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the most part to the Greek ritual, whole districts, with their forts and villages, have been added to the territories of the Vladika. Here, where the mountains are sufficiently elevated to form something like a frontier, the inhabitants, Arnout and Tchernegori, pursue an almost incessant predatory warfare on the property of each other; an armistice, however, is occasionally agreed upon between the belligerents, but as the slightest provocation is sufficient to cause a renewal of hostilities, they live in continued apprehension of a visit from each other. Perhaps the most interesting trait in the character of these people, whether Arnout or Slavonian, so opposed to each other in creed and race, is their wellknown chivalry. For instance, should a stranger be travelling in the country, who is not a party to their quarrels, hostilities are suspended till he is beyond the reach of their bullets. They behave with equal courtesy to a woman, whether Christian or Mahometan, who may pass through the ranks of either party without any fear of molestation; nay, so great is the influence of the fair sex over these fierce warriors, that a woman can at any time cause a suspension of hostilities, when the cause of dispute is left to the arrangement of the elders.
The importance of Tchernegora as a military position– Its natural defences—Historical sketch of Tchermegora– Extraordinary bravery of the mountaineers—Their wars with the Turks—How they recovered their independence —The Vladika Petrovich—Perfidy of the Pacha of Scutari —Massacre of the Turks—Peter the Great of Russia—His alliance with Tchernegora—Victories of the Tchernegori over Marshal Marmont and the French—Their wars with the Austrians—Form of government in Tchernegora—
Religion, customs and manners of the people.
THE importance of Tchernegora is entirely referrible to its mountain character, and the ill-judged suicidal policy of the Ottoman Porte, in oppressing and persecuting its Christian subjects for so many centuries (to whom the impregnable fastnesses of this mountain fortress have proved a secure asylum), has been the means of adding to the enemies of
Mussulman rule. Approach this singular district from whatever direction, and you see before you a calcareous wall of rock, its various peaks towering to a height in some places of from six to eight thousand feet, in others from four thousand and upwards. A chain of inferior altitude descends into the interior, which divide and subdivide the country in various directions; even the rivers as they flow from the mountains take a circuitous course, offering at every angle a succession of projecting crags, Nature's own formidable bulwark of defence. In fact, so complete are the natural fortifications of Tchernegora, that there is no communication between it and the adjoining provinces except from the Lake of Scutari, and from Novi-bazar, by crossing the lesser heights of Mount Jelieb and the Komm, and then following the tortuous windings of the Moratscha ; and this, by a footpath so precipitous and difficult to traverse, that all merchandize is obliged to be transported on the backs of men and women. This mountain district is more generally known under the Italian name, Montenegro. The Osmanli call it Kara-dagh ; the Albanians, Mail Zéze; and the inhabitants by its Slavonian name, Tchernegora (black mountains), which we have adopted throughout this work. Indeed, wherever it has been practicable, we have always given those names of rivers, mountains, towns and districts, which we found in general use among the inhabitants, rather than follow those given by the Turks in their own language, and which proves a fruitful source of embarrassment and confusion to the traveller. The primitive history of Tchernegora commences with its first chief, Strascimir, grandson of Lazar, the Kral of Servia, who fell in battle against Sultan Amurath on the fatal field of Cossova. Strascimir, who obtained the soubriquet of Tchernoi (black), on account of his dark hair and complexion, having escaped the sword of the Turks, rallied around him several powerful chiefs of his nation, established himself in the fastnesses of these mountains, and became so formidable to the Osmanli, and popular among his followers, as to bequeath his name to a district so justly celebrated in the subsequent wars between the Turks and the Servian tribes; this Strascimir—or, as he is better known in history, under the name of the Black Prince, Tchernoievich— also distinguished himself as one of the most valiant' among the numerous chieftains of Servia and Albania, that followed the fortunes of the hero Scanderbeg. Ivan Tchermoievich, the son of Strascimir, according to the piesmas of the bards of Tchernegora, is, in reality, the hero of the country; they still sing his numerous victories over the Turks, with a freshness
One of the finest warlike songs of these people celebrates the victory of Ivan, in conjunction with his allies the Venetians, under Antonio Loredano, when the Osmanli, commanded by their most warlike Sultan, Mahomet II., were completely beaten. But his good fortune was of short duration. The Turkish forces, now combined with the renegades of Bosnia and Albania, continued to advance on every side, till the hero, deserted by all his allies, after disputing the possession of pass after pass, and mountain after mountain, was obliged to hold his little court at Cetinie, a position impregnable by nature. Here he built a village, a church and a fortress, which has continued from that time down to the present day to be the capital of Tchernegora; and here, surrounded by his warriors, he made the famous decree which still exists among this warlike people, and condemns the man who deserts his colours to be driven from the society of men, assume the dress of a woman, and follow the feminine occupation of household drudgery, during the remainder of his life. In process of time dissensions arose among the descendants of the hero Ivan. Macksim, his only son, quarrelled with his cousin Milosch, and slew him in a duel; Ivan, the brother of the deceased, not
finding himself sufficiently powerful to avenge his