Occasional Papers eBook

Richard William Church
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 378 pages of information about Occasional Papers.
which he displayed after it—­his unshaken, silent fortitude, the power with which he kept together and saved the wrecks of his shattered and disheartened volunteer army, the confidence in himself with which he inspired them, the skill with which he extricated them from their dangers in the face of a strong and formidable enemy, the humanity which he strove so earnestly by word and example to infuse into the barbarous warfare customary between Greeks and Turks, the tenacity with which he clung to the fastnesses of Western Greece, obtaining by his perseverance from the diplomacy of Europe a more favourable line of boundary for the new nation which it at length recognised.  To this cause he gave up everything; personal risks cannot be counted; but he threw away all prospects in England; he made no bargains; he sacrificed freely to the necessities of the struggle any pecuniary resource that he could command, neither requiring nor receiving any repayment.  He threw in his lot with the people for whom he had surrendered everything, in order to take part in their deliverance.  Since his arrival in Greece in 1827 he has never turned his face westwards.  He took the part which is perhaps the only becoming and justifiable one for the citizen of one State who permits himself to take arms, even in the cause of independence, for another; having fought for the Greeks, he lived with them, and shared, for good and for evil, their fortunes.

For more than forty years he has resided at Athens under the shadow of the great rock of the Acropolis.  Distinguished by all the honours the Greek nation could bestow, military or political, he has lived in modest retirement, only on great emergencies taking any prominent part in the political questions of Greece, but always throwing his influence on the side of right and honesty.  The course of things in Greece was not always what an educated Englishman could wish it to be.  But whatever his judgment, or, on occasion, his action might be, there never could be a question, with his friends any more than with his opponents—­enemies he could scarcely be said to have—­as to the straightforwardness, the pure motives, the unsullied honour of anything that he did or anything that he advised.  The Greeks saw among them one deeply sympathising with all that they cared for, commanding, if he had pleased to work for it, considerable influence out of Greece, the intimate friend of a Minister like Sir Edmund Lyons, yet keeping free from the temptation to make that use of influence which seems so natural to politicians in a place like Athens; thinking much of Greece and of the interests of his friends there, but thinking as much of truth and justice and conscience; hating intrigue and trick, and shaming by his indignant rebuke any proposal of underhand courses that might be risked in his presence.

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Occasional Papers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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