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Aosta, spoke for the first time in a clear and animated language: he promised to every one, with an air of the fullest confidence, that the Spanish Constitution should be proclaimed by the Prince the same evening. The populace assembled in the square of the Palace of Carignan ; numbers of Piedmontese from the neighbouring provinces, and above all from that of Ivria, distinguished at all times for its energy and patriotism,' were found mixed with the citizens of the capital. It was on this occasion that the physician Crivelli penetrated into the palace of the Regent, and represented to him with much warmth, the wishes of the people. The magistrates of the city repaired also to the Prince, and showed to him the necessity of taking a resolution which would satisfy the public opinion. The Regent consulted the ancient Ministers of the King, whom he assembled around him, and the promulgation of the Spanish Constitution, was the result of their deliberations.*
At eight o'clock the Prince appeared on the balcony of his Palace, and fannounced it to the people. Public joy (manifested itself in this instant, and during the rest of the evening, with the greatest vivacity, but without any of those disorders and unfor tunate excesses by which popular commotions are almost always accompanied, and which might have been more reasonably dreaded at so late an hour, and after an unlooked for hesitation, which had irritated the minds of many citizens. The wisdom of the people and the pure intentions of all the friends of liberty never appeared to me with greater evidence.
The Regent took the oath to the Spanish Constitution on the
" Ivria attained the object of the Revolution before Turin. From the morning of the 13th, Count Palura, and the Marquis de Prié, scarcely come out of prison, proclaimed the Spanish Constitution, seconded by other worthy citizens, and amidst the liveliest popular enthusiasm.
? This iydependent act of patriotism is the more remarkable, as it was unconnected with any pre-concerted design: the physician Crivelli being a stranger to the Piedmontese conspiracy.
3 M. de Beauchamp and the author of Thirty Days' agree in saying that the Spanish Constitution was unknown to the Piedmontese. Nothing can be more erroneous; since the Revolution of Naples the people have been so eager to read it, that the booksellers have been unable to supply the demands. There was not a man in Piedmont, however ill informed, who was not acquainted with it, and its principles were besides already diffused, even among the less cultivated classes of society.
4 The Chevalier de Revel, Governor of Turin, was called to this conference in his quality of Minister of State; Pietro Muschietti was charged to conduct him from his hotel to the Palace of the Prince. They relied on the attention of this young Patriot, who was dear to all the friends of liberty, to protect the person of a man who recalled the remembrance of the 12th of January: The Governor's carriage drove through the crowd. Indigoation was visible in all eyes; but the spirit of wisdom and moderation prevailed, and not a cry of insult or of vengeance was heard among that irritated youth, whose wounds were, properly speaking, still bleeding.
14th of March. The Revolution being consummated, the business now was to support and defend it. Charles Albert might yet cover himself with glory, and obliterate his former faults. We shall now see how his Regency of eight days, by a fatal inaction, and by the false measures which signalised it, prepared the misfortunes of the country.
The ministers of Victor Emmanuel having all given in their tesignation, the Regent formed a new ministry. The Chevalier Ferdinand Dalpozzo was appointed minister of the interior, to which was joined that of the police, and Count Cristiani was named Director-General. The Chevalier de Villamarina minister of war and marine. The advocate Gubernatis was charged with the finances, and the Marquis Arborio de Brème having refused the ministry of foreign affairs, the Chevalier Lodivico Sauli held the port-folio, in quality of the first clerk of the bureaux.
The choice of the Chevalier Dalpozzo' aroused the greatest hopes, which were not only founded on the superiority of his un. derstanding and talents, but also on the firmness of his character, and the purity of his attachment to the liberties of his country. The refusal of the Marquis de Brème caused the most melancholy reflections. It could not have been imagined that the illustrious chief of a family devoted to Italy would have shown so little courage. The Chevalier de Villamarina, an enlightened officer, would have been an excellent minister of war; but the unfortunate state of his health would not permit him to display his natural activity. The finances were very properly confided to the advocate Gubernatis, who possessed excellent principles of government, and much experience.
It will easily be conceived that a ministry without a minister of foreign affairs, and with a minister of war who was unable to perform his functions, was not suited to the circumstances of the state.
The junta, consisting at first of fourteen members, and successively augmented to twenty-eight, was highly recommendable for the morality of all who composed it, and for their attachment to their country, which would have found it difficult to procure
* Ferdinand Dalpozzo had filled the highest offices under the Imperial Government; but that which ranked him very high in the esteem of the Piedmontese, was the courage with which he had raised his voice for the interests of justice and truth since the return of the King into his dominions. His treatises on different questions of Jurisprudence powerfully contributed to form the opinion of the enlightened classes of Society. As for the rest, the Chevalier Dalpozzo was a perfect stranger to the Piedmontese conspiracy; but when his country wanted his services it found him ready. The difficulties, the dangers, the distress of our situation operated no change in his conduct; he was faithful to his duty to the last moment. VOL. XIX. Parn. NO. XXXVII.
a body worthy of preparing its happiness, had it been in the midst of a profound peace, and protected from all insult on the part of its neighbours; but in the circumstances in which Piedmont now. found itself, when we were obliged to seek our safety in a great commotion in Italy, and launch the vessel of the state in the midst of the tempest, that it might not be left miserably to perish on the coast, it was necessary that the junta should present a majority devoted without reserve to their country, and equally as decided in prosecuting the war.of Italian independence as in restraining with firmness all the parties who troubled the internal tranquillity, under whatever banner they were ranged. Events have proved that such a majority existed not in the Piedmontese junta.
A ministry, incomplete ; a junta, timid; and a Charles Albert; these were all that the now free people of Piedmont had to oppose to their enemies.
The first step of the Constitutional Government would have been a declaration of war against Austria. The conduct of the Emperor towards Naples ; the union of interests which existed
all the Italian states on the point of guarantying their political independence, and of securing to themselves the liberty of ameliorating their institutions ; the declaration of the Austrian cabinet on the Revolution of Naples—a statement in violation of the rights of Sovereignty of the Italian Princes, as insulting in form as in substance, and which, I am bold to say, announced, with indiscreet haughtiness, the views of the Emperor on the Peninsula ; all these circumstances gave to Constitutional Piedmont the right of declaring and of commencing that war. Every thing besides imposed the necessity for this step, and when that state reason exists, there is no occasion to seek for others.
The Regent, far from coming up to this decisive step, suffered the Baron Binder, the Austrian minister, to continue his residence at Turin. The public were persuaded that he would plant the seeds of civil war in that place; the people repeated, from hour to hour, all his attemps to corrupt our soldiers, in order to form plots for a counter revolution : the public mind became alarmed and heated ; a great number of citizens demanded his dismissal of the Regent ; others repaired to the Baron Binder to engage him to depart. The Austrian minister received no kind of insult; the tumultuous assemblage in the square of the Palace of Carignan gave rise to no disorder. Binder departed. Let us here remark the imprudence of the Regent. How much it concerns the establishment of true public liberty not to leave power and influence in the hands of the populace. The Prince, who could not be ignorant of the fermentation which existed on the subject of the Austrian
minister, was still blamable in this respect, that he did not in time give him the order to depart...
The convocation of the electoral assemblies for the election of Parliament would have, as well as the declaration of war against Austria, immediately followed the promulgation of the constitution : Charles Albert did nothing respecting it, although the minister of the interior was in haste to present the work to the junta.
There were some military preparations—the provincial contingents of the brigades were called under arms: the formation of the national guard and the organisation of some new battalions of Chasseurs; but the execution of these measures was not carried on with vigor, and many other very essential dispositions, such as the prompt purchase of horses and arms, the organisation of the train of artillery, the rapid completion of objects of equipment which were still wanting, were neglected or retarded. This was not the way to commence the war in eight days; and yet nothing was more necessary than this sudden war, which would have initiated us into the movements of the Austrians, who were already out of a condition to defend Milan,' have carried to the highest pitch the military ardor of the Piedmontese, and imprinted a generous transport in the hearts of the people of Lombardy, in those. first moments of joy and surprise into which our Revolution had thrown them.
There are precious moments in political wars, which once lost sight of, can no longer be found. Charles Albert took good care to abstain from seizing that which presented itself to his courage. Numbers of Milanese presented themselves to him in the first days of the regency,
and offered him the arnis and the resources of their fellow citizens; but the chief of this constitutional government, which could only exist by the Italian insurrection, coldly received these Overtures. What was then become of that ancient ardor in the breast of the Prince, of delivering Italy from the yoke of the barbarians ?
The Prince of Carignan followed a system on all occasions which but too well agreed with the feebleness of his character. He made no change either in the army or in the administration. God forbid that I should justify here the maxims of making a general removal after a Revolution which, such as ours, supported itself on public opinion; but no one will maintain that a constitutional government ought to continue in the command of territorial divisions, provinces, regiments, and fortresses, those men who are most celebrated for an unbounded devotion to absolute royalty, and ca
· Tlie dispositions for a retreat had already been made.
pable, either by feelings of hatred against liberal institutions, or with the hope of aggrandising their fortunés, of undertaking every thing for the triumph of their cause. This is, however, what Charles Albert has not failed in doing; what the Ministers were obliged to suffer; and what the junta dared not openly to disapprove.
But I ought not to conceal a very grave circumstance, which serves to explain that measure of the constitutional governmentthat unheard-of mixture of discouragement and duplicity. The Regent had rendered accounts of the events and of his conduct to Prince Charles Felix, and the reply had been received. This Prince had not taken the title of King, but rather the government of the kingdom, and declared he would not recognise any of the changes which were made, or which would be made in his absence. He made no hesitation in availing himself of the only power which was within his reach, in the assistance of Austria. This assistance, which at least placed his crown in a precarious situation, seemed to him preferable to any kind of concession to his people. He wished to be the master, not the chief, of his nation.
Such was the spirit of his acts; and although every thing which has taken place since tends to convince us that his private opinion entirely corresponded with it, I cannot help believing that if Charles Fes lix had not found himself in circumstances which obliged him to pretend ignorance of the situation of Piedmont, he would have pursued a line of conduct very different and much less fatal to the happiness and tranquillity of his states. As for the rest, if ever a nation ought to have taken care of the dignity of the crown, in defiance of him who wears it, it was in the circumstance to which I allude. It was precisely on such an occasion that it became necessary to expose oneself to the personal resentment of the King, in order to merit from the impartial voice of posterity the eulogium of having opposed the irreparable degradation of the house of Savoy. And let us not forget that the situation of Charles Felix in the court of an Austrian Prince, and surrounded by the ármies of Austria, gave us the right of regarding all his acts either as the work of violence, or at least as performed under the influence of our enemies. Were the Spaniards ever obliged to lend a willing ear to the orders of Ferdinand when he was at Bayonne or at Valençay?
The government of Piedmont had neither the courage nor probably the will to make an appeal to this principle, the guardian of the honor of nations. The Regent however thought he saw danger in the declaration of the Prince Charles Felix; he took the advice of a congress, to which were invited all the ancient ministers, and which agreed on the necessity of keeping silence, and