Imatges de pÓgina
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and how defeat shall be gilded with the honours of generous, voluntary sacrifice. We owe to Sir Charles Dilke's courage and information an addition to the public knowledge on this subject, which he vigorously opened up in the debate of the 29th of July, 1878, on the motion of Lord Hartington. His statement was repeated, and even enlarged as the discussion advanced. In substance the whole remains to this hour without contradiction. It is now placed beyond serious question that, at one of the meetings to which reference has been made, the French Plenipotentiary made a proposal on behalf of Greece, considerably exceeding that which on a later day he formally submitted to the Congress. It is also known that this larger proposal was then overthrown by the resistance of the English Plenipotentiaries. The more contracted plan was substituted in order to meet their views, and after all this, it was, as we have seen, only accepted by them as a lesser evil than that of retreating into isolation with defeat. Even now it will be well if, at this late hour, some authoritative statement can be made to destroy the force, and to efface the memory, of imputations so dishonouring to England: nay, even if only their range can be limited, for the weightiest of the facts are, unhappily, placed already beyond dispute by the official evidence in the possession of Parliament and the world.

With regard to subsequent, as well as prior, proceedings, our information is for the most part less definite than that afforded by the records of the Congress. It is, however, indubitable that the Greeks might have added largely to the force in arms against the Porte in 1877, and to the disturbances within her borders. There is no doubt that they were dissuaded from this tempting course of action by representations, in which England had a large share; and that they were given to understand they should not fare the worse for their forbearance. They appear, however, to have lost no time in acting after the conclusion of the Congress; since they asked on the 16th of July, 1878, for the appointment of Commissioners to put the Treaty in action. In the month of August Turkey delivered her protest against the European plan; which ought surely to have been given in before the Congress itself. Germany, it appears, at this time proposed collective action; but England refused it. In September, the Porte offered to concede, by way of settling the question, a petty fraction of what the Powers had indicated. In October, as M. Waddington's despatch of April 22, 1879, informs us, France proposed a collective intervention at Constantinople, which must at once have settled the whole matter. Skilled in dilatory arts and in Protean transformations, the Turks parried the blow by engaging to appoint Commissioners who should meet the Greeks, and trace the line. Then began a new course of delays and subterfuges, and only at the end of the year Commissioners were named by Turkey. 4 E 2

When appointed, they contrived to postpone action till the 19th of March, and proposed at that date a line, which is estimated as giving about one-fourth of the territory designated for cession by the Congress. The communications, as might be supposed, were broken off upon the presentation of this illusory proposal; and Greece, having definitively failed to arrange with Turkey, or even to effect any tolerable approximation, very properly invoked for the second time the mediation of the Powers under the Twenty-fourth Article of the treaty. In this state of facts, the French Government has taken its line. In the language of M. Waddington: The Congress had expressed its confidence that the two parties would succeed in agreeing. Events have not answered to that hope. The part of Europe, therefore, appears already marked out. . . . It is, therefore, expedient, in our opinion, to respond to the appeal of the Cabinet of Athens, and to take in hand without loss of time the problems to which it gives rise.'

And concerted action at Constantinople is the conclusion recommended by France to the Powers. We have read her language. What was ours? While she was acting the dignified and enlightened part, which our traditions and feelings conspicuously marked out for our assumption, or at the least our cordial support, the leader of the House of Commons was singing the praises of a direct arrangement between Turkey and Greece, which France, turning plain facts into plain words, had declared to be an exhausted method. In what way we know not, but in some way, the French plan of compliance with the Twenty-fourth Article of the treaty has been obstructed, and there is apparently no obstructor but one. The latest light thrown upon the subject has been an outburst of displeasure against England in some French newspapers, such as the République Française and the Journal des Débats, which had theretofore given, in Paris, to the British Administration a support nearly as thoroughgoing as that of the Daily Telegraph in London. Egypt is one cause of complaint, which I do not touch. It is unconnected with the Treaty of Berlin and my argument is for the fulfilment of the Twenty-fourth Article of that treaty. The other ground of offence alleged is the question of the Greek frontier: and we appear to be adequately. though not officially, informed what is the substantial matter in dispute.

A glance at Kieppert's larger Map will show, that the town and district of Janina fall within the line marked out by the Congress for the new Greek frontier. It is understood that France accordingly presses for the cession of Janina to Greece. It is difficult to believe, yet there seems to be no great reason to doubt, that England, and that England alone among the Powers, resists it. Is it possible that such

9 • April 21, 1879. In Daily News, May 17.

resistance, if it is really offered, can receive the support of the nation? Is it even clear that it will have the approval of the usual majority in the House of Commons?

As Crete, according to one of the old legends, was the cradle of Zeus, so Janina was the historic cradle of the Greek nation. In its immediate neighbourhood have been discovered the ruins of the ancient Dodona, round which dwelt, at the very earliest recorded date, those Helloi, or Selloi,1o from whose name the appellation of Hellene, now once more employed to denote the race, is a derivative. This was the sept or tribe which took a paramount position, and exercised a decisive influence upon character, manners, and institutions, throughout the Peninsula to the south.

At the same time, these interesting recollections must not be allowed to rule the controversy, if it can be shown that the inhabitants of the district are not Christian and Hellenic, but alien and Mohammedan. Now there are two tests which can be applied with conclusive effect to solve the problem; that of religion, and that of language. The Porte has set up an assertion that the people of Janina are not Greeks but Albanians. The fact is that the Albanians are ethnically, beyond all doubt, a kindred race: but what appears to be also true is that the few Albanians of Janina include a small dominant class of Mohammedans. If so, we may readily conceive that they or some of them may be objectors to a change in political relations, which would reduce them from ascendancy, and from ascendancy, as understood in Turkey, to equality with the rest of their fellow-subjects. But how many are they? What are the numbers attached to the two religions? And in what proportions do the people speak the two tongues?

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The Epirots resident in Constantinople have obtained the insertion in the journal La Turquie " of their remonstrance on this subject. They quote, as being official, certain statistics of the male population of Epirus, including the important district of Philiates, and some others, which do not appear to fall within the line. The return for the entire country gives the following results:-Greeks, 89,653; Mussulmans, 15,218. But, great as is this disproportion, it does not exhibit the whole strength of the case; for, in Philiates for example, where the Christians are near 13,000, the Mussulmans are over 9,000. And when we take the district of Janina alone we find the Greeks to be stated as 38,758, while the Mussulmans count only as 2,018. These appear to be only the Mussulmans of the town itself, which has about 8,000 (male) inhabitants of all religions.

It is known that the liability to serve in the army, and the heavy tax on Christians for exemption, have created a disposition to avoid 11 Of April 26, 1879.

10 П. xvi. 234.

appearing in the lists of population. It is not surprising, therefore, that another estimate, which proceeds from an educated Christian of Janina, assigns to the country a much larger number of males. It seems also probably to contain some outlying districts. But the proportions of Christian and non-Christian inhabitants are not greatly varied. The Christians given for Epirus are 260,000; the Mussulmans 54,000; with less than 4,000 Jews. But again, while Janina and its neighbourhood are said to supply 92,000 Christians, they only reckon 5,000 Mohammedans, with 3,000 Jews.

The evidence as to language is not less remarkable. In the entire district of Epirus, indeed (which is not in question), 193,000 are said to speak Greek, against 57,000 divided between Albanian and Vlach. But in Janina and its neighbourhood the Greek-speaking population is set down at 94,000, with only 5,500 of other tongues. It may, indeed, be said that figures of this kind can hardly rest upon careful enumeration, and may owe something to partiality. Let us look, then, for other evidence. The highest accessible authority upon the subject is that of persons who have travelled, or, beyond all others, who have long resided in, and studied, Epirus with the rest of Albania, before these subjects passed into the region of controversy at all. Such are Leake (1836), Ami Boué (1840), Tozer (1869), and Hobhouse (1809). Of these I will only quote the last.1

The Christians of Janina, though inhabiting a part of Albania, and governed by Albanian masters, call themselves Greeks. . . . They neither wear the Albanian dress, nor speak the Albanian language; and they partake also in every particular of the manners and customs of the Greek of the Morea, Roumelia, and other Christian parts of Turkey.'

A yet higher authority, and indeed the highest of all, is Dr. Hahn, who resided for very many years at Janina as Austrian Consul, and whose Albanesische Studien (Jena, 1858) are still, I believe, the standard work on that little known country. The difficulty is to select from his pages without running to great length. He states that the people along the coast speak both languages (Albanian and Greek), but in Janina, Arta, and Preveza 'even the Mohammedan part of the population speak the Greek as mother tongue' (p. 14). And he had cause to know it; for a portion of his work was to produce an Albanian Grammar and Dictionary; and he records the obstacle that he found in the difficulty of finding occasion to prac

12 Journey through Albania, p. 70. London: 1813. This is no question of Albania at all. Divided among themselves, without any sign of historical unity, the Albanians are a race distinct from Hellenes, although, as has been shown in the Kingdom, quite capable of assimilating with them. It is a Greek population with which we are called upon to deal; and no amount of bullying or wheedling by the Turkish authorities on the spot can make it otherwise.

tical exercise in a town so purely Greek as Janina.' But we can quite understand how some semblance of an anti-Hellenic feeling could be procured from this place, when we learn from him (p. 36) that the family language of the foremost aristocratic Mohammedan houses of Janina is the Albanian, but they do not number more than about a dozen.'

Such then appears to be the case of Janina; where, a couple of years ago, when there was a fear of Slavonic intrigues, the official Ottoman Journal (Feb. 2, 1877) declared that Epirus never forgets that she is the primitive Greece, the first station of Hellenism, where the Greek religion and the Greek letters' (of this last we were not quite aware) had their birth.'

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Unless all this case can be effectually overset, the Porte cannot reasonably hope to succeed in keeping Janina under her rule. She would act wisely to endeavour to part with it on the best terms she can make; and the only terms she can make with show of reason or hope of success are probably terms of money, which have soothed her susceptibilities in the case of Bulgaria, and which may yet be found to operate with a gentle reconciling force in other portions of the great Eastern problem.

But the question, for us and for the moment, stands thus. If there is to be a serious diplomatic controversy about Janina and its district, which side are we to take? It is good to know that Greece has found a champion, although it is mortifying to be also made painfully aware that we have thus far allowed the championship to slip away from our own hands. The conduct of France at the period of the Greek Emancipation did indeed entitle her to contest it with us in a friendly and honourable rivalry. But her partial recession from questions of European interest since the German war made it peculiarly our duty, at Constantinople and elsewhere, to assume the office. Nor can the fact be concealed that we had every possible facility for the performance of this duty. No country can vie with us, unless it be our own fault, in winning the confidence and affection of the Greeks: for there is no other State in regard to which there does not exist some bar to a complete harmony. Russia agrees with the Greeks as members of the orthodox Church, but excites their jealousy by her Slavonic sympathies, within the circle of which even religion has now been drawn. France has no special Slavonic sympathies; but her religion, on account of its aggressive operations, is everywhere in conflict with the religion of Greece, and, gliding, as it is so apt to glide, into Eastern policy, introduces an element of misgiving which checks the thorough consolidation of goodwill. England alone is absolutely detached from any influence, which can mar the completeness of her concord with the Hellenic races. She shared with France and Russia the good work of libera

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