ePub 版





distinguished among the supporters of the him to be an enemy to the press, although
Legislative Body and of the new National he dared not openly to avow it. His Lord-
Government. The following is a translationship then said that he had not made up his
of Lord Byron's answer to his letter.” mind about the liberty of the press in Greece,

but that he thought the experiment worth

That between two men, both eager in the “ Dear Friend,

service of one common cause, there should “ The sight of your handwriting gave arise a difference of opinion as to the means me the greatest pleasure. Greece has ever of serving it, is but a natural result of the been for me, as it must be for all men of any varieties of human judgment, and detracts feeling or education, the promised land of nothing from the zeal or sincerity of either. valour, of the arts, and of liberty ; nor did But by those who do not suffer themselves the time I passed in my youth in travelling to be carried away by a theory, it will be among her ruins at all chill my affection for conceded, I think, that the scruples professed the birthplace of heroes. In addition to this, by Lord Byron, with respect to the expe I am bound to yourself by ties of friendship dience or safety of introducing what is called and gratitude for the hospitality which I ex- Free Press into a country so little advanced perienced from you during my stay in that in civilisation as Greece, were founded on country, of which you are now become one just views of human nature and practical of the first defenders and ornaments. To good sense.

To endeavour to force upon a see myself serving, by your side and under state of society, so unprepared for them, your eyes, in the cause of Greece, will be to such full-grown institutions ; to think of me one of the happiest events of my life. In engrafting, at once, on an ignorant people the mean time, with the hope of our again the fruits of long knowledge and cultivation, meeting,

-of importing among them, ready made, “ I am, as ever, &c.” those advantages and blessings which no

nation ever attained but by its own working Among the less serious embarrassments of out, nor ever was fitted to enjoy but by his position at this period, may be mentioned having first struggled for them; to harbour the struggle maintained against him by his even a dream of the success of such an excolleague, Colonel Stanhope, — with a de- periment, implies a sanguineness almost ingree of conscientious perseverance which, credible, and such as, though, in the present even while thwarted by it, he could not but instance, indulged by the political economist respect, on the subject of a Free Press, which and soldier,was, as we have seen, beyond the it was one of the favourite objects of his fel- poet. low-agent to bring instantly into operation The enthusiastic and, in many respecta in all parts of Greece. On this important well-founded confidence with which Colone point their opinions differed considerably; and Stanhope appealed to the authority of Mr. the following report, by Colonel Stanhope, Bentham on most of the points at issue beof one of their many conversations on the tween himself and Lord Byron, was, from subject, may be taken as a fair and concise that natural antipathy which seems to exist statement of their respective views :- between political economists and poets, but

Lord Byron said that he was an ardent little sympathised in by the latter ; – such friend of publicity and the press; but that appeals being always met by him with those he feared it was not applicable to this so- sallies of ridicule, which he found the best. ciety in its present combustible state. I an- humoured vent for his impatience under arswered that I thought it applicable to all gument, and to which, notwithstanding the countries, and essential here, in order to put venerable name and services of Mr.Bentham an end to the state of anarchy which at pre- himself, the quackery of much that is prosent prevailed. Lord B. feared libels and mulgated by his followers presented, it must licentiousness. I said that the object of a be owned, ample scope. Romantic, indeed, free press was to check public licentiousness, as was Lord Byron's sacrifice of himself, to and to expose libellers to odium. Lord B. the cause of Greece, there was in the views had mentioned his conversation with Mavro- he took of the means of serving her not a cordato' to show that the Prince was not tinge of the unsubstantial or speculative. hostile to the press. I declared that I knew The grand practical task of freeing her from

Lord Byron had, it seems, acknowledged, on the pre- placed the press under a censor ;" to which the Prince ceding evening, his having remarked to Prince Mavro- had replied, “ No; the liberty of the press is guaranteed cordato, that “if he were in his situation, he would have by the Constitution."


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

her tyrants was his first and main object. unmanageableness on their part, every ob-
He knew that slavery was the great bar to stacle appeared to be at length surmounted.
knowledge, and must be broken through be- It was agreed that they should receive a
fore her light could come ; that the work of month's pay in advance ; Count Gamba,
the sword must therefore precede that of the with 300 of their corps, as a vanguard, was
pen, and camps be the first schools of free to march next day and take up a position

under Lepanto, and Lord Byron with the
With such sound and manly views of the main body and the artillery was speedily to
true exigencies of the crisis, it is not won follow.
derful that he should view with impatience, New difficulties, however, were
and something, perhaps, of contempt, all that started by these untractable mercenaries ;
premature apparatus of printing-presses, pe- and under the instigation, as was discovered
dagogues, &c. with which the Philhellenes afterwards, of the great rival of Mavrocor-
of the London Committee were, in their rage dato, Colocotroni, who had sent emissaries
for “ utilitarianism,”. encumbering him. Nor into Missolonghi for the purpose of seducing
were some of the correspondents of this body them, they now put forward their exactions
much more solid in their speculations than in a new shape, by requiring of the Govern-
themselves ; one intelligent gentleman having ment to appoint, out of their number, two
suggested, as a means of conferring signal generals, two colonels, two captains, and in-
advantages on the cause, an alteration of the ferior officers in the same proportion :—“in
Greek alphabet.

short,” says Count Gamba," that, out of
Though feeling, as strongly, perhaps, as three or four hundred actual Suliotes, there
Lord Byron, the importance of the great should be about one hundred and fifty above
object of their mission, that of rousing, the rank of common soldiers." The auda-
and, what was far more difficult, combining cious dishonesty of this demand, - beyond
against the common foe, the energies of the what he could have expected even from
country, - Colonel Stanhope was also one Greeks, — roused all Lord Byron's rage, and
of those who thought that the lights of their he at once signified to the whole body,
great master, Bentham, and the operations through Count Gamba, that all negotiation
of a press unrestrictedly free, were no less between them and himself was at an end ;
essential instruments towards the advance that he could no longer have any confidence
ment of the struggle ; and in this opinion, in persons so little true to their engagements;
as we have seen, the poet and man of litera- and that though the relief which he had
ture differed from the soldier. But it was afforded to their families should still be con-
such a difference as, between men of frank tinued, all his agreements with them, as a
and fair minds, may arise without either re- body, must be thenceforward void.
proach to themselves, or danger to their It was on the 14th of February that this
cause, – a strife of opinion which, though rupture with the Suliotes took place; and
maintained with heat, may be remembered though, on the following day, in consequence
without bitterness, and which, in the pre- of the full submission of their Chiefs, they
sent instance, neither prevented Byron, at were again received into his Lordship’s ser-
the close of one of their warmest altercations, vice on his own terms, the whole affair, com-
from exclaiming generously to his opponent, bined with the various other difficulties that

Give me that honest right hand,” nor with- now beset him, agitated his mind consider.
held the other from pouring forth, at the ably. He saw with pain that he should but
grave of his colleague, a strain of eulogy' place in peril both the cause of Greece and
not the less cordial for being discriminatingly his own character, by at all relying, in such
shaded with censure, nor less honourable to an enterprise, upon troops whom any in-
the illustrious dead for being the tribute of triguer could thus seduce from their duty,
one who had once manfully differed with and that, till some more regular force could

be organised, the expedition against Lepanto
Towards the middle of February, the must be suspended.
indefatigable activity of Mr. Parry having While these vexatious events were oc-
brought the artillery brigade into such a curring, the interruption of his accustomed
state of forwardness as to be almost ready exercise by the rains but increased the irri-
for service, an inspection of the Suliote corpstability that such delays were calculated to
took place, preparatory to the expedition ; excite; and the whole together, no doubt,
and after much of the usual deception and concurred with whatever predisposing ten-

dencies were already in his constitution, to
1 Sketch of Lord Byron. - See Colonel Stanhope's bring on that convulsive fit,- the forerunner
“ Greece in 1823, 1824," &c. [See also BYRONIANA.)

of his death, - which, on the evening of the



[ocr errors]

15th of February, seized him. He was sit- it right to apply leeches to his temples ; but ting, at about eight o'clock, with only Mr. found it difficult, on their removal, to stop Parry and Mr. Hesketh, in the apartment of the blood, which continued to flow so copiColonel Stanhope, — talking jestingly upon ously, that from exhaustion he fainted. It one of his favourite topics, the differences must have been on this day that the scene thus between himself and this latter gentleman, described by Colonel Stanhope occurred :and saying that “he believed, after all, the “ Soon after his dreadful paroxysm, when, author's brigade would be ready before the faint with over-bleeding, he was lying on his soldier's printing-press.” There was an un- sick bed, with his whole nervous system usual flush in his face, and from the rapid completely, shaken, the mutinous Suliotes, changes of his countenance it was manifest covered with dirt and splendid attires, broke that he was suffering under some nervous into his apartment, brandishing their costly agitation. He then complained of being arms, and loudly demanding their wild rights. thirsty, and, calling for some cider, drank of Lord Byron, electrified by this unexpected: it ; upon which, a still greater change being act, seemed to recover from his sickness; observable over his features, he rose from and the more the Suliotes raged, the more his seat, but was unable to walk, and, after his calm courage triumphed. The scene was staggering forward a step or two, fell into truly sublime.” Mr. Parry's arms. In another minute, his Another eyewitness, Count Gamba, bears teeth were closed, his speech and senses similar testimony to the presence of mind gone, and he was in strong convulsions. So with which he fronted this and all other such violent, indeed, were his struggles, that it dangers. “It is impossible,” says this genrequired all the strength both of Mr. Parry tleman, " to do justice to the coolness and and his servant Tita to hold him during the magnanimity which he displayed upon every fit. His face, too, was much distorted ; and, trying occasion. Upon trifling occasions as he told Count Gamba afterwards, so he was certainly irritable ; but the aspect intense were his sufferings during the con- of danger calmed him in an instant, and revulsion, that, had it lasted but a minute stored to him the free exercise of all the longer, he believed he must have died.” The powers of his noble nature. A more unfit was, however, as short as it was violent ; daunted man in the hour of peril never in a few minutes his speech and senses re- breathed.” turned ; his features, though still pale and 1

The letters written by him during the few haggard, resumed their natural shape, and following weeks form, as usual, the best reno effect remained from the attack but ex- cord of his proceedings, and, besides the sad cessive weakness. “ As soon as he could interest they possess as being among the speak,” says Count Gamba," he showed | latest from his hand, are also precious, as himself perfectly free from all alarm ; but he affording proof that neither illness nor disvery coolly asked whether his attack was appointment, neither a worn-out frame por likely to prove fatal. “Let me know,' he even a hopeless spirit, could lead him for a said ? do not think I am afraid to die — I moment to think of abandoning the great

cause he had espoused ; while to the last, This painful event had not occurred too, he preserved unbroken the cheerful more than half an hour, when a report was spring of his mind, his manly endurance of brought that the Suliotes were up in arms, all ills that affected but himself, and his ever. and about to attack the seraglio, for the pur- wakeful consideration for the wants of others. pose of seizing the magazines. Instantly Lord Byron's friends ran to the arsenal ;

TO MR. BARFF. the artillery-men were ordered under arms ;

« February 21 the sentinels doubled, and the cannon loaded “ I am a good deal better, though of course and pointed on the approaches to the gates. weakly; the leeches took too much blood Though the alarm proved to be false, the from my temples the day after, and there was very likelihood of such an attack shows suf- some difficulty in stopping it, but I hare ficiently how precarious was the state of since been up daily, and out in boats or on Missolonghi at this moment, and in what a horseback. To-day I

ave taken : warm scene of peril, confusion, and uncomfort, the bath, and live as temperately as can well be, now nearly numbered days of England's poet without any liquid but water, and without were to close.

animal food. On the following morning he was found “ Besides the four Turks sent to Patras, I to be better, but still pale and weak, and have obtained the release of four-and-twenty complained much of a sensation of weight in women and children, and sent them at niş his head. The doctors, therefore, thought own expense to Prevesa, that the English



am not.'”


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

Consul-General may consign them to their going on hopefully for the present, consider-
relations. I did this by their own desire. ing circumstances.
Matters here are a little embroiled with the “We shall have work this year, for the
Suliotes and foreigners, &c., but I still hope Turks are coming down in force ; and, as
better things, and will stand by the cause as for me, I must stand by the cause. I shall
long as my health and circumstances will shortly march (according to orders) against
permit me to be supposed useful. 1

Lepanto, with two thousand men. I have
"I am obliged to support the Government been here some time, after some narrow
here for the present.”

escapes from the Turks, and also from being

shipwrecked. We were twice upon the
The prisoners mentioned in this letter as rocks ; but this you will have heard, truly
having been released by him and sent to or falsely, through other channels, and I do
Prevesa, had been held in captivity at Misso- not wish to bore you with a long story.
longhi since the beginning of the Revolution. “So far I have succeeded in supporting
The following was the letter which he for- the Government of Western Greece, which
warded with them to the English Consul at would otherwise have been dissolved. If

you have received the eleven thousand and
odd pounds, these, with what I have in hand,
and my income for the current year, to say

nothing of contingencies, will, or might, en-

able me to keep the ‘sinews of war' pro-
Coming to Greece, one of my principal perly strung. If the deputies be honest fel-
objects was to alleviate as much as possible lows, and obtain the loan, they will repay
the miseries incident to a warfare so cruel as the 4000l. as agreed upon ; and even then I
the present. When the dictates of humanity shall save little, or indeed less than little,
are in question, I know no difference between since I am maintaining nearly the whole ma-
Turks and Greeks. It is enough that those chine - in this place, at least - at my own
who want assistance are men, in order to cost. But let the Greeks only succeed, and
claim the pity and protection of the meanest

I don't care for myself.
pretender to humane feelings. I have found “ I have been very seriously unwell, but
here twenty-four Turks, including women am getting better, and can ride about again ;
and children, who have long pined in distress, so pray quiet our friends on that score.
far from the means of support and the conso-

* It is not true that I ever did, will, would,
lations of their home. The Government could, or should write a satire against Gif-
has consigned them to me; I transmit them ford, or a hair of his head. I always con-
to Prevesa, whither they desire to be sent. sidered him as my literary father, and myself
I hope you will not object to take care that as his ‘prodigal son ;' and if I have allowed
they may be restored to a place of safety, his ‘fatted calf' to grow to an ox before he
and that the Governor of your town may kills it on my return, it is only because 1
accept of my present. The best recompence prefer beef to veal.

Yours, &c.”
I can hope for would be to find that I had
inspired the Ottoman commanders with the
same sentiments towards those unhappy

Greeks who may hereafter fall into their

“ February 23.
“I beg you to believe me, &c.”

“My health seems improving, especially
from riding and the warm bath. Six Eng-
lishmen will be soon in quarantine at Zante ;

they are artificers ?, and have had enough of TO THE HONOURABLE DOUGLAS Greece in fourteen days. If you could re

commend them to a passage home, I would • Missolonghi, February 21. 1824. thank you ; they are good men enough, but “I have received yours of the 2d of No- do not quite understand the little discrepanvember. It is essential that the money cies in these countries, and are not used to should be paid, as I have drawn for it all, and see shooting and slashing in a domestic quiet more too, to help the Greeks. Parry is here, way, or (as it forms here) a part of houseand he and I agree very well ; and all is keeping.

[ocr errors]





1 In a letter to the same gentleman, dated January 27., he had already said, “ I hope that things here will go on well some time or other. I will stick by the cause as long as a cause exists first or second."

2 The workmen who came out with Parry ; and who, alarmed by the scene of confusion and danger they found at Missolonghi, had resolved to return home.









If they should want any thing during their it. I dare say you do not, nor any body quarantine, you can advance them not more else, I should think. Whoever asserts that than a dollar a day (amongst them) for that I am the author or abettor of any thing of period, to purchase them some little extras the kind on Gifford lies in his throat. I as comforts (as they are quite out of their always regarded him as my literary father, element). I cannot afford them more at and myself as his prodigal son'; if any such present."

composition exists, it is none of mine. You
know as well as any body upon whom I have
or have not written ; and you also know
whether they do or did not deserve that

And so much for such matters.

“You will perhaps be anxious to hear some

news from this part of Greece (which is the 1824.

most liable to invasion); but you will hear

enough through public and private channels. MISSOLONGHI.-LORD BYRON'S LAST LETTER

I will

, however, give you the events of a week, mingling my own private peculiar with

the public ; for we are here jumbled a little MOORE, KEN

together at present. NEDY, PARRUCA, BARFF, AND HANCOCK.

‘On Sunday (the 15th, I believe,) I had STANHOPE AND THE GREEK CHRONICLE. left me speechless, though not motionless

a strong and sudden convulsive attack, which for some strong men could not hold me ; but

whether it was epilepsy, catalepsy, cachers, TUMULTS.— CONSEQUENCES OF THE NON- doctors have not decided; or whether it

or apoplexy, or what other exy or epsy, the

was spasmodic or nervous, &c. ; but it was The following letter to Mr. Murray, –

very unpleasant, and nearly carried me oti, which it is most gratifying to have to pro- and all that. On Monday, they put leeches duce, as the last completing link a long

to my temples, no difficult matter, but the friendship and correspondence which had blood could not be stopped till eleven at been, but for a short time, and through the night (they had gone too near the temporal fault only of others, interrupted, — contains artery for my temporal safety), and neither such a summary of the chief events now pass- styptic nor caustic

would cauterise the orifice ing round Lord Byron, as, with the assist till after a hundred attempts. ance of a few notes, will render any more

“On Tuesday, a Turkish brig of war ran detailed narrative unnecessary.

on shore. On Wednesday, great preparations being made to attack her, though protected by her consorts, the Turks burned her and retired to Patras. On Thursday a quarre

ensued between the Suliotes and the Frank • Missolonghỉ, February 25. 1824.

gua at the arsenal : a Swedish officers was * I have heard from Mr. Douglas Kinnaird | killed, and a Suliote severely wounded, and that you state'a report of a satire on Mr. a general fight expected, and with some difGifford having arrived from Italy, said to be ficulty prevented. On Friday, the officer written by me! but that you do not believe was buried ; and Captain Parry's English





[ocr errors]

' [In "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers,” Lord
Byron thus apostrophises the author of the Baviad and
" Why slumbers Gifford ? once was ask'd in vain;

Why slumbers Gifford ? let us ask again.
Are there no follies for his pen to purge ?
Are there no fools whose backs demand the scourge ?
Are there no sins for satire's bard to greet ?
Stalks not gigantic Vice in every street ?
Arouse thee, Gifford ! be thy promise claim'd;
Make bad men better, or at least ashamed.”

2“ Early in the morning we prepared for our attack on the brig. Lord Byron, notwithstanding his weakness, and an inflammation that threatened his eyes, was most anxious to be of our party ; but the physicians would not suffer him to go." - Count GAMBA's Narrative.

His Lordship had promised a reward for every Turk taken alive in the proposed attack on this vessel.

3 Captain Susse, an officer esteemed as one of the best pi and bravest of the foreigners in the Greek service “ This," says Colonel Stanhope, in a letter, February Isth! to the Committee, “is a serious affair. The Subictes

1 have no country, no home for their families ; arrears and pay are owing to them; the people of Misolongki bate and pay them exorbitantly. Lord Byron, who was have led them to Lepanto, is much shaken by his ft, and will probably be obliged to retire from Greece. In shert, all our hopes in this quarter are damped for the present. I am not a little fearful, too, that these wild warrior vil not forget the blood that has heen snilt. I this morning told Prince Mavrocordato and Lord Byron that they w come to some resolution about compelling the Sulistes to quit the place."

« 上一頁繼續 »