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ingratitude. It is true that his popularity with them has subsided almost as rapidly as it rose. But they had good cause to be indignant with their champion. Whether they are entitled to upbraid him with bad faith the event will show; but at all events they may complain of his shortsightedness. Whether a war with Austria was the wisest policy for those who sought to succour Italy may well be doubted; but there can be no doubt whatever that that policy was wholly neutralized by the peace of Villafranca. Austria could only be charged with being indirectly the cause of the sufferings of which so large a number of Italians have been the victims. Her own rule, in her own Italian provinces, as we have before shown in these pages, was, except in the actual crisis of a rebellion, both mild and equitable. There was a fixed code of law, which does not seem to have been unduly strained; a considerable amount of local selfgovernment was permitted; and owing to the religious unanimity of the country the concordat pressed but lightly. The salient grievance of the population was the enormous taxation they were compelled to bear; but any one arguing from the Austrian point of view, might have plausibly maintained that the maintenance of order exacted a huge expenditure, and that the burden of it, like the vast police rates which the disturbed districts of Ireland used to be made to pay, was entirely brought by the people upon themselves. The same might be said of the three Cispadane Duchies, which were practically Austrian satrapies. They were even exempt from the crushing taxation which was the great grievance of Lombardy, for their burdens were lighter than those of Piedmont itself. Of course their constitutions were narrow and retrograde; there were many freedoms to win, and much progress to achieve. But there was no suffering that could justify a neighbour's kindly offices in the way of armed intervention.
But there was suffering in Italy, and that of a kind to arouse the most burning sympathy in every civilized land. There were two other states in the peninsula, both of them nativeruled, both of them comparatively independent of Austria, and one of them far more completely under the influence of France and it was in them that the enormities occurred which roused the warm compassion of all Europe for the Italian cause. It was Rome and Naples which made Italian governments a byword for oppression. It was the cases of Poerio and the 'petit Mortara' that have furnished the commonplaces for declamation upon Italian wrongs, and have shamed every one except Mr. Bowyer into Italian sympathies. Even those who were most reluctant to disturb the established state of things
could not hear without a shudder of the lawless cruelty of the Neapolitan police, of innocent men crazed by their sufferings while merely waiting to be tried, of whole classes of refined and educated citizens condemned after a mock trial, and then chained to common felons in deep foetid dens, day and night for life without relief. Every one was disgusted at the narrow and brutalizing bigotry with which the priestly régime of the two southern courts struggled to stifle all progress and shut out all light from the wretched peasantry with whose ignorance their domination was bound up. It was felt that these things were an outrage on modern civilization; and that they were heaping up to themselves a bloody retribution against the time to come, which might spread further than the area of the oppression that had called it down. Most men were inclined to view with very lenient judgment a good deal of violence and a good deal of illegality, if only by such means such abominations could be swept away.
It was scarcely possible such sympathy should be repressed, or that it should not sooner or later find a practical expression. But with the exquisite obtuseness which generally distinguishes violent outbursts of public feeling, all this righteous indignation which should have burst upon the heads of the monstrous governments of Rome and Naples, was made to swell the tide of fury against the far more venial peccadilloes of Vienna. Whether this confusion was produced by Cavour's clever advocacy, or whether it was simply engendered by that strange mania for ideal nationalities which is the moral epidemic of the age, and which appears to have the power of overshadowing all substantial grievances, is one of those matters which posterity will be able to investigate more satisfactorily than we can. But it enabled the Emperor Napoleon to enlist on his side a large amount of European feeling in a crusade by no means dictated, as the event has shown, by a sympathy for the real wretchedness and degradation of which the southern half of Italy was the theatre.
But there is one sense in which Austria is answerable for what takes place in Rome and Naples. She is responsible for the existence of those governments, though she is not the accomplice of their crimes. Governments conducted with such shameless disregard of law, and such stupid hostility to all improvement, are naturally tottering concerns, and need the frequent propping of a foreign force. Austria has always been ready in their hour of need to rescue them with an army from their infuriated subjects, and enable them to disgorge the liberal pledges they had swallowed in the depth of their terror. It is true that, at least
as regards Rome, she divides with France the honour of these interventions: but still, so far as they go, they load her with a large share of responsibility for the proceedings of governments that but for her would have fallen long ago. And, what is of more importance, they make it a matter of vital moment to the Italian patriots to deprive her either of the power or the will to interpose her protection, whenever a favourable moment shall arrive for bending anew the stubborn necks of these two reprobate sovereigns beneath the yoke of a constitution. To deprive her of the power must be almost an impossibility, so long as she remains an empire. Trieste is now but twenty-four hours' journey from Vienna, and Austrian troops could probably land on any part of the Italian coast without having much to fear from any hindrances that Italian insurgents could cast in their way. It only remains for them to make it no longer worth her while. She does not do it out of pure affection; she does not fight-as we are told France does for an idea.' She quenches Liberalism in the peninsula lest the flame of it should spread northward beyond the Po, and kindle the ready train of revolt among her unwilling subjects in Lombardy. Drive Austria from Italy, and she will then look upon the repression of Italian liberty as a quixotic waste of blood and treasure.
Thus argued the Sardinian statesmen, thus argued the Italian liberals at the beginning of the war. Perhaps the eyes of the Sardinians may have been somewhat quickened to perceive the advantages of expelling Austria by their appreciation of the wealth of the Lombard plains. Still the policy was plausible enough, and, setting aside the danger of merely substituting a French for an Austrian protectorate, gave fair promise of success. But the whole essence and kernel of the policy was, that not a single rood of land should remain to the Austrian government from the Alps to the Adriatic.' As long as Austria continues to be an Italian power, so long Austria's interest in Italian servitude is unabated.
Therefore it is that the Italian campaign, in spite of all its victories, is felt by the Italians to be a sanguinary failure. If its sole aim was to set free the strip of land which separates the Mincio from the Ticino, of course it was a success. But this could hardly have been dignified with the name of Italian liberation. Its professed object was, by the expulsion of the Austrians, to shatter the only buttress that upholds the crumbling native tyrannies. But the Austrians are not expelled. They still rule over three millions of Italians, and if the treaty of Villafranca had been carried out they would rule by the hands of dependent princes over about three millions more.
people whom the Emperor of the French has abandoned to their mercy are not, like other Italian races, born to a condition of turbulent subjection, with no national history to look back to save a long alternation of servitude and civil war. The Venetians nourish the traditions of a thousand years of empire, and a very short time back showed themselves thoroughly worthy, both in courage and endurance, of the recollections they inherit. It is no slight task to make such a people with such a history quietly submissive to a foreign yoke. The paternal government of Vienna will have lost none of its solicitude to protect its delicate and sensitive ward from the breath of an infectious liberalism. It was a blind hope-if, indeed, it was ever sincerely entertained-that three battles would suffice to put a stop to Austrian meddling in Italian affairs. For a time, so long as French power preponderates in Italy, she may be compelled to abstain, as she was during the first empire. For the next few years she must content herself with maintaining the reign of terror, which to the Venetians at least is at present the only definite result of the war of liberation. But no permanent divorce between Austrian and Italian politics has been effected. Another turn of the wheel of fortune, and she will have every motive and every opportunity that she ever had before for aiding Pio Nono to uproot the constitutional theories, which he quaintly denounces as inconsistent with a belief in the immortality of the soul.
But though the Italians have gained but little by this war, we are far from saying that it is a war without results. In the first place, Louis Napoleon sits far firmer on his throne now that he has shown that he can fight; a result which will no doubt be a great comfort to the ruined peasantry of the Milanese, and to the victims of Venetian and Neapolitan police. This was of course the Emperor's main object in the war, and, judging him by the received ethics of his profession, it is impossible to blame him. By all the rules of kingcraft the blood of fifty thousand men is cheaply shed, if it helps to cement the fabric of a shaky dynasty. But the war has had another result, for which he probably would not have been willing to pay so liberally. It has left its mark, not only on France and Italy, but also on the other nations of Europe who did not actually join the strife. It has wakened them up from the dream of security into which two generations of peace had lulled them. Men are hardly persuaded that that which has long endured can ever cease, or that the system in which they have grown up can be violently changed. Ten years ago the Manchester school were only exaggerating the popular belief, when they
preached the doctrine that Europe had grown too wise for war. Nations might not formulate it in words, but they expressed their assent to it not less clearly in lessened armaments and neglected defences. Even the Russian war did not wholly dispel the illusion. Its theatre was only nominally European, and the real interests which were staked on its issue were almost wholly Asiatic. It was looked on as an episode, an irregular interpolation, an exception from the usual order of things, that was not likely to recur. When it was over, men returned to their old fond delusion, and again suffered themselves to believe in lasting peace. The treaty of Villafranca has engendered no such selfdeception. The continued armaments in every part of Europe show that no one has been misled by the 'Moniteur's' assurances of peace. The conviction has taken deep root among all the nations, that, under its present ruler at least, France will never cease to be to Europe what the Faubourg St. Antoine used to be to Paris. External appearances may be reassuring, the arts of peace may flourish, men may be securely prosecuting their efforts to advance in knowledge and in freedom, the world may seem to rest under the broad and peaceful shadow of an evergrowing commerce, but there is always one corner of the Continent from which, at any moment, with the speed and suddenness of a tropical tempest, the storm may come up by which all this bright prosperity shall be swept away. The ceaseless, insatiable ambition of France is the skeleton in the house.
It is hard to lay upon the present Emperor all the responsibility for the curse which France brings upon the family of nations of which she forms a part. No doubt he is justly loaded with a portion of the guilt. He has placed himself in a false position, in which the path of safety is the path of crime, and to do right and follow peace is to insure his fall. Crime begets crime in every sphere of human action, and a bloody triumph can only be perpetuated by blood. It is only when they represent the real aspirations of a people that usurpers can afford to be pacific. Those who have reached their eminence by violence or craft have no other defence against the indignation which their success arouses than the appeal to some strong passion by which all other passions may be swallowed up. The passion will differ according to the character of the people. Cromwell could appeal to religious fanaticism: a French usurper has no other course but to invoke that unscrupulous worship of military glory which has been the besetting sin of the French nation in every period of their history. A very ordinary morality would have prevented Louis Napoleon from seating himself on his present throne, in defiance of the laws to which he himself had sworn,