VOL. III. NEW SERIES.
BUKNS AND LAMBERT, 17 PORTMAN STREET,
AND 68 PATERNOSTER ROW.
About one month after Garibaldi had virtually wrested Sicily from the Neapolitan Bourbons, the Revolution gained Naples itself; June 24, the king found himself obliged to restore the constitution which his father had created and destroyed, to grant a general amnesty, to make a total change in his ministry, to offer an alliance offensive and defensive with Piedmont, and as the symbol of all this—for nothing can be done in Italy except under some outward and visible banner—to adopt the Italian tricolor with the Neapolitan royal arms in the centre, and to promise analogous concessions to Sicily. The prestige of the government had been
previously much weakened by a peremptory refusal of Franco and England to guarantee the integrity of its continental states, and by its being compelled to restore two Sardinìan vessels which had been captured while conveying reinforcement to Garibaldi. Two well-known liberals, Spinelli and Martino, were intruded with drawing up the new programme of affairs.
June 25. The new state of things was proclaimed; the next day riots broke out in Naples. June 27, Baron Brenier, the French ambassador, was struck in his carriage; some say that the cause was not political, but only domestic. However this might have been, yet since it was then generally supposed that France was the adviser of the Neapolitan movements, and that Spinelli was adopted as Napoleon's instrument to carry out the Villafranca idea of an Italian federation, which had miscarried through the opposition of Cavour, the event acquired a political importance. The next day, June 28, the whole city was in a commotion, the twelve police offices of Naples were simultaneously attacked, and their archives burnt, whereby the amnesty was extended to the police as well as their victims, except to some forty unlucky agents who were caught and murdered by the mob. Hereupon the city was declared in a state of siege, and the castle of St. Elmo was garrisoned by the foreign troops. The state of siege was removed July 4, when the constitution of 1848 was proclaimed, or rather its legal existence admitted, and the Chambers were convoked for Sept. 10.
But the Italian Liberals and Unitarians feared the consolidation of the present Neapolitan measures as much as they feared the effects of reforms in the Papal States, and therefore they set themselves with the utmost cynicism to oppose measures which they knew and confessed to be good, because these measures, by insuring the existence of the present distribution of power in Italy, would impede the attainment of their ultimate object, Italian unity, which they evidently seek less for the sake of good government and liberty than of power. Accordingly, the offers of the Neapolitan alliance were received with popular derision in Piedmont,
and with violent denunciations against all Bourbons in the Chambers at Turin; if the ministers showed themselves more mild, it was only to gain time, or to affect obsequiousness to the advice of France and the demands of Russia and Spain. On the news of the amnesty reaching Piedmont, the Neapolitan exiles at once set out for their country; their landing at Naples, July 7, led within a week to an outbreak which committed the young king yet further to the course he had adopted. July 15, there was a popular demonstration to celebrate the return of the exiles; the royal guard tired upon the people, with shouts of "Down with the Constitution!" The ministers resigned in a body; but the king disowned the act of his guards, and his ministry therefore retained their places; but two regiments of the royal guard were removed from the city, and the national guard was substituted. Illuminations and proclamations followed, as they always do on these occasions. The ministry followed up the advantage they had thus gained, and, July 23, General Nunziante, and the chief members of the Camarilla, which the young king inherited from his father, were dismissed. All this time the Piedmontese party had been gradually gaining ground in the kingdom, till it was evidently possible that Garibaldi, the herald of the Sardinian statute of Italian unity, could march into Naples whenever he chose. He agreed, however, with his chief partisans to put off his attack till after flie convocation of the Chambers, when, if the majority was annexationist, as expected, it would be possible to legalise beforehand by a vote a measure that would otherwise be nothing but a coup-de-main.
The career of Garibaldi in Sicily, uniform in military success, has been politically checkered. Appearing in the island as the champion of Italian unity, and the agent, understood though disowned, of the cabinet of Turin, he surprised every one by suddenly arresting and banishing from Sicily M. Lafarina, the agent of Cavour, July 7. It must be remembered that Lafarina was one of the Sicilian leaders in 1848, and is the author of the popular revolutionary history of the Italians. Lafarina summed up his differences with Garibaldi as follows:
"Lafarina believed in the necessity of the immediate union of Sicily to Piedmont; Garibaldi that it should be put oft' till the whole of Italy, includmg Venice and Rome, was liberated. Lafarina objected to several of Garibaldi's ministers, some because of their inconstancy, and some as Mnzzinians or Bourbonists; whereas Garibaldi sought to unite all elements for the national cause. Lafarina thought it strange that Garibaldi should abuse Cavour, neglect those Sicilians who had supported the Revolution in 1849, should overthrow the whole administrative organisation, close all the tribunals, refuse to form any police force, make unknown or ill-known men governors of provinces, set his face against the national guard; should alarm Sicily by making Palermo the hotbed of all the most incorrigible Mazzinians of Italy; should threaten to put to death a journalist who wrote against Mazzini, but allow the Precursors to say that Piedmont would only give up Sicily to the Bourbons again to purchase their alliance. " After this quarrel, Cavour sent M. Depretis to be his agent with Garibaldi instead of Lafarina. Several of Garibaldi's ministry resigned, and their places were filled up with known Mazzinians.
After the fall of Palermo (May 27) had secured the west of Sicily to Garibaldi, he spent six weeks in organising his forces for attacking the strong places still held by the Neapolitans in the east, namely, Messina with its advanced post, the peninsula of Melazzo in the Straits, and Agosta and Syracuse in similar relations further south. At Messina there were about 14, 000 men under General Clary, and a garrison of some 1500 at Melazzo. But the Neapolitans only held the two towns and the road between them. The Italian tricolor floated outside their lines, and the secret national committee of Messina sat at Barcelona, a few miles west of Melazzo, where they gathered the nucleus of a national force, which the Neapolitans neglected to sweep away while they could. Garibaldi despatched Colonel Medici (July 12) to organise these materials; and at the same time Naples showed symptoms of being
about to lose the command of the sea, through the desertion of the Veloce and the general refusal of the crews of other vessels to act against Italians.
In this state of things, Clary wished to abandon Melazzo, and concentrate his forces in and around Messina, again taking possession of the heights which he had abandoned, but from which the town and citadel might be bombarded. However, the views of Colonel Bosco, a Sicilian, prevailed, and a column of 4000 men was sent out under him to meet the enemy near Melazzo. Some skirmishing took place on the 17th and 18th without any decided results, and the Neapolitans took up their flank position for the protection of Messina under the shelter of the guns of Melazzo, exhibiting therein the feeblest possible amount of strategy.
On the 18th, General Cosenz arrived with his seasoned troops from North Italy; and the next day Garibaldi appeared with about 1200 men on board the City of Aberdeen, and prepared to attack the garrison of Melazzo the next day. On the 20th was fought the battle which decided the fate of Messina. The castle and town of Melazzo are situated on a narrow peninsula, connected with the mainland by a neck of low land, towards which some great roads converge on a parallelogram about four miles long and two and a half deep. The land between these roads is thickly planted with vines, olives, and canes, which gave excellent cover to the Neapolitan sharpshooters. Through this Garibaldi, with an attacking force of about 5000 men, gradually made his way, and took the town after fourteen hours' fighting. On the 25th, Colonel Bosco surrendered the citadel, with 50 guns, 139 horses, and 100, 000 rounds of ammunition. The attacking force was materially assisted by the fire of the ex-Neapolitan frigate Veloce.
On the 27th, Colonel Medici found the heights above Messina abandoned, and so he marched into the town, which was also evacuated; and the next day a convention was signed with General Clary for an armistice, the Neapolitans to retain the citadels of Messina, Agosto, and Syracuse. From this moment Garibaldi's preparations were all directed to an invasion of the continental states of Naples.
About this time the King of Sardinia, under pressure of fears occasioned by the attitude of Austria, since her understanding with Prussia at Toplitz, wrote to Garibaldi, ordering him not to cross the straits, nor to foment troubles in Umbria and the Marches, or to give any assistance to any such undertaking, which would not only be useless to the common cause, but would also drag the King into the greatest difficulties with the Powers most favourable to Italy. He declared that he did not wish to be King of Sicily, and that he should not be sorry to see the island under the rule of a member of the reigning family of Naples.
At the same time Farini went to Genoa to prevent the embarkation of several expeditions that were upon the point of sailing for Naples and the Papal States. But the Italian Liberals have got beyond the power of Count Cavour. Garibaldi answered the King plainly that he did not hold his commission from him. Nevertheless, the wishes of the sovereign seem to have made some impression upon him; for the Times Correspondent, who has the best information, writes this August 1:
"In the interview of to-day Garibaldi laid down for the first time the conditions under which he would consent to stopin his career of victory. A prolongation of the armistice for five days was agred upon, and General Clary leaves this evening for Naples to carry there the conditions. He is to be back on the evening of the oth inst.
"As for the conditions, their aim is to unite the north and south of Italy for all practical purposes, without actually driving away the Bourbons. The question is neither more nor less than of a kingly brotherhood, the assimilation of their two kingdoms, one policy and one army. Of course, in this union Victor Emmanuel, as the eldest of the two in the path of Italian independence and freedom, is to have the command of the whole army, and the lead in the Italian policy to be pursued; Naples to follow, and ta be assimilated to Italy, retaining, however, its reigning family. As a first step in this as
similation, an exchange of troops Italian troops to Naples, and the Neapolitans to the North, to undergo a healthy transformation, and thus become national troops. The navy idem. The constitution adapted to that in force in Upper Italy. The custom-house line between the two portions of Italy abolished."
Aug. 4. The Sardinian statute was proclaimed for Sicily.
During this whole time Naples had been in a state which allowed every man to do as he pleased. Garibaldian journals were printed; Garibaldian committees organised; the army and the navy were enticed from their allegiance; the Count of Syracuse and other members of the royal family fraternised with the Unitarians, and declared for Piedmont; and it appeared certain that the conquest of Naples would be even easier for Garibaldi than the conquest of Sicily had proved to be; when the same events that had frightened Victor Emmanuel encouraged Francis II. to stand up manfully for the few remaining prerogatives of his position. About the middle of August, it was confidently asserted that an Austrian note existed, threatening the Court of Turin that any further complicity in the measures of Garibaldi would be reckoned a casvs belli, and that the Romagna would be occupied with Austrian troops. It was further rumoured that, as Garibaldi had publicly announced his intention of attacking Venice, with the Neapolitan fleet, after he had taken Naples, Austria was determined to defend herself at Naples, and to attack Garibaldi as soon as he crossed over from Messina.
These threats, coupled with the consciousness that the Sardinian army had been fearfully weakened in the last war, and since that by the loss of the Savoyards, and by the numerous desertions that had taken place of men who went to serve under Garibaldi, induced the government of Turin to issue orders to its provincial governors to prevent any preparations for the invasion of neighbouring states. Farini went to Genoa and succeeded in stopping an expedition which was destined for the Papal States. M. Bertani was sent to Sicily to speak with
Garibaldi; and Garibaldi seems to have left Sicily on the 12th in a Sardinian frigate.
Francis II., on the other hand, saw that the time was come to attempt to arrest his fall. He ordered that the constitutional laws for the repression of the licenses of the press should be put in force; he suppressed three journals hostile to his government; he dissolved the electoral committees, whose object it was to secure the election of Unitarian representatives to the Chambers; reinforced the garrison of the city; notified to the governments his intentions to lire upon any vessel, under any flag, that might attempt to land men on his shores; and finally declared Naples in a state of siege.
And so the situation remains, Aug. 18.
The Papal States.
The Papal States have had to play no part in the events of the last two months; they have been quiet, with the exception of some insignificant agrarian disturbances at Monteporzio. A. Il accounts agree, however, in describing the population as ready to rise whenever Garibaldi has gained Naples, and in affirming that the Italian portion of Lamoriciere's army, with the exception of the gendarmes, is entirely untrustworthy. Most of the stories to the disadvantage of the Irish contingent are ridiculous exaggerations, and the best authorities agree in describing the little Franco-Hibernian battalion as the elite of the whole body. But though Lamoriciere's army is thought too weak to guard the States, the French garrison is abundantly sufficient to guarantee the personal security of the Pope, and his possession of Rome; and beyond this neither the pamphlet Le Pape et le Congris, nor Napoleon's letter to M. de Persigny, pretends to promise him.
The despatches of Mr. Lyons, describing the condition of the States between 1854 and 1857, which are the most valuable contributions to the Roman question, make one thing abundantly clear, —that however willing the Papal government were to make reforms, all were impossible because the Liberals would not accept them. The discontent was not against definite grievances. but against the Papal system; and grievances were popular because they made the system unpopular, and because they proved that a clerical governments unsuited to an age of civilisation and progress. So it was in Tuscany: the Grand Duke was driven away because he was an Austrian; the Pope is to be dethroned because he is a priest, with very little respect to the quality of their governments.
The only remedy that Mr. Lyons had to propose for this was, the secularisation of the government. But Cardinal Antonelli could never be brought to see that this would differ from the abolition of the Papal rule altogether. As the Pope is an ecclesiastic, he said, his government must be ecclesiastical.
But this secularisation of the government was not to be the precursor of free institutions. Instead of the restoration of the old municipal liberties, the Liberals only had the introduction of the Code Napoleon and of the conscription (a measure which Cardinal Antonelli ardently desired) into the States. Of course the religious foundations would go, as they have gone in Piedmont, and the division of property would in a few generations extinguish the nobility.
"The views of the clergy and of the mass of the laity, in matters of government, seem to have become irreconcilably opposed; an antipathy of caste has grown up between them, wholly irrespective of belief or disbelief in the Roman Catholic religion. "The prelates who have posts in the government may, indeed, sometimes be laymen; "but whether he takes orders or not, a man who enters the prelatura is understood to pledge himself to the civil supremacy of the clergy. He is expected not only to dress as a churchman, but to think and act as one."
"I agree with M. de Rayneval in believing that the disaffected do not desire the reform, but the overthrow of the government. The more ardent and intelligent Romans, like other Italians, feel humiliated by the poor part their country plays in the world. They believe that under the temporal rule of the Popes things can never be otherwise. The mode in which the clerical system was restored has made it odious to them.
Their standard of value for a scheme of reform, is the means it would supply for throwing off the yoke of the Holy See. They willingly enter upon the long list of their grievances against the administration; they love to dwell upon them, and to exaggerate them; but they listen with manifest impatience to any proposal for remedying them under the present rule. I had almost said, that they do not desire to see them remedied; that they would be sorry to have fewer causes of complaint—-sorry fur any thing that would diminish the extent or the intenseness of the disaffection. "
In these words Mr. Lyons sets up a monument to the infamy of the Italian Liberals which history will note. On the whole, his despatches confirm all the facts of M. de Rayneval's celebrated memoir, though of course he finds enough differences of opinion, and enough objections to details, to eke out a despatch. This is no more than a rival diplomatist is necessitated to do.
July 13. The Pope made an allocution, deploring the blows aimed at his authority and against religion "by the unjust usurpers of legitimate power in Italy. " The Subalpine government having usurped Parma and Piacenza on the 19th of April, drove out the Benedictines from Parma, and (May lu) closed the Seminary at Piacenza because the Bishop refused to sing the Te Deum; the Bishop was afterwards arrested, carried out of his diocese to Turin, fined and imprisoned, as were also the Vicar-General and some of the Canons.
In the AEmilian and other provinces "subject to the unjust dominion of the Cisalpine government," Bishops, ecclesiastics, and religious have been subjected to a harsh inquisition, and not a few arrested, exiled, or imprisoned. The Provicar of Bologna was carried away from the Cardmal-Archbishop's deathbed, fined, and imprisoned. On the death of the Archbishop, the revenues of the see were taken by the government; the Bishop of Faenza was lined and imprisoned; the Cardinals Archbishop of Pisa, Bishop of Imola, and Archbishop of Ferrara were all imprisoned or persecuted.
In Sicily two religious orders were
suppressed (Jesuits and Redemptorists), and some ecclesiastics scandalously took part in the government that did this wrong. And in the provinces annexed to Sardinia many of the sees are vacant. Hence it is abundantly clear, that the wish to destroy the temporal power of the Pope is only a means to an end, and that end is the destruction of the Church.
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