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Belgium and in Switzerland he has exhibited all the selfishness and arrogance of the Vatican at its worst period, and his recent interference with our Government scheme of education in Ireland (whatever may be that scheme's particular merits) we must consider equally insolent and unpolitic.
The invariable maxim of the Church of Rome has been to watch the bent and disposition of the age, to appear to lead while in fact it follows, to enter into and to render it subservient to the great aim of ecclesiastical supremacy.
The spirit of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries was fierce, enthusiastic, and romantic. The crusades against the Saracens were devised by the clergy to rid Europe of its warlike and turbulent population; and the success was complete. Deserted Europe was abandoned to the priest, who availed himself of the opportunity to aggrandise his order. In more civilised times, when learning was revived, the churchman himself led the van in the crusade against ignorance—and if to a period of security a moment of danger succeeded which seemed to threaten the very existence of the papacy, the tide of the Reformation was stemmed by those uncompromising champions of error, the Jesuits. A pleasanter path was next opened for ambition; and the cautious priesthood found it easier and less invidious to dictate to the counsels of Europe through the invisible confessor, who occupied the closet of power, and alternately flattered the vices and excited the terrors of superstitious kings and queens, ministers of state, and their troops of favourites, male and female. But when this system too had had its day, the revolutionary spirit that had cut it short was not neglected by the Proteus-like churchman. The priesthood has acquired a power in France it failed to gain under the elder branch of the house of Bourbon, and the cause of the Roman tiara is advocated in Germany by the professed opponents of all secular authority. In Ireland the audacious disaffection of the Romish masses has long been openly countenanced by a clergy who have at least done nothing to check the bloody barbarism of their manners; and it is at the very moment when, although Irish crime had never before attained such a flagrancy, English resources had been lavished with the most unparalleled generosity in the relief of Irish poverty—it is at this very moment that a new Pope, his name trumpeted everywhere as synonymous with the cause of human freedom and social rights, dares to affront the monarchy of Great Britain by a direct interference with a detail of its internal legislation. Nay, it is at the same moment that this misguided Pontiff has ventured to carve England herself anew into Romish dioceses, and nominate one of the cunningest of Jesuits (we care not to ask whether or not he
belongs to the actual Order of Jesus) to the Primacy of England, with the title of Archbishop of Westminster.
It is no wonder that the great powers of Europe should be watching with alarm this new impulse given simultaneously to the spirit of priestly ambition everywhere, and to the spirit of civil disaffection as well, by the rash movements of Pius IX. The agitation, meantime, proceeding from the centre of Rome, has already disturbed Italy itself from one end to the other.
The kingdom of Naples, long separated in interest from Northern Italy, need hardly enter into our present sketch; it is obvious, however, that Naples is rather in the condition of wanting assistance than of having it to offer.
The King of Sardinia claims to be ranked with the new Pope as the advocate of constitutional opinions.' Can that prince suppose that Europe has forgotten-that his own subjects can forgive--the melancholy result of his former vacillations? In youth he appeared in open hostility to his sovereign and kinsman, and but for the interference of France he must have paid the penalty of his temerity. Neither was his pardon secured without those sacrifices of his associates, from which honour should have shrunk. During his retirement at the court of Tuscany, where the late Sovereign, the soul of honour, afforded him an asylum, the two kinsmen were never known to interchange a word; the Grand Duke could not refuse hospitality to the husband of a beloved daughter, but neither could he conceal his abhorrence of the conduct that had obliged him to solicit it. His life, though one of suffering, both moral and physical, has not been remarkable for the austere virtues, nor has he obtained much credit for sincerity in the covering of devotion which at intervals he has thrown around it.
He is ambitious, however; and adopting the lax maxims of policy that the Dukes of Savoy, his ancestors, so effectually practised, while they stripped the artichoke of Lombardy' leaf by leaf, he hopes to seize the whole at once. With this bait held out to him by the patriots' of Italy, who can smile more and conceal as much hatred in their bosoms as himself, he has again appeared as the champion of liberty.
Tuscany, fertile, prosperous, and industrious, exhibits-or but lately exhibited—the model of material happiness. Its sovereign. a prince of the house of Austria, the heir to many of his father's virtues, and some of his grandfather's accomplishments, will be classed by none with the versatile chief of the house of Savoy. But he, too, has been rash. With the best intentions he has granted reforms not called for by necessity, nor calculated to advance the happiness of his good-humoured but not over orderly people. A
stricter enforcement of the criminal code, a little less of mistaken lenity, a better administration in every department might have been called for; but there was melancholy weakness in sanctioning licence in the press, and arming his subjects with blunted swords, which are likely to remain idle except when they are mischievous. Already his Guardia Civica 'has, on numerous occasions, shown itself to sympathize not with the law but the offender. The assassin within sight of Florence is said to be almost as safe as in Tipperary. What taxes are paid will barely suffice for the ordinary expenses of the state; and there is an end for the time of the draining of the Maremma and all the other good and great undertakings that tended alike to the honour of the Prince and the solid improvement of the country.
Parma and Modena have been governed by members of the same house, with a less honest administration however, with more abuses, greater latitude, and a less general prosperity to the subject. The Duke of Modena, without having done anything to deserve it, has inherited much of the unpopularity of his father. The Archduchess Maria Louisa, having done everything to deserve the love of her subjects, was rewarded with, perhaps, more hatred than any other branch of the imperial family. Her successor, like the Duke of Modena, will follow, of course, the policy dictated by Vienna ; while Sardinia and Tuscany rank as the allies of the Pope, approving of his measures and treading in the same steps; and Naples, secretly hostile, professes neutrality.
It remains to consider the state of the Austrian territoriesthe Milanese and the Mantuan duchies, and the Venetian Provinces, which together form the kingdom of Venetian Lombardy -the splendid possession of that power which must still be considered as the arbiter of Italy.
Milan, which was claimed in the sixteenth century as a fief lapsed to the Empire, formed a part of the vast monarchy of Spain. Mantua fell two centuries later, on the extinction of the house of Gonzaga, to the Emperor of Germany, on the same plea. On the division of the Spanish monarchy at the close of the War of Succession, Milan was assigned to the Emperor. The government of the Imperial Viceroys in the last century created no discontent, and the Milanese, in passing from the elder to the younger branch, found their advantage in a better adminis. tration of justice, and a much keener superintendence of the conduct of the Viceroy himself. It is well known with what expense of blood and treasure Austria defended her Italian dominions at the close of the century. Army after army was equipped—to be met and defeated no less by the incapacity of their own generals (if not by their treachery) than by the military talents
of Buonaparte. It was not till the last necessity that she submitted to the Treaty of Campo Formio, a transaction discreditable to her, and hardly surpassed in the infamy it stamped on the name of republican diplomacy.
At the general peace, Austria was justly entitled to an indemnification, since no power had made greater sacrifices, and the Venetian provinces were deemed but a moderate compensation for losses in Germany and in the Low Countries.
The Emperor Francis, a native of Italy, and warınly attached to the country of his birth, returned to take possession of his Italian states with the ardour of a lover. Though flattered by the demonstrations in his favour at Milan, the disorders which led to the murder of some of the French partisans, and which with too much probability have been attributed to the inflammatory harangues of the late Count Gonfalonieri, could not but occasion him disgust and horror. A system of conciliation was at first attempted. Crosses, keys, and titles were liberally scattered. The Emperor had no cause for distrust, and he intended to give no cause for complaint ; but, however blameless, he had the mortification of soon seeing the end of his popularity. The ill-conducted rebellions of Naples and Piedmont, which were to have broken out simultaneously with that of Lombardy, were quickly quelled, and the chief conspirators of Milan found themselves compromised without having merited the applause of their countrymen by one act of courage or energy.
The Emperor, outraged as a sovereign and wounded in his best feelings, did not take a bloody revenge : the sentence of death which was pronounced against convicted treason was, in every case, commuted into milder punishments : and the number of those so dealt with, as well as their ultimate sentences, have been grossly misrepresented. In all, nineteen were sentenced to a few months of imprisonment-twelve to ten years, and three to twenty-one years of seclusion in a fortress. Much, indeed, has been said of the rigours of Speilberg, and many persons, in the freedom and ease of their comfortable studies, have decreed that death was a thousand times preferable to such a doom.' We fancy, however, that these gentlemen would have been of a different mind had the alternative been offered to themselves; at worst, these martyrs lived through their captivity-in most instances its term was shortened—and some of them are still alive to recriminate and contradict each other, and to disclose (with exaggerations) the secrets of their prison-house.
The desire for domestic government is so natural that we cannot be surprised that Italy craves for independence. . Three hundred years have not reconciled Milan to foreign dominion; and most
gladly should we see an independent monarchy, temperate and powerful, in the north of Italy, capable of resisting both foreign and domestic assault. But, alas! a longer education than Italy has yet submitted to in privation, in sacrifice, and in self-devotion, is needed to prepare her sons to fight this battle; and above all, if it is to be fought, and if it is not to bring with it a mere change of masters, it is by patriot hands alone that the sword must be wielded. This great lesson the Italians have not learned. In spite of all experience they will lean on foreign support. Strange to say, they even cast their eyes with lingering regret on the disgraceful period of the French usurpation, assuredly one of the hardest despotisms that modern Europe has ever seen. Desolating wars required a constant supply of men, and repeated conscriptions nearly swept away the youth of the provinces. • The Continental System' prohibited articles of English manufacture, while the best market was closed on Italian industry. The cumbrous and oppressive method of collecting customs was not altered. The censorship of the press was maintained with a severity which left that of the Inquisition far behind, and with a machinery more extensive and complete than that tribunal could ever command. The police exceeded the fabled activity of old Venice: social liberty had no existence. The proprietor suspected of disaffection was visited with the most summary inflictions. Soldiers were billeted upon him by the troop-his sons or his nephews were dragged into the conscription. The tribunals were notoriously under the influence of power, and no instance will be found of a favourable decision for a person looked coldly on by the Government, while the most iniquitous sentences are recorded to the advantage of its partizans. Governors, Prefects, and Commissioners of the Police collected pictures and curiosities; they did not disguise their love of presents, and they grew rich, and their galleries full, at the expense of anxious suitors. Oppression and insolence were carried into the theatre, the coffeehouse, and the drawing-room. The most arbitrary interference was practised in families. Marriages were made between the rich heiress and the soldier of fortune, and the excuse was admitted that Buonaparte's system of amalgamation required the sacrifice. The Court of the Viceroy was attended by a large assemblage of the gay and brilliant of both sexes, and of the highest rank; absence from it would have been accounted disaffection, and punished accordingly. Wherever he was, the French soldier demanded the best the country afforded; and if the officer sometimes waived his rights, the praise was due to the courtesy of the individual, and not to the laws, which permitted every licence.
To all this the Austrian government presents a complete contrast. VOL. LXXXII. NO, CLXIII.