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little effect: at the death of Pope Gregory XVI. the prisons of the Roman States were crowded with political victims, and the discontent and disaffection of the people had reached such a height, that even the College of Cardinals could not disregard it. They dreaded a revolt; and, accordingly, determined to elect as Pope, Cardinal Maria Mastei Ferretti, who was distinguished by the mildness of his character and the purity of his life. This pontiff
-since so well known as Pius IX.-succeeded to the Holy See in 1846; and, forgetful of all history, attempted to temporize and steer a middle course, by granting some reforms, but yet at the same time maintaining the absolute power of the Papacy. One of his first acts was to publish an amnesty, to open the prisons, and recall the exiles. His subjects, accustomed to tyranny, were in transports; and, for a time, believed that a Pope might be a true friend to liberty. But Pius went even further in the path of reform-relaxing the restrictions on the press, extending municipal institutions, and admitting laymen to the higher offices of the magistracy. A Council of Ministers was formed, of which, with the exception of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Public Instruction, all the members were laymen; and a constitution, under the name of Statuto, was granted to the Roman people. This Statuto created two Councils of State—a High Council, and a Council of Deputies; but it forbad them to interfere, in any way, with what were called affari misti, or matters in which any of the rights or privileges of the Church were involved ; and, though it permitted them to propose laws, it, at the same time, subjected them to the supremacy of the College of Cardinals, who had an absolute right to voto any law so proposed. The Statuto, therefore, gave the mere semblance of freedom without the reality. It still left absolute temporal power in the hands of the Church ; it attempted to revive the tree by lopping off some withered branches, instead of extirpating the cankerworm that gnawed at its root. Such as it was, however, it was hailed with acclamations by the Romans, who had wanted freedom so long, that they were ready to embrace her very shadow. Soon afterwards followed the revolution of 1848-49; the refusal of Pius to allow the Roman troops to march against the Austrians; his flight from Rome; the proclamation of the Roman republic; the defeat of the patriotic Italians; the Pope's refusal to owe his restoration to Sardinian interference; his calling to his aid the foreign arms of Austria, Spain, and France; and the capture of Rome by the French, by whom Pius was at last replaced on the throne of the country he had deluded, abandoned, and betrayed.
During this eventful period, the Legations suffered both from papal misgovernment and from Austrian intervention. Bologna
and Ancona, after a gallant resistance, were forced to surrender, and the whole of the country was occupied by an overwhelming Austrian forve. On the restoration of Pius, he returned to the traditional and immemorial policy of the Papacy; restored the Inquisition, placed all political power in the hands of the clergy, fettered the press, increased the taxes,* scouted all liberal ideas, and shut his ears to all petitions for reform. Ever since his restoration, also, until quite recently, the heavy hand of Austria in the Legations has kept down every symptom of disaffection, and stified every aspiration after liberty. Hundreds of the best citizens have been shot, flogged, or imprisoned, and the rigours of a military despotism have been added to the narrow fanaticism of a purely clerical government. Who then can wonder at, or who dare blame these long-suffering and deeply-injured inhabitants of the Legations, that, when they heard the heart-stirring proclamation issued at Milan on the 8th of June last, calling on all Italians to rise and assert their national independence, they should be the first to rush to arms, to overthrow that papal tyranny which they had so much reason to despise and to detest ? Four days after the date of that proclamation, they had risen against their oppressors, and declared, as one man, their resolution to become the subjects of the gallant and constitutional king of Sardinia. Since then, they have succeeded in entirely emancipating themselves from the papal yoke ; have created a provisional government, convoked a sovereign assembly, and voted—as well they might—that the Pope had forfeited his right to rule over them, and that they should annex themselves to Sardinia. They have also turned their attention to reviving the fame of the once famous University of Bologna, and have organized an army, directed by Sardinian officers, and commanded by Garibaldi, whose name has now become the pride and the watchword of Italian freedom.t
Unfortunately, the jealous policy of the French emperor—who would probably be sorry to see the King of Sardinia at the head of the Milanese, of Tuscany, Parma, Modena, and the Legations that is to say, at the head of a really strong and united kingdom of Italy with 12,000,000 of inhabitants—has prevented Victor Emmanuel from accepting the proffered allegiance of the Lega
• During his reign the taxes in the Legations became intolerable; the budget of Bologna was more than doubled between 1846 and 1858.
+ Since this was written, we have seen it announced-fatal omen for the cause of Italian liberty-that this true and gallant patriot has resigned his command, and is to retire into private life. Has he experienced the proverbial ingratitude of prinees, or the fickleness of popular favour? Does he despair of the cause for which he has fought so nobly, or does he only bide his time? We know not; but we deeply regret that the sword of such a champion should rust in its scabbard whale war is imminent, and victory still distant and doubtful.
tions. But it is abundantly clear that, though unable to obtain the monarch of their choice, they will never consent to return under the papal yoke, unless compelled to do so by overwhelming force ; and of this, we apprehend, there is at present but little risk, for France would never permit Austria—whose intervention is most to be dreaded to become powerful in Central Italy; and as to France, she is not likely to attempt an armed interference, as that would inevitably call Austria into the field. Italy's best security lies in the mutual distrust and fear of these two great powers. But it may be said that the Pope is now prepared to grant great reforms if the Legations will return to their allegiance; that he has learned a lesson by experience; that he is convinced that absolutism is no longer tenable; that his temporal power must henceforth be exercised constitutionally; and that the exclusive government by priests must be abandoned. But when did a Pope profit by experience, or who will trust a man who has broken so many solemn engagements, and who has merely to grant himself a dispensation whenever keeping his word becomes disagreeable or inconvenient ? M. About,* Mr. Trollope,+ Luigi Bianchi, and a host of other writers well acquainted with Italian affairs, are agreed that anything approaching to a thorough reformation is impossible in the papal system : the excisions requisite would ruin the edifice. You may destroy the Papacy; you will never reform it. But we are told by some devoted admirers of Pius IX. that the Legations do not deserve the sympathy, and have no claim $ to the forbearance or assistance of Europe, because they are not worse off than Poland and the German duchies annexed to the Danish crown, or than Ireland and the Ionian Islands, which those who bring forward this argument choose to represent as groaning under the despotic yoke of Great Britain. But this is just to maintain that, until an oppressed nationality is prepared to show that there is no other more oppressed than itself, it must suffer and obey in silence and tranquillity-an argument whose mere statement contains its own refutation
Having now, we hope, succeeded in proving that the Pope has forfeited his title to the government of the Legations, it only remains to inquire, now that they have obtained their freedom, what will they do with it? They have deposed the Pope, and are not permitted to become the subjects of Victor Emmanuel ; but they
• "La Question Romaine.**
+ “Tuscany in 1818 and 1859.** “Incidents in the Life of an Italian Priest." See also Letter of M. Rossi to M. Guizot in “ Mémoires de M. Guizot,"
$ See Pie IX., et La France en 1819 et en 1859, par Le Comte de Montalembert.
may still unite themselves into a Confederation, the local administration being vested in the municipal councils of the great cities, and the affairs of the Confederation being settled in an annual diet. This form of government has answered well in Switzerland, and, in the twelfth century, it enabled the Italians to maintain the noblest struggle and to achieve the most glorious victory of which their annals can boast; for the Lombard League-which for thirty years withstood the utmost power of the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, defeated the chivalry of Germany at the battle of Legnano, and compelled the emperor, by the Treaty of Constance, to recognize the rights of the Italian cities to independent government was just such a federative union; and, among the members of that League, we find Ferrara, Ravenna, Bologna, and Ancona-all cities of the Legations. The last, in particular, during the wars of the League, played a conspicuous part, and endured a memorable and protracted siege with unflinching courage and constancy. In 1172–73, Christian, Archbishop of Mayence, one of the ablest generals and statesmen of his time, laid siege to it by land, while a hostile fleet blockaded its harbour. The citizens were reduced to the utmost distress, provisions failed them, an ass's head was worth more than a pound sterling,* and they were compelled to live on carrion and on pulse gathered from the rocks. Yet still they held out; and such was the spirit that animated them, that a woman, observing a soldier too weak from hunger to answer the trumpet-call to man the walls, turned her breast from the infant she was suckling, and offered it to the warrior. Nor were these sacrifices in vain : aid arrived from Ferrara and Bologna, and Christian was obliged to retreat, with his army decimated by fatigue and the sword. If, then, the cities of the Legations would emulate the fame of their ancestors, let them imitate their courage, their constancy, and, above all, their union. They may meet with reverses and defeat, may suffer from want, and hardship, and the sword; but, in the end, they will be triumphant and free. No bread so sweet as that earned by labour, no liberty like that won by endurance and valour.
While engaged in writing our article, many reports have been in circulation with regard to the constitution and conduct of the Congress of the great Powers, which is soon to assemble for the purpose of determining the fate of Italy. These reports, however, are still vague and inconsistent; so that we are scarcely warranted in dealing with them as the authoritative utterances of influential and well-informed politicians. One rumour, indeed, especially affecting the destinies of the Legations, has been repeated in various
quarters. It is affirmed that these provinces are to be treated worse than the rest of Italy. Lombardy is to remain annexed to Sardinia ; Venetia is to be erected into a separate kingdom, under the government of an Austrian prince; Parma, Modena, and Tuscany are to be exempted from the rule of those princes they have expelled ; while the unfortunate inhabitants of the Legations are to be forced back under a tyranny more crushing and inexorable-more opposed to education and enlightenment-more averse to reforms of any kind—more thoroughly stationary in evil—than even that of Austria herself. We hope that this report has no foundation. Such an attempt on the part of France and Austria would be an outrage to Italy, an insult to freedom, a disgrace to humanity. It would inevitably lead to one of two things : either to a bloody war, in which the territory of the Legations would be devastated, her soldiers butchered, and her flourishing cities sacked by an overwhelming force of numbers; or, to an almost universal exodus of the finest population of Italy from a soil where the fair flowers of freedom, just trying to bloom, were again crushed under the heel of despotism.
To us it seems truly a strange and monstrous absurdity, that those whom the experience of centuries of priestly domination has convinced of the utter rottenness of any system of government, in which ecclesiastics are the sole depositaries of temporal as well as of spiritual power, should not be permitted to free themselves from its intolerable tyranny; or that, having freed themselves, they should be forced back by strangers and aliens, under the yoke they have thrown off ; that, in fact, they should be allowed no voice or judgment as to how they are to be governed, ---that this, to them, all-important point should be determined by foreigners, who know little or nothing of the merits of the question they meet to decide ; and that the inhabitants of the Legations should be compelled to submit to the worst government in Europe for the future, for no other or better reason than because they have endured it in the past. Surely it cannot be that the Congress will thus determine that the rights of the Pope are to be respected and vindicated, while the rights of two millions of his subjects are to be passed over and violated; that tyranny is to be consecrated and freedom proscribed; that the mere position of hereditary or elective sovereignty confers rights which must be enforced, however systematically and stubbornly the possessors of that sovereignty may have neglected or violated the duties of their position ; that tame, unreasoning submission is the one great duty of subjects ; that no amount of misrule can justify an oppressed nationality in rising against its oppressor ; and that death, or perpetual exile, is the sole refuge, the sad alternatives, for those who cannot stoop