Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, Tenth Earl of Dundonald, G.C.B., Admiral of the Red, Rear-Admiral of the Fleet, Etc., Etc. by Thomas Cochrane, Earl of Dundonald

Part 4 out of 6

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.6 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

European states."

Consequently, in return for the great services he had conferred to
Brazil, he received, as had been the case in Chili, little but insult
and injury, the course of insult and injury being hardly stayed
even during the period in which he was needed to engage in further
services. The Emperor honestly tried to be generous; but he could not
rid himself of the Portuguese faction, generally dominant in Brazil,
and his worthy intentions were thwarted in every possible way. With
difficulty could he secure for Lord Cochrane the confirmation of his
patent as First Admiral, which has been already referred to. No great
resistance was made to his conferment of the empty title of Marquis of
Maranham, but he was not allowed to make the grant of land which was
intended to go with the title and enable it to be borne with dignity.
Prevented from being generous, he was even hindered from exercising
the barest justice.

The injustice was shown not only to Lord Cochrane, but also to all
the officers and crews who, serving under him, had enabled Brazil
to maintain its resistance to the tyranny of Portugal, though not to
shake off the tyranny of the faction which still had the interests of
Portugal at heart. It is not necessary to describe in detail the long
course of ill-usage to which he and his subordinates were exposed.
Part of that ill-usage will be best and most briefly indicated by
citing a portion of an eloquent memorial which Lord Cochrane addressed
to the Imperial Government on the 30th of January, 1825.

The memorial began by enumerating the achievements of the fleet at
Bahia, Maranham, Para, and elsewhere. "The imperial squadron," it
proceeds, "made sail for Rio de Janeiro, in the full expectation of
reaping a reward for their labours; not only because they had been
mainly instrumental in rescuing from the hands of the Portuguese,
and adding to the imperial dominion, one half of the empire; but also
because their hopes seemed to be firmly grounded, independently of
such services, on the capture of upwards of one hundred transports and
merchant vessels, exclusive of ships of war, all of which, they had a
just right to expect, would, under the existing laws, be adjudged to
the captors. The whole of them were seized under Portuguese colours,
with Portuguese registers, manned by Portuguese seamen, having on
board Portuguese troops and ammunition or Portuguese produce and
manufacture. On arriving at Rio de Janeiro, there was no feeling but
one of satisfaction among the officers and seamen, and the Brazilian
marine might from that moment, without the expense of one milrei to
the nation, have been rapidly raised to a state of efficiency and
discipline which had not yet been attained in any marine in South
America, and which the navies of Portugal and Spain do not possess.
It could not, however, be long concealed from the knowledge of the
squadron that political or other reasons had prevented any proceedings
being had in the adjudication of their prizes; and the extraordinary
declaration that was made by the Tribunal of Prizes,--'that they were
not aware that hostilities existed between Brazil and Portugal'--led
to an inquiry of whom that tribunal was composed. All surprise at
so extraordinary a declaration then ceased; but other sentiments
injurious to the imperial service, arose,--those of indignation and
disgust that the power of withholding their rights should be placed
in the hands of persons who were natives of that very nation against
which they were employed in war. His Imperial Majesty, however, having
signified to this tribunal his pleasure that they should delay no
longer in proceeding to the adjudication of the captured vessels,
the result was that, in almost every instance, at the commencement of
their proceedings, the vessels were condemned, not as lawful prizes to
the captors, but as droits to the Crown. His Majesty was then pleased
to desire that the said droits should be granted to the squadron, and
about one-fifth part of the value of the prizes taken was eventually
paid under the denomination of a 'grant of the droits of the Crown.'
But when this decree of his Imperial Majesty was promulgated,
the tribunal altered their course of proceeding, and, instead of
condemning to the Crown, did, in almost every remaining instance,
pronounce the acquittal of the vessels captured, and adjudged them
to be given up to pretended Brazilian owners, notwithstanding that
Brazilian property embarked in enemy's vessels was, by the law,
declared to be forfeited; and that, too, with such indecent
precipitancy that, in cases where the hull only had been claimed, the
cargo also was decreed to be given up to the claimants of the hull,
without any part of it having, at any time, been even pretended to be
their property. Other ships and cargoes were given up without any form
of trial, and without any intimation whatever to the captors and their
agents; and, in most cases, costs and quadruple damages were unjustly
decreed against the captors, to the amount of 300,000 milreis. That
the prizes of which the captors were thus fraudulently deprived,
chiefly under the unlawful and false pretence of their belonging to
Brazilians, were really the property of Portuguese and well known so
to be by the said tribunal, has since been fully demonstrated, by
the arrival in Lisbon of the whole of the vessels liberated by their
decisions. Thus the charge of a system of wilful injustice, brought
by the squadron against the Portuguese Tribunal of Prizes at Rio de
Janeiro, is established beyond the possibility of contradiction."

It was only an aggravation of that injustice that, when Lord Cochrane
claimed the prompt and equitable adjudication of the prizes, an
attempt was made to silence him on the 24th of November by a message
from the Minister of Marine, to the effect that the Emperor would do
everything in his power for him personally. "His Majesty," answered
Lord Cochrane, "has already conferred honours upon me quite equal to
my merits, and the greatest personal favour he can bestow is to urge
on the speedy adjudication of the prizes, so that the officers and
seamen may reap the reward decreed by the Emperor's own authority."

A hardship to the fleet even greater than the withholding of its
prize-money was the withholding of the arrears of pay, which had been
accumulating ever since the departure from Rio de Janeiro in April. On
the 27th of November, three months' wages were offered to men to whom
more than twice the amount was due. This they indignantly refused, and
all Lord Cochrane's tact was needed to restrain them from open mutiny.

In spite of the Emperor's friendship towards Lord Cochrane, or rather
in consequence of it, he was in all sorts of ways insulted by the
ministry, the head of which was now Severiano da Costa. A new ship,
the _Atulanta_, was on the 27th of December, without reference to him,
ordered for service at Monte Video. He was on the same day publicly
described as "Commander of the Naval Forces in the Port of Rio de
Janeiro," being thus placed on a level with other officers in the
service of which, by the Emperor's patent, he was First Admiral, and
no notice was taken of his protest against that insult. On the 24th
of February he was gazetted as "Commander-in-Chief of all the Naval
Forces of the Empire during the present war," by which his functions,
though not now limited in extent, were limited in time. At length,
reasonably indignant at these and other violations of the contract
made with him, he offered to resign his command altogether. "If
I thought that the course pursued towards me was dictated by his
Imperial Majesty," he wrote to the Minister of Marine on the 20th of
March, "it would be impossible for me to remain an hour longer in
his service, and I should feel it my duty, at the earliest possible
moment, to lay my commission at his feet. If I have not done so
before, from the treatment which, in common with the navy. I have
experienced, it has been solely from an anxious desire to promote his
Majesty's real interests. Indeed, to struggle against prejudices, and
at the same time against those in power whose prepossessions are at
variance with the interests of his Majesty and the tranquillity and
independence of Brazil, is a task to which I am by no means equal.
I am, therefore, perfectly willing to resign the situation I
hold, rather than contend against difficulties which appear to me

[Footnote A: See Appendix (III).]

That letter was answered with complimentary phrases, and Lord Cochrane
was induced to continue in the employment from which he could not be
spared; but there was no diminution of the ill-treatment to which
he was subjected. One special indignity was attended by some amusing
incidents. On the 3rd of June, while he was residing on shore, it was
proposed to search his flag-ship, on the pretext that he had there
concealed large sums of money which were the property of the nation.
"Late in the evening," he said, "I received a visit from Madame
Bonpland, the talented wife of the distinguished French naturalist.
This lady, who had singular opportunities for becoming acquainted with
state secrets, came expressly to inform me that my house was at that
moment surrounded by a guard of soldiers. She further informed me
that, under the pretence of a review to be held at the opposite side
of the harbour early in the following morning, preparations had
been made by the ministers to board the flag-ship, which was to be
thoroughly overhauled whilst I was detained on shore, and all the
money found taken possession of. Thanking my friend for her timely
warning, I clambered over my garden fence, as the only practicable way
to the stables, selected a horse, and, notwithstanding the lateness
of the hour, proceeded to San Christoval, the country palace of the
Emperor, where, on my arrival, I demanded to see his Majesty. The
request being refused by the gentleman in waiting, in such a way as to
confirm the statement of Madame Bonpland, I dared him at his peril to
refuse me admission, adding that the matter on which I had come was
fraught with grave consequences to his Majesty and the empire. 'But,'
said he, 'his Majesty has retired to bed long ago.' 'No matter,' I
replied; 'in bed or not in bed, I demand to see him, in virtue of my
privilege of access to him at all times, and, if you refuse to concede
permission, look to the consequences.' His Majesty was not, however,
asleep, and, the royal chamber being close at hand, he recognized my
voice in the altercation with the attendant. Hastily coming out of his
apartments, he asked what could have brought me there at that time of
night. My reply was that, understanding that the troops ordered for
review were destined to proceed to the flag-ship in search of supposed
treasure, I had come to request his Majesty immediately to appoint
confidential persons to accompany me on board, when the keys of every
chest in the ship should be placed in their hands and every place
thrown open to inspection, but that, if any of his anti-Brazilian
administration ventured to board the ship in perpetration of the
contemplated insult, they would certainly be regarded as pirates and
treated as such; adding at the same time, 'Depend upon it, they are
not more my enemies than the enemies of your Majesty and the empire,
and an intrusion so unwarrantable the officers and crew are bound
to resist.' 'Well,' replied his Majesty, 'you seem to be apprised of
everything; but the plot is not mine, being, as far as I am concerned,
convinced that no money would be found more than we already know of
from yourself.' I then entreated his Majesty to take such steps for
my justification as would be satisfactory to the public. 'There is no
necessity for any,' he replied. 'But how to dispense with the review
is the puzzle. I will be ill in the morning; so go home and think
no more of the matter. I give you my word, your flag shall not be
outraged.' The Emperor kept his word, and in the night was taken
suddenly ill. As his Majesty was really beloved by his Brazilian
subjects, all the native respectability of Rio was early next day on
its way to the palace to inquire after the royal health, and ordering
my carriage, I also proceeded to the palace, lest my absence might
seem singular. On my entering the room,--where the Emperor was in
the act of explaining the nature of his disease to the anxious
inquirers,--his Majesty burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter,
in which I as heartily joined, the bystanders evidently, from the
gravity of their countenances, considering that we had both taken
leave of our senses. The ministers looked astounded, but said nothing.
His Majesty kept his secret, and I was silent."

That anecdote fairly illustrates the treatment adopted towards Lord
Cochrane, and the straits to which the Emperor was reduced in his
efforts to protect him from his enemies in power. The ill-treatment
both of himself and of the whole fleet continuing, he addressed an
indignant protest to his Majesty in July. "The time has at length
arrived," he there said, "when it is impossible to doubt that the
influence which the Portuguese faction has so long exerted, with the
view of depriving the officers and seamen of their stipulated rights,
has succeeded in its object, and has even prevailed against the
expressed wishes and intentions of your Majesty. The determined
perseverance in a course so opposed to justice must come to an end.
The general discontent which prevails in the squadron has rendered
the situation in which I am placed one of the most embarrassing
description; for, though a few may be aware that my own cause of
complaint is equal to theirs, many cannot perceive the consistency
of my patient continuance in the service with disapprobation of the
measures pursued. Even the honours which your Majesty has been pleased
to bestow upon me are deemed by most of the officers, and by the whole
of the men, who know not the assiduity with which I have persevered in
earnest but unavailing remonstrance, as a bribe by which I have been
induced to abandon their interests. Much, therefore, as I prize those
honours, as the gracious gift of your Imperial Majesty, yet, holding
in still dearer estimation my character as an officer and a man, I
cannot hesitate in choosing which to sacrifice when the retention of
both is evidently incompatible. I can, therefore, no longer delay to
demonstrate to the squadron and the world that I am no partner in the
deceptions and oppressions which are practised on the naval service;
and, as the first and most painful step in the performance of this
imperious duty, I crave permission, with all humility and respect,
to return those honours, and lay them at the feet of your Imperial
Majesty. I should, however, fall short of my duty to those who were
induced to enter the service by my example or invitation, were I to
do nothing more than convince them that I had been deceived. It is
incumbent on me to make every effort to obtain for them the fulfilment
of engagements for which I made myself responsible. As far as I am
personally concerned, I could be content to quit the service of your
Imperial Majesty, either with or without the expectation of obtaining
compensation at a future period. After effectually fighting the
battles of freedom and independence on both sides of South America,
and clearing the two seas of every vessel of war, I could submit to
return to my native country unrewarded; but I cannot submit to adopt
any course which shall not redeem my pledge to my brother officers and

That and other arguments contained in the same letter, aided by
inducements of a different sort, to be presently referred to, had
partial effect. A small portion of the prize-money and wages due to
the squadron was issued, and Lord Cochrane remained for another year
in the service of Brazil. His weary waiting-time at Rio de Janeiro,
however, extending over nearly nine months, was almost at an end. On
the 2nd of August he left it, never to return.

While the ingratitude shown to him in Brazil was at its worst it is
interesting to notice that a few, at any rate, of his own countrymen
were remembering his past troubles and his present worth. On the 21st
of June, Sir James Mackintosh, in one of the many speeches in the
British House of Commons in which he nobly advocated the recognition
of the independence of the South American states, both as a political
duty and as a necessary measure in the interests of commerce, made a
graceful allusion to Lord Cochrane. "I know," he said, "that I am here
touching on a topic of great delicacy; but I must say that commerce
has been gallantly protected by that extraordinary man who was once a
British officer, who once filled a distinguished post in the
British navy at the brightest period of its annals. I mention this
circumstance with struggling and mingled emotions--emotions of pride
that the individual I speak of is a Briton, emotions of regret that
he is no longer a British officer. Can any one imagine a more gallant
action than the cutting out of the _Esmeralda_ from Callao? Never
was there a greater display of judgment, calmness, and enterprising
British valour than was shown on that memorable occasion. No man ever
felt a more ardent, a more inextinguishable love of country, a more
anxious desire to promote its interests and extend its prosperity,
than the gallant individual to whom I allude. I speak for myself. No
person is responsible for the opinions which I now utter. But ask,
what native of this country can help wishing that such a man were
again amongst us? I hope I shall be excused for saying thus much; but
I cannot avoid fervently wishing that such advice may be given to
the Crown by his Majesty's constitutional advisers as will induce his
Majesty graciously to restore Lord Cochrane to the country which he
so warmly loves, and to that noble service to the glory of which, I am
convinced, he willingly would sacrifice every earthly consideration."




The political turmoils which Lord Cochrane found to be prevalent
in Rio de Janeiro, on his return from Maranham, were, as he had
anticipated, very disastrous to the whole Brazilian empire. The
unpatriotic action of men in power at head-quarters encouraged yet
more unpatriotic action in the outlying and newly-acquired provinces.
Portuguese sympathizers in Pernambuco, in Maranham, and in the
neighbouring districts, following the policy of the Portuguese faction
at the centre of government, and acting even more unworthily,
induced serious trouble; and the trouble was aggravated by the fierce
opposition which was in many cases offered to them. Before the end of
1823 information arrived that an insurrection, having for its object
the establishment in the northern provinces of a government distinct
from both Brazil and Portugal, had broken out in Pernambuco, and
nearly every week brought fresh intelligence of the spread of this
insurrection and of the troubles induced by it. The Emperor Pedro I.
was eager to send thither the squadron under Lord Cochrane, and so to
win back the allegiance of the inhabitants; and for this Lord Cochrane
was no less eager. To the Portuguese partizans, however, whose great
effort was to weaken the resources of the empire, the news of the
insurrection was welcome; and perhaps their strongest inducement to
the long course of injustice detailed in the last chapter was the
knowledge that by so doing they were most successfully preventing the
despatch of an armament strong enough to restore order in the northern
provinces. Herein they prospered. For more than six months the Emperor
was prevented from suppressing the insurrection, which all through
that time was extending and becoming more and more formidable. Not
till July was anything done to satisfy the claims of the seamen for
payment of their prize-money and the arrears of wages due to them,
without which they refused to return to their work and render possible
the equipment and despatch of the squadron; and even then only 200,000
milreis--less than a tenth of the prize-money that was owing--were
granted as an instalment of the payment to be made to them.

With that money, however, Lord Cochrane, using his great personal
influence with the officers and crews, induced them to rejoin the
fleet. The funds were placed in his hands on the 12th of July, 1824,
and equitably disbursed by him during the following three weeks. On
the 2nd of August he set sail in the _Pedro Primiero_ from Rio de
Janeiro, attended by the _Maranham_ and three transports containing
twelve hundred soldiers.

Having landed General Lima and the troops at Alagoas on the 16th,
he arrived off Pernambuco on the 18th. There he found that a strong
republican Government had been set up under the presidentship of
Manoel de Carvalho Pais d'Andrade, whose authority, secret or open,
extended far into the interior and along the adjoining coasts.
"Knowing that it would take some time for the troops to come up," he
said, "I determined to try the effect of a threat of bombardment, and
issued a proclamation remonstrating with the inhabitants on the folly
of permitting themselves to be deceived by men who lacked the ability
to execute their schemes; pointing out, moreover, that persistence in
revolt would involve both the town and its rulers in one common ruin,
for, if forced to the necessity of bombardment, I would reduce the
port and city to insignificance. On the other hand, I assured them
that, if they retraced their steps and rallied round the imperial
throne, thus aiding to protect it from foreign influence, it would be
more gratifying to me to act the part of a mediator, and to restore
Pernambuco to peace, prosperity, and happiness, than to carry out the
work of destruction which would be my only remaining alternative. In
another proclamation I called the attention of the inhabitants to the
distracted state of the Spanish republics on the other side of the
continent, asking whether it would be wise to risk the benefits of
orderly government for social and political confusion, and entreating
them not to compel me to proceed to extremities, as it would become my
duty to destroy their shipping and block up their port, unless, within
eight days, the integrity of the empire were acknowledged."

While waiting to see the result of those proclamations Lord Cochrane
received a message from Carvalho, offering him immediate payment of
400,000 milreis if he would abandon the imperial cause and go over to
the republicans. "Frankness is the distinguishing character of free
men," wrote Carvalho, "but your excellency has not found it in your
connection with the Imperial Government. Your not having been rewarded
for the first expedition affords a justifiable inference that you will
get nothing for the second." That audacious proposal, it need hardly
be said, was indignantly resented by Lord Cochrane. "If I shall have
an opportunity of becoming personally known to your excellency," he
wrote, "I can afford you proof that the opinion you have formed of me
has had its origin in the misrepresentations of those in power, whose
purposes I was incapable of serving."

The threats and promises of Lord Cochrane's proclamation did not lead
to the peaceable surrender of Pernambuco, and at the end of the eight
days' waiting-time he proceeded to bombard the town. In that, however,
he was hindered by bad weather, which made it impossible for him to
enter the shallow water without great risk of shipwreck. He was in
urgent need, also, of anchors and other fittings. Therefore, after
a brief show of attack, which frightened the inhabitants, but had no
other effect, he left the smaller vessels to maintain the blockade,
and went on the 4th of September in the flag-ship to Bahia, there to
procure the necessary articles. On his return he found that General
Lima had marched against Pernambuco on the 11th, and, with the
assistance of the blockading vessels, made an easy capture of it.

There was plenty of other work, however, to be done. All the
northern provinces were disaffected, if not in actual revolt, and, in
compliance with the Emperor's directions, Lord Cochrane proceeded to
visit their ports and reduce them to order. Some other ships having
arrived from Rio de Janeiro, he selected the _Piranga_ and two smaller
vessels for service with the flag-ship, leaving the others at the
disposal of General Lima, and sailed from Pernambuco on the 10th of

He reached Ceara on the 18th, and then, by his mere presence,
compelled the insurgents, who had seized the city, to retire, and
enabled the well-disposed inhabitants to organize a vigorous scheme of

A harder task awaited him at Maranham, at which he arrived on the
9th of November. There the utmost confusion prevailed. The Portuguese
faction had the supremacy, and there were special causes of animosity
and misconduct among the members of the opposite party of native

"In Maranham," said Lord Cochrane, "as in the other northern provinces
of the empire, there had been no amelioration whatever in the
condition of the people, and, without such amelioration, it was absurd
to place reliance on the hyperbolical professions of devotion to
the Emperor which were now abundantly avowed by those who, before my
arrival, had been foremost in promoting and cherishing disturbance.
The condition of the province, and indeed of all the provinces, was
in no way better than they had been under the dominion of Portugal,
though they presented one of the finest fields imaginable for
improvement. All the old colonial imports and duties remained without
alteration; the manifold hindrances to commerce and agriculture still
existed; and arbitrary power was everywhere exercised uncontrolled: so
that, in place of being benefited by emancipation from the Portuguese
yoke, the condition of the great mass of the population was literally
worse than before. To amend this state of things it was necessary
to begin with the officers of Government, of whose corruption and
arbitrary conduct complaints, signed by whole communities, were daily
arriving from every part of the province. To such an extent, indeed,
wad this misrule carried that neither the lives nor the property of
the inhabitants were safe."

This state of things Lord Cochrane set himself zealously to remedy;
and, during his six months' stay at Maranham, he did all that, with
the bad materials at his disposal and in the harassing circumstances
of his position, it was possible for him to do. Unable to break down
the cabals and intrigues, the mutual jealousies and the unworthy
ambitions that had prevailed previous to his arrival, he held them all
in check while he was present and secured the observance of law and
the freedom of all classes of the community.

Thereby, however, he brought upon himself much fresh hatred. The
governor of the province, being devoted to the Portuguese party and a
chief cause of the existing troubles, had to be suspended and sent to
Rio de Janeiro; and though the suspension occurred after orders had
been despatched by the Emperor for his recall, it afforded an excuse
to the governor and his friends in office for denunciation of Lord
Cochrane's conduct, alleged to be greatly in excess of his powers and
in contempt of the constituted authority. In fact, the same bad policy
that had embarrassed him before, while he was in Rio de Janeiro,
continued to embarrass him yet more during his service in Maranham.
That that service was very helpful to the best interests of Brazil
no one attempted to deny. The French and English consuls, speaking
on behalf of all their countrymen resident in the northern provinces,
overstepped the line of strict neutrality, and entreated him to
persevere in the measures by which he was making it possible for
commerce to prosper and the rules of civilized life to be observed.
The Emperor sent to thank him for his work. "His Majesty," wrote the
secretary on the 2nd of December, "approves of the First Admiral's
determination to establish order and obedience in the northern
provinces, a duty which he has so wisely and judiciously undertaken,
and in which he must continue until the provinces submit themselves
to the authorities lately appointed, and enjoy the benefits of the
paternal government of his Imperial Majesty."

The Emperor, however, was at this time almost powerless. The leaders
of the Portuguese faction reigned, and by them Lord Cochrane continued
to be treated with every possible indignity and insult. Not daring
openly to dismiss him or even to accept the resignation which he
frequently offered, they determined to wear out his patience, and, if
possible, to drive him to some act on which they could fasten as
an excuse for degrading him. They partly succeeded, though the only
wonder is that Lord Cochrane should have been, for so long a time, as
patient as he proved. His temper is well shown in the numerous
letters which he addressed to Pedro I. and the Government during these
harassing months. "The condescension," he wrote, "with which your
Imperial Majesty has been pleased to permit me to approach your royal
person, on matters regarding the public service, and even on those
more particularly relating to myself, emboldens me to adopt the only
means in my power, at this distance, of craving that your Majesty will
be graciously pleased to judge of my conduct in the imperial service
by the result of my endeavours to promote your Majesty's interests,
and not by the false reports spread by those who, for reasons best
known to themselves, desire to alienate your Majesty's mind from me,
and thus to bring about my removal from your Majesty's service. I
trust that your Imperial Majesty will please to believe me to be
sensible that the honours which you have so graciously bestowed upon
me it is my duty not to tarnish, and that your Majesty will further
believe that, highly as I prize those honours, I hold the maintenance
of my reputation in my native country in equal estimation. I
respectfully crave permission to add that, perceiving it is impossible
to continue in the service of your Imperial Majesty without at
all times subjecting my professional character, under the present
management of the Marine Department, to great risks, I trust your
Majesty will be graciously pleased to grant me leave to retire
from your imperial service, in which it appears to me I have now
accomplished all that can be expected from me, the authority of your
Imperial Majesty being established throughout the whole extent of

That request was not granted, or in any way answered; and the
statement that the whole of Brazil was finally subjected to the
Emperor's authority proved to be not quite correct. Fresh turmoils
arose in Para, and Lord Cochrane had to send thither a small force,
by which order was restored. He himself found ample employment in
restraining the factions that could not be suppressed at Maranham.

That was the state of things in the early months of 1825, until
unlooked-for circumstances arose, by which Lord Cochrane's Brazilian
employment was brought to a termination in a way that he had not
anticipated. "The anxiety occasioned by the constant harassing which
I had undergone, unalleviated by any acknowledgment on the part of the
Imperial Government of the services which had a second time saved the
empire from intestine war, anarchy, and revolution," he said, "began
to make serious inroads on my health; whilst that of the officers and
men, in consequence of the great heat and pestilential exhalations of
the climate, and of the double duty which they had to perform afloat
and ashore, was even less satisfactory. As I saw no advantage in
longer contending with factious intrigues at Maranham, unsupported and
neglected as I was by the Administration at Rio de Janeiro, I resolved
upon a short run into a more bracing northerly atmosphere, which would
answer the double purpose of restoring our health and of giving us a
clear offing for our subsequent voyage to the capital.

"Accordingly," the narrative proceeds, "I shifted my flag into the
_Piranga_, despatched the _Pedro Primiero_ to Rio, and, leaving
Captain Manson, of the _Cacique_, in charge of the naval department
at Maranham, put to sea on the 18th of May. On the 21st we crossed
the Equator, and, meeting with a succession of easterly winds, were
carried to the northward of the Azores, passing St. Michael's on the
11th of June. It had been my intention to sail into the latitude of
the Azores, and then to return to Rio de Janeiro. But, strong gales
coming on, we made the unpleasant discovery that the frigate's
main-topmast was sprung, and, when putting her about, the main and
main-topsail yards were discovered to be unserviceable. For the
condition of the ship's spars I had depended on others, not deeming
it necessary to take upon myself such investigation. It was, however,
possible that we might have patched these up, had not the running
rigging been as rotten as the masts, and we had no spare cordage on
board. A still worse disaster was that the salt provisions shipped at
Maranham were reported bad, mercantile ingenuity having resorted to
the device of placing good meat at the top and bottom of the barrels,
whilst the middle, being composed of unsound articles, had tainted
the whole, thereby rendering it not only unpalatable but positively
dangerous to health. The good provisions on board being little more
than sufficient for a week's subsistence, a direct return to Rio de
Janeiro was out of the question."

It was therefore absolutely necessary to seek some nearer harbour; but
Lord Cochrane was considerably embarrassed in his choice of a
port. Portugal was an enemy's country, and Spain, by reason of his
achievements in Chili and Peru, was no less hostile to him. France had
not yet recognised the independence of Brazil, and therefore a stay on
any part of its coast might lead to difficulties. England afforded the
only safe halting-place, though there Lord Cochrane was uncertain as
to the way in which, in consequence of the Foreign Enlistment Act,
he might be received. To England, however, he resolved to go; and,
sighting its coast on the 25th of June, he anchored at Spithead on
the following day. Salutes were exchanged with a British ship lying
in harbour, and in the afternoon he landed at Portsmouth, to be
enthusiastically welcomed by nearly all classes of his countrymen,
whose admiration for his personal character and his excellence as a
naval officer was heightened by the renown of his exploits in South
America during an absence of six years and a half.

His subsequent relations with Brazil can be briefly told. His
unavoidable return to England afforded just the excuse which his
enemies in Brazil had been seeking for ousting him from his command.
They and the Chevalier Manoel Rodriguez Gameiro Pessoa, the Brazilian
Envoy in London, who altogether sympathised with them, chose to regard
this occurrence as an act of desertion. Lord Cochrane lost no time in
reporting his arrival and requesting to be provided with the necessary
means for refitting the _Piranga_ and preparing for a speedy return to
Rio de Janeiro. To expedite matters, he even advanced 2000_l._ out of
his own property--which was never repaid to him--for this purpose. His
repeated applications for instructions were either unheeded or only
answered with insult. He was ordered to return to Brazil at once,
towards which no assistance was given to him; and at the same time
his officers and crew were ordered to repudiate his authority and to
return without him.

Lord Cochrane had no room to doubt that by going back to Brazil he
should only expose himself to yet worse treatment than that from which
he had been suffering during nearly two years; but at the same time
he was resolved to do nothing at variance with his duty to the Emperor
from whom he had received his commission, and nothing invalidating his
claims to the recompense which was clearly due to him. At length he
was relieved from some of his perplexities, after they had lasted more
than three months. On the 3rd of November, 1825, peace was declared
between Brazil and Portugal; and thereby his relations with his
employers were materially altered. The work which he had pledged
himself to do was completed, and he was justified in resigning his
command, or at any rate in declining to resume it until the causes of
his recent troubles were removed.

This he did in a letter addressed to the Emperor Pedro I., from
London, on the 10th of November. "The gracious condescension which I
experienced from your Imperial Majesty, from the first moment of my
arrival in the Brazils, the honorary distinctions which I received
from your Majesty, and the attention with which you were pleased to
listen to all my personal representations relating to the promotion
of the naval power of your empire," he wrote, "have impressed upon
my mind a high sense of the honour which your Majesty conferred, and
forbid my entertaining any other sentiments than those of attachment
to your Majesty and devotion to your true interests. But, whilst I
express these my unfeigned sentiments towards your Imperial Majesty,
it is with infinite pain and regret that I recall to my recollection
the conduct that has been pursued towards the naval service, and to
myself personally, since the members of the Brazilian administration
of Jose Bonifacio de Andrade were superseded by persons devoted to
the views and interests of Portugal,--views and interests which are
directly opposed to the adoption of that line of conduct which can
alone promote and secure the true interests and glory of your Imperial
Majesty, founded on the tranquillity and happiness of the Brazilian
people. Without imputing to such ministers as Severiano, Gomez, and
Barboza disaffection to the person of your Imperial Majesty, it is
sufficient to know that they are men bigoted to the unenlightened
opinions of their ancestors of four centuries ago, that they are men
who, from their limited intercourse with the world, from the paucity
of the literature of their native language, and from their want of
all rational instruction in the service of government and political
economy, have no conception of governing Brazil by any other than the
same wretched and crooked policy to which the nation had been so long
subjected in its condition as a colony. Nothing further need be said,
while we acquit them of treason, to convict them of unfitness to be
the counsellors of your Imperial Majesty.

"None but such ministers as these could have endeavoured to impress
upon the mind of your Imperial Majesty that the refugee Portuguese
from the provinces and many thousands from Europe, collected in Rio
de Janeiro, were the only true friends and supporters of the imperial
crown of Brazil. None but such ministers would have endeavoured to
impress your Imperial Majesty with a belief that the Brazilian people
were inimical to your person and the imperial crown, merely because
they were hostile to the system pursued by those ministers. None but
such ministers would have placed in important offices of trust the
natives of a nation with which your Imperial Majesty was at war. None
but such ministers would have endeavoured to induce your Imperial
Majesty to believe that officers who had abandoned their King and
native country for their own private interests could be depended on as
faithful servants to a hostile Government and a foreign land. None but
such ministers could have induced your Imperial Majesty to place
in the command of your fortresses, regiments, and ships of war such
individuals as these. None but such ministers would have attempted to
excite in the breast of your Imperial Majesty suspicions with respect
to the fidelity of myself and of those other officers who, by the most
zealous exertions, had proved our devotion to the best interests
of your Imperial Majesty and your Brazilian people. None but such
ministers would have endeavoured by insults and acts of the grossest
injustice, to drive us from the service of your Imperial Majesty and
to place Portuguese officers in our stead. And, above all, none but
such ministers could have suggested to your Imperial Majesty that
extraordinary proceeding which was projected to take place on the
night of the 3rd of June, 1824, a proceeding which, had it not been
averted by a timely discovery and prompt interposition on my part,
would have tarnished for ever the glory of your Imperial Majesty, and
which, if it had failed to prove fatal to myself and officers, must
inevitably have driven us from your imperial service. When placed
in competition with this plot of these ministers and the false
insinuations by which they induced your Imperial Majesty to listen to
their insidious counsel, all their previous intrigues, and those of
the whole Portuguese faction, to ruin the naval power of Brazil, sink
into insignificance. But for the advancement of Portuguese interests
there was nothing too treacherous or malignant for such ministers and
such men as these to insinuate to your Imperial Majesty, especially
when they had discovered that it was not possible by their unjust
conduct to provoke me to abandon the service of Brazil so long as my
exertions could be useful to secure its independence, which I believed
to be alike the object of your Imperial Majesty and the interest of
the Brazilian people.

"If the counsels of such persons should prove fatal to the interests
of your Imperial Majesty, no one will regret the event more sincerely
than myself. My only consolation will be the knowledge that your
Imperial Majesty cannot but be conscious that I, individually, have
discharged my duty, both in a military and in a private capacity,
towards your Majesty, whose true interest, I may venture to add, I
have held in greater regard than my own; for, had I connived at the
views of the Portuguese faction, even without dereliction of my duty
as an officer, I might have shared amply in the honours and emoluments
which such influence has enabled these persons to obtain, instead of
being deprived, by their means, of even the ordinary rewards of my
labours in the cause of independence which your Imperial Majesty had
engaged me to maintain,--which cause I neither have abandoned nor will
abandon, if ever it should be in my power successfully to renew my
exertions for the true interests of your Imperial Majesty and those of
the Brazilian people.

"Meanwhile my office as Commander-in-Chief of your Imperial Majesty's
Naval Forces having terminated by the conclusion of peace and by the
decree promulgated on the 28th of February, 1824, I have notified to
your Imperial Majesty's Envoy, the Chevalier de Gameiro, that I have
directed my flag to be struck this day. Praying that the war now
terminated abroad may be accompanied by tranquillity at home, I
respectfully take leave of your Imperial Majesty."

All Lord Cochrane's subsequent correspondence with Brazil had for its
object the recovery of the payments due to him and to his officers and
crews for the great services done by them to the empire. Lord Cochrane
had saved that empire from being brought back to the position of
a Portuguese colony, and had enabled it to enter on a career of
independence. In return for it he was subjected to more than two years
of galling insult, was deprived of his proper share of the prizes
taken by him and his squadron, was refused the estate in Maranham
which the Emperor, more grateful than his ministers, had bestowed upon
him, and was mulcted of a portion of his pay and of all the pension
to which he was entitled by imperial decree and the ordinances of the
Government. His services to Brazil, like his services to Chili, adding
much to his renown as a disinterested champion of liberty and an
unrivalled seaman and warrior, brought upon him personally little but
trouble and misfortune. Only near the end of his life, when a worthy
Emperor and honest ministers succeeded to power, was any recompence
accorded to him.




While Lord Cochrane was rendering efficient service to the cause of
freedom in South America, another war of independence was being waged
in Europe; and he had hardly been at home a week before solicitations
pressed upon him from all quarters that he should lend his great name
and great abilities to this war also. As he consented to do so, and
almost from the moment of his arrival was intimately connected with
the Greek Revolution, the previous stages of this memorable episode,
the incidents that occurred during his absence in Chili and Brazil,
need to be here reviewed and recapitulated.

The Greek Revolution began openly in 1821. But there had been long
previous forebodings of it. The dwellers in the land once peopled by
the noble race which planned and perfected the arts and graces, the
true refinements and the solid virtues that are the basis of our
modern civilization, had been for four centuries and more the slaves
of the Turks. They were hardly Greeks, if by that name is implied
descent from the inhabitants of classic Greece. With the old stock had
been blended, from generation to generation, so many foreign elements
that nearly all trace of the original blood had disappeared, and the
modern Greeks had nothing but their residence and their language to
justify them in maintaining the old title. But their slavery was only
too real. Oppressed by the Ottomans on account of their race and their
religion, the oppression was none the less in that it induced many of
them to cast off the last shreds of freedom and deck themselves in the
coarser, but, to slavish minds, the pleasanter bondage of trickery and
meanness. During the eighteenth century, many Greeks rose to eminence
in the Turkish service, and proved harder task-masters to their
brethren than the Turks themselves generally were. The hope of further
aggrandisement, however, led them to scheme the overthrow of their
Ottoman employers, and their projects were greatly aided by the truer,
albeit short-sighted, patriotism that animated the greater number of
their kinsmen. They groaned under Turkish thraldom, and yearned to
be freed from it, in the temper so well described and so worthily
denounced by Lord Byron in 1811:--

"And many dream withal the hour is nigh
That gives them back their fathers' heritage:
For foreign arms and aid they loudly sigh,
Nor solely dare encounter hostile rage.
Hereditary bondsmen! know ye not
Who would be free themselves must strike the blow?
By their right arm the conquest must be wrought.
Will Gaul or Muscovite redress ye?--No!
True, they may lay your proud despoilers low,
But not for you will Freedom's altars flame."

The Greeks, all but a few genuine patriots, thought otherwise. They
sought deliverance at the hands of Gauls and Muscovites; and, as the
Muscovites had good reason for desiring the overthrow of Turkey, they
listened to their prayers, and other ties than that of community in
religion bound the persecuted Greeks to Russia. The Philike Hetaira,
or Friendly Society, chief representative of a very general movement,
was founded at Odessa in 1814. It was a secret society, which speedily
had ramifications among the Greek Christians in every part of Turkey,
encouraging them to prepare for insurrection as soon as the Czar
Alexander I. deemed it expedient to aid them by open invasion of
Turkey, or as soon as they themselves could take the initiative,
trusting to Russia to complete the work of revolution. The Friendly
Society increased its influence and multiplied its visionary schemes
during many years previous to 1821.

Its strength was augmented by the political condition of Turkey at the
time. The Sultan Mahmud--a true type of the Ottoman sovereign at
his worst--had attempted to perfect his power by a long train of
cruelties, of which murder was the lightest. Defeating his own purpose
thereby, he aroused the opposition of Mahometan as well as Christian
subjects, and induced the rebellious schemes of Ali Pasha of Joannina,
the boldest of his vassals. In Albania Ali ruled with a cruelty that
was hardly inferior to Mahmud's. Byron tells how his

"dread command
Is lawless law; for with a bloody hand
He sways a nation turbulent and told."

The cruelty could be tolerated; but not opposition to Mahmud's
will. Long and growing jealousy existed between the Sultan and his
tributary. At length, in 1820, there was an open rupture. Ali was
denounced as a traitor, and ordered to surrender his pashalik. Instead
of so doing, he organized his army for prompt rebellion, trusting for
success partly to the support of the Greeks. Most of the Greeks held
aloof; but the Suliots, a race of Christian marauders, the fiercest of
the fierce community of Albanians, sided with him, and for more than a
year rendered him valuable aid by reason of their hereditary skill in
lawless warfare. Not till January, 1822, was Ali forced to surrender,
and then only, perhaps, through the defection of the Suliots.

The Suliots, dissatisfied with Ali's recompense for their services,
had gone over to the Greeks, who, not caring to serve under Ali in his
rebellion, had welcomed that rebellion as a Heaven-sent opportunity
for realising their long-cherished hopes. The Turkish garrisons in
Greece being half unmanned in order that the strongest possible force
might be used in subduing Ali, and Turkish government in the peninsula
being at a standstill, the Greeks found themselves in an excellent
position for asserting their freedom. Had they been less degraded than
they were by their long centuries of slavery, or had there been some
better organization than that which the purposes and the methods of
the Friendly Society afforded for developing the latent patriotism
which was honest and wide-spread, they might have achieved a triumph
worthy of the classic name they bore and the heroic ancestry that they

Unfortunately, the Friendly Society, already degenerated from the
unworthy aim with which it started, now an elaborate machinery of
personal ambition, private greed, and local spite, the willing tool of
Russia, was master of the situation. The mastery, however, was by no
means thorough. The society had dispossessed all other organizations,
but had no organization of its own adequate to the working out of
a successful rebellion. Its machinery was tolerably perfect, but
efficient motive-power was wanting. Its exchequer was empty; its
counsels were divided; above all, it had alienated the sympathies of
the worthiest patriots of Greece. Finding itself suddenly in the
way of triumph, it was incapable of rightly progressing in that way.
Obstacles of its own raising, and obstacles raised by others, stood
in the path, and only a very wise man had the chance of successfully
removing them.

The wise man did not exist, or was not to be obtained. Perhaps the
wisest, though, as later history proved, not very wise, was Count John
Capodistrias, a native of Corfu. Born in 1777, he had gone to Italy to
study and practise medicine. There also he studied, afterwards to put
in practice, the effete Machiavellianism then in vogue. In 1803 he
entered political life as secretary to the lately-founded republic
of the Ionian Islands. Napoleon's annexation of the Ionian Islands in
1807 drove him into the service of Russia, and, as Russian agent, he
advocated, at the Vienna Conference of 1815, the reconstruction of the
Ionian republic. The partial concession of Great Britain towards that
project, by which the Ionian Islands were established as a sort of
commonwealth, dependent upon England, enabled him to live and work
in Corfu, awaiting the realization of his own patriotic schemes, and
watching the patriotic movement in Greece. Italian in his education,
and Russian in his sympathies, he was still an honest Greek, worthier
and abler than most other influential Greeks. "He had many virtues and
great abilities," says a competent critic. "His conduct was firm and
disinterested, his manners simple and dignified. His personal feelings
were warm, and, as a consequence of this virtue, they were sometimes
so strong as to warp his judgment. He wanted the equanimity and
impartiality of mind, and the elevation of soul necessary to make
a great man."[A] In spite of his defects, he might have done good
service to the Greek Revolution, had he accepted the offer of its
leadership, shrewdly tendered to him by the Friendly Society. But this
he declined, having no liking for the society, and no trust in its
methods and designs.

[Footnote A: Finlay, "History of the Greek Revolution" (1861), vol.
ii., p. 196. Mr. Finlay served as a volunteer in Greece under Captain
Abney Hastings. His work is certainly the best on the subject, though
we shall have in later pages to differ widely from its strictures on
Lord Cochrane's motives and action. But our complaints will be less
against his history than against the two other leading ones--General
Gordon's "History of the Greek Revolution" (1832), and M. Trikoupes's
"[Greek: Historia tes Hellenikes Epanastaseos]" (1853-6), which is not
very much more than a paraphrase of Gordon's work.]

The Friendly Society then sought and found a leader, far inferior
to Count Capodistrias, in Prince Alexander Hypsilantes, the son of a
Hospodar of Wallachia who had been deposed in 1806. Hypsilantes had
been educated in Russia, and had there risen to some rank, high enough
at any rate to quicken his ambition and vanity, both as a soldier and
as a courtier. He was not without virtues; but he was utterly unfit
for the duties imposed upon him as leader of the Greek Revolution.
Not a Greek himself, his purpose in accepting the office seems to have
been to make Greece an appendage of the despotic monarchy, which, by
means of the political crisis, he hoped to establish in Wallachia,
under Russian protection. With that view, in March 1821, he led the
first crude army of Greek and other Christian rebels into Moldavia.
There and in Wallachia he stirred up a brief revolt, attended by
military blunders and lawless atrocities which soon brought vengeance
upon himself and made a false beginning of the revolutionary work.
Moldavia and Wallachia were quickly restored to Turkish rule, and
Hypsilantes had in June to fly for safety into Austria. But the bad
example that he set, and the evil influence that he and his promoters
and followers of the Friendly Society exerted, initiated a false
policy and encouraged a pernicious course of action, by which the
cause of the Greeks was injured for years.

The real Greek revolution began in the Morea. There the Friendly
Society did good work in showing the people that the hour for action
had come; but its direction of that action was for the most part
mischievous. The worst Greeks were the leaders, and, under their
guidance, the play of evil passions--inevitable in all efforts of the
oppressed to overturn their oppressors--was developed to a grievous
extent. Turkish blood was first shed on the 25th of March, 1821, and
within a week the whole of the Morea was in a ferment of rebellion. By
the 22nd of April, which was Easter Sunday, it is reckoned that from
ten to fifteen thousand Mahometans had been slaughtered in cold blood,
and about three thousand Turkish homes destroyed.

The promoters of all that wanton atrocity were the directors of the
Friendly Society, among whom the Archimandrate Gregorios Dikaios,
nicknamed Pappa Phlesas, and Petros Mavromichales, or Petro-Bey, were
the most conspicuous. Its principal agents were the klepht or brigand
chieftains, best represented by Theodore Kolokotrones.

Born about 1770, of a family devoted to the use of arms in predatory
ways, Kolokotrones had led a lawless life until 1806, when the Greek
peasantry called in the assistance of their Turkish rulers in hunting
down their persecutors of their own race, and when, several of his
family being slain, he himself had to seek refuge in Zante. There he
maintained himself, partly by piracy, partly by cattle-dealing.
In 1810 the English annexation of the Ionian Islands led to his
employment, first as captain and afterwards as major, in the Greek
contingent of the British army. He had amassed much wealth, and was
in the prime of life when, in January, 1821, he returned to his early
home, to revive his old brigand life under the name of legitimate
warfare. His thorough knowledge of the country, its passes and its
strongholds, and his familiarity with the modes of fighting proper to
them, his handsome person and agreeable deportment, his shrewd wit and
persuasive oratory, made him one of the most influential agents of
the Revolution at its commencement, and his influence grew during the
ensuing years.

The flame of rebellion, having spread through the Morea during the
early weeks of April, extended rapidly over the adjoining districts of
the mainland. By the end of June the insurgents were masters of
nearly all the country now possessed by modern Greece. Their cause
was heartily espoused by the Suliots of Albania and other
fellow-Christians in the various Turkish provinces, and their kinsmen
of the outlying islands were eager to join in the work of national
regeneration, and to contribute largely to the completion of that work
by their naval prowess.

It was naval prowess, as our later pages will abundantly show, of
a very barbarous and undeveloped sort. Besides the two principal
seaports on the mainland, Tricheri on Mount Pelion and Galaxidhi on
the Gulf of Corinth, there were famous colonies of Greek seamen in the
islands of Psara and Kasos, and similar colonies of Albanians in Hydra
and Spetzas. These and the other islands had long practised irregular
commerce, and protected that commerce by irregular fighting with the
Turks. At the first sound of revolution they threw in their lot with
the insurgents of the mainland, and thus a nondescript navy of some
four hundred brigs and schooners, of from sixty to four hundred tons'
burthen, and manned by about twelve thousand sailors, adepts alike
in trade and piracy, but very unskilled in orderly warfare, and very
feebly inspired by anything like disinterested patriotism, was ready
to use and abuse its powers during the ensuing seven years' fight for
Greek independence.

During the summer of 1821, while the continental Greeks were rushing
to arms, murdering the Turkish residents among them by thousands, and
thus bringing down upon themselves, or upon those of their own race
who, as peasants and burghers, took no important share in actual
fighting, the murderous vengeance of the Turkish troops sent to
attempt the suppression of the revolt, these sailors were pursuing an
easier and more profitable game. The Turkish ports were not warlike,
and the Turkish trading ships were not prepared for fighting. In May,
a formidable crowd of vessels left the islands on a cruise, from which
they soon returned with an immense store of booty. Early in June, the
best Turkish fleet that could be brought together, consisting of two
line-of-battle ships, three frigates, and three sloops, went out to
harass, if not to destroy, the swarm of smaller enemies. Jakomaki
Tombazes, with thirty-seven of these smaller enemies, set off to meet
them, and falling in with one of the ships, gave her chase, till, in
the roads of Eripos, she was attacked on the 8th of June, and, with
the help of a fireship, destroyed with a loss of nearly four hundred
men. That victory caused the flight of the other Turkish vessels, and
was the beginning of much cruel work at sea and with ships, which,
not often daring to meet in open fight, wrought terrible mischief to
unprotected ports and islands.

The mischief wrought upon the land was yet more terrible. A seething
tide of Greek and Moslem blood heaved to and fro, as, during the
second half of 1821, each party in turn gained temporary ascendency in
one district after another. Greeks murdered Turks, and Turks murdered
Greeks, with equal ferocity; or perhaps the ferocity of the Greeks,
stirred by bad leaders to revenge themselves for all their previous
sufferings, even surpassed that of the Turks. Of their cruelty a
glaring instance occurred in their capture of Navarino. The Turkish
inhabitants having held out as long as a mouthful of food was left
in the town, were forced to capitulate on the 19th of August. It was
promised that, upon their surrendering, the Greek vessels were to
convey them, their wearing apparel, and their household furniture,
either to Egypt or to Tunis. No sooner were the gates opened than
a wholesale plunder and slaughter ensued. A Greek ecclesiastic has
described the scene. "Women wounded with musket-balls and sabre-cuts
rushed to the sea, seeking to escape, and were deliberately shot.
Mothers robbed of their clothes, with infants in their arms, plunged
into the water to conceal themselves from shame, and they were then
made a mark for inhuman riflemen. Greeks seized infants from their
mothers' breasts and dashed them against the rocks. Children, three
and four years old, were hurled, living, into the sea, and left to
drown. When the massacre was ended, the dead bodies washed ashore, or
piled on the beach, threatened to cause a pestilence."[A] At the sack
of Tripolitza, on the 8th of October, about eight thousand Moslems
were murdered, the last two thousand, chiefly women and children,
being taken into a neighbouring ravine, there to be slaughtered at
leisure. Two years afterwards a ghastly heap of bones attested the
inhuman deed.

[Footnote A: Finlay, vol. i.; p. 263, citing Phrantzes.]

In ways like these the first stage of the Greek Revolution was
achieved. Before the close of 1821, it appeared to the Greeks
themselves, to their Moslem enemies, and to their many friends in
England, France, and other countries, that the triumph was complete.
Unfortunately, the same bad motives and the same bad methods that had
so grievously polluted the torrent of patriotism continued to poison
and disturb the stream which might otherwise have been henceforth
clear, steady, and health-giving. Greece was free, but, unless another
and a much harder revolution could be effected in the temper and
conduct of its own people, unfit to put its freedom to good use or
even to maintain it. "The rapid success of the Greeks during the first
few weeks of the revolution," says their ablest historian, "threw the
management of much civil and financial business into the hands of the
proesti and demogeronts in office. The primates, who already exercised
great official authority, instantly appropriated that which had been
hitherto exercised by murdered voivodes and beys. Every primate strove
to make himself a little independent potentate, and every captain of
a district assumed the powers of a commander-in-chief. The Revolution,
before six months had passed, seemed to have peopled Greece with a
host of little Ali Pashas. When the primate and the captain acted in
concert, they collected the public revenues; administered the Turkish
property, which was declared national; enrolled, paid, and provisioned
as many troops as circumstances required, or as they thought fit;
named officers; formed a local guard for the primate of the best
soldiers in the place, who were thus often withdrawn from the public
service; and organised a local police and a local treasury. This I
system of local self-government, constituted in a very self-willed
manner, and relieved from almost all responsibility, was soon
established as a natural result of the Revolution over all Greece.
The Sultan's authority having ceased, every primate assumed the
prerogatives of the Sultan. For a few weeks this state of things was
unavoidable, and, to an able and honest chief or government, it would
have facilitated the establishment of a strong central authority; but
by the vices of Greek society it was perpetuated into an organised
anarchy. No improvement was made in financial arrangements, or in the
system of taxation; no measures were adopted for rendering property
more secure; no attempt was made to create an equitable administration
of justice; no courts of law were established; and no financial
accounts were published. Governments were formed, constitutions were
drawn up, national assemblies met, orators debated, and laws were
passed according to the political fashion patronised by the liberals
of the day. But no effort was made to prevent the Government
being virtually absolute, unless it was by rendering it absolutely
powerless. The constitutions were framed to remain a dead letter. The
national assemblies were nothing but conferences of parties, and the
laws passed were intended to fascinate Western Europe, not to operate
with effect in Greece."[A]

[Footnote A: Finlay, vol. i., pp. 280, 281.]

The supreme government of Greece had been assumed in June by Prince
Demetrius Hypsilantes, a worthier man than his brother Alexander, but
by no means equal to the task he took in hand. At first the brigand
chiefs and local potentates, not willing to surrender any of the power
they had acquired, were disposed to render to him nominal submission,
believing that his name and his Russian influence would be serviceable
to the cause of Greece. But Hypsilantes showed himself utterly
incompetent, and it was soon apparent that his sympathies were wholly
alien to those both of the Greek people and of their military and
civil leaders. Therefore another master had to be chosen. Kolokotrones
might have succeeded to the dignity, and he certainly had vigour
enough of disposition, and enough honesty and dishonesty combined, to
make the position one of power as well as of dignity. For that very
reason, however, his comrades and rivals were unwilling to place him
in it. They desired a president skilful enough to hold the reins of
government with a very loose hand, yet so as to keep them from getting
hopelessly entangled--one who should be a smart secretary and adviser,
without assuming the functions of a director.

Such a man they found in Prince Alexander Mavrocordatos, then about
thirty-two years old. He was a kinsman of a Hospodar of Wallachia,
by whom he had in his youth been employed in political matters. After
that he had resided in France, where he acquired much fresh knowledge,
and where his popularity helped to quicken sympathy on behalf of
the Greek Revolution at its first outburst. He had lately come
to Missolonghi with a ship-load of ammunition and other material,
procured and brought at his own expense, and soon attained
considerable influence. Always courteous in his manners, only
ungenerous in his actions where the interests of others came into
collision with his own, less strong-willed and less ambitious than
most of his associates, those associates were hardly jealous of his
popularity at home, and wholly pleased with his popularity among
foreigners. It was a clear gain to their cause to have Shelley writing
his "Hellas," and dedicating the poem to Mavrocordatos, as "a token of
admiration, sympathy, and friendship."

Mavrocordatos was named President of Greece in the Constitution of
Epidaurus, chiefly his own workmanship, which was proclaimed on the
13th of January--New Year's Day, according to the reckoning of the
Greek Church--1822. It is not necessary here to detail his own acts or
those of his real or professing subordinates. All we have to do is to
furnish a general account, and a few characteristic illustrations, of
the course of events during the Greek Revolution, in explanation of
the state of parties and of politics at the time of Lord Cochrane's
advent among them. These events were marked by continuance of the same
selfish policy, divided interests, class prejudice, and individual
jealousy that have been already referred to. The mass of the Greek
people were, as they had been from the first, zealous in their desire
for freedom, and, having won it, they were not unwilling to use it
honestly. For their faults their leaders are chiefly to be blamed; and
in apology for those leaders, it must be remembered that they were an
assemblage of soldiers who had been schooled in oriental brigandage,
of priests whose education had been in a corrupt form of Christianity
made more corrupt by persecution, of merchants who had found it hard
to trade without trickery, and of seamen who had been taught to
regard piracy as an honourable vocation. Perhaps we have less cause to
condemn them for the errors and vices that they exhibited during their
fight for freedom, than to wonder that those errors and vices were not
more reprehensible in themselves and disastrous in their issues.

For about six years the fight was maintained without foreign aid, save
that given by private volunteers and generous champions in Western
Europe, against a state numerically nearly twenty times as strong as
the little community of revolutionists. In it, along with much wanton
cruelty, was displayed much excellent heroism. But the heroism was
reckless and undisciplined, and therefore often worse than useless.

Memorable instances both of recklessness and of want of discipline
appeared in the attempts made to wrest Chios from the Turks in 1822.
The Greek inhabitants of this island, on whom the Turkish yoke pressed
lightly, had refused to join in the insurgent movement of their
brethren on the mainland and in the neighbouring islands. But it was
considered that a little coercion would induce them to share in
the Revolution and convert their prosperous island into a Greek
possession. Therefore, in March, a small force of two thousand five
hundred men crossed the archipelago, took possession of Koutari,
the principal town, and proceeded to invest the Turkish citadel.
The Chiots, though perhaps not very willingly, took part in the
enterprise; but the invading party was quite unequal to the work it
had undertaken. In April a formidable Turkish squadron arrived, and
by it Chios was easily recovered, to become the scene of vindictive
atrocities, which brought all the terrified inhabitants who were
not slaughtered, or who could not escape, into abject submission.
Thereupon, on the 10th of May, a Greek fleet of fifty-six vessels was
despatched by Mavrocordatos to attempt a more thorough capture of the
island. Its commander was Andreas Miaoulis, a Hydriot merchant, who
proved himself the best sea-captain among the Greeks. Had Miaoulis
been able, as he wished, to start sooner and meet the Turkish squadron
on its way to Chios, a brilliant victory might have resulted, instead
of one of the saddest catastrophes in the whole Greek war. Being
deterred therefrom by the vacillation of Mavrocordatos and the
insubordination of his captains and their crews, he was only able to
reach the island when it was again in the hands of the enemy, and when
all was ready for withstanding him. There was useless fighting on the
31st of May and the two following days. On the 18th of June, Miaoulis
made another attack; but he was only able to destroy the Turkish
flag-ship, and nearly all on board, by means of a fire-vessel. His
fleet was unmanageable, and he had to abandon the enterprise and to
leave the unfortunate Chiots to endure further punishment for offences
that were not their own. This punishment was so terrible that, in six
months, the population of Chios was reduced from one hundred thousand
to thirty thousand. Twenty thousand managed to escape. Fifty thousand
were either put to death or sold as slaves in Asia Minor.

That failure of the Greeks at Chios, quickly followed by their
defeat on land at Petta, greatly disheartened the revolutionists.
Mavrocordatos virtually resigned his presidentship, and there was
anarchy in Greece till 1828. Athens, captured from the Turks in June,
1822, became the centre of jealous rivalry and visionary scheming,
mismanagement, and government that was worse than no government at
all. Odysseus, the vilest of the vile men whom the Revolution brought
to the surface, was its master for some time; and, when he played
traitor to the Turks, he was succeeded by others hardly better than

In spite of some heavy disasters, however, the Greeks were so far
successful during 1822 that in 1823 they were able to hold their
newly-acquired territory and to wrest some more fortresses from their
enemies. The real heroism that they had displayed, moreover--the foul
cruelties of which they were guilty and the selfish courses which they
pursued being hardly reported to their friends, and, when reported,
hardly believed--awakened keen sympathy on their behalf. Shelley and
Byron, and many others of less note, had sung their virtues and their
sufferings in noble verse and enlarged upon them in eloquent prose,
and in England and France, in Switzerland, Germany, and the united
States, a strong party of Philhellenes was organized to collect money
and send recruits for their assistance.

The two Philhellenes of greatest note who served in Greece during the
earlier years of the Revolution were Thomas Gordon and Frank Abney
Hastings. Gordon, who attained the rank of general in the army of
independence, had the advantage of a long previous and thorough
acquaintance with the character of both Turks and Greeks and with the
languages that they spoke. He watched all the revolutionary movements
from the beginning, and took part in many of them. In the "History
of the Greek Revolution," which he published in 1832, he gave such
a vivid and, in the main, so accurate an account of them that his
narrative has formed the basis of the more ambitious work of the
native historian, Mr. Trikoupes. Of the vices and errors of the
people on whose behalf he fought and wrote he spoke boldly. "Whatever
national or individual wrong the Greeks may have endured," he said
in one place, "it is impossible to justify the ferocity of their
vengeance or to deny that a comparison instituted between them and the
Ottoman generals, Mehemet Aboulaboud, Omer Vrioni, and the Kehaya Bey
of Kurshid, would give to the latter the palm of humanity. Humanity,
however, is a word quite out of place when applied either to them or
to their opponents." In another page, further denouncing the Greek
leaders, he wrote: "Panourias was the worst of these local despots,
whom some writers have elevated into heroes. He was, in fact, an
ignoble robber, hardened in evil. He enriched himself with the spoils
of the Mahometans; yet he and his retinue of brigands compelled the
people to maintain them at free quarters, in idleness and luxury,
exacting not only bread, meat, wine, and forage, but also sugar and
coffee. Hence springs the reflection that the Greeks had cause to
repent their early predilection for the klephts, who were almost all,
beginning with Kolokotrones, infamous for the sordid perversity of
their dispositions."[A] Gordon's disinterested and brave efforts to
bring about a better state of things and to help on the cause of
real patriotism in Greece were highly praiseworthy; but, as another
historian has truly said, "he did not possess the activity and
decision of character necessary to obtain commanding influence in
council, or to initiate daring measures in the field."[B]

[Footnote A: Gordon, vol. i., pp. 313, 400.]

[Footnote B: Finlay, vol. ii., p. 129.]

Frank Abney Hastings was an abler man. Born in 1794, he was started in
the naval profession when only eleven years old. Six months after the
commencement of his midshipman's life he was present, on board the
_Neptune_, at the battle of Trafalgar, and during the ensuing fourteen
years he served in nearly every quarter of the globe. His independent
spirit, however--something akin to Lord Cochrane's--brought him into
disfavour, and, in 1819, for challenging a superior officer who had
insulted him, he was dismissed from the British navy. Disheartened and
disgusted, he resided in France for about three years. At length he
resolved to go and fight for the Greeks, partly out of sympathy for
their cause, partly as a relief from the misery of forced idleness,
partly with the view of developing a plan which he had been devising
for extending the use of steamships in naval warfare,--to which last
excellent improvement he greatly contributed. He arrived at Hydra in
April, 1822, just in time to take part in the fighting off Chios.
One of his ingenious suggestions, made to Andreas Miaoulis, and its
reception, have been described by himself. "I proposed to direct a
fireship and three other vessels upon the frigate, and, when near the
enemy, to set fire to certain combustibles which should throw out
a great flame. The enemy would naturally conclude they were all
fireships. The vessels were then to attach themselves to the frigate,
fire broadsides, double-shotted, throwing on board the enemy at the
same time combustible balls which gave a great smoke without flame.
This would doubtless induce him to believe he was on fire, and give
a most favourable opportunity for boarding him. However, the admiral
returned my plan, saying only [Greek: kalo], without asking a single
question, or wishing me to explain its details; and I observed a kind
of insolent contempt in his manner. This interview with the admiral
disgusted me. They place you in a position in which it is impossible
to render any service, and then they boast of their own superiority,
and of the uselessness of the Franks, as they call us, in Turkish
warfare." Miaoulis, however, soon gained wisdom and made good use of
Captain Hastings, who spent more than 7000_l._--all his patrimony--in
serving the Greeks. He was almost the only officer in their employ
who, during the earlier years of the Revolution, succeeded in
establishing any sort of discipline or good management.

Lord Byron, the most illustrious of all the early Philhellenes, used
to say, shortly before his death, that with Napier at the head of the
army and Hastings in command of a fleet the triumph of Greece might
be insured. Byron was then at Missolonghi, whither he had gone in
January, 1824, to die in April. Long before, while stirring up the
sympathy of all lovers of liberty for the cause of regeneration in
Greece, he had shown that regeneration could be by no means a short or
easy work, and now he had to report that the real work was hardly
yet begun--nay, that it seemed almost further off than ever. "Of the
Greeks," he wrote, "I can't say much good hitherto, and I do not like
to speak ill of them, though they do of one another."

It was chiefly at Byron's instigation that the first Greek loan was
contracted, in London, early in 1824. Its proceeds, 300,000_l._, were
spent partly in unprofitable outlay upon ships, ammunition, and the
like, of which the people were in no position to make good use, but
mostly in civil war and in pandering to the greed and vanity of the
members of the Government and their subordinate officials. "Phanariots
and doctors in medicine," says an eye-witness, "who, in the month
of April, 1824, were clad in ragged coats, and who lived on scanty
rations, threw off that patriotic chrysalis before summer was past,
and emerged in all the splendour of brigand life, fluttering about in
rich Albanian habiliments, refulgent with brilliant and unused arms,
and followed by diminutive pipe-bearers and tall henchmen."[A]

[Footnote A: Finky, vol. ii. p. 39.]

Even the scanty allowance made by the Greek Government out of its
newly-acquired wealth for fighting purposes was for the most part
squandered almost as frivolously. One general who drew pay and rations
for seven hundred soldiers went to fight and die at Sphakteria at
the head of seventeen armed peasants.[A] And that is only a glaring
instance of peculations that were all but universal.

[Footnote A: Trikoupes, vol. iii., p. 206.]

That being the degradation to which the leaders of the Greek
Revolution had sunk, it is not strange that its gains in previous
years should have begun in 1824 to be followed by heavy losses. The
Greek people--the peasants and burghers--were still patriots, though
ill-trained and misdirected. They could defend their own homesteads
with unsurpassed heroism, and hold their own mountains and valleys
with fierce persistency. But they were unfit for distant fighting,
even when their chiefs consented to employ them in it. Sultan Mahmud,
therefore, who had been profiting by the hard experience of former
years, and whose strength had been steadily growing while the power
of the insurgents had been rapidly weakening, entered on a new and
successful policy. He left the Greeks to waste their energies in their
own possessions, and resolved to recapture, one after another, the
outposts and ill-protected islands. For this he took especial care
in augmenting his navy, and, besides developing his own resources,
induced his powerful and turbulent vassal, Mohammed Ali, the Pasha of
Egypt, to equip a formidable fleet and entrust it to his son Ibrahim,
on whom was conferred the title of Vizier of the Morea.

Even without that aid Mahmud was able to do much in furtherance of his
purpose. The island of Kasos was easily recovered, and full vengeance
was wreaked on its Greek inhabitants on the 20th of June. Soon
afterwards Psara was seized and punished yet more hardly.

On the 19th of July Ibrahim left Alexandria with a naval force which
swept the southern seas of Greek pirates or privateers. On the 1st
of September he effected a junction with the Turkish fleet at Budrun.
Their united strength comprised forty-six ships, frigates, and
corvettes, and about three hundred transports, large and small. The
Greek fleet, between seventy and eighty sail, would have been strong
enough to withstand it under any sort of good management; but good
management was wanting, and the crews were quite beyond the control of
their masters. The result was that in a series of small battles during
the autumn of 1824 the Mahometans were generally successful, and their
enemies found themselves at the close of the year terribly discomfited
The little organization previously existing was destroyed, and the
revolutionists felt that they had no prospect of advantageously
carrying on their strife at sea without assistance and guidance that
could not be looked for among themselves.

Their troubles were increased in the following year. In February and
March, 1825, Ibrahim landed a formidable army in the Morea, and began
a course of operations in which the land forces and the fleet
combined to dispossess the Greeks of their chief strongholds. The
strongly-fortified island of Sphakteria, the portal of Navarino and
Pylos, was taken on the 8th of May. Pylos capitulated on the 11th,
and Navarino on the 21st of the same month. Other citadels, one after
another, were surrendered; and Ibrahim and his army spent the summer
in scouring the Morea and punishing its inhabitants, with the utmost
severity, for the lawless brigandage and the devoted patriotism of
which they had been guilty during the past four years.

The result was altogether disheartening to the Greeks. They saw that
their condition was indeed desperate. George Konduriottes, a Hydriot
merchant, an Albanian who could not speak Greek, and who was alike
unable to govern himself or others, had, in June, 1824, been named
president of the republic, and since then the rival interests of the
primates, the priests, and the military leaders had been steadily
causing the decay of all that was left of patriotism and increase of
the selfishness that had so long been rampant.

There was one consequence of this degradation, however, which promised
to be very beneficial. Seeing that their cause was being rapidly
weakened, and that their hard-fought battle for liberty was in danger
of speedy and ignominious reversal by their own divisions, by the
stealthy encroachments of the Ottomans in the north, and by the more
energetic advances of the Egyptians in the south, the Greeks resolved
to abandon some of their jealousies and greeds, to look for a saviour
from without, and, on his coming, to try and submit themselves
honestly and heartily to his leadership. The issue of that resolution
was the following letter, written by Mavrocordatos, then Secretary to
the National Assembly:--

"Milord,--Tandis que vos rares talens etaient consacres a procurer le
bonheur d'un pays separe par un espace immense de la Grece, celle-ci
ne voyait pas sans admiration, sans interet, sans une espece de
jalousie secrete meme, les succes brillants qui ont toujours couronne
vos nobles efforts, et rendu a l'independance un des plus beaux, des
plus riches pays du monde. Votre retour en Angleterre a excite la plus
vive joie dans le coeur du citoyen Grec et de ses representans par
l'espoir flattereur qu'ils commencent a concevoir que, celui qui s'est
si noblement dedie a procurer le bonheur d'une nation, ne refusera
pas d'en faire autant pour celui d'une autre, qui ne lui offre pas
une carriere moins brillante et moins digne de lui et par son nom
historique, et par ses malheurs passes et par ses efforts actuels pour
reconquerir sa liberte et son independance. Les mers qui rappellent
les victoires des Themistocles et des Timon, ne seront pas un theatre
indifferent pour celui qui sait apprecier les grands hommes, et un des
premiers amiraux de notre siecle ne verra qu' avec plaisir qu'il est
appelle a renouveler les beaux jours de Salamine et de Mycale a la
tete des Miaoulis, des Sachtouris et des Kanaris.

"C'est avec la plus grande satisfaction, milord, que je me vois charge
de faire, au nom du Gouvernement, a votre seigneurie, la proposition
du commandement general des forces navales de la Grece. Si votre
seigneurie est disposee a l'accepter, Messieurs les Deputes
du Gouvernement Grec a Londres ont toute l'autorisation et les
instructions necessaires pour combiner avec elle sur les moyens a
mettre a sa disposition, afin d'utiliser le plutot possible
votre noble decision et accelerer l'heureux moment que la Grece
reconnaissante et enthousiasmee vous verra combattre pour la cause de
sa liberte.

"Je profite de cette occasion pour prier votre seigneurie de vouloir
bien agreer l'assurance de mon respect et de la plus haute estime avec
laquelle j'ai l'honneur d'etre, milord, de votre seigneurie le tres
humble et tres obeissant serviteur,

"A. Mavrocordatos,

"Naples de Romanie,

"Secre-genl d'Etat.

"_le 20 Aout_, ----------- 1825 1er 7bre

"A Sa Seigneurie le tres Honorable Lord Cochrane, a Londres."




The letter from Mavrocordatos quoted in the last chapter was only part
of a series of negotiations that had been long pending. Lord Cochrane,
as we have seen, had arrived at Portsmouth on the 26th of June, 1825,
in command of a Brazilian war-ship and still holding office as First
Admiral of the Empire of Brazil. His intention in visiting England
had been only to effect the necessary repairs in his ship before going
back to Rio de Janeiro. He had no sooner arrived, however, than it was
clear to him, from the vague and insolent language of the Brazilian
envoy in London, that it was designed by that official, if not by the
authorities in Rio de Janeiro, to oust him from his command. During
four months he remained in uncertainty, determined not willingly to
retire from his Brazilian service, but gradually convinced by the
increasing insolence of the envoy's treatment of him that it would
be inexpedient for him hastily to return to Brazil, where, before
his departure, he had experienced the grossest ingratitude for his
brilliant achievements and neglect and abuse of all sorts. At length,
in November, upon learning that his captain and crew had been formally
instructed to "cast off all subordination" to him, he deemed that he
had no alternative but to consider himself dismissed from Brazilian
employment and free to enter upon a new engagement.

That engagement had been urged upon him even while he was in South
America by his friends in England, who were also devoted friends to
the cause of Greek independence, and the proposal had been renewed
very soon after his arrival at Portsmouth. It was so freely talked of
among all classes of the English public and so openly discussed in the
newspapers before the middle of August that by it Lord Cochrane's last
relations with the Brazilian envoy were seriously complicated. "Lord
Cochrane is looking very well, after eight years of harassing and
ungrateful service," wrote Sir Francis Burdett on the 20th of August,
"and, I trust, will be the liberator of Greece. What a glorious

It is needless to say that Sir Francis Burdett, always the noble
and disinterested champion of the oppressed, and the far-seeing and
fearless advocate of liberty both at home and abroad, was a leading
member of the Greek Committee in London. This committee was a
counterpart--though composed of more illustrious members than any of
the others--of Philhellenic associations that had been organized in
nearly every capital of Europe and in the chief towns of the United
States. Everywhere a keen sympathy was aroused on behalf of the
down-trodden Greeks; and the sympathy only showed itself more
zealously when it appeared that the Greeks were still burdened with
the moral degradation of their long centuries of slavery, and needed
the guidance and support of men more fortunately trained than they
had been in ways of freedom. Such a man, and foremost among such men,
always generous, wise, and earnest, was Sir Francis Burdett, Lord
Cochrane's oldest and best political friend, his readiest adviser
and stoutest defender all through the weary time of his subjection to
unmerited disgrace and heartless contumely. Another leading member
of the Greek Committee was Mr. John Cam Hobhouse, afterwards Lord
Broughton, Lord Byron's friend and fellow-traveller, now Sir Francis
Burdett's colleague in the representation of Westminster as successor
to Lord Cochrane. Another of high note was Mr. Edward Ellice, eminent
alike as a merchant and as a statesman. Another, no less eminent, was
Joseph Hume. Another was Mr. (afterwards Sir) John Bowring, secretary
to the Greek Committee. By them and many others the progress of the
Greek Revolution was carefully watched and its best interests were
strenuously advocated, and by all the return of Lord Cochrane to
England and the prospect of his enlistment in the Philhellenic
enterprise afforded hearty satisfaction. To them the real liberty of
Greece was a cherished object; and one and all united in welcoming the
great promoter of Chilian and Brazilian independence as the liberator
of Greece.

Other honest friends of Greece were less sanguine, and more disposed
to urge caution upon Lord Cochrane. "My very dear friend," wrote one
of them, Dr. William Porter, from Bristol on the 25th of August, "I
will not suffer you to be longer in England without welcoming you; for
your health, happiness, and fame are all dear to me. I have followed
you in your Transatlantic career with deep feelings of anxiety for
your life, but none for your glory: I know you too well to entertain
a fear for that. I had hoped that you would repose on your laurels and
enjoy the evening of life in peace, but am told that you are about to
launch a thunderbolt against the Grand Seignior on behalf of Greece.
I wish to see Greece free; but could also wish you to rest from your
labours. For a sexagenarian to command a fleet in ordinary war is an
easy task, and even threescore and ten might do it; but fifty years
are too many to conduct a naval war for a people whose pretensions to
nautical skill you will find on a thousand occasions to give rise to
jealousies against you. You will also find that on some important day
they will withhold their co-operation, in order to rob you of your
glory. The cause of Greece is, nevertheless, a glorious cause. Our
remembrance of what their ancestors did at Salamis, at Marathon, at
Thermopylae, gives an additional interest to all that concerns them.
But, to say the truth of them, they are a race of tigers, and their
ancestors were the same. I shall be glad to see them fall upon their
aigretted keeper and his pashas; but, confound them! I would not
answer for their destroying the man that would break their fetters and
set them loose in all the power of recognised freedom."

There was much truth in those opinions, and Lord Cochrane was not
blind to it. That he, though now in his fiftieth year, was too old
for any difficult seamanship or daring warfare that came in his way
he certainly was not inclined to admit; but he was not quite as
enthusiastic as Sir Francis Burdett and many of his other friends
regarding the immediate purposes and the ultimate issue of the Greek
Revolution. He was now as hearty a lover of liberty, and as willing
to employ all his great experience and his excellent ability in its
service, as he had been eight years before when he went to aid the
cause of South American independence. But both in Chili and in Brazil
he had suffered much himself, and, what was yet more galling to one
of his generous disposition, had seen how grievously his disinterested
efforts for the benefit of others had been stultified, by the
selfishness and imprudence, the meanness and treachery of those whom
he had done his utmost to direct in a sure and rapid way of freedom.
He feared, and had good reason for fearing, like disappointments in
any relations into which he might enter with Greece. Therefore, though
he readily consented to work for the Hellenic revolutionists, as he
had worked for the Chilians and Brazilians, he did so with
something of a forlorn hope, with a fear--which in the end was fully
justified--that thereby his own troubles might only be augmented, and
that his philanthropic plans might in great measure be frustrated.
Coming newly to England, where the real state of affairs in Greece,
the selfishness of the leaders, the want of discipline among
the masses, and the consequent weakness and embarrassment to the
revolutionary cause, were not thoroughly understood, and where this
understanding was especially difficult for him without previous
acquaintance even with all the details that were known and apprehended
by his friends, he yet saw enough to lead him to the belief that
the work they wished him to do in Greece would be harder and more
thankless than they supposed.

This must be remembered as an answer to the first of the
misstatements--misstatements that will have to be controverted
at every stage of the ensuing narrative--which were carefully
disseminated, and have been persistently recorded by political
opponents and jealous rivals of Lord Cochrane. It has been alleged
that he was induced by mercenary motives, and by them alone, to enter
the service of the Greeks. His sole inducements were a desire to do
his best on all occasions towards the punishment of oppressors and
the relief of the oppressed, and a desire, hardly less strong, to seek
relief in the naval enterprise that was always very dear to him
from the oppression under which he himself suffered so heavily.
The ingratitude that he had lately experienced in Chili and Brazil,
however, bringing upon him much present embarrassment in lawsuits and
other troubles, led him to use what was only common prudence in his
negotiations with the Greek Committee and with the Greek deputies,
John Orlando and Andreas Luriottis, who were in London at the time,
and on whom devolved the formal arrangements for employing him and
providing him with suitable equipments for his work.

These were done with help of a second Greek loan, contracted in London
in 1825, for 2,000,000_l._ Out of this sum it was agreed that Lord
Cochrane was to receive 37,000_l._ at starting, and a further sum of
20,000_l._ on the completion of his services; and that he was to be
provided with a suitable squadron, for which purpose 150,000_l._ were
to be expended in the construction of six steamships in England, and a
like sum on the building and fitting out of two sixty-gun frigates in
the United States. With the disappointments that he had experienced
in Chili and Brazil fresh in his mind, he refused to enter on this new
engagement without a formidable little fleet, manned by English and
American seamen, and under his exclusive direction; and he further
stipulated that the entire Greek fleet should be at his sole
command, and that he should have full power to carry out his views
independently of the Greek Government.

These arrangements were completed on the 16th of August, except that
Lord Cochrane, not having yet been actually dismissed by the Brazilian
envoy, refused formally to pledge himself to his new employers. In
conjunction with Sir Francis Burdett, Mr. Hobhouse, Mr. Ellice, and
the Ricardos, as contractors, however, he made all the preliminary
arrangements, and before the end of August he went for a two months'
visit to his native county and other parts of Scotland, from which he
had been absent more than twenty years.

One incident in that visit was noteworthy. On the 3rd of October, Lord
and Lady Cochrane, being in Edinburgh, went to the theatre, where
an eager crowd assembled to do them honour. Into the after-piece an
allusion to South America was specially introduced. Upon that
the whole audience rose and, turning to the seats occupied by the
visitors, showed their admiration by plaudits so long and so vehement
that Lady Cochrane, overpowered by her feelings, burst into tears.
Thereupon Sir Walter Scott, who was in the theatre, wrote the
following verses:--

"I knew thee, lady, by that glorious eye,
By that pure brow and those dark locks of thine,
I knew thee for a soldier's bride, and high
My full heart bounded: for the golden mine
Of heavenly thought kindled at sight of thee,
Radiant with all the stars of memory.

"I knew thee, and, albeit, myself unknown,
I called on Heaven to bless thee for thy love,
The strength, the constancy thou long hast shown,
Each selfish aim, each womanish fear above:
And, lady, Heaven is with thee; thou art blest,
Blest in whatever thy immortal soul loves best.

"Thy name, ask Brazil, for she knows it well;
It is a name a hero gave to thee;
In every letter lurks there not a spell,--
The mighty spell of immortality?
Ye sail together down time's glittering stream;
Around your heads two glittering haloes gleam.

"Even now, as through the air the plaudits rung,
I marked the smiles that in her features came;
She caught the word that fell from every tongue,
And her eye brightened at her Cochrane's name;
And brighter yet became her bright eyes' blaze;
It was his country, and she felt the praise,--

"Ay, even as a woman, and his bride, should feel,
With all the warmth of an o'erflowing soul:
Unshaken she had seen the ensanguined steel,
Unshaken she had heard war's thunders roll,
But now her noble heart could find relief
In tears alone, though not the tears of grief.

"May the gods guard thee, lady, whereso'er
Thou wanderest in thy love and loveliness!
For thee may every scene and sky be fair,
Each hour instinct with more than happiness!
May all thou valuest be good and great,
And be thy wishes thy own future fate!"

Those aspirations were very far from realised. Even during his brief
holiday in Scotland, Lord Cochrane was troubled by the news that Mr.
Galloway, the engineer to whom had been entrusted the chief work in
constructing steam-boilers for the Greek vessels, was proceeding very
slowly with his task. "My conviction is," wrote Mr. Ellice, "that
Galloway, in undertaking so much, has promised what he can never
perform, and that it will be Christmas, if not later, before the
whole work is completed. No engines are to be got either in Glasgow or
Liverpool. You know I am not sanguine, and the sooner you are here to
judge for yourself the better. There has been no hesitation about the
means from the beginning, but money will not produce steam-engines and
vessels in these times."

In consequence of that letter, Lord Cochrane hurried up to London at
once, intending personally to superintend and hasten on the work. He
arrived on the 3rd of November; but only to find that fresh troubles
were in store for him. He had already been exposed to vexatious
litigation, arising out of groundless and malicious prosecutions with
reference to his Brazilian enterprise. He was now informed that a more
serious prosecution was being initiated. The Foreign Enlistment Act,
passed shortly after his acceptance of service under the Chilian
Republic, and at the special instigation of the Spanish Government,
had made his work in South America an indictable offence; but it was
supposed that no action would be taken against him now that he had
returned to England. As soon as it was publicly known, however, that
he was about to embark in a new enterprise, on behalf of Greece, steps
were taken to restrain him by means of an indictment on the score of
his former employment. "There is a most unchristian league against
us," he wrote to his secretary, "and fearful odds too. To be
prosecuted at home, and not permitted to go abroad, is the devil. How
can I be prosecuted for fighting in Brazil for the heir-apparent
to the throne, who, whilst his father was held in restraint by the
rebellious Cortes, contended for the legitimate rights of the royal
House of Braganza, then the ally of England, who had, during the
contest, by the presence of her consuls and other official agents,
sanctioned the acts of the Prince Regent of Brazil?"

It soon became clear, however, that the Government had found some
justification of its conduct, and that active measures were being
adopted for Lord Cochrane's punishment. He was warned by Mr. Brougham
that, if he stayed many days longer in England, he would be arrested
and so prevented not only from facilitating the construction of the
Greek vessels, but even from going to Greece at all. Therefore, at the
earnest advice of his friends, he left London for Calais on the 9th
of November, soon to proceed to Boulogne, where he was joined by his
family, and where he waited for six weeks, vainly hoping that in
his absence the contractors and their overseers would see that the
ship-building was promptly and properly executed.

While at Boulogne, foreseeing the troubles that would ensue from
these new difficulties, he was half inclined to abandon his Greek
engagement, and in that temper he wrote to Sir Francis Burdett for
advice. "I have taken four-and-twenty hours," wrote his good friend
in answer, on the 18th of November, "to consider your last letter, and
have not one moment varied in my first opinion as to the propriety
of your persevering in your glorious career. According to Brougham's
opinion, you cannot be put in a worse situation,--that is, more in
peril of Government here,--by continuing foreign service in the Greek
cause than you already stand in by having served the Emperor of the
Brazils. In my opinion you will be in a great deal less; for, the
greater your renown, the less power will your enemies have, whatever
may be their inclination, to meddle with you. Perhaps they only at
present desist to look out for a better opportunity, 'reculer pour
mieux sauter,' like the tiger. I don't mean to accuse them of this
baseness; but, should it be the case, the less you do the more power
they will have to injure you, if so inclined. Were they to prosecute
you for having served the Brazilian Emperor, it would call forth no
public sympathy, or but slight, in your favour. The case would be
thought very hard, to be sure; but that would be all. Not so, should
you triumph in the Greek cause. Transcendent glory would not only
crown but protect you. No minister would dare to wag a finger--no, nor
even Crown lawyer a tongue--against you; and, if they did, the feeling
of the whole English public would surround you with an impenetrable
shield. Fines would be paid; imprisonment protested and petitioned
against; in short, I am convinced the nation would be in a flame, and
you in far less danger of any attempt to your injury than at present.
This, my dear Lord Cochrane, is my firm conviction."

Encouraged by that letter and other like expressions of opinion from
his English friends, Lord Cochrane determined to persevere in his
Greek enterprise, and to reside at Boulogne until the fleet that was
being prepared for him was ready for service. He had to wait, however,
very much longer than had been anticipated, and he was unable to wait
all the time in Boulogne. There also prosecution threatened him. About
the middle of December he heard that proceedings were about to be
instituted against him for his detention, while in the Pacific, of a
French brig named _La Gazelle_, the real inducement thereto being in
the fact, as it was reported, that the French Government had espoused
the cause of the Pasha of Egypt, and so was averse to such a plan
for destroying the Egyptian fleet under Ibrahim as Lord Cochrane
was concocting. Therefore, he deemed it expedient to quit French
territory, and accordingly he left Boulogne on the 23rd of December,
and took up his residence at Brussels, with his family, on the 28th of
the same month.

Through four weary months and more he was waiting at Brussels,
harassed by the prosecutions arising out of the lawsuits that have
been already alluded to, in reference to which he said in one letter,
"I think I must make up my mind, though it is a hard task, to quit
England for ever;" harassed even more by the knowledge that the
building and fitting out of the vessels for his Greek expedition were
being delayed on frivolous pretexts and for selfish ends, which his
presence in London, if that had been possible, might, to a great
extent, have averted. "The welfare of Greece at this moment rests much
on your lordship," wrote Orlando, the chief deputy in London, "and
I dare hope that you will hasten her triumph:" yet Orlando and his
fellows were idling in London, profiting by delays that increased
their opportunities of peculation, and doing nothing to quicken the
construction of the fleet. Galloway, the engineer, wrote again and
again to promise that his work should be done in three weeks,--it was
always "three weeks hence;" yet he was well informed that Galloway
was wilfully negligent, though he did not know till afterwards that
Galloway, having private connections with the Pasha of Egypt, never
intended to do the work which he was employed to do. Lord Cochrane had
good friends at home in Sir Francis Burdett, Mr. Hobhouse, and others;
but they were not competent to take personal supervision of the
details. He had an experienced deputy in Captain Abney Hastings, who
had come from Greece some time before, and who was now to return
as Lord Cochrane's second in command; but Captain Hastings,
single-handed, could not exert much influence upon the rogues with
whom he had to deal. "The _Perseverance_," he wrote of the largest of
the ships, which was to be ready first, on the 10th of December, "may
perhaps be ready to sail in six weeks--Mr. Galloway has said three
weeks for the last month; but to his professions I do not, and have
not for a length of time, paid the slightest attention. I believe he
does all he can do; all I object against him is that he promises
more than he can perform, and promises with the determination of not
performing it. The _Perseverance_ is a fine vessel. Her power of two
forty-horses will, however, be feeble. I suspect you are not quite
aware of the delay which will take place." Lord Cochrane soon became
quite aware of the delay, but was unable to prevent it, and the
next few months were passed by him in tedious anxiety and ceaseless

There was one desperate mode of lessening the delay--for Lord Cochrane
to go out in the _Perseverance_ as soon as it was ready to start,
leaving the other vessels to follow as soon as they were ready.
Captain Abney Hastings went to Brussels on purpose to urge him to that
course, and Mr. Hobhouse also recommended it. "There are two points,"
he wrote on the 23rd of December, "to which your attention will
probably be chiefly directed by Captain Hastings. These are, the
expediency of your going with the _Perseverance_, instead of waiting
for the other boats, and the propriety of immediately disposing of the
two frigates in America"--about which frequent reports had arrived,
showing that their preparation was in even worse hands than was that
of the London vessels--"to the highest bidder. As to the first, I
am confident that, although it would have been desirable to have got
together the whole force in the first instance, yet, as the salvation
of Greece is a question of time only, and as it will be probably so
late either as May or June next before the two larger boats can leave
the river, it would be in every way inexpedient for you to wait until
you could have the whole armament under your orders. Be assured, your
presence in Greece would do more than the activity of any man living,
and, as far as anything can be done in pushing forward the business at
home, neither time nor pains shall be spared. I wish indeed you could
have the whole of the boats at once; but Galloway has determined
otherwise, and we must do the next best thing. Captain Hastings will
tell you how much may be done even by one steam-vessel, commanded by
you, and directing the operations of the fire-vessels. On such a
topic I should not have the presumption to enlarge to you. As to the
American frigates, it is Mr. Ellice's decided opinion, as well as my
own, that you should have the money instead of the frigates. First and
last, the frigates _never will be finished_. The rogues at New York
demand 60,000_l._ above the 157,000_l._ which they have already received,
and protest they will not complete their work without the additional
sum. Now 70,000_l._ in your hands will be better than the _hopes_--and
they will be nothing but _hopes_--of having the frigates. If you agree
in this view, perhaps you will be so good as to state it in writing,
which may remove Mr. Ricardo's objections."

Lord Cochrane was tempted to follow Captain Hastings's and Mr.
Hobhouse's advice; but he first, as was his wont, sought Sir Francis
Burdett's opinion; and Sir Francis dissuaded him, for the time, at any
rate. "I would by no means have you proceed with the first vessel, nor
at all without adequate means," he wrote on the 15th of January, 1826;
"for besides thinking of the Greeks, for whom I am, I own, greatly
interested, I must think, and certainly not with less interest, of
you, and, I may add, in some degree of myself too; for I am placed
under much responsibility, and I don't mean to be a party to making
shipwreck of you and your great naval reputation; nor will I ever
consent to your going upon a forlorn and desperate attempt--that is,
without the means necessary for the fair chance of success--in other
words, adequate means. Although you have worked miracles, we can never
be justified in expecting them, and still less in requiring them."

Following that sound advice, Lord Cochrane resolved to wait until, at
any rate, a good part of his fleet was ready. He wrote to that effect,
and in as good spirits as he could muster, to Mr. Hobhouse, who in
the answer which he despatched on the 5th of February acknowledged the
wisdom of the decision. "I am very glad to perceive," he said in that
answer, "that you have good heart and hope for the great cause.
I assure you we have been doing all we can to induce the parties
concerned to second your wishes in every respect; and I now learn from
Mr. Hastings, who is our sheet anchor, that matters go on pretty well.
I hope you write every now and then to Galloway, in whose hands is the
fate of Greece--the worse our luck, for he is the great cause of our
sad delay."

"You see our House is opened," said Mr. Hobhouse in the same letter.
"Not a word of Greece in the Speech, and I spoke to Hume and Wilson,
and begged them not to touch upon the subject. It is much better to
keep all quiet, in order to prevent angry words from the ministers,
who, if nothing is said, will, I think, shut their eyes at what we are
doing. There is a very prevalent notion here that the (Holy) Alliance
have resolved to recommend something to Turkey in favour of the
Greeks. Whether this is true or not signifies nothing. The Turks will
promise anything, and do just what suits them. They have always lost
in war, for more than a hundred years, and have uniformly gained by
diplomacy. They will never abandon the hope of reconquering Greece
until driven out of Europe themselves, which they ought to be. By
the way, the Greeks really appear to have been doing a little better
lately; but I still fear these disciplined Arabians. I have written
a very strong letter to Prince Mavrocordatos, telling them to hold
out:--no surrender on any terms. I have not mentioned your name; but I
have stated vaguely that they may expect the promised assistance early
in the spring. It would indeed be a fine thing if you could commence
operations during the Rhamadan; but I fear that is impossible. Any
time, however, will do against the stupid, besotted Turks. Were they
not led by Frenchmen, even the Greeks would beat them."

Of the leisure forced upon him, Lord Cochrane made good use in
studying for himself the character of "the stupid, besotted Turks,"
and the nature of the war that was being waged against them by the
Greeks; and he asked Mr. Hobhouse to procure for him all the books
published on the subject or in any way related to it, of which he was
not already master. "With respect to books," wrote Mr. Hobhouse, in
reply to this request, "there are very few that are not what you have
found those you have read to be, namely, romances; but I will take
care to send out with you such as are the best, together with the
most useful map that can be got." More than fifty volumes were thus
collected for Lord Cochrane's use.

From Captain Abney Hastings, moreover, he obtained precise information
about Greek waters, forts, and armaments, as well as "a list of the
names of the principal persons in Greece, with their characters." This
list, as showing the opinions of an intelligent Englishman, based
on personal knowledge, as to the parties and persons with whom Lord
Cochrane was soon to deal, is worth quoting entire, especially as it
was the chief basis of Lord Cochrane's own judgment during this time
of study and preparation.

I. Archontes, or men influential by their riches.

Lazaros Konduriottes.--A Hydriot merchant, the elder of the two
brothers, who are the most wealthy men in that island, and even in all
Greece. This one, by intrigue, by distributing his money adroitly
in Hydra, and keeping in pay the most dissolute and unruly of the
sailors, and protecting them in the commission of their crimes,
has acquired almost unlimited power at Hydra. He asserts democracy,
appealing on all occasions to the people, who are his creatures. The
other primates hate him, of course. Lazaros has the reputation of
being clever. He never quits Hydra for an instant, for fear of finding
himself supplanted on his return.

George Konduriottes.--Brother of the former, and, like him a Hydriot
merchant; an ignorant weak man; said to be vindictive; espouses the
party of his brother at Hydra, by which means he has obtained the
Presidency [of Greece]. He made the land captains his enemies, and had
not good men enough to form an army of his own, viz., regular troops.
His penetration went no further than bribing one captain to destroy
another; which had for effect merely the changing the names of
chieftains without diminishing the power. I understand he has lately
retired to Hydra, and takes no active part in affairs.

EMANUEL TOMBAZES.--A Hydriot merchant and captain. There are two
brothers, at the head of the party opposed to Konduriottes. This
man was the first who ventured on the voyage from the Black Sea to
Marseilles in a latteen-rigged vessel. This traffic afterwards gave
birth to the colossal fortunes in Hydra. These men are the most
enlightened in Hydra. This one is dignified, energetic, and a good
sailor. However, he lost in Candia much of the reputation he had
previously acquired; but with all the errors he committed there, the
loss of that island is not attributable to him. 'Twould have been
lost, under similar circumstances, had Caesar commanded there.
Konduriottes and his adherents hate him, of course, and did all they
could to paralyze his operations in Crete. All considered, this man is
more capable of introducing order and regularity into the ships than
any other Greek.

JAKOMAKI TOMBAZES.--A Hydriot merchant and captain, brother of the
former. He commanded the fleet the first year of the Revolution, and
to him is due the introduction of fire-vessels, by which he destroyed
the first Turkish line-of-battle ship at Mytelene. He is perhaps the
best-informed Hydriot; but he wants decision, and demands the advice
of everybody at the moment he should be acting. This man takes little
part in politics and follows his mercantile pursuits. His hobby-horse
is ship-building, in which art he is such a proficient as to be
quite the Seppings of Hydra. As to the rest, he is a very worthy,
warm-hearted man, but excessively phlegmatic.

MIAOULIS.--A Hydriot merchant and captain, who obtained command of the
Hydriot fleet after Jakomaki resigned. He is a very dignified,
worthy old man, possesses personal courage and decision, and is less
intriguing than any Greek that I know.

SAKTOURES.--A Hydriot captain. He has risen from a sailor, and is
considered by the Archontes rather in the light of a _parvenu_. He is
courageous and enterprising, but a bit of a pirate.

BONDOMES, SAMADHOFF, GHIKA, ORLANDO.--Hydriot merchants without
anything but their money to recommend them.

PEPINOS.--A Hydriot sailor of the clan of Tombazes, who has
distinguished himself frequently in fireships.

KANARIS.--A Psarian sailor; the most distinguished of the commanders
of fire-vessels.

BOTAZES.--A Spetziot merchant; the most influential person in his
island. But the Hydriot merchants possess so much property in Spetziot
vessels that, in some measure, they rule that island.

PETRO-BEY [or PETROS MAVROMICHALES].--The principal Archonte of Maina;
was governor of that province under the Turks. A fat, stupid, worthy
man; is sincere in the cause, in which he has lost two if not three

DELIYANNES.--A Moreot Archonte, and one of the most intriguing and
ambitious; was formerly sworn enemy to Kolokotrones and the captains,
but, having betrothed his daughter to Kolokotrones's son, they have
become allies. This man, if not the richest Archonte in the Morea, is
the one who affected the most pomp in the time of the Turks, and
he cannot now easily brook his diminished influence. He is reported
clever and unprincipled.

Book of the day: