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Title: The Autobiography of a Journalist, Volume II
Author: Stillman, William James, 1828-1901
Language: English
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VOLUME II***


Team



THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A JOURNALIST, VOLUME II

IN TWO VOLUMES

WILLIAM JAMES STILLMAN

1901



[Illustration: W. Stillman]



CONTENTS


CHAP.

     XX. CONSULAR LIFE IN CRETE

    XXI. THE CRETAN INSURRECTION

   XXII. DIPLOMACY

  XXIII. ATHENS

   XXIV. ROSSETTI AND HIS FRIENDS

    XXV. RETURN TO JOURNALISM

   XXVI. THE MONTENEGRINS AND THEIR PRINCE

  XXVII. THE INSURRECTION IN HERZEGOVINA

 XXVIII. A JOURNEY IN MONTENEGRO AND ALBANIA

   XXIX. WAR CORRESPONDENCE AT RAGUSA

    XXX. THE WAR OF 1876

   XXXI. RUSSIAN INTERVENTION AND THE CAMPAIGN OF 1877

  XXXII. A JOURNEY INTO THE BERDAS

 XXXIII. THE TAKING OF NIKSICH

  XXXIV. MORATSHA

   XXXV. THE LEVANT AGAIN

  XXXVI. GREEK BROILS--TRICOUPI--FLORENCE

 XXXVII. THE BLOCKADE OF GREECE

XXXVIII. CRISPI--A SECRET-SERVICE MISSION--MONTENEGRO REVISITED

  XXXIX. ITALIAN POLITICS

     XL. ADOWAH AND ITS CONSEQUENCES



CHAPTER XX

CONSULAR LIFE IN CRETE


Cholera was raging all over the Levant, and there was no direct
communication with any Turkish port without passing through
quarantine. In the uncertainty as to getting to my new post by
any route, I decided to leave my wife and boy at Rome, with a
newcomer,--our Lisa, then two or three months old,--and go on an
exploring excursion. Providing myself with a photographic apparatus, I
took steamer at Civita Vecchia for Peiraeus. Arrived at Athens I found
that no regular communication with any Turkish port was possible, and
that the steamers to Crete had been withdrawn, though there had not
been, either at that or at any previous time, a case of cholera in
Crete; but such was the panic prevailing in Greece that absolute
non-intercourse with the island and the Turkish empire had been
insisted on by the population. People thought I might get a chance at
Syra to run over by a sailing-boat, so I went to Syra. But no boat
would go to Crete, because the quarantine on the return was not merely
rigorous but merciless, and exaggerate to an incredible severity. No
boat or steamer was admitted to enter the port coming from any Turkish
or Egyptian port, though with a perfectly clean bill of health, and
all ships must make their quarantine at the uninhabited island
of Delos. Such was the panic that no one would venture to carry
provisions to that island while there was a ship in quarantine, and
during the fortnight I waited at Syra an English steamer without
passengers, and with a clean bill of health, having finished her term,
was condemned to make another term of two weeks, because a steamer had
come in with refugees from Alexandria, and had anchored in the same
roadstead. Mr. Lloyd, the English consul, protested and insisted on
the steamer being released, and the people threatened to burn his
house over his head if he persisted; but, as he did persist, the ship
was finally permitted to communicate with Syra, but not to enter the
harbor, and was obliged to leave without discharging or taking cargo,
after being a month in quarantine.

At last an English gentleman named Rogers, who lived at Syra, an
ex-officer of the English army, offered to carry me over to Canea
on his yacht of twelve tons, and take the consequences. I found the
consulate, like the position in Rome, deserted, the late consul having
been a Confederate who had gone home to enlist, I suppose, for he
had been gone a long time, and the archives did not exist. There was
nothing to take over but a flag, which the vice-consul, a Smyrniote
Greek, and an honest one, as I was glad to find, but who knew nothing
of the business of a consul, had been hoisting on all fête days for
two or three years, waiting for a consul to come. I was received with
great festivity by my protégés, the family of the vice-consul, and
with great ceremony by the pasha, a renegade Greek, educated in
medicine by the Sultana Valide, and in the enjoyment of her high
protection; an unscrupulous scoundrel, who had grafted on his Greek
duplicity all the worst traits of the Turk. As, with the exception of
the Italian consul, Sig. Colucci, not one of the persons with whom I
acted or came in contact in my official residence survives, unless it
may be the commander of the Assurance, an English gunboat, of whose
subsequent career I know nothing, I shall treat them all without
reserve.

The Pasha, Ismael, I at once found, considered it his policy to
provoke a conflict with any new consul, and either break him in or
buy him over; and the occasion for a trial of strength was not
long coming. The night patrol attempted to arrest the son of the
vice-consul in his house, in which I had been temporarily residing
while the house which I took was being put in order, and over which
the flag floated. I at once demanded an apology, and a punishment for
the _mulazim_ in command of the patrol. The pasha refused it, and I
appealed to Constantinople. The Porte ordered testimony to be taken
concerning the affair, and the pasha took that of the mulazim and the
policeman on oath, and then that of my witnesses without the oath,
the object being, of course, to protest against their evidence on
the ground that they would not swear to it. I immediately had their
evidence retaken on oath and sent on to Constantinople with the rest.
The Porte decided in my favor, and ordered the apology to be made by
the mulazim. As the affair went on with much detail of correspondence
between the _konak_ and the consulate for some weeks, it had attracted
the general attention of our little public, and the final defeat of
the pasha was a mortification to him which he made every effort to
conceal. He denied for several weeks having received any decision from
the Porte, in the hope, probably, that he would tire me out; but as
I had nothing to do, and the affair amused me, I stuck to him as
tenaciously as he to his denials, and he had to give in. It was a very
small affair, but the antagonism so inaugurated had a strong effect on
the Cretans, who found in me an enemy of their tyrant.

Ismael was cruel and dishonorable; he violated his given word and
pledges without the slightest regard for his influence with
the population. I have since seen a good deal of Turkish
maladministration, and I am of the opinion that more of the oppression
of the subject populations is due to the bad and thieving instincts of
the local officials than directly to the Sublime Porte, and that the
simplest way of bringing about reforms (after the drastic one of
abolishing the Turkish government) is in the Powers asserting a right
of approbation of all nominations to the governorships throughout the
whole empire. When, as at certain moments in the long struggle of
which I am now beginning the history, I came in contact with the
superior officers of the Sultan, I found a better sense of the policy
of justice than obtained with the provincial functionaries.

Ismael Pasha had only one object,--to do anything that would advance
his promotion and wealth. He regarded a foreign consul, with the right
of exterritoriality, as a hostile force in the way of his ambitions,
and, therefore, until he found that one was not to be bought or
worried into indifference to the injustice perpetrated around him, he
treated him as an enemy. I always liked a good fight in a good cause,
and I had no hesitation in taking up the glove that Ismael threw down,
and my defiance of all his petty hostile manoeuvres was immediately
observed by the acute islanders and put down to my credit and
exaltation in the popular opinion. The discontent against his measures
was profound, and the winter of my first year in the island was one of
great distress. Ismael had laid new and illegal taxes on straw,
wine, all beasts of burden, which, with oppressive collection of the
habitual tithes (levied in accordance not with the actual value of the
crops, but with their value as estimated by the officials), and short
crops for two years past, made life very hard for the Cretan. Even
this was not enough; justice was administered with scandalous venality
and disregard of the existing laws and procedure. Not long after my
arrival at Canea, the hospital physician, a humane Frenchman, informed
me that an old Sphakiot had just died in the prison, where he had been
confined for a long time in place of his son, who had been guilty of a
vendetta homicide and had escaped to the Greek islands. According to a
common Turkish custom, the pasha had ordered his nearest relative to
be arrested in his place. This was the old father, who lay in prison
till he died.

The capricious cruelty of Ismael was beyond anything I had ever heard
of. One day I was out shooting and was attacked by a dog whom I
saluted with a charge of small birdshot, on which the owner made
complaint to the pasha that I had peppered accidentally one of his
children. Ismael spread this report through the town, learning which I
made him an official visit demanding a rectification and examination
of the child, which was found without a scratch. The pasha, furious at
the humiliation of exposure, then threw the man into prison, and as
he, Adam-like, accused his wife of concocting the charge, he ordered
her also to prison for two weeks, without the slightest investigation,
leaving three small children helpless. I protested, and insisted on
the release of the man, who had only obeyed the wish of the pasha in
making the charge against me.

Having no occupation but archaeological research and photography, I
decided to make a series of expeditions into the mountain district,
and to begin with a visit to the famous strongholds of Sphakia. The
pasha protested, but as I had a right to go where I pleased, I paid no
attention to his protests, and he then went to the other extreme,
and offered to provide me with horses, which offer I unfortunately
accepted. The horse I rode and the groom the pasha sent with him were
equally vicious. The man, when we saddled up the first day out, put
the saddle on so loosely that as we mounted the first steep rocky
slope the saddle slipped over the horse's tail, carrying me with it,
and the horse walked over me, breaking a rib and bruising me severely,
and then tried to kick my brains out. I remounted and kept on, but
that night the pain of the broken rib was such, and the fever so high,
that I was obliged to give up the journey and go back to Canea. I
found that the pasha had anticipated a disaster, and heard of it with
great satisfaction.

As soon as restored, I set out on a trip to the central district of
Retimo, then perfectly tranquil, the agitation in Sphakia, which
preceded the great insurrection, having already begun, and making
my venturing there imprudent. I was anxious to see something of the
provincial government of the island, as, in Canea, where the foreign
consuls resided, there was always the slight check of publicity on the
arbitrariness of the official, though what we saw did not indicate a
very effective one. I had a dragoman in Retimo, a well-to-do merchant,
who served for the honor and protection the post gave him, and his
house was mine _pro tem_., and over it, during my stay, floated the
flag of the consulate. We made an excursion across the island to the
convent of Preveli, situated in one of the most beautiful valleys
in the island, sheltered on the north, east, and west by hills, and
lying, like a theatre, open to the south, and looking off on the
African sea. The entrance was by a narrow gorge, and here we witnessed
one of those natural phenomena that still impress an ignorant people
with the awe from which, in more ancient times, religion received its
most potent sanction. The wind passing through some orifice in the
cliff far above our heads, even when we felt none below, produced a
mysterious organ-like sound, which the people regarded as due to some
supernatural influence. As all the modern sanctuaries in that part of
the world are founded on the ruins of ancient shrines, I have no doubt
that our hospitable shelter of that night was on the site of some
temple to one of the great gods of Crete.

That journey gave me a sight of one of the remarkable Cretan women,
whose reputation for beauty I had always regarded, judging from the
women in the cities, as a classical fable. I had been making a visit
to the _mudir_ of the province through which we were passing, and,
after pipes and coffee, and the usual ceremonies, I mounted my horse,
and, at the head of my escort, rode out of the mudir's courtyard, when
my eye was caught by the flutter of the robes of a woman in a garden
across the road. Around the garden ran a high hedge of cactus, and as
I leaned forward in my saddle to look through one of the openings, a
girl's face presented itself to me at the other side of it, and we
stared each other in the eyes for several seconds before she--a
Mussulman girl--remembered that she must not be seen, when, wrapping
her veil around her head, she flew to the house. The vision was of
such a transcendent beauty as I had, and have since, never seen in
flesh and blood,--a mindless face, but of such exquisite proportion,
color, and sweetness of modeling, with eyes of such lustrous brown,
that I did not lose the vivid image of it, or the ecstatic impression
it produced, for several days; it seemed to be ineradicably impressed
on the sensorium in the same manner as the ecstatic vision I have
recorded of my wood-life. I suppose such beauty to be incompatible
with any degree of mental activity or personal character, for the
process of mental development carries with it a trace of struggle
destructive to the supreme serenity and statuesque repose of the
Cretan beauty. Pashley tells of a similar experience he had in the
mountains of Sphakia, and he was impressed as I was.

On our arrival at the city gates, returning to Retimo, we had an
experience of the mediaeval ways of the island, finding the gates
locked and no guard on duty. We called and summoned,--for a consul had
always the privilege of having the gates opened to him at any hour of
day or night,--but in vain, until I devised a summons louder than our
sticks on the gate, and, taking the hugest stone I could lift, threw
it with all my force repeatedly at the gate, and so aroused the guard,
who went to the governor and got the keys, which were kept under his
pillow. The next day we had an affair with Turkish justice which
illustrates the position of the consuls in Turkey so well that I tell
it fully. The dragoman and I had gone off to shoot rock-pigeons in
one of the caves by the seashore, leaving at home my breech-loading
hunting rifle, then a novelty in that part of the world. When we got
home at night the city was full of a report that some one in our
house had shot a Turkish boy through the body. I at once made an
investigation and found that the facts were that a boy coming to the
town, at a distance of about half a mile from the gate, had been hit
by a rifle ball which had struck him in the chest and gone out at the
back. No one had heard a shot, and the sentinel at our doors, set
nominally for honor, but really to watch the house, had not heard any
sound. The boy was in no danger, and he declared that the bullet had
struck him in the back and gone out by the chest. My Canea dragoman,
who was reading in the house all the time we were gone, had heard
nothing and knew nothing about it; but, on examining the rifle, I
found that some one had tried to wipe it out and had left a rag
sticking half way down, the barrel. This pointed to a solution, and an
investigation made the whole thing clear. The dragoman's man-servant
had taken the gun out on the balcony which looked out on the port,
and fired a shot at a white stone on the edge of the wall, in the
direction of the village where the boy was hit.

The _kaimakam_ of Retimo sent an express to Canea to ask Ismael what
he should do, and received reply to prosecute the affair with the
utmost vigor. He therefore summoned the entire household of the
dragoman, except him and myself, to the konak, to be examined. As they
were all under my protection I refused to send them, but offered to
make a strict investigation and tell him the result; but, knowing
the rigor of the Turkish law against a Christian who had wounded a
Mussulman, even unintentionally, I insisted on being the magistrate to
sit in the examination. The pasha declined my offer, and I forbade any
one in the house to go to the konak for examination. I then appeared
before the kaimakam and demanded the evidence on which my house
was accused. There was none except that of the surgeon, who was a
Catholic, and a bigoted enemy of the Greeks, and especially of the
dragoman, with whom he had had litigation. He declared that the shot
came from the direction of the town, while the boy maintained the
contrary; and as, in the direction from which the boy had come, there
was a Mussulman festival, with much firing of guns, I suggested
the possibility that the ball came, as the boy believed, from that
direction, and put the surgeon to a severe cross-examination. I asked
him if he had ever seen a gunshot wound before, and he admitted that
he had not. Thereupon I denounced him to the kaimakam, who had begun
to be frightened at the responsibility he had assumed, and the man
broke down and admitted that he might be mistaken, on which the
kaimakam withdrew the charge.

I knew perfectly well that the servant was guilty, but I knew, too,
that for accidental wounding he would have been punished by
indefinite confinement in a Turkish prison, as if he had shot the boy
intentionally. The refusal of the pasha to permit me to judge the
case, as I had a right to do, he being my protégé, left me only the
responsibility of the counsel for the prisoner, and I determined to
acquit him if possible. The bullet had, fortunately, gone through the
boy and could not be found; and, as the wound, though through the
lungs, was healing in a most satisfactory manner, and would leave no
effects, I had no scruples in preventing a conviction that would have
punished an involuntary offense by a terrible penalty, which all who
know anything of a Turkish prison can anticipate. The governor-general
was very angry, and the kaimakam was severely reprimanded, but they
could not help themselves. My position under the capitulations was
secure, but it made the hostility between the pasha and myself the
more bitter.

The accumulated oppressions of Ismael Pasha had finally the usual
effect on the Cretans, and they began to agitate for a petition to the
Sultan, a procedure which time had shown to be absolutely useless as
an appeal against the governor; and, while the agitation was in this
embryonic condition, I decided to go back to Rome and get my wife and
children. We were still in the state of siege by the cholera, and
there was still no communication with the Greek islands, so that I
accepted the offer made by my English colleague, the amiable and
gratefully remembered Charles H. Dickson, of whose qualities I shall
have to say more in the pages to come, of a passage on a Brixham
schooner to Zante. Sailing with a clean bill of health, we had to make
a fortnight's quarantine in the roadstead, and, taking passage on the
Italian postal steamer to Ancona, I was obliged, on landing, to make
another term of two weeks in the lazaretto, though we had again a
clean bill; and, on arriving on the Papal frontier by the diligence,
we had to undergo a suffocating fumigation, and all this in spite of
the fact that no one of the company I had traveled with had been at a
city where cholera had existed at any time within three months, or on
a steamer which had touched where the cholera was prevalent. At that
time there was no railway northward from Rome, and traveling was
conducted on the system of the sixteenth century, except for sea
travel.

I was not long cutting all the ties that bound me to Rome, though I
left a few sincere friends there, and, drawing a bill on my brother
for my indebtedness to the kind and helpful banker, an Englishman
named Freeborn, to whose friendship I owed the solution of most of the
difficulties and all the indulgences I had enjoyed while in Rome, I
started on my return to Crete in the problematical condition of one
who emigrates to a foreign land through an unknown way. I had money
enough to get through if nothing occurred to delay me, and no more,
for, with the high rate of exchange on America, I felt distressed at
the burthen I was laying on my brother, though I had always been told
to consider myself as to be provided for while he had the means, and
by his will when he died. His death took place at this juncture, and,
curiously enough, the draft reached him in time to be accepted, but he
died before it was paid. His will made no mention whatever of me, but
left all his property to his wife during her lifetime, and to three
Seventh-day Baptist churches after her death.

In our consular service there was no allowance for traveling expenses,
or provision of any kind for the extraordinary expenses which might
fall on the consul from contingencies like mine. The salary at Crete,
which had been $1500 during the war, was reduced to $1000 at its
close, and in future I had only that and what my pen might bring
me. Arrived at Florence on our way to Ancona, we found the Italian
government being installed there; and our minister to Italy, Mr.
Marsh, knowing my circumstances, insisted on my taking a thousand
francs, though his own salary, which was, as in my case, his only
income, was always insufficient for his official and social position
at the capital. I accepted it, and it was ten years before I paid it
all back.

Looking back on this period of my life from a later and relatively
assured, though never prosperous condition, I can see that most of my
straits in life have been owing to my having accepted the miserable
and delusive advantage of an official position under my government. I
was not indolent, and asked for an appointment not to escape work,
but to be put in the way of work which I wanted to do; and when I was
disappointed in the appointment to Venice I should have set to work at
home. But my position was a difficult one. The arts were for the
war times suspended; I could not get into the army, my mother in an
extreme old age was a pensioner at my brother Charles's house, and my
sister-in-law refused to allow me to remain in my brother's house. I
had, at an earlier date, in obedience to my brother's urgings and in
deference to the Sabbatarian scruples, refused all offers to go into
business, as he regarded me as his heir, and had formally and at more
than one juncture assured me that my future was provided for and that
I need have no anxiety as to money.

My brother had urged my acceptance of the post at Rome, and all the
disasters of my subsequent life came from that error. My temperament
and the habit of my life had always prevented me from anticipating
trouble, and I never hesitated to go ahead in what lay before me,
trusting to the chapter of accidents to get through, incessant
activity keeping anxiety away. I have never flinched from a duty, if I
saw it, have never done an injustice to man or woman, intentionally,
and at more than one moment of my career have accepted the worse horn
of a dilemma rather than permit a wrong to happen to another; and if
I have been erratic and unstable it has not been from selfish or
perverse motives. I have always been what most people would call
visionary, and material objects of endeavor have not had the value
they ought to have had in my eyes. As I look back upon a career which
has brought me into contact with many people and many interests not my
own, I can honestly say that I have not been actuated in any important
transaction by my own interest to the disadvantage of that of other
people, though I have probably often insisted too much on my own way
of seeing things in undue disregard of the views of others. Confronted
with opportunities of enriching myself illicitly, I can honestly say
that they never offered the least temptation, for I have never cared
enough about money or what it brings to do anything solely for it;
and, if I have been honest, it has not been from the excellence of my
principles, but because I was born so.

But if I could have conceived what this Cretan venture was to bring
me to, I should have taken the steamer to America rather than to the
Levant. The few days we remained in Florence, then still crowded by
the advent of the court, with its satellites and accompaniments, gave
me an opportunity to know well one of the noblest of my countrymen of
that period of our history, Mr. George P. Marsh. It is difficult even
now, after the lapse of many years since I last saw him, to do justice
to the man as I came, then and in later years, to know him and compare
him with other Americans in public life. As a representative of our
country abroad, no one, not even Lowell, has stood for it so nobly
and unselfishly; Charles Francis Adams alone rivaling him in the
seriousness with which he gave himself to the Republic. Lowell was not
less patriotic, but he loved society and England; Marsh in those days
of trial loved nothing but his country, and with an intensity that was
ill-requited as it was immeasurable. He took a great interest in our
little Russie, whom he pronounced the most remarkable child for beauty
and intelligence he had ever seen, and his interest followed us in the
tragedy of our Cretan life.

We sailed by the Austrian Lloyds' steamer to Corfu, with a bill of
health in perfect order, but on arrival at Corfu were ordered into
quarantine, because six months before cholera had made a brief
appearance at Ancona. Our consul, Mr. Woodley, came off to the steamer
to see me, for the American flag was flying from the masthead, as is
customary in the Levant when a consul is on board, and he proposed to
hire a little yacht for us to make the quarantine in, as otherwise we
should have to go to a desert island at the head of the bay, where the
only shelter was an ancient and dilapidated lazaretto overrun by rats,
and where we should have to pass two weeks dependent on the enterprise
of the Corfiotes for our subsistence. The yacht was accepted, and came
to an anchor off the marina, two or three hundred yards from the quay,
and we transshipped at once, as the steamer continued her voyage. The
putting us in quarantine was a monstrous injustice. We came from a
clean port, on a steamer which had not for several months touched at a
foul port; but the panic was such amongst the people that there was no
reasoning with them. We had not lain a day at the anchorage when the
fright of the Corfiotes at our proximity, as great as if we had the
plague on board, caused a popular demonstration against us, and the
health-officer coming off in a boat ordered us from a distance to move
off to the lazaretto island. I replied that if he was prepared to come
and weigh the anchor and navigate us there he might do so, but that no
one of the yacht's people should touch the anchor, and on that I
stood firm; and, as no one dared come in contact with the yacht in
contumacy, there we remained. The panic on shore increased to such a
point that Woodley and the health-officer had a quiet consultation,
and it was agreed to give us pratique immediately. We went that night
to the hotel, and the question was forgotten by the next day. The
Corfiotes are certainly the most cowardly people I have ever known,
and in later years we had other evidence of the fact; but, as they
disclaim Hellenic descent, and boast Phoenician blood, this does not
impeach the Greek at large.

We left Corfu by the steamer of the Hellenic Navigation Company on the
eve of the Greek Christmas, my family being the only passengers, and
without the captain of the steamer, who pretended illness, in order to
be able to enjoy the festa with his family; the command being taken
by the mate, a sailor of limited experience in those waters. The
engineers were English or Scotch, the chief being one of the Blairs.
What with the Christmas festivities and the customary dawdling, we did
not sail till 10 P.M., instead of at 10 A.M., and, to make up for the
delay, the commander _pro tem._ made a straight course for the port of
Argostoli in Cephalonia, our next stopping place. We made the island
about 10 A.M. of the next morning, and were well in towards the shore
when we were caught by one of the sudden southwesterly gales which are
the terror of the Mediterranean, and more dangerous than a full-grown
Atlantic gale. The cliffs to the north of Argostoli were in sight,
looming sheer rock above the sea line, and the wind, rapidly
increasing, blew directly on shore, bringing with it a quick, sharp
sea, and getting up before long a cross sea by the repercussion from
the cliffs, so that in the complicated tumult of waters the old, heavy
paddle steamer rolled and pitched like a log, the water pouring over
the bulwarks with every roll either way. Soon, what with the wind and
the sea, she made nothing but leeway. They put her head to the wind,
and we soon found that even to hold her own was more than she could
do, while our port lay ten miles away dead on the beam, and the cliffs
dead astern.

The plunging and rolling of the ship made it impossible to stand or
walk on deck, and I sent Laura and the children to their stateroom and
to bed, lest they break their bones. The wind, a whistling gale, cut
off the caps of the waves and filled the air with a dense spray, and
the main deck was all afloat. There were no orders heard, none given,
nothing but the monotonous beat of the paddles and the roar of the
wind, and the crew were all under shelter, for it was no longer a
question of seamanship, but of steam-power; only the commander pacing
the bridge to and fro, like a polar hear in a cage, and the engineers
changing their watch, broke the monotony of the merciless blue day,
for, except a little flying scud, the sky was as blue as on a summer
day.

I walked aft to the engineers' mess-room, on the upper deck, and found
Blair and the two assistants off duty, seated round the table, not
eating, but mute, with their elbows on the table and their heads in
their hands, looking each other in the face in grim silence. We had
made friends on leaving Corfu, and were on easy terms, so that, as I
entered and no one spoke to me, but all looked up as if I were the
shadow of death, I began to rally them for their seamanship, but got
no word of retort from one of them. "What's the matter with you all?"
I said; "you look as if you had had bad news." "The matter is we are
going ashore," said the chief engineer. "This--fool of a mate has got
caught in shore and we can't make steam enough to hold our own against
this wind." I had not thought of this; I was chafing at the delay and
the discomfort to Laura and the children. What was the worst in the
case was still to be known. The boilers of the steamer were old and
rotten, and had been condemned, and, but for the sharp economy of
the Greek steamship company, would have been out already. The chief
engineer, when he found that the engines at ordinary pressure did not
keep the steamer from, going astern, had tied the safety valve down
and made all the steam the furnaces would make. "If we don't go ahead
we are done for just as much as if we blow up," said he; "for if we
touch those rocks not a soul of us can escape, and we shall touch them
if we drift, just as surely as if we blow up."

I went out of the mess-room with a feeling that it was a dream,--so
bright, so beautiful a day,--we so well, so late from land, and so
near to death! "Bah!" I said to myself. "They are fanciful; the cliffs
are still a couple of miles away, and something will come to avert the
wreck." I went down to the stateroom; Laura and the boy were unable
to raise their heads from extreme sea-sickness, but baby Lisa was
swinging on the edge of her berth, delighted with the motion, and
singing like a bird, in her baby way. I sat down in my berth--there
were four berths in each room--and watched her, and somehow the faith
grew in me that we were not going that way at that time, that the
hour had not come; and I went back to the mess-room to try to inspire
confidence in my friends.

The afternoon was now wearing on. Since 10 A.M. we had made no headway
towards our port, and when I looked at the cliffs it was clear that
they were getting nearer, and the wind showed no signs of lulling. Our
only hope lay in being able to drift so slowly that the wind might
fall before we struck, and if that did not take place before nightfall
it probably would not till the next morning. Rationally I understood
this perfectly, but I could not feel that there was imminent danger. I
had no presentiment of death, and nothing that I could do would enable
me to realize the real and visible danger.

The wind never lulled an instant or blew a degree less furiously; it
came still from the blue sky, and still we plunged and buried our bows
and shipped floods at every plunge; the wheels throbbed and beat as
ever, and no one moved on deck. The engineers changed their watches
and the captain unrelieved kept up his to and fro on the bridge. I am
confident that of all the men on board I was the only one who was not
persuaded that death was near. My wife never knew till long after what
the danger had been. We could already see that the water beneath
the cliff was a wild expanse of breakers, coming in and recoiling,
crossing, heaving, surging,--a white field of foam, where no human
being could catch a breath. The waves that swung in before this gale
rose in breakers against the cliff higher than our masts. We might go
up in their spray if we reached the rocks, but no anchor could check
our crawling to doom. To this day I look back with surprise at the
complete freedom, not from fright, but even from a recognition of any
real danger impending over us, which I then felt; it was not courage,
but a something stronger than myself or my own weakness; it was
not even a superstitious faith that I should be preserved from the
threatened peril, but a profound and immovable conviction that
the danger was not real; and the whole thing was to me simply a
magnificent spectacle, in which the apprehension of my shipmates
rather perplexed than unnerved me.

In half an hour more, the captain said, our margin of safety would be
passed,--drifting as we then drifted our stern would try conclusions
with the cliffs of Cephalonia. The sun was going down in a wild and
lurid sky, a few fragments of clouds still flying from the west, when,
almost as the sun touched the horizon, there came a lull; the wind
went out as it had come on, died away utterly, and as we got our bows
round for Argostoli we could hear the roar of the great waves that
broke against the cliffs, and could see in the afterglow the tall
breakers mounting up against them. In ten minutes we were going with
all the steam it was safe to carry for Argostoli, where we ran in with
the late stars coming out, and our engineers broke out into festive
exuberance of spirits as we sat down to dine together at anchor in
the tranquil waters of that magnificent port, where the Argonauts had
taken refuge long before us. Blair shook his head at my rallying him,
as he said in his broad Scotch tongue, "Ah, but no man of us expected
ever to see his wife and bairns again; that I can assure ye." We were
again indebted to private courtesy for a trip from Syra to Canea,
though the delay was long. I had made an appeal to the commander of
our man-of-war on the station to see us back to my post, but received
a curt and discourteous refusal. I am not much surprised when I
remember some of the occupants of the consulates in those days.



CHAPTER XXI

THE CRETAN INSURRECTION


Returned to Canea, I found that the Cretan assembly had begun its
deliberations at Omalos. The real agitation began (ten days after my
arrival) on its coming down to Boutzounaria, a little village on the
edge of the plain of Canea, where it could negotiate with the governor
and communicate with the consuls. There was a plateau from which the
plain could be overlooked, so that no surprise was possible, and on
which was the spring from which Canea got its water, an aqueduct from
the pre-Roman times bringing it to the city. It was cut by Metellus
when he besieged Canea, and at all the crises of Cretan history had
been contested by the two parties in its wars. Long deliberation was
required to formulate the petition to the Sultan, but it was finally
completed, and a solemn deputation of gray-headed captains of villages
brought to each of the consuls a copy, and consigned the original to
the governor for transmission to Constantinople. He, in accepting it,
ordered the assembly to disperse and wait at home for the answer.
He had on a previous occasion tried the same device, and when the
assembly had dispersed he had arrested the chiefs, called a counter
assemblage of his partisans, and got up a counter petition, which he
sent to the Sultan. They, therefore, refused this time to separate.
The reverence of the Cretans for their traditional procedure was such
that when the assembly had dissolved, its authority, and that of the
persons composing it, lapsed, and the deputies had no right to hope
for obedience if they called on the population to rise. The assembly
would have to be again convened, elected, and organized in order to
exercise any authority.

As the plan of the pasha was to provoke a conflict, he ordered
the troops out, and called a meeting of the consuls, to whom he
communicated his intention of dispersing the assembly by force. As
this meant fighting, the consuls opposed it, with the exception of
Derché, the French consul, who took the lead in approving the pasha's
proposals. The English consul, Dickson, an extremely honest and humane
man, but tied by his instructions to act with his French colleague,
could only say that the assembly thus far had acted in strict
accordance with its firman rights, and he hoped that they would be
respected, but he did not join in the opposition with the rest of us.
Colucci, the Italian, the youngest of the consular body, said that he
had information that the committee of the assembly had expressed their
willingness to disperse on receiving assurance that they would not, as
in the former case, be molested for the action they had taken; and as
they had committed no illegal act, he considered this their due. His
excellency dodged the suggestion, and, rising, was about to dismiss
the meeting, when, seeing that nothing had been done to avert the
collision, I arose and formally protested against the attempt to
disperse the assembly by force, and against any implied consent of
the consular body to the programme he had announced. The Italian, the
Russian, and one or two of the other consuls followed, supporting my
protest, and the pasha, disconcerted by the unexpected demonstration
against him, sat down again, and we renewed the discussion, when
Dickson said that what he had said was implied in the position, and
that as the assembly had done nothing to deserve persecution, it could
not be supposed that they would be subjected to it, and he regarded
the assurance of immunity as uncalled for. And so the conference broke
up, leaving me in the position of the defender of Cretan liberties,
but the troops were not sent out, and the report spread through the
island that the pasha and the consuls were at loggerheads.

The real reason for the insistence on the formal promise being made to
the consuls was that a list of the agitators indicated for arrest had
been found by the daughter of the Greek secretary of the pasha, in
which, amongst the names of the persons to be arrested, was her lover,
to whom she gave the list. It was possible even then that the Cretans
would have submitted but for the influence of two Greek agents in the
camp of the assembly. These were one Dr. Ioannides and a priest called
Parthenios Kelaïdes, a patriotic Cretan, but long resident in Greece.
These urged the assembly to extreme measures, and promised support
from Greece. When, later, hostilities broke out, Parthenios went into
the ranks and fought bravely, but Dr. Ioannides disappeared from the
scene. The next device of Ismael was to call the Mussulmans of the
interior into the fortresses, and when we protested against this as
dangerous and utterly uncalled for, the pasha sent a counter order;
but the bearers of it met the unfortunate Mussulmans by the way,
having abandoned everything, thrown their silkworms to the fowls, and
left their crops ungathered, and being ready to vent their hostility
on the innocent Christian population, whom they made responsible for
the disaster. The call to come in was then renewed, and the entire
Mussulman population gathered in the three fortresses of Canea,
Candia, and Retimo. A panic on the part of the Christians followed,
and all the vessels sailing for the Greek islands were crowded with
fugitives. The pasha called for troops from Constantinople, though no
violence had been even threatened, and several battalions of Turkish
regulars with eight thousand Egyptians arrived and disembarked. With
one of the battalions was a dervish fanatic, carrying a green banner,
who spread his praying carpet in every public place in Canea,
preaching extermination of the infidels. I took a witness and went to
the general in chief, Osman Pasha, and protested against this outrage,
and the dervish was at once shipped off to Constantinople.

The military chiefs were reasonable, and the Christian population
totally unprepared and averse to hostilities, but the plan at
Constantinople was, as we soon found, to provoke an insurrection in
order to justify a transfer of the island to Egypt. Later we had from
Constantinople all the details, but for the moment we could only
conjecture the Egyptian collusion in the plan by the presence of
Schahin Pasha, the general-in-chief of the Egyptian army, and minister
of war of the viceroy, and the very important part taken by him in the
ensuing negotiations. He came in great state and pomp, and immediately
assumed the lead in the negotiations with the islanders, which were
carried on in secret and through Derché. Ismael Pasha, who was
probably not in the Egyptian secret, had another plan of his own,
equally secret, and the two conflicted. Ismael, as we later learned,
intended to raise and subdue an insurrection, which he hoped to
do easily, and then, on the strength of his Greek blood and the
protection he had at Stamboul, to be named the Prince of Crete. The
Egyptian plan was, on the contrary, conciliatory, and depended mainly
on direct bribery and the promise of concessions to the Cretans. It
had been, as I learned from Constantinople, concocted between the
Turkish government, the Marquis de Moustier, the French ambassador,
and the viceroy, and proposed to coax or hire the Cretans to ask for
the Egyptian protection, when, on the application of the plebiscite,
the island was to be transferred to the viceroy on the payment of
£400,000 down and a tribute of £80,000. The French diplomatic agent in
Egypt had arranged the details in consultation with Derché, but none
would fit. Derché thought that all the Cretan chiefs could be bought,
and the Egyptian pasha began by distributing £16,000 amongst the
churches, mosques, and schools, without forgetting handsome baksheesh
to the leading chiefs, who accepted the money, but promised nothing,
and made no responsive move. Ismael, meanwhile, was doing his best to
provoke hostilities, and finally succeeded in getting up a collision
between Cretan Christians and Mussulmans at Candanos, in the
southwestern part of the island.

As the Egyptian overtures did not seem to succeed, Schahin Pasha
consulted some of the principal merchants of Canea, and was informed
that Derché was of no weight or influence, and that if he wanted
to move the Cretans he must do so through the American or Russian
consuls; whereupon he came to me and frankly told me the whole plan,
and that the viceroy proposed to build a great arsenal and naval
station at Suda, and fortify the bay, the work being already planned
by French engineers. He promised me whatever compensation I should
ask if I could help him out. I sent the details to our minister
at Constantinople, who laid them before Lord Lyons, the English
ambassador, who, I presume, put his foot on the whole affair, as it
was never heard of more in the island; but the condition of active
hostilities which had supervened at Candanos continued.

An Egyptian division of 4000 men had been posted at Vrysis,--a very
important point in the Apokorona, near the position to which the
committee of the assembly had retreated,--under a pretext of Schahin
Pasha that it would facilitate negotiations and protect the committee.
The agitation increased, and isolated murders began to take place at
various points. The exodus of the Christians to Greece went on, and of
the poorer class, who had not the means of emigrating, great numbers
took refuge at the friendly consulates, chiefly the Italian, as my
premises were very small and offered little shelter. Multitudes also
fled to the mountain, pursued by the Mussulman rabble, and many were
killed on the plain in their flight. I had taken a little house in
Kalepa (a suburb of Canea where most of the consuls lived) adjoining
that of the Greek and near that of the Italian consul, whose wife,
being an American, strengthened the alliance which held good between
us to the end. The Mussulman populace, already supplied with arms and
ammunition _ad libitum_, chafed at being confined within the cities,
for the pasha, aware of the danger of an open outbreak at the capital,
had several times shut the gates to prevent a _sortie en masse_ of the
rabble intent on attacking the consulates, for we were now known as
divided into two parties; the Russian, the Italian, the Greek, and
myself friendly to the Cretans, and Derché and Dickson to the pasha;
the Austrian and Swedish completing the corps,--both old men, the
latter having witnessed the insurrection of 1827-30,--taking little
part in the discussions. The Russian, Dendrinos, a Greek by race and
also an old man, was of a timidity which prevented him from taking any
initiative even in discussion, while he was intensely active in the
intrigues which kept up a running accompaniment to the fight between
the pashas.

I had not long before received a present from my brother of some
samples of a new revolver and breech-loading hunting rifles, with
ammunition, some of which I had, at his request, given Schahin Pasha,
as they were novelties to him. With the rest I provided for the
defense of my house, barricaded the windows with mattresses,
took another cavass guaranteed as faithful by my old one,--Hadji
Houssein,--put a rifle and a box of cartridges at each window, besides
organizing, with Colucci, a strong patrol of Cretans from the refugees
in the consulate, to watch the roads, and waited events. We had
written urgently for the dispatch of a man-of-war of one of the
European powers, without the protection of which there was imminent
danger that an accident might precipitate a fight, and all the
friendly consuls be murdered. In this request Derché and Dickson
refused to join, on the ground that the presence of a man-of-war of a
Christian power (we had plenty of Turkish at Suda) might encourage the
Christian Cretans. These on their side gathered, with such arms as
they had, to protect the committee, sitting in the Apokorona, and face
to face with the Turkish-Egyptian troops, a movement of whom forward
would at once bring on the collision we were working to prevent and
Ismael and Derché to bring on, but which was really prevented by the
discord between Ismael and Schahin. The irregulars, proud of their new
rifles, were firing in every direction, and one heard balls whistling
through the air, falling on the roofs. On one occasion, when my wife,
with other ladies of the consular circle, was walking between Canea
and Kalepa, some of the Mussulmans amused themselves by firing as near
their heads as it was safe to do. I begged Laura to take the children
and go to Syra until the troubles were over, but she refused, saying
that the women gathered around the friendly consulates, seeing
her yielding to the panic, would lose all courage and fly to the
mountains.

We were then at the end of August, 1866. My vice-consul lived in the
city and provided for our communications, and when I had to go to the
konak I went armed, and with a cavass also armed _cap-à-pie_, but I
received several warnings not to be out after nightfall, as the Turks
had decided to kill me, though my known and often ostentatiously
displayed skill with the revolver made them timid in any attempt in
broad daylight, lest if their first shot failed I might have the
second.

Weeks passed. The nervous strain became very great. I found myself
continually going unconsciously to my balcony, which commanded a
wide range out to sea, telescope in hand, to see if the sail so long
implored was in sight, though five minutes before I had seen nothing.
Finally there came a loathing at the sight of the masts of a steamer
on the horizon, feeling that it would be only a Turkish man-of-war.
My children, for months, did not pass the threshold, though Laura
insisted on showing her indifference to the danger by walking out; and
one night when some mischievous Mussulmans started a cry of "Death to
the Christians," in the streets of Kalepa, and the entire Christian
population in a few minutes were at our doors, beating to be admitted,
the cavasses refusing to open without orders, she had flown to the
door in her night-dress and thrown it open to the crowd, who passed
the rest of the night sitting on the floor of the consulate. The
sentinel at the city gates, whose duty it was to salute as I passed,
turned his face the other way, with a muttered "Dog of a Christian,"
on which I called back Hadji Houssein, who was marching in front of
me, and, ordering him to look the soldier well in the face, so that he
might remember him, sent him directly to the governor to repeat what
had passed, and demand summary punishment for the insult. I was
informed that the man had six weeks of prison. I don't believe he had
a day, but the insults were stopped, which was what I wanted. Of those
weeks of intense, prolonged anxiety the impression remains indelible
to this day.

The relief from the tension, grown almost unendurable, came with the
arrival at Suda of the Psyche, with Admiral Lord Clarence Paget,
direct from Constantinople, to inform us that the Arethusa frigate had
been ordered to Crete. If the Psyche had been a reprieve the Arethusa
was a pardon. The hilarious blue-jackets flying over the plains of
Crete brought all the Mussulman world to its senses, and we took down
our barricades; but for the poor Cretans there was no change,--the
Turks were so fully persuaded that England was with them that the
severities towards the Christians underwent no amelioration, unless
it be that the ostentatious brutality ceased, as the chiefs knew that
they must keep up appearances. We attended service on Sunday on board
the Arethusa and stayed to luncheon, in the midst of which an orderly
came down and whispered to Captain MacDonald, on which he turned
to me, saying, "If you would like to see something pleasant, Mr.
Stillman, you may go on deck." I reached the deck just in time to see
the Ticonderoga round the point of the Suda island, entering Suda Bay.
Commodore Steedman, her commander, was an old friend, and, hearing at
Trieste of the insurrection, came on his own initiative to give me the
support my government had not thought worth its while to accord me.
He stayed a few days and sailed direct for Constantinople, which so
impressed the authorities that I was no longer annoyed. The Arethusa
was followed a few days later by the Wizard,--a small gunboat which
could lie in Canea harbor,--where, for the next few months, its
commander, Murray, was our sole and sufficient protector. In him and
his successors I learned to honor the British navy as a force in
civilization whose efficiency few not situated as we were can
understand. I have ever since been ready to take off my hat to an
English sailor.

Meanwhile the dissension between Schahin and Ismael intensified. The
Egyptian wanted a show of force with effective conciliation, hoping
still to effect his object of bringing the Cretans to him, and he
looked to the consular body for support, while Ismael was urging on
the collision, hoping to defeat the Egyptian plan. We were constantly
doing all in our power to lead the Cretans to conciliation and
submission, though the hotheads among them were indignant with us.
I found on my table one morning a message written in fair English,
saying that if I continued to oppose the Cretans, I should lose my
influence; to which I replied by a messenger, who knew the provenance
of the message, that I was indifferent to my influence if it did not
help to keep peace. The committee insisted on the withdrawal of the
Egyptian troops from Vrysis, where they offered constant danger of a
collision. This request we urged on Schahin, and he asked permission
of the governor, who replied by withdrawing the Turkish division which
had supported him.

At this juncture the pressure of Ismael had produced a serious fight
at Candanos, where the Mussulmans made a sortie and were defeated.
Ismael then called on Schahin for a battalion of his troops to support
the garrison of Selinos. Schahin sent for me to advise him. My advice
was that, as the matter was an affair between the Cretans of the two
religions, it was not advisable for him to identify himself with
either party, on which he refused the battalion. But the testiness of
the Cretans on the other side developed a collision where none need
have occurred. They insisted on the withdrawal of the Egyptians from
Vrysis, and Schahin came again to demand the good offices of Dendrinos
and myself, promising that if his men were left unmolested he would
take no part in the action of the Turkish troops. We sent messengers
to the Cretan camp, urging this course, but they were not allowed to
pass the Turkish lines; and the committee, not receiving the message,
repeated the summons to the Egyptians to leave Vrysis immediately
or take the consequences. Schahin refused to withdraw them, and the
insurgents, for such they now became, closed on them, cut off all
supplies and water, and compelled them to surrender at discretion.
They were permitted to march out with their arms and equipments and
send the next day for their artillery.

This was the end of all hopes of peace. I do not know what the real
influence of Dendrinos had been, for he was a man not to be believed,
but we,--the Italian, the Greek, and myself,--had done everything in
our power to keep the Cretans within the legal limits. In the face,
however, of such provocations as those of Ismael, and vacillation like
that of Schahin, our efforts were useless. The state of the country
on the occurrence of another defeated sortie of the Mussulmans from
Candanos was terrible. Two Christians were murdered in the streets
of Canea, and the remainder in the villages round about fled
precipitately to the mountains. Many were killed, and Mussulmans
coming in from the country reported groups of dead bodies in houses,
in chapels where they had taken refuge, and by the roadside. The new
Greek consul rode out to Galata, a village three miles from Canea,
and counted seven dead bodies naked by the roadside. The public
slaughterhouses were midway between Canea and Kalepa, and there were
always large flocks of ravens battening on the offal which was thrown
out on the ground; but for weeks the ravens abandoned the place
entirely, and the flocks were seen only hovering over certain
localities on the great plain between Canea and the nearest hills.
None of the Christians dared take the risk of a voyage of exploration
to see what they were feeding on there.

The Egyptian troops, humiliated at their surrender, attacked the
villages around their camp in the plains, killing the peaceable
inhabitants; the governor-general lost his head and gave contradictory
orders, and the confusion became anarchy. The few remaining Christians
in the cities were then forbidden to emigrate, and the Mussulmans in
the city met in their quarter and organized a sortie to massacre all
the Christians outside; the Wizard in the port protecting those in
Canea, otherwise it had gone hardly with them. The Christians in the
interior, encouraged by the victories over the Egyptians and Turks,
took such arms as they had, and raided down to the plain about Canea,
carrying off as prisoners a number of Mussulmans who were gathering
the grapes in their vineyards. There was no longer any hope of peace,
and though I still refused to offer any encouragement to the Cretans,
I was obliged to hold my peace, for I saw that there was no room
longer for negotiations. Neither was there any hope for the
insurrection, Schahin Pasha was recalled, and the great Egyptian plan
utterly collapsed.

At this moment arrived Mustapha Kiritly Pasha, the Imperial
Commissioner, appointed because he had once governed Crete and had a
great _clientèle_ there, with relatives by marriage. Had he come three
months before, he might have saved the situation, for then the blood
was cold. He was a man of merciless rigor, but with a strong sense of
justice, and was much respected in the island; but now only his
rigor was in place, for there was no room for compromise. Ismael was
dismissed in disgrace, and ordered off to Constantinople, not even
being allowed to pack up his furniture. Mustapha enrolled the Cretan
Mussulmans regularly as bashi-bazouks to the number of 5000, gave
the Christian population the choice of going into the mountains or
submitting and taking the written protections of the government,
and made vigorous preparations for a serious campaign. He found the
Egyptian army, which had increased by reinforcements to the number
of 22,000, utterly demoralized by defeat; but he had 12,000 Turkish
regulars, indifferently equipped, but disciplined, and a few hundred
Albanians. Organizing from these a force of 10,000 men, he marched to
the relief of Candanos, always closely beleaguered by the insurgent
force, which had no artillery and could not attack the fortress, but
had brought it into great straits for food.

The insurgents retired before the advance of Mustapha, who gathered
the garrison and all the Mussulman families and began his return. I
had from my balcony followed his course going out by the smoke
of burning villages, and after two weeks, during which we had no
authentic information of his progress, all messengers having been
intercepted by the Christians, I got the first intimation of his
return by the same ominous signal in the distance. At Kakopetra, a
very difficult pass in the extreme west of the island, he was beset
by the bands of the insurrection, and had they been armed adequately
there had been an end of Mustapha and his army, who managed to
struggle through only after a running fight of several days, with
losses amounting, as one of the surgeons in the hospital assured me,
to 120 killed and 800 wounded, most apparently with pistol balls, the
Cretans having only the old _tufeks_ and smooth-bored pistols of their
fathers. At that moment, there was probably not a rifle in the ranks
of the insurgents.

There was, of course, now no question of conciliation. Both sides had
their blood up, and the successes had been mainly for the insurgents.
They held the hills above Canea, whence all their movements were
visible, and the next operation of Mustapha was to clear the road to
their headquarters at Theriso, a very strong position in the foothills
of the Sphakian mountains, from which the insurgents raided the plain.
From my balcony I could see all the operations, and that the two
battalions sent out, after fighting all day over the first line of
defenses, were obliged to retire, having effected nothing. The next
day a force of 5000 men went out, before whom the Cretans made a
fighting retreat to Theriso, where they held their own during the rest
of the day, the Turks returning to the city after nightfall. The next
movement was a turning one, taking the position of Theriso on the
flank, by Lakus, a strong position, but at which no defenses had been
prepared. The insurgents moved their depot and hospital across the
valley to Zurba, a village high on the mountain-side and impregnable
to direct attack, but which Mustapha proceeded to bombard with
mountain guns for two days. I could hear every gun-fire, Zurba being
only nine miles in a direct line from my house, and I counted fifteen
shots a minute during a part of the time.

Three attempts at assault were repelled, and then Mustapha moved on to
Theriso, now abandoned by the Cretans, who had just then received the
news of the arrival of the Panhellenion blockade-runner with arms
and ammunition, the first open aid they had received from Greece. A
considerable body of Hellenic volunteers also came, and the resistance
became more solid, and the influence of Athens assumed the direction.
Up to this time, and indeed much later, I had persistently urged
submission, considering the event as hopeless; but with the
encouragement from Athens it was wasted breath. I went to see
Mustapha, and pointed out to him that his severity was making the
position beyond conciliation, and that every village he burned only
added to the number of desperate men who had nothing more to lose by
war and nothing to hope in peace. I saw that he was prejudiced as to
my sincerity, and perhaps I only influenced him to act against my
counsels, though I was ready to do anything in my power to stop what I
considered a hopeless struggle.

To add to the confidence of the Cretans, at this juncture arrived the
Russian frigate General-Admiral, Captain Boutakoff, who took a most
important part in the subsequent development of the affair. I was
never able to see that the Russian government did anything at that
stage to stimulate the insurrection, though Boutakoff expressed in the
most unreserved manner his sympathies. Later I became convinced that
Dendrinos did secretly, and more from antagonism to Derché than
from any orders from his government, advise against concession, as
Parthenios used to come secretly by night to him for consultation. But
I am persuaded that at that time the Russian government had not
urged the movement, though a secret visit from Jonine on the Russian
dispatch boat at an early stage of affairs was evidence that the
position was being studied by Russia. With Boutakoff I was for several
years in the closest sympathy, and we subsequently acted together, but
never did I discover any indication of his taking an active part, or
being aware that Dendrinos had taken one, in the early movement. In
fact, the anxiety of the latter that I should keep secret, even from
Boutakoff, his action in the matter, indicated the contrary. What
Russia had done at Athens I had no opportunity to learn, but in Crete
I am convinced that she then did little or nothing.

Having scoured the plains and lower hilly district west of Canea,
Mustapha now organized an expedition against Sphakia, defended by the
Hellenic volunteers and the bands of the Apokorona and Sphakia at
Vafé. He obtained a decisive victory with heavy loss of the Egyptian
contingent, but his courage failed him before Askyphó, the great
natural fortress of Sphakia, and he waited a month at Prosnero in the
Apokorona, negotiating to gain time, but offering no concessions. At
this juncture arrived the only man who made any military mark in the
war, Colonel Coroneos, a Greek veteran, and competent commander of
such a force as Crete could furnish. As Zimbrakaki, who commanded the
Greek volunteers, had assumed the command of the western section,
while the chiefs of the eastern section, around and beyond Ida, had
their own organization, Coroneos went to Retimo and established the
headquarters of the district at the fortified convent of Arkadi, a
building of Venetian construction and of sufficient strength to resist
any attack not conducted with heavy artillery. Here he established his
depot, and here the families of the Cretans took refuge when menaced
by the Turkish bands. Coroneos himself kept the field and harassed the
Turks everywhere in the province, and so annoyed Mustapha that after
a month's indecision he suddenly marched off to the attack of Arkadi,
which Coroneos, after having harassed him on the march as much as
was possible, was obliged to leave to its fate, as neither his
organization nor his outfit, which included no artillery, permitted
him to shut himself up in the little fortress. He had provided as
garrison a small body of Greek volunteers and 150 Cretan combatants,
including the priests. Besides these there were about 1000 women and
children, whom Coroneos had tried to induce to return to their homes,
succeeding, however, owing to the opposition of the _hegumenos_ to the
departure of his own relatives, with only about 400, the rest being
shut in by the sudden investment. To prepare for resistance, the great
gate of the convent had been solidly walled up, and when Mustapha
opened fire with his mountain artillery on the walls he made no
impression on them or on the gate, and, the rifle fire from the
convent being terribly hot and effective, he made the investment
complete and sent to Retimo for heavy artillery. It came accompanied
by nearly the entire garrison of Retimo and the Mussulman population,
making his total force about 23,000 men, of whom the most zealous
combatants were the Cretan Mussulmans.

By this time I had become the recognized official protector of the
Cretans, although I had always done my best to discourage hostilities
and persuade the Cretans to leave their wrongs to diplomatic
treatment; not that I had great faith in that, but because I could
see no hope for a success for the insurrection. Around me had
spontaneously formed an efficient service for information, the runners
of the various sections coming to me at Kalepa with the earliest
information on every event of importance, and I communicated with
the legations at Athens and our own minister at Constantinople. The
exactness of my news was so well recognized that even the grand vizier
sent regularly to our minister for information, remarking that he got
nothing reliable from his own officials. Now happened one of those
curious cases of mysterious transmission of news which have often been
known in the East. Arkadi was at least forty miles, as the roads
go, from Kalepa,--a long day's journey as travel goes there; but I
received news of the fight soon after it began, and information of the
progress of the combat during the day, one of my customary informants
coming every few hours with the details. This service I subsequently
checked by the information given me by Mustapha's Cretan secretary,
who lived in the house next to mine at Kalepa, and by the accounts
given by some Italian officers of the Turkish and Egyptian regulars
engaged in the siege for the final struggle, and found to be correct.
I believe the account which I gave the world by the next post, and
which was the only complete one ever given, is as near the true
history as history is ever told.

The heavy artillery soon breached the great gate, and an assault was
ordered, but being met by a murderous fire from the convent walls, it
was repulsed with great slaughter; and the succeeding attempts on
the part of the Turkish regulars faring no better, a battalion of
Egyptians was put in the front and driven in at the point of the
bayonet by the Turkish troops behind them. The convent was a hollow
square of solidly built buildings, the inner and outer walls alike
being of a masonry which yielded only to artillery, and from the
windows and doors of these a hail of bullets at close quarters met
the entering crowd of regulars and swarms of bloodthirsty Cretan
irregulars, all furious at the resistance and wild with fanaticism.
The artillery had to be brought in to break down the divisions between
the houses and cells, and the fight was one of extermination until all
the buildings were taken except the refectory, the strongest of the
buildings. At this juncture one of the priests fired the magazine,
with an effect far greater on the outside world than on the
combatants, for it did not kill over a hundred Turks. The insurgents
in the refectory were then summoned to surrender, and, having
exhausted their ammunition, they complied, on the solemn promise of
Mustapha that their lives should be spared; but, having handed out
their rifles, they were all immediately killed.

One of the Egyptian officers--an Italian colonel--told me many
incidents of the fight, of a sufficiently horrible nature, but he
said that he saw things which were too horrible to be repeated.
Thirty-three men and sixty-one women and children were spared,
mostly through personal pleas to Mustapha of ancient friendship. The
secretary told me of a fanatic of Canea who had volunteered in the
hope of being killed in a war with the infidel, and who had been in
all the fights of the insurrection, and, escaping from Arkadi unhurt,
went home and hung up his sword, saying that Kismet was against him
and he was not permitted to die for the faith. He also told me that
all the ravines near Arkadi were filled with the dead, while Retimo
was filled with the wounded; and from the report of the hospital
surgeon at Canea, I learned that four hundred and eighty were brought
to our hospital, being unable to find shelter at Retimo.

Mustapha immediately returned to Canea, but having sworn not to enter
the city till he had conquered the island, he camped outside. He
called a council to devise some means of subduing the insurrection
before the effect of the siege of Arkadi should provoke intervention,
for he saw that that had been a mistake. The enthusiasm of the
insurgents rose, and for the first time it seemed to me that there was
a chance of the Powers taking their proper position as to Crete, and I
began to hope that the bloodshed would not have been entirely wasted.
But no effect was produced on the Powers by the horrible event, except
that Russia made some effort to provoke intervention; England and
France, who held the solution in their hands, showing the most stolid
indifference, and Russia, as afterwards became clear, only looking at
the occasion as creating more trouble for the Sultan. Greek influence
took entire control of affairs, and the Cretan committee at Athens
began to pour in volunteers, rifles, and ammunition, without any
attempt at organization or intelligent direction.

The pasha saw that the situation was critical and demanded his
greatest energy, and, with one hand offering bribes to the Sphakiot
chiefs, with the other he hurried his military preparations. Leaving
his second in command, Mehmet Pasha, at Krapi, the ravine which
approached Sphakia from the east, he marched all his remaining forces
round to the west, hoping, as he said, to sweep all the rebels and
their Greek allies into the mountains and either starve or otherwise
compel them to submission. The chiefs of the Greek bands refused to
submit to a common plan or authority, and wasted their strength in a
series of little combats, Coroneos and Zimbrakaki alone, and only for
a very brief period, coöperating for the defense of Omalos, which
was the depot and refuge of the families, and where the cold of the
approaching autumn and the want of supplies would act as Mustapha's
best allies. He moved along the coast to the west, relieving
Kissamos,--a seacoast walled town to which a band of Greek volunteers
had, in an insane effort, laid siege,--and, sweeping families
and combatants together before him, drove them all into the high
mountains, where the snow had already begun to fall. In the rapidity
of his movements he carried no tents or superfluous baggage, and the
poor Egyptians, clad still in the linen of their summer uniforms,
perished in hundreds by cold alone, and even the beasts of burden left
their bodies in quantities by the way, forage and shelter for man and
beast alike failing. The volunteers held the pass of St. Irene, by
which alone from the west the approach to Omalos was practicable; but,
ill provided for the rigor of the season, they grew negligent, and,
after two weeks of waiting, Mustapha made a sudden dash and took them
by surprise in a fog, and occupied Selinos, the volunteers and Cretans
retreating to the pass of Krustogherako, which lies between Omalos and
Selinos.

The story of Arkadi had begun to move public opinion all over Europe,
but it had no power on the governments, although the consuls friendly
to the Cretans had continually appealed to their governments with the
report of the barbarities which accompanied the march of the Turkish
army. For myself, under the advice of our minister at Constantinople,
I had thrown off all reserve within my consular rights and used all
my influence with my colleagues, especially the honest, if too
pro-Turkish, Dickson, and at the same time disseminated the truth as
to the condition of the island in every possible way. The Turkish
authorities naturally retaliated to the best of their power, and
patrols of zapties watched my house in front and rear, for the idea
had entered the mind of the governor that I was the postman of the
insurrection. But I held no direct communication with the insurgents,
and no letter ever passed through my hands, while the Greek and
Russian consuls, unwatched, kept up a regular postal service. Our
minister at Constantinople, who, in the beginning, had been in the
closest personal relations with his English colleague, the just and
humane Lord Lyons, replaced at this juncture by Sir Henry Elliott,
finding that nothing was to be expected from England, joined forces
with General Ignatieff, and thenceforward my action was directed by
the Russian embassy.

In communicating the news of the affair of Arkadi to our government,
I had fully explained my actual position and my proposed action on
behalf of the insurgents, and begged that a man-of-war might be sent
to convey from the island the refugee families who were dying of cold
and hunger in the mountains, or being murdered in the plains. In reply
I received the following dispatch (December 25, 1866):--

    W.J. STILLMAN, ESQ., U.S. Consul, Canea:--

    _Sir_,--Your dispatch No. 32, with regard to the Cretan
    insurrection and the attitude you have assumed in the matter, has
    been received.

    Your action and proposed course of conduct, as set forth in said
    dispatch, are approved. Mr. Morris, our minister resident at
    Constantinople, will be informed of the particulars set forth
    in your dispatch, and of the approval of your proceedings.
    Rear-Admiral Goldsborough has been instructed to send a
    ship-of-war to your port. I am, sir, your most obedient servant,

    W.H. SEWARD.

Meanwhile the Wizard gunboat had been relieved by the Assurance,--a
larger vessel,--the commander of which (Pym) had an American wife, and
perhaps had been influenced by her, and certainly shared her sympathy
with the Cretans. I showed him Seward's dispatch and fired him with
the desire of distinguishing himself by taking the initiative in
the work of humanity. I then made the strongest possible appeal to
Dickson, who had by this time come through his own informants to
recognize the atrocity of Mustapha's plan of campaign, to order Pym to
obey his good impulse; and Pym at the same time informed me that he
intended to go, with Dickson's order if possible, but in any case to
go. Meanwhile he ran down to Candia to watch events there and protect
the Christians. Dickson in the end obtained the consent of Mustapha
to the deportation of the families, and sent the order to Candia, on
which the Assurance went to Selinos and took on board three hundred
and fifteen women and children and twenty-five wounded men, menaced
by the approach of Mustapha's army, and carried them to Peiraeus.
Mustapha Pasha had given his permission for the ship to take the
refugees, and Dickson had given the order, so that Pym's action was
regularized; but he was, nevertheless, punished by his government,
being ordered to the coast of Africa, and shortly after retired. I saw
him on his return from the trip, and there was not a man or officer
who would not have given a month's pay to repeat the expedition, but
it was peremptorily disapproved by the English government.

There were at Suda at the time two Italian corvettes, an Austrian
frigate and gunboat; the Russian General Admiral, and a French
gunboat; all of which, with the exception of the Frenchman, were
anxious to follow the example of Pym. But the prompt disapproval of
Pym's expedition by the English government, and the withdrawal of the
permission given by Mustapha, prevented any of them from repeating the
feat. Ignatieff had, on hearing of Pym's exploit, obtained from the
grand vizier the permission that other ships might follow him, and
dispatched at once the embassy dispatch boat with orders to Boutakoff
to follow. But a violent storm coming on, the boat had taken refuge at
Milos, where she lay four days, and by the time she arrived another
post was due from Constantinople. Both Boutakoff and Dendrinos
hesitated to execute the order, having learned of the disapproval
of Pym and the revocation of his permission. Dendrinos was a timid,
irresolute man, always afraid of assuming responsibility, and
Boutakoff's orders were to go only on the requisition of the consul. I
was very much afraid that under the circumstances the order would be
revoked, and had in vain urged the two Russian officials to move.

At this moment came another act of the Turkish brutality, which
carried me through. A Turkish man-of-war ran in to the shore where
Pym had taken his refugees, flying the English flag, and, when the
refugees poured out from their rocky shelter, opened its broadsides on
them. One of my runners came in with the news of this atrocity, in
the morning of the day the post should arrive, and I went at once to
Dendrinos and insisted on his sending the order to Boutakoff to go to
the relief of the Cretan families at Selinos. The frigate lay at
Suda, and I dictated the letter to Boutakoff, saw it consigned to
the messenger, and never left Dendrinos alone till time had elapsed
sufficient for the delivery of the message on the frigate, being
certain that if I left the timid man to himself he would send a
counter order. Boutakoff, nothing loath, got up his anchor, and
came round to the roadstead of Canea to await the post and the last
advices, but I hurried him off without delay, apprehensive of the
counter order from Ignatieff. This did in fact arrive by the post,
but three hours too late. The General Admiral carried 1200 women and
children to the Greek ports, but the repetition was forbidden.

The insurrection flamed up anew, however, and negotiations were broken
off, though the deportations were stopped. Mustapha, finding it
impossible to force his way into Sphakia from the west, ordered the
fleet round, and transported the army entire to Franco Castelli on the
southern shore, and bribed the chief of the district to allow him to
pass to Askyphó without resistance. In this great plain, which is the
stronghold of eastern Sphakia, as Omalos of western, he encamped to
negotiate and try a last effort at conciliation. The next day one of
the captains of the section bordering on Askyphó came to me for advice
as to accepting Mustapha's propositions. I told him I could not advise
him to fight or make peace, but I translated Mr. Seward's dispatch,
and assured him that when the ship arrived I would send it at once to
the relief of the families. On his return, resistance was decided on,
and all the men of the vicinity gathered to attack the Turks. The pass
of Askyphó could have been easily blocked, and the army compelled to
surrender, being scantily provisioned, but some spy in the Cretan
councils warned the pasha, and he broke up his camp at midnight and
crowned the heights at the head of the ravine, so that his army was
able to pass, though with terrible losses.

It was the most disastrous campaign of the whole war, for the troops
were slaughtered almost without resistance, killed by rolling down
boulders on them. Bewildered in the intricacies of the defiles,
without guides or provisions, and in small parties, they were
dispatched, for days after. The army which had set out 17,850 strong,
Egyptian and Turkish regulars, according to Dickson's official
information, beside several thousand irregulars, was reported by
Mustapha, after its return and reorganization, as amounting to
6000 men. We saw them as they defiled past Suda coming in, and the
commander of one of the Italian ships took the trouble to count some
of the battalions, one of which, consisting of 900 men when it set
out, returned with only 300. The losses were certainly not less than
10,000 men, not counting the irregulars.



CHAPTER XXII

DIPLOMACY


What had become evident, even at Constantinople, was that Mustapha
and his influence, as well as the policy of repression by cruelty and
devastation, had failed. Barbarities continued, and were met by active
resistance on a small scale wherever the Turks attempted to penetrate.
Small Turkish detachments were beaten here and there, but no general
plan of operation appeared to offer a chance of ultimate success to
either party. The Porte, therefore, sent its best diplomatic agent,
Server Effendi, with a magniloquent and mendacious proclamation and a
summons for the election of a deputation of Cretans of both
religions, to meet at Constantinople to receive the promises of
the well-intentioned Turkish government for their pacification and
contentment. Server Effendi was an intelligent and liberal man, and we
became very good friends, and if he had been permitted to treat on the
basis of accomplished facts he might have attained something. But he
was compelled to assume that the island had been subjected by arms to
the will of the Porte, and must accept as concession what they had won
a right to from an effective resistance, as yet not even partially
subdued. He was not himself deceived, but the Sultan had passed into
a condition of insane fury, and could not be induced to listen to any
concessions or entertain any proposition but complete surrender. He
had, Mr. Morris wrote me, had a model of the island made, which he
used to bombard with little cannon, to give vent to his rage. All
the powers, with the exception of England, now advised the Porte to
concede a principality. The English policy in this case has always
seemed to me mistaken, and in questionable faith, for by the protocol
of February 20, 1830, the signatory powers bound themselves to secure
for Crete a principality like that of Samos. For this defection of
England from the general accord of the powers, Greece was, probably,
mainly responsible, for at that juncture the influence of Greek
demagogues prevailed in the island to make a compromise difficult, and
the principality would certainly have been refused; still, England was
pledged to the offer of it. I find in the record I made at the time
the following passage:--

"The tactics of Greece were of a nature to make the chances of Crete
more precarious than they need have been. The policy of Crete for
Greece, rather than Crete for her own good, made confusion and
jealousy in the conduct of the war much greater than they need have
been. What the Cretans wanted was a good leader, arms, and bread.
Greece sent them rival chiefs without subordination, a rabble of
volunteers, who quarreled with the islanders, and weakened the
cause by deserting it as soon as they felt the strain of danger and
hardship; and if, after the first campaign, they were more wise in
enrolling men to go to Crete, they still allowed the jealousies and
hostilities of the leaders to go unchecked by any of those measures
which were in their power. But the radical fault of the Hellenes was
that they compromised the question by the introduction of the
question of annexation, and forced it into the field of international
interests, disguising the real causes and justification of the
movement, and making it impossible for England consistently with her
declared policy to entertain the complaints of the Cretans without
also admitting the pretensions of the Hellenes. If the latter had not
intruded their interests into the discussion, the former might have
been heard; but from the moment in which annexation to Greece became
the alternative of the reconquest of Crete, the English government
could clearly not interfere against the Porte without upsetting its
own work; and, if in some minor respects, especially the question of
the principality, it had been more kind to Crete, no one could have
found fault with a policy which was in its general tendency obligatory
on it."

This opinion, formed and expressed while all my sympathies were with
the Greek government, and in complete knowledge of all that it was
doing for the Cretans, remains as the mildest criticism I can make on
the policy of Athens. At this time, looking over the events of the
thirty years which have lapsed since the end of that unhappy affair, I
can see more clearly the matter as a whole, and that the miseries of
Crete especially, and of the Greeks in the Levant in general, have
been mainly due to the want of commonsense in the race, and the
incapacity of individuals to subordinate their personal views and
interests to the general good. The Italians have a proverb, "Six
Greeks, seven captains," which in a pithy way expresses the reason
why the Greeks have never been able to succeed in any national
movement--the necessary subordination and self-effacement needed for
civic or military solidity are, and always have been absolutely out
of the character of the people. Courage they had, but discipline they
never would submit to, nor will they now.

Server Effendi got his deputies, some by compulsion, some by bribery,
and some with good-will, and most of them he succeeded in getting to
Constantinople. One escaped and came to my house for asylum, and
there he remained six weeks, and then was smuggled on board a Russian
corvette, in sailor's costume, and carried to Greece; the rest of the
Christians when they got to Constantinople took refuge at the Russian
Embassy, declaring that they came against their own free will and that
of the Cretans. At this time a change for the better took place at
Athens, the incompetent ministry which had neither known how to do nor
how not to do giving place to that in which Comoundouros was prime
minister and Tricoupi minister of foreign affairs; and, while the
paralysis of utter failure rested on the Turkish administration
in Crete, the policy in Greece became comparatively energetic and
intelligent. Comoundouros was a demagogue, without any scruples as to
the means of success, but he was intelligent enough to understand the
position and that a positive policy was necessary. He had opposed any
encouragement to the insurrection in the beginning, seeing no hope for
its success; but public opinion all over Europe and in America had
by this time become so pronounced, and committees were beginning so
widely to form to aid the Cretans, that there seemed a chance of
intervention and a certainty of large assistance in money and moral
encouragement. He took the responsibility of openly giving aid to the
insurrection, but he still had not the clear understanding of the want
of a concentrated direction in Crete. The bands refused to coöperate,
and while Coroneos in the central districts carried on a brilliant
system of harrying and raiding the Turkish detachments, the chiefs in
the eastern and western sections remained inert, getting the principal
portion of the supplies (as the blockade runners went mostly to
the coasts of those districts) but doing the least of the work.
Comoundouros dared not risk offending the many political partisans
by imposing on the volunteers whom he sent over a competent and
concentrated command. But as a collateral means of pressure the new
ministry set to work organizing a movement on the Continent, and it
had the courage to face all the probabilities of a war with Turkey.

At this juncture came the famous blockade runner, the Arkadi, a most
successful contrabandist of the American war, and at every trip she
made she carried away a number of women and children. Meanwhile we
waited for the arrival of the American man-of-war which was to put
the machinery of relief to the non-combatants in operation. She never
came, and in reply to a telegram to Commodore Goldsborough, who was at
Nice, I received the information that he knew nothing of any orders
for Crete. Intrigues had supervened at Constantinople, chief mover in
which was the dragoman of our legation, a Philo-Turkish Levantine, and
the persistent assailant in various American journals of Mr. Morris
and myself. As the result of these intrigues the order to the admiral
was recalled. In March a corvette, the Canandaigua, came for a short
stay, but the manner of the officers towards me, and the observations
of most of the officers on what they considered a sort of "slave
trade," i.e. the carrying of women and children, made me very glad to
see her sail again. I made a little use of her, however, by persuading
the captain to run down to Retimo with me to inspect the condition of
the refugees in that town, and to distribute the money, etc., with
which I had been furnished by the committee at Athens for that
purpose. I also induced the captain to run over to Peiraeus to
reorganize the consulate there, the consul having run away, leaving
the office in the hands of his creditors, from whom I rescued the
archives, the only property on the place, and not liable to seizure
for his debts. I took the same opportunity to exchange views with the
Greek ministers, and began a friendship with Tricoupi which lasted as
long as he lived. The captain sympathized with me, but he had had his
orders, and the officers in general (two of the younger ones took an
opportunity to tell me how glad they would have been to aid the Cretan
families) were pro-Turkish. But the Turks did not know all the facts,
and the visit of the Canandaigua was a moral support to me.

The hostility between Mustapha Pasha and myself had now become so
open that all intercourse ceased. For months my children had not
gone beyond the threshold, and I myself was openly threatened with
assassination; the butchers in the market were forbidden to serve
me with meat, and I got supplies only indirectly. Canea was so well
beleaguered by land by the insurgents that we had scanty provision
of produce at the best, nothing being obtainable from the territory
beyond the Turkish outposts. The Austrian steamer brought weekly a
few vegetables, but the cattle within the lines were famished and
diseased, and there was no good meat and little fish, the fishermen,
who were Italians, all going home. I finally sent to Corfu for the
little yacht on which I had made quarantine, and, pending her arrival,
sent Laura and the children to Syra. When the Kestrel arrived, we
spent most of our time on board, running between the ports of Crete
and between Crete and the Greek Islands, generally followed by a
Turkish gunboat, for Mustapha persisted in regarding me as the
go-between in Greco-Cretan affairs, and while the zapties watched my
door, the Cretan post went to and fro through the gates of the city
unsuspected.

I was no longer of any importance except as a witness of events and
was disposed to resign and go to Greece, for the expense of living had
become greater than I could bear, with my income of $1000. The Porte
threatened to revoke my exequatur, than which nothing could have
pleased me more, for the support of my government had become merely
nominal, though I had never varied from my instructions. The grand
vizier seemed to understand that, and the threat was withdrawn, while
pressure was applied at Washington to induce the government to recall
me, a minister _ad hoc_ being appointed to the United States. Mr.
Seward at first consented, being probably by that time thoroughly
tired of the Cretan, question, but, the Russian legation applying
pressure on the other side, the consent was revoked and I remained.
The Turkish demand included the recall of Morris, but as his
operations were carried on through me my removal was the principal
object. I had now the satisfaction of seeing the disgrace of Mustapha
Kiritly, who was recalled as a failure, and Hussein Avni came out as
_locum tenens_ for the Sirdar, Omar Pasha, the Croat. With Hussein
Avni I made another attempt to enter into conciliatory relations with
the government, and offered my services for any negotiations it might
be desirous of entering into, but the conviction of my hostility to
the Turkish government was so rooted that I saw clearly that no belief
was entertained in my good faith.

Hussein Avni took no steps against the insurgents, but an impatient
subordinate commander, with a division, made an attempt to penetrate
into Selinos, and, being beaten, ravaged the plains about Kissamos,
hitherto unmolested. Whole villages, which had submitted without
resistance, were plundered, the women violated by order of the
officers, in some cases until death ensued. All who were able to
escape hid in the caves along the shore, and made their way in small
boats, as opportunity offered, to Cerigotto. I ran over in the
Kestrel and saw two boats arrive, so freighted that it was almost
inconceivable that they should have made a sea voyage of twenty miles
even in calm weather. I saw a man of ninety who had been wrapped in
cloths saturated with oil, to which fire was set, and who was left to
burn, but whose friends came back in time to save his life, though I
saw the fresh scars of the burning over his whole breast. Meanwhile
the Arkadi came and went without interference, and the insurrection
was practically unmolested.

Omar Pasha arrived on the ninth of April, and, two days after, 2000
insurgents attacked the guard of the aqueduct which supplied Canea
with water, and were repelled, the plan of attack having been betrayed
by a miller of the vicinity; but the main object of the Cretans had
been to show a sign of virility to the new commander-in-chief, and the
object was attained with the loss of three killed. Omar landed with
great ostentation, having brought a magnificent outfit, cavalry,
staff, horse artillery, etc., etc., all in new and brilliant uniforms;
but the astute Cretans rejoiced in the change, for the cunning of
Mustapha Kiritly was more dangerous to them than Omar Pasha and his
European tactics.

I went to pay my respects and renew my offers of good services if
conciliation were to be attempted, expecting to see a civilized
general, but I found only a conceited and bombastic old man who
had not the least idea of what he had undertaken. He pooh-poohed
conciliation, and assured me that his plans were so perfect that
within two weeks after his setting out for the conquest of the island
all would be over and the insurrection at his mercy. I ventured
to suggest that he would find the country more difficult than he
supposed, and that the total want of roads would be a grave obstacle
to such rapid success. He replied that it could not be more difficult
than Montenegro, and he had conquered that, etc., and I left him
greatly relieved as to the probability of success in his operations.

He employed two weeks in his preparations, and then set out for the
conquest of Sphakia, moving in two columns, with a total force of
15,000 men, his own division taking the pass of Kallikrati, giving
access to Sphakia from the east, and held by Coroneos, and that of
Mehmet Pasha moving against Krapi, the pass on the north held by
Zimbrakaki and the Greek bands. Both divisions were driven back to
the plains. The savage excesses which followed this double defeat far
surpassed anything we had known. Villages which had long been at peace
and within the Turkish lines were put to sack, and the last outrages
of war inflicted on the unfortunate inhabitants. The cruelties which,
under Mustapha, were the occasional deeds of subordinate commanders or
the consequence of partial defeats, became, under Omar, the rule by
order to all the detachments, and Omar himself took his share of the
booty and the pick of the captive girls for his own harem.

As I had the testimony of European officers in the Turkish service
given me freely, in disgust at the proceedings of the sirdar, I did
not depend on insurgent reports of these things. While the Egyptian
troops remained I had constant and detailed information from their
European officers. A German officer, by the name of Geissler,--Omar's
chief of artillery,--died of dysentery at Canea during the campaign,
and, his effects being sent in to the consulate of France for
transmission to his family, I had the chance to see his diary, in
which were noted the incidents of the campaign. One entry which I
copied was this: "O. Pasha ordered the division to ravage and rape,"
the village being one where the inhabitants had never taken part in
the insurrection. "All villages were burned," wrote Geissler, and all
prisoners murdered or worse. The chiefs of four villages, who came in
voluntarily to make their submission, were beheaded on the spot, and
the population soon abandoned all villages in the route of the army,
which, not being able to make any impression on the insurgent force,
avenged itself on the inoffensive Christians whenever any fell into
their hands. Nothing more savage and needlessly cruel has taken place
in the history of the Ottoman empire than the deeds of the Sirdar
Croat.

Two changes in the position now took place in favor of the Cretan
non-combatants. The influence of Russia at Alexandria induced the
viceroy to withdraw his troops in spite of the opposition of Omar, and
after the disastrous end of that campaign the remainder were embarked
for Egypt, 10,000 surviving out of the 24,000 who had landed under
Schahin Pasha. The other change was the removal of Derché, whose
uselessness even to his own government had finally become evident. His
successor--Tricou, a quick-witted Parisian, of a character entirely
opposed to the Turcophile Derché--asked permission to follow the army
in the next movement, which was intended to be for the subjugation of
the central provinces, and Omar bluntly refused. As Tricou had orders
from his own government to accompany the army, this impolitic refusal
threw him at once into the opposition with us.

Omar marched by Retimo towards Candia, watched by Coroneos, and, when
the army reached the valley of Margaritas, it was surrounded and
furiously attacked by Coroneos and all the bands of the immediately
surrounding country, and completely bottled up. One of the European
officers with Omar assured me that they had given up all hope of
rescue. The fire of the Cretans penetrated to their tents, and that
of Omar was several times pierced. Omar had, before setting out, sent
orders to Reschid Effendi, who commanded at Candia, to come and meet
him, and Reschid, a more competent commander, with a strong body of
irregulars, fighting day and night, succeeded in effecting a junction
and opening the way. In this affair, again, the jealousy of the Greeks
lost a most brilliant opportunity for a victory which would have
undoubtedly finished the war. Petropoulaki, a Mainote _palikari_ of
the great insurrection of 1827-30, sent over from Greece to direct
affairs about Ida, was called on by Coroneos to reinforce the
resistance to the passage of Rescind, but refused to move or even send
Coroneos a much-needed supply of ammunition, so that the latter
was obliged to retire. On this march there was a repetition of the
incident of the great insurrection, in the stifling of all the
families who had taken refuge in one of the caves which abound in
Crete, by making a huge fire in the entrance. My informant was an
Italian colonel under Omar, who was an eye-witness of the event.

Omar next announced a comprehensive movement which was to sweep the
insurgents from east to west, and surround them in Sphakia, when he
would finish with them. He began by an attack on the position of
Lasithe, where were gathered about 5000 insurgents,--sufficient if
they had had one commander; having many, they were, after temporary
successes, scattered and dispersed east and west, Omar following those
who went westward. I ran down to Candia, in the Kestrel, to get the
earliest news. Harried, and with several partial defeats, the army was
finally concentrated at Dibaki, on the south coast; but, instead of
sweeping the country as Omar had proposed doing, it was embarked on
the fleet and transported to the eastern foothills of Sphakia, and
debarked at Franco Castelli, the scene of the debarkation of Mustapha
in his Askyphó campaign. With much hard fighting, but greatly aided by
the want of coöperation amongst the insurgents and their allies, one
division penetrated to Askyphó, but was unable to get further, and,
being cut off from all communication with its base of supplies, was
obliged to retreat to Vrysis, Omar always remaining on his ironclad,
while Reschid, who was by far the most competent soldier in the
Turkish army in Crete, was obliged to retreat towards Candia, followed
by Coroneos, and, reaching that place mortally wounded in a parting
fight with the Greek chief near Melambos, died at Candia a few weeks
later. While at Candia I received most of my information from the son
of Reschid Pasha.

Omar, having ravaged and murdered along the southern coast, was
obliged to take ship and sail round with the entire army to the point
from which he had started. He landed at Canea, having lost, mostly by
disease, from 20,000 to 25,000 men in a three months' campaign, and
effected nothing except the destruction of six hundred villages and
the murder of hundreds of Cretans. The reports of Tricou had made it
necessary for the French government to recognize the real condition
of affairs, for he had set his agents in the island to collecting the
authentic cases of Turkish barbarity, a ghastly roll. His irritation
against the sirdar, on account of the discourteous manner of refusal
of the permission to accompany the army, was intensified by an
insulting remark which Omar made to Captain Murray, concerning Tricou,
and which Murray repeated to me and I to Tricou; and the war was
thereafter to the knife. Tricou crushed the Croat in the end, and
the Russian and French governments came to an accord for the
transportation of the non-combatants to Greece. In consequence, four
French ships, three Russian, two Italian, and, not to be left alone,
three Austrian and one Prussian, rapidly carried to Greece all who
wished to escape from the island. It was unnecessary, as there was no
longer any danger from the Turkish army; but it was, I suppose, in
pursuance of some political scheme which had brought France and Russia
together. The Turkish army was nowhere in force or spirit to penetrate
into the interior, and the demoralization was such that soldiers
deserted from battalions ordered for Crete. The military hospitals in
Crete were full, and the troops so mutinous that operations had become
impracticable beyond holding and keeping up communication with the
blockhouses and posts within easy reach.

Omar Pasha having failed to make any impression, A'ali Pasha, the
grand vizier, came out in October, 1867, to try conciliation. He
offered all that the Cretans could desire, short of annexation to
Greece,--an assembly of their own, freedom from taxation for a term of
years, a prince of their own election without reserve, and the half of
the customs receipts. I waited on him, as I had on the former envoys
of the Sultan, as a matter of etiquette, and was surprised by the just
and reasonable tone and substance of his propositions. They seemed
even better for the Cretans than annexation to Greece, and I so
represented them to Mr. Morris. But I received from him the orders of
General Ignatieff to urge the Cretans to reject them, as the certain
alternative was their independence and annexation to Greece. I obeyed
my orders without concealing my own sentiments in favor of the
acceptance of the offers of the grand vizier.

A'ali made on me an impression of honesty and justice such as I
had never seen in any Turkish official. He dissembled none of his
difficulties, and discussed the questions arising out of the position
without reserve. For the first time since the affair began I felt
my sympathies drawn to the Turkish aspect of the political question
involved. I had long seen that Crete could not be governed from Athens
without a course of such preparation as the Ionian Islands had had;
they would never submit to prefects from continental Greece; they
felt themselves, as they really are, a superior race, superior in
intelligence and in courage; but the men from Athens had persuaded
them that the only alternative to submission to the Sultan was
annexation, and, meanwhile, the ships of Europe were carrying their
families to Greece, where they were to remain practically as hostages
for the fulfillment of the Greek plans. The Russian influence was now
strengthened by the service rendered in the deportation of the women
and children, and the Greek influence by the maintenance of them in
Greece.

The offers of A'ali Pasha were rejected without being weighed. A'ali
used no arts; he offered bribes to no one; he showed what the Sultan
was ready to offer and guarantee, and listened patiently to all that
the consuls or the friends of the Cretans said, but it was too late.
Meanwhile fighting had ceased, for the Turks dared not go into
the interior, and the Christians, having neither artillery nor
organization, could not attack the fortified posts or the walled
cities. The fighting men in the mountains were provided with food from
Greece, and had lost the habits of industry which would have made
peace profitable. Dissensions arose amongst the chiefs, and the best
of them went back to Greece to urge the carrying of the war into the
continental provinces of Turkey. The conclusion of the war by the
proffered autonomy of Crete was utterly ignored by all who had any
influence in bringing about a solution.

The Russian government now concluded to take the direction of matters.
Its minister at Athens required Comoundouros to fall in with a plan
for a general movement in all the Balkan provinces under Russian
direction, Russia beginning to fear a pan-Hellenic rising. To this
Comoundouros gave a peremptory refusal; it was a Greek movement and
should remain under Greek direction. The king of Greece had married
a Russian princess, and during his stay at St. Petersburg had given
himself up to the influence of the court. He was a weak, incapable
young man, and the absolutist atmosphere suited his temperament
perfectly, and the independence of Comoundouros did not. Under the
requisition of the Russian minister, the king dismissed the ministry
of Comoundouros. The Chamber refused its confidence to the new
ministry, and the Russian minister then made the formal proposal to
Comoundouros that if he would accept the programme of St. Petersburg
he should come back to power. This proposal was also rejected, and
the Chamber was dissolved, and in the new elections, by the most
outrageous exercise of all the expedients that could be applied,
Comoundouros and all his principal adherents were excluded, and a
subservient Chamber elected, under the shadow of a ministry of affairs
composed of men of no party and no capacity. The popular feeling ran
so high that an insurrection was imminent, and was averted only by
the formal promises of the ministry to carry on the war in Crete with
renewed energy; but, at the same time, the means were withdrawn from
the Cretan committee, who were the most capable and honest, as well as
patriotic, people to be found in Athens. Never had the condition of
affairs been so favorable for the realization of a thorough Greek
policy. The Greeks on the Continent were ready and all the Turkish
empire was in a ferment. Joseph Karam, prince of the Lebanon, was
waiting at Athens on the plans of the Greek government to give the
word for a rising in his country. The election having given the
ministry the majority it desired, it gave place to Bulgaris, the
Russian partisan, and colleagues nominated by the Russian minister for
the distinct purpose of suppressing the Cretan insurrection.

Omar Pasha went home in disgrace in November, and left in charge
Hussein Avni, who had a plan of paralyzing the insurrection by
building lines of blockhouses across the island and isolating the
bands. With much pain and expense a number of blockhouses were built
and roads made in the western provinces; but, with the exception
of another fruitless attack on Zurba, nothing really serious was
attempted on either side in the island. The Turkish hospitals were
full of fever and dysentery patients, and the insurgents harried all
the country round about with perfect impunity. Most of the houses
around us at Kalepa were occupied as hospitals, and the very air
seemed infected by the number of sick; there were 3000 in and around
Canea.

In this condition the year 1867 went out and the third year of the
insurrection began. The Greek government sent supplies enough to keep
the men under arms from starving, and the Turkish could send no more
troops, so that there were only, after garrisoning the fortresses,
about 5000 troops available for any operations. One of the European
officers told me that the total force remaining out of eighty-two
battalions, of which most had come to Crete full, was 17,000 men
effective. A party of the consuls and officers of the men-of-war in
the port made a picnic at Meskla in August, and witnessed a fight
between the Cretans and Zurba and the Turks at Lakus, in the course
of watching which I had a shot fired at me from the Turkish trenches,
which came so near that the lead of the bullet striking a rock at my
side spattered me from head to foot, and as we returned to Canea we
were surrounded by the insurgents at Theriso, having lost our road
in the dark, and most of the party taken prisoners. I and my veteran
cavass, Hadji Houssein, broke through with a guest,--Colonel
Borthwick, an English officer in the Turkish service,--escaping down a
breakneck hillside in the dark to save him and his two orderlies from
capture by the insurgents, a trifling thing for us who were known as
the friends of the Cretans, but a serious matter possibly for Turkish
soldiers in fez and uniform. We made a reckless race down the
mountain, leaving our horses and my photographic apparatus under the
care of Dickson, and just succeeded in reaching the Turkish outpost
in advance of a party of Cretans who followed the road down to cut us
off. The post which we reached was under the command of a major, and
Borthwick, who outranked him, ordered out a relieving party to go up
the road and rescue the consuls, but the frightened major went up the
road, out of sight, and waited there till we were gone, and then came
back. He complained to Borthwick on receiving the order, "But you know
that is dangerous,"--a fair expression of the feeling of the army as
to their service at that time. They were too demoralized to make any
impression on the insurgents.

Laura had recently been confined with our Bella, her third child, and
our physician--a kindly and excellent Pole, attached to one of the
hospitals--ordered us all out of the island as soon as she was able to
travel, for, to use his expression, "he would not guarantee the life
of one of us if we remained in the island two weeks longer." We
had been living for over two years a life of the deprivations and
discomfort of a state of siege. At one time I had been confined to
the house for three months by a scorbutic malady which prevented my
walking, my children had been suffering from ophthalmia brought by the
Egyptians, and Laura was in a state of extreme mental depression from
her sympathy with the Cretans, while the absolute apathy prevailing in
the island made me useless to either side. It was most gratifying to
me that A'ali Pasha recognized my good faith and comprehension of the
position, for not only did he, before he left the island, give me
distinctly to understand that he considered me a friend, but told the
Turkish minister in Athens, Photiades Pasha, that the government of
Constantinople had been greatly deceived regarding me, and that if
they had taken my advice in the beginning they would have avoided
their difficulties. I left for Athens in September of 1868, convinced,
as were the intelligent chiefs of the Cretans, that the Greek
government intended to abandon the insurrection. I left the consulate
in the hands of a new vice-consul--an Englishman long resident in the
island,--my Greek vice-consul having died during the insurrection, and
I had decided not to return at the end of my leave of absence; but I
did not resign, as I knew that both the Turkish and my own government
wanted me to do so.

The agitation in America on behalf of the Cretans had been pushed
too energetically and under bad management, and had been followed by
indifference, and the government would willingly have recalled me, but
had no pretext for doing so, as I had always obeyed my orders. Nothing
was done, however, to make it more possible for me to remain in the
island. I had, in the second year of the war, determined to resign on
account of the pecuniary difficulties of my position. We were living
in a besieged town, with all necessaries of life at famine prices,
and, since my brother's death, I had no fund to draw on for my
excessive expenses. The Cretan committee in Boston, considering my
resignation probably fatal to the insurrection, had promised that they
would be responsible for any expenses above my salary, and on that
understanding a friend in New York--Mr. Le Grand Lockwood, a wealthy
banker--had offered to advance me any necessary sums. In accordance
with this offer I had drawn on him for what I needed, the amount
reaching, at the end of my residence in Crete, nearly three thousand
dollars. Arrived at Athens I took a tiny house under Lycabettus,
which was simply furnished for us by the local and principal Cretan
committee.

I found the committee convinced that the government of Bulgaris had
decided to stifle the insurrection in pursuance of the Russian plan,
and it had sent in its resignation, which the ministry had not
accepted. The minister of foreign affairs came to me at once to beg
me to persuade them to withdraw the resignation, assuring me that the
ministry had no intention of abandoning the Cretans, but was even
ready to increase the subsidy, and was preparing an expedition on a
larger scale than any previous one to revive it, and that it would, to
insure its efficiency, take direct charge of the organization of it.
On these assurances, I prevailed on the committee to withdraw its
resignation, which probably averted an insurrection in Athens. The
provisional government in Crete meanwhile appealed to Coroneos to
come back and take the general direction of the insurrection, and he
consented on condition of being furnished the means required, which he
estimated at £10,000. The ministry rejected the offer, alleging want
of means, and immediately proceeded to organize an expedition which
cost more than double the amount. This was put under the direction of
the old Petropoulaki, a partisan of Bulgaris, and the chief who had
refused to help Coroneos in the attack on Omar Pasha at Margaritas.

The volunteers were so openly enrolled and mustered, and all other
preparations made with so little disguise, that I was convinced that
the ministry intended by (what had hitherto been avoided) undisguised
violation of international law to provoke the Turkish government to
take action. The bands paraded the streets of Athens under the
Cretan flag, passing under the windows of the Turkish legation; the
government gave them two guns from the arsenal, and they were openly
embarked in two steamers, and landed in Crete without molestation by
any of the Turkish men-of-war. They sent the guns back, and, when
attacked after debarkation, separated into two divisions, neither of
which offered any resistance, the smaller being attacked and cut to
pieces at once, the larger taking refuge in Askyphó, where, without
waiting for an attack, they made immediate overtures of surrender, and
did at last surrender unconditionally the island as well as their own
force, without any communication with or authority from the recognized
Cretan provisional government, but carrying with them the insurgents
of the western provinces. There remained about five thousand
insurgents in the eastern part of the island in good condition for
resistance.

In compliance with what was evidently a preconcerted plan between
the Turkish and Greek governments, the Englishman Hobart Pasha, the
admiral in command of the blockading fleet, who had not offered
to interfere with the expedition of Petropoulaki, the place of
debarkation of which was publicly known, waylaid in Greek waters the
Ennosis, the blockade runner of the committee, which had replaced the
Arkadi, captured by the Turkish ironclads, and chased her into the
port of Syra, which he then proceeded to close by anchoring across
the entrance to the harbor. On the news of this reaching Athens, the
Cretan committee sent to Syra a blockade runner, lying as a reserve at
Peiraeus, with orders to torpedo the admiral, torpedoes having been
prepared for other contingencies at the arsenal of Syra, and I
accompanied the bearers of the order. A spy in the committee gave
immediate information to the Turkish minister, and, as our steamer
went out of Peiraeus, we saw the smoke arise from the chimneys of a
French corvette, lying off the arsenal, and two or three hours after
we had entered, the corvette arrived and sent off a boat to Hobart
Pasha, who immediately weighed anchor, and went to sea. The Greek
government took no action and made no protest against this violation
of international law, first by attacking the Ennosis in Greek waters,
and then by blocking the entrance to the port. Its conduct left no
question as to its complicity with the action of Admiral Hobart.



CHAPTER XXIII

ATHENS


My first leave of absence from Crete had been for two months,
afterward extended indefinitely on account of the health of the
family, the extension being accompanied with the intimation that my
salary would be suspended after a date indicated, unless I returned to
Crete. The Cretan committee of Boston, to whom I had, according to
our agreement, sent my claim for the excess of expenses over my
income,--the excess amounting after the realization of all my private
resources, sale of my curiosities, etc., to about $1500, for which I
was indebted to Mr. Lockwood,--replied that the funds of the committee
were exhausted, and there was nothing to meet my claim. As I had given
my leisure in Crete to the practice of photography and was provided
with everything necessary to correct architectural work, I set about
photographing the ruins of Athens, which I found had never been
treated intelligently by the local photographers, and from the sale of
the photographs I realized what sufficed, with a sum of 1200 francs
accorded us by the Athens Cretan committee from the remainder of the
funds in hand when the insurrection collapsed, to meet immediate
contingencies. I was in hope that the new cabinet, in which I had a
warm personal friend in Judge Hoar, General Grant's attorney-general,
would assign me another post, knowing that the Turkish government was
so bitterly opposed to my remaining in Crete; but the new Secretary
of State, Hamilton Fish, was a friend of General King, my discomfited
superior at Rome, and he had persistently urged my dismissal as
demanded by the Sultan, though, owing to Hoar's opposition in the
cabinet this had not been accorded. But I was never forgiven by the
friends of King, and one day, when Judge Hoar was absent from a
cabinet meeting, Fish succeeded in getting my successor at Crete
appointed, and though the judge made an indignant remonstrance at the
next meeting, it was too late to help us, for Fish obstinately opposed
my having any other appointment, and, as he controlled all nominations
to consular posts, it was impossible for the judge to effect anything.

My troubles came to a crisis in the sudden death of my wife. The
anxiety and mental distress of our Cretan life, and her passionate
sympathy with the suffering Cretans, even more than our privations and
personal danger, had long been producing their effect on her mind,
and the weaning of the baby precipitated the change into a profound
melancholy, which became insanity accompanied by religious delusions
from which she sought refuge in a voluntary death. She was given a
public funeral, and the government sent a caisson to carry the coffin
to the grave, but the Cretans claimed the right to take charge of it,
and the coffin was carried to the cemetery on the shoulders of the
oldest chiefs. The Cretan women looked on her as their best friend,
and always spoke of her after her death as "the Blessed "--their form
of canonization, for even in Athens they had been her chief care. The
quiet but indomitable courage with which she faced danger in Crete,
lest they should be involved in the panic which prevailed all around
us, was as remarkable as the humility with which she repelled all
acknowledgment of any merit on her part. She indulged in no sentiment,
had no poetic prepossession concerning the people she protected and
worked for, but the dominant sense of duty carried her through all
difficulties. She never gave a thought to personal danger, and though
a fragile creature, not five feet high, she was capable of cowing the
most brutal of the barbarians who were gathered around us at Khalepa,
and, whether to keep the consulate for me while I was away, or to
navigate the yacht to meet me on my return from my visits to Greece,
nothing made her hesitate to do what she thought her duty. In the
three years of almost breaking strain of our residence in the midst
of the anarchy of the insurrection, she had only the few days' relief
from anxiety of her stay in Syra, while waiting the arrival of the
Kestrel, but in all that time I never saw her make the least display
of trepidation or anxiety, until the dispatch came from Secretary
Washburn to tell us that the salary would be stopped.

I was asked then, as the reader may ask now, why I did not take her
away when I found that she was failing. I had not the means to pay my
passage to any other country. I was myself nearly prostrated mentally
and physically, and unfit for anything but my photography. I was in
debt so deeply that I could not honestly borrow, and my brother was
dead. The American government pays no traveling expenses for its
consuls, and I had not an article that I could sell for a dollar, for
the furniture of the little house we lived in had been provided by the
Cretan committee. The Greek government was hostile to me until Laura's
death stirred the public feeling so profoundly, but even then the king
was bitterly opposed to me. I was physically and financially a wreck
on a foreign strand, with neither hope nor the prospect of relief.
I struggled along as best I could, Mrs. Dickson taking charge of my
children, and I made my home with the Dicksons.

In June I had to go back to Crete to make consignment of the consulate
to my successor. I found the island materially as I had left it, but
almost deserted and quite desolate, and the local administration in
the hands of the spies and the traitors of the insurrection; all the
brave men in exile and the gloom of death over everything; villages
still unrebuilt, and the only sign of activity the building in the
most accessible districts of military roads and blockhouses. As my
successor delayed, I, to pass the time, went to Omalos to carry out
the ancient plan which could no longer be postponed if it was to
be carried out, for I never intended to see Crete again. The new
governor-general--Mehmet Ali, the Prussian (in subsequent years
murdered in Albania)--was an amiable, just, and intelligent man, who
would have saved the position if he had been there in the beginning,
but now there was nothing to be done. When he learned that I intended
to go to Omalos he decided, with a more friendly impulse than any
governor of Crete had ever shown towards me, to join me there and make
the visit pleasant for me. He preceded me, in fact, and I found the
posts all warned to show me the customary honors, and when I reached
the plain I found his tent ready to entertain me. The most sumptuous
dinner his resources afforded was served in his audience tent; we had
a grand acrobatic and dramatic entertainment of the soldiers and a
torchlight _retraite_, and he gave me rugs to cover me, without which
I must have suffered severely, for, though in June, it was bitterly
cold at Omalos, and I had brought only one rug to sleep on. We
returned together next day after I had visited the great ravine of
Agios Rumeli, the most magnificent gorge I have ever seen, never taken
from the Cretans by an enemy until this betrayal; and, as we went
back, we discussed the condition of the island. I told him freely
what I thought of the situation, and he so far agreed with me that he
begged me to go to Constantinople and lay my ideas before A'ali Pasha,
promising to support them.

On my return to Athens I raised money enough to get a return ticket
to the Turkish capital, and had an immediate audience of the grand
vizier, to whom I stated frankly, and without in the least disguising
the faults committed by his government, the condition of the island
as I saw it, and the remedies necessary for the restoration of its
prosperity. He asked me to give him a written memorandum of my views,
which I did, and he then asked me to stay in Constantinople until he
could send a commission to Crete and get a report from it. I replied
that I had not the means to stay so long, the time he indicated being
several weeks, and he offered to pay my expenses liberally if I would
stay. I went to the office of the "Levant Herald" to ask for work.
They knew me well enough there, for I had been their correspondent
from Crete, and the journal had once been fined £100 for one of my
letters, and once confiscated for another. On what I earned I lived
for the time I had to wait for the report of the commission.

When the report came I was summoned to the grand vizier to receive my
reply. A'ali Pasha said that he had found that my statements of the
condition of things in the island were correct, and he approved the
remedies I proposed; would I go out to Crete with full powers to carry
out the measures I recommended, the chief of which was an amnesty for
such of the exiles as, knowing them personally, I could trust to carry
out my dispositions? He could not give me an official position under
the Turkish government, having been reputed so long as an enemy; but a
semi-official position for the definite purpose of the pacification he
was prepared to offer me with an adequate salary and appointments, and
_carte blanche_ for the pardon of whomever I saw fit to name. On one
condition, I replied, I would accept the appointment, this being that
the persons I pardoned and recalled to the island should also be
guaranteed from arrest and molestation on civil process for acts
committed in the course of the military operations, such as the
taking of cattle or sheep for the subsistence of the bands, but not
comprehending criminal acts. On this condition we came to a final
difference, as A'ali said that by the Turkish law the government
became pecuniarily responsible for all such damages by condoning the
acts of the offenders, and that they were not prepared to agree to.
But it was impossible for me to enter into an agreement to invite a
chief to the island with his pardon, under my full powers, and then
see him thrown into prison by civil process for acts which the war
had made necessary, as had already happened in several cases, as it
impugned my good faith and made the pardon null and void, as much as
if the offense charged were the rebellion. A'ali's confidence and the
prospect of doing good to my Cretan friends touched me profoundly, and
in my destitute condition the salary of a Turkish official was a heavy
inducement, but I had to insist on the condition which divided us, and
I withdrew.

A'ali asked me to come to the treasury and receive the compensation
for my time spent in waiting on his inquiries, but the messenger
carrying the money missed or evaded the appointment, or I mistook it;
for, after waiting some time, I had to go back empty-handed, and
after waiting two or three days longer to hear of the money, with an
unjustifiable suspicion of A'ali's good faith, I took boat again for
Athens, more destitute than I had come. I had the additional pain of
telling the chiefs, on whose behalf I had pleaded, that there was no
hope of an amnesty. I shall never forget the despair in the face of
old Costa Veloudaki, the chief of the Rhizo district, when I told him
of my failure. Tall and straight under his seventy odd years, sickened
with a terrible nostalgia away from his mountain home, he listened
mute and turned away without a word, bowed with grief and too much
moved to risk speaking lest tears should shame him. I had known the
old man from the beginning of the troubles, for he was the chief of
the mountain country above Canea, and had been the spokesman of the
committee when they came to see the consuls,--a noble, honest, and
truly patriotic man, and a hero of all the movements since 1827. In
one of the first battles, fought in view of my house, his son had
been killed, and, taking his hand as he lay on the ground they had
successfully defended, he thanked God his son had been worthy to die
for Crete. It was, for me, the hard ending of a tragedy in which I had
had my part, serious enough to identify myself with my island friends,
and I can remember this episode of my life with the consciousness that
those who suffered more than I did acknowledged that I had been a true
friend and a prudent counselor from the beginning.

On my return to Athens I found Russie limping from the effects of a
heavy fall he had had during my absence, and to which no attention had
been paid, though it gave him continual pain. I called in the leading
Greek physician, who, on examination, pronounced it rheumatism, and
prescribed exercise and walks. I took the child on all the excursions
I made, to Marathon and other of the local points of interest, for he
was a great reader, and interested in Greek history and archeology
already, passing most of his time with me in my work on the Acropolis.
He limped painfully over all the sites we visited, and presently we
accepted an invitation to Aegina, to the home of the Tricoupis, the
parents of the well-known premier of later years. We spent some days
there, fishing and exploring and photographing the ruins, but Mrs.
Tricoupi recognized in Russie's lameness the beginning of hip disease,
and, returning to Athens, I had a council on him, when it was placed
beyond doubt that that deadly disease was established, aided largely
by the false diagnosis that substituted severe exercise for the
absolute quiet which the malady required. He was at once put in
plaster bandages and we were ordered home. Home! But how? I had not
money enough to pay a single passage even to England, and had no
friends from whom I could ask the means to get home. In despair I went
to the Turkish minister--Photiades Pasha--and told him of the promise
of A'ali Pasha to pay me for my time and expenses while waiting at
Constantinople, asking him to remind the pasha that I had not been
paid, as he probably supposed, possibly through the dishonesty of the
messenger. A'ali made inquiry, and, finding it to be the case, sent
me, through Photiades, a hundred Turkish pounds, with which I was
enabled to pay all local debts and reach London, more grateful to the
Turkish sense of justice than to that of my own government.

It only wanted for the diversity of my career that I should have
served a term as a demi-official of the Turkish government I had
served to undermine. For A'ali Pasha I retain the respect due to the
most remarkable ability, honesty, and patriotism combined I have ever
known in a man in his position, a most difficult one, surrounded by
corruption, venality, and treason as probably the ruler of no other
state has been in our day. He was free from prejudice, fanaticism,
and political passion, and had he been seconded by his colleagues and
administrators, as he should have been, I am convinced that he might
have restored the prosperity of his country. But, so far as I know, he
stood alone in the government. He was a just and impartial minister
where ministers are notoriously unjust, corrupt, and partisan, and,
of my past failures, I regret none so much as that I was unable to
coöperate with him in restoring peace to Crete.

At Paris I had the advice of a specialist in hip disease for Russie,
and the plaster bandage was replaced by a wire envelope, which fitted
the entire body and which made his transfer from vehicle to vehicle
without any strain a matter of comparative ease. But the poor child
suffered the inevitable acute pains of active hip disease before
anchylosis takes place, and he wasted visibly from the incessant pain.
He had been, when stricken in his seventh year, a boy of precocious
strength and activity, a model of health and personal beauty, whom
passersby in the streets stopped to look at, so that from the common
people one often heard an exclamation of admiration, as from our
English fellow passengers between Calais and Dover, who gathered round
him as he lay in his wire cradle with murmurs of admiration, for the
pallor which had begun to set in only made his beauty more refined and
his color a more transparent rose and white. In London we were warmly
received by the Greeks who had been prominent in supporting the
insurrection in Crete, and a testimonial was proposed for me of a
piece of plate, for which £225 were subscribed, which as testimonial
I declined to accept, but did accept on account of the debt which the
Cretan committee of Boston owed me. Here I met with great kindness,
especially from the Greek consul-general, Mr. Spartali, and I then
made the acquaintance of his daughter, who, two years later, became
my wife. The Rossettis, especially Christina, who had known Laura and
Russie when the latter was a boy of two, were most thoughtful and
kind, and I had some wheels put to Russie's cage, so that his passion
for seeing, which the incessant pain he was in never abated, could
be indulged to a certain extent. Miss Rossetti went with us to the
Zoological Gardens to satisfy his passion for natural history, and
so far as kindness could compensate for his helplessness he lacked
nothing. We sailed for New York and were met at landing by my brother
Charles, who told me of the death of our mother, two weeks before. Her
last wish had been for my coming, and to be able to embrace our little
Lisa, her namesake. I had not seen her for seven years.

I had made preparations while in London, for the publication of a
volume of photographs of the Acropolis of Athens, and, when I had left
the children with their mother's parents, I returned to London for a
few weeks, to superintend the production of it. The American medical
man called in to treat Russie proved as great a quack as the Greek,
and his case grew worse. Finally he was sent to the hospital, from
which he was, after a long treatment, sent back as incurable, and I
was told that probably all I could do for him henceforward was to make
death as easy as it might be.

The Acropolis book, published privately, cleared for me about $1000.
Moreover, difficulties had arisen over the will of my brother, with
which none of the parties interested were contented, and so, by a
compromise, the family received a part, of which, after the deduction
of my drafts from Rome, accepted before his death, there came to me
$500. Hence I was, after my straits, at comparative ease for the
moment. One of the most generous friends my vagabond past had given
me, the late J.M. Forbes of Boston, gave me a commission for a
landscape, and I returned to my painting, living in a tent in the Glen
of the White Mountains near to the subject chosen. Here I received a
visit from Agassiz, and here we had our last meeting and conversation
on nature and art. But the long abstention from painting had left me
half paralyzed--the hand had always been too far behind the theory. I
now began to question if I had any vocation that way, and, with the
passing of the summer, I went back to literature and found a place on
the old "Scribner's Monthly," now "The Century," under Dr. Holland,
the most friendly of chiefs, and there I had as colleague Mr. Gilder,
the present editor of the magazine. The greatest mistake, from
the business point of view, I have ever made was in leaving the
collaboration with Dr. Holland.



CHAPTER XXIV

ROSSETTI AND HIS FRIENDS


Of a life so desultory, fragmentary rather, it is useless to keep the
chronology. At no period of it have I been able to direct it with
primary reference to pecuniary considerations, nor have I ever
succeeded in anything I undertook with primary reference to pecuniary
return. My impulses, erratic or otherwise, have always been too strong
for a coherent and well subordinated career, and the aimlessness of my
early life, favored by the indulgence of my brother and the fondness
of my mother, might well account for a life without a practical aim or
gain. It is too near its end for regrets or reparation--so that if
it ends well it will be well, but it is hardly fitted for systematic
record.

During the two years between my leaving Crete and Athens and my second
marriage I spent the larger part of my life in London, engaged in
literary pursuits and in fugitive work. I prepared the history of the
Cretan insurrection, but the dissolution of the publishing company
which undertook it left the actual publication to Henry Holt & Co. in
1874. All interest in the subject having long lapsed, it was hardly
noticed, and was as a publication a complete failure, but I sent
copies of it to some English friends who were interested in Greek
affairs, and amongst others to Professor Max Müller, who made an
extended review of it for the "Times," which had on my subsequent
career an important influence. During the time I spent in England I
naturally saw a great deal of the Rossettis, especially of Dante, with
whom I became intimate. He lived in Cheyne Walk, and I in Percy Street
near by, so that there were few days of which a part was not spent
with him. I had made in America, about 1856 or 1857, the acquaintance
of Mme. Bodichon, an Englishwoman married to a French physician, who
is equally well known by her maiden name, Barbara Leigh-Smith, a
landscape painter of remarkable force, and one of the most delightful
and remarkable Englishwomen I have ever been privileged to know. When
I knew her in America, she had taken an interest in my painting, which
she regarded as promising a successful career, and when I came to
England, I renewed the acquaintance. As the spring came on, she
offered me for a few weeks her house at Robertsbridge, a charming
cottage in the midst of woodland, and with her consent I asked
Rossetti to share it with me.

Rossetti was then in the beginning of the morbid attacks which
some time later destroyed his health completely. He was sleepless,
excitable, and possessed by the monomania of persecution. His family
had tried to induce him to go away for a change, but the morbid
condition made him unwilling to do so, and he never left his house
until late in the evening, under the prepossession of being watched by
enemies. I recommended him to try chloral, then a nearly new remedy
which I had used by prescription with excellent effect for my own
sleeplessness, and which I always carried with me. I gave him twenty
grains dissolved in water to be taken at three doses, but, as he
forgot it on the first two nights, he took the whole on the third, and
complained to me the next day that it made him sleep stupidly for a
few hours, and then made him so wakeful that he was worse than without
it, so that he refused to make any further experiment with it, nor did
he at that time, and as long as we remained in touch with each other,
venture another trial of it. At a subsequent time, taking it on the
prescription of a physician, he fell into the habit of using it to his
great injury, from the want of self-control in the employment of it.
At the time I am writing of, I succeeded in getting him away from
London to stay for a long visit at Robertsbridge, where the quiet and
long daily walks in the woodland, a simple life and freedom from
all causes of excitement, rapidly brought him back to his natural
condition, and he resumed work, doing some of his best drawings there,
and completing his poems for publication. Indeed, several of the poems
in his first volume were written there. Sleep returned, and health,
with cessation of all the morbid symptoms, the result of overwork
and night work, for he used at Cheyne Walk to begin painting in the
afternoon, and, lighting a huge gasalier on a standard near his easel,
keep at his drawing far into the night, sleeping late the next day. At
Robertsbridge he returned to natural habits, having no gas and falling
in with my hours perforce, as otherwise he had no company.

And Rossetti was one of the men most dependent on companionship I have
ever known. When not at work he needed some one to talk with, and in
our long walks he unfolded his life to me as he probably never did
to any other man, for he had a frank egotism which made him see
everything and everybody purely in their relation to him. And in these
circumstances he and I were, after a manner, the only people in our
world. As he himself said, "In this Sussex desert one tells all his
secrets," and I doubt if even in his own family he ever threw off
reserve so completely as with me in the solitude of Robertsbridge,
where he was very happy and very well.

Rossetti's was one of the most fascinating characters I ever knew,
open and expansive, and, when well, he had a vein of most delightful
talk of the things which interested him, mostly those which pertained
to art and poetry, the circle of his friends and his and their poetry
and painting. To him, art was the dominant interest of existence, not
only of his own, but of existence _per se_, and he tolerated nothing
that sacrificed it to material or purely intellectual subjects. I
remember his indignation at the death of Mrs. Wells, the wife of the
Royal Academician, herself a talented painter, who died in childbed,
"a great artist sacrificed to bringing more kids into the world, as if
there were not other women just fit for that!" he exclaimed; and when
Regnault was killed in the sortie from Paris, he burst out in an angry
protest at this throwing away valuable lives like Regnault's in a
stupid war. The artist was to him the _ultima ratio_ of humanity, and
he used to say frankly that artists had nothing to do with morality,
and practically, but in a gentle and benevolent way, he made that the
guiding principle of his conduct. Whatever was to his hand was made
for his use, and when we went into the house at Robertsbridge he at
once took the place of master of the house, as if he had invited me,
rather than the converse, going through the rooms to select, and
saying, "I will take this," of those which suited him best, and "You
may have that" of those he had no fancy for.

He was the spoiled child of his genius and of the large world of his
admirers; there was no vanity about him, and no exaggeration of his
own abilities, but other people, even artists whom he appreciated,
were of merely relative importance to him. He declined to put himself
in comparison with any of his contemporaries, though he admitted his
deficiencies as compared to the great Venetians, and repeatedly said
that if he had been taught to paint in a great school he would have
been a better painter, which was, no doubt, the truth; for, as he
admitted, he had not yet learned the true method of painting. He
refused to exhibit in the annual exhibitions, whether of the Academy
or other, not because he feared the comparison with other modern
painters, but because he was indifferent to it, though I have heard
him say that he would be glad to exhibit his pictures with those of
the old masters, as they would teach him something about his own. Like
every other really great artist, he had a very just appreciation of
the work of other men, and his criticisms were, _me judice_, very
sound and broad from the point of view of art; the only painter of any
note I ever heard him speak of with strong dislike was Brett, whom he
could not tolerate. But he had a higher opinion of his own natural
abilities than of his actual achievement,--his self-appreciation was
not the conceit of a man who understood only what he himself did, but
a full consciousness of what at his best he would be capable of doing
and hoped to do before he died. In my opinion he understood himself
and his merits justly, but he was to himself the centre of his own
system; other stars might be as great, and probably there were many
such, but they were remote, and judged in perspective.

He was undoubtedly the most gifted of his generation of artists, not
only in England, where art is, if not exotic, at least sporadic, but
in Europe, and I consider that if he had been of Titian's time he
would have been one of the greatest of the Venetians. His imaginative
force and intensity were extraordinary, and some of the elaborate
compositions he drew in pen and ink, for future painting, are as
remarkable in invention and dramatic feeling as anything I know in
art, and all drawn without a model. The "Hector," the "Hamlet and
Ophelia," the "Magdalene at the door of Simon the Pharisee," are
designs of unsurpassed power, eminent in all the great qualities of
design, harmony of line, invention, and dramatic intensity. His early
work had all the purity and intensity of feeling of the primitive
Italians, and the designs alluded to are of a little later period and
of his highest imaginative activity. Had he always maintained the
elevation of that period he would have done more and better work,
but he fell into irregularities of life which wasted his powers and
destroyed the precious exaltation of his early art. The sensuous
quality of his painting, the harmony of color and the play of it, like
the same qualities in his poetry, remained as long as I knew anything
of his life, but his drawing and even his intellectual powers fell off
through his unsystematic, excessive demands on them, night work and
overwork. In his later years his work was nearly always more or less
jaded, his eye failing in the perception of forms, as has so often
been the case in even the greatest painters in their decay.

No doubt chloral was ultimately one of the agencies of his
prostration, though not of his death, but he did not have recourse to
it until his power of recuperation from overwork had begun to fail;
and, when he had become accustomed to the effect of the chloral, he
took it as the means of a form of intoxication, a form well understood
by those who have had any experience, personal or by observation, in
the use of the drug. The craving for this intoxicant, once it becomes
a habit, is, like the use of morphia, invincible, and Rossetti
indulged in it to such an extent that he used to take the original
prescription to several druggists to obtain a quantity that one would
not have given him. The crisis came long after my close personal
relations with him had ceased, and I had become only an occasional
correspondent, living in Italy. But to make his decline the
consequence of the use of chloral, even when it was finally become
habitual, as some do, is absurd. It had been prescribed for him by a
competent physician, because some remedy for his malady had become
necessary. Even before I had recommended his first experiment with it
he had been incapacitated from work by sleeplessness, and was in
a very precarious condition of nerves and brain, and, though he
recovered at Robertsbridge a comparative health, so that he was
enabled to do some of his best work, his return to London, and
gradually to his old habits of life and work, ultimately reproduced
the old symptoms.

During the earlier days of the return of the malady I was in London
again and saw a great deal of him, was witness to his having become
subject to illusions, and heard his declarations that he was beset
by enemies and that he continually heard them in an adjoining room
conspiring to attack him, and he attributed the savage criticism of
Buchanan on his volume of poems to his being in the conspiracy to ruin
him. The attack of Buchanan had a most disastrous effect on his mind.
It was the first time that Rossetti had experienced the brutalities of
criticism, and his sensitiveness was excessive. No reassurance had
any effect; he had heard, he declared, the voices of those who had
combined to ruin his reputation discussing the measures they were
going to take, and it was evident that it had become a mania closely
resembling insanity. Buchanan's criticism had a rancor and breath of
personality in it which had no excuse; it was a savage, wanton attack
on the poet which he felt not only as poet and artist but as personal;
for, to Rossetti, the two were the silver and golden sides of the
shield. Though the morbid state was there, I think that the article
of Buchanan had more to do with the intensification of the mania of
persecution than anything else that occurred. And at that time he had
not yet contracted the habit of taking chloral.

In the diary of Ford Madox Brown, published by William Rossetti, there
is an amusing story of Dante's keeping Brown's overcoat, and keeping
the room needed for other occupants, with the unconscious oblivion of
any other convenience than his own, which was quite characteristic of
the man, and which was shown on a larger scale at Robertsbridge. He
not only took possession of whatever part of the house pleased him
best, but, without in the least consulting me, he invited his friends
to come and occupy it. As the agreement was that we should pay share
and share alike of the expense, and as I invited no one, the burden
on me was out of all proportion to our respective means. Rossetti's
income, according to his own statement, was, at that time, £3000 a
year, but he was always in debt. He denied himself nothing that struck
his fancy, and he had the most costly Oriental porcelain in London,
and the most beautiful old furniture to be found, and the most
princely disregard of expenditure. I had finally to refuse to continue
the life in common. Dante invited Mr. and Mrs. Ford Madox Brown, and
then Mr. and Mrs. Morris, and as they were all excellent friends of
mine I could make no objection, though ill able to bear my share of
the expense of the ménage incurred, and finally I broke away, leaving
him in possession, with Madame Bodichon's consent. He was generous to
the same degree of extravagance that he was indifferent to the claims
of others; he made no more account of giving you a treasured curio
than he did of taking it. His was a sublime and childlike egotism
which simply ignored obligations until, by chance, they were made
legal, at which, when it happened, he protested like a spoiled child.
And he had been so spoiled by all his friends and exercised such a
fascination on all around him, that no one rebelled at being treated
in his princely way, for it was only with his friends that he used it.
He dominated all who had the least sympathy with him or his genius.

Had Rossetti's knowledge of the technique of painting, its science,
been equal to his feeling for it, he had certainly founded a school of
the truest art; but, for schools, the grammar is the first requisite,
and Rossetti had himself never been taught what he would have had
to teach. His feeling for color was on a par with his power of
composition, and it seems to me that since Tintoret no one has equaled
him in the combination. Of modern men, I know only Baron Leys and
Delacroix who possessed to the same degree the power of spontaneous,
harmonious composition, except Turner in landscape; all other modern
art has, to my mind, more or less of the _pose plastique_, the air of
the _tableau vivant_. His death, at a time when he should have been
at the height of his powers, a premature victim of his undisciplined
temperament and the irregularities it led him into, coupled with the
over-intense mental vivacity, equally undisciplined, is one of the
most melancholy incidents in the chaotic artistic movement of our
time.

Ford Madox Brown, who was his first master, and is commonly considered
to have exercised a great influence on Rossetti, in my opinion had
none that was permanent. He was Rossetti's antithesis, and in
himself as inconsequent as Rossetti was logical. He was severely and
uncompromisingly rationalistic; with the conscience of a Puritan he
was an absolute skeptic, with a profound contempt for all religious
matters, while Rossetti, with all his irregularities, never could
escape from his religious feeling, which was the part of his
constitution he possessed in common with his sisters. Brown had, of
the purely artistic qualities, only the academic; he was neither a
colorist nor a great draughtsman; his art was literary, didactic, and,
except for occasional dramatic passages, unemotional and unpoetic. The
predominance of the intellectual powers in him was so great that the
purely artistic view of nature was impossible to him; and his artistic
education, while curiously erratic and short-sighted in its elementary
and technical stage, was intellectually large in academic and literary
qualities, and comprehensive. It appears to me that the telling of
the story was, in his estimation, the highest office of art, so
that, while his drawing was bad in style, his execution scrappy
and amateurish and deficient in breadth and subordination, his
compositions were often masterly, fine in conception, and harmonious
in line, in the pen-and-ink study; but the want of _ensemble_ and the
insubordination of the insistent detail generally made his work less
imposing when it was on canvas than in the first study. His habit of
finishing from corner to corner, without having the whole work broadly
laid out before him to guide him in the proper subordination of the
details to the general effect, made it impossible for him to make
his pictures broad and effective. His most successful pictures were,
therefore, the small ones, in which the impossibility of too much
insistence on detail proved an advantage.

I shall always regard Brown as a man carried by a youthful enthusiasm
for art out of his true occupation, which was history; for his
literary and scientific tendencies and his vehement love of truth were
the larger part of his mind, and these qualities are of secondary
importance in art. He sympathized strongly with the early phase of the
pre-Raphaelite movement, which was what he had attempted with less
intensity himself; but when Rossetti entered upon his true artistic
development, it was only the personal influence of the past that gave
the elder painter any power of influencing the younger. It is possible
that Rossetti owed something of his manner of painting--a fragmentary
method of completion--to the teaching of Brown; if so, he was indebted
to his friend for the weakest side of his art. But, for the rest, this
system of working is very general amongst English painters, in whom
the amateur is persistent--the building the picture up in detail,
with minor reference to the mass of the structure; and this was the
weakness of Brown's art, for what he did was done with such intensity
that no after treatment could bring it into complete subordination to
the general effect. Theodore Rousseau's maxim, "If you have not got
your picture in the first five lines you will never get it," seems to
me the true golden rule of the art of painting, as in all creation. A
picture should grow _pari passu_ in all its parts; otherwise there is
no certainty of its keeping together when finished.

Rossetti's influence, though always partial and never leaving a
genuine pupil, was very wide, in the end, it seems to me, much
exceeding that of Millais and that of Holman Hunt; but it is a
question in which of his two functions--poet or painter--it was most
effective. I have heard Swinburne say that but for Rossetti's early
poetry he would never have written verses, but this I think must be
taken conditionally. Swinburne has the poetic temperament so decided
and so individual, and his musical quality is so exalted, that it was
impossible that he should not have shown it at some time; but it is
possible that Rossetti furnished the spark that actually kindled the
fire. Perhaps Swinburne himself cannot trace the vein to its hidden
sources, and confounded the mastery of Rossetti's temperament and the
personal magnetism he exercised on those who came into close relations
with him with an intellectual stimulus which, strictly speaking,
Rossetti did not exercise. He was too specialized, too exclusively
artistic in all his developments, to carry much intellectual weight,
and Swinburne was more fully developed in the purely intellectual man;
but the warmest friendship existed between them. I often saw Swinburne
at Cheyne Walk, and, when they were together, the painter's was
certainly the dominant personality, to which Swinburne's attitude was
that of an affectionate younger brother.

One day Rossetti had invited us all to dinner, and when we went down
to the drawing-room there was great exhilaration, Swinburne leading
the fun. Morris was, as usual, very serious, and, in discussing some
subject of conversation, Swinburne began to chaff and tease him, and
finally gave him a vigorous thrust in the stomach, which sent him
backwards into a high wardrobe, on the outer corners of which stood
Rossetti's two favorite blue and white hawthorn jars, a pair unrivaled
in London, for which he had paid several hundred pounds each. The
wardrobe yielded and down came the jars. I caught one, and Morris,
I believe, the other, as it was falling on his head. Rossetti was
naturally angry, and, for the first and only time in my experience of
him, lost control of his temper, bursting out on the culprit with a
torrent of abuse which cooled the hilarity of the poet instantly, and
reduced him to decorum with the promptness of a wet bath. To hear
Swinburne read his own poetry was a treat, and this I enjoyed several
times at Rossetti's; the terrible sonnets on Napoleon III. after
Sedan, amongst the readings, being the most memorable and effective.

The influence of Rossetti on Morris and Burne-Jones is unquestionable,
and they probably both owed their embarking in an artistic career to
the stimulus given by the advent of a purely artistic nature which
set a new light in their firmament. The little we have of Morris's
painting shows only that he had the gift, but his own appreciation of
his work was too modest to encourage him to face the strain of going
through the necessary education, made more difficult by his want of
early training, even of the imperfect and incorrect kind against
which Rossetti had so successfully had to make his way to a correct
conception of his art. On the whole, I consider Morris to have been
the largest all-round man of the group, not merely on account of the
diversity of his faculties, for he had in his composition a measure,
greater or less, of most of the gifts which go to make up the
intellectual man and artist, but because he had, in addition to those,
a largeness and nobility of nature, a magnanimity and generosity,
which rarely enter into the character of the artist; and perhaps the
reason why his gifts were not more highly developed was that his
estimation of them was so modest. His facility in versification led
him to diffuseness in his poems, and the modest estimation in which he
held his work, when done, was a discouragement to the _limae labor_ so
necessary to perfection. He told me that he had written eight hundred
lines of one of his tales in one night, but at the same time he
regretted that he could not invent a plot, though the exquisite manner
in which he carried out the old plots which have been the common
property of poets since poetry existed in the form of tales is honor
enough.

But in the feeling for pure decoration, which is the essential element
in art, in the universality of his application of it, and the high
excellence to which he brought it in each branch to which he devoted
himself, I doubt if Morris has had a rival in our day; and I am
inclined to think that in the default of an early education in art,
such as the great Italian painters received, we lost one of the
greatest artists who have ever lived. For with the high degree in
which he possessed taste, technical abilities never fully developed in
work, and exquisite feeling for color and invention in design, he had
the large human mould which would have made his work majestic beyond
that of any of his great contemporaries and co-workers. He remained,
owing to the late discovery of himself and the poor opinion of his
abilities, only a large sketch of what his completed self would
have been. He had that full, sensuous vitality which Madox Brown so
completely lacked to his great injury, without the excess of it which
was so treacherous with Rossetti. Mr. Mackail's recent life of Morris
does great injustice to Rossetti without in any way exalting his
friend, for Rossetti always urged Morris to follow his artistic
tendencies with the largest and most liberal encouragement and
appreciation, and all the stimulus derivable from a most exalted
opinion of his native abilities. Rossetti would have set everybody to
painting, I think, for, in his opinion, it was the only occupation
worth living for, and he was absolutely free from personal jealousy.

Of Burne-Jones I saw little in those days. He was still working out
his artistic problem, and came now and then to the studio of Rossetti,
who had the highest opinion of his abilities. And, taking art in its
special function, that of the decorator, there can hardly be a dispute
as to his rank amongst the greatest of romantic designers of the
centuries following that of Giotto. His fertility of invention was
very great; and, considering that his studies began at a period which
for most artists would have been too late for the acquisition of
technical excellence of a high degree, his attainment in that
direction was most remarkable. Entirely original, if that quality
could be predicated of any artist, he certainly was not, and he
borrowed of his predecessors to an immense extent, not slavishly but
adaptingly, and what he borrowed he proved a good right to, for he
used it with a high intelligence and to admirable effect. It seems to
me that though he added little or nothing to the resources of art, as
Rossetti undoubtedly did, he employed the precedents of past art, and
especially of the Italian renaissance, to better effect than any other
artist of our epoch; and, in borrowing as he did, he only followed the
example of most of the great old masters, who used material of any
kind found in their predecessors' works, in perfectly good conscience.
His industry was prodigious, and his devotion to art supreme.



CHAPTER XXV

RETURN TO JOURNALISM


Miss Spartali and I were married in the Spring of 1871, and in justice
to her I came to the hazardous decision to make my home in England,
and there to devote myself to general literature and correspondence
with America. As my financial condition at that moment, thanks to the
various contributions to it, was better than it had ever been before,
I had the courage needed to face the great change in my life. I
brought with me from Lowell a letter to Leslie Stephen, whose
friendship has ever since been one of the pleasantest things in my
English life. Mrs. Stephen, the elder daughter of Thackeray, was to us
an angel of goodness, and never since has the grateful recognition of
her loving hospitality in thought and deed diminished in my mind. Our
debt to her was a debt of the heart, and those are never paid. Her
sister, later Mrs. Ritchie, added much to the obligations of our early
life in London, and still remains our friend. Mr. Stephen gave me an
introduction to the "Pall Mall Gazette," then under the charge of
Greenwood, and I contributed in incidental ways to its columns; and
with contributions to "Scribner's" and other magazines it seemed that
we might forgather, and we decided to bring the children out.

An article on the Cretan insurrection, printed while I was still in
the island, had led the way to an acquaintance with Froude, in whose
magazine it appeared, and I had been put on the staff of the "Daily
News," which had printed a contribution on the Greek question as a
leading article; so that, on the whole, the venture did not seem
too rash for a man who never looked far ahead for good fortune. My
friendship with Froude lasted as long as he lived. He was a warm and
sincere friend, always ready with word or deed to help one who needed
it, and one of the men for whom I retain the warmest feeling of all I
knew at this epoch of my life. In New York I had made an arrangement
with Dr. Holland to hold the literary agency for "The Century" (then
"Scribner's") for England, and on returning to London we took a small
furnished house at Notting Hill Way, where our daughter Effie was
born. In the following spring we moved out to Clapham Common, to be
near the parents of my wife, and in the comparative quiet of that then
delightful neighborhood we gave our experiment full scope. The life as
a literary life was ideal, but as a practical thing it failed. Here
I had the pleasure of extending hospitality to Emerson on his way to
Egypt, and Lowell on the way to Madrid. To make the acquaintance of
Lowell we had Professor and Mrs. Max Müller to meet him at dinner, and
Tom Taylor was of the company, he living as a near neighbor.

But Russie's condition was a shadow over my life, growing deeper every
day. Though he had been discharged from Boston as incurable, we put
him under the care of one of the best of English surgeons, and one of
the kindest-hearted men I have ever known, the late Mr. John Marshall,
one of the warm and constant friends I had made through my relations
with Rossetti, of whom Marshall was a strong admirer. Though his
charges were modified to fit our estate, they aggregated, with all his
moderation, to a sum which I could ill support; but to save, or even
prolong Russie's life, I would have made any sacrifice. He was then
not far from nine, and, though crippled by his disease, with his once
beautiful face haggard with pain and no longer recognizable by those
who had known him in his infancy, he was to me still the same,--a dear
and loving child, the companion of my fortunes at their worst; and his
devotion to me was the chief thing of his life. I had carried him in
my arms at every change of vehicle in all the journeys from Athens
to Boston and from Boston to London again, and to him I was all the
world; to me he was like a nursling to its mother, the first thought
of every day, an ever-present care, and his long struggle with death
was an inseparable sadness in my existence. I remarked to Lowell one
day that I feared he would die, and Lowell replied, "I should be
afraid he would not die." The seeming cruelty of the expression struck
me like a sentence of death, and momentarily chilled my feeling
towards Lowell; but the incident made me understand some things in
life as I could not have otherwise understood them, enabling me to
take a larger view of our individual sorrows. There is no doubt that
to Russie's sufferings and death I owe a large part of my experience
of the spiritual life, and especially a comprehension of the secret of
the mother's heart, so rarely understood by one of the other sex.

But my unfailing facility for getting into hot water was not to find
an exception in London. As agent for "Scribner's" I had to secure
contributions from English authors, not so easy then as now. Amongst
other items I was instructed to secure a story from a certain author,
and I contracted with her for the proof sheets of her next novel,
about to be published in England in the--Magazine, the price to be
paid for the advance proofs being £500, if I remember rightly. There
was then no international copyright with America, but a courtesy right
between publishers, with a general understanding amongst the trade
that the works of an author once published by a house should be
considered as belonging by prescription to it. On the announcement by
"Scribner's" of the coming publication of this author's novel, the
firm who had published her prior works announced that they would not
respect the agreement with the author, but would pirate the story.
As the result of the quarrel, "Scribner's" resigned the story to its
rival on payment to the lady of the sum agreed on. But now appeared an
utterly unsuspected state of things: the--Magazine had already sold
the proof sheets of the story to a third American house, and an exposé
of the situation showed that English publishers had been in the
practice of selling the advance proofs of their most popular works of
fiction to the American houses, and recouping the half of the price
paid the authors.

On the heels of this discovery by the public, there happened one of
the periodical outbreaks of English journalism against the "American"
system of literary piracy, and simultaneously the visit of a committee
of the American publishers deputed by the government of the United
States to study out an arrangement for a treaty of international
copyright on the basis of equality of right and privileges in both
countries of the authors of both countries, but with no recognition
of publishers' rights or privileges. The English government, taking
advice from a committee of authors and publishers, in which the
interest of the publishers was dominant, declined the offer of the
American form of treaty, insisting on the protection of publishers'
rights, and the negotiations fell through, with great increase of the
outcry in the English press. Being in communication with Mr. William
H. Appleton, the head of the American committee, and in possession of
the facts of the case as regarded the courtesy right, I wrote to the
English papers, putting the American view of the matter, and the
facts, dwelling on the hitherto unknown point that the depredations on
the authors' interests were committed by the English publisher, who
sold to the American the wares the latter was accused of stealing,
whereas the fact was that he bought and paid equally for the right of
publication, while the English publisher continued to reprint American
books without the least regard for analogous transatlantic rights.

The consequences to me were variously disastrous. In the first place
I was deluged with applications from authors of still unestablished
transatlantic reputation to secure for them offers from "Scribner's"
for the advance sheets of their books. In the second I was treated to
a torrent of abuse as "the friend of piracy" ("Daily News" leading
article), and for some days not a single London paper would print a
word of reply or explanation from me. The "Echo" was the first to
do me the justice of printing a defense, and it was followed by the
"Times," which printed my letter and one from Mr. Appleton; but of the
authors who, having a transatlantic reputation, had profited by the
"courtesy right," only Mr. Trollope came forward to sustain me with
the statement that he had received more from the Harpers--his American
publishers--than from his English publishers. The author whose novel
had been the occasion of the original trouble, grateful for what I had
done in her case, declared that the English authors ought to make me a
testimonial (or perhaps it was a monument she suggested), but from no
other source did I receive a word of thanks. And the third consequence
was that the "Pall Mall Gazette" dropped me "like a hot potato." As
my monthly cheques had reached the sum of ten pounds, and were slowly
increasing, the inroad on my income arising from my crusade against
publishing abuses was a serious item in my outlook.

As misfortunes never come alone, this was followed by my supersession,
as literary agent of "Scribner's," by Mr. Gosse, who had been making a
visit to New York. It was in curious coincidence with these disasters
that I addressed (with a letter of introduction from Madame Bodichon,
who always was the kindest of friends to me) a distinguished lady
member of the staff of an evening paper, with a request to help me to
get work on it, and was told distinctly that she did not favor the
entry of foreigners on the staff, as English writers had too much
competition amongst themselves, and "the crumbs from the table" should
be reserved for them, so that while I had opened the door for English
writers in my native land, to the disadvantage of myself and my
compatriots, I was to be excluded from the English market as a
foreigner. My old friend the editor of the "Daily News," had, during
my absence in America, been appointed to the "Gazette," and the new
Pharaoh "knew not Joseph." And so we decided to throw up the sponge
and go back to America, though even there the new influx of English
competitors (for which I was in part responsible) had made our chance
less brilliant. My father-in-law offered us, if we withdrew from our
decision, to settle £400 a year on my wife. With this aid we felt
that we might carry through; and to her the change from English life,
surrounded by old friends and an artistic atmosphere, to the strange
and comparatively cruder surroundings of America, was to be avoided at
any possible price, and I had no right to hesitate.

The great Exhibition of Vienna, in 1873, found the New York "Tribune"
unprovided in time for its correspondence, and the European manager,
my friend G.W. Smalley, proposed to me to go out for the paper. There
were three months still to the opening, but the preparation of the
groundwork of a continuous correspondence, on an occasion to which the
American public attached much importance, was a matter of gravity, and
the time was not too long. The editor had neglected the matter,
owing to considerations which deluded him, and I was just in time to
forestall the worst effects of a scandal which made its noise in its
day. The chief commissioner, General Van Buren, had had associated
with him, through influences which need not be cited, several
under-commissioners who were Jews, formerly of Vienna, and of course
obnoxious to the society, official and polite, of the Austrian
capital, and who were exercising a most unfortunate influence on the
prospects of the American exhibitors. In addition to this, they had
entered into a system of trading in concessions for their personal
advantage, the competition being very keen, especially in the
department of American drinks, and their dealings with the competitors
had excited great indignation in certain quarters. One of the
disappointed applicants, whose concession had been unjustly annulled
in favor of a higher bidder, came to me for advice. I at once
instituted a rigorous though secret inquiry, and collected a body
of evidence of corrupt practices, which I laid before the American
minister, Mr. Jay, with a demand that it should be communicated to
the government. Mr. Jay at first declined to take cognizance of the
matter, and accused me of doing what I did with political partisan
bias, Van Buren being a prominent politician. I assured him that I did
not even know to which party Van Buren belonged; but, what probably
moved him more was my assurance that the affair was not going to be
whitewashed, that if it was not corrected quietly I was determined to
make a public exposure, and that whoever tried to whitewash it would
need a whitewashing himself, whereupon he decided to take, under oath,
the evidence I had laid before him and send it to Washington, which he
did.

The result was a cable dismissal of the entire commission and the
nomination in their places of several American gentlemen who had come
to Vienna to witness the opening of the Exhibition, amongst whom were
two of my warmest personal friends. They immediately offered me the
official position of secretary to the commission, which I declined.
Having enlisted on the "Tribune," and considering myself held "for the
war," I could not desert, though the inducement was very strong, for
I should not only have been better paid than by the "Tribune," but
should have been practically director of the Exhibition, so far as the
American department was concerned. The exposure of the old commission
which I sent the "Tribune" was printed reluctantly, for Van Buren was
a personal friend of the editor-in-chief; but as I had taken the
pains to make the substance of it common property so far as the other
correspondents were concerned, it could not be suppressed.

For the opening ceremony there was great rivalry amongst the leading
papers of New York, and the "Herald" made very expensive arrangements
to cable a full account; and, beside its European manager, John
Russell Young, and its telegraphic manager, Mr. Sauer, it had Edmund
Yates and a well-known European lady novelist to make up the report.
The "Tribune" sent to my assistance an old friend, Bayard Taylor,
and one of the staff from New York, E.V. Smalley. The "Herald" was
prepared for practically unlimited expenditure on the occasion; the
"Tribune" simply ordered me to telegraph 6000 words to Smalley at
London, leaving the question of cabling open. Young thought me a rival
to be held in poor account, and was careless. All the "Herald" staff
took their places in the Exhibition building for the ceremony of
opening by the Emperor, which was no doubt spectacular; but, as the
doors were to be closed until the ceremony was over, and the Emperor
rose to make the tour of the Exhibition, no one could get at the
telegraph till all was complete. I stayed outside and sacrificed the
spectacle. I had found who was to be the telegraph inspector for the
day, and I went to him with an offer to hire a wire for the day. This
was impossible, he said, as there was to be but one wire for all the
foreign press. I put my case to him as that of a beginner in the
service, to whom a success was of great importance for the future, and
asked to be allowed to declare 6000 words to follow continuously; but
this too, he said, was against the regulations. But I secured his
sympathy, and he finally promised me that if I got first on the wire,
and my message came without interruption, one section being laid
before the operator before the other was finished, they should go on
without interruption, as one message; but, if one minute lapsed and
another message came in the interval, I must take my turn with the
others.

As Taylor was an old hand, and wrote a most legible script, and style
_currente calamo_, I told him to write what he could as the ceremony
went on, and, the moment the doors were opened, to consign what he
had written to a messenger whom I had hired for the day,--an American
clerk of one of the exhibitors under some little obligation to me, a
sharp Yankee, for whose use I had hired a cab, with the fastest horse
I could find, to run back and forth between the Exhibition and the
telegraph. Taylor was then to finish his account of the opening
ceremonies and bring it or send it by the messenger to me at the
telegraph office, the messenger waiting or returning for the first
installment of Smalley's account of the imperial inspection, which
he was to follow closely. After this he was to continue to write the
incidents of the opening; and when the whole approximated to the 6000
words needed, he was to come himself to the telegraph. I, meanwhile,
went into the streets and devoted myself to picking up incidents of
the procession, the deportment of the population, and the weather; and
when I supposed that the opening of the doors was about to take place
I went to the telegraph office and deposited 1200 words. Long before
these could be sent, Taylor's first installment came, and then Taylor
himself with the second. Young, seeing my staff always present, and
thinking me asleep, took his time.

When Taylor's second part had been deposited and paid for, I saw
coming down the street in a furiously driven carriage Mr. Sauer, with
the first part of his message. I slipped out at a back door and was
not seen, and Sauer returned for the continuation of his telegram.
When Smalley's first dispatch had been put on, I saw Sauer coming
again with his second. Then I sat tight and saw that the message had
been written in columns of words on large paper, so that the counting
should be rapid. It made a huge packet, and he deposited it with
evident satisfaction and turned to go out, when he saw Archibald
Forbes, who was writing his telegram to the "Daily News" at the table
in the office, and turned to speak to him. When leaving him he caught
sight of me in the corner, and started as if he had been hit by a
bullet, then made as if he had not seen me and was going out, but
reconsidered and came to speak to me. "Well, what have you done?"
he said. I replied that I had put about 5000 words on, and was only
waiting for the odds and ends from Smalley. He flushed with surprise
and vexation, and began to curse the telegraph officials "who never
kept their engagements," and went off in a towering rage. My 6000
words went on before a single word of the message to the "Herald"
could go.

Mr. Young had ordered for that evening a magnificent dinner for his
staff, to which mine was invited to celebrate his unquestioned feat.
While waiting for the dinner to come on, he took me apart and asked
confidentially what we had really done. I told him, and he asked if we
cabled, to which I replied that as to that I knew nothing, that I had
wired G.W. Smalley in London, but what he had done I could not say.
"Well," said he, "if you have cabled you have beaten us, and if you
have not cabled you may have beaten us," and then he went on to say
that if I would drop the "Tribune" and come over to the "Herald" he
would give me a good post and good pay. "No," I replied, "I have taken
service with the 'Tribune' for the campaign, and I cannot desert
them." (My recompense was a curt dismissal from the "Tribune" as soon
as the urgent work of the reporting of the opening was done.) Mr.
Whitelaw Reid's nerve had failed him when it came to the question of
the expense of cabling, and the 6000 words had gone by steamer from
Queenstown. I had given the "Tribune" the best beat it had ever had
except the Sedan report, if the editor had had the courage to profit
by it. The "Herald" received 150 words of its report in time for the
press the next morning, and had to make up its page of dispatches
from matter sent by post in advance and by expansion of the 150 words
received. Edmund Yates, in his autobiography, tells a story of the
affair which is in every important detail untrue, and he probably knew
nothing of it except what Young had admitted, and that was certainly
very little, for Young was a very reticent man, and not likely to tell
his defeat even to his staff.

Bennett was too fickle and whimsical an employer to suit me, and I had
no disposition to expose myself to his whims. With Young I was always
on the best terms, and he was disposed to employ me when a momentary
service was required, but I had had one experience with his chief,
which was sufficient. He had offered me the London agency of the
"Herald" at a time when any constant occupation would have been
acceptable, and we had come to terms, when suddenly he was taken with
the notion that Edmund Yates, in addition to the service to the paper,
would be of use to him in social ways, and he dropped me and appointed
Yates, to drop him a little later, paying him a year's salary to break
the contract.

One bit of work I did for the "Herald" which I remember with much
pleasure. It was the reporting of Beaconsfield's Aylesbury speech, not
a stenographic report, for that they had from the English press, but a
letter on the occasion as a demonstration. I went to Aylesbury, and,
as Beaconsfield was to speak twice,--once at the farmers' ordinary and
then at the assembly rooms,--I dined at the ordinary; and as all the
places in the assembly rooms had been taken before the dinner was
over, I had to employ some assurance to hear the principal speech. As
soon as the company rose from the table, I pushed through to where
Beaconsfield was standing, and, presenting my card as correspondent of
the New York "Herald," asked him to be kind enough to put me in the
way of hearing him, explaining why I had lost my chance through
remaining to hear him at the dinner. He turned to one of the young men
who were with him, remarking that my card would take me anywhere, and
said, "See that Mr. Stillman has a place near me," and to me, "Keep
close to me," which I did, and took a seat on the edge of the
platform, at his feet; and I certainly never heard a more effective
speech. The lordly, triumphant manner with which he bantered Gladstone
for his dealings in the Straits of Malacca, the demonstrative
confidence with which he took victory for granted, and the magnetism
of his personal bearing, made an impression on me quite unique in my
experience of men. Gracious is the only word which I can apply to his
manner to those around him, and it had a fascination over them which
I could perfectly understand, and I could easily comprehend that
he should have a surrounding of devotees. The serene, absolute
self-confidence he evidently felt was of a nature to inspire a
corresponding confidence in his followers. It was an interesting
display of the power of a magnetic nature, and gave me a higher idea
of the man than all his writings had given or could give. For his
intellectual powers and their printed results I never had a high
opinion, but his was one of the most interesting and remarkable
personalities I ever encountered.

As Russie continued to hold his own against his terrible disease, Mr.
Marshall thought that the operation of resecting the leg at the hip
might save his life, and though such a maimed existence as his would
then be was but a doubtful boon, the boy eagerly caught at the chance
of life; and, to recruit strength for the operation, I decided to take
him, by Marshall's advice, to America, and give him a summer in the
woods, camping out. I took him to the Maine woods instead of my old
haunts of the Adirondacks, because the rail served to the verge of
the wilderness, and we had, on Moosehead Lake, the resource of a good
hotel to take refuge in if matters went ill. They did go ill, and I
found that life was too low in him to give the woodland air and the
influence of the pine-trees power to help him. Hope left me, and we
turned homeward again, sailing from Boston direct to London. It was
in late December, and we had a terrific voyage, and one of the
hairbreadth escapes of which I have had so many. In the height of the
gale Russie and I were standing in the companion-way, watching the
storm, for the boy loved the sea dearly and enjoyed the heaviest
weather, when the captain called to me to say that we were not
safe there and had better go below. Only a few minutes later an
exceptionally heavy sea broke over the deck, took five boats out
of the davits or crushed them, carried away in splinters the
companion-way in which we had been standing, and swept the decks, the
chief officer being saved only by being lashed to the railing of the
bridge, and the fall of the mass of water on the deck breaking several
of the deck beams. We had to lie to for the rest of the gale. We
landed at Gravesend just before Christmas, Russie being in much worse
condition than when we left England. Up to that time I had clung
to hope, for to lose the boy was like tearing my soul in two. Mr.
Marshall no longer held out a hope, but said if he had known the
strength of the boy's constitution he would have operated when he
first saw him, which was what Russie then begged for and had always
looked forward to. Through five years he had resisted the pain of that
most painful disease, hoping always, always reading, almost always
cheerful.

Our lease expiring, I decided to leave London, and Mr. Spartali
offered us a cottage on one of his estates in the Isle of Wight, where
the children, Russie especially, might have sweet English air. Marie
being engaged in finishing her pictures for the spring exhibition, I
went down alone with the children, stopping at an inn at Sandown till
the furniture was in the cottage. While so waiting Russie was taken
with the first convulsion peculiar to his malady, and then I realized
that Death had come, and, unwilling to face him in the semi-publicity
of an inn, I took the boy in my arms to the railway, and from the
station nearest to the cottage bore him thither.

I tried to prepare him for the impending death, by showing him that it
was the end of pain, but his horror of it was inextinguishable, and he
cried in agony, "Oh, no, no! Papa, I wish to live as long as you do;"
and, though his faculties were fortunately failing, he beckoned me to
lay my head by his on the pallet I had prepared for him on the floor,
and offered me a last feeble caress and showed his pleasure in having
me by him. He had loved me above all things on earth, even more than
his loving mother, and to be with me had always been his dearest
delight, and now we met Death alone, he and I, and I could only
remember David's cry, "Absalom, my son!" I watched the fading life,
the diminishing breath in the midnight silence of the solitary house,
and almost desired Death to hasten, for the final struggle had begun,
and the suspense was torture to me. And when the last long breath was
drawn, and the limp, deserted body was all that was left to me of my
thirteen years of passionate devotion, my pride and hope, and the
nursing care of so many years, I walked out into the midnight and left
my boy to Death. The long tension was over, and I could give way to
tears.

It was only a child's death, a common thing, almost as common as
family existence, but it gave a new color to my life, establishing
forever a sympathy with the common grief, and a community of sorrow
with all bereft fathers and mothers, in the premature dissipation of
the hopes of their future, and the lapse of a dear companionship into
the eternal void. This is the human brotherhood of sorrow, sacred,
ennobling, sanctifying where it abides, the deepest lesson of the
school of life. My feet have wandered far, and my thoughts still
further from the places and beliefs of my childhood; but whatever and
wherever I may be, this grief at times catches me and holds me in a
pause of dumb tears, and every similar bereavement I witness renews
the sympathetic grief. I have never been able to find a consolation
for that loss, for it carried with it the future and its best dreams.
When his mother died, I thought that any death were easier to bear
than the sudden and terrible tragedy of that; but in the devastated
youth and the lingering pain of Russie's leaving, I found that

      "not all the preaching since Adam
  Has made Death other than Death."

We buried him quietly in the churchyard at Arreton, the kind rector
not asking for a baptismal certificate, for he knew that I was not
a churchman, and Russie had never been baptized. In these things we
follow prejudices. Mine were Baptist; his mother was an advanced
Unitarian, and had been born in the Brook Farm community, of which her
father was a member, so that we had no sympathy with paedobaptism,
while the terrible effect of my own religious education forbade me to
encumber the boy's mind with religious dogmas, and from the beginning
I had forbidden any one in the house to teach him the name of God
until he was old enough to understand what "God" meant; but one day
during his illness I found him, when he should have been sleeping,
weeping bitterly, and to my inquiry as to the cause of his trouble,
he replied, "Do you think, Papa, that, if I went to sleep saying my
prayers, God would be satisfied if I finished them after I woke?" That
terrible hereditary conscience could not be laid, and perhaps the boy
was fortunate in his early death.



CHAPTER XXVI

THE MONTENEGRINS AND THEIR PRINCE


To me Russie's death was a crushing disaster. The care and constant
preoccupation of my life was taken away, and nothing moved me to
activity. I missed him every moment that I was awake, and in my
condition I could not rally from the depression caused by the mental
void and grief. I do not think I should have recovered from it had not
Mr. Spartali conceived the idea of my going off to Herzegovina, where
the insurrection of 1875 was just beginning to stir, and, to cut short
my hesitation at the venture as a volunteer correspondent, got me an
introduction to the manager of the "Times," and offered to pay my
expenses should the "Times" not accept my letters. I knew so well the
condition in which the Turkish Empire had been left by the Cretan
affair, and the apathy that had ruled ever since, that I was convinced
that a disaster was pending, and the state to which Russia had brought
matters in the Ottoman Empire in 1869 pointed to a Slavonic movement
this time. The manager was not of my opinion; he thought the
disturbances would blow over in a few weeks, and nothing serious would
come of it. I went home, but watched the news, and a few days after
went again to the office and offered to go out at my own expense, with
the understanding that if they printed my letters they should pay me
for them, but that they ran no risk and need not print them unless
they wished. The review of my Cretan book in the "Times" now served me
as credentials by showing my knowledge of Turkish ways. At the same
time I arranged to send letters to the New York "Herald," also as a
volunteer, for no one then attached any importance to the rising.

Arriving at Trieste in August, 1875, I found that a committee was at
work sending arms and ammunition, and, following the coast down, I
found other committees at work at Zara and elsewhere, under Austrian
auspices, without any attention being paid to their action by the
Imperial authorities. At Ragusa I found the headquarters of the
agitation, there under the direction of the captain of the port,
Kovachevich, a zealous Slavonic patriot. The movement was evidently
regarded benevolently by the Kaiserlich-Koeniglich, and the insurgents
came openly into the city, and returned again to their fighting with
fresh supplies of ammunition and provisions. I pushed on to the Bocche
di Cattaro, and at Castel Nuovo found the insurgents coming and going
freely, and at Sutorina, in the corner of Herzegovina, which comes to
the Gulf of Cattaro, their depot and manufactory of cartridges.
The information to be obtained there was abundant, if not always
absolutely trustworthy; but on the whole I found the only fault of
that which I got from the insurgents was its exaggeration, while
what I got from the Turkish consul-general at Ragusa was simple
fabrication. Volunteers fully armed went by every steamer, and when
they had enough of campaigning they went to Castel Nuovo and
refreshed themselves, and returned, quite regardless of the Austrian
regulations. I found that the insurrection was spreading through
all the mountain section of Herzegovina and along the border of
Montenegro, and it was said that strong detachments of Montenegrins
were aiding in the operations. The Prince of Montenegro had opposed
the insurrection in the early stages of it, and had even sent old Peko
Pavlovich to arrest the Herzegovinian leader, Ljubibratich, and carry
him to Ragusa, where he left him under Austrian authority, to return
freely as soon as his band had reunited. But as, according to the
general Slav opinion, there was nothing important to be done without
Montenegro, I pushed on to Cettinje to see with my own eyes what there
was to see.

The little world about Cettinje has changed so much since this my
first visit there, and was so little known then by the outer world,
that my experiences there will be to the present day like those which
one might have in a perished social organization. The only access to
the capital of the principality was by a zigzag bridle-path up from
Cattaro to a height of 4500 feet above the sea,--a hard, rough road,
more easily traveled on foot than in the saddle, and so I traveled it,
in the company of a Scotch cavalry officer intending to volunteer.
Passing the rocky ridge along which ran the boundary between freedom
and Austria, one descended by another precipitous path into the valley
of Njegush, the birthplace of the family of the Prince, a circular
amphitheatre of rocks, a narrow ridge here and there holding still a
little earth on which the people raised a few stalks of maize or a few
potatoes, a few square yards of wheat, or a strip of poor grass for
the sheep or goats. Every tiny field was terraced against the wash
of the rains so that the soil should not be carried away, for the
geological formation of this part of the principality, Montenegro
proper, is a porous rock, which allows water to filter through it, and
which is even so fissured that no stream will form, and the drainage
is through the rocks or in _katavothra_ which gush out in mysterious
fountains in the Gulf of Cattaro or into the Lake of Scutari.

Njegush, the village in which the Prince was born, was a collection of
a score or more of stone cottages of two rooms on the ground floor,
with two or three--of which one was the house of the Petrovich
family--of two stories, simple as the people we saw moving about, the
women carrying heavy loads on their backs, and a few ragged children
peeping round the corners of the houses at the foreigners passing
through. Suspicion was on every face, for the foreigner was still an
enemy. We had taken the trouble to send word to Cettinje that we
were coming up on that day, and the coming of a correspondent of the
"Times" apparently had some importance to Montenegro, for we had found
and made friends with, in the market-place where our baggage horses
were to be hired, a senator of the principality who had _accidentally_
come down from Cettinje, and we did not suspect that he had been sent
down to see if there was danger in our visit or not; and so suspicious
was the little community that every Montenegrin set himself, without
orders and by the instinct of danger, to watch every stranger within
the gates.

The road from Njegush to Cettinje, at present replaced by a good
carriage road, was worse than that from Cattaro, a craggy climb over
which it would have been hardly possible to ride a mule, had I had one
to ride; but from the crown of the pass over which we had to go, there
is one of the finest wide views I have ever seen, over the plains of
Northern Albania and the Lake of Scutari, with the mountains of Epirus
in the extreme distance. The bad roads were part of the Montenegrin
system, which, as the Prince later explained to me, was not to make
roads for Austrian artillery.

Cettinje was a poor village of one-story houses, with two or three
exceptions of two-storied ones, of which the principal was the
"palace," a residence which in another country would have been a poor
gentleman's country house. Our senatorial herald had gone ahead and
announced our coming and our friendliness, and the hotel, the second
largest building in the village, had rooms ready for us, and the
little world of the Montenegrin capital had put on the air of
nonchalance, as if such things as the arrival of a "Times"
correspondent and a foreign cavalry officer were things of everyday
occurrence. No one would condescend to show curiosity; all were as
impassive as Red Indians; and though we were the only strangers there,
no one seemed at all curious about our business. This was the manner
of the entire population, and it was a trait which I soon realized in
everybody, from highest to lowest, that they kept the habitual garb
of an incurious reticence, neither asking nor giving information.
We found, as if carelessly loitering around the hotel, or playing
billiards in it, several young men who spoke excellent French, and we
laid cautious traps for conversation, but no one could tell us any
news or give us any information about the fighting, or answer
any questions other than evasively. And it was only after a long
acquaintance, and when I had become in a way naturalized, that I was
able to provoke confidence in any Montenegrin. The generations
of isolation, surrounded only by enemies whom it was a duty to
mislead,--four hundred years of a national existence of combat and
ruse, always at war, with no friend except far-off Russia,--had
developed the natural Slav indifference to the truth into a fine and
singularly subtle habit of communicating nothings to any inquiring
outsider, which never failed even the most humble clansman. I was,
however, pushed on from hand to hand by casual suggestions until I
reached the Prince, who gave us audience under the famous tree where
he heard appeals of all kinds, from petitions for help to the last
recourse from the judgments of the tribunals, a final appeal to which
every Montenegrin was entitled, and without which none submitted to an
unfavorable judgment.

The moment was critical, for communications had been passing between
Servia and Montenegro for an alliance and a declaration of war against
the Sultan, for which the entire population of the principality was
impatient, and when I arrived the rumor had begun to spread that
Servia had yielded to diplomatic pressure and would decline the
alliance. The young Montenegrins were chafing, and the old men
complaining that the young ones were growing up without fighting and
would be nerveless. The Prince was very guarded, but it was easy to
gather from what he said that he neither could nor cared to restrain
the people from going in limited numbers, and in an unobtrusive way,
into Herzegovina to fight the Turks, and in fact he was perfectly
within his rights to send his army there, for, curious as it may seem,
the Turkish government had never terminated the _de jure_ state of
war with the principality, or acknowledged its independence, and
the fighting in the vicinity of Niksich had been going on in an
intermittent way for more than three hundred years, during which the
city had been in a small way in as close a state of siege, probably,
as Troy was for ten years. As to operations in Herzegovina, small
bands had been going and coming, concentrating when there was a
movement to be made by either combatant, and slipping back across the
frontier when they had had a brush, but all _sub rosa_.

The Prince, Nicholas, is personally a prepossessing man, and it was a
good fortune which permitted me to study him and his people at a time
when the primitive, antique virtue of the little nation had not been
deteriorated by civilization, for it was then a pure survival of
the patriarchal state, holding its own in the midst of an enslaved
condition of all the population around. He is a man of large mould, of
a robust vigor which gave him a distinct physical preëminence amongst
his people, with the effusive good humor which belongs, as a rule, to
large men, and a hearty _bonhomie_ which with that simple people was
a bond to the most passionate devotion. He is quick-witted and
diplomatic, with a knowledge of statecraft sufficient for the
elementary condition of government over which he presided; and his
subjects were not then so many that he did not know by name every head
of a family amongst them. He could give you off-hand the genealogy of
each of the families which had, after the defeat of Kossovo, taken
refuge in the Bielopolje, the central valley of the principality, from
the defeat of Dushan down, and he knew all the traditions of their
early history. When the young men played at games of strength or
skill, there were few who could pitch the stone so far or shoot so
well, and perhaps those few had the tact not to let it be seen, so
that he stood amongst his people as the model and type of all the
heroic virtues. In spite of his great physical proportions he was
nervous and excitable. In all but military abilities he had grown
curiously to the measure of his place, and his diplomatic abilities
more than compensated for the want of the military. And what was most
singular was that his early education in Paris had not spoiled the
Montenegrin in him.

Probably much of this conserved character was due to the Princess, an
admirable woman, who deserves a place amongst the world's remarkable
female sovereigns; for her energy, patriotism, and instinct of the
obligations of the crisis were more remarkable than anything else
connected with the house of Njegush. Beautiful even at the period in
which I first saw her, gifted with a tact and sympathetic manner quite
regal in their reach, she held her husband up to action and decision
when his own nerves were shaken. A Montenegrin of voivode stock, the
daughter of the commander-in-chief of the army, who had been
the right-hand man of Mirko, the father of the Prince, the
commander-in-chief of the previous reign, she had the true Amazonian
temper, and would not have hesitated to take the field had the courage
of her husband failed him; though, in tranquil times, she was a true
Slavonic woman, domestic, affectionate in her family, and effacing
herself before her husband. I remember that the Prince told me that,
after the splendid victory of Vucidol, he sent two couriers to
announce to the Princess at Cettinje the news of the victory, and the
first question she asked of them was, "Did the Prince show courage?"
and when they replied, with a little Montenegrin craft, that they had
had to hold him by force to keep him from plunging into the mêlée, she
gave them each a half ducat. "And," said the Prince, "if they had said
that I had led the charge, she would have given them a whole ducat."

But, with all his civic virtues, the Prince was the very type of a
despotic ruler. The word "constitution" was his bugbear, and he would
not abate one particular of his absolute power, or tolerate the
slightest deflection of his authority in his family, any more than in
the principality. His will was the law, and though, in the details of
administration, the voivodes and the "ministers" were trusted, nothing
could be decided without his personal supervision, nor was any
decision of a tribunal settled without an appeal to him in person.
One day, as I sat with him under the Tree of Judgment, we saw in the
distance a number of the common people approaching the tree. "Now,"
said he, "you will see a curious thing. This is a case of appeal from
the decision of the head men of a village on which there had been
quartered more of the Herzegovinian refugees in proportion to their
population than they thought they should support, so that they sought
relief by sending a part of the refugees to a neighboring village
which had not had what they considered its due charge. The villagers
of the second village appeal from this overcharge, alleging that their
means do not permit them to receive more than they actually have." The
rival deputations approached the tree, cap in hand, and, on the Prince
giving the order to open the case, it was stated through the head men
as the Prince had summarized it. The Prince heard both cases and then
asked the head man of the lesser village if they had done as much as
they could do in the way of relief, and the head man explained that
their village was small and poor (which was quite unnecessary to say
of a Montenegrin village), and they could not support more refugees;
whereupon the Prince, addressing himself to the deputation of the
larger village, repeated to them the parable of the widow and her
mite, and, assuring them that the little village had done its best,
as the widow did, and they must be content, dismissed the case, and
without a word of complaint the two deputations went off together,
discussing with each other in the most friendly manner; and the
discontent, so far as we could see, was at an end.

But if this patriarchal form of government was interesting, the
character of the people under it was still more so, and it was to me a
great pleasure and privilege to be enabled to study, as I did for the
three years of the insurrection and war, a nation in the earliest
stage of true civilization, corresponding as nearly as we can
reconstruct ethnology to that of the Greeks in the time of the Trojan
war, arms but not men being changed. The honesty and civic discipline
were perfect, hospitality limited only by the ability to give it, and
the courage and military discipline absolutely unquestioning. If the
Prince ordered a position to be stormed, no man would return from the
attack till the bugle sounded the recall. I remember charges made
during the war in which the half of the battalion was down, dead
or wounded, before they could strike a blow, and this without the
presence of the Prince to stimulate the soldier; but, before him, no
man would flinch from certain death when an order was given.

The honesty was singular. I remember that one day, when I was in
Cettinje, two Austrian officers came up from Cattaro, and one of them
lost on the road a gold medal he wore, which was picked up by a poor
woman passing with a load over the same road, and she went to Cattaro
and spent a large portion of the day hunting for the officer who had
lost the medal. Sexual immorality was so rare that a single case in
Cettinje was the excited gossip of the place for weeks; but to this
virtue the influence of the Russian officers during the year of
the great war was disastrous. The Russians introduced beggary and
prostitution, and the crowd of adventurers from everywhere during the
two later years made theft common; but stealing was considered such a
disgrace by the Montenegrins that during all my residence there I had
only one experience,--the theft of a small pocket revolver by my first
Dalmatian horse-keeper, and I think that robbery with violence was
never heard of in the principality. During the third year I carried,
for distribution among the families of the killed and wounded, the
large subsidies of the Russian committees, amounting to several
hundred pounds in gold, and in this service I penetrated to the
remotest parts of the principality until I reached the Turkish posts
in Old Servia, countries of the wildest character, with a very sparse
population; and, though it was known that I carried those sums, I was
never molested, though I had only one man for escort. And during the
two campaigns which I made with the Prince, living in a tent, on the
pole of which hung my dispatch-bag containing my store of small money
(it being impossible to obtain change for a piece of gold anywhere in
the interior), and no guard being kept on the tents, I never lost a
_zwanziger_, or any other article than a girth by which the blanket
was fastened on my horse when grazing at night; and, as the blanket
came back, even that did not look like a theft.

And yet so poor and so contented were they that the life of the
primitive man could not have been much simpler. I have seen, in the
cold end of September, in the high mountain districts, a whole
family of little children, whose united rags would not have made a
comfortable garment for one of them, playing with glee in the fields.
On one occasion, when I had been caught by the heavy autumn rains in
remote Moratcha, roads washed away and riding a mile impossible, I had
to take with me two or three men, beside my guide and horse boy, to
make a road where I had to travel, and we were obliged to halt for the
night at one of the poorest villages I ever saw in Montenegro. The
best house in it was offered me, with such fare as they had, to
supplement bread which I had brought from the convent. The house had
but one room, with a large bedstead built in it of small trees in the
rough, and the beaten ground for floor. The bed was given up to me,
and the family lay on the ground with a layer of straw, which was
all that the bedstead had in the way of bedding. When we left in
the morning I was asked for no compensation, nor did it seem to be
expected; but, as my silver had been expended, I gave the woman of the
house (the husband being at the war) a gold ten-franc piece. She took
it shamefacedly, turned it over and over, looked at it curiously, and
then asked my guide, "What is this?" It was the first time in her life
that she had seen a gold coin, and the guide had to explain to her
that it could be changed into many of the zwanzigers or beshliks which
were the only coins she knew. And with all this poverty they seemed
most happy when they could extend their poor hospitality to a
stranger, and always reluctant to receive any compensation, though the
Prince was obliged to furnish to the general population about half the
breadstuffs they used in the year.

Seven senators were always on duty near the Prince; they received
about $250 a year each when on duty, at other times nothing. The
entire civil list of the Prince amounted to about $250,000 a year,
from which all the expenses of the government, civil, military, and
diplomatic, had to be paid. But for the subsidies of Russia and
Austria-Hungary the entire people must have migrated long ago, and I
have several times heard Montenegrins say, when asked why they did not
build more substantial houses, that "they were not going to stay
there long, but meant to get a better country." And yet, like most
mountaineers, they were so attached to this rugged and infertile
country of theirs that there was no punishment so hard as exile.

During the greater part of the time I spent in the principality the
entire male adult population was on the frontier, or fighting just
beyond it, and, when a messenger was wanted, the official took a man
out of the prison and sent him off, with no apprehensions of his not
returning. One such messenger I remember to have been sent to Cattaro,
in Austrian territory, with a sum of three thousand florins to be paid
to the banker there, and he came back before night and reported at the
prison. Jonine told me that one day, being in Cattaro, he was accosted
by a Montenegrin, who begged for his intercession with the Prince to
let him out of prison. "But," said the Russian official, "you are no
more in prison than I am; what do you mean?" "Oh," said the man, "I
have only come down for a load of skins for Voivode So-and-so, but I
must go into prison again when I get back to Cettinje." The prison
was a ramshackle building, in the walls of which a vigorous push of
several strong men would have made a breach, and I have often seen all
the prisoners out in the sun with a single guard, on absolutely equal
terms; and if, as sometimes happened, the guard was called away,
any of the prisoners was ready to take his rifle and duties for the
moment.

I have seen it stated that the Montenegrin is a lazy man, who puts off
the hard work on the women; but this is quite untrue, the fact being
that any work which he considers the work of a man he is eager to do.
He is an admirable road-maker and navvy, goes far and wide to get work
on public works, and at home, when peace allows it, he does the heavy
work; but as, in the ordinary life of the past four centuries, he was
almost constantly on the frontier to meet the Turkish invasions or the
Albanian raids, the agricultural and much other work fell necessarily
to the women. When there were considerable flittings from Cettinje,
and the amount of baggage to be carried down to Cattaro was large, it
was always allotted to one of the most intelligent men to judge of the
weight; and when it was a heavy package he said, "This is the load of
a man," or, if a light load, "This is for a woman," many of whom were
waiting, eager for the chance of gaining something by their labor. But
no compensation will induce a Montenegrin to accept a work which is
considered not the work of a man.

In military courage and docility the Montenegrin probably stands at
the head of European races. He is born brave, and comes under the law
of military obedience as soon as he can carry arms. The good wish for
the boy baby in his cradle is, "May you not die in your bed," and to
face death is to the boy or man the most joyous of games. I have seen
a man, in the midst of a hot interchange of rifle bullets between the
Turkish trenches and our own, the trenches occupying the crests of two
parallel ranges of low hills, go around outside the works and climb
with the greatest deliberation up the hillside, exposed to the Turkish
fire, and back over the breastwork into our trenches, all the time
under a hail of rifle bullets. During the siege operations at Niksich
the Prince was obliged to issue an order of the day forbidding burial
to any man killed in this ostentatious exposure to the Turkish fire,
so many men having been killed while standing on the crests of the
shelter trenches in pure bravado. While lying at headquarters at
Orealuk (where the Prince had a little villa), waiting the opening of
the campaign of 1877, I was walking on the terrace with him one day
after dinner when I noticed a boy of sixteen or eighteen standing at
the end of the terrace with his cap in his hand, the usual form of
asking for an audience. "Now I'll show you an interesting thing," said
the Prince, as he made a sign to the boy to approach. "This boy is the
last of a good family, whose father and brothers were all killed in
the last battle, and I ordered him to go home and stay with his mother
and sisters, that the family might not become extinct." As the boy
drew near and stopped before us, his head down and his cap in his
hands, the Prince said to him, "What do you want?" "I want to go back
to my battalion," the boy replied. "But," replied the Prince, "you are
the last of the family, and I cannot allow a good family to be lost;
you must go home and take care of your mother." The boy began to cry
bitterly. The Prince then asked him if he would go home quietly and
stay there, or take a flogging and be allowed to fight. He shook his
head and stood silent a little while and then broke out, "Well! it
isn't for stealing; I'll take the flogging!" that being the deepest
disgrace which can befall a Montenegrin. And he broke down utterly
when the Prince finally said that he must go home, for his family was
a distinguished one, and he was not willing that no man should be left
of it to keep the name. "But," said the boy, "I want to avenge my
father and brothers," this being the highest obligation of every
Montenegrin. The boy went away still crying, but when he had gone the
Prince said, "I know that he will be in the next battle in spite of
anything I can say."



CHAPTER XXVII

THE INSURRECTION IN HERZEGOVINA


I have anticipated the events of the year, but this illustration of
the character of the little people whose tenacity and courage put
their mark on European history during the subsequent three years will
help to give significance to the story. Without being undiplomatically
frank, on the one hand, or attempting to conceal his rôle on the
other, the Prince allowed me to see that everything depended on
Montenegrin action, and that he, to a certain extent, must permit
his people to follow their sympathies. The young men went in groups
without any pretense of organization, with their rifles and yataghans,
and, when the opportunity offered, took part in any pending skirmish,
and then came home, to be replaced by others. To have forbidden this
would have made the people mutinous, and the Dalmatians, though under
the authority of Austria, were no more closely held to neutrality than
the Montenegrins. The Austrian Slavs could not be permitted to be more
patriotic than the Montenegrin; and the Prince, after having attempted
to quiet the former by sending old Peko Pavlovich to bring them to
reason, and found that the matter could not be settled in that way,
allowed Peko to take a band of young men into Herzegovina and assume
the direction of the insurrection.

There was nothing more to be learned in Montenegro that belonged to
war correspondence, and I went back to Cattaro. There I learned that
there was a great assemblage of refugees at Grahovo, a remote corner
of the principality, which could best be reached from the Bocche; and
enlisting the agent of the Austrian Lloyds as guide and interpreter, I
went by way of Risano and the country of the Crivoscians, a Slavonic
tribe who gave great trouble to the Romans in their day, and to
their successors in that part of the world, the Austrians, whom
they defeated disastrously in 1869. The Crivoscians contributed an
important element to the forces of the insurrection; they were held to
be great thieves, but greater Turk fighters, and on the way to Grahovo
we met many of them coming home wounded, or carrying their booty from
the recent battles (one amongst them had forgotten whether he was
seventy-five or seventy-six), for there had been serious fighting in
the corner of the Herzegovina adjacent.

Then we came into the long procession of refugees, mostly women and
children, a dribbling stream of wretched humanity, carrying such
remnants of their goods as their backs could bear up under, with a few
old men, too old to fight, all seeking some hiding-place until the
storm should be over,--wretched, ragged, worn out by the fatigues of
their hasty flight from "the abomination of desolation," for it seemed
as if he that was on the housetop had not gone down to take anything
out of his house, and woe had been pronounced upon them that were with
child and them that gave suck in those days. I had seen enough of the
horrors of suppression of Christian discontent by the Mussulmans of
Crete, but the brutality of the Slavonic Islam in time of peace was
other and bitterer than the Cretan, and the miserable remnant of
escaped rayahs of Herzegovina was the very ragged fringe of humanity.
I wish every statesman who had ever favored tonics for the "sick man"
could have stood where I did and have seen the long reiteration of the
damning accusation against the "unspeakable Turk" in these escapes of
the peaceful stragglers from massacre and rapine which every rising
in the provinces of Turkey brings forth for the shame of our
civilization. There were whole families in such rags that they would
not have been permitted to beg in the streets of any English city,
lucky even to have escaped as families; parents whose daughters, even
more miserable, had not been permitted to escape to starvation.
We found at Grahovo the body of which those we had seen were the
fringe,--a mass of despairing, melancholy humanity, brooding over the
misery to come, homeless, foodless, and the guests of a people only
less poor than themselves, the hospitable hovels of the Montenegrins
housing a double charge.

I was desirous to learn from themselves the details of their
oppression, and my friend questioned one group as to what they had to
complain of. It was practically everything but death,--their cattle
taken, their crops ravaged or reaped by the agas, the honor of wives
and daughters the sport of any Mussulman ruffian who passed their way.
One tall, gaunt old woman, who had not spoken, but listened, with a
face like a stone, to all that the others replied, suddenly threw her
ragged robe over her head and burst into a tempest of tears. Another
turned to me a stolid face, saying, "Gospodin! we do not know what a
virgin is!" I saw enough of it before I had finished to have made the
world turn Turcophobe. And twenty years later we hear of the same
fruits of the same régime and, as I found then, Christian statesmen
who tolerate it.

I tried to penetrate to the scene of the fighting in Herzegovina, but
was on all sides warned that from Grahovo it was impossible; it was
necessary to return to Ragusa. There I learned that a fight had just
taken place on the road between Trebinje and Ragusa. There is a
good carriage road between the two cities, and, in company with two
colleagues, and under the guidance of a daring carriage driver, we
went to Trebinje. The plain between the frontier and Trebinje is a
waste of limestone crags and blocks, scattered as if after a combat of
Titans, a miserable stunted vegetation springing between the rocks,
capable of hiding thousands of men within a rifle-shot from the road,
and, as we found, actually hiding a good many. But word had been sent
before by our friends the patriots, and we only caught a glimpse of
one insurgent, and saw one dead Turk, a victim of the last skirmish,
whose body the garrison had not dared come out to bury.

We brought the first news the pasha had received in five days. He gave
me, for official information, his version of the late fight, in which
old Peko had drawn a convoy of provisions into an ambush and captured
it, killing eighty men of the escort, whose heads one of my colleagues
had seen stuck up on poles at the insurgent camp, but in which the
pasha admitted a loss of only twenty or thirty men. I had seen many
Turkish pashas, but never one of that type,--amiable, lethargic,
and quite indisposed to do any harm to anybody, and he could not
understand why the insurgents could not let him alone; he did not want
to disturb them. He complained bitterly that ill-disposed people had
been stirring up the population of his province and that, though he
had a force of two thousand men, the disorderly Herzegovinians made it
very difficult for his men to go about. It was really pathetic to hear
him. He wished harm to no one; so courteous and civilized-over was he
that one could easily imagine that such officials at Constantinople
might give the Turcophile color to a _corps diplomatique_. Invited
to coffee by the Austrian consul, I heard the views of a man whose
experiences have been equaled by few, for he had been fourteen years
at that post; and he fully confirmed the impressions I had from the
refugees at Grahovo. But, on the other side of the matter, I was
really interested in the Turkish troops, so good-natured, so patient,
and not in the least concerned at having been several months besieged
and blockaded, supplies short, and relief not even hoped for. I hated
the system, but I could not help liking its victims on both sides.

Returning to Ragusa, I found Ljubibratich on the point of returning to
the insurgents' camp at Grebci, just over the Austrian frontier, and
only about three hours' walk, we were told, from Ragusa. They came
with unrestricted freedom from camp into Ragusa, carried away what
supplies of any kind they needed, and, when ill, came to the hospital
of the city. Dalmatia and its medley of races are still in the Eastern
state of activity, in which time is of no account; and, instead of
getting off in the early morning to return before night, as arranged,
we left Ragusa at 2 P.M. We were in October, and the shortening days
did not favor long journeys, and the road was even worse than those
in Montenegro. On the way across the frontier the going was simply
climbing a Cyclopean stairway, and we reached the camp only at dusk.

Grebci was an abandoned village of the Herzegovinian population,
robbed and maltreated even here within a rifle-shot of the Austrian
territory, and the entire population had taken refuge across the
frontier. There was a reunion of all the bands, amounting to about 900
men, of whom 250 were Montenegrins under old Peko Pavlovich, a wiry,
wily, Slavonic Ulysses, who had been in more than ninety battles
with the Turks, and who knew and used every stratagem of this border
warfare. There was Melentie, the fighting Archimandrite of the convent
of Duzi; Luka Petcovich, a Herzegovinian of the Montenegrin frontier,
a tried Turk fighter; and the fighting popes of three villages of
Orthodox Christians, Bogdan Simonich, Minje, and Milo. There was a
small band of Italians, with one Frenchman, Barbieux,--one of the
bravest of the brave and an ex-Zouave officer,--ten Russians, and a
few Servians. We were in for a night, and had brought no provender,
while all the food in camp was the half of an old goat and some flinty
ship's biscuit. The goat was roasted before the camp-fire, laid on a
timber platform, which served for bed by night and table by day, and
hacked to pieces by the yataghans which had come from the battle two
days before. The meat was tough beyond exaggeration, and the biscuit
had to be broken with a stone into small pieces; but we had wine, for
this abounded across the frontier and was indispensable. We heard the
story of the fight at Utovu, where the insurgents had been taken in
a trap by treachery of the weak chiefs of a Catholic village, and
escaped with the loss of only four killed, owing to the precautions
of the wily Peko, who, like an experienced fox, never went into a
possible trap without seeing the way out of it; but they brought away
the visible proofs of their fight in the noses of fifty-eight Turkish
soldiers killed. In the custom of the country the nose of an enemy
stands as the logarithm of his head, which is inconvenient of
transportation in number; and, though the Prince had forbidden the
mutilation of the dead, it was impossible to enforce the prohibition
out of Montenegro, and this was the only proof of the actual fruits of
victory permitted by the circumstances.

The Italians sang songs, and the whole band made merry till far into
the night, when the correspondents, the honored guests, to be served
with the best of the accommodations, were shown to the abandoned house
of the captain of the village, a stone-built hut, the only one of two
stories, which gave us a board floor to sleep on in the upper story,
garnished with a bundle of straw for each of us, on which we lay down
to sleep, tired to exhaustion. My overcoat was my only covering,
and there had been a slight snowfall the day before. I slept, to be
awakened ten minutes later by swarms of fleas so numerous that it was
like lying in an ant-hill. Three times in the night I went out to
shake the fleas from my clothing in the cold night air, and when the
first daylight came we turned out and made our way back to Ragusa.

Dissensions and mutual recriminations followed the defeat of Utovu,
Peko openly expressing his disgust with the insurgents of the plain,
who were braver when there was no enemy than when the fighting was
imminent, and he marched off to a position in the hilly country nearer
the Montenegrin frontier, leaving Ljubibratich with the men of the
low country. The lull brought into action that Shefket Pasha who,
the following year, inaugurated the "Bulgarian atrocities," and who,
declining to attack the band of Peko, came to vent his prowess on the
people of the Popovo plain, of whom about five thousand had returned
from exile in Dalmatia under the guarantee of the Turkish authorities
of freedom from molestation on resuming their ordinary vocations.
These were all Catholics, and the Catholics of Herzegovina and Bosnia
have always been submissive, even to all the rigors of the Turkish
rule, while the Orthodox Christians have been the rebels, the popes
being generally the captains in time of war. Shefket, disregarding
the guarantees of his government, marched on the villages of Popovo,
killed or carried away prisoners all the men who did not escape again
over the frontier, and allowed the bashi-bazouks to plunder and
ravage. Male children were killed with the men; and the women,
abandoning everything they could not carry, returned to Austrian
territory, where I visited them to get the facts of the matter.

The result was that I decided to go to Mostar and lay the facts before
the consuls, who had been charged to form a commission to investigate
and report on the state of things in Herzegovina. I was joined by the
correspondent of "Le Temps" and a Belgian engineer engaged on the new
road beyond Seraievo, and we engaged a courageous coachman to drive us
to the capital of Herzegovina, for timid people would not venture
to make the journey, such was the anarchy of the country. As far as
Metcovich we were in Austrian territory, but there we fell into the
Asiatic order of things, meeting a frontier guard of ragged Turkish
regulars, to whom the visas on our passports seemed of small account,
in view of their evident desire to regard us as enemies; and all along
the road to Mostar we had the scowling faces of the native Mussulmans
bent on us as we passed, and the few Christians we saw wore an air of
harelike timidity.

The city of Mostar is one of the most picturesque I have ever seen. At
that time its dirt, decay, and generally unkempt appearance added to
the picturesqueness, but not to the comfort. We got shelter at a khan,
whose owner hardly knew if he dared admit a Christian guest; but the
authority of the English consul, Mr. Holmes, reassured him, and we
were admitted to the society of more fleas than I had considered
possible at that time of the year. I had, however, provided myself
with an ample supply of the Dalmatian product known as "flea powder,"
the triturated leaves of the red camomile which grows in great
perfection all over the mountains of Dalmatia and Montenegro, as if
nature had foreseen that it would be especially needed there, and I
slept in comparative immunity, though my prior experiences in hostelry
had never given me an adequate understanding of the khan filth and
discomfort.

I found that the consuls had all been fully informed of the general
state of the country and the treachery exercised by the Turkish
commanders, and Holmes told me that he had reported to the ambassador
at Constantinople what he had learned, and that his report had been
sent back with orders to make it less unfavorable to the Turks. Holmes
(later Sir William Holmes, the distinction being well deserved for
the courage and honesty with which, though strongly Turcophile in his
tendencies, he exposed the abuses) said to me, relating this fact,
"What can I do? I tell him what I know to be the facts as I have
learned them, and he wants me to change them to make the report more
favorable to the Turks!" I put his case before the public in the
"Times," and the honest fellow reaped the reward he deserved, though
against the will of his ambassador.

Here I met again an old Cretan friend, Server Pasha, sent to try the
same silly, futile tactics which so failed in Crete, i.e. offering the
insurgents elaborate paper reforms in exchange for actual submission.
He reminded me of the reply of the local commandant of the army at
Mostar when one of the consuls remonstrated at the authorities having
taken no action in a case of peculiarly brutal assassination in the
city of Mostar, the author of which had not even been arrested. The
Colonel Bey replied, astonished, to the indignant consul, "Why,
haven't we made a report?" The case was rather a peculiar one: a young
Mussulman, having received a present of a new rifle, went out into the
suburbs, and, seeing a Christian boy gathering the grapes from his
mother's vineyard, took a pot shot at him and shot him through the
body. The young assassin was carried in triumph about the town on the
shoulders of his playmates, and was never in any way punished for the
crime. I had the story from the surgeon who attended the Christian
boy, and from Mr. Holmes. I took a keen delight in illuminating the
intelligent mind of Server Pasha as to the true condition of the
country, telling him what I had seen and reported to the "Times;" and,
as he knew me well, and that I was trustworthy in my reports,--for he
knew how A'ali Pasha had regarded me,--he was in a curious state of
mental distress. On his report to Constantinople, the consul-general
at Ragusa, an Italian Levantine called Danish Effendi, whom I had also
known at Syra in the old days, was ordered to make an investigation
into the Popovo atrocities, and, being under the eyes of a large body
of correspondents and a Christian public, he reported confirming my
report.

Our return to Ragusa was not entirely free from excitement, for the
indigenous Mussulman had less avidity for prey he saw going into the
trap, Mostar, than for that which he saw escaping, and we had to face
small predatory detachments of bashi-bazouks raiding in the country we
passed through, who looked at us with eyes of fire, and muttered in no
doubtful language, interpreted by my colleague of "Le Temps," who knew
Turkish, what they would be glad to do with us. As we sat eating our
lunch in the shelter of a hovel by the roadside, while the horses were
baiting, a party of the fanatics watched us with growing malignity
and a truculent interchange of sentiments of an evidently unfriendly
nature. To puzzle them as to our status, I took the pains to repeat in
conversation with my colleague the formula of adherence to the faith
as it is in Islam, a scrap of Arabic I had learned in Crete, the
repetition of which, according to the rite, is equivalent to the
recognition of Mahomet and his teachings. The effect on them was
curious, and, though they evidently did not consent to regard us as of
the true faith, they as evidently were puzzled, and we went our way
unmolested; but I felt more at my ease, I am willing to admit, when we
passed the last Turkish post on the road.



CHAPTER XXVIII

A JOURNEY IN MONTENEGRO AND ALBANIA


Utovu was followed by a lull in military operations; but in the latter
part of November, as the insurgents had beleaguered all the forts in
the upper Herzegovina and the town of Niksich in the debated territory
between Montenegro and Herzegovina, Shefket gathered a force of 3000
regulars, with artillery and bashi-bazouks to escort a train of
supplies to them. He was met by Lazar Soeica, the chief of that part
of the mountain country, and disastrously defeated at Muratovizza,
leaving behind him 760 dead, and carrying away about 900 wounded, most
of whom died of their wounds, as I learned from one of the European
surgeons in the Turkish service who deserted a little later, dismayed
by the constant menaces of death to all Christian employees in the
camp, uttered by the troops, suffering, angry, and continually worsted
in the little fights. Shefket saved himself and his artillery by
sending the latter to the rear as soon as the battle was at its
height, and then, having posted a strong rear guard,--the insurgents
having neglected to close the road behind them,--retreating with all
possible speed, leaving the rear guard to be killed or taken, which it
was to a man. The insurgents lost fifty-seven killed and ninety-six
seriously wounded, but the result was to throw the whole upper
Herzegovina into their hands, and they captured and destroyed all the
small blockhouses and forts not armed with artillery. The interest
now centred on the high mountain district about Niksich, where
I determined to go to watch the operations. The winter was well
commenced, but only in the higher districts was the snow on the
ground. I returned, therefore, to Cettinje, where I was now received
as a tried friend.

At the time of which I am now writing there were practically no roads
in Montenegro but bridle-paths, over large stretches of which it was
unsafe to ride, even the Montenegrins dismounting, whether going up or
down. That passage between Cettinje and Rieka, on the Lake of Scutari,
was one of the worst I have ever found in the principality. The lower
part, nearing Rieka, was simply a Cyclopean stairway, with rocky steps
so high that the horses had to _jump_ down from one to another. My
cavalcade consisted of a Montenegrin soldier for guide, a Montenegrin
student, and the horse-boy, necessary to lead the horses when, as was
the case for a large part of the way, we could not ride them; and
halfway down to Rieka we were overtaken by a deaf-mute porter, sent as
a kind afterthought by the Prince, with a samovar and a provision of
tea, sugar, etc., in view of the dearth of comforts beyond. I carried
an order for shelter and such fare as was obtainable at Rieka, in
the little house of the Prince at that village, and we passed a
comfortable night, but found the succeeding day the opening of one of
the spells of rainy weather of which only one who has lived in
the principality much can know the inconvenience. To wait in the
half-furnished house with no resources was worse than going out in
the rain, although I had no protection other than a cape of my own
manufacture, a circle of the thinnest india-rubber cloth, with a hole
cut in the middle for my head, and covering my arms to the wrists.

Hoping for the rain to stop, we waited till nine A.M., when a break in
the clouds flattered us into starting for Danilograd, to be caught in
another downpour an hour later. The way was down a long slope, part
mud and part broken rock, over which in either case we found the
traveling easier on foot than on horseback, so that we did most of the
way on foot while daylight lasted, the unfortunate porter between the
cavalry and the infantry struggling, slipping, and moaning in his
inarticulate way in great physical distress. We had continually to
stop and wait for the horses to overtake us until the long descent
was accomplished, by which time the twilight had come, and we found
ourselves in the valley of the Suchitza, a wide waste of clay soil
saturated with rain, and two hours' ride in ordinary condition of the
roads from any shelter. The steady rain in which we had traveled for
eight hours then became a violent thunder-storm; all the brooks and
ditches by the way were over their banks, and our horses could hardly
flounder under their loads through the heavy going; while we, in the
darkness, could not see the road, even where it could he followed,
save when the lightning flashes showed it, and so, not being able to
walk, rode perforce. My horse refused a ditch a foot wide, and when
we came to one I had to get off and drag by the bridle, while the
horse-boy pushed from behind, till he yielded to the persuasion and
ventured over. The two hours' ride became four, and the way got
heavier as we went on, woodland alternating with flooded plain, in the
former of which only the experience of the guide could keep the road;
while in the latter we could follow it only by the telegraph wires
cutting against the sky. We finally saw a light and came to a cabin,
where we deposited the poor mute, with all the impedimenta, to follow
by daylight; but for us there was no place to sleep, and we gave the
reins to the horses, and let them flounder their way into Danilograd,
where we arrived at 10 P.M., drenched to the skin and hungry.

There was a light still burning in the house of the village doctor,
on whom we had an order from the Prince, and who found us a
sleeping-place in the loft of a neighbor, where we got a supper of
trout and maize bread, and a bundle of straw to lie on in our wet
clothes. The doctor was a German, and, though he was an official, the
instinct of hospitality which rules the Montenegrin did not exist in
him, so he offered us the house of his neighbor. The day broke fine
for our journey to the convent of Ostrog, the only bit of good weather
we had until our return to Cettinje, ten days later.

Ostrog is one of the three sanctuaries of Montenegro, the others being
Moratcha, on the old Servian frontier, and Piperski Celia, above the
fortress of Spuz, where the valley of the Zeta then entered into the
Turkish dominions. The convent is on a site of singular beauty and
salubrity, on a fertile plateau several hundred feet above the valley
of the Zeta, at the foot of a precipice, in the face of which is a
cave enlarged into a chapel, where lies the body of St. Basil, a
Herzegovinian bishop of the early days of the Turkish conquest,
who did his Christian duty by the scattered Orthodox Christians in
Herzegovina and Montenegro, visiting stealthily and at the constant
risk of his life the little groups of the faithful over a territory
vast for the supervision of one man. He died in this refuge, and was
buried at the foot of the cliff; but on an attempt being made to
remove the body some years later, it was found to be uncorrupted, upon
which he was canonized, and the body was placed in a fine coffin and
removed to the little chapel, which has a single window also rock-cut
and is only to be approached by a narrow stairway of the same
structure. Outside, at the foot of the cliff, is the convent, in which
reside two or three priests and as many _kalogheri_, constituting the
community, for the convents of the Orthodox church are not communities
of idle devotees, but of men who are mostly engaged in the culture of
the land belonging to the convent, when not engaged in the performance
of the rites of the church. The hegumenos I found to be more a man
of war than one of ritual, and really the commander of an outpost of
observation on the frontier towards Niksich. He delighted more in arms
than in the mass, and I made a firm friend of him by the gift of a
small Colt's revolver. I was permitted to see the body of St. Basil in
the chapel, which was filled with a fragrance like that of cedar
wood, which I naïvely attributed to the wood of the coffin, when the
attendant protested with indignation that what I smelled was the odor
of sanctity. I was incompetent to distinguish it. St. Basil is held in
great reverence for his miracles, and immense numbers of pilgrims come
to his annual festa with their sick from all the country round, even
Mussulman families from Albania paying their devotions in the hope and
faith of cures, and it is said that many miracles take place every
year.

In this hermitage Mirko, the father of the Prince, in company with
thirty-two of his voivodes, was once besieged by a large body of
Turks, but repelled all attacks for nineteen days, with the loss of
only two men, killed by shots which passed through the window. One of
the garrison descended by a rope to bury one of the dead, and, this
accomplished, made his way by night through the Turkish army and
carried the news of the siege to Danilo, then the reigning prince, who
raised an army and dispersed the Turkish forces. During the siege,
two parties of Mussulmans, mistaking each other for relief parties of
Christians, attacked each other with great slaughter, an event which
was considered to be the effect of the intervention of St. Basil.

The hegumenos strongly opposed my attempt to penetrate to Niksich,
assuring me that the plain was so infested by bands of Turks that it
was to the last degree unsafe to travel on the road, the truth being
that the city was beleaguered by Montenegrin bands, a fact which he
desired to conceal. This, I was convinced, was the real reason of
his opposition; but, to strengthen his argument, the rain, which had
lifted for the one day of the journey from Danilograd, changed into
snow in the mountains, and made the attempt impossible. We waited
several days at the convent, and, as the rain and snow were insistent,
and Niksich too difficult of access, I decided to turn the other way
and go to Scutari by land. Returning to Danilograd, I learned that
this was practically impossible, the road beyond Podgoritza being
not only dangerous for persons, but impracticable for beasts, as the
country was under water. No Montenegrin would venture into the Turkish
territory with the certainty of incurring decapitation,--if not in my
company, at any rate on his return without me; so, on consultation
with the sirdar in command at Danilograd, I sent back to Cettinje the
horses we had come with, and hired those of a rayah of Podgoritza who
had come to market at Danilograd, intending to go to Podgoritza, where
we should hire other horses to Plamnitza, on the lake shore, whence we
could proceed by water to Scutari. I telegraphed the Prince to send
his steam launch to meet me at Plamnitza; and, as my interpreter, the
Montenegrin student, determined to run the risks of decapitation
and go with me, I imposed on him a European costume, took away his
revolver as a safeguard against dangerous excitement, put him under
severe charge not to show that he understood the Serb language, and
started in a pouring rain.

The road to Spuz was unique. Now that Montenegro has entered into
possession of the region, there is a carriage road, but the ancient
one was a pavement of the days of Dushan which now ran along the top
of a ridge like a hog-back in the middle of the road, on each side of
which the track had been worn down by travel until the original road
was as high as the backs of our horses above the actual track each
side of it. At the gate of Spuz we were stopped and our passports were
demanded. Mine had been visaed at Ragusa for Mostar, and Gosdanovich
had the Russian passport, which is freely accorded to all
Montenegrins. The sentinel could read neither, and sent them to the
konak with a demand for instructions. Meanwhile the guard turned out
to laugh at us sitting on our market horses in the pouring rain, our
saddles being only blankets fastened on the pack saddles, on which we
were perched high, the rain pouring off from every extremity of our
costumes. The messenger brought word to send us to the police office,
and there we went.

A binbashi, grave, polite, and curious, invited us to be seated and
ordered coffee. He could speak only Turkish, and I tried English,
French, and Italian in vain, when a bright Albanian lieutenant
standing by made a remark in Romaic, and for the needs of the case
I caught on. He knew much less Romaic than I, but I could make him
understand that I was the correspondent of an English journal going
to Scutari, etc., etc. Gosdanovich played his part well, and was as
stolid as an ox, though the conversation, which he understood, between
the Mussulman Serbs present was not at all cheering. "Bah!" said one
of the secretaries who sat writing on the mat beside the bimbashi, "I
can kill twenty such men as that with a stick, and should like to do
it--such rubbish as they are--I should like to send them all to the
devil." "So should I," replied the other. Then one of them suggested
that, though I was evidently a stranger, he felt sure he had seen
Gosdanovich in Cettinje. "Impossible!" replied the other; "no
Montenegrin would dare to come here now." Finally came the doctor, an
Italian, and we had an excursion into general politics, after which
another coffee and cigarette, and then, with the visa of the bimbashi,
we were permitted to move on to Podgoritza.

We had no further adventure on the road, and early in the afternoon
arrived at Podgoritza, an ancient Servian city, much dilapidated and
very picturesque, taking lodgings at an inn kept by a Christian, a
rather creditable establishment but absolutely empty of guests. We
waited half an hour for the food and fire I ordered (for we were wet
and fasting), when my guide returned and said that there were no
lodgings there, but that the chief of police would provide us, and
that we were to accompany him to the police office. There we were
allowed to dry ourselves over a huge brazier full of glowing coals,
while the zapties cleaned out the adjoining room, a closet about ten
by fourteen feet, in which the dust of years lay accumulated and to
all appearance undisturbed. This was simply a cell in the police
prison, and there we ate what the _miralai_ saw fit to order for
us. Our passports were again examined and discussed, and we were
reëxamined as to our whence and whither and wherefore by the aid of
two or three Catholic Albanians of the vicinity, who did what they
could to find out if we had any secret business, professing to
be themselves the victims of the oppression of the Turks, and
sympathizing with us. They did not draw me, however, and I professed
no anxiety as to my treatment.

The miralai finally gave over his search for hostile motive in our
visit, and we discussed the programme for the morrow. I found that
there was a healthy fear of the Prince of Montenegro, for, when I
told him that the Prince's little steamer would be waiting for me at
Plamnitza the next day at noon, the whole circle broke out in wonder
if it could be true that the Prince took so much interest in us, for
if so, they must be prudent. We had the interesting advantage in that
Gosdanovich understood all that they said as they talked Serb to each
other, for they were a mixed company, and mostly of that race, and
they supposed that he was a Russian and I an Englishman, and that both
of us were ignorant of their language. If, they finally agreed, the
Prince of Montenegro would send his steamer for me, I must be a person
of greater distinction than they thought me, and they must be careful.
So the miralai called the chief of the zapties, and in our presence
gave him his charge, viz., to escort us to Plamnitza, leaving by early
light, and, if the steamer did not come for us, to bring us back to
the prison he took us from, and to kill us on the spot if we attempted
to escape. And so to sleep, as far as the crowing of many cocks
outside and the activity of multitudinous fleas within would permit;
and to make sure of us, we were locked in--fairly at last in a Turkish
prison.

The morning broke with the rain pouring in torrents. I had tried to
buy a pair of shoes before going to sleep, but they brought me a pair
for a boy of twelve and assured me that there were no others in the
town, and those I had come with were in tatters which were hardly to
be kept on my feet. The mud was indescribable,--the entire country
flooded, and all the bridges across a river we must pass carried away,
except one over a narrow gorge where the rocks approached so closely
that a couple of logs reached from side to side, and over these the
horses must be led. To say that I was at ease on this trip would be
exaggeration, the more as the zaptie-bimbashi talked freely to his
subordinate about us, and vented his rage at being obliged to make
such a journey for two beastly infidels, to whom the only grateful
service he could render was decapitation. However, we reached the
lake, to find the steamer waiting, tied to the top of one of the
largest oaks a half mile from the actual shore, for the country was so
inundated that we floated over entire villages as we boated out to
it. I delighted the heart of the bimbashi by a baksheesh of half a
napoleon, which so astonished him that he hardly knew how to express
himself, after all his bitter words and unkind intentions. I was later
convinced that if the Turkish authorities had known who I was,--their
old enemy in Crete,--we should not have come out alive from
Podgoritza. In fact, when Danish Effendi at Ragusa heard that I had
been put in prison in Albania he exclaimed, "If I had been there it is
not only a night in prison he would have had, but a file of soldiers
at daylight."

Our steamer had come, however, not to carry me to Scutari, but, and
perhaps fortunately, to take me back to Rieka, whence I had to go to
Cettinje to get a refit, for I was ragged, bootless as my errand to
Scutari, and draggled with mud from head to foot; notwithstanding
which, as soon as the Prince had learned of my arrival, though in the
midst of a diplomatic dinner, he sent for me to come to the palace,
and made me sit down with the company as I was and tell my story. I
had to wait a few days for the voyage to Scutari, profiting by the
occasion of the return of some engineers and the French consul at that
place. We found the town flooded, a fisherman by the side of one of
the streets showing us a fine string of fish which he had caught in
the roadside ditch. Decay, neglect, and utter demoralization were
written large on the general aspect of the capital of one of the most
important of the provinces of the Turkish Empire in Europe, i.e.
important to Turkey. The magnificent country around Scutari for miles
on miles square--most fertile ground, producing, beside wheat, the
finest tobacco known for cigarettes generally sold as of Cavalla (and
how many nervous hours I have soothed with it during these campaigns),
and enormous crops of maize--lies a large part of the time every year
under water, as I had found it, for the sole reason that the Drin,
which ought to empty into the sea below the Boyana (the outlet of the
Lake of Scutari, the Moratcha, etc.), has built a bar by its floods
and abandoned its proper course, emptying into the lake a flood which
the Boyana is incapable of managing.

The fortress was a relic of Dushan, little mended by the Turk, and had
been three times struck by lightning, the magazine each time exploding
(once while I was in Montenegro), only because the Turkish government,
in putting up the lightning-rod and finding the supply of rod short,
had pieced it out with telegraph wire. The body of the rod had
fulfilled its destiny in attracting the lightning, while the telegraph
wire, not being able to carry the load brought to it, had discharged
it into the magazine. And, when I saw it, the wire was still inviting
another disaster. I found in Eshref Pasha a most interesting and
amiable personage, out of his place completely in the management of a
turbulent and really hostile Christian population, with whom his very
best qualities were a disqualification. Eshref was a poet, a dreamer,
and, I was told, the second man of letters in the empire. He
laughingly asked me if I had been at Podgoritza, and I as
good-humoredly replied that I had not come to complain of my treatment
there, but to pay my compliments to a fellow man of letters. His
broad, good-natured face lighted up with pleasure, and, dropping
politics and fighting, we talked poetry and letters. Secretaries and
messengers were coming and going with papers to be signed, or orders
to be given, and we could talk only by interludes. I remarked that he
must have little time for letters in all this complication of cares,
and he replied that "poetry was his refuge in the night when he was
unable to sleep; he had no other time." I tried to get a sample of
his verse, and he recited me one, of which I could judge only by
the sound, which was very musical; but to my urging for a copy for
publication in England he objected that translators were not good for
the reputation of a poet, which we all know. I assured him of the
entire competence of literary London to render him the completest
justice, and he finally yielded in the spirit to my solicitations, but
put them to the rout in the letter; for, though he promised the script
for the next morning, it never came. It is curious that Eshref fell
through his good faith, for when, a few months later, the Porte issued
an irade asking for indication of the reforms needed in the provinces,
he replied by calling the population to formulate their wants, which
they did, asking for the reopening of the Drin so as to facilitate the
draining of the Lake of Scutari, the making of roads and a railway
from Scutari to Antivari on the seacoast. The Porte, unaccustomed to
be taken at its word, recalled the poet, who shared the fate of his
great predecessor Ovid.



CHAPTER XXIX

WAR CORRESPONDENCE AT RAGUSA


The splendid victory of Muratovizza led to the recall of our old
enemy Shefket Pasha, who was sent to Bulgaria and replaced in the
Herzegovina by a more competent and humane man, an old friend of
Cretan days, Raouf Pasha, one of the most competent and liberal
Circassian officers in the service of the Sultan. Of the operations
which followed I have no direct cognizance, and I am not writing the
history of the war, except as it mingles with my own experiences.
The lull that followed the change of command left me time to study
Montenegro and its people, and I made many friends. The battle at
Muratovizza had developed a quarrel between Socica, who commanded
there with a most distinguished ability, and old Peko Pavlovich, who
had refused his coöperation in the battle, to the great diminution
of the consequences of the victory. Peko had now come to follow
the suggestions of the Russian consulate at Ragusa, from which his
fortunate rival would accept no indications. The Russian Slavonic
committees had begun to work, and their contributions and influence,
more than the direct action of their government, gradually brought the
whole movement under Russian influence. I noticed here again what
had happened in Crete, that the Russian agents, profiting by the
irresponsibility which must always be the accompaniment of a despotic
government so extensive as that of Russia, acted without orders and on
their own inspiration, sometimes with disastrous results. The personal
rivalry between Derché and his Russian colleague in the beginnings of
the Cretan troubles had, I have no doubt, a much greater influence
on the event of all the negotiations than any desire of the Russian
government to provoke an insurrection, and so here the feuds that
arose between the agents of the Slavonic committees and the consulate
at Ragusa no doubt refracted the intentions of the authorities at St.
Petersburg more than was suspected.

There is no doubt that Jonine, on his own responsibility and in
opposition to the wishes of the Czar, did what he could to stimulate
the movement in Herzegovina, and that this was the tendency of all the
Russian agents in the Balkans. Of this I had many opportunities of
assuring myself, and, as I sympathized in that feeling, I had no
difficulty in finding it where it existed. Those agents systematically
provoked hostility to Turkey, which was natural and consistent with
the good of the people, for the Turkish abuses are incurable and
always merit rebellion, but also against Austria, which was unjust
and aggravated the trouble of the rayahs needlessly. The Slavonic
committees in Russia, too, went far beyond the desire of the
government, and there were continual rivalries between them and the
consular agents, the latter feeling obliged to outbid the committees
to keep their influence. They had, generally, the mania of activity
and zeal, and commonly went beyond their orders, trusting that if the
luck followed them they would be approved, and if it deserted them
they would find protection in the surroundings of the throne, as they
generally did, activity in the Slavonic cause covering many sins
against discipline. During the lull after the defeat of Servia
(to anticipate a little the course of my narrative), I made the
acquaintance of the Russian General Tcherniaieff at an English
watering-place. We became great friends, for personally I have always
liked the Russians, and he told me with no little glee how he
had outwitted the Czar, who, learning that he intended to go to
Herzegovina to fight, called him and made him swear that he would not
go to "fight with those brigands, the Herzegovinians." He swore, and
then went, evading the surveillance of the police and with a false
passport, to Belgrade, where he gave himself to inciting the Servians
to war, and, when Servia declared war the following spring, he
commanded the army. So he never came to Herzegovina or to Montenegro,
and he was personally hostile to the Prince, as I found most Russian
officers to be. But he assured me that the Czar was bitterly opposed
to the movement, and that if it had been suspected that he was going
to the Balkans he would have been arrested. The prudence of the Czar
is always in danger of being nullified by the imprudence of his
agents.

The pressure of the Turkish government on Montenegro became severe,
and the Prince, in the failure of Servia to respond to the Montenegrin
proposals to fight it out, was unwilling to take the responsibility of
a war. But the Sultan inclined to war so strongly that Raouf Pasha,
who advised him that his army was not prepared for it, was recalled,
partly on account of that advice, and partly because he declared that
the insurrection was to a great extent justified by the bad government
of Bosnia, and was replaced by Achmet Mukhtar, later the Ghazi, who
came breathing flames and extermination. The bands of Montenegrins
were ordered to leave the frontier of the principality, and came down
to the vicinity of Ragusa; and as the interest at Cettinje diminished
I followed the war. The winter set in with great and unremembered
rigor, the refugees suffered the greatest misery, and many of the
Turkish troops in the high mountain country died of exposure. I saw
deserters at Ragusa who declared that there would be very general
desertion were it not that the troops were assured, and believed,
that, if they deserted, the Austrian authorities would certainly send
them back to their regiments.

Before this the "Times" had come to the conclusion that the movement
had come to stay awhile, and I was informed that I should be
henceforward placed in the position of its special correspondent. As
I had thoroughly mastered the field and enjoyed the confidence and
friendship of the Prince, I had, as long as the war lasted, no rival
on the English press. The suffering amongst the families of the
Herzegovinians, exiled almost _en masse_ into Dalmatia and Montenegro,
was very great; but the influence of the letters which appeared in the
"Times" produced a wide and happy charitable movement, and I received
at Ragusa supplies of money and clothing, which made the wretched
Christians bless England continually. I had a sharp attack of
bronchitis from the absolute impossibility of finding quarters where I
could do my work in a tolerable comfort; for the usual mildness of the
climate of Dalmatia leaves every house unprovided for the cold,
which that winter was unprecedentedly severe. I used to sit at
my writing-table wrapped in all the blankets I could keep on me.
Fireplaces seemed to be unknown.

On the Greek Christmas (January 6) I met at the house of Colonel
Monteverde, the agent of the Russian committees, a number of the
insurgent chiefs who had come in for a consultation, the forces of the
insurrection having separated into two general commands in consequence
of the quarrel between Peko and Socica. Socica remained in supreme
command in the mountainous Piva district, now buried under the snow,
and Peko took the direction in the lower country, and established
himself at the old camp at Grebci, driving Ljubibratich and his
Herzegovinians out of the field. Peko had then a force of about
1500 men, and Mukhtar did not attempt an attack, but, having made a
military promenade through the lower Herzegovina, went back to Mostar
and into comfortable winter quarters. Peko took position astride the
road from Ragusa to Trebinje, and held the latter place effectually
blockaded. A provision train was about to leave Ragusa, and a force of
five battalions of Turkish regulars, with 400 irregulars and six guns,
was sent from Trebinje as escort. A force of two companies was posted
on two hills commanding the road about midway, and, though Peko had
decided to wait for the train, he, being a natural strategist, saw
that this force must be disposed of to give him a clear field. He
accordingly attacked the main body and drove it back to Trebinje with
a loss of 250 men (counted by the noses brought in). He then put a
cordon around the posts on the hills, lest the men should escape in
the night, and, having prepared for an assault the next morning, sent
us word to join him. He promised to send us horses for the journey at
daylight, and we went to the rendezvous breakfastless, not to lose
time, but he forgot us, and, after waiting for the horses till past 8
A.M., we set out on foot.

The snow lay a few inches deep, but the sun had come out strong, and
it was melted in patches, so that we stepped alternately in mud and in
snow, slipping and picking our way in the best haste we might until 2
P.M., when we arrived at Vukovich, a tiny village where Peko had his
headquarters for the moment, the entire population having taken refuge
across the frontier. Here the Russians had established an ambulance,
and we found the wounded coming in, and some young Russian medical
students dressing the wounds. We could hear the firing, and the echoes
of it rolling around the hills, and even the shouting of the chiefs
in the, to us, inarticulate insults to the enemy and encouragement to
their own men. One of the surgeons took his rifle and offered himself
as guide to the battlefield.

Vukovich is in a deep hollow, and, as we rose on the ridge that
separated it from the higher land on which the fight was going on,
a rifle ball sung over my head and went on into the village. Others
followed, some plunging into the earth near us, and some striking the
rocks. We were just in the range of the insurgents, who were fighting
up hill on the farther side of the hill, round the summit of which was
the circle of breastworks held by the doomed Turkish force, and
the bullets of the assailants ranged over to us. It was my first
experience under a prolonged fire, though not of being fired at, and
I must admit that it put me in a terrible funk. I put the largest
Montenegrin of the group which accompanied us between myself and the
firing party. I had not eaten a crumb since the day before, or taken
even a cup of coffee, and my legs were in cramp from the hard walking
for six hours in mud and snow, and I was ready to drop from fatigue
and hunger. One of the chiefs who came by on his way to the ambulance,
where the ghastly procession of wounded was now coming in, seeing me
pale and exhausted, offered me his flask of slievovits (plum brandy),
of which I drank a half-tumbler raw. The effect was marvelous, and
enabled me clearly to understand the meaning of the familiar term
"Dutch courage," so that I watched from afar the fight to the end
without a return of funk.

The Turks were entrenched within a double line of stone wall,
concentric, and the insurgents were fighting upwards, and when we came
on the scene the fighting was still at the lower wall. Presently there
was a more rapid firing, then a moment's lull, and then the firing
broke out again from the upper breastwork. The insurgents had charged
and carried the lower line and reversed it, and the poor Turks
surviving were driven into the inner circle of about a hundred feet in
diameter, out of which not one could hope to come alive. The rest of
the garrison of Trebinje were so cowed by the result of the fighting
the day before that they dared not come out to the relief of their
comrades.

And so the night fell on us, and the bands returned to their camp,
leaving a cordon to pen in the few remaining Turks. We had many
wounded, and a few killed, amongst whom was Maxime Bacevich, voivode
of Baniani, and a cousin of the Prince of Montenegro, one of the
bravest of the brave, whose death was moaned over by all as we
gathered together that night in the large hut that served as
headquarters. It was a stone cabin of one room, at one end the stall
for the cattle, and in the centre a fireplace, the smoke from
which went out by a hole in the roof. Three sides of the room were
surrounded by a stone platform, wide enough for the tallest man to
lie with his feet to the fire; but there was no furniture, not even a
bundle of straw. This was the bed of fifty men, lying side by side
on the bare stone, my pillow being my felt hat, and my bedding my
overcoat. The fire was hot, and the smell indescribable,--fifty pairs
of dirty feet, and the bodies of fifty men, most of whom had not
washed for a month, with the cattle stall at the end,--that was our
lodging; but, tired as I was, I slept. At daylight the scouts came in
to tell us that in the night the little body of Turks had escaped,
probably through a sleeping cordon, and scattered up and down along
the road between Ragusa and Trebinje, the most of them having been
caught and killed as they ran. There was no mercy in this war, and
a man who was left behind was a dead man. One of the fugitives had
nearly reached Trebinje when he was met in the way by a Herzegovinian,
of whom he begged for quarter in the usual Turkish form, "aman"
(mercy), to which the Herzegovinian replied "taman" (enough), and cut
him down.

A week or more elapsed before Mukhtar Pasha, hurrying from Mostar,
could concentrate troops enough to clear the road and provision
Trebinje, and then he succeeded only by the most infantile blunders
on the part of the Christian forces. From that time until the spring
there was a succession of isolated conflicts with no connection, the
Turks attempting to provision the little fortresses in the mountains,
and the insurgents to damage the Turks as much as opportunity
permitted. The powers were by this time thoroughly aroused, and
the Austrian intervention followed. Baron Rodich, the governor of
Dalmatia, called a conference of the insurgent chiefs at Sutorina
to arrange a pacification. I went to see Rodich, a shrewd, precise
functionary, liberal, as far as one could well be in his position, and
I saw at once that, while he was determined to obey his orders, and
urge a pacification because it was in accordance with his orders, he
had no faith in success, and had a great sympathy with the insurgents.
He was peremptory, and had a soldier-like aversion to special
correspondents; but he was very just, and might have done much had
the situation admitted any other result than the fighting it out.
The Turks would make no concession and admit no reverse, and the
insurgents, having been victorious in three out of four combats,
and having brought the Turkish forces into the most desperate
demoralization (as I was able to learn by the Turkish deserters who
came daily into Ragusa), were not in the least disposed to relinquish
the hold on the position they had won. In the rude shelter obtainable
within the Austrian territory there were thousands of women, children,
and wounded men, supported by the charity of Europe, now largely
excited, leaving the active insurgents free for their operations.

At Ragusa I watched the course of events with informants in every part
of the field of action, having become by this time regarded as the
unflinching friend of the insurrection, to whom all good Slavs were
under obligation of service. I then made the acquaintance and acquired
the friendship of that admirable diplomat whose subsequent career
and mine have repeatedly crossed each other, Sir Edward Monson, then
diplomatic agent at Ragusa, and of a brave and good soldier, the
Austrian commander, General Ivanovich, of whom and of whose excellent
family I have the most delightful recollections, and whose society
during all the time I remained in Ragusa was my sole social refuge
from the wretched life of a special correspondent in half-civilized
regions. It was a poetic and attractive household, and the light of
it, the beauty of Madame Ivanovich and her two daughters, and the
serenity which fell on me when I entered it, remain in my memory as
the sunny oasis in the life of that period. Then, too, I made the
acquaintance of an eminent scholar who was to be for many years after
the stanchest of friends and allies, Professor Freeman, the great
historian, but greater humanitarian, whose too early death I still
feel to be my great personal loss. He had two companions, of whom one
was Lord Morley, who had come to Ragusa to see what there was in the
affair of the Herzegovina; and to their impressions was no doubt due
much of the weight given to the "Times" reports subsequently.

Between fruitless negotiations, attempts to delude the insurgents
by insincere promises, and the greatest efforts on the part of
my _soi-disant_ friend, Danish Effendi, to win over the body of
correspondents by this time collected at Ragusa (he told me in so many
words that he had informed the Turkish government that my pen was
worth 40,000 francs to it), the rest of the winter passed away
quietly. It was evident that war would be declared in the spring
between the principalities and Turkey, and I went home thoroughly worn
out and ill. I went by the way of Venice, and had my first sight
of the city coming in at early morning from Trieste by steamer.
Accustomed as I had been to the color of Turner as the aspect of the
Grand Canal, it seemed to me that what I saw from the steamer was
the ghost of Venice, pallid, wan, faded to tints which were only the
suggestion of Turner's, but still lovely in their fading, and the
impression was more pathetic than it would have been with all the glow
of the great Englishman's palette. My wife met me at the steamer,
and we went home by short stages, for I was too weak to bear a long
railway journey.



CHAPTER XXX

THE WAR OF 1876


I returned to Montenegro in the following June, after the diplomacy of
Europe had vainly and discordantly discussed mediation all the winter.
An armistice had suspended hostilities, but the Turks continued the
concentration of troops on the frontiers of the principality, north
and south, and refused the conditions of the Prince for a peaceful
solution. Everything waited for the acceptance by Servia of the
programme for the war which was to be declared by the principalities
against Turkey. The official declaration of war took place on the 2d
of July, and on the 3d the Prince set out with flying banners for the
conquest of the Herzegovina. My orders being to remain in touch with
the telegraph, I had to resign the pleasure of the campaign, and
I passed the time in studying up accessories. The Prince started
directly for Mostar, accompanied by the Austrian military attaché,
Colonel Thoemel, one of the most intensely anti-Montenegrin Austrian
officials I ever met. If the Austrian government had intended to
inflict on the Prince the most humiliating censor in its service, and
make the relations between the governments as bad as possible, they
could not have chosen an agent more effective than Thoemel. In his
hatred of Montenegro and enjoyment of the _fortiter in re_, he
entirely threw off the _suaviter in modo_. He enjoyed intensely every
petty humiliation he could inflict on the Prince, who, with the
greatest tact, never noticed his rudeness. The maintenance of good
relations with Austria tasked the Prince's diplomacy to the utmost. As
I saw nothing of the campaign, I will dispose of it by saying that,
when the Prince had nearly reached Mostar, the colonel informed him
officially that if he took Mostar he would be driven out of it by the
Austrian army, and, after a slight skirmish on the hills commanding
the city, the Prince took the road towards Trebinje. Meanwhile the
operations on the southern frontier, under the direction of the
amiable and competent Bozo Petrovich, remained for my observation.

One of the chiefs of clans who were waiting at Cettinje for the plan
of the southern campaign was Marko Millianoff, hereditary chief of the
Kutchi, an independent Slav tribe on the borders of Albania, generally
allied in the frontier operations with the Montenegrins. The Turks
desired particularly to subdue this people in the outset of the
campaign, as their territory commanded the upper road from Podgoritza
to Danilograd, and hostilities commenced with an attack on them. While
waiting I made the acquaintance of Marko, whom I found to be one of
the most interesting characters I met in Montenegro. His courage and
resource in stratagem were proverbial in the principality. I had
a capital Ross field-glass, and amused him one day by showing its
powers. He had never seen a telescope before, and his delight over
it was childlike. "Why," he exclaimed in rapture, "this is worth a
thousand men." "Then take it," I said, "and I hope it will prove worth
a thousand men." His force of 2500 men was then blockading the little
fortress of Medun, a remotely detached item of the defensive system of
Podgoritza, and on the next day he set out for his post.

I saw him some months later, and he told me that when the great sortie
from Podgoritza to relieve Medun came in view of the blockading force,
though at a distance of several miles, his men declared that they
could not fight that immense army, which filled the valley with its
numbers and had the appearance of a force many times greater than
their own. Marko looked at it through the glass and found it to be
mainly a provision train, for Medun was on the verge of starvation,
the garrison having "shaken out the last grain of rice from their
bags," to use the expression of the moment. When Marko's men found the
actual number of fighting men in the Turkish sortie, they decided to
fight it out. They didn't mind ten to one, they said, but much more
than that had appeared to confront them. The Turks, commanded by
Mahmoud Pasha, a good Hungarian general, were about 20,000 men,--as
I afterwards learned from various sources, including the English
consulate at Scutari,--comprising 7000 Zebeks, barbarians from the
country back of Smyrna, accustomed to the yataghan, and supposed to be
qualified opponents of the Montenegrins in the employment of the cold
steel. Marko fought retreating from the morning until about 2 P.M.,
when the Turks stopped to eat, having driven the Montenegrin force
back and toward Medun about three miles. When the Turks had eaten and
began to smoke, Millianoff gave the word to charge; and though the
Turks had built thirteen breastworks to fall back on as they advanced,
they yielded to the vigorous assault of the first line, and the
Montenegrins swept through the whole series with a rush, not
permitting the Turks to form again or gather behind one, and drove
those who escaped under the walls of Podgoritza, leaving 4700 dead on
the way, for no prisoners were taken. Millianoff said, when I saw
him again, "Your glass saved us the battle," which was virtually
the preservation of the independence of the tribe, and possibly the
decision of the campaign on that side. The fortress was obliged, a
little later, to surrender, and in the subsequent siege of Niksich the
artillery taken at Medun served a very good purpose, being heavier
than anything the Montenegrins had.

I had secured for correspondent with the Prince the services of his
Swiss secretary, an excellent fellow by the name of Duby; and, as all
the interest of the war for the moment lay in the campaign of the
Prince against Mostar and its consequences, I arranged to have my news
at Ragusa by telegraph, and there I went for the time being. On the
28th of July I received at 11 P.M. the news of the battle of Vucidol,
in which the army of Mukhtar Pasha was routed and nearly destroyed,
Mukhtar himself barely escaping by the speed of his horse, entering
the gate of Bilek only a hundred yards in advance of his foremost
pursuer, his wounded horse falling in the gateway. Of his two
brigadiers, one, Selim Pasha, a most competent and prudent general,
was killed, and the other, Osman Pasha, the Circassian, taken
prisoner. He lost all his artillery, and thirteen out of twenty-five
battalions of regulars, two hundred prisoners being taken; but while
these were _en route_ to Cettinje they became alarmed and showed a
disposition to be refractory, and were put to death at once by the
escort. The ways of warfare in those parts were, in spite of all the
orders of the Prince, utterly uncivilized, the Montenegrin wounded
being always put to death if they fell into the hands of the enemy,
and no quarter being given in battle by the Montenegrins, though Turks
who surrendered in a siege were kept as prisoners during the war. I
had seen Mukhtar at Ragusa during the conference at the time of the
armistice, and he bore out in his personal appearance the description
which Osman Pasha gave of him,--dreamy, fanatical, ascetic, who gave
his confidence to no one, and who said, when Selim proposed a council
of war before Vucidol, "If my fez knew what was in my head I would
burn it," and refused to listen to the cautionary measures Selim
advised preliminary to the attack. The ascetic and the fanatic was
written in his face. Returning to Cettinje, I found Osman there
a prisoner on parole, and at my intercession he was permitted to
accompany me to Ragusa, where I returned after a few days, life in
Montenegro being intolerably dull except during the fighting.

The next movement on the part of the Turks, which was expected to be
one by Dervish Pasha, from the base of Podgoritza towards Cettinje,
called me into the field again. We took position along the heights of
Koumani, on the verge of the great table-land which intervenes between
Rieka and Danilograd, and from which we could see the Turkish camps
spread out on the plain below us; and if the Turks had but known where
we were, they might have thrown their shells from the blockhouses in
the plain into our camp. There was no attack for the moment, and the
scouts of the Montenegrins used to amuse themselves by arousing the
Turkish camps in the night or by stealing the horses and mules
from the guards set over them. A band of seven stole, during this
suspension of operations, forty horses and brought them into the
camp, and one, more cunning and light-footed than the rest, stole
the pasha's favorite horse from the tent where he was guarded by two
soldiers sleeping at the entrance, and brought him to the Prince at
Koumani. He had to take the precaution of wrapping the creature's
hoofs in rags before bringing him out of the tent. When the object was
to stir the Turks out of their rest, a half-dozen men would crawl up
to the stone wall which they invariably threw up around the camp, and
lay their rifles on it, for there was never a sentry set, and fire
rapidly into the tents as many shots as they could before rousing the
camp, and then scatter and run. The whole battalion would turn out and
continue firing in every direction over the country for half an hour,
while the artillery, as soon as the guns could be manned, followed the
example, and almost every night we were roused from our sleep by the
booming of the guns.

The early collapse of the Servian defense led, after some
negotiations, to a truce, and diplomacy took up the matter, and in
September I went home again. The "Times" correspondence had given the
Montenegrin question serious importance in England, and during
the winter I had several opportunities to discuss it with men of
influence, amongst whom were Gladstone and the Marquis of Bath, who
invited me to pass some days at Longleat to inform him more completely
on it. During my last stay in Montenegro I had been informed by Miss
Irby--one of the women who distinguish their English race by their
angelic charity and works for humanity, and who, being engaged in
benevolent work in Bosnia, became one of my firm allies--that reports
had been put in circulation in London against my probity and the
trustworthiness of my correspondence, imputing to me indeed a conduct
which would have excluded me from honorable society. This was the
work of the pro-Turkish party, enraged by the sympathy evoked by my
correspondence on behalf of the Montenegrins, and Sir Henry Elliott
had made himself the mouthpiece of it. Mr. Gladstone, having
become warmly interested in the little mountain principality by my
correspondence, had taken its case up in a strong review article, and
had persuaded Tennyson to devote a sonnet to it. He was, as he himself
informed me, warned by Sir Henry Elliott not to trust to my letters or
to employ them as authority for his work, for Sir Henry said that
I was considered in the Levant, where I was well known, to be an
infamous and untrustworthy character. Mr. Gladstone, therefore, though
he used my facts, referred them to the authority of a second-hand
version. Fortunately for me and my work, Professor Freeman had heard
the reports in question, and knowing me personally, and taking the
passionate interest he did in the war against the Turks, applied
himself to the investigation of the tales, and satisfied himself
and Gladstone that they were simple libels, without a shadow of
foundation, and even had never been heard of until they were
promulgated in London. They were the coinage of political passion.

Gladstone sent me word through Freeman that he wished me to call on
him to receive personally his apologies for having believed and been
influenced by them, and I went to see him as he requested for that
purpose. He told me at the same time that though he did not usually
read the "Times," he had taken it to read my letters. He asked me many
questions about the principality, showing his great interest, as well
as his political acumen, and amongst the questions was one which, at
the time, gave me great thought, and still retains its significance.
It was, "Have the Montenegrins any institutions on which a national
future can be built?" He was desirous of knowing if Montenegro could
be made the nucleus of a great south Slavonic organization. I was
unable to give him any assurance of the existence of anything beyond
the primitive and patriarchal state which fitted its present position,
in which a personal government by a wise prince is sufficient to reach
all the needs of the population. And to-day I am of the opinion that a
greatly enlarged Montenegro would run the danger of becoming a little
Russia, in which the best ruler would be lost in the intricacies of
the intrigues and personal ambitions that facilitate corruption and
injustice, and where the worst ruler might easily become a curse to
all his neighbors. Gladstone's good-will had its issue later in the
enforced restitution to Montenegro of the district of Antivari and
Dulcigno, which the Montenegrin army had taken, but evacuated, pending
the disposition of the congress which after S. Stefano regulated the
treaty of peace.

Lord Bath, beside the political question, was interested in the
religious situation of the principality, which has maintained its
national existence and character through its form of ecclesiastical
organization, that of the Orthodox faith. He had sent me on two
occasions considerable sums of money for the wounded and the families
of the killed in the war, and always took a vivid interest in its
fortunes. He repeated to me a conversation he had had at Longleat with
Beaconsfield, in which he had asked the minister what interest England
had in Montenegro that induced the government to give it aid and
countenance, as it did after a certain stage in the war. Beaconsfield
had replied that "England had no interest whatever in Montenegro, but
that the letters in the 'Times' had created such an enthusiasm for
the principality that the government had been obliged to take it into
account." The Prince was fully informed on this score, and he and
all his people recognized the debt they owed the "Times," and, as an
exception to all my political experience, they have shown themselves a
grateful people, and Prince as well as people have always shown
their gratitude in all ways that I could permit. The Greeks almost
unanimously became hostile to me when I became the advocate of a
Slavonic emancipation, and of the Hellenic friends I made while in
Crete, Tricoupi alone of men of rank remained my personal friend after
the Montenegrin campaigns.

Amongst the Russian fellow campaigners there were several with whom
I contracted friendships which endure, chief among them being
Wassiltchikoff, the head of the Red Cross staff, who was also
dispenser of the bountiful contributions of the Russian committees for
the wounded and the families of the killed. I must confess a strong
liking for the Russian individual, and I have hardly known a Russian
whom I did not take to, in spite of a looseness in matters of veracity
in which they are so unlike the Anglo-Saxon in general. I think that
the time is coming when the evolution of the Russian character will
make the race the dominant one in Europe; and that, when the vices
inherent in a people governed despotically have been outgrown, they
will develop a magnificent civilization, which, in poetry, in music,
and in art, even, may distance the West of to-day. But in the crude
and maleficent despotic form of government which now obtains, they
are likely to menace for a long time the well-being of the world.
The struggle between the German and the Slav, however long it may be
postponed, is inevitable, and the defeat of the German secures the
Russian domination of Europe. Napoleon's alternative, "Cossack or
Republican," is substantially prophetic, though the terms are more
probably "Despotic or Constitutional." I have no animosity toward
Russia, but any advance of her influence in the Balkans seems to me
to be a battle gained by her in this conflict. Established at
Constantinople, her next stage would be Trieste; and the ultimate
Russification of all the little Slavonic nationalities of the Balkans,
of which she is now the champion, becomes inevitable. The only
safeguard against this is the maintenance of Austria as the suzerain
power in the peninsula.

But, for the personal Russian, as I have said, I have always had a
thorough liking, and all through the Montenegrin campaigns I held
those who were there as warm friends. The official Russians were not,
however, popular in Montenegro, the people possessing an unusual
degree of independence, and the Russians attaching more importance to
their aid and coöperation than the circumstances made it politic to
show; and Jonine, who became minister-resident at Cettinje, was,
perhaps, the most unpopular foreigner there, while Monson, who became
English agent there, was, both with prince and public, the most
popular. The entry into the alliance with Russia made little
difference in the sentiments of the people, and even the Prince
resisted, in an extraordinary and even impolitic degree, the Russian
suggestions in the conduct of the war.



CHAPTER XXXI

RUSSIAN INTERVENTION AND THE CAMPAIGN OF 1877


With the return of spring I resumed my position, and when I arrived at
Cettinje, in the beginning of April, the situation was one which made
it politic for the Sultan, had he known his pressing interests, to
yield to the conditions on which peace could have been preserved.
Montenegro held a position stronger than that of the year before, and
the Prince, under diplomatic pressure, withdrew the conditions which
he had originally insisted on, except two, viz., the recognition of
the independence of the Kutchi and the repatriation of the refugees
from Herzegovina, with guarantees for their tranquillity. This latter
was a _sine qua non_ of the restoration of Montenegro to its original
condition, for the principality was supporting on the slender basis of
its always insufficient means a population almost equal to its own,
and was already in a state approaching famine. Russia was sending
shiploads of corn, and English charity was, as it always is, large,
but the retention of the refugees permanently was impossible, even
with foreign aid. They were destitute not merely of homes but of
earthly goods, to an extent that made them as helpless as children,
for there was no more work to be done in the principality than the
women were accustomed to do in war time.

Russia declared war on the 25th of April, and the English agent left
four days later, warmly saluted by the Prince, who had found in him a
true and disinterested friend. Jonine's animosity towards Monson was
intense, and as the former, as Russian plenipotentiary, considered
himself entitled to give direction to the diplomacy of Cettinje, he
was furious over the evident favor with which Monson was regarded by
the Prince, who often followed his advice. It was a sore point with
the Montenegrins, from the Prince down, that Jonine was so officious
in his intervention even in military advice, where he had not the
least competence; and in general the Montenegrins resented the
dictation of the Russian staff, even where it had every reason to urge
its own views of the operations. On the occasion of the next birthday
of the Czar, which was as usual celebrated in Montenegro by a
diplomatic and official dinner, the Prince refused to come to the
table, sending Duby to preside. Jonine was extremely unpopular with
Prince and people, owing to his dictatorial ways. The Austrian
representative had an opening to great influence which he might have
seized if he had been a man of tact, but he was ostentatiously hostile
to the Prince and the Montenegrin cause. Monson, on the other hand,
and Greene, the English consul at Scutari, exerted their influence in
every way for the principality, and but for them the supplies of grain
from Russia, which had been sent on during the armistice and had been
maliciously delayed by the authorities at Scutari as they came by
water through the Boyana, would probably have been stopped at the
critical moment by the outbreak of hostilities.

The news of the declaration of war by Russia produced immense
enthusiasm in the principality, and the people now felt that they were
in a position to fight out with the Turks the quarrel of four hundred
years. With the Prince and his staff, I went to the new headquarters
at Orealuk, where he had a little villa nearly midway between the pass
to the plain of Niksich and Podgoritza. The southern frontier was held
by the division of "Bozo" (Bozidar) Petrovich on the west of the Zeta,
and on the east by that of the minister of war, Plamenaz, posted on
the heights over Spuz. They were opposed by Ali Saib Pasha and two or
three subordinate generals. On the north, at Krstaz, was Vucotich, the
father-in-law of the Prince, a brave man, but neither a good general
nor a good administrator, and to his incompetence as strategist the
Montenegrins were indebted for the egregious failure of the northern
defense. This failure at one moment menaced the total collapse of
the Montenegrin campaign, from which the ability of Bozo saved it.
Suleiman Pasha, later distinguished by his Bulgarian campaign,
had replaced Mukhtar, and had spent three months in drilling and
disciplining his troops for the Montenegrin method of fighting. The
terrible passes of the Duga offered ideal positions for a defense by
such a force as the Montenegrin,--brave, good shots, and absolutely
obedient to orders; and the best military advice on our side
pronounced them impregnable if properly defended.

So the Prince went to Ostrog, and the northern army took position
on the plain of Niksich, the advance posts being connected with
headquarters at Ostrog by telegraph, and I took up my quarters with
the Prince in the convent. With great ability, Suleiman out-manoeuvred
Vucotich in the Duga, and debouched in the plain near Niksich before
the Montenegrin army could reach Plamnitza, where the valley of the
Zeta and our position at Ostrog were to be defended, and if Suleiman
had pushed on without stopping to recruit he might have taken us
all in our quarters. The mendacious dispatches of victory from the
Montenegrin commander gave us to believe that the Turks were kept at
bay, until we found that they were actually in Niksich, and there was
not a single battalion to serve as bodyguard to the Prince at Ostrog.
Simultaneously with the attack on Duga, the army of Ali Saib attacked
on the south; but, defeated most disastrously two days in succession,
was obliged to relinquish the effort to meet Suleiman in Danilograd,
where, if united, they would have held the principality by the throat.

The reports of the fight from Bozo sent me down to get the details of
the victory, of which he had given me by telegraph a summary account,
and I arrived at his headquarters at Plana, overlooking the Turkish
movements, late that afternoon, accepting an invitation to pass the
night and see the operations of the next day. Until I arrived at his
camp Bozo had received no information of the passage of the Duga, nor
of the relief of Niksich; but I had not been with him two hours before
we saw the smoke arising from the villages on the northern slopes of
the heights that commanded the head of the valley of the Zeta, which
connects the plains of Niksich and Podgoritza and divides Montenegro
into two provinces, anciently two principalities,--the Berdas and the
Czernagora or Black Mountain. This conflagration showed that Suleiman
had crowned the heights, and would have no more difficulty in
descending through the valley to Danilograd. Suleiman's campaign was
planned on the idea of a triple attack on the heart of Montenegro,
by himself from Krstaz, Ali Saib from Spuz, and Mehemet Ali, my old
friend in Crete, from Kolashin via the upper Moratsha, the three
armies to meet at Danilograd. Ali Saib and Mehemet Ali were
disastrously defeated, though before I left Plana in the morning a
third attack from Spuz was begun, and fought out under my eyes while I
waited, the Turks being driven back again.

I started for a leisurely ride back to Ostrog, and half way there met
a fugitive who told me that the Turks were at the convent, and the
Prince retreating on the western side of the valley. Another half
hour and I should have been in the hands of the irregulars, who were
skirmishing and burning, killing and plundering, as they followed the
eastern side, the two armies being hotly engaged in the forests along
the crest of the mountains above us around Ostrog. I retrograded to
Plana, and thence, by the urgent counsels of Bozo, to Cettinje, as the
position was critical, and the campaign might take an unexpected turn
and make my escape impossible.

The army of Suleiman took ten days of fighting to cover the distance I
had made in three hours' leisurely ride, and reached the plain of Spuz
so exhausted and decimated that Suleiman had to reorganize it before
he could make another move. He had narrowly escaped a great disaster,
possibly the surrender of his whole army, only by the incompetence of
the Montenegrin commander. He had abandoned all his communications
with Niksich, like Sherman at Atlanta in the American war, and had to
depend on what he carried with him, for the country offered nothing.
Vucotich, instead of intrenching himself with his main force in the
woods in front of Suleiman, adopted the tactics of opening to let him
pass, and then attacking him in the rear, though he was strong enough
to have stopped him and starved him into surrender. As it was he lost
10,000 men in the passage of the Bjelopawlitze. At this moment the
English consul at Scutari, Mr. Greene, came to Cettinje and visited
the camp of Suleiman, in which visit I wished to imitate him, but he
warned me that it would be probably a fatal call, as I would not have
been allowed to return. Mr. Greene gave me Suleiman's account of the
fighting in the Duga, in which the Turkish general described the
Montenegrin attacks as displaying a courage he had never before
witnessed. They charged the solid Turkish squares, and, grappling the
soldiers, attempted to drag them from the ranks. The Montenegrin loss
was 800 killed. The ammunition was bad, and the mountaineers often
threw their rifles away and attacked with the cold steel. The average
advance of the Turks was about a mile a day.

So we waited for the next news from Suleiman with an anxiety in
Cettinje not known for a generation. It was supposed that Suleiman
would repeat the campaign of Omar Pasha, moving on Cettinje by Rieka,
and all the fighting men were called out and the villages on that side
evacuated. In this state of painful expectation the news arrived of
the passage of the Danube by the Russian army, and the recall of
Suleiman and his army for the defense of the principalities. The
relief in Cettinje rose to jubilation, and we all returned to our
habitual life.

The Prince, freed from this incubus, prepared for the siege of Niksich
in good earnest, and, with the diplomatic representatives and the
Russian staff, we returned and pitched our camp in the plain, by
the side of a cold spring (Studenitzi), which supplied us with an
abundance of water, but within cannon shot of the fortress, the shells
from which were going over us continually, striking in the plain a
few hundred yards beyond us and bursting harmlessly. If the Turks had
understood howitzer practice they could have dropped their shells
amongst us without fail. The horses could not graze, and the women who
came with their husbands' rations could not reach us without passing
within gunshot of the outlying trenches of the Turks, and I have seen
a file of them come in, each with a huge loaf of bread on her head,
and the bullets from the trenches flying around them, but not one
hastening her step or paying the least attention to the danger. This
is the habit of the Montenegrin woman, who would consider herself
disgraced by a display of fear, no matter what the danger. I have seen
them go down to the trenches where their husbands were lying for days
together, during which time the wives brought the rations every five
days, and they always took the opportunity to discuss the affairs
of the household deliberately, though under fire, and walk away as
unconcernedly.

But our quarters at Studenitzi were not to the taste of the attachés
who took no part in the fighting, and we broke camp, and moved off to
the edge of the plain, all the time under the fire of the artillery of
the fortress. The Montenegrin artillery was brought up, and one by one
the little forts which studded the margin of the broad expanse were
taken. The first attacked held out till the shells penetrated its thin
walls, and then surrendered unconditionally. The garrison, twenty or
more Albanian nizams, were brought to the headquarters, and we all
turned out to see them. Bagged, half famished, and frightened they
were, and, through an Albanian friend who interpreted for me, I
offered them coffee. They looked at me with a surprise in their eyes
like that of a wild deer taken in a trap, and resigned to its fate,
knowing that escape was impossible; and when they had drunk the coffee
they asked if we were going to decapitate them now. When I assured
them that there was no more question of their decapitation than of
mine, and that they were perfectly safe, they broke into a discordant
jubilation like that of a children's school let loose; life had
nothing more to give them. They had no desire to be sent back to their
battalions, and they stayed with us, drawing the pay and rations they
should have had, and rarely got, when under their own flag.

The scene our camp presented was one to be found probably under
no other sky than that which spread over us in the highlands of
Montenegro. The tents of the Prince, the chiefs, and the attachés
were pitched in a circle, in the centre of which at night was a huge
camp-fire, round which we sat and listened to stories or discussions,
or to the Servian epics sung by the Prince's bard, to the
accompaniment of the _guzla_, to which the assembly listened in a
silence made impressive by the tears of the hardened old warriors,
most of whom knew the pathetic record by heart, and never ceased to
warm with patriotic pride at the legends of the heroic defense, the
rout of Kossovo, and the fall of the great empire, of which they were
the only representatives who had never yielded to the rule of the
Turk. Substitute for the rocky ridge which formed the background of
the scene the Dardanelles, and the fleet drawn up on the shore before
Troy, and you have a parallel such as no other country in our time
could give. Both armies retired to their tents at nightfall, and no
sentries or outposts were placed on either side at night; and now and
then a long-range skirmish went on, or a Montenegrin brave, tired
of the monotony of such a war, would go out between the lines and
challenge any Mussulman to come out and try his prowess with a
Christian. One pope, Milo, a hero of the earlier war, rode up and down
before the Turkish outposts, repeating every day his challenge, and at
last the Turks hid a squad of sharpshooters where he used to ride, and
brought him down with a treacherous volley, then cut off his head and
sent it in to the Prince.

Our guns were not heavy enough to cope with those of the fortress, and
so we passed the time shelling the redoubts thrown up on the little
hillocks around the town, alternating these operations with an
occasional assault of one of the nearest of them when the men got
impatient for some active movement. Meanwhile we learned that the
Russian government was sending us four heavier guns, sixteen and
thirty-two bronze rifled breech-loaders, the heaviest we had being
ten-pound muzzle-loaders against a battery of field guns, Krupp steel,
breech-loading twelve-pounders. The Russian guns were landed on the
Dalmatian coast below Budua and carried across the narrow strip of
Austrian territory which separated Montenegro from the sea, between
two lines of Austrian troops, lest some indiscreet traveler should
reveal the violation of neutrality, and were brought to Niksich, about
forty miles, on the shoulders of a detachment of Montenegrins over a
roadless mountain country, no other conveyance being possible.



CHAPTER XXXII

A JOURNEY INTO THE BERDAS


Pending the arrival of the guns, I explored the more remote and by
no traveler hitherto visited section of the Berdas, charged by the
Russian Red Cross and the English committees with the distribution of
a considerable sum of gold amongst the wounded and families of the
killed in that section. With a single _perianik_ (one of the Prince's
bodyguard) and my horse boy, who served as interpreter, I set out for
the great plains of the northeastern provinces, then menaced by an
invasion of a strong division from Kolashin, intended to effect a
diversion for the relief of Niksich. Climbing the heights which make a
rim like the wall of a crater round the plain of Niksich, I reached
a table-land _(planina)_ which rolls away to the frontier. I made my
first halt at the monastery of Zupa, situated in a lovely valley where
the fertility of the land supports a considerable population, and
where the Russians had established a hospital. Nothing could exceed
the kindness and humanity of those Russian surgeons. There was one
poor patient who had received a ball in the mouth, which lodged in the
neck and caused a suppuration, involving an artery, which burst into
the wound. The carotid was tied, but the operation failed to stop
the hemorrhage, and I found the surgeons relieving each other every
quarter of an hour in holding a pledget of lint on the wound, in
a determined effort to save the man's life if it were physically
possible. The hospital was admirably conducted.

In this beautiful valley I waited several days, wandering amongst
the hills. There were flocks of wild pigeons and other game in the
vicinity, and one morning of summer weather I took my gun and strolled
out alone, having no apprehension of personal danger where there was
no fighting population. Approaching a village curiously intent, I
discovered an old woman, who, on seeing this unexplained stranger,
armed, and with no company of her kin, set up a terrible hullabaloo,
shouting, "The Turks! The Turks!" and calling the boys to the defense,
and in a jiffy the whole village was up in alarm. I ran as fast as I
could in the direction of the monastery, conscious that every boy in
the valley had some old pistol, and would not even ask the questions I
could not answer before immolating me in the defense of his village.
Life is of no account in such circumstances, and the explanation would
have been made too late to do me any good, but I never walked out
again without my interpreter while in that country.

The object of my excursion was the ancient convent of Dobrilovina,
then the advanced post towards Kolashin, the Turkish station in Old
Servia, and the point from which all invasions from the east entered
Montenegro; and the ride was by far the most interesting of all that I
made in the two principalities. From the valley of Zupa we rose on a
plateau known as the Lola Planina, on which the watershed is to
the north and east and into the Danube. We rode through Drobniak a
province the right to which was still theoretically disputed between
Turk and Christian, the fruition of peace belonging to the latter;
that of war to the former, for it always fights with Montenegro, and
is periodically ravaged by the Turks. We were on the watershed between
the Adriatic and the Euxine, and the brooks were tributary to the
Danube through the Tara. The land is an immense upland, rolling
slightly, and the finest grass land I ever saw; it is an immense
prairie, with the horizon unbroken, except by the picturesque peak
of Dormitor at the north, the summit peak of the mountains of upper
Herzegovina, and the centre of the glacial system of the lands between
the Adriatic and the great Rascian valley which divides Servia and the
lower Danube from Montenegro. The flora was entirely new to me. I rode
through a thicket of marguerites so tall that the flowers came up to
my face, while the grass came up to my horse's belly. This is a great
hayfield, and the people come from far to cut and store the hay for
the winter, when they harness the stacks and drag them bodily to their
villages on the snow, which sometimes falls, they told me, to the
depth of fifteen or more feet. To the east stretched the rolling
prairie without a house or a village to the Signavina (desolate land)
Planina, solitary as the Sahara, for no man would build where a
Turkish raid on this disputed land might sweep him and his into one
destruction.

That there had been a great population once on these plains was
evident from ancient cemeteries with elaborate monuments of an early
but unknown people, of whom they are the only remains. The tombs were
rudely worked and decorated in prehistoric manner with devices of war
or the chase; one device, which I copied, being of an archer shooting
a wild goat, another of a warrior with a long broadsword and large
square shield. On some tombs were a crescent and star, the emblem of
Constantinople; on a few a cross; but there was no attempt at a letter
or other sign of language. The entire absence of any ruins within the
distance of our journeys (and by the report of the natives there were
none in the country round about) made the presence of these cemeteries
an archaeological problem to which I obtained no clue until some time
later, on the surrender of Niksich. We then discovered that a
large part of the town was formed of houses--huts would be more
correct--constructed on sledges, huge runners of timber, into which
had been driven stakes, forming the frame of the house. The stakes
were filled in with willow branches, and the walls were completed
with mud, the whole being roofed with thatch. The forward end of the
runners was perforated for a bar, to which oxen could be attached, and
the house was evidently to be drawn from place to place, as the herds
and flocks found food. Of this nature had probably been the towns or
villages to which the cemeteries belonged, and their existence still
on the plain of Niksich, where they must have been built without any
possibility of removal beyond the limits of the plain (which is only
about ten miles in its greatest extent, and bounded by abrupt hills),
was a curious evidence of the intensely conservative character of the
population which had established itself there at a remote epoch.

The sledge houses at Niksich had never been moved, nor would there
have been any object in moving them, for the remotest part of the
plain was to be reached in a long hour's walk, and the rocky setting
of its grassy luxuriance, rising into higher land all round, by steep
ridges, would have shown the builders that where the house was built,
there it would stand. On these great planinas there might have been a
range far greater, but the presence of the cemeteries, which must have
been the result of a considerable duration of residence, proved that
the planinas now deserted, save for the summer haymakers, had once
been held by a considerable population. I desired to open one of the
graves, but the superstition of the people, whom no inducement could
prevail on to meddle with the dead, made it impossible to find workers
to aid me. I can only conjecture, therefore, from the emblems on the
tombs and the rudeness of the reliefs, that they must date from early
Christian times, probably the so-called Gallic (really Slavonic)
invasions prior to Diocletian; and two or three huge and elaborate
roadside crosses, cut from single stones and minutely decorated in
relief, found nearer Cettinje, added to the conjectural evidence, for
the origin of these was equally unknown to the present inhabitants.
We passed caves known immemorially as places of refuge and admirably
placed and prepared for defense. There is a great and untouched field
there for prehistoric research.

We stopped to pass the night at Shawnik, a village in one of the most
picturesque ravines I ever saw. There runs the Bukovitza, a tributary
of the Drina, a wild and bold trout stream, abounding also in
grayling, the trout being unaccustomed to the fly, as they are in
most of the streams hereabout. Shawnik lies in the gate to the open
country, the gateposts being two huge bastions of rock from which a
few riflemen could defy an army until they found a way around through
the rough country of Voinik, the chain which lay between us and
Niksich. I slept at the house of an Albanian tailor (all the tailors
in Montenegro and the Berdas are Albanians) and was made comfortable.
We found the voivode of the province, Peiovich, at Aluga, with his
headquarters in the schoolhouse, and keeping a lookout for the Turks,
who menaced an invasion from Kolashin, a band of them having just
attempted to pass the Tara, which bounds the plain on the north, but
being driven back with loss. I found Aluga a noble subalpine country,
a rolling plateau with here and there a little lake; to the northwest
the grand mass of Dormitor, and to the northeast the range of the
highlands which border the valleys of Old Servia, while to the east
and south the horizon was like that of the sea, an undulating plain
rolling far away out of the range of vision. Scattered houses dotted
the plain of Aluga, and the children came to stare, and brought us,
with the shyness of wild deer, little baskets of strawberries, which
in some places in the fir forests almost reddened the ground, and,
having pushed the offerings in at the door, ran like wild creatures,
as if to escape being noticed. Huge haystacks dotted the plain, and
the population seemed prosperous. We pushed on to the frontier post at
Dobrilovina through glades of fir-trees with pasture intervening, as
the soil was rocky or fertile, and reached the margin of the Tara late
in the afternoon, a good day's ride from Aluga.

The Tara has cut itself a cañon like those of the Yellowstone, and
on a little space of alluvial land at the bottom lies the convent,
a building of the Servian Empire, curiously spared by the Turkish
invasions. We descended 2500 feet, measured by my aneroid, to the
flat, where the monks made us most welcome. We walked along the river,
a rapid and shallow stream filled with trout, which refused to take
any lure I could show them,--and the monks said that they ate only the
crayfish which abounded in the river.

We went to sleep, to be awakened at midnight by the scouts who came
in to tell us that the Turks were out from Kolashin, and that some
thousands of Albanians of the Rascian country were raiding in advance,
and had already thrown their left far beyond us. Had they known we
were there, we might have been taken in a trap from which only fleet
fugitives would have escaped. With the dawn we were in our saddles
again, and, by the urgent advice of Peiovich, I took the back track,
while the battalion threw itself across the country to skirmish, and
retard the advance of the Turks while reinforcements could be brought
up. "Ride hard," said the voivode, "and keep ahead of the Albanians,
for when it comes to fighting we shall probably have to disperse and
every man provide for himself, and you do not know the country. Tell
the Prince to hurry up reinforcements." I lunched in the schoolhouse
of Aluga, and pushed on for Bukowitza and Shawnik, where the invasion
would be stopped with certainty. Half way to Bukowitza there burst on
us a terrific thunderstorm, with torrents of rain. One bolt struck so
near us that the concussion knocked my _perianik_ down, and my horse
jumped up on all fours as I never saw a horse do before, but neither
was touched by the lightning, and we arrived at the first house of
Bukowitza drenched and tired, having knocked the two days' march into
one.

The owner of the house at which we asked for shelter said: "What I
have you are welcome to, but I have only two rooms, that in which the
family sleeps, and the kitchen. You are welcome to the bedroom, but
I fear there are too many fleas for you to sleep, and you had better
stay in the kitchen." I accepted the kitchen, and after a supper of
hot maize bread and trout fresh caught from the nearest brook, the
whole flooded with cream, I spread my cork mattress on a long bench
which served as chairs for the household, and, covering myself with
my waterproof, the only bedding attainable, I went to sleep. I was
awakened by the sound of something falling on the waterproof, which
I took to be bits of plaster from overhead, but, as it persisted, I
struck a light and discovered that it was caused by bugs which, not
finding a direct way to me from their nests in the wall, had climbed
up and dropped from the ceiling down on me. What with the insects
and the chance of being aroused at dawn by an attack of the raiding
Albanians, I did not sleep again, and was up at dawn preparing to
continue the journey to Shawnik, where alone we could count on being
safe from the swarms of bashi-bazouks, whose movements we could
already follow in the air by the smoke ascending from house and
haystack over the plains we had traversed the day before.

The day had broken fine, and after stopping long enough to make a
sketch of the house where I had passed the night, destined like all
others in the open country to be burned in the course of the day, I
pushed on to the fastness of Shawnik. The advance of the Turks was
practically unopposed, for there was only a battalion of Montenegrins
against thousands of irregulars and a strong division of regulars, and
the Prince, never much troubled about the odds except where he was
personally responsible, had not sent a man of the reinforcements which
Peiovich had urgently begged for by courier after courier, so he fell
back skirmishing until Socica from Piva joined him, when he made a
stand.

For several days the two armies watched each other, each waiting for
the offensive of the other, until one morning found the plain covered
with a fog so dense that the combatants could not see each other one
hundred yards away, when the Montenegrins made an attack so furious
that the Turks retreated and took refuge across the Tara and withdrew
to Kolashin, abandoning the movement and the attempt to relieve
Niksich. But the beautiful schoolhouse at Aluga and all the houses and
churches on the planina and at Bukowitza, the haystacks which had so
picturesquely dotted the plain, and which were to have furnished the
winter subsistence of all the flocks of the region, were ashes.

The night at Shawnik had proved as sleepless from fleas as that of
Bukowitza from bugs, and, what with the fatigue of the race against
time and the lack of any sleep for forty-eight hours, the next day
found me laboring under an attack of illness which left me absolutely
helpless, with a raging headache and cholera morbus. I dragged myself
out into the sun and ordered my horse boy to bring me a bucket of
water as hot as I could bear my feet in, and then made him keep it
hot with ashes until my feet were almost parboiled, when the headache
gradually subsided, leaving me a wilted, helpless being, hardly able
to sit in the saddle. I waited another day to recruit, and hoping to
hear from Peiovich the result of the invasion; but, hearing that the
deadlock might last for days, I returned to Niksich and found the
siege still going on as if it were the work of the generation.



CHAPTER XXXIII

THE TAKING OF NIKSICH


To the Prince the siege of Niksich was like a game of chess played by
cable, a move a day. But even this brought progress, and, when we had
taken the outlying blockhouses, one by one, and there remained only
the citadel, a flimsy fortress, mainly, I should judge, the work of
the Servian kings, all that remained to accomplish was the bombardment
of its walls, which became a sort of spectacle, to which we went day
after day to watch the effect of the fire, as we should have done with
a game of skittles. I climbed up on the top of a neighboring mountain,
and, with my field-glass, inspected the town. Women went and came with
their water-pitchers on their heads, moving in serene tranquillity,
without quickening a step, and the life of the place seemed absolutely
undisturbed by the danger, as if shells did not burst. Now and then
one of the houses caught fire and varied the show; the Turkish return
fire was mainly directed at the batteries where the great Russian guns
were posted, and the Montenegrins used to sit on the rocks around,
utterly heedless of the Turkish fire, despising cover. Finally a shell
fell and exploded in the midst of a group of men, and, for the time,
cover was made compulsory by order of the Prince. But the rank and
file grew impatient, and demanded an attack with such insistence that
the Prince was obliged to move. There were two steep ridges to the
west of the city, crowned by strong stone breastworks and held by
considerable detachments of regulars, being positions of supreme
importance, as they commanded the redoubts on that side from a
distance of 300 to 500 yards. The Prince gave the assault of one to
a battalion of Montenegrins, and the other to the Herzegovinian
auxiliaries.

There was in our camp a young German officer who had been under a
shadow, and had been sent away to retrieve his reputation for courage.
He came to Montenegro to earn a decoration, and begged the Prince to
let him go with the Montenegrin battalion. At the foot of each ridge
was an outwork which had first to be taken by assault, from across the
open, and which was taken in the early twilight, the Turks seeking
refuge in the redoubt above. The Montenegrin force reversed the works
they had taken, and a desultory rifle fire went on till it was too
dark to see the sights of the rifles. We, the spectators, were
assigned posts to see the spectacle as at the theatre, and went to
them just after sundown. The straggling fire of the early twilight
stopped, and there was an unbroken silence and immobility which lasted
perhaps twenty minutes, and until everything had become vague and
indefinable in the deepening twilight, when we heard the signal, given
by a trumpet call, and instantly the steep sides of the two ridges
were crawling with gray shadows, and a terrific fire burst out from
the redoubts at the top, lasting for hardly ten minutes, when it
as suddenly ceased; and then, after a brief pause, the Montenegrin
trumpet sounded from the summit of their ridge to tell that the work
was done. We trooped back to our tents and to supper, and presently
came in our little German friend, unharmed and exultant. His account
was graphic. The Montenegrins had taken the outwork, working up on
hand and knee, crawling and firing from such cover as they could find
until the Turks broke and escaped to the summit, and the Montenegrins
lay close behind the wall they had taken. When the trumpet sounded
they threw their rifles down, drew their sword bayonets, and made a
rush with the naked steel. The fire broke out from the redoubt above,
said our little German, with a roar that was absolutely appalling; it
was as if the sky were woven with whistling missiles, and but for very
shame, seeing the rage of combat in the men around him, he would have
lain down in overmastering panic. But no man halted, and the race
between the two battalions was won by the Montenegrins only by a
minute, and they poured over the wall of the redoubts, the Turks who
could escape going out at the rear as their assailants poured in. When
it comes to this final charge, the Montenegrin always leaves his gun
behind and trusts only to the cold steel.

The next morning a flag of truce came to ask for terms, and the town
surrendered on condition of the garrison going out with their arms and
their private property. We went out to see them defile past the Prince
and his staff. The poor fellows were in rags, and the bundles they
carried on their backs contained everything they had in the world.
Wives and children in numbers followed or preceded, and to our
attempts to show them little kindnesses they shrank from us as if we
had been wolves, the children generally howling with fear when we
offered them a biscuit or a coin. One of our battalions escorted them
through the narrows of the Duga, and, when they reached the wild and
bosky gorge which makes its strongest position, the women stopped in a
paralysis of panic, asking if this was the place where they were to be
butchered, so completely had the Turkish authorities impressed on them
the fiction of infallible slaughter for all who fell into the hands of
the Montenegrins. The Prince gave the inhabitants four days to choose
whether they would stay and become his subjects or take all their
possessions and go to Albania. The most had decided to stay, when word
was sent them from Spuz that all who accepted the protection of the
Prince would be expelled and have all their property confiscated when
the Turks returned, and many were frightened into revocation of their
submission. Some were as irreconcilable as wolves, and would not
endure conversation with us. I found a little fellow, about five or
six, pasturing a lamb in the outskirts of the town, and tried, with
the aid of the interpreter, to enter into conversation with him, but
to no effect. He repelled every advance, and, when I offered him a
piastre, he refused it with a savage dignity, saying that he had money
of his own and did not want mine.

We took an immense booty in provisions, artillery (nineteen guns),
tents, and war material, left by Suleiman in the expectation of
returning after he had made the conquest of Montenegro. Ammunition
there was none, for the artillery had been supplied with old
muzzle-loading pistol and other cartridges broken up for the last
weeks of the siege. And so ended the contest of four hundred years.

The easy terms accorded by the Prince to the garrison of Niksich
brought their compensation a little later, when, the liberated
garrison being besieged anew in the impregnable fortress of Spizza
dominating the road from Dalmatia to Antivari, they gave in without a
serious defense, satisfied with the honors of war. It was clear,
from the testimony I was able to collect from Turkish deserters and
prisoners, that the obstinate defense of the garrisons under siege
was oftener due to the desperation inspired by the assurance of the
Turkish authorities themselves, that no quarter would be given to
those who surrendered, than to the bellicose ardor. A captain of the
Turkish nizams, who had commanded one of the little fortresses beyond
Niksich, and who surrendered to Socica when he knew that his tower was
undermined and would be blown up in a minute if he did not surrender,
declined to be released, as he knew that, whatever might happen to his
men, he would be shot for surrendering, and no account taken of the
necessity of saving the life of his men, to say nothing of his own.
The method of Socica in attacking those towers, which were of stone,
without any artillery, was to construct a wooden tower on wheels,
strong enough to resist rifle balls, and which, moved by the men
inside, approached the fortress, till actually in contact, when a mine
was put under the wall and the garrison was summoned to surrender.

Our Albanian captain preferred the climate of Cettinje to that of
Podgoritza, and there I made his acquaintance. He had not received a
penny of his pay for forty months, and was in rags and shoeless in
the depth of winter, when I knew him. I bought him some shoes and
second-hand clothes, and interested the Prince in his case, so that
finally he was given a place on the staff and regular pay. The
gratitude of the poor fellow was embarrassing. He begged me to take
him as a body servant, declaring himself ready to go with me to the
world's end, and I could hardly make him understand that a servant
would be a burden to me which I could not afford. He said to one of
the Montenegrin officers, "When I say my prayers for myself I always
ask God to be good to that English gentleman." As with most of the men
of his race whom I have made the acquaintance of, his native faculties
were of a high order. The Albanians are quick, ingenious, and
industrious, and are the best workmen in the finer industrial arts of
the Balkans, gold and silver workers of remarkable skill, dividing
the blacksmithing with the gypsy, but the best and indeed the only
armorers of that world. We had a number of them in the camp at
Niksich, refugees from the tribes on our frontier, and I found them
most interesting companions, generally speaking Italian and Serb as
well as their own dialects. Their conservatism is something almost
inexplicable. A friend who had campaigned with them told me that when
they sacked a village their first quest was always for old iron, which
they valued more than gold and silver, an estimation which can only
be the heredity of an age when iron was the article of the highest
utility, for now it is easy of acquisition everywhere about their
country. They reckon their ancestry from the mother, and when my
Cretan cavass, Hadji Houssein, spoke of his home, it was always as his
"mother's house."

Niksich settled under Montenegrin rule, and order established, the
Prince moved his headquarters to Bilek, a fortress which commanded the
roads from Ragusa to the interior of Herzegovina, and whence he could
dominate all the southern sections of that province, protecting his
frontier. There was, as usual, no road for wheels, only a rough
bridle-path, and the mobility of the Montenegrins under those
conditions was remarkable. They carried the thirty-two-pound
breech-loaders on fir poles run through the guns and supported on the
men's shoulders, faster than our horses could walk, and the artillery
rapidly distanced the staff and _corps diplomatique_, not even a rear
guard remaining with us. In company with one of the aides I rode on
under the impression that headquarters were behind us, until we got
lost in the labyrinth of paths running about the forest, and we lay
down under a tree to rest and wait for the staff to overtake us. Here
one of the perianiks found us and brought us to the Prince, who had
gone ahead on a blind road, with half a dozen perianiks, two or three
sirdars, and the diplomats. He had tried to show his knowledge of the
country and lost his way; so, coming to a pretty dell which took his
fancy, he ordered a halt and preparations to pass the night, and there
we found him.

We had no tents; the rendezvous for the night had been at Tupani,
several miles from where we were, and the division commanders were
with the men and had no communication with us. We had eaten an early
breakfast, and had brought no food; the only blankets were those of
the Prince. The perianiks gathered wood and made a fire, round which
we gathered, for the night set in sharp, it being the middle of
September in a high mountain country. One of the men had taken the
precaution to put two or three pieces of bread in his haversack before
starting, and this was divided between us, and I made my supper on
this and some wild plums I found growing there. Later the men went out
to forage and found a farmhouse, where they got straw and milk, with a
little sheep's-milk cheese. The proprietress, aroused by the invasion,
came down on us in a veritable visitation, furious at our burning her
wood. She abused the Prince and all the company in the most insulting
terms, and was finally placated only by a liberal compensation for
her wood. I spread my bundle of straw under the wild plum tree, and,
covered by my ulster, tempted sleep. I dozed until the ants found me
out, when, unable to lie quiet under the formication, I got up and
passed hours walking up and down till I was so tired that I almost
fell asleep walking; then I lay down again and slept for an hour, but
the cold and the ants awoke me again, and I spent the rest of the
night by the camp-fire. Meanwhile the army collected at Tupani knew
nothing of the Prince, and, with the early dawn, patrols were sent off
in every direction to beat up the country in search of him. Had the
Turks been on the lookout they might have gobbled up the Prince and
his diplomats without difficulty. Beaching the general rendezvous, I
decided that a more active occupation than following the tactics of
the Prince would suit me better, and I turned my horse's head towards
Niksich again. Another tedious siege like that of Niksich was not
to my taste, and I decided to explore the remoter provinces, and if
possible go to Wassoivich, the only corner of the great Dushanic
empire into which the Turk had never penetrated even for a raid,
where, under the rugged peaks of the Kutchi Kom, survived the best
representatives of ancient custom and life.



CHAPTER XXXIV

MORATSHA


Niksich was full of smallpox and fever, and, as there was a great
abundance of tents captured with the city, I took one, with an extra
baggage-horse and his leader, and started for Moratsha. The wide plain
into which we entered after leaving the hills above Niksich was a
great pasture land, mottled as I never saw land before with mushrooms.
The abundance was extraordinary, but nothing would induce a
Montenegrin to eat one. We halted for our first night on the edge of a
magnificent natural meadow, where a shepherd had built his hut and was
feeding his flocks, and we took advantage of his presence to enjoy
some security against the wolves, pitching our tent in a little grove
close to him and picketing our horses between the tent and his hut. He
and his sons were on guard by turns all night, and the howling of the
tantalized wolves came clearly to us at times with, at long intervals,
the reports of the guns which were fired to keep them at a distance.
They were so near at one time that I got up and fired my fowling-piece
out of the tent, and we kept lights burning all night to prevent them
from attacking our horses. In the course of the night a thunderstorm
came up, and, as we had pitched the tent in a hollow to secure freedom
from stones in our beds, the rain, washed out our tent-pegs, and
the tent came down on us in our sleep. In the morning I sent to the
shepherd for a lamb for breakfast for the men, and he sent us what I
took for a full-grown sheep, so large and fat was it, and I sent it
back, asking for a lamb. He replied that it was a spring lamb, and
the smallest he had. The price of it was about two shillings, and for
another he offered to dress it for us.

From there we sent back the tent, and the following night we slept
at Velje Duboko, at the bottom of one of the ravines which make the
surprises of traveling in that country so great. You proceed along a
rolling plain with no suspicion of the cañon before you, and suddenly
find yourself on the verge of a cliff, looking down into a valley
hundreds of feet deep. Duboko lay by the river's margin fifteen
hundred feet below us, to be reached only by a winding journey of an
hour, though the shepherds carried on conversation from cliff to cliff
above. Here a momentary surprise by the Turkish bands has now and
then been possible, but never an occupation of the country. The
picturesqueness of the valley of the Duboko above the village can be
rarely surpassed by wild landscape, and the whole section, the centre
of which is the stronghold of Moratsha, is of a most interesting
character, utterly unlike the Czernagora proper.

At the convent of Moratsha I found civilization and comfort. The
hegumenos, a Dalmatian by birth, but a patriot of the first quality,
and a very militant Christian, made me most welcome. I had some money
from the English and Russian committees to distribute amongst the
needy wounded and the families of the killed, and the gratitude of the
naïve hearts was touching to a degree I never saw in richer countries.
But what most surprised them was that some of it came from the
English. "Why, English!" exclaimed one old woman, as she started back
when told that I was English; "they are a kind of Turk." All the world
there thought only of the English as the allies of the Turks, but the
hospitality they felt, and could show only in trifles, was unbounded.
I had brought with me a battle-axe I had found in the stores of
Niksich and taken as my part of the booty, but had not noticed that it
had never been sharpened, so that it was useless for cutting. One of
the men at the convent took it, and with a common whetstone (for there
was nothing in the nature of a grindstone in the place) brought it to
razor edge,--a job which a carpenter alone can appreciate; and, when
I tried to give him something for it, he put his hands behind him
and then ran out of sight. A little fellow, not over four years old,
stumbled upstairs to my room to bring me an ear of green maize, the
greatest delicacy they know, and another ran to me in the road to
offer me a huge and fine potato he was nursing with pride. The walnuts
were just then eatable, and one of the men brought me a quantity in
his closed hands so that I should not see what he had, and, emptying
them into my hands, ran away with all speed lest I should give him
something in return. They had been carefully cracked and removed from
the shells, as the most delicate attention he could show me.

The convent is an old-time stronghold, but, dominated on three sides
by hills which look down into its quadrangle, it would be untenable to
rifle fire. It was founded by Stefan Nemanides, son of Bolkan, Prince
of the Zeta (a term which comprised all Montenegro and the Berdas),
and eldest son of Stefan, Emperor of Servia. The Romanesque church,
which occupies the centre of the quadrangle, was built about A.D.
1250, but, having been burnt out by the Turks, it was restored in
1400, the walls being uninjured, and it has never been since damaged;
and the frescoes in the chapel, which are older than those in the
church, are dated 1420. There are some in the church painted later by
a monk from Mount Athos, but decidedly inferior to those in the little
chapel.

I was hardly in shelter at the convent when the rains set in, and for
nearly two weeks I was weather-bound, for in that wild country, with
no roads but the tracks the horses wear in the ground, traveling in
the mud of rainy weather is out of the question. In a lull of actual
downpour we made an excursion to Kolashin, four hours away, passing
through the scene of the defeat of Mehemet Ali Pasha. The hegumenos,
who commanded the half battalion of the monastery, showed me the line
of the fighting, and described the battle, and certainly it was one of
the most extraordinary battles even in the history of this fighting
people.

The Turks came from Kolashin by a road which debouches into the valley
by a steep descent of about five hundred feet, and they had crowned
the heights and planted their battery before the clans could gather,
since these had been scattered along a line of thirty or forty miles,
uncertain what point would be attacked. Voivode Vucovich, hereditary
chief of the Wassoivich, with half a battalion of his own people, was
watching and following the Turks from a distance, and, when he saw
that the movement was intended for the convent, he sent runners
to Peiovich in Drobniak and warned the convent, where was a half
battalion of local forces. The regulars formed on the ridge,
intrenched themselves, and sent the irregulars, Albanians of the tribe
of the Mirdites, down to lead the attack. As soon as these were well
entangled in the intricacies of the valley, seeing only the half
battalion of Moratsha posted in front of them, Vucovich led an attack
down the slope in their rear, getting between them and the regulars,
and the Moratshani made a sortie from the convent, which is inclosed
by a strong wall, and attacked in front. The Albanians fought
desperately for a short time, but, attacked on both sides, though by
forces much inferior in the aggregate to their own, they finally broke
in panic. A large body ran into a ravine, which proved a _cul de sac_,
for the end up which they hoped to escape was so precipitous that few
escaped the infuriated Montenegrins following them, who, when the
fight was over, counted eleven hundred dead. The rest of the Albanians
continued their flight to Kolashin, the panic involving the regulars,
who insisted on returning, and, in spite of all remonstrances of the
officers, went back.

The hegumenos, Mitrofan Banovich, whose name deserves record as well
as any I heard of in this land of heroes, introduced to me the captain
of the Moratsha battalion, who had taken part in the fight. He had
lost his son in it, and of his four hundred men twenty-five had been
killed and forty put _hors de combat_ from wounds which disabled them
from fighting. The Wassoivich had exhausted their ammunition and
the unwounded of the Moratshani were only enough to carry away the
wounded; had the Turkish regulars maintained the attack, there could
have been no further resistance, the way would have been open to take
the Montenegrins about Danilograd in the rear, and Suleiman would have
had a clear course.

The captain told me of one brave Albanian who had fallen wounded from
his horse and taken shelter in a crevice of the rocks, and who had
killed two Montenegrins and wounded a third before he was disposed of
by one of them getting behind him and shooting him through a crevice
in the sheltering rocks. The manner of his death and that of those
of his assailants illustrate the war manners of the Montenegrins so
completely that I was interested in the case more than in other heroic
details of the fight. The Montenegrin makes a question of _amour
propre_ in attacking his enemies face to face and by preference with
the cold steel. Enemies who fall in the general mêlée by rifle-shot
he never considers his "heads;" he claims only those he has killed
in hand-to-hand combat. This Albanian was the standard-bearer of his
clan, i.e. the hereditary chieftain, and to kill him in hand-to-hand
combat was the ambition of the three who attacked him in succession,
the shooting from behind being only a matter of necessity.

I remembered at that moment a correspondence I had had years before
with Virchow, on the Pelasgi, and their probable relation with the
Albanians, whom he regarded as the descendants of the Pelasgi; and,
thinking of his collection of skulls, I asked the captain if he knew
the spot where the body of the Albanian lay, and if the bones were
still there, and when he assured me that they were where he fell, I
offered him two florins to bring me the skull, which he did. It was of
a man in the prime of life, with the sutures scarcely closed, and only
two teeth lacking, and none unsound, and I sent it on to the great
craniologist, who replied with warm thanks. The skull, he said, was
the finest for intellectual development in his collection, and he read
a paper on it before the Imperial German Academy. He was so impressed
by its character that he was disposed to consider it as an exceptional
skull, and wrote to one of the Austrian officers in Montenegro to ask
him to make an effort to send some more, and these, though not,
like that of the standard-bearer, of unquestionably pure Albanian
stock,--for the aristocracy never intermarry with any other blood than
that of their class and race,--all possessed the same intellectual
characteristics, justifying him in placing the Albanian at the head of
the races of Europe for intellectual capacity.

We reconnoitred Kolashin, and found it an almost open fortress, which
was commanded by hills around, and so near that it could be made
untenable by rifle fire, which could have been poured in from both
sides of the river that ran by it, which, though then a swollen
torrent, was under ordinary conditions fordable anywhere. The Turks
seemed indisposed to provoke an exchange of shots, and did not trouble
us, though we went within easy rifle-shot inspecting the works through
my field-glass, and, before leaving, took our luncheon in full sight
of the garrison, who were working on some trenches intended for
protection from a _coup de main_ from the river. I made a sketch
of the fortress, and we withdrew tranquilly. In fact, the Turkish
garrisons, so far as my own experience went, were never disposed to
begin a fight, and if not molested they never annoyed us by firing on
us. The poor fellows only wanted to be left alone. They were, when
prisoners, the most amiable people possible, and at one time I saw
many in Cettinje, prisoners taken in the fights about Podgoritza,
enjoying the freedom of the place and making themselves useful to the
women, bringing wood and water, and as inoffensive as children. Many
of them, probably young men without domestic ties, refused to return
when the treaty of peace was signed, but, with a docility which was as
remarkable as their obedience under the atrocious treatment of their
own government, only asked for their bread and toleration. I have seen
in Cettinje, when the men were all on the frontier fighting, Turkish
prisoners enough to take possession of the place if they had been
disposed to rise and make a fight with sticks and stones. This was one
of the most touching phases of that curious war, a warfare such as the
world will hardly see again.

The day after our trip to Kolashin the rain set in again, and we
passed nearly a fortnight more at the convent before the weather broke
and I was able to set out, taking with me a gang of men to make the
roads passable for my horse, so much had the rains wrought havoc with
the face of the land. The flooded state of the country and unfordable
rivers forbade the trip to Wassoivich, and I was obliged, to my great
regret, to relinquish it and to go back to Cettinje, having lost
nearly three weeks in the rain at Moratsha. Returning by a different
route from that by which I came, I crossed the Duboko at a point much
lower down than that of my first striking it, where it makes the most
magnificent trout stream I have ever seen. The trout from it feed
the Moratsha and the Lake of Scutari. In the Duboko they are caught,
according to the statement of a native of the district, as heavy as
forty pounds; and Mr. Green, the English consul at Scutari, told me
that they were sometimes caught much larger in the lake. There were
plenty in the Zeta at Niksich and at Danilograd, and I saw one
brought to the Prince's tent one day, during the siege, which weighed
twenty-two pounds, shot by one of the men, for they refused all kinds
of bait, and were only taken by shooting or the net; or, horrible to
relate, by dynamite, the ruinous effects of which on the population of
the river the Prince was too easygoing to forbid. I have seen one of
the spring basins, from which the Zeta takes its rise, carpeted by
tiny trout and other fishes, killed by the explosions of dynamite,
which rarely killed, but only stunned, the larger fish, of which few
were retrieved even when stunned or killed. I one day remonstrated
indignantly with the Prince for this barbarous butchery, and told him
that if he permitted his men to carry it on his son would reign in a
fishless country, and he promised to forbid it; but the matter passed
from his memory in a day. The Duboko was a safe nursery for the fry,
for it was such a torrent that dynamite was useless, since it would
have been impossible to retrieve a fish if killed.

Our road lay through the district of Rovtcha, which is considered the
poorest for the agriculturist in all the Berdas. It is very hilly, and
the rock is, where we passed, a rotten slate which the rains and the
torrents cut away rapidly, carrying the alluvium down to the plains
and Lake of Scutari. Digging and bridging, we reached, early in the
afternoon, the village of Gornje-Rovtcha, and were then informed that
it would be impossible to reach another habitation that day, and that
the road passed through an immense forest infested by wolves, in which
we should be compelled to sleep if we held on. This I had no desire to
try, remembering our experience with the shepherds on the first night
out from Niksich. So we passed the hours to the dark in shooting at
a mark, and went to bed early. The house which was selected to be
honored by my repose, the best in the village, was of one room, from
which the animals were excluded, with the usual floor of beaten earth.
A huge bedstead of small fir poles, the only important piece of
furniture in it, was assigned to me, and the family--all women and
children--spread their rugs on the ground. After eating a supper
brought from the convent, and some potatoes, the only provision,
except a little coarse maize bread which the house afforded, we went
to bed. The bedstead was abundantly provided with straw, but nought
beside, and the fleas routed me from my first sleep and compelled me
to evacuate the premises. I took my mattress and went out where my
pony was picketed, and, spreading it in his lee, to break the cold
north wind fresh from the mountain, I tried to sleep.

The poor horse had supped miserably; a little barley from the convent
and some musty hay furnished by the woman of the house, but which even
in his hunger he refused to eat, left him ill-compensated for a hard
day's walk, and he turned his head to me now and then with a coaxing
whinney which was as plain a supplication for something to eat as I
could have made myself, but the only effect of which was to break my
doze as soon as begun, until I lost my patience with him, and gave him
a sound box on the ear, when he turned his head from me, and lay down
again. It made my heart ache to be unkind to him, for he was the
gentlest and most serviceable friend I had in Montenegro, but I could
get nothing to give him if I had paid a guinea the pound for it, and
he would not let me sleep. The intelligent brute felt what language
could not tell him, and ceased his complaint, though the blow I gave
him would hardly have killed a gad-fly on his hair; but it sufficed,
and gave me more discomfort than him, for I did not cease to reproach
myself for the ungrateful return for his fidelity. But I slept no
more, and watched the stars in their courses till the dawn.

A glass of milk and a crust of the bread I had brought from
the convent made my breakfast, and we pushed on to our next
stopping-place, the convent of Piperski Celia. The road lay for the
first hour through a forest of beeches and firs, the former the
finest, as timber, I ever saw--straight trunks, thirty or forty feet
to the first limb; in some places the beech being the exclusive wood,
and in others the fir, but all a luxuriant growth. Properly worked,
this forest would have made a great revenue for the principality.
Before the war it had been leased to a French company, and many trees
were lying in all stages of preparation for rafting down the Moratsha.
This was succeeded by a forest entirely of firs, also splendid trees,
and then we came into a region which was beyond all my experience or
imagination,--a wide and barren waste of rock, gray, glistening in
the now burning sun, and without a trace of vegetation that could be
recognized by the casual vision. There was no soil, and apparently
never had been any, and the silvery-gray of the lichenous limestone
blinded one with its glare in the sunlight. Midway in it we came on an
old Roman road, one of the finest pieces of antique engineering I ever
saw. In some places it was cut out of the solid rock like a dry canal,
the banks being nearly as high as our heads, and the ruts of the
chariot wheels were still there to show that the utter barrenness of
the land had existed the same from ancient time. It was probably the
great road from Dyrrachium to the upper Danube.

We reached the convent too late to get to Danilograd that night,
considering the condition of the roads, and I asked for shelter for
the night. Here, for the first time in my experience with Orthodox
convents, lodgings were refused me by the old hegumenos, and I
instantly ordered the horses to be loaded again, without attempting to
soften his surliness. A few minutes' talk with the captain who was
my escort showed him that I was a person too much in favor with the
Prince to be treated with such derision, and he came to offer me a
place to spread my mattress on a balcony exposed to the south wind and
the rain; then, having begun to relent, he went further, and offered
me a room, which I refused, and finally his own bed; but even that did
not break my inflexible resentment. When he became pathetic in his
repentance, however, I accepted a balcony whence I could look down on
the fortress of Spuz, within easy range of its sleeping batteries; and
then he offered me a supper, which I accepted, and we made peace. In
the morning he had become humanized, and he gave me breakfast and
showed me the body of St. Stephen, which is kept here in great
reverence (not the proto-martyr, but a Montenegrin of the same name).
The saint lay in state in a magnificent coffin, as if embalmed, and in
his hand was an old and time-yellowed embroidered handkerchief which
looked as if it might have been there a century or two. Remembering a
dear friend in the Orthodox church to whom the relics of its saints
were precious, I asked the hegumenos to sell me this handkerchief. He
replied that he dared not take it, but if I had the courage to do so
he would not prevent me, so I took the relic and put a twenty franc
piece in the treasury of the convent, and went my way.

I found the Prince in his villa at Orealuk, contemplating new
movements in a distant future, and, there being evidently nothing to
keep me there, I decided to go back to Cettinje and await what was
evidently the operation in view,--the movement on Antivari. My
poor little pony like myself, only half fed for days, was not in a
condition for rapid travel, and, though we pushed on in the rain,
which began again, as well as we could, when we reached Rieka it was
nearly sunset. Finding no preparation in the little house, our usual
shelter there, for any guest, after giving the horse what small ration
the village afforded, I resumed the journey at sunset. The horse had
come the last few miles very heavily; I had been in the saddle twelve
to fourteen hours each of the last two days, and the food I could get
for him was insufficient even for a Herzegovinian mountain pony, so
that it was hard work to get him to a pace above a slow walk as we
approached Rieka; but when we left the place he seemed to realize that
he had a work of necessity before him, and that the light would not
see him through it, and he showed that he understood the case, for he
needed neither spur nor whip to make his best pace over the very rough
and difficult road. In spite of his best efforts, the darkness fell on
us half way to Cettinje, with rain and a fog which made it impossible
to see the way before me, or even to see the horse's ears.

There was on that road, on the mountain which frames on that side
the plain of Cettinje, a passage of the bridle-path which even the
Montenegrins, used to it, passed always on foot; a sharp ridge, almost
an _arête_ of rock, which carries a path hardly wide enough for two
horses to pass each other on it, and on each side of which the rock
falls away in a steep precipice high enough to leave no hope of
survival from a fall down it. If I had dismounted I could not have
seen the path before me; to stop and pass the night there, drenched
and cold as I was, would have been fatal, for we were in the early
cold of autumn in a high country; there was nothing for it but to
trust to the horse, and I threw the bridle on his neck and left him
to himself. A false step was certain death for us both, but I had no
choice. He picked his way as if he were walking amongst eggs, slowly
but surely, and we descended into the plain of Cettinje at 10 P.M.
without a slip or an attempt on my part to interfere with the
discretion of my pony. If I had possessed even an acre of pasture or
a settled home where I could have turned out that good beast for the
rest of his days, I should never have allowed him to go to another
owner, for I knew that I owed him my life.

Of the following campaign, which resulted in the taking of Antivari
and Dulcigno, I saw nothing. The jealousy of Jonine had been so
excited by my always forestalling him with the news of the war, that
he persuaded the Prince not to advise me of the movement; so, while I
was waiting at Cettinje for the promised summons to join the staff,
the army moved across the country to Rieka secretly, and the first
warning we had of the movement was the firing of guns at Antivari. As
the Prince gave me no further thought, I waited comfortably, "at mine
ease in mine inn," for diplomacy to tie the ends of the well-spun out
controversy. Fighting was practically over and my campaign ended.



CHAPTER XXXV

THE LEVANT AGAIN


The end of the official war and the hopelessness of seeking to
reestablish myself in a literary career in London, as well as the
desire of my wife to try a residence in a climate and surroundings
more attractive than those of the Isle of Wight--the fact, too, of
being without local ties--led to the determination to find a residence
for a time abroad, and the family came to meet me at Turin, _en route_
for Corfu, where we decided to pass the winter. If I had hoped to
escape political agitation there, I was mistaken. The Greeks had hung
fire in joining in the Balkan movement, hoping that the powers would
include them in the arrangements for a final settlement of the Eastern
question. When, in the negotiations which accompanied the conclusion
of peace, Greece found that she was ignored, the inflammable public
opinion broke out in a violent demonstration against the treaty of
peace. When the Russian government had decided to declare war, it
proposed to Greece that if a Greek army were sent across the frontiers
for even a fruitless attack on Turkey when that of Russia entered
on the other side, Greece should participate in the benefits of the
settlement. Greece did nothing, and the offer was renewed at a later
period, when the war was evidently tending to the complete triumph
of Russia, but still there was no action at Athens, and Greece was
consequently ignored by Russia when the treaty was negotiated.

Desperate at this delusion of all their hopes, the Greeks demanded
that the invasion of Epirus and Thessaly should be at once undertaken,
the semblance of an army corps was formed for the latter destination,
and the insurrectionary committees organized (if the word can be
applied to the huddling together of a mass of volunteers without
organization) the invasion of Epirus from the coast. A few hundred men
of many nations, amongst whom were a number of gallant Italians, full
of Hellenic enthusiasm, were landed at Aghia Saranda, a port opposite
Corfu and in sight of the city, a scant allowance of food and
ammunition was thrown on shore with them, and the steamer which
brought them steamed away, leaving them to their fate, which was to be
butchered under the eyes of the spectators at Corfu, looking on
with horror. Only a few of the hapless volunteers escaped under the
guidance of one of the Greeks, who knew the country and guided a party
through the mountains to the Gulf of Corinth, the rest being killed
almost without resistance, no provision for their escape by sea having
been thought of. At the other extremity of the frontier the same
tactics were successful in raising a brief insurrection about
Volo, which collapsed after a few days' fighting, during which a
correspondent of the "Times," Mr. Ogle, was killed by the Turkish
troops. The Greek ministry, in the dilemma of acting or being left out
of the settlement, decided that the army to cross the frontier should
be commanded by the King in person, but the King so earnestly declined
the honor put upon him that the plan was abandoned. One of the
ministers assured me that the King with tears in his eyes begged to be
excused from going. He had never been popular in the country, and this
failure to realize a step in the Panhellenic policy made him for
the time the object of all the popular indignation. But he probably
realized that nothing was ready for such a movement and that it was
certain to end in disaster.

The real cause of failure was in the general indifference to all
preparation, in which the government was supported by the nation. The
overweening confidence in themselves, which was so great as to permit
them to believe that without any organization or discipline they were
more than a match for the Turkish army, has always been their fatal
weakness. One of the leaders of the war party said to me a little
later, "The Greeks are so clever that they do not need to be trained;
they can fight without it well enough to beat the Turks." We saw at
Corfu how ill-prepared they were, for the classes were called out to
go to the frontier of Epirus, and those of Corfu marched through the
streets to the place of embarkation weeping as if they went to
death. This delusion as to their natural military capacity was never
dispelled until the later disaster in Thessaly. The army did in fact
cross the frontier, but within forty-eight hours they were obliged to
return to Greek territory for want of provisions--the commissariat had
been forgotten!

Outside of political agitation we found living in Corfu delightful,
and I question if there is, within the limits of the north temperate
zone, any more delightful winter residence than was that of Corfu in
the period we were there. What remained of the advanced civilization
of the English garrison period gave the island a distinct advantage
over all the other Greek isles, and even over Crete with its superior
natural advantages. Greek enterprise and civilization are so far
superior to that found anywhere in the Turkish territory that they
are capable of maintaining the substantial progress which the English
occupation achieved in Corfu; and, though we found the peasantry not
largely inoculated by the fever of progress, the better classes of the
city population succeed in supporting the better condition attained
to. But the obstinacy of the conservatism retained by the agricultural
classes is equal to that in the least frequented islands of the
Aegean. A relative, on whose estate we passed a part of the winter,
remote from the city of Corfu, had tried to introduce improvements
in the culture of his olives; but the laborers not only refused to
coöperate with him, but opposed the introduction of laborers who would
lend themselves to his operations. As the olives had been gathered in
the days of Nausicaa they should be gathered still, and so should the
oil be made, and he was obliged to yield. But as we from the west
suffer not a little from over-civilization and artifice, it is
grateful to repose the eyes and the aesthetic sense in a land
where there still remains something of the antique simplicity and
picturesque uncouthness, and the winter in Scheria remains one of the
grateful memories of a wandering life.

Leaving Corfu with freedom from any local obligations, and a keen
enjoyment of the change from life in England, we decided to establish
ourselves for a time in Florence, where we passed the whole of the
summer. In October a son was born to us, and we took a house and
furnished it. I took a studio, too, and returned to painting, as well
as the long interval permitted me to gather up the threads of habit.
Art is not to be followed in that way, and there is no cause for
surprise, nor, perhaps, for regret, that literature had the stronger
hold on my mind; and that, between the "Times," letters for which were
provoked by so many themes of interest to the English public, and
archaeology, especially the study of the prehistoric monuments of
central Italy, so important in their yet hardly determined relations
to the classical world, the pencil found less attraction than the pen.
To my wife, whose enjoyment of Italian art was intense, Florence
was an ideal residence; and on some accounts I still regret the
circumstances which drove us out of the lily city,--to me still the
most desirable residence I have ever known, when one is able to adapt
one's self to the life there. After the first summer we found the
Italian Alps one of the most delectable of retreats, Cadore and
Auronzo, with Cortina and Landro,--all places full of picturesque and
natural fascination. And now, as the strength wanes and we live more
in memory than in act, the recollection of the summers passed in the
land of Titian remains a gallery of the most delightful pictures.

At Cortina I met and first knew Browning, who, with his sister
Sariana, our old and dear friend, came to stay at the inn where we
were. I am not much inclined to reckon intellectual greatness as a
personal charm, for experience has shown me that the relation is very
remote; but Browning always impressed me--and then and after I saw a
good deal of him--as one of the healthiest and most robust minds I
have ever known, sound to the core, and with an almost unlimited
intellectual vitality and an individuality which nothing could
infringe on, but which a singular sensitiveness towards others
prevented from ever wounding even the most morbid sensibility; a
strong man armed in the completest defensive armor, but with no
aggressive quality. His was a nature of utter sincerity, and what had
seemed to me, reading his poetry before knowing him, to be more or
less an affectation of obscurity, a cultivation of the cryptic sense,
I found to be the pure expression of his individuality. He made short
cuts to the heart of his theme, perhaps more unconscious than uncaring
that his line of approach could not be followed by his general
readers, as a mathematician leaves a large hiatus in his
demonstration, seeing the result the less experienced must work out
step by step.

At Cortina, too, I saw again Gladstone, late in the summer, when the
place was abandoned by the general crowd. I had begun a study of
running water, over which I lingered as long as the weather permitted,
when he came with Mrs. Gladstone and his son Herbert and daughter
Helen. The old man was full of physical and mental energy, and we had
several moderate climbs in the mountains of the vicinity. They had
not come out to be together as at home, and each took generally
a different walk. Gladstone was a good walker, and talked by the
way,--which not all good walkers can do,--but I do not remember his
ever talking of himself; and in this he was like Ruskin,--he assumed
himself as an element in the situation, and thought no more about it;
never in our conversations obtruding his views as of more importance
than the conversation demanded, and never opinionated, not even
dogmatic, but always inquiring, and more desirous of hearing of the
things that had interested him than of expressing his own views about
them. It was a moment in which, for some reason I do not now recall,
Beaconsfield was much in evidence, and we discussed him on one of
our walks; on his part with the most dispassionate appreciation and
kindness of manner. I had said of his great rival that he had struck a
blow at the prestige of the English aristocracy, from which it would
never recover, and he asked with a quickened interest what that might
be, and when I replied that it was by his putting himself at the head
of it, he thought a moment and replied, nodding his head, "That is
true."

He was very fond of talking with the people of the valley, who are
Italians, and his Italian was better than one is accustomed to hear
from English people, even from those who live in Italy. We passed a
fountain one day, at which a washerwoman was washing her linen, and he
stopped to talk to her, and asked her, among other questions, if she
had always been a washerwoman. No, she replied, she had been a _bália_
(nurse) once. He was struck by her pronunciation of the word _bália_
and walked on; but presently he said, "I thought that that word
was pronounced _balía_" and, when I explained that there were two
words--_bália_ which meant a nurse, and _balía_, which came from the
same root as our "bailiff," and meant a charge, custody,--he seemed
annoyed, and made no more remarks during the continuation of our
climb. It was evident that he was vexed, not at me, who corrected
him, but at his not having known the trivial detail of a language
efficiency in which he prided himself on. It was the only foible I
detected in him. He was very much interested in America, and asked
many questions about our politics. Two things, he said, in the future
of America, seemed to him ominous of evil: the condition of our civil
service, and the amount of our Western lands going into mortmain
through the gifts to the great railway systems.

It would be, perhaps, unjustifiable to form a firm opinion on a man of
Gladstone's calibre from the few days of our intercourse, even in
the freedom and openness of mind of a mountain walk, politics and
Parliament forgotten; but the final impression he gave me was that of
a man, on the whole, immensely greater than I had taken him to be, but
with conflicting elements of greatness which neutralized each other to
a certain extent. He had in him the Platonist, the Statesman, and the
Theologian, of each enough for an ordinary man, and one crowded the
other in action. The Platonist crowded the Statesman, and, at certain
dangerous moments, the broad humanitarian feeling overlooked the
practical dangers of the critical juncture in which he had to act. His
idealism took off the point of his statecraft, and what has always
seemed, and still seems, to me his aberration in the artificial
problems of our ecclesiastical theology, is the only thing I cannot
yet understand in so great a man.

That winter I had a commission from the "Century" (then "Scribner's")
to make an archaeological and literary venture in Greek waters, the
results of which in a series of papers in the magazine were afterwards
published in a volume entitled "On the Track of Ulysses."

Accompanied by Mr. H.M. Paget, the artist, I went to Corfu and hired
the Kestrel, my old friend of the Cretan days, and I decided to follow
the track of Ulysses in his return to Ithaca from Troy. Beginning at
Santa Maura we examined every point in the Ionian Islands to which
any illusion is made in the "Odyssey" as far as Cerigo and Cerigotto,
meeting a storm off the former island which might well have ended our
trip. A well-found Greek brig foundered only a short distance from us
in the gale, and we drifted all day and till early in the morning of
the day following, when we managed to make the port of Cerigo, during
which time we could neither eat a meal nor even get a cup of coffee.
Paget made a capital sailor, and, though the old Maltese captain of
former days was dead, his two sons, lads then, were dexterous sailors
in the rough-and-ready, rule-of-thumb manner of the Levantine boatman,
knowing nothing of navigation and little more of geography than
Ulysses himself. We had no charts, and only a very primitive compass,
but we all had the antique love of adventure and indifference to
danger. Leaving Cerigotto, an island out of the line of traditional or
historic interest, but, curious for its fine and extensive Pelasgic
remains, we laid our course for Crete, starting with the breeze that
at nightfall generally blows towards the land, which was visible from
where we took our departure, and counted on being at Canea with the
morning.

But the Aegean is a tricky sea, and furnishes many surprises, as St.
Paul knew, and, when not more than ten miles from the shelter of the
Cretan coast, it came on to blow from the southwest with such violence
that we were unable to beat up to the shelter of the Cretan highlands,
and under a mere rag of canvas had to run before the wind, wherever it
might drive us. I was the only one on board who knew anything of the
Archipelago, and I had to decide the course, which it was possible
to vary only a point or two either way, for the yacht would only run
free, or, under favorable weather, with a beam wind. I had to guess
our course, which from my knowledge of the islands I saw could only be
directly to Milo, about forty miles away. If we hit the harbor, well
and good, for it gives excellent shelter in all weather, but if we
missed it we had two chances--to find an opening between the islands
and reefs, or to hit a lee shore and go on it, for there was no hope
of clawing off. I set the course, left the boys in charge, and went to
bed. The boat was jumping through the sea with a shock at each wave
she struck, as if she had leaped out of the water, and it seemed as if
she must be showing her keel with each jump. I awoke in the night and,
getting out of my berth to take a look outside, put my feet in the
water which had risen to cover the cabin floor. All hands at the pumps
kept it down, but it was clear that the old craft, nearly twenty years
older than when I first saw her, was no longer seaworthy, and we
had no hope of the weather lifting, for these southwesterly gales
generally blow at least a day. I went back to bed again, for there was
nothing to be done but wait on fortune, and be glad that we should
make Milo by daylight.

My previsions justified themselves, for in the course of the afternoon
we made the entrance to the harbor, and ran in before such a sea as I
never saw in those waters before. The waves broke against the great
pillar of rock that stands in the entrance of the harbor, sending
the spray to its very summit, and as we ran to the anchorage off the
little port the whole population poured down to see the arrival,
wondering what sent the tiny craft out in such weather. The old pilot
said that it had been the worst gale of forty years, which I could
well believe. The weather having abated, we ran over to Crete, where
I found the island laboring with reforms, a constitution, and a
Christian governor, in the person of my old friend Photiades Pasha. We
were invited to dine at the Konak, and of the company was Edhem Pasha,
a charming, intelligent, and thoroughly civilized Turk, by far the
most liberal and progressive of his race I had met, with the single
exception of A'ali Pasha. We played at "Admiration" that evening, a
game which puts a series of questions as to the qualities one admires.
In reply to the question "What kind of courage do you admire?" the
pasha, turning to me, replied, "I admire the courage of that gentleman
in going to sea in so small a boat in such weather," and he admitted
laughingly that his courage was not at that level.

I found in the place of my old friend Dickson, consul for England and
colleague of the Cretan days, since dead, Humphrey Sandwith, a noble
and faithful representative of the dignity and humanity of his
nation, and for many years subsequently my intimate friend, who has
disappeared while I write from the lessening list of living friends,
but who will ever keep his place in my regards as a noble, just, and
humane representative of his race, as of his government. In the years
of the subsequent Cretan difficulties, Sandwith was always the good
and wise friend of the islanders. It is good to remember such a
representation of the power and dignity of England in lands where his
colleagues have not always honored England or humanity, and I shall
always think of Sandwith with greater respect for his nation.

The results of the "Century" expedition were nothing in respect of
excavation, and the records of the tracing of the route of the Great
Ithacan were written out in the Dolomites in the course of the summer.
We found that excavation was a matter beyond achievement with the
limited funds at my disposal, but Photiades was munificent in promises
of support if I wished to return for serious undertaking in that
direction. In the following winter I was accordingly requested to take
charge, for the American Archaeological Institute, of an expedition
for research and if possible for excavation. Trusting to the
benevolent promises of the pasha, I accepted the mission. He renewed
his assurances of aid, and showed me the greatest cordiality and
benevolence, invited me to dinner and to spend the evening, and
treated me generally with a friendliness which astonished the old
Turkish element, who considered me the devil of the island. (In fact,
my appearance was considered the omen of trouble, and the Mussulmans
said when they saw me, "Are we going to have another war?") It was
easy to see, however, that the elements of trouble in the island had
not been eliminated by the appointment of a Christian governor or the
concessions which had been made to the Christian majority. So long as
the power of rendering ineffective any reforms, or blocking the way
to progress of the higher civilization of the island, remained at
Constantinople, the Turkish minority in the island would retain their
faculty of making the concessions to the majority fallacious.

Photiades Pasha, an amiable and very intelligent man, recognized the
dominant fact of his position to be the necessity of keeping the favor
of the Mussulman oligarchy at the capital, and he could not offend
the Mussulmans of the island by even a maintenance of equal justice
between the two religions. He was therefore obliged to satisfy
the leaders of the Christian agitators by the concession of minor
advantages in the local conflicts, oftener of Christian against
Christian than of the same against the Turk, and finally he was
obliged to resort to the inciting of feud and jealousy between the
clans, villages, and provinces in the island, to keep them from
uniting against him. He found it convenient to employ me as a tub to
the whale, and, having first excited the insular jealousy against
archaeological intrusion by foreigners, and inducing his clique of
subordinate intriguers to oppose my operations, though the Christian
population in general were in favor of permitting me to excavate
wherever I liked, he made them the concession of refusing me the
permission I sought. Therefore, while he promised me all things and
urged me to go at once to select my locality, he wrote to the Porte
advising the refusal of the firman, which had been applied for
directly by the Institute, through the minister at Constantinople.

My assistant, Mr. Haynes, who had been sent by the Institute to take
his first lessons in archaeology and photography, having arrived, we
went to Candia to select our site. We decided on attacking a ruin on
the acropolis of Gnossus, already partially exposed by the searches
of local diggers for antiques. It had a curiously labyrinthine
appearance, and on the stones I found and described the first
discovered of the characters whose nature has since been made the
subject of the researches of Mr. Evans. I made an agreement with the
Turkish proprietor of the land, and prepared to set to work when the
firman should arrive. After more than one letter from Photiades,
assuring me in unqualified terms that I might confidently count on the
reception of the firman, I received a communication from the minister
at Constantinople, that on the advice of Photiades Pasha the firman
was refused. I had selected as the alternative locality the cave known
as the burial-place of Zeus, on the summit of Mount Yuctas, not
far from Gnossus, in the excavation of which I am convinced that
archaeology will one day receive great light on early Cretan myth. The
importance of the locality in the prehistoric research in which Crete
is one of the most important sections of our field of study, will,
I am convinced, one day justify my anxiety to attack it; and the
subsequent discoveries, so important, made by Halbherr in the
companion cave on Mount Ida, where Zeus was believed to have been
hidden and nursed, confirm my conviction of the value of the evidence
still hidden on Yuctas.

Debarred from carrying out the purpose of my expedition, I contented
myself with making such a survey of that part of the island as should
serve the Institute for another attempt when the artificial obstacles
should be removed; and I was on the point of visiting Gortyna when
troubles broke out, initiated by the murder of two Mussulmans at
Gortyna, revenged by the murder of Christians at Candia, and there
was nothing to be done but to get back to civilization. From the
Mussulmans of the island I had less hostility to endure than from the
more influential of the Christian Cretans, with whom the dominant
passion of life seemed to be that of intrigue, and with whose
mendacity and unscrupulousness I could not contend.

I had a curious instance of the honesty of the Mussulman in a dealer
in bricabrac, embroideries, and stuffs with whom I used to deal at
Candia. Arapi Mehmet, as he was called, i.e. Mahommed the Arabian, was
a man in whom no religious fanaticism disturbed his relations with his
fellow-men; no English agnostic could be more liberal, and we often
had dealings in which his honesty was evident. On one of the last
visits I made to his shop I looked at two embroidered cushion covers
which I wanted to purchase, but the price he put on them made it
out of the question, and as he refused to take less I gave up the
bargaining, and he called for the coffee. While we were drinking it
and conversing of other matters, I said to him, "Arapi, why do you ask
such absurd prices? You know that the cushions are not worth so much."
"Oh," he replied, "you are rich and can afford it." "What makes you
think I am rich?" I asked. "You travel about and see the world, and
take your pleasure," he said. "But I am not rich," I said; "I am a
workingman; I do not travel for pleasure, but to earn my living. I am
a scribe, and am paid for what I write, and what I earn is all I
have to live on. I have no property." "Is that true?" he asked me,
earnestly, looking me in the eyes. "That is quite true; I have nothing
but what I earn," I replied; "I make the living of my family in this
way. If I do not write we have no bread." The cushions had meanwhile
been sent back to his house, as he kept all his fine goods there; and,
without another word to me, he shouted to his shop boy to go and get
them, and, when brought, he threw them to me, saying, "Take them and
give me what you like."

I always found that the Mussulman merchants were more trustworthy in
their dealings with me than the Christians, and, though there was, as
a matter of course, at first an amount of bargaining and beating down
the prices, which was expected, they never attempted to deceive me
in the quality of the goods, and they often called my attention to
articles of artistic or archaeological value, which were cheap, and
when they came to know me well they gave me, at the outset, the lowest
price they could take, while it never happened with a Christian
shopman in Crete that I was treated with frankness or moderation. The
next time I went back to Candia, Arapi was dead.

Returning to Canea, my archaeological mission being abortive, I was
told by the Christian secretary of the pasha that the difficulty had
been that I had not offered to give to His Excellency the coins that
might be found in the excavations, and that if I did this I might hope
for a firman. As it was not in my power to give what, by the agreement
arrived at with the proprietor of the soil, had been definitely
disposed of, half to him and the other half to the museums of the
island, and as the troubles had begun, there was nothing more to be
done, and I made a flying trip to some parts of the island which I had
not seen. Of this, the passage through the valley of Enneochoria
(the nine villages) will remain in my memory as the most delightful
pastoral landscape I have ever seen, and the ideal of Greek pastoral
poetry. A beautiful brook, to the perennial flow of whose waters the
abundant water-cresses testified, which is a very rare thing in an
Aegean scene, meandered amongst mingled sycamores and olives, and gave
freshness to glades where the sheep fed under the keepership of the
antique-mannered shepherd lads and lasses; and in the opening of the
bordering trees we saw the far-off and arid mountains, rugged and
picturesque peaks. The Cretan summer for three or four months is
rainless, and a valley where the vegetation is fed by the springs so
abundantly as to sustain a perpetual flora is rarely to be met in
one's travels there. I saw many new flowers there, and amongst them
a perfectly white primrose, in every other respect like the common
flower of the English hedgerows. The scenery had that attractive
aspect which can be found only where immemorial culture, without
excessive invasion of the axe, has left nature in the undiminished
possession of her chief beauties, without a trace of the savage
wildness--a nature which hints at art. It was classic without being
formal, but no description can give an idea of the charm of it in
contrast with the general aridity of the Cretan landscape.

As we rode through the villages we found the population animated by
that joyous hospitality which belongs to an antique tradition, to
which a stranger guest is something which the gods have sent, and
sent rarely so that no tourist weariness had worn out the welcome.
Something of the welcome was, no doubt, due to the reputation I had
acquired in former times as a friend of the Christians of the island,
but I found that in Crete, where the invasion of the foreign element
had been at a minimum and the people were most conservative, ancient
usages and ancient hospitality had retained all their force, as, to
a lesser extent, I had found them in the Peloponnesus, while in
continental Greece I never found hospitality in any form. The Cretans
are probably the purest remnant of the antique race which resulted
from the mixture of Pelasgian, Dorian, Achaian, Ionian, and the best
representative of the antique intellect.

It was almost impossible to travel in the interior of the island,
where the Christian element still held its own unmixed, without coming
in contact with remnants of the most ancient superstitions. In one
place my guide pointed out to me a cave where Janni the shepherd one
day gathered his sheep in the midday heats to fiddle to them, when
there came out of the sea a band of Nereids, who begged him to play
for their dancing. Janni obeyed and lost his heart to one of the sea
damsels, and, sorely smitten, went to a wise woman to know what he
should do to win her, and was told that he must boldly seize her in
the whirl of the dance and hold her, no matter what happened. He
followed the direction, and though the nymph changed shape many times
he kept his hold and she submitted to him and they were married. In
process of time she bore a child, but all the while she had never
spoken a word. The wise woman, consulted again, told Janni to take the
child and pretend to lay it on the fire, when his wife would speak. He
obeyed again, but made a slip, and the child, falling into the fire,
was burned to death, whereupon the wife fled to the sea and was never
seen again. This was told me in all seriousness as of a contemporary
event, and was evidently held as history. I bought from a peasant one
of the well-known three-sided prisms with archaic intaglios of animals
on the faces, and had the curiosity to inquire the virtues of it, for
I was told that it was greatly valued and had been worn by his wife,
who reluctantly gave it up. He replied that it had the power of
preventing the mother's milk from failing prematurely.

We passed through Selinos, where the riflers of the antique necropolis
brought me quantities of glass found in the graves, and a few bronze
and gold ornaments; and when I had loaded myself and my attendants
with all the glass we could safely carry, the people begged me still
to buy, if only for a piastre each piece, what they had accumulated
for want of a buyer. But what is found in this district is mainly or
entirely of a late period, that of the Roman occupation of the island,
I suppose, for we found no archaic objects of any kind, or early
inscriptions, and only a few in late characters. But the ride through
this section of the island is one of the most delightful one could
take, so far as I know, in classical lands. The kindly, hospitable
Seliniotes, known for centuries as the bravest of all the Cretan
clans, persecuted with all the cruelty of Venetian craft in the days
when the island city ruled the island sea, always refractory under
foreign rule and often unruly under their own régime, seem to have
enjoyed in the later centuries of Roman rule and the earlier of the
Byzantine a great prosperity, if one may judge from the evidence of
the necropolis, the graves in which yield a singular indication of a
well-distributed wealth. These graves lie for great distances along
every road leading to what must have been the principal centre of the
civilization, though there are no ruins to mark its location. This
singular absence of ancient ruin indicates a peculiarity in the
civilization of that section of the island which history gives no clue
to. Northward, near the sea, there are the remains of great Pelasgic
cities, of which when I first traveled in the island the walls were in
stupendous condition, but of which at this visit I had found hardly
a trace--the islanders had pulled them down to get stone for their
houses. The site of Polyrhenia, connected in tradition with the return
of Agamemnon from Troy, was one of the finest Pelasgic ruins I have
ever seen when I first visited it, but on this visit I could hardly
find the locality, and of the splendid polygonal wall I saw in 1865
not a stone remained.

Our route brought us through Murnies, celebrated for its orange groves
and for the horrible execution of many Cretans by Mustapha Kiritly in
the "great insurrection"--that of 1837--to punish them for assembling
to petition the Sultan for relief. It is one of the most ghastly of
all the dreadful incidents of Turkish repressions, for the Cretans,
pacifically assembled without arms, were arrested, and all their
magnates, for the better repression of discontent and to overawe
rebellions to come, were hanged on the orange-trees in such numbers
that, as the old consul of Sweden, an eye-witness, told me during my
consulate, the orchard was hung with them, and left there to rot.
According to the statement of the consul, not less than thirty of the
chief men of that district were so executed.

But the history of the Venetian rule shows that it was no less cruel
and even more treacherous, and Pashley gives from their own records
the story of the slaughter of many of the chief people of the same
district to punish refractoriness against the government of that day.
Read where we will, so long as there is anything to read, we find
the history of Crete one of the most horrible of the classic
world--rebellion, repression, slaughter, internecine and
international, until a population, which in the early Venetian times
was a million, was reduced in 1830 to little more than a hundred
thousand, and during my own residence was brought nearly as low, what
with death by sword and bullet, by starvation and disease induced by
starvation, added to exile, permanent or temporary. Yet in 1865 it
had been reckoned at 375,000, Christian and Mussulman. But it must be
admitted that the Cretan was always the most refractory of subjects,
and, though at the time of this visit the island had obtained the
fundamental concessions which it had fought for, in the recognition of
its autonomy with a governor of the faith of the majority, in a later
visit in 1886 I found it ravaged by a sectional war of vendetta,
Christian against Christian, in which, as Photiades Pasha assured
me, in one year 600 people had been killed and 25,000 olive-trees
destroyed in village feuds. But the evidence was at hand to show that
the pasha himself, finding the islanders no less difficult to control
for all the concessions made them, had been obliged in the interest of
his own quiet and permanence in government to turn the restlessness
of the Cretans into sectional conflicts during which they left him in
peaceful possession of his pashalik. In eastern countries government
becomes a fine art if not a humane one.



CHAPTER XXXVI

GREEK BROILS--TRICOUPI--FLORENCE


The troubles initiated at Gortyna increased until the eastern end of
the island was drawn into them, and, as the Greek government at the
same time began to agitate for the execution of those clauses in the
Treaty of Berlin which compensated it for the advantages gained by the
principalities through the war, I received orders to go to Athens and
resume my correspondence with the "Times." Athens was in a ferment,
and the discontent with the government for its inefficiency was
universal; the ministry, as was perhaps not altogether unjustifiable
under the circumstances past, allowed the King to bear his part of the
responsibility, and discontent with him was even greater than that
with Comoundouros, the prime minister, whose position became very
difficult, for the King and his _entourage_ opposed all energetic
measures, and the people demanded the most energetic. Excitement ran
very high, and the ministry was carried along with the populace, which
demanded war and the military occupation of the territory assigned to
Greece.

Comoundouros was, on the whole, the most competent prime minister for
Greece whom the country has had in my time. Tricoupi, who was the
chief of the opposition at the time, was an abler man, and a statesman
of wider views,--on the whole, the greatest statesman of modern
Greece, _me judice_; but in intrigue and Odyssean craft, which is
necessary in the Levant, Comoundouros was his master. In 1868, when
they were both in the ministry, they formed the most competent
government Greece has known in her constitutional days, but it was
betrayed by the King, who paid now in part for his defection, for no
one placed the least confidence in him. The diplomatic corps pressed
for peace, and the nation demanded war, for which it was not in the
least prepared. The animosity towards the King was extreme. I saw
people who happened to be sitting in front of the cafés rise and turn
their backs to him when he walked past, as he used to do without any
attendant. Comoundouros ran with the diplomats and hunted with the
populace,--I think he really meant to continue running and avoid
hunting at any risk, but he talked on the other side. I knew him well,
and used continually to go to his house when he received all the world
in the evening, in perfectly republican simplicity, as is the way in
Athens, and he said to me one evening that the King prevented action,
and impeded all steps to render the army efficient.

This was evidently the feeling of the populace, and public
demonstrations took place which menaced revolution, and on one
occasion shots were fired, and the demonstrators were dispersed by the
cavalry. I asked him on that occasion why the ministry did not let the
revolution loose, and drive the King away. "Ah! they think now that we
have no stability,--what would they think then? and what could we get
better?" I find in a file of my letters of the time one which says: "I
am not surprised at Mrs. ----'s opinion of the King,--there are few
people of either sex here who are not of the same opinion, and the
conviction is getting very general that no progress or reform is to be
hoped for until he is expelled the country." Another, a little later,
says: "It looks very much as if there were a revolution preparing, and
that the King would have to go. He is so detested that I don't think
any one wants to save him." To complicate matters, there came some
scandals to light concerning the frauds and peculations in the
furnishing of supplies for the army, which was being prepared for
a campaign in extravagant haste, and rumor involved persons in the
closest intimacy with the prime minister. I do not believe that
Comoundouros was personally complicated, but I find in one of my
letters the following, under date, "Athens, June 10:"--

"Things here are in a horrible state. The latest disclosures of
the great defalcations seem to involve so many officials and
non-officials, and break out in so many new directions, that one
does not know whom to exonerate. The King and most of the
ministers--quantities of officials, persons in high social positions
and unblemished reputation--seem to have been carried away by the
fever; Comoundouros himself is accused of participation; ---- and ----
are clearly guilty, and I think the ministry must resign. So far we
have no accusation against Tricoupi or any of his friends. That is the
only comfort we can draw out of the affair. I am holding back from
exposing the affair in the 'Times' from the double motive that the
scandal will affect all Greece, and because the affair is not yet
fully disclosed and we don't know what it may lead to in the way of
exposures. The government is doing everything it can to prevent the
investigation extending, and this I mean to stop by exposing the
whole matter in the 'Times,' but until it succeeds in arresting the
disclosures I shall let them go. Comoundouros is buying up all the
correspondents he can, and one of his emissaries told me two or three
days ago that if I would help him out I could pocket 20,000 francs."

To this offer I replied by a letter to the "Times" attacking the
ministry savagely, and when it was printed and reached Athens, and I
saw the minister again, he remarked with his imperturbable good-humor,
which indeed never failed him, "How you did give it to us to-day!" As
I recall the old man, running over the twenty odd years during which
I had known him more or less with long interruptions, I retain my
impression of his genuine patriotism and personal integrity; but he
was surrounded by people who did profit by their relation to him. He
was singularly like Depretis in manner and character; and of Depretis
it was said that he would not steal himself, but he did not care how
much his friends stole; but I think that the Greek was the abler man
by much. Comoundouros mitigated the rancors usual in the politics of
Greece (as in those of Italy of to-day) by his unvarying good-nature,
never permitting his antagonisms to degenerate to animosities. In the
years when I first knew him, during the Cretan insurrection of 1866,
he was at his best in power and in patriotism; but during the years
which followed, full of the base intrigues which had their birth in
the influences surrounding the court, he got more or less demoralized,
for patriotism and honesty were no passports to power, and he was
ambitious before all things. Not to be in office or near coming to
office is in Greece to have no political standing whatever, and the
King's defection and betrayal of the interests of Greece in 1868
convinced Comoundouros and many others that with the King there was
nothing to be done for a purely Hellenic and consistent policy. All
my study of Levantine politics since that day convinces me that in
sacrificing the interests of Greece to the demands of the Russian
ministry in 1868, the King threw away the only opportunity which
Greece has ever had of attaining the position her people and her
friends believed her destined to,--that of the heir of the Ottoman
empire. The case is now hopeless, for the adverse influences have
gained the upper hand, and the demoralization of Greece has progressed
with the years. The sturdy independence of Comoundouros in 1868 was
wasted, and I can imagine that the old man understood that, though the
forms of independence and the semblance of progress must be kept up,
there was really no hope of a truly Hellenic revival, and with his
hopes and his courage he lost all his patriotic ambitions. In this
juncture he was satisfied with the husks which the diplomats threw to
Greece, and blustered and threatened war to attain a compromise which
should keep him in office and in peace with the King, whom he would
gladly have rid Greece of if it had been practicable.

In the struggle with diplomacy he so far gained his point that there
was an adjustment of the frontiers in accordance with the treaty. The
commission for the delimitation, at the head of which was General
Hamley, met at Athens with the intention of beginning the trace from
the Epirote side, and I had made all my preparations for accompanying
it, when there happened one of those curious mischances which are
possible only in the East. The summer was hot and dry, and the mayor
of Athens, foreseeing a drought, had decided to turn the stream known
as the "washerwoman's brook," one of the few perennial sources in the
vicinity, into the aqueduct which supplied the city with drinking
water. As all the dirty clothes of Athens, comprising those of the
military hospital, in which there were grave cases of typhoid, were
washed in that stream, the consequences were soon evident in a great
outbreak of the malady in the city, the victims being estimated at
10,000 persons; and, two days before that on which the commission was
to start on its work, I was taken ill. I sent for a doctor and he
declared the illness to be fever, and probably typhoid. I went to bed,
and took for three days in succession forty grains of quinine a day,
getting up on the fourth, to find the commission gone and myself in no
condition to follow it; and so I missed the most interesting
journey which had ever offered itself in my journalistic career. My
exasperation at the imbecility of the mayor can be easily imagined,
and it was vented in a proper castigation in my correspondence. In
the burning weeks that followed, the state of Athens reminded one of
Boccaccio's description of Florence in the plague. There were not
physicians enough in the city to attend the sick, or undertakers to
bury the dead. The funeral processions to the great cemetery beyond
the Ilissus seemed in constant motion, and the water-sellers drove a
brisk trade in the water of a noble spring under Hymettus.

At the next municipal election the mayor was reëlected triumphantly!
The ministry was less fortunate, a dissolution resulting in a majority
for the opposition, and Tricoupi came into power. As the most
competent and eminent of the rulers of Greece in the following years
(for Comoundouros died not long after), and cut off prematurely in the
midst of his services to the land he always served with an honest,
patriotic devotion, he deserves the commemoration which, as his
intimate friend for many years, I am better qualified, perhaps, to
render him than any other foreigner. Our friendship began in the
period when he held the portfolio of Foreign Affairs in 1867-8 and
continued till his death. He was educated and, I think, born in
London, where his father held for many years the legation of Greece.
The elder Tricoupi and his wife were two of the most sympathetic
and admirable people of their race I have ever known, and the elder
Tricoupi's history of his country in its later fortunes is recognized
as the standard, both in its history and in its use of the modern
Greek, purely vernacular, which we have. The son, head of the
government or leader of the opposition from an age at which in few
countries a man can lead in politics, was, _rara avis_ in those lands,
an absolutely devoted patriot and honest man; but his country has
never been in a state of political education or patriotic devotion
such as to enable it to profit by his ability or his honesty. I well
remember that during his first premiership I said to him that I hoped
he was in for a long term of office, which might establish some
solidity in Greek politics, and he replied, "They will support me
until I am obliged to tax them, and then they will turn me out." And
so it happened.

The general elections, which were stormy, brought Tricoupi into power;
but the violence to the freedom of election of which the government
was guilty made them very exciting. One of Tricoupi's chief supporters
was standing for Cephalonia, I think, and we heard that there were
great preparations to defeat him by the common device of overawing his
supporters and driving them from the polls, and I decided to go at
once to the locality and watch the method of the elections. The
presence of the correspondent at the polling booths, all of which I
visited in rapid succession through the day, completely deranged all
the plans, and only at one place was there an attempt at illegal
pressure, on which occasion one man was shot. The chief of police
at the place came to me from time to time, saying, "Have you seen
anything illegal?" as if he were under orders to convince me that the
law had been obeyed. The result was that the Tricoupist candidate
was elected, and he admitted to me that his election was due to my
presence. He had only had one man shot, the general plan of carrying
the elections by violence having been abandoned in deference to public
opinion in England, represented by the correspondent of the "Times."

I decided to go to Volo as soon as the annexation was accomplished,
and took letters of introduction to several leading citizens, amongst
them one from Tricoupi. The Christian portion of the town was, of
course, in exultation, but an attempt at inspection of the Turkish
quarter had to be abandoned precipitately before a demonstration of
the Mussulman juvenility. My visit had to be abbreviated, for the
filthy khan which was the only place of entertainment for man and
beast swarmed with bugs and mosquitoes; and, though the five letters
I had were to the wealthiest persons in Volo, amongst them being the
mayor, not one offered me hospitality when I told them the next day
that I must return by the steamer that brought me, in default of
a decent bed and eatable food; and, though they expressed polite
regrets, they saw no alternative, and I took a return passage.
Hospitality in continental Greece has no traditions; and even in
Athens, except from Greeks who had lived in England, I have never been
asked to accept bed or bread, while in Crete and in the Peloponnesus
there was always a more or less active competition as to who should
give me both. The stranger, who was in the classical days the
messenger of the gods and received welcome as such, has degenerated to
the position of the modern tramp. The difference is, no doubt, due to
the centuries of oppression and isolation in which the fragments of
the race have lived, and in which they have suffered the intrusion
of unwelcome elements amongst them, always overborne and finding no
protector except their own cunning, and no friend save in their own
religion.

A thought that comes up very often while one deals with the Greek in
Hellenic lands, is the wonder at the tenacity of the religion of the
Greek, surviving the hostility not only of the Turk, but of his fellow
Christian of the rival creed. No other nation has ever endured the
hostile pressure on its religious fidelity which the Greeks have had
to submit to since the fall of Constantinople. The Venetians were even
more cruel with the Greeks under their rule than the Turks have ever
been, and the influence of the Papal See has always been exerted with
the most inflexible persistence for the suppression of what in Rome is
called the Greek schism, to which it has shown an animosity greater
even than that displayed toward the Protestant Church. And yet I have
always found the Orthodox Church in all its ramifications the most
charitable and liberal of all the forms of Christianity with which I
have come in contact. No stranger is turned from the doors of a Greek
convent or refused such succor as is in the power of its inmates, be
he Protestant, atheist, or even of their bitterest enemies, the Roman
Catholics. No questions are ever asked, and it has twice happened to
me that I have lodged at a Greek convent during the most rigid fasts
of the Church, when the inmates sat down to a dinner of herbs and dry
bread, while to me was given the best their resources could compass--a
roast lamb or kid, generally. The _kalogeros_ in attendance, when I
was dining on one occasion with the prior of a convent on Good Friday,
and ate flesh when the prior himself had nothing but herbs and bread,
turned to his superior with a perplexed smile, saying, "Why! he is
not even a Christian!" but was none the less cordial afterward--he
evidently had no other feeling than that of pity that a man who had
been their protector (it was in Crete during the insurrection) should
not enjoy the privileges of the Church. This liberal hospitality on
the part of the ecclesiastics makes the want of it on the part of the
people all the more conspicuous and inexplicable.

In the event Comoundouros found his game of bluff a safe one, for his
claims were just, and diplomacy was derelict, or there would have been
no utility in the demonstration. But the futility of the Greek threats
was most conspicuously shown, for not a battalion got to the frontier
in a condition to fight, and two batteries sent off from Athens in
great pomp broke down so completely that not a gun was fit to go into
action when they reached the frontier. The (for them and for the
moment) fortunate issue of the contention by the cession of the
territory in dispute seemed to the Greeks in general due to their good
military measures, and so confirmed them in the dangerous conviction
that the powers were afraid that they might beat the Turks and open
the question of Constantinople, etc., which the powers had determined
should not be opened. Tricoupi alone of all those who had a policy was
of the opinion that the powers should not have interfered, but should
have let the Greeks have their way and learn their lesson. It was his
opinion that the political education of the Greeks was thwarted
by this continual intermeddling of the powers, which made their
independence a fiction. Subsequent events showed that he did not
nourish that blind confidence in the military capacity of his
countrymen which they had, but he said until they were allowed to test
their abilities they would never know on what that confidence reposed.
The common opinion was that one Greek was worth ten Turks, even in the
state of the Greek training. This was not Tricoupi's opinion, which
was that it was impossible under the tutelage which the powers
exercised for them to know the truth, and he had, from 1867,
persistently urged the let-alone policy, which would at least enable
them to find their level.

Time has shown that Tricoupi was the only party leader in Greece who
saw affairs justly. Had his counsel prevailed, the nation would have
found in 1881 what they discovered only in 1897, that they needed
training and concentration to hold their own, and that the path of
conquest of their ancient estate was set with obstacles which only
Spartan discipline and endurance could clear away. As it has happened,
the lesson has been learned only after all the competing elements have
had theirs and are on the way to the primacy in the Balkans which the
Greeks thought the heritage of their race, but of which they can now
hold no hope. The protection of the powers has been fatal, for
the future of the Levant belongs to the Slav in spite of all the
intelligence, activity, and personal morality in which the Greeks
excel all their rivals. An English statesman who had to deal with
Tricoupi in regard to official matters said to me once that he found
him apparently open and business-like, but that when they came to
the transaction of matters at issue he proved to be as slippery and
dishonest as any of his countrymen. But Tricoupi was a Greek, and
evasion, diplomatic duplicity, and the usual devices of the weak
brought to terms by the strong, are ingrained with the race. He felt
the truth, viz., that all the powers, while professing to protect
them, were really oppressing them by their protection, and that the
negotiations in which they posed as friends were really hostile
measures which he was, in duty to his nation, bound to fight by all
the means in his reach; and in this case the means were those of the
weak, deprived of liberty of action as much as if they were held down
by the troops of the powers.

In all these considerations Tricoupi stands as much the type and
impersonation of the modern Greek in his best phase, and the
Hellenic cause lost in his early death the largest exponent of the
characteristics of the race I have ever known, but, as fate had it,
lost him only when his abilities could only serve to mitigate disaster
and accentuate failure. Had he been alive, I am convinced that the
disaster of 1897 would not have taken place, and, if a conflict was,
through the ignorant impetuosity of the masses, unavoidable, it would
have resulted more creditably to the Greek army, not in victory
indeed, for this was under the circumstances not to be hoped for, but
in a defeat which was not irretrievable.

The campaign finished, I returned to Florence, where, during the lull
in Eastern matters, I found my only public occupation in the contest
with regard to the restoration of ancient buildings in Italy. Those
who can remember the aspect of the Ducal Palace and St. Mark's in
those years, shored up to prevent large portions of them from falling
in crumbling ruin into the Piazza, and can see that now at least the
general aspect of the perfect building is preserved, and in the case
of the Ducal Palace even the details of the most important decorative
elements restored with a fidelity which defies examination, will
hardly be inclined to resent the restorations which have abolished
the hideous balks of timber and bulkheads of most of the southern and
western façades. The southwest angle of the Palace was prevented
only by massive shoring from falling bodily into the Piazzetta. The
anti-restoration society in England had raised a great outcry over the
works, which had, however, been going on without criticism during the
Austrian occupation since 1840; and, after a thorough examination of
the state of the two precious buildings, and the plans and appliances
for their restoration, I undertook the defense of the restorers, and
the hot controversy in the "Times" and other journals on the subject
resulted in the confirmation of the authorities in their resolution
to continue the works which have left the Ducal Palace at least in a
condition to be seen for a few hundred years to come, and relieved the
church of the scaffolds and bulkheads which disfigured it up to 1890.
The works in St. Mark's reëstablished in more than its original
solidity the south flank, which was in such a state of ruin that only
the abundant shoring had prevented the façade from top to bottom from
falling bodily into the Piazza.

On the other hand, I found at Florence that the authorities, in
anticipation of the completion of the present splendid façade of the
Duomo, had decided to refresh the entire surface of the flanks to put
them in keeping with the new sculpture of the front, and had actually
inaugurated the system of removing with acids, followed by the chisel,
of all the toned surface of the sculptured parts so that the Duomo
should, when the façade was revealed, present the aspect of a
bride-cake in the brilliant whiteness of its marble, but without a
touch remaining of the workmanship of its original architects and
sculptors. At this juncture the editor of the "Cornhill Magazine"
asked me for an article on the restorations in Italy, and I profited
by the invitation to write a scathing article on the cleaning up of
the Duomo, which, falling under the attention of the government at
Rome, provoked a telegram ordering peremptorily the cessation of
all restoration on the church. I received the thanks of the Italian
ministry and the formal request to inform it of any other similar
operations which should fall under my attention, and when a few
weeks later I saw the scaffold raised around the beautiful pulpit
of Donatello at Prato, a note to the ministry had the effect of
telegraphically stopping operations. The indignation of the good
people of Florence at the cessation of the house-cleaning brought me
a request from a high quarter to undertake the defense of the city
against the insolent Englishman of the "Cornhill!"

The subsequent years of my residence in Florence were on the whole the
most tranquil and the happiest of my mature life. We all enjoyed it
without serious drawback, the routine becoming a visit in early summer
to Venice, then visits to the Venetian Tyrol, Cadore, Cortina, and
Landro, and the return to Florence in the autumn. I found in Florence
an intellectual life and serenity of which there was no evidence
elsewhere, with surroundings of the noblest art of the Renaissance,
and an intellectual atmosphere hardly, I think, to be found in any
other Italian city. Amongst our dearest friends were the Villaris,
with whom we still remain in cordial sympathy. I can wish Italy no
greater good than the possession of many children like Pasquale
Villari. Our great diplomat George P. Marsh had an unbounded
admiration for him--he used to say, "Villari is an angel;" and he
certainly stands at the head of the list of noble Italians I have
known for the personal and intellectual virtues and subtlety of
appreciation, not rare amongst Italians, but unfortunately to be
sought for in their politics in vain. In Italy as in America men of
that type are pushed to the wall and crowded out of the conflicts of
political life.

I was finally, after five years of residence, obliged to abandon our
home at Florence by the constant recurrence of fevers, which gave us
perpetual anxiety as well as perplexity, for there is no malaria in
that part of Tuscany. After an attack which nearly proved fatal to one
of the children, my courage gave out, and we broke up housekeeping,
and the family, with the exception of myself and my eldest daughter,
went back to England. It was only subsequently that I discovered that
the secret of the fevers was in the water drawn from the wells of
Florence. These are sunk in a stratum of gravel in which are countless
cesspools, the filtration of which extends through the entire stratum
and poisons every well within the limits of their influence. On
my accession in later years to the service of the "Times" as Rome
correspondent, I attacked the system of drainage and water supply of
Florence in a series of letters, and brought down on my head the most
furious abuse which my journalistic life has known, but which ended in
the reformation, not yet complete, however, of the water supply of the
city, and the admission by the Florentines that if they had attended
to my warnings earlier they would have been saved great losses, chief
of which was the abandonment of a projected return to Florence by
Queen Victoria, on account of a serious epidemic of typhoid which
broke out after her first visit. Like most reformers, I was threatened
with violence if I returned to the scene of my labors, to be hailed as
a friend when I had been found to be right and my warnings salutary.
But at the moment, the effect of the fevers was to drive me out of
Florence, where residence had on many accounts proved most delightful,
and send me off again on adventure.

I passed the next year at New York on the staff of the "Evening Post,"
sending occasional correspondence to the "Times," and during this
absence my father-in-law became involved in financial embarrassments
which ultimately cost my wife her allowance, after we had again
established our residence for the family in London. With a widened
literary experience and connection I could see my way to a better
situation than that of the past years, but in 1886 the death of the
Rome correspondent of the "Times," and the definite retirement of Mr.
Gallenga, the Italian correspondent _par excellence_, brought me into
a regular and permanent employment by the paper as its representative
for Greece and Italy, with residence at Rome.



CHAPTER XXXVII

THE BLOCKADE OF GREECE


I took possession of my double charge of the (to me) most interesting
of all foreign lands, Greece and Italy, at a moment when affairs were
quickening for new troubles in the former, where demagoguery had again
taken the upper hand. Comoundouros was dead, and Tricoupi, who had
succeeded, as I had long before anticipated that he would, to the lead
in Greek politics, had fallen, as he had foretold, on the question of
taxation. The new successor to the bad qualities of old Comoundouros,
Deliyanni, in his electoral programme had promised to relieve the
people of all taxation, and had, of course, been elected, and I found
Tricoupi still at the head of the opposition. I had stayed at
Rome only long enough to take possession of my place and have a
conversation with the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, General
Robilant, as to the course which Italy would follow if there were
troubles in Greece, and received his assurance that Italy would stand
with England, whatever might happen.

Robilant was one of the ablest ministers of foreign affairs Italy has
had in my time, and, if not the most conspicuous occupant of that
position in intellectual qualities, he certainly was so, with one
exception--that of Baron Blanc--in sound common sense and a large and
comprehensive perception of the situation of Italy amongst the powers,
and her true affiliations. To him, more than to any other individual
Italian, was due the entry of Italy into the Triple Alliance, a
measure which has probably been very largely instrumental in keeping
the peace between the European powers ever since it was formed. Simple
and reserved in his manner to a correspondent, he was entirely frank
and courteous in communicating what could be communicated, and quietly
silent beyond. Always the butt of the most savage hostility of the
Italian radicals, he resigned the year after, though supported by the
majority in the Chamber, rather than expose himself longer to the
vulgar and brutal partisan insolence of Cavallotti and his allies in
the Chamber. As individual, as soldier, and as minister, Robilant was
the type of the Italian at his best. Very few of the extreme Left in
the Italian Chamber made any pretensions to a comprehension of the
nature of a gentleman, and the vulgarity of the outbreak which
provoked his resignation--it was on the occasion of the disaster of
Dogali--was of a nature which only a hardened politician could adapt
himself to. It was my first experience of the indecencies of Italian
parliamentarism, and, when he left the Chamber under the unendurable
insults poured on him in language adapted only to street broils, I
said to a colleague that he would never appear again in the Chamber. I
was right, for, though the ministry obtained a vote of confidence, and
he was urged to withdraw his resignation, he refused. In his charge
the foreign policy of Italy was at its best.

I found affairs at Athens in a critical condition. Deliyanni was
trying the game of bluff which had succeeded in the hands of
Comoundouros, but with quite a different measure of competence. With
Deliyanni it was an evident sham. He had promised war without the
least intention of preparing for it, in the childish expectation that
Europe would oblige the Sultan to make some concession which would
save his credit in the country and enable him to continue in office.
But circumstances were different; Greece had on the former occasion a
valid claim, admitted by the powers, while on this there was only the
pretension that Greece should receive a compensation for betterments
acquired by Bulgaria. In the former, the Treaty of Berlin had
sanctioned the cession; in the latter, there was only the bare
impudence of Mr. Deliyanni to move the powers. The ministry called out
class after class of the reserves and sent them northward, but made no
effective preparation for war; the men were ill-clad, worse provided,
and everything was lacking to make them ready for a campaign. The
casual observer could see that war was not intended, and that
Deliyanni was silly enough to believe that the agents of the powers
did not see through his sham, and thought that he could frighten them.
The men on the frontier finally amounted to about 45,000 men, kept
there as a scarecrow to the powers at an expense, ascertained from the
safest authorities, of 1000 deaths per month. The powers insisted on
demobilization. Deliyanni replied by waving his torch and threatening
to set fire to Europe if they did not give him a province; and
meanwhile the Turkish government was gathering a solid force of about
40,000 men on the menaced frontier, and preparing silently to march on
Athens.

The common people of the city, ignorant of everything connected with
war, and inflamed by the jingo official press, conceived that nothing
was needed but to set the Greek army in motion to insure a triumphant
march on Constantinople, and were shouting for the troops to cross the
frontier. Deliyanni had never had the least intention of making war,
but he dared not withdraw for fear of his own people and the war fever
he had inoculated them with. The worst feature in the position was
that he had armed and provided with large quantities of ammunition the
entire population of the Greek frontier, and the irregulars so formed
had no discipline and obeyed no orders, but began each on his own
account to harass the Turkish outposts. The Turks, obedient to their
orders, contented themselves with repelling these minute stings,
keeping their own side of the frontier, and waiting till the attack
developed to take up a solid and thoroughly prepared offensive. The
summons came from the powers to demobilize, or the Greek coast would
be blockaded. This was Deliyanni's only escape from a terrible
disaster to the country, or the personal humiliation of withdrawal he
would not submit to, with the added risk of violence on the part of
the mob of the city, fired to a safe and flaming enthusiasm by the
reports continually coming in of new victories on the frontier,
each little skirmish with a picket being invariably followed by the
withdrawal of the Turks to a position well within their own territory,
according to the general order to accept no combat under actual
conditions, so that the least skirmish was magnified at Athens to
a new victory. The summons to demobilize was met by a point-blank
refusal, when the fleets of the powers--Russia and France
excepted--entered on the scene, and the blockade of the Greek coast
was declared. This saved the credit of the ministry with the country;
and Deliyanni, protesting against intervention as a measure on behalf
of the Sultan, and hostile to Greece, resigned, but gave no orders to
his commandants on the frontier to withdraw, and the skirmishing went
on. The King in this crisis behaved well, and put Deliyanni in the
alternative of demobilizing or resigning; and, when he chose the
latter course, the King called Tricoupi to form a ministry.

Tricoupi's position was difficult. He protested against the blockade
as an unwarrantable interference with the freedom of action of Greece,
as he considered that the government should have been allowed on its
own responsibility to make war and take the consequences, as the only
method of teaching the Greeks how to fulfill their international
obligation. But the withdrawal of the diplomatic representatives of
the great powers, whose fleets were blockading the coast, had left
him without any channel of communicating with the powers, either for
protesting or for yielding, and the fighting was increasing in extent
if not in intensity. On the day, too, on which Tricoupi accepted the
charge, the Turkish commander had received his orders to cross the
frontier on the next day and march on Athens if the annoyance were
not stopped. A great extent of the frontier was not provided with the
telegraph, and the chosen partisans of Deliyanni were in command, and
determined to force a conflict. The blockade prevented Tricoupi from
sending officers by sea to take over the command, and there was not
time to send them by land. General Sapunzaki was the only general
officer on whom the minister could depend to obey orders, and he could
reach only a part of the line on which the fighting was going on.
There was no subordination and no general plan in the offensive;
but each detachment of troops on the frontier made war on its own
responsibility, and the Turks contented themselves with repelling
attacks.

I went to the telegraph office to get the late advices in the
afternoon of the last day of the fighting, when it had become very
general all along the frontier. Tricoupi had sent imperative orders to
cease hostilities, but the telegraph had been cut, probably by some
one who wanted the war to ensue, and when I found Tricoupi at the
telegraph in the afternoon in conversation with Sapunzaki over
the wire, he turned to me with an expression of intense distress,
exclaiming, "They are fighting again all along the line, and if it
cannot be stopped at once we are lost." "Can I do anything?" I asked.
He replied, "I should be glad if you would go to Baring" (who had been
sent to take charge of the legation, but with no diplomatic powers or
relation with the Greek government) "and tell him the position, and
ask him to telegraph to his government to urge Constantinople to send
word to Eyoub Pasha that the Greek government had given stringent
orders to stop the fighting, and ask him to coöperate."

It was an intensely hot day in the end of May, and the streets of
Athens, deserted by the population, were an oven; not a cab was to be
found on the square or in the streets. I ran to the British legation,
fortunately found Baring there, and explained the position, saying
that Tricoupi, in the absence of any diplomatic relation between them,
had begged me to present myself personally to urge intervention.
Baring was convinced that Tricoupi, as well as the late premier, was
bent on war, and would not at first believe that his request was
sincere, but finally, overpersuaded, did telegraph to London. I then
flew to all the other legations, except the French and Russian,
which had been supporting Deliyanni, and repeated the request to the
secretaries in charge, winding up with the Turkish minister, whose
ship had not yet arrived, and who was therefore still in Athens,
pending its arrival, and gave him the fullest explanation of
Tricoupi's position and the difficulties of it, and begged him to
telegraph Constantinople to order Eyoub Pasha to withdraw from the
frontier far enough to leave the bands no outlying detachment to
attack. I succeeded in convincing him that Tricoupi was sincere in his
efforts to keep peace, and the good fellow said at once, "If Tricoupi
is sincere, I will not stand on diplomatic etiquette, but will go to
see him at once." He did so, and found the Greek minister at the war
office, as he had taken that portfolio with the premiership, and
they arranged between them that the Porte should be telegraphed to,
requesting Eyoub Pasha to put a sufficient distance between him and
the attacking bands of Greeks to make a conflict out of the question;
and before nightfall the white flag was flying along the frontier, and
communication established between Eyoub and Sapunzaki via Salonica,
and peace was secured.

Eyoub's orders to cross the frontier with his solid column of thirty
to forty thousand men, and march straight to Athens if the attacks
persisted another day, were peremptory, and there was no force or
dispositions of defense to prevent his triumphal movement. There were
no defensive works, for the jingo Greeks ridiculed the idea of needing
a defensive preparation against an invasion of the Turkish army, which
they were confident of annihilating ten to one. There was no lack of
personal courage on the part of the Greek population, but there was no
efficient organization even of the so-called regular army, and there
was really nothing to prevent a Turkish walk-over as far as the old
frontiers of Greece, and even there there were no earthworks.

The sequence was disgraceful and humiliating. I wrote at the time that
"The wounded are not yet all in the hospitals when the attacks on
Tricoupi for having ordered the demobilization already begin in the
Chamber and the press. His happy arrival at the moment of danger has
saved Greece from, a disaster which, now that it is averted, the
Greeks in general will never believe to have been so near, and will
not accept as a lesson." And for the trifling part I had taken in the
final negotiations I was afterwards insulted in the streets of Athens
as having "prevented the Greeks from marching to Constantinople." They
got their lesson years after, when they were far better prepared for
war than on this occasion. But Tricoupi was right when he said that
the blockade was a mistake, and that the powers should have allowed
the Greeks to take their own course and learn their lesson.
Undiscriminating Philhellenism has been the worst enemy of Greece.

The flurry over and quiet restored, the heat, the excitement, and the
hard and unremitting work and anxiety of that month of May told on
me, and I broke down with an attack of nervous prostration and acute
dyspepsia, by which I was quite incapacitated from movement. Taking
the first steamer to Naples, I passed the rest of the summer at Rome,
disabled, until the heats had passed, for any considerable exertion.
But, contrary to the general superstition regarding Rome, it is a
city where one may pass the summer months most agreeably if not very
actively. The English ambassador of that time, Sir John Saville
Lumley, afterwards Lord Saville of Burford, to whom I owe many
delightful hours in that and subsequent years, used to say that he
knew no city where one could pass the year so delightfully as in Rome.
By strict diet and an activity limited to the hours of the early
morning and afternoon I weathered the summer, but each return of the
heats during the succeeding six years brought me a relapse, so that
on the whole I paid a long penalty for my participation in Greek
politics.



CHAPTER XXXVIII

CRISPI--A SECRET-SERVICE MISSION--MONTENEGRO REVISITED


The following year was marked by the accession of Crispi to the
direction of the government of Italy. So many fables have accumulated
regarding Crispi, and such bitterness of prejudice against him even in
England, that as one of the very few disinterested witnesses of his
conduct from that day until his second fall after Adowah, and supposed
to be in his confidence, I am disposed to put briefly on record
my impressions of him. His popularity at that date (1887) was
incontestably greater than that of any other Italian statesman, but
the animosity entertained for him by the Radicals was intense, owing
to his most vigorous repression of all anti-dynastic tendencies, and
the bitterer for his having once been himself a Radical leader; but,
what was at first sight inexplicable, the hostility to him of
the Conservatives was scarcely less bitter than that of the
Republicans,--the former because he had once been a Republican, and
the latter because he had ceased to be one. The leading chiefs of
groups among the politicians were afraid of him on account of his
strength, and the court had the most cordial hatred of him, partly
because he had never tried to conciliate it or to conceal his distrust
of it, and partly because Signora Crispi was an object of aversion to
all the society of Rome. This aversion was intensified by the fact
that, as the wife of a member of the order of the Annunciata, she was
entitled to precedence over all the Italian nobility not so honored.

A Knight of the Annunciata is technically the cousin of the King, and
at the receptions of the Queen, Signora Crispi, who was really an
antipathetic person, had her seat in the royal circle, where she
sat as completely ignored by all present as if she were a statue of
Aversion. I am convinced that the larger part of the animosity shown
for Crispi by the better classes in Rome was due to her. One of
Crispi's oldest and most constant friends told me of a visit he once
made to his house with General----, one of the Mille of Marsala, when,
as they left the house, the general said mournfully, "Poor Crispi, he
has not a friend in the world." "Nonsense, he has thousands," replied
the other. "No," returned the general, "if he had _one_ he would kill
that woman." In the latter part of Crispi's first ministry we were on
friendly terms, though our first intercourse was anything but kindly;
but I avoided going needlessly to his house to the end of my term of
residence in Rome, except when the service demanded it, because I did
not like to meet his wife.

Crispi and I were never intimate, and the supposed confidence between
us never extended beyond the communication of political matter which
he thought should be made public, and which could be made public
without violation of official secrecy. He had far too high an estimate
of his position as the head of the government of one of the powers
of Europe to enter into intimacy with a correspondent of even the
"Times," a journal of which, nevertheless, he always spoke with the
respect due another power. "It is not merely a journal, but a great
public institution," he said, and he treated me as the agent of that
power; but intimacy in any other sense there never was. Crispi had, to
a degree I never knew in any other Italian minister, the sense of the
dignity of his position, which, to those who did not read the man
thoroughly, seemed arrogance, and made him many enemies. He had an
invincible antipathy to newspaper correspondents, but at the outset of
our acquaintance I made him understand that even if he did not see
fit to treat me with cordiality, he should not treat the "Times" with
disrespect. He had two secretaries, Alberto Pisani Dossi, one of the
most noble Italian natures I ever knew, and Edmond Mayor, a Swiss,
naturalized in Italy, and an admirable diplomat, now in its service,
an honest, faithful child of the mountain republic; and both these
became and remain my excellent friends, and, as they were permitted,
they kept me informed of the matters which it was for the advantage
of the "Times" to know; but until near the end of the first term of
Crispi's premiership we never came nearer than that to being friends.
I found his manner intolerable, as, no doubt, other journalists did,
and, as the relations of the journalists to the man in office are in
Italy generally corrupt, Crispi's aversion to them and their ways
accounted easily for the very general and violent hostility between
him and the press.

The tone of the journals in Italy has very little to do with public
opinion. All the world knows that, with the exception of two or
three dailies, the Italian papers are the organs of purely personal
interests, ambitions, and opinions,--not even of parties, which do not
exist except in the form of fossil fragments; and when a journal emits
an opinion or formulates a policy, everybody knows that it is the
opinion or policy of the man who has a dominant or entire control of
its columns. Crispi had his own journal, "La Riforma," which frankly
and entirely expressed his views, and he paid no attention to the
others. I happened to be on the way to the Foreign Office the day
after Crispi assumed the reins of government, and by the way fell in
with the foreign editor of one of the journals of the Left, exulting
in the accession of a minister of his old party. He said to me, "I
will wager you, Stillman, that in six weeks we are recognized as
official,"--which meant subsidized. He had his audience first, and
it was short, but within the fortnight his paper was one of the most
violent opponents of the ministry. I had my audience, and in five
minutes I turned my back on the premier and walked out of the office,
and never put my foot in it again until, many weeks after, some
trouble on the African frontier between English and Italian officers
brought me a request from Crispi to come and receive a communication.

I finally conquered his respect by showing him that I was the sincere
friend of Italy, and our relations became confidential as far as his
very rigorous sense of his official limitations permitted, but not a
line beyond. I have seen in his hands the copy of the treaty of
Triple Alliance, but I never drew from him the faintest hint of its
provisions except that it was purely defensive and contained no
stipulation for any aggressive movement under any circumstances. I
learned them from other sources, and, with the changes of ministries
and the diversities of their policies, foreign as well as domestic,
there is no doubt that all the powers are fully informed of the
details of the treaty. But personal intimacy, in the sense of that
friendship which obtains amongst equals, could never have existed
between us. Crispi is extremely reticent and reserved in his personal
relations and has very few intimate friends, and those, so far as I
know, entirely amongst the faithful few who were his intimates in the
days of insurrection and conspiracy; but I know him as well as any
one out of that circle, and I know him to be an absolutely honest
and patriotic statesman, the first of Italy since Cavour. It is my
opinion, too, that he is the ablest man not only in Italy but in
Europe, since the death of Bismarck. In 1893 he was urged to assume
the dictatorship, and the King in the general panic was willing to
accord it, but Crispi refused, saying, "I am an old man with few
years to live, but I will not give my countrymen an example of
unconstitutional government."

But Italian politics are only the wrangle of personal ambitions and of
faction intrigues. The Chamber is a legislative anarchy from which a
few honest and patriotic men occasionally emerge as ministers through
a chance combination, to disappear again with the first tumult, and
the influence of the chief of the state was never such as to guide it
out of the chaos. King Humbert, one of the truest gentlemen and most
courteous sovereigns that ever sat on the throne of any country, never
made an effort to defend the prerogatives of the crown, and accepted
with the same _bonhomie_ every ministerial combination proposed to
him, whether it comprised dangerous elements or not. At no time did he
attempt to exert the enormous influence which the crown possesses in
Italy for the maintenance of a consistent policy, internal or foreign.
Lord Saville told me that, when Crispi came to power in 1887, he asked
the King if he was a safe head of the government, and the King replied
that it was better to have him with them than against them, for at
that time Crispi was regarded by all Conservatives as the devil of
Italian politics. But in the following years Crispi's profound--even
exaggerated--reverence for the King, and his masterly administration
of the government, had laid all the apprehensions of the sovereign at
rest, and gained for him the widest popularity ever possessed, in my
knowledge of Italian affairs, by any minister. The King said to me
that he had the most absolute confidence in his devotion, integrity,
and abilities. Yet, when in 1891 an artificial crisis in the Chamber
gave Crispi his first defeat on a question of so little constitutional
import that his successors adopted his measure and passed it, the King
accepted with the same equanimity a ministry composed of the most
discordant elements, ignoring all the constitutional proprieties. At
a later epoch, that of 1893, when Crispi saved Italy from menacing
chaos, the King repeated to me his expression of confidence in Crispi
and his very low opinion of his only possible alternative, Rudiní, but
in the succeeding crisis accepted Rudiní with the same cheerfulness he
had shown when Crispi saved the position in 1893.

Nothing could exceed the devotion of the King to his subjects and
their personal welfare, but he allowed the ship of state to drift into
the breakers because he would not maintain the highest prerogative
of the crown, that of insisting on a ministry which possessed and
deserved his confidence. Knowing, as he did, that parliamentary
government in Italy had become a mere farce and the derision of the
country, he never attempted to insist on exercising any influence on
the composition of the ministry, which represented his authority as
well as the popular will, and in 1896 he yielded the dissolution of
the Chamber to the pressure of a court favorite against the advice of
all his constitutional advisers. Personally I was a warm admirer of
the man, but I regard his reign as a long disaster to the kingdom of
Italy, the greater because his personal qualities gave him such a hold
on the population that he might safely have assumed any initiative
beneficial to the state. He might have abolished the Chamber--he
allowed it to abolish him.

The return of the summer heats bringing on a recurrence of the malady
acquired at Athens, I was obliged to leave Italy for the summer and I
returned to England. On my arrival the "Times" manager proposed to
me a trip to America in quest of evidence connected with the Parnell
case. A professional detective sent out some time before had failed to
get hold of the threads of the question, and MacDonald, thinking that
as an American I might succeed where the professional had failed,
desired me to try my luck. Of the general history of that case the
public has long ago learned all that it cares to know. I had nothing
to do with that and am not here concerned with it; but I had a curious
and interesting experience in my visit, the object of which was the
obtaining of documents that would confirm the connection of Mr.
Parnell with secret and illegal acts in Ireland, with which the Irish
conspirators in America were probably connected, it being hoped
that some of the latter might be induced to give up documents in
confirmation.

I had warned MacDonald that the published facsimile of a letter
purporting to have been written by Parnell in connection with the
Phoenix Park murders was not what he supposed it to be, and that the
theory that it had been written by Parnell's secretary and signed by
Parnell was erroneous. It was clear to me that it had been written and
signed by the same hand and by the same pen. I had once gone through
a complicated case of forgery with Chabot, the great expert in
handwriting, in the course of which I became greatly interested in
the man. We had become friends and he had taught me all that could
be taught of his profession, so that I had some capacity to form a
judgment on the matter. MacDonald replied that they were certain of
their facts, and that they should maintain that position. There was
ample personal evidence that a letter of the import of that produced
in facsimile in the "Times" had been sent by Parnell to Sheridan, who
was implicated in the Phoenix Park murders, and that this letter had
been seen by many persons supposed to be in the councils of the Irish
party! and it is probable that Pigott had seen it and bargained for
its delivery to some party on behalf of the "Times." He was probably
deluded in this expectation, and, not to fail in his promise,
reproduced it from memory and with the aid of the handwriting of
Parnell's secretary and an old signature of Parnell, and delivered it
as the original. Confirmation of this hypothesis is given by the fact
that Parnell dared not bring his suit against the "Times" until the
forged letter had been shown in court in the course of the connected
case of O'Donnell, and was seen by him not to be the original. That
was safe in the custody of Sheridan, who had taken it to America and
kept it in hiding from both parties. It was the special object of my
mission.

The English detective who had preceded me had the naïveté to apply
to the chief of the New York detective police, an Irishman, for
assistance, and was handed over to pretended colleagues who were
really agents of the Irish organization, and so completely duped by
them as to be induced to send a supposed detective (who was one of
themselves) to Mexico, where he was assured that Sheridan had gone,
and led to undertake various operations which were simply contrivances
to make him lose his time and his money.

On carefully surveying the ground at New York before attempting to
make any direct application to any person whom I supposed capable of
furnishing me with what I sought, I discovered that the detective
service of New York was in the hands of the Fenian organization, that
the chief of police (now deceased) was their confederate, and,
above all persons, not to be taken into my confidence, and that the
principal line of transatlantic telegraph was under the supervision of
a confederate of the association. The latter betrayed himself at once
by the absurd difficulties he made about my registering a London
telegraphic address, which I at the instant saw to be assumed for the
purpose of delay and imposing on me a prearranged address, which,
however, I accepted with apparent simplicity and good faith. My
telegrams were of course to be in cipher, and this was so secure from
all attempts at deciphering that I had no anxiety about the Irish
chiefs solving it. I have heard in later times that they boasted of
having copies of all my messages (which is probable) and having read
them, but this was impossible, as not only was the cipher extremely
difficult to any one even who had the key, but the key was changed
every day by a scheme arranged before I left London and known only by
the office and myself. My cipher, if used according to the directions,
is absolutely insoluble by any patience or experience, and the Fenian
boast that they read it was pure "blague." I knew that they had the
telegraph in their hands and made my arrangements accordingly. But the
secret power of the organization surprised me, though I knew very well
the political influence at election time which the rottenness of our
politics gave them.

I obtained from a leading New York merchant a letter of introduction
to a well-known private detective whom, as a fellow-countryman, I
succeeded in so far interesting in my work that I had no difficulty in
getting from him all the useful information that he possessed; but
to my request for practical assistance he replied that half of the
detectives in his own employment were Irish, and that the knowledge
that he had taken part in any such undertaking as mine would lead to
their desertion and the paralysis of his own service. But he put me
in the way of getting the services of a most competent detective who
worked on his own hook, and from whom I obtained all that I needed. He
succeeded in tracing Sheridan to a ranch in Nevada, and ascertained
that he had the Parnell letter which we wanted, but that he did not
carry it with him, for fear of being robbed of it, and that he was
watched so closely by the agents of the Fenian organization that, as
my mission was suspected, my connection with the "Times" being known
to all the world, any attempt on my part to enter into personal
relations with him would be dangerous to me personally, and if I did
succeed in purchasing the desired document from him, I should be
killed, if necessary, to get it from me. Sheridan was willing to sell
it, but he considered his life to be in such danger if it were known
that he had done so, that he demanded a price which would, in the
event of his being assassinated, put his wife at ease for the rest of
her life. Later he would have accepted a much smaller price, and it is
said that a prominent English Radical, to put the matter out of the
possibility of renewal of the accusation, subsequently purchased it.

Pending these researches and the arrival of a reply by post to
my request at length for more detailed instruction as to certain
negotiations which I had entered into, I went into the Adirondack
woods for ten days, a movement which proved how closely I was watched
by the Irish agents. Since my early knowledge of that wilderness, a
railroad had been built through it, and to see the portion through
which it passed--a section far from my old haunts--I followed it as
far as "Paul Smith's Hotel," on the northern edge of the woods, and
then took a boat across the lake country, reaching "Martin's," on the
south, near my former camping-grounds. Two days later an Irishman
arrived at "Martin's" from "Paul Smith's," in a buggy. As I had made
no secret of my destination in leaving Smith's, having no suspicion of
being shadowed, and quite indifferent to it if attempted, I suspected
at once that our Hibernian guest was on my track. He brought with him
an old army carbine, but as it was the close season for the deer, and
the arm was rusty and unfit for sporting uses, I was confirmed in my
suspicions that his business was with any person who might come to
hold a conference with me. Finding that no one came to meet me, he
grew friendly and, under the influence of the good whiskey plentiful
there, confidential. He pretended to have served in the Federal
cavalry during the War of Secession, and that the carbine was his
accustomed weapon; but one day when well soaked with whiskey he was
induced to come out and join in a shooting match, when we found that
he actually did not know how to fire at a mark, and it was evident
that his employers considered that a revolver would be a greater
danger to him than to the man he was expected to punish, and so had
provided him with a safer weapon. I kept him pretty drunk for two or
three days, and he told us frankly that he was employed usually in
carrying messages between New York and Ireland. There remained no
question that his business was to take care of any traitor to the
cause who might have been so incautious as to meet me in secret, and
the caution of my detective that my life was in danger if I entered
personally into negotiation with Sheridan was shown to be justified.

As the negotiations had showed me that the members of the party were
not all incorruptible, and as I had learned that Tynan, who was
then in New York, and who was supposed to be the famous No. 1, was
conversant with all the facts relating to the murder in Phoenix Park,
I suggested to my friend the principal detective that I should make
Tynan a direct bid for the information we wanted, offering an ample
compensation. He replied that Tynan was incorruptible, and that my
proposition would most probably be regarded as an insult which he
would resent by a revolver bullet, "and," he added, "in the present
state of politics here, no jury could be found which would convict him
of murder."

As the result of my expedition, we obtained some unimportant
documents, though nothing that related to Parnell; but the picture
of the state of politics in New York, dominated by a clique of
conspirators and murderers, in possession of the police of the city,
and the telegraph service, sitting as a Vehmgericht in the principal
city of the Union, and paralyzing the criminal law whenever its
security was threatened, was worth some trouble and expense. Of its
truthfulness there remained no question. I did not depend on one
source of information in my researches, but, having had a confidential
letter to the English consul in New York, I applied to him for help
simultaneously with my dispatch of the detective, and he ultimately
confirmed the report of the detective in every respect, but cautioned
me on my first visit against coming to the consulate again, as the
surveillance of the Fenians was constant, and if my business with him
were suspected it might lead to needless complications, so that I was
obliged, in order to consult him, to meet him at some prearranged
place, a restaurant by choice, where we could exchange information
without attracting the attention of the Fenian spies.

Though the chief object of my mission was not attained, the
information I did gather was considered of such importance that on my
return to Rome the "Times," "for the good service rendered," added to
my salary the rent of my quarters, the only advance in my pay ever
made from the beginning of my service. I remained in charge of the two
peninsulas, Greece and Italy, as long as Mr. MacDonald lived. He died
in 1889, and though I have never had any ground for discontent at the
relation I was in with the office, under either his successor or the
change of proprietorship which took place not long after, I felt when
MacDonald died that the strongest personal tie which bound me to the
paper was severed. When I joined the staff Delane was the editor, and
though, on account of his health, he rarely interfered in the details
of the management, and my relations were entirely with the sub-editor,
Mr. Stebbing, whose real and hearty friendship was matter of great
personal satisfaction to me then and since, we always felt that Delane
was over us. When Chenery succeeded, the relation became one of
cordial friendship with the chief, who was a scholar as well as a
journalist, of whose sympathy for a good piece of work one was sure.
His death and the accession of Mr. Buckle in no manner changed my
situation at the office, but it was another editorial change, while
with MacDonald not only had I the relation of a subordinate with a
friendly chief, in constant correspondence on every point of duty
from the beginning of my service, but there were many and strong ties
between us in outside sympathies, and he was as kind to me as an elder
brother. He was most unjustly credited with the Pigott fiasco, but,
as I have shown, the evidence of the genuineness of the letter which
Pigott had forged was so strong that the experienced counsel were all
deceived by it, and the conduct of Parnell himself showed that he was
not sure that it was not the genuine document until he saw it. _Au
fond_ the "Times" was right, and its accusation against Parnell was
fully justified, but by one of those chances which occur to even the
most prudent, there was a defect in the chain of evidence at the most
important point.

The animosities developed by the affair found expression in terms of
the most unjustifiable imputations of collusion with the forgery, on
the part of MacDonald and Mr. Walter, which I have seen repeated in
later years; but no one who knew either of the men would for a moment
admit that there could be a shadow of justice in the imputation.
Mr. Walter, though of an uncompromising hostility to any political
measures or persons that he considered dangerous to the country, was
of an inflexible sincerity and honesty, and absolutely incapable of
the remotest complicity with a fraud. No other man of his race have I
known in whom the patriotic fire burned more intensely, or who
better merited the description of the Latin poet, "Justum et tenacem
propositi virum," or had more of the English bulldog tenacity in a
cause which he considered just and of vital importance to the country.
Slow to form antipathies, he was immovable in them once formed, and as
constant in his confidences once he found them merited. To his intense
conservatism and antagonism to shifty politics was probably due
the unvarying opposition of the "Times" to Home Rule and all other
attempts at infringement of the British Constitution, but so far as my
own experience goes he never attempted to influence the views of the
correspondence. There were points in which, in regard to Italian and
Greek affairs, he differed from me seriously, but he never imposed
a hair's weight on what I had to say, nor do I believe that he
intentionally influenced the tone of the paper beyond the exercise of
the inevitable control over its national policy. The antagonism to the
United States at the outbreak of the War of Secession was Delane's,
and not in accordance with Mr. Walter's feeling, but, like most of
Delane's views, borrowed from London society or the government. The
"Times" has its traditions like those of a monarchy, interests to
defend which are not in all cases those of an ideal state policy, but
are those which have made England what she is, and which are probably
those which will keep her what she is the longest and most safely. And
of these interests, and of this inflexible maintenance of them, John
Walter was the most strenuous of supporters. He was a consistent
liberal as far as he felt liberalism to be perfectly safe, but he had
the most vivid dislike of Gladstone and his ways; a dislike dating
from their earliest contact in the House of Commons, long before
Gladstone adopted Home Rule. And to this nature the character of
MacDonald responded as the natural executive. The following letter
which I received from Mr. Walter in reply to mine of grief at the
death of MacDonald, tells the story of their relation better than I
can.

    Bearwood, December 19, 1889.

    Dear Mr. Stillman,--One appreciates true sympathy at such a time
    as this, and none that I have received has touched me more than
    yours. It is sad indeed to go down to the office and be no more
    greeted with MacDonald's cheery voice and kindly look. His illness
    was unexpected and its progress rapid. Within a few days after his
    return from his holiday in Mull, he was attacked by the
    complaint which proved fatal--"an enlargement of the prostate
    gland"--brought on, I have no doubt, by exposure day after day to
    continual rain, and accompanied by recurrent attacks of fever.
    To myself personally his loss is irreparable, for I had been
    intimately associated with him for thirty years, while his
    connection with the paper, formed in my father's time, was very
    much longer. He was confident, to the last, of the successful
    issue of the great cause to which he had devoted so much time
    during the last three years, and I would that he had been spared
    to witness it.

    Yours very truly,

    J. WALTER.

Of the fourteen years of increasing and finally cordial intimacy
that followed Mr. MacDonald's acceptance of my services as casual
correspondent of the "Times," I have the unbroken record in the file
of letters received from him at every post where my duty carried me.
These contain the evidence of a noble, honest, and sympathetic nature,
whose loss to me was, as Mr. Walter found it, "irreparable," for
such friendships sever themselves from all relation of interest and
business.

During the tenure of the joint jurisdiction over Greece and Italy, I
had an amusing experience through a report of my assassination by the
Albanians. I profited by one of the visits to Athens and Crete to
pass through Trieste and take Montenegro and northern Albania in
the itinerary. Disembarking at Cattaro I drove by the new road to
Cettinje, a magnificent drive with unsurpassed views seaward and
inland, but the abolition of the natural defense of Montenegro against
the Austrian artillery. No doubt the astute Prince understood that
after the recognition of Montenegrin nationality by all Europe and the
emphasis put on its importance by the Dulcigno demonstration and its
results, he could afford to ignore the hostility of Austria and take
his chances as the head of a civilized nation which had rights Austria
must respect. But even in this breaking down of a barrier provided by
nature he showed his shrewdness and tenacity, for the Austrians, in
passing the frontier, had made the trace of the road pass over an
elevation from which their artillery would command the difficult gorge
that was the gate to the principality, and the Prince refused to bring
his portion of the road to meet it but brought it up to the frontier
by a safe route, and left the terminus there until the Austrians
brought their road to meet it where the junction was in favor of the
Montenegrin defense.

My reception in Cettinje was one of the pleasant incidents of my
career as correspondent, for it was marked by a grateful cordiality
unique in my experience, and I saw that a people and a Prince could
retain gratitude for past services where nothing was needed or to be
expected in the future. The Prince received me as a brother. There was
no time to revisit under happier circumstances the familiar places as
I should have been glad to do, but I determined at least to see the
new possessions on the coast, and passing from Cattaro I followed the
coast road by Spizza, the impregnable (if defended) fortress which
had surrendered to Montenegro towards the close of the war, and was,
without the shadow of a right, taken possession of by Austria in the
settlement, and made a halt at Antivari. Here all was decay and ruin;
the damages by the bombardment years before had not been repaired, the
former Albanian inhabitants, mainly Mussulmans, had not returned, and
the Montenegrins had not come. I could not even pass the night there,
but took a boat from the port (there is no harbor) to Dulcigno. The
owner of the boat put a mattress in it where I could lie at length,
and so, sleeping, or listening to the songs of the rowers, or watching
the stars overhead, I found myself in the course of the night at
Dulcigno, where I was warmly received and hospitably entertained by
the governor, a comrade of the war-days. With a little expenditure and
energy Dulcigno might be made a delightful winter resort, the climate
being that of Naples and the surroundings picturesque, but Montenegro
has neither the capital nor the appliances to profit by its position.
A company had proposed to the Prince to build a port and construct
a hotel and all necessary appurtenances if he would give, in
compensation, the right of establishing gaming-tables, after the
fashion of Monte Carlo, but the Prince, awake to the importance of
maintaining the respect of Europe so fairly won, refused the offer.

From Dulcigno the road I had to take to Scutari was a plunge into the
unknown. I hired two horses, one a pack-horse for the baggage and the
other a poor hack for riding. The roads were fetlock deep in mud,
and the whole region so inundated that we often had to take across
country, profiting by the ridges to avoid fording the unconjecturable
depths of water in the ancient roads. At one point we had to pass a
deep ditch, over which I forced my horse to jump, but the baggage
horse refused it until pushed to it by main force, when he plumped
in over head, ears, and baggage, and we had very great difficulty to
extricate him, as the water was at least four feet below the bank.
But I reached Scutari fortunately before night, wet, bedraggled, and
muddied from head to foot, my clothes in tatters from the tenacious
wait-a-bit thorn hedges we had had to force our way through, and all
my baggage soaked, more or less as the water had had time to penetrate
to it. Not an inhabited house did we pass on the way, such had been
the terror of the border warfare still not dissipated. But from
Scutari south there were other dangers. The Albanians were in a state
of incipient revolt, and the country was unsafe for a Turkish escort,
if even such protection were not to me a greater danger, and I found,
not I confess without a little trepidation, that the only protection I
could count on was the consular postman who rode with the mail-bag to
San Giovanni di Budua, the first point at which the Austrian Lloyd
steamers called. We met with no annoyance, however, and though we had
at some points curious looks we encountered nothing more offensive,
but I decided to give up the remainder of the land journey till more
propitious times. San Giovanni seems to have been an important Roman
port and there are interesting remains of the Imperial epoch.

On my arrival at Athens I received a telegram from my brother-in-law
in London mysteriously praying me, "If you are alive, wire us." On the
heels of that came another from my father-in-law, "If you are safe,
telegraph to Marie," one to Tricoupi, then prime minister, to ask news
of me, one to the English legation from the Foreign Office demanding
information of my whereabouts, and another to the same from the
"Times"--to all which I could get no explanation nor could anybody
in Athens conjecture the why of the querying. We soon learned that a
telegram from Cettinje, based on a report from Albania, had reported
my being beheaded in the interior of Albania. I was honored by a
question in the House of Commons, and obituary notices were general
in the American papers. The official Montenegrin journal went into
mourning. Several kind-hearted ladies waited on my wife in Florence
to condole with her, but as I had telegraphed her on receipt of the
telegram from her father that I was well, and the Italian papers with
the news of my death had not frightened her, for she never read them,
the condolence was discounted and the condoling friends went away,
their object unexplained and their equanimity upset by the information
that she had received a telegram from me that morning. There was
a small compensation in the reading of my obituary notices, a
satisfaction that can rarely be given a man.



CHAPTER XXXIX

ITALIAN POLITICS


In the reorganization of the office consequent on the entry of a new
manager, I was offered the choice between the posts of Athens and
Rome. Personally I should have preferred Athens, but I had recently
established my family at Rome, and the serious objection to a family
residence at Athens in the want of any refuge from the heats of the
intense summer of that city at a practicable distance from it, was
an insuperable obstacle to my accepting it. The succession of Lord
Dufferin to the Embassy at Rome, and the friendly personal relations
which his large-hearted nature established between the Embassy and the
correspondentship, made the position highly agreeable. He was of all
the diplomats I have ever known the one who best understood how
to treat a correspondent. He took my measure as correspondent and
accepted me _pro tanto_ into his confidence. He used to say, "I tell
you whatever information there is, because I know that then you will
not telegraph what ought not to be telegraphed, while if you find it
out for yourself I have no right to restrain you."

In 1890 the negotiations between England and Italy in reference to the
occupation of Kassala by the latter, culminated in the congress of
Naples, where Crispi met Sir Evelyn Baring (now Lord Cromer), for the
discussion of the conditions. Until that time my relations with Crispi
had been such as he generally maintained with journalists, viz., a
distant civility, but in my case attended by confidential relations
with his two secretaries. I attended the congress, and was admitted
by both Dufferin and Baring to such confidential knowledge of the
negotiations as was possible. From Crispi's private secretary I
learned his views, and, knowing the opinions on both sides, I was able
to remove certain prejudices on the part of Crispi and so smooth the
difficulties which his suspicious nature raised. Unfortunately there
was one misapprehension on his part of which I became aware too late,
namely, that Sir Evelyn Baring was hostile to Italians in Egypt and
predisposed to combat Crispi's conditions. This was due to sheer
misrepresentation on the part of the Italian delegates, who were both
Anglophobes; and the conviction on the part of Crispi that he must
fight Baring as an enemy led to protracted and obstinate contest of
each point in the conditions, till finally, just as agreement had been
arrived at, a dispatch from Lord Salisbury ordered the withdrawal from
the negotiations, and the convention fell through, to Crispi's great
annoyance. His total miscomprehension of the large-hearted and
generous ruler of Egypt was a misfortune to Italy and to Crispi, but
the defect was in his temperament--a morbid tendency to suspicion of
strangers characteristic of the man and in the roots of his Albanian
nature. Crispi was not a judge of men--had he been he would have
avoided the friends who ruined his political career, and made friends
who would have strengthened his position. The efforts I had made to
remove misunderstandings satisfied Crispi that I was really
friendly to Italy and established more cordial relations between us
thenceforward. In acknowledgment of his mistaken treatment of me he
conferred on me the cross of commander of the Crown of Italy.

A little later the combination was formed in the Chamber to overthrow
the ministry. I had some time before befriended Monsignor X., the
victim of an outrageous act of injustice on the part of the French
government, and of accessory indifference on the part of the Vatican,
and he had repaid me by valuable information from the Vatican from
time to time. When this ministerial crisis was in progress, Monsignor
X. came to me one evening to tell me that the chiefs of the factions
in opposition were in conference with agents of the Vatican to support
them in the overthrow of Crispi. The Vatican promised to release
Catholics from the _non expedit_ in case of the fall of the ministry
and the necessity of going to the country in a general election. The
ministerial combination which accepted this pact with the immitigable
enemy of the unity of Italy, whose sole motive for hostility to Crispi
was the latter's invincible antagonism to the temporal power and
the immixtion of the Church in civil affairs, comprised a leading
Republican and Radical, Nicotera, and Rudiní, the chief of the
ultra-Conservative group, beside members of various groups of
intervening shades of politics. Knowing little of the rottenness of
the politics of Italy at that time I was amazed by the information of
Monsignor X., and went at once to the Palazzo Braschi to inform Crispi
and ascertain if there was positive confirmation of the information. I
asked him to use his means of intelligence at the Vatican, which was
always sure, and so well informed that Cardinal Hohenlohe told me one
day that Crispi knew better what was passing at the Vatican than the
cardinals did. On inquiry he discovered that my news was true, and
for the first time he understood the full meaning of the combination
against him.

That the King should have accepted Crispi's resignation under the
circumstances (the adverse vote in the Chamber, being a surprise vote
involving no question of policy, and, as all knew, the result of a
secret combination--a conspiracy, in fact) was a grave mistake on
the part of His Majesty, and opened the way to all the confusion
and parliamentary anarchy which has followed, and which to-day is
increasing and menaces the stability of the throne and the unity of
Italy. The government of Crispi had been most successful, his attitude
in the Bulgarian affair had rendered an important service to the
cause of European peace, as was acknowledged by Lord Salisbury in a
published dispatch, and he had strengthened the ties between England
and Italy; he had maintained perfect order, and had effected economies
in the national expenditure to the amount of 140,500,000 lire a year,
besides suppressing some annoying taxes and without imposing any new
one, and when he fell gold was practically at par and the financial
position solid as it had not been since 1860. He had decided on
the reform of the banking system, which would have prevented the
catastrophe that fell on the succeeding ministry, and the rotten banks
and the corrupt element in the Chamber which was in their pay were
the leading element in the combination against him. Under these
circumstances the King's duty was to support a minister who had at the
grave crisis of the death of Victor Emmanuel saved the dynasty from
a serious danger, who was universally known to be the only Italian
statesman whose nerve was equal to any sudden emergency, and of whose
devotion, as the King personally assured me later, he was absolutely
certain. That no reason for the crisis existed was shown by the fact
that the succeeding ministry adopted the identical measure on which
Crispi was defeated. But the King (whose death has occurred while I am
revising these chapters) showed on many occasions that, though loyal
to his constitutional obligation so far as deference to parliamentary
forms is concerned, he never had the nerve to assume a responsible
attitude or maintain the authority of the throne; and, while he was
ready to abdicate if popular opinion demanded it, he was unable to
withstand a factious and revolutionary movement as his father had
done, by calling to his support the statesmen who could maintain order
when menaced. His form of constitutionality was perfectly adapted to
a country where the Conservative forces were supreme and the
institutions solid; but in a half-consolidated monarchy, attacked from
within and without by dissolvent influences as is Italy at present, he
was a cause of weakness to good government. And Rudiní assured me when
I went to pay the formal visit of congratulation on his accession to
power, that the King had said that he was in the position of the young
Emperor of Germany when he threw off the yoke of Bismarck--he was
tired of Crispi's strong hand. The King later denied the statement
in an audience he gave me, but I am afraid that Rudiní was, for a
novelty, nearer the truth.

Rudiní as minister of foreign affairs began with a blunder which might
well have been fatal. When the murder of the Italian prisoners at New
Orleans took place, he determined to show his energy and patriotic
spirit, and he telegraphed to the Italian minister at Washington to
demand of the federal government the immediate bringing to justice of
the murderers under the alternative of sending the Italian fleet to
New Orleans. This amazing display of ignorance of the situation and
of geography appeared in the Roman journals of the next morning. As I
knew enough of the temper of my countrymen to foresee that this demand
was certain to end in war or a humiliating result to Italy, I jumped
into a cab and drove over to the ministry of public instruction, the
titular of which, Professor Villari, was an old friend of our life
in Florence, and begged him to go at once to Rudiní and urge the
countermanding of the telegram of the previous night, for, as the
federal government had no jurisdiction in the case, it could not
comply, and the imperious demand of the Italian government, intended
for home consumption and as demonstration of the high spirit of the
ministry, was certain to be peremptorily responded to, while the
menace of sending the ironclad fleet to New Orleans was absurd and
impossible of execution as the Mississippi did not admit ships of
their draft, to say nothing of the defenses of the river and the
certainty of war if the ultimatum were pushed. Vlllari at once took
a cab and drove to the house of the minister, and we never heard
anything more of the matter.

The presence (which nothing but the amorphous state of Italian
politics could explain), in that scratch ministry, of Villari, one
of the most devoted, honest and patriotic of living Italians and for
years one of my best friends in Italy, secured my support of the
ministry until their financial measures came on, and I was obliged
to expose their specious character in the "Times," when our friendly
relations ceased temporarily. Political opponents in Italy are more
likely to meet with seconds than at a friendly dinner party, as used
to be the case in the days of Minghetti and Sella, and this passionate
personal antagonism for purely political motives which influences all
political and social intercourse in Italy is one of the gravest causes
of political decline.

Amongst the notable men whose friendship I gained at this period of my
service was Von Keudall, the German ambassador, one of the most human
diplomatists whose acquaintance I have ever made. Like Dufferin,
he measured exactly the distance to which a correspondent could
be treated confidentially, without encouraging him to presume on
cordiality. Introduced to him by Sir John Saville Lumley, I was
treated as one of the diplomatic body, with the confidence which is
so important to a journalist, and as long as he remained in Rome our
relations were of the most cordial and unceremonious. Wishing to make
me a confidential communication one day and the coast not being clear,
he asked me, in the presence of others, if I had ever seen the view
from the tower of the embassy, and, as of course I had not, he invited
me to come and see it, and we had our conversation on the platform
of the lookout with all Rome and the Campagna spread out before us,
beyond the reach of others' hearing. Von Keudall was a power in Rome,
and no ambassador of any government in my time had the influence at
court that he had.

During the period of Von Keudall's residence Lord Rosebery came
to Rome, in an interval of being in opposition, and, as the late
Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and probably a future occupant of the
same post, it was important that in a brief stay he should see all
the important people in the capital. Lady Rosebery, who was the most
assiduous and intelligent manager possible of her husband's interests,
had sent for me to ascertain who were the people whom he should know
in order to learn the true condition of affairs in Italy. Chief
amongst them I put Von Keudall, but, as Lord Rosebery did not know
him, and the custom of Rome is that the newcomer makes the first call,
Lady Rosebery was in a quandary, her ideas of the position of her
husband not consenting that he should make the first call on an
ambassador. At the last moment, for he was to leave Rome the midnight
following, she begged me to tell her how the acquaintance could be
made, without derogation of Lord Rosebery's position between two
portfolios. "Give me his card," I replied, "and I will manage it." I
had intended to ask Von Keudall for some information, and I made my
visit, finding him engaged with a dispatch, and as I wrote a message
on the business on which I had come, I added that Lord Rosebery was at
the Hôtel de Rome and was leaving that night, and left his lordship's
card with mine. When I got back to the hotel I found Von Keudall's
carriage at the door and him closeted with Lord Rosebery. And
certainly no man could then have told the English statesman the state
of things in Italy so well as the large-hearted German ambassador,
who enjoyed the confidence of every element in Italian politics as a
sincere friend of the country. He was recalled later on account of a
pique of Herbert Bismarck, whose untimely meddling with public affairs
had, I believe, more to do with his father's fall than any act of the
Prince. As an eminent German statesman put it, in a conversation not
long after the recall of Von Keudall, "a Bismarck dynasty could not be
tolerated." Von Keudall was succeeded by his antithesis, a nullity in
court and country of whom even his fellow diplomats could say nothing
in praise.

The Rudiní ministry had no long life and merited no more, while that
of Giolitti, which followed, ended in scandal and disaster. The
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Brin, with whom alone I had had to do,
was an honest, able, and patriotic man, and my relations with him
were always excellent. The fall of that ministry coincided with the
culmination of the financial and political disorders which were the
direct consequence of the overthrow of Crispi and the demoralization
which ensued. From the beginning of the financial embarrassment which
came to its crisis during the term of Rudiní's government, I had
devoted much attention to the financial situation and had predicted
the crash when no one else foresaw it. But for Villari I should
have been expelled from Italy on account of my letters exposing the
situation, which created such a sensation that Rothschild wrote to a
financial authority in Rome to inquire what truth there was in them,
receiving naturally such assurances as only hid the trouble. But when
the crash came people said, "How did you know? What a prophet you
were!" etc., etc. Tanlongo, the director of the Banca Romana, which
led off in the crash, threatened the "Times" with a libel suit,
and accompanied the threat by offers to me of personal "commercial
facilitations" to drop the subject. The _argumentum ad hominem_ did
not weigh, but it was desired in the office to avoid legal troubles
and I was advised to keep a more moderate tone. The disaster came so
soon after, however, that I got all the credit, and maintained abroad
the prestige of a greater authority in Italian finance than I perhaps
deserved.

It is true that honesty and courage are two things that a
correspondent has no right to boast of, for honest editing and
management presupposes them in him, and a conspicuous want of either
cuts his career very short unless he is uncommonly clever; but as the
result of my personal experience I may say that, having campaigned
with many English colleagues, I have found them to be almost
universally men of thorough honesty and unflinching courage.
Personality aside, I think I may be permitted to say so much of a
profession of whose real character and besetting temptations no one
can know so much as one of themselves, and of whom the general public
knows very little.

The financial authority which thus accrued to me became of not
unimportant influence a little later when the second scratch ministry
broke up under the financial depression, with gold at 16 premium, the
scandals of the bank affair oozing into publicity, and insurrection
breaking out in Sicily and Tuscany, with movements pending in the
Romagna, where the spring had come late and so saved the country
from a great disaster. It became so clear to even the most benighted
partisan that a strong hand at the Palazzo Braschi was imperiously
necessary, that even the strongest Conservatives submitted in silence
to the call for Crispi which came from all parts of Italy, and no
section of the Chamber except the extreme Left, who were the prime
movers in the insurrectionary movement, raised the least objection to
the old Sicilian's return to the position from which the most corrupt
and ignoble intrigues had driven him hardly three years before, years
of discredit and steady demoralization.

The disgraceful struggle for office then grown characteristic of
Italian parliamentary politics now assumed the most shameful form
that I have ever known. The general sentiment of the country was that
Crispi should be given dictatorial powers, and one of the Venetian
deputies, an ultra-Conservative, coming fresh from an audience with
the King, said to me that Crispi ought to be made dictator and that
the King had professed his readiness to confer that power on him; and
the chiefs of all the factions that had been engaged in the conspiracy
for his downfall in 1891 were among the most eager to enter his
ministry, when the King finally gave him the call to form one, after
having combined in the most desperate intrigues to effect some other
combination. In the anteroom of the minister designate all the
political world, personally or by deputy, was represented except the
friends of the insurrection, who fought him by every device. I met
there a Roman deputy who was one of the amphibious politicians that
breed freely in Italian politics, who gave his right hand to Crispi
and his left to Rudiní, and who, under the impression that I had great
personal influence with the old man, begged me to urge him to offer
the portfolio of Foreign Affairs to Rudiní. In fact, my defense of
Crispi in the "Times" in 1891 and the fulfillment of my predictions of
his inevitable and necessary return to office, at a moment when there
was no one in Italy who did not consider his career at an end, gave
me a purely fanciful importance as a counselor in the crisis and as
having great weight with the minister.

The obsequiousness of the leading politicians at that juncture must
have given Crispi a savage satisfaction for the contumely he had had
to suffer in 1891, and there is no kind of question in my mind that,
if he had then insisted as a _sine qua non_ on a dictatorship, he
would have had it with the almost universal approbation of Italians
out of office and the acquiesence of those who hoped to be in it.
Cavalotti, his most implacable opponent and personal enemy in
disguise, in a session of the Chamber made a passionate appeal to him
to avoid Sonnino and take a ministry of one color, i.e. the Left,
promising his entire devotion on such a concession. The hostility was
sullen and masked, but purely parliamentary; the country at large
would have been delighted to see the old man sweep the parliament out
of existence, and I am convinced that he might then have played the
rôle of Cromwell and received the support of nine tenths of all
Italians. The Chamber had become nauseous to the nation.

I was cool enough to see that the key of the position was finance, for
I knew that Crispi would make short work with the insurrection, and I
knew also the full value of all the possible ministers of finance
in the country, and their influence abroad. When I saw that the
constitution of the cabinet really hung on the disposition of that
portfolio, I did not hesitate to say to Crispi that, while I could not
pretend to any judgment as to the formation of the ministry at large,
I could assure him that if there was to be a rehabilitation of the
financial position of Italy abroad by his ministry, it could only be
by the appointment of Sonnino to the Treasury. I said to him in so
many words that Sonnino was as necessary to the restoration of the
credit of the financial situation as he himself was to that of order.
The pressure in the Chamber was very great to induce him to take the
finance minister from the Left and so move toward the constitution
of the government in accordance with the color of the majority, and
Crispi was urged that way by most of his oldest and most faithful
adherents, either unconscious of or indifferent to the influence of
financial opinion through Europe on the stability or success of the
ministry. I could see that he was hesitating and that the idea
of reconstituting parties, which had always been one of his most
cherished and important schemes, was very present with him, but I
think that the conviction of the necessity of the restoration of the
confidence of the financial publics of Europe finally prevailed
with him, for he decided to offer the Treasury to Sonnino, to whose
measures he subsequently gave the most thorough and loyal support,
though some of them were the reverse of popular and not of possible
effectuation without his earnest support. It is possible that my
advice turned the balance in his mind, but it is, with one later
exception, the only instance in which I ever ventured to advise him as
to a political line of conduct, though I was generally credited with a
good deal of meddling.

The conduct of the Italian factions and politicians during the two
years of the second ministry of Crispi, the internecine war of
intrigues to which the King lent a negative but effectual assent, and
which ended in the disaster of Adowah, showed me that the Italian
commonwealth is incurably infected with political caries, and that,
though the state may endure, even as a constitutional monarchy, for
years, the restoration of civic vitality to it is only to be hoped for
under the condition of a moral renovation, to which the Roman Catholic
Church is an unsurmountable obstacle, because the Church itself
has become infected with the disease of the state,--the passion of
personal power, carried to the fever point of utter disregard of the
general good. The liberty which the extreme party in Italian politics
agitates for is only license, and, with the exception of a few amiable
and impracticable enthusiasts in the extreme Left and a few honest
and patriotic conservators of the larger liberties towards the Right,
there are nothing but self-seekers and corrupt politicians in the
state. During the years of my residence in Italy, the strengthening
conviction of these facts has dampened my early enthusiasms for its
political progress and my faith in its future, and, retiring at the
limits of effective service from a position into which I had entered
with sympathy, I buried all my illusions of a great Italian future as
I had those of a healthy Greek future. My profound conviction is that
until a great moral reform shall break out and awaken the ruling
classes, and especially the Church, to the recognition of the
necessity of a vital, growing morality to the health of a state,
there will be no new Italy. The idle dreamers who hope to cure the
commonweal by revolution and the establishment of a republic will
find, if their dream come true, that to a state demoralized in its
great masses, more liberty can only mean quicker ruin. The court
itself is so corrupted by the vices and immoralities which always
beset courts, that it does not rally to itself the small class of
devoted patriots who cannot yet resign themselves to despair, and who
find in a change of persons the possibility of a revival which they
hope for rather than anticipate, while it offends every day more and
more deeply the equally small class of honest and patriotic reformers
of the Radical side in politics. The mortally morbid condition of
public feeling is shown, not in the fact that the Hon. X. or Y. is
an immoral man, but in that he is not in the least discredited by
well-known immoralities which would banish a man from public life in
England or America, and compared with which those with which Crispi
was charged were trivial.

One cannot pronounce the same judgment on Greece and Italy. The decay
in Greece is economic and civic, poverty of resource and resources on
one side, and on the other invincible insubordination, refusal in the
individual to submit to discipline or sacrifice, the conceit of a dead
and forgotten superiority which makes progress or docility impossible.
The measure of apparent renovation in Athens and some other points is
owing to the influence and benefactions of the Greeks who have lived
and prospered in other lands, where their natural mental activity has
borne fruit, but the normal progress of the nation is so slight that
it has no chance in the race of races now being run in the Balkans.
But the Greeks are preserved from a moral decay like that which
threatens Italy by the domestic morality, due in part to temperament,
but in part also to the influence of the clergy, who, if not scholars
and wise theologians, are generally men of pure domestic morality and
leaders of the common people. The Orthodox Church is national, lives
with and for the people, has no political ambitions, and cannot
endanger the state.

In Italy the danger is other. The Roman Church has long ceased to be a
distinctly religious institution; it has become a great human machine
organized, disciplined like an army, for a war of shadows and
formalities, but now employed in the conquest of political influence,
a kingdom absolutely of this world. It is as much a foreign body in
Italy (or France) as if it were the Russian Church; it has no part
or lot in the well-being of the Italian people, and, so far as the
central power of it is concerned, the Vatican and its councils, its
only purpose is to acquire political influence for its own political
aggrandizement, to the exclusion from its field of operations of
all other creeds. For the attainment of this end it works with the
single-eyedness which Christ recommended for other ends, to the
neglect of all pressure on the people in the direction of common
morality. The Pope, in the present case an amiable, excellent
ecclesiastic, is only one part of this machine, and through him it
speaks, saying, practically, to the Italian people, "Be what you
please, do what you please; only in all things which we command obey
us,"--obedience to the prescriptions of rites and ceremonies being,
so far as my observation during my years of residence in Italy goes,
considered as of far greater importance than the observance of the
laws of sexual morality, veracity, or common honesty. The rule of
conduct of the parochial clergy has appeared to me to be to keep their
influence over their flocks in purely ecclesiastical matters, and run
no risk of straining that influence by interfering with their personal
morality, or by making Christianity the difficult rule of life which
it is in Puritan countries.

I have no hostility to Roman doctrine or dogma, for the distinction I
make between the different forms of anthropomorphic religion is only
one of degree, and I have so many personal friends amongst Roman
Catholics in whom I see the fire of pure and living spirituality
glowing through the forms and superstitions of their creed that I
cannot join in that indiscriminate denunciation which is common
amongst Protestants. My experience in these matters has taught me that
to certain natures the anthropomorphic forms of religion are a Jacob's
ladder to that spiritual life which is the end of religion. Nor can I
see that a little more or a little less of the credulity which is, in
all human minds, mingled with pure faith in the Divine, can make a
vital difference in the character of the religion, whatever it may
make in the creed. The most earnest man is hampered by an heredity of
credence that makes the conception of the Supreme Being a matter of
an intellectual struggle which is to some minds insuperable, and to
deprive such of the symbols which lead to a final comprehension of the
truth is no service to humanity or truth. The suppression of the Roman
Catholic religion in Italy, if possible, would be only to leave its
place vacant for unreason and anarchy, for the intellectual status of
the common people does not admit of a more abstract belief. For that
evil influence, however, which a recent writer has designated as
Curialism, which to-day has its seat at the Vatican, and whose aim
and end are the absolute antagonism of all pure religion, I have no
respect, and only the feeling due to unmitigated evil. It is a deadly
political malady, malefic in proportion to its influence on the
people; and, I fear, until Italy is freed from it, no progress or
healthy political life or morality is possible.

For myself, the study of the system and a comparison of its relations
with other religions completed that evolution of my religious ideal
which I regard as the principal outcome of my life. The Roman Catholic
religion is to me the _reductio ad absurdum_ of all anthropomorphic
religions, and such a study of it as was there possible drove me to a
logical conclusion on the whole matter, not by a sudden revulsion,
but as the gradual and normal growth of a rational evolution of
my conceptions of the spiritual life, starting from that stage of
emancipation which my residence at Cambridge and the intercourse with
the liberal thinkers there had brought me to; the influence of Norton,
Lowell, Agassiz, and Emerson especially. In this liberation I am
aware of no sudden break in my belief from its crude acceptance of
miraculous conversion and eternal damnation for the unconverted, but a
slow opening of my eyes to larger truths. If any individual influence
other than those I have named came in, it would have been the reading
of Swedenborg, which gave me a comprehension of what spiritual life
was and must be; but Swedenborg himself had never been emancipated
from the anthropomorphic conception of Deity. He was a seer, not a
philosopher. Emancipation from ignorance will never be complete, and
ignorance and even superstition have their divine uses as infancy has.
Once the idea of evolution as the law of life is accepted, the logical
conclusion is the reign of law and the rejection of all miraculous
interposition, and the perception of this fact by the clever schemers
at the Vatican underlies the implacable hostility they show to science
and evolution. If they could, they would have burned Darwin as they
burned Giordano Bruno. They are, and they must ever be, as the
condition of keeping up the existence and power of the Vatican and its
peculiar institutions, the enemies of mental emancipation. It is not
ignorance which is the enemy of wisdom, but the passion of domination.

The Roman Catholic Church with its hypothetical succession of Peter
will exist forever, because the necessity of seeing through forms and
of obedience to authority will endure as long as humanity endures, for
certain orders of mind and certain temperaments; but the political
problem of the existence of the Vatican in a free and united Italy,
progressive and maintaining her place amongst the European powers,
is one the solution of which I shall await with great interest, not
regarding the triumph of the Vatican as possible according to its
hopes, but not sure that the internecine struggle may not end in the
ruin of both contestants, since the Italians have not the courage or
the patriotism to accept the only safe measure, formal and complete
suppression of all civic privileges for the Pope and his bishops--the
relegation of religion to a place outside the organization of
government.



CHAPTER XL

ADOWAH AND ITS CONSEQUENCES


The dolorous history of the defeat at Adowah, the decisive event
in the decline of Italy, is an epitome of all the tendencies and
weaknesses of the Italian nation; and, as I was more or less
intimately informed of all the causes of it, the intrigues and
treachery which made it possible, and as no Italian who knows the
story will, for very shame, tell it, I will leave the record of what I
learned and what I believe to be the indisputable facts.

When Lord Salisbury came to power in 1895, he renewed a compact with
Italy and Austria which had been made when Crispi was in office in his
first premiership, about 1888, for a common action in all questions
concerning the Turkish Empire; and on the occasion of the Armenian
massacres he called for the execution of its provisions, sending the
English fleet to Turkish waters and making a requisition on Austria
and Italy for the support of their fleets. Crispi, who saw in the
measure the longed-for opportunity of action in league with England,
ordered the fleet to follow that of England, and prepared the
mobilization of an army corps to coöperate by land. He had already
revived the ancient hostility of France by the rejection of an offer
of the French government, made at his accession to office, of
all desirable friendly offices, a treaty of commerce, financial
facilities, etc., if he would withdraw from the understanding with
England as to Mediterranean questions. The entry into the plans of
England for the Armenian question, which were diametrically opposed to
those of Russia, provoked the active enmity of that power, with which
Italy had until then been on friendly terms. Thenceforward Russia
united her influence with that of France in creating difficulties for
Italy in Abyssinia as the punishment of Crispi, and at the same time
the means of paralyzing one of the members of the Triple Alliance.
Lord Salisbury, vacillating, as is his way, and under persuasion of
the powers opposed to his action, consented to delay and negotiate,
thus giving the Sultan time to prepare the defenses of the
Dardanelles, making the _coup de main_, possible at first, then
impossible, and necessitating serious naval operations, which
were likely to involve considerable losses if the pressure at
Constantinople were to be successful.

The abandonment of the inconsiderate scheme, initiated in obedience
to a religious agitation and far too daring for a statesman of Lord
Salisbury's nervelessness, having drawn Italy into such difficulties
as the result of her obedience to his call, the least that Crispi
could expect was that he would be supported by all the moral if not by
the military power of England, whose influence in Abyssinia was very
great. During the government of Lord Rosebery that influence had been
distinctly exercised in favor of Italy, in opposition to that of
France, and, when Crispi asked for the privilege of landing troops at
Zeila, the English port for Abyssinia, in case of war, it had been
accorded, giving Italy the advantage of a menace on the rear of all
the positions of Menelek, which had in the early stages of the trouble
been efficient. The Italian government had no intention of sending an
expedition through Zeila to attack Harrar in any contingency foreseen,
but the possibility of such a movement compelled Menelek to keep
a strong force in Harrar and prevented the concentration which
ultimately proved so disastrous at Adowah. The French government
protested against the concession, but the English ministry refused to
recognize the right of France to protest. Lord Salisbury withdrew the
privilege, enabling the French agents to convince Menelek that England
was hostile to Italy, and thus decided the question of peace or war
between Abyssinia and Italy.

That the occupation of Abyssinia had been a folly had always been the
opinion of Crispi, who, in the outset, opposed it in a speech which
proved a prophecy of all the disasters which followed; and on his
return to power I very strongly, in one of the two cases in which I
attempted to exercise any influence on him, urged him to withdraw from
Africa, but the old man's patriotic pride was too intense for him to
consent to an abandonment of an undertaking in which Italian blood
had been shed. "The flag cannot retreat," he said, and in fact public
opinion was at that moment so strongly in favor of the maintenance of
the colony that no ministry could have carried a proposal to abandon
it. It has been the habit of the Italians since the disaster to throw
the blame for it on Crispi, but I, who was always opposed to the
undertaking, can testify that at the outbreak of war, and especially
after the brilliant if slight victories won by the Italian troops
in Africa, Crispi would have been defeated in the Chamber if he had
proposed withdrawing. In the Chamber there was only the extreme Left
which opposed the war policy, and the order of the day which was
accepted by the government as the war programme was presented by the
Marquis di Rudiní, then head of the opposition, and carried by an
enormous majority. As I was present at the sitting of the Chamber at
which the vote was taken I do not speak uncertainly.

Baratieri had been recalled to Rome on the suspicion that he was
intending to extend the conquest unduly, and I met him at a breakfast
arranged by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to enable me to discuss
the subject with the general. He then made the most unqualified
declarations that he was opposed to all extension of operations, and
that he did not ask for a man or a lira more than had been accorded
to him by Crispi. Baratieri was a Garibaldian general, a daring and
brilliant commander of a brigade at most, without a proper military
education, but with some experience. He was a political general,
however, a partisan of Zanardelli, who had been the most insistent
rival of Crispi at the formation of a ministry in 1893, and he had
been Zanardelli's candidate for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
his nomination having been protested against by Austria on the well
understood ground that he was an Irredentist, that is, in favor
of taking the Tyrol from Austria. In the battle of Coatit, which
inaugurated the hostilities, he had shown brilliant qualities as a
partisan commander and had become very popular, so that to remove
him, as Crispi had intended when he was recalled to Rome, was very
difficult, the more as he protested his strict adherence to the
defensive policy imposed on him by the ministry; but on his return it
soon became evident that he cherished more ambitious plans than he
had owned up to when in Rome, and Crispi soon saw that his recall was
necessary. But Baratieri had now the support, not only of the common
public favor, but of the entire court circle, which saw in him a
convenient weapon against Crispi, and of the military party, and,
through these, of the King, who refused to assent to the recall of the
general when Crispi finally demanded it.

The premier was not supported in his insistence and pressure on the
King by the whole of the cabinet, and the only practical method of
getting rid of Baratieri was by increasing the forces in Africa to the
number at which, by the regulations, a superior officer was necessary
to command. The general chosen, Baldissera, a safe and competent
commander, was already in Africa, at Massowah, when Baratieri, warned
of his supersession in spite of all the precautions to keep secrecy,
precipitated hostilities against the distinct orders of Crispi never
to attack a force superior to his own, so as to force the issue before
he should be deprived of the command. A court-martial sat to try
Baratieri, nominally, but its sentence simply concealed all the facts
and covered the responsibility, which there was good evidence to show
was morally if not technically divided between Baratieri and certain
parties in the court and army cliques more desirous of overthrowing
Crispi than of securing a victory. The mystery that hid all the
details of the investigation that could fix the disgrace where it
belonged, and allowed only unimportant transactions to appear, will
never be dispelled.

Crispi was disposed to renew the struggle, for there was within a
march of a day or two a larger Italian force than that which had
been defeated, under a competent commander, and the losses of the
Abyssinians had been so heavy that they were unable to advance, while
the season of rain was so close on them that they must have retreated
in a few days, even if not attacked, and if attacked in their retreat
they must have abandoned all the fruits of their previous victory.
But to do this it was necessary to prorogue the Chamber until the
operations were concluded, and this course was opposed in the cabinet;
Saracco, the Minister of Public Works, threatening to resign if a
further prorogation was decreed. The public panic was such that a
partial crisis would have been the signal for an outbreak of disorders
on the part of the parties opposed to the African policy, headed
by the extreme Left in the Chamber,--a risk which several of the
ministers were indisposed to face,--and the ministry resigned without
waiting to meet the Parliament.

Civic courage in Italy is so low that any grave military or civil
disaster, no matter on whom should fall the responsibility, entails a
change of ministry, and in this case even the King abandoned Crispi,
though the chief responsibility for the disastrous result of the
campaign rested on himself. Humbert always retreated before any
popular commotion. He never understood that the duty of the sovereign
was to lend his moral support to his ministers so long as no
constitutional question was involved, or until there had been the
expression of the will of the nation, deliberately formulated, and not
by the accidental votes which in the Italian Chamber are oftener the
result of conspiracies or panics than of any question involving a
political measure. Parliamentary government in Italy is a caricature
of the form, demanding for its safe working the most conservative
influence of the Crown to control its action. But Humbert, by yielding
to every gust of excitement in the Chamber which, even by a surprise,
menaced the ministry, encouraged and developed the disorderly tendency
and the strength of the subversive party which always profited by the
disorders. Victor Emmanuel in a similar case quelled the anarchy by
dissolving the Chamber; Humbert had never that degree of courage even
when he knew that the disorder was directed against the monarchy, not
merely against a ministry; and he is, more than any other person, the
cause of the decline and anarchy in parliamentary government in Italy.

In the succeeding ministry the King had the unprecedented courage to
refuse to accept Rudiní and his programme, but admitted his inclusion
in the ministry of General Ricotti, an old and admirable soldier and
military organizer, who was resolved to begin his administration by
a long desired and needed reorganization of the army, reducing its
numbers and increasing its efficiency. On this point the King was
inflexible, for he always refused to allow the army to be reduced
organically, though he never refused to accept such a diminution of
the rank and file as made it utterly inefficient for an emergency, so
long as the _cadres_ and the number of officers were not diminished.
He sent a message to some senators who were in his confidence to the
effect that the measure of Ricotti must be defeated there, as he could
not count on its being rejected by the popular assembly. The senate
rejected it, and Ricotti, unsupported by his colleagues, resigned.
The régime of half measures and little men returned. The accession of
Victor Emmanuel III. may bring about a change, if the new King has
statesmen to fall back on, but I do not see them amongst the old men.
The only man competent to assume an effective reconstitution of the
state is Sidney Sonnino, the Secretary of the Treasury with Crispi,
but he is not a popular man, and, if he attempts to govern by the
strong measures necessary, he will meet the same hostility which
always assailed Crispi. Nothing less than the courage and abilities of
a Cromwell could reform government in Italy, and, in the opinion of
some of the wisest and most patriotic Italians I know, the task is
hopeless and the decay inevitable.

Fully convinced of this myself, I could but lose that interest in the
future of Italy which had always made residence there so attractive
to me. Moreover, I had arrived at an age which rendered the proper
performance of the duties of my position on the "Times" impossible.
Accordingly, I sent in my resignation and returned to England, where
in such condition of social and intellectual activity as my years and
circumstances permit, I hope to end my days, no longer a participant
in political affairs and content simply to live.



INDEX

  A., Miss, spiritualistic medium
  A'ali Pasha
  Abyssinia, Italians in
  Adams, Charles Francis, minister to England during the Civil War
  Adirondack Club
  Adirondacks, life in the
  _Adirondacs, The_, poem by Emerson
  Adowah, defeat at, the decisive event in the decline of Italy
    circumstances which led to it
    results
  _After the Burial_
  Agassiz, Louis
    is pleased with one of Stillman's pictures
    first meets Stillman
    makes excursion with the Adirondack Club
    his scientific work
    personal character
    brief mentions of
  Agios Rumeli
  Aiguille de Varens
  Alabama, the Confederate cruiser
  Albania, Stillman's travels in
  Albanians, character and customs of
    intellectual capacity
  Albert, Prince, his attitude towards the United States in the Civil War
  Alcott, A. Bronson
  Aldrich, T.B., contributes to _The Crayon_
  Ali Saib Pasha
  Alps, _See_ Switzerland.
  Aluga
  American Archaeological Institute, Stillman undertakes expedition for
  American Art Union
  "American Pre-Raphaelite," Stillman so called
  Ames, Mr., Stillman's companion on voyage to England
  Ampersand Pond
  Anakim, procession of the
  Anti-rent war in New York
  Antivari
  Antonelli, Cardinal, character of
  Appleton, Thomas Gold, contributes to _The Crayon_
    his character
  Appleton, William H.
  Arethusa, English frigate, at Crete
  Arkadi, convent of
  Arkadi, the blockade runner
  Armenian massacres, action of England and Italy in regard to
  Armitage, Mr., fellow art-student with Stillman
  Art in America in Stillman's youth
  Art instruction in France and England compared
  Art Union of New York buys a picture by Stillman
  Arthur, Chester A., school and college friend of Stillman
  Askyphó
  Associateship of Design, Stillman elected to, 140.
  Assurance, English vessel, at Crete
  Atlantic, the steamer, 139.
  _Auf Wiedersehen_

  Bacevich, Maxime
  Backwoods experiences. _See_ Adirondacks, life in the.
  Bailey, Philip James
  Baldissera, General, appointed to command of Italian forces in Africa
  Ball, Daniel
  Banovich, Mitrofan
  Baptists, Seventh-Day. _See_ Seventh-Day Baptists.
  Baratieri, General, commanding Italian forces in Africa
  Barbieux, French officer in Herzegovina
  Baring, Sir Evelyn
  Barnum, P.T.
  Basil, St., Herzegovinian bishop
  Bath, Marquis of
  Beaconsfield, Lord, his Aylesbury speech
    comment on Montenegrin affairs
    discussed by Stillman and Gladstone
  Beaulieu, M. Le Hardy de, Stillman's meeting with
  Beaver Brook
  _Bed of Ferns_, Stillman's picture
    Buskin's criticism of, rejected by the Academy
  _Being a Boy_
  Bennett, James Gordon
  Berdas, the, Stillman's journey into
    invasion by the Turks
  Berlin, Treaty of
  Bigelow, John, managing editor of the _Evening Post_
  _Biglow Papers_, edited by Thomas Hughes
  Bilek
  Binney, Dr. Amos
  Binney, Mrs. Amos
  Bismarck, Herbert
  Black, Rev. William
  Blair, Mr., engineer
  Blanc, Baron
  Bliss, Elder, ancestor of W.J. Stillman
    anecdotes of his family
  Bodichon, Barbara
  Borthwick, Colonel
  Boston
  Boutakoff, Captain
  Boyce, Mr., artist, visits Stillman
  Boyle, Mr., artist
  Brett, Mr., artist, Rossetti's aversion for
  Brigandage in Rome
  Briggs, C.F.
  Brin, Sig., Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs
  "Brooklyn School,"
  Brown, Mr., consular agent at Civita Vecchia
  Brown, Ford Madox
    Stillman's judgment of, and his influence on Rossetti
  Brown, H.K., the sculptor
  Brown, Mrs. H.K.
  Browning, Mrs., mother of the poet
  Browning, Robert, father of the poet
  Browning, Robert, the poet
  Browning, Sariana, sister of the poet
  Bruno, Giordano
  Bryant, William Cullen
    Stillman's association with, on the _Evening Post_
    contributes to _The Crayon_
    feeling towards Lowell
  Buchanan, Robert, his criticism of Rossetti
  Buchanan, James, his influence on English public opinion
  Bulgaris
  Burne-Jones, Sir Edward
  Burnside, General Ambrose E.
  Burr, Aaron
  Butler, Benjamin F., his influence in Massachusetts at opening of the
      Civil War

  Calvin, doctrines of, held by Ruskin
  Cambridge, Mass., life at
  Camp life. _See_ Adirondacks, life in the.
  Camp Maple, _See_ Adirondack Club.
  Canandaigua, U.S. corvette, at Crete
  Candanos, collision between Mussulmans and Christians at
    serious fight at
    relief of
  Cass, Major
  Castellani, Sig.
  Cattaro
  Cattaro, Gulf of
  Cattermole, George, Turner's liking for
  Cavallotti, Sig.
    Crispi's opponent
  Cemeteries, prehistoric
  _Century, The. See Scribner's Monthly._
  Cettinje
  Chabot, Charles, the handwriting expert
  Chalons, Alfred, miniature painter
  Chalons, Edward, miniature painter
  Chamois-hunting
  Chamounix
  Chase, Salmon P.
  _Childhood of the Virgin Mary_, Rossetti's picture
  Children's Crusade, referred to
  Cholera
  _Christ in the Carpenter's Shop_, picture by Millais
  Church, F.E., artist and teacher of Stillman
  Civil War in the United States, Stillman returns to America on account of
    English attitude concerning
  Clermont, Fulton's steamer
  Clough, Arthur Hugh, Norton gives Stillman letter to
    intercourse with
  Col des Fours
  Cole, Thomas, landscape painter
  Collegiate education, discussion of
  Collins line of steamers
  Colucci, Sig., Italian consul at Crete
  Comoundouros, Greek prime minister
    his character
    brief references to
  Coney Island
  "Conscious mind in creation,"
  Constable, John, artist
  Constantinople
  Consular service abroad, weakness of
  Conversion, Baptist views concerning
    _See, also_, Revival meetings.
  Corfu
  _Cornhill Magazine_, Stillman contributes article to, on
      architectural restorations in Florence.

  Coroneos, Colonel, his action in the Cretan insurrection
  Corot, Jean Baptiste, comparison of his work with that of Rousseau
  Cortina
  Cosmopolitan Club, London
  Coutet, Alpine guide
  Couture, Thomas
  Coxe family, traveling companions and friends of Stillman
  _Crayon, The_, Stillman's art journal
  Creswick, Thomas, artist
  Cretan committee of Athens assists Stillman
  Cretan committee of Boston
  Cretan insurrection
    Stillman writes history of
  Cretan women, beauty of
  Crete, Stillman made consul in
    consular life in
    plan for its annexation to Egypt
    later visit to
    survival of ancient superstitions
    horrible history of Crete
  Crispi, Francesco, Italian premier, Stillman's association with, and
    estimate of
    his relations with King Humbert
    with Sir Evelyn Baring
    his overthrow
    its consequences
    his second ministry
    review of his conduct of Italian affairs in Abyssinia
  Crispi, Signora
  Cromer, Lord. _See_ Baring, Sir Evelyn.
  Cunard line of steamers
  Curialism
  Cushman, Charlotte, in Rome
  Cuvier, Baron Georges

  _Daily News_, Stillman is placed on staff of
  Dalmatia,
    journeys and correspondence in,
    attitude of the people towards the Herzegovinian insurrection
  Dana, R.H.
  Dancing, disapproved of by Stillman's father
  Danilo, Prince of Montenegro
  Danilograd
  Danish Effendi
  Darwin, Charles R., his evolutionary hypothesis
  Davidson, Charles, gives Stillman lessons in art
  _Dead House, The_
  Delacroix, Eugène, artist
  Delane, Mr., of the London _Times_
  Delaroche, Paul
  Delf, Mr.
  Deliyanni, Greek premier
  Delos
  Dendrinos, Russian consul at Crete
  Depretis, Agostino
  Derché, M., French consul at Crete
  De Ruyter, N.Y., school at
  Dervish Pasha
  Diamond, the steamer
  Dickson, Charles H., English consul at Crete
  Dickson, Mrs. T.G., cares for Stillman's children
  Didot, Mlle.
  Didot, Firmin, Stillman's meeting with, in Paris
  Diplomatic service, American
  Dobrilovina, convent of, Stillman's visit to
  Dormitor, Mt.
  Dossi, Count Alberto Pisani, Crispi's secretary
  Doughty, Thomas, artist
  Drobniak, province of
  Duby, secretary of the Prince of Montenegro
  Dufferin, Lord, succeeds to the Embassy at Rome
  Dulcigno
  Duprés, the
  Durand, A.B., artist,
    contributes to _The Crayon_
  Durand, John, partner of Stillman in publishing _The Crayon_
  Dusseldorf, visited by Stillman
  "Dutch courage"

  _Echo_, English paper, prints letter from Stillman
  Edhem Pasha
  Edmonds, Judge
  Edmunds, Senator
  Elliott, Sir Henry, English ambassador at Crete
  Emerson, Edward W.
  Emerson, R.W.,
    his estimate of Alcott
    Stillman's first meeting with
    his relations with Longfellow
    excursion with the Adirondack Club
    visits Stillman in England
    influence on Stillman
  England,
    first visit to
    second visit
    her attitude during the American Civil War
    later visits and residences in
  English church in Rome
  Enneochoria, valley of
  Ennosis, blockade runner
  Ense, Varnhagen von
  Epirus, invasion of
  Erie Canal
  Eshref Pasha
  Estee, Elder
  Evans, Mr., archaeologist
  _Evening Post, The_
  Evolution, theory of
  Eyoub Pasha

  _Fable for Critics_
  Father's influence in forming character of children
  Fenian organization
  _Festus_, Bailey's
  Fielding, Copley
  _First Snow-Fall, The_
  Fish, Hamilton, urges Stillman's dismissal from Crete
  Fleming, Colonel, of Florida
  Florence
  Florida, Stillman's trip to
  Fogg, George G., American minister at Berne
  Follansbee Pond. _See, also_, Adirondack Club.
  Forbes, Archibald
  Forbes, J.M., gives Stillman a commission for a picture
  France, relations with Italy
  Francis Joseph, Emperor of Austria
  "Franco, Harry" (pseudonym). _See_ Briggs, C.F.
  Freeborn, Mr., English banker and friend of Stillman
  Freeman, Professor Edward A
  Freemasons in Rome
  Froude, James Anthony, Stillman's friendship for
  Fuller, George, Stillman's companion on voyage to England

  Gallenga, Mr., Rome correspondent of the _Times_
  Garibaldi, Giuseppe
  Garrick, the ship
  Garrison, William Lloyd
  Geissler Pasha, German officer, in Crete
  General-Admiral, Russian frigate at Crete
  Geneva, Stillman's visit to
  "Geodesy," nickname of a professor at Union College
  George, King of Greece, his character
    his weakness of action and unpopularity
    calls Tricoupi to form a ministry
  Gérôme, the artist
  Gettysburg, battle of
  Ghost at Chamounix
  Gibson, John
  Gifford, S.R., artist
  Gilder, Richard Watson
  Giolitti, Sig., Italian minister
  Girtin, Thomas, artist
  Gladstone, W.E., his satisfaction with himself
    Beaconsfield's banter of
    Stillman's intercourse with
    Mr. Walter's dislike of
  Gnossus
  Goldsborough, Rear-Admiral
  "Good Americans, when they die ...,"
  Görgey, Arthur, treason of
  Gosdanovich, Montenegrin interpreter and traveling companion of
      Stillman
  Gray, Judge
  Gray, Asa
  Gray, H.P., artist
  Greece, political affairs in
  Greek Church, influence of
  Greeley, Horace, opposes coercion of the South
  Greene, Colonel W.B.
  Greene, Mr., English consul at Scutari
  Greenleaf, Dora
  Greenough, Horatio, contributes to _The Crayon_
  Griffiths, Mr., London picture dealer

  Halbherr, Federico, archaeologist
  Halford, Mr., his collection of pictures
  Hall, S.C., editor of the _Art Journal_
  Hamilton, Alexander
  _Hamlet and Ophelia_, Rossetti's picture
  Hamley, General
  Hancock, Mass
  Harding, James Duffield, artist
  Haynes, Mr., accompanies Stillman on his archaeological expedition

  _Hector_, Rossetti's picture
  _Herald_, the New York, correspondence of, from Vienna, during
      the Exposition; further correspondence.
  Herzegovina, Stillman's journey to, as
    _Times_ correspondent;
    condition of the country during the
    insurrection; battle at Muratovizza
    _See also_, Dalmatia _and_ Montenegro.
  Hibernia, Fla.
  Hoar, Judge E.R., joins the Adirondack Club;
    Grant's attorney-general.
  Hobart Pasha, English admiral at Crete.
  Hohenlohe, Cardinal.
  Holland, J.G.
  Holmes, John.
  Holmes, Oliver Wendell;
    Stillman's estimate of.
  Holmes, Oliver Wendell, Jr.
  Holmes, Sir William, English consul at Mostar, Herzegovina.
  Hooker, Mr., secretary of legation at Rome.
  Hosmer, Harriet.
  House of the Four Winds.
  Houssein, Hadji.
  Howe, Dr. Estes.
  Howe, Dr. S.G.
  Howells, William Dean,
    Stillman's first meeting with;
    consul at Venice.
  Hubbard, Richard W., artist.
  Hudson and Mohawk Railroad, opening of.
  Hughes, Thomas, Lowell gives Stillman letter to;
    intercourse with.
  Humbert, King of Italy, character of his rule
    and relations with Crispi.
  Hungarian crown jewels, concealed by Kossuth;
    schemes for their removal;
    recovered by the Austrian government.
  Hungarian politics. _See_ Kossuth, Louis.
  Hunt, Holman.
  Hunt, William M.
  Huntington, Daniel, contributes to _The Crayon_.
  Hussein Avni.

  Ignatieff, General.
  "Indian Chiefs" of the anti-rent war.
  Ingres, Jean Auguste Dominique.
  Inman, Henry, artist.
  International copyright.
  Ioannides, Dr., in the Cretan insurrection.
  Irby, Miss.
  Isle of Wight.
  Ismael Pasha, Stillman's relations
    with, during his consulate at Crete;
    character of his rule;
    action during the insurrection;
    his dismissal.
  Italian politics.
  Italian prisoners murdered at New Orleans.
  Ivanovich, General.

  Jacque, Charles, artist.
  "Jack-hunting,"
  James, Henry, father of the novelist,
    contributes to _The Crayon_
  Jay, John, American minister at Vienna.
  Jesuits.
  Jews in Newport, R.I.
  Johnson family, in the Adirondacks.
  Jonine, Russian agent.
  _Juliet and her Nurse_, Turner's picture.

  Kalepa.
  Karam, Joseph, prince of the Lebanon.
  Kaulbach, Wilhelm von.
  Kestrel, the yacht, Stillman makes use of, about Crete;
    hired for the voyage "on the track of Ulysses."
  King, John A.
  King, Rufus.
  Kingsley, Charles.
  Kingsley, Henry.
  Knapp, Mr., revival preacher.
  Kolashin.
  Kossuth, Louis, his tour in America;
    his intercourse with Stillman.
  Koumani
  Kovachevich, Slavonic patriot

  Lamarck, Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet de
  _Landscape Element, The, in American Poetry_, series of articles by
  Stillman in _The Crayon_
  Landscape in America, lack of picturesqueness in
  Larcom, Lucy, contributes to _The Crayon_
  _Lark, The, and her Young_, fable of
  Lasithe
  Laufenburg
  Lausanne
  Leighton, Sir Frederick, visits Stillman
  Lemaître, Frédéric, actor
  Lenox, James
    his attempts to obtain Turner's _Téméraire_
    possession of another work by Turner
  Leslie, Sir Charles R., artist
  _Levant Herald_, Stillman's work upon
  Leys, Baron
  Lincoln, Abraham,
    at the outbreak of the Civil War
    his understanding of the North
    in the Mason and Slidell case
    brief mentions of
    his assassination
  Lind, Jenny, fellow-passenger with Stillman from England
  Linnell, John, artist
  Ljubibratich, Herzegovinian leader
  _Llanthony Abbey_, Turner's picture
  Lloyd, Mr., English consul at Syra
  Lockwood, Le Grand
  Longfellow, H.W.
    Stillman's intercourse with
    his spiritualism
    comparison with Emerson
  Longfellow, Mrs. H.W.
  Lowell, James
  Lowell, Charles
  Lowell, James Russell
    assists Stillman with _The Crayon_
    is appointed a professor at Harvard
    complimentary dinner to
    comparison with Holmes
    Stillman's personal association with and judgment of
    brief mentions of
  Lowell, Mrs. James Russell
  Lumley, Sir John Saville. _See_ Saville, Lord, of Burford.
  Lyons, Lord, English ambassador at Constantinople

  MacDonald, Captain
  MacDonald, Mr., manager of the _Times_, Stillman's association with
  Mack, Dr. David
  Mack, Laura, of Cambridge. _See_ Stillman, Laura, wife of W.J.
  Mackail, J.W., his life of Morris
  Macmillan's, evenings at
  _Magdalene_, Rossetti's picture
  Mahmoud Pasha, Hungarian general, in Turkish army
  Mahommed the Arabian, bricabrac dealer
  Mantz, Paul, French correspondent of _The Crayon_
  Marsh, George P., American minister to Italy
  Marshall, John, surgeon
  Martins, Professor, French scientist
  "Mason and Dixon's line"
  Mason and Slidell, capture of
  Matanzas, Fla.
  Maxson, Mr., grandfather of W.J. Stillman
  Maxson, Eliza Ward. _See_ Stillman, Eliza Ward Maxson
  Maxson, John, ancestor of W.J. Stillman
  Maxson, William B., uncle of W.J. Stillman
  Mayor, Edmond, Crispi's secretary
  Mazzini, Giuseppe
  Medun
  Mehmet Ali, governor-general of Crete
  Mehmet Pasha
  Meissonier, Jean Louis Ernst
  Melos. _See_ Milo
  Menelek
  Meskla
  Metellus, his siege of Canea
  Milan
  Millais, Sir John
    his picture _The Proscribed Royalist_
    Stillman meets
    his facility of execution
    his influence compared with Rossetti's
  Millet, J.F., Stillman's meeting with, at Barbizon
    his work
    his personal relations with Rousseau
    appreciation by Americans
  Millianoff, Marko, Kutchian chief
  Milnes, Monckton, Stillman makes acquaintance of
  Milo, Montenegrin hero
  Milo, the island of
  Mirko, father of Prince Nicholas
  _Modern Painters_
  Mohawk River
  Monson, Sir Edward
  Mont Blanc
  Montenegro, Princess of
  Montenegro, Stillman's journey to, as _Times_ correspondent
    condition and character of the people
    incidents of travel
    participation in the Herzegovinian insurrection
    declaration of war and military operations
    Russian intervention
    campaign of 1877
    siege of Niksich
    later visit to the country
    _See, also_, Herzegovina.
  Montenegrin women, courage of
  Monteverde, Colonel
  Moratsha, Stillman's journey to
    scene of defeat of Mehemet Ali Pasha
  Morley, Lord
  Morris, E. Joy, American minister at Constantinople
  Morris, William; character of his work and Rossetti's influence
      upon him
  Mosier, Joseph
  Mostar, visit to
  Mother's influence in forming character of children
  Moustier, Marquis de
  Mukhtar Pasha, commands Turkish troops in the Herzegovinian
    insurrection
    is replaced by Suleiman Pasha
  Müller, Max, quoted
    reviews _The Cretan Insurrection_
    with Mrs. Müller, meets Lowell at Stillman's house in London
  Muratovizza, battle of
  Murnies
  Murray, Captain Patrick, commander of the Wizard
  Mussulman honesty
  Mustapha Kiritly Pasha, his campaign in Crete
    his relations with Stillman
    his recall
    his execution of Cretans in 1837

  Naples, Congress of
  Naples, King of
  Napoleon III.
  Natural selection, theory of
  Neuchâtel
  Nevius brothers, missionaries
  New Orleans, murder of Italian prisoners in
  New York city
    the schools of
    description of, in Stillman's boyhood
    artist life and journalism in
  New York politics
  Newport, R.I., "Seventh-Day Baptists" in
  Niagara
  Nicholas, Prince of Montenegro, opposes Herzegovinian insurrection in
      its early stages
    Stillman's first audience with
    his character and appearance
    his civil list
    incidents in Stillman's intercourse with
    unwillingness to take responsibility of a war
    his conditions refused by Turks
    relations with Austria
    his gratitude to Stillman for sympathy aroused by his _Times_
      correspondence
    his opposition to Russian suggestions
    movements during the war
    brief mentions of
  Nicotera, Sig.
  Niksich, siege of
  Njegush
  _Nooning, The_, plan of
  Norich, Mr.
  Normandy
  North Conway, N.H.
  Norton, Charles Eliot,
    first meets Stillman
    contributes to _The Crayon_
    friendship with Stillman
    brief mentions of
  Nott, Mrs., wife of President Nott
  Nott, Eliphalet, President of Union College

  _Ode to Happiness_
  Ogle, Mr., _Times_ correspondent, killed by Turkish troops
  Omalos
  Omar Pasha
    succeeds Mustapha Kiritly in Crete
    his campaign
    his recall
  _On the Track of Ulysses_
  Orealuk
  Orzovensky, Dr.
  Osman Pasha
  Ostrog
    convent of
    fighting near
  Owen, Richard
  Owen, Robert Dale

  Page, William, portrait painter,
    contributes to _The Crayon_
  Paget, Admiral Lord Clarence
  Paget, H.M., accompanies Stillman "on the track of Ulysses"
  _Palinode_
  _Pall Mall Gazette_,
    Stillman contributes to
    is dropped from
  Palmerston, Lord
  Paris, visits to
  Parnell case, Stillman's search for evidence connected with
  Parrot, a pet
  Parthenios Kelaides, in the Cretan insurrection
  Pashley, Robert
  Paul Smith's Hotel
  Pavlovich, Peko,
    commands Montenegrin troops in Herzegovinian insurrection,
  Peirce, Professor Benjamin
  Pesth
  Petropoulaki, Grecian officer in Crete
  Petrovich, "Bozo" (Bozidar)
  Phi Beta Kappa Society
  Phoenix Park murders
  Photiades Pasha, Turkish minister at Athens
    governor of Crete
  Photographs of Athenian views, taken by Stillman
  _Pictures from Appledore_, first part appears in _The Crayon_
  Pierce, Franklin
  Pigeons, immense flocks of
  Pigott, Mr., his connection with the Parnell case
  Piperski Celia, convent of
  Pius IX.
  Plainfield, N.J.
  Plamenaz, Montenegrin minister of war
  Podgoritza
  Poe, Edgar A., Stillman meets at Church's studio
  Pope, the, office of
  Post, Mr., artist
  Preveli, convent of
  Princeton, N.Y.
  Prinsep, Valentine C., visits Stillman
  Protestant chapel in Rome
  Protracted meetings. _See_ Revival meetings
  Psyche, English dispatch boat, at Crete
  Public School Society in New York
  Pulzsky, Franz, Kossuth's colleague
  Puritans, rigor of their rule in Massachusetts
  Putnam, G.P.
  Pym, commander of the Assurance
  Pyne, J.B.
    his work as a painter
    influence on Stillman

  Quarantine in the Levant

  Rachel, the actress
  Ragusa, affairs in and about during the Herzegovinian insurrection
  _Rain Dream, A_, first published in _The Crayon_
  Randall, Alexander W.
  Raouf Pasha
  Raquette River
  Rarey, John S., impostor using his name
  Red Cross Society
  Regnault, Henri
  Reid, Whitelaw
  Reinhart, Benjamin F.
  Reschid Effendi
  Retimo, Stillman's trip to
  Revival meetings
  "Rhode Island and Providence Plantations"
  Ricotti, General, Italian minister
  Rieka
  _Riforma, La_, Crispi's journal
  Ritchie, Anne Thackeray
  Robertsbridge, residence at
  Robilant, General, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs
  Rodich, Baron, governor of Dalmatia
  Rogers, Mr., ex-officer of the English army
  Rogers, Randolph
  Roman Campagna
  Roman Catholic Church
    and the public schools
    character and influence of, in Italy
  Rome
    residences in
    description of
    civil and political condition
    immorality in
    the Catholic Church
    Pius IX.
    abolition of American legation at
  Rosebery, Lady
  Rosebery, Lord
    in Rome
    attitude of his government toward Italy
  Rossetti, Christina
  Rossetti, Dante Gabriel
    Stillman's intercourse with and judgment of
  Rossetti, Maria
  Rossetti, Mrs. Gabriele
  Rossetti, William, English correspondent of _The Crayon_
    Stillman's later intercourse with
  Rossetti family, Stillman's intercourse with
  Rousseau, Théodore, Stillman's meeting with, at Barbizon
    his work compared with Turner's
  Rowse, S.W.
    his portrait of Emerson
    remark about Ruskin
  Rudiní, Marquis di, Italian statesman
    his action in regard to murder of Italian prisoners in New Orleans
    fall of his ministry
    brief mentions
  Ruggles, Dr. Edward, artist
  Ruskin, John
    Stillman's first meeting with
    further intercourse
    influence
    summer in Switzerland with
  Ruskin, Mrs. John
  Russia
    coöperates in Montenegrin affairs
    declares war against Turkey
    the campaign
    unites with France in creating difficulties for Italy in Abyssinia
  Russian influence
    in Cretan affairs
    in Herzegovina
    in Europe generally
  Russians, characteristics of the

  Sabbatarians. _See_ Seventh-Day Baptists.
  Sabbath, the
  St. Augustine, Fla.
  St. Martin
  Salisbury, Lord
    orders withdrawal from negotiations with Italy in reference to
      occupation of Kassala
    acknowledges Crispi's services to the cause of European peace
    renews compact with Italy and Austria
    vacillation of
  Sandown
  Sandwith, T. Humphrey, English consul at Crete
  Sapunzaki, General Saracco, Sig., Italian Minister of Public Works,
  Saturday Club
    Stillman's first attendance at
    Emerson as a member of
    Judge Hoar as a member of
  Sauer, Mr., correspondent of the New York _Herald_ at Vienna
  Saville, Lord, of Burford
  Savoy, annexation of
  Schahin Pasha
  Schenectady
    commercial importance of, in early part of the 19th century
    Stillman's early life and education in
  Schmidt, Madam, a German refugee
  Scotch Cameronians in Princeton, N.Y.
  Scott, General Winfield, urges peaceful separation of North and South
  Scott, Mrs. Winfield, dies in Rome
  _Scribner's Monthly_, Stillman's connection with
  Scutari
  Sectarian persecution, freedom from, in Rhode Island
  Seemann, Dr.
  Selim Pasha
  Selinos
  Server Effendi
  Servia
    negotiations with Montenegro
    revolt against Turkey
  Seventh-Day Baptists
  Severn, Arthur
  Seward, William H.
    his relations with Dr. Nott
    his influence in New York at the opening of the Civil War
    position in the Mason and Slidell case
    sustains Stillman in matter of passports
    his manner of making appointments
    dispatch from, to Stillman at Crete
    consents to Stillman's recall, which, however, is revoked
  Sexton, Samuel, portrait painter, teacher and friend of Stillman
  Shawnik
  Shefket Pasha, inaugurator of the "Bulgarian atrocities"
    defeated by Lazar Socica
    recalled
  Sheridan, Irish patriot
  Sigourney, Mrs., contributes to _The Crayon_
  "Six Greeks, seven captains"
  Slavery in Florida, as seen by Stillman
  Small-pox hospital, Newport, R.I.
  Smalley, E.V., assists Stillman in _Tribune_ correspondence at Vienna
  Smalley, G.W., European manager of the New York _Tribune_
  Socica, Lazar
    defeats Shefket Pasha at Muratovizza
    quarrels with Peko Pavlovich
    joins Peiovich
    his method of attacking towers
  Societies, secret, at Union College
  Sonnino, Sidney, Italian Minister of the Treasury
  Southerners in Rome
  Spartali, Marie. _See_ Stillman, Marie, wife of W.J.
  Spartali, Michael, Greek consul general at London
  Spelling-matches
  Sphakia
  Spiritism, Stillman's investigation of
  Spuz
  Stagecoaches, between Albany and Schenectady
  _Star, The_, John Bright's paper
  Stead, William T.
  Stebbing, William
  Stebbins, Emma
  Steedman, Commodore
  Stefan Nemanides, founder of the convent of Moratsha
  Stephen, Leslie, Stillman's acquaintance with, in London
  Stephen, Mrs. Leslie
  Stillman, Alfred, brother of W.J.
  Stillman, Bella, daughter of W.J.
  Stillman, Charles H., brother of W.J.
  Stillman, Effie, daughter of W.J.
  Stillman, Eliza Ward Maxson, mother of W.J.
    her early life
    marriage
    residence in Schenectady, N.Y.
    strong religious nature
    ambitions for her children
    charity
    family discipline
    general character
    old age
    death
  Stillman, George, ancestor of W.J.
  Stillman, Dr. Jacob, brother of W.J.
    teaches in De Ruyter, N.Y.
    takes part in séances
  Stillman, Joseph, father of W.J.
    marriage
    residence in Schenectady, N.Y.
    opposes his sons' going to college
    family discipline
    character
    death
  Stillman, Laura, first wife of W.J.
    engagement
    marriage
    winter in Paris
    return to America
    remains in Cambridge while Stillman goes to his consulate at Rome
    rejoins husband
    life in Crete
    death
  Stillman, Lisa, daughter of W.J.
  Stillman, Marie, second wife of W.J.
  Stillman, Mrs., sister-in-law of W.J.
  Stillman, Paul, brother of W.J.
  Stillman, Russie, son of W.J.
    his illness
    his death
  Stillman, Thomas B., brother of W.J.
  Stillman, William James
    early life and training
    religious experience
    intellectual slowness
    love of nature and struggles of conscience
    runs away from home
    returns
    attends school in New York city, living with his eldest brother
    goes to a school at De Ruyter, N.Y.
    mental slowness disappears
    college education decided on by the family
    continues preparation in Schenectady
    enters Union College
    tries teaching a "district school"
    conflict of will with his father
    returns to college
    college life, religious doubts, renewal of acquaintance with a former
      teacher at De Ruyter
    begins serious study of art
    voyage to England
    life in London
    visit to Paris
    returns to America
    continues painting from nature
    enlists under Kossuth, and goes to Hungary to carry off
      the crown jewels
    studies art in Paris
    returns to America and continues painting
    investigates spiritism
    spends much time in the Adirondacks
    curious mental experiences
    takes a studio in New York
    obtains position of fine-art editor of the _Evening Post_
    relations with Bryant
    with Mr. and Mrs. H.K. Brown
    conducts _The Crayon_
    breaks down in health
    life in Cambridge and vacations in the Adirondacks
    betrothal to Miss Mack of Cambridge
    formal organization of the Adirondack Club, and purchase of
      tract of land
    severe illness
    trip to Florida
    returns to Cambridge
    in the Adirondacks
    goes again to England
    life in London, conversion to the theory of evolution
    summer in Switzerland with Ruskin
    marriage to Miss Mack and winter in Paris, acquaintance with the
      Browning family
    excursion to Normandy
    returns to the United States on account of the Civil War
    is appointed consul at Rome
    goes to England, thence to Italy
    life in Rome
    journey to America for wife and child
    dissatisfaction with the Roman consulate
    transference to Crete
    journey thither
    consular life
    trips about the island
    journey to and from Rome for wife and children
    death of T.B. Stillman
    to Athens on leave of absence
    photographic work
    is dismissed from Cretan consulate
    death of Mrs. Stillman
    returns to Crete to make consignment of the consulate
    in accordance with wish of Mehmet Ali, the new governor-general,
      goes to Constantinople to discuss condition of Crete
    illness of Russie Stillman, journey to London, and thence to America
    death of his mother
    publication of book of photographs
    undertakes painting again
    takes position on _Scribner's Monthly_
    returns to London,--association with Rossetti and other English artists
    second marriage
    literary work for various periodicals
    continued ill health of Russie Stillman
    copyright controversy
    goes to Vienna as correspondent of the _Tribune_
    reports Beaconsfleld's Aylesbury speech for the _Herald_
    makes journey to America with Russie
    death of Russie
    goes to Herzegovina and Montenegro, as correspondent of the
      _Times_, to report the insurrection there
    journey through Montenegro and Albania
    stay at Ragusa
    goes to England
    returns to Montenegro
    goes again to England
    false reports against his character as a correspondent
    receives assurance of Gladstone's confidence
    again returns to Montenegro
    following the war
    journey into the Berdas
    witnesses the taking of Niksich
    lost in the forest with the prince
    excursion to Moratsha
    returns to find that Antivari and Dulcigno have been taken
    spends the winter in Corfu
    removes to Florence
    intercourse with the Brownings and Gladstone
    exploration of the "track of Ulysses"
    undertakes expedition for the American Archaeological Institute
    revisits Crete
    goes to Athens as _Times_ correspondent
    returns to Florence
    is interested in preservation of old buildings
    letters to London journals
    pleasures of life in Florence
    gives up residence on account of prevalence of fevers
    Mrs. Stillman and younger children return to England,
    Stillman spends next year in New York, on staff of the
      _Evening Post_
    is appointed representative of the _Times_ for Italy and Greece,
      with residence at Rome
    goes to Athens, finding political affairs there in a critical condition
    breaks down in health and returns to Rome
    relations with Crispi
    is sent by the _Times_ to America in quest of evidence connected
      with the Parnell case
    revisits the Adirondacks
    résumé of his connection with the _Times_, to 1889
    revisits Montenegro
    rumor of his assassination
    in Rome as _Times_ correspondent
    evolution his religious ideal
    resigns his position on the _Times_, and settles permanently
      in England
  Story, W.W.
  Suleiman Pasha
  Sultan, the
  Sumner, Charles
  Swedenborg
  Swinburne, A.C.
  Switzerland, Stillman's journeyings in
  Szemere, Bartholomew, colleague of Kossuth

  Tanlongo, Sig., director of the Banca Romana
  Taylor, Bayard, contributes to _The Crayon_
    assists Stillman in _Tribune_ correspondence at Vienna
  Taylor, Tom
  Tcherniaieff, Russian general, commands Servian army
  Tennyson, Alfred, writes a sonnet on Montenegrin affairs
  Theriso
  Thoemel, Colonel
  _Three Fishermen_
  Tilton, John Rollin, American landscape painter
  _Times_, prints letter from Stillman on copyright matters
    correspondence from Herzegovina and Montenegro
    from Florence
    from Athens
    from Rome
    from New York
    on the Parnell case
    résumé of Stillman's connection with
    his resignation from
  Tintoret
  Trebinje
  "Tree of Judgment"
  _Tribune_, the New York, Stillman correspondent for, at Vienna
      Exposition
  Tricou, M., French consul at Crete
  Tricoupi, Charilaos, Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs
    his friendship with Stillman
    his character and ability
    course as prime minister
  Tricoupi family
  Triple Alliance
  Trollope, Mrs.
  Trollope, T. Adolphus, defends Stillman in copyright discussion
  Trout, Stillman's first capture
    in Montenegrin streams
  Troyon, Constant
  Turkey, her treatment of Crete
    condition of the empire after the Cretan affair. _See,
    also_, Herzegovina _and_ Montenegro.
  Turkish maladministration
  Turner, Joseph Mallord William
    Stillman's meeting with
    criticism of his works
    his influence on Stillman
    comparison of his work with Rousseau's
    appearance through a spiritualist medium
    scenes painted by him in the Alps
    his power of composition
  Tynan, Irish patriot

  Union College, Schenectady
  Utovu, battle of

  Vafé
  Valide, Sultana
  Van Buren, General, chief commissioner for America at the Vienna
    Exposition
  Varnhagen von Ense, Carl August
  Veloudaki, Costa, Cretan chief
  Victor Emmanuel II., King of Italy
  Victor Emmanuel III., King of Italy
  Victoria, Queen, her attitude towards the United States during the
      Civil War
    her visit to Florence
  Vienna, Stillman visits, as Kossuth's agent
    Exhibition of 1873
  Villari, Pasquale
  Virchow, Rudolf, Stillman sends skull of Albanian chieftain to
  Volo
  Von Keudall, German ambassador at Rome
  Vrysis
  Vucidol, battle of
  Vucotich, father-in-law of Nicholas, Prince of Montenegro
  Vucovich, the village
  Vucovich, Voivode, chief of the Wassoivich

  Walter, John, of the London _Times_
  Ward, Samuel, of Rhode Island
  Ward, Samuel G., of Boston
  "Ward schools"
  Warner, Charles Dudley, early friend of Stillman
  Washington monument, stone for, sent from Rome
  Wassiltchikoff, Russian friend of Stillman
  Waterloo, battlefield of
  Watts, G.F., Stillman's first meeting with
  Waverley Oaks
  Wehnert, Edward, artist and friend of Stillman in London
  Wells, Mrs.
  Whipple, E.P.
  _White Lady_, Rossetti's picture
  White Mountains
  Whittier, John G.
  Williams, Roger, his colony in Rhode Island
  Wilson, John, artist and teacher of phonography, gives Stillman
      drawing lessons.
  _Wind Harp, The_
  Winsor, Justin, contributes to _The Crayon_
  Wizard, English gunboat, at Crete
  Woodley, Mr., American consul at Corfu
  Woodman, Horatio
  Wyman, Jeffries

  Yates, Edmund, correspondent of the New York _Herald_ at Vienna
  Yewell, Mr., Stillman takes studio with, in Paris
  Young, John Russell, correspondent of the New York _Herald_ at Vienna
  Yvon, Adolphe
    Stillman enters studio of
    his work

  Zanardelli, rival of Crispi in 1893
  Ziem, Félix
  Zimbrakaki, commander of Greek volunteers in Crete
  Zschokke, Johann H.D.
  Zupa, monastery of





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