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mind, when dealing with this subject, that Italy is no longer an oppressed nationality, but has now her place among free nations. Those, then, who have been faithful to her just cause in days gone by, and who still desire to do it real service, will not now dwell so much upon the cruel wrongs she has suffered in the past, as upon the work to be done in the
present. Nor can they render greater service to Italy than by pointing out honestly what they believe to be both her merits and her faults; knowing that if she is to reap all the fruits to be obtained by the just restitution of her rights, it must be by a truthful examination of all that is good and all that is bad within her body politic, of its strength and of its weakness. Such a process has assuredly its unpleasant as well as its pleasant phase; but it issues in this great good, that if faithfully persevered in, evils are exposed and corrected, impending dangers are pointed out and averted, and the nation is gradually formed to that vigorous public life and power of self-government whose fruits, if slow in their growth, are sure and enduring. A nation, trained up in such a school, will often surprise the world by passing safely through some formidable crisis in which its enemies predict its inevitable ruin; it will, like the government and people of the United States, know how to maintain its constitutional rights against the armed attacks of a violent and misguided minority ; it will, as did England and Belgium in the years immediately fol-. lowing 1848, preserve its freedom when despotism and reaction crush the liberties of neighbouring nations; or, again, like those two countries during the year 1848 itself, it will maintain in all their integrity its laws and institutions when the storm of revolution, sweeping over a whole continent, overthrows governments which form the beau-ideal of those who prefer the rule of an intelligent despot to the selfgovernment of an intelligent people.
During the first two months of 1866, Italy, in common with the rest of Europe, had little or no belief that the wrangling of Prussia and Austria would terminate in a resort to arms.
The Italians were busy about matters of a very different kind : they were debating what reductions could be made with safety in their army, so as to improve the financial condition of the country. Among other projects for its amelioration there had been formed that of an “Association," or "National Subscription,” for diminishing the public debt. At its head was no less a person than the king's cousin, Prince Eugène de Savoy Carignano. The means by which the society was to carry out its project formed the subject of much public discussion ; but as time passed on, and the irritation increased between Berlin and Vienna, the government, press, and people of Italy followed with continually increasing watchfulness the diplomatic war between the two German governments, each of whom, by the middle of March, was accusing the other of making armed preparations. By the end of the month the armaments of Austria in Bohemia, and the counter armaments of Prussia, had fairly aroused the attention of the Italian public. The press advised the Govern
ment to keep a watchful eye upon what was going on in central Europe. “We cannot sufficiently recommend to our statesmen," wrote the Perseveranza of Milan on the 26th of March, “that prudent audacity which holds itself ready for every eventuality, ready to seize every occasion that may be favourable to the completion of the national destinies, without compromising itself by useless demonstrations.” This influential and moderate organ of the Italian 'press, which, up to that time, had had but little belief in war breaking out between Austria and Prussia, continues in the same article to express its belief “that perhaps the day is not far distant when fortune will smile on Italy, offering her a means of triumphing over her adversary.” The Italian and Prussian governments entered into negotiations with a view to concert a common action in case of war. General Lamarmora, the head of the cabinet of Florence, conducted the negotiation with ability and success, thus adding another important service to the many he had already rendered to the cause of Italy. In his despatch of the 3d of April, the General states the double object of the alliance, and the principles upon which it was based, according to the views of the Italian government. It was—"1" To maintain, if necessary by arms, the proposals made by his Prussian Majesty for the reform of the federal constitution in conformity with the wants of the German nation; 2°, To obtain the cession to the kingdom of Italy of Italian territories subject to Austria.” As to the principles upon which the alliance was based, the Italian statesman declares it to be that of German and Italian nationality for the furtherance of liberal institutions in Germany and Italy. It is indeed earnestly to be desired that such may be the final result of the Prusso-Italian alliance, and war to the north as well as to the south of the Alps. The concluding portion of the despatch runs thus:
“ Piedmont began in 1859 the work of liberating the Italian soil, with the noble aid of France. We trust that that work may be completed at no distant time by Italyperhaps in a war of independence, fought side by side with that power which represents the future of the German people, in the name of an identical principle of nationality. Amongst the solutions which, in these last years especially, have been proposed as regards the Venetian question, this more than
other would enable us to remain consistent with our political and international position, and would preserve our national alliances, even the most distant. We shall, besides, be happy to aid Prussia in resisting the designs of the Austrian Empire, by placing herself resolutely at the head of the German national party, by calling together that Parliament which has been for so many years the desire of the nation, and securing in Germany, as has been done in Italy, the progress of liberal institutions, by the exclusion of Austria.”
It is pleasant to see Italy thus pushing Prussia, as it were, into the path of progress, and bidding her remember that her real work was not mere selfaggrandizement, nor the humbling of a rival, but the far nobler one of uniting Germany together, and endowing her with a great national system, at once liberal and progressive. Nor can the correctness and elevation of these ideas of the cabinet of Florence be denied, if a large and comprehensive view be taken of the wants and aspirations of the German people; although it must be owned that the course pursued by Prussian statesmen and Prussian diplomacy during the last three or four years has often been such as to dishonour the cause of German nationality and progress.
As regarded Venetia, the policy of the Italian ministers was perfectly consistent with the declarations continually and publicly made during the last six years by Italians of all classes and of all parties. Ever since the formation of the Italian kingdom, the government and the people, the parliament and the press, had made no secret of their determination to unite Venetia to the new kingdom, a union eagerly desired by the people of that province. They were willing enough to compass that end by negotiation and indemnity ; but if such means were not opened to them, they avowed very frankly that they should make use of other means whenever the occasion presented itself. Austria, on the other hand, refused to come to any terms touching the cession of Venetia. It was hers by the treaties of 1815, and she intended to keep it. She cared nothing for the fact of Venetians having had no voice in those treaties, which, after the fashion of Campo-Formio, blotted out the ancient Venetian state from the map of Europe, and handed it over to Austria, because it seemed good to the conquerors that it should be so. In vain the wisest friends of Austria advised her to yield; she