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reactionary Court did not feel sure that he might not return to his old love. “We must make him taste blood,' said Count Cimiez, or he will escape us.' Disappointed in their expectations, Mazzini and his henchmen began to plot. They were severely repressed. Twelve executions satisfied Count Cimiez's desire. But the king's health had broken down. He lived on potatoes and spinach, and fell into the hands of quacks. He was suffering from extreme nervous exhaustion, and was subject to sudden terrors and inexplicable fears. No wonder that the blood which had been shed weighed on his shattered nerves and superstitious mind. Remorse drove him into a sombre mysticism. He wore a hair shirt, and performed acts of expiation. Jesuits and courtiers played upon his nervous fancies for their own purposes. Mr. Stillman tells the following strange story :
• The minister of war was in consultation with the king, when several blows were struck behind a curtain of the hall in which they were. The king turned pale. “It is nothing, Sire," said his minister; “somebody is waiting there doubtless."
“ You are not religious, you," replied the king, with a sombre and preoccupied air. At the end of some minutes the sound recurred. The king turned pale again, began to tremble, and, quitting the astonished minister, went to kneel before a crucifix in an adjoining room. People interested in enfeebling his character bad persuaded him that Queen Clotilde, wife of Charles Emmanuel IV., who had died at Naples in the odour of sanctity, returned from time to time to the palace. Often indeed a mysterious voice, coming from a corner where no one was to be seen, ordered the king what he must do. The spirit scattered in his way morsels of stuffs which the king carried as amulets
. Finally it was discovered that this miserable phantasmagory was the work of a valet, a ventriloquist, in conspiracy with a bribed femme de chambre.'
But the tide soon began to turn again, and with it Charles Albert. The rise of the moderate school between 1837 and 1847 showed that men might be Liberals and patriots without being republicans or revolutionaries. It is of these years that Mr. Stillman writes: The healthy pro*gress made by Italian Liberalism in spite of repression in
the period between 1830 and 1846, and the disastrous ' failures of the succeeding period in which the Mazzinian
agitation began, justify the policy of the Italian Conserva- : • tives and their distrust of the Republican propaganda.' During the same decade Charles Albert's legal commissions published the enlightened · Albertine' codes. Reform was in the air. Several minor instances of Austria's bullying interference touched the king's dynastic pride and roused
his spirit again. Then Pius IX. came on the scene. A reforming Pope was an encouragement to the king's reviving Liberalism.
· His conscience was at rest now that he was progressing ' on the same road as the head of the Church, and could set
the Pope's example against the warnings of confessor and Jesuits.' And so the flowing tide swept him into the grant of the constitution, the Statuto' of March 4, 1848, which is to this day the fundamental law of united Italy. It swept him on into the disastrous war with Austria, where his characteristic defects helped to make victory impossible. Hear how Minghetti describes him during the campaign in a letter quoted by Mr. Stillman :
· All the defects of his character, so entirely speculative, here come out. On the slightest strategical movement the king became engaged in a labyrinth of speculations as to the result, and arrived finally at no decision. One may say in the final analysis that the real military talent of Charles Albert consisted in seeing the defects of all combinations, even those of his own. He passed his nights in prayer. His gaunt face, like that of a man sick almost to death, and yet so full of fire ; his sadness, which seemed even to repel the semblance of a smile, had a magnetic effect on the troops.' And so he drifted on till the fatal day of Novara. At night he called together the generals and princes, and said :
Gentlemen, I have sacrificed myself to the cause of Italian independence; for it I have exposed my life, that of my sons, and my crown. I cannot maintain the struggle. I understand that my person may be an obstacle to the conclusion of a peace now become indispensable. I cannot sign it. Since I have not been able to find death on the battle-field, I will make the last sacrifice to my country. I lay down my crown, and abdicate in favour of my son.'
His long tortuous career had closed in noble failure. * And his country's love enshrined him the martyr of the ‘national war, the patriot king, who had risked crown and
a great Italian hope, the royal democrat, who had 'cast away the prejudices of a lifetime to rally his country
to one last ill-starred but splendid venture.' So Mr. King describes the posthumous outburst of enthusiasm for Charles Albert's memory. The Italy of to-day still judges that memory tenderly. At the inauguration of the monument which has just been erected in the garden of the Via del Quirinale Signor Chimirri began his speech with the following words: On tbis augural hill, where Numa raised 'a temple to Romulus Quirinus, we to-day accomplish another apotheosis, inaugurating a monument to the 'magnanimous King who was the true precursor of the
national Re-arising whence issued the new Italy. Bombast of this kind is but fungus growth on the surface of the national myth. The court of history can never set aside the severe sentence pronounced once for all by Mazzini. This is how it runs :
Genius, love, and faith were wanting in Charles Albert. Of the first, which reveals itself by a life entirely, logically, and resolutely devoted to a great idea, the career of Charles Albert does not offer the least trace; the second was stilled in him by the continual mistrust of men and of things which was awakened by the remembrance of his unhappy past; the last was denied him by his uncertain character, wavering always between good and evil, between to do and not to do, between daring and not daring. In his youth a thought, not of virtue, but of Italian ambition—the ambition, however, which may be profitable to nations-had passed through his soul like lightning; but he recoiled in affright, and the remembrance of this one brilliant moment of his youth presented itself hourly to him, and tortured him like the incessant throbbing of an old wound, instead of acting upon him as an incitement to a new life. Between the risk of losing, if he failed, the crown of his little kingdom, and the fear of the liberty which the people, after having fought for him, would claim for themselves, he went hesitating on with this spectre before his eyes, stumbling at every step, without energy to confront these dangers, without the will or power to comprehend that to become King of Italy he must first of all forget that he was King of Piedmont. Despotic from rooted instinct, liberal from self-love, and from a presentiment of the future, he submitted alternately to the government of the Jesuits and to that of men of progress A fatal disunion between thought and action, between conception and the faculty of execution, showed itself in every act. Most of those who endeavoured to place him at the head of the enterprise were forced to agree to this view of his character. Some of those intimate with him went so far as to whisper that he was threatened with lunacy. He was the Hamlet of monarchy.'
Charles Albert's character was but one of the elements of weakness that contributed to the failure of that first struggle for independence. Others were provincial jealousies ; party friction between Moderates and Republicans; lack of practical administrative and political experience among the Liberals; the predominance of literary men among their leaders; reliance on enthusiasm rather than on organisation; too little strenuous discipline and too much emotion, or, as Cavour complained at a later date, too many songs about
Italy. Mr. King writes: 'Some of the reasons of defeat were accidental; had Piedmont possessed a capable general,
or an honest man sat on the throne of Naples, not all the ' staying power of Radetzky's army would have availed.'
As a matter of fact, the element of unlucky accident was not nearly so conspicuous at this time as was that of marvellously good luck in 1860. But if the cards are to be re-shuffled, and dealt again according to fancy in this way, we should prefer to speculate on how the tricks might have fallen bad Cavour directed Piedmontese policy in 1848, or Radetzky commanded the Austrian forces in 1859. For our plain answer to the question, What caused the failure ' in Northern Italy?' can only be, · Radetzky and his Croats.'
The reluctance of Liberals, and especially of Republicans, to admit that any good thing could come out of Austria, led them to throw all blame on the weakness or lukewarmness of their leaders. So the boulevards of Paris shrieked treachery in 1870. Our historians are not quite free from this tendency; moreover, they incline to underrate the vigour and capacity of men whose moral and political conduct they condemn. Radetzky, for instance, is no favourite with Mr. King, who writes of him from a purely Italian point of view, and displays strong humanitarian repugnance to the severity of the old general's repressive measures, while hardly doing justice to his purely military qualities. Yet surely his wonderful tenacity, his mens æqua in arduis, influenced the result just as much as did the shilly-shallying of the Piedmontese generals in ’48, or the disastrous incompetence of Chranowsky in '49.
So, too, the well-deserved execration that all right-minded men must feel for the tyranny of Ferdinand the Second's rule has led to an utterly erroneous estimate of his power and historic effectiveness.
Like Nero, Ferdinand began well. On his accession, in 1830, he excited the hopes of his subjects by censuring his father's rule, and declaring his desire to heal the wounds of the State. His good looks and soldierly bearing-he was only twenty at the time—won the heart of the populace, and he undoubtedly improved the discipline of the army. Unlike his father and grandfather, he was not a profligate. His family life was pure. Unlike them, too, he was not a coward, When Agesilao Milano attempted his life on parade, he showed a good deal of calm courage. After he lost his look of youth, the puffy fat figure, noisy swagger, and jaunty familiar manner were those of a typical vulgar Neapolitan. Yet there was something in his tone, when displeased, that made better men quail in his presence. His superstition and his ignorance were stupendous. For VOL. OXOI. NO. 000X0II.
literature, for science, and for the liberal professions he had the most unbounded contempt. "What matters a quill• driver more or less ?' he would say. During the early years of his reign there was some relaxation of severity, which combined with the king's first aureole of popularity to save the South from disturbance during the Bolognese movements of 1831. But after the death of his first queen, the gentle and beloved daughter of Victor Emmanuel I., in 1835, Ferdinand returned to the ways of his ancestors, only with ten times their vigour and persistency.
The constitution of 1848 was not extorted from his weakness. He had realised the serious difficulties of the moment. There was revolution in Sicily, and an outbreak in the Cilento; Delcarretto, the hitherto omnipotent minister, had turned traitor a few days before, and been very summarily dealt with ; the generals did not feel sure that the army could be relied on. So Ferdinand thought it politic to take time by the forelock, and felt a mischievous pleasure in dishing the Whigs,' by granting of his own motion a constitution, before any of the professedly reforming princes had ventured to accept one.
For the moment, no doubt, his ambition was tempted by this policy, which seemed to open a prospect of outstripping the Piedmontese monarch in the race for the throne of Italy. We do not believe that the king intended from the first to repudiate the constitution. But none of the high-souled Neapolitan patriots had his force of will; as for Bozzelli, he was mere putty in the king's hand. So, when the wind veered, and things looked better for autocracy, and worse for would-be Liberal princes, the tyrant deliberately broke his pledges, and the reign of terror set in.
This most savage of Italian political persecutions is not to be measured by the number of death sentences, which were few, but by the peculiar spirit of obscurantism that directed it principally against members of the learned professions, and the unspeakable brutality of mixing up such men in the filthiest dungeons with criminals drawn from the lowest dregs of the populace. The king's callousness to the positive tortures suffered by men of this class in their confinement is to some extent explained by his contempt for the quill-drivers. He would more easily have felt for the common felon chained to Poerio than for Poerio chained to the felon. Ferdinand pursued with absolute ruthlessness his policy of Thorough. In Peccheneda he found his Jeffreys. Not the slightest heed did he pav to the terrible