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Art. XII.-GREEK CONTROVERSY,
1.-A Vindication of the Conduct and Character of Henry
D. Sedgwick, against certain Charges made by the Honourable Jonas Platt; together with some Statements and Inquiries intended to elicit the reasons of the award in the case of the Greek Frigates. New
York, printed by J. Seymour. 1826. pp. 24. 2.-A Narrative of the material Facts in relation to the
building of the two Greek Frigates. By ALEXANDRE
CONTOSTAvlos. New York. 1826. pp. 88. 3.-Report of the Evidence and Reasons of the Award be
tween Johannis Orlandos and Andreas Luriottis, Greek Deputies, of the one part, and Le Roy, Bayard, & Co. and G. G. and S. Howland, of the other part. By the ARBITRATORS. New-York, printed by
W. E. Dean. 1826. pp. 72. 4.-An Exposition of the Conduct of the two Houses of G.
G. S. Howland, and Le Roy, Bayard, f. Company, in relation to the Frigates Liberator and Hope, in
answer to a Narrative on that subject by Mr. AlezI andre Contostavlos. By WILLIAM BAYARD. New
York, printed by Clayton & Van Norden. 1826. pp. 47. 5.-Refutation of the Reasons assigned by the Arbitrators
for their Award, in the case of the two Greek Fri}; gates. By HENRY D. SEDGWICK. New-York. 1826. 6.- An Examination of the Controversy between the Greek
Deputies and two mercantile Houses of New-York; tus together with a Review of the Publications on the
subject, by the Arbitrators, Messrs. Emmet and Og. owden, and Mr. William Bayard. By John DUER and 1 ROBERT SEDGWICK. New-York, printed by J. Sey
mour. 1826. pp. 179.
6. Anteces: By Iward, reasons es van NM BAPA Main
It is now but a few years since the general attention of the rest of Europe has been drawn to the condition of the Greeks; and it forms a curious subject of remark, that during this period, the feelings of the people seem ever to have been at variance with the feelings, or at least the conduct, of those who govern them. The former were marked by strong indignation and generous sympathy. The horde of barbarians, who in subjugating and destroying the diminished Eastern empire, had involved the classic and luckless territory of Greece in the same fate, were known to have always exercised over it a
ruthless and unsparing tyranny. But, while the Greeks appeared to submit—while their sorrows were sustained in silence, the public mind passed over with slightness and indifference, all that travellers occasionally related, and all that imagination might easily supply, of their internal misery. Succour was not tendered to those who did not complain. And thus for centuries, Greece, absorbed in the general denomination of Turkey in Europe, was almost forgotten by the other Christians of Europe. While her ancient language was still cherished, and taught in our schools as one of the elements of polite learning ; while her architecture was copied as the true standard of excellence--her statuary, and the smaller elegancies of dress and domestic decoration, adopted as models; and her historians and orators, her political and moral writers, her grave and lighter poets, continued the daily subjects of study, and sources of delight ; the land itself, with all its inhabitants, seemed to have disappeared.
The first interruption of this apathy and oblivion, the first act done to recall the recollection of their continued existence. was founded on a motive far remote from the abstract love of liberty, or the noble desire to relieve oppressed Christians from the intolerance of Mahometan bigotry. The ambitious and far-sighted Catherine of Russia had received from her predecessor, as the forced capital of vast dominions, a high northern port, under an inclement degree of latitude, excluded during a great part of the year from the possibility of maritime action. Strongly contrasted, in every point of view, was the situation of Constantinople. The advantages of that admirable local position, are well known. It is obvious, that by the possession of it, Russia might soon become one of the greatest maritime powers of Europe. With a view indirectly to promote this alluring object, Catherine cast her eyes upon Greece. To cherish the discontent, to excite the spirit of this unhappy people, and if possible to lead them into actual insurrection, would tend to weaken the power of Turkey. For these purposes, emissaries were employed to visit Greece, and some of the enthusiastic Greeks were tempted to hazard their safety, and in fact to abjure their own country, by repairing to the court of St. Petersburgh, in order to give information, and concert measures with the imperial ministers. But the emancipation of Greece, the restoration of its republican forms, were not the intention of Catherine. Greece was to be erected into a province, of which her grandson, Constantine, was to be the governor ; while the autocracy of the empire was to be feared and felt, after the conquest of Constantinople. Irregular
and ill-directed efforts seemed only to exasperate the Turks ; a force, which the Russians had made no preparations to combat, was poured into Greece; and after exciting hopes, and producing manifestations, which proved, at the same time, the impatient desire, and the utter inability, of resistance, the deluded Greeks were left to the redoubled severity of their masters. Contenting herself with the great naval victory at Tchesmè, and enabled to sail triumphantly among the islands of the Archipelago, a peace was basely made by Russia, on some territorial acquisitions for her own benefit, without a single stipulation in favour of those whom she had incited, deserted, and finally betrayed.
It was at one time supposed that the spirit of Catherine had descended upon Alexander, and some great preparations, made on the borders of Turkey, were believed to have in view the invasion of the metropolis of the Ottomans. There was, indeed, a considerable force collected to defend it, yet it was imagined that the troops which had expelled Napoleon from Russia, and had shared in his overthrow at home, could not fail to succeed over the irregular, and insubordinate crowds which constitute a Turkish army. But the policy of the Russian cabinet began to vacillate between two opposite motives. If the desire to enlarge the empire by an acquisition apparently certain, and incalculably valuable, impelled them to action; the dread of promoting principles of personal liberty, the admission among their own subjects of men so enlightened, so active, and so republican as the Greeks, or, if they were permitted to govern themselves, the toleration of democracy in any shape, so near their own possessions, operated with superior force on the other side, to paralyse every effort, directly or indirectly tending to assist them. If Constantinople were subdued, the Mohammedan standard in Greece would fall of course. Russia would then be obliged either to allow its independence, or to reduce it by her power. The latter course would excite the abhorrence and reprobation of the civilized world, and it might well be expected, that the very troops employed, would gradually imbibe those ideas of the rights of nature and of man, which would not only render them cold and reluctant in such a service, but on their return would affect that slavish obedience to which they had so long been habituated. There is no doubt that these considerations strongly contributed to induce Alexander to relinquish his original designs; and thus Greece may literally be said to have protected Turkey. When the Moldavians, under the guidance of Alexander Ypsilanti and Michael Sutzo, ventured to rise against the Turks in 1821, their pro
eeedings were disavowed by the Russians, and Ypsilanti, defeated and driven into the Austrian dominions, was seized and thrown into a dungeon.
Of the disposition of Nicholas in this respect, we are yet wholly ignorant; but as the successor to an absolute government, we may not uncharitably suppose, that he would wish to preserve unimpaired the power he has suddenly received, and to guard against the introduction of enlightening facts and liberal policy: in the commerce of opinions, in the interchange of communications between the free man and the slave, despotism always suffers. Force must therefore be employed to prevent intercourse—the mental faculties must be prohibited from their full exercise—the sanative cordon must be rendered as impassable to republican notions, as to the yellow fever or the plague, and peace and power must be preserved by silence and submission. Greece has now but little to expect from the friendly intervention of Russia. Nor can she, we fear, calculate on any desirable aid from the other principal potentates of Europe. Laying aside the abject and enfeebled throne of Spain, the disunited and inefficient states of Italy, the remoter kingdoms of the north, (Venice, and Genoa, and Rhodes, once so glorious and so competent, are now no more,) we confine our attention to Austria, Prussia, Great Britain and France, and a short view of their respective interests, and probable course of conduct, may not be uninteresting.
In the order in which they are named, Austria first commands our notice, as its proximity seems to render it more immediately concerned. Austria, in times not very distant, has felt the force of Turkey. When the grand vizier of Mahomet IV. approached her capital in 1683, she trembled for her own safety; and if she has since sustained little annoyance from the same quarter, it may be attributed more to a decline of power, than to a kindness of feeling. It would, therefore, be a matter of no small moment to her, to witness the extinction of a barbarous nation from which she has no good offices to expect; and which, if its faculties ever revive, may prove again a dangerous enemy. If this conquest were achieved by Russia, she would probably have less to fear. It certainly would be the interest of Russia to remain on friendly terms with her. But on the other hand, Austria, though less absolute in its form of government, is wedded to the seducing doctrine of the divine right of kings, and the illegitimacy of all forms of government proceeding from the people. To her the republics of Peloponnesus would be appalling Gorgons, and she would as willingly restore power and independence to Venice as to Athens.
VOL. I.-N0. 1.