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press in calling upon the King of Naples to abandon his antiItalian policy for the course of reform then followed by Pius IX., the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Charles Albert, in the policy of Providence, of pardon, of civilization, and of Christian charity.' In the beginning of the eventful year 1848 a meeting had been called of the principal political leaders in Turin, to consider the steps to be taken with regard to a petition from the inhabitants of Genoa to the King, demanding, amongst other measures, the expulsion of the Jesuits and the organisation of a national guard. After several persons present had given their opinion that a deputation from the capital should accompany that from Genoa to present the petition, Cavour exclaimed with great vehemence, 'Why should we ask in a roundabout way for concessions which end in little or nothing? I propose that we should petition the King to concede to us the inestimable benefits of public discussion in face of the country, in which the opinions, the interests, and the wants of the whole nation shall be represented. I propose that we should ask for a constitution.' Whilst this proposition was approved by the more moderate of those present, the extreme democrats, with the exception of Signor Brofferio, declared themselves against it. Out of this division of opinion grew the two parties in the Piedmontese parliament; of one of which, the Constitutional, Cavour became the recognised leader.

He himself informed the King of what had passed at the meeting, assuring him that the Constitutional party had no other object in view than the support of the throne and the true interests of the people united with those of government. Shortly afterwards Charles Albert, on the petition of the municipality of Turin, granted a constitution. Cavour was named a member of the commission, of which Balbo was the president, to draw up a scheme for the election of deputies. He took the principal part in its proceedings, and prepared the electoral law, which, with some modifications, is now that of Italy. The first electoral college of Turin sent him to the new chamber as its representative. He at once assumed a first place in the assembly by the ability, the vigour, and the matter of his speeches.

The events of 1848 seemed to promise at last a day of freedom for Italy. He shared in the general hope, and did not even shrink from advocating with enthusiasm the declaration of war against Austria, and the union of Lombardy to Piedmont. When the King seemed to waver in his decision of advancing to the assistance of the Milanese, Cavour urged Balbo to proclaim himself dictator, and to march upon Milan, declaring that he was ready to


accompany him barefooted. After the defeat of Custozza he actually enrolled himself as a simple volunteer. The armistice concluded at Milan, however, rendered it unnecessary for him to join the army. But in common with the wisest and most moderate of his countrymen, he soon became alarmed at the pretensions and excesses of the democratic party. He declared himself unhesitatingly against their doctrines and their policy, and foretold the dangers into which they were hurrying Italy. He exposed them in the 'Risorgimento,' and in his speeches; and thus earned for himself that hatred which never flagged to the day of his death. They, on the other hand, threatened and denounced him as a retrograde, and, what was far worse in the eyes of the extreme party, as a moderate. The dangerous and unbecoming practice of permitting the public in the galleries to signify their approval or displeasure was then at its height.* Cavour was assailed with a storm of hisses. His speeches were interrupted by shouts and uproar, whilst the attacks upon him were received with rounds of applause. He had the courage to resist this indecent tumult, and to call upon the President to clear the galleries. Hisses and noise,' he exclaimed on one occasion, 'will never prevent me from speaking the truth. He who interrupts me does not injure me alone. Every one of my colleagues shares the insult with me.'

He had now become so unpopular that, when the King was compelled to form a Democratic Ministry under Gioberti and to dissolve the Chambers, an unknown candidate was chosen in preference to him by the city of Turin as its representative. He continued to condemn the policy of the extreme party in the 'Risorgimento,' but at the same time he gave his support to those measures of Gioberti, which from their moderate character so exasperated the democrats that when that Minister proposed to interfere in Tuscany to check the misrule of the Republicans he was obliged to resign.

We need only refer the fatal events of 1849. The folly, the jealousies, and the excesses of the Democratic party in Italy, and the weak and treacherous policy of France, had ruined the cause of Italian freedom. The battle of Novara had left Piedmont prostrate at the feet of Austria. French Republicans had illustrated their doctrine of universal fraternity by shooting down their brother Republicans at Rome. Venice, deserted by La

* Every friend of Italy must regret that this most fatal practice still exists. It should be put a stop to at all risks. So long as it is permitted, constitutional liberty will be in danger. The President has a right to clear the galleries; but he appears to exercise but little control over their occupants.


martine and his Government, who had betrayed her to Austria, and had sought to place the shame on England, fell after a glorious resistance, giving an example of noble sacrifice which alone casts any lustre upon the history of that unhappy period. Tuscany, wearied by a state of uncertainty, and alarmed at the prospect of invasion, invited the Grand Duke to return. Men of moderate opinions throughout Italy had long separated themselves from the extreme party represented by Mazzini and his colleagues. They had held aloof from all share in the events of this year of revolution. This is a fact which has too often been lost sight of. It furnishes, however, the key to much that has since taken place. It was Ricasoli and the leaders of the constitutional party who recalled the Grand Ducal family to Tuscany. Even Gioberti himself proposed that the Pope should be invited back to Rome.

It was an immense advantage to the restored princes to have been thus brought back by the most intelligent and moderate of their subjects. It rested chiefly with them to render the reconciliation permanent. The occasion was lost through distrust and fear of those they governed (not an unusual accompaniment of restorations), and a reckless disregard of their rights and feelings. A moderate, conciliatory, and just policy might at that moment have united princes and peoples. All that the wisest and most influential men in Italy asked was a federal union of the different states in the Peninsula upon a liberal and constitutional basis, from which even the House of Austria was not to be excluded. But concession was obstinately refused. The Italian states, again brought under the direct influence of Austria, were governed in a jealous and severe spirit, some of them with a cruelty which roused the indignation of Europe. In their bitter disappointment the hopes of the Italians were turned to Piedmont, and that kingdom necessarily became the rallying-point for Italian freedom; so that the position which she has since held was made for, and not by, her.

Cavour was re-elected a member of the Chambers in December, 1849. His foresight, and the justness of his views during the lamentable crisis through which the country had just passed, had now been fully recognised. The place which he accordingly held in public estimation, and the confidence reposed in him, rendered him peculiarly fitted to lead the constitutional party in Italy. In Piedmont alone could that party gather strength and influence; everywhere else it had been confounded and crushed with the democrats and republicans. The unfortunate Charles Albert had been succeeded by a young King who was willing to govern as a constitutional monarch,


and who has since justified the trust placed in him. Even most of the republican leaders now saw that the sole hope of freedom for Italy rested in this constitutional party, and they determined to renounce their own views and to rally round it. Manin, the most virtuous, disinterested, and nobleminded of these men, after a visit to England, wrote his celebrated letter calling upon the republicans of all parts of Italy to give their entire support to Piedmont. Mazzini alone, pursuing his dark and mischievous plots and intrigues, preferred his selfish ends to the welfare and happiness of his country; but his followers had been so much discouraged, that his party was almost extinct, except where blind and cruel acts of despotism gave it temporary strength.

Cavour's popularity was soon increased by his vigorous and able support of the Siccardi law, abolishing ecclesiastical jurisdiction. He succeeded on this occasion in uniting the moderate men of all parties in the Chambers, and in forming that Parliamentary majority which enabled him subsequently to carry out his own policy. On the death of Santa Rosa (October 11, 1850), he was named his successor as Minister of Agriculture and Commerce. Soon afterwards he was, in addition, charged with the Department of Marine. One of his first acts was to call upon the syndics of the various provinces to abolish the local taxes upon bread, a measure which was received with general favour. Notwithstanding the difficulties with which he had to contend in the political and financial condition of the country, he lost no time in putting into practice those principles of free-trade which he had so long adopted, and of the truth of which he had so earnest a conviction. To this end he concluded treaties of commerce with England, Belgium, and other European Powers. His views met with determined opposition from both the retrograde and the extreme democratic sides of the Chambers. His desire to establish close and intimate relations with England was especially condemned as opposed to the traditional policy of Piedmont. The attacks upon him by the Protectionist party were at one time so violent that they led to a duel; not an uncommon end at that period to a Parliamentary contest. His adversary was the challenger. They fought with pistols at twenty-five paces, each combatant being allowed to advance five. Neither was hit after the first fire, and the quarrel was made up. Cavour behaved with great courage and with his usual calmness. Immediately before the duel he had made a long and excellent speech in the Chambers.

His Treaty of Navigation and Commerce with France was particularly obnoxious to the Savoyard members, who loudly de


manded protection for their wines and other articles of native produce. Cavour refuted their objections in a masterly speech, delivered on the 8th and 9th April, 1852, which showed his intimate knowledge of the subject of free-trade, and his perfect acquaintance with the resources of his country. It was spoken in French, as especially addressed to the Savoyards. A translation of it appeared soon after in England, with an introduction, contributed by Cavour himself, in which he entered with great detail into the finances and taxation of Piedmont, and pointed out the changes he had already made, and those he had in contemplation. He shows how he had begun a radical reform of the customs tariff. The treaty with Belgium had reduced the duties affecting those branches of industry which had previously enjoyed the highest protection, such as threads and stuffs, woollen fabrics and iron; and other treaties with England, France, the Zollverein, Switzerland, Holland, and Austria had abolished almost all differential duties.


Cavour had long been revolving in his mind his great scheme for transferring the naval arsenal of Piedmont to the Gulf of Spezzia, and of rendering the harbour of Genoa worthy of the growing commerce of the country. As soon as he was Minister of Marine he entered with his usual eagerness into the preliminary inquiries. Municipal jealousies and political partyspirit ran so high in Genoa that they threatened for some time to thwart his project. He was even unable to obtain a dispassionate opinion upon the nature of the works required, and of their practicability. In his difficulty he had recourse to Mr. Brockedon, who prevailed upon Mr. Rendel, the wellknown engineer, to visit Genoa, and to make a report upon the capabilities of the harbour and the works necessary for its improvement. Cavour in a characteristic letter dwells upon the confidence he places in the independent and trustworthy nature of an Englishman, points out the importance of Genoa to England as a commercial port in the Mediterranean, and warns us that Marseilles is not in the hands of our best friends.'


He was now the recognised leader of the majority in the Chambers. He had soon shown himself the only man capable of directing their deliberations by his tact, his knowledge of the principles of constitutional government, and his acquaintance with the forms of Parliamentary procedure. However, a difference of opinion with his colleagues, in opposition to whom he had succeeded in persuading the Chambers to elect Ratazzi as their president, led to the resignation of the Ministry, which was

* By R. H. Major, of the British Museum. Pickering, 1852.


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