LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Journal of a Visit to Greece
Chapter VI

Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
‣ Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
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The Greeks, now freed from all apprehension of immediate danger from internal foes, seemed resolved to lose no time in reverting, with increased ardour, to their former dissensions. Londos had had conferences with Ulysses, but he did not embrace their party. The Suliotes had also made him an offer to place themselves under his command; but Ulysses distrusted their unmanageable character, and the constant bickerings and jealousies of their numerous petty captains; besides which, in an evil hour, following the impulse of revenge, he was now enleagued with the Turks.

Londos published, at Messolunghi, a long proclamation against the Government. He was
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popular with the soldiers, whom he always paid: he was clever, active, and ambitious, but a man of debauched habits.
Zaimi was also popular in his province of Calabrita, and bore a high character throughout Greece. Goura was admitted in the league. The Suliotes, at Salona, were first engaged to join the disaffected. The faction of the Colocotronists acted in concert, together with Notara and Sessini, and the province of Arcadia was in open revolt: but the Government, on their side, were not idle. Vasili Danzley, a Suliote captain, appeared at Napoli, speaking openly of the two parties, and inclining rather to the disaffected. He was gained over by the Government, and dispatched to Salona to ensure the fidelity of the Suliote captains. The Bey of Maina remained neutral.

The captains of Western Greece took no part in the dissensions of the Morea, and were, besides, sufficiently occupied with their own. Zongas, the most powerful, was a good patriot,
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always active against the Turks, and without either talent or inclination for politics.
Pappa Flescia was sent to quell the insurrection in Arcadia, and enforce payment of the revenues due from that province; but with insufficient forces, and was obliged to retire on Tripolizza. The troops that had been stationed at Hydra were recalled, and Coletti, at the head of about 4000 men, marched against the Arcadians. Panno Colocotroni, advancing on Tripolizza, was attacked by a Bulgarian captain, and slain. Coliopulo withdrew from Patras, and marched towards Tripolizza, and was soon followed by Costa Botzari, though with no intention of engaging in hostilities on either side. The Turkish garrison at Patras, amounting to about 3000 men, under the command of Youseph Pacha, taking advantage of the troops being withdrawn, made extensive sorties, ravaging the country, and making large prizes in flocks and cattle; and advanced till within two miles of
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Sessini’s eldest son, General Crysantho, remained alone at the camp, where we had only 300 soldiers; and that was the only Greek force, at this moment, opposed to the Turks. A party of seventy Greeks were surprised, and cut up by the Turkish cavalry, twelve only escaping. Sessini’s second son joined Zaimi with 200 men. Sessini intended to proceed himself to Tripolizza, with a view to mediate. A general congress was proposed, and many earnestly desired the protection of a foreign power, and to ask the assistance of England. Londos, with Notara, had advanced on Argos, where Goura was to join them from Athens, Zaimi and Colocotroni remaining near Calabrita: but here the death-blow to their party was prepared. Sophionopulo, Goura’s secretary and counsellor, had been bought over by the Government; and, though not from any right feeling, persuaded Goura that it was the moment to gain celebrity and great reputation, by espousing the Govern-
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ment, and turning the tide in their favour; and, on the advance of Goura, Londos found, in the expected reinforcement, a formidable foe. Completely disconcerted, they made but a slight resistance. After one engagement with Goura, in which he lost sixty men, the Notaras were the first to yield, and Londos and Zaimi fled with precipitation. Coletti, on his side, had been completely successful; all resistance had been overpowered, and the revolted provinces laid under contribution. The Suliotes, from Salona, had disembarked at Vostizza, Londos’ chief town, and joined Goura, who marched rapidly through the Morea without further opposition, devastating and plundering on every side.
Niketas, with twenty followers, arrived at night at Gastouni, in the month of January; informed Sessini of their defeat, who fled the next morning with the prefect, at the moment that some of Goura’s men entered the town, and crossed over to Zante. Zaimi, Londos, and Niketas, em-
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barked for Roumelia. Gastouni was entered by Goura as an enemy’s conquered town; my residence, and that of
Doctor Tyndall, another Englishman residing in the town, being alone respected; because we were born in that country of which men are, not without reason, proud to be natives. Crysantho Sessini remained at the camp, but was summoned to surrender, and sent under an escort to Napoli.

Here there was one desirable object attained; the power of both the military chiefs and primates was broken: the next object was to find rulers to replace them, who would act with more unanimity and patriotism, and govern with less extortion and rapacity. These, however, were wanting; yet in the state of the country, they were indispensably requisite; and from the want of them the fabric, as though unhinged, became more disordered and more unmanageable than ever. An implacable hatred was now rooted between the Roumeliots, and Moreots. The
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Roumeliots conducted themselves with the licentiousness of a conquering army, while they hated the Moreots, considering that they were indebted to them, as was the case, for protecting their country from invasion, while their own was solely exposed to the ravages of the war: in addition to which, they bore in mind that when their families had sought refuge in the Morea, they were not only inhospitably received, but had often been ill treated and plundered. At a distance, the state of Greece exhibited a favourable and promising aspect;—resources to repulse a powerful and numerous enemy, and a firm and decided Government; but scarcely anything had been really attempted by them against the Turks, while the country was internally a prey to discontent and disunion; and the administration of the Government had excited the fear and distrust of the people, rather than their confidence and good-will. The loan of 800,000l. was nearly exhausted, their fortresses were in no
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better state of defence, their troops no better paid or disciplined, nor the state of their revenues improved. Peculation was notoriously practised by almost every one in office, and few of them capacitated to discharge their functions. According to the constitution, the members of the Government were to be annually chosen; but, as long as their finances continued flourishing, the re-election of the then existing members, or of those they chose to appoint, was now ensured. A brother of the vice-president
Botazi had succeeded him on his death. Constantine Mavromichalis a brother of the Bey of Maina, and Speliotachi a Moreot, had succeeded to the vacant posts; and, with Coletti and the president Conduriotti, composed the five members of the Executive. A nephew of General Notara was president of the legislative body. It had been for some time proposed to form an aristocratic Government, something similar to the Council of Ten, of Venice, of which Conduriotti
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was to be perpetual president, and the legislative body to be abolished.
Goura, among others, had given his assent to this measure. The Hydriots were assuming great influence, and were appointed to the chief commands throughout the country.

Colocotroni, on the defeat of his party, overpowered and deserted by his brother-in-law, Coliopulo, with Degliani, surrendered himself at Napoli, and, with Notara and his son, they were sent state prisoners to Hydra. Colocotroni said to the people on embarking, “You are already once indebted to me for saving our country from the enemy; when it is endangered, I shall be recalled to do so again!” Sessini, after leaving Zante, first landed in Maina, and then proceeding to Napoli with his son Crysantho, shared the same fate. They were confined in a monastery at Hydra, and treated with wanton insult. Zaimi and Londos found a short asylum ct Calamo, and afterwards wandered about in Rou-
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Niketas joined Zongas, and was left unmolested at Messolunghi. Being from his liberality always without money, the Roumeliot captains generously offered him by subscription 20,000 piastres, which he as nobly refused: such acts reflect honour on a nation. During the siege of Messolunghi, when the town was in great danger, Ipsilanti, at a time when his finances were at a very low ebb, gave an entertainment, and at it proposed a subscription for the relief of the town, giving himself a sum of money and his plate. His noble example was seconded by Niketas, and the amount was sent to Mavrocordato.

In February, Goura was hastily recalled from the Morea, as Ulysses, now acting openly with the Turks, was advancing on Athens at the head of a body of Turkish cavalry. He sent an address to the Athenians, declaring, he directed his vengeance against the Morea, not
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against them; but they prepared to oppose him, and Ulysses did not hazard an attack.

Great preparations were now talked of for the siege of Patras, and in both Eastern and Western Greece offensive operations were to be carried on.

Constantine Metana was commissioned to arrange a commissariat for the troops by land, and collect the revenues of the province of Gastouni, and was almost the only person of sufficient integrity to be intrusted with a charge so liable to be abused. A Greek squadron had arrived off Messolunghi to form the blockade at Patras, the acknowledgment of which by the English gave great satisfaction. There is not a mountain village in all Greece where the name of an Englishman does not command peculiar deference and attention; but that is not confined merely to Greece; and it is a proud feeling for a Briton to find that birthright alone gives him a privilege above all others; and it must be a proud feeling for our present statesman, to whom
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England owes so much of her present elevation: she now stands the bulwark of the liberties of mankind, the guardian of the oppressed, and the barrier to the turbulent and licentious.

In the civil dissensions of the Greeks, a foreigner could have no concern. I now went to Napoli, and obtained a brevet for fifty men; but, through Mavrocordato’s opposition, it was accorded with great reluctance. I then received orders to join the Suliotes at the camp of Patras; a regulation having been made for the payment of the captains every three months; but the Greek Government are bad paymasters. The regulars now amounted to 300 men, well-appointed in drummers, eternally practising about the streets. A company of artillery had been formed by Emanuel Kalergi, chiefly at his own expense; but the matériel destined for the siege of Patras consisted only of two mortars, destitute of shells, and four sixteen-pounders, without balls; those collected having been taken for the service
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of the fleet. The medical branch of the service was not in a more advanced state; but the President intending to take the field in person, a young Englishman,
Dr. Millingen, who had established and carried on a dispensary at Messolunghi with great ability, and an American, Dr. Howe, received appointments. Most of the Greeks who had studied medicine, from the superiority of education, had found their advantage in discarding the Æsculapian art for the diplomatique. Several foreigners had arrived at Napoli: a Scotchman, Mr. Mason, who devoted himself, as civilian, with great enthusiasm to their cause; Count Santa Rosa, and the Major Collegno, a Piedmontese officer of distinguished merit, who was nominated Άρχιμηχανιχος (chief engineer). A second loan of 2,000,000l. was prepared for the Greeks in England, and raised fresh expectations and hopes.