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but did not travel into the interior. The first person to do so was Mr. Urquhart; but his visit, though itself an era in the destinies of Circassia, was very brief; nor has he favoured the world with the result of his observations. After him came Mr. Stewart, whose journal, as far as it goes, is faithful and spirited. Mr. Bell has also furnished a narrative of his first expedition; in his second, I was for a whole year almost constantly associated with him, and we were in the course of it subsequently joined by Mr. Knight.
I speak advisedly when I say that no other Europeans, besides those I have enumerated, have ever visited Circassia, always excepting the army of the invaders. The landing of an European there is too extraordinary an event not to be deeply imprinted on the recollection of the whole population, nor has such occurred within the memory
of man that forms not still a common topic of conversation there.
The vernacular language of Circassia possesses, as far as I am aware, no affinity with any other known tongue, Asiatic or European; and as,
during my residence there, I found Turkish very generally spoken by the chiefs, elders, &c., I took no pains to make myself master of the former; indeed, even among the people at large, many words and expressions have been adopted from the Turkish, or rather Tartar; and this, in addition to the circumstance of being my own medium of communication with them, will account for the frequent insertion of Turkish phrases in the course of the narrative.
It may, perhaps, be as well to add here that I was the Correspondent of “ The Times," and contributed to that Journal the slight notices of Circassia that appeared in its columns during my stay in that country, which, however, will not be found in these volumes.
Proclamation of the Russian general, and reply of the
Circassians Portraits of the council-Landed property
among the Circassians—Presents—The biter bit . . 155
March of the Russian general to Pchat-Superstitions and
social qualities of the Circassians—The fortress of Aboon-
Mahomedanism in the Caucasus