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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 dominions. 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 des. tined 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 dis-, contented 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
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
sions appointed, and project on project formed, without advancing a step. The King, by a sort of instinct, hereditary in his family, knew best the situation of his country: he wished for a strong army, in which he was perfectly right: but he might have had it without oppressing his people. Undoubtedly some serious reformation should have been adopted in regard to the Etats-Majors, as well as several of the more expensive corps : but these could not be touched without rousing a powerful band of courtiers, and affecting the most favored families; and Victor Emmanuel was not sufficiently enlightened to see through the veil, under which certain interested servants of the throne took care to conceal their personal views, nor firm enough to repel the solicitations of those whom he believed to be attached to him.
The King had done either too little or too much for his army. The Marquis de St. Marsan, Minister at War, had organised the infantry on a good system. This system was attacked, defended, deranged, modified, and yet continued to exist, but unsupported by institutions calculated to obviate its inconveniences, such as were eminently in the spirit of the Government of the House of Savoy, but diametrically opposed to our mazims of policy: for in this respect our policy resembles that of the rest of the world, who are apt to exclaim furiously against every popular idea. The system of conscription had been fully acted on by Bonaparte. It was severe, but just, and presented extensive resources. Much had been expended on the artillery, but without discretion. The supply of the most indispensable kind of stores was defective ; whilst the accoutrements were. ill adapted to the wants of the individual and the situation of the country.
The hopes of the better informed among the army were besides nearly destroyed when the Marquis de St. Marsan was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whence the Count de Vallesa had retired amidst the applauses of the public, whose esteem for him was heightened by the noble intrepidity with which he retired from office. The new War Minister, a man of good and upright intentions, either neglected or changed most of the useful arrangements of his predecessor, and followed directly opposite principles. The improvements and retrenchments which the Marquis de St. Marsan had begun or projected, not having been carried into effect, the consequence was, that Piedmont, though overloaded with military expenses, was without an army; for no real army exists but in that country where the troops can be instantly put on a war footing
An event occurred, which appeared to revive the hopes of the nation--the appointment of Count de Balbe to be Home Minister.
' In August or September, 1819.
A worthy man, well versed in political economy, acquainted with the spirit of the age, but not duly estimating the force of public opinion ; a man who, in fact, from his turn of mind, appeared to belong to the period which produced a Turgot, a Malesherbes, and a Grand Duke Leopold. His name might have been placed beside theirs, had he been born in a country more suited to his genius, or had he not been wanting in energy of character. Piedmont stood in need of a civil and criminal code of laws, of a system of public education, provincial administrations, charitable establishments, &c.; and the Count de Balbe could not accomplish any essential or solid amelioration, unless he had effected considerable changes in other departments of Government, for he could not obtain the necessary funds without re-modelling the whole administration of the State, and fixing it on a more simple basis. Stopped in the outset, he perceived not the necessity of either removing the obstacles to his measures, or retiring: he imagined that the reformation of some matters of routine might satisfy public opinion and lead to more important benefits; he thought to elude the greatest difficulties by managing with address the interests or prejudices which stood in his way. Strange infatuation, in a man of his sense! but which shows that faults must necessarily be committed, in the present state of society, even by those entrusted with the administration, unless they acquaint themselves with public opinion. And how were we to arrive at a knowledge of public opinion in Piedmont, where no institutions existed that could convey the sentiments of the people ? They spoke with much freedom, it is true; but the public, ill informed in political affairs, in its censure confounded good with evil, launched forth the bitterest reproaches on the acts of Government, with so little discrimination, that such an opposition could carry no weight with the Ministers, or indeed acquire the smallest degree of consistency.
The Government considered that they had taken an important step for the public good by instituting a permanent council of conference, at which the King presided, and which consisted of his Ministers in actual employment. The Count de Roburent, master of the horse, and a friend of the King, generally attended. The Chevalier César de Saluces, one of the most distinguished men in the country, was secretary to the council. How they could expect by such means to impart unity to the movements of Government, I know not. To effect this, we should have had a Prince endowed with a knowlege of business, and of an energetic character, like Louis XIV., for instance, or Victor Amadeus II. Victor Emmanuel, in the council of his ministers, only found reasons for hesitating and fearing to do wrong. There was no Minister of