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hopes have not a similar foundation, it establishes between him and his co-religionaries a feeling of mutual consideration which all worldly respects must give way to. The Koran is the sole charter of his privileges—if weak, it is his shield against oppression; if powerful, a check upon it; in short, inadequate as it may be, it is with the nations of the East a substitute for constitutional rights. No wonder, then, that they seek to keep alive, in all its freshness and vigour, the religious zeal which prevents its becoming a dead letter; or that their faith in this palladium should manifest itself in a succession of devotional practices whose openness and frequency modern Christianity is far too lukewarm and modest to emulate. Whoever has kept company

with Mussulmans must have been struck with the fact. They perform their ablutions, spread their carpets, and address themselves to their prayers as naturally and unreservedly as we sit down to our meals. Neither place nor person, if they can only ascertain the direction of the Kubleh, can be an obstacle to these duties. Their conversation, too, is full of appeals to the deity, of expressions of reliance on his goodness, or of submission to his will. Nobody fears the imputation of cant and hypocrisy where the prevalence of unbelief has not yet made piety appear unnatural. Hypocrisy, it is true, may thrive under

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such circumstances; but are they not preferable to those where the mask of hypocrisy has become superfluous, because religion has ceased to be respected.

I believe, therefore, that it is the spirit of equality diffused by Islamism that has been the principal element of its success in the Caucasus. The hereditary power of the nobles has succumbed to it, and it has doubtless done much to ameliorate the condition of the serfs; for, as Mussulmans, they acquire a rank that, in a great measure, neutralizes all the distinctions of caste.

But it is chiefly from its political influence that the establishment of Islamism in the Caucasus has been important.

It is this circumstance which has constituted it from sea to sea a rampart against the encroachments of Russia, instead of a formidable chain of advanced posts in her hands, which with a Christian population it infallibly would have been, but which nothing but the most deplorable apathy on the part of those who are interested in opposing her can now permit it to become.

Christian Georgia, though comparatively isolated, and in many districts as naturally impregnable, has acknowledged her sway for the better part of a century. It forms the principal basis for the operations of her aggressive policy in

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the East; while it is as certainly, on the other hand, the zeal of the Mussulman tribes that garrison the mountains behind, which renders it insecure.

The bonds by which Circassia, notwithstanding her independence,-an independence guaranteed by the distinctions of race, customs, and language, is united to Turkey are those of a common faith; and the strength of those bonds must depend on that of the religious zeal which, for the reasons, temporal as well as spiritual, I have already adduced, is so peculiarly powerful with Mussulmans, binding every heart in which it burns in an electric chain of sympathy, an element of adhesion strong as it is subtle, and upon which the sword makes no more impression than it would on fire itself.

The mosque at Aboon Bashi (like all others, I believe) is intended not only for a place of wor-ship, but as a medressé, or college for the education of students in the Mussulman law. The language taught there is Arabic, not Turkish; the former is the language of the Koran, and many

of the cadis are proficients in it, without knowing a word of the latter.

The hodja, or dominee of this establishment, was duly presented to us, and comported himself with the gravity and importance peculiar to pedagogues

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all over the world: it appeared also he was a rigid disciplinarian, and had refused to grant a holiday to his scholars, though the Russian cannon had been distinctly heard that morning in the neighbourhood of Pchat, and the elder boys had been longing for a shot at the Ghiaours from the woods.

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DISAPPEARANCE OF HADJI OLI.

CHAPTER X.

Effects of Lord Ponsonby's communication- Arguments of

the chiefs against my joining the Circassian forces-Our landlord and his daughter — Security of property in Circassia.

The number of our escort had by this time very much fallen off. The warriors, as we proceeded, had taken different routes, that they might more conveniently quarter themselves on the way. Hadji Oli, the judge, had been missing three days; haring, as he afterwards alleged, some business of great importance to dispatch at home, (connected very probably with the distillery,) he had disappeared without taking leave of anybody. We saw little of him during the rest of the campaign ; nor could he find any time to attend to public

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