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cavalry, before they could agree upon the mode of defence, and long before any mode could have been tolerably matured. The result was one universal massacre, which raged for three days, and involved every living Prevesan, excepting some few who had wisely made their escape in time, and excepting those who were reserved to be tortured for Ali's special gratification, or to be sold for slaves in the shambles. This dreadful catastrophe, which in a few hours rooted from the earth an old and flourishing community, was due in about equal degrees to the fatal intriguing of the interloping French, and to the rankest treachery in a quarter where it could least have been held possible; namely, in a Suliote, and a very distinguished Suliote, Captain George Botzari; but the miserable man yielded up his honor and his patriotism to Ali's bribe of one hundred purses (perhaps at that time equal to twenty-five hundred pounds sterling). The way in which this catastrophe operated upon Ali's final views was obvious to everybody in that neighborhood. Parga, on the sea-coast, was an indispensable ally to Suli; now, Prevesa stood in the same relation to Parga, as an almost indispensable ally, that Parga occupied towards Suli.
This shocking tragedy had been perpetrated in the October of 1798; and, in less than two years from that date, namely, on the 2d of June, 1800, commenced the eleventh war of the Suliotes; being their third with Ali, and the last which, from their own guileless simplicity, meeting with the craft of the most perfidious amongst princes, they were ever destined to wage. For two years, that is, until the middle of 1802, the war, as managed by the Suliotes, rather resembles a romance, or some legend of the acts of Paladins, than any grave chapter in modern history. Amongst the earliest victims it is satisfactory to mention the traitor, George Botzari, who, being in the power of the Pacha, was absolutely compelled to march with about two hundred of his kinsmen, whom he had seduced from Suli, against his own countrymen, under whose avenging swords the majority of them fell, whilst the arch-traitor himself soon died of grief and mortification. After this, Ali himself led a great and well-appointed army in various lines of assault against Suli. But so furious was the reception given to the Turks, so deadly and so uniform their defeat, that panic seized on the whole army, who declared unanimously to Ali that they would no more attempt to contend with the Suliotes— "Who," said they, "neither sit nor sleep, but are born only for the destruction of men." Ali was actually obliged to submit to this strange resolution of his army; but, by way of compromise, he built
a chain of forts pretty nearly encircling Suli; and simply exacted of his troops that, being forever released from the dangers of the open field, they should henceforward shut themselves up in these forts, and constitute themselves a permanent blockading force for the purpose of bridling the marauding excursions of the Suliotes. It was hoped that, from the close succession of these forts, the Suliotes would find it impossible to slip between the cross fires of the Turkish musketry; and that, being thus absolutely cut off from their common resources of plunder, they must at length be reduced by mere starvation. That termination of the contest was in fact repeatedly within a trifle of being accomplished; the poor Suliotes were reduced to a diet of acorns; and even of this food had so slender a quantity that many died, and the rest wore the appearance of blackened skeletons. All this misery, however, had no effect to abate one jot of their zeal and their undying hatred to the perfidious enemy who was bending every sinew to their destruction. It is melancholy to record that such perfect heroes, from whom force the most disproportioned, nor misery the most absolute, had ever wrung the slightest concession or advantage, were at length entrapped by the craft of their enemy; and by their own foolish confidence in the oaths of one who had never been known to keep any engagement which he had a momentary interest in breaking. Ali contrived first of all to trepan the matchless leader of the Suliotes, Captain Foto Giavella, who was a hero after the most exquisite model of ancient Greece, Epaminondas, or Timoleon, and whose counsels were uniformly wise and honest. After that loss, all harmony of plan went to wreck amongst the Suliotes; and at length, about the middle of December, 1803, this immortal little independent state of Suli solemnly renounced by treaty to Ali Pacha its sacred territory, its thrice famous little towns, and those unconquerable positions among the crests of wooded inaccessible mountains which had baffled all the armies of the crescent, led by the most eminent of the Ottoman Pachas, and not seldom amounting to twenty, twenty-five, and in one instance even to more than thirty thousand men. The articles of a treaty, which on one side there never was an intention of executing, are scarcely worth repeating; the amount was- that the Suliotes had perfect liberty to go whither they chose, retaining the whole of their arms and property, and with a title to payment in cash for every sort of warlike store which could not be carried off. In excuse for the poor Suliotes in trusting to treaties of any kind with an enemy whom no oaths could bind for an hour, it is but fair to mention that they were now absolutely without
supplies either of ammunition or provisions; and that, for seven days, they had suffered under a total deprivation of water, the sources of which were now in the hands of the enemy, and turned into new channels. The winding up of the memorable tale is soon told :- the main body of the fighting Suliotes, agreeably to the treaty, immediately took the route to Parga, where they were sure of a hospitable reception, that city having all along made common cause with Suli against their common enemy, Ali. The son of Ali, who had concluded the treaty, and who inherited all his father's treachery, as fast as possible despatched four thousand Turks in pursuit, with orders to massacre the whole. But in this instance, through the gallant assistance of the Parghiotes, and the energetic haste of the Suliotes, the accursed wretch was disappointed of his prey. As to all the other detachments of the Suliotes, who were scattered at different points, and were necessarily thrown everywhere upon their own resources without warning or preparation of any kind,—they, by the terms of the treaty, had liberty to go away or to reside peaceably in any part of Ali's dominions. But as these were mere windy words, it being well understood that Ali's fixed intention was to cut every throat among the Suliotes, whether of man, woman, or child,— nay,as he thought himself dismally ill-used by every hour's delay which interfered with the execution of that purpose, what rational plan awaited the choice of the poor Suliotes, finding themselves in the centre of a whole hostile nation, and their own slender divisions cut off from communication with each other? What could people so circumstanced propose to themselves as a suitable resolution for their situation? Hope there was none; sublime despair was all that their case allowed; and, considering the unrivalled splendors of their past history for more than one hundred and sixty years, perhaps most readers would reply, in the famous words of Corneille - Qu'ils mourussent. That was their own reply to the question now so imperatively forced upon them; and die they all did. It is an argument of some great original nobility in the minds of these poor people, that none disgraced themselves by useless submissions, and that all alike, women as well as men, devoted themselves in the "high Roman fashion" to the now expiring cause of their country. The first case which occurred exhibits the very perfection of nonchalance in circumstances the most appalling. Samuel, a Suliote monk, of somewhat mixed and capricious character, and at times even liable to much suspicion amongst his countrymen, but of great name, and of unquestionable merit in his military character, was in the act of delivering over to authorized Turkish agents a small
outpost, which had greatly annoyed the forces of Ali, together with such military stores as it still contained. By the treaty, Samuel was perfectly free, and under the solemn protection of Ali; but the Turks, with the utter shamelessness to which they had been brought by daily familiarity with treachery the most barefaced, were openly descanting to Samuel upon the unheard-of tortures which must be looked for at the hands of Ali, by a soldier who had given so much trouble to that Pacha as himself. Samuel listened coolly; he was then seated on a chest of gunpowder, and powder was scattered about in all directions. He watched in a careless way until he observed that all the Turks, exulting in their own damnable perfidies, were assembled under the roof of the building. He then coolly took the burning snuff of a candle, and threw it into a heap of combustibles, still keeping his seat upon the chest of powder. It is unnecessary to add that the little fort, and all whom it contained, were blown to atoms. And with respect to Samuel in particular, no fragment of his skeleton could ever be discovered.* After this followed as many separate tragedies as there were separate parties of Suliotes; when all hope and all retreat were clearly cut off, then the women led the great scene of self-immolation, by throwing their children headlong from the summit of precipices; which done, they and their husbands, their fathers and their sons, hand in hand, ran up to the brink of the declivity, and followed those whom they had sent before. In other situations, where there was a possibility of fighting with effect, they made a long and bloody resistance, until the Turkish cavalry, finding an opening for their operations, made all further union impossible; upon which they all plunged into the nearest river, without distinction of age or sex, and were swallowed up by the merciful waters. Thus, in a few days, from the signing of that treaty, which nominally secured to them peaceable possession of their property, and paternal treatment from the perfidious Pacha, none remained to claim his promises or to experience his abominable cruelties. In their native mountains of Epirus, the name of Suliote was now blotted from the books of life, and was heard no more in those wild sylvan haunts, where once it had filled every echo with the breath of panic to the quailing hearts of the Moslems. In the most " palmy" days of Suli, she never had counted more than twenty-five hundred fighting men ;
* The deposition of two Suliote sentinels at the door, and of a third person who escaped with a dreadful scorching, sufficiently established the facts; otherwise the whole would have been ascribed to the treachery of Ali or his son.
and of these no considerable body escaped, excepting the corps who hastily fought their way to Parga. From that city they gradually transported themselves to Corfu, then occupied by the Russians. Into the service of the Russian Czar, as the sole means left to a perishing corps of soldiers for earning daily bread, they naturally entered; and when Corfu afterwards passed from Russian to English masters, it was equally inevitable that for the same urgent purposes they should enter the military service of England. In that service they received the usual honorable treatment, and such attention as circumstances would allow to their national habits and prejudices. They were placed also, we believe, under the popular command of Sir R. Church, who, though unfortunate as a supreme leader, made himself beloved in a lower station by all the foreigners under his authority. These Suliotes have since then returned to Epirus and to Greece, the peace of 1815 having, perhaps, dissolved their connection with England, and they were even persuaded to enter the service of their arch-enemy, Ali Pacha. Since his death, their diminished numbers, and the altered circumstances of their situation, should naturally have led to the extinction of their political importance. Yet we find them in 1832 still attracting (or rather concentrating) the wrath of the Turkish Sultan, made the object of a separate war, and valued (as in all former cases) on the footing of a distinct and independent nation. On the winding up of this war, we find part of them at least an object of indulgent solicitude to the British government, and under their protection transferred to Cephalonia. Yet again, others of their scanty clan meet us at different points of the war in Greece; especially at the first decisive action with Ibrahim, when, in the rescue of Costa Botzaris, every Suliote of his blood perished on the spot; and again, in the fatal battle of Athens (May 6, 1827), Mr. Gordon assures us that "almost all the Suliotes were exterminated." We understand him to speak not generally of the Suliotes, as of the total clan who bear that name, but of those only who happened to be present at that dire catastrophe. Still, even with this limitation, such a long succession of heavy losses descending upon a people who never numbered above twenty-five hundred fighting men, and who had passed through the furnace, seven times heated, of Ali Pacha's wrath, and suffered those many and dismal tragedies which we have just recorded, cannot but have brought them latterly to the brink of utter extinction.