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would the admitted inconvenience, risk, and great cost of transporting ponderous masses of stone be compensated by its advantages ? 'Yet, supposing the project partially adopted, it might be arranged to assemble near the paintings all marbles and casts of æsthetic merit, along with the drawings and engravings, a library of art being supplied ; sculpture of archæological or ethnological interest would remain at the Museum; while minor artistic rarities, such as nielli, enamels, bronzes, terra-cottas, vases, pottery, ceramic ware, carvings in ivory, metal, or wood, might with propriety be annexed to the one or the other, or might together form a third collection. But, should all these become concentrated in an open suburban locality, is the management to be centralised, as well as the site ? and are we to render the discovery of a qualified supreme Director still more hopeless by so large an accession to our demands upon his time and intelligence, and by so great a burden of varied duties ? .
The Committee have shown much reserve in dealing with these complex considerations. While reluctantly surrendering the present site of the Gallery, and disposed to recommend for it the one at Kensington Gore, they, in a great measure, evade the centralisation question referred to them, by suggesting that a Royal Commission be named to dispose of it. In this they have probably done well; a smaller tribunal than theirs being better fitted to adjudicate upon the evidence they have carefully elicited. But when Government takes up this matter, we trust it will bear in mind that the prejudices against Trafalgar Square date only from the Commission of 1850, a Select Committee having in 1848 reported favourably as to enlarging the present Gallery, on account of, among other reasons, the confluence of people, and the facilities it offers for extensions with but one expensive architectural elevation.
On the whole, it appears that, with a preponderance of testimony adverse to the system of management by Trustees, the Committee have resolved upon continuing it; that, while an unpaid governing body is generally condemned, they have virtually sanctioned it; that, although primarily appointed in consequence of the recent picture-cleaning, and although all witnesses unconnected with the Gallery object to this, as uncalled for or injurious, they have abstained from recording a disapproval of such proceedings. While, therefore, we feel grateful to them for their painstaking investigation of the subject, we trust that, in deciding upon a plan for maintaining a collection of pictures worthy of the age and nation, Government will found its measures upon no narrow views or foregone conclusions.
ART. VI. — 1. Lorenzo Benoni ; or Passages in the Life of an
Italian. Edinburgh and London : 1853. 1 vol. 8vo. 2. Castellamonte; an Autobiographical Sketch illustrative of
Italian Life during the Insurrection of 1831. 2 vols. post 8vo. London: 1854. The only resemblance between these two books lies in their
subject. The scenes and the heroes of both are Italian, and both treat of the abortive insurrections which took place in several of the Italian provinces, in consequence of the excitement arising out of the French Revolution of July 1830. Here all similarity ends. Castellamonte is one of the most discreditable specimens of book-making which has ever come under our notice. The popularity of Lorenzo Benoni' seems to have stimulated the writer to take up his pen; and though he had little to say — and that little was not worth saying, and is not particularly well said,- he has contrived, by trivial personalities, by tedious verbiage, by irrelevant episodes, by tawdry declamation, to spin it out into two worthless, wearisome, and disappointing volumes. How much of pure fiction, and how much of romantic exaggeration he has allowed himself to mingle with the substratum of fact, we have no means of detecting. Probably the alloy is considerable; but its precise amount it is not important to ascertain. Whether the author was, or was not, as he represents himself, the centre of the whole drama, the soul of the entire plot, the moving spirit of the Revolution, the leader in every skirmish, the hero of every adventure,- is a matter of infinitely small account. The only thing of moment
- and this is conveyed faithfully enough is the picture of mingled frivolity, imbecility, and cowardice,-of victory by accident, of resistance without purpose, of surrender without a struggle—which has been displayed time after time by nearly all the political movements in that unfortunate country.
Castellamonte — we will not betray the incognito which the Author has assumed, and will do well to maintain—is a native of Parma who has apparently completed his academic course, but still mixes a good deal with the students of the University, and enjoys considerable influence over his young associates. It does not appear that the Parmese had much to complain of, either in the way of oppression or taxation. They were, of course, like most continental people, interdicted from political action and discussion; their sovereign, Marie Louise, was a woman whom it was impossible to respect, as she was both profligate and silly, and her Ministers were bigoted and feeble: but her rule was mild, her subjects generally comfortable and well-to-do, and every one seems to have been allowed to enjoy life in his own way with little interference. But the easy and brilliant success of the outbreak at Paris had infected the exciteable and hot-headed youths of Italy; the standing grievance of the Peninsula — that which has roused and united all classes since the days of Machiavellithe domination of the Austrians, was then ready to serve as a rallying-point and a war-cry; and the popular mind was in an unusual state of fermentation, which any accident might ripen into a serious crisis. At this conjuncture a favourite Professor is dismissed from his post for some incautious expressions of sympathy with French heroism, and an obnoxious advocatea pet enemy of Castellamonte—is appointed to succeed him. The students are in a state of noble indignation : they resolve upon a riot in precisely the same temper, half rage, half frolic, in which schoolboys resolve on a barring-out; and Castellamonte is to head them. A friend brings him a magnificent dagger with much farcical mystery: he flourishes the weapon with sundry patriotic apostrophes, and, awkwardly enough, contrives to stab himself in the leg. While confined to the sofa by his accident, a Carbonaro acquaintance visits him, confides to him that a serious émeute is in contemplation, which their boyish row may mar, and persuades him to soothe down his fellow-students into mere passive resistance. This is done : but the Government, anxious to remove so turbulent a lad during a period of excitement, issues a warrant for his arrest; but, at the same time, true to its hatred of disturbance and aversion from severity, sends him private warning to abscond. This, however, he conceives it beneath his dignity to do; so he puts on the hero, steels himself against the tears and entreaties of his friends, and resolves to be the proto-martyr to his country's cause—the Curtius of the Parmesan Republic. He is therefore politely visited at night, requested to dress himself, and marched off, along with half-a-dozen of his fellow-rioters, to a mountain-fortress, where they remain in tolerably comfortable durance for three weeks, amusing themselves with various boyish pranks, which their gaoler tolerates with singular goodhumour. Meantime the Revolution has taken place at Parma, that is to say, symptoms of discontent having shown themselves, the troops were kept under arms day and night till they were tired, when a mob collected, surrounded them, mingled among them, fraternised with them, disarmed them (nothing loth, apparently), and organised a National Guard. Marie Louise and her most obnoxious ministers retired secretly and unmolested; and the
se presh from Besite or from povernment there
re libero cold watemberaired
change of government was completed without a gun having been fired, or a drop of blood shed. The authorities succumbed without resistance, by way of setting a good example to the insurgents when their turn came round, an example they admired too much not to imitate.
The victory thus gained, no one seemed to have the least idea what was to be done with it, or why they had desired it. A provisional government was organised, the members of which were principally occupied in throwing cold water on the popular enthusiasm. The prisoners were liberated and joined the insurgent leaders, who seem to have been composed in about equal proportions of boys fresh from Brutus and Timoleon, and of rakes and reprobates fresh from exile or from prison, foolish fanatics, and malignant mauvais sujets. The government and the people both cradled themselves in the delusion that there was no danger from the Austrians, inasmuch as the French had proclaimed the doctrine of non-intervention: no steps were taken to ascertain what real ground there might be for their fancied security ; no provision was made for defence; no efforts made to obtain powerful alliances for protection in case of the worst. It was unusually fine weather, and every one was contented to slumber and to feast. There appears to have been little order, and no subordination. Any one wbo was bold and active enough might command; any one who was meek and ductile enough might obey. A sort of irregular expedition set out against Fiorenzuola, where it met some Austrian troops, and was routed, after a smart skirmish. Still the provisional government chose to assume that Austria intended to be as idle and passive as themselves; but some of the insurgents, by way of securing good treatment to such of their friends as had been made prisoners, carried off the Bishop of Guastalla (a former lover of Marie Louise) as a hostage. This seems to have been the great feat of the Revolution. Meanwhile, the Austrians were collecting an overpowering force, and as soon as it was ready, marched against Parma. The provisional government had full notice of its approach, but made no arrangements either for resistance or surrender. Its members sat at their Council Board burning papers that might compromise' them, and getting the Palace into order for their Sovereign, that she might not find a single chair out of its place. According to Castellamonte, no guard was even appointed to the gate of the city (an open one of iron lattice-work), and he himself, therefore, assumed the command of this important post, and established himself there with a few volunteer friends - sending for wine • and refreshments to a neighbouring tavern'- to make head VOL. XCIX. NO. CCII.
honade prislood treates; butt Austria till the on troopgout against
The or resistance ing paper to order one of its els to the re s, el
no guar con lattice oportant postending tilbe
for resistanotice of its inst Parmring force, canwhile, 's to have me
against seven thousand Austrian troops. The troops appeared, and seem to have behaved with commendable forbearance, waiting till the spirit of bravado, which had taken possession of the youthful band, should have evaporated. After a short delay, the anxiety of the working people and market-gardeners, inside -and outside of the walls, to proceed to their morning avocations prevailed; the gates were thrown open, and the white uniforms of the Tedeschi, with the Grand Duchess behind them, took quiet possession of the place.
Thus ended the Parma Revolution ;' one of the most wretched and ludicrous farces ever enacted on the political stage. It was a perfect caricature of Revolutions, and one that would be wholly unworthy of notice, except as displaying in unusually vivid colours that utter childishness of proceeding, feebleness of character, and absence of any definite object or steady purpose, which distinguished most of the Italian patriotic movements a quarter of a century ago; and which, were it the last act of their history, might well make us despair of their future, and reserve our sympathy for a nobler people, and a more hopeful cause. · · Lorenzo Benoni’ is a work of an altogether different stamp. Its tone is far more serious and manly, its dramatis persone are of a far higher order, and its literary merit is incomparably superior. Indeed, in this, as in other respects, it is a very remarkable production, and, if the unaided work of a foreigner, is unrivalled for easy elegance and idiomatic accuracy of style. The spirit which pervades is singularly earnest and yet gentle, reminding us much of Silvio Pellico, while exempt from his almost feminine pftness; the love of liberty, which breathes through every page, is of a rational and noble sort; and whatever enthusiasm may be traced in it is of so subdued and genuine a character, so utterly free from the bombast and intiation which so generally makes us turn away in disgust from the writings of most Italian patriots, that even our cold English temperaments can meet it with unchilled sympathy. The author when very young was concerned in the inchoate conspiracy (for it was never more than an ébauche) which was attempted in the Sardinian States in 1831, was obliged to fly, and has remained ever since an exile, maintaining a high character, and earning an honest and laborious independence; his brother was thrown into prison, and, we believe, died there by his own hand, fearing lest his fortitude might give way under suffering and torture, and he might thus be betrayed into divulging the names and secrets of his fellow-conspirators; and some of his associates in the unfortunate attempt-one espe