended the heights of Signachsk, we proceeded 
through fertile and beautifil valleys, which extend along the borders 
of the river Alazann to beyond Karakiiach. The twenty -seven 
wersts between Signachsk and this place are accounted very dan- 
gerous, owing to the proximity of the Lesghis. who, though ac- 
knowledging the Russian government, occasionally commit acts of 
depredation, which can only be repressed by an armed force, and 
are in the habit of lying in ambush to surprise travellers, and espe- . 

* The Asiatics do not make use of mill* to grind the rye of which their bread is 
mad?. 



' DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 271 

cialiy the officers, for whose ransom they demand large sums. As 
the Russian etiquette requires that when an officer arrives at an en- 
campment or at a garrison he should present himself in full uniform, 
and as moreover we were to alight at our colonel's quarters, we 
travelled from Signachsk as if we were going to the parade ; so 
that our plumes and uniforms were doubly attractive for the moun- 
taineers, had any been on the alert, particularly as we proceeded 
without an escort, depending wholly upon our arms. 

At about half way of our road, we saw two men on horseback, 
who proved to be the principal doctor of our regiment and his ser- 
vant, and who, like ourselves, were going to Karakhacb. On see- 
ing the familiarity with which he accosted us, which was rather the 
effect of the wine of Kahetia than his want of good breeding, I 
immediately felt a presentiment that he would one way or another 
put an end to my fever. The Prince Tchitchivaze, whose acquaint- 
ance i had made at Teflis, was the only officer of our regiment 
whom I knew, and he was then absent from the camp ; neither was 
my comrade better known among them But our doctor, whose 
liberality the generous liquor seemed greatly to excite, offered us 
not only his own bouse, but even those of which he could not dis- 
pose, though he entirely forgot to offer us the hospital. 

Immediately on our arrival we presented ourselves to our chief, 
Colonel Klimonskoie, who, though he had been an aid-de-camp of 
the Grand Duke Constantine during the campaigns of 1813 and 
1814, did not understand a single word of any other language than 
that he had learned from his nurse ; a circumstance not very com- 
mon in Russia among the class to which he belonged? and which 
naturally confined our conversation to a few words ; but his good 
humour compensated for this inconvenience, which was shared by 
another chief, Mr. Soltikoff, who was my colleague, and by one or 
two more officers. This inspired me with the hope that I should 
make a greater progress in the Russian language than I had hitherto 
done, the knowledge of it being absolutely necessary to enable me 
to fulfil my duties under the banners I served ; but notwithstanding 
my good will, the deplorable state of my health prevented me from 
applying myself closely to this study. 

Before proceeding further in my narrative, I shall here present a 
slight sketch of the occupations, duties, and inconveniences, of the 
life of a Russian officer in cantonments. 

Karakhach derives its name from an ancient city, the ruins of 
which are still extant. The barracks of the six campaign squad- 
rons, of which all the cavalry regiments in Russia are composed, 
formed of themselves a kind of military city. They are built in a 
line in three divisions, each of which contains two squadrons, and 
are situated opposite to the river Alazann, and to the mountains, 
forming the front of the building. The stables, which are parallel 
with the barracks, and at a distance of one hundred paces from 



272 NARRATIVE OF 



them, observe the same order of distribution, and form the back^ 
In the • space that intervenes between these two buildings are the 
houses of the officers, similarly distributed, and ail regularly built of 
wood ; whilst on the left of this line are the magazines and work- 
shops of the regiment, the chapel, and the tiouse of the chaplain, 
as well as the hospital, and kitchens of the squadrons. 

The houses of the officers were built by the soldiers for a slight 
gratification, and without the former incurring further expense than 
the purchase of the iron materials ; such as nails, -hinges, &c. ne- 
cessary for their construction ; so that an officer becomes proprietor 
and citizen of Karakhach at very little cost* 

The colonel of a regiment in Russia is bound, both morning and 
evening, to keep open table for all his officers, pay the music of the 
regiment, whether of infantry or cavalry, defray ail the expenses of 
the hospital of his cantonment, and take charge of the handiwork 
of every article for the complete equipment of his regiment ; so 
that the Emperor, or, in other words, the crown, furnishes each 
regiment with only the pay, arms, leathers, cloths, copper andiron, 
and a certain sum for the remount of the cavalry* Thus, it is 
calculated, in Russia, and especially in Georgia, that an infantry 
soldier completely equipped for war, his arms excepted, costs the 
government twenty-five roubles (assignats), which are equivalent to 
one pound sterlings 

With respect to the colonel's table, whether he be absent or not, 
it is always provided at his house, either with music or without, ac- 
cording to the pleasure of him who presides, who is the officer 
highest in rank. If a stranger arrive, he is always hospitably re- 
ceived, and placed beside the president, provided only that he be 
introduced by one of the officers. 

On the other hand the colonel, to be able to meet the great ex- 
penses which he incurs in thus supporting the regiment, has the right 
of employing, in time of peace, the third part of bis troops for his 
own benefit, during certain, months in the year, when the military 
instructions are suspended. The soldiers then become masons, 
carpenters, smiths, &c. or engaged in whatever occupation they 
may be hired for ; so that as they are furnished by the colonel with 
suitable dresses, that their uniforms may not suffer during the time 
they are thus employed, they cannot be recognised as soldiers except 
by their mustachios. Besides, there are always a certain number 
of them employed in the workshops belonging to the regiment in 
every description of trade ; consequently every thing that can pos- 
sibly be wanted hi the corps is made by the soldiers. 

ft is by this kind of administration that Russia k enabled to maintain 
the immense army it keeps at present on foot, and which, according 
to the statement circulated among the various divisions of the army 
at the time of my serving in it amounted to 600,000 infantry, 100,000 
cavalry, twenty-six regiments of artillery, thirty-eight squadrons of 



TX)N JUAN VAN HALBN. W$ 

the same, and twelve squadrons of sappers,* exclusive of the passive 
regiments, or in garrison, the Cossacks, and a multitude of other 
armed corps of the empire. „ 

The eolonel of a regiment is answerable to the Emperor for the 
equipment, good health, and discipline, of the troops under his 
orders ; and as Alexander was every year in the habit of surprising 
in their camps of instruction some of the divisions of his army, 
where he would make his appearance accompanied by only one 
of his aid-de-caraps, no matter how far they might be from the 
.capital, no chief ever dared to neglect the most trifling of his 
duties. To this cause the flourishing state of his armies may 
be attributed. It is impossible to form a correct idea of the per- 
fection at which they have arrived, unless by entering into details on 
their organization, which my limits do. not permit. Suffice it to 
say, that the Russian troops of the present day have adopted all 
that is worthy of imitation both in the French school, and in the 
interior regulations of the English army and hospitals. 

At the head-quarters of every division «of the army there is a 
college, supported by all its regiments, where youths of distinction, 
who afterwards serve as officers, receive a military education, as- 
sisting at the' parade as private soldiers,! with their respective bat- 
talions, when these are in the same cantonments. There is another 
institution for a different class of youths, that is, for orphans and 
foundlings whom the government takes under its protection, educates 
*t its own expense, and afterwards generally destines to the topo- 
graphical labours of the staff. 

Russia has two - armies, one active and the other passive ; the 
former for the field, and the latter for .garrison. Those officers 
possessing but little military merit, and those who marry, especially 
such as unite themselves with persons beneath them in rank, are 
usually efoployedm the latter service. It is, therefore, very rare to 
meet with married officers on active service. 

When an officer arrives at his cantonments he has workmen of 
all trades at his disposal, until all his wants are supplied. Thus a 
dreschki, which is the vehicle most in use among the Russians, and 
absolutely necessary for every chief, costs him but a trifle, when he 
furnishes the workmen with materials. Resides, the regiment as- 
signs him two or three dennschtchiks, whom they select for the 
service of officers from among those privates who are not acquaint- 
ed with any trade, but who are sufficient for his service* 

* The Emperor Alexander vu the first who formed a body of mounted sapped. 
He commenced by introducing them in the guards, and finding their great utility, 
Ultimately established them in all the armies of the empire. 

t In Rnssia then are no cadets, consequently those youths most first serve as 
privates, and go through all the subaltern gradations before ascending to officers. 
An exception is made m favour of the Emperor's pages, who, as in other countries, 
Igave the palace for the army in the rank of officers. 

Mm 



2'74 NARRATIVE OF 

With all these resources, to which must be added, the rations for 
himself, servants, and horses, an officer may live respectably, 
particularly if, as is the case in Georgia, he receive the pay given 
to troops on active service, which is double that of those in garrison, 
or in passive service. Still, even in this case it offers no means for 
economy, as it is smaller than that given in any Other European 
country to officers of the same rank. 

Each regiment of cavalry is composed of seven squadrons, mx 
in active service and the seventh in depot, or in other words, of twelve 
active companies, and two more of conscripts drilling at the depot. 
These six squadrons form three divisions, each of which is under 
the orders of one of the three chiefs, and form a total of froni nine 
hundred to one thousand horse. During their march they are 
never burdensome to the peasantry, as the regiments are furnished 
with tents, and with the means of transporting their luggage. 

Our remount was made in Kabarda, a country in which the most 
useful horses known throughout the empire are bred. They unite 
beauty with strength, and are so numerous that three or four thou- 
sand can yearly be purchased for the army in the markets of Teflis, 
out of fourteen or fifteen thousand brought there for sale. 

This plentiful supply on one hand, and the great poverty of the 
Kabardines on the other, enable the officers to purchase horses for 
the twentieth part of what a horse of equal merit would cost in the 
cheapest market in Germany. The horses which are bred at 
Karaway, a province belonging to Russia on the borders of Persia, 
are more delicately shaped and fetch a higher price than those of 
Kabarda; but they are not able to resort so much fatigue as the 
former. They have, however, all the beauty and fire of the oM 
Andalusian race ; and like these have many of the good qualities 
of the Arabian horses. 

The crown allows the colonel of a regiment one hundred and 
twenty roubles per horse, a sum which is certainly beneath the value 
of one, especially in the interior provinces of the empire. At Ka- 
barda, however, the finest horse for a squadron may be had for twenty 
or thirty roubles above the sum granted by the crown ; but the ne- 
cessity of adhering to colour in the divisions, that islo say, of pro- 
curing horses of only three distinct colours, and the difficulty of 
inducing those uncivilized tribes to attend to the breed of horses, 
naturally exercise an influence over their price. If the government 
should one day succeed in organizing the country of the Kabardines, 
and of the Tcherkesses, the various races might then be crossed 
witbr those of the Karaway, and propagated on the borders of the 
Terak, by which means the same advantages might be derived as 
in Andalusia with the horses bred at the foot of the mountains from 
Grenada to Ubeda, the only race in Spain which unites beauty with 
strength. 

Tift climate of K«a£haeh is not so wM as that of Teflis, owing 



DON JUAN VAN HAtEN. 27$ 

to the peculiar situation of the former between the heights of Sig- 
nachsk and the chain of the Caucasus, which prolong the winter in 
these plains a month later than in the rdst of the country* 

Our colonel, who was a true officer of the spur, and zealous for 
the improvement of his corps, always presided at our occupations 
and amusements, which in the morning consisted of exercises on 
horseback or on foot, by companies or in the line, of the display of 
horsemanship by the officers, sergeants, and corporals, and of the 
exercise of arms. The afternoon was spent in visiting the stables 
and admiring the good qualities of some of the horses, who were 
trained to all kinds of privations, and to eat while the report of a 
pistol sounded in their ears. Our veterans, the greatest part of 
whom were inured to the climate, and who were the only cavalry of 
the line in the army of Georgia, had rendered distinguished services 
in the war against the Persians. On the peace with this power 
being concluded, they were stationed in their present cantonments, 
as an advanced post. Their proximity to the Lesghis kept them 
continually on the alert, and rendered this service, though useful to 
the soldiers, by no means pleasant. 

At night the posts around our encampment were doubled, the 
•jut vive of the sentries confounding itself with the sbarjr howlings 
of the tchacals, which are here so numerous that droves of them ad- 
vanced towards our encampment to seize on our poultry as soon as 
it grew dark. 

The River Alazann, which is within six or seven wersts of Karak- 
hach is fordable at various tunes in the year, a circumstance which 
rendered the exterior service of our camp extremely complicated on 
dark nights, as the plain extending to the river is covered with thick 
forests. 

A few weeks before my arrival, and on one of these dark nights, 
some twenty Lesghis descended from the mountains, and crossing 
the Alazann, succeeded in silently making their way on foot through 
the cordon formed by the sentries. On'arriving at the door of one 
of the three barracks, they poniarded the sentry stationed there 
before he had time to give the alarm, and penetrating with the same 
audacity into the interior of the barrack, where the soldiers were 
asleep, distributed themselves right and left, and plunged their 
poniards into the first dragoons they met, till the groans and cries 
of the dying and wounded awakening their comrades, the confusion 
became general, especially as the Lesghis, who could recognise 
each other by their beards, had extinguished the lights and continued 
their horrible massacre on the defenceless soldiers, who endeavoured 
to gain the door and seize their arms. Patroles having at length 
arrived with lights, the Lesghis sought to cut their way through them ; 
but seeing the impracticability of this, some of them stabbed them- 
selves on the spot, and the rest surrendered, testifying their joy at the 
sight of the bleeding corpses of Christians by whom they were sur- 
rounded. * The fanaticism they evinced when they underwent the 



#7tf NARKATlvr OF 

punishment due to their atrocious deeds, proved that their poniawk 
had been directed by their ^barbarous priests. 

This lesson, which might have been still more fatal bad the 
Lesghis been more numerous, and less rash by neglecting to seize on 
the arms, which' are symmetrically placed near • the entrance, cost 
the regiment more than sixty men killed or dangerously wounded ; 
but it produced the extraordinary vigilance which was observable at 
the time of my arrival at the cantonment, and which one night occa- 
sioned the. death of a new enemy. A sentry seeing something 
gently approaching towards him, challenged the object, and ob- 
serving that it continued advancing without vouchsafing him an 
answer, he immediately fired and effectually arrested its progress. 
When the patrol repaired to the spot they found that the intruder 
was a tiger, then in its last agonies. - • 

Opposite to our encampment, on the other side of the Alazann, 
and at a distance of eighteen or twenty wersts, is the city of Belo- 
fiakan situated at the foot of the Caucasus, and inhabited by the 
Eingalos, a people whom the Lesghis keep in the most horrible 
state of slavery, and who formerly belonged to Georgia ; but who 
being too industrious, and attached to their native soil, would never 
abandon it, during the different revolutions which that country has 
undergone, and became subject to their present masters. TJrat city 
carries on a great trade with Teflis, principally in bburkas, which 
are manufactured there ; and as the traders pass through Karakhach, 
our colonel, who was the commandant of this district, and from 
whom they must obtain a passport for Georgia, was obliged to have 
near him an Eingalo, who understood the Russian language, and 
served as interpreter. This man had become so familiarized with 
the officers, that the colonel allowed him to sit at our table. One 
day we remarked that the interpreter was absent, a circumstance 
which seldom occurred ; but, as we were finishing our dessert, he 
entered the dining-room in high spirits, bringing under his arm a 
bundle, carefully tied, which, he said, contained a fine water meloft 
for our dessert. This fruit, in the middle of December, is consi- 
dered a great delicacy, and we all expressed a wish that he should 
produce it, when he immediately untied the bundle, and, to our 
great horror, we beheld the head of a Lesghi, whom he had killed 
in fight on the other side of the Alazann during a sporting expedi- 
tion, roll on the table. Disgusted at this action, which among these 
barbarous mountaineers would pass as an excellent joke, we all rose 
from table, and retired to another apartment, while the Eingalo sat 
down to dinner, and, at every mouthful he took, amused himself 
with turning the head, which he kept close to his plate, first one 
way and then another. 

Much is said in Europe of the knoutt, which, it is asserted, a 
Russian chief frequently applies to his officers. I shall not attempt 
here to investigate the origin of this opinion* which is often supported 



■A 



DON JUAtt VAN gJULEN. 



277 



vitk open maUce, but merely confine myself to state a fact among 
-the many which every day occur. 

Colonel Klimonskoi, being displeased with a certain officer of 
our corps, struck him in the presence of several of his comrades. 
The outraged officer withdrew ; and on the following morning the 
colonel, seeing him enter the breakfast-room, advanced towards him, 
and, taking him aside, manifested a wish to give him the satisfaction 
due to a comrade. The officer, whosfe character was not of the 
firmest, understood these words, and immediately declared himself 
satisfied. All his comrades, who had hitherto maintained that 
reserve which the affair required, freely gave their opinion ; and 
from that moment the officer was so greatly despised by all, that he 
could no longer appear at the same table, and was obliged to remain 
In his own apartment under the pretext of illness, until the general* 
in-chief granted the petition which this unfortunate young man ad- 
dressed to him, for permission to retire from the service* under the 
usual plea of ill health. 

Some time after this an occurrence similar to the above took place 
between two officers of different ranks. The inferior officer de- 
manded a satisfaction ; blood was spilt ; the affront was washed 
away ; and the chief and the subordinate became good friends. 
Indeed, the tolerance with which duelling is looked upon in a nation 
wholly military, is in itself a guarantee to officers of an inferior rank 
to be respected by their superiors, since these cannot offer them an 
affront with impunity. Often, however, the opinions on this subject, 
among this class of people in Russia, are even chivalrous. 

There was in my regiment an officer whose name was Yakouwo*- 
vitch,* and who, while he was serving in one of the regiments of 
the guards at St. Petersburgh in the year 1816 or 1817, was invited 
by one of his friends to act as his second in a duel, in which the 
former fell, as it is thought, by unfair means. • Yakouwovkch, who 
felt bound to avenge the death of his friend, challenged the assassin, 
who, to avoid this second affair, contrived a court intrigue, by which 
Yakouwovitch was immediately dismissed from the guards, and sent, 
without promotion, to a regiment in Georgia, accompanied by a 
courier. On his arrival at Moscow he wrote to his adversary, and 
also to this man's second, again demanding a satisfaction. The 
former "paid no attention to this fresh challenge; but the latter, 
struck with this manly conduct, accepted the challenge, though the 
duel was to be fought on the frontiers of Persia. The young Gri- 
valedoff, who thus gallantly came forward, was a counsellor of state, 
and held a post in die foreign office. To the no small astonishment 
of the ministry, he asked to be employed in the Persian legation ; 
but having obtained the situation of secretary to it, immediately set 

* Thfe name of this officer has been mentioned in the puHic papers as being one of 
the officer* eo&dfiBj&ed in Bossit, and implicated in the late suppressed conspiracy. 



1 



2?8 NARKATfVE Qtf 

off for his place of destination, informing Yakouwovitch, whom lie 
believed to be at Teflk, of his journey, and who received his letter 
at Karakhach. Having asked the necessary permission, the latter 
repaired to that city, where he met his opponent, and where they 
fought wittr pistols, as is customary ; but on the seconds having 
interfered after the first firing, the affair did not terminate so fatally 
as was feared from the nature of the affront. Yakouwovitch re- 
turned to his post at Karakhach, and Grivaiedoff, wounded, conti- 
nued his journey to Tauris, while the aggressor remained tranquil at 
St. Petersburgh. 

Hunting was at Karakhach the amusement of most of the officers 
on festival days ; but we were obliged to take certain precautions 
that we might not be hunted instead of hunting. All kinds of 
game were so abundant in these environs, (where wild goats are 
still very numerous), that the six hunters, whom the colonel kept 
constantly employed in this occupation, furnished so much game to 
the cantonment, that frequently no other meats were provided than 
those absolutely required for the service of the hospital. 

The natural attachment of my comrades to the customs of their 
country induced them to keep the carnival in the fashion of Russia, 
though of course on a very small scale* Thus, during the short 
time that the temperature allowed of this kind of amusement, we 
had Russian mountains, skating, and courses in sledges. In the 
evening we took tea, and punch was freely served, with pipes of 
Turkish tobacco, while chess and cards, enlivened by the music of 
the regiment, formed the usual diversion of the winter evenings. 
The wife of the chaplain of our regiment was the only lady at 
Karakhach ; but the retirement in which she lived deprived us of 
her company. Her husband, however, who was still young, and 
whose character and conduct rendered him an object of general 
esteem, was the ornament of our parties ; a circumstance which 
was the more highly valued by us, as it is by no means common 
among the military Russian clergymen. But, indeed, 1 have known 
few men more worthy of the respect and friendship which we all, 
without distinction of religion, felt for him, his tolerance being not 
the least of his virtues. 

Yakouwovitch, whose greatest pleasure was to attend on the sick 
soldiers at the hospital, and act as their principal nurse, was the first 
who made me remark the religious conduct of this clergyman, who 
seldom left the pillow of the dying soldiers. Since that time I felt 
for him that kind of attachment which is seldom effaced from the 
memory when it originates in such places. 

I cannot say as much of the doctor, who, without the unremitting 
cares and attendance of the officers on their sick soldiers, would, 
after two autumns, have made of Karakhach a vast cemetery. In- 
deed, the want of good doctors is very much felt in the army of the 
Caucasus ; and this can be attributed only to the negligence of tbi 



BON JUAN VAN HALEtf* 279 

government at St. Petersburgh ; a negligence which is the more 
blamable, as in this part of the empire the soldiers are very subject 
to sickness. Our corps, like all the others in Russia, furnished 
men every year to the imperial guard, who were replaced by the 
conscripts, who are periodically raised throughout the empire. But 
such was the gross ignorance of the three doctors intrusted with 
the care of our hospital, (which by the disinterestedness of the 
colonel and the affection of the officers for the soldiers, might in 
every respect serve as a model to any in Russia,) that when they 
were allowed to act according to their own judgment, three parts 
of those conscripts fell victims to the fevers prevalent in the country. 
Thus the officers and soldiers of the regiment stationed at Ka- 
rakhach spent most of the time which was not employed in their 
military duties in acts of friendship and benevolence ; constantly 
struggling with assassins, and surrounded with wild beasts, ser- 
pents, scorpions, and swarms of insects, by which we were tor- 
mented in our beds, and which disappeared only during the winter 
season ; our knowledge of the events that were passing in the 
world being confined to the slight information contained in the 
prikaz, which was every week sent from St. Petersburgh, and 
winch arrived with more or less regularity, according to the prac- 
ticability of the . passage of couriers through the chain of the 
mountains. 

In the midst of this kind of exile, supportable only because with 
a military philosophy we all endeavoured to overcome the, crosses 
and ennui incident to this kind of life, I deceived, towards the latter 
end of February, 1820, the first intelligence from my exiled friends. 
The circumstance of its probably being the first Spanish letter 
which has ever been received at the Caucasus, and the person by 
whomjt was written, appear to me worthy of mention here.* 

The spring beginning now to be felt at Karakhach, the regiment 
prepared to leave this part of the country, to establish in the month 
of May their summer encampment at Tzarskoie, which is situated 
on the high lands forming a continuation of the Signach&c hills, 
and which is twelve wersts distant from Karakhach. This place is 
well provided with good water, and considered the most salubrious 
in the environs. 

The arrivkl of General Yermolow at Tefiis, together with the 
inactivity in which the regiment was likely to remain at Tzarskdie, 
and my desire to render myself useful during the summer, induced 
me to ask permission from the general-in-chief to proceed to the 
capital. Having obtained it, I set off from Karakhach on the 20th 
of March, accompanied by some officers of the regiment, who 
were also proceeding to the capital. On our second day's journey 
we passed through the German colonies, which are within fiv* 

* See note I, 



280 / NARRATIVE OF 

wersts of the capita]. These colonists, who are natives of Wirtenv 
burgh, were sent into Georgia through the influence of the Em- 
press Mother, who wished to relieve the misery of the indigent 
class of her native country. Their proximity to Teflis enables 
them to furnish the market with butter, hams, potatoes, and other 
vegetables which were before unknown to the Georgians. The 
houses built for them by the government are well adapted to the 
climate ; whilst the protection which they meet, both from the au- 
thorities and from those Germans employed in the country, contri- 
bute much to their prosperity. 

We arrived early on the 5th of April at Teflis, where my friend 
the Baron Renempkamph again invited me to take up my quarters 
at bis house. Having immediately presented myself to General 
Yermolow, and expressed a wish of rendering myself useful during 
the summer out of my regiment, studiously concealing from him the 
real state of my health, which was still in a most deplorable state, 
I obtained the only favour he had in his power to grant, namely, 
my remaining at Teflis near his person until an opportunity should 
offer. 

Before proceeding further in my narrative, I beg to be allowed to 
offer a slight retrospective sketch of the revolutions which Georgia 
has undergone till its incorporation with the Russian empire, and the 
advantages derived by the Georgians from this important event 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

Historical and topographical sketch of Georgia—The Princes* Tamar— Conquest by 
Dchennghis I&an— The Tzars of Georgia—- Division into petty kingdoms— The 
Georgians geek the protection of Russia— The Tzar Heraclius— Invasion by the 
Persians under Aga Mehemet— Zonboff attacks Daghestan— Cruel death of €ha* 
rokh, an Asiatic prince— Assassination of Mehemet Shah— Sadek Khan— Baba 
Khan mounts the Persian throne as Fetah-Ali-Shah— Abdication of Heraelraa, 
Tsar of Georgia— His son George resigns his dominions to the Russians— General 
Tchitchianow— Desperate act of the Georgian Taarina— The Georgians profess 
the Greek creed— Armenian portion of the population — Capuchin missionaries*— 
Temples of the idolaters-— Administration of Yermolow— The Tartar principaliriea 
in allegiance to Russia— Nongha— Costume of the inhabitants of Shirvan, and the 
tributaries to Russia— Commercial spirit of the Armenians Warlike disposition of 
the Georgians— The Tartars described— Consolidation of the government. 

Georgia, called by the Russians Grpusia, comprises die provinces 
of Kahetia or Kahet (which was formerly called Albania), Imeretia 
(originally Iberia), Kartalinia, and Minngrelia, (anciently Colchida). 

The revolutions which this country suffered in ancient times, and 
which the monuments, medals, and other antiquities still found 
here serve to commemorate, are too generally known to require any 
further mentidn. A continual prey to their invading neighbours. 



\ 



\ 

\ 

\ 

\ 

X 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 281 

these provinces became the theatre of still more bloody scenes after 
tbe introduction of Christianity,' and were unable to obtain their 
complete independence until the reign of the first Tamar, a princess 
who flourished towards the* latter end of the. eleventh century, and 
who conquered both the Turks and the Persians, whose oppressive 
' yoke had hitherto so heavily weighed on her country. 

This princess, who is as celebrated in Georgia as Catharine II. in 
Russia, married a Russian prince of the family of Bogolubsky, and 
at her death was succeeded by her daughter ; who, less fortunate than 
her mother, was overcome by the renowned Dchennghis Khan, who, 
assisted by Tamerlan, invaded Georgia for the .purpose of establish- 
ing the Koran. The great source of evil to that country, however, 
arose from the frequent divisions of the Georgian princes themselves, 
who, by erecting their provinces into independent kingdoms, ex- 
posed their country still more to the incursions of the Persians. 
Alexander I. Tzar of Georgia, and who reigned at the beginning of 
the fifteenth century, was one of the first to set the example, by 
bequeathing separate provinces to each of his sods ; who thereby 
became independent kings. This accounts also for the great num- 
ber of princes that are found among the Georgian nobility. 

Some years after that impolitic division, the Turks, in their con- 
tentions with the Persians, urged the tribes of the Caucasus, and 
especially the Lesghis, who professed the same religion as them- 
selves, to lay waste that part of Georgia adjoining Persia, that they 
might form a barrier by rendering it a desert. Alexander, Tzar of 
\Kahetia, was then obliged to have recourse to Russia, and, in 1586, 
sent an ambassador to Fedor 1. Tzar of Muscovy, offering submis- 
sion, and requesting that some fortresses might be built on the 
Terak for his defence. From that time the protection of Russia 
has been sought by most of the Georgian princes, whoseldom failed 
to obtain it. 

When Peter I. ascended the throne of Russia, he began his cele- 
brated reign by taking u more active part in the affairs of Georgia. 
Derbend was occupied by his troops, and several altercations arose 
between him and the Persians respecting the Daghestan, which were 
more or less energetically supported, according as the court of 
Russia felt interested in the welfare of that part of Asia. At length, 
some years after the death of that Emperor, the affairs of Persia 
became so involved, and weighed so heavily on Georgia, that they 
led to the final incorporation of those provinces with the Russian 
qmpire. The following are the details. 

* Aga Mehemet, son of a governor of one of the provinces of Per- 
sia, was, by order of Adel Shah, toward the middle of the last cen- 
tury, made a eunuch at the age of twelve, and confined in a prison 
of Shiras, where he was kept for nearly thirty years. This man, 
naturally ambitious and intriguing, though entirely devoid of talents, 
succeeded in rendering himself master of the crown, as much by the 

Nil „ 



%$% NARRATIVE OF 

enormous sums he distributed, to foment the disunion which had 
taken place among the descendants of Kerin, as by the assistance 
he met from a powerful party. Scarcely had the usurper ascended 
the throne, than he abandoned himself to every excess of cruelty 
that the most atrocious tyranny could devise. The details of his 
barbarities are too disgusting to be mentioned here, and drew upon 
him the well-merited appellation of tyrant, even from the wretched 
slaves over whom he swayed. 

Thirsting for new victims, he cast his eyes on Georgia, where at 
that time reigned the Tzar Heraclius, who had just concluded a 
treaty with the Empress Catharine II. with the view of checking any 
encroachments on the part of Persia. Mehemet assembled an army 
of 40,000 men, and marched upon Erivan,the residence of a Khan, 
who had shaken off the yoke of Persia, and who was an ally of the 
Tzar Heraclius, where he expected to find the presumptive heir of 
Georgia. Having fought a battle before Erivan, in which he de- 
feated his enemies, he left there some troops for the blockade of the 
fortress, and continued his triumphant march towards Gangea, now 
called Elizabethpol ; after which he directed his course towards 
Teflis, from which he was removed only three days' journey. 

The Tzar Heraclius, believing that this capital would be protected 
by the troops be had placed under the command of his eldest son, 
and surprised by the sudden appearance of Aga Mehemet, fled into 
the province of Kahetia, followed by the whole of the nobility and 
most of the inhabitants of Teflis, who carried away with them every 
thing of value. Mehemet entered Teflis on the 1 8th of October, 
1795, without the least opposition, gave it up to pillage, and put to 
the sword, or carried into slavery, all who had remained behind. 

The Khan of Erivan, intimidated by Mehemet's successes, again 
placed himself under his yoke ; and the son of Heraclius, allowing 
his troops to disperse at this critical moment, dishonoured himself 
so far as to acknowledge as sovereign, in his own and his father's 
name, the atrocious tyrant who had invaded his country ; agreeing, 
moreover, to pay to him the annual tribute paid by Georgia in 
former times. This submission on the part of this prince was the 
more disgraceful, as he was then in the vigour of his age, and at the 
head of all the forces of Georgia. 

Satisfied with this rapid incursion, Mehemet licensed his troops, 
and proceeded to the court of Teheran, to spend the winter there. 
But on the Russian cabinet learning this invasion, orders were 
issued to General Zouboff to march forward with his army, which, 
after ten days' bombardment, entered Derbeiid, and afterwards pro- 
ceeded towards the Daghestan, along the borders of the Caspian 
Sea. These troops continued their operations on that side, and 
took Bakou and Chamakia ; but as they approached the frontiers 
of Persia, they received, in December of the same year, the news 
of the death of Catharine, and orders to retrograde. 



1>0N JUAN VAN HALEN. 289 

Mehemet, instead of coming out to meet the Russians, directed 
bis course towards Khorazan, on the eastern side of the Caspian 
Sea, between Persia and Turcomania, with the object of dethroning 
Charokh, the only prince in Asia who studied the happiness of his 
subjects, and preserved tranquillity in his states. Charokh sent his 
son to the mountains with his treasures, and seeing how impossible 
it was for him to oppose any resistance, went atone to meet the 
Shah, and proposed to him the most advantageous conditions to 
preserve peace. The tyrant, however, would not listen to them ; 
and, not satisfied with depriving him of his province, insisted on 
knowing the place where his son had fled with the treasures, which 
he claimed as belonging to him by right, alleging that his predeces- 
sor Nadir Shah had taken them there from India. Charokh refusing 
to accede to this, the. tyrant had recourse to the most cruel torments, 
until that unhappy prince, vanquished by his sufferings, disclosed, 
a few hours before expiring, the place where his son and his trea- 
sures were. 

After a series of disasters, during which the Persians carried off 
from Teflis more than 12,000 unhappy Georgians, who dragged on 
a wretched existence in slavery, the salvation of Georgia depended 
on its becoming a part of the Russian empire, from whose monarchs 
they had incessantly experienced the most marked favours and pro* 
tection, and with whom they were besides linked by the same reli- 
gion, and a detestation for the power of the Mussulmans. 

In the. month of March, 1797, Mehemet, enriched by his spoils, 
prepared for a second Invasion of Georgia, and traversed the pro- 
vince of Shirvan, at the head of 60,000 men ; but the death of tyrants 
awaited him, and he was assassinated during the night in his own 
tent by Sadek Khan, one of his chief officers, when the army was 
on the frontiers of Georgia. This officer seized on the treasures of 
the Shah, and took the Firman, and the seal that the tyrant, like all 
the princes of Asia, carried fastened to his wrist by a bracelet, and 
causing 10,000 men of his* faction to follow him, proceeded to the 
court of Teheran, with the view of drawing to his party the discon- 
tented, and placing himself on the throne of the usurper. 

Four claimants to the crown suddenly presented § themselves, 
among whom Hadgi Ibrahim, by dint of promises and gifts, suc- 
ceeded in inducing the new usurper to renounce all his designs, and 
declare himself in favour of Baba Khan, nephew of the tyrant Me- 
hemet, who actually mounted the throne, in 1799, under the name 
of Fetah-AIi-Shah. It was at this epoch that his favourite, Kouli- 
Khan, distinguished himself. 

After a reign of fifty-two years the Tzar Heraclius abdicated in 
favour of his son George, and placed his kingdom under the protec- 
tion of Russia. The new prince, following in the steps of his pre- 
decessors, concluded the work to which he was urged by the deplo- 
rable circumstances of his country, and bequeathed, in 1800, his 







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JVAKRATIYE OF 



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spates to the Emperor Paul I. The Russian troops then advanced 
from the Terak to Teflis. The policy of the Russians, doubtless, 
induced them to intrust the command of this army to General 
Tchitchianow, a Georgian prince, related to the last Tzar, who has 
left, among his countrymen and the Kussians, an honourable memory 
of the superior talents, both military and political, by which he was 
distinguished. This general not only screened bis country from 
foreign invasion, but punished the Persians for the numberless atro- 
cities they had committed in Georgia, and ended his days with the 
satisfaction of knowing, that he had dried the tears of so many fami- 
lies who had hitherto been so cruelly oppressed by the Mahometans. 
From the moment that this illustrious general was placed at the 
head of the government, Alexander, brother to the Tzar George, 
displeased with the political change which had taken place in 
Georgia, endeavoured to excite several provinces to rebellion ; but, 
finding his efforts fruitless, he took refuge in Persia, where he still 
resides, and is made the instrument for disturbing the peace of his 
native country. 

These events occasioned the removal of George's Tzarine to 
Moscow, by orders of the Russian government. It is a well-known 
fact, that this princess, when she received orders to depart, was so 
greatly incensed, not only against the authors of those orders, but 
against the messenger himself, General Lazareff, who they say had 
been her lover, that, after haughty reproaches on her side and pru- 
dent reflections on his, she snatched from the waist of a servant then 
present his poniard, and plunged it into the bosom of Lazareff, who 
fell dead at her feet. Appeased by this sacrifice, she consented to 
be taken to Moscow, where, in my journey through that city in 
1819, I learned she still resided, receiving a pension from the 
government. 

After the death of Tchitchianow, the Russian government, too 
deeply engaged in the affairs of Europe, neglected in some measure 
the destiny and prosperity of these new provinces, and not only sent, 
according to the general opinion, persons unfit for its administration, 
but changed them so often that no improvement could reasonably & 
be expected. Such was still the fate of Georgia, on which thus 
weighed the calamities of Asia and of Europe, until the end of the 
European campaign of 1814, when the Emperor Alexander turned 
his attention towards that country. 

It was at this epoch that General Yermolow was, after his cele- 
brated embassy to Teheran, appointed general-in-chief, with full 
power to organize and pacify this interesting country, an undertaking 
sufficient of itself to immortalize the name of this general, but which 
the Persians are incessantly striving to thwart by their perfidious 
conduct, and by their constant endeavour to foment insurrection in 
favour of the Tzarwitch in some of the provinces of Georgia, and 
especially in those on the confines of Persia, whose religious creed 
places them more within the influence of their seductions. 



u 



BON JUAN VAN HALBJN. , 285 

With respect to the religion of the Georgians, history informs us 
that Nono, who lived in the time of Constantine, being carried a 
captive to Georgia, converted the Tzar Mirian to Christianity, as well 
as most of his subjects, by the extraordinary cures he performed, 
which were looked upon by the people as miracles, and which he 
declared to emanate from the holiness of his religion. From that 
time the Georgians have never ceased to profess the Greek creed, 
and were subject to the patriarch of Constantinople until the eleventh 
century, when they appointed their own patriarchs. The number 
of ruined churches which are found throughout this country, show 
how general was this religion among the inhabitants. 

The Armenians, who owing to their religion are constantly 
obliged to take refuge in Georgia, on account of the vexations they 
experience from the Turks and Persians, formed in 1820 more 
than the fourth part of the Georgian population, and more than 
half of that of Teflis. The Armenians carry on most of the com- 
merce of this country. Their love for mercantile pursuits ex- 
empts them from the indolence which so generally prevails among 
the Asiatics. 

The Jews are. by no means numerous here, and constitute but a 
very indigent and insignificant class of people. This may be at- 
tributed to the activity of the Armenians in every branch of trade. 

At the commencement of the seventeenth century, the court of 
Rome sent some Capuchin missionaries, who establishedthemselves 
in some of the principal towns of Georgia. The superior and a 
few more have their residence at Teflis, and obtained from the 
government sufficient ground to build a church and a convent, to 
which a considerable garden is annexed. It is very probable' that 
the long beards, which distinguish the Capuchins from the other* 
Catholic friars, gained them the preference over others for the mis- 
sion of this country, where even the Catholics themselves believe 
that a long beard is an indispensable appendage to a minister of the 
altar. I have seen a Dominican friar, who came from Poland to 
join the mission of Teflis, and who, notwithstanding his being a 
native of* Georgia, felt obliged to let his beard grow, not to lose the 
-/ good opinion of his flock. These missionaries, besides the exact 
fulfilment of their spiritual duties, devote much of their time to the 
assistance of the sick, their humanity and unremitting attentions 
entitling them to the greatest praise. 

The sectaries of Omar and those of Ali have also their mosques 
at Teflis. At noon, the vociferations of their olanes* from the 
towers of their temples are heard in spite of the deafening noise 
made by the bells of the Christians. The ancient temples of the 
idolaters are still extant ; but they now serve only as places of 
refuge for destitute families. All these different religions are tolera- 

* Attendants at the mosque?. 



286 xNARKATIVE OK 

ted in Georgia, the same as throughout the Russian empire, and 
enjoy an equal protection from the government. This enlightened 
policy, together with the steady endeavours of the armed force to 
preserve tranquillity in every part of the country, in which there is 
every reason to hope they will ultimately succeed, and the indefati- 
gable cares and good administration of the modern chief, have 
thrown open the gates of Georgia to all foreigners, either Asiatic 
or European, who by their commerce with the natives so greatly 
contribute to foment the industry of the country, the prosperity of 
which must now be rapidly increasing. 

With respect to the Khanas, or Tartar principalities, which form 
the limits of Georgia on the east and south ; such as tyougha, Shir- 
van, Karaway, although at the time of that country's incorporation 
with Russia, the respective Khans declared themselves tributaries, 
and subjects to the Emperor, there were certain stipulations made, 
by which no Russian troops were to be stationed in their provinces. 
Thus the government of Georgia has there no other armed force 
than that required to maintain the communication from one point 
to another. Gangea, or Elizabethpol, was incorporated with Geor- 
gia during the administration of Prince Tchitchianow. Nougha, 
a province on the western boundaries of Kahetia, was joined to 
Georgia at the death of their last Khan, and is under the immediate 
authority of a military governor. This province, and those of 
Shirvan and Karaway, far from admitting any Russian troops, have 
agreed with the government to furnish them, whenever they should 
require it, their contingents of cavalry. 

Thus the Russian provinces, comprised under the name of Geor- 
gia, and extending from the southern part of the Caucasus, may be 
classed as follows : Kahetia, Kartalinia, and Imeretia, Christian 
provinces of the Greek, Armenian, and Catholic creeds. Elizabeth- 
pol, Karaway, Shirvan, Nougha,* Mahometan provinces composed 
of Tartars, sectaries of Omar, and of Persians, sectaries of AIL 

The costume of these various provinces differs but little. They 
all wear very wide trowsers, two short tunics, the under one always 
of some bright colour, and the other of cloth, either blue or of a 
darker hue, the sleeves of which are very wide and open from the 
wrist to the elbow, and which, when thrown across over the shoulders, 
is considered among them as a signal for combat. A cap of black 
lambskin of Astrakhan, with a small crown of red cloth, and boots 
with long pointed toes, complete their attire. The Tartars, like the 
rest of the Mahometans, are distinguished from the Christians and 

* The population of these provinces cannot be correctly ascertained, owing to the 
continual emigrations from Persia and Turkey, by which it is increased. In 1819, 
however, the Christian population was said to amount.to 420,000 souls ; and that of the 
Mussulmans to 320,000. When the territory is taken into consideration, this dis- 
proportion is striking ; but it may be easily accounted for by the thousands of 
families which have been carried off by the Persian* m their various incursions. 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 281 

Armenians by their long beards, whicb they preserve with a fanati- 
cal zeal, and by the top of their cap being turned inside. All make 
use of the bourka, tied round the neck with a handkerchief, and 
which is the only winter covering known here. 

The character of the Armenians, particularly of those who devote 
themselves to commerce, is not considered by the Georgians as the 
most exalted. Always calculating, and engaged in speculations, 
they would sooner bear with a thousand outrages than with the loss 
of an ounce of cotton ; but the government may safely reckon on 
them for any useful enterprise by which their commerce or industry 
is likely to benefit. In this case they are always ready with their 
loans. 

The Georgians, on the contrary, cherishing the remembrance of 
the exploits which maintained them as an independent nation, are 
passionately fond of the profession of arms, and enthusiastic for 
every thing that is heroical and sublime. Their ballads, which are 
full of extravagant hyperboles, and fanfaronades on their national 
valour, contribute to keep alive their love for war, which, like the rest 
of the Asiatics, personal courage is considered as the supreme 
virtue, a notion whicb they derive from the sort of guerilla warfare 
which they have hitherto pursued. The Georgians wear linen like the 
Europeans, especially since their intercourse with them. In general, 
they are tall and well-proportioned ; have regular features, dark 
complexions, and black and expressive eyes. It would be difficult 
to find throughout Georgia a, real native with light hair or blue 
eyes. There is a degree of haughtiness in their carriage and os- 
tentation in their manners, which are not unbecoming men who are 
certainly capable of the greatest sacrifices ; but they are treache- 
rous and deceitful when once offended. They are greatly distin- 
guished from the Armenians by their strong passions, which also 
render their countenances more animated. 

The Tartars wear taffeta-shirts, almost always of a red colour, 
and which they change only once a year, a circumstance which, 
notwithstanding their continual ablutions, must give a tolerable 
idea of their uncleanliness. They are generally very corpulent, 
have dark eyes, and their complexion is nearly a copper colour. 
They are serious and circumspect in their demeanour, valiant with- 
out boasting, industrious, and hospitable. They love war as a hunt- 
ing expedition, and are as well suited for a rapid excursion as unfit 
for a slow and continued enterprise. 

The general-in-chief, well aware of the peculiar character of 
each of these nations, and wishing to give to it the greatest develop- 
ment possible, removed all the obstacles which obstructed the com- 
merce of the Armenians, and thus increased the public prosperity. 
He excited the noble ambition of the Georgian youth, by employing 
near his person and admitting into his army a great number of 
native officers who had conducted themselves honourably, and who 



2$g NARRATIVE OF 

deserved his confidence. And lastly, he imparted to the warlike 
character of the Tartars all the steadiness of which it is susceptible, 
by organizing their contingents in as regular a manner, as the natu- 
ral hatred of every Mahometan for discipline permitted. 

The Khans, accustomed, by long abuse of power, to exercise in 
their provinces all species of tyranny, strove as much as was- in 
their power to impede the uniform march and thwart the organiza- 
tion of the government of Teflis ; but the authors of these disor- 
ders, far from succeeding in their attempts, were quickly obliged to 
fly to another soil. ' The inhabitants of those provinces, however, 
being too well satisfied with this kind of administration, and having 
less tribute to pay when they depend on the authority of a military 
governor,* are never very much inclined to second the continual en- 
deavours of Persia, or of the fugitive Khans, to excite them to 
rebellion. 

The enlightened policy of the government of Teflis, and the 
probity, firmness, and well-known prudence, of General Yermolow, 
may very justly be said to have conquered the obstinacy of every 
party, and succeeded in uniting both Christians and Mussulmans 
under the same power and standard. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

Internal commerce— New bazaar— The caravanserais— Mixed society of Asiatics— 
Caravans — Carpets, cold tissues, Cashmere shawls — Jewellery — Manufactures — 
Cutlery — The steel of Korazan — Traffic in Georgian women — Furs of the black 
fox — Fruits and rose-trees of Georgia— Fertility — Georgia compared with Anda- 
lusia—Wheat from Odessa— Cultivation of rice — Vineyards of Kahetia — River 
Koura— Gardens surrounding Teflis— Celebrated hot baths of Teflis — Mode of 
-being bathed by 'the Tartars— Toilet of the Georgian women — Their dances- 
Paint — Beauty— Lively imagination— Their chastity and fidelity— Pride of the 
nobles— Feudal system in use — Persian language most in fashion— Dialects- 
Literature at a low ebb— Weddings — Motive for early marriages— Funeral of 
General Ahuerdoff— Funeral rites of the Georgians. 

The commerce of Georgia may be said to be concentrated at 
Teflis ; the bazaar, therefore, is proportionably large, and contains 
all the retail shops, which are distributed in different narrow and 
winding streets, situated in the old city. The government, wishing 
to give every encouragement in their power to trade, was building 
another in the new city, which must by this time be finished, though 
they had many prejudices on the part of the inhabitants to over- 
pome, as the spot on which it is built was the burial-ground of the 
Georgians. The caravanserais are also very numerous in that city* 
and contain the wholesale magazines, which are so well stocked, 
that not only the bazaar of Teflis, but those of Imeretia and 
Kahetia are supplied by them. Each of these caravanserais forms 



DON JUAN VAN, IUL&N. 289 

a la^e building, thfe interior of which is subdivided into a great 
number of small rooms v not unlike the cells of a monastery, and 
which, communicate with spacious galleries, looking into a large 
yard* in which are seen pell-mell camels, buffaloes, and horses, be- 
* longing to the different caravans, which are continually crossing the 
streets of Teflis. Thus nothing is more common in these places 
than to find the Persian and the Turk, the Lesghi and the Arme- 
nian, the Tartar and the Greek, living amicably together. 

Cashmere shawls, gold tissues, and rich carpets,, are the chief 
ornaments and attraction of the caravanserais, and in great request 
among the wealthy Georgian families. The attitude of these 
oriental merchants, sitting cross-legged on their carpets, now with a 
pipe and now with a kalion,* until they are interrupted by cus- 
tomers, when the suddenness with which they pass from this state 
of inaction to that of mercantile eloquence and active gesticulation, 
excite the attention and surprise of a stranger. The gold ducat of 
Holland is the favourite coin among these Asiatic merchants. Any 
purchase may be made at Terlis with great advantage when the 
payment is proposed in this coin. 

There are several manufactories in this city, which greatly con- 
tribute to its wealth. The enamel in silver, which is much used in 
jewellery and in arms, is equally beautiful and permanent, as well 
as the colours, which are extremely bright. The sabres and the 
kinnjaies, or poniards, are carried to the greatest possible perfec- 
tion. The steel of Kerazan is generally used for this purpose, and 
is the finest known in Asia. The blades are so well prepared, tem- 
pered, and damaskened at Terlis, that they are considered very 
superior to all others, and fetch an exorbitant price. There is also 
a manufactory of caps both for Persians and Georgians, for which 
there is a great demand. Indeed, Terlis offers a good representa- 
tion of the fair of Nijni Novgorode, though on a smaller scale, and 
there is little doubt but that if once the communication between 
Georgia and Astrakhan through the Daghestan, and with the Black 
Sea through Imeretia, should be well established, the market of 
Terlis will by its advantageous situation, rival that of Nijni Novgo- 
rode, and Georgia will then be able to defray all the expenses of its 
administration and of its army. -, k 

It is, however* impossible . not to feel surprised at the mercantile 
activity .observable in this city, when we consider that only twenty- 
six years, ago the first and most considerable article of commerce 
consisted of young men and women, the latter being generally sold 
for the harem of the Shah of Persia, or for the seraglio of the 

* A kalion 19 a large porcelain or crystal vase, ornamented with precious stones. 
It contains the water through which the smoke of the tobacco passes, and is in gene- 
ral use among the Tartars and the Persians, who are often seen riding and smoking, 
followed by an attendant also on horseback, who carries in the holsters the kalian 
and all the necessary apparatus for smoking, which his master enjoys by means of a 
leather tube, forty or fifty feet long, at whatever pace he may choose to go. 

Oo 



290 NARRATIVE OF 

Saltan. A beautiful Georgian woman was often exchanged for a 
damaskened sabre, or for an Arabian horse. This infamous traffic 
ceased with the presence of the Russian army, and the government 
has since turned their, attention to this interesting portion of society, 
by giving them an education very different from that Which was for- 
merly bestowed on them, and thereby increasing their importance 
in the eyes of their countrymen. 

The mountaineers of the Caucasus, and particularly the Lesghis, 
also bring to the market of Teflis the produce of their industry, and 
their coarse articles, consisting of bourkas, skins, raw silk, honey, 
and wax ; and take in exchange linen, cloth, iron, and Russian lea- 
ther. Among the skins brought for sale are found, though very 
rarely, and at an immense price, that of the black fox. It is 
asserted, that, the only two complete cloaks of this fur were in the 
possession^ of the Emperor Alexander and Napoleon, who had re- 
ceived his from the former. 

The fine climate and fertile soil of Georgia* produce every kind of 
fruit found in the south of Spain, such as wild vines, olive, almond, 
pear, apricot, date, mulberry, and pomegranate trees, and woods of 
rose-trees." All these are seen in blossom in the first days of March. 
Nature, here sojprodigal of her gifts, demands only the cares of man 
to make'Georgia the most prosperous country of the East. Its pro- 
vinces, like Andalusia, though abounding in every kind of produc- 
tion, are often in want of the corn sufficient for their support. In 
this case the price of wheat, which they are obliged to bring across 
the Caucasus, is very high. The communication of Georgia with 
the Black Sea, an object the attainment of which is zealously at- 
tended to by the government, will open a new source of prosperity 
to this country, and enable it to procure with facility, and at a 
moderate price, the corn of which they may stand in need and 
which abounds in the market of Odessa. Meantime rice, which is 
very plentiful throughout Georgia, supplies the deficiencies of the 
former ; but it is to be feared, as unfortunately is the case in some 
of the southern provinces of Spain, that the cultivation of rice m&y 
be productive of insalubrity to the country, on account of the man- 
ner of preparing the soil on which it is grown. 

Some of the provinces, especially that of Kahetia, in which the 
vineyards are so numerous, furnish more than sufficient wine for 
the consumption of the country ; and if the example of Colonel 
Tchitchiwaze (who in the short space of three years which he 
devoted to the cultivation of his vineyards, assisted by intelligent 
foreigners, has rendered his wines celebrated) were to be followed, 
there is no doubt that the wine of Kahetia would reach a high state 
of perfection, provided, however, they would keep it in casks, a 
measure- which in this country would be easily adopted, as they have 
excellent wood for this purpose. 

The waters of Teflis are said to be very good for dying, and to 



B<fN JUAN VAN HALEN. 291 

^ 

{hem i» attriblitedr the bright and permanent colours possessed by 
the jstufis .and carpets manufactured in this city. Nothing however 
surprises a stranger so much, when he examines the beautifully-made 
shawls, carpets, sabres, and poniards, articles in horn, &c. as the 
coarseness of the instruments used for manufacturing the various 
objects of their industry. 

The river Kur, Kour, or Koura, traverses the city of Teflis, and 
flows through steep rocks. The new town is situated on the heights 
of the right bank of the river, adjoining the old, which is built in 
the form of. an amphitheatre, on the brow of a hill on which the 
ancient castle stands. The suburbs called Awlaborre and Yrni are 
on the left bank. On both sides of the river a multitude of gardens 
of every description spread far beyond the city, and offer, during the 
long spring which this country enjoys, many cheerful and picturesque 
prospects. 

The new city is built on an entirely modern plan, suggested by 
the government, which is endeavouring to improve the old town, by 
giving to both the streets and houses a more modern and regular 
appearance. The Armenians, finding it to their interest, effica- 
ciously second the efforts of the government; 

The baths of Teflis are situated at the eastern extremity of the 
city, at the foot of the hill, and on the road leading to the southern 
provinces. The hot springs pour through the rocks into the baths, 
and are considered an excellent specific for rheumatic complaints, 
and for certain kinds of wounds. They serve likewise for the con- 
tinual ablutions to which the , Georgians, like all the Asiatics, are 
accustomed. The heat of these baths is from 12 to 50 degrees of 
Reaumur. The sulphureous smells which those from 30° to 40° 
omit, render, them very unpleasant, those used for common purposes 
being from 12° upwards. They are open to the public night and 
day, through the whole week, except on Saturdays, when they are 
generally engaged by the Georgian women. 

The basins for bathing are cut near the rock, and underneath the 
pipes through which the water flows. The baths are divided into 
three or four grottoes, each of a different temperature, and only one 
of which admits a little light through a small sky-light in the vault, 
winch is constructed of brick, in the Arabian manner. The baths 
for the men are exclusively served by Tartars, who are accustomed 
to this kind of service. 

When a person arrives at the bath, one of the Tartars conducts 
him to a platform covered with carpet, where he. undresses previous 
to his entering the bath. At the door of the second grotto he is 
met by another Tartar, who, like all those employed in the interior 
of these dark vaults, which are scarcely lighted by the feeble glim- 
merings of a few lamps, is in a state of nature. Here he may be 
said to receive a*vapour-bath, produced by the steam issuing from 
the hot springs. On his arriving at the entrance of the bathing 



NARRATIVE OP * 

i 

grotto, a stranger is obliged to carry bn his conversation by signs* 
as very few can make themselves understood by these men. The 
repeated process of compressing the body, twisting the limbs, 
making the joints play, and handling one like a sponge, fee. which 
then commences, has been so frequently described, that I will pass 
it over in silence, remarking only, that two hours after these ablutions, 
one feels an extraordinary improvement in the whole frame. 

The women, especially those of the higher class, were formerly 
in the habit of spending four-and-twenty hours in these vaults ; but 
now they only remain here during a few hours, though the whole of 
Saturday the baths are exclusively engaged for them. Besides 
bathing, the Georgian women make here their toilet, seated on car- 
pets brought by their attendants. Both old and young make use of 
a pomatum prepared by themselves, by means of which they pre* 
serve the colour of their hair, especially those of an advaribed age. 
They also paint and varnish their faces with red and white, and their 
nails with yellow, whilst they teaze themselves with endeavouring to 
make their eyebrows meet, which, in tbiaxountry, is considered as 
essential to beauty. 

When their toilet is ended, they lie down- to sleep; and, on 
awakening, are served with various refreshments, chiefly consisting 
of fruits and preserves. Formerly, they never uncovered their feces 
before a stranger ; but at present that custom is so far abolished, 
that, though they still show some shyness, they only veil while tra- 
velling, when they invariably ride astride on horseback, entirely 
dressed in white, and preceded by a running footman, who is armed 
faith a stick. 

.On Sundays, the families assemble in the evening, which they 
chiefly spend in dancing, the ladies always by themselves, and in cou- 
ples, the various attitudes they use being too wanton to permit the*men 
to take a part in the dances, without, in some measure, transgressing 
the rules prescribed by decorum. There is some resemblance be- 
tween these and the national dances of Andalusia, although the 
music of the former chiefly consists of timbrels and tambourines, 
and sometimes of a harp. 

With respect to the beauty of the.Georgian women, it differs ac- 
cording to the various provinces ; but those who are best entitled 
to the celebrity they enjoy for personal attractions, inhabit the coun- 
try about the Caucasus. According to the opinion of persons who 
have had the opportunity of estimating their mental qualities, the 
Georgian women are endowed with lively imaginations, generous 
feelings, and vehement passions ; and, as most of the defects in 
their character arise more from habit and want of education than 
from nature, the improvement which they are daily making in the . 
former will quickly cause them to disappear. 

In Georgia, prostitution and adultery are almost unknown, though 
t^ere still exists a custom among the lower class for the parents tct 



Vtfs JUAN VAft HALEN. * 293 # 

give their daughters, for a small sum of money, to those who wish to 
Kre with them ; but, as this is done through the intervention of the 
police, this sort of commerce becomes, in some measure, legal, and 
prevents the children born under these circumstances from being 
abandoned. 

The women, during the time they are thus united, observe the 
utmost fidelity, and are Us careful and economical in their household 
concerns, as if they were linked to their companions by more binding 
ties. From the moment the parents have resigned their daughters, 
they have no further control" over them, nor can they see them but 
with the permission of the temporary husband, or when they are 
called to take them back. As the man who forms this kind of con- 
nexion must give a pecuniary guarantee to the police, if he wishes 
his children to be placed in the asylum for orphans rather than take 
charge df them, they become, from the moment of their birth, chil- 
dren of the government, who not only educate, but afterward? give 
them a profession analogous to their dispositions. 

The Georgians 'of the lower class do not scruple to marry women 
who may have been thus living with other men ; and when they 
possess them and their dowry, their jealousy is such, that it surpasses 
all that is said of the ancient Spaniards. Generally speaking, the 
Georgian women, whether mistresses or wives, have such a strong 
attachment for the object of their affection, no matter what his age 
or personal appearance may be, that they look*upon infidelity with 
the greatest horror. 

The pretensions of the Georgian nobility, respecting their ancient 
origin, are as absurd as any in the world, and most of them claim 
their descent from David. This is the reason why the majority have 
a harp in their coat of amis. 

They are generally very proud, though they show themselves so 
only to the natives ; for they seldom venture*to boast of such ridi- 
culous pretensions to foreigners, the old men among the aristocracy 
being too well aware of their inferiority v in point of education, and 
the young men knowing that whatever they have acquired in this 
respect, they owe it to the Russians. Among the Georgian princes 
the feudal system is still in existence, and, as was formerly the custom 
in Europe, their vassals follow them to the wars. 

The Persian language is spoken among the higher class, as the 
French is in Europe. There are two dialects commonly used in 
Georgia ; the one by the ecclesiastics in their religious performances, 
and the other by the civilians. The former is derived from the 
Greek and the Armenian, and the latter from the Persian and the 
Turkish languages. As it invariably happens when one nation 
passes under the dominion of another, many Russian words have 
already been introduced into the Georgian dialect. The Georgians 
and the Armenians, unlike the rest of the Asiatic nations, write 
from left to right. Their literature, though it datos its origin from 
Tamar, has no claim to that appellation, and is confined to a few 






iKr* 



294 



NARRATIVE pF 



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ballade; but the calamities in which Georgia has been involved by 
the frequent invasions of the Persians and other barbarians, account 
for the slow progress of learning. During the reign of Heraclius 
a new grammar was composed, which is still in use. Several classic 
works were also translated, and various schools established. The 
first map which appeared in Russia in the reign of Peter I. including 
some of the provinces of Georgia, was traced by Alexander Beke- 
vitch, a Circassian prince. 

Although the Georgian weddings are similar to the Russian, as 
far as regards the religious ceremony, they differ in other respects, 
particularly among the nobility. The marriages in this class are 
always contracted with a view to family interests, and very rarely 
through love and esteem. It was formerly the custom for the parents 
to betroth their children from the cradle, and their union often took 
place at so early an age, that the united years of the bride and 
bridegroom did not amount to twenty-four. It was by this means 
that the unhappy parents eluded the tribute both of girls and boys 
whom the Tzars of Georgia were obliged to send to the Mahometans 
when they were tributary to them. Another indispensable part of 
the etiquette was, that the betrothed persons should not have pre- 
viously seen each other, a custom which, since their intercourse with 
the Russians, is not so much adhered to* The ceremony to which I 
alluded above, however, remains unchanged, such being the attach- 
ment of these people to their ancient customs. 

The bride proceeds to the church covered with a thick veil, in 
which are two holes for the eyes, and the bridegroom leads her by 
the hand to the altar with the anxiety natural to one who has not 
the remotest idea of the physical or moral qualities of his bride. 
When the religious ceremony is concluded, they are conducted to 
the house of the girl's parents amidst the firing of musketry, where 
the couple are placed in the middle of a saloon, the bride still 
covered with her veil ; and all their friends sit round them, for 
several hours remaining m the same attitude, without uttering a 
single word, or taking any refreshment ; while the bride and bride- 
groom, by their immobility, appear more like two figures on an 
altar than two human beings, the latter probably praying Heaven 
for a favourable denouement of this matrimonial drama. After 
this long penance, the bridesmaid lifts up the veil of the bride. It 
may be easily conceived the different impressions which this act 
must produce in the bridegroom, who, however, folds his wife in 
his arms, of course more than once, if his prayer has been listened 
to ; and thus often love begins where etiquette ends. 

Soon after my arrival at Teflis, General Ahuerdoff, commandant 
of the artillery of the Georgian army, whose house I had much fre- 
quented, died in the flower of his age. Although I have always, 
been of opinion, that some better means than funeral processions 
and parade might be devised to evince our regret for the loss of 
those we love and esteem, the friendly terms on which I had been 



V 



\^ 



D(m JUAN VAN HiXEN. 



295 



iVith the family obliged me to accept an invitation to attend the 
funeral. I therefore repaired to the house of General Ahuerdoff 
at the appointed hour, where I found the body lying in state. The 
officers most attached to him acted as pall-bearers, and the military 
ceremony was in every respect similar to that used in Europe ; but 
immediately after the corpse, the widow and children of the de- 
ceased advanced on foot in deep, mourning. . On our arrival at the 
church, she was led to the steps of the funeral monument raised in 
the middle of the church, where she remained during the long 
Greek requiem, offering the most afflicting spectacle imaginable ; 
and, as if this were not sufficient, the wretched lady and her chil- 
dren were conducted to the top of the. monument, to take their 
last farewell of .the mortal remains deposited in the coffin. The 
scene of distress which followed was of a truly heart-rending 
nature. It confirmed me in my opinion of the uselessness of these 
distressing ceremonies, which, notwithstanding their antiquity, 
I cannot help considering as anti-religious ; the object of true reli- 
gion being rather to soften than heighten our afflictions. 

The Georgians observe the same rites in their funerals as the 
Russians ; but some of their ceremonies differ. Thus the horse 
of the deceased (and there are very few men in Asia who do not 
possess a horse) always precedes the corpse ; carrying the saddle 
invertedty. Behind the coffin come his relations, bearing his arms 
lowered almost to the earth ; and in the rear follow his whole family, 
mother, wife, brothers, sisters, and children, uttering at every mo- 
ment the most lamentable cries. In the church the women remain 
prostrate on the coffin for several hours, and immediately after tho 
interment the funeral procession returns to the house in the same 
order as before. The men then withdraw, and the women seat 
themselves on the ground around the widow, all observing the most 
profound silence ; until one of those who is reputed the most elo- 
quent among them, enumerates at intervals some of the good quali- 
ties that adorned the deceased ; when the clamorous lamentations, 
groans, shrieks, and tears commence. The widow, whether she be 
inclined or not, scratches her face, tears her hair, and does all in 
her power to disfigure herself. This ceremony is repeated every 
day for several hours during the space of six weeks ; and thus the 
disconsolate relict undergoes a Lent of affliction. What artifices 
must be resorted to in order to cause their tears to flow for such a 
length of time ! But absurd as is the custom, it is very difficult to 
alter the usage here detailed. 

In some of the provinces of the Caucasus where the Cliristian 
religion is not professed, the same custom is observed. Our sur- 
prise, however, lessens respecting these long and weeping mourn- 
ings, when we are informed that the women in this country are not 
allowed to marry a second time ; for when they do so, they bring 
upon themselves the execration of their friends; a custom which is 
nerhpos no less absurd than the former. 



*■> 






296 



NARRATIVE OF 



k- 1'. 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

Hospital at Tefli^-Schools—Eartbqiiakei— Public edifices tad chorobes— Death of 
Princes Tcbitchianow and Eristow by the, treachery of the Khan of JBakoa-— > 
Ancient fortress of Teflis destroyed— Priests confined in the dungeons— Crimes—. 
Adventures of Majors Lindsay and Mackintosh, on their return from Persia— 
Misskm of Mourarieff to Turcomania— -Club, assembly-room, and public library 
— Reserve of the ladies of Georgia— Their dances and music — Ball at Prince 
KadatofPs— Raptures of the Turcoman emissaries in witnessing the manners of 
Europe— Revolt in Imeretia— Assassination of Colonel Pousgilewsky — Campaign 
against the rebellious Khans— Character of General Madatoff— Anecdote refardiag 
Father Philip, a Capuchin missionary— Yermolow's reception of tho Persian 
envoys— •Departure of the expeditionary troops from Teflis. 

T&e Russian government has founded and endowed' afeveral 
benevolent institutipns, among which are, the hospital, which is 
situated in an airy and healthy part of the town, at its northern ex- 
tremity, and near the Koura, and several public schools for both 
sexes, in which the formation of manners is a prominent feature ; 
tints bestowing ori the inhabitants of these provinces the greatest 
blessing which a* truly paternal government can impart, and open- 
ing to Asia the gates of European civilization. ** 

Within the short space of a few- months, the new city of Teflis 
has been embellished by several public buildings, the principal of 
which are, the house of the general-in-chief, the officers of the 
government and of the staff; the house of the late general of 
artillery, Ahuerdoff; that of Prince Madatoff; and those of seve- 
ral nobles and rich Armenians. Besides, as in the capital the rich 
inhabitants are obliged to quarter the officers of the army in their 
houses, and not choosing to have them under the same roof as 
their women, they have caused several handsome and comfortable 
houses to be built, at their own expense, for that purpose. Conse- 
quently, Teflis is daily becoming larger, more handsome, and popu- 
lous ; points which meet with every possible encouragement from 
the government. There is also a public garden, called of the 
Crown, which is the principal resort of the higher class, and which 
likewise contributes tor the embellishment of the city. 

The old houses have, for the most part, no other foundations than 
the rocks on which they are built ; the reason assigned for th& 
being the frequent earthquakes that are felt here. I remember to 
have experienced one at the beginning of my illness, and during an 
access of fever, when my apartment and my bed shook for more 
than thirty seconds. 

There are, in Teflis, a great number of churches, which are be- 
coming every day richer by the gifts of the inhabitants, and the 
care of the priests in increasing the revenues. Among these, tb* 



I)ON JUAN VAN HALEN. S&? 

iaetropolitan Greek church called Sion is the most remarkable, and 
best attended. In one of the naves is a tomb containing the remains! 
of Princes Tchitchianow and Eristow, who, in 1800, fell victims to 
the treachery of the Khan of Bakon, when they were ctt the point 
of entering that fortress, which had been invested bjr the Russian 
troops, and to which the former prince was invited by the Khan. 
Trusting to the word of the Tartar, Tchitchianow advanced, ac- 
companied by his countryman Prince Eristow, and a few Cossacks, 
in order to receive the keys of the fortress $ biit, as they approached 
the gates, they were both shot, by orders of the Khan, who sent 
their heads to the Shah of Persia. Bakon, however, was taken 
immediately after, and the conquerors embalmed the two corpses, 
and deposited them in an Armenian church, where they remained 
•until the government caused them to be removed to the church of 
Sion, and a tomb erected, on which an epitaph is inscribed, stating 
the principal facts relating to their death. 

Towards the end of 1820, the government gave orders for the- 
ancient fortress of Teflis to be demolished, preserving only"the dun- 
geons, in which the state prisoners are confined, most of whom, at 
the time of rriy residence in that city, were priests of various reli- 
gions. When I was told this circumstance, I could not help show- 
ing some incredulity" ; but, on my being conducted to the prison by 
one of the public officers, I was soon undeceived, by seeing through 
the iron bars a great number of unfortunate men, who, to judge by 
their appearance, might easily have been mistaken for holy an* 
chorites. 

I am not sufficiently informed of the crimes by which all these 
men had brought themselves into that situation ; but there is no 
doubt they must have greatly* transgressed against such a mild and 
conciliating government as the present one truly is. I have been 
informed that, were it not for the respect which the military 
authority invariably manifests for the ministers of religion, some of 
them would have forfeited their lives on the scaffold. 

It id related of a certain missionary, who. was sent by his supe- 
riors to convert to Christianity one of the tribes of the mountains, 
that after experiencing the kindest reception on the part of the 
mountaineers, who are indeed remarkable for hospitality, he was 
detected in the act of using brutal violence towards one of their 
beautiful women. The enraged husband stabbed them both on the 
spot, and ran with his poniard' steeped in their blood to tell his 
friends the injury he had sustained, and stir them up* to revenge. 
This caused an insurrection among some of the tribes, against 
whom the government were obliged to bring an armed force, to re- 
duce them to submission. I could relate several other facts of & 
similar nature, which have taken place not only in the mountains, 
but even in Teflis, if such were the object of my narrative. 

The concourse of people at* Teflis increases considerably froin 



J 

r 



2A& NARRATIVE 0F 



• 

the beginning of the month of April ; and the variety of costumes, 
physiognomy, and languages, is then such, that the private parties 
offer the diversity of an European carnival. There I have met 
travellers from India and from Greece, emissaries from Korazan, 
and Persian messengers, in whose company were also two English 
officers, who were on their return home from Persia, where they 
had rendered great services to the country, as majors in the Peisian 
army, and with whom I became acquainted through the medium of 
the general-in-chief, who recommended them to me. One of them, 
whose name was Lindsey, had gained the particular esteem of 
Abbas Mirza, for whom he had organized, so far as the Persians 
are capable of organization, a school of artillery. This officer had 
brought back to her parents, at Teflis, a Georgian lady, whom 
Abbas Mirza, according to the barbarous usage of the East, had 
made him a present of. This lady, who was still young, and of a 
fine figure, had been carried away, with a great number of others, 
when she was still an infant, during the last invasion of the Persians 
in 1795, and had been brought up in the Harem. Major Lindsey, 
who had lived with her, and had two or three children, was on his 
way to England to take possession of a large fortune, and had with 
him one of his little boys, whom I have always seen dressed in the 
Persian costume. 

The other officer, named Mackintosh, had distinguished himself 
in the service of the East India company at the storming of Seringa- 
patam, and having been engaged in an affair of honour, which had 
led to serious consequences, was obliged to abandon his banners, 
and take refuge in Persia, where he had been employed in or- 
ganizing the infantry of Abbas Mirza. 

At the time when the Persian envoys arrived, there came with 
Colonel Mauravieff, who had been sent on an important mission to 
Turcomania, a country on the eastern borders of the Caspian sea, 
several emissaries of that country, for the purpose pf concluding 
with the Georgian government a treaty of mutual advantage to the 
two countries, and whose interests being opposed to those of the 
Persian envoys, did not appear much pleased with the presence of 
the former ; but they all added to the variety that was observable in 
the assemblies of the capital since the return of the general-in-chief. 

The club of Teflis, which had been but lately established, was 
projected by both the civil and military authorities of the capital 
during the absence of General Yermolow, towards the close of 
1819. This general, who being a single man could not hold as- 
semblies in which ladies might participate, and wKo wished to draw 
closer the social ties between the European and Georgian ladies by 
means of such an establishment, on his arrival encouraged as much 
as possible the evening assemblies held there. A vast edifice, 
which had been just built in the new city by one of the most opu- 
lent Armenians of Teflis. was destined for this purpose ; and a 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 299 

general subscription among the officers, employes, and Georgians 
of distinction, residing at Teflis, was raised to meet the expenses 
of the establishment. A library, which would soon contain a large 
collection of books, as there were many contributors to it, was 
formed ; several of the German and French journals were" taken in ; 
some rooms appropriated for reading, and others for cards, to 
which both subscribers and foreigners might repair every evening. 
The club, besides, contains several spacious ball-rooms, with 
orchestras in the centre. A Dalmatian landlord of an hotel, who 
had been made prisoner during Napoleon's campaign in Russia, and 
parried by a Russian general to Georgia, was engaged to furnish 
the refreshment and suppers with which these parties generally ter- 
minated. In a word, every measure was taken to make this 
establishment prosper, and answer the object of the projectors. 

At first many individuals of the Georgian nobility seemed averse 
to the introduction of this novelty, and showed some reluctance to 
share in its advantages. Their prejudices against it, however, soon 
gave way ; though the ladies could not be induced to attend until 
the arrival of General Yerrholow at Teflis. But, as the European 
dances were unknown to them, it was only during supper-time that 
they came in closer contact with the European ladies and gentle- 
men ; that is, whenever the extreme jealousy of their husbands did 
not interfere ; so that in general the Georgian ladies formed their 
dances in another saloon, from which issued the harsh sounds of 
timbrels and tambourines, which they however seemed to prefer to 
the more harmonious ones of the orchestra of the club. 

The Turcomans, who during their stay at Teflis were invited to 
these assemblies, led by their natural inclination for every thing 
Asiatic, paid little attention to the European dances, and spent most 
of their time in the saloon where the Georgian ladies were. These 
men, who were accustomed to enjoy these amusements only in their 
harems, appeared greatly astonished at the liberty with which in 
their opinion, the ladies danced before the assembled party, and 
could scarcely contain their rapture at seeing the voluptuous atti- 
tudes and contortions of the Georgian ladies. 

Prince MadatofF, who though belonging to an ancient Armenian 
family is very much attached to the European customs, gave a ball 
at his house in Teflis,, which is one of the best in that city, and 
which he had at great expense furnished in the European manner, 
inviting to his party all the foreigners then in the capital, among 
whom were the two English majors, and the Turcomans. The 
astonishment of the latter, who were expressly conducted to the ball- 
room, was still greater than at the club, when they observed both 
sexes waltzing together. Every one present thought that these men, 
who had very gravely seated themselves in the Asiatic manner on 
the fine sofas in the saloon, and whose eyes were immovably fixed 
on the whirlings, and, as they thought, embraces of the walrzers,, 



/ 

«' 




« 



800 NARRATIVE OF 

would have gone out of their minds. Imagining that these dances 
must terminate in some strange manner, they were incessantly ques- 
tioning Colonel Mouravieff, by whom they were always accompanied, 
respecting it, and telling him that he had brought them to a dan- 
gerous and unknown paradise. 

These Turcomans saw the troops manoeuvre ; attended some of 
the assemblies at the house of the general-in-chief, and were also 
taken to a masquerade, an amusement which is entirely unknown 
in their country ) but there was nothing they admired so much as 
the expressive looks and twining of tlje arms of some of the dancers 
they had seen at Prince MadatpfFs. 

All these recreations, which are doubtless the best means to create 
an intercourse between the natives and the Europeans, were shortly 
to be abandoned by some of us for other occupations more analo- 
gous to our profession of arms, occasioned by the machinations both 
of external and internal enemies. Some parts of Imeretia had just 
revolted, and commenced hostilities by the perfidious assassination 
of Colonel Poussilewsky, who, trusting to the general esteem in 
which he was held, and the good faith of the man who betrayed 
him, presented himself unaccompanied at a tower in Gouriel, the 
residence of one .of the chiefs of the conspiracy, who had invited the 
colonel to a country party for the purpose of perpetrating that crime. 
Some of the conspirators were at that time at Teflis, lavishing their 
flatteries on the general-in-chief, a conduct by no means uncommon 
among the Asiatics. On the other hand, one of the provinces of 
the Caucasus called Kazykoumyk, situated between the Daghestan 
and the country of the Tchetchenkis, and which was under the au- 
thority of a Khan, who delighted in tyrannizing over his people, and 
committing the greatest atrocities on all the peaceable inhabitants 
of the neighbouring provinces who fell into his hands, began to 
threaten the tranquillity of the Daghestan by collecting a large army 
for the purpose of invading it. This Khan, who was united by ties 
of blood to the Khan of Shirvan, and several others, tributaries to 
Persia, were secretly excited to rebellion by this power, who, even 
in 1820, prepared an explosion at the two extremities of Georgia ; 
but which the general-in-chief resolved to stifle in its birth, by imme- 
diately sending General Williaminoff, chief of the staff, into Imeretia, 
and another armed force under the orders of General Madatoff into 
Kazykoumyk, to punish the rebellious Khan. 

General Madatoff is a native of Karabah, and entered the Rus- 
sian service while still very young. He made the campaigns of 
1812, 13, and 14, against Napoleon as a superior officer, and was 
afterwards employed in Georgia, under the orders of General Yer- 
molow. His knowledge of the language and customs of this coun- 
try, his warlike character, activity, and noble ambition, together 
with his handsome Georgian figure, and his refined European man- 

i f rendered him a very useful personage in these provinces. As 



DOW JUAN VAN HALEN. SOi* 

fee is still young, and meets with every encouragement and reward 
from the government ; and as moreover he is enriched by the Khan 
of Karabah, who, either through policy or attachment, has always 
shown himself very generous towards him and his family ; he may 
still perform important services to Russia, if he should not fall an 
untimely victim to the hatred of the Asiatics. 
. Among the officers appointed to compose this general's staff, I 
was one ; and although my illness still continued unabated, I re- 
joiced in being employed in this expedition, in which, besides the 
pleasure I should derive from visiting several provinces of this in- 
teresting country, some opportunity might offer of distinguishing 
myself. 

Being in the habit, like several other officers, of visiting the 
general-in-chief, early every morning before the parade, one day 
the superior of the Capuchin missionaries, Father Philip, to whom 
I was indebted for many kind attentions during my illness, asked 
me to take him with me at that early hour to visit the general-in- 
chief ; the rigour of the institute of his order preventing his visiting 
at the time when there was a concourse of people. Wishing to please 
hini, and without diving into the true object of his mission, I men- 
tioned, while at table, die wish of Father Philip to the general, who 
smiled, and motioned to me as if consenting to it. On the follow- 
ing day, J went early in the morning to the convent to conduct 
Father Philip to the audience of the general ; who, when I entered 
his apartment arm in arm with the Capuchin, was surrounded by 
several officers in complete dishabille, General Yermolow making 
no scruple of dressing in the presence of the officers before the 
parade ; and often giving orders in his bed-room while putting on 
his clothes, without the least regard to ceremony. The general 
received Father Philip, with all the good humour which charac- 
terized him, and spoke to him upon different subjects, both in Latin 
and Italian. But before he put on his uniform, he approached the 
father, and placing one hand on his shoulder, and the other on his 
chest, which was covered by his long beard, said, as if presenting 
him to the circle, " Gentlemen, here is Father Philip ; he is a good 
devil !" 

Nothing could equal the surprise of my companion, who re- 
mained motionless and confused until he saw the general preparing 
to leave his apartment for the parade, when he bowed with all the 
humility of his ministry, and withdrew. The meaning of this con- 
duct of Yermolow was soon explained to me. It appears that the 
police of Georgia had discovered a clandestine correspondence 
between this missionary and some enemies of Russia, who resided 
in Persia, for which he had been severely reprimanded, and for 
which he would have been confined in a fortress, had it not been 
for the esteem and respect in which he was held by several officers 
and other persons of the Catholic religion. It is impossible for me 



^ 



9 i 



302 NAREATIVE OF 

to say whether these accusations were true, though Father Philip 
assured me they were & fabrication of the commissary of the police, 
who had a personal resentment against him. Be this as it may, 
the truth is, I felt much hurt by the reception he met with, as I 
have always entertained for him the warmest attachment, and de- 
fended him as much as lay in my power, consistently with my 
duties. 

The influence exercised by these missionaries in the internal 
affairs of every family who proles* the same creed, and who in 
general refer to therft their dispuus, considering their decision as a 
sacred law ; the extensive connexions which ever since their esta- 
blishment in Georgia, nearly two centuries ago, they have had with 
the first families of the country, on account of their knowledge of 
pharmacy, and their attendance on the sick ; and, perhaps, the cor- 
respondence which they still maintain with the few families who have 
taken refuge in Persia, are circumstances which, doubtless, contri- 
bute to excite the suspicions of the police. 

Yermolow was in the habit of giving audience every Sunday, on 
his return from church, to a certain class of foreigners. The envoys 
lately sent from the court of Persia, among whom was a bosom 
friend of Abbas Mirza, presented themselves at the audience of the 
general, who was by no means a stranger to the intrigues of these 
men with the revolted provinces, and to those they had been 
planning even at Teflis. They, however, laid before him the absurd 
pretensions of the Persians relative to the limits of their country, 
declared their amicable intentions, and expressed in a thousand 
ways their admiration in the names of the Shah their master, and of 
the heir apparent, for the Emperor of Russia, and for his lieutenants ; 
and yet even while delivering these protestations, the blood of vic- 
tims murdered at their instigation was flowing in several provinces I 

The look which the general cast on them would have effectually 
silenced any other class of men possessing less effrontery and dis- 
simulation ; and ordering his interpreter to address them only in 
Georgian, returned a short and disdainful answer, such indeed as 
their perfidious intentions alone were entitled to. Four-and- 
twenty hours after this interview the agents of Persia left Teflis, 
convinced that their machinations were known to the general. 
This audience took place in one of the principal saloons of his 
house, and in the midst of a numerous concourse, among whom 
were several contemporaries of the Tzar Heraclius, to whom this 
scene was highly interesting ; as they could not but rejoice at seeing 
those inveterate enemies, from whom they had received so many 
outrages, humbled. 

A few days after this audience Prince Madatoff received orders 
for his departure, and we prepared to quit the varied amusements 
of the capital. 



DON JUAN VAN HALE1C. 80S 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

Lieutenant-colonel Kotzebue— Prince Orbellanoff— Route appointed for the staff of 
Prince Madat off— Caverns of the nomade Tartars— Bridge of the river Khram— - 
Advance to the provinces bordering on Persia — The officers regaled by a Georgian 
noble — Plains of Tchamkhor — Wild goats-— Ancient pillar and redoubt of Tchamk- 
hor — Antique medal of Alexander the Great— Snakes— City of Elizabethpol— The 
okl fortress — Gallant conduct of the Khan, who is slain— His cruelties — His de- 
moniac experiments— His immense treasures were concealed— His palace and 
tower— Description of the city— WirtemUurghers settled near Elizabethpol — Mo- 
notonous songs of the Georgians — The auth >r prosecutes bis journey to Karabah--— 
Important province of Karabah— River Khatchinn dangerous — Chohboulak, ancient 
town — Snow-capped mountain* — Sheep— Fortified defile-— Beautiful cataract— 
Sturdy beggars, and their pretensions— Town of Choucha— River Cyrus— Fine 
climate— Intermittent fevers— The \raxes— The Khan of Karabah— Secrets of his 
harem— Sumptuous entertainment— Splendid Tartar of Nougha— Passage of the 
Kour. 

The officers appointed to form the staff of General Madatoff 
were, as chief of it, Lieutenant-colonel Kotzebue, son of the ce- 
lebrated and unfortunate author of this name ; Captain Bevoutoff, 
a Georgian prince, aide-de-camp of the general-in-chief ; the sub- 
lieutenant Isakoff, nephew to General Williaminoff ; Lieutenant 
Yakouwovitch, the same officer belonging to my regiment of whom 
I have already spoken ; the young Kasbek, proprietor of the tower 
where I had sojourned on my crossing the Caucasus ; and Prince 
Orbellanoff, belonging to one of the first families of the country, 
who was accompanied by a doctor, and by several nobles and other 
vassals, who formed his Asiatic and feudal suite ; so that with the 
addition of our servants our number amounted to more than forty. 

We left the capital at noon on the 7th of May, all on horseback 
except Princes Madatoff and Bevoutoff, who were to follow us on 
the succeeding day in a post-chaise. According to the instructions 
received by our general, we were to perform our journey to Chou- 
cha, the capital of the province of Karabah and two hundred and 
seventy-three wersts from Teflis, without any escort, although our 
route lay- through the Tartar' provinces on the frontiers of Persia, 
namely Nougha, Shirvan, and Karabah. On leaving Teflis, we 
directed pur course to the latter province through the road to Per- 
sia, that borders the right bank of the Kour, which is embellished 
by the beautiful gardens that extend some distance from the capital. 
About five wersts from Teflis are, on one side, the ruins of an old 
stone bridge, and on the other the materials collected for the erec- 
tion of a fortress lately projected, and seven wersts further is the 
station of Cossacks called Zagahloug, very pleasantly situated on 
the banks of the Kour. In the evening we arrived at the second 
station, named Demourtchezalie, after travelling twenty-eight wersts 



394 NARRATIVE OF 

through a less interesting country, where we spent the night. As 
the wails of the various rooms in these rudely constructed dwellings 
are of osiers, they are unpleasantly airy, the more so as the nights 
in this country are as cool as the days are hot, and they try the 
strength of constitution of the Cossacks and that of the travellers. 

A few wersts beyond this station, which we left very early in the 
morning, we saw a great number of caverns, which from Novem- 
ber to March serve as dwellings to the nomade Tartar families, sub- 
ject to Georgia, who like the Kalmucks spend on the neighbouring 
heights the rest of the year with their flocks. In these caverns, the 
women employ themselves during the winter in making, with the 
wool of their flocks and very coarse implements, the most beautiful 
carpets, which are seen in the market of Teflis. 

At Krassnoimoste, the river Khram, which empties itself into the 
Rour, is crossed by a bridge constructed of brick, forming five 
arches, which well deserves the attention of travellers. The so- 
lidity with which it is built, its pavement, balustrades, internal stair- 
cases to the river, and width, together with the ruins of another 
bridge at a short distance, of several towers, and of a rampart, 
seem to justify the belief that an opulent city existed here in an- 
cient times. The situation of this bridge further confirms this con- 
jecture, as several roads meet here, namely, those of Elizabethpol, 
£rivan, Karaklis, and Goumri ; that is to say, on the east that of 
Bakou, which is on the borders of the Caspian Sea, that of Persia 
on the south, and that of Asiatic Turkey on the west. 

The weather was so stormy during the greatest part of the day, 
that we were obliged to halt about noon at Salaglie, and reached, 
but very late in the evening, Astafinnskoy, which is forty-five wersts 
from Demourtchezalie. The bad accommodations of the post- 
house, which scarcely afforded any shelter from the torrents of rain 
that fell, obliged us to form a tent with our bourkas under a cluster 
of thick trees, where we made a fire, and where Princes Madatoff 
and BevoutofF found us on their arrival at midnight. 

At the break of day the weather having cleared, we continued 
our journey preceded by the general and his companion in their 
carriage, who started two hours before our departure. We had 
scarcely travelled twelve wersts when several Georgians sent by 
their master, who was a friend of Prince Madatoff, came out to 
meet and conduct us to the tower, which was a few wersts to the 
west of the road. 

On our alighting from our horses, the Georgian nobleman caused 
several tents to be' pitched in a meadow adjoining the tower, where 
we spent four-and-twenty hours in rejoicings. A number of sheep 
were killed for the feast, during which wine was profusely served. 
After the repast every one contributed his song, and dancing fol- 
lowed, the prince and the lowest of his servants sharing equally in 
these amusements. This nobleman, who was one of the richest 



DON JUAH VAN HALEN. SOS 

proprietors in Hba» part of the country, shoved his civility in a thou* 
6and ways, and insisted on oar accepting sufficient wine, brandy, 
and dried fruits, for three days 9 journey. 

On the following dtfy we pursued our way through an extensive 
plain, bounded on the west by a long chain of mountains which 
extemi from Teflis t6 KaraWh, and at night reached Tchamkhor, 
fifty worsts beyond out place of entertainment. The plains of 
Tchamkhor greaftty resemble those of the province of La Maiicha ; 
no trees are to be seerf in either ; and if this country were as popu- 
lous as £pain,or as there 4s every reason to believe if was in former 
times, the traveller would see in the morning the steeple of the 
town where his day -s journey would terminate. We saw a great 
number of wild goats in these plains. Some of the Georgians be- 
longing to Orbetlanoff pretended they knew how to catch them ; 
but they hunted the flocks in vain. Long before arriving at Tcham- 
khor is seen a column, & the foot of which is the Russian redoubt 
bearing that name, and forming a kind of square. - Opposite to 
this place, and on a steep acclivity over which the road passes, are 
- the remains of a bridge of three arches, against which rush the 
rapid waters of the river Tchamkhor. 

The basetrf the column is fourteen feet square and of equal height, 
and the column itself is extremely lofty, and resembles, though built 
of brick* that of the Place Yenddme, at Paris. I ascended to the 
top of it *by an interior staircase, which, though in a very dilapidated 
state, shows that it has been several times repaired to serve as an 
Observatory in Jime af war. On some of the stones of the entab- 
lature, on which there appears to have been an exterior gallery, are 
seen some Arabic inscriptions, which seem to be of a more modern 1 
date than the column. Some persons are of opinion that it was 
built in the time of Pompey, and others in that of Alexander ^fre 
Great. Be this as it may, the number of ruins that are scattered 
&bout this spot seem to establish the conjecture, that this column 
was once the ornament of a considerable city, now inhabited by a 
few Cossacks. 

An Armenian merchant, whom we met at Tchamkhor, sold to 
me for five roubles a silver medal bearing the profile of Alexander 
the Great, which he assured me had been found among the ruins of 
Tchamkhor. According to the opinion of some antiquaries who 
have seen it, this medal is both curious and valuable. Wishing to 
present it, with 4 some other curiosities, to the Athenetmi of Madrid, 
on my return to Spain in 1651 1 gave it to an Italian lapidary of that 
city to put it into a case, in whose hands it stitt remains. 

We left Tchamkhor early in the morning by the road to Bfiza- 
bethpof, which is twenty-five werste from that place. The plains 
through which we travelled are completely barren ; but though the 
monotony of the country was uninterrupted we had plenty of occu- 
pation on our hands, for such was the number of snakes we met, 

Qq 



300 



NAJWATJVK OF 



which the excessive heat of these days kept in constant motion, that 
at every step we were obliged to guide our horses right and left, and 
make frequent use of our sabres. These reptiles are commonly 
from four to five feet long, and an inch and a half thick. Nothing 
could be more unpleasant than their crushing under our horses' feet ; 
and this annoyance lasted until we came within two werstsof Eliza- 
bethpol, where a number of gardens and orchards spread on both 
sides of the road, from which of course cultivation excluded them. 

The city of Elizabethpol, formerly Gangea, is situated on a plain 
watered by a small river called Gangea, which discharges itself into 
the Kour at twenty-five wersts from that city, and bathes the walls 
of the town. On the right of the road, a little before entering tbe 
city, is tbe fortress, which contains the palace formerly inhabited by 
the Khans, and which Prince Tchitchianow, when he took posses- 
sion of it, named after the then reigning Empress. This fortress is 
constructed with the utmost solidity, and by no means contemptibly 
fortified ; it is surrounded by wide and deep moats, and mounted 
with Turkish cannon of a thick caliber. It was taken by the Russian 
troops after some days' siege, and on a second assault*. The Khan, 
who had concealed in the palace his immense treasures, performed 
prodigies of valour during its defence, and seeing himself close}? 
attacked, withdrew into a battery where he had an iron cannon of 
forty-eight pounds, which is still seen dismounted near the place) on 
which he sat astride, and fought with his sabre until he fell. 

My limits will not allow me to relate all that is said of the con- 
duct of this Khan, who exercised unheard-of cruelties on all those 
who were subject to his authority, and who delignted in making 
oven his wives and children suffer the most excruciating torments foi 
the most trifling fault they committed. The interpreter of the com- 
mandant of this place, who had lived with the Khan, related to us* 
that his former master, curious to see whether the countenance of 
one at his most beautiful women was rendered more interesting by 
suffering than by pleasure, put her to such dreadful tortures that she 
expired in the midst of them, an experiment which, notwithstanding 
its fatal termination, he tried on a second with equal results ! 

During our short stay here, we saw a man who had been steward 
to the Khan, and who had also experienced his cruelty. As it is 
the custom among the Mahometans to lower their eyes when any of 
the wives of their princes pass near them* one day the steward looked 
inadvertently atone of these ladies whom he was in the habit of 
meeting. On the Khan being informed of this, he caused him to 
be brought before him, and asked him which side of his face was 
towards her when she passed him. The unfortunate steward told 
him, and the Khan immediately ordered that the guilty eye should be 
put out, though he still kept him in his service. This poor wretch 
having lost his situation by the victory of the Russians, wos-obhged 
to accept that of clerk in the mosque of Elizabethpol. Among 



\ 



DON JUAN VAX HALEN. 307 

other things which he related to us, he said, that since the -Russians 
took possession of that province, there ha^ been only one person 
condemned by the laws to suffer capital punishment ; 6r in otlier 
words, that during the space of eighteen years, he had seen onjy 
once what in the palace, and in the presence of his former master, 
was performed almost daily. 

The Russian army found in this fortress many pecuniary resources, 
which contributed to improve the state of their finances ; but the 
bulk of the treasures of the Khan have not yet been found, as the 
men employed in concealing them were assassinated by his orders, 
that no one but himself might possess the secret ; consequently the 
Russian government did not reap all those advantages which they 
expected from the reputed wealth of this Khan. ' 

The saloons of the palace of the Khan are at present used as an 
hospital for the garrison of the city. Close to a promenade, which 
extends to the entrance of the towns, and adjoins the palace, the 
Khan caused a tower to be erected for the purpose of observing the 
frequent rising of his tyrannized people. 

On our arrival at Ehzabethpol I was induced by the commandant 
of the district to accept of a lodging at his house, which was one of 
the finest in the city, and the residence assigned to the nearest rela- 
tions of the late Khan. The city presents a confusion of ruins and 
houses newly built, most of which have large gardens, which give 
the town an appearance of great extent, though its population 
scarcely amounted in 1820 to eleven hundred inhabitants. The 
situation of Ehzabethpol is better adapted for commerce than for 
war. As a military point it owes its importance rather to the impo- 
tency of Persia than to its proximity to the frontiers of that country, 
and it is believed, that the Russians will demolish its fortifications 
when the natural limits of Georgia are extended to the river Araxes. 

There are two other colonies of Wirtemburghers in the neigh- 
bourhood of Elizabetjipol, which are said not to prosper so well as 
those near Teflis, on account of the vexations, extortions, and 
losses of every kind which these industrious families experience 
from the Tartars, who look upon them with jealousy, and fron* 
whose outrages the government cannot always shelter them. 

From Ehzabethpol to the capital of Karabah there are two roads, 
one of which, the post or highway, is one hundred and twenty-five 
wersts in extent, and the ether a by-road, which shortens the journey 
one-third. All my comrades, and the Georgian* who followed Orbel* 
lanoff, resolved to travel though the latter ; but the state of my health 
preventing my accompanying them, I left Elieabethpol by the post- 
road, accompanied by my servant, and ah escort of two Cossacks, 
and passed the night at the station of Karakchaiskoy, nineteen 
wersts beyond that city. 

The unbroken silence of my solitary journey formed a strong 
eontrgst with the confused noise and monotonous songi which night. 



SU8 NARRATIVE OF 

and day rung in my ears while travelling with the Georgians. The 
weather was insupportably hot during the day ; but the njghta be? 
came equally cool as I advanced towards the mountains of Kara- 
bph. A little beyond i^arakchalskoy I crossed the river Kofcrakr 
chai, which has its sources in tfie neighbouring mountains,' a&d flow* 
through these plains until it empties itself into the Koran, at a disr 
tance of sixty worsts. That river forms the limits between the pro- 
vinces of EHzabethpol and Karabah, the latter of which I now 
entered. 

Although this country is entirely uncultivated, the soil is by no 
means sterile. Parallel with the road, to the west, are seen several 
thick forests. At noon I halted at Berda, which is forty werstsfrom 
Karakchaiskoy, and believing that the remainder of the feed was 
as good as that through which I had been travefling in the morning, 
I continued my joumey with the intention of reaching Chahboulak, 
which is thirty worsts beyond Borda, before nightfall j but I had 
scarcely advanced six worsts when my progress was arrested by a 
small river called Kbatchinn, which was so greatly swotted by tbo 
rams of the preceding da^s, that we endeavoured in vain to ford it 
Nay, one of the Cossacks in his efforts to find afordable place get 
out of his depth with his wretched horse, and was carried away -by 
the rapidity of the current, in which he Would have- been drowned 
but for the prompt assistance we afforded ban. The Cossack* as- 
sured me that these accidents were of frequent occurrence in this 
place, as tile bed of the river not being sufficiently deep 
-shifted, an inconvenience which might easily be avoiddd by 
a wooden bridge of a few toises to be erected on its narrowest 
point. / 

Having lost more than two hours in seeking a ford, and the eve* 
nmg being far advanced, I was on the point of retaining to the lafct 
post-house, to procure a guide, when I perceived two Tartars cross- 
ing the river on homeback at no very great distance from the pbcef 
where we were. Having joined them, and asked theft to show up 
the place, they guided us to ty and, we crossed without any diffi- 
culty, a favour which my servant rewarded by making then a pre- 
sent of a bottle of brandy, in onr various attempts to cross, i got 
so thoroughly wet, as well as every tiling contained in my portman- 
teau, that, being unable to change my clothes, and the wght be* 
coming very cool, I arrived at Chahboulak in high fever ; but I ex* 
perieneed from, the Cossack officer who commanded this pest the 
kindest attentions. 

Chahboulak consists of an ancient tower, which for the better se- 
curity of the post is surrounded by *l rampart, and is situated oa a 
hill which overlooks the surrounding country* It has a gasden* *nd 
a fertile meadow adjoining it, which provides sufficient pasture for 
the horses belonging to this post On the following day fowiieg my 
fever a little abated, I set off at six o'clock in the momiag, the 



PON 4UAH V*p HALEN. 309 

t 

weather tjto inviting me to continue my journey. Although the 
mountains ef Karabah were still covered with snow, the temper*- 
tare was very mild, and as I advanced, the eountry became more 
varied, the. extent of meadow land, and the number of stream* 
Which flow in every direction, showing how well adapted it is for 
the propagation of sheejt, which indeed form the principal wealth 
of these provinces A little beyond O&kerane, which lies between 
Chahboulak and Choucha, we entered ji defile, crowned with 
tpwf rs, the sides of which are here and there still formed by the 
ancient walls, which were forty or fifty toises high. . This wall, diffi- 
cult to turn on account of the steep nature of the; surrounding 
country, doubtless formed a barrier in former, timed to the interior 
of the country. Beyond this defile the road beeomes almost iw 
practicable, and is a continued ascent as far ae the capital. 

Eight wersts before reaching Choucha there is a cataract, the 
waters of which fall from a height of oee hundred toisea into a con* 
eaffe rock* I have been told, that during the heavy rains in winter 
it presents a number of curious jets, which appear rather the work 
of art than of nature* At the foot of this cataract we were joined 
by a singular beggar, whom we saw sitting by the side of the road, 
end whom I could not get rid of, either by giving him brandy, or 
threatening aim* until we reached the city, when I gave him some 
money, and be disappeared. I was afterwards informed by Prince 
Madatoff that be belonged to a set of vagrants called debritchea, 
who wandered about these roads and those of Persia, sometimee 
following the caravans even as far as India. They are almost 
naked, and have their flesh paimed in various colours. They carry 
a thick elub, the ponderous knob of which is studded with pointed 
flints* These vagabondizing Herculesea, when they approach a 
traveller, generally present him with fruits, and then follow him* 
pretending that their company is the best escort he can possibly 
haee in tin* country \> for they have the presumption to believe that 
no one dares attack a party who are protected by one of them* 

On entering Choqcha we found the streets in such a wretched 
state, on account of the incessant rains of the preceding day, that 
our homes were knee deep in mud ;. nor can I say much in favour 
of the general appearance of the city, the houses of which are 
more meaaly built than any I ever saw. General Madatoff, who is 
a native of this city, had spent immense sums in building amidst 
these hovels a magnificent house in the European style, which rivals 
that he has in Teflie ; but as it was pet yet finished, he had taken 
up his quarters at the pejaee of the Khan, where I found him, as 
vied as the rest of my comrades who had but just arrived, and with 
whom 1 shared the apartments which the Khan bad prepared for us. 

Tim province of Karabah is bounded on the. north-east by that 
of Eliaibetbpol, on the south-west by the river Knur or Cyrus, 
which separates it from Nougba and Shirvan, and on the south- 



310 NARRATIVE or 

east from Armenia by the chain of mountains seen from Elizabeth- 
pol, while the river Araxes divides it from Persia. Its great extent 
and fertility render it, according to the opinion of those who are 
well acquainted with its resources, one of the most useful and pro- 
ductive provinces of the Russian empire j and it will become still 
more so under the equitable and vigorous kdministration of modern 
Georgia. That part of Karabah bordering on Elizabethpol may 
be considered as the only barren and insalubrious district of this 
province, the rest being higher, and extremely well provided with 
good springs, is both fertile and healthy. 

The fine sky, pure air, and also the considerable elevation on 
which Choucba is situated, constitute this city one of the most salu- 
brious of the government of the Caucasus. From the moment of 
my arrival here I experienced a great amelioration in my health, 
which I enjoyed during the greatest part of the expedition, and 
until my return to Teflis. It is a remarkable fact, that the fever 
which prevails throughout these provinces, attacks or leaves the 
patient with equal suddenness. These variations are the best ba- 
rometer to ascertain the temperature of the country. The inequa- 
lity of climate which is observable in the various provinces of the 
Caucasus, may be compared to that of Spain ? for in the same 
manner as the rigours of winter are experienced at Madrid when 
at Malaga, Valencia, tind Murcia, the spring dowers are blooming— 
the inhabitants of Choufeha surround the fire-side in the month of 
May, whilst at the frontier, on the banks of the Araxes, they are 
gathering in the harvest, and preparing the ground for a second 
crop. 

In no city of Asia is saddle-work done with more taste and soli-, 
dity than at Choucha. The most essential part of the workman- 
ship consists of the curious embroidery, with which not only the 
saddle but the bridle anil stirrups are ornamented. 

Prince MadatofF, who reached Choucha on the 11th, had already 
on my arrival there concerted his measures with the Khan respect* 
ing the contingent of cavalry he was to furnish, and which amounted 
to five hundred horsemen, who were now on their road to Daghes- 
tan. Being obliged to remain during the whole of the 16th in 
that city, Prince MadatofF presented us to the Khan, who invited 
us to dine on that same day with him, our departure for- Nougha 
being fixed for the following morning. 

The Khan appeared to be about forty-five or fifty years of age ; 
he was rather tall ; and, like the rest of the Tartars, had a brown 
complexion, brown eyes and beard ; but having lost in his youth 
half his nose in an action with the Persians, the expression of his 
countenance was by no means prepossessing. At the time of our 
passing through Choucha, he inhabited a tower in the neighbour- 
l*ood, which is very pleasantly situated on one of the hills near the 



DON JU Atf . VAN BALEN. 



311 



toad of Cfeahboulajs, and where, as a faithful follower of the pro* 
phet, he had his harem. 

•, On our arrival at the tower, we were received at the/Soor by the 
Khan and his secretary 4 or minister, who is the only officer of state 
they usually have, and with whom they might very well dispense, 
eeeing the little need they have of him. On the general alighting 
Horn his horse, the Khan took him by the hand and conducted him 
to an apartment 'furnished in the European style, where, adopting 
our fashion, he seated himself in one of the arm-ehairs. Behind 
him stood his . secretary, and several other officers of his palace, 
among whom was the memaundhar, who, according to the custom 
of the country, must accompany any traveller entertained by his 
master as far as the frontiers of the province. Wishing to see 
something of the harem, and imagining that the attachment shown 
by the Khan for European customs might have diminished the se» 
verity which the Asiatics observe with respect to their women, we 
walked towards a very pretty. garden,- extremely well attended to* 
and surrounded with cascades* which .we imagined belonged to the 
harem ; but the European taste of the Khan did not extend so far. 
An impenetrable wall concealed his houris from mortal sight. We 
however were informed by an Armenian employed in the palace, 
though not without much hesitation and trembling, that there were 
twenty-three ladies, the greatest- part of whom were young, and be- 
longed to the families inhabiting the Caucasus. This information, 
in times when the Khans could decree the death of their subjects, 
(a right of which they have been deprived since they became tribu* 
taries of Russia, their decisions- on capital. offences being always 
deferred to the tribunals of Teflis,) would have cost the Armenian 
his head, if the least suspicion had been entertained that he had 
disclosed the secret. • # • • 

On our return to the saloon we found the table laid out for dinner 
19 the European style, with napkins, knives, forks, glasses, water- 
decanters, &c. The Khan then took his seat at tlte head of the 
table, pjacing beside him Prince Madatoff, who acted as our inter- 
preter in the various questions which the Khan addressed to us. 
When the general informed him that 1 did not understand any of the 
oriental languages, and very little of the Russian, as I was a native 
of a very distant country at the extremity of Europe, the Khan 
asked what was the name of the Shah of the eountry in which I 
was born. . I mentioned the name of the dynasty, as being more 
generally known, brief, sonorous, and more easy to be retained. 

The door and windows of the tower were assailed by wretched 
petitioners* who availed themselves of the presence of Prace Ma- 
datoff to make their appeals to the Khan. No sooner did we rise 
from table, at which we 'did not sit long, owing to the frugality and 
temperance observed by all on this occasion, tha& the Khan took 
his seat on a cushion which was placed at one of the windows of 



the saloon tit* blind* of which were thrown open, and 4 kind of 
audience commenced. An old man who. had three sons, two of 
trhom Jmitybeen included in the recent contingent, demanded the 
kfaetationef the third, who ted been imprisoned for some trifling 
offence. The Khan granted his prayer, and ordered that a certain 
number of sheep should be given to him, in order to compensate for 
the lot* he had sustained during his son^Hinprieonment. Several other 
petitions fbHewed this, whieh tbeKhan graciously granted » acipeam- 
stanee over which it appears the presence of Ins guest* had some 
jeitmce, as we had as great a share of thanks as the Stan 
himself. 

The conduct of this prime, in every thing respecting the Russian 
government, if not sincere, was certainly the most artfid of that ef 
any Khan ; such at least was the opinion of those who hod for 
many years closely observed him. • 

We left the tower of the Khan, accompanied by thentennmndhar, 
a young Tartar, extremely active and serviceable, who was an ex- 
cellent horseman ; md also by the secretary of the Khan,- *mf 
several domestics, who did not separate from ns til) the following 
morning. On the first day our way to Nougfca lay through the retid 
of Ehnabethpol; and we spent the night at^Cbahboutefe, wftete the 
servants of the Khan had prepared the tents near the redoubt in 
winch I bad sojourned, and wfaene we were served en excellent 
supper. Prince Madatoff, who always manifested much inferestier 
my health, having learned from me the kind attentions' I had expe- 
rienced from the Cossack officer of the post, invited him te supper. 
This officer informed us, that one of the two men who had graded 
me across the river had been found by the Cossacks lying dead near 
a rock, against which he had fractured his skull. The secretary of 
the Khan, who had known the deceased, told us, that he bad heard 
of his death from his companion, and that this accident was occa- 
sioned by his having drank immoderately of the brandy given them 
by my servant* 

On the following morning we continued oar journey, leaving on 
the right the road to ElizabethpoL Prince Madatoff rode a very 
small horse, which, however, went at such a quick pace, that we 
were all obliged to ride at a smart trot to keep up with him. To- 
wards noon we arrived at the banks ef the Terter, a smaH river 
which empties itself meo the Kour. Along the whole of this road 
we found a great number of snakes, whioh the heat of the sen in- 
vited from their holes to sport their variegated skins. But once 
en dm other side of the Terter, the fields being generally cultivated, 
the traveller is no longer troubled with the sight of these reptiles, 
and every where the country presents fine and verdant prospects. 

Two wessts beyond this place, in the direction of me Kour, we 
came to the hamlet in which the raemaundha* had prepared a lodging 



\ 



•I 



DOK JtTAN VAN HALEN. - 313 

for usr, and a* good dinner. This hamlet was surrounded with thick 
orchards, extending to some distance. 

On the following day we started at five o'clock k* the morning v 
reaving the main road, to proceed through by-pathsv which were 
perfectly practicable for our horses. The heat was overpowering^ 
and the road uneven, but very woody, and abounding with game. 
On our arrival at the Kour, which through this by-road was about 
thirty-five wersts from the hamlet, where we bad spent the night, 
the memaundhar and the rest of the servants of the Khan bid us» 
farewell. Oh the borders of the Kour we met one of the Tartar 
chiefs of the province of Nougha, dressed with more splendour 
than even the Khan of Karabah, or any of the Tartars of distinction 
we had hitherto seen. His poniard and his sabre were of very 
great value, and of most admirable workmanship. The borders of 
his exterior tunic were beautifully embroidered in gold and silvery 
the work of the women of the Caucasus. This personage, with* 
some inferior officers, had been waiting for us since day-break on. 
the borders of the river, and had prepared some canoes, made ofc 
the trunks of trees, for our crossing the Kour. 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

• 

Semantic prospects—Grand dinner— The krioutt inflicted— Aretche— DeUebtfol Tar- 
tar villages— Nougha— Major Badarskv. commandant— The palace— Enchanting 
gardens — Population— Silk exported— Banquet— Review— Tartar cavalry described' 
—Veteran horseman— His buffoonery— Pictures of Runstad's exploits— Province of 
JVougha — Zarab — Tartar sofas and carpets— Hospitable tribes— Officer from Shirvaa 
advances to receive General Madaton— Encampment of native troops—* Orchestra 
and punchinellos— ^City of Shirvan— Horses of value in herd*— Advance to Fittah 
— MadatoflPs interview with Mustapha, Khan of fehirvan— The Khan's harem- 
Tent — His ambition^hnportant conference — Treasures— Humane system of Yer- 
ruolow — Danger is apprehended at the hands of Mustapha-*-Georgian captain, not 
amateur of music — Dmner given by the Khan a la Tartare— Ceremonies— Table 
service — The pilaw — Children of Mastapha Khan — Madatoff and his officers quit 
Fittah— Fountain, with Arabic inscriptions— The party attends the hills of the* 
Caucasus. 

The perspective, which the right bank of the Kour presented, is 
assuredly one of the most picturesque on the borders of this river. 
Near the place where we were to land stood a large and very 
aycient mosque, surrounded with various kinds of lofty and wide* 
spreading trees, among which were some laden with wild fruit.' 
This forest extended as far as a line of hills bearing different aspects, 
some bleak and barren, some covered with a soft verdure, and others- 
beautifully wooded ; the prolonged and majestic chain of the Cau- 
casus forming the back-ground. 

Prince Madatoff, with our. Tartar guide, another officer* and my- 

Rr 







$14 \ JffAKftATlVfi OF 

self, embarked in one of the canoes which, though rowed by only 
one boatman, took us over in little more than five minutes. The 
vest of our party were also landed in safety ; and as for our horses, 
they were all unharnessed, and brought by the halter swimming 
behind the canoes. 

We found several carpets spread under the shade of the trees, 
and some Tartars of distinction assembled there to receive us. We 
were afterwards served a splendid dinner, according to the fashion 
of the country, in which the fruits of the season, gathered in the 
neighbourhood; abounded. 

The excessive heat of the day rendered this shady retreat very de- 
lightful, and we spent here some hours of repose, which was v how- 
ever, interrupted by an unpleasant circumstance, ft is strictly en- 
joined to some Tartar guards stationed along the banks of the Kour, 
to allow no suspicious persons to cross the river. Contrary to this 
order, a guard had, on the preceding day, permitted one of the rob- 
bers who are occasionally met in these provinces, to seize on one 
of the boats, with which he effected his passage. This fact being 
proved by some boatmen, Prince Madatoff caused the guard to be 
brought before him, and ordered the two Cossacks, who conducted 
him to his presence to give him the knoutt, which they inflicted in 
such a manner as to leave the back of the offender in the most- piti- 
able condition. This rigour was not natural to Madatoff; there 
were peculiar reasons which obliged him to act with severity on this 
occasion. Three hours after, however, the sufferer presented him- 
self to the Prince with the same sang-froid as if nothing had hap- 
pened, and thanked him that the lashes had not been more numerous. 

We left this pleasant spot at three in the afternoon, and, after an 
hour and a half riding, arrived at Aretcbe, a village containing about 
three hundred inhabitants, twenty-five wersts from the Kour, and 
situated, as are most of the Tartar hamlets, in the midst of a thick 
forest. That we might not be so much troubled either with the 
heat, the snakes, or the insects, a temporary lodging had been pre- 
pared for us in the middle of "a small square. It was composed of 
two wooden stages covered with carpets and cushions, raised one 
above the other, and supported by pillars, the highest of which was 
twelve feet from the ground, and to which we mounted by a ladder. 
Here we made ourselves as comfortable as the place permitted, and 
had a grand illumination in the evening, with a very good supper 
served to us ; after which, in imitation of our companions the Geor- 
gians, whose good humour still continued unabated, we all joined jp 
the dance, which was from time to time relieved by our songs. 

Early in the morning we continued our journey, and at a few 
wersts beyond the village entered a mountainous and barren country, 
intersected by a river, the waters of which were of a reddish blue, 
occasioned by a sort of clay which is found in the ravines through 
which the river rushes. After travelling for five hours, we arrived 



** 



D ON v JUAN VAN HALEN. 815 

at a small place called Chorkha, forty wersts from Aretche, where 
we found the same kind of lodging, treatment, and abundance, as on 
the preceding night. » 

Our road the next day lay through a populous and well-cultivated 
country. In one of the numerous villages we passed by, we saw a 
promenade bordered on each side with trees, extending more than a 
worst towards a mosque, and ornamented with several fountain*, 
which evinced the good taste of the inhabitants; The cleanliness 
of the interior «f their houses contrasted with the filth of those of 
Choucha, and the general cultivation of the land where rice is grown 
abundantly, give a favourable impression of the industry and wealth 
of the inhabitants of Nougha. Some wersts previous to our arriving 
at the city, we met the commandant of the province Major Badarsky, 
and some Tartar functionaries, who came to receive Prince Madatoff. 

The great number of gardens extending some wersts from Ndu- 
gha, and the situation of this city, built in the form of an amphi- 
theatre, at the foot of the mountains which join the chain of the 
Caucasus at no great distance, offer a magnificent perspective. We 
entered Nougha at ten o'clock in the morning, and alighted at the 
palace of the late Khan, where apartments had been prepared for us. 
As the Khan of this province died without issue, in 1819, it fell 
under the immediate government of Russia, and General Yermolow 
appointed to the administration and command Major Badarsky, an 
officer of considerable merit, who without the assistance of any 
troop, except eight or ten Cossacks posted there tq maintain the 
communication with the government of Teflis, preserved the greatest 
order, and encouraged with success the cultivation of this beautiful 
province. This wise and mild administration, and the diminution of 
contributions which the inhabitants experience from the moment 
they cease to support at the same time the avarice of the Khans, 
and the tribute which they were bound to pay to the Russian em- 
pire, essentially contribute to their tranquillity and prosperity. On 
the other hand the severity observed by General Yermolow for the 
most trifling faults of his lieutenants, and the good election he 
generally makes of them, render useless the presence of any troops, 
while the inhabitants feel flattered at seeing that they are trusted by 
their new government. 

The palace of the Khan was built at various times, and by dif- 
ferent architects. The principal part of this building, which was 
occupied by Prince Madatoff and covered with carpets and tapestry, 
offered nothing very remarkable. The apartments of the com- 
mandant of the province were in the most modern part of the edi- 
fice, and consisted of a suite of rooms, adjoining a gallery, the 
walls and ceilings of which were ornamented with looking-glasses, 
bordered by a tasteful foliage, painted and varnished in the Chinese 
rhanner, by an Italian who had been employed by the late Khan ten 
years ago. This gallery looked into a garden, in which there were 






&H NABEATIVE OF^ 

several cascades, formed by the waters of the fountains by whkft 
this gallery was adorned and refreshed. Between the major's and 
the general's apartments <is another garden larger than the former, 
and opposite to an interior staircase of the harem there is a basin of 
white marble, ten feet in diameter ; which reminded me of that 
which is seen in one of the Moorish palaces in Granada, where the 
Abencerages were beheaded. Indeed the climate, the pore sky, 
and even the situation of Nougha, bear a great resemblance to that 
part of Spain, although none of the Khans, sotwithstanding the 
wealth they amassed when they arbitrarily disposed of the fate of thfe 
merchants and proprietors of the country, has left any monument 
that can be compared in taste or magnificence with those raised by 
the Moors in the two principal capitals of the south of Spain. 

The population of Nougha amounts to more than forty thousand 
inhabitants. The great number of Armenians, who have lately 
established themselves in this province, contribute greatly to its 
prosperity, and have set an example of industry to the Tartars, 
which is by no means general among them. The principal article 
of commerce in Nougha is silk, which, notwithstanding the large 
quantity used for shirts and other interior vestments, is much greater 
than the annual consumption of the country. 

On the day after our arrival, Prince MadatofF presented himself 
at the Divan, accompanied by some of the officers. Above the 
Prince's seat was placed the portrait of the Emperor Alexander, and 
beside him were the public functionaries, who, like the rest of the 
numerous assemblage of Tartars, remained standing during the time 
that the audience lasted. The Prince explained some doubts re- 
specting the administration of justice in this province, which was 
the object of this meeting, at the conclusion of which we all repaired 
.to Major Badarsky's, who had invited us to a banquet in his fine 
-gallery. 

Opposite to the palace there is an esplanade on which Prince Ma- 
datofF reviewed the three hundred horsemen, who formed the con- 
tingent of Nougha, and who received orders for their immediate de- 
parture for the Daghestan. The commandant of these men was a 
young Tartar of only three-and-twenty years of age, belonging to 
one of the first families of the province. He had distinguished him- 
self in a similar expedition the preceding year, and held the rank of 
officer in the Russian army.* 

, It would be very difficult to find in Europe a regular corps whose 
-arms are in -better order than those winch this contingent presented, 
most of which were very ancient, as they were the inheritance of 
many generations. In all the Tartar provinces there sire men who 
Jiave no other means of gaininga subsistence than serving in these 

*%.* *«^ toyTartaw the offic «w> whatever be their rank, are distiognuhed from 
fb+yth&VPVS Pf a «ilw cord and tstpsei wopnd round the hilt o/ their swocd. 



.""STjj^r 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. $11 

-contingents as substitutes for those igiose agricultural occupations 
render their presence at home indispensable. These substitutes 
present themselves readyarmed and mounted, anil are wilting to 
aot as such for a very trifling recompense. Among these came an 
old man of about sixty, fcrmed with a musket, a sabre, and a po- 
niard, and carrying on the croup of his horse a guitar, a trophy which 
he had won in a combat he had been engaged in, from which it was 
stained with blood in various places, and had received some severe 
cuts, which he had carefully mended. This man, notwithstanding 
his advanced age, was very active, robust, and gay, and from the 
first moment attracted the attention of all as much for his singular 
appearance as for his gesticulations and drollery, which at once 
characterized him as a buffoon. Prince Madatoff ordered him, 
through one of the Georgians who knew him, to join his domestics, 
and accompany us in our march, rather to avoid the quarrels which 
this turbulent old man would occasion in the ranks than to amuse 
us on our jonrney with his harlequinades. 

During our dinner two very -ugly Tartar women, who had been 
dancers in the harem of the late Khan, performed various dances 
and feats for our entertainment, with which, however, we could 
very well have dispensed. But my principal source of amusement 
was in the pictures which adorned the saloon, and which represent- 
ed the extravagant exploits of Runstad, an imaginary hero of an- 
tiquity, the Orlando of the Persians, the drawing and painting of 
•which were as imperfect as the verses of the ballad that commemo- 
rate his valorous deeds are outrageously bombastic. 

We left Nougha, on the morning of the 24th of May, and di- 
rected our course towards Shirvan, the road lying for the most part 
along the chain of the Caucasus. The province of Nougha is as 
highly cultivated on this side as on that by which he had entered it. 
Notwithstanding the elevated situation of the road through which 
we travelled, and the snows which still crowned the summits of the 
mountains, the heat was very oppressive during the whole day, at 
•the close of which we reached Zarab, a small village fifty -four 
wersts from Nougha. Here Major Bad&rsky and myself found an 
excellent lodging, and a very kind reception. Our host, who was 
an old man, conducted us to a room very well lighted, and covered 
with the richest carpet I had yet seen in this province. All the 
•furniture in the principal room of a Tartar's house consists of the 
carpets and cushions, the gold tissue with which they are ornament- 
ed weighing more than the wool which they contain. Having 
taken our seat, we were served with refreshing beverages and fruits, 
as delicious as they are dangerous for a convalescent. The con- 
versation of the Tartars, particularly when they are with strangers, 
is by no means animated, even if their language be thoroughly 
understood by their guests. They seldom ask questions ; but they 
observe all the rules of hospitality with the utmost strictness 



following morning,! took my leave of my kind host, and 
Badarsky, who refurned to his quarters at Nougha, and 

with the rest pf our party towards Shirvan. A few 
yonil Zarab we saw at a distance, emerging from, among 
tains, several Tartars on horseback, who were coming 
is at a sharp trot. The principal, of ihtm advanced from 

body, and with a thousand demonstrations of respect 
the Prince, that he was the memuundhar of the Khan of 
.■ho with bis suite composed ol about twelve cavaliers 
by his master to escort us to the capital, and render the 
> which our general was entitled. 
.y being fine and cool, and the road good, the genera] 

ride as far as the encampment which, we were informed 
^manundhar, had been prepared for ua,gand at which we 

three in the afternoon, the distance of the day's journey 
ib being rifty-aii wersts. The tents were pitched in the 
' a meadow, watered by one of the numberless streams 
w from the Caucasus towards the Knur. They formed a 
the centre of which stood a tent, where an extremely 
. orchestra played a monotonous air for our amusement. 
, supported by two wooden pillars, was placed before the 
id which two Tartars displayed their punchinellos, dressed 

to the fashion of the country, and performed various ad- 
analogous to the customs of these people. This amuse- 
ich is very ancient among them, is considered by the 
* the most ingenious public show, 
d veteran, who had joined us at Nougha, and who had 
ehaved with propriety, recommenced his follies, and taking 
tar, sang in a voice more loud than harmonious the ballad 
■ujrhty Kunatad. Nothing could equal the delight of the 
har and of some of our Georgians, who seemed as much 
d as the bard himself, and who now and then during our 
mained motionless, and entreated our attention to the fine 
ice of this modern Orpheus, who thrummed the prodigies 
of his hero till alter midnight. 

lley where we bad our encampment lay between Tzakhana, 
lamlet of about forty inhabitants, «nd the boundaries of 
vbich on this side are formed by the rapid streams de- 
from the Caucasus, and forming the Archipelago which 

presents from this province to the Caspian Sea. Early 
'llowing day we entered Shirvan. The country along the 
is province differed from tiiat of Nougha only in its being 
idy, and its meadows being more intersected with rivu- 
chief wealth of the country consisting of sheep arid cattle, 
aundhar, who was a great breeder of horses, had, accord- 
sown account, about four hundred colts, and boasted that 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 3 Iff 

his master bad all his best horses from bun* for which he was paid 
tnly with a flattering look* 

The horses of Shirvan are smaller than those of Karabah. The 
quality of the soil, generally stony, accounts for their, having good 
hoots, and for their supporting a good deal of fatigue without being 
shod ; but the habit of riding them whilst they are still colts prevents 
them from displaying all the force which they would possess, if 
greater care were taken in rearing them. With respect to the 
water, climate, and pasture ground, they are pretty nearly the same 
as those of Karabah. The great number of woods which we saw 
along our road serve to shelter the horses from the rays of a scorch- 
ing sun. 

In the hope of reaching in the afternoon Fittab, which is the 
usual residence of the Khan, and fifty-five wersts from the place of 
our encampment, we continued our journey after our repast. On 
coming within ten wersts of that city the country is barren, and in 
some places covered with ruins, and tombs, bearing Arabic inscrip- 
tions ; and the direction of the road, which had hitherto been from 
west to east, changed towards the north, and after a considerable 
circuit We began ascending a hill which extends as far as Fittah. A 
few wersts before reaching this city, we saw a group of about two 
hundred foremen riding towards us in the usual disorderly manner 
of the Asiatics, several of whom wore casques and coats of mail, 
and were armed with lances and leather bucklers. When they ap- 
proached us, a boy of about ten or twelve years of age, the son and 
presumptive heir of the Khan, presented himself to our general to 
receive us, by order of his father. The men in armour were offi- 
cers and noblemen in the service of the Khan, and the rest belonged 
to his suite. Being now joined by these cavaliers, our pace was 
considerably quickened, as our Tartar companions kept continually 
coursing around us, and flourishing their lances and arms, in honour 
of their gu<£ts, until we arrived at the summer encampment of the 
Khan, which is one werst beyond Fittah. 

Within a short distance of the encampment the Khan, whose 
name was Mustapha, had his harem built of wood in the form of a 
square, each side of which was two hundred feet in extent. Near 
this edifice stood a smfell brick house, newly built, having only one 
floor, where he received his visiters, and further on were several 
kivitki destined for our reception, among which was that occupied 
by the Khan, where he received us on our alighting. 

On our entering, he motioned to his attendants to withdraw, and 
seated himself on one of the cushions. Prince Madatoff having 
first given some precautionary orders, and sent to our tents all our 
officers, Prince OrbellanofF and myself excepted? commenced a 
long conference with Mustapha, which was by no means an agreea- 
ble one for the latter. 

Mustapha Khan was about fifty years of age, tall ancPcorpulent, 



3M * NARRATIVE OF 

and of a robust constitution, which did not seem much impaired 
either by the numerous wounds he had received, or by the remorse 
which he ought to have felt for his numberless crimes and continual 
intrigues with the court of Persia. According to general opinion, 
founded on the great revenues of this province and on the econom jf 
observed by the Khan, he had in his coffers more than 600,000 
ducats, which in this country is considered a great sum. At the 
time of the late treaty of peace between* Persia and Russia, tjiis 
province was incorporated with the latter, and consequently its 
Khan beeame tributary to Russia. • 

From that moment Mustapha became the greatest enemy of the 
Russians, who have often detected him in various clandestine deal- 
ings with Persia and other enemies of the government. His desire 
of swaying despotically, more than his religious fanaticism, caused 
this hatred, which in our army had gained him the appellation of 
the bearded amrpewt of SMrvan. He was moreover a near relation 
and an intimate friend of the Khan of Kazykoumyk, against whom 
our expedition was intended ; but towards which he was obliged to 
furnish four hundred cavalry, the contingent of his province. It 
may, therefore, be easily conceived how insincere his conduct must 
have been on this occasion ; but as it was the constant system of 
General Yermolow never to show any mistrust of thq Tartars, 
.General Madatoff was instructed to make no difference in the in" 
spectioti of this from the two other provinces ; neither would it have 
been just to make the people of Shirvan responsible for the con- 
duct of their chief. 

From what Prince* Madatoff was kind enough to tell me, Mus- 
tapha had during the audience used every endeavour to convince 
him that the Emperor Alexander had not a more faithful subject to 
defend his interests, nor General Yermolow a more sincere friend 
to co-operate in ' the pacification and prosperity of all those pro- 
vinces, than himself. While saying this, he repeatedly placed his 
right hand now on the hilt of his poniard to denote force, and now 
on his breast in token of friendship. 

The audience being interrupted by the kalion, which was brought 
to us to smoke according to the fashion of the country, the Khan 
invited us to dine with hin*on the following day-, and we took our 
leave. 

As Prince Matadoff had good reasons to fearfor his and oar safety 
during the night, and as we were without an escort, the general from 
the moment of our arrival proposed that every one of us should 
perform duty around our kivitki, there being every thing to appre- 
hend from the audacity of Mustapha; and from the facility with 
which he might* take refuge in Persia with his treasures and his 
women. On the first night, however, our watch was not very strictly 
kept, owing to a young Georgian captain, who amused us during- 
the evening with his guitar. This young man. who belonged to an 



I>ON JUAN Y*N &AXKN. SBtf 

excellent family of Teflis, was the only Russian military gentleman' 
residing in the province of Shir van; He was placed near the Khan 
to maintain the correspondence relative to the administration of this ■ 
province with the government of Teflis. His situation, so entirely 
isolated , recommended him to Prince MadatoiT, who was naturally 
attached to his own countrymen, and who invited him to spend his 
time with us during our sojourn in this province. He played on 
the guitar with a taste and execution worthy of a country more 
musical than his own. This circumstance, which indeed was here 
his best resource, had greatly recommended him to the Khan, who 
like all the Tartars was passionately fond of music. 

On the following day, the Khan came to Prince M adatofTs kivitka* 
to pay him a visit, and afterwards conducted us to his own, which 
was thirty yards distant. Mustapha was as much attached to the 
ancient customs of the country, as the Khan of Karabah had affected 
to be to those of Europe. As this was the first dinner entirely in 
the Tartar fashion at which I had been present, I shall attempt a 
description of it. 

The company consisted of the Khan, the general, most of the 
officers of our party, and of thres of the principal individuals be- 
longing to the family of the Khan, who were all about his own age. 
These three personages remained standing until the Khan permitted 
their sitting down to dinner. For the rest, we all sat down on the - 
carpet as soon as we entered the kivitka. Before dinner was served, 
three attendants came in, the one bringing a silver basin and ewer, 
the other a flagon of rose-water, with a perforated gold lid, and the 
third a cotton napkin of various colours* Having all successively 
washed our hands, commencing by the Khan and the general, and 
had them sprinkled with the odoriferous water, several other attend- 
ants entered bearing salvers, and presented one to the Khan, 
which contained his dinner and that of General MadatofF, the rest' 
being distributed among us, one salver between three. 

Each salver, which was about three feet in diameter, had in the 
centre the pilaw, or solid part of the repast, consisting of rice, which, 
after having been boiled and dried, is boiled again at & slow fire*, 
with bits of mutton, butter, dried fruits, and saffron, and afterwards 
served in a plate in the $hape of a pyramid of about a foot high. An 
Asiatic takes with thre% fingers of his right hand a portion, which x 
before eating he kneads into various shapes, and tears the meat with < 
his fingers and teeth. The bread, which is made into extremely 
thin cakes, and is very slightly baked, serves him as a napkin, and 
sometimes as a spoon. During his repast, as on horseback, he never 
takes his left hand from his side, a fashion which is invariably ob- 
served by the people of bon ton among the orientals ; but which 
gives them the air of fanfaronsi 

Round the pilaw are placed roasted poultry coloured withsaffron^ 
and various dried and other fruits of. the season. As a substitute 

Ss 



» 



3£2» XSAKRATfVE OF 

for wine, they have whey, and a beverage made of water, honey?* 
and dried fruits. These drinks are served in large bowls, which 
have wooden ladles to help oneself with. * 

On the attendants removing the salvers* the remains of which, to 
judge by the eagerness with which they carried them away, doubt- 
less fell to their share, the same ceremony of washing the hands 
was repeated ; and indeed when we consider the service which our 
fingers had performed, it became an indispensable ceremony. Several 
kahons were afterwards brought, which passed from one to another, 
as is customary among persons who are on amicable terms. 

On this singular banquet being concluded, the Khan put on a fur 
dress, as if we were in the middle of winter, to guard against the , 
bad effects which the least cold produced on his wounds, and con- 
ducted us to the borders of a large pond, which was in progress, 
and formed in the cavity of the two hills on which Fittah and our 
encampment were situated. There he had the patience to remain 
a whole hour, looking at the works, and extolling the great impor- 
tance of this project, which by its inutility was really contemptible. 
During this time his attendants alternately presented to him a great 
number of children, whom he had had by his numerous wives. He 
particularly caressed one of about two years old, whom he for a long 
time carried about in his arms. In a field near this pond we saw 
about one hundred camels which belonged to the Khan. 

Towards the close of day the Khan left us to withdraw to his 
harem, while we remained in our solitary encampment, each in his 
turn watching, in the silence of a dark night, the approach of sus- 
picious men, who roamed about our tents, and who, together with 
the camels, kept us every moment on the alert, increasing the disa- 
greeableness of our watch. 

Prince Madatoff, having concluded his affairs in this province, 
fixed our departure for the following morning, and we took leave 
of Mustapha, who received us in his palace at Fittah, where, besides 
his secretary* we met various other personages, among whom was 
the Beck, or chief of the district by which we were to leave the pro- 
vince, and who had arrived on the preceding day to pay his respects 
to the general. The Khan could scarcely conceal his desire of 
delaying our departure for some days, and gain the time he so much 
wanted for the accomplishment of his own ends ; but the contingent 
of cavalry of this province having obeyed the orders of General 
Madatoff of proceeding to the Daghestan, Mustapha had no pretext 
to urge in favour of his wishes. 

Fittah became the capital of Shirvan twelve years ago, when the 
celebrated Chamekhia, its former capital, was laid in ruins, at which 
time the Khan transferred his residence to the former city, and was 
followed by all those who survived the disasters to which this pro- 
vince has been a continual prey. The present population is com- 
puted at 28,000 inhabitants. The road from Fittah (which we left 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. J52S 

• on the 28th, at nine a. m.) to Southern Dagbestan lies along the 
foot of the Caucasus, in an eastern direction, for more than fifty 
wersts, which is about the distance from that city to the boundaries 
of the province. • During our day's journey we met a great number 

• of shepherds and nomade families, who with their flocks were re- 
moving from the plains, where the heat at this time of the year is ex- 
cessive, to these elevated lands ; and we halted for the night near some 
ruins, where there was a fountain of excellent water, having three 
jets, several relievos, and some Arabic inscriptions. The Beck, 
who accompanied us, informed us, that this fountain had belonged 
to a summer palace of the Khans of Shirvan, which had formerly 
stood near this spot, and which, like so many other places, had been 
laid waste during their continual wars. 

The Beck caused several large fires to be made, in order to render 
our night encampment more comfortable, and had some sheep 
brought from the flocks in the neighbourhood, whicb he amused 
himself with killing with his poniard. His Tartar attendants then 
cut the meat in small pieces, and, putting it on wooden skewers ot* 
four or Hye feet long, roasted it at our fires. This manner of 
dressing the meat is general among the Tartar soldiers, who, in de- 
fault of skewers, use the ramrods of their long muskets. 

Whilst the Beck and his people were employed in preparing our 
simple but wholesome supper, we were all sitting round the fountain, 
listening to the music of the Georgian officer, which in this romantic 
spot was really delightful. 

On the following day we left our bivouac at dawn, and parted from 
our musical Georgian, who returned to his post ; and as some of 
the individuals of our party were well acquainted with our road, 
Prince Madatoff dispensed with the further attendance of the Beck 
and his suite, and we commenced ascending the steep paths of ttyc 
chain of the Caucasus that separate Shirvan from Daghestan. 



* 



t 



&>. 



&M 3AKftATIV£ of 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

♦5The Khana or province of Bakou— Abundance of naphtha— Guebres— Persians and 
Hindoos worshipping fire— Tenets of Zoroaster's followers — Phenomena of naph- 
tha—Forests — Bridge oyer a frightful chasm of the rocks— Gorges of the Caucasus 
described— Magnificent and valuable timber— Ysa Beck — Rich lands— Chess a fa- 
^ TOurite game of the Tartars— Veterinary practice — Town and province of Kuba — 

'W Craggy banks of the Kolmka — Baron de Wrede the commandant— ftavine» — Jea- 

" lousy of the Kuban* Greewieff, commissary- general— Madame Gregorieff— Ashan 

Khan joins the Russian expedition — Scotch missionaries — The Bible translated into 
the Tartar and Eastern dialects — The troops march from Kuba— Cherry-trees — 
Bivouac— Fields covered with rose-trees— Abundant game— A large and exquisite 
partridge—Delightful province— Ashan's cavalry is headed by his valiant brother- 
Description— Town or Tchiakour— Park of artillery — Handsome females — Rick 
.carpets of Tchiakour— Difficult passage of the .torrents — The troops march for the 
Daghestan* 

On leaving Shirvan through Che rocky defiles of the Caucasus, 
the Khan a of Bakou is left on the right. This province, which 
became subject to the Russian empire at the time of the tragic death 
of Prince Tchitchianow, though the smallest of any in the govern- 
ment of Georgia, is nevertheless one of the most productive to the 
government ; not only on account of the advantageous situation of 
its capital, on theborders of the Caspian Sea, but for the great abun- 
dance of naphtha found throughout the province. An Armenian 
pays an annual rent to the .government of 200,000 roubles, paper 
money, for the produce of a certain number of wells. The great- 
est part of this article is exported to Persia, and the remainder is 
used in the country to preserve the roofs of the houses and other 
buildings. 

In the vicinity of Bakou are still found some families of Guebres, 
or ancient Persians, and of Hindoos, who worship a Supreme Being 
under the symbol of fire. There is a place about twenty wersts 
from that city, where the priests of Zoroaster still maintain, by means 
of the naphtha, the primitive fanaticism of the fire- worshippers. 
Those priests, who have no other clothing than a piece of linen 
round their waists, pretend that the sacred fire commenced burning 
on that soil some millions of years ago ; but as it seems they believe 
in the universal deluge, they must resort to some miracle to have 
preserved this flame from the inundation, especially as they have 
% * never inquired into the physical causes that produce the naphtha. 

According to their belief, the Supreme Being cast Satan into those 
.gulfs, from which immediately flames issued, which the Guebres ar« 
enjoined eternally to preserve. Notwithstanding their fanaticism, 
they do not hesitate in cooking their victuals by that fire, which they 
*'^ A in the same manner as gas, by applying a torch to the cavity 



» »*m 



DON JUAN TAN HALEN. £25 

made in the earth. The flame is extinguished by placing on it a wet 

- cloth. There are springs, or pits, wlfich produce daily more than 
•half a ton of naphtha. In summer, when the southern winds 

- increase the heat of the atmosphere, strong oscillations are expe- 
rienced on that soil, and various phenomena witnessed. 

To return to our journey. Our road on that day lay across the 

chain of the- Caucasus, which we must traverse to enter the Da- 

ghestan. The torrents in this part of the country were not so 

swollen as in other places of the Caucasus ; but the road was greatly 

•impeded by the enormous fragments of rocks, which the impetuous 

rains and thaws had detached from the mountains, and by the thick 

forests which appeared as if no hatchet had ever cleared any part of 

'them, and which obliged us to proceed part of the way on foot. 

On the most elevated point of the road, where we hoped to have 

conquered the principal obstacles, we met with an enormous fissure 

of about 40 feet wide, and more than 3000 deep, over which is a 

rustic bridge, formed simply of three trunks of trees covered with 

branches not more than three feet wide, and having no balustrade 

'Or railing of any kind. 

Prince MadatofF, who always took the lead, and who rode on a 
small poney, on reaching this bridge did not hesitate in passing over 
it on horseback, an example which we were all obliged to follow, 
lest we might subject ourselves to ridicule. It is, however, impos- 
sible to describe the sensation experienced on crossing this frightful 
-gulf, down which the rider and his horse must inevitably have been 
hurled by the least mistake or hesitation in either. When all our 
party had crossed without any accident, one of the officers asked 
General Madatoff the name of the bridge, to which he replied, that 
'the most appropriate he could think of was "Beelzebub's bridge." 
As we were the first Russian officers who had ever passed that way, 
-and as there was not the slightest trace of footsteps on horseback, 
it was not surprising that the government should not have ordered a 
r more convenient one to be constructed. Our descent, notwith- 
standing the brisk pace at which we rode, occupied us for two long 
hours. The forests were so thickly studded with trees, and the 
mountains bordering the road so steep and close to each other, that 
though it was but eleven in the morning, and the day bright and 
•sunny, we travelled, from the moment we left Beelzebub's bridge, as 
if it were through a cavern. At the foot of these lofty hills the 
road still continues, though gently sloping through a country pro- 
gressively widening, but fenced on each side by thick forests, the 
trees of which are of extraordinary dimensions and beauty. When 
an enlightened despotism, the only system which seems adapted to 
the actual state of that country, shall bring the industry of those 
provinces into life, the forests of the Caucasus will supply abundant 
timber for the dock-yards of Bakou and other ports, and be their 
principal source of wealth. The finest trunks of Asturias and.qf 



ft 



"1 



$&6 NARRATIVE OF 

the Segura in 'Spain, used m the construction of the ships of wsur, 
which are reckoned the most solid that float on the ocean, cannot 
i>e compared in breadth or height to the gigantic trees which are 
seen in these forests. 

On leaving them behind, we entered the province of Daghestan, 
on the frontiers of which we met a Tartar officer, whose name was 
Ysa Beck, who with several others was coming to meet us. The 
country from this point to Kuba appeared like a prolonged garden, 
the variety and productions of which every moment reminded mo of 
my native land. Half an hour after being joined by those Tartars, 
we arrived at a hamlet called K nil bar, where lodgings had been pre- 
pared for his by Ysa Beck in an old mosque, which for many years 
had ceased to be a place of worship. The distance from our night's 
encampment to Khilbar is titty -six wersts, which had occupied us six- 
teen hours without having halted any where. 

Under a portico close to our quarters we saw some Tartars deeply 
engaged in playing at chess, a game which is familiar even to the 
lowest class in this country from the remotest antiquity. We spent 
the night in the only saloon formed by the nave of the mosque, 
whose vaulted roof was lighted by various lamps. The voracious 
.appetites of the party being appeased by the pilaw, the boisterous 
mirth of the Georgians, and the twanging guitar of the Tartar bal- 
lad singer of Nougha, prevented our taking scarcely any repose. 

One of my horses of the race of Karabah, which possessed all 
the good qualities general to his breed, having stumbled on the road 
and sprained his hip,- Ysa Beck recommended me a Tartar who was 
celebrated for the wonderful cures he had performed. Desirous of 
/seeing the process, and anxious for the preservation of an animal 
that was to share with me tlte fate of our campaign, I spent the 
night in observing both the patient and the leech. The remedy con- 
sisted of a decoction of various succulent herbs and a good portion 
of salt, which he repeatedly applied to the inflamed part, and then 
covered with a sheepskin half shorn, the woolly side of which was 
. placed inwardly. There is no doubt that the warmth of the skin 
-must have greatly contributed to the rapidity of the cure, which is 
j generally effected in four or six hours, according to the degree of 
inflammation. 

At five o'clock on the following morning we started for Kuba, 
through a road alternately bordered with orchards and gardens. 
The heat was here as excessive as that experienced in the plains of 
Castile in the month of July. Having travelled during the whole 
* morning without halting any where, we reached Kuba about noon. 
This city is the ancient capital of the Khana bearing its name, and 
when it became a province of Russia, was named the capital of the 
Daghestan. It is, however, by no means so good a town as several 
others of this district. The streets are so narrow as scarcely to 
allow a vehicle to pass through, and the city is surrounded by ap 



DON JUAN YAK HALEN. 327 

s *~ 

ancient half-ruined wall, near which runs the river Kulinka, whose 
steep and craggy banks give it a barren and wild aspect. 

Our party alighted at die house of General Baron de Wrede, who 
was then the commandant of that district, and at whose house 
Prince Madatoff and myself took up our quarters during our resi- 
dence at Kuba. My friendship with Baron Renemkamph, who 
was a countryman of General de Wrede, powerfully recommended, 
me to the attentions of the latter* who, however, displayed an un- 
bounded hospitality towards every one of our party. From the gal- 
lery of the house of the general are seen a number of picturesque 
ravines, with which the Caucasus is on this side intersected; but 
which add to the dismal appearance of the city. Nothing but the 
intimate union of the Russian military and civilians can render sup~ 
portable a residence in Kuba ; for commerce has hitherto made so 
little progress here, that even those persons who have resided long 
in Georgia cannot help remarking the want of active intercourse 
among the natives. This, however, is also more or less observable 
in all the Tartar provinces bordering on Georgia. At Teflis both 
sexes are indistinctively met in the houses and in the streets ; but 
in these provinces the one acts as jailer to the other, and whether 
it be in society, in the public promenades, or in travelling, not a 
woman is to be seen ; but when this occurs, we scarcely recognise 
in her a being endowed with the same faculties and entitled to the 
same rights as her oppressors, for we only see some moving object 
concealed under drapery. Mustapha Khan, during our residence at 
Fittah, gave orders for a young Circassian woman, who was on her 
way to his harem, to be kept concealed in the mountains until our 
departure. The jealousy of these men* indeed, is preposterous, and 
seems to extend even to the thoughts of others, without considering 
that there can be no offensive intelligence existing between a mere 
spectator, and a woman who from head to foot is so completely 
enveloped as not to allow the least part of her person to be seen, 
and who, moreover, is guarded by men whose summary mode of 
punishing effectually prevents the least scrutiny on the part of the 
spectator. The prophet enjoins the faithful to be heedful of their 
religion and their women, and to this precept, fanatically observed, 
must be attributed their excessive jealousy. 

The house which our party most frequented at Kuba was that of 
the commissary-general Gregorieff, who with his amiable lady re- 
sided in this city. The society of Madame Gregorieff, dressed in the 
European style, and possessing the accomplishments and attractions 
of a well-educated woman, was a novelty so highly valued by us 
that we could find but little time to examine the ruins, ancient me- 
dals, mineral and botanical productions, fine horses, precious arms, 
and other curiosities which render this country so interesting to a 
foreigner. The distance A of our respective countries, and the remote 
and isolated place where our acquaintance was formed, drew closer 



328* NARRATIVE OP 

our social ties, and I may say, without any exaggeration, that it 
minute of intercourse in this country is equal to a year's companion- 
ship in Europe. Two hours after our arrival at Kuba', our party were 
such intimate friends with the resident Europeans, that a stranger 
might have supposed we were all members of the same family, 
when if instead of having met those individuals on the borders of the 
Caspian Sea we had seen them on those of the Vistula we might' 
perhaps not have remembered their names. Nor were the attrac- 
tions of European manners less felt by General Madatoff, who 
evinced as much pleasure as any of us in the society of Madame 
Gregorieff. This lady, who had a great taste for botany, shared 
with her Frenc'h gardener the care of forming an extensive nursery 
for a botanical garden which she had projected. 

On the day after our arrival at Kuba, the 31st of May^ while we 
were at dinner, we heard the trampling of horses, and soon after 
two personages, who were to figure in a distinguished manner in 
our expedition, made their appearance, accompanied by a nume- 
rous retinue. One of them was Ashan Khan, the chief of a small 
province adjoining Kuba, and situated between this* that of Derbend, 
and Kazykoumyk, the province against the Khan of which this 
expedition was intended, lie was a man of about forty -five years of 
age, and of a portly presence ; and was to be invested with the au- 
thority of the revolted Khan . The other* who was a brother to Ashan 
Khan, and considerably younger, possessed a truly fine person, and- 
all the qualities of an Asiatic champion. He was the commandant 
of the strong contingent which his brother brought into the field, 
and the personal enemy of the Khan against whom he was going* 
to fight, and from whom he had received injuries which among the 
warriors of the Caucasus are never forgiven. 

Both fcrothers had rendered important services, and given evidenjt 
proofs of attachment to the Russian empire. They were both deco- 
rated with the cross of St. Wladiroir, which they seemed proud of 
wearing at their b. easts, free from all religious prejudices. General 
de Wrede invited these two brpthers and some of the nobles of their 
suite to partake of the repast, an invitation which they accepted 
without the least scruple, indiscriminately taking their seats among 
us, although this was the time of abstinence prescribed by the reli- 
gion of the prophet. This neglect, however, may be attributed to 
the perceptible change which was operating in their religion, as we 
had reason to believe from their frequent perusal of the Bible, which 
has been translated into the various languages of these nations, and 
which is continually distributed by the Scotch missionaries of Cir- 
cassia and Astrakhan, sent into those countries by the London Bible 
Society. These respectable clergymen, who have found in General 
de Wrede a zealous friend, and who moreover enjoy the entire pro- 
tection of the Russian government, Tiave endeared themselves to 
the natives by a conduct truly exemplary, while their estimable 



i 



DON JUAN VAN HAL EN. $2$ 

families on their side do every thing in their power to second their 
laudable endeavours. 

Ashan Khan, who bad heard many favourable accounts of these 
missionaries, always carried with him a copy of the Bible, which he 
had received from General de Wrede, and for which he appeared to 
have the greatest veneration, a circumstance which greatly increased 
the esteem in which he was generally held by the Russians. 

The troops of our expedition were encamped at a day, and a half's 
march from Kuba, in the direction of the province of Kagykoumyk. 
The park of artillery, arrested by the difficulties of the road, was 
stationed at Tchiakour, a hamlet on the right of our road in the 
direction of Derbend, and waited the orders of Prince Madatoff. 
The contingents of Nougha, Karabah, and Shirvan, which almost 
all arrived at the same time in the neighbourhood of Kutt&, were 
ordered to join the encamped troops, while 100 Cossacks, and the 
whole of the cavalry of Ashan Khan, remained at Kuba to ac- 
company the general on his departure. The convoy of provisions,' 
so embarrassing in a march, though indispensable in a Country 
affording but few resources, which were considered insufficient even 
to the frugality of the Russian soldiers, was intrusted to the com- 
missary Gregorieff, who received on that afternoon orders to depart. 

On the 1st of June at break of day, the brother Of Ashan Khan 
commenced his march at the head of all his ttoops, who soon after 
were followed by the squadron of Cossacks. At six in the after- 
noon our .party left the city accompanied by General de Wrede and 
$eveiw^j£nis officers, who as usual escorted us part of our way. 

The cultivation of the fields in the vicinity of Kuba, is by no 
means such as its rich soil appears to merit ; but the thick foliage 
of the lofty trees with which the road is bordered, shelters the 
traveller from the burning rays of the sun. During our residence 
at Kuba, the heat at ten o'clock in the morning in the shade, was 
30<> Reaumur, a degree of heat which in the Havannab is scarcely 
greater in the summer months. Towards dusk we arrived at a 
pleasantly-wooded valley, near a hamlet belonging to a Tartar, who 
invited us to his house, an offer which the general declined, and we 
bivouacked surrounded by the squadron of CosSacks under some 
cherry-trees heavily laden with fruit. . ' 

On the following morning, we left our place of bivouac with the 
rising sun, and proceeded through picturesque fields, covered with 
rose-trees. The exquisite fragrance emitted by them, and which 
the morning dew rendered more fresh and grateful, the varied warb- 
ling of a multitude of birds who had their nests in these delightful 
bowers* and the sight of several cascades whose playful waters 
leapt from their steep summits, produced on every sense an inde- 
scribable feeling of delight. One of the nobles belonging to the 
suite of Ashan Khan made me a present of a small Sagon of oil 
extracted from these roses, and which, when some months after I 

Tt 



330 NARRATIVE OF 

compared with the best otto of roses of Turkey, surpassed it ia 
fragrance and delicacy. 

Beyond these woods of roses- spreads an extensive forest, so 
much abounding in game, and doubtless so little pursued by the 
Tartars, that notwithstanding the noise of our numerous group, we 
frequently had within the reach of our whips the largest partridges 
that are perhaps met with in any country. Having weighed one of 
them taton alive by a Tartar, it exceeded thirty-two bullets of an 
ounce each, a weight which, considering the lightness of the flesh 
of these birds, is really extraordinary. The flavour of the par- 
tridges ef the Dagbestan is, according to the opinion of connoisseurs* 
superior to that of the pheasants found on the borders of the 
Alazann. 

After halting for a short time in a meadow watered by a clear 
rivulet, where in all appearance the battalions of the expedition had 
encamped, we were overtaken by the cavalry of Ashan Khan, who 
had bivouacked on the preceding- night 1 at a short distance in our 
fear. It is not possible for any of the Tartar provinces to present 
a more splendid contingent than that brought on this occasion by 
Ashan Khan; Whether it was the interest felt by these troops at 
entering on a- campaign in which they were eager to avenge oa 
their enemies the vexations they had experienced from them ; or 
whether the enthusiasm by which they were animated in having at 
their head the brother of Ashan Khan, who according to the gene- 
ral opinion was the most valiant warrior known among the Tartars, 
and at whose war-cry hundreds were ready to join him ; or whether 
Ashan Khan, free from the religious fanaticism of the Mussulmans, 
had laboured to draw his- people from the obscure condition in 
which, like the rest of the Tartars, they had been sunk for ages, by 
giving them the benefits of a better education, a more regular 
organization, and more just notions of religion ; certain it is, that 
the 800 men of light cavalry who were extremely well mounted 
and armed, and whose martial air and cheerful countenances evinced 
the pleasure they felt at this enterprise, formed an assemblage of 
warriors the most perfect that could be found in fhese provinces. 

When one of our officers mentioned to Ashan Khan the splen* 
dour of the personal guard of Mustapha Khan, he said that when he 
was among his people, he did the same as Yermolow in Ins bivouac ; 
namely, that he was his own guard ; that when He issued against his 
enemies, he was- followed by all his people, and even his own chil- 
dren, though some were not more than six years old, a truth which 
I shall soon have an opportunity of confirming ; and that the Em- 
peror might reckon upon him as he did upon the cross that hung on 
his breast. Ashan Khan and his brother, however, though com- 
panions in arms, and both men of superior minds, could not endure 
each other, and nothing but the fear of .displeasing the general-in- 
chief seemed;to keep their wrath within bounds. The latter avoided ] 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 331 

tss much as possible to join us in our march, as he was averse to 
exchange words in a conversation where his brother took a part. 
AH the nobles of his province by whom he was surrounded were 
armed with lances, made of long and light canes, like those of the 
Coords of Persia ; they wore also casques, coats of mail, and round 
shields, which, though very ancient, were as bright as if they had 
been just made. This armour is among them the best proof of their 
noble lineage, and serves as their letters patent. Whatever they 
possessed of value, useful in war, they wore about their persons, and 
they appeared to consider this campaign as the most important in 
which they had ever been engaged, not only because it involved their 
nearest interest, but because they saw it supported in a manner that 
seemed to insure its success. 

The weather on this day was as hot as on the preceding ones, 
and the road occasionally intersected by the ravines descending from 
the chain of the Caucasus, which was on our left. At ten o'clock 
in the morning, we arrived at Tchiakour, a town containing about 
1000 inhabitants, and where, as has already been mentioned, the 

park of aPtUl#ry w*Q wttttmtoml , T k n t*mtn, mrh i nh w co naidcicd Very 

healthy, is situated on the heights which command the impetuous 
torrents, called by some, of the Koura, and by others of the Zama- 
pur, whose breadth, at all times considerable and in many places 
dangerous, was in this .month greatly increased by the thawing of the 
snow on the summits of the mountains, which, according to the ac- 
counts of the natives, would swell the torrents in proportion as the 
heat became more intense. This circumstance retarded our depar- 
ture from this place, as it was necessary that our artillery should 
cross the Zamaour ; and as the rapidity of the torrents, wlueh bore 
along large trunks of trees and fragments of rocks even as far as the 
Caspian Sea, rendered any attempt to construct a bridge impracti- 
cable. The whole of the afternoon was therefore spent in endea- 
vouring to find a ford, and as night was fast approaching without 
our finding one, we were obliged to suspend our vain efforts until the 
following morning in order to avoid any misfortune. 

Having heard at Kuba the beauty of the women of Tchiakour 
highly extolled, and desirous of ascertaining the truth, we made 
various lawful incursions in the town to explore the rare beauties it 
contained. Much to pur satisfaction, we found that we had not 
been misinformed, and moreover that by their intercourse with the 
officers of artillery stationed there they had lost much of their native 
rusticity, which frequently destroys the favourable impression which 
their tine persons excite. - 

The interior of the houses in Tchiakour is generally clean and 
comfortable, and their carpets, the manufacturing of which is their 
chief branch of industry, are of a superior quality, their colours 
being as bright and permanent as their patterns are tasteful 

On the following morning at day-break, the Zamaour having de-. 



L. 



1 



332 NARKATIVE Of 

created half a foot, Prince Madatoff gave orders for our departure, 
and the train of artillery and ammunition commenced their march, 
Ashan Khan resigning to them the guide, in whom be had the 
greatest trust, while our party at the head 4>f the cavalry followed 
m single file our own guide, who was a native of the town, and who, 
fearful of our encountering some accident for which he might be 
made responsible, showed considerable timidity. From the moment 
we commenced crossing the torrents, the water was up to our sad- 
dles, and our horses got entangled with the trunks and branches that 
floated about, while the breaks and stones of the uneven soil greatly 
increased our difficulties, which were still more numerous when we 
attempted, to climb the steep and rocky banks that interposed them* 
selves in our passage. On leaving these banks we again immersed 
in this apparently interminable sea, in which we made 90 little pro- 
gress, that even after struggling for two hours with the torrents, 
Tchiakour was still within cannon-shot, and though we commenced 
fording at five o'clock in the morning, it was past ten when we 
reached the opposite shore. 

TtRT SSu— Wlli »h ■• m * m m y m w n o« ti » r « J owt that wido sheet of 

water presented, in their various dresses, uniforms, and armours, and 
the peculiar attitudes of each in endeavouring to preserve his arms 
from the water, was highly picturesque and interesting for the spec- 
tator, though somewhat irksome to the actors. 

The continual wars of which the Daghestan has been the theatre 
must at all times have been rendered memorable by these impetuous 
torrents, in which, notwithstanding the good order and precautious 
we had observed, we lost two men and six horses. At length being 
all assembled at eleven o'clock in the woods which extend along the 
bank, we began our march, and soon after entered the territory of 
Ashan Khan. 



■ 1 



DON JUAN VAN BALEN. .333 



CHAPTER XXXVIL 

Arrival at the encampment of Prince Madatoff— Preparations of Surghai Khan— The 
command of the caralry is intrusted to Ashan Khan — Renew of the Tartar contin- 
gents—Prince Orbellanoff— Dissension between Ashan Khan and his brothers-Visit 
of the youthful sons of Ashan to Prince Madatoff— Military operations— Description 
of the town of Kourah— Fortress of Chiragh— Deficiency of timber— Inhumanity 
nf the Leighis— Advance upon Joserek— Position of Surghai Khan— His earaJry 
described— Attack made by Ashaa's horse— Ferocity of the combatants— Death of 
Ashan Khan's brother— The enemy's cavalry routed-— Preparations for a general 
attack on Joserek-*-Camp of Surghai Khan— Perilous post of the authof — He suc- 
cessfully leads his column to the assault of Joserek— Surghai Khan flies— The Lee* 
ffhis— Their arms and warfare--- Their intrepidity— Conduct of the Russian soldier 
in action— His devotion — The author meets with a Tartar horseman, formerly of 
Napoleon's Mameluke guard. 

Ashan Kbcan, to whom our presence in his territory so lately 
invaded by the enemy was a subject for congratulation, had prepared 
refreshments for us at the first village we came to, which were served 
in the Asiatic style, in a gallery commanding a beautiful prospect, 
and shaded with luxuriant vines. Here we made a short stay, and 
arrived in the afternoon at the encampment of our troops. 

Prince Madatoff received under the shade of a wide-spreading 
chesnut-tree, near which his tent had been pitched, the chiefs of the 
Various contingents then assembled. The artillery, which followed 
in our rear, joined us at day-break, and a review was fixed for the* 
following day. 

Our camp, the situation of which was highly advantageous on 
account of the abundant pasturages, woods, and excellent water in 
its vicinity, commanded a view of the whole eastern part of the Dag- 
hestan, at the furthest extremity of which we could clearly distin- 
guish Derbend, and the line of coast along the Caspian Sea. 

From the moment of our arrival at this encampment, Ashan 
Khan received frequent intelligence respecting the movements of the 
enemy, the import of which was, that Surghai Khan, the chief of the 
insurrection, on learning the advance of the Russian troops towards 
his territory, had ordered his own to concentrate on the frontiers, 
while lie still continued his vain endeavours to oblige the Russian 
garrison ULthe fortress of Tchirah, which was eighty wersts Jfrom 
our can$ffjJ surrender ; that he had ordered all men capable of 
bearing arms to join his army, enacting the severest punishments, in 
case of disobedience, so that it already amounted to more thah 
40,000 troops, of whom 7000 were cavalry ; and that he was forti- 
fying Joserek, the most impregnable position of his province, for 
which purpose he availed himself of the artillery which had been left 
there by the Persians, in some of their incursions, and was deter- 
mined to defend himself to the last. 



I 



634 narrative of 

By the order of the day, the cavalry was placed under the com- 
mand of Ashan Khan, who held the rank of colonel in the Russian 
army. Prince Orbsflanoif and the rest of the Georgians employed 
jn this expedition were also to act under his orders, circumstances 
which occasioned some angry scenes between the two rival brothers, 
and to which I shall soon have occasion to advert. 

On the morning of the 4th, the various battalions of our expe- 
ditionary army were assembled at the appointed place. At the 
head of our line was the artillery, and at the opposite extremity 
the \yhole of the Tartar cavalry, formed in such regular order as is 
by no means common among the Asiatics, in whose martial coun- 
tenances the pleasure they felt at the inspiring sounds of our military 
music, so well adapted to produce a deep impression on their fan- 
tastic imaginations, was strongly depicted ; while the beauty of the 
spot on which the review took place, and the fine weather, im- 
parted to it additional splendour. 

Our force consisted of twelve field-pieces, belonging to the eighth 
brigade of the army, two of which were served by Cossacks of the 
Terak, who in every respect answer the object for which they are 
destined ; of the second battalion pf grenadiers of Georgia ; of the 
second and third of Absaron, line ; of two more of light infantry - f 
of the squadron of Cossacks ; and lastly of the 3000 light cavalry, 
to which the various Tartar contingents amounted. The similarity 
in equipment of these troops with those of the enemy, and the con: 
fusion which this might occasion, rendered the adoption of some 
distinctive mark necessary, and Ashan Khan caused the whole ca- 
valry to wear a branch of broom in their caps, or casques, in the 
manner of a plume, which for their own preservation they wore 
.during the whole campaign. The custody of the convoy, nrhich 
was coming from Kuba towards our encampment, was intrusted to 
the troops stationed in the Daghestan, under the orders of Baron 
de Wrede. 

Prince M adatoff, accompanied by several of the officers of the 
staff, went in the afternoon to visit Ashan Khan in his tent, which 
stood in the centre of the encampment. Here we found him en- 
gaged in such a violent dispute with his brother, that neither of 
them took the least notice of our approach, which had beeji an- 
nounced to them by their nobles. Long before reachii 
we had heard the loud and angry clamours of the brother^ 
Khan, who sat opposite to that chief, and was in a franl 
which is not at all uncommon among the choleric Asp 
eyes flashing fire, and foaming at the mouth, he tore open 
with tremulous hands ; and presenting his naked bosom to his 
brother, whom he branded with a thousand opprobrious epfthets, 
said that he had not the courage to plunge his dagger in his breast. 
Ashan Khan meantime listened to all his taunts without conde- 
scending to return an answer, every feature pf his countenance ex- 
pressing the utmost scorn. 







r DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 835 

The brother of Ashan Khan was reputed, and believed himself 
to be, the most valiant warrior of his country. He was indignant 
that the command of the cavalry should have been given to Ashan, 
when he considered himself as the only one worthy of the chief 
command. Unwilling to complain of this to Prince Madatoff him- 
self, he commenced by challenging his brother, who with the.Utmost 
prudence had hitherto avoided a rupture, but finding that his out- 
rageous conduct and abuse availed him not y frantic with despair, he 
asked for death at his hands. This he did with such an infuriated 
countenance, and violence of manner, that when we attempted to 
part him and his brother, it seemed as if we were struggling with 
an enraged Hon. As it generally happens in similar cases, they both 
had partisans among their people ; but as Prince Madatoff previous 
to our visit to Ashan Khan's tent had nominated his brother to the 
command of the vanguard, this wrathful Achilles no sooner learned 
this appointment than be declared himself satisfied. 

Surrounded by a family wholly devoted to arms, Ashan Khan 
was every moment obliged to struggle against similar incidents. 

In the evening, while we were still at dinner in the tent of General 
Madatoff, two little boys, armed from head tejfttfc^tfith weapons 
proportionate to their age, entered the tea*/ iBI^Mre two of the 
sons of Ashan Khan, and his immediate heirs, who having learned 
our arrival at the encampment, which was at some distance from 
their place of residence, had induced their tutor to conduct them 
* to head-quarters to crave Prince Madatoff 's intercession with their 
father that he might allow them to take an active part in our ope- 
rations. The eldest, who was about ten years of age, and whose 
mien was truly martial, having been deprived of the use of one leg 
by wounds received two years before while fighting beside bis 
father, was unable to walk without crutches, and could not mount 
or alight from his horse without assistance. The other little doughty 
hero wag scarcely seven years old ; he offered an excellent repre- 
sentation of a Tartar punchinello, and stood in need of the same 
assistance as 'his brother. They both, however, advanced towards 
Prince Madatoff without either timidity or embarrassment, and de- 
clining to sit down,' or take any thing, stated in few words the object 
of their visit. ' . • 

Ashan Khan had but a few minutes before set off with the ca- 
valry to bivouac a few wersts in advance of our camp. Prince 
Madatoff however, far from acceding to the request of these two 
singular veterans, endeavoured to dissuade them from it ; but find- 
ing his arguments unavailing, he threatened them with their father's 
displeasure, and ordered the tutor and the remainder of their suite 
to conduct them back to their father's house. On hearing this 
command, they both burst into a fit of passion, stampt their little 
feet, and bit their lips with rage, tears starting from their eyes, which, 
as they withdrew to mount their horses, flashed angry glances on 



8S6 NAKBATIV* OF 

die company, who had been highly amused with their solicitation. 
This martial zeal is the more singular in the immediate descendants 
of the Khans, as, in the event of losing the use of any of their 
limbs, they forfeit the right of inheritance to the Khana, as was 
the case with the eldest, who by his lameness saw his right pass to 
his next brother, a circumstance which on account of its injustice 
seems deserving of notice. 

On the morning of the 5th, the great convoy from Kuba, which 
during the two previous days had overcome the principal obstacles 
on the road, being now within a short distance of our encampment, 
orders were issued for our departure. We commenced our march 
at three in the afternoon, descending the height we had occupied, 
and pursued our road occasionally through defiles, and an uneven 
country tolerably well cultivated and inhabited, till we reached an 
extensive valley ten wersts from the camp, where we bivouacked. ] 

Although Prince Madatoff was well aware that the enemy, having I 

retrograded to their frontiers, would not attempt to intercept our 
communications, especially in a country the inhabitants of which 
Were so much attached to their Khan that every individual was a 
voluntary spj^Bjfeave orders to the brother of Ashan Khan to send 
detachments to scour the country on both sides of our route. The 
discipline Of 'our soldiers had a salutary influence on that of the 
Tartar legions, whose respect towards Ashan Khan was undimin- 
ished, either by the difference of their native provinces, or by the 
irreconcilable enmity of the two brothers. 

On the following morning, the troops continued their march. 
Though the summer season was fast advancing the weather was 
pleasant and cool, a circumstance which was to be attributed to the 
elevation of the country, and to the proximity of the snowy summits 
of the Caucasus, which was to our left, and parallel with our line 
of road. 

Kuragh, the usual residence of Ashan Khan, was twenty-five 
Wersts distant from our place of bivouac, and had a Russian garri- 
son destined to protect the city against the incursions of the enemy; 
The rugged nature of the road had, during the whole morning, so 
greatly impeded the progress of our materiel, that notwithstanding 
the assistance given by two of our battalions to take the field-pieces 
over the steep rocks which obstructed the road, it was evening when 
we reached Kuragh. 

The cavalry of Ashan Khan established their bivouac a werst 
beyond the city, and the rest of our troops before its walls. Our 
head-quarters were fixed at the house of the Khan, from the. gal- 
lery of which we had a view of the two encampments, and of a 
great part of the road on our rear, along which we could distinguish 
the head of the great convoy coming from Kuba, which not- 
withstanding the obstacles above mentioned was now approaching 
Kuragh. 



PON JUAN TJUf HALEH. 337 

Ashan Khan, foregoing the comforts which his house afforded, 
bivouacked with his troops ; and sent frequent intelligence to the 
general respecting the movements of the enemy, the correctness of 
which, as his spies were unable to penetrate intp die revoked pro- 
vince, could not be relied upon. This circumstance, joined to those 
I have already hinted at, seemed to establish the presumption, that 
our campaign would be no less arduous than protracted. It was 
also to be feared that our operations would be greatly embarrassed 
by our convoys. To obviate this difficulty, the general resolved to 
form his great depot at Chiragh, a fortress, which by its proximity to 
the enemy's country, was well adapted for this purpose. Wishing* 
therefore, to see the convoy safely deposited in that fortress, he is- 
sued orders for the different corps to remain in their present encamp- 
ments till they should receive further instructions. 

On the morning of the 7th the convoy, which .owing to the in- 
defatigable exertions of the troops that escorted it preserved an ex- 
cellent order, having arrived at Kuragh, we' proceeded with it to- 
wards Chiragh, which, though within forty-five wersts of the former 
city, we reached only on the 10th at noon. As* we had all left our 
tents at Kuragh, and as beyond this place neither trees qor shrubs 
of any kind are to be met with, our bivouacs were rendered doubly 
unpleasant, the only fuel we had consisting of straw and a calca- 
reous earth mixed together and formed into the shape of bricks, 
which required much trouble and attention to keep burning. If by 
chance any cart of the convoy became unfit for service, it was im- 
mediately cut to pieces and carefully preserved by the escort for 
their night fires. 

The fortress of Chiragh, although very imperfectly constructed, 
was deemed of great importance in that country with reference to 
the enemies against whom it had to be defended. Its fortifications 
are extremely ancient, and it crowns the summit of a small moun- 
tain in the form of a sugar-loaf. The Russians repaired and fur- 
nished it with three pieces of ordnance, and a garrison of one hun- 
dred men under the orders of a captain. The village of Chiragh, 
which contains about a hundred ajtd fifty inhabitants, stands at the 
foot of the fortress in the form of an amphitheatre. 

Some months previous to our arrival here the Lesghis had suc- 
ceeded in surprising in the village a Russian sergeant and two gra- 
nadiers, who having descended from the fortress to procure bread 
for the detachment, were attacked by a multitude of Lesghis, who, 
favoured by a thick fog, had penetrated into the village. Obliged 
by Overpowering numbers to retreat, the three soldiers took refuge 
in the mosque, where they defended themselves with the utmost 
courage until the Lesghis, having forced their wily into the interior, 
obliged those poor wretches to shut themselves up in the tower, 
which their enemies blew up, and rent asunder. The three vete- 
rans remained unhurt, and continued to defend themselves in the 

Uu 



383 NARRATIVE OF 

standing section ; but being totally exposed to the fire of their bar* 
barous enemies, they soon fell lifeless to the ground. Their head* 
and limbs were then shared among their assassins, who in their fury 
smeared their hands and faces with the blood of the Russians, that 
their triumph might be more highly valued and rewarded by their 
Khan. The garrison of the fortress, who had been unable to give 
any assistance to their unfortunate companions, did not let any op- 
portunity escape of avenging their deaths : on our arrival at Chiracs, 
we found two standards taken from the Lesghis by the detachment, 
which a short time back had made a sortie against a thousand of 
those barbarians. 

On the night of the 10th our vanguard bivouacked in the ene- 
my's territory at three wersts distance from our encampment. The 
Tartar soldier always takes his repose dressed and ready armed, bis 
hand grasping the bridle of his horse, who, like his master, spends 
whole months without being an instant unharnessed. The cavalry 
of Ashan Khan was on one side of our encampment and half of 
our artillery on the other, so that we were protected from sudden 
attack. In this state we remained the whole of the following day 
and night, without receiving the least intelligence respecting the 
true movements of the enemy, who had not shown himself on any 
of the points to which our advanced posts had reached. 

The troops did not fkil to profit by this interval to clean and pre* 
pare their arms ; the formation of the depot which was to be esta- 
blished at Chiragh was soon completed, and placed under the cus- 
tody of the two battalions of light infantry. Orders were then 
issued to the rest of the troops to hold themselves in readiness to 
march into the enemy's country on the following day. 

The officer commanding the garrison of the fortress presented 
himself to the general in die evening to request permission to join 
one of the battalions, that he might take an active part in punishing 
the enemy for the horrible death of his fellow soldiers, a petition 
too honourable and praiseworthy not to be granted. 

Our field of operations on the.following day, June 12th, was to 
be before Joserek, which is (twenty-six wersts from Chiragh, where 
according to all accounts the enemy was intrenched. As we had 
no chart of the country, and as neither Ashan Khan, his brother, 
nor any of their zealous comrades, had ever penetrated as far as 
Joserek, notwithstanding its short distance from their territory, and 
their occasional incursions into the enemy's country, all we knew 
of that important position was from the incorrect and traditionary 
accounts of some of our Tartar allies. With respect to our staff, 
we ourselves being the first European officers who ever trod that 
country, we had absolutely no foundation whereon to ground oar 
plans. 

By day-break all our troops were ready to march, when Ashan 
Khan presented himself to Prince Madatoff to communicate to 



PON WAN TAN gAL&K. 339 

Jpm the intelligence be had just gained ff-om two Lesghi prisoners 
taken during the night by one of to brother's advanced posts. Ac- 
cording to these men's report, the whole of the enemy's cavalry, 
commanded by one of the sons of Surghai Khan, was at no great 
distance from oar little army, while the Khan himself was at the 
head of the remainder of his forces amounting to 40,000 men. He 
occupied a line of redoubts spreading for a considerable extent be- 
fore Joserek, the fortifications of which were to be defended by the 
$Ute of his infantry. The Khan, moreover, had resorted to every 
religious artifice and the most tyrannical measures to compel his 
people toimake a desperate resistance. 

Although there was a thick mist, which in this country is very 
common, we commenced our march at five o'clock, the cavalry at 
the head of our column, and the artillery in the centre* The road 
from Chiragh to Joserek lies between two ranges of hills. That 
cm the left is a branch of the Caucasus, and, though as we advanced 
it became higher and higher, it is not so steep and difficult of ascent 
as that on the right, which extends from near Chiragh to Joserek, 
and on the summit of which is an esplanade, occasionally very nar- 
row, terminating within a very short distance of the last-mentioned 
city. On these heights we saw at six o'clock a. m. as soon as the 
fog cleared, the first group of the enemy's cavalry, in the midst of 
which waved the standard. 

Prince Madatoff, having advanced to reconnoitre the enemy's 
position, ordered our whole column to accelerate its march ; and 
the brother of Ashan Khan to proceed through the first accessible 
path with the entire vanguard to dislodge the enemy from the 
heights on our left. This movement, which was performed with an 
incredible order and rapidity, though unsupported by a single bayo- 
net, and highly perilous in such abrupt and broken ground, was 
well suited to the agility of the Tartar cavalry* 

Yakouwovitch and myself, who were the only two cavalry officers 
near Prince MadatofTs person, took a part with Ashan Khan's 
brother in this movement. The enemy, who crowned the summit 
of the hills in very superior numbers to our own, received us on 
our approach with shouts and repeated discharges of musketry, 
which twice obliged us to fall back and rally. The individual 
scenes which the fury of these Tartar enemies presented occasion- 
ally engaged our attention, and these conflicts were the more fre- 
quent, as little or no unity of action could be expected in cavalry 
charges, which, being made in such a rugged place, could prove 
successful only by the personal courage of the combatants. Among 
innumerable other instances, I saw one of our party and a Lesghi 
fight even in their last agonies, and in their ferocious struggles tear 
each other with their teeth, and, tightly grasped together, roll down 
a rocky precipice ; the horses, which their masters during the fight 
continued to hold by the bridle, being likewise dashed into the 



$40 NARRATIVE OF 

abyss below. Another J>esghi, giving his horse to the care of a 
comrade, crawled down the steep sides of the rocks to cut off the 
head of his enemy, and present it to the chief by whom he had 
been armed. 

At length, at the third charge, we broke through the enemy's 
lines ; but the continual charges that followed as we pursued them 
to the foot of their intrenchments were the more bloody, as every 
inch of ground was defended with a desperate bravery, their unre- 
mitting fire causing us much loss. We had thus far executed the 
operation intrusted to us, and succeeded in engaging in action all 
the enemy's cavalry, putting them to flight, when the brother of 
Ashan Khan fell pierced through the heart by a musket ball, into 
the arms of some of the nobles who surrounded him, and who saw 
with anguish this brave man expire like a true Tartar warrior, 
urging them to avenge his death. The shot by which he fell, it 
is asserted by some of his followers, was aimed by the son of Sur- 
ghai Khan, who had purposely lagged behind to be more sure of his 
prey. Be this as it may, the truth is that such a loss, which among 
European troops would have caused but little interruption, nearly 
paralyzed our movements, and checked our success at this critical 
moment. The Asiatic custom of wailing over and lavishing" ca- 
resses on the corpse of the slain chieftain, gave the enemy time to 
rally, and furiously charge the cavalry; q£ Karabah, which, to pre- 
vent them from assuming the offenses, performed prodigies of 
valour. While I rode at the head of these troops, I observed a 
Tartar decorated with the legion of honour, of whom more here* 
after. 

General Madatoff, who was watching our movements from the 
road that ran parallel with the field of our operations, soon per- 
ceived the sudden reverse occasioned by the death of the brother 
of Ashan Khan, and galloped to the spot ; whence he sent orders 
to the third regiment of Absaron, commanded by Major Martini- 
engo to perform a flank movement on the right of the enemy's 
cavalry, while he rallied our almost disordered troops, who now, by 
a unanimous impulse again taking the offensive, charged the enemy. 
The latter being at this moment thrown into the utmost confusion 
by the explosion of several ammunition-cases which had been just 
sent them by Surghai Khan, Major Martiniengo, who with his in- 
fantry had by great exertions gained those steep heights, taking ad- 
vantage of the accident, vigorously pursued the enemy, and made 
himself master of the first intrenchment, which supported the left 
of their line, where it was easy for him to check and punish the 
enemy should the* attempt any attack on that side. 

From these hills the whole line of redoubts and fortifications, as 
well as Surghai Khan's camp, were distinctly seen. His tent was 
adorned with several standards, and surrounded by those of his 
nobles, also covered with silks of various colours, beside which 



• 



DON JUAN VAN HALEN. 341 

stood a multitude of horses kept in readiness, and further on several 
groups of infantry, which appeared to constitute the enemy's re- 
serve. These various objects, joined to the confused movements 
of their troops and occasional racing of a part of their cavalry, 
while they offered a highly animated scene, disclosed to us their 
resources and means of defence. In such a post, however, their 
cavalry could be but of little service. 

The left wing of the enemy having been disabled by the move- 
ments above mentioned, and the locality of the position occupied 
by the centre rendering all offensive or defensive operations in that 
quarter of little avail, the next point of attack was Joserek, the 
ramparts and intrenchments of which served as a point d'appiri to 
the enemy's right, and was in fact the basis of their whole line. If 
the right wing were once defeated, a flank movement might be 
easily executed, and the victory insured to us. 

At about ten a. m. Prince Madatoff gave orders to Major Mar- 
tiniengo to maintain at all hazards the advantageous position he 
had taken, and placed there 1800 horsemen to act as a rear guard 
to his troops. He also issued orders to Ashan Khan, who with the 
remainder of the cavalry was advancing by the principal road after 
defeating all the enemy's troops he had met in his way, to send 
without delay a few companies to enable some of our officers to 
reconnoitre the fortifications of Joserek. Meantime our platoons 
continued advancing, and having halted on a hill which commanded 
the fields of Joserek, the general observing that the enemy was 
vigorously pursued by the cavalry of Ashan Khan, and was pre- 
cipitately retreating towards the ramparts, made his dispositions for 
general attack. 

Our forces were divided into four columns, the first of which, 
composed of the grenadiers of Georgia under the command of 
Major Sisianoff with four field-pieces, was to support our left, and 
act as a reserve. The second and third columns, supported by six 
field-pieces, which were commanded by the captain of artillery Frigil, 
consisted, the one of the first battalion of Kourin under the orders 
of Lieutenant-colonel Kotzebue, and the other of half of the second 
battalion of Absaron, commanded by its lieutenant-colonel Saguinoff, 
were to advance through the principal road to the city, and form 
our centre. The fourth column, composed of the other half of the 
second battalion of Absaron, and supported by two field-pieces, 
was to open the attack on the redoubts which united the left of the 
fortifications with the heights. Prince Madatoff honoured me with 
the command of this column. • Ashan Khan received orders to with- 
draw his advanced posts, and station hin$elf before the cemetery 
opposite to Joserek. 

At one p. m. we opened our attack upon the city ; at two the 
firing wad very brisk, and well sustained throughout the line. On 
the fourth column approaching the redoubts, which were within a 



$4t NAEEATIVE Of 

short distance of the steep mountain on the left, the enemy opened 
a cross fire on our flank, sheltered by a natural parapet of steep 
rpcks, which prolonged themselves, and joined the elevated part of 
the fortifications. Behind these, the enemy had studiously concealed 
a body of infantry, who hoisted their standards only when we came 
within their reach. Placed between two fires, and on a giound the 
unfavourable nature of which prevented our making any use of our 
two field pieces, against whose train the enemy chiefly directed their 
destructive fire, our only resource was an immediate assault, for 
which I made every disposition. But pn the general-in-chief per- 
ceiving the imminent danger in which we stood, he sent to me 
Prince Beboutoff with orders to delay the assault until the battery 
of the centre, which was just beginning to play on the trenches that 
were in front of us, should render it more practicable. 

This order, which a few minutes before would have been very 
Seasonable, was at this critical moment extremely difficult to obey, 
as the column was within sixty paces of the parapet, completely 
exposed to the enemy's fire, and eager for the assault The third 
column having fortunately executed a flank movement with a rapidity 
equal to the danger of our situation, and which rendered the suc- 
cess of my intended operation less doubtful, I gave the signal for 
the assault. My soldiers intrepidly rushing towards the redoubts, 
mounted them by means of corpses and knapsacks, and in less than 
ten minutes we rendered ourselves masters of the principal intrench- 
ments of Joserek, from which we vigorously pursued the enemy, 
driving them from post to post, until seeing their communication 
with the heights cut off*, their ranks began to give way, and they 
were soon put to flight. Shortly after reaching the mosque, which 
was the last place where the enemy attempted to jnake a desperate 
resistance, Lieutenant-colonel Saguinoflf reinforced us with his co- 
lumn, and we immediately took possession of the building. Follow? 
ing up our success, the standard of Absaron soon waved on the 
last ramparts of Joserek, our military band hailing the signal of pos- 
session. 

The path leading from the city to the camp of Surghai Khan 
lying between steep rocks, our soldiers proceeded unobserved, and 
rapidly crowning the heights fell on a great part of his forces, who, 
far from attempting any resistance, abandoned every thing that might 
impede the most hasty flight. The other columns successively en- 
tered Joserek by different directions, easily overthrowing an enemy, 
who, terrified at the success of our troops, were flying with the ut- 
most precipitation. 

Ashan Khan, at the head of his cavalry, adopting the most prudent 
line of policy, lightly punished those of the enemy who attempted to 
seek their safety through the plains, while Major Martiniengo, judi- 
ciously issuing from his position at the moment of our assault, charged 
the left of the enemy. Their cavalry immediately took to flight, audi 



BON JUAN VAN HALEN. $43 

* 

joined their fugitive Khan, trampling down all who impeded their 
progress, and rendering more disastrous the defeat of their friends. 

For the space of six wersts the ground was strewed with the 
corpses of doubtless the most vigorous and valiant men of the Khana, 
and with horses, arms, standards, and spoils of every description, 
which added to 1000 prisoners, to the complete possession of Jo- 
serek so important by its position and fortifications, and to the entire 
dispersion of Surghai Khan's army, rendered our victory truly me- 
morable. 

The loss we experienced was sufficiently serious, especially as 
among the dangerously wounded and the dead there were some offi- 
cers of high merit, and some of our bravest soldiers. 

Towards the close of the day, Prince Madatoff gave orders for 
the columns that were in pursuit of the enemy to return, and caused 
all our troops to assemble in the plains close to the walls of Joserek, 
where our bivouack was established. The two battalions of Absaron, 
who had so much distinguished themselves on that day and whose 
standards waved on the ramparts, were received by the general in 
the most flattering manner ; the high but merited encomiums he 
bestowed on the soldiers being the more gratifying to us, as they 
Were expressed in the presence of the assembled troops, and in sight 
of the place where our efforts had been crowned with success. 

The care of the wounded engaged our attention the whole of that 
night, during which the wretched sufferers experienced much incon- 
venience from the unprovided state in which we found the houses 
of Joserek, stripped by the enemy even of the doors, which were 
used by them as means of defence. A wise policy made us respect 
the mosque, which was the only place that had not been despoiled 
by the enemy in that desolate city, from whose numerous caverns 
and subterraneous passages issued every moment people of all ages, - 
who had sought refuge in those vaults, which with a less generous 
enemy would have become their sepulchres. The terrified inhabit- 
ants met from our patroles, to whom the mildest conduct had been 
enjoined by the chiefs, a reception very different from that which 
might have been expected from the excited feelings of the soldiery, 
or the empire of fcrce. 

The wounded enemies who had survived the unavoidable fury of 
such close encounters, were intrusted either to the care of their women 
or of their own pastors, under the immediate inspection of one of 
our surgeons. The prisoners were liberated at midnight at the in- 
tercession of Ashan Khan, to show them that our arms were not 
directed against the oppressed inhabitants, but only against their 
tyrannical prince. 

Some detachments of cavalry were posted in the various avenues 
to Joserek, and every other precautionary measure for our safety 
being adopted, the general issued orders for a review oh the follow- 
ing day. . 



344 NARRATIVE OF 

Such were the operations of the memorable* 12th of June, agaiast 
an enemy consisting of perhaps the most warlike of the tribes of the 
Caucasus, but who were equally rash and ignorant. I shall here add 
a few observations respecting their arms and means of defence* 
which will in some measure account for the irregularities that took 
place during the battle. 

The Lesghis, like the greatest part of the Tartars, although 
mountaineers, are the worst foot soldiers of the East. Passionately 
fond of the horse, which they consider in the light of a companion, 
with whom they must share the glory of their exploits, or the shame 
of their disasters, they pay no regard to the practical lessons they 
receive every time they measure their strength with European in- 
fantry* They even attribute the success of artillery to the horses 
that draw it. Skilful in the use of every kind of arms, and espe- 
cially in the musket, which though of a smaller calibre than ours is 
considerably longer, and consequently reaches much further, they 
take the surest aim, while their fire, though always without unity, 
is so brisk and well sustained by the multitude who confusedly 
crowd the intrencbments,*that It is perhaps almost as destructive as 
artillery. This is the reason of their disregarding the latter, though 
Surghai Khan had some ordnance in the interior of the country, 
which might have been used with advantage at Joserek, and of 
which more hereafter. 

Once in close quarters with their enemy, they sling their long 
though light muskets on their backs with a certain martiaj elegance 
which they acquire from their earliest infancy, and grasping their 
long and broad dirks, with which they skilfully parry the cuts of the 
sabre or thrusts of the bayonet, they rush on their enemy to give or 
receive the mortal blow. This manner of defence is the more de- 
structive, as besides its being desperately maintained by those who 
fill up the vacant places, the rest of their comrades who are not 
within reach of the soldiery, dart at them their envenomed steels 
with a surprising dexterity and good aim, though this means is re- 
sorted to only on the point of flight. It is impossible to conceive a 
more silent and deadly scene than that which offers itself on an 
assault against these men, who are as vigorous as they are undaunted, 
and who, if they were to act with uniformity, would render the cap- 
ture of any intrenchment equally sanguinary and difficult even 'for 
the bravest European legion. 

Their masses, always irregular, dread when they are unsheltered 
the effects of the artillery, but when protected by natural or artifi- 
cial parapets, the cannon though well served does not impress them 
with much fear. On the contrary, immoveably fixed at their posts, 
they resolutely wait for the assault, and fight to the last, their 
clamorous fanfaronades confounding themselves with the more har- 
monious sounds of the military bands of their adversaries. * * 

A musket, a pistol, and a poniard of exquisite workmanship and 



©OW JUAN YAH B&L&K. 345 

inlaid with silver or gold* a dress adorned with lace or embroidery, 
and a standard tearing an inscription drawn from the code pf their 
prophet, and grasped with all the arrogance and haughtiness peculiar 
to the Asiatics, form the distinctive marks of most of their chiefs. 

On the other hand, the Russian soldiers, unexcited by any spiritu- 
ous liquors, with which the troops of other nations are often treated 
previous to engaging in battle, make the sign of the cross,* and 
immoveably fixing their eyes on their leader, follow him in the 
most profound silence, unanimous in their impetuosity, constant and 
imperturbable in danger,-— qualities which in military nations are the 
exclusive patrimony of perfect discipline. Frugal and patient under 
privations as they are submissive, they spend the whole day in battle, 
and at night a ration of bread or biscuit and a draught of water 
from the nearest brook, suffice to allay their hunger and thirst ; 
while the bare ground for a bed, and their knapsack for a pilk>#, 
relieve their fatigue. * 

The Tartar whom I had seen in the morning decorated with the 
cross of the legion of honour, and whom I had desire4 to seek me 
after the battle, presented himself to me at night, while the groans 
of the wounded and the qui vive of the sentries alone interrupted 
the silence of Our bivouac. I asked him if he spoke French, to 
which he affirmatively answered me in that language. " Who gave 
you that decoration ?" , 

" The Emperor, at Wagram," he replied ; " and to-day I should 
have won another had he seen us." 

; He then drew from his bosom a parchment pocket-book that 
bung at his neck by a silk cord, and in which he had his diploma. 
This he put into my hands that I might examine it, and afterwards 
Continued his narrative, which, though amusing, was greatly spoiled 
by his outrageous boasting. He spoke of Spain, of Madrid, of the 
Plaza de la Cecada (where criminals are executed), of his exploits, 
and lastly of his amorous adventures, especially with a woman, an 
orange vender, of the name of Colasa, whom he described in a 
manner that seemed to place the truth of his narrative beyond a 
doubt This man belonged to the corps of Mamelukes who fol- 
lowed Napoleon from Egypt, and who were afterwards incorporated 
with the imperial guard. He had been present with his squadron 
in Madrid, and taken an active part. in the sanguinary proceedings 
of the memorable 2d of May, 1808. I then questioned him hi 
Spanish, and received very pertinent answers in that language, 
' delivered with a vivacity and jocularity which made me overlook 
his ridieulous boasting. In fine, this singular personage was made 
a prisoner in Russia during Napoleon's retreat from Moscow, and 
restored to his native country, Karabah, where, whenever that pro- 

* A* a proof of the religious feeling of the Russian jollier?. I Mill preserve a crow 
which one of these brave Yellows devoutJy delivered to me a little before he expired 
in one of the ditches of the ftr»t mtrenehment we attacked daring the meruag. 

XX 



S4f ItAttvUTIf E OF 

rmce assembled its contingent, he came forward either for himself 
er as a substitute for any who disliked the service. 

Neither Prince Madatoff, though he was his countryman, nor 
Beboutoflf, nor any of ray other comrades, entertained any opinio* 
of this man ; on the contrary, they disapproved my being either 
generous to or communicative with him, on account of the excesses 
of cruelty he had been guilty of, and the want of discipline he had 
shown in other expeditions. But as during the time he was beside 
me in the morning I did not remark in him either any thing very 
good or very bad, I desired him to keep near me whenever hi 
duties permitted* This request he carefully attended to, and I 
derived much advantage from his knowledge of the language and 
customs of the country, and from his explanations of the most re- 
markable and interesting events that followed the proceedings of 
this day. 



CHAPTER XXXVIIL 

Effect! of the eleneney of the Rinnans after their victory— Kazykoumyk efauatit* 
gates against Snrghai Khan—- Snrghai denoted — Hit people are willing to swear 
allegiance to the Emperor Alexander — Rich arm* and costume of the venerable 
hostages— Athan Khan elected prince of the conquered province of Kazykoumyk 
—The Hessians march to that capital — Intricate roada— Description of the country 
— Deputation— Presents to Prince Madatoff— City of Kazykoumyk-- Installation 
of Ashan Khan— Tartar mode of signature— Cruelty of Snrghai Khan towards hit 
eabjeets — Mottapha Khan flies from Shirvan to Persia— Prince Oifce|lanon?s journey 
to Teflis by a new route — General Madatoff after hit victory evacuates the province, 
fearing it under the authority of Ashan— Services performed by this feudatory 
Khan in the late war with Persia; 

To the warlike tumult of the preceding day succeeded the calm 
of peace and security ; and the 13th dawned in all the splendour of a 
spring morning in those eastern regionsv The kind treatment 
which the prisoners experienced from us not only allayed the alarms 
of the natives, but produced the most favourable impression. 

Ashan Khan, who with the principal part of the cavalry had 
bivouacked before Joserek, received frequent intelligence of the 
occurrences which were taking place in the interior. From afi 
accounts, Surghai Khan, who had hitherto endeavoured to impress 
on his people the behef that he was invincible, by causing his 
astrologers to spread about predictions favourable to his ends, was 
fast losing ground in the minds of all his subjects, who were now 
preparing to deprive him of his authority. 

The fugitive Khan rode with all possible speed from the field 01 
battle to Kazykoumyk, the capital of his Khana, sixty wersts distant 
from Joserek ; but unfortunately for him, the news of his defeat 



DON WAN VAN HALEN. 347 

hawing pfeeededhim, hefound the gates of the city shut against him 
and the adherents by whom he was followed. In vain he declared 
his name and the motives of his sudden presence there ; he was 
ne&sed admittance in a tone and under such pretexts as too clearly 
presaged an approaching termination of his supreme power. Mad- 
4ened at this refusal, he burst forth into threats, which were no 
longer attended to. At length a few elders, whose popularity he 
had often dreaded, appeared on the ramparts and advised him to 
pursue his flight, it being the firm determination of the people to 
treat him as au enemy, should he persist in demanding admittance 
kito the eky. . 

. Surgb&i Khan, who had not sufficient courage to follow 'the fatal 
example set him by some of his relations, of perishing by his own 
hand rather than survive such an affront, was dismayed at the inti- 
mation he received, and proposed a thousand humiliating conditions, 
which were all disdainfully rejected ; at length he received as a 
favour his women, and an escort that should afford him protection 
as far as the frontiers. Thus bereft of his power, the defeated Khan 
now directed his flight towards the mountains, followed by his con- 
cubines and some scores of children who composed the flock of his 
harem, leaving in the memory of his countrymen only the most 
atrocious mutilations executed on the persons of his most faithful 
adherents, (as we had frequent opportunities of observing in the 
wounded and prisoners we had taken,) and a country smarting under 
the inflictions of his rapacious and barbarous tyranny. 

The inhabitants of this province, unlike the Kabardines and 
Tcherkessea, are not a frpphnotipg race. They love war, like all 
the inhabitants of the Caucasus ; but they alsa know how to value 
the benefits of peace, especially when a prudent prince, turning his 
attention to commerce, renders manifest to them its advantages, by 
allowing' the merchants, who from Daghestan and Astrakhan trade 
with the tribes of the interior, a safe passage through his territory, 
without laying too great a duty on their merchandise. The ambi- 
tion and intrigues of Surghai Khan, therefore, though they had com- 
pelled them to commence hostilities, were far from being approved 
by the majority of the people. Hence on the day after the battle 
of Joserek, the public voice, hitherto repressed by his violent mea-r. 
sures, loudly pronounced itself in favour of his overthrow. Besides, 
as any further resistance would probably have led to the entire ruin 
of their caravanserais, homes, and families, they prudently yielded 
to circumstances, and weighing how far they were entitled to the 
generosity of the conquerors, established a provincial government, 
the direction of which, (in conformity with the ancient usages of 
these tribes) they intrusted to some of their most respected old men t 
who immediately sent three of their members to Ashan Khan, im- 
ploring his mediation to conclude a peace, and offering their alls- 
fiance to the Russian government, 



346 baiuhtive or 

While these important events were passing in the capital, Prince 
Madatoff reviewed our troops, and continued to take these precau- 
tionary measures wkieh our uncertain situation still required. Oar 
jnfentry had experienced a loss of nine officers and three hundred 
privates, between killed and dangerously wounded ; and the loss of 
the cavalry amounted to double that number. Orders were- issued 
for the immediate removal of the wounded (who had but very indif- 
ferent quarters and scarcely any accommodation at Joserek) to the 
military hospital of Kuragn ; while the corpses that were strewed 
about the field, the trenches, and the streets of Joserek, were buried, 
each according to the rites of his religion. The body of the brother 
of Ashan Khan was removed with some pomp to the capital of the 
province where he had chiefly resided. 

At three in the afternoon the emissaries sent from the capital by 
their colleagues to Ashan Khan arrived at our 1 encampment, sad 
were immediately conducted by that prince to the generaHs {ean% 
where, on the prenmmaries of their treaty being settled, they spon- 
taneously offered themselves as hostages to secure the performance 
of the contract. The general acceded to it ; and Ashan Khan, 
giving another proof of the wisdom and good policy he had shown 
throughout this expedition, placed himself at the head of the em- 
bassy, and made common cause with them ; thus setting an example 
of reconciliation between his old and future subjects, which ooukl 
not fail to produce the most beneficial results. 

The emissaries^ who were all men of an advanced age, caroum- 
ppect in ^heir manners, and martial in their mien, were dressed in 
rich attire, and had about their persona anna of the moat exquisite 
workmanship, in which the Tartars in general seem to place all 
their vanity* The fire-arms of the whole party were net only loaded 
but primed, a circumstance which among Europeans might have led 
to some sinister interpretation of the real intentions of the emis- 
saries, and cost them their heads ; but which among these people, 
far aim concealing any perfidious design, is considered as a 
mark of that respect which they are bound to observe on these 
occasions. 

According to some of the articles of the treaty, the oath of alle- 
giance to the Emperor Alexander, the proclamation and investiture 
of Ashan Khan, and other subsequent acts, were to take place in 
the capital. The approaching solemnity was the more flattering 
and satisfactory to that prince, as, besides bis being elected by the 
people themselves, he was confident that a short time would be 
sufficient to efface from their memories the momentary humihatiDn 
they had experienced, and render their province one of the meet 
lourishmg of the Caucasus, its large population, advantageous situa- 
tion for the interior commerce, and wealth, especially in flocks and 
cattle, encouraging these high but well-grounded hopes. 
On the evening of the 13th the general-in-cmef gave ordan for 



DON J9AH VAU BAtEN. 



*» 



(if trttpa to hoW themselves in readiness to proceed at day-break 
{towards tie capital, with the exception of a pari of the cfrvalry, who 
pore to remain at Joserek to protect that point 

The thick fcg bo prevalent in these mountainous districts, pre- 
sealed our marching oat as etaly as we had intended. Five wersta 
beyond* Josprek we passed through a small but neatly built village* 
whose inhabitants were seen fftaading on the flat roofs of their 
Jmuses, looking tranquilly on, and apparently much struck with the 
novelty of our artiuerg, the carriages of which were really the first 
vehicles that had been seen in that country for many ages back. 
*The obstacles we net in transporting our train of artillery, as wo 
penetrated further into the interior, were so numerous, both on 
account of the abrupt nature of the country, narrow and broken 
paths, and of the wide trenches which Surgbai Khan had caused to 
bo mode in order to prevent our progress into the country, that wo 
wore obliged to unharness and dismount the pieces and the anmao- 
Mftkuveoses, and intrust them to the ease of 140 infantry, who with 
the greatest labour and exertion carried theava* far aa a valley three 
worsts beyond the above-mentioned village, where the general, 
weighing the inconveniences they might occasion, gave orders for 
.tfcejthird battalion of Absaron to remain behind with eight of the 
field-pieces out of the twelve that composed our park of artillery, 
until further commands. After this arrangement, we proceeded 
with only four pieces of artillery, and bivouacked, fifteen worsts tron| 
Joserek, on the path leading to the capital 

The Lesghi emissaries, who accompanied us in our march, seeing 
the little progress we made in our journey, sent their dependants and 
servants to the villages near the road with orders for all the inhabit- 
ants to work during the night in filling up the ditches oo the road, 
and to give their assistance to our soldiers on the following day in 
transporting the artillery.. Indeed, we found these men unremitting 
in their exertions to serve us, and procure from the natives every 
thing we stood in need of, from the moment of our departure from 
Joserek till our arrival at the capital. 

Fifteen worsts before reaching Kazykoumyk we met an ancient 
stone bridge of a single arch, extremely lofty, which had no balus- 
trade, and was so very narrow that it just fitted the wheels of our 
field-pieces. This was for us ar> additional proof that we were the 
first who from time immemorial had penetrated into this country 
with carriages of any kind, that bridge being the only means of com- 
munication between the frontiers and the interior. In proportion as 
wo advanced wo became more convinced how arduous, protracted, 
and painful, the possession of this abrupt country would have been 
for us, had the chief of the insurrection enjoyed the loveof his people 
and mado the least resistance. 

When we cane within ten worsts of the capital, we were met by 
a deputation sent from the city to welcome the general* Ike aspect 



S50 NARRATIVE OF 

of the country in the neighbourhood of Kasykoumyk istmtreh and 
uninteresting thinly populated, and with scarcely any trees, the cul- 
tivation of which is entirely neglected by the natives through some 
prejudice or caprice which I have not been able to ascertain ; so 
that though we were in the pleasantest season of the year, and 
within a short distance of the Daghestan, the territory of which is 
one prolonged garden, we had neither fruits nor flowers, nor singing 
birds, nor cool and pleasant shades that might afford some relief to 
the weary traveller, who is here exposed to the rays of a scorching 
sun. Numerous herds of cattle, and a great abundance of barley 
and rye, constitute the principal wealth of those fields and valleys. 

On our ^drawing near the city gates, another deputation came out 
to receive us with standards and poles decorated with branches and 
devices, and presented to the general the keys of the city, borne on 
a rich salver, containing some boiled rice in the form of a pilaw, of 
which, according to the established customs of these nations, he was 
to taste, and at the same time accept a beautiful horse superbly 
caparisoned, a gun, a pistol, a sabre, a poniard, and a rich suit of 
armour, which they offered as tokens of peace and perpetual 
alliance. 

Prince Madatoff, to whom these honourable gifts were the mors* 
flattering as he received them at the hands of those whom he might 
consider as his countrymen, delivered an harangue in their own lan- 
guage with all the pomp of expression and vehemence of action pe- 
culiar to the Asiatics, in which he made known to them the con-* 
ciliatory views of Alexander, in the name of whom his troops had 
advanced as far as their capital with no other intention than to add 
to the solemnity of the installation of the new prince whom. Provi- 
dence had sent them. 

The huzzas and boisterous joy that burst from the large concourse 
of people who had followed in the rear of the deputation on the 
general ending his animated harangue, demonstrated in the most 
unequivocal manner that the proposed change was highly popular, 
and likely to produce lasting advantages to both parties. The en* 
thusiasm manifested by all precluded the possibility of their ever 
returning under the oppressive yoke of* Surghai Khan, of whose 
atrocious acts we had before us melancholy evidences in the dis- 
figured countenances and mutilated limbs of those by whom we 
were surrounded, and on whom the tyrant himself had practised his 
barbarities. 

On our arrival at the palace, which was neither elegant nor sump- 
tuous, we ascended a wide staircase, adorned like the galleries and 
saloons with rich tapestry and gold tissues ; and having accompa- 
nied Ashan Khan to the hall of audience, the general and the rest 
of the officers withdrew, leaving the prince in the midst of a circle 
formed by his new courtiers and nobles, with whom he was to con- 
cert the first measures required for taking into his hands the admi* 



DON JUAN TAN HALEN. 651 

lustration of public affairs. The general then gave order* for having 
his tent pitched outside the city walls, and establishing a bivouac, 
Strictly forbidding the military from entering the town. 

Lieutenant-colonel Saguinoff and myself having been invited by 
Ashan Khan to take our collation with him, we re-entered the city 
in the evening, when we found it illuminated, and the people throng- 
ing the avenues to the palace. In some of the towers that flanked" 
this building, there were several pieces of ordnance, which had been 
carried there from the frontiers on the shoulders of men by order of 
Surghai Khan, for the double object of intimidating his tyrannized 
people, and using them in his intended defence of the city. These 
pieces of ordnance, which as I have already observed had been left 
on the frontiers of that province by the Persian* in one of their incur- 
sions,, though they were placed on wooden forms instead of gun- 
carriages, might have been used to some advantage in defending 
the capital. 

In the course of the evening Ashan Khan informed us, that during 
his conference with the elders he had ascertained that their senti- 
ments and those of the people at large, were highly favourable to 
the object of our expedition ; that is, to his being invested with the 
supreme authority of the province ; and that he had also learned 
every thing connected with the present state of the country, the 
wants and wishes of the people, their means and resources, military, 
agricultural, and commercial 5 in a word, all that which a prince, 
who wishes to identify himself with his people and is anxious only 
for their prosperity, ought to know. 

Our troops were the first foreign forces who, from the remotest 
period, had penetrated into the interior of this province. The Per- 
sians themselves, even at the time when they were most successful 
in the extension of their dominion, had not dared to invade this fierce 
and warlike nation, whose love of independence forms their strongest 
characteristic. The presence of the Russian troops, therefore, was 
a motive of uneasiness to the elders, who from the first moment of 
their interview with Ashan Khan made to him a candid avowal of it. 
Their apprehensions, however, had been greatly allayed by the con- 
ciliatory words which Prince Madatoff had addressed to them at the 
city gates, and which passed from mouth to mouth till they spread 
with the rapidity of a telegraphic despatch to the remotest corner of 
the province ; so that twenty-four hours after they were known even 
^o the shepherds of the mountains, and crowds of people were 
hourly arriving at the capital to witness the installation of their new 
Khan, and participate in the general rejoicings. 

Meanwhile Surghai Khan, having lost all his partisans, and meet- 
ing every where with humiliating refusals from those whom he had 
so cruelly exasperated, and to whom he now appealed, sought a re- 
fuge in a small province (the only one in the Caucasus to which the 
Russian arms had not reached) situated between that of Kazykou- 






$6* N41UUTIVB OP 

tnyk and that of the Tohetehenkia, where, according to the 
received by Ashan Khan, he would not remain long, hit mtaatkm 
being to pursue his flight either to Persia or to Turkey. 

During the whole of the 16th the rain 1 fell in torrents, and ren- 
dered our bivouac (in which the only tent to be seen was thai of the 
general) extremely uncomfortable". \ ,Rtit on the morning of the nth, 
which was the day appointed for the installation of Ashan Khan, 
the weather cleared up, and our troops were able to appear in all 
the splendour which the importance of that s6lemn act seemed to 
require. 

At eleven o'clock the doors of the great mosque, which commu- 
nicated with that of the ramparts in front of our camp, were opened, 
and Ashan Khan entered surrounded by a numerous cortigs, who 
with all possible pomp^had'accompanied him from the palace. In 
the middle of the nave, upon a drum; and tinder the unfurled banners 
of the second battalion of Absaroh, was placed the Koran, on which 
the principal inhabitants of the capital and towns of the province, 
who had been invited to attend the act of installation, took their 
oath, by placing the right hand on the book, and signing according 
to their custom* 

A company of jsoldiere, and the military band of Absaroa, sta- 
tioned at the door of the mosque, was the only force employed on 
die occasion, and this with the intention only of doing honour to 
the banners under the auspices of which' the solemnity was per- 
formed. The rest of the troops were formed at some distance from 
the ramparts, and remained so during the time that this long cere- 
mony lasted ; after which Ashan Khan presented himself on the 
city wall, attired in the purple robes used by the princes on such 
occasions, and was proclaimed Khan of Kazykoumyk, amidst die 
acclamations of the people and the repeated salutes of our artillery. 

Prince Madatof, who did not think it expedient tp attend in per- 
son at the act of installation, temained with us at the entrance of his 
tent, where he afterwards received Ashan Khan, and the nobles by 
whom he was surrounded, who eagerly pressed round them. The 
Tartar prince delivered a short speech relative to the high trust with 
which he had just been honoured, and then entered into a laconic 
but lucid statement of the posture of public affairs, and of the mea- 
sures which ought to be adopted for the consolidation of the pros- 
perity of the people, to which he declared he would give his undi- 
vided attention, concluding with an earnest wish, that once the sti- 
pulations for the contingent and moderate .tributes of the province 
to the empire being settled, the military authority, relying on the 
good faith and loyalty of the people, would immediately evacuate 

* The Tartan do not use any characters in their signatures, tat merely dip the 
end of their fore-finger in the ink and stamp it in the document. This blot, made o* 
(he paper or parchment which is spread oa the Koran, is considered by them at the 
moot sacred aid binding pledge they emdd'give. 



w 



DON' JUAN VAST HM.EN. 35$ 

the province, that the apprehensions which their presence might ex- 
cite in the minds of those who were unacquainted with their true? 
intentions might be removed. 

These observations, made with the earnestness peculiar to Ashan 
Khan, in the presence of an audience chiefly composed of the 
wealthiest inhabitants of Kazykoumyk, together with the satisfaction 
felt by them at seeing the extraordinary reduction which was to take 
place in the taxation of the province when compared with the enor- 
mous sums extorted by their lata Khan, seemed to insure him a 
lasting conquest over the minds of his new subjects, General Mada* 
toff, however, too well aware of the importance of the step urged 
by. Ashan Khan, made some observations respecting the unsettled? 
state of a country in which the fire kindled by the late Khan could' 
scarcely be extinguished, and- for the complete pacification of which, 
he was* responsible to General- Yermolow ; concluding by declaring 
that the departure of the Russian troops from its territory would 
take, place as soon as the people should give those guarantees by 
which the Emperor might feel satisfied of their sincerity and tran- 
quillity. v 

Ashan Khan then placing one hand on the Russian order he wore 
on the breast, and with the other grasping that of Prince Mad atoll', 
said with much vehemence, that he offered his own head to General- 
Yermolow as a guarantee for the stipulated conditions ; that he was 
convinced the people of Kazykoumyk would show how highly they 
valued the confidence which they demanded, as the evacuation of 
the province by the Russian troops could not fail to obliterate the* 
remembrance of the hostilities in which they had been compelled to- 
engage by a prince whom they themselves had spontaneously de- 
posed ; and that they would consider a want of confidence in the- 
Emperor in their good faith as a punishment far surpassing that 
which they had received on the field of Joserek. 

The general, who, like the rest of the officers that were present* 
at this interview, could not help remarking the perhaps studied ear- 
nestness of Ashan Khan on a measure involving the most serious, 
consequences, promised to take the matter into immediate consider- 
ation, and put an end to the conference by assuring them that what 
be had most at heart was their happiness and prosperity, leaving in 
fact the final settlement of this important point to a private con* 
ferenoe with Ashan Khan. This took place in the evening of the* 
same day with the- utmost secrecy,, when the Khan explained every 
thing in sueh a satisfactory manner, that it left no doubt in our minds- 
of the sincerity which actuated him throughout. During this inter- 
view be also informed the general that he had taken effectiye step* 
to secure the flight of several Russian soldiers, who had been made- 
prisoners on former occasions, and who were kept concealed by! 
gome of the proprietors of the country in the remote villages of thf* 
mountains. 

Y.y 



■ 



354 N-AKKAT1VK OF 

One of our officers, who on this occasion manifested tim surprise- 
to Ashan Khan at seeing him so anxious to be left at the entire- 
mercy of a people who only a few days back had risen in mass to 
oppose our entrance into their territory, and against whom he and 
his subjects had been constantly fighting, received from him this re- 
markable answer : " When a prince wishes to preserve his head, he 
must offer his bare bosom ; and," added he, with a gesture confir- 
mative of this opinion, " should he find himself mistaken, he has 
always this resource left him," grasping his poniard, " to bury his 
steel in the heart of the traitor." 

On the following morning Prince Madatoff returned Ashan Khan's 
visit, and declared before the Tartar authorities by whom he was 
surrounded, and whose reserved manners betrayed a certain degree 
of suspicion, that he would issue orders to his troops for evacuating 
the province as soon as he should receive the oaths of allegiance 
from the inhabitants of the districts that had not yet tendered them r 
and that being perfectly satisfied with the loyal intentions of their 
new Khan, he would exact from them no further guarantee. This* 
declaration was received with every mark of satisfaction by the Tartar 
chiefs, whose apprehensions seemed now entirely to subside. 

On the morning of the 1 8th, the fourteen or fifteen pieces of ord- 
nance we had found in the towers of the palace were delivered to- 
the commandant of our artillery ; and on the afternoon of the same 
day, the unhappy captives mentioned by Ashan- Khan