Tth Life and Adventures of Joseph Emin




XIII. 1763.

[Start for Astrakhan - Rentil’s friendship - "Avoiding temptation" - Granddaughter of Avan - Avan’s history - Project of marriage - Emin "stonehearted like Charles XII. of Sweden" - Pathetic farewells - Kizlar - Russian general Stupition "grumbling like a bear with his tail cut" - His German wife’s exaggerations - Escort of Cossacks - Journey through mountains - Tiflis - Heraclius - His nobles, "born 24 hours before the devil" - The graceless wolf of an old Armenian proverb - Kherim Khan threatening Tiflis - Emin enlists 800 Armenians - Heraclius’s cowardice and Emin’s disgust - Revolt in Ispahan - Kherim retreats - Heraclius’s jealousy and treachery - Emin’s honest dealings with Heraclius - The price offered for Emin’s blood - His enemies - Heraclius bewildered - "All haramzadas and the patriarch just as bad!"]

Having now provided himself tolerably well with money, the necessary evil of life, he took leave of all his good-hearted friends, set out with a single servant, a relation of his, in a sledge, by the Imperial order, in the month of March, and arrived in fifteen days at Astrakhan; where he surprized the prophesying Armenian merchants; who, seeing him come back so very quick, in five or six months time, took for granted that he was the very man whom Haly Moses, the great patriarch, had foretold six hundred and twenty years before; and bringing their children with them, prostrated themselves at his feet. He begged they would leave off that slavish mode of paying respect, since he himself was one of them: but the next morning, when they came to visit him, and brought presents, he refused to take them, making apologies, and saying, that he had done nothing yet to deserve them: they were very fine rich pieces, various sorts of tissue, to the value of some hundred dollars. Mr. John Rentle and his wife, at whose house he lived before, were more rejoiced than all of the others together. Every one naturally wishes to see a man of an extraordinary character, or his portrait when he is talked of, as either good or great. Mr. Rentle was in every respect brave and generous to the very soul, fit for enterprizes in forming governments, and worthy of his illustrious nation the Swedes; but his very look, eyes, face, shape, and height, exactly resembling Emin, who shall never forget him as long as he lives. He offered more earnestly than Mr. Miller to leave his wife for a time, and follow Emin’s fortunes.

Emin had now a house to live in, which saved Mr. Rentle the trouble of entertaining him; and to preserve himself from temptation, he went over the frozen river Edel, pitched a tent, and lived there three weeks, about half a mile from Astrakhan, till the snow melted and the roads were opened. His reason for so doing was very strong. When he was at Kizlar, he found Avankhan’s wife, an old lady of sixty-five, with her grand-daughter, who had been absent from Astrakhan for some time, and were just returned from Borughan, a Circassian village, a-day’s journey to the south of Kizlar, where people go to bathe themselves in the hot waters; and those two ladies had been there for the change of air. He was advised by his friends to promise marriage to the young damsel of fourteen, as she was the only girl in that country of beauty and education, and of the most distinguished family in all Armenia. The history of her grandfather Avan would take up volumes, if it were written in a proper manner. To make it short, he was born of a noble family in Stirvan, revolted, with eighteen others, and deserted from Calbaly, sultan of that province, whom he surprized by night on the Armenian side of the river Cur; and by firing repeated vollies in different places, induced him to believe, that an army of mountaineers had surrounded him, so then he decamped precipitately with 18, 000 men, leaving behind him considerable booty; which Avan’s party, assisted by the neighbouring Armenian villagers, carried away: five hundred mule loads of fire-arms were distributed among the subjects of five chiefs of Karabagh; where, by all accounts, there had been no more than two match-lock pieces in each chief’s arsenal. It was Avan the First who introduced complete fire-arms in those mountains. This happened some years before the destruction of Shah Sultan Husin. The last, when Peter the Great was alive, and not wanting to encourage him with his letters. The Armenian mountaineers from that time began to hold up their heads. Avan made himself an independent prince, with a formidable army, while he had to do with the Persians alone, whom he beat in several battles, killing no less than 70, 000 of them; but when the Osmanlus took possession of great part of Persia, with a larger army, yet he could not have been overpowered, if the odious Turks had not brought with them the plague, which obliged Avan to go over to Russia.

The writer is not sure he was created prince by Peter, or, after his death, by his niece the late Empress Anne. When he was in Russia, the government made him general; and at the head of 12, 000 men, he marched to Derbund, in order to enter Armenia, but died there soon after, to the great misfortune of the Armenians. His son, Prince Atlukhan, having been in that service long enough, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general, but was unworthy to be called the son of Avan-khan; and after a most debauched life died at the age of thirty-three years, leaving an only daughter, then an infant, and heiress to a great landed estate, besides an immense treasure in jewels. When Emin returned from Moscow, he found the grandmother, with her grand-daughter, returned from Kizlar. He chose to live in an asylum, rather than in a princess’s house with peace and plenty, and with a young lady of fourteen, when he was about thirty-three. The old lady was ready to consent, and even to persuade, and nothing could have hindered his being married: so that he might have done very well, and by this time have been high in the Empress’s service, whose predecessor, Elizabeth, was extremely fond of the princess, Emin’s friend, and sent three times for the young angel to see her, with the old dowager. Peter the Great also, the father, sent a letter to prince Avankhan, in which the dear brother, and his glorious signature, promises that, as soon as she is married, provided it be to a soldier by profession, he shall be made a general.

This gracious letter of Peter the Great, the young lady had shewn to Emin three times, perhaps with an innocent intention, that he might form an inclination to matrimony; but he was stone-hearted, like Charles the Twelfth of Sweden, and sacrificed all that prospect of advantage to the cause of his country, except the singular satisfaction of having acted honourably, in not causing a spot to be cast upon the reputation of that harmless angel.

The old princess sent over his breakfast, dinner, and supper, every day; and each time with letters so moving, that they would have brought down an iron town; but he only shed tears bitterly, and sent apologizing answers. The princess Avan was a woman of great natural sense, and finding he would not consent to coming over to live, was very uneasy lest he should catch cold, and proposed to him to sleep in a separate house; but he could not be persuaded: he only went three different mornings very early, stayed just time enough to read the letter beforementioned, and immediately went away to his covered waggon. On the last day, when he took his leave of them, he said, he would be as good as his word, and return to them, if it should please God to grant him success in his plan; otherwise, he never should think himself worthy of being one of her Highness’s common footmen. The scene was pathetic; all three were drowned in tears; hardly able to speak, hanging over one another’s necks, and just able to bid adieu. Emin only consoled his mind, by thanking his Maker, that he had done no harm, but had a good intention in that uncommon proceeding, when he might have married and acquired an immediate fortune, without being obliged to see the face of the Greek prince Heraclius, whose heart was full of envy and jealousy.

When he arrived at Kizlar, he waited on Stupition, who could not believe his own eyes, but thought he was in a dream, when he saw Emin with a powerful passport and a strong commanding letter from two very great ministers, setting forth, that if all the Armenian inhabitants of Kizlar (excepting those who had been naturalized) should follow Emin Hovsepwitz, they were to be convoyed without any pretence or hindrance; and that whatever behaviour, good or indifferent, general Stupition should shew to the said Emin Hovsepwitz, should be placed to their account. And, to convince him more fully that he could be a judge of the character of Emin, and of his principles, it was added, "By our will and pleasure he is to pass through the town of Kizlar honourably, without any sort of molestation. And whereas by a calumnious false imputation, he was obliged to return to the Imperial college of foreign affairs; he there passed an examination, and came off with honour and applause. Given under our hands, " &c. &c.

Stupition, stupified and confounded, grumbling like a bear with his tail cut, did not know what to do with himself. He had been weak enough to believe his German wife, who said, that she had seen Emin in the king of Prussia’s army, commanding the death regiment of hussars, where he did more havock, and destroyed more Russians in the battle of Castrin, than the greatest part of the king’s army. When her husband put the question to Emin, he said, he should be very proud if it were true, not of destroying Christians but of just fame; but that in fact he had been no more than seven days with the king. However, they took for granted that he was the man, but did not think proper to speak the truth. Then the lady thought herself very wise to prig up her head, and her husband looked vain, thinking he possessed a jewel of a wife. This happened before the report was made and he was sent back.

Emin’s name, through such report, grew every day more and more like a snowball, which in a few days melts to water; for his English education had so good an effect upon him, that he never could be made so weak as to be in the least vain of himself: and he must acknowledge, that if, instead of a snowball, his fortune had been turned into real solid gold, (which would equally have melted with a strong fire, ) he should have chosen to bestow it rather on honest soldiers, to fight for the liberty of their country, than to sit drinking wine to the healths of rich Armenian merchants, who would have been glad to hear of his profession, especially since their own purses are made inaccessible, through good and salutary laws.

After Easter holidays were over, he set out with three servants on horseback; and the general, to his mortification, by an order from above, sent 120 cossacks to accompany him to a village belonging to the Circassians, at the foot of Mount Caucasus. After five days travelling from Kizlar, he and his servants were obliged to halt a fortnight on account of the snow in the passes, and to settle with the mountaineers about the payment for allowing them to go over. This commonly amounts to twelve pieces of coarse linen, each to make a shirt worth two English shillings: every man pays besides for his bedding; and the packs of the horses are carried on the backs of those Herculean fellows, for no more than four such pieces of linen for a horse-load, all the way, or two days journey. It is incredible how they climb up those high mountains, whose summits reach above the clouds. At length, with infinite fatigue, they passed over them, descended, and pitched tents at the foot of them, near a village called Stepan Sminda (or St. Stephen). The master of the place had orders beforehand, from prince Heraclius, to accommodate him with quarters, provision, and so forth. According to custom, the man begged Emin to give notice in writing to the prince of his arrival, which he did very readily, and sent it by one of the villagers. The answer of his highness was received in six days from Kakhet. After some cool compliments, it signified to him, that he was to march to Ananor, one day’s journey from that place, to be entertained there till futher orders. They stayed there four days more, and received fresh orders to march down to Teffliz.

His thirty men, who had been sent away by him a year before, came every one in good health, and met him in the way as he was slowly advancing. On drawing near a village about twelve miles from the town, on both sides of the road, as close as could be, were standing, ladies of the city, with white veils, and about 4000 horsemen, Georgians or Armenians, who met him just half way, in the avenue made by those lovely spectators, Armenian ladies of all ranks, praying for the success of Emin as he passed along, loud enough to be heard by him. He seemed to be pleased, seeing handsome forms, and hearing agreeable voices; but his heart all the time whispered to him, "No. - Heraclius is not a man to be depended on. " Since he was sent thither by his friends the Russians, he could not help otherwise putting on the best countenance.

In that grand manner he made his entry: his men increased to 800; but he dismissed all except eighty of them. He was conducted to an Armenian merchant’s house, and his servants to different places; his horses, with the grooms, to an inn. He was very well supplied with wine, and all sorts of provisions. He ordered guards of his own men to stand at the door, and not to admit any Armenian or Georgian merchants, with an intention to avoid giving umbrage to the prince, who came six days after from Telav, the capital of Kakhet Georgia, and the next day sent for Emin, who took along with him a brace of pistols, with a couple of spying-glasses, and the letter of count Worronzoff. On presenting them, he told his Highness they were not worthy the acceptance of a prince like him; but he could assure him, that he was come to present his heart and service to be wholly devoted to him, and was ready, on word of command, to shed his blood for him at any time. The prince appeared to be vastly pleased, and was not wanting in words. After returning the compliments, he thanked him, making some apologies for not answering his letters, and saying, he was very glad of Emin’s resolution; - that it was God who sent him thither. Then he made Emin sit by him. Emin thought it prudent to beg his Highness to let the audience be private, which was granted immediately, and the people ordered to go from the levee. He then said, "Your Highness judges of my coming to the dust of your feet, agreeably to my heart’s wish. Nothing in this world can be done without God; nor a single hair fall from our heads without his decrees. I have left a country which is no less than a paradise upon earth, and preferred Georgia or Armenia, which, without you, (whom God preserve, ) would be no more than a chaos. The people, as far as appears, are disorderly and ignorant; no good can be expected from them, but only confusion and mischief, whose ears are deaf to good words, and open to bad; and who are ready to magnify a fly to the size of an elephant: therefore, I humbly implore that your Highness forbid their coming to me, or visiting me upon any account; for the healer of my wounds, and the physician of my maladies, is your Highness alone. "

Heraclius, on this representation, opened his sympathising heart, and said, "God has made our minds alike, and under the same planet: you are in the right; they shall not come to fill your ears with nonsense, for they are not worthy to be in company with a person whose mind is as pure as unmixed gold. " He then began to complain of his wicked nobles, and their unruly disposition; and added, "With all my care and pains, I cannot make anything of them, nor find a single soul who has sense enough to incline his mind or bend his thoughts towards meaning well; but, on the other hand, they are wicked to the soul, false to the very bone: in a word, they were born twenty-four hours before the devil. As for fighting, they do not want courage: but what of that? the wild beasts in the field have as much; beware, and take no notice of them: but what shall we do, my Emin Aga, to make men of them?" Emin said, "Break them into small pieces like glass, to be cast afresh. " The prince laughed at the expression, desired him to come near, to sit close to him, knee to knee, and then asked how that was to be done? Emin said, "It is impossible for any man, who has been brought up in a wild way, without education or experience of the world, to give just hopes of any thing good. The only method will be, to set up two or three common schools, and make their children go to learn the principles of religion, from seven to sixteen, that their faith may be well grounded: when that is done, frame them into companies, to be taught the use of arms, like the Eropeans, from sixteen years of age to twenty. Let that be the work of the morning, and about three in the afternoon let heroic lectures be read to them, about three quarters of an hour; short and sweet: then let them go to play. "

Here the prince interrupted Emin, saying, "What shall we do for money to pay the school-masters?" He said, "It may very easily be managed: let every man give a penny every morning to his child, when he goes to school, to put into the master’s hands; six pence a-week, makes two shillings a-month. Fifty boys will bring a hundred shillings; and five pounds in so cheap a country, are sufficient to maintain a family, where a bottle of wine is sold for a penny, an English shilling loaf for three-half-pence; a sheep, one year old, for five or six shillings (in that place called Abasys). When at the age of twenty-one they shall be disciplined in useful learning, they will be exactly like birds of prey. A general like your Highness at the head of them, or one of your sons may easily then find game for them in the neighbouring country of the Turks and Persians, whose rich army is no better than a mob. The difficulty is in the beginning, when once the lost end of the yarn is found, the coil of it may easily be opened as the wheel goes round, and then it may be wound into clues. In the meantime, the wisdom that has deserted this fine country will come back of itself, and make it flourishing, thus enlightened, as it has all the kingdoms of Europe. " He added, "Though I am poor, and my advice blunt, yet if your Highness will listen to it, you will surely never repent. " The prince was all attention to his simple way of giving counsel, and said, almost at every word, "Good, true, very right. " Yet he could not check his avaricious Asiatic disposition, insisting, that they must have money to commence so great a work. This made Emin recollect the old Armenian proverb, Gaili gekhin avitararan cardatzin asatz vochkhary hotten antzav; ) that is, when they were preaching the gospel over the head of a wolf, he said, A flock of sheep is passing: which is as much as to say, a man cannot change his nature.

From that single meeting, Emin soon found of what metal the mighty prince was made, and remembered his late father’s prophetical hint, when he wrote from Bengal to England, That Heraclius was not a soul to be much depended on. And added, "My dear son, do you judge him to be like the princes of blessed Europe? Can you compare a tiger to an angel? Go to him, and remember me, when I have departed from this vain world; he will meditate all the mischief he can against you. But never fear, God is with you, for your good heart: go to him; he will never be able to injure your person. " When Emin hinted his being poor, or a soldier of fortune, he perceived that the prince’s countenance changed to a yellow colour: his common complexion was black, mixed with green; his stature was short, half an inch taller than Emin’s; but he was well made, and strong in bones and nerves. Heraclius had been one of the greatest men living, of his mind could have been turned into the path of truth. In regard to the character of the people Emin agreed with him, he was in every respect the first man among them, which enabled him to have the command over all.

The first conference being ended, Emin took leave and went to his lodgings. A few days after, Revaz Eshigu Agasy Bashy (or the first aid-du-camp) was sent with compliments to Emin, with orders to enlist as many Armenians, from twenty to twenty-five years of age, as would enter into the service; news being received that Carim Khan had overcome all his competitors in the kingdom of Persia, and, at twelve days distance, was preparing to march with a hundred thousand men to Tiffliz, if prince Heraclius would not consent to the condition brought by Carim’s messengers to him; namely, to send his daughter-in-law, the wife of Wakhtan Mirza, his late eldest son by the first wife, and his brother Gorgin Mirza, the hereditary prince of Georgia, or second son to prince Heraclius, together with his son-in-law prince David, and twelve other noblemen’s sons, with twelve beautiful Georgian virgins not older than twelve years.

Though sorry for the demand, Emin was glad with all his heart of the opportunity, and enlisted 800 stout Armenians in six days time. When he acquainted the prince, he told him, with no less jealousy than surprize, to stop, asking his advice in regard to Carim’s demand? Emin said to him, "Why do not you consult your nobles?" The prince answered, "I have consulted them; they are willing to submit, and have made me almost listen to their advice; alleging, that the consequences of falling out with the king of Persia may bring on the total destruction of Georgia; for my nobles tell me, it will be a difficult undertaking to stand against a powerful nation, without money, artillery, or ammunition. " Emin said, "May it please your Highness, the character I have heard of you in England, differs greatly from what you now confess, which is downright pusillanimity: your agreeing to it will be an action of a coromsak, or pimp, not of a prince, to take with your own hands of your son and daughters, and those of your subjects’ innocent children, and deliver them to the lusts of dogs to be defiled! - Brute beasts would not be guilty of such an action! - Let them come - let us die first - let us not see that horrid day with an open eye. You conquered with a handful of men Azad Khan; the Afghans sold him for 300 tumans not long ago to Carim, who was twice as powerful. - Never fear, God will fight for us. - It stands against reason that Carim should get the better of you; his inclination is to debauch your family, while you pray for the peace of your country. "

Seeing Emin thus exasperated, the prince told Ter Philippus (an Armenian secular priest, the prince’s grammar master in the Georgian language), to say, "The prince thanks you for your heroic advice. " Indeed, if Emin had not been present, the prince’s heart would have fallen like a tower whose foundation is undermined and perhaps he would have consented to Carim’s unnatural villanous demand. Within twenty-four hours, Heraclius wrote a short sarcastical letter to Carim, and despatched the messengers. Not many days after, news arrived that Zakiz Khan, Carim’s brother, had revolted in Ispahan, and carried all the inhabitants of that great city to the mountains of Loristan; which had obliged Carim to march with his whole army in precipitation, making two stages in one, to put a stop to his rebellious brother’s proceedings; which saved Heraclius from becoming, like his predecessor’s father-in-law, tributary to the king of Persia.

This lucky event made Georgia enjoy peace to this juncture. Had the prince complied with that diabolical condition proposed by Carim (and he had very great merit in not complying, for Emin’s advice was but wind in his ears), that country, as well as the Emerate Georgians, who were chiefly made free from the subjection of the Osmanlus through the prince’s wise politics, might have fallen into everlasting slavery to those two Mahometan nations, as they had before fallen for a period of about 130 years; nor would they have been so happy as to become provinces to the empire of the mighty Russians, when the glorious empress Catherina compassionately accepted those two small principalities under her august and most auspicious protection, which, very fortunately both for Heraclius and Solomon, took place in her imperial majesty’s reign; for their ancestors, many years before, namely, the princes Archil, Vaktang, and Bakar, had been supplicating that court, even in Peter the Great’s time, but could not effect their purpose of becoming subjects to Russia, and were obliged to live and die there in grievous anxiety; whereas her benevolent majesty received the proposals of Heraclius and Solomon with pleasure and cheerfulness. Who knows, but in time to come the Armenians may join the Georgians, and bring a formidable army into the field, for the downfal of the Mahomedan kings. But to speak the truth, Emin was not at all pleased with Carim’s marching back from Romia to Ispahan; had that prince come to Georgia, he might have acquired the glory of dying honourably, or have performed service sufficient to win the prince’s heart, and thus have succeeded in his main design, delivering the Armenians, and forming a respectable alliance with Georgia, and then becoming tributary to a Christian power.

When the just-mentioned news was authenticated, the prince sent Emin orders to dismiss all the new-raised men but forty of them. He obeyed, and proposed to the prince to let him have the command of about 1000 Georgian horse, to fall on the rear of Carim’s army, before he could leave Azarbaijan, as it was reported that he was on a hasty march, with heavy baggage, and could not possibly reach Arakistan in forty days, whereas Emin might in five days reach it with light troops; besides, the Armenians in the way had sent a promise to join him, and he was sure of dispersing that rabble of an army, which, with Carim at the head of them, were almost defeated, not a year before, by a body of 300 Armenian mountaineers; and they would have gained a complete victory, if Fataly Khan Avshar their general had stayed, but he ran away with 15, 000 Kezelbashes: which Carim hearing, rallied his mob, and in two days, with the loss of 1500 men, overcame them at last, and put them all to the sword. The Persian stragglers often told Emin, some days after he came to Tiffliz, that if those 300 Armenians had only water and ammunition, Carim could never have taken them; and that on the capitulation, he took his oath upon the Koran not to kill them who surrendered. Emin with great sincerity was proceeding with his proposals to serve Heraclius, not minding the jealousy of his heart, and imagining, that as he was a Christian, he might overcome it; but the serpent grew bigger and bigger every day. The prince told him, there was no necessity for so dangerous an undertaking; and said to the secular priest Philippus, that Emin’s heart was made of steel; this was only to puff him up, and conceal himself from Emin, supposing him weak enough to mistake flattery for applause.

That summer, Heraclius took Emin and his forty men with him to the fine fields of Georgia, where they passed the time partly in bush-fighting against the plundering Lazguis, and partly in taking pleasure. The prince kept him always in his company, either on horseback or in the tent, with an intention to pump out of him the secret of making money, and to know if he had any, or was really poor. He complained most bitterly of those hardy inroaders the Lazguis, and said, they were the ruin of Georgia. Emin said, "If you will give me leave, I will tell you, that those very Lazguis are your best troops, since their incursions impoverish the country of your nobles, and oblige them to be subservient to your will. You may very easily prevent their entering the country, if you please; you suffer their coming, and take no notice of it till they have ruined a village or two, and made the inhabitants captives; then you set out with your household troops, and a pretended zeal, to destroy the poor creatures, and that with no loss of your own men; and of course you acquire the fame of a conqueror; the nobles grow poor and exhausted, and are obliged in spite of fate to submit to you; while you think yourself in the right to keep them under, by paying them in their own coin. It is very well known to all, that when Shah Abbas took the country of the Cartuel Georgians, which you are now in possession of, and marched to Kakhet Georgia, which is your Highness’s own hereditary country, the poor people of it fled to Cartuel for shelter; but the nobles, instead of protecting them as their fellow Christians, took and sold them by thousands to the Turks, till they almost depopulated Kakhet; and, on the other hand, both countries were enslaved by the Persians. Shah Sultan Hussein, the last king of the Sophy family, being killed, and the Turks and Afghans having gotten possession of the kingdom of Persia, prince Buker of Cartuel, your uncle by the mother’s side, inviting the Pasha of Osmanlus to Tiffliz, was forced to fly to Russia, and the Lazguis over-ran Kakhet. Then Nadir Shah comes out of Khorasan, delivers the whole kingdom, drives the Turks away, sends for your father king Tahmuras, who died in Moscow, and by whose will I came hither. He fearing to go to Nadir Shah, the deliverer of Persia, your Highness’s mother Tamer undertook the journey, went herself to Nadir, and obtained the rank of Vali, or feudatory, for her husband your father.

After the destruction of Nadir, when no hereditary prince was to be found in Cartuel, you being then the heir, became master of the country, and recollecting the past conduct of its nobles, and their former unnatural barbarity, you approved that method to revenge yourself; though you do not sell their subjects to the Mahomedans, as they do yours, you let the Lazguis do the business for you; and leave the world to say, that Heraclius is the defender of the Christian faith, and the protector of those who profess it! You have only this to answer before God, and the world will vouch for you, that you have sold no Christian as slaves to the Mahomedans like the nobles of Cartuel; but you have suffered them by thousands and thousands to be made captives by the Lazguis. "

A few weeks after this conversation, Chouchol Mussa, a man seventy-eight years of age, a captain of banditti of the same mountains, at the head of 200 hundred of them, was taken alive, mounted on a mule like Mahomed; and when he was brought before his Christian Highness, he was in hopes of escaping the sword on account of an intimacy with him and his father. As soon as he found that he must lose his head, he spit at the prince’s face, and said to him, "You, that pretend to defend Christians, can you deny before the Supreme Being a box full of letters, which is now in my house, both from you and from your father, pointing out the way to Cartuel Georgia, and inciting us to kill and enslave its inhabitants? Do not you remember how many hundred measures of wine we and our party drank in your house, and how many hundred monds (a Georgian measure of bread) they have eaten in it?" He added, That besides 20, 000 slaves sold to the Turks, that he had for his part at different times debauched 416 beautiful Georgian virgins, and that he had nothing more left in his heart to wish for. Then stretching out his neck, he began saying, "Laila ilalah" and so forth. His head was struck off with a single blow of a sword. All the while Heraclius was grinning at the nobles, when the man boasted of the destruction of Christians; and he might not have been executed, if he had not spit in the face of the prince. Thus had prince Heraclius maintained to himself, and kept possession of both the Georgian provinces, Cartuel and Khaket, for thirty-nine or forty years; and at last gave them up, with a pretended good-will, to the management of the Russians, fearing, very justly, that after his death, it would not be well governed by any one of his numerous children, who were all growing up to manhood, but none so enterprizing nor so active as himself.

He one day proposed to Emin, if he had such a man as could be trusted with a secret of great consequence, so as to form some enterprize, and try if possible to take by surprize the fortified town of Iravan – "If that be done, it will be the only place for you to settle in; the Armenians will come to you in crowds from all parts, hearing that Heraclius is the author of the plan, and is a friend to Emin; there is no doubt of our becoming invincible; as for those Khans of Persia, they are but schoolboys; we can play with them as with dolls. " Then he repeated the same question to him. Emin answered, "Yes. " The prince said, "Who is he?" Emin said, "I am the very man, your Highness’s humble servant. " Heraclius asking in what manner, he said, "In a very easy manner; please to send a file of twelve men to stand as a sham guard upon me; order a cryer to proclaim in the city, that the Armenian Joseph Emin, having, in Russia, forged false letters in the names of the nobles, ministers, and generals, in recommendation of himself; and we having discovered the spuriousness of them, have commanded the prince Heraclius of Georgia, on the receipt of this, to secure the said Emin the Armenian, and send him with proper guards, over the same mountains of Cowedous, to conduct him to Moscow; then order five hundred men of your best troops to come from Kakhet, your own country; deliver him to their charge, and command them to take him to Russia. Having given me a letter signed and sealed by your own hand, to shew to the commander of the five hundred men, let him set out in the afternoon; this will prevent the people from suspecting any thing; and when about midnight I shall shew it to the officer, he will learn the contents, that the commander with his troops shall be entirely under my command, and that the report was a fiction; that he is to follow me wherever I please to lead him, and obey me to the last drop of his blood; then depend on it, Iravan will be no longer in possession of the cowardly Husin Aly Khan, who has but seven hundred men in the fort. "

Upon this, the suspicious prince was struck with amazement, hung down his head, putting his elbow on his knee, and his hand upon his forehead, but did not speak a word for half an hour? He then asked, How he would proceed afterwards: Emin said, "Sir, there is no occasion to trouble yourself farther; your business is to command so far, and mine is to obey. I will take the oath of fidelity to your Highness, if you mistrust me. " Then, to take away the unnecessary suspicion which appeared in his face, he said, "There are four capital religions in the world, from its creation to the present time; the first is, that of the heathens, who swore by fire and water; the second are worshippers of God, but Jews, who take oaths on the Old Testament; the third swear by the Holy Gospel, the foundation of Christianity; and the fourth by the Koran of Mahomet. No man can be out of these four faiths, upon which I will take an oath, and proceed on the expedition; if not, the empty project will be like building castles in the air. " The prince said, "He firmly believed that he was a zealous good Christian; but that to venture on a design so dangerous, might be attended with bad consequences. " Emin could not help laughing, to see the prince departing from his proposals, and contradicting himself without sense of shame or honour; and he thought of his father Hovsep, who knew the man without having seen him.

Then the prince desired Emin to send his head-man Simon, with his forty servants, to Iravan, to inlist in Husin Aly Khan’s service and continue in it long enough to become well acquainted with the Khan’s Armenian troops in the fort, whom by some means he might entice away. Emin would by no means undertake so base a business, or teach his countrymen treachery; neither he nor they were Mahomedans, to proceed in that wicked way, to eat a man’s bread and salt, and instead of serving him to cut his throat. "Why will you not send, " said he to the prince, "some of your own men, whose very nature is made up of treachery and cunning?" The prince said, "Husin Aly will suspect them; as for your servants, who are Armenians, they may say their master is poor, and has no money to support them and that necessity brought them to serve Husin Aly Khan. " Emin then found that it was Heraclius’s design they should be dispersed; he could not help saying "Yes; do as you think proper. " The little money he had he divided among them, and gave them permission to go which way they pleased towards Armenia, not losing the opportunity of writing a long letter, which he gave to his servant Simon, to carry to the archbishop Honan or Jonas, of the monastery of St. John the Baptist, the only friend of Emin’s among so many thousand ecclesiastics, in the province of Moosh, N. W. who answered him very kindly, assuring him, if he would come away from Tiffliz, with about fifty Georgians, and that by the consent of Heraclius, in order that the Turks might know he was Emin’s friend, four thousand men would be ready to put themselves under his command; but without Heraclius’s name or assistance, it could not be done. This letter he carried and shewed Heraclius, as he did every letter from the chiefs of Carabagh; and reported every small negociation or correspondence with them, to be before hand with informers; and this alone secured him from falling a victim to the prince’s incurable jealousy. No sooner had his wicked followers gone to give him intelligence of Emin’s receiving letters from his poor countrymen, than the prince told them, he had broken the seals at Emin’s own desire, and read the contents himself first; and he many times declared to his people, that Emin was an honest Armenian; and, if he had not been a dangerous man, by writing only, and without money, he would have gained the minds of all the Armenians, in every part of the country.

Emin in his second letter acquainted him, that he was as poor as Job; and the bishop, in his fatherly answer, told him, that these brave Christians had sworn, and would again swear, to serve under him for ten years, without expectation of pay; and that if they took a rich town, the booty of it should not be touched by them; but that every part of it should be given to him, provided that he would come to them with the good-will of Heraclius. To all these proposals, the prince grew deafer and deafer every day, and was very watchful to find some pretence to lay hold of Emin. Simon Catholicus, the successor of Jacob, at first was inclined to concur with Emin; but when he found that the prince’s heart was not the same with his outward behaviour to him, whom he wanted only to make a tool of; he sent a letter to Heraclius, to signify to him that he was the king of Armenia and Georgia, and that he would do best to send the imprudent prince to the place whence he came; thinking to be in favour with Heraclius by this flattery, not looking deep enough into the meaning of his expression; which made Heraclius so angry, that he said in his council to Philipus the grammarian, and to all the nobles, "Pray, Sirs, how can I be the king of Armenia, when the Catholicus of Etzmiatzin advise me to send their imprudent prince away? How can Emin, the son of Joseph, born in Ivah in the city of Hamadan, be called by Simon Patriarch our prince, which is as much as to say, hereditary prince of Armenia? What do you think of this, Sirs?" Their answer was, "May it please your Highness, Simon Catholicus is one of the most learned men of the age, and has seen a great deal of the world; ten to one he must know Emin’s family better than any one, else he would not have entitled him our prince. Emin must have been a sorcerer, if without money, beauty, or other qualification, he could possess the hearts of all his nation. As your Highness declares, you have perused every one of their letters, the very direction of them are surprizing - To God’s Protected, his Majesty Emin, King of all Armenia. May it please your Highness, necessity has no law, this man must be demolished, or put out of the way; otherwise Georgia will be trampled under the feet of the Armenians who out-number us ten to one. "

Secander Aga, a Persian Turk, chief of the clan of the Cossacks of 15, 000 men, came forwards, making his speech, and giving his Mahomedan opinion in the case, and afterwards offering the prince 500 tumans, (equal to 10, 000 rupees, ) the price of Emin’s blood, to kill the Armenian Gaur; who, if he should succeed in the smallest degree, would be another Nadir in Asia. "Have not you all seen, when the prince pitched his pavilion with a body of four thousand troops by the village of Mardhop, and went in every evening with the people for fear of a surprize from the Lazguis, how Emin, with forty Armenians never stirred for a fortnight from his station? Was not he attacked several times by the enemy four times stronger than himself in number, and had he not always the better of them? My own clan, your Highness’ subjects, are become so fond of him, that I am afraid it will not be long before they will all go over to him; in short, may it please the Valy of Gurjistan, (or feudatory prince of Georgia, ) to take care of that great Caffer. "

Turkhan, an Armenian merchant, the son of Agamal, who is, to his great shame, an old acquaintance of Emin’s father, did not fail to give his envious sentiments; saying, that he knew Emin in Calcutta, where, with all the strictness of his father and four uncles, they could not manage him; that at last he ran away from that place, and went into an English ship, working his passage to England; the people of which country, famous for being warlike, seeing him spirited, took notice of him. The prince said, "I know all that by his own writing: all you have said is more to his honour than his detriment or discredit: nor am I displeased with his being alert. But my question is, How comes he to be styled prince?" Turkhan, and the other Armenians, said, their Catholicus, according to the rites of the Armenian church, could do more than naming a person prince, - he could make a king of him, or of any man he pleased, provided the party concerned had sufficient talents to deserve it. All they wished, was to send him away from the person of his Highness, for fear of any accident, since he had not a field large enough to act in, ambitious as he was. Should he take into his head (which God avert) some violent method, it might draw the two Christian nations into miserable calamity. Thus far they petitioned his Highness; and said, "He is more able in wisdom to judge for the rest, and for the welfare of the Christians. " The poor prince did not know what to say; and, after a long pause, told them, they were Haramzadas, (or base-born, ) and the patriarch just as bad; who some time recommended Emin as a faithfnl servant of Christ, adding, that for all the world he would not wrong his trust, or disgrace his credential from the Christian nobles of Frankistan; and another time, would be glad to turn him out of my house. "It is my opinion, " added he, "that when he first spoke favourably of him, he was in expectation of some great present from him, like you foolish Armenians, looking upon him, as a god who would give you lapfuls of gold; but when he found Emin was a soldier only, and as poor as Heraclius, he then thought proper to write entirely the reverse. It is my firm belief that God has sent Emin to me, who is sitting innocently in his house, while you are digging a pit for him; and I am in great fear, that you, the Armenian priests, and the Georgians, will teaze me so much, as to make me part with my Emin Aga, whose heart is as clear as a mirror. As for you, Turkhan, merchant of Ispahan, what service have you rendered to me in these seven years past? I have made you a present of a house and garden: I honoured you with a servant and horse; yet you never, in all that time, went with me thirty yards from the gates of this city of Tiffliz; nor are you carrying on a trade by which the people are benefited (the custom-house): my poor Emin Aga has been here but four or five months, yet is every day on horseback with me, and has fought against the enemy before me more than a dozen times; and at my word of command, he is ready to run through sword and fire. " Then he began a severe lecture to the chief of the Turkish clan, saying, "You, Secander Aga! are you so rich as to pay 500 tumans to shed a Christian’s innocent blood? What has he done to you? is he guilty, because he is brave, which your envious malignant hearts cannot bear to see? We are Christians; not like Mahometans, who kill their fathers, and murder their brothers. Get out of my sight all of you! Father Philipus, go tell my Emin Aga all that has happened here; and let him know I shall be very glad to see him to-morrow morning, and every day, without ceremony. " Emin hearing all this from father Philip, said, "It is true, the prince is a Christian: but it is a pity he is alone: those wicked men will effect their design at last. "