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Abercromby, John / A trip through the eastern Caucasus

A trip through the eastern Caucasus: chapter I: from Tiflis to Nukha,   pp. [1]-29

Page 16

of spirits, and the making of ready-made clothes. In 
the villages situated on the plain quantities of silk- 
worms are reared. The cocoons are bought up by 
agents who make a round of the villages for that 
purpose, and at Nukha they are spun into silk. 
Though I did not visit any of the factories, I was 
informed the machinery was all of the best kind, and 
came from France. The superior sort of spirits is 
distilled from grapes, the inferior quality from white 
mulberries. As there was a distillery of this latter 
sort within the precincts of the house where I lodged, 
at the invitation of its Armenian owner I paid it a 
visit. It was situated in the corner of a large white 
mulberry orchard. The fruit is gathered in this way. 
A large sheet is spread under each tree in succession, 
which is then well shaken by men who climb up it 
for that purpose. The ripe berries are poured into 
big baskets, and eventually into the distilling ap- 
paratus, the machinery of which came from England. 
The ripe berries are very sweet and not unpleasant 
to eat, but the distilled berry produces a spirit with 
a rather disagreeable flavour.   However, it finds a 
good sale in the town, and is even sent as far as 
The   day after our arrival our passports were 
inspected by the head of the police, and it was found 
that David's papers were informal. His pass was 
not up to date. David declared he was of noble 
family, and was exempt from the ordinary pass 
regulations. But all his protestations were overruled. 
He could not be allowed to go any further, but must 

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