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HIS PRINCIPLES AND AIM.
We respect the men who bring us principles more than those who confine themselves to the consideration of " questions." They take higher rank in the hierarchy of benefactors. But to ensure our esteem it is necessary their principles should be sound. We do not believe those entertained by Mr. Mazzini on politics, literature, and art to be sound. We agree with the current notion of Englishmen respecting their merits; we do so, however, not because, like them, we dislike broad principles, but because we conceive the principles to be false. The most important deduction Mr. Mazzini makes from his well-known tenets is the necessity for the unification of Italy, with Rome as its capital, and the establishment of a Republican form of government. This is the mastering idea of his life. Herein he has ever been consistent. The views indicated in his earliest publication, under the pretence of literary discussion, he has continued to enunciate ever sincethrough evil report and good; in the press; in conversation; in preparing insurrections; in the day of his success; in exile.
The triumph of this idea would, he conceives, make his country once more
great, glorious, and free.
We do not believe this.
We believe the freedom and happiness of a people are not the result of their political institutions, but that their political institutions are, in great degree, the
result of their own temper and aspirations. The Government of no people, left to themselves, can remain, for any length of time, out of harmony with the sum of the wishes and requirements, and deserts, of the governed. Mr. Mazzini cannot be unaware that Rome was once the capital of Italy as well as of the world, and that even then the Peninsular was not united. During the Middle Ages again, at the end of the thirteenth century, the country was split up into independent governments; yet the several States possessed power and enterprise which all Europe could not match. Pisa, Genoa, Venice, Florence were rivals; but they were each great. During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, as Mr. Mazzini must well know, European commerce was almost entirely in the hands of the Italians. His countrymen were the bankers of Europe, and the great carrying-people between the East and West. The shores of the Mediterranean were lined with their vessels and war-galleys, and the influence of their counsels was felt throughout Christendom. Yet the country was then less united than it is now. The truth is, Italy was formerly great from causes, moral and physical, which no longer exist within her limits. The elements of success are now wanting in her, and all attempts to make her equal her former exalted state by any political changes that can be devised will inevitably result in failure.
HIS VIEWS IMPOLITIC.
Nor does Mr. Mazzini confine his principles to action; he applies them equally to literature and art. In his writings, now in course of publication, his method of application is clearly seen. Literature, with him, is the means to an end, and that end " an appeal to the youth of Italy to create a country for "themselves by force of arms." He complains that previous to his time writers of the Romantic School devoted themselves to objective art, and not to what he avers to be his sole merit," declaring themselves "for liberty against oppression." His notions of art, too, are similarly vicious. He is of opinion that the
special aim of art is " to excite mankind to reduce "thought to action." Just as English critics would make Art the handmaid of Religion and Morality, he would make her the handmaid of Revolution. Two errors, he tells us, threaten art-the theory that it is an imitation of Nature, and the theory that has created the formula of "Art for art's sake." "The first would deprive it of all spontaneous indi"vidual life; the second break the link that binds it "to the universe."
It is scarcely necessary for us to say we differ from Mr. Mazzini's notions of art and literature as widely as we differ from his political principles. He surely mistakes the function of literature, if he would make it a vehicle for direct political action. We hold that
to do this would be to degrade literature. During the War of Independence in Germany, people were constantly in the habit of blaming Goethe for not raising his voice against Napoleon, just as the Italian now blames the literati of his country for not interrogating" the thought of the epoch in the nation." In opposition to this view, we commend to the attention of Mr. Mazzini, and such as would make literature the vehicle for direct political action, the reply of Goethe, than whom no one in this century better understood the function of literature.* The same eminent writer's observations on the functions of art also may be studied by them with advantage at the same time. Goethe contended, as we do, that art would no longer be art if deprived of an aim and object of its own, and that to deprive it of these would be to deprive it of its legitimate influence and power.
* "How could I write songs of hatred without hating! How could I, to whom culture and barbarism are alone of importance, hate a nation which is among the most cultivated of the earth, and to which I owe so great a part of my own cultivation ? Altogether, national hatred is something peculiar. You will always find it strongest and most violent when there is the lowest degree of culture. But there is a degree where it vanishes altogether, and where one stands, to a certain extent, above nations, and feels the weal or woe of a neighbouring people, as if it had happened to one's own."-ECKERMANN'S Conversations with Goethe, Vol. II., Oxenford's Translation.
OFTEN wonder who first left his home for change of scene, or migrated to the seaside; not on business, but from
business; not for the purpose of residing there, but as a bona fide visitor. What were his belongings? Was he a bachelor or a married man? Did he carry his carpet bag, or was he himself carried in a coach, and accompanied by a train of attendants? Was he able to dine upon eight hundred a year, or did he require twice that amount to do so satisfactorily? Whoever and whatever he was, none can justly deny to him the title of great social reformer, or refuse to his now numberless followers the right— when his name shall have been discovered erecting an appropriate statue to his memory.
Before his time people resided constantly at home,