Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/225

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declared, that the Greeks, because they are very bad, will never be better.

Eton and Sonnini[1] have led us astray by their panegyrics and projects; but, on the other hand, De Pauw and Thornton[2] have debased the Greeks beyond their demerits.

The Greeks will never be independent; they will never be sovereigns as heretofore, and God forbid they ever should! but they may be subjects without being slaves. Our colonies are not independent, but they are free and industrious, and such may Greece be hereafter.

At present, like the Catholics of Ireland and the Jews throughout the world, and such other cudgelled and heterodox people, they suffer all the moral and physical ills that can afflict humanity. Their life is a struggle against truth; they are vicious in their own defence. They are so unused to kindness, that when they occasionally meet with it they look upon it with suspicion, as a dog often beaten snaps at your fingers if you attempt to caress him. "They are ungrateful, notoriously, abominably ungrateful!"—this is the general cry. Now, in the name of Nemesis! for what are they to be grateful? Where is the human being that ever conferred a benefit on Greek or Greeks? They are to be grateful to the Turks for their fetters, and to the Franks for their broken promises and lying counsels. They are to be grateful to the artist who engraves their ruins, and to the antiquary who carries them away; to the traveller whose janissary flogs them, and to the scribbler whose journal abuses them. This is the amount of their obligations to foreigners.

  1. [William Eton published (1798-1809) A Survey of the Turkish Empire, in which he advocated the cause of Greek independence. Sonnini de Manoncourt (1751-1812), another ardent phil-Hellenist, published his Voyage en Grèce et en Turquie in 1801.]
  2. [Cornelius de Pauw (1739-1799), Dutch historian, published, in 1787, Recherches philosophiques sur les Grecs. Byron reflects upon his paradoxes and superficiality in Note II., infra. Thomas Thornton published, in 1807, a work entitled Present State of Turkey (see Note II., infra).]