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diminished by it, and might even have been avoided if that policy had been adopted on a larger scale, and especially had it been extended to the Corn Laws.'
Cavour hailed the passing of the Reform Bill as a dawn of freedom for Italy; and in the miserable position in which we are placed,' he exclaims, 'we need indeed a ray of hope.' In the same letter he gives this touching description of the sufferings of his unhappy country:
'Pressed on the one side by Austrian bayonets, on the other by the furious excommunications of the Pope, our condition is truly deplorable. Every free exercise of thought, every generous sentiment, is stifled as if it were a sacrilege or a crime against the State. We cannot hope to obtain by ourselves any relief from such enormous misfortunes. The fate of my countrymen of the Romagna especially is truly deplorable, and the steps which have been taken by the mediating Powers have only made it worse. The intervention of France is not even sufficient to exact the smallest reasonable concession from the Pope. The voice of England alone, if raised in a firm and positive tone, can obtain for the people of the Romagna a supportable government, somewhat in harmony with the ideas and manners of our age.'
When, in the course of his Italian travels, he visited Milan, the watchful Austrian authorities had already their 'eye upon him.' His character and opinions were well known; spies were set to dog his steps; the houses he frequented were 'denounced.' When the archives of the police fell into the hands of the Italian party in 1848, amongst the vast collection of papers which related to almost every man of eminence and ability in Italy was found a detailed report upon Cavour. He was pronounced a dangerous character, and one of far too much capacity not to be regarded with the utmost jealousy. The archives of the Austrian police in Italy, and those of the states under Austrian influence, exhibit, it is well known, a very different spirit from that in which the House of Hapsburg has governed its German dominions. It would really seem that virtue and noble qualities were, of themselves, grounds of suspicion.
In 1833 Cavour's father had been elected to the important but very laborious post of Mayor of Turin, and was compelled to give up the superintendence of his own property, which consisted principally of vast agricultural and commercial undertakings.' His eldest son was absent from Italy, and the management of the family affairs devolved upon Camillo, who thus found himself unable to
* A large portion of the contents of these archives has been published under the title of Carte segrete e Atti ufficiali della Polizia Austriaca in Italia dal 4 Giugno 1814 al 22 Marzo 1848.' Capolago, 1851. 3 vols.
carry out his long cherished project of visiting England. 'I wish for nothing so much in the world,' he writes, 'as to become personally acquainted with that illustrious nation which has filled the moral, industrial, and political world with its name.' In 1835 he was called by the illness of his aunt, the Duchess of Clermont-Tonnerre, to Geneva. He was connected through his mother's side with many of the most distinguished families of the republic, with whom to the last he was in constant and affectionate intercourse. He now visited Paris, and crossed over to England. This country had been the object of his constant thoughts. He laments in his letters how little she is really known on the Continent. Even the accounts,' he complains, 'given of her by her own newspapers, are so distorted by party feeling, that it is impossible to gain an accurate knowledge of public events.' His correspondent, whose opinions on English politics did not agree with his own, had referred him for comfort and information to the Morning Herald;' but in that meritorious journal he had not found any great relief from his difficulties, nor any new and profound views on the important subjects he was investigating. Strongly attached as he was to liberty and progress, he earnestly protested against violent changes and popular excesses. He expresses a fervent hope that the result of the struggle in England would be of a nature to reassure the friends of order and liberty, those great foundations of society threatened by blind and extreme parties.' But he has also as strong a conviction of the necessity of making concessions in accordance with the spirit of the times. Nothing has shaken,' he writes, my faith in the principle of free trade; on the contrary, that which has taken place in England since the new direction given by Huskisson to the customs system has fully confirmed my original views.'
Thus prepared by long study, by an intimate acquaintance with our literature, our political institutions, and the history of our public men, Cavour was better fitted than probably any young traveller had ever before been to make the utmost of a visit to England. He was eminently fortunate in finding a guide ready to receive him in his friend Mr. Brockedon, who had from the first appreciated his abilities and his character, and had foretold his future greatness. The very divergence of their opinions rather sharpened Cavour's zeal for inquiry, and led him to examine into many things which might otherwise have escaped his notice. Mr. Brockedon's skill and ingenuity as a mechanician, to which we owe some of the most useful inventions of our time, his position as a man of letters, his connexion with the principal scientific and literary societies, his reputation as an artist, and his gene
rous, manly, and genial disposition, rendered him singularly well qualified to direct the attention of his friend to that which was best worthy of it in this country. Chiefly under his guidance Cavour visited the great public and private institutions and establishments of London and the manufacturing districts, inquired into the principles upon which they were managed, and examined the wonderful inventions and improvements in mechanics which have been the cause of the vast development of the resources and commerce of England. He completed his inquiries by spending some time in Scotland and Ireland.
The political and social condition of this country was of special interest to him. He investigated with the utmost eagerness, but at the same time with the calm, penetrating, and business-like judgment of a statesman, the great problems of the day. Nothing is more striking in his early letters than the love of truth and the desire of attaining to it that they display. Marvelling as he did at the wealth and freedom of England, he did not suffer his enthusiasm to mislead him. He had prepared himself to examine dispassionately the sources of her greatness, not as a mere curious man, but as a practical one. Blue books, parliamentary returns, papers on financial, social, and industrial questions, improvements in manufactures, husbandry, and agriculture, reports upon factories, schools, poor-laws, and trade, even treatises on the laying out and management of flower and botanical gardens, were all read with the same ardour, and illustrated and verified by his own inquiries.
His attention was especially turned to our parliamentary proceedings. He was constantly present at the debates in the House of Commons, and soon attained that acquaintance with its complicated modes of procedure, with the tactics of its leaders, and with the rules observed in discussion, which subsequently proved of such singular advantage to him. It was an interesting and encouraging sight to observe this young Italian nobleman, endowed with all the vivacity and imagination of his countrymen, with a ready and brilliant wit, and with the most pleasing | manners, renouncing the seductive pleasures of society, and giving himself heart and soul to the dry study of those profound questions which had engaged the greatest thinkers of the age. It would have been well for Italy had she possessed many such men. The hour of her regeneration would not have been so long delayed.
We have entered somewhat fully into these details, because they furnish the key to Cavour's subsequent success, and to his political character. Nothing can be more interesting than the study of the youth of a great man, than to mark the early dawn
of his intellect, and to trace the first tendency of his mind. The lives of most men are shadowed out before they are five-andtwenty. The impulse given to the thoughts and disposition by that time generally continues in the same direction with little change. The foundation is laid, development alone ensues. No one who has carefully examined the career of Cavour, or who knew him, will be inclined to doubt that his early study of the great questions then chiefly agitated, and nowhere more strikingly illustrated than in England, mainly influenced his future life, and led to the formation of those opinions, and to the adoption of those principles, upon which he subsequently acted when called into the service of his country. He scarcely ever made a speech or wrote a paper in which some allusion to England will not be found, in which he does not summon, as justifying a policy or a principle, the great names of Chatham, of Pitt, of Canning, or of Peel, in which he does not point to a maxim or a rule of the House of Commons for the guidance of the Italian Chambers, in which he does not show that he was thoroughly imbued with the spirit of the English constitution. His admiration for England-not an irrational, blind, or frivolous admiration as his enemies wished Italy to believe, but a deep earnest reverence for those principles which had led to her greatness and her freedom-subsequently earned for him the title of which he certainly felt no shame, of the 'Anglomane.' Cavour's visit to England was the turning-point of his life. Its fruits were soon visible. He had already, in 1835, published an account of the English poor-law; and one of his first literary works when he was again settled in Turin was a paper upon Ireland, published during the winter of 1843-44, in two parts, in the Bibliothèque Universelle de Genève.' It attracted general attention. A translation was published in this country in 1845. This remarkable production has rather the character of a state paper than of a pamphlet written upon an exciting topic of the day. It is calm, dispassionate, and entirely free from those exaggerated notions which usually characterise a foreigner's view of this subject. Many specific measures which he suggests in it have since been carried out. Amongst others, the establishment of a line of steamers between the extreme point of the county of Clare and America, by which he contends the communication between the two countries would shortly be reduced to a seven-days' voyage-a striking instance of his foresight, and an argument in favour of the Galway contract which unluckily escaped Father Daly's friends and clients on a recent
Cavour, by his pen and his connexion with several public institutions,
institutions, had now begun to take an active part in public affairs. On the 25th of August, 1842, the King, Charles Albert, had approved by a royal patent the Società Agraria,' of which Cavour had been one of the originators, and of which he was soon after appointed resident councillor. Its ostensible object was the improvement of agriculture, and of the arts and sciences connected with it; but the founders of the society had other ends in view. It was their intention that it should become a bond of union between men of liberal opinions, and should ultimately open the way to the establishment of a constitution in Piedmont. Other questions than those strictly relating to agriculture were, consequently, discussed at their meetings and in their journals. Their principal organ was the Gazetta dell' Associazione Agraria,' to which Cavour became the princial contributor. His articles at once attracted attention by their boldness, the novelty of their opinions upon Free Trade, and their advocacy of constitutional institutions. He especially opposed the establishment, by the Government, of model farms which were then much in public favour. He entered into an examination of the condition of agriculture in Piedmont, and contended that it was not for the State to undertake experiments at the public expense, but that the true mode of developing the resources of a country was to encourage the industry of the people and to remove all restriction upon it, by wise and liberal laws; that all real progress came from their intelligence, and not from the .interference of their rulers. These broad and liberal views produced their political effect. Insensibly, and without exciting the jealousy or suspicion of the Government, they gave an impulse to that intellectual movement which owed its origin mainly to Gioberti, Balbo, Massimo d'Azeglio, and other eminent Piedmontese, who, by their writings, were preparing the way for constitutional freedom. Amongst the papers which he published at this time were a comprehensive inquiry into the subject of railways for Italy, and an able argument against Communist doctrines.
Finding too limited a scope for the expression of his political opinions in his 'Agricultural Journal,' he founded in 1847, with his friends Cesare Balbo, Santa Rosa, Boncompagni, Castelli, and other men of moderate constitutional views, the 'Risorgimento,' of which he became the editor. The principles of the new periodical were announced to be, independence of Italy; union between the princes and peoples; progress in the path of reform; and a league between the Italian states.'
Cavour now threw himself into more active political life. One of his first public acts was to unite with his colleagues in the