« PreviousContinue »
ever made the alleged proposal to Mavrocordato, requires to be authenticated. Fenton is dead, and, if living, his testimony would be worthless; and if Jarvis could be the negotiator in such an affair, he was capable of being its inventor. That the proposal was accepted, requires also to be proved. After all, Ulysses was a traitor, a dangerous enemy to the country; and if Mavrocordato did listen to any project of the kind, he might be actuated by a regard to the public interests. But it is incredible that he should hare been the person to make the proposal to an Englishman, the last agent that he must have thought of employing as an assassin. The story in every point of view reflects so much more dishonour on the English name, than it can do on the object of Mr. Humphreys's spleen and invective, that he would have acted wisely in saying nothing on the subject till he had the means of clearing up the mystery: He tells us, indeed, that there is not a mountain village in all • Greece where the name of an Englishman does not command
peculiar deference and attention. But Fenton and the young Englishman are not, we fear, the only miserable specimens which they have had of our countrymen. Another young Englishman, Dr. Millingen, who had established a dispensary at Missolunghi, has joined the munificent Pasha ;' and Mr. Humphreys might possibly have been almost tempted to follow the example, had he not subjected himself to imprisonment on the frivolous pretext of having left the camp without leave.' By bis own shewing, if this was only the pretext, there were other reasons for the conduct of the Government. He had resolved to quit the disgusting service,' as soon as the campaign was over ; but, this circumstance having terminated his career, he availed himself of an opportunity of making his escape, leaving behind him an insulting letter to Mavrocordato, whom he represents as capable of any villany. It is obseryable, that Mr. Humphreys confesses to bave been with Ulysses' before he joined the Turks, and he was imprisoned because he came for a surgeon for Trelawney. Acquitting him of any traitorous intention, it was perfectly natural that his conduct should appear equivocal to the Greek Government; and certainly they are as well rid of such friends.
This gentleman's abuse of Mavrocordato strongly reminds us of a publication which appeared at a time when the independence of Venezuela was regarded as still more hopeless a consummation, than the emancipation of Greece can be thought at the present moment. There was a certain Colonel Hippisley, who embarked for South America, as Mr. Humphreys appears to have gone to Greece, a young soldier, burning with military ardour and zeal in the cause of liberty; but he
had not been long among his new friends before he quarrelled with their general, whom he found out to be a tyrant, a poltroon, a liar, and in every point of view a despicable and incompetent man, in whose hands, he predicted, the cause of freedom would be utterly ruined. That man was Bolivar!
Mr. Blaquiere is as warm and earnest in his praises of Mayrocordato as Mr. Emerson is cold and contemptuous, and Mr. Humphreys malignant. In his first volume, he bears repeated testimony to his firmness, resolution, and perseverance during a period peculiarly arduous and critical, and to him all attempts at civil organization are to be ascribed. In his Narrative of a Second Visit, he thus adverts to the calumnies cast upon his illustrious Friend.'
• The difficulties with which the Prince has had to contend, were, in fact, such as would have weighed down the stoutest heart; yet, it would seem that privations and persecutions have only tended to give additional vigour to his mind. For, if those who have so unworthily endeavoured to depreciate his character in Greece and England, only reflected on the manner in which he has conducted the affairs of Western Greece without money or resources, and hourly assailed by a clamorous soldiery totally impatient of control, nothing but a de termination to censure without cause, or the envy to which public virtue is exposed, would surely have prompted their unmerited slanders.
• It will hardly be credited, that individuals who have been noto. rious for the most cold-blooded cruelties and contempt of law, should have become objects of enthusiastic praise, and been even pointed out as the only men capable of saving Greece. No wonder that those who could thus deceive themselves, have represented Prince Mavrocordato as an intriguing Fanariot. His letters to Colonel Stanhope and myself will be the best reply to those who have thus attempted to vilify his name.' pp. 154.6.'
Col. Stanhope uniformly speaks of Mavrocordato in the highest terms.' The Count Capo d'Istria, he tells us, considers him as “a man of great probity and finesse, qualities rarely
found together, but very essential in his situation. In another letter he says: The Hydriots and Spezziots are much "attached to Mavrocordato. In short, the whole nation seems • to look
to him as their friend.' In Letter XIII. describing an interview with the same illustrious individual, he says:
• Mavrocordato is a favourite with the islands, the people of Western Greece, and the legislative body. I found him good-natured, clever, accommodating, and disposed to do good. He has rather an ingenious than a profound mind. He seems at all times disposed to concede, and to advance every good measure, and I consider it as a great advantage for Greece that he is now in power at Missolonghi.'
Again, in Letter xxxvIII.
• Rumour says that Colocotroni is in a rage and preparing to attack the authorities at Cranidi. His partizans accuse Mavrocordato of being in the interest of England, and declare that he and we are its satellites.'
Lastly, Mr. Waddington, who may be considered as upon the whole the most impartial and best informed witness of all, thus speaks of the Prince' and his sworn enemy.
• Prince Mavrocordato took refuge in Hydra after his brutal expulsion from the Morea by Colocotroni. Every one speaks well of him, and there are some who profess to consider him as the only hope of Greece. Of the organization and consolidation of Greece, it is, I fear, but too true, that our hopes do mainly repose on him.' ......... Two causes are mentioned as having contributed to diminish his influence. The first was, his premature attack on the power of the Capitani in the person of Odysseus, which that artful partizan had the address to avert; and the second was, his assumption of the military character and departure for Missolonghi. His absence from the Morea enabled Negris and others of his own party to intrigue against him with success.'
From these concurrent testimonies, it is, we think, pretty clear, that if Mavrocordato escapes the ataghans of his rivals, he must be eventually, if not the sovereign, the minister,-if not the Victoria or Bolivar, the Alaman of Greece. His more immediate rival is said to be Demetrius Ipsilanti, who, in 1823, was living at Tripolizza in perfect privacy. 'I have had
some friendly communication with him,' says Mr. Waddington, 6 and believe him to be an honest, well-meaning, disinterested patriot; but he possesses, unhappily, neither wealth, nor talents, nor mere physical power sufficient to qualify him for any eminent situation, civil or military; and the magic of his name is now very nearly passed away. Besides which, he has a violent personal jealousy of Mavrocordato, which will prevent him, I fear, from any cordial co-operation with a person whose energies are proved by every collision to be so far superior to his own. It is, possibly, from this very discreditable motive, that he allows himself to be made the occasional tool of the military party. It should be mentioned, however, that this jealousy did not prevent him from making great exertions to relieve Missolonghi, when defended by his rival.'
Mr. Humphreys thus speaks of this personage.
• Prince Demetrius Ipsilanti was leading a retired life, a spectator of the dissentions around him, which he had not the power to quell. Ipsilanti, though considered deficient in energy, possesses tried personal courage, great judgement and discrimination of character, a
sincere patriotism, disinterestedness and integrity little common in Greece; and, though by descent a Fanariot, is not addicted to intrigue. His predilections appear Russian, in which country he was brought up; but I believe, no Greek has the welfare of his country more sincerely at heart. His shyness is much to his disadvantage in his intercourse rith strangers ; but, to his inti es, he shews an amiable character; and I have observed, the officers and dependents of his suite have never left him in his retirement.'
Count Pecchio says:
• Among those from whom we received politeness in Tripolizza, I must not forget Prince Demetrius Ipsilanti, who was as courteous to us as he is to all the travellers who visit him. He is bald, short in stature, and of a slight form ; but, if nature has not gifted him with a military presence, I was assured that he had always shewn himself intrepid in war. He adopts the European habits, and speaks French well. He once served in Russia in the rank of a major, and still speaks of Russia with some sympathy. After having fought, in the first years of the revolution, for the liberty of his country, for the last two years he has been living remote from public affairs at Tripolizza. On quitting the table, which was covered with Turkish viands, some one whispered to me: “ The prince has a Turkish palate, a Russian head, and a Greek heart.'
Not only has Demetrius Ipsilanti lost, by his want of energy, the confidence of all parties, but even his brother Alexander, we are told, is considered as an enthusiast;' and Capo d' Istria himself, who was once thought of as most worthy of being chosen monarch, lies under the disqualification of being a foreigner and a Russian. “No Greek,' Mr. Waddington says, • can ever be generally popular in Greece, and the sceptre
seems destined, therefore, to the hand of no native.' In fact, a considerable proportion of the nation now rest their only hopes of organization and repose on the choice of a foreign king. Of this disposition, the French General Roche availed himself for the purpose of forming a party in favour of a plan, which, on the fall of Navarino, he at length openly laid before the Government. This was, to call the second son of the Duke of Orleans to the throne of Greece, in which event, he promised the assistance of 12,000 disciplined French troops. The proposal was rejected, chiefly through the strong opposition of the Hydriots Mavrocordato and Tricoupi, who • declared that, in case any protection or interference should • be found requisite, the most efficient power to apply to, was * Great Britain' The strangest part of this story is, that the French Royalist found a coadjutor in a young American of the name of Washington.
• Disappointed by the failure of his intrigues, and irritated by the open declarations of all parties in favour of England, General Roche drew up a protest, which was likewise signed by Mr. Washington, a young American officer who had arrived in Greece in June, furnished with credentials from the American Greek Committee at Boston. This production set forth, as usual, the acts of kindness and good will of the French nation and the Americans towards the struggling Greeks ; and strongly censured the conduct of those members of the Legislature and leaders of the people who wished for the interference of Great Britain : terming it an insult to both the Americans and the French, that so little confidence should be placed in their professions of good will and offers of mediation and assistance in their cause. This paper was, of course, treated with its merited contempt by the Government and all parties; and Mr. Washington, the soi-disant representative of America in this affair, shortly after left Greece under rather awkward circumstances.'
To the French party, Mavrocordato is evidently an object of peculiar jealousy and aversion, and we cannot help suspecting that Mr. Humphreys has received some of his information through French channels. The story at page 331 is evidently of this manufacture. We should not have imagined that Mayrocordato would have spoken any thing but Greek to the Bey of Maina; but at p. 269, he is stated to have said in French to the Bey : Vous serez le vaisseau, et moi, je serais le • timon.' Defeated at Constantinople, and disappointed in their intrigues in Greece, the last hope of the French as regards an ascendancy in the Mediterranean, seems to rest on an Egyptian alliance. Ibrahim Pasha is attended by six or eight Prank officers. A renegado Frenchman, Major Séve, is his principal adviser, who, having embraced the Moslem creed, has now assumed the name of Soliman Bey. Mr. Humphreys pleads, that the unfortunate soldiers of fortune who have gone over to the Pasha, were left but the choice of starvation or Mahomet Ali's service; and he represents the Greek Government as shewing the greatest aversion to foreigners. It is quite clear, however, that all foreigners are not viewed in the same light, nor is the sentiment common to all the members of the Greek Government. The jealousy of foreigners has shewn itself chiefly on the part of the Capitani. Nor is this to be wondered at, when the Moreots and Roumeliots are still more jealous of each other. Xavier Mina had to encounter the same jealousy of foreigners when he engaged in the Mexican Revolution. The British had the same difficulty to contend with in Spain. This feeling, more especially on the part of irregular, undisciplined troops, is perfectly natural. Under such circumstances it is difficult for a foreigner, unless he possess plenty of money, and can speak the language fluently, to be