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men who know what military matters are, both by practice and in theory, have the greatest confidence in the Italian army, in whose formation, training, and discipline they have borne a large part, having made it the subject of their most earnest labours. To such a force must be added the tens of thousands of volunteers who are flying to arms with the devoted enthusiasm of those who believe themselves called to fight for all that a people holds most dear. Time, with its stern facts, alone can prove whether, as the writer believes, the chiefs of the Italian army are justified in their confidence; but woe to the enemy that comes to do battle with Italy's sons in the belief that he has but an easy victory to win. Italians are under no delusion as to the power of their formidable foe; that foe had best not undervalue those who, from their gallant king to the youngest conscript, from the hero of Caprera to the most youthful of his volunteers, are one in their devotion to the sacred cause of their country's freedom; who know that to-day the question for them and Italy is nothing short of this, "To be, or not to be?”
There are some who, as usual, suspect France of waiting to aggrandise herself at Italy's expense. France, for service done, made the Alps her boundary between Italy and herself. History will no doubt give full weight to whatever may be urged against that proceeding, but it will assuredly admit that there was much to justify it. Sound policy and justice alike forbid France to change the boundaries of her south-eastern frontier, and that double motive
will doubtless prevent her from tarnishing the lustre of those triumphs which marked the memorable campaign of 1859, bright as they are, not so much with the questionable glare of mere military achievement, as with the imperishable glory of a kindred nation's freedom and a kindred people's rights. Not to the elected of millions, but to those who claim to be the special depositories of the divine right of kings, to the Hohenzollerns and to the Hapsbourgs, the world must turn if it would contemplate the most recent example to be found of a policy which has not scrupled to break down treaties, to belie promises, to use alike violence and fraud, for the attainment of its own ends at the expense of its feeble neighbour. Such, in the Danish question, was the statecraft common to the royal and imperial monarchs enthroned at Berlin and Vienna, who are not sovereigns by the national will, not offsprings of universal suffrage, but whose boast it is that they reign by right divine, that they rule by the grace of God !
It remains only to say a few words upon a subject much talked of latterly, which is, however, by no means new—that of the cession of Venetia to Italy by negotiation. This has long been desired by various English diplomatists and statesmen, not only in the interest of Italy, but in that of Austria and of Europe. It is interesting to see what was being said and proposed on this subject in the troubled years 1848 and 1849, more especially as all subsequent events have amply proved the wisdom and foresight of those who advocated such an arrangement.
In May 1848, Sir Ralph Abercromby, the English minister at Turin, in a despatch to Lord Palmerston, then Foreign Secretary, points out that, should Austria completely reconquer Lombardy and Venetia, they would always be a cause of heavy and permanent expense.
“If Austria," he writes, “could for once make up her mind to negotiate honestly for the evacuation of those provinces and the recognition of the new constitutional kingdom of North Italy, in consideration of an advantageous pecuniary arrangement, she would certainly find the most liberal intentions, both in this country, (Piedmont,) and in the provinces which are uniting themselves to it.” Having spoken of the great value to be attached to a prompt and satisfactory solution, he concludes with these words : “But, in order to be satisfactory, it is indispensable that the Austrians evacuate Italy, and recognise its complete independence. Any other solution would but serve to prepare for the future new insurrections and new conflicts."
Upon the 3d June 1848, Lord Palmerston, in a very able despatch to M. de Hummelauer, endeavours to persuade the Austrian minister of the necessity of giving up Venetia as well as Lombardy, chiefly on the ground of the cost and difficulties in which Austria would be involved if she undertook to reestablish her power over those provinces, and, when re-established, the impossibility of maintaining it, except at great expense, and by the costly means of the permanent employment of a large military force. He expresses the willingness of the English government to interpose its good offices between Piedmont and Austria, provided that the arrangements already accorded in the case of Lombardy were extended by Austria to that part of the Venetian territory which should be agreed upon between the two parties.
Again, on the gth October 1848, after the recovery of Lombardy and Milan by Austria, Lord Palmerston, writing to Lord Ponsonby, the English minister at Vienna, again points out the insuperable obstacles which prevent that power from holding Lombardy, except as a conquered province, and its therefore becoming a burden and a source of weakness to Austria. He says that the hatred of the Lombards towards her might well lead them to ask foreign aid against her, and that if such aid led even to a general war, it might well end in Austria losing all her Italian possessions. The despatch terminates thus :
“Thoroughly disposed as the friends and allies of Austria might be to aid her if she were menaced in her own proper and legitimate existence in Germany, there exists on the subject of her pretensions to impose a yoke on the Italians so general a feeling of their injustice, that this feeling might well have the effect of leaving Austria with very little aid in the case of a similar war."
Another most remarkable despatch of Lord Palmerston's is that of the nith of November 1848 addressed to Lord Ponsonby, at Vienna. The English Foreign Secretary again refers to the inextinguishable hatred of the Lombards to Austria ; he impresses on the Cabinet of Vienna that the policy of ceding Lombardy could now be adopted by the imperial and royal government without loss of prestige or honour, inasmuch as the arms of Austria having been completely victorious, and being in full possession of that province, such cession would be regarded as an act of wise and generous policy, springing from the purely voluntary determination of Austria. He goes on to remind the Viennese statesmen that the government of France might soon change hands, as it actually did, on account of the presidential election then pending; that French policy might assume in the future a much more active part as fegarded foreign affairs; that a war against Austria for the liberation of North Italy would always be pleasing to France, in certain circumstances; and he then asks: “ Could Austria be certain that even the sympathy of Germany would follow her in her efforts to force again her yoke on the Italian nation?" He further says, most truly, that the principle of nationalities to-day, (1848,) the rallying-cry of Germany, is in itself a protest against Austrian rule in Italy : then adds, that the principle of prescriptive right is scarcely more favourable to Austria, because, although good as regards certain parts of Lombardy, which, like the Duchy of Milan, had long been fiefs of the empire, it was equally strong in favour of the republic of Venice.