Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

FRANCE AND CENTRAL ITALY.

We observe that, within the last security for the continuance of peace. week or two, the tone of the minis- All honour to the Emperor of terial journals with regard to our the French for the bold inaugura“august ally,” the Emperor of the tion of this great social revolution !' French, bas undergone a marked So then we may stop the volunteer alteration. But a little while ago we movement, send back our rifles, diswere taught to regard him as a dark contioue our fortifications, dismantle mysterious plotter, whose designs no our ships, and subside into our forman could fathom, and upon whose mer state of indolent quiescence; all word no reliance could be placed. because Napoleon III. has written to His sayings, despatches, and letters, the Pope that he must cede his terwere not to be interpreted by the ritory, and has intimated his willingrules of ordinary significance, but ness to make a change in the national were to be searched and sifted for tariff ! hidden meanings, equivoques, and It is well known that the ministeinnuendoes. His apparent policy was rial journals express with tolerable a mere mask assumed to cover ulte- accuracy the views which are enterrior designs. His attitude towards tained by the Ministry for the time, this country was represented as more and that they rarely go much in adthan suspicious, and no credence was vance of what is a settled policy. It to be given to his protestations of was therefore not without some cordial amity. He was exhibited alarm that we perused these almost not only as an intriguer, but as the unqualified eulogies, lavished upon a greatest master of intrigue that had man whom the same journals but a ever appeared on the political stage. few weeks ago entreated us to dis

Now, however, it would appear as trust. We became apprehensive that if the eyes of the ministerial journal- the Palmerston Ministry had either ists had been touched with fairy oint- fallen, or was about to fall, into a ment, so entirely changed is the nature spare purposely set for them by the of their vision. The Einperor of the cleverest man in Europe, whose caFrench is now both to be applauded reer, if it is carefully considered, and trusted. He has given proof of demonstrates that he is ready to his sincerity and rectitude in two sacrifice everything for his own perways-he means to plunder the Pope, sonal aggrandisement, and to throw and he is going to inaugurate free honour and obligation to the winds trade. By declaring against priests whenever adherence to these would and protection he is considered to interfere with his immediate object. have effaced any stigma attachable The tone of the Queen's speech deto him for past transgressions. For livered at the opening of the Session who can doubt the piety of the man has somewhat reassured us, for it is who proposes to make free with the generally condemnatory of foreign patrimony of St Peter, or the friendly interference in the settlement the feeling of the potentate who is will affairs of Italy. So far well. But ing to take our coal and iron in ex- we have no kind of assurance that change for the vintages of the sunny the Emperor of the French particisouth? With regard to the first step, pates in that view, or that he will the Times remarks,“The French Em- act in accordance with it. On the peror has taken his course, and it is contrary, there are grounds, as we one which will help to reconcile him shall presently show, for holding that with that great body of liberal- he does meditate interference; and minded and reflecting men who have that being the case, we confess that watched with anxiety and regret his we are suspicious lest, under the recent policy." With regard to the guise of establishing more intimate second, the same journal says, “We relations with this country, he should gladly admit that in this proposition be striving to entangle us in the the Emperor of the French gives to meshes of his continental policy. England and to Europe the very best We need hardly say that we

should regard a rupture with France be maintained for a very consideras a great national calamity. There able period. But commercial aris not, we conscientiously believe, rangements are not political arrangea single man in this country who ments. Because a man agrees to take thinks otherwise. We, every one our produce at a certain price, and we of us, detest war, for higher and agree to take his on corresponding holier reasons than the mere expen- terms, we do not necessarily pledge diture of blood and treasure ; and ourselves to back and bear out each the attempted creation of a Peace other in every imaginable transacSociety, which has crumbled like a tion. Every man who is engaged preposterous effigy of unbaked clay, in large commercial business knows was an exhibition of the supremest quite well that he has an occasional folly. We are not aggressive. We rogue to deal with-one whom he do not seek to poach upon any pre- cannot avoid employing, or whom it serve of our neighbours- we only would be folly to discard (for roguery wish to be quite ready to repel any is often combined with a good deal of attempt at poaching on our own do- talent); but he never trusts him, and mains. We desire to stand well is excessively particular in sifting the with France politically and commer- items of his accounts. In like mancially ; but we object to identify our ner we may negotiate commercially policy with bers, and to enter blind- with France or any other foreign fold into engagements which it may State, without contracting any closer not be either for our honour or for political alliance than exists, and that our interest to fulfil. We are glad, is just what we ought to do on the for many reasons, to think that there present occasion. But we cannot is a prospect of commercial reciprocity accept free trade (or any approach to with France. We believe that both it, for the present commercial treaty countries would gain thereby, through is not full and unreserved free trade), augmented interchange and consump- as a thorough and satisfactory pledge tion; and if those in Britain who have for continued amity, nor should we always maintained the doctrine of free take it as a bribe to forward the trade shall point this, when the views and aid the councils of France treaty is completed, as a triumphant in disposing of any of the difficult vindication of their views, we cer- questions which the unsettled state tainly shall not appear in the cha- of the Continent presents. racter of challengers. What we con- It is, we are perfectly convinced, tended for, from the first, was reci- the interest of the Emperor of the procity ; and we shall but be too French to stand well with us at the happy to have entire reciprocity with present time, because it so happens France. We reserve, however, our that he is placed in antagonism with opinion as to details. We are not almost every other great European sure that we quite understand the power. He finds that he cannot terms of the proposed arrangement; carry into effect the compact made and we cannot comprehend why, in with Austria after the battle of a matter of this kind, there should Solferino, though that compact bas be a formal treaty. If it is desirable been ratified by subsequent to lower the duties on French wine treaty. The idea, which was oriand articles of Parisian manufacture, ginally his, of a federal governwhich duties are levied, as we have ment for Italy, of which the Pope often been told, for purposes of re- was to be the head, and Austria a venue and not of protection, that member in respect of her Venetian could have been very easily effected territory, is to be abandoned as imby the Chancellor of the Exchequer, practicable. The Italians themselves without forcing us into a regular are against it; and in truth it is contract. Also, as we shall presently difficult to imagine a more preposterhave occasion to observe, the arrange- ous chimera. Sardinia has got Lomment seems to us, as announced, ra- bardy, it is true, and that may be ther one-sided ; inasmuch as we are considered as a fait accompli, but to lower our duties immediately, the great difficulty and even danger whereas the French duties are to to the tranquillity of Europe lies be

a

yond. What is to be done with the of the heir of Murat. Such, we are Duchies? How are the Legations to convinced, are the political aspirations be disposed of? If the solution were of Napoleon III.; and to win the left to the Italians, we doubt not that moral support of Britain, he will have they would decide in favour of an- recourse to every method of cajolenexation to Sardinia, which probably ment, and offer all concessions. He has would be the wisest course, in so far tried the same game with Austria, but as their material interests are con- has failed. He evidently hoped that cerned. But the Emperor of the Austria, left unaided as she was during French, we doubt not thinks that Sar- the struggle of 1859, would embrace dinia, having gained Lombardy, is his alliance, and forward his projects. quite sufficiently aggrandised. The But Austria would do nothing of the possession of Central Italy also would kind. The young Emperor would make her too powerful as a neigh- not abandon the cause of the Dukes, bour; and France would lose that and he would not consent to the hold on the peninsula which she is partition of the Papal territories. evidently anxious to maintain. In We think that, in taking that course, a former article we expressed our he showed considerable magnanimopinion that the real object of the ity; and the result, as we are crediEmperor of the French was to found bly informed, has been that the relaa kingdom of Central Italy, and to tions between Austria and Russia, bestow the crown on his cousin, which were interrupted since the Prince Napoleon, the son-in-law of Crimean war, have been resumed. the King of Sardinia. We still adhere Russia cannot afford to be even a to that opinion; and his late extra- passive spectator of revolution, or ordinary letter to the Pope, advising the overthrow of hereditary dyhim to surrender the Legations, has nasties. She must look to what is tended very much to strengthen it. called “the cause of the sovereigos," A glance at the map will show that a matter which in this country of Parma, Modena, and Tuscany com- ours meets with

little sympathy or bined would not form a compact respect. We in Britain have no fear kingdom. They extend only along the that revolution shall occur at home; west coast of Italy, whereas the Ponti- and we think that, whenever there fical States run up on the east as far as are symptoms of revolution abroad, Ferrara and the Po. The population that must be owing to the misof the three Duchies is about three management and incapacity of the millions—that of the Pontifical States rulers. That it is so, in some cases, nearly the same. Combine them, and may be freely admitted. But in you have a compact territory with others there is no room for such six millions of soulsa more power- à charge ; and really, when we ful State than was Sardinia before calmly consider the aspect of foreign it received the accession of Lombardy. affairs, we cannot wonder that the Then again consider the political sovereigns of Europe should be advantages to France in having a alarmed at the attitude which France central kingdom, under a French is now assuming, and should be head, established there. It could driven into common concert to oppose check Sardinia, in the event of that her ambitious designs. We bave said State becoming too independent. It France, but we ought rather to have would isolate Naples by cutting off said the present Emperor of the communication with Austria which French. France, as a free State, expresently exists through the Ponti- ists no longer. It is a despotism of a fical States. It might, whenever purely oriental kind. In a free State opportunity afforded, be enlarged by men have liberty of speech; they may the conquest of Venetia, thus driving challenge and discuss at will, and with the Austrians entirely out of Italy, impunity, the measures of their ruland giving France the virtual com- ers; they may employ that grand enmand of the Adriatic. So enlarged, gine, the press, for the dissemination it would be easy to crush Naples, of their opinions, without "warnings," and perhaps found a French dy- or the risk of suppression and fine; nasty there also, by the restoration they have popular chambers in which the voice of the nation can be heard the will and cordial approbation of Nothing of that kind now exists in France. France. The journals exist by suf- There is, however, a distinction ferance-they dare not say a word which must be kept in view. The contrary to the Imperial will. There Dukes have fled—have abandoned is absolutely no Parliament. In pri- their territory, though they have not vate, it is not safe for any man to formally abdicated, and provisional utter his real sentiments in presence governments have been appointed. of a stranger. In the lecture-room These, according to the recent practhe professor must be on his guard, tice in similar cases, must be relest he utter sentiments correspond- cognised as legal and bonâ fide goving to the old Athenian hatred of ernments by other powers, for the tyrants; the student must refrain mere size of a State should make from applause, if mention is made no difference as to its treatment. of the names of Harmodius and We did not hesitate, after Louis Aristogeiton. Can a country be Philippe had quitted France, to recalled free, when the voice of the cognise as potential the provisional most gifted of its sons is silenced government of which Alphonse do by threats of despotic persecution ? Lamartine was the head, and why Could old Béranger rise from his should we act otherwise now? ACgrave, he would shrink into it again, cording to the ordinary rule, the disgusted by the pusillanimity of people of those three states, situated those who should have been his as they are, might do exactly as they successors, but who, like the poets pleased in the matter of the soveof the Augustan era, are fain to get reignty. They might resolve to rerid of the memory of their former main separate, or they might uniteasserted principles, and to content they might offer the crown to the themselves with crumbs shed from King of Sardinia or to any one else, the table of the successful aspirant or they might establish a dictatorship for the diadem. It is impossible to or a republic. They bave, indeed, in believe, it would be monstrous to a sort of fashion, offered it to King credit, that the man who has thus Victor Emmanuel, who, doubtless, subjugated France can have any re- would have accepted, had the Emgard for the freedom of other nations. peror of the French been pleased to His interference with other states vouchsafe his sanction. But he has must necessarily have a selfish mo- not given that sanction; and we are tive; and that motive clearly is the waiting for a Congress which, most desire of strengthening and aggrand- probably, never will be held. As for ising his own dynasty. He never the Grand Dukes, their restoration, had, and he never can hope to have, we opine, may be regarded as desa better opportunity for effecting perate. Austria cannot help them, this, than is presented to him just and France will not. Without a now. Central Italy is without a Congress, there is not the remotest fixed government. The people of chance for them; and we think it Parma, Modena, Tuscany, and the extremely uplikely that a Congress Legations, have denounced their al. would resolve on their restoration. legiance to their former sovereigns, England, at all events, would hardly and are now in a state of suspended be a party to such a measure. revolt. This cannot last long. Pro- Such is the position of the Duchies ; visional governments are mere make- but the Legations stand on a differshifts, very costly, and very hurtful ent footing. There is rebellion indeed to all kinds of industry. The sooner in the Papal States, but the Pope that the future destiny of these States has not abandoned his territory, or is settled the better; and that would yielded one iota of his authority. He have been the proper work for the protests that he can put that rebel. Congress, about which so much has lion down, and insists on his right, been said, but which seems now to at all events, to make the attempt. be indetinitely postponed, and, we That right it would be very difficult veuture to predict, never will be to deny. We are no admirers of the summoned to meet, at least with Pontiff, or of the fabric of which he is the head. We deny altogether his interest to have the Legations, in adspiritual jurisdiction and asserted dition to the Duchies, in order to supremacy, and we are well aware of found a French kingdom of Central the many evils inseparably connected Italy, which, being established, will, with Romanism. But we cannot for- as we have already said, enable him get that the Pope is also a temporal to command the whole peninsula, sovereign. As such, he has certain and give him the command not only rights and claims which we must not of the Adriatic, but of the Mediterignore, because he happens at the ranean. same time to be a priest. We must There are, no doubt, great difficulnot let our Protestant feelings carry ties in the way of such a consummaus too far in a matter such as this ; tion. No Congress would consent for, after all, the Pope is a Christian, to such a thing, and therefore we which the Sultan is not; and if we lean to the opinion that there will did not hesitate to exclaim against be no Congress. The majority would the proposed robbery of Giant Pagan, be against France. Russia, Austria, we cannot consistently approve of Prussia, and even Britain, never could the spoliation of Giant Pope. We consent to a French Central Italy; cannot help expressing our opinion, so we are convinced that the Eurothat the recent letter from the Em- pean diplomatists will not be called peror to the Pope, desiring him to on to assemble this year at Paris. surrender his territory, was a most The matter can be easier managed barefaced, impudent, and insulting by a coup-de-main. Austria is at document, considering the quarter present deplorably weak; and, if from which it came. Why, it is rumour is to be credited, France is scarce ten years ago since this very doing her best to give her occupation man,—the eldest son of the Church, in Hungary. Russia certainly will as he is absurdly called sent an not move alone. Victor Emmanuel army to put down the Revolution of Sardinia, who ought to have the ists then triumphant

in Rome, and Duchies, and to whom the populato bring back the Pope, who had tion incline, dares not stir in oppositaken_refuge at Gaeta ; and ever tion to the will of his anything but since Rome has been occupied by the celestial tyrant. As for England, French. What has led to such a the Emperor of the French has promighty change of sentiment-such a bably been persuaded by the eminent singular alteration of policy? It is free-trader, to whose magically perworth while considering that, for it suading powers Lord Granville has is the key to the whole mystery. just borne such glowing testimony, Why did he interfere for the Pope that her acquiescence or indifference in 1849? We reply, because Rome is to be purchased by the exchange of had then declared herself to be a re- cheap claret and trashy filigree for public, a form of government which iron and coal (the wine duty here is not more obnoxious to the Czar of to be lowered immediately, but the Muscovy than to the Emperor of the French duties to be maintained for French. To recognise a republic A YEAR AND A HALF, giving ample then and there, would have been to time for the accomplishment of any forfeit future chances. It was far feat of political jugglery), and we are better policy to restore the Pope and to be addressed in the language of to garrison Rome ; because his weak- Constance :ness, and the predominance of French

“ Do, child, go to iť grandam, child ; arms in the capital, could at any time Give grandam kingdom, and it' grandam allow the protector to seize upon

will that which he was protecting to

Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig: give the "eldest son" the opportunity

There's a good grandam." of seizing on the possessions of the We deem it absolutely necessary father! Why does he desire the to call the attention of the country Pontiff now, in that fine oracular to these matters, for the Emperor style of his, saying the blame on “the of the French is' bidding very high inexorable logic of events," to strip for the support of the Radical and and denude ? Simply because it is his Peace party, and has already, it

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »