Sir Henry Ward has already dissolved his new Parliament. This
is no more than we foretold some time ago, and than Sir Henry must have foreseen if he was not utterly blind. After re- volting the minds of the most reactionary admirers of despotism, by the atrocities which he allowed to be perpetrated in Cephalonia by thoughtless and unfeeling boy officers, he flattered himself that he could cajole the disaffected by liberal professions. He was warned that the Opposition leaders were not supported by any such public opinion as exists in England ; that the islanders are not or- ganized into parties with definite objects. He was warned that the leaders with whom he patched up an alliance possessed no influence even with the small minority of Ionians who entertain political opinions; that in their personal characters they are unreliable, and disaffected to English rule. The sanguine Governor flattered him- self, that an educated Englishman must needs be more than a match for ignorant Greeks, and that he could turn to account the tactics of English Parliamentary electioneering, in a country where nei- ther the machinery nor the sentiment of Parliamentary govern- ment exists. His self-complacent vanity rejected all advice : he has played off his petty stratagems and been outwitted by the men he thought he could lead by the nose. He is as far as ever from having organized an efficient working government ; and all the crooked devices by which he expected to attain that end are ex- posed to the light of day, and consequently unavailable. Anarchy reigns in the Ionian Islands.
This is in itself sufficiently discreditable, and likely to be pro- ductive of embarrassment and expense to England. But the inevitable complication of the affairs of the Ionians with those of their countrymen in the kingdom of Greece renders it more peril- ous. In the actual social condition of the Ionian Islands, Parlia- mentary government seems impracticable—certainly if they are to be governed as an English dependency. But so long as a Parlia- mentary government exists in Greece, it is impossible that the edu- cated classes in the Islands can patiently submit to any other. This is the necessary consequence of the attempt to perpetuate a separation ofipthese islands from the rest of Greece, and sub- ject them to a foreign "protectorate." England was per- suaded to undertake the task of perpetuating this anoma- lous state of affairs, in order to prevent an explosion of jealousy between Russia and Austria, and the final suppression of Russian intrigue in Greece and Turkey. England is at this moment incurring obloquy and expense to promote the sinister and clandestine ambitious manoeuvres of Russia in the Levant. If England retain the whole of the Ionian Islands, she must rule them despotically, and therefore afford a colour to the subversion of national independence and Parliamentary, government in Greece : if England abandon the whole of the Islands, she will leave Russia mistress of the Levant, and sole arbiter of the fate of Turkey, Greece, and /taly : if England retain Corfu only, expecting to make it for the Adriatic what Gibraltar and Malta are for the rest of the Mediterranean, she must be prepared to garrison not the citadel alone but the whole island. There is nothing but a choice of difficulties, and the treaties by which the Islands were placed under the protectorate of England give full power to the despotic Continental Sovereigns to prevent her from adopting that which may seem least disadvantageous.