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extremity , a hopeful future may dawn for us . Our Lopes of a better fate , however * if things go on as at present , consist alons in the force , of arms . But before that terrible , day arrives it is necessary that you and the civilised world should listen to our protest . We would remind you of what we have done from 1820 to the present time for the regeneration of our country , and how much o-enerous blood has been shed upon this unfortunate land ; we w ^ ll show yourself and Europe what you isand what
tyrants , changed the penalty of death for perpetual imprisonment in dungeons equal in horror to the famous Speilberg . While these facts were occurring . in Calabria , Sicily—and Palermo more especially—were preparing to strike , a blow , which , from its motive , object , and the means employed to effect it , was well calculated to produce the result which , in fact , followed . The Sicilian movement began on the 27 th . of November , 184 / . This insurrection of Palermo was the true prooTamme of the Italian revolution .
are , what your court , are your ministers ; what the errors and crimes committed in every branch of the administration . We shall display all our festering and bleeding wounds and make known our insupportable and incredible grievances , and at the same time we protest that when the moment arrives for our ill-restrained fury to burst forth , not a soul will be found to inculcate or practise modei-ation or prudence . It is the sword alone which can cut out the cancer which * if not uprooted , must prove our destruction . " to read the
Though Ferdinand promised manuscript aiTd give his opinion upon it , no communication was ever made by him respecting it . It may be presumed that it was as the effect of its perusal that he gave orders to the famous Marshal Vial , as a measure of policy and precaution , to employ the bastinade in the open streets against pickpockets and gentry of that class . It is a well-known fact that , in reply to the diplomatic remonstrances made to him by the European princes , to the effect that he must reform his state , Ferdinand II . said that lie had nothing to reform in his kingdom , for every thing was perfect !'
It was in September ,. 1847 , that Ferdinand first showed what-he was in reality , without subterfuge , ambiguity , or fiction of any kind . * 'Fifty-two victims perished upon the scaffold in . 1847 . A price was set upon fifty heads , dead or alive , in the same year . Prisoners were shot en masse , to the music of military bauds in Catania ; others perished in the same way , after the massacres and incendiarism , at Syracuse . All these were deeds executed by his ' proconsuls Del Carretto and iSmnziantc , and he took no direct part in them ; but since September , 1847 , not an act of any description was executed . except under his immediate orders .
We now proceed to deject him as he showed himself subsequently to that period . Avast conspiracy had been organised at that time in the kingdom . The Chief of Calabria was the immortal Domenico Romeo , a man of great mind but still greater heart . Whether the plot was not well plannedwhether the subordinate agents were not fully agreed among themselves , or whether , in fact , the conspirators of Messina and Reggio feared discovery if they deferred the execution of their project —certain it is that the movement began in those two towns before the time agreed upon . Ferdinand , upon receiving the information by tele graph , sent and the
numerous troops over by steam , insurgents , few in number , were compelled to flee and take refuge in Calabria . The troops of Ferdinand , as usual , took advantage of their superiority of numbers , after having bombarded Reggio , , to commit acts of unheard of barbarity . At this peri p d the General Nunziante , having subdued the disturbances of Goraci , personally presided at the execution of five young men greatly beloved in the country , among whom was Mazzani , who , but a few days before , had saved the lives of several agents of tho Neapolitan Government who had fallen into hiis hands . Nino executions took place at Reggio , eleven in heroic Messina . Tho eleven shot in the latter city formed part pf tho thirty nUVJU A AM , l"UW At * V L > V 4 v . ft vj w * ¦ - « . j ^ . » -.- — ¦— - — _ .. _ _ - ___ T
. * ^ who attacked the Neapolitan troops within the city , and who , for on hour , continued to drive them back , until they obliged them to station themselves in tho immense plain which divides the city from tho citadel . Hero were encamped four regimen tu of the line , a squadron of tho 2 nd royal dragoons , throe batteries , a company of gonsdannus , and a battalion of chasseurs to oppose thirty men . Attacked by the thirty , tho troops performed the foat of arresting eleven . The others escaped , and though a price was set upon their heads , none of thorn were tukon . The next day the olevon were slain by the shot of Ferdinand . The arrests made in Cumbria were numerous , and at tho moment when Domonico Romoo was
murdered , many other sontoncos _ of' death were pronounced by the court-martial . Forty-six were oondemnod to bo beheaded ; but Ferdinand II ., with tho . refinement of cruelty peculiar to
and Prussia , were in accordance in regard to Piedmont . They remonstrated , and no more . Austria defied them all . She knew too well their jealousy of each other . She gauged ; the value of their diplomatic blustering , bade the weaker power , only a province to her in' magnitude , throw away its arms of defence in three days , when it had most need of them , or she would scatter ruin and destruction over its fields . The Piedmontesc would have deserved the curses , of Italy and her posterity had she done so , and the greater Powers ought to have insisted on Austria restraining herself . The result affords an instructive lesson to the lesser States of Europe , how vain-is any trust on their pai-t in the protection of the greater Powers , when one of them finds the oppressions of a weaker State tend to strengthen its interest or satiate its malevolence . The four or five great Powers are quite ready to make themselves obeyed by petty States that can cause them no jealousy . They had no objection to violate the Treaty of Vienna , and separate the Dutch and Belgians , and in the treatment of Poland
ITALIAN LIBERTr . SO . IV . The political character of Austria has ever been cold , calculating , selfish , and cruel . As ^ far as his narrow interests permitted him to go , Frances II . was an adept in the virtue so peculiar to Austrian rule , while Prince Metternica had to father the graces of his master ' s system of government— -a system hereditary in the imperial crown , of which we have the extant example . But Metternich was not cruel , he was no more than a wily diplomatist , who circumvents by misusing language . The dungeons of Speilberg were the Emperor ' s
own playthings , and the noblest . minds of the Italian land were his victims . The Austrian policy was ever full of dissimulation , clever , deep , obscure in its ends , concentrated iu self } wearing many faces , never saying what it thought , nor thinking what it said , ready to sacrifice the whole human race to its objects , having no pity for the butchery of its OAvn any more than for the subjects of other rulers , tricky , supple , ready to seduce b y flattery , and pervert law and religion to serve its views , but itself ever obedient to tlie law of interest , —in fact abusing everything . While the other four greater'Powers were urging peace and a congress , ¦
O ' » ^ ""i ¦ «¦•¦¦ 1 > _ . _ J _ A . _ _— , 1 and the Austrian council wished to protract , and try what peaceable means would pi-dduce , the despot at the head of the Government ordered his Croats and Slaves to march across the Ticino , desolate Piedmont , plunder private persons , and respire carnage . Tins " paternal" ruler , who instructs his subjects to obey him , as their father , lets slip the dogs of war in " the ¦ name of God ! then bids them to the battle to show his love for them ; They fall by thousands ; others obey the affectionate call of the fatherly chief , and they , too , manure the field of combat ; not one , perhaps , of the stohd
victims thus sent to destruction having taken it into his his head to ask the reason why he is sent to commit the murders in executing which he will afterwards perish . Verily reason and philosophy are justified at not comprehending such a mystery in humanity , " War is a game , that were their subjects wise , kings would not play at , " says the poet . How comes it that subjects appear so much greater fools than their rulers , without being really so ? Here is a problem it would puzzle La Place to solve . One thing _ is certain : the subjects of Austria live only for their ruler , and
he for himself alone . It was Henry IV ., of France , whom existing ignorance delights to traduce , that proposed to settle disputes between _ the great nations of Europe by a species of arbitration . That prince knew what the calamities of war were , of which sneaking councillors and princes in the recesses of their cabinets know nothing . They play their game on tho ensanguined plain , at fi distance , and one of their number now and then overlooks the field from some ssife eminence , contemplates the game of destruction as he would his chessboard at home , and , flushed with victory or depressed by defeat , Htill dooms himsolF the rightful chief , the heaven-endowod arbiter of national destinies ! Such is the power which seeks to enslave Piedmont . Austria has no idea oi retaining her own
frontier as a barrier defensively . She will permit no neighbouring nation to bo free , because the example will excito her slaves . A little while ago she was in a rage with Switzerland , because tho frontier of that free country gave her jealousy ; now it is Piedmont . She has intrigued to got troops admittod into the Legations and other Italian states . Naples was liors by brotherhood in the system of rule , by sympathy in dungeon and divine right , but Piedmont had spirit enough to . bo free ; in fact , to bo as tho powers of Europe had affected to consider her , and therefore she became obnoxious to Austria . Here wo see tho utter worthlossnoss of congresses of tho great Powers . Ruesin , Franco , England ,
they did not make much of the spirit or letter of that treaty ' . They cannot , therefore , plead it in the present contest , in which Austria is already exhibiting her usual brutalities in warfare , while she illuminates her capital tor the . victory she has obtained at Montebello , and'no doubt had a Te Deurri sung for what it will be some time before her people will find / out to be a defeat . Iii the meanwhile she is endeavouring to interest'the petty German States in the way of a diversion . on the side of France . But what interest has the
Germanic Confederation in supporting Austrian - ties in Italy ? The circumstances of the war show ho ground of alarm for Germany , any more than for England , the latter Power professing neutrality , perfectly free of fear for her own integrity , and yet encouraging corps of idle persons to practice with the rifle and jilay at soldiers , as was the case last war . The true defence of'England is her navy ; on land , in peace or war , it consists in a wellorganised militia , portions of which , according to circumstances , may be always in activity when required , The militia has never been much liked by the Crown . It is too constitutional—not exactly German enough in its nature . Its numbers as yet called out have never been proportioned to the augmented population , or it would have supplied - The numbers for
more volunteers to the line . each county should now be double what they were at the Peace of Amiens , the population having doubled since . They were the men of the militia who had volunteered , and were never before in action , that decided the sanguinary and , as to the commander , blundering day of Albuera . Kept well organised , and the rolls perfect , and no other defensive force is needed , for all idea of an invasion is ridiculous . Our regular force must always be disposable . 1 should like to hear from what quarter invasion is expected . The truth is , that the present silly alarm is a German echo , certain to be heard here , in quarters where the wish is parent to the will . What a sea of blood , and what countless treasures have not the alliances with Germany cost England ,
from the time , more particularly , when Hanover hung a millstone round England ' s neck- —to borrow a sentiment of the great Earl of Chatham ! What sympathy have we with the petty despots of Germany Pa country itself showing in its free cities tuu painful contrast between citizenship rule , and satrapship . The well-clothed , well-fed looking people of the one , with the abjectness' and penury of the other . To what olse but this spirit have we to ascribe our increase of armaments , only adopted for offensive , because no defensive contingency can possibly occur . Minis tors of
Tho truth id , that tho present England do not , any more than the ru prs oi tho Continent—although the , oxpononcu of the ¦ first French Revolution hIiouUI show Jt-porccivo that the time is approaching when nations will " ° »«« bo driven about , as tho pooplo of Auutna are driven like swine . ' They will not boo that tho peop le —" the giant that know * not his own strength ~ - ombiutell by their rulers for ages , must in tho end S w Ion his giant power is at last mind-nponod and JunuS y " that glorious spirit which anunated n U kins in America to prefer liberty to sordid " hiiiiw nnd gilded affluence , " to quote u great Unjrlitfh diameter during a war agamet light . There is no downfal more certain than that of tho . despotic ruler in these days . It is only a question of
A ^ rs . 1 THE LEADER . 699
Leader (1850-1860), June 4, 1859, page 699, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2297/page/15/