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points of that great movement, which may serve, by way of contrast or similitude, to throw light on the very significant struggle in which we are now engaged. A single word, however, in the first place, with regard to the dialect in which Mr Tricoupi's work is written; as that is a point on which all persons are not well informed, and a point also by no means unimportant in the decision of the question,- What are the hopes, prospects, and capabilities of the living race of Greeks?
Now, with regard to this point, Mr Tricoupi's book furnishes the most decided and convincing evidence that the language of Aristotle and Plato yet survives in a state of the most perfect purity, the materials of which it is composed being genuine Greek, and the main difference between the style of Tricoupi and that of Xenophon consisting in the loss of a few superfluous verbal flexions, and the adoption of one or two new syntactical forms to compensate for the loss-the merest points of grammar, indeed, which to a schoolmaster great in Attic forms may appear mighty, but to the general scholar, and the practical linguist, are of no moment. A few such words of Turkish extraction, as Čápov, a mosque; pipμávov, a firman; BeĠīpns, a vizier; γενίτσαρος, α janizary; ραγιάδης, α rajah, so far from being any blot on the purity of Mr Tricoupi's Greek, do in fact only prove his good sense; for even the ancient Greeks, ultra-national as they were in all their habits, never scrupled to adopt a foreign word—such Ας γάζα, παράδεισος, ἄγγαρος—when it came in their way, just as we have κοδράντης, κήνσος, σουδάριον, and a few other Latinisms in the New Testament. The fact is, that the modern Greeks are rather to be blamed for the affectation of extreme purity in their style, than for any undue admixture of foreign words, such as we find by scores in every German newspaper. But this is their affair. It is a vice that leans to virtue's side, and springs manifestly from that strong and obstinate vitality of race which has survived the political revolutions of nearly two thousand years; and a vice, moreover, that may prove of the utmost use to our young scholars, who may have the sense and the enterprise
to turn it to practical account. For, as the pure Greek of Mr Tricoupi's book is no private invention of his own, but the very same dialect which is at present used as an organ of intellectual utterance by a large phalanx of talented professors in the University of Athens, and is in fact the language of polite intercourse over the whole of Greece, it follows that Greek, which is at present almost universally studied as a dead language, and that by a most laborious and tedious process of grammatical indoctrination, may be more readily picked up, like German or French, in the course of the living practice of a few months. It is worthy of serious consideration, indeed, how far the progress of our young men in an available knowledge of the finest language of the world may have been impeded by the perverse methods of teachers who could not speak, and who gave themselves no concern to speak, the language which they were teaching; who invented, also, an arbitrary system of pronouncing the language, which completely separated them from the nation who speak it. But this is a philological matter on which we have no vocation to enter here: we only drop a hint for the wise, who are able to inquire and to conclude for themselves.
We now proceed to business. There are five points connected with the late Greek Revolution which stand out with a prominent interest at the present moment.
First,-The character, conduct, and position of RUSSIA at the outbreak of the Revolution.
Second,-The character and conduct of the TURKS and the Turkish government, as displayed by the manner in which the revolt was met.
Third,-The character, conduct, and political significance of the GREEK PEOPLE, as exhibited during the five years' struggle.
Fourth, The character, conduct, and position of RUSSIA, as more fully developed at the conclusion of the struggle.
Fifth,-The character, conduct, and political significance of the GREEK PEOPLE, as exhibited since the battle of Navarino and the establishment of the existing Bavarian dynasty.
On all these points we shall offer a
few remarks in the order in which they are set down.
First,-As to the conduct of RUSSIA. It is a remarkable fact, and very significant of the nature of Russian influence in Turkey, that the Greek Revolution did not commence where one might have expected it to commence, in Greece proper-i.e., the mountainous strongholds of Acarnania and the Peloponnesus-but in those very Principalities where we are now fighting, and where the Muscovites are always intriguing. How was this? Plainly because all those Greeks who had for years been brewing revolt in their rapia, or secret conspiracies, took it for granted that on that nominally Turkish but really Russian ground, Russia would at once come forward and help them to kill -we use the Imperial simile-the sick old Infidel, who had been so long lying with his diseased lumpish body on the back of the Christian population; and accordingly the man whom they set up to raise the flag of Christian insurrection on the banks of the Pruth and the Sereth, was an officer in the Russian service, Alexander Ypsilanti by name; and the first thing he did when he came forward as military head of the revolt in the Principalities, was to put forth a proclamation, in which the Christian tribes of Turkey were told that "a great European power" might be depended on as 66 patronising the insurrection"—or μια μεγάλη δύναμις τους προστατεύει. Now, here was a lie to begin with, to which perhaps the old Græcia mendax may seem not inapplicable: but in fact it was a most probable lie; and if lies were at all justifiable, either on principle or policy, at the opening scene of a great war, certainly this was the lie which at that time and place looked most like the truth. But it is a dangerous thing to raise warlike enthusiasm at any time, especially when an emperor is concerned, by sounding statements not founded on truth. Had the Czar been ever so willing to assist the movement of the Wallachian Greeks, and to lead his victorious Cossacks, scarcely returned from fair Paris, to magnificent Stamboul, he could not but feel offended at the unceremonious manner in which his decision had been taken out of his
own mouth, and the absolute spontaneity of an imperial ukase been forestalled by a vagabond Greek captain. But the Greeks were, from the beginning, out of their reckoning in supposing that the then Czar would, as a matter of course, patronise their insurrectionary movement against the Turks. Alexander, though not naturally a very bellicose person, had already done as much for the territorial aggrandisement of Russia as would have contented the most warlike of his predecessors. He had rounded off the north-west corner of his vast domain in the most neat and dexterous way by the appropriation of Finland in 1808; and he had profited alike in the upshot by the friendship of Napoleon at Tilsit in 1807, and by his enmity at Moscow in 1812. That he should enter upon a new, and in all probability a severe contest with another enemy, and put himself at the head of a great insurrectionary movement, disturbing all the peaceful relations so recently established, and in such friendly amity with the great conservative powers at Paris and Vienna, was a proceeding not to be looked for from a moderate and a prudent man. This the Greeks might have known, had they not been befooled by patriotic passion. A "holy alliance" no doubt it was which, in 1815, the pious soul of the good Czar had made with his brother kings; but this "holiness" was either a mere fraternisation of sentiment, too vague to be of any practical force, or at best a religious stamp placed upon a document, the contents of which were essentially political, and did not at all warrant the expectation that the most Christian crowned Allies should be called upon to interfere in supporting every revolt which Christian subjects in any land might feel themselves called upon to make against their traditional lords. Then as to politics: Though Alexander was a most kind-hearted, truly popular, and very liberal sovereign, and had made speeches at Paris, Warsaw, and elsewhere, equal to anything ever spouted by the present Majesty of Prussia in his most liberal fits, yet he was very little of a constitutionalist, and not at all a democrat. From Laybach, therefore, where he was when the revolution broke out in March
1821, he gave his decision in the matter of the Greek insurrection in the following very remarkable words :
"The motives of the Emperor are now known, from the best of all sources, his own words, in confidential conversation
with Mons. de Chateaubriand. "The time is past,' said he, 'when there can be a French, Russian, Prussian, or Austrian policy. One only policy for the safety of all can be admitted in common by all people and all kings. It devolves on me to show myself the first to be convinced of the principles on which the Holy Alliance is founded, An opportunity presented itself on occasion of the insurrection of the Greeks. Nothing certainly could have been more for my interests, those of my people, and the opinion of my country, than a religious war against the Turks; but I discerned in the troubles of the Peloponnesus the revolutionary mark, From that moment I kept aloof from them. Nothing has been spared to turn me aside from the Alliance; but in vain. My selflove has been assailed, my prejudices appealed to; but in vain. What need have I for an extension of my empire? Providence has not put under my orders 800,000 soldiers to satisfy my ambition, but to protect religion, morality, and justice, and to establish the principles of
order on which human society reposes.' In pursuance of these principles, Count Nesselrode declared officially that his Imperial Majesty could not regard the enterprise of Ypsilanti as anything but the effect of the exaltation which characterises the present epoch, as well as of the inexperience and levity of that young man, whose name is ordered to be erased from the Russian service.' Orders were
at the same time sent to the imperial
forces on the Pruth and in the Black Sea to observe the strictest neutrality."
The publication of this resolution on the part of the Imperial government effectually quashed the movement in the Principalities; and poor Ypsilanti, after a few awkward and ill-managed plunges, was obliged to back out of his position, and, leaving "Olympian George," and other sturdy Greek mountaineers, in the lurch, seek for refuge, and find a prison in Austria. In this whole affair, however, though the Greeks had shown themselves
very vain and foolish, no man can deny that the Czar behaved with great moderation- like a gentleman, in fact, and a Christian, as he was-and moreover, we must add, like a wise politician. For we can scarcely agree with some strong indications of feeling, both in Tricoupi and in Sir Archibald Alison, that any Christian power would have been justified in supporting a revolt of Christian subjects against their lawful sovereign, being an Infidel, till these Christians had first shown, by their own exertions, that they were worthy of the intervention which afterwards took place in their favour. We see, also, that Lord Aberdeen, in some late remarks in the House of Lords, was quite correct historically when he called attention to the comparative “moderation" of Russian counsels in some of her dealings with Turkey. Russia, in fact, never has displayed any very flagrant rapacity in her dealings with Turkey, for the best of all possible reasons, because, having as much of the fox as of the bear in her nature, she does not wish to alarm the
European powers on a point where she knows they are peculiarly sensitive. Her policy has been to poison the sick old man, not to kill him; and in this very moderation, as all the world now knows, lies the peculiar danger of her encroachments. Like a deep swirling river, she rolls beneath the fat mud-banks of your political STATUS QUO, and you suspect no harm, and can walk on the green bank with delectation; but when the flood comes, there will be a shaking and a precipitation; and then God help the sleepers!
So much for Russia. Our next question relates to the Turks. How did they behave at the outbreak of the insurrection? The answer is given in two words-like butchers, and like blunderers. Like butchers in the first place. Their way of crushing an insurrection was truly a brutal one πολιτική θηριώδης, as Mr Tricoupi says; or shall we not rather say devilish. Certainly Sylla, in his most
* Sir A. Alison, perhaps, as we shall see afterwards, confines his sympathy to the assertion that, after the infamous butchery of the Greeks at Chios, the intervention of the Christian States in behalf of the oppressed Christian people became a duty.
sanguinary humours, never enacted anything more inhuman and more diabolical than the wholesale massacre of the prosperous Greeks in Scios, April 1822, which, next to certain scenes when the Furies were let loose in France, forms the most bloody page of modern history. When a Turk suspects a Greek of treason, he makes short work of it: no forms of law, no investigation, no trial, no proof; but right on with the instinct of a tiger, in the very simple and effective old Oriental style," Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head." So an old Jew once said to King David; but Sultan Mahmoud did not require that a word of cursing should have been spoken. Sufficient that the individual marked for butchery stood in a prominent situation, and was of the same brotherhood as those who had spoken or acted treason: if he was not guilty in his own person, he was bound to be cognisant of the guilt of others; and for not revealing this guilt he must die. Such is the simple theory on which proceeded the wholesale murders which took place at Constantinople so soon as word was brought of the insurrectionary movement in the Principalities. As a specimen of these infamous proceedings, we shall select from Mr Tricoupi's book the account of the death of the Patriarch Gregory, a murder committed with the most flagrant disregard of all the forms of justice (if there be such forms in Turkey), and under circumstances calculated to rouse to the utmost pitch the spirit of the people whom it was intended to crush; a murder, therefore, not merely cruel and barbarous, but stupid and impolitic. The account given by our author of this most characteristic event is somewhat circumstantial, as might be expected from the piety of a true Greek writing on such a subject. We curtail it, however, as little as possible,-especially as the closing scene, in which Russia appears a chief actor, affords
a vivid glimpse of the very natural manner in which, unassisted by any evil arts of diplomacy, that power can continually earn for itself golden opinions among the Christian nations of the south.
"On the evening of Easter Saturday, or great Saturday-ro péya σábbarov, as the Greeks call it being the 9th of March, there were seen dispersed in the neighbourhood of the Patriarch's palace, within and without the Fanar, about five thousand armed Janizaries, without any person knowing why. The Janizaries perambulated the streets of the Fanar the whole night, but did no harm to any
At midnight, as is the use in our Church, the church-crier made proclamation, and the Christian people, though under great apprehensions, immediately obeyed the sacred summons, and assembled without hinderance or disturbance in the church of the Patriarchate. The Patriarch himself officiated as usual, with twelve other priests; and after the service was finished, the people were dismissed, and retired quietly to their own homes. The Patriarch went to his palace, when the first streaks of day were beginning to appear; but scarcely had he entered, when word was brought that Staurakis Aristarches, the great Interpreter, wished to speak with him. The Patriarch proposed to go with him to his private room, but the Interpreter replied that he preferred being taken immediately to the great Hall of the Synod. There he came with one of the Secretaries of State, and forthwith produced a firman, which he declared he had orders to read aloud without a moment's delay in the presence of the Patriarch, the chief priests, the heads of the Greek people, and the deacons of corporations. These parties were sent for, and the firman instantly read as follows: Forasmuch as the Patriarch Gregory has shown himself unworthy of the patriarchal throne, ungrateful to the Porte, and a deviser of plots,-for these reasons he is de
That this "bloody and brutal" policy is still exercised by the Turks, when they have their free swing, is evident from the letter of Mr Saunders, the British Consul at Prevesa, which appeared about two months ago in the Times, and of which a Greek translation now lies before us in the Aqvâ-an Athenian newspaper-of the 9th June.
posed from his office.' The Patriarch, accompanied by his faithful archdeacon, was immediately led off to prison; and as soon as he had left the hall, a second firman was read out in the following terms: 'Forasmuch as the Sublime Porte does not desire to deprive his faithful subjects of their spiritual superintendence, he hereby commands them to elect a patriarch according to their ancient custom.' A consultation immediately took place among the clergy; and they agreed that they should call to the patriarchal throne Cyril, who had been formerly patriarch, and was now in Adrianople; but the secretary replied that this could not be allowed, as the proposed patriarch was absent, and under present circumstances the Porte could not allow the throne to be vacant for a single hour; wherefore he commanded them instantly to make election of a new patriarch from the number of the clergy then present. Another consultation immediately took place; and after considerable difficulty the vote fell upon Peisidias Eugenios, who, according to usage, was immediately sent to the Porte, the rest remaining till he should return. After three hours he appeared, environed with a pomp and circumstance more magnificent than usual.
"This ceremony of electing the new pontiff was still going on, when Gregory was led out of prison, where he had been preparing himself by constant prayer for the death which he had too good reason for supposing was prepared for him. After taking him from the prison, they put him into a boat, and disembarked him on the strand of the Fanar. There the venerable old man, looking up steadfastly to heaven, made the sign of the cross, and knelt down, and inclined his hoary head to the executioner's axe; but the headsman ordered him to rise, saying that here was not the place where he was to be executed. They
accordingly led him into his own palace, and there the executioner hung him as he was praying on the threshold of the principal entrance at the hour of noon on Easter Sunday-so that at the very moment when the wretched Christians above were singing the hymn of welcome to their new Patriarch, with the accustomed words es oλλâ erŋ déσñora, his predecessor was hung on the ground-floor like a thief and a malefactor; the very holy person who only a few hours before had offered the bloodless sacrifice for the sins of the people, and had blessed his faithful flock, who, with devoutness and contrition of heart, had kissed the hand that had been hallowed by the handling of the holiest elements. The last moments of Gregory were moments of pure faith and resignation, springing from an unspotted conscience, a heart the fountain of good deeds, a calm contempt of this ephemeral life, and a bright expectation of futurity. The writing of condemnation, by virtue of which he died, called, in Turkish, Yiaftás, was fixed upon the dead body, and set forth the causes of his death as follows."
Here Mr Tricoupi gives the Turkish act of condemnation at full length; but the substance of it is contained in two points: first, "that the Patriarch did not use his spiritual weapons of excommunication, &c., against the revolters; and, second, that he was personally privy to the conspiracy." To which two charges the historian answers shortly that the first is directly contrary to the fact (for the revolters were excommunicated by the Greek hierarchy in the capital); and with regard to the second, he avers, that though it was quite impossible for the head of the Greek Church to be ignorant of the existence of a conspiracy of which thousands of the most notable Greeks in Europe were members, yet he was never a member of the secret socie
It may be interesting to observe here, as a proof of the permanency of the Greek language, that the phrase used by our modern Greek ambassador in this place, ατενίσας εις τον ουρανον, is exactly the same as that used by St Luke in the account of the martyrdom of St Stephen, Acts, vii. 55. Indeed, the vocabulary of the living Greeks, as well as their syntax, is strongly tinged by the language of the Septuagint and the New Testament; a fact, of which our students of theology, if they have any sense, will take note.