On the 17th of September, at 9 in the morning, the steamer arrived, and an hour afterwards I was seated on the deck. The vessel was called Maladetz; it was 140 horse power, and the commandant's name was Zorin.

The distance from Redutkale to Kertsch is only 420 miles in a straight line, but for us, who continually kept close to the shore, it amounted to nearly 580.

The view of the Caucasus - the hills and headlands - the rich and luxuriant country remains fresh in my memory to this day. In a charming valley lies the village Gallansur, the first station, at which we stopped for a short time.

Towards 6 o'clock in the evening, we reached the fortified town Sahun, which lies partly on the shore, and partly on a broad hill. Here I saw, for the first time, Cossacks in full uniform; all those I had previously seen were very badly dressed, and had no military appearance; they wore loose linen trousers, and long ugly coats, reaching down to their heels. These, however, wore close-fitting spencers with breast-pockets, each of which was divided for eight cartridges, wide trousers, which sat in folds upon the upper part of the body, and dark blue cloth caps, trimmed with fur. They rowed a staff officer to the ship.

18th September. We remained the whole day in Sahun. The coal- boats, from some inconceivable negligence, had not arrived; the coals were taken on board after we had been some time at anchor, and our supply was not completed until 6 o'clock in the evening, when we again started.

19th September. During the night there was much storm and rain. I begged permission to seat myself on the cabin steps, which I received; but, after a few minutes, an order came from the commandant to take me under cover. I was much surprised and pleased at this politeness, but I was soon undeceived when I was led into the large sailors' cabin. The people smelt horribly of brandy, and some of them had evidently taken too much. I hastened back on to the deck, where, in spite of the raging of the elements, I felt more comfortable than among these well-bred Christians.

In the course of the day we stopped at Bambur, Pizunta, Gagri, Adlar, and other places. Near Bambur I observed majestic groups of rocks.

20th September. The Caucasian mountains were now out of sight, and the thick woods were also succeeded by wide open spaces. We were still troubled with wind, storm, and rain.

The engineer of the ship, an Englishman, Mr. Platt, had accidentally heard of my journey (perhaps from my passport, which I had to give up on entering the ship); he introduced himself to me today, and offered me the use of his cabin during the day-time; he also spoke to one of the officers for me, and succeeded in obtaining a cabin for me, which, although it joined the sailors' cabin, was separated from it by a door. I was very thankful to both the gentlemen for their kindness, which was the greater, as the preference was given to me, a stranger, over the Russian officers, of whom at least half a dozen were on deck.

We remained a long time at Sissasse. This is an important station; there is a fine fortress upon a hill - round it stand pretty wooden houses.

21st September. This was a terrible night! One of the sailors, who was healthy and well the day before, and had taken his supper with a good appetite, was suddenly attacked with cholera. The cries of the poor fellow disturbed me greatly, and I went upon deck, but the heavy rain and piercing cold were not less terrible. I had nothing but my mantle, which was soon wet through; my teeth chattered; the frost made me shake throughout; so there was nothing to be done but to go below again - to stop my ears, and remain close to the dying man. He was, in spite of all help, a corpse before the end of eight hours. The dead body was landed in the morning, at Bschada; it was packed in a heap of sail-cloth, and kept secret from the travellers. The cabin was thoroughly washed with vinegar, and scoured, and no one else was attacked.

I did not at all wonder that there was sickness on board, only I had expected it would be among the poor soldiers, who were day and night upon the deck, and had no further food than dry, black bread, and had not even mantles or covering; I saw many half-frozen from cold, dripping with rain, gnawing a piece of bread: how much greater suffering must they have to undergo in the winter time! The passage from Redutkale to Kertsch, I was told, then frequently occupied twenty days. The sea is so rough that it is difficult to reach the stations, and sometimes the ship lies for days opposite them. If it should happen that a poor soldier has to proceed the whole distance, it is really a wonder that he should reach the place of his destination alive. According to the Russian system, however, the common man is not worthy of any consideration.

The sailors are indeed better, but, nevertheless, not well provided for; they receive bread and spirits, a very small quantity of meat, and a soup made of sour cabbage, called bartsch, twice a day.

The number of officers, their wives, and soldiers on the deck, increased at every station, very few being landed from the ship.

The deck was soon so covered with furniture, chests, and trunks, that there was scarcely a place to sit down, except on the top of a pile of goods. I never saw such an encampment on board a ship.

In fine weather, this life afforded me much amusement; there was always something new to see; every one was animated and happy, and appeared to belong to the same family; but if a heavy rain came on suddenly, or a wave washed over the deck, the passengers began to shout and cry, and the contents of every chest became public. One cried, "How shall I shelter my sugar-loaves?" another, "Oh, my meal will be spoiled." There a woman complained that her bonnet would be full of spots; here, another, that the uniform of her husband would certainly be injured.

At some of the smaller stations, we had taken on board sick soldiers, in order to carry them to the hospital at Kertsch. This was done, as I was told, less on account of nursing them than as a measure of safety. The former they would have received at the place they came from; but all the small villages between Redutkale and Anapka are still frequently disturbed by the Circassian-Tartars, who undauntedly break out from the mountains and rob and murder. Very lately they were reported to have fired a cannon at one of the government steamers. The Circassians {320a} are as partial to the Russians as the Chinese are to the English!

The poor invalids were also laid on the deck, and but little attention was shown to them, beyond stretching a sail-cloth over them, to keep the wind partially off; but when it rained heavily, the water ran in on all sides, so that they lay half in the wet.

22nd September. We saw the handsome town and fortress Nowa Russiska, which contains some very pretty private houses, hospitals, barracks, and a fine church. The town and fortress lie upon a hill, and were founded only ten years since.

In the evening, we reached Anapka, which place was taken by the Turks in 1829. Here the finely wooded mountains and hills, and the somewhat desolate steppes {320b} of the Crimea commence.

In the course of the day I had an opportunity of observing the watchfulness and penetration of our commandant. A sailing-vessel was quietly at anchor in a small creek. The commandant, perceiving it, immediately ordered the steamer to stop, ordered out a boat, and sent an officer to see what it was doing there. So far everything had gone correctly; for in Russia, where the limits of every foreign fly is known, what a whole ship is about, must also be seen to. But now comes the comical part of the affair. The officer went near the ship, but did not board it, and did not ask for the ship's papers, but merely called out to the captain to know what he was about there? The captain answered that contrary winds had compelled him to anchor there, and that he waited for a favourable one to sail to this place and that. This answer satisfied the officer and the commandant completely. To me it seemed just as if any one was asked whether he was an honourable man or a rogue, and then trusted to his honour when he gave himself a good character.

23rd September. Another bad night; nothing but wind and rain. How I pitied the poor, sick fellows, and even those who were well, exposed to this weather on the deck.

Towards noon we arrived at Kertsch; the town can be seen very well from the sea, as it stretches out in a semi-circle on the shore, and rises a little up the hill Mithridates {321}, which lies behind. Higher up the hill is the museum, in the style of a Grecian temple - circular, and surrounded with columns. The summit of the mountain ends in a fine group of rocks, between which stand some obelisks and monuments, which belong to the old burial-place. The country round is a steppe, covered with artificial earth-mounds, which make the graves of a very remote period. Besides the Mithridates, there is no hill or mountain to be seen.

Kertsch lies partly on the spot where Pantikapaum formerly stood. It is now included in the government of Tauria; it is fortified, has a safe harbour, and rather considerable commerce. The population amounts to 12,000. The town contains many fine houses, which are chiefly of modern date; the streets are broad, and furnished with raised pavements for foot passengers. There is much gaiety in the two squares on Sundays and festivals. A market of every possible thing, but especially provisions, is held there. The extraordinary vulgarity and rudeness of the common people struck me greatly; on all sides I heard only abuse, shouting, and cursing. To my astonishment I saw dromedaries yoked to many loaded carts.

The Mithridates is 500 feet high, and beautiful flights of stone steps and winding paths lead up its sides, forming the only walks of the towns' people. This hill must formerly have been used by the ancients as a burial-place, for everywhere, if the earth is only scraped away, small narrow sarcophagi, consisting of four stone slabs, are found. The view from the top is extensive, but tame; on three sides a treeless steppe, whose monotony is broken only by innumerable tumuli; and on the fourth side, the sea. The sight of that is everywhere fine, and here the more so, as one sea joins another, namely, the Black Sea and the Sea of Asoph.

There was a tolerable number of ships in the roads, but very far short of four or six hundred, as the statements in the newspapers gave out, and as I had hoped to see.

On my return, I visited the Museum, which consists of a single apartment. It contains a few curiosities from the tumuli, but everything handsome and costly that was found was taken to the Museum at St. Petersburgh. The remains of sculptures, bas-reliefs, sarcophagi, and epitaphs are very much decayed. What remains of the statues indicates a high state of art. The most important thing in the Museum is a sarcophagus of white marble, which, although much dilapidated, is still very beautiful. The exterior is full with fine reliefs, especially on one side, where a figure, in the form of an angel, is represented holding two garlands of fruit together over its head. On the lid of the sarcophagus are two figures in a reclining posture. The heads are wanting; but all the other parts, the bodies, their position, and the draping of the garments, are executed in a masterly manner.

Another sarcophagus of wood, shows great perfection in the carving and turning of the wood.

A collection of earthen jars, water jugs and lamps, called to my mind those in the museum at Naples. The jars, burnt and painted brown, have a form similar to those discovered at Herculaneum and Pompeii. The water jugs are furnished with two ears, and are so pointed at the bottom, that they will not stand unless rested against something. This form of vessel is still used in Persia. Among other glass-ware, there were some flasks which consisted almost entirely of long necks, bracelets, rings and necklaces of gold; some small four-cornered embossed sheets, which were worn either on the head or chest, and some crowns, made of laurel wreaths, were very elegant. There were chains and cauldrons in copper, and ugly grotesque faces and ornaments of various kinds, which were probably fixed on the exterior of the houses. I saw some coins which were remarkably well stamped.

I had now to visit the tumuli. I sought long and in vain for a guide: very few strangers come to this place, and there are consequently no regular guides. At last there was nothing left for me but to apply to the Austrian Vice-consul, Herr Nicolits. This gentleman was not only willing to comply with my wish, but was even so obliging as to accompany me himself.

The tumuli are monuments of an entirely peculiar character; they consist of a passage about sixty feet long, fourteen broad, and twenty-five high, and a very small chamber at the end of the passage. The walls of the passage are sloping, like the roof of a house, and contract so much at the top, that at the utmost one foot is left between. They are built of long and very thick stone slabs, which are placed over each other in such a way that the upper row projects about six or seven inches beyond the under one. Upon the opening at the top are placed massive slabs of stone. Looking down from the entrance, the walls appear as if fluted. The room, which is a lengthened quadrangle, is spanned by a small arched roof, and is built in the same manner as the passage. After the sarcophagus was deposited in the room, the whole monument was covered with earth.

The fine marble sarcophagus which is in the Museum, was taken from a tumulus which was situated near the quarantine house, and is considered to be that of King Bentik.

The greater number of the monuments were opened by the Turks; the remainder were uncovered by the Russian government. Many of the bodies were found ornamented with jewels and crowns of leaves, like those in the Museum; an abundance of coins was also found.

The 26th of September was a great festival among the Russians, who celebrated the finding of the cross. The people brought bread, pastry, fruit, etc., to the church, by way of sacrifice. The whole of these things were laid up in one corner. After the service, the priest blessed them, gave some few morsels to the beggars round him, and had the remainder packed into a large basket and sent to his house.

In the afternoon, nearly the whole of the people went to the burial-ground. The common people took provisions with them, which were also blessed by the priests, but were hastily consumed by the owners.

I saw only a few people in the Russian dress. This consists, both for men and women, of long wide blue cloth coats; the men wear low felt hats, with broad brims, and have their hair cut even all round; the women bind small silk kerchiefs round their heads.

Before finishing my account of Kertsch, I must mention that there are naphtha springs in the neighbourhood; but I did not visit them, as they were described to me as precisely similar to those at Tiflis.

The next part of my journey was to Odessa. I could go either by sea or land. The latter was said to present many objects of beauty and interest; but I preferred the former, as I had in the first place no great admiration of the Russian post; and, secondly, I was heartily anxious to turn my back upon the Russian frontiers.

On the 27th of September, at 8 in the morning, I went on board the Russian steamer Dargo, of 100 horse power. The distance from Odessa to Constantinople amounts to 420 miles. The vessel was handsome and very clean, and the fare very moderate. I paid for the second cabin thirteen silver roubles, or twenty florins fifty kreutzers (2 pounds 1s. 4d.) The only thing which did not please me in the Russian steamer, was the too great attention of the steward who, as I was told, pays for his office. All the travellers are compelled to take their meals with him, the poor deck passengers not excepted, who have often to pay him their last kopecs.

About afternoon we came to Feodosia (Caffa), which was formerly the largest and most important town in the Crimea, and was called the second Constantinople. It was at the height of its prosperity about the end of the fifteenth century, under the dominion of Genueser. Its population at that time is said to have been upwards of 200,000. It has now declined to a minor town, with 5,000 inhabitants.

Half-ruined fortification walls and towers of the time of Genueser remain, as well as a fine mosque, which has been turned into a Christian church by the Russians.

The town lies upon a large bay of the Black Sea, on the declivity of barren hills. Pretty gardens between the houses form the only vegetation to be seen.

28th September. We stopped this morning at Jalta, a very small village, containing 500 inhabitants, and a handsome church founded by the Prince Woronzoff. It is built in pure Gothic style, and stands upon a hill outside of the village. The country is again delightful here, and beautiful hills and mountains, partly covered with fine woods, partly rising in steep precipices, extend close to the sea-shore.

The steamer stayed twenty-four hours at Jalta. I took advantage of the time to make an excursion to Alupka, one of the estates of Prince Woronzoff, famous for a castle which is considered one of the curiosities of the Crimea. The road to it passed over low ranges of hills close to the sea through a true natural park, which had here and there been embellished by the help of art. The most elegant castles and country-houses belonging to the Russian nobles are seated between woods and groves, gardens and vineyards, in open spaces on hills and declivities. The whole prospect is so charming, that it appears as if prosperity, happiness, and peace, only reigned here.

The first villa which attracted me was that of Count Leo Potocki. The building is extremely tasteful. The gardens were laid out with art and sumptuousness. The situation is delightful, with an extensive view of the sea and neighbourhood.

A second magnificent building, which, however, is more remarkable for magnitude than beauty of construction, lies near the sea-shore. It resembles an ordinary square house with several stories; and, as I was informed, was built as a country bathing-place of the emperor, but had not yet been made use of. This castle is called Oriander.

Far handsomer than this palace was the charming country-house of Prince Mirzewsky. It is seated on a hill, in the centre of a magnificent park, and affords a delightful view of the mountains and sea. The principal front is Gothic.

The villa of Prince Gallizin is built entirely in the Gothic style. The pointed windows, and two towers of which, decorated with a cross, give to it the appearance of a church, and the beholder involuntarily looks for the town to which this gorgeous building belongs.

This place lies nearly at the extremity of the fine country. From here the trees are replaced by dwarf bushes, and finally by brambles; the velvety-green turf is succeeded by stony ground, and steep rocks rise behind, at the foot of which lie a quantity of fallen fragments.

Even here very pretty seats are to be seen; but they are entirely artificial, and want the charm of nature.

After travelling about thirteen wersti, the road winds round a stony hill, and the castle of Prince Woronzoff comes in sight in its entire extent. The appearance of it is not by any means so fine as I had imagined. The castle is built entirely of stone, of the same colour as the neighbouring rocks. If a large park surrounded the castle, it would stand out more prominently, and the beauty and magnificence of its architecture would be better shown. There is, indeed, a well laid out garden, but it is yet new and not very extensive. The head gardener, Herr Kebach (a German), is a master in his art; he well knows how to manage the naked barren land, so that it will bear not only the ordinary trees, plants, and flowers, but even the choicest exotic plants.

The castle is built in the Gothic style, and is full of towers, pinnacles, and buttresses, such as are seen in similar well preserved buildings of olden time. The principal front is turned towards the sea. Two lions, in Carrara marble, artistically sculptured, lie in comfortable ease at the top of the majestic flight of steps which lead from the castle far down to the sea- shore.

The interior arrangement of the castle reminded me of the "Arabian Nights;" every costly thing from all parts of the world, such as fine woods and choice works of art, is to be seen here in the greatest perfection and splendour. There are state apartments in Oriental, Chinese, Persian, and European styles; and, above all, a garden saloon, which is quite unique, for it not only contains the finest and rarest flowers but even the tallest trees. Palms, with their rich leafy crowns, extend to a great height, climbing plants cover the walls, and on all sides are flowers and blossoms. The most delightful odour diffused itself through the air, cushioned divans stood half-buried under the floating leaves; in fact, everything combined to produce the most magical impression upon the senses.

The owner of this fairy palace was unfortunately absent at a fete on a neighbouring estate. I had letters to him, and should have been glad to have made his acquaintance, as I had heard him spoken of here, both by rich and poor, as a most noble, just and generous man. I was, indeed, persuaded to wait his return, but I could not accept this offer, as I should have had to wait eight days for the arrival of the next steamer, and my time was already very limited.

In the neighbourhood of the castle is a Tartar village, of which there are many in the Crimea. The houses are remarkable for their flat earth roofs, which are more used by the inhabitants than the interior of the huts; as the climate is mild and fine they pass the whole day at their work on the roofs, and at night sleep there. The dress of the men differs somewhat from that of the Russian peasants, the women dress in the Oriental fashion, and have their faces uncovered.

I never saw such admirably planted and clean vineyards as here. The grapes are very sweet, and of a good flavour; the wine light and good, and perfectly suited for making champagne, which indeed is sometimes done. I was told that more than a hundred kinds of grapes are grown in the gardens of Prince Woronzoff.

When I returned to Jalta, I was obliged to wait more than two hours, as the gentlemen with whom I was to go on board had not yet finished their carouse. At last, when they broke up, one of them, an officer of the steamer, was so much intoxicated that he could not walk. Two of his companions and the landlord dragged him to the shore. The jolly-boat of the steamer was indeed there, but the sailors refused to take us, as the jolly-boat was ordered for the captain. We were obliged to hire a boat, for which each had to pay twenty kopecs (8d.) The gentlemen knew that I did not speak Russian but they did not think I partially understood the language. I, however, overheard one of them say to the other "I have no change with me, let us leave the woman to pay." Upon this the other turned round to me, and said in French, "The share that you have to pay is twenty silver kopecs." These were gentlemen who made pretensions to honesty and honour.

29th September. Today we stopped at the strong and beautiful fortress Sewastopol. The works are partly situated at the entrance of the harbour, and partly in the harbour itself; they are executed in massive stone, and possess a number of towers and outworks which defend the entrance to the harbour. The harbour itself is almost entirely surrounded by hills, and is one of the safest and most excellent in the world. It can hold the largest fleets, and is so deep that the most gigantic men-of-war can lie at anchor close to the quays. Sluices, docks and quays have been constructed in unlimited splendour and magnificence. The whole of the works were not quite finished, and there was an unparalleled activity apparent. Thousands of men were busy on all sides. Among the workmen I was shown many of the captured Polish nobles who had been sent here as a punishment for their attempt, in 1831, to shake of the Russian yoke.

The works of the fortress and the barracks are so large that they will hold about 30,000 men.

The town itself is modern, and stands upon a range of barren hills. The most attractive among the buildings is the Greek church, as it stands quite alone on a hill, and is built in the style of a Grecian temple. The library is situated on the highest ground. There is also an open-columned hall near the club, with stone steps leading to the sea-shore, which serves as the most convenient passage to the town for those who land here. A Gothic monument to the memory of Captain Cozar, who distinguished himself greatly at the battle of Navarino, and was killed there, does not less excite the curiosity of the traveller. Like the church, it stands alone upon a hill.

The streets here, as in all the new Russian towns, are broad and clean.

30th September. Early in the morning we reached Odessa. The town looks very well from the sea. It stands high; and consequently many of the large and truly fine buildings can be seen at one glance. Among these are the Palace of Prince Woronzoff, the Exchange, the government offices, several large barracks, the quarantine buildings, and many fine private houses. Although the surrounding country is flat and barren, the number of gardens and avenues in the town give it a pleasant appearance. In the harbour was a perfect forest of masts. By far the greater number of ships do not lie here, but in the quarantine harbour. Most of the ships come from the Turkish shore, and are obliged to pass through a quarantine of fourteen days, whether they have illness on board or not.

Odessa, the chief town of the government of Cherson, is, from its situation on the Black Sea, and at the mouth of the Dniester and Dnieper, one of the most important places of commerce in South Russia. It contains 50,000 inhabitants, was founded in 1794, and declared a free port in 1817. A fine citadel entirely commands the harbour.

The Duke of Richelieu contributed most to the advancement of Odessa; for after having made several campaigns against his native country (France) in an emigrant corps, he went to Russia; and in 1803 was made governor-general of Cherson. He filled this post until 1814, during which time he brought the town to its present position. When he was appointed it contained scarcely 5,000 inhabitants. One of the finest streets bears the name of the duke, and several squares are also named in honour of him.

I remained only two days in Odessa. On the third I started by the steamer for Constantinople. I went through the town and suburbs in every direction. The finest part lies towards the sea, especially the boulevard, which is furnished with fine avenues of trees, and offers a delightful promenade; a life-size statue of the Duke Richelieu forms a fine ornament to it. Broad flights of stone steps lead from here down to the sea-shore; and in the background are rows of handsome palaces and houses. The most remarkable among them are the Government House, the Hotel St. Petersburgh, and the Palace of Prince Woronzoff, built in the Italian style, with a tasteful garden adjoining. At the opposite end of the boulevard is the Exchange, also built in the Italian style, and surrounded by a garden. Not far from this is the Academy of Arts, a rather mediocre one-story building. The Theatre, with a fine portico, promises much outside, but is nothing great within. Next to the theatre is the Palais Royal, which consists of a pretty garden, round which are ranged large handsome shops, filled with costly goods. Many articles are also hung out, but the arrangement is not near so tasteful as is the case in Vienna or Hamburgh.

Among the churches the Russian cathedral is the most striking. It has a lofty arched nave and a fine dome. The nave rests upon strong columns covered with brilliant white plaster, which looks like marble. The decorations of the churches with pictures, lamps, and lustres, etc., is rich but not artistic. This was the first church in which I found stoves, and really it was quite necessary that these should be used, the difference of temperature between this place and Jalta was very considerable for the short distance.

A second Russian church stands in the new bazaar; it has a large dome surrounded by four smaller ones, and has a very fine appearance from the exterior; inside it is small and plain.

The Catholic church, not yet quite finished, vies in point of architecture with the Russian cathedral.

The streets are all broad, handsome, and regular, it is almost impossible to lose your way in this town. In every street there are fine large houses, and this is the case even in the most remote parts as well.

In the interior of the town lies the so-called "crown garden," which is not, indeed, very large or handsome, but still affords some amusement, as great numbers of people assemble here on Sundays, and festivals, and a very good band of music plays here in summer under a tent; in winter the performances take place in a plain room.

The botanic garden, three wersti from the town, has few exotic plants, and is much neglected. The autumn changes, which I again saw here for the first time for some years, made a truly sad impression upon me. I could almost have envied the people who live in hot climates, although the heat is very troublesome.

The German language is understood by almost all but the lowest orders in Odessa.

On leaving the Russian dominions I had as much trouble with the passport regulations as on entering. The passport which was obtained on entering must be changed for another for which two silver roubles are paid. Besides this, the traveller's name has to be three times printed in the newspaper, so that if he has debts, his creditors may know of his departure. With these delays it takes at least eight days, frequently, however, two or three weeks to get away; it is not, however, necessary to wait for these forms, if the traveller provides security.

The Austrian Consul, Herr Gutenthal, answered for me, and I was thus able to bid adieu to Russia on the 2nd of October. That I did this with a light heart it is not necessary for me to assure my readers.