Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

bave been concluded between them tions of their power, and converting and the Turks previous to the take the Greeks from a herd of passive ing of Constantinople, and broken slaves, into a high-spirited race, by the Turks. Now we would set with all the feelings of indignant all these specialties aside, and jus- freemen burning in their hearts. tify the Greeks on the broad ground with knowledge, the Greeks, many of national right. There is no tie of them inhabiting the islands scate which bound the Greeks to submit tered throughout the Ægean Sea, acto the oppressions of the Turks, and quired commerce and naval power, they violated no tie, therefore, when and became the chief carriers of the they rose up in defence of their lives Turkish trade. and properties. Force was the only With a view to casting off the principle in operatiop between the Turkish yoke, extensive combinatwo parties, and the one party had tions had been long formed ; and the as good a right to it, if he thought insurrections under Czerni George, he could benefit by it, as the other. and Ipsilanti, in Wallachia and Resistance had long ceased to be a Servia, were the first branehes of the question of morality; it was merely a conspiracy. These, howerer, were question of prudence. The two par. crushed, and the Turks, goaded on ties stood clearly in the relation of by revenge, proceeded to massacre, by decided and inveterate enemies, with wholesale, their disaffected subjects. all the rights belonging to that cba. The murder of the Greek Archbishop racter, and it required, therefore, no at Constantinople is a specimen of breach of treaty to justify the pro- the ferocity with which they every ceedings of the Greeks.

where proceeded against the defence· Various causes, it appears, had less Greeks, about 30,000 of whom paved the way for the emancipation they murdered in cold blood in of the Greeks. Among these the pro- different parts. Their plan was, to gress of knowledge among them may disarm them throughout their whole be cited as the chief. Within the empire, after which, they would be last thirty years, the intellectual completely in their power. The improvement of this people has been quelling of the insurrections in Serrapid. All classes have evinced an via and Wallachia, and the dreadful eager desire to become acquainted severities which followed, tended with the ancient literature of their greatly to discourage the Greeks in country, as well as with the ex. their secret plans, and it is likely tended science of the moderns. The that they would not have risen, had rising generation have sought know they not been goaded on by their opledge in the most celebrated foreign pressors, who plainly shewed them, seminaries, and, returning to their naa that they must either conquer or be tive country, have spread improve exterminated. The Greeks were in ment among their brethren. Schools this manner driven at length into have also sprung up for the instruc- open resistance. It is well known tion of those at home, and one cer- that their country is exceedingly fatain effect of this universal spirit of yourable to defensive war, being improvement has been an increased every where intersected by lofty ranimpatience of Turkish oppression, ges of mountains, through which and an increased desire to cast off the the road winds by the narrowest dehated yoke. The diffusion of know, files, at which a small body of resoledge among the Greeks naturally lute men may stop a whole army. gave a keener edge to their sense of Some of these passes, it is scarcedegradation ; it rendered them more ly necessary to mention, bave been inflammable more liable to kindle among the most renowned scenes of into an explosion, from the least ancient glory. Deep and impetuous spark of oppression ; and the Turks, rivers also occur, to impede the passwith their characteristic ignorance age of an army; there is no country and brutality, were perfectly unpre- better adapted for irregular warfare, pared for the threatening storm. or more unfavourable to the regular They descried no symptom of dan-manæuvring of solid masses of men. ger from the progress of knowledge, The peninsula of the Peloponnesus, or which was daily sapping the founda. the crea, is one stupendous assem

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

blage of mountains, girt round by a loss of 300 men. The fruit of this rich border of low land; the roads victory was the possession of the are of the worst description, difficult town of Lala. The whole Morea was even to the natives, though reinark, now a scene of continual skirmishes, able for swiftness and agility, and in the course of which many of its altogether impracticable for the oper- populous towns and villages were ations of a regular army. Another destroyed. The Greeks, newly emer-, important obstacle to an invading ged from bondage, could hardly yet army, is the difficulty of procuring look their oppressors in the face, provisions or forage, and the facility and this want of courage, which apwith which the natives can remove peared in one or two instances, lost: every article of subsistence, and them some important advantages. drive their cattle to the hills. Such But they became gradually more was the field of action in which inured to war; and they were reinGreece was now to make a last strug- forced and encouraged by the hardy gle for her independence ; and had highland population of Laconia, who, the country been of a different na- though much addicted to plunture, and more accessible, the Greeks, dering, and to lawless habits, gave however heroic their efforts, must on every occasion the most. shinbave sunk under the weigbt of the ing examples of intrepidity. By the Turkish attack.

middle of May, the Peloponnesus, The insurrection first broke out at with the exception of a few fortified Patras, in the Morea, on the shore of points, was wholly in possession of the gulf of Lepanto, in consequence the Greeks,and the new Government, of a demand from the Turkish Gover. composed of Archons and Bishops, nor, that the Greeks should deliver was established in the heart of the up their arms. This they flatly re- country. They had a strong army fused to do, and the Governor, turn, blockading the important town of ing his cannon against the town, easi- Tripolizza, which now became the ly made himself master of it... But great object of contention. The Sem the Archbishop of Germanos descenda raskier, Chourschid Pasha, who was ing from the mountains at the head blockading the citadel of Yanina, of 4000 peasants, retook it next into which the rebel Ali Pasha had day, and forced the Turks into the retired, alarmed by the progress citadel. This event was the signal of the insurrection througbout the of a general rising throughout the Morea, resolved, at whatever sacripeninsula, and among the islands, fice, to attempt the relief of the where numerous vessels were fitted Turkish troops shut up in the differ. out to cruize against the Turkish ent towns. He accordingly dispatchtraders, many of which, richly laden, ed about 2000 Albanian cavalry, who fell into their hands. The Turks marched on Tripolizza. The Greeks, throughout the Morea fled into the full of consternation at his approach, fortified towns, which they held, in raised the siege of the different towns the hopes of receiving timely suca as he advanced, so that the Turkish

Some of the Agas surren- garrisons were enabled to provision dered to the Greeks, not being able them anew from the surrounding to secure a retreat to any of the form country. Advancing to Tripolizza, he tresses. Lala, which was garrisoned laid the neighbouring country unby a colony of soldiers, gave the der contribution, collected supplies Greeks a great deal of trouble. A from all quarters, and destroyed severy severe action was fought be- veral Christian villages. The Greeks, tween these Laliots and Count Me who had taken post on the adjacent taxa, who was attacked by them on heights, after some hesitation, rean eminence near the town, where he solved to hazard an action. They had taken post, and where he was were accordingly attacked on the entrenched. The Turks, who were post by the Kiaya, (the Pasha's far superior in ruinbers, repeatedly lieutenant,) in person, with his whole advanced to the charge, with their disposable force. But the Ottoman cavalry, and were as often repulsed cavalry, formidable on the plain, by the fire of grape and musketry, were embarrassed on the narrow and and at last forced to retire with the rocky ground, which was the field of

cours.

battle, and being thrown into disor« the insurrection which failed in Sere der by the Greek fire, their defeat via: he was accompanied by a younge was completed by a vigorous attack er brother of Prince Cantacuzene, of the Mainotes on their flank, and and some other Greeks belonging to fa. they re-entered the city in total rout. milies settled in the north of Europe. This victory giving the Greeks the This latter, though born of a Greek command of the open country, they family, was in all respects a Russian, resumed their tedious operation of but full of spirit and activity, with watching all the fortresses. Having a good share of military skill. Ear. no artillery, nor adequate supplies of ly in August, Prince Mavrocordato, ammunition, they could resort to no whose talents and great character more effectual inethod of reducing soon procured him authority among them.

all classes, arrived from Marseilles While these events were passing in a Greek vessel loaded with miliin the Peloponnesus, the insurrection tary stores, which he disembarked at continued to gain ground in the nor- Messolunghi. Kyriaconti, brother thern parts of Greece, though with to the Bey of Maina, was a great acless vigour, and with fewer striking cession, on account of his courage events. In Acarnania and Ætolia, and enterprise ; and his eldest son, there were no Turkish troops to im- who afterwards died in the field, was pede the progress of the revolution, ex- a young man of great promise. A. cept a few at Lepanto; and at Phocis, mong those who joined the Greek Attica, and Baotia, the peasants as cause at this time, the chief Colocosembled in arms upon the mountains, troni also deserves particular notice. but struck no blow' worthy of being He had never submitted to the Ottomentioned. In Macedonia, the in- man power; but in his native and surrection was begun with great suc- inaccessible mountains of Arcadia, cess; but being carried on with he had always carried on a petty little concert, was in the end mas warfare against the Turks. He was, tered by the Turks, who massacred accordingly, though bold and enterthe Greek inhabitants in great num- prizing, a mere leader of banditti. bers, and forced their leaders to fly He despised tactics and discipline, for their lives. At sea, the Greeks and was nothing more than a useful were decidedly victorious, blockading partizan in that irregular warfare all the Turkish ports, and the ate which was his delight. The strong tempt of the Ottomans to wrest from fortresses of Malvasia and Novarin them their maritime superiority, surrendered to the patriots in Auonly prepared the way for greater gust; and it was here that the Greeks glories. Two vessels of the line were violated the articles of capitulation, fitted out against the Greeks, and on which these fortresses were surproceeded as far as Lesbos. This rendered, and massacred the Turkish squadron was attacked by the Greek garrison, though their safe-conduct fire-vessels so dexterously, that one formed one of the articles of agreeof them fell on board the bows of the ment. Mr Blaquiere urges the proTurkish 74, while the ignorant Mus. vocations they had received as an sulmen stood on deck with muskets, apology for these excesses, and there prepared to repel what they conceive is no

doubt that, towards them, every ed to be an attempt to board, being tie of humanity and good faith was deceived by several effigies the Greeks broken by their enemies. Still these had dressed up in different parts of considerations do not justify the masthe vessel. The ship was burnt to sacre of men surrendered into their the water's edge, and of a crew of hands, under the faith or solemn con800, scarcely one escaped the vigi-' tract guaranteeing their safety; and lance of the Greek boats.

it is matter of deep regret, that the While the Greek patriots were Greek cause should be stained by thus fairly engaged in the work of such atrocities. regeneration, they were joined by se In the progress of the war, the veral distinguished adherents from strength of the contending armies other countries ; among others, by was collected at Tripolizza, where Demetrius Ipsilanti, the brother of the Turks, with the inhabitants, the well-known Ipsilanti, who began amounting altogether to 20,000, were

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

blockaded by the Greek forces, unfortunate place. It is described
amounting to about 5000 ill-armed by Mr Blaquiere in the following
and not very well-disciplined troops. terms:-
The Greeks occupied the adjacent On Friday, the 5th of October, a capi.
heights; and as the Turkish cavalry tulation is said to have been verbally a-
were gradually ruined for want of greed upon, but scarcely was it concluded
forage, they proceeded to occupy the when a fortuitous circumstance rendered
plain, and to draw the blockade the compact of no avail, and brought on
closer, by posting themselves in the a terrible catastrophe. A few Greek sol.
hamlets round the town. The place diers having approached the gate of Ar.
is modern, irregularly constructed gos, entered into conversation with the
with crooked and narrow streets ; it Turkish sentinels, and began as usual to
is surrounded by a wall of masonry,

barter fruit. The Turks were imprudent nine feet high, and six feet thick, enough to assist them in mounting the furnished with a double row of ille wall, with a large basket of grapes, in contrived loop-holes.

There are

exchange for which they gave their arms; demi-towers on the wall, where can

but no sooner had the Greeks gained the non were placed, many of them summit

, than they hurled down the un

guarded Mahometans : opened the gate, honeycombed, and mounted on loose the only one that was walled up, to their blocks of wood. The town is, be

comrades, and displayed the standard of sides, commanded from a rocky emi- the Cross above it. When this emblem nence near it. The besiegers also was perceived from the camp, it acted lay under great disadvantages. Their like an electric shock ; the whole Christroops would not submit to any re tian army instantly rushed from all sides gular discipline; their artillery was to the assault, and the disorder once bein the worst possible state; they had gun could not be stopped, for the Turks only four cannon, two mortars, and immediately opened a brisk fire of can. three or four light brass field-pieces.

non and small arms upon them from the They wanted ammunition, fascines, citadel and ramparts. The principal Greek and every thing necessary for a siege; officers, who certainly could not have rethe soldiers would not work with strained their men, were drawn away by the spade or pick-axe in the entrench- last to hear what was passing, and as he

the torrent: Colocotroni was one of the ments; and though not deficient in

would not deign to follow the steps of any zeal, would do nothing except in their other captain,

he determined to force a own way. The Greeks were here

passage for himself, so that his troops joined by Mr Gordon of Cairness, suffered severely. After the gates were who came in a vessel loaded with broken down and the walls scaled, a fucannon, arms, and ammunition, and rious struggle was maintained in the whose presence was a great accession streets and houses ; but the Peloponneto the Greek cause. Some French sians, flushed with victory, and spurred on and Italian officers were also brought by vengeance were irresistible, and before to the camp by Prince Mavrocorda. sunset all opposition was quelled in the to; but their skill was greatly im- blood of the unfortunate Moslems. The peded by the distraction of coun- citadel, where a large body of Turks had sels which prevailed among the Greek taken refuge, having held out till the folleaders, some of whom could not be lowing evening, surrendered at discretion. made to understand the advantages No quarter was of course either of European discipline and science given or taken in this terrible onset, It may be easily imagined, that in and about 6000 Turks are said to these circumstances the siege pro- have perished in this assault. The ceeded slowly. Many skirmishes Greeks have been exposed to much took place, and some serious and severe invective on account of this well-contested actions, in which massacre ; yet when the circumblood flowed profusely. The be- stances are duly considered, however sieged suffered all the extremities of horrible, and however deeply to be famine ; and negociations commenced regretted, we do not see that any for the surrender of the place, which other result could possibly be exwere protracted, however, by the pected. Let us consider for a moTurks, in the hope of being relieved, ment the situation of the two parties, when the following accident happen- engaged as they had long been in ed, which sealed the fate of this desperate competition for the same

object, their minds heated with mu. shore of the Gulph of Lepanto, tual contention, the Greeks in par. which they battered with ail the ticular long the passive victims of power of their artillery, the brave Turkish cruelty, and now all at once inhabitants resisting desperately un. seeing their enemies at their feet, der the most fearful odds. Ipsilanti's after a long and doubtful assault; army was looking on from the opcould we in these circumstances look posite shore of the

gulph; they heard for a temperate use of victory? Need the heavy firing, which at length we wonder that the sword was deep- suddenly ceased, when, as our auly bathed in the blood of the fallen thor remarks, “a mingled cloud of enemy? We may regret these things; flame and black smoke, ascending to but they need not surprise any one heaven, told but too severely the who looks to the past history of fate of Galaxidi.” The Algerines, mankind. In the wars, to be sure, landing from the fleet for the sake between civilized states, those atro- of plunder, pillaged and set fire to cities cannot take place, because both the town; and its blazing ruins," parties equally abhor them. But the our author mentions, “ continued Turkish barbarians have neither for two or three successive nights, to refinement nor humanity. They shed a lurid and melancholy light put to death, indiscriminately, every over the waters of Lepanto." To Greek who falls into their power; counterbalance this misfortune, the they are the authors of those cruel Grecks took several fortified places, ties; and it is not surely to be won- such as Anta, on the 5th of Decemdered at, nor need the Greeks be so ber, after a desperate struggle, and violently condemned for having re- Corinth on the 27th of February. taliated part of their unutterable They were also continuing the blockcruelties on their own heads—for ade of the other fortified places, such having commended the poisoned cha- as Patras, Napoli di Romania, &c. lice of their own cruelty and injus- with great perseverance, and with tice to their own lips.

every hope of success; they had Great exertions had been made by summoned a congress to assemble at the Turks for the relief of Tripoliz. Epidaurus, and were proceeding to za ; and in the month of August organize both their civil and military four Pashas had advanced with 5000 affairs, when they were menaced by men from Thessaly and Macedonia, à new and formidable invasion by with a view of forcing a passage the Chourschid Pasha of Albania, through the defiles of Thermopolæ, with an army of 30,000 men. This and uniting with the Ottoman troops great army advanced towards coat Thebes and Athens, to enter the rinth in the beginning of July; and Morea and attack the besieging ar- by the 20th its numerous squadrons my of the Greeks. They were met, of cavalry, supported by miasses of however, by a small Greek corps, infantry, were deploying in the advantageously posted in the defiles plains, and had advanced to within of the high road leading to Livadia, three miles of Argos. Universal conand after a well-fought action, in sternation now seized all classes. The which the Greeks gave way at first, Greek congress filed to the islands. and were with difficulty rallied, they There was nothing to oppose this were totally defeated. After this force. Colocotroni, who had suddenaction the Turks did not attempt to ly broken up from Patras, which he make good their advance. Their was blockading, and was now present fleet, however, which was now on in this important theatre of action, the south shore of the Morea, coast- had only 2000 troops under him, ed along, provisioning the differ- part of which he sent to Corinth to ent fortresses, which were blockad- occupy the passes into the Morea, ed, and levelling and burning such and with the other part he joined of the towns as were occupied by Ipsilanti at Argos, who had not the Greeks. They were watched, above 300 men under him. The though ineffectually, by Ipsilanti's second division of the Turkish army corps, and they at last directed their advanced under Mahmoud, amountattack against the small commercial ing to 10,000 infantry and cavalry; town of Galaxidi, on the northern and, to the surprise of every one, this

« AnteriorContinuar »