LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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A Narrative of Lord Byron’s Last Journey to Greece
Chapter I

‣ Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
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Lord Byron’s departure from Genoa—His voyage to Cefalonia—His tour in Ithaca—His residence at Metaxata.

There are few either in the Old or the New World, whithersoever the light of civilization extends, who have not proclaimed themselves friendly to the regeneration of Greece. People of all nations, parties and sects the most opposed to each other, whether in politics or religion, have apparently
always been unanimous in the wish of seeing that country liberated from the dominion of the Turks. Who would renounce the name of Christian, and incur the appellation of barbarian?—It would be useless and tedious to state the well-known causes which have contributed to awaken an interest so general, and to enlarge upon the influence which they might have had on the determination of
Lord Byron to proceed to Greece.

If, as there are many who are fond of making vows for the liberation of Greece, a crusade had been planned in her favour, and the obstacles to be encountered had appeared trivial, Lord Byron would never have joined in the undertaking: he was not one to follow the crowd, or to engage in enterprises free from danger.

Doubtless, he bewailed the calamities of Greece, and none could have more earnestly
desired her liberation from that shameful yoke which has reduced her to a state so degraded and deplorable. But such a wish might not have led, but for particular reasons, to any ulterior determination.

Lord Byron had once intended fixing his residence in Italy, but the political state of that country gave rise to feelings of disgust. He likewise had some thoughts of going to the United States of America, where he was known and esteemed;—I once saw him nearly on the point of departure.

He often felt the want of some other occupation than that of writing; and frequently said, that the public must be tired of his compositions, and that he was certainly more so.

Towards the end of February, 1823, he turned his thoughts towards Greece. No
one could accuse him of being a blind enthusiast. In his travels during his younger days, he had imbibed a greater personal esteem for the character of the Turks than for that of their slaves. He may have persuaded himself that his personal endeavours and his pecuniary resources might possibly contribute to the liberation of Greece. No undertaking could interest him more strongly; the object, the scene, the danger, were powerful incentives.

It appeared that no Christian power was likely to take part in the struggle of the Greeks. Most of the Europeans who went to their assistance had either perished, or, discontented, had abandoned them. It was generally believed, that a powerful expedition was preparing on the part of the Turks; the eyes of all Europe were then turned not towards the East, but the West.
Spain alone occupied the public attention. Such a state of things would have made others desist: it stimulated
Lord Byron.

In the mean time, he received a letter from his friend Mr. Hobhouse, informing him of the interest that the English were beginning to take in favour of the Greeks; that a committee had been formed, many of whom were his friends; that Mr. Blaquiere had been sent into Greece to learn more exactly the state of affairs, and that he would touch at Genoa, to communicate with his Lordship. In the middle of April, Mr. Blaquiere arrived in company with Mr. Luriotti, afterwards Greek deputy in London.

They begged his Lordship to concur with his other friends: he replied, that he was fully disposed so to do, and to assist the cause not only with his means, but per-
sonally, if the Greeks would accept of his services, and if his going to Greece would be of any advantage to that country.

He then decided on as early a departure as possible. Mr. Blaquiere was to send information, and we were to be ready on the receipt of his letters.

I undertook the preparations. A physician acquainted with surgery was requisite, but a known and skilful one was difficult to be found in Genoa. I wrote to Leghorn and Pisa, but the time was too short. The celebrated Vacca, to whom I applied, answered, that if he had known of it earlier, he would have found some one of his pupils for the purpose. “If,” said he, “I had not a family, and so many ties that bind me to the spot, I myself would most willingly accompany you.” Doctor Alexander, formerly a surgeon in the English service,
and his Lordship’s physician at Genoa, recommended
Doctor Bruno, who had just left the university with considerable reputation: he was engaged.

On the 1st of May, two unfortunate Germans came to ask charity of his Lordship. They had quitted Greece after the defeat of the European corps at Peta, and were reduced to the utmost want. They had landed at Ancona, whence, exposed to every privation, begging their bread, and sleeping in the open air, they set out for their own country, and arrived at Genoa, still having a thousand miles to go. Their situation was most pitiable: his Lordship relieved them.

Their accounts of Greece were certainly not encouraging; but, far from cooling his ardour, they made him more resolved to proceed: it is useless to repeat, that opposition
and the prospect of the greatest dangers were to him the most alluring excitements.

The newspapers now announced that the Greeks had settled their dissensions, established a regular government, and stood prepared for a most vigorous defence. This favourable news had the contrary effect: “What need,” said he, “have they of the assistance of a stranger?”

At the same time he became impatient, and feared lest he should arrive too late. At the end of May, a letter was received from Mr. Blaquiere from Zante. He likewise sent the most favourable intelligence, and begged his Lordship to hasten his departure, for he was expected with the greatest anxiety, and could be of infinite service. Mr. Blaquiere was then about to proceed to the seat of government, whence he promised to write. He advised Lord
Byron to direct his course to Zante, where he would find letters containing every information, and that he himself would await his arrival in the Morea.

The preparations for our departure were hastened.

An English brig, the Hercules, Captain Scott, was freighted. Mr. Trelawny arrived from Florence by his Lordship’s invitation: he waited till the middle of July for other letters from Mr. Blaquiere from the Morea—none arrived. He would now no longer delay his departure.

On the 13th of July we were aboard: Captain Trelawny, the physician, eight domestics, and myself, formed his suite. Lord Byron had likewise given a passage to a Greek named Schilitzy, of Constantinople, coming from Russia. We had five horses
aboard, arras and ammunition for our own use, two one-pounders, belonging to his schooner the Bolivar, which he left at Genoa. The uncertainty of the course he was about to pursue, and the information he had received from various quarters, induced him to carry his supplies in specie. He had ten thousand Spanish dollars, in ready money, and bills of exchange for forty thousand more. There were, likewise, some chests of medicine sufficient for a thousand men for a year.

At ten o’clock in the morning every thing was in readiness. There was no wind. He went with Mr. Barry, his banker, and Mr. Trelawny, to the Lomellina, one of the most beautiful villas in the environs of Genoa, about six miles from the city, on the shore, to the west. Lord Byron dined with us there, under a tree, on cheese and fruit. We slept aboard, and were able to clear the
port about sunrise. We remained in sight of Genoa during the whole day. The weather was delightful, the sun scorching, and the wind light. We enjoyed the sight of the magnificent amphitheatre which Genoa presents to the view at some distance from land. Towards midnight a strong westerly wind arose; we made head against it for three or four hours, but in the end the captain was obliged to steer back to the port of Genoa. The horses, unaccustomed to the sea, and badly accommodated, caused us serious inconvenience. They broke down their divisions, and kicked each other. We re-entered the port at six in the morning. Lord Byron passed nearly the whole night on deck. Those of his suite who were not affected with seasickness assisted him in his endeavours to prevent greater mischief amongst the horses. He did not feel himself unwell till towards morning, when we entered the port. I was half dead with sickness the
whole night. When able to rise, he said to me, “You have lost one of the most magnificent sights I ever beheld. For a short time we were in serious danger; but the captain and his crew did wonders. I was the whole time on deck. The sight is not new to me, but I have always looked upon a storm as one of the sublimest spectacles in nature.” He appeared thoughtful, and remarked, that he considered a bad beginning a favourable omen.

The whole day was spent in repairing damages. His Lordship wishing to visit his palace at Albaro, which he had left in the care of his banker, I accompanied him. His conversation was somewhat melancholy on our way to Albaro: he spoke much of his past life, and of the uncertainty of the future. “Where,” said he, “shall we be in a year?” It looked like a melancholy foreboding; for on the same day
of the same month, in the next year, he was carried to the tomb of his ancestors. He expressed a wish to retire for three or four hours. He dined alone, on cheese and figs, returned to the city towards four o’clock, took a warm bath, and again went on board. In the evening we set sail, and a passage of five days carried us to Leghorn.

On our arrival there we received a salute of thirteen guns, from an Ionian vessel, commanded by a Signior V——, to whom Lord Byron had promised a passage. He immediately came aboard our vessel, accompanied by some Greek patriotic merchants, who called themselves his intimate friends. When we landed, these very same persons began to accuse Sig. V. with being a desperado and impostor, capable of selling us to the Turks.


Many reasons induced us to touch at Leghorn: we expected to procure information and letters from the venerable Archbishop Ignazio, residing at Pisa. His Lordship had to settle some affairs with Mr. Webb. It was necessary to take a supply of gunpowder, and other English goods, not to be found elsewhere; and, in fine, to take aboard Sig. V. and a Scotch gentleman, Mr. Hamilton Browne, whom he only knew by letter.

We remained two days in port. Lord Byron was generally aboard. We heard little news not already known. The principal Greek chiefs were assembled in Congress, in order to form a new government, to settle some disagreements of a trifling nature, and to concert a general plan of defence. No great efforts were expected on the part of the Turks during this campaign.


The venerable Ignazio, Archbishop of Arta, a warm patriot, sent us from Pisa, by his secretary, several letters of introduction to the principal Greek chiefs, and to the government. He thanked his Lordship, in the name of his nation, for his generous undertaking, and trusted that his assistance, his counsels, and his example, would prove of benefit to his country. He recommended him particularly to Prince Mavrocordato and to the brave Marco Botzari.

We sailed from Leghorn on the 23d of July, with a favourable wind and delightful weather. We coasted the Isle of Elba. At Leghorn Lord Byron had received the first volume of Las Casas’ Memoirs: it is not difficult to conceive upon what our conversation turned for some time. Lord Byron took great interest in every thing relating to Napoleon. No one better un-
derstood the character and genius of that extraordinary man.

We sailed near Stromboli in a clear night; but Lord Byron, who had never seen a volcano, had not the good fortune to witness an eruption. Some lights were occasionally seen on the side of the mountain, which, willing to believe volcanic at first, we were forced to acknowledge proceeded from some houses.

It was our intention to touch at Messina, but on entering the straits a brisk and favourable wind got up; and Lord Byron, eager to arrive at the Ionian Islands, was unwilling to lose a moment.

Leaving the straits behind, we enjoyed a magnificent sight of Mount Etna, then covered by a thick cloud of smoke.


On the 2d of August we arrived between Zante and Cephalonia. The wind drove us off Zante—notwithstanding this we endeavoured to make for Cephalonia, but did not gain it till the following morning. His Lordship preferred landing there on account of the known liberal feelings of the Commandant.

Nothing happened during our voyage. Lord Byron enjoyed excellent health, and was always in good spirits. He was generally on deck; and, as he never undressed to lie down, he often rose at night. He took his meals on deck. Fruit, cheese, and vegetables, as long as they kept fresh, formed his diet. He both read and conversed much. We were all cheerful; the presence of the Ionian adventurer alone gave us cause for uneasiness. The old Captain Scott, a plain honest sailor, frequently
amused Lord Byron with his quaint observations.

On the morning of the 3d of August we cast anchor in Argostoli, the principal port of Cephalonia.

It is to be remarked, that Lord Byron went to the Ionian Islands strongly prejudiced against Sir Thomas Maitland and his government, which he looked upon as hostile to the Greek cause, notwithstanding that the favourable change which had taken place in the sentiments of the English cabinet was likely to produce a similar one in those of the Ionian government. Doubtless his arrival in the Ionian Islands, upon such an expedition, could not but be embarrassing equally to the governors and to him. For these reasons he resolved on a line of conduct incapable of exciting suspicion.


The resident, Colonel Napier, was absent from the island. He had accompanied General Adam and Admiral Moore to a conference with the Captain Pacha concerning some infractions, on the part of the Turks, of the neutrality of the Ionian Islands.

The first intelligence concerning Greece came to us from the Captain of the port, a Cephalonian—a little truth, and a great deal of boasting and conceit. “The Greeks,” said he, “now united, will not be attacked—nay, they will attack: the Turkish fleet is in these seas, but the Grecian fleet is daily expected, and will clear them of the former, and destroy it.” Shortly after, Mr. Kennedy, the secretary of the government, came aboard, and gave a very different account. Little was known, he informed us, of the internal concerns of
Greece; both parties were indolent, a circumstance somewhat in favour of the Greeks, but yet it tended to foment discord, which was gaining ground. The Turks were in quiet possession of the sea, and the Greeks lay inactive in the ports of Hydra, Spezzia, and Ipsara.

The officers of the eighth regiment, then in garrison, showed Lord Byron every civility, as did all the other English authorities of the island. His Lordship was sensible of their politeness, and accepted an invitation to dine at the regimental mess—not a trifling sacrifice to his Pythagorean habits. At the end of two days the Resident returned, and showed him every attention.

The information we received from Colonel Napier gave us little insight into the state of affairs in Greece. A great want of
energy appeared on both sides, and an unfortunate tendency to intestine dissensions.

In the mean time it was reported that Mr. Blaquiere had returned to Corfu, and that the famous Marco Botzari, to whom we were particularly recommended, was at Missolonghi. Lord Byron, previous to any step, judged it prudent to despatch two messengers; one to Corfu, another to Missolonghi, to collect every possible information in the Morea.

Whilst waiting for answers, we took a journey across the Island of Cephalonia to Ithaca, leaving most of the servants, and every thing else, on board. The first day we reached St. Euphemia, one of the principal ports of the island on the side of Ithaca. An English magistrate, who resided there, politely offered us his hospi-
tality. But notwithstanding a journey of six hours on mules, under a scorching sun, and over nearly impassable roads,
Lord Byron was resolved to proceed on to Ithaca the same day. We crossed the narrow strait, between the two islands, in an open four-oared boat. The season, the time of day, and the beautiful views of the surrounding coasts, rendered our tour agreeable. Our boatmen landed us at Ithaca.

It was now near sunset: the town of Vathi was more than six miles distant, over a hilly road: we were eight in company, with some luggage, and rather fatigued: no house, no sign of a human being, was to be seen. Lord Byron proposed passing the night in some of the many caves on the coast. We refreshed ourselves with some ripe grapes which grew upon the hill. Romantic adventures
were displeasing to none of us, but it was to be feared lest the night air might injure Lord Byron’s health; for which reason,
Mr. Hamilton Browne and myself ascended the hill, whilst the others were bathing. After an hour’s walk, we discovered a house in a recess, surrounded by trees. A boy was standing before the door, who, from his appearance and dress, did not appear to be a peasant. Mr. Browne asked him, in Greek, if it were possible to find a guide to the town, and some mules? What was our agreeable surprise to hear an answer, in good Venetian, from a female within, that she would immediately call her husband, then in the field, and that we could certainly be provided with a mule and a servant. She then came out to us. Her appearance, though she was somewhat worn by years and domestic cares, was not unpleasing. Her husband had formerly been
a merchant at Trieste: the house, and a small quantity of land, which they cultivated, remained to them after the wreck of their fortune. The husband appeared; and though ignorant who we were, not only offered us the mule and servant, but every hospitality his house could afford. The way to the town being long and steep, and no other mules to be found, we gladly accepted the kind offer; and, returning, we found Lord Byron just come out of the water: he refused the use of the mule, and walked up to the house, rather more than an hour distant.

Our good host, a warm patriot, and formerly a rich merchant, entertained us for some time with accounts of the prowess of the Greeks, rivalling, as he said, the glory of their ancestors. He told us, also, the story of the misfortunes which had
brought him to that solitude. He spread before us some excellent grapes, of various sorts, besides other fruit, and wine. It was one of those delightfully cool nights which, in such climates, fully repay us for the heat of the day. On one side were two high mountains, on the other the declivity of the hill which led to the shore, where we had disembarked. On the summit of one of the mountains tradition places a castle, founded by Ulysses; and on the side a cave, where he deposited the presents of the Pheacians. Our host, who valued himself on his erudition, made us pay a trifle for his hospitality by obliging us to listen to his long antiquarian dissertations.

Lord Byron, who delighted more in the beauties of nature than in learned lore, remained out late, talking much of his
former travels in Greece, and of the real happiness he felt amidst such magnificent scenery.

We all slept in a small room, in our cloaks; and in the morning Mr. Browne started early for Vathi, with a letter which Lord Byron had for the commandant, Captain Knox, who immediately sent his boat to the nearest shore, with mules, guides, &c. An officer, who commanded a detachment in Ithaca, came with Mr. Browne. Lord Byron ascended to the grotto, but the steepness and height prevented him from reaching the remains of the castle. I myself experienced considerable difficulty in gaining it. Lord Byron sat reading in the grotto, but fell asleep. I awoke him on my return, and he said that I had interrupted dreams more pleasing than ever he before had in his life. We arrived
at Vathi in the afternoon. Captain Knox and his amiable lady showed us the most polite attention.

On the following day, Captain Knox accompanied us to the fountain of Arethusa, to which are attached many classical traditions: but we left them to the learned, and found the never-fading beauties of nature sufficiently attractive. We remained a few hours, arid dined there. On other days, we visited other parts of the island, and particularly one part, where are some remains, which go by the name of the School of Homer. We there found a refugee, an old bishop, whom Lord Byron, ten years before, knew in Livadia. He took great delight in questioning him on the fate of those whom he remembered formerly in Greece. Names and circumstances were so fresh in his memory, that the good old bishop could with difficulty
follow him. Some had distinguished themselves in the present revolution, others were dead, or sunk into calamity and distress.

The first opportunity of displaying his benevolent feelings towards the victims of barbarism and tyranny, in the present glorious struggle, occurred in Ithaca. Many poor families had fled there from Scio, Patras, and other parts of Greece. Lord Byron gave three thousand piastres to the commandant, for their relief; and he induced a family, once rich in Patras, but now reduced to the greatest misery, to pass over to Cephalonia, where he provided them with a house, and assigned them a monthly allowance.

In a few days we returned to Cephalonia. We called again on our good host, and, dining at St. Euphemia, we passed the
night at Samo, in an old convent, on the summit of a mountain on the opposite side of the gulf. At five, on the following evening, we reached Argostoli, and went aboard the Hercules. We had been eight days absent, travelling generally from nine in the morning until four or five in the evening, and, in that season and climate, under a most scorching sun.
Lord Byron never enjoyed better health or spirits; and we were persuaded that strong exercise, and even fatigue, contributed to the health of his mind and body.

After our return, a letter from London informed us that Lord Byron was appointed principal agent of the Greek Committee. The messenger returning from Corfu, brought news of Mr. Blaquiere’s departure for England, without leaving any letters for his Lordship. Various ru-
mours reached us of the affairs of the Peloponnesus; amongst the rest, that
Mavrocordato was killed. We learned, however, afterwards, that he was only obliged to abandon the Morea, and quit public affairs. It was added, that Colocotroni was stronger than the government; and that the Greeks were more intent on persecuting and calumniating each other than on securing the independence of their country. Fortunately they were not seriously menaced from any quarter by the enemy. There was more to be feared from their own dissensions than from the Turks.

Lord Byron, always bent on proceeding, resolved on taking into pay forty Suliots then residing on the island. Their obstinate and determined defence of their native rocks, their noble resolution of preferring exile to slavery, had for some time
disposed him in favour of that brave and unfortunate tribe. They were distinguished amongst the warriors of Koumelia for their courage and experience, and, above all, for their fidelity.

No sooner were his Lordship’s intentions known, than they sent their chiefs, Giavella, Draco, and Fotomara, offering their services. Two dollars and a half were allowed as pay by the Greek government, and frequently that was only nominal. Lord Byron agreed with them for four per man, and they were to serve as his body-guard.

On the 22d of August the messenger returned from Missolonghi with a letter from Botzari, whom he found in the mountains of Agrafa, at Carpenissi. He wrote in the following terms, under date the 18th August:


“Your letter, and that of the venerable Ignazio, have filled me with joy. Your Excellency is exactly the person of whom we stand in need. Let nothing prevent you from coming into this part of Greece. The enemy threatens us in great number; but, by the help of God and your Excellency, they shall meet a suitable resistance. I shall have something to do tonight against a corps of six or seven thousand Albanians, encamped close to this place. The day after to-morrow I will set out, with a few chosen companions, to meet your Excellency. Do not delay. I thank you for the good opinion you have of my fellow citizens, which God grant you will not find ill-founded; and I thank you still more for the care you have so kindly taken of them. Believe me,” &c.

Such was the simple style in which the plain, honest, brave Marco Botzari wrote to Lord Byron. It was his last letter; for that very night he penetrated into the enemy’s camp, of eight or ten thousand strong, with a hundred followers only; and having slaughtered a considerable number, gloriously fell, close to the tent of the Pacha himself*. When we heard of this calamity,

* See note in Appendix.

we were informed, at the same time, that the affairs of the Peloponnesus were growing more desperate, and the dissensions were more and more embittered by the spirit of faction.

Of the two patriots whom Lord Byron and Europe most esteemed, and to whom he was particularly recommended, one was no more, and the other was a refugee in an island.

This melancholy state of affairs neither deceived nor disheartened Lord Byron. Not a fanatic, not a blind enthusiast, he was prepared for the worst. But there was little good to be reaped from proceeding at present. To learn the real state of affairs, to become acquainted with the men concerned, and to be known to them, was the best method of acquiring an influence
which he might afterwards employ in settling their internal discords.

It seemed to Lord Byron that it would be, moreover, difficult to convince the less civilized of the Greeks, who were then at the head of affairs, and naturally suspicious, of the purity and disinterestedness of his motives. It was generally believed that strangers were not well received by the Greeks. He certainly carried an excellent recommendation—money. But he might, on this very account, feel himself obliged to join one party or the other, against the dignity of his character, and against the interests of the cause which he wished to assist. “I come not here,” he said, “to join a faction, but a nation; and to act with honest men—not speculators or peculators, as the Greeks daily call each other. I must be circumspect.”


It was therefore resolved that Mr. Hamilton Browne, and Mr. Trelawny, should be the bearers of a letter to the government, communicating the intentions of the London Committee, and his own. He, in the mean time, would wait the answer of the government, and more impartial information from his friends and companions.

Those who have studied the character of Lord Byron in his writings will easily believe that prudence was not in the catalogue of his virtues. Lord Byron knew that this prejudice was entertained against him, and, therefore, feeling the necessity of such a virtue in his situation, no one could have more scrupulously endeavoured to attain it.

He carefully avoided every appearance of ostentation, and had a great dread of
being taken for a searcher after adventures. By perseverance and discernment he hoped to assist in the liberation of Greece: to know and to be known was consequently, in the outset, his principal object.

Our forty Suliots had already given us serious trouble. I discovered that many of them were neither Suliots nor Greeks. The three captains—three captains amongst forty men!—claimed the pay of the rank which they held in their own country. The men accused them of keeping back their pay. In fine, they only agreed in putting in continually fresh claims. Lord Byron gave them two months’ pay, got their arms from the government, and paid their passage to Missolonghi.

I must not omit the conduct of the Ionian bankers towards Lord Byron, which grieved him much. He had sent his letters
of credit from one of the first houses of the Mediterranean, directed to Messrs. Cariddi and
Corgialegno, two of the richest proprietors and merchants in the island. The former, either from fear of political consequences, or from incapability, replied, and perhaps truly, that he could not answer his bills. But the uncourteous manner was what offended Lord Byron. He neither came in person, nor sent an answer in writing, but a clerk with the refusal. M. Cariddi suffered afterwards, not only by the public contempt, but by the loss of much business with Messrs. Webb, which affected him, I should think, much more. M. Corgialegno was more courteous, but still betrayed a little of the Jew.

It was now the sixth of September. Hitherto Lord Byron had always remained aboard the Hercules, except in the evening, when he took his usual ride. The com-
Colonel Napier, had frequently begged him to take up his quarters with him; but he would not live in the town. Amongst other reasons, he feared lest he might embroil the English authorities of the place with their government, whose dispositions were not yet known. We retired into a village named Metaxata, in a salubrious spot, and amidst magnificent scenery.

We remained a month in that village, without any letters from Messrs. Browne and Trelawny, but were not idle, nor without means of information. As soon as it was known that an English nobleman of great fame, and—what acted not less powerfully on the imagination of the Greeks—of great wealth—exaggerated, notwithstanding his efforts to undeceive them—was at Cephalonia, it is easier to conceive than to relate the various means employed to en-
gage him in one faction or the other: letters, messengers, intrigues, and recriminations;—nay, each faction had its agents, exerting every art to degrade its opponent. The most disinterested patriotism, and every better feeling, was on the side of Lord Byron. He occupied himself in discovering the truth, hidden as it was under these intrigues, and amused himself in confronting the agents of the different factions.

Letters now arrived from Messrs. Browne and Trelawny. The state of affairs was not so desperate as reported. Power had certainly fallen into the hands of a faction without talent, and the views of its chiefs were circumscribed and selfish. Great indolence and a total disorganization prevailed. The mass of the nation, indeed, was well disposed, and was beginning to discover the incapacity and low views of
the chiefs. A determination of never again submitting to the Turkish yoke had taken deep root. The resources of Greece, we learnt, were great; but consisting, for the greater part, in lands belonging to their tyrants, little profit could be derived from them at present: as to the succours of an individual, or of an association of individuals, they can at no time greatly assist the wants of a nation.

Messrs. Browne and Trelawny were, however, well received. The existing government invited his Lordship to set out without delay; and pressing letters of solicitation came, with those of Messrs. Browne and Trelawny, from the executive and legislative bodies. Lord Byron still deemed it prudent not to move; for the reasons which had at first induced him to remain at Cephalonia were now strengthened. Here his influence increased daily, and he could
employ it more independently in raising the credit of any government which might be fairly called national: and what could Lord Byron do, then, if he proceeded at once to Greece, but throw away his money, to the profit of some individual, or, at best, of some faction?

Letters from the secretary of the Greek Committee now announced that arrangements had been made for the conclusion of the loan, in the event of the arrival of the deputies. Without a loan the nation could never avail itself of its resources, and every succeeding government would be possessed of less influence than the military chieftains.

The deputies already chosen remained at Hydra, inactive and irresolute. Internal dissensions, and the dangerous preponderance of Colocotroni, kept them in uncer-
tainty. Loss of time was a serious mischief. It was foreseen that little or nothing was to be feared in this campaign from the enemy; every measure should be consequently taken to prepare for that which was to decide the question of Grecian independence.

Mavrocordato wrote to Lord Byron from Hydra, whither he had fled, inviting him to that island. He was seconded in the invitation by the principal Hydriots. Lord Byron thanked him for his courteous invitation, and, through me, replied, “that none could more deeply deplore the unfortunate differences which paralysed their energies at a moment when they might reap the fruits of their extraordinary efforts, and lay the foundation of the independence of their country; that, among other bad consequences of those discords, the keeping away the illustrious Mavro-
cordato was not the least; that, as for himself, he would remain as a looker-on until he could see the favourable moment of co-operating with advantage in the national cause. He requested him to hasten the sailing of the fleet, and the departure of the deputies.” At the same time he answered several other letters, bearing similar invitations from different chiefs. Not content with this, he despatched Messrs.
Browne and Trelawny to Hydra, to press most earnestly the execution of this important advice.

The Captain Pacha had already set sail, with the greater part of the fleet, for the Dardanelles, leaving a squadron of fourteen vessels with Yussuff Pacha, for the blockade of Missolonghi, and for the protection of the fortresses in the Gulf still in the possession of the Turks.


Missolonghi was blockaded by this squadron, and besieged by Omer Pacha, and by the Pacha of Scutari, with nearly twenty thousand men, who had arrived after the death of Botzari. The governor, a Count Metaxa, a Cephalonian, solicited Lord Byron, by letters, to come there; and his faction in Cephalonia seconded his importunities. On an attentive consideration of the state of affairs, it was easy to perceive that that place stood in no great danger, either from famine or the attacks of the enemy. But still the raising of the blockade would be of infinite service, and on that account Lord Byron earnestly pressed the sailing of the Greek fleet. He sent medicines for the wounded, and for the dangerous maladies prevalent at that season of the year.

The generous dispositions of Lord Byron towards Greece were called into play during
his residence at Cephalonia. Many unfortunate Greek families, who had fled there, were relieved by him. The greater part of the Suliots, arriving, from the other Ionian Islands, were sent, at his expense, into Koumelia, to the assistance of their fellow-countrymen; and they would not have gone without leaving their families under such a protector.

In these occupations, and with no other amusement than his horse, he enjoyed excellent health and spirits. The doctor and myself were with him. We inhabited a small house, containing four rooms, two occupied by him.

He spent the day as follows:—Leaving his bedroom at nine, he was employed in answering letters and settling affairs with me till eleven. He then breakfasted, and took nothing but a cup of tea. Towards
noon he got on horseback, and generally remained out till three. Sometimes we went into the town. We then dined together, but he only ate cheese and vegetables. After dinner, we sometimes practised firing with a pistol. He then retired into his chamber till seven; and, after conversing with us till twelve, he retired to his chamber for the night, several hours of which, however, he passed in reading, for latterly he slept ill*.

He frequently received visits, either from some of the Greek agents, or from the resident English; and his pleasing manners, particularly to his countrymen, gained him universal esteem.

A Scotch doctor employed in the island, who was rather methodistically inclined,

* See the Appendix.

undertook the conversion, as he called it, of
Lord Byron. He frequently visited him, and their disputes on religious matters sometimes lasted five or six hours. The Bible was so familiar to Lord Byron, that he frequently corrected the citations of the theological doctor.

We frequently conversed at length on the affairs of Greece; and the more he perceived that his influence might be of service in the struggle for the regeneration of that country, the more satisfaction he felt in the line of conduct he had pursued. “With a certain sum in advance,” said he, “and no particular occupation, how could I better employ my time and money? I might have lived, or rather vegetated, in splendour, in some uninteresting country of Europe; but what are those pleasures, so much sought after, when once obtained? My friends wished me in Eng-
land, and I might, possibly, have visited it—and I will—but not to reside. After eight years’ absence, the customs and climate will no longer suit me.” He often said, that he would never give up his determination, unless the Greeks themselves expelled him. “If,” he exclaimed, “Greece should fall, I will bury myself in the ruins!—if she should establish her independence, I will take up my residence in some part or other—perhaps in Attica, where I once passed seven months.”

He began a journal, but did not continue it regularly. He wrote nothing but letters. “Poetry,” said he, “should only occupy the idle. In more serious affairs it would be ridiculous.” ——, writing to him, said, that he had heard that, “instead of pursuing heroic and warlike adventures, he was residing in a delightful villa, continuing ‘Don Juan.’” This offended him
for the moment, and he was sorry that such a mistaken judgment should have been formed of him.

About the beginning of October he heard of the illness of his daughter Ada, which made him anxious and melancholy for several days. He left off his journal, nor did he again continue it till a second letter informed him of her recovery. Lord Sydney Osborne, a friend and relation, came from Corfu, and passed two or three days with him.

Many Europeans, particularly Germans, some abandoning, others going to Greece, frequently arrived in the island. We daily gained fresh information concerning the character of the chiefs, and the nature of their dissensions. These unfortunately grew worse in proportion as the enthusiasm of Europe became warmer in their cause. Cap-
Hastings, the only Englishman who was engaged in the struggle—and he had been so for two years—wrote to Lord Byron a circumstantial and detailed account of the state of affairs.

A messenger of the executive body, Anarghiro, brought a pressing invitation to Lord Byron, requesting him to come to Napoli di Romania, or to Tripolizza. To this latter place he resolved to go. Mr. Parry, with the laboratory and the mechanics, were expected to arrive immediately, and it was of importance to determine how they could be immediately employed to the best advantage.

Our baggage was ready; some boats were hired to convey us to Pirgo; fifty Suliotes were taken into his Lordship’s service, under the command of Captain Nicola Giavella, who waited our arrival at Pirgo with
a number of mules for the baggage and suite.

It was the middle of November, and we were to move in two days. Lord Byron trusted that his disinterested intentions were now known. The accounts sent by Messrs. Browne and Trelawny, the repeated solicitations of the heads of the government, led to his determination: he hoped that his influence on the spot might produce a general reconciliation, and, in fine, hasten the departure of the deputies and the Greek fleet.

In the mean time, Mr. Hamilton Browne and the deputies arrived. His Lordship’s letters, the entreaties of his agents, and the exertions of Mavrocordato, had at last induced them to set out. They touched at Cephalonia, for letters and advice from Lord Byron; and, indeed, something more—a
loan of 30,000 dollars, or 300,000 piastres, for the payment of the Greek fleet. The demand came from the legislative body. A squadron of fourteen vessels, nine Hydriot, and five Speziot, would then immediately put to sea. Lazaro Conturiotti had paid the first month, and they trusted to his Lordship for the rest. He agreed to give £4,000, or 200,000 piastres. Lord Byron gave the deputies many letters for London: but, speaking of the loan, he made use of the following expressions, which no man of honourable sentiments will fail to appreciate:—“Every one says, and I believe, that a loan will be the salvation of Greece, both as to its internal disunion and external enemies: but I shall refrain from insisting much on this point, for fear I should be suspected of interested views, and of wishing to repay myself from the loan of the money I have advanced your government.”


Mavrocordato wrote to Lord Byron at length on the state of his countrymen, their dissensions, &c. which he showed were a natural consequence of the posture in which they stood; that a loan could alone eradicate the cause; that western Greece was threatened, and ought to be relieved; that his retreat from public affairs was only temporary, and that he himself would set out with the fleet. This letter seemed to us to come from a sincere patriot and an able statesman.

The news from London confirmed the accounts of an increasing interest in the Greek cause, and the best dispositions for the loan. The departure of the deputies was hastened. At Corfu they were well received by the Ionian government, and even some days’ quarantine were taken off to enable them to sail by the packet.


We were afterwards employed in realizing the £4,000, to be ready on the arrival of the fleet. As Lord Byron had been solicited by the legislative body, the real representatives of the nation, to turn all his thoughts to western Greece, he was obliged to abandon going to Tripolizza. Doctor Anarghiro was sent back with letters to the government, stating the reasons of Lord Byron’s change of resolution. We found no small difficulty in realizing the abovementioned small sum in the Ionian Islands, where there are few capitalists, and where the love of private interest is at least equal to that of the public good. The Ionian merchants made usurious offers, and endeavoured to take advantage of the necessities of Lord Byron, or rather of their own unfortunate nation. Lord Byron was not a man to submit to their imposition, and resolved on sending to
Malta, whence
Mr. Grant had written, offering very good terms. But the English house in Zante, Messrs. Barff and Hancock, with whom he had no connexion, offered to discount the bills on the most advantageous terms. Their conduct, not only on this occasion, but afterwards, as well towards Lord Byron as the Greeks, was always the most zealous and generous.