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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 474

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power rested, and for a while was master of the capital. The arrival of two Pashas from Asia Minor with a fair show of troops, the intervention, whieh always had its weight, of the Consuls of France, England and Russia, MM. Regnault, Peristiani and Calimeri, stilled this passing ferment, and things appeared to resume their accustomed course. But the intrigues of the chief Turks against the Greek headmen did not sleep, and ended in 1821 in a bloody coup iVetat, which put an end to the administration of the Muhastrils, overturned the authority of the Greek clergy, and restored the government to the Pashas. Kyprianos was then Archbishop of Cyprns, and the government of the island had been since IS'20 in the hands of Knchnk Mehmed, a man of imperious and dissembling temper, whom the Captan Pasha had chosen purposely to destroy the influence of the Greek ]'rimate. Circumstances soon favoured the execution of his plan. The first insurrectionary movements in Moldavia and Peloponnesus, which had burst a little after the arrival of Kuchnk Mehmed in Cyprus, while they inspired the Ottoman Government with the liveliest fear, sanctioned every measure which its agents could adopt to keep in check their Christian subjects in the provinces which had not risen. Xow the Greeks of Cyprns had remained entirely aloof from the national movement which had stirred the other islands and the Greek mainland. "It was not they who were crying ont against tyranny, and thought of taking up arms: it was the Turks, who were impatient of the bondage in which the bishops had kept them for fifty years past : it was for them that reaction and liberation were on foot." In fact Kuchnk Mehmed under pretext of keeping down the Greek population, which only wanted to remain quiet, and in reality to snatch back the reins of power, brought over from the mountains of the Auti Ijibanns bands of Arabs, Bedouins and Ansariya brigands, and scattered them about the island. The Greeks, terror-struck, allowed themselves to be disarmed to avoid all excuse for suspicion. The Archbishop Kyprianos protests his love of peace, his submission to the government of the Grand Signor. Kuchuk Mehmed persists in inventing a plot-persuades the Grand Yezir of its reality: he, being perhaps a party to tho stratagem, allows the Governor to make an example by the severe punishment of the leaders. Free to act, Knehuk Mehmed on July 0, 1821, ordere the arrest of the Archbishop and tho other three bishops. They were taken to the Serai, and were scarcely inside before they were murdered by the janissaries. The Greek notables, who were summoned later, before the news of the slaughter of the prelates had spread, met the same fate. The gates of the palace were then opened, and the bleeding corpses thrown into the square. This was the signal for a general massacre. The convent of Phaneromene was at once occupied, and the priests strangled. I was told, says M. de Mas Latrie, that before killing them the Turks, with a wild refinement of vengeance, saddled the priests as they would their horses, breaking their teeth to force the bits into their months, and making them caper under their spurs. The Greek houses were given over to pillage, massacres began again in all the districts of the island, and confiscation followed massacre. For six months universal terror reigned among the Greek population. The peasants fled to the woods, or Caramania: the notables, the priests aud Greeks of means, who had escaped the janissaries, took refuge at Larnaca, under the pro-tection of the European Consuls. Most of thein crossed over to Italy or France, and there are few Greek families in whom the names of Marseille or Venice do not still, even now that more than twenty years have passed since their retimi to the island, awake tender feelings of gratitude. So fell upon Cyprus the terrible counterblow of the revolution which freed the mainland of Greece and the Cyclades, but renewed all the rigours of Musulman rule for the provinces doomed to remain enslaved. ( •164 EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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