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[64] are handsome and well built. It presents the appearance of a flourishing place, there being many small vessels in the Niemen, and immense trains of carts constantly arviving here from the interior of Russia. They bring down tallow, hemp, &c., and carry back cotton, groceries, &c. As the Niemen empties in Prussian territory, a glance at the map will show you the importance of this place whilst the Russian ports are blockaded. The Niemen is here two hundred and twenty yards wide,--a bold and rapid stream, crossed by a raft-bridge. It was near and at this place that the great mass of the French army crossed the Niemen in June, 1812; and it was at the gate of this same town that in the retreat Marshal Ney fought so desperately, forming in his own person the rear-guard of the Grand Army. Of course I went to the spot during the short time we remained here. You now enter the great forests of Russia. As far as Vilkomir there is but little cultivation, the country being mostly covered by pine and beech forests. I should have mentioned that in the public square of Kouno there is a huge iron monument, bearing in Russian an inscription to the effect that out of seven hundred thousand French who crossed the Niemen in June, 1812, but seventy thousand recrossed in December. As far as Dunaburg (on the river Duna, or, as some of the maps have it, Dwina) the country is quite rolling,--almost broken; very different from the idea I had formed of it. You pass through a number of small towns and villages.

Dunaburg appears to be a small town, presenting nothing of peculiar interest. There are some defensive works here.

Before reaching Dunaburg, we passed through one town (a small one, perhaps hardly deserving the name of more than a village), called Novo Alexandrowsky, which is remarkably pretty. It is situated on the high banks of a large and handsome lake broken by little green islets. The houses and people were remarkably good-looking.

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