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• was attained, but of which there is now no need to speak.' But on the very same day on which he penned the epistle, September 8, 1847, he writes to Giuseppe Lamberti : • In a moment of expansion and youthful illusion I have written a long letter to Pius IX., pointing out to him what he could and should do; it will be thrown into his carriage
within twelve days at the latest.' Its only effect seems to have been to frighten Pius, who nevertheless continued in his inild reforms. On November 24 was installed the newly organised municipality of Rome, and finally, on December 30, an edict was issued establishing a council of ministers on the modern plan, to be composed of nine heads of departments. But all the nine posts were to be held by ecclesiastics ! And this, although the Great Powers had, so long ago as 1831, advised that a share of higher offices should be given to laymen ; although Pellegrino Rossi, who enjoyed Pius's confidence, had urged again and again that the possibility of moderate reform and escape from revolution hinged on this change. This, he said, was the knot of the question.' Again half measures, and again the restrictions are thrown overboard under pressure of circumstances. In six weeks' time Pasolini and Sturbinetti, laymen, are admitted to office. But much had happened in those weeks.
On January 1, 1848, the populace prepared to go in procession to the Quirinal, as a demonstration of gratitude to the Pope for his concessions. But Pius had been annoyed by a petition, presented on December 27, which craved the expalsion of the Jesuits. He had no intention of granting it, and would not appear. Yet he gave way to signs of popular dissatisfaction, and, notwithstanding the previous summer's prohibition of assemblages, went out on the following day, parading the streets in his carriage, while Ciceruacchio followed him in another, with a placard bearing the words : ‘Holy Father, justice! The people • are with you!!
All the tinder of riot and revolution was there, and seemed only to wait for the spark. Yet when the sparks came, flying fast enough from the risings of Palermo on January 12, of Paris on February 24, and of Vienna on March 13, the tinder did not ignite. The reason seems to have been that the news of each of these conflagrations wrung from the Pope wider liberties, which deferred the fatal hour for some months to come. Thus Palermo was followed by the admission of the laymen Pasolini and Sturbinetti to office; Paris by the formation, on March 10,
Farini, Miant of a conthe army
of a ministry comprising Farini, Minghetti, Sturbinetti, Pasolini, and others, and by the grant of a constitution on March 14; Vienna, by the decision to send the army to the frontier. Half measures again! The ministry of March 10 was presided over by Cardinal Antonelli. The legislative power of the chambers under the constitution was reduced to a shadow by the control of the College of Cardinals. As for the war policy, it was the outcome of misapprehensions, and led to the most fatal of all the misunderstandings between Pius and his Liberal subjects.
The Nationalist aspirations of the latter, and the Pope's resentment at the Austrian occupation of Ferrara, united in a stream of sufficient force to ensure the despatch of the troops. The Holy Father blessed the flags before their departure. But the aims of the war party, who wished to join Piedmont in expelling the Austrians from Italy, were very divergent from those of Pius, who was only anxious to prevent any encroachment on Papal territory. Accordingly General Durando marched under orders not to cross the frontier, unless to occupy Rovigo, to which place there were some Papal claims of old standing, and when he addressed a proclamation to his troops on April 5, saying the Pope
bad blessed their arms, which, united to those of Charles • Albert, would move in concord with them to the exter'mination of the enemies of God and Italy,' Pius took it very ill, and expressed his displeasure in the allocution of April 29. War with Austria he declared to be wholly • abhorrent from the counsels of one who regarded and * loved with equal affection all peoples, races, and nations.' Such a manifesto at this critical moment could not but alienate the moderate Nationalists, and exasperate the Radicals. It raised a wall of separation between the Pope and all who were working for independence. From that day Pius lost the influence with his own subjects, and with the whole Italian people, which he had gained as the seeming champion of nationality. Yet his previous attitude made it impossible for him to pose with any effect to the Catholic world as equally the father of all • Christians. When, on May 5, he addressed a letter to the Emperor of Austria, inviting him to change into
useful relations of friendly neighbourhood a domination ' which could not be noble or happy when maintained by
the sword,' the ill-timed appeal fell upon deaf ears. And now came the nemesis of vacillation. The first orders to Durando had prevented any effective assistance to Piedmont, but the despatch of the troops irritated Austria, and their subsequent participation in the campaign gave her a pretext, of which she took advantage, to again invade the States of the Church and enter Bologna.
The natural and immediate consequence of the allocution was the resignation of the ministry of March 10. Then followed the feeble administrations of Mamiani and Fabbri, and, finally, in September, the reins of power were entrusted to Count Pellegrino Rossi, who united in his own person the Treasury and the Ministry of the Interior.
Rossi was not a Roman, having been born at Carrara. At Bologna, where he studied, he followed the profession of the law, until, in 1815, the part which he played in Murat's ambitious designs upon the crown of Italy drove him into exile at Geneva. There he filled the chair of Roman law, took an active part in Swiss politics, and drafted a new federal constitution, which, although not accepted, formed the basis of the constitution as eventually revised. Thence he passed to France, became professor of political economy, and afterwards of constitutional law in the College of France, until M. Guizot sent him as envoy to the Pope in 1845, entrusting him with negotiations for the suppression of the Jesuits in France.
Such had been the distinguished career of the statesman who now took up the difficult, if not impossible, task. Then, as now, the troubles of Italy were fully as much administrative as political, and Rossi at once turned his energies to administrative reform by suppressing the Ministry of Police, and uniting its functions to those of his own office. He was the stamp of man who in different and quieter times might have proved the Stein of Italy. Among his measures were reform of the army; discipline and purification of the public offices ; financial reforms so conceived as to gradually curb the power of the ecclesiastics by throwing upon them a fair share of taxation; even a scheme for the relief of the exchequer out of their huge properties ; suppression of the sanguinary conflicts between
Gregoriani' and 'Piani,' and the restoration of order in the streets, and extermination of brigandage in the country, by the formation of a numerous corps of gendarmes.
All these things were good in themselves, but almost all were untimely. They only increased the general dislike of Rossi, alreads aroused by his non-Roman origin, by his former service under Louis Philippe, by the reserve and cold aloofness of his manner, and by the contempt which he too plainly showed for clerical obscurantists and blatant demagogues alike. He offended vested interests of every kind. His policy in Church matters found few supporters besides the Pope himself, whose personal confidence he enjoyed. His Protestant wife; his earlier works, which were on the Index; his threatening attitude towards ecclesiastical immunities, earned for him the hatred of the
servative opinions, and his frank support of the Papacy as
the one good thing left to Italy,' ensured the hostility of the Radicals. In marked contrast to his predecessors, who had fawned upon the mob, Rossi launched scathing sarcasms at the demagogues, who fancied that, in his efforts to purify and strengthen administration, he was aiming at the restoration of absolutism, and his Jesuit enemies for their own purposes inflamed these suspicions.
There was a general sense that a crisis was approaching when the chambers reopened on November 15. Rossi had been warned that his life was in danger, but his proud courage flinched not. As he descended from his carriage at the entrance of the Palazzo della Cancelleria, he is said to have returned the menacing looks and groans of the crowd with a glance of withering contempt. But, as he was proceeding to mount the staircase, a sudden stab in the throat from an unknown hand laid him low. Thus died foully an aristocrat in soul, a Liberal by conviction, while the mean and jealous deputies within feigned to treat the death of the too superior “foreigner' as a matter of no consequence. • What is all this fuss about?' exclaimed the Prince of
the President, proceeded to open the session without the slightest allusion to the tragedy, and the sitting was adjourned only because there was not the necessary quorum of members present.
"Who assassinated Pellegrino Rossi ?' was for many years a political rather than a criminal question. The net result of recent researches, the latest of which are subsequent to the publication of any of the three books under review, seems to prove that the hand which struck the blow was the hand of Ciceruacchio's son, Luigi Brunetti; that the murder was planned by several conspirators, of whom Sterbini was probably one, while the number of those who knew of the plot beforehand must have been considerable.
The fatal consequences of this, the vilest-indeed, the only very vile-deed that blots the fair fame of the Liberals of 1848, were obscured for a time by the shortlived brilliancy of the Republic. The immediate result of the assassination was to throw Pius completely into the power of his most bigoted advisers. On the night of November 24, disguised as a simple priest, he fled to Gaeta, where he put himself under the protection of Ferdinand of Naples. The Pope's flight left Rome entirely in the hands of the Radicals. A constituent assembly was elected, which met on February 5, 1849, and, after four days' debate, decreed the abolition of the temporal power, proclaiming pure democracy as the form of government with the glorious name of • Roman Republic.
Foreign intervention was, of course, a foregone conclusion. That France, and not Austria, took the decisive action was the result of the vicissitudes of French politics, and of the personality of Louis Napoleon, but the quarter from which intervention came stamped upon the Roman Question the special impress which it bore until the year 1870, and was fraught with infinite consequences for the future of Italy. We cannot follow the fortunes of the Republic during her forlorn struggle with the power of France. But we may ask whether such a form of polity could have permanently satisfied the needs of Rome. Could it have continued to preserve order, to manage the finances honestly, to avoid Jacobiu excesses? Who shall say? We only know that the defence was heroic. The Rome of Mazzini and Garibaldi was not unworthy in her fall of the Rome of the Scipios and the Gracchi, 'her soldiers fighting to the last extremity, her people vying with each other in maintaining the glorious but unequal struggle, her rulers firmly rejecting every dishonourable compromise or proposal, and as firmly declaring that Italians, and Italians only, had a right to decide what should or should not be the government under which they would live. Assuredly such men are rightly held to have deserved well of their country.'
Space forbids us to touch upon the events of 1848 in Tuscany or the minor States. With greater reluctance we must turn away from the Sicilian Revolution, which derives a certain incidental interest for us, at the end of the century, from the fact that one of its chief organisers, Francesco Crispi, still lives. It was there, in his native island, and at that time, that Crispi's strong individuality began to affect the course of the fortunes of Italy.
The first rising to break out, and perhaps with the most adequate cause, was that of Palermo on January 12. It was