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had restored Venice to freedom, that she had been, like Milan, united to the mother country, or at least to a constitutional kingdom of North Italy. In that case, would not the Venetians have made the same progress and accomplished the same reforms as the Milanese? Would not popular schools have seen the number of their pupils increase year by year? Would not new schools have been erected to satisfy the popular demand ?
Would not the municipality of Venice have done its utmost, like that of Milan, to push forward the work of instruction so worthy of a free people, and so absolutely necessary to their welfare? Would it not have furthered public works for the material improvement of the city ? Would there not have been formed in Venetia, as in Lombardy, various joint-stock and limited companies for carrying out enterprises of public utility ? Under a free national government, would not the commerce of the port of Venice have increased, as has been the case with Genoa and Naples ?
Perhaps the enemies of Italy will reply that the Venetians are too frivolous, too little united among themselves for such a result to be probable; that they are only capable of vexing and embarrassing their Austrian rulers, but by no means worthy of liberty; that they are wholly incapable of self-government and of prospering under a system of freedom. The first argument that suggests itself in answer to such allegations is, that all this was said of the Milanese previous to 1859;—whereas the facts contained in this essay touching Milan prove how completely those who made such assertions were mistaken. But there is something more to be added in reply—it is this : that Venice gave proof of what she.was capable before 1859; that it is not so very long since she manifested to the world what she was, and what she could do when mistress of herself. From March 1848 to August 1849 the Venetians became free, after having endured for fifty years a foreign yoke.
What use did this people, now accused of frivolity and effeminacy, make of that brief period of independence? They began by selecting as their chief a citizen of Venice, who united political intelligence to the noblest natural qualities—Daniel Manin. His government was one of freedom at home, while displaying both diligence and ability in the presence of foreign complications. Is there need to recall the heroic defence which terminated that short but memorable period of Venetian liberty? Assuredly a people who have achieved such things have sufficiently proved that they are worthy of freedom. If they could act thus in the midst of a revolution, after half a century of bondage, what will they not do under a national government which shall bestow upon them all the blessings of order and of liberty ?
There is yet another fact which strikingly proves that the Venetians are capable, now as ever, of making sacrifices for their country's cause. or 14,000 of them have exiled themselves, despite all the efforts of the Austrian authorities, and have enrolled themselves in the ranks of the Italian army. At the same time, Austria obliges the province to
furnish its contingent to the Austrian army. Thus Venetia undergoes a double conscription - the one obligatory, the other of her own free will for the cause of Italy.
And yet there are persons who blindly maintain that the Venetians are degenerated, and are unworthy of liberty ; that Italians will not fight, that their country is a land of the dead. In answer to such accusations we point, on the one hand, to those proofs of vitality still to be found in Venice, enthralled though she be, and, on the other, to Milan, today in the full enjoyment of freedom. Let the friends of Italy take courage. Venice remains worthy of a better future; she awaits without faltering that day which shall yet realise the prediction of Manzoni :
“Non fia loco ove sorgan barriere
Tra l'Italia e l'Italia, mai più !” “No more shall any spot be found where barriers rise to sever
Italian from Italian soil - henceforth, for ever!”
Let me be permitted to add one word more, after having thus expressed my confidence in the future of Venice. An Englishman thus praising the work which is to-day being accomplished in Italy, might fairly be accused of injustice if he did not recognise the great share which France has had in bringing about that result. Doubtless she did not intervene in the war of 1859, declared by Austria against Piedmont, in order to form a single nation out of the different states of which Italy was composed. France only wished to construct, against the return of Austria, the barrier of a kingdom of North Italy. But was not even that an immense benefit to Italy, a real triumph for the cause of liberty and right? Where would Italy and Piedmont be to-day if France had given in 1859 only the aid of words and despatches, the effects of which were made manifest in the case of Poland and of Denmark? If that only had been done, would not Italy still mourn to-day as Poland mourns ? Would not Piedmont have suffered the same misfortunes as Denmark, despite that admirable Piedmontese army which did such good service in the Crimea, but which was numerically so small as was that of Denmark? Thanks to France, such misfortunes have been averted. Her part in the creation of Italian liberty has then been so noble, that England should cordially recognise it, and support with earnest sympathy the work thus begun.
June 1868. The writer has great pleasure in placing at the end of this translation of his article, published in the Revue des Deux Mondes of ist October 1865, the following interesting letter signed A. H. L., and inserted in the London Times of 27th February 1868. bears testimony to the moral and material progress which has already commenced in Venice since the departure of the Austrians in October 1866. The friends of Italy will hail with joy this promise of a brighter future, this dawn of a happier day; as yet, indeed, but " a day of small things,” still assuredly a day not to be despised.
27th February 1868. “SIR,—You and your correspondents in Italy have, of late, passed severe, though perhaps not unmerited strictures, upon the Italian Government and upon the Italian Chambers. But let us be just to the Italian people. I need not point out the singular moderation and good sense which they have shown in times of great difficulty and under grave provocation. You have done them full justice in this respect. I am desirous of calling your attention to the social and moral progress which is taking place in Italy, and which is less known to your readers, as it is with political matters that your correspondents are naturally most concerned. For the last two months I have been residing in Venice, and an acquaintance with persons of all classes in that city has enabled me to collect a few facts upon this subject which, in justice to the Venetians, should be made known.
“Since the departure of the Austrians, in the autumn of 1866, schools have been opened by the municipality in all the parishes of the city, and are now frequented by about 3800 children of both sexes. Other schools will be speedily added. Sunday-schools, for girls who cannot attend on week-days, and infant schools, have also been established. An institution for the education of female teachers already contains ninety pupils. Night schools have been founded by gentlemen connected with the liberal professions in the eight districts of Venice. The municipality has since undertaken to support some of them. They are divided into inferior and superior schools, and are attended by nearly 2000 pupils, including about 1000 adults, working-men who resort to them after their day's labour. The most distinguished professors of Venice give gratuitous lessons there every evening, and the progress made by the mecha