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At Hydra the effects are the same, though resulting from different
There, as you know, the populace lord it over the Primates ; captains without ships, sailors without pay, and the host of shopkeepers who traffic in the daily piracies, are there the governors. The families of some of the principal Primates, such as the Conduriotti on the one hand, the Tombasi and Buduri on the other, form separate factions. The one remains at Hydra, the other has established itself at Paros, and I suppose that they mutually designate each other as the French and English parties. There, as at Spezzia, I should think the Primates well-disposed to welcome any order of things which would render the population less turbulent, and which would re-establish their authority; but there also, the ties of clanship and patronage, which, before the insurrection, formed the only political bond, being broken, and the taste for piracy, and its practice, having increased by innpunity and the concessions granted to privateers, I am by no means certain that the re-establishment of any order of things would be agreeable to a population who would find it difficult to conform to the usages
of a regular maritime system, of which, moreover, it is by no means certain that it will again find, either in the Black Sea or in Egypt, or even in the Archipelago, the elements by which it has been created and enriched.'-B. pp. 150, 151.
Such is a brief but clear view of the state of feeling in Greece, about the period when the Treaty of London was promulgated. That compact, it is well known, was the result of conferences which were held at Petersburgh, between the representatives of England, France, and Russia. It would appear that the representatives of Austria and Prussia took a part in those discussions in the first instance, but that they eventually dissented in opinion from their colleagues. The motives which actuated Prussia, probably arose from an unwillingness to vary her relations with Turkey, as well as from a feeling that her position in Europe would not enable her Minister to take a very dignified part in the subsequent conduct of so important an undertaking. But the motives of Austria's dissent are apparent. That power has exercised her sinister influence since the peace, only in resisting openly or secretly in every country, the slightest approach to liberal institutions. She whose exertions have been uniformly expended in putting down insurrection, how could she become the protector of it in Greece? This argument, indeed, applied with equal force to France; but this power saw, or thought she saw, in Greece an exception to the general rule and not an instance of it. She believed that the only way of quelling the revolution in Greece, in consequence of the weakness of the ruling sovereign, was to give it a proper direction, and she was right. But France must have understood also that England would have done the thing without her, if allowed to do so, and this was, no doubt, a main ingredient in the motives of her conduct. As to Russia, it was clearly her policy to assist in any measure that would tend to weaken the strength of Turkey, at a time when the imperial armies were preparing to pass the Pruth. Besides, it was the hope of Count Nesselrode that the invasion of Turkey might thus become, not simply a Russian, but an European measure. The liberation of Greece was doubtless an object of ambition with Mr. Canning. But it is apparent that that great statesman carried his views farther than this. It was his intention, by concluding the Treaty of London, to form a barrier against the aggrandizement of Russia by any accession of Turkish territory. By making the pacification of Greece an object common to the three powers, an alliance would be formed which would bring the separate designs of Russia within the reach of our peaceful influence, and restrain her, as it were, within the bounds of good behaviour. But, however selfish were the motives of the three powers, it must not be denied that the common object to be attained was one highly creditable to them, and that the negotiations for securing that object were marked at every step by increasing solicitude for the stability and welfare of the Greek nation.
The first step of the conference at London, which met on the 12th of July, 1827, six days after the signature of the treaty, was to offer to Turkey their mediation in behalf of Greece, and to propose to both an armistice by sea and land. The latter object they were
. resolved on obtaining at all events; for whatever other considerations might have actuated the Powers with respect to Greece, they must all have witnessed with horror the sanguinary deeds of which Greece had been so long the theatre, and England and France had peculiar reason to complain of the interruption which their commerce with the Levant experienced from the proceedings of the belligerents. If the Porte did not, in one month (afterwards reduced to fifteen days) from the day of delivery accept the proposed mediation and armistice, the Powers were to enter into relations with the Greeks, and to enforce the armistice by means of their squadrons in the Mediterranean. If the Greeks, who had already solicited the mediation, agreed to the armistice, they were to be treated as friends, but still the Powers were to preserve a complete neutrality between the two parties.
We confess that the neutrality thus proposed, was of a species somewhat new in diplomacy. We are not surprised that when the
. propositions of the conference were conveyed by the ambassadors to the Reis Effendi at Constantinople, he found it difficult to comprehend the meaning, at least of his friends and allies, England and France. The manner in which the declaration of the ambassadors containing those propositions was received by the Turkish minister from the three dragomans, is extremely characteristic.
««The Reis Effendi asked in a jocose manner, if the three dragomans were come upon some matter of congratulation. The answer was: “No, --upon business.
We are ordered to present this declaration to your Excellency.”
What,” said the Reis Effendi, “all three together, and what is that paper? Is it a letter, or a note? Is it signed by the three ministers ?”
6. It is a declaration," was the answer. Every diplomatic paper has
was our answer.
a name=this is called a declaration. It is signed by their Excellencies General Count Guilleminot, Mr. Stratford Canning, and M. de Ribeaupierre. We are desired to leave it in the hands of the Reis Effendi, and we shall return for an answer.”
"" But what are the contents of this writing ?” asked his Excellency. The answer was: “Our orders are to give it to the Reis Effendi and no more.” The Reis Effendi insisted upon knowing what the paper treated of. The same answer was given :
:-“ Our only orders are to deliver it.” ""What!" continued the Reis Effendi, "you don't know its subject?
" “ How can you be ignorant of it? The paper is not sealed ?"
• The declaration was then placed on the sofa by the side of the Reis Effendi. “ As you will not speak,” said his Excellency, “ I am going to
" send for the dragoman of the Porte.”. Very well, The dragoman of the Porte was immediately summoned; he entered the room at the same time that the undersigned were leaving it.'-B. pp. 116, 117.
The declaration was communicated to the Austrian Internuncio and the Prussian Envoy with the view of their supporting it in such manner as they might think most efficacious. The answer of the former was, that he must wait for instructions. That of the latter was cordial and even zealous in favour of the step which had been taken, and which he did every thing in his power to forward.
The Reis Effendi could not have been ignorant of the object of the
declaration ; for the Protocol of the 4th of April, 1826, signed at Petersburgh by the Duke of Wellington, and upon which the Treaty of 1827 was founded, had been already communicated by the ambassadors to the divan. He pretended, however, not to understand what was meant, and it must be confessed, that there is a great deal of shrewdness and dexterity in the observations which, at a subsequent interview with the dragomans, his excellency made upon particular passages of a note in further support of the declaration.
"1. The refusal of the Porte would place the Powers under the necessity of having recourse to the measures which they should judge to be the most effectual. What mean these expressions?” said the Reis Effendi ;
- the Dragoman of the Porte had, in fact, given me in substance, and pretty nearly, the sense of your note. I remarked these same words in it; and for the last fortnight I have been in vain endeavouring to understand them.”
62. The Allied Powers will exert thenselves in every way which circumstances shall suggest to their discretion.
"“But what do you mean by exert? How? What? What exertions? Tell me, I say, what are these exertions, these means?" “ We are only directed,” replied M. Desgranges, “to transmit to your Excellency the very expressions of our Ministers, and it does not appertain to us to comment upon them. We are the channels of communication between their Excellencies and you; when we repeat to you, word for word, what they have said, it is for you to understand it.' • But for that purpose it is necessary," said his Excellency, that I should be able to do so. What
are these means ?" “ Their Excellencies tell you, themselves, when they add, the means which circumstances may suggest to their discretion." " But that means nothing," urged the Reis Effendi. “Nothing can be clearer,” replied M. Desgranges; “you have only to wait in order to know the means. If you ask me in what boat I shall go up the Bosphorus to-morrow, I shall answer, we shall see to-morrow, according to the weather; if it is stormy, instead of two pair of oars, I shall take three; and if it blows a tempest, I shall take seven. This is what circumstances and prudence would suggest to me, for a simple water excursion.”
‘3. To obtain the immediate effects of the armistice.
6" What are these immediate effects ?" “ They are," answered M. Desgranges, "the return of a state of things which, above all, shall put a stop to the effusion of blood, and restore order, tranquillity, and general security.” “Of what effusion of blood do you speak ?" said Perter Effendi. “ If it is that of Mussulmans, what does it signify to you? We do not ask your aid. You mean then to speak of the blood of rebels ?" • Blood flows on all sides,” exclaimed at the same time Messrs. Chabert and Franchini.
* 4. The Representatives declare, that in taking this step6 "There again," said his Excellency, are the same words void of I am compelled to repeat it to you.
What does this mean? In short, what does this expression signify ? Or do your Ministers themselves not understand it? Tell me what is this step?" “ We can only,” answered Mons. Desgranges, “refer your question to their Excellencies; we have no power to answer it.”
5. By the firm resolution to put a stop to hostilities, the allied Courts have no intention of disturbing their friendly relations.
"" I have already asked.” said Perter Effendi,“ if your Ministers themselves understand their own meaning ? For my part, I find in their language things so obscure, passages so contradictory, that my reason loses itself, and refuses to understand any thing. How will they be able to put a stop to hostilities, on one side, without causing, on the other, an interruption of friendship? Hostility! Friendship! What a confusion of terms in all this! Can you explain to me how water and fire, or cotton and fire, can exist together?"
6. His Highness, yielding to the suggestions of his own wisdom. “He has yielded to them," sharply interrupted the Reis Effendi,“ in rejecting all your unjust propositions; and never can be assent to them.”
67. The disinterested counsels.
6“ If they are disinterested, why do you give them? The Powers never do any thing without being interested in it;such a thing was never seen!” • Your Excellency is perfectly right," replied M. Desgranges ; " but here it is necesary to distinguish between general interests and particular interests; and the Powers, in the language which they hold collectively, mean by the word disinterestedness, the renunciation, by each of them, of all personal advantages.” * 8. It may render unnecessary the employment of the measures,
“There, again, we have the same expression,” exclaimed the Reis Effendi, with the strongest emotion. “We must positively have an explanation of it, that we may know what we are about. If it is a declaration of war that you have to make to us, say so." —B. pp. 125, 126.
Some of these questions were, it must be owned, extremely difficult of solution by parties who professed at the time to be upon friendly terms with the Porte. The consequences of the refusal were forth with carried into effect. The squadrons were directed to impose the armistice, which was freely acceded to by the Greeks, and the alliance lost no time in entering into relations with them, by sending residents and other agents to the Morea. In the mean time, however, the Russian Plenipotentiary in London, before the answer of the Porte could possibly have been known in England, that is to say on the 10th of September, proposed to the Conference the adoption of stronger measures, namely, solution to convert into a blockade (of the Dardanelles) at the expiration of a certain period to be determined upon, the operations of the squadrons of the three powers then cruising in the seas of the Levant.' To this proposition the plenipotentiary of France
' acceded in principle, but Lord Dudley after taking it for reference to his cabinet, ultimately declined agreeing to the blockade, although he proposed that fresh instructions should be transmitted to the officers commanding the combined squadrons, desiring them "to intercept all ships, whether of war or merchants having on board troops, arms, &c., for the use of the Turkish force employed, or intended to be employed against the Greeks, either on the continent, or in the islands. Force was not to be used for such interception, .unless it should become absolutely necessary. This passage alone would be sufficient, we apprehend, for Sir Edward Codrington's defence of the conflict at Navarino. The proposition of the Russian plenipotentiary, and the adoption of it in principle by his colleague of France, are in the spirit of the approbation which both their governments subsequently gave to the officers engaged in that battle. And considering the terms of the instructions sent to Sir Edward Codrington, and the circumstances in which he was placed by the attempt of the Turco-Egyptian fleet to violate the armistice, we cannot understand why it was that for a rigid compliance with his orders, and no more, he was subsequently recalled.
The battle of Navarino produced, at first, a violent effect at the Porte. Upon reflection, however, the Divan seemed disposed to overlook it, provided that the Greek question were given up. Such a concession could not, of course, be made: the Ambassadors quitted Constantinople, and, what seems to us very unaccountable, the arrival in London of the intelligence of their departure, became to the conference the signal of preparation for war. On the 12th of December, 1827, the Plenipotentiaries assembled, and after reading the despatches of the Ambassadors, they resolved that,
according to the information contained in these documents, it appears that the moment is arrived at which, notwithstanding their wishes and their efforts, the three allied powers may see themselves involved in a war with the Ottoman Porte; and in consequence
it has been judged expedient, on the eve of a crisis of such import