Sivut kuvina
PDF

pensation which Austria was to receive for the loss of Lombardy; and the Prime Minister had to state, in Lord John's name and his own, that, if their advice were not adopted, Ministers might have no alternative but to lay down their offices. But the irritation of the Austrian Government, the hesitation of the British Court, and even the stipulations on which the two Emperors had agreed at Villafranca, were all powerless to shake Lord John's conviction that “Italy for the Italians’ was the true policy for England and Europe; and it very soon became evident that he was likely to achieve the success which is the usual reward of firmness and decision." Events both in France and in Italy steadily moved in his favour. In France Napoleon could not afford to let England supplant him in the affections of the Italians. Set, moreover, on a congress, he was ready to concede much in order to overcome Lord John's objections to entering into conference; he at last avowed that, if it proved impossible to found an Italian Confederation without giving preponderance to Austria, France would consider the possibility of constituting it without Austria; and he authorised Count Walewski to add that he had never contemplated the employment of force to restore Grand Duke and Duke to their Duchies, and that he was himself anxious to withdraw his troops from every part of Italy. In Italy events moved still more decisively in favour of Lord John's policy. The Tuscan representatives, assembled in accordance with his suggestion, arrived at a unanimous vote in favour of annexation to Piedmont. Modena and Parma followed the example of Florence; and a deputation was sent from the Duchies to Victor Emanuel to acquaint him with this decision. 1 I have passed over this negotiation rapidly. But, in the middle of September, it did not seem likely to end so happily. Lord Cowley wrote on September 9 to say that Prince Metternich had had a long interview with Napoleon, and had arranged a scheme under which Parma and Piacenza were to be annexed to Piedmont, Modena to pass to the Duchess of Parma, and Tuscany to revert to the Grand Duke. Lord John replied privately, ‘I could not answer your No. 500 in a despatch, for I should use terms of abhorrence and indignation The Government of Piedmont was, however, not strong. And, with France on one side and Austria on the other, it hesitated what to do. Instead of grasping the nettle it appealed to Lord John for advice; and Lord John replied that, though he could not speak officially, he thought Victor Emanuel might say that ‘the creation of a large kingdom in the north of Italy was a matter so much affecting the balance of power that he could not undertake the decision of such a question without European consent; but in the meantime he would be prepared to defend Tuscany against the danger of internal disorder. This opinion was quite enough for the people of Central Italy. From October 1 the government of Tuscany was conducted in Victor Emanuel's name; and, on November 9, the Tuscan Assembly appointed Victor Emanuel's cousin, Prince Carignan, Regent of the Duchy. This movement was too rapid for Napoleon to endure. He bluntly told Victor Emanuel that, if Prince Carignan went to Central Italy, France would abandon him. And on receiving this threat Piedmont again turned to Lord John. If he were only assured of English support against Austria, Victor Emanuel declared that he would persevere in Prince Carignan's appointment. Such an assurance Lord John could not, of course, give; and Prince Carignan accordingly refused the proffered nomination, but substituted a Piedmontese statesman, Signor Buoncompagni, in his room. While France was showing a steady disposition to concede to England, and Central Italy was displaying a firm resolution to throw in its lot with Piedmont, Austria, though too angry to be silent, was too timid to strike. In July the Grand Duke of Tuscany offered to abdicate in favour of his son. In September Austria admitted that she had no intention of using force; while in November it was shrewdly conjectured that she was pursuing a policy of delay in the hope that events might give her either an excuse or an opportunity for interference. Delay, however, did not operate in favour of Austria. The long negotiations at Zurich were at last concluded and the invitations to the Congress were issued. As ‘the Emperor of the French [had] repeatedly declared himself opposed to the employment of force for the purpose of restoring the Grand Duke of Tuscany and the Duke of Modena; as the preamble of the treaty declared that both Emperors were desirous not only to put an end to the calamities of war, but also to prevent the renewal of the complications which had given rise to it, by contributing to erect on solid and durable bases the internal and external independence of Italy; as, moreover, “deliberation on the means by which this end is to be accomplished [formed] the sole object of the proposed congress, Lord John considered that he was justified in advising the Queen to accept the invitation on the part of England, and named the beginning of January as a suitable time for the meeting of the Congress. The Congress, however, was never destined to meet. Late in December the famous pamphlet, “Le Pape et le Congrès,’ appeared in Paris. Attributed to the Emperor Napoleon, it produced a feeling of dismay and distrust both at Rome and at Vienna. The Austrian Government required an engagement that France would neither introduce nor support at the Congress the measures which were advocated in the pamphlet, and, failing to obtain the requisite assurance, declined to enter into conference. The French Foreign Minister—Count Walewski—unable to secure an official disavowal of the pamphlet, resigned his office, and was succeeded by M. Thouvenel. The arrangement, which it had taken months to conclude, was abruptly ended; and a definite settlement seemed more remote than ever. Lord John was not disconcerted by the new dilemma ; he was steadily set on ensuring the success of his policy “Italy for the Italians;’ and, as the chances of the Congress receded, was prepared with France and Sardinia to prevent Austrian intervention. He wrote to Lord Cowley—

too strong for eyes and ears diplomatic. The disposal of the Tuscans and Modenese as if they were so many firkins of butter is somewhat too profligate.”

- - - -

Confidential] PEMBROKE LODGE: December 20, 1859. MY DEAR COWLEY,-I must beg you to understand, for your

own particular information, that I feel no doubt or hesitation as to

the course which I should pursue in the event of a renewal of the war in Italy. Although it is right and usual for the Government to hold itself unpledged to the last moment, yet, if the Austrians were to attack Central Italy by force on any pretext, and France were to resist such attack, I should call the Cabinet together, and advise a triple alliance of Great Britain, France and Sardinia to defend Italy. The Cabinet might not approve my proposal, and then I should have but one course to pursue.-I remain, &c., J. RUSSELL.

The alarm of the Queen, who thought her Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary were driving the country into war, and the hesitation of a section of the Cabinet, induced Lord John to modify his proposal; and, in the middle of January 1860, he brought forward a fresh project, proposing that—

1. France and Austria should agree not to interfere for the future by force in the internal affairs of Italy unless called upon to do so by the unanimous consent of the five great powers of Europe. 2. The Emperor of the French should concert with his Holiness the Pope as to the evacuation of Rome by the troops of France. 3. The internal government of Venetia not to be in any way matter of negotiation between the European powers. 4. Great Britain and France to invite the King of Sardinia to agree not to send troops into Central Italy until its several States and provinces shall, by a new vote of their Assemblies after a new election, have solemnly declared their wishes as to their future destiny. Should that decision be in favour of annexation to Sardinia, Great Britain and France will no longer require that Sardinian troops should not enter those States and provinces.

Lord John made the first three of these proposals both to Austria and France. The fourth of them he made to France alone; communicating it, however, to Austria, and stating that he did not ask her assent to it. M. Thouvenel, on the part of France, substantially assented to the first three points; he added that the Emperor considered the principle laid down in the fourth point equitable and practical, though he thought himself bound in honour to address himself to Austria before formally adopting it. Count Rechberg, on the contrary, though he received the communication with ‘composure and affability, at once declared that he did not think that the Emperor of Austria would “consent to enter into any formal or binding agreement not to interfere in Italian affairs. . The Imperial Cabinet could not loudly proclaim a policy of non-intervention, though “it might have no intention of inter. fering by force of arms in the Italian States. To France he used even stronger language: “I will tell you,” so he said to the French Ambassador, ‘we have no intention of interfering in Italy; we are not going to invoke again the dangers from which we have escaped.’ It was clear from these facts that the end was coming very near. Lord John was persistently saying that the future of Italy should be settled by Italians. Napoleon had, over and over again, promised that French force should not be employed in opposition to their decision; and now Austria, though protesting against the doctrine of non-intervention, was forced to admit that she did not intend to interfere. While the external aspect of affairs had improved, the internal condition of Italy was stronger; for Count Cavour had again returned to office, and the control of Italian policy had passed into firm hands. Indirectly the return of Count Cavour to power was due to Lord John. At his suggestion the Count had been nominated to represent Piedmont at the Congress; and when the idea of a Congress fell through he wrote to Sir James Hudson, ‘I hope Cavour will come to Paris and London, congress or no congress.” “As oaks grow from acorns, Sir James Hudson replied, “so even did this curt invitation produce its fruit in the downfall of the Cabinet.’ The process was as follows: Count Cavour declined to leave Italy unless he received a guarantee that the Piedmontese Parliament should be assembled at the earliest possible opportunity, viz., March 20. “The personal dignity of the King,” who at that time had no love for the Count, “was offended at the notion of [his] requiring a guarantee;’ and Count Cavour thereupon flung up the mission. The friends of both parties were startled at this failure, and came to Sir James Hudson, who had no difficulty in drawing up a form of words which

« EdellinenJatka »