Obrazy na stronie


and proceeded towards Missolonghi. Two acci- long at Missolonghi, before an opportunity predents occurred in this short passage. Count sented itself for showing his sense of Yusuff Pacha's Gamba, who accompanied his lordship from moderation in releasing Count Gamba. Hearing Leghorn, had been charged with the vessel in that there were four Turkish prisoners in the which the horses and part of the money were town, he requested that they might be placed in embarked. When off Chiarenza, a point which his hands. This being immediately granted, he lies between Zante and the place of their desti- sent them to Patras, with a letter addressed to the nation, they were surprised at daylight on finding Turkish chief, expressing his hope that the prithemselves under the bows of a Turkish frigate. soners thenceforward taken on both sides would Owing, however, to the activity displayed on be treated with humanity. This act was followboard Lord Byron's vessel, and her superior ed by another equally praiseworthy, which proved sailing, she escaped, while the other was fired at, | how anxious Lord Byron felt to give a new turn brought to, and carried into Patras. Count to the system of warfare hitherto pursued. A Gamba and his companions being taken before Greek cruiser having captured a Turkish boat, Yusuff Pacha, fully expected to share the fate of in which there was a number of passengers, some unfortunate men whom that sanguinary chiefly women and children, they were also placed chief had sacrificed the preceding year at Pre-in the hands of Lord Byron, at his particular revisa ; and their fears would most probably have quest; upon which a vessel was immediately been realized, had it not been for the presence hired, and the whole of them, to the number of of mind displayed by the count, who, assuming twenty-four, were sent to Previsa, provided with an air of hauteur and indifference, accused the every requisite for their comfort during the pascaptain of the frigate of a scandalous breach of sage. The Turkish governor of Previsa thanked neutrality, in firing at and detaining a vessel his lordship, and assured him, that he would under English colours; and concluded by inform- take care equal attention should be in future ing Yusuff, that he might expect the vengeance shown to the Greeks who might become priof the British government in thus interrupting a nobleman who was merely on his travels, and Another grand olject with Lord Byron, and bound to Calamos. The Turkish chief, on one which he never ceased to forward with the recognising in the master of the vessel a person most anxious solicitude, was to reconcile the who had saved his life in the Black Sea fifteen quarrels of the native chiefs, to make them years before, not only consented to the vessel's friendly and confiding towards one another, and release, but treated the whole of the passengers submissive to the orders of the government. He with the utmost attention, and even urged them had neither time nor opportunity to carry this to take a day's shooting in the neighbourhood. point to any great extent: some good was, how

Owing to contrary winds, Lord Byron's vessel was obliged to take shelter at the Scropes, a clus- Lord Byron landed at Missolonghi animated ter of rocks within a few miles of Missolonghi, with military ardour. After paying the fleet, and while detained here, he was in considerable ; which, indeed, had only come out under the exdanger of being captured by the Turks.

pectation of receiving its arrears from the loan Lord Byron was received at Missolonchi with which he promised to make to the provisional enthusiastic demonstrations of joy. No mark of government, he set about forming a brigade of honour or welcome which the Greeks could devise Suliotes. Five hundred of these, the bravest and was omitted. The ships anchored off the fortress most resolute of the soldiers of Greece, were taken fired a salute as he passed. Prince Mavrocordato, into his pay on the ist of January, 1824. An and all the authorities, with the troops and the expedition against Lepanto was proposed, of which population, met him on his landing, and accom- the command was given to Lord Byron. This expanied him to the house which had been prepareu pedition, however, had to experience delay and for him, amidst the shouts of the multitude and disappointment. The Suliotes

, conceiving that the discharge of cannon.

they had found a patron whose wealth was inexOne of the first objects to which he turned his haustible, and whose generosity was boundless, attention was to mitigate the ferocity with which determined to make the most of the occasion, and the war had been carried on. The very day of proceeded to the most extravagant demands on his lordship's arrival was signalised by his re-their leader for arrears, and under other prescuing a Turk, who had fallen into the hands of tences. These mountainers, untameable in the some Greek sailors. The individual thus saved, field, and unmanageable in a town, were, at this having been clothed by his orders, was kept in moment, peculiarly disposed to be obstinate, the house until an opportunity occurred of send- riotous, and mercenary. They had been chiefly ing him to Patras. Nor had his lordship been instrumental in preserving Missolonghi when be

erer, done.

sieged the previous autumn by the Turks; had into the Seraglio, a place which, before Lord been driven from their abodes; and the whole of Byron's arrival, had been used as a sort of fortheir families were, at this time, in the town, des- tress and barrack for the Suliotes, and out of titute of either home or sufficient supplies. Of which they were ejected with great difficulty for turbulent and reckless character, they kept the the reception of the committee-stores, and for the place in awe ; and Mavrocordato having, unlike occupation of the engineers, who required it for the other captains, no soldiers of his own, was a laboratory. The sentinel on guard ordered glad to find a body of valiant mercenaries, espe- the Suliote to retire, which being a species of mocially if paid for out of the funds of another, tion to which Suliotes are not accustomed, the man and, consequently, was not disposed to treat them carelessly advanced ; upon which the serjeant of with barshness. Within a fortnight after Lord the guard (a German)demanded his business, and Byron's arrival, a burzher refusing to quarter receiving no satisfactory answer, pushed him some Suliotes, who rudely demanded entrance back. These wild warriors, who will dream for into his house, was killed, and a riot ensued, years of a blow if revenge is out of their power, in which some lives were lost. Lord Byron's are not slow to resent even a push. The Suliote impatient spirit could ill brook the delay of a struck again, the serjeant and he closed and favourite scheme, but he saw, with the utmost struggled, when the Suliote drew a pistol from chagrin, that the state of his troops was such as his helt; the serieant wrenched it out of his to render any attempt to lead them out at that hand, and blew the powder out of the pan. At time impracticable.

this moment Captain Sass, a Swede, seeing the The project of proceeding against Lepanto be- fray, came up, and ordered the man to be taken ing thus suspended, at a moment when Lord By- to the guard-room. The Suliote was then dismn's enthusiasm was at its height, and when he posed to depart, and would have done so if the had fully calculated on striking a blow which serjeant would have permitted him. Unfortucould not fail to be of the utmost service to the nately, Captain Sass did not confine himself to Greek cause, the unlooked-for disappointment merely giving the order for his arrest ; for when preyed on his spirits, and produced a degree of the Suliote struggled to get away, Captain Sass irritability which, if it was not the sole cause, drew his sword and struck him with the flat part contributed greatly to a severe fit of epilepsy, of it; whereupon the enraged Greek flew upon with which he was attacked on the 15th of Fe- him, with a pistol in one hand and the sabre in bruary. His lordship was sitting in the apart- the other, and at the same moment nearly cut ment of Colonel Stanhope, talking in a jocular off the Captain's right arm, and shot him through manner with Mr Parry, the engineer, when it the head. Captain Sass, who was remarkable for was observed, from occasional and rapid changes his mild and courageons character, expired in a in his countenance, that he was suffering under few minutes. The Suliote also was a man of dissome strong emotion. On a sudden he complained tinguished bravery. This was a serious affair, of a weakness in one of his legs, and rose, but and great apprehensions were entertained that it finding himself unable to walk, he cried ont for would not end here. The Suliotes refused to surassistance. He then fell into a state of nervons render the man to justice, alleging that he had and convulsive agitation, and was placed on a been struck, which, in Suliote law, justifies all bed. For some minutes his countenance was the consequences which may follow. much distorted. He however quickly recovered In a letter written a few days after Lord Byhis senses, his speech returned, and he soon ap- ron's first attack, to a friend in Zante, he speaks of peared perfectly well, although enfeebled and himself as rapidly recovering. «I am a good deal exhausted by the violence of the struggle. During better," he observes, « though of course weakly. the fit, he behaved with his usual extraordinary The leeches took too much blood from my temfirmness, and his efforts in contending with, and ples the day after, and there was some difficulty attempting to master, the disease, are described in stopping it; but I have been np daily, and not as gigantic. In the course of the month, the in boats or on horseback. To-day I have taken attack was repeated four times; the violence of the a warm bath, and live as temperately as well can disorder, at length, yielded to the remedies which be, without any liquid but water, and without his physicians advised, such as bleeding, cold any animal food. After adverting to some other bathing, perfect relaxation of mind, etc., and he subjects, the letter thus concludes : « Matters are gradually recovered. An accident, however, hap- here a little embroiled with the Suliotes, foreignpened a few days after his first illness, which was ers, etc.; but I still hope better things, and will ill calculated to aid the efforts of his medical ad- stand by the cause as long as my health and cirvisers. A Suliote, accompanied by another man, cumstances will permit me to be supposed useful." and the late Marco Botzaris little boy, walked Notwithstanding Lord Byron's improvement in

health, his friends felt, from the first, that he my assistance. I am a plain man, and cannot comought to try a change of air. Missolonghi is a prehend the use of printing-presses to a people flat, marshy, and pestilential place, and, except who do not read. Here the committee have sent for purposes of utility, never would have been supplies of maps, I suppose, that I may teach the selected for his residence. A gentleman of Zante young mountaineers geography. Here are buglewrote to him early in March, to induce him to horns, without bugle-men, and it is a chance if return to that island for a time. To his letter the we can find any body in Greece to blow them. following answer was received :

Books are sent to a people who want guns: they « I am extremely obliged by your offer of your ask for a sword, and the committee give them country-house, as for all other kindness, in case the lever of a printing-press. Heavens! one my health should require my removal; but I would think the committee meant to inculcate cannot quit Greece while there is a chance of my patience and submission, and to condemn resistbeing of (even supposed) utility. There is a stake ance. Some materials for constructing fortificaworth millions such as I am, and while I can tions they have sent, but they have chosen their stand at all, I must stand by the cause. While people so ill, ihat the work is deserted, and not

say this, I am aware of the difficulties, and dis- one para have they sent to procure other lasensions, and defects of the Greeks themselves : bourers. Their secretary, Mr Bowring, was disbut allowance must be made for them by all rea- posed, I believe, to claim the privilege of an acsonable people.»

quaintance with me. He wrote me a long letter It may be well imagined, after so severe a fit about the classic land of freedom, the birth-place of illness, and that in a great measure brought on of the arts, the cradle of genius, the habitation by the conduct of the troops he had taken into of the gods, the heaven of poets, and a great his pay, and treated with the utmost generosity, many such fine things. I was obliged to answer that Lord Byron was in no humour to pursue his him, and I scrawled some nonsense in reply to scheme against Lepanto, even supposing that his his vonsense; but I fancy I shall get no more state of health had been such as to bear the fa- such epistles. When I came to the conclusion of tigue of a campaign in Greece. The Suliotes, the poetry part of my letter, I wrote, “so much however, showed some signs of repentance, and for blarney, now for business.' I have not since offered to place themselves at his lordship’s dis- heard in the same strain from Mr Bowring.” posal. But still they had an objection to the na- « My future intentions, » continued he, « as to ture of the service : « they would not fight against Greece, may be explained in a few words : I will stone walls ! »

It is not surprising that the ex- remain here till she is secure against the Turks, pedition to Lepanto was no longer thought of. or till she has fallen under their



my The following anecdotes, are taken from Capt. income shall be spent in her service; but, unless Parry's « Last Days of Lord Byron; a work driven by some great necessity, I will not touch which seems from its plain and unvarnished style a farthing of the sum intended for my sister's to bear the impress of truth.

children. Whatever I can accomplish with my In speaking of the Greek Committee one day, income, and my personal exertions, shall be his lordship said — «) conceive that I have been cheerfully done. When Greece is secure against already grossly ill-treated by the committee. In external enemies, I will leave the Greeks to settle Italy, Mr Blaquiere, their agent, informed me their government as they like. One service that every requisite supply would be forwarded more, and an eminent service it will be, I think with all dispatch. I was disposed to come to I may perform for them. You, Parry, shall have Greece, but I hastened my departure in conse- a schooner built for me, or I will buy a vessel ; quence of earnest solicitations. No time was to the Greeks shall invest me with the character of be lost, I was told, and Mr Blaquiere, instead of their ambassador or agent; I will go to the waiting on me at his return from Greece, left a United States, and procure that free and enlightpaltry note, which gave me no information what- ened government to set the example of recognisever. If I ever meet with him, I shall not fail to ing the federation of Greece as an independent mention my surprise at his conduct; but it has state. This done, England must follow the exbeen all of a piece. I wish the acting committee ample, and then the fate of Greece will be perhad had some of the trouble which has fallen on nanently fixed, and she will enter into all her me since my arrival here; they would have been rights, as a member of the great commonwealth more prompt in their proceedings, and would of Christian Europe.» have known better what the country stood in «This,» observes Captain Parry, in his plain peed of. They would not have delayed the sup- and maply manner, « was Lord Byron's hope, plies a day, nor have sent out German officers, and this was to be his last project in favour of poor fellows, to starve at Missolonghi, but for Greece. Into it no motive of personal ambition

Missolonghi in a state of complete security, I could not help giving vent to a feeling of contempt and indignation. 'What is the matter,' said his lordship, appearing to be very serious, 'what makes you so angry, Parry?' 'I am not angry,' I replied, my lord, but somewhat indignant. The Turks, if they were not the most stupid wretches breathing, might take the fort of Vasaladi, by means of two pinnaces, any night they pleased: they have only to approach it with muffled oars; they will not be heard, I will answer for their not being seen; and they may storm it in a few minutes. With eight gun-boats, properly armed with 24-pounders, they might batter both Missolonghi and Anatolica to the ground. And there sits the old gentlewoman, Prince Mavrocordato and his troop, to whom I applied an epithet I will not here repeat, as if they were all perfectly safe. They know their powers of defence are inadequate, and they have no means of improving them. If I were in their place, I should be in a fever at the thought of my own incapacity and ignorance, and I should burn with impatience to attempt the destruction of those stupid Turkish rascals. The Greeks and Turks are opponents worthy, by their imbecility, of each other.' I had scarcely explained myself fully, when his lordship ordered our boat to be

Lord Byron's address was affable and courteous; his manners, when in good humour, and desirous of being well with his guest, were fascinating in the extreme. He was open to a fault-a cha| racteristic probably the result of his fearlessness and independence of the world; but his friends were obliged to be upon their guard with him. He was the worst person in the world to confide a secret to; and if a charge against any one was mentioned to him, it was probably the first communication he made to the person in question. He hated scandal and tittle-tattle, and loved the manly straight-forward course: he would har-placed alongside the other, and actually related bour no doubts, and never live with another with our whole conversation to the prince. In doing suspicions in his bosom. He detested a lie it, however, he took on himself the task of pacifynothing enraged him so much. He had consider- ing both the prince and me, and though I was able tact in detecting untruth; he avoided the at first very angry, and the prince, I believe, timid driveller, and generally chose his com- very much annoyed, he succeeded. Mavrocorpanions among the lovers of sincerity and can- dato afterwards showed no dissatisfaction with dour. People sometimes conceal the truth from me, and I'prized Lord Byron's regard too much, a dread of giving offence; - Lord Byron was to remain long displeased with a proceeding above all fear of this sort: he flinched from telling which was only an unpleasant manner of reprovno one what he thought to his face; falsehood is ing us both.>> not the vice of the powerful the Greek slave lies, the Turkish tyrant is remarkable for his adherence to truth. The anecdote that follows, told by Parry, is highly characteristic:—

When the Turkish fleet was lying off Cape Papa, blockading Missolonghi, I was one day or dered by Lord Byron to accompany him to the mouth of the harbour to inspect the fortifications, in order to make a report on the state they were in. He and I were in his own punt, a little boat which he had, rowed by a boy; and in a large boat, accompanying us, were Prince ! Mavrocordato and his attendants. As I was viewing, on one hand, the Turkish fleet attentively, and reflecting on its powers, and our means of defence; and looking, on the other, at Prince Mavrocordato and his attendants, perfectly unconcerned, smoking their pipes and gossiping, as if Greece were liberated and at peace and

entered, more than that just and proper one, the basis of all virtue, and the distinguished characteristic of an honourable mind--the hope of gaining the approbation of good men. As an author, he had already attained the pinnacle of popularity and of fame; but this did not satisfy his noble ambition. He hastened to Greece, with a devotion to liberty, and a zeal in favour of the oppressed, as pure as ever shone in the bosom of a knight in the purest days of chivalry, to gain the reputation of an unsullied warrior, and of disinterested statesman. He was her unpaid, but the blessings of all Greece, and the high honours his own countrymen bestow on his memory, bearing him in their hearts, prove that he was not her unrewarded champion.❤



On one occasion (which we before slightly alluded to) he had saved twenty-four Turkish women and children from slavery and all its accompanying horrors. I was summoned to attend him and receive his orders, that every thing should be done which might contribute to their comfort. He was seated on a cushion at the upper end of the room, the women and children were standing before him, with their eyes fixed steadily on him; and on his right hand was his interpreter, who was extracting from the women a narrative of their sufferings. One of them, apparently about thirty years of age, possessing great vivacity, and whose manners and dress, though she was then dirty and disfigured, indicated that she was superior in rank and condition to her companions, was spokeswoman for the whole. I admired the good order the others preserved, never interfering with the explanation or

interrupting the single speaker. I also admired | learnt that the whole was a method he had the rapid manner in which the interpreter er adopted to sport with our fears., plained every thing they said, so as to make it « The regiment, or rather the brigade, we almost

appear that there was bat one speaker.- formed, can be described only as Byron hinself After a short time, it was evident that what Lord describes it. There was a Greek tailor, who had Byron was hearing affected his feelings—his been in the British service in the lonian Islands, countenance changed, his colour went and came, where he had married an Italian woman. This and I thought he was ready to weep. But he had lady, knowing something of the military service, on all occasions a ready and peculiar knack in petitioned Lord Byron to appoint her husband turning conversation from any disagreeable or master-tailor of the brigade. The suggestion was unpleasant subject; and he had recourse to this useful, and this part of her petition was immeexpedient. He rose up suddenly, and turning diately granted. At the same time, however, she round on his heel, as was his wont, he said some- solicited that she might be permitted to raise a thing quickly to his interpreter, who immediate-corps of women, to be placed under her orders, ly repeated it to the women. All eyes were in- to accompany the regiment. She stipulated for stantly fixed on me, and one of the party, a free quarters and rations for them, but rejected young and beautiful woman, spoke very warmly. all claim for pay. They were to be free of all Lord Byron seemed satisfied, and said they might incumbrances, and were to wash, sew, cook, and retire. The women all slipped off their shoes in otherwise provide for the men. The proposition an instant, and going up to his lordship, each in pleased Lord Byron, and, stating the matter to me, succession, accompanied by their children, kissed he said he hoped I should have no objection. I his hand fervently, invoked, in the Turkish man- had been accustomed to see women accompany ner, a blessing both on his head and heart, and the English army, and I knew that, though somethen quitted the room. This was too much for times an incumbrance, they were on the whole Lord Byron, and he turned his face away to con- more beneficial than otherwise. In Greece there ceal his emotion.»

were many circumstances which would make « One of Lord Byron's household had several their services extremely valuable, and I gave my times involved himself and his master in per- consent to the measure.

The tailor's wife did plexity and trouble, by his unrestrained attach- accordingly recruit a considerable number of ment to women. In Greece this had been very unincumbered women, of almost all nations, but annoying, and induced Lord Byron to think of a principally Greeks, Italians, Maltese, and Nemeans of curing it. A young Suliote of the guard gresses. “I was afraid,' said Lord Byron, “when was accordingly dressed up like a woman, and I mentioned this matter to you, you would be instructed to place himself in the way of the crusty, and oppose it, -it is the very thing. Let amorous swain. The bait took, and after some me see, my corps outdoes Falstaff's : there are communication, but rather by signs than by English, Germans, French, Maltese, Ragusians, words, for the pair did not understand each Italians, Neapolitans, Transylvanians, Russians, other's language, the sham lady was carefully Suliotes, Moreotes, and Western Greeks in front, conducted by the gallant to one of Lord Byron's and, to bring up the rear, the tailor's wife and apartments. Here the couple were surprised by her troop. Glorious Apollo! no geveral had ever an enraged Suliote, a husband provided for the before such an army.'» occasion, accompanied by half a dozen of his « Lord Byron had a black groom with him in comrades, whose presence and threats terrified Greece, an American by birth, to whom he was the poor lacquey almost out of his senses. The very partial. He always insisted on this man's noise of course brought Lord Byron to the spot, calling him Massa, whenever he spoke to him. to laugh at the tricked serving-inan, and rescue Oo one occasion, the groom met with two women him from the effects of his terror.”

of his own complexion, wbo had been slaves to « A few days after the earthquake, which took the Turks and liberated, but had been left alplace on the 21st of February, as we were all sit- most to starve when the Greeks had risen on ting at table in the evening, we were suddenly their tyrants. Being of the same colour was a alarmed by a noise and a shaking of the house, bond of sympathy between them and the groom, somewhat similar to that which we had experi- and he applied to me to give both these women enced when the earthquake occurred. Of course quarters in the Seraglio. I granted the appliall started from their places, and there was the cation, and mentioned it to Lord Byron, who same kind of confusion as on the former evening, laughed at the gallantry of his groom, and orat which Byron, who was present, laughed im- dered that he should be brought before him at moderately; we were re-assured by this, and soon ten o'clock the next day, to answer for his pre

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