« PreviousContinue »
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 inven. tion ; 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
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.
DISTINGUISHED PRINCES AND STATESMEN,
VARIOUS INTERESTING SUBJECTS.
NOW FIRST TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN,
EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE PAMPHLETEER.
The letters, of which we here give a translation, were recently published in Germany, and excited great sensation. They were communicated to the original publisher by an individual formerly attached to the person of the Emperor. They are highly valuable, as forming materials for a future history of this great monarch; the proper time for which is not yet come-partiality and passion not having yet subsided; and respect for many persons who were closely connected with him, and who are still living, would doubtless influence the historian.
No one that reads these letters will lay them aside without feeling a sincere esteem for their author. They are not only interesting on account of the light which they throw on various points of history, but more particularly because they explain what were the views and principles by which Joseph was actuated in his various undertakings. They are truly characteristic letters, especially when we compare what Joseph executed with what he intended; when, with all his zeal for the public good, we see so many of his plans frustrated, and when we recollect how this prince, who thought he had done every thing well, had the bitter mortification, towards the close of his reign, to find that he had satisfied scarcely any portion of his subjects—that one called him a heretic, another a tyrant, and that, finally, whole provinces and states revolted against him: so that only one conviction was left him, his good intention; and one hope, his justification by posterity. He himself confesses, in one of his letters, that these reflexions only could prevent the wish arising within him, not to have existed : “ But,” says he, “I know my heart; I am convinced of the honesty of my intention, and hope that, when I am no more, posterity will examine and judge more equitably, more justly, and more impartially, all that I have done for my people.”
LETTERS OF JOSEPH II.
To Emmerich Joseph, Baron von Breidbach-Bürresheim, Elector of Mentz, ‘and Arch-Chancellor of the Holy Roman
Empire. MONSIEUR, -Allow me to make you my most sincere acknowledgments for the trouble you have so kindly taken on my account, with the assembled Electors and Princes of the Empire, and for the zealous solicitude which you evinced for me in the election of a Roman King.
I consider it my duty to assure you, as Chancellor of the Roman-German Empire, and first Elector, that I shall perform the duties of the office and royal dignity, to which you bave, by a free and lawful choice, called me, by the most conscientions observance of the laws of the empire, and of the obligations imposed by them upon me; that I shall strictly adhere to the elective capitulation to which I have sworn; and that I shall defend and protect the rights and liberties of the whole nation, and especially the particular privileges of individual states of the empire.
My only wish is, that my means may be adequate to the circumstances, and to the dignity conferred upon me. You may perfectly rely on my sincerity, on the honesty of my intentions, and on my determination to maintain our national freedom. I embrace you, my Prince, with the most distin
VOL. XIX. Pam. NO. XXXVII. F