nearly three times the sum estimated by the officers of the Porte. But here again a difficulty occurred. Hamed Bey had provided the payment in Turkish piastres, a miserably debased coin. Had these been accepted, so vast a sum carried into the Ionian Islands would at once have so depreciated the value, as to cause a very considerable loss to the Parganotes, and detriment to the money circulation of the Ionian republic. The voluntary liberality of Hamed Bey, however, smoothed this point of difficulty, and at the expense of 33,000 dollars he procured from Constantinople Spanish andImperial dollars to the whole amount.

The moment this indemnity was received, the result was publicly proclaimed in specific terms; every inhabitant was explicitly informed of the sum he was to receive, of the amount of the valuation originally made of his respective property, and the diminution in consequence of the subsequent arrangements: and every one was again distinctly told that it was entirely at his own option either to remove or stay. To prevent any mistake, each received a ticket, stating the amount of his individual share; and the result of the whole proceeding was, that, instead of making any objections to the fairness of the valuation, the Parganotes all expressed their satisfaction at what had been done for them, in the strongest and most unequivocal manner; as that excellent officer, Lieut. Colonel Gubbins, their civil governor, who had no small shave of trouble on the occasion, will, we are quite sure, be ready to testify.

We should have added that, on the delivery of the tickets, each individual was again informed, that he was still perfectly at liberty to remain, or to accept what had been considered as a fair equivalent for the property which he was about to leave.* They had all, however, made up their minds to quit the place, except one family; and they quitted it accordingly: one of the primates returned the following day, and was kindly received by Hamed Bey, and also by Ali Pasha, who visited the place three days after its evacuation.

On the arrival of the Parganotes at Corfu, it was settled with the Ionian government, that they should be at once, by an act of the legislature, acknowledged as naturalized subjects, and indulged in their anxious wish to follow the fate of the Ionian Islands;' giving them, at the same time, permission to settle in any of the Seven without the least restriction on their free agency, other than the obligation imposed on each individual, that, having once made his

Hamed Bey made known by public proclamation the sentiments of the Porte on this occasion. I engage,' says he, on behalf of the Sublime Porte, that all those, who from attachment to their beloved country, may remain behind, shall enjoy liberty of every kind, and every thing which regards their religion, without hindrance or molestation, together with every security, and in the most profound tranquillity in all that coucerus their condition, their honour, and the respect dre each,'


choice, he should declare it to the local government of that island on which he had resolved to reside.

Every disposition was manifested on the part of the general (now Lord High Commissioner) to make the situation of the Parganotes comfortable. He offered them lands; to build them a church, a market-place, a court-house, and such other public buildings as might be necessary; to grant the lands on one spot, if they chose it, on which they might erect a Parga nova; and he endeavoured, by many other kind offices, to convince them of the deep interest which His Majesty's government had invariably felt for their present comfort, and their ultimate and permanent advantage. The large sums of money, which many of the families had received, enabled them to enter on a more extensive scale of trade than they had hitherto been able to exercise while cooped up in Parga : some fixed themselves in small shops; others had recourse to the carrying trade and to fishing, and few or no complaints were heard among them.

The mischief however, that had been hatching, shortly manifested itself. An account of the speech of Sir Charles Monck, in which all their grievances were stated, with many others of which they had never dreamt, reached Corfu; and we need hardly observe that, however satisfied people in their situation might be, it would be too much to expect they should remain so, or continue to think themselves well treated, when they found persons of distinction in the parliament of Great Britain roundly asserting the contrary, and not only deprecating their lot, but wantonly abusing the government for its cruelty and injustice towards them.*

Without affecting the puling cant of humanity, (so fashionable at the present day,) we can feel what it is for a whole people to abandon a spot to which they had long been riveted by habit, by affection, by the recollection of pleasures and enjoyments of which they are called upon for ever to take leave-to fly from a country endeared by those early ties, and numerous associations which every hill and rock and rivulet has power to awaken-and to leave behind those roofs which have been the scene of the strongest passions which agitate the human mind—these, in truth, are no slight evils; but when imperious necessity demands the sacrifice, and when

* When publications in England and in France teem with misrepresentations in their behalf, tending to persuade them of the bad conduct of the British government and of its officers, it can be no matter of surprize that so shrewd a people should be tempted to fabricate new claims and to set up the most exaggerated pretensions. It would be well, however, for the Parganotes, to consider whether the officious meddling of their hotheaded partizans is likely to dispose those, who alone can benefit them, to continue to act in their favour. At all events we are quite sure that the arrogant and bullying tone assumed by M. Duval is not likely to produce that end. Every page of this rancorous pamphlet (which we have reason to believe was manufactured in London) contains a falsehood which the next page frequently detects.

1 3


every possible assistance is given to alleviate the less, and to ward off the greater calamity, generosity as well as justice should prevent them from calumniating their benefactors. In justice to the Parganotes, however, it must be added that they were at least resigned to their fate, until they learned the clamour that was raised in their behalf.

After all that has happened, it must be confessed that we are a singular people. The mist through which we look at distant objects has often a wonderful effect in distorting their shape and enlarging their dimensions; and the same things which occur at home without creating an unusual sensation, may fill us with horror if the Atlantic or the Indian ocean chance to roll between. Recent events might furnish more than one striking example of this anomaly, had we leisure to pursue the subject; but we are straitened for time, and our decreasing limits warn us to hasten to a conclusion,

At any rate the degree of compassion which has been excited for the Parganotes is extravagant. If we compare the full and prompt indemnity procured for them, with the slow and scanty pittance granted to that numerous body of American loyalists, to whom we were pledged by every tie that ancient connection and recent devotion and attachment could enforce, we shall find that the balance, we will not say of justice, but of liberality, will preponderate considerably in favour of the former, Of the Americans, many of those, we fear, whose small properties were swept away by the issue of that disastrous contest, received no compensation for their losses, while the very meanest of the Parganotes received the full value of all that he possessed.


What indemnification was granted, we would ask, or what stipulations were made in favour of the great proprietors of any of the French West India islands ceded at the treaty of Amiens? In what did we interfere to secure either the persons or properties of the numerous French landholders who adhered to their sovereign or his cause, from the tyranny of Buonaparte? But leaving this, we would gladly learn in what Treaty, for a cession of territory, made by any of the powers of Europe, was any other favourable condition ever granted to the inhabitants of that territory, except that of settling a term, within which those who either belonged to it or were attached to the power who ceded it, should have a right to dispose of their property in the best manner they were able.

Parga alone offers an honourable exemption from this rule; and the paying to the inhabitants the absolute value of the property which they voluntarily relinquished, within the short space of four months, in which all their litigations, conflicting titles, and nume rous claims of great variety and complexity were adjusted, does no


less credit to the active and impartial interference of the British government, than to its disinterested consideration for those who confided in its justice and power.

Here then we pause-happy in being enabled, at the close, for the gratification of those ex-official agents who profess to have the interests of the Parganotes so deeply at heart, to lay before them the concluding paragraph of a letter which we have just received from Corfu :


'We perceive, by Sir Charles Monck's speech, that there are 4,000 Parganotes (high-minded Parganotes, but, in truth, very great rogues), actually starving in some of those islands: there never were more than 2700 of these people, and they are almost all here, very fat, well fed, and rich. They own that their property has been disposed of most advantageously; and their ready money, in a country where it is very scarce, enables them to strut and domineer, and to take a very considerable share of the little trade, which the Corfiotes enjoyed, out of their hands; the latter, of course, are discontented, but the Parganotes laugh at every body, and absolutely chuckle at the labours of their zealous advocates in England.'

We cannot dismiss the subject, however, without exhibiting one brief specimen of that extraordinary system of delusion with which the public feelings have been abused on this occasion. We quote the moving spectacle entire from the Edinburgh Review.—' Mark now, how I will raise the waters!-Launcelot.

'As soon as this notice was given, every family marched solemnly out of its dwelling, without tears or lamentations; and the men, preceded by their priests, and followed by their sons, proceeded to the sepulchres of their fathers, and silently unearthed and collected their remains, which they placed upon a huge pile of wood which they had previously erected before one of their churches. They then took their arms in their hands, and, setting fire to the pile, stood motionless and silent around it, till the whole was consumed. During this melancholy ceremony, some of Ali's troops, impatient for possession, approached the gates of the town; upon which a deputation of the citizens was sent to inform our governor, that if a single infidel was admitted before the remains of their ancestors were secured from profanation, and they themselves, with their families, fairly embarked, they would all instantly put to death their wives and children,-and die with their arms in their hands, and not without a bloody revenge on those who had bought and sold their country. Such a remonstrance, at such a moment, was felt and respected, as it ought by those to whom it was addressed. General Adam succeeded in stopping the march of the Mussulmans. The pile burnt out-and the people embarked in silence;and Free and Christian Parga is now a stronghold of ruffians, renegadoes, and slaves!'-No. LXIV. p. 293.

[ocr errors]

Such is the affecting and heart-rending scene, which is represented to have closed what the writer is pleased to call the tragedy




of Parga!'—with what deep pathos it is expressed! how appropriate the machinery! how admirable the grouping!-and if one circumstance had not been wanting, the drama would have been quite perfect:-To M. Duval, to the ex-official agents of the Parganotes, and to those who have been concerned in getting up this afflicting catastrophe, the circumstance we allude to may not be considered of much importance-it is simply this: THAT THERE IS


AND THAT THE WHOLE IS A FABRICATION. Yes, gentle reader! The families marching out-the priests preceding-the sons following the procession to the sepulchres-the disinterment of the bones-the huge pyre of wood-the firing of it in solemn silence -the troops of Ali, and the deputation of the citizens—the threat of putting to death their wives and children, and dying with arms in their hands-the success of General Adam in stopping the march of the Mussulmans-the burning out of the pile-and the silent embarkation ALL, ALL THIS MACHINERY AND EVERY PART OF IT, we most positively and unequivocally assert,-and pledge ourselves for the truth of the assertion,-to be an absolute and positive falsehood: and we do not hesitate to appeal, for the truth of our statement, to Major General Sir Frederick Adam, and to Lieut. Colonel Gubbins, who delivered up the place; the latter of whom had been eight months commandant of the garrison and civil governor of the town, and remained in Parga three days after its occupation by the Turkish troops.

Nothing but a determined and premeditated spirit of malevolence could have fabricated a story so utterly destitute of truth. Whether it was wholly imagined, or built on some trifling circumstance, is not material to inquire; but, in either case, it fur nishes a criterion by which we may estimate the value of all the other calumnies which have gone forth on this subject. In the statement now submitted to our readers, we are not aware that we have omitted any part of the case, suppressed any fact, or misrepresented any circumstance respecting the restoration of a place, which has been so unworthily raised into importance, and so mischievously thrust forward into public notice.

ART. VI.—Ἑλληνικὴ Βιβλιοθήκη. With Observations relating to the modern Greek Language. By M. Coray. 8 vols. 8vo. Paris.



N comparing the languages of Ancient and Modern Greece, we observe that a very large class of words belonging to the former, is to be found also in the Romaic tongue; and in pursuing our investigation, we discover that various terms and phrases which have


« VorigeDoorgaan »