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gorges, forming altogether a miniature picture of the Swiss St. Gothard.
We descended into the fine valley of the Lim, and having forded that river, journeyed along its banks till we arrived at Plava, a considerable bourg most romantically seated on the banks of a lake of the same name. On entering the castellated residence of the Governor, we observed some mementoes of a rather disagreeable character—several human heads stuck upon poles—the trophies of war which the fierce Arnouts had gained in a skirmish with their equally fierce assailants, the predatory hordes of Tchernegora.
On leaving Plava, we had a pleasant ride on the banks of the lake, whence we ascended the deep valley of the Lim to Gousnee; this picturesque river has its source in the neighbouring mountain, the Koutsch, and after receiving into its bosom several rapid torrents clear as crystal, empties its waters into the lake of Plava; we saw several large trout gambolling in the transparent stream, together with a quantity of cray fish. In fact, the whole of these mountain streams abound in excellent trout, but the inhabitants never make use of them except on fast days. The cray fish is of a large species, but being considered unclean is never used as an article of food. The lake is of a circular form, and may be about six miles in circumference.
Above it rise in majestic grandeur the Baba Visitoris and Mount Bor, partly covered with forests of pine and fir-trees, interspersed with occasional spots of green pasture, on which were grazing flocks of sheep and goats. Here we saw for the first time, a species of goat differing from any other we had previously met with in these mountains; they were of a smaller size, with long silky hair, and without horns. According to the tradition of the people, they had originally come from Upper Egypt. In addition to these, there were a few herds of horned cattle, and the district altogether appeared tolerably well cultivated and evidently fertile, since luxuriant fields of corn were spread about in every direction, interspersed with plantations of tobacco. We arrived at Gousnee during a moment of great excitement. A few days previous, the inhabitants had succeeded in repelling one of these tehetas that are eternally taking place between the MussulmanArnouts of the Gousnee district, and the Slavonian Christians, the Koutschi, one of the most powerful among the confederated tribes of the free mountaineers of Tchernegora. The little town was filled with armed Arnouts, watching an encampment of their enemies, who were to be seen above them on the shelving sides of Mount Koutsch, lying around blazing fires, almost within gun-shot of the town. The scene was altogether novel to a traveller from the West, and reminded one of what bonnie Scotland might have been in days of yore, when the blue bonnets had determined on crossing the English border. There were the gallant Arnouts in their picturesque costume, the braided jacket and white kilt, each separate phis or clan commanded by its own hereditary chieftain, and bearing its own distinguishing flag; they were armed, as usual, with their peculiar long gun, pistols and handjar; and now seated around blazing fires in the outskirts of the town, they made the woods and mountains re-echo with their monotonous songs, as if daring their hereditary enemies to the encounter. Gousnee, a small town of about three hundred houses, and the residence of a Turkish Aien, is the most important place in this part of the country; the whole of the inhabitants are Mussulman-Arnouts, placed here as a military colony to defend the frontier against the incursions of the mountaineers of Tchernegora. We cannot but admire the heroic bravery, constancy of purpose, and devotedness of the Christian tribes of Albania and Servia, who, on the destruction of all that was dear to a high-minded, patriotic people—their altars and fatherland, found a secure retreat in the fastnesses of their native mountains,
and continued for centuries to maintain their wild independence, in spite of every effort of the Ottoman Porte, even in its best days, to subdue them; and now that the Turkish Government has commenced the difficult task of reforming the abuses of centuries, this very circumstance tends to retard the progress of improvement, and prevents the tranquillization of this important portion of the Turkish empire. At the same time it affords a constant pretext for Austria and Russia, under the plea of religious obligation, to interfere with the internal administration of the country. The free tribes of Upper Albania, the Miriditi, Malasori and Klementi, who inhabit the adjoining mountains of this singular country, profess the Latin ritual, rely on Austria, as a Roman Catholic power, for protection. On the other hand their neighbours, the Tchernegori, who adhere to the Greek form of worship, look up to the Czar of Russia as their natural chief. The existence of so many independent tribes and petty states as we find in this part of European Turkey, has had the effect of demoralizing the inhabitants of the adjoining provinces, who in possession of mountains equally inaccessible, are gradually becoming independent; nearly the whole of the mountain district through which we passed, although nominally belonging to the Turkish Government,
and forming part of the pachaliks of Novi-bazar,