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Parga', was literally transferred by her own father to an officer, who, after a certain period, returned her to his care with the sum of 500 dollars for the usufruct.
The women of Parga are handsome,' and, as far as the bust goes, finely shaped; but the whole figure is short, clumsy and ill put together; the men are well made, active, but not 'industrious.' Both sexes are good-humoured and have a winning address. When our troops first entered the town, men, women, and children turned out to greet them; but the story of the inhabitants receiving them ' under arms' is untrue.
We have not made these observations for the sake of detraction, but in the spirit of truth, and for the detection of imposture. The vices of the Parganotes are no more necessary to be held forth than their virtues, in vindication of the measures which have been pursued with regard to them; but they require to be mentioned in order to expose that system of deception which has been practised with such successful assiduity, not only in England, but over the whole continent of Europe, to the prejudice of the honour and character of the British nation; and which M. Duval has the audacity to quote and enforce as a proof, which must be added to so many others, of its Machiavelism, avarice, and perfidy.' Had the English officers adopted the same atrocious means of getting rid of the Parganotes, which an infamous French colonel did with regard to the unfortunate Albanians, who had fled for protection to the island of Cerigo, then under his command, by poisoning the wells,* M. Duval might have transferred a share of French perfidy' to Englishmen :-but the libel to which this Member of the Royal Institute' has lent his name is every way worthy of its patron.
But the person to whom the Parganotes were to be delivered affords to their advocates so grand a display of eloquence on crosses and crescents, Christianity and Mahommedanism, that one would think nothing short of another crusade was on the eve of being undertaken against the infidel Albanians for the restoration of 'Christian Parga.' Ali Pasha, under whose immediate government Parga is situated, whom the Parganotes have frequently insulted and irritated, and of whom, therefore, they stand naturally in awe, has been described as a monster of cruelty. We have no desire or intention to come forward as his champions; but be the means what they may, which he has employed to acquire the ascendancy that he now enjoys, he has certainly succeeded in bringing into
* I was under the necessity,' says this wretch, whose name was Pocris, of poisoning their wells, which destroyed numbers of them; this alarming and unexpected event obliged the remainder to fly'-and for what did he resort to this horrible deed? because 'their abode in this island is likely to produce some discussions with our neighbours of European Turkey.'-Quart. Rev. No. VI.
complete order a very important tract of country, which was little more than one vast den of robbers; and, as Gibbon remarks, "though within sight of Italy, less known than the interior of America: a country which, before the pashalic of Ali, no traveller could pass through with the slightest probability of escaping from robbery or murder, or both; but in which there is now more facility, and a greater safety in travelling, with better accommodation, than in any other part of the Mahommedan empire. We are told by a traveller, who is not sparing in the exhibition of the Pasha's numerous crimes, that, by his vigorous measures, he has rendered those parts of the country perfectly accessible that were before overrun by robbers, and bettered the condition of his subjects; that he has built bridges over the rivers, raised causeways across the marshes, laid out frequent roads, adorned the country and the towns with new buildings, and by many wholesome regulations has acted the part of a good and great prince.* To the same effect we have the testimony of Doctor Holland, who resided at his court for some time, and attended him in a medical capacity; from him we learn that Ioannina is the residence of the most valuable part of the population of Greece, the wealthiest of their merchants, the most respectable of their tradesmen: there (he says) are to be found the best society, the men of learning and science-in short, it appears that the capital of Ali Pasha is as much superior to modern Athens, as London is to Dublin or Edinburgh. Whether the Greeks bear any affection to their Turkish ruler we cannot take upon ourselves to determine; but they are always glad to betake themselves to his dominions, as being more certain of protection there than elsewhere; and why the Parganotes do not choose to trust to that protection is best known to themselves.
But however indefensible the conduct of this chief may have been on many occasions, we are not sure that it is either advantageous to our interests, or (what is more important) to those of the people whom he rules by delegation, that we, in England, should invidiously inquire into all the circumstances of his life, and exhibit his character in the most odious colours, while most of his accusers have been supplied with all their knowledge, and gained all their information, from the extended civilization which he has effected, and from the personal civility which they have received at his hands. To this reprehensible conduct Lord Byron is no party. I have,' says his lordship, no complaint to make, but am indebted for many civilities, (I might almost say for friendship,) and much hospitality, to Ali Pasha.'
It was not, however, with Ali Pasha that the negociations respecting Parga were conducted, nor to Ali Pasha that it was to be surrendered. The whole arrangement was made, as we have already stated, by our ambassador at Constantinople. The compensation was to be paid by, and the place delivered up to, the Ottoman Porte; nor was Ali Pasha even consulted until regularly deputed by the Sultan to take possession of the place and to pay the stipulated indemnity.
But the mode in which this arrangement was carried into execution is made another ground of complaint: we shall shew, however, that it was marked throughout by a spirit of justice and fair dealing towards both parties, and of humane consideration towards the unfortunate Parganotes, (for so they may be deemed, though the alternative so much deplored was of their own choice,) such as became the character of a powerful and generous nation.
As soon as the negociations for giving up Parga were concluded at Constantinople, the Sultan appointed Hadji Khan Hamed Bey his commissioner to take possession of the place, and at the same time to deliver his accession to the treaty, relative to the Ionian Islands. To meet this commissioner, and to arrange matters respecting the valuation of the property, General Maitland nominated Mr. Cartwright, (then British consul at Patras and now consul-general at Constantinople,) as a person who, from his habits of business and his official situation, appeared to be the best qualified for the delicate and difficult task of steering between two conflicting and dissatisfied parties. Mr. Cartwright proceeded to Ioannina, whence Hamed Bey had written to announce his arrival. To give confidence to the Parganotes, on the approach of the commissioners, the Commander in Chief of the Ionian Islands thought fit to reinforce the garrison to three hundred men, and to appoint at the same time Lieutenant-Colonel de Bosset commandant of the place;―a most unfortunate appointment! as it proved the immediate source of all the clamour which has been excited against Great Britain. The weakness of this officer's intellects, which is abundantly conspicuous in every part of his silly book, is a poor excuse for the mischief it occasioned; and a still poorer one for the libel which a sense of decency should have prevented him from publishing on the British government and his brother-officers. That he should give vent to his spleen against Sir Thomas Maitland does not surprise us, as the general soon found it absolutely necessary to remove him from his command. But leaving this; we must observe that Colonel de Bosset's statement with regard to Parga, and especially the share which he assigns (whether through malice, or ignorance, we care not) to Ali Pasha, is utterly
VOL. XXIII. NO. XLV,
destitute of foundation, and at variance with all the facts of the
Without entering into a detailed refutation of this blundering foreigner's representation, and his total misconception of the relation in which Parga stood with regard to Great Britain, it may be sufficient to observe on his conduct that, from the moment he entered Parga, he seems to have kept the inhabitants in a constant state of ferment by encouraging the idea of their being unconditionally given up to Ali Pasha; and while Sir Thomas Maitland, through Commissioner Cartwright, had definitively arranged with Hamed Bey, the Commissioner of the Porte at Ioannina, that the place should not be ceded on any consideration, until the full indemnity for every one's property had actually been received, Colonel de Bosset appears to have countenanced the most idle and absurd reports, one day taking depositions of certain Parganotes that Ali Pasha was on the frontier; another, that he was assembling an army; another, collecting gunpowder, &c.; while he was quietly residing at Ioannina: so haunted indeed was this officer with the idea of the Pasha's atrocities, that he took it at last into his head that he had formed a plan to poison the bread and water destined for the use of the garrison! While these unfounded alarms were perpetually renewed by his credulity among the poor people of Parga, it could surprise no one but Lieut. Colonel de Bosset that they ceased from following their usual occupations. In fact, he appears to have shared the alarm which he had created, so far that, when the two commissioners arrived on the frontier of Parga, though he had upwards of 300 English soldiers under his command, besides the brave Parganotes, who,' according to his own statement, 'were able to defend themselves against the whole power of Ali Pasha,' he was actually so terrified at the idea of Hamed Bey and his forty unarmed followers, that he first refused to admit them, and afterwards endeavoured to throw every impediment in the way of their proceeding to the business on which they were specially sent. His officious and unauthorized interference, hampering them in the execution of their duties, produced on the minds of both the commissioners so strong a feeling of disgust, that General Maitland was compelled, as we have seen, to supersede him in the command of the place. Hamed Bey, indeed, distinctly stated that, on calling the inhabitants before him, he found the determination of the whole of them to remove had been brought about by the efforts and intrigues of this officer. The cession was thus delayed for a whole year, as Hamed Bey, not prepared for such an event, had to send for fresh instructions to Constantinople.
Displeased as we understand the Sultan was with this unnecessary waste of time, he was at length persuaded to let the whole property
of Parga be valued, and to consent to pay the compensation :-but here again a source of mischief was discovered arising out of the imbecility and indiscretion of Lieut. Colonel de Bosset. Mr. Cartwright, while at Ioannina, had written to this officer (of whom he knew nothing but his rank) to give him privately some idea of what might be the whole value of the fixed property of Parga; and how did the colonel set about this confidential and delicate commission? Just as might be expected: he employed the Parganotes themselves to draw up an estimate of the amount of their own property! which, as might have been foretold, was nearly thrice as much as it was worth. Can it then occasion any surprize that, on finding the real valuation fall so far short of that which they themselves had given in, the Parganotes should feel or affect considerable dissatisfaction, and raise an outcry against the proceedings of the commissioners?
The persons appointed by the General to make the valuation on the part of the Parganotes were four gentlemen of respectability on the island of Corfu. With singular care, and after long and continued labour, they took an accurate schedule of the property of every individual within the territory, on which they put the same value that a similar property would be worth on that island. They found the number of houses and cottages to amount to 852, and the number of inhabitants, men, women and children, to 2700, of which 200 were Albanians;* the number of olive-trees was 80,447; of wild olives, 9,486; of orange and citron-trees, 23,082; of other fruit trees, 13,012; and of Valonia oaks, 513; besides vineyards and cultivable grounds, all of which were measured. The value of this property, which the Parganotes had stated at 500,000l., was estimated by the Corfu commissioners at 280,000l.; but by those on the part of the Sultan at 56,7567. only.
Here then the two parties were again at issue, though not so much as might appear at first sight; the Corfu commissioners having fixed the value as if the property had been at Corfu, and without any deduction for prompt cash payment; the first of which, it seems, admits of an abatement of one-third part by the rule in force even under the Venetian government, and the latter, of one-fourth. These deductions therefore would reduce their valuation to about 140,000l.
Still, however, the difference was so great between the two valuations as to leave little hopes of coming to any speedy adjustment; but the perseverance of Sir Thomas Maitland finally succeeded in obtaining for the Parganotes 150,000/, (666,000 dollars,)
'Parga contained a population of about five thousand souls !-Edinburgh Review. This is of a piece with all the rest.