On the 19th of July, being near the frontiers of Mingrelia, we chanced to meet with Pangratius, king of Georgia, in the midst of a forest surrounded by mountains, and went to pay our respects to him, when he invited us to dinner. We had to sit on the ground, having a skin spread before us instead of a table-cloth, and were served with roasted meat and fowls, very ill dressed; but, by way of making amends, they frequently presented us with large goblets of wine, as they seem to place all dignity and merit in deep drinking. For this reason it is their custom, at the conclusion of their meals, to challenge one another to drink, and he who empties the greatest number of goblets, is held in highest esteem. As the Turks drink no wine, their presence was some restraint that day on their usual bacchanalian contests, and as we neither could nor would compete with them, we were held in great contempt. The king was about forty years old, and of large make, with a strong resemblance to the Tartar countenance. We parted from the king of Georgia next day, and on the 22d of July, on the confines of Mingrelia, we fell in with a Georgian commander at the head of some troops, both cavalry and infantry who was posted in this place to prevent injury from the disorders that had broke out in Mingrelia, in consequence of the death of Bendian, prince of that country. These people stopped, and frightened us with, many cruel menaces; but at length, after being robbed of two quivers full of arrows, and having to gratify them with some money, we escaped from them, and made the best of our way to a distance. Leaving the public road, we struck off into a thick wood, where we passed the night in prodigious apprehension.
On the following day, while approaching the city of Cotati, we met some peasants in a narrow pass, who prevented us for some time from going forwards, and even threatened to put us to death. After much altercation, and many threats, they seized three horses belonging to the Turks, which were with great difficulty redeemed for twenty ducats. On the evening we reached Cutais, which is a royal fortress. While passing a bridge over a river, early in the morning of the 24th of July, we were again attacked