LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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A Narrative of Lord Byron’s Last Journey to Greece
Chapter III

Chapter I
Chapter II
‣ Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
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Communication from the legislative body with Lord Byron—He rescues a Turkish prisoner—Letter from Coray to Mavrocordato—Lord Byron obliged to keep a Suliote guard in his house—Disturbances between the Suliotes and citizens of Missolonghi—Prince Mavrocordato’s account of his own escape from the Turks—Lord Byron’s sentiments as to his own situation in Greece—Affray with the Suliotes—The Turkish squadron come out of the Gulf—The Speziot ships return home—Lord Byron’s conversation with Count Gamba on his expedition against Lepanto—Missolonghi blockaded—Lord Byron’s poem on his birthday—His resolution—Presentiment of dying in Greece—Messenger sent to Mr. Parry—Arrival of Captain Yorke at Missolonghi—His remonstrance with the Greek authorities—Lord Byron releases four Turkish prisoners—His letter to Yussuff Pacha on that occasion—Lord Byron appointed commander of the expedition against Lepanto—Captain Yorke’s second visit—Lord Byron’s letter on the observance of neutrality—He arranges the dispute between Captain Yorke and the Greeks—Difference of opinion between Colonel
Stanhope and Lord Byron—Letter from Ulysses to Lord Byron—From General Londo—Anecdote of Londo in 1809—Lord Byron’s letter to him—Lord Byron’s attachment to oriental history—His accurate memory—Progress of the artillery brigade—Embarrassments of the Greek government.

January 15.—We had news from the Morea: Lord Byron’s letters had been circulated there, and not without effect. The legislative body were pursuing the same energetic measures as before; and public opinion was daily more pronounced in their favour: but, with this increase of influence and favour, they were still in want of means to complete their endeavours. They requested from Lord Byron a further loan of 30,000 dollars; his means did not allow of such an advance.

The Germans arrived from the Morea; but their number was much less than we expected; and of those who came, some were ill, some wanted to return home, and
others were officers of infantry only. We could find no more than two artillery officers, and some young volunteer pupils, fit for our purpose. We determined, therefore, to enrol some Greeks, and thus decide by experience how far they might be converted into disciplined soldiers.
Colonel Stanhope arranged a plan for us, not without many difficulties in adjusting the rank of each individual; for the Germans were not altogether willing to forget their Prussian etiquette even in Greece.

January 16.—We transacted a variety of business with Colonel Stanhope and Mavrocordato. Notice was brought to us that a Turk had been taken prisoner by a Greek privateer. Lord Byron and myself went in our canoe to visit him. The man spoke Italian, and was extremely cast down; he was of Dulcigno, and had been in the service of the Pacha of Scutari. Returning
to Prevesa, in a ship under the Imperial flag, with seventy of his companions, they got near a Greek privateer, who had hoisted the Turkish flag; and when they found their mistake, they attempted to escape. The ship got off; but this man, in his haste to make sail, fell overboard, and to save his life, swam to the Greek privateer: he made no complaint of the treatment he had received. Lord Byron wished to seize the first opportunity of advancing one of the principal objects of his endeavours, by instilling into the Greeks sentiments of humanity, and securing the good treatment of their prisoners. Accordingly, by Lord Byron’s direction, I wrote to the governor of the town, requesting that the Turk might be allowed to disembark. The request was immediately complied with, and Lord Byron lodged him in his own house, and took every care of him.


After dinner this day, we were surprised by a violent altercation near the customhouse: it had arisen between the customhouse officers and certain Speziot sailors; and the cause of dispute was a sum of 25 paras, about twopence halfpenny! Both parties were furious; attaghans and pistols were flourishing about. My Lord ran into the midst of the combatants, and contrived to quiet them.

Many letters came, particularly one of an interesting nature, from the celebrated Coray to Mavrocordato. In one part of this letter, Coray expressed his surprise that Ipsilanti should have retained and been proud of his title of Prince, a mark of disgrace rather than of honour, since conferred upon him by the barbarous oppressors of his country. It might seem as if this reproof applied also to Mavrocordato;
he was aware of it, and remarked, “If they will give me this title, how can I help it?—but I never did pretend to it, and I never will.” Coray recommended a
Sig. Vamba as a man whose patriotism and whose learning equally qualified him to be useful to his countrymen. We had already forestalled the wishes of Coray, and had invited him from Cephalonia, where he was intent upon his literary occupations. He is one of the best informed of the Greeks; and few scholars of any country surpass him in his knowledge of Hellenic literature. He was professor at the university of Scio, and accompanied Ipsilanti into the Morea at the beginning of the Revolution; but the misfortunes that attended the commencement of that enterprise obliged him to seek refuge in the Ionian islands.

This evening, whilst Mavrocordato was with Lord Byron, two sailors, belonging to
the privateer which had taken the Turk, came into the room, demanding in an insolent tone that their prisoner should be delivered up to them. My Lord refused: their importunity became more violent; and they refused to leave the room without their Turk (such was their expression): on which, Lord Byron presenting a pistol at the intruders, threatened to proceed to extremities, unless they instantly retired. The sailors withdrew, but he complained to Mavrocordato of his want of authority, and said to him, “If your government cannot protect me in my own house, I will find means to protect myself.” From that time my Lord retained a Suliote guard in his house.

I have mentioned this occurrence as it happened; but up to this time it had been a matter of surprise to us how complete a tranquillity had been maintained in a small
city, where there were five or six thousand armed men subject to so many privations, without discipline, and without that subordination which laws well administered alone can ensure. How seldom is it that many thousands of our best regulated soldiers, in our most civilised towns, can deserve a similar eulogium! From this period, however, the Suliotes became an object of serious disquietude, and it was perceived that it would be difficult to induce them to quit Missolonghi. They demanded their arrears, and a retreat for their families. The citizens, on the other hand, began to murmur, and accused them of being more mischievous to them than to the common enemy: they looked to
Lord Byron as to the only person who could persuade them to retire.

We had news of Parry: he had been at Corfu for eight days, and was to leave that
island on the 11th for Missolonghi. Much of the enterprise against Lepanto depended on his arrival, for, amongst our other deficiencies, was a great scarcity of powder.

January 17.—Another portion of our loan was this day paid to Mavrocordato, who required it to satisfy part of the arrears of the Suliotes. No news came to-day. It poured down rain without intermission. The captain of the privateer came to apologise to Lord Byron, who would not receive him unless he brought with him the man who had offended on the former evening. The man was brought; his manner of excusing himself was truly oriental: “If,” he said, “O Effendi, you think that I meant to insult you, here is my head for you!” He then proceeded to say that he was intoxicated, and that he was not aware that the Turk was under his Excellency’s protection; and, he added,
“I have no evil intentions towards the wretched man;—on the contrary, I came to save him, as I have done twice before; for I was told he would be killed here.” The Greek seemed not to be aware that he was accusing us of being assassins: and I afterwards learnt that the Turk had been taken three times, and that this man said he had been the person who took him.

Mavrocordato came this evening, as he did every evening, to confer with Lord Byron: nothing could be more interesting than their conversations: I was generally present. To-night he gave us an account of his escape from Patras. He was passing the night close to that town, on his way to Tripolitza, in 1822: a band of the enemy surprised him in his sleep, and were in the house before he was aware; but his baggage saved him; for whilst the Turks were disputing about the booty, he slipped away
unperceived. When I was in the castle of the Morea, a Turk showed me a pair of shoes, which he boasted of having taken from Mavrocordato. The conversation, this evening, turned also on the expediency of making an inroad into Thessaly. It was agreed that a body of regular troops, two or three thousand, would be necessary to make the Greeks masters of the plains; for the Turks had disarmed the population, at least in great part; and though four-fifths of the inhabitants are Christians, they could not rise without some disciplined forces to gather upon. Indeed it is difficult to say what might be the progress of the Greek arms, with a very few thousand regular troops; for, except in parts of Thrace, the Christians are infinitely more numerous than the Ottomans in European Turkey.

January 18.—The morning was occupied with business. Colonel Stanhope was em-
ployed with the Germans. We made progress in filling up and in organising our artillery corps.

The rain abated a little, but the roads were so broken up that we could not ride. Lord Byron and myself went in the monoxila (canoe); we had no other means of getting a little fresh air. Byron talked much to me of his expedition against Lepanto. He owned he had no great confidence in his troops; and yet he must make use of them, as he had no better; and, in order to make these better, he had no other way than to obtain their confidence by showing that he had confidence in them. “Above all,” he added, “these semibarbarians should never entertain the least suspicion of your personal courage.” He went on to speak of his eagerness to begin his campaign; joked a
good deal about his post of “Archistrategos,” or commander-in-chief; but after all he discovered, unawares perhaps, to me, that the romance and the peril of the undertaking were great allurements to him. He talked so much on this head, that I and others were always apprehensive that he would expose himself unnecessarily.

Returning from our airing, we received several important communications from the castles (of Lepanto and Morea), and from Prevesa: Yussuff Pacha was in great embarrassment; his troops seemed inclined to mutiny, and his fleet would not leave the harbour. The arrival of Lord Byron, and our preparations, had a good deal caused this consternation; for it appeared that the captain of an Austrian brig of war, who had two days before anchored off Missolonghi, under pretext of getting pro
visions, but in reality to see what we were about, had afterwards had a long conference with Yussuff, and had left him in a more melancholy mood than usual. Our news from Prevesa was, that the dissensions with the Albanians were daily becoming more serious, and that we had nothing to fear from that quarter.

About nine o’clock this evening we heard discharges of musquetry, which continued longer, and were more frequent than usual. We were accustomed to hear this noise; for the Greeks are in the habit of unloading their guns in the streets; and, as they never draw their charges, the balls frequently whistled close to our heads. To-night, however, the firing was repeated so often, that we thought some disturbance had arisen; and we soon learnt, that the Suliotes and the citizens were at last come to blows. We got all our arms in readi-
ness, thinking it most likely that one party or the other would fly to our house for succour, and compromise us in these fatal quarrels. Various rumours of the cause of this affair reached us from time to time; but we could make out nothing decisively, except that the battle had been attended with fatal consequences. A little later,
Signior Praidi came to my Lord with the information that the Turkish fleet was already out of the Gulf, and that the five Speziots had been obliged to make sail, and run before them.

January 19.—Early in the morning we saw the Greek fleet making sail, and the Turkish ships standing out of the mouth of the Gulf. We now learnt the immediate cause of last night’s disturbance. Some Suliotes had gone to a house to take up their quarters, according to the permission given them by the magistrates of Misso-
longhi: the master of the house was not at home; but the Suliotes very quietly took possession of a chamber, laid down their guns and swords, spread their mats, and were quite at their ease, when their landlord arrived, and told them to retire instantly. They refused—he threatened—from words they came to blows. The women in the house began to scream aloud, and soon collected a crowd: several Missolonghiotes ran to the assistance of their fellow-citizen, and other Suliotes joined their comrades. Had it not been for the prudence of some chieftains, and particularly of
Constantine Bozzari, the quarrel would have become general. One man was killed; a Suliote died a few days afterwards; and many were badly wounded, amongst whom was the commissary at war, one of the most respectable citizens, who received two or three blows as he was endeavouring to part the combatants. The Suliotes were
the more formidable, as the general assembly, which had been held at Missolonghi, had for some time broken up, and the chieftains had retired to their various districts, leaving none but the Suliotes in the town.

I found Lord Byron this morning much irritated at the affair of last night, and also at the retreat of the Greek fleet, which he thought might endanger the arrival of Mr. Parry, and of the money which he expected from Zante.

The city was in a state of confusion in consequence of the late quarrel: many people went so far as to say that it had been premeditated, and that treasonable machinations were on foot. Mavrocordato instituted a military commission, and arrested some of both parties concerned; amongst others, a primate. This measure
somewhat calmed the agitation, and allayed the fears of the citizens.

January 20.—This morning neither the Greek nor the Turkish fleet were in sight. At noon Lord Byron and myself went out on horseback. He conversed a long time with me on his expedition. The substance of what he said was as follows:

“I have not much hope of success; but something may be done during these months, if it be only to employ ourselves and these troops, and keep them at least from being idle and creating disturbances: in the mean time, those principles which are now in action in Greece will gradually produce their effect, both here and in other countries. I never was myself a great admirer of the mere mechanical soldier: he is too often the slave of the caprice and selfishness of tyrants. Our
wild troops here, which remind me of what our highlanders must have been, are more in my way, at least as a poet. I am not, however, come here in search of adventures, but to assist in the regeneration of a nation, whose very debasement makes it more honourable to become their friend. Regular troops are certainly necessary, but not in great numbers: regular troops alone would not succeed in a country like Greece; and irregular troops alone are only just better than nothing. Only let the loan be raised, and in the mean time let us try to form a strong national government, ready to apply the pecuniary resources, when they arrive, to the best objects—the organisation of troops, the establishment of internal civilisation, and the preparations for acting defensively now, and on the offensive in the next winter. Nothing is so insupportable to me as all
these minute details, and these repeated delays; but patience is indispensable, and that I find the most difficult of all attainments.”

On our return, Mavrocordato had a long conference with my Lord. We then went into Colonel Stanhope’s apartment, where our whole party was assembled, and we had some excellent music from the Germans, on their flutes; besides songs, accompanied with the guitar. Byron was fond of music in general; and he was partial to German music, particularly to their national songs.

January 21.—We were blockaded: ten Turkish ships of war were cruising in front of Missolonghi. We thought of some mode of driving them off. We had neither cannon, nor perhaps sailors, fit for gun-boats. As for a fireship, we had not the necessary
materials; and, besides, the Turks now had began to be on their guard against that mode of attack. At last it came into our heads that we might attack them in boats by night, and at least damage their rigging, so as to drift them on the sands and rocks. All the Europeans present volunteered their services.
Lord Byron insisted on being the first in the attack. He was so determined on this project, that we soon became aware of the folly of exposing such a person on such a desperate enterprise; and we did all in our power to induce him to abandon it: at last we succeeded, but it was with great difficulty, for he was now intent only upon exposing himself to danger, and was extremely jealous that any one should be more forward than himself. The Greeks had conceived a great respect for his personal prowess, to which, it must be owned, his daily amusement of pistol-shooting not a little contributed; for he
fired with admirable precision at considerable distances—a skill which surprised the Greeks, whose firearms are of the coarsest make, and who never hit a mark except they almost touch it with the muzzle of their pistols.

January 22.—This morning Lord Byron came from his bedroom into the apartment where Colonel Stanhope and some friends were assembled, and said, with a smile, “You were complaining, the other day, that I never write any poetry now:—this is my birthday, and I have just finished something, which, I think, is better than what I usually write.” He then produced those noble and affecting verses on his own birthday, which were afterwards found written in his journal, with only the following introduction:—January 22; on this day I complete my thirty-sixth year.

‘Tis time this heart should be unmoved,
Since others it hath ceased to move;
Yet, though I cannot be beloved,
Still let me love!
My days are in the yellow leaf;
The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
The worm, the canker, and the grief
Are mine alone!
The fire that on my bosom preys
Is lone as some volcanic isle;
No torch is kindled at its blaze—
A funeral pile!
The hope, the fear, the jealous care,
The exalted portion of the pain
And power of love, I cannot share,
But wear the chain.
But ‘tis not thus—and ’tis not here
Such thoughts should shake my soul, nor now,
Where glory decks the hero’s bier,
Or binds his brow.
The sword, the banner, and the field,
Glory and Greece, around me see!
The Spartan, borne upon his shield,
Was not more free.
Awake! (not Greece—she is awake!)
Awake, my spirit! Think through whom
Thy life-blood tracks its parent lake,
And then strike home!
Tread those reviving passions down,
Unworthy manhood! unto thee
Indifferent should the smile or frown
Of beauty be.
If thou regret’st thy youth, why live?
The land of honourable death
Is here:—up to the field, and give
Away thy breath!
Seek out—less often sought than found,
A soldier’s grave—for thee the best;
Then look around, and choose thy ground,
And take thy rest.

We perceived from these lines, as well as from his daily conversations, that his ambition and his hope were irrevocably fixed upon the glorious objects of his expedition to Greece, and that he had made up his mind to “return victorious, or return no more.” Indeed, he often said to me, “Others may do as they please—they may go—but I stay here, that is certain.” The same determination was expressed in his letters to his friends; and this resolution was not unaccompanied with the very natural presentiment—that he should never leave Greece alive. He one day asked his faithful servant, Tita, whether he thought of returning to Italy? “Yes,” said Tita; “if your Lordship goes, I go.” Lord Byron smiled, and said, “No, Tita, I shall never go back from Greece—either the Turks, or the Greeks, or the climate, will prevent that.”—But to proceed with my narrative.


It was proposed to send some one to Cephalonia to advise Mr. Parry of our position. The plan was to pass the Turkish fleet in the night: a boat was soon found; we all offered our services; Mr. Hesketh was fixed upon. He was directed, if he found Parry in the Ionian Islands, to desire him to proceed first to Calamo, thence to Petala, and to Dragomestri, where he could disembark his stores, and send them by canal-boats to Missolonghi in spite of the Turks. He was also to provide himself, in Cephalonia, with materials for constructing a fireship. We wished to take this opportunity of sending our Turkish prisoner to the Ionian Islands, but the man was afraid to leave our protection. He had heard of the Turks killed at Ithaca, and all our entreaties were in vain. Mr. Hesketh set off.

January 23.—A foreign brig of war passed the Turkish cruisers, and anchored
off Missolonghi. In two hours a boat put to shore with three English officers of the navy. They came to ask satisfaction for an Ionian boat that had been taken by a Greek privateer under Patras. As the Ionian government had acknowledged the Greek blockade, it was thought a good prize. The captain answered, that no blockade could be recognised, except it were an effectual blockade; and that five ships against fourteen could not be so deemed. He came therefore to recover the prize, or to make reprisals—such were his orders: he would come back to-morrow. Some Turkish prisoners being at this time confined at Missolonghi,
Lord Byron requested the government that they might be given up to him, and that he might send them to Yussuff Pacha. The object of this measure was apparent; he had hopes that such conduct might tend to soften the ferocity which had occasionally distinguished the treatment of the Turkish prisoners;
and to induce both Turks and Greeks to regulate themselves by the usages of civilised warfare, rather than according to the sanguinary retaliation which marks the struggle between a master and a slave.

Lord Byron, when he sent the four Turkish prisoners to Yussuff Pacha, transmitted to him at the same time the following letter:

“Missolonghi, 23d of January, 1824.
“To his Highness
Yussuff Pacha, governor of the provinces of Ardin and Iavichan, and commander of the Ottoman forces in the Castles, &c. &c.

“A vessel in which a friend and some domestics of mine were embarked was detained a short time ago, and released by order of your Highness. I have now to thank you, not for liberating the vessel, which, as carrying a neutral flag, and being under British protection, no one had a right to detain, but for treating my friends with so much kindness whilst they were in your hands. In the hope, therefore, that it may not be
altogether displeasing to your Highness, I have requested the governor of this place to release four Turkish prisoners, and he has humanely consented to do so. I lose no time, therefore, in sending them back, in order to make as early a return as I can to your late courtesy. These prisoners are liberated without any conditions; but should the circumstance find a place in your recollection, I venture to beg that your Highness will treat such Greeks as may henceforth fall into your hands with humanity, more especially, since the horrors of war are sufficiently great in themselves, without being aggravated by wanton cruelties on either side.

(Signed) NOEL BYRON.”

January 24.—Perpetual rain. Our brigade of artillery commenced their exercise in something like good order, and with a fair prospect of making the necessary progress. We had more offers of recruits than we could accept of. My Lord was busily employed writing letters: he was in bad spirits and temper, the effect of the weather, which kept him within doors, and his health was visibly impaired by the want of active exercise. Some of the Suliotes of those who were in the fray the
day before yesterday left the town for Arta.
Cariascachi set out for Agrafa, to carry on the war, as he said, against the Turks; but we suspected, against Lango his rival, to whom had been given the captainship of a district, which Cariascachi desired to have. The pretensions and jealousies of these two men gave great uneasiness to my Lord. This day we published the first number of our Greek newspaper.

January 25.—My Lord was in better health and spirits. Colonel Stanhope informed Mr. Meyer that unless something was quickly resolved upon respecting the expedition, Byron would take some decisive step, and depart either for Athens or for Cranidi, where the legislative body were assembled. About one o’clock in the afternoon, Mavrocordato came, and announced to my Lord, that at last the expedition was in readiness: he read the
commission which he would be requested to accept. Lord Byron was to have full powers both civil and military; but he was to be accompanied by a military council, composed of the most experienced chieftains, of which
Nota Bozzari was to be the head. He was to have the nomination of his own staff out of the European officers in the Greek service. To myself was to be confided the command of the Suliotes, who were to act immediately under his Lordship’s orders. The number of the troops altogether was to amount to three thousand. Colonel Stanhope thought that my Lord should not accept this commission, but repair to the scene of action, and there direct every thing with his councils, so as to acquire that preponderating influence which he might afterwards employ for the general service of the state. Lord Byron replied, that if he spared neither sacrifices, fatigues, nor dangers, he
should then think himself in the best way of acquiring influence.

January 26.—Captain Yorke, of the English gun-brig Alacrity, came on shore with two officers, and they were presented by Colonel Stanhope to my Lord, who received them with the utmost courtesy. Captain Yorke had orders to demand satisfaction, not only for the prize lately taken under Patras, but also for many previous infractions of the neutrality of the Ionian flag. Byron had long predicted that this would be the case, and had expressed himself surprised at the moderation of the Ionian government, using at the same time every argument to convince the Greeks how much it was their interest to keep on good terms with the European powers, and particularly with the Ionian authorities. It was only a few hours before Captain Yorke’s arrival that he had occasion to answer the petition
of the two Greek captains of privateers, who had taken the boat under Patras, and who endeavoured to persuade my Lord that she was a good prize, sanctioned by the Greek tribunals, and that he ought not to call upon them to relinquish her. Lord Byron instantly returned the following answer:

Lord Byron replies to the subscribers of the petition, that doubtless he feels himself interested in the restoration of the Ionian boat, the Don Giovanni; but that he is so solely for the sake of the Greek government, and of the Greeks themselves, who, unless they comply, will rush headlong into a most dangerous controversy with the Ionian government, and with the English, of which the beginning alone can as yet be seen. Over the decision of the tribunals, Lord Byron has not, nor pretends to have, the slightest influence. The judges and the law must decide according to the code. Lord Byron has confined himself to doing that which is his particular duty, which in this case was to represent to the Greek government the inevitable consequences of their proceedings with respect to the Ionian flag. Lord Byron neither has, nor can have, any personal interest for one side or the other.”


Byron read this letter to Captain Yorke, and convinced him what pains he took to instil into the Greeks a prudent observance of the Ionian neutrality. He then began to joke about his expedition, which, however, he said he was resolved upon undertaking. Captain Yorke said, that he would bring his brig off Lepanto, to give refuge to the fugitives, whether Greeks or Turks. “For Heaven’s sake,” replied Byron, “don’t come; for, if they are sure of a place of safety, all my troops will run away.” He continued some time laughing with Captain Yorke at his intended military command, and observed (alluding to his lameness) that he had one requisite of a general, He, at least, could not run away. The fact is, that although Lord Byron was seriously intent upon the great object of his journey to Greece, and had calmly resolved to accomplish it or to die, yet such was his fear of being taken for an empty
enthusiast, that he lost no opportunity of showing that he was not blind even to what might be called the ridicule of his position; and to prevent others laughing, he indulged his humorous propensities, and began by laughing at himself. He observed to me, “It is odd enough that
Stanhope, the soldier, is all for writing down the Turks; and I, the writer, am all for fighting them down.” Mavrocordato being confined to his bed by a bad cold, Lord Byron accompanied Captain Yorke to his house, and after a long discussion, in which my Lord interpreted between them, the captain positively declared that he could not return without some satisfaction. The price of the merchandise taken in the boat was 400 dollars: the captain said he would take 200 dollars, but he must have them in three hours, otherwise he could not answer for the consequences. The captain and his officers then
retired to breakfast with Lord Byron, and they afterwards amused themselves with him by firing at a mark with pistols. Mavrocordato wrote a letter, protesting against the demands of the captain; but, in order to avoid extremities, promised himself to pay the money in eight days. The delay was refused; Lord Byron offered to pay the money himself, but Captain Yorke would not accept it from him. At last, my Lord secretly contrived to transmit the sum to a secretary of the government, who paid it to the captain, and so finished the affair. This evening there took place between my Lord and Colonel Stanhope that dispute, which the
gentleman who edited the colonel’s letters from Greece has thought proper to make public. It is to be regretted, however, that the narrative closes before the excellent colonel has the opportunity of relating the last words which fell from Lord Byron in this con-
versation. Stanhope accused Lord Byron of being an enemy to the liberty of the press; to which his Lordship replied, “And yet, without my money, where would your Greek newspaper be?”—and he concluded by the sentence already mentioned—“Judge me by my actions, not by my words.”

The colonel could not relish, nor indeed understand Lord Byron’s pleasantry, especially when directed against Mr. Bentham’s political theories: the more his Lordship laughed, the more serious the colonel became; and the discussion seldom ended without a strong reproof, which irritated his Lordship for the moment; but so far from leaving any unfavourable impression, increased his regard for an antagonist of so much truth and sincerity. When parting from him one evening, after a discussion of this nature, Lord Byron went up to him
and exclaimed, “Give me that honest right hand.” Two such men were worthy of being friends, and it is to be lamented that an injudicious partisan of the one should, by a partial detail of their trifling differences, try to raise him at the expense of the other.

January 27.—Nothing particular happened this morning; but at nine in the evening we had a messenger from Mr. Parry—a young Englishman of the name of Humphreys, who had been in Greece before with Colonel Gordon. He told us that the ship Anna, with Mr. Parry and the stores sent by the English Greek committee, was waiting in Ithaca for the orders of Lord Byron and Colonel Stanhope. Our answer was, that we were blockaded in Missolonghi; that he should come to Dragomestri; there he would disembark his stores, and then dismiss his vessel on her
way to Alexandria. We would send him two cannoneers and a hundred soldiers by land, to protect him.

Mr. Humphreys went back with the answer the same night. It seems, the Anna had been detained three weeks at Malta, and ten days at Corfu: what a loss of invaluable time! Byron received this evening many letters from England, all of them full of good news of his affairs and of his friends; this made him in high spirits.

January 28.—The most commodious building in the whole town that we could convert into a military laboratory or arsenal was an old seraglio, which had been allotted for quarters to some of the Suliotes. Since December, the government had promised Colonel Stanhope to give it up to him for the use of Mr. Parry. We had great difficulty in forcing them to keep
their word, for the Suliotes would not quit their quarters; but we insisted, and they gave way. After our business was concluded, we took a ride with my Lord. Since the first day of our arrival, we had been obliged to give up riding through the city gate; for not only the streets were almost impassable, but the gateway was so choked up with mud, that even were it left unguarded, I think the enemy would have had some difficulty in forcing a passage. We had therefore a contrivance to avoid the streets, for we rowed about half a mile in a canoe till we came to where our horses waited for us. A mile from the city was a grove of olives, where the ground was sound enough to allow of our going at a good pace.

My Lord received letters from Ulysses, proposing a congress at Salona, which is only two days’ journey from Lepanto. Ulysses is one of those chieftains, whose adherence
to the national government and the common cause we were aware was of the utmost importance.

January 29.—The Turkish squadron returned into the Gulf; but our Speziot friends were nowhere to be seen; they had gone home; so that although our blockade was at end, our naval force had vanished also.

Mavrocordato spoke to me of the difficulty of uniting the Suliotes into a single body: there were six heads of families amongst them, all of whom had equal pretensions both by their birth and their exploits, and neither of whom would obey either of his comrades. They did not make so much difficulty of obeying a stranger, and consented to act under my orders, as lieutenant to Lord Byron. Our friend Draco declared he would serve as
a common soldier under Lord Byron, but that the honour of his family, unsullied for three hundred years, forbade him to serve under his equals,
Bozzari or Giavella. The rain prevented our riding today. Lord Byron received a letter from Londo, an old friend of his, living at Vostizza, on the Gulf. Londo was one of the principal proprietors in the Morea, at the time of the Turks, when Byron travelled there in 1809. He was one of the first to raise the standard of the cross; and he has always served his countrymen with zeal, valour, and disinterestedness. One of his principal merits is, that he has, more than any other chieftain, contrived to preserve some discipline amongst his troops, and has persuaded them to undergo labours which the Greek soldiers held in especial abhorrence. He was now one of the chief supporters of the legislative body and
of the new national government, which seemed to be making considerable progress in the Morea.

Lord Byron was much gratified by the receipt of the letter from Londo, and talked to me a good deal of his visit to him in 1809: Londo was then lively, and indeed childish; and, to the no small amusement of his household, endeavoured to rival his English guests in several rough games, such as jumping over chairs and tables, in which his long robes much impeded his progress, and added to the laughter of his friends. But, under this almost infantine exterior, he cherished a mature spirit of patriotism, which occasionally burst through the restraints of despotism; and one day whilst playing draughts with Lord Byron, on the name of Riga being pronounced, he leaped from the table, and,
violently clapping his hands, commenced the famous song of that unfortunate patriot—
Sons of the Greeks, arise!
The glorious hour’s gone forth.

Lord Byron answered his letter himself, in the following terms:

“Caro amico,

“Mi è stato gratissimo il vedere i vostri caratteri. La Grecia fu per me sempre, come per tutti gli uomini di qualche sentimento ed educazione, la terra promessa del valore, delle arti e della libertà: e il viaggiare nella mia gioventù fra le sue rovine per certo non aveva rafreddato il mio amore per la patria degli eroi: ma oltre ciò’ io ho verso di voi doveri di amicizia e di riconoscenza per la ospitalità che esercitaste meco durante il mio soggiorno nel paese di cui ora siete di venuto uno dei primi difensori ed ornamenti. Il rivederci servendo la vostra patria al vostro fianco e sotto i vostri occhj sarà per me uno dei momenti più felici della mia vita. Intanto nella fiducia di rivederci quanto prima sono vostro devot.


January 30.—I had a letter from Praidi, telling me that the primates of Anatolico invited my Lord to pay them a visit on next Sunday, the day after to-morrow. Lord Byron accepted the invitation: he wrote some letters, attended to some private business, and afterwards rode out.

January 31.—Mavrocordato paid a long visit to Byron. It must not be supposed that their conversations on all occasions turned on nothing but public affairs: on the contrary, they talked now and then upon general topics, and I remember very well, that one evening when they were together, they had a sort of trial of skill as to their recollection of Turkish history. Mavrocordato is esteemed very accomplished in this particular, and tried Byron on the genealogy of the Ottoman emperors. Wherever there was any difference of opinion, we always found, on re-
ference, that Byron was right: his memory, indeed, was surprisingly accurate. He said “The Turkish history was one of the first books that gave me pleasure when a child; and I believe it had much influence on my subsequent wishes to visit the Levant, and gave, perhaps, the oriental colouring which is observed in my poetry.”

We visited the place chosen for the artillery exercise. From the good order and good conduct which soon became observable in our little corps, we were able to draw very favourable inferences as to the facility of forming a regular Greek army, if we had only means to pay them punctually: but, at this time, such was the distress of the government at Missolonghi, that if Lord Byron had not guaranteed the payment of the expenses necessary for the disembarkation of the stores from on board
the Anna, it would have been impossible to secure the laboratory and the other mechanical supplies, which the committee had sent to us from London. On another occasion, the primates of Missolonghi would not or could not supply Byron’s Suliote brigade with bread; and sent word to him, that if they sent a little good bread for his officers, they could send only bad bread for his men.

We had this day a messenger from Dragomestre, informing us that Mr. Parry was arrived, and was employed in disembarking his stores; an important event for us.