Tth Life and Adventures of Joseph Emin




XVIII. 1766.

[Plot against the lives of Heraclius and his family - Heraclius warned by David, an Armenian - Conspirators seized - Shaverdy Khan plots destruction of Armenian Chief, Yusup of Gulistan, and calls the Lezguis to his assistance - They invite Emin to accompany them on a raid against the Shamshadins, but the latter capitulate - Emin provided with a troop of Turkmans, who under him encounter Kurds and punish them - Lezguis take hundreds of slaves and much booty - Emin’s object to play off Mahomedan against Mahomedan, and save his helpless countrymen - Commander of the Lezguis sends Emin a present of two beautiful ladies, whom he twice returns - Turkmans show approval of his conduct - Emin contrives to save his countrymen from lasting captivity - Fighting between Kurd, Lezgui, and Turkman - Hatham and Yusup, and the corn of Shameor. ]

Having been there about six months, he heard the dreadful news from Tiffliz, that Pala, prince Heraclius’s uncle by his mother’s side, had formed a conspiracy with twenty-four petty Georgian princes to put an end to his nephew’s life, and destroy all his family; but that the plot had been fortunately discovered by an Armenian, whom the conspirators had trusted with the secret, offering to pay his debt of three hundred tumans; and giving him a letter signed by every one of them, to carry to the Lazguis, requesting them to bring their troops at the time appointed for putting their horrid design into execution. But God above, who has the heart of every man in his hands, seeing their cruel intention, turned the heart of the Armenian David, who, instead of setting out on the expedition, which might have been the cause of shedding the blood of many thousands, and among them the innocent children of the prince; about two o’clock in the morning, went to Heraclius, knocked at his door, and was admitted immediately to the prince’s own haram, where he delivered to him the fatal letter. The prince seeing all their seals and hand-writing, ordered the Armenian not to stir out of his haram, where he supplied him with plenty of wine and food, which is the darling object of that nation. The next day he called a great council, summoning every one of the conspirators; and after making a long harangue, alleging his great fatigue and dangerous battles fought in person for the defence and welfare of their liberty and property, he asked them, one by one, what they thought such a prince of another country should, in consequence of such services, hope from his subjects? They answered, "Respect and honour. " He said, "If, on the contrary, they should be so treacherous as to form a conspiracy against him, what then?" They answered, "Such people would deserve no mercy. " Then the prince produced the letter, and shewed it to every one. The conspirators could not deny the fact; they were instantly seized and punished, not one of them escaping. The prince asking Pala, his uncle, how his heart could suffer him to write to the enemy, that he would destroy, with his hand, both his nephew and his children? he said, so he would have done; upon which he was immediately cut to pieces.

Thus was the prince of Georgia saved, with his family, through an Armenian at last, who was created noble, and rewarded amply: but he and all his family died away in thirteen months, leaving not a soul behind. He shared, it seems, the same fate with them; for he was, by all accounts, of a very bad character: he had set fire to a barrel of gun-powder, and did not imagine he would be blown up likewise by the secret hand of the Almighty. He might have excused himself, without entering into their wicked design; but how was it possible for him, who had neither honour nor religion to help him, to escape ruin? The poor Armenians, good and bad, work and labour, to leave money for others to enjoy; which can be imputed to nothing but mere ignorance. These very unfortunate treacherous people would have persuaded Emin to join in the plot; but he despised and laughed at them while in that country; nor opened his lips on the subject to this very hour; but now he thinks there can be no harm in mentioning it, as a caution to some against venturing to undertake a scheme of the same kind. Though a sense of humanity affected his mind for the families of those false ambitious men, yet the light of truth, entering with awful consolation, told him that it was well done, and that all was right.

Shaverdy Khan of Ganja, at that time next in power to prince Heraclius, had enticed away two of the five chiefs of Carabagh, Hatam, and Ousup, to remove from their country, and settle at Shameor on the confines of the Shamshadin tribe, who were on the north, the Khan being on the south, and the Armenians in the middle. Thus he lay meditating their destruction; and by his Persian cunning, gained Hatam’s heart to his interest, intending to make away with Ousup, who being apprized of the stratagem, fled with his son Beglar to the Shamshadin clan for protection. They happened at that time to have revolted from Shaverdy Khan, through some misunderstanding, or act of oppression, which saved the lives of Ousup and his sons. The Khan finding no other means to quell the rebels, sent over to the Jamaiat, or republic of the Charr Lazguis, (in one of whose villages Emin then lived, ) to come to his assistance, and chastise the Shamshadin tribes. The Lazguis then told Emin, that as they were going to persecute Sheya, (or the sect of Ali, ) it would be a proper time for him to join them. He consented, and set out with eighty elders of them, followed the main body of about four thousand horse, who were to march on the second notice of the Khan, m case the Shamshadins should not capitulate, which they did.

Two days after their arrival at Ganja, with their families in bonds, only keeping the Armenian chief and his son, through regard to prince Heraclius, who had, by writing, acquainted them that they were under his Highness’s protection, the Charr elders being satisfied with the Khan’s presents, were just going to return, when Emin received intelligence, that Husein the Zdahar mountaineer was coming at the head of two thousand horse to Ganja; and that Shaverdy Khan had written for Husen to send him to Nakhchuan to enslave the Shaikhs and impoverish the Khan of that province, so as to reduce him to subjection. Emin knew great part of that country to be inhabited by helpless Armenians: he staid two or three days more at Ganja, till Husein arrived with his two thousand men. Shaverdy provided him with two Persian guides; and they set out the next afternoon. In one day and a half they crossed the Shamshadin mountains; and about eleven o’clock reached the corner of a fresh-water lake, called Gegham. This precipitate marching was advised by Emin; who, while in Ganja, had intelligence that the tribe of Colan Curds were on their way from Iravan, coming to the protection of Shaverdy; and that if he hastened, he might lay hold of them, and so satisfy the Lazguis, and save the Nakhchuan Armenians from slavery.

At sun-set they pitched on the bank of the lake, and two hours before sun-rise, they, according to custom, cast lots: it fell to Emin’s party of forty Turkmans, or Turks, who were Hajy Mustapha’s own subjects, (among whom Emin quartered, ) to march before as the van-guard; and an hour after sun-rise, they discovered, at a great distance, thirteen horse-men coming along the lake. Emin perceived with joy that they were the clan of Colan Curds belonging to Carabagh, who, since Nadir Shah’s death, had been removed to Iravan and were then marching to the protection of Ganja, and thought they should fall victims instead of the Nakhchuan Armenians. Emin ordered his men to let the horses go on full gallop. The Curds had not in the least expected to meet a single Lazgui; and on seeing Emin’s party near them, began to speak to one another in Armenian. Emin thinking them to be Christians told them, to run away if they could. No sooner had they turned the heads of their horses, than they began to speak Curdish; and Emin, recovering from his mistake, took all the thirteen alive; when, behind a small rising ground, about a quarter of a mile off, were moving, richly dressed, the whole of their tribe: but before all the two thousand Lazguis could come up, Emin’s forty Turkmans fell on with sword in hand, killed many, and took prisoners the defenceless women, children, sheep, and cattle; the fighting-men retreated, and began to fire briskly: but when the two thousand main body came up, they rushed on like ravenous wolves, killed two hundred and fifty, and took the rest alive; amounting in all to eight hundred and fourteen slaves, men, women, and children; with eight thousand sheep, two thousand black cattle, and six hundred mares, each, in that country, worth one hundred tumans.

Shaverdy Khan’s two Persian guides were terrified; they had made flattering promises all the way to the Lazguis, on purpose to vex Emin, saying, that every one of them should have an Armenian boy and girl for his share; not imagining that their eighteen female relations in the clan, besides kinsmen and other males of the same religion, would fall into the hands of those monsters. Their expectation of seeing the poor Christians in misery, turned to mourning and lamentation for them. Then they considered that Emin’s intention in exhorting the men to march with that celerity, was to make Mahomedans a prey to Mahomedans, and to save some thousands of helpless Christians. Let this suffice to show the reader, how far Emin singly has run into danger to serve his poor countrymen against those barbarous nations; but he is sure that the richest of them, if they should chance to understand, will be the first to deny it: Such is the effect of money acquired by base-minded people, resembling half-starved cows, driven into a meadow of fine grass, where after filling their bellies with it, they prance and kick, thinking they can gallop like Arabian horses.

The magnitude of the booty gratified them exceedingly; the ready cash in gold and silver, amounting to twelve thousand tumans; and on an equal division among them, each man’s share came to six tumans. A horse’s rich harness, and other silver furniture, was made a prize by Husein the Lazgui chief, to the value of sixty tumans. Emin’s share was almost as much, which he distributed among his own men. All that he took was but half a pound of butter for his breakfast.

In that destructive affair, a Curd, on a sorrel horse, after fighting sword-in-hand for ten minutes, finding he should be overpowered, caught hold of his wife’s hand like lightning, and lifted her behind him; when some of the men endeavouring to snatch her away from him, he returned his beast to the left-about, and rushed on them like a provoked lion, wounding several of the Lazguis: then he turned again, and rode off without being hurt. In that close quarter, or confused fight, a very stout man on foot clapped the muzzle of his piece to Emin’s breast, and snapped it, but it did not go off. His men, seeing that, cut the fellow to pieces. A woman, with her beautiful daughter, about fourteen years of age, with spears in their hands for about fifteen minutes fought like Amazons, killed two of the Lazguis, and wounded some, preserving their honour like angels; but fell at last, to the astonishment of all the savages. Their Mulah came with the Koran in his hands, craving mercy; which Emin seeing, he slackened the men a little from their fury, and said, "What are you about? - Do you not know how the Shari’s learned men abused the second Khalif Omar?" They answered, "No. " He added, "They have published a scandalous story; would not acknowledge the supremacy of Ali, who has excommunicated him, and transformed him into a woman; in which condition, he was married to a miller; and after having brought forth two boys and a girl, was changed again to a man. " Emin could not finish the story, before the Mulah and his Koran were cut to pieces. Only six or seven of the Curds run into a cave on the rising ground; and defending themselves with their guns, wounded one of Emin’s men, and were saved from either being taken or killed. The loss on the Lazguis’ side was but a few men, and on the side of the enemy, 250. The free-booters, not contented with the plunder, which consisted of money, large coppers, and kitchen-furniture, beds, and pieces of silk, stripped men, women, and children; tied the men’s hands behind them, and setting the women on horse-back, were returning home.

Emin’s band told him, there were some Armenians among the slaves and there happened to be a boy about ten years old, riding behind one of them: - they said, he was an Armenian. Emin inquired of the boy, two or three times, who he was, and what was his name? The poor creature, hearing the Armenian language, between affliction and joy, could not speak a word, but burst into tears, which, like small shot, darted on the back of the man; a scene of so moving a kind, he never beheld in his life: himself, likewise, began to weep as he went on, overpowered by sympathy and grief; and neither of them could utter a syllable for some time. At last the poor boy told him, that his name was Beglar; and that there were many Armenians, but what number he could not exactly tell; their dress being the same with that of the Curds, it was not possible in such a crowd to distinguish them. Those terrible savages, observing Emin’s compassion for his countryman, could not help sympathizing with him, and comforted him, by saying, it was the fortune of war: nor would it have been difficult to save them, had his own band of forty men been Armenians; so that by dividing the slaves, he could have taken them for his, and his men’s shares, and then have set them at liberty. Thus has he been unsuccessful in all his undertakings, being alone, and labouring in vain. He did not despair from it; but trusted in God, setting his brains to work to find some means, not only to save his poor countryman, but the clan of the Curds too, though very wicked, and by profession, according to all accounts, murderers of merchants, and robbers of caravans; but they were not so excessively cruel as the Lazguis, who, that very day, in the evening, reached the foot of the mountain, and the road at the corner of the lake, where they entered into a meadow adjacent to it, and there they halted to rest for the night. Here they began to torment the captives.

Husein, the commander of the Lazguis, sent Emin a present of two beautiful ladies; one of them wife of the Chragh, or chief of the Curds; the other about sixteen years of age, lately married, and the chief’s daughter-in-law; but he would by no means accept them, sending them back with the fellow who brought them. Husein sent the poor creatures back a second time, with only silk red shifts on, bare-footed, and without any covering on their heads, (their tears streaming from their black antilope eyes, ) with a message, that they were the handsomest among all the slaves; and that if he did not like them, he might go and chuse any two he pleased. At this Emin could not help losing his patience. He sent back the victims a second time; and immediately after, sent his man to Husein with a reprimanding message, in these terms: "I am come, by the order of my master, to tell you, that you are very wrong, and even wicked, to offer those women to him. You, that command so many hundred men, should not so imprudently set the base example among your troops of defiling slaves, and becoming defiled yourself: the consequence of which diabolical action, my master hopes, will be the vengeance of God upon your head; so that neither you, or your men, may be able to carry a single child to Dagistan. " The man came back, and said, that when he had delivered the message, Husein took the miserable objects to himself, for fear of mutiny, hanging his head down, and saying not a word; but those who were present, cried out, "Allah! Allah!" commending Emin, and saying, he was God’s own man.

This making a great noise, 600, out of 2, 000, who were Turkmans with their centurions, left Husein, - never approached the slaves, but preserved them from dishonour; and changing their stations, came and pitched their tents by Emin. Through the whole night was heard the lamentable crying of females from grown women down to girls six years old, who did not escape brutal treatment. The hands and the arms of the men were tied behind them with raw thongs, which, for half an hour, are somewhat easy, while they are fresh; but when they become dry, begin to pinch the flesh, causing exquisite pain, which continually increases. The shrieking noise of some, and the groans of others, shewed what torture they went through all night, till sun-rise. In that manner they were treated every night, till they were out of the reach of the country where hostility had been committed. And when the Lazguis were in their own mountains every man claimed his share of slaves, either to sell, or keep working in the house.

Seventy years ago, these Lazguis, through the necessity of gaining a livelihood, and the baseness of Mahomet’s religion, began to enslave the Georgians. Their abstinence in regard to slaves had been remarkable; and an order was always observed among them, with as much strictness as if it had been a law ordained from above. It was death to any one who offered to meddle with a slave woman, unless he chose to marry her. But when, in course of time, the Georgian, the Turkish, or Persian children, of six years old or less, preserved from being sold in Dagistan, were made free by adoption, and brought up to manhood, their natural impure blood prompted them to that horrid custom of breaking through their ordinance, by making free with slave girls. The German noblemen, to this day, will not have any connection with their own female servants, however handsome, thinking that their noble blood would be debased; so the Arabs, Tartars, and Turks, who made such extraordinary conquests at first, kept that rule sacred: but when, in time, they became more polished, they lost every thing that was rustic, plain, and honourable. The softness of noxious pleasure, made them no better than they are at present - distrustful, contemptible, and indigent. The next morning, the rosy-cheeked women looked as pale as ashes.

On the march, Husein asked Emin’s opinion, if it would not be more convenient to take the slaves into an uninhabited fort, on the left of the road, which was almost inaccessible, and sell them to neighbouring mountaineers, or their relations, whose centries on the hills, at a great distance, were observing his motions. Emin perceived he was apprehensive of danger, and said, "You need not be afraid, Shaverdy Khan is your friend; the Shamshadin tribe are the Khan’s subjects; the enslaved Curds are the subjects of Ibrahim, Khan of the Carabagh Armenians, an enemy to Shaverdy, who, instead of being angry, will be much pleased, and reward you with great presents. Never mind; go on till you are in a better place, where grass and water will be in plenty for the troops. " Husein, the stupid Lazgui, listened, and was highly pleased with Emin’s counsel, not knowing that he would pay dear for it. Had Emin advised him to go to the fort, with 2, 000 armed hardy Lazguis, they would have been very well accommodated with grass and water; and having so many thousand heads of sheep and cattle, would have sold their old slaves, and carried away the young and handsome ones in the night on horse-back.

When they came to an open place, surrounded with high mountains, exposed to the Shamshadinians, Emin told them to pitch there; and after about an hour’s rest, there came to him an Armenian secular priest, at the head of sixty Armenians, men, women, and children, all in the hands of the Lazguis. They began crying, and begging to be saved from their misery. Emin told them, he was but one man; nor had it in his power to afford them the smallest assistance. "Go, " said he, "pray to God, who alone has power to deliver you from your miseries!" He then spoke to the Lazguis to take them away from his sight. A little after, the Curds, who were stationed not quite forty yards off, came to see him: several of them understood Persian. Emin comforted them, saying, "The twelve Imams will help to deliver you. " During all the three days in which the troops made a halt there, Emin ran a great risque every night, by loosing several of the Curds, and ordering them to go to the Shamshadins, advising them to come in a body, and surprize the Lazguis, about three o’clock in the morning while they were sleeping stark naked, like dead men; and promising them, by his faith, that he would not head the Lazguis upon any account.

He might then have let loose all the grown men among the Armenians, if he had pleased; but he acted cautiously, fearing that the savages would suspect him as their fellow Christian. To make the troops rest satisfied, he told them, that though he could not help being sorry for their misery, yet he could not but say, the Armenians richly deserved to be made captives. Why did they not stay in Iravan? or, what business was it of theirs to join the Colan Curds? They, touching their noses with their fore-fingers, said, "Alah - Alah! - what a just man he is!" To please him, they used the Armenians with some humanity; and bringing all their able-bodied men before him, he drew his sword, and laid it upon the scabbard, to form a cross, which he ordered them to kiss, and swear by it, that they would not run away. This he did, in order to save them from the torture of the night, in having their hands and arms lashed with straps. The honest Armenians stood to their oaths, did not violate the confidence of the Lazguis, and slept free from pain, no one of them running away, which afforded great joy to Emin, and gave him hopes that his countrymen would, one day or other, by God’s providence, be free in this world, and happy in the next. He was also very glad to find, that even the savages had learned the honesty of their hearts, and their firmness in the Christian faith; conceiving, that if, after swearing on a sword and scabbard, shaped into a cross upon the ground, they would stand so true to their words, they would more resolutely bleed under the cross, when displayed on military ensigns. O, ecclesiastics! if you but let them break the chain of superstition and ignorance, you will see how bravely they will attack the enemies of Christ!

Their halting three days in that defenceless open place, was owing to Emin’s advice, which, though treacherous to his cannibal Lazgui comrades, yet was just to the distressed; for had he not acted such a part in those circumstances, and, standing mute, had suffered those miserable, objects to be carried into everlasting captivity, he could never have been happy for the rest of his life. Whether right or wrong, he did it to satisfy his own conscience. What the public will think of it, he is not sure; but he is in hopes they will, on the whole, commend it.

Husein, on his first arrival at that place, sent Chragh, the chief’s wife, and a buffalo, with messengers, to Ganja, a journey of fifteen hours, as a present to Shaverdy Khan, whom he congratulated on the downfall of the Khan’s enemies, - ignorant that they had come for his protection, though they formerly were Ibrahim Khan’s subjects, belonging to Carabagh. All this time, Husein flattered himself, that Shaverdy would answer him with applause, and a khalat, or rope of honour; but, suddenly in the morning, about two hours before sun-rise, the Shamshadin clan and the Armenian mountaineers surprized the Lazguis’ camp, firing vollies from three different sides which threw the wicked Lazguis into such confusion, that they had but just time to catch their horses (killed about 100) of which they took 250; but left the slaves with goods, sheep, and cattle, and decamped so quickly, that not a single child could be carried away. Emin’s horse ran away; but he caught a fine colt belonging to one of the Curds. His men (missing him till sun-rise) helped him to another, stronger. The Lazguis, pushing on to an eminence, where, as they were not pursued, they halted, and began to look back, like wolves whose prey had escaped, towards the surprizers and the slaves with the rest of the booty. They could easily see from that high ground, that the number of the Shamshadin clan, with the Armenians, was but 600, who were preparing for a second attack; and the Lazguis, their panic not being yet over, turned their faces to run away. Emin and his men, with much ado, rallied them; telling them, that if they went in that disorderly manner, every one of them would be cut off. The Shamshadin clan seeing them recovered and faced, desisted from their attack, only watching, like dogs, the Lazguis’ motions. Emin advised them to charge, which they immediately did, killed sixteen of the Shamshadins, and were near making an end of them, and taking the booty back from them. He then made them retreat, and told them, that it was sufficient. "The enemy, " said he "knows what you are made of: - now we can march away at our pleasure. " Emin stood behind the troops, and saw the Shamshadin clan moved almost out of their sight; then he followed his comrades, overtook and passed them, riding on towards the river Cur, and thence to Dagistan.

He advanced almost four miles before them, and reached the foot of a mountain, whence he discovered, on the right, at the distance of about four miles, a large body of men, before the opening of the Shamior Meadow. He did not then know who they were; but was afterwards told it was Shaverdy Khan, with 18, 000 Persians and Armenians standing in wait for the Lazguis, but not courageous enough to move. Had he marched, he might have cut off every soul of them, having before sent his son Mahomed Husein Khan to the ford of the Cur, to prevent their passing. Had he pursued and attacked their rear, he would have made a complete business of it. About twelve horsemen just at that moment sprung forward, playing with Emin’s party, firing and running back, to amuse and delay them: but Emin knew better, and went on till they came to a sort of broken ground; and then returning the fire, eleven of them ran away; but one followed them almost five miles, to the bank of the river Cur. As the ford was guarded by 500 Persians, commanded by Mahomed Husein Khan, son to Shaverdy Khan, Emin thought it necessary to change the course and marched with his men down to the water-side, where there was no fording-place. In swimming over, one of his men was drowned. His horse, turning back, fell into the hands of the man above mentioned. About a quarter of a mile from the river, on a high ground, he halted, to observe the motion of the 2, 000 Lazguis, who, after two hours, came down, and fell upon the back of the 500 Persians, killed several, and forced their way. As he observed them passing the river, he ordered his men to march on, which they did, from eleven in the forenoon to ten at night, and halted by another river called Ghabry, not so deep as the Cur, where he rested the whole night.

The next morning, as they were preparing to set out, he discovered a great body of troops coming out from behind a mountain on his left, and took it for granted they were Georgians. The men asked Emin, what was to be done? He answered, "Fight them, and die like men! - you see they have the advantage of us in every respect, the mountain is on their back, and their number is great: - we have no shelter, but a very large open plain before us: - should we fly from them, they will pick us up like wild game. Though our undertaking be desperate, yet we shall fall like brave soldiers, and leave no room for the world to reflect that Emin and his forty Turkmans behaved in a dastardly manner, and fell like women. " They approved the proposal, and said, "Please to set the example. " No sooner had he heard that word, than he drew his sabre, and charged; his men did the same, and followed the mistaken enemy. Who should they be but a party of Lazguis. Seeing a handful of men galloping furiously towards them, they suspected it to be prince Heraclius’s advanced picket, and fell into such confusion, that, instead of running away, they began to whip their horses against the steep rocks, tumbling and rolling down like barrels of water, crying, "Aman allah! Heraclius! Heraclius!" Emin, finding them to be his comrades, could not keep himself from laughing; and was amazed to find, how much these barbarous savages dreaded the prince’s name; like the children in France, who, when they cried in their cradles, were quieted by their mothers telling them that Marlborough was coming. Let the candid reader therefore judge, and approve Emin’s speaking the truth like an European gentleman, in recording the meritorious character of his enemy, prince Heraclius, who, with the late patriarch, Simon of Armenia, were the cause of all his adversities.

The Lazguis then begged Emin to keep them company, and not to advance so great a way before them. To this he consented: the road being then separated, his men went to the right and he, with the savages, proceeded to the left. When they came nearer to the confines of Kissekh, the first district to Kakhet Georgia, Husein, the captain of the Lazguis, told Emin to take care of himself, and keep near him, for the men had a bad design on his life; that they wanted to kill him, thinking that he had money, and was a Caffer. He smiled with great composure, and said, "What then will become of you, if Heraclius, at the head of 10, 000 Georgians, should meet you in this open place, where no mountain or shelter is to be found? Come, then; - who are the men that dare attack me? I know your Mahometans to be ungrateful, and a disgrace to the name of Dagistan, by transgressing the hospitable law of that nation. Those men are not true Lazguis, but degenerated and corrupted by a mixture of Georgian blood. Thence it is, that they conspire against him, who has made each of them master of six tumans, who never before saw a single rupee in his life. " After this reprimanding speech, thirteen of the savages dismounted, laying hold of his stirrups, begging his pardon, and intreating that he would think no more about it. Here Emin very justly thought he could be even with them all, and bade them be more expeditious on the march, for fear of the prince’s coming out. On hearing this fatal advice, they began to gallop, whip, and kick their horses, as if they really were pursued by a conquering army. The consequence of such a hurly-burly was, that three hundred of their horses were tired, and left behind upon the road. The Lazguis in general are not good horsemen, nor do they know the nature of them, otherwise they would not be so stupid as to lose many excellent horses by beating them.

This happened within thirty miles of Belican, a village belonging to the Gaugal Lazguis, where Emin found two Nakhiguan merchants; having reached it after great fatigue for two days, without any rest, from the mountains of Shamshadin of Ganja, a march of almost one hundred and twenty miles, of which the caravan commonly makes a journey of six days. Emin staid in that place, with his Armenians, for a fortnight pretty comfortably; when Hajy Mustapha his friend came down from the mountains with his family, and with his flocks and herds, took him to his village of Catickh, nine miles from Belican, where his relation Mussess, who had fallen sick and was left behind at Dalubar five miles from Ganja, came to him, and very prudently persuaded him not to remain any longer among the Lazguis, who being Mahometans, and thirsty for the blood of Christians, could not very well agree with Emin’s disposition and principles, since he would always rather chuse to die than see a Christian enslaved.

Here it is to be considered, that the excursion he made with those Lazguis, enslaving the Curd clan of Colan, was of happy consequence to the Armenians, and fatal to the khan of Ganja, whose army deserted and left him alone, exclaiming against him, and saying, that he was an enemy to the Shiah Musulmans, and had brought the Lazgui Sunies to enslave the Curds. This faction afforded the two Armenian chiefs, Hatham and Yusup, an opportunity to move with their troops from Shameor to the frontiers of their native country Trashatzy and Charrabert;

Melck Hatham halting at Trinabad, and Yusup at Gedashen. The reason of their stopping in those two villages, (though Armenians, under the government of Ganja, ) was on account of the corn left behind at Shameor. They were in hopes of getting it, yet weak enough not to foresee that Shahverdy Khan would recover from his distress; therefore, without being diligent enough in three weeks time to carry off the corn, while he was in confusion, they set themselves down contented, feasting and drinking wine. Yusup was less to be blamed on that head; for Hatham amused him by fair words all the time; since he, being devoted to the khan’s interest, was kept on the khan’s side by the force of bribes. These two chiefs exactly resembled two stiff-necked oxen, one of them pulling to the right and the other to the left.