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this feeling is but a transient and pardonable ebullition of ill-temper. After the decisions of the Berlin Conference first became known, there was a good deal of tall talk about local resistance. But that soon died away. Then the beys declared that they would sell their lands and emigrate en masse. A few, very few, did 80. Most of them thought better of it, knowing full well that their property could only gain in value by the change. Probably many of them will leave the country for a time should it actually pass into the possession of Greece, but they will retain their estates, and leave them in charge of Greek agents. This would not by any means satisfy the peasant. It is not the present state of the land laws which provokes his hostility. The métayer or partnership system, under which most of the estates are farmed, is a very simple one, and not unfavourable to the tenants. The proprietor of the estate furnishes the land, house, and seed to the tenant-farmer, and the latter is obliged to find the labour, oxen, and instruments. No written contract is entered into between them; and while the landlord has the right to discharge the tenant at his pleasure, the tenant is equally free to depart when he chooses. But evictions are very rare; and the landlord is forced, by the scarcity of labour and the absence of machinery to replace it, to make every possible concession in order not to lose his tenants. According to the métayer system, the produce of the farm is divided into two equal portions between the landlord and the tenant, after first deducting the seed furnished by the landlord and the tithe due to the Government. In some estates where the seed is furnished by the tenant, he even takes two-thirds of the produce, leaving only one for the landlord. No doubt the position of the peasantry is aggravated where the landlord lets out the whole property to a middleman, or multazim, who derives what revenue he can out of it by subletting it. But the multazim's exactions never impoverish him so much as the enforced idleness of the many feast-days prescribed by the Church. So numerous indeed have they become, that his working days—making no allowance for detention by weather or sickness—are limited to less than 200. “The agent of the largest proprietor in Thessaly,” says
Colonel Synge, “informed me that he made a bargain with the labourers employed on his estates for 58 feast-days per annum, besides Sundays; and,” he adds, “there is little doubt that these days of idleness, and frequently of drunkenness, are one of the great drawbacks to the prosperity of the country.”
It is not the wrongs which he suffers at the hands of his landlords which make the Greek peasant yearn for union with the Hellenic kingdom. It is, that he sees in that consummation the prospect of the reopening of the whole question of land tenure in Thessaly. He treasures up not only the memory of the past, when his ancestors owned the land which he now tills as a hired labourer, but in many cases the very title-deeds of their property ; and he looks forward to the day when Greek annexation shall restore life to the dead letter of the musty parchments, and the landlord shall be evicted in favour of the farmer. Though such hopes are undoubtedly doomed, under all circumstances, to disappointment, they have been often encouraged by unscrupulous agitators to stir up the popular passions. But the weapon is a
double-edged one, and cuts both ways. The hopes which allure the farmer are construed by the landlord into a threat. The Mussulmans are naturally opposed to a change which would rob them, at least in a great measure, of their privileges and power; but the Christian proprietors would be equally opposed to a change which might rob them of their broad acres. It is not, however, the sympathies or inclinations of one or other section of the population which will decide the fate of Thessaly, as neither the one nor the other seems disposed to shape it by their own action. Supineness is the chief characteristic of Mussulmans as well as Christians. There is on both sides great eagerness to know what is going to be done for them or with them, but very little eagerness to do anything for themselves. The chief feeling, indeed, throughout the crisis has been—“Let things end as they may, but for God's sake let there be an end to the present intolerable uncertainty."
UNDER THE SHADOW OF OLYMPUS.
NOTWITHSTANDING the kind hospitality which I enjoyed at Mr Longworth’s, H.M.'s ViceConsul, I had not been many days at Larissa before I felt the keenest anxiety to depart from it. I had been interviewed by the leading members of the various communities, who were anxious to let me have their views on the political situation of the province. The iniquity of Moslem rule had been vigorously denounced over coffee and cigarettes by patriotic Hellenes. Coffee and cigarettes had inspired the eloquence of Turkish landowners protesting against the revolutionary tendencies of Greek annexationists. I had heard the naval demonstration applauded and abused in turn, in terms quite as energetic as could be found in the columns of