LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Memoirs of the Affairs of Greece
Chapter XXXI

Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Chapter XVII
Chapter XVIII
Chapter XIX
Chapter XX
Chapter XXI
Chapter XXII
Chapter XXIII
Chapter XXIV
Chapter XXV
Chapter XXVI
Chapter XXVII
Chapter XXVIII
Chapter XXIX
Chapter XXX
‣ Chapter XXXI
Chapter XXXII
Chapter XXXIII
Chapter XXXIV
Chapter XXXV
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Conduct of the Duke of Orleans—Count Pecchio—Count Palma—Tricoupi—Author arrives at Tripolitza—Introduction to Conduriotti.

A few days before my departure from Anapli, I had occasion to meet, at the hospitable house of the Callergis (Greeks, whose family is settled in Russia), General Roche, on his arrival from France; whence he had been sent to Greece, as agent of the lately established Paris Greek Committee. Papaflessa, minister for the home department, happened, at the same time, to call on the general; and as there was no interpreter present, I officiated in that capacity. The promises of support, made by the general, his account of the enthusiasm, felt by all classes in France, and their liberal subscriptions in favour of the Greek cause, were heard with indifference. The French could never have acquired popularity in Greece; owing to the well-known friendship, which subsisted between the French government and Mehmet Ali; the conduct of Drovetti, who acted as tutorial counsellor to the pasha; the constant services, which the French navy rendered to Ibrahim, and the construction of so many Egyptian vessels in French dockyards.

From these motives, if the Austrians were looked upon as the warmest, the French were ranked among the most active friends of the enemies of Greece. Roche was by many considered, on what foundations, I cannot say, as no other than an emissary from the Duke of Orleans. Things in this country were car-
ried on, in general, with so little secrecy and discretion; that almost every one was aware, that a numerous party, at the head of which was
Mavrocordato, was persuaded, that a constitutional monarchy would prove more advantageous to the nation, than the provisional government, under which they had hitherto lived; and that they could not make a better choice of a sovereign than one of the Orleans family. In consequence of this they maintained an active correspondence with Paris. No unwilling ear could be reasonably lent to the proposition of a crown; although no decisive answer was given, considering the existing state of things. But anxious tacitly to maintain an interest in Greece, without compromising his name, the duke became instrumental in rendering Philhellenism popular.

Papaflessa related to him the active manner, in which, during several years, he and other emissaries of the Hœteria travelled about the country, spreading among the people, the seeds of revolutionary principles; or, to speak more correctly, announcing to them the coming of the Russians as that of a forthcoming of a Messiah. I may here observe, that so strongly cemented by superstition is the penchant of the Greeks for the Russians, that neither their perfidious conduct under Catherine, nor the habitual tenor of their political conduct since; nor even their late base desertion, after occasioning the insurrection of Moldavia and Wallachia, could weaken the friendship of the Greeks for their irreligionaries.

The Russians, besides, are regarded as the natural enemies of Turkey; as those, who are destined to plant anew the standard of Constantine on the walls of Byzantium, and re-establish the throne of the Greek emperors. Let the English remember, that whatever benefits, they may confer on the Greeks, they never
will acquire the affection of the nation. They will ever be loathed secretly, as they were by the Spaniards, as heretics; while the Russians, whenever they like, will be embraced with the cordiality of brothers who, after grievous wrongs, seek reconciliation.

Among the foreigners, whose acquaintance I made at Anapli, the most engaging and entertaining was Count Pecchio. His manners, which made him regarded as the most gentlemanly person in the circles of Milan, caused him to appear doubly agreeable in this barbarous town; where politeness and society were equally unknown. I dined at his lodgings with Count Palma, and other Piedmontese of distinction; who by their talents, superiority of education, and acquaintance with civil administration, might have been of essential service to the Greek government, had the members of it not been actuated by a narrow-minded vanity, and a dislike to strangers. These gentlemen have published two pamphlets on Greece. The work of the first is a very imperfect account; and that of the second, as the title proves, a very prejudiced one. Neither the one nor the other, indeed, had opportunities requisite to take correct views of things; pent up, as they were, within the walls of Anapli, and totally unacquainted with the language.

If I think myself warranted in complaining of Count Palma, for his observations and calumnious accusations against me, it is because he does not bring a single proof in corroboration of what he advances. Thefts, apostacy, and treason, are crimes, which slander may lay to the account of the most innocent man living; but no man of honour should circulate such reports without investigating the facts, on which they are grounded. Count Palma especially, who was judge in Piedmont, should know, that accusation and guilt are not synonymous; and
that those are frequently found innocent against whom, at first, the strongest appearances seem to weigh. I shall not, however, interrupt the thread of my narration. I shall refute the charges he brings against me in an appendix.

The festivals of Easter were celebrated, a few days before my departure from Anapli; and during three days nothing was heard or seen, but incessant firing of pistols and muskets, shouting, singing, drinking, dancing, and in one word every demonstration of the most bacchanalian joy. Preceded by the military band, and accompanied by the regiment, the senate, the executive, the ministers, the governor of the Palamidi Photamara, the principal military chiefs, all arrayed in their most splendid costumes, went in a body to the church of Saint Nicholas to assist at the solemn ceremony, performed on the occasion. Before the service terminated, they gave to one another the kiss of mutual reconciliation; which, had it been sincere, might indeed have justified the people’s rejoicing, and deserved to be announced by the salvos of artillery, which rent the air.

The senate, as before observed, consisted of sixty-one members; who, although calling themselves representatives of the nation, were but little entitled to that appellation; since they had not been elected by a majority of the people, to whom even the right of assembling was not allowed; but by the capitano, cogiabashi, or primate, of their respective town or district; who considered them as the fittest individuals to assert and defend their despotic principles, and act as their agents near government. They had rather represented, hitherto, the aristocracy of the chiefs, than the will of a free people. It cannot be denied, however, that some of the actual senators were, at heart, very good-meaning men; but their
gross ignorance, their total unacquaintance with the nature and tendency of liberal institutions, rendered them mere ciphers; and precluded them from the possibility of discharging their duties notwithstanding their best intentions. The only man among the senators, who, to talent and patriotic feelings, united the advantage of a liberal education, was
Spiro Tricoupi. The other five or six members who had received some tincture of education, retained too much of the principles of the Russian or Moldavo-Wallachian school. The imbecility of the legislature destroyed the equilibrium, which was intended to exist between it and the executive; the preponderance of the latter was unquestionable; and it exercised, in consequence, the most uncontrolled and arbitrary sway. The secret manner, in which the sittings were held, is in itself a sufficient proof of the illiberality of the views of the senators; who could not conceive, that the common people had any right to witness the manner, in which their most vital interests were treated. For form’s sake, the editor of the government newspaper was alone entitled to be present at their deliberations; but not only was he cautioned, not to publish any of the speeches; but, whenever five members thought it expedient to make the proposition, even this witness was forced to retire.

As soon as I received orders to join the headquarters at Tripolitza, I immediately put myself in march; and, taking the road along the shore, arrived at the Myli; a place so named from the mills constructed there, owing to the convenience afforded by the neighbouring Alcyonian lake, the waters of which are employed to turn them. The next morning we proceeded to Aclado Campo, a village curiously built round a conical hill, and while there the peasants
informed us of the numberless vexations, they had lately suffered from
Chagi Cristo and his Bulgarian bands.

After ascending the steep, circuitous, road over Mount Partheni, and the strong Derveni, where, a few months before, Pano Colocotrone, the Dehli Janei, and other rebels, attempted in vain to arrest the troops of government, who succeeded in turning the position, and falling unexpectedly on their backs, we descended into the dreary-looking plain of Tripolitza; and, after eight hours and a half’s march, entered the town.

The climate of this part of the country is very different from that of the plains, near the sea; the range of its temperature being near the same as that of the more southerly counties of England. Indeed, few countries have been more favoured by nature than the Peloponnesus; for while a portion of it gives birth to the olive, the vine, the palm, the cotton, rice, and other of the richer productions of more southern climates, other parts afford all the advantages of northern latitudes.

Tripolitza was still the largest town of Peloponnesus, though a large portion of its Turkish houses had been destroyed by the Greeks, on storming this place; where thirty thousand of their oppressors had taken refuge. For not satisfied with spilling their blood, they sought, in the fury of their revenge, to destroy even their habitations. Its walls had not suffered much from the miserable artillery of the Greeks; although they are little higher and thicker than those of a garden; and consequently not susceptible of offering the slightest resistance to a well-directed attack. From fifteen to twenty small cannons were mounted on its ill-constructed batteries.

I was here presented by Mavrocordato to Con-
duriotti, whose physiognomy proclaims him a very ordinary man, entirely deficient in the qualifications required for a leader of a nation, especially in arduous circumstances. His ignorance was extraordinary; he had merely received the education of a coarse merchant-captain, and in his life had not perhaps read any other book than the log-books of his vessels. He bore the reputation of being obstinate, revengeful, proud, and, notwithstanding his immense wealth, exceedingly greedy and parsimonious. But never did his want of capacity, or of education, appear in a more glaring light, than since the secretary of state was near him; so great was the contrast to the advantage of the latter. The weightiest, and the most insignificant, affair were equally directed by him. He alone succeeded, by his indefatigable endeavours, in putting some activity and system into the measures, that were taken against
Ibrahim; and in rousing the torpid and phlegmatic disposition of the president, who at last was persuaded to leave Tripolitza, (3d of April, O. S.) accompanied by fifteen hundred men.

In the evening we slept at Leondari, a large village six leagues and a half distant. On the road are two very strong positions, where the approach of an enemy to Tripolitza might be prevented by a handful of resolute men. The first is the Derveni of Mount Calviero, at about two hours distance from the town; and the second at the pass of the Panagia, at two leagues and a half from Leondari. The inhabitants of this village, in order to escape the vexations of the soldiers, had, a fortnight before, deserted their houses; so that our accommodations were none of the best. Before arriving, we were not a little surprised to meet on the road Cavaliere Collegno, who was returning alone to Tripolitza. This gentleman, who had served as colonel of artillery in the Piedmontese army, had,
on his arrival in Greece, been named engineer in chief to the expedition of Patras; but on that enterprise being given up, he was ordered to penetrate into the fortress of Neocastro, with the detachment of the artillery corps, commanded by Callergi. Arrived in the neighbourhood of Old Navarino, in order to avoid being perceived by the enemy, the resolution was taken of profiting by the obscurity of night, to accomplish the design; but the march proved difficult, owing to the guides losing the road, and leading the men over a rough and trackless country. Several lost themselves, and the next day returned to Nisi, amongst whom was Cavallo Collegno, who, highly disgusted with the Greeks, had given up the idea of entering Neocastro, and had formed the resolution of quitting a situation in which he felt the impossibility of being ever useful; owing to their total want of subordination and discipline.

On meeting his friend Count Santa Rosa, he explained to him the causes of his resolution: but the urgent remonstrances and entreaties of the latter prevailed upon him to alter his mind, and he gave him a promise to follow him wherever he went.