Utilizziamo come introduzione a questo interessante testo segnalatoci da Mauro G. alcune pagine tratte da quel capolavoro della pubblicistica borbonica postunitaria che è "Cronaca degli avvenimenti di Sicilia da aprile 1860 a marzo 1861: estratta dai documenti".
CRONACA DEGLI AVVENIMENTI DI SICILIA DA APRILE 1860 A MARZO 1861:
ESTRATTA DAI DOCUMENTI
8. Il governo subalpino nelle due Sicilie al cospetto dei parlamenti europei.
Nelle camere legislative di Francia, d'Inghilterra e di Spagna eminenti oratori hanno sostenuto in più occasioni il diritto autonomico delle due Sicilie, inspirati dall'antica sentenza, che
"il forte, il quale difende il debole oppresso, è il giusto per eccellenza,,.
E con maggior successo la tornata degli 8 maggio 1863 nel parlamento inglese offre il più solenne sviluppo su i fatti della Italia meridionale. - Corredati di officiali documenti primeggiano i discorsi de' deputati lord Enrico Lennox, Cavendish-Bentink, sir G. Bowyer, M. Cochrane, e M. Maguire. Le rivelazioni ivi espresse sono i corollari de' fatti finora sobriamente accennati in questa cronaca, tra cui brevi confini non è dato riportare estesamente le arringhe di que' valentuomini, e sopra tutto quella del primo, tanto più autorevole, in quanto che personalmente ha visitati i paesi, e garentisce i fatti che vi accadono. Nel discorso però dell'ultimo di essi si coordinano varie particolarità, per le quali meritano attenzione i seguenti periodi;
Dopo aver fatta allusione, con raro talento, alle deplorabili simpatie di alcuni membri del gabinetto brittannico per le innovazioni d'Italia, il sig- Maguire accenna allo scopo, cui egli mira d' accordo con gli onorevoli preopinanti: -,, limitarsi, cioè, ad impegnare il governo inglese nel nome della comune umanità, perché s'interponga a prevenire la continuazione delle atrocità che si commettono nelle due Sicilie, delle quali il medesimo governo è in gran parte risponsabile, per avere col peso della sua influenza fatta traboccare la bilancia a prò del Piemonte, e a danno del giovane re Francesco II, lasciandolo tra le mani de' traditori....,,
E continua l'eloquente oratore: -,,Per me, io non credo alla italica unità, e la ritengo per una smodata corbelleria. L'Italia una è come un castello di carta, al primo urto che riceve sicuramente andrà in pezzi... Voi potete piuttosto sperare di unire le varie nazioni del continente europeo in una sola nazione, anzicchè unire l'Italia del sud a quella del nord; e rendere i napoletani contenti di vivere sotto il giogo di un popolo, che disprezzano come barbaro, ed odiano come oppressore. - Non vi può essere storia più iniqua di quella delta occupazione de' piemontesi nella Italia meridionale! - Vittorio Emmanuele era l'alleato intimo del Papa, e del re di Napoli; gli ambasciatori dell'uno, e degli altri erano nelle rispettive corti; amichevoli relazioni si conservavano, senza esservi la minima cagione di querela. - Vittorito Emmanuele pretese, che l'unico suo scopo era di prevenire ogni possibile rivolta, e sotto questo specioso pretesto invase i domini del re di Napoli, e se ne impossessò con la forza delle armi, dopo averne minato il trono con una sistematica rete d'infernali perfidie... Intanto qual è il risultato? In luogo di pace, di prosperità, di contento generale, che si erano promessi e proclamati come conseguenza certa della unità italiana, non si ha altro di effettivo, se non la stampa imbavagliata, le prigioni ripiene, le nazionalità schiacciate, ed una sognata unione, che in realtà è uno scherno, una burla, una impostura,,.
Accennando poi all'orrendo stato delle prigioni nel napoletano, egli dice: -,,se si volle nel 1851 prestar fede all'onorevole Gladstone, divenuto poi cancelliere dello scacchiere, perché oggi non crederemmo noi, c il paese con noi, al nobile lord Lennox, che nella descrizione dello stato presente delle stesse prigioni ha fatto fremere di orrore tutti i cuori in questa assemblea?,,
Alle obbiezioni fatteglisi da altro oratore, potersi, cioè, considerare i denunziati abusi carcerari come irregolarità scusabili per la condizione eccezionale della Italia, al cui governo fa un merito di aver mostrate le prigioni agli esteri visitatori, il signor Magni re risponde: -,, la più importante qnistione, e che implica un gran principio, quello della inviolabilità della libertà umana, si agita in questo fatto; cioè, che migliaia d'individui sono carcerati senza giudizio, sol perché SOSPETTI al governo, ovvero inscii in tutto del motivo di loro incarcerazione (1). - Domando poi, qual'è lo stato eccezionale d'Italia, che autorizza tanti eccessi? quando avran fine le violenze contro la stampa, lo spionaggio, che penetra dappertutto, le visite domiciliari, gli arresti arbitrari! - Io credo, che codesta eccezionale condizione di cose durerà fino a che non si dia termine una volta per sempre a codesta miserabile e sanguinaria impostura di unità italiana! Da parte mia, io son convinto, che abbia a finire con la vergogna e col disinganno ciò che è cominciato con la iniquità Si vuol dire, che le bande armate contro il governo sardo sieno meschini gruppi di briganti: ma se fosse così, perché quel possente governo non li ha distrutti? se fossero semplici ladri (come ce li vogliono dipingere), essi non godrebbero le simpatie popolari, senza le quali non potrebbero resistere ad un armata di 90 mila soldati! Il certo si è, che codesti ladri, o briganti, quali che sieno, hanno disfatte più volte le truppe regolari, hanno spossate le forze del Piemonte, smaccati i loro generali, rovesciati ì ministeri, ed anche alterata, se non cambiata, la politica di una delle prime Potenze di Europa. - Ma noi medesimi, noi non siamo stati sempre cotanto schifiltosi a trattare con i briganti: i nostri più grandi generali (non è gran tempo) han tenuto consiglio sotto le loro tende con i capi-briganti; né Wellington ha ricusata la loro cooperazione nella penisola... In quanto alla buona volontà con che il governo piemontese avrebbe mostrate le prigioni del napoletano agli esteri, deve aversi in conto di favola: il ministro dello interno aveva all'uopo telegrafato da Torino alle autorità di Napoli: ,,non permettete a chicchessia di visitare, sotto verun pretesto, le vostre prigioni". - Se il nobile lord Lennox non si fosse fortunatamente già munito di permesso del generale Lamarmora, né pur l'ombra di una porta di quelle prigioni gli sarebbe stata aperta; e niuno avrebbe potuto mai udire dal suo eloquente labbro il racconto delle miserie e de' patimenti, che ci han fatto così inorridire, e che sommuoveranno ogni anima generosa nel nostro paese. - Ei fu perciò al caso di poter sollevare il velo, che copre tante atrocità commesse nel nome della libertà, sotto un re costituzionale, e che sarebbero odiose anche sotto il peggiore degli immaginabili dispotismi. La narrazione fattane dal nobile lord non costernerà soltanto coloro, che han dato il loro sostegno morale a codesta colossale giunterìa di un' Italia una, ma gioverà pure a più di una sventurata creatura, le cui membra piagate gemono sotto il peso delle catene carcerarie. - In quanto a me, ho serie apprensioni per la libertà d'Italia. Nella mia opinione questa deve ottenersi mercé interne riforme di governi separati ed indipendenti, anzicchè confondendo insieme 7, o 8 distinte nazionalità, tenute in diffidenza l'una contro l'altra dalla storia, dalle tradizioni, da' sentimenti, dalle abitudini, ed anche dalla lingua, collocando il tutto sotto il ferreo governo di un solo; ciò che si è voluto chiamare unità e libertà. Nell'attualità io fo voti sinceri per la restaurazione de' sovrani legittimi, e perché ogni Stato d'Italia ricuperi la perduta nazionalità. - Io non posso far altro, che esprimere la mia credenza, che, fra qualche anno, voi vedrete restaurato l'artico ordine di cose, senza i vecchi abusi e difetti, a' quali rimedieranno da se stessi gli antichi governi.... Passerà qualche anno appena, e voi vedrete abolito ciò che il Piemonte sta facendo dal 1860,,.
(1) La stampa indipendente, e la pubblica opinione ai è già pronunziata su la vantata amnistia reale di 17 novembre 1853 circoscritta da restrizioni per favorire l'arbitrio degli attuali regoli delle provincie meridionali. Delle tante migliaia di carcerati, appena un 34 han potuto esser liberati dalle prigioni, mentre altre centinaia tuttodì vi entrano per mantenere l'equilibrio delle carcerazioni, che unite alle 130 mila baionette dette truppe piemontesi di occupazione, formano la suprema legge di salute pubblica sotto l'attuate regime. Che dire poi dell'arbitraria pena de' domicilii coatti ossia deportazione!
ITALY IN 1863.
LORD HENRY GORDON LENNOX,
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
On Friday, May Sth,
PRINTED ST HARRISON AND SONS, ST. MARTIN'S LANE.
Lord Henry Lennox said: Having been distinctly alluded to by the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and being one of those members of the Opposition in whose sorrowful ranks they had the pleasure, but a short time since, of numbering the Honourable Gentleman, the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs himself, I cannot hesitate for one moment to accept the challenge which has been thrown out. (Hear, hear.) And first, I would wish to make an observation as to the right of the English Parliament, to be accurately informed upon the state of Italy. It is now, only twelve months since, that the Honourable Gentleman, the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, with his usual eloquence, expatiated upon the indefeasible right of the British Parliament to be made aware of the proceedings of that Government now established in Italy, over which this country had very properly thrown its shield, and on whose support and sympathy that Government mainly depends for its continued existence. At that period, the information of which the Government were in possession was avowed by the Noble Earl (Russell) in another place to be most meagre; and, besides being meagre in quantity it was also most unsatisfactory in matter, for those last official accounts showed, that matters were improving very slowly in Naples, and that there were even at that time at least twenty thousand political prisoners, confined in the prisons of that province. (Hear, hear.)
At an early period of this Session, the Honourable Member for Taunton (G. C. Bentinck) asked the Government for the production of further papers. The Under Secretary of State in reply admitted, that those papers had been received, from the Consul-General, at Naples, but declined to lay them on the table of the House, and more than this, he, in plain terms, indicated his intention to discourage any further discussion on the affairs of Southern Italy. Accepting the Honourable Gentleman's former declaration, that Parliament and the country had a right to such information as the Government could give, and the Honourable Gentleman the Under Secretary of State having nevertheless refused again that evening to give it, I (Lord Henry Lennox) as an independent Member, feel bound to rise, and state to the House
that have recently come before my eyes, and upon which facts, I will abstain from making any comment, but that which is absolutely necessary for making them understood. The Government of Victor Emmanuel, has made certain professions to this country and before Europe, and by those professions, that Government must be judged; it has applied for the sympathy of Free England, on the ground, that it was about to replace a detestable despotism by the freest institutions. (Hear, hear.)
Before proceeding further, I will ask the indulgence of the House, while I allude to a matter that is personal to myself. The Honourable Gentleman (Mr. Layard) has stated that,
on the Opposition side of the House, any and every attack, on the Italian people or Government, is always sure to be received with tumultuous cheering. I cannot presume to answer for Honourable Gentlemen who sit around me, but I can speak for myself, and all who know me, are aware, that throughout the Italian struggle my warmest sympathies have been with the cause of Italian freedom. (Cheers.) 1 have, on several occasions, been on the point of disagreement with those, with whom, I usually have the honour to act. Even before the plains of the Mincio were deluged with French and Austrian blood, and later, again, when those victories came, there was scarcely a dozen men, in London, who did not feel some jealousy at the French successes, and become somewhat less ardent in the cause of Italian independence, from a fear of the result of these Napoleonic victories. (Hear, hear.) But I never have shared either those jealousies or those fears. (Hear, hear.) Certain facts, however, have lately passed under my eyes, to which I cannot be indifferent, and with which I think the House ought to be made acquainted. In order to simplify the statement I am about to make, 1 will classify it under four heads, and I will join issue with the Honourable Gentleman (Mr. Layard) on four points; first, whether there does or does not now exist in the Neapolitan Provinces, a system of personal and domestic espionage; secondly, whether there does or does not exist, either in the Neapolitan States, in Florence, Milan, and Bologna, perfect liberty of the press; I will next ask the House to say, whether there
is or is not, that perfect liberty of the person, in the dominions of Victor Emmanuel, of which the Honourable Gentleman (Mr. Layard) has spoken; and, lastly, I will call the attention of the House to the state of the Neapolitan prisons, upon which subject, the Honourable Gentleman (Mr. Layard) has especially challenged me,-of those prisons, the condition of which, as the Honourable Member for Taunton (G. C. Bentinck) has already said, has brought just retribution, upon the infamous Government of the Bourbons. These then are the points, upon which, I will buckle up to the Honourable Gentleman (Mr. Layard). In the first place, I aver, that a sytem of personal and domestic espionage, is still carried on, in the same way, and with the same agents and formulae, as it was, under the Bourbon
It is not alone, men of low caste who are trying to incite to brigandage and murder, who fall under this system of espionage, but men of birth and education-men who have suffered under Ferdinand and Francis the Second-men whose only crime is, that they differ on some points, from the policy of the Italian Government, without ever seeking to bring about a change of dynasty. I have the names of those men, and the Honourable Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, the Noble Lord, his chief (Earl Russell), in another place, or any of their colleagues, are welcome to see those names, but I dare not give them to the House of Commons, for such ifi the paternal nature of the Italian Government-
paternal in the sense of not spoiling its children by sparing the rod (cheers and laughter) - that I think I shall best consult the safety of these gentlemen, by only communicating their names privately to the Honourable Gentleman and to his colleagues. (Cheers.) The system of arbitrary arrests* is so well known, and so generally admitted, that it is not necessary to detain the House by dwelling on it at this time. The partizans of the Italian Government are constantly asserting that there is but one mind in Italy, that there are no Bourbonists to be found, that such a thing as a Muratist cannot be discovered, that republicans have ceased to exist, and that there is but one cry, and that is, for a United Italy under Victor Emmanuel. If that be so, the cruelty of the Government, is only the more inder fensible. Week- after week unoffending citizens are dragged out of their beds by the police at midnight, are flung into dungeons, not cleanly enough to serve as a cow-house in England, and there lay forgotten for months-nay, for years, untried and uninterrogated. (Cheers.) I was in Naples some two months ago, but until now I have remained silent, for I had hoped, to find that the state of things would improve from what it was when I left it; that hope has proved illusory, + Only last week the police swept off, in one night,
Deputy Ferrari, on 18th December, in his place in Parliament, asked, " Who can be safe 'i if the Government has arrogated to itself the right of diving, even into the heart of its "citizens."
Deputy Ricciardi, also, after deploring the despotism which Bways the Southern Provinces, said, "I wish to be certain, that " in leaving these walls, I shall not be seized by a gendarme and " conducted into prison."
+ See appendix.
two hundred individuals-including an aged priest of past 80 years of age-women as well as men; they were thrust into prison, for they knew not what offence, and upon application to the authorities, were told that their crime was, that they were
suspected of sympathy
with the brigands (hear, hear), and upon such a charge as this, under this boasted free and constitutional Government, these men were swept off into these infamous prisons. (Hear, hear.) The next point is one which I approach with much diffidence; the statements of the Honourable Gentleman the Under Secretary, having been of such a very decided character. The Honourable Gentleman said last year, and to my surprise he has said it again this evening, that the people of Italy are now enjoying a perfect freedom of the press.* Now, perhaps, the House would like to know what are the rules in force in the Neapolitan States, for the regulation of this "free press." Every morning the newspapers when published, are sent to an official gentleman, called the "Quaestor." That gentleman has to read these papers through, and for such a task he is much to be pitied, for greater twaddle, and more insignificant balderdash,
* The able and well-informed correspondent of the
in a letter from Turin, intended to vindicate the Italian Government, fully admits the three points which are here established in regard to the liberty of the press, viz.:-1st, the frequent seizures of political journals; the absolute power with which the police is invested; and, 3rd, the preventive censorship, which requires that each number of a newspaper should be communicated to the authorities before publication, a measure of restraint, to which the Imperial Government of France has never yet allowed itself to recur. In Appendix is given a list of names of newspapers seized up to a recent date.
than that, which appears in them, certainly never disgraced what we call a free press. The Quaestor consults nobody, but on his own responsibility can seize and confiscate the sinning newspaper. Now this is in distinct contravention of the Charter of " Carlo Alberto," the law under which the Italians are now supposed to be living. But to show, that the Quaestor in thus acting, is not overstepping the limits^ of his authority, I will take the liberty of reading a circular, which has been circulated by Monsieur Perruzzi, the Minister of the Interior at Turin. That circular is dated from Turin, the 21st of January, and it is addressed by the Minister, to the Prefects, throughout the country. Now Sir, if any one at the present day ventures to reflect upon, or disapprove, any one act of the Government, even to lament, as the Chancellor of Exchequer so eloquently lamented in his Budget speech, the present condition of Italian finance, he is sure immediately to be hounded down as a sympathiser with the brigands, or an enemy to the unity of Italy. I mention this, in order that Honourable Members should thoroughly understand the extract which I am about to make from this ministerial circular. Signor Perruzzi begins by saying, that inasmuch as some persons wish to sap the foundations of Italy, and inasmuch as some persons have Bourbonist sympathies and a reactionary tendency, therefore it is necessary, that "in the limits of the law, an active surveillance, and energetic and constant repression, should take place among the newspapers." (Cheers.) And then follow the words in which this Minister distinctly orders the prefects to break the laws of the country.
I will now give the names of the journals, though I regret that my proficiency in the Italian language is not greater. This system is not confined to the Neapolitan provinces, nor has it been in any way relaxed of late, in proof of which I will mention many instances, some of which have occurred since I left Italy. Within a month, a newspaper at Florence, called the Miova Europa, was seized four times in nine days, and the editor has had to pay a heavy fine, and has been imprisoned for three months. Next day the Campana del Popolo, a newspaper of ultra-liberal sentiments, came to the same untimely end, at the hands of the Police. The Contemporaneo has also been seized several times. (Hear, hear.) This is at Florence, not at Naples. Next I come to Milan. Lombardy, which has only just escaped from the iron rule of Austria, and which might be supposed to be full of gratitude to that government which had delivered it from bondage and oppression, and what do I find there?
The Unità Italiana,* a journal of extreme liberal opinions, was seized there on the 27th of last month, and what does the House suppose it was for? Surely the new Lord of the Admiralty, the Honourable Member for Halifax (Mr. Stansfeld) will feel a throe
27th March.-Unità Italiana was seized for publishing the written opinions of Signor Viscomti Venusti, now Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The next day, the Unità Italiana published the following -.-
"Yesterday our 86th number was seized. It contained a noble and loyal declaration of republican principles, signed by the actual Minister for Foreign Affairs, Chevalier Visconti Venusti. We shall know this evening whether our proprietor has His Excellency the Minister for Foreign Affairs as his companion in the prisoners' dock!"
When this speech was delivered the name of the "Perseveranza " was inadvertently given for that of the "Unità Italiana."
The inadvertence was self-evident, and arose from a mistake in the handling of the notes, upon which the speech was founded.
The statement was that a journal had been seized at Milan, on 27th March, for reproducing the Republican opinions of the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and as will be seen from the enclosed extracts. Such was actually the case. L'Unità Italiana wot seized on the 21th March, at Milan, and for reproducing the Republican opinions of the present Foreign Secretary.
The Armonia of Turin, shows clearly, in the following passage, that the editor of the Perseveranza must have been aware, that the introduction of the name of that journal, was owing to an inadvertence; and that the fact of the seizure of a journal at Milan on a certain day and for republishing the opinions of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs is true and could not be controverted.
"The Times therefore infers that Lord was misinformed. Lord was perfectly well (benissimo) informed, and the Perseveranza which affects ignorance, knows perfectly well, that the Noble Lord spoke The Tbuth, and that a journal, the Unità Italiana, was sequestrated at Milan on the 27th of March, for having republished a Politcol Declaration of the present Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the kingdom of Italy."
of sympathy (cheers and laughter) when he learns that the Unità Italiana met with an untimely fate because it had re-published in one of its columns extracts from documents containing the ultra-liberal views, written and signed by the present Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the Italian Government (Visconti Venusti). Upon this ground one of the most liberal newspapers in Italy was seized, and was not allowed to circulate on that day. (Hear, hear.)
Prom Lombardy I will now go, to the Romagna, to those provinces, so lately released from the Pontifical rule-from that rule which is often described, by the honourable gentleman, and his colleagues as being such a curse to the population, that they were on that account literally bowed down with gratitude to the saviour of their liberties. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) And what do we find there? The Eco di Bologna has been in existence during two years, and, like a Cat, it seems to have a great many lives, for within that short period, it has been seized twenty-four times. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) At Bologna, however, there seems to be no dearth of editors, for, although the paper was seized twenty-four times, within twenty-three months, and the poor editor tried and condemned to imprisonment, and to pay a fine of 7,000 francs, yet the Eco di Bologna has not ceased to exist. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) Honourable Members, therefore, who talk loudly about the unity of Italy, should bear in mind the fact, that one newspaper has been seized in Milan, for publishing that, which is allowed to circulate freely in the other provinces of the kingdom;
that another had
Such is the liberty of the press, with which the honourable gentleman, the Under Secretary of State, is so well satisfied (cheers); and now, having proved to the House that the liberty of the press does not exist in any one of those four annexed districts, I will refer for a moment to the state of the Neapolitan provinces. In the city of Naples, within the last three years, twenty-seven journals have had violent hands laid upon them by the police, and have altogether disappeared; of these La Napoli e Torino had seventeen numbers seized out of fifty; the Machiavelli five out of eleven, and the Aurora ten put of nineteen. (Hear, hear.) There are many other examples with which I will not, at this time, trouble the House;
* When this speech was delivered the word "Contemporaneo" was inadvertently given, it should have been " II Monitore." The seizure is thus described:-
No. 33 of the unfortunate Monitore has been seized for having reproduced extracts of that speech of Lord Normanby, which the Piemonte and the Armonia, of Turin, the Stendardo of Genoa, and the Corttemporanco of Florence, had published at length, without having been seized for it.
I have stated enough to show that never in the most iron times of the French Kepublic, or immediately after the coup d'etat of 1851, never, was there a more perfect gag placed upon the press, than there is at Naples, at the period of which I am speaking. (Cheers.) It is very well for the Honourable Gentleman (Mr. Layard) to shake his head in an incredulous manner, but if the Honourable Gentleman is not yet satisfied, if he has not had proofs enough yet, I will gladly furnish the Honourable Gentleman with a few more. Of the newspapers, suppressed at Naples, three have not perished in the ordinary way, heirs was, what a London coroner would call "deaths from violence." (Laughter.) The Napoli is the first case, to which I will referj; that is a newspaper, as to which, I have the authority of many warm and ardent supporters of Italian liberty, for saying, has been always conducted with much ability and good taste, and with perfect loyalty to the reigning dynasty. It has chiefly been given, to the discussion of the financial measures of the Government. To show how justice is administered at Naples, I will tell the House what occurred with reference to this paper. On the 8th of January, the office at which this paper was published was assailed at eleven o'clock in the morning, by a mob of two hundred persons; the leader wore the kepi of the National Guard. They broke into the premises, smashed the printingpress, tore the newspapers, scattered the type in the garden, and threatened the editor with death, if he ever published another number of his journal. (Hear, hear.) The editor, to save his neck promised compliance,-but broke his word;
I will not trouble the House, with the details of those outrages, or with any more names, of suppressed newspapers, but I will proceed with the proofs which I am about to give, as to the liberty of action which exists in the Neapolitan States. (Hear, hear.)
I have already stated, that at the time of my arrival
in the Neapolitan territories, I was a partizan of the Government of Victor Emmanuel; and whilst in Naples, I met a gentleman, a member of the Turin Parliament*, who had the advantage of understanding English with great facility. On four occasions, I had the opportunity of visiting the prisons, with that gentleman, who gained admission to them by right of his position, as a member of the Turin Parliament.
I obtained an order myself from General La Marmora, to whose kindness and courtesy I feel much pleasure in bearing testimony. Now, in visiting the Italian prisons, I had no idea that I could in any way be considered, guilty of conduct offensive to the Piedmontese Government; but such turned out to be the case, for no sooner had I left the Neapolitan territory, than there appeared in the newspapers, not only of Naples, but of Piedmont, attacks and commentaries both upon me and upon the gentleman who had accompanied me in my visits. It was said that he (the gentleman) must have been plotting against the Turin Government, indeed so much annoyance was caused to that gentleman, that I have received letters from him, asking me to state, in writing, the reasons and the circumstances under which we had visited the prisons, and to give an assurance that there was nothing disloyal to the Government on the part of this gentleman in
* From a recent discussion in the Parliament at Turin, it would seem that the gentleman alluded to, Signor Dassy, although elected, has not been received in Parliament. It seems difficult to understand how the taking or not taking of his seat in the Turin Parliament by Signor Dassy can in any way impugn the ' truth of the details of what I saw in the prisons of Naples.
those proceedings. After due consideration, I refused to notice such attacks emanating from such a source, but am happy now, in my place in the House of Commons, to state, on my honour, that the gentleman who accompanied me in my visit to these prisons, has never breathed one word against the dynasty of Victor Emmanuel, and that his detestation of the old regime of the Bourbons, exceeded in intensity, if it were possible, even that of the Honourable Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs himself. The newspaper attacks went on, and the climax arrived but a few days since. The House may imagine how great was my surprise last week, when I received an intimation so remarkable, that at first I could hardly give credence to it; it was neither more nor less than this, -that a gentleman, a member of the Turin Parliament, for accompanying a member of a sister Parliament, to see the prisons in Italy, not only incurred the obloquy of a gagged and fettered press, but had been actually summoned before the Judge (Salice) to answer an implied charge of conspiring against the Government. (Hear, hear.) I confess that when I first heard of that occurrence I treated it with ridicule and disbelief; I asked myself why, and above all, in a free country, why should this gentleman incur odium and suspicion for doing a simple act of courtesy to a stranger? but I soon learned that the fact was too true, and having learned that it was true, I proceeded to inquire of myself what could be the cause of such a proceeding? -why should it have been done?-what should have led to it?-and then the truth came out!! It would
I am about to make an appeal to the House, and I hope my appeal will go forth to the country and have some effect as a caution to the people of England against beingmisled by the eloquent language of the Under Secretary of State, who in speaking of this subject last year, said, "A change which has in three short years transformed, I may almost say, the very life of the people; a change which has raised them from the very verge of slavery to the enjoyment of the fullest liberty; a change, which contrasts as much with that which went before, as would the bursting forth of the glorious sun in its noonday splendour at midnight, contrast with the darkness, which it had suddenly dispelled." (Laughter and cheers.) I appeal to the House, whether the state of things that I have just described betokens the existence of that noonday splendour, to which the Honourable Gentleman en eloquently alluded. (Hear, hear.) Before I proceed to my next point, I must remind the House, that last year the Honourable Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs taunted the Honourable Baronet, the Member for Dundalk (Sir George Bowyer) with only being able, after elaborate research, to bring forward one solitary case-that of Count Christen, who had been a prisoner confined six mouths in prison without a trial.
Now, Sir, I am about to refer to other cases of a worse character, and before doing so I am anxious again to throw myself upon the indulgence of the house, and to assure them that I am deeply sensible
* Tor original notes on which the following statements are hased, see Appendix B.
of the responsibility which I have incurred in coming' forward upon this occasion, and stating things which ought not to be stated, unless they are true, and which, if true, must cause a strong feeling throughout Europe. But the facts which I am about to relate passed before my eyes; I pledge my honour that they are true, and that I will give no exaggerated statement of them. (Cheers.) I would again remind the House that the first time I visited Naples after the formation of the Kingdom of Italy, I went there as an ardent supporter of Victor Emmanuel; that I had not been in Naples more than six days, when a gentleman who has attained the rare position, of acquiring high distinction in the country of his birth, and equal eminence in that of his adoption, asked me whether I would like to visit the prison of Santa Maria,* in which I should have the opportunity of seeing an unfortunate countiyman (Mr. Bishop). I went, and saw Mr. Bishop, and certainly there was nothing to find fault with in the treatment which he appeared to be receiving. The Honourable Gentleman, the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, has challenged me to give my impressions of the prison in question, and I am happy to say that I saw nothing to complain of in the treatment of any of those persons who were confined in Santa Maria. The prison was cleanly, and the food was good, always supposing that the prisoners had been tried and convicted; but I regret to say that such' was not the case. One Hungarian gentleman, named Blumenthal,
* Sta. Maria Apparente.
who spoke French fluently, told me that he had been eighteen months in his cell, without havirig been tried or even interrogated. From the conversation of those around, he had gathered, that he was suspected of being concerned in some revolutionary proceedings, and he earnestly desired that he might be brought to trial. (Hear, hear, hear.) He had no objection to find with his lodging or his food; he had so long despaired of trial, that that poor man had almost ceased to complain!!
On leaving the cell of that prisoner, other prisoners, prompted, I suppose, by some instinct which induced them to make their complaints known, gathered around me and my companion, and frequently exclaimed in Italian, "Why are we in prison?" "Why are we not tried?" (Hear, hear.) Much struck, and somewhat uneasy, at what was going on, I requested the gentleman who accompanied me to ask of the Governor, that question, which the prisoners had put to me. All honour to that Governor, all honour to the Governors of the different prisons, which I visited, for they were one and all, actuated by philanthropic motives, and detested this system of which they are the unwilling instruments. The Governor to whom I now more particularly allude, replied, that he was unable to answer the question; that he had eighty-three prisoners in his charge, who had never been tried, and that about one-half of these, had never undergone a form of interrogation, which I believe is tantamount to being brought before a magistrate, in this country. These persons were confined in prison, and were not aware of the crimes with which they were charged. (Hear, hear.)
Perhaps, when the House hears of these men who are thus kept in prison without being tried, they may arrive at the conclusion, that they are men of intelligence and wealth, men who could head a revolution, and who would be dangerous to a Government firmly seated in the affections of its people. (Hear, hear.) On the contrary, some of them were most miserable looking beings, mumbling, grey-headed, crawling upon crutches,* being poor old wretches, who, in appearance, were only fit to finish their days in the neighbouring almshouse. To talk of such men as these as being conspirators, dangerous to the safety of the Government, and of His Majesty the King of Italy, appears to me to be simply absurd, and an outrage upon common sense. (Hear, hear.)
On leaving this prison, the distinguished gentleman who was with me said, "This is indeed wrong, I am an Italian, a thorough Italian, but this is wrong, and we must inscribe our names in the Visitors' Book to that effect. I said, " It would be a great liberty in a stranger to do anything of the kind;" but my companion was of a different opinion. We, therefore,
* Among the prisoners were the following cases: -
Jean Mazul in prison two years; very old, grey and toothless.
Nuncio Viterlo, confined for eighteen months, 63 years old, crooked, miserable looking, had been questioned, but not tried; knows not what he has done.
Many other prisoners, equally miserable, crowded in to give their names, but there was not time to write down more names.
Governor deplored system of imprisonment without trial, and of associating convicted and suspected. He receives daily shoals of petitions for trial from prisoners, which he forwards to Turin, and to which he gets no answer.
wrote in the book, a protest, for protest I must call it, to the following effect. After acknowledging the extreme courtesy of the Governor, and the generally good condition of the prison, the protest went on in the following words:-"But the undersigned cannot help expressing how regretable it is, that some 'prisoners have been detained for months untried, and, as far as they have assured the undersigned, not even interrogated, and without knowing from the authorities the cause of their imprisonment." This document being signed, it was left with the Governor, and a copy was to be forwarded to the Government at Turin. Now, I admit, that during my visit to this prison, some little uneasiness had began to creep into my mind, and I began to have some slight misgivings as to that state of liberty and justice, of which I had heard so much. (Hear, hear.) The result was, that I made an application to General La Marmora, and obtained from him authority to visit the other prisons of Naples. The second prison which I visited was that, known as the " Concordia;" it is situated in the upper part of Naples, and is chiefly occupied by persons imprisoned for debt. Now the House will readily imagine, that such men form by no means the most respectable portion of Neapolitan Society; I found these men walking about the gallery of the prison, and in the midst of them,-two convicted felons. One of whom was undergoing a sentence of imprisonment for life, for homicide, and the other of eighteen years for a grave crime. And here I beg to call the especial attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to these facts, because, if I am not mistaken, if
in olden days, it was the abomination of compelling prisoners suspected of political offences, to associate with those convicted of crime. (Hear, hear ) Among those prisoners, too, mixed up with the debtors and the felons, was a Roman Catholic Bishop* and five priests, who had been dragged out of their beds, a month before, thrust into this prison, and made, if they left their ceil, to pass their days in the society of needy debtors and convicted felons, and that without knowing the crime for which they were suffering. (Hear, hear.) Some Honourable Gentlemen around me, I am well aware, do not sympathize much, perhaps, with Roman Catholic Bishops and priests, but they are sufficiently English in their feelings, to sympathize with any one who is treated unjustly, whether Catholic or Protestant, priest or layman. (Hear, hear.) There is at present confined in that prison another man, who had been in prison two years, he was an old man, he must have been close upon seventy, he was bowed with years, and was confined to the prison diet, one meal a-day, and nothing but water to drink; ho complained, but he said, "He thought-he hoped-the end was near!" This second prison, certainly did not remove the uneasiness which had been excited in my mind, by my visit to the first.
The third prison was the "Santa Maria Agnone," the women's prison (Carcere de Donni), and really, if it were not for the gravity of the subject, I should be almost tempted to ask the House
* Monsignore Sodo, Padre Manzanelli, and others.
to join with me in a hearty laugh at the sight I saw.
Of the prisoners there were a* number of women confined for "political sympathies." Among these " ladies," who were perfectly delighted to see an English gentleman come among them (loud laughter), the most ridiculous case was that of three poor sisters, whose names were Francesca, Carolina, and Raffaella Avitabile, these unhappy women had been confined in prison for 22 months, because, as they gathered from their examinations before the magistrate, the last of which had taken place, ten months before, they were suspected of hanging a Bourbon flag out of the window. The one, who was the most discreet of the three, and who evidently was afraid of admitting much before persons she did not know, instantly corrected her sister as she told the story, saying, " Why, no, sister, it was not a Bourbon flag; it may have been a bed-sheet we were hanging out to dry." (Laughter.) This is the state of law and justice in the Neapolitan kingdom. I have a long list of the names of the women who have been confined in this and another prison, for longer or shorter periods, uninterrogated and untried; no complaints can be made of want of cleanliness or of the diet; but all this time, they were compelled to associate with the lowest class of women, even those taken from the streets, for immoral conduct. (Cheers.) The next prison, which visited, was a large one, at Salerno. The governor there was exceedingly courteous, and on hearing what was the object of my
* As far as could be ascertained by chorus of voices and entreaties, they numbered ten.
visit he bade me welcome, and hoped that it would be productive of good, but he said that he thought it right to tell me that in a prison which ought to accommodate 650 prisoners he had then 1,359, the result of which was that a virulent typhus fever had broken out, and within the previous week had carried off the physician and a warder. Among the prisoners in the first cell, which I entered in this prison, were eight or nine priests, and 14 laymen, all suspected of political offences, and these were confined in this cell with four or five convicted felons. In the next cell were 157 prisoners, the greater part of whom were untried. They lived there, the whole day, they slept there, the whole night, and except for a very short period, when they were* allowed to take a little exercise in a small yard, these 157 wretched creatures passed the whole of their lives in this place without knowing why or wherefore, they had been brought to such a place. (Hear, hear.) To show how completely unaltered, was the system which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had, in the year 1851, so emphatically denounced, I will state, that, in this room, associating with political offenders, was confined, a man who had been sentenced to death for murder, and who was to suffer the extreme penalty of the law, within a week, from that time. (Hear, hear.) The next room was a long room, with vaulted roof, and in it were 230 prisoners. To describe the state of squalor and filth, in which these wretched men were, would require more eloquence, than I can command. Among the prisoners were men of different classes in life-officers of the National Guard, who were condemned to this living death,
because they had, a few months before, listened to the voice of General Garibaldi-priests and laymen, all in a most pitiable condition. One man of 70, was a wretched object. Others had been in prison, so long that their clothes had worn out; they had no money to buy new ones, and some were in such a state of nudity that they could not rise from their seats as the strangers passed along, to implore, as their companions did, our pity, and to petition us to intercede in their favour. Some of them had literally no trousers, shoes, nor stockings-nothing, but an old jacket, and a small rag, which did duty for a shirt. It was a piteous sight-the stench was dreadful, and the House must remember that it was then the cold weather of January; what then must it be now 1 I dare not think of it. (Hear, hear.) The food they had, would not be given to any cattle in England. I threw a piece of their bread, upon the floor and pressed it with my foot, but so hard was it, that I could not make the slightest impression upon it. The next spot I visited was one, which had been visited by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, some eleven years ago, and which, he had then accurately described as " a charnel-house." It was the Vicaria -a prison, situated in the most crowded and unhealthy part of Naples-into which, though it was only calculated to hold 600 prisoners, 1,200 had been crowded. In this prison, there were five rooms, one following the other. There were only 14 warders for the whole of these 1,200 prisoners; and when Consul-General Bonham permitted himself to put down in an official despatch, that the abuses still existing in the prison of the Vicaria, were owing to
I therefore requested him to assure them that I had no influence with the Italian Government, for that in point of fact I was only an English traveller. But when they heard I was an Englishman, the clamour was renewed, and the entreaties waxed louder, for they seemed to think at the sound of an Englishman that a tutelary Deity, had come, to relieve them from the grossest and most wicked of oppressions. (Hear, hear.) The name of Gladstone was so well-known to them, ignorant though they were on other topics, that they, in their simplicity, thought one Englishman in 1862 could do the same as another had done in 1851. They little knew the difference of power and influence between the two members-between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and myself. (Hear, hear.) But to return to the yard. The sight which there met my eyes was one happily not often to be seen, and which I can never forget. The door by which I emerged, was at the top of the lofty wall, communicating by a steep staircase, down into the yard, and no sooner were the party in sight, than the prisoners rushed towards us with piteous cries, again and again repeated, and, with bloodshot eyes and outstretched arms, implored not for liberty but for trial; not for mercy, but for a sentence. The description of the attitude and condition of the tortured in Dante's Inferno,*would give the best idea of the scene that presented itself in that prison yard. (Hear, hear.)
* Here sighs, with lamentations and loud moans,
Resounded through that air pierced by no star,
That e'en I wept at entering. Various tongues,
Horrible languages, outcries of woe,
Accents of anger, voices deep and hoarse,
With hands together smote, that swelled the sounds,
And now I come to the last prison, on which I wish to speak, and I will ask the House to accompany me to the fortress of Nisida, situated about 5 miles from Naples, on the summit of a rock, commanding' the most beautiful and extensive scenery. In this prison there are none but those that have been tried and condemned, and it is here where hard labour (travaux forces) sentences are carried out. In this prison were a French gentleman, Comte de Christen, Signor Garacciolo, and Signor da Luca. They had been, as far as I know, rightly convicted of conspiring against the Government. But it is not of such crime that I wish to speak lightly, it is one which I cannot palliate; for those who conspire, frequently are those who put forward brave men to suffer, while they themselves skulk, behind, in safety. In the same prison I saw some thirty or forty very fine young men, dressing in the flaunting scarlet and green, vestments of shame. They had been apparently the flower of the Italian army; but were so, no longer, for their sinewy arms were powerless, chained, as they were by heavy irons to their brawny thighs. These young men had committed the grave crime, of having deserted from the army of Victor Emmanuel, and having listened to the voice of that brave and honest man Garibaldi. (Cheers.)
Made up a tumult, that for ever whirls
Round through that air with solid darkness stain'd,
Like to the sand that in the whirlwind flies.
Inferno, e. 112, v. 21.
The original pass age begins with-
"Quivi sospiri, pianti ed olti guai,
Risonavan per l'aere senza stelle," &c.
But however detestable the crime of disloyalty-however much to be reprehended is the conduct of those men, who break their oaths to their Sovereign -yet considering that only 18 short months before, those troops who did not listen to the voice of that same Garibaldi, and who did remain faithful to their king - considering that these were disbanded as unworthy of trust, and turned adrift to gain their bread, I do say that, if ever there was a man who, in such a case, was bound to temper justice with mercy that man was Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy. (Cheers.) And now I come to a narrative, from which I confess to recoil, with feelings of shame and indignation, for in one cell, narrow and most miserable, with a stone floor, and four iron bedsteads, without a table,-and without even a book, to cheer their solitude, were four men, chained two and two with the heaviest of irons, three of them, being men of birth and education. Though, owing to felon's garments, it was difficult and painful to do so, I recognised in two of them Count Christen and Signor Caracciolo. Count Christen, seeing my reluctance to approach, made a sign to me to come to him, and he said, "My Lord, I appreciate your feelings. You feel pity for me. Do not pity me,- but reserve your pity, for those, who degrade the name of freedom by treatment, such as that which I am now suffering." (Cheers.) Signor di Luca was chained with similar heavy chains, to a brigand who had been convicted of robbery or manslaughter. Here was an Italian gentleman, whose misfortune it was to differ from the Italian Government, and whose crime was conspiring against it, chained with irons to the commonest malefactor! Against such a system
I must enter my protest. (Hear.) I care not whether such deeds of darkness are done, under the despotism of a Bourbon, or under the pseudoliberalism of a Victor Emmanuel. What is called united Italy, mainly owes its existence to the protection and moral support of England-more does it owe to this, than to Garibaldi or even to the victorious armies of France-and in the name of England therefore, I denounce the commission of such barbarous atrocities, and I protest against the aegis of free England, being thus prostituted. (Loud cheers.) I conversed with some of the prisoners who were awaiting their trial, and they said, " if we only knew what our sentence was, at least our despair would not be so blank. At the end of every Vista, however long, a spark of light is visible. Were we condemned for ten or even twenty years, we could keep our eyes fixed on that light, and as month succeeded month, that ray, however small, would still be growing brighter, and the star of liberty would irradiate the darkness of our unhappy lot;-but now, all is one blank dark despair, without alleviation,-because without hope." Others, even went so far, as to say, " If we only knew that our sentence was for life, we should not be buoyed up with false hopes or wearied with a feeling of uncertainty; we should know what to expect; at least, we could pray for- the grave." (Hear, hear.) And now I would express my earnest hope, that the Right Honourable Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, will not remain inactive, but will exercise his powerful influence with the Government, of which he is so distinguished a member, to put an end,
of things. (Hear, hear.) Nor have these heen the only follies committed by the Piedmontese Government, since the annexation of Southern Italy, indeed with two exceptions it has been one unbroken chain of mistakes; first, they had rudely, and in one day, swept away that autonomy, which had lasted 800 years; and this was done, against the advice and decided wish of Garibaldi himself. Next there had been a wanton disturbance of the finances of the country. Taxation had been increased to a great extent in Naples; indeed, some of the taxes-for example, the stamp on paper,* had been raised to such an amount that it was actually less productive now than before the extra 10 per cent, had been added. The Honourable Gentleman again shakes his incredulous head, but I make that statement on no less an authority than that of Sella,f who was Chancellor of the Exchequer at Turin. The national debt has been added, to six-fold, and security for life and property has diminished, in proportion to the increase of taxation, till at last neither life nor limb are safe beyond the immediate gates of the city of Naples.
The stamp on paper was at a minimum of 3 up to a maximum of 12 grains. It is now at a minimum of 13, and runs up to 58 grains, and even more.
+ Sella says: " I must allow that this diminution in the Customs revenue is very annoying, for not only have the expectations of my predecessor not been realized, but we are even below the sum anticipated for 1861, in proportion of 11 per cent, i
With reference to increase of taxes, Sella states: "I must allow
that the difference between my calculations and the products has been
even greater than I had thought, for the revenue derived from the
increased taxes has been less than it was before the tariff was raised."+ It was impossible that General Bixio made that celebrated speech,
extract from which was quoted by Mr. Cavendish Bentinck in the debate of 8th May. It ran thus:- "In the south of the kingdom a system of blood has been inaugurated, to which a limit must be placed. (Applause.) It is not on blood poured forth that older can be established. (Hear.) It is not just that every individual in the southern provinces who wears uniform, should consider himself to have a right to slaughter with impunity every one who wears it not. (Cheers.)
should fall under a French protectorate, neither the Noble Lord at the head of the Government, nor the Noble Lord the Foreign Secretary, nor the Honourable Member the Under Secretary could with reason condemn such an event as that. (Cheers.) I am well aware that these lemarks are likely to draw upon me great unpopularity, and bring down on my head a storm of obloquy and misrepresentation;-(No! and cheers) -but all this I have considered, and it is in the cause of truth and humanity that I am willing to undertake this grave responsibility. I certainly have no party purposes to serve, and I have spoken, in sorrow not in anger. I shall welcome with grateful joy any reforms, by whomsoever brought about, which will restore to that fair land-fairest among the fair-the possession of happiness and liberty, and does not leave her any longer a prey to the worst of despotisms and the most maddening of sufferings. (Loud and continued cheers.)
When the speech was delivered, the names of two newspapers were given as having been seized at Florence-viz., La Nuova Europa, and La Campana del Popolo.
As will be seen by this note, the names of II Contemporaneo and Il Firenze should have been added to the list of the persecuted, thus making four, not two, that have fallen under the lash of the Government at Florence.
The Contemporaneo has met with the same treatment at Florence as the Napoli, Borsa, and Croce Mossa, at Naples. The printing machines were broken, and the type was scattered. The editor protested before Europe against this outrage which he attributed to the weakness, not to say the complicity of the Government. After some time a number reappeared, but seizures and condemnations followed with unrelenting severity. Only a few days ago the Italian journals chronicled a fresh. seizure in the following tenns:-"Angelo Gambi, the editor of the Contemporaneo, a Catholic journal of Florence, has just been condemned to four months' imprisonment, and 1,500 francs fine, for attacks on the fundamental Constitution of the Kingdom of Italy;" another journal of Florence, called Il Firenze, has not been more fortunate. In existence only a few months, it has already been seized many times; and in April last the 68th number was seized, a few days later, the blow wag - announced in the Italian press in the following terms:-"The Catholic journal, Il Firenze, has just been condemned in the person of its editor, who has been sentenced to three months' imprisonment and 1,000 francs fine.
La Nuova Europa, at Florence, of May 10, contains the following:-"This day, our newspaper was seized for an article entitled 'Siate ingrati,' which was written in answer to what has appeared in Il Nazione." At Milan, L'Unità Italiana of this month (May) has the following.-
"L'Unità Italiana announces that the courts at Turin have This can hardly be the case, as the present distinguished Foreign Secretary is the most able exponent of those views.
Lately Le Difensore of Modena has been sequestered and condemned for having reprinted the Paris correspondence, which had appeared in L' Armonia.
The Press, a journal by no means suspected of attachment towards conservative newspapers, takes the defence of the Eco di Bologna in the following manner:- The Eco of Bologna, a clerical journal which has only existed for the last two years, has been prosecuted twenty-four times, and condemned twenty-three; The tribunal of Bologna now condemns the editor to four years' imprisonment, and a fine of 7,000 francs, for having quoted an article from the Subolpino, a Turinese newspaper, which passed without censure in the original publication. Is truth then not truth in the north of Italy which is truth in the south. Is that a crime at Bologna which is none in Turin? And is an article which is inoffensjve in one place to be punished in another 1 What laws are those which sanction such flagrant injustice?
We read in the Eco di Bologna of the 5th and 6th of February:- "The second year of the life of the
Eco is completed, and the authorities have accorded us twenty-four sequestrations, exactly one sequestration a month during its existence. What proves the wisdom of the fiscal officer, to use no harsher expression, is that the article for which the Eco-w&s sequestrated, is copied verbatim from the Subalpino of Turin, and as the climax of his simplicity, that officer demands from us the manuscript of our article." Besides other twenty four persecutions on April 30, the manager of L'Eco di Boloyna was condemned to eighteen months' imprisonment, and 2,500 francs, for attacks of the fundamental constitution of Italy.
The Eco of Bologna, considering the infamous persecution to which
it has been exposed, has resolved to announce to us when he is not under sequestration.
Besides repeated seizures the editor has been punished with imprisonment for three years and ten months altogether, and to a fine of 20,500 francs, besides the expenses of the prosecution, which amounts, when added together, to four months of prison, and above 1,000 francs a month.
It is to be noted also that the intrepid journal has oftenest been condemned for reproducing the news of other journals, news which has run the round of other Italian newspapers, which have been published elsewhere without any censure. Ii
At Genoa it is the same thing as in Florence, Modena, Bologna, Milan, Turin and Naples.
Le Movimento, Le Rigoletto, and Stendardo, have been seized several times at Genoa.
The Qazetta di Genoxia of the 14th has the following: " This morning II Movimento has been seized; we know not the cause of this sequestration, but we suppose it was in consequence of an article which recommended that assistance should be given to Poland, and for announcing that a public meeting would be held next day for taking that question into consideration.
Le Rigoletto of 8th March.-On Sunday last the Rigoletto was seized at Genoa and the manager fined.
Le Stendardo. -The number of this paper was seized at Genoa on May 1st.
L'ltalie also announces, that on the same day a newspaper called Il Dovere, which is published at Genoa, in Piedmont, was seized, for containing an article written by Mazzini. In Naples- L'Aurora. L'Equatore. La Croce Bossa.
La Stella Matutina, only published fifteen numbers, of which two were seized.
La Tragicomedia survived only three numbers.
Le Picolo Independente, lived through ninety-two numbers, was seized several times, and finally suppressed.
Napoli e Torino published fifty numbers, seized seventeen times, editor imprisoned another, obliged to hide. This paper came to a violent end, like the Croce Bossa, Napoli, and Borsa.
II Monitore published eighty numbers, and was seized ten times, was imprisoned, and the editor in chief was obliged to resign, owing to threats.
Le Visitiero expired by the imprisonment of its editor.
Le Vendico died from the same cause.
Il Vesuvio was seized on its first number.
Il Ciahattino published seven numbers, of which three were seized. This Journal perished in the same violent manner as the Croce Bussa, Napoli, Sfc.
La Luce, its light was quenched in eight days.
I Tuoni published eight numbers and perished.
L'Epoca, published fifteen numbers, of which four were seized.
Il Cattolico repeatedly seized and succumbed.
La Stampa Meridionale died a violent death after two months existence.
Le Machiavelli published eleven numbers, and was seized five times.
L'Alba published fifteen numbers, and was choked with seizures. L'Incivilmento, of the first five numbers, four were seized, it was suspended; reappeared, but died after seven other seizures.
Le Settimana, two attacks were made on the printing-office. The editor was fined 200 ducats; the proprietor was imprisoned for six months. The editor declined to continue his work for fear of the dagger.
La Corriere delta Domenica. Le Napoli and La Borm, both with violence.
It will also be seen that the Peruzzi Circular is still acted upon, with every energy and vigour, not only at Florence but elsewhere.
To this list, within the last few days, must be added, on the authority of a journal, L'Italie, published at Turin, four other seizures at Naples, viz.:-
(Extract from L'Italie, published at Turin, 12th May, The following journals were seized (sequestres) at Naples, on Saturday, May 9th, -
L'Osservatare NapoMano, for an article entitled "The Passaglia Proposal;" also Nos 10 and 11 of the Ficcanaso, for two articles,-the one called "A Political Dinner," and the other headed " The Anabaptists." Besides these, the journal,
La Campana del Popolo, for an article called " The Peruzzi Circular, Historical Parallels." Il Piemonte, published at Turin, on May 27th, contains the following:-" To day, our manager was summoned before the Courts of " Assize. The condemned article was published on August " 22nd, 1862. It had for title, ' Garibaldi a Brigand! or the " Triumph of Brigandage, or all Brigands II"
Here is given a copy of the original notes, pencilled down on the spot in the prisons.
Room for six hundred prisoners; now, one thousand thr«e hundred there.
Situated in densely inhabited part of Naples.
Cell No. 1.- 1. Nineteen months in prison.
2. Ten months; being tried.
1. Thirty-six months.
In next five gallery-cells about eight hundred prisoners live.
1. Rafaello Pisano, nine months.
2. Gabrielli Senegallla, fifteen months.
3. Domenico Marto, fifteen months..
4. Gennaro Schayo, eight months. This was a miserable looking boy.
Dirt and filth.
One of the galleries one hundred and sixty metres long. One hundred and twenty prisoners confined there. Two hundred prisoners in another gallery. Floors rough, dirt and filth beyond.
Another cell, were seven persons taken up for affair of Sta. Lucia. Other cases were-
Gaetano Fonai, fourteen months. Said was "sospetto."
Micaelli Boselli, eighteen months. Also "sospetto."
Director said the same as Director at Sta. Maria Apparente; many petitions daily to be tried.
In two rooms pressure from mob Bo great, impossible to remain or question.
All through the stench overpowering.
During the day the corridors and passages used as closets. Director complained of danger. Impossible to search so many. Very few warders.
Great danger from prisoners concealing arms and weapons. These thrown through the windows, and brought in by sellers of provisions.
Director also fears breaking out of a fever from overcrowding. Same difficulty crossing the yard; mob pressed round. Haggard countenances. Visited old mens cell. Rinaldi, seven months.
Sabbato Marsi, twenty-one months; no shoes or stockings; very ragged.
Salvato Avricadio, had been eipht months.
Picco Gaetano, twenty-two months; had been interrogated twelve months, but not tried.
Court-yard.-Seething mob. Door at top of the wall. At sight of strangers, rush of prisoners up the stairs, with cries and entreaties.
Recalled scene in Dante's " Inferno."
Passed them through the door one by one; obtained following names at random:-
1. Pietro Caselli had been two years in prison.
2. seven months.
3. six months.
4. twelve months.
5. Pecarelli, nine months; almost naked.
6. Giuseppe de Biarse, eighteen months.
7. Nuncio Ari, twelve months. Infirmary clean.
In one cell were two hundred Cammoristi. Governor said dangerous characters, but had no evidence to convict them.
One ground-floor cell more airy than others, being ground-floor; fifty prisoners, greater part untried, confined in it.
The floor of some square rooms serve as closets; stench fearful, being no doors between these and other rooms.
A long dark gallery, with two hundred and seventy prisoners confined in it; among these, there were-
1. Franco Romano, had suffered with Poerio under the Bourbon Government.
2. Old man, who had been fifteen months in prison.
3. Mollo, twenty-three months. 4 Vine Garolfo, twenty months.
5. Gennaro Serpi, twelve months.
6. A Dumb man, seven months.
7. Giuseppe Santuci, twenty-four months. This man was represented by Governor as a dangerous character. He had repeatedly petitioned for a trial; and had been confined for five years under the Bourbon Government.
Not possible to take more names, crowd so great-entreaties so pressing. Begged Governor to ask them to desist, as I was only an English traveller.
Upon hearing this, cries were renewed with increased vigour. They seemed to look on English as tutelary Deity. Remembered Mr. Gladstone's visit.
A batch of one hundred and fifty untried prisoners had been removed the day before to an Isola near Genoa, from want of space here.
flocks of petitions; I handed all to Governor. Screams-prayers-haggard countenances-entreaties.
Impossible to visit this prison, on account of the brigandage prevailing in the provinces.
It now contains one thousand and eighty-five prisoners; of these twenty who have been released by appeals to the established
law tribunals of the country, but are still detained by order of General La Marmora. The rest are, with very few exceptions, political prisoners, and not tried.
Visited the prison January 23rd; the Governor very courteous.
One thousand three hundred and fifty-nine prisoners in it.
The Governor told us there was not accommodation for more than half! The result was that typhus had broken out, and within a few days both physician and a warder had died of it.
Prison is well situated at the top of the hill; the windows of the cells are large, which alone enables the prisoners to live.
In cell No. 1, were thirty persons with a small sleeping closet attached; of these seventeen were untried political offenders of laity, four were convicted fellons, and nine were priests! who had been imprisoned-some of them more than nine months, and had neither been interrogated nor tried. These occupied the small sleeping closet, but during the whole day were obliged to associate with the other twenty one, the convicted felons included. One priest, named De Feo, had been ten months, and another had been eighteen months -the latter had been interrogated, but had not been tried.
The other prisoners pressed around us to know why they were neither tried nor interrogated, nor even told how long they were to stay there.
To show the way things are done, the Governor admitted that he knew not either the crime or sentence of the inmates, nor even their names.
Thus those that have been longest in prison, least likely to get trial or liberty, more chance of their being forgotten.
Cell No. 2.-In the next yard were seventy-two, so called, Cammoristi: they had been there from twelve to eight months, and were untried.
Cell No. 3.-Thirteen sleep. A urinal fixed into wall of sleeping room; stench filthy.
Cell No. 4.-A long cell in which one hundred and fifty seven sleep, the greater part not tried; in a state of ragged squalor. Mixed with the untried was one man condemned to death for murder.
He had appealed to Court of Cassation, and, if appeal rejected, was to be executed within a few days.
Cell No. 5.-Forty-one prisoners, of which more than half were untried. One decrepid old man of 70, Andrea Proto, had been there more than seven months untried. Complaints general. Prisoners seemed more under command than at Vicaria.
Workshop cell (shoemaker's) was well arranged.
Went up stairs and entered the next cell-a long arched room, in which two hundred and thirty live, they sleep on mattresses on the floor close to one another. Poor creatures in a ttaie of squalid filth; some had climbed like monkeys, and were sitting clinging to the gratings of windows to get fresh air from the outside. Of these, likewise, the much greater half were untried, and persons of different classes in life were huddled together, the convicted and the innocent.
One in prison sixteen months; two fourteen months.
One officer of National Guard for sympathy with Garibaldi's last attempt.
Fel Delella, twenty-two months.
Domenico Ferullo, sixteen months, 70 years of age; a wretched old object, almost naked.
Cell 2.-Three hundred and three live here; the sight piteous: the same overwhelming majority of untried; stench bad: bitter complaints of vermin and of the food, the latter not fit for cattle; and this for untried, and therefore should be considered innocent men:-
1. Angelo Mordiani, twenty-one months.
2. Was all but naked, nothing but jacket.
3. Had no shirt or trousers, only a rag of linen loose on the knees, unable to rise to speak to us.
4. Gaetano Montora, had been twenty-one months, all but naked.
5. Auriello Gortrello, had been twenty months.
6. Says was made prisoner by brigands, who were taken by Government troops, has been twenty months, and though has sent many petitions, has neither been tried or interrogated on subject.
Cell 3.-One hundred and thirty-eight prisoners sleep; stench very bad: -
Luigi Picarelli, has been fifteen months.
Eaffaelo Annaino, has been eighteen months.
All in this room about the same term of imprisonment, and neither tried nor questioned.
Cell 7.-One hundred and thirty one sleep; same stench and complaints
1. Was a poor Hunchback, twenty-two months in prison.
2. Captain of National Guard. 1 -u u-
3. Brother Officer. } Ganbaldim.
4. Had been twenty-three months.
Crowd: vermin, rag's, entreaties.
Altogether a fearful scene.
Much having been said, because the gentleman who accompanied me to the prisons had not taken his scat in Parliament, I venture to give the extracts from several speeches, on the state of the prisons, made by those who have taken their seats in the Italian Parliament.
On December 15, Deputy Ricciardi thus spoke: "The last time (June 27th) that I addressed you on the miserable state of our Southern Provinces, the Honourable Minister (Conforti) declared, that in fixing the number of our prisoners at fifteen thousand I was guilty of exaggeration. Well, gentlemen, since then, I have acquired the certainty, that instead of an exag
The following letter appeared in a Palermitan newspaper
You will excuse for again troubling you, but knowing the interest which you take in us Garibaldian deserters, we write
to acquaint you with the following facts:
It is now for six months that we have been confined in a subterranean cell, obliged to sleep on the floor, and with only a single covering over us; but this is the least of our sufferings.
What we wish to impress on you is the sufferings which are caused by the quantity of vermin that abound, and the quantity of large rats which gnaw our scanty clothing, and even bite our bodies.
Again thanking you, we wish to offer, through the Aspromonte, a fresh pledge of our fidelity to the hero of Caprera. We subscribe ourselves
La Democrazia, of December 15, says:-"At Avellino the " prisons are full to overflow. Hundreds of old men, women "and children; three generations of relations of brigands, im" prisoned solely for their relationships."
November 22nd.-Deputy Ferrari speaks of citizens arrested by order of the Police, declared innocent by the Judges, and yet retained in prison. This appears to be explained by the following Circular:-
A Ministerial Circular of the " Keeper of the Seals " (Lord Chancellor), signed by the Official Director "Robecci," and dated at Turin, has been addressed to all the Judicial Colleges of the Southern Provinces:-
"It enjoins the Law Officers of the Crown, before releasing " prisoners, and more especially political prisoners, to consult " the Police, to which is accorded supreme power over the " pouvoir judiciare Judges, et toute faculte de detention."
Deputy Cesar & exclaimed: "An endless number of prisoners languish in our prisons, without any imputation being definitely established; victims of vague denunciations, suspected of being partisans of brigandage, without the authorities having any testimony which proves their guilt."
Deputy Massari: "He who first took alarm at my recent statement, mentioned with horror the abuse of arrests made upon anonymous denunciations, and recounted that, at Bari,
he was nearly being thrown into prison owing to suspicion that he was not favourable to the existing order of things."
On January 28.-M. Crispi thus spoke of the prisons of Palermo:-" At Girgenti, at Terramo, and at Lecce, you know how the
" I was moved to pity by that rumour, and I wished to go and see these unfortunate creatures with my own eyes.
'*I found the condemned indiscriminately mixed with those de tained from precaution, or from an order of the police. I found that there was no register kept which would give any particulars of them. Without beds, and at night without light, they were in full enjoyment of the Luxury Of Misekt. I examined the floor of the corridors, in which human filth was so thoroughly ingrained, that it was impossible to make out whether the " floor was of brick or stone.
"While I was visiting the third floor of the first section of these prisons, all of a sudden, from the midst of that dense and confused mass of human beings, started an individual, having scarcely any longer the shape of a human being, naked, encrusted with human filth, his hair standing on end, his eyes in tears, exhausted with fasting for several days, and groaning forth his complaint against the cruel treatment he had endured.
"The sub-director who was with me appeared dumb-foundered at the sight; and could make no other excuse than that this scene had been improvised to make an impression on me. But the director forgot that the scene would have been impossible if these unfortunate creatures had not been ill-treated-the fault was his; and yet, gentlemen, this branch of the public service costs 2,821,000 francs. It is for you to draw your inference!"
Monsieur Michelange Cammineci, Purveyor to the Prisons of Palermo, sent an address to the King and Parliament.
The following passages occur in this address:- "In going into this prison I saw (it seems impossible, but it is true) that Silvio Pellieo and Maroncelli were in a gilded palace in comparison with this prison, and with the state of those unhappy creatures who ought only to be punished by the majesty of the law."
Again, "I heard Monsieur Solera, Chief of the Secretariat of Police at Brescia say, I have never seen the like, even in Austria. He goes on, Although I belong to that party which should alone exist in Italy-I mean that of establishing the unity of Italy-I expect prompt justice from the superior intelligence of the commissioner of the King, and if the director should be in any way injured by making these revelations, as he is a father of six children I engage to indemnify him for
"what he loses, until he is again employed with honourable colleagues. I say as much for the sub director, but I cannot parley with suffering humanity!
"We must remember that the thirteen hundred prisoners have also many thousands of innocent children: they die every day of starvation, and misery! Under the hero, Victor Emmanuel II, in the year such things might not to happen in a free Italy." - Another Deputy, M. Lazzaro, speaking of Neapolitan prisons, says:-"The prison of Salerno can hold six hundred individuals;" at this time there are one thousand, four hundred persons in it. That at Potenza, made to hold six hundred, has one thousand one hundred in it; that of Lanciano, destined for two hundred persons, has now one thousand seven hundred in it in one word the Neapolitan prisons are gorged with double, and sometimes three times, the number of persons they should take in."
M. de Boni, Deputy, said, speaking of the Neapolitan prisons:
"They are antediluvian caverns, choked up with prisoners!" Besides these authorities, a recital has been laid before the Parliament at Turin, which speaks this:-
"I went to see the prisons of Melazzo. Horror! I came out covered with vermin, heart-broken, and with the blush of shame on my forehead, at being an Italian.
On 17th April, Deputy Kicciardi, in his place in Parliament, confessed that he had seen more than one thousand five hundred prisoners in Palermo, packed one on another like sardines in a barrel; and later in the same sitting, he added, "that the bread which is given to the prisoners is such, that I would not have wished even the ' Comte Ugolino to eat it."
In April last further discussions took place in the Parliament at Turin, respecting the Italian prisons, and I wish to draw the attention of those, who in the recent debate in the House of Commons, asserted that irregularities and ill-treatment were not to be found in the prisons of Piedmont, and existed only in those of the Neapolitan provinces, on account of the general demoralization induced by Bourbon rule, to the speeches of M. de Cavour, Balazzi, and others.
This is what the Marquis di Cavour and Deputy Belazzi say respectively of the prisons at Turin and at Genoa. " I will " call, says the Marquis, the attention of the Honourable Minister " of the Interior, to the really painful condition in which the " prisons of Turin have been for the last three months.
" The state of things there, is contrary to humanity, and to " the honour of a civilized nation. From a miserable economy, "prisoners newly committed to prison, are thrown on to the same " straw which has 'already been used by those who were there " before them, which would contain the infection of filthy dig
This state of things however has lasted more than the three months, described by M. Cavour, for in 1854, the journals of that day described the prisons, " a Horror, a Plague!! a Ferocious cruelty!.'"
M. Belazzi, in the same sitting of the Italian Parliament, declared that the prisons of Genoa " were a shame to Italy," and that within their walls are crowded double the number of individuals which they were intended to contain.
The Diritto has published the following letter in its number of the 23rd of April:-
Since the majority of the Chambers would not allow me to reply to the honourable the Minister of Justice, who accused me of exaggeration as to the number of eighteen thousand prisoners in the Southern Provinces, alleged by me in the debates of the 18th and 20th instant, I will take advantage of the courtesy of the Diritto to offer some explanation on the subject. I have verified with my own eyes the number of citizens detained in the prisons of Naples and Palermo, and I have found from three to four thousand. Besides the lists, which 1 have presented to the Chamber, of those detained at Santa Maria, Avellino, and Campobasso, I have under my eyes two letters, one from Catanzaro, and the other from Palermo; the latter, which is written by a well-known advocat?, fixes at two thousand four hundred the prisoners of the province of the Citerior Principality.
Here I must declare that I have succeeded for this province alone in ascertaining the total number of prisoners. For all the others I have only the numbers of the chief towns. Taking as our basis the number of prisoners in the Citerior Principality, and multiplying it by twenty-three, the number of the provinces of the ex-kingdom of Naples, as would obtain an enormous total; however, wishing to limit to one thousand the average of prisoners detained in all the provinces, we have the number of twenty three thousand-that is to say five thousand more than my estimate. It is very sad to think, meantime, that so many thousands of citizens sigh for so many months for their trial, crowded in those horrible prisons which I have visited with such horror!
Deputy to the Italian Parliament, condemned
To M. Bargoni, to death under Ferdinand II.
Deputy to Parliament;
Director of the Diritto.
APPENDIX TO PAGE 5.
Shortly after the visit to St. Maria Apparente, a paragraph appeared in La Stampa, which announced that a commission would shortly be appointed to examine into the state of the Neapolitan prisons. A week later, in the same paper, and in Il Pungolo, appeared the same statement in more explicit terms, it wrote thus: "The commission will be appointed to take into consideration the case of alcuni Migliaia di persone qui sono illegalmente detenute nelle prigioni di Napoli;' some thousands of persons who are illegally detained in the prisons of Naples."
Later again another paragraph appeared, in which it was stated that the rumour of the intended release of the Camorristi was unfounded, that all would be brought to trial, that the inspected would be sent to Lampedusa, and the innocent set free.
Unfortunately no further step has been taken to carry these promises into effect.
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