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every right or pretension regarding these islands;' and agreed to place them ' under the immediate and exclusive protection of Great Britain.'
Failing in this quarter, their next proceeding was to find out a more suitable advocate to support their cause in the British Parliament, than Mr. Bennet had proved himself to be in the matter of Count Cladan. In this they succeeded to their very hearts' desire: they pitched upon a person who is always ready to grasp at any subject however lofty or however low, and who, in the present case, with all that assurance which peculiarly belongs to him, most eagerly adopted all the gross calumnies in the Memorial as his own, anxious to have it believed that he collected them on the spot, 'having (so he says) spent some time on the Ionian islands, and having attached himself much to the people.' Mr. Hume was, we believe, ' on the spot,' about twelve years ago, when Corfu, be it observed, whence the memorial of grievances issues, was in possession of the French; and he might, perhaps, while a passenger with Captain Chamberlayne in the Unite frigate, have passed a day on one of the smaller islands; but we know that the Unite did not even anchor at or near any of them. Of the Ionian people, therefore, and the Ionian islands, we venture to affirm, he is equally and utterly ignorant; and the calumnies to which, with unwearied perseverance, he has not hesitated to give currency against Sir Thomas Maitland, and through him against the British government, certainly do not originate with him, though they probably have received an additional daub of colouring at his hands.
Nor is the little knot of patriots, as they would be thought, the only polluted source from which Mr. Hume has derived his misinformation: we happen to know one still less creditable;—one which, we grieve to say, furnishes a singular instance of perfidy in a quarter from which Sir Thomas Maitland had least reason to expect it; and we mention it to show what unworthy means are had recourse to where a political enemy, though a professed friend, is to be sacrificed, or the measures and intentions of government, however politic and just, are to be stigmatized with an opposite character.
Lord Archibald Hamilton applied to Lord Lauderdale for a letter to his brother Sir Thomas Maitland, entreating, as a great personal favour, that a Mr. Hamilton Browne should be appointed to some situation in the Ionian islands. Lord Lauderdale declined giving such a letter, but, at the request of Lord Archibald, gave Mr. Browne a letter of introduction; iu consequence, of which Mr. Browne became confidentially employed, in the year 1816, as the chief assistant in the office of the Ionian Senate; in which situation he remained till the beginning of 1822, when it was found necessary to dismiss him on the following grounds. It occurred to Sir Frederick. Hankey, on reading, in the report of a debate in parliament, a statement of Mr. Hume, which he said had been put into his hand by ' a noble lord near him,'that it contained the substance of a document which could only have been procured from some of the government offices on the islands; and as Mr. Hamilton Browne was known to be in constant correspondence with Lord Archibald, a suspicion immediately attached to him, as the person who had furnished this document. Sir Frederick, however, in the first instance, called on the assistants in the office of the Lord High Commissioner, (of which he was the head,) to declare whether they had or had not communicated to any person any document in his office without his knowledge; they all declared they never had. It was then requested that'Lord Sidney Osborne (the secretary of the senate) would do the same with regard to his assistants, which he did; and when it came to Mr. Hamilton Browne's turn to answer, he confessed that, at Lord Archibald Hamilton's particular desire, he had furnished his lordship with every document he could procure relative to Parga; adding, at the same time,' that he had sent nothing but what was true.' Be that as it may, his assertion was far from being true; the correspondence between Lord Archibald Hamilton and his agent and protege did not begin nor end with the Parga question; it continued till he was turned out of the office he had so scandalously betrayed.
As to the accuracy of information derived from an impure and imperfect source of this nature, we would just observe that, although it may materially assist in propping up misrepresentation, it cannot possibly be of any use in displaying the real merits of a case. Thus, with respect to this very Parga,—for the fate of which our unsuspecting countrymen were so grossly swindled out of their ever-ready sympathy, by the artful falsehoods disseminated concerning it*—we assert that, whatever documents Mr. Hamilton Browne may have furnished to Lord Archibald Hamilton, and however true, they could at best but tend to mislead that noble Lord's judgment, as, in the lirst place, the question of Parga was one in which the Ionian government was only collaterally concerned; and in the second place, the senate, in which Mr. Browne was so unworthily placed, was not concerned in it at all.
• We refer with pride and pleasure to an unanswered and unanswerable refutation of the daring falsifications of the Edinburgh Review on this subject, in our XLVth No. p. 136.
The object of these persevering attacks is undoubtedly that of leading the misinformed into a belief that His Majesty's Lord High Commissioner had violated his duty to his sovereign and his country, in the execution of the delicate and difficult task committed to his charge—that he had studied only his own interests, in support of his own views; and that, to forward them, he had sacrificed every recognized principle of British administration and British feelings; that he had acted in direct contradiction to a positive treaty, settled by the great allied powers of Europe; that he had employed the vilest and the lowest of the people in the administration of the Ionian government, instead of the ancient nobility and families of the first consideration; that he had bribed these unworthy agents with enormous salaries, totally disproportionate to the duties which they had to perform; and finally, that, in pursuit of personal objects, he had disgraced the people he was sent to protect, and established a complete system of tyranny, whilst every principle of propriety, prudence and humanity should have dictated a course exactly the reverse of that which he had pursued.
This is a summary of those grave charges contained in the Memorial of the few factious Corfiotes to whom we have alluded, and which Mr. Hume transferred, charge by charge, into two preparatory paragraphs, such as, according to custom, and ' to beget an awful attention,' introduce the subject matter of his speeches in parliament to the public, through the columns of a Journal systematically hostile to every measure and person connected with government.* It will be our business to show that they are as false as they are grave.
In order to make a more forcible impression by exciting our sympathy, as in the case of Parga, for the miseries inflicted on the Ionian people in consequence of British tyranny and misrule, we are first presented with a most pleasing picture of the former happy and contented condition of these people, as contrasted with their present deplorable state; which is stated to be so very wretched ' that their situation under the Venetian rule was mildness in comparison with the government now adopted;'—a piece of historical information of which we willingly resign all the advantage that either ignorance or malignity can extract from it. Pass we on then to the' Septinsular Republic,'—to that happy period when, as Mr. Hume's studies inform him, 'the Seven Islands were formed into an independent republic, when the greatest improvement took place; (improvement on the Venetian
* Compare two long paragraphs in the Morning Chronicle of the 13th and 14th May, 1822, with the report of Mr. Hume's speech in the same paper of the 15th.
rule, of course ;) when a Greek university was founded at Corfu, and an Ionian academy, which counted among its associates some of the highest characters of Europe for letters and science; and when the peace of Tilsit put an end to this career of prosperity and improvement, and the Seven Islands were annexed to the French empire by a decree of Buonaparte.'
It is true that, in 1800, the Emperor Alexander gave to the people of the Ionian Islands an eminent proof of his great affection, by leaving them to rule themselves, and to manage their own interests in their own way. It is also true, that the Treaty of Tilsit in 1806 put an end to what Mr. Hume is pleased to call' a career of prosperity and improvement:' as he appears, however, to be grossly ignorant in what that ' prosperity' and that 'improvement' consisted, we will take the trouble to enlighten him somewhat on those subjects, by showing what the Ionian Islands were, and what they are.:
Litt]£ more than a year had elapsed from the happy era of the 'Septinsular Republic,' before all the seven islands were guilty of treason and rebellion against their general government; and each island in itself was guilty of treason and rebellion in a variety of instances against its local government; and the whole of this 'happy septinsular republic' became one scene of anarchy, robbery, and murder. As to the University said to have been ' founded,' it would be difficult to find where the foundation was; and with respect to the superstructure and the associates of the academy, it would puzzle clearer intellects than those of Mr. Hume to discover the least trace of the one, or to name the others. In plain truth, the affairs of this happy republic soon became so deranged and perilous, that the senate, alarmed for the consequences, sent a deputation to implore the immediate interference of the Emperor Alexander, as the only means of preventing a continuance of those scenes of bloodshed and horror—the sole result of that power which he had left in their hands. In consequence of this application, Count Mocenigo was sent from St. Petersburg!), as plenipotentiary, to endeavour, if possible, to bring those restless people into some sort of subordination. We have before us a copy of the speech which he delivered to the Synclitse, or electors of Corfu, on the 29th August, 1803; and as it shows, in somewhat more correct colours than those of Mr. Hume, the ' happy state of the Septinsular Republic,' we shall lay a part of it before our readers.
'From a condition,' says the Plenipotentiary, ' obscure, abject, and servile, a prey to the horrors of a bloody revolution, destructive of all government, of morals and religion, these islands, by
the the providence of God, are now brought to the light of heaven, to liberty and independence.
'They were sailing like a bark without a pilot, in a political situation to which they were not accustomed, and had neither experience, vigour nor good councils. They were left to the impulse of every passion, disunited one from another by pride and distrust; jealous of each other's rights and interests, they each of them afforded a frightful theatre of civil discord, owing to the struggles of factious, and parties for pre-eminence, each with different political opinions; and which at last terminated in the treasonable efforts of base demagogues against their country. Thus, anarchy stalked about like a horrible phantom, spreading desolation and ruin.'
We have then a picture of the state of affairs at the time of the Count's arrival. We venture to recommend it to Mr. Hume's admiration.
'Such, in fact, were the events, oh Corcyreans! which marked the days of the past year, when with pain and with anguish you ran pale and trembling to your walls, to see on which side the flames were approaching to reduce your houses to ashes, and to destroy your lands and your property. No one dared to show his face out of the gates; but, shut up within your walls, you1 lent a sorrowful ear to learn from others what devastation had overtaken their property and your own.'
Such was ' the career of prosperity' which the Ionians had run in the second year of the happy septinsular government of 1800. Nor is it a person in the employ of Russia only that declares it; all he utters is fully authorized by the Ionians themselves in the instructions to Naranzi, (the person sent to the Emperor,) from the senate; in which it is stated, that such were their perpetual misfortunes, that the people were disposed to receive, with blind resignation, whatever new constitution might proceed from the hand of Alexander; that they wished, in fact, that it should be the work of that ' admirable person,' or, at any rate, of a ' single legislator,' and that it should be ' supported by an imposing armed force, to resist the obstinate, artful, and armed attempts that would be put in motion to subvert it:' they go on to say, ' that the natives themselves were unfit, from their known habits of insubordination and violence, to be loyal and obedient republican soldiers; and that, if the troops could not be Russian, they must be foreigners of some other description;' that, 'to the Russian soldiers they were indebted for personal security and property, that they were solicited and longed for as a gift from heaven; and that, if they were to depart, it would involve their complete destruction, and leave no other alternative than that of drowning themselves in the