- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
156

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
156
to your people, and as the answer to your foolish
prayer tell them all you have seen and heard."
What is probable is that in a scene such as this
it is also the fanatical believer who takes part by
the side of the mime ; but wc can easily understand
that a masterly and dramatically planned perform
ance such as this made a deep impression on the
superstitious and credulous men of the mountains.
At this time Tsar Nicholas I was sitting in very
ill humour in his palace in St. Petersburg, chafing
angrily at the way things were going on in the
Caucasus, and at the fact that this insolent bandit
Shamyl was still quite free and able to oppose his,
the all-powerful autocrat’s, will. On the iBth of
December, 1843, therefore, he gave his new com
mander-in-chief on this front, General Neidhardt,
orders to force his way into the mountains and
"strike at and scatter all ShamyPs hordes, destroy
all his military works, take possession of all the
most important points, and fortify those which it
might seem essential to hold". So that all this
might be carried out he gave orders for important
additions to the strength of the anny, more than
doubling it. The plan was to be carried through
unchanged, and to be brought to its completion
by the end of 1844.
On the Russian side the greatest exertions were
made with these increased numbers; but although
their various attacks were partly successful, on the
whole they failed, and yielded no lasting results;
at the end of the year ShamyPs position and
influence were just as strong.

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