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Roman Empire. Yet it is worthy of remark that, even amidst these outrages, the characteristic good-nature of the Italians was strongly evinced; and I chanced to witness the ready acquiescence of the crowd to a proposition made to them by Prince Chigi, when his abode was attacked in order to remove the obnoxious eagle from his doorway. At his suggestion, a few men consented to go up quietly to the second-floor of the palace and remove the arms from thence without breaking the windows or injuring the façade of the house; and having accomplished their purpose, they left the palace with loud cheers for the master of the mansion, in spite of his known opposition to the opinions of the popular party. Pursuing their course, they proceeded to burn the Chigi arms with those of all the other Roman nobles in which the hated ensign of Austria was found.
The clubs, which had now obtained complete mastery over the public mind, had resolved upon the subversion of the Papal power, and had already commenced their hostile measures by open attacks upon the clergy, who filled every office of importance, in all of which the abuses had long been exposed to the highest degree of unpopularity. A long system of misgovernment had impressed upon the Roman people the conviction that priestly rule was the source of all their sufferings; yet no proposition can be more inconsistent with fact and experience, than that a clerical domination is of itself feeble and incompetent. On the contrary, the ruler who adds spiritual influence to temporal authority enlists the most powerful of human passions in defence of the altar and the throne; as the Prophet of Arabia led the warlike tribes of the Desert to the conquest of the East, impelled by the religious fanaticism which their sagacious master recognised as the most invincible spirit that he could evoke to his aid. And the priestly ministers of France and Spain have proved to the world that some of the shrewdest intellects and the most comprehensive minds that ever conducted the administration of human affairs, have been found amidst the ranks of the Roman priesthood. Upon a people at once pious and superstitious, as the mass of the Italian population still are, such influence as churchmen can employ is calculated to create a profound impression. It is not then because Rome has been governed, but because she has been mis-governed, by priests, that her people have been goaded to so just a resentment for the wrongs and oppressions under which they have suffered so long.
As a political measure, the proclamation of the Roman constitution was useless. The moderate party had lost all influence, and sound maxims of good government were rejected by the adventurers who dominated the progress of the revolution. The conflagration was about to break forth which threatened destruction, not only to thrones and institutions, but to civilisation itself-the new social war, which well-nigh levelled all order and all governments alike into one sweeping and widelyspread ruin. But still Rome presented another imposing ceremonial to conceal with its flowery glitter the gulf that yawned beneath her feet. It is impossible to behold a finer sight than was presented when the civic guard, all brilliant in their new arms and accoutrements, marched to the Quirinal, to thank the sovereign, in the name of the citizens, for the constitution that he had bestowed on them. When the Pope appeared upon the balcony of the palace, 7000 men, drawn up in battalions
upon the open space of Monte Cavallo, raised their helmets on the point of their bayonets to salute him, whilst the exulting "Vivas!" which greeted his appearance were audible far away in the solitude of the desert Campagna, and the clash of arms upon the pavement announced that the army which he had just called into existence, and upon which his throne, and perhaps his life, depended, were prostrated, with uncovered heads, to receive his benediction. An English general officer, who has seen much service, and who was present on the occasion, pronounced the civic guard of Rome, as it passed before him that day, to be the finest body of men that he had ever seen under arms. Perhaps, if instead of a turbulent and undisciplined militia, these men had been formed into a well-trained and well-officered force, they might have proved the support of the throne which they helped to subvert, and of the constitution which that day they so gratefully acknowledged, and Rome might have been enabled to subdue anarchy without being subjected to the disgrace of foreign dictation.
On the 13th of March the revolution burst forth at Vienna, and Metternich-so long the chief prop of a system which his abilities had enabled him to uphold against general opinion-was forced to seek safety in flight. On the 18th of the same month the King of Prussia was driven from his capital. At the first announcement of the insurrection in Austria, Milan-long ripe for revolt-rushed to arms; and Count Casati, at the head of a large body of the people, demanded of the vice-regal government the institution of a civic guard and of a national representation. The government peremptorily refused to listen to their wishes; and the inhabitants of the capital resolved to vindicate their liberties by the sword. Barricades arose in every street, to the cry of "Viva Pio Nono;" and for five days and nights the undisciplined Milanese fought with resistless energy against the veteran troops of Austria. The Italian women-their resolute and fiery spirits aroused by the universal feeling-waged war from the windows of their houses on the hated oppressors of their country. They cast down stones and tiles upon the troops, and poured boiling oil upon their heads as they marched along the streets, and, rendered invincible by enthusiasm for the cause which inspired them, the Milanese succeeded in driving out of their town a garrison of fifteen thousand men, commanded by Marshal Radetzky. But, shut up within the walls from which they had expelled their conquerors, they could hold no communication with the inhabitants of the neighbouring country, whose assistance was absolutely needed to complete the great work which they had so gallantly commenced. With the fertility of invention which necessity teaches they sent up balloons, filled with proclamations, from the towers and belfreys of the city, which the Austrian soldiers from the fortress vainly endeavoured to intercept by firing at them as they rose in the air. The peasantry of the surrounding country were not slow in coming to the aid of their brave countrymen; and Radetzky, with his army, was compelled to retreat upon the strong fortresses of Venetian Lombardy. The Milanese immediately proclaimed a provisional government, of which Casati was the president.
On the 20th of March, Parma rose against its duke, Charles of Bourbon, who had lately succeeded to the dominions of the Archduchess Marie Louise. The troops prepared to defend their prince; weak and irresolute, he hesitated to employ the only means of preserving his au
thority. The hereditary prince, in despair at the ruin which his father's indecision was bringing upon both, is said to have torn off his general's epaulettes, and to have flung them at the feet of the duke. The duke then created a commission, to whom he deputed powers to form a constitution, whilst he himself prepared to escape. But his intended flight was discovered and prevented; and the commission formed itself into a provisional government, instituted a national guard, proclaimed a democratic constitution, expelled the Austrian forces from the duchy, and finally ordered the hereditary prince to march with the Parmesan troops to aid the King of Sardinia in the war of independence. prince was arrested on his march by the insurgents, and sent as a prisoner to Milan, from whence he afterwards escaped, and embarking in disguise at Genoa, repaired to Malta, and from thence to England.
On the 10th of the ensuing April, Charles was compelled to fly from his dominions, leaving behind his wife and daughter-in-law, who were not able to effect their escape at that time. The duchess found an asylum at Modena, where the revolutionary government afforded her protection, which the state of her health compelled her to seek, at no great distance from the home from which she was expelled. The young princess, sister to the Duc de Bordeaux, though in a situation which rendered a hasty journey inconvenient and dangerous for her, was forced to fly in a tempestuous night, and in an uncovered carriage, accompanied by only a single attendant, and without even a change of clothes. She was stopped by the insurgents at Bologna, who fortunately did not recognise her. It was alone, in a guard-house, at midnight, surrounded by a revolutionary horde of armed and savage men, that she was found by Mr. Charles Hamilton, the brother of the English minister in Tuscany, who had gone in search of her; and the daughter of St. Louis was, perhaps, threatened with a fate no less gloomy than that which had overwhelmed her race, when she was rescued and conveyed to Florence by that gentleman. Parma then voted its incorporation with Piedmont, as a portion of the projected kingdom of Upper Italy; and a Sardinian commission took possession of the duchy in the name of Charles Albert.
On the 22nd of March, a republic had been proclaimed within its ancient abode-Venice. The tumult had commenced on the 17th, by the liberation of two chiefs of the liberal party, Manin and Tomaseomen of estimable character, but who had been subjected to imprisonment for the publication of political works offensive to the Austrian government. The people demanded that they should be set at liberty; the authorities refused; and a collision ensued, which, after some fighting, ended in the complete success of the populace. Manin was carried in triumph to the palace of the Doges; and the Austrian standard was torn down before the eyes of the troops. On the following day the people formed themselves into a national guard; and on the 22nd they attacked the arsenal, where the troops, after refusing to fire on the people, laid down their arms. General Martini, the Austrian governor, was compelled to resign his authority; and after a feeble resistance the garrison evacuated the town, and the republic was proclaimed.
In the mean time the disorders at Rome daily assumed a more threatening aspect. The civic guard attacked the convent of the Jesuits, and the lives and properties of its inmates were only saved by the interposi
tion of a few men, who opposed themselves successfully to the violence of the assault. The general of the order applied for counsel to the Pope, who informed him in reply, that although he would not command their expulsion from Rome, yet the defection of the civic guard had deprived him of the means of defending them. The chief of the order then decreed their dispersion and retirement from the city, in which they could no longer hope for safety.
A new ministry was formed, composed of Recchi, Minghetti, and other leaders of the liberal party; and Cardinal Antonelli was chosen as president of the council. They instantly declared that the Jesuits had been expelled by the Pope's command; the Pope contradicted the statement of his government.
The hopes and wishes of Italy had long been directed towards the King of Piedmont, as the chief who was to lead her to national independence, and to expel the stranger from the Italian soil. That prince had formerly belonged to the political sect of the Carbonari, had favoured every liberal movement, and had placed himself at the head of the insurrection in Lombardy. He became king in 1831; but after his accession to the throne he met the advances of his former partisans with apparent coldness; and he was believed to have rejected the proposition of Mazzini and his party, that he should conquer and assume the crown of Italy. Yet when the demonstrations of the public will acquired a more determined form, and his aid was demanded to forward the great work of Italian independence, he began to listen to the suggestion, and finally acceded to it. But this unfortunate prince was peculiarly ill fitted, by his personal character, for an enterprise which required all the energy and decision in which he was eminently deficient. Hesitating and weak of purpose; sincere in good intentions, but easily turned aside by the persuasions of those who surrounded him, and whose interests and opinions pointed in various directions; true to the warlike traditions of the house of Savoy—a hero in the field, though a coward in the council -he rushed recklessly into a war which at first promised a glorious termination; paused, wavered, and ruined his own and his country's cause. But though a bolder and more decisive prosecution of the war so successfully commenced might have prevented the reverses which were so soon and so sadly atoned by the lonely and exiled death-bed of the illfated prince, his want of success must not be too harshly imputed alone to his misconduct as a general, or his indecision as a statesman. On all sides harassed by the contentions of hostile factions, whose views were at variance, and whose individual interests were too often their chief motive-urged to the prosecution of the war by the partisans of independence--held constantly in check by fear of the republicans, the position of Charles Albert was one of almost insurmountable difficulty. When he became master of the whole Lombard kingdom, by a rapid and victorious campaign, the internal jealousies-which have ever proved the cause of ruin to Italy-again arose to prevent the immediate consolidation of the state with the Piedmontese monarchy. Milan could not consent to be second to Turin; and after drawing Charles Albert into the war, refused to receive him as a sovereign. Venice proclaimed the republic, which she had been unable to maintain half a century before; and after having hazarded his army and his crown, the king found that
he had only been forwarding the designs of the republican party to destroy both. At that period the Austrian government was willing to resign Lombardy-already lost-and to accept peace upon the grounds of mere financial remuneration. But Venice-or rather the republicans -insisted on being included in the treaty. Austria had time to rally; sent reinforcements into Italy; and all that had been so rapidly and so gallantly gained was as speedily lost. The Milanese received the king, whom they had invited to their rescue, with insult and opprobrium, whilst the courage of the officers who surrounded him alone saved Charles Albert in a dastardly attack that placed his life in danger; and Italy lost, through the false intrigues of the republican faction, all that she might have gained from the gallant efforts of the man whom she forced into action and then basely betrayed.
After long hesitation and indecision, Charles Albert declared war against Austria. He crossed the frontier of Lombardy on the 23rd of March, barricaded the roads, fortified the chief towns through which he passed, and on the 31st of the same month his army occupied the town of Lodi. Every Italian state sent reinforcements to his aid, and the warcry against the oppressor sounded enthusiastically through the country. In the Coliseum at Rome, where the enrolment of the volunteers took place, thousands rushed to enlist in the "legions" which were destined to march, without delay, for the expulsion of the "barbarians ;" and the Romans of the revolution seemed unconscious of the ridicule which they incurred by this adoption of the phraseology of their great forefathers. Untrained and disorderly mobs formed themselves hastily into regiments, led by officers as completely ignorant of military discipline as the men whom they commanded. Before they had proceeded many miles upon their march, they became footsore, and a great number of the soldiers fell ill. Such as finally escaped from the hospitals and reached their destination, proved a serious incumbrance to the army which they were intended to reinforce-drawing away food and money, already sufficiently scarce, and totally incapable of affording any aid.
The Pope, from the beginning, had firmly and resolutely opposed himself to the unequal and almost hopeless war. He had sanctioned the march of troops for the purpose of protecting the frontiers of his state, but he positively forbade any act of aggression against Austria; and fearing to give an excuse for the infringement of existing treaties, he refused the earnest prayer of the people that he would bless the banners under which they were to set forth. The people then rose simultaneously to overpower the resistance of their sovereign. The civic guard seized the gates of the town, to prevent escape from the wild scenes that were soon to be enacted within its walls, and remained under arms day and night. The Pope was held a prisoner in his palace on the Quirinal, surrounded by the armed factions, who wielded the sole remaining authority; and it was boldly intimated to him, that if he persisted in refusing his assent to the war, a provisional government would be proclaimed. The cardinals were kept prisoners in their own houses, exposed to every insult, and in the utmost peril from the fury of the mob. The Pope succeeded in procuring the release of four of their number, including Cardinal Gizzi, and caused them to be conveyed to his own palace; but when he sent his major-domo to the aid of Cardinals Bernetti and Della