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CONTENTS OF VOLUME XXIX.
Modern Atheism: Its Attitude towards Morality. By W. H. Mallock
Habitual Drunkenness: A Vice, Crime, or Disease ? By John Charles Buck-
Essays and Notices
Spinoza : the Man and the Philosopher. By Arthur Bolles Lee
Reasonable Faith. By Francis Peek
Wagner. By the Rev. H. R. Haweis, M.A.
Aftists and Artisans. By the Rev. R. St. John Tyrwhitt, M.A.
ROBABLY for the first time during two thousand
silence of the Pnyx at Athens was broken a few weeks ago by the stir of an assembly comprising, as we are told, about ten thousand persons.
It had been preceded elsewhere, for example in Zante, by a similar and not much smaller meeting. It is interesting for us Englishmen to observe both the Greeks and the Romans of to-day following, like ourselves, the traditions of their remote forefathers, and handling matters of prime public interest in public assembly. In the millennium preceding the long term which I began by naming, such a proceeding would have been regular and familiar in any part of Greece.
The object of this rather notable gathering was to put forward a claim on behalf of the Hellenic provinces still in servitude, and not permitted even to speak authentically for themselves. The claim is for an equal share in the emancipation, which has been demanded in various quarters on behalf the Slavonic subjects of the Ottoman Power. The meeting was first addressed by the Professor of History in the University of Athens, who advanced this among his claims to speak on the occasion---that he had seen his brother and his brother-in-law beheaded, his father and his uncle hung. He noticed the general grounds, on which those of his own race are entitled to no less favourable consideration than their brethren in misfortune farther north. He noticed also the
Compte Rendu de l'Assemblée, &c. Athènes, 1876.
great distinction between them: “The Slavs have risen this year, the Greeks have not." And the distinction is most important. Repudiating heartily the doctrines of the supreme right of overbearing might, which still appear to find some countenance among us, I must still admit a material difference between those who show that their enfranchisement is required for the general tranquillity and those who do not. It is much, if right be done in the firstmentioned class of cases; for Human Justice is ever lagging after Wrong, as the Prayers of Homer came limping after Sin.* Even to the great Healer, during his earthly walk, the “sick folk ” were brought. Gratuitously to search out all the woe of those who suffer in silence and inaction, desirable as it might be, is scarcely within the conditions of human strength.
But this is not disputed by the Greeks of, or beyond, the Kingdom. It appears to be met by a plea of fact which, if it can be made good, is relevant and important. It is thus stated by Professor Papparrhigopoulos :
“ The Powers have made use of every means to repress the disposition of the Greeks to war, by promising that the Greek nation, which for the time refrained from complicating the situation, should at the settlement obtain the same advantages as the Slavs.”+
Professor Kokkinos, following in the discussion, says that free Greece, loyal to the Powers of Europe, had encouraged their brethren still in servitude to rely on those Powers, and that Europe had praised the prudence and patiencef which were exhibited accordingly. The Minister Coumoundouros, in reply to a deputation appointed by the assembly, encourages them to hope that the enlightenment of the Porte, and the humanity of Europe, will not drive them to embrace the belief that the gates of Justice may be shattered, but opened never.
Of the steps thus alleged to have been taken by the European Governments, the public, and also the Parliament, of this country are, I apprehend, up to this time in ignorance. It does not appear to me that such steps, if taken, were necessarily wrong, or that, in the midst of the existing complications, it must have been wrong to postpone a statement of their nature. We have indeed, in the Parliamentary Papers of 1876,|| a communication from the Consul at Caneia, affirming the existence of general and deep-seated discontent in Crete, together with the draft of a large measure of change proposed by the Christians; but there is no indication of opinion, or account of any steps taken, at the Foreign Office.
I have thus stated the claim put forward by the Greeks themselves to a hearing at the Conference of the Powers on Eastern affairs, if such a Conference should be held. There are signs,