網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

honour. Let us all fly to arms, and endure a few months of evil to conquer and secure our independence for ever.

“ Let the cities and the villages be deserted, and let every plain and mountain present the appearance of a camp.

“Peloponnesians ! you first unfurled the standard of liberty; you have shed the blood of the barbarians; you may claim to fight in the foremost rank, and to be the bulwark of Greece. Your unwearied arms must know no rest till the tiger falls !

“ Spartiaites ! limit not your freedom to your inaccessible rocks, nor to your lowly cottages, when you may extend it over cities and fertile plains ! “Brave Suliotes! you to whom Greece has for so many years

entrusted the sacred deposit of her liberty, let not your constancy be shaken. Your countrymen, and the Philhellenians of Europe, will fly to your succour [when it was too late !]. And you, inhabitants of Attica and Livadia, take courage; you shall soon receive assistance.

“Hellenians, you must have but one soul; all private animosities must be put to rest; all private interests must be laid aside. Your only interest is victory; your only lawful hatred-hatred to your oppressors.

“ Sailors, what is become of that noble ardour and bravery which distinguished you in the beginning of the war. Is your enthusiasm cooled? Do you wait till your islands are ravaged, to display a tardy valour ? Now is the time when you must prove that you are sensible of the advantages attached to a national existence; now is the time to show that you are patriots and Christians. Do you fear the Turkish vessels? They are not manned by Hydriotes, Spezziotes, and Ipsariotes, but by Jews, Armenians, and Asiatics. You have dispersed one formidable fleet. Do you think that the one which now threatens you is of brass or iron? Let it be seen that victory is not obtained by large vessels, but by Hydriote, Spezziote, and Ipsariote valour. Hellenians, the time is short; all is lost if you continue to neglect this important occasion. Unite hands and hearts, and swear to destroy your common enemy, and to die for your religion and your country!

(Signed) “ MAVROCORDATO, President." Such was our situation. Mavrocordato did all he could; but of what use was it to command those who would not obcy, who were intent on nothing but plunder; and who kept vessels in readiness, in case the enemy should reconquer the country, to sail for Europe, and there enjoy their ill-gotten wealth, utterly regardless of the thousands they left to be massacred by the enemy.

If the government had availed itself of all the resources afforded by the conquest of the Turkish towns, the Greeks might have been free at this moment, and masters of Constantinople.

All their errors and reverses, which have uniformly been caused by want of money, might have been avoided, and Greece might have been spared the humiliation of asking alms of every country in Europe, to assist her in procuring her independence. Not only have the captains appropriated the wealth of the Turks, and the primates the revenue of the country, but a great number of the Greek merchants established in various towns in Europe, who were empowered to receive the amount of the Oct. 1826.

O

subscriptions of the generous well-wishers of their cause, have enriched themselves out of this sacred deposit, and have remitted to Greece about a tenth part of what they received. The committees of every country have sent ships laden with muskets, pistols, sabres, ammunition, and powder in great abundance; yet the government has never been master of a dozen muskets. The captains always got possession of them all, and gave them to their soldiers to get them altered according to the Greek fashion, by which means they accomplished the double purpose of arming their own retainers, and rendering it impossible for the government to increase the number of regular troops. When the Frankish regiment, and the two sacred companies were organized, we were all obliged to take old muskets. Most fortunately, Mavrocordato, who foresaw the consequences of an attempt to carry on a war with an undisciplined rabble, had brought from Marseilles two excellent armourers, who put the muskets into the best state they could be, and rendered it possible to make use of them in a regular campaign. The muskets sent by the Greek committees were openly sold in the streets, for fifteen or twenty Turkish piastres. Mavrocordato saw this shameless traffic with the greatest indignation; and in order to check it, gave orders to his people, and to the police he had established, whenever they found arms and ammunition in the hands of men who were trading in them, to seize them, and bring them to him. Two or three times these orders were executed ; but the arms generally belonged to captains, who immediately claimed them again; they were restored, and nothing more said about the matter. So the trade continued to thrive, while we Europeans were armed with old vamped up muskets.

I must make a little digression here, to throw some light on the history of the massacre of Chios. This terrible event was chiefly caused by the obstinacy and avarice of the primates of that island, who refused to pay the Frankish artillery officers. For several months the Turkish fleet had been passing and repassing before Chios, and continually threatening to make a descent upon the island. The Chiotes wrote to the government, that they were in great want of gunners to work their guns, and of an engineer to erect some little fortification. The government replied, that they could easily have all the assistance they required, if they would pay the Frankish officers who were ready to go, and buy a few more guns.

As soon as the primates heard that they must spend money, they abandoned all thought of preparing for a defence, and chose to hope that the Turks would not land. When they saw the fleet actually anchored off their island, and their destruction imminent, some of the primates went to Corinth, entreating the government to send officers immediately, to save the island, if possible, and engaging to pay all the necessary expenses. Mavrocordato sent for Captain Gubernatis, a man of distinguished merit, and gave him the command of the island, twelve artillery officers, an engineer, and two pieces of artillery. They instantly embarked, and having a fair wind, hoped to reach Chios in time. On approaching the island they met a number of boats, feluccas, and small vessels of all descriptions, laden with people; and on inquiring whence they came, were told that they were escaping from the massacre of Chios; and that the Turks had landed, and had cut to pieces all the inhabitants, except the few who had got to their boats. If these officers had been a little sooner, they would have shared the fate of the Chiotes. They, of course, returned to Corinth. If the primates had taken timely precautions, and had engaged some of the many officers who were starving in Corinth, and who would willingly have gone, if they had only been sure of the means of subsistence, they would in all probability have saved their island, and all the unfortunate and innocent victims of their stupid avarice.

(To be continued.)

NEWHOME.

Some years ago, a number of young men, who had been educated for the professions, conceiving an apprehension of not succeeding in pursuits, distasteful to some, and beyond the abilities of others, manfully resolved to husband the little property which they could command, and by union and co-operation to endeavour to secure as large a share of the blessings of this life as its uncertainty admits. They formed themselves into a little senate, and debated seriously upon several plans drawn up by the reflecting part of their community. It soon, however, became evident to all of them, that nothing but experience could rectify and gradually perfect the various constitutions laid before them; and under that impression, they contented themselves with entering into a solemn compact, like the sacramental oath of the Roman soldier, to be true and faithful to the republic, and not to desert their brethren until the object was effected, or renounced by general consent.

To relate seriatim the various steps which they took, the difficulties which they experienced, or the failures which they encountered, is not the object of the following sketch: however interesting the history of the first foundations of a prosperous colony, and however useful, as a direction to succeeding settlers, its minutest details might prove, the primary task should be, to give a true picture of the society, that individuals may measure its promise of happiness by that standard which every man forms in his own mind, and judge of its benefits in relation to himself. I shall therefore pass rapidly on to the settlement of the colony as it has been effected since 1820 in one of the adjacent dependencies of the Britsh empire, namely, in the beautiful island of Jersey, on the confines of the parishes of St. Pierre and St. Owens.

The society at that time consisted of forty members, the oldest of whom was under thirty; the additional candidates had been elected by ballot, and had taken the vow of the order, which was, shortly-to be obedient to the general will expressed by a majority of votes, and to lend heart and hand to the society as long as they continued in it. The admission fee has varied considerably, but the annual subscription is 501.; for which sum the subscribers enjoy all the advantages which may be collected from the following account.

The dwelling selected for their abode, is one of those Norman edifices erected many centuries ago by the seigneurs of the soil. Each succeeding generation has added a wing or return to the pile, by way of introducing the conveniences of modern architecture, or of accommodating married sons and daughters, whom the smallness of the patrimony would not allow the allodial lord to portion off in separate holdings. From the massive size and multiform construction of this fabric, it has probably domiciled many generations under its roof at the same time. It lies in the midst of venerable elms and tall chestnut-trees, an ancient avenue of which leads straight up to its antique portal. The ivy has liveried some of its turrets, and hangs over its modernised casements, as though it would hide the innovating hand of repair. The freshly-pointed wall in several spots declares that other infringements have been made, and that its picturesque appearance has not been consulted in preference to the habitableness of the place: the alentours also show that the modern art of landscape gardening has known how to avail itself of piers and fosses, that once reminded us of nought but the baronial days of warfare and plunder; orchards and gardens flank the building, up the high gables of which the obedient vine has been trained, while the châmontelier decks its outer range of walls; a row of glossy walnuts and dark mulHerry-trées hides its offices and haggards in the rear, behind which the corn-lands and pastures of the community extend.

The dwelling was selected by two of the travelling brethren, who had been sent by the society to inspect different sites proposed. The statistical account which they gave of the island, and the suitableness of the pile, determined us at once to make the purchase. This we (for I am a member of the society) found no great difficulty in effecting with the proprietor, whose means were too limited to keep the building in repair. In the autumn of the same year, a committee of six intelligent members dassed over to superintend the repairs of the place, and managed with the country artizans and labourers to put the house in a way of accommodating thirty members, each with a separate sleeping-room, reserving two large saloons for dining and drawing rooms. Plans and reports were continually forwarded by them to the senate in London, where measures were discussed with all the shrewdness that men extend to practical concerns of life. A plan of action was resolved upon, and each member again pledged himself to adhere to it until modified by common consent. It remained now only to take the grand final move; to cut the cable, as it were, of habit and prejudice, that bound us to the capital and its enervating pleasures. The day was at last fixed upon, and the eighth of November was to mark the epoch of our farewell to haunts and scenes, sweetened by no recollections but the trium plis of vanity, and embittered by many a record of weakness and guilt: but we knew not but that its associations would cling to our memory, and load it with the fond regret of exiles; therefore it required every effort of manliness to cheer our spirits under the anticipated pain of separation. Some of us visited the theatres on the eve of our departure, as if to take leave of the favourite muses others roamed the streets, detecting beauties in their style unobserved before-others flocked to coffee-houses and taverns, where they embittered their wine with doubts and tardy regrets; most of us nourishing hopes that he might be among the fortunate ten who were to remain in coalition behind.

But the die was cast, and the hour drew near. We assembled our board the brig in which our books, furniture, implements, and other goods, had been shipped ; and there, in the great cabin, we prepared to draw lots to decide the point in suspense. At this critical moment, a member, whose name I would gladly record, but that his modesty forbids, rose from his seat, and declared, for one, that he had no wish to be ballotted for—that he was anxious to go, and be among the first to promote the establishment of the colony—that after all, it was better than being transported to the Indies, to acquire complicated diseases there; or being sent to perish in the pestilential climes of Cape Coast and Sierra Leone, merely, that it might satisfy the rapacity or the ostentatious pride of relatives, who preferred Juxury and appearance to the health and comfort of their families—that for his part he saw few pleasures for a wholesome mind to regret in London—that society was unmodelled in a great measure there, and the best of it might be reduced to the head of mere pomp and showthat the poor gentleman was virtually excluded from its enjoyments, because he could not compete with the rich in splendour and magnificence—that the theatres, which many seemed to regret, and which in fact ought to be the first feature of metropolitan enjoyment, bēcause they were the fields for natural taste and literature to disport in, were now sunk below mediocrity, and fast sinking into a state of slippered, drivelling imbecility-that, for polluted pleasures, he disdained to mention them among our regrets, as the discipline of the society had already taught most of its members that such pleasures were out of the scale of moral happiness, and detracted infinitely more than they added to real gratification—that we took with us the means of mutual improvement; and he hoped, that whatever we missed in the resources and opportunities afforded by the city, would be made up to us in strength and pliancy of mind, to turn our acquisitions to the best account, not in a vain search after fame and wealth, but in a steady pursuit of happiness.

These few words, which recalled some of the leading practical tenets of the community, produced a wonderful effect upon us. We hastened, with vying resolution, to join the volunteers for the voyage. Twenty-four were soon numbered oil; the remaining ten descended into a boat with their luggage, and giving us three hearty cheers, rowed away on their return, to oceupy a small town-house rented by the society. As for us, we glided down the river with the morning ebb, our regrets vanishing with the fog of London. We tried to enumerate its fascinations ; but the idea could not be cloaked in words, without our immediately disclaiming it, ashamed to betray the base and childish tastes upon which our liking had been fonnded : true, there remained a palpitating inquietude at the bottom of our hearts, touching the success of the experiment, and the reproaches which it might draw down upon us from our relations and the world; but

« 上一頁繼續 »