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MR BLAQUIERE'S REPORT ON GREECE, &c. &c.
THE "Greek Committee" have just done us the honour to send us this little pamphlet, which, we are constrained to say, furnishes as little information as any work of the same dimensions we have happened to meet with. We have not time at present to enter fully into the most important subject to which, such as it is, it re-. lates; ; but shall throw out a few hints notwithstanding.
And, first of all, we are sorry to see the cause of Greece in these hands. This Mr Blaquiere may be a most respectable and well-intentioned gentleman; but he must know that his name has been connected with other revolutionary matters, in a way that cannot fail to throw some suspicion on any proceedings of which he is the great advocate and instrument. His name was considerably mixed up with the absurdities of the Neapolitan affair, for example; and, in one word, without wishing to insinuate anything like a charge of serious mischief, he is universally considered as a partisan of Liberalism. His pamphlet is very poorly, and, indeed, very incorrectly written; and there is a sort of boyishness about the whole strain of it, that must prevent sensible people from giving much weight to the appeal of such a mouth-piece.
The second remark we have to make is, that we really are very far from be ing satisfied, that individual subjects of this kingdom have any right whatever to take so much upon them as seems of late to have become the fashion. The Government of England recognizes the Ottoman Porte as an ally: These two Governments, no matter how widely differing in character and views, have old treaties actually in force between them. Our Government have refused to take any part whatever in the struggle that has been going on between the Porte and the Greek insurgents. If this be wrong, let the Opposition blame the Ministry in Parliament,―let the sense of Parliament be taken, and let the line of policy be altered, if the Great Council of the Nation be of opinion that alteration is proper. But what have we here?-We have a set of private individuals, mostly very humble ones too, assembling periodically in a London tavern, and gravely discussing VOL. XIV.
the propriety of sending "Congreve
What is this but a carrying on of war against an ally of England, by these subjects of the English crown -What right have these individuals so to do? If the Irish Liberals were to rebel to-morrow, murder Archbishop Magee and sack Dublin, there can be no doubt that many "Irish Committees" might be very willing to hold their convocations in the Palais Royal and subscribe money for sending over rockets and spherical case-shot to the "Provisional Government of Ireland." But if they did so, what would be the consequence? Would our Government approve of King Louis's Government for allowing them ?—In a word, the question just comes to be this: is it not still the prerogative of GOVERNMENTS to form treaties of peace, and to declare and carry on war? Or is it really so, that all these "old things have passed away,"-that the departments of governments and subjects have been changed in the European world, and that " Mr Edward Blaquiere and the Greek Committee" have as much right to take part in this WAR, as if he were bona fide a crowned Edward, and his Committee the recognized Senate of a recognized state?
In plain truth, this sort of stuff has gone a great deal too far already: Sir Robert Wilson's behaviour in Spain has operated as a complete reductio ad absurdum; and "the Greek Committee" may be convened in the tavern, and the Greek Committee's ambassadors may go to Tripolizza, just as often as the fancy takes them-The language of every rational man and loyal subject will be, "This is the affair of
the state, not of the pot-house." The Turks may be the worst people in the world, and the Greeks the best-but are we to be the judges?-ay, are we to be the executioners? Who has called us to this office?-Where is our right? Are we, private men, we humble individuals, sitting each man with his legs under his own mahogany here in England, are we invested with any title to meddle between the Grand Seignior and the Prince Maurocordato? Are we all so many Sovereign Powers here over our port?-If so, what is the use of all this humbug of a King, and à Parliament, and a Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and all the rest of it? What is the use of such idle names as 'International Law,' and so forth? "-Am not I a Nation-I, myself, I, with this five-pound note in my breeches pocket? I can buy five pounds worth of spherical case shot, and send them out to Greece-I therefore can go to war with this Turkand why not?"
This nonsense must be put a stop to. If these people send over any supplies that can do the least good to the Greeks, they must send a great deal, for, according to their own pamphlet, the Greek government has never yet been able to pay their soldiers at all, or to clothe above one-third of them at a time. If" the Greek Committee" supply all these deficiencies-if they equip and pay the Greek army, pray who are the real belligerents?—The Greek Committee, on the one side, evidently, and the Grand Seignor on the other. Can this be, without creating a war between England and the Porte? Most certainly not. In short, it is only the utter imbecility of these well-meaning people that protects them for a moment. If they could do anything worth thinking of, we should soon hear more of it. They have done, and they can do nothing; and therefore they are allowed to make just what speeches, and publish just what pamphlets, they please.
We have not been talking of the Greek cause, be it observed, but of the Greek Committee. To see a liberal enlightened Christian government established in Greece, would be to us, and to all the European world, the most delightful of spectacles. We hope such a government may be established there and most happy should we be to hear that the Christian governments of Europe had been able to find any
proper opportunity for assisting the Greeks by their interference and mediation. But we are satisfied that no interference even of that kind will be of any use, unless the measure be a general one. And we are most sincerely of opinion, that the greatest disservice any one individual can at this moment do to the Greeks, is to assist in any way whatever in increasing the importance of these officious Associations, the meddling of which, it is but too manifest, can have no substantial effect whatever, except that of creating much unhappy suspicion and distrust in those high and responsible quarters from which alone the Greeks have any right to expect or to receive assist
Mr Blaquiere's pamphlet contains no information at all worthy of the name-and the few facts he does produce have any tendency rather than to confirm the conclusions he appears so eager to draw from them. The Greek Congress of this year, he says, met in an orange grove and deliberated on three great subjects-first, "the best mode of introducing trial by jury, and a regular system of education, on the principles of Bell and Lancaster;" secondly, "on the state of their finances, public accounts, and national resources;" and thirdly and LASTLY, 66 on the extent of the naval and military forces, and the most effectual plan for repelling every future attempt of the enemy."-Now, if this be not putting the cart before the horse, we should be glad to hear what it is. Fretty legis lators indeed! Bell and Lancaster's education taking place there and then of the inquiry into their military resources, and the means of repelling the enemy!
Once more-we devoutly hope the termination of this struggle will be the establishment of an independent Greek Government in Greece. The course of events, so far as we can understand matters, seems to render this consummation every day more probable; but it certainly will not be hastened by the Greck Committee, although we think it very probable it may be deferred.
These agitators, when they simply, avowedly, and distinctly, in their private capacities, meddle with such matters, do what we humbly conceive they have no right to do-usurp the privilege of the government under whose protection they exist; and eventually, if their exertions are of any conse◄
quence whatever, injure instead of benefiting the causes they are pleased to adopt. But when they assume, as of late they appear to have no scruples in doing, something like that public and authoritative character to which they have no claim more than the cattle in the fields-when they hint that their voice is the voice of their country, that their interference is the interference of England, that they are any thing more than they really are--their conduct both assumes a character of more intolerable arrogance and presumption, and seems well calculated to produce consequences of the most tragic nature.
Sir Robert Wilson negotiates in Spain; and Mr Blaquiere talks of its occurring" to him " that the presence of an agent of some kind would be fuvourably interpreted by the Provisional Government and people of Greece!!" A notion in which he says a most flattering reception afterwards convinced him he was not mistaken!" Good, very good! are we really come to this, that any foreign peoples or governments are to put favourable interpretations upon matters of this mighty importance! The arrival of Mr Blaquiere!" the presence of an agent of some kind!" An agent indeed!
"With surety stronger than Achilles' arm "Fore all the Greekish heads, which with one voice
Call Agamemnon General !"
Lord Byron has gone to Greece: this is, to be sure, rather a different matter from Mr Blaquiere's embassy: But we must have rather more facts than Mr Blaquiere's pamphlet furnishes, before we commit ourselves by saying anything as to his Lordship's prospects in this picturesque, and, we doubt not, generous adventure.
It is not our fault, if these people manage matters so as to make all rational men regard them with jealousy. It is not our fault, that the Edinburgh Review, and its worthy colleague, the Morning Chronicle, attack everything' that the Christians of this country have been taught to hold dear, in the one page, and sound a trumpet about the necessity of humbling "the Infidels" (what a sweet phrase from them!) in the next. It is not our fault, if the same loyal and enlightened Whigs, who give a dinner to Messrs BROUGHAM and DENMAN, and toast "Reform,' the one day, are pleased to give a supper on the following night to Mr Law
LESS! and toast "Kinloch of Kinloch," and "the memory of Emmett." It is not our fault, if the cloven hoof will not be at the trouble to keep itself decently concealed.
We must disclaim, however, any intention of saying anything against Mr Blaquiere. On the contrary, his pamphlet leads us to believe that he is an amiably disposed young man-very much so. We have no doubt he has the best possible intentions, and we honour him for them. But we really do not believe that there was any absolute necessity for his interfering between the Turks and the Greeks. We consider it as quite possible that these parties may in the end settle their matters without thinking of “the Greek Committee;" and hope, in the meantime, that Mr Blaquiere's book, which is to come out at the beginning of the next publishing season, may be better got up than his pamphlet, which appeared at the fag-end of the last.
What is become of General Pepe ? Where is Count Pecchio? Are Sir Robert Wilson's "Commentaries on the Peninsular War" to be in 8vo or 4to? Is there to be no subscription for a monument to Dr Watson, junior? Is it true that Lieut.-General the Earl of Rosslyn is about to give up his office in the Chancery of Scotland? Is it true that all the lawyers have advised the dishing of the Jury Court in Scotland? Is it true that Mr Brougham is resolved to have another run at the Chancellor? Is it true that Mr John M'Farlane, advocate, approves of the plan? Is it true that Mr Shireff of St Ninians has really quitted the Kirk of Scotland? Is it true that he declined being the new Pope? Is it true that the Princess Olive has fallen in love with Mr Owen? Is it true that every body is eloping? Is it true that Mr Waithanan is Lord Mayor of London? Is it true that Mr Hone is turned Methodist? Is it true that Mr Irving has come to the end of his tether? Is it true that Alaric Watts blew up Fonthill? Is it true that there were sixteen Guidos? Is it true that Mr Beckford thinks Mr Fox was no better than he should have been? Is it true that Cooper and Russell are to fight next spring on the Steyne? Is it true that Mr Leslie has brought home the Belvidere Apollo? Is it true that the Morning Chronicle has been talking of
the two celebrated Generals, Odysseus and Ulysses?" We pause for a reply.
fifty to one in wealth and prosperity. Lawless well knows that no legislative enactment at least no legislative enactment in the contemplation of the party he was addressing-could reach the millions about whom he was sputtering. An important change must take place in the frame of Irish society before anything can be done which will raise them to the level of a civifized population; and that change will not be effected by putting down the Protestant Church, and substituting the Roman Catholic in its room, as his friends are fondly hoping. That would indeed be a sad retrograde movement. Do not think I am too harsh in the character I am giving of the Irish peasantry. They are at present, in the south of Ireland, (where they are exclusively Roman Catholics, the north, which is tinged with the much abused colour of orange, being quiet,) engaged in a system of assassination and arson, which would disgrace the Cherokees. It is scarcely a month since a Mr Franks was shot in his own parlour, the skull of his wife shattered by a crowbar while she clung to the arms of her son, the head of the son smashed to pieces by the same instrument, and his body pierced by a pitch-fork, which was passed from hand to hand between nearly a hundred peasants, in order that each might participate in insulting the lifeless body, while a fellow, who was left outside as guard, whistled and danced a hornpipe for joy. The crime this family was guilty of was this-the son had been evidence in a criminal prosecution against a man convicted of extorting fire-arms, to be employed in carrying on the system which produces these results. Such are the millions for whose ascendancy Mr Lawless is preaching. It is only insulting our understandings to appeal to this numerical argument. Let the question of Roman Catholic emancipation be argued on its own merits. If it be unjust to keep Roman Catholics from power, it is no matter whether the injustice affect a thousand or a million; it should not disgrace our
statute-book for a moment in either case. If it be necessary to keep them out, their numbers are nothing at all to the justice of the business-it is only an argument to expediency, or, in other words, to our fears-an argument, Christopher, which we have at all times, through good report and evil, treated with the bitterness of scorn, by whomsoever, or in whatsoever cause, it may be advanced. As for the Orangemen, he must be wilfully blind who does not see that they are forced into union by fear. Nobody likes domici liary visits from gentlemen furnished with sledge hammers to extract his brains. The very secrecy of their meetings-the mere fact of their having private signs and symbols to know one another by-is a proof of their being apprehensive, not of their being do mineering. Their atrocities are con fined to putting tawdry ribbons, in most vile bad taste, upon a paltry statue (a piece of tom-foolery always disapproved of by their leaders, Sir Abraham Bradley King for instance,* after it was made matter of offence, and now given up)--and toasting the memory of William III. That this toast should excite Whig indignation, is strange; and stranger still, that the Orangemen should be accused of insulting intrusion on the feelings of their countrymen, when they themselves are to be refused the poor privilege of giving as a toast the memory of him who may justly be deemed the founder of the dynasty now occupying the throne. What would the Whigs say, if the Whig Clubs were prohibited from giving the memory of Charles James Fox, because, though acceptable to them, it stinks in the nostrils of all the honest men in the kingdom? Then indeed would we have the nose of Brougham twitched in tenfold fury, in defiance of us and all our works.
Observe, I am not giving any opinion whatever as to the expediency, or inexpediency of Orange Associa tions. I am too far from the spot, and the accounts from Ireland are too contradictory, and too fierce, for me to
*Not to break my sentence above, I throw into a note, the fact that this offensive ceremony of dressing the statue in College-Green, Dublin, was a regular state ceremony, at which the Lord Lieutenant, the Lord Mayor, the Chancellor, &c. assisted in much pomp and procession, without exciting a complaint from the Roman Catholics, for a long series of years-until it was made a question of by the Duke of Bedford-God bless the wise statesman !-who refused to join. It has ever since been a bone of contention, but was gradually falling into the hands of the mere rabble, and would certainly have died of itself in a year or two.
hazard any very decisive assertion on their credit. But one argument against them I know to be fallacious. It is said that they are useless, and not required in England or Scotland, and therefore not in Ireland. Negatur conclusio. I deny the ergo. The state of society here is not like that in the sister island. God forbid it should. We have our angry politics, to be sure, but are not living in the middle of a Jacqueric, in spite of the exertions of Hunt, Watson, or the late Queen and her advocates, to get up one. What, therefore, may be altogether unnecessary here, may be called for in Ire land. Even if useless there also, we may easily pardon those, who, seeing their friends massacred unprotectedly all round them, adopt means of draw ing together people to oppose such operations. Denman, at this dinner, was quite absurd in his remarks on the Irish Insurrection Act. It is very easy for a gentleman, strongly en trenched over a bowl of cold punch, or a bottle of claret, in a quiet orderly city, among a knot of people, who, though Whigs, are in a great degree civilized, to talk about the severities of a law imperiously required; but if Mr Denman will take a house in Kildorrery, or thereabouts, and have the audacity to expect rents for his ground, he will, before the moon has changed, alter his opinion, and call lustily for any enactment that will keep the house over his head. I should be sorry indeed that such laws were put in force among our quiet hills on the Border; but there is a very different order of things going on in Duhallow.
Nor am I giving my opinion against Roman Catholic emancipation. I hope and trust the time will come, when the privileges and immunities of the state will be open to all; but I hope and trust also, that those privileges and immunities will never be opened to any one who will make use of them to wage war on the glorious institutions of the country. If we could be satisfied that the Roman Catholic priesthood would be content to remain in obedience to the laws of the land-to submit, as every other sectarian body submits, to the paramount authority of the Established Church, and make no efforts to put themselves up as the
dominant religion of any part of the kingdom, I am quite sure there would not be a word against what is modest→ ly called Catholic claims, spoken by one of us in or out of Parliament. No man of common sense could imagine that a general would betray his duty, because he believed in the infallibility of the Pope, or any other old woman; or that a judge would violate the laws he was administering, for the same reason; and as for Parliament, you know, North, what my opinion always has been on that point. I never feared the efforts of any demagogue fellow within those walls. I sincerely rejoiced in the election of Waithman, for instance, for I knew the Midas ears, which were taken by the jobbernowled corporators for horns of offence, powerful as those of the bulls of Bashan to batter down borough-mongery, would be found out in half an hour, when brought into company with the flower of England's gentlemen; and, accordingly, it was soon discovered, that he was, as Cobbett called him, a water bladder, from which nothing could come, because nothing was in it. So would it be with O'Connell and his compeers. A sentence from Canning would dispose of the first dozen of them for life. Tragedy-man Shiel would sit down in happy obscurity with Comedy-man Twiss. Fingals and Frenches, and the other sage nobility, would range with the Albemarles, the Nugents, and the rest of the rubbish of the House of Lords. It always makes me laugh when I think of such people sitting in the same house with Eldon, or Stowell, or Liverpool, or Wellington; ay, or even the remains of Erskine,* dilapidated as they are. But I fear that these concessions would only pave the way to the demand of Roman Catholic ascendancy in Ireland. I know it is an object earnestly desired by some of their velvet-pawed petitioners to Parliament. Look, for example, at the amazing insolence of the language addressed daily by priestlings in Ireland, to that great theologian, and most exemplary man, the Archbishop of Dublin, and you cannot doubt the fact. And if we admit the arguments now relied on to be valid, we cannot resist it. If the simple fact, that a barbarous people outnumbers the intellect of Ireland, be
* Ay, Tim, or BYRON.-C. N.