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Volo, and that the Greeks have fitted out this armament with a design to intercept and burn the fleet of their enemy. The Cyrene, however, had met with the gun-boats last evening, and had fired at them for a considerable time. From all these circumstances they concluded that we were Turkish men of war, and our steady pursuit confirmed them in the idea. In conclusion, they agreed to accompany us to the station of the larger vessels from which they had been detached.
The sun set even more magnificently than usual. On one side was the coast of Thessaly, bending round us like a bow, with Mount Parnassus towering in the distance; on the other side was the Island of Negropont; the Islands of Scopeli, Skiatho, and Pondico-nisi to the east.
Only one of the Greek vessels having issued from the creek, according to the agreement, our boats were again manned and armed, and with Captain Hamilton himself at their head, proceeded to act as occasion might dictate. First, however, a boat set forth with a flag of truce, and found the Greeks all on the alert, and stationed amongst the bushes, with their VIOLENCE OF AN, AUSTRIAN ADMIRAB. 209
musquets ready for the action, which they seemed to think inevitable. A parley now ensued, which lasted till sun-set, when they were persuaded to come along side of our ship: but this object, though advised and wished by their leaders, was effected with difficulty, and Captain Hamilton, to quiet apprehensions which appeared to increase rather than abate, went singly into one of their boats, standing as calmly when exposed to the range of their musquets as he would have done upon the deck of his own ship. By this time a boat belonging to the Greek brig of war, despatched by her commander, arrived at the creek, and this, no doubt, contributed a good deal to dissipate the alarms occasioned (as we found) by the invincible belief of our being Turkish or Austrian ships. It seems that the latter have, in several recent instances, betrayed them into the hands of their foes. I have heard it stated, on good authority, that an Austrian admiral, having invited a Greek primate on board his ship, so far forgot himself and his station as to lift up his hand and knock down the poor Greek on the quarter-deck! Surely their fears were not altogether unreasonable! ,
VOL. I. P
210 STRANGE FACT RELATIVE TO TRICHIRI.
The place to which we pursued the gun-boats is not far from Trichiri; had we therefore, under supposition of their being pirates, pointed our guns so as to have blown up their vessels, they must, in all probability, have fallen a prey to the Turks. As to those we destroyed two days before, they acknowledged that they were pirates, and seemed well pleased at the result of the contest. Captain Hamilton, with his usual kindness, presented them with two bags of bread and half a dozen bottles of rum.
Trichiri is in possession of the Turks. A strange fact with relation to this place is, that its absolute defence rests upon the exertions and loyalty of one hundred and fifty Greeks of Scopeli and the neighbourhood, who are in the pay of the Turks. There are also three hundred of them at Negropont. Contrary to the usual practice, they are suffered to carry arms, and are kept under, more by the sequins than by the fear of their masters. What would the three hundred of Thermopylahave thought and done in a like situation? But these men, as I was informed by a Greek from the brig of war, chiefly compose the bands of pirates who infest Scopeli; and part of whom we dePROCEED OH THE VOYAGE—PASS SKYROPOULI. 211
stroyed (which is curious!) not more than ten miles from the celebrated pass just alluded to.
Thursday, 3d Feb.—Calm all the morning. At noon we passed Skyropouli, anciently Scyros, the scene of the early youth of Achilles, and of his discovery in the disguise of a girl by the dexterous management of Ulysses. Mount Athos was upon our left.
Saturday, 5th Feb.—Arrived at Smyrna. This morning one of the sailors wounded in the contest with the pirates died; and the Greek prisoners who had been sent to Scopeli were returned, with a request from the government that they might be hung. Parted company with the Seringapatam. She has been ordered to Milo.
With regard to the actual situation of the Greeks, the " English public" have been considerably misinformed. The Papers are filled with falsehoods. We received the " Liverpool Courier" to-day, by the kindness of the captain of a merchantman, bearing date the 20th December. Lord Gordon and a "gallant company" are here said to have arrived at Napoli, with forty stands of colours wrought by the fair hands of the ladies of Edinburgh. We -were in that place (Napoli) for several days,