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Commissioner made use of the Patriarch of Constantinople, and of the forms of the Greek Church, in order to marry a lady already the wife of an Ionian gentleman. A 'second Chief of the State publicly paraded his utter disregard of appearances. A third did not scruple to desecrate the palace (in which he misrepresented the pure Majesty of England) by converting it into— “that which I am unwilling to mention.” But very excellent men have sometimes been betrayed into sad breaches of morality. The stain of injustice is a graver charge, and more disgraceful to England than any of the above-mentioned facts. The affair of the injured Ionian judges has excited the indignation of an illustrious Assembly. Not so as yet the case of Count Dusmani. Nevertheless, this gentleman, after long and invaluable services to the British Protectorate, was dismissed from his office by an act of caprice, as good in law as it was bad in equity. In this sad business the real culprit must, I fear, be sought for in England. A great and verbose despatch came from London. And who dares to oppose the wrath of genius armed with power? Let us hasten along, and whilst he lies in the dust, let us kick the foe of —Caesar. * Illud quod dicere nolo.—Juvenal. f Wide vol. i., page 276. Werbosa et grandis epistola venit
Quam timeo, victus ne poenas exigat Ajax,
Ut male defensus ! curramus praecipites, et
Dum jacet in ripā, calcemus Caesaris hostem.
Loss of Corfu will be greatly felt—Prince Alfred's Visit—The Duke of Brabant—The Author of “Pelham”—Lord Elgin—The Empress of Austria– The Emperor Francis Joseph—The Emperor at a Regimental Parade—The Empress of Austria in Venice—Visit of the Prince of Wales—A grateful Palace Guest—English Colony, Male and Female, denounced—Danger of rapid Elevation—Tribute of Respect to the General and Garrison—A quaint Revenge—It is an ill Wind that blows Nobody Good—“Let us swear eternal Friendship.”
THE loss of Corfu, as a naval and military station, and as a pleasant winter abode for civilians, will always be deeply and generally regretted. As regards English society and hospitality it was a second Malta, whilst in every other respect it greatly surpassed the attractions of that “military hothouse.” With regard to the subalterns of the army, the excellent shooting in Greece and Albania, with the delightful yachting excursions, and the paper hunts of the ladies and gentlemen, rendered Corfu in their eyes a kind of earthly paradise. English civilians and distinguished foreigners also visited with pleasure, especially during the winter, the beautiful capital of the Seven Islands. On the 5th December, 1859, his Royal Highness Prince Alfred landed at Corfu under a royal salute, and with all due military honors. During his stay the Prince lodged at the palace, with another young midshipman of his own selection for a companion. Official dinners and a ball celebrated his arrival. The Royal midshipman, apparently, found the dinner slow; but at the ball he evidently enjoyed himself. The kindness of his Royal Highness in procuring partners for his brother midshipmen was much observed. His personal qualities increased that popularity which is the birthright of all her Majesty's children. The idea of making Prince Alfred King of Greece had not yet become general. But from the date of this visit, the fact that King Otho had no direct heirs, turned the general attention to future possibilities. Long before the fall of Otho, the hope that Prince Alfred might one day reign in Greece (bringing with him the Ionian Islands), had become the general sentiment of the Hellenic race. In 1862, after the revolution, it was announced that his Royal Highness was coming in a vessel of war to pay a second visit to the Islands. But this intention was suddenly changed; in consequence of the reports of the enthusiastic desire of the Greeks
* Byron. VOI, II. C
THE DUKE OF BRABANT. 19
to have the Prince for their King. It was, therefore, judged imprudent to encourage, by his presence, hopes which it had never for a moment been the intention of the British Government to gratify. The Prince, therefore, remained at Malta, to the great disappointment of the Ionians, , who were prepared to give him a most flattering reception.
In the spring of 1860, the Duke of Brabant, eldest son of the King of the Belgians, paid a short visit to Corfu, the fortifications of which he duly inspected. Over those at Fort Neuf I had the honor of being one of the party which accompanied his Royal Highness. The Duke much admired the extensive works, which he examined in detail; and he would have been much astonished, I believe, could he have supposed that within three years from that time, Great Britain would cede of its own free will the magnificent fortress of Corfu.
In the same year, the author of “Pelham” passed some weeks in the island; gracing with his presence many dinners and balls. I heard that he was much struck with the handsome faces of the Greek men, but that he was disappointed in regard to the appearance of the females.
On the 26th March, 1861, the Earl of Elgin (on his way to be Governor-General of India) landed for a few hours. A guard of honor and a salute of nineteen guns were the honors he received. He wore a complete suit of white plain clothes, with a wide-awake transformed into a white turban, in early preparation for the hot latitudes he was bound for. With us the weather was quite cool. The decidedly plethoric aspect of the Viceroy of India was not promising as regarded his future health, considering that he was proceeding to India, for the first time, at an advanced period of life. The longest visit paid to Corfu by a Royal personage, during the last four years, was that of the Empress of Austria in 1861. Her Majesty came to enjoy the mild climate; and she resided for several months in the Casino, or country-house of the Lord High Commissioner. There she lived in the simplest manner, with very few attendants, and happily released from all the trammels and fatigues of Imperial rank. Her Majesty might be seen, almost daily, walking on the beautiful sea-side road at Castrades, which was constructed by Sir Howard Douglas when Lord High Commissioner. Accompanied by a single lady, the Empress enjoyed the mild air and the beautiful scenery; whilst delighting both the Greeks and the English by her graceful yet dignified simplicity of manners. Her Majesty was a constant attendant at the little Opera House, and at the palace balls. Young, beautiful, interesting, and good, it is pleasing to imagine that she may have contributed to that great change in policy which