Page images
PDF
EPUB

at the same time, came into Lepanto, and surrendered to the Turks, as they had

wandered about the neighbourhood, without being able to procure the means of

subsistence. Above three thousand pair of ears were cut off from the dead bodies, and sent to Constantinople; while about five thousand women and children were made slaves. Among the dead bodies, those of Papadiamantopulo, Eparch of Missolongi, (formerly Primate of Patrass,) and Meyer, Editor of the Greek Chronicle, were recognised. The loss of the Turks was trifling, as the Greeks scarcely offered any resistance, seeming only desirous of effecting their escape. Ibrahim Pasha gave up the town to be sacked by his Arab troops; and, upon the Albanians attempting to participate in the spoils, they were prevented doing so by the Arabs, who actually formed, and fired on the Albanians, by which about a hundred and fifty of the latter are said to have been killed, when the others desisted from their purpose, and were only permitted to enter the place three days afterwards. The truth is, that from the commencement of the Egyptian army's appearance before Missolongi, the greatest jealousy existed between the Albanians serving under the Seraskier, and the Arabs, which led to endless disputes; and, in consequence, the Egyptian camp was formed at the distance of about a mile from that of the Albanians. The latter were not permitted to take any part in the operations of the siege; but were employed at the outposts. Ibrahim Pasha had reason to believe, from the general conduct of the Albanians, as well as from secret information, that some of their Chiefs favoured the Greeks in Missolongi; and, after the fall of that place, such proved to be the case, as letters were found from Albanian Chiefs, addressed to some of the besieged, informing them of Ibrahim's operations. When it is recollected, that the former assaults on Missolongi were made by Albanian mercenaries, under the command of these same Chiefs, the principal cause of their failure has thus become sufficiently evident.

“Missolongi having been completely sacked by the Arabs, orders were given to collect the bodies of the slain; and which, having been placed in heaps, were burnt, in order to prevent infection.

“Upon o a review of the various attacks made upon Missolongi by the Turks, and the brave defences of its garrison, it is impossible not to render a tribute of admiration to the memory of those, who, compelled by famine to abandon its walls, have perished in the attempt. That such a dreadful catastrophe might have been avoided, there can be no doubt, as Ibrahim Pasha offered the

ison and inhabitants a capitulation on the same terms, as he granted at Ana

tolicó, which they knew he had fulfilled; and therefore, under the circumstances of the case, might have been honourably agreed to by them.

“Being naturally anxious to visit a place which had made so many brave defences, and had cost the Turks so much, I proceeded to Missolongi a few days since. I must confess, that its appearance caused me much surprise: its fortifications are scarcely worthy the name; and of fifteen guns mounted on the bastions, consisting of three to twelve-pounders, the greater part were unfit for service. There can be no doubt, that the natural position of Missolongi, it being built in a marsh below the level of the sea, was its greatest security, and formed its real defence; but I certainly am of opinion, that the Turks might have taken the place by storm any night, without losing half the number of men they did at Monasteri. The Greeks succeeded by boasting, in frightening the Turks into a belief, that the place was impregnable. The effect of the cannonading from the Turkish batteries, was not what might have been expected; and there really was no practicable breach made, although the walls might have been easily escaladed. The shells, however, caused great devastation, as, with the exception of about twenty houses, all was a heap of ruins. The house which had been inhabited by Lord Byron, escaped unhurt. An Albanian offered to point out to me the tomb of Marco Bozzaris; and, upon reaching the spot, I was shocked to find that the grave of this brave Chief had not been respected by his enemies, who had dug up his remains, as well as those of General Normann, in the expectation that they had been buried with their arms. The skeleton of Marco Bozzaris lay exposed to view; the skull was separated from the body, and my first wish was to rescue at least the former from further sacrilege; but, as I could not conceal

[ocr errors]
[graphic]

it on my person, and did not deem it prudent to carry it through the Turkish camp exposed to view, I was reluctantly compelled to abandon my design, and merely preserved some of the teeth.

“I then proceeded to the Egyptian camp outside the walls, and had an interview with Ibrahim Pasha. He is of middling stature, rather fat, marked with the small-pox, has a reddish beard, and is on the whole not a goodlooking man: he evidently has an excellent opinion of himself, the natural consequence of being surrounded by flatterers and slaves. He is, however, an active man compared with other Turks, and certainly manages, one way or other, to carry his plans into effect. While marching from place to place in the Morea, his manner of living was not at all splendid or luxurious; but at Missolongi he lived in great state. His tent was a most magnificent one, and combined elegance with comfort. It covered a large extent of ground, and was divided into several apartments. The outside was composed of green canvass, rendered impervious to the weather, by a second covering ; the inside was completely lined with pieces of different coloured silk. The tents of the officers were green; those of the men, white. A tent was allotted to every twelve men, and these were placed in regular rows. Ovens were built outside of each tent, which served for cooking the rations, and baking the bread.”

“October 18th, 1827.

“In the beginning of 1827, General Church, and Lord Cochrane, arrived in Greece, and were soon afterwards named Military and Naval Commanders-inChief. His Lordship quitted the schooner, in which he had been previously cruising in the Mediterranean, and assumed the command of the American ship, which had been named by the Greeks, the Hellas frigate. The greatest part of the American crew, which navigated the vessel to Greece, are stated to have quitted her soon afterwards, and were replaced by Greeks, under the immediate direction of Admiral Miaulis, who embarked on board at the request of Lord Cochrane : his Lordship had also in his pay some English officers and seamen. “A few Greek vessels having been equipped, and a land force collected, it was determined to attempt the relief of the Acropolis of Athens, and the expedition sailed about the end of March for the Piraeus. An army had been collected by the Greeks in the vicinity of Athens, represented as the largest force they had ever yet brought together in the field: with this force, communications were opened, and offensive operations commenced. A small fort, near the Piræus, ca. pitulated on the 28th April, honourable terms having been granted; but no sooner were the garrison, of three hundred men, in the power of the Greeks, than they were shamefully butchered. This infamous act having been witnessed by Lord Cochrane, he thought it expedient to publish an address to the Greek Marine, disclaiming all participation in the outrage, which he designates “as the most frightful he ever beheld.” Shortly after this occurrence, the combined Greek forces, under the orders of Church and Cochrane, made a general attack on the Turks besieging Athens; but in a few hours were completely defeated, with considerable loss, and, it is said, the two commanders with difficulty saved their lives, by flying to the ships. Lord Cochrane then sailed for Patrass, with the frigate and steam vessel; and when off Cape Papa, within sight of Zante, had an action with two Turkish corvettes, which lasted several hours; but strange as it may appear, his Lordship was here again unsuccessful, as both the corvettes escaped, and subsequently reached Alexandria in safety. “After this failure, Lord Cochrane, appears to have returned to Napoli, and being joined by about twenty Greek vessels, decided on attempting the destruction of the Viceroy's fleet, then fitting out at Alexandria. Thither the expedition sailed, and having arrived off the port, on the 16th June, hoisted Austrian colours; but since the former similar attempt made by the Greeks, the Viceroy had adopted strict precautions, and constantly kept a vessel of war cruising outside the harbour. The Egyptian cruiser recognised the Greek vessels at once, and giving the alarm by firing guns, attempted to make the port; failing in do. ing so, she was run on shore. A fire-ship was sent to burn her, without success: a second succeeded, and she was destroyed. By this time the alarm on shore

Vol. III.-No. 5.

had become general. Mehemet Ali immediately proceeded to the harbour, and by his presence and exertions got twenty-four vessels out to sea, which was the exact number of the Greek force. These, however, did not remain to fight, and were chased by the Egyptian fleet as far as Rhodes, when the pursuit was abandoned, the latter returning to Alexandria, after being joined by the two corvettes attacked by Lord Cochrane off Cape Papa. These repeated failures, although no doubt principally caused by Lord Cochrane's having Greeks under his orders, and brave and determined enemies to deal with, appear to have made the Greeks dissatisfied with their two English Commanders-in-Chief, and (as it is said) Miaulis quitted the Hellas, and again assumed the command of his own brig. On the 2d of August, the Greek frigate and a brig appeared off Zante, steering for the Bay of Patrass, where two Turkish vessels, a corvette and schooner, then lay. During that day a heavy firing was heard, and the next the frigate was seen towing the corvette, which . captured, and it is believed the schooner also. The Ionians are described as having given way to the most extravagant joy on occasion of this first success of Lord Cochrane, although the great disparity in size and weight of metal could hardly leave a doubt of the result. The last advices received, state that the steam vessel had been laid up, as her engines had become unserviceable, and the Greeks had no means of repairing them. #. Having thus stated, as far as is within my knowledge, the proceedings of the Greek navy since the chief command was assumed by Lord Cochrane, I will now roceed to relate what has taken place on shore. “It has been already stated, that after the fall of Missolongi, Ibrahim Pasha returned with his army to the Morea. . Upwards of eighteen months have elapsed since that event, during which period Ibrahim has not struck a single blow. It is true, however, that he has marched and counter-marched in all directions without any opposition; that he has kept up the communications with the for. tresses in his possession; that several of the Capitani have submitted and received his letters of pardon; and also that the Greek districts of Gastouni, Patrass, and Vostizza, as far inland as Calavrita, have returned to their former allegiance. For some months past, Greeks, wearing their arms, have resumed their commercial intercourse with the Turks at Patrass, and they have this year been permitted to cultivate their valuable currant vineyards at Vostizza, the Egyptian soldiery being quartered in the district, “The only fortresses remaining in the possession of the Greeks are Napoli di Romania, Corinth, and Napoli di Malvasia. The possession of the latter is of little importance to either party, but Ibrahim appears to be fully aware of the imrobability of obtaining possession of the others, except by bribery. From what É. recently transpired, there can be little doubt of his having very nearly possessed himself of Napoli di Romania by such means. “The Seraskier invested Athens in June, 1826; the town was occupied by his Albanians, while the Acropolis, in the centre of it, was defended by the Greeks. “The fighting was confined to occasional skirmishes, as the Seraskier appears from the first to have determined to starve the garrison into a surrender. At one time, when at the greatest extremity, they were relieved in a very gallant manner by Colonel Fabvier, who threw some provisions into the Acropolis, and entered it with a few men. After the failure of the second attempt to relieve the place by General Church and Lord Cochrane, the garrison capitulated, on condition of being permitted to retire. “The Acropolis was taken E. of by the Seraskier in June 1827, the conditions of the capitulation being respected. “In Roumelia, Albania, Epirus, &c. tranquillity has been preserved by the Turks up to the present time, nor have the Greeks resumed the offensive, or otfered the least resistance in that quarter since the fall of Missolongi. “Thus, then, it appears that at the present moment the Insurgents are reduced to the possession of three fortresses in Greece, and that, although the differ. ent districts are still occupied by their inhabitants, (some having even submitted) the whole of Continental Greece, with the exception of the district of Maina, is in the hands of the Ottomans. “The Hydriots and Spezziots have retired to their islands, without much probability of their again fitting out fleets, as the small proportion of the two English Loans which ever reached Greece, have long since disappeared, and it is well known that from the very first of the struggle, those islanders would never stir without being paid for their services in advance. From the same cause, no army, or military force, has ever been kept together for any length of time, and the motorious chief, Colocotroni, who really had more influence over the Greeks than any other commander, seems to have been a mere passive spectator of events during the last twelve months. “On the other hand, the resources of the Grand Signior and of the Viceroy of Egypt, have enabled them constantly to send fresh armaments to Greece; and so late as the 9th of September last, a large fleet reached Navarin from Alexandria, where reinforcements of troops, and supplies of provisions, ammunition, and money, were safely landed. It cannot therefore be reasonably doubted, that, ere long, the Insurgent force remaining in arms would have been compelled to submit, and to make the best terms they could with the Porte ; for it would be preposterous to suppose that Lord Cochrane, with a . vessel, and without funds, should make head against the combined Ottoman forces.”

[graphic]

It is unnecessary to discuss the opinions of Mr. Green, on the probable issue of the Greek Revolution. Events which have occurred since the publication of his work, have given a new face to the contest, and placed its decision perhaps in other hands. The high contracting powers seem equally resolved to coerce both parties, as appears by a letter, addressed to the Permanent Committee of the legislative corps of Greece, the style of which is sufficiently significant. It explains the nature and objects of the allies:— “We will not,” say these curious pacificators, -“we will not suffer any expe. dition, any army, any blockade, to be made by the Greeks, beyond the limits of from Volo to Lepanto, including Salamina, Egina, Hydra, and Spezzia. “We will not suffer the Greeks to incite insurrection at Scio or in Albania, thereby exposing the population to be massacred by the Turks, in retaliation. “We will consider as void, papers given to cruisers, found beyond the prescribed limits; and the ships of war of the allied powers will have orders to arrest them, wherever they may be found. “There remains for you no pretext. The armistice by sea exists on the part of the Turks, de facto. Their fleet exists no more. Take care of your's; for we will also destroy it, if need be, to put a stop to a system of robbery on the high seas, which would end in your exclusion from the law of nations. . “As the present provisional government is as weak as it is immoral, we address these final and irrevocable resolutions to the Legislative Body.” It is scarcely necessary to observe, that the foregoing is not the language of allies or defenders, but of masters. Indeed, we have seen nothing in all the manifestos, declarations, and comments, connected with the affairs of Greece, which affords so clear an insight into the intentions and conduct of the allied powers. The Greeks are prohibited from all offensive operations against the Turks, and restricted, in their nautical expeditions, within certain limits. The war is suspended by an “armistice de facto” by sea, while it rages de facto by land. In short, it would seem, that nothing could exceed the apparent inconsistencies of the allied interference, or the dictatorial language used o the people, in whose behalf they profess to have interered.

* See Letter signed by the three Admirals, dated Navarin, October 24th 1827.

ART. X.

1.—Mémoires .7necdotiques sur L’Intérieur Du Palais, et sur quelques événemens de L’Empire depuis 1805 jusqu'au Mai 1814; pour servir a l'histoire de Napoléon, par L. F. J. DE BAussET, Ancien Préfet du Palais Impérial. 2 Vols. 8vo. Paris: 1827. Anecdotical Memoirs of the Interior of the Palace, and of some public events of the Imperial Reign, from 1805 to the 1st May 1814; to serve as a contribution to the History of Napoleon : by L. F. J. DE BAUsset, former Prefect of the Imperial Palace. 2.—Histoire Générale de Napoléon Bonaparte, de sa vie privée et publique, &c. par l'auteur des Mémoires sur Le Consulat. Paris: 1827. General History of Napoleon Bonaparte, of his public and private life, &c. by the ..?uthor of the Memoirs of the Consulate. Paris: iS27.

CURIosity, with regard to the history and character of Napoleon Bonaparte, has been more lively and general, and of longer continuance among his contemporaries, than it ever was, in any age, in relation to any other human being: and in no other instance has that feeling been supplied with so much aliment. Besides the mass of details prepared at St. Helena, and furnished chiefly by himself, an incalculable amount and variety of information are widely spread in the books of tourists, annalists, military followers, and regular biographers. He engaged the attention of the world, and occupied the pens and tongues of politicians and moralists, in a degree absolutely unexampled, and not at all likely to be equalled for a long period to come. Yet considerably more is known of his public, external career and conduct, than of his domestic life, even after he became the supreme ruler of France, with a host of personal attendants and inmate observers. Were it not for this consideration, and that enduring, and, indeed, indefatigable curiosity to which we have adverted, we should hardly venture to introduce a new work concerning him to our readers, when they have, perhaps all, in their hands, or fresh in their memories,<-the comprehensive and attractive

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »