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Genga, those prelates were threatened by the muskets of the civic guard, and the rage of the infuriated populace. Cardinal Della Genga was at length rescued by the Duke of Salviati, a colonel of the civic guard, but no assistance could be rendered to Cardinal Bernetti. The Pope then sent Prince Rospigliosi, the civic general, to release the prelate, but the insurgents paid no more respect to the authority of their commandant than to the dignity of the churchman. Amidst insults and threats the prince persisted in forcing his way into the presence of Cardinal Bernetti, whose gardens had already been devastated by the people. But calm and unmoved amidst the danger that surrounded him, the prelate wisely resolved not to confront the enraged mob; and it is probable that he owed his life to this determination, as the civic guard awaited his appearance with loaded firelocks.
Meanwhile the clubs voted that their sittings should be permanent. The Recchi ministry gave in its resignation, and a provisional government was loudly called for by the people. In spite of every effort of the government to put an end to the disorders, the tumults lasted for three days and nights.
A short time before these events the Pope had been induced to consent to the alienation of a large portion of Church property, under the plea of arming the country against foreign invasion. He had been persuaded to this concession chiefly by the influence of Count Rossi, at that time ambassador from the court of France at Rome. In the month of May, Count Mamiani, formerly a political prisoner, who had recovered his liberty by the amnesty, was called upon to form a new ministry, which he endeavoured to strengthen and render popular by excluding priests from the high offices of government, and by admitting some Roman noblemen to official employment; but the names of Prince Doria and of the Duke de Rignano were not calculated to add much dignity or intelligence to the new administration.
The troops-or, to speak more accurately, the mob-which had proceeded towards the frontier, had selected as their commander the Piedmontese general, Durando. This officer-who subsequently displayed as much spirit and conduct as his means permitted him to exert in favour of the liberal cause, to which he was sincerely attached-had no sooner reached Ferrara, than setting at defiance the commands of the Pope, he gave the order to cross the frontier. The Pope, who had formally forbidden the war, published a fresh order, prohibiting his troops from attacking the Austrians. But these commands were worse than vain, opposed as they were by the determination of the popular leaders, and the enthusiastic wishes of the people, who blindly fulfilled their purposes; and the other governments of Italy, by yielding at once to the general will, increased to the utmost the danger and difficulty of the pontiff's
Naples and Florence had sent large reinforcements to the war. Four thousand Tuscan volunteers, amongst whose ranks was the since famous Montanelli, marched to join the Sardinian army; the Grand-Duke, in the speech with which he opened the Constitutional Assembly, declared that Austria was now the only enemy of Tuscany, and war was declared against that power. When Montanelli was wounded at the subsequent fight of Montanara, and carried prisoner to Mantua, a false report of his
death which reached Florence was received with every demonstration of public grief, and funeral honours were decreed to his memory by his fellow-citizens.
Durando, with his corps, was advancing from Romagna; General Pepe marched from Naples with twelve thousand men; and detachment of the Neapolitan army took possession of Bologna. At the same time Charles Albert's progress had been attended by the most signal success. At Curtalona and Montanara, at Pastrengo and San Lucia, he defeated the Austrians. The garrison of Como was compelled to surrender; that of Bergamo fled; Pavia, Pizzicatona, and Cremona forced the Austrians to retire from before their walls. At Monza, a whole battalion of Radetzky's army were taken prisoners; at Brescia equal success crowned the Italian arms; and the well-contested victory of Goito added the last laurel-branch to Charles Albert's wreath of glory. On the field of battle, the gallant king learned that the strong fortress of Peschiera had capitulated, and was in the possession of his troops; and Italy enthusiastically hailed her deliverer in the conqueror of the armies of Austria.
The Austrians were everywhere defeated, and everywhere in retreat. Lombardy and Venice were ready to declare themselves provinces of the kingdom of Upper Italy; Parma and Modena had already given themselves to Sardinia; and, in spite of the ardent patriotism at that time displayed by the Grand-Duke of Tuscany, it was more than doubtful whether an Austrian prince would be able to preserve his throne amidst the overthrow and abhorrence of German domination. It was at this bright moment in the destiny of the fated King of Sardinia that the hydra of the revolution raised its hundred heads for the consummation of his ruin, and the destruction of the cause to which he had devoted himself. Mazzini and the republican agents busily spread abroad a jealousy of the victor's power, and a mistrust of his authority. Now, as ever, where hope gleamed once more upon the brightening prospects of Italy, dissensions arose to divide the land, whose only chance of rescue depended on unity of action. The anarchists raised a republican cry throughout the peninsula in order to veil their own thirst for ruin and disorder; and they soon succeeded in destroying the hopes that had dawned so gloriously on their country, and as quickly died away beneath their baneful influence.
The king, astounded at his own success, did not pursue his triumphs with the necessary promptitude. Austria, weakened at home, defeated abroad, offered peace, with the cession of Lombardy, on the sole condition of pecuniary remuneration. Venice and the republicans insisted on being included in the treaty. Whilst the fate of his country was thus depending on the turn of a die, the king laid siege to the nearly impregnable fortress of Mantua, situated in an unhealthy country, and surrounded by impassable morasses. The precious moments flew by in this useless attempt, and the hours were lost on which the safety of Italy depended.
A DANUBIAN ODYSSEY.
ALTHOUGH We have had already many and detailed accounts of the allied forces during their first campaign in the Principalities, all of these have been written by persons more or less interested in the issue of the struggle. With the Germans it is quite different: they take no more interest in the war than they do in the production of a new opera; all they care for is the excitement of hearing about gallant feats of arms; but as for their feeling a wish as to which side victory may eventually incline, or realising the fearful perils to which they, as well as all Europe, would be exposed by the Russ maintaining the upper hand, that is a consummation which we cannot anticipate at least as long as Germany adheres to its present régime. The wish is only too frequently father to the thought, and from the very commencement of hostilities we have been deluding ourselves with the idea that Austria, at least, will furnish us material assistance. Our operations are at a stand-still; hardly a man is being sent from this country to aid Lord Raglan in his embarrassment. We are compelled to borrow troops, whom the Austrian regards with mingled contempt and aversion, and thus raise a barrier which will eternally keep us separated from him-while, at the same time, commencing a long series of subsidies which will cripple us and our posterity for generations. And yet, so great is our faith in princes, spite of the notorious instances we have had heretofore of the trust to be placed in them-and more especially is this referable to the House of Hapsburg,that we very complacently satisfy our doubts by reading in the Times that the Austrians are going to commence operations forthwith, forgetting that such has been the cry from the commencement of negotiations up to the present time, and that there is every probability it will continue so until one of two events occur-that either of the belligerents gain the upper hand, or that an ignominious peace is concluded. So strong, in truth, is our disbelief in Austrian honesty, that we feel convinced that, if any sudden reverse were to occur to our forces in the Crimea and we appear to be giving every opportunity for such a catastrophe Austria and Prussia would at once coalesce, and help the Czar in humbling the pride of two nations, whom they necessarily hate, because they fear them. Austria was ever notorious for fishing in troubled waters her hopes of gain are founded on her keeping her army in such a condition that her sword, when thrown in the balance, must turn the scale-and such time will eventually arrive. But, for Heaven's sake, let us not build on such assistance as certain-the only way of assuring the aid of Austria is by proving that we can do without her. The Prussian monarch-perhaps through his devotion to the widow Clicquot showed his hand too soon, and he has been treated by the Allies with that withering contempt which is the just lot of all hypocrites and double-dealers; but Austria has fairly beaten us.
But where are we wandering?- -we had meant by this time to have run down the Danube as far as Widdin with our good friend Hans Wachenhusen, "Own Correspondent" to the Allgemeine Augsburger, and we find ourselves trying conclusions with German potentates, at our writing
desk in England (very fortunately for ourselves, by the way, for one tithe of such remarks in Austria would have booked us for Spielberg). But what we had intended to say was this: the indifference the Germans display anent the war, renders them, at any rate, impartial observers, and it is with the hope of being able to regard a well-worn subject from another stand-point, that we venture to introduce our readers to Hans Wachenhusen's little book, " Von Widdin nach Stambul."
On the 5th of June of the past year, our author left Widdin for Silistria, where he hoped to arrive in time for the great bombardment. He therefore hired a kaïk, pulled by two sturdy Turks, with the intention of going down the Danube as far as Sistowa. In vain did the Austrian consul try to dissuade him from so perilous an enterprise; in vain did he support his statements by the production of various passports and Wanderbücher, which had been found on the highway before the war began -and what would it be now when bashi-bazuks, and all sorts of ragamuffins thronged the roads? Our author was obstinate, the only precaution he took being to leave in the hands of the consul six ducats, the half of the passage money, to be paid the Turks when they brought him a receipt in our correspondent's handwriting, to prove that he had been landed safely. This is the description of the beginning of the Odyssey:
My kaïkjis had made me a comfortable seat on a mat of reeds in the stern of my nutshell, which was about two and a half feet broad, and were already at their posts. I was provided with my two Arnaut pistols, a large bottle holding three okas of wine, a leg of mutton, and half a dozen Turkish loaves; my kaïkjis were also armed to the teeth: each had his handjar, his long Albanian gun, his pistols, and his knife; with these a small battle could have been fought, and who could imagine that one of the belligerent powers on the banks of the Danube would bombard a wretched author? In addition, the boatmen had for themselves a mountain of loaves, and all sorts of provisions, more especially an entire cargo of fragrant garlic, whose perfume I was to have in my nostrils the whole journey. I, poor fellow, did not conjecture, however, that probably no one had ever yet sailed down the Danube under more inauspicious circumstances than awaited me. But, as we make our bed, so we must lie on it.
The progress of the boat was fearfully slow, for the Turks, after rowing a few miles, made it an invariable rule to go to sleep, while our author amused himself by firing at wild ducks and herons that slowly sailed past. At last, however, they reached the first station, Lom Palanka, where they intended to pass the night. The inquiry after a lodging was met with the usual "bilmem" ("I don't know"), and our author felt at last that he would be compelled to keep the Ramazan, for which he felt very little inclination. After a long conversation-if conversation it could be called, when neither party understood the other-an elderly man in a Frankish costume addressed M. Wachenhusen in execrable French, and offered his services. By his interposition a Turkish kavass was hunted up, who found lodgings at the house of the steam-boat agent, though the owner had bolted at the outbreak of hostilities. In vain, though, was the attempt to procure a cup of coffee, which would have been highly beneficial after the general repast of sour wine and dry bread; but it was Ramazan, the coffee-houses were closed, and not for a Jew's eye could a cup of coffee have been procured. The second day's journey was a repetition of May-VOL. CIV. NO. CCCCXIII.
the first; but during the night the following agreeable adventure occurred:
Night came in. I was sleeping too. Suddenly I was awakened by the violent tossing of the boat: a storm had come on us, and the little kaïk threatened to break away from the thin withies to which it was fastened. I waked the sleepers, who would not have stirred on their own accord if the sky had fallen in on them. With every minute the storm grew fiercer, the waves rose higher and higher, the storm agitated the willow bushes and hurled the little boat on to the island. Thunder and lightning followed; the rain poured down, the wind carried off the thin reed mat, which had hitherto guarded me against the sun; one of the kaïkjis leaped out of the boat, and held on firmly to the withies. The water poured into the boat in bucketfuls; my books which I had been reading during the day were already washed out-bread, tobacco, all had followed them; my wine-bottle was broken, and I myself sat with my carpet-bag on my lap, not to lose everything in the water that was filling the kaïk. Suddenly the other kaikji also disappeared. I heard a splash and fall in the water, but sought him in vain: at length, I heard his voice from the ozier-bed-he had taken refuge on land, but was unable to hold on to the boat. I tried to hand him an oar, but they had rolled overboard through the oscillation of the boat. Fortunately, the other boatman held on to the boat like grim death, or I must infallibly have been lost. This fearful situation lasted four hours; at length the storm lulled, but the rain held on. My clothes, my cloak, hung like lead around me: my fez had been a victim of the storm, and in this state we must wait at least three hours for daybreak! My teeth chattered from cold; I sat there helplessly like a shipwrecked man; my boatmen laid themselves in the bow and stern of the boat in half a foot of water and slept. What a Turk can do in this respect I experienced on my voyage. At last day broke. To my great joy I found my Turkish lexicon, the only treasure of my wisdom, though wet through, still safe in a corner. The storm had left a favourable breeze behind; our sail was hoisted, but pressed the slight mast to such a pitch, that it broke, and it took us great trouble to repair it. Thus we managed to reach the village of Wadin, steering with a piece of board (for these little man-traps do not possess rudders), where we procured fresh oars. I asked for some warm food: the Bulgarian peasants brought me yaourt. Only imagine-after such a night, my teeth chattering with cold, unable to change my clothes, for my carpet-bag was wet through-in such a condition I was expected to drink cold sour milk! After great exertion I at last succeeded in obtaining half a jug of warm milk and a bottle of rakih.
But our author's misadventures were not yet ended. At about a league from Nikopoli they came in sight of a Russian entrenchment, which put the kaïkjis in a state of considerable alarm, for, says M. Wachenhusen, "I have frequently noticed that the Turk is a coward, or at least undecided, unless he has a band of his countrymen round him." To humour their prejudices he pulled nearer the Turkish bank, but in doing so, only escaped from Scylla to rush into Charybdis; while his eyes were steadfastly fixed on the Russian earthworks, a shot whizzed over his head, and, on looking round to the Bulgarian bank, he noticed an Arnaut encampment of about sixty tents, which grew on the precipice like huge fungi. The sentry had fired this shot, which roused the whole camp in a second; fifty to sixty Arnauts rushed out of their dirty tents, all armed with their long guns and pistols. Before a moment had elapsed, two cannon were fired, a salvo of small arms followed it instantaneously; and while the cannon-balls whizzed through the air, the bullets splashed the water all around the boats. Thus the Turks bravely bombarded a single, harmless skiff!