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clined to deduce from their violation of "international comity and the obligations of treaties," and extinguish their independence rather than increase their territory. But the falsehood of the assertion is too apparent to deserve refutation. The kingdom of Greece is more thinly peopled than any other State in Europe; but this want of population is caused by its communications, both by land and sea, being in a worse state than they are in any other country. Idle clerks in public offices, and armed men who frequent coffee-houses, form a numerous section of the town population, and these men consume all the revenues of the State, which ought to be devoted to public improvements. Indeed, the financial and political condition of King Otho's dominions is so bad, that it would be an act of inhumanity to transfer any portion of the population of the Sultan's territory to the Greek government. If Chios or Samos were annexed to Greece tomorrow, the inhabitants would find their financial burdens greatly increased, and their trade very much diminished, without any corresponding improvement in their political condition for the present. The benefits they would acquire might nevertheless awaken hopes of a better future. They would be placed in possession of the liberty of the press, and of a good judicial system, so that when the corrupting influence of the court of Athens, of the Phanariot place-hunters, and of the palikari, ceases to exist, amendment may be expected by the enthusiastic. Judging from actual appearances, King Otho's dominions seem to be much too large, both for the amount of the population, and for the administrative capacity of the government. Even Athens, Syra, Patras, Nauplia, and Chalcis, are little better than undrained dirty towns, destitute of proper municipal organisation and local police, while the other towns in the country are merely overgrown villages. With the exception of a few drives for the court carriages round Athens, and a road for the Austrian traffic across the isthmus of Corinth, there is not a good cart-road in the kingdom, and very few tolerable bridle-roads even from one town to another.
Twenty islands of the Archipelago, each containing a town, are not visited by any regular packets, and it frequently happens that six weeks elapse without their receiving any news from the capital. It is almost needless to say that a population living in such a state of isolation must be in a stationary, if not in a declining, condition. If the numbers are kept up, the buildings of past times are allowed to fall to decay, and all the accumulated capital is rapidly deteriorating. Every traveller who has visited the islands of the Archipelago, and the towns in the interior of the Peloponnesus, must have noticed many proofs of this decay, quite independent of the dilapidation caused by the revolutionary war, or the civil broils which followed it.
Other proofs of the incapacity of the existing government of Greece to conduct the centralised system, as established in the limited territory it now rules, may be found in the civil wars already noticed, in the general anarchy and contempt for the rights of property that prevails, and in the enormous numbers of criminals in all the prisons of the kingdom. We have now before us Athenian newspapers of the month of July, filled with complaints of acts of brigandage almost within sight of King Otho's palace. Some years ago a party of pleasure was robbed during a pic-nic at Kephisia; and the newspapers have frequently recorded cases of boiling oil having been poured on women to compel them to show the robbers where the family hoards were concealed. We have seen an occurrence of this kind recorded in Attica while the Chambers were in session. The inference from these facts seems to be, that King Otho, the Greek Chambers, and the existing central administration, are incompetent to establish order and security for life and property in the territory they now pretend to govern. We ask whether it is possible for Great Britain and France to entertain the question of an augmentation of such a kingdom?
We may now turn from examining the position of King Otho and the Greek government in relation to their foreign policy, and take a glance at
the social and political condition of the nation. We must commence by enumerating what the people have neglected to do. This will serve to show how great the difficulties now are in the way of improving the country. During the ten years of representative government which have now elapsed, the Greek deputies have made no systematic efforts to improve the condition of the agricultural population, though three-quarters of the inhabitants of Greece are chiefly dependent on agriculture for their subsistence. No attempt has been made to reform the barbarous method of collecting the land-tax in kind, which retains the population in the stationary condition into which it fell on the decline of the Byzantine Empire. The municipalities have been allowed to become the vehicles of court corruption, and no measures have been taken to enforce regular publication of their receipts and expenditure. No criminal statistics are published. Instead of appropriating annually a sum of money for the construction of roads, bridges, quays, and ferry-boats, which are so necessary in a mountainous and insular State, the national interests are sacrificed to the gains of individual senators and deputies. New places are annually created, and the trade of Greece is transferred to Austrian and French steam-companies. The greatest commercial advantages ever placed at the disposal of any people have been neglected by the Greek nation, and perhaps completely thrown away by their late devotion to Russia. Yet the Greeks, who see the number of foreign steamers daily increasing in their ports, boast with their usual childish vanity of their superiority over every other people in naval skill. They even throw out hints in their political writings that the real cause of Lord Palmerston's dissatisfaction with King Otho was founded on a reasonable jealousy of the Greek navy, and a patriotic fear lest the subjects of that monarch should deprive England of her commercial supremacy! Yet while boasting in this Hellenic strain, like true descendants of the contemporaries of Juvenal and Lucian, they have allowed the most profitable part of their own coasting trade to
pass into the hands of the Austrian Lloyd Steam Company.
A tendency to social and political disintegration is quite as much a characteristic of the population of liberated Greece as it was of ancient Hellas. National differences, municipal distinctions, local interests, class prejudices, and individual pretensions, divide the people.
The first great social division is one of race. Only about three-quarters of the population of the Greek kingdom consists of Grecks-the other quarter is composed of Albanians. These races rarely intermarry, and few Greeks ever learn the Albanian language; yet the Albanian race is rapidly acquiring political importance in the present condition of the Othoman Empire. It enjoys two immense advantages over the Greek race. Its geographical location concentrates the population, and offers a strong barrier against any foreign conquerors; while its military habits enables it to raise far larger and more efficient armies. It is also physically as much superior to the Greek as it is intellectually inferior. The bravest men and the most beautiful women in the Greek kingdom are of the purest Albanian blood, unadulterated with any admixture with the Hellenic race. Marko Botzaris, Miaoulis, and Konduriottis were Albanians. If the Albanians should, like their fellow-citizens the Greeks, become more eager to identify their existence with an ideal past than with a promising future, there is no reason for their being behind-hand in boasting. As descendants of the Macedonians, they may proudly vaunt that they have repeatedly conquered the Hellenes; and, as a section of the great Thracian people, they trace their origin to a mightier source than the Greeks. Consequently, if race is to become a determining cause in the formation of independent States, or even national representations, within the limits of the Öthoman Empire, the warlike Albanians, in their inexpugnable mountains, are likely to assume a more important position than the commercial Greeks, dispersed in exposed seaports and defenceless islands. The application of ethnology to politics, which the Greeks have strongly advocated, is extremely likely to ope
rate forcibly in preventing any considerable extension of their kingdom. A Greek empire would be an impossibility if a natural ethnological development were adopted as a basis for partitioning Turkey in Europe. The Vallachians, Sclavonians, and Albanians are as able and willing to arrest the progress of the Greeks to-day, as the Thracians, Macedonians, and Epirots were in ancient times.
The next strongly-marked line of separation in the population of the Greek kingdom is that between the agricultural population and the inhabitants of the towns, whether the citizens live by orchard and garden culture, or by trade and foreign commerce. About three-quarters of the inhabitants of Greece live by agriculture; yet agricultural industry remains in the rudest state. The Bavarian Regency, the Greek King, and the representative Chambers, have hitherto done nothing to improve the condition of the agricultural class, nor to increase the produce of the country. The land which maintained one family four hundred years ago, will only maintain one family at the present day; the district which supported a thousand families under the Turks, can do no more under King Otho. The absurd fiscal arrangements concerning the collection of the land-tax in kind, prevent the peasantry from planting trees; so that in the richest plains devoted to the cultivation of cereals, the agricultural class is in the most miserable condition-as in the fertile districts of Thebes and Messenia. There is also no inducement to extend cultivation, as no roads exist; and a mule would, in a large part of Greece, eat its load of barley before it reached the nearest market. The agricultural class in Greece is poor, barbarous, and industrious; the population of the towns, on the other hand, is in easy circumstances, advanced in civilisation, and extremely idle. In no other country are coffeehouses so numerous or so well filled. The great number of persons living on places and pensions conferred by the central government, or receiving pay from the municipalities with no duty to perform, fills the streets of every town in Greece with an amount
of idle individuals which travellers view with wonder.
The third prominent feature in the social condition of the Greek population is the existence of a military caste called Palikars. These palikars are nothing more than the armed followers of certain military chiefs who have secured to themselves an acknowledged position and regular pay in the Greek kingdom. The palikars wear the Albanian dress, and pretend to be professional soldiers, though neither they nor their leaders know anything of military tactics or discipline. A small number only are composed of the survivors of the irregular troops of the revolutionary war. The greater part consists of idle young men who are incapable of learning a trade, and disinclined to submit to discipline. The utter uselessness of the palikars in military operations was displayed in the ease with which they were defeated and dispersed by Fuad Effendi. These armed bands, however, though they are useless against an enemy, are extremely dangerous to the native peasantry. They march about the Greek kingdom from one end to the other, living at free quarters on the villagers, and consuming annually as large a portion of the produce of the soil as is paid to the central government in the shape of land-tax. In some disturbances which took place in the island of Euboea they were said to have consumed, in forced contributions from the agricultural population, nearly one-third of the whole annual produce of the island.
We do not intend to deny the services which the palikars rendered during the war against the Turks. In a defensive warfare against an undisciplined enemy like the Turks of 1821, or an ill-organised force like the Bavarians of 1833, they were very efficient. But against the French at Argos they were utterly useless, even though they had intrenched themselves in a manner which they fancied would give them a decided advantage over regular troops. The French carried all their positions with the bayonet, and the palikars soon fled in dismay. The revival of the system of palikarism is one of the many evils which Lord Palmerston's knavish protégé, Count Armansperg, bequeathed
to Greece. M. Maurer had broken up the hordes of these children of anarchy in a very effectual manner, though perhaps with unnecessary violence and severity.
The object of Count Armansperg in restoring palikarism was to form for himself a military party. By the formation of troops enrolled under chiefs attached to his own person, he expected to be able to keep down public opinion in the provinces; while, by a lavish distribution of money and places, he knew he could silence it at Athens. The favoured captains were allowed to collect bands of armed followers, almost without any control on the part of the minister-of-war, and without the men or the officers being subjected to any discipline. In the provinces, these captains were intrusted with extraordinary powers, which they used for party purposes; and the palikars became an organ of the government for intimidating its opponents. The consequences of Count Armansperg's conduct were most injurious. Those captains who were unable to gain his good-will collected bands of armed men, or joined the brigands, and endeavoured to increase the number of their followers by levying black-mail on the peaceful agriculturists, in the hope that the government would eventually be compelled to purchase their services. Their calculation proved correct; and Count Armansperg ended by taking into his pay the very men against whom he had employed his generals.
administrative despotism, Mavrocordatos was driven from the ministry, and King Otho re-established in absolute power, by the assistance of palikarism and municipal corruption.
The late invasion of Turkey could hardly have taken place, if it had not been in King Otho's power to launch these irregular bands against his neighbour's frontier; for, with all his folly and imprudence, he would not have ventured to march regular troops openly against the Sultan without a declaration of war. On the other hand, it was fortunate for Europe that the utter worthlessness of these undisciplined bands for all military operations, except the defence of mountain passes, prevented their capturing the frontier fortresses of Epirus and Thessaly, and enabled Fuad Effendi to defeat their army with so much ease at Peta. Never, certainly, did any troops make a more despicable military display than the palikars of Greece in their late attack on Turkey. While these invaders made their patriotism a pretext for plundering their unfortunate countrymen who were subjects of the Othoman Empire, and devoted their chief attention to carrying off cattle and sheep belonging to Greeks and Christians, instead of attempting to storm the illfortified holds of the Turks, the Othoman troops displayed one of the highest characteristics in which the Greek race has always been deficient-a sense of duty. They bravely defended the posts committed to their care, and success crowned their good conduct.
We have now given an impartial account of the faults of King Otho, and of the political vices of the Greek nation; we will proceed to enumerate the virtues of the people with equal impartiality. The greatest enemies of the Greeks cannot deny that they possess a high degree of patriotism. Whatever its origin may be, and however much it may be disfigured by vanity, it is a great virtue, and produces abundant good fruit. The sums of money which have been employed by private individuals in the construction of churches and school-houses over all Greece, the liberal donations they annually remit to Athens for advancing the cause of education, the munificent presents of books, medals,
King Otho adopted with delight the corrupt system of his regent, and even extended its application. He filled his palace with palikars, and neglected the regular troops. Men ignorant of all military service were intrusted with military command in the provinces, where their services were chiefly required to intimidate opposition, and secure the election of court candidates as deputies and mayors. Koletti, the favourite leader of the palikar class, became King Otho's favourite minister; and the influence of that worthless Vallachian Aspropotamite enabled the count to nullify the constitution of 1844. By the influence of the palikars, assisted, it is true, by his own anti-constitutional love of
and philosophical instruments to the University and to the Observatory, and the immense contributions collected to aid the late impolitic attack on Turkey, all prove that, under a better government, and with good guidance, the patriotism of the Greeks might be rendered of great use in advancing the moral improvement and material prosperity of their country. But their patriotic feelings must be directed to the improvement of morality and religion before much good can be effected. The importance of private virtue is not sufficiently appreciated by the Greeks as a guarantee for political honesty. Individual character has more influence as an element of national strength and greatness, than the statesmen at Athens are inclined to believe. Without citing historical examples, we may remind them that a dispersed nation, mingled as the Greeks are with foreign races, is much more amenable to the public opinion of other nations, than a race pressed together in close geographical contiguity, and with which foreigners rarely communicate.
The industry of the Greeks is attested by their commercial activity, and by their laborious agricultural operations. The mass of the population, it is true, derives so little benefit from their toils, that we might pardon them if they were much idler than they are. Those who are most successful in commerce are compelled to expatriate themselves, which is always a great hardship to a Greek. Those who labour at the fields and dig the vineyards are unable to live in tolerable ease; for the want of roads prevents their finding a sale for their produce, and deprives them of the power of purchasing the luxuries they most eagerly desire.
Another honourable feature in Greek society is the good feeling displayed by the classes which live beyond the sphere of court and political influence. If a Greek is neither a courtier, a government official, nor a palikar, he is generally a tolerably honest man, and by no means a bad fellow, unless he be an Ionian or a Phanariot. We may mention an anecdote, which proves strongly the existence of virtue in the great mass of the labouring classes, even on that most delicate of
VOL. LXXVI.-NO. CCCCLXVIII.
all subjects, honesty in paying taxes. When the Bavarians arrived in Greece, they had not time to take any strong measures for enforcing a very strict collection of the national revenues. The probable amount was estimated at four millions, but the revenues of the preceding year had not reached that sum. As it was necessary to leave much to the conscience of the people, Mr Gladstone might have been satisfied with three millions and a half, with a few fivepound notes falling in from time to time from the remorse of defaulters. But the Greeks paid down seven millions within the year; and the experience of subsequent revenue returns proves that they must have paid the full amount to which government had any claim.
The state of the legal profession at Athens impresses strangers with a favourable opinion of the educated classes, when uncorrupted by the service of a corrupted central administration. The advocates form a body of well-educated men, whose professional gains render them independent of court influence, and whose talents and character give them great power over public opinion on judicial matters. Hence they exercise a salutary control over the minister of justice and the judges. This is doubly necessary, from the circumstance that the judges hold their offices only during the pleasure of King Otho, who has fre- quently removed those who have displeased him from office, or sent them into a dreary exile in some distant province in an inferior charge. The power of public opinion, as exercised by the bar, is consequently of great importance to insure some degree of equity in the courts, and control the general administration of justice in civil affairs; and it has been used in a manner highly honourable both to the Greek bar and to the national character.
There is another quality which the Greeks possess in a high degree, and which, if properly directed by a good government, would aid greatly in raising them from their present state of political degradation. This is their aptitude for public discussion. Concentrated as at present on state affairs, concerning which they are na2 E