Sidebilder
PDF

nephew of the Pasha was slain. This Paxo, in order to be in readiness was certainly a daring proceeding, on when a favourable moment should the part of a power at peace with present itself for occupying Parga. France; but General Donzelot was About the same time, two English then placed in such a critical predi- frigates, the Bacchante, Captain (now cament, that he was prevented from Sir William) Hoste, and the Ha. protesting against this act of vio- vannah, Captain Black, arrived at lence; while the English could not Paxo ; and The French commandant be supposed to interfere or remon. in Parga was summoned to surrender, strate against a proceeding which favourable terms being offered him. was as much directed against their This, however, he flatly refused to enemies, the French, as the Par- do upon any conditions: and Captain guinotes. Of this forbearance, Ali Hoste, the senior officer, not feeling did not fail to take immediate ad- himself sufficiently authorized to ata vantage, by constructing a fort at tack the fortress, and not being perAja, situate on a cominanding hill fectly assured of the sincerity of the on the frontier, and calculated to inhabitants, caused them to be inoverawe, and keep in perpetual a- formed, that a written declaration, larm, the inhabitants of this little signed by the principal Parguinotes, territory.

expressive of their real intentions, By the month of March 1814, all would be required, in the first inthe Ionian Islands, except Corfu, stance; and, further, that if they had been taken by the English, themselves would take possession of while, from the closeness of the the Citadel, and substitute the Briblockade, the relief of that place had tish for the French flag, the English become next to impossible, and the forces would come to their aid, and communication with the garrison in they would be received under the Parga extremely difficult. The Par- protection of his Britannic Majesty. guinotes seeing, therefore, they could These conditions were complied with no longer rely upon the protection of to the letter. The required declaraFrance, sent a deputation to the tion, bearing date the i7th of March, English Commandant in the Island and confirming the offer they had of Paxo, requesting the assistance of made, and the condition which formEngland, and promising to surrendered the basis of the engagement they the fortress. This application was had come under, viz. that “ it was immediately communicated to the the determination of their country to Commander-in-chief, Lieut.-General follow the fate of the Ionian Islands, Campbell, who lost no time in send. having always been under the same ing a reinforcement from Zante to jurisdiction," was forwarded with

perately." In animadverting upon the details of the cruelties of Ali Pasha, given by Hobhouse, Pouqueville, Duval, and the Edinburgh Review, he himself, after expressing his doubts of their truth, adds, “ those stated by Dr Holland are entitled to credit." What, then, does this traveller, confessedly “entitled to credit," say of this affair? “The Parguinotes, after repelling bravely an attack made on them by the forces of Ali Pasha, cordially received the English into their town, hoping for an efficient defence from their power.” How will the Reviewer reconcile this with his story of a single Parguinote lying in ambush, and with his broad assertion that, except Daut Bey, no person was killed on either side ? Were the Pasha's attacks as bloodless as those of the Italian Condottieri ? But we have still more minute and detailed testimony to produce. “ The French garrison having retired into the citadel,” says the Rev. T. S. Hughes, " the only opposition was made by the bravery of the inhabitants. They marched out with exultation to the defence of their country, accom. panied by their women and children, who handed ammunition, and loaded the muskets of their husbands and their parents. The contest was neither long nor sanguinary, for the Parguinotes having the advantage of ground and shelter, effectually checked the Vizier's troops, who were obliged to retire, after losing several of their companions ! la the evening, we took a long walk through the environs of Parga, which had been the scene of Ali Pasha's late defeat ; the olive trees all around were marked with musket balls." We might also quote Pouqueville and others; but have confined our. selves to authorities, which the Reviewer acknowledges to be “ deserving of credit.”

out delay to the British authorities and at Paris in 1815: at last, howat Paxo; the British flag was hoist- ever, Russia, Austria, and Prussia *, ed on the citadel by the inhabitants, were induced to offer to Great Briwho had surprised and overpowered tain the sovereign protection of the the French garrison ; and on the Septinsular Republic; and the first 22d the fortress, the French garrison, article of the Treaty of Paris, of date twenty pieces of cannon, ammuni. November 5, 1815, by which that tion, stores, and the whole country, offer was ratified and consummated, were delivered over to the British is in the following words :-" The forces, under Sir Charles Gordon; Isles of Corfu, Cephalonia, Zante, without, be it observed, a single ob- Santa Maura, Ithaca, Cerigo, and jection being stated to the condition Paxo, WITH THEIR DEPENDENCIES, so formally and prominently stated as designated in the treaty between in the declaration of the Primates. his Majesty the Emperor of all the From this time, till March 1817, a Russias and the Ottoman Porte, consmall detachment of British troops, cluded on the 21st of March 1800, amounting, we believe, only to thirty, shall form a single, free, and indedid duty in the Citadel; but, at this pendent State, under the denominalatter period, it was found necessary, tion of the United States of the by Sir Thomas Maitland, who had lonian Isles.” Now, two questions, succeeded General Campbell, to rein- which it is of great importance to force the garrison, in order, as he solve, here present themselves; and emphatically enough said, to put it these are, What is meant by the in a condition to resist any of the “ dependencies” of the Ionian Isles ? tricks” of Ali Pasha to gain pos- and, Was the treaty of 1800 revived, session of it, brevi manu.

and re-enforced by that of Paris in We have now, therefore, reached 1815? In answer to the former of the period at which the first and these questions, we beg leave to quote main branch of the case,-namely, a passage from the copy of Instrucwhether the stipulations made on tions, dated Corfu, 11th May 1815, the part of the Parguinotes, when and furnished by General Campbell, they agreed to surrender their for Commander of the Forces in the tress and territory to the British, Ionian Islands, to the officer comand tacitly acceded to by the officers manding the detachment of British to whom, at their own special re- troops in Parga: “ The fortress of quest, those conditions were present. Parga is considered as an appendage ed, gave the inhabitants a right to of the Government of the Seven the continuance of British protec- Ionian Islands, and more particulartion; and whether the treaty of ly as an outwork of the garrison of 1800 was so far obligatory on Bri. Corfu, towards the Turkish frontier." tain as to leave our Government no This is a correct description of the alternative but the surrender of Par- fact; for, with the exception of the ga to the Porte, in terms of that six years immediately succeeding the treaty, and in violation of the agree. ratification of the treaty of 1800, ment entered into by our own officers, between Russia and the Ottoman -naturally falls to be discussed. The Porte, when a single Turkish Voidestiny of the Ionian Islands was, vode resided in Parga, at the express it seems, a matter of much delibera- request of the people themselves, tion, both at the Congress of Vienna they had invariably “ followed the

* It sounds strange in our ears, we confess, to hear of Austria and Prussia, who do not both possess as many ships of war as would suffice to silence a ten-gun battery, well served, generously “ offering" to Britain the “ sovereign protection" of colonies which her own forces had wrested from the common enemy. This, however, may be part of the eisoteric mysteries of diplomacy which none but the initiated are able to comprehend. Upon the same principle (and it is only from general principles that we can reason on such subjects) they might have kindly " offered" her the “ son vereign protection" of her Indian Empire, which she holds by no better title than she did the Republic of the Seven Islands, anterior to this gracious and condescending "offer" on the part of the powers above named. Of Russia we say nothing, because in her case, at least, there is no absurdity.

fate of the Ionian Isles, and been al- havoc and destruction. It is notoways under the same jurisdiction *." rious, moreover, that he was burning But we shall bere be answered, that to wreak his fury on the devoted the "dependencies" of the Ionian Parguinotes, and to consign them to Isles are expressly pointed out by slaughter, in revenge for the numethe words, as designated in the treaty rous disappointments and repulses he of 1800 between Russia and the Otto- had met with, and particularly for man Porte, according to which, Pre- the death of Daut Bey, his favourite veza, Parga, Vonitza, and Butrintro, nephew, over whose body he erected are ceded to the latter power, under a monument within view of the certain specified conditions solemnly ramparts of Parga, thereby giving guaranteed by the former. The ex- warning what fate was decreed for amination of this plea will constitute them, should fortune place them in the answer to our second question. his power. This barbarian was as

The treaty of 1800 was either re- smooth, supple, and insinuating, as vived by the treaty of 1815, and still he was unpitying and remorseless. in full force, or it was not. If the In reference to his real character, his former be assumed, then we were fierce but well-disguised passions, bound to undertake the Russian and his long-cherished and neverguarantee, not only in the case of satiated revenge, as contrasted with Parga, but also in that of Preveza, his outward mildness and placid ad. Vonitza, and Butrintro, and to en- dress, Dr Holland has remarked, sure to the Christian inhabitants of with singular truth and felicity of those towns the free exercise of their illustration, that it was “the fire of religion, the undisturbed enjoyment a stove, burning fiercely under a of their personal and real property, smooth and polished surface." To and the continuance of their own talk of construing a treaty rigidly “ usages, relative to civil and cri- to the letter, in favour of a man minal procedures.” If, on the con- whom no treaty could bind, when trary, the latter be assumed, namely, either his passions or his interest was that the treaty of 1800 was no longer concerned in the breach of it, is as in force, then it is as clear as day, ridiculous in reason as it would have that neither Ali Pasha nor the Porte proved inhuman in its consequences. bad the least right or title to set up : But, says the Quarterly Review, any claim for the surrender of Parga, " there is no article in the British as that town is not so much as men- Treaty of 1815 which confirms, or tioned in the treaty of 1815; and by by which Great Britain takes upon the supposition the former one, upon herself the conditions of 1800; they which the Pasha invariably ground were perfectly foreign to her ; they ed his claim, was no longer in force. could not have been listened to for a But even if the treaty of 1800 had moment; and that treaty was referbeen still in force, it is manifest, that red to merely as the means of definno person in the world could pleading the limits of the new territory to the stipulations of that treaty with a be placed under her protection.If worse grace than Ali Pasha, who had this was the case, how comes the violated every one of them, who bad Reviewer to state, as he does in the exterminated or expelled the Chris- preceding, page, that " every artian inhabitants, confiscated their rangement which related to Parga property, and reduced Preveza, Bu. was comprehended in the treaty betrintro, Suli, Nivitza, Aghio Vassali, tween Russia and the Ottoman Porte, Gardiki, and other neighbouring WHICH WAS STILL IN FULL FORCE?” places, to heaps of smoking ruins, Now, with respect to whom, we and whose course, like that of the would ask, was this treaty “ still in Angel of Death, was marked by full force ?" Not on the part of

• This is, in soine degree, admitted by Sir T. Maitland himself. In the preamble to an Act passed in the Second Session of the First Parliament of the United States of the Ionian Islands, under date May 22d 1819, and declaratory of the state and condition of the inhabitants of Parga and its territory, we meet with the following words : * Whereas the inhabitants of the city, fort, and territory of Parga, have EVER been considered as citizens of the Ionian States, fc. &c.VOL. XIV.,

Ff

Britain; for that, as we have just might be inferred from certain public seen, is formally disavowed : not on acts, with nearly as much certainty the part of Russia ; for she was no as if it had been reduced to a formal longer to possess the Ionian Islands, deed, and that, in the absence of which rendered her guarantee unne- such a deed, these acts form the only cessary: not with respect to the Porte, data from which a conclusion can be to whom, by the treaty, Russia drawn. Now, what are the public alone could deliver up the towns on acts in this case ? A declaration is the Albanian coast : not on the part required from the inhabitants of Par. of Parga ; for that little state had ga, and that declaration, engaging to constantly resisted the surrender of submit their “ country and territoits fort and territory, and been aid- ries to the arms of Great Britain," ed and abetted by Russia herself in is given, coupled, however, with a that resistance. But without at condition, expressive of the “ detertempting to reconcile these incon- mination of the country to follow the gruities, if, as has been asserted, the fate of the Ionian Isles, as it had ale treaty of 1800 “was referred to mere- ways been under the same jurisdicly as the means of defining the li- tion." Will it be pretended that mits of the new territory to be placed this condition, when tendered, was under the protection of Great Bri- refused ? Surely that was the motain," our negociators must have ment to apprize the Primates of the been very inattentive indeed not to exact amount of the dependence they perceive, that, in the altered circum- were to place on British protection. stances of 1815, this would lead to The Parguinotes stated, fairly and great confusion, and that it would explicitly, their object and views in have been better to specify distinctly throwing themselves into the arms of what was to be considered as “ des Britain, and they had every right to pendencies” of the Ionian Isles, than expect the same good faith in return: to dismiss the matter with a mere the more especially as (according to vague reference to a treaty which the declaration of Capt. Hoste) " the ought to have expired with the events dispossessing the enemy of Parga that gave it birth. Whether from would considerably distress Corfu," neglect or intention, no mention is then closely blockaded. It is allow made of Parga in the treaty of Pa- ed on all hands, that the Parguinotes ris, though at the very time when firmly believed that they were taken that treaty was signed, it was occu- under the permanent protection of pied by British troops, who had been Britain, and that they would ultiadmitted by the inhabitants upon mately form an appendage of the locertain conditions, and though, as the nian Islands. Why were they alReviewer contends, the surrender of lowed to cherish this belief, when that territory was then contemplated one word might have undeceivby the British Ministers. This seems ed them, and when they ought to to us sufficiently strange. It is true, have been formally certified that they the Reviewer strenuously main- were only taken provisionally under tains, that “no stipulations whatever British protection, and till the fate were entered into by, or in behalf of, of their little country should be dethe British Government; no other termined at a general peace? The promises were made-no other assu. Reviewer and his client, Sir Therances given, than such as held out mas Maitland, are, therefore, between to them (the Parguinotes) generally the horns of a dilemma: either the à continuance of security and protec- condition specified by the Parguinotes tion, so long as the British flag should was accepted, or the British officers fly on their fort ;” and he quotes, in acted with a degree of bad faith not support of his allegation, some let- often exceeded : they may take their ter said to have been dictated by Ge choice. Had the Parguinotes ever neral Sir James Campbell, “a few dreamt that Britain, from a ridieudays before his death, but of which, lous deference to a defunct treaty, unfortunately, no copy has been would deliver up their country to given to the public. Be this as it may, their mortal enemy, a catastrophe however, we have been accustomed which, amidst all the political comto think, that a positive contract motions and changes of the last thirty years, and in spite of all the wiles dictions and absurdities ; that Parga and power of Ali Pasha, they had was delivered up to the British for. successfully struggled to avert, there ces under a distinct stipulation, rati. cannot be a doubt, we think, that fied and accepted by the act of the they would have tempted all hazards, English Cominanders, that it should and braved every extremity, rather “ follow the fate of the lonian Isles ; than have witnessed the British flag and that the surrender of this little floating over their ramparts.

territory, by which the inhabitants But farther; if Britain was really were compelled, in order to avoid ex. bound to deliver up the place at all, termination, to abandon the country she was bound to do so unconditions of their birth and of their forefathers, ally, just as she would a sugar or a endeared to them non quia larga, spice island to the French or Dutch sed quia sua, and by the struggles at the end of a war: and if the inha- which they had made to defend and bitants chose to emigrate, it was no preserve it, was rendered obligatory affair of hers; she was not bound to upon us, neither in respect to nation: procure them an equivalent for the al honour, nor the faith which this property they voluntarily aban country has uniformly and proudly doned; they might stay and enjoy maintained in the matter of treaties. it, as heretofore, or sell it to the We shall now proceed to record, highest bidder. On the other hand, briefly, the circumstances connected it is extremely improbable that Ali with the final abandonment of this Pasha would have subscribed to such unhappy country. an arrangement, had he felt that his From the moment of the British title to the possession of Parga was occupation, the hopes of Ali Pasha, clear and undisputable. But the in- who had never lost sight of his faterference of the British Govern vourite object, were revived; and one ment, or rather of the Lord High of his first steps was an act of such Commissioner, in this matter, it has coarse and vulgar fraud, as, while it been said, was dictated by humanity, is characteristic of the man, renders by a desire at once to preserve to the it utterly ridiculous, nay, monstrous, Parguinotes the value of their pro- to talk or reason of the faith of trea. perty, and to enable such of them as ties as far as he is concerned. He chose to embrace the opportunity to caused a memorial, or petition, to be withdraw beyond the reach of the drawn up, in the name of the Pargui. Pasha's vengeance. Now, this plea notes, with the forged signatures of would not only be creditable, but in fifty of the principal inhabitants, and the highest degree honourable and addressed to the Ottoman Porte, enpraiseworthy, did we not unfortu- treating that power to place Parga nately happen to know that Mr Cart. under its direct and immediate juwright, the Commissioner appointed risdiction. But General Campbell, by Sir Thomas Maitland, used every who then commanded at Corfu, and effort, in conjunction with the Otto- who was not to be cajoled or hum. man Commissioner, Hamed Bey, to bugged, like his successor, discoverinduce the Parguinotes to give up ed this paltry trick, and defeated its their intention to emigrate, and to object. Ali was not, however, distrust to the hollow and deceitful couraged. He had long intrigued promises of the Vizier.

with the Divan, the members of Pudet haec opprobria nobis,

which sapient conclave had frequentEt dici potuisse, et non potuisse refelli.

ly fingered the gold wrung from the

blood and marrow of his subjects. Thus we have seen, that, during By means of this very intelligible the Russian and French occupation logic, he succeeded in persuading the of the lonian Isles, the pretensions Divan to demand Parga, as the of Ali Pasha to the possession of price of the accession of the OttoParga were either directly or indi. man Porte to the Convention of Parectly resisted, even when, as in the ris; and, what is more wonderful case of the former, the treaty of 1800 still, his Britannic Majesty's Miniswas in full force, that the assumed ter at Constantinople agreed to the revival of this treaty by that of Paris proposition of the Divan, and that a in 1815, involves numberless contra Commissioner from the Porte should

« ForrigeFortsett »