Page images

be unable to enlarge on this subject, and impose silence upon the sweetest emotions of the heart. Let me be permitted to say that the respect due to misfortune was religiously observed by the people of Genoa. Vessels were found ready, and generous succours were given to those persons into whose wants they were enabled to penetrate : Genoese solicitude supplied every thing.'

Genoa had not the misfortune of seeing the Austrians within its walls. This grief was also spared the city of Turin, where the Count de la Tour made his entry on the 10th of April.

The people gave him a cold reception, which the principal counter-revolutionists remarked with ill-disguised disappointment. A dreadful foreboding prevailed in all hearts. The people but too well felt that it was for them that the revolution was intended, and against their wishes that it had been defeated. Turin, it is true, wanted energy, and quietly remained under the gravity of circumstances ; but that city, where so much learning exists, where the judgment is so sound among all classes of society, will never be able to see, without repugnance, the yoke of arbitrary power weigh over its head ; and its wishes will always be favo rable for the establishment of sound liberty.

The Austrian troops occupied the Citadel of Alexandria, Voghera, Tortona, Casal, Verceil and Novaro. The Count de la Tour, who had so well served absolute monarchy, was not judged worthy of avenging its injuries : this office was reserved for the Chevalier de Revel, Count Bratolongo, whom the King named his Lieutenant-General in his states belonging to the mother-country.

The sentence which has been pronounced at Turin against the greater part of the Piedmontese exiles has not astonished them.” The arbitrary government which rules Piedmont are less inclined to pardon them for the moderation with which they have exercised

"To believe the author of the “ Thirty Days," Victor Emmanuel distributed considerable sums to the Piedmontese who embarked : no one is more persuaded than myself of the excellent heart of the Prince, but this circumštance is absolutely false.

? When this was written I was yet ignorant of the judgments of the 13th August, which condemned to death the Prince of Cisterna, the Marquis of Prie, and the Chevalier Hector de Penon, as guilty of being accomplices in the Piedmontese Revolution. I have declared in this work, and I again declare in the most solemn manner, that these three persons took no part in the conspiracy of the month of March; that they were not even informed of it, for this expression cannot be applied to the vague rumours which might have reached then. The Marquis of Prié was the only one who heard of it, in any way positive, some days before his arrest, and by whom? by the Prince of Carignan.

Ou what proofs have they condemned the Prince of Cisterna, Prié and Penon? Hatred alone can have dictaled such judgments,--but here the word judgment is misplaced.

[ocr errors]

their power, than for what they are pleased to term their rebellion, that is to say, the reclaiming the rights of the nation. That nation well knows that the conduct of the Constitutional chiefs will long live in its remembrance, to reply to the calumnies of the enemies of liberty. This reflexion is the only one which can support the exiled chiefs in misfortune.

I have now finished my painful task; I am sure of having fulfilled it with fidelity; and I have neglected no means of performing it usefully. It was necessary to prove that the Revolution took place because the Piedmontese people were subjected to an entirely arbitrary government, under which the absence of all protecting laws left the property and the persons of the citizens without guarantee; it was necessary to prove that the object of our enterprise was also the aggrandisement of the house of Savoy, the consolidation of its power, and at the same time, the emancipation of the Italian country, in a manner that our most sacred duties and our dearest affections were identified in our designs ; it was necessary to prove that this enterprise, however audacious it might seem, presented, notwithstanding, great chances of success ; it was necessary to show in what way the inaction of the Prince of Carignan during his Regency hindered us from profiting by the sole advantages of our situation, how his unworthy flight overwhelmed the nation which in him had placed all its hopes, and in what way our courage would have restored those hopes, had not the unexpected fall of another betrayed nation lost all; it was necessary to demonstrate how men who fluctuate between two parties become fatal to their country, and how much the liberal Prince whose arm does not serve his opinions, must expect the reproaches of posterity, and humiliation on the part of men against whom he has not dared to fight, and to whom he has prepared victory by his feebleness and irresolution ; it was necessary again to show that true patriots know how to sacrifice their attachment to this or that political theory, when the interest of their country requires it, and to show that had the Liberals of Piedmont, after the conduct of the Neapolitan Parliament, been attached to any other Constitution than the Spanish, they would have made themselves the artisans of discord in Italy; it was also necessary to show that the justice and moderation of the Constitutional Government, having conciliated the affection and esteem of the people, the cause of liberty, in spite of the misfortunes which befel it, could only be vanquished by the assistance of foreigners ; it was necessary, in fine, to show how much the totality of circumstances which enfeebled unfortunate Piedmont, rendered the consequences of the disaster of Novaro irreparable.

All this, I believe, I have performed in the eyes of honest men,

and the enlightened and sincere friends of liberty, who compose the great majority of the people of Europe. I do not flatter myself with obtaining more equity from our enemies: it is useless to seek to convince them of the purity and generosity of our intentions, they will not be the less anxious on that account to repeat their calumnies. How can they exist without them? As they have none to relate, they must needs have recourse to their invention; for it concerns them too much to injure us in the estimation of the Italians, and thereby deprive us of that respect due, perhaps, to our misfortunes and to our sacrifices. But let them not deceive themselves. Not one of our compatriots will judge of us from the assertion of our common enemies.

But this is not yet sufficient, and it is not the sole purpose of this work: it is necessary that the Italians should rest their attention on the situation of their country, and on the faults and consequences of the failure of their Revolution. This Revolution is the first which has been attempted in Italy for many ages, without the assistance and intervention of foreigners ; it is the first which has shown two portions of the Italian people

corresponding with each other from the two extremities of the Peninsula. Its result, I know too well, has been to subject Italy entirely to Austria ; but let the Austrians beware ; Italy is conquered, but not subdued. Besides, what was Italy before the month of July, 1820 ? was it not already the slave of the Emperor of Austria, from the time that the courts of Naples and Turin had made an engagement with him, to refuse to their people the benefit of political institutions ? Our late misfortunes have, then, only rendered our position clearer, our servitude more direct, and display our chains more openly.

The emancipation of Italy will be an event of the 19th century; the signal has been given. Our enemies may prepare at their leisure the lists of proscription, and the good-natured Italian Princes may continue to serve the interests of Austria, to admiration, as they would sooner reign by her permission than by the laws. Austria may leave them to do so, and begin to reap the fruits of their blindness; but all are deceived: the passion of the Italians for their national independence increases by the sacrifices which it costs them. The power of Austria may retard the moment, but it will only serve to render the explosion more terrible. Our ancestors have given us great examples, which will not be lost; and when another European war shall arrive, and Austria shall demand of the Italians their children and their money to support its interests, the Italians will perhaps know better how to employ them.










« PreviousContinue »