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it was necessary because this arbitrary government was ruining the state by the defects of its administration. Unfortunately the want of any institution, even of an imperfect one, which might have furnished the means of enlightening the government by peaceable measures, made it every day more to be feared that the Parliamentary system could only be established in Piedmont, through the aid of a revolution; and however legitimate such a revolution might be, many persons who were impatient under their arbitrary yoke, yet shrunk from the thought of lacerating the heart of their prince, and agitated themselves between the chagrin of not being able to undeceive him, and their reluctance to constrain him by revolutionary movements. They might have remained long in this harassing and painful suspense, if the most imminent political considerations had not decided the question at once, and plainly laid down the line of conduct which they ought to pursue, in order to acquit themselves at the same time. of their duties towards the throne, and towards their country. The manner in which the allied powers had disposed of Italy at the congress of Vienna, far from augmenting the real strength of the house of Savoy, had deprived it of all preponderance in the affairs of Italy, and consequently of its place in the system of Europe. Before the French revolution, the King of Sardinia was the principal power in the Peninsula, both by the position and the population of his domi nions. The house of Austria possessed in it only the duchies of Milan and Mantua, almost separated by two rich Venetian provinces, Brescia and Bergamo. Since the congress of Vienna which sanctioned the annihilation of the republic of Venice, one of the most perfidious acts of Buonaparte's policy, the empire of Austria has most alarmingly extended itself in Italy, by the possession of Lombardy, that rich and populous district, siezing its hereditary property on every point of its long northern frontier. Add to this, Parma and Placentia, placed under the authority of an Austrian general, the gaoler of an unfortunate princess, Modena and Tuscany given up to Austrian princes, and Ferrara guarded by an Austrian garrison, which leaves the states of the church at the mercy of the Emperor; surely for any one, after considering this, to say that the king of Sardinia is enabled by the mere acquisition of Genoa to counterbalance the power of Austria in Italy, would be to add insult to our other injuries. Genoa moreover does not augment the strength of the house of Savoy so much as some may imagine. The city requires a larger Piedmontese garrison than the number of inhabitants in the duchy can furnish; the conscription is forced to spare such of the population as are destined for the sea. The Genoese nobility, depressed, discontented, and, with very few exceptions, not soothed by ribbands, and
chamberlains' keys, will for a long time be a dangerous element in the state. The middling ranks, well-informed, and liberal in their ideas, cannot accommodate their spirits to an absolute government, any more than the mountaineers can forget the times when the lands paid scarcely any thing. Genoa can only become a source of prosperity to the monarchy, by a liberal constitution, the only possible tie between two people, held in habitual disunion by the remembrance of long and unfortunate feuds.
Every thinking person in Europe saw that, after the division by the congress at Vienna, the house of Savoy could no longer be considered with reference to what she had been, but what she must become, in endeavoring by force to oppose the will of Italy. Her very being could only be a transient one. Pressed between two great powers, the King of Sardinia saw himself compelled to choose whether he would become the vassal of Austria, or contend for the crown of Italy. The remembrance of the warlike deeds of so many of the Princes of Savoy, of the fortitude of Emmanuel Philibert in misfortune, the undaunted resolution of Victor Amadeus, and the firmness of Charles Emmanuel III., excited an expectation that this house would fulfil its destiny, on the first occasion that should occur. The Lombards were discontented with their subjugation to the Emperor of Austria, the measures he observed towards them were of so dubious a nature as showed that they would be changed or thrown aside, as soon as the motives which dictated them should cease; and even whilst they lasted, the deserted state of Venice, and the thousands who were in want of bread, the remnant of a brave army humbled and neglected, the commercial welfare of the country sacrificed for the interests of Austrian industry, all made the unhappiness of a foreign sway bitterly felt.
In Piedmont a grand revolution had already taken place in the public mind. Emmanuel Philibert in removing his seat of Government to Turin, and Charles Emmanuel II. by his conduct, had long shown that their house and kingdom were no longer French; but it was not till the reign of Victor Emmanuel that the Piedmontese became fully convinced of this truth. A race of young people who had imbibed the sentiments of Victor Alfieri, and a host of brave men, from the ranks of Napoleon's armies, concurred to give this impulse to opinion, and it was strengthened by that hatred of the Austrian name, which is instinctive both in the Piedmontese and Genoese, coeval with their existence, and which will end only with it. A hatred which the Austrians themselves have taken care to nourish, every time they have appeared among us, by the insolence of their deportment, their extortions, and the hardships they impose upon the people.
Victor Emmanuel has been reproached with not having availed himself of the opportunity afforded him in 1814, to place. the crown of Lombardy upon his head. I doubt whether this reproach be just, and whether the enterprise would have succeeded at that time. What has been said of it, however, both in Piedmont, and throughout the rest of Italy, sufficiently shows the state of public opinion. Meanwhile it would be wrong to accuse Victor Emmanuel of not answering, by his sentiments, these wishes of the Piedmontese. Happy times, cherished in memory, when throughout my country we were all united by the same hopes, and all felt called to the same vocation! Then all eyes were turned towards this same Lombardy, which we called the land of our brothers; we had then no Piedmontese deafened with the noise of their chains, or with their blood boiling at the sight of a Milanese bending under the stick of an Austrian corporal. We might differ as to the means of remedying our internal evils, but we all agreed in the desire, and the necessity, of retaining that interest in Italy which formed the sole strength of our state, the only guarantee of its independence, the only reasonable motive for our national sacrifices. We eagerly repeated to each other the answers made by the King to the Ministers from Austria to Turin; we cherished every word which expressed how much he felt the patriotism of the Italians, and if at that time it had been asked who was at the head of the vague, but universal conspiracy which Italy contained within her bosom, the name of Victor Emmanuel would have burst from every lip.
But when reasonable men were constrained to abandon the sweet illusions of enthusiasm, they were reluctantly compelled to acknowlege that the noble chief of the Italian conspiracy entertained a repugnance to one of the measures best calculated to ensure its success. I have already said, that Victor Emmanuel was startled at the idea of a constitutional government. Nevertheless the rectitude of his heart was such, that the reunion of those loyal and courageous servants who had represented to him the duties which his political situation, and the welfare of his people imposed upon him, would have surmounted all his objections. Yes, this good prince would have yielded, notwithstanding the influence of the Queen and his affection for her. Victor Emmanuel loved his subjects also, and the honor of the nation above every thing. He only wanted to know the truth; but how was he to know it? What king can ever flatter himself with knowing it, in a country where the absence of every liberal institution raises clouds of impenetrable darkness between the throne and the people. These clouds, however, were dispersed when the Revolution in Spain sounded like a clap of thunder throughout Europe; and taught
crowned heads that the age of absolute monarchies was past. This revolution was the first accomplished by the military in behalf of liberty. Our ancestors had seen an English army cut down the Long Parliament; we have seen French grenadiers first destroy, and then a second time chase, an assembly of legislators; but the Spanish soldiers did not elevate an Oliver Cromwell, or a Buonaparte, on their shields; it was the laws of their country that they displayed on their triumphant flags. It has been generally acknowleged in Europe, that all nations require such institutions as may in some measure temper royal authority; but a potent Monarch has said, and many have repeated it after him, that these institutions ought to emanate from the throne itself. The principle may be very fine, but may I be permitted to ask in return, what is to be done, when nothing does emanate from the throne? If a King doom to death, if he plunge into dungeons, if he exile, men who have braved every danger to replace him on his throne, and to secure its independence and liberties to their country, then is a nation to endure and suffer in silence; or to see without murmuring its hopes extinguished, its laws violated, and all the sources of its prosperity choked up? O you whose heart the most powerful crown in the world has not yet been able to corrupt, deign to say, if the heroic Spaniard ought to hide his head in the folds of the mantle yet wet with the blood that he has shed for his King, and submissively stoop to receive blows from the very hand to which he has so lately restored the sceptre? There are those in Europe who would dare to answer yes; but they are those who consider the people as no more than sheep given up to the discretion of their driver. Alexander however is not of this description. The Spanish revolution was a pillar of light for all the armies of absolute monarchies, and its rapidity made a powerful impression upon the people, and particularly upon that portion of society which is the most interested in the preservation of order, and make the most sacrifices towards maintaining it. It taught these persons that it was possible to pass speedily and happily from a state of oppression and misery to one of liberty and felicity. Piedmont felt the stimulus of this revolu tion, but in a less degree than Naples did; because the imagination of the Piedmontese is more calm, and because they flattered themselves that the government of the king would profit by the terrible
lessons which astounded all.
At length I come to an epoch which will be long remembered by Italy, I mean the NEAPOLITAN REVOLUTION. This is not the place to investigate its causes or to retrace its history; I shall only observe, in order to show its legitimacy, that the Government of Naples was perfectly arbitrary; and if I should be told, that it was wisely administered, I shall deny the fact. We must not form
our judgment of the prosperity of a state, from a few beneficial establishments in the metropolis. It is to the provinces, to places further removed from the centre of government, that I would appeal as to the execution of the laws. I have no fear of being belied by these witnesses, the fittest persons to consult, unless indeed we would judge of the merits of a government by a few roads and public edifices, or by the luxury of the higher classes, whose unhappiness is never very great, even under arbitrary sway, unless they suffer from the distresses of their fellow-citizens, or stoop to disgraceful expedients to lighten the burden of slavery.
Moreover, if the government of Ferdinand I. refrained from tyrannic violence, the King found himself fully requited in the nature of the Neapolitan revolution. Those enthusiastic spirits showed that they had even forgotten the noble blood shed in Naples in 1799, as a happy omen on the return of this same Prince, which was hailed with benedictions in 1820, because he appeared to lend himself willingly to the wishes of the nation. One would have said that the Neapolitan people were greeting, in the person of their King, the lawgiver and the founder of their liberties. Mistaken people! Too dear has it cost you to put away distrust and invidious resolutions!-To be just and moderate in a time of revolution is doubtless commendable; but in the paths of justice and moderation we must preserve a firm step. Moderation is not weakness, nor pusillanimous complaisance. There was indeed too much ne glect and credulity in the resolutions of the Neapolitan Parliament, when it did not resist the departure of Ferdinand for Laybach: nor was this merely an excess of confidence. To be plain, the Parliament did not feel what the national dignity required, when it allowed the King to present himself at the Congress in the attitude of a suppliant. Nor did he then think to appear there in the character of a perjurer.
I have yet a graver fault to find with the Neapolitans; which is, that they did not perceive their situation, but foolishly imagined they should disarm their implacable enemy by a defensive attitude. It was evident to all that the Sovereigns assembled at Laybach would not let slip the opportunity of beating down at Naples the principle of military revolutions, which they must still spare in the Spanish Peninsula. It was also pretty clear that the Emperor of Austria would never permit that five millions of Italians should be governed by a free constitution. This would in a few years bring on a revolution in Italy, which must soon have wrested Lombardy from his dominion. It became necessary, therefore, at whatever cost, to crush Naples, and even run the risk of an Italian revolution, which at this time would be both premature and feeble. Could he be sure too, on any other occasion, of the support of the