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“I heard between the iron bars
“ Of that lone prison by the sea, 6 Where the wave 'gainst the granite jars
• In dull and drear monotony"I heard thy murdered brother's prayer,
6 Breathed forth amid life's latest pang, “ And on the dungeon's fotid air
“ His cry for justice madly rang; “My ear against those bars was prest “ While he breathed forth his last behest, “ 'Mid calls for mercy-sobs of pain “And tears that fell like scalding rain. “ He told me of the weary days
“In listlessness and anguishi passed, “Resting upon the sea his gaze,
* Thinking some hope would come at last, “Or that thy stony heart would bend
And thou wouldst be thy brother's friend. “ He told me how, when night drew nigh,
“And neither hope nor friend was there, “He laid him down to weep and sigh,
“ In sullen grief or wild despair; “For sleep he dreaded more than pain,
“ As then he dreamed that he was free, " And stood within his home again,
“And his young son was at his knec, “And to his faded cheek seemed prest
“ The bright lips of his blooming wife, “ And bounded in his wasted breast
“The pulses high of joyous life. 6 • Pale monk,' said he, thou ne'er canst know
My dread amount of rage and woe, . When, waking from my dream of bliss • On this lone dungeon's dreariness, • I felt beneath my staring bones • The keen cold angles of these stones, • While on my misery looked the stars Dimly between those iron bars.“Sometimes again a child I've been • With my hard brother on the green,
Disporting merrily; • Or in the same soft bed we lay, • And kneeled together down to pray
"At our blest mother's knee, • Ere power and pride his heart had changed,
And all a brother's love estranged. "Then I woke up amid my tears • To muse upon those happy years, • And felt that I could even yet Forgive him, and my wrongs forget; • That I could still arise and go * To the stern cause of all my woe, 'For the dear sake of her that bore • The brother who hath vexed me sore! "], that was born with ardent heart, • In all life's joys to take my part; • 1, that upon the mountains went
With the first beams the sunrise sent, ' And ranged their summits far and free, Exulting in my liberty; "And pressed the heather fresh and sweet, • Untrodden yet by other feet; . And breathed the morning's first pure breeze · Ere yet it whispered through the trees;
* And saw beneath me in the glen
The quiet homes of slumbering men:• Yes! I have languished many a year * Amid these waters wild and drear•Nor looked upon the face of man, • Nor living thing hath met my scan, • Save the white seagull winging by • Rejoicing in the wave and sky, * And glancing through the feathery spray • Like some glad genius of the day. • Pale monk! thy fasting and thy prayer
Shall nought avail thee in thy need, If thou be deaf to my despair,
• And take not to my message heed. .Go! tell the brother who hath lain
Within the breast that gave me life, How I have watched and wept in vain
Of my long grief and fiery strife; "How slowly in my heart declined
The hope that he might yet be kind:*Tell him I've gnawed these iron bands,
* And dashed my head against these stones, And fought those bars with my weak hands
Until the metal grazed the bones :• Ha! tell him that with direst hate ‘My parting soul was animate. *For mercy dying sinners pray,
But vengeance, O my God! I call On him who took my youth away,
• And bound me living in the pall, • And chained me to this loathsome rock, · Whose solitudes my sorrows mock:'In forty days my foe sball stand
“Before the face of God on high, • To be requited at his hand
For my dread lingering agony :I summon him to meet me there, “That I may gaze on his despair, * And see the Virgin's holy face • Averted from his prayer for grace:“Oh! he hath turned my blood to gall!' “ Then," said the monk, “I heard him call, In words that now my soul appal, And summon thee in forty days To give account of all thy ways. Francis of Brittany, I swore
To bear this summons dread to thee:
Of that poor prisoner by the sea:
For Jesu's blood to wash away;
And cease not thou to weep and prayRepentance, deep as is thy sin, Perchance may e'en thy pardon win!"
THE SPIRIT OF CHANGE IN SOUTHERN EUROPE.
BY JAMES HENRY SKENE, Esq.
DISAFFECTION OF THE GREEKS OF THE IOXIAN ISLANDS.
I SHALL now endeavour to throw some light on the past and present state of the Ionian Islands, where our conduct as protectors is so important for the establishment of our political and diplomatic fame in the surrounding countries.
The consequences to ourselves of our mode of managing these small states are, indeed, infinitely more serious than would appear on a prima facie consideration of the subject ; because, although they be insignificant in point of extent, wealth, and population, still their social and political condition becomes a sample of the principles of government which are adopted by the English, and an earnest of the value of our friendship. The effects of enlightened policy on our part in the Ionian Islands must tend most materially to raise the credit of the English name in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, and Egypt; and must prompt the desire among the inhabitants of these countries, which are in constant communication with the Seven Islands, to secure to themselves also the benefits derivable from an amicable connexion with Great Britain. In fact, the state of affairs in those dependencies of our empire will probably influence very powerfully the future development of events in that quarter, and the necessary results which the mere agency of time cannot fail in realising
Among the Greeks of the Ionian States there exists a desire of change, which has been elicited and evinced in the most unequivocal manner; but before entering into the details of their late conduct, it will be necessary first to define distinctly the previous position and respective bearings of those fields for colonial policy, on which it is our duty to establish tranquillity and contentment among a population whose welfare has been confided to us.
The administration of the Ionian Islands, as colonies of Venice, was conducted during several centuries by absolute governors, who also discharged the functions of judge, treasurer, and general, under the title of Proveditore. Their rule was despotic, their object was extortion, and their practice was bribery and corruption ; for tyranny and venality increased in proportion to the declining vigour of the decrepid Lion of St Mark. At the same time, a certain appearance of civilisation and a semblance of improvement grew out of even so pernicious a system as this; and although morals gained nothing. by the example of the Venetians, manners and knowledge certainly did advance. The Greeks of the various towns became more like the Italians, and their character and habits merged into a sort of intermediate state between those of the original population and those of their masters. That such a modification should be wholly advantageous, would be in direct violation of the known effects of the intermixture of races and different grades of civilisation, and it would be in contradiction to old experience in the history
of nations; for the vigour of innate impulses is generally impaired by the engrafting of one people on another, and the moral qualities of either are rarely improved by it. Such was certainly the result in this instance, for a long lapse of years at least ; and the social state of these populations, after their partial amalgamation with the Venetians, was far from being satisfactory, notwithstanding that the enlightenment of individuals had undoubtedly progressed. But the corrupt mode of government which was practised may have produced this effect, as well as the mere admixture of the Greeks with foreigners. The Proveditori were generally nobles of Venice, whom vices and extravagance had sent abroad for the purpose of repairing their damaged fortunes. The protection of the law, like other marketable privileges, was therefore sold, and its vengeance was appeased, or at least mitigated, by a bribe. Impunity of crime became a speculation; and the highest offer either secured the escape of a murderer, or procured his execution. A price was put upon blood; and people quarrelling were often heard to say, “I would kill you, had I the thirty dollars to pay for the blow.” Assassination consequently became so common that at Zante, in a population consisting of 40,000 inhabitants, it was calculated that there was a man killed for every day in the year.
When the fall of Venice handed over these territories to the all-devouring appetite of the great revolution at the close of the last century, the Treaty of Campo Formio confirmed them, as well as other Venetian colonies, to the French. The Seven Islands, and the five continental towns of Butrinto, Gomenitza, Parga, Prevesa, and Vonitza, were soon garrisoned by them; and they then first inspired the hope of freedom in this people, both in the portion of the Greek nation which had been under the Venetian despotism, and in that which the Turks oppressed. The endeavour to regenerate the Greeks was again revived on the part of the French in the time of their empire, when the Ionian States for a second time fell to their share. But their inspirations, highly tinctured with enthusiasm and exaggeration, overstepped here, as elsewhere, the bounds of good sense, and their ideas on this subject became at last an object of ridicule to the Greeks themselves. Among other means of regeneration they attempted to reorganise the Olympic Games, but the iron medals were laughed at ; and the reckoning of years by Olympiads was also renewed, but it was never universally adopted. Other usages of the ancient Greeks were restored by the French, during the first and second periods of their protectorate of these States; but their time was gone by, and the attempts did more harm than good.
The Russians and Turks combined took possession of the x-Venetian colonies in this quarter, in the year 1789. Prevesa and Parga alone made some resistance; the former town was defended by a garrison of about ten thousand men, under the command of General La Salsette ; and on the approach of Ali Pasha with an army of a few thousand Albanians, the French advanced to meet him: a battle was fought amidst the ruins of Nicopolis, but it was not “a city of victory” to the French as it had been to Augustus, for they were totally defeated and driven back to Prevesa with great slaughter. Ali followed them into the town, and took possession of it; and it is said that many of the peaceable Greeks were put to death during the sacking of it, their heads being sent to Constantinople
after their mustachios had been shaved off, in order that they might personate the heads of Frenchmen killed in the action. The French afterwards met with another defeat in the year 1810, when Santa Maura was taken from them by the English ; the fort, which was defended by a garrison of eight hundred French and Italian troops, was bombarded, and after nine days the place was taken by assault. Several English officers distinguished themselves here by their gallant conduct : among others, General Sir John Oswald, General Sir Richard Church, and Major Clarke of the 35th Regiment, who was killed during the siege, behaved with gallantry.
The Russians and Turks held the islands under the form of the Septinsular Republic, protected by the former, and paying a tribute to the latter ; while the towns on the mainland were ceded to Turkey alone, by the Convention of Constantinople, dated 21st of March, 1800; and this treaty was ratified by Great Britain. It is a curious coincidence of political inconsistency, that a republic was thus founded by the two most absolute cabinets of Europe, at the very time when the monarchical government of the kingdom of Etruria was instituted by the French Republic, which was the most democratical.
The Russians had the wisdom and foresight to retain a direct control over the administration of the new state, which was exercised under the plea of protection; and the vicissitudes of the kingdom of Greece, since the emancipation of that country, have provided a signal refutation to the attacks which have been directed against the conduct of Russia on that occasion. A contrary line of policy with a similar people has produced the most disastrous results, and has satisfactorily demonstrated how necessary are leading-strings to young independence. In consequence
of the convention of 1800, the Turks insisted on receiving the whole of the continental towns which had been ceded to them; Ali Pasha of Jaunina proceeded to take possession of Parga, as he had previously done of Prevesa, Vonitza, Gomenitza, and Butrinto; but the little community of Parga, though not numbering above four thousand inhabitants, resisted, and succeeded during six months in eluding the fulfilment of the treaty. At the expiration of this period, finding that they were under the necessity of yielding, they dispatched an emissary to Constantinople, who obtained the most favourable conditions; the Porte having granted them partial independence, with a Turkish vaivode, or magistrate, in their fortress, as the sole Mahometan resident in the place. Parga enjoyed this exception from the fate of the other Venetian towns in Epirus until the year 1806, when Ali Pasha again attempted forcibly to enter the town. The protection of the admiral commanding the Russian fleet on the station was then invoked, who accordingly granted them a garrison, war having been declared in the mean time between the Russians and the Turks. These Russian troops at Parga were succeeded by a French force, when the peace of Tilsit delivered over the Ionian Islands to them in the year 1807; so that the convention of 1800 was never fully applied to that small town. The English, however, on assuming the protection of the Ionian Islands in virtue of the treaty of Paris of the 5th of November, 1815, could not avoid the fulfilment of a condition which she had herself ratified, and Parga was therefore delivered over to the Porte. The value of their property in money, and the rights of