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before the Pope, as he was carried up the church in his chair of state, whilst a voice in warning tones repeats aloud the words: "Sic_transit gloria mundi ;"-a record of the instability of his newly-acquired grandeur that was speedily impressed in a still more enduring manner upon
the heart of Pius IX.
The act of inauguration takes place on the "Loggia," or gallery, over the great gate of the church, when the mitre is removed by the attendant bishops, and the triple tiara is placed on the new sovereign's head, whilst the cannon of St. Angelo and the bells of a hundred churches announce the event to his subjects. But from the great height of the porch, and the consequent distance of the spectators assembled in the square beneath, the ceremony is imperfectly seen, and produces but little effect.
The absolute necessity for immediate and extensive reforms had now become apparent to every rational observer. It was obvious that the Roman States had fallen far behind in the march of European progress, and that it would not be possible any longer to refuse a reasonable modification of institutions of which the abuses were notorious, and the unpopularity deeply rooted. The new Pope was well informed concerning the public feeling, and the natural mildness and docility of his character disposed him to lend a favourable ear to representations of the sufferings of his people, whilst he was not, perhaps, sufficiently acquainted with the evil designs that were mingled with the newly-awakened hopes. It would be incorrect to ascribe the events that ensued alone to a deficiency of foresight or energy in the Pope; no degree of firmness or political address in the sovereign could have sufficed to stem the torrent, unsupported as he was by any material force sufficient to resist the movement communicated to the masses, and fostered by the revolutionary clubs, as soon as the first impulse was given, by raising the cry of reform throughout Italy. Be this as it may, there is no doubt that the first liberal act of the new pontiff was in effect the first step of the revolution.
On the 17th of July, one month after his election was proclaimed, Pius gave forth an amnesty, which released upwards of three thousand political delinquents, upon the sole condition that the pardoned should pledge their honour not to enter into any future plots against the Roman government. How far these gentlemen redeemed their plighted words, the subsequent career of Sterbini, Galetti, Orioti, and others amongst the prisoners then emancipated, has informed the world!
No words can describe the wild enthusiasm with which this-the first popular act that had emanated for so long from any papal governmentwas received throughout Italy. One universal shout of triumph burst from the very heart of the people; the loud freedom-cry resounded from the Alps to the Bay of Naples; and "Pio Nono" became the national idol. Processions, composed of every class, rushed by torchlight to the Quirinal to express their gratitude, and to receive the Pope's benediction. Wherever he appeared his path was strewed with flowers; happy voices exultingly proclaimed him the saviour of his country; the people unharnessed his horses that they might themselves draw the carriage of their benefactor; whilst badges of white and yellow-Pius's colourswere worn on every breast, so soon to be replaced by the emblem of revolution. In every direction, whether at Rome or in the provinces,
triumphal arches recorded his services to his people; hymns of praise repeated the joy and gratitude that he inspired. Nor is there any reason to doubt that this feeling was deep and sincere, until the dangerous perturbators, who sought subversion and not reform, gained an unhappy ascendancy, which terminated in the ruin of Italian liberty.
Soon the elements of the coming storm might be discerned amidst the universal gladness. The soldiery were permitted, individually, but in full uniform, to join the tumultuous assemblages, which now appeared constantly before the papal palace, to express their satisfaction for past favours, or to pray for more; even some of the Pope's own guard, men of the noblest families in Rome, joined in the disorderly processions. Soon banners were displayed before the eyes of the sovereign, on which was inscribed the vow for national unity-the lure under cover of which the subversion of the existing governments was first indicated to the people and all processions were now preceded by a large flag, covered with crape and other funeral ensigns, upon which the name of "Alta Italia" was written in black letters.
At length, when already too late, the government became alarmed at the extent and the uncontrollable nature of the demonstrations, which were perpetually repeated, and always with indications of increasing licence. Not only were the political functions of the priesthood loudly assailed, but the Church itself was openly attacked; and as a first sign of hostility, the arms of Cardinal Lambruschini were publicly burnt. most enlightened, and at the same time the most liberal, circles of Rome are composed of the second class of the citizens, and it is amongst the advocates and men of business that the energy, information, and ability of the country are chiefly to be found. In this class the temporal authority of the Pope was regarded as an abuse of feudal times, totally opposed to the rising spirit of improvement, and they had long looked to Piedmont and her sovereign as the means of restoring liberty to Italy. It was, then, from profound calculation amongst the most influential and popular persons of the country that the excitement of the people was fostered and encouraged; and no sooner was an attempt made to put a stop to the constant meetings, under cover of which the general effervescence was gaining ground, than the enthusiasm which had greeted the first acts of Pius IX. vanished at once, and the discontent which had been industriously instilled into the public mind by revolutionary agents became immediately apparent. In the month of June, scarcely a year after his accession, as I passed the Alps into Switzerland, the Hymn of Pio Nono was the last sound that I heard upon Italian ground-the name of Pio Nono was carved upon the rudest rocks of the Simplon : when I returned to Rome, in November, I found that the idol had already been removed from its pedestal. Such and so fleeting is popular applause!
The 8th of November had been appointed for the ceremony which, from immemorial custom, follows the coronation of a newly-elected Pope, called the "Possesso," or taking possession of the cathedral of Rome, the ancient Basilica of St. John of Lateran. The procession was very numerous, and of great historic interest, from the dresses worn upon the occasion chamberlains, pages, grooms, all were attired in the costumes of the earliest ages of the Christian Church; and the pageant wore
more the aspect of a scene in the Carnival than the grave ceremonial of the most ancient Christian bishop assuming his supremacy in the principal cathedral of Christendom. The whole body of the clergy, of every rank, rode on mules or ponies, led by grooms or equerries. The Pope departed from ancient usage upon this occasion, and joined the procession in his state carriage, whilst his mule was led before him, magnificently caparisoned. This curious and interesting sight was remarkable in a political point of view, as the occasion on which the declining popularity of the Pope was first publicly evinced, and some of the prelates who followed in his train were received with loud expressions of dissatisfaction.
Yet, in spite of the growing discontent, important measures for improving the condition of the people had made great progress. The Pope had given his sanction for the construction of four different lines of railway, destined to cross the country in every direction, in which the freedom of the communication and the encouragement of commerce could be facilitated. A commission was appointed to revise the criminal code, to render the execution of justice more efficient, and to prevent the corruption of the judges, which had hitherto been open and notorious. Some of the older tribunals were abolished, and united to the highest court of justice, denominated the "Sacra Consulta ;" and, finally, a council of state was appointed, empowered to advise and direct the sovereign in all the measures of his government. A municipal council had been accorded, and a senate was instituted. The council of state, into
which the prince endeavoured to introduce all the honest intelligence of the country, was inaugurated by a procession, in which the diplomatic agents of Tuscany and Sardinia took their place, amidst the frantic joy of the people, but in opposition to the wish of the minister. Cardinal Ferretti had replaced Cardinal Gizzi, whose failing health incapacitated him for the toils of office, amidst so many difficulties and dangers, and whose popularity had gradually faded away before his first attempts to repress disorder. Ferretti remonstrated against the perilous licence of permitting the representatives of the Italian sovereigns to associate themselves with those popular demonstrations, of which the tendency created so much uneasiness. But his wise foresight was disregarded; and, in spite of his remonstrances, the Pope was persuaded to give his consent.
The reforms which had been so long and so ardently wished, and which were now conceded, failed to satisfy the people, excited and urged forward by the emissaries of the revolutionary party. These active agents of mischief assiduously circulated false and alarming rumours of reactionary plots in order to create irritation and dread. All those who evinced the disposition to resist a headlong career of subversion were secretly marked out and threatened with assassination; and accusations of conspiracy with foreign powers were widely spread to increase the growing ill-will towards the Pope and the clergy. The people were thus constantly maddened by fear, and excited to fresh excesses by the arts of the secret societies, to whose daring and desperate machinations Italy owes her present slavery.
But this state of agitation and convulsion was not confined to Italy alone; and the success of the popular party in other countries served to strengthen and encourage the discontent, especially in Rome, where the abolition of the temporal power of the Papacy was the object really enter
tained by the ultra-liberal party. Insurrectionary movements had taken place in the provinces, of which the object was to obtain a national guard; and after a slight attempt at resistance, this innovation was yielded to the wishes of the people, although it was contrary to the opinion of Azeglio, and many of the wiser and more far-sighted friends of reform. Rome soon followed the example, and on the 5th of July, 1847, the civic guard was instituted there at the demand of a mob.
At Naples and in Florence, in Sicily and Calabria, symptoms of a similar spirit had shown themselves. The Duke of Lucca had abdicated, and Genoa was in open revolt. In Switzerland, the Catholic cantons had been expected to oppose a desperate resistance to the demands of the more powerful States of the Federation, but they yielded after a feeble contention, and the news was received in Rome with extravagant exultation. The town was illuminated, and the tokens of the public joy were loud and universal. A short time after, when the Pope's intention of visiting the Jesuits' College was known, a disorderly mob rushed up to the Quirinal, resolved to prevent the execution of his design. But they found the palace-gates closed, and the Swiss guard in readiness to defend the entrance. After some parleying, the Pope consented to receive a deputation of his refractory subjects; and the tumult was finally appeased by his promise to appear in the Corso on the following day. Upon that occasion his carriage was followed by the cart of Cicervacchio, the popular demagogue, to the exclusion of his attendants. Insulting banners and rebellious cries arose in every direction, and it became completely obvious that nothing but force could avert the dangers which threatened the progress of events.
In the months of January and February, successive revolutions broke out in the other Italian States. At Palermo the insurgents obtained complete success, and proclaimed a provisional government; whilst the Duc di Majo, Governor of Sicily, offered no opposition to the insurrection. A force of seven thousand men was despatched from Naples to reduce the country to submission, under General Desauget, an officer of supposed ability; but whether unfaithful to the cause which he was sent to defend, or really incapable, he took no effectual steps to regain what Majo had lost, and after a short delay he evacuated Palermo. With the fort in his hands and the Neapolitan fleet in the harbour, he preferred a long march, across a hostile country, in order to embark at Messina; sustained considerable loss amidst some rocky defiles, in which he imprudently engaged his army, and was attacked by the national forces; and finally, after fighting his way to Villabate, where he defeated the Sicilians, embarked for Naples, leaving behind his horses and guns, whilst Sicily remained free under the provisional government.
The example of the Sicilians gave the signal, which Naples was not slow in obeying. Calabria, so long the stronghold of the Carbonari, had already risen against the royal authority; and on the 27th of January a tumultuous mob thronged the streets of the capital, and demanded a constitution. The cannon of St. Elmo gave a speedy response to the popular cry; and the blood-red flag, which soared aloft from the towers of the fortress, proclaimed that martial—and not constitutionallaw was the boon which they were about to receive. But in spite of these first energetic measures of the government, a panic seems soon to have
paralysed the royal councils, for subsequent events forbid us to believe that they were alive to the wisdom of timely concession. Whatever motives led to the sudden change, it is certain that, upon the following day, the ministry was dismissed, and a constitution promised, amidst the acclamations of the delighted people. Peace seemed restored, although order was not in question amidst the tumult of that day. The troops were strictly confined to their barracks; the national guard held all the posts of the city; and the king and his brothers rode through the town with no other escort than a few attendants. On the 18th of February the promised constitution was promulgated; and the legislative powers were deputed to two chambers, of which one was to be elected by the people, and the other to be nominated by the monarch. And the same wild disorders, under the name of popular rejoicings, which had disgraced Rome, now signalised the political changes at Naples.
Turin next caught the contagion. The king-formerly distinguished by the ultra-liberalism of his views, which had led him into open resistance to the government-since his accession to the throne of Sardinia, had kept aloof from the liberal party, whose intentions he mistrusted. But seduced by the bright perspective of Italian independence, which was to owe its existence to him, and of which the chief recompense was reserved for him, Charles Albert soon suffered himself to be drawn into the movement; and on the 8th of February a constitution was given at Turin.
On the 18th of February the Grand-Duke of Tuscany accorded the same privileges to his subjects; and the Pope-unable to resist the general impulse, but now sincerely alarmed at the force of the torrent, which he possessed no material power to control-was compelled to promise a constitution to the Roman States, whose maxims of government had so long been regarded as totally inconsistent with popular institutions. How far the experiment might have proved practicable, if it had been fairly tried, and a sufficient force had been brought to bear upon the new order of things-to repress anarchy without smothering libertyis still a problem to be solved, we will yet hope, by the wisdom of future statesmen, when the strong chains that now shackle the growth of Italian freedom shall be removed. At that time the attempt was futile, and promised little success, even had not events occurred in other parts. of Europe which kindled into flames the smouldering agitation of Italy; for the spirit of revolution was abroad, strongly and energetically fostered by secret societies, which the government was unable to put down, and against which it had no means of defence. And the final catastrophe of the fall of the French monarchy, and the proclamation of a republic at Paris on the 24th of February, gave a power and impetus to the revolutionary party which henceforward proved irresistible.
A tumultuous mob received the news of the flight of Louis Philippe with frantic joy; they shouted their loud songs of triumph through the streets of Rome, and concluded their rejoicings by tearing down the Austrian arms from the palace of the embassy, and burning them publicly on the Piazza del Popolo. Every vestige of Austrian domination was hurled to instant destruction; and even the escutcheons which were placed over the palace-doors of the Roman princes met the same fate, wherever the eagle was to be seen in their arms as nobles of the holy