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accept it, and all his high qualities were now enhanced by the reputation of unexampled self-denial and disinterestedness.
In a short time, however, the real character of the man began to appear. He abolished the popular form of Government, and nominated a Council called Panhellenium, which was the mere creature of his will. The contributions he received from Russia and France were all expended in buying up and retaining agents to promote his despotic plans: all the Constitutionalists, who had periled life and limb in the storm of the Revolution, were dismissed from his confidence: Mavrocordato, Tricoupi, and others, were driven from the situations of trust which they had filled; a host of needy dependents from the Ionian Islands were called over to supply their places, and they arrived, headed by his two brothers, Counts Viario and Augustine. These men, though stigmatised at home by ignorance and incapacity, were now placed at the heads of important departments in Greece, and from that time the influence of the President began to decline. The people saw, or thought they saw, their country devoted only to satisfy the cupidity and ambition of these worthless Ionians, who were now called over to reap the fruits of all their perils and sacrifices. Every place of profit was filled by a Græculus esuriens from Corfu or Cephalonia, and murmurs and discontent soon began to spread among the disappointed people.
To counteract the effects of this, a system of spies and informers was organised. The mails were stopped by order of the Government, private letters were opened and examined, and in a short time the state of society in Greece became more beset with the agents of despotism than under the most oppressive and arbitrary tyranny.
Just at this time, Prince Leopold was announced as the Sovereign of Greece, and the announcement was hailed with delight by a people now greatly disgusted with the government of the President. He at first treated the report with contempt, and affected to disbelieve it: but when he found the fact was undeniable, he assumed the semblance of the most disinterested patriotism, congratulated his country on the fortunate event, and declared himself still ready to serve it in any subordinate capacity. The difficulties and impediments which caused this project to fail are now known to have been all his own exaggerations or suggestions. The clamour raised about the boundaries was fomented by his agents, and the good easy King elect was deterred from undertaking the government of an unsettled country, where so many causes of anxiety awaited him.
The President, now firmly fixed in his seat, seemed to think no farther dissimulation necessary. He pursued his plans of establishing a despotic authority, under the auspices of Russia, and thought there was so little occasion for further management, that he informed the Deputies who waited on him to propose the calling of another National Assembly, and the establishing a constitutional Government, "that they were not fit for liberty, and must not think of it." The people now seeing their hopes disappointed, their long-sufferings and sacrifices useless, and the authority of a foreign agent established among them, more despotic than that of the Turks, their discontent everywhere blazed out into open insurrection, both on the continent and in the islands. The Mainotes, the Hydriotes, the Syriotes, the Poriotes, all concurred to throw off what they considered an intolerable yoke, and every thing threatened the horrors of a civil war, even more destructive than that of the Turks, from which they had just
Among those individuals who had excited the strongest suspicion, and had incurred the highest resentment of the Government was the family of Mavromichalis, the hereditary Governors of Maina. When the Greek insurrection broke out, Pietro Bey, a rude and venerable old chieftain, was a kind of Sovereign Prince in Maina. This region is a mountainous district among the snowy ridges of the Taygetus, like the Highlands of Scotland, and includes in it the site of ancient Sparta. Enjoying a feudal and almost despotic sovereignty here, Pietro and his sons, in their ardour for the liberties of their country, declared for the insurgents, though at the sacrifice of their own authority, and periled every
thing to advance the cause. One of his sons was killed in the contest, and when it was ended, the father came to reside at Napoli, with his remaining son Constantine, and his brother Giorgio, and was appointed a senator. The proceedings of the Government soon disgusted him: he joined the constitutional party, and became a proscribed man. He attempted to return secretly to his own province, but the President, knowing and dreading his great influence there, caused him to be arrested, and he lay five or six months a prisoner in the dungeons of Itaphkalé. His brother and his son entered deeply into his resentments. They, too, became suspected men, were arrested, placed under the surveillance of the police, and were always watched and guarded by two armed men, who attended them wherever they went.
On the morning of Sunday the 9th of October, they proceeded to the church of St. Spiridion, situated in the middle of the city, to attend, as they said, early service a little after daybreak, and were followed as usual by their guards. While standing in the porch of the church, the President arrived also with his suite, to attend divine service, and was entering that part of the church called the narthex, leaving his body-guards at some little distance behind him. In passing the Mavromichalis, they saluted him, and when he raised his hand to his head, to return the salute, George drew a poignard which he had concealed under his capote, and plunged it into his body, while Constantine, who stood behind him, presented a loaded pistol and fired it close to his back; the ball entered his side, and he fell instantly dead on the steps of the church.
The assassins when they saw him fall, drew back amongst the crowd and then fled. George escaped unhurt, and proceeded to the hotel of the French Minister, into which he made a forcible entry from an adjoining house, as the doors were not open and none of the family yet risen; and here he was closely followed by the guard who were placed over him. Constantine* was not so fortunate; he was fired at and wounded by one of the President's armed attendants, who rushed forward after the assassination was committed, but not in time to arrest the murderers. He directed his flight to the upper part of the town, and made for some poor cabanes inhabited by the lower classes. He rushed in among them wounded and bleeding, and threw himself on the protection of some poor women who lived there. They were inclined to shelter and conceal him, and it is probable he would have escaped among the number of partizans of his cause, but he was too closely followed by the attendant who had shot him. This man hallooed in the pursuit some police agents, and they came on him just as he was endeavouring to conceal himself. They immediately dragged him forth, despatched him on the spot, and then drew his body to the public place of the Platanus, where they stripped it naked, and exposed it to the public gaze till midday. They then tied cords to the feet, and dragging it ignominiously after them through the town, they cast it into the sea behind the fortress of the Palamidi.
Notwithstanding the remonstrance of the French Minister, all the formalities of the law were dispensed with, and Giorgio was tried by the summary process of a court-martial. On the 23rd he was brought forth to the glacis of the fortress in the midst of a vast concourse of spectators, who were agitated by various feelings. He appeared with his usual intrepid and undismayed countenance, affirming his innocence of crime. Immediately however before the execution of the sentence, he declared to the priest who attended him that he knew he had committed a great sin before God, in embuing his hands in the blood of a fellow-creature, and then turning to the crowd, he recommended unity and concord in the most earnest manner, and trusted that his country would forgive him for the deed he had done, and then he would hope for the forgiveness of God. A few of the crowd answered by execrations, but the great body remained in deep attention, and profound silence. The soldiers then fired and he fell dead on the glacis.
This same Constantine was one of the most civilized of the Greeks; gentle and urbane; a lover of whist and Europeans.
The agents of the police under whose surveillance be had been placed, were next tried as his accomplices. They were both convicted and sentenced, the one to a capital punishment, and the other to ten years' hard labour. Just, however, as they were about to execute the first, he made some important communications, in consequence of which his execution was suspended, and a number of persons were arrested on his disclosures.
You will now ask, perhaps, what kind of a Government has succeeded to that of the President, or what measures have been taken to prevent the anarchy and confusion to which every place is liable, but particularly such a country as Greece, from such an event. As the place where the assassination was committed is in the centre of the town, the rumour of it instantly spread, and in a few minutes we all rushed into the streets, expecting every moment that an insurrection and extermination of all the President's party would succeed; but prudent precautions were immediately taken by the military chiefs, particularly General Gerard, who showed great promptness, judgment, and activity. The military were instantly under arms; the land and sea gates were closed; and a body of armed citizens were enrolled, who so effectually preserved the public peace, that in a few hours confidence was restored, the gates were re-opened, and the people entered and departed as freely as if nothing extraordinary had happened. This amenability to order and tranquillity is as creditable as it was unexpected in the turbulent people of this place.
The next care was to appoint a Provisional Government, and to do this. legally or according to the forms of the Constitution, was found to be a difficult matter, as no provision had been made for such an emergency by any former assembly. That at Argos did not confer on the Gerousia the right of nominating a Provisional Government in the event of the death of the Chief, but on the existing Chief himself to provide for such an event, by appointing a successor, a thing which the late Chief did not do. The Gerousia, however, assembled, and disregarding the informality, issued a decree appointing a Provisional Executive of three persons, Count Augustine, the late President's brother, as proedros, or president, Coletti, and Colocotroni. Of these, Coletti alone possesses in any degree the confidence of the public either for talents or integrity. His influence however against that of his colleagues, it is supposed, will be of little avail. Colocotroni, true to his character, was the mercenary and sordid tool of the late President, who appointed him Generalissimo of the Morea, and so gave him an opportunity of gratifying his avarice and private revenge; passions which he indulged without moderation or restraint: he has now attached himself, it is said, to the brother with the same blind subserviency. In fact the actual Executive is Count Augustine.
This young man was educated in Corfu for the profession of a lawyer; he, however, showed neither talent nor application, and was leading a life of idleness and inanity at home, when he was invited by his brother into Greece. On his arrival, General Church, who commanded in Acarnania, was compelled to resign, to make way for him, and the young briefless lawyer was actually appointed to the chief command of the army of Western Greece. He showed, however, as little talent in the field as at the bar; he remained doing nothing at Lepanto, but increasing his own fortune whenever an opportunity occurred. He now thinks he has legally and by universally acknowledged right succeeded to the place of his brother, and affects all the authority of being himself the only Executive. He issues his orders without deigning, it is said, to consult his colleagues; he goes about surrounded by a body-guard of Souliotes, whom he has attached to his interests by bribes and promises; and he is supported by all the influence of Colocotroni, whose sordid views are gratified by receiving the same countenance from Augustine which he had from his brother.
The day after his nomination, Augustine addressed a note to the Senate, signed by himself alone in quality of Proedros. He thanks them for the confidence they have reposed in him by his appointment, which he accepts, he says, “not to leave imperfect the work of his brother, whose glorious footsteps he is determined to follow." This language, it is said, was not very palatable to many
of the persons to whom it was addressed, though the majority are known to be creatures of his brother, and now devoted to himself.
As soon as the news of the death of "the President reached Hydra, the Deputies of the Legislative Assembly, to the number of sixty, immediately assembled there. They denominated themselves the "Reunion Extraordinary of the Deputies Plenipotentiary at Hydra;" and they immediately appointed and dispatched a deputation, consisting of Miaulis, Zaimi, and Tricoupi, to open an understanding with the Senate, which they earnestly requested. The Senate, however, under the pretext that some expressions in their letter were not proper, and also that they as a body could not receive communications from private citizens, except through the medium of Government, returned the note to the Deputation, and enjoined them to depart from Napoli. It was considered injudicious to select for one of this Deputation Miaulis, who is actually lying under a charge of high treason; and on board the ship which conveyed him, were many who were compromised men. This afforded the Senate a plausible pretext to reject the advances of their opponents, whose views and proposals were moderate and constitutional, and, in fact, were limited to the convoking a National Congress. The Deputation, after this fruitless attempt, returned to Hydra the same evening, escorted by an English corvette.
Such, then, was the actual state of things here on the death of the President. The Government confided to an arbitrary and incompetent Executive, who seemed determined not to receive any offers of accommodation from the Constitutional party; not to grant an amnesty for political opinions, or even a suspension from persecution; not to bury past events in oblivion; not to call together a National Congress; in fact, not to agree to any plan of conciliation, but uncompromisingly to proceed in the steps and act on the arbitrary principles of the old Government, which had already reduced the unfortunate country to such a state of disorganization. The Constitutionalists were, consequently, in continued alarm, expecting every moment that attempt to exterminate them which the creatures of the late President openly threatened, and which probably they would have carried into execution but for the spirited interference of the three residents of Foreign Powers, who declared that if any hostile movement was made to that effect, they would instantly leave the country. From this odious and uncompromising spirit, nothing was likely to result but a renewal of scenes worse than those from which they had just been released, because they would be accompanied by all the horrors of a civil war, more inveterate and cruel than that of the Turks.
The Executive, however, have adopted more wise and prudent views. The convocation of a National Congress has been agreed to, an early day appointed to verify their powers, and even some of the Deputies have arrived. The happy effects of this measure of conciliation have already become apparent; the Hydriotes, Tiniotes, and Syriotes have abandoned their opposition, and even agreed to put on mourning for the late President; and the governors sent by the Constitutional party have retired and given place to those appointed by the Executive. Such is the happy result of complying with the reasonable demands of the people.
Nothing, however, is likely to give permanent peace to this harassed country but the appointment of some foreign prince, who to liberal and constitutional views will add the sanction of strong authority. I, in common with many others, was once an advocate for granting the Greeks the full and free exercise of selfgovernment, without any external interference; but long residence in the country has convinced me that such a thing, for the present at least, is not only inexpedient, but indeed impracticable. Had even Capo d'Istrias conducted himself with prudence and liberality, he would have been a better President than any they could have selected from among themselves; but no good could be expected from the government of a man who excited no personal respect, and who to the tortuous and intriguing policy of a Greek, added all the despotic principles and tyrannical conduct of a Russian.
THE POETICAL AND LITERARY CHARACTER OF THE LATE JOHN PHILIP KEMBLE.
I AM about to do what nobody has yet attempted-to give a view of the poetical and literary character of the late John Philip Kemble, as an author of plays, independent of his extraordinary reputation as an actor of them. The task has not been before undertaken, because nobody has possessed the means of performing it. How those means came into my hands may be told in a few words. Mr. Larpent died in the execution of his office of "Examiner of all Theatrical Entertainments," in the year 1824: he left behind him official copies, not only of all the dramatic productions he had himself read for the purpose of recommending them to the licence of the Lord Chamberlain, but of all pieces which had undergone the inspection of his predecessors from the time the Act requiring that inspection passed in the year 1737. These, in conjunction with a friend, I purchased two years ago, so that we are now owners of the manuscript of every tragedy, comedy, opera, farce, or other dramatic representation, from the date of the appointment of the first Examiner until Mr. Colman came into office. Each piece is accompanied by an original letter from the Manager for the time being-Rich, Fleetwood, Garrick, Lacy, Harris, Sheridan, King, Linley, Lewis, Kemble, &c.—and what is more material is, that the copies of the productions themselves are sometimes in the hand-writing of the authors, not unfrequently corrected and altered by them, and generally with the passages or scenes to which the Examiner objected, marked or erased. Thomson's tragedies bear evidence of his latest revision: Garrick, in the earlier part of his brilliant career, never sent a performance to the Examiner without minute corrections, and they serve to settle dates not hitherto ascertained. Foote, with all his apparent carelessness, wrote with his own hand whole acts of his most favourite farces, and amended nearly all of them. Murphy employed an accurate amanuensis, but Sheridan has scribbled most unintelligibly over some of his pieces, and was good-natured enough (as the originals testify) to point the dialogue of other less-gifted authors. The manuscripts include all Macklin's productions, and, what is remarkable, three copies of his "Man of the World," in three different states of moderation, in the latest the severity of the satire having been sufficiently softened to satisfy the scruples of Lord Hertford. The earliest manuscript of this memorable comedy, therefore, presents it in a shape in which it has never appeared since it was first represented in Ireland, under the title of " The True-born Scotchman." The veteran's autograph letter to Lord Hertford, justifying his work and soliciting the licence, is also fortunately preserved with the play.
Not a few of the productions in this collection have never been printed at all: some because their success on the stage did not warrant publication; others because the authors never meant to expose them to deliberate criticism; a third class because the proprietors of the theatre bought the copy-right as well as the right of representation, in order that they might not be performed at other theatres a fourth division of the manuscripts consists of dramatic entertainments for which a licence was refused, and the authors of only a few of these appealed from the decision of the Examiner to the public. In the whole, they constitute a collection of between two and three thousand dramas; and with regard to those among them that have passed the press, the parts to which the Examiner objected have seldom been given, so that they illustrate very curiously and entertainingly the state of the stage for nearly an entire century. It is out of the question for anybody to pretend to write a history of theatres, actors, and authors, during that period, without resort to these authorities.
It is in this way that I have become acquainted with the dramatic productions of the late John Philip Kemble:-I allude to such as may be considered original, and not mere alterations and revivals, most of which have been printed, as well as performed, and therefore require no notice here:-my attention will be principally directed to those upon which his literary character must be founded. Some of these were the productions of mere youth, but others, though un