LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism
James Hamilton Browne
Narrative of a Visit, in 1823, to the Seat of War in Greece.
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine  Vol. 35  No. 118  (September 1834)  392-407.
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Lord Byron had resided only a few days at Cephalonia, when be testified an anxious desire to visit Ithaca, the land of song. For this excursion Colonel Napier offered him every facility, and orders were transmitted to Mr Toole, the officer of quarantine at Santa Eufemia, to keep a boat in readiness to transport his lordship and suite across the strait that separates the two islands. We departed from Argostoli before dawn, and after traversing a bleak and mountainous region—for Cephalonia, considering its extent, may be said to be nearly denuded of trees (currants and wine being the staple productions)—we reached Mr Toole’s in the afternoon, passing the Cyclopean remains of ancient Samos, which from Byron elicited no attention, as he was a more ardent admirer of the present than of the past. Mr Toole entertained us most hospitably. After a short siesta, we embarked and traversed the channel, which, from Santa Eufemia to the opposite shore of Ithaca, may be nine or ten miles wide, arriving when the lengthening shadows already announced the proximity of sunset. No one was waiting to receive Lord Byron, who must have passed an uncomfortable night in the open boat, had not Gamba and myself, after ascending the rock, descried a small cottage, which, being vintage season, was fortunately tenanted by the proprietor and his family, who, on learning our predicament, at once accompanied us in person to invite his Lordship to spend the night in his cabin, which kind offer he now demurred not to accept, as a drizzling rain had commenced falling. He was, however, much shocked on discovering in the morning that our hospitable entertainer and his wife had sat up all night, resigning their own room for his accommodation, for which they declined to receive any remuneration. At daylight, Count Gamba and myself started for Vathi, the seat of the local government. We soon came in view of the magnificent land-locked basin of that name, encircled with sloping and precipitous hills, clothed with wood and vineyards, many of which formed bold and picturesque promontories, protruding their shelving cliffs into the smooth and pellucid waters, tinged with golden hues by the bright rays of the morning sun, and bearing a stronger resemblance to a tranquil inland lake, than to an arm of the sea. At Vathi, I found an old friend in Mr Calder of the King’s regiment, who welcomed us with that frank and cordial hospitality, indicative of the soldier and the gentleman. After breakfast, he introduced us to Captain Knox, the Resident, who regretted that, being unaware of Byron’s intention to visit Ithaca, he had not been in readiness to receive him on landing; but he now lost no time in despatching the government boat with us, which, by pulling into a little creek, could luckily reach very near the spot where we had left our party. On regaining the hut, we found Byron had sauntered abroad to visit a steep rock embowered in ivy and creeping plants, said to have been an ancient stronghold of Ulysses, in the craggy bides of which are several of the narrow, but roomy caverns so frequent in the Greek Islands, where goatherds delight to resort with their flocks in summer, to seek a cool retreat from the ardent beams of the sun, and, in winter, shield themselves from the pitiless pelting of the storm. The situation is a commanding one, crowning the ridge of the isthmus dividing the strait from the inlet of Vathi; and, in a rude age, its possession must have been of great importance.

The boatmen had accompanied us to assist in carrying the luggage. Gamba, meanwhile, went in quest of Byron, but was for some time unsuccessful, until, at length, to his infinite surprise, he discovered him fast asleep under a wild fig-tree, at the entrance of a cavern; he was mightily incensed at Gamba’s arousing him, because he had interrupt-

* See No. 217, for January, 1834,
Narrative of a Visit to the Seat of War in Greece.393
ed some beatific dream or vision he had been enjoying. The Count, on his side, was quite puzzled how Byron had clambered up to this giddy position, whither he himself (and few men were more nimble) had ascended with considerable difficulty. The descent seemed likely to prove still more perilous; but, rejecting every proffer of aid from Gamba, he rather summarily dismissed him, and got down unperceived by any one. Our host furnished Byron with a mule on which to ride down to the boat, when we soon rowed to Vathi, where Knox warmly greeted the party, and Calder gave
Trelawney and myself excellent quarters; Byron, his medico, and Gamba, occupying apartments in the house of a Greek gentleman.

We found Ithaca crowded with helpless refugees, expelled from Greece by the events of the war. The pitiable distress of these poor creatures being detailed by Knox to Byron, he most charitably subscribed a handsome sum for their relief, and, moreover, authorized the Resident to disburse to certain pauper widows and orphans small weekly stipends. Byron, in a melancholy mood, contrasted the quiet, domestic life of the Resident’s family with his own stormy restless career, and sighed because peace and tranquil happiness had been denied him.

On the second day, Knox proposed that we should form a pic-nic to the fountain and grotto of Arethusa, for which expedition he provided mules—Mrs Knox and Calder also joining the party. The path, winding at first amid vineyards and olive grounds, soon became rugged and difficult of ascent, sweeping along the brow of richly wooded banks, descending abruptly to the sea. Considerable caution was here requisite, to defend one’s head from the boughs of trees overhanging the track; and Byron narrowly escaped a grave accident, his head coming in contact with a branch, whilst he was intently gazing on the splendid sea-view, of which an occasional glimpse was caught through the wide-spreading foliage. The concussion was so violent as completely to stun him; and had not prompt assistance been at hand, he must have fallen from the saddle.

On recovering, however, he made light of the contusion, and, after the application of some vinegar, he continued his route. From the mishap that befell another member of the party, he derived some consolation for his own misfortune, the mule of this gentleman, choosing to part company by leaving his rider, who sported very long tresses, suspended for a moment in a tree; at which adventure Byron laughed immoderately, and congratulated him on having eschewed the fate of Absalom.

The grotto was merely a huge cavern, similar to those of the castle of Ulysses, already described, but wider and loftier, with a clump of noble trees in front, under whose shade we took our repast; whilst the water, gurgling from a natural spring in the rock, and overflowing the basin into which it bubbled, swept past the verdant bank in a pellucid rill into the dark wooded ravine beneath, where, acquiring strength in its progress, and bounding From rock to rock before reaching the sea, it formed various tiny cascades, the murmur of which sounded gratefully on the ear.

We found in the cavern two Albanian goatherds, who for our entertainment played discordant music on a species of flageolet, which I had frequently heard before at Corfu. The view from the mouth of the grotto, embracing the vast sea-prospect, the Æchirades, the entrance to the gulf of Corinth, or Lepanto, with the distant purple mountains of Epirus and Ætolia, lifting their lofty peaks into the clouds, was superb; and ascending the hill at the back of the cavern, Sancta Maura, the ancient Leucadia, with its dependencies, was distinctly descried, together with Cephalonia, apparently close at hand; Zante, and the coast of the Peloponnesus, trending far away to the south-east. A more lovely situation could scarcely be imagined. Lord Byron’s spirits were buoyant and elastic; as usual, on such occasions, he overflowed with an inexhaustible fund of anecdote, replete with brilliant wit and humour; and I never remember to have passed so delightful a day. Next day the Resident shewed us a new road, wide and well executed,
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which might have done credit to
Macadam; having, however, one monstrous defect—its vicinity was devoid of habitations, and it led only to a lofty precipice overhanging the entrance to the harbour; but, as our friend Knox was a native of the Emerald Isle, perhaps this practical bull in him may be pardoned. I seldom observed these fine roads made use of in the other islands; and, in a mountainous region, where nearly all the grain for home consumption is imported, and scarcely any wheeled carriages are to be seen, the peasantry adopting only mules and horses, it perhaps would have answered every necessary purpose, to have improved or enlarged the old tracks, as the expense and labour in maintaining great roads are very costly and harassing to small communities.

On the third day, Captain Knox conducted us to the north side of his little island to visit the ruins, called, I know not with what truth, the school of Homer. There we were most hospitably entertained at the country house of Count Vretò; and, after dinner, the Greeks, who were engaged in the vintage, formed a party to dance the Romaiks, which is said to be of very remote origin, and to bear some allusion to the story of Theseus and Ariadne. Be that as it may, to my taste it is a slow and monotonous affair, and the females, who scarcely move, swaying their bodies, like so many pendulums, seemed in some danger of rocking themselves asleep during its performance. Its extreme decorum may cause it to find favour in Oriental ideas, but it is any thing but graceful, in my opinion; and the musical accompaniment formed a most detestable cacophony. We here fell in with an old Greek bishop who had fled from Epirus; he said that he had formerly met Byron at the court of Ali Pascià at Joannina, but his Lordship did not at first remember him, until the Right Reverend adduced some facts in corroboration of his statement, when Byron had to undergo the penance of an “accollade à la mode du pays;” and, as the holy man’s chin bristled with a dingy beard of which a patriarchal goat might have been envious, and an unsavoury odour of garlic steamed from his mouth, a salute from Pan, “in propriâ persona,” would perhaps have been more tolerable. Next morning, with sincere regret, we took leave of hospitable Ithaca; which, independently of its classical associations, is to my fancy the most picturesque of the seven islands. Its inhabitants too seemed cheerful, contented, industrious, and duly appreciating the commercial advantages resulting from their connexion with Great Britain. A signal had been made for Mr Toole to despatch the Santa boat from Cephalonia, but some time elapsed ere it arrived, so we employed the interval in bathing; and Byron, who persisted, in despite of the entreaties of his medical attendant, in remaining a very considerable time in the water, exposed to the ardent rays of a very hot sun, exhibited various feats in swimming. Trelawny offered to wager that he could swim from Ithaca across to the nearest point of Cephalonia, (distance about six miles, I should think,) but the high land on the other side, joined to the transparency of the atmosphere, made it seem much nigher. On our embarking, he persisted in swimming after the boat for a very long time; when, as it began to wax late, he was compelled to come in; Byron rather unfairly badgering him on what he termed a failure; but Trelawny was a capital swimmer, fully equal to contend with Byron himself. On our way to Cephalonia the Waverley Novels formed the chief topic of conversation. Byron entertained then no doubt of Scott being the author; he eulogized them in the most impassioned terms, and gratefully recorded the very great pleasure and benefit he had derived from their perusal. Byron was seldom lavish of praise in conversation; but Sir Walter Scott he invariably mentioned with almost filial respect and reverence; though to other contemporary literary characters he was not so indulgent, venting his spleen and turn for sarcasm in many bitter remarks. He also never failed to exalt the poetry of Scott;—this good feeling towards that benevolent and immortal author arose, perhaps,
Narrative of a Visit to the Seat of War in Greece.395
from his never having attempted to thwart or rival him, nor take any share in the vulgar and indiscriminate abuse levelled against his private character in England. Byron was aware, on the contrary, that the Baronet had always cheerfully contributed his powerful praise in commendation of the splendid emanations of his muse; and where he could not defend, he had, at least, essayed to palliate his failings; therefore Byron evidently coveted the good opinion of Sir Walter, and seemed to place a higher value on it, than on that of any other individual, if the general tenor of his conversation could be relied on as a test.

Italian his Lordship spoke very fluently; but not adopting the Tuscan idiom, his diction was not particularly correct: the genders of nouns occasionally perplexed him, and by a protracted residence in Venice and Romania, he had contracted somewhat of the provincial phraseology peculiar to those districts. He frequently affirmed, that he never had patience; in fact, that it was utterly impossible for him to learn any language according to the rigid rules of syntax. Of his own works, after publication, he said that he knew little, and gave himself no further concern about them; but under this, perhaps, there might lurk a trifling shade of affectation. He very candidly acknowledged that he was no profound classical scholar, especially in regard to Greek; but he bore honourable testimony to the extensive learning of poor Shelley, who bad aided him to compose, or correct, some of the notes to his works, thereby rendering him essential service. He maintained that Shelley, from the wonderful facility of his versification, and aptitude at metaphor, would, but for his unfortunate predilection for metaphysics in poetry, have ranked in the foremost circle amongst modern bards: asserting, that no one wrote better, when he selected a lucid theme, and allowed the reader fully to understand and appreciate his effusions. Lord Byron was himself, I should say, essentially an inspired writer, who could only versify with vigour and effect when the fit was on him, and the subject already preconceived by his own astonishing genius; then, indeed, the most commonplace ideas, filtered in the depurating alembic of his mighty intellect, burst forth on the amazed world in the most diversified sublimity of conception, and by the resistless force of his powerful mind he overcame the most insuperable obstacles. I recollect, on the passage from Leghorn, Trelawny proposed some theme which I forget, requesting, as a particular favour, that he would write a few lines on it;—Byron appeared very desirous to oblige his friend; but, after repeated trials, the verses produced were beneath mediocrity; so that, at last, he got quite savage at his want of success, and tearing them in fragments, he tossed them into the sea.

Mr Toole’s boat made towards a modern fishing hamlet, near the ancient Samos; Byron having understood that the ήγύμυος of a neighbouring monastery had especially requested to be honoured by his sojourning with him for a day. He had, accordingly, accepted the holy father’s invite, who very considerately had horses waiting for us at the water’s edge. The distance to our dormitory proved greater than we had calculated upon, and, in consequence, the shades of night surrounded our cavalcade long ere we could reach the goal; compelling us cautiously to pick our steps over a rugged, barren track, where the immense blocks of granite, heaped in uncouth masses around us, and magnified by the dim light, recalled to one’s fancy the Mucklestane Moor, depicted in the Black Dwarf. At length we perceived through the murky gloom lights glancing from the convent, situated, as far as we could distinguish, on the brow of a hill of no great elevation. On arriving at its base, we found an exceedingly rugged, irregular, and zig-zag path, winding, corkscrew fashion, up the ascent, and only practicable for mules; there were rough and abrupt resting-places for the animals to rest, or rather jump upon; but the darkness rendered our progress both dangerous and precarious, as you had to dread the twofold peril of having your skull fractured against the trees overshadowing the road, or else dislocating your
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limbs by the sharp-pointed rocks, which, protruding, met you at every step. We all dismounted to walk up this steep, save Lord Byron, who, from his inherent hatred to pedestrianism, pertinaciously clove to the saddle, until finally compelled to descend. Some Calogeri, in honour of so distinguished a guest, met us with pine torches in their hands; but fatigue had completely overpowered Byron, who, I suspect, suffered under a violent affection of the head, caused by his imprudence in disporting so long in the sea during the noonday heat. He now vented his anger in sundry anathemata and imprecations, until he gradually lashed himself into one of those furious and ungovernable torrents of rage, to which at times he was liable; the paroxysm increased so as almost to divest him of reason, and I really entertained apprehensions of an apoplectic attack.

The peaceful dwellers in the convent were astounded by his very rude behaviour; but altogether there was something rather ridiculous in the scene, because the good abbot had taken the pains to prepare a turgid, congratulatory address, which, environed by an array of priests in canonicals, he stood ready to inflict on his Lordship. After conferring on the party his benediction, with great solemnity he entered upon his discourse, but he might have spared the exordium, for Byron would not listen to him for one moment; but snatching a lamp, like one possessed, he cried out, “my head is burning; will no one relieve me from the presence of this pestilential madman?” meaning the abbot, of course, and at once darted into the first room he could find, calling out with great vehemence for Fletcher, his valet, to follow him. The man of God was not, however, to be balked so easily, and would have pursued his game, had we not informed him that his Lordship was labouring under severe indisposition. So choice a production as the address was not to be consigned to utter oblivion; so, for lack of more distinguished listeners, with much self-complacency he thundered it with stentorian lungs in the unwilling ears of Count Gamba, Dr Bruno, and the rest of the party; Trelawny, “regis ad exemplar,” having also made his exit. We were, moreover, unlucky in having alluded to Byron’s illness, for the peroration was no sooner terminated, than the officious, but well-meaning abbot, insisted on visiting the sick chamber of his guest, despite all our dissuasions. We immediately distinguished Byron’s voice loud in anger, and, I suspect, the good man, in return for his toil and anxious solicitude, got abruptly ejected from the apartment; because, on his egress, he very earnestly enquired at me if the great man was not subject to occasional fits of insanity. We felt a little annoyed at this untoward occurrence, because the most liberal and hospitable preparations had been made for our entertainment; however, we sat down to supper with the reverend brotherhood, who overwhelmed us with the most absurd interrogatories; the Greek priesthood, throughout the Ionian Islands, being, with few exceptions, plunged in the most degrading ignorance and senseless superstition. From what had taken place, we could not but feel some awkwardness; so, after one or two ineffectual attempts at cheerfulness, we retired to our pallets; but we could get no rest, being nearly devoured by bugs, which finally compelled me to evacuate the premises, and take refuge on the balcony outside, where, wrapped in my cloak, I reposed with a little more comfort. Byron did not quit his chamber till a late hour next day. Finding himself more composed in consequence of the remedies he had taken, he could hardly give credit to his own frantic conduct, and was now disposed to be exceedingly courteous towards the abbot, and he in some degree conciliated that offended dignitary, by attending church service before our departure; following up this advantage, he completely re-established himself in his good graces by an oblation of a few dollars, to be expended in masses for the welfare of the souls of his Lordship’s deceased friends. We then resumed our journey, and reached Argostoli the same night without farther interruption.

On returning on board the Hercules, we found Captain Scott in high dudgeon with the damned Zo-
Narrative of a Visit to the Seat of War in Greece.397
diacs (so the skipper termed the Suliots,) to
Byron’s infinite amusement, who, during our absence, had riotously beset the vessel, to demand when his Lordship would return. Scott, having first solaced himself with a stiff tumbler or two of grog, vociferated loudly against these uncouth protegés of Byron’s, marvelling how he could possibly think of throwing away his money (whilst there were so many honest men enduring grinding poverty at home) on lazy, dirty, unshaven, and ferocious-looking villains, two of whom, he said, he had detected in the actual enormity of ridding themselves, on his deck, of the society of one of the plagues inflicted on the subjects of King Pharaoh—adding, that respect for his Lordship alone, whose servants he considered these filthy rascals to be, had deterred him from ordering them to be pitched overboard, in order that they might enjoy the benefit of a more thorough purification, by an immersion in salt water; which feat Byron congratulated Scott on his having had the good sense to refrain from, as his kind intentions might have been rewarded with a few inches of cold steel in his abdomen.

Lord Byron, who was in admirable spirits, listened with great patience to Scott’s diatribe, slily encouraging him, until the skipper, inflamed by the strength of his potations, at length became quite eloquent on the subject, and turned his attack on Byron himself, whom he abused most obstreperously for quitting his native land, and not occupying his seat in the Upper House, to assist in legislating for the nation, instead of roaming about the world, like the wandering Jew; asking for what other purpose he enjoyed hereditary honours, and offering, should his Lordship only give the signal, to sail without delay for England.

On the subsequent morning, two French officers, one designating himself a colonel of chasseurs à cheval, and the other a captain of engineers, who had quitted Greece, they said, in consequence of illness, waited on Lord Byron. The French individually were very obnoxious to his eyes, and, like Alfieri, he had contracted a dislike to making use of their language, although there could exist no doubt of his perfectly understanding it; he therefore declined seeing them, as far as I recollect, and delegated the task to Gamba and myself.

The gentlemen were evidently piqued at this treatment, because I suspect they had visited Cephalonia for the express purpose of obtaining a personal introduction to his Lordship; and I fear they must have departed with no very favourable impressions in regard to his urbanity.

Byron was a frequent guest of the gallant Colonel Napier, of whose company he became daily more fond. This distinguished officer, being Governor of the island, in order to give encouragement to native productions, at his own table very properly only used the wines of Cephalonia, which his Lordship, who liked claret, could not abide, and frequently hazarded a conjecture whether Napier would indulge him with a bottle of his favourite beverage, adding, that man’s society must be deucedly attractive, when it made him forego Bordeaux wine. An incident occurred during our stay to an English traveller, a man of considerable attainments, but of enthusiastic temperament, that greatly diverted Byron. This gentleman, desirous to visit the Μαυρον ορος, the highest mountain in the island, near the summit of which there exist some ruins, said by some to be those of an ancient fane, dedicated to the Ζευς χεραυνιος of the Greeks; by others supposed to have been a temple of Neptune, (let antiquarians settle the question,) was accompanied in the ascent by a military gentleman. They had mounted to no great height, ere a dense, steaming mist enveloped them; the heat was excessive, and compelled the panting traveller to divest himself of his inexpressibles, which hung dangling from the neck of his mule, whilst the bare-breeched antiquary, nowise discouraged, gallantly rode on with unabated ardour. His companion, who did not participate in this zeal, and had no idea of such enthusiasm in a fog, bethought himself of an expedient to arrest their further progress. Calling to remembrance a ruinous Greek chapel, which stood about midway up the mountain, he managed to conduct his charge thither, who, mistaking
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it for the object of his research, instantly exclaimed, I recognise the sacred edifice, which fully answers the description given of it in
Pausanias, and proceeded to note down in his itinerary the description of the fane of Jove, the Thunderer. After partaking of some refreshment near this spot, greatly to the satisfaction of his guide, who was apprehensive the sudden dispersion of the mist might reveal the trick, they descended again to Argos.

On intimating to Lord Byron that it was the intention of the officers of the king’s regiment to request the honour of his company to dinner, he at first demurred as to accepting the invitation when given, even doubting whether it would be; but on Trelawny and myself assuring him of the profound respect entertained towards him by these gentlemen, and the disappointment they would experience, should he decline their proffered kindness, he consented to go, provided our information proved correct. Colonel Duffy and his Adjutant accordingly waited on Byron, who received them with the greatest cordiality, cheerfully availing himself of their frank hospitality.

I shall ever remember the gratified tone with which his Lordship uttered his acknowledgments for the very handsome manner in which Duffy proposed as a toast, Byron’s health, and success to the glorious cause in which he had embarked—his feelings completely overpowered him, as if he only then became aware of the high estimation in which his fellow-countrymen held his immortal genius. He frequently reverted to his cordial reception as one of the brightest days in the tablet of a chequered life, saying, that the real truth had never flashed on his mind till that moment, and that he had much, very much, to thank his countrymen for.

There was one very worthy man, Major * * *, whose good lady was proverbial for giving excellent and substantial breakfasts; he resided at the Castle of San Giorgio, some miles from Argostoli, and frequently invited Byron to partake of that meal. Accordingly, one day we rode to the Major’s, arriving at his residence about three, p.m. After our introduction, cakes and wine were presented to the party; but Byron lingered long ere he took leave. On clearing the village, his Lordship became quite clamorous about the Major’s inhospitality, bewailing his own misfortune in having foolishly given ear to the pleasing accounts of his déjeûnes; in the soothing expectation of satiating his appetite thereon, he said, that for the previous twenty-four hours he had actually not tasted food, and really he deemed it a most barbarous proceeding to offer any man so slight a refection under these circumstances. I defended the Major, on the ground that his lady could never suppose that his Lordship had come to breakfast at that late hour, otherwise, from having myself experienced their kind hospitality, I felt convinced that his fare would have been very different. “Why did Major * * * ask me then to breakfast? He knows that I never rise before mid-day, and he ought to have considered that I had come expressly for that repast; do not therefore attempt the vindication of a man, who did not even offer me a cup of chocolate; he is a cruel, hard-hearted character, without bowels of compassion for a starving fellow-creature;” and, in pushing on for Argostoli at speed, he never allowed the subject to drop, but conferred the “sobriquet” of “Major Abernethy” on the officer.

After residing several weeks on board the Hercules, in the harbour of Argostoli, unhealthy on account of the pestilential miasmata exhaled from the neighbouring marshes, as Byron seemed undecided and dubious concerning his future plans, Captain Scott engaged his vessel to carry a freight of currants to England for our Banker “Coriolanus,” a Greek, named Coriolegno, to whom his lordship gave the former epithet, and Byron, in order to await more certain intelligence from Greece, hired a villa at Calamata. Poor Scott, who was keen-sighted enough where his own interests were at stake, and had hugged himself with the idea that he had overreached Coriolegno in the freight, discovered, however, after stowing away the cargo, that the Greek had completely outwitted him. A violent and amusing scene of recrimi-
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nation ensued, at Byron’s, betwixt these two worthies, whom he had invited to his house for the avowed purpose of effecting their reconciliation, but really, I believe, in order to enjoy some diversion at their expense; for he told me afterwards that nothing could be more amusing than the vociferous slang of the skipper, and the broken English, in which the “man of Corioli” vented his objurgations; but at one period of the feast he had some difficulty in preventing an infraction of the peace between the two belligerents, who, to use his own phrase, sat “sputtering at each other, like two roasted apples.”

Trelawny and myself, tired of our protracted sojourn at Cephalonia, resolved to proceed to the Morea; view with our own eyes the posture of affairs, and ascertain, if possible, by personal observation, the state of the different parties aspiring to supreme will in that distracted land. Byron, at first, was exceedingly averse to our leaving him, but finally consented; intimating his resolution to write by us to the government, announcing his arrival, the means at his disposal, and his ideas with respect to bringing the cause to a successful termination; professing his own readiness to serve in any capacity. It is now much to be deplored, that Byron, either through irresolution, dislike to locomotion, (in him constituting an infirmity,) or perhaps in consequence of the conflicting intelligence that circulated in a continual eddy of falsehood at Cephalonia, should have been deterred from leaving that island. Had he proceeded at once in the Hercules to the seat of government, the British flag would nave protected him from all aggression on the part of the Turks; and had he disliked the aspect of affairs in Greece, a circumstance exceedingly probable, he could with facility have procured a passage in a British man-of-war to some civilized quarter.

I really believe, accustomed as he had been for a long period to the luxurious indolence of Italy, he was too happy, after his recent unwonted fatigues, to repose for a season in ease and seclusion at Cephalonia. Although Byron’s constitution was naturally very robust, no one, however strong, could have resisted the singular experiments he was continually practising on his frame. At one time, during his residence at Genoa, he told me that he weighed upwards of fourteen stone, but by physic and a spare regimen, in three months he reduced himself to eleven. He chewed tobacco, also, perhaps as a narcotic, but could not bear to be detected in the act, nor was he ever heard to mention the subject.

His excessive anxiety to check his natural predisposition to obesity was ridiculous;—on the passage from Leghorn he was measured every day with a tape he kept for the purpose, and he also caused the girth, round the loins, of his fellow-passengers to be taken, with a view to ascertain in how far they approached the ideal proportions usually assigned by artists to the standard of perfection. To Gamba was adjudged the palm, and Byron claimed to be second; although for manly appearance, in my opinion, Trelawny infinitely surpassed both. It is strange that intellect, such as his, should have found pleasure in such puerilities.

Trelawny and myself having hired a caic to convey us to the Morea, after bidding an affectionate adieu to Byron and our other companions, embarked, and landed next morning at a solitary tower, the custom-house station of Pyrgos. This half ruinous structure, situated on a low, sandy beach, we found occupied by a creature of Colocotroni; from which I deduced an unfavourable augury to the stability of the government, with whom that turbulent chief was at variance; but on informing his partisan that we came from Lord Byron, he treated us with great civility, declining to examine our baggage. Trelawny had assumed the Albanian or Suliot costume, which wonderfully became him, being tall in stature and of a dark complexion, with a fine, commanding physiognomy. Whilst a peasant went to Pyrgos to engage mules for our conveyance, the custas of the tower treated us to some fowls and eggs, with execrable sweet wine, and raki, or Greek brandy. Our host, who said he acknowledged no government, save his chief Colocotroni, dwelt in a habitation so ill-secured
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from attack, that at night he sheltered himself in a place like a hen-roost, to which he ascended by a ladder that he pulled up. He mentioned, that some Turks from the garrison of Patras, had a few nights before made a rapid foray to Gastouni, a few miles from him, carrying off some women and other booty, after killing a few of the inhabitants. On the arrival of the mules we took leave, taking the route to Pyrgos, the country sandy and covered with prickly thorns, until we approached the town, when some signs of cultivation became visible.

We passed the night at the house of the owner of the mules; who, for twenty Spanish dollars, engaged to convey us to Tripolitza, and before starting, the proedras invited us to take some refreshment. Trelawny declined, but I went. The daughters of my host, who were bare-legged—their feet only protected with loose slippers, their features cast in the true Grecian mould, their aspect, however, wan and famine-stricken—served up rose water to perfume the mustachios, and lave the faces and hands of the guests; who, after accepting the offerings of these Hebes, squatted down, cross-legged, “à la Turque,” round a low table, on which were served up, one by one, various pillaus, composed of lamb, fowls, rice, and quinces; which we devoured by handfuls, knives and forks being unknown at Pyrgos. After breakfast, the ladies again presented the ewer and napkin, with pipes and coffee, in small cups, set in shagreen cases, which completed the entertainment.

One of the party was a jolly Greek Papas, journeying to the Ionian Islands with a picture of a miraculous Panagia, which he had brought from Talonta in Thessaly, having fled from his convent to avoid the turmoil of war. His beard might have rivalled that of Aaron; but alas! it is not always a proof of wisdom. This worthy person very sagely asked me, if England did not lie contiguous to Russia, averring, that if we did not speak Greek now, we had done so at no remote era. He trusted that the error of our ways might be made manifest to us, praying, that should we prove obdurate, our supposed powerful neighbour might convert us to the true faith. I did not wish to disturb the harmony of the party by finding fault with such brilliant conceptions; so I allowed the good priest to enjoy the full credit of his extraordinary geographical knowledge. As soon as I rejoined Trelawny, we started for Tripolitza, traversing the extensive plain whereon the Olympic games were formerly celebrated. As we approached the pass, out of which the Alpheus emerges into the plain, scattered vineyards, intermingled with maize fields, ploughed by figures armed with guns slung across their shoulders, and pistols in their girdles, met our view, such was the general insecurity of life and property. The irregular, wretchedly paid, Greek soldiery, were, perhaps, as great objects of dread to the peasants, as the Turks; because they plundered them without pity or remorse, wherever they could do so with impunity. We ascended the pass, following the right bank of the Alpheus, through a country dotted with noble trees. On the opposite side of the stream our guides indicated to us the ruins of Olympus, now called, as all vestiges of ancient cities are, by the general name of Palaia Castra. Towards evening we reached a species of bivouac, tenanted by a few helpless families from Megara, who had been expatriated by the inroads of the Osmanlis. On shewing these poor refugees some money, they brought us a lamb and a fowl or two out of their place of concealment, which we caused to be roasted for ourselves and our guides. Trelawny and myself preferred sleeping in the open air, wrapped in our cloaks, to being the inmates of their close, confined wigwams, formed of the boughs of trees. In the morning an alarm was given that a band of ruffianly soldiers were coming. The goats, &c. were rapidly driven away, the men seizing their arms to repel the marauders by force. They did not, however, cross the river, but continued their way towards Agonitzi, where they probably anticipated a richer booty. These poor people occupied part of the domains of the once dreaded Suliots, descendants of the Mohammedan Arnaouts, who escaped the furious massacre of their fellows by Hassan, Capitan Pascià, in 1774. Greeks in all but their faith, they intermarried
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with Christians, and were not bigoted disciples of the Prophet, nor had they domineered over the district, commanded by their elevated position. The Greeks contrived, at the commencement of the Revolution, to inveigle some of the Suliots, whom they relentlessly massacred; so true it is that civil and religious wars dissever all ties of kindred and humanity.

The Suliots, however, having ascertained the true posture of affairs, fired their own dwellings, and forced their way through their foes, burning and destroying all before them, until they entered Patras with scarce the loss of a man. On quitting this friendly hamlet, we made a tortuous, though abrupt descent to the Alpheus, whose stream, and those of several of its tributaries, we crossed repeatedly during the day’s journey, and there being no regular path, we had sometimes to force our way through thickets of vallonia, with no small difficulty.

The scenery on the banks of the stream, generally well wooded, was at times magnificent, and we passed several extensive forests of noble oaks and groves of chestnuts. We stopped to dine at a small deserted Turkish karavanserai, with a fountain of delicious water, enabling us to compound a pleasant beverage from our Cognac, of which we had a few bottles, that proved most refreshing and acceptable; but our guides kept continually importuning us for brandy, drinking it undiluted, and stealing it, whenever they could find an opportunity of doing so.

We resumed our journey after a siesta under the shade of some lofty trees; but towards evening our muleteers found that they had strayed from the right road (thanks, perhaps, to the brandy). Having now attained a considerable elevation, the cold was piercing, and it rained in torrents. Under these discouraging circumstances, we had made up our minds to pass the night beneath a rocky cliff, when one of the people, on going to procure some firewood, said that he had descried a light, but at a considerable distance. We remounted, and made towards it, though we had great difficulty in keeping in its track; but, at length, we reached a mountain station, called Agrapha, where we were assailed by numerous fierce dogs, which attacked our party with the utmost ferocity; and I verily believe, had any one ventured to have dismounted, he would have been throttled and devoured—a circumstance I have known several times to occur in the Morea, when a single and defenceless traveller has at night entered a village. Trelawny and myself were about to fire at them, but our guides entreated us to forbear, as were we to kill any of them, we should in all probability be murdered by their savage owners.

Some of the horde, at length, with pine-torches blazing in their hands, gruffly presented themselves at the doors of their rude huts. At first they absolutely refused us hospitality, but after some parley, and the promise of reward, they drove off their canine allies, and sullenly admitted us into their dwelling. They wished to examine our arms, but being suspicious of their intentions, we would not permit them. They offered us no refreshment, so we stretched ourselves on some sacks of maize, to watch the motions of our hosts, who did not retire to sleep, but kept cowering over the fire all night, displaying to our view, by its lurid glare, some of the most ferocious, cut-throat looking countenances I ever beheld, and jabbering in their own dialect, which our guides did not understand, because they were one of those erratic tribes of Bulgarians, who bring their flocks to pasture in the Morea. War had not changed this practice; they looked on the contest with indifference, and, being well armed and resolute men, feared neither Turk nor Greek. I was rejoiced when morning dawned and enabled us to depart; but, after proceeding a little way, Trelawny missed one of his pistols, which he supposed must have dropped from his girdle, whilst occupied in arranging the saddle of his mule. We instantly returned, much against the inclination of our guides. The men had driven their flocks to the hill, and we only found some urchins in the cottage, who would not, however, give up the pistol, until severely threatened. On making off, we perceived several men, armed with guns, descending from the heights,
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preceded by their infernal dogs, which again furiously assaulted our animals; and though we forbore to fire at them, their owners sent a bullet or two after us, without, however, doing any mischief, and we soon distanced them. On complaining subsequently to
Colocotroni, in whose district Agrapha is situated, of this outrage, that chief said he would exterminate the villains; this, however, was but an idle boast, for he dared not meddle with these Klephtis, who are members of a powerful community, the dread of the Moreots.

Our road this day was rugged in the extreme, through pine forests, and passing along the edges of tremendous precipices; the path occasionally being hardly a foot in width, where one false step would have precipitated us hundreds of feet into the abyss beneath; but our animals picked their steps with the most guarded caution; descending, by an abrupt spiral track, until we reached the plain of Dimizano, hemmed in by hills on every side. Near this, the populous and powerful town of Langadia was pointed out to us; which, by the strength of its inaccessible position, had always successfully resisted the Osmanlis, and been governed by its own primates. The scenery around it is magnificent, interspersed with fruitful olive grounds, orchards, and vineyards; and the same causes which had preserved the place from the encroachments of the Turks, now kept it free from the desolating effects of the war; its inhabitants being singularly jealous of their rights, and only intermarrying with their own tribe.

We slept at a small mill turned by one of the tributaries of the Alpheus, where the poor people were kind and hospitable, although somewhat surprised when we remunerated them for our entertainment—a procedure they were little accustomed to. In crossing the plain next morning, we saw numerous eagles poised over our heads, which our guides said were objects of consternation to the shepherds, in consequence of the havoc they committed among their flocks. The plain now gradually contracted, until it terminated in a narrow precipitous pass leading to Tripolitza, where we arrived the same afternoon.

We were conducted by our guides to the public karavanserai, a most filthy, abominable, enclosed court, crowded with miserable beings, many of whom laboured under the attack of typhus fever, and presented the most appalling picture of squalid wretchedness. They were chiefly fugitives from Eastern Greece, many of whom, no doubt, might have been compelled to abandon their homes in a state of destitution, but others complained that, on their route, they had been plundered, by predatory bands of their own countrymen, of all they possessed. We asked a Greek bystander if there were no other quarters to be obtained, as we dreaded contagion; who, in return, demanded if we had any despatches; and, on my enquiring after a friend of mine, Signor Papadoki, an accomplished young Greek, whom I had known in Italy, and who had left Pisa some months before to join his friend Prince Mavrocordato, to my extreme regret I learnt that the fatal fever had, a few days before, terminated his mortal career. Mavrocordato, who had been forced to retire to Hydra in consequence of dissensions with the military chiefs, had, however, left some of his suite behind, to whose dwelling we repaired, where we were welcomed by the prince’s treasurer, a remarkably handsome and magnificently-clad Phanariot. He immediately insisted that, during our stay at Tripolitza, we should take up our abode with him; cautioning us against visiting Colocotroni and Ypsilanti, then inhabiting the city; but to this suggestion, easily conceiving the motives which dictated it, we resolved to pay no attention.

Meanwhile we strolled out, attended by our host, to view the city, situated at the extremity of a tongue of land stretching from the mountain gorge, out of which we had just issued, some distance into the table land, which forms a portion of the ancient Arcadia. The aspect of the country is bleak; a few isolated clumps of trees only being visible around the painted kiosks, which formerly belonged to wealthy Turks; their gay and flaunting colours having a pretty effect, peeping out amidst the dark foliage.

The treasurer conducted us to visit the relics of the Seraglio of the
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Bashaws of the Morea, which, having been partly burnt down by the Greeks, had a scathed and desolate appearance; its gardens, to judge by the girth of a few fine orange-trees and evergreens, which had escaped their devastating fury, must have been magnificent; the demon of destruction, however, seemed here to have been at work; for the parterres were trampled down, the marble fountains destroyed, and the diminutive kiosks, that once embellished the place, levelled with the ground. This spot has obtained a horrible celebrity, from having been the principal theatre of the massacre in cold blood of several thousand Turks, whilst terms of capitulation were signing, and these unfortunate victims indulging in a false security. The stipulations had been actually agreed on, and the Osmanlis were reposing implicit faith in the ratification of the compact, when the Greeks suddenly escaladed the walls; the Mahommedans fled in disorder to the Seraglio, the gates of which being burst open by the pursuing foe, they were all ruthlessly butchered, without distinction of age or sex. The barbarities committed were frightful, accompanied by circumstances of so horrid a character, as scarcely to be credited by members of any civilized community.
Colonel Gordon did every thing in his power to stay these dreadful excesses, but without effect; disgusted by so flagrant a breach of faith, and the disgraceful cruelties of which he had been a reluctant eyewitness, he for a time abandoned the service, and I remember seeing him shortly afterwards at Corfu, on his route to England; but I was not at that period introduced to him.

I give this short account of the transaction in the way it was narrated to me, without, however, vouching for its accuracy; but the atrocities perpetrated on both sides, during this horrible war of extermination, were revolting to every friend of humanity.

We had just sat down to a repast with our friendly treasurer, (who, in that capacity, must have enjoyed a sinecure, because, until the loan came into operation, Job himself was not more poverty-stricken than Mavrocordato, when, much to the alarm of our entertainer, some armed partisans of Colocotroni presented themselves at the gate, with a request that we would do their master the honour of waiting on him.

His invitation being conveyed much after the fashion in which the military mendicant demanded charity from Gil Blas, we instantly accompanied our escort to the habitation of the chief, whose spacious quadrangle was thronged with armed Greeks, accoutred in every variety of warlike costume; some having most splendid scimitars and ataghans, and one fellow wore a magnificent cuirass, richly embossed with silver, over his dirty soiled apparel.

Numerous steeds stood picketed in the court, richly caparisoned, among which I remarked two of peculiar beauty and symmetry—much business seemed to be transacting, if one might judge by the incessant ingress and egress, and our escort experienced some difficulty in clearing a path for us. We were conducted into a noble apartment, richly adorned with arabesques, and with windows of stained glass, probably the principal divan of its former Turkish possessor; it was filled with armed men, but a few of the chiefs only were seated beside Colocotroni, who reposed, cross-legged, on a splendid ottoman of crimson velvet and gold, elevated a little above his companions.

After the customary preliminary of conserves, pipes, and coffee, Colocotroni demanded, why, as he was commandant of the city and the surrounding district, we had not in the first instance waited on him, when he would have felt the greatest satisfaction in administering to our wants? He affected to entertain the highest respect for the British, under whose banner be had served in a Greek corps, raised in the Ionian Islands by Colonel Church. He said it was reported that the colonel, whose military talents he warmly eulogized, was coming to Greece; adding, that the Greeks were very ignorant of tactics, and that, credat Judæus! he should rejoice to combat under the command of so distinguished a leader. Colocotroni then inveighed bitterly against Mavrocordato and the Phanariots, excepting Prince Ypsilanti, who, he said, was
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really a brave man; alleging that, since their introduction into the Morea, they had rendered it a theatre of constant intrigue, endeavouring; to compensate for their want of local influence by subtlety and cunning, and fomenting dissensions among the military chiefs, which had not previously existed. He denounced Mavrocordato as a cowardly plotter, who had ever fled from actual danger in the field; and added that, had he not eluded his vengeance by flight, he would have placed him reversed on an ass, and thus dismissed him with ignominy from the Peloponesus. On this topic he dwelt with great vehemence, frequently appealing to those around him, who of course re-echoed his sentiments. He then asked our plans and object in visiting the Morea. On our informing him that we were bearers of letters from
Lord Byron to the Executive, he proposed that we should consign them to his care, which we declined. He informed us that a congress was about to be held at Colouri, the ancient Salamis, whither Count Metaxa and Pietro Muaromichali, the Bey of Maino, two members of the Executive, together with the majority of the Legislative Assembly, had already repaired. It was his intention also to be present, and he would have detained us to travel in his suite, but that the fall of Corinth, an event daily expected, might delay him for a period. He then questioned us concerning Lord Byron’s resources, but of that nobleman individually he seemed to know nothing. His safest plan, he said, would be to come, as we had done, by way of Pyrgoa, in which case he should despatch an escort to attend him; but he was no wise solicitous on the subject.

As we bore despatches for the Government, he positively insisted on our considering ourselves as their guests, until we arrived at Salamis; for our journey thither he would furnish us with horses, a confidential person of his own household as guide, and give us recommendations to his son Pano, commandant of Napoli dl Romania, whom he wished us to visit on our route. For these kind attentions we expressed our thanks, but desired to decline them; however, our remonstrances had no effect. On hinting the probability of a loan being raised in England for Greece, to my infinite surprise he was the only one of his countrymen I ever met who was opposed to it. He said that he was particularly adverse to any such project, for two reasons; because Great Britain might thereby obtain an undue preponderance in Greece, which country he wished to be entirely unfettered, and that it might tend to aid the intrigues of Mavrocordato and the Phanariots, who, no doubt, from their relation with the islands and maritime Greece, would contrive to appropriate to themselves the lion’s share of it.

Greece, he said, was competent to her own liberation, provided she had only to encounter the power of the Porte. He should always feel grateful for any assistance rendered her by private individuals like Byron, but he deprecated national interference, being unable to understand that the loan, if made, would be advanced by private speculators, and not, as he imagined, by the British Government. Notwithstanding this pretended violent dislike to foreign influence, I have the most powerful motives for believing that, at one time, he earnestly desired the interposition of Russia; because I had an opportunity of once seeing some intercepted communications from him to the brother of Capodistria, which he begged him to transmit, without delay, to that statesman, imploring pecuniary aid, if none other could be granted, from the Emperor Alexander.

The posture of affairs was, at that time, deplorable in Greece, according to his own account; and had the Porte, instead of a system of terror, pursued a conciliatory course, she would have regained her authority; but the ill-advised and fanatical murder of the Patriarch Gregory, converted a partial insurrection into a holy and religious war, accompanied by every horror and excess.

We subsequently paid our respects to Prince Demetrio Ypsilanti, a good-tempered, indolent young man who so funds being low, most of his followers had abandoned him, to be present at the sack of Corinth, where considerable booty was anticipated. Next morning we left Tripolitza for Argos, attended by a certain Signor
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Dimitri, whom we regarded as a spy of
Colocotroni; but he was an amusing, rattling fellow, who, before the war, had settled, as a vender of wine and liqueurs, at Constantinople, from whence he had escaped, two years before, from a fear of losing his caput, abandoning, like another Æneas, his wife. From this time he had attached himself to Colocotroni, who, he was happy to say, did not insist on his fighting—an occupation to which he entertained a mortal dislike—but employed him solely in pacific missions, such as the present. He was a laughing, jovial buffoon—a decided friend to good cheer, wine, and raki, although he preferred our brandy to both. He regretted having been compelled to quit Constantinople, where, he affirmed, he was a great favourite with the Turks, many of whom visited secretly his wine store in defiance of the precepts of the Koran. Even mollahs, and other eminent legal luminaries, had dived into it, to consult him in regard to stomach complaints—finding no fault with the specific he invariably recommended in such cases—a bottle or two of rum, or raki. Nay, proh pudor! fair tenants of the harams of Stamboul had not disdained to seek him, in quest of similar prescriptions.—He admitted, however, that, in addition to other motives for his flight, he dreaded having a small account with the cadé to settle, for circulating base money, a traffic in which his master, Colocotroni, was said now to be largely engaged. Dimitri was a most sanctimonious personage; we could not pass a church without his entering it, and every morning he fervently chanted his orisons, crossing himself with marvellous rapidity, and energetically thumping his bosom, after the manner of the more pious Greeks. He had, moreover, made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, in atonement for all past peccadilloes and future transgressions. To other admirable qualities he united that of being a most enterprising and indefatigable forager. He scented lambs, kids, or fowls, and could track them with the cunning of reynard himself; so, thanks to his unrivalled penetration, we fared sumptuously whilst under his guidance; but he strongly reprobated our foolish practice of paying the poor peasants for these supplies, when we had Colocotroni’s mandate to enforce their production—hinting that the money might, with much greater advantage, have been transferred to his own pocket. Dimitri was besides an indefatigable smoker, carrying, for our great comfort and convenience, an immense green silk embroidered bag, filled with aromatic Latakin tobacco, which he very generously permitted us to share. To complete the rogue’s good qualities, he was no mean professor in Oriental cookery, and quite gained our affections by his inimitable pillaus and savoury pulpetti, a dwarf species of gourd, scooped and crammed with mince meat and sweet herbs. We fell in with a train of camels, laden with cotton, on their way to Tripolitza, on which our horses began to plunge and snort, much to the discomfiture of our friend Dimitri, who was a wretched equestrian, and wellnigh tumbled from his seat, together with his stewing and coffee apparatus. Before we entered the defile, leading from the plain of Tripolitza to Argos, we observed many wide and deep fosses, cut by the Greeks to embarrass the movements of the immense body of Turkish cavalry, which, marching through the dervenia of Corinth, under Churchid Pascià, had made several desperate but ineffectual attempts to raise the blockade of Tripolitza.

After moving some time along the pass, we distinguished immense piles of human bones, together with numerous skeletons of horses, attesting the defeat and slaughter of the Turkish host by the forces of Colocotroni and Nikitas, who, occupying the surrounding hills, in almost perfect security; picked off their enemies in great numbers, who were prevented by the numerous ditches aforesaid from advancing into the plain, from which also the Greeks poured a constant fire down the narrow gorge of the defile.

To be within sight of Tripolitza without being able to effect its relief, besides incurring the disgrace of defeat from a horde of ill-armed peasantry, must have been extremely galling to the haughty Ottoman leaders; who were, moreover, compelled to effect a disgraceful retreat, amid every privation, through a most difficult country, which they them-
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selves had devastated on their apparently triumphant advance, to which the cunning Greeks had scarcely opposed any resistance. I did not afterwards pass the dervenia, leading from the plain of Argos by Mycenæ, to Corinth; there, I was informed, enormous pyramids of blanched bones are erected as trophies by the Greeks. This defile comprises some of the most awful and stupendous scenery; tremendous masses of frowning rocks overhang each side of the gorge, at times almost touching each other, where a few resolute men could successfully resist a numerous host; from thence the Greeks hurled down huge fragments of rock on their helpless enemies beneath, and marksmen were also stationed in the crevices of the precipices, to whose aim they fell an easy prey. The Osmanlis committed a fatal mistake in betraying too great a contempt for their enemy; they acted, indeed, like people bewildered or stricken by a judgment; because no other nation would ever have thought of invading a mountainous country with large masses of irregular cavalry, unsupported by infantry, who, by lining the adjoining hills, and meeting the Greeks on their own terms, could have protected their retreat, had such a movement become indispensable.

The Greeks acknowledged the devoted bravery of the Turkish delis, wherever they could find an opportunity of acting with effect, and they would not have dared to encounter them in open fight, or withstand their charge in the plain. The same results, arising from a like delusion, attended every irruption planned by the Osmanlis into the Morea, and finally, they were terrified at the very idea of such expeditions, which seemed only to lead to inevitable death and destruction.

Pano Colocotroni told me, afterwards, at Napoli di Romania, that several times he had accompanied his father to cut off the retreat of the Osmanlis in the defiles. Some of the poor delis, he said, irritated to madness at seeing their comrades falling around them from a fire that they could not return, and crushed by blocks of stone hurled by invisible assailants, sometimes dismounted, and essayed to clamber up the steeps in pursuit; but their cumbrous equipment and enormous trowsers impeded their progress, causing them certain slaughter. Others, conceiving resistance useless, with the resignation and apathy characteristic of their race, folded their arms across their bosoms, and calmly resigned themselves to their fate. Pano regretted that the Osmanlis of late had abandoned this mode of invasion, which had been productive to his own family of immense booty in jewels, money, valuable horses and armour; the girdles of those delis who came from Asia Minor, plundering friend and foe “en route,” being usually richly lined with coin.

An idle young rascal, one of our escort, with a blow of his ataghan detached the scull from one of those skeletons, which, apostrophizing the inanimate relic in terms unfit to be repeated, much to our disgust, he kicked before him for some distance like a foot-ball. At about ten o’clock we reached a cottage shaded by trees, with a fountain near it, erected by the piety of some Mussulman; the inmates had fled on our approach, but as a fire was burning, and a small earthen pipkin remained on it, it was evident that they could not be far off. Dimitri prepared some superlative coffee for our refreshment, whilst our escort regaled themselves with bread, garlic, and execrable wine, of which each carried a small provision.

Our guide, after breakfast, carefully examined the dimensions of the hut, then calling to one of the Palikaria to accompany him, he scrambled over some firewood, and shortly afterwards emerged with fowls, eggs, and maize, which our sagacious caterer had drawn from their place of concealment behind the sticks. The poor peasant, who had been hid in some burrow in the rising ground above his cottage, aware, from the cackling of his poultry, that his store had been invaded, now made his appearance, imploring Dimitri not to deprive him of his all. We insisted on indemnifying him, when the poor man, considering perhaps the payment of a Spanish dollar too liberal, bade us wait a few minutes, and reascending the hill, presently returned with a small lamb, which he forced us to accept. On departing, Dimitri told us that
Narrative of a Visit to the Seat of War in Greece.407
he had secured this provender, because he intended that we should repose during the heat of the day at a deserted Turkish konaki, or karavanserai. In descending the hill several shots saluted our ears, but owing to the dense foliage and copsewood, we could not exactly discern whence they proceeded. We presently, however, perceived a numerous body of Greek palikaria engaged in the humane pastime of firing at some terrified peasants, whom they pursued, vociferating at the top of their lungs, the Turkish war-cry, “La allah il allah, allah akbar.” Dimitri’s mustaches dropped; he turned pale, and betrayed symptoms of great trepidation, but was reassured, on recognising in their leader a friend of his master, the “ετρατηγός”
Londos, who was conducting his followers from Corinth, the fall of which stronghold he said was not so imminent as people supposed, to the blockade of Patras. This enterprise was frequently attempted; but the Turks scouring the surrounding plains, besides procuring supplies by sea, the fortress remained in their possession until its surrender to the combined forces after the battle of Navarino, by whom it was taken in a few hours, a proof of what any regular organized force could have effected in Greece. We apprised the general of Colocotroni’s departure for Corinth, by the upper defiles, towards the gulf of Lepanto, who, at this intelligence, appeared somewhat disappointed and surprised. He was preparing to ascend the path we had rode down in quest of provisions, but our conductor solemnly assured him that we had already cleared the premises; adding, that he could more readily supply his wants at another hamlet which he indicated. I believe this advice not to have been altogether disinterested, but that Dimitri intended, on his own return from Salamis, to renew his visit, and relieve the poor devil of his remaining hoard.

On arriving at the konaki, we found it really a sweet place, close to a limpid rill, meandering in soft murmurs over its pebbly channel, through a grove of noble trees, interspersed with orange, lemon, fig, and almonds,that had formerly ornamented its precincts; but many of which had been cut down, and others injured by fire. Dimitri, having despatched some of our palikaria for firewood, soon kindled a fire, and was presently deeply engaged in the interesting and agreeable occupation of preparing a pillau of fowl and chestnuts for himself and us. The lamb we presented to our escort, who roasted it whole in a sort of oven they scratched in the ground, placing heated stones under it; when cooked, they hacked it in pieces with their ataghans, and in a few minutes all had disappeared, save the bones. The heat was most oppressive; so, after taking each a horn of brandy and water, we fell asleep under the shade of the trees, fearing to repose in the karavanserai, on account of scorpions and reptiles, which, according to Dimitri, now infested it. Trelawny and myself awakening, went to practise pistol firing. This aroused our escort, who would take part in the diversion, but had no chance with Trelawny, who was an unerring marksman. They were amazed at the superior strength of our powder, as contrasted with their own wretched stuff. After resuming our journey, we soon came in eight of the Argolic Gulf. Just above Myli, the site of the ancient Lernæ, the prospect is superb, comprising the islands studding the bay, Napoli di Romania stretching along the base of a dark precipitous mountain, crowned by its frowning citadel, the Palamidi, and, opposite to it, the rugged coast of Laconia. The lovely plain of Argos lay spread out under our feet, dotted with numerous white flat-roofed buildings, surrounded by groves of orange, lemon, olive, and other fruit trees; several large Turkish kiosks, with gilded minarets, embosomed amid acacias, cypresses, and Lombardy poplars, fringing the margin of the shore, added to the variety of the delightful scene. We passed close under the so called lofty castle of Agamemnon, having to our left the towering Mycenæ, and the plain, gradually contracting between the opposite mountains until it merges in the awful and romantic dervenia, through which lies the road to Corinth.

(To be concluded in next Number.)