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" The long residence of the Venetians in these islands, and the unceasing efforts of their government to destroy all spirit of nationality among the inhabitants, must necessarily have produced a wide and deep impression. The Italian, or rather the Venetian language, having become that of all the public acts, as well as of the bar and pulpit, was also soon adopted in private societies. The Venetian manners, brought there by the pro-consuls as well as their subaltern agents, and which it became requisite for the natives to adopt, were soon rendered habitual to those who were in direct intercourse with these little despots, and became general through a spirit of Battery or imitation among those who formed part of the most distinguished class, or who sought to associate with them. It was particularly in the towns where this denationalization—if I may be allowed the term_was rendered the more complete. This may be pictured in a word by saying, that the towns of lonia are known to any one who has inhabited Venice, or any other town of the Venetian continent, In the country the Grecian manners have been much better preserved, and, with the exception of some slight modifications, are nearly similar to those we have described among the Greek inhabitants of the neighbouring continent.
“ The same may also be said of dress and usages. In the towns, and even in the country, the persons who aspire at any consideration have entirely adopted the European dress, as well as all the customs of continental society. In their houses we find the same style of furniture used in Venice ; the people have been in the same habits of having their assemblies and casini; in short, uothing to be seen among them recals to one's mind that they are Greeks, unless it is Ihat they use this language to speak to their servants, or to the country-people with whom they may have business. They have retained nothing of their ancestors but their passion for shows and exhibition, by which the Venetians were equally distinguished.” (p. 409-411.)
The military force which has been employed in the islands has lately occasioned some observations in this country, and it composes an expensive part of our establishment. Ministers have now an opportunity of reducing it, by the employment of the native troops for the defence of their own soil under a proper organization of the people; and we hope it will not be neglected, both on account of the economy of such a proceeding, as well as the adherence to our old and salutary maxims as to the danger of standing armies. We trust, that the design of our government is not to engage these islanders, as France and Russia have done, in their own wars, for the purposes of conquest; but merely to extend a liberal protection towards them, for their own happiness, and to remunerate ourselves (as we fitly may do) for the moderate expense they may occasion under a wise sysa
Crit. Rev. Vol. IV. Sept. 1816., 2 G
and monirlit of justice of every cohe
tem. The commercial regulations are not to be dictated in the spirit of avarice and monopoly by which the Venetians were actuated, but in the spirit of justice and generosity which contemplates the reciprocal benefit of every contracting party, and which is alone worthy the name of the protection conceded by a virtuous and free nation. The protection assumed by Venice over her unhappy colonies was a perversion of the term : it was stultifying all rational meaning; it was the protection of her Lion, that he might reserve his prey for the exclusive gratification of his own ferocious appetite. Our author properly complains, that, in respect to the native army, the solemn treaties with the lonians have been shamelessly disregarded; that they have never had a national force worthy the name; that their defence has been committed to the Greek fugitives of the continent, the Chimariots, and the Acarnanians; and that their native soldiery have been engaged in remote enterprises, in the success of which the islanders had no concern. He says most judiciously, “ one of the most efficacious means of raising the national spirit of the Ionian islands, and of really converting them into an independent, and simply protected state,-such, in short, as ought to have been the result of solemn treaties,-would have been, to create a military force there, wearing the uniform, and following the banners, of their country:" and he adds, what might reconcile it even to the most selfish-“ This measure, most assuredly, would never have exposed the protecting power to danger; these troops would have served the latter equally as well as in their own country; in like manner as the national army of Italy co-operated in the cause of France.”
The author, in his concluding chapter, discusses the respective interests of Russia and Austria with regard to Turkey, partly to shew how far the possession of the Ionian Islands might enable us to interfere with the ambitious projects of either; but we do hope, whatever might be the views of a general in the Italian service,
“ Dux inquieti turbidus Adriæ,” that this government has no design to interpose in such remote matters. If the connexion we now have with these settlements were to involve us in the disputes that may, and must arise, between these three great empires, every maxim of sound policy, every principle of vulgar discretion, must induce us to withdraw from all such dangerous situations.
It would be folly, it would be madness, it would be atrocity, to disturb this peaceful and commercial country by distant wars, for distant and foreign interests, which would be converted by the people into a crusade for the Greek, the Catholic, or the Mahometan faith; while those who directed the storm would be indifferent to all religions, and seek only the indulgence of their unchristian pride and immeasurable ambition.
Circumstances were not within the knowledge of the author, so as to enable him to state the rise and progress of the connexion of the English with these islands, and it may, therefore, be convenient if we devote a few lines to this part of the subject, in order to give that relation of the work to British interests which was the principal motive in selecting it for our review. As soon as this government had directed its attention towards Malta, a system of Me. diterranean policy was adopted, which made it look with a vigilant, if not a jealous eye, to all the movements in that quarter. The islands had been in the possession of the Venetians upwards of 300 years, when the torrent of French conquest, which had swept over Italy, by the treaty of Campo Formio assigned these possessions to that power, with all the other colonial dependencies of the Venetian republic. It will be recollected, that Great Britain and Austria were then alone in the war, and that this treaty detached the latter from the cause. In 1801, the year prior to the peace of Amiens, and in the same month in which that peace was concluded (March) a settled form of government was established, to which Russia and the Porte were guarantees for the preservation of the republic of the Seven Islands as a distinct state, but with the agreement, to gratify the pride of the latter, that a certain tribute should be paid to the Sultan. It is well known, that the treaty of Amiens, which left, as the magnificent boundaries of the French empire, the mouths of the Scheldt and the Rhine, with the mountains of Jura and the Alps, comprehended an article which ostensibly provided for the integrity of this new republic. · It was easy to foresee how little such a stipulation would be regarded should Buonaparte be in a situation to follow up his projects, and what was the progressive condition of affairs? In the same year of these favourable appearances of independence to the islands, by an arrêtê of the First Consul, the King of Sardinia was stript of the rest of his domains in Italy, and a senatus consultum united Piedmont
on the dea under ansul havinhe springthen cau jadrid. Thes the Alpsizlanover, and,
to France. Parma and Placenza were joined to her in like manner, on the death of the young Duke; and this acceso sion was justified under an alleged secret treaty with the court of Madrid. The Consul having thus stretched the power of France across the Alps, in the spring of the folo lowing year (1803) occupied Hanover, and then caused himself to be declared Emperor of France, and in 1804 King of Italy. The Ionians had little security to expect from guarantees, when the Cisalpine republic was thus rudely dissolved in defiance of the solemn engagements at Luneville. In 1805 Genoa and Lucca were superadded to France; and Austria feeling the pressure of a new enemy on her own immediate frontiers, refused to acknowledge Bonaparte as King of Italy, when a short war was the consequence, which, in the same year, terminated with the peace of Presburg. It then appeared as if these islands were devoted to perpetual bondage; for by that treaty the fate of the Adriatic seemed to be determined, and under its dis• graceful conditions, not only the possessions of Francis in Swabia and the Tyrol were lost, but Venice and Venetian Dalmatia, with all their dependencies, were formally alienated to the conqueror. As if to shut out all hope for these islanders, in the autumn of 1806, Joseph Bonaparte was raised to the throne of Naples; and the consequence of such a situation, as auxiliary to the designs of Napoleon, has been forcibly and beautifully expressed -“ Cetie conronné, ce cercle radieux, dont Bonaparte semblait vouloir ceindre le front de ses freres on de ses alliés, n'etait que le dernier anneau d'une chaine, d'ont il tenait l'autre bout, & qu'il pouvait reserrer a volonte."'*
Although Napoleon was in 1807 occupied in the North with the war which was concluded with the peace of Tilsit, he did not neglect his purposes in the South, with which the Septinsular republic was connected; and, in 1808, having annexed the Papal territories to his dominions, in 1809 the war with Austria was concluded by the treaty of Schoenbrun, when the Illyrian provinces were finally annexed to France. It was not until 1810, in this annual survey, that we are enabled to introduce ourselves as principal actors on this interesting scene; then it was that an expedition, under General Oswald, left Sicily, and took possession of all the islands (Corfu and Paxó excepted) which were under the command of the French general,
* Systeme Continental, & sur les Rapports avec la Suede.
Denzelot; the other five assuming the title of “ The Libe. rated Ionian Isles.” When General Airey succeeded Ge. neral Campbell in the military government in 1813, the commerce of the islands had increased in some degree the revenues; and this public income, we are told, had been faithfully devoted to the internal improvement of the country. The police of the towns, it is also said, had been amended, assassinations were not frequent, and the moral habits of the people were ameliorated. So much we mention with pleasure, to the credit of British authority; and we hope it will have inspired that confidence which will nei. ther be abused or disappointed.
The immediate effect of the dethronement of Napoleon in 1814, was the surrender of the possessions alienated by France under the treaty of Paris of that year, and with them whatever remained to her in the lonian Islands; but it was not until November in the following, that any defini. tive arrangement was made with regard to them; and on the 5th of that month a treaty was entered into between Great Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, in which it is solemnly stipulated, that they shall form a free and independent state, under the denomination of “ The Independent States of the lonian Islands;" that these states shall be under the immediate and exclusive protection of Great Britain ; that an officer, to be called the Lord High Commissioner of the protecting power, shall regulate the forins of convocation of a Legislative Assembly, of which he shall direct the proceedings, in order to draw up a new constitutional charter for the states; that a particular convention with the government of the states shall arrange every thing which may relate to the maintenance of the fortresses, to the subsistence and payment of the British garrisons, and to the number of men of which they shall be composed in time of peace; that the trading flag of the státes shall be acknowledged by all the contracting parties as the flag of a free and independent government; and that the commerce between Austria and the states shall possess the same advantages as that between the states and Great Britain.
Such are the conditions on whichour connexion with these islands is to be founded, and by which their independence is to be secured, the military expenses accruing to ourselves being discharged from the revenues of the states, and our advantages with regard to trading facili. ties and privileges being co-equal with those of Austria,