صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

the Liberator of Italy. Even Manin gave him his cordial support. But Mazzini still held back-he could never forgive him for petitioning for a constitution—while in his opinion he ought to be seeking to establish an Italian Republic.

Soon after Santa Rosa, a member of the Cabinet, died, and Cavour became Minister of Agriculture and Commerce. Nor was he long confined to two portfolios. As soon as the Department of Marine became vacant, he accepted that also. He was not more than a month or two in the new office, when he projected a Treaty of Navigation and Commerce, against which the Savoyards protested, as calculated to ruin their trade in wines ; but they did so in vain. The treaty was soon ratified, and there were those who predicted at the time (May, 1852) that there would be a change, at no distant day, in the relations of Savoy with Sardinia. The treaty was not long in existence, however, when a change of Ministry occurred, and Cavour found himself without any portfolio. This exclusion mortified him 80 much that he immediately left the kingdom for a tour through England and France. His reception in London was more like that of a monarch than of an ousted Minister. He had protracted interviews in turn, with Lord Palmerston, Lord John Russell, and the Earl of Derby—that is, with both the Whig and Conservative leaders. While thus engaged in London, he received the intelligence of the resignation of the Azeglio Ministry, which had been caused by its inability to come to terms with the Pope's legate. Cavour saw that it came to his turn to assume the reins again. The king called upon him to do so. He expressed his willingness, but only on condition that he could resist the demands of Rome. First the King was unwilling to come to an open rupture with the Holy See, but having no one else that he could rely upon, his Majesty was finally induced to yield. He now found himself in the position to which he had always pointed as the goal of his ambition. Previously, as we have seen, he had held four portfolios together, but now he might be said to hold all-to be, in fact, sole Minister. He has often been blamed, both at home and abroad, and not without some reason, for monopolizing so many offices, with, of course, their principal emoluments, to himself; although no man lived in simpler style.

The series of events that have since taken place are still fresh in the minds of our readers. It was generally believed that it was a very injudicious act on the part of the government of a fourth-rate State, like that of Sardinia, to join the league of France, England, and Turkey, against Russia. The bill presented by Cavour to the Chamber, for that purpose, encountered the most violent opposition. When it was finally passed, by a merely nominal majority, members of his own cabinet resigned rather than affix their signatures to a document which they insisted would render the little kingdom of Piedmont an object of derision to the rest of Europe. To all this opposition Cavour had but the one answer to make. Again and again, he insisted that “ The independence of Italy must be conquered in the Crimea.” Whether the events which have since been accomplished bear out his prediction is another question-some think they do; but quite as many think otherwise. The latter ask, What did the Sardinians do after going to the Crimea that could not have been done just as well had they remained at home? And they add that Sardinia owes much more to the family alliance between Louis Napoleon and Victor Emanuel, which was effected through the instrumentality of the Count de Cavour, than any bravery displayed by the Sardinians before Sebastopol, or anywhere else. If Napoleon was bound to interfere in the affairs of Italy, because the Government of Turin agreed to send 25,000 men to the Crimea, England and Turkey were bound to interfere in a similar manner, for the same reason; but neither had the least notion of doing so.

If there was any doubt as to whether Louis Napoleon had other motives than gratitude towards Sardinia for having joined the coalition against Russia, in sending a French army into Lombardy, in order to wrest that province from Austria, it has been removed when the cost of the service rendered came to be counted up. For, be it remembered that, if Sardinia obtained Lombardy, she had to part with Savoy and Nice. This, too, was the work of the Count de Cavour. It was he who induced the king to surrender what, until recently, was the chief, nay, the sole patrimony of his family, since 1417, when Victor Amadeus II., of Savoy, solicited the Emperor Sigismund to erect his dominions into a duchy. And it was not until 1720 that the House of Savoy had any claim whatever on Sardinia, when the Duke obtained it in exchange for Sicily, with the title of King.

In a brief sketch like this we can do no more than refer

incidentally to what Count Cavour has done for Italy, or to what Italy has gained by the recent changes—which amounts to the same. Most of those who write in glorification of what is now called the Kingdom of Italy, overlook the fact that the house of Savoy is really no more Italian than the house of Austria, but, indeed, less. Lombardy belonged to the German emperors from the beginning of the ninth century, ages before the dukes of Savoy were ever heard of; since the first member of the family of which history gives any account, is Hubert, a marauding chief of the eleventh century. Be it remembered, that, so early as A. D. 1158, Frederic Barbarossa invaded Lombardy with a large army, and besieged Milan; not as a foreign monarch seeking a new conquest, but as the rightful sovereign wishing to reduce his revolted subjects to submission. Nor did he fail in his attempt; but so much was he exasperated at what he called the ingratitude and treason of the Milanese, that he utterly annihilated their city in 1162, leaving not one stone upon another.

At this time Sardinia was in the hands of the Spaniards, who had just succeeded in expelling the Moors; and it was not until the decline of the Spanish power that the dukes of Savoy got any foothold in the country. Even then it was given to them as a sort of gift of doubtful value, in consideration of services rendered by them to the German Emperor.

But, strictly speaking, Sardinia forms no part of Italy, and never did. Until the fall of the Roman Empire, it was a province, not of Italy, but of Cisalpine Gaul—the same as Lombardy or Venice. In the time of the Romans, it was never considered that Italy was invaded from the north until the Rubicon was passed, or a line connecting that river with the Marca, in latitude 44° 20'.

We are told also, by the principal historians of ancient Rome-the best authorities on the subject--that the reason those provinces were called Cisalpine Gaul was because Sardinia, the ancient Luguria, and Taurini, had been taken possession of by the Gauls, under Brennus. Subsequently, it became a part of the Kingdom of Lombardy, until it was taken back, not by the Italians, but by the Burgundians. Thus, according to the most authentic accounts, ancient and modern, continental Sardinia is much more Gallic than Italian; while the inhabitants of the Island of Sardinia are a mixture of Phænicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Saracens, and Spaniards.

Now, because Count Cavour has succeeded, with the aid of Napoleon III. and Garibaldi, in annexing several states to Sardinia, we are told that Italy is at last free; at least, that she will be free as soon as two or three states more shall have been added to the dominions of Victor Emanuel. We should be very glad to believe that this is true, but we cannot see that it is. No doubt Victor Emanuel is a better king than was the late king of Naples; and his rule is infinitely milder than that of Austria has been in Lombardy. But all the Italians have to depend upon now, more than seven years ago, is the difference in disposition between one sovereign and another. We see that the Neapolitans are becoming dissatisfied already with the new state of things, and there are rumors that even the people of Lombardy begin to complain that they have but changed masters.' We are aware that both accounts are denied. We are assured that there is no truth in them that their very absurdity proves them to be false. * But those who reason on the subject in this way forget that before any state had been annexed to Sardinia, the Genoese rose in open rebellion against the present king, their rightful sovereign, so that General Marmora had to besiege Genoa and reduce it to submission. Since these events occurred, so recently as March and April, 1849, how can we regard it as incredible that the Neapolitans and Milanese are not entirely satisfied with the rule of Victor Emanuel ?

Nor can we have much confidence in Sardinia as a military power. She has established no military reputation. Without the aid of Louis Napoleon and Garibaldi, there is not much reason to believe that she could have wrested one square mile from Austria, or even from the king of Naples. Victor Emanuel has not yet proved himself a more skilful commander or a braver soldier than his father, Charles Albert; but the latter was defeated again and again, with the flower of his army, by the Austrians, under Radetzky. His forces were so completely routed at the battle of Novara, in March, 1849, that his only alternative was to abdicate in favor of his son, the present king.

With all these facts staring us, as it were, in the face, we

• The Opinione of Turin states, that when the king paid his last visit to the dying count, the most earnest advice given him by his late Prime Minister was to this effect : “ As for the Neapolitans, purify them, purify them" (li lavi, li lavi, li lavi), that is, in plain language, make them submit.

cannot join in the rejoicements now so fashionable for " United Italy." None would rejoice more heartily if we could regard Italy as really liberated and united ; but we do not. It remains to be seen whether anything much better has occurred than that certain Italian states have changed masters. But all this is no reflection on the memory of the Count de Cavour. As already remarked, no unprejudiced person, capable of judging, would venture to deny that he was a great statesman. It is equally evident, from all accounts, that his death was, and is, deeply regretted-at least by the people of Turin, his native city.

Art. IX.-1. The Industrial History of Free Nations, considered

in relation to their Domestic Institutions and External Policy.

By W. TORRENS McCULLAGH. London : 1846. 2. The Annual Sermon, preached at New Haven, before the Board

of Missions of the Protestant Episcopal Church. By the Rev. John S. Stone, D. D., Rector of St. Paul's Church,

Boston. 3. The Philosophy of Trade ; or, Outlines of a Theory of Pro

fits and Prices. By PATRICK JAMES STIRLING. Edinburgh : 1856.

ALL agree that the lessons of adversity make the most lasting impressions ; but, unfortunately, there are but few who can turn them to account, because to do so requires thought and a due appreciation of the difference between right and wrong. Calamities are inseparable from war; but it should no more be avoided on this account, when the integrity and honor of the country are involved, than the skilful surgeon should avoid using the lancet when he sees it is the only means by which the life of his patient can be saved. At all events, it is those who provoke a war that are morally responsible for the evils which it entails upon themselves, as well as upon others.

This, however, is no reason why others should not profit by its lessons. It has been well said that emperors and kings have been forced into honesty by war, and the same remark applies with still greater force to subjects and citizens. In the former, more than in the latter case, it is not the worst transgressors that learn most-generally,

« السابقةمتابعة »