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History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 by C. A. Fyffe

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the faculty of action required by the times--and Kolokotrones, a type of
the rough fighting Klepht; a mere savage in attainments, scarcely able to
read or write, cunning, grossly avaricious and faithless, incapable of
appreciating either military or moral discipline, but a born soldier in his
own irregular way, and a hero among peasants as ignorant as himself. There
was yet another, who, if his character had been equal to his station, would
have been placed at the head of the government of the Morea. This was
Petrobei, chief of the family of Mauromichalis, ruler of the rugged
district of Maina, in the south-west of Peloponnesus, where the Turk had
never established more than nominal sovereignty. A jovial, princely person,
exercising among his clansmen a mild Homeric sway, Petrobei, surrounded by
his nine vigorous sons, was the most picturesque figure in Greece. But he
had no genius for great things. A sovereignty, which in other hands might
have expanded to national dominion, remained with Petrobei a mere ornament
and curiosity; and the power of the deeply-rooted clan-spirit of the Maina
only made itself felt when, at a later period, the organisation of a united
Hellenic State demanded its sacrifice.

[Fall of Tripolitza, Oct. 5, 1821.]

Anarchy, egotism, and ill-faith disgraced the Greek insurrection from its
beginning to its close. There were, indeed, some men of unblemished honour
among the leaders, and the peasantry in the ranks fought with the most
determined courage year after year; but the action of most of those who
figured as representatives of the people brought discredit upon the
national cause. Their first successes were accompanied by gross treachery
and cruelty. Had the Greek leaders been Bourbon kings, nurtured in all the
sanctities of divine right, instead of tax-gatherers and cattle-lifters,
truants from the wild school of Turkish violence and deceit, they could not
have perjured themselves with lighter hearts. On the surrender of Navarino,
in August, 1821, after a formal capitulation providing for the safety of
its Turkish inhabitants, men, women, and children were indiscriminately
massacred. The capture of Tripolitza, which took place two months later,
was changed from a peaceful triumph into a scene of frightful slaughter by
the avarice of individual chiefs, who, while negotiations were pending,
made their way into the town, and bargained with rich inhabitants to give
them protection in return for their money and jewels. The soldiery, who had
undergone the labours of the siege for six months, saw that their reward
was being pilfered from them. Defying all orders, and in the absence of
Demetrius Hypsilanti, the commander-in-chief, they rushed upon the
fortifications of Tripolitza, and carried them by storm. A general massacre
of the inhabitants followed. For three days the work of carnage was
continued in the streets and houses, until few out of a population of many
thousands remained living. According to the testimony of Kolokotrones
himself, the roads were so choked with the dead, that as he rode from the
gateway to the citadel his horse's hoofs never touched the ground. [368]

[The Massacre of Chios, April-June, 1822.]

In the opening scenes of the Greek insurrection the barbarity of Christians
and of Ottomans was perhaps on a level. The Greek revenged himself with the
ferocity of the slave who breaks his fetters; the Turk resorted to
wholesale massacre and extermination as the normal means of government in
troubled times. And as experience has shown that the savagery of the
European yields in one generation to the influences of civilised rule,
while the Turk remains as inhuman to-day as he was under Mahmud II., so the
history of 1822 proved that the most devilish passions of the Greek were in
the end but a poor match for disciplined Turkish prowess in the work of
butchery. It was no easy matter for the Sultan to requite himself for the
sack of Tripolitza upon Kolokotrones and his victorious soldiers; but there
was a peaceful and inoffensive population elsewhere, which offered all the
conditions for free, unstinted, and unimperilled vengeance which the Turk
desires. A body of Samian troops had landed in Chios, and endeavoured, but
with little success, to excite the inhabitants to revolt, the absence of
the Greek fleet rendering them an almost certain prey to the Sultan's
troops on the mainland. The Samian leader nevertheless refused to abandon
the enterprise, and laid siege to the citadel, in which there was a Turkish
garrison. Before this fortress could be reduced, a relieving army of seven
thousand Turks, with hosts of fanatical volunteers, landed on the island.
The Samians fled; the miserable population of Chios was given up to
massacre. For week after week the soldiery and the roving hordes of
Ottomans slew, pillaged, and sold into slavery at their pleasure. In parts
of the island where the inhabitants took refuge in the monasteries, they
were slaughtered by thousands together; others, tempted back to their homes
by the promulgation of an amnesty, perished family by family. The lot of
those who were spared was almost more pitiable than of those who died. The
slave-markets of Egypt and Tunis were glutted with Chian captives. The
gentleness, the culture, the moral worth of the Chian community made its
fate the more tragical. No district in Europe had exhibited a civilisation
more free from the vices of its type: on no community had there fallen in
modern times so terrible a catastrophe. The estimates of the destruction of
life at Chios are loosely framed; among the lowest is that which sets the
number of the slain and the enslaved at thirty thousand. The island, lately
thronging with life and activity, became a thinly-populated place. After a
long period of depression and the slow return of some fraction of its
former prosperity, convulsions of nature have in our own day again made
Chios a ruin. A new life may arise when the Turk is no longer master of its
shores, but the old history of Chios is closed for ever.

[Exploit of Kanaris, June 18th, 1822.]

The impression made upon public opinion in Europe by the massacre of 1822
was a deep and lasting one, although it caused no immediate change in the
action of Governments. The general feeling of sympathy for the Greeks and
hatred for the Turks, which ultimately forced the Governments to take up a
different policy, was intensified by a brilliant deed of daring by which a
Greek captain avenged the Chians upon their devastor, and by the unexpected
success gained by the insurgents on the mainland against powerful armies of
the Sultan. The Greek executive, which was now headed by Maurokordatos, had
been guilty of gross neglect in not sending over the fleet in time to
prevent the Turks from landing in Chios. When once this landing had been
effected, the ships which afterwards arrived were powerless to prevent the
massacre, and nothing could be attempted except against the Turkish fleet
itself. The instrument of destruction employed by the Greeks was the
fire-ship, which had been used with success against the Turk in these same
waters in the war of 1770. The sacred month of the Ramazan was closing, and
on the night of June 18, Kara Ali, the Turkish commander, celebrated the
festival of Bairam with above a thousand men on board his flag-ship. The
vessel was illuminated with coloured lanterns. In the midst of the
festivities, Constantine Kanaris, a Psarian captain, brought his fire-ship
unobserved right up to the Turkish man-of-war, and drove his bowsprit
firmly into one of her portholes; then, after setting fire to the
combustibles, he stepped quietly into a row-boat, and made away. A breeze
was blowing, and in a moment the Turkish crew were enveloped in a mass of
flames. The powder on board exploded; the boats were sunk; and the vessel,
with its doomed crew, burned to the water-edge, its companions sheering off
to save themselves from the shower of blazing fragments that fell all
around. Kara Ali was killed by a broken mast; a few of his men saved their
lives by swimming or were picked up by rescuers; the rest perished. Such
was the consternation caused by the deed of Kanaris, that the Ottoman fleet
forthwith quitted the gan waters, and took refuge under the guns of the
Dardanelles. Kanaris, unknown before, became from this exploit a famous man
in Europe. It was to no stroke of fortune or mere audacity that he owed his
success, but to the finest combination of nerve and nautical skill. His
feat, which others were constantly attempting, but with little success, to
imitate, was repeated by him in the same year. He was the most brilliant of
Greek seamen, a simple and modest hero; and after his splendid achievements
in the war of liberation, he served his country well in a political career.
Down to his death in a hale old age, he was with justice the idol and pride
of the Greek nation.

[Double invasion of Greece 1822.]

[Destruction of the Pilhellenes near Arta, July 16.]

[Unsuccessful siege of Missolonghi, Nov., 1822.]

The fall of the Albanian rebel, Ali Pasha, in the spring of 1822 made it
possible for Sultan Mahmud, who had hitherto been crippled by the
resistance of Janina, to throw his whole land-force against the Hellenic
revolt; and the Greeks of the mainland, who had as yet had to deal only
with scattered detachments or isolated garrisons, now found themselves
exposed to the attack of two powerful armies. Kurshid, the conqueror of Ali
Pasha, took up his headquarters at Larissa in Thessaly, and from this base
the two invading armies marched southwards on diverging lines. The first,
under Omer Brionis, was ordered to make its way through Southern Epirus to
the western entrance of the Corinthian Gulf, and there to cross into the
Morea; the second, under Dramali, to reduce Central Greece, and enter the
Morea by the isthmus of Corinth; the conquest of Tripolitza and the relief
of the Turkish coast-fortresses which were still uncaptured being the
ultimate end to be accomplished by the two armies in combination with one
another and with the Ottoman fleet. Not less than fifty thousand men were
under the orders of the Turkish commanders, the division of Dramali being
by far the larger of the two. Against this formidable enemy the Greeks
possessed poor means of defence, nor were their prospects improved when
Maurokordatos, the President, determined to take a military command, and to
place himself at the head of the troops in Western Greece. There were
indeed urgent reasons for striking with all possible force in this quarter.
The Suliotes, after seventeen years of exile in Corfu, had returned to
their mountains, and were now making common cause with Greece. They were
both the military outwork of the insurrection, and the political link
between the Hellenes and the Christian communities of Albania, whose action
might become of decisive importance in the struggle against the Turks.
Maurokordatos rightly judged the relief of Suli to be the first and most
pressing duty of the Government. Under a capable leader this effort would
not have been beyond the power of the Greeks; directed by a politician who
knew nothing of military affairs, it was perilous in the highest degree.
Maurokordatos, taking the command out of abler hands, pushed his troops
forward to the neighbourhood of Arta, mismanaged everything, and after
committing a most important post to Botzares, an Albanian chieftain of
doubtful fidelity, left two small regiments exposed to the attack of the
Turks in mass. One of these regiments, called the corps of Philhellenes,
was composed of foreign officers who had volunteered to serve in the Greek
cause as common soldiers. Its discipline was far superior to anything that
existed among the Greeks themselves; and at its head were men who had
fought in Napoleon's campaigns. But this corps, which might have become the
nucleus of a regular army, was sacrificed to the incapacity of the general
and the treachery of his confederate. Betrayed and abandoned by the
Albanian, the Philhellenes met the attack of the Turks gallantly, and
almost all perished. Maurokordatos and the remnant of the Greek troops now
retired to Missolonghi. The Suliotes, left to their own resources, were
once more compelled to quit their mountain home, and to take refuge in
Corfu. Their resistance, however, delayed the Turks for some months, and it
was not until the beginning of November that the army of Omer Brionis,
after conquering the intermediate territory, appeared in front of
Missolonghi. Here the presence of Maurokordatos produced a better effect
than in the field. He declared that he would never leave the town as long
as a man remained to fight the Turks. Defences were erected, and the
besiegers kept at bay for two months. On the 6th of January, 1823, Brionis
ordered an assault. It was beaten back with heavy loss; and the Ottoman
commander, hopeless of maintaining his position throughout the winter,
abandoned his artillery, and retired into the interior of the country.

[Dramali passes the Isthmus of Corinth, July 1822.]

[His retreat and destruction, Aug., 1822.]

In the meantime Dramali had advanced from Thessaly with twenty-four
thousand infantry and six thousand cavalry, the most formidable armament
that had been seen in Greece since the final struggle between the Turks and
Venetians in 1715. At the terror of his approach all hopes of resistance
vanished. He marched through Boeotia and Attica, devastating the country,
and reached the isthmus of Corinth in July, 1822. The mountain passes were
abandoned by the Greeks; the Government, whose seat was at Argos,
dispersed; and Dramali moved on to Nauplia, where the Turkish garrison was
on the point of surrendering to the Greeks. The entrance to the Morea had
been won; the very shadow of a Greek government had disappeared, and the
definite suppression of the revolt seemed now to be close at hand. But two
fatal errors of the enemy saved the Greek cause. Dramali neglected to
garrison the passes through which he had advanced; and the commander of the
Ottoman fleet, which ought to have met the land-force at Nauplia, disobeyed
his instructions and sailed on to Patras. Two Greeks, at this crisis of
their country's history, proved themselves equal to the call of events.
Demetrius Hypsilanti, now President of the Legislature, refused to fly with
his colleagues, and threw himself, with a few hundred men, into the
Acropolis of Argos. Kolokotrones, hastening to Tripolitza, called out every
man capable of bearing arms, and hurried back to Argos, where the Turks
were still held at bay by the defenders of the citadel. Dramali could no
longer think of marching into the interior of the Morea. The gallantry of
Demetrius had given time for the assemblage of a considerable force, and
the Ottoman general now discovered the ruinous effect of his neglect to
garrison the passes in his rear. These were seized by Kolokotrones. The
summer-drought threatened the Turkish army with famine; the fleet which
would have rendered them independent of land-supplies was a hundred miles
away; and Dramali, who had lately seen all Greece at his feet, now found
himself compelled to force his way back through the enemy to the isthmus of
Corinth. The measures taken by Kolokotrones to intercept his retreat were
skilfully planned, and had they been adequately executed not a man of the
Ottoman army would have escaped. It was only through the disorder and the
cupidity of the Greeks themselves that a portion of Dramali's force
succeeded in cutting its way back to Corinth. Baggage was plundered while
the retreating enemy ought to have been annihilated, and divisions which
ought to have co-operated in the main attack sought trifling successes of
their own. But the losses and the demoralisation of the Turkish army were
as ruinous to it as total destruction. Dramali himself fell ill and died;
and the remnant of his troops which had escaped from the enemy's hands
perished in the neighbourhood of Corinth from sickness and want.

[Greek Civil Wars, 1824.]

The decisive events of 1822 opened the eyes of European Governments to the
real character of the Greek national rising, and to the probability of its
ultimate success. The forces of Turkey were exhausted for the moment, and
during the succeeding year no military operations could be undertaken by
the Sultan on anything like the same scale. It would perhaps have been
better for the Greeks themselves if the struggle had been more continuously
sustained. Nothing but foreign pressure could give unity to the efforts of
a race distracted by so many local rivalries, and so many personal
ambitions and animosities. Scarcely was the extremity of danger passed when
civil war began among the Greeks themselves. Kolokotrones set himself up in
opposition to the Legislature, and seized on some of the strong places in
the Morea. This first outbreak of the so-called military party against the
civil authorities was, however, of no great importance. The Primates of the
Morea took part with the representatives of the islands and of Central
Greece against the disturber of the peace, and an accommodation was soon
arranged. Konduriottes, a rich ship-owner of Hydra, was made President,
with Kolettes, a politician of great influence in Central Greece, as his
Minister. But in place of the earlier antagonism between soldier and
civilian, a new and more dangerous antagonism, that of district against
district, now threatened the existence of Greece. The tendency of the new
government to sacrifice everything to the interest of the islands at once
became evident. Konduriottes was a thoroughly incompetent man, and made
himself ridiculous by appointing his friends, the Hydriote sea-captains, to
the highest military and civil posts. Rebellion again broke out, and
Kolokotrones was joined by his old antagonists, the Primates of the Morea.
A serious struggle ensued, and the government, which was really conducted
by Kolettes, displayed an energy that surprised both its friends and its
foes. The Morea was invaded by a powerful force from Hydra. No mercy was
shown to the districts which supported the rebels. Kolokotrones was
thoroughly defeated, and compelled to give himself up to the Government. He
was carried to Hydra and thrown into prison, where he remained until new
peril again rendered his services indispensable to Greece.

[Mahmud calls for the help of Egypt.]

After the destruction of Dramali's army and the failure of the Ottoman navy
to effect any result whatever, the Sultan appears to have conceived a doubt
whether the subjugation of Greece might not in fact be a task beyond his
own unaided power. Even if the mainland were conquered, it was certain that
the Turkish fleet could never reduce the islands, nor prevent the passage
of supplies and reinforcements from these to the ports of the Morea.
Strenuous as Mahmud had hitherto shown himself in crushing his vassals who,
like Ali Pasha, attempted to establish an authority independent of the
central government, he now found himself compelled to apply to the most
dangerous of them all for assistance. Mehemet Ali, Pasha of Egypt, had
risen to power in the disturbed time that followed the expulsion of
Napoleon's forces from Egypt. His fleet was more powerful than that of
Turkey. He had organised an army composed of Arabs, negroes, and fellahs,
and had introduced into it, by means of French officers, the military
system and discipline of Europe. The same reform had been attempted in
Turkey seventeen years before by Mahmud's predecessor, Selim III., but it
had been successfully resisted by the soldiery of Constantinople, and Selim
had paid for his innovations with his life. Mahmud, silent and tenacious,
had long been planning the destruction of the Janissaries, the mutinous and
degraded representatives of a once irresistible force, who would now
neither fight themselves nor permit their rulers to organise any more
effective body of troops in their stead. It is possible that the Sultan may
have believed that a victory won over the enemies of Islam by the
re-modelled forces of Egypt would facilitate the execution of his own plans
of military reform; it is also possible that he may not have been unwilling
to see his vassal's resources dissipated by a distant and hazardous
enterprise. Not without some profound conviction of the urgency of the
present need, not without some sinister calculation as to the means of
dealing with an eventual rival in the future, was the offer of
aggrandisement--if we may judge from the whole tenor of Sultan Mahmud's
career and policy--made to the Pasha of Egypt by his jealous and far-seeing
master. The Pasha was invited to assume the supreme command of the Ottoman
forces by land and sea, and was promised the island of Crete in return for
his co-operation against the Hellenic revolt. Messages to this effect
reached Alexandria at the beginning of 1824. Mehemet, whose ambition had no
limits, welcomed the proposals of his sovereign with ardour, and, while
declining the command for himself, accepted it on behalf of Ibrahim, his
adopted son.

[Turkish-Egyptian plans.]

[Egyptians conquer Crete, April, 1824.]

[Destruction of Psara, July, 1824.]

The most vigorous preparations for war were now made at Alexandria. The
army was raised to 90,000 men, and new ships were added to the navy from
English dockyards. A scheme was framed for the combined operation of the
Egyptian and the Turkish forces which appeared to render the ultimate
conquest of Greece certain. It was agreed that the island of Crete, which
is not sixty miles distant from the southern extremity of the Morea, should
be occupied by Ibrahim, and employed as his place of arms; that
simultaneous or joint attacks should then be made upon the principal
islands of the gan; and that after the capture of these strongholds and
the destruction of the maritime resources of the Greeks, Ibrahim's troops
should pass over the narrow sea between Crete and the Morea, and complete
their work by the reduction of the mainland, thus left destitute of all
chance of succour from without. Crete, like Sicily, is a natural
stepping-stone between Europe and Africa; and when once the assistance of
Egypt was invoked by the Sultan, it was obvious that Crete became the
position which above all others it was necessary for the Greeks to watch
and to defend. But the wretched Government of Konduriottes was occupied
with its domestic struggles. The appeal of the Cretans for protection
remained unanswered, and in the spring of 1824 a strong Egyptian force
landed on this island, captured its fortresses, and suppressed the
resistance of the inhabitants with the most frightful cruelty. The base of
operations had been won, and the combined attacks of the Egyptian and
Turkish fleets upon the smaller islands followed. Casos, about thirty miles
east of Crete, was surprised by the Egyptians, and its population
exterminated. Psara was selected for the attack of the Turkish fleet. Since
the beginning of the insurrection the Psariotes had been the scourge and
terror of the Ottoman coasts. The services that they had rendered in the
Greek navy had been priceless; and if there was one spot of Greek soil
which ought to have been protected as long as a single boat's crew remained
afloat, it was the little rock of Psara. Yet, in spite of repeated
warnings, the Greek Government allowed the Turkish fleet to pass the
Dardanelles unobserved, and some clumsy feints were enough to blind it to
the real object of an expedition whose aim was known to all Europe. There
were ample means for succouring the islanders, as subsequent events proved;
but when the Turkish admiral, Khosrew, with 10,000 men on board, appeared
before Psara, the Greek fleet was far away. The Psariotes themselves were
over-confident. They trusted to their batteries on land, and believed their
rocks to be impregnable. They were soon undeceived. While a corps of
Albanians scaled the cliffs behind the town, the Turks gained a footing in
front, and overwhelmed their gallant enemy by weight of numbers. No mercy
was asked or given. Eight thousand of the Psarians were slain or carried
away as slaves. Not more than one-third of the population succeeded in
escaping to the neighbouring islands. [370]

[Greek successes off the coast of Asia Minor, September, 1824.]

[Ibrahim reaches Crete. December, 1824.]

The first part of the Turko-Egyptian plan had thus been successfully
accomplished, and if Khosrew had attacked Samos immediately after his first
victory, this island would probably have fallen before help could arrive.
But, like other Turkish commanders, Khosrew loved intervals of repose, and
he now sailed off to Mytilene to celebrate the festival of Bairam. In the
meantime the catastrophe of Psara had aroused the Hydriote Government to a
sense of its danger. A strong fleet was sent across the gan, and adequate
measures were taken to defend Samos both by land and sea. The Turkish fleet
was attacked with some success, and though Ibrahim with the Egyptian
contingent now reached the coast of Asia Minor, the Greeks proved
themselves superior to their adversaries combined. The operations of the
Mussulman commanders led to no result; they were harassed and terrified by
the Greek fireships; and when at length all hope of a joint conquest of
Samos had been abandoned, and Ibrahim set sail for Crete to carry out his
own final enterprise alone, he was met on the high seas by the Greeks, and
driven back to the coast of Asia Minor. During the autumn of 1824 the
disasters of the preceding months were to some extent retrieved, and the
situation of the Egyptian fleet would have become one of some peril if the
Greeks had maintained their guard throughout the winter. But they
underrated the energy of Ibrahim, and surrendered themselves to the belief
that he would not repeat the attempt to reach Crete until the following
spring. Careless, or deluded by false information, they returned to Hydra,
and left the seas unwatched. Ibrahim saw his opportunity, and, setting sail
for Crete at the beginning of December, he reached it without falling in
with the enemy.

[Ibrahim in the Morea, Feb., 1825.]

The snowy heights of Taygetus are visible on a clear winter's day from the
Cretan coast; yet, with their enemy actually in view of them, the Greeks
neglected to guard the passage to the Morea. On the 22nd of February, 1825,
Ibrahim crossed the sea unopposed and landed five thousand men at Modon. He
was even able to return to Crete and bring over a second contingent of
superior strength before any steps were taken to hinder his movements. The
fate of the mainland was now settled. Ibrahim marched from Modon upon
Navarino, defeated the Greek forces on the way, and captured the garrison
placed in the Island of Sphakteria--the scene of the first famous surrender
of the Spartans--before the Greek fleet could arrive to relieve it. The
forts of Navarino then capitulated, and Ibrahim pushed on his victorious
march towards the centre of the Morea. It was in vain that the old chief
Kolokotrones was brought from his prison at Hydra to take supreme command.
The conqueror of Dramali was unable to resist the onslaught of Ibrahim's
regiments, recruited from the fierce races of the Soudan, and fighting
with the same arms and under the same discipline as the best troops in
Europe. Kolokotrones was driven back through Tripolitza, and retired as the
Russians had retired from Moscow, leaving a deserted capital behind him.
Ibrahim gave his troops no rest; he hurried onwards against Nauplia, and on
the 24th of June reached the summit of the mountain-pass that looks down
upon the Argolic Gulf. "Ah, little island," he cried, as he saw the rock of
Hydra stretched below him, "how long wilt thou escape me?" At Nauplia
itself the Egyptian commander rode up to the very gates and scanned the
defences, which he hoped to carry at the first assault. Here, however, a
check awaited him. In the midst of general flight and panic, Demetrius
Hypsilanti was again the undaunted soldier. He threw himself with some few
hundreds of men into the mills of Lerna, and there beat back Ibrahim's
vanguard when it attempted to carry this post by storm. The Egyptian
recognised that with men like these in front of him Nauplia could be
reduced only by a regular siege. He retired for a while upon Tripolitza,
and thence sent out his harrying columns, slaughtering and devastating in
every direction. It seemed to be his design not merely to exhaust the
resources of his enemy but to render the Morea a desert, and to exterminate
its population. In the very birthplace of European civilisation, it was
said, this savage, who had already been nominated Pasha of the Morea,
intended to extinguish the European race and name, and to found for himself
upon the ashes of Greece a new barbaric state composed of African negroes
and fellaheen. That such design had actually been formed was denied by the
Turkish government in answer to official inquiries, and its existence was
not capable of proof. But the brutality of one age is the stupidity of the
next, and Ibrahim's violence recoiled upon himself. Nothing in the whole
struggle between the Sultan and the Greeks gave so irresistible an argument
to the Philhellenes throughout Europe, or so directly overcame the scruples
of Governments in regard to an armed intervention in favour of Greece, as
Ibrahim's alleged policy of extermination and re-settlement. The days were
past when Europe could permit its weakest member to be torn from it and
added to the Mohammedan world.

[Siege of Missolongi, April, 1825-April, 1826.]

One episode of the deepest tragic interest yet remained in the
Turko-Hellenic conflict before the Powers of Europe stepped in and struck
with weapons stronger than those which had fallen from dying hands. The
town of Missolonghi was now beleaguered by the Turks, who had invaded
Western Greece while Ibrahim was overrunning the Morea. Missolonghi had
already once been besieged without success; and, as in the case of
Saragossa, the first deliverance appears to have inspired the townspeople
with the resolution, maintained even more heroically at Missolonghi than at
the Spanish city, to die rather than capitulate. From the time when
Reschid, the Turkish commander, opened the second attack by land and sea in
the spring of 1825, the garrison and the inhabitants met every movement of
the enemy with the most obstinate resistance. It was in vain that Reschid
broke through the defences with his artillery, and threw mass after mass
upon the breaches which he made. For month after month the assaults of the
Turks were uniformly repelled, until at length the arrival of a Hydriote
squadron forced the Turkish fleet to retire from its position, and made the
situation of Reschid himself one of considerable danger. And now, as winter
approached, and the guerilla bands in the rear of the besiegers grew more
and more active, the Egyptian army with its leader was called from the
Morea to carry out the task in which the Turks had failed. The Hydriote
sea-captains had departed, believing their presence to be no longer needed;
and although they subsequently returned for a short time, their services
were grudgingly rendered and ineffective. Ibrahim, settling down to his
work at the beginning of 1826, conducted his operations with the utmost
vigour, boasting that he would accomplish in fourteen days what the Turks
could not effect in nine months. But his veteran soldiers were thoroughly
defeated when they met the Greeks hand to hand; and the Egyptian, furious
with his enemy, his allies, and his own officers, confessed that
Missolonghi could only be taken by blockade. He now ordered a fleet of
flat-bottomed boats to be constructed and launched upon the lagoons that
lie between Missolonghi and the open sea. Missolonghi was thus completely
surrounded; and when the Greek admirals appeared for the last time and
endeavoured to force an entrance through the shallows, they found the
besieger in full command of waters inaccessible to themselves, and after
one unsuccessful effort abandoned Missolonghi to its fate. In the third
week of April, 1826, exactly a year after the commencement of the siege,
the supply of food was exhausted. The resolution, long made, that the
entire population, men, women, and children, should fall by the enemy's
sword rather than surrender, was now actually carried out. On the night of
the 22nd of April all the Missolonghiots, with the exception of those whom
age, exhaustion, or illness made unable to leave their homes, were drawn up
in bands at the city gates, the women armed and dressed as men, the
children carrying pistols. Preceded by a body of soldiers, they crossed the
moat under Turkish fire. The attack of the vanguard carried everything
before it, and a way was cut through the Turkish lines. But at this moment
some cry of confusion was mistaken by those who were still on the bridges
for an order to retreat. A portion of the non-combatants returned into the
town, and with them the rearguard of the military escort. The leading
divisions, however, continued their march forward, and would have escaped
with the loss of some of the women and children, had not treachery already
made the Turkish commander acquainted with the routes which they intended
to follow. They had cleared the Turkish camp, and were expecting to meet
the bands of Greek armatoli, who had promised to fall upon the enemy's
rear, when, instead of friends, they encountered troop after troop of
Ottoman cavalry and of Albanians placed in ambush along the road between
Missolonghi and the mountains. Here, exhausted and surprised, they were cut
down without mercy, and out of a body numbering several thousand not more
than fifteen hundred men, with a few women and children, ultimately reached
places of safety. Missolonghi itself was entered by the Turks during the
sortie. The soldiers who had fallen back during the confusion on the
bridges, proved that they had not acted from cowardice. They fought
unflinchingly to the last, and three bands, establishing themselves in the
three powder magazines of the town, set fire to them when surrounded by the
Turks, and perished in the explosion Some thousands of women and children
were captured around and within the town, or wandering on the mountains;
but the Turks had few other prisoners. The men were dead or free.

[Fall of the Acropolis of Athens, June 5, 1827.]

From Missolonghi the tide of Ottoman conquest rolled eastward, and the
Acropolis of Athens was in its turn the object of a long and arduous siege.
The Government, which now held scarcely any territory on the mainland
except Nauplia, where it was itself threatened by Ibrahim, made the most
vigorous efforts to prevent the Acropolis from falling into Reschid's
hands. All, however, was in vain. The English officers, Church and
Cochrane, who were now placed at the head of the military and naval forces
of Greece, failed ignominiously in the attacks which they made on Reschid's
besieging army; and the garrison capitulated on June 5, 1827. But the time
was past when the liberation of Greece could be prevented by any Ottoman
victory. The heroic defence of the Missolonghiots had achieved its end.
Greece had fought long enough to enlist the Powers of Europe on its side;
and in the same month that Missolonghi fell the policy of non-intervention
was definitely abandoned by those Governments which were best able to carry
their intentions into effect. If the struggle had ended during the first
three years of the insurrection, no hand would have been raised to prevent
the restoration of the Sultan's rule. Russia then lay as if spell-bound
beneath the diplomacy of the Holy Alliance; and although in the second year
of the war the death of Castlereagh and the accession of Canning to power
had given Greece a powerful friend instead of a powerful foe within the
British Ministry, it was long before England stirred from its neutrality.
Canning indeed made no secret of his sympathies for Greece, and of his
desire to give the weaker belligerent such help as a neutral might afford;
but when he took up office the time had not come when intervention would
have been useful or possible. Changes in the policy of other great Powers
and in the situation of the belligerents themselves were, he considered,
necessary before the influence of England could be successfully employed in
establishing peace in the East.

[First Russian project of joint intervention, 12 Jan., 1824.]

A vigorous movement of public opinion in favour of Greece made itself felt
throughout Western Europe as the struggle continued; and the vivid and
romantic interest excited over the whole civilised world by the death of
Lord Byron in 1823, among the people whom he had come to free, probably
served the Greek cause better than all that Byron could have achieved had
his life been prolonged. In France and England, where public opinion had
great influence on the action of the Government, as well as in Germany,
where it had none whatever, societies were formed for assisting the Greeks
with arms, stores, and money. The first proposal, however, for a joint
intervention in favour of Greece came from St. Petersburg. The undisguised
good-will of Canning towards the insurgents led the Czar's Government to
anticipate that England itself might soon assume that championship of the
Greek cause which Russia, at the bidding of Metternich and of Canning's
predecessor, had up to that time declined. If the Greeks were to be
befriended, it was intolerable that others should play the part of the
patron. Accordingly, on the 12th of January, 1824, a note was submitted in
the Czar's name to all the Courts of Europe, containing a plan for a
settlement of the Greek question, which it was proposed that the great
Powers of Europe should enforce upon Turkey either by means of an armed
demonstration or by the threat of breaking off all diplomatic relations.
According to this scheme, Greece, apart from the islands, was to be divided
into three Principalities, each tributary to the Sultan and garrisoned by
Turkish troops, but in other respects autonomous, like the Principalities
of Moldavia and Wallachia. The islands were to retain their municipal
organisation as before. In one respect this scheme was superior to all that
have succeeded it, for it included in the territory of the Greeks both
Crete and Epirus; in all other respects it was framed in the interest of
Russia alone. Its object was simply to create a second group of provinces,
like those on the Danube, which should afford Russia a constant opportunity
for interfering with the Ottoman Empire, and which at the same time should
prevent the Greeks from establishing an independent and self-supporting
State. The design cannot be called insidious, for its object was so
palpable that not a single politician in Europe was deceived by it; and a
very simple ruse of Metternich's was enough to draw from the Russian
Government an explicit declaration against the independence of Greece,
which was described by the Czar as a mere chimera. But of all the parties
concerned, the Greeks themselves were loudest in denounciation of the
Russian plan. Their Government sent a protest against it to London, and was
assured by Canning in reply that the support of this country should never
be given to any scheme for disposing of the Greeks without their own
consent. Elsewhere the Czar's note was received with expressions of
politeness due to a Court which it might be dangerous to contradict; and a
series of conferences was opened at St. Petersburg for the purpose of
discussing propositions which no one intended to carry into execution.
Though Canning ordered the British ambassador at St. Petersburg to
dissociate himself from these proceedings, the conferences dragged on, with
long adjournments, from the spring of 1824 to the summer of the following
year. [371]

[Discontent and conspiracies in Russia.]

In the meantime a strong spirit of discontent was rising in the Russian
army and nation. The religious feeling no less than the pride of the people
was deeply wounded by Alexander's refusal to aid the Greeks in their
struggle, and by the pitiful results of his attempted diplomatic concert.
Alone among the European nations the Russians understood the ecclesiastical
character of the Greek insurrection, and owed nothing of their sympathy
with it to the spell of classical literature and art. It is characteristic
of the strength of the religious element in the political views of the
Russian people, that the floods of the Neva which overwhelmed St.
Petersburg in the winter of 1825 should have been regarded as a sign of
divine anger at the Czar's inaction in the struggle between the Crescent
and the Cross. But other causes of discontent were not wanting in Russia.
Though Alexander had forgotten his promises to introduce constitutional
rule, there were many, especially in the army, who had not done so.
Officers who served in the invasion of France in 1815, and in the three
years' occupation which followed it, returned from Western Europe with
ideas of social progress and of constitutional rights which they could
never have gathered in their own country. And when the bright hopes which
had been excited by the recognition of these same ideas by the Czar passed
away, and Russia settled down into the routine of despotism and corruption,
the old unquestioning loyalty of the army was no longer proof against the
workings of the revolutionary spirit. In a land where legal means of
opposition to government and of the initiation of reform were wholly
wanting, discontent was forced into its most dangerous form, that of
military conspiracy. The army was honeycombed with secret societies. Both
in the north and in the south of Russia men of influence worked among the
younger officers, and gained a strong body of adherents to their design of
establishing a constitution by force. The southern army contained the most
resolute and daring conspirators. These men had definitely abandoned the
hope of effecting any public reform as long as Alexander lived, and they
determined to sacrifice the sovereign, as his father and others before him
had been sacrificed, to the political necessities of the time. If the
evidence subsequently given by those implicated in the conspiracy is worthy
of credit, a definite plan had been formed for the assassination of the
Czar in the presence of his troops at one of the great reviews intended to
be held in the south of Russia in the autumn of 1825. On the death of the
monarch a provisional government was at once to be established, and a
constitution proclaimed.

[Death of the Czar, Dec. 1, 1825.]

Alexander, aware of the rising indignation of his people, and irritated
beyond endurance by the failure of his diplomatic efforts, had dissolved
the St. Petersburg Conferences in August, 1825, and declared that Russia
would henceforth act according to its own discretion. He quitted St.
Petersburg and travelled to the Black Sea, accompanied by some of the
leaders of the war-party. Here, plunged in a profound melancholy, conscious
that all his early hopes had only served to surround him with conspirators,
and that his sacrifice of Russia's military interests to international
peace had only rendered his country impotent before all Europe, he still
hesitated to make the final determination between peace and war. A certain
mystery hung over his movements, his acts, and his intentions. Suddenly,
while all Europe waited for the signal that should end the interval of
suspense, the news was sent out from a lonely port on the Black Sea that
the Czar was dead. Alexander, still under fifty years of age, had welcomed
the illness which carried him from a world of cares, and closed a career in
which anguish and disappointment had succeeded to such intoxicating glory
and such unbounded hope. Young as he still was for one who had reigned
twenty-four years, Alexander was of all men the most life-weary. Power,
pleasure, excitement, had lavished on him hours of such existence as none
but Napoleon among all his contemporaries had enjoyed. They had left him
nothing but the solace of religious resignation, and the belief that a
Power higher than his own might yet fulfil the purposes in which he himself
had failed. Ever in the midst of great acts and great events, he had missed
greatness himself. Where he had been best was exactly where men inferior to
himself considered him to have been worst--in his hopes; and these hopes he
had himself abandoned and renounced. Strength, insight, unity of purpose,
the qualities which enable men to mould events, appeared in him but
momentarily or in semblance. For want of them the large and fair horizon of
his earlier years was first obscured and then wholly blotted out from his
view, till in the end nothing but his pietism and his generosity
distinguished him from the politicians of repression whose instrument he
had become.

[Military insurrection at St. Petersburg, Dec 26, 1825.]

The sudden death of Alexander threw the Russian Court into the greatest
confusion, for it was not known who was to succeed him. The heir to the
throne was his brother Constantine, an ignorant and brutal savage, who had
just sufficient sense not to desire to be Czar of Russia, though he
considered himself good enough to tyrannise over the Poles. Constantine had
renounced his right to the crown some years before, but the renunciation
had not been made public, nor had the Grand Duke Nicholas, Constantine's
younger brother, been made aware that the succession was irrevocably fixed
upon himself. Accordingly, when the news of Alexander's death reached St.
Petersburg, and the document embodying Constantine's abdication was brought
from the archives by the officials to whose keeping it had been entrusted,
Nicholas refused to acknowledge it as binding, and caused the troops to
take the oath of allegiance to Constantine, who was then at Warsaw.
Constantine, on the other hand, proclaimed his brother emperor. An
interregnum of three weeks followed, during which messages passed between
Warsaw and St. Petersburg, Nicholas positively refusing to accept the crown
unless by his elder brother's direct command. This at length arrived, and
on the 26th of December Nicholas assumed the rank of sovereign. But the
interval of uncertainty had been turned to good account by the conspirators
at St. Petersburg. The oath already taken by the soldiers to Constantine
enabled the officers who were concerned in the plot to denounce Nicholas as
a usurper, and to disguise their real designs under the cloak of loyalty to
the legitimate Czar. Ignorant of the very meaning of a constitution, the
common soldiers mutinied because they were told to do so; and it is said
that they shouted the word Constitution, believing it to be the name of
Constantine's wife. When summoned to take the oath to Nicholas, the Moscow
Regiment refused it, and marched off to the place in front of the Senate
House, where it formed square, and repulsed an attack made upon it by the
Cavalry of the Guard. Companies from other regiments now joined the
mutineers, and symptoms of insurrection began to show themselves among the
civil population. Nicholas himself did not display the energy of character
which distinguished him through all his later life; on the contrary, his
attitude was for some time rather that of resignation than of
self-confidence. Whether some doubt as to the justice of his cause haunted
him, or a trial like that to which he was now exposed was necessary to
bring to its full strength the iron quality of his nature, it is certain
that the conduct of the new Czar during these critical hours gave to those
around him little indication of the indomitable will which was hence forth
to govern Russia. Though the great mass of the army remained obedient, it
was but slowly brought up to the scene of revolt. Officers of high rank
were sent to harangue the insurgents, and one of these, General
Miloradovitsch, a veteran of the Napoleonic campaigns, was mortally wounded
while endeavouring to make himself heard. It was not until evening that the
artillery was ordered into action, and the command given by the Czar to
fire grape-shot among the insurgents. The effect was decisive. The
mutineers fled before a fire which they were unable to return, and within a
few minutes the insurrection was over. It had possessed no chief of any
military capacity; its leaders were missing at the moment when a forward
march or an attack on the palace of the Czar might have given them the
victory; and among the soldiers at large there was not the least desire to
take part in any movement against the established system of Russia. The
only effect left by the conspiracy within Russia itself was seen in the
rigorous and uncompromising severity with which Nicholas henceforward
enforced the principle of autocratic rule. The illusions of the previous
reign were at an end. A man with the education and the ideas of a
drill-sergeant and the religious assurance of a Covenanter was on the
throne; rebellion had done its worst against him; and woe to those who in
future should deviate a hair's breadth from their duty of implicit
obedience to the sovereign's all-sufficing power. [372]

[Anglo-Russian Protocol, April 4, 1826.]

It has been stated, and with some probability of truth, that the military
insurrection of 1825 disposed the new Czar to a more vigorous policy
abroad. The conspirators, when on their trial, declared it to have been
their intention to throw the army at once into an attack upon the Turks;
and in so doing they would certainly have had the feeling of the nation on
their side. Nicholas himself had little or no sympathy for the Greeks. They
were a democratic people, and the freedom which they sought to gain was
nothing but anarchy. "Do not speak of the Greeks," he said to the
representative of a foreign power, "I call them the rebels." Nevertheless,
little as Nicholas wished to serve the Greek democracy, both inclination
and policy urged him to make an end of his predecessor's faint-hearted
system of negotiation, and to bring the struggle in the East to a summary
close. Canning had already, in conversation with the Russian ambassador at
London, discussed a possible change of policy on the part of the two rival
Courts. He now saw that time had come for establishing new relations
between Great Britain and Russia, and for attempting that co-operation in
the East which he had held to be impracticable during Alexander's reign.
The Duke of Wellington was sent to St. Petersburg, nominally to offer the
usual congratulations to the new sovereign, in reality to dissuade him from
going to war, and to propose either the separate intervention of England or
a joint intervention by England and Russia on behalf of Greece. The mission
was successful. It was in vain that Metternich endeavoured to entangle the
new Czar in the diplomatic web that had so long held his predecessor. The
spell of the Holy Alliance was broken. Nicholas looked on the past
influence of Austria on the Eastern Question only with resentment; he would
hear of no more conferences of ambassadors; and on the 4th of April, 1826,
a Protocol was signed at St. Petersburg, by which Great Britain and Russia
fixed the conditions under which the mediation of the former Power was to
be tendered to the Porte. Greece was to remain tributary to the Sultan; it
was, however, to be governed by its own elected authorities, and to be
completely independent in its commercial relations. The policy known in our
own day as that of bag-and-baggage expulsion was to be carried out in a far
more extended sense than that in which it has been advocated by more recent
champions of the subject races of the East; the Protocol of 1826
stipulating for the removal not only of Turkish officials but of the entire
surviving Turkish population of Greece. All property belonging to the
Turks, whether on the continent or in the islands, was to be purchased by
the Greeks. [373]

Thus was the first step taken in the negotiations which ended in the
establishment of Hellenic independence. The Protocol, which had been
secretly signed, was submitted after some interval to the other Courts of
Europe. At Vienna it was received with the utmost disgust. Metternich had
at first declared the union of England and Russia to be an impossibility.
When this union was actually established, no language was sufficiently
strong to express his mortification and his spite. At one moment he
declared that Canning was a revolutionist who had entrapped the young and
inexperienced Czar into an alliance with European radicalism; at another,
that England had made itself the cat's-paw of Russian ambition. Not till
now, he protested, could Europe understand what it had lost in Castlereagh.
Nor did Metternich confine himself to lamentations. While his
representatives at Paris and Berlin spared no effort to excite the
suspicion of those Courts against the Anglo-Russian project of
intervention, the Austrian ambassador at London worked upon King George's
personal hostility to Canning, and conspired against the Minister with that
important section of the English aristocracy which was still influenced by
the traditional regard for Austria. Berlin, however, was the only field
where Metternich's diplomacy still held its own. King Frederick William had
not yet had time to acquire the habit of submission to the young Czar
Nicholas, and was therefore saved the pain of deciding which of two masters
he should obey. In spite of his own sympathy for the Greeks, he declined to
connect Prussia with the proposed joint-intervention, and remained passive,
justifying this course by the absence of any material interests of Prussia
in the East. Being neither a neighbour of the Ottoman Empire nor a maritime
Power, Prussia had in fact no direct means of making its influence felt.

[Treaty between England, Russia and France, July, 1827.]

France, on whose action much more depended, was now governed wholly in the
interests of the Legitimist party. Louis XVIII. had died in 1824, and the
Count of Artois had succeeded to the throne, under the title of Charles X.
The principles of the Legitimists would logically have made them defenders
of the hereditary rights of the Sultan against his rebellious subjects; but
the Sultan, unlike Ferdinand of Spain, was not a Bourbon nor even a
Christian; and in a case where the legitimate prince was an infidel and the
rebels were Christians, the conscience of the most pious Legitimist might
well recoil from the perilous task of deciding between the divine rights of
the Crown and the divine rights of the Church, and choose, in so painful an
emergency, the simpler course of gratifying the national love of action.
There existed, both among Liberals and among Ultramontanes, a real sympathy
for Greece, and this interest was almost the only one in which all French
political sections felt that they had something in common. Liberals
rejoiced in the prospect of making a new free State in Europe; Catholics,
like Charles X. himself, remembered Saint Louis and the Crusades;
diplomatists understood the extreme importance of the impending breach
between Austria and Russia, and of the opportunity of allying France with
the latter Power. Thus the natural and disinterested impulse of the greater
part of the public coincided exactly with the dictates of a far-seeing
policy; and the Government, in spite of its Legitimist principles and of
some assurances given to Metternich in person when he visited Paris in
1825, determined to accept the policy of the Anglo-Russian intervention in
the East, and to participate in the active measures about to be taken by
the two Powers. The Protocol of St. Petersburg formed the basis of a
definitive treaty which was signed at London in July, 1827. By this act
England, Russia, and France undertook to put an end to the conflict in the
East, which, through the injury done to the commerce of all nations, had
become a matter of European concern. The contending parties were to be
summoned to accept the mediation of the Powers and to consent to an
armistice. Greece was to be made autonomous, under the paramount
sovereignty of the Sultan; the Mohammedan population of the Greek provinces
was, as in the Protocol of St. Petersburg, to be entirely removed; and the
Greeks were to enter upon possession of all Turkish property within their
limits, paying an indemnity to the former owners. Each of the three
contracting Governments pledged itself to seek no increase of territory in
the East, and no special commercial advantages. In the secret articles of
the treaty provisions were made for the case of the rejection by the Turks
of the proposed offer of mediation. Should the armistice not be granted
within one month, the Powers agreed that they would announce to each
belligerent their intention to prevent further encounters, and that they
would take the necessary steps for enforcing this declaration, without,
however, taking part in hostilities themselves. Instructions in conformity
with the Treaty were to be sent to the Admirals commanding the
Mediterranean squadrons of the three Powers. [374]

[Death of Canning, August, 1827.]

[Policy of Canning.]

Scarcely was the Treaty of London signed when Canning died. He had
definitely broken from the policy of his predecessors, that policy which,
for the sake of guarding against Russia's advance, had condemned the
Christian races of the East to 1827. eternal subjection to the Turk, and
bound up Great Britain with the Austrian system of resistance to the very
principle and name of national independence. Canning was no blind friend to
Russia. As keenly as any of his adversaries he appreciated the importance
of England's interests in the East; of all English statesmen of that time
he would have been the last to submit to any diminution of England's just
influence or power. But, unlike his predecessors, he saw that there were
great forces at work which, whether with England's concurrence or in spite
of it, would accomplish that revolution in the East for which the time was
now come; and he was statesman enough not to acquiesce in the belief that
the welfare of England was in permanent and necessary antagonism to the
moral interests of mankind and the better spirit of the age. Therefore,
instead of attempting to maintain the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, or
holding aloof and resorting to threats and armaments while Russia
accomplished the liberation of Greece by itself, he united with Russia in
this work, and relied on concerted action as the best preventive against
the undue extension of Russia's influence in the East. In committing
England to armed intervention, Canning no doubt hoped that the settlement
of the Greek question arranged by the Powers would be peacefully accepted
by the Sultan, and that a separate war between Russia and the Porte, on
this or any other issue, would be averted. Neither of these hopes was
realised. The joint-intervention had to be enforced by arms, and no sooner
had the Allies struck their common blow than a war between Turkey and
Russia followed. How far the course of events might have been modified had
Canning's life not been cut short it is impossible to say; but whether his
statesmanship might or might not have averted war on the Danube, the
balance of results proved his policy to have been the right one. Greece was
established as an independent State, to supply in the future a valuable
element of resistance to Slavic preponderance in the Levant; and the
encounter between Russia and Turkey, so long dreaded, produced none of
those disastrous effects which had been anticipated from it. On the
relative value of Canning's statesmanship as compared with that of his
predecessors, the mind of England and of Europe has long been made up. He
stands among those who have given to this country its claim to the respect
of mankind. His monument, as well as his justification, is the existence of
national freedom in the East; and when half a century later a British
Government reverted to the principle of nonintervention, as it had been
understood by Castlereagh, and declined to enter into any effective
co-operation with Russia for the emancipation of Bulgaria, even then, when
the precedent of Canning's action in 1827 stood in direct and glaring
contradiction to the policy of the hour, no effective attempt was made by
the leaders of the party to which Canning had belonged to impugn his
authority, or to explain away his example. It might indeed be alleged that
Canning had not explicitly resolved on the application of force; but those
who could maintain that Canning would, like Wellington, have used the
language of apology and regret when Turkish obstinacy had made it
impossible to effect the object of his intervention by any other means, had
indeed read the history of Canning's career in vain. [375]

[Intervention of the Admirals, Sept., 1927.]

The death of Canning, which brought his rival, the Duke of Wellington,
after a short interval to the head of affairs, caused at the moment no
avowed change in the execution of his plans. In accordance with the
provisions of the Treaty of London the mediation of the allied Powers was
at once tendered to the belligerents, and an armistice demanded. The
armistice was accepted by the Greeks; it was contemptuously refused by the
Turks. In consequence of this refusal the state of war continued, as it
would have been absurd to ask the Greeks to sit still and be massacred
because the enemy declined to lay down his arms. The Turk being the party
resisting the mediation agreed upon, it became necessary to deprive him of
the power of continuing hostilities. Heavy reinforcements had just arrived
from Egypt, and an expedition was on the point of sailing from Navarino,
the gathering place of Ibrahim's forces, against Hydra, the capture of
which would have definitely made an end of the Greek insurrection. Admiral
Codrington, the commander of the British fleet, and the French Admiral De
Rigny, were now off the coast of Greece. They addressed themselves to
Ibrahim, and required from him a promise that he would make no movement
until further orders should arrive from Constantinople. Ibrahim made this
promise verbally on the 25th of September. A few days later, however,
Ibrahim learnt that while he himself was compelled to be inactive, the
Greeks, continuing hostilities as they were entitled to do, had won a
brilliant naval victory under Captain Hastings within the Gulf of Corinth.
Unable to control his anger, he sailed out from the harbour of Navarino,
and made for Patras. Codrington, who had stationed his fleet at Zante,
heard of the movement, and at once threw himself across the track of the
Egyptian, whom he compelled to turn back by an energetic threat to sink his
fleet. Had the French and Russian contingents been at hand, Codrington
would have taken advantage of Ibrahim's sortie to cut him off from all
Greek harbours, and to force him to return direct to Alexandria, thus
peaceably accomplishing the object of the intervention. This, however, to
the misfortune of Ibrahim's seamen, the English admiral could not do alone.
Ibrahim re-entered Navarino, and there found the orders of the Sultan for
which it had been agreed that he should wait. These orders were dictated by
true Turkish infatuation. They bade Ibrahim continue the subjugation of the
Morea with the utmost vigour, and promised him the assistance of Reschid
Pasha, his rival in the siege of Missolonghi. Ibrahim, perfectly reckless
of the consequences, now sent out his devastating columns again. No life,
and nothing that could support life, was spared. Not only were the crops
ravaged, but the fruit-trees, which are the permanent support of the
country, were cut down at the roots. Clouds of fire and smoke from burning
villages showed the English officers who approached the coast in what
spirit the Turk met their proposals for a pacification. "It is supposed
that if Ibrahim remained in Greece," wrote Captain Hamilton, "more than a
third of its inhabitants would die of absolute starvation."

[Battle of Navarino, Oct. 20th, 1827.]

It became necessary to act quickly, the more so as the season was far
advanced, and a winter blockade of Ibrahim's fleet was impossible. A
message was sent to the Egyptian head-quarters, requiring that hostilities
should cease, that the Morea should be evacuated, and the Turko-Egyptian
fleet return to Constantinople and Alexandria. In answer to this message
there came back a statement that Ibrahim had left Navarino for the interior
of the country, and that it was not known where to find him. Nothing now
remained for the admirals but to make their presence felt. On the 18th of
October it was resolved that the English, French, and Russian fleets, which
were now united, should enter the harbour of Navarino in battle order. The
movement was called a demonstration, and in so far as the admirals had not
actually determined upon making an attack, it was not directly a hostile
measure; but every gun was ready to open fire, and it was well understood
that any act of resistance on the part of the opposite fleet would result
in hostilities. Codrington, as senior officer, took command of the allied
squadron, and the instructions which he gave to his colleagues for the
event of a general engagement concluded with Nelson's words, that no
captain could do very wrong who placed his ship alongside that of an enemy.

Thus, ready to strike hard, the English admiral sailed into the harbour of
Navarino at noon on October 20, followed by the French and the Russians.
The allied fleet advanced to within pistol-shot of the Ottoman ships and
there anchored. A little to the windward of the position assigned to the
English corvette _Dartmouth_ there lay a Turkish fire-ship. A request
was made that this dangerous vessel might be removed to a safer distance;
it was refused, and a boat's crew was then sent to cut its cable. The boat
was received with musketry fire. This was answered by the _Dartmouth_
and by a French ship, and the battle soon became general. Codrington, still
desirous to avoid bloodshed, sent his pilot to Moharem Bey, who commanded
in Ibrahim's absence, proposing to withhold fire on both sides. Moharem
replied with cannon-shot, killing the pilot and striking Codrington's own
vessel. This exhausted the patience of the English admiral, who forthwith
made his adversary a mere wreck. The entire fleets on both sides were now
engaged. The Turks had a superiority of eight hundred guns, and fought with
courage. For four hours the battle raged at close quarters in the
land-locked harbour, while twenty thousand of Ibrahim's soldiers watched
from the surrounding hills the struggle in which they could take no part.
But the result of the combat was never for a moment doubtful. The confusion
and bad discipline of the Turkish fleet made it an easy prey. Vessel after
vessel was sunk or blown to pieces, and before evening fell the work of the
allies was done. When Ibrahim returned from his journey on the following
day he found the harbour of Navarino strewed with wrecks and dead bodies.
Four thousand of his seamen had fallen; the fleet which was to have
accomplished the reduction of Hydra was utterly ruined. [376]

[Inaction of England after Navarino.]

Over all Greece it was at once felt that the nation was saved. The
intervention of the Powers had been sudden and decisive beyond the most
sanguine hopes; and though this intervention might be intended to establish
something less than the complete independence of Greece, the violence of
the first collision bade fair to carry the work far beyond the bounds
originally assigned to it. The attitude of the Porte after the news of the
battle of Navarino reached Constantinople was exactly that which its worst
enemies might have desired. So far from abating anything in its resistance
to the mediation of the three Powers, it declared the attack made upon its
navy to be a crime and an outrage, and claimed satisfaction for it from the
ambassadors of the Allied Powers. Arguments proved useless, and the united
demand for an armistice with the Greeks having been finally and
contemptuously refused, the ambassadors, in accordance with their
instructions, quitted the Turkish capital (Dec. 8). Had Canning been still
living, it is probable that the first blow of Navarino would have been
immediately followed by the measures necessary to make the Sultan submit to
the Treaty of London, and that the forces of Great Britain would have been
applied with sufficient vigour to render any isolated action on the part of
Russia both unnecessary and impossible. But at this critical moment a
paralysis fell over the English Government. Canning's policy was so much
his own, he had dragged his colleagues so forcibly with him in spite of
themselves, that when his place was left empty no one had the courage
either to fulfil or to reverse his intentions, and the men who succeeded
him acted as if they were trespassers in the fortress which Canning had
taken by storm. The very ground on which Wellington, no less than Canning,
had justified the agreement made with Russia in 1826 was the necessity of
preventing Russia from acting alone; and when Russian and Turkish ships had
actually fought at Navarino, and war was all but formally declared, it
became more imperative than ever that Great Britain should keep the most
vigorous hold upon its rival, and by steady, consistent pressure let it be
known to both Turks and Russians that the terms of the Treaty of London and
no others must be enforced. To retire from action immediately after dealing
the Sultan one dire, irrevocable blow, without following up this stroke or
attaining the end agreed upon--to leave Russia to take up the armed
compulsion where England had dropped it, and to win from its crippled
adversary the gains of a private and isolated war--was surely the weakest
of all possible policies that could have been adopted. Yet this was the
policy followed by English Ministers during that interval of transition and
incoherence that passed between Canning's death and the introduction of the
Reform Bill.

[War between Russia and Turkey, April, 1828.]

By the Russian Government nothing was more ardently desired than a contest
with Turkey, in which England and France, after they had destroyed the
Turkish fleet, should be mere on-lookers, debarred by the folly of the
Porte itself from prohibiting or controlling hostilities between it and its
neighbour. There might indeed be some want of a pretext for war, since all
the points of contention between Russia and Turkey other than those
relating to Greece had been finally settled in Russia's favour by a Treaty
signed at Akerman in October, 1826. But the spirit of infatuation had
seized the Sultan, or a secret hope that the Western Powers would in the
last resort throw over the Court of St. Petersburg led him to hurry on
hostilities by a direct challenge to Russia. A proclamation which reads
like the work of some frantic dervish, though said to have been composed by
Mahmud himself, called the Mussulman world to arms. Russia was denounced as
the instigator of the Greek rebellion, and the arch-enemy of Islam. The
Treaty of Akerman was declared to have been extorted by compulsion and to
have been signed only for the purpose of gaining time. "Russia has imparted
its own madness to the other Powers and persuaded them to make an alliance
to free the Rayah from his Ottoman master. But the Turk does not count his
enemies. The law forbids the people of Islam to permit any injury to be
done to their religion; and if all the unbelievers together unite against
them, they will enter on the war as a sacred duty, and trust in God for
protection." This proclamation was followed by a levy of troops and the
expulsion of most of the Christian residents in Constantinople. Russia
needed no other pretext. The fanatical outburst of the Sultan was treated
by the Court of St. Petersburg as if it had been the deliberate expression
of some civilised Power, and was answered on the 26th of April, 1828, by a
declaration of war. In order to soften the effect of this step and to reap
the full benefit of its subsisting relations with France and England,
Russia gave a provisional undertaking to confine its operations as a
belligerent to the mainland and the Black Sea, and within the Mediterranean
to act still as one of the allied neutrals under the terms of the Treaty of

[Military condition of Turkey.]

The moment seized by Russia for the declaration of war was one singularly
favourable to itself and unfortunate for its adversary. Not only had the
Turkish fleet been destroyed by the neutrals, but the old Turkish force of
the Janissaries had been destroyed by its own master, and the new-modelled
regiments which were to replace it had not yet been organised. The Sultan
had determined in 1826 to postpone his long-planned military reform no
longer, and to stake everything on one bold stroke against the Janissaries.
Troops enough were brought up from the other side of the Bosphorus to make
Mahmud certain of victory. The Janissaries were summoned to contribute a
proportion of their number to the regiments about to be formed on the
European pattern; and when they proudly refused to do so and raised the
standard of open rebellion they were cut to pieces and exterminated by
Mahmud's Anatolian soldiers in the midst of Constantinople. [377] The
principal difficulty in the way of a reform of the Turkish army was thus
removed and the work of reorganisation was earnestly taken in hand; but
before there was time to complete it the enemy entered the field. Mahmud
had to meet the attack of Russia with an army greatly diminished in number,
and confused by the admixture of European and Turkish discipline. The
resources of the empire were exhausted by the long struggle with Greece,
and, above all, the destruction of the Janissaries had left behind it an
exasperation which made the Sultan believe that rebellion might at any
moment break out in his own capital. Nevertheless, in spite of its inherent
weakness and of all the disadvantages under which it entered into war,
Turkey succeeded in prolonging its resistance through two campaigns, and
might, with better counsels, have tried the fortune of a third.

[Military condition of Russia.]

The actual military resources of Russia were in 1828 much below what they
were believed to be by all Europe. The destruction of Napoleon's army in
1812 and the subsequent exploits of Alexander in the campaigns which ended
in the capture of Paris had left behind them an impression of Russian
energy and power which was far from corresponding with the reality, and
which, though disturbed by the events of 1828, had by no means vanished at
the time of the Crimean War. The courage and patience of the Russian
soldier were certainly not over-rated; but the progress supposed to have
been made in Russian military organisation since the campaign of 1799, when
it was regarded in England and Austria as little above that of savages, was
for the most part imaginary. The proofs of a radically bad system--scanty
numbers, failing supplies, immense sickness--were never more conspicuous
than in 1828. Though Russia had been preparing for war for at least seven
years, scarcely seventy thousand soldiers could be collected on the Pruth.
The general was Wittgenstein, one of the heroes of 1812, but now a veteran
past effective work. Nicholas came to the camp to make things worse by
headstrong interference. The best Russian officer, Paskiewitsch, was put in
command of the forces about to operate in Asia Minor, and there, thrown on
his own resources and free to create a system of his own, he achieved
results in strong contrast to the failure of the Russian arms on the

[Campaign of 1828.]

In entering on the campaign of 1828, it was necessary for the Czar to avoid
giving any unnecessary causes of anxiety to Austria, which had already made
unsuccessful attempts to form a coalition against him. The line of
operations was therefore removed as far as possible from the Austrian
frontier; and after the Roumanian principalities had been peacefully
occupied, the Danube was crossed at a short distance above the point where
its mouths divide (June 7). The Turks had no intention of meeting the enemy
in a pitched battle; they confined themselves to the defence of fortresses,
the form of warfare to which, since the decline of the military art in
Turkey, the patience and abstemiousness of the race best fit them. Ibraila
and Silistria on the Danube, Varna and Shumla in the neighbourhood of the
Balkans, were their principal strongholds; of these Ibraila was at once
besieged by a considerable force, while Silistria was watched by a weak
contingent, and the vanguard of the Russian army pushed on through the
Dobrudscha towards the Black Sea, where, with the capture of the minor
coast-towns, it expected to enter into communication with the fleet. The
first few weeks of the campaign were marked by considerable successes.
Ibraila capitulated on the 18th of June, and the military posts in the
Dobrudscha fell one after another into the hands of the invaders, who met
with no effective resistance in this district. But their serious work was
only now beginning. The Russian army, in spite of its weakness, was divided
into three parts, occupied severally in front of Silistria, Shumla, and
Varna. At Shumla the mass of the Turkish army, under Omer Brionis, was
concentrated. The force brought against it by the invader was inadequate to
its task, and the attempts which were made to lure the Turkish army from
its entrenched camp into the open field proved unsuccessful. The
difficulties of the siege proved so great that Wittgenstein after a while
proposed to abandon offensive operations at this point, and to leave a mere
corps of observation before the enemy until Varna should have fallen. This,
however, was forbidden by the Czar. As the Russians wasted away before
Shumla with sickness and fatigue, the Turks gained strength, and on the
24th of September Omer broke out from his entrenchments and moved eastwards
to the relief of Varna. Nicholas again over-ruled his generals, and ordered
his cousin, Prince Eugene of Wrtemberg, to attack the advancing Ottomans
with the troops then actually at his disposal. Eugene did so, and suffered
a severe defeat. A vigorous movement of the Turks would probably have made
an end of the campaign, but Omer held back at the critical moment, and on
the 10th of October Varna surrendered. This, however, was the only conquest
made by the Russians. The season was too far advanced for them either to
cross the Balkans or to push forward operations against the uncaptured
fortresses. Shumla and Silistria remained in the hands of their defenders,
and the Russians, after suffering enormous losses in proportion to the
smallness of their numbers, withdrew to Varna and the Danube, to resume the
campaign in the spring of the following year. [378]

[Campaign of 1829.]

The spirits of the Turks and of their European friends were raised by the
unexpected failure of the Czar's arms. Metternich resumed his efforts to
form a coalition, and tempted French Ministers with the prospect of
recovering the Rhenish provinces, but in vain. The Sultan began
negotiations, but broke them off when he found that the events of the
campaign had made no difference in the enemy's tone. The prestige of Russia
was in fact at stake, and Nicholas would probably have faced a war with
Austria and Turkey combined rather than have made peace without restoring
the much-diminished reputation of his troops. The winter was therefore
spent in bringing up distant reserves. Wittgenstein was removed from his
command; the Czar withdrew from military operations in which he had done
nothing but mischief; and Diebitsch, a Prussian by birth and training, was
placed at the head of the army, untrammelled by the sovereign presence or
counsels which had hampered his predecessor. The intention of the new
commander was to cross the Balkans as soon as Silistria should have fallen,
without waiting for the capture of Shumla. In pursuance of this design the
fleet was despatched early in the spring of 1829 to seize a port beyond the
mountain-range. Diebitsch then placed a corps in front of Silistria, and
made his preparations for the southward march; but before any progress had
been made in the siege the Turks themselves took the field. Reschid Pasha,
now Grand Vizier, moved eastwards from Shumla at the beginning of May
against the weak Russian contingent that still lay in winter quarters
between that place and Varna. The superiority of his force promised him
an easy victory; but after winning some unimportant successes, and
advancing to a considerable distance from his stronghold, he allowed
himself to be held at bay until Diebitsch, with the army of the Danube,
was ready to fall upon his rear. The errors of the Turks had given to the
Russian commander, who hastened across Bulgaria on hearing of his
colleague's peril, the choice of destroying their army, or of seizing
Shumla by a _coup-de-main_. Diebitsch determined upon attacking his
enemy in the open field, and on the 10th of June Reschid's army, attempting
to regain the roads to Shumla, was put to total rout at Kulewtscha. A
fortnight later Silistria surrendered, and Diebitsch, reinforced by the
troops that had besieged that fortress, was now able to commence his
march across the Balkans.

[Crossing of the Balkans, July, 1829.]

Rumour magnified into hundreds of thousands the scanty columns which for
the first time carried the Russian flag over the Balkan range. Resistance
everywhere collapsed. The mountains were crossed without difficulty, and on
the 19th of August the invaders appeared before Adrianople, which
immediately surrendered. Putting on the boldest countenance in order to
conceal his real weakness, Diebitsch now struck out right and left, and
sent detachments both to the Euxine and the Aegean coast. The fleet
co-operated with him, and the ports of the Black Sea, almost as far south
as the Bosphorus, fell into the invaders' hands. The centre of the army
began to march upon Constantinople. If the Sultan had known the real
numbers of the force which threatened his capital, a force not exceeding
twenty thousand men, he would probably have recognised that his assailant's
position was a more dangerous one than his own. Diebitsch had advanced into
the heart of the enemy's country with a mere handful of men. Sickness was
daily thinning his ranks; his troops were dispersed over a wide area from
sea to sea; and the warlike tribes of Albania threatened to fall upon his
communications from the west. For a moment the Sultan spoke of fighting
upon the walls of Constantinople; but the fear of rebellion within his own
capital, the discovery of conspiracies, and the disasters sustained by his
arms in Asia, where Kars and Erzeroum had fallen into the enemy's hands,
soon led him to make overtures of peace and to accept the moderate terms
which the Russian Government, aware of its own difficulties, was willing to
grant. It would have been folly for the Czar to stimulate the growing
suspicion of England and to court the attack of Austria by prolonging
hostilities; and although King Charles X. and the French Cabinet, reverting
to the ideas of Tilsit, proposed a partition of the Ottoman Empire, and a
general re-arrangement of the map of Europe which would have given Belgium
and the Palatinate to France, the plan was originated too late to produce
any effect. [379] Russia had everything to lose and nothing to gain by a
European war. It had reduced Turkey to submission, and might fairly hope to
maintain its ascendency at Constantinople during coming years without
making any of those great territorial changes which would have given its
rivals a pretext for intervening on the Sultan's behalf. Under the guise of
a generous forbearance the Czar extricated himself from a dangerous
position with credit and advantage. As much had been won as could be
maintained without hazard; and on the 14th of September peace was concluded
in Adrianople.

[Treaty of Adrianople, Sept. 14, 1829.]

The Treaty of Adrianople gave Russia a slight increase of territory in
Asia, incorporating with the Czar's dominions the ports of Anapa and Poti
on the eastern coast of the Black Sea; but its most important provisions
were those which confirmed and extended the Protectorate exercised by the
Czar over the Danubian Principalities, and guaranteed the commercial rights
of Russian subjects throughout the Ottoman Empire both by land and sea. In
order more effectively to exclude the Sultan's influence from Wallachia and
Moldavia, the office of Hospodar, hitherto tenable for seven years, was now
made an appointment for life, and the Sultan specifically engaged to permit
no interference on the part of his neighbouring Pashas with the affairs of
these provinces. No fortified point was to be retained by the Turks on the
left bank of the Danube; no Mussulman was to be permitted to reside within
the Principalities; and those possessing landed estates there were to sell
them within eighteen months. The Porte pledged itself never again to detain
Russian ships of commerce coming from the Black Sea, and acknowledged that
such an act would amount to an infraction of treaties justifying Russia in
having recourse to reprisals. The Straits of Constantinople and the
Dardanelles were declared free and open to the merchant ships of all Powers
at peace with the Porte, upon the same conditions which were stipulated for
vessels under the Russian flag. The same freedom of trade and navigation
was recognised within the Black Sea. All treaties and conventions hitherto
concluded between Turkey and Russia were recognised as in force, except in
so far as modified by the present agreement. The Porte further gave its
adhesion to the Treaty of London relating to Greece, and to an Act entered
into by the Allied Powers in March, 1829, for regulating the Greek
frontier. An indemnity in money was declared to be owing to Russia; and as
the amount of this remained to be fixed by mutual agreement, the means were
still left open to the Russian Government for exercising a gentle pressure
at Constantinople, or for rewarding the compliance of the conquered. [380]

[Capodistrias elected President of Greece, April, 1827.]

The war between Turkey and Russia, while it left the European frontier
between the belligerents unchanged, exercised a two-fold influence upon the
settlement of Greece. On the one hand, by exciting the fears and suspicions
of Great Britain, it caused the Government of our own country, under the
Duke of Wellington, to insist on the limitation of the Greek State to the
narrowest possible area; [381] on the other hand, by reducing Turkey itself
almost to the condition of a Russian dependency, it led to the abandonment
of the desire to maintain the Sultan's supremacy in any form over the
emancipated provinces, and resulted in the establishment of an absolutely
independent Hellenic kingdom. An important change had taken place within
Greece itself just at the time when the allied Powers determined upon
intervention. The parts of the local leaders were played out, and in April,
1827, Capodistrias, ex-Minister of Russia, was elected President for seven
years. Capodistrias accepted the call. He was then, as he had been
throughout the insurrection, at a distance from Greece; and before making
his way thither, he visited the principal Courts of Europe, with the view
of ascertaining what moral or financial support he should be likely to
receive from them. His interview with the Czar Nicholas led to a clear
statement by that sovereign of the conditions which he expected
Capodistrias, in return for Russia's continued friendship, to fulfil.
Greece was to be rescued from revolution: in other words, personal was to
be substituted for popular government. The State was to remain tributary to
the Sultan: that is, in both Greece and Turkey the door was to be kept open
for Russia's interference. Whether Capodistrias had any intention of
fulfilling the latter condition is doubtful. His love for Greece and his
own personal ambition prevented his regard for Russia, strong though this
might be, from making him the mere instrument of the Court of St.
Petersburg; and while outwardly acquiescing in the Czar's decision that
Greece should remain a tributary State, he probably resolved from the first
to aim at establishing its complete independence. With regard to the Czar's
demand that the system of local self-government should be superseded within
Greece itself by one of autocratic rule, Capodistrias was in harmony with
his patron. He had been the Minister of a centralised despotism himself.
His experience was wholly that of the official of an absolute sovereign;
and although Capodistrias had represented the more liberal tendencies of
the Russian Court when it was a question of arguing against Metternich
about the complete or the partial restoration of despotic rule in Italy, he
had no real acquaintance and no real sympathy with the action of free
institutions, and moved in the same circle of ideas as the autocratic
reformers of the eighteenth century, of whom Joseph II. was the type. [382]

[The Protocols of Nov., 1828, and March, 1829.]

The Turks were still masters of the Morea when Capodistrias reached Greece.
The battle of Navarino had not caused Ibrahim to relax his hold upon the
fortresses, and it was deemed necessary by the Allies to send a French
army-corps to dislodge him from his position. This expeditionary force,
under General Maison, landed in Greece in the summer of 1828, and Ibrahim,
not wishing to fight to the bitter end, contented himself with burning
Tripolitza to the ground and sowing it with salt, and then withdrew. The
war between Turkey and Russia had now begun. Capodistrias assisted the
Russian fleet in blockading the Dardanelles, and thereby gained for himself
the marked ill-will of the British Government. At a conference held in
London by the representatives of France, England, and Russia, in November,
1828, it was resolved that the operations of the Allies should be limited
to the Morea and the islands. Capodistrias, in consequence of this
decision, took the most vigorous measures for continuing the war against
Turkey. What the allies refused to guarantee must be won by force of arms;
and during the winter of 1829, while Russia pressed upon Turkey from the
Danube, Capodistrias succeeded in reconquering Missolonghi and the whole
tract of country immediately to the north of the Gulf of Corinth. The
Porte, in prolonging its resistance after the November conference, played
as usual into its enemy's hands. The negotiations at London were resumed in
a spirit somewhat more favourable to Greece, and a Protocol was signed on
the 22nd of March, 1829, extending the northern frontier of Greece up to a
line drawn from the Gulf of Arta to the Gulf of Volo. Greece, according to
this Protocol, was still to remain under the Sultan's suzerainty: its ruler
was to be a hereditary prince belonging to one of the reigning European
families, but not to any of the three allied Courts. [383]

[Leopold accepts the Greek Crown, Feb., 1830.]

The mediation of Great Britain was now offered to the Porte upon the terms
thus laid down, and for the fourteenth time its mediation was rejected. But
the end was near at hand. Diebitsch crossed the Balkans, and it was in vain
that the Sultan then proposed the terms which he had scouted in November.
The Treaty of Adrianople enforced the decisions of the March Protocol.
Greece escaped from a limitation of its frontier, which would have left
both Athens and Missolonghi Turkish territory. The principle of the
admission of the provinces north of the Gulf of Corinth within the Hellenic
State was established, and nothing remained for the friends of the Porte
but to cut down to the narrowest possible area the district which had been
loosely indicated in the London Protocol. While Russia, satisfied with its
own successes against the Ottoman Empire and anxious to play the part of
patron of the conquered, ceased to interest itself in Greece, the
Government of Great Britain contested every inch of territory proposed to
be ceded to the new State, and finally induced the Powers to agree upon a
boundary-line which did not even in letter fulfil the conditions of the
treaty. Northern Acarnania and part of tolia were severed from Greece,
and the frontier was drawn from the mouth of the river Achelous to a spot
near Thermopylae. On the other hand, as Russian influence now appeared to
be firmly established and likely to remain paramount at Constantinople, the
Western Powers had no motive to maintain the Sultan's supremacy over
Greece. This was accordingly by common consent abandoned; and the Hellenic
Kingdom, confined within miserably narrow limits on the mainland, and
including neither Crete nor Samos among its islands, was ultimately offered
in full sovereignty to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, the widower of
Charlotte, daughter of George IV. After some negotiations, in which Leopold
vainly asked for a better frontier, he accepted the Greek crown on the 11th
of February, 1830.

[Government of Capodistrias.]

In the meantime, Capodistrias was struggling hard to govern and to organise
according to his own conceptions a land in which every element of anarchy,
ruin, and confusion appeared to be arrayed against the restoration of
civilised life. The country was devastated, depopulated, and in some places
utterly barbarised. Out of a population of little more than a million, it
was reckoned that three hundred thousand had perished during the conflict
with the Turk. The whole fabric of political and social order had to be
erected anew; and, difficult as this task would have been for the wisest
ruler, it was rendered much more difficult by the conflict between
Capodistrias' own ideal and the character of the people among whom he had
to work. Communal or local self-government lay at the very root of Greek
nationality. In many different forms this intense provincialism had
maintained itself unimpaired up to the end of the war, in spite of national
assemblies and national armaments. The Hydriote ship-owners, the Primates
of the Morea, the guerilla leaders of the north, had each a type of life
and a body of institutions as distinct as the dialects which they spoke or
the saints whom they cherished in their local sanctuaries. If antagonistic
in some respects to national unity, this vigorous local life had
nevertheless been a source of national energy while Greece had still its
independence to win; and now that national independence was won, it might
well have been made the basis of a popular and effective system of
self-government. But to Capodistrias, as to greater men of that age, the
unity of the State meant the uniformity of all its parts; and, shutting his
eyes to all the obstacles in his path, he set himself to create an
administrative system as rigorously centralised as that which France had
received from Napoleon. Conscious of his own intellectual superiority over
his countrymen, conscious of his own integrity and of the sacrifice of all
his personal wealth in his country's service, he put no measure on his
expressions of scorn for the freebooters and peculators whom he believed to
make up the Greek official world, and he both acted and spoke as if, in the
literal sense of the words, all who ever came before him were thieves and
robbers. The peasants of the mainland, who had suffered scarcely less from
Klephts and Primates than from Turks, welcomed Capodistrias' levelling
despotism, and to the end his name was popular among them; but among the
classes which had supplied the leaders in the long struggle for
independence, and especially among the ship-owners of the Archipelago, who
felt the contempt expressed by Capodistrias for their seven years' efforts
to be grossly unjust, a spirit of opposition arose which soon made it
evident that Capodistrias would need better instruments than those which he
had around him to carry out his task of remodelling Greece.

[Leopold renounces the crown, May, 1830.]

It was in the midst of this growing antagonism that the news reached
Capodistrias that Leopold of Saxe-Coburg had been appointed King of Greece.
The resolution made by the Powers in March, 1829, that the sovereign of
Greece should belong to some reigning house, had perhaps not wholly
destroyed the hopes of Capodistrias that he might become Prince or Hospodar
of Greece himself. There were difficulties in the way of filling the
throne, and these difficulties, after the appointment of Leopold,
Capodistrias certainly did not seek to lessen. His subtlety, his command of
the indirect methods of effecting a purpose, were so great and so habitual
to him that there was little chance of his taking any overt step for
preventing Leopold's accession to the crown; there appears, however, to be
evidence that he repressed the indications of assent which the Greeks
attempted to offer to Leopold; and a series of letters written by him to
that prince was probably intended, though in the most guarded language, to
give Leopold the impression that the task which awaited him was a hopeless
one. Leopold himself, at the very time when he accepted the crown, was
wavering in his purpose. He saw with perfect clearness that the territory
granted to the Greek State was too small to secure either its peace or its
independence. The severance of Acarnania and Northern tolia meant the
abandonment of the most energetic part of the Greek inland population, and
a probable state of incessant warfare upon the northern frontier; the
relinquishment of Crete meant that Greece, bankrupt as it was, must
maintain a navy to protect the south coast of the Morea from Turkish
attack. These considerations had been urged upon the Powers by Leopold
before he accepted the crown, and he had been induced for the moment to
withdraw them. But he had never fully acquiesced in the arrangements
imposed upon him: he remained irresolute for some months; and at last,
whether led to this decision by the letters of Capodistrias or by some
other influences, he declared the conditions under which he was called upon
to rule Greece to be intolerable, and renounced the crown (May, 1830).

[Government and death of Capodistrias.]

Capodistrias thus found himself delivered from his rival, and again face to
face with the task to which duty or ambition called him. The candidature of
Leopold had embittered the relations between Capodistrias and all who
confronted him in Greece, for it gave him the means of measuring their
hostility to himself by the fervour of their addresses to this unknown
foreigner. A dark shadow fell over his government. As difficulties
thickened and resistance grew everywhere more determined, the President
showed himself harsher and less scrupulous in the choice of his means. The
men about him were untrustworthy; to crush them, he filled the offices of
government with relatives and creatures of his own who were at once
tyrannous and incapable. Thwarted and checked, he met opposition by
imprisonment and measures of violence, suspended the law-courts, and
introduced the espionage and the police-system of St. Petersburg. At length
armed rebellion broke out, and while Miaoulis, the Hydriote admiral, blew
up the best ships of the Greek navy to prevent them falling into the
President's hands, the wild district of Maina, which had never admitted the
Turkish tax-gatherer, refused to pay taxes to the Hellenic State. The
revolt was summarily quelled by Capodistrias, and several members of the
family of Mauromichalis, including the chief Petrobei, formerly feudal
ruler of Maina, were arrested. Some personal insult, imaginary or real, was
moreover offered by Capodistrias to this fallen foe, after the aged mother
of Petrobei, who had lost sixty-four kinsmen in the war against the Turks,
had begged for his release. The vendetta of the Maina was aroused. A son
and a nephew of Petrobei laid wait for the President, and as he entered the
Church of St. Spiridion at Nauplia on the 9th of October, 1831, a
pistol-shot and a blow from a yataghan laid him dead on the ground. He had
been warned that his life was sought, but had refused to make any change in
his habits, or to allow himself to be attended by a guard.

[Otho King of Greece, Feb. 1, 1833.]

The death of Capodistrias excited sympathies and regrets which to a great
extent silenced criticism upon his government, and which have made his name
one of those most honoured by the Greek nation. His fall threw the country
into anarchy. An attempt was made by his brother Augustine to retain
autocratic power, but the result was universal dissension and the
interference of the foreigner. At length the Powers united in finding a
second sovereign for Greece, and brought the weary scene of disorder to a
close. Prince Otho of Bavaria was sent to reign at Athens, and with him
there came a group of Bavarian officials to whom the Courts of Europe
persuaded themselves that the future of Greece might be safely entrusted. A
frontier somewhat better than that which had been offered to Leopold was
granted to the new sovereign, but neither Crete, Thessaly, nor Epirus was
included within his kingdom. Thus hemmed in within intolerably narrow
limits, while burdened with the expenses of an independent state, alike
unable to meet the calls upon its national exchequer and to exclude the
intrigues of foreign Courts, Greece offered during the next generation
little that justified the hopes that had been raised as to its future. But
the belief of mankind in the invigorating power of national independence is
not wholly vain, nor, even under the most hostile conditions, will the
efforts of a liberated people fail to attract the hope and the envy of
those branches of its race which still remain in subjection. Poor and
inglorious as the Greek kingdom was, it excited the restless longings not
only of Greeks under Turkish bondage, but of the prosperous Ionian Islands
under English rule; and in 1864 the first step in the expansion of the
Hellenic kingdom was accomplished by the transfer of these islands from
Great Britain to Greece. Our own day has seen Greece further strengthened
and enriched by the annexation of Thessaly. The commercial and educational
development of the kingdom is now as vigorous as that of any State in
Europe: in agriculture and in manufacturing industry it still lingers far
behind. Following the example of Cavour and the Sardinian statesmen who
judged no cost too great in preparing for Italian union, the rulers of
Greece burden the national finances with the support of an army and navy
excessive in comparison both with the resources and with the present
requirements of the State. To the ideal of a great political future the
material progress of the land has been largely sacrificed. Whether, in the
re-adjustment of frontiers which must follow upon the gradual extrusion of
the Turk from Eastern Europe, Greece will gain from its expenditure
advantages proportionate to the undoubted evils which it has involved, the
future alone can decide.


France before 1830--Reign of Charles X.--Ministry of Martignac--Ministry of
Polignac--The Duke of Orleans--War in Algiers--The July Ordinances--
Revolution of July--Louis Philippe King--Nature and Effects of the July
Revolution--Affairs in Belgium--The Belgian Revolution--The Great
Powers--Intervention, and Establishment of the Kingdom of Belgium--Affairs
of Poland--Insurrection at Warsaw--War between Russia and Poland--Overthrow
of the Poles: End of the Polish Constitution--Affairs of Italy--
Insurrection in the Papal States--France and Austria--Austrian
Intervention--Ancona occupied by the French--Affairs of Germany--Prussia;
the Zollverein--Brunswick, Hanover, Saxony--The Palatinate--Reaction in
Germany--Exiles in Switzerland; Incursion into Savoy--Dispersion of the
Exiles--France under Louis Philippe: Successive Risings--Period of
Parliamentary Activity--England after 1830: The Reform Bill.

When the Congress of Vienna re-arranged the map of Europe after Napoleon's
fall, Lord Castlereagh expressed the opinion that no prudent statesman
would forecast a duration of more than seven years for any settlement that
might then be made. At the end of a period twice as long the Treaties of
1815 were still the public law of Europe. The grave had peacefully closed
over Napoleon; the revolutionary forces of France had given no sign of
returning life. As the Bourbon monarchy struck root, and the elements of
opposition grew daily weaker in France, the perils that lately filled all
minds appeared to grow obsolete, and the very Power against which the
anti-revolutionary treaties of 1815 had been directed took its place, as of
natural right, by the side of Austria and Russia in the struggle against
revolution. The attack of Louis XVIII. upon the Spanish Constitutionalists
marked the complete reconciliation of France with the Continental dynasties
which had combined against it in 1815; and from this time the Treaties of
Chaumont and Aix-la-Chapelle, though their provisions might be still
unchallenged, ceased to represent the actual relations existing between the
Powers. There was no longer a moral union of the Courts against a supposed
French revolutionary State; on the contrary, when Eastern affairs reached
their crisis, Russia detached itself from its Hapsburg ally, and definitely
allied itself with France. If after the Peace of Adrianople any one Power
stood isolated, it was Austria; and if Europe was threatened by renewed
aggression, it was not under revolutionary leaders or with revolutionary
watchwords, but as the result of an alliance between Charles X. and the
Czar of Russia. After the Bourbon Cabinet had resolved to seek an extension
of French territory at whatever sacrifice of the balance of power in the
East, Europe could hardly expect that the Court of St. Petersburg would
long reject the advantages offered to it. The frontiers of 1815 seemed
likely to be obliterated by an enterprise which would bring Russia to the
Danube and France to the Rhine. From this danger the settlement of 1815 was
saved by the course of events that took place within France itself. The
Revolution of 1830, insignificant in its immediate effects upon the French
people, largely influenced the governments and the nations of Europe; and
while within certain narrow limits it gave a stimulus to constitutional
liberty, its more general result was to revive the union of the three
Eastern Courts which had broken down in 1826, and to reunite the principal
members of the Holy Alliance by the sense of a common interest against the
Liberalism of the West.

[Government of Charles X., 1824-1827.]

In the person of Charles X. reaction and clericalism had ascended the
French throne. The minister, Villle, who had won power in 1820 as the
representative of the Ultra-Royalists, had indeed learnt wisdom while in
office, and down to the death of Louis XVIII. in 1824 he had kept in check
the more violent section of his party. But he now retained his post only at
the price of compliance with the Court, and gave the authority of his name
to measures which his own judgment condemned. It was characteristic of
Charles X. and of the reactionaries around him that out of trifling matters
they provoked more exasperation than a prudent Government would have
aroused by changes of infinitely greater importance. Thus in a
sacrilege-law which was introduced in 1825 they disgusted all reasonable
men by attempting to revive the barbarous medival punishment of amputation
of the hand; and in a measure conferring some fractional rights upon the
eldest son in cases of intestacy they alarmed the whole nation by a
preamble declaring the French principle of the equal division of
inheritances to be incompatible with monarchy. Coming from a Government
which had thus already forfeited public confidence, a law granting the
emigrants a compensation of 40,000,000 for their estates which had been
confiscated during the Revolution excited the strongest opposition,
although, apart from questions of equity, it benefited the nation by for
ever setting at rest all doubt as to the title of the purchasers of the
confiscated lands. The financial operations by which, in order to provide
the vast sum allotted to the emigrants, the national debt was converted
from a five per cent, to a three per cent, stock, alienated all
stockholders and especially the powerful bankers of Paris. But more than
any single legislative act, the alliance of the Government with the
priestly order, and the encouragement given by it to monastic corporations,
whose existence in France was contrary to law, offended the nation. The
Jesuits were indicted before the law-courts by Montlosier, himself a
Royalist and a member of the old noblesse. A vehement controversy sprang up
between the ecclesiastics and their opponents, in which the Court was not
spared. The Government, which had lately repealed the law of censorship,
now restored it by edict. The climax of its unpopularity was reached; its
hold upon the Chamber was gone, and the very measure by which Villle, when
at the height of his power, had endeavoured to give permanence to his
administration, proved its ruin. He had abolished the system of partial
renovation, by which one-fifth of the Chamber of Deputies was annually
returned, and substituted for it the English system of septennial
Parliaments with general elections. In 1827 King Charles, believing his
Ministers to be stronger in the country than in the Chamber, exercised his
prerogative of dissolution. The result was the total defeat of the
Government, and the return of an assembly in which the Liberal opposition
outnumbered the partisans of the Court by three to one. Villle's Ministry
now resigned. King Charles, unwilling to choose his successor from the
Parliamentary majority, thought for a moment of violent resistance, but
subsequently adopted other counsels, and, without sincerely intending to
bow to the national will, called to office the Vicomte de Martignac, a
member of the right centre, and the representative of a policy of
conciliation and moderate reform (January 2, 1828).

[Ministry of Martignac, 1828-29.]

[Polignac Minister, Aug. 9, 1829.]

It was not the fault of this Minister that the last chance of union between
the French nation and the elder Bourbon line was thrown away. Martignac
brought forward a measure of decentralisation conferring upon the local
authorities powers which, though limited, were larger than they had
possessed at any time since the foundation of the Consulate; and he
appealed to the Liberal sections of the Chamber to assist him in winning an
instalment of self-government which France might well have accepted with
satisfaction. But the spirit of opposition within the Assembly was too
strong for a coalition of moderate men, and the Liberals made the success
of Martignac's plan impossible by insisting on concessions which the
Minister was unable to grant. The reactionists were ready to combine with
their opponents. King Charles himself was in secret antagonism to his
Minister, and watched with malicious joy his failure to control the
majority in the Chamber. Instead of throwing all his influence on to the
side of Martignac, and rallying all doubtful forces by the pronounced
support of the Crown, he welcomed Martignac's defeat as a proof of the
uselessness of all concessions, and dismissed the Minister from office,
declaring that the course of events had fulfilled his own belief in the
impossibility of governing in accord with a Parliament. The names of the
Ministers who were now called to power excited anxiety and alarm not only
in France but throughout the political circles of Europe. They were the
names of men known as the most violent and embittered partisans of
reaction; men whose presence in the councils of the King could mean nothing
but a direct attack upon the existing Parliamentary system of France. At
the head was Jules Polignac, then French ambassador at London, a man
half-crazed with religious delusions, who had suffered a long imprisonment
for his share in Cadoudal's attempt to kill Napoleon, and on his return to
France in 1814 had refused to swear to the Charta because it granted
religious freedom to non-Catholics. Among the subordinate members of the
Ministry were General Bourmont, who had deserted to the English at
Waterloo, and La Bourdonnaye, the champion of the reactionary Terrorists in
1816. [385]

[Prospects in 1830. The Orleanists.]

The Ministry having been appointed immediately after the close of the
session of 1829, an interval of several months passed before they were
brought face to face with the Chambers. During this interval the prospect
of a conflict with the Crown became familiar to the public mind, though no
general impression existed that an actual change of dynasty was close at
hand. The Bonapartists were without a leader, Napoleon's son, their natural
head, being in the power of the Austrian Court; the Republicans were
neither numerous nor well organised, and the fatal memories of 1793 still
weighed upon the nation; the great body of those who contemplated
resistance to King Charles X. looked only to a Parliamentary struggle, or,
in the last resort, to the refusal of payment of taxes in case of a breach
of the Constitution. There was, however, a small and dexterous group of
politicians which, at a distance from all the old parties, schemed for the
dethronement of the reigning branch of the House of Bourbon, and for the
elevation of Louis Philippe, Duke of Orleans, to the throne. The chief of
this intrigue was Talleyrand. Slighted and thwarted by the Court, the old
diplomatist watched for the signs of a falling Government, and when the
familiar omens met his view he turned to the quarter from which its
successor was most likely to arise. Louis Philippe stood high in credit
with all circles of Parliamentary Liberals. His history had been a strange
and eventful one. He was the son of that Orleans who, after calling himself
galit, and voting for the death of his cousin, Louis XVI., had himself
perished during the Reign of Terror. Young Louis Philippe had been a member
of the Jacobin Club, and had fought for the Republic at Jemappes. Then,
exiled and reduced to penury, he had earned his bread by teaching
mathematics in Switzerland, and had been a wanderer in the new as well as
in the old world. After awhile his fortunes brightened. A marriage with the
daughter of Ferdinand of Sicily restored him to those relations with the
reigning houses of Europe which had been forfeited by his father, and
inspired him with the hope of gaining a crown. During Napoleon's invasion
of Spain he had caballed with politicians in that country who were inclined
to accept a substitute for their absent sovereign; at another time he had
entertained hopes of being made king of the Ionian Islands. After the peace
of Paris, when the allied sovereigns and their ministers visited England,
Louis Philippe was sent over by his father-in-law to intrigue among them
against Murat, and in pursuance of this object he made himself acquainted
not only with every foreign statesman then in London but with every leading
English politician. He afterwards settled in France, and was reinstated in
the vast possessions of the House of Orleans, which, though confiscated,
had not for the most part been sold during the Revolution. His position at
Paris under Louis XVIII. and Charles X. was a peculiar one. Without taking
any direct part in politics or entering into any avowed opposition to the
Court, he made his home, the Palais Royale, a gathering-place for all that
was most distinguished in the new political and literary society of the
capital; and while the Tuileries affected the pomp and the ceremoniousness
of the old regime, the Duke of Orleans moved with the familiarity of a
citizen among citizens. He was a clever, ready, sensible man, equal, as it
seemed, to any practical task likely to come in his way, but in reality
void of any deep insight, of any far-reaching aspiration, of any profound
conviction. His affectation of a straightforward middle-class geniality
covered a decided tendency towards intrigue and a strong love of personal
power. Later events indeed gave rise to the belief that, while professing
the utmost loyalty to Charles X., Louis Philippe had been scheming to oust
him from his throne; but the evidence really points the other way, and
indicates that, whatever secret hopes may have suggested themselves to the
Duke, his strongest sentiment during the Revolution of 1830 was the fear of
being driven into exile himself, and of losing his possessions. He was not
indeed of a chivalrous nature; but when the Crown came in his way, he was
guilty of no worse offence than some shabby evasions of promises.

[Meeting and Prorogation of the Chambers, March, 1830.]

Early in March, 1830, the French Chambers assembled after their recess. The
speech of King Charles at the opening of the session was resolute and even
threatening. It was answered by an address from the Lower House, requesting
him to dismiss his Ministers. The deputation which presented this address
was received by the King in a style that left no doubt as to his
intentions, and on the following day the Chambers were prorogued for six
months. It was known that they would not be permitted to meet again, and
preparations for a renewed general election were at once made with the
utmost vigour by both parties throughout France. The Court unsparingly
applied all the means of pressure familiar to French governments; it
moreover expected to influence public opinion by some striking success in
arms or in diplomacy abroad. The negotiations with Russia for the
acquisition of Belgium were still before the Cabinet, and a quarrel with
the Dey of Algiers gave Polignac the opportunity of beginning a war of
conquest in Africa. General Bourmont left the War Office, to wipe out the
infamy still attaching to his name by a campaign against the Arabs; and the
Government trusted that, even in the event of defeat at the elections, the
nation at large would at the most critical moment be rallied to its side by
an announcement of the capture of Algiers.

[Polignac's project.]

While the dissolution of Parliament was impending, Polignac laid before the
King a memorial expressing his own views on the courses open to Government
in case of the elections proving adverse. The Charta contained a clause
which, in loose and ill-chosen language, declared it to be the function of
the King "to make the regulations and ordinances necessary for the
execution of the laws and for the security of the State." These words,
which no doubt referred to the exercise of the King's normal and
constitutional powers, were interpreted by Polignac as authorising the King
to suspend the Constitution itself, if the Representative Assembly should
be at variance with the King's Ministers. Polignac in fact entertained the
same view of the relation between executive and deliberative bodies as
those Jacobin directors who made the _coup-d'tat_ of Fructidor, 1797;
and the measures which he ultimately adopted were, though in a softened
form, those adopted by Barras and Larveillre after the Royalist elections
in the sixth year of the Republic. To suspend the Constitution was not, he
suggested, to violate the Charta, for the Charta empowered the sovereign to
issue the ordinances necessary for the security of the State; and who but
the sovereign and his advisers could be the judges of this necessity? This
was simple enough; there was nevertheless among Polignac's colleagues some
doubt both as to the wisdom and as to the legality of his plans. King
Charles who, with all his bigotry, was anxious not to violate the letter of
the Charta, brooded long over the clause which defined the sovereign's
powers. At length he persuaded himself that his Minister's interpretation
was the correct one, accepted the resignation of the dissentients within
the Cabinet, and gave his sanction to the course which Polignac
recommended. [386]

[Elections of 1830.]

The result of the general election, which took place in June, surpassed all
the hopes of the Opposition and all the fears of the Court. The entire body
of Deputies which had voted the obnoxious address to the Crown in March was
returned, and the partisans of Government lost in addition fifty seats. The
Cabinet, which had not up to this time resolved upon the details of its
action, now deliberated upon several projects submitted to it, and, after
rejecting all plans that might have led to a compromise, determined to
declare the elections null and void, to silence the press, and to supersede
the existing electoral system by one that should secure the mastery of the
Government both at the polling-booths and in the Chamber itself. All this
was to be done by Royal Edict, and before the meeting of the new
Parliament. The date fixed for the opening of the Chambers had been placed
as late as possible in order to give time to General Bourmont to win the
victory in Africa from which the Court expected to reap so rich a harvest
of prestige. On the 9th of July news arrived that Algiers had fallen. The
announcement, which was everywhere made with the utmost pomp, fell flat on
the country. The conflict between the Court and the nation absorbed all
minds, and the rapturous congratulations of Bishops and Prefects scarcely
misled even the blind _cterie_ of the Tuileries. Public opinion was
no doubt with the Opposition; King Charles, however, had no belief that the
populace of Paris, which alone was to be dreaded as a fighting body, would
take up arms on behalf of the middle-class voters and journalists against
whom his Ordinances were to be directed. The populace neither read nor
voted: why should it concern itself with constitutional law? Or why, in a
matter that related only to the King and the Bourgeoisie, should it not
take part with the King against this new and bastard aristocracy which
lived on others' labour? Politicians who could not fight were troublesome
only when they were permitted to speak and to write. There was force enough
at the King's command to close the gates of the Chamber of Deputies, and to
break up the printing-presses of the journals; and if King Louis XVI. had
at last fallen by the hands of men of violence, it was only because he had
made concessions at first to orators and politicians. Therefore, without
dreaming that an armed struggle would be the immediate result of their
action, King Charles and Polignac determined to prevent the meeting of the
Chamber, and to publish, a week before the date fixed for its opening, the
Edicts which were to silence the brawl of faction and to vindicate
monarchical government in France.

[The Ordinances, July 26, 1830.]

Accordingly, on the 26th of July, a series of Ordinances appeared in the
_Moniteur_, signed by the King and counter-signed by the Ministers.
The first Ordinance forbade the publication of any journal without royal
permission; the second dissolved the Chamber of Deputies; the third raised
the property-qualification of voters, established a system of
double-election, altered the duration of Parliaments, and re-enacted the
obsolete clause of the Charta confining the initiative in all legislation
to the Government. Other Ordinances convoked a Chamber to be elected under
the new rules, and called to the Council of State a number of the most
notorious Ultra-Royalists and fanatics in France. Taken together, the
Ordinances left scarcely anything standing of the Constitutional and
Parliamentary system of the day. The blow fell first on the press, and the
first step in resistance was taken by the journalists of Paris, who, under
the leadership of the young Thiers, editor of the _National_,
published a protest declaring that they would treat the Ordinances as
illegal, and calling upon the Chambers and nation to join in this
resistance. For a while the journalists seemed likely to stand alone. Paris
at large remained quiet, and a body of the recently elected Deputies, to
whom the journalists appealed as representatives of the nation, proved
themselves incapable of any action or decision whatsoever. It was not from
these timid politicians, but from a body of obscure Republicans, that the
impulse proceeded which overthrew the Bourbon throne. Unrepresented in
Parliament and unrepresented in the press, there were a few active men who
had handed down the traditions of 1792, and who, in sympathy with the
Carbonari and other conspirators abroad, had during recent years founded
secret societies in Paris, and enlisted in the Republican cause a certain
number of workmen, of students, and of youths of the middle classes. While
the journalists discussed legal means of resistance, and the Deputies
awaited events, the Republican leaders met and determined upon armed
revolt. They were assisted, probably without direct concert, by the
printing firms and other employers of labour, who, in view of the general
suspension of the newspapers, closed their establishments on the morning of
July 27, and turned their workmen into the streets.

[July 27.]

[July 28.]

Thus on the day after the appearance of the Edicts the aspect of Paris
changed. Crowds gathered, and revolutionary cries were raised. Marmont, who
was suddenly ordered to take command of the troops, placed them around the
Tuileries, and captured two barricades which were erected in the
neighbourhood; but the populace was not yet armed, and no serious conflict
took place. In the evening Lafayette reached Paris, and the revolution had
now a real, though not an avowed, leader. A body of his adherents met
during the night at the office of the _National_, and, in spite of
Thiers' resistance, decided upon a general insurrection. Thiers himself,
who desired nothing but a legal and Parliamentary attack upon Charles X.,
quitted Paris to await events. The men who had out-voted him placed
themselves in communication with all the district committees of Paris, and
began the actual work of revolt by distributing arms. On the morning of
Wednesday, July 28th, the first armed bands attacked and captured the
arsenals and several private depots of weapons and ammunition. Barricades
were erected everywhere. The insurgents swelled from hundreds to thousands,
and, converging on the old rallying-point of the Commune of Paris, they
seized the Htel de Ville, and hoisted the tricolor flag on its roof.
Marmont wrote to the King, declaring the position to be most serious, and
advising concession; he then put his troops in motion, and succeeded, after
a severe conflict, in capturing several points of vantage, and in expelling
the rebels from the Htel de Ville.

[July 29.]

In the meantime the Deputies, who were assembled at the house of one of
their number in pursuance of an agreement made on the previous day, gained
sufficient courage to adopt a protest declaring that in spite of the
Ordinances they were still the legal representatives of the nation. They
moreover sent a deputation to Marmont, begging him to put a stop to the
fighting, and offering their assistance in restoring order if the King
would withdraw his Edicts. Marmont replied that he could do nothing without
the King's command, but he despatched a second letter to St. Cloud, urging
compliance. The only answer which he received was a command to concentrate
his troops and to act in masses. The result of this was that the positions
which had been won by hard fighting were abandoned before evening, and that
the troops, famished and exhausted, were marched back through the streets
of Paris to the Tuileries. On the march some fraternised with the people,
others were surrounded and disarmed. All eastern Paris now fell into the
hands of the insurgents; the middle-class, as in 1789 and 1792, remained
inactive, and allowed the contest to be decided by the populace and the
soldiery. Messages from the capital constantly reached St. Cloud, but the
King so little understood his danger and so confidently reckoned on the
victory of the troops in the Tuileries that he played whist as usual during
the evening; and when the Duc de Mortemart, French Ambassador at St.
Petersburg, arrived at nightfall, and pressed for an audience, the King
refused to receive him until the next morning. When morning came, the march
of the insurgents against the Tuileries began. Position after position fell
into their hands. The regiments stationed in the Place Vendme abandoned
their commander, and marched off to place themselves at the disposal of the
Deputies. Marmont ordered the Swiss Guard, which had hitherto defended the
Louvre, to replace them; and in doing so he left the Louvre for a moment
without any garrison. The insurgents saw the building empty, and rushed
into it. From the windows they commanded the Court of the Tuileries, where
the troops in reserve were posted; and soon after mid-day all was over. A
few isolated battalions fought and perished, but the mass of the soldiery
with their commander fell back upon the Place de la Concorde, and then
evacuated Paris. [387]

The Duke of Orleans was all this time in hiding. He had been warned that
the Court intended to arrest him, and, whether from fear of the Court or of
the populace, he had secreted himself at a hunting-lodge in his woods,
allowing none but his wife and his sister to know where he was concealed.
His partisans, of whom the rich and popular banker, Laffitte, was the most
influential among the Deputies, were watching for an opportunity to bring
forward his name; but their chances of success seemed slight. The Deputies
at large wished only for the withdrawal of the Ordinances, and were wholly
averse from a change of dynasty. It was only through the obstinacy of King
Charles himself, and as the result of a series of accidents, that the Crown
passed from the elder Bourbon line. King Charles would not hear of
withdrawing the Ordinances until the Tuileries had actually fallen; he then
gave way and charged the Duc de Mortemart to form a new Ministry, drawn
from the ranks of the Opposition. But instead of formally repealing the
Edicts by a public Decree, he sent two messengers to Paris to communicate
his change of purpose to the Deputies by word of mouth. The messengers
betook themselves to the Htel de Ville, where a municipal committee under
Lafayette had been installed; and, when they could produce no written
authority for their statements, they were referred by this committee to the
general body of Deputies, which was now sitting at Laffitte's house. The
Deputies also demanded a written guarantee. Laffitte and Thiers spoke in
favour of the Duke of Orleans, but the Assembly at large was still willing
to negotiate with Charles X., and only required the presence of the Duc de
Mortemart himself, and a copy of the Decree repealing the Ordinances.

[July 30.]

It was now near midnight. The messengers returned to St. Cloud, and were
not permitted to deliver their intelligence until the King awoke next
morning. Charles then signed the necessary document, and Mortemart set out
for Paris; but the night's delay had given the Orleanists time to act, and
before the King was up Thiers had placarded the streets of Paris with a
proclamation extolling Orleans as the prince devoted to the cause of the
Revolution, as the soldier of Jemappes, and the only constitutional King
now possible. Some hours after this manifesto had appeared the Deputies
again assembled at Laffitte's house, and waited for the appearance of
Mortemart. But they waited in vain. Mortemart's carriage was stopped on the
road from St. Cloud, and he was compelled to make his way on foot by a long
circuit and across a score of barricades. When he approached Laffitte's
house, half dead with heat and fatigue, he found that the Deputies had
adjourned to the Palais Bourbon, and, instead of following them, he ended
his journey at the Luxemburg, where the Peers were assembled. His absence
was turned to good account by the Orleanists. At the morning session the
proposition was openly made to call Louis Philippe to power; and when the
Deputies reassembled in the afternoon and the Minister still failed to
present himself, it was resolved to send a body of Peers and Deputies to
Louis Philippe to invite him to come to Paris and to assume the office of
Lieutenant-General of the kingdom. No opposition was offered to this
proposal in the House of Peers, and a deputation accordingly set out to
search for Louis Philippe at his country house at Neuilly. The prince was
not to be found; but his sister, who received the deputation, undertook
that he should duly appear in Paris. She then communicated with her brother
in his hiding-place, and induced him, in spite of the resistance of his
wife, to set out for the capital. He arrived at the Palais Royale late on
the night of the 30th. Early the next morning he received a deputation from
the Assembly, and accepted the powers which they offered him. A
proclamation was then published, announcing to the Parisians that in order
to save the country from anarchy and civil war the Duke of Orleans had
assumed the office of Lieutenant-General of the kingdom.

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