Изображения страниц

monarchy, and he was able to counterplot resources; but that army was believed to be Mazzini, who would have had a republic. splendidly organized and under the command He succeeded also in making an instrument of the best generals in Europe. The train of Garibaldi; but the man of action, who was laid, it only required the match. The cut away superfine distinctions with his sword match was ready. On the opening of the in the passion of battle, was an instrument Sardinian chambers on the 10th of January, that was near cutting his hand. But for King Victor Emmanuel had said:

[ocr errors]

Garabaldi, Italy might have been free

only in “Our country,small in territory, has acquired


name, and even the monarchy might have credit in the councils of Europe, because it is been a provincial rather than a national govern- great through the idea it represents and the ment. Garibaldi's simple enthusiasm, and the sympathies it inspires. This position is not swift success that attended him when men exempt from perils, since, while we respect flocked to his standard after the Franco-Sar- treaties, we are not insensible to the cry of dinian war with Austria, would have forced suffering which reaches us from so many parts a weaker or a less guarded hand than that of of Italy.” Cavour. But Cavour knew how to take quick The military preparations of Austria had and cunning advantage of the opportunity for been pushed forward. Large bodies of troops making the Piedmontese rule Italian, and so were arriving in the plains of Lombardy. It to give to the world a more united Italy than looked much as though Austria would be the even the insurrection had at first promised. aggressor. Her officers were talking of an

advance on Turin as a stage on the way to That, at the end of 1858, the Emperor of Paris. the French contemplated hostilities with The Emperor of the French had probably Austria there was no room to doubt. In a thought that Russia would gladly join in the letter to our queen he had announced the chastisement of Austria; it was said that he approaching marriage of Prince Napoleon had asked the question of Schouvaloff, and with the daughter of the King of Sardinia; had been immediately undeceived. On the and a few weeks before, had actually dis- other hand, he was under the impression, cussed with Lord Palmerston (who, as we misled perhaps by his conversations with Palhave seen, was at Compiegne), his plans for merston, who seems to have rejoiced in the the expulsion of the Austrian troops from notion of the Austrians having a castigation, Italy, where a general rising had for some that war with Austria for the restoration of months been preparing in the north. At the Italian freedom would consolidate his alliance diplomatic receptions on the 1st of January, with England. He had at last reluctantly 1859, he had said to M. Hubner, the Austrian given up the notion that England would beambassador at Paris, “I regret that the rela- come his ally in the cause. tions between our two governments are not English statesmen on both sides were too more satisfactory; but I beg you to assure acute to be led into what might prove to be a the

emperor that they in no respect alter my European war for the interest of France, when feelings for himself.” It should be remem- it was strongly suspected, if not absolutely bered, however, that Austria, declining always known, that Cavour held the cue of the arto recognize the right of France to interfere rangement and that the price of French interin Italian affairs, had more than once refused vention had been already settled. to combine with Napoleon in any efforts to The restoration of Italy, and even the exbring about reforms in the governments of the pulsion of the Austrians, was dear perhaps to Duchies or the Papal States, whose sovereigns a large majority of the English people, but she was, in fact, pledged by treaty to support. the attitude of the French emperor caused no The necessity for keeping an army in Italy little suspicion. We had not yet got over the on a war footing, because of the attitude of threats of the French colonels because of the Piedmont, galled her and put a strain on her alleged protection of Italian refugees in Lon



of a congress.

[ocr errors]

don. Who could tell what might be the ulti- November last, either because the unpopular mate intention of France, or to what length measures taken by Austria in Italy had the emperor might be driven? who knew roused men's minds, or because indiscreet whether we might not have to prepare against language had been held at Turin, or, finally, the contingencies of war in Europe ?

because a certain party had found its interest The effect of the first note of hostility was in disquieting public opinion, certain it is to confirm the intention of increasing our that all at once rumours of war were spread armaments and to give a fresh impetus and on every side, founded both upon the condicompleter organization to the Volunteer move- tion of people's minds in Italy and upon the ment. But the note of war had not yet state of our relations with Austria. In the sounded, and before it was heard attempts hope of calming these apprehensions I caused were made at a pacific conclusion by means it to be announced in the Moniteur that there

was nothing in our relations with foreign The Emperor of the French contended that

powers to justify such fears. Notwithstandhe respected treaties, and had only agreed to ing this, as if under the influence of a interpose if Austria should commence hostil- real panic, everything continued to be conities, or invade Sardinian territory. He had strued in a warlike sense. The conciliatory already endeavoured to atone to the Austrian words to M. Hubner, the despatch to Marambassador for his hasty words by using seilles of six batteries (without men or horses) conciliatory expressions. In reply to a letter destined for Algeria, the construction, as an from the queen, in February, 1859, represent- experiment, of ten gunboats, carrying each ing the anxiety in England for the mainten- one gun, the armament of two troop-ships for ance of peace, he denied that there was any the Algerine service, the purchase of some foundation for the alarms and suspicions which thousands of artillery-horses to bring their were constantly manifested with regard to his number up to the peace footing-finally, the proceedings. He had received confidential

progress made with the reconstruction of our communications from Italy that the state of artillery equipment begun two years before affairs there would soon result in an insurrec- -these were what were taken as so many tion, which was only prevented by the counsels warlike symptoms; and, although there was in of Piedmont, but that the Sardinians would fact nothing more, the persuasion to the connot draw back from a war with Austria. He trary is so general, that it would be difficult had replied that his first duty was to his for me to persuade the public in France and country and its interests, that the traditional abroad, that I am not even now making policy of France had always been opposed to immense preparations for war. And yet at the exclusive influence of Austria in Italy, this very time simple prudence seems to me but that his government could not encourage to enjoin that I should do much more; for on an aggressive line of conduct on the part of the one side I cannot blind myself to the illPiedmont, nor support her in a struggle in will that surrounds me, and on the other, for which right would not be on her side; but the last month I have been urgently appealed that, on the other hand, she might rely on to by the King of Sardinia to mass 20,000 being vigorously backed, either if attacked by men upon the Alps, ready to come to his Austria, or if she became involved with this assistance, in case of his being attacked by the power in a just and lawful war.

Austrians. In the last phrase, which is here printed in “I am, therefore, in no way responsible italics, lay the key of Cavour's subsequent either for the apprehensions or for the agitademands. What would be a war juste et tion now on foot, and I can regard them with légitime? It depended on any interpretation indifference. But ... with complications which might be put upon it.

beyond the Alps staring us in the face, people “But,” the letter went on to say, seem to deny to France by anticipation the prur parlers came to nothing; but towards influence to which she is entitled by her rank

" these

among nations, as well as by her history. In to conclude the Italian campaign with a treaty presence of an imaginary intervention in the in which the declaration that the country was affairs of a country which touches our fron- to be free to the Adriatic, was left to the catetiers, all Germany seems of a mind to enter gory of hyperbolical expressions. The real into a league against France, and to dispute anxiety of Prussia, and of England also, was even her most legitimate action. Did Ger- the continued restlessness of the emperor and many intervene in our embroilment with the evident desire to remodel treaties and reRussia? Or did Europe intervene when Ger- adjust frontiers. Thus it was feared that sucmany upheld the cause of Holstein against cess in Italy might eventually lead to some Denmark?

attempt on the Rhenish provinces. It was in “I admit to your Majesty that this attitude the most friendly spirit that the queen and of Germany sets me thinking deeply, and that English statesmen, even Lord Palmerston, I see in it great danger for the future, for I urged the preservation of peace, and their shall always respect the treaties.”

representations combined with the indifferThere is much to read between the lines of ence of the French people had some temporary this letter. It was evident enough from the effect in delaying further demonstrations, position of affairs that the idea of a war in though it was believed that Cavour wrought Italy would not be popular in France. The on the mind of the emperor, not only by keepreception, or rather the want of a reception, ing before him their secret understanding, but of Prince Napoleon and his bride by the by referring with sinister emphasis to the people of Paris indicated the coldness with poignards of Italian assassins. At the same which intervention on behalf of Sardinia time Prince Napoleon was sarcastically inwould be regarded. The financial condition of quiring whether the agreement with Sardinia Sardinia was such that Cavour could not nego- was to be observed, now that it had been, as tiate a loan for any large amount. The French it were, ratified by his own matrimonial state debt had increased from £213,800,000 in alliance. 1851 to £336,880,000 in 1858. The emperor That the emperor had been placed in a had been greatly mistaken as to the probable false position partly by his own expectation, support of England and the general attitude but also, in part, by the representations of of Europe in relation to a war in Italy. Prince Russian diplomacy and the determination of Albert, writing to the King of Belgium, in Cavour not to abate one of his claims, there January, 1859, said :-“Louis Napoleon has can be no doubt, but the question was, Did he manifestly calculated thus: “Russia will be at that juncture deliberately attempt to trick well pleased to avenge herself on Austria, and Europe ? The Queen and Prince Albert had will, therefore, support me in my attack on begun to distrust him some time before, and Italy. England hates Austria, is mad for Lord Palmerston, who on the whole liked Italian freedom and nationality, so she, too, him very well, and had seemed to support will give me her moral support. Prussia hates his views, said not long afterwards, “ The Austria, will be glad to see her humbled, and emperor's mind seems as full of schemes as is to be won over by promises of advancement a warren is full of rabbits, and like rabbits in Germany at the expense of Austria. Italy his schemes go to the ground for the moment yearns for freedom, and will, therefore, receive to avoid notice or antagonism.” “Il recule me and my army with transport.'”

bien pour le moment, mais il n'abandonn, It was afterwards understood that when | jamais,” had been said of him before this, and war had commenced, Russia had represented it seemed about to be verified. At all events that no intervention from Prussia was pro- he contrived to convey to Lord Cowley that bable while the war was confined to Italy, he was ready to accept the good offices of but a rumour afterwards reached Napoleon England to negotiate a basis of arrangement that Prussia was preparing for war, and this, with Austria. This Lord Derby's governit was said, eventually hastened determination ment was ready to undertake if Austria was PROPOSED PEACE CONGRESS.


willing to accept an attempt at mediation. of the emperor was to compass war while The queen's address at the opening of parlia- talking of peace. “His adversary being ment had, with some emphasis, dwelt on the ready, while he is not, this delay serves adhope that peace might be maintained, and mirably his purpose of employing against this was considered to have been taken as a Austria a method of dissolution, by prolongsuggestion for an endeavour to be made for ing a critical and irritating state of things arriving at a definite understanding.

that will exhaust her. In truth, Austria On the return of Lord Cowley it was an- cannot remain in arms for an indefinite nounced that Austria was ready to consent to period without being exhausted. Another a withdrawal of her troops from the Papal result of this state of things might be, that States, to support a system of internal reforms the young emperor, weary of an intolerable in Italy, to pledge herself not to attack Sar- burden, may end by preferring war to a posidinia, and to negotiate some new arrange- tion as enervating as it would be disastrous. ment to take the place of her special treaties Thus, having perforce become the aggressor, with the Duchies. When we read these con- he would play into Napoleon's hands, who cessions carefully they mean little or nothing might then proclaim triumphantly that it is except in connection with a long conference no fault of his if the empire is not peace.” and the settlement of preliminary measures.

It would seem, however, that neither side Perhaps Napoleon distrusted Austria as much was sincere. Lord Cowley, who had perhaps as Prussia, and even more than England dis- the best opportunity of forming a judgment, trusted him. At all events, when Lord Cowley came to the opinion that the emperor was got back to Paris, he found that another pro- really desirous of a congress, because the proposition had been brought forward. Instead babilities were that the decision arrived at of negotiations between the parties immedi- would be against his entering on a war to ately interested, there was to be a congress of support Sardinia; and that other proposals the European powers for the preservation of would be made, against which if Cavour should peace.

endeavour to exact fulfilment of a promise of The proposal came from St. Petersburg, French intervention, it might be answered but it had first been sent thither from the that France could not be expected to oppose Tuileries. Renewed suspicion was the conse

herself to the decision of all the great powers quence of the proposal. On learning of it of Europe. But Austria, with “her bigotries, from Lord Malmesbury the queen replied, her hauteur, her insincerity, and her blunder* A congress has always been the alternative ing statesmanship,” as old Stockmar had just to war which the emperor has put forward; expressed it, soon made the decisions of a conbut a congress to rearrange the treaties of

gress, or indeed any untrammeled and genuine 1815. Russia may intend to act in such a negotiations for peace, difficult if not imposcongress the part against Austria regarding sible. How much probability could there be Lombardy, which Austria acted against her that such a convention would succeed in in the last congress regarding Bessarabia. settling questions which were keeping a great

Austria will have enormous arma- part of Italy in a state of insurrection? ments to keep up while the congress lasts, There was no certain basis to go upon. “I for otherwise France might suddenly break believe,” said Lord Clarendon in the House of off and fall upon her simultaneously with a Lords, " that all my noble friend (Lord Malrising of the Italian populations. She will, mesbury) knows is this : that one despotic therefore, be very averse and justly so) to power has proposed to another despotic power, a congress.

Is it the emperor's object to that by means of a congress a third despotic exhaust her?"

power should pave the way for liberal instituThis curiously resembled the opinion of tions.” M. Thiers contained in a letter written at Austria had professedly as an evidence of the same time, in which he said the aim her pacific intentions proposed as one of the

[ocr errors]


matters to be settled by the congress, the simul- confirmed that impression. It was spirited, taneous disarmament of the great powers. determined, and hopeful. Everybody surThis the emperor had declined, on the ground mised that some agreement had already been that the armaments of France were all upon a

entered into between the respective governpeace footing; but Lord Cowley remonstrated ments, a surmise which rose to certainty with a directness and emphasis which are very when, the hand of the Princess Clothilde, unusual in diplomatic representations to a the only daughter of Victor Emmanuel, was foreign sovereign, and begged him solemnly formally demanded by General Niel, on benot to reject any offer which, while it left the half of the Emperor of the French, for his honour of France untouched, might lead to cousin Prince Napoleon. peace; representing that while he had no

That marriage took place on the 30th of cause of quarrel with Austria, to draw the January, and by that time Austria had besword might rivet faster the chains of Italy. gun to prepare


and to concentrate its This appeal had great effect. The emperor troops in Italy, which it occupied with a perafterwards assented to the arrangement that sistency that became actually aggressive, and the congress should meet, Sardinia and the defiant of the treaties which were intended to other Italian states being admitted to take protect the country from foreign occupation. part in it, and Sardinia consenting to join in

Victor Emmanuel at once asked his governthe general disarmament. A telegram was de- ment to raise a loan, and in supporting it spatched to Count Cavour asking his imme- Count Cavour made an eloquent speech on diate concurrence in this arrangement. The behalf of Italian liberty. demand was serious, and would have been a We are now briefly following events as critical one, but for the fact that the proposal they were publicly known to show what were to disarm would come from all Europe. Cavour the relative positions of the disputants. could not hesitate. France, England, Russia, On the 7th of February, at the opening of and Prussia were all ready, and had agreed the French session, the emperor made no on the basis of the conference. They waited declaration of a warlike character; he rather for Austria, and Austria kept them waiting in endeavoured to calm the excitement which doubt of her acceptance of the arrangement the prospect of war had produced, and spoke which she herself had suggested. When the of the possibility of further disagreement message came it was one pressing for disarma- being averted by a conference. England, too, ment as a preliminary to the congress. Then made active efforts to avert what seenied to public opinion, here at all events, began to be an inevitable conflict in Italy, and, addressturn. Austria meant to begin hostilities, and ing the Sardinian government through its to strike a blow before the French were ready. ministers at Turin, requested to know what It was in fact a case of suspicion all round, or the specific complaints were which the Italians as Prince Albert put it: “Suspicion, hatred, had to make against Austria. This appeal was pride, cunning, intrigue, covetousness, dis- ably answered in a long memorandum, which simulation dictate the despatches, and in this concluded by saying that war or revolution state of things we cast about to find a basis on might be averted, and the Italian question at which peace may be secured.”

least temporarily solved, by obtaining from We have seen that as early as the 1st of Austria a national and separate government January, 1859, it was evident that some action for Lombardy and Venetia; by requiring, in was contemplated by Napoleon against the conformity with the Treaty of Vienna, that Austrian occupation of Italy. On that day the domination of Austria in Central Italy the words he addressed to M. Hubuer were should cease, and consequently that the denot unnaturally interpreted to prelude a war- tached forts outside the walls of Piacenza like manifestation. The King of Sardinia's should be destroyed; that the occupation of language at the opening of his chambers, the Romagna should cease, and that the prinwhich took place on the 10th of January, ciple of non-intervention should be proclaimed


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »