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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

The demand for an armistice was gladly accepted by Greece


[Illustration: BEETHOVEN AND HIS ADMIRERS Painted by A. Grafle]

[Sidenote: English officers in Greece]

[Sidenote: Fall of Athens]

[Sidenote: Turks reject armistice]

By this time a number of foreign volunteers had flocked to Greece. Lord Cochrane, an English naval officer of venturous disposition, was appointed High Admiral. Sir Richard Church was put in command of the Greek land forces. Early in May, Church and Cochrane sought in vain to break the line of Turks under Kiutahi Pasha pressing upon Athens. They were defeated with great loss, and on June 5 the Acropolis of Athens surrendered to the Turks. In July a treaty for European intervention in Greece was signed in London. Turkey and Greece were summoned to consent to an armistice, and to accept the mediation of the powers. All Turks were to leave Greece, and the Greeks were to come into possession of all Turkish property within their limits on payment of an indemnity. Greece was to be made autonomous under the paramount sovereignty of the Sultan. The demand for an armistice was gladly accepted by Greece. But the Sultan rejected it with contempt. The conduct of the Turkish troops in Bulgaria caused the Bulgarians to rise and call for Russian help.

[Sidenote: Death of Canning]

[Sidenote: Canning's policy]

justify;">It was at this crisis of European affairs that Canning died. His Ministry, brief as it was, marked an epoch for England. Unlike his predecessors, George Canning was called to the Ministry by a king who disliked him. What he accomplished was done amid the peculiar embarrassments and difficulties of such a situation. On the other hand, it freed him from certain concessions to the personal prejudices of his sovereign that hampered other Ministers. Thus he was able to introduce in Parliament his great measure for the removal of the political disabilities of the Catholics, a reform on which so great a Prime Minister as the younger Pitt came to grief. Had this measure passed the House of Lords it would stand as the crowning act of Canning's administration. By an irony of fate the same Canning that so bitterly opposed the French Revolution and the claims of America achieved highest fame by his latter day recognition of the rights of revolution in the New World.

[Sidenote: William Blake]

[Sidenote: Artist and poet]

[Sidenote: Blake's mysticism]

[Sidenote: Thomson's lines]

William Blake, the English poet and artist, died at Fountain Court in London on August 12. While Blake's poems and paintings belonged to the Eighteenth Century, chronologically, the spirit of his works, with its extraordinary independence of contemporary fashions, make him a herald of the poetic dawn of the Nineteenth Century. An engraver by profession and training, Blake began while still very young to apply his technical knowledge to his wholly original system of literary publication. As a poet he was not only his own illustrator, but his own printer and publisher as well. Beginning with the "Poetical Sketches" and his delightful "Songs of Innocence," down to the fantastic "Marriage of Heaven and Hell," all of Blake's books, with the exception of his "Jerusalem" and "Milton," were issued during the Eighteenth Century. Blake's artistic faculties seemed to strengthen with advancing life, but his literary powers waned. He produced few more satisfying illustrations than those to the Book of Job, executed late in life. His artistic work also was left comparatively untainted by the morbid strain of mysticism that runs through his so-called "prophetic writings." The charm of Blake's poetry, as well as of his drawings, was not fully appreciated until late in the Nineteenth Century. Charles Lamb, to be sure, declared, "I must look upon him as one of the extraordinary persons of the age," but his full worth was not recognized until Swinburne and Rossetti took up his cause. In America, Charles Eliot Norton, at Harvard, was Blake's ablest expounder. Famous are James Thomson's lines on William Blake:


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