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Such were our prognostications while publishing the above article on Modern Greece in New Orleans in April, 1852. The day has come which is to decide on the future existence of the small and impotent kingdom of Hellas as an independant State. At this very moment Athens, Corinth, Chalkis and the islands may be occupied by a French army of twelve thousand troops, the vanguard of which under the command of General Folley has already departed from Toulon for the Levant.
Yet it must be confessed that the position of King Otho is a most difficult one. Surrounded by a band of boastful old Captains from the war of Independence, the Grivas, Tzavellas, Karatassos, and many others who have combined to foment and stir up the dissatisfaction among the Greek Rajahs in Thessaly and Epirus, and the intriguing Hierarchy of the Oriental Church, who everywhere preach the holy war of the Cross against the Crescent under the auspices of Russia, the Bavarian Prince has been forced by the general emthusiasm to connive at the desertion of his officers and the bustling armaments of his unruly subjects.
the execution of their plan. On that day an annual popular festival takes place around one of the most splendid monuments of antiquity, the gigantic group of columns of the Temple of Jupiter Olympus, situated on the plain, east of Athens, near the dry river-bed of the Ilissus. On that day all the inhabitants of Athens, from the oldest to the youngest, turn out and wend their way to the beautiful platform of the sanctuary of their forefathers, where the tables are spread beneath the lofty columns, and feasting, singing, and dancing, occupy the lively Athenians to a late hour at night.
The pallikars from the Turkish war sometimes give King Otho a banquet beneath the Olympian Temple-ruins-one of the most romantic and picturesque spectacles that can be seen. It was during the orgies of this truly national fëte that the royalist conspirators had the intention of giving the signal, and profiting by the excitement of the crowd, to carry them along with the shouts of “Long life to King Otho-down with the constitution-down with the party-men !" But a sudden thunder-storm inundating the plain in the morning, drove the masses early back to the city, and the synomoto, therefore, were obliged to organize something like a riot, and, in order to render it more effectual, they distributed letters among the officers of the troops in garrison at Athens, informing them that a great popular movement was in preparation, which, being in favor of the monarchy, they requested them to support it with the gendarmes and regulars, by joining the military to the people, as in 1843!! Yet some of the officers, instead of keeping the secret to themselves, made instantly a show of patriotism by appearing in the Chamber of Deputies with their letters, when a violent discussion took place, and, on the motion of a Maniote deputy, Komoundourakis, severe measures were taken to defend the constitution of the country.
No overt act of hostility, however, by the Greek government against Turkey has as yet been recorded. Numerous bands of Greek mountaineers, among whom many deserters from the regular army, began on the outbreak of the Russo-Turkish war last October to assemble on the frontiers, at Lamia, Stilida and the Makrinoros. They are commanded by General Grivas, the Acarnanian, Tzavellas, the Epirote, and the brave young Karaiskakis from Agrafa, son of the celebrated General of that name who fell near the Piræus in 1827. In the beginning they made some progress. Having crossed the Othrys they defeated the Turkish frontier detachments at Armyros, and occupied Thaumakos in the Thessalian plain, whence they sent forth a proclamation to the Christian inhabitants. In Epirus Kavaiskakis and Rendis likewise defeated the Pasha of Ioannina near Arta, which was stormed and taken, while Grivas advancing through Mount Pindus, took possession of Metzovo, the wealthy and populous city commanding the mountain passes between Epirus and Thessaly. So far the insurrection had already spread, and great fears prevailed during the winter among the Turkish authorities in Constantinople that the Greek chieftains supported with money from Russia and with combatants from the kingdom of Greece might join the roring Alabanian bands in upper Epirus, and by an invasion in Macedonia, make a dangerous diversion in the rear of the Turkish army on the Danube, or by an advance upon Constantinople excite disturbance among the Greek population of the Capital. But the Greek chiefs by their jealousies and dissentions among themselves and the rapacity and cruelty of their followers toward the native Christians of Metzovo and the villagers of the plain, soon produced distrust and disdain in the regions they intended to revolutionize against the Sultan.
In the mean time a Turkish army of five thousand troops were landed by Volo in Thessaly. Grivas retreated from Mount Pindus after having most unmercifully plundered the industrious citizens of Metzovo and laid the city in ashes. Nor did Karaiskaki fare better in Epirus. Fuad Pasha stormed Arta and drove the Greek sympathizers across the frontiers. The coasts of the Adriatic are blockaded by Turkish and French men-of-war. The Pasha stands at the head of 15,000 Turks on the Ambracian gulf, while 20,000 Greeks have, by order of the Porte, been driven from the Capital, and the divisions of the Anglo-French army are occupying Athens and the Morea.
The position of King Otho is, therefore, very embarrassing at the present moment. Letters from Athens recently received in this city contain the most discouraging account of affairs. Hundreds of families, driven from Constantinople, Smyrna, Saloniki and other Turkish cities, are daily arriving at the Piræus, poor and wretched and are taking up their abode in the Capital and the smaller towns. All kinds of provisions have become dear, while the blockade of the ports stops the commerce and the universal indignation against Turkey and her allies knows no bounds, and thus the rash and unwarranted attack of the old war-party no doubt powerfully supported by Russian money, has brought unmixed evil over the country and even endangered its future independence.
With this melancholy picture of the present condition of fair Heilas, so different from what it was when we, in 1833-1844, lived qnietly, occupied with Collegiate Lectures and other literary pursuits in the Island of Ægina or at the Piræus, we shall close our article. In the next we shall draw the attention of the reader to the interesting events in Greece during the times of the Crusades and open a new leaf of mediaeval history, which we believe has never yet appeared in the English language.
A. L. K. Lancaster, Pa.
ART. VI.-THE TWO FUNERALS.
Shrouded the stately mansion was in gloom,
Of grief, which sympathetic tears did crave ;--
Within an upper chamber, darkly veiled,
And mourning friends a few were there, I deem,
We gathered there that day in thoughtful mood,
many a tear was shed As on the virtues of the dead he hung, And when the dirge-like hymn upon the breeze was flung.
Then came the hearse, slow drawn, and richly hung
To it was borne and laid, the folds among,
Who came to render tribute to the dead
And slow we walked that day with measured pace,
Along our path. Sedate in word and deed
Thus wended we towards the old church-yard,
The smitten form in death's embrace enwound;
With steady spade the sexton bore the clay
And in long line we left the church-yard's shade
And then in groups our various homes we sought,