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provisions of the sailors are not of the best description, consisting principally of salt and dried fish, sardillas, and Newfoundland cod; but to make amends for this, they have excellent biscuit, (sliced bread, leaven baked, being the real biscuit,) and the best Grecian wine. Mid-day and sun-set are the hours of dinner and supper, and before that time every mess, consisting of six persons, has its little table prepared between two of the guns. As soon as the signal is given, each table is served by the steward with its allowance of fish, bread, oil, wine, and vinegar, the eldest man of the mess acting as dispenser, the youngest as cupbearer. During the dinner-hour the steward continues walking round from mess to mess, to see that each table has its regular allowance of wine and bread, and during the whole ceremony the utmost silence and decorum are preserved. The tables of the captains, and particularly that of the admiral, are however much better served, as at every Grecian port which they put into, the inhabitants vie with each other who shall send to the fleet the most acceptable presents of fresh provisions, vegetables, fruit, wine, cheese, and sweetmeats; and these, together with the stock of European stores and French wines, render their living rather luxurious.—(Emerson, vol. i. p. 182.)
The extracts we have already made convey a good idea of the face of the country, of the manners of the people, and of the state of the navy. We will proceed to select some passages which will throw light upon the principal men of influence. The people are divided into Roumeliots and other inhabitants of the continental part of Greece, and who are chiefly Albanians; a distinguished branch of this portion are the Suliotes. The Moreotes or inhabitants of the Peloponnesus, with the exception of some Albanian districts, as the Mainotes, are more genuine Greeks, and form another class. The islanders, though chiefly of Albanian race, from the nature of their abode and their different habits of life, are entitled to rank as a class of themselves. Besides these three divisions of the people, there are Greek interlopers from Constantinople, called, from a quarter of that capital, Fanariots. These are but few, and are chiefly men of diplomatic talent, ingenuity, and European education. Such are Mavrocordato, Demetrius Ipsilanti, and Negris, who is now dead. Of the Morcotes, Colocotroni is the leader, with his sons and friends; as Zaimi, Londos, Sessini, Coliopulo, Notara, Degliani, &c. Mavromichalis, the Ex-President, is the head of the Mainotes. Ulysses was the most distinguished and the most able of the Roumeliot leaders; the treachery and faithlessness of his lieutenant, Goura, have now transplanted him. The islanders possess many wealthy and powerful men, such as Conduriotti, now President of the Senate. The admirals, such as the celebrated Miaulis and Tombazi, likewise belong to them. The three men of decidedly most influence and authority at the present moment in Greece are, undoubtedly, Coletti, formerly a physician to Ali Pacha, and now one of the Executive; Colocotroni, formerly a butcher and a robber, and now the chief Capitano of the Morea, and Prince Mavrocordato, a Fanariote Greek. The principal characteristics of these men may be learnt from some passages which are to be found scattered up and down the volumes before us. Of some of these leaders the following extract gives an account. It refers to a time at which the President Conduriotti and his Secretary of State had gone to head the army before Navarino, a command which, as might be expected, they dreadfully bungled. Conduriotti had, or fancied he had, a fever, and though he started from the capital in a hurry, consumed three days in travelling twenty miles of the plainest of his ground; and when he arrived at the army, prudently fixed his head-quarters four hours from it. Mavrocordato, the Secretary of State, finding himself by some accident on the island
in the Bay of Navarino, when the Egyptians made the successful descent upon it, in which the brave but unfortunate Count Santa Rosa was killed, took an early opportunity of running away; his fears were, however, so great, that his legs failed him, and he cried out: "Help me, I am falling." "Instantly," says his eulogistic private Secretary, "instantly his general, the faithful Catzaro, and one of the soldiers, took him in their arms and carried him to the height."
The affairs of the Government had all been so arranged before the President and Prince Mavrocordato, his secretary, that a constant communication was to be kept up with the forces north of the Isthmus, as well as the camp at Navarino. The VicePresident, Bolazi, a good-natured, honest Spezziot, not overstocked with intelligence, but bearing a high character for honour and principles, had taken Conduriotti's chair in the executive body. Cristides, an intriguing, active man, acted as Secretary, and the other members remained at their posts as usual. Of these, John Coletti, a physician by profession, and, as such, formerly in the pay of Ali Pacha, is by far the most clever and intelligent: of his sterling patriotism, however, there are few in the Morea, or even among his own countrymen, who are not rather sceptical. The exactions which have been carried on in Roumelia by his agents, and with his approbation, have rendered him odious to the people whom he represents; and his intriguing spirit, forbidding countenance, and repulsive manners have gained him, both with the Moreots and foreigners, a character for cunning and dangerous ambition. Nevertheless, his acknowledged abilities have given him such an ascendency with the President and the executive body, that he may be considered the spring of its movements. Of the other two, Speliotaki is a mere nobody, who would never be heard of, were it not for the attaching his name to the proclamations of the Government; and Petro Bey, the Mainote, is a good-humoured, round-faced fellow, who seems remarkable for nothing more than his appetite and epicurism. Amongst the numbers of the legislative body, none seem to make any prominent figure except Spiridion Tricoupi, son of the late Primate of Messolounghi, representative of that town. Having been Secretary to Lord Guilford, and a few years resident in England, he adds to an extensive information, a good knowledge of English. The meetings of the legislative body, though containing about fifty members, are usually taciturn, or enlivened only by colloquial discussion, Tricoupi being the only member who ever attempted "a speech." It was lately proposed to publish their proceedings in the Hydriot Journal, but the motion was immediately negatived by the overpowering majority of the silent members. Of the other ministers connected with the administration, by far the most promising is Adam Ducas, Minister of War, a young man descended from one of the most ancient and honourable Greek families. I say promising, because, though at present almost ignorant of the duties of his office, he seems well aware of his deficiency, and is anxious on all occasions to remedy it.
But, perhaps, the most singular character amongst all the Greek legislators is the Minister of the Interior. His name is Gregorius Flessa, by profession a priest; and having, in the early part of his life been steward of a monastery (dicatoç) he is generally known by the two names of Gregorius Dikaios, and Pappa Flessa. A naturally vicious disposition had early given him a distaste for his profession, and, on the commencement of the revolution, he joined the standard of his country as a military volunteer. Having manifested his bravery on many occasions, he was at length promoted to a cominand, and in several actions conducted himself with distinguished courage. He now totally abandoned the mitre and the robe for the more congenial employments of the army and the state; and at length, after a series of active and valuable services, he was appointed by the Government to be Minister of the Interior. Here, with ample means, he gave unbridled license to his natural disposition. His only virtue is an uncorrupted patriotism, which has all along marked his character, and has gained him the confidence of the Government, whilst they despise its professor. Such a man, though in an office of trust, is by no means a popular man. The scandel which the open commission of the most glaring immoralities has brought upon his original profession, has entailed upon him the contempt of all parties, though his diplomatic abilities, if artifice and cunning may deserve that name, added to his patriotism and bravery, have secured to him the good will of the Government.*
Of the minister of justice, Theotochi, little more is known than that he was obliged to abscond from the Ionian Islands for some fraudulent practices. The name of the
* He has since been killed by the Egyptians.-ED.
minister of the police I have never heard, and from the abominable filth of the city, and the dilapidated condition of its streets, I fancy the office must be a sinecure. (Emerson, vol. i. p. 86.)
Of Colocotroni we have a good account in Mr. Humphreys' work. The time of the interview described, was during the period when the Capitani, on the one hand, and the Primates and Islanders on the other, were contending for power and plunder.
I determined to see Colocotroni, and know from himself what were his views. I found the fine old chieftain quartered in a small village near Tripolizza; his hut was but partly roofed in, had no boarded floor, and one slip of carpet, which the poorest hut in Greece is seldom without, was its only furniture. He welcomed me with great warmth; he declared himself anxious for union, but that the existing government, under the influence of Mavrocordato, and the faction of the Primates, sought his total ruin. He said, "Let me be judged by my country, and if found guilty, let death be my punishment; but not by a faction, who seek my destruction, and that of all the ancient captains. We, who alone have ever been free; we, who alone in the hour of danger, were not found wanting after clearing our country of her invaders by our swords, when those who would lord it over all of us sought safety in flight, and only return to enjoy the security we have purchased with our blood; are they to be our sole rulers? are they alone to have a voice and a will in the land we have won and kept with our swords? are Fanariots from the Turkish courts; are adventurers, without a name, to root out of its soil its ancient preservers?" There was some truth in his appeal. Colocotroni is eloquent, and to that he owes much of his influence over the soldiery. The only terms on which the Government would treat with him, were his going to them with an escort of not more than fifty followers; which he considered equal to a surrender of his liberty, or his life. The leading trait in Colocotroni's character is avarice; a vice from which few of the Greeks are exempt, and to which he justly owed his loss of power. As an able general, he possessed, and deservedly, the confidence of the soldiery and the people." He was allied by marriage to the Deglianis, a powerful family; to Caliopuli and Niketas, both distinguished captains. His nephews and sons held high commissions in different provinces, and thus the Colocotronists, as they are designated, formed a formidable and powerful clan, and with them the Bey of Maina was in close alliance. He complained that the present government had deposed members elected at the General Congress of the nation, and replaced them with those of their own party and interests, without the election of the people; and that they had given the rank of general to the most undeserving persons, and to their own servants, as a reward for having deserted them. A Bulgarian, Hadj Christo, the chief Government General, had been a cheise, or head groom, to Colocotrini, though it was acknowledged that he owed his rise to his distinguished bravery and good conduct; but a former pipe-bearer of Niketas, then a general, had little other merit than having deserted his master. He said, that the majority of the people of the Morea were in their favour; but that the government was averse to any amicable adjustment, and was supported by foreigners, to whom they held out the prospect of large pay from the English loan; as Bulgarians, Albanians, and many of the Roumeliots, who, having no longer a home, formed themselves into small bodies as soldiers, electing a captain, and were ready to enter anybody's service who would best pay them; and that the views of his party were misrepresented; as their adversaries, having the advantage of education, employed the power of the pen against them, while they only knew the use of arms. The term of anti-patriots, given to his party in the Gazettes, he bitterly complained of; saying, that it was a gross injustice ; that he and Niketas too, so distinguished alike for his generosity and great personal bravery, in defence of his country, should be now called anti-patriots. Ile, said he, was accused of an intention to make himself King of Greece. He asked me, if his hut and retinue bore the semblance of royalty? I found that, at night, attended only by one or two trusty followers, he took different positions in the mountains, where he slept to avoid treachery. They demanded but to have one representative of their
Colocotroni is of that opinion himself. In a conversation at Prince Demetrius Ipsilanti's, he remarked, the Duke of Wellington is decidedly the first general of the age; but he thought that if his Grace had, like himself, to do the duty at once of commissary, soldier, and general, he would not do it so well.
party in the executive body, and the Bey of Maina to have the command of the troops in the Morea; and they would immediately surrender Napoli di Romania, and submit to the order of government.-(Humphreys, vol. ii. p. 222.)
A favourable view of both Mavrocordato and Conduriotti may be gathered from the extract from Emerson.
This evening the President and Mavrocordato arrived at Napoli di Romania, in a brig, from Calamata, where the former had retired after the loss of Old Navirino and the dispersion of the troops, and the latter had landed after his escape from the island.
Whether their thus totally deserting the vicinity of such an important struggle, at the present crisis of the fortress, be advisable, may be doubted; though their object be the embodying and sending off fresh forces, it would perhaps have been more advantageous to have remained in the neighbourhood, and not (at least in appearance) thus to leave the blockaded garrison to their fate.
I was rather disappointed in the appearance of Mavrocordato; his figure is small, and any thing but dignified and prepossessing. The little of his countenance which is visible through his bushy hair and eye-brows, and his fiercely curling mustachios, indicates more of childishness than intellect, though the deep glance of a penetrating eye gives it an occasional animation. His manners, like those of all Fanariots, though easy and obliging, contain too much of an overstrained politeness, which seems like intriguing servility; and this, together with a studied lightness of conversation, and an extremely silly laugh, renders the first impression of him by no means favourable. George Conduriotti, the President of the Executive body, is a plain, inactive man, of no talent, but unshaken integrity. His family came originally from Condouri, a village in the vicinity of Athens, but have been long resident at Hydra, where an unprecedented success in trade, together with an unblemished reputation, have rendered him and his brother the most opulent, and amongst the most honourable inhabitants of the island. A desire to please the Hydriots, whose exertions have been so important in advancing the success of the revolution, has no doubt been the leading cause of his election to an office for which he is so ill qualified both by nature and education; but to which, however, his honourable character gives an importarice in the eyes of his countrymen, which the higher talents of others might be less efficient in conferring on it.-(Emerson, vol. i. p. 157.)
The loss of Navarino, its harbour, fort, and island, is the severest reverse which the Greeks have experienced. It is lamentable to think that it is in a great measure to be attributed to the spirit of jealousy and jobbing which pervades every thing. First of all Conduriotti preferred himself to the command, because he and his right hand Mavrocordato were alarmed at the superior abilities of Colletti; then Conduriotti being at a distance, and not being disposed to trust the military chiefs with military commands, appointed one of his countrymen, Scurti, totally ignorant of military matters, to a post which he did not know how to keep, and consequently involved the other generals in defeat and loss. One hundred and ninety men fell in the engagement before Navarino. Let not the reader smile at the smallness of the number: they were chiefly Suliotes; and of the Suliotes, now that they are driven from their home, but a thousand remain. On this very same spot, the island of Sphacteria, in the Peloponnesian war, the Spartans sustained a loss of four hundred men, a shock from which the true Spartan blood never afterwards recovered. Except at the battle of Peta, when two hundred fell, and these chiefly Germans and other Philhellenes, the loss of the Greeks has been usually confined to five, ten, fifteen, or twenty men. In a Turkish campaign, twenty or forty thousand Turks, after various movements, would lose three or four hundred men, and the Greeks four or five. But then, in Greece, the name of every combatant is known, the exploits are
individual, and the glory particular. With us, the Guards, or the 42d distinguish themselves with the utmost gallantry; but in Greece, it is Kairascaki or Giavella, or some such, who, lurking behind a great stone, levels nine Turks with his musket, and then throwing down his capote, and rushing upon the frightened mass with his ataghan, slays every man whom he can stick in the back as he runs away. It was so in ancient Greece, (except the stone,) even in Homer, and Thucydides is scarcely to be understood, until the reports of the Philhellenes, and other travellers in Greece are perused.
We cannot look over these volumes, and others of the same description, without remarking the melancholy fate of the Philhellenes, who have volunteered their services in the cause of Greece. A noble band of Germans and others, at the head of whom was the brave General Normann, were sacrificed by the cowardice of the Greeks at the battle of Peta. Many, dispirited by privations, wearied with a restless but useless mode of war, and reduced to poverty and misery by the failure of their resources, have put an end to themselves. Greater numbers have fallen victims to the climate. The life of Lord Byron was utterly lost to Greece and to the world. Detained by the crafty designs of Mavrocordato, and his own indecision, in an unhealthy spot, he fell an easy prey to disease, and died without directly conferring a single benefit upon the land he came to assist. Scarcely one of the numbers, who have been reduced to starvation, wretchedness, and death, in the cause, has distinguished himself by a single useful exertion. Even the brave, enlightened, and deeply lamented Count Santa Rosa, who had been minister at war in Piedmont, died as a common soldier with a knapsack at his back. The cause is in the Greeks: they want no assistance which individuals without wealth can give; and with wealth, unless the possessor is resolute, and capable of forming designs which no obstacle, or cunning, or entreaty can drive him from, he stands an excellent chance of being teazed into his grave. Europeans (for the Greeks may be considered Asiatics) cannot fight as they do, and for their mode of warfare they possess abundance of men. Regular troops they have never until lately consented to form, and regular troops would, when formed, be as likely to receive as much resistance from the irregular Greeks as from the enemy himself. It is by sea alone that assistance can be rendered to them, and then only by the vigorous and active commander of a frigate or two, with a few minor vessels. If, instead of two loans of nearly three millions, a couple of vessels of war had been sent to Greece, there would have been no question now about the security of its nascent liberty. At this moment, if Lord Cochrane, with any naval force, well paid, were to appear for them in the Mediterranean, the fate of Ibrahim Pacha and his army would be decided; after which we should be heartily glad to see his Lordship enjoying the title of Lord High Admiral of Greece, and squatting, for the next ten years, on the cushion of the President of the Hellenic Republic.