On land the presence of a few educated Phanariots, such as Demetrios Ypsilanti or Alexander Mavrocordato, was powerless to inspire the rude hordes with any sense of order or of humanity in warfare; while every lull in the fighting, due to a temporary check to the Turks, was the signal for internecine conflicts due to the rivalry of leaders who, with rare exceptions, thought more of their personal power and profit than of the cause of Greece.
Already the discredit of parliameiitary government was being evidenced in the increased personal power of the young king.
Under Eugenius III., a Cistercian monk who was scarcely equal to his task, the papal absolutism grew sensibly weaker, and if we may credit the testimony of the usually wellinformed German chronicler, Otto of Freising, there arose in the college of cardinals a kind of fermentation which was exceedingly disquieting for the personal power of the leader of the Church.
It was the feeling that induces a volunteer recruit to spend his last penny on drink, and a drunken man to smash mirrors or glasses for no apparent reason and knowing that it will cost him all the money he possesses: the feeling which causes a man to perform actions which from an ordinary point of view are insane, to test, as it were, his personal power and strength, affirming the existence of a higher, nonhuman criterion of life.
Prominent Democrats and a committee of the Convention having appealed for his release, Lincoln wrote two long letters in reply discussing the constitutional question, and declaring that in his judgment the president as commander-in-chief in time of rebellion or invasion holds the power and responsibility of suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, but offering to release Vallandigham if the committee would sign a declaration that rebellion exists, that an army and navy are constitutional means to suppress it, and that each of them would use his personal power and influence to prosecute the war.