Eleaml - Nuovi Eleatici


 LA CIVILTÀ CATTOLICA - O'Clery, Come fu fatta l'Italia (The making of Italy)

THE MAKING OF ITALY

1856—1870

THE O'CLERY

OF THE MIDDLE TEMPLE, BARRISTER-AT-LAW

LONDON

KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER & CO., Ltd. PATERNOSTER HOUSE, CHARING CROSS ROAD

1892

(se vuoi, scarica il testo in formato ODT o PDF)
PREFACE CHAPTER I - CAVOUR AND NAPOLEON III
CHAPTER II  - THE ALLIANCE COMPLETED (1856—1859) CHAPTER III - CAVOUR AND NAPOLEON III
CHAPTER IV - THEFIGHT FOR LOMBARDY CHAPTER V - MALEGNANO AND SOLFERINO
CHAPTER VI - THE REVOLUTION IN CENTRAL ITALY
CHAPTER VII - VILLAFRANCAAND ITS SEQUEL
CHAPTER VIII - GARIBALDIIN SICILY
CHAPTER IX - HOW GARIBALDI OVERRAN SICILY
CHAPTER X - THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST KING FRANCIS
CHAPTER XI - THECAMPAIGN OF CASTELFIDARDO
CHAPTER XII - THE STRUGGLE ON THE VOLTURNO AND AT GAETA
CHAPTER XIII - ENGLAND AND THE ITALIAN REVOLUTION
CHAPTER XIV - THEFIRST YEARS OF THE NEW KINGDOM
CHAPTER XV - THE “BRIGANDAGE”
CHAPTER XVI - ASPROMONTE CHAPTER XVII - THE SEPTEMBER CONVENTION ITALY FINDS A NEW ALLY
CHAPTER XVIII - THE FINANCIAL POLICY OF ITALY
CHAPTER XIX - THE WARFARE AGAINST THE CHURCH
CHAPTER XX - CUSTOZZA AND LISSA
CHAPTER XXI - THE REVOLT OF PALERMO
CHAPTER XXII - THE CAMPAIGN OF MENTANA
APPENDIX TO CHAPTER XXII
CHAPTER XXIII - WAITING FOR ROMECHAPTER XXIV - THE INVASION OF ROME
CHAPTER XXV - THE ROMAN PLEBISCITE
CHAPTER XXVI - TWENTY-ONE YEARS AT ROME 1870-1891 543
NOTEINDICE ORIGINALE


PREFACE

It may be well to say a few words as to the authorities, on which is based the following narrative of the formation of the Italian Kingdom.

For the most part it is founded on information derived from Piedmontese and Italian sources, and on official documents, despatches and reports. These are referred to wherever they are quoted.

For the Franco-Austrian campaign of 1859 I have chiefly followed the official narrative of the war subsequently published by the French Staff under the title of “Campagne de l’Empereur Napoleon III. en Italie” supplementing and occasionally correcting it from other sources, and making use of the excellent critical analysis of the campaign to be found in the writings of General Hamley, since Napier, one of the best English writers on military matters.

For the Garibaldian campaigns of 1859—1862, I have made use almost exclusively of the narratives of Garibaldian and Italianist sympathizers—Commander Forbes, Colonel Chambers, M. de la Varenne, and others. In relating the inner history of the revolution in Sicily and Naples, I have made copious extracts from Admiral Persano’s diaiy and correspondence with Cavour, published at Florence in 1869, a work which deserves to be better known in England and in America.

The account of the “brigandage” rests mainly on statements made in the Parliaments of Turin and Westminster, and on Italian official documents. In the XVIIth Chapter the account of the events at Turin in September, 1864, is based on the report of the Commission appointed by the Italian Government. the history of the negotiations with Prussia, in 1865, is founded on the documents published by La Marmora.

The account of the war of 1866 is based on contemporary narratives and reports; for the details of Custozza and Lissa I have throughout relied upon Italianist sources of information. the same is true of the chapter on the revolt at Palermo, for which I have made use of the information contained in the singularly clear and able account of the rising, published in the Quarterly Review in January, 1867—an article based chiefly upon an unpublished Italian narrative, the work of an eye-witness who had no sympathy whatever with the insurgents. For the campaign of Mentana I have had at my disposal numerous narratives of both Papal and Garibaldian eye-witnesses, and this, moreover, is a period of which I can claim personal knowledge. In the account of the invasion of the Roman States in 1870 I have closely followed De Beauffort, whose work on the subject, with the mass of official documents it contains, is the best available authority upon it.

I have, throughout, endeavoured to give a clear narrative, just to all parties; and I trust that even those who do not agree with me in my view of these transactions, will find the work a useful record of the events in Italy from the Congress of Paris to the occupation of Rome by the Piedmontese—a period of which we have had until now no history in our language.

O’CLERY.

Temple, London,

March,1892.



CHAPTER I

CAVOUR AND NAPOLEON III

AMONG the Ghibelline families of Teutonic origin settled in the north of Italy, one of the oldest is that of the Benso. In the conflicts of the Middle Ages they were invariably found on the side of the German Kaisers. At a later period we see them holding high rank in the courts and armies of the Dukes of Savoy and Kings of Sardinia. In the last century the head of the family, Michele Benso, received the title of Marquis of Cavour, a small town in the province of Pinerolo; and Benso di Cavour, or more briefly Cavour, was henceforth the name of the family.

When Piedmont became a portion of the French Empire under the First Napoleon, the Cavours, faithful to the Ghibelline traditions of the family, allied themselves with the Imperial government in Italy. the Marquis Michele Giuseppe di Cavour held the office of Grand Chamberlain in the household of Prince Camillo Borghese, the husband of Pauline Bonaparte; and in 1810, when a second son was born to the house of Cavour, the Princess Pauline held the child in her arms at the font, and the Prince was his godfather, giving him his own name of Camillo. Born under the rule of the Bonapartes in the palmy days of the First Empire, the young Camillo was destined, as the Count di Cavour, to associate himself with the policy of the Second Empire, and bring the armies of another Bonaparte across the Alps.

Under the restored monarchy of Savoy, the young Count was placed at a military academy, and, later, received a commission in the Engineers, Curiously enough, his first work was to assist in planning and laying out a new fort to dose the road between Genoa and Nice, the very line of defence to which his policy afterwards transferred the Italian frontier. An over-free expression of Liberal ideas on his part led to his retirement from the army, a career for which he had little taste, and the loss of which he did not for a moment regret. To a friend, who wrote to condole with him, he replied: “I thank you for the interest you take in the matter; but, believe me, I shall make myself a career all the same. I have a great deal of ambition, an enormous ambition, indeed; and I trust I shall justify it when I am a Minister, for in my day-dreams I already see myself Minister of the Kingdom of Italy,”—bold words from a young man of little more than twenty years.

The next period of his life was one of travel and study.(1)It was not till 1847 that he made his first great step forward into public life, by founding, with Balbo, Santa Rosa, and Buoncompagni, the Risorgimento. the programme of the new journal was announced to be the advocacy of “the independence of Italy; union between the princes and peoples; progress in the path of reform; and a league between the Italian States —a programme in one sense satisfactory, in another of dubious import, for the words can be made to bear many meanings. At this time, however, Cavour might be called a Conservative, or at the very least what would be called in France a member of the Right Centre. It was not till some years after that he threw in his lot with the Liberals. In 1848 he was one of those who took the lead in obtaining the concession of a constitution by Charles Albert, and the following year saw him a member of the Piedmontese Parliament.

The accession of Victor Emmanuel, or rather the power placed by the constitution in the hands of the Liberals in the last year of his father’s reign, marked the beginning of a new era in the history of Piedmont. the Jesuits had already been expelled, in 1848, and an anti-Catholic law on education had been passed. the invasion of the rights of the Church in the Sardinian States was now the order of the day. the Piedmontese press, to a great extent in the hands of refugees from the other states, not content with attacking the political System of Rome, Naples and Austria, applauded the Government in its war against the spiritual jurisdiction of the Holy See. Three successive concordats had been signed by the kings of Sardinia in the pontificates of Benedict XIII., Benedict XIV., and Gregory XVI. the last of these, concluded in 1841, was still in force. After the events of 1848 the Cabinet of Turin had intimated to Pius IX. a desire that it should be modified in some respects. A plenipotentiary was named by the Pope to consider the matter; but the events which followed at Rome and Turin put an end for the time to the negotiations.

Next year Signor Siccardi was sent by Victor Emmanuel on a mission to the Papal court. The affair of the concordat was mentioned in his credentials, but, according to Cardinal Antonelli’s protest of February 9th, 1850, he never even approached the subject in the negotiations which followed, and which bore upon a different matter. He returned to Piedmont; and in the first week of February, 1850, the Pope and his Secretary of State learned, first by the newspapers and then by a despatch from the Pontifical chargé d’affaires at Turin, that Siccardi, as Minister of Justice, had introduced into the Piedmontese Chambers a bill to deprive the clergy of their privileges and immunities, to abolish certain holidays of the Church, and to deprive the priests and religious orders of the power of acquiring property in Piedmont In the name of the Pope, Cardinal Antonelli at once protested against these measures;(2) but, though stubbornly opposed by the Catholic party in the Senate, they passed both Houses, and received the royal assent on April 9th. They had already been condemned by the Holy Sce, and their execution was therefore opposed by the clergy and the episcopate. Two bishops and many priests were thrown into prison, and professors were driven from their chairs at the universities for maintaining the rights of the Church. Finally, when in August, by order of the Archbishop of Turin, the last sacraments were refused by a Servite father to Santa Rosa, the Minister of Commerce, because he kept to the last his adhesion to the Siccardi laws, the convent of the Servites was seized, the community dissolved, and the archbishop condemned to exile for life. It was in vain that Catholic members of the Senate protested that the Government, by its high-handed proceedings, was placing Piedmont in imminent danger of a schism. the Ministry (in which Cavour now held the portfolio left vacant by Santa Rosa’s death) persevered in its action against the Holy See. -

Acting upon these lines, the Minister of Public Worship took it upon himself to publish a circular regulating the teaching of theology in seminaries, and at the same time a civil marriage law was introduced into the Chamber of Deputies; it passed the Lower House, but the Senate rejected it by thirty-nine votes against thirty-six. the difficulty with Rome on the question of civil marriage led to the resignation of the Ministry, from which Cavour had already withdrawn. He was now sent for by the king, and requested to form a cabinet on the basis of an agreement with the Papal nuncio; but, being unable to obtain the consent of the latter to his own views on the subject of the marriage law, he declined to attempt the formation of a Ministry. the king endeavoured to find some one else to whom he could entrust the direction of affairs, but so strong were the Liberate in the chamber, that, meeting with no success, he sent for Cavour again. the count agreed to form a Ministry whose programme should be steadfast opposition to the Holy See. the king consented, and Cavour allied himself with Urbino Rattazzi, the leader of the Left Centre, and began his career as the Liberal and Revolutionary Prime Minister of Piedmont. “I would not have asked for anything better than to govern by means of and with the help of the Right Centre,” he wrote at this time to his friend, M. de la Rive, “and gradually to develop the institutions of our country; but it has been impossible for me to come to an understanding with that party on the religious question, therefore I must do without its support.” (3)With his new allies of the left he vigorously pursued the policy upon which he had accepted office. On March 16th, 1854, the goods of the episcopal seminary of Turin were sequestrated, and in August the “Canons of the Lateran” and of the Holy Cross were forcibly expelled from their houses in the capital. In November, Rattazzi, as Minister of the Interior, introduced in the Chamber of Deputies a bill for the suppression of all the convents and monasteries in the Piedmontese States, and for the sequestration of their property, financial reasons being openly alleged as the motive of this wholesale robbery. When the bill was sent up to the Senate in the following April, the bishops offered in their places in the House to come to the aid of the exchequer, and pay into it a sum of 900,000 francs, on condition of the withdrawal of the bill. But the Government, apart from all financial considerations, was determined to destroy the religious orders. the offer of the bishops was rejected, the bill was forced through the House, and became law on May 28th, 1855.

Cavour, with the aid of Rattazzi and the left, had thus fully developed that part of his policy which consisted in opposition to the Holy See. By the time that the bill for suppressing the monasteries had come before the Senate, he had begun to prepare the way for his main work—thè revolution which was to constitute that kingdom of Italy, of which he had been dreaming more than twenty years before. When the coup d’état placed France in the hands of the Bonapartists, Cavour was, as we have seen, a member of the Piedmontese Government. He had retired from the ministry before Napoleon III was proclaimed Emperor. Like every other thoughtful man in Europe, he saw clearly enough that the advent of the Second Empire meant not peace but war, and that the third Napoleon would retain his power only by endeavouring to emulate the military glories of the first In Italy the more far-seeing of the revolutionists from the first looked upon the new emperor as an ally. His first public act had been to join the insurgents of 1831. He had received his baptême de feu under the walls of Civita Castellana fighting against the troops of Gregory XVI. He had been regularly initiated into the secret societies, he was pledged by oath to labour for the cause of the Revolution in Italy, and in his person a Carbonaro was enthroned at the Tuileries. True, his troops had fought against the legions of Young Italy, torn down the Republican standard from the Capitol, and restored Pius IX; but, on the other hand, those who had closely followed the current of events, remembered that when Cavaignac first announced in the Assembly his intention of sending troops to Civita Vecchia, Louis Napoleon, then on the eve of his election to the presidency, had, through the medium of the press, entered a protest against the proposed Roman expedition (4): and that when Oudinot’s expedition was actually despatched, no one knew at first whether it came to support the Republic or to restore the Pope. Throughout, the policy of the President Louis Napoleon had been devious and double-faced. Had the triumvirs admitted Oudinot on the famous 30(th) of April, 1849, they might have found in him an ally, and but for Oudinot’s determination at all costs to avenge the defeat of that day, M. de Lesseps, as Louis Napoleon's agent, would have been able successfully to complete the negotiations which he had begun for the purpose of placing the Roman Republic under the protection of the French arms. Finally, in September, 1849, the President had written to Colonel Ney at Rome one of those despatches, which, though in the form of private letters, are meant to be made public and immediately find their way into the press. “My dear Ney,” he said, “the French Republic did not send an army to Rome to stifle Italian liberty there, but on the contrary to direct it by protecting it against its own excesses. ... I sum up in this sense the conditions of the restoration (5) of the temporal power of the Pope—a general amnesty, secularization of the administration, adoption of the Code Napoleon, and a Liberal Government.” He thus proposed imposing upon the Pope conditions, which in twelve months would have produced another revolution, and in any case would have made Rome a French city. Fortunately he did not persist in pressing his policy upon the Papal Court he had sufficient occupation at home in constituting and consolidating the Empire; but it foreshadowed his future action on the Roman Question.

While thus the more hot-headed members of the Revolutionary party denounced the coup d'état, and spoke and wrote bitterly of the man who had devised and executed it, their more clear-sighted leaders saw farther into the future, and knew that the crowned Carbonaro, Napoleon III, would at a later time be found on the side of the Italian Revolution. As early as 1852 Cavour took the first step towards cultivating friendly relations with him. Numbers of French refugees had crowded into Piedmont, and, through the press, vented their anger upon the new emperor. Cavour, on the plea that Piedmont should not be allowed to be involved by foreigners in a quarrel with France, procured the enactment of a new press law, which placed the newspapers under the strict control of the Minister of the Interior. Not only was this law useful for ulterior purposes, but it enabled him to prevent the press from speaking otherwise than respectfully of Napoleon III, while the Belgian press, uncontrolled by any similar law and inspired by exiles and refugees, was every day denouncing and insulting him. Napoleon cannot have failed to have remarked this contrast between the press of Belgium and of Piedmont. It was the beginning of the alliance between his policy and that of Cavour.

The Crimean war afforded the opportunity for the next step in advance. In January, 1855, a treaty of alliance was signed between England, France and Sardinia, by which the latter agreed to send 15,000 troops to the Crimea. This move of Cavour’s has been applauded by some of his admirers as an act of singular daring; (6) but there was very little courage required to enter as the ally of the two great Western Powers upon a war the result of which had been decided before a shot was fired, and doubly decided by the events military and political of the last six months of 1854. the Piedmontese troops, the pick of the large army maintained by Sardinia, were a welcome reinforcement, though the praises which have been lavished upon them, especially by Italianist writers, are rather exaggerated. the battle of the Tchernaya has been often spoken of as a splendid deed of arms of Della Marmora and the Sardinian contingent, a day which wiped out for ever the disgrace of Novara; but any one who takes the trouble to turn to a detailed account of the Tchernaya, (7) will learn that the brunt of the dose fighting throughout nearly the whole of the (1) battle fell upon the French, and especially upon Cler’s division, (2) that meanwhile the Sardinians assisted only by a well directed artillery fire, (3) that it was not till the battle was virtually won, that Della Marmora pushed forward into action a portion, and a portion only of his infantry and bersaglieri. the affair of the Tchernaya was substantially a French victory. the first Italian victory that followed the alliance between France and England was not in the Crimea. It was that which was won by Cavour at the Congress of Paris in 1856.

He had spoken in the Italian Chamber of the alliance, as giving to Italians an opportunity of showing that they could fight like brave men. “I am persuaded,” he had said, “that the laurels, which our soldiers will gather on the plains of the East, will profit more to the future of Italy than all that has been done by those, who have thought by declamations and by writings to effect her regeneration.” This was the view of his action which he wished to be taken by the press and the public; but in sending a Sardinian contingent to the Crimea, he was really seeking to gain for Piedmont access, not to the “field of glory,” but to the field of diplomatic action. He had been in Paris in 1855 with his sovereign, as the guest of Napoleon III, and he had held, it is said, conversations with the Emperor on the subject of Italy. He came again in 1856, as the joint representative with Villamarina of the kingdom of Sardinia. By right of the alliance, and notwithstanding the remonstrances of Austria, the representative of that little state sat side by side with those of the Great Powers, in that Congress which in its ultimate results has changed the face of Europe.

That to obtain a place in the Congress was Cavour’s object in sending the Piedmontese troops to the Crimea, and that the Crimean expedition was really the starting point of Cavour’s campaign for Italian Unity, was openly declared by Victor Emmanuel in 1860. On October 9th, he issued from Ancona his address to the people of the South, in which he said, “I have been able to maintain in that part of Italy which is united under my sceptre the idea of a national hegemony, out of which was to arise the harmonious concord of divided provinces united in one nation. Italy was put in possession of my view, when it saw me sending my troops to the Crimea by the side of the soldiers of the two great Western Powers. I desired to obtain for Italy the right of taking part in all transactions of European interest.”

The protocols of the Conference of Paris and the letters of Cavour (8) to his colleague, Rattazzi, who remained at the head of affairs at Turin, form a very complete record of the part taken by Piedmont in the Congress of Paris. On the 20th of February, the third or fourth day after his arrival at the French capital, he wrote to Rattazzi, “I have informed you in my special despatch of my conversation with the Emperor. I have little to add to what I said. I can only repeat that the Emperor would really like to do something for us. If we can assure ourselves of the support of Russia, we shall obtain something practical; but, if we do not, we must be content with an avalanche of assurances of amity, and good wishes. If I do not succeed, it will not be from any lack of zeal. I pay visits, I dine out, I write, I assist at meetings, in a word, I do all I can.” It was indeed a busy time with him. His one object was to have the affairs of Italy discussed at the Congress, and to commit Napoleon to an anti-Austrian policy. He saw the Emperor from time to time, but he was much more frequently with his cousin, Prince Napoleon, and he did not neglect to cultivate also the friendship of Lord Clarendon, in whom Cavour found an ally ready to the extent of imprudence to interpret his innuendoes and hints, until at length the two men spoke openly of war with Austria. In fact the alliance with the English Whigs was even older in date than the alliance of Piedmont with Napoleon III; and this because Clarendon represented, not so much England and his Sovereign, as the English Premier, Lord Palmerston, who had been for many years the best friend of the Italian Revolution.

At the sitting of the 8th of April, Cavour succeeded in his object of bringing before the Congress his own views upon the state of Italy. Strictly and legally the Congress had no more right to deal with anything but the affairs of the East, than it had to deal with the private affairs of any man in Paris. But on this occasion, as on many others, international law and right were quietly disregarded, in order to clear the way for subsequent schemes of aggression. Count Walewski, the Emperor’s \alter ego\ at the Congress, began to lead it beyond its legal competence by" referring to the Belgian press laws and the general tone of the Belgian press with regard to the Imperial Government. France, of course, did not wish to menace Belgium, but the tone of the press was a danger to the peace of Europe. Nothing was said of the press of Piedmont, for two sufficient reasons—first, Cavour’s press law of 1852 was a compliment which had not been forgotten, and secondly, the violence of the press was directed only against the Pope and Austria; and it mattered little that the Piedmontese press constituted a danger to the peace of Europe, now that France and Piedmont were actually designing an anti-Austrian alliance, the best preparation for which would be to irritate Austria against Piedmont, by means of the press or any other available method. the affairs of Belgium having been thus discussed in an assembly where she had not even the right of representation, M. Walewski called attention to what he styled “the abnormal condition” of the Papal States. the anarchy of 1848 had, he said, led France to occupy Rome, while Austrian troops held Ancona and the Legations. He admitted that there were solid grounds for this proceeding, but he went on to say that France was anxious to put an end to it at the earliest possible moment, (9) and he trusted that Count Buol would say the same for Austria. He might have added that the Pontifical Government would have been more pleased than either the court of Paris or that of Vienna to see the foreign troops withdrawn, and the States held by a Pontifical army alone. He then proceeded to speak of Naples, and, though there was no Neapolitan minister present, he urged that Ferdinand II. should grant an immediate and full amnesty to the exiles, who—as every one in the room must have known although he did not state it—were chiefly engaged in plotting against the government of the Two Sicilies in London, Paris and Turin.

Lord Clarendon spoke next. He dealt largely in generalities, but complained of misgovernment in the Legations and in Naples. Count Orloff refused to take any part in the discussion. He had come, he said, to assist in re-establishing peace, and the affairs of Italy had no part in his mission. Count Buol, the representative of Austria, was the next to speak. After alluding to a previous discussion, he turned to M. Walewski’s statement. It would be impossible, he said, to treat at that Congress of the affairs of independent states which were not even represented there. They could not occupy themselves with letting independent sovereigns know what they desired should be changed in the internal organization of their states. Nor could he follow Lord Clarendon in the observations he had made, and give any promise or declaration about the Austrian occupation of the Legations, although he joined M. Walewski in the wish that it could be prudently brought to an end. M. Walewski then rose to explain that no one had proposed that they should take any definite resolution, far less that they should interfere with independent states. He had only suggested that they should endeavour to complete the work of peace by occupying themselves in anticipation with complications which might arise from certain causes.(10) The causes to which he alluded were foreign occupations, a threat to Austria: a System of rigorous repression, a threat to Naples: the licence of the press, a threat to Belgium. This was hardly the way to complete the work of peace; it was rather sowing the seeds of war.

In reply to M. Walewski, Baron Hubner, the second Austrian plenipotentiary, reasserted the fact that he and his colleague had no power to deal with such matters; but he pointed out that the reduction of the Austrian garrisons in the Legations showed that the Imperial Government was anxious to put an end to the occupation. After Baron Manteufiel had remarked that the discussion of the affairs of Naples was only likely to produce a revolution in that country, Cavour spoke at some length. He did not, he said, dispute the right of any plenipotentiary to abstain from taking part in the debate, but he thought it important that the opinions which some of the Powers had expressed on the subject of the foreign occupation of the Papal States, should be set down in the protocol of the sitting. the occupation of the Legations, he said, had lasted seven years, and was assuming daily more and more of a permanent character. the condition of the country, he asserted, had not been improved. There was a state of siege at Bologna, and the presence of Austrian troops in the Legations and in Parma destroyed political equilibrium in Italy, and was a continual danger to Sardinia. As for Naples, he quite agreed with Walewski and Clarendon as to the necessity of an amnesty.

Baron Hubner made an able reply on the part of Austria. He called attention to the fact that Cavour had spoken only of the Austrian occupation, he had said not a word of the French garrison in Rome, although in their origin and in their object the French and Austrian occupations were exactly alike. That the state of siege existed at Bologna though it had ceased at An cona and Rome, only proved that the state of affairs at Bologna was abnormal and required an unusual remedy. But, he said, the Roman States were not the only Italian territories held by foreign troops. Sardinia had for eight years occupied Mentone and Roquebrune against the will of their sovereign, the Prince of Monaco. It is easy to laugh at this tu quoque of Baron Hubner to Cavour, but really it was highly honourable to Austria to adopt such an argument, for in so doing he asserted the first principle of international law—that, as municipal law is the same for all men whether rich or poor, so international law is the same for all nations, and a mighty empire and an insignificant principality can claim precisely the same rights and the same independence.

Cavour replied that he had not spoken of the French occupation, merely because he saw in it no danger to the independent States of Italy. It was, he said, quite different in this respect from the Austrian occupation. This was, of course, a direct menace on Cavour’s part to the Austrian dominion in the Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom; for the mere cessation of the Austrian occupation of Parma and the Romagna could hardly so materially alter the state of affairs as to remove this perii to the independent States of Italy, of whose rights Cavour showed himself such an active champion. As for Monaco, Cavour added that Sardinia was willing to evacuate Mentone, as soon as the prince could without any danger to his authority assume possession of it—precisely what Hubner had said of Bologna. His tu quoque was a complete success.

M. Walewski closed the discussion by remarking that the general result of it was that the Austrian plenipotentiaries agreed with those of France in desiring an evacuation of the Papal States by the foreign troops: and that the plenipotentiarics had agreed for the most part that it would be expedient for the Italian Governments, and especially that of the Two Sicilies, to adopt measures of clemency. Clarendon and Cavour left the room together. “Milord,” said the Piedmontese to the English minister, “Milord, you see there is nothing to be hoped for from diplomacy. It would be tinte to have recourse to other means, at least so far as regards the King of Naples.”

“Naples must be looked to, and that soon,” replied Clarendon, speaking quite in the spirit of his master, Palmerston.

“I shall come and talk it over with you,” said Cavour, as they parted. (11)

Next day he wrote to Rattazzi a private letter, supplementing an official despatch, which he had sent to Turin on the previous evening. He wrote of Clarendon as having spoken of the Pontifical Government as “the worst that ever existed.” “I believe,” he said, “his lordship, convinced that it was impossible to obtain any practical result, thought it well to use unparliamentary language.” From this it would seem that the discussion was considerably toned down in the protocol. He then tells Rattazzi of the few words he had exchanged with Clarendon after the sitting, and continues, " I think I can talk to him of blowing up the Bourbon. Italy cannot remain in her present position. Napoleon is convinced of it, and, if diplomacy be powerless, we should have recourse to means beyond the law. I am moderate in my opinions, and yet I am favourable to bold and extreme measures. In our times boldness is, I believe, the best policy. It has done good for Napoleon; it can also be of service to us.”

When Rattazzi read this letter, he evidently feared that Cavour had overrated the value of Clarendon’s declarations. He telegraphed to his colleague at Paris, “You are right; extreme measures are sometimes necessary. But do you not fear that England will abandon you, when it comes to a question of marching against Austria? As to Naples, whatever be the solution of the matter, if the Bourbon is driven out a step will be gained.”

Two days after, Cavour went to see Clarendon, to “talk the matter over” with him, as he had promised. (12) He told Clarendon that, in his opinion, the discussion of the 8th had proved two things—“(1) that Austria was determined to persist in her System of oppression and violence towards Italy; (2) that the efforts of diplomacy were powerless to modify her System.” Clarendon took all this for granted. He did not ask Cavour for the proofs, which he would have found it difficult to give. Neither of the two diplomatists descended to details and particulars; it was at once easier and more convenient to deal in generalities. In presence of this state of affairs, only two courses were open to Piedmont, either to be reconciled with Austria and the Pope, (13)( )or to prepare for war with Austria in an early future. “If,” he continued, “the first course should be found preferable, it would be my duty on returning to Turin to advise the king to recall to office the friends of Austria and of the Pope. If the contrary, the second idea, be the best, I and my friends will not fear to prepare for a terrible war, a war to the death, a war to the knife.” Here he stopped, to see what effect he had produced upon the English minister. Clarendon replied quietly, (<f) I think you are right; your position is becoming very difficult. I believe an explosion is inevitable, only the time to talk openly of it is not yet come.” Cavour replied, “I have given you proof of my moderation and prudence. I think in politics one must be extremely reserved in word, extremely decided in action. There are positions where less danger lies in a bold course than in an excess of prudence.

With La Marmora I believe we are in a condition to begin war; and, short as it may be, you will be forced to aid us.” Cavour had now drawn Clarendon beyond the bounds of prudence. “Oh! certainly,” he said; " if you are in a difficulty, you can count upon us, and you will see with what energy we shall come to your assistance.” “After that,” says Cavour, very naturally, in his letter, “I did not push the discussion further.” It had certainly gone quite far enough. Cavour was now confirmed in his project. Napoleon was with him, and so, he believed, was Palmerston. But there was this difference, which he failed to grasp—Napoleon meant France; Palmerston meant only the English Liberals. “I leave you to judge,” he wrote to Rattazzi, “of the importance of these words pronounced by a minister, who has the reputation of being a very reserved and prudent man... But as this is a question of life or death, we must act prudently. For this reason I intend to go to London, and consult Lord Palmerston and the other men who are at the head of the Government. If they share Clarendon’s views, we must prepare secretly, contract a loan of thirty million francs, and after La Marmora’s return send Austria an ultimatum such as she cannot accept, and begin hostilities. the Emperor cannot oppose this war. At the bottom of his heart he desires it. Before leaving here, I shall hold to him the same language I have used with Clarendon.” (14)

On the 13(th), (15) he and Clarendon dined with Prince Napoleon. They informed Cavour that the evening before they had spoken with the Emperor on the affairs of Italy, the Prince and the Englishman both, apparently, endeavouring to induce him to adopt a warlike determination, about which he still hesitated. the result of the conversation had been that Napoleon expressed a desire to talk matters over with Cavour in person. Accordingly the Count saw him, and spoke to him to the same effect as he had spoken to Clarendon, but in more measured terms. But the Emperor was more prudent than the English minister had been. He knew that to speak too plainly to Cavour would be to put himself in his power and unduly hasten matters, and besides he had not yet in any sense elaborated his Italian policy. He hoped, he said, to bring Austria to accept more conciliatory counsels. He had already remarked to Buol that he regretted to find himself in direct opposition to the Emperor of Austria; and Buol had told Walewski, in consequence of this remark, that Austria wished to please France in everything, and that they were really allies. Cavour looked incredulous. It is evident from his words to Rattazzi that his incredulity was twofold. He doubted Buol’s words to Walewski, and he doubted if the Emperor had ever spoken to Buol at all. It was necessary, he said to the Emperor, to open the question and take a decisive attitude. He had drawn up a memorandum, which he intended to hand to Walewski. the Emperor hesitated. Finally he advised Cavour to go to London, see Palmerston, and let him know the result on his return to Paris. Notwithstanding all Napoleon's prudent reserve, the two men understood each other. the alliance was already complete.

At the dose of that day’s sitting, an incident occurred, which Cavour took as a proof that Napoleon had really spoken to Buol. the Austrian Minister came to the Piedmontese Premier, and told him that his master wished to live in peace with Piedmont and had no desire to interfere with her institutions. Cavour replied, that during his stay in Paris Buol had given no proof of it, and that he believed the relations between the two countries were now worse than ever. At parting, Buol grasped his hand warmly, and said, “Let me hope that even politically we shall not always be enemies.” Three years later, in the same month of April, those two men exchanged an ultimatum and a declaration of war.

As early as the 27(th) of March, Cavour had addressed to Clarendon and Walewski a private note on the affairs of Italy; I shall refer to it later on. This note was the prelude to the memorandum presented to Clarendon and Walewski on April 16th, in which Cavour and Villamarina express their disappointment at the small results of the discussion of the 8th, charge Austria with exercising an intolerable tyranny in Italy, and in guarded language menace her with insurrection and war. Having taken this step, Cavour went on to London, and saw Palmerston. But a near relative of the Premier's had just died; he felt, or affected to feel, little disposed for the transaction of business, and Cavour could obtain from him no definite declaration, but only expressions of good will. He returned to Paris, disappointed but not discouraged. He saw the Emperor again; and, when he left the French capital for Turin, he felt that he had obtained sufficient assurances of the active support of France to enable him to begin at once the political campaign with Austria, the only object of which was, not to obtain any concessions from her, for these would have been fatal to his policy, but only to force her into war, a war in which the arms of France, and he believed those of England, would be upon his side.


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CHAPTER II

THE ALLIANCE COMPLETED (1856—1859)

THE Congress of Paris was over. The first act of the drama had closed. Cavour was preparing for the second. There was a pause of three years in which no great events occurred. We may pass over them very briefly.

On his return to Turin, one of Cavour's first acts was to read to the Chamber the so-called verbal note which he had addressed to Walewski and Clarendon on the 27th of March. Briefly, it was a declaration of war against the Holy See. It was for Rome what the memorandum of April 1 6th had been for Austria. It arraigned the Pontifical Government on the double charge of incapacity and oppression, speaking of it as an ecclesiastical government, a theocracy in which laymen had no part. Reference was distinctly made to Napoleon's letter to Colonel Ney in 1849.(1) “Secularization and the Code Napoleon” this was the measure of reform it proposed for the Papal States. Then alluding to the Austrian occupation of Bologna, it urged that Romagna should be separated, at least administratively, from the Pontifical States. In the same sitting Cavour referred to the rumours of a rapprochement between Rome and Sardinia. He denied that there was any truth in them. After the reading of the verbal note, the denial was unnecessary. The newspapers freely but accurately interpreted it for their readers.

“In asking for the secularization of the Legations and their administrative separation from the Court of Rome,” said the Nord, (2) the Russian organ at Brussels, “M. Cavour has frankly expressed the hope that the practice of this system will lead to the independence of the Legations, and perhaps later on to their annexation to Piedmont. “This note,” wrote the Liberal Maga of Geneva, (3) “this note is the most solemn manifestation of the defiance given by the Sardinian plenipotentiaries to the Papal Government... It is a solemn cry of reprobation against the Pope, a programme of war against the Papacy both temporal and spiritual" And the Journal des Debats declared, “This is the beginning of the dismemberment of the Pontifical States.”

A week after the reading of the note in the Sardinian Parliament, M. de Rayneval sent M. Walewski an official note upon the then existing condition of the Pontifical States. De Rayneval had spent many years in Rome, and from his prominent official position the best sources of information were open to him. It was his interest to judge severely, and his memorandum was a private one, written solely for the information of his own Government.

It was not, like Cavour's “verbal note,” a manifesto meant for the ears of the European public. It was not written with knowledge drawn from secondary sources, but from personal acquaintance with his subject; and it furnished the most complete reply to all the charges made by Cavour against the temporal government of the Holy See. It was not until March, 1857, that it was published, and, strange to say, it was in the London Daily News that it first saw the light. How the Daily News obtained it, I do not profess to know; but in the leading Liberal journal appeared the best defence which has ever been written of the Roman administration. Its authenticity is undeniable. When it appeared, the Pays, then a semi- official paper, declared that the terms of the report had been seriously altered. the Daily News then pointed out that the writer in the Pays had used a version which had appeared in the Indépendance Belge, a version which had undergone a double translation, first from the original into English for the Daily News, and then back again into French for the Belgian paper: that it, therefore, was not surprising that it did not exactly correspond with the original text. But to set all doubts and cavillings at rest, the Daily News then and there published a copy of the despatch in the original French.

Here I can call attention only to some of M. de Rayneval’s chief statements. He begins by saying that the one point on which the Pontifical Government can be assailed is undoubtedly the partial occupation of its territory by foreign troops. “Every independent state is expected to suffice for itself, and to be able to maintain its internal security by its own forces. the Court of Rome is reproached with fading short of this reasonable expectation, the cause of its weakness is inquired into, and it is generally believed to be discontent awakened among its subjects by a defective administration.” He then proceeds to show that the discontent, so far as it exists, springs from a perfectly different source, namely, from the agitations of the Revolutionary party. This party wishes, he says, to make an Italy which shall play a great part in the world. “But how create a powerful Italy, so long as the peninsula is divided into two distinct parts by a state neutral from the necessity of its nature and isolated from all European conflicts? How play a great part, when the centre of Italy is in possession of a sovereign who does not wear a sword?”

Then he points out the tendency of the Italians to split up into factions. They have, he says, no cohesive power. It is a great error, he remarks, to take the Piedmontese as types of the Italians, for there is a large Swiss and French element in that nation. the population of the States is split up into parties. There are a certain number of Carbonari, and then there are the Mazzinians. “the universal republic, the unity of Italy, constitutional government, war against Austria, is their programme. They say they are a numerous body, and are ready to act, but they never keep their word. Directed by the committees of London and Geneva, their watchword for the present is quiet and inaction, until the return of their chiefs by means of an amnesty, and the departure of the foreign troops, give them an opportunity for acting with a chance of success.” Besides these there are the Moderate Liberate. “Refusing to go as far as the English constitution, there is a certain number of persons who profess attachment to the Pontifical Government, and at the same time overwhelm it with their attacks, pretending that they limit their desires to obtaining a better administration. They are not able to define exactly what they mean by this. In their eyes everything depends upon government, even to the proper maintenance of their own houses and the direction of their own affairs... Taxed as they are more lightly than the majority of European countries, they complain that they are weighed down with taxation... Finally, they profess to have a great fear of the Mazzinians, and at the same time are opening the door to them.” There is, he shows, an inertness in the mass of the people, which would make it difficult for any government, Papal or otherwise, to find a secure point d’appui in them.

In answer to the charge that the government is in the hands of priests and not of laymen, he remarks that people generally suppose that about three thousand ecclesiastics form the administration of the State, whereas there are really less than a hundred, and half of these are not priests, but only members of the Prelatura, which is practically a lay institution. Even some of the provinces had been placed entirely under lay control, only to the discontent of the people, who complained that the lay prefect thought only of his family, and asked for a prelate to govern them. In all the eighteen provinces, in 1856, there were just fifteen priests holding offices in the government. In Rome the proportion was higher, but the laymen were still in the majority. the numbers stood as follows :—

Department Ecclesiastics Laymen
Ministry I 18
Council of State 3 5
Court of Cassation 9 8
Tribunal of the Rota 12 7
Civil Tribunal 3 116
Tribunal of the Consulta 14 37
Criminal Tribunal none 58
Episcopal Tribunal 9 17
Tribunal of Apostolic Chamber 9 16
Provincial Tribunals none 620
Archives, Chamber of Notaries, &c. none 16
Miscellaneous employés in Ministry of Justice 1 6
Ministry of Interior 22* 1411
„ Finance 3 2017
,, Commerce 2 161
„ Police 2 404
„ War none not stated

* Including the fifteen chiefs of provinces mentioned above.

This table at once refutes the idea that the government was wholly ecclesiastical, that it was the government of a caste in which the people had no voice. In all there were less than a hundred ecclesiastics. “Is it possible,” asks M. de Rayneval, “to believe that the happiness and repose of the population are powerfully affected by the presence of such a small number of persons, who, I repeat, have for the most part nothing of the ecclesiastic but the dress?”

Pius IX., he says, has laid down and observed the principle, that with the exception of that of Cardinal Secretary of State, every office is open to the laity. “Different codes of procedure in civil and criminal cases, as well as a code relating to commerce, all founded on our own (the French), enriched by lessons derived from experience, had been promulgated. I have studied these carefully,” he adds; “they are above criticism. the Code des Hypoth'eques has been examined by French jurisconsults, and cited by them as a model document. the Roman law, modified in certain points by the canon law, was held as the basis of civil legislation.”

There was a Council of State, comprising, among its lay members, the Princes Orsini and Odescalchi, Professor Orioli, and the advocate Stoltz.

This council discussed and prepared all laws and decrees. There were also councils for the various ’ ministries, including a Council of Finance partly elected by the municipalities, the municipal councils themselves being elected by all the inhabitants of the commune, who paid a certain amount of taxes, or had taken high degrees in a university. Then, after giving further details as to the provinces, he adds:—“Abroad these essential changes introduced into the older order of things, these incessant efforts of the Pontifical Government to ameliorate the lot of the population, have passed unnoticed. People have had ears only for the declarations of the discontented, and the permanent calumnies of the bad portion of the Piedmontese and Belgian press. This is the source from which public opinion has derived its inspiration; and, in spite of well-established facts, it is believed in most places, but particularly in England, that the Pontifical Government has done nothing for its subjects, and has restricted itself to the perpetuation of the errors of another age.”

The Government had shown singular clemency in 1849. the most severe punishment inflicted had been exile; the number of these exiles in 1856 was estimated at about a hundred. the Government had, at serious loss to itself, bought up all the paper money of the Republican Government. In 1856 there was a good metallic currency, and also a certain amount of paper in the form of notes of the Roman bank, but these stood at par, and the bank was in a flourishing condition. Commercial treaties had been concluded with many foreign states, the custom-house tariff had been lowered, and the System of farming the indirect revenues had been abolished, the Government officials themselves collecting all taxes and duties. the debt had been reduced, and the deficit in the budget had grown yearly less, and was in 1856 almost extinguished. the administration was most economical, the civil list, expenses of cardinals, pontifical palaces and museums, costing altogether only 3,200,000 francs.

A Roman paid on an average 22 francs in taxes, a Frenchman 45. the army consisted of 12,000 native troops and 4000 Swiss. Numerous public works had been executed, drainage works carried out in the Marsh of Ostia and the Pontine Marshes, railways and telegraphs completed or undertaken, Rome lighted with gas, and steamers introduced upon the Tiber. Agriculture was encouraged. In a word, the States were prosperous. There was, of course, misery; but nowhere were there more ampie resources for relieving it. (4)

())“In truth,” says M. de Rayneval, “when certain persons say to the Pontifical Government, Form an administration which may have for its object the good of the people/ the government might reply, (4) Look at our acts, and condemn us if you dare.’ the government might ask not only which of its acts is a subject for legitimate blame, but in which of its duties it has failed. Are we then to be told that the Pontifical Government is a model, that it has no-weaknesses or imperfections? Certainly not;—but its weaknesses and imperfections are of the same kind as are met with in all governments, and even in all men, with a very few exceptions.”

Such was M. de Rayneval’s report. He was no optimist, he was not writing to order, or for the public; and his despatch is the best answer, a full and perfect answer, to the declamatory memorandums of the Count de Cavour.

Another answer was given in 1857, and a practical one. the Holy Father spent the four summer months, from the beginningof May to the first week in September, in a progress through his dominions. He was everywhere received with enthusiasm, and that enthusiasm reached its highest pitch in the streets of Bologna, where the state of siege had been raised by the special desire of the Pontifical Government.

In Piedmont Cavour was still pursuing his course of persecution against the Church. Pains and penalties were decreed by the Ministry of the Interior against any priest who withheld the last sacraments; the religious communities were gradually broken up, and their property sequestrated in execution of Rattazzi’s law; and, finally, the sees were kept vacant as the bishops died, until the episcopate of the kingdom of Sardinia was reduced by one fourth. At the same time he continued his preparations against Austria. Volunteers were incorporated into the Piedmontese army or formed into new corps, the fortifications of Alessandria were completed, and when they were ready to be armed a subscription for the cannon was opened in all parts of Italy by his agents. Austria withdrew her ambassador from Turin, but still with admirable patience avoided anything like an approach to war. She merely watched the Piedmontese armaments, and increased her own step for step with her enemy. But Cavour had more formidable weapons than those of the Piedmontese army. His embassies at the various courts of the sovereigns of Italy, were each the centre of a knot of conspirators. Indeed, the embassies of Piedmont, under Cavour’s influence, had superseded the vente of Carbonarism and the circles of Young Italy. Mazzini’s power was all but gone. He had been forced by the current of events to give way to the new campaign inaugurated by the Piedmontese Premier, though from first to last he was ready to denounce him as a monarchist who was depriving Italy of her true destiny, a Republican government. What we may call the last serious attempt of the Mazzinians was made in 1857. the Republicans, indeed, acted in earnest on other occasions, but it was as the willing or unwilling allies of Cavour. In 1857, they “fought for their own hand,” and failed. I notice the incident, less for its intrinsic importance, than because in the first place one of its leaders became at a later date Prime Minister of Italy, and in the second because Cavour’s condemnation of it is a condemnation from his own mouth of his own acts in 1860.

The Sapri expedition was planned and executed by Major Pisacane and Signor Nicotera, in the summer of 1857. It was contemporaneous with and formed a part of the same general plan of revolt as the Mazzinian outbreak at Genoa in the same year. Hence Cavour’s subsequent hostility to the project and its authors. Had they been able to jeter le Bourbon en Tair, as he himself desired, he would doubtless have been glad; but they tried at the same time to undermine and blow up the monarchy of Piedmont, and this was going too far. On the evening of June 25th, 1857, the Cagliari, a steamer belonging to the Compagnia Rubattino of Genoa (the same company whose vessels had later on the dubious honour of serving as Garibaldi’s transports), left the port with thirty-three passengers. Amongst these were Pisacane, Nicotera and twenty-three followers. As soon as the ship had got out to sea, they forcibly took possession of her, and directed her course to the island of Ponza in the kingdom of the Two Sicilies. There they freed and armed four hundred prisoners confined in the convict prison, and having recruited their forces with this very respectable contingent, they sailed again for Sapri, where they landed and dismissed the Cagliari. They were almost immediately attacked, not only by the Neapolitan troops, but also by the Urban Guard, that is to say by the armed inhabitants of the district, who were thoroughly loyal to King Ferdinand. the Republicans and the convicts were defeated and dispersed. Pisacane was killed, Nicotera severely wounded, and taken a prisoner to Salerno, where he remained till he was liberated by the revolution of 1860. On the 9th of July, 1857, Cavour wrote to Count Gropello, the Sardinian minister at Naples: —“This deplorable and criminal occurrence has excited the indignation of the Government of the king, and this indignation was shared by all sensible and honest men. You will therefore in my name express these sentiments to the ministers of his Sicilian Majesty.” Unfortunately two Neapolitan cruisers captured the Cagliari, as she steamed away from Sapri, an act which, natural as it was, the existing state of maritime law hardly justified. On board the steamer were two English engineers, and this gave Palmerston and Cavour a pretext for endeavouring to find ground for a quarrel with Naples. In this they would perhaps have succeeded, but Palmerston’s cabinet was driven from office by the Tories; and Lord Malmesbury, the new Secretary for Foreign Affairs, rightly considering that England had received all due satisfaction from the Neapolitan Government, quietly shelved the affair, regardless of the protests of D’Azeglio, who then represented Piedmont at the Court of St James’s.

But though in this sense he tried to make political capital out of the seizure of the Cagliari, Cavour throughout the negotiations never hesitated to condemn in the most ample terms Pisacane’s enterprise. On the 10th of January, 1858, he wrote again to Count Gropello :—”As soon as I received intelligence of the events at Ponza and Sapri, I hastened, through the medium of your Excellency, to give proof to the Neapolitan Government of the profound indignation felt by the King’s Government at the tidings of the criminal attack committed against the security of a friendly State.” And again he wrote :—”the violent incursion of Ponza and Sapri was the work of a few conspirators bent on a desperate enterprise, and it would be an abuse of the lawful meaning of words to confound these attempts—in which it is difficult to say whether the guilt or the madness be the greater—with a lawful state of public war. This would be the first time that a band of wicked and factious men were ever invested with the prerogatives of a belligerent power. the attempt of Ponza and Sapri was a crime of rebellion and robbery, and for its punishment the rules of ordinary penal law ought to be applied.” Cavour could hardly have used stronger terms, and in writing thus he put on record the condemnation of the precisely similar attempt of Garibaldi, which, thanks to his active participation, was a success, while Pisacane’s was a failure. (5)

The year 1858 opened with the Orsini plot, and the attempt of the Italian conspirators on the life of the French Emperor on January 14th. Cavour was startled. He feared, as he himself declared, that Orsini’s act would alienate the Emperor’s good will, and destroy all his plans. But he was mistaken. It did not for a moment alter Napoleon’s feelings, far less his plans. If anything, it only precipitated them. He, if no one else, understood the meaning of the act. It was an attempt which might be repeated, but which would not be repeated once he had publicly declared himself by his acts the ally of the revolutionary party in Italy. If he did not understand this on the night of January 14th, Orsini’s letter, written before his execution, must have pointed the moral to him. But, however this may have been, only another twelve month was allowed to pass before the decisive step was taken, and France found herself face to face with war against Austria. A definite plan of action was arranged in the summer of 1858. Cavour had obtained from the Parliament of Turin an authorization for a loan of 40,000,000 francs. the Parliament was prorogued on July 14th, and Cavour immediately set off for Plombières, a watering place in the Vosges, where Napoleon was then staying. At the interview it is believed that the Franco-Sardinian alliance was formally completed. Then, as if to diminish the importance of his interview with the Emperor, Cavour went on to Baden, where he saw the Crown Prince of Prussia (later the Emperor William I.). He then rejoined his colleagues at Turin. Europe in general dreamed only of peace. It was known that the relations between Austria and Piedmont were in a perilous state, but the French alliance was still a well-kept secret; and when the year closed, there were few who did not fully believe that no immediate causes of war were to be found in Europe. the first day of the new year put an end to this pleasing delusion.


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CHAPTER III

CAVOUR AND NAPOLEON III

On the 1(st) of January, 1859, Napoleon III, surrounded by his court, received the diplomatic corps at the New Year’s levée at the Tuileries. No one expected that there would be anything more than the usual complimentary speeches, full of fine phrases, but really meaning little or nothing. What then was the surprise of the circle, when the Emperor, turning to Baron Hubner, the Austrian minister, said, in an emphatic tone and with an animated gesture, “I regret that our relations with your Government are not so good as they were, but I request you to tell the Emperor that my personal feelings towards him have not changed.”

Those who were present thought anxiously of the words of the First Napoleon to Lord Whitworth on the eve of the rupture of the Treaty of Amiens. the French funds fell five per cent.; and though an official note appeared in the Moniteur, asserting that there was nothing in the diplomatic relations with Austria to warrant the excitement and apprehension caused by the Emperor’s words, this attempt to mislead public opinion produced no effect in calming the fears of Europe.

The Sardinian Parliament was to open on the 10(th), and the King’s speech was looked forward to with intense interest; but, when it was delivered, it was found to be of the usual formal kind, and beyond an allusion to the clouded political horizon with which the year began, nothing was said either of the disputes with Austria or of the alliance with France. Two days after the Paris papers announced the probability of a marriage between the Princess Clotilde, a girl of fifteen, the only daughter of King Victor Emmanuel, and Prince Napoleon. the destined bride and bridegroom had not yet even seen each other. It was a purely political marriage; later we shall see its significance. On Sunday, the 23rd, the Prince arrived at Turin, accompanied by General Niel, who formally requested, in the name of the Emperor Napoleon, the hand of the Princess Clotilde for the Prince. Next Sunday the marriage took place, and Prince Napoleon went back to Paris with his bride. General Niel, who had the reputation of being the best military engineer in Europe after Todleben, remained in Italy, inspecting the fortresses of Piedmont.

Events travelled quickly, crowding upon each other. Austria was strengthening her garrison in Italy, asserting that her only object was to keep down the revolutionary party within her own frontiers. At Milan, Italianist proclamations were posted on the walls, and those who smoked government cigars were assaulted in the streets. the Sardinian army was concentrating in Piedmont, the troops being withdrawn from Savoy, the island of Sardinia and the minor provinces. In France preparations went on slowly and secretly. the arsenals were busy, whole regiments of soldiers were employed in cartridge-making, stores were being accumulated at the southern ports, rifled guns were being substituted for smooth-bores in the artillery, troops were concentrating at Lyons and Besanyon, the fleet was being assembled in the Mediterranean, the passes of the Alps were examined by engineer officers, and Niel was engaged with La Marmora on a plan for the defence of Piedmont until the French army could reach the field of action.

On the 4(th) of February, Signor Lanza, the Minister of Finance, rose in the Chamber of Deputies at Turin to ask for an authorization for a loan of fifty million lire. His speech was a bold one. He spoke of the well-known fact that in the previous month a fresh Austrian corps cTarmée had entered Italy. A strong army, he said, was massed about Cremona, Piacenza and Pavia, as if ready for an aggressive movement against Turin: detached corps held the villages: the export of horses into Piedmont had been forbidden, and the Imperial Government was contracting a loan of 150 millions of francs. In the presence of these facts the king’s Government asked for the loan, in order to continue preparations for defence. “We feel, gentlemen,” he concluded, “as much as any one the necessity of avoiding new burdens upon the country and an increased weight upon the finances of the State; and we are grieved to be compelled to propose them. But in the life of nations there arise, as you know, supreme moments, in which sacrifices are a sacred duty, an inevitable necessity. the Government, trusting to your known patriotism, does not doubt that you will be united and decided in conceding to it the means necessary for the defence of the country, and with it of the national honour, liberty, and independence.”

The debate on the loan followed, on the 9th. It is important from the light it throws upon the position of Piedmont and the results of the policy of Cavour. the \ debate was open ed by Count Solaro della Margarita, the leader of the Right. No one, he said, would beso base as not to rally round the king in time of danger, but when a question perhaps involving war was brought forward, it was necessary to examine carefully the truth of the statement that the country was in danger. Beyond any doubt the situation of the various provinces was anything but prosperous; commerce languished, agriculture suffered, manufacturers could not support a competition with the productions of other countries, the public funds were in discredit, and the indirect revenues were every day falling off.

“To speak candidly, gentlemen,” he continued, “if since 1849 we had quietly attended to the development of our institutions, if we had made it our chief care to promote science, art, and commerce, within our own limits: if we had not extraordinarily increased the taxes: if we had not held out allurements to the factions in all parts of Italy, and evoked hopes which for eight centuries have been nourished in vain: if we had thought more of improving our own lot, than of censuring and causing anxiety to other Governments—we should not have the name of agitators, nor should we see the plains of Lombardy inundated with Austrian bands; rumours of war would not arise on the Ticino.” the cabinet of Vienna, he asserted, was too prudent to involve its country in a general war; and for the cabinet of Turin also the most prudent course was to remain quiet; for Piedmont could not engagé in war withòut powerful allies, and then she would be at their mercy. To approve this loan would only be to sanction hostilities; and he, therefore, opposed the bill.

Count Della Rovere of the Centre replied in favour of the loan. He admitted that the finances were not flourishing; but he said he preferred liberty and debt to riches and slavery. He spoke of an Austrian invasion as imminent. He allowed that Cavour’s policy was a dangerous one, but, he added, all great things had their dangers. Piedmont was forced to look for foreign aid, because the other sovereigns of Italy preferred the Austrians a thousand times before the Piedmontese.

The next speaker was the Marquis de Beauregard, one of the representatives of Savoy. His speech was one of the most remarkable in the debate; for, when he spoke of his own country, though he evidently knew little of the French alliance, his words had an almost prophetic character. Savoy, he said, would yield to no part of the kingdom in its devotion to the public weal, yet he should oppose the loan. He refused to believe that the Austrian armaments were of an aggressive character. the French Emperor had publicly declared that the situation of Italy did not give any reason for war; yet Piedmont was arming, and it was proclaimed that the glorious moment had arrived to crown the policy to which the fortunes of the country had for eight years been sacrificed. “Count Cavour,” he said, “wishes for war, and he will do his utmost to provoke it. In the perilous situation in which his policy has placed us, war presents itself to his mind as the only possible chance of honourable liberation from the alarming debt which crushes us, and of fulfilling the engagements he has undertaken. If the existence of the monarchy of Savoy were not the stake he proposes in this terrible game, against the glory of associating his name with the deliverance of Italy, I could understand that the intrepidity of the minister might devote itself to an enterprise in which he probably believes that he has insured for himself all the chances of success; but those who have not the secrets of which he is master or his confidence in the future, recoil affrighted before the responsibility he has assumed. For my part,” he went on, “I will not give any encouragement to such a policy. I will not approve by a vote of confidence a policy which should always be opposed, a policy which has done so much injury to the internal situation of the country. I can inform you, gentlemen, that in Savoy the idea of a war is thoroughly unpopular. Borne down by heavy taxes, our people execrate the policy which imposes them on the country. But war would entail on Savoy an infinitely more deplorable fate than heavy taxation—it would lead to her separation from Piedmont. And, forsooth, we the inhabitants of Savoy are to shed our blood and wear out our resources for the purpose of placing ourselves under another crown. But do not imagine that the people of Savoy are less patriotic than others in the kingdom. No! when danger arrives we shall be among the first to strike a blow for our country. But we do not want to separate from the mother-country. I shall, therefore, vote against a bill which constitutes part of a policy necessarily leading to that result.”

These words created a deep impression in the House. the next speaker denounced the bill as amounting to a declaration of war; and Count Camburzano, who followed, asked what pledge had they of French assistance, had not Napoleon declared that his empire was peace? the honourable gentlemen on the left had by this time lost their patience. Camburzano sat down amid a storm of hisses, and Brofferio, the leader of the Radicate, springing to his feet, said he would vote for the bill and let Austria do her worst.

Count Cavour now ascended the tribune and all was still. To judge from his speech one would have supposed that the arsenals of Piedmont were idle, that its press and its public speakers had never alluded to Austria but in friendly terms, and that the Piedmontese propaganda in Lombardy and Venetia did not exist. He endeavoured to show that all the provocation was on the side of Austria, yet his speech was self-contradictory and a menace to Austria. His policy, he said, was not provocative. He did not arrogate to himself the right of initiating a war. His conduct had not become aggressive since the Congress of Paris, and he defied his opponents to prove their assertions. Yet he went on to say that the Government had a right to make itself in the face of Europe the interpreter of the wants, the sufferings and the hopes of Italy. the Government had, indeed, fortified Alessandria, but it was done because everything that had taken place in Paris convinced them of the impossibility of obtainingby pacific diplomatic means the complete solution of the difficulties of the Italian question. But why, it would be asked, were the Sardinian troops assembled on the frontier, why did he ask for the loan? Because Austria was massing her troops on the Ticino, and though she spoke only of peace, it might not be the first time that warlike intentions had been concealed by peaceful professions. (The very thing, let me note en passant* which Count Cavour was doing at that moment) He concluded by saying, he thought he had shown that his actions were not provocative, nor his policy inconsiderate.

He sat down amid loud cheers from the Centre and Left; but his eloquence had not carrried persuasion with it to all minds. Count Revel, who voted for the loan, admitted that the attitude of Austria was a suspicious one, but added, “this was the consequence, if not of the public acts of the Government, at least of the tone of the press, of its frequent menaces, of its frequent proposals that Austria might be attacked by us.”

The debate concluded in the midst of a scene of indescribable confusion. “Go to war as much as you please,” exclaimed the Savoyard, De Very, “that will not suppress the mountains which divide us from Italy; as a payment for the assistance you receive, we shall be annexed to —” the tumult made the rest of the speech inaudible. One member asked what would the Ministry consider a casus belli.

Cavour prudently declined to say what provocation they would consider as justifying an appeal to arms. Finally the bill was passed, 116 voting for and thirty-five against it. On the 18th it passed the Senate. But there was great difficulty in floating the loan. the Sardinian funds stood at a low figure, and several leading banking firms refused to have anything to do with it. (1)

While the bill for the loan was passing through the Parliament of Turin, events of great importance were taking place elsewhere. On the same day on which Lanza introduced the bill for the loan, Count Buol, the Austrian Premier, addressed a circular to the Imperial representatives at the courts of Europe, in which he urged the probability and the necessity of all Germany acting in concert in the event of Austria being attacked by France and Sardinia. As a kind of counter-manifesto, Cavour in the same way published a memorandum on the concentration of troops in Lombardy.

On the 7th of February, the French Chambers were opened. In his speech the Emperor deprecated the existing anxiety in the public mind, and repeated that the empire was peace. It had been his purpose on ascending the throne, he said, not to renew an era of conquests, but to inaugurate a System of peace, “which could not be disturbed except for the defence of great national interests, religion, philosophy and civilization a wide exception, considering that almost every casus belli recorded in history might be classed under one of these heads. He spoke of the troubled state ofhis relations with Austria, asserting that, under the circumstances, there was nothing to be wondered at in France drawing near to Piedmont. the state of Italy was, indeed, abnormal; but there was no reason for believing in war. Such was the effect of the more important passages of the Imperial discourse, which might be taken as an illustration of Talleyrand’s saying that speech was given to man to conceal his thoughts.

Far more light was thrown upon the Emperor’s designs by a pamphlet which was just then selling by the thousand in Paris. It had appeared a few days before, and already a large edition was exhausted. the title was,”L’Empereur Napoléon III et l’Ttalie.” It was known that portions of it were written by the Emperor himself, while the rest was composed under his inspiration. It was, in a word, the avowed expression of his policy.

The pamphlet is an open attack on Austria. the Emperor seeks to prove that the position of Austria in Italy is untenable, her expulsion a necessity, the idea of her effecting useful reforms, if permitted to live in peace, an absurdity. An Italian confederation, he urges, is the only possible solution of the Italian question; but to this “there exists,” says the Imperial pamphleteer, “an obstacle beyond Italian and beyond European interest. It is Austria’s position in Lombardy. Opposition is the basis of Austrian policy. As Austria opposes reforms, so will she oppose everything else. What is to be done? Are we to bow to the veto of Austria? Are we to discard it? Are we to appeal to force or to public opinion to oppose this resistance?” There is, of course, a ready answer to the question. the idea of appealing to force is disclaimed. Heaven is asked to forbid it. the Italian question must be solved only by the influence of public opinion throughout Europe. Yet the language of the pamphlet points to war. the strength of the Austrian military position in Italy is elaborately investigated, with a view to proving that “Italian nationality will never be the result of a revolution, and can never succeed without foreign help.” But where is this help to come from? It is not openly stated that it is to be from France, but in more than one passage it is broadly hinted. It is “one of the traditions of French policy,” says the writer, “that the Alps, which are for her a bulwark, shall not become an armed fortress against her power.” Yet France does not wish for war, but “if France, which desires peace, were forced to make war, Europe would no doubt be moved, but she need not be alarmed; her independence would not be at stake. This war, which fortunately is not probable, would have no other object from the day when it became necessary, than to anticipate revolution by affording just satisfaction to the demands of nations, and by protecting and guaranteeing the acknowledged principles and authentic rights of their nationality.”

The English Government now endeavoured to bring matters to a definite issue, by asking Piedmont to formulate her complaints against Austria, in the hope that, if they were well founded, international diplomatic action might be able to remove them. Cavour’s reply was but a weak one. Austria, he said, was hated by the Italians on account of “her bureaucratic pedantry, the vexatious conduct of her police, the overwhelming taxes (2) which she has established, her System of recruiting, which is more severe than any other in Europe, and her rigours and her violence even against women.” the Lombardo-Venetians were discontented, he said, because they were ruled by foreigners; and then, interpreting their feelings towards the Church by his own, he had the boldness tc assert that so long as Austria was in some degree alienated from the Court of Rome, “the Lombardo-Venetians felt released from the rule which the Church exercised in other parts of the Italian peninsula over the actions of civil life and even in the sanctuary of the family.” This they accepted as a compensation, but the concordat had taken it from them. He then alleged that the Treaty of Vienna, of 1815, had given such power to Austria in Italy, as to destroy the equilibrium which formerly existed. But Austria had not even confined herself to these limits. Her intervention, her treaties, made the Duchies of Parma, Modena, and Tuscany her fiefs. Then she had occupied a large portion of the Papal States. At this point he put forward a programme, which, he said, would in his belief at least temporarily solve the Italian question. It is well to observe the word “temporarily.” By that one word he reserved the power of reopening the question at a more favourable opportunity, even if Austria and the other States had then accepted his proposals. These proposals were—that Austria should give to Lombardy and Venetia a separate administration: that her power should be strictly confined to these limits, and that even the advanced works of the fortress of Piacenza (3) should be demolished: that the Romagna should be evacuated: that the Dukes of Modena and Parma should be invited to give to their people constitutions like that of Piedmont: and that the Grand Duke of Tuscany should re-enact the constitution of 1848. Finally, that the Pope should give administrative independence to the provinces beyond the Apennines, as Cavour himself had proposed in 1856.

In the last week of February, Austria replied to this memorandum by a despatch addressed to her Ambassador in London. Count Buol alleged in his defence that a great State could not help having a certain amount of influence over the minor powers in her vicinity; the real question was, did she abuse this influence? Austria had never intervened on her own initiative; she had only acted when called upon to do so by the legitimate Governments of neighbouring States. He then urged on the part of Austria a number of complaints more or less well founded against the policy of Piedmont. He said that, in 1856-57, when the Emperor of Austria visited his Italian dominions, the Piedmontese press had hurled insults against him, and had even published a defence of regicide. Austria had pointed out that this state of things could not fail to destroy all good feeling between the Governments of Vienna and Turin, and had asked for some guarantee that it would not be renewed. Cavour spoke of this moderate request as a menacing attempt to force Sardinia to alter her institutions. This Count Buol disclaimed, but the Austrian chargé daffaires was withdrawn, “that he might no longer be the eye-witness of this abnormal state of things, which the Piedmontese Government declined to remedy.” Never the less, Austria had continued in friendly relations with Piedmont, and had concluded commercial conventions with her. “Despite these good intentions,” he went on, “despite our Constant moderation, despite our inexhaustible patience, fanatical cries of war were shouted across the Ticino, especially since the commencement of the present year.” Accordingly the Austrian army in Italy had been reinforced. “This measure, dictated by the most common prudence, was one of a purely defensive character... This is, in a few words, the present state of affairs. In all honour we ask what can we do to improve it?” Then, alluding to the alleged discontent in Central and Southern Italy, Count Buol pointed out that everything should not be charged upon the Governments. He did not mean to say they were perfect; but they were doing their best in a very difficult time to govern well. He did not like the Piedmontese System. Liberty there verged upon license, and was a serious inconvenience at times to neighbouring States. “We do not the less admit,” he continued, “that Piedmont is the best judge of what System of government is best suited to her. But, however much we may respect her independence, we should not think ourselves justified in imposing on other Italian States a System of government, or pointing out the proper moment for introducing improvements of which that System might be susceptible. However this may be, the great argument brought forward against the Papal Government is that it is unable to support itself, and is obliged to rely upon foreign assistance.” This, he said, was no longer true. Negotiations were in progress to put an end to the foreign occupation.

This announcement, made by Count Buol at the end of his despatch, placed the Roman question on a new footing. the one point on which M. de Rayneval had said that the Roman Government was open to attack, was now closed. It was ready and anxious to dispense with the foreign occupation. On the 22nd of February (4) Cardinal Antonelli had announced to the Ambassadors of France and Austria, that the Holy Father, while “full of gratitude for the aid which up to that day had been given to him by their Majesties the Emperor of the French and the Emperor of Austria, thought it his duty to inform them that henceforth his Government was strong enough to suffice for its own security and for the maintenance of peace in his States, and that consequently the Pope declared himself ready to enter into an arrangement with the two Powers, in order, with the least possible delay, to consult for the simultaneous evacuation of his territory by the French and Austrian armies.” Austria was willing to withdraw. the French policy, however, required an army in Rome, and accordingly the French occupation was prolonged long after that of Austria had ceased, for the course of events put an end to that occupation within a few months of this date.

On the 5th of March, the Moniteur published one of those reassuring articles which are the most certain signs of coming war. In this article it was stated that the French Empire was pledged to defend Sardinia against any aggressive act on the part of Austria, but that the alliance went no farther than this. After this statement, coupled with the scarcely-veiled menaces of the semi-official pamphlet on Napoleon's Italian policy, war was inevitable. There was only one more move in the diplomatic game before the decisive conflict began.

On March 21st the Moniteur announced that Russia had proposed a Congress on the affairs of Italy. This Congress was to meet in some neutral city, (5) and France, Austria, England, Prussia and Russia, were to be represented at it. France at once accepted the proposal; the adhesions of England and Prussia were received on the 23rd. But already difficulties had been put in the way of the Congress meeting, by Cavour writing to D’Azeglio, the Sardinian minister in London, that Piedmont would demand a place in the Congress. On the 24(th) Austria gave her adhesion, subject to the one condition that Sardinia should disarm before the Congress met This condition was a very natural one; but from the outset the counter demands of Sardinia and Austria made the Congress impossible, and even if it had met, probably its only result would have been to delay the war till the middle of the summer. We have seen that Cavour had shown at Paris a certain want of sang-froid, a precipitation in believing that he had already realized his schemes in his conversation with Clarendon. Now when he was on the verge of success, he showed a want of confidence in his position, the natural result of his too sanguine and precipitate character. He was like a timid chess-player, whose coolness deserts him just at the moment when his combinations are leading up to a checkmate. He was informed from some source or another that the Emperor was wavering. He was seized with a fear that the Congress would give the ruler of France a means of evading his engagements, and that Piedmont was in danger of being abandoned by her powerful ally. Cavour hastened to Paris, and arrived there on the 27th. He thought only of immediate war, but the Emperor naturally hesitated, for really his army was upon a peace footing, though the arsenals were active and preparations for war were actually in progress, but not for war before the summer. Cavour misunderstood the Emperor. Arrivabene (6) tells us, that, after the first interview, he thought Napoleon was actually desirous of withdrawing from his position. At a second interview matters were completely changed, and before Cavour left Paris, on the 2nd of April, it had been decided that war should be declared upon the earliest pretext.

Meanwhile the negotiations for the meeting of a Congress were slowly dragging on. Austria had proposed a general disarmament. England adopted the suggestion, and on April 21st the Moniteur published her proposals to the effect that a military and civil commission should meet to regulate the disarmament, and that, as soon as it had begun its labours, a Congress should assemble, in which the five Powers and the various Italian States should be represented, as in the Congress of Laybach in 1821. At this moment Austria took a step which precipitateci the war.

As early as the 7th of March, the National Italian Society had, through its Vice-President, Garibaldi, and its Secretary, La Farina, issued to the secret societies in Lombardy and Venetia instructions for an insurrection to take place immediately on the outbreak of war between Piedmont and Austria. Large bodies of volunteers had been collected, armed, and organized by General Cialdini, with the avowed object of war against Austria. About the middle of April Garibaldi was summoned to the palace at Turin. There he saw Victor Emmanuel, Farini and Cavour. the latter informed him that war was on the point of breaking out. “the patience of Count Buol,” he said, “is nearly exhausted, and we are only awaiting the moment when he will have lost it altogether.” Garibaldi was then offered, and formally accepted, the command of the free corps of volunteers, or Cacciatori degli Alpi? (7)

The patience of Count Buol was indeed exhausted. He saw Sardinia arming, enrolling Garibaldians, exciting insurrection in Lombardy. He saw France behind her, quietly but rapidly preparing for war. He knew that war could not be avoided. Cavour’s object had been, not to seek redress from Austria on any given point, but to force her to draw the sword. Buol knew this, and he knew equally well that a delay of even two or three months would place the enemies of Austria in a better position for the conflict. If there was to be a struggle, it was better to begin it at once. Prince William, the Regent of Prussia, had held bold language on the necessity of Germany’s being united in presence of the attitude assumed by France. the Archduke Albert was sent to Berlin, to know if Prussia would join Austria in presenting an ultimatum to Piedmont, requiring her to disarm and disband the free corps. the Regent declined to take such a step. His action was, in fact, a prelude to the policy he afterwards pursued in concert with Prince Bismarck. He was opposed to Austria, but he knew the minor States were with her. He therefore declared that he was as ready as anyone to maintain the integrity of the German Confederation, but he held aloof from taking any part with Austria in a quarrel about Italy. He was not sorry to see her receive a heavy blow on the Southern frontier, and he did not act till action was forced upon him, and until Solferino had been fought. When he received the Regent’s answer, Buol determined that Austria should act alone. Read in the light of after events, this resolution was a rash one. But had not the armies of Austria been directed by the Government of Vienna upon a false assumption of the character of the coming conflict, had boldness in diplomacy been seconded by equally vigorous action in the theatre of war, and had not a misguided interference with the commanders in the field destroyed more than one promising plan of operations, men might now judge very differently the policy of the Emperor Francis Joseph and Count Buol on this occasion.

On the 18(th) of April, the Baron de Kellersberg, a captain of the Austrian staff, left Vienna, as the bearer of an ultimatum to Piedmont. It was in the form of a letter from Count Buol to Cavour. the Imperial Government, said the Count, had accepted the proposal made by the court of St. Petersburg for a Congress on the affairs of Italy; but, as it was impossible for pacific deliberation to be carried on in the midst of preparations for war with any hope of a successful result, Austria had requested that the Sardinian army should be reduced to a peace footing, and the volunteer corps disbanded. In the event of a disarmament, England was willing to guarantee, in conjunction with France, the integrity of Sardinia.

He regretted that this proposal had been rejected, as otherwise he would have been able to withdraw the extra troops concentrated in Lombardy; and by order of the Emperor he now addressed this letter to the Piedmontese Government, in the hope of its reconsidering its decision.

He required a distinct reply, yes or no, within three days. If there should be no reply, or should it be of an unsatisfactory character, the Emperor, having exhausted every means of securing peace to his people, would be forced^to have recourse to arms.

Such were the terms of the letter, which was formally presented to Cavour at Turin at half-past five on the afternoon of the 23rd of April. He already knew its contents, for they had been flashed all over Europe by the telegraph-wires on the 21st No one doubted that the reply would be a direct refusal of the proposal to disarm. The letter was, in fact, regarded as a declaration of war, and the troops were already in motion. the French railways were crowded with infantry, cavalry, and artillery, rapidly concentrating on the frontier of Savoy; and at Toulon and Marseilles the transports were embarking stores and matèriel of war.

The Sardinian Parliament had been prorogued for the Easter holidays. It was convoked by a hasty summons from Cavour, and met at noon on the 23rd, five hours before the Austrian ultimatum was presented. Cavour proposed, and the Chamber passed, a law conferring dictatorial powers upon the king in the event of war with Austria, and suspending for the time not only the liberty of the press, but also the constitution with all its guarantees for the personal freedom of the individual.

On the 25th the French troops were entering Savoy. Every hour was of importance if they were to reach Turin in time to save the Piedmontese from being overwhelmed by the rapid advance of the Austrian army, which, it was expected, would follow the declaration of war.

At noon, a train containing two battalions of Canrobert’s corps d’armée passed through Chambéry en route for St. Jéan de Maurienne, where the railway ceased, and the two days, march over the Mont Cenis to Susa was to begin. At eight o’clock next morning the first French transports steamed into the road stead of Genoa. That evening the town was blazing with lights. the streets were crowded with Frenchmen of the line, Zouaves, and Turcos, and resounded to shouts of “Viva la Francia!” — “Vive l’Italie!”

The war had begun. Kellersberg was on his way to Pavia, hearing Cavour’s reply to the Austrian ultimatum. After acknowledging the receipt of Count Buol’s letter, Count Cavour said “the question of the disarmament of Sardinia, which constitutes the basis of the demand which you address to me, has been the subject of numerous negotiations between the Great Powers and the government of his Majesty. These negotiations have ended in a proposition made by England, to which France, Prussia, and Russia have adhered. Sardinia, in a spirit of conciliation, accepted it without reserve or arrière pensée. As your Excellency cannot be ignorant either of the proposal of England or of the reply of Sardinia, I could not add anything to make known to you the intentions of the government of the king, as regards the difficulties attending the assembling of a Congress. the conduct of Sardinia in these circumstances has been appreciated by Europe. Whatever the consequences may be, the king, my august master, is convinced that the responsibility will fall upon those who were the first to arm, who refused the proposals made by a great Power and deemed just and reasonable by others, and who now substitute a threatening summons in their stead.”

Such were the circumstances under which the war of 1859, and with it the Italian Revolution, began. Those who regard Austria as the aggressor should remember that she only anticipated an attack; and there is no doubt that, had the negotiations been allowed to proceed farther, the only result would have been that the French Emperor would have had more time to perfect his armaments and increase his forces. the real aggressor was not Austria, but Piedmont, which, under the guidance of Cavour, had deliberately provoked the Imperial Government to take this decisive action.

This was well pointed out by Lord Malmesbury, when, on the 5th of the following May, he rejected the French invitation to England to take part in the war as the ally of France. In a few well-chosen words he summed up the course of conduct by which Sardinia had repaid Austria for her forbearance after Novara.

“By violating,” he said, “her treaties of extradition with Austria: by fostering desertions from her army: by rallying in Piedmont the disaffected spirits of Italy: by menacing speeches against the Austrian Government: and by ostentatious declarations that she was ready to do battle against the power and influence of Austria,— Sardinia has invoked the storm, and is deeply responsible to the nations of Europe.”


vai su


CHAPTER IV

THE FIGHT FOR LOMBARDY

In the following pages I shall briefly narrate the story of the campaign by which Lombardy was wrested from Austria. Later will be related the events which resulted from the war and occurred simultaneously with it in other parts of Italy. I shall thus sacrifice a strictly chronological arrangement, in order to make the narrative more easily intelligible.

Austria had begun the war upon a false assumption. the government at Vienna persisted in believing that the attack would come, as it had come in the earlier wars of the revolution, across the Rhine and into the upper valley of the Danube, with Vienna for its direct object. But, by doing this, Napoleon would have called all Germany to arms on the side of Austria; and Count Gyulai, who commanded the Austrians in Italy, in vain protested that the whole attack must and would fall upon him, and begged without avail that some at least of the troops which were being uselessly massed upon the German frontiers of Austria, should be diverted to Italy. He told his government that he would have to deal with at least 60,000 Sardinians and 130,000 Frenchmen, and that his forces were insufficient for such a task. He was informed that calculations made at Vienna on reliable data estimated the available French force that would appear in Piedmont at no more than 80,000 men; and further reinforcements were refused to him, (1) while the war-office devoted its energies to preparing for a chimerical campaign in South Germany.

The military operations were begun by the Austrian invasion of Piedmont. Gyulai had won distinction under Radetzki, in 1848. He had much of the traditional Austrian slowness, and his combinations were twice destroyed by ill-timed interference from Vienna. the plan, which he was now to execute, was a simple one. He was to make a rapid advance into Piedmont, strike at the Sardinians before the French could join them, and then, by seizing Turin, interpose between the two wings of the French army, one of which was advancing by the Pass of Mont Cenis, while the other was landing at Genoa and coming up to Alessandria. If he could execute this plan, he would be able to fall with superior numbers on whichever division of the French army he might choose to attack.

The forces at his disposal consisted of five corps d’armée, the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 8th. Two other corps garrisoned the fortresses, and secured the possèssion of Lombardy. Without including these, the five corps massed on the Ticino amounted to 92,420 men, with 11,000 cavalry and 352 guns the corps commanders were—Prince Lichtenstein of the 2nd, Prince Schwartzenburg of the 3rd, Count Stadion of the 5th, Baron Zobel of the 7th, and General Benedek of the 8th.

The Sardinian army numbered about 60,000 men. From this had to be deducted the garrisons of Alessandria and Casale, and minor detachments at other points; so that, at most, only 50,000 men would be available to oppose the Austrian advance. A position had been selected before the war for making a stand against such an invasion. It lay along the right bank of the Dora Baltea, an Alpine stream which flows into the Po a few miles below Turin. the ground had been entrenched by the Sardinian engineers, but it was badly chosen. Its centre was weak, and though its right rested securely on the Po, it could easily be turned on the left by following the road from Vercelli to Ivrea, and then turning southward along the Turin road. It might, therefore, be regarded as certain that, if the Austrians only displayed sufficient activity, they would have no difficulty in reaching Turin.

On the 1st of May they had completed the passage of the Ticino. On that day all the troops of the 1st French corps had arrived at Genoa, the 3rd was at Susa and passing through Turin en route for Alessandria, the 4th crossing the Alps. Instead of moving forward as rapidly as possible, Gyulai advanced as slowly as if he were executing a mere military promenade. On the 2nd, Zobcl’s corps occupied Vercelli; but it was not until the 7th that the Austrians passed the Sesia in force. Meanwhile demonstrations were made along the Po at Valenza, Frasinetto and Casale, and an Austrian detachment, crossing the river at Cornale, advanced as far as Tortona, and retired after blowing up the railway-bridge of Pontecurone.

Up to the 4th the weather had been fine and warm. On that day heavy rains began throughout all the north of Italy, and continued, with intervals of fine weather, to the end of the campaign. the rivers rose rapidly, and in many places overflowed their banks; in others the Piedmontese laid the country under water by artificial means. Gyulai had let the fine weather pass; the 4th should have seen him on the Dora Baltea. His troops were now toiling slowly along the miry roads under the drenching rain. On the 8th, Ivrea was in sight, and the advanced troops reported that the position on the Dora Baltea had been abandoned. A week before, the Piedmontese, by the advice of Niel and Canrobert, had withdrawn to Alessandria, where the French army was concentrating.

Gyulal was within one day’s march of Turin. There was no garrison in the Sardinian capital, and between it and the Austrians there were only a few regiments of cavalry. But Gyulai first hesitated, then abandoned his plan at the very moment when its successful accomplishment was within his grasp, and began a retreat to the Ticino. He had heard that the French were about to attack Piacenza, he knew there was a strong force massed about Casale and Alessandria on the flank of his line of advance, and he feared for his communications. He withdrew to the district between the Sesia and the Ticino, where he concentrated his forces on the System of roads which unite at Mortara, and stood on the defensive awaiting the first movement of the allies.

Various and contradictory accounts have been given of the reception which the Austrians met with on their entry into Piedmont, and during the invasion. According to the correspondent of the Times with the Austrian army, the troops were well received. When the Sesia overflowed its banks, the Piedmontese peasantry voluntarily gave their assistance to prevent the loss the inundation would otherwise have caused to the invading army. “This circumstance,” writes the correspondent, “clearly proves how untrue are the statements made about the animosity of the Italians against the Austrians. I have myself been only three days in Piedmont on this occasion, but I have already ridden nearly a hundred and forty miles, and stopped at every village, and to an Englishman the natives would not conceal their feelings. I can assure you that their anger is all against their own government, not for this war merely, but for the whole policy of overloading them with taxes, such as our exploded window-tax and a tax on carriages, for the purpose of keeping up an army beyond the wants of the country. I speak of the peasantry the burghers and lawyers may think differently. When the Austrians arrived at a certain town, the inhabitants reproached them much for not coming a fortnight earlier. Expecting them, they said, they had made every excuse to delay providing their quota of the reserve of the army. the Piedmontese had carried off nearly all the horses and provisions from this part of the country. At Stroppiana they even carried off the women to work at Casale. the Austrians sent provisions for the starving inhabitants left there.”

On the other hand, it was asserted that the country people could not be induced, either by threats or promises, to give the Austrians any information as to the movements of the allies. But it seems very probable that they gave no information, simply because they had none to give; for, during the advance on Turin and the subsequent retreat, all the allied troops were miles away on the other side of the Po.

On the 9th, when Gyulai began his retreat to the Sesia, the Piedmontese army occupied the right bank of the Po, from Casale to Valenza. the 3rd French corps, and part of the 4th, had arrived at Alessandria from Mont Cenis. the 1st and 2nd had landed at Genoa, and were coming up through the Apennines to Alessandria, their advanced troops being near Novi. the Imperial Guard was landing at Genoa, and following the march of these two corps. Though nearly all the French infantry had reached the theatre of war, the cavalry and artillery were still far from complete, and for ten days after guns and horses were being landed at Genoa. the numbers of the infantry were on a peace footing, none of the battalions being stronger than 800 men; and even at Solferino many of the regiments were incomplete. Such was one of the results of the sudden declaration of the war. the Emperor did not leave Paris till the army of Italy was ready to receive him. He arrived at Genoa on the 12th of May, and reached the head-quarters at Alessandria on the following day.

Meanwhile Count Gyulai was in utter ignorance of the numbers, the position, and the movements of the allies. Italian patriotism is not in all cases of such a high order as to be inaccessible to pecuniary considerations, and Gyulai had money enough at his command to establish correspondence with half the cities of Piedmont; yet, strange to say, he had no spies. In this perplexity he decided upon the worst of all possible ways of procuring information, a reconnaissance in force. This operation consists of an advance, against one or more points of the enemy’s line, only serious enough to compel him to show his strength. When it is ascertained, the attacking troops retire. Now the disadvantage of such a manoeuvre is, that the retreat of the troops, even if the reconnaissance be successful, is sure to damp their ardour and impress them with the idea of defeat; while it has the corresponding effect of encouraging the enemy, who will be certain to daini the engagement as a victory.

Believing that Napoleon was massing his troops to the right about Voghera for an attack on his own left at Piacenza, Gyulai assembled on the south bank of the Po, below Pavia, a force of about 20,000 men and sixteen guns, (2) and placed it under the command of Count Stadion, ordering him to advance against the French right and threaten Voghera, so as to compel the enemy to display whatever force he had in that neighbourhood. Voghera stands in a narrow tract of fiat country, between the lower spurs of the Apennines and the River Po. the ground is divided into small rice-fields, and cut up by ditches and canals, so that troops can only move by the roads. In front of Voghera, near Montebello, lay General Forey’s infantry and ten squadrons of Piedmontese cavalry, the whole force being about 7000 strong.

About noon, on May 20th, the Austrians came in contact with the French, and the first battle of the war began. Fighting in the dose country which I have described, Stadion soon found that he could only bring a portion of his force into action, and Forey, notwithstanding his inferiority in numbers, was able to meet the Austrians with equal or almost equal forces, on the few roads by which they could advance. (3) ))

By three o’clock the Austrians had lost all the ground they had won by driving back the weak French outposts in the beginning of the day. They retired to the village of Montebello, a long Street of red-tiled cottages with an old church and walled cemetery, standing on a spur of the hills. Supported by the artillery and covered by clouds of skirmishers, one French brigade rushed up the long bare slope in front of the village; while another, ascending the hills, came down upon it from the higher ground on the Austrian left. the French penetrated into the village house after house was stormed, and at length, at half-past six, the Austrians held only the churchyard. Then Stadion, believing, as he afterwards reported to Gyulai, that he had fully 40,000 men in his front, drew off his forces, leaving a few prisoners and some empty ammunition waggons in the hands of the French. Both sides had lost from 1200 to 1500 men. the result of the battle was that, thanks to the gallant stand made by Forey, Gyulai believed that the French were really massed in great force about Voghera; while the actual fact was that Napoleon was just then arranging his movement against the Austrian -right.

Three days before the battle of Montebello, the concentration of the allied armies was completed. Their line extended along the right bank of the Po, from Casale to Voghera. the Piedmontese occupied the left at Casale, where they had a fortified railway-bridge over the Po. Next to them was the 4th corps (Niel) at Valenza. Between Valenza and Voghera lay the 2nd corps (MacMahon), while the country round Voghera was occupied by the 1st (Baraguay d’Hilliers). In the second line, as it were, lay the Imperial Guard at Alessandria, and the 3rd corps of Canrobert at Tortona. A railway, running from Casale by Alessandria and Tortona to Voghera, linked together all the points of this extended line of between forty and fifty miles, which was held by 100,000 French and 50,000 Sardinians, with 400 guns. Two other railways stretched away from Alessandria to Mont Cenis, and by Novi through the Apennines to Genoa; and by these the French received their reinforcements and supplies.

The Emperor had three courses of action open to him. He might attack the Austrian left, centre, or right. the Austrians fronted him along the opposite bank of the Po. the Sesia covered their right, and was watched by the 7th corps (Zobel). the 8th (Benedek) was opposite Valenza, and the 5th (Stadion) opposite Voghera. Behind these were the 2nd (Liechtenstein); and the 3rd (Schwartzenburg) at San Giorgio and Garlasco, where Gyulai had his head-quarters. On the left, the 9th corps (Schaffgotsche) occupied the right bank of the Po, in front of the fortress of Piacenza, and observed the long defile between the mountains and the river, in which Montebello had been fought, and through which the French would have to advance if they attempted to turn the Austrian left. the Emperor thus had in his front six Austrian corps, amounting in all to an effcctive force of 120,000 men, with 480 guns; but they were far less closely concentrated than the allied army, as their line from the Sesia to Piacenza extended over upwards of sixty miles. Their communications with their base in the Quadrilateral lay along the roads running through Milan, Lodi and Crema. the first of these roads might be at any moment rendered unavailable by an insurrection like that of 1848.

The position of the Austrians was undoubtedly a strong one; and had they been commanded by a determined soldier like Radetzski, instead of the weak, vacillating Gyulai, the hills of Solferino would never have seen the tricolours of France and Sardinia. If Napoleon moved against their left at Piacenza, the Austrian 9th corps would have barred his advance through the narrow defile, just as Forey stopped the corps of Stadion at Montebello, and meanwhile Gyulai’s main army would have poured across the Po by the fortified bridges below Pavia, cut him off from his communications with Genoa and Turin, and fallen upon his rear. If he attacked on the centre he would have to cross a broad river in the face of the enemy; but in this case, while victory would secure liirn the possession of Milan, defeat would not involve the loss of his communications and the destruction of his army. As it was, he chose the third course.

Fearing failure in an attempt against the Austrian centre, he resolved to move his army rapidly by the bridge of Casale across the Po to the right bank of the Sesia, and then, crossing that river at Vercelli, move round the Austrian right by Novara, in the hope of reaching Milan without a battle.

This movement, though in the actual event it was successful, really, as we shall see, risked everything upon a single cast of the die. At the same time it must be acknowledged that, once it was decided upon, the Emperor executed his plan with all the skill of a practised general, though it was the first time that he attempted to reduce the theories studied at Thun and Arenenberg to practice in the field.

On the 20th, Cialdini’s Piedmontese division occupied Vercelli, and on the two following days there was some skirmishing of little importance between the Austrian and Piedmontese outposts along the Sesia. It was not yet, however, that the flank movement of the French army began. Meanwhile, in order to confirm Gyulai in his expectation of an attack upon his left, a feint was made against Piacenza. On the 28th, the trains on the Tortona-Casale railway began to convey Canrobert’s corps to Casale, while all the other corps marched along the roads, except the ist, which remained on the right at Voghera to mask the movement until next day, when it followed the rest of the army, breaking up the roads, and destroying the bridges behind it as it retired, to delay a possible advance of the Austrians from the left, which, however, never took place. Gyulai still knew nothing of his antagonisti movements, and remained on the defensive.

In order to cover the movement from Casale to Vercelli and the passage of the Sesia, it was resolved to throw forward the Piedmontese against the Austrian right, so as to occupy both banks of the river, and drive back the enemy’s outposts.

This movement would not necessarily undeceive Gyulai, as he knew the Piedmontese formed the allied left, and their advance might only be a diversion intended to distract his attention from the more important attack he expected elsewhere.

This advance of the Piedmontese led to the two days’ fighting known as the battle of Palestro. It was the only engagement in the war in which the Italians had the chief share of the fighting, and at the time much was made of their success. Let us see what it was really worth.

On May 29th, the divisions of Fanti, Durando, Castelborgo and Cialdini, in all upwards of 40,000 men with 60 guns, were concentrated at Vercelli. Nine miles to the eastward, at Robbio, were the head-quarters of Lillia's division of the 7th Austrian corps, and his outposts occupied Palestro, four miles distant on the Vercelli road, and the village of Vinzaglio, in the fields to the north of it. Each village was held by an Austrian battalion and two guns—about 2000 men in all. the reliefs coming up after the action began doubled the force of the defenders; but still, without counting the Piedmontese reserves, the battle was five to one.

At 3 p.m. on the 3Oth, Cialdini attacked Palestro, and Durando advanced against Vinzaglio, while the corps of Fanti and Castelborgo attempted, by a flank march, to cut off the Austrian retreat. the Austrians made a desperate resistance in the villages. the fighting was not over till half-past six. Of course the Italians, thanks to their overwhelming numbers, carried both places.

The Austrians made good their retreat to Robbio, saving two guns. Their loss was about 300 men; that of the Italians was probably heavier. (4) Such was the first battle of Palestro. All the glory of the day certainly remained with the Austrians.

During the action Canrobert had moved his corps up to the right bank of the Sesia, opposite Palestro, and began to make a bridge over the river, it being intended that he should cross and support Victor Emmanuel in an attempt upon Robbio.

Next morning, however, it was found that the Austrians had assumed the offensive. Zobel had rashly decided on attempting to recover the ground lost on the preceding day, though the force at his disposal for the attack on the Piedmontese army only consisted of two brigades of his own corps, the 7th, and two brigades of the 2nd corps, which Lichtenstein had sent up to his assistance by a forced march of fifteen miles. Altogether he had not more than 19,000 men and 32 guns, or about half the force opposed to him.

At io a.m., Weigl’s brigade (4000 men and 8 guns) attacked Confienza, on the Piedmontese right, which was held by Fanti with 10,000 men and 18 guns. After a sharp fight the assailants were beaten off, Weigl, who himself was wounded in the arm, effecting his retreat to Robbio with but little loss. Meanwhile Zobel had directed his main attack against Palestro, where Dondorf’s brigade was to attack Cialdini in front, while Szabo’s crossed a bridge over a canal to attack his right. the 4th Austrian brigade (Kudleka) was held in reserve. Here again superior numbers were on the Italian side, two Austrian brigades, or about 9000 men and 16 guns, being opposed to Cialdini’s division of 10,000 men and 12 guns, effectually supported by the French.

Dondorf, driving in Cialdini’s first line, pushed dose up to Palestra, while the leading battalion of Szabo’s brigade and his eight guns crossed the canal on the right. Canrobert was watching this movement from the other bank of the Sesia, and his guns opened fire upon the Austrians with such effect that Szabo was unable to bring up the rest of his troops to the bridge.

Seeing that the advanced battalion was thus isolated, the 3rd Zouaves, plunging into a narrow branch of the Sesia, forded it, and finding their ammunition was spoilt by the water, attacked the Austrians with the bayonet.

Victor Emmanuel, in person, brought up two Piedmontese regiments to the aid of the Zouaves, and the Austrians, unable to hold their ground or regain the bridge, were driven into the canal, losing 500 men. the eight guns were left stuck in the muddy bank, and were carried off next day by the Zouaves.

By the repulse of Szabo, Dondorf found himself left alone in front of Cialdini’s corps, and soon had to relinquish his attack on Palestro. Kudleka attempted to advance against the village, but his progress was stopped by a stream too deep to be forded, and he had to retire without effecting anything. About half-past two the Austrians ceased firing and drew off to Robbio.

Thus the great victory of Palestra resolves itself into an action in which Zobel rashly attacked Victor Emmanuel with a force equal to less than half the Piedmontese army, and of this force he was only able to bring into action the brigades of Dondorf and Weigl and one battalion of Szabo’s, in all at most 10,000 men, equal to a single Piedmontese division.

It must be remembered, too, that the operation which decided the day—thè repulse of Szabo’s brigade—was the work of Canrobert’s artillery and the bayonets of the 3rd Zouaves, supported by two Italian regiments, who never crossed bayonets with the Austrians. the Austrian official report states their loss at the battle of Palestra, including those drowned in the canal, at 528 killed, 902 wounded, and 780 missing—in all 2210 men. Of the Italian loss there is no official record. the Zouaves in their charge lost 46 killed, 229 wounded, and 20 missing, supposed to have rolled into the canal.

The Piedmontese were now established on the left bank of the Sesia. the French army was concentrated round Vercelli ready to cross the river, and the great flank march on Milan was really begun, the troops passing the Sesia corps after corps, and moving along the road by Novara towards San Martino, where they were to cross the Ticino and advance on Milan.

On the 31st, the Austrians for the first time became aware of the Emperor’s intentions. That night Zobel’s outposts heard through the still air the continual working of engines and rumbling of trains along the line from Casale to Vercelli; it was evident that a great concentration of troops was taking place along the Sesia.

Next morning his cavalry, thrown out towards the Novara road, reported that masses of French troops were crossing at Vercelli and moving along it. Zobel had shown at Palestra that he was only too anxious to fight, and he sent the information he had collected to Gyulai at Mortara, together with a request that he might be authorized to concentrate the three corps on the Austrian right, and attempt to check the French advance.

Gyulai, however, gave no orders to that efiect; on the contrary, he pursued the same slow, hesitating course of action which had distinguished him since the campaign began. Not only he, but every officer in his army, must have known the advantages of the position in which he stood, for it was almost the same as that of Radetzski after he passed the Ticino in 1849.

There were the Austrian corps holding the positions about Mortara, on which Radetzski had directed his march against Charles Albert. There were the French moving slowly along the Novara road, their line of communications exposed as it lay from the extreme right by Vercelli to Turin. It is true that to a certain extent this line was covered by the Piedmontese army and Canrobert’s corps at Robbio; but this was only introducing another element of weakness into the position of the allies, for it was dividing their forces.

Thus it was not until the evening of the 3rd, that the allies were concentrated at Novara with their advanced corps upon the Ticino. Up to that time the Piedmontese and Canrobert’s corps about Robbio were divided by a full day’s march from the main body of the French army about Novara.

If then Gyulai, on receiving Zobel’s message on the morning of the ist, had assumed a vigorous offensive, he might have concentrated the five corps at his disposal (2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 8th), and leaving the third corps on his right to observe the French, he, at latest on the morning of June 3rd, at the head of 90,000 men could have fallen like a thunderbolt upon Canrobert and the Piedmontese, and driven them back upon Vercelli.

Then, the occupation of the Vercelli Novara road would have made him master of the French communications. the French Emperor would have found himself in a worse position than Charles Albert in 1849, shut in between the Austrians on the one hand and the neutral ground of Switzerland on the other, and a second Novara might have anticipated the disaster of Sedan.

But Gyulai let the opportunity slip. His great object now was to reach the Ticino before the French. He ordered a concentration on Vigevano, and the hostile armies might be seen moving by parallel roads to cross the same river, the French at San Martino and Turbigo, the Austrians at Vigevano and lower down at Bereguardo; while in front of the French at Magenta the first Austrian corps of Clam Gallas had been hurried up to dispute the passage, not of the river, but of the wide canal which lay beyond it. Even yet, however, the position of affairs offered repeated advantages to the Austrians. On the 4th, the 2nd corps had crossed the Ticino at Turbigo, and driven the Austrian detachment out of that town. the Piedmontese were following them; the Imperial Guard was at San Martino, while the three remaining corps, the 1st, 3rd, and 4th, were isolated from the rest at Novara. Had Gyulai chosen to operate on the right bank of the Ticino, it would have been quite possible for him to attack them with all his fi ve corps, and the defeat would have cut off the Imperial Guard and the troops that had crossed at Turbigo. In other words the allied army would have been utterly ruined.

The plan Gyulai had adopted was to make a rapid march to Magenta, and, joining Clam Gallas there, fight a battle for the possession of Lombardy. On the 3rd, MacMahon had established himself on the left bank of the Ticino after a short engagement with the Austrians. On the same day their outposts abandoned the bridge of San Martino after failing to blow it up, and the Imperial Guard took possession of it. Meanwhile Gyulai had erossed lower down. But on this day an event occurred, which has never yet been properly explained, and which had the effect of deranging his plans.

Gyulai was at the bridge of Bereguardo, when Count Hess, an envoy of the Emperor Francis Joseph, arrived at his head-quarters and had an interview with him. Hess had been the right-hand man of Radetzski: he therefore possessed enormous influence in the Austrian army, which he now exerted to alter Gyulai’s plans.

He brought orders drawn up at Vienna, which he imposed upon Gyulal. the incident had the worst possible effect upon the course of action already adopted; for Gyulai stopped the march of three of his corps, which otherwise would have been in line at Magenta in time for the battle next day.

O-CLERY-mappa-TICINO


The village of Magenta stands at a distance of two and a half miles from the left bank of the Ticino at the bridge of San Martino.

Between the village and the bridge, about a mile distant from the latter, there is an embankment fifty feet high and about two hundred yards wide, with steep bushy sides.

Behind it runs a rapid canalized stream, known as the Naviglio Grande. At the time, the ground between the embankment and the river consisted of low-lying fields of rice and corn, intersected by ditches and rows of willows, and in many places flooded knee-deep.

From the bridge of San Martino two roads and a railway-line diverge, and, entering the embankment by narrow cuttings, cross the canal, and traversing the level plain beyond, reunite at the large village of Magenta. Taking them from north to south, the first road crosses the canal at Buffalora. Half a mile lower down, the second bridge crosses at the hamlet of Ponte Nuovo.

Three hundred yards farther on is the railway-bridge; and a little beyond that a country road crosses the canal at the bridge and hamlet of Ponte Vecchio.

Still further down, but outside the limits of the battle-field, there are two bridges at the village of Robecco. Northward of the road from Buffalora to Magenta, is a fiat country traversed by numerous roads, with scattered villages. It was across this tract that MacMahon, with the 2nd corps, was advancing from Turbigo.

On the morning of the 4th, the 1st Austrian corps of Clam Gallas formed a weak line of battle, beginning a little to the north of Magenta at the village of Marcallo, running thence to Buffalora, and then turning southward along the line of the embankment and canal, of which it guarded the bridges.

This line thus formed an acute angle with its apex at Buffalora, one side of the angle facing the line of MacMahon’s advance, the other looking towards the French advanced guard at San Martino. Within the angle were his reserves; and Gyulai’s army, with the 2nd and 7th corps in front, was hurrying up along the roads on both sides of the canal to support him. Such was the position which the French had to force on that eventful Saturday, June 4th, 1859.

At eight in the morning, Wimpfenn’s grenadier division of the Imperial Guard left Trecate. At half-past nine they had passed the bridge of San Martino, and their skirmishers were engaging the Austrian outposts under the willows in the swampy fields. An hour after, D’Angely, the commander of the Guard, came up and stopped this useless fighting.

About eleven a carriage drove over the bridge, surrounded by an escort and a brilliant staff. the Emperor alighted from it, mounted his horse, and rode to a point on the Ponte Nuovo road, where he remained during the battle.

The Zouaves and grenadiers of the Guard stood massed in column along the two roads and the railway line. In front, among the bushes of the embankment, might be seen here and there the white coats and shining riflebarrels of the Austrians awaiting the attack. But no one moved.

Now and then the Emperor and his officers looked out towards Buffalora. the plain beyond was hidden by the canal banks, but they hoped to see the white clouds rising from it, and to hear the sound of a cannonade, indicating that MacMahon had begun his attack in that direction, when the Guard would be sent forward against the bridges of the canal. But the air was clear, and no sound that could be taken for the noise of distant battle broke the hot stillness of the summer morning.

Hours passed in this inaction. the leading divisions of two fresh corps had joined the Austrians. the Piedmontese army, dispatched early in the morning to assist MacMahon, was crossing the Ticino high up at Turbigo. the Emperor was becoming anxious. It is certain that he did not know on which side of the river the main body of the Austrians lay.

He feared an attack on his rearward corps along the Novara road, and he saw the day slowly passing without any sign of MacMahon’s advance.

It was two o’clock. the sharp rattle of a hot skirmishing fire was heard beyond Buffalora. MacMahon had been engaged with the Austrian outposts two hours before, and he was now driving them in upon the village. His artillery had not yet come into action, and up to that moment the fire of his skirmishers had been too distant to be heard bythe Emperor and his staff.

Even yet MacMahon was not seriously engaged; only his Turcos, following the retiring Austrians and carried away by their enthusiasm, had made a desperate attempt to storm the village of Buffalora single-handed. the Emperor, hearing their fusilade, gave orders to the Guard to attack the bridges.

As they advanced, the heavy reports of the guns of the 2nd corps were heard for the first time, and the smoke began to rise from the high ground beyond Buffalora. Running or wading across the muddy fields, scrambling through the ditches, the Guards rushed forward, and hurled themselves against the huge embankment under a hail of bullets and grapeshot. At first the attack failed. the steep slope of the bank was strewn with dead and wounded, and the Austrians held their own on every point; while, to add to the anxiety of the moment, Canrobert’s corps, which was expected from Trecate, had not yet appeared at San Martino, having been delayed for three hours on the Novara road encumbered as it was with the baggage of the army.

But now the tide of fortune turned. the leading battalions of Canrobert’s corps came in sight, and a partial success crowned the heroic efforts against the bridges.

At Buffalora the grenadiers drove the Austrians out of the houses on the western side of the canal, and pressed on after them to the bridge in the centre of the village. There the pursuit was checked by a discharge of grape and musketry from the houses and streets on the opposite bank.

Covered by the fire, the fugitives rushed over the little bridge, and the next moment a mine in one of the arches exploded, lcaving a wide gap in the roadway. Nothing daunted, the grenadiers brought up some planks to the bridge, and, under the Austrian fire, tried to lay them across the gap; and it was not until two of their officers and several men had been killed, that they gave up the attempt.

In the centre the grenadiers cleared the railway-line of Austrians, and carried the railway bridge, while General Clery led the Zouaves of the Guard against the bridge of Ponte Nuovo, and they stormed it and the houses beyond, losing their gallant leader, who was shot down in the midst of the fight.

Emboldened by his success, General D’Angely, with the Zouaves, grenadiers, and chasseurs of the Guard, and two guns, attempted to drive the Austrians from the vineyards beyond the canal; but these vineyards were lined with riflemen supported by strong reserves, and the French were beaten off with fearful loss, one of their guns falling into the hands of the Austrians, while the position they had won on the canal was endangered by the masses which Gyulai directed to his left.

About the same time MacMahon’s cannonade ceased, and it seemed to the Emperor, who could have no direct communication with him, that he had been defeated. the truth was that he had suspended his attack to wait for one of his divisions, which had failed to join him yet, though it was nearly four o’clock.

Moreover, the Piedmontese, who were to support him, were not even near the field. the general impression in the French army at the time was that Victor Emmanuel felt slighted at being sent to support the attack of a French general, thinking this an unworthy because a subordinate position. However this may be, the French attack had ceased on the Austrian right, and had been repulsed on the left; and Gyulai telegraphed to Vienna that the battle was won.

The Emperor’s position was indeed a serious one. For all he knew, MacMahon was defeated. the Guards had only won two of the bridges, and had just suffered a severe repulse beyond them; while on his flank, between the canal and the river, masses of the enemy were seen moving up from Robecco.

He sent aide-de-camp after aide-de-camp to hurry up the 4th corps of Niel from Trecate, and the 3rd from San Martino, while he reinforced the Guard with a single battalion of grenadiers, which he had at his disposal. For three quarters of an hour the Guards repulsed every attack of the Austrian army.

Then a division of the 3rd corps came into action, and was partly directed against the Austrians coming up between the canal and the river (they had now got as far as Ponte Vecchio); while a few battalions were sent to aid the Guard in the desperate defence of the bridges they had won.

At the same time the division of Espinasse joined MacMahon, and he renewed his attack. In the Austrian centre he assailed Buffalora. As the two bridges lower down were in the hands of the French, the garrison was in danger of being cut off at any moment; they therefore evacuated the village, while, on MacMahon’s left, Espinasse drove the Austrians out of the village of Marcallo.

It was now past six o’clock. the battle had raged for more than four hours. Gyulai’s troops held the large village of Magenta, where the church, the cemetery, the railway station, and every house and Street were crowded with soldiers.

From Magenta his line extended to Ponte Vecchio on the left, and Corbetta on the right. the Piedmontese were coming up by Marcallo, too late to render any further assistance than sending a few guns and a single regiment of bersaglieri into action. In front of Magenta crowded the dark columns of MacMahon’s corps, advancing brigade after brigade to the attack.

On the railway thirty-nine guns were massed, and opened upon the line linking the Austrian centre and left. A storm had been gathering over the battle-field, and it now burst forth in all its fury. the lightning flashed across the sky, while the roar of the thunder seemed to answer the cannonade below, and the rain descended in torrents.

On the embankment of the canal at Ponte Vecchio and among the houses of the little village, the 3rd and 4th corps were engaged in a dose hand-to-hand struggle with the 3rd Austrian corps of Schwartzenburg. the fight surged backwards-and forwards.

Now the Austrians drove back the French; now they lost the village and blew up the bridge; again they regained the lost ground, only to lose it again. But it was at Magenta that the fight raged the hottest. There, in the narrow streets, in the gardens and enclosures, among the white-washed, red-roofed houses, under the loop-holed walls of the cemetery, Austrian and Frenchman, jàger and Zouave, fought bayonet to bayonet; while from roofs and Windows a sharp fire poured down upon the combatants below.

A volume might be written on the storming of Magenta, so many were the tales told at the time of the desperate courage displayed upon either side. From seven till eight the fight continued on the French right at Ponte Vecchio, and on the left in the hotly disputed village of Magenta.

Slowly the red sunset deepened into twilight, and under its shade the Austrians drew off to the positions which they were to occupy for the night. Stili, as the darkness gathered, the crash of rifles rang out from the houses of Magenta, as here and there a handful of Austrians fought to the death in defence of some post of vantage. It was late when the last shot was fired and silence fell.

Along the fields, from Robecco to beyond Corbetta, blazed the watch-fires of the Austrian bivouacs. Those of the French illumined with their flickering light the ground they had won from Magenta along the railway to San Martino, where the Emperor spent the night. A crescent moon looked down from a clear sky.

Here and there along the field flashed the lanterns of the fatigue-parties, who were already collecting the wounded; for, heaped in the villages and scattered over the fields, ten thousand Austrians and Frenchmen lay wounded, dying or dead.


vai su


CHAPTER V

MALEGNANO AND SOLFERINO

The morning of Sunday, June 5th, broke clear and fine. the Emperor had spent an anxious night. At the end of the battle he had found his army in almost inextricable confusion, the fighting in the villages and in the dose country having mingled together whole battalions and regiments. His best troops, those of the Imperial Guard and MacMahon’s tried African battalions, had suffered heavily. the Austrian right, the corps of Clam Gallas, had been crushed, it is true, but the rest of their army was intact, and still held the ground about Robecco and one of the bridges of the canal, so that it could act by either bank. He had every reason to believe that the battle of the day before would be renewed. Morning had hardly dawned, when some troops on the extreme left of the Austrians attacked Trochu’s division near Ponte Vecchio, nor did they desist until they had inflicted on him a loss of over two hundred men. Gyulai had, indeed, intended to renew the engagement; but, finding that his 1st and 2nd corps were already in full retreat and far from the field, he reluctantly gave orders for a general retreat of the whole army.

Before further following the fortunes of the war, I must note some of the minor incidente, which preceded the battle of Magenta, and had no influence on that part of the campaign, though they were contemporary with it. Garibaldi had been the first of the Allied generals to enter Lombardy. With between three and four thousand volunteers, he had crossed the Ticino near the Lago Maggiore, on the night of the 23rd to the 24th of May. He occupied Varese, between the lakes Maggiore and Como, and on the 20th defeated a weak Austrian detachment at Sesto Calende. Next day his main body at Varese was attacked by the Austrian division of General Urban; but Garibaldi had barricaded the town, and held it successfully. On the following day he captured S. Fermo, and the same evening entered Como. But Urban was now advancing again in two columns, having been largely reinforced. His object was to drive Garibaldi into the country between the two lakes, and force him to surrender or retire into Switzerland. On the night from the 30th to the 31st of May, Garibaldi attempted a coup de maitt at the Fort of Lavino, on the Lago Maggiore, held by four hundred Austrians. He was repulsed with great loss, and in the morning determined to retire to Varese, but he learned that it was occupied by one of Urban’s columns, while the other was at Sesto Calende. Retreat and advance were alike cut off, he was caught in a trap, and his career as a Sardinian general would have closed on the 2nd of June, had not Urban received from Gyulai orders to join the main army immediately, as the Allies were advancing in force. Freed from the pressing perii, Garibaldi successfully resumed his guerilla warfare in the skirts of the Alpine country. Throughout the rest of the campaign he was continually on the left and a little in advance of the Allies, and thus secured them from any chance of surprise on that flank. On the 1st of June the French began their operations in the Adriatic, and a strong fleet blockaded Venice. We now return to Gyulai’s army.

So well had the Italian committees done their work, that at the first news of the battle of Magenta the population of Milan showed unmistakable signs of insurrection. the garrison hastily evacuated the citadel, and joined in the general retreat. Pavia, too, was abandoned, the fortifications being rapidly dismantled and the guns removed. But the Austrians retreated slowly; the French pursuit was still slower. It was not till the 7th that MacMahon’s corps was in Milan. the people had established a provisional government and a national guard; perfect order prevailed in the city; and when the Allied army made their entry into the capital of Lombardy, they were received with the wildest enthusiasm.

But by this time the Austrians had regained heart and spirit. Something of Gyulai’s determination to renew the struggle at the first opportunity had communicated itself to his men; and, with the aid of Colonel Kuhn, he elaborated a plan for turning suddenly upon his pursuers. the Emperor Francis Joseph had arrived at Verona, to take the supreme command of his armies in Italy. From his head-quarters he had telegraphed to Gyulai, telling him that he might retire behind the Adda, but that if he saw an opportunity of immediately retrieving affairs, he should not neglect it. This allowed him complete liberty of action. the French were advancing from Milan, partly to the eastward, partly to the southward, in a very loose array. His cavalry kept him perfectly informed of their movements, and he determined, on the 8th, to concentrate his corps towards Malegnano on the Milan-Lodi road, and break in upon the French columns before the Emperor Napoleon could get them sufficiently in hand to fight a pitched battle with all his corps upon the field. Unluckily for Austria, Hess, who had destroyed Gyulai’s combinations before Magenta, had returned to his head-quarters. the plan was shown to him, and he at once condemned it, and Gyulai and Kuhn had not sufficient determination to act against his judgment. the scheme was abandoned, and its abandonment gave a fresh victory to the French.

On the 7th of June, Napoleon had determined on the capture of Malegnano, for so long as it was in the hands of the Austrians, he feared a retour offensif on their part against Milan. He directed against it the 1st, 2nd and 4th corps, combined under the command of Marshal Baraguay d’Hilliers. It was held by a weak rearguard, composed of two brigades of Benedek’s corps. These had to oppose seven French divisions. But for the intervention of Hess, there would have been a strong force already concentrating about Malegnano by the afternoon of the 8th, and the French would have received a much warmer reception. Benedek had been in Malegnano in the morning, expecting that there would be some fighting that day. At three o’clock, as there were no hostile columns in sight, he supposed that no attack would be made later than that hour, and he left the town. Between five and six the first corps appeared in front of Malegnano, the division of General Bazaine being in advance. On the right the heads of two divisions of MacMahon’s corps were in sight, preparing to turn the town and surround it; on the left was the corps of Niel. Notwithstanding the enormous force thus brought to bear against them, the two Austrian brigades made a gallant stand in the barricaded and loopholed streets of Malegnano. the fighting began at six by the attack of Bazaine’s division; it was not till half-past seven that the Austrians, turned on both flanks and in the presence of adversaries more than four times their own numbers, let go their hold of the town, and made good their retreat along the Lodi road. the French had lost upwards of 900 killed and wounded, the Austrians 1400, a very heavy loss considering the small force engaged on their side. the action was a second Palestro. A few battalions had fought gallantly but in vain against an army; 8000 Austrians had struggled against 36,000 French. It was the most hotly contested engagement of the war. Yet, honourable as it was for the troops of Benedek’s division, the action of Malegnano, coming immediately after Magenta, had a disheartening effect on the Austrians. They continued their retreat without being molested by the French, and soon every Austrian soldier was behind the Adda.

Beyond the river the retreat of the columns went on slowly and steadily. On the 15th, Gyulai held the line of the Chiese. the French advanced guard, composed of one of MacMahon’s divisions, was crossing the Oglio; the Piedmontese were dose at hand upon the Mella, and had occupied Brescia. On the previous day they had been almost in contact with one of the Austrian corps; and had Gyulai kept his divisions closer together, he might have' attacked and crushed them before the French could have come within sound of their cannon. It is surprising that, even on the 15th, he did not do something to disturb the Piedmontese in their possession of Brescia. Probably he was afraid of wasting time, and was anxious to see his army in the position which he had already decided to hold against the French. This was in the main the same as that which was actually held by the two armies of the Emperor Francis Joseph in the great battle of the 24th. On the 16th, Gyulai had crossed the Chiese, and collected his army in the district in which Solferino was fought.

That district lies between the Chiese and the Mincio. the latter river issues from the Lake of Garda, and passes through hilly country, before it flows into the plain in which Mantua stands. Where the Mincio leaves the lake, the fortress of Peschiera marks the north-western angle of the Quadrilateral. Half-way between Peschiera and Mantua, the Mincio is crossed by the bridge of Goito, the scene of some hard fighting between the Piedmontese and the Austrians in 1848. If we tum to any good map, we see that the Chiese on the west, and the Mincio on the east, with the southern shore of Garda on the north, and a line drawn from Goito to the Chiese on the south, will roughly form a square. Again, a line drawn from the western corner of Garda to the town of Castiglione, and thence following the diagonal of the square to the bridge of Goito, will divide the district into the hill country and the plain. the hills are a series of low ranges, which reappear beyond the Mincio and form the elevated plateau on which were fought S. Lucia, Somma Campagna and Custozza, in 1848. But between the Mincio and the Chiese the hills are more broken, and they reach their greatest height on the very edge of the plain at the village of Solferino, the position of which is marked for miles around by the abrupt ascent and the high mount behind it, on which stands a square tower of dark stone known as the Spia d’Italia, the spy of Italy, on account of the extensive view which it commands, over the Quadrilateral on the one hand and the plain of Lombardy on the other, while southward can be seen Mantua and the Apennines, northward the bright expanse of the Lake of Garda, and the Alpine range. To the westward of Solferino, between it and the Chiese, lies the plain of Montechiaro; to the southward the wide, level, well-cultivated Campo di Medole.

Gyulai, on the l6th, held with three corps the edge of the hills from Lonato on the Lake of Garda to Castiglione in advance of Solferino. the rest of his army was in the plain of Medole, and extended away towards the bridge of Goito, by which he kept up communication with Mantua, where the Emperor Francis Joseph was assembling another army. the Austrians had about 150,000 men upon both banks of the Mincio; the effective force of the allies was about the same, without counting Prince Napoleon’s corps, which was moving northward from the duchies. But Gyulai was not destined to fight another battle. He had been unfortunate, though not unskilful. He was removed from his command, and the Austrian army was reorganized. the Emperor Francis Joseph held the supreme command over two armies, the 2nd commanded by Count Schlik, who had been the first to point out the value of the position on the hills of the Mincio, and the 1st under Count Wimpfenn. the corps and their commanders were:—

1ST ARMY, COUNT WIMPFENN

3rd

corps,

Prince Van Schwarzenberg

20,385

men

72

guns

9th

Schaffgotsche

21,560

72

nth

Van Veigl

21,290

48

Reserve

3,200

104

2ND ARMY, COUNT SCHLIK

1 st, corps Clam Gallas 18,200 men 64 guns
5th Stadion 22,540 72
7 th Zobel 17,560 48
8th Benedek 21,300 72

Reserve 7,600
136

In all, Austria could place nearly 150,000 men and 700 guns in line of battle. With these details of the two Austrian armies we may contrast the forces of the allies, as given in the official reports of the war:—

FRENCH ARMY

Imperial Guard, 

Marshal St Jean d’Angely

14,022

men 48 guns

1st

corps

Marshal Baraguay d’Hilliers

21,877

66

2nd

Marshal MacMahon

17,021

48

3rd

Marshal Canrobert

23,013

66

4th

General Niel

21,026

60

The 5th corps, 20,000 strong, was on its march northward from the duchies. There was a reserve artillery of ninety guns.

The Piedmontese army, commanded nominally by King Victor Emmanuel, but actually by Della Marmora, consisted of the five divisions of Durando, Fanti, Mollard, Cialdini and Cucchiari (each about 10,000 strong); 2000 cavalry under General Sambry, and 3000 Cacciatori commanded by Garibaldi,—in all about 55,000 men with 90 guns.

The opposing forces were therefore nearly equal in numbers. the Piedmontese were, however, very inferior in fighting power to the Austrians; but, on the other hand, the Imperial Guard and MacMahon’s African battalions were, battalion for battalion, superior to most of the Austrian regiments. Finally, a marked superiority was given to the allies by the mere fact that they had won four successive battles, one of them of the first rank, while the only successes of Austria had been gained in unimportant skirmishes with the Garibaldian volunteers.

Up to the 19th of June, the 2nd Austrian army lay in the position occupied by Gyulai on the 16th. A portion of the 1st army was in the plain of Medole; but the main body, with the Emperor and Wimpfenn, lay to the north of Mantua behind the Mincio. It was, however, ready to reinforce Schlik and the 2nd army as soon as the French passed the Chiese. On the 20th, the vanguard of the allies was upon the river; but by that day a change had come over the counsels of Austria. Hess had been her evil genius throughout the campaign. He now objected to the position on the hills, as being a perilous one in case of defeat, because the Mincio lay behind it—a worthless objection as the defeat of the 24th showed, when the Austrians easily retreated across the river. Hess proposed that the hills should be abandoned, and that the army should hold the line of the Mincio. His advice was accepted, and by the evening of the 20th, only a few regiments of the Austrian army were upon the right bank of the river. the rest were massed behind it from Peschiera to Goito. Next day the greater part of the allied armies had crossed the Chiese. Cucchiari’s Sardinians held Lonato, and on the 22nd MacMahon occupied Castiglione.

The whole of the following day was spent by the French in almost complete inaction. They sent some reconnaissance parties into the hills, and along the roads of the plain. A detachment of the 2nd Zouaves occupied Solferino for a couple of hours, but was withdrawn in the evening. From the top of the tower, the famous Spia, masses of dust could be seen whirling up from the dry, scorched roads towards the Mincio, and in the Campo de Medole some of the reconnoitring parties were driven in by Austrian hussars. Evidently the Kaiser s troops were not all behind the river.

On the evening of the 22nd the Austrian staff had again changed its plans. Schlik had succeeded in persuading the Emperor that a serious mistake had been made in withdrawing from Lonato and Castiglione on the 20th, and that the objections of Hess were baseless. On the morning of the 23rd the Austrians had crossed the Mincio again. By nightfall Stadion’s corps was in Solferino, Clam Gallas and his troops of the 1st corps were in Cavriana, a little to the rear of it. Behind them lay, at Volta, Zobel and the 7th corps. Benedek, with the 8th, held the hills towards S. Martino, lying between Solferino and the Lake of Garda. the cavalry of the first army was in Medole; the three corps of Schwarzenberg, Schaffgotsche and Von Veigl, were in the plain. Thus Schlik with the 2nd army held the hills, while the first army under Wimpfenn occupied the Campo di Medole, the level country south of the road from Castiglione to the bridge of Goito.

The French lay along the Chiese; their most advanced troops, those of MacMahon, were at Castiglione. the Piedmontese were on their left about Lonàto. the Emperor had no idea that the Austrians were so near him. the reconnaissance had all ceased early in the afternoon. He believed that only Austrian advanced guards had crossed the Mincio, that their main army lay between Peschiera and Mantua, and that there would be no serious fighting next day. He had given orders for a march through the hill country to the Mincio to some of his corps, namely, those on the left and centre; his right was to move by the level country roads on the edge of the plain. Probably he expected to reach Goito before fighting a battle. the troops were to be in motion early on the morning of the 24th, in order to avoid as far as possible the heat of the day. the first French troops were to begin their march as early as 2 a.m. The Austrians were not to move till nine; and thus their advanced troops at Solferino were at the outset unsupported by the other corps, and the troops in the plain of Medole being far towards the Mincio, only an advanced guard had occupied the town. the plan of the Austrians for the day was to attack the French along the whole line, the centre of their attack being Castiglione. (1) Had they put their troops in motion a few hours earlier, they would have had sufficient force in hand to have repulsed the first attacks of the French, and assumed the offensive. As it was, they were forced to fight a defensive engagement on the lines taken up by their advanced troops on the evening of the 23rd. Thus all the advantage of the initiative was on the side of the French.

The battle of Solferino divides itself into three portions —the fight in the centre where the corps of MacMahon and Baraguay d’Hilliers and the Imperial Guard were directed against Solferino: the fight on the right in the plain of Medole, where Niel and Canrobert faced the corps of Schwarzenberg, Schaffgotschen and Von Veigl: the fight on the allied left, where the 8th Austrian corps under Benedek received the attack of the whole Sardinian army under the hills towards the Lake of Garda. Between two and three in the morning the allied army began its march in four columns. Towards five o’clock, Niel’s advanced guard encountered some Austrian vedettes near the farm of Resica, about a mile in front of Medole. the Austrians galloped away through the twilight, and disappeared. the French passed the farm, and in the open ground beyond they soon discovered a line of Austrian infantry, and heard guns and waggons rolling up from Medole. Niel was, in fact, in contact with the advanced guard of Schwarzenberg’s corps. A little later MacMahon encountered the Austrian outposts on the road from Castiglione to Cavriana, and Baraguay d’Hilliers came in contact with them in front of Solferino. Later still, towards six o’clock, the Piedmontese advanced troops found the Austrians in force along the ridges from San Martino to Madonna del Scoperta. All along the lines the Austrians were roused from their bivouacs, and fell into their ranks without having time to breakfast. the troops to the rear were hurried up to the front. Before Solferino and in the plain, the outposts retired skirmishing with the French. Northwards, towards the lake, the fighting did not begin till a little later in the day.

O-CLERY-mappa-PESCHIERA


Between six and seven, Canrobert’s corps, operating on Niel’s right, drove the Austrians out of Castel Goffredo to the south-west of Medole. At the same time Niel attacked Medole. Here the first serious fighting took place, and the artillery came into action on both sides. the Austrians fought well, but, outnumbered both in men and guns, they gave way about eight o’clock, leaving two cannon in the hands of the French. In the plain beyond Medole the Austrians, who had now brought up the whole of the 9th corps, formed in battle array to dispute the further advance of the French.

Meanwhile the French Emperor had been roused from his bed at Montechiari on the Chiese.

As he got into the saddle, he heard the cannon booming away in front towards Solferino, and to his right towards Medole. At half-past seven he had reached the high ground in front of Castiglione. Thence he could view the whole range of country from the Lake of Garda to the plain. the first glance showed that a more serious battle than Magenta was before him.

From Medole on the extreme right to the broken ground in front of Solferino, the clouds of smoke hung heavily over the various points where the artillery had come into action, and northward the line of fire extended away towards the lake, along the hills where Benedek was repulsing the Piedmontese divisions of Mollard and Cucchiari.

It was evident, too, that the heights of Solferino formed the key of the Austrian position. the village once taken, Benedek would be threatened on his left flank, and the way would be open for the attack on Cavriana.

If that place fell, the battle would be practically over. Meanwhile it was necessary for the French right to hold its ground in the plain. Information had reached Napoleon that morning to the effect that on the previous day Lichtenstein’s corps had marched out of Mantua, to take part in a great turning movement against his right. He therefore sent orders to Canrobert, to keep a watchful eye upon the road to the south of Ceresara, and to expect the appearance of fresh Austrian columns in that direction.

He then galloped to MacMahon’s corps, and, after a brief conference with the Marshal, rode to Baraguay d’Hilliers position on the heights in front of Solferino, sending at the same time orders to Marshal St. Jean d’Angely to bring up the Imperial Guard from Castiglione as rapidly as possible.

While the French Emperor was thus taking his share in directing the opening of the battle on his side, the Emperor Francis Joseph had been roused from his quarters beyond the Mincio; but, unfortunately, he lost his way with his staff in the hills behind Cavriana, and it was some time before he succeeded in rejoining his army.

Meanwhile his generals had each to act according to his own judgment, without being able to communicate with the Imperial head-quarters. Thus at the outset of the battle all the unity of plan and action was upon the side of the French.

After the capture of Medole, Niel’s columns deployed in the plain beyond, and the village of Robecco became the centre of the fight upon the French right. Canrobert, watching for the expected appearance of the heads of Lichtenstein’s columns, was unable to give much support to Niel, who more than once found his corps sorely pressed by the troops of Schaffgotsche and Schwarzenberg.

It was not till between ten and eleven that, after two and a half hours’ fighting, and after being reinforced by some of Canroberfs battalions, he succeeded in establishing himself in Robecco. On his left the Austrians more than once tried to push in between him and MacMahon, and cut him off from the centre. the French cavalry, massed on this part of the field, defeated these attempts by a series of brilliant charges, and thus successfully kept up the connection between the French centre and right. In the centre the troops of the 1st and 2nd corps gradually forced back the Austrians from the ridges in front of Solferino and S. Cassiano. Their progress was slow but steady.

On the left of the allies, and there only, the Austrians were successful. the French official reports are studiously favourable to the Italians; but even the official history of the war allows that, between eight and half-past ten, on the 24th, La Marmora repeatedly threw Durando, Mollard and Cucchiari’s divisions against Benedek’s position, only to see them time after time driven down the slopes by the white-coated soldiers of the 8th Austrian corps.

That corps was at most 20,000 strong. A Piedmontese division is about 10,000 strong. the Austrians were thus outnumbered by the army of the king, which had, moreover, in reserve the divisions of Cialdini and Fanti.

At half-past ten, the Emperor moved forward his headquarters dose to Solferino. He had heard that the Piedmontese had failed to make any impression on the Austrian right, and that Niel found it impossible in the presence of the forces opposed to him to make any progress beyond Robecco. the information he had received in the morning led him to believe that any moment the Austrians might be joined by Lichtenstein’s corps, which would give them a marked superiority in the plain. the Imperial Guard had joined his centre. He therefore resolved to carry Solferino at any cost.

If he failed in this, there was reason to fear that the Austrians might be able to take the offensive, turn his right, and throw him back upon the Chiese. the Austrians had already been dislodged from the ground in front of the village; the way was, therefore, open for the attack. the castle and tower of Solferino, the lofty height of the Spia, and in front of it the village, with a hill crowned with cypresses on the left, and a walled cemetery on another eminence on the right, were all crowded with Austrian troops, and bristled with artillery. the position had, however, the disadvantage of being as difficult to approach by the narrow paths in the rear as by the steep slopes in front.

It was thus by no means easy for the Austrians to support the garrison of Solferino with fresh troops. Those that held it at the beginning of the action had to hold it unsupported to the end. It was an excellent position for the advanced guard on the previous day, but its advantages as the centre of a long line of defence were very doubtful. the French artillery showered its shells upon the village, the cemetery, the cypress-hill. the fire of the Austrian guns slackened, and then up the slopes and into the village pressed strong columns of the 1st corps and the Imperial Guard. the Austrians fought desperately, but they were gradually forced to give way before the weight and impetuosity of the French attack. the Guard stormed the cypress-hill; De l’Admirault took the cemetery; the village, and the church, and the height of the Spia were then easily forced. About one o’clock the whole position was carried.

Eight Austrian guns and several hundred prisoners remained in the hands of the French, who, however, had bought their success at great cost, for the Austrian fire had told severely upon their densely massed columns of attack.

While the centre was thus successful, Niel upon the right pushed back the Austrians towards Guidizzolo; but as the nth corps of Von Veigl came into action, the battle on the plain was still undecided. Among the hills the position of the Piedmontese army, says the French official report, was very critical. Benedek, on his left, drove back Durando and Cucchiari from the hills in front of Madonna del Scoperta; and the Piedmontese were only saved from absolute rout by the guns of the 1st French corps opening upon the flank of the advancing Austrians, and checking their attack. On the extreme left of the allies, Mollard’s Piedmontese, having completely failed in the attack on San Martino, were in full retreat towards the lake. the king despatched Cialdini’s division to the assistance of Durando, and ordered Fanti to support Mollard, thus throwing 20,000 fresh troops against the Austrians, and stopping the retreat of the three beaten divisions.

For the whole afternoon Benedek remained master of his ground. Cucchiari had left the field. Mollard, reinforced by Fanti, was almost inactive on the railway near the lake. Cialdini and Durando failed to make any impression on Madonna del Scoperta. Stadion’s corps, having retired from Solferino, covered Benedek’s left, and secured him from the attack of the 1st French corps. Between

Solferino and Cavriana the Imperial Guard gradually drove the Austrians from the heights behind San Cassiano. In the plain Niel’s corps attacked Guidizzolo, but was repulsed with great slaughter. the Emperor Francis Joseph now made a last attempt to tum the fortune of the day. Though defeated at Solferino he still held Cavriana, and Benedek was victorious on the right.

A success in the plain on the left might yet decide the day in his favour. the 9th and nth corps were therefore ordered to attack Niel and Canrobert. the village of Robecco became again the centre of the fight. the Austrians pressed gallantly forward, and drove back repeated charges of the French cavalry; and there were times when it seemed that they would carry Robecco. But the French displayed a wonderful firmness in resisting the attack.

Four French colonels fell at the head of their regiments. Still Niel held his ground, and by four o’clock the fury of the Austrian attack was dying away, and the French right was safe. Almost at the same time the battle was decided in the centre, the Imperial Guard and MacMahon’s corps successfully attacking Cavriana, and completely breaking the Austrian line. the morning had been hot and sultry. All the afternoon dark masses of clouds had been gathering over the Mincio valley and the plain of Medole. As the French fought their way into Cavriana a fearful tempest burst over the field. First came blasts of wind and blinding clouds of dust, then a deluge of rain descended, and the hurricane was accompanied by vivid lightning and loud peals of thunder. For a brief interval the storm and darkness almost put an end to the fighting.

Then as it cleared away, the Austrians, covered by their splendid cavalry, were seen retiring in long columns by all the roads which led from the hills, and then from the plain to the fords and bridges of the Mincio. On the fall of Cavriana, Francis Joseph had given orders for a general retreat. Benedek was reluctantly forced to follow the movement of the rest of the army.

As he retired the Piedmontese pressed upon him, firing on his rear guards, and pushing into Madonna del Scoperta and San Martino, as the Austrians abandoned the villages that they had held successfully since early morning. the Piedmontese flattered themselves that they had thus their share in the victory, but for them Solferino was only a defeat. As General Hamley says, “They had had the misfortune to engage Benedek, the most skilful and resolute of the Austrian leaders, who, meeting their too diffuse attacks in compact order, had pushed them back constantly towards the lake. He received with tears of vexation the orders of his imperial chief to abandon the ground he had won and join the general retreat.”

I need only add that Benedek’s 20,000 Austrians had been opposed to at least 40,000 Piedmontese, and that he took 1000 prisoners, and inflicted on the royal army a loss of 4000 killed and wounded. the total loss of the allies was 2300 killed, 12,000 wounded, and 2000 prisoners and missing; of the Austrians, 2300 killed, 10,600 wounded, and about 9000 prisoners.

No attempt was made to interrupt the Austrian retreat. the French had suffered heavily during the battle, the men were weary with fighting and marching, and drenched with rain, and few of them had eaten anything for the last thirteen hours. They bivouacked on the ground they had won, the Emperor establishing his headquarters in Cavriana. the Austrians recrossed the Mincio, and, retiring to the line of the Adige, proceeded to reorganize their defeated army.

The loss of the battle was not the fault of the Austrian soldiers, but of the vacillating plans of the imperial staff. Something, too, must be charged to the non-appearance of Lichtenstein’s troops. Leaving Mantua the day before, he had received information of the approach of Prince Napoleon's corps which was coming up from Tuscany. Instead of obeying his orders and pressing on to Ceresara and Medole, he wasted time collecting information about the Prince’s movements, and observing the advance of his tight cavalry. Late on the evening of the 24th he heard of the great battle in which he had failed to take part, and returned to Mantua, where he was at once deprived of his command. His presence on the field might perhaps have changed the fortune of the day.


vai su


CHAPTER VI

THE REVOLUTION IN CENTRAL ITALY

As early as February addresses had been distributed among the people and the army of Tuscany, calling upon the Tuscans to strike for Italian liberty against Austria in the event of Piedmont declaring war. It was generally believed, and with good reason, that these addresses emanated from Turin. As the war became imminent, the agitation in Tuscany increased. Buoncompagni, the Piedmontese Minister at Florence, watched carefully over the growth of the movement. A similar movement was in progress in the Duchy of Modena. On February 12th, 1859, Mr. Walton, the English Consul at Carrara, wrote (1) to Lord Malmesbury, “We are approaching either a war or a revolution. Many respectable people here are in Constant correspondence with a committee resident in Turin, in which M. Farini takes an active part, and from what I can ascertain it is to prepare the people in this district to receive Piedmontese troops, at the same time impressing upon them the necessity of avoiding any political demonstration until the Piedmontese march on the Ticino, as it is then intended to disarm the few troops here, and the Piedmontese will be requested to enter the state under the pretext of keeping order.” the breaking out of the war was the signal for a revolution. On the 25th of April the Duke of Modena withdrew his weak garrison from Massa and Carrara, and concentrated his little army in the capital. Immediately a provisional government was established at Carrara, and a column of Piedmontese troops occupied the district.

Two days after there was a revolution at Florence. “For several weeks,” wrote Mr. Scarlett, the English Minister at the Tuscan court, (2) “the Grand Duke’s government believed that the intrigues of Piedmont, seconded by Signor Buoncompagni, had paved the way to a popular explosion.”…

“Last night (April 20th) the troops, who had long been like the people tampered with and worked upon by Piedmontese agents and Tuscan partisans of the Italian cause, deserted the Grand Duke’s standard, adopted the tricoloured Italian flag, and fraternized entirely with the mob in the streets.” Early next morning a crowd of citizens and soldiers paraded the city, and appeared before the Italian Embassy, where Signor Buoncompagni addressed them, “recommending discipline and order.” They then went to the French Embassy, to pay their homage to France. (3)

Later in the morning the diplomatic corps was summoned to assemble at the Pitti Palace. the Grand Duke announced to them that he would leave Florence and throw himself for protection on the Powers of Europe.

Mr. Scarlett protested against this resolution, and, indeed, had the Duke stayed he would have seriously embarrassed the revolutionary party in Tuscany. But, if we are to believe the popular report in Florence, Buoncompagni had succeeded in working upon his fears and seriously alarming him for his personal safety. That afternoon he left Florence for Verona. A provisional government was appointed. “In other words,” wrote Mr. Scarlett, “this country is now annexed to Piedmont.” the dictatorship of the country during the war was offered to King Victor Emmanuel, and accepted by him, and on the nth of May, Signor Buoncompagni announced by proclamation that to him had been committed the task of representing the King of Piedmont as dictator at Florence.

He was reaping the reward of his skilfully conducted intrigues against the grand-ducal government, (4) and now, with the aid of France, he made Tuscany a base of operations against Parma, Modena, and the Papal States.

Two delegates were sent from Florence to the headquarters of the Emperor at Alessandria to request for the provisional government at Florence the protection of the French arms. In response to this appeal Napoleon promised to send there his cousin, Prince Napoleon, and the 5th corps d'armée.

He had a double object in this. In the first place it tended to promote the revolution in Central Italy, in the second to make his cousin a prominent figure in that part of the drama, in the hope that at the subsequent division of the spoil Tuscany would fall to his share. Prince Napoleon had married an Italian princess. His revolutionary sentiments, and the personal support he had given Cavour, had made his name popular with the Italianists. the idea, therefore, of making him the sovereign of a revived kingdom of Etruria was by no means an impracticable one, and had Napoleon been able to carry out his full programme, and “free Italy from the Alps to the Adriatic,” he would doubtless have been able also to make Florence the capital of a tributary Franco-Italian State, such as his uncle in his time had created.

On the 23rd of May Prince Napoleon landed at Leghorn. His written orders bade him “to do nothing against Bologna or against the Pontifical States, so long as the Austrians did not violate neutrality, and in case of such violation to explain, by a manifesto, the entry of the French troops into Pontifical territory.”

He was to consider as a violation of neutrality the addition of a single man to the garrison of Ancona or Bologna, or the march of any Austrian troops into Venetia or Lombardy from the Romagna. (5) In a word, any modification of the status quo in the Papal States was to be made the pretext for invading them; and without any such invasion, or the least pretext for it, Prince Napoleon took measures, as he himself avowed, to drive the Austrians from Bologna by threatening their position in the Legations.

From his head-quarters at Florence he directed the movements of about 20,000 French troops, the 9000 men who composed the regular Tuscan army of Ulloa, and the volunteers of General Mezzacapo. (6) On the 24th he ordered the troops in the North of Tuscany to threaten the roads and passes by which the Austrians communicated with Modena and Parma. At the same time the Tuscans were directed to make demonstrations at several points against the Papal frontier. (7)

The Austrians had agreed with the Pontifical Government that they would not evacuate Bologna or Ancona without giving two days’ clear notice, in order that there might be time to provide for the preservation of order in those cities. But the position of the Austrians was now becoming very precarious. They had in the first days of the war given just offence to the Pontifical Government, and irritated the people against them, by needlessly proclaiming a state of siege at Ancona. the Pope protested, and the state of siege was raised. They now saw themselves threatened by troops in Tuscany, and by the French fleet in the Adriatic.

One day, in the last week of May, a French frigate steamed up to the mouth of the harbour at Ancona, and fired a shot, and signalled to know if the Austrians had left the place yet. Another day a party of French marines was landed near Rimini to collect supplies, and for some hours the road between the two Austrian garrisons of Bologna and Ancona was thus held by the French. the news of Magenta put an end to the occupation. the Austrians hurriedly withdrew from Ancona, and concentrated all their troops at Bologna; and on the nth of June, (8) their line of retreat being already threatened by the movements directed by Prince Napoleon on the frontier, they abandoned Bologna, (9) without giving the Cardinal Vicar more than a few hours’ notice. On the 9th the Duchess of Parma, menaced by the Piedmontese on the one hand, and the Modenese on the other, had fled to Switzerland. the Duke of Modena left his capital for the Austrian head-quarters.

On the sudden retreat of the Austrians, the Revolutionists of Bologna found the city in their hands. There was not a single soldier within its walls.

They immediately expelled the Cardinal Vicar, tore down the Papal arms, formed a provisional government, enrolled a national guard, and sent for help to Tuscany. Volunteers from Mezzacapo’s corps were soon in Bologna, and Buoncompagni sent 3000 rifles to be used in arming the national guard. Protected by the presence of the French 5th corps in Tuscany, the provisional government at Bologna had nothing to fear from the little Pontifical army, and, moreover, Prince Napoleon and Buoncompagni had found means to provide sufficient occupation for the Papal troops in another quarter.

While one portion of the Tuscan army threatened the Romagna, another had been moved to the Papal frontier which divides Umbria from Tuscany.

Close to that frontier, in the hill country of Lake Thrasymene, stands the old city of Perugia, a place of some importance, surrounded by a strong wall, and from its position capable of being easily defended. There were a few Papal carbineers in the city, and these had hitherto been able to preserve order amongst its 20,000 inhabitants. But it had been decided at Florence that Umbria should be revolutionized, and Perugia was to be the scene of the chief effort of the conspirators against the peace of the Papal States.

In Foligno, and some of the minor towns, the Liberate had attempted a rising on hearing the news of what had been done at Bologna; but they were a mere handful, and, seeing that no one joined them, they submitted to the authorities, not a single shot being fired. But as Perugia lay near the Tuscan frontier, it was easy to introduce into the city a number of volunteers from Tuscany, who united themselves to the Revolutionists of the town, and on the 14th of June hoisted the Piedmontese tricolour, disarmed the carbineers, and formed a provisional government.

This government lasted a week. the time was employed in preparing for resistance to the Papal troops. An envoy was despatched to Florence, to ask Buoncompagni to send to Perugia troops, arms, and a royal commissioner. Buoncompagni did not dare to do it. He could not venture to openly identify himself with the rebellion in Umbria, but he gave it sufficient help through one of his agents. “Settle it all with Cerotti” was his reply to the Perugian envoy. This Cerotti had held a command at Rome, in 1849, and had fought in the defence under Mazzini.

He was now in Tuscany, whence he led 800 armed volunteers to Perugia. Other leaders brought up smaller contingents; and arms, ammunition, and money were supplied from Florence. Prince Napoleon's troops on the frontier put no obstacle in the way of these proceedings, because the French were in Tuscany only to protect and promote them.

The Pontifical troops, destined for the recapture of Perugia, left Rome on the 14th of June. They were commanded by Colonel Schmidt, and did not number more than 2000 men. Of these, 100 Roman carbineers formed the advanced guard. the main body, 1500 strong, consisted of Swiss, Roman volunteers, Pontifical custom-house guards, a few engineers and a section of Roman artillery. the rear guard was formed by 400 Roman troops of the line. Thus the column was as much a native Roman as a Swiss force. On the evening of the 19th it reached Foligno. Here Schmidt heard that the rebels at Perugia, who were already 5000 strong (the majority being volunteers from Tuscany), expected to receive immediately large reinforcements from the revolted Grand Duchy. At once he decided upon attacking the town without further delay, and during the night, by a forced march, he pushed forward his column to Sta. Maria degli Angeli, ten miles from Perugia. He halted there at 2 a.m. on the 20th.

While the troops rested and had their confessions heard by the Franciscan fathers in the monastery, Signor Latanzi, a man who was most popular in the town and had long been connected with it, entered Perugia under a flag of truce.

He came commissioned by the Holy Father to urge the rebels to submit and come to terms without useless bloodshed. But he could not persuade the leaders to accept his advice, for he had to deal, not with a few Perugians, but with a mass of invaders from Tuscany, who had taken possession of the town, and who knew that if they failed to hold it a safe retreat was open to them behind the lines of Prince Napoleon's corps. Therefore no other course remained for Colonel Schmidt but to attack the place as soon as Latanzi rejoined him.

The storming of Perugia has become one of the legends of the Italian Revolution. There is a version of the story which tells how the unfortunate Perugians received no warning of the coming attack, until they found themselves surprised, plundered, and massacred, by a horde of bloodthirsty Swiss mercenaries.

It will not, however, stand examination in the light of authentic contemporary records. the troops who made the attack were at least as much Roman as Swiss; the men who resisted them were to a far greater extent Tuscans than Perugians.

They were not surprised; they had for some days been arming and preparing for a struggle, and then came the warning of Latanzi’s unsuccessful mission. But the fact was that the Tuscans and the refugees who got up the rising were disappointed at their failure, and were not prepared for the energy displayed by the Pontifical government. the rising had not spread beyond Perugia, yet they believed that, with the French behind them in Tuscany, they would not be attacked by the Papal troops. In this they were deceiving themselves, and when the attack came they cried out that they were treacherously surprised.

Colonel Schmidt resolved to make the assault at the Roman gate. It was strongly barricaded, and about eight hundred yards in front of it the Benedictine monastery of S. Pietro was held by the insurgents. Between the monastery and the Papal troops lay the village of S. Giovanni, where the road crossed the river by a stone bridge. the village appeared to be deserted; but, as the troops approached the bridge, a shot was fired from a window, and one of the Roman soldiers of the vanguard fell. The door of the house was forced, and a man found within with a musket in his hand was shot on the spot. the soldiers had orders not to fire till they were attacked.

Crossing the bridge, they deployed in silence upon the open ground beyond. Immediately a volley was fired upon them from the roofand Windows of the monastery. the attack began, the gate of the building was forced, a few rebels killed and wounded and the rest driven out, leaving some prisoners in the hands of the Papal troops. In the monastery Schmidt established an ambulance for the wounded Papalini and the wounded rebels alike.

He then formed his troops into three columns. the first of these, 1000 strong with a 9-pounder and a howitzer, he kept at the monastery for the attack of the Roman gate, which was to be made under his personal command. the other columns, each about 500 strong, were placed under the command of Commandants Pasquier and Jeanneret, who were to strike off to the right and left, and make adiversion by attacking the town on other points.

A few shots were fired at the barricaded gate, a few shells were thrown over it to intimidate the defenders; then, it being supposed that the barricade was sufficiently shaken, the stormers attacked it. the axes of the pioneers, being of bad metal, broke after a few blows.

Two scaling ladders were then placed against the barrier. the troops clambered over it, tore down the tricolour, and drove the rebels into the streets behind. Here they were confronted by a second and more formidable line of defence, for the Tuscan volunteers had erected a strong barricade across the Street, and from behind it, and from the Windows and roofs of the houses and of a large hotel that stood just inside the gate, they fired upon the head of the Papal column.

Among the men on the housetops some women were standing, hurling down tiles and stones. the barricade in front was stormed, the doors of the hotel and of the houses on both sides of the Street were forced, and a well-directed fire of musketry cleared the house-tops. Two of the women were hit by bullets during the fighting and were killed. Stones and heavy furniture had been thrown from the hotel Windows, and several shots had been fired from it. the soldiers entered it furiously, an armed group threw themselves upon them, and in the struggle that ensued the innkeeper, Storti, and two of his servants were bayonetted.

In a room upstairs, an American, named Perkins, was staying with his family; a sentry was posted at his door to secure them from harm. the fighting in the streets lasted some time, and, after it ceased, a shot was fired from a house; it was stormed, and a man was killed inside.

There was some plundering, for there had been fighting in the houses, and the Swiss and Romans were soldiers and not saints; but most of the things taken were restored by the officers. No one fell on the side of the rebels except in fair fight.

There was no massacre of “old men, women and children,” no outrage of any kind. Ninety of the soldiers, including some of the officers, were put hors de combat. the insurgents lost about seventy killed, a hundred wounded, and a hundred and twenty prisoners.

Most of the remainder fled into Tuscany. Mr. Perkins had stayed in Perugia expecting to see Papal defeat. In his disappointment he went off to Florence, whence he wrote to the Times an account of the “sack and massacre of Perugia,” in which he showed an utter disregard for the real facts of the case. the Revolutionists had failed, but they were determined that the revolt of Perugia should serve their cause in another way. the legend of the sack and massacre became one of the traditions of the Revolution. As an actual fact, the Papal government had done nothing but righteously repel force by force. Few rebellions ever were repressed with less bloodshed.

There were no after executions for complicity in it, like those carried into effect on other occasions by the French at Paris, the Piedmontese at Genoa, the English themselves, on a grand scale, in India and in Jamaica. the revolt was fomented by foreign conspirators; it was firmly and mercifully repressed by the native government In carrying out the orders of that government, Colonel Schmidt and his troops had shown as much gallantry as military tact and skill, and he well deserved the rank of General which was immediately conferred upon him, and which certainly Pius IX would never have granted to him had there been the least foundation for the stories of sack and massacre. (10) ))

The Revolution in Central Italy had been so far successful that Tuscany and the duchies of Parma(11)and Modena, as well as Bologna and the Romagna, were in the hands of its promoters.

To the latter district the Marquis d’Azeglio was soon after sent by Cavour as a Royal Commissioner, while Buoncompagni continued to rule Tuscany. On the very day of the revolution at Bologna, welcome news was telegraphed from London to Turin. Lord Derby’s Ministry had fallen, the English Liberate were again in power, and a few days after a Cabinet was formed in which Palmerston and Lord John Russell, two of the best friends of the revolutionary movement in Italy—held respectively the positions of Premier and Secretary of Foreign Affairs.


vai su


CHAPTER VII

VILLAFRANCA AND ITS SEQUEL

Solferino was the last battle of the war of 1859. The day after the fight was spent by the French in burying the dead, sending the wounded to the rear, and reorganizing the various corps that had been engaged. In the afternoon there was a sudden panic in Castiglione. “At 3 p.m.” says the correspondent of the Times, “a column of dust rose on the high road from the Campo di Medole to Castiglione, and veiled by this white cover was a rush of mules, carts, and carriages, coursing along as hard as they could, jolting the wounded, throwing them to right and left, upsetting and breaking everything. Before the rush reached Castiglione the confusion had spread there. The sick who could still walk tried to get off: it was a general sauve qui peut: officers, men, sick and sound, gendarmes, infantry, cavalry, artillery trains; in one word, every one made off. With incredible rapidity, almost by telegraph it seemed, the rumour that the Austrians were back spread even to Brescia, causing no slight alarm. However, in an hour the whole was over; but it cost the life of many a poor fellow, and heavy punishment to more than one officer”

To my mind the lesson of this incident is, that before an Austrian success the French army of 1859 would have collapsed as rapidly as the army of 1870. What was the origin of the panic no one knows. It is said that it arose from some stragglers seeing a French hussar regiment, in light coloured uniforms, moving across the plain. Probably something of the kind did occur, and the alarm was set on foot, and spread like wildfire.

The Austrians were far enough away. By the afternoon of the 25th they had re-passed the Mincio, and burned the bridges. On the 28th the French were upon the river. On the 29th they threw bridges over it, and Niel’s corps crossed, and pushed on to Villafranca; the other corps followed in succession, the Emperor transferring his headquarters to Valeggio on the left bank, on the 1st of July.

Nothing was seen of the Austrians. Francis Joseph had withdrawn to the line of the Adige, his right resting on Verona, his left on Legnago. He occupied the same position held by Radetzky at the outset of the campaign of 1848.

On their side the Allies occupied the ground held by Charles Albert in the same year. The Piedmontese had invested Peschiera; and the army that had fought at Solferino, reinforced by the corps of Prince Napoleon, held the heights of Custozza and the Somma Campagna. The Austrians had been reinforced, and, had the war continued, they would doubtless have followed in the steps of Radetzky, assumed the offensive, and fought a great battle at Custozza. But peace was at hand. On both sides there was every motive for desiring it. Austria had suffered two terrible defeats, a French army held the Mincio, a French fleet was preparing to attack Venice, and disembark a corps d'armée, which would have raised the country in insurrection in the Austrian rear. Hungary, too, might be disturbed at any moment.

These were the motives that inclined Francis Joseph to peace. No less weighty ones presented themselves to the Emperor of the French. His success had been dearly bought; his position on the Mincio, though a good one, was not impregnable; a defeat within the Quadrilateral would be ruinous. But more than this, all Germany was alarmed at the progress of the French arms and the humiliation of Austria.

Prussian influence could no longer keep Germany neutral, and the Regent himself was beginning to be startled at the development of Napoleon's power in Italy. It seemed probable that, if the conflict continued, France would have to fight on the Rhine and the Moselle, as well as on the Mincio and the Adige. For a struggle of these gigantic proportions she was not prepared.

On the 3rd an Austrian officer came to Valeggio, to thank Napoleon for having sent some wounded Austrian officers to Verona. The opportunity was taken to open a communication with the Austrian head-quarters. On the 8(th) General Fleury went to Verona, to see the Austrian Emperor, and arrange the preliminaries of an armistice. On the 8th the armistice was concluded.

That morning the French Adriatic fleet was actually getting up steam for the attack on Venice, when counter orders and news of the armistice arrived by telegraph from the French head-quarters. On the nth the two emperors met at Villafranca, and concluded a treaty, by which Lombardy was to be given to Piedmont, Venetia was to receive a considerable amount of autonomy, the ducal governments were to be restored, and an Italian confederation organized, under the nominal presidency of the Pope.

This convention, though known as the Treaty of Villafranca, was really intended to be only a basis for a subsequent treaty to be concluded between France, Austria, and Piedmont; the peace of Villafranca defined the general basis of this agreement, but did no more. The French Emperor immediately returned to Paris. A considerable portion of his army remained in Italy until the following summer.

The Austrian rule in Lombardy was at an end. Few now believe that it ever deserved one-tenth of the reproaches that were hurled against it. M. d’Ideville, who had heard both sides, and held an important diplomatic post at Turin, says,—“To be just, those oppressors were the gentlest and best of tyrants. Their only crime, and it was one, was to wear the white uniform and speak German.”

M. dTdeville goes on to say that on one occasion, in his presence, Count Cavour spoke thus of the Austrians to the Baron de Talleyrand, the French Ambassador—“Do you know,” he said, “who, during the Austrian occupation was our most terrible enemy, the one whom I dreaded most, and the steps of whose progress I counted day by day with dismay? Well, it was the Archduke Maximilian, the last Viceroy of the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom. He was young, active, enterprising. He had devoted himself heart and soul to the difficult task of reconciling the Milanese; and assuredly he would have succeeded. Already his perseverance, his kindly hearing, his just and liberal mind had won many partisans away from us. At no time had the Lombard provinces been so prosperous, so well administered. I began to be alarmed; but, thank heaven, the kind government of Vienna intervened, and, as is its custom, seized without hesitation the opportunity of committing a blunder, an impolitic act, at once most fatal to Austria, most useful to Piedmont the wise reforms of the Archduke had given umbrage to the old party of the Gazetta di Verona, and the Emperor Francis Joseph recalled his brother Maximilian from Milan. I breathed freely on hearing the news. Nothing was lost: Lombardy could not escape us now.” And Lombardy did not escape him. Perhaps the course of events would have been different if Maximilian had remained viceroy at Milan. If so, in saving Lombardy to Austria, he would have saved his own life. But for the victories of Napoleon III in Italy the unfortunate Archduke would never have been sent to Mexico, to meet his fate in the cemetery of Queretaro.

One service he rendered to Austria; with his friend, Tegethoff, he organized the fleet, which seven years after was to assert in the waters of Lissa the naval supremacy of Austria in the Adriatic.

Though the Treaty of Villafranca restored peace to Northern Italy, and gave Lombardy to Piedmont, it was, in reality, little better than a truce. Italy had passed not only through a war, but through the first phase of a revolution. Napoleon III at the Tuileries, Cavour at Turin, were waiting and watching for the further development of their plans. Napoleon saw only partially what was coming. His dream was an Italian confederation, nominally under the presidency of Pius IX., but actually governed by himself through his army of occupation at Rome, his hold upon the passes of the Alps, his influence at Turin. Cavour saw further. For him the unity of Italy meant nothing less than the subjection of the whole peninsula to Piedmont, the transfer of the capital to Rome, the complete subjection of the spiritual power, and the dominance of the Piedmontese cabinet over every department of the national life.

He had already accomplished much with a view to this end. Austria was humbled; Lombardy delivered from her rule; the support of Napoleon III was certain, for there was no doubt that once launched upon an Italian Unionist policy, he was too weak to free himself from the impulse of Liberal and Revolutionary ideas represented by the action of Cavour. Further than this, in Italy itself Tuscany and the duchies were occupied either by the Piedmontese troops, or by the revolted armies which gave full and ready obedience to the Piedmontese residents.

In the Romagna a provisional government was established, ready to hand over its usurped powers to Victor Emmanuel the moment that the mot d'ordre came from Paris. This government was supported by an army of Revolutionists commanded by General Garibaldi, who at Bologna was drilling the men who were to follow him in his enterprise of next year. In the Pontifical States, and in the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the agents of Cavour were busy preparing the way for the further development of his policy, and the disaffected were being leagued together for action, which was to give a pretext for Piedmontese intervention. While Europe spoke of peace the war clouds were gathering over its whole length of the peninsula, and French and Piedmontese diplomacy only delayed the bursting of the storm, in order to increase its intensity and concentrate its power.

The news of the Peace of Villafranca had called forth a storm of indignation on the part of the Liberate of Italy. Had not Louis Napoleon pledged his word to free Italy from the Alps to the Adriatic, and was this how he kept his promise? What was Lombardy worth while the Austrians still held the Quadrilateral?

Who could rejoice over the freedom of Milan, while Venice still saw Austrian battalions in the Square of St. Mark? And then the proposal of a confederation under the presidency of Pius IX.— was not this rank reaction? Thus ran the protests of the press. For a moment Napoleon was the most unpopular of men with the Liberate. The mob of Turin forced the booksellers to take his photograph out of their Windows. The newspapers showed an inclination to return to their old talk about the coup d’état. The fit of fury, however, soon passed off, men began to see that Lombardy was a solid gain to Piedmont, and that Napoleon’s policy was still thoroughly Piedmontese.

While the storm lasted Cavour had given in his resignation. It was the means of saving his popularity, and his retirement did not for a moment remove him from a full share in the actual direction of affairs. Cavour’s resignation took place on the 13th of July.

Count Arese, an exile from Milan, who had become, during his banishment, a bosom friend of Louis Napoleon, was invited to form a ministry; but he failed, and then, on the 19th, the portfolio of Prime Minister was offered to Ratazzi, Cavour’s trusted colleague, who found no difficulty in forming a ministry, which inaugurated its career by declaring, through the Liberal press, that it would pursue the policy of Count Cavour, and no other. Next day, for some reason, there was a remodelling of the ministry. Ratazzi took the portfolio of Justice, while La Marmora, another tried colleague of Cavour, assumed that of Foreign Affairs and the Premiership. The first days of August witnessed the comedy of the Piedmontese commissioners yielding up their powers into the hands of the provisional governments of Romagna and the duchies, so as not to violate the letter of the stipulation agreed to at Villafranca, while these very governments looked to La Marmora and Ratazzi for counsel and support, and only held their powers till the position of affairs would permit them to go through the form of a plebiscite, and hand over the territories they administered to the King of Piedmont.

This much being accomplished, in order to save appearances, on the 6th of August the plenipotentiaries of Austria, Sardinia, and France met at Zurich to arrange the terms of the final treaty, of which that of Villafranca was only the prelude. But the Treaty of Zurich really settled nothing, except the definite boundary between the Piedmontese and the Austrian dominions in Northern Italy.

Austria, it is true, agreed to give Venetia a certain amount of local independence, while France was to use her best endeavours to secure the return of the sovereigns to the duchies; but these stipulations, vague enough in themselves, were rendered still more indefinite by the whole subject of the pacification of Italy being referred to a European congress—which, as we shall see, was destined never to meet.

It is by no means easy to say what was Napoleon's policy during the seven months that elapsed between his meeting with Francis Joseph at Villafranca and the cession of Savoy and Nice. Apparently, he had no fixed pian, but varied his aim from month to month, according to the course of events. To one point, nevertheless, he adhered pertinaciously throughout. As for the duchies, it would appear that when during the war he had allowed Cavour to revolutionize Central Italy and had sent Prince Napoleon to Florence, it was in the hope of seeing the Prince and his young Italian bride made the rulers of a revived kingdom of Etruria. But Cavour managed so well and Prince Napoleon so ill, that all the feeling expressed by the Liberate was for union with Piedmont.

It is not improbable, therefore, that when Napoleon agreed, through his representatives at Zurich, to facilitate the return of the Grand Duke, he really intended to do so, for it was not his interest to make Piedmont too strong. There is, however, an incident, the significance of which may be that from the first Napoleon looked favourably upon a Piedmontese annexation of Tuscany, though we believe that it more probably bore only upon the annexation of Romagna, and, perhaps, Modena and Parma.

One day, before Cavour had resigned the Premiership, the French ambassador at Turin, the Prince de la Tour d’Auvergne, received from Count Walewski a despatch, which he was to communicate to the Piedmontese minister.

The despatch stated that, in presence of the troubles fomented by Piedmont in Central Italy, the French Government declared to the Cabinet of Turin that any attempt at annexation would be regarded as a breach of treaties, and that the king should understand that it was at his own perii, without the aid of France and against her advice that he would embark on such an enterprise.

The Prince de la Tour d’Auvergne, with whose personal views this note was in strict accordance, waited upon the Count, and courteously but firmly made these declarations to him on the part of his Government. Cavour heard him quietly to the end, and then said, with an embarrassed air, “Alas! my dear prince, you are right. What Count Walewski has written to you is not calculated to encourage our hopes. I acknowledge we are distinctly blamed. But,” he added, his look of embarrassment giving place to a smile, “what would you say if I were to read you on my part something I have received from the Tuileries and from a person you know?” And so saying, he took out a letter from the Emperor’s private secretary, hearing the same date as the French Premier’s despatch, and assuring him that the Emperor looked very unfavourably on the annexation despatch, and that therefore he nced not be anxious about any complications which might result from it. The officer thus disavowed by his own sovereign had nothing to do but to fold up his despatch and carry it away with him. (1)

This incident, while it illustrates the utterly unscrupulous character of the imperial diplomacy, shows that Napoleon was throughout favourable to some increase of the territory of Piedmont by means of an annexation in Central Italy. Probably the annexation referred to was that of Romagna.

The peace of Villafranca had no sooner been concluded than all the official journals began to insist upon the necessity of the Pope recognizing the revolution of Bologna and ceding the Legations to Victor Emmanuel. No one doubted that this project had the support of the Cabinet of the Tuileries.

Probably for the moment Napoleon's views went no farther than the cession of the Romagna; but this alone would be a dismemberment of the territory of the Holy See, and a first step to further encroachments. In the Catholic episcopate the French bishops were the first to take the alarm.

Bishop after bishop, by means of pastoral letters, protested against the intrigues for the dismemberment of the Holy See. Soon similar protests were heard from the episcopate of Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Germany, and Spain. Day after day the Univers published the full text of the pastorals of the French bishops until the Imperial Government sent it an official warning threatening a prosecution. Similar warnings were addressed to other papers in the Catholic press.

The Univers had no other course but to obey, but M. Veuillot maintained his protest by simply announcing each day in the paper that such and such bishops had issued pastorals on the Roman question in the same sense as their colleagues.

By these warnings to the Catholic press, and by seizing the Count de Montalembert’s pamphlet written in defence of the temporal power, the French Government, as early as the autumn of 1859, directly criminated itself, and made common cause with the spoilers of the Holy See. More overt acts were to follow.

In September the deputies of the provisional Government at Bologna offered the Romagna to Victor Emmanuel. He told them he could not accept it, but promised to do what he could to forward their wishes at the conference. Two days after, on September 20th, the Pope, in an allocution, formally protested against the perfidy of Piedmont in the Romagna. He then proceeded to break off diplomatic relations with King Victor Emmanuel.

On the 1st of October the Piedmontese ambassador, Count della Minerva, received his passports from Cardinal Antonelli; on the 12th he left Rome. Two other events of some significance marked the first days of October. On the 2nd Lord John Russell, speaking at Aberdeen, formally pledged the English Liberal party and the Whig Cabinet to the support of the Italian Revolution. On the same day that Revolution disgraced itself by the foul murder of Count Arviti, who was cruelly put to death by the Liberal mob of Parma in the streets of the city. The ringleaders of the mob were well known; but though there were Piedmontese troops in the city no one was arrested, and the murder has to this day remained unpunished.

Various difficulties as to the scope and basis of its deliberations delayed the meeting of the Congress until the end of the year. The Pope had refused to be represented at it or to recognize its proceedings unless at the outset the integrity of the territory of the Church were accepted as a first principle.

In the last week of December it was clear that he could not take any part in it; for it became evident that French influence, then all-powerful in Europe, would be directed entirely to forcing the Congress to dismember the States of the Church. Cardinal Antonelli was actually preparing to set out from Rome for Paris, when a pamphlet was published in the French capital which revealed the designs of Napoleon III, and showed the minister of Pius IX. that nothing but danger was to be expected from the Congress.

In consequence of that pamphlet and of Antonelli’s protest against it, the Congress never met. Probably the very object of the pamphlet had been to make its meeting impossible, and to attempt to overawe the Pope into concessions as to Romagna by publicly proposing as an alternative the complete dismemberment of his States.

This pamphlet was published anonymously at Paris on December 22nd. Its title was Le Pape et le Congrès, and, like the previous pamphlet, Napoleon III et l’Italie which had heralded the war against Austria, it was written and given to the public in order to prepare the way for a new development of the Emperor’s policy. It is now all but certain that it was the joint work of the Emperor and the Count de la Guérronnière, the Emperor supplying the ideas of the brochure, the Count putting them into a readable form. But this was not the first pamphlet on the Roman question which had marked the new tendencies of the imperial policy. A brochure, by M. Edmond About, entitled, La Question Romaine, had been printed in Belgium. It was a scurrilous attack on the Papal Court and the Roman administration, and although the Government took proceedings against it in order to keep up appearances, it did not contain anything worse than M. About had already written in the Moniteur, the official journal of France. Under the Republic, M. About had been a decided Liberal; the coup d’état had suddenly reconciled him to the Empire. M. About’s articles appeared in the official papers; he wore the red riband of the Legion of Honour; and in the spring of 1859 he was sent to Rome to promote the new policy of the French Empire by libelling the Pope and his Government.

It is only just to M. About to add that the revolution of September 4th, 1870, reconciled him to Republicanism as effectually as the coup d'état had made him an Imperialist; and, finally, he wrote against Napoleon III, to whom he owed everything, as bitterly as he had ever written against Pius IX.

Napoleon’s pamphlet, Le Pape et le Congrìs, was a very different work from M. About’s Question Romaine. M. About’s pamphlet was mere invective; Napoleon’s announced a policy, and was a semi-official act of State. The thesis maintained in this now famous pamphlet was, that the temporal power of the Sovereign Pontiff was necessary to the due exercise of his spiritual power, but that the extent of his territory was of no importance whatever in the matter—nay, that the smaller the territory, the better for the Papacy: that the city of Rome itself would be quite sufficient.

The anonymous author did not go quite so far as this, however; he merely suggested that the Romagna should be separated from the territory of the Church, but the plainly marked tendency of his argument was towards a far wider spoliation. It was precisely the argument of Goneril and Regan for reducing the numbers of Lear’s guard, in order to finally abolish it. “Hear me, my lord,” says Goneril,—

“What need you five and twenty—ten—or five,

To follow in a house where twice as many

Have a command to tend you?”

And then Regan goes straight to the natural conclusion,—

“What need one?”

In the wider drama, Napoleon and Cavour successfully sustained these parts. “What need you the Romagna?” asked the first in his pamphlet; “or what need you, indeed, the Marches?”—”What need you Rome?” asked Cavour. Never was there a more insidious attack on the temporal power than this pamphlet, which professes to defend it only in order to maintain with more show of reason that the partition of the Papal territory was an inevitable necessity.

When the pamphlet appeared, Cardinal Antonelli was on the point of leaving Rome for the Congress. He at once refused to take part in any discussion of the Roman question, unless the pamphlet was officially disavowed. No disavowal came. On the contrary, the Emperor wrote to the Pope on the 31st of December, asking him to cede the Romagna to King Victor Emmanuel. In the letter Napoleon III professed his loyalty to the cause of the Sovereign Pontiff, but he added, “Facts have an inexorable logic, and despite my devotion to the Holy See, despite the presence of my troops at Rome, I could not avoid a certain amount of connection with the results of the national movement caused in Italy by the struggle against Austria.”

How very intimate the connection was, we have already seen. He then went on to treat of the position of affairs in the Romagna. “After a serious consideration,” he said, “of the difficulties and dangers which the different combinations present—I say it with sincere regret, and painful as the conclusion may be—the solution, which appears to me most conformable to the true interests of the Holy See, will be to surrender the revolted provinces.”

The Pope’s answer was not given until nearly a week after the receipt of the Emperor’s letter. Meanwhile some events occurred which were noted at the time as indications of the probable course of affairs. On New Year’s Day the French officers of the garrison of Rome presented their respects to the Pope, assuring him that they were consoled for the loss of the glories of the campaign of 1859, by knowing that while guarding his throne at Rome they were upon the “Champ d'honneur du Catholicisme.” the Pope replied at some length, giving his blessing to the French army and to the Emperor, and praying that the latter might be enlightened to see the error of certain principles, “which had lately been set forth in a pamphlet, which might be described as a striking monument of hypocrisy and an unworthy tissue of contradictions—(un monument insigne d’hypocrisie et un ignoble tìssu de contradictions)." Such was the opinion of Pius IX. on the Emperor’s pamphlet. Three days later the French Minister of Foreign Affairs was changed, M. Walewski resigning the portfolio into the hands of M. Thouvenel, a man who from his political opinions was a much more ready cooperator in the Emperor’s policy against the Holy See.

The Pope’s reply to the Emperor was officially forwarded to Paris on January 8th. It was published to the Catholic world in the Encyclical of the 19th. The reply was simply the Non possumus which the Popes have always opposed to every unlawful demand. “We declared to the Emperor,” said Pius IX., “that We could not yield up that which was not Ours, and that We clearly understood that the victory which he wished Us to grant to the rebels of the Emilia would be a spur to the native and foreign disturbers of the other provinces to make the like attempts, when they saw the success obtained by the rebels. And, among other things, We declared to the said Emperor that We could not abdicate the said provinces of Our Pontifical dominion in the Emilia without violating the solemn oaths by which We are bound, without giving rise to complaints and disturbances in Our other provinces, without doing a wrong to all Catholics, and, in fine, without weakening the rights not only of those Italian sovereigns who have been unjustly deprived of their dominions, but of all the sovereigns of all Christendom, who could not see with indifference certain most pernicious principles introduced. Nor did We omit to remark, that his Majesty was not ignorant by what men and with what moneys and protection the recent outbreaks at Bologna, at Ravenna, and other cities, had been excited and accomplished.” Such was the reply to the Emperor. With equal clearness Pius IX. stated in the Encyclical his determination to abide by this resolution to the end. “With the help of God,” he said, “and according to the duties of Our most weighty office, We shall fearlessly make every attempt, and shall leave nothing untried, to defend strenuously the cause of truth and justice, to guard with constancy and to keep whole and inviolate the Temporal Sovereignty of the Roman Church, its temporal possessions and its rights, which belong to the whole Catholic world; and finally to watch over the just cause of other sovereigns. Trusting in the Divine help of Him who said, In the world you shall have distress; but have confidence, I have overcome the world; (2) and Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice sake, (3) We are prepared to follow the illustrious footsteps of Our predecessors, to rival their example, and to suffer the most rude and cruel trials, and even to lay down Our life, rather than in any way desert the cause of justice and of the Church of God."

The answer of the French Government to this Encyclical was a simple and unmistakable one. On the 29th of January, for merely republishing the Pope’s letter, the Univers was suppressed; and in his official notification of the fact, M. Billault, the Minister of the Interior, plainly gave the Catholic press to understand that the fate of the Univers should be a warning to all. Liberty of the press was now at an end in France, and the Empire had practically declared war against the temporal rights of the Holy See. That war was carried on rapidly and effectually throughout the rest of the year.

On the 21st of January, two days after the Encyclical, the Ratazzi-La Marmora Ministry resigned, and Cavour became again Premier. He also took the portfolio of the Ministry’ of Marine, for what purpose his subsequent dealings with Persano and Garibaldi clearly showed. General Fanti, who was in command of the levies raised-by the provisional government in Central Italy, accepted the Ministry of War, but without giving up his control over the troops in Florence and Bologna. All that remained now for France and Piedmont was to find a common basis of action.

Already it had been said that the French Emperor must have obtained at Plombières, in 1858, some pledge of territorial aggrandizement as the price of the assistance he was to give to Cavour’s schemes. There is every reason to believe that there was at least a verbal agreement to the effect that Savoy and Nice should be ceded to France after the coming war. Early in 1859, in reply to inquiries made of him by the Derby Cabinet on private information supplied by Mr. Kinglake, Cavour had said that there was no “treaty” affecting Savoy and Nice.

It was quite possible for him to have said this, if there was really only an informal understanding on the subject. The natural time for giving effect to such an understanding would have been the conclusion of the war, but when Napoleon made peaceat Villafranca, he had executed only half his programme; he therefore did not ask Cavour to carry out the cession of new territory to France. Had he attempted it at that moment, it would have put an end for ever to his popularity with the Italian Liberate. He resolved to-wait; and, accordingly, in July, 1859, Count Walewski formally assured the English ambassador in Paris, that the Emperor had abandoned the idea of annexing Savoy. Piedmont had lost Venetia, but had for the present saved Savoy and Nice. Now that he was about to consent to the annexation of Central Italy to Piedmont, he revived the project.

Cavour hesitated, and tried to temporize; whereupon M. de Talleyrand, the French ambassador, was instructed at one and the same interview to press upon the Piedmontese Government the necessity of coming to an immediate decision on the question, and to mention that the Emperor was about to order his army to evacuate Lombardy. This last information implied a threat of leaving Piedmont and her new acquisitions at the mercy of Austria. Cavour understood it. In spi te of the protests of England and of Switzerland against the infraction of the treaties of Vienna implied in the cession of Savoy, the negotiations proceeded rapidly. Cavour made an effort to save at least Nice to Piedmont. When Azeglio was with him on the 22nd of March, receiving his parting instructions before returning to his embassy in London, Cavour’s last word to him was, “If we could only save Nice!”

On the same day M. Benedetti arrived at Turin, sent by the Emperor to assist M. de Talleyrand in the final negotiations. Even the fact that he was in Turin was kept studiously secret from the general public. On the 24(th) of March the negotiations were concluded, and the treaty of cession was signed. M. d’Ideville, who was present as secretary to the French plenipotentiaries, has given us a lively picture of the scene. (4) the meeting took place in one of Count Cavour’s rooms in the palace of Turin. M. de Talleyrand and Benedetti represented France; Cavour and Farini, Italy. While the treaty was being read, Cavour walked up and down the room with his hands in his pockets and his head bent down. He seemed thoughtful and preoccupied, and all his usual gaiety of manner had disappeared. As soon as the reading was finished, he took the pen and signed the treaty. Immediately his usual smile returned to his lips. Rubbing his hands together, he approached M. de Talleyrand, and said in a low voice, “Now we are accomplices; is it not so, Baroni?”

The words had a deep meaning. By giving Savoy and Nice to France, Cavour had secured the tacit consent of Napoleon III to the policy, which, in the course of the next few months, was to secure for Piedmont dominion over the Duchies, the Legations, Umbria, and the Marches, Naples, and Sicily.

He was now able to execute more rapidly, more boldly, and more independently, schemes which might have had to be deferred for years, had Napoleon been able to carry out the plan he had attempted in 1859, of driving the Austrians beyond the Alps, making Victor Emmanuel King of Italy, and establishing an Italian confederation under his own influence and tutelage, with perhaps his cousin Prince Napoleon King of Tuscany, and a Murat King of Naples.

The peace of Villafranca had destroyed this plan; the events which followed had brought Cavour and Napoleon to a perfect agreement, which was sealed by the cession of two provinces to France. Well might Cavour a little later write, as he did to Prince Napoleon: —”The consequences of the peace of Villafranca have developed themselves in the most admirable manner. The military and political campaign, which has followed that treaty, has been of greater advantage to Italy than the military campaign which preceded it. It has given the Emperor Napoleon III greater claims on the gratitude of the Italians, than the battles of Magenta and Solferino. How often in the solitude of Leri have I not said to myself, Blessed be the peace of Villafranca!”

There were still two acts required to complete the cession—first, the ratification of the treaty by the Piedmontese parliament; and second, the vote in favour of France of a plebiscite in Savoy and Nice. There could be no doubt about the result of the plebiscite. The art of guiding the popular vote on such occasions was one well understood at Paris and Turin; and Paris and Turin had agreed beforehand what the result of the vote should be. An opposition, led by Garibaldi, who sat as deputy for Nice, was to be expected in the Chamber of Deputies. But Cavour had canvassed the members sufficiently to feel sure of a majority.

On April 2nd the Parliament met at Turin. In his opening speech the king said, “Out of gratitude to France, for the sake of Italy, to cement the union of the two nations whose origin, principles, and destinies are alike, a sacrifice was necessary; and I have made the one which was dearest to my heart. Reserving the vote of the people and the consent of Parliament, and with due regard to the right secured to Switzerland by virtue of international laws, I have signed a contract for the annexation of Savoy and the county of Nice to France.” The treaty was discussed on the 12th. Cavour, in a long speech, insisted that the cession was the only means of securing the countenance and support of France for the further development of the Italian movement, and that it was therefore a necessity. The opposition was active and vigorous, but its numbers were few. On a division, 229 deputies voted for the ratification of the treaty of cession, and only 33 against it.

Then came the plebiscites of Savoy and Nice. They were among the first of a long series ending with the plebiscite of Rome in October, 1870. They were meant to give a quasi-right to unjust annexations, by making people believe that the annexed populations were unanimously in favour of the change. Let us look closely at these plebiscites of Savoy and Nice. They will show us how the art of managing the popular vote is practically applied on such occasions.

At the elections for Savoy, held before the meeting of Parliament, annexation had been a frequent topic of discussion. A protest was circulated against it, and received the signatures of 13,000 electors. It is curious that in a few weeks this solid body of electors opposed to the treaty had disappeared.

At Nice, Garibaldi had resolved upon beginning a public agitation and organizing the opposition vote. He was turned aside from this purpose by Cavour placing in his hands more active work in the preparations for the expedition to Sicily. Like all the other members for the district of Nice, he had been returned on the distinct pledge that he would oppose annexation. But in Nice, as well as in Savoy, it would seem that some mysterious agency of conversion was at work. The authorities issued proclamations, telling the electors that, on the 15th, they would, by their free vote, choose whether they would belong to France or not, and almost commanding them to vote “yes”.

At Nice, all public meetings for the discussion of the question were prohibited; all placards, circulars, or handbills issued by the anti-annexation party were suppressed. No such restriction applied to the canvass in favour of the annexation. Money was freely spent by the French party.

The vote is believed to have cost 120,000l., without counting the expenses of the voting day, when every elector with a French cockade and an affirmative voting paper was made free of the cafés and wine shops. Finally, before the day of the vote, the Piedmontese troops were withdrawn, a French garrison was marched in, two French frigates steamed into the harbour, and French officiate took over the administration of the town.

On the voting day the urns were guarded by National guards known to be favourable to the change. The oui tickets were freely distributed on all sides, but an Englishman tried in vain to get or to see a single non. The votes were counted— 25,743 declared for annexation; 30 votes were cancelled. How many negative votes were there in the city of Nice which had returned Garibaldi to oppose the change?—in the district that three weeks before had elected none but anti annexationists?

There were eleven votes in the city, and 149 in the district; in all, 160 against 25,743. The farce was played to the end.

In Savoy, all the officiate opposed to the annexation were dismissed, and others of French sympathies appointed in their stead. The canvass against France was stopped. The walls were covered with proclamations, setting forth the benefits that would accrue from a French annexation.

The 22nd was the day fixed for the voting. Not a single non ticket was allowed to be printed, while every elector was furnished with an oui by the authorities, and invited to vote it. Whoever wished to vote non had to write his ticket, with a strong sense that his vote could not stop the annexation, and would be the worse fer him.

Finally, in this province, where, three weeks before, 13,000 electors had declared against annexation, only 235 were reported to have voted in that sense on the 22nd of April; 71 votes were annulled, and the poll for France was officially declared to bc 130.533. The fiction would have been better kept up, had the authorities been content with something less than this show of all but absolute unanimity.

A month before the plebiscites of Savoy and Nice a similar farce had been played in the Duchies and the Romagna. Cavour had reaped the first-fruits of his engagement with France as to Central Italy. In the Romagna, as at Nice, the National Guards surrounded the urns, and in some cases with arms in their hands went round canvassing for votes.

The result was, of course, what had been predetermined. In Tuscany, 366,571 votes were declared for annexation to Piedmont, and 12,495 for a separate kingdom; 4949 votes were annulled. In Emilia, which included the Romagna, Modena and Parma the official record of the vote on the question of annexation was:—for, 426,006: against,: annulled, 750. On March 15th, General Cialdini marched from Brescia to occupy the Romagna. Three days later, Victor Emmanuel formally accepted the sovereignty of the district. In the debate of April 12th, Count Cavour stated in the Chamber at Turin that in the plebiscite at Nice the same System would be followed which had been put in practice in the Emilia and in Tuscany. We have seen how the vote was managed at Nice, and we have, then, Cavour’s indirect confession as to the character of the plebiscite in the Romagna.

The annexation of the Romagna was the first definite accomplished act in the spoliation of the Holy See. On March 29th Pius IX. promulgated the bull, which, without naming any individual, excommunicated all who had borne a part in the annexation of the Legations. He had delayed this last step until it was no longer possible to withhold it. The new kingdom of Italy began its career under the ban of the highest censures of the Church.


vai su


CHAPTER VIII

GARIBALDI IN SICILY

Were we to found our estimate of the condition of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies under the rule of King Ferdinand and during the brief reign of his son, Francis the Second, upon the writings and speeches of the revolutionary agitators of Italy and of their sympathizers in England and elsewhere, we should have to present a gloomy picture of the state of Southern Italy in the days of its independence. But in all these statements, whether they come from the mouths of deputies rhapsodizing in the Piedmontese Chambers, or of English members of Parliament speaking in sympathy at Westminster, or whether we find them in the press of Piedmont, France, or England, there is quite enough of vague generalization and of sweeping charges, more than enough of fine phrases “full of sound and fury but signifying nothing but there is very little of positive proof or of definite detail. And, on the other hand, there are a multitude of facts, which it would be difficult to reconcile with the theory of the utter wretchedness of the Neapolitan territory before the revolution of 1860.

No one can examine the mass of testimony collected in M. Charles Garnier’s Mémoire sur le Royaume des deux Siciles, published at Paris in 1866, without being convinced that Naples under the Bourbon rule was at least as prosperous as it has been since 1860 under the Piedmontese System. Taxation was lighter there than in Piedmont, and far lighter than it is now in Italy; the credit of the Government was good, the national debt low. The army being small, the conscription was far more tolerable than it is at present. A largo part of the revenue was spent on agriculture and public works. The first railway opened in Italy was in the kingdom of Naples, as was the first electric telegraph, the first suspension bridge, the first dioptric lighthouse. The first steamer ever launched from an Italian dockyard belonged to the Neapolitan navy. Trade was increasing, and manufactures flourished. (1) There was brigandage, indeed, in some of the wilder districts; but has brigandage disappeared under Piedmontese rule? Murray’s “Guide to Sicily” warns travellers that the roads in the island are now as safe as they were before 1860, and this is a good authority on such matters. There were, it is said, grave abuses in the prison System. The fact has been disputed, and the abuses were certainly exaggerated; (2) but even granting all that to be true, I shall have soon to describe prison scenes under the rule of King Victor Emmanuel that throw it all into the shade. The Italian revolutionists had conceived the most bitter hatred against King Ferdinand. He had earned it by firmly repressing all their attempts to overturn his throne. They had decreed his deposition on the twofold ground, that he had no Parliament, and that his prisons ought to be reformed. Cavour took up their cause. We have seen how, at Paris in 1856, he had talked of “blowing up” the throne of King Ferdinand. Ferdinand was now dead. He prepared to overturn the throne of his son, Francis II.

Sicily afforded him a fulcrum for his lever. Although they enjoyed many privileges, amongst others exemption from the conscription, the population of the island had always been turbulent and discontented; Italian rule has not made them more peaceable. Through the revolutionary committees, Cavour had agents in the island. As soon as he was ready to act, they prepared the way for him by an insurrection. On April 4th there were riots at Palermo, Messina and Catania, and guerilla bands appeared among the hills. Cavour immediately made ready to send efficient succour to the insurgents. He did not do it openly by declaring war against Naples, but by organizing an expedition like Pisacane’s expedition to Sapri in 1858. We have seen how he publicly condemned Pisacane’s act as a lawless, unjustifiable attempt. In doing so, he condemned in advance his own actions of two years later. If Pisacane’s expedition was unjustifiable, so was Garibaldi’s; but to Cavour attaches the additional infamy of the lying despatchcs and proclamations by which he endeavoured to conceal his complicity in the Garibaldian invasion of the territories of a power with which Piedmont was at peace.

By means of the revolutionary committees it was easy to assemble in the neighbourhood of Genoa, towards the end of April, about a thousand Garibaldian “volunteers,” most of whom had seen service in the campaign of 1859. Garibaldi, with his old comrade Bixio as his second in command, was to lead the expedition. It was to be made to appear, as far as possible, an act of the committees, in which the Government had no share. The 5th of May was fixed for the departure from Genoa for Sicily. That evening 1107 chosen volunteers were directed to assemble, some at Foce, some at Quarto, near the Villa Spinola, a little to the east of Genoa. At 9 p.m. sixty of the volunteers went to the quay at Genoa, and seized two steamers belonging to the Compagnia Rubattino—the Piemonte and the Lombardo. The steamers had been engaged and paid for beforehand; but they employed this appearance of force, in order to avoid embarrassing either the company or the Government. Owing to an accident to the engines, the two steamers were not got round to Foce until 3 a.m. in the morning of the 6th. They found the volunteers waiting for them in boats, in which they had been sitting shivering for four weary hours; for the embarkation was to have taken place at 11 p.m. The volunteers were soon on board, 707 embarking in the Lombardo, of which Bixio took command, and 360 in the Piemonte, commanded by Garibaldi himself. There was a further delay of some hours, in getting on board arms and stores. It was not until 9 a.m. on the 6th that the expedition got under way. Even then, forty volunteers, who were to have brought up a convoy of arms from a depot some miles to the eastward, had to be left behind.

Garibaldi and the mille di Marsala were now en route for their destination. Meanwhile what was the Piedmontese Government doing? Cavour was providing for the safety of the expedition. It is to be remarked that, when he formed his ministry, he made himself Minister of Marine as well as President of the Council. He probably had already in view operations against the King of Naples, of which he wished to have the control in his own hands. Admiral Persano was placed in command of the fleet. His diaries of 1860, (3) which he published at Florence in 1869, give the fullest details as to the arrangements made by Cavour, with a view to securing the safe transport of the Garibaldians to Sicily, not only in the case of this, their first expedition, but with regard to the numerous expeditions which followed for the purpose of reinforcing and supplying the Garibaldian army. On the 3rd of May, Persano, who was at Genoa in command of a squadron of three steam frigates, the Maria Adelaide, the Carlo Alberto and the Vittorio Emmanuele, received orders to sail immediately for Cagliari in the island of Sardinia. Cagliari was the nearest point to Sicily in Sardinian territory with which Cavour had telegraphic communication, and he made it the base of operations for the fleet during the Sicilian campaign.

On the 7th of May Persano’s squadron anchored in the Gulf of Cagliari. The same night the despatch boat, Ichnusa, Commandant Saint-Bon, arrived from Genoa with despatches which ordered the admiral to act under the instructions of the governor of the city. On the morning of the 9th the governor told him to leave the Vittorio Emmanuele at Cagliari, but to proceed to the port of La Maddalena with the two other men-of-war.

He further told him that Garibaldi, with two steamers, had sailed for Sicily on the 6th, that if Garibaldi’s expedition entered any Sardinian port he was to be stopped, but if Persano met him at sea he was to allow him to proceed. This order rather puzzled Persano. He says, he saw at once that it was not likely that Garibaldi would put into either Cagliari or La Maddalena, but if he were forced to do so by some chance, as for instance by stress of weather, did Cavour really mean that he should be stopped? In his perplexity he sent off by the despatch boat a note to Cavour, asking him to telegraph the word Cagliari if he actually wished Garibaldi to be arrested in such a case, but the word Malta if he was to be allowed to go free, adding that, should a difficulty arise, he, Persano, was ready to sacrifice himself, and they might disavow his action if it were convenient. On the 10th the squadron reached La Maddalena.

Next day came Cavour’s answer. He telegraphed neither simply Cagliari nor simply Malta, but the significant phrase “the Ministry have decided for Cagliari” Persano says, “This special pointing out to me that the decision had been taken by the Ministry, showed me that he, Cavour, was of the contrary opinion. In order to save him anxiety, I telegraphed in reply, Ho capito (I have understood), and resolved to let the bold condottiere proceed, even should he enter the ports where I was told to arrest him.” In any case it was too late. Cavour need not have telegraphed, Garibaldi was already in Sicily.

At 9 a.m. on the morning of the 7th the two steamers had anchored off Talamone, on the Tuscan-coast. A convoy of munitions of war was to have been there before them, but by some mistake no trace of it could be found. But Garibaldi knew he had other friends dose at hand, and so long as the forts and arsenals of Victor Emmanuel were within reach, he had nothing to fear. Six miles to the southward lay the fort of Orbitello, garrisoned by a regiment of Piedmontese Bersaglieri, commanded by Major Giorgini.

The Garibaldian Colonel Tùrr was despatched in all haste to the fort, and had no sooner explained what was required than Giorgini placed at his disposal four field-pieces and all the arms and ammunition he could spare. Meanwhile another supply of rifles and cartridges had been obtained from the smaller fort of Talamone, large numbers of volunteers had landed and were drilling on the shore, sympathizers came from all sides to offer their services.

Tùrr returned from Orbitello, accompanied by envoys from the Bersaglieri, who informed the general that the whole battalion was ready to follow him.

He replied by declining their services and reminding them of the necessity of obedience and strict observance of discipline, which they would violate by following him without orders or permission from their superiors. The real cause of his refusal was that his two steamers were already overcrowded, and it would have been utterly impossible to find room for another man.

Two days were spent at Talamone, embarking the stores and drilling the men. It was well known at Turin that Garibaldi was there. It would have been easy, even at that late period, to have stopped the expedition, but, as we have seen, Persano had other instructions, and it would have been strange if Garibaldi’s steamers had been interfered with, seeing that his men were being armed from the forts of Talamone and Orbitello.

At dawn of day on May 9th the anchors were weighed, and the Lombardo and Piemonte stood out to sea. But all the Garibaldians had not departed. Garibaldi had left at Talamone Colonel Zambianchi and sixty of the volunteers, who were to form the nucleus of a band for the invasion of the Papal territory.

Of all the thousand who had left Genoa, Zambianchi was, perhaps, the best fitted for his work. He had a sanguinary fame in Italy. During the Roman Republic of 1848-49, when some priests whom he had arrested were liberated by the Republican Government, “He swore," says Farini, “as he himself acknowledged afterwards, henceforth not only to fill the place of sgherro, but also that of judge and hangman.” He kept his oath. His subsequent massacres of priests and monks at San Callisto called forth the execration even of revolutionary writers, and made his name a by-word for bloodthirsty cruelty throughout Italy, where he was commonly spoken of as “the Priest-Slaughterer.”

Such was the man who now prepared to carry the revolutionist propaganda into the Papal States. At the head of his sixty Garibaldians and about three hundred Tuscans, he crossed the frontier, on May nth, near the town of Latera. At his approach the prefect, panic-stricken, abandoned the place, taking with him the local police and gendarmes. Proclamations, signed by Garibaldi, calling on the Romans to rise for “Italy and Victor Emmanuel,” had been industriously circulated throughout the States by the revolutionary committees, but notwithstanding all this preparation, the enterprise of Zambianchi met with no encouragement or support from the people. The Pontifical troops were already moving against him. To defend Latera was impossible, so on the evening of the 12(th), after pillaging the town, he withdrew to Grotte, about two leagues distant.

A few hours after, Colonel de Pimodan and sixty mounted gendarmes, who had made a rapid march from Montefiascone, entered the town. A battalion of chasseurs was following them, and would arrive in a few hours; but Pimodan, hearing of the retreat of Zambianchi and fearing that he might escape him, pushed on to Grotte, without waiting for them. Zambianchi drew up his men for battle in the market-place of the little town, trusting to his superior numbers, and perhaps hoping that the gendarmes (every one of them Italians but the colonel) would desert their colours at the last moment.

If he had any such hope, he was speedily undeceived. The gendarmes, led by Pimodan, charged. The struggle was short but sharp.

In a few minutes the Garibaldian ranks were broken, and driven in confusion out of the village. The Pontifical troops lost two killed and three wounded; the insurgents, nine killed, twenty-five wounded, and some prisoners. Zambianchi and the remnant of his band with difficulty succeeded in recrossing the Tuscan frontier. “If I could have had the battalion of chasseurs which was coming from Iterbe,” said Pimodan in his report, (4) “the entire band would have been captured; but it did not join me until five in the afternoon.” the Papal troops were moved up to various points on the frontier to prevent a repetition of the raid; but Zambianchi had received so warm a reception from Pimodan, that he made no attempt to retrieve his defeat.

Meanwhile the main body of the expedition had pursued its way to Sicily. On the 9th, after leaving Talamone, they put into San Stefano, where there was a coal depot belonging to the Piedmontese Government, and intended for the use of the gun-boat Giglio, then cruising on the Tuscan coast. Here the two steamers renewed their supply of coal. At three in the afternoon they put out to sea again, steering west-south-west instead of following the direct course to Sicily, so as to avoid the Neapolitan cruisers. On the 10(th) arms were distributed amid great enthusiasm. In the evening (5) a volunteer on board the Lombardo attempted to commit suicide by leaping overboard.

The engines were stopped, and he was rescued. But meanwhile the Piemonte continued on her course, and was soon lost to sight in the gathering darkness.

A period of great anxiety followed for those on board of both the steamers. They sought for each other, but as neither showed any light for fear of attracting a Neapolitan vessel, the search was no easy one. At length, in the middle of the night, the Lombardo perceived a steamer hearing down on her. Bixio, fearing that the ship was a hostile one, silently cleared for action; but as the steamers were nearing each other, the well-known voice of Garibaldi shouted from the deck of the supposed stranger: “Is that you, Bixio? " “Yes!” was the reply, and the two crews joined in a hearty cheer.

Next morning red shirts were distributed to three hundred. The rest of the volunteers wore plain clothes, except some of the recruits from the royal army of Piedmont, who retained the uniforms of their corps. At 8 a.m. Garibaldi gave orders to steer for Marsala. Soon the mountains of Sicily rose like blue masses above the horizon. At noon the coast was clearly visible.

No man-of-war was in sight—only a solitary fishing-boat. Garibaldi hailed her, and by his order the crew laid her alongside of the Piemonte, and her captain came on board.

The fisherman brought good news. For some days, he said, three Neapolitan ships—two steam corvettes, the Stromboli, Captain Carracciolo, and the Capri, Captain Acton, with the sailing ship Amalia—had been at anchor off Marsala; but that morning they had left the harbour and gone down the coast towards Trapani. All was therefore clear for a landing, but there was no time to be lost; the corvettes might return at any moment, as the approach of the two steamers would certainly be telegraphed along the coast.

Steaming at full speed, the Lombardo and the Piemonte ran into the harbour almost abreast, and stopped dose by the quay or mole, the Lombardo, the larger of the two, grounding on the mud. In the harbour there were only a few coasters and two English men-of-war, the frigate Intrepid, Captain Marryat, and the despatch-boat Argus.

These two vessels had arrived the day before. It was officially announced that they came to protect British interests, but it was naturally asked why they had not been sent early in April, when there was an actual insurrection in the district of Marsala, instead of in May, when it was entirely suppressed in that quarter. It was at the time generally believed in Italy, and it is to this day, that the English men-of-war had been sent to Marsala to facilitate Garibaldi’s landing, or at least to serve as places of refuge for him and his followers in case of failure.

Not with standing the reports of Captain Marryat and Admiral Mundy, and the declaration of Lord John Russell, that impression has not been removed; and the words of a speech of Garibaldi himself at the Crystal Palace, four years after, deepened it for many into a conviction. (6)

The Piemonte s crew landed by the mole, and seized the town, the people manifesting much more surprise than enthusiasm at the appearance of their red-shirted guests. The men from the Lombardo landed more slowly by means of fishing-boats. Before the disembarkation was completed the two Neapolitan men-of-war came up, and after some delay opened fire. They only wounded two of the volunteers, and did not seize the steamers until all the Garibaldians had cleared out of them. There was certainly serious negligence and incompetence displayed by the Neapolitan navy on this occasion. The Garibaldians spent the night in Marsala. (7) Next day they marched on to Salemi, where Garibaldi spent the 13(th) and part of the 14th completing the organization of his column, and assembling a large body of the Sicilian insurgents who were to act with him. The first engagement with the Neapolitans took place on May 15(th).

As soon as the landing of the Garibaldians was known at Palermo, General Landi left the city with a flying column, composed of the 8th chasseurs, the 1st carbineers and a battalion of the 16th regiment of the line, some cavalry and four mountain guns, in all between three and four thousand men.

He first occupied Alcamo, but on hearing of the advance of the Garibaldians he moved forward to Calatafami, a town strongly situated in the heart of the mountains at the junction of the roads from Marsala and Trapani to Palermo. The town and the heights on which it stands, further strengthened as they are by the remains of Norman and Saracenic fortifications, would have been capable of a protracted defence against even more formidable foes than those with whom Landi had to deal, and it seems at first to have been his intention to await the enemy there.

On the 14th Garibaldi pushed forward his advanced guard under Bixio to the village of Vita, five miles to the south of Calatafami. Between Vita and Calatafami, the road, which is little better than a mountain track, passes over three successive ranges of hills. Any one of these would have afforded a good position for the defence of the road; and on the same day Landi left the town and advanced to the second or central range. Two thousand years before, its level summit and scarped sides had witnessed the defeat of the Romans by the people of Segeste, and it still bears the name of the Monte del Pianto dei Romani, “the hill of Roman woe.”

At midnight the main body of the Garibaldians began its advance from Salemi. At eight o’clock next morning they had joined their advanced guard at Vita. The force consisted of the “thousand of Marsala” and a body of twelve hundred Sicilians ’ under the command of Acerti and La Masa.

At ten the outposts reported that Landi was forming the royal troops in columns of attack on the Monte del Pianto. Garibaldi immediately occupied a lower range of hills just outside Vita. His Red-shirts formed the centre; the Sicilians were on both flanks, and the four guns obtained at Orbitello were placed so as to sweep the road.

Landi began the attack. The Garibaldian artillery drove back his cavalry. His infantry pushed on to the foot of the hills, and attempted to charge up them with. (8)

The bayonet, but they had to retire before the heavy fire of the Garibaldians, many of whom where picked marksmen whose every shot told. Garibaldi then assumed the offensive. Led by Bixio, the Red-shirts rushed up the steep sides of the Monte del Pianto, but here again the advantage was with the defensive, and the attack was repulsed. Garibaldi brought up reinforcements in person. Again the volunteers assailed the Neapolitan position; again they were driven back, and as they retired the Royalists rushed down upon them with the bayonet, while another column thrown forward on one of the spurs of the Monte del Pianto threatened to turn their right. For a moment it seemed that the battle was won. The lines of the volunteers were broken, and Garibaldi at one time found himself almost amongst the bayonets of the Neapolitans. With the help of his staff, he succeeded in rallying his men and bringing up his reserves. The advance of the Royalists was checked. On the right and left the Sicilians were pressing on their flanks; and Landi, who seems to have been more anxious to secure his retreat than to follow up and improve the advantage he had won, withdrew to the heights.

The battle had now lasted five hours; it was near three o’clock. Garibaldi, bringing up every man he could muster, attacked the Monte del Pianto for the third time. The struggle was a severe one. For a time the Neapolitans held their ground against the Garibaldians in front and the Sicilians on both flanks. Those who witnessed the engagement say that it was the hottest in the whole war. Volleys were exchanged at almost hand to hand distance, and the combatants repeatedly closed with the bayonet. Garibaldi’s standard-bearer, Schiaffino, was run through the body, and the flag was captured. His son Menotti was wounded, and so was young Manin. Stili the attack continued as hotly as ever. At length Landi abandoned the height, and made a hurried and disorderly retreat to Calatafimi. More than four hundred killed and wounded strewed the fiercely contested ground. Landi had lost one gun, 6 prisoners, 36 killed and 148 wounded; the Garibaldian loss was between two and three hundred. They had suffered so severely, that they contented themselves with occupying the position they had won, without attempting a pursuit.

Landi’s beaten troops did not remain at Calatafami. He withdrew them to the neighbourhood of Palermo. The news of Garibaldi’s first success gave a fresh impetus to the insurrection. The tidings of the victory were at Cagliari the next morning; and Persano, the Piedmontese admiral, wrote to congratulate Garibaldi on his exploits. A few days after, the admiral, by Cavour’s orders, placed the despatch-boat Ichnusa at the disposal of the Sicilian Baron Pisani and his son, who were on their way to Palermo; and towards the end of the month, on the 28th of May, when the steamer Utile, having on board a hundred recruits and two thousand rifles for Garibaldi, put into Cagliari, Persano received orders from Turin to give her captain any information that might be of service to him in pursuing his voyage to its destination. While the government at Turin was thus making use of its fleet to facilitate Garibaldi’s enterprise, the Official Gazette, of May 17th, contained the following declaration:—”the government disapproved of General Garibaldi’s expedition. As soon as it was informed of the departure of the volunteers, the royal fleet received orders to pursue the two steamers, and to oppose a disembarkation.”

We have already seen what Persano’s orders really were. On May 15th Garibaldi assumed the title of Dictator of Sicily in the name of King Victor Emmanuel. On the 22nd Count Cavour addressed a note to the Cavaliere Canofari, ambassador of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies at Turin, in which he said:—”the undersigned, by order of his Majesty, does not hesitate to declare that the King’s government is entirely alien to any act of General Garibaldi, that the title assumed by him is a complete usurpation, and that his Majesty’s government cannot but disapprove of it.”

This was, perhaps, strictly true. Doubtless Cavour disapproved of Garibaldi’s throwing off any part of the mask so soon; but undoubtedly Persano’s diary proves the thorough complicity of the government with Garibaldi, and the lying duplicity of the Gazette and of Cavour’s despatch.

Having defeated Landi and made himself Dictator of the island, and finding the insurrection spreading all around him, Garibaldi prepared for a great enterprise. He had to choose between throwing himself into the mountainous interior of the island, there drilling his new levies, receiving reinforcements and gradually forming an army, or attempting something on a grand scale at once. He chose the latter course, and determined to attack Palermo, the capital of the island. Doubtless this had been part of his plan from the outset, for an attack on Palermo would bring him upon the seaboard again, where his ally, Admiral Persano, would be able, to a greater or less extent, to give him the co-operation of the Piedmontese fleet Palermo was held by a garrison of 24,000 men, under the command of General Lanza. He has been denounced by writers favourable to the cause of King Francis as having been from the outset a traitor. His failure may perhaps be explained by supposing that he was a weak minded, incapable, vacillating man, who never should have been given a command. Palermo stands on the seashore within an amphitheatre of hills whose beauty has won for them the name of the Conca d'Oro, or Golden Shell. It had a strong castello, or citadel, and a Neapolitan squadron lay in the road-stead.

At this period the majority of its 200,000 inhabitants, at all times hot-blooded and turbulent, were on the point of revolt. For two months no church bell had been heard in the city. The tongues had been taken out of the bells lest they might be used to sound the tocsin.

The approaches to Palermo consist of four good roads. Two of them are by the seashore; the two others penetrate the amphitheatre of hills, at Parco seven miles from Palermo, and at Monreale four miles outside the town. Besides these roads there are a number of narrow and difficult mountain paths.

Lanza arranged his plans on the idea that the seaside paths were not only difficult but utterly impracticable for a guerilla column. He cantoned his troops in the citadel, the palace, and various large buildings, all on the northern and western sides of the town. The guns of the fleet commanded its seaward face, but the southern side was left all but unguarded, a few isolated posts being placed at the gates. The force immediately under his command numbered 14,000 men. To guard the two mountain roads, by which alone he supposed the Garibaldian attack could be made, he stationed 4000 men at Parco, and 6000 good troops, commanded by General Bosco, at Monreale.

Garibaldi, having resolved to attack Palermo, pushed up his advanced columns to Parco and Monreale. There were numerous skirmishes, in which it could hardly be said that either party was successful.

The general effect of them was to keep the Neapolitans continually on the alert, and to confirm Lanza in the idea that if Palermo were attacked it would be by the roads from the mountains through Parco and Monreale. On the 24th of May Garibaldi appeared before Parco, having crossed the hills by goat tracks from the Monreale road. Bosco was in Parco, and he immediately came out at the head of a strong column of Neapolitan volunteers.

Firing commenced on both sides, and the Garibaldians began to fall back rapidly along the road to Corleone. Bosco pursued, and sent back a message to Palermo that he had defeated the main Garibaldian force, was in pursuit, and hoped that it would be completely dispersed. He had fallen into a trap laid for him by the wily guerilla chief to whom he was opposed.

On the hills near the village of Santa Christina, Garibaldi, with the bulk of his force, struck off-suddenly to the eastward, leaving Carini with two guns and some of the Sicilian insurgents to continue the retreat to Corleone. Bosco followed Carini for some hours, until, ascertaining that the force he was pursuing had dwindled down to a handful of men, he began his march back to Parco, under the very natural impression that he had obtained an important success and dealt a serious blow to the insurgents and their Piedmontese allies.

Meanwhile, Garibaldi having thus deceived Bosco and disengaged himself from his pursuers, turned to the north-ward, and, on the 20(th), reached the village of Misilmeri. Here, by his orders, a strong force of Sicilian insurgents had assembled to join him; and he was within a few miles of the unguarded southern side of the town. In the course of the afternoon—which was the eve of Whit-Sunday—he approached Palermo with a few of his officers, to reconnoitre, and probably to communicate with some of his friends inside the walls.

He resolved as soon as it was dark to march in by the high road near the seashore. His Sicilian guides, however, persuaded him to alter his plans, and at the last moment it was decided that instead of making a détour for the seashore and gaining the high road, the columns should descend from the hills by the narrow and rugged pass of Mezzagna, which leads more directly to Palermo.

The Sicilians under La Maza, about 1300 strong, led the way, preceded only by the guides and a few of Garibaldi’s Red-shirts. After the Sicilians came 800 Garibaldians, and then a long straggling column of insurgent bands which had not yet been fully organized or drilled. At ten, the column began its slow march down the dark rugged pathway of the pass. Lanza, in Palermo, had no idea that his enemies were so near him.

He had just received news from Bosco of the skirmishing at Parco and the supposed breaking up and retreat of the Garibaldians, and he had given a supper in honour of the good news. The guests rose and dispersed at twelve, while the Garibaldians only a few miles off were still struggling through the dark defile of the Mezzagna.

The city should have been attacked before daylight on the 27th, but the guides had missed their way and delayed the column, and it was not until the dawn of Whit-Sunday was breaking, that the vanguard entered the southern suburbs in front of the Porta dei Termini. The Sicilians should have surprised the gate, but instead of approaching it in silence, they came up cheering and firing at random. The handful of Neapolitans on guard turned out, and fired a volley amongst them. They fell back in a kind of panie, and it was not till Garibaldi’s 800 veterans pressed forward, that the gate was attacked and carried. There were few troops in the quarter of the town to which the gate gave access.

As the attacking column entered the streets it met with little resistance, and Garibaldi was soon dose to the great circus in the centre of the town, where the two broad streets (the Toledo and the Macqueda), which divide it into four almost equal parts, intersect each other. As the Garibaldians advanced, the people rushed to arms, took possession of the belfries, and began to sound a wild irregular tocsin by beating the bells with hammers, for as the tongues had been removed the bell ropes were useless. This was the sound, that, mingled with the rattle of musketry, woke the whole city on Whit-Sunday morning.

All day long there was desultory fighting in the streets. Lanza had been surprised, he had no plan of action, and except on a few points he offered no organized or determined resistance. The Garibaldians and Palermitans occupied Street after Street, and strengthened their positions with barricades. At three in the afternoon more than half the town was in Garibaldi’s hands.

Lanza held the citadel, the fort on the mole, the Palazzo delle Finanze, the cathedral, the royal palace, and the western walls from the bastion of Aragon on the north to that of Montalto at the south-western corner of the city. The Garibaldian advance had cut him off from direct communication with the citadel, but he had still open communication through the northern suburbs with the fort on the mole and with the sea.

Lanza had superior numbers on his side. In the afternoon he might easily have organized a general attack upon the Garibaldian positions, for there were not more than 1000 well-armed and disciplined soldiers among the insurgents; the rest were little better than an armed mob. But Lanza remained inactive until three p.m., when he took a resolution which brought much undeserved odium down upon the young king whom he was betraying. He resolved to bombard the city with the guns of the fleet and of the citadel. In vain several of his officers protested. General Salzano, a faithful servant of Francis II, endeavoured to dissuade Lanza from the determination he had taken. He was not listened to, and he broke his sword and took no further part in the operations. Between three and four the bombardment began. With the force at Lanza’s command it was unnecessary; but, once he had recourse to this extreme measure, one would suppose that he would have continued it long enough to drive the enemy out of the city. He only kept up the fire a sufficient time to cause a general panic and bum down a large number of houses. Very few people were killed. They crowded into their celiare, or into the churches which the Neapolitan guns scrupulously respected.

The bombardment slackened in the night, but broke out again with full fury at daylight. Admiral Mundy sent a protest to the citadel from the English squadron, but it was not listened to. By noon matters were becoming critical for Garibaldi. (9) “Had Lanza bombarded another twelve hours,” says Captain Forbes, a philo-Garibaldian writer,—”and no earthly power was at Palermo that really would have stopped him— Garibaldi would have been simply destroyed. He had not nine cartridges a man left, when it ultimately ceased... The lower quarters of the city were hardly tenable owing to the guns of the fort and squadron.” (10)

At noon, on Mundy’s mediation,a six hours’ armistice was agreed upon, and this saved Garibaldi. It was not very strictly observed.

There was skirmishing at times between the Sicilians and Neapolitans. At six, no terms having been made, fighting began again. Garibaldi passed the night of the 28th to the 29th strengthening his position and pushing his barricades up to the approaches to the palace and the glacis of the citadel. Early on the 29th the Neapolitans evacuated the bastion of Montalto, leaving there a 32 pounder, which the Garibaldians carried down to the barricades near the Finanze in order to try and shell out the guard.

Lanza was inactive the greater part of the day. Once only he pushed a column of chasseurs forward into the long Street of the Toledo. The column cleared several barricades, and was soon nearly in the middle of the town. Had Lanza supported it, he might have recovered all the ground he had lost, but he was either too timid or too treacherous. He recalled the chasseurs to the palace; and they came back clenching their fists and cursing the incapacity of their general.

During the rest of the day the fighting was confined to a dropping musketry fire exchanged at the barricades round the palace, and the occasional discharge of a shell from the citadel. In the afternoon Garibaldi received cheering news from the country. Girgenti and Trapani had fallen into the hands of the insurgents; and though the garrison of Catania had repelled an attack, the whole province was in insurrection.

The night passed quietly. Admiral Mundy was in communication both with Garibaldi and with Lanza, to arrange an armistice, which in such a state of affairs meant only the surrender of the city to the rebels. Mundy proved himself on this occasion a good friend to Garibaldi, and the British fleet was only one degree behind that of Piedmont in its violation of neutrality.

At nine, on the morning of the 30th, General Lanza wrote to Garibaldi, that Admiral Mundy had informed him that he was ready to receive on board of his flagship the Hannibal two Neapolitan officers for the purpose of opening a conference with two officers of the Garibaldians, to arrange a definite armistice. He therefore asked him to appoint an hour for a truce to begin, and an hour for the interview. Garibaldi replied by agreeing that the truce should begin at noon, and the meeting on board the Hannibal should take place at one p.m. The truce had hardly begun, when the gate of the Termini was attacked by a Neapolitan column. It was Bosco’s brigade, which, knowing nothing of the armistice and anxious to succour Lanza, had marched down from near Corleone, and had begun to force its way into the town. The Garibaldians under Carini tried in vain to hold the gate. Bosco forced it, and penetrated far into the Street beyond, Carini falling severely wounded in the encounter. Garibaldi sent a hurried message to Lanza, asking him to inform Bosco of the armistice; and soon, to the disgust of that true and gallant soldier, a Neapolitan aide-de-camp rode up, and informed him that there was an armistice—in other words, that his commander-in-chief was treating with the rebels. Bosco stopped firing at once. Had he been in Lanza’s place, Garibaldi would have met with a very different reception in Palermo.

About one, Garibaldi and Colonel Tùrr went on board of the Hannibal, where they were received by Admiral Mundy. General Letizia, who acted for Lanza, arrived soon after. He proposed an armistice on the basis of the following six points:—

1. That a suspension of arms should be concluded for the period about which the parties would agree.

2. That during the suspension of arms each party should keep its position.

3. That the convoys of wounded from the royal palace, as well as the families of the employés, should be allowed to pass free through the town, in order to embark on board the royal ships.

4. That the royal troops in the palace, as well as the families of the refugees in the monasteries near it, should be allowed to provide themselves with their daily provisions.

5. That the municipality should address a humble petition to his Majesty the King, laying before him the real wishes of the town, and that the petition should be submitted to his Majesty.

6. That the troops in the town should be allowed to receive their provisions from the citadel.

Garibaldi objected to the fifth clause, and it was struck out. The armistice was then signed. It was to last till noon on the following day—Thursday, May 31st. Both sides spent the time in removing their wounded, burying their dead, and strengthening their fortified positions. Everyone supposed that both parties would afterwards begin the fighting in earnest. But Lanza had now lost all the little determination he had possessed at first.

From incapacity he had drifted into treason; and at ten p.m. on the 31st, two hours before the armistice expired, he sent Letizia to Garibaldi’s headquarters to negotiate a prolongation of it. It was agreed that the armistice should last until noon on June 3rd; but, by an inexplicable act of weakness or treachery, Lanza and Letizia allowed a clause to be added to the armistice, by which the Palazzo delle Finanze, which contained the State Bank, should be surrendered to Garibaldi, and placed in the hands of his delegate, Crispi.

This was a most important concession. “During the afternoon,” says Forbes, (11) “the captain and guard at the Finanze laid down their arms, being completely cut off, and Garibaldi became to his surprise the disposer of over £1,200,000 in cash, chiefly private deposits; of course he took possession for the State. Considering that there were nearly 50,000 squadri (12)on the pay lists, it was rather needful. Only his own men fought for nothing and fed themselves, paying their own way. This spirit had not yet established itself in South Italy. The island patriots required their daily dole.”

This sum, of nearly a million and a quarter of money, was equal to a reinforcement of several battalions. Garibaldi’s wholesale confiscation had filled his military chest to overflowing. Next day he wrote to Dr. Bertani, his agent at Genoa:—”Dear Bertani,—I authorize you, not only to make an advance or to negotiate a loan for Sicily, but more over to contract any debt whatever, as we have here immense means to satisfy all claims.—Yours ever, G. Garibaldi." the city was generally quiet during the armistice, but there were some disturbances.

Some of the insurgents hunted down and massacred the detective police. Captain Forbes seems to approve of this massacre. He says, “they shot those vermin without reserve.” Considering that the “vermin" were men shot in the streets without trial, I call it foul murder.

We must now take up Persano’s diary again, and see what he was doing while Garibaldi was fighting and negotiating at Palermo. On the 3rd of June, La Farina arrived at Cagliari, and presented to Admiral Persano a letter from Cavour, which directed him to forward La Farina to Palermo, and to act subsequently as his own discretion would suggest, as, now that events were travelling so fast, it was impossible to give him definite orders beforehand from Turin. Persano placed at the disposal of La Farina the Maria Adelaide. According to Forbes, (13) the Piedmontese agent had amongst his baggage on board the man-of-war several balls of blue posters with the words upon them, Vogliamo l’annessione al regno constituzionale del Re Vittorio Emmanuele. “We desire to be annexed to the constitutional kingdom of King Victor Emmanuel.” These were to be posted in Palermo on La Farina’s arrival there. Farina did not sail immediately.

Next day the frigate Vittorio Emmanuele arrived at Cagliari from Palermo, bringing a letter from Garibaldi to Persano, dated the morning of the 3rd. “Admiral,” wrote Garibaldi, “the armistice ends to-day at noon, and if the enemy will fight, we shall fight as we are used to do. Whilst we are staking the destiny of Italy in this conflict, I leave it to you to do what you can for us. Yours ever affectionately, G. Garibaldi.”

Persano saw that Garibaldi was not yet sure of Lanza, he knew that the position of the insurgents was very insecure, and the letter he had just received made him anxious. After some consideration, he resolved to take advantage of the liberty of action which Cavour had given him in the letter brought by La Farina, and to sail immediately for Palermo. Next morning, before sailing, he received a letter from Cavour, telling him that some of the officers of the Neapolitan navy were willing, at a favourable opportunity, to declare for the revolution; and the despatch-boat Governolo came into Cagliari with the news that the armistice had been again prolonged.

He left the Vittorio Emmanuele at Cagliari and sailed alone with the Maria Adelaide and the Carlo Alberto. On his way he met the despatch-boat Anthion, and received confirmation of the report brought by the Governolo, that the armistice had been indefinitely prolonged.

Next day, the 6th, he anchored in the road-stead of Palermo. The anchorage was crowded with the ships of European navies. There were Neapolitan, English, French, Austrian, Spanish and American men-of-war. Persano noted with satisfaction that Mundy’s English ships lay dose in to the town and covered it effectually.

He anchored near them; and La Farina opened communications with Garibaldi, and soon after landed. On the 7th Persano himself went on shore to visit Garibaldi. The General had good news for him. Letizia, Lanza’s lieutenant, had come back the day before from a mission to Naples, bringing authority for the evacuation of Palermo by the Neapolitan troops.

A miserable and disorganized attempt at resistance, a useless bombardment and a weak negotiation, had ended in a convention, which in a few days would place the whole city in the hands of the Garibaldians. On the 7th the evacuation of the city began. It was not completed until the 19th, for the Neapolitans had, besides their troops, a large number of guns to embark, and an immense amount of stores and ammunition. Probably one of the motives which had led them to capitulate was the desire to save this matèriel, which would be of great use for the subsequent prosecution of the war.

While the evacuation was in progress, neither Persano, nor La Farina, nor Garibaldi was idle. La Farina had had his blue posters stuck up all over the city, and was arranging with Garibaldi the civil organization of those portions of the island which were occupied by the insurgents. Persano had collected all his three frigates in the road-stead, and was negotiating with some of the officers of the Neapolitan navy in order to obtain from them a general pronunciamento for Piedmont, which would add their ships to his own, and place him in command of a really formidable force. On the evening of the 8th of June he succeeded in persuading Vacca, the commander of the Neapolitan frigate Ettore Fieramosca, to come to his flagship and talk the matter over with him. Vacca was warm in the cause of the revolution, and promised to hoist the tricolour as soon as the whole of the squadron, or even the greater portion of it, was ready to follow his example; but it was agreed on both sides that it was necessary to wait, as a partial movement would only warn King Francis of the treason that was being planned against him.

On the nth Cavour authorized Persano to send the despatch-boat Governolo to Messina, with orders to secretly favour a movement which was being organized there. Two days later the admiral received disquieting intelligence. Mazzini, Mario, and “Miss White” were said to be on board of the Washington, which was bringing arms to Palermo. About Mario and Miss White Cavour cared very little; but he feared that Mazzini would give a Republican turn to the movement in Italy. He therefore ordered Persano to ask Garibaldi to arrest his old leader, if he should be on board of the Washington. Persano saw the General, who promised that if Mazzini came to Sicily and acted against Victor Emmanuel, he would arrest him; but he avoided giving the distinct pledge that he would arrest him if he were on board the Washington.

This was what Persano required, and, as Garibaldi would not promise it, the Admiral resolved that if Mazzini appeared, he himself would arrest him. The next few days were passed in making ready for the safe disembarkation in Sicily of a second expedition from Genoa. It was commanded by Medici, and consisted of four ships, Washington, Franklin, Oregon, and Utile, having on board 3000 men, 8000 rifles, and 400,000 cartridges. Garibaldi, Medici, and Persano, corresponded with each other as to the best course to take.

It was finally resolved that the expedition should be escorted to the bay of Castellamare, near Palermo, by two of Persano’s vessels, and should land there. Persano sent off the frigate Carlo Alberto and the despatch-boat Gulnara to accomplish this task, the commander of the despatch-boat having orders to arrest Mazzini if he were with the expedition. On the 19th the two ships rejoined the squadron at Palermo, and reported that Medici had that morning safely landed his men, arms and stores at Castellamare, and that Mazzini was not on board the Washington. All was, therefore, satisfactory. But although Mazzini had not come, he had numerous agents in Palermo working against the annexation project, and endeavouring to obtain a declaration for a Sicilian republic.

Persano had unwillingly to report to Cavour, that Garibaldi had been led by them to mistrust La Farina, and would probably refuse to listen to any advice or instructions that might be given by the Piedmontese agent.

On the same day, the 19th, the evacuation of Palermo was completed. As the last of the Neapolitan transports left the harbour, they heard the report of the nineteen guns with which Persano saluted Garibaldi, who was visiting his flagship. After seeing him, Garibaldi visited the French and English admirals, and the American Commodore.

Persano had hoped that they would follow his example, and salute the successful leader of the Piedmontese filibusters; but he was disappointed. He continued in dose correspondence with Cavour. The letters, which passed between the minister and the admiral, bore upon the attempts to gain over the Neapolitan navy, and the efforts which Persano was making to dose the widening breach between La Farina and Garibaldi. On the 20(th) of June Cavour sent him an authorization to secretly land and hand over to Garibaldi two heavy guns from the fleet, and a sufficient quantity of ammunition. (14)

The evacuation of Palermo being completed, and Medici’s reinforcement having been landed on the 19(th) of June, Garibaldi recommenced active operations. Turr had been given command of the 1st brigade of the Sicilian insurgents, and Bixio of the 2nd. On the 20th Turr’s brigade was despatched from Palermo, with orders to march through the heart of the island, by Caltanisetta and Castro Giovanni, to Catania. Tùrr fell ill before he had gone far, and had to hand over his command to another Hungarian, Colonel Eber.

On the 24th Bixio’s brigade marched out of Palermo by the road to Corleone, with orders to reach Girgenti, and then march along the south coast and into the province of Syracuse. From this district he was to turn northwards, and form a junction with Eber at Catania. Both Eber and Bixio would, it was hoped, collect upon their march a whole army of insurgents. On the 29th Medici’s division, which formed the main body of the army and contained the best troops, began its march from Palermo along the northern coast road towards Milazzo and Messina.

Garibaldi was to remain in Palermo for the first part of July, organizing the Sicilians and the reinforcements which had arrived by sea from Genoa, communicating with Persano, and receiving supplies of arms and stores landed upon the adjacent coast. Meanwhile the Cabinet of Naples was repeating the offer of a separate government—Home Rule for Sicily—which it had made before the war.

Many of the Sicilians would have accepted it, but the Piedmontizing party had no intention of setting up an independent Sicily; what they wished was to carry the war into the mainland, and to hand over both Sicily and Naples to a centralized Piedmontese Government. Throughout, the Sicilian cause and the Sicilian people played only the second part, and of the population of the island a large portion had no heart for the conflict. It appears from Captain Forbes’ narrative, that only one house in Palermo was open to-receive Garibaldi’s wounded; and he tells us that up to the 18th of July, when he arrived at Palermo, “the amount of public subscriptions throughout this fertile island in aid of Garibaldi had only amounted to 5000l, and he and his son had to pay for the hire of their horses during the first month they were in the island.

With the exception of the Marquis Fardella and a few other honourable exceptions that might be numbered, no well-to-do Sicilian had joined the army. The pusillanimous and unpatriotic part taken by the majority in the destruction of the Bourbon was pitiable.”

These few lines, coming from such a source, are a confession that the movement was produced far more by action from outside than from discontent in the island, and that it was far less a Sicilian than a Piedmontese affair.


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CHAPTER IX

HOW GARIBALDI OVERRAN SICILY

After the evacuation of Palermo, the next event of importance in the Sicilian revolution was the battle of Milazzo, fought on the 20th of July. But before reaching this point in the history of the struggle in Sicily, I must note from Persano’s diary the events which were passing at Palermo—events that must not be overlooked, for they throw a light upon the inner history of the time and upon the action of Piedmont. On the 2nd of July Garibaldi informed Persano that next day an important reinforcement would be embarked at Genoa for Palermo, and he therefore asked for the usual escort. The Vittorio Emmanuele was dispatched for this purpose; and on the 6th a Garibaldian column, commanded and embarked on board the Washington by Cosenz, was safely conducted under her escort into the harbour of Palermo. On the previous day a letter from Cavour ordered Persano to send one of his ships to Messina, to assist in producing the wished-for rising in that town, which up to the present had remained quiet, although there were Garibaldian bands in the neighbourhood. On the 7th Garibaldi finally broke with Victor Emmanuel’s official agent in Sicily. The Dictator resented his interference, and was anxious to assert his own independence, and as far as possible hold the destinies of the Two Sicilies in his hands. Persano and Cavour had foreseen this danger, and up to the end Persano and his fleet were engaged quite as much in making sure that Garibaldi should not set up the republic that he longed for, as in assisting the general to pulì down the throne of King Francis. On the 7th Garibaldi wrote to Persano that he was obliged to order La Farina to quit Sicily immediately. In the course of the day La Farina and his wife came on board the flagship. He said that he did not know what was the cause of this sudden action on Garibaldi’s part. Persano, who doubtless believed that by himself he could manage Garibaldi better than La Farina had done, advised him not to make any attempt to re-establish himself at Palermo, but to return at once to Turin. After some discussion, La Farina agreed to take this course, and next day set out for Genoa in the despatch boat Gulnara. The evening before, Admiral Mundy had left Palermo for Naples. “As I saw him set off,” wrote Persano, “I felt that a friend of our independence was departing.” Mundy had certainly done for Garibaldi all that prudence allowed him, while the English fleet lay at Palermo.

The day after Mundy left, the first Neapolitan man-of-war hoisted the tricolour. On the evening of the 9th the corvette Veloce, with whose commander Persano had been in communication through one of his officers, steamed into the road stead of Palermo, and anchored near the Maria Adelaide. The Neapolitan commander came on board, and told the admiral that he was anxious to place his ship under his command and join the Piedmontese navy. Persano pointed out to him, that his consenting to such a step would compromise the Cabinet at Turin; but he advised him simply to declare for Garibaldi—he could place his ship in the Piedmontese navy later on. The Veloce was therefore offered to Garibaldi, and at once accepted. Some of the officers and crew, who objected to the change, were shipped for Naples in a Sicilian vessel, and their places were filled by others, two of them engineers from Persano’s squadron. The tricolor was hoisted, and the name of the corvette changed from the Veloce to the Tuckery, the name of a Hungarian volunteer of Garibaldi’s army who had been killed in action. Persano then sent a telegraph message to Turin, to announce to Cavour the event which had taken place— the first result of the intrigues carried on with the officers of the Neapolitan navy.

On the 11th, in reply to an inquiry of Cavour’s, Persano sent to Turin a report on the political opinions of the chief men about Garibaldi with regard to the question of annexation. He said that Medici, Malenchini, Cosenz, and he believed he might add Bixio, were for the annexation of Sicily to Piedmont; but that Crispi, Bertani, Mordini, and perhaps Sirtori, were aiming at the establishment of a republic. As for Garibaldi himself, he was in principle for a republic, but saw the necessity of Victor Emmanuel’s co-operation and assistance in order to complete the work of independence, and was devoted to him; but it would be necessary to deal carefully with Garibaldi, so as not to throw him into the arms of the Mazzinians On the 16th Persano received a letter, in which Cavour insisted that it was necessary al ways to keep in view the possibility of Garibaldi’s putting himself in direct opposition to Victor Emmanuel’s government upon the question of annexation. In that case, he said, it would be requisite to place all Garibaldi’s ships, that is to say the Tuckery and the transports, under Persano’s orders. Piola, who was on board the Tuckery, could be depended upon; and in order that he might be able to bring the rest of Garibaldi’s ships over to Persano with him, Cavour arranged that three or four trustworthy officers should formally retire from the Piedmontese navy so that they might be put in command of the Garibaldian transports. On the 18th Persano received another letter from Cavour, dated the 14th, in which he informed him that Depretis would leave Genoa immediately to take the place of La Farina in Sicily.

He added:—”the path which General Garibaldi is following is full of perils. His mode of governing, and the consequences which result from it, discredit us before Europe. If the disorders of Sicily be repeated in Naples, the Italian cause will incur the risk of being brought before the tribunal of public opinion, which to our cost would give a judgment which the Great Powers would hasten to put into execution.”

Coming from such a quarter, these words are a terrible condemnation of Garibaldi’s policy in Sicily, and show that a state of affairs existed which alarmed even Cavour. Persano replied by endeavouring to reassure Cavour, protesting that Garibaldi had “a good heart, and listened to him (Persano),”(1) and that the island was in favour of annexation.

O-CLERY-mappa-MILAZZO



 On the day upon which these important letters were exchanged between Cavour and Persano, Garibaldi, leaving Sirtori at Palermo to receive Depretis, embarked on board the steamer City of Aberdeen, and, escorted by the Carlo Alberto, made the voyage to Barcellona, on the coast near Milazzo, where Mediate headquarters lay. Medici had occupied the place on the 12th of July, assuming the title of Military Governor of the Province of Messina.

At first the garrison of Milazzo, which consisted only of a single battalion of riflemen and a few gunners, was too weak to menace him; but between the 12th, and the 18th it had been reinforced by four battalions of rifles, a battery of artillery and a squadron of dragoons; and Colonel Bosco, who had already proved himself a trusty and enterprising officer, had taken the command. Medici was therefore in serious peril, and Garibaldi had not lost a moment in largely reinforcing him and coming himself to his assistance.

Milazzo stands upon a promontory about four miles in length, and about six or seven hundred feet high, and a mile wide at its broadest part. The narrow isthmus, which connects the promontory with the mainland, is only four hundred yards wide, and the town stands immediately beyond, and partly upon the isthmus. It is surrounded by an old wall, and defended by a strong castle, which, when Bosco held the place, mounted forty heavy guns.

The Garibaldians occupied the high ground rising from Meri to Pace, about three miles from Milazzo. Their main bodies were about the villages, their outposts being placed on the wooded slopes well forward towards the town. On the 17th they held S. Pietro and Carriola as their advanced posts, their main body with the artillery being on the hills before Meri. There was sharp skirmishing with Bosco’s vanguard, but there was no heavy fighting till the 20th. Garibaldi had landed near Barcellona on the previous day, and had brought up all possible reinforcements to the main position at Meri. His available force, according to Garibaldian accounts, consisted of at least 6400 men, thus distributed:—


Men

Medici’s division

2400

Cosenz

1300

Malenchini (Tuscans)

700

Fabrizi (Sicilians)

2000


6400

Other accounts raise the number still higher. There were on shore only three guns—an old 6-pounder and two 12-pounder ship-guns; but the revolted Neapolitan corvette, now called the Tuckery and flying Garibaldi’s flag, lay off the mouth of the little river Santa Lucia, with her guns pointed towards the land. “As for Garibaldi’s force,” says Captain Forbes, “a more heterogeneous one never came into the field. Northern Italians predominated, but English, French, Hungarians, Swiss, and Germans of all shades were represented. Of Englishmen there was a company of thirty-seven attached to Colonel Dunn’s Palermitans, commonly called the English regiment, because raised by that officer; it had also an English major—Wyndham.”

Bosco’s army consisted of four regiments of rifles, t'ne 15th regiment of the line, two squadrons of dragoons, and two batteries of artillery. Forbes, taking the rifle regiments at 1200 each, and the line regiment at 1000, makes the total force 6500 men and 12 guns; but the cadres must have been singularly well filled, if Bosco’s regiments mustered such a force, and probably the entire force was not over 5000 men. As Garibaldi’s positions were too strong to be attacked with any reasonable hope of success, Bosco resolved to act on the defensive, and drew up his men in a line extending from Sta. Marina to Archi, so as to cover the town, his centre occupying a small hamlet a little to the north of the Garibaldian advanced post at San Pietro.

“The force at Sta. Marina,” says Forbes, “with three guns commanded the approach by the coast road on this side: that at Archi, with as many guns, the main road from Barcellona and the approach to the town from Messina, whilst the centre leant on detached houses near San Pietro, well strengthened with loopholes and sandbags.”

Early on the morning of the 20th Garibaldi’s columns came down from Meri and deployed for the attack. Malenchini, with his Tuscans and a battalion from Palermo, was to attack Bosco’s right at S. Marina. Garibaldi and Medici with the centre advanced by S. Pietro, while a third attack, under Cosenz, was made upon the Neapolitan left. That Garibaldi thus ventured to seriously attack Bosco along the whole line, proves that he must have been superior in numbers on the day of Milazzo. Far away to the extreme right a fourth column, under Fabrizi, came down upon the sea-coast, and watched the village of Gesso, from which it was feared a Neapolitan column might advance to Bosco’s succour.

The fighting began at seven, and lasted nine hours. The first attack was a complete failure. Cosenz was hit in the neck, Garibaldi was slightly wounded, and several of his officers were killed; the loss in the ranks was heavy. It was not till near noon that, having massed his reserves on the right, he succeeded in forcing Sta. Marina. The attack on this point was near failing, owing to a brilliant charge made by a Neapolitan squadron of cavalry, who surrounded Garibaldi’s staff, and nearly succeeded in taking him prisoner.

He was rescued by Major Missori. Sta. Marina having been forced, Bosco’s position was turned, and he retired upon the town, the guns of the Tuckery sending shell after shell into his retreating columns. The Neapolitan line having been thus driven in, Garibaldi gave his men a short interval to rest and refresh themselves, and then at two o’clock attacked the town.

One column, led by Medici, advanced by the beach to the west of the place, another under Wyndham and Malenchini attacked the Palermo gate, a third under Cosenz attacked the eastern gate leading to the Messina road.

The ruinous wall of the town, with its numerous breaches, was but a little obstacle, and little resistance was offered by its defenders. But there was some really hard fighting in the streets and houses, as the garrison retired slowly into the castle. At four the battle was over. Bosco had occupied the citadel, and the Garibaldians were throwing up barricades before it, to prevent a successful sorde in the night or next morning. Garibaldi had bought his victory dearly, with the loss of about 800 men; the Neapolitans had lost about 200. Both sides were exhausted by the nine hours’ combat under a scorching sun, and the night passed quietly, with the exception of a few false alarms caused by the sentries on either side firing random shots. Most of the townspeople had retired to the high ground of the promontory beyond the castle.

Those who remained gave a very bad reception to their uninvited guests. “They appeared,” says Forbes, “utterly indifferent, and solely bent on the preservation of their goods and chattels.” (2)

On the day after the battle, July 21st, there was some skirmishing early in the morning. At 8 a.m. The garrison was summoned to evacuate the castle, leaving behind the guns, stores, and munitions. Bosco refused these terms, but offered to withdraw if he were allowed to take everything with him.

Garibaldi, who wanted to get the guns in the castle if he could, declined to abate his demands, landed the two heavy guns of the Tuckery, and placed them in battery against the castle, and sent to Palermo for some more heavy artillery. Garibaldi was encouraged to take this bold course, because he had been informed that the castle was short of water, and moreover he knew that Bosco was telegraphing to Naples for leave to accept his terms.

The wires leading to Messina had been cut, and Bosco could only send his messages by means of an old semaphore on the top of the castle, and Garibaldi had with him men who knew the code, and could therefore read all the signals of the Neapolitan general. (3)

On the morning of the 22nd, Depretis, who had just arrived from Turin, was formally accepted by Garibaldi as pro-dictator of the island, and an English steamer, the Aberdeen, ran in under the fire of the castle, landed a Sicilian battalion, some guns and ammunition, and returned to Palermo for more.

Garibaldi sent in another summons to Bosco, in which he slightly modified his demands, so that men and officers should retain their arms.

Bosco refused to treat on this basis, and all was quiet until next morning, when four Neapolitan frigates, the Fulminante, Ettore Fieramosca, Guiscardo, and Tancredi, ran into the bay. On board of one of the ships was Colonel Anzano of the staff, who brought from Naples full powers to treat. He had a meeting with Garibaldi at the house of the English Consul.

After a long negotiation it was agreed that Bosco’s troops were to leave, with their arms, and baggage, and half a battery of artillery, receiving the honours of war, and that they were to be embarked at once. The other half-battery (four guns), the heavy guns of the castle, the mules and horses, and the stores, were to become the property of the Garibaldians. The transports arrived next morning, and the evacuation was completed in the course of the 24th.

On that same day, Persano, who had been very anxiously awaiting at Messina the news of the successful termination of the negotiations, and who had not yet heard that they had ended in a capitulation, sailed for Milazzo with his three frigates, the Maria Adelaide, Carlo Alberto and Vittorio Emmanuele. He came in sight of the place early on the 25th, and saw the four Neapolitan war-ships at anchor in the bay, though the transports had left.

Doubtful as to what course things had taken, he cleared for action, and ran in past the Neapolitan fleet, anchoring between it and the town. There Garibaldi came on board, and told him of his success, and his plans for the capture of Messina and the invasion of Calabria.

Later in the day, Persano landed to return Garibaldi visit, and next morning went back to Palermo in the Maria Adelaide* leaving the two other ships to follow him at an interval respectively of twenty-four and forty-eight hours. The Neapolitan fleet had, meanwhile, left the waters of Milazzo.

In the meantime Garibaldi had begun to reap the fruits of his success. Bixio’s brigade, which had started from Palermo a month before, to march through the centre of the island, had reached Catania, and occupied the city without resistance, having been largely reinforced by bands of insurgents on its line of march. Eber’s column, traversing the southern districts of Sicily, had reached Noto, in the south-eastern corner of the island. The town and fortress of Messina was now the only part of Sicily which still remained under the rule of King Francis.

There Marshal Clary had concentrated the Neapolitan forces, and thence it was that Bosco had set out upon his unfortunate expedition to Milazzo. Garibaldi, on the 24th, ordered a general movement against Messina.

He knew that he had an easy conquest before him. Diplomacy was preparing the way for his triumph, pressure had been brought to bear upon the court of Naples, and Napoleon III had been endeavouring to induce King Francis to abandon Sicily, and trust to foreign Powers to use their influence at Turin to prevent Garibaldi from invading the mainland. On the 24th Clary received orders from Naples to propose to evacuate Sicily. On the 20th Count Giulio Litta, an aide-de-camp of Victor Emmanuel, arrived at Palermo, the bearer of a letter from the king to Garibaldi, and of an important despatch from Cavour to Persano.

In this second despatch Cavour informed the admiral of the purport of Litta’s mission to the red-shirted dictator of Sicily. The king, he said, had thought fit to bow to the counsels of those who desired that, on the island of Sicily being evacuated by the Neapolitans, an effort should be made to dissuade Garibaldi from pursuing his enterprise on the mainland. The fate of the Bourbon dynasty, Cavour added, was sealed, whether Garibaldi took this advice or not. Then came directions to Persano as to his personal conduct. If there were any fighting, the fleet was to be kept away from it; for the nearer the crisis approached, the greater was the need of circumspection.

He was to preserve friendly relations with Garibaldi, but not to trust him unreservedly. Litta proceeded to Garibaldi’s head-quarters, but the general refused to stop even for a moment in his enterprise, feeling quite sure that, whatever course he took, Cavour and Persano would support him. He wrote to the king that he would not sheath his sword till he had made him King of Italy—proud words, which proved that Garibaldi, looking only on the surface, really believed that he, and not Cavour, was the king-maker.

On the 20th Garibaldi remarked to his staff that there would be no more fighting in Sicily. Medici’s negotiations with Clary at Messina were proceeding favourably. Two days later a convention was signed, by which all the Neapolitan troops were to be withdrawn, with the exception of the garrison of the citadel, the minor forts being given up to the Garibaldians.

The garrison was to have free access to the town for the purchase of provisions, and was not to fire unless fired upon. The sea was to be equally open to both parties. In the afternoon the town was in the hands of Medici and Garibaldi, and the conquest of Sicily was complete.

The King of Naples refused to recognize the convention, but the generals completed the evacuation, and the Neapolitan flag flew only over three small fortresses, the castles of Syracuse and Agosta, and the citadel of Messina, on which it was to fly even after it had been everywhere else replaced by the tricolour of Piedmont.

Sicily had been revolutionized, from Marsala to Messina, in less than three months—but Garibaldi had not done it. Cavour’s agents had prepared the way, and Cavouris fleet had supported the movement. Garibaldi has been justly called the enfonceur des portes ouvertes— the man who broke through open doors—and nowhere did he deserve the title better than in Sicily. He won three victories. The first was gained over a weak, incompetent man, at Calatafimi; the second, at Palermo, was fought against a traitor; the third, at Milazzo, and the third only, was a genuine victory.

It was after receiving the news of this victory that Cavour wrote to Persano from Turin, on the 28th of July, giving full permission for Garibaldi to invade the continental provinces of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

“Admiral,” wrote Cavour, “I have received your letters of the 23rd and 24th instant. I rejoice at the victory of Milazzo, which does honour to the Italian arms, and should do its part to convince Europe that the Italians are henceforth resolved to sacrifice their lives in order to win back their country and their freedom. I beg you to present my sincere and warm congratulations to General Garibaldi.

After such a brilliant victory I cannot see what there is to prevent him from passing over to the continent. I should have preferred that the Neapolitans should themselves accomplish at least the beginning of the work of regeneration; but since they will not, or cannot move, let Garibaldi act. The enter-price cannot stop half-way. The national flag, hoisted in Sicily, must be displayed on the continent, and then on the shores of the Adriatic, until it floats over the Queen of that sea. Prepare, therefore, my dear admiral, to plant it with your own hands on the bastions of Malamocco, (4) and the towers of San Marco.”

This letter shows that, so far as Cavour was concerned, Litta’s mission to persuade Garibaldi to confine his operations to Sicily was a hollow sham. The king may have been sincere in his effort to stop the enterprise half-way, and the hesitating Emperor of the French probably did wish that Cavour should move more slowly. But this was not to be.

The revolution, which had been effected in Sicily, was to be carried on to the mainland; and while Garibaldi invaded Calabria, the City of Naples became the next scene of Cavour and Persano’s operations against a power with which Piedmont still protested that she was at peace. The young King Francis had published a series of reforms, and was anxious to conclude an alliance with Piedmont, giving at the same time virtual independence to Sicily.

But Cavour desired neither reforms nor a league with Naples, nor the freedom of Sicily. His one object was to Piedmontize Italy, under cover of the cry of Italian unity; and, as a step to this end, he was resolved, as he had said in Paris four years before, to blow up the throne of Naples.


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CHAPTER X

THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST KING FRANCIS

The Neapolitans, being either unable or unwilling to move, Cavour proceeded to work out a revolution for them. The Marquis di Villamarina, the Sardinian Ambassador at Naples, had not been idle. He had spread a network of intrigues around him, and he had friends and agents in the Civil Service, the higher ranks of the army and navy, the ministry, and even the royal family. Cavour believed that Naples was now ripe for action, and he was anxious, if possible, to precipitate matters there, so as to secure a revolution, in which Garibaldi would only play a secondary part; for he feared that if the government lost control of the movement, the result would be to make the Republican party predominant in the south.

Persano having ascertained that Garibaldi was actually making preparations for crossing the Strait of Messina, wrote to Cavour for orders as to how he was to favour and facilitate the movement, at the same time suggesting various ways in which this might be done. Before he could expect a reply to this letter, he received on the 1st of August a telegram from Cavour, forwarded by Villamarina, to the following effect:— “Proceed at once with the Maria Adelaide to Naples, where you will receive further orders. Leave a ship at Palermo and another at Messina, and bring the Anthion with you.”

Next day there came a letter from Cavour, dated July 1st, giving some details of the plan for finally overthrowing the throne of Naples, in which scheme Persano was to take part. By this letter the admiral was informed that the ostensible object of his voyage to Naples would be to hold himself at the disposal of the Princess of Syracuse, (1) the sister of the Prince of Savoy-Carignano, and therefore a cousin of Victor Emmanuel; “but,” wrote Cavour, “the real object is to co-operate in the success of a plan, which is to secure the triumph of the national principle at Naples without the intervention of the Mazzinian element. The principal actors in this matter will be the Minister of the Interior, Signor Liborio Romano, and –– (2). You will be in relation with these two personages, as well as with Baron Nisco, who proceeds to Naples with the Danaro, and will give you a letter from me.”

The admiral was further warned to act with the greatest circumspection in his delicate mission. Of Liborio Romano, Cavour wrote with unconscious satire as of a “tried and honest man.” The Tanaro was to bring 200 rifles, which were to be placed at his disposal. “If the movement succeeds and the king bolts (se il re scappa)” went on Cavour, “take immediate command of all the squadron.” The plea for this act of violence against the Neapolitan navy was to be the prevention of disorder.

Persano was further informed that Villamarina would present him to the Prince of Syracuse, with whom he would be in dose relations. Persano was to urge him to take action in favour of the “national cause” (i.e. the cause of Piedmont), but was not to give him any knowledge of the plot with Liborio Romano.

“We are at the end of the drama; it is the critical moment,” wrote Cavour, as he closed his letter. It told Persano that Piedmontese treachery, exercised through the embassy at Naples, had dug two mines under the throne of King Francis, one by the treason of his Prime Minister Liborio Romano, the other by the treason of his own uncle, the Prince of Syracuse.

Four years had passed since Cavour’s conversation with Clarendon at Paris, and the time was come “pour faire sauter le trone de Naples."

Persano wrote in reply that Cavour was giving him a very “hard bone to gnaw,” but that he would do his best. He then left the Vittorio Emmanuele and the gunboat Ichnusa at Palermo, and sent the Carlo Alberto to Messina with orders to help Garibaldi to get across the strait, but to do it without compromising Piedmont publicly. Having made these arrangements, he sailed for Naples in the Maria Adelaide. On the 3rd of August he cast anchor in the Bay of Naples. Amongst the foreign ships of war in the road-stead was the Piedmontese corvette Monzambano, and the English frigate Hannibal, carrying the flag of Admiral Mundy.

A letter from Prince Eugene of Savoy-Carignano, delivered to him as he anchored, informed him that all was going well, and that he had written to the Prince of Syracuse telling him to put the fullest confidence in the Piedmontese admiral.

Next day Villamarina came on board; Persano returned with him to the city, and the two conspirators went to the Palace of the Prince of Syracuse. They were with the Prince for more than an hour, and he spoke openly of his desire to see Italy united under the sceptre of Victor Emmanuel—to the surprise of Persano, who did not know that the plot had advanced so far.

In the afternoon the Piedmontese dispatch-boat Dora arrived in the Bay with arms on board to be used in the projected Neapolitan insurrection. All this while, be it noted, Piedmont was before Europe at peace with the kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

Cavour’s envoy, Nisco, had arrived in the Dora. He came to Persano next day, and arranged for landing the arms, and on the 6th he introduced the admiral to Liborio Romano, who spoke freely of the coming revolution, and of his part in it, and expressed a wish that General Nunziante, who had retired from the royal army in July, and was travelling in Switzerland, were back in Naples to co-operate. On the 9th there arrived a new agent of Cavour, with a letter of introduction to Persano, which, as evidence of the undoubted cooperation of members of the British Cabinet, is worth quoting at length. (3) It gave Cavour’s plan in a nutshell.

“Admiral,” wrote Cavour, “this letter will be handed to you by Signor Devincenza, who at my request returns to Naples. A man of approved principles and ready for anything, you can avail yourself of him without reserve. As he happens to be a friend of Lord John Russell and Lord Palmerston, he will be able to influence Mr. Elliot, the English Ambassador, and the admiral commanding the British squadron. Prudence and daring, Admiral; we have reached the crisis. Do all you can to get up the insurrection in Naples before the arrival of General Garibaldi, as well to clear the way for him as to save us from diplomacy. In case, however, he is first, take at once the command of all the naval forces—as well those of the mainland as those stationed in Sicily, and act in concert with the General, but also without his consent if you deem it necessary. (Signed) Yours affectionately, C. Cavour. P.S. (not autograph).— Keep the fleet united so as to be able at a short notice to bring it to Naples.”

In reply, the admiral asked Cavour to send him gunners of the royal artillery and bersaglieri; he would, he said, divide them amongst the various ships of his squadron, informing the foreign admirals that the object of this measure was to bring his crews up to their full complement. It appears from various entries in the diary of the admiral, that the Neapolitan police suspected coming danger, and were very active.

The Maria Adelaide became a refuge for conspirators, for whom the police had made the city too hot In Naples two rival committees were organized to promote the revolution. The first, of which Cavour’s agent, Devincenza, was a member, called itself the Committee of Order, and was willing to act under the guidance of Villamarina, Persano and Liborio Romano.

The second, in which Mazzini’s influence predominated, took the name of the Committee of Action, and advocated a sudden and violent effort to drive away the king.

Persano feared the rashness of this Comitato di Azione might ruin everything, if it failed; and if it succeeded, it might take the movement out of his hands, and give that prominence to the “elemento mazziniano” which Cavour was most anxious to avoid. Persano and Villamarina therefore used the Comitato dell’Ordine as a kind of check on the Comitato d’Azione. On the 12th, the admiral received a telegram in cipher, telling-him that the Costituzione and Tanaro were on their way to join him, bringing the artillerymen and Bersaglieri that he had asked for. Earlier in the day he had received from Cavour a remarkable letter, dated August 9th.

It referred to Persano’s complaint that Naples was a hard bone to gnaw, and made some admissions that throw a strange light upon the popular outbreaks promoted by Piedmont throughout Italy.

“Admiral,” ran the letter, “precisely because Naples is a tough morsel, it will be your duty to masticate it, for you have good teeth. I will, however, make every allowance for the immense difficulties you have to surmount; and should you not succeed, I shall be ready to say that success was impossible. The problem we have to solve is this—to help the Revolution, but to help it in such a way that it may appear in the eyes of Europe to have been a spontaneous act. If you manage it in that way, France and England are with us: if not, I do not know what they will do.”

On the 13th Persano received a letter from Depretis, the pro-dictator of Sicily, telling him that Piola, one of Garibaldi’s naval officers, was on his way to the Bay of Naples in the corvette Tuckery, and that he intended in the following night to surprise the Neapolitan war-ship Monarca, which lay off Castellamare, and then to attack the town. Depretis begged Persano to co-operate by his presence.

The admiral saw at once that, if he went down to Castellamare the day before the attack, the whole Piedmontese plot at Naples would be unmasked; but he resolved to do what he could to help Piola. The ramifications of the plot were so far extended that Persano was able to go at once to an officer of the Monarca, and obtain from him details of her position, etc., which would be useful to Piola in his night attack. Those details he communicated to Commander Saint-Bon of the despatch-boat Ichnusa, which went out to meet Piola, who was sure to be found somewhere in the offing.

Piola steamed in after dark in the Tuckery, but he failed to surprise the Monarca; and her commander, Acton, though there was treachery among her officers and he was wounded by a ball, made so good a defence that the Garibaldian ship was beaten off, and with difficulty made her escape in the darkness.

Leaving Persano and Villamarina thus developing the plot at Naples, we must take up the thread of Garibaldi’s operations. The Garibaldian committee at Genoa had arranged to throw a column of 3000 men into the Papal States, under the Republican Pianciani. (4)

Cavour dissuaded them from this enterprise, for his plans in that quarter were not yet ripe for action, and the volunteers were therefore sent into Sicily, where Garibaldi was preparing for the invasion of Calabria. The Garibaldian army was assembled in and around Messina, a battery was erected on a sandy point commanding the strait, and along the shore were moored, or beached, three hundred fishing-boats, collected for the transport across it.

Every day Garibaldi’s steamers brought up more men and guns. Five or six Neapolitan cruisers looked on without being able to interfere, for, by an absurd article in the convention of Messina, the Neapolitan Government had made the sea free to both parties. Thus the Neapolitan fleet was rendered powerless by the stroke of a pen, which the hand of treason must have guided.

Night after night boats conveyed arms across to Calabria, where an insurrection was already organized; at-length, on the evening of the 8th, Garibaldi determined to send across a column of two hundred picked men under Missori. They were to surprise after nightfall the fort of Altafiumara, on the opposite shore.

In the midst of a kind of fog, which favoured the movement, the boats started from Messina. On board the Aberdeen (5) and two other steamers, 2000 men were ready to follow, should Missori’s enterprise be successful. But he failed to surprise the fort, and to save himself from capture he took refuge with his band among the wooded 'spurs of Aspromonte, a spot destined two years later to be ingloriously associated with Garibaldi’s name.

The first attempt having failed, Garibaldi prepared to make a more serious effort ten days later. The army, which he had concentrated in the north-east corner of Sicily for the invasion of the mainland, was, according to Forbes, composed of 25,000 perfectly-armed “regular” troops, many of them veterans of the Piedmontese army. It is to be remarked that, according to the same writer, only 5000 men, one-fifth of the entire force, were Sicilians —a fact which shows to what an extent the movement had been promoted from outside. While continuing to display great activity along the Sicilian shore of the strait, in order to deceive such of the Neapolitan officers as were still faithful, and to give to those who had joined the Piedmontese plot a pretext for not opposing him, Garibaldi began to direct his best battalions to the neighbourhood of Taormina, one of the coast towns standing between the lower spurs of Etna and the sea, to the south of Messina, and about half way between that city and Catania.

It was from Giardini, the port of Taormina, that Garibaldi intended that his steamers should convey the vanguard of his army to Calabria, crossing the open sea to the south of the Strait of Messina. On the 18th, Garibaldi went to Giardini, and at nightfall the expeditionary force was embarked on board of two steamers, the Franklin and the Turino.

It was composed as follows:—

Bixio’s brigade 2500 men
Zucchi’s 1000
Eberhart’s 700

—in all, 4200 men, with four mountain guns. This was to be the vanguard of the invasion of the mainland. The steamers were fearfully crowded. Garibaldi commanded the Franklin, a paddle steamer of only 200 tons, which conveyed no less than 1200 men; on board Bixio’s steamer, the Turino, a screw of 700 tons, there were 3000 men. The voyage was undisturbed.

The Neapolitan war steamers lay off Reggio and Messina, watching a sham expedition, which seemed every moment to be at the point of starting. It was only at 4 a.m., when Garibaldi had landed all his men at Melito, on the south coast of Calabria, that three of the men-of-war repeated the scene of Marsala, by steaming up to Melito, firing a few shells at the Garibaldian column as it left the town for the hills, and setting fire to the Turino, which had got hopelessly aground on a sand-bank.

Garibaldi threw himself into the mountains, and from this time until he encountered a real resistance on the Volturno, the campaign was a well-played military comedy. On the 20th Garibaldi, Bixio, and Missori’s columns closed in upon Reggio. The national guard declared for the invaders; the castle, a good fortress, surrendered to a few rifle-shots from one of the heights which overlooked it, but which did not make it really untenable.

Briganti, who was at the head of more than 10,000 men, a few miles to the north of Reggio, and who could easily have driven the Garibaldians out, did nothing. He, too, was in the plot; and Garibaldi, when he landed at Melito, knew he had even an easier task before him than that which he had accomplished in Sicily.

No sooner-was Reggio taken, than steamer after steamer came over with Garibaldians from Messina. The Neapolitan fleet looked on.

Having arranged for the transport of his army across the strait, and obtained information as to the insurrection which had been organized and was now breaking out in various parts of Calabria, Garibaldi cleared out of Reggio, his troops divided into several columns, moving independently by the narrow roads and passes along the western slopes of the hills, which form the backbone of the long peninsula. Briganti’s troops retired before him, abandoning position after position, in any one of which even two or three thousand men could have held at bay an army three or four times as strong as Garibaldi’s entire force.

One brigade laid down its arms at S. Giovanni. The soldiers of the royal army murmured in vain against this senseless and traitorous retreat; day by day, they spoke more openly of the treachery of Briganti and of their officers. On the 25th the royal head-quarters were at Melitto, a small village near Monteleone.

Briganti was mounted on his horse in front of the priest’s house, giving orders to his staff, when the soldiers, hearing that they were to retire still further before the Garibaldians, loaded their rifles, and with one furious volley riddled Briganti and his horse with bullets, crying out that he was a villain, and had sold them. Discipline and order were, of course, at an end. The army, which had shot its general, was no longer an army, but an armed mob. Several of the men threw away their arms and deserted; the remainder accepted General Ghio as their commander.

The shooting of the traitor Briganti had been an act of help less fury, and the disorganization of the army did Garibaldi’s work as effectually as if he were still living. There was only one traitor the less for Cavour to pay.

If not Ghio, at least his officers were as deeply in league with the invaders as Briganti had been. On the 1st of September the army had fallen back to the old battle-field in the plain of Maida. The one pass by which they could retreat was closed by bands of Calabrese insurgents, who held the heights on either side.

Garibaldi sent them orders to leave the pass open. Only a few of his comrades knew the game that was being played; the rest were surprised at Ghio and the Neapolitans being thus allowed to traverse the dangerous pass without losing a man.

Stocco, the Calabrese chief, complained bitterly of the order, and was told it was the result of the stupidity of Sirtori, the chief of the staff. Forbes, who was with Garibaldi, attributed it to the humanity of the general. “Garibaldi’s humanity,” he says, “was the key to the proceeding.”

This is absurd. He gave up the advantage because he was agreed with his enemy that there should be no campaign but only a military promenade, and he knew that Ghio would surrender without fighting. Ghio retired through the pass, and, going up the valley beyond, halted near Soveria, where he waited quietly to surrender. Let Commander Forbes, an eye-witness, describe the disgraceful scene:—

“The scouts,” he says, “brought in news that the enemy were halting at Soveria, about seven miles in advance, and endeavouring to obtain food. Unable to make out their exact position, as the ‘paese’ (village) was hid in a valley, the General (Garibaldi) left the main road, and, throwing out the Calabrese as skirmishers, advanced cautiously and gained the hills, which overhang it on the west; when within about a mile, Cosenz’s column appearing in the rear, the Calabrese were sent on, Garibaldi and his staff taking up their position in a scattered hamlet a quarter of a mile above Soveria. As yet, nothing could be seen of the enemy; but on the right the Calabrese commenced firing and cheering, having caught sight of a sentry or two; and shortly afterwards Colonel Peard, who was in advance with three Calabrese, on leaving a vineyard found himself in the midst of seven thousand infantry, cavalry, and artillery, huddled upon the main road, which here traverses the paese. Unabashed, he immediately ordered them to surrender, as they were surrounded. The officers replied, he had better ask Ghio, the general, to whom he was accordingly conducted, and who rnerely said that on similar occasions it was not customary to talk so loud in the presence of the men; at the same time he requested Peard to come aside, and very soon agreed to send up an officer to Garibaldi. The firing had now ceased, and many of the troops were divesting themselves of their accoutrements, and beginning to mount the hills in the direction of Cosenza. A more pitiful or disgraceful sight was never seen—an army planted in a ditch, without a rear or advance guard, or a single sentry or picket, capitulating to the first handful of men who came up to them.” (6)

Ghio had-done his treason cleverly. He had placed his army in a trap, where it was disarmed and disbanded, without power of resisting. The southern provinces were now denuded of troops. The way to Naples was only barred by a division of 12,000 men, that lay near Salerno. The main strength of the royal army was being concentrated about Capua, on the Volturno, where, under faithful generals, it was to make a resistance, which was finally crushed only by the overwhelming force of Piedmont.

Meanwhile, as Persano’s diary shows, the revolutionary intrigue was in full progress at Naples. Cavour’s committee “d’ordine” supported by the Piedmontese ambassador and admiral, was master of the situation, and the Mazzinian committee of action had to follow its lead. Garibaldi’s arrival would, however, tend to restore the balance in its favour, and therefore Villamarina and Persano spared no effort to effect a revolution before the appearance of the Red-shirts. They were endeavouring to persuade the Count of Syracuse to make a declaration in the form of a letter to the king; and the Neapolitan general Nunziante, and the Piedmontese generals Mezzacapo and Ribotti, had arrived, the latter to assist in the development of the plan should an appeal to force become necessary.

For this purpose, also, cases of revolvers, rifles, and cartridges were landed from the Piedmontese ships. Every one of these ships had on board some companies of Bersaglieri ready to be landed at a moment’s notice.

On the 24th of August Villamarina and Persano succeeded in persuading the Count of Syracuse to pronounce for the revolution, by addressing a long letter to the king, his nephew, in which he invited him to follow the example of the Duchess of Parma in 1859, “who, on the breaking out of civil war, released her subjects from their allegiance, and left them to be the arbiters of their own destinies… Europe,” he continued, “and your subjects will take your sublime sacrifice into account; and you, sire, will be able to look up in confidence to God, who will reward the magnanimous act of your Majesty.”

King Francis refused to abdicate on this summons, written not in expression of the will of his people, but of that of a Piedmontese minister.

It was therefore necessary to provoke, if possible, a rising en masse. The Committee “of Order,” that is to say, Cavour’s party, called for it; but there was no response. The Committee of Action took the opposite course. It had heard something of Cavour’s plans, and did what it could to prevent any revolt in anticipation of Garibaldi’s arrival; so that, between Royalists and Mazzinians, the city was quiet. The Count of Syracuse, feeling his position a dangerous one, left for Genoa in a Piedmontese despatch-boat on the 31st, thus consummating his treason to his nephew.

Nunziante took refuge on board Persano’s flagship. Ribotti, the Piedmontese general who was lurking in Naples, offered to take Fort St. Elmo by a coup de main> in the hope of exciting a rising and frightening away the king; but Persano counselled the abandonment of the idea, as rash and compromising if it failed. Again and again, in his diary, he laments that the people will not rise.

He endeavours to explain it by saying that they felt pity for their young sovereign, (7) and thus admits the loyalty of the mass of the people of the capital, and the artificial nature of the movement. His orders, received from Cavour on the 29th, were sufficiently precise—if there were a successful movement, and the dictature were offered to him, he was to accept it; if not offered to him, it would be well to have Villamarina dictator. But whether Persano were dictator or not, he was to take command of the Neapolitan fleet, land his Bersaglieri to occupy the forts, and take provisional command of all the troops that might be in Naples.

He was to give provisional commissions to all the Neapolitan officers who would join him, and name one of them chief of the staff. He was further informed that two complete brigades of Piedmontese troops would bc sent to Naples immediately by steamer from Genoa. The concluding sentences told him what he was to do if Garibaldi should arrive before a successful rising.

“If,” wrote Cavour, “the revolution is not effected before the arrival of Garibaldi, we shall be in a bad way. But do not be disturbed on that account. If possible, get possession of the forts; unite the Sicilian and Neapolitan fleets; give all the officers commissions, and make them take the oath of allegiance to the king and constitution, and then we shall see.

Meanwhile, it would be well to bring the entire squadron to Naples or its immediate neighbourhood, in order to have the largest possible force at your disposal. Admiral, the king, the country, and the ministry have entire confidence in you. Follow as far as possible the instructions that I trace out. But where unforeseen circumstances arise, do the best you can to attain the end we all have in view—to constitute Italy, without allowing ourselves to be outdone by the Revolution. Cavour.”

On the 31st an attempt was made to provoke a rising. Cavour’s committee, the Comitato dell’Ordine, which was under the command of Persano and Villamarina, issued proclamations to the citizens and the troops. The former were told that the time was come to make up their minds, that a firm purpose would securc success, and that they should cry, “Viva l’unità d’Italia!— Viva Vittorio Emmanuele Re d’Italia!—Vìva Garibaldi Dittatore!” the proclamation to the soldiers told them to rise, not as individuate but as a body, and declare to “the Bourbon” that they were Italians; and it ended with the same array of vivas. There was no response. Persano noted in his diary that evening that the citizens hesitated, and the soldiers were “inert, indifferent.”

On the 1st of September Persano telegraphed to Cavour that the King of Naples contemplated sending his fleet to Trieste. Cavour replied by telegraph next day that no means should be spared to prevent the fleet passing over to Austria. Persano answered that he would, if necessary, resist by force any attempt to remove it from the Bay of Naples, adding, “but in that case, farewell to the pretence of neutrality.”

Meanwhile Garibaldi was approaching the capital. The Neapolitan division, which was to have covered Salerno, was withdrawn, and there was now nothing between Garibaldi and Naples, beyond the line of the forts. Cavour changed his plans with the altered circumstances, and the morning of the 3rd brought another letter to Persano, still begging for the rising which for weeks the admiral, the diplomatists, and the generals of Piedmont had been trying in vain to promote; but setting forth the modification which was to take place in his attitude towards Garibaldi, and giving him the first intimation of the coming attack upon the States of the Church. This letter was dated August 31st, and ran as follows:—

“Admiral,—Your telegram of the evening of the 30th convinced me that you correctly interpreted my instructions of the morning. You must persevere in endeavouring to promote an insurrection or pronunciamento in Naples; but you must lay aside the idea of acting without the concurrence of Garibaldi, as the army is no longer in a condition to prevent his march on Naples. We cannot and ought not to do so. Whatever would have been most opportune some fifteen days ago would now be a fatal blunder. The Government considers the arrival of Garibaldi at Naples as unavoidable. It only hopes that the honest people, aided by you and Villamarina, will succeed in persuading him not to repeat the mistakes he made in Sicily, and that he will call to power trusty persons, devoted to the cause of order, liberty and unity. That need not prevent, if opportunity offers, your taking possession of the forts, and getting under your command the entire fleet. It is now the more desirable, inasmuch as we are resolved upon another maritime expedition, as important as it is difficult.

“There is now only one means of preventing the Revolution spreading into our kingdom, namely, to make ourselves masters without delay of Umbria and the Marches. The Government has resolved to attempt this arduous enterprise, whatever may be the consequences. Here is what has been arranged with this end in view. An insurrectional movement will break out in those provinces from the 8th to the 12th of September. Whether it is suppressed or not, we shall intervene. General Cialdini will enter the Marches, and advance rapidly to before Ancona. But he cannot hope to make himself master of that city, unless he is energetically assisted by the fleet. You will, therefore, let me know without delay what you consider necessary for the success of this undertaking.”

The rest of the letter related to matters of detail, mention being made amongst other things of the embarkation of rifled cannon at Genoa, to complete the armament of the fleet

Persano at once sent a telegram to Cavour, saying that he would write at length next day. Meanwhile he told him that he would either take Ancona or have his ships sunk: that if he had more troops, he could co-operate in the siege by landing them: that he would leave the Costituzione at Naples, the Monzambano at Messina: that he could not get the Neapolitan fleet, unless the king left Naples: that the Sicilian navy would be useless in the coming operations: finally, that the voyage to Ancona would take seven days.

The long letter, which he wrote next day, is a monument of Piedmontese treachery against Naples and Rome, two Powers with which Cavour was still formally at peace. After a few introductory sentences, Persano goes on:—”Now to business. We shall smooth the way for Garibaldi, working in perfect harmony with him. I think that Francis II. will go, when compelled by the triumphant approach of the General—not sooner. The declaration for the Unity of Italy cannot be made till he Comes; and, as I anticipate, it will be imposing, judging from the lively disposition of the people. Interpreting the orders of your Excellency, I shall be prepared to support the illustrious General in every way. If he succeed without the intervention of our forces, so much the better; if not, we shall go in and win. In this last supposition, your Excellency can always evade diplomatic complaints by laying the whole blame on me. The reputation of being a hot and undisciplined officer, which I have most unjustly acquired, would here be of great service. The Neapolitan fleet will come over to us. The commanding officers are safe for this. Nor shall we have any difficulty on the part of Garibaldi, because he wishes me well, and he knows how heartily I supported him in Sicily. It is all very well to say that such were my instructions, but there are two different ways of doing everything, and the General knows right well that I never hesitated or raised doubts. So on this score, too, we are safe. The getting possession of the forts is a much more difficult undertaking, as your Excellency can well understand. First of all, the troops in garrison must consent to go, and up to the present there is no sign of their going. Your Excellency, however, may rest assured that I shall not be slow to avail myself of the opportunity the moment it presents itself. What is of more importance just now is to have the fleet, and that shall be ours at any cost.

“For the attack on Ancona, your Excellency will have to supply the squadron with as many rifled cannon as possible, complete the crews so as to fully place the ships on a war-footing, and let there be no lack of coal. The rest is our part of the business; and we shall see that it is worthy of the king, the country, and our illustrious minister.”

He went on to say that Cavour might trust him not to act rashly: that he knew there were no ports in the Adriatic where he could repair his ships in case of their being disabled, and that he would therefore take care to preserve at least some of them intact, so as to be able still to keep the sea in the event of Austria declaring war. He concluded with assurances of secrecy, and a final message that Garibaldi would now meet with no resistance in his advance on Naples.

Hardly had he despatched this letter, when he received news, which made him anxious for his plan of getting possession of the fleet. The Neapolitan war-ships lay in the Porto Navale, a sort of great dock near the Castello Nuovo, which was approached by a narrow channel. As long as they were in the Porto, he could, if necessary, resist their exit by the channel. In the morning, the fleet was ordered out into the bay.

The officers refused, led by those whom Villamarina and Persano had gained over; upon which King Francis came down to the Porto, spoke to the crews, and gave his orders in person. The sailors replied with cheer after cheer, and immediately four paddle steamers, the screw frigate Borbona, and the sailing frigate Partenope passed out into the bay; the rest of the ships were left in the Porto.

Next day Persano took effectual means to block up the channel, in order to be able to stop any more of the Neapolitan vessels coming out. He sent one of his largest anchors ashore in a launch, ostensibly to be repaired, ordering the crew to lose it accidentally overboard, as they went up the channel to the Porto Navale or Dockyard. The pre-arranged accident was successfully managed without exciting any suspicion, and Persano noted it in his diary, adding that when next day any of the war-steamers of King Francis attempted to come out, he would keep them in by giving orders to the Carlo Alberto to cnter the channel, and hold possession of it till she had picked up the sunken anchor.

On the same day, he received from Cavour two letters, dated on the 3rd. The first is important, as showing clearly the secret action of England and her premier, Lord Palmerston, on the side of the Italian Revolution.

“Admiral,” wrote Cavour, “Mr. Edwin James, the celebrated English lawyer, is going to Naples on an official mission, entrusted to him by Lord Palmerston and the English subscribers to the fund collected for General Garibaldi. He is charged with the personal duty of hearing to the brave General the disinterested advice of all in England who sympathize with the Italian cause and desire its triumph. Belonging to the Liberal party, Mr. James can counsel moderation and concord with greater authority; nor can the defender of the French Bernard be disagreeable to General Garibaldi, if he warns him to be on his guard with the Mazzinian party, which seeks to destroy that unity of purpose, that has rendered possible the triumphs hitherto obtained by the great national party. Be pleased then, Admiral, to receive with every demonstration of good will Mr. James and the friends who accompany him. Amongst these I may specially mention Mr. Evelyn Ashley, son of Lord Shaftesbury, and secretary to Lord Palmerston. I shall feel particularly grateful for every kindness shown towards these illustrious compatriots of Nelson, and their influence will prove particularly useful to our cause.” So much, en passant, for England’s underhand help to Garibaldi and Cavour. We shall see more of it when, later on, we treat as a whole the Italian policy of England, and especially of the English Whigs in 1860.

Cavour’s second letter, of September 3rd, bore on the coming attack upon the States of the Church. “Admiral,” he said, “it is no longer at Naples that we can acquire the moral (?) force, necessary to keep down the Revolution. (8) It is at Ancona... What troubles me most is, how to accommodate the expedition to what is still to be done at Naples. You cannot be in two places at the same moment, but the expedition must take precedence of everything else. I will send the San Michele to Naples; she and the Costituzione will suffice to strengthen Villamarina’s hands... Going to Ancona will prevent the cession of the Neapolitan squadron to Austria, and you can easily induce it to place itself under our orders for the glorious undertaking. At any rate, do what is best. I have every confidence in you.”

Persano sent on his English visitors in the Anthion, with orders for them to be landed on the coast as near as possible to Garibaldi’s head-quarters. His own envoys, as Cavour’s note indicates, had already been despatched from the comitato dell’ordine to Garibaldi camp. He was anxious that matters should be brought to a crisis as soon as possible at Naples, so that his fleet might be set free for the expedition against Ancona.

The end was dose at hand. On the 5th, at Auletta, a day’s march to the south of Salerno, Garibaldi learned that that city was evacuated. The same day he received the deputations from Naples, sent by the committees. He spoke graciously to the Mazzinian delegates; but he told the “Cavourian” deputation, that he was, and he intended to remain, Dictator of the Two Sicilies, and that he would not hear a word about annexation, until, having taken Venetia and the Papal States, he could summon Victor Emmanuel to come to Rome and be crowned king of all Italy.

This absurd speech meant very little, considering that the advance of the Piedmontese army through the States of the Church would soon make Cavour, and not Mazzini, master of the situation. It showed, however, how clearly Cavour had appreciated the state of affaire, when he' saw that the only way by which he could control the revolution he had evoked, was by at once out-bidding and overmastering Garibaldi.

On the 6th the Garibaldians occupied Salerno, and there Garibaldi received an important telegram from Naples. It was dated three o’clock that afternoon, and came from the traitor Liborio Romano, who was still beside the king he had sworn to serve faithfully, when he wrote the message. It is well to quote the very words:—

All’Invitissimo Dittatore delle Due Sicilie—Napoli vi attende con ansia per affidare se stessa ed i suoi futuri destini —Tutt’a voi, Liborio Romano. (9)

“To the most desired Dictator of the Two Sicilies —Naples awaits you with anxiety to entrust itself and its future destinies to you.—Yours sincerely, Liborio Romano.”

At six that evening the king left Naples. At eleven in the morning he had sent for the officers of the National Guard, and spoke a few words to them. He thanked them for their good conduct, and told them that he had ordered his troops to respect the capital, which he was leaving in consequence of a “capitolazione diplomatica”—a submission to diplomacy. In other words, yielding to his own feelings and to the advice of the foreign ambassadors, he had resolved that there should be no conflict in the streets of the capital.

Persano was soon informed of this, and the day was one of Constant activity and anxiety for him. He feared that the Neapolitan steamers would follow the King, and the Carlo Alberto therefore ran into the dock-yard channel, and her officers pretended to be very busily engaged in picking up the lost anchor.

The commandant of the port went to Villamarina, and protested against the Piedmontese man-of-war taking this position. Villamarina cxplained that she was recovering an anchor, and had no hostile intentions, and the commandant went away apparently satisfied. Later on two Spanish war-ships steamed dose into the dockyard near the Carlo Alberto.

Persano watched them anxiously. He saw that the Partenope, a Neapolitan sailing-frigate, was getting ready for sea, and there were signs of activity in the dockyard. He landed, taking with him several officers of the Neapolitan navy, who had from time to time, on their revolutionary intrigues being discovered, taken refuge on board his ships. These officers were now to return to their own ships, and persuade the crews not to sail. The parting proclamation of the king was being placarded throughout the city. It ran as follows:—

Royal Proclamation.

“Among the duties prescribed to kings, those of the days of misfortune are the most sacred and the most solemn, and I wish to fulfil them with a resignation which has no weakness, and with calmness and confidence, as befits the descendant of so many illustrious sovereigns.

“With such an object I address once more the people of this capital, from which I must separate myself with sorrow—sorrow that I have not been able to sacrifice my fife for its happiness and its glory.

“Notwithstanding that I was at peace with all the Powers of Europe, my States have been invaded unjustly and in defiance of the law of nations. The change made in my System of government, (10) my adhesion to the great principles of nationality, could not ward it off; and the necessity of defending the integrity of the State has led to events which I shall always deplore. I protest then solemnly against this invasion, which the present and future ages will know how to judge.

“The ambassadors at my court have had the opportunity of knowing, since the beginning of this strange invasion, with what sentiments towards my people and this illustrious city my heart has been filled; I have promised to save from the ruin of a conflict the inhabitants, their property, the churches, the monuments, the public buildings, the art collections, in fine all that forms the patrimony of its civilization and its greatness; all that ought to be handed down to future generations, and that should therefore be placed above the passions of the day. (11)

“The time for keeping this promise is at hand. The war approaches the walls of the city, and it is with unspeakable sorrow that I leave it, to go with a part of my army where the defence of my rights calls me. The other portion will remain to watch over the security of the city in concert with the National Guard. This security I commend as a sacred palladium to the ministry. I demand of the honour and civic virtue of the Syndic of Naples and of the commandant of the National Guard to spare my dear native city the horrible disorders and disasters of war, and to this end I give them both all necessary power of action to the fullest extent. Descended from a dynasty which for 126 years has reigned in these provinces of the Continent, after having saved them from the oppression of a long line of viceroys, all my affections are here. I am a Neapolitan, and I cannot, without bitter regret, bid adieu to my beloved people, to my fellow-countrymen.

“Whatever may be my destiny, whether fortunate or unfortunate, I shall always retain the most deeply affectionate remembrance of them. I recommend to them concord, unity, a pious fulfilment of their national duties. Let not an immoderate zeal for my crown become a source of conflict. Whether by the fortune of the present war I soon return amongst you, or whether it please the justice of God to give me back in later days the throne of my ancestors made more glorious by the free institutions by which I have irrevocably surrounded it, what I implore is to see my people united, strong and happy.

Signed. FRANCISCO SECONDO.

" Naples, Sept. 6th, 1860.”

At the same time he addressed to the ambassadors a written protest, reserving all his rights to the throne of Naples, explaining his motive in quitting the capital, and denouncing the support given by Piedmont tothe revolution. He did not, however, directly charge the Government with complicity, but he indicated it by showing that the main strength of the revolution came from the states of King Victor Emmanuel, and it proclaimed that it acted in his name.

This done, after many sorrowful farewells, he left the palace at six o’clock in the evening, and went on board one of the Spanish frigates at the dockyard, accompanied by the Royal family, and the ambassadors of Austria, Spain, Prussia and Bavaria. The two frigates then steamed out of the bay, bound for Gaeta.

The Royal fleet was signalled to follow, but only the sailing ship Partenope obeyed. Besides her own crew, she had on board many loyal sailors, who left their ships when they found that the officers had leagued themselves with Persano. At first the Piedmontese admiral thought of stopping the Partenope; to attack her, he noted in his diary, would not have looked well, and besides being a sailing ship she was not worth much.

The city was quiet, but the two committees were at war with each other. The Cavourians wished at once to establish a provisional government and declare for annexation; the Mazzinians threatened to call for an insurrection of their party, if any steps were taken before Garibaldi entered the city. The forts were held by Neapolitan troops. A calumny against the king, invented by Piedmontese journalists, said that he had ordered them to bombard the city after his departure. The whole action of King Francis refutes it.

The National Guard was kept under arms to preserve order, but order was not disturbed. Next day the city was all excitement. At eleven the Cavourian party proclaimed a Provisional Government. At noon Garibaldi and his staff arrived by train from Salerno, and, as Dictator, he dissolved it. Later on in the day he established a Ministry, with Liborio Romano for Premier, and Cosenz for Minister of War.

Persano was very anxious lest Garibaldi might declare for a Republican policy, but instead he mentioned Victor Emmanuel in all his proclamations and speeches, and at the admiral’s request by a formal decree handed over the fleet and dockyard to Piedmont. Later in the day the Neapolitan ships hoisted the Sardinian tricolour, amid the roar of salutes from Persano’s three fifty-gun frigates. At the same time the tricolour was hoisted on the forts. All but St. Elmo had already been evacuated and handed over to the National Guard, and even the garrison of St. Elmo was negotiating for a capitulation.

And now as to the attitude of the city. We have heard much of the enthusiasm with which Garibaldi was received by the people of Naples. Some writers have alleged that this enthusiasm was confined to the two committees and their immediate supporters, and that most of the (M) rejoicing” was produced by artificial means.

The usual reply is that these writers are clericals and reactionists I shall therefore content myself with citing the words of Commander Forbes, R.N., a Garibaldian sympathizer, who was one of the small band that entered the city with Garibaldi, and who had been with him throughout the campaign. He wrote from Naples on the nth, while the impression of Garibaldi’s entry into the city was still fresh upon his mind: “Anything to equal the masquerade—for it cannot be dignified with the term enthusiasm—of the two days subsequent to Garibaldi’s entry, could only be achieved by Neapolitans. Not only was all business suspended, but the entire population roused themselves (12) into a state of frenzy, bordering on madness, which oft-times became ridiculous, and at others dangerous, numerous assassinations taking place. Night and day the entire population were in the streets; carriages full of putanas offered you the alternative of a dagger or the now universal cry of Una, symbolic of a united Italy. Bands of ruffians in red shirts invaded hotels and cafés, and forced, arms in hand, everyone to join in their orgies. Sunday, the second day, being the national festival of Piè di Grotta, was worse than the first, but luckily on the previous evening Garibaldi’s troops had begun to arrive, and a proclamation from the Minister of Police requesting the-unwashed to reserve their energies for Venetia, rendered them a little more tranquil.” (13) The( )arrival of the Garibaldian regulars tended to restore order in some degree. and Persano on the 16th landed some of the troops he had on board, sending ashore 500 Bersaglieri and two batteries of artillery. On the same day he received from Cavour orders to sail on the morrow for Ancona, and to call at Messina in order to embark siege guns for Cialdini which had been sent there in the Dora. Accordingly he prepared to sail with the squadron, now more than doubled in strength by the accession of the Neapolitan ships. He had changed some of the names of these vessels to give them a more patriotic sound. Thus the Monarca became the Re Galantuomo, the Borbotta became the Garibaldi, and the Farnese was re named the Italia.

On this same day Garibaldi paid a visit to Admiral Mundy. By a curious coincidence, a lucky chance, for it was the most unlikely thing in the world that there was an appointment, the English ambassador was on board of the flag-ship Hannibal.

He had a long conversation with Garibaldi, in which, amongst other things, he tried to persuade him that the time was not yet ripe for his projected attack on Rome and Venice? (14)

Next day Persano’s fleet steamed out of the bay, en route for Messina and Ancona. It was the day of the invasion of the Papal States. As the fleet made its way towards Sicily four armies were preparing for conflict. The Neapolitan troops were gathering on the strong line of the Volturno with Capua for its centre, and behind them the second line of the Garigliano with Gaeta for their base. Garibaldi was gathering his army in and around Naples to attack them, but they were in a position such as he could not have forced.

The real victory was to be given him by Cialdini’s advance into the Papal States. Persano’s action had placed Piedmont and the King of Naples in a state of war; and Cialdini, after his enterprise against Ancona, was to come down through the Abruzzi and the Volturno valley, and so force the Royalists to fall back by menacing their rear. But before all this could be accomplished there was to be a brief but bloody campaign in the Marches of Ancona, for the Papal army under La Moricière stood in the way of the Piedmontese invaders. Before telling the story of that disastrous but glorious campaign, I must glance at some of the events which preceded it.


vai su


CHAPTER XI

THE CAMPAIGN OF CASTELFIDARDO

The violent annexation of the Romagna, the threats of the revolutionary press, and the activity of the committees in the north of Italy, could leave no doubt but that the Revolution was determined to complete its programme of a United Italy, with Rome for its capital. It was expected that the summer of 1860 would witness a Garibaldian invasion, and Pius IX. determined to appeal for aid and protection to his sons throughout the Catholic world. An army was to be formed for the defence of the temporal rights of the Holy See, and this army was to be composed partly of Romans and Italians, partly of foreign volunteers. In April the nucleus of the new corps was formed in Rome. The command was offered to the gallant La Moricière, the hero of Constantine, the conqueror of Abdel-Kader, and the organizer of the Zouave regiments of the French army.

Arrested by Louis Napoleon on the night of the coup d’état, he had refused to cast in his lot with the new empire, and since 1852 he had been living in retirement.

When he received the Holy Father’s invitation to give his sword to the defence of the Church he accepted the task without a moment’s hesitation. On the 2nd of April he arrived in Rome. A week later, on the 9th, his first proclamation to his soldiers appeared on the walls of the city. There was in its words a chivalrous ring which carried one back to the days of the Crusaders.

“Soldiers,” he said, “our Holy Father, Pope Pius IX., having deigned to summon me to the defence of his disregarded and menaced rights, I have not hesitated for a moment once more to takc up my sword. At the sound of that venerable voice, which has already made known from the summit of the Vatican the dangers which surround the Patrimony of St. Peter, Catholicity has been stirred, and this movement extends from end to end of the world.

Christianity is not only the religion of the civilized world, but it is the source and the very essence of civilization. Ever since the Papacy has become the centre of Christendom, all Christian nations show even in these days a conscious knowledge of those great truths on which our faith is based. As Islamism once menaced Europe, so does now the spirit of the Revolution, and now as then the cause of the Papacy is the cause of civilization and of the liberty of the world. Soldiers! have confidence; be assured that God will sustain our courage, and raise it to the height of that cause, the defence of which He has committed to our arms.

“The General Commanding-in-Chief,

“La Moricière.”


La Moricière’s arrival in Rome, and the formation of the Pontifical army, plainly told all Europe that Pius IX. was determined to defend to the utmost his temporal power. The position assumed by the Sovereign Pontiff is very clearly defined in a despatch of M. de Gramont, the French Ambassador in Rome, dated April 14th, 1860, in which he informed his Government of the replies he had received from Cardinal Antonelli to certain proposals made to the Holy See. Briefly, these proposals were, that the Roman question should be referred to a congress of the Catholic Powers, the question of the annexation of the Romagnas being reserved and therefore not discussed: that these Powers should on certain conditions guarantee the remaining territories of the Holy See, and pay an annual subvention to the Pontifical army.

De Gramont thus stated Antonelli's reply:—”the Holy See will never give its adhesion to any protocol which contains a reserve as to the question of the Romagnas. To accept a reserve on this matter appears to it to be a concession to a fait accontpli. If the Catholic Powers meet to discuss the affairs of the Holy See, the first question which should occupy them is that of the Romagnas.

Either those Powers give their adhesion to the spoliation. or they disapprove of it. In the former case, the Holy See could not treat with them. In the latter, it cannot admit that all the Catholic States, which form so imposing a force in the world, are reduced to endure it in silence, and hide their resentment, for fear of displeasing Piedmont. They have only to declare their will and their resolve upon the matter, and the spoiler will give up to the victim of his urpation what he has torn from him.

“The Holy See looks upon the question of reforms as settled in principle, but it defers the promulgation of those to which it has given its consent until it is again put in possession of the provinces annexed by Piedmont.

“It will never accept a guarantee for the States which still remain under its rule, because, in its view, this would be a recognition of a difference between these States and those which have been torn from it. On this point its decision is unalterable.

“The Pope has already expressed himself upon the subject of the proposed subsidies, and does not accept the plan of a rentè inscribed in the budgets of the States. He will only take part in an arrangement which takes the form of a compensation for the canonical dues formerly levied on vacant benefices, and on this very account it would be most difficult to bring the matter into accord with the existing institutions of the greater part of the contributing States.

“As for the assistance of troops to be furnished by the Catholic Powers other than France and Austria, the Holy See prefers to have the liberty of levying its own army, and will accept with much gratitude any facilities which the various Governments will give it for this purpose.”

This was the position which the Pontifical Government had assumed from the first—the position to which it stood firm till the end. There was in it nothing which could be made a cause for a quarrel by Piedmont. There was indeed a distinct protest against the occupation of the Romagnas; but though it pointed out that the Catholic Powers could if they wished right the wrong that had been done, it made no direct appeal to them, nor did it announce any intention of attempting to recover the revolted provinces by force.

There was no word in the despatch, and no branch of the policy it laid down, out of which Cavour could make a casus belli, even if Piedmont had been in the right from the outset. But lawless aggression is seldom stayed for the want of a pretext; and when the hour carne, Cavour found that pretext in the assembling of the Papal army. That army had been collected purely for defence against enterprises similar to that which Garibaldi had directed against Naples. Of the 15,000 men who mustered in its ranks in the August of 1860, two-thirds were Italians.

This little army it was that Cavour, at the head of 120,000 veteran soldiers, and with all the power of his Imperial ally behind him, denounced to Europe as a menace to Piedmont.

It was Cavour’s policy, as we have seen it laid down in his letter to Persano, to make use of Garibaldi, but at the same time to take care that he should not become too strong, and especially to do everything to keep the Mazzinian element at bay, and prevent the Italian movement from passing out of the hands of the Piedmontese Royalists and into those of the Republicans from all parts of Italy. When, therefore, thanks to his own secret aid, he found Garibaldi in possession of Sicily with the exception of Messina, and the mainland of Naples with the exception only of Capua, Gaeta and the Abruzzi, he decided that the time had come for the Royal armies to move. They would at once save Garibaldi from a possible defeat, for King Francis still had a strong military position in the north of his kingdom, and a reaction in his favour was already beginning to declare itself; they would, moreover, by securing the fruits of the former Garibaldian successes, place Naples and Sicily in the hands of Victor Emmanuel, and crush those who were intriguing for a southern republic. It would have been easy to embark an army at Genoa, and land it at Naples, but Cavour resolved that the army should march to Naples through the States of the Church, annexing two new provinces, thus winning new prestige in the eyes of the Revolution, and taking one more great step in the spoliation of the Holy See and the building up of United Italy, and by the point from which it entered the kingdom of Naples making the line of the Volturno untenable.

The plan was arranged in August. In the middle of the month masses of Piedmontese troops were assembled on the frontiers of Tuscany and the Romagna, but the Pontifical Government was assured that these forces were placed in line upon its borders not as a menace, but as a protection, and that their object was to prevent a repetition of raids like those of Zambianchi. Later in the month the Emperor Napoleon was making a progress through Savoy, and receiving the homage of his new subjects. On the 29th he was at Chambéry. General Cialdini met him there as the special envoy of Victor Emmanuel, ostensibly to convey to the Emperor the friendly congratulations of the king, really, there can be no doubt, to obtain finally his consent to the operations about to be undertaken against Ancona and Umbria.

After the fall of Ancona, Piedmontese officers of rank, talking to the officers of the garrison, laughed at their hope of French intervention, and told them that the matter had been settled at Chambéry three weeks before. Cavour would never have been such a madman as to act without Napoleon's consent, at the risk, too, of provoking Austria into war. This consent he received through Cialdini at Chambéry, the Emperor insisting only upon Rome and the five adjacent provinces being left intact under the rule of the Pope. Having thus had his part in the prologue, the Emperor went off to Algeria, where he remained until the sanguinary drama was over, thinking, doubtless, that in Africa he was more out of the way of pressure and agitation on the Roman Question than he would have been had he gone back from Savoy to Paris.

We have seen how on the 31st of August, that is to say almost as soon as he received news at Turin of the interview at Chambéry, Cavour wrote to Persano and told him how the campaign had been planned; how there would be an insurrection in the Papal States between the 8th and the 12th; how, whether it were put down or not, Cialdini would invade them and attack Ancona. Almost as clear an official indication of the scope of the coming campaign came from the side of France. On the 1st of September General de Noué, who commanded the French auxiliary garrison at Rome, issued a significant proclamation. He announced by this document that he had the Emperor’s orders to defend against all attacks the city of Rome, the Comarca, and the provinces of Civita Vecchia and Viterbo; in other words, the greater part of the territory which was left to the Holy See from 1860 to 1870.

This proclamation, if it meant anything, meant that the French army would not extend its operations beyond these districts, and thus it was virtually a public intimation to the Piedmontese that they might invade Umbria and the Marches of Ancona without having to fear anything from the arms of France.

The insurrection, predicted by Cavour to Persano, broke out at the time and in the manner arranged. It was really an invasion. On the 8th of September bands of invaders, led by the Garibaldian Masi, crossed the frontiers of Tuscany, and tore down the Papal arms in a few towns and villages, and here and there skirmished with the police. This was the first step towards Piedmontese intervention.

The journals of Turin ostentatiously announced that a great insurrection had broken out in the Papal States, and the news was telegraphed all over Europe. This was the pretext Cavour required, and which he had manufactured to meet his necessity. No sooner had Europe heard of the rising in the States of the Church than it heard that Piedmont had sent an ultimatum to Rome.

On the 10th of September Captain Farini, an aide-de-camp of General Fanti, the Piedmontese Minister of War and Commander-in-Chief, waited upon General La Moricière at his headquarters at Spoleto, and presented a letter from Fanti, in which it was intimated to the Pontifical General that by order of King Victor Emmanuel the Papal territory would be at once invaded by the Piedmontese troops if any expression of popular feeling were suppressed by the Papal army, or if such expression of feeling were not acquiesced in by the immediate withdrawal of the army from the disturbed districts.

“I was indignant at the letter which was handed to me,” says La Moricière, in his official report. “Captain Farini, to whom I had given a very courteous reception, having said that he was acquainted with the contents of the despatch which he had brought me, I pointed out to him that the proposal made to me was that I should evacuate without a conflict the provinces with the defence of which I had been entrusted; that for me and my army this would be a shame and a dishonour; that the King of Piedmont and his General might have dispensed with sending us such a summons, and that it would have been more frank to declare war against us; finally, that notwithstanding the numerical superiority on the side of Piedmont, we should not forget that there are times when, in order to defend the outraged honour of the Government they serve, officers and soldiers must neither count the numbers of an enemy nor give a thought to their own lives.”

Captain Farini returned to the headquarters of his chief with this soldier-like message. La Moricière had but little force to support it. His army list amounted to 15,000 men, but he could not muster a field force of even 10,000; and after providing for his share of the garrison of Rome, and for the entire garrison of Ancona, he could only place detachments of about 500 men each in the fortresses of Viterbo, Spoleto, Perugia, and Pesaro. The armament of his troops was very defective. Only a battalion and a half, and three companies of sharp-shooters, carried rifles, the rest had only muskets. The artillery was weak in numbers, badly horsed, and composed of old smooth-bore guns of various calibres.

The whole force had been raised to meet a Garibaldian invasion, and was adequate for that purpose. It could not hope to contend successfully with the army of Piedmont.

All that La Moricière could expect was to make a desperate resistance for a few days, in the hope of some Catholic Power coining to his assistance and saving his army from destruction. He could not do more than this, and he could not in honour do less.

On the same day on which Captain Farini presented Fanti’s insolent message to La Moricière at Spoleto, the Count della Minerva was to have presented to Cardinal Antonelli, at Rome, Cavour’s summons to the Holy Father to disband his army or see his State invaded; but Della Minerva, in his journey to Rome, was delayed twenty-four hours by stormy weather during the voyage to Civita Vecchia; the ultimatum was not, therefore, in Antonelli’s hands until a day after Cavour had calculated on receiving his reply. It will hardly be believed that the Minister of King Victor Emmanuel waited for no reply.

He would not lose a day in putting his plans into effect; and before these demands, unjust and lawless as they were, (1) could be presented, he announced in a circular despatch to the representatives of Piedmont at the Courts of Europe that the Government of Pius IX. refused to concede the “just demands of his master the King of Piedmont,” and that therefore he was compelled to have recourse to acts of war.

At the same time orders were given to Fanti to cross the frontiers. Fourteen thousand copies of a royal proclamation were distributed to the troops, in which Victor Emmanuel called upon them to “deliver the unhappy provinces of Italy from the presence of foreign adventurers;” and the same evening the invasion began.

“Thus,” says the Bishop of Orleans, “without a declaration of war, without any of the decent conventionalities which are the last safeguard of honour in the civilized world, as if we still lived in the depths of barbarism, armed masses overran the Papal States.”

Europe was startled at the lawless act, for there was still at least some respect left for the forms of law between nations. Catholic Austria and Spain, schismatic Russia and Protestant Prussia united in protesting and withdrawing their representatives from the Court of Turin.

The French Emperor strove to save appearances by a similar public interruption of diplomatic intercourse, though his friendly relations with Turin were, in reality, not interrupted for a day. England alone, represented by Palmerston and Lord John Russell, attempted an apology for the outrage. Unhappily the protest of the Catholic Powers was a protest and nothing more; it was followed by no act, though it is said that the young Emperor Francis Joseph was with difficulty dissuaded from a declaration of war.

The proclamations in which Fanti and his lieutenant, General Cialdini, gave their soldiers the order to advance were at once insulting to the Pontifical army and disgraceful to the men who penned them. Fanti, in his proclamation, spoke of the chivalrous and gallant men who had left both home and country to fight in what they held to be the cause of God, as “men without a country or a home, who had planted on the soil of Umbria the lying standard of a religion that they rendered absurd.” Cialdini’s proclamation was more brutal, for its only effect could be to hound on those who read it to deeds of murder and outrage. It was dated from the headquarters at Rimini on the morning of the 11th, and was so brief-that it may be given in full:—

Soldiers of the 8th Corps.—I lead you against a band of foreign adventurers, brought into our country by a thirst for gold and a lust of pillage. Combat and disperse without mercy these miserable assassins; so that by your hands they may feel the anger of a people who will assert their nationality and independence. Soldiers— Perugia calls for vengeance, and though it be late, she shall have it!—

The general commanding the Fourth Corps.

“Cialdini.”

The army thus set in motion amounted to an effective force of 70,000 men, with which the fleet was to co-operate so far as regarded the siege of Ancona, the chief operation of the coming campaign. The invaders marched in three columns. One, moving down the coast-road, was to invest Ancona, another to occupy Umbria, while a third acting in the Apennines was to link together the operations of the two others on both sides of the chain.

La Moricière’s plan of resistance was to concentrate what force he could at Ancona, and hold out there as long as possible in the hope of the Catholic Powers coming to his assistance.

The first blow was struck on the nth. The little town of Pesaro, on the sea-coast to the north of Ancona, was besieged by the Piedmontese under Cialdini. It was defended by an old wall and a fort armed with three guns, and the garrison consisted of 800 men under the command of Colonel Zappi. Zappi made a gallant resistance. It was not until next day, after having fought for twenty-two hours, exhausted his ammunition, lost heavily in killed and wounded, and seen the fort reduced to ruins, that he laid down his arms, having thus considerably delayed Cialdini’s advance, and done all he could to favour La Moricière’s plans.

General de Courten, who commanded at Ancona, had pushed out to the northward two columns, each about 1200 strong, commanded by Colonels Kanzler and Wogelsang, who were to retire before the Piedmontese, observing and if possible impeding their movements. Kanzler’s column, opposed as it was by fully 20,000 men, found itself surrounded on the 13th, near S. Angelo, by the masses of the enemy. Kanzler might well have lost heart, but he made the gallant resolve of fighting his way to Ancona.

For four hours he repelled the attacks of the enemy, and drove back three charges of cavalry. Finally he cut his way out, leaving four of his officers and sixty of his men on the field; and by a forced march of forty-five miles by narrow and intricate cross-roads, he regained Ancona.

This was Kanzler’s first exploit in an independent command. The victory of San Angelo has been all but forgotten, eclipsed by the sadder glories of Castelfidardo, but it deserves to be remembered.

On the 18th La Moricière, having broken up his camps at Terni and Spoleto, had reached Macerata, after traversing with bis division forty miles of difficult roads in twenty-two hours. Pimodan’s division was dose behind him. The day before, Fanti’s columns in Umbria had won their first success—the capture of Perugia.

On the 8th, after an unsuccessful attempt to overtake the bands of Masi, General Schmidt had retired into the town with his flying column composed of Swiss and Italian troops and a company of the Irish battalion of St. Patrick; and united his force to the garrison of the town, 400 strong. On the morning of the 14th Fanti with 23,000 men invested and attacked the place.

For three hours the assaults of the Piedmontese were repulsed; then some of the Swiss and Italians, who were young troops, became unsteady, and when Fanti sent in to propose a suspension of arms in order to negotiate and carry off the wounded, Schmidt weakly granted it.

The armistice provided that the Piedmontese should retire from the suburbs of the town, but they violated it by strengthening their positions in the streets with wooden barricades and by bringing up guns. In the afternoon, when the truce came to an end, Schmidt unfortunately decided on capitulating, as he thought he could not rely upon his troops.

The Irish, true to their national character, indignantly protested, and did what they could to secure a continuance of the defcnce, but it was in vain. Sixteen of them cut their way out, rather than surrender.

The capitulation was hardly signed when it was violated. It provided that the officers should retain their swords and be free to return home; no sooner was the town occupied, than they were disarmed and imprisoned.

Three days later, Fanti’s vanguard, composed of the division of General Brignone, 8000 strong, and having 24 guns, attacked Spoleto. The memory of the defence of Spoleto is especially dear to Catholic Ireland, for it was in this engagement that there was present the largest number of Irish soldiers who fought in any one single action of this campaign.

Major O’Reilly of the battalion of St. Patrick commanded the garrison, which was composed as follows:—

Two companies of the Brigade of St. Patrick 300 men
Swiss and Austrian recruits from the depot of the 2nd Regiment of the line 116
Franco-Belges 23
Italian troops 150
Total 589

With these Major O’Reilly occupied the old citadel of Spoleto. A message from Mgr. de Mérode, on the 10th, had warned him to make what resistance he could, without expecting any help from Rome. In the night he heard Brignone’s troops placing-guns in position round the town, and he prepared for the coming attack.

The Irish were posted at the gate, and at an old breach in the wall which was closed with a barricade. The Franco-Belges were placed in a gallery commanding the approach to the gate, where they were to act as sharpshooters. The Swiss and Austrians manned the wall near the gateway and breach; and the Italians, who were young troops, and on whom little reliance could be placed, were held in reserve. A single old gun formed the entire artillery of the fortress.

At six in the morning of the 17th a captain of Brignone’s staff came with a flag of truce and summoned O’Reilly to surrender, adding that the Piedmontese general had a whole corps d’armée under his command. O’Reilly, of course, refused; and two hours later the attack began. The enemy, placing-four batteries in position at a range of only 600 yards, battered the gate and the walls; while the Bersaglieri began to ascend some adjoining heights from which they could fire down upon anyone that showed himself in the interior of the fort. The Papalini, however, keeping under cover, by a well-directed rifle and musket fire, inflicted serious loss upon the assailants. In the artillery alone, four horses and thirty men were killed, besides many wounded.

At eleven the firing, which had now lasted three hours, ceased for a few minutes. A flag of truce approached the gate. It was borne by a Piedmontese officer accompanied by the Archbishop of Spoleto, whom Brignone had asked to try to persuade O’Reilly to capitulate. O’Reilly replied like a good soldier, that he had his orders to hold out as long as he could, and that therefore he had no choice in the matter. The firing therefore began again.

At three o’clock, after a bombardment which had now lasted six hours, and to which the Papalini could only reply with rifle-fire, the enemy’s artillery had produced considerable effect upon the defences. Great masses of the walls on each side of the gate had fallen, and the gate itself was shattered, and had been pierced in several places by cannon-shot. Brignone judged that the time had come for an assault; and being an old grenadier who had risen from the ranks, he gallantly led it himself.

Two companies of bersaglieri went first, two battalions ofgrenadiers formed the main body of the attacking column; Brignone was in the front. “Notwithstanding,” says O’Reilly,(2) “two discharges of grapeshot from our one cannon, they came up bravely to the gate, and tried with axes to break it down. But it was strongly propped on the inside, and our men drove the enemy back with musket-shots and bayonet thrusts through the holes in the broken gate.”

After a sharp fight, the Piedmontese abandoned the assault, leaving a heap of dead before the gate. For the rest of the day they concentrated a fire of their guns upon the place. Twice the shells set fire to the roofs of buildings near the powder-magazine, and it was only with great difficulty that the flames were extinguished.

From the neighbouring heights, which commanded the fort at a range of only four or five hundred yards, crowds of Bersaglieri, themselves under cover, kept up a sharp fire upon everything that moved in the old citadel, and the service of carrying food, water or ammunition, from place to place was a thing to be courageously volunteered.

When night fell, O’Reilly saw his handful of men exhausted by their exertions during the day, no reliable reserve to take their place, the ammunition reduced to a few cartridges, the walls breached and the heights that commanded the fort in the enemy’s possession. He knew that, though he could repulse another assault if it were made immediately, the place was untenable, and must fall at latest in the morning.

Therefore at eight in the evening he sent out a flag of truce, and having secured a capitulation on honourable terms, he evacuated Spoleto next day. The Irish, fighting under cover, had lost three killed and twelve wounded; the Piedmontese had no less than a hundred killed and three hundred wounded.

The garrison had, in fact, inflicted upon them a loss equal to its entire strength. In the assault a single company of Bersaglieri had nine killed and twenty-two wounded, and Brignone had his clothes torn with bullets. The Irish had done well. They had fought as Irishmen always fight in a worthy cause; and for their conduct at Spoleto and Ancona they received the thanks of Mgr. de Mérode and of La Moricière, as good a judge of soldiership as ever lived.

The fall of Spoleto was virtually the end of the campaign in Umbria, the only military events subsequent to it being some unimportant skirmishes with small detachments, with which Brignone's columns came in contact as they overran the province. The real struggle was that which took place in the Marches of Ancona, and of which the two great events were the battle of Castelfidardo and the siege of the fortress. We have seen that La Moricière intended that Ancona should be the centre of a resistance which he hoped to prolong until one of the Catholic Powers, France, Austria or even Spain, might intervene in favour of the Holy See. It was with this purpose that, as soon as he heard of the invasion, he prepared to put in motion all the troops he could collect to reinforce Ancona; and the movement had not yet begun when he received intelligence which led him to believe that he could count upon the succour of France—information which confirmed him in his plans, and which he joyfully announced to his army.

On the night between the 10th and 11th of September he received a telegram from Mgr. de Mérode to this effect:—“The French Embassy has been informed that the Emperor Napoleon III has written to the King of Piedmont, to declare to him that should he attack the States of the Church, he would oppose the act by force”— il s'y opposerait par la force.

La Moricière and De Mérode were afterwards accused, by the Piedmontese press, of having encouraged the Pontifical army with false hopes. This is a fault to be laid to the charge, not of them, but of the French Government, which thus had a double share in the massacre of Castelfidardo. The French ambassador at Rome had received a despatch, which, so far as one can judge, led him to believe in a French intervention; it was on the receipt of this despatch that Mgr. de Mérode telegraphed to La Moricière.

Early on the 11th, the ambassador himself telegraphed to the Comte de Courcy, the French Vice-Consul at Ancona:—“The Emperor has written from Marseilles to the King of Sardinia, that if the Piedmontese troops penetrate into the Pontifical territories, he will be forced to oppose the act. Orders are already given to embark troops at Toulon, and these reinforcements will arrive immediately. The Empcror’s Government will not tolerate the culpable aggression of Sardinia. As Vice-Consul of France, you must regulate your conduct accordingly. (3)

“(Signed) GRAMONT.”

Another copy of the despatch was sent to La Moricière, who received it as he approached Loreto on the 16th.

When the campaign was over, the Moniteur explained that there had been an unfortunate misconception, that the object of the despatch to De Graniont, and of his despatch to De Courcy at Ancona, was mercly to make it clear that the Emperor did not approve of the course taken by Piedmont; and as for the reinforcements, they were merely intended to protect Civita Vecchia and Rome. In other words, France adhered to General de Neue’s proclamation of September 1st. The Due de Gramont’s despatch could not, however, be understood in any other sense than that in which De Merode, La Moricière, De Courcy and De Quatrebarbes understood it. It was the last touch of Imperial treachery in the campaign of 18 5o against the Holy See.

De Courcy at once handed this despatch to the Comte de Quatrebarbcs, the commandant of the fortress. The consul and the commandant decided that it would be well to send the despatch to the Piedmontese generals who were besieging Pesaro. An employé of the consulate was therefore sent in all haste to Pesaro, where he found Fanti and Cialdini bombarding the town. He gave them the despatch.

“Very well,” said one of the generals, “we shall give you a receipt, which you can add to the other diplomats documents” the consul’s messenger suggested that the firing might be stopped. The reply given by one of the officers was, “We know very well what we are doing; we have had a talk with the Emperor at Chambery a fortnight ago. (4)

La Moricière, who knew nothing of what had been pro pared at Naples, did not expect that Ancona would be attacked by sea. He did not know that a fleet of six 50-gun frigates and seven smaller ships, in all 400 guns,. was on its way to assail the harbour. Ancona was really strong against an attack by land, and, as Cavour had told, Versano, Cialdini could not take it without the Piedmontese admiral’s co-operation. La Moricière had put it into a good state of defence in the course of the summer.

He had repaired the old walls, connecting them by a new bastioned line with the fortified height of the Monte Gardetta, which thus formed one of the main bulwarks of the town. In front of the works he had erected four small detached forts.

The artillery of all these works was very defective. It was of all ages, sizes and systems, which rendered it no easy task to provide proper ammunition. As La Moricière himself remarked, the artillery of every country in Europe was represented among his guns. One kind only was absent. There was not a single rifled gun to be found in the batteries of Ancona, and the place was held against rifled cannon by men who had only old smooth-bore cannon and muskets.

To the seaward the defences were weak, for on that side no serious attack was anticipated, it being supposed that the inefficient squadron of Piedmont was sufficiently employed elsewhere; Piedmont had, however, got a new fleet. To resist the coming naval attack, there was only an enormous chain, which stretched across and completely barred the harbour mouth. This was the last time such a defence was used in European warfare; the line of sunken torpedoes has now superseded all other obstructions.

The chain was protected from boat attacks by six small gunboats, each carrying an 18-pounder gun, and by the two small forts of the Lazaretto and the Mole, and a stronger fort, that of the Cappucini. In all, 49 guns looked out upon the sea.

Persano, sailing from Naples on the nth, reached Messina next day. Not finding there the Dora, with the promised siege-guns, he left orders that she was to follow him, and then proceeded on his voyage to Ancona. On the 16th he was off the harbour, but he kept well out of sight of the town and forts. About mid-day a large man-of-war, flying English colours, stood in towards the harbour’s mouth, and anchored just outside the chain. The English consul went on board, and stayed there half an hour. When he returned to the shore he gave no information whatever to the authorities of the curious discovery he had made.

Persano’s diary tells us that before noon on the 10th he ordered the Costituzione to go in to the harbour mouth under foreign colours and reconnoitre the place. She returned in the afternoon, and reported that there were no foreign men-of-war at Ancona. The supposed English vessel was therefore the Piedmontese frigate Costituzione, and the English consul at Ancona, by concealing her character, made himself the colleague and abettor of spies.

Next day the admiral in his flagship, without sighting Ancona, steamed along the coast towards Rimini. The fleet remained off the harbour, and from the seaward forts it was at times dimly visible on the horizon. Persano fell in with a coasting craft near Sinigaglia, and learned that the Piedmontese vanguard had passed through that town. He therefore landed at Sinigaglia, and obtained a carriage, in which he proceeded to Cialdini’s head-quarters.

The Piedmontese general by a rapid forced march had passed to the south-west of Ancona, and had taken up a strong position upon the hills of Castelfidardo, on the north bank of the Musone. Across the river and over the hills ran the one road by which La Moricière was endeavouring to reach Ancona; therefore he could only make his way there now through a pitched battle against fourfold odds.

Persano spent the afternoon with Cialdini, admiring the arrangements he had made for holding his ground, and discussing the siege of Ancona. Cialdini told him that the Papalini were in his front at Loreto, and that he expected to be attacked next day; and he suggested a serious demonstration by the fleet against Ancona in order to prevent the garrison from making a sortie upon his rear. Persano agreed that this should be done, and late in the day returned to his flagship, and rejoined his fleet in the offing before Ancona that night.

La Moricière was at Macerata on the 15th. By a forced march he reached Loreto on the 10th. In the evening he came in sight of the city built on a hill above the Musone and clustering round the great cathedral, the dome of which covers the Santa Casa. Along the hills to the north of the little river, the watch-fires of Cialdini’s corps, 28,000 strong, were beginning to show in the twilight; and the Piedmontese flag was flying in Loreto itself, which had been occupied by a squadron of royal dragoons in the afternoon.

They retired rapidly as the cavalry of the Pontifical vanguard dashed into the streets. The little army, or rather La Moricière’s brigade, was soon bivouacked in the great square. It numbered 2300 men, and five guns. Pimodan was to arrive next day with 2700 more, to complete the force with which La Moricière was to attempt to fight his way to Ancona. After nightfall, Captain Pallfy of the Staff, accompanied by M. Mizael de Pas of the Guides and two gendarmes, rode out by the Ancona road to try to obtain some information about the Piedmontese. The party came upon a battery which had been placed in the line of the outposts, to dose the road against a night attack; for a gun loaded with grape was suddenly discharges at less than thirty yards distance in front of them.

A horse was killed, one of the gendarmes was struck, and De Pas mortally wounded. He had been the first volunteer from France, and he was now the first Frenchman to give his life for the cause of Rome. His comrades carried him back to Loreto, where he lingered for six days in great agony, and died rejoicing in his sacrifice.

The 17th was spent in preparations for the coming battle. The chaplains of the army heard the confessions of the soldiers, and in crowds they approached the altars to receive Holy Communion, on that morning and on that of the 18th. For many, especially among the French volunteers, it was a Viaticum. On the evening of the 17th Pimodan’s column entered the town. The Piedmontese position had been carefully reconnoitred and all was ready for the battle.

The road on which the army was to attack descended the hill upon which Loreto stands, and crossed by a ford the Musone, a shallow river running between steep banks. Beyond the river, it rose by a wide-sweeping curve up the hillside towards Castelfidardo. Clumps of wood dotted the slope, and two farmsteads, the Crocetti, and higher up the Cascini, stood dose to the road and commanded it. These were held by a strong Piedmontese force.(5) Bersaglieri lined the belts of wood, and from the upper slopes frowned battery after battery of rifled guns, backed by masses of infantry ready to descend to repel any attack. The vanguard of the Papal army under Pimodan marched out of the town at half-past eight o’clock. As they issued from the gates, two French priests were standing among the crowd of spectators; “Let us kneel,” said one to the other, “these men are martyrs!”

Over the heads of the little column waved the very banners that had led the Christian army to victory at Lepanto. La Moricière had taken them from the Holy House of Loreto, to be used in that day’s battle. The second division, under his personal command, left the town half an hour later.

Pimodan, at the head of his men, approached the ford. The Franco-Belges and the Swiss Rifles were the first to cross, deploying on the opposite bank under the fire of the bersaglieri. Behind them came a Roman regiment, and D’Arcy’s company of the Irish brigade, whose special duty it was to help the artillery to drag through the ford and up the hill beyond the two guns which were to be used in the attack on the farms. Pimodan saw at once that, if the battle was to be won, the Piedmontese position must be carried by a coup-de-main9 and he ordered the brigade to attack with the bayonet.

And here began the cowardice or treachery on the part of some of the troops which was to mar the whole plan of the day. The Italian Pontifical regiment, once under fire, wavered, and deploying, took refuge behind the reedy embankments of the stream, whence they opened a reckless fire to the front, regardless of the danger in which they placed the Franco-Belges, who dashed past them advancing. This has been often represented as an act of shameful treachery; but La Moricière,

in his report, insisted that it was only one of those exhibitions of nervous indiscipline which often are found among young troops. Pimodan’s staff-officers soon stopped this useless firing. Meanwhile the Franco-Belges had with the bayonet rushed in among the buildings, haystacks, and enclosures of the farm of the Crocetti, making nearly a hundred prisoners, and driving the rest of the garrison up the slope in a confused flight.

The two guns were dragged by the Irish up to the plateau on which the Crocetti stands, whence they opened fire upon the second farm. So far all had gone well. But now the Piedmontese, having gathered in force upon the ridges of the hill and brought their artillery to bear, began to assert their superiority of strength.

The second farm was attacked by the Franco-Belges, the Swiss and the carbineers, but they strove in vain to force their way forward through the storm of balls and bursting shells that rained down upon them. They fell back on the plateau of the Crocetti; and, as they did so, an Italian column rushed down, only to be repulsed by the Papalini, who turned suddenly upon them with the bayonet.

Clouds of skirmishers covered the retreat of the beaten column, and renewed the attack on Pimodan’s little force. He himself was struck in the face by a ball, which broke his jaw. He tied it up, without dismounting, and turning to his men, cried out, “Courage, mes enfants, God is with us!”

La Moricière saw that it was necessary to support the attack with his division. But as he crossed the stream under fire of the long-ranging rifled guns upon the heights, the 1st Swiss regiment and the 2nd Italian chasseurs broke and fled, followed by the drivers of a battery of artillery, who cut their traces and galloped off, leaving the guns useless.

These guns fell into Cialdini’s hands at the end of the day. What remained of his force La Moricière sent into action. But it was not a great reinforcement, and it is a marvel that the battle lasted a single hour. The Papal troops fought desperately.

A second bullet struck De Pimodan, and then a third; a fourth pierced his chest, and at length he fell, mortally wounded. He was only thirty-eight years of age. “God is with us!” was his cry as he fell from his saddle, fainting and covered with blood. He was placed on a litter, and borne out of the storm of fire. (6)

The news of Pimodan’s fall was soon conveyed to La Moricière. He had been vainly endeavouring to rally the fugitives, whose cowardice or-treachery had disorganized-or destroyed many of the battalions that he had thoroughly relied upon and had hoped to lead to victory. On hearing the sad tidings from the front, he sent two of his staff-officers to try to rally the broken troops beyond the battlefield, while he himself rode closer up to the farm-house, round which the fight was raging so hotly. He had just sent into action Major Fuchman’s little battalion of Austrian sharpshooters, and his reserve was quite exhausted. He could only now see if there was any, even a remote, prospect of success, and, if not, seek himself to reach Ancona, and prolong the struggle in the hope that yet some Catholic Power would intervene. As he approached Le Crocetti he met the litter, which, borne on the shoulders of some of his men, was conveying the wounded De Pimodan to Loreto.

There was only time for a grasp of the hand and a few words, and then La Moricière went on amid the storm of Piedmontese bullets, envying no doubt in his heart the fate of his brother general. It was now near noon.

The battle had raged for three hours, and a glance at the position round the farm was enough to show that further strife was useless. On the plateau about Le Crocetti, Becdelièvre’s battalion of 280 Franco-Belges, and D’Arcy’s company of Irish volunteers, supported on the right by the Roman chasseurs and on the left by the Swiss carbineers, had hour after hour held at bay a whole Piedmontese division.

The roofs of the farm-buildings were smashed in by the fire of the enemy’s artillery; and the Piedmontese battalions, covered by clouds of skirmishers, were descending the heights and closing in upon all sides of the position held by the Papalini.

The farmstead was encumbered with dead and dying. The Franco-Belges had lost already nearly two hundred men, and only ninety of them were standing. “In vain,” says La Moricière’s report, “Becdelièvre, collecting what was left of his half-battalion and some portions of the two others, dashed at the assailants, and for a moment forced them to fall back; in vain the battalion of Austrian sharpshooters, commanded by Major Fuchman, went up the hill in splendid order, and endeavoured to re-establish the fight. The fury of the attack redoubled, and it was necessary to retreat.”

The handful of the Franco-Belges withdrew from the plateau, accompanied by the other battalions, the gunners by the sheer strength of their arms dragging away the guns, and Fuchman’s sharpshooters covering their retreat and driving back a squadron of Piedmontese lancers which endeavoured to interrupt it Five thousand men had marched out in the morning; there returned now to Loreto hardly two thousand.

The Piedmontese swarmed into the farmstead, but to their surprise they were received with a volley from the main building. All the Franco-Belges had not gone. A few of them remained. They had been posted there earlier in the day; and not having heard the orders for a general retreat, there they had stayed.

Among them were Maurice du Bourg, De Couessin, and men of the same stamp, and they refused to surrender, kept up a sharp fire from window and loop-hole, and drove back more than one attack upon the doorway; until at last the artillery of Cialdini came into play again, the bursting shells set fire to the farm, and the Barnes threatened the shed where their wounded comrades lay.

Then only they surrendered. The victors were so furious at this desperate resistance that they would have massacred the Franco Belges but for the intervention of the Piedmontese captain, Tromboni, who had been taken prisoner earlier in the day by Charette, and who had remained at the farm. The Piedmontese attempted no pursuit.

They contented themselves with occupying in force the banks of the little river across which the shattered column of La Moricière had retired—to use his own words, “not vanquished but massacred.” Having seen what remained of the Papal army safe across the Musone, he resolved to push forward almost alone to Ancona. To take an army with him was now impossible, but to go himself and animate and direct the defence, though a perilous enterprise, was not impracticable. So rallying about fifty horse and three hundred foot for an escort, he struck off from the battle-field towards the coast road. Before we follow him to Ancona, we must see what fate was reserved for the army that had fought so well though so vainly in the morning.

The Papal troops, many of them wounded, all exhausted with the desperate struggle in which they had been engaged, re-occupied the town of Loreto. The night was one of Constant alarms. Wearied as they were, D’Arcy’s Irish soldiers of the 4th Company of the Brigade of St. Patrick were on duty at the Recanati gate, the post of honour, for it was the nearest to Cialdini’s outposts.

On the morning of the 19th, at eight o’clock, a council of war was held under the presidency of Colonel Guttenhoven, the senior member of the staff. All the commanding officers were present, amongst them Colonel Becdelièvre of the Franco-Belges, Bourbon de Chalus of the Guides, Fuchman of the Austrians, and D’Arcy of the Irish. Although the Piedmontese had now pushed their columns forward so as to menace the town and make retreat impossible, the French, Austrian and Irish officers urged a resistance to the death. But of these nationalities there were only about a thousand men in the town; and the Italian and Swiss officers, who had an about equal force available, refused to have it destroyed in such a desperate enterprise. It was therefore resolved to send a parlementaire to Cialdini; and the resolution was announced to the army in a brief order of the day, written by brave men who were brought face to face with a sad but inevitable necessity.

“Gentlemen,” it ran, “all the best names of Franco have been loft upon the battle-field. We, who remain, have escaped only by a miracle. There is no hope for us, situated as we are. We have done our duty, and it is useless to court death.

Let us then accept a capitulation, always providing that the tei ms are such as we can accept, for it is vain to deceive ourselves—we are in the hands of the enemy.”

In pursuance of the resolutions of the council of war, Colonel Guttenhoven proceeded to Cialdini’s head-quarters, and offered to capitulate on the following terms, which the Piedmontese general accepted:—”1. The soldiers shall be free and shall be restored to their homes. 2. Military honours will be given to the Papal troops; the soldiers will lay down their arms, the officers will retain their swords. 3. The evacuation of Loreto will take place in twenty-four hours.”

The Papal army, still retaining its arms, marched out of Loreto late in the afternoon, and took the road to Recanati, where the capitulation was to be carried into effect. They did not reach the town till after nightfall. Along the roadside outside the gates an entire Piedmontese division was drawn up under the command of General Leotardi. Hundreds of lighted torches were fixed here and there in the barrels of the Piedmontese rifles; and by this weird tight the Papal troops marched past, with their bands at their head, and their bayonets fixed. The Piedmontese troops presented arms as they went by. General Leotardi and his officers were on horseback at the gate of the town. The Papal troops, as they passed in, threw down their arms in an immense heap.

The officers retained their swords. General Leotardi and his colleague, General Cugia, did all they could to lighten the hard lot of their gallant prisoners during the two days the Papal army spent at Recanati before it was dispersed.

They invited the superior officers to their table; and when Cugia saw the long list of the Franco-Belges killed and wounded he exclaimed:—”What names! This might be a list of invitations to a Court ball under Louis Quatorze.”

The conduct of the General-in-chief, Cialdini, presented a wretched contrast to that of his lieutenants at Recanati.

On the evening of the battle he wrote from his headquarters at Osimo a despatch to Turin, in which he exaggerated the strength of the attack, doubtless being unable in any other way to account for the difficulty he had found in repel ling it; and, further, he basely slandered the Pontifical troops. This confused and disgraceful despatch is worth being put on record here, as a testimony to the chivalry of the “conqueror of La Moricière”:—


Osimo, Sept. 18th, 1860.

“General La Moricière has attacked our extreme position on the spur of the hills (which, beginning at Castelfidardo, and passing by Crocette, loses itself near the sea) at ten o’clock this morning. All the prisoners state that they had 11,000 men and 14 pieces of artillery, having combined with the troops which were at Foligno, those at Terni, Oscali, and elsewhere. He brought to his aid an attacking column of 4000 men of the garrison of Ancona. (7)

The assault was made with great fury; the fight was short, but violent and sanguinary. It was necessary to take the farm-houses one after another; and, after a pretended submission, the Pontifical soldiers assassinated our men with their daggers (!!); several of their wounded stabbed our men who went to assist them. The results of the day are as follows:—the union of La Moricière’s army with Ancona is prevented: 600 prisoners are made, among whom are thirty officers, some of them of high rank: six pieces of artillery are in our hands, amongst them those given to Pius IX. by Charles Albert in 1848: quantities of baggage and artillery waggons, one flag, and a vast quantity of arms and knapsacks of the fugitives. All the wounded, amongst whom is General Pimodan, are in my power, and also a considerable number of dead.

The column which left Ancona must have retreated; but I hope to capture a large portion of it to-morrow. Numerous prisoners and deserters come in every minute. The fleet has arrived, and has opened fire on Ancona.

“The General Commanding the 4th Corps d’Armée,

“Cialdini”

Cialdini’s despatch from Ancona was worthy of his order of the day at Rimini, (8) worthy, too, of later proclamations of his, when he played the part of executioner by martial law in the South. His charge of assassination against the Pontifical troops recoils with disgrace upon himself.

His report that the guns, given by the father, Charles Albert, to Pius IX., had been taken for the son, Victor Emmanuel, must have raised up strange memories when the king read it at Turin; and his final boast that he had “a great number of dead in his power,” was more worthy of a savage chief than of a European general.

These gallant dead he huddled together in a huge trench, though friends begged in va in to be allowed to identify the loved remains of this or that fallen soldier of the Pope, in order that they might carry them to their distant homes, and bury them in the scutcheoned tombs of the noble houses to which they belonged, or in the humble churchyards of their native villages.

All such requests were no sooner made than refused, and though at the time it was a harsh act I see no reason to regret it now. The gallant dead of Castelfidardo lie where they fell, buried on those slopes above the Musone that they fought so bravely and so vainly to win.

The dead had, perhaps, the happiest fate. The prisoners who had laid down their arms at Loreto were, on their way home, hooted at and insulted by the rabble of the Italian towns they passed through, and left unprotected and half-starved by the Piedmontese authorities.

“At Turin the French, in the face of promises of liberty, were made dose prisoners in the citadel, and at last sent, in utter destitution and starvation, across that frontier over which France had sent her noble army to fight and die for Piedmont a year before. At Genoa the Irish were huddled together in a loathsome prison, in a condition that defies description, to use the words of a published report. The clothes sent to them by Pius IX. were refused to them, and they barely got food enough to keep them alive. Alas! that we should have to add that Sardinia dared thus to treat British subjects, encouraged by British ministers—men who were forgetful of their most sacred duties, forgetful, too, of the blood shed by Irishmen who fought beneath the British flag on the shores of the Crimea, and on the sands of India.” (9)

As for the wounded, they lay patiently suffering and dying on their beds of straw, in the crowded ambulances, or in the great sanctuary of Loreto, which had been converted into a temporary hospital. That church, during the days and weeks that followed Castelfidardo, was a scene of patient suffering and general self-sacrifice, of which more than one touching record is to be found in the pages of M. Eugène Veuillot’s narrative of the invasion of 186o. (10)

There died Paul de Parcevaux, a gallant son of Catholic Brittany. “My wound is serious,” he wrote home to his mother; “but as I find myself much better to-day I hope to recover. As for the rest, when going out to battle, I asked God that I might do my duty and die well, and now, since my wound, I fear death no more than I feared the shots on the 18th. In Brittany I should have very little chance of dying under such easy conditions to gain heaven. If I die here I hope to die joyfully. If there are cries of pain in the church that is our hospital, there is laughter too. They are taking away my pen and ink. Adieu, and I hope it is only until I see you again. Were it the will of God to call me to Himself my last thought would be of you.” His wound was mortal, and he died on the 14th of October, giving “his soul to God, his body to Our Lady of Loreto, and his heart to his mother and his native Brittany.”

There, too, died Thibaut de Rohan-Chabot, and Frederic de Saint-Semin. Thence young Maurice de Guérin wrote from his deathbed to a friend in France— “Long ago I offered to God and the Church the sacrifice of my life. Envy my happiness, and comfort my poor mother. Long live Pius IX., Pope and King!”

There died George Comte d'Héliand, the only son of a widowed mother, who thanked God when she heard of his gallant and saintly death. Many another name might we add, but these are enough. These are the men whom the Revolution called “the mercenaries of Pius IX.:” these are the men whom Cialdini had the baseness to defame. Such were the vanquished of Castelfidardo.

No wonder that their memory is cherished throughout the world. “O hills of Castelfidardo!” exclaimed the Bishop of Orleans, Mgr. Dupanloup, when he spoke of their deeds to his people, “O hills of Castelfidardo, that drank their blood, and keep their ashes, yesterday your name was unknown, to-day it is immortal!”

At eleven on the morning of the day of Castelfidardo, the Piedmontese fleet had steamed dose in to Ancona, and bombarded the forts and the town. To the forts very little damage was done, but shells bursting in the Street killed one woman and two children, and wounded one of the townsmen.

At three, Persano went off to Sinigaglia, having fulfilled his mission of keeping the attention of the garrison employed while Cialdini held his ground at Castelfidardo; but several of the ships remained, and continued their fire. At Sinigaglia, Persano received letters from the Revolutionary Committee of Ancona, in which they offered to cut the chain at the harbour mouth, and surprise the battery on the mole, and spike its guns. Persano sent in a letter in reply, saying he would not ask them to peril their lives on such a hazardous enterprise; and that he hoped to be able to break the chain himself, but if he failed he would ask their help.

Two hours after the bombardment had ceased the sentinels on the high fort of Monte Gardetto, looking out along the Osimo road, saw a small group of horsemen approaching. It was La Moricière and his escort. Pressed by the bersaglieri, who had attempted a pursuit when he was striking off from the battle-field, he left the little column of 300 infantry which had formed to cover his retreat, and hastened on with about fifty horsemen, chiefly staff-officers and Guides. They passed through the villages of Umana and Sirolo, learning from the peasants that the way to Ancona was open, but that the Piedmontese had occupied Camerano in great force.

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Beyond Sirolo, the road winding along the hillsides lay for nearly five miles in full view of Camerano, from which it is divided by a deep ravine, but a cross-road from Camerano strikes into the Ancona road at a village called Poggio; and La Moricière thought it likely that the Piedmontese would see his little column, and by this cross-road cut him off, and bar his way. He therefore struck off to the right by a steep bridle-path, which led through the hills to a Camaldolese monastery on the sea-coast. At the place where he abandoned the main road he left two peasants, who swore to him by Our Lady of Loreto that they would remain there to direct any stragglers that might come up, and who faithfully kept their word.

At the monastery he rested about a quarter of an hour, and then rode over the wooded hills, coming down on the main road again by a path, which struck into it between Poggio and Ancona. As he crossed the hills he heard the roar of the guns of the Piedmontese fleet before Ancona. When he entered the city at half-past five the bombardment still continued. It did not cease until long after nightfall.

Amid cries of “Vive La Moricière!” the general and his staff rode to the Piazza del Teatro, where he met his old friend the Count de Quatrebarbes, the civil governor of the place. Grasping his hand, the brave fugitive said sadly, “Je rìal plus d'armée” — “I have no longer an army!” Then La Moricière, De Quatrebarbes, and all the officers present, went into one of the hotels, where the general told them the story of his first defeat, the only defeat he had witnessed in his long military career. He ordered a council of war to assemble next morning at the governor’s palace to receive his orders. Then, throwing himself into an arm-chair, he fell asleep, while his officers stretched themselves upon mattresses on the floor.

At seven next morning the council of war met, and the general learned from the officers the state of the fortress and its resources for defence. Then he visited all the works, and saw with his own eyes how matters stood. It was found that the supply of provisions was not overabundant, so, the place being not yet invested on the land side, parties were sent out to collect and drive in cattle from the adjacent country, and in this way a large stock of meat was secured. In the course of the day, too, a ship from Trieste ran the blockade, bringing in a cargo of flour, which was a welcome addition to the magazines. Another successful blockade-runner on the same day was a large fishing-boat, which came from the coast near Loreto, bringing in a few of the Franco-Belges, twenty Pontifical artillerymen, two field-pieces, a standard belonging to the Swiss, and the military chest of the Franco-Belges and the Light Horse. Later stili, a mere skiff brought in one of the Guides and a Swiss sapper. These few men, instead of going to Loreto, had struck off from the coast near the mouth of the Musone, where loyal fishermen agreed to dare the perils of wind and wave and the guns of the Piedmontese, and take them into Ancona.

At midnight between the 19th and 20th, the city was startled from its sleep by the reopening of the bombardment by the fleet. At dawn the bombardment ceased again; the bursting shells had done no injury to the forts, but had killed a woman and her child in one of the houses. On the 22nd the investment was complete by sea and land. Fanti, who held the supreme command, faced the Monte Gardetto. Cialdini’s lines fronted the citadel and entrenched camp, and the long suburb before the Porta Pia, between the citadel and the sea.

Persano’s fleet lay partly off the harbour mouth, partly on the flank of the town off the Monte Gardetto, where its rifled guns could co-operate in Fanti’s attack. Four hundred guns, most of them rifled, formed the armament of the fleet; 50,000 men, with heavy siege train landed from the Dora, carried on the attack on shore.

On Saturday, the 22nd, all arrangements for the siege were complete. At midnight the fire from the sea began, one of the frigates opening it, and, as Persano noted in his diary, “keeping it up in so sustained and regular a way that it was a pleasure to hear it.” Probably it was not so pleasant for the people of the town that Persano had “come to free.”

At seven on the Sunday morning, the guns of Fanti and Cialdini’s batteries joined in. Some of the shells burst in the churches during the morning masses. The bombardment, thus begun, went on continuously for eight days.

It had been the fashion at Turin to call Ferdinand of Naples Bomba, because his ships once opened fire on a rebel Sicilian town. Victor Emmanuel might fairly have claimed the title after the exploits of his fleet before Ancona in 1860, Gaeta in 1861, and Palermo in 1866, and of his army at Rome in 1870. On this same Sunday, an attempt was made to assassinate La Moricière.

The would-be assassin was an Italian sharpshooter of the garrison, and the deed was undoubtedly part of a premeditated plan, for it was spoken of, on the same day, in other cities of Italy. The soldier fired on his general as he was making his daily round on the ramparts. Fortunately, he missed his mark. He was seized by his comrades, tried, condemned, and executed.

The forts replied most effectively to the Piedmontese fire, and the Vittorio Emmanuele was seriously injured. The fire continued on the following days. On the 24th Persano resolved to attempt to surprise the Mole battery, and cut the chain by means of a boat attack. At 3 a.m. on the 25th, the boats came in, towed by the Governolo. But the garrison of the fort discovered them before they were near enough to attack; a few shots told them their surprise had failed, and they returned to the fleet.

On the morning of the 20th Fanti’s troops stormed the two small outlying forts of Monte Pelago and Pulito. The guns of one of the forts were carried off by an Austrian battalion, the movement being covered by a dashing charge made by two companies of the Irish, who took fifteen prisoners. In the other fort the guns were spiked before the Piedmontese got possession of it.

Some dismay was caused in the town by this success won by Fanti; but La Moricière pointed out to his officers that the fall of outworks fifteen hundred yards from the wall was no legitimate reason for discouragement, and that as the Piedmontese came closer in they would lose the advantage of their long-ranging fire, and the smooth-bore guns of the fortress would contend with them on more equal terms.

Later in the day, the repulse of a Piedmontese attack on the lunette of San Stefano, near the entrenched camp in front of the citadel, was some compensation for the morning’s losses. A strong column endeavoured to carry the outwork by a coup-de-main. They were allowed to advance well up the glacis before the guns opened fire; then they were mowed down by a storm of bullets and cannon-balls. They fell back, leaving the long slope strewn with 700 killed and wounded. Next morning they suffered before the same work a second severe repulse, and this time the Irish companies dashed out of the entrenched camp, fell upon them with the bayonet as they retired, and turned their retreat into a headlong flight.

While the Piedmontese were suffering disastrous defeat on this point, Cialdini’s troops were slowly fighting their way through the long suburb between the citadel and the sea in front of the Porta Pia. The fleet brought its guns to the aid of the attack, and, overweighted by numbers, the Papalini fell back to the gate. The bombardment had set fire to the Lazaretto fort, the garrison evacuated it, and later in the day, covered by the guns of the ships, the Piedmontese crossed the narrow channel that surrounds it, and occupied what was left of its works.

The darkness put an end to the fighting. But it began again at dawn. Cialdini attacked the Porta Pia. Cadorna, then a major-general, directed one of his brigades in the attack; as Commander-in-Chief he was destined to attack a more famous Porta Pia ten years later. Five times the city gate was won and lost. It finally remained in the possession of the besieged, and Cialdini fell back into the suburb, placed some of his guns in position to batter the gateway, and got two heavy guns from the fleet to strengthen his batteries, as well as some sailors to work them. In the afternoon the fire of the citadel drove the Piedmontese out of the Lazaretto fort; so precipitate was their retreat, that many of them were drowned in the sea.

On the morning of the 28th Cialdini again attacked the Porta Pia; again he was repulsed with heavy loss, the Austrians, under Colonel de Gady, especially distinguishing themselves by their brilliant conduct in holding the gate. On the land side, therefore, the circle of the works was intact; everywhere all attempts upon the main body of the fortress had been repulsed.

But it was upon the fleet that Cavour had relied to obtain possession of Ancona; and the army having failed to overcome the resistance of the heroic garrison, Persano resolved upon a general attack by sea. Early on the morning of the 27th he had himself conducted a boat attack against the chain at the harbour mouth; but he had been discovered in the darkness, and the well-directed fire of the fort on the Mole had forced him to retire. He saw that this fort effectually protected the chain from all such enterprises, and he determined to destroy it by an attack in overwhelming force. The city was already surrounded by a circle of fire, for a general bombardment was going on from the land batteries and the fleet. About noon, six of Persano’s fifty-gun frigates ran dose in to the harbour mouth, and concentrated their broadsides upon the fort on the Mole-head. It consisted of two casemated batteries encircling the lighthouse, armed with, in all, twelve old smooth-bore guns, and garrisoned by 150 artillerymen, having for their commander an Austrian volunteer, Lieutenant Westminthal, one of the heroes of the campaign of 1860. Into this little fort 150 rifled guns now poured a storm of shot and shell.

The twelve guns in the fort bravely replied. Soon the Piedmontese fire began to teli. Stones fell shattered from the sea-wall, embrasures began to widen into ruinous breaches, gun after gun was dismounted, and the ranks of the little garrison were sadly thinned. At last only three guns remained in position, and so few men were left toì serve them, that the more slightly wounded of those that had been struck took up the work of bringing ammunition from the magazines.

The Piedmontese sailors themselves were astounded at the desperate daring of the Pontifical artillerymen. As the fire of the fort slackened, the fleet drew nearer. At length the Vittore Emmanuele goes dose in to the shattered fort, and hearing up within pistol-shot of it, showers salvoes of twenty-five shells each upon the three guns that still defiantly answer back. A bursting shell dismounts one of them, and stretches its gunners dead and dying.

Still two guns keep up the fire, served slowly and painfully by weary, smoke-begrimed men. Westminthal is seen almost to the last serving one of these guns; he falls just before the final catastrophe. Suddenly above the thunder of the bombardment rises a more terrible sound— the roar as of an up-bursting volcano. A rushing pillar of fire, volumes of white smoke flecked with flying fragments—and then dead silence on land and sea, as horror-stricken men stand still, and every gun ceases fire. A shell has burst in the magazine under the lighthouse, and the explosion has hurled into the air the ruined fort and the remnant of its garrison. A line of foam, and a wide ripple across the harbour mouth, teli that the chain has sunk, as the wall to which it hung gave way. Ancona is open to the fleet of Piedmont.

Persano could not repress bis admiration of the splendid defence of the fort; he spoke and wrote of the “admirable intrepidity” of the brave gunncrs who had held him so long at bay. It was half-past four on Sunday, the 28th of September, 1860. Around the city, on fort and tower the white flag was flying. Now that the harbour was open, further defence was impossible. Soon out of the harbour mouth came a boat showing the white flag.

She approached alongside of Persano’s flagship, and Major Mauri, an officer of La Moricière’s staff, went oh board. He asked for an armistice, in order that a capitulation might be negotiated. La Moricière, Mauri said, wished to surrender to the fleet, as the land defences were intact and it was the naval attack that had made the place no longer tenable. In reply, Persano expressed his sense of the valiant defence of the garrison, but said that he could not decide as to the terms of the capitulation, for the ultimate decision lay with the Commander-in-Chief, General Fanti, to whose lines he offered to convey Mauri in one of his launches.

The major returned to the town for orders. By this time it was near sunset. The white flag was flying on wall and citadel, and since four o’clock no shot had been fired on either side. Resistance was at an end. The sun went down. Everyone in Ancona was looking forward to a peaceful night, not a few were already at rest, when, to the surprise and horror of all, at nine o’clock the land batteries blazed out in a general bombardment of the unfortunate city.

Not a gun was fired in reply; nevertheless for twelve hours Fanti and Cialdini continued that brutal and murderous bombardment. In vain Persano remonstrated. He sent one of his officers to Cialdini’s batteries near the sea in front of the Porta Pia. Cadorna was in command of them. Persano’s messenger begged that he would cease firing, as the admiral was in communi cation with La Moricière as to a capitulation, and all resistance had ceased. Cadorna said he had his orders, and refused.

Persano sent back in reply a second messenger with an indignant letter, bidding Cadorna return to him the sailors and the two guns he had landed, as so long as they remained his honour was involved, and he wished the navy to have no part in such a deed. Cadorna sent back the sailors, but said he would keep the guns, as his own artillerymen were quite able to work them.

So all that night, and long after dawn on the 29th, Fanti bombarded the city which he had said he came to liberate; and the sentries of the garrison and the terrified people in the streets, whom the white flag of truce and surrender ought to have protected, saw all night long the red trail of the shells in the sky, and heard them bursting on the walls and in the town. It was an infamous act, fit to dose the lawless campaign. (11)

At dawn on the 29th Mauri was again with Persano. He came with full powers to treat with the generals, and Persano sent him to Fanti’s outposts in one of his launches. The sailors and marines of the fleet had meanwhile occupied part of the town, the seaward forts and the quays; and a fatigue party was searching for the mangled remains of the dead in the heap of ruins at the head of the lighthouse mole. Stili the fire of the land batteries continued; nor did it cease until nine o’clock, twelve hours after it( )had begun, and sixteen and a half hours after the hoisting of the white flag. What the object of it could have been, I cannot say.

Possibly it was caused by the vexation of Fanti or Cialdini at the fleet having obtained the fall of the place, while their efforts against the land side were still unavailing. They perhaps hoped to be able to assault early on the 29th, and so win some dubious laurels for the army.

On the morning of the 29th a capitulation was signed, on the same terms that had been given to the army at Loreto. La Moricière went on board of Persano’s flagship. The admiral gave him a kind and chivalrous reception, and he accepted his hospitality until the steamer was ready, which conveyed him on the first stage of the journey to his home near Amiens.

There he lived in retirement for the brief space of life which still remained to him. Three years later, on Sept. 10th, 1865, he was found dead in his bed. On a little table at his bedside lay his crucifix, a military work, and the open volume of the Imitation of Christ. So closed the life of that gallant son of France, La Moricière, a soldier without fear and without reproach.

Piedmont, having crushed the little Papal army by mere brute strength and force of numbers, attempted to place the seal of legality on its conquest, by repeating the farce of a plebiscite, which, like the plebiscites of Savoy and Nice, of the Romagna and of Tuscany, gave with a remarkable and touching unanimity the votes of Umbria and the Marches to the Power whose bayonets glittered round the ballot boxes. The invading army repaired its losses, put the captured fortresses in a state of defence, and gathered for a fresh campaign on the southern frontiers of the newly acquired provinces.


vai su


CHAPTER XII

THE STRUGGLE ON THE VOLTURNO AND AT GAETA

On October 9th King Victor Emmanuel—who had nominally taken command of the army assembled in Umbria and the Marches for the invasion of the Neapolitan provinces—issued from Ancona a proclamation addressed to the people of Southern Italy. This address was a confession. Cavour’s declarations of a few months before, to the effect that the Piedmontese Government was a stranger to Garibaldi’s enterprise and had tried to stop it, went for nothing in the face of a Royal proclamation, which, now that Garibaldi was successful, said:—”In Sicily men were fighting for liberty, when a brave soldier devoted to Italy and to me, General Garibaldi, rushed to their aid. I could not, I had no right to, hold him back.” the proclamation warned the Neapolitans against the intrigues of the Mazzinians. “I come,” said the king, “not to impose my will upon you, but to make yours respected.” In fact, the army came to put down both the Dictator Garibaldi and King Francis, to turn the strong positions held by the Royal troops, and by out numbering and overweighting the red-shirted volunteers to make the Mazzinian Republic an impossibility for Garibaldi, and check any rash enterprises against Rome or Venice—pears yet unripe for plucking.

When last we followed Garibaldi’s movements, he had just secured Naples. Let us, before we follow the Royal campaign, take up the thread of the Garibaldian operations, and see what he effected during the busy month of September, while his old ally Persano was battering the forts of Ancona with his broadsides. In the earlier part of the month, Garibaldi was inactive.

He ordered the four divisions of his army to be raised to 12,000 men each, but, as Forbes remarked, it was significant that to these divisions only Calabrese and Northern Italians were admitted. Where was the unanimous rush to arms of the people of Naples and Sicily?

There was room for all who joined him in a single weak division chiefly composed of deserters from the Royal army of King Francis. Caserta was occupied without opposition. The Royal troops lay about Capua, 20,000 strong; 20,000 more stretched along the Volturno to Cajazzo among the lower spurs of the Apennines. On the south bank of the river, the Garibaldians lay upon a long curve, stretching from Aversa by Sta. Maria and Caserta to Madalone, the convex side of the curve fronting Capua, and being only two and a half miles from Sta. Maria, where the Neapolitan and Garibaldian outposts were in contact.

In the Abruzzi there were some insurrectionary bands in motion. At Ariano, to the east of Benevento, an insurrection of another kind, a reaction against the Garibaldian revolution had broken out. Tiirr, in the name of freedom and the rule of the popular will, trampled it out at the head of a column of nine hundred men. This was the beginning of wild work, that went on in the Two Sicilies for five years, always in the name of freedom and the will of the people, that is to say, the freedom of the people to will what their Piedmontese masters told them.

Garibaldi came up from Naples to Caserta on the 18th, the day of Castelfidardo. It was currently reported in Naples that Capua would be taken next day, that an assault would be made merely in order to save the honour of the besieged, but that there would be no real resistance.

On the 19th a strong Garibaldian column attacked the southern outworks of Capua. It was afterwards said that this was a mere feint, meant to cover the attack which was made simultaneously by another column upon the extreme left of the Neapolitan position at Cajazzo. Nevertheless, the supposed feint was continued for four long hours. It ended in the headlong rout of the Garibaldians.

Charged by some squadrons of cavalry, their line gave way, a general panic seized them, some Sicilian regiments fled en masse; even officers galloped off, and some of the fugitives seized the ambulance waggons, and drove away in them. Had the Neapolitans attacked in their turn, they might perhaps have driven Garibaldi back upon Naples; but they showed a lamentable want of enterprise.

This was partly due to the staff having been informed that a couple of thousand Garibaldians had succeeded in crossing the river at Cajazzo, and driving the garrison out of the town. This the Garibaldians announced as the real object of the operations of the 19th, and claimed a victory. Their triumph did not last long.

On the 21st King Francis and the Duke of Caserta in person attacked Cajazzo with a strong force, stormed the town, and drove the Garibaldians, under Colonel Cattabene, over the Volturno. Nearly a thousand of Cattabene’s men were shot, bayoneted, or drowned in the river.

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Garibaldi, in the operations of these three days (19th to 21st), showed that however able he was as a guerilla leader, he was no general.

On the 19th he attacked both ends of the Neapolitan line. One attack, the least important, succeeded; the other, which was too strong for a feint and too weak for victory, failed disastrously; and then, instead of supporting the column at Cajazzo if he intended to profit by his partial success, or of withdrawing it if he did not mean to follow it up, he left it unsupported to be crushed by the king’s attack on the 21st. Garibaldi had the good sense to accept his own incompetence to conduct a successful attack.

Here solved to wait upon the defensive, until the coming of the Piedmontese to his assistance. Already there were Piedmontese liners, bersaglieri and artillery at Naples; but the help he was waiting for was that of Cialdini and Fanti, now battering away at the land defences of Ancona. He strengthened his position with batteries and barricades, and massed 30,000 men to defend it. Of these, 11,000 were Calabrese and Sicilians, the rest Northern Italians.

Where were the Neapolitans? They were represented by one solitary hussar in a squadron of Aversa. (1) So much for Garibaldi’s liberation of a willing people.

Had the Neapolitans been well led, instead of attacking Cattabene at Cajazzo on the 21st, they would have come out of Capua in force on the 20th, and attacked the Garibaldians at Santa Maria and on the hills around it. But unfortunately they did nothing but observe Garibaldi’s movements till the end of the month; and on the 1st of October, when the partial panic of the 19th was long forgotten, and when the Garibaldian position was considerably strengthened, they attacked it with from 25,000 to 30,000 men, divided into five columns.

One of these columns, crossing the Volturno between Capua and Cajazzo, was to march upon Caserta and Maddaloni, so as to keep the Garibaldians in that direction occupied, while the four other columns attacked in front of Capua, two on the left assailing the village of St. Angelo and the steep slopes of the Monte Tifata, while on the right two others were directed against the town of Sta. Maria.

The secret of the attack was not well kept. The Garibaldians knew on the day before what was coming, and were more or less prepared even for the direction it subsequently took. The operations of the day on the Neapolitan side were directed by General Ritucci.

The king was with him, and more than once was within fifty yards of the Garibaldian guns. The attack upon St Angelo was led by Generate Afanto di Rivera, Palmieri and Nigri; that upon Sta. Maria by General Mengel.

The firing began at 4 a.m., in the grey misty twilight of the autumn morning. Almost simultaneously, artillery was heard from the hills near St. Angelo and from Bixio’s positions at Maddaloni.

At Sta. Maria, Mengel rapidly drove in the outposts of Milvitz’s Garibaldian brigade, and while one of his columns assaulted the gate of the town and a battery on the railway to the right, another pushed in between it and St Angelo, and nearly took prisoner Garibaldi, who with his staff was hurrying to the key of his position at St. Angelo. Only the mist and a timely flight along a water-course saved him, but Count Arrivabene, the correspondent of the Daily News, who was with him, fell into the hands of the Neapolitans. Arrived at St. Angelo, Garibaldi found that Afanto di Rivera’s vanguard had taken half the village, a four-gun battery, and about 300 prisoners.

Round the great monastery, which formed the citadel of the place, the fight was raging hotly. Here the advance of the Neapolitans had been checked. During the day they made no further progress; at this point, the steep slopes, and strong buildings, lined with sharpshooters and continually reinforced from Caserta, proved a natural fortress beyond the power of a coup-de-main. At Sta. Maria, the barricades of the town brought Mengel’s attack to a standstill.

For four hours he stubbornly assaulted them, losing heavily; at length Milvitz and Malenchini’s Garibaldians were strong enough to assume the offensive, and the Neapolitans were pressed back towards Capua.

It was eight o’clock, and so far the Garibaldians had only lost the ground taken at the first rush,and both Sta. Maria and San Angelo were safe; the Neapolitan generals had shown a want of sufficient dash and enterprise to follow up their first successes.

Especially Mengel, partly misled by his guides, had wasted life uselessly in attacking Sta. Maria in front, instead of turning it, attacking Milvitz on his rear, and then pressing towards the Monte Tifata to co-operate with Afanto di Rivera and his brother generals. From eight to near eleven there was a lull in the fight, and the firing along the line became slacker.

At eleven, the Neapolitans made another serious attack. It was led by the Count de Trani, the king’s brother, who, covered by a heavy artillery fire, attacked Sta. Maria, but was as unsuccessful as Mengel had been in the morning. At noon, Bixio sent up word to Garibaldi that the attack on Maddaloni had been repulsed.

Probably the commander had given it up under the impression that having fought for nearly eight hours he had done enough to keep Bixio occupied for that day at least. For all he knew, the fighting before Capua was over. This attack on Maddaloni was an unfortunate part of the plan, without any corresponding gain. It diverted 7000 men from the real battlefield, and placed them at such a distance that all communication with them was difficult, and they were practically isolated.

The cessation of the fight at Maddaloni enabled Garibaldi to greatly strengthen his line of battle in and between Sta. Maria and San Angelo. About the same time, too, reinforcements began to arrive from Naples by rail—Sirtori, the chief of the staff, had telegraphed for them early in the day; and the first to arrive were artillerymen of the regular army of Piedmont, who were distributed amongst the Garibaldian batteries.

Their dark uniforms were noticed by the Neapolitan officers, who were thus led to believe that a considerable force of regulars must be at hand. Two thousand bersaglieri were, indeed, coming up by train from Naples, but they did not arrive till the fight was over. Near two o’clock it became evident that the Neapolitans were becoming exhausted. A general advance of the Garibaldians took place, and the Neapolitans fell back on Capua, losing several guns.

Two of these were taken by some of Garibaldi’s Hungarian hussars near Sta. Maria. They were secured and dragged into the town by a party of twelve blue-jackets from Mundy’s squadron—an awkward incident variously explained; according to the Blue Book, they were men on leave, who chanced to be there, having come up from Naples with the Piedmontese artillery to see the fighting. Before San Angelo, when the Garibaldians occupied the four-gun battery, they found in it some charred corpses.

It was at once proclaimed that the Neapolitans had deliberately burned the wounded to death; and an English illustrated paper published a picture of the horrible scene, purely imaginary, for its correspondent was in the Garibaldian lines.

The real fact was that some houses near the battery were set on fire in the fight, and the flames spread to straw in the battery, so that some of the bodies lying there were scorched and burned, but it is more than probable that they were all dead. In any case the affair was an accident of the battle.

So ended the fight on the Volturno, an undoubted Garibaldian victory, but dearly purchased by heavy losses. It was due partly to the misdirection of the Neapolitan attack, especially on that part of the field where Mengel was in command, partly to the extreme strength of Garibaldi’s line on the steep, almost precipitous, sides of the hills round San Angelo, the key of his position.

Yet there were moments when all seemed lost; and how doubtful the combat was, is shown by the fact that the Neapolitans took more prisoners than the Garibaldians. Forbes, who was with Garibaldi, reports 500 Neapolitan prisoners; and for the Garibaldian loss in prisoners and missing; 700.

The column of Piedmontese from Naples which came up in the afternoon was a welcome reinforcement Next day these bersaglieri, with a strong force of Calabrese, succeeded in cutting off and capturing, near Caserta, about 1800 men of the column which on the day before had attacked Bixio at Maddaloni.

They had received a false report that the king was victorious, and were marching straight upon the strong position round Caserta, where they expected to find their friends. Other smaller detached bodies of the same column were picked up and made prisoners in the course of the day—all lamentable results of the useless and too far extended diversion against Maddaloni.

Notwithstanding his victory, Garibaldi remained on the defensive in his positions at San Angelo and Sta. Maria. Nothing could be gained by a rash attack on Capua, and the king’s troops were now at hand. Three thousand more troops had reached Naples by sea, and the army of the Marches would soon cross the frontier under Cialdini.

Three days after the battle of the Volturno, the King of Piedmont in a proclamation to his army announced that he took personal command of them from that date. “I am satisfied with you,” he said, “because you are worthy of Italy. By arms you have vanquished your enemies, and by good conduct the calumniators of the Italian name.

The mercenaries whom I set free will speak of you in foreign countries, after having learned that God recompenses those who serve Him, and not those who oppress peoples and despise the right of nations”—a principle true enough, but here of doubtful application, and rather blasphemously used, unless indeed the fortune of battle is to be taken as a proof that the right is, in all cases, on the side of the victorious.

Two days after, on the 6th of October, the Count de Cavour wrote a letter to Baron Winspeare, the Neapolitan ambassador, who, notwithstanding Persano’s acts of war, had remained at Turin. In this letter he announced to him that the Piedmontese troops had received orders to enter the kingdom of Naples on account of the anarchy which prevailed there, and on account of the abandonment of the capital by the king, which he took to be tantamount to an abdication. Winspeare replied by a protest, in which he had no difficulty in demonstrating that the anarchy to which Cavour referred was Cavour’s own work. Next day he left Turin for Gaeta.

The final invasion began on the gth, the day of Victor Emmanuel’s proclamation to the people of the South. Several regiments were landed at Naples; the division of De Sonnaz was sent by sea to Manfredonia, whence it was to march across the plain of the Capitanata to Benevento, and unite with the Garibaldians on the Volturno. The Garibaldians needed all that could be given to them, for under the influence of inaction and being no longer actively supported by Cavour’s agents (for the regulars were now to do all the work) some of the battalions were melting away, and none of the country people were joining them. Almost the last reinforcement Garibaldi received was a battalion raised by a Garibaldian Committee in England, and landed at Naples in the middle of October:—of this more anon. The main Piedmontese army under the king and Cialdini entered the Abruzzi on the nth, the same day on which Garibaldi, yielding at length to Villamarina and Cavour, decreed that on the 2 1st Naples and Sicily should declare by plebiscite whether or not they would be annexed to the crown of Victor Emmanuel.

The Abruzzi were the scene of widespread civil war, for bands of peasants had taken up arms to resist the insurrectionary bands organized by the Garibaldians. In the north, near the old frontier of the Marches, and not many miles from the Adriatic, the mediaeval fortress of Civitella del Tronto, perched on its lofty crag, and garrisoned by 400 men under a good officer, Colonel Giovane, refused to surrender to Cialdini, and became the centre of a guerilla warfare against the Piedmontese.

The pass and town of Isernia, in the province of Molise, on the southern verge of the Abruzzi, to which it forms one of the main approaches, was held by a Neapolitan battalion, commanded by General Scotti; hundreds of armed peasants crowded to his standard, and the movement became so serious that Garibaldi determined to try to break up Scotti’s force, in which the irregulars now outnumbered the troops.

He sent Nullo, Zario, and six other of his officers to Campobasso, where they mustered the revolutionary bands of the district, and on October 18th marched upon Isernia. The Royalists defeated them with great loss, four of the Garibaldian leaders being killed. 

O-CLERY-mappa-CIALDINI-SONNAZ

 The reaction was therefore triumphant in the Molise; and Garibaldi, afraid that Scotti with his soldiers and peasants might leave Isernia and fall upon the flank of De Sonnaz’ line of march from Manfredonia, sent Medici with 3500 men to cover the roads leading to the south-east from Isernia. But his anxiety on that point did not last long. Cialdini, though he had to advance by difficult mountain roads, was near at hand, and two days after the Garibaldian defeat at Isernia he attacked the pass, and town, throwing tenfold odds against the brave peasants and the handful of soldiers who defended it.

The battle could not, and did not last long. The Royalists were driven from their position, and Scotti and 800 men were taken prisoners. The regulars were sent northwards under guards, but Cialdini shot a large number of the peasants in cold blood, and when it struck him that the Neapolitans might exact reprisals by shooting their Garibaldian prisoners—as by the public law of Europe they had a perfect right to do—he sent, through Garibaldi, a message to General Ritucci, who commanded at Capua, telling him that if one of the Garibaldians was executed he would shoot General Scotti and the other soldiers who had fallen into his hands at Isernia. Thus Cialdini began his long career of blood and massacre in the Neapolitan provinces.

The peasants, whom he shot year after year, were only fighting for their lawful king; they were not like the Garibaldian filibusters from Genoa; but Cialdini uniformly treated them as rebels, applying to them the term “brigands,” a name which, like that of klephts in the Greek insurrection, had in some previous wars been given to the insurgents of Naples, notably by the Muratists under King Joachim, when English admirals and sailors co-operated with the so-called brigands.

Cialdini’s capture of Isernia, and his advance southward by Venafro and Teano, so as to strike in between the Garigliano and the Volturno, rendered the latter line no longer tenable. The Neapolitans therefore, leaving a garrison of 6000 men in Capua, withdrew to the Garigliano. Cialdini, on reaching Teano, turned in pursuit of them, and near Sezza his vanguard encountered the rear-guard of King Francis.

A sharp action followed, in which the advantage was on the side of the Neapolitans, who continued their retreat to the Gangliano without being further molested.

On the 24th, by Cialdini’s request, the Garibaldian column, with the General at the head of it, had crossed the Volturno at Cajazzo, and marched up by the Teano road to co-operate, it was said, in the pursuit of the Neapolitans. At Teano, on the 20th, Garibaldi, at the head of his troops, met Victor Emmanuel.

The king and the man who had done his work so well in the South galloped up to each other, and grasped hands, Garibaldi saluting Victor Emmanuel as Re d'Italia. It would seem that the Garibaldians were brought across the Volturno specially for this dramatic scene, for on the 28th they went back to the lines before Capua.

Garibaldi’s salutation of Victor Emmanuel as Re d'Italia marked his acceptance of the plebiscite, which had been carried into effect at Naples on the 21st. The first step in preparing the way for it had been to remove all the employés of the Bourbon dynasty and substitute thoroughgoing revolutionists for them. Under the rule of these men the country, even in the few weeks before the plebiscite, had already fallen into a wretched state. Mr. Elliot (now Sir Henry Elliot), the British ambassador at Naples, whose despatches show that he was favourably inclined to the Garibaldian movement, and whose evidence on this point is therefore all the more important, wrote to Lord John Russell on the 15th of October:—”According to the accounts which have reached me, the general condition of the provinces is in the highest degree deplorable. In many parts the insecurity of life and property has become very great, while the liberation of the convicts and criminals, the entire impunity with which crime may be committed, the dearness of provisions, the cessation of all trade, and the want of employment, give but a cheerless prospect for the beginning of winter.

A large proportion of the persons who occupied places of trust and importance were no doubt corrupt and incompetent; but they were removed without discrimination, and they have been replaced without care; and if I am to believe the accounts of those who were no friends of the late state of things, malversation, corruption, and oppression are greater at the present moment than they have been at any previous period.”

Next day he wrote again to Lord John Russell, and spoke of the arrangements for the plebiscite. “The vote,” he said, “is to be taken by universal suffrage, and although not avowedly by open voting, it is so arranged that what each man does will be known, and public opinion brought to bear on him.

I do not apprehend that the proportion of negative votes would under any circumstances have been very large, but with the present arrangement there is still less chance of it... Both the terms of the vote and the manner in which it is to be taken are well calculated to secure the largest possible majority for the annexation, but not so well fitted to ascertain the real wishes of the country.”

On the day of the plebiscite the votes were subjected to the force of public opinion in a very tangible form. The National Guard, with fixed bayonets, stood at the voting urns. One man who voted No at Monte Calvario was repaid with a stab for his boldness. (2) All the Garibaldians, most of whom, as we have seen, were Northern Italians, were allowed to vote in the capacity of “liberators.”

The result was announced to be:—

In Naples For annexation 1,303,064

Against 10,312
In Sicily For annexation 432,054

Against 667

Again the same surprising unanimity that had been witnessed in Savoy, Nice, Tuscany, the Romagna, Umbria, the Marches, and invariably on the side of the men whose troops held the country. In Naples vote of another kind was given by the almost simultaneous insurrection which had already begun to spread from the Abruzzi to Calabria.

There was truth in Prince Murat’s proclamation to the Neapolitans, published immediately after the plebiscite, when the Muratist party made an attempt to profit by the dissatisfaction of the Neapolitans with their new masters. In this proclamation he declared that a wretched farce had been played in the streets of Naples, and that crowds of violent men grouped round ballot boxes which concealed nothing formed only a travesty of a free election.

When was a modem plebiscite anything else? Where did it ever give anything but an overwhelming majority to the party in power?

The plebiscite could not, however, make Victor Emmanuel king of the south until the reaction was put down and King Francis driven from Gaeta. The former was the work of years, the latter of months. On the 29th of October Cialdini’s van-guard tried to cross the Garigliano, and was repulsed by General Salzano, leaving five guns in the hands of the Neapolitans. He therefore moved his army nearer the sea, where he could cross the river under the guns of Persano’s fleet, and force the Neapolitans either to fall back on Gaeta or be cut off from it.

This much Persano could do for him, but he could give no further aid in the reduction of Gaeta, for off the port lay the French fleet under Admiral Barbier de Tinan, with orders not to permit a blockade.

The Imperial Government was now playing into Prince Murat’s hands, and had a hope that by this partial intervention it might be able to find some means of advancing his chances of the crown of Naples. The Royal commanders at Mola, at the mouth of the Garigliano, thought that Barbier de Tinan’s interference would have gone further, and that he would have prevented Persano from bombarding their positions; but this formed no part of his mission, and the Neapolitan generate paid dearly for their negligence in not having erected heavy batteries at the river mouth, when, on the 4th of November, Cialdini, supported by the fire of the fleet, threw a bridge over the Garigliano, Mola was bombarded, and the Royalists fell back on Gaeta.

A portion of the Neapolitan army was sent to Terracina, where it surrendered to the Pontifical authorities. The rest was withdrawn into the fortress of Gaeta, which Cialdini prepared to besiege.

Capua had already fallen. At four in the afternoon of the 1st of November, in the presence of Victor Emmanuel, the Piedmontese siege batteries had begun a general bombardment, which lasted for about two hours. Arrangements were made for an assault early on the 2nd, but the Swiss General, Du Cornet, who commanded in the town, offered to capitulate if honourable terms were given to him; and in the afternoon the place was in the hands of the Piedmontese.

It was capable of a much longer defence; the siege had really lasted only a few hours. The fall of Capua brought to an end the operations in which the Garibaldians were engaged, for the attack on Gaeta was to be entirely the work of the Piedmontese army. Garibaldi had, in reality, ended his campaign with his meeting with Victor Emmanuel at Teano. On November 1st he was in Naples haranguing a crowd, telling them that the Pope was the chief enemy of Italy, and, in brief, “was Antichrist.”

On the 4th he distributed medals to the survivors of the Mille di Marsala, the 1007 men who had landed with him in Sicily in May. Only about 500 were left, a good proof that they had not been backward, for there had not been many engagements.

On the 6th Victor Emmanuel was to have reviewed the Garibaldian army at Caserta, and then to have made his entry into Naples.

The divisions of Medici, Tiirr, Bixio, and Avezzana, 15,000 strong, were assembled for this purpose at Caserta; 7000 more under Cosenz and La Maza were at Capua; so that the Garibaldian army had dwindled to 22,000 men.

The king had never shown much liking for Garibaldi and his followers, nor had he fully understood Cavour’s policy. While the first Garibaldian expedition was on its way to Sicily, he had remarked to a French diplomatist that if the Neapolitans caught and hanged Garibaldi it would greatly simplify matters: “of course,” he added jestingly, “we should be very sorry, and what a splendid monument we would erect to him.” (3)

He now put an open slight upon the red-shirted army. Garibaldi and his 15,000 men had been waiting some hours under arms, when he sent word from Capua that he could not come. Great was the indignation of the Garibaldians; their comrade, Commander Forbes, expressed it fully when he wrote that Napoleon III would not treat his instruments thus: "However great scoundrels he may think them or know them to be, he will not be quite such a fool as to tell them so.

Yet this is the part Victor Emmanuel has allowed his ministers to make him play. It is as if he, the receiver of stolen goods, not content with getting them for nothing, were to turn round on the princìpals and say, You are a set of Mazzinists, which in European parlance means thieves and robbers. No one looks for gratitude in this world; but common decency becomes a monarch, if not policy.” (4)

“Towards evening,” he continues, in an angry strain of irony, “the receiver of the stolen goods sent to say that he could not possibly mix in the society of the robbers on that day at any rate, but requested the bandit chief to act for him, and take a last fond look at the about-to-be-disbanded gang.”

Under a down-pour of rain, Garibaldi reviewed his army, and bade it farewell till he would raise his standard again. Next day the king, accompanied by Garibaldi, Tùrr, and Cosenz, made his entry into Naples. “Their reception,” (5) says Forbes, “did not correspond with the occasion, the king being before his time, the municipality unprepared, and the rain pitiless.

Not of much importance, as even the disapprobation of the inhabitants of Naples would be the highest honour they could bestow.” But what of the plebiscite? Did not Victor Emmanuel come in virtue of the popular will? Or did this cold apathetic reception mean that the plebiscite was a well-arranged sham?

From Victor Emmanuel Garibaldi received a promise that his army should be incorporated in that of the kingdom. On the 8th he formally resigned the dictatorship of the Two Sicilies, and at daybreak on the 9th he left Naples for Caprera, paying a visit, as he departed, to Admiral Mundy.

In his parting proclamation he declared that the work of Italian Unity was still incomplete, and called for a million Italians to be under arms in March, 1861. So ended Garibaldi’s part in the Revolution of 1859-60.

He and his friends had been skilfully made to do Cavour’s work; they had been at once both aided and held carefully in check by Persano’s fleet and Cialdini’s army, and Piedmont never for a moment allowed him to act except in her interest, and throughout took care that she should with certainty be able to reap the fruit of his labours. Cavour’s and Persano’s despatches are at once the explanation of Garibaldi’s success, and of the ease with which Victor Emmanuel took Naples and Sicily out of his hands.

The siege of Gaeta began on the 4th of November. Standing upon a rocky peninsula, and defended upon the land side by a triple line of fortifications, and towards the sea by strong casemated batteries, the fortress of Gaeta is capable of a prolonged defence, and if covered by a fleet would be impregnable, for the ground on the land side is of such a nature that it would be nearly impossible to put in position against the fortress a number of guns sufficient to subdue the fire of the place. The garrison consisted of 12,000 picked men, of whom all except 300 were Neapolitans. They were commanded by Ritucci and Bosco, whose parole given at Milazzo had now expired. Colonel Afanto di Rivera acted as chief of the engineers, and displayed during the siege such ingenuity and resource as won him a high position in the military opinion of Europe. The fortress had only smooth-bore guns in its batteries, for these were the early days of rifled artillery; before the siege was over, Colonel Afanto had actually succeeded in casting, finishing, and placing in position, two batteries of heavy rifled guns. Had such energy and talent been found throughout the staff of the Neapolitan army from the outset, joined to the courage and fidelity of men like General Bosco, the fate of the Garibaldian invasion might have been a very different one. From the first day of the siege of Gaeta to the last, the young king was the soul of the defence. He was .continually under fire, Every day he was in the batteries encouraging the men, seeing that all was in order, taking counsel with the officers. With him often came his young queen, but her more ordinary occupation was to take charge of the hospitals, where, assisted by a French lady, the Countess Jurien de la Gravière, and fifteen Sisters of Charity, she laboured incessantly for the sick and wounded. The presence of the French fleet in the harbour enabled her to organize a System of transport, by which the convalescent were from time to time transferred by sea to hospitals prepared for them at Terracina.

It has been said of King Francis that he defended Gaeta as fortress had never been defended before. Our warlike days have seen more than one desperate and protracted defence, but none more determined and more heroic than that of Gaeta in 1860-61. We cannot follow here in detail the story of the siege. Such a narrative would be tedious. The daily record of batteries damaged or repaired, guns dismounted and replaced, this or that building burned by the shells, so many killed or wounded, so much ammunition expended, so much or so little progress made with the siege-works—may be passed over as of little importance. It is enough to say that it took Cialdini nearly a month to construct roads by which he brought up his heavy guns and mortars from Mola to the positions he had chosen for his first batteries in front of Gaeta.

Once he had a sufficient number of guns in battery, he began a continual bombardment, which did far more damage to the houses, churches, and hospitals of the town, than to the defences. The long range of his rifled-guns made it easy for him to carry on this bombardment with little loss, for he was beyond reach of the guns of the fortress.

This firing at a long range, however, could only prepare the way for the nearer approach, without which an assault would be impossible, and this approach Cialdini failed to make; to the end of the siege his attack was a simple bombardment at long range.

Meanwhile, the seafront being free from attack, and the harbour open, King Francis was able to communicate with the rest of his kingdom, and to learn from day to day the progress of the reaction, styled by the invaders the brigandage, the same name which the Republicans of Paris in 1793 had given to the Royalist revolt in La Vendée. To Gaeta came foreign and Italian officers, who, after conferring with Bosco and the king, went out to the Abruzzi and the Molise to organize the scattered bands and columns of Royalists, whom the Piedmontese in vain endeavoured to beat down. Of these volunteers the most famous was the Count de Christen, a gallant soldier who had fought for France in the Crimea. We shall hear more of his exploits and his sufferings later on.

To Gaeta, too, came news of a growing reaction in Naples itself. All this furnished many motives for continuing the defence as long as defence was possible; and the stand made by King Francis at Gaeta was, therefore, far from being what Lord John Russell called it in his despatches—“a useless effusion of blood.”

In Naples itself the reaction took serious proportions, and from day to day the discontent of the people with their new masters went on increasing. Even trifles added to it, such as the removal of furniture and works of art from the Royal palace to Turin, in itself a matter of no importance, but, viewed in the light of the policy of the Viceroy Farini, another proof that Italy was not being unified, but subjected to Piedmont. On the 8th of December King Francis issued from Gaeta a proclamation to the people of the Two Sicilies.

In that fortress, he told them, he defended not only his crown but the independence of their country. King and people, he said, had been alike despoiled and betrayed, but “the work of iniquity never lasts long, and usurpations are not eternal.” So long as calumny and treason had struck only at him, he had been silent; but now, when he saw his people treated as a conquered race, and their sons drafted off to Northern Italy, and when he received addresses from every part of the kingdom, it was time to protest.

He was a Neapolitan, he said; he had never seen any other country; all his thoughts were bound up with the fatherland, and, the heir of an ancient dynasty, he had not come, after despoiling the church and the orphan, to seize by force the fairest part of Italy.

He had refused to believe in treason while traitors sat at his council-board, he had refused to shed blood when he was menaced with open revolt; and Europe had seen the consequence of his confidence and of his clemency, in the triumph of the Revolution.

He had been accused of weakness, he said, because he abandoned Palermo and Naples to spare bloodshed in the streets of his two capitate.

He had believed in the good faith of the King of Piedmont, when Victor Emmanuel called him his brother and friend, expressed disapproval of Garibaldi enterprise, and accepted his own advances towards negotiating an alliance to promote the interests of Italy; and now he saw this same king breaking treaties and trampling upon law.

He, King Francis, had granted an amnesty, called the exiles home, and published a constitution, but all this could not avert an invasion, for it was by foreign invasion, and not domestic insurrection, that his throne had been assailed. (6)

“What,” he said, “has the Revolution obtained for the people of Naples and Sicily? the finances, lately so flourishing, are completely ruined, the administration is a chaos, personal liberty does not exist. The gaols are full of persons imprisoned on suspicion; instead of freedom, the state of siege exists in the provinces, a foreign general (7)( )proclaims martial law, and decrees that all my subjects who do not bow to the flag of Sardinia shall be shot. Assassination is recompensed; regicide obtains an apotheosis; respect for the faith of our fathers is called fanaticism; promoters of civil war, traitors to their country, receive pensions out of the pockets of peaceable tax-payers. Anarchy is everywhere; men who have never before seen this part of Italy, or who in a long absence have forgotten its needs, constitute the government. Instead of the free institutions which I had given you, and which I wished to develop, you have had an unlimited dictature, and now martial law takes the place of the constitution. Under the blows of those who lord it over you, the ancient monarchy of Roger and of Charles III is disappearing, the Two Sicilies have been declared provinces of a distant kingdom. Naples and Palermo will be governed by prefects from Turin.”

Late as it was, there was still, he said, some hope. If he conquered, his programme was a general amnesty, and separate parliaments and complete administrative independence for Naples and Sicily. But if he was to see the fall of the last bulwark of the monarchy, he would leave Gaeta with an unchanged resolve calmly to await elsewhere the hour when justice would be done.

There were few houses in Naples which did not soon possess copies of this proclamation. Notwithstanding the activity of the Piedmontese police agents, it was posted on the walls, distributed in the streets and spread broadcast through the kingdom.

Everywhere it produced a marked effect Even some of the Liberate, in their disappointment at the character which had been taken by the annexation movement, accepted the programme of King Francis. In the provinces, columns of Royalist insurgents swept the country; there were moments when even Naples itself seemed to be upon the verge of a counter-revolution.

On the 21st, 23rd, and 25th of December, there were demonstrations in the streets to the cry of " Viva Francesco Secondo!” At eight on the evening of the 29th there was an émeute in the quarter of La Margellina, the crowds crying, “Away with the foreigner! Long live King Francis!”

The Piedmontese cavalry patrolled the streets, and at some points were insulted and driven back with showers of stones. On the 31st there was another demonstration, the garrison was reinforced, Farini prepared to cope with a general insurrection, and imprisoned large numbers of men who were believed to be leaders of the reaction, amongst them many officers of the old Neapolitan army.

The Gazetta del Popolo of Milan, a Mazzinian journal, published a letter from Naples, dated January 3rd, 1861, written by a Garibaldian correspondent, which reflected the feeling in the capital of the South. “When I left Genoa to come here,” said the writer, “had anyone talked to me of the possibility of the return of the Bourbon to Naples, I should have taken him for a madman; and yet I cannot say in truth that if I were to leave this place for some time, I should be sure of being allowed a safe return. Had you been in Naples to-day and spoken with the people, you would have thought we were on the eve of a revolution, and that, too, a counter-revolution, which would be most hateful, and most fatal to the sacred cause which has been upheld till to-day at the cost of so much courage and of so many sacrifices.”

Similar events were taking place in the provinces. In many a town and city the shield of Savoy was torn down. On the 16th of December the reaction showed itself at Maddaloni, on the 18th at Caserta, where the Garibaldian National Guard was disarmed by the people. On the 29th it was at Nocera, whence it spread through the adjoining district to Castellamare.

There was fighting at Bitonto in the province of Bari,—about Avellino, in Calabria, and in the Abruzzi. In the first week of January, the insurgent bands, led by officers of the Royal army, defeated the Piedmontese and occupied Teramo. The peasant Chiavone formed a strong column in the mountains; another mountaineer, Mecoli, was at the head of 4000 men.

On the one hand the movement spread into Ascoli, a portion of the Pontifical territory lately annexed by Piedmont; on the other, it extended into the Terra di Lavoro. A deputation from Calabria was at Gaeta in December; in January it returned accompanied by some good officers, who organized the Calabrese bands, and led some of them into the Basilicata.

Many of the National Guard joined the movement. The Revolutionary press charged the Roman Government with having aided the reaction with men, money and arms. Rome was, however, in no position to give such aid.

The accusation was false. Had even the handful of tried veteran officers in Rome undertaken the direction of the movement, its results would have been very different, and Victor Emmanuel would never have been called King of Italy.

Unfortunately, a movement like this could not be directed with any certainty from a single besieged fortress, and, powerful as it was, the reaction lacked a central head, and could only hurl a multitude of disconnected attacks against the systematic and well-organized resistance of the Piedmontese army.

As early as November, 1860, General Pinelli had marched into the Abruzzi with a strong force to put down the insurrection in those provinces, from which, if it once gained head, it might seriously threaten Cialdini’s army before Gaeta.

He at once proclaimed that all, who, without formal licence, had any weapons in their possession, should be immediately shot; and that all who by act or word insulted the arms of Savoy, the portrait of Victor Emmanuel, or the national flag, should suffer the same penalty, as well as all who by speeches or money tried to excite revolt.

The article of the proclamation, imposing death on all who insulted the arms or the flag of Savoy or the portrait of the king even by word, was too sanguinary and sweeping even for Cialdini and Farini, and it was subsequently modified.

Nevertheless, Pinelli’s march through the Abruzzi was marked by a broad track of blood. He entered the district of Teramo, and besieged the hill fortress of Civitella del Tronto; Giovane and his four hundred men made a gallant and successful resistance, and the bands of Chiavone and Mecoli pressed upon Pinelli’s lines, cut off his convoys, and finally forced him to raise the siege and retire after a brief campaign which was as sanguinary as it was unsuccessful.

Such was the condition of affairs at the end of 1860—Gaeta still unconquered, the reaction in arms from Calabria to the Abruzzi, and even the Piedmontese tenure of the city of Naples far from secure.

Pinelli’s columns swept the Abruzzi and the Terra di Lavoro, putting down the reaction with fire and sword in one district only to see it break out afresh in another. It was strange that this people, whom the liberating army of Piedmont had come “to free,” could only be made to accept “freedom” at the point of the bayonet and by the light of the torch. Pinelli’s despatches and proclamations spoke of the insurgents as brigands, but they had generals of the Royal army of Naples at their head, and the operations against them were a series of difficult campaigns.

How ruthlessly those operations were conducted, is shown even by the admissions of the Piedmontese themselves. On January 26th, 1861, the Independente of Naples published in its news columns a letter from one of Pinelli’s officers.

“When we got near Mazzano,” it ran, “we began the cannonade. The brigands took to flight, and we occupied the place in which fire soon effected the most complete destruction. Other columns took possession of Cassara and San Vito, which suffered the same fate as Mazzano. These villages were, as it were, enveloped in a tempest of fire; all the houses, all the farms and buildings of every kind, to which we carne, were made the prey of the flames. It was a terrible sight; all the animals, the cows and sheep and the rest, fled in terror to the hills, but the men were hunted down by their fellow-men. Everywhere the flames rose in the air; it produced upon me the most painful impression.”

Other letters of the same kind might be quoted. Pinelli’s own proclamations breathed only a savage fury against the insurgents, and the Pope, whom he falsely accused of secretly supporting them. Take, for instance, his proclamation from Ascoli on the 3rd of February: “Soldiers/’ he wrote, “you have laboured hard, but while there is still something to be done nothing is accomplished.

A remnant of this race of brigands is still hiding in the mountains. Hasten to drive them out, and be as inexorable as fate. With such enemies mercy is a crime…

Indifferent to all political principle, and longing only for booty and rapine, they are, for the time being, the paid brigands of the Vicar, not of Christ, but of Satan, but ready to sell their daggers to others when the gold extorted from the stupid credulity of the faithful is no longer sufficient to satisfy their desires. We will annihilate them, we will crush out the priestly vampire who with his impure lips has sucked, for centuries, the blood of our mother, we will purify with fire and steel the regions he has infected; and from the ashes will rise freedom for this noble province of Ascoli. (Signed)—The Major-General, Frederic Pinelli.”

What was the real character of the movement, and how it was hampered and not assisted by the French officers and the Papal officiate in the Pontifical States, is well shown by the story of the Count de Christen’s campaign in the Abruzzi.

Early in the war De Christen saw that what the movement wanted in order to succeed, was a fixed and clearly defined object, a general plan and a central direction, without which it must fail. He had gone to Gaeta in September, 1860, placed his services at the disposal of King Francis, and at the head of a flying column cleared the district of Aquila of the Garibaldian invaders. Cialdini’s advance from Isernia by Venafro, drove De Christen’s column into the Papal States, but on his retreat he succeeded in surprising and defeating a Piedmontese detachment at San Germano.

Arrived in the Papal States, his column was disarmed by the authorities. Several thousands of Neapolitans, who had been disarmed in the same way, were interned in the towns and villages, and, although the French troops were active on the frontier, from time to time small bodies of them succeeded in escaping into the Abruzzi to join the reaction.

This was the only foundation of the accusations of Pinelli and others against the Papal Government. His column having been disarmed and disbanded, De Christen went back by sea to Gaeta.

The siege had begun; he proposed to the king a plan, the ultimate object of which was to organize an army and bring it down upon Cialdini’s rear, this attack, coupled with a vigorous sortie from the place, being intended to force the Piedmontese to raise the siege.

What he proposed was, that he should embark with 2000 men of the garrison of Gaeta, and, landing on the coast, traverse the Terra di Lavoro, and reach Sora on its northern border and on the verge of the Abruzzi.

He had relations with the people of the district, and hoped there to double his force. At the head of this column he intended to manoeuvre, so as to force Cialdini to detach troops in pursuit of him, as was actually done when he took the field.

These troops he would lead into the Abruzzi, and there, turning and evading them, regain Sora and march along the Pontifical frontier, rallying to his standard as he went several thousand of the disarmed Neapolitan troops, whom his agents would have conducted in a few weeks into the mountain districts of the frontier, much as during the last Carlist war, despite the French cordon, Carlist bands crossed and recrossed the Pyrenean frontier. With these he hoped to come down on Cialdini, about 12,000 strong, the garrison at the same time making a general sortie.

But this was only part of the plan. To prevent Cialdini from drawing reinforcements at the decisive moment from other parts of the kingdom of Naples, the Royalists were to raise the barricades in the streets of the capital, and some battalions of chasseurs were to be sent by sea from Gaeta to Calabria to give support to the reaction which had broken out there, and to rally and arm the immense numbers of Neapolitan troops which had been scattered through the country since they were disbanded after General Ghio’s traitorous surrender at Soveria. The plan was an immense one; but had De Christen been properly supported, it might have succeeded. (8)

Unfortunately, while approving of it and authorizing him to execute it, King Francis and his generate refused to give him the most necessary factor for its execution, namely the 2000 men from Gaeta who were to form the nucleus of his army. He reluctantly consented to try to organize such a force out of the disbanded Neapolitan corps in the Papal States, though he foresaw that the attempt would have to be made “in the midst of innumerable difficulties and unheard-of obstacles, raised by the Roman Government and the French army of occupation.” (9)

He went into the Roman territory, but he was denounced to the authorities by a Neapolitan officer, whom he had thoroughly trusted; and he had to return to Gaeta without having accomplished anything. He arrived there on the 3rd of December; and on the night between the 4th and the 5th, at the request of Bosco, he led a sortie against some houses, under cover of which Cialdini’s engineers were erecting a battery; he seized the buildings, and blew them up.

Next day General Bosco told him that a deputation had come from Calabria, requesting Neapolitan troops to support and a general to direct the insurrection in that district. De Christen went to the king, and asked for the command; but was refused, on the ground that the affair of the Abruzzi was more important.

This was an unfortunate step for King Francis, for there was a Prussian officer, Von Kalkreuth, on whom De Christen thoroughly relied, ready to take his place in the Abruzzi; and had De Christen gone to Calabria with a few soldiers, he might have accomplished then what Borgès failed to effect twelve months later. As it was, the Calabrian plan was neglected, delay followed delay till it was too late.

On the 6th De Christen and Kalkreuth left Gaeta in a small ship with a few companions and a cargo of 2000 muskets and 120,000 cartridges. Astorm drove them into Terracina, the most southern port of the Papal States. Foreseeing that the ship would be searched before long by the authorities, De Christen, during the night, transferred nearly all his arms into the hold of another ship which lay in the anchorage, and which had been searched the day before; and in order to conceal the removal, he left on board his own ship 200 muskets and 20,000 cartridges.

He then landed, to find means of transporting his cargo inland to a place of safety. At dawn the French commandant sent a party on board his ship and seized all that he had left in her.

On the following night he embarked the rest of the arms and ammunition on some flat-bottomed boats, and his men towed them by hand along the canal of the Pontine Marshes to Foro Appio. Leaving Kalkreuth there, he went on to Velletri, where he met the Cavaliere Caracciolo and the Count de Coatandun, who held a General’s commission in the Neapolitan army. About Velletri his agents had secretly organized a body of 300 men—Neapolitan soldiers. These were sent on in small bodies to Foro Appio; Caracciolo and De Christen followed them, and, having armed them, Caracciolo struck off at their head into the mountains, making for the Abruzzi, while De Christen, Coatandun, and Von Kalkreuth remained at the village to find means of sending on the arms. But the authorities of the province were informed of their proceedings.

A detachment of French troops seized about a thousand muskets on the canal, and kept De Christen and his friends prisoners for a few days. This was in the last week of December, 1860. When he was set free he learned that while Caracciolo’s column was passing through Frosinone it had been stopped, disarmed and dispersed by the Papal authorities.

Failure after failure had not discouraged De Christen. In the middle of January he quietly collected 400 unarmed men near Subiaco, and, crossing the Neapolitan frontier, by a wonderful stroke of fortune succeeded in seizing without shedding a drop of blood, a Piedmontese convoy of 400 rifles and 26,000 cartridges.

It was the 21st of January. Close in front of him was the town of Sora, where he had many friends. He resolved to surprise it in the following night, but as he approached in the darkness, he received information that General de Sonnaz, who had been detached from Cialdini’s army to operate against him, had just occupied the place with a whole division.

He retreated to the great abbey of Casamari, just inside the Papal frontier, where he asked from the monks hospitality for his tired and travel-stained men, who in the cold of a January night had twice forded the Liris.

Next day Chiavone and a band of peasants informed him that De Sonnaz had crossed the frontier and was advancing upon Casamari. He immediately left the convent, and encountering the head of the Piedmontese column on the road not far off, fell back before it, skirmishing as he went, till he occupied a strong position on a hill dose by.

The Piedmontese fired a few shells at his column, and then sacked the convent, carrying off even the sacred vessels of the church. In one of the rooms they seized some papers, forgotten there by De Christen. Finally, they set fire to the place, and, leaving it in flames, recrossed the frontier. When they were gone, the monks extinguished the fire and saved the building.

De Christen retired with his band to Bauco, a mountain village still within the Papal territory. On the 17th De Sonnaz, with a column of 35,000 men and some rifled guns, left Sora for the second time, and, crossing the Papal frontier, attacked Banco on the 28th of January. The village is surrounded by a half-ruined medieval wall; but its position makes it very defensible, as the hill on which it stands slopes precipitously on all sides but one.

Only on the northern side is an assault possible. De Sonnaz sent forward a battalion to enter the place; but, being received with a volley, it retreated. He then began a bombardment, which he continued from six in the morning —when he opened fire—to half-past eleven. But it had no other effect than to give fresh proof that bombardment is often more noisy than dangerous, for of De Christen’s 400 men only four were wounded.

Then, in the belief that he had by this prolonged fire prepared the way for success, De Sonnaz twice assaulted the village, forming his men in three solid columns of attack. Both assaults were repulsed with heavy loss, the Piedmontese leaving a number of prisoners in the hands of the Neapolitans. De Sonnaz stopped firing, and sent in a flag of truce, desiring to negotiate with De Christen himself. The two leaders met outside Bauco, and a convention was arranged and signed which put an end to the operations.

Perhaps no battle had ever before been fought under such strange conditions, for it took place on neutral ground, and though De Sonnaz by persevering in his attacks might perhaps have carried the village, it was just as likely that at any moment French troops would come up, disarm both parties, and ingloriously march the Piedmontese over the frontier. It must have been by considerations of this kind that De Sonnaz was led to propose a convention. It was agreed to by De Christen on these terms:—(1) That General De Sonnaz should evacuate the Pontifical territory and give his word of honour not to enter it again; (2) that De Christen should personally pledge himself not to fight either in the Calabrias or the Abruzzi; (3) that his men and officers were free to go where they wished.

From De Sonnaz De Christen learned that in their two attacks the Piedmontese had lost 500 killed and wounded, including a lieutenant-colonel and eleven other officers. After this brilliant exploit, De Christen gave up the command of the column and returned to Rome. His friend, General de Coatandun, took command of the victors of Bauco, and, taking advantage of the third section of the convention, continued the campaign.

He led them into the Abruzzi, where, in the mountains round Tagliacozzo, he carried on a guerilla warfare against the Piedmontese. Until Gaeta fell De Christen could take no further part in the movement.

So long as the presence of the French fleet kept open the road-stead of Gaeta a complete investment was impossible; and it could not be expected that Cialdini’s bombardment of the place, severe as it was and much damage as it had done, would force King Francis to capitulate. It therefore became the immediate object of the Cabinet of Turin to secure the withdrawal of the French fleet. In this it found a potent ally in the English Cabinet.

Lord John Russell, in his despatches to the Court of the Tuileries, urged the Emperor to abandon an intervention with that “freedom of action” in the South of Italy which he had so energetically maintained and protected in the North.

In the first days of January the Emperor adopted the views put before him by the English and Sardinian ambassadors, and announced that he would assume a policy of non-intervention in Southern Italy. On the evening of the 8th Admiral Barbiere de Tinan informed the King of Naples that his squadron was ordered to leave the waters of Gaeta.

At the same time the admiral proposed an armistice from the 9th to the 19th, adding that if it were accepted his fleet would remain in the road-stead until the truce expired.

The armistice was accepted, on condition that no works should be executed or batteries raised on either side while it was in force.

This clause of the armistice was most shamefully violated by Cialdini, whose engineers were employed bringing up guns and strengthening his lines of attack for several days during the suspension of arms. The king made use of the pause in the attack and defence to clear out the hospitals and remove the wounded to a place of safety.

At the same time it afforded him an opportunity to assemble at Gaeta the ambassadors accredited to his Court, with whom he held several conferences. On the morning of the 19th General Menabrea, Cialdini’s chief of the staff, came into Gaeta under a flag of truce to propose terms for a capitulation, intimating that if these were rejected the bombardment would at once recommence.

The king and his generals rejected the proposed terms without hesitation; the French fleet steamed out of the road-stead, the Piedmontese fleet, under Persano, took its place and declared a blockade, while at the same time the bombardment recommenced from Cialdini’s batteries, to which, on account of the long range, the besieged could make no effective reply for want of rifled guns.

The fleet, though it contained several ships of the old Neapolitan navy, had very few Neapolitans on board of it, and these were only to be found in two of the frigates. All the rest had left their ships, some to take part as volunteers in the defence of Gaeta, others for the merchant service. (10)

A single ship, the sailing frigate Parthenope, still carried the Neapolitan flag. She lay under the seaward batteries of Gaeta, and assisted in repelling Persano’s attack.

On the 22nd of January there was a general bombardment by sea and land. The squadron was beaten off, the Garibaldi, Costituzione, and Maria Adelaide receiving severe injuries. The fire on the land side did no damage to the works that could not be easily repaired. For the following week the fleet was content with keeping up the blockade at a respectful distance from the forts, but the land batteries day after day continued the bombardment, doing far more damage to the town than to the defences.

On the night of the 31st of January the monastery of Alcantara was destroyed by a shower of shells, and Mgr. Crisevolo and several priests and monks were mortally wounded. On the 29th Colonel Afanto di Rivera placed in battery twelve rifled guns, which he had succeeded in making in one of the foundries of the arsenal.

Their fire caused the explosion of a powder magazine in Cialdini’s lines; probably it had not been well secured, on account of the short range covered by the guns of Gaeta until that day. Next day a shot from one of the rifled guns, which opened fire on the fleet, hit the Monzambano at a range of nearly two miles (3200 metres}.

Up to the 5th of February the bombardment had really effected nothing, and Cialdini had not been able to push his works near enough to breach the walls, far less to attempt an assault. He had been three months engaged in the siege, and both his army and the Ministry at Turin were becoming impatient and discouraged.

On the 5th came the first hope of a speedy fall of the fortress. At three o’clock in the afternoon of that day the great magazine of Gaeta exploded. It is just possible that a shell may have in some way penetrated into the building (though it was supposed to be effectually blinded), and this shell would have caused a fire, spreading to the stores of gunpowder after the momentary pause in the bombardment had begun. But it is much more likely that the assertion of the Royalists is true, that a traitor had been found to destroy the magazine, and a lighted fuze had been placed in it to do what Cialdini’s bombardment could not effect.

Whatever was its cause, the results of the explosion were most disastrous, especially as it was followed by the blowing up of two other powder magazines in its neighbourhood. Large stores of provisions were destroyed; a breach was opened in the wall towards the sea-beach; five batteries, amongst them the two armed with rifled cannon, were overwhelmed and ruined, and General Travasa and a hundred men were buried in the ruins.

The explosion had no sooner taken place than the bombardment recommenced from the land batteries, the fleet, for the first time since its repulse, closing in and taking part in it. The firing did not cease till midnight. The batteries of Gaeta replied. Had there been any cessation of fire, or any other sign of a panic caused by the explosion, Cialdini would probably have attempted an assault.

At midnight, at the request of the besieged, an armistice of forty hours was agreed upon, (11) to give an opportunity of rescuing the survivors from the ruins and burying the dead. The work had already begun immediately after the explosion; but under the shell fire it was so perilous and difficult that the truce was applied for.

Cialdini at the same time offered to let the convoys of sick and wounded pass out through his lines, and 200 men were thus removed from the crowded hospitals of Gaeta.

The bombardment began again on the 7th; but the end was now dose at hand. So long as Gaeta had been open to the sea there was a hope of making it the centre of a general resistance throughout the kingdom; even after the withdrawal of the French fleet and the beginning of the blockade by sea and land, so long as the works were intact, ammunition and stores abundant, the besieged would not hear of surrender.

King Francis was determined, if he could not preserve his throne, at least to show that he could make an honourable defence of the last fortress of his kingdom. But now that the wall was breached, the main stores of provisions and munitions of war destroyed, and with them the only batteries that could effectively reply to the attack, it was clear that he could offer only a very imperfect resistance.

It was, of course, possible to fight to the end and die among the ruins of Gaeta; but this would have been the last refuge of despair, not the act of a king, who, though dethroned by a revolution promoted from without, still believed in the loyalty of the mass of his subjects, and still hoped in the future, as he had declared in more than one of his manifestoes. He therefore resolved to capitulate, and, on the night between the 10th and nth of February he sent out a parlamentaire to Cialdini’s lines to ask for an armistice in order to negotiate. At daybreak Cialdini recommenced the bombardment, and the forts replied.

At the same time he sent in a message to the effect that the besieged might negotiate, but he would grant no armistice, and would not ccase firing until the capitulation was actually signed—thus again violating the laws of honourable war as he had done at Ancona, though here the violation was less flagrant, inasmuch as he gave notice beforehand, and the city was not utterly defenceless, but able to reply. In any case, however, the loss of life and destruction of property caused by this final bombardment was utterly wanton and useless.

Up to the very moment of actual surrender the fire continued furiously; and on the 13th, the last day of the siege, several magazines blew up, and many of the landward batteries were destroyed. Even while the last formality was in progress, the making of duplicate copies of the capitulation and affixing the signatures, the firing continued. During those three days, when practically all resistance was at an end, the “liberating army” threw nearly fifty thousand shells into Gaeta.

The capitulation, signed on the 13th, provided that the king, the queen, the royal family, and their suite, were free to depart, receiving the honours due to sovereigns, and that until their departure the sea-forts should not be occupied by the Piedmontese; that the officers of the garrisons of Gaeta, Messina and Civitella del Tronto should, if they entered the Piedmontese army, retain their rank, or that if they did not join it they should receive their full pay; and that the garrison of Gaeta should receive the honours of war, but should remain prisoners until the fall of Messina and Civitella del Tronto. Cialdini had the effrontery to offer to place at the disposal of King Francis for his departure the Piedmontese frigate, Garibaldi.

On the 14th the king and queen left the harbour in the French corvette, La Mouette, on the first stage of their journey to Rome, where Pius IX. had offered them his hospitality in return for what he had received from King Ferdinand at Gaeta in the days of his exile. As the Mouette steamed out of the harbour the seaward forts, still manned by the Royal troops, fired a salute of twenty-one guns. Then the Royal Standard of the Two Sicilies was hauled down, and the batteries of Gaeta were occupied by Cialdini’s army. So ended the heroic defence of Gaeta. It was upon a mass of blood-stained and smoking ruins, the débris of houses, churches, convents and hospitals, destroyed by the two months bombardment, that Cialdini hoisted the tricolour of Piedmont.

For Gaeta, as for many another busy town and quiet village of the Two Sicilies, the advent of the “liberators” meant only ruin and destruction. Great was the rejoicing at Turin.

At Naples, the Prince of Carignano who had succeeded Farini as Viceroy, had to issue an order for an illumination, for the city was in no mood for festivities.

Though Gaeta had fallen, the Royal Standard of Bourbon still flew upon the citadel of Messina, and upon the mountain fortress of Civitella del Tronto; and in the provinces the armed reaction had numerous strong columns in the field, which would be largely reinforced when the coming spring rendered mountain warfare less difficult.

Of the two fortresses, Civitella was of little importance, but it was necessary to reduce the citadel of Messina at once. Cialdini’s army and siege train were therefore transferred to Sicily. Fergola, who commanded the fortress, had already rejected one summons to surrender, when, on news coming that the Senate at Turin had proclaimed Victor Emmanuel King of Italy, Cialdini sent to the Neapolitan general a summons, which deserves to be placed on record beside his infamous proclamation from Rimini and his despatches from Osimo and Isernia.

Addressing Fergola, Cialdini wrote:

—”I have to inform you—1st. That Victor Emmanuel having been proclaimed King of Italy by the Parliament at Turin, (12) your conduct will henceforth be considered as rebellion:

“2nd. That, in consequence, I shall grant no capitulation to you and your garrison, and you will have to surrender at discretion:

“3rd. That if you fire upon the city, I shall have shot after the capture of the citadel as many officers and soldiers as there have been victims of your fire in Messina:

“4th. That your private property and that of your officers will be confiscated, to compensate for the losses caused to the families of the citizens:

“5th, and finally, that I will give up you and your subordinates to the vengeance of the people of Messina.

“I am accustomed to keep my word, and I can assure you that very soon you and your people will be in my power.

Now, act as you will, I shall not consider you any longer as a soldier, but as a vile assassin, and all Europe will share my view.

“(Signed) Enrico Cialdini.”

Fergola, nothing daunted by this brutal challenge, more worthy of a bandit than of a soldier, continued his defence, and would have made a protracted resistance, had he not received from King Francis at Rome orders to capitulate. On the mediation of the Due de Gramont, the French ambassador at Rome, an arrangement was concluded by which on the one hand the Piedmontese Government agreed to extend the conditions which had been granted to the garrison of Gaeta to the insurgents of the Abruzzi, at whose head De Christen had placed himself as soon as he heard of the fall of Gaeta; on the other hand, in return for this, the king was to send General Fergola an order to surrender the citadel of Messina to the Piedmontese.

In pursuance of this arrangement, Fergola capitulated on March 13th. De Christen withdrew his column into the Papal States, and the Piedmontese frigate Costituzione was sent to convey the men to Naples, whence they were to be restored to their homes. In violation of the convention, for many of them the journey ended in the prisons of Naples. The same order that had been sent to Fergola by King Francis was sent to Colonel Giovane at Civitella; and he surrendered on the 20th of March, when the last Neapolitan fortress in Italy passed into the hands of Piedmont.

Five days after the fall of Gaeta, the first Parliament of the new State met at Turin. At the elections only 57 per cent, of those on the register had voted, and immense numbers had not even had their names inscribed on the register at all. The new Parliament, therefore, represented only the Liberate; the Conservatives had steadfastly abstained from voting, taking for their policy and their motto Nè elettori nè eletti, “neither electors nor elected.” the chief business for the Parliament was to formally declare Victor Emmanuel King of Italy, and extend to the whole peninsula, so far as it had been annexed, the Piedmontese Statuto Fondamentale, or Constitution granted to his subjects by Charles Albert thirteen years before, in February, 1848. On the 20th of this later February, the bill was passed unanimously by the Senate; and on the 14th of March, with only two dissentient voices, the Chamber of Deputies accepted the law which made Victor Emmanuel King of Italy by the Grace of the Revolution. Next day the law was promulgated in the official gazette of Turin, which for the first time appeared with the title Gazzetta Ufficiale del Regno d'Italia.

On the 31st of March England recognized the new kingdom. Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell had been, from the very outset, the staunch friends of the Italian Revolution; and they now made England be the first State in the world to set its official seal upon its success.

The United States recognized it on the 13th of April, France on the 25th of June, Turkey on the 2nd of July, Portugal on the 1st of October, Belgium (adding to her recognition a meaningless declaration that it made no change in her relations with Rome) on the 3rd of November, and Brazil on the 8th. Spain, Russia, and Prussia long hesitated to give the desired recognition.

Prussia gave it at length on the 1st of March, 1862. Spain held out longest of all, until June, 1865. To the last, the Pontifical Government refused to recognize or accept the work of the Revolution, and lodged formal protests against each definite step of its progress.

Thus the kingdom of Italy was constituted, built upon Cavour’s intrigues, his lawless invasions, his lying despatches, and his sham plebiscites. But Italian Unity was not yet complete—Rome and Venice were unrevolutionized and unconquered. More than this, the Piedmontese tenure of the South was far from secure. The Abruzzi, the Molise, Basilicata and the Calabrias, were swept by flying columns, that proclaimed war to the Piedmontese invaders. As yet Victor Emmanuel was only in name the ruler of the South; and the sword, which Cavour had drawn to lead a stranger king to the throne of Naples, was not to be sheathed for many a year.


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CHAPTER XIII

ENGLAND AND THE ITALIAN REVOLUTION

BEFORE following further the policy of Cavour and his successor, it will be well to take a glance at the policy of the English Government—the Palmerston Cabinet —during the eventful months of the Garibaldian raid upon Sicily, the annexation of Umbria and the Marches, and the war in the Neapolitan provinces.

It was not to be expected that when the Pope and the King of Naples were to be assailed by the Revolution, they would find many sympathizers in England. English Protestantism, if it was nothing else, was decidedly anti-Papal in 1860; and much of the outcry for a free Italy had its chief source in the hope that, in building Italy up, the Pope would be pulled down.

As for the King of Naples, his father Ferdinand had had the misfortune to offend Lord Palmerston and the English commercial interest in the affair of the Sicilian sulphur monopoly. He had disappointed Lord Palmerston in 1848, when the Liberals of Naples and Sicily, with the all but avowed aid of England, tried to overthrow his throne, and Ferdinand refused to be driven out.

Ever since then Palmerston and Russell had lost no opportunity of assailing his Government by addressing to it and publishing imperious despatches and remonstrances which became the texts of the denunciations and manifestoes of the Italian Liberals.

Mr. Gladstone called upon all Europe to stand aghast at the horrors of the Neapolitan prisons. Mr. Gladstone’s colleagues spoke of Ferdinand as King Bomba, and of his Government as if it were a System of barbarism. Italian exiles, writing in the English press—a Mazzini, a Saffi, a Gallenga —did what they could to intensify the hatred against Naples.

The cause of the Pope and of the King of Naples were spoken of as one and the same, although they stood on a very different basis from each other, but by this assumption each was made to bear all the odium that could be raised against the other, and so the storm was doubled in force. What the Government of the Pope was M. de Rayneval has already told us.

Unless we are to regard a Parliament and the ballot-box as necessary to good government, it was very much superior to the Government of Piedmont. Certain it is, that his subjects, with the exception of a small minority, were well contented with it.

Piedmont failed in repeated attempts to induce them to revolt, and finally had to simulate revolt by invasions like those of Zambianchi and Masi, in order to obtain a pretext for intervention.

As for Naples, it certainly was not a model government any more than Piedmont. But this much is certain, that, comparing Naples under Ferdinand and Francis and Naples under Victor Emmanuel, the contrast is greatly to the advantage of the former.

Under King Ferdinand the roads were safe, life and property were secure, taxation was about one-third of what it is at present.

The conscription was not oppressive in Naples, and did not exist in Sicily. Naples had the largest merchant marine of any Italian State; and the first railways and telegraphs in Italy were the work of the old Neapolitan Government.

As for the prisons, there was doubtless in them much to be reformed; but we shall see later on that they were not reformed but made ten times worse under Piedmontese rule.

There are in existence authentic letters from Poerio, the chief “martyr of liberty” at Naples, in which he thanks friends for gifts of fruit which have been sent to him, mentions various little comforts which he desires to receive from them next, and speaks of his good health; and it must be noted that Petruccelli della Gattina, one of the foremost Deputies of the Loft, confessed in the Turin Parliament that on the basis of the real living Poerio he and his friends had built up an imaginary Poerio, to be a type of Bourbon tyranny in the eyes of the public.

We shall see, further on, what the new Government did with the prisons of Naples.

England knew nothing but evil of Naples. When King Francis came to the throne he received with his crown an inheritance of English hate. His attempts at reform were laughed at, his promises were denounced as deliberate lies before he had time to fulfil them, and when Garibaldi announced that he meant to pull down first the young king and then the Pope, the English applauded.

The applause was heard in press and parliament. We have seen how, at Paris, in 1856, Clarendon, the representative of Palmerston, frankly discussed with Cavour the destruction of the throne of Naples. There were not wanting men in both Houses to denounce this alliance with the Revolution in Italy, not only Catholics, but English Protestants whose honest reason was more powerful than their prejudices, men like Lord Normanby in the Upper, and Mr. Baillie Cochrane and Mr. Bovili in the Lower House. But their voices were drowned in the general applause of the victorious Liberals, and of men who, though they called themselves Conservatives at home, were ready to uphold the revolutionists of the Continent.

The English Government did not confine its action to mere words. Its diplomatic and consular agents in Italy showed themselves consistent friends of the movement that was directed by Cavour, and led by Garibaldi. Sir James Hudson, the English envoy at Turin, was openly known as the confidant, the friend and supporter of Cavour.

Mr. Henry Elliot at Naples stayed there with Garibaldi, when the king went away to Gaeta, accompanied by the rest of the foreign ambassadors. Mr. Elliot, too, had at least one interview with Garibaldi, though he was accredited to King Francis. The interview took place on board the flag-ship of Admiral Mundy.

Garibaldi knew that flagship well; he had often been on board. It was in Mundy’s cabin he had met the Neapolitan officers at Palermo.

Mundy’s squadron had been at hand at Marsala, to afford him a ready refuge if his landing failed. Mundy’s squadron had been at Palermo to protest against the bombardment, that, on the testimony of Garibaldians themselves, would very soon have driven them out of the town.

Admiral Persano speaks repeatedly, in his diary, of the friendship of Admiral Mundy, and page after page of it reflects the moral support he received from the presence of the English fleet.

Garibaldi, when he was in England in 1864, féted by his old allies, spoke publicly of the help he had received from Lord Palmerston, Lord Russell, and “Lord Gladstone,” as he persisted in calling the then Chancellor of the Exchequer. “I speak from what I know,” he said at the Crystal Palace—”that the Government of England, represented by Lord Palmerston, Lord Russell, and Lord Gladstone, has done a wonderful deal for our native Italy.

If it had not been for this country, we should still have been under the yoke of the Bourbons at Naples; if it had not been for the English Government, I should never have been permitted to pass the Straits of Messina.”

At Ancona we have seen how, when Persano sent in one of his frigates under English colours to safely reconnoitre the fortifications, the English consul went on board, and made himself a party to the treacherous deception, by staying there a long time, and when he returned to the shore, saying nothing to reveal the hostile character of the ship he had just left.

He only acted in the way his Government would have heartily approved, and the press at home would have applauded had the circumstances been known.

While the Garibaldians were lauded to the skies as heroes sans peur et sans reproche, the English papers, led by the Times and the Daily News, echoed the proclamations of Cialdini and Fanti, and spoke of the volunteers of the Papal army as mercenaries and adventurers. When Spoleto, after a gallant defence, fell before the strong columns of Brignone, the first telegram published in England announced merely that Spoleto had capitulated, and that the 600 prisoners taken there were Irishmen—a telegram which made no mention of the defence, and was in error as to the number of the Irish volunteers, who formed a little more than one half of the garrison.

The Times eagerly seized upon the false news to make it the subject of an insulting leader. It told its readers that the Irish Brigade had shown what it was worth, and that all its boasting and bluster had ended without firing a shot. Ireland, it added, knew before that these men did not really represent her, that they were a lot of vagabonds; and now we had the satisfaction of knowing that they were also cowards.

The only coward in the case was the anonymous writer of this disgraceful article. Spoleto, Perugia, Castelfidardo, and Ancona, saw Irishmen do deeds worthy of the days of the old Brigade. But even when the truth was known the Times did not retract its insults; and when Cialdini and Fanti for eleven hours bombarded the defenceless city of Ancona, while the white flag was flying on its walls, the Times devoted another leader, worthy of the first, to a defence of this act of barbarity.

The Irish volunteers who fought at Spoleto and Ancona had been sent out to Italy by stealth, for, in answer to a question in the House of Commons, the Government had declared that the action of the Catholics would be carefully watched, and steps would be taken to prevent any breach of the Foreign Enlistment Act. But the Government was only prepared to enforce the law against the opponents of the Revolution.

Garibaldi had no sooner landed at Marsala than a committee was formed in England to raise funds for his enterprise, and an appeal for subscriptions advertised in the daily papers. Mr. Pope Hennessy, Mr. Bovili, and others in the House of Commons called attention to these proceedings. The Attorney-General endeavoured unsuccessfully to show that the law could not touch them.

Mr. Edwin James, a supporter of the Government, boldly defended them, and tried to lead the House away from the real question before it by an attack on the Papal army, which, he said, the Pope was collecting for the slaughter of his subjects.

In the end the Government, without absolutely refusing to interfere, indicated plainly enough that the subscription would be allowed to go on. It went on for months, and other funds were organized and accumulated with equal security, amongst them a fund to assist in arming the Italian people with a million muskets, which, however, did not succeed in producing money enough to buy a thousand.

The sums collected were sent out to Italy. What became of them there is doubtless known to some one, but the world in general was left in profound ignorance on the subject.

The committees of these English Garibaldian funds sent out agents to Italy, and their journeys afforded the Cabinet a means of holding direct communication with Garibaldi’s head-quarters. This fact is revealed by Persano’s diary; and I may quote again a short letter of Cavour’s, which has direct reference to it. From Turin he wrote to Persano, on the 3rd of September, 1860:—

“Admiral,—Mr. Edwin James, the celebrated English lawyer, is going to Naples on an official mission entrusted to him by Lord Palmerston and the English subscribers to the fund collected for General Garibaldi. Heis charged with the personal duty of hearing to the brave general the disinterested advice of all in England who sympathize with the Italian cause, and desire its triumph.

“Belonging to the Liberal party, Mr. James can counsel moderation with greater authority; nor can the defender of the French Bernard be disagreeable to General Garibaldi, if he warns him to be on his guard against the Mazzinian party, which seeks to destroy that unity of purpose that has rendered possible the triumphs hitherto obtained by the great national party. Be pleased then, Admiral, to receive with every demonstration of goodwill Mr. James, and the friends who accompany him. Amongst these I may specially mention Mr. Evelyn Ashley, son of Lord Shaftesbury, and Secretary of Lord Palmerston. I shall feel particularly grateful for every kindness shown towards those illustrious compatriots of Nelson, and their influence will prove particularly useful to our cause.”

Mr. Edwin James and Lord Evelyn Ashley received a friendly welcome from Persano, and were by him sent on in a steamer of the Piedmontese navy to Garibaldi’s headquarters.

While Palmerston was thus in secret communication with Garibaldi, a Garibaldian legion was, with the connivance of the Cabinet, openly organized, and despatched from England. There was hardly a pretence of concealment. “Lord Palmerston’s construction of the Foreign Enlistment Act was adopted,” said a writer in the Daily News (1) “and the members of the future British legion were registered as excursionists to Mount Etna.”

The Daily News was, throughout the organ of the movement, and it was openly announced in its columns. The first announcement appeared on the nth of August, the following paragraph being printed in conspicuous type immediately after the leading articles:—

“Captain Styles, formerly of the Fusilier Guards, and now of Garibaldi’s staff, has arrived in London for a few days, and will enable the riflemen of the metropolis to judge of the lightness, grace, and remarkably picturesque effect of the Garibaldian uniform. The gallant captain landed with Garibaldi at Marsala, and was in the actions at Calatafimi, Palermo, and the crowning victory of Milazzo. There is no doubt that if any of our volunteers with a turn for adventure, and some little military training, should fancy to exchange for a time the battle-grounds of Hampstead or Bromley for those of Calabria in this holiday season, they would receive a warm welcome from Garibaldi. Captain Styles would, we are sure, be happy to give any explanation on this subject that might be desired. To have fought under Garibaldi will one day be thought one of the proudest memories a man can boast of.”

A committee-room was taken by Captain Styles in Salisbury Street, Strand. A “Garibaldi Special Fund,” to defray the expenses of the (<f) excursion,” was opened, and advertised in the newspapers; and a certain Captain de Rohan, who wrote letters to the Daily News, in which he signed himself, “Naval aide-de-camp to General Garibaldi,” came to England to assist in directing the work.

On the 11th of September a letter from De Rohan was published in the Daily News, in which he complained that the subscriptions were coming in very slowly, and asked for more ready help to forward the “excursionists” to Garibaldi, who, he said, would receive great moral support from their presence.

The progress of the legion was regularly chronicled in the Daily News. Thus, this same paper of the 11th of September contained two paragraphs, one of which stated that Garibald’s agents in England had purchased at Liverpool for 9000l. The steamer Cambria, formerly belonging to the Cunard line; whilst the other paragraph ran,—”Yesterday Captain Hampton proceeded to Manchester from Liverpool, and, previous to his leaving again at five o’clock in the afternoon, forty-seven persons had offered themselves as excursionists to Naples, and been accepted. Unfortunately there is great want of funds to equip the party.”

On the 12th of September a notice in the Daily News, signed by Captain Styles and the “Naval aide-de-camp to Garibaldi,” De Rohan, called upon all the committees that had been collecting for the special fund to send in whatever money they had received. It appears that the whole sum collected was only about 3000l., and as the committee had contracted for arms and uniforms to be sent out with the men, Garibaldi had to sign bills for about 12,000l. to cover the deficit.

On Saturday evening, the 10th of September, the first contingent of the Garibaldian legion mustered at Shoreditch railway station. There they spent the night.

Next morning they were conveyed by train to Tilbury, where the steamer Milazzo was waiting in the Thames to convey them to Naples.

There was not the least disguise about the embarkation. The excursionists went on board in broad daylight, in the presence of an applauding crowd.

At Genoa, in May, the Garibaldians had at least tried to save appearances, and went on board their steamers silently and in the dark.

A second contingent, sufficient to bring the whole number up to 800, was embarked 011 board the steamer Emperor at Harwich on the 28th of September. A few of the volunteers went on board of her in the Thames near London Bridge; then she went round to Harwich for the rest, who were sent down there by the Great Eastern Railway.

The steamers had on board arms and red uniforms for all the men. They put into Gibraltar on the way to Naples, and stayed there some hours, under the guns of English batteries and English men-of-war.

The legion was landed at Naples, and sent on to the Volturno in time to take part in some minor actions with the defenders of Capua.

It is undeniable that the Government approved of and connived at the organization and despatch of this armed expedition against a king with whom England was at peace, and who still had an ambassador at the Court of St. James’s.

Parliament was not sitting, so that it was not possible by questions in the House to force the Government to act; but other means were taken by a few English gentlemen, who saw how their country was being disgraced by this action of the Palmerston Cabinet.

Before the expedition sailed, affidavits sufficient to justify the seizure of the Emperor were laid before the authorities of the Port of London.

They gained time by referring the matter to the Government, and the Emperor started unmolested. She might, of course, have been stopped at Gibraltar, but the Government was only anxious that she should reach Naples in safety. Mr. Bovili, acting as counsel for Mr. Crawshay, of Newcastle, applied to the Court of Queen’s Bench for an order to put the law in force against the Garibaldian recruiters; he was told by the Lord Chief Justice that only the Attorney-General could move in the matter; that he had no standing in it; and that “volunteer attorney-generals” were not wanted.

What difference was there between the expedition of Garibaldi and Bixio in the Lombardo and Piemonte from Genoa, and the Garibaldian expedition of Styles and De Rohan in the Milazzo and Emperor from London? None —except, perhaps, that the English Garibaldian Expedition was the more undisguised of the two.

The despatches of Lord John Russell at this period were a long series of elaborate defences of Garibaldi and Victor Emmanuel. On the 2?th of October, after nearly every State in Europe had, by withdrawing its ambassador from Turin, protested against the lawless invasion of the Papal States and the Kingdom of Naples, Lord John Russell published his most famous Italian despatch, in which he endeavoured to justify England for still keeping up friendly relations with the Government of King Victor Emmanuel.

The despatch was addressed to Sir James Hudson, her Majesty’s Minister at Turin. “It appears,” wrote the English Foreign Secretary, “that the late proceedings of the King of Sardinia have been strongly disapproved of by several of the principal Courts of Europe…

After these diplomatic acts, it would scarcely be just to Italy or respectful to the other great Powers of Europe were the Government of her Majesty any longer to withhold the expression of their opinion. In doing so, however, her Majesty’s Government have no intention to raise a dispute upon the reasons which have been given, in the name of the King of Sardinia, for the invasion of the Roman and Neapolitan States.

Whether or no the Pope was justified in defending his authority by means of foreign levies; whether the King of the two Sicilies, while still maintaining his flag at Capua and Gaeta, can be said to have abdicated—are not the arguments upon which her Majesty’s Government propose to dilate.”

Having thus prudently passed over the two reasons alleged by Victor Emmanuel for his intervention—reasons which were actually indefensible—Lord John Russell sought to find some better arguments for the policy of Piedmont, and found them by boldly begging the whole question. The questions to be decided, he said, were these:—”Were the people of Italy justified in asking the assistance of the King of Sardinia to relieve them from Governments with which they were discontented; and was the King of Sardinia justified in furnishing the assistance of his arms to the people of the Roman and Neapolitan States?” But he forgot that there was another question to be answered first—”Had the people really asked the king to help them to overturn their own Governments, or had Victor Emmanuel and Cavour, by turning the embassies of Piedmont into centres of conspiracy and then sending armed expeditions to complete the work thus begun, been the prime movers in the whole revolution?”

But taking the questions as he had laid them down, Lord John Russell replied that there were two motives which led the people of Italy to join in subverting their Governments: first, the misgovernment of their rulers; secondly, the desire to build up a strong central Government, in order to be free of foreign control. “Looking at the question,” he continued, “from this point of view, her Majesty’s Government must admit that the Italians themselves are the best judges of their own interests.” Granting this, Lord John Russell ought to have been able to say that the Italians had freely given their judgment; and this even his own agents denied, at least so far as Naples was concerned. (2) Then as to the action of Victor Emmanuel.

Having quoted from Vattel a justification of the expedition of William of Orange to England in 1688 on the ground that “when a people, from good reasons, take up arms against an oppressor, it is an act of justice and generosity to assist brave men in the defence of their liberties”—”Therefore,” he added, “according to Vattel, the question resolves itself into this: Did the people of Naples and of the Roman States take up arms against their Government for good reasons?”

In reply, he again begged the question, and raised another, which ought to have been answered first.

“Upon this grave matter” he said, “her Majesty’s Government hold that the people in question are themselves the best judges of their own affairs. Her Majesty’s Government do not feel justified in declaring that the people of Southern Italy had not good reasons for throwing off their allegiance to their former Governments; her Majesty’s Government cannot, therefore, pretend to blame the King of Sardinia for assisting them. There remains, however, a question of fact. It is asserted by the partisans of the fallen Governments that the people of the Roman States were attached to the Pope, and the people of the Kingdom of Naples to the dynasty of Francis II., but that Sardinian agents and foreign adventurers have by force and intrigue subverted the thrones of those sovereigns. It is difficult, however, to believe, after the astonishing events that we have seen, that the Pope and the King of the Two Sicilies possessed the love of their people. How was it, one must ask, that the Pope found it impossible to levy a Roman army, and that he was forced to rely almost entirely upon foreign mercenaries? How did it happen, again, that Garibaldi conquered nearly all Sicily with 2000 men, and marched from Reggio to Naples with 5000?

How, but from the universal disaffection of the people of the Two Sicilies?”

Unfortunately for Lord John Russell’s argument, his statement of facts was very far from the truth. Letting pass the traditional taunt about “mercenaries,” I repeat .that fully two-thirds of the Pontifical army were composed of natives of the Roman States; and although some of them, as Italians have often done, proved woefully unsteady under fire, others—and they were the majority—did good service, especially at Ancona.

As for Garibaldi’s expedition, Lord Russell ought to have known that it was not the work of either 2000 or 5000 men, but of 20,000 North Italians, who received but a cold welcome from the majority of the people, and who, backed as they were by the Piedmontese fleet, were brought to bay when at last the Royal army made a stand on the Volturno.

The Garibaldians would have been destroyed there but for Victor Emmanuel’s intervention, for the reaction had broken out all round them. This is the fact; Lord John Russell preferred to argue upon the legend.

After an allusion to the Austrian intervention of 1821, and a statement that, in 1848, “the Neapolitan people again attempted to secure liberty under the Bourbon dynasty, but their best patriots atoned by an imprisonment of ten years for the offence of endeavouring to free their country,” (3) the despatch concluded by-saying:—“It must be acknowledged that the Italian revolution has been conducted with singular temper and forbearance.

The subversion of existing power has not been followed, as is too often the case, by an outburst of popular vengeance. The extreme views of democrats have nowhere prevailed. Public opinion has checked the excesses of the public triumph.

The venerated forms of constitutional monarchy have been associated with the name of a prince who represents an ancient and glorious dynasty. Such having been the causes and the concomitant circumstances of the revolution of Italy, her Majesty’s Government can see no sufficient ground for the severe censure with which Austria, France, Prussia, and Russia have visited the acts of the King of Sardinia.

Her Majesty’s Government will turn their eyes rather to the gratifying prospect of a people building up the edifice of their liberties, and consolidating the work of their independence amid the sympathies and good wishes of Europe.”

A postscript, somewhat needlessly, informed Sir James Hudson that he was at liberty to give a copy of this despatch to Count Cavour. It was quite evident that it was for Cavour the despatch was written.

Thus, while even the French Empire, the accomplice of Piedmont, was forced to place a hypocritical censure upon the acts of Cavour, England alone among the great Powers stood forth as his apologist; and, led away by a wretched sectarian hatred of the Papacy, the Palmerston cabinet suspended the laws of England to place men and money at the service of Cavour and Garibaldi, gave to their enterprises diplomatic aid, and helped to complete the destruction of the public law of Europe, to which more than once in later years England appealed in vain when she believed that its violation affected her own interests.

She did not foresee, in 1860, that the simple rule of the will of the strongest and the sanctity of faits accomplis might very soon be used against herself.

CHAPTER XIV

THE FIRST YEARS OF THE NEW KINGDOM

Cavour was not destined to preside long over the new State which his policy had called into existence, and he was to leave to other and less able, though equally unscrupulous, hands, the further development of that policy, and the final realization of his ideas. What remains to be told of his career may be grouped around two famous sittings of the Turin Parliament—the debate on the Roman Question in March, 1861, and the debate on the Garibaldian army in the following April.

Cavour, after having spent many years in preparing for the work, had in the course of two years built up Italian Unity. The year 1859 saw the struggle with Austria, Lombardy won, the Romagna and the Duchies revolutionized, and nearly all Northern Italy in the hands of Victor Emmanuel.

The year 1860, and the three first months of 1861, saw Sicily, Naples, Umbria and the Marches annexed. On the other hand, Nice and Savoy were given up to France, and thus as long as the Imperial army made her the chief military Power of the West, the new kingdom was at her mercy.

This was the price Napoleon exacted for permitting the annexations in Central and Southern Italy, and the pledge which later on made him willing to let Rome pass into Piedmontese hands, for he felt that even after his army was withdrawn from Rome he would still dominate Italy by holding the Alpine passes on the one hand, and on the other that perfect command of the sea, which would enable him to strike at any point of the Italian coast, so long at least as England did not oppose him; and he reckoned, with good reason, that England’s patronage of Italy, enthusiastic as it was, would be confined to loud protests and long despatches, Thus, though Cavour had with the help of a powerful ally built up a united Italy, that ally was now his master, and even in external form Italian Unity was still imperfect; for the Austrians had Venice, and Rome and a small territory around it were held by the reorganized Pontifical army and a French corps of occupation.

Cavour was planning how best to get both Rome and Venice by the patient development of a new policy of annexation; Garibaldi and his friends were crying out to have a rush made for both, a rush which Cavour knew would fail and ruin everything.

He held them back, and found employment for some of them in shooting down the Royalist insurgents of the South; while Garibaldi, baffled and chafing under a sense of inaction, and discontented with the treatment he and his army had received after their campaign, became more and more irritated against him.

Cavour, with his work unfinished, saw both his tools menacing him with future danger, the French Empire from without, the Garibaldian party of action from within.

The danger from the French Empire was neither a present nor a pressing one. It would only come into force when, after completing the unity of Italy, it became necessary to free the new State from French tutelage, and many things might happen before that.

Both Cavour and his friend La Marmora fully believed that some day there might be a war with France, and that in any case it would be prudent to find some other ally to play off against France, and so get rid of foreign influence of any kind. Cavour did not live to carry out this part of the plan.

La Marmora, we shall see, attempted to execute it, only to give Italy not freedom but a change of masters. All this, however, was still in the future. For the present, Napoleon III was the ally of Cavour, and now that the possession of Savoy and Nice gave him a guarantec against the growth of the power of Italy, there was good reason to hope that he would help Cavour to go on to Rome.

The conquest of Venetia might be reserved for a later day, and possibly with the help of another ally but France; it required no great foresight to see the possible ally in Prussia.

Already, in 1859, the German Liberals had cried out to her to play the part of Piedmont in Germany; rivalry with Austria was her traditional policy, and her jealousy of France would, if she were successful, make her all the more useful as an ally, for thus might be realized the hope of emancipation from the French protectorate. It was with such views as these that Cavour, in January, 1861, sent La Marmora to Berlin, to congratulate the new King William on his accession.

From La Marmora’s revelations, (1) published a few years later, it appears certain that the possibility of a future alliance was held distinctly in view during this mission, which to the diplomatic world at large seemed to be one of simple courtesy.

Had men known then, as we know now, that a Prusso-Italian alliance was a favourite idea of General della Marmora, and that he had often spoken of it in familiar conversations with Cavour, his journey to Berlin, in 1861, would have excited some comment.

Thus Cavour was providing for the future development of his policy in a new direction, while he still made use of France to further his plans. Napoleon could not consent to his getting possession of Rome by an armed attack.

A great number of the leading Catholics of France and a large portion of the episcopate had already been thrown into opposition to him by his Italian policy; and now to withdraw from Rome and lay it open to an armed attack of the Piedmontese or the Garibaldians, would be to range the whole body of the Catholics of France against his government.

This he could not afford to do. But if, by persuasion or even by secret menaces, Cavour could, through some specious convention, induce the Holy Father to give up his actual sovereignty over Rome, the Emperor could withdraw the French garrison and let Italian troops take its place, provided always they came with the consent of Pius IX. But could this consent be obtained? Cavour thought that it could, and did his best to extort it from the Pope and the Papal Court.

It appears from the memorandum addressed to the Courts of Europe by the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, in August, 1870, that in November and December, 1860, views were exchanged between the Cabinets of Turin and Paris, as to the form which should be given to a project for the solution of the Roman Question, which Cavour intended to propose to the Holy See early in 1861 Cavour’s proposal was that the Pope should retain only the Leonine City, accepting the guarantee of Italy for his freedom; the French Cabinet proposed, in addition, that he should be given a kind of nominal suzerainty over the whole extent of the old Papal States as they existed in 1859.

All such projects, however, were mere paper schemes, so long as there was no prospect of the Pope accepting them. In the first week of January, 1861, Cavour’s project was forwarded to Rome; but though, on the 18th of January, the Emperor endeavoured to bring a strong pressure to bear upon the Pope, by announcing to the Papal Court that unless it came to terms with Italy he would withdraw his troops from Rome, Pius IX. was inflexible. But Cavour would not abandon his hope of entering Rome with the Pope’s consent, and so avoiding all the delays and dangers that would attend an armed attack upon the Holy City, and the odium that would attach itself to such an enterprise. He strove to gain over this and that Cardinal; he informed the Emperor that he was willing to offer even greater privileges to the Pope than those that were first proposed, especially in the matter of the temporalities of the Italian Bishops.

Rumours were circulated that there would soon be an agreement, that the Pope was favourable to the suggested arrangement, and that it was only the obstinacy of Antonelli that stood in the way of it. This was the talk of Turin and Paris.

The French Minister, Billault, gave a kind of confirmation to these rumours by telling some of the senators that they would soon see a rapprochement between Turin and the Vatican. When false reports like these were persistently spread upon all sides, the time was come for the Pope to speak out and give them an authoritative contradiction. Accordingly, on the 19th of March, he delivered an allocution, in which he denounced anew the outrages committed by the so-called Kingdom of Italy against the Church and the fresh intrigues against the Temporal Power.

This put an end to the hopes of Cavour, and he replied by a counter manifesto. On the 25th of March, six days after the allocution, the Roman Question was formally raised in the Turin Parliament, the deputy Buoncompagni, Cavour’s agent in the Tuscan revolution, proposing that the Chamber of Deputies should declare Rome the capital of Italy, at the same time affirming that the realization of this declaration could be effected without depriving the Pope of his dignity and independence.

The vote was taken on the 27(th) and the resolution was carried. Cavour spoke at great length in the course of the debate preceding the vote; his speech was one of the most important he ever delivered, and, moreover, one of the last. He expressed in it the views of the official revolution, on the proposed consummation of the downfall of the Temporal Power.

“The choice of a capital,” he said, “must be determined by high moral considerations—considerations on which the instinct of each nation must decide for itself. Rome, gentlemen, unites all the historical, intellectual and moral qualities which are required to form the capital of a great country. Rome is the only city in Italy which has few or no municipal traditions. Her history, from the days of the Caesars to our own, is that of a city whose importance stretches far beyond her own territory—of a city destined to be the capital of a great country. Convinced, deeply convinced, as I am of this truth, I think it my duty to proclaim it as solemnly as I can before you and before the country. I think it my duty also to appeal under those circumstances to the patriotism of all Italian citizens, and of the representatives of all our most illustrious cities, when I beg them to cease all discussion on this question, so that Europe may become aware that the necessity of having Rome for our capital is recognized, and proclaimed by the whole nation. ... I consider it certain, that, if we cannot employ the powerful argument that without Rome for a capital Italy can never be firmly united nor the peace of Europe securely established, then we shall never be able to induce either the Catholic world, or that nation which believes it to be its duty and its place to act as representative of the Catholic world, to consent to the union of Rome with Italy. To prove the truth of this assertion let me make a hypothesis. Suppose that the residence of the Sovereign Pontiff, instead of being at Rome, in the centre of Italy, in that city which unites so many historical traditions, was situated in the borders of the peninsula, in some town of importance if you like, but to which no great prestige attached—suppose, for instance, that the ancient ecclesiastical city of Aquilea had been restored, and that the Papacy had its residence there, do you believe it would be easy to obtain the consent of the Catholic Powers to the separation of the spiritual and the temporal powers in that corner of the Italian land? No, gentlemen, you know that it would not. I am aware that in such a cause as that, you might assert the principle of non-intervention, the right that every people has to assert its own wishes, and all the grand maxims on which international law is based. (2) But diplomatists would tell you that in politics there are no absolute principles, that all laws have exceptions, that we ourselves have no idea of applying to all parts of Italy the principle of nationality, and that, as we are satisfied to leave Malta in the hands of England, we might well consent to a territory not essential to the formation of Italy remaining subject to the Papal dominion.

“We should be told too that the interests of Italy, being in this instance of a secondary order, could not overbalance the general interests of humanity; and I assure you that against such arguments as these, the finest declamations in the name of abstract principles and moral justice would prove of no effect. Our Minister of Foreign Affairs, even if he had the good fortune to be assisted by all the professore of international law that could be found would never succeed in convincing the diplomatists with whom he would have to treat, and no negotiations could solve a question based on these terms. I repeat, then, that a declaration of the absolute necessity for Italy of possessing Rome as her capital, is not only a prudent and opportune measure, but an indispensable condition towards the success of any steps the Government may take to solve the Roman Question.”

He then endeavoured to combat the argument, that, if Rome were the capital of the new Italian Kingdom, there would be no guarantee for the independence of the Holy See. “If,” he said, “the overthrow of the Temporal Power was to prove fatal to the independence of the Church, then I should state without hesitation, that the union of Rome with Italy would be fatal not only to Catholicism, but to Italy herself. I cannot conceive a greater calamity for a civilized people than to see civil and religious authority united in one hand, and that hand the Government... It is my opinion that the independence and dignity of the Sovereign Pontiff, as well as the independence of the Church, would be protected by the separation of the temporal and spiritual authority, by the free application of the principle of liberty to the relations of civil and religious society. It is evident that if the separation could be effected in any clear, definite and irrevocable manner, and if the independence of the Church could be thus established, the independence of the Pope would be placed upon a far surer foundation than at present. His authority would become more effectual, when no longer trammelled by all those concordats,’ and all those bargains, which always have been and always will remain indispensable, so long as the Pope continues to be an independent sovereign. These weapons, with which civil authority both in Italy and elsewhere has been obliged in self-defence to arm itself, will become needless when the Pope confines himself to the exercise of his spiritual powers, and the authority of the Pope far from diminishing will increase enormously in its rightful sphere... The only question is, how can we secure this separation, this liberty which we promise to the Church? It can be guaranteed, I believe, in the most absolute way. The principles of liberty, of which I have spoken, should be inscribed formally in our statutes, and should be an integral part of the fundamental constitution of our new Italian Kingdom.”

The surest guarantee, he went on to say, would be found in the Italian people; their great thinkers and statesmen, he alleged, had often sought the “reformation of the temporal power,” but never the destruction of the Church. “The main point,” he continued, “is to persuade the Holy Father that the Church can be independent without the temporal power. But it seems to me that when we present ourselves before the Sovereign Pontiff, we can say to him, Holy Father, the temporal power is no longer a guarantee for your independence; renounce it, and we will give you that liberty which for three centuries you have sought in vain to obtain from all the great Catholic Powers —that liberty a few fragments of which you have won from them by concordats, on the condition of parting with great privileges and even with the use of spiritual authority— that very liberty which you have never obtained from those Powers who boast of being your allies, we, your devoted sons, come to offer you in all its fullness. We are ready to proclaim in Italy the great principle of a free Church in a free State!” (3)

It is needless to point out how illogical was Cavour’s argument. Throughout he assumed, trusting apparently to the ignorance of his audience, that international law gave a sanction to the principle he had invoked in building up the Italian Kingdom; and putting before his hearers as a primary object the possession of Rome, he told them that in order to obtain the consent of Europe to the step he proposed, they should assert that Rome was necessary to the existence of Italy, and for this assertion he gave no single reason but the desire of having an old historic city for a capital. The very hypothesis he suggested as to Aquilea ought to have proved to his audience that Rome should be respected, and that if they sought for a new and famous capital, they should choose some other city—for instance, Milan.

Most illogical of all was his statement of the guarantees to be given and the advantages secured to the Pope. No man knew better than Cavour what a Piedmontese guarantee was worth: and as for the destruction of the temporal power freeing the Pope from the necessity of entering into concordats with foreign states, as these concordats were entirely an affair of the spiritual power, it is hard to see what Cavour meant or what his audience could understand by the statement.

However, that audience was composed of men, who, having decided to go to Rome and pulì down the Papal throne, did not want any argument on the subject; and almost unanimously the Parliament proclaimed that Rome was the capital of the Kingdom of Italy.

So far all had gone smoothly in this the first parliament of the new kingdom. It had proclaimed Victor Emmanuel king, and Rome the destined capital.

These were not points on which in such an assembly there could be much dispute. But the first great parliamentary battle was dose at hand. During all the debates which had yet taken place, Garibaldi, who was one of the deputies for Naples, had not appeared in the House. He was angry at not being allowed to attack Rome or Venice, he felt that he and his army had been slighted after the Neapolitan campaign, and the old resentment against the cession of his native city of Nice to France had revived.

He told a deputation of Genoese working-men that Cavour’s Cabinet was composed of cowards, that the Chamber of Deputies at Turin was an assembly of lackeys, and that the king was being hurried to destruction by evil counsellors. He had a special grievance in the imperfect fulfilment of the promise, which Victor Emmanuel had made to him at Naples, that his army should be incorporated in the Royal army of Italy.

It was, in fact, a promise that could not bc kept with any safety to the crown. Many of the rank and file would have been very unwelcome additions to any regular army; and numbers of the officers were men of ultra-Republican opinions, or untrained men who had been rapidly promoted and made generals and colonels in a few months.

The number of officers was out of all proportion to the number of men; and the army lists of the new kingdom would run the risk of utter disorganization if all these names were to be added to them.

To Garibaldi, the delays and hesitations about the incorporation, the continual rejection of this man or of that, were a source of Constant irritation, and at length, on the 18th of April, he came down to the Chamber to attack Cavour and the Government.

The occasion was a momentous one. It was the first struggle of the Monarchist and Republican parties since the completion of the Revolution. The House was full. The galleries were crowded with Garibaldian sympathizers. The general, wearing his red shirt, sat in the midst of a group of his supporters.

The debate was begun by Ricasoli asking what had been done as to the “army of the South,” that is to say, the Garibaldians, and expressing a hope that the Government would proceed to arm the whole nation. Ricasoli had been put up to speak as a friend of the Government, in order that Fanti, the Minister of War, might have to reply to a friendly interpellation instead of a hostile speech.

Fanti answered that there had been difficulties as to individual volunteers, on account of the necessity of refusing to recognize their rank, so as not to be unjust to the officers of the regular army; that all the Garibaldians had received a bonus of six months pay; that a large number would pass their examinations and receive commissions; that the incorporation of the national forces was complete; and that there were seventeen divisions fully organized for service.

Fanti resumed his seat. Garibaldi rose to deliver the attack upon the Ministry, which he had prepared, and the notes of which he held in his hand.

A burst of applause greeted the red-shirted condottiere. He began his speech, but he had not said more than a few words when he hesitated, his memory had failed him; “his phrases became incoherent and meaningless; he looked in vain with his eyes, aided by enormous glasses, on the notes which he held in his hand, for the thread of his ideas.” (4)

Two of his supporters, one on each side, tried to prompt him, and to point out in the notes the passage he had forgotten. It was useless. The Left were in a panic at their leader’s failure. But after a few moments of painful indecision, Garibaldi threw down his notes angrily upon the table before him, swept the heap of papers aside, and, standing erect, burst into an extempore onslaught upon Cavour.

Speaking in a loud ringing voice, and with a threatening gesture towards the ministerial bench, he declared that it would for ever be impossible for him to grasp the hand of the man who had sold his native city to the foreigner, or to take any part with a cabinet whose timid and mischievous policy would drive the country into a fratricidal civil war.

Cavour sprang to his feet to protest against Garibaldi’s language, and Right and Left burst into outeries that for a time made further debate impossible. The president, Ratazzi, succeeded in allaying the tumult, and Garibaldi continued his speech.

He accused the ministry of having wearied the Southern army with neglect, and irritated it with insults, in order the more easily to break it up, of having dismissed officers for trifling reasons, and placed others on the retired list, and, finally, of having reduced it from four divisions to three.

When Garibaldi had done, Bixio tried to act as a peace-maker, and begged that Cavour would overlook the personal portion of Garibaldi’s speech. Cavour declared that he would consider the first part of that speech as not having been spoken, and then said that so far from being hostile to the Garibaldian volunteers, he had been the first to nall them out in 1859 and place Garibaldi at the head of them; but, he said, the Garibaldian army could not be maintained on the same footing in peace as in time of war.

Finally he begged for concord among all parties. Garibaldi replied that it was all very well placing him at the head of the volunteers in 1859, but that he had been sent only the halt and the lame as reinforcements; and he appealed to the example of England, which maintained volunteer battalions in time of peace.

Cavour then rose to complete his explanation. He denied that the case of England was parallel, as the English volunteers were not embodied. As for 1859, he said that Garibaldi himself had raised difficulties, and had operated in the Valtelline, a portion of the territory of the Germanie Confederation, so that he could not be supported.

This, however, was not the real source of the difference between him and Garibaldi; the real cause of the dissension, he acknowledged, was Nice; and though he felt he had done his duty in that matter, he could quite understand the general’s resentment on the subject.

In conclusion, he demanded a vote of confidence, asking the House to choose between his policy and the rash adventurous course represented by the Garibaldian element. After an animated debate, the House divided, 194 voting for the Government, and 77 against it. Garibaldi himself abstained from voting; but in the minority were Bixio, Depretis, Ferrari, and Liborio Romano.

In the course of the debate Ricasoli had attacked the position assumed by Garibaldi, and had affected to disbelieve the report of his speech to the Genoese workmen.

“A calumny,” he said, “has been circulated against one of the members of this assembly; he is accused of having uttered words unworthy of any honest man. I know this man, and it appears to me impossible that the odious words attributed to him could have fallen from his lips. For who, however great he may be, would dare in his pride to assign himself in our country a place apart? Who would dare to claim for himself the monopoly of devotedness and patriotism, and elevate himself above the rest? Amongst us one head alone should tower above all others—that of the king. Before him all bow down, and ought to bow down; any other attitude would be that of a rebel.”

As he uttered the last word he angrily struck the table with his clenched hand. The Monarchists were in the ascendant, and a storm of applause greeted his speech. After the division he left the House with Cavour, who, grasping his hand, said in the hearing of many of the deputies, “Were I to die to-morrow, my successor has been found.” (5)

The storm in the Chamber of Deputies was the signal for a storm outside. General Cialdini wrote and published a letter to Garibaldi, in which he accused him of having held seditious language, of having placed himself on a level with the king, of having, by the strange costume he wore in the Chamber, violated the ordinary usages of civil life, of having placed himself above the Government by speaking of the ministers as traitors, and of trying to drive the country against its will into adventurous enterprises.

Finally, he said that, if he had been a friend of Garibaldi, he was one no longer; that the successes of the Southern army had been ridiculously exaggerated, and that on the Volturno it had been saved from destruction by the Royal army.

Garibaldi wrote a very moderate reply, but the rupture between the chiefs was a signal for quarrels among their subordinates, and in every garrison Piedmontese and Garibaldian officers were exchanging challenges and fighting duels. There would soon have been imminent danger of civil war, had not the king insisted upon a reconciliation between Cavour and Garibaldi, which was followed by a reconciliation between Garibaldi and Cialdini.

A commission was appointed to report upon Garibaldi’s Project for the armament of the nation, and after this partial success he returned to Caprera.

Cavour’s words to Ricasoli after the Garibaldi debate of the 18th of April were almost prophetic; in less than two months he was gone, and Ricasoli was Prime Minister of Italy. On the 2nd of June the new kingdom of Italy celebrated the Festa del Statuto for the first time. Cavour was lying ili of fever, on his death-bed. He died on the 6th, leaving it to others to follow out his policy.

There is no need here to sum up his character. Of his private life I shall say nothing. His public acts I have striven to record for the most part in his own words; and anyone can read here for himself what was the character of the man who brought all the Peninsula under the rule of Piedmont, and called it United Italy.

Cavour had declared that Rome was to be reached by diplomacy, or as he expressed it, “by moral means,” and not by force as Garibaldi and his party would have it. His successor, the Baron Bettino Ricasoli, as soon as his ministry was constituted, on June 11th, set himself to work out this idea of gaining Rome by moral means.

The Emperor Napoleon officially recognized the Italian Kingdom, and at the same time wrote a letter to King Victor Emmanuel to inform him that so long as there existed differences between him and the Pope, the French troops would continue to occupy Rome.

This letter was published in the official press, in order to reassure the Catholics of France; but, notwithstanding such declarations, the Emperor was entirely upon the side of Piedmont, as against the Pope, and Ricasoli was negotiating with the Imperial Ministry in order to elaborate some new scheme for solving the Roman Question in the sense of persuading the Pope to give up his temporal power.

The Emperor’s policy was distinctly one of treachery to the Papacy. In August, the French ambassador at Turin told Ricasoli that he was instructed to inform him that the Emperor entertained the most friendly feelings towards Italy; that in case of the Holy See becoming vacant, or on the occurrence of some other opportunity as yet unforeseen, he would take advantage of the occasion to disengage himself from his present position by withdrawing his troops; that meanwhile Italy could keep open the negotiations with Rome, in order to put the Pope in the wrong (pour laisser le tort au Pape}: that she should secure tranquillity at Naples and act upon public opinion, and that the French Government would not cease to occupy itself with the Roman Question in a sense friendly to Italy. (6)

Having received these assurances of the support of France, Ricasoli proceeded to formulate his proposals, and submitted them to the Emperor Napoleon, as well as drafts of letters to Antonelli and the Pope, in which the proposals were to be enclosed; and as the Court of Turin had no diplomatic relations with Rome, he begged that the French ambassador at the Vatican might be made the intermediary in presenting them. In the draft letter to the Pope—which nine years later was the model of Victor Emmanuel’s final summons to Pius IX. to surrender— Ricasoli endeavoured to show that his demands for the renunciation of the temporal power were made in the interest of religion itself.

“Holy Father,” he wrote, “do not cast into the abyss of doubt a whole people which sincerely desires to love and venerate you. The Church must be free, and we shall give her entire freedom. More than anyone else we. desire that the Church shall be free; but to be free, it is necessary that she should be disengaged from the bonds of a policy, which, up to the present time, has made her a weapon of war against us in the hands of this or that power.”

This letter, and the offers which it made, would have come with better grace from a government that had not made war upon the episcopate, the religious orders, and the secular elergy. The letter was to be accompanied by Ricasoli’s Capitolato, or scheme of articles of agreement.

These articles set forth that the Pope should preserve his dignity, inviolability, and independence, and other personal privileges of a sovereign, and the precedence established by custom with regard to the king and other sovereigns; that the cardinals should receive the honours of princes; that the king would on no pretext and on no occasion place any obstacle in the way of acts done by the Pope as Head of the Church, “patriarch of the West and primate of Italy;” that he should have the right of sending nuncios; that he should have free communication with the bishops and the faithful, and they with him, without any interference on the part of the Government; that he should have the right of convoking councils and synods in such places and in such manner as he thought fit; that the bishops in their dioceses and the cures in their parishes should be free, in the exercise of their ministry, from any interference on the part of the Government, but that they should remain subject to the common law as far as regarded offences punishable by the laws of the kingdom; that the king should give up all patronage of ecclesiastical benefices; that the Government should give up all interference in the nomination of bishops; that the Government should undertake to pay a fixed annual sum to the Holy See; that in order that all the Catholic Powers and peoples might share in the support of the Holy See, the Government should open negotiations with these Powers to determine what quota each should supply to the annual sum above mentioned; that the object of these negotiations should also be to obtain the guarantees of the Powers for the fulfilment of the preceding articles; that, on the basis of these conditions, the Pope should come to an agreement with the Italian Kingdom, the details being arranged by commissioners appointed by both parties.

When I come to treat of the policy of the Government with regard to the Church in the provinces already under its rule, (7) it will be seen how worthless were these promises and so-called guarantees; and it is to be remarked here, that in the Capitolato nothing whatever was said of the preservation of the religious orders. When these conditions were laid before Napoleon, he expressed his belief that there was no prospect of their being accepted at Rome.

They were therefore not presented, and the Pontifical Government had no official knowledge either of the letters or of the Capitolato, until the 20th of November, when Ricasoli laid them before the Parliament at Turin. He gave at the same time the history of the project, and added:— “We shall go to Rome by a surer way, and without Europe having occasion to disapprove our action or to be alarmed at our progress.”

Having thus expressed his hope of still finding, with the help of France, a way to Rome, he invited the Chamber to confirm by a second vote the declaration made by the Parliament on March 27th, that Rome as the capital was necessary to the Unity of Italy. The vote was, of course, all but unanimous; and in his circular of the following January to the ambassadors of Piedmont, Ricasoli announced it to the Courts of Europe.

In concert with the French Government, he made one more attempt to persuade the Holy Father to violate his coronation oath by the surrender of Rome. On the 12th of January, 1862, he spoke in the Chamber of Deputies of Rome as necessary to Italy, and of its possession as certain to be attained.

A few days after in the Senate he again spoke upon the Roman Question, and said that perhaps at that moment its solution was on the verge of being accomplished. He alluded, doubtless, to a despatch which had been addressed on the 1 ith of January, by Thouvenel, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, to the Marquis de la Valétte, who now represented France at the Vatican, having succeeded the Due de Gramont, who had left Rome on the 6th of December, 1861. Thouvenel’s despatch purported to supplement certain verbal instructions already given to De la Valette before he left Paris.

“The interests of France,” he said, “are so closely affected by the antagonism of two causes, to which her political and religious traditions give an equal claim to her sympathies (!) that she cannot accept for an indefinite period the responsibility of a status quo as injurious to one as to the other, and cannot abandon the hope of opening the way to an agreement.”

He went on to say, that the Imperial Government regretted the events of 1860, but the course of time, in political matters, necessarily removed them from “the sphere of sentiment to that of reason” and the question now was to know whether the Holy See would maintain in its relations with Italy that inflexibility which was its right and duty in the sphere of dogma, or if, whatever might be its judgment on the transformation effected in Italy, it would be willing to accept the necessities resulting from an accomplished fact of such importance.

He then proceeded to argue that the past state of the peninsula could not be restored, dwelling strongly upon the recognition of the Italian Kingdom by certain of the Catholic Powers; and he pointed out that there was now no prospect of any armed intervention restoring the lost provinces to the Holy See, at the same time expressing his belief that the Pope would not desire to see war lighted up in Europe for such an object.

The immediate question, however, was not the exact way in which a solution was to be effected. “Suffice it to say,” wrote the Minister, “that the Emperor’s Government has preserved in this matter complete liberty of judgment and of action; and all that we desire to know now is if we are to keep up or to abandon our hope that the Holy See will, taking into account accomplished facts, join in elaborating an agreement which would secure to the Sovereign Pontiff those permanent conditions of dignity, independence, and security, which are necessary to the exercise of his power.”

He concluded by saying, that, once this basis of agreement was accepted, France would arrange the terms with the Holy See and communicate them to Italy, guaranteeing their loyal observance in the event of Italy accepting them.

The Marquis de la Valette replied to this despatch on the 18th. He had laid the proposals of M. de Thouvenel before Antonelli on the 12th, doing what he could to place them in a favourable light, and he was “more pained than surprised” at receiving for answer an absolute rejection. “All compromise is impossible,” said the Cardinal, “between the Holy See and those who have despoiled it. And it is alike out of the power of the Pope and of the Sacred College to cede the least fragment of the territory of the Church.”

De la Valette pointed out that the question, as De Thouvenel’s despatch put it, was one not of principle but of facts, the existing position of affairs was a disastrous one, and the Emperor’s desire was that the Pope, reserving all his rights in principio, should be extricated from that position. He then read the despatch through. Antonelli replied in a cairn, measured tone, which impressed De la Valette as that of a man who was expressing an inflexible and unchangeable determination.

“I see,” said the Cardinal, “in this despatch the expression of the affectionate interest which you have not ceased to manifest towards us. But it is not true that there is a disagreement between the Pope and Italy. If the Holy Father has broken with the Cabinet of Turin, he has nevertheless excellent relations with Italy. An Italian himself, and the foremost of Italians, he witnesses with sorrow the cruel trials inflicted upon the Italian Church. As for coming to a treaty with the spoilers, we shall never do that. I can only repeat that in this matter all compromise is impossible. Whatever be the reservations by which it is accompanied, or the adjustment of language in which it is expressed, from the moment we accepted it we should appear to consecrate the spoliation. The Sovereign Pontiff on his accession, the Cardinals on their nomination, swear to cede no part of the territory of the Church. The Holy Father, therefore, will make no concession of this character. A conclave would not have the right to do it. A new Pontiff could not do it; and his successors, century after century, would be no more free to do it than he is.”

De la Valette asked if he might take this as the reply of the Pope. After a moment’s thought, Antonelli answered that in order to fully satisfy him he would consult the Pope, and communicate his reply to the ambassador. Next day Antonelli wrote to De la Valette, that, having laid all that had passed before Pius IX., he had nothing to add or to take away from the reply which he had given the day before to his proposals. De la Valette concluded the despatch in which he narrated these proceedings, by assuring Thouvenel that to his great regret he could see no prospect of the Pope yielding even in the least degree.

The failure of the negotiation was a heavy blow to Ricasoli’s power in Italy. The agitation of the party of action on the Roman Question was becoming daily more outspoken. Committees were formed throughout Italy under the presidency of Garibaldi. There were riots at Pavia, Milan, Genoa, Livorno, and Naples.

The cry of “Rome!” was raised, and with it was coupled the name of Mazzini. The Moderates were anxious to put down the committees, which they believed to be as dangerous to the throne of the King as of the Pope. Ricasoli refused, either from want of courage, or from the motive which he put forward as his reason—respect for the constitution which allowed the right of association so long as no unlawful act was committed. (8)

The Right in the Chamber turned upon him; the Left gave him a partial support, but in the new state of affairs he could not govern any longer. His ministry had been a failure; on the 1st of March, 1862, he resigned. Before we follow the acts of his successore, we must see what had been passing in the South since the fall of Gaeta.


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CHAPTER XV

THE “BRIGANDAGE”

We have seen that in the October of 1860, while the Royal army of Naples was still upon the line of the Volturno, a reactionary movement against the Garibaldian and Piedmontese revolution began in the Abruzzi, and spread rapidly through the kingdom: that even in Naples an insurrection appeared at times to be imminent; that in the provinces more than one serious defeat was inflicted upon the Piedmontese by the leaders of the so-called brigands: that the movement, however, lacked a central direction and unity of action, which De Christen, baffled by the French and Roman authorities, in vain endeavoured to give to it: that the Piedmontese, unable wholly to suppress the movement, held it in check by military executions, and by laying waste the country: and that when Gaeta fell, Francis II. withdrew his officers and the bands under their immediate control from the Abruzzi, in order that they might take advantage of the partial amnesty offered by the Piedmontese authorities in return for the order given by the king for the surrender of Civitella del Tronto and the citadel of Messina.

The struggle which, beginning in October, 1860, ended in the following March, lasting altogether about five months, was the prelude of the opening act of the long civil war in the South, which went on during full five years, and was known as the “Brigandage.”

There really was no break of continuity; and the movement, which began in October, 1860, did not, strictly speaking, end but only changed its form. After March, 1861, it had more of a secret character; for some months it was neglected, and disavowed by the Royal family of Naples; but in the autumn of 1861, seeing that it was a real movement of reaction throughout the kingdom, and not a local struggle, an attempt was again made to give it a central direction.

The history of the “Brigandage” has never been written, and perhaps never will be written. On both sides a veil was thrown over the struggle, the Bourbonists naturally being obliged to have recourse to secret means, in order to obtain arms and supplies, and having carefully to conceal the movements, numbers, and plans of their bands; while, on the other hand, the Piedmontese did their best to hide the fact that a civil war was going on in the provinces of Naples, said that the only disturbers of public order were a few bands of marauding brigands, and concealed from Europe, as far as they could, the sanguinary means by which alone the insurrection was held in check, and finally conquered.

It was necessary for the Piedmontese to assume this position, so long as they wished to keep up the fiction that they were in Naples and the Neapolitan provinces, not by conquest, but by the will of the people.

It would never have done to confess that the people were expressing their discontent with the new government by a widespread and long-continued insurrection.

It is no wonder that, while both parties thus concealed their movements, the history of the civil war should be a very fragmentary one, so fragmentary that it is impossible to construct a continuous narrative from the materials that exist.

All that can be done is to show what was the general character of the movement, and of the measures taken by the Government of King Victor Emmanuel to break it up and suppress it. Here and there it will be possible to detail some of the more remarkable episodes of the struggle; but this is all that can be done. (1)

It appears that, throughout, the character of the movement was that of a disconnected and unorganized insurrection, which had neither a settled plan nor a central direction. To get together and arm strong bands or columns of insurgents, to harass the Piedmontese army of occupation, to drive out the Piedmontese local authorities, and to pull down the shield of Savoy in every town and village they occupied—were the immediate objects of action.

They hoped eventually to be able to unite in large armies, and menace Naples, but in this they never succeeded. They found opposed to them the picked troops of the war-trained army of the North, acting under the direction of one single commander, and on a fixed plan of gradually reducing the South to submission by exhausting its resources; while, lest they should declare for King Francis and go over to the insurgents, the troops raised in the Neapolitan provinces were drafted to the North.

The latter measure was a prudent one, for even in the northern garrisons the Neapolitans found means of expressing their disaffection towards the new state of things, and more than one conspiracy was discovered amongst them.

Throughout the conflict the Piedmontese endeavoured to conceal its real character, by persistently speaking of the Bourbonists or reactionists as “brigands.” the same name had been applied by the French to the Vendean insurgents of 1793, and to the Spanish guerillas.

In both instances some colour was given to the name by the undoubted fact that, wherever a country is disorganized by civil war, a certain number of bad characters take advantage of the general disturbance to carry on a System of real brigandage and marauding.

In Naples itself, under the French Republic, and under Murat, there had been insurrections which were described as brigandage, but which were purely political, the attempt to attach odium to the Neapolitan insurgents of 1860-1864, by speaking of them as brigands, and confounding their leaders with the brigand chiefs who kept bands together only for the purpose of pillage, was an old expedient; and indeed it only deceived those who wished to be deceived.

“You may call them brigands,” said the Liberal deputy, Ferrari, speaking in the Parliament at Turin, in November, 1862,—”you may call them brigands, but they fight under a national flag; you may call them brigands, but the fathers of these brigands twice restored the Bourbons to the throne of Naples... What constitutes brigandage?” he asked:—”Is it the fact, as the Ministry would have us believe, that 1500 men commanded by two or three vagabonds can make head against the whole kingdom, backed by an army of 120,000 regulars? Why, these 1500 must be demigods—heroes! I have seen a town of 5000 inhabitants utterly destroyed. (2) By whom? —Not by the brigands.” In the debate of the 8th of May, 1863, in the English House of Commons, speakers of various opinions concurred in agreeing with Ferrari’s judgment upon the so-called “Brigandage”—that it was really a civil war.

“The Brigandage,” said Mr. Cavendish Bentinck, “is a civil war, a spontaneous popular movement against foreign occupation, similar to that carried on in the kingdom of the Two Sicilies from 1799 to 1812, when the great Nelson, Sir John Stuart and other English commanders were not ashamed to enter into relations with the brigands of that day, and their chief Cardinal Ruffo, for the purpose of expelling the French invaders.”

“I want to know” said Mr. Disraeli in the same debate, “I want to know on what ground we are to discuss the state of Poland, if we are not permitted to discuss the state of Calabria and the Two Sicilies. True, in one country the insurgents are called brigands, and in the other patriots; but, with that exception, I have not learned from this discussion that there is any marked difference between them.”

Nor was it easy to see any difference.

In both countries there was a guerilla warfare against the ruling power, and in both the Government was endeavouring to suppress it by the free use of fire and sword.

The contention of the Piedmontese Government, and of their Liberal supporters throughout Europe, was, that the “Brigandage” was confined to one district, that it was only to be found near the Roman frontier in the Abruzzi, and that even there it was not a spontaneous movement of the people, but was carried on by invading bands organized by the Bourbonists in the Pontifical States, with the connivance of the Roman Government, and sent across the frontier to plunder and destroy, with a view only to disturbing the peace of the country, and embarrassing its Government.

This was more than once affirmed by Palmerston in the House of Commons in 1862 and 1863.

The theory was urged with a twofold purpose, first, to keep up the idea that the Piedmontese Government was not unpopular in the South, and secondly, to discredit the Roman Government, and afford one more pretext for the demand that Rome should be made the capital of Italy.

This theory, however, falls to pieces before the facts which can be gathered from official sources, as to the measures of repression put in force by the Piedmontese in the South from 1860 to 1865.

To all but those who were determined to believe the contrary, it was evident that Naples was thoroughly hostile to the Piedmontese régime. On this point we may take the evidence of Massimo d’Azeglio, who certainly was not a reactionist.

On the 2nd of August, 1861, he wrote to his friend Matteucci,—”The question of whether we are to hold, or are not to hold Naples, should, it seems to me, depend upon the Neapolitans themselves; unless we wish to change, to suit the occasion, the principles which we have proclaimed until now. We have gone forward, saying that governments which had not the consent of their subjects are illegitimate, and with this maxim, which I believe, and shall always believe to be a true one, we have turned out several Italian sovereigns. Their subjects not having protested in any way, have shown themselves content with our work, and it has been made evident that if they did not give their consent to the previous Governments, they have given it to that which has succeeded them. Thus our acts have been in accord with our principles, and no one has anything to say. At Naples, too, we have made a change, in order to establish a Government on the basis of universal suffrage. But sixty battalions are required to hold the kingdom, and it seems that even these are not enough. But it will be said, What of universal suffrage? I know nothing about the voting, but this I do know—that to the North of the Tronto battalions are not required, and on the other side they are. Therefore some mistake must have been made; consequently, we must change either our acts or our principles, and find some means of learning, once for all, from the Neapolitans if they want us or not. I believe that against one who desires to bring, or to keep the Austrians in Italy, the Italians who do not wish this done have a right to make war; but as for Italians, who, remaining Italians, do not wish to be united with us, we have no right to treat them to fusillades. I know that this is not the general opinion, but as I do not mean to give up my right of judgment, I say what I think.”

Victor Emmanuel’s visits to Naples were melancholy failures; although money was freely expended by the municipality in arches and decorations, popular enthusiasm could not be bought.

In the provinces the insurrection, suppressed in one place, broke out in another. Cialdini was placed in command of the army in the South in the summer of 1861, and, by a System of merciless severity, dispersed the bands in the neighbourhood of Vesuvius, in the Basilicata and in Calabria, before the autumn.

The winter put an end to the insurrection on account of the severity of the weather; but it broke out again in the spring. It was in the winter of 1861 that General José Borjes made his unfortunate attempt to aid the insurrection from without.

He was a Catalan, who had, by his exploits in the first Carlist war, won a well-deserved name for dashing courage and brilliant tactical skill. He was, in fact, one of the best guerilla leaders in Europe. In 1861 he was living in Paris, and the reports of the desultory warfare in Southern Italy published in the press, inspired him with the wish to lead an expedition to Calabria, and repeat in the provinces of the old kingdom of Naples the exploits which had made him famous in Catatonia.

It may be asked what he, a Spaniard, had to do with a war between Italians. I can only ask in reply, what had Cialdini and Fanti—who both served in Spain against the Carlists—to do with a struggle between Spaniards? As Fanti and Cialdini went to Spain to support the cause of the Revolution, so Borjes went to Calabria to fight for the cause of the Neapolitan monarchy and for the independence of the South of Italy against the Piedmontese invaders.

After having received the authorization of Count Clary, as the representative of Francis II., to take command of any insurgent bands he might meet with in Calabria, Borjes tried to organize his expedition, first at Marseilles, and then at Malta. After innumerable delays and difficulties, he got together about twenty officers, most of them Spaniards, and, taking with him a few muskets and some ammunition, embarked at Malta in a small Italian trading-ship, and landed near Brancaleone, in the extreme south of Calabria, on the 15 th of September, 1861.

The delays at Marseilles and Malta had ruined his enterprise. Cialdini’s lieutenants had broken up all the insurgent bands in the country. Nevertheless, Borjes succeeded in gathering some partisans; and, sometimes alone, sometimes in co-operation with a leader named Mittaca, whose band was largely composed of old brigands of the non-political type, he carried on a guerilla warfare against the Piedmontese and the National Guards.

Borjes made vain efforts to discipline and convert into soldiers the desperadoes of Mittaca’s band. Had he had three hundred men, he noted in his diary, he might have done something; but with the handful of men at his disposal he could neither rally any number of recruits to his standard, nor make his commands obeyed by Mitacca’s band in Calabria or by that of Carmine Donatello in the Basilicata.

The approach of winter had dispersed nearly all the insurgents. Borjes found himself almost alone, and without the resources necessary for organizing a strong column. He resolved to take refuge in the Roman States, and he made a wonderful march northwards with his little handful of men, through the whole length of the Neapolitan provinces.

On the night of the 7th of December he halted, and slept at a farm within easy reach of the frontier, where he hoped to give up his arms to the French or Papal troops, and find himself in safety. Being so near the end of his march, he relaxed his ordinary precautions, and intended to make a late start next morning.

His successful retreat had made him careless. Early on the 8th the farm was surprised by a detachment of bersaglieri and, after a desperate defence, the buildings were set on fire, and Borjes and his band were forced to surrender.

“Well done, young major!” he said, as he gave up his sword to the commander of the detachment; and he added that his captors might be thankful he had not started earlier, as then he would have been safe in the Roman States, and would have found means to come back next year with a better band.

The prisoners were marched into the neighbouring town of Tagliacozzo, and ordered to be summarily executed. They were led into the market-place, the Spaniards repeating a litany and preparing for death, which they all met unflinchingly. Borjes and nine of his Spanish officers were placed standing at intervals in a long row.

‘We shall meet in the Valley of Jehoshaphat!” said one of them, as he bade farewell to his comrades. Ten volleys fired in rapid succession put an end to their lives; and then the Italians of the band were shot. The chivalrous gallantry and great military genius of Borjes won for him the esteem of foes as well as friends, and his execution was regarded with horror throughout Europe. His body was, later on, given up to his friends, and buried in Rome. Had he come early in 1861,or deferred his coming till 1862, his enterprise might have had a very different ending.

It is melancholy to note that, on the very day on which he was taken a prisoner to Tagliacozzo to be shot, a friend of his in Paris published a biography of José Borjes, relating his exploits in Spain, and predicting for him equal success in Italy? (3) No news had been heard of him since he landed in September, and, as the Italians had not succeeded in capturing him in Calabria, it was supposed that he was at the head of a considerable force.

It must be remarked that the shooting of Borjes, without formal trial by the ordinary courts, was an illegal act, for there was no state of siege proclaimed in Italy, and the Law Pica which legalized the shooting of brigands taken in arms was not passed till next year. However, Cialdini and his lieutenants took it upon themselves to proclaim a kind of local martial law, each in his own district.

The commanders, in fact, placed themselves above the law, and when, during the Garibaldian rebellion of 1862, martial law was proclaimed in the South, it really made no practical difference in the condition of the country.

Charles Garnier, in his memoir on the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, (4) has collected a long series of these proclamations and ordinances, issued by the Piedmontese commanders during the war of the “Brigandage.” Some of these were issued in order to put into execution the sanguinary laws passed by Parliament on the demand of the ministry; but most of them were published and put in force on the mere fiat of the commander-in-chief of the Piedmontese army in the South, without even the formality of proclaiming martial law or the state of siege.

From July, 1861, onwards, this officer was General Cialdini, who had himself inaugurated this system of blood after his victory at Isernia in October, 1860, when, even before the annexation had been proclaimed, he shot every Neapolitan peasant taken in arms on the side of King Francis. From these proclamations I shall select only a few.

They will show at once the ruthless manner in which the war ms carried on by the Piedmontese, and the long time the struggle lasted. They will at the same time prove that the brigandage was not confined to the immediate neighbourhood of the Roman frontier, but extended through many of the provinces of the old kingdom of Naples.

In June, 1861, Commandant Galatieri proclaimed from his headquarters at Teramo: “I come to defend humanity and the rights of property, and to exterminate brigandage. Gentle to the good, I shall be inexorable, terrible to the brigands. Whoever harbours a brigand shall be shot without distinction of age, sex, or condition. The same shall be the fate of spies. Whoever, on being questioned and having knowledge of the facts, does not assist the public force to discover the position and movements of the brigands, shall have his house sacked and burned. Just as punishment will follow every fault, so good acts will be rewarded; and I am a man of honour who keeps his word.

“Signed by the commander of the troops,

“Galatieri.

“Countersigned by the mayor of Teramo,

“Polacchi.” (5)

In July, 1861, the brigands occupied Volturino, in the Capitanata, a town of 3000 inhabitants, without meeting with any resistance. On the approach of a column of troops under Major Facino, they withdrew from the place. Facino started in pursuit of them. In his parting proclamation to the people of Volturino, he accused them of complicity with the reactionists.

“I leave Volturino in the course of to-day,” he said, “but I warn you that if the brigands re-enter the town, I too will return. I will set fire to the four corners of your houses, and thus put an end to the incessant reaction. I pledge my word of honour, as a soldier, that I shall keep this promise.” (6)

Another of the Piedmontese officers employed against the reaction was Major Fumel, whose sanguinary deeds won him an ill-omened reputation throughout Europe. One of his proclamations, issued in February, 1862, was at first repudiated by the Government, but later on they gave it their approbation, and he issued others in the same sense, and many of its regulations were embodied in the decrees of the other military commanders.

Speaking of it in the House of Commons, in May, 1863, Mr. Baillie Cochrane justly remarked that “a more infamous proclamation had never disgraced the worst days of the Reign of Terror in France.” It ran as follows:—

“The undersigned, having been commissioned to destroy brigandage, promises a reward of 100 lire (francs), for every brigand, alive or dead, who may be brought to him. This reward will be given to any brigand who shall kill his comrade; moreover, his own life shall be spared. Those who, in defiance of this, give shelter or any means of subsistence or support to brigands, or seeing them or knowing the place where they may have taken refuge, do not give information to the forces and to the civi! and military authorities, will be immediately shot. For the custody of animals it would be well that they should be brought into several central spots with a sufficient armed force, because it would not be of use without a considerable force. All straw huts must be burned. The towers and country houses which are not inhabited, must be within the space of three days unroofed and their entrances bricked up. Otherwise, after the expiration of that time, they will without fail be burned; and all animals which are not under proper guard will be killed. It is prohibited to carry bread or any kind of provisions beyond the habitations of the communes, and whoever disobeys this order will be considered an accomplice of the brigands. Provisionally and under these circumstances, the syndics are authorized to grant permission to carry arms under the strict responsibility of the landowners who shall make the request. Shooting as sport is also provisionally forbidden, and therefore no one may fire off a gun unless to give notice to the armed posts of the presence of brigands or of their flight. The National Guard of each commune is responsible for its own district. The undersigned does not mean to recognize, under present circumstances, more than two parties—brigands and anti-brigands! therefore he will class among the former those who are indifferent, and against these he will take energetic measures, for in times of general necessity it is a crime to stand apart. The disbanded soldiers who do not present themselves within the space of four days, will be considered as brigands.”(7)

Fumel’s proclamations show very plainly how the Piedmontese Government made a solitude and called it peace. Of a similar character was the proclamation issued by Colonel Fantoni from Lucera, on February 9th, 1862.

The preamble of the proclamation announced that it was issued under the direction of the prefect of the province, that is to say, under the direct sanction of the civil authorities. The first clause forbade access even on foot to thirteen forests or tracts of waste land, including the great forest of Gargano. The second, third, and fourth clauses gave the following orders:—

“2ndly—Every landowner, farmer or agent, will be bound, immediately on the publication of this notice, to withdraw from the said forests all labourers, shepherds, goatherds, &c., who may be in them, and with them to withdraw their flocks: the said persons will also be bound to destroy all folds and huts erected in these places.

“3rdly—Henceforth no one can export from the neighbouring distriets any provision for the use of the peasants, and the latter will not be allowed to have in their possession more food than is necessary for a single day for each person of their family.

“4thly—Those who disobey this order, which shall come into force two days after its publication, will be, without any exception as to time, place, or person, considered as brigands and, as such, shot.

“The undersigned,” it concluded, “in publishing this order, advises the landowners to promptly bring it to the knowledge of those in their employ, in order that they may take steps to avoid the rigours with which they are menaced, informing them at the same time that the Government will be inexorable in enforcing them.” (8)

On the 22nd of September, in the same year (1862) Colonel Buovicini, commanding the Piedmontese force in the Basilicata, by a proclamation dated from his headquarters at Potenza, ordered all the straw huts in the woods to be burned, all grain to be removed from outlying farms, and all detached and unoccupied buildings to be walled up. Compared to the acts of Fantoni, Fumel and Pinelli, these were very moderate measures.(9)

In 1863, Di Ferrari, the Prefect of Foggia in the Capitanata (not to be confounded with the deputy of the same name), distinguished himself by his activity against the “brigands.” His proclamations and despatches are well worthy of a place in the series. On the 14th of March, he proclaimed:—

“To-morrow the war against the malefactors will be recommenced as actively as possible in every part of the provinces. The national guards will traverse and defend the territory of their communes; the carbineers and the troops will give them effective support when needed. All the animals in the country will be immediately collected in a few localities to be more easily guarded. All the smaller farms will be deserted, food and forage removed, and the buildings strongly walled up. No one may go into the fields without a pass written by the syndic and countersigned by the commandant of the carbineers; no one may carry food, provisions, arms or munitions, without the written authorization of the syndic, and without a sufficient escort Whoever disobeys these orders will be immediately arrested as a promoter of brigandage and imprisoned at my will. The syndics and delegates will keep the prefecture and the sub-prefecture exactly informed as to the progress of the holy war, which, thanks to the efforts of all, will be short and decisive.”(10)

On the 1st of May, in another proclamation, Di Ferrari ordered the arrest of all “suspected persons” in the province of the Capitanata, adding that in such cases “mercy was a crime.”(11)

By an order of July 8th, to prevent the insurgent bands from making use of horses to escape the pursuit of the troops,

Di Ferrari ordered that horses should only be shod in public and specially licenced forges: and that no one who shod horses, or made horseshoes or nails, should leave his own district without a pass indicating the route he was to take, the hour he was to start, and the hour he was to be back at his forge. Anyone having horse-shoes, nails, or tools for shoeing, was to declare the same to the authorities. All who disobeyed these orders were to be treated as accomplices of the brigands. (12)

By a circular of the prefect, De Luca, the syndics of the district of Avellino (the old province of Principato Ultra) were ordered to make out lists of all absent persons, and of all who were with the brigands, and to arrest the relatives of brigands to the third degree, in order to obtain from them “useful information.”

Peasants were not to work in the fields without a pass, and were not to carry with (r)them more food than was necessary for a single meal.( )(13)

From these proclamations it appears that the measures adopted for the suppression of the so-called “brigandage” were;—

(1.) Shooting, with or without trial, all persons taken in arms.

(2.) Sacking and burning disaffected towns and villages.

(3.) Imprisonment, without trial or indictment, of suspected persons and " relatives of brigands.”

(4.) Treating as accomplices of brigands, and punishing with death or imprisonment, all who—

(a.) Had in their possession arms without a licence;

(b.) Worked in the fields without a pass in any proclaimed district;

(r.) Or carried to the fields more food than was sufficient for one meal;

(d.) Or (in some districts) kept a store of food in their huts;

(e.) Or shod horses without a licence, or kept or carried horse-shoes.

(5.) Destroying huts in the woods, walling up all outlying buildings, taking the people and their cattle from the smaller farms, and collecting all cattle in positions where they could be placed under a military guard.

(6.) Refusing to allow anyone to stand neutral, and treating would-be-neutrals as friends and accomplices of the brigands.

(7.) A further means was a rigid censorship of the press.

Nor were these proclamations empty threats. How great was the destruction of life and property effected by the flying columns of troops during the war with the brigands, will probably never be known.

The statistics available only partly represent it, and only extend over certain periods of the conflict; but even these present a terrible picture of the free use of fire and sword, by which the people of the South were persuaded that Italian unity was the best means of promoting their liberty and prosperity.

According to an Italian journal, the Commercio of November 8th, 1862, the following towns in the Neapolitan provinces were sacked and burned during the preceding fourteen months:—

Provinces. Towns. Inhabitants
Molise Guancia 1,322
» Campochiaro 979
» Casalduni 3,032
Capitanata Pontelandolfo 3,917
» Viesti 5,417
» San Marco in Lamis 10,612
» Rignano 1,814
Basilicata Venosa 5,952
» Basile 3,400
Principato Citeriore Auletta 2,023
» Eboli 4,175
Principato Ulteriore Montifalcone 2,618
Terra di Lavoro Montiverde 1.988
» Vico 730
Calabria Ulteriore II Controne 1,089
» Spinello 298
Total 49,366

Even this imperfect list proves that in 1861-62 the insurrection was not the work of a few bands of marauders on the Roman frontier, but was a desperate struggle extending throughout the length and breadth of the kingdom. Of the seven provinces in the above list, only one— the Terra di Lavoro—touched the Roman frontier.

Of the towns named in it as destroyed, the fate of two— Casalduni and Pontelandolfo in the Molise, sacked and burned by the Piedmontese in August, 1861—was brought before the Parliament of Turin, by the deputy Ferrari, and so became better known in Europe than that of the rest.

Under the market-cross of Pontelandolfo thirty women had gathered, hoping that there, at least, they would be safe from outrage and murder; they were all bayoneted by the Piedmontese.

This is no story of a Bourbonist pamphleteer; we have it on the authority of the Liberal Ferrari; it was denounced by him at Turin, and, on his authority, in the House of Commons by Mr. Cavendish Bentinck.

This, however, was only part of a widespread reign of terror and massacre. Italian official documents, although there is good reason to believe that they underrate the numbers, give very high totals. The following table is from the report of the commission on brigandage, and refers to the period from May, 1861, to February

Taken in arms and shot 1038 men
Killed in battle 2413
Made prisoners 2768
Surrendered 932
Total 7151

During the debate at Turin in the autumn of 1863, the deputy Miceli declared that 350 citizens had been shot as accomplices of the brigands, and that “often these so-called accomplices were innocent.”

A list compiled from official returns, and containing the names of men taken and shot in the field during the three first months of 1863, enumerates 188 names, though it omits the nàmes of several shot by order of courts-martial in the barracks. The first name on the list is that of a young surgeon, who was attached in his professional capacity to one of the bands, which must therefore have been an organized insurgent column, and not a horde of marauders.

Hundreds, whose lives were spared when they were taken in the field, or who, arrested in the cities as “sospetti” did not even know with what they were charged, died of fever in the foul air of overcrowded prisons.

Even Mr. Bonham, the British Consul at Naples, whose reports were studiously favourable to the Piedmontese regime admitted that there were 20,000 persons imprisoned for political reasons in the Neapolitan prisons.

Other estimates placed the numbers much higher, some as high as 80,000. The great majority of these were untried. The hotels of Naples, and the roads, were carefully watched. Domiciliary visits and arrests on suspicion took place every day. De Christen paid a visit to Naples in the summer of 1861. He had not done any hostile act against the Piedmontese, since the convention subsequent to the fall of Gaeta put an end to his campaign in the Abruzzi, and he was at Naples on a pleasure excursion.

He was recognized during a domiciliary visit to his hotel, and, after an imprisonment of several months, was tried for conspiracy. His acts in the Abruzzi previous to the convention were put in evidence against him; and after a most unfair trial, he was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment, and actually endured a large part of the sentence before he was liberated on representations made by the French Government After an equally unfair trial, a trial denounced even by Italian jurists as illegal, (14) Mr. Bishop, an English Protestant gentleman, was found guilty of conspiracy at Naples, and also sentenced to ten years’ penal servitude. He had been lying many months in prison, before he was even brought to trial. When foreign travellers were thus treated, it may be easily imagined that the form of trial was worth very little to the Neapolitan Bourbonists.

As to the condition of the prisons of Naples under the rule of Piedmont during the insurrection of the South, we have the evidence of Lord Henry Lennox, who, in the winter of 1862-63, visited the old Neapolitan provinces. When he went to Naples, he was very favourably inclined towards the Italian Revolution, and especially an admirer of Garibaldi.

What his impressions were after his visit to Southern Italy, he informed the House of Commons during the debate of May 8th, 1863, on commerce with Naples.

The importance of the question must be my apology for lengthy extracts from this evidence.

In any treatment of the “brigandage” it necessarily finds a place. After reminding the House that, in the debate of 1862, Mr. Layard had taunted 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 for six months without trial,” he said that he would lay before the House other cases of a worse character.

“The facts,” he said, “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 account of them. 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 King 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 countryman (Mr. Bishop).

I went, and saw Mr Bishop. 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, who spoke French fluently, told me that he had been eighteen months in his cell without having 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.

He had no objection to find with his lodging or his food. On leaving the celi of that prisoner, other prisoners gathered around me and my companion, and frequently exclaimed in Italian, ‘Why are we in prison?’ ‘Why are we not tried?’ Much struck, and somewhat uneasy at what was going on, I requested of the gentleman who accompanied me to ask of the governor that question which the prisoners had put to me. All honour to the 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 particularly allude, replied that he was unable to answer the question, that he had eighty-three persons 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 before a magistrate in this country.

These persons were confined in prison, and were not aware of the crimes with which they were charged. Perhaps, when the House hears of these men who are thus kept in prison without being tried, they may arrivo 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.

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.

On leaving this prison, the distinguished gentleman who was with me, said, (1) This is indeed wrong; I am an Italian, and 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 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 position of the prison, the protest went on in the following words:—

“But the undersigned cannot help expressing how regrettable 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 begun 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, 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 galleries 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. Among these prisoners, too, mixed up with the debtors and the felons, were a Roman Catholic bishop and two priests, who had been dragged out of their beds a month before, thrust into this prison, and made—if they left their cell— to pass their days in the society of needy debtors and convicted felons, and that without knowing the crime for which they were suffering. 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 anyone who is treated unjustly, whether Catholic or Protestant, priest or layman. There is at present confined in that prison a man, who had been in prison two years; he was an old man, he must have been dose upon seventy; he was bowed with years, and was confined to the prison diet, one meal a day, and nothing but water to drink. He 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. Of the prisoners, there were a certain number of women confined for political sympathies. I have a long list of the names of the women who have been confined in this and another prison, for longer and 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. The next prison which I visited, was a large one at Salerno. The governor there was exceedingly courteous, and on hearing what was the object of my 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 1359, 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 fourteen laymen, all suspected of political offences, and these were confined in this cell with four or five convicted felons. In the next celi were one hundred and fifty-seven 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 very small yard, these hundred and fifty-seven wretched creatures passed the whole of their lives in this place, without knowing why or wherefore they had been brought to such a place. 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 offendere, was 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. The next room was a long room with a vaulted roof, and in it were two hundred and thirty 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 seventy 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 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? I dare not think of it. The food they had would not be given to any cattle in England. I threw a piece of their bread upon their 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 channel 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, 1200 had been crowded. In this prison there were five rooms, one following the other. There were only fourteen warders for the whole of these 1200 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 the cruelty of some old Bourbon gaolers that were left, he was making a statement which I will take upon inyself to contradict, and which Mr. Bonham must or ought to have known to be incorrect. So small was the staff of warders for the prisoners confined there, that it was difficult, nay almost impossible, to search them; and the consequence was that many of them were armed with weapons of one kind or another, some being thrown through the Windows, the others being brought in by the sellers of provisions that visit the prison. The result is that the unhappy governor goes in danger of his lite, and said to me, I shall be only too glad if you can do any good, for I never leave my wife in the morning without the feeling that I may be brought home at night a murdered man. Of the 1200 prisoners, 800 were confined in five rooms, with no doors between them, but iron rails; and thus the effluvium arising from these 800 men circulated without let from one end to the other. The moment I entered the first room, the prisoners crowded round, and I was set upon with petitions, prayers, and entreaties; indeed, the pressure was so great, that it was with difficulty that I was able to escape. I afterwards saw nearly the whole prison turned out into the yard; and if the right hon. gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, will allow me to say so, I think he ought to be highly gratified to hear what happened. Fearing that any further demonstrations might recoil with evil on the head of the governor, I begged him to entreat the prisoners not to repeat their requests, which, as I could do nothing for them, gave me great pain—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. 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 know the difference of power and influence between the two members —between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and myself. 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. 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 five miles from Naples, on the summit of a rock, commanding the most beautiful and extensive scenery. In this prison there are none but those who have been tried and condemned, and it is here that hard labour sentences are carried out. In this prison were a French gentleman, Comte de Christen, Signor Caracciolo, and Signor di 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. (15) In the same prison I saw some thirty or forty very fine young men, dressed 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. 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 eighteen 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. And now I come to a narrative from which I confess to recoil with feelings of horror and indignation; for in one celi, 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 felons’ garments it was difficult and painful to do so, I recognized 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.’ Signor di Luca was chained with similar heavy chains to a brigand, who had been convicted of robbery and 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 as this I must enter my protest. I care not whether such deeds of darkness are done under the despotism of a Bourbon or under the pseudo-Liberalism of a Victor Emmanuel. What is called United Italy mainly owes it 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. 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.”

The prisons were not emptied even by the typhus that swept them again and again, for they were rapidly replenished. In one single night, in May, 1863, two hundred persons were arrested at Naples, without even being informed of their alleged offence.

At the same time municipalities were suppressed and battalions of the National Guard disbanded for alleged complicity with the insurrection. The press was not spared. Throughout Italy a censorship, to which that of Austria was mildness itself, struck down every journal that displeased the ministry of the day. Catholic journals 011 the one hand, and Liberal newspapers on the other, suffered almost equal violence.

The Eco di Bologna was suppressed twenty-four times in thirteen months, and its editors fined and imprisoned. The Liberal Nuova Europa of Florence was seized four times in nine days. In three years, twenty-nine of the journals of Naples were totally suppressed—others were seized on certain days; thus of the Napoli e Torino, seventeen issues were seized out of fifty: of the Machiavelli, five out of eleven: and of the Aurora, ten out of nineteen.

Numerous other instances might be cited; but these are sufficient to show that, under the new regime, the liberty of the press was an empty boast.

Under all these measures of repression, and grappling with a Government armed with extraordinary powers and making ruthless use of them, the Neapolitan insurrection was doomed to fail, if it was not continually and effectually supported from without But no such help was organized by the exiled Court. In the summer of 1863, a quarrel between the foreign and the native chiefs hopelessly disorganized the movement.

The Spanish general, Tristany, who had the chief command in the Abruzzi, brought Chiavone, one of the most popular of the native chiefs, before a council-of-war on a charge of insubordination. Chiavone was declared guilty, and sentenced to death, and the insurgents were breaking into mutiny against the sentence, when Tristany executed it with his own hand, by shooting Chiavone dead with his revolver. The shot put an end to his own influence, and broke up his force; he capitulated, in July, 1863, to the Piedmontese authorities. After this period only a few scattered bands, most of them really brigands in the true sense of the word, kept the hills.

The political movement died out during the summer of 1864, but the predatory brigandage existed for years after. It had existed all through the civil war, but there were quite as many of its professors to be found on the Piedmontese as on the Neapolitan side. (16)

But though the armed insurrection was at an end, a great mass of the Neapolitans still looked with hope to the return of their king, and discontent showed itself both among Liberate and Royalists. In June, 1865, there were numerous arrests at Salerno, on the charge of Bourbonist conspiracy. In the October of the same year, even the Liberal Popolo of Naples confessed that the anniversary of the plebiscite was a sad one, because the people of the South had seen nothing of the glory of union with Italy, and had only to bear sufferings and burdens entailed by it. To this day the South of Italy is held by the northern regiments of the Italian army.

From all this it is evident that unity was forced upon Southern Italy by fire and sword, and that the “liberators” crushed out the real feeling of the people by wholesale executions and imprisonment, a sanguinary war of four years, and the destruction of all their local liberties. All that had been bad in the Bourbon System, the Piedmontese kept and made use of, and “bettered the instruction”, and even men like Nicotera and Napoleon III confessed that the change was one for the worse. Security for life and property was gone; and there had come instead the right to vote at elections, the conscription, heavy taxations, bloodshed, crowded prisons and ruined towns.

The Russification of Poland is the most apt parallel for the destruction of the autonomy of the South of Italy by the agents of King Victor Emmanuel, in the years which followed the sham plebiscite of Oct. 21st, 1860.

The System of outrage, massacre and bloodshed, by which the Piedmontese Government put down the reaction, was not denounced by the Bourbonists alone. Even among the Liberals of the Turin Parliament, men were found honest and outspoken enough to declare publicly what they knew to be the fact.

“You cannot deny,” said Ferrari, in the debate of the 29th of November, 1862, “that whole families are arrested without even a given pretext; that many individuate acquitted by the judges still linger in prison. A new code is in operation, under which every man taken with arms in his hands is shot. This I call a war of barbarians, a war without quarter. If conscience does not tell you that you are wading in blood, I know not how to express myself.”

On the 18th of April, 1863, the deputy Miceli, who had seen massacres perpetrated by the troops in Calabria, declared that men were shot without even the form of trial. His statements were questioned by the supporters of the Government; and upon this, General Bixio, Garibaldi’s lieutenant, and therefore no friend of the reaction, rose to confirm them. He declared that Miceli’s statements were true; that he could attest this from personal knowledge.

“A System of blood/’ he exclaimed, “is established in Southern Italy; but it is not by shedding blood that existing evils will be remedied. There is truth in the statement of Miceli. It is evident that, in the South, blood alone is sought, but Parliament must not follow this course... Let us first be just,” he concluded; “if Italy is to be a nation, we must attain our end by justice, not by bloodshed.”

Nicotera, another Garibaldian, and though a Neapolitan equally an enemy of the reaction, spoke in the same sense as his fellow-deputies, Ferrari, Miceli and Bixio. “The Bourbon Government,” he said, “had the great merit of preserving our lives and substance, a merit the present Government cannot claim. We have neither personal nor political liberty. The deeds we behold are worthy of Tamerlane, Genghis-Khan, or Attila.”

Finally, we may cite the remonstrance addressed to the Italian Government by the Emperor Napoleon III On July 21st, 1862, he wrote from Vichy to General Fleury:—

“I have written to Turin to remonstrate. The details we receive are of such a kind, as to be calculated to alienate every honest mind from the Italian cause. Not only are misery and anarchy at their height, but the most culpable and unworthy acts are a matter of course. A general, whose name I have forgotten, having forbidden the peasants to take provisions with them when they go to work in the fields, has decreed that all on whom a piece of bread is found shall be shot. The Bourbons never did anything like that.”

“Napoleon.”

Evidence such as this is incontrovertible, coming from the mouths of the very men who had been foremost in founding the so-called unity of Italy.


vai su


CHAPTER XVI

ASPROMONTE

I MUST now résumé the regular course of the narrative from the fall of Ricasoli’s Cabinet on the 1st of March, 1862. On the 4th of that month a new Ministry was formed by Urbano Ratazzi, who, besides the premiership, took the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Signor Sella, a civil engineer, took charge of the Finances, and Admiral Persano was Minister of Marine. The name of Ratazzi was not a popular one in Italy. It was associated with the catastrophe of Novara; it was destined to be associated with Aspromonte. His friendship for Napoleon III caused him to be suspected of subserviency to France. What his policy was, even now it is difficult to say. The secret of the inner politics of Italy during his administration has been well kept. There are no such documents available as those letters of Cavour to Persano, which make the story of the Revolution of 1860 a clear and simple one. In the absence of such documents, we have no due to Ratazzi’s policy; and it must be confessed that his policy in the affairs of Sarnico and of Aspromonte cannot be fully explained.

It seems most likely that on these occasions he was anxious to use the Garibaldians against Austria and Rome, as Cavour had used them against Naples; but that at the last moment his courage failed, and he yielded to pressure from without, and put down the movements which he had allowed to gather strength and consistency even if he had not actually originated or fostered them.

Garibaldi had been entrusted by Ricasoli with a sort of roving commission to superintend and encourage the organization of national guards and rifle-clubs, or, as it was said, to watch over the armament of the nation.

He was certainly chafing for action against either Venetia or the Papal territory, and his semi-official position and his great influence enabled him to plan some such enterprise without serious difficulty. There had been rumours that Garibaldi was again thinking of taking the field with his red-shirts, but these reports had been denied, when, in the middle of May, while Ratazzi was absent from Turin with the king on a visit to Naples, Europe was at one and the same moment informed that a Garibaldian plan against Austria had been discovered, and that it had been defeated. In April, Count Rechberg, the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, had been asked in the Reichsrath at Vienna if the report of such a movement was well-founded, and had replied that the Government was taking measures for the defence of Venetia.

The French Government had also addressed a friendly warning to Turin. It can hardly be supposed that the Piedmontese Government was entirely ignorant of the project. It had been the subject of unnumbered rumours and reports, and the police must have been aware of the steady flow of volunteers, arms, munitions and uniforms, into Lombardy, throughout April and the early days of May.

Garibaldi, it is said, had assured Ratazzi that he was preparing not for a raid upon Venetia, but for an expedition against the Turks for the purpose of extending the kingdom of Greece. But it was strange that such an expedition should have been prepared far from the sea and dose to the Austrian frontier.

The preparations went on unchecked. A large number of volunteers assembled at Sarnico, and Colonel Cattabene was to lead the Garibaldian vanguard across the Austrian frontier on the 19th of May. But the Government could not afford a war with Austria. Ratazzi had weakly allowed the movement to develop into something serious; it was now both difficult and dangerous to stop it.

At first persuasion was tried. General Tiirr, now an aide-de-camp to the king, was sent from Naples to endeavour to dissuade Garibaldi from his enterprise. Then recourse was had to force instead of persuasion.

On the night of the 13th of May, Colonel Cattabene was arrested at Trescorre, in the same house that Garibaldi himself occupied, and all the plans of the expedition were seized. A large number of arrests followed among the volunteers assembled at Sarnico, and columns of Piedmontese troops occupied the roads leading to the Austrian frontier.

The efficiency with which the movement was put down proved once for all that if either the Austrian or the Papal frontier was to be violated, it would be the fault of the Government, who were quite capable of stopping a Garibaldian raid. The prisoners were removed to Brescia; riotous crowds attempted to rescue them, but were repelled by the troops, who shot down several of the mob.

Ratazzi had directed from Naples the repression of the movement. He returned to Turin with the king, on the 15th of May, and at once addressed a circular to the prefects, informing them of what had occurred, and adding that he had good grounds for saying that Garibaldi had no complicity in the project.

This was an attempt on the part of the minister to put himself right with the party of action, by pretending that the “affair of Sarnico” was not the work of their chief; but Garibaldi foiled it, by publicly assuming all the responsibility of what had occurred, and the leading men of his party signed a declaration approving of the course he had taken.

“As Italy,” they said, “existed de jure but not de facto (for she had neither Rome nor Venice), the Government could not fetter the Italia» Revolution.” Why, it was asked, did the Government, if it broke with the Revolution, leave Garibaldi at liberty, and keep his accomplices in prison; or why did it keep at the Prefecture of Palermo Signor Pallavicini, who publicly declared that he governed Sicily with the assistance of the Revolutionary party, without which he would be obliged to have recourse to grapeshot? (1)

On the 3rd of June the Parliament met at Turin. Garibaldi was not present, but sent a letter which was read in the Chamber of Deputies. In this letter he denied that he had ever had any intention of invading the Tyrol (but he said nothing of Venetia).

He said that being engaged with the concurrence of the Government in the armament of the nation, he had merely invited a number of young men to assemble in Lombardy and await events. When the letter was read, a short discussion followed. Ratazzi expressed his regret that Garibaldi had not come to the Chamber, instead of writing.

Crispi complained of the bad faith of the Government, which, he said, he could prove had promised one million of francs for the armament of “the expedition to Greece.” the Cabinet called upon him to produce his proofs; and he replied that he was quite willing to do so, and to enter into the whole matter, but the Chamber should exclude all strangers and hold a secret sitting.

Ratazzi would not consent to this, and Crispi refused to go into his revelations in public. Finally Minghetti moved a vote of confidence in the Government, which was carried by 189 votes, against 33.

This, however, was only the prelude to a far more serious movement than the affair of Sarnico. Mazzini had just declared that, after the arrests in Lombardy, all truce with the House of Savoy was at an end; and Garibaldi, in letters and speeches, was calling for the resumption of the national war against Austria and the Pope.

On the 28th of June, he arrived suddenly at Palermo, ostensibly to witness a rifle match which was to take place in the presence of Prince Humbert, but really to prepare the way for a new campaign. On the 29th he appeared with Prince Humbert at the inauguration of the Rifle Clubs of Sicily and Palermo. Then, accompanied by Pallavicini, he began the tour of the island.

The party of action was nowhere stronger than in Sicily, and everywhere he was greeted by large crowds. In the speeches which he addressed to them, he spoke of the necessity of at once marching upon Rome —Roma o Morte—Rome or Death! he said, should be the watchword of the campaign. He spoke respectfully of Victor Emmanuel, but he bitterly attacked the Emperor Napoleon.

For instance, in the speech at Marsala, he exclaimed:—“Napoleon made the war of 1859 not for us but for himself. We gave him our blood in the Crimean War, we paid him sixty millions, we gave him Savoy and Nice; and he wanted more—I know it. He acted for the aggrandizement of his family; he has a petty prince ready for Rome, a petty lord for Naples—and so on. I know it. He wished us to be his subjects. He is the enemy of Italy; he has kept up, and keeps up, brigandage for the destruction of the Neapolitan provinces; he has scandalized all Europe in the vain hope of breaking the sinews of twenty-five millions of Italians. We need not stoop to solicit such a man. The French people are with us. Let Napoleon fall, and Rome is our own!” (2)

The French Consul at Palermo protested against the countenance which the Marchese Pallavicini gave by his presence to these demonstrations against the Emperor; and Ratazzi recalled him, and sent General Cugia to take control of the affairs in Sicily. Pallavicini had no sooner left Palermo, than Garibaldi at length took the decisive step, by which he began his work. He collected a number of volunteers, chiefly young men, and going out with them to Corleone, twenty-two miles to the south of Palermo, seized 200 rifles belonging to the local National Guard, armed his men, and formed a regular camp in the neighbouring woods of Ficuzza. Medici, his old comrade, now commander in chief of the National Guard of Palermo, wrote him a letter endeavouring to dissuade him from his undertaking; but he refused to receive it, and continued to assemble recruits, and organize, drill, and arm them, till his camp at Ficuzza began to assume formidable proportions.

On the 3rd of August, King Victor Emmanuel issued a proclamation to the Italian people, in which, without directly mentioning Garibaldi, he warned them not to allow the desire for Rome to lead them into lawless acts, but to be patient, to await the hour when the time would be ripe for the accomplishment of Italian unity.

“When that hour Comes,” he said, “The voice of your king will be heard amongst you. Every call to arms, which is not his, is a call to revolt and civil war.”

Next day, General Pettiti, the Minister of War, took the same ground in a general order to the army. “They call upon you,” he said to the soldiers, “to join them in a mad enterprise; but in your name I renounce it.” On the very day of this proclamation, a small column of Piedmontese troops crossed the Pontifical frontier near Ceprano. They were easily repulsed by a company of the Papal Zouaves.

The incident was important, as showing that this time the French army would not tolerate an invasion; for General de Montebello telegraphed from Rome to the French commandant at Velletri, to reinforce the Zouaves and assist them in repelling any Piedmontese attack upon the frontier. It was explained that the column, which had violated it, was in pursuit of brigands; but it may very well have been that the affair was pre-arranged, to try the temper of the Papal army and the French corps of occupation.

After the repulse at Ceprano the frontier was scrupulously respected, and the Piedmontese army devoted all its energies to putting down the Garibaldian movement, which was rapidly assuming the form of a rebellion. Sicilian volunteers crowded to his headquarters; others came from the mainland, but most of these were, by General Cugia’s orders, prevented from disembarking from the steamers.

The Royal proclamation of the 3rd was transmitted to Garibaldi, but he took no notice of it. Having organized a strong column of volunteers, he broke up his camp, and, accompanied by the deputies Nicotera and Miceli, and at the head of upwards of four thousand armed men, he set off towards Cefalù, on the north coast between Palermo and Milazzo.

The troops nowhere opposed his march. He made a short halt near Cefalù, and then marched to Caltanisetta in the heart of the island. He collected numerous recruits as he went along; others were got together by his friends in various parts of Sicily. He entered Caltanisetta in a sort of triumph, with his men drawn up in three divisions, their caps covered with crape and in many cases embroidered in front with the motto Roma 0 Morte.

The garrison had withdrawn as he approached, in order to avoid a conflict; and the people decked their houses with flags, and erected triumphal arches across the streets, to welcome the Garibaldians.

At Caltanisetta, Garibaldi formed a column of between two and three thousand picked men, with whom he resolved to cross over into the old Neapolitan territory and begin his march to Rome. His former experience had shown him that this was the largest number that he could easily take across in a single expedition.

He ordered the rest of the volunteers to leave his camp, and endeavour individually to go across to the mainland and be ready to join his standard when he raised it there. They obeyed him, and crowded into Palermo and the other ports, seeking means of transit to Italy; they were discreetly silent as to their ultimate object, and General Cugia took them for deserters from Garibaldi, and judged by their numbers that the whole enterprise was collapsing.

Therefore, instead of keeping them in Sicily, he gladly assisted them in obtaining passages to the mainland; and he, moreover, wrote to Garibaldi, offering to place a man-of-war at his disposal for his return to Caprera in case he had given up what Cugia now conceived to be a hopeless project. Without making any reply to this letter, Garibaldi left Caltanisetta, marching towards the east coast, intending to attempt his embarkation either at Messina or Catania.

On the 15th of August he passed through Leonforte, marching towards Aderno, from which two good roads run, one south-eastward to Catania, the other north-eastward to Messina. At Leonforte, he learned that the Royal troops were at length to all appearance acting vigorously against him, for General Mella had marched up with a strong division from Catania, and held the important junction of roads at Aderno; while General Ricotti with another column was closing in upon his rear, and cutting him off from a retreat to Caltanisetta. Heat once changed his plans. He left his son Menotti with a few hundred men, on the Aderno road, ordering him to occupy Mella’s attention, and conceal his real force by putting on a bold front, but at the same time to disperse his men in case of a serious attack.

Then with the main column he turned back towards Caltanisetta, and leaving the main road, by narrow hill-paths passed unobserved dose to General Ricotti’s left, and over the mountains to Piazza at the inner end of the plain of Catania. From this point he reached Catania by a forced march in the night of the 19th of August, and was received with illuminations as if he came as a conqueror.

It is possible that Mella and Ricotti seriously intended to cut Garibaldi off from the coast and force him to give up his project of crossing into Italy, and in that case his march to Piazza was a brilliant stroke of generalship; but it is also possible that Mella marched to Ademo in order to leave Catania open to the old guerilla chief, who could, in that case, get into it as easily by an indirect as by a direct way.

Until we know much more of the secret history of 1862, it will be impossible to give a certain explanation either of Garibaldi’s movements or of those of the Royal generate in this singular campaign.

Mella certainly did not act as if he regarded the Garibaldians as enemies to be attacked wherever they could be reached. Garibaldi had entered Catania at two in the morning. At seven, there was a report that the Royal troops were about to attack the town. The tocsin was rung, the volunteers stood to their arms, and the streets were barricaded, the National Guard assembling to aid in the defence.

About eight, news came that the Royal troops had halted and encamped at Mistubianco, about seven miles from the city, and that Mella, 011 his march down from Aderno, had picked up some Garibaldian stragglers, and held them as prisoners of war.

When Mella marched out of Catania some days before, he had left a company of soldiers in the town. Their captain now asked Garibaldi to allow him to march them out to join the camp at Mistubianco, and he gave the desired permission. Mordini, Nicotera, Miceli, and some other members of the Italian Parliament who were with Garibaldi, soon after went out to see Mella, in order to know if he meant to attack Catania. They returned in the evening.

Mella “had engaged not to attack the town; he declared he was not hostile to Garibaldi, and pretended not even to have known of his arrival at Catania... He at once liberated his prisoners, and he requested Garibaldi to be allowed to get his provisions from Catania, which was at once granted.” (3)

The camp at Mistubianco was now no cause of alarm, and it soon began to be a source of reinforcement, for deserters began to come into Catania in large numbers to join the volunteers. Garibaldi now seemed confident that the Government was conniving at his expedition, and would not oppose him. He wrote to the king to assure him of his loyal fidelity, and he was continually repeating,

“There will be no civil war!” (4) He was further encouraged by seeing an English frigate steam into the port, and cast anchor between the Royal frigate Duca di Genova and the town. Another frigate, the Maria Adelaide, with Admiral Albini in command, arrived soon after; but Garibaldi rightly believed he had nothing to fear from these ships. He spent five days in Catania, enrolling and drilling recruits. His son Menotti rejoined him there. By the evening of Saturday, the 23rd, all was ready for an expedition two thousand strong, which was to start the next day for Calabria. Thirteen hundred volunteers were to be left behind at Catania, to follow, it was hoped, in a later expedition.

On the morning of the 24th of August, Garibaldi issued a manifesto, containing his plan of action:—”My programme,” he wrote. “is always the same, I wish that, as far as depends upon me, the plebiscite of October 21st, 1860, may be a reality, that this contract signed between king and people may be fully executed. I bow before the majesty of Victor Emmanuel, king by the will of the nation, but I am hostile to a minister who is Italian only in name, a minister who, yielding to diplomatic pressure, ordered in last May the arrests and the trials of Sarnico, as he to-day provokes civil war in the South of Italy, to win for himself the good graces of the Emperor Napoleon. He deceives the king, he compromises him as he has already done by the proclamation of the 3rd of August; by his obstinate narrowness of policy, he is driving the southern provinces into secession, he is betraying the nation... To Rome, then, to Rome! On, brave men of 1848 and 1849; on, fiery young soldiers of 1859 and ’6o! Rush to the holy crusade! We shall conquer, for on our side is reason, international law, and the feeling of the world... I am certain that the Italian people will not fail in this its duty. Would to God that from this day the brave national army would act with us. Italians, if it is true that I have done anything for the country, believe my words. I am resolved either to enter Rome victorious or to fall before its walls. But in the latter event, I have confidence that you will worthily avenge my death, and that you will accomplish my work.”

Having issued this proclamation, Garibaldi at five o’clock the same evening assembled 2000 armed volunteers on the quays of Catania, seized two merchant steamers, and embarked his men. Crowds looked on; the volunteers, as they went on board, cried “Viva l’Italia!” and fired their rifles in the air. Close outside the port lay the two frigates commanded by Admiral Albini, whose mission it was to prevent Garibaldi from putting to sea.

The noise of the embarkation must have warned him of what was in progress; nevertheless he made no attempt to stop the two steamers when they came out of the harbour. Albini was afterwards formally censured for his inaction on this occasion. But perhaps he knew how Persano had acted contrary to his formal instructions, when Cavour telegraphed, “the council have decided Cagliari” (5) and how Persano was honoured and rewarded. How was Albini to know that the ministers were now in earnest, and under French pressure were determined that Garibaldi should be stopped?

Steering towards Cape Sparavento, Garibaldi’s two transports were off Melito in Calabria early in the morning of the 25th. He had landed there to begin his march upon Naples in 1860; and he landed there now, apparently wishing to tread in his old footsteps, and hoping to repeat his unopposed progress of that year.

The 2000 were hardly on shore when they encountered a company of regular troops. Garibaldi hoped that they would join him, but they fired upon his column and withdrew. He forbade his volunteers to return the fire, and struck off into the great mass of wooded mountains which forms the extremity of Calabria, and takes its name from the highest summit—Aspromonte.

Generals La Marmora and Cialdini were at Naples when the telegraph brought them news of Garibaldi’s disembarkation in Calabria. Unlike Mella and Ricotti, they acted in earnest.

They at once determined to keep Garibaldi where he was, in the very extremity of Italy, and send a column of troops in search of him. That Garibaldi expected no resistance is clear from the very fact of his landing at Melito. Had he in front of him, as in 1860, an army with whose chiefs he was in collusion, it would have been a good place; but acting against real opponents he should have landed much farther to the northward, near Cotrone, whence he could easily have gained the Apennines; while if he began his march at Melito, he would have to cross the isthmus of Tiriolo between the gulfs of Squillace and St. Eufemia, where the mountains sink in a plain—the same plain in which the expeditions of Murat and of the Bandieras were hunted down and captured.

This spot was at once occupied by a strong force, to prevent all possibility of Garibaldi marching to the northward. Cialdini then went on by steamer to Reggio, where he arrived on the 27th. He found Colonel Pallavicini in charge of the town with a column of bersaglieri. The colonel was anxious to go in search of Garibaldi, who was moving about in the forests of Aspromonte, apparently expecting to see the troops at Reggio ready to declare for him, as the Neapolitan garrison had done in 1860.

A force of six or seven battalions was rapidly assembled, and placed under Pallavicini’s orders, Cialdini directing him “to make every effort to come up with Garibaldi, who was said to be encamped on the plateau of Aspromonte, and to pursue him constantly without giving him a moment’s repose; to attack him if he sought to e scape, and destroy him if he accepted battle.”

These orders are taken from Cialdini’s official report. “Foreseeing also,” he says, “the possibility of a complete victory, I ordered him (Colonel Pallavicini) not to treat with Garibaldi, and to accept only a surrender at discretion. There was no reason,” he adds, “to believe that this column alone would be able to obtain the results which it actually accomplished. It was requisite, therefore, to dose against Garibaldi every road by which he could penetrate into the interior of Calabria, Ulteriore, or Citeriore; it was requisite to form and put in motion other columns, which should act within a limited range, because thereby they would have the greater chance of meeting with and destroying him.”

There is a certain fierceness in the tone of General Cialdini’s report, which was quite in keeping with his well-known character, and which makes one feel that he had not forgotten his quarrel with Garibaldi in the preceding year, and was not sorry to have the chance of hunting him down.

On the 29th of August Colonel Pallavicini’s troops encountered the Garibaldians on the heights of Aspromonte. Between the contradictory accounts of both parties, it is hard to discover the truth. Both allege that they were not the first to fire.

This much is certain, that the accounts of a serious engagement and a victory by the Royal troops, which the Government at Turin circulated as soon as they received the news of Aspromonte, had very little foundation in fact. The truth about the affair, on comparison of Garibaldian accounts and those of the Italian officers, seems to be:—Garibaldi had halted his column in a very strong position on high ground, and on the edge of a pine wood, when he saw Pallavicini’s troops, divided into two columns, coming up the mountain side in order of battle, and ready to attack. It was at first asserted that Garibaldi was regularly summoned to surrender, and refused; but it appears to me certain that no such summons was ever sent.

The official narrative, drawn up by the Garibaldian staff, denies it; Colonel Pallavicini may have intended to send such a summons, but it never reached Garibaldi. The Piedmontese colonel directed one of his columns to ascend a steep slope, in order to be ready to outflank the Garibaldian position.

Garibaldi, knowing very well that a conflict was imminent with the Royal troops whom he had hoped to see fraternize with him, had given strict orders that not a shot should be fired; but some of the younger of the volunteers, when they saw the bersaglieri climbing the rocks to outflank them, could not hold their hands, and fired; and immediately the Royal troops returned the fire, and the fusillade became general on both sides.

The Garibaldian officers exerted themselves to stop the firing, and the bugles sounded the order all along the line.

While Garibaldi himself was calling out, “Do not fire!” two balls struck him; one bruised his left leg, the other buried itself in his right foot. He remained standing, although severely wounded, and still exerted himself to stop the fight. Suddenly an Italian staff-officer came running in through the smoke, and approached Garibaldi.

He said he was come to parley; probably he was the officer who was to have summoned the Garibaldians to surrender, when the firing precipitated the attack. While he was talking to this officer, the pain of his wound made him unable to stand, and his friends laid him on the ground under a tree. Soon after Menotti was laid beside him, wounded also by a ball in the leg.

The Garibaldian fire had ceased; the bersaglieri perceived this, and stopped firing too, but continued running up the slope, and then in a moment the two lines of soldiers and red-shirts mingled together.

The volunteers were rapidly disarmed; and Colonel Pallavicini came up to Garibaldi, and spoke with him as he lay under the tree. The general asked if he might be taken on board some English ship. Pallavicini replied that he himself saw no objection, but that he should await instructions from Turin.

The irregular skirmish had lasted just a quarter of an hour. According to the official account there were five killed and twenty-four wounded on the side of the troops, and seven killed and twenty wounded upon that of the Garibaldians.

By the capture of Garibaldi’s column the Government was relieved from a serious peril. Had he succeeded in getting into the Neapolitan provinces where the Piedmontese generals were just barely able to hold their own against the so-called brigands, the Government in the south must have collapsed, the movement would then have spread far and wide, and a conflict with the French would have been inevitable. But in escaping from one danger the Government had rushed into another.

The troops had fired upon and wounded Garibaldi, the idol of the Italianissimi, and the whole party of action was now bitterly hostile to Ratazzi, and regarded hini as a traitor to the cause.

Garibaldi was conveyed by sea to Varignano near Spezzia, and as the wounded prisoner was landed in the dockyard he received a popular ovation. To his friends he wrote fiercely against the Government; they had, he said, desired blood, and they had got it.

Without being a sympathizer with Garibaldi, one can say that the Turin Government in 1862 acted towards him most basely and treacherously, and by its double-faced policy really lured him on to the fate he met at Aspromonte.

Mazzini gave, as it were, the keynote of the clamour which burst forth against the Government, in the proclamation, in which he called upon the party of action to break with the Moderates.

“The Royal bullet,” he said, “that entered Garibaldi has torn the last line of the contract made by us Republicans with the Monarchy. Freeing myself in May from every obligation towards the government in all that related to action in favour of Rome and Venice, I said, It is not now a question of Republic or Monarchy, it is a question of action or inertia—of unity or dismemberment—of having the foreigner in Italy or expelling him. In my own name, and in the name of my friends, I cancel to-day those lines—the last warning given to the Government—and I declare that for us every attempt at concord is exhausted; dead is every hope of concession or of true Italian work from an institution which, impotent to guide, is only able to repress brutally and tyrannically the holiest and most legitimate aspirations of a people which demands its own monarchy.”

This outburst of Mazzini’s was everywhere echoed by the party of action. Everywhere all who, beyond official circles, had been active in the cause of the Revolution, were incensed by the double-faced policy of the Cabinet, by the affair of Aspromonte, and by the reports from Varignano of the harsh treatment to which the wounded general was said to have been subjected by his gaolers.

It was clear to Rattazzi that, though he had saved Italy from a war with France, he had at Aspromonte not only broken up the Garibaldian army, but gone far towards breaking up his own Cabinet. He made an effort to do something to counteract the prevalent unpopularity which his policy had caused. On the 10th of September, by his direction, General Durando, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, addressed a circular to all the diplomatic agents of Italy, in which, after narrating Garibaldi’s attempted campaign against Rome, and the capture of his column at Aspromonte, he went on to say that the European Cabinets should not mistake the significance of these events, that the mot d’ordre of the Garibaldian volunteers really expressed the will of the Italian people, and that the nation had refrained from following Garibaldi only because of its confidence that the king’s government would in due time fulfil its mission and make Rome the capital of Italy; the European Powers, he said, would understand that in treating as an enemy the man who had rendered her the most brilliant services, Italy had made a supreme and final effort, that her cause was that of European order, that she hoped the Powers would aid her in removing the obstacles to the peaceful fulfilment of her desires, and that the Catholic nations, and France especially, ought to understand the danger that resulted from a prolongation of the struggle between the Papacy and the Italian kingdom.

The state of things, said Durando, was one that was not tenable, and in the end might have most serious consequences for the king’s Government. The diplomatic agents of Italy were, finally, requested to communicate the despatch to the courts to which they were accredited.

As a further attempt at conciliation Ratazzi, on October 7th, amnestied Garibaldi and his followers, with the exception of some of the deserters from the army; but the amnesty, which every one knew was the result of the weakness of the Government, and which had been granted in opposition to the advice of many of its supporters, was very coldly received.

On the 8th Durando sent another despatch to the Tuileries, in which, pointing out that Italy had been strong enough to repress the Garibaldian movement against Rome, he suggested that the time had come when the French occupation might be terminated, and added that the Italian government was ready to enter into negotiations, with a view to seeing what guarantee on its part, for the independence of the Holy See, would be acceptable in case of this evacuation being accomplished.

Rattazzi waited anxiously for a reply to Durando’s note. On October 15th he learned, to his dismay, that the French Foreign Minister, De Thouvenel (on whose good feeling towards United Italy he had counted for a not wholly unfavourable reply), had been replaced by M. Drouyn de Lhuys, a minister much less favourably inclined towards the Italian cause.

On the 20th M. Drouyn de Lhuys sent to Turin a very clear despatch, in which he answered at once the circular of September 10th, and the proposal for a withdrawal of the French garrison. He simply refused to entertain the proposal for a moment, on the ground that the Cabinet of Turin had solemnly asserted before all Europe its claim to Rome, and its desire to dispossess the Pope.

This was the final blow at Rattazzi’s Cabinet. He tried to induce the king to dissolve parliament, but Victor Emmanuel saw clearly enough that the only possible result of holding the elections in the existing state of public feeling would be to bring in a majority of the Left. Rattazzi had therefore no resource remaining but to resign at once, or attempt a final struggle in parliament.

He chose the latter alternative. Parliament assembled on the 18th of November. On the 19th the opposition, led by Buoncompagni and Mordini, began its attack, the burden of the speeches being that the Government policy had resulted only in civil strife at home and humiliation abroad.

The attack went on from day to day. Durando and Rattazzi attempted a defence; but, seeing that defeat was inevitable, the ministry resigned on the 30th of November, without waiting for the conclusion of the debate.

On the yth of December a new Cabinet was formed by Farini, who, although he was suffering from an illness from which he was never to recover, accepted the premiership, Minghetti taking the portfolio of finance, and Peruzzi that of the interior.

Farini declared that his policy would be to preserve the alliances of Italy, without sacrificing her independence, to observe the constitution, and to devote himself to the cause of the national unity, but without making promises that could not be realized.

His ministry was, in fact, a period of repose. He worked hard at internal organization, in the midst of the difficulties caused on the one hand by the ever-increasing financial burdens of the new kingdom, and on the other by the prolongation of the Civil War in the south, known as the “Brigandage.”

At the same time the Government had to be continually on the alert even in the north, for Mazzini had not been idle since his declaration that all truce with the king-led revolution was at an end. It was said that he had formed depots of arms on the Swiss frontier, and he paid suspicious visits to Lugano, so that, though no Republican raid or revolt took place, the Government was forced to watch the frontier with troops. On the 24(th) of March, ill-health forced Farini to resign, and Minghetti took his place and continued his policy.

Thus, after the outburst of Garibaldian enthusiasm which ended at Aspromonte, the politics of United Italy passed through a period of something like calm, though the expression can only be used in a relative sense, for strife and bloodshed still went on among the hills of the south, though even there the scene of conflict daily narrowed more and more, as band after band of insurgents here, of brigands there, was destroyed.

At Caprera, Garibaldi was slowly recovering health and strength. Throughout his illness he had been cheered by hundreds of letters of sympathy, and convoy after convoy of substantial gifts from admirers in England. What more natural than that he should go to England as soon as he recovered, to thank them in person, and to see old adherents and supporters in London? Accordingly all was arranged for a visit to England in the spring of 1864.

Just before Garibaldi’s arrival an incident occurred which drew the attention of the English public to the conduct of Mazzini and the Italian exiles in London. In the course of, the trial of Greco for conspiracy against the Emperor’s life it appears that he was to write for money, if he required it, to a certain Mr. Flower, at 25, Thurloe Square, Brompton; and a reference to the London Directory showed that this was the residence of Mr. Stansfeld, M.P. for Halifax, who was then actually holding office in the Palmerston administration.

The matter was taken up by the House of Commons, and Mr. Stansfeld having had his attention called to the passage which related to him in the speech of the French Procureur-Général, indignantly denied all connection with the Greco conspiracy, of which no one in England accused him, and eulogized Mazzini, saying that he knew him well, having been eighteen years his friend, and declared him incapable of conspiring with assassins.

On this point, however, he was met a few nights after by Mr. Pope Hennessy reading Mazzini’s letters “On the Theory of the Dagger,” his praise of the murderers of Marinovich at Venice and Rossi at Rome, and his own narrative of how he gave Gallenga the dagger for an attempt on the life of Charles Albert. It further transpired, that though Mr. Stansfeld denied that any letters had ever been addressed to Mr. Flower at his house, letters had been addressed there to Mr. Fiore, the Italian version of the same name, and that this Mr. Fiore was no other than Mazzini.

On the 17th of March, Sir Henry Stracy moved a resolution, which was a virtual censure of Mr. Stansfeld’s conduct. In the debate which followed Lord Palmerston, Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Bright, attempted a defence of Mr. Stansfeld’s action; but even they admitted that he had been guilty of an indiscretion in allowing his house to be used as Mazzini’s address, while he himself was a member of the Government, and Mazzini was generally believed to be engaged in a series of plots against the life of a friendly sovereign.

On a division, the resolution that Mr. Stansfeld’s conduct deserved the serious consideration of the House, was rejected by 171 votes to iói, a majority of ten, in which Mr. Stansfeld himself voted. He had before tendered his resignation, but Lord Palmerston had refused it; but as it was openly asserted in the House of Commons that Mr. Stansfeld had been saved from censure only by a party division, he again offered his resignation, and this time it was accepted.

It was while the storm raised by the Greco revelations was subsiding, that Garibaldi visited England. He arrived at Southampton, where he was received by the Corporation with the Mayor at their head, hailing him as “an uncrowned king of men.” In London at his public reception the streets were lined with such multitudes as had never assembled to greet either foreign sovereigns or English princes. He was presented with the freedom of the city. Peers and peeresses, Protestant bishops, members of Parliament, vied with one another in paying court to the “Liberator of Italy.”

Lord Palmerston the Premier, Earl Russell the Foreign Secretary, and the Duke of Sutherland, threw open their houses to him. On the 17th of April he addressed a vast crowd at the Crystal Palace, and declared that Lord Palmerston, Lord Russell and “Lord” Gladstone, had done a wonderful deal for Italy.

“If it had not been for this country,” he said, “we should still be under the yoke of the Bourbons at Naples. If it had not been for Admiral Mundy, I should never have been permitted to pass the Straits of Messina.” (6) Two days after he accomplished what was doubtless the main object of his visit—the sealing of an alliance with Mazzini. From 1859, when Garibaldi began to act with the Piedmontese Government to which Mazzini was bitterly hostile, there had been more or less of a breach between the two revolutionary leaders; but when Aspromonte placed Garibaldi and the Government of King Victor Emmanuel in open and violent opposition, it drew Mazzini and Garibaldi together again.

On the 19th of April, Garibaldi went down to the house of a Mr. Herzen at Teddington. There he met Mazzini and a number of the other exiles, and in their presence he said: “I am about to make a declaration which I ought to have made long ago. There is a man amongst us here, who has rendered the greatest services to our country and to the cause of liberty. When I was a young man having nought but aspirations towards the good, I sought for one able to act as the guide and counsellor of my young years. I sought such a man, even as he who is athirst seeketh the spring. I found this man. He alone watched, when all around him slept. He alone fed the sacred flame. He has ever remained my friend—ever as full of love for his country, and of devotion to the cause of liberty. This man is Joseph Mazzini.” This speech of Garibaldi’s was pronounced in the presence of reporters, and appeared next morning in the newspapers, so that it was of the character of a public manifesto. It was the most significant incident of his visit, none the less significant because at the same moment the Turin Government was seizing-depóts of arms in Italy. Undoubtedly Garibaldi’s visit to England was not all a mere féte. Plans were laid for the future; and when he returned to Italy, it was in the hope of soon taking the field again.


vai su


CHAPTER XVII

THE SEPTEMBER CONVENTION ITALY FINDS A NEW ALLY

Minghetti and his colleagues had anxiously watched Garibaldi’s proceedings in England, and they knew very well that he came back to Italy meditating a blow against Rome or Vcnetia. In the latter case the Garibaldians thought they could count upon an insurrection in Hungary as a diversion in their favour. The former would have brought them into conflict with France. Both enterprises were hopeless. An attack upon Venetia would have produced a general war. An attack upon Rome would have deferred indefinitely the evacuation of the city by the French, which the Government at Turin hoped to obtain as the first practical step towards making Rome the capital of Italy. If, therefore, Garibaldi attempted anything, the Government could not second him as it had done in 1860, and the result would have been the revival of all the troubles and dangers of the year of Aspromonte.

In this difficulty the king came to the aid of his ministers. He sent to Ischia, where Garibaldi was then staying with the deputy Cairoli, two envoys, one of whom appears to have been General Bixio. These royal messengers laid before Garibaldi the strong reasons there were against any premature attempt at action, and in order to strengthen the argument let him see what were the plans which would clear the way for future action, but which could not be carried into effect after a rising of his friends. Garibaldi was moved in great measure by the fact that Cairoli at once saw the necessity of giving the pledge for patient inaction, which the king desired; and he consented to give up his plans against Rome and Venice.

The Cabinet, having thus secured the internal tranquillity of Italy, and for a time placed a check upon the party of action, had obtained a basis for reopening the negotiations with the Tuileries. The French Emperor was growing more and more inclined to come to some agreement with the Cabinet of Turin, which, without diminishing his own power of intervention in Italian affairs, would draw closer, as he hoped, the bonds of the old alliance. Accordingly, in June, 1864, his Foreign Secretary, M. Drouyn de Lhuys, wrote a despatch to Turin, to intimate that the French Government was willing to negotiate.

On the 17th of the same month, Visconti-Venosta, the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Minghetti Cabinet, replied that Italy too was anxious to résumé the negotiations on the Roman Question, and offered as a basis of agreement (1) that France should withdraw the army of occupation: (2) that Italy should agree neither to attack the Pontifical State as it then existed, nor to allow it to be attacked: (3) that Italy should take responsibility of that portion oi the Pontifical debt, which belonged to the provinces annexed in 1860.

The French Government accepted these bases of negotiations, and General Menabrea was sent as a special envoy to confer on the matter with the Emperor, who was then at Vichy. At the interview which followed, Napoleon told Menabrea that he should require some guarantee of the good faith of the Piedmontese Government, something with which he could satisfy the Catholics of France, and he suggested a joint guarantee of the Great Powers.

This would never have suited the policy of the Turin Cabinet, and Menabrea went back to Piedmont to receive further instructions. The Cabinet declined the Emperor’s proposal, as “a violation of the great principio of non-intervention.”

Probably the Emperor never wanted it, and only put it forward to show how careful he was of the Pope’s interests—but as for bringing in the Austrians as joint protectors with himself, Napoleon was far too prudent for any such policy. The negotiation was next entrusted to Nigra, the ambassador at Paris, Pepoli, a relative of the Emperor, being sent to assist him. A new guarantee was then suggested.

At Turin the Government of Italy occupied a mere provisional capital, while on the records of the Parliament stood the resolution which declared Rome the future capital of United Italy.

If the Italian Government would consent to leave Turin, and transfer the Government to some other city already in its possession—say to Florence—this would be a tacit renunciation of all projects against Rome; and, joined to the bases of agreement already accepted, the Emperor would take it as a guarantee for the future the proposal was accepted by Minghetti and his colleagues, and on September 15th, 1864, the famous Convention of September was signed at Paris. It ran as follows:—

“Article 1. Italy undertakes not to attack the present territory of the Pope, and even to prevent by force any attack proceeding from the exterior.

“Article 2. France will withdraw her troops gradually, as the army of the Pope becomes organized. The evacuation will, nevertheless, be accomplished within two years.

“Artide 3. The Italian Government will make no protest against the organization of the Papal army, even composed of foreign Catholic volunteers, sufficient to maintain the authority of the Pope and tranquillity both at home and on the frontier of the Papal States; provided, however, that this force does not degenerate into a means of attack against the Italian Government.

“Article 4. Italy declares herself ready to enter into an arrangement for assuming a proportional part of the debt of the former States of the Church.

“Article 5. The present Convention will be ratified and the ratifications exchanged within a fortnight, or earlier if possible.

(Signed) “Drouyn de Lhuys”.

“De Nigra”.

“Pepoli.”

To this Convention a secret protocol was added, as follows

“The Convention will only become executive when the King of Italy shall have decreed the transfer of the capital of the kingdom to a place to be subsequently determined upon by his Majesty.

“The transfer to be effected within a term of six months from the date of the Convention.

“The present Protocol will have the same force and value as the Convention, and the ratifications will be exchanged at the same time as those of the Convention.”

It will be observed that by the first article, although Italy pledged her self not to attack the territory of the Holy See, and to prevent any attack “coming from the exterior,” nothing in the clause would prevent Italy from adopting the old policy of Cavour, exciting internal troubles, and then declaring that this internal “insurrection”—a state of things not contemplated when the Convention was signed —did not permit her to look on inactively, and that the Italian army would therefore enter the Papal territory to restore order.

The Convention guaranteed nothing against the traditional policy of Piedmont. It must further be noted that the Convention was secretly negotiated, without the Holy See receiving any intimation of what was in progress, until the 12th of September, when the Convention and Protocol were actually agreed to and awaiting signature at Paris.

The Pope and Antonelli felt deeply this insult, which gave only too much ground for believing that the Convention would mask some future treachery. Ordinary courtesy, if no higher motive, ought to have prompted the Emperor and his minister to ascertain the views of the Pontifical Government, before signing a Convention which completely altered the state of affairs in Italy.

The same course of secrecy, which the French Government adopted towards Rome, was followed by Minghetti and his colleagues with regard to the people of Italy and the citizens of Turin, whose interests would be very deeply affected by the change of capital.

On the 17th of September, the fact was made known that there was an agreement with France on the Roman Question, and Parliament was summoned for the 4th of October, in order that the matter might be submitted to its consideration; but the Protocol, referring to the transfer of the capital, was kept secret On the 19th of September it was reported at Turin that, when Parliament met, the capital would be removed not to Rome but to Florence. Crowds assembled in the streets, shouting “Down with Minghetti! Down with Peruzzi!” (1)

Minghetti was alarmed, and, on the 20th, his secretary, Spaventa, spent the day preparing measures of repression, and bringing gendarmes from other towns. On the afternoon of the 21st, a public meeting of the citizens was held in the Piazza San Carlo, to draw up and adopt an address to the municipality. In the Piazza was the office of the Gazzetta di Torino, one of the semi-official papers under the influence of the Government.

The crowd began to hoot in front of it, when suddenly they were charged by a body of gendarmes with drawn swords, who, without any warning, rushed out of the Prefecture of Police (situated in the Piazza), and dispersed the crowd, sabring several men, and making numerous arrests.

The ministers were assembled at the Ministry of the Interior, guarded by two companies of dismounted gendarmes. In the evening a crowd pressed up to the Ministry, shouting, "Down with the ministers!—Turin or Rome!” the gendarmes, instead of warning the people off or even menacing them, fired a volley point blank into the midst of the crowd; fifty-seven men fell dead or dying, and the rest, many of them wounded, fled in every direction.

In other parts of the city, the crowds here and there were in contact with troops of the line without a shot being fired; and the indignation of the people was all the greater because they knew that the only attacks made upon them had been the work of the armed police, under the control, not of the generals, but of Peruzzi and Minghetti.

Next day every important point in the city was occupied by troops. Crowds of people assembled, shouting, “Down with the slaughterers!—Rome or Turin!” It is said that there were also cries of “Viva Garibaldi!”

The crowds threw stones at the troops, and several men were hurt, but their officers kept them quiet. In the Piazza San Carlo the crowd was densest, and flung stones at the Windows of the Prefecture of Police. A company of infantry was drawn up in front of the building, and two battalions of infantry were stationed on the opposite side of the great square. Suddenly a company of gendarmes rushed out of the Prefecture, and, dashing through the ranks of the infantry, fired upon the crowd.

A few of the bullets went across the square, and shot down some of the soldiers, wounding amongst others a lieutenant-colonel. The soldiers, believing that it was the crowd who had fired, poured volleys into the dense mass in front of them.

The officers, at risk to themselves, standing before their men, called upon them to cease firing; but they did not succeed in stopping the fire until more than a hundred men, women and children had fallen. It was afterwards proved that there was not even a single musket in the crowd; and the allegation of the police, that they had been fired upon before they fired on the people, was disproved by the evidence of the officers and soldiers who had been stationed in front of the Prefecture. (2)

The people were panic-stricken, for the idea seized them that the Government was deliberately setting the gendarmes upon them, in order that the protest against the change of capital might be stamped out by a System of terror. The panic would very soon have changed to fury, and a revolution might have been the result, had not the king summarily dismissed the ministers.

Some say that Minghetti and his colleagues voluntarily gave in their resignations; but the proclamations, posted on the walls of Turin on the 23rd, stated that the king had dismissed the Cabinet. Thus Minghetti and Peruzzi fell almost on the morrow of the September Convention.

In the work it did, the new ministry was the most important which had ruled in Italy since the death of Cavour. The Cabinet was formed by General Della Marmora, who resigned the governorship of Naples to take up the portfolio of Foreign Affairs and the Premiership; Lanza was his Minister of the Interior, Sella the Minister of Finance; General Pettiti, who had been his chief of the staff in the Crimea, was Minister of War.

I shall say nothing here of the financial or ecclesiastical policy of La Marmora’s Cabinet, reserving it for notice in connection with the general financial and ecclesiastical policy of the kingdom from 1860 onwards. Nor need I say much as to the execution of the Convention.

The Parliament met on October 4th, and after appointing a committee of inquiry into the events at Turin, proceeded to consider the Convention. Buoncompagni brought a large portion of the Left to the support of the Government, by declaring that he had been at first hostile to the Convention, but upon further consideration he approved of it, because he felt that the French once out of Rome would not return there, and that before very long Italy would be in possession of the seven-hilled city. By 317 votes to 70, the Chamber approved of the Convention and the change of the capital; and the transfer of the Government offices to Florence began at once.

Let us now see what it was that specially distinguished the policy of La Marmora, and made his administration a new point of departure in the politics of United Italy. He had been for many years the trusted colleague of Cavour, and in common with him had seen that so long as the new kingdom depended for support upon France alone, it would be virtually a province of the French Empire.

La Marmora’s chief desire was to find some new ally. We have already seen how, in 1861, on the accession of King William, Cavour selected La Marmora to go to Berlin, and to bear the congratulations of Victor Emmanuel to the new sovereign. While at Berlin La Marmora sowed the first seeds of the future alliance.

He made the king his friend, and he studied the aims and the characters of the statesmen and generals who surrounded him. Bismarck was not yet there. He was the Prussian ambassador at St. Petersburg; but his advent at Berlin was an event of the immediate future. When, therefore, La Marmora assumed the chief direction of affairs in Italy, his thoughts naturally turned upon the realization of his old project of substituting Prussia for France as the closest ally of Italy.

The object of such an alliance would naturally be common action against Austria; but, in 1864, Prussia and Austria were themselves allied against Denmark. But next year saw a change upon the political chess-board, which gave La Marmora the wished-for opportunity of winning for Italy some influence in the game by allying her with the now rising northern power.

The alliance between Prussia and Austria had given way to disputes, and these were fast tending towards war—a war in which the Italian army might be of some service to Count Bismarck and King William.

The first steps towards the alliance were taken in the summer of 1865. We have a full record of these transactions and of all that followed, in General Della Marmora’s revelations of his policy and his action before the war of 1866. (3)

On the 4th of August, 1865, during a conference with La Marmora, Herr von Usedom, the Prussian minister at Florence, declared explicitly that Prussia was resolved to go to war with Austria. “Well,” replied La Marmora, “in that case we can take no engagement without knowing first of all what are the intentions of the French Emperor, and the Prussian Government ought to act in the same way. You are quite aware how important it is for us, and for yourselves also, to ascertain whether France would be favourable or opposed to such a war.”

La Marmora himself took steps to sound the French Government upon this matter, so far at least as it regarded Italy. Signor Nigra, the Piedmontese ambassador at Paris, had a conversation with M. Drouyn de Lhuys upon the subject. The French minister said that the Government at Florence must be the best judge of its own interest, and had full liberty of action; but, he added, “in such a case Italy must go to war at her own risk and peril.”

Here upon, Nigra asked what would happen if Italy failed, and if the war brought Austria to the Mincio, the Ticino, or even to the Alps? On this, Drouyn de Lhuys gave Nigra a vague promise of support at such a juncture, but he coupled it with prudent advice. “Such a case,” he said, “is one of those which affect the interests of France, for it is of importance to her that Austria should not recover the ground she has lost in Italy. But don’t imperil your own freedom of action. Perhaps Austria may herself come to terms with you. Prince Metternich has already made some overtures to me about a commercial treaty between Austria and Italy. The object of such a treaty would simply be to regulate and facilitate intercourse on the Venetian and Italian frontier; but it might lead to something more.”

This conversation reveals very plainly the state of dependence in which the Cabinet of Florence stood with regard to that of Paris, a position from which it was La Marmora’s object to extricate it. He did so, but at the cost of finding a new suzerain in Berlin. Von Usedom had suddenly stopped the negotiations at Florence. La Marmora resolved to act upon the hint thrown out by Drouyn de Lhuys, and see if anything could be done at Vienna.

In October he sent an agent to the Austrian Court, to see if a cession of Venetia could be arranged on the basis of a compensation in money to Austria; but the plan failed, and La Marmora again turned his thoughts to Berlin. A favourable opportunity soon presented itself for re-opening the negotiations. Count Bismarck had been seeing Napoleon at Biarritz. On his way back to Berlin, he passed through Paris, and had an interview with Nigra on the 3rd of November. He gave Nigra to understand that war with Austria was inevitable, and that France would probably be favourable to Prussia.

He expressed a strong desire for the co-operation of Italy, and proposed that, as a first step to an alliance, a commercial treaty should be concluded between the two countries. Negotiations began again, but dragged slowly on, making but little progress; until in the first days of March, 1866, Bismarck asked La Marmora to send to Berlin a confidential military agent.

He selected for this post General Govone, a man who united the qualities of a soldier and a diplomatist. "General Govone,” says La Marmora in his memoir, “was a man of high military talents, who had rendered many a good service to his country, and who added to those talents an innate disposition for diplomacy. His mind was ever on the lookout, ever sifting and prying into dark corners for information. He delighted in subtleties and snares of every description, often went out of his way to discover unknown facts, and now and then went even beyond the limits of his official station in order to make sure doubly sure. If he fell into some unforeseen difficulty, his subtle mind, fertile in all kinds of devices and resources, soon extricated him from any serious danger.”

La Marmora had evidently a very high opinion of his agent, so far at least as concerned his fitness for the work before him. Govone left Florence on the 9th of March. He was instructed to come to a definite agreement with Prussia, to secure co-operation between her and Italy for precise and predetermined objects.

“If Prussia,” said La Marmora, “is determined to follow up firmly and thoroughly a policy which would secure her ascendancy in Germany: if in consequence of the hostility shown by Austria to Italy and Prussia war becomes an eventuality really accepted by the Prussian Government: if, in fact, at Berlin they are disposed to contract with Italy certain definite engagements to secure positive objects, we think the time is come for Prussia to tell us candidly what she wishes, and we are ready to open a series of communications all tending to show how much in earnest we are.”

Govone had no sooner arrived in Berlin, than he found that his mission, though it was to have been a secret one, was the common talk of the city. He complained to Bismarck, who promised that the matter should be inquired into, and that those who had spread the report should be punished.

The real fact was that Bismarck himself was the chief culprit. By letting it be known that Govone was in Berlin, he wished to threaten Austria with a Prusso-Italian alliance. In the first conference with Bismarck, on March 14th, Govone, according to his instructions, told him that in the event of a war, the Cabinet of Florence was willing to assist Prussia against Austria, but only upon the basis of a definite treaty of alliance, previously signed, securing to Italy the cession of Venetia.

Count Bismarck replied at great length, and with considerable frankness, and his reply reveals so much of the man’s character, and throws such a light upon his policy, that I shall give verbatim the chief portion of it, as related to La Marmora in Govone’s despatch—”Going as far back as the Olmutz convention, Count Bismarck said that such a complicated situation as the one existing in Germany towards 1850 would be favourable to his own views, since the character of the Prussian king would have at once put an end to it by war.

As for himself, he intended to bring back Germany to a state of things sufficiently complicated to realize his oivn plans. Those plans, he admitted, were to satisfy the ambition of Prussia —an ambition extending to supremacy over all North Germany, but no further. (4)

As for raising a war out of the Danish Question, that would be an easy matter for him; but to bring so momentous a war out of such a trifling cause would discontent public opinion in Europe, whilst on the contrary Europe would consider as lawful a war tending to a decisive and natural solution of the German Question.

“Count Bismarck then went on to say that, according to his own personal, views, Austria must ever deem herself an enemy to Prussia, and consequently he had seen with pleasure the attitude assumed, and the results obtained by the House of Savoy; but then his opinion stood alone in Prussia. Formerly, he’ added, a war with Austria, and an alliance with France were both considered here (in Berlin) as absolutely sacrilegious; and public opinion personified all Italy in Garibaldi, or even in Mazzini. He had, however, succeeded in modifying this opinion, and had even brought round King William to make an experiment, namely, to induce Austria to share in the Danish war with a view to cementing an Austro-Prussian alliance. But the experiment had proved a positive failure, or rather, a positive success according to his own way of thinking, for the innate hostility and animosity of Austria had shown itself in stronger colours than ever, thus curing the king and many others of an Austrian alliance. King William, he said, had given up his notions of a purely legitimist character, and might therefore be led to accept his views. Count Bismarck then summed up those views, as follows;—In a short time, say in three or four months, to bring forward again the question of a German reform, adorned with that of a German Parliament. Such a proposal, backed by a Parliament, would soon set Prussia and Austria at daggers drawn. Prussia would then decidedly go to war, a war which Europe could not oppose, for it would arise out of a great national question.”

Govone’s fear throughout was that Bismarck would merely make use of Italy to frighten Austria into concessions, and would then throw up the alliance without going to war, leaving the Cabinet of Florence to settle its own accounts with Vienna. Bismarck saw this, and endeavoured to reassure him, though after all his words were not very definite or conclusive.

“I understand very well,” he said, “that Italy may be somewhat cautious about us, and may have her doubts as to our trustworthiness. If this be the case, to give you a guarantee, Prussia might even now sketch out the various developments of the German Question according to my own plans, and then draw a determined line beyond which it would be impossible for Germany to fall back, being bound beforehand to a certain course of conduct. Then, and then only, would Italy have to fear no desertion on our part: then only would she be likewise engaged. For instance, let us suppose this German Parliament assembled, would not Prussia then have burned her ships and be obliged to march onwards?”

Govone suggested that the best guarantee from Prussia would be an engagement, that neither the Schleswig-Holstein Question nor any other then pending should be settled, unless the Venetian Question were settled at the same time. Bismarck, in his reply, avoided giving such a pledge.

“We cannot,” he said, “bring the Danish Question into the treaty. It is far too insignificant, (5) and we wish to have the support of Italy for much higher and more various objects. First of all, we should thus mutually increase our strength; and secondly, united to Italy, it would be easier for us to obtain the concurrence of France. At present, France refuses to come to any arrangement with us. In fact, the Emperor consents in regard to the Duchies to allow us full liberty and to remain neutral, but in any other case he would make his own conditions, which he now keeps to himself. Were we allied with Italy, it would be easier for us to come to an understanding with France. But even supposing Italy ill-disposed for a formal convention, still a treaty of perpetual friendship and alliance would be desirable, were it but to confirm King William in his actual dispositions.”

On the 19th of March Barral, the Italian ambassador at Berlin, sent a long telegram to La Marmora, narrating a very important interview which he had just had with Count Bismarck. England had very nearly marred the plan of the Prussian Chancellor by offering her mediation at Berlin. Bismarck refused it, telling the English ambassador that Austria was the real aggressor, that she had violated the Convention of Gastein, and that it was at Vienna that England should make her proposals. He then came to Barral, and told him what had happened; and the Italian noted that he spoke “in a state of violent excitement.”

Suddenly he asked, would Italy declare war at once, adding that Prussia would follow immediately. Barral replied that he thought Prussia should take the initiative. “But,” he added, “suppose Italy did take the offensive, would you, by a formal treaty, agree to begin the war, not immediately, but the very next day?”

“At this question,” says Barral, “I clearly saw Bismarck hesitate; at last he said that he would have to consult the king for the last time, and if he refused he would send in his resignation.” He left, asking Barral to write on the matter to his Government. “My impression is,” said the ambassador in his telegram, “that Bismarck finds himself in a difficulty, caused by the English offer of mediation, which was accompanied by an express disapproval of the policy of Prussia, and that to get out of this difficulty Bismarck is trying to invert the parts to be played, by pushing us against Austria, with the expectation, rather than the certainty, that he will then be able to draw on the king.”

Barral added that for Italy to move in this way would be most rash, and that the Queen, the Queen Dowager, the Crown Prince and the Princess, were all exerting their influence against Bismarck, to induce King William to come to an agreement with Austria. Again, on the 20th, Barral telegraphed that Bismarck had made a new proposal, namely, that a treaty of “alliance and amity” should be signed by Italy and Prussia, in which they would agree, “on certain warlike events taking place, to sign a definite treaty of offensive and defensive alliance.”

Barral asked who was to move first. Bismarck replied that the king wished Italy to take the initiative. Barral persisted in his opinion that it should be Prussia. On this La Marmora notes that as yet Bismarck had only proposed either that Italy should go to war by herself, without any formal pledge of Prussian support, or that she should sign a treaty which bound Prussia only to sign another treaty in certain events. In fact, Bismarck was anxious to use Italy as a weapon against Austria, and still preserve his own liberty of action.

On the 21st of March matters became more definite.

Barral telegraphed that Austria was arming on a great scale, that Bismarck desired a treaty in order to be able, on the one hand, “to draw on the king,” and on the other to be secure against a possible private arrangement between Austria and Italy for the cession of Venetia. Barral advised the conclusion of such a treaty, to be in force for two months, on the understanding that if Bismarck did not find a casus belli in that time, Italy would resume her liberty of action.

La Marmora replied by telegraph, that as a preliminary to such a treaty, he would require a clear written proposal from Prussia. On the 23rd Barral telegraphed that the Prussian Government had formally proposed a treaty to be in force for three months, that Bismarck had very much exaggerated the Austrian armaments, which were purely of a defensive character, but that, nevertheless, Prussia went on arming and buying horses.

Next day Bismarck was said to be ili, and would see no one; but, on the 25th, he gave Govone an interview on the subject of the treaty. On the 27th the treaty of alliance was drawn up, and Barral telegraphed it to Florence, asking for authority to sign it. The first article set forth that there should be an alliance between the King of Prussia and the King of Italy; the second, that in case of the failure of the proposals for a reform of the German Confederation, which the King of Prussia was about to make, and in case of his Majesty supporting those proposals by taking up arms, Prussia taking the initiative, Italy would immediately declare war.

By the third article, peace or cessation of hostilities was only to be agreed to by both parties jointly: by the fourth, peace was to be made on Austria ceding Venetia to Italy, and an equivalent to Prussia: by the fifth, unless Prussia declared war within three months, the treaty was void: by the sixth, in case of the Austrian fleet leaving the Adriatic for the North Sea before war was declared, an Italian fleet was to be sent to act against it in. union with the Prussian fleet.

On the 28th Govone telegraphed, recommending the acceptance of the treaty, but adding that there was still the danger of Austria’s giving way in the matter of the Duchies, and peace being preserved. La Marmora requested him, by telegraph, to try to have the cession of the Trentino added to that of Venetia. Barral made the proposal, but Bismarck replied that, being part of the German Confederation, all questions about the Trentino should be left till after the war.

La Marmora, of course, had not left France out of his calculations. It was as necessary as ever to know what the Emperor would do; and therefore, about the same time that Govone had been sent to Berlin, he had sent a special envoy to Paris (not to replace Nigra, but to supplement him)—Count Arese, a Lombard, an old personal friend of Napoleon III, a man who had known the Emperor when he was a Carbonaro in Italy. (6) Arese soon ascertained that the Emperor was not at all averse to seeing war break out in Europe.

Napoleon could not expect that the war would be a conflict of a few weeks, ending suddenly in a great decisive battle; he evidently expected a long struggle, perhaps more than one campaign; in any case, a war of some duration, in the course of which he could choose his own time for intervention. It was this plan which made Sadowa such a blow to France.

With both Nigra and Arese, Napoleon refused to enter into any definite engagements, or in any way give up his liberty of action for future eventualities; but on the 30th of March, in an interview with Count Arese, he expressed his approval of the Prusso-Italian alliance, declaring, however, at the same time, that he gave this advice,”comme ami et sans aucune responsabilité" —advice that he must have bitterly regretted before many months had passed.

At Berlin, even now at the eleventh hour, it seemed doubtful whether anything would be done. On the 1st of April Count Barral telegraphed to La Marmora that the treaty awaited signature as soon as full powers were sent to him and Govone: that the Austrian ambassador had declared, in an official note to Bismarck, that Austria had no aggressive intentions, and that she expected a like declaration on the part of Prussia: and that to Bismarck’s question as to whether they would adhere to Prussia or Austria, the minor States had replied that the decision lay with the German Diet.

“M. de Bismarck,” said Barral, in his telegram,”is more and more embarrassed to find a casus belli.” It looked, the ambassador concluded, as if there probably would not be a war after all. Next day Govone wrote a long letter, in which he said that Bismarck was in a very difficult position, for that not only the people but the army was averse to war, though he did not doubt that if war were declared the army would do its duty.

Bismarck himself still spoke of his hope of getting a war with Austria, and accordingly La Marmora sent to Berlin full powers for signing the treaty. Bismarck spoke with Govone of the probable operations of the war. He would attack Bohemia, he said, and at the same time send 100,000 men into Bavaria to march on Linz, and hold out a hand to the Italian army, which would co-operate in the main advance on Vienna.

This was a flattering insinuation that the Piedmontese would have no difficulty in driving the Austrians out of Venetia, and pursuing them into the heart of the Empire. The same day (April 6th) Govone saw Benedetti, the French ambassador. Benedetti showed with what mistaken judgment the diplomacy of the French Empire viewed the situation, when he told the Italian general that he regard Bismarck as a “maniac,” who, for fifteen years had been trying to place Prussia above Austria, and for this purpose to drag King William after him; but that he thought Bismarck’s plan would not succeed, and that peace was more probable than war.

Bismarck himself, it is clear, was not sure of his position, and his anxiety betrayed itself in querulous complaints and expressions of mistrust, now of Benedetti, now of Govone, now of Barral, now of his own ambassadors Goltz at Paris and Usedom at Florence.

On the 8th of April a treaty of offensive and defensive alliance between Prussia and Italy was signed at Berlin, a protocol being added to it, to the effect that the agreement was to be a secret one.

At the last moment, just before the signatures were attached, Bismarck made an attempt to have the definite phrase “offensive and defensive alliance” changed into the vague expression, “treaty of alliance and amity.” But Barral remained firm, and the treaty was signed as it stood. Two days after, affairs began to assume a warlike aspect. Austria, in fact, was losing patience under the continual attempts of Bismarck to irritate her, as she had lost patience when Cavour was playing the same diplomatic game in 1859.

On the 10th of April the Austrian ambassador, basing his demand on the declarations made by both Powers that they had no aggressive intentions, called upon Bismarck to cease preparations for war, adding that Austria, not having armed, had no need to disarm.

“If Prussia does not disarm,” said the ambassador’s note, “Austria will not long be able to remain indifferent.” This imprudent step was just what Bismarck wanted. It offended King William, and removed him at once from the influence of the peace party.

Bismarck refused to disarm. Austria’s tone became more moderate, and she begged that Prussia would at least suspend her armaments. Bismarck’s assertion was the same as the Austrian ambassador’s—that Prussia had not really armed, that she had only taken measures of precaution, following step by step those taken by Austria.

On the 18th Count Mensdorff, Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, proposed that if Prussia would promise to begin restoring her army to a peace footing on the 20th, Austria would begin to do the same on the 25th. Bismarck was much disappointed.

He thought he had his casus belli) and it was gone. He told Barral that it was very difficult to refuse the Austrian proposal, but that if it were accepted he would disarm very slowly, always being a step behind Austria, and keeping the horses that had been bought. On the 21st Bismarck accepted the proposal.

La Marmora refused to believe any real disarmament would take place. Two days after his incredulity was justified. Barral telegraphed to him on April 23rd, “the Austrian minister (at Berlin) yesterday told the French ambassador that, in presence of the concentration of Italian troops at Bologna and Piacenza, Austria could not but take some measures of precaution.”

La Marmora at once telegraphed to Barral, telling him to declare that no concentration of Italian troops had taken place, either at Bologna, Piacenza, or elsewhere. But the report that the Italians were concentrating at Bologna, had been flashed all over Europe, and Austria at once reinforced her army in Venetia, instead of disarming.

La Marmora expresses his belief that Austria acted in good faith, and believed that the Italian army was really concentrating. He traces the origin of the report to a movement to Bologna from the south, of two regiments of cavalry, whose time of service in Naples was over; and as the English ambassador at Florence had been the first to remonstrate with him on the supposed concentration, he surmises that the report had reached Austria from the English Embassy.

To me it seems much more likely that the report came really from Berlin, that it was another move in Bismarck’s game, the object of which was twofold—(1) to get a pretext for not disarming, by inducing Austria to arm in Venetia, (2) to force the hand of La Marmora, and make him take the initiative, as Bismarck had from the very outset desired.

La Marmora, unfortunately for the peace of Europe, was determined on war, and though he believed Austria to be deceived, he did not remove, but took advantage of the misconception. On the 27th he ordered the mobilization of the Italian army. Both the French and English Governments privately expressed their regret at this measure being taken. The Emperor Napoleon had two days before advised Italy not to arm, but merely to publish a statement of the facts of the case, as a reply to Austria. But La Marmora now wanted war, and in his anxiety for it he had taken the initiative, just as Bismarck had wished it to be. Austria, in turn, refused to disarm, she could not disarm with the Italians mobilizing their army; and Bismarck had the satisfaction of seeing the pacific proposals of the 18th of April cast aside by all parties.

La Marmora was not long in discovering that Bismarck had duped him. On the 2nd of May Govone telegraphed from Berlin that he had told Bismarck that the Italian army would be ready in about a month, and that war would probably break out then, and asked him if Prussia would be sufficiently prepared to declare war against Austria, in case of Austria declaring war against Italy.

Bismarck startled Govone by saying that he did not attach that meaning to the treaty, and that, according to the literal meaning of the articles, the obligation was not reciprocal. In fact, the treaty ran, that on hearing that Prussia had declared war, Italy should do so—there was nothing more. After all the care taken by La Marmora, after all the boasted shrewdness of Govone, Italy was to follow the lead of Prussia; yet, for all the treaty said, Prussia might abandon her to Austria. Barral then proposed a reciprocal engagement. Bismarck replied that the king would not consent to it, as he did not wish to encourage the government at Florence to push matters to extremities. But Bismarck was good enough to tell Govone that it was very probable Prussia would stand by Italy.

Later in the day, Bismarck informed Govone that he had consulted the king, that if Austria should attack Italy, Prussia would move to her assistance, but that he advised Italy not to attack Austria. He told Govone that he would resign his office if Italy were abandoned— which was not really very reassuring; and, finally, he said that Italy might trust to the force of events to place Prussia on her side.

La Marmora protested by telegraph to Berlin against Bismarck's loose interpretation of the treaty; it was, he said, an offensive and defensive treaty of alliance,” and, for the three months that it was in force, it must be reciprocal in its obligations. On the 4th Prussia took a step which had the effect of tending to reassure La Marmora, the king ordered the mobilization of 168,000 men, and Govone was able to announce to his chief that Prussia was making extensive and rapid preparations for war. On the 5th, had La Marmora chosen to break faith with Prussia, he had an opportunity to revenge himself for all of Bismarck’s tergiversations and bad faith.

Through the Emperor of the French, Austria offered to cede Venetia to Italy, on condition that she promised to be neutral during the war between Austria and Prussia. La Marmora replied, that to accept the ofler of Austria would be to break the treaty of alliance, which he was in honour bound to observe. Probably, in his overweening confidence in the Italian army, he did not regret that Venetia was not to be ceded in a peaceful manner.

The middle of May was taken up with the negotiations for a congress proposed by England and France. These came to nothing. Prussia accepted the idea of a congress, with how much good will is shown by the fact that, while the negotiations were in progress, on May 20th, Barral telegraphed to La Marmora that a council-of-war had just made the final arrangements for war, which would break out between the loth and ijth of June, and that the king’s camp equipment had been sent off to Gorlitz.

On the 1st of June Austria agreed to go into the congress, but only on condition that no cession of Austrian territory should be discussed. This reservation would have prevented the discussion of the Venetian Question. What followed may be told in a few words.

The last days of May and the opening weeks of June were spent by both sides in active preparations. The Italian army was massed upon the Mincio and the Po, and red-shirted volunteers trooped into Garibaldi’s camp on the northern frontiers of Lombardy. Italy was only waiting to hear that the armies of Prussia were in motion to begin the campaign.

Austria had appealed to the German Diet, and the question between her and Prussia was to be judged at Frankfort. Bismarck knew very well what the decision would be, and was resolved to resist it. On June 14th the Diet decreed “federal execution” against Prussia—Hanover, Saxony, and the South German States ranging themselves with Austria. On June 18th Prussia replied by declaring war against Austria and her allies.

The news was telegraphed to Florence. La Marmora having accomplished the first part of his task, resigned office to take command of the army in the coming war, while Ricasoli formed a new ministry.

On the 20th La Marmora sent from his headquarters at Cremona a formal declaration of war to the Austrian commandant at Mantua, in which he gave notice that hostilities would begin on the 23rd. The same day, in the Parliament at Florence, amidst a storm of applause, Ricasoli announced: “the Kingdom of Italy has declared war against the Empire of Austria.”


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CHAPTER XVIII

THE FINANCIAL POLICY OF ITALY

Before I tell the story of the war with Austria, I must sum up the course of Italian policy in financial and ecclesiastical affairs. I tum to these matters here, because it was in 1865-1866, under the ministry of La Marmora, that the greatest financial crisis in Italy took place, and that, to meet the deficit, the Government had recourse to the most sweeping measures of spoliation with regard to the Church.

Charles Lever once remarked, that the financial policy of Italy was based on the grand principle that it is no use being economical when one has nothing to begin with. Let us see how this principle was reduced to practice in Italy.

For eleven years, from 1859 to 1870, the kingdom of Piedmont, and then the kingdom of Italy which grew out of it, was either at war or preparing for war. The war with Austria, the revolutions and annexations throughout Italy, the invasion of the Papal States and of Naples, the Garibaldian expeditions, the long war with the “brigands,” in which, at times, upwards of 80,000 men were engaged, the second war with Austria, and the Mentana campaign, all made up a warfare of eight years duration. During all that period a huge army was kept up. At the same time public works were commenced on the most enormous scale.

Arsenals and dockyards, sufficient for the largest army and navy in Europe, were planned and executed, fortifications were raised, ironclads launched. Beside the army of soldiers there was an army of officiate to be paid; for the civil government, modelled on a French centralized System,was much more costly than one in which the local element would predominate. The policy of Italy was an attempt to play the part of a great naval and military power, arid to subordinate all other considerations to this. The money for this purpose was obtained first by increased taxation and, secondly, by foreign loans. These loans necessitated an increase in the expenditure of the ministry of finance, in order to cover the annual interest; hence a fresh increase of taxation, and recurring deficits met by new loans without the slightest attempt at retrenchment. From 1859 to 1870 the following were the liabilities incurred by the new kingdom in pursuance of this policy:—

Liabilities £ sterling.
Sardinian Loan, October, 1859 3,800,000
Loan of Emilia, January 22nd, 1860 320,000
Loan of Tuscany, January 25th, 1860 1,040,000
National Loan, July 12th, 1860 6,000,000
Alienation of Neapolitan Stock, 1860-61 4,930,000
Alienation of Sicilian Stock, 1860 1,810,000
Sicilian Loan 20,000,000
National Loan, July 17th, 1861 28,000,000
National Loan, March nth, 1863 2,480,000
Sale of Rentes, November 25th, 1864 17,000,000
Loan of May nth, 1865 2,400,000
Alienation of Stock for Ligurian Railway 6,000,000
Advances on Sale of National Property, November 24th, 1864 7,400,000
Sale of State Railways, May 14th, 1866 3,800,000
Alienation of Church Property, July 7th, 1866 3,730,000
Paid to Austria, on Treaty of Peace, October 3rd, 1866 12,440,000
National Loan, July 28th, 1866 6,940,000
Advances on Sale of Tobacco Monopoly, August 24th, 1868 5,200,000
Loan secured on State Domains, October 8th, 1869
Loan from National Bank, February, 1870
20,000,000
Total amount of Consolidated debt, 1870 153,090,000 (1)

To this must be added further liabilities and guarantees not included in the consolidated debt, raising the aggregate sum for which the kingdom was liable to 251 millions sterling, entailing upon the revenue an annual charge of upwards of twenty millions. There was, further, a heavy floating debt, which in 1870 stood as follows:—

Forced paper currency 15,120,000
Church property bonds 7,400,000
Treasury bonds 12,000,000
Total 34,520,000

The deficits were enormous, ranging from 6 to 32 millions. (2) This last was the deficit of 1886, a sum nearly equal to half the revenue of Great Britain and Ireland. To a state like Italy such deficits were ruinous, and it must be observed that they were deficits recurring while the revenue steadily increased—an increase largely due to additional taxation. Loans, the mortgage of national property, the sale of state domains, the establishment of monopolies, (3) provided funds for covering these deficits. But another resource was found in plundering the Church, and in one year alone—1807—twenty-four millions sterling were levied upon Church property. Every form of taxation that existed under the old governments was preserved, new taxes were added, till at length the free citizen of United Italy had the satisfaction of knowing that the state drew something from his food, his clothes, his furniture, his Windows, his pay or pension—everything, in fact, except the air he breathed. Under the old governments, with their small armies and equally small national debts, (4) taxation was very light.

In the Papal States, under the most economical government in Europe, the taxation was exceedingly light, notwithstanding that the Pontifical Government had generously assumed the responsibility of the debts contracted by the Republic of 1849, and had moreover replaced the paper money of the revolutionary government by a good silver and bronze coinage. In the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, in 1859, the taxation was at the rate of only fourteen francs per head of the population. In Piedmont the taxation was highest, as Cavour had been spending money freely since 1855, in preparation for the campaign for “Unity.”

Nevertheless, in 1860, including Piedmont, the taxation throughout all Italy was on an average nineteen francs eighty-three centimes per head, including local rates. By 1866, the taxation under the new regime had risen to twenty-eight francs per head, or double what was paid by the “down-trodden” people of Naples before Garibaldi and Persano came to free them.

The tax on grinding corn was once held to be a standing grievance against the Papal Government. In United Italy it has been more than doubled, and has been extended to all kinds of corn, to Indian-corn, beans,and even chestnuts.

The tax on houses is not levied on the rent actually paid, but on an estimate of the value of the house made by a Government official. “Here,” exclaims the owner of a house, “is what my house brings me in, here is the tenant’s lease.” “Ah!” replies the official, “it is your fault if you do not let it for more. You can let it for so much; you must pay accordingly. Put more pressure upon your tenants.”(5)

It is no wonder that the arrears of unpaid taxation under this crushing System amounted each year to several millions. From time to time they were forcibly collected. Ricasoli expressed his belief that without the army the taxes never could be got in. How the army was brought to bear upon the taxpayers for this purpose will be easily understood from one instance.

On December 14th, 1863, a detachment of the 34th regiment of the line—”on tax-collecting duty” occupied the little city of Monreale, near Palermo, and Captain Meloni, who commanded it, thus communicated his orders to the local tax-collector:—

“Monreale, Dee. 14, 1863.

(0) Having received the orders of the general commanding the district to collect the sum of 11,996 lire 43 centesimi (about 480l) at the town-hall of this commune, the undersigned requires a list of defaulters in order to proceed to collect the money, and he begs you to send him this list in the course of the day. He counts upon your zeal to receive the list at once.

“The undersigned will be obliged to you if you will have it proclaimed in the commune that the payment must be made within forty-eight-hours, after which no further delay will be granted, and the defaulters will be compelled to pay by having soldiers quartered upon them with orders to sleep fully dressed in the best beds.

“(Signed.) the captain commanding the detachment,

" Meloni.”

Besides making the soldiers live at free quarters on the people, another expedient was the more ordinary one of selling their lands and goods. Year after year these were thrown on the market in such numbers as to bring very low prices, while the unfortunate owners left the country:— year after year the tide of emigration from Italy has increased. But the Italian is told he is free. It is true he is still subject to arbitrary arrest, to imprisonment in which he waits wearily for trial, and to domiciliary visits; it is true that the press is liable to State prosecutions and suppression, and that “order” is guaranteed by an active gendarmerie who are not over-scrupulous in their proceedings.

The Italian will say he had all this under some at least of the old governments. But the Government of United Italy gives him more than this. He no longer sees the monastery looking down upon his village, but he has the secularist school, he can travel by railway (though it is true he sometimes looks in vain for a good road to it), he has the privilege of spending some years in barracks under the law of compulsory military service; instead of the various metallic coinages of the old States, he has one uniform currency of dirty paper, and as the value of this paper fluctuates, and it would be difficult to state prices both in coin and paper, the shopkeepers are saved the trouble by there being scarcely as much as a franc piece in circulation.

Finally, the free Italian has the advantage of paying a tax on everything he touches or possesses. It is lamentable that in some parts of Italy all these advantages were not always appreciated as they should be. The Sicilians especially behaved badly. They had an unpleasant habit of shooting the tax-collector, and taking to the hills as brigands, where the bersaglieri hopelessly attempted to hunt them down.

The Sicilian method was crude and unsatisfactory to all parties. Government officiate, who knew their business better, took another course. They quietly imitated their employers:—they “annexed.” A glance at one of the most interesting periods in Italian finance shows how this was done.

The first Parliament that met at Florence, the new capital, in November, 1865, had to listen to a woful tale of financial embarrassment. The next year was to show a deficit of more than thirty millions sterling. Sella, La Marmora’s, Minister of Finance, was driven from office by the indignant and disappointed deputies, to whom he had promised a surplus; and La Marmora reorganized his Cabinet, taking Scialoja, a Neapolitan financier, to fill Sella’s place.

Scialoja met the deficit by a loan, and by the suppression of the monasteries, and confiscation of their goods. A look behind the scenes at this period shows that at least a portion of the embarrassments of Italy came from the worthlessness of the officiate. On all sides there was peculation of every kind. In the accounts there was fearful confusion. Provisional credits, treasury orders without vouchers, unauthorized payments appear continually in the records of the cour des comptes.

In 1865 the collector-general of Palermo absconded with 70,000 francs; 18,500 francs were abstracted from the post-office at Naples.

A System of forging coupons of the public debt was discovered at Turin; an employé of the Ministry of Finance was put on his trial for it, but acquitted. In September, an employé absconded with 15,000 francs from the prefecture at Naples. The treasurer of a great hospital at Turin got away with 200,000 francs in his possession.

The year 1866 brought to light frauds committed by the officiate upon the money realized by the sale of ecclesiastical property. 300,000 francs disappeared from the Monte di Pietà of Naples. In the same city a high official of the police was arrested for embezzling the funds placed in his hands for the public service; and further forgeries of bonds of the national debt were discovered.

Instances like these could be multiplied to any extent It was perfectly natural that it should be so. It was only the policy of annexation on a small scale carried into effect by individuate.

Precisely at the same time at which these embezzlements and defalcations were being practised by the underpaid officiate of the Government, that Government, in order to meet the deficit, was planning and carrying through Parliament the bill for the confiscation of the property of the religious orders.

This measure was largely prompted by financial necessities; but there was another motive—that marked desire to injure the Church and cripple her action, which runs through the whole policy of United Italy.

For this reason I cannot notice the spoliation of the religious orders merely as an immoral expedient of unscrupulous financiers; but it must be briefly examined in connection with the whole ecclesiastical policy of the new kingdom.


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CHAPTER XIX

THE WARFARE AGAINST THE CHURCH

We have already seen how, in the early years of the reign of King Victor Emmanuel, Piedmont began a course of legislation directed against the Catholic Church. (1) This policy was pursued upon a larger scale and in a wider field after the annexations of 1859 and 1860. It has often been asked, Why did not the Church reconcile herself with the new kingdom of Italy?

The answer is a ready and an obvious one. In the first place, how could the Holy See do otherwise than protest against the invasion of its own patrimony, and how could it by any act lend its approbation to similar lawless invasions directed against the other sovereigns of the peninsula? But there was a second and even graver reason. Italy, or rather Piedmont, from the outset carried on a determined warfare against religion, and the revolution proved itself not only anti-Catholic but anti-Christian.

In this, even from the narrow and low ground of secular statesmanship there was little wisdom or policy. There stands the broad fact that, as a body, the Italians are Catholics; and yet this fact the Government refused to recognize. In declaring war against the Church, it set itself at direct enmity with an immense body of its subjects, and it deprived itself of that influence which is the main guarantee of law. The more widely it despoiled the clergy and strove to break up the organization of the dioceses, the more rapidly it filled its own gaols.

The two things went on together—the development of its ecclesiastical policy and the widespread increase of crime and lawlessness in Italy proceeded pari passa.

The coincidence is so remarkable that one recognizes at least one of the causes of the increase of crime, in the determined efforts made to undermine and destroy the religion of the people. (2) The motives of this warfare against the Church were twofold—first, the embarrassments of Italian finance made the ministers anxious to cover some portion of the deficit by appropriating the property of the Church to the needs of the State; and, secondly, there was the desire to satisfy the free-thinking, thorough-going Revolutionists, who formed the backbone of the party, men whose views were well represented by Petruccelli della Gattina, when, on July 12th, 1862, he declared that the basis of the policy of Italy should be war against Catholicism, and by Garibaldi, when on November ist, 1860, he told the Neapolitans that their worst enemy was the Pope, who was the living incarnation of Antichrist.

This hatred of Catholicism and of Christianity was the real motive of the onset made upon the Church by the Liberals, and it revealed the character of the movement. There was in their policy far more of the desire to destroy the religious orders, than even of the greed to possess their property, and more of a wish to paralyze the organization of the Church than to appropriate the revenue of vacant sees and suppressed seminaries.

The spoliation began in Piedmont itself during the Crimean War. On May 25th, 1855, a law was promulgated at Turin which confiscated the property and put an end to the existence of the following monasteries, convents and benefices, in the kingdom and island of Sardinia:—




Annual income
Lire
66 monasteries on the continent 772 monks 770,000
46 convents 1085 nuns 592,000
40 monasteries in islands of Sardinia 489 monks & nuns 369,000
182 alms-seeking convents 3145 monks
65 chapters 680 priests 550,000
1700 benefices 1700 clergy 1,370,000
2099 establishments 7871 individuals 2,651,000



or 145,640 (3)

The total income thus gained was a small one. When the revenues of the beneficed clergy and the chapters are deducted, one sees that the monks and nuns were actually poor in the literal sense of the word. Their poverty was no protection to them.

The suppression of the chapters was part of the general plan, which left and kept the sees of Piedmont vacant, as the bishops died.

In 1859 and 1860 the provisional governments and Piedmontese dictators decreed the extension of the Piedmontese law of May, 1855, to the newly-revolutionized or occupied provinces; but the suppressions carried into effect in consequence were only local and partial.

Garibaldi expelled the Jesuits and the Redemptorists from Naples and Sicily; Victor Emmanuel decreed the expulsion of the Jesuits from Umbria and the Marches, and seized their property.

The attacks upon the bishops continued. Vacant sees were kept unfilled, others were made vacant by their prelates being driven into exile or thrown into prison, now because they would not sing a Te Deum for the success of the invaders, now because they did not show themselves favourable to the new state of things; often they were imprisoned on a suspicion of reactionary views, without being told what was the charge against them.

This was the lot of one of the bishops, whom Lord Henry Lennox saw in prison, when he visited the prisons of Naples in the winter of 1862-63.

“In the prison of the Concordia,” he said (4) “among the prisoners, mixed up with the debtors and felons was a Roman Catholic bishop with five priests, who had been dragged out of their beds a month before, thrust into this prison, and made, if they left their cell, to pass their days in the society of needy debtors and convicted felons, and that without knowing the crime for which they were suffering. 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.”

It would be too long to tell how many of the bishops and priests were imprisoned or fined. But even those who escaped imprisonment were deprived of the freedom necessary for the due fulfilment of their duties, and cut off from proper communication with the Holy See. On the 19th of April, 1862, the ministry issued a circular, calling upon the public prosecutors to watch carefully the conduct and utterances of the bishops and clergy. Eight days after this the Government announced that it would not give passports to the bishops who wished to go to Rome for the ceremony of the canonization of the martyrs of Japan; and in the same year the prefects forbade any addresses to be circulated for signature and presentation to the Pope.

Again, on the 3rd of July, the Keeper of the Seals a second time warned the public prosecutors to carefully watch the clergy. The Government seemed to have more fear of them than of the Garibaldians, though it was the year of Aspromonte. On the 16th of January, 1863, the prosecutor-general at Turin ordered the public prosecutors throughout the kingdom to take action against all who introduced copies of Papal encyclicals.

The encyclical of December 8th, 1864, and the syllabus annexed to it (both documents which have ever since been decried by men who have, for the most part, either not read them or failed to understand them) were denounced by the Italian Government, which had assumed the position of a kind of censor of faith and morals. Early in 1864, a circular issued by the Government to the local authorities, gave them the following directions:—”The judicial functionaries ought to go in person into the churches, to ascertain if in the pulpit, at the altar, or in the confessional, the priests spoke of the encyclical.” If they did speak of it, they were to be at once proceeded against. (5) On July 19th the prefect of the Terra d’Otranto wrote to the syndics of his province:—”the clerical party is actively endeavouring to extort money from the piety of the faithful under the pretext of the needs of the Church. Give instructions that all those against whom there arise well-founded suspicions of clericalism or of Bourbonism shall be made the subjects of careful surveillance.”

This warfare against priests and bishops was extended even to destroying the outward signs of popular piety. In 1864 all the little statues of Our Lady outside houses in Naples were ordered to be removed, the pretext for the removal being that “it was necessary to satisfy public opinion.”

How far public opinion desired such an order, may be judged from the tumults its publication excited in the city. Public processions, even those of the feast of Corpus Christi, were forbidden —in some places the people carried them out in defiance of the authorities.

Chaplaincies in numerous educational institutions were suppressed. By a ministerial order of the 20th of September, 1865, the Mass of the Holy Ghost, usually said at the reopening of the tribunals, was forbidden; and another order put an end to the daily Mass in the prisons of the old Neapolitan provinces.

Priests in rebellion against their bishops were supported and encouraged by the State. In August, 1864, all decrees and rescripts of the bishops, including all appointments to the cure of souls, were subjected to the Royal exequatur, thus giving the Government a veto on every act of the Church in Italy. In the following year a report presented to Parliament showed that exile, imprisonment, and the continuance of Cavour’s System of keeping sees vacant on the death of the bishops, had left 108 sees in Italy without their pastors.

While the episcopate was thus assailed, means were taken—and most effective means—to gradually destroy the clergy. This was done in two ways (1) by breaking up the diocesan seminaries in which they were trained, and (2) by drafting young ecclesiastics into the army. The suppression of the seminaries was carried out, not by one sweeping measure but piecemeal, this or that seminary being closed at the arbitrary will of the Cabinet. Thus, in the Neapolitan provinces alone, during the first five years of Italian rule, the seminaries of forty-nine dioceses were closed.

The law subjecting ecclesiastics to military service was a more serious blow to the organization of the Church in Italy than were these isolated attacks. It was passed on the 28th of April, 1864, by a majority of 114; 161 members voting for it, and 47 against. (6)

A similar law had been proposed in 1853, in the Parliament of Piedmont, but it had been rejected, such staunch representatives of the Liberal party as Cavour, La Marmora, and Buoncompagni voting against it, Cavour declaring that the exemption of the clergy was not a privilege but a right, Buoncompagni denouncing the proposed law as illiberal and oppressive, and La Marmora declaring that it struck at the very existence of the clergy. But the Revolutionary warfare against the Church had advanced since 1853, and the law of April, 1864 (which has since been confirmed by the laws on the organization of the army passed in July, 1871, and June, 1875), was intended to produce, and is actually producing, the very effect attributed by La Marmora to the rejected bill of 1853.

Of course it was nominally possible partly to escape the operation of the law by a payment of a sum of 140l sterling for a substitute, but where was the money to be found for this purpose by the impoverished bishops?

To redeem from the army a college of a hundred students would cost about £14,000, a sum not easily paid after the endless spoliations carried out under the various names of expropriation, liquidation, administration of ecclesiastical property, not to speak at all of fines. And even when the money was paid, the young man was still liable to be called out under certain contingencies; and by subsequent amendment of the law, though the redemption money was lowered from 140l to between 60l and 80l according to circumstances, it only purchased exemption from several years of military service, the passing of at least one year in the ranks being made obligatory upon all.

The plea put forward for applying this law to the clergy was that of equality for all citizens; but another law excluded the clergy from the Parliament, it being apparently considered that it was less consonant with the priestly character to discuss resolutions and amendments, than to carry a rifle. “This law” says Mgr. Patterson, writing on the incorporation of the law of 1864 in the Italian military law of 1875—”this law is so unheard of in civilized countries that I asked what was alleged to justify it. The answer was, that it was feared that if an exception were made in favour of candidates for the priesthood, the clergy would enrol so many as such that the public service would suffer; and on this hypothetic difficulty, which I may say the new legislators have abundantly provided against by expropriating the bishops of their seminaries and of the funds needed to support such candidates, the law abides in force.

They therefore have to see their young Levites taken off for military service, for one, or three, or five years, and plunged into such an atmosphere as needs no description; their studies, and, what is far more important, their moral development and formation interrupted, nay annihilated, and their vocation gone. The result of the law is already visible. The law by which the religious orders have been condemned to extinction, has rendered it increasingly difficult for the bishops to provide for the spiritual needs of their flocks. While the cry of the Liberals is still that there are too many priests, it is certain that already in some places two, or even three, parishes, have to be served by one parish-priest.” (7)

Whilst these measures were taken against the bishops and the secular clergy, the religious orders of men and women were not spared. Notwithstanding the total suppression of those in the old kingdom of Sardinia, their partial suppression in 1860 in the two Sicilies, Umbria and the Marches, and the numerous suppressions of individual monasteries and convents during the following years, there were still a great number left, when in the midst of the financial embarrassments of the spring of 1865 the Government seriously addressed itself to the work of preparing and passing a law for the general suppression of the religious orders and the seizure of their property throughout the kingdom.

A committee of the Chamber of Deputies, presided over by Baron Ricasoli, had prepared a draft bill, which proposed not only the suppression of the religious orders, but also of several of the bishoprics, and in addition the establishment of a kind of civil constitution of the clergy, and a general administration and partial appropriation of all Church property by the State.

The ministry only took up and laid before the Chamber that portion of the proposals of the committee which referred to the religious orders. This led to unexpected opposition from the Left, who wished to have the more sweeping measure passed; and a group of deputies, with Crispi for their spokesman, asked how it was that the Government after a recent loan of 425 million lire was so short of money, and suggested that the discussion should be adjourned till the next session, when the Chamber would have more time to decide whether it should adopt the Government bill or that of Ricasoli’s committee. This opposition of Crispi’s was one of the reasons of the bill being finally abandoned. Its proposals called forth a storm of protests from the country.

A single volume contained the petitions presented to the Chambers in favour of the bill, while several volumes of official publications were filled with those in opposition to it, and this though several of the latter petitions were mysteriously lost in the post office.

Without counting the lost petitions, it appears that the following was the aggregate of signatures to the petitions actually presented.

The table is compiled from official data, reprinted in the Unità Cattolica of April 28th, 1865

Signatures of For totale
suppression
Taking exception
to a general
suppression
Against any
suppression.
Corporations 45 97

Associations
Popular assemblies 15

Laymen
15,416 5,812 114.593
Ecclesiastics 81 230 7,765
15.587 6.139 122,358
Total against the Bill 128,497

To the 122,358 signatures against suppression must further be added petitions to the same effect signed by 15,329 women; and it must be remarked, also, that in the preceding total against suppression I have omitted 33,001 signatures of persons who signed only with their mark. All this shows how deep was the feeling against the bill, and how little the nation was represented by the Parliament at Turin. The deputy, Macchi, pretended in his speech that a large number of the monks and nuns themselves were in favour of the bill, and anxious to leave their cloisters; the reply was a long series of protests from monastery after monastery, and convent after convent. The Government bill proposed to maintain the mendicant orders in existence.

The reason of this reserve was a very simple one. The mendicants had no property, there was nothing to confiscate; and by turning them out of their cloisters, the Government would actually lose to the amount of the little pension of about fourpence a day, which was to be allotted to every expelled monk and nun. The Left exclaimed that, instead of a great reform, the Government bill was a miserable financial expedient.

The final result of these differences between the Left and the Government was the withdrawal of the bill, and the religious orders were spared for another year.

The summer of 1866saw the enactment of the sweeping measure of destruction desired by the Left. By that law all the religious houses in Italy were suppressed, and their property, with the exception of a daily pittance of something like fourpence to each inmate, was confiscated. According to statistics presented to the Parliament at Florence, the number of convents and monasteries, and monks and nuns in Italy, was as follow:—


1,506 monasteries containing 14,807 monks

876 convents containing 14,184 nuns
Total 2,382 religious houses and 28,991 religious

The convents and monasteries were suppressed on the simple plan that it was convenient to seize their property. It was not alleged that their rules were relaxed, or the work, for which they existed, left undone.

They were all swept away in one common destruction; neither venerable age nor saintly traditions were regarded, nor was the plea that they were centres of missionary work or homes of learning, that their inmates were priests engaged in parochial work, or teachers, hospitallers, or servants of the sick and poor—not even such a pica could save them.

The empty exchequer was the one answer to put down all argument for mercy. It was only by great efforts that the Government was induced to spare Monte Cassino, the cradle of Western monasticism. Many another famous sanctuary was despoiled, and its guardians driven out homeless upon the world, from those cloisters in which they had hoped to spend peaceful, innocent, and useful lives.

“I saw at Naples,” said Mgr. Dupanloup, “the celebrated Chartreuse, that admirable monastery which all Europe has visited on that beautiful mountain in front of Vesuvius and that glistening sea. Formerly a gentle and benevolent monk received the traveller, offered him refreshment, and showed him over the monastery with kindness and intelligence.

Now a rough soldier receives you, and conducts you over the place, making ridiculous efforts to make his bad French understood. Instead of the magnificent library, which has been carried off and thrown no one knows where, they have placed there a shop of Venetian glass and painted crockery. Such is the progress of civilization!

Of the thirty-two monks who were there, two only have been permitted to remain, who wander sadly in the solitude of their desecrated and desolate cloisters. No longer do the praises of God rise up to heaven in hymns and spiritual songs; the choir is deserted. No venerable white-robed monks remain to walk majestically under those magnificent porticoes, or to rise and pray during the splendour of those Neapolitan nights for the great and populous city sleeping at the foot of the holy mountain.

Thus had religion, poetry, and art sanctified all the heights, all the valleys, and all the most beautiful sites of this lovely Italy. On all sides prayer and praise in uninterrupted accents rose up to the throne of God. In its solitary places, as in its cities, the soul of man found everywhere holy shelters for lives of love and disinterested charity, for tranquil study or for the devotion and self-abnegation of the apostolato.

All these noble creations of Catholic faith on this Christian soil have disappeared or are disappearing, the walls are not yet all cast down, but their soul is gone. Life is extinct. They have left neither religion, nor poetry, nor art, nor truth— nothing! (8)

The law which ordered this reign of vandalism was enacted on the eve of the war with Austria. It was well remarked that Victor Emmanuel drove more monks and nuns from their home than he ever drove Austrians from a battlefield. The Sisters of Charity had been expelled from Ancona.

They were not long gone, when hurried telegrams called them back to watch by the hospital bedsides, where lay the wounded men from the fleet of Persano that had fought and failed at Lissa. But not even the Sisters of Charity were spared. When their work was done, they were again driven away.

The law of 1866 swept down all that previous suppressions had spared. Later on, as we shall see, it was extended to Rome, in direct violation of solemn promises.

To sum up, the warfare against the Church was carried on—

(1.) By the exile and imprisonment of bishops, by keeping the sees vacant, and by preventing bishops from communicating with Rome.

(2.) By forbidding the publication of Papal encyclicals.

(3.) By prosecuting and imprisoning priests, and exercising a surveillance over their teaching.

(4.) By suppressing chapters and benefices, and seizing their property.

(5.) By diminishing the supply of priests, (a} by closing the seminaries, (b) by applying to ecclesiastics the law of conscription and universal military service.

(6.) By enacting the civil marriage law, secularizing education, and closing schools for the young under the care of the Church.

(7.) By removing the emblems of popular devotion, and prohibiting religious processions.

(8.) By suppressing all the religious orders throughout Italy, and confiscating their property.

And yet, after all this, it is said that it was the Papacy which made and kept up the quarrel with the new kingdom of Italy, and that the successive governments of Turin and Florence were anxious only for peace and reconciliation.


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CHAPTER XX

CUSTOZZA AND LISSA

For six years Italy had been longing to play the part of a great Power. To this she had sacrificed everything. At the doubly crushing cost of a wide-sweeping conscription and of an annual expenditure far beyond her resources, she had formed a numerous army and built an ironclad fleet. She had now the opportunity long desired by her rulers. She was at war with Austria, her army not cooperating with and moving under the orders of a great ally, but acting independently, though in concert with the armies of an allied Power, whose operations were confined to a separate theatre of war. The army and navy of Italy were to act only under Italian orders. Whatever laurels they gained would belong entirely to the Piedmontese leaders in command, not to French marshals as in 1859.

The army counted upon being able to fight its way into the heart of the Austrian Empire. Garibaldi, with his corps of 36,000 volunteers, talked of forcing his way through the Tyrol, descending into the plain of Bavaria, and joining the Prussians at Munich. As for the fleet, it was superior in the number of ships, and in armour and guns, to the Austrian squadron of Admiral Tegethoff; and the Italian patriots generally expressed a fear that Tegethoff would not dare to come out, but would lurk behind his lines of torpedoes at Pola and Trieste, and so deprive Admiral Persano of the opportunity of winning a great naval victory. However, it was some satisfaction to think that even in that case Persano would not be idle. He was to embark a corps d’armée and was to threaten Venice; or else he was to land the troops in Dalmatia, Istria, or the Austrian islands of the Adriatic. War was hardly declared, when Boggio, a deputy of the Left, an active man and an eloquent speaker, was appointed by Ricasoli “Royal Commissioner” for the Italian provinces east of the Adriatic, that is to say, for the conquests Persano was yet to make. In fact the bear’s hide was being divided, while the bear was yet roaming at large.

Nominally, the strong force which Italy assembled on the frontiers of Venetia was commanded by King Victor Emmanuel in person. The real commander-in-chief was General La Marmora. He had had a long military career, but as yet had done nothing to make himself any great reputation as a soldier. He had been with Charles Albert in 1848, and at the head of the Royal Guards had rescued him from the mob of Milan. In 1849 he had put down the rebel outbreak at Genoa. He had commanded the contingent sent to the Crimea, and had acted with the French upon the Tchernaya. In 1859 he had directed the operations of the Piedmontese army, which had crushed the weak Austrian force opposcd to it at Palestro, had been late for the tight at Magenta, and had been defeated by Benedek at San Martino on the field of Solferino. When the war of 1859 was suddenly terminated by the armistice concluded at Villafranca, the allied armies of France and Piedmont had just entered Venetia, crossing the Mincio after the retreating Austrians, penetrating into the Quadrilateral, occupying the Somma Campagna so as to separate Mantua from Peschiera, and beginning the siege of the latter fortress. Competent military critics have given it as their opinion that, in 1859, if Francis Joseph, instead of meeting Napoleon at Villafranca, had attacked the French army about Custozza and the Somma Campagna, he might have repeated the feat of Radetzki, who in 1848 drove Charles Albert from a precisely similar position, and hurled him across the Mincio, raising the siege of Peschiera. La Marmora, in )866, had such an overweening confidence in his army and in his own talents, that he took as the basis of the plan of his campaign the idea of beginning the war where the French had left it off in 1859, and of conquering the Austrians on the very ground where Charles Albert had failed in 1848. His idea was simply to cross the Mincio between Peschiera and Mantua, penetrate into the Quadrilateral, separate the two fortresses, and form the siege of Peschiera. It was a daring venture, for he simply thrust his army in between two strong fortresses distant from each other only thirty miles. Thus he would be exposed to attacks from both, for both would be within a day’s march of his line of advance. In order to draw off a part of the Austrian forces, Persano’s fleet was to approach the Venetian coast and threaten a descent on Venice, and Cialdini, with a strong corps d'armée, was to cross the Po between the Quadrilateral and the sea, and menace the Austrian communications, while on the extreme left of the Italian line Garibaldi was to attack the Tyrol.

It is true the advantage of numbers was on the side of the Italians as well on land as on sea. After providing for the garrisons and the troops who were to maintain order in the south, La Marmora had been able to mobilize twenty-one divisions, or upwards of 200,000 men. (1)

These were divided into four corps, commanded by Durando, Cucchiari, Della Rocca and Cialdini. The three first corps, having an effective strength of about 140,000 men, were assembled under the personal command of La Marmora and the king on the right bank of the Mincio in front of the Quadrilateral. This was the main army. (2)

The fourth corps, reinforced by additional divisions until it reached the strength of 60,000 men, formed a second army under Cialdini between Ferrara and Bologna. To oppose these two armies the Grand Duke Albert, who commanded the Austrians in Venetia, had, so far as numbers went, very insufficient forces.

He had under his command three corps, amounting in all to about 135,000 men; but of these 12,000 were in the Tyrol, 12,000 in Istria, and 40,000 in the garrisons of the Quadrilateral, the fortress of Rovigo, and the city of Venice, while 6000 guarded his communications; so that for the field army, in all, only between 60,000 and 70,000 (3) men were left. If he were to meet the Italians in the field, this was all the force he could count upon.

He was well informed of the position and probable plans of the Italians, and, as soon as he received the declaration of war, he concentrated his army behind Verona, leaving a thin line of cavalry posts to watch La Marmora on the Mincio and Cialdini on the lower course of the Po.

At early morning on the 23rd of June, while Cialdini’s army was still inactive about Bologna, La Marmora put his three corps in motion, crossed the Mincio at Valeggio and Monzambano, and occupied the western end of the plain of Villafranca, and the broken ground between the river and the line of heights, along which, by the Somma Campagna and Custozza, runs the road from Peschiera to Mantua.

The ground over which his columns moved was a dry sandy soil, undulating, and rising in little hills, from which no great view could be commanded, as frequent plantations and belts of wood shut it off on all sides. The Austrian cavalry retired, even before the passage of the Mincio began; not a single bridge had been blown up, the Italian advance met with not the slightest obstacle. A reconnaissance pushed forward to Villafranca came across some Austrian dragoons, who galloped off after firing a few shots from their carbines. This was the only sign of the enemy.

La Marmora felt quite certain that the Austrians had resolved to resist only on the Adige, and would allow him, unmolested, to establish himself within the Quadrilateral. So safe did he feel that he left Cialdini inactive at Bologna, and bivouacked along the left bank of the Mincio, without occupying the line of heights and strong positions in his front.

From the highest part of the line of hills, the Somma Campagna, from which one can see the whole Quadrilateral spread out like a map—Peschiera at one’s feet, on the very edge of the wide expanse of the Lago di Garda, to the southward Mantua lying secure among its lakes and marshes; westward, Verona, guarding the line of the Adige—an Austrian staff-officer stood that afternoon watching the undulating ground between him and the Mincio. The heavy clouds of dust that hung over the sultry roads, showed him that the Italians were advancing in force in several columns; and when he returned to Verona late that afternoon, he was able to tell the Archduke that La Marmora was across the Mincio, and had pushed his cavalry to Villafranca, but that the Somma Campagna was unoccupied and had not even been reconnoitred by the enemy.

The Archduke Albert at once resolved to leave about 5000 men to watch Cialdini (who seemed to be making no preparation to cross the Po), and with the rest of his army, a little over 60,000 men, to advance from the Adige, and, by a night march, seize the Somma Campagna and thus be upon the flank of the Italians, if, as he expected, their plan was to march by Villafranca and Isola la Scala to the Adige in order to hold out a hand to Cialdini.

La Marmora, the same evening, gave orders that next morning the heights of the Somma Campagna should be occupied by the Italian army as a first step towards opening the siege of Peschiera. While Cialdini was menacing Venetia with a force equal to that of the Austrian field army, he did not expect the Archduke would disturb him, and he felt quite sure the Austrians were far away behind the Adige.

Next morning, June 24th, 1866, the Italian army was under arms about half-past three, and soon after all the columns were in motion, the left and centre towards Somma Campagna and Custozza, the right in the plain towards Villafranca. Instead of moving as if in presence of an enemy, the columns marched as if they were merely making a military promenade.

They were encumbered with baggage, the men had not breakfasted—there would be time enough later on—there were advanced guards dose in front, it is true, but no cavalry had been thrown out to reconnoitre the ground. On the left there was great confusion. The connection between the columns and their advanced guards was so loosely kept up that Cerale’s division struck off from the highway by a cross road, leaving its vanguard, under Villarey, moving on unsupported. Cerale’s troops soon found themselves in the rear of Sirtori’s division.

This division had, like themselves, missed its advanced guard, which had struck off to the left; and thus there was the singular spectacle of Cerale’s vanguard followed by Sirtori’s advanced guard on one road, while the two divisions, still believing there was a vanguard before them were following each other in long procession upon another road.

Had there been no enemy in front, this loose and unsoldier like advance of La Marmora’s army would have only terminated by the troops at length getting somehow or other to the positions marked out for them; but about five o’clock La Marmora was startled by suddenly hearing the sound of cannon on the extreme right towards Villafranca. Instead of being behind the Adige, the Austrians were immediately in front, and had come in contact with the 3rd corps.

The divisions of Prince Humbert and Bixio had been attacked in the plain by Austrian cavalry and horse artillery. The Italians beat off the enemy after receiving two or three charges in square. A little past six the fighting here was over. This should have made La Marmora and his generals cautious, but still it seems the idea in the Italian army was, that they had to deal only with a handful of cavalry, the same their scouts had seen yesterday near Villafranca.

At half-past six the left was in the hills. Sirtori’s column, with no advanced guard to cover it, had crossed the ravine in which the Tione flows, and was ascending the steep slope beyond, when, near a farmhouse, volley after volley was fired at his men by riflemen in ambush among the buildings and plantations.

Sirtori, who was at the head of his column, at once decided that he had found his lost vanguard, and that it was his own men who were firing on him by mistake; and he actually sent forward two of his officers to stop the fire. (4)

Thus, even after the cavalry attack on the right, and while on the left they were being fired upon, the Italian generate still would not believe that they had an Austrian army in their front—the force of stupid self-confidence could no further go.

The roar of guns from the ridge in front, and the rush of bursting shells overhead, told Sirtori he had made a mistake. He had neither the enterprise to attack the heights before him nor the prudence to recross the ravine. He opened fire from the ground where his men stood, and there he fought for four hours, hearing firing far away to left and right, but receiving no orders from La Marmora, and not even knowing where the headquarters were, or what the rest of the army was doing. Between ten and eleven the Austrians came down the hill and drove him over the Tione, taking three guns.

A couple of miles away to the left, his missing vanguard had all the time been engaged with the Austrians, General Villahermosa, who commanded it, wondering what had become of the main body under Sirtori. Cerale’s division, and Villarey with Cerale’s vanguard, came to Villahermosa’s aid, but the three generate were routed by the Austrian attack, their force driven back pell-mell towards the Mincio, (5)

Villarey killed, and Cerale and the chief of his staff, General Dho, wounded. Further to the right, the seventh Austrian corps was driving back Brignone from Custozza. Here the Italians had fought steadily and well, and Prince Amadeo and General Gozzani had fallen severely wounded at the head of their men. It was now a little after ten; La Marmora was with the king behind Custozza, and utterly unprepared as he was for a battle, seeing several detached encounters going on over a line of six miles, being unable to communicate with several of his divisions, seeing the division in front of him slowly retiring, while he knew another had been fairly routed, he thought that all was lost, and advised Victor Emmanuel to recross the Mincio.

But the battle was jiot over for hours yet. Sirtori not only rallied his men on the right bank of the Tione, but succeeded in recrossing the little river and again engaging the Austrians; while Durando, coming up with the reserve of the 1st corps, chiefly composed of bersaglieri, checked the advance of the Austrians who had routed Cerale, and rallied some of the fugitives who encumbered the roads and dotted the fields behind the Italian left.

The left was further strengthened by Pianelli’s division coming into action. Pianelli was near Monzambano on the Mincio, when heavy firing out in front told him something was going on. He had no orders and did not know where to look for them; but, following the good rule of marching towards the quarter where he heard the guns, he arrived just in time to help Durando in checking the advancing Austrians, and to capture a whole battalion of jàgers, who, thinking they had only Cerale’s beaten troops in front of them, pushed right into the heart of Pianelli’s corps before they discovered their mistake.

At the same time, in the centre, just as Brignone’s beaten troops fell back from Custozza, the divisions of Cugia and Govone came into action, and, directed by La Marmora, retook the heights which the Austrians had just won. This was between one and two o’clock. La Marmora’s hopes now rose again, but how little he was fitted to command an army may be judged from the fact that he left Bixio and Prince Humbert’s divisions inactive at Villafranca, where not a shot had been fired since early morning when the Austrian cavalry gave up their attack. Neither of these two redoubtable chiefs, the Garibaldian or the future King of Italy, took upon himself the responsibility of marching into the battle without orders, though all day long most of the other divisions had to act without orders from headquarters.

Towards three o’clock it began to be evident that the Italian line was collapsing. Sirtori was again driven over the Tione, and this time did not stop till he reached the Mincio, and even took it upon himself to put the river between his beaten troops and the enemy. Further to the left General Durando was wounded, and his fall put an end to any organized defence at that point, as there was no one left to give orders but the regimental officers. In the centra Cugia was driven back by the Austrians; but Govone held his ground bravely from three to five against the strong columns with which the Austrians attacked him, proving he was as good a soldier as a diplomatist.

Between five and six he was driven out of Custozza, and the whole Italian army was in full retreat, covered by Bixio’s division, which beat off more than one attack of the Austrian cavalry. Had the Archduke Albert marched in force upon Valeggio, he might have cut off some of the Italian divisions, or, at least, he would have converted the retreat into a rout; but the Austrians were wearied with their night march and with twelve hours’ fighting under a blazing sun.

The retreat of the Italians was, therefore, not seriously molested. They were soon huddled together along the Mincio, and though La Marmora had still more than a hundred thousand men under his orders, and thus doubly outnumbered the victors, and though, moreover, some of his divisions had not yet been engaged and were not only intact but fresh, such was the panic at the Italian headquarters, and so thoroughly had the blow received at Custozza disorganized and demoralized the army which it had taken six years to form, that the night was spent in crossing the Mincio, and, by an early hour on the 25th, except the wounded and the prisoners, there was not an Italian soldier on Austrian ground.

La Marmora’s campaign in Venetia had lasted just two days. At Custozza the soldiers had done well, except in Cerale’s unfortunate division; but many of the superior officers, and, above all, the headquarters staff, had betrayed the most hopeless inefficiency. Both sides had suffered severely. The Italians lost 720 killed, 3112 wounded, and 4315 prisoners or missing. Among the killed was General Cerale, and several of the generals were wounded. On the Austrian side 960 were killed and 3690 wounded. Nearly a thousand were carried prisoners into Lombardy, these were chiefly the jàgers captured by Pianelli’s division. But mere numbers do not represent the effect of the battle, for more of the Austrians than of the Italians had fallen; but while the Austrian army was practically intact, elated at its success and ready to follow its chiefs anywhere, the Italian army was so crushed by the blow it had received, that La Marmora, instead of halting oh the right bank of the Mincio, withdrew first behind the Chiese, and then behind the Oglio.

The Austrian cavalry crossed the Mincio and pushed forward to the Chiese, but the army remained in the Quadrilateral; for, with Cialdini at the head of 60,000 men at Bologna ready to invade Venetia, it would have been an imprudent course to throw into Lombardy the only army Austria possessed.

Nevertheless, there was fear and trembling at Florence; for the Italians felt that if the Archduke Albert followed up his advantage, the army would hardly be able to oppose any effectual barrier to him. Cialdini, in order to cover Florence, moved the mass of his army to the neighbourhood of Modena.

He had heard at one and the same moment that La Marmora had attacked and been defeated by the Austrians; and, at first, in his indignation that his chief had given him no opportunity of co-operating or even of availing himself of the march of the Austrians to the Mincio to cross the Po, he had been with difficulty persuaded not to throw up his command.

Although the Austrians did not invade either Lombardy or Emilia, they were preparing at Pola and Trieste a very serious blow against United Italy. The plan was to embark a few picked battalions, some officers, and a large convoy of arms for Calabria, and there rekindle the smouldering dame of rebellion in the name of King Francis II.

Such a stroke as this, after Custozza, might have brought down the fabric of Italian unity like a house of cards. To resist, and perhaps frustrate it, there was Persano’s fleet. It left Taranto, where it had assembled, and on the 25th it anchored in the harbour of Ancona, the Esploratore cruising outside.

Two days after, to the surprise of the Italians, who did not expect to find Tegethoff putting to sea, the Austrian fleet appeared outside the port, fired some shots at the Esploratore, reconnoitred the place, and set sail again before Persano had time to get up steam and come out; but the Italian admiral made no attempt at pursuit.

He was by no means confident in his officers and crews, and was complaining to the government that he had been placed in command of an inefficient fleet. So he lay under the guns of Ancona, completing the organization of his squadron, and, in fact, doing the work which should have been finished before the war began.

Austria’s enterprise against Calabria never went farther than being a mere project, for on the 3rd of July, nine days after Custozza, came the tremendous defeat of Sadowa, and immediately afterwards the Austrian Court determined not to hold Venetia any longer, but to cede it through France to Victor Emmanuel, and withdraw the Archduke Albert’s army from Italy, to assist in covering Vienna against the Prussian advance.

Austria hoped by this means to be able to make a separate peace with Italy; but the Italians were bound by the treaty with Prussia to continue the war until Austria made peace with both the allies. Nevertheless the Austrians gave up all thought of offensive operations against Italy.

Two corps were withdrawn from the army in Venetia to Vienna, but the garrisons were maintained, and a single corps d’armée of about 20,000 men was left in the eastern part of Venetia, with orders that if the Italians crossed the Po it was to retreat without fighting.

The war had entered upon the second phase, in which Austria was anxious as far as possible to have no conflict with the Italians, and having ceded Venétia to them, was ready to let them occupy it, but at the same time was firmly resolved that they should not penetrate into any other part of the empire, and as a guarantee for this held the Quadrilateral, which would be a dangerous stronghold in the rear of an invading Italian army.

On the frontier of the Tyrol, Garibaldi was easily kept at bay by a few Austrian battalions and the irregular rifle companies formed by the Tyrolese; he was defeated and wounded, on July 3rd, at Monte Suello. That day was the day of Sadowa. From it until the end of the war there was skirmishing along the frontier between the Garibaldians and the Tyrolese; on the whole the advantage was with the Austrians, and, instead of “marching to Munich,” Garibaldi did not succeed in marching even ten miles on Tyrolean ground.

The Italian staff decided that, as the war was to continue, Venetia should be again invaded, and, if possible, Custozza avenged. For this purpose the whole army was concentrated on the old line of the Emilian way, and the chief command was given to Cialdini, who was thus placed at the head of 150,000 men.

On the 8th and 9th of july he crossed the Po below the Quadrilateral, at Carbonarola, Sermide and Felonica, and advanced towards Rovigo and Padua. The weak corps of General Maroicic, which formed the only Austrian army in Venetia, withdrew without fighting, blowing up the works at Rovigo. On the 10th Nunziante besieged the minor fortress of Borgoforte, which the Austrians evacuated two days after, retiring to Mantua.

On the 14th Cialdini’s advance guard was in Padua. From Padua, on the 19th, the left was ordered to advance by the Brenta to attack Venice, an operation in which it was hoped Persano’s fleet would co-operate.

The left, under Medici, marched up the Val di Sugana, and pushed forward towards Trent, and on the 25th was almost in contact with General Kuhn’s forces covering the city, when the truce which preceded the formal armistice was concluded. Cialdini’s centre moved by Treviso and Udine to the Isonzo. Maroicic had crossed that river, and, as he had reached the boundary of Venetia, his resistance to Cialdini’s further advance was to commence there. On the 25th there was actually a sharp skirmish between his rear guard and Cialdini’s advanced troops at Palmanova.

All these operations were of no practical importance, as the Austrians, having ceded Venetia, were determined not to fight unless the Italians advanced over its borders. But while they were in progress, a great naval battle between the Austrian and Italian fleets had taken place off the islands of the Dalmatian coast.

When Cialdini crossed the Po to advance into Venetia, Persano was still inactive at Ancona. Great things had been expected from the fleet; it had done nothing, and throughout Italy there was a rising indignation against the admiral. Still his ironclads remained at anchor. It was not till the end of the second week in July, that he was goaded into activity by a sharp letter from General La Marmora, informing him that at a council held under the presidency of the king it had been decided that he should be superseded unless he did something.

In order “to do something” he decided, with the consent of his Government, to go to the coast of Dalmatia, and attack and take possession of the island of Lissa with its fortified harbour of San Giorgio; and at half-past three on the afternoon of July 16th the fleet put to sea.

Persano had with him twenty-seven ships, eleven of them ironclads. Several more were to follow him, including transports with a division of the army on board. The despatch-boat Messagiere steamed swiftly on in front of the fleet, and, displaying the English flag, reconnoitred the forts of Lissa. On the evening of the 17th she rejoined the fleet in the waters of Lissa, bringing Persano information to the effect that the forts of San Giorgio and those of the minor ports, Camisa and Manego, were in a state of defence, and held by between 2000 and 2500 men.

A council of war was held on board the flag-ship. Vice-Admiral Albini said that Lissa was the Gibraltar of the Adriatic, that an attack would be a very hazardous undertaking. Persano replied that he had definite orders to take the island. The council of war therefore confined itself to arranging the plan of attack. Vice-Admiral Albini, with four wooden frigates, was to silence the battery at Porto Manego, while Rear-Admiral Vacca with three ironclads attacked the batteries of Porto Camisa; at both places, if possible, marines were to be landed. Four gun-boats were to go to the adjacent island of Lesina, and destroy the telegraph station, by means of which Lissa communicated with Pola and Trieste.

The Esploratore was to cruise to the north-west, the Stella d’Italia to the south-west, in order to look out for the Austrian fleet, though this was regarded as an almost useless precaution, for it was supposed Tegethoff with his weak squadron would hardly venture to relieve Lissa. Persano himself, with eight ironclads and some of the wooden ships, was to attack San Giorgio.

At eleven on the morning of the 18th all the ships were in position, and the attack began. At Porto Manego Albini found that he was exposed to the plunging fire of a battery, placed so high upon the rocks that he could not elevate his guns sufficiently to reach it. For that cause he soon gave up the attack. Vacca, at Porto Camisa, effected just as little.

At San Giorgio Persano succeeded in silencing the outer batteries and blowing up two magazines; but the inner batteries of the port continued their fire, and the Italian ironclads failed in an attempt to enter the bay. At six o’clock Persano drew off, and again a council of war was assembled on board his flagship, the ironclad Re d’Italia.

The transports with the troops had not yet arrived from Ancona, but nevertheless Persano announced his intention of continuing the attack next day. Two of his captains objected that if even 1200 marines and sailors were landed, there would not be enough men left in the fleet to work the ships and guns. While the discussion was in progress, Commander Sandri, who had directed the gunboat attack on Lesina, came on board, and informed the council that he had occupied the telegraph station and cut it off from Lissa, but that while he was in possession he had received a telegraph message from Pola, sent by Admiral Tegethoff and intended for the Austrian commandant at Lissa.

The despatch contained the words:—”Hold out until the squadron can come to your aid.” Under these circumstances it was decided to lie off Lissa without attacking, and look out for the Austrian fleet. The deputy Boggio, the “Royal commissioner for the Italian provinces beyond the Adriatic,” who was present at the council, was much dissatisfied at this decision, as he believed that Lissa could still be taken by a coup de main before the Austrian fleet came up.

Early on the 19th the ram Affondatore, with 300-pounder Armstrong guns in her two turrets, and three wooden warships with 2200 soldiers on board, arrived from Ancona. Thus reinforced, and perhaps acting under Boggio’s influence, reasoning too that Tegethoff’s telegram might be a mere threat and intended to fall into his hands, and that in any case the Austrian fleet could not appear before evening, Persano suddenly ordered the renewal of the attack on Lissa.

Two ships were to occupy the attention of the garrison of Porto Camisa, the wooden ships under Albini were to land the troops at Carobeo near San Giorgio, while four ironclads entered the harbour and destroyed the inner batteries.

The attack failed. The ironclad Formidabile indeed entered the port of San Giorgio, but her fire and that of her consorts was ineffectual to silence the batteries, and they were forced to withdraw, the Formidabile, which alone had been closely engaged, having her armour intact, but her spars and rigging cut to pieces, her deck furrowed and in places penetrated by the enemy’s fire, and fifty-five of her crew hors de combat.

Albini with his frigate and his gunboats tried in vain to disembark the troops. A heavy surf was breaking on the shore, and the operation was abandoned after two hours of hopeless confusion, while an Austrian battalion watched from safe cover on the shore.

At daybreak on the 20th the squadron was further reinforced by the arrival of the Piemonte with a battalion of marines on board. The day was fine, with a fog over the sea to the north-westward, but the surf still beat on the shore. Nevertheless, Persano, a little after seven o’clock, signalled to Albini to try again to land the troops, adding to them the marines of the Piemonte, while the ironclads were to renew the attack upon San Giorgio.

His reason for giving these orders was that his coal was running short, and, unless Lissa were taken at once, he would have to go back to Ancona for a fresh supply, without having effected anything. To do that might cost him his command. At the same time he had persuaded himself that nothing was to be feared from Tegethoff’s fleet, and that as his outpost ship, the Esploratore, on the previous evening had not even seen a cloud of smoke or a sail on the horizon, the Austrian men-of-war must be still at anchor at Pola, and the telegram seized at Lesina a mere ruse de guerre to frighten him off.

At eight o’clock two of the ironclads were off Camisa, where they were to make a diversion. The Formidabile was putting her wounded on board the hospital ship; the rest of the ironclads were standing in towards San Giorgio.

Albini with the wooden ships and gunboats had every boat and launch in his squadron in the water full of soldiers and marines. In the midst of this state of things a despatch-boat was seen coming quickly out of the rainy mist that obscured the view to the north-west, signalling as she came that a fleet was in sight—which could be none other than Tegethoffs squadron coming to the rescue of Lissa.

Persano at once signalled to Albini to re-embark the troops, and to the whole fleet to concentrate and form line of battle in front of Lissa. Soon after the day began to get finer, and through a break in the mist he saw on the northern horizon the rising smoke of the enemy’s fleet.

The Austrian fleet steamed slowly towards Lissa, while the Italian men-of-war formed in line of battle to oppose them. It was not till near ten o’clock that the two fleets closed. Seldom was there so unequal a conflict. Mere numbers of ships and guns do not show the difference between the two fleets. Tegethoff had been placed in command of a squadron, in which only two ships—the Ferdinand-Max and the Hapsburg—were at all fitted by build, armour, or guns, to take part in a great engagement, and even these were individually inferior to many of the ships of Persano’s fleet the rest of the seven Austrian ironclads were small ships with thin armour and weak guns.

They were, it was true, to be supported by fourteen other vessels of war, but of these not one was armoured; seven of them were old wooden frigates, the largest of which was the Kaiser, a ship of ninety-two guns, carrying the flag of Commodore Petz; the other seven were small wooden vessels little above the gunboat class. There were also four wooden despatch vessels in attendance on the fleet. On board of all these wooden ships there was not a single gun that could possibly injure the armour of the Italian ironclads; in fact, most of the guns of the Austrian fleet were thirty-two and sixty-four pounders; even the ironclads did not carry guns of sufficient weight to be really effective. Such were the ships.

The crews were composed of men who for the most part had been only a few weeks on board. But one thing Tegethoff had—a staff of officers well trained and full of his own determination to peril everything in order to uphold the honour of Austria in the Adriatic.

He had said to his Government at the beginning of the war, “Give me the ships, such as they are, and I will make use of them and at Pota and Fasana, where the fleet was moored, he had worked day and night organizing, drilling, teaching, until his crews of Dalmatian fishermen, many of them still wearing their ragged jackets instead of a uniform, became bodies of disciplined naval gunners.

Above all, officers and men had been inspired with his own determined spirit, and he knew that they would follow him anywhere. In the Italian fleet every mechanical appliance was perfect, but this excellent discipline was wanting. So far as the ships went, compared to that of Austria, it was a spendid fleet— ten superb ironclads carrying heavy guns and massive armour, one of them alone, the Affondatore, a turreted ram, armed with 300-pounders, being theoretically a match for several of Tegethoff’s ironclads united. Besides these, to encounter the Austrian wooden ships, there were seven fine fifty-gun frigates (ships of the old Piedmontese and Neapolitan navies) as well as four corvettes and seven gunboats.

In numbers of ships, of guns and of men, in weight and power of guns and in thickness of armour, the Italian fleet was beyond all comparison superior to that of Austria; but the bold, enterprising genius of Tegethoff had no match in Persano, and the determined discipline of the Austrian crews was far above that of the sailors and marines who manned the long line of vessels that, hearing the tricolour of United Italy, lay off Lissa on the battle morning.

About ten o’clock the Austrian ships with their black hulls driving at full speed through the broken water closed with the grey lines of the Italian fleet. (6)

Tegethoff led in the Ferdinand-Max; in the second line Petz, in the old Kaiser, was leading the wooden ships. The Italian ironclads were formed in three columns, the centre column headed by the flagship Re d'Italia. At the last moment Persano had left her and go neon board of the Affondatore, but most of his captains were unaware of the change, and looked in vain to the Re d’Italia for signals so long as her masts could be seen, while they disregarded the signals made from the Affondatore.

Thus Persano’s leaving his flagship was a source of endless confusion. Indeed, the whole battle was confused from the moment it began. Tegethoff, conscious of his weakness in gun power and armour, and, knowing that a prolonged conflict of artillery must end in the destruction of his fleet, had told his captains that though none of their ships were regularly constructed rams, they should fight as if they were, and “ram away at everything they saw painted grey.”

This unexpected attack, instead of a battle between ships ranged broadside to broadside, completely deranged the by no means definite plan Persano had formed. The Austrians, opening fire as the lines met, fairly rushed in among the Italian ironclads.

The Austrian guns were well served, and, though their shot fell like pebbles from the massive sides of the Italian ships, the heavy clouds of smoke in which the combatants were soon wrapped, by adding to the confusion, embarrassed the Italian captains, and thus aided the Austrian captains who knew perfectly what was to be done, while their enemies were looking for signals that the smoke itself would have rendered unintelligible even had they known where their admiral was. In the midst of this dense smoke, Tegethoff, standing on the bridge of the Ferdinand-Max, suddenly saw dose ahead a huge grey ship, with the flashes of her heavy Armstrong guns blazing out from her long row of ports. Instantly the order to ram was given, and the Ferdinand-Max with engines at full speed, struck the enemy’s vessel fair on the side amidships. As rapidly as she had come the Austrian ship reversed her engines and drew back.

Peering through the smoke Tegethoff saw the masts of his enemy lean over and disappear, and then the tremendous rush of water and the floating spars and wreck told him that an Italian ironclad had gone to the bottom of the Adriatic. It was the flagship Re d'Italia. She had sunk in one minute, carrying with her 400 men into the depths of the sea. (7)

Fired by this first success, the brave Austrian admiral sought another foe, and soon found one in the Palestro. The Italian ship tried to avoid his terrible onset, but he pursued her, and, driving his bow full into the enemy’s stern, smashed to pieces her rudder and steering gear.

The Palestro, almost as helpless as a floating log, was then raked and set on fire by Austrian shells. By great efforts she was dragged out of the fight, with the dark smoke of conflagration issuing from her ports, all her guns silent, and her pumps working to deluge the magazine.

The other Italian ironclads were more fortunate, in so far that they for the most part avoided the Austrian bows, but in so doing they broke their line, and were driven hither and thither at the will of their enemy. Vacca, with the wooden ships of the Italian fleet, hung off at a distance, firing long shots that fell into the sea. Not so Petz with the Austrian wooden walls. He drove the wooden bow of the Kaiser more than once against the iron side of the Re di Portogallo, damaging the Italian ship severely, though he failed to sink her.

The terrible Affondatore came to the rescue of the Re. Twice she tried to ram the Kaiser, and twice Petz, watching the favourable moment, swung his ship round, and not only avoided her, but poured his broadside down upon her decks, piercing them in many places, shattering every boat and wooden fitting, cutting an anchor adrift from its davits, and shooting down the sailors who rushed up from a hatchway to secure it. After this Persano in the Affondatore made no further attempt to emulate the deeds of Tegethoff and Petz. But, surrounded as she was by three of the enemy’s ironclads, the Kaiser suffered severely.

The heavy shot of the Italian ship tore through her as if her sides were paper, and had not some of her consorts come to her assistance and extricated her, she would have been sunk or set on fire. As it was, she drew out of dose action with more than a hundred of her men lying in their blood beside her guns. But still her flag was flying, and still at long range her batteries kept up their fire.

This was the hottest part of the battle, but it was as brief as it was terrible. Though the last shot at Lissa was not fired till nearly four hours after the first, the actual dose fight lasted something less than an hour. Gradually the fleets separated. Tegethoff passing through the heart of the hostile line of battle and hearing up for Lissa, the point to which from the first his course had been directed.

It was a moment of proud triumph for him when he saw that the Imperial flag of Austria was still waving on the forts, and that his rescue had been as timely as it was glorious. Glancing back, he saw his fleet following in well-ordered lines, the rearward ships still hurling their shot at the scattered squadrons of Persano.

“Where is the Re d’Italia? ’’ signalled Vacca from his flagship in the wooden squadron. “Sunk!” was the brief reply from the nearest ship. Not knowing that Persano was on board the Affondatore Vacca supposed that he was gone down in the Rè, and by another signal ordered the whole fleet to concentrate and form in line. A similar signal from the Affondatore showed him that Persano was still commanding.

Close by the Affondatore the Palestro, enveloped in smoke, was slowly making her way to rearward of the now reforming line. Her captain thought he had successfully drowned the powder in his magazine, and was trying to extinguish the fire in his lower decks. His men, seeing Persano on board the ram, gave him a cheer. It had hardly ceased when with a fearful crash the Palestro blew up, her shattered fragments scattering far over the sea.

Persano, with two of his finest ships destroyed, reformed his line. Opposite him in long array lay Tegethoff’s fleet, now stationed a cross the opening of the channel between Lissa and Lesina, steam up, guns run out, men at their quarters, all ready to renew the fight in case of attack, but having no object to gain by renewing the attack, for Lissa was now safe.

The position was much the same as on the evening of Custozza. The victors were still inferior in force to the vanquished, so great had the disparity been at the outset Had Persano renewed the attack he could still have outmatched every ship in Tegethoff’s squadron; but after his fleet had lain for awhile drawn up in line of battle at a respectful distance, he signalled to steam for Ancona, and towards evening from the forts of Lissa no Italian sail was in sight. Tegethoff had won a complete victory where he believed he was going upon a desperate enterprise, one m which his best hope had been to sell his life dearly, and by his valour save the honour of Austria on the sea, even if his weak fleet were destroyed by superior force.

It was to avoid the disgrace of lying under the guns of Pola while Persano was at sea, that he had rushed to what all Europe believed was certain destruction, and he had won the glorious triumph his devoted heroism deserved. Nor had his victory cost him dear. On board the Kaiser, indeed, 105 men had fallen, but only 31 in all the other ships together.

The ships themselves were sound. Here and there a plate was scored or started, a timber pierced or a spar shot away; but the fleet was as fit for battle as it had been in the morning. In fact the Italians had, with all their heavy guns, fought so badly that the fleet they were to destroy had hardly suffered at all. The Italian loss was terrible—the Re d'Italia sunk and 400 drowned, the Palestro blown up and 230 killed by the explosion or drowned after it, 99 men hors de combat on board the other ships—in all a loss of 2 ironclads and more than 700 men, and with this a heavier loss in the blow dealt against the honour of the kingdom, which had in vain aspired to be a great power on the sea.

Lissa ranks, not with Custozza, but above it. It was the Novara of the seas. Far away in distant Mexico the news of the battle was borne to the hapless Maximilian at Queretaro. It was one of his last pleasures. “Well done, my old friend!” he exclaimed, as they told him of Tegethoff’s deeds of daring. It was Maximilian who, as an archduke and admiral of Austria, had formed, working in concert with Tegethoff, the fleet that conquered at Lissa; and, but for Napoleon’s transatlantic schemes of ambition, he would doubtless have stood by Tegethoff on the deck of the Ferdinand-Max and shared the glories of the day.

Arrived at Ancona, Persano was weak enough to announce that he had encountered the Austrians off Lissa, and that, though he had suffered severely in the battle, he had remained master of the waters in which it took place. The foundation of this story was, that Tegethoff had not a second time attacked him after the relief of Lissa.

For three days, at Florence and throughout Italy, there were rejoicings over the supposed victory. Then suddenly it became known that Lissa was not a victory but a defeat; and the blow was more terrible than it would have been had Persano had the manliness to say at once what had really occurred.

He was deprived of his command, tried for cowardice and incompetence, acquitted of the first charge, but for the second deprived of his rank and decorations, and dismissed from the service with dishonour. Thus closed the career of the agent of Cavour in the Two Sicilies, the treacherous promoter of the revolution of Naples, the bombarder of Ancona. There was more than poetic justice in the fact that from Ancona the fleet sailed for Lissa, to Ancona it came back defeated. (8)

Even in the harbour it was not secure; for a few days after the battle a slight breeze drove a heavy swell into the port, and the great ram Affondatore badly managed by her incompetent crew, sank at her anchors. Lissa and Custozza, the only great conflicts of the war of 1866 in Italy, had proved Austrian supremacy over the new kingdom by land and sea; and it was with but little satisfaction that Victor Emmanuel took possession of Venetia.

After a long armistice the Treaty of Peace was signed at Vienna on October 3rd. On the 9th Count Mensdorff gave up to Menabrea the Iron Crown of Italy—the old diadem of the Lombard kings; within a week the Quadrilateral and the forts of Venice were evacuated. Before the annexation was completed there was the formality of a plebiscite in Venetia. It was an utterly useless proceeding, the probable object of it being to give a kind of confirmation to the previous plebiscites of 1860, by showing that the principle was to be generally carried out. The votes were declared to be, for annexation 641,758, against 69. On the 7th of November, the king entered Venice in state —it could hardly be called in triumph. The troops that presented arms had seen Custozza. The ships that lay to seaward of the forts were those that had escaped from Lissa.


vai su


CHAPTER XXI

THE REVOLT OF PALERMO

A LOCAL, and unsuccessful insurrection is often of no more importance, and no more worthy of detailed record, than a Street riot; but there are times when such an outbreak throws a broad light upon the condition of the country in which it takes place. Such is the case with the revolt of Palermo in the autumn of 1866.

Under the rule of the Bourbons Sicily had enjoyed exceptional privileges. There was light taxation, and no conscription. Life and property were safe, (1) and the island was prosperous. Nevertheless the Sicilians, and especially the people of Palermo, were discontented. They were continually declaring either for the Spanish Constitution of 1812 and a Parliament, or for the independence of Sicily. In every movement Palermo with its fiery turbulent populace—the people of the Sicilian Vespers— took the lead. (2)( )

Undoubtedly they had grievances to complain of. The governors of Sicily, and their agents, were at times too fond of showing the main de fer without the gant de velours. But the material advantages which they enjoyed were a very tangible compensation, and these advantages they lost by the change of government in 1860, while the government became sterner, less forbearing, and at the same time by no means so efficient in protecting life and property.

The Garibaldian dictature of 1860 threw everything into confusion, If it liberated political prisoners, it also set free a host of bravoes, highwaymen and cut-throats. It broke up the efficient civil administration and police of the Bourbons, and substituted for it a loose organization of inefficient place-hunters. And even these men were not given a fair field for their exertions. They were continually and aimlessly changed and superseded. (3) In Sicily, as everywhere else, no attention was paid to local needs or local peculiarities.

One hard-and-fast mould was pressed down upon a by no means pliant population, (4) and those who complained too loudly were imprisoned. Such a System could only result in general discontent and disorganization, especially when a wide-sweeping conscription, heavy taxes, forced loans, and depreciated paper currency were working out the material ruin of thousands.

Six years of misrule had already effectually disorganized Sicily, when in the summer of 1866 the policy of the government at Florence supplied fresh causes of discontent, increased the misery and disorder, and at last brought matters to a crisis. Around Palermo the country swarmed with brigands. A walk or a drive beyond the walls was a dangerous enterprise.

Assassinations were frequent; and wealthy men were carried off and held to ransom. The brigands were not isolated individuals or small bands; a great, secret organization rendered their operations at once profitable and secure. A System of terror and secrecy had grown up in the island, eye-witnesses refused to give evidence of deeds of violence, even the dying victim of assassination refused to name or describe his murderer.

The law was powerless. Hundreds of refractory conscripts fled to the hills, and joined the brigand bands; the declaration of war against Austria further reinforced them, for many a Sicilian, when called out for military service, preferred to take to the hills. Sicily, and especially the neighbourhood of Palermo, was in a state of anarchy, which it was difficult to distinguish from civil war. (5)

At the same time, while the danger increased, the means of resisting it were reduced to a minimum. The army of Italy, though strong upon paper, was weak in fact; and to make up the armies that fought at Custozza and marched into Venetia under Cialdini, the country was denuded of troops.

In the province of Palermo only a handful of raw recruits were left. Nor were there wanting special causes of discontent. The summer was a dry one, the crops poor and bread dear. On the issue of an inconvertible paper currency, the contractors found themselves unable to carry on the railway works in Sicily, and five thousand men were at once deprived of employment.

The sweeping destruction of what remained of the religious orders, decreed by the Central Government, caused widespread discontent. They were part of the social System of Italy and Sicily; and, even from the material point of view, they could not be destroyed without vast loss and suffering.

The prefect of Palermo, Signor Torelli, in his report published in the earlier part of September, 1866, stated that the number of persons in Palermo alone, who would suffer partial or total loss of subsistence by the abolition, was 5000; and the aggregate annual pay of the servants and other dependents of the nunneries in the city, which would so cease, he estimated at upwards of 13,000l. sterling (327,475 lire).

Thus even those who could not be called Catholics, and who cared nothing for the religious orders as such, yet looked with rcgret upon their destruction, seeing in them almoners and employers of labour. (6)

In the midst of all this discontent, anarchy and danger —a danger increased twofold now that an unsuccessful war had demonstrated the weakness of United Italy—the Government at Florence shut its eyes to every unpleasant fact, and its ears to all unwelcome news. Organs in the press throughout Italy wrote in the most optimist spirit.

At Palermo the local government followed the example of Ricasoli and his colleagues in the capital. Up to the very day of the outbreak they acted as if public order was secure, and though the gendarmerie were everywhere skirmishing with brigands and outlaws, and there were rumours of a coming insurrection of the partisans of the Republic or of those of King Francis, they took not the slightest precaution. Palermo with its 200,000 inhabitants had a garrison of only 2000 men, and these mostly young soldiers, for all the best regiments were still in Northern Italy.

There were about 1000 more in the neighbouring district. Instead of asking for help in time, the authorities seemed to think they could not possibly need reinforcements. On the 8th of September handbills were circulated, announcing the immediate proclamation of the Republic. The announcement was ridiculed. Four days after General Camozzi, who commanded the National Guard which had ten thousand citizens on its muster rolls, proposed to the prefect Torelli that it should be called out and partly embodied, so as to bc ready for eventualities. But Torelli refused to believe that there was any real danger.

On Saturday, the 13th, there was an uneasy feeling in Palermo. There were reports of an imminent attempt at revolution. Most people, remembering former rumours of the kind, did not attach any importance to the warning; and the cairn inactivity of the authorities, who it was supposed must be well informed, reassured many even of those who were inclined to believe that the reports had some foundation. Some, however, took the precaution of laying in a store of provisions for use should the shops bc shut and the markets empty during the next few days. These last had cause to congratulate themselves on their prudence.

In order to understand the events which follow, one must know something of the topography of Palermo. I have already given a slight description of it when narrating the revolution of 1860. It is best to repeat those particulars here and add some others. Palermo is a walled city, almost square, and divided into four parts by two broad streets—the Toledo and the Via Maqueda, which intersect in the very centra of the city, where there is a large open space, the Piazza dei Quattro Cantoni.

The Toledo is about a mile and a half long: the Maqueda about a mile. Near the seaward end of the Toledo are the Mint and the Palace of the Finanze, containing the bank and the treasury. At the north-west corner of the town is the citadel, which contained a great store of arms and ammunition.

From the citadel, the suburb of the Borgo led to the gaol, which in September, 1866, held 2500 prisoners. Near the Quattro Cantoni are the Town Hall, Post Office, and University, and at the landward end of the Toledo stand the Royal Palace, looking out on a great square, the Cathedral, and the Archbishop’s Palace.

It would be necessary, in case of insurrection, to hold the Town Hall and the Quattro Cantoni, on which all easy communication from one part of the place to another depended; the Palace; the Finanze, which contained upwards of a million sterling in coin; the Citadel, and the gaol, most of the inmates of which would afford a formidable reinforcement to an insurrection.

O-CLERY-mappa-PALERMO

Those who were awake in Palermo about one o’clock in the night preceding the morning of Sunday, September 16th, heard sharp firing in the direction of Monreale, to the west of the city. Later in the night shots were heard near the suburb of Porazzi. But these were not very unusual sounds in the disturbed state of the country, and no one paid much attention to them.

A little before daylight bands, amounting in the aggregate to about 400 men, overpowered the weak posts of gendarmes at the Maqueda and Carina gates, and penetrated into the town. The insurgents were well armed; they displayed the red flag of the Republic, and several of them wore red caps and scarves.

They were at once joined by other bands formed in the town. In small parties they attacked the various posts of gendarmes and police between the Via Maqueda and the Carina gate, rapidly got complete possession of that quarter of the city, and occupied in force the massive buildings of four large monasteries, which, standing not far from each other, gave them as their basis of operations a fortress of no contemptible strength.

The irregular discharge of rifle shots here and there in the streets, about daybreak, roused those citizens who were not in the plot, and who had, not like many within the walls, been eagerly expecting the sound through the last two or three hours of darkness.

The prefect Torelli at the Town Hall was roused by news of the insurrection, brought him by gendarmes who had been driven from the gates and hunted down the Maqueda. General Camozzi, of the National Guard, and the Marquis Rudini, the syndic of the city, now Prime Minister of Italy, soon joined him at the Town Hall. There was a post of the National Guard dose by, and Camozzi ordered the drums to beat to arms in the Street.

Very few of the brave guardsmen answered the summons, but those that did come, together with some of Rudini and Torelli’s friends, and a handful of armed police, were formed by Camozzi into an irregular garrison for the Town Hall and Post Office, and pickets were placed in the adjoining Piazza of the Quattro Cantoni where Rudini’s house was situated.

While this little force was being got together, the insurgents were spreading through the city, overpowering here and there detached parties and pickets of carabineers and police, and arming themselves with their weapons.

They attacked and got possession of the Post Office, and then made an attempt on the Town Hall, but they were driven back by the sharp lire of the defenders. Torelli then got down from the Palace half a company of soldiers, and with these and a few of the National Guard patrolled the streets, the rebels retiring towards their stronghold whenever they met him.

He tried to get some of the National Guardsmen to rally to his column, but not one answered his summons. Encouraged however by his unresisted progress through the streets, he resolved upon a demonstration against the quarter held by the rebels. He marched up the Maqueda, and approached the monastery of the Madonna degli Stigmati, a building ninety feet high, with its roof surrounded by a latticed gallery, from which the rebel sharpshooters opened a well-sustained lire on the troops.

They stopped, and began to retire down the Maqueda; he came back to the Town Hall defeated and discouraged. He gave up all hope of getting the National Guard together— not a few of them were with the rebels. (7) This was the only vigorous act of the authorities on that Sunday, when, had they properly used the forces at their command, they might perhaps have nipped the rebellion in the bud. Torelli and his friends showed their incapacity for command by deciding to make the Royal Palace their headquarters, instead of the important point of the Quattro Cantoni in the very centre of the city.

At the Cantoni they had posted General Camozzi with his small force of gendarmes and National Guards. These exchanged all day a desultory fire with the rebels, who kept at a safe distance up the Maqueda, without attempting another attack.

In other parts of the city their bands ranged hither and thither, collecting arms and recruits, and occasionally skirmishing with the troops and gendarmes. The streets were deserted by all but the combatants, for most of the people kept indoors, listening to the shots, and the continual pealing of the tocsin from the monasteries and church towers held by the insurgents.

During the night the rebels increased in numbers, and the firing became heavier and better sustained. Early on Monday morning they began a series of persistent attacks on the gaol at the end of the Borgo. Their great object was to release Badia, a popular leader, who had attempted to get up a similar insurrection the year before, but had failed and been kept in prison ever since.

They also surrounded the military school in the Sta. Oliva suburb near the Maqueda gate. As there were no provisions in the institution, the commandant was forced to surrender to the insurgents. He, with his teaching staff and the 130 young men and boys belonging to the school were, without suffering any ill-treatment, marched to the monastery of Santo Spirito, where they were imprisoned but allowed to communicate with their friends.

The rebels plundered the building from top to bottom, and found numbers of rifles. Later in the day they cut to pieces two companies of regular troops, which tried hard to come in through the suburbs from Partinico. They seized the barracks of the firemen, occupied the Quattro Cantoni, sacked and burned down the house of the Syndic Rudini, and, closing in upon the Town Hall, dug out and cut the pipes that supplied it with water, so as to reduce the little garrison to the last extremity. The citadel, too, was surrounded on the land side, and provisions were running out, so that a surrender was imminent.

Early on Monday morning 400 men had arrived by sea from Messina, and had marched up the Toledo, to strengthen the garrison of the Palace. In the night the Palace was further reinforced by General Camozzi with his motley troop of soldiers, police and armed civilians, who had taken advantage of a lull in the attack to evacuate the now untenable Town Hall.

The rebels poured into and sacked the deserted building, some of them tearing to pieces a largo portrait of Garibaldi which adorned it. They had risen for him in 1860, just as they now rose against his work. Soon after the plundering and destruction was stopped, and the Republican Committee, which directed the rising, transferred its sittings from one of the monasteries to the Town Hall.

Early on Tuesday the Tancredi war-steamer arrived in the port, and saved the citadel from surrender, by supplying the garrison with provisions, and at the same time she threw some shells into the quarter near the Maqueda gate, where the rebels had their chief stronghold.

Attempts were made to establish communication between the Palace and the port, but they all failed. Fifty men sent down from the Palace fell into the hands of the rebels; and a column of 200 infantry, which tried to march up from the port through the suburbs, was fiercely attacked near the convent of San Francesco di Paola, and driven back with loss.

During the night, between Tuesday and Wednesday, further reinforcements arrived in a squadron of wooden frigates commanded by Admiral Ribotty in his flagship the ironclad Re di Portogallo. About noon a force consisting of the 24th bersaglieri, with 1000 marines and sailors and six light guns, was landed in the port, and began to advance through the suburbs.

As they approached the open space before the convent of San Francesco, they were met by the fire of thousands of rebels. For half an hour they tried to advance, but they lost fifty killed and wounded, and, finding it impossible to force the strong position held by the enemy, they withdrew to the port.

For the rest of the day Ribotty (who had orders to bombard the town if the majority of the population should prove to be on the rebel side) threw shells into the streets and houses. It was the fashion in England to call Ferdinand II “Bomba,” because his quarrel with Lord Palmerston had made him unpopular; but as Victor Emmanuel was a favourite of the English newspapers, he was able to bombard Ancona, Gaeta, Palermo, and, later on, the Trastevere at Rome, without being called anything but the Re Galantuomo.

The success of the insurgents brought large numbers to their standard. By Thursday morning they had about 18,000 men on their side, and had barricaded the whole city. But the chiefs saw that now that reinforcements were arriving to suppress the insurrection, their chance of success was a small one, especially as there was no general rising in Sicily, and only a few villages and small towns in the province of Palermo had answered their call to arms.

On the Wednesday afternoon they had sent a deputation to the French Consul, asking him to intervene and obtain terms for them, so as to save the city from sack on the one side, and bombardment on the other; and on these grounds, after some hesitation, he agreed to act as a mediator. They did not, however, try to make use of his good offices until the Friday night

On Thursday the fleet continued the desultory shelling of the town, and sent a party to relieve the garrison of the Finanze, who were running short of provisions and had been obliged to dig a well in the courtyard to obtain water. But for the timely aid given by Ribotty, the rebels that night would have been in possession of the bank and 1,300,000/. sterling.

On Friday morning there were more transports in the harbour. General Angioletti had arrived to take the chief command, bringing with him strong reinforcements. He resolved first of all to succour the garrison of the Palace, which had been for some days cut off from all communication with the port, and had been obliged to slaughter horses in order to obtain food.

The relieving force consisted of three battalions of infantry and a regiment of bersaglieri (the 31st), commanded by the ex-Garibaldian, General Masi. In order to avoid the strong position of the rebels between San Francesco di Paola and the Maqueda gate, the scene of their victory two days before, Masi, starting at 6 a.m., made a circuit of about four miles to the northward of the city. But the rebels even there swarmed round him.

He had to fight his way inch by inch for five hours, and it was not till 11 o’clock that he reached the Porta Nuova and communicated with the garrison of the Palace. He had left strong detachments to hold the ground he had won, and under their protection a convoy of provisions was brought up. Masi’s march would probably have been a failure had not Angioletti prevented the insurgents from using their best men against him by himself attacking the convent of San Francesco soon after Masi began his advance.

By noon he succeeded in storming the building, the chief rebel stronghold in the suburbs. At the same time the 24th bersaglieri attacked the Porta Maqueda, and Major Brunetta succeeded in penetrating into the town with sixty men, and, taking advantage of a panic among the insurgents, rushed down the Maqueda and along the Toledo, passing all the barricades and reaching the Palace about i o’clock, just two hours after Masi.

He had no sooner passed than the rebels regained their self-possession, and reoccupied the barricades. In the evening General Masi, with two companies of bersaglieri, made a sortie from the Palace, swept the Toledo, took the barricades that defended the Quattro Cantoni, and recaptured the Town Hall.

He did not however consider it safe to spend the night there, and withdrew to the Palace. That he had in his sortie dono so much with so little difficulty, showed that the resistance of the insurgents was coming to an end.

Soon after midnight they sent an envoy to the Palace with a letter of the French Consul, and in consequence the generate summoned the consul to the Palace, where he arrived about i a.m.; but the interview led to nothing, as the troops had now the upper hand and their officers would not bear of treating with the Republican leaders.

In the night most of the insurgents got rid of their arms and left the barricades, and on Saturday morning all resistance was really at an end. The troops took possession of the town, here and there dispersing some band which held out to the last. Large numbers of arrests were made, and there were some executions by court-martial.

There was no outcry against these proceedings, for the press in England was on the side of United Italy, and so the victims were not made into martyrs. General Raffaele Cadorna arrived immediately after the end of the revolt, with full powers as Commanderin-Chief in Sicily, and Royal Commissioner.

He instituted an inquiry into the circumstances of the revolt, and published a report in which he endeavoured to throw the blame of it upon the Sicilian clergy.

The Quarterly Reviewer, from whom we have already largely quoted, writes in a spirit hostile to the monks, but even he refuses to accept Cadorna’s alleged proofs of their complicity. “We cannot,” he says, “consider as such General Cadorna’s repeated insistence that the convents were the chief fortresses of the insurrection, since the motive for so occupying the largest, strongest, and most commanding buildings in the city, is self-evident. But we must give a few examples of his other statements. He says, (8) that 'the White Benedictines on the morning of the 21st were seen from the Palace firing on the troops.’

Torelli, the prefect, who was in the Palace at the time, only ventures to say that ‘from the observatory (on the top of the Palace) a very clear view could be had even at great distances, and from thence was seen in a houseful of insurgents a White Benedictine in the midst of them, and egging them on.’

Cadorna declares that the monks of San Antonio cast a dying man, a mortally wounded carabineer, upon a blazing pile. The Amico del Popolo, one of the democratic journals most hostile to the monks, states, in a full narrative of the case, that it was a body which had been lying dead for two days at their door, and which was becoming desperately offensive, that the monks burned, after the squadre (rebels) had prevented their burying it.

General Cadorna says again, ‘The nuns of Santa Maria Nuova, opposite the Archbishop’s Palace, came out, accompanied by hordes of ruffians, and were escorted to San Vito safe and sound. Probably; and we know also that ‘the pupils of the Military Institute, with their officers, came out, accompanied by hordes of ruffians, and were escorted to Spirito Santo safe and sound. Were they also in league with the squadre therefore?’’

Twenty-five thousand troops were poured into the province of Palermo. Thousands were arrested on suspicion, and nevertheless brigandage continued; and on Sunday, October 27th, and again on Sunday, November 4th, there were rumours of a fresh revolt.

The insurrection of September probably had been plotted neither by Republicans nor Reactionists exclusively. It simply took the Republican form, because Republicans were in the majority. It was the natural result of misgovernment, broken promises, over-taxation, maladministration, and destruction of institutions of practical value to the people. It revealed at once the internal anarchy of the Italian provinces and the weakness of the central Government.

The misgovernment, which produced it, still exists. To this day brigandage and anarchy are rife in Sicily, and again and again the condition of the province has been the subject of fruitless debates in the Italian Parliament.


vai su


CHAPTER XXII

THE CAMPAIGN OF MENTANA

The cession of Venice to Italy completed another stage in the progress towards unity. Rome was to be the next. In accordance with the September Convention the French occupation was to cease by the end of 1866; and the Liberal press of Europe confidently predicted that the Pope’s power at Rome would not for a single year survive the withdrawal of his allies.

On the 12th of December Rome was evacuated by the French troops. Pius IX., in bidding farewell to their officers, bade them say in France that the “vieux Pape” was still “sans peur” And he showed his fearlessness by summoning on December 8th (while the evacuation was actually taking place) the bishops of the Catholic world to assemble at Rome in the next summer, to celebrate with him the eighteenth centenary of the martyrdom of Saint Peter.

The soldiers of the Imperial army were gone, but in their place Rome was guarded by more faithful swords. In the six years which had passed since Castelfidardo, Mgr. de Mérode, and (after he had resigned the Ministry of War) General Kanzler, had formed an army which, small as it was in numbers, was well-equipped and officered, and full of that devoted courage which more than doubled its strength in the day of battle.

Two thirds of the army were native Italian troops, and in their ranks were found many men of Umbria and the Marches, Romagnols, Tuscans, and Neapolitans. In fact, all Italy had representatives in this part of the Papal army. The remaining third of the army was composed of the Zouaves, in whose ranks were men of every race in Europe— French, Irish, Dutch, Belgians, English, Spaniards, Poles, Austrians, Germans, Hungarians, Swedes, and Russians. Others came across the Atlantic to share in the defence of the Holy See; and even Asia and Africa sent a few volunteers. (1)

Such was the Papal army. Its object was to protect the Holy See from a Garibaldian attack, for it was never intended to raise such an army as could protect Rome against the Royal army of Victor Emmanuel. To equip such a force would have ten times exhausted the resources of the Papal treasury. For defence against an armed attack by Italy the Holy See could only rely upon the Catholic powers holding Victor Emmanuel to the observance of the September Convention, and after the treachery of 1860 there was poor hope even in this.

From his subjects Pius IX. had nothing to fear; what he had to dread was the repetition of Cavour’s policy, the plot organized from without, the insurrection of paid agents, and then Italian intervention. This was precisely what the Government at Florence attempted within a year of the French evacuation of Rome. The Cabinet of Ricasoli had been merely formed to conduct affairs during the war.

After the dose of the war Ricasoli issued a circular to the prefects, recommending that Italy should devote her attention to commercial and industrial progress, that all agitation should be avoided, and that on the Roman Question especially perfect neutrality should be observed. This, it must be noted, was before the French had withdrawn.

They were no sooner gone than the Roman committee was reorganized—a Piedmontese organization, like those which had done Cavour’s work in 1860. There is no doubt it was in dose relation with the Cabinet of Florence. But Ricasoli was not the man to push matters to extremities, and early in April his ministry resigned on a question of internal policy, and a Cabinet with Urbano Rattazzi at its head took its place.

The summer saw nearly 500 bishops, 20,000 priests, and ioo.ooo pilgrims crowding to Rome to celebrate the centenary of Saint Peter; and heard the proclamation of a general council, which was to assemble in Rome in December, 1869. Such was the confidence of Pius IX. in the future, at the very moment when Garibaldi was promising his followers an early campaign in which they would “drive the Papal mercenaries from Rome with the butt-ends of their guns,” and Rattazzi in his Cabinet was preparing the way for the invasion.

Only a few weeks after the cholera-stricken town of Albano saw these same mercenaries volunteering to nurse the sick, whom all else had deserted, and to bury the dead. (2) A few weeks more and Garibaldi was striving to make good his boast.

Rattazzi first made an attempt to show that the Convention of September had been already violated by the French Government the French Minister of War had given permission to a certain number of officers and soldiers of the Imperial army to transfer themselves to the Papal army, and a regiment was formed at Rome of these volunteers, and received the name of Legion d'Antìbes. In July, 1867, on account of some desertions from the legion and rumours that it had been tampered with by the Revolutionary Roman committee, General Dumont was sent to Rome by the French War Office to inquire into the condition of the regiment.

This was a perfectly justifiable proceeding, as, although the men now belonged to the Papal army, they had originally come from the Imperial army as volunteers, and the honour of the French army was in some degree involved in their good conduct. But Rattazzi, hoping thus to put the French Government in the wrong, and find a pretext for the flagrant violation of the Convention which he himself was then planning, protested against Dumont’s mission as a violation of the September Convention.

In 1862, under French pressure, he had stopped Garibaldi in his attempt to organize an expedition and march upon Rome. He was now to send the red-shirted condottiere into the Papal territory, as the leader of what was really the vanguard of an Italian invasion. To have marched the Royal army openly into the patrimony of Saint Peter would have been tantamount to a declaration of war against France.

Rattazzi and his colleagues had therefore determined to carry on an underhand war against Pius IX., with Garibaldi as their tool, as Cavour had done against Francis II. in 1860. When Garibaldi had cleared the way and furnished the pretext for an invasion, the Italian army would march upon Rome “to restore order and protect the Sovereign Pontiff.”

In the summer Revolutionary committees were openly formed with the connivance of the Government throughout the peninsula, from Genoa to Calabria; volunteers were enrolled and arms were collected, with hardly a pretence of concealment. In September the preparations were complete for the invasion. Terni was made the headquarters of the movement. Arms, money, and munitions were contributed by the State.

Free passes on the railways were given to the volunteers. Later on the troops on the frontier received liberal furloughs to enable them to join the Garibaldian ranks. In January, 1868, a long-series of telegrams, dated September and October, 1867, were published at Florence by the Menabrea Cabinet in the official report on the acts of Rattazzi’s ministry. These telegrams (3) prove incontestably the complicity of the Italian Government in the movement of 1867, a complicity which at the time it denied, as indignantly as Cavour had denied his part in the Garibaldian invasion of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies until the time came to throw off the mask.

On September 21st, 1867, the Rattazzi Cabinet published a declaration condemning the proposed movement, in order to conceal their share in it. “The ministry,” they said, “has carefully watched up to the present the great agitation, which, under the glorious name of Rome, is trying to force the country to violate international stipulations consecrated by the vote of Parliament and the honour of the nation. The ministry regretted the injury which such agitation would do to the honour of the State, the public credit, and those financial operations on which depend the well-being and fortune of the country. Up to the present the ministry have respected the rights of all citizens; but now that, contrary to those rights, certain persons would proceed to threats, the Ministry feel it their duty to preserve inviolate the public confidence and the sovereignty of the law. The Government will remain faithful to and thoroughly carry out the declarations laid before and accepted by Parliament. In a free State no citizen can rise above the law, or substitute himself in the place of the high powers of the nation, and thus disturb by violent means the organization of the country, and lead her into the gravest complications. The ministry has confidence in the wisdom and love of country of the Italians; but if anyone should fail in loyalty towards those national stipulations, and should attempt to violate that frontier for which we have passed our word, the ministry will not permit such an act in any way, and will place on those persons contravening this order the responsibility of whatever acts they may provoke.”

At the very time when this declaration was published, Signor Crispi was acting as the intermediary between Garibaldi and the Government. It had been arranged that the general and his sons, Menotti and Riciotti Garibaldi, should invade the Pontifical territory from the northward with their base at Terni; while Nicotera, another Garibaldian general, a member of the Italian Parliament, and since then a minister of the Crown, should enter the provinces of Frosinone and Velletri with another column, having its base in the old Neapolitan territory. Rome was thus to be attacked both from the north and from the south; and the revolutionary leaders hoped to be able, moreover, to organize an insurrection within the walls.

Garibaldi was to have entered the Papal territory on the 23rd of September. The day before, through the indiscretion of a member of one of the Garibaldian committees, one of the French consuls in Italy was informed of the fact, and telegraphed the news to the Tuileries.

The result was a peremptory despatch from Paris to Florence, bidding the Italian Government to arrest Garibaldi. He was stopped at Sinalunga, near Arezzo, on his way to Terni, and conveyed to the fortress of Alessandria. He was not kept long there, however, for in a few days, without being asked to give any parole, he was taken back to his island of Caprera, and set at liberty. Some Italian cruisers kept up the fiction of a blockade round the island. Had the Government really wished to keep Garibaldi out of the Papal territory, he would not have been allowed to leave the fortress of Alessandria.

The Radicate had been talking of Aspromonte, and shouting out “Death to Rattazzi!” in the streets of Florence. Had they known what Crispi and his friends were doing with Rattazzi, they would have been quiet enough. On September 27th, four days after Garibaldi’s arrest, the secretary of the Minister of the Interior telegraphed to the Prefect of Ancona:—”The Minister understands that General Garibaldi is preparing a movement in the Pontifical States. In any case you will keep an eye on his actions, and in the meantime will place 6000 lire at his disposal, (4) which will be immediately repaid to you.” Next day he telegraphed again, ordering the payment of the 6000 lire to the Garibaldians. These two telegrams, scent after the arrest of Garibaldi, are enough to prove the arrest was a mere pretence, and to reveal the action of the Government and the character of the movement. The arrest of Garibaldi only delayed the invasion for a few days. It was on the 28th of September that the first band of Garibaldians crossed the Pontifical frontier. At that date the Pontifical army numbered about 13,000 (5). It was organized in two divisions, one commanded by General de Courten, who had been with La Moricière at Ancona in 1860: the other commanded by General Zappi, who had distinguished himself by his brief but brilliant defence of Pesaro against the Piedmontese in the same year. Two-thirds of the army were composed of native troops; only the remaining third consisting of the foreign volunteers, who filled the ranks of the Zouaves, the Legion, and the Carabineers. Zappi’s division garrisoned Rome. That of De Courten was charged with the defence of the provinces, which were divided into four military zones.

1. In the province of Viterbo there were two companies of gendarmes, the second battalion of the line, two companies of Zouaves, a section of artillery, and some dragoons. The zone was commanded by Colonel Azzanesi.

2. In the province of Civita Vecchia there were a company of gendarmes, a company of garrison troops, a company of squadriglieri, four companies of the Legion, and a battery of artillery. The zone was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Serra.

3. In the zone of Tivoli there were one company of gendarmes, four of Zouaves, three of the Legion, one of squadriglieri, some dragoons, and a section of artillery. Lieutenant-Colonel Charette was in command.

4. In the provinces of Velletri and Frosinone there were three companies of gendarmes, the battalion of native Chasseurs, the battalion of auxiliary troops, two companies of garrison troops, a section of artillery, some dragoons, and the rest of the squadriglieri. Almost to a man the troops of this zone were natives of the Papal States. They were commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Giorgi.

General Zappi’s division, which garrisoned Rome, consisted of—

3 batteries of artillery.

5 companies of gendarmes.

6 „ „ Zouaves.

3 „ „ the Legion.

3 „ „ garrison troops.

The 1st battalion of the line.

The battalion of the Carabinieri.

The recruits in the depóts and a few dragoons.

On the 28th of September the first band of invaders crossed the frontier. At Grotte di San Stefano, in the eastern portion of the province of Viterbo, they surprised a post of gendarmes. They marched through the neighbouring villages, and on the 1st of October, while on their way to Ronciglione, they were attacked by a company of the line

On the following day a second band of Garibaldians, 300 strong, took Acquapendente, which was garrisoned by 27 gendarmes, who were made prisoners after they had defended their barrack for three hours. The band left the city immediately. On October 2nd, at Montefiascone, it was attacked and dispersed by Colonel Azzanesi, who had marched from Viterbo with a strong column as soon as he received news of the invasion.

On October 1st a third band was attacked and dispersed at Canino by Lieutenant Jacquemont with a company of Zouaves. A fourth band was dispersed at Monte Landro by the Zouaves under Le Gonidec, on the 3rd.

Another was broken up by a company of the line near Bolsena, and a sixth was attacked and defeated by a handful of Zouaves at Ischia. Nowhere did the country people give the least assistance to the invaders; and the Zouaves, as they drove them from the villages they had occupied, were everywhere hailed as deliverers.

The first serious engagement took place at Bagnorea, a town of about 3000 inhabitants, on the road between Viterbo and Orvieto. On the 1st of October a Garibaldian band occupied the town, tore down and burned the Papal arms, profaned the churches and seized the communal funds.

They were joined by portions of the bands that had been beaten at San Lorenzo and Monte Landro, and their numbers were soon about 500. On the 3rd Azzanesi approached the place, and sent forward a reconnaissance commanded by Captain Gentili of the line, and composed of 40 soldiers of the line, 20 Zouaves under Lieutenant Guérin, and four gendarmes. Gentili exceeded his orders, and made a rash attack upon the town; he was defeated, leaving 24 prisoners in the hands of the enemy. Guérin’s Zouaves covered the retreat.

Azzanesi strengthened his little column with a few more companies of the troops of his district, and prepared to make a serious attack upon the Garibaldian position. At eleven in the morning of the 5th the fighting began. Three companies of the Zouaves, under Le Gonidec, stormed with the bayonet the convent of San Francesco, while four companies of the line carried the barricades in front of the town.

The gate of Bagnorea was then blown in with a few cannon shots; but by this time the Garibaldians had cleared out of the place, leaving 45 killed, 41 wounded, and no prisoners in the hands of the Papalini.

Five of the Zouaves were wounded. One of them, Nicolas Heykamp, of Amsterdam, shot in the chest, died two days after in the hospital of Bagnorea. He was the first of the Zouaves who fell in the campaign of 1867.

On the 8th Colonel Charette, with a column of Zouaves and gendarmes, marched upon Monte Libretti and Nerola, it having been reported that both these towns were in the hands of Menotti Garibaldi. He found them evacuated, and was received by the people with cries of “Viva Pio Nono!” From the high ground on which Nerola stands he could see the Garibaldians encamped in the plain and on the slopes of the Monte Carpignano, the summit of which formed the boundary between the Pontifical and Italian territories.

Next day he marched against them; but, as he approached, they retired across the frontier. The Zouaves, halting on their own territory, could see the Garibaldians standing drawn up in line, just beyond rifle range, but safe on Italian soil.

A little further off two companies of Italian troops, nominally placed there to guard the Pontifical frontier, quietly looked on, probably waiting to help the Garibaldians in case Menotti was able to provoke Charette into attacking him, and so violating Italian territory. It was a trying position for the fiery leader of the Zouaves. He remained on the frontier until evening, observing Menotti’s movements, and then fell back to Monte Maggiore.

On the 10(th) (6) a detachment of Zouaves defeated a Garibaldian band in a sharp skirmish at Subiaco. The 13th was marked by the action of Monte Libretti—the most brilliant exploit of the Zouaves during the campaign. In the night between the 12th and the 13th, Colonel Charette received information from the peasants that the Garibaldians were marching upon Monte Libretti.

The evening before he had ordered Captain de Veaux to make a reconnaissance towards Nerola with his company of Zouaves. He immediately sent a message after him, telling him to change the direction of his march and go to Monte Libretti, but it appears that the order did not reach him in time. Of this, however, Charette could know nothing till late next day. At nine, on the morning of the 13th, he went to Monte Rotondo.

Lieutenant Guillemin was there with 95 Zouaves. He bade him leave 15 of them in garrison, and march to Monte Libretti with the rest, combining if possible his movement with that of De Veaux, seizing the place if it were still unoccupied, and, if not, acting as circumstances might direct. Guillemin set off with his little force of 80 men, for in this campaign Kanzler and Charette used companies as if they were battalions.

About eleven, Guillemin having started, Charette rode rapidly to Monte Maggiore, where he found Lieutenant Ringard about to set out on a reconnaissance towards Monte Libretti with 60 men of the Legion. Charette approved of his plan, told him that Guillemin was already on the march, and probably De Veaux also, and saw him start in the hope of his being able to co-operate with the Zouaves.

About six in the evening Guillemin with his eighty Zouaves came in sight of Monte Libretti. He had seen none of the enemy, and he had met neither De Veaux nor Ringard’s detachment. As he and his small force passed round a little hill they found themselves in front of a Garibaldian outpost. The red-shirts fired, and fell back upon the town. Evidently Monte Libretti was occupied by the enemy; but how many Garibaldians were in the place?

Guillemin had no means of even guessing, but with a chivalrous rashness he resolved to attack at once. The sun was setting, the brief autumn twilight would soon begin. If he waited for his comrades there would be no tight till next day; he could not wait with the prize of a possible success before him. In front of him the Garibaldian outposts were falling back upon a suburb of the town. He rapidly divided his little band into two sections.

One, led by his friend De Quelen, was to attack the suburb on the left; the other, under his own command, was to traverse some vineyards and attack in front. His arrangement were soon made. “On with the bayonet!” he cried; and the Zouaves, young men mostly the sons of Flemish families, answered with a shout of “Vive Pie Neuf!"

Guillemin’s men dashed through the vineyards, driving a Garibaldian company before them, and entered the long Street of the suburb. It ended in an open square before the gate of the town. Slowly the Zouaves fought their way down the Street, under a fire from the Garibaldians in front and on both sides. Guillemin fell, struck by a ball, and shouting “Vive Pie Neuf!”

Two of his men were raising him to carry him out of the fight, when another bullet struck him in the head and killed him on the spot He had been wounded on the glorious but terrible day of Castelfidardo, seven years before. His gentleness and kindness had won for him among his comrades the name of l’Ange Gardien; yet his splendid attack on Monte Libretti showed that he was as brave in the field as he was gentle at home.

Far from discouraging the Zouaves, his fall gave new fury to their onset; and under the orders of the Bavarian serjeant-major, Bach, they cleared the Street, and attacked a mass of Garibaldians, whom Fazzari, one of Garibaldi’s majors, had drawn up in the open square beyond.

They closed with the bayonet. Fazzari’s horse was killed, and he himself was wounded. Collingridge, an Englishman, after having killed two Garibaldians, was himself mortally wounded. The Neapolitan Tortora, the Frenchmen Nouguier, Cappe and De la Lande, the Flemings Rebry and Mythenacre, though wounded, fought on as if they had not felt the bayonet-stabs.

Peter Yong, a Dutchman, a perfect athlete, killed several of the enemy with his clubbed rifle, before he was at last shot down. The fight in the square had raged for a quarter of an hour, when De Quelen’s section attacked the Garibaldians on the left. At the moment of the attack De Quelen himself received a ball in the chest, but he still continued to lead his men.

His bugler, a young Roman named Mimmi, had his right arm broken by a bullet; he grasped the bugle with his left hand and went on sounding the charge.

The Garibaldians gave way. Some fled from the suburb; others passed into the town through the gate, which they were unable to completely dose.

Night had now fallen. In the darkness the Zouaves attacked the gate. Three times they tried to force it, but all who passed through the half-open gate into the Street beyond were shot down or bayoneted. In the gateway De' Quelen fell pierced with nine bullets. Both the officers were now dead, and there were not forty men to attack the gate.

The Garibaldians were evidently very strong. It has since been ascertained that, on the evening of the attack, there were between eleven and twelve hundred Garibaldians in the town and the suburb.

The Zouaves, after the failure of their third attempt on the gate, gave up the useless struggle, and began their retreat to Monte Maggiore. In the darkness Bach, with a few of his comrades, had become separated from the rest. He was left behind.

He occupied one of the houses of the square, and, when the moon rose, he began to exchange rifle-shots with the Garibaldians, who, without attempting to leave the town, were barricading the gate. After awhile, seeing that the rest had retreated and were not returning, Bach resolved to follow them.

The first two Zouaves who left the house were killed by a volley from the wall of the town. Bach therefore led his men out into the vineyard at the rear of the house, and leaving the suburb of Monte Libretti at four in the morning, reached Monte Maggiore at dawn on the 14th. The Zouaves had lost seventeen killed and eighteen wounded, or thirty-five men out of a force of eighty.

The Garibaldians, who believed they had been attacked by the vanguard of a large force, abandoned the town towards morning and returned to Nerola, fearing that the terrible onset of the previous evening would be renewed with more disastrous results to themselves.

Charette immediately occupied Monte Libretti with a strong column of Zouaves, gendarmes, and soldiers of the Legion. Menotti Garibaldi was at Nerola with 3000 men. This force was only one of the many bodies of Garibaldians operating in the Papal territory; besides the strong columns of Acerbi and Nicotera, there were numerous detached bands. But nowhere would the people join the movement. All the volunteers came from the Italian side of the frontier.

The Pontifical Government almost daily published lists of the names and abodes of those who were taken prisoners in the various skirmishes with the invaders. With the exception of a few Roman emigrants, they were all natives of the kingdom of Italy. The volunteers were collected by the Piedmontese Government in all parts of Italy, and forwarded by train to Terni.

On the 15th the director of police telegraphed to Genoa, bidding the questor provide free passes on the railway for the volunteers. (7)

Next day the Secretary of the Minister of the Interior telegraphed to Reggio that it was desirable that a meeting to be held there “should speak of the wounded as well as of the insurgents,” and that the local journals should not make too much noise on such matters. (8)

The same evening, on an order from the Government at Florence, 120,000 cartridges for rifles, and 61,000 for smooth-bores were taken out of the naval stores at Spezzia by the Commandant, (9) packed in boxes and barrels, and forwarded to the Garibaldians. Again, on the same day the prefect of Perugia telegraphed to the Government at Florence an unfounded report that Monte Maggiore had been taken by Menotti, and added, “an immense number of volunteers are pouring into Terni. The night train from Florence has brought in 500. It would be as well that a stop were put to such an over-plus.” (10)

Two days later Crispi telegraphed from Narni: “Prevent the departure of volunteers. They are a trouble and no use. We have too many, and do not know what to do with them” (11).

It is evident that Rattazzi was supplying Garibaldi only too liberally with men and matériel, and the war was still only in its first stage; guerilla columns were endeavouring to rouse the country, and wearing out the Papal troops with long marches, in which the enemy eluded them by crossing the frontier or dispersing. The advance of large Garibaldian armies towards Rome had not yet been attempted.

Charette resolved to march from Monte Libretti to Nerola, in the hope of fighting a battle with Menotti Garibaldi. He divided his force into two columns. That on the left, under the orders of Major de Troussures, consisted of Zouaves and artillery; it was to march by the high road. That on the right, which was to follow a mountain path, consisted of some companies of the Legion, of the gendarmes and of the carbineers, commanded by Major Cirlot of the Legion d’Antibes. Nerola stands on a high hill, on one of the spurs of which is built a strong castle belonging to Prince Sciarra-Colonna.

Charette’s columns arrived before the place on the morning of the 18th. Menotti had withdrawn, leaving a small garrison in the castle under the command of Major Count Valentini, a Neapolitan. He believed that Valentini could hold out for some days, especially as he did not suppose that Charette had artillery with him; and he hoped to be able to attack the Papalini while they were engaged in the siege. At half-past ten Charette began the attack, Cirlot’s four companies of the Legion leading the way up the hill.

The Garibaldian outposts were driven in, and the castle was surrounded. The Pontifical troops then fired upon the old fortress for about an hour with artillery and musketry. The garrison replied with their rifles, but, as both sides fought under cover, very few men were hit. Sixteen of the Papalini were killed or wounded, and Charette had his horse shot under him.

Towards noon Valentini’s garrison, seeing themselves surrounded and attacked with artillery, and finding that Menotti was making no attempt to help them, became first despondent and then mutinous. Valentini wished to continue the defence, but his men insisted upon a surrender, and at a quarter to twelve the resistance was given up; he hoisted the white flag, and 134 unwounded prisoners laid down their arms.

Charette had resolved to follow up his success by pursuing Menotti Garibaldi, but on the evening after his victory he received orders from General Kanzler to retreat on the capital, where grave events were imminent. Leaving Nerola on the morning of the 19th, by a forced march he reached Monte Rotondo in the evening. There a train was waiting, which took his little column on to Rome. On that same day a gallant soldier of the Pope met his death at a village on the Tuscan frontier. A company of Zouaves, commanded by Captain de Couessin and Lieutenant Emmanuel Dufournel, had attacked a Garibaldian band at Farnese. “My friends,” said Dufournel, “let us go to our death in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost!”

No such order had been heard in a European army since the Crusades. The Garibaldians were defeated, but Dufournel fell in the attack mortally wounded.

It was Buglielli, Rattazzi’s agent at Passo Correse on the frontier, that sent to Florence the news of the affair of Nerola. His message was significant: “An isolated column,” he telegraphed, (12) “has been taken prisoner at Nerola. There is great want of a central direction in the provinces, without which an internal movement is impossible. A concentric impulse is necessary to support the insurgent columns. Rome requires this.” the “want of a central direction,” meant, of course, the want of Garibaldi as Commander-in-Chief. The same evening Rattazzi received another telegram, (13) which put the matter more clearly. It was from the sub-prefect of Terni, and ran as follows:—“Terni, Oct. 18th. The Deputy Crispi has sent the following telegram:—* Put an end to all delay—Liberate Garibaldi—Pass the frontiers—Occupy Civita Vecchia—Give no time for France to act—The honour and safety of Italy exact this, and it is they that are at stake?”

Charette’s capture of Nerola had startled the Revolutionary leaders into greater activity. The war was now to enter upon its second phase, with Garibaldi at the head of the invaders. Rattazzi had been sounding both France and Prussia in order to obtain some support for his schemes.

As early as October 4th Signor Nigra, the Italian ambassador in France, had had interviews with the Emperor Napoleon at Biarritz, in which Nigra told him that in presence of the agitation in Italy on the Roman Question, the king might find himself forced to occupy Rome.

The Emperor replied, “that a rising in the Papal States might be either spontaneous or excited by artificial means, that his resolutions could not be the same in both cases, but that he would not come to any determination without having previously attempted to come to an understanding with the Italian Government, which, he begged, would use the same conduct towards him.” (14)

It is clear from this that Napoleon wished to keep up the friendly alliance with Italy, and to act in concert with Victor Emmanuel, perhaps, to arrange an Italian occupation of Rome. But he had no definite policy. Catholic France was crying out to him to act; and rumours, which were well-founded, came that Rattazzi was endeavouring to arrange with Prussia an alliance, the object of which would be a German attack on the Rhine in case France acted against Italy. The ill-feeling which existed between France and Prussia after Sadowa, and which ultimately ripened into the war of 1870, afforded a motive for such an alliance, but Bismarck hesitated to act. Napoleon, too, was hesitating and vacillating from day to day. On the 18th troops were embarked at Toulon, and the squadron actually set sail for Civita Vecchia, but was recalled by signal as it reached the open sea, and the troops landed again. Twice this happened, before the expedition finally sailed on the 24th. Napoleon by his delay gave the revolution eight clear days to act. During those eight days came the abortive attempt at insurrection in Rome. The fleet only sailed after its failure. Was Napoleon in collusion with the Revolution? Was it not France, rather than her Emperor, that finally took the step which led to Mentana?

Meanwhile Rattazzi had acted upon Crispi’s telegram. The squadron that blockaded Caprera became suddenly unobservant, and Garibaldi "escaped” from his island; and, instead of acting like a man who feared re-arrest, he came straight to Florence. He arrived there on the 21st. It was the eve of the final effort. Volunteers were being sent to the frontier in such numbers, that the prefect of Terni had telegraphed asking that some of them should be diverted to a second centre to be established at Foligno.

On Sunday, the 20th, the prefect of Perugia telegraphed that the numbers of the volunteers were an embarrassment to the authorities; but he added, “At Viterbo and Rome there reigns perfect tranquillity, a fact sufficiently significant in my opinion.” Tuesday, the 22nd, was the day fixed for the Roman insurrection.

That morning Garibaldi started by train from Florence for Terni to join his army. Rattazzi, at Florence, was in a state of fearful anxiety. He had failed to come to an agreement with Prussia: he was afraid of France; the Garibaldian bands had effected nothing; the people in the Papal provinces had remained quiet.

If Rome did not rise to-day, all would be lost, his plan would have failed utterly, and he would have to throw up the game. In the course of the day he telegraphed to the sub-prefect of Rieti: “Give me at once news of Rome, if you have any. Do it in such a way that the public may know as little as possible of it—Urbano Rattazzi."

That day was an anxious one in Rome. In the morning the police seized, outside the Porta del Popolo, a cart, which contained 34. revolvers and 1500 francs in silver coin. All day long strange faces were to be seen in the Corso. At seven in the evening came the signal for the rising. An immense bomb was exploded in the Piazza Colonna, and the report rang through the city. At the same instant a column of 500 Garibaldians attacked the gate of St. Paul, and armed bands assaulted the Capitol, the prison of San Michele, the Carceri Nuovi, and the barracks of San Callisto.

The Capitol was attacked from the Forum, and on the side of Ara Coeli the Garibaldians came on shouting “Viva Italia! Viva la Repubblica! Abbasso Vittorio Emmanuele! Morti ai Preti!" and fired on the posts of the carbineers. A few shots from the guard were sufficient to repulse the attack, which lasted less than a quarter of an hour. There were other equally brief engagements at the Campo di Fiori, in the Via Alessandria, in the Piazza Montanara, nears Angelo-in-Peschiera and in the neighbourhood of the Ghetto. The attack on the Porta San Paolo was easily repulsed; but a portion of the Garibaldian band threw themselves into an inn just outside the gate, and it was some time before they were driven out by the Zouaves.

While the skirmishing was still going on the sky was lighted up, and the whole city was shaken by a tremendous explosion. The enormous flash was seen by the Garibaldian camps even as far away as Orte, near Foligno. Under the guidance of an engineer named Bossi, the conspirators had sunk a short shaft from the cellars of a house near the Serristori barracks, and by digging a subterranean gallery had placed and charged a mine under the corner of the barracks, which were occupied by some companies of Zouaves.

Two men hired for the purpose, Monti and Tognetti, fired the mine. One wing of the building was blown up, all the lamps in the neighbourhood were extinguished, and the place was left in darkness. From the mound of smoking rubbish, left by the explosion, there came moans and cries of pain; but luckily the greater part of the building was uninjured, and most of the Zouaves were untouched by the dastardly attempt.

They seized their rifles; and a band of Garibaldians, who came rushing through the smoke to finish the work begun by the mine, were surprised at being received by a well-aimed volley, under which they dispersed.

Torches were lighted, and the work of disinterring the killed and wounded from the ruins began. There were many willing hands to aid in the mournful task. One of the first to arrive upon the scene after the explosion had been Mgr. de Mérode, and he was assiduous in his attentions to the wounded men, as they were extricated from the débris.

For hours the work of rescue went on. In the grey morning of the 23rd the blackened and mangled corpses of twenty-two Zouaves were laid side by side in one of the barrack rooms, waiting for burial; and twelve wounded men, of whom three subsequently died, were lying in the neighbouring hospital. (15) Seldom, if ever, was civil war made the pretext for a more cowardly and cruel act. It is a wonder that, after that night at the Serristori barracks, the Zouaves still gave quarter to the Garibaldians to the end of the campaign.

The destruction of life might have been far more terrible. A whole company had just left the rooms which were destroyed to aid in the defence of the Porta San Paolo, and only two days before a door had been walled up, which led from the portion of the barracks that had been mined, to a magazine where was stored a large quantity of gunpowder in barrels and in cartridges. But for this providential circumstance, the explosion would have been far more disastrous.

By eight o’clock in the evening the city was tranquil and the danger was over. The next two days witnessed conflicts, which put an end to any hope the Garibaldians might have had of renewing the attempt of the 22nd. One of these conflicts took place in the Trastevere, the other outside the walls, on the bank of the Tiber, at Monte Parioli.

On the morning of the 22nd the two brothers Enrico and Giovanni Cairoli, officers of the Italian Army, volunteered to convey into Rome along the Tiber a convoy of arms to be used in the insurrection that had been planned for that evening. Their design was to take the arms in boats down the river to the mouth of the Anio or Teverone, at Acquacetosa, about a mile and a half from Rome.

There they were to wait for and surprise a small steamer which plied on the river, and, placing the arms on board of her, they hoped to be able to take them into Rome and land them at the Ripetta without meeting much resistance.

Enrico Cairoli selected a band of 76 volunteers to aid him in the perilous enterprise. “I hope,” he said to them, “I hope that I shall do my duty, but, if I hesitate, any one of you is at liberty to blow out my brains; I shall do so to the first man who falters.”

Arrived at Acquacetosa, they waited in vain for the steamer. The Roman police had received information of the plot, and her voyage was stopped for that day. They waited all night by the river, and at dawn they occupied the villa Glori on the slope of Monte Parioli. Giovanni Cairoli dressed himself in plain clothes, and went into the city to have a conference with Cucchi, the chief of the Roman insurgent committee. In the afternoon he returned to the villa Glori, accompanied by some of the insurgents of the previous evening.

Colonel Evangelisti, who commanded at the Porta del Popolo, noticed them going out and sent a report to General Zappi. Some gendarmes went out towards the Villa Glori, and reported that a band of Garibaldians was there.

Zappi immediately sent a section of carbineers and a few dragoons, to make a reconnaissance against them. Seeing the Papalini approach the Cairoli’s men went down to the river banks in order to take to their boats; but they had left no guard upon them, and some boatmen had carried them off.

The Garibaldians therefore returned to the villa and occupied its vineyard. Meyer, although he had only 43 carbineers with him, attacked the vineyard. The conflict was a desperate one. Meyer was severely wounded, the two brothers Cairoli were killed, and their followers were put to flight. The brothers had excited the admiration of the carbineers by the gallant defence they had made, and there is no doubt that they were among the best of Garibaldi’s officers. Enrico, the elder, had distinguished himself in the Italian Parliament as well as in the army.

About noon on the 24th the Roman police discovered that a largo number of Garibaldians, who had come from various parts of Italy to aid in organizing a Roman insurrection, were assembling at a wool-factory belonging to a certain Giulio Ajani, and situated in the Street of the Lungaretta in the Trastevere. In this factory was the laboratory, where the Orsini bombs had been manufactured, which had been used in the insurrection.

The house was immediately surrounded by a detachment of Zouaves and gendarmes, and those inside were called upon too pen the doors and surrender. They replied by firing on the troops and throwing Orsini bombs from the Windows.

Amongst the bomb-throwers was a woman, the mother-in-law of Ajani. The doors were at once forced, and on the basement storey there was a hand-to-hand combat between the Garibaldians and the Zouaves. The large room was at last cleared, the Garibaldians being driven into the upper storeys, leaving on the floor five wounded and twenty-one dead. Amongst the latter was the woman who had fought like an Amazon to the last. The Zouaves fought their way up to the top of the factory, where forty-four Garibaldians surrendered. There had been nearly eighty men in the building, and of these only one—Ajani himself, was a Roman. The Revolutionary clement came almost entirely from outside.

The capture of Ajani’s house destroyed the last hope of a successful insurrection. Rattazzi’s plan had completely failed. But he had already abandoned all hope of success. On the morning of the 23rd, on hearing of the abortive attempt at a rising in Rome on the previous evening, he placed his resignation in the hands of the king. For some days all was confusion at Florence. In the midst of a great crisis the kingdom of Italy was without a government.

The king sent for General Cialdini. He tried to form a Cabinet, but failed. Rattazzi was asked to résumé office, but he refused, Then the premiership was offered to Menabrea; he accepted it, and on the 2?th formed his Cabinet. News had just arrived that the French had sailed from Toulon.

Menabrea’s Cabinet was supposed to be French in its leanings, and there was an indignant demonstration of the party of action under the Windows of the Pitti palace, which extorted from the king a reluctant promise that, if the French re-occupied Rome, he would give his army orders to cross the Pontifical frontier. Victor Emmanuel was placed in a very humiliating position, for he had .just issued by Menabrea’s advice a proclamation against the movement on Rome.

“Italians!” this proclamation ran,—”Bands of volunteers, excited and seduced by a party without my authorization or that of my Government, have violated the frontier of the State. The respect equally due by all citizens to the laws and international stipulations sanctioned by Parliament and by me, under these circumstances prescribes an inexorable debt of honour.

“Europe knows that the flag is not mine that is raised in territories adjacent to ours, and on which is inscribed destruction to the supreme spiritual authority of the Catholic religion. This attempt places our common country in the most serious danger. It imposes upon me the duty of saving at the same time our honour and the country, and of not confounding two causes absolutely distinct, two different objects.

“Italy must be secured against the dangers she may run. Europe must be convinced that, faithful to her engagements, Italy does not desire to be, and cannot be, the disturber of public order.

“A war with our ally would be a fratricidal war between two armies, who have fought for the same cause. As holder of the right of peace or war, I cannot tolerate its usurpation. I feel confident, therefore, that the voice of reason will be listened to, and that the Italian citizens who have violated that right will retire behind the line of our troops.”

We have already seen that the king’s Government had a very dose connection with the movement, which the proclamation disavowed. But this was not the first time that the declarations of the king were at variance with the facts to which they referred. By this proclamation he declared that a war with France would be fratricidal.

He had hardly signed it when the rabble of his capital forced him to promise that he would take the one step which was certain either to produce such a war, or to thrust forward the Italian army into a position from which it would have to be withdrawn on the first summons from the Tuileries.

While these events were passing in Florence, Garibaldi had assumed the command of the army of invasion in the Papal States, and had given a new impulse to the campaign. He had joined his army late upon the 22nd, with the hope of hearing that the rising in Rome was serious. In that case he would have marched upon the city at once, and would have attacked the gates early on the 23rd. When he heard that the insurrection had lasted less than half an hour and had failed on all points, he resolved to peril everything on a desperate attack on Rome, hoping thus to turn the tide of fortune which had hitherto set so persistently against him.

For this purpose he concentrated the various columns of his army, and as a first step determined to capture the city of Monte Rotondo, the only place outside Rome (with the exception of Civitavecchia) in which General Kanzler had left a garrison, when on the 20th he had begun to concentrate his forces in the capital.

Monte Rotondo is a small city, standing upon a bill, with steep slopes which are in places almost precipitous. The circuit of the town is about a mile round. More than half of this is open, and only capable of defence by lining the garden walls with riflemen and occupying the houses, trusting chiefly to the difficult character of the ground in front to retard and embarrass the enemy. Six hundred mètres of the enceinte are closed by an old wall, built in the fifteenth century, and therefore without bastions or any effectual flanking defence.

The wall is pierced by three gates, the Porta Romana, Porta Ducale and Porta Canonica. The houses of the suburb are built dose up to these gates, and command them. The real defence of the place is the Palazzo, a lofty, square, castellated building, which stands just inside the Porta Ducale. The garrison left by General Kanzler at Monte Rotondo was a small one. It was commanded by Captain Costes of the Legion d’Antibes, and consisted of two companies of the Legion, a company of carbineers, a few gendarmes and dragoons, and a section of artillerymen, with two guns—a rifled gun and a howitzer. In all, the force in Monte Rotondo amounted to 323 men.

At eight o’clock in the evening of the 23rd, two hundred Garibaldians surprised the railway-station about a mile and a half from Monte Rotondo. It was guarded by a picket of five men. Four of them were taken prisoners; the fifth escaped into the town, and carried the news to Captain Costes.

On hearing it Costes ascended the tower of the Palazzo, and through the darkness he saw the Garibaldian watch fires extending far along the hills towards Monte Maggiore. It was evident that he was menaced by a formidable force. He sent his report to Rome, and next tnorning received from General Kanzler orders to hold out as long as he could against the Garibaldians, no matter how numerous they might be; but if the Royal troops crossed the frontier and attacked him, he was to fall back upon Rome without fighting.

Garibaldi did not complete his preparations for the advance on Rome until late on the 25th. Early on Saturday, the 20th, he attacked Monte Rotondo with 6000 picked men. Costes had been joined by a small detachment, and had now 350 men with him. The Garibaldians burned down one of the gates and attacked the Palazzo, in which Costes had assembled his little garrison. The place held out for twenty-seven hours. It was not till late in the forenoon of October 27(th) that Costes surrendered. He had made a desperate defence of the old castle, so long as resistance was possible.

“The Papal troops,” says Ricciotti Garibaldi, in his official report on the campaign, “defended storey after storey of the building, until driven to the third floor, when, seeing the smoke of a fire which had been lighted on the ground floor to burn them out, they surrendered, and the fight was over.” (16)

Before surrendering they spiked their two guns and broke most of their rifles. The Garibaldian loss was terrible. Garibaldi, speaking to Costes after the surrender, said that he had lost 500 men, and, pointing to a heap of thirty-six dead before the Porta Romana, told him that they were the flower of Italy. The defence delayed him nearly two days in his advance, and gave Kanzler time to complete his arrangements for the defence of Rome against a coup de main.

On the 28th Garibaldi pushed forward the bulk of his army towards Rome. One column approached the Porta Nomentana, occupied the slopes of the Monte Sacro, and carried on a desultory skirmish with the Zouaves who held the bridge, without, however, venturing to attack it. Other columns followed the course of the Tiber, but nowhere was a serious attack attempted. Garibaldi was hesitating, and probably waiting to make some previous arrangements with his emissaries of the Revolutionary committee within the walls. Next day, the 29th, it was too late. A French division, commanded by De Failly, had landed at Civita Vecchia, and on the 30th the brigade of General de Polhès was pushed on to Rome.

As soon as the news of the landing of the French was known at Florence, Menabrea fulfilled the promise given by the king, and telegraphed orders to the army to cross the Papal frontier. Viterbo, Frosinone, Velletri and Terracina were occupied by the Italian troops, plebiscites were rapidly organized on the old System of 1860, and it was announced that those cities had voted their annexation to the kingdom of Italy. Garibaldi had now forty or fifty thousand of the Royal troops behind him, and he changed his plans.

He gave up the attack on Rome, and concentrated his army about Monte Rotondo in the hope of being able to hold his ground there and bring about a conflict between the Royal army and the French. The result of such a conflict would be a war which, begun on the banks of the Tiber, might spread to the Rhine, for Italy would appeal again to Bismarck, her ally of 1866.

On the 1st of November the Garibaldians had withdrawn from the immediate neighbourhood of Rome, and Kanzler resolved to follow, attack and disperse them, for until Garibaldi was crushed the danger of becoming involved with Italy was a serious one. He went to Civita Vecchia on the 1st to see De Failly and arrange for the co operation of the French. Kanzler found De Failly anxious to avoid immediate action.

He had received orders not to risk a combat with the Italian troops, whose withdrawal the Emperor hoped to obtain by diplomatic means; but the Papal general pointed out the advantage that would be gained by attacking Garibaldi’s centre at Monte Rotondo before he was joined by his lieutenants, and the necessity of inflicting a crushing blow upon the invaders, so that Garibaldi might not be able to boast that he had retired with unbroken forces.

Such a retreat would be spoken of by the Revolution as a success, and would be cited as a motive for renewing the attempt. At length De Failly came over to Kanzler’s views, and promised that General Polhès should receive orders to co-operate with the Papal column in an advance against Garibaldi. Kanzler returned to Rome, and at eight p.m. on the evening of Saturday, November 2nd, the Papal Zouaves were delighted by receiving orders to be under arms soon after midnight near the Porta Pia, ready to march against Monte Rotondo. It was the eve of Mentana.

At one in the morning of the 3rd the troops were under arms, and began to assemble at the Piazza dei Termini, near the ruined Baths of Diocletian. The night was dark and rainy, and the muster was made by the light of torches, which shone on the grey uniforms of the Zouaves, and flickered on the masses of broken walls in the old Thermae.

The troops were divided into two columns. The first, commanded by General de Courten, consisted of 1500 Papal Zouaves, and about 1500 more soldiers belonging to various other corps of the Pontifical army. The second column consisted of about 2000 French troops and a few of the Papal dragoons, under General Polhès. (17)

The entire force amounted to about 5000 men, with nine guns. A little after three o’clock General Kanzler arrived in the Piazza, accompanied by a brilliant staff. With him were the Count de Caserta, brother of the King of Naples, with his aides-de-camp, Colonels Usani and Rivera, the Count de Christen the hero of Bauco, and General Raphael de Courten. (18) It was nearly four in the morning when all was ready and the march began.

The long column poured out through the Porta Pia, through which three years later the invaders were to enter Rome. It then struck off through the darkness along the Via Nomentana, which leads to Mentana (the ancient Nomentum), and to Monte Rotondo.

The Papal troops led the way. The French column under General de Polhès followed them at the interval of a mile, in the darkness and rain. The road was deep with mud. Towards morning the clouds broke, and as day dawned over the misty Campagna there was a prospect of better weather. About seven the column crossed the Nomentan bridge, and halted at Capo Bianco. The halt lasted an hour and a half. The men lighted fires of brushwood, took their breakfasts and dried their wet clothes.

The Dominican Pére Ligier, one of the chaplains of the Zouaves, said mass for the army in a wayside chapel. It was hardly over when some dragoons, who had been pushed on in advance to obtain intelligence of the enemy, galloped in with the news that heavy masses of Garibaldians were drawn up near the village of Mentana, and apparently intended to give battle there.

The news was received with enthusiasm by the troops. The ranks were reformed and the march began again, the column moving rapidly along the difficult road which runs among low hills and broken ground from Capo Bianco to Mentana. At the Ponte Nomentana, General Kanzler had detached three companies of Zouaves under the command of Major de Troussures. These were to march up the valley of the Teverone by the Via Salara, and to threaten the enemy’s flank, while the main column attacked in front.

In the course of the previous day Garibaldi had by some means obtained information of the attack which was about to be made upon him. According to Bertani and Guerzoni, on receiving the warning he decided upon a retreat to the Abruzzi, and even wrote out the orders for this purpose. But since he had joined his army he had shown very little of a fixed plan and determined course of action, and just as he had hesitated and lost time after the capture of Monte Rotondo, so he hesitated again, and on the Saturday afternoon had resolved to wait and hazard a battle.

The column of Menotti, which he had with him, consisted of between nine and ten thousand good soldiers, divided into six brigades of three or four battalions each, commanded by Salomone, Frigyesi, Valanzia, Cantoni, Paggi, and Elia. The cavalry consisted of a handful of éclaireurs, commanded by Ricciotti Garibaldi. Of artillery, there were the two guns taken at Monte Rotondo, out of which the spikes had been drawn, and two small mountain guns.

He passed several hours of the afternoon map in hand, going over the ground about Mentana, choosing positions for his army, ar.d having them put in a state of defence. On the Sunday morning he again changed his mind, and resolved to march to Tivoli, in order to cross the bridge there and effect a junction with Nicotera’s troops.

Towards noon the army began to form for the march, when the outposts reported the approach of the Pontifical column. On this Garibaldi returned to his former intention of fighting a battle, and his men went back to their positions. He had some reason to hope for a victory, for the advantage of numbers lay upon his side, he had an excellent position for defence, and his men were not untried volunteers led by untrained officers, but picked men, carefully selected from the crowds of volunteers whom Crispi had collected at Terni and Bologna. Numbers of them came from the Italian army. Others were veterans who had been with him in the war of the previous year, or, earlier stili, in the Two Sicilies seven years before.

Most of the officers either held Victor Emmanuel’s commission or were veteran Garibaldians who thoroughly knew their work. When the battle was lost, Garibaldi’s army was described by the revolutionary press as an undisciplined mob of undrilled and badly-armed men, and its numbers were diminished till it was even reported to have been not quite 2500 strong; but all this was only an attempt to deprive the Pontifical Zouaves of the credit due to their brilliant success.

There is no doubt that in numbers and in efficiency the force commanded by Garibaldi at Mentana was equal to a division of the Royal army of Italy; (19) and this force held the village of Mentana with its barricaded streets, its strong castle, the hills and vineyards around, and the advanced post of La Vigna Santucci, with its loopholed walls and buildings.

The first shots were fired a little past noon. The vanguard had crossed the stream of the Romitorio. Beyond it the Papal dragoons found the Garibaldian outposts in the woods and thickets. “Viva Pio Nono!” cried the dragoon Arduino, as he fired. It was the first shot of the battle. “Viva l'Italia!” shouted the Garibaldians, and replied with a volley, as the dragoons tell back upon the Zouaves, who formed the advanced guard.

The strong outposts of the Garibaldians, commanded by Colonel Missori, occupied a succession of low hills, with scattered thickets and clumps of wood, through which ran the road followed by the advancing Papal troops. The shots told General de Courten, who was with the advanced guard, that he was in contact with the enemy. He at once sent one company of the Zouaves (the 1st, D’Albiousse) to clear the thickets on the left of the road, from which the enemy had opened fire; while another (the 2nd, Thomalé), in skirmishing order, went up the heights on the right, and two others (the 3rd and 4th, Alain de Charette and Le Gonidec) cleared the road in front.

Arrived at the top of the hill, Thomalé’s company was stopped by the well-sustained fire of two Garibaldian battalions, who, deployed among some scattered trees, kept up a sharp fire upon the Zouaves. Colonel Charette rapidly brought up three more companies to their assistance; knapsacks were taken off and bayonets fixed, and he gave the order, “Forward, Zouaves, with the bayonet! If you do not follow me I shall go alone!”

“Vive Pie Neuf! Vive le Colonel!” replied the Zouaves. And they dashed at the Garibaldians, who, breaking before the bayonet charge, were driven over two successive ridges of ground, the Zouaves closing with them whenever they tried to make a stand at the top of a slope, around a cottage, or in a dump of trees. A little chapel on the second height was desperately defended, and most of its garrison were bayoneted.

The Zouaves were well supported by the carbineers on one flank and two companies of the Legion on the other. There was little firing. It was a real bayonet charge.

The front line of the Garibaldians being broken, and Missori’s outposts driven in, they rallied on the height of La Vigna Santucci, a commanding eminence in front of Mentana, crowned by a walled vineyard with a strongly built farmhouse. The vineyard was held by a detachment under Major Ciotti. The woods on the adjacent slopes and the neighbouring eminence of Monte Guarnieri, which commands the approaches to La Vigna, were also occupied by Garibaldian battalions.

Kanzler saw at once that it was necessary to storm the heights about La Vigna, in order to be able to attack Mentana from the plateau which runs down to the eastern side of the village. If he attacked upon the other side, his battalions would have to advance up a deep valley under a plunging fire from above. A single company of Zouaves attacked and stormed the Monte Guarnieri. Meanwhile some shells had been thrown into the Vigna Santucci. It was assaulted by a column of Zouaves and carbineers.

The Garibaldians fought well and made a long resistance, but the Zouaves broke open with their axes the gates of the vineyard and stormed the buildings, taking a large number of prisoners. Colonel Charette, who led the attack, had his horse shot under him; and Captain de Veaux was killed at the head of his company of Zouaves. He was one of the heroes of the struggle of 1860, and the bullet which struck him down carried his cross of Castelfidardo into his heart. (20)

The fighting had now lasted two hours, and the Zouaves had made steady progress and forced the enemy to abandon all his positions in advance of the main position about the village and the strong Castle of Mentana. General Kanzler established his headquarters at La Vigna, and brought up two guns to open fire upon the castle and reply to the enemy’s artillery. The French brought two of their guns into action soon after, and then Kanzler brought up two more.

Meanwhile the Zouaves, the carbineers, and the infantry pushed forward their skirmishers through the vineyards, the olive grounds, and fields of cut but unstacked corn that lay between La Vigna and Mentana. The action was general along the whole line, and the Pontifical troops made slow but steady progress.

Once the carbineers were brought to a standstill. They suddenly found themselves under the cross fire of two Garibaldian battalions, and Castella, their commander, was wounded. But they held their ground, and soon began to advance again. It was now half-past three o’clock. The Zouaves, supported by the Legion, were dose in to Mentana.

They were under a heavy fire from the barricades and the loopholed houses of the village, and from the rifles of the red-shirted sharpshooters who crowded the Windows and lofty roofs of the castle. From La Vigna all the movements of the Garibaldians could easily be seen, and it now became evident that, taking advantage of their greatly superior numbers, they were extending their lines to the right and left of the village, with a view to overlap and outflank the shorter lines of the Pontifical army.

Kanzler had sent all his troops into action, and had no reserve to meet and drive back the threatened attack. He therefore sent to General Polhès to ask for his active support. The French brigade had been eagerly watching the fighting since a little after twelve o'clock, and were eager to emulate the valour of the Zouaves. It was a new thing to them to be inactive on a battle-field, and they received with joy the order to attack. Colonel Frémont, with his battalion and three companies of chasseurs, drove back a strong attacking column on the Garibaldian left. Colonel Saussier, with another battalion, repulsed a similar assault upon their right.

Major de Troussures, with his three companies of Zouaves, which had been detached at Ponte Nomentana early in the day, arrived on the field at this stage of the fight, appearing upon Garibaldi’s left, and contributing not a little to Frémont’s success.

It was now time to attack Mentana itself. Captain Daudier, the same who had commanded the Papal artillery at Le Crocette, on the field of Castelfidardo, very boldly but imprudently brought two guns into action within 300 yards of the castle, under the rifle fire of its defenders; after losing some men and horses he found himself forced to withdraw them, and opened from a longer range with good effect.

Frémont’s battalion and De Troussures three companies of Zouaves worked round the Garibaldian left, and came down upon the road between Monte Rotondo and Mentana, and attacked the strong barricades at the rear of the village. Frémont failed to penetrate into it; but De Troussures forced the outer barricades and made some prisoners. On several other points the Zouaves and the French closed in to the barricades and the walls of the castle, and exchanged fire with the defenders at dose quarters.

Large numbers of the defeated Garibaldians had already been driven off the field, and had taken refuge in Monte Rotondo, or were retiring towards the frontier. Garibaldi himself, with many of his officers, had left the field. It was near nightfall. The village was surrounded; but to force all the barricades and storm the castle would have taken several hours more of hard fighting. General Kanzler therefore resolved to stop firing and bivouac upon the ground he had won, being confident that next morning the garrison of Mentana would surrender.

The battle end ed in the twilight. At the very end of the conflict, dose to Mentana, an English Zouave, Julian Watts-Russell, was killed in the front line of the skirmishers. He was a mere boy, one of the youngest soldiers in the Pontifical army, and throughout the campaign he had won the respect of all his comrades by his intrepid courage.

The night was fine, but there were masses of broken clouds which at times obscured the moon. The watch fires of General Kanzler’s army blazed in a circle round the village, and Frémont’s French linesmen were encamped dose up to Monte Rotondo. On the battle-field the staff of the ambulances, assisted by many of the Zouaves, who sacrificed their well-earned night’s rest to this work of charity, were searching with torches for the wounded, and hearing friend and foe alike to the great ambulance established at La Vigna, where the doctors were hard at work and the chaplains were administering the last sacraments to many.

There were far more Garibaldians than Pontifical troops to be attended to; no difference was made between them, and the wounded Zouaves seemed often to rejoice in generously giving place to those against whom they had lately been fighting, and in making the doctors leave them till the wounds of the Garibaldians had been dressed. One incident deserves especial notice.

Water was scarce, and nearly all had for some hours to endure a terrible thirst. A few oranges were at hand to be distributed, and the last of these was offered to a dying man who wore the grey uniform of the Zouaves. Beside him lay another man in the red shirt. The Zouave, though pressed by one of the infirmarians to take the orange, steadily refused to touch it until it was divided with the Garibaldian beside him.

It was of such material as this that the regiment of Pontifical Zouaves was composed. It had been hated and calumniated before Mentana. Its success won for it from the Revolution tenfold taunts and calumny; but deeds like this, or like those that two months before had been done at Albano, show what manner of men were “the mercenaries of Pius IX.”

The morning of the 4th broke slowly. As soon as it was day the Pontifical troops were under arms. The day had hardly dawned when a Garibaldian officer came from the castle, under a flag of truce, to General Kanzler’s headquarters, to ask that the garrison might be allowed to march out with arms and baggage, and withdraw into Italian territory. Kanzler at once refused to grant these conditions. Soon after, Major Fauchon, of the 59th French Regiment of the Line, occupied the greater part of the village without resistance, large numbers of Garibaldians surrendering to him.

The white flag was then hoisted by the defenders of the castle, and a second parlementaire came out, and proposed to Kanzler that the garrison should be allowed to withdraw on laying down its arms. As Kanzler had already upon his hands as many prisoners as he could well take care of, he granted these terms, and the castle was evacuated.

Meanwhile, Colonel Frémont learned that the Garibaldians had withdrawn from Monte Rotondo during the night He at once occupied the place with his battalion and the 2nd Chasseurs-à-pied. Kanzler joined him there in the course of the day amid the acclamations of the people. He found the churches plundered and desecrated.

“The inhabitants,” said the correspondent of one of the London papers (21) “hailed the arrival of General Kanzler as that of a deliverer. They had been plundered by the Garibaldians in every way, and the insults to their women had more especially exasperated them.”

The Pontifical troops had lost at Mentana thirty killed and 103 wounded; the French, who had been only a short time engaged, had lighter losses. The Garibaldians lost at least 800 men, and probably their real loss was more than a thousand. Sixteen hundred were made prisoners; the rest repassed the frontiers at various places, surrendering in thousands to the Italian troops.

On the 6th the victorious army re-entered Rome. They were received with enthusiasm by the people, the city being dressed with flags, and crowds of eager spectators thronging the streets, the Windows and the roofs. The prisoners were lodged in S. Angelo, whence they were returned in groups to their homes.

On the 27th of November, when about 200 still remained, the Pope came to visit them. They were assembled in a large hall to meet him. Smiling, he walked in among them, and said, “You see before you the man whom your general calls the Vampire of Italy. It is against me you have taken up arms; and who am 1? —A poor old man.”

He inquired of each in turn as to his wants, promised them warm clothing, shoes, money and a free journey to their homes; and, finally, as they pressed round him, kissing his hands and cheering his name, he bade them farewell, saying, “I merely ask of youas-Catholics to think of me in a short fervent prayer to your God.” Such was the forgiveness of Pius IX.

Throughout the Catholic world the news of Mentana was received with an outburst of joy. Everywhere there were thanksgivings for the triumph, requiems for the gallant dead, public meetings to provide for the better defence of the Holy See. Even in distant Canada the enthusiasm was as great as in Europe. A Canadian Zouave had shed his blood for the Holy See at Mentana; and, as every country sent its reinforcement of volunteers to Rome, Canada took most vigorous action, and organized a whole company, which was destined to bear a noble part in the last fight of the Pontifical Army.

To the Revolution, the unexpected resistance of the Papal Army, the loyalty of the people of the Pontifical States, and the final intervention of France, were a series of crushing blows. The party of action had made sure of victory, and had suffered only disastrous defeat. They tried to urge the Cabinet of Florence into a war with France. But the Piedmontese Government had the wisdom to withdraw its troops immediately from the Pontifical territory.

On the 9th of November Menabrea announced this withdrawal in a circular to the representatives of the Italian kingdom at the Courts of Europe, at the same time reasserting the claim to Rome:—”At this moment,” he wrote,”Rome presents the singular spectacle of a Government, which, in order to maintain itself hires an army, consisting of persons gathered together from all countries, quite out of proportion to the population and financial means of the State (22) and which nevertheless believes itself obliged to have recourse to a foreign intervention. A sincere agreement with Italy would, on the contrary, remove every suspicion of danger from the Holy See, would allow the application for the benefit of religion of the treasure squandered in superfluous armaments; and by securing the peninsula against the renewal of deplorable scenes of bloodshed, would be the certain pledge of that peace, which is equally necessary for the Pontifif and for the Italian kingdom… The land which contains the tombs of the Apostles, and where is preserved the treasure of the traditions of the Catholic Church, is the safest dwelling-place of the Papacy. Italy will know how to defend it, and encircle it with all the veneration and the splendour which are its due, and secure respect for its independence and its liberty.”

The meaning of Menabrea’s circular was simply this, that the Cabinet of Florence still maintained the claim to Rome, and that, force having failed to assert it effectually, recourse would again be had to “moral means,” to use the old phrase of Cavour and Ricasoli, which really signified crooked and immoral diplomacy.

The French Chambers met on the 18th of November, and in the speech from the throne Napoleon, true to his Revolutionary policy, insisted that in his intervention “there had been nothing hostile to Italian Unity:” that he regarded the Convention of September as still in force, and the occupation of the Papal States as a temporary one: and that he had proposed to the Powers a Conference on the Roman Question. The Conference never met, and never indeed advanced beyond the region of projects. Everyone saw that it was only an attempt on the Emperor's part to shift from his own shoulders the weight of responsibility, which he had assumed by his action in again sending the French army to the help of the Holy See. The Emperor’s words dissatisfied the Catholics; and, both in the Senate and the Corps Législatif, they showed so bold and united a front in the discussion which ensued on the Roman Question, that the Ministers were forced to take a more decisive attitude. The most important debate was that in the Corps Législatif, which arose on December 2nd upon an interpellation of M. Jules Favre, the object of which was to censure the Government for its armed intervention. Favre’s speech was in the main a wordy declamation against the syllabus and the Encyclical of 1864—one of those declamations which makes it appear doubtful if the speaker ever read the documents in question. The debate continued until the 5th. On the 4th, M. de Moustier, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, addressed the Assembly in a speech which, though it proved beyond refutation the bad faith of the Italian Government, ended by saying that if the proposed Conference should fail, there would still be an opportunity of coming to an understanding with Italy, and entrusting to her good faith (loyauté) the care of the Temporal Power. When De Moustier sat down, M. Thiers rose, and denounced the equivocal and uncertain policy which the Government was pursuing on the Roman Question.

Though he was in opposition, he said, he would heartily co-operate with the Government in protecting the throne of Pius IX., the protection of which was so necessary to the cause of Europe. As for Italy, if she could not preserve her unity without assailing the interests of the Catholic Church, of France and of Europe, let her know that it would be shattered to pieces.

The speech of Thiers proved to the Government that they had to reckon with the better part of the Liberate as well as the Catholics, and that the only safe course was a bold one. Next day M. Rouher spoke in the name of the Emperor. He laid bare the treachery of the Cabinet of Florence, ridiculed the exploits of Garibaldi, demonstrated the necessity of preserving the freedom of the Holy See against the repetition of such attacks, and, finally, concluded by exclaiming, “We declare that Italy shall not get possession of Rome. Never will France endure such an outrage upon her honour and upon Catholicity. She will require from Italy the exact and energetic fulfilment of the Convention of September; and, in default of this, she will look to the matter herself. Is that clear?”

The deputies, with the exception of those of the Left, rose to their feet to cheer, the galleries joined in the applause, and as Rouher came down from the tribune he was surrounded by members congratulating him upon his speech. Berryer came up to the group, and pointed out to the minister that he had spoken only of Rome, and not of the Papal territory, and that if there were no arrière pensée, he ought to avoid all possible misconception by explaining the omission.

Rouher at once returned to the Tribune, and, silence having been obtained, said,—”Gentlemen, when I descended from the tribune, some members expressed to me a fear that my words were not plain enough with regard to the Temporal Power of the Pope. In talking of the security which we wish to ensure for the Holy Father, I said that our troops would remain at Rome. I spoke of the capital, meaning thereby to designate the whole Pontifical State. There cannot here be the slightest equivocation. I declare that when I spoke of Rome, I meant to speak of the actual Pontifical territory in its full integrity.” There could be no plainer or more ample declaration than this, and the House confirmed and accepted it, by rejecting M. Jules Favre’s interpellation by a vote of 237 against 17.

Catholic France, Catholic Europe, rejoiced at this clear utterance of the Imperial Government, the only one that had been wrung from it since 1859. Unfortunately, in less than three years the Imperial Government violated its most solemn pledge, and Napoleon III completed his betrayal of the Holy See—a betrayal, so far as he was concerned, swiftly and terribly avenged.

APPENDIX TO CHAPTER XXII

________________________

Documents relating to the connection of the Rattazzi Cabinet with the Garibaldian invasion of the Papal States, in 1867.

No. 1.

The Secretary-General of the Interior to the Prefect of Ancona.

Sept. 27, 1867.

The Minister understands that General Garibaldi is preparing a movement in the Pontifical States. In any case you will keep an eye on his actions, and in the meantime will place 6000 lire at his disposal which will be immediately repaid to you.

No. 2.

The same to the same.

Sept. 28, 1867.

Find some means to obtain the 6000 lire from the treasury or from some other person. To-morrow you will receive a cheque on the treasury in payment.

No. 19.

The Questor of Genoa to the Minister of the Interior.

Genoa, Oct. io, 1867.

Capt. Giovanni Fontana asks leave to send to the frontier 300 rifles which he has to dispose of, of course by a cautious and secret channel; and he has asked me to give him 100 of the guns last sequestrated, and which are in my office.

Answer from the Minister of the Interior.

Let the 300 rifles be sent. Restore the other 100 to their owners. Use the greatest caution and secrecy.

No. 37.

The Director-General of Police to the Questor of Genoa.

Florence, Oct. 15, 1867.

I beg you to grani immediate transport gratis on the railways to the individuate who have been indicated to you for this purpose by the advocate Enrico Bruscho and Capt. Giovanni Fontana.

[600 3rd class places were given from Genoa to Terni, corresponding with the list given by telegram]

No. 38.

To the Prefect oj Reggio, Calabria.

Florence, Oct. 16, 1867.

The Government cannot prevent the meeting as long as it observes the limits of legality.

We wish that it would speak of the wounded as well as of the insurgents, and the local journals would not make too much noise on such matters.

Monzani

No. 39.

To the Secretary-General of the Ministry of the Interior. Perugia, Oct. 16, 1867.

The volunteers commanded by Menotti Garibaldi have taken Monte Maggiore. An immense number of volunteers are pouring into Temi. The night train from Florence has brought in 500. It would be as well that a stop were put to such an over plus.

The Prefect of Godda.

No. 40.

The Prefect of Cuneo to the Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior.

Cuneo, Oct. 17.

Yesterday 20 emigrants disappeared from Saluzzo. It is believed they went to Temi. I have given orders for their arrest. I let you know, as I believe the greater part of the emigration has a similar intention.

Answer to the Preferì of Cuneo.

Florence, Oct. 17.

The Ministry does not consider it necessary to proceed with rigour against the Roman emigrants, who abandon their residence. Be good enough to revoke the orders given in your despatch of this moming. Monzani.

No. 42.

To the Sub-Preferì of Terni.

Florence, Oct. 17.

If you have a trustworthy person, send him instantly to Chinili, and let him know that he is to abstain from every act that would compromise the Government. To impose a tax is an odious measure. We beg him to proceed with moderation and prudence.

Monzani.

No. 45.

To the Minister Rattazzi.

Passo-Carrese, Oct. 18.

An isolated column has been taken prisoner at Nerola. There is great want of a central direction in the provinces, without which an internal movement is impossible. A concentric impulse is necessary to support the insurgent column. Rome requires this.

The Political Delegate, Buglielli.

No. 48.

The Sub-Preferì of Terni to the President of the Council.

Terni, Oct. 18.

The deputy Crispi has sent the following telegram:—”Put an end to all delay. Liberate Garibaldi. Pass the frontiers. Occupy Cività Vecchia instantly. Give no time for France to act. The honour and safety of Italy exact this, and it is they that are at stake.”

No. 49.

The Sub-Preferì of Bologna to the Minister of the Interior,

Oct. 18.

Several individuate have passed this station, who are evidently volunteers, with papers en règie, and with railway-passes from Genoa, as persons returning to their homes in Temi. I am asked here for similar passes.

The same to the same. (Private)

Oct. 19.

The number of Garibaldians travelling with request for passes gratis, renders those here more urgent with the committee for similar facilities. I must have a word to guide me, and beg you to send me a confidential letter by the post.

No. 54.

The Sub-Prefect of Terni to the Secretary-General of the Interior.

Temi, Oct. 19.

As I cannot in any way prevent the departure of the volunteers, I suggest that at least Tuligno (Foligno?) should be appointed as second centre, as the numbers here are excessive.

No. 56.

To the Secretary-General of the Interior.

Temi, Oct. 20.

Cucchi has sent word that the action will take place on Monday without fail.

The Prefect, Argenti.

No. 57.

The Prefect of Perugia to the Secretary-General of the Interior.

Perugia, Oct. 20.

The trains of yesterday, coming from Florence and Ancona, brought great numbers of volunteers, some armed, and all started for Terni. There the stage of matters is too abnormal. In Umbria it is no longer possible to reject volunteers, as they arrive freely from all the provinces. The local authorities are in such matters completely over-ridden. At Viterbo and in Rome there reigns perfect tranquillity, a fact sufficiently significant in my opinion.

No. 63.

To the Prefect Mosca of Rieti.

Ponte-Correse, Oct. 21.

Menotti, profiting by your kind offer, has asked me for the sum of which he is in urgent need—of 12,000 lire—which you will send me as soon as possible, as he expects it and counts absolutely upon it. Nothing new. The Roman insurrection is put off till to-morrow.

The Political. Employé, Buglielli.

No. 64.

To the Sub-Prefect of Rieti and Poggio Mirtetti.

Florence, Oct. 22.

Give me at once news of Rome, if you have any. Do it in such a way that the public may know as little as possible of it.

Urbano Rattazzi.

No. 67.

The Prefect of Perugia to the Sub-Prefects of Rieti, Spoleto and Terni.

Oct. 22.

I have received notice that General Garibaldi is in the train from Florence directed for Tuligno. 1 have asked instructions from the Minister. As soon as I receive I will communicate them to you. Gadda.

No. 70.

To the Minister of the Interior.

Perugia, Oct. 22.

I await the instructions of the Cabinet regarding the news of the arrival of Garibaldi at Arezzo, sent me by the Prefect.

Gadda.

No. 71.

The Prefect of Arezzo to the Minister of the Interior.

Oct 22.

The train, which arrived here at nine, brought 600 volunteers, it is said from Florence, who pursued their journey without impediment.

No. 75.

The Political Delegate of Correse to the Sub-Prefect of Rieti.

Oct. 22.

I know nothing of Garibaldi. You will have heard that Menotti is at Scandriglia. I hope he will soon take the road to Rome. I have given him all the money in the caisse, 6500 lire, and do not know how to go on. I have telegraphed to Fabrizi and had no answer. We may claim interest.

Buglielli.

No. 77.

The Sub-Prefect of Terni to the Sub-Prefect of Rieti.

Terni, Oct. 22.

By omission of Signor Riva, Ricciotti Garibaldi has arrived here, having been only able to obtain 2000 lire, 2000 pairs of shoes, and 2000 blankets.

Argenti.

No. 78.

To the Prefect of Terni.

Florence, Oct. 23.

Communicate immediately the following telegrams to the delegate Buglielli, Passo-Correse.

Be good enough only to telegraph to me with your baptismal name. The Ministry have resigned.

Signed, Crispi. Counter-signed, Monzani.

No. 82.

Local Nerual Commander of the Gulf of Spezzia.
Report to the Ministry of Marine.

Spezzia, Dee. 20, 1867.

SIR,—In obedience to the orders contained in the reserved leaves and margin of your instructions, I have the honour of informing your Excellency that, on the evening of the 16th of October, in consequence of an urgent despatch in cipher signed by the Minister of Marine and couched in the following terms:—”This evening go to meet the train—a ministerial envoy will arrive by it”—I went to the railway-station to await the arrival of the Florence train. It arrived the same evening about 9.30, and I saw descend from it the capitaine de frigate Orengo, who on presenting himself to me in company with the deputy Cadolini, gave me a despatch, folio No. 2413, 1st division, dated from the Cabinet of your Excellency on the ijthof the month.

By this letter I received orders to second to the utmost of my power the verbal orders which would be given me by the bearer, Captain Orengo. These orders consisted in desiring me to do l’impossibile, in order to subtract immediately and with the greatest secrecy from the naval stores 120,000 cartridges for small arms, and 61,000 for smooth bore pieces, and to consign them, on a written receipt, to the honourable Cadolini at the railway-station, before the departure of the morning train.

Some difficulty occurred in carrying out such an order at so advanced an hour of the night, but this was happily overcome by putting in requisition all the means at my disposal. I incurred, moreover, a slight expense of 20 lire for transport and porterage, which was charged to the local command in expectation of superior approbation.

The munitions of war, which were consigned, were enclosed in thirty wooden cases and two barrels, and sent to Florence direct under the denomination of minerals.

E. Montezunolo, Local Commandant.

No. 7.

To the President of the Council of Ministers, Florence.

Narni, Oct. 18.

Prevent the departure of volunteers. They are a trouble and no use. We have too many, and do not know what to do with them.

Crispi.


vai su


CHAPTER XXIII

WAITING FOR ROME

The failure of the Garibaldian invasion of the autumn of 1867 to excite an insurrection in the Roman provinces, or even a serious rising in Rome itself; the stubborn resistance of the Zouaves, and the final defeat at Mentana— had proved to the government at Florence that Rattazzi’s plan, of sending on Garibaldi and his volunteers to act as the vanguard of the Royal army and create a pretext for Italian intervention, was an utter failure, and could not be repeated with any prospect of success. The “National Roman Committee” was powerless; it had not recovered from the blows dealt to it in 1887; it could effect nothing. The Romans had proved themselves thoroughly loyal to the rule of Pius IX. The Papal army had been reinforced from every Catholic country; even the forests of distant Canada had sent their contingent of young volunteers to keep armed watch around the throne of the Pope-King. At Civita Vecchia, Corneto, and Viterbo, the brigade of General Dumont displayed the flag of Imperial France, an additional safeguard for the Holy See. The Emperor had been forced into the position of a defender of the Temporal power; and the Prusso-Italian alliance afforded him a motive of self-interest for maintaining that position. Nevertheless it was well known at Rome that the French occupation, depending as it did merely upon the Emperor’s will, and being thoroughly inspired by policy rather than principle, might at any moment cease, if he saw a prospect of renewing the old Franco-Italian alliance. But meanwhile the French were there, and the Catholics of France spared no effort to keep them there. The Cabinet of Florence therefore adopted a policy of patiently waiting for Rome. It entered guarded protests against the French occupation of Cività Vecchia as a violation of the September Convention of 1864, regardless of the fact that its own hands had torn to pieces the Convention, when Rattazzi plotted with Garibaldi the campaign of 1867. It watched the course of events, sought by diplomatic means to procure a withdrawal of the French corps of occupation, and expressed its willingness to return at any moment to the Convention of September.

Meanwhile the party of action began to grow impatient. The OEcumenical Council, announced in 1867 on the occasion of St. Peter, assembled in the Vatican Basilica on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Wednesday, December 8th, 1869. (1) It is no part of my task to enter into its history. Suffice it to say that the European revolution having vainly endeavoured, in the lodges and in the cabinets, to place obstacles in the way of its assembling, to fetter its action, and to destroy its freedom, gave vent to its baffled spite from the press and from the tribune in attacks upon the episcopato and the Sovereign Pontiff. In Italy the party of action became furious on seeing the council assembled and deliberating in perfect freedom, guarded by the swords of Christendom marshalled in the grey ranks of the Zouaves. Ignorant of how soon events would open the way to Rome for the treacherous Cabinet of Florence, the leaders of the party of action prepared to repeat the attempt of 1867. But the Italian Government gave no countenance to the movement, for it saw how utterly hopeless it was, after the experience of the Mentana campaign. In the spring of 1870, some Garibaldian bands mustered on the Pontifical frontier, but they were stopped by the Piedmontese troops. Towards the end of May a band of about fifty strong succeeded in eluding their vigilance, and entered the Papal territory near Montalto in the province of Viterbo. A troop of dragoons and a company of Zouaves were sent in pursuit, and the band retired into Italian territory. About 250 Garibaldians, who had assembled to support it, were dispersed by the Royal troops.

This appearance of Garibaldian bands, the violent language of the Radical press, and the recommencement of brigandage in the mountainous parts of the province of Velletri, were all signs of coming trouble. About the middle of June the Pontifical Government received information that several of the Roman refugees, who were serving in the Italian army, had either asked for a discharge or obtained leave of absence; that enrolments for some secret object were going on in Italy; and that some of the workmen engaged on the reconstruction of the Acqua Pia, who had given up their employment and left Rome, had been thus enrolled. Suddenly the Hohenzollern candidature was started, and France and Prussia began to drift rapidly into war. General Kanzler saw that the crisis was at hand. Leave of absence was only granted to the Papal troops for the most urgent motives, and no effort was spared to increase the efficiency of the army. “The political situation is becoming threatening,” wrote one of its commanding officers, “and from hour to hour we expect to be exposed to an energetic attack on the part of the revolution.”

On the evening of the 17(th) of July war seemed imminent. Crowds of exiled men traversed the streets of Florence, shouting, “Viva la Prussia! Viva Roma!" and“To Rome! Down with France! Hurrah for Neutrality!” Next day at Rome the Infallibility of the Pope was proclaimed in a solemn public session of the Vatican council. On the 19th, in the French Senate, the Due de Gramont announced that war was declared against Prussia—a war which opened to the Revolution the long desired way to Rome. At first Italy hesitated. She was bound by many ties to both the belligerents. The personal feelings of the king would have ranged her on the side of France. Many members of the Cabinet were more favourably inclined toward Prussia. The mass of the Revolutionary party cried out for neutrality and action against Rome. It was while Italy was thus hesitating that Napoleon resolved to withdraw his troops from Civita Vecchia and the province of Viterbo, in the hope of gaining the Italian alliance and of seeing La Marmora come to his aid with 100,000 men. He might, perhaps, have gained all he desired by restoring Nice and Savoy to the rule of King Victor Emmanuel; but he had no idea of giving up an inch of his own territories. Instead of that he exposed to invasion the little territory that he had left to Pius IX. after the spoliation of 1860, and this abandonment of the Holy See he styled “a return to the Convention of September.”

Catholic Europe was amazed at this act of Napoleon III the recall of 4000 men could not do much to strengthen his armies on the Rhine; and even had he needed every man of the French line, it would have been easy to place at Civita Vecchia a few battalions of the Garde Mobile, or a few depot companies. As Visconti-Venosta himself said in the Italian Chamber, on the 19th of August, “there was no need of several thousands of men; a few companies of soldiers and the French flag would have been sufficient.” Supposing that there was no arrière pensée on the part of the Emperor, could a worse moment have been chosen<for the evacuation? Even the enemies of the Papacy saw this. “Having come back,” wrote M. Jules Favre, “you cannot .choose for leaving the Pope to his own resources the very moment when he has the most need for your protection.” (2)

Finally, France had no guarantee for the observance of the Convention, but the word of the Italy of Castelfidardo and Mentana. Nor was there anyone in Europe so blind as not to foresee what under the circumstances would inevitably be the course of events in Italy. The journals of the Liberal party openly expressed their hope of soon seeing Victor Emmanuel at Rome. In France the Stìcle, the Débats, the Constitutionnel, the A venir National, and even the Moniteur, wrote more or less openly in that sense. “Italy is to be entrusted with the protection of the Pope,” wrote the Liberal A venir National on August 2nd. “For the sake of their intelligence it is to be hoped that our statesmen have no doubt as to the result of this protection. The Italian Government will assuredly keep up appearances, it will line the Pontifical frontiers with its troops, it will oppose the entry of armed bands, but if some day a revolution breaks out at Rome, if by some chance two or three thousand Garibaldians and Mazzinians appear in the Eternal City and effect a successful revolution, it will be necessary for the soldiers of Victor Emmanuel to cross the frontier to more efficaciously protect the Pope; it will. be necessary to place an Italian garrison in the Quirinal; and then, perhaps, the Pope feeling himself too much protected, will think it well to leave the Vatican. These are the eventualities which the government has to face, eventualities to which no doubt it is re signed" the French Government was more than resigned to them; they were part of its plan for securing the wavcring alliance of Italy.

The protests of the Catholic press and of men like Keller and Ségur d’Aguesseau were in vain, denouncing the abandonment of the Holy See as a dishonour to France. About five o’clock in the afternoon of July 20th M. de Bauneville, the French ambassador at Rome, received a telegram from Paris, announcing the coming “return to the Convention of September.” General Kanzler was with him at the time. The ambassador showed him the telegram; and Kanzler, having read it, replied like a true soldier of Ancona and Mentana, “Monsieur le Comte, we shall be crushed, but we shall do our duty!” On the 28th General Dumont received orders to hold his brigade in readiness to concentrate on Cività Vecchia for embarkation. Three days later the French ambassador received a long despatch from the Due de Gramont, explaining the ostensible motives for the withdrawal of the French troops, in fact making excuses for the act. The recall of the troops, it alleged, was not a measure rendered necessary by strategical considerations, but was clearly necessary on political grounds. The presence of the French flag was a violation of the Convention of September… “The brigade, which formed the occupying force, meant nothing, if it was not the vanguard of the French army, ready if necessary to hasten to the aid of the Pontifical Government;” but this was now impossible. The note concluded by insisting on the necessity of “gaining the goodwill of the Italian Cabinet.” the closing argument was the real reason for the step.

When Pius IX. and his minister, Antonelli, were told of the course upon which the Emperor had decided, they showed no surprise. Speaking to a French visitor a few days after, the Pope said: “I have dono what I could to prevent the war; I have said what I could to persuade the French not to leave the Pontifical territory; they have given me political reasons, to which I attach no weight; God will see to it!” (3)

Bad weather and insufficiency of transport delayed the evacuation for a few days. On the afternoon of the 30th of July General Dumont went to Rome to take leave of the Holy Father. Pius IX. avoided saying a word that could hurt the feelings of Dumont and his officers; his brief speech expressed only good will and solicitude for France. Later in the day Dumont bade farewell to Antonelli. It is said that he endeavoured to inspire the cardinal with confidence in the good faith of the Cabinet of Florence, and alleged various motives which would lead them to observe the Convention; and that Antonelli replied: “All this is very fine, (general, but I must tell you there are three men, and three men in a very good position to judge of the situation, who do not share in the confidence with which you wish to inspire me; the first is yourself, the second Victor Emmanuel, the third myself!”

The first troops embarked on the last day of July. Viterbo and Corneto were evacuated on the 3rd of August. On the 4th, while De Failly’s corps was being -beaten at Wissembourg and France was losing her first battle, the greater part of the infantry and artillery left Civita Vecchia. On the 6th the rest of the infantry, the engineers, the horses, and accompanying this division the general in command, sailed for Lyons. It was the day of Forbach and Woerth, the battles that drove the whole Imperial army into full retreat on Metz. France had already lost more men than the whole of Dumont’s men could replace. During the following day the military train, stores, and gendarmes were embarked, and the French flag, saluted by the Pontifical artillery, was hauled down from fort St. Angelo. Napoleon's abandonment of the Holy See was complete. Catholic France had no share in it Her gallant sons still crowded the ranks of the Pontifical army.

Meanwhile, what was Italy doing? She was waiting to see which way the tide of war would set, before she decided anything. As soon as the news of the declaration of war was known at Florence, Visconti-Venosta, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, was asked in the Parliament what course the Government would take; he replied, that Italy, like all the other neutral Powers, would assume an attitude of observation. On the 25th Nicotera addressed an interpellation to the Government on the subject of the French occupation. Visconti-Venosta answered that “he was not completely informed as to the intentions of the French Government in this respect that, as for Rome itself, “the Government considered the resolution taken by France as not affecting the line of conduct which Italy could follow in the actual state of affairs”, but that “the worst of allpolicies would be to take advantage of the present opportunity in order to embarrass France, andeven indirectly give reason for the belief that Italy would take a violent course upon the Roman Question.” Although he said nothing of it to the Parliament, he was, however, trying to take another step towards Rome by diplomatic means. He had suggested privately to the French Cabinet, first, that Italian troops should replace the French garrisons about to be withdrawn from Viterbo and Cività Vecchia; and when this was rejected, he proposed a joint Franco-Italian occupation. Finding that this, too, had no chance of acceptance at Rome, he expressed himself content with a simple return to the Convention of September. On the 2nd of August a brief despatch from the Due de Gramont announced to the Cabinet of Florence the withdrawal of the French troops, and the return to the Convention. For the future of Rome, it said in conclusion, the French Government trusted with full confidence in the “vigilant firmness” with which Italy would execute her share of the agreement. In the note, wherein he formally acknowledged the receipt of the despatch, Visconti-Venosta pledged the Government at Florence to fulfil with exactitude its engagements under the Convention. (4)

By the middle of August Bazaine was shut up in Metz; but though the fortune of war seemed to be deciding against France, her losses were not yet irretrievable. Italy, therefore, still hesitated to take any action. Visconti-Venosta negotiated with Prussia, to make sure of support in the event of France later on demanding satisfaction for a violation of the Convention. In return for the support of Prussia, he could guarantee the neutrality of Italy. These negotiations were successful. Towards the end of August the Augsburg Gazette informed its readers that “the Prussian ambassador at Florence, M. de Saint Simon, had given perfectly satisfactory assurances to the Italian Government as to the policy of Prussia… Prussia,” it continued, “will defend Italy against any Power that attempts to dispute with her the possession of Rome. Another French defeat, and Italy will march on Rome. Victorious Prussia, when she dictates the terms of peace, will take care that France does not molest Italy on account of Rome. Italy will owe the possession of Rome to the German victories.”

Nevertheless the Government preserved its apparent policy of strict observation of the Convention. The Radical party became excited. There were riots in various cities, and cries of “Eviva la Prussia!—Abasso la Francia!” at times, too, more ominous cries of “Viva la Repubblica!” At Milan, Fra Pantaleo, Garibaldi Sicilian chaplain, harangued the crowds. At Bologna and elsewhere Garibaldian enrolments were carried on almost openly. Arms and stores were seized by the police. It began to be said that the Government, by giving up Rome, had “violated the pact of the plebiscites,” and was no longer fit to preside over the destinies of Italy. (5) But the Government had not given up Rome. It was secretly working its way towards it; but it did not wish to take any open step, until it could be perfectly sure that France was prostrate. A Garibaldian raid against Rome would only have destroyed all its plans. Mazzini was arrested at Palermo and taken to Gaeta— Garibaldi appeared at Livorno, only to be ordered back to Caprera. But at the same time a squadron was prepared for sea; ten divisions of the army were mobilized and massed at Capua and along the frontier of Tuscany. The arsenals were unostentatiously busy, everything indicated a campaign. But the necessity of being on one’s guard while there was a war in Europe, was put forward as the only motive of these preparations.

Meanwhile the Roman Question had been more than once the subject of debate in the Parliament at Florence. Parliament was prorogued in the first week of August, after Visconti-Venosta had declared in the Senate, on the 3rd, that France having of her own initiative desired to return to the Convention of September, Italy had renewed her adhesion to it; and he added, that no act of violence could solve a moral question like the Roman Question, and that the Government would not permit anyone to take out of its hands the initiative of solving it. On the 11th the semi-official Opinione gave a contradiction to reports in circulation as to a speedy reassembling of Parliament. It would appear that the ministry suddenly changed its plans, for the same evening Parliament was convoked for the 16th. When Parliament met, two prominent members of the Left placed on the notice paper of the Chamber of Deputies interpellations on the policy of Prussia and on the Roman Question, and August 19th was fixed for the discussion of them.

Guerzoni’s interpellation stood first on the list. He asked what authority was to be attributed to a letterj reported to have been written by the King of Prussia, in which he was said to have declared that he would agrec to a German Power taking the place of the French at Rome. Visconti-Venosta, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, replied that there was no truth in the report, but that Prussia abstained from all intervention on the Roman Question, and left Italy full liberty of action. Mancini then rose to call attention to the Roman Question, and made a most violent speech. He denounced the Convention of September as being contrary to the wishes of Italy, he attacked the policy of the Government, he called for an immediate advance upon Rome. “There can be,” he declared, “no more favourable opportunity. Look around you. The Pope is isolated. Spain is occupied with securing hcr own internal tranquillity. As for France, we deplore her present condition. As for Prussia, she refused in 1866 to guarantee the territory of the Pope against the very eventualities that have now arisen. Austria has withdrawn from and abolished the Concordat in her alarm at the new dogma, and Bavaria forbids its publication in her territories.” He concluded by asserting that the ministers had renounced the national programme, and that their continuance in office was at once an anachronism and a danger to Italy.

Visconti-Venosta replied on the part of the Government. He declared that, even after Mentana, the Convention of September had not ceased to exist: that he had abstained from raising the Roman Question “in order not to compromise a vital interest of Italian policy, which consisted in putting an end to the French occupation that, if he did not take advantage of the present state of affairs, it was because in his opinion it would be “a policy wanting alike in foresight and in generosity, to take advantage of the difficulties of France, and, in a spirit of mere calculation, wish to seize the first moment in which one was no longer withheld by material force.” He had not, he said, abandoned the national programme of Italy; but, it was not by violence that it was to be carried into effect. Then came a declaration, by which Visconti-Venosta, Minister of Foreign Affairs to King Victor Emmanuel, publicly condemned beforehand the very policy which the King and he were to put into complete execution in the course of another month. These were his words:—

“The obligation which Italy has undertaken, NEITHER TO ATTACK the PONTIFICAL FRONTIER NOR TO PERMIT IT TO BE ATTACKED, EVEN IF IT WERE NOT ENFORCED BY TREATIES, WOULD STILL BE ENFORCED BY OTHER SANCTIONS PROVIDED BY the ORDINARY LAW OF NATIONS AND the GENERAL POLITICAL RELATIONS OF STATES.” (6)

He insisted that Rome could only be reached by a patient prudent policy, and he asked the House to choose between this and the rash enterprises of the Garibaldian party, which, he said, had only retarded the solution of the question. Throughout, Visconti-Venosta was applauded by his own party, but persistently interrupted by the Left. When he sat down, Pianciani, Nicotera, Billia, Oliva, Miceli, Sonzogno, Bertani, Mancini and the other leading men of the Left, rose in succession to assail the Government and call for the immediate occupation of Rome. Lanza defended the policy of the ministry, and decided that the Government would stand or fall by the vote upon the interpellation, which it made a vote of confidence. On the House dividing, on the afternoon of the 20th, 240 deputies voted for the Government, 152 voting with the Left, thus giving the Cabinet a majority of eighty-eight. After the sitting the Left held a meeting to decide upon the policy it was to adopt in consequence of this decision. Visconti-Venosta’s speech was loudly condemned; and Rattazzi, Bertani, Fabrizi and Cairoli, proposed that as a protest the 152 deputies of the Left should in a body resign their seats. The proposal was formally adopted, and it would have been carried into effect, had not Sella come into the hall, and begged the leaders of the Left to suspend all action for a short time and content themselves with observing the policy of the Cabinet. The deputies agreed to this course, still keeping the threatened resignation in reserve as an effective menace to the Government, for were such a step taken, it might be the beginning of a revolution.

The Cabinet was seriously alarmed. It gave way to the pressure of the Left. Every day the collapse of the military power of France became more manifest, and the way to Rome was open. The preparations for a campaign were pressed on rapidly but silently, and the ambassadors of the Fiorentine Government took the necessary steps to secure impunity for the coming act, which Venosta himself had declared was a rupture of solemn treaties and a violation of the public law of Europe.

Rome was perfectly quiet. There had been predictions of trouble, of open manifestations of disaffection after the withdrawal of the French troops, but no such manifestations took place. The Garibaldian Bianchi, in his history of the campaign of 1867, and Garibaldi himself in his Rute of the Monk) had confessed that only a handful of the people were anything but “clericals;” (7) and certainly there had been no change in their feeling during the three years between the autumns of 1867 and 1870. The Government, however, was on its guard against disturbances from without. Towards the end of August it was informed by the Fiorentine Cabinet that Menotti Garibaldi was in Rome. He was discovered, and quietly expelled by the police. About the same time the Italian flag was one night hoisted simultaneously at S. Lorenzo, Acquapendente and Bagnorea; in the morning, without anyone trying to prevent them, the police took down and confiscated the flags. At Viterbo four suspected persons were arrested; at Rome a sentry of the Légion d’Antibes was found murdered at his post Beyond this there was not the slightest attempt at disturbance, and this though an army of 60,000 men was assembling o n the frontiers. Whenever the Pope appeared in public he was enthusiastically received by the people. It was quite evident that his throne could only be menaced by an intervention from without.

The Government at Florence having resolved upon such an intervention and decided to go to Rome, had no need to arrange the details of the projected annexation. Lanza, Visconti-Venosta and Sella, had only to follow the beaten tracks so well marked out by Cavour in 1859 and 1860. So true is this, that as M. de Beauffort remarks, Montalembert in writing just after the invasion of the Romagna and describing the events which were passing before his eyes, described also, more than ten years before they occurred, the events of September and October, 1870. (8)

“The drama,” wrote Montalembert “is played in three acts: the defamation, the invasion, the voting. Each act has its own actors—the writers, the soldiers, the voters. The whole proceeding henceforth is well known to everyone.

“A sovereign is denounced. We are told that his government is defective, intolerable: that his subjects are discontentcd, oppressed, exasperated. He only maintains himself by foreign arms, he is without moral or material force, he is lost. This is how the sovereign is defamed; and if the denunciation Comes from a high quarter, evcry morning two thousand journalists send on the ringing echo of it to two millions of readers.

“Suddenly we are told that this weak sovereign has become threatening, that he is planning an attack, that he is getting soldiers together. He was an object of pity, he is now a source of fear... Take precautions, cross his frontiers. This is the second act; his territories are invaded.

“Then, being masters of his country, they consult his subjects. Are you happy? No. Do you wish to be? Yes. The cause of your misfortunes is Pius IX.; Victor Emmanuel will be the cause of your happiness—long live Victor Emmanuel! the drama is played out, and the curtain falls. They go to sleep Romans, they wake Piedmontese, but nevertheless liable to taxation, and the conscription into the bargain.” (9)

The plan of 1860, thus sketched by Montalembert, was also the plan of 1870. There were certain obstacles to be overcome, but the Government set about removing them. First the public opinion of Europe must be conciliated, or at least the Cabinets must have set before them some pretext for the invasion, otherwise their own Pharisaic self-respect would be shocked. Then, too, some pretext must be given to the people of Italy, to more or less win over the great mass, who had not thrown in their lot with the Red Revolution. Finally, if possible, the firmness of Pius IX. must be shaken; what a triumph it would be for the Fiorentine Cabinet, if he could be induced to accept or at least yield without resistance to an Italian occupation of Rome!

In the two first points, the Government was successful enough to feel itself safe in carrying out the enterprise; in the last it failed utterly. To the Cabinets of Europe it protested that it went to Rome to preserve order and prevent a revolution in Italy, a revolution which would go to Rome, not as a friend but as a foe. To the Italians it proclaimed that it went to Rome to guarantee and preserve the freedom and authority of the Pope: that if it did not take this step, the Republican party would go there, not to set up a secular authority beside the spiritual rule of the Pope, but to drive him out of Italy: that at the same time it would free him from the tyranny of foreign soldiers and reactionary leaders. At Rome itself, it used much the same arguments, menacing the Pope with the avowedly infidel Revolution, if he would not accept the protectorate of Victor Emmanuel.

On the 29th of August, Visconti-Venosta addressed to all the Italian ambassadors at the Courts of Europe, a long circular letter on the Roman Question. In this despatch he insisted that for the Government there was a twofold necessity—to satisfy the ° legitimate aspirations” of the Italian people, and to give full security for “the independence, the freedom, and the spiritual authority of the Pope.” He complained that the (w) intervention of foreign force” still existed at Rome, (10) and he made this a pretext for a diatribe against the Pontifical Government He charged it not only with misgovernment at home, but with being a standing menace to Italy. In order to support this theory he made the boldest and the most unwarranted assertion. The little Pontifical army was only just sufficient to keep at bay a Garibaldian invasion; but Visconti-Venosta declared in his dispatch that the Papal Government was “enrolling foreign troops, and giving them, contrary to the spirit of the Convention, not the mere mission of preserving internal order, but the character of an army of reaction a nucleus for a new crusade.” He concluded by saying that the time was come to find a solution for the Roman Question. The address was accompanied by a long memorandum, in which the history of previous attempts at a solution was set forth from a Piedmontese point of view. “The wolf,” says M. de Beauffort, “told the story of the crimes of the lamb.” the memorandum concluded by stating the promises, which Italy would make, in order to guarantee the independence of the Holy See, and its possession of the necessary means for the government of the Church. Hardly one of those promises has been kept. They ran as follows:—

‘‘The Sovereign Pontiff will retain the dignity, the inviolability, and all the other prerogatives of sovereignty, and more, will have that precedence of the king and of other sovereigns allowed by established usage. The title of prince, and the honours that accompany it, will be given to the Cardinals of the Roman Church.

“The Leonine City remains under the full jurisdiction and sovereignty of the Pope.

“On its territory the Italian Government guarantees:— “A.—Freedom of communication fort he Sovereign Pontiff with Foreign States, clergy and peoples. “B.—Diplomate immunity for the nuncios or Pontifical legates to Foreign Powers, and for the foreign ambassadors accredited to the Holy See.

“The Italian Government promises to preserve all the institutions, offices, and ecclesiastical bodies existing at Rome, as well as those employed therein, but without recognizing on their part any civil or penal jurisdiction.

“The Government promises to preserve intact, and without submitting them to special taxation, all ecclesiastical properties, of which the revenues belong to offices, corporations, institutions and ecclesiastical bodies, having their seat in Rome and in the Leonine City.

“The Government will not meddle with the internal discipline of the ecclesiastical bodies in Rome.

“The bishops and priests of the kingdom are free, in their respective dioceses and parishes, from all interference on the part of the Government in the exercise of their spiritual functions.

“His Majesty renounces in favour of the Church all right of Royal patronage over the less or greater ecclesiastical benefices of the City of Rome.

“The Italian Government grants to the Holy See and the Sacred College a fixed and unalterable annual income, not less than that assigned to them in the budget of the Pontifical State.

“The Royal Government will allow the Italian civil and military employés of the Pontifical State to retain their rank, their appointments and their seniority.

“These articles will be considered as a bilateral contract, and will form the basis of an agreement with the Powers who have Catholic subjects.”

Such were the promises of the Piedmontese Government at Florence—promises which, like so many other of its solemn engagements, were only made to be broken.

Within a week of the date of these despatches the catastrophe of Sedan completed the prostration of France; and the 4th of September brought into power at Paris a group of men avowedly friendly to the new policy of Italy. On the?th another circular, signed by Visconti-Venosta, told Europe how the solution of the Roman Question, promised on the 29th of August, was to be effected. The wolf was going to take the lamb under his protection.

“His Majesty the king,” wrote the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, “as guardian and trustee of the integrity and inviolability of the national territory, and as the sovereign of a Catholic people, having an interest in not abandoning to chance the lot of the Head of the Church, assumes with confidence, as is his duty, in the presence of Europe and of the Catholic world, the responsibility of maintaining order in the Peninsula and of protecting the Holy See. His Majcsty’s Government reserves to itself the rightof adopting certain resolutions in consequence of this, before the agitation, of which there is evidence in the Pontifical territory and which is the natural result of external events, ends in bloodshed between the Romans and the foreign troops... Therefore, when the information we receive leads us to believe that the opportune moment has come, we shall occupy the points necessary to secure the common safety, leaving to the people the care of the administrative government.”

Signor Visconti-Venosta concluded by asking the ambassadors to lay this information before the various Courts, so as to obtain an expression of their good will towards Italy in the course she was pursuing. The pretext of the invasion was shown to be threefold. The Papal army, 13,000 strong, and with more than 8,000 Italians in its ranks, was a menace to Italy with its army of 525,000 men; it must therefore be dispersed. The foreign troops—a handful of 5,000 men—domineered over the Pope; he must be freed from them, freed from his own bodyguard. The Romans were panting under the Papal yoke, at any moment there might be bloodshed between them and the foreigners; they must be liberated. The might be of the third point is very important; it proves that the Romans were perfectly quiet. How much more forcible it would have been had Visconti-Venosta been able to write there has been bloodshed! But he could not get up an insurrection even in the frontier villages.

The Cabinets of Europe, nearly all in the hands of the Liberals, received Visconti-Venosta’s despatches without a protest. In the replies of some there was a marked coldness. Others spoke of the necessity of guaranteeing the Pope’s freedom in the altered condition of affairs. None of them repeated Visconti-Venosta’s words of August 19th, and told him that what he and his Government contemplated was an outrage upon European law and order. (11)

The circular despatches of August 29th and September 7th were not published in the Gazette at Florence until the 11th. The Liberals of the Left were therefore hnaware of the activity of the Government, and they continued their agitation, which, as it seemed to give weight to Visconti-Venosta’s statements, the Government made no effort to repress. Addresses were presented to the ministers, telling them that further delay in solving the Roman Question would be high treason against the nation. There were meetings at Modena, Milan and Naples, and the cry was raised of “Rome, or the Republic!" Nevertheless to the Iast moment the Government did not declare itself. On the 8th the Opinione announced that a Cabinet Council had just decided upon the occupation of the Papal territory. This was contradicted next day by the Official Gazette; and on the following day the Ministers met, and the final decision, for which all preparations had been already made, was taken. At the Cabinet Council theMinister of War, General Govone, La Marmora’s trusted agent, whom he had matched against Bismarck in 1865, spoke so wildly that everyone saw his mind was breaking down. He had been working hard in attending to the details of the mobilization for the march on Rome. That evening he resigned his portfolio to General Ricotti Magnani. In a few weeks he was dead. The coming invasion had been foreseen at Rome, and even before the final decision was taken at Florence Pius IX. was prepared for it. On the 6th of September he held a council of Cardinals to decide upon the policy to be adopted. Three courses were suggested and discussed. The Pope might submit to the demand for an Italian occupation of Rome, and endeavour to carry on the government of the Church under the new conditions in which he would be placed; or he might leave Rome and take refuge at Malta, Innsbruck or Trieste; all three places were named, and it was urged that, as no reliance could be placed on the promises of the Italian Government, the Pope could only thus secure his freedom of action. The third course was to resist, to make at least an armed protest, to yield only to actual force, and then to remain in Rome without recognizing the power of the invader?, carrying on from the Vatican the government of the Church, and, so long as it was possible to do so, remaining in the Vatican awaiting better days for the Holy See. This was the course which was decided upon, as being both more dignified and more prudent than flight or submission; being, too, a course dictated by duty, and affording at least a hope that some unforeseen chance might avert the invasion, or might drive back the invaders, or at least save Rome even if the provinces were annexed. The policy resolved upon by Pius IX. and the Cardinals was simply this,—to refuse to give up Rometo the rule of King Victor Emmanuel, to offer to the Royal army a resistance sufficient to prove that it could only enter Rome by force: and, finally, that the Sovereign Pontiff should remain in Rome, even if it were only as a prisoner.

At Florence there was a lingering hope that the Pope might even at the last moment be induced to consent to an Italian occupation of Rome. King Victor Emmanuel especially was anxious to obtain a peaceful entry into the capital of Christendom; for it is only just to say that he was not wholly dead to the old traditions of his house, and he felt a certain shrinking from armed war against the Standard of the Keys, even though he had not the resolution to resist the Liberals when they urged him to it. He wished to go to Rome because it was the natural sequence of his policy and that of the party with whom he had thrown in his lot; but to fight his way into Rome seemed a very terrible thing, a thing if possible to be avoided. He therefore wrote to the Sovereign Pontiff a letter, which, read in the light of the acts of king and Parliament during the following weeks, sounds like an echo of the “Hail Rabbi!” of Gethsemane. On the evening of the 8th of September Count Ponza di San Martino started by train from Florence, to present this letter to the Pope at the Vatican. The parallel with the events of 1860 was a verv dose one. It’ was just ten years all but two days, since, on September 16th, 1860, the Count della Minerva had left Turin for Rome on a very similar mission.

The envoy of September, 1870, was but too well chosen. From 1852 to 1859, he had been Minister of the Interior at Turin, and had been foremost in the work of despoiling and suppressing the religious orders and fettering the action of the episcopate. He arrived at Rome on the 9th, and in the course of the morning was received by Cardinal Antonelli. The Count told him that he was the bearer of an autograph letter from the King to the Pope, and communicated to him its general purport. He added that the Government at Florence was determined to occupy Rome and the territories of the Church immediately, that it requested the Pontifical Government not to make an armed resistance, and that the step it was taking would only anticipate the action of the Radical Revolutionists, who were actually planning the proclamation of the Republic at Rome. He then spoke of the possibility of a kind of treaty between the Pope and the King, saying that Victor Emmanuel was willing to guarantee all the I i 2 rights of the Holy See, and to leave to it the sovereignty of the Leonine City.

Cardinal Antonelli at once rejected all these offers. The Holy See, he said, could not admit the right of anyone to deprive it of a sovereignty which, notwithstanding the presence of a hostile army of 40,000 or 60,000 men on the frontier for several weeks, had not even been menaced by any disturbance in the capital or in the provinces.

The Pope, he said, would not yield without a struggle; and as for the proposed compromise which would leave the Leonine City under his rule, the Italian Government should not expect that the Holy See, by such an act, would consent to the spoliation on which the Cabinet of Florence had resolved. He assured Count Ponza that this was the only reply the Pope could give to Victor Emmanuel’s letter; but, that he might fully execute his mission, and that he might not have to complain of any obstacle being placed in the way of his discharging it, he introduced him into the presence of Pius IX. The Pope received him most kindly and courteously, and asked him what was the object of his visit. On this, Count Ponza di San Martino handed him the king’s letter, saying that he was to carry back the reply to Florence. The Pope opened it immediately, and read it. The letter was a long one. It ran as follows:—

“Most Holy Father,—With the affection of a son, with the faith of a Catholic, with the honour of a king, with the feeling of an Italian, I address myself once more, as I have had to do before this, to the heart of Your Holiness.

“A storm full of danger threatens Europe. Taking advantage of a war, which is laying waste the centre of the Continent, the party of the cosmopolitan Revolution is increasing in boldness and daring, and is preparing, especially in Italy and in the provinces governed by Your. Holiness, a last blow against the Monarchy and the Papacy.

“I know, most Holy Father, that you in the greatness of your soul will never fail to be equal to the most critical events; but for my part, a Catholic king and an Italian king, and, as such, by the disposition of Divine Providence and by the will of the nation, the guardian and protector of the destinies of all Italians, I feel it my duty to assume before Europe and the Catholic world the responsibility of maintaining order in the Peninsula, and the authority of the Holy See.

“Most Holy Father, the state of feeling of the populations governed by Your Holiness, and the presence amongst them of foreign soldiers come from different places and with various intentions, form a centre of agitation and a source of evident peril for all. Chance, or an outbreak of passion, may lead to violence and an effusion of blood, which it is my duty, and yours, most Holy Father, to avoid and prevent.

“I see that it is unavoidably necessary, for the safety of Italy and of the Holy See, that my troops, already marshalled for the protection of the frontiers, should advance and occupy the positions requisite for the security of Your Holiness and for the maintenance of order.

“Your Holiness will not choose to see a hostile act in this measure of precaution. My Government and my forces will absolutely restrict themselves to a course of action calculated to preserve and protect the easily reconcilable rights of the Roman population, and the inviolability of the Sovereign Pontiff, his spiritual authority, and the independence of the Holy See.

“If Your Holiness, as I do not doubt, and as your sacred character and the benevolence of your heart give me a right to hope, is inspired with a desire equal to mine to avoid all conflict, and to escape the perils of a violent course of action, Your Holiness can arrange with Count Ponza di San Martino, who will hand you this letter, and who is provided with proper instructions by my Government, as to those measures to be taken in common which appear best calculated to obtain the desired result.

“Will Your Holiness allow me once more to express a hope that the present crisis, as momentous for Italy as for the Church and the Papacy, may call forth into action that spirit of benevolence which has never been extinguished in your heart, that spirit of goodwill towards this country which is also your fatherland, and those conciliatory feelings which I have always endeavoured with indefatigable perseverance to express by acts; so that, while fully satisfying the aspirations of the nation, the Chief of Catholicity, surrounded by the devoted love of the Italian people, may retain on the banks of the Tiber a glorious See, independent of all human sovereignty.

“Your Holiness, by freeing Rome from foreign troops, by saving it from the continual danger of being made the battle-ground of subversive parties, will accomplish a wondrous work, will restore peace to the Church, and will show Europe, startled as it is by the horrors of war, how great battles can be gained and immortal victories won by an act of justice and by a single word of affection.

“I beg Your Holiness to be so good as to give me your apostolic blessing, and I renew to Your Holiness the expression of my most profound respect.

“Your Holiness’s most humble, most

“devoted and most obedient son,

“(signed) Victor Emmanuei..

“Florence, September 8th, 1870.”

After having read this letter to the end, Pius. IX. exclaimed, “What is the good of this attempt at useless hypocrisy? Would it not be better to say plainly that they wish to despoil me of my kingdom?” Count Ponza di San Martino had the effrontery to reply, that, had he had to write the letter, he would simply have said that “Italy, regarding the occupation of Rome as essential to the completion of her natural unity, demanded it of the Pope in the name of natural right.”

“You are always talking,” said the Pope, “about the aspirations of the Romans. Well, you can see with your own eyes how tranquil they are.” Count Ponza, in reply, alleged that this calmness on the part of the Romans was largely due to the action of his Government, that their quiet character rendered their city all the more fit to be the capital of Italy, and that the Pope might rest assured that he would receive all the guarantees necessary to his independence. The Holy Father answered, that he could not recognize on the part of the Italian Government any right to concern itself with the internal order of Rome; that he had always hoped that he would be allowed to end his days in peace, without seeing the last remnant of his territory torn from him; that as for the guarantees and assurances that might be offered to him, he had reason enough to know what they were worth, especially under a Government whose policy changed with every new Ministry; they might, he added, do what they could, but they were not to expect his sanction to it. “I may indeed yield to violence,” he said, “but give my sanction to injustice—never!” (12)

Count Ponza di San Martino retire from the presence of the Pope, quite certain that the entry of his master’s troops would be resisted, and that the king’s letter had produced no result, unless if possible to increase the determination of Pius IX to come to no terms with his despoilers. He had hardly withdrawn when the chamberlains introduced into the presence-chamber eighty-five young men, volunteers for the Zouaves, who had just arrived in Rome to take their part in the final struggle, and for whom before Ponza’s arrival an audience had been appointed that day. Thirty-seven of them had come across the Atlantic from Canada. In a few words the Holy Father told them what a consolation it was for him to see them gathering around him; and he gave them his blessing.

The Piedmontese envoy did not return to Florence until the nth, and it seems that he took advantage of his two days’ stay in Rome to see the leaders of the small group of Revolutionists that still maintained itself in the city. When he left Rome for Florence he took with him a letter from the Pope to King Victor Emmanuel:—

“Sire,—Count Ponza di San Martino has handed me a letter, addressed by your Majesty to me; but it is not worthy of an affectionate son, who glories in professing the Catholic religion, and who prides himself upon the good faith of a king. I do not enter into the details of the letter in question, in order that I may not renew the sorrow which it caused me when first I read it. I bless God, Who has permitted your Majesty to fili with bitter sorrow the last days of my life. As for the rest, I cannot agree to certain demands, nor admit certain principles contained in that letter. I once more call upon God, and place in His hands my cause, which is wholly His. I beg Him to grant your Majesty many graces, to deliver you from danger, and to bestow upon you the mercy of which you have need.

“(Signed) Pio P.P. IX.

“From the Vatican, September nth, 1870.”

With this letter Count Ponza left Rome for Civita Vcechia, whence he was to proceed by sea to Livorno on his way to Florence. He took this route because the railway by Orte and the adjacent roads were crowded with troops and materiel, gathering for the invasion. Rome was quiet, and, only the day before he left it, Count Ponza had witnessed the enthusiasm with which the people had hailed the Pope and King, when for the last time he appeared in state in the streets on the occasion of the opening of the great aqueduct of Acqua Pia.


vai su


CHAPTER XXIV

THE INVASION OF ROME

On the nth of September, the same day on which Count Ponza di San Martino arrived at Florence on his return from Rome, the Official Gazette contained the following words: “His Majesty the king, on the proposition of the ministry, has this morning ordered the royal troops to enter the Roman provinces.” the same day the invasion began. It was almost to a day the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Umbria and the Marches; and in September, 1870, as in September, 1860, there was no declaration of war. The formal declaration, without which no war is legal, requires a statement to be made of serious grievances and wrongs, for which redress has been asked and refused. No such grievances could bc alleged as the motives of the invasion of the Patrimony of St. Peter, and a legal declaration of war would have been impossible. The invasion was a royal brigandage. Visconti-Venosta’s own words on the 19th of August, only three weeks before, had, out of the mouth of the Fiorentine Government, denounced this their own act as a violation of treaties and an outrage on the public law of Europe.

The army, which had been massed along the Pontifical frontiers for the invasion, was under the supreme command of Lieutenant-General Raffaele Cadorna. It had a nominal force of 81,000 men; its effective force, after making various necessary deductions, was about 65,000 men, and reinforcements to the amount of 10,000 more crossed the frontiers, while this army was marching upon Rome. The force thus placed under Cadorna’s leadership was organized in five divisions, two of which were commanded by veterans of the Garibaldian armies of 1848, 1859, 1860, 1862, and 1867 —Cosenz and Nino Bixio. Northwards, on the extreme right at Orvieto, Bixio commanded the second division, which was to march through the province of Viterbo and, with the help of the fleet, seize Civita Vecchia.

O-CLERY-map-ROMAN-PROVINCE

Bixio was then to cooperate with the other divisions in the attack on Rome, Southwards, on the old Neapolitan frontier, Angioletti commanded the ninth division, which was to march upon Rome through the provinces of Velletri and Frosinone. These two divisions were linked together by the fourth corps, which was cantoned along the frontiers of Umbria. It was under the immediate personal command of Cadorna, and was composed of the 11th division (Cosenz), the 12th (Mazé de la Roche), and the 13th (Ferrero).

To resist this army of more than 60,000 General Kanzler had at his disposal an army of the effective strength of about 12,000. The nominal strength was 13,624. It may be well to give here the numbers of the various corps, distinguishing those which were formed of native and of foreign troops.

A glance at this, the last muster-roll of the Pontifical army, will show the absurdity of the cant-phrase of the English press—that Pius IX. relied on foreign bayonets for his defence. The foreign volunteers numbered little more than one-third of the whole force. It must be added that there was no conscription in the Papal States, and that every native soldier in the ranks was a voluntary recruit Therefore, the number of recruits obtained from the small population of the Roman States is a testimony to the loyalty of the people to the Papal Government. If England could get as many recruits from her population, her 38,000,000 of people would keep up an army of 456,000 men.


Men Guns
Gendarmerie, Col. Evangelisti 1863
Romans
Artillery, Col. Caimi 996 40 »
Engineers, Lt.-Col. Lana 157
»
Chasseurs, Lt.-CoL Sparagna 1174
»
1st Regiment of Infantry, Col. - Azzanesi (2 battalions) 1691

Pontifical Zouaves, Col. Allet (4 battalions) 3040
Foreigners
Légion d’Antibes, Col. Perrault 1089
» (French)
Chasseurs Étrangers, Col. Jeanneret 1195
» (Swiss)
Dragoons, Col. Lepri 567
Romans
Garrison troops, Major Gemini 544
»
Train and Hospital Corps 285
»
Squadriglieri (placed under orders of Col. Evangelisti) 1023
»

13,624 40
8300 Roman troops


Of whom 5524 Foreign volunteers 13,624

In the first week of September General Kanzler had about 2000 men in the provinces of Velletri and Frosinone, 1000 in that of Viterbo, 1000 at Civita Vecchia, about 300 in various small posts i