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they are reduced to a mere shifting of power from hand to handto a mere display of shallow partisanship or personal abuse. Every citizen feels that he and his fellow-subjects are essentially free; that the vessel of the state must sail progressively, however awkward the man, however obnoxious the party, whom popular favour may happen to entrust with the helm. Each of us may
afford to go to sleep in our berth, or if we must needs watch the mancuvre or occasionally lay hold of a rope's end, we do it in perfect security, like bustling passengers, glad enough of any occupation that will enable them to kill the time.
But in Italy, politics are a matter of life and death. Every thinking being feels assured that his country can only exist by independence, union, and liberty,—that a prolongation of the present state of things is little better than a lingering agony. There is no division of opinions in Italy, or it is only a matter of calculation and expediency. There is not a man, from the patriot who dies on the scaffold to the judge who pronounces his sentence and the headsman who executes it, but would unhesitatingly join the national cause, could he only see the practicability of a revolutionary attempt. Hence we invariably find the most trusty ministers of the wary despot secretly allied with the most daring conspirators ; hence we have witnessed two revolutions in 1820, and three in 1831, effected with an almost incredible unanimity, without one drop of blood.
These feelings of civil and religious liberty being so decidedly uppermost in every mind and heart, whosoever attempts to portray modern life, will find it impossible to get rid of those two prominent features. An author must either speak of Italy to the Italians, or say nothing. And what chances the novelist may have of handling such subjects under the censorship of the police, the fate of Guerrazzi, Amari, Tommaseo, and a hundred others, banished for their authorship of works which had even been printed with the approbation of government, may satisfactorily demonstrate.
It is indeed singular, but true, that some indulgence is shown to those who write on old historical topics ; and that D’Azeglio's works, for instance, breathing the warmest patriotism, have not yet procured for their author the crown of martyrdom. It seems almost understood that the Italians are to be allowed the full benefit of the past; but let a novelist only drop a hint about Carbonarism, the Black Pin, the Adelphi, the Italic Legion, Young Italy, or any of those subterranean associations which are gradually undermining, and eventually will, if they learn unanimity and firmness, overthrow the throne of Austria and her crowned Lieutenants, and he will soon see whether the Piombi
e Pozzi of Venice, or the dungeons of Spielberg, have yet any vacant room for his accommodation.
This circumstance accounts for the almost universal preference given to historical subjects in Italian novels. We might, indeed, wonder why the forbidden subjects are not at least treated by the many exiles living and writing abroad. But, not to take into consideration the danger of exposing their friends at home, such works would have little chance of making their way into Italy, and less of securing the attention of foreign readers. Something of that kind we lately perceived in a long series of papers in the Metropolitan Magazine, entitled “Memoirs of an Italian Exile,” and containing an account of the revolutions of Central Italy in 1831. Those papers, however, attracted hardly any notice, and have been most probably discontinued.
The only novel on a recent subject which may be said to have won the suffrage of Italian readers, and of which we were enabled to obtain a copy, was “Angiola Maria,” by Giulio Carcano, a very young Milanese, already known for some exquisite verses in the style of Manzoni. The heroine is a pure-minded, ingenuous girl, growing up unconscious of the charms of her loveliness in her father's home in the country, who, brought into contact with a fascinating stranger, an English nobleman, bestows upon him the treasure of her affections, only to be rewarded with base desertion, and to die of a broken heart. The novel, as may be expected, is somewhat tinged with that ill-concealed animosity which the absurd conduct of our vulgar travellers has roused against the English name in many a generous heart on the Continent.
Three other works of fiction on analogous subjects were lately published ;-the first at Naples, bearing the title of “ Ginevra de Palmieri;” the two others at Paris, “ Îl Siciliano in Parigi," and “Casilda ;”—but none of these, which we have seen highly eulogized in Foreign Reviews, are to be found in England.
Such is Romance in Italy. Less fertile, no doubt, less amusing, less multiform, than in England and France; having almost nothing to correspond to our fashionable narratives by Blessington, Gore, and Hook, to our popular literature by Dickens, Hood, or Slick, or to our psychologie en action by D’Israeli and Bulwer; but free from the flippancy, from the exaggerations and conventionalities of the first school—from the hideous distortions, from the grotesque vulgarity of the second-from the obscurity and morbid transcendentalism of the last ; but eminently lofty and pure—aiming at a great and worthy, however arduous, objectsteadily and efficiently proceeding towards its final accomplishment.
Art. III.-Histoire de Pape Léon XII., par M. le Chevalier
Artaud de Montor, Ancien Chargé d'Affaires de France à Rome, Officier de la Légion d'Honneur, Chevalier-commandeur de l'Ordre de Saint Grégoire-le-Grand, 8c. &c. &C. 2 vols. 8vo. Paris. 1843. (History of Pope Leo XII., by M. le Chevalier Artaud de Montor, &c. &c.)
The papal authority has never recovered the shock it sustained from Napoleon : the sanctity of the city of Rome was then violated; it proved unable to protect itself from foreign violence; and its antient “prestige” was lost for ever. All the actions of the pope whose biography is before us, Leo XII., were, however, directed to reclaim this lost authority, and, as far as he could, to regain the power. Foreign Roman Catholics were to be convinced that the head of their church still held and still exercised his dominion—that it was uncontrolled, that it was undiminished; and that the popedom, both temporal and spiritual, was unchanged. Hence, in the absence of greater proofs of power, bulls, briefs, beatifications, and the jubilee. We will, however, proceed regularly with the biography before us, and our readers will not fail of seeing fully the truth of the statement we have made.
Annibal-François-Clement- Melchior-Jerome- Nicholas della Genga, the sixth of a family of ten, was born at the Chateau de la Genga, in the territory of Spoleto, on the 22nd of August, 1760. At the age of thirteen he was placed at the College Campana d'Osimo, then under the superintendence of Bellini, who was elevated to the bishopric of Loretto by Pius VII. After spending there five years of well-directed study, he went to the Piceno College, and afterwards to the Academy of the Church, where he was fortunate enough to attract the attention of Pius VI., during one of the official visits of that pontiff. The handsome features and noble bearing of the young Della Genga first drew upon him the notice of Pius, who, on entering into conversation with him, was so pleased with the shrewdness and cleverness of his answers, that he at once nominated him cameriere segreto. On the 21st of December, 1782, he was ordained sub-deacon ; became deacon on the 19th of April in the following year; and on the 14th of June, in the same year, a dispensation having been procured on account of his not being of the canonical age, he was fully admitted to the office of priest. In 1790 he was selected to pronounce the funeral oration for the Emperor Joseph II., which was delivered in the Sistine Chapel, in the presence of the pope and the sacred college. It was a task of considerable difficulty, requiring the most cautious tact and
treatment. The emperor must of course be praised, otherwise a funeral oration would be worse than mockery, -and yet Joseph had shown himself no great friend to the Church of Rome. The journey of Pius to Vienna had been productive of promises, but of promises which had never been fulfilled ; while the minister of Joseph had received him with a studied coolness. And in the serious question relative to the suppression of convents in Belgium, a heavy blow to the Romish Church, Pius had met with no consolation. The orator, however, must tell the truth, but no offence must be given to the Austrian cabinet. In this delicate business, Della Genga acquitted himself to the satisfaction of his auditors, who were delighted with the clear and musical tones of his voice, as well as with the chaste elegance of his language. A circumstance attending the last moments of the emperor, selected by our author as deserving the highest praise, seems to us scarcely meriting the eulogium passed upon it. M. Artaud de Montor is a bigoted, if not a pious, Romanist; and unless he thinks it a matter of indifference on what subject a dying man's thoughts may be occupied, the following statement is rather startling :-“Quoiqu'il en soit, ses derniers momens feront éternellement honneur à sa mémoire, et l'orateur pouvoit louer un monarque qui, en face de la mort, avoit voulu être revêtu de son grand uniforme et de ses ordres, comme pour prendre un congé solennel de ses généraux et de l'armée dont il était particulièrement chéri."*-Vol. I. p. 6.) Among his last sayings, the following, which is much commended, appears to us to savour more of reproach and satire, than of kindness :-“ Je ne regrette point le trône," disoit-il, “ un seul souvenir pèse sur mon cæur ; cést qu'après toutes les peines que je me suis données, j'ai fait peu d'heureux et beaucoup d'ingrats.”+-(Ib.) One of the thousand calumnies heaped upon the murdered Marie Antoinette is thus solemnly denied by Joseph :—“Je n'ignore pas que les ennemis de ma sœur ont osé l'accuser de m'avoir fait passer des sommes considérables. Prêt à paroître devant Dieu, je declare que cette inculpation est une horrible calomnie.”-(p. 7.)
But to return to Della Genga: honours continued to be accu
*" However this may be, his last moments will for ever do honour to his memory, and the orator could eulogize a monarch, who, with death immediately before him, desired to be dressed in his full uniform, with all his orders, as if to take a solemn leave of his generals, and of the army, by which he was particularly beloved."
+ “I regret not the throne," said be, "one thought alone weighs upon my mind; which is, that after all the pains I have taken, I have made few people happy, but many ungrateful."
“I know that the enemies of my sister have dared to accuse her of having transmitted to me large sums of money. Ready to appear in the presence of God, I declare that the charge is a vile calumny."
VOL. III.—NO. I.
mulated upon him : in 1792 he was private secretary to Pius VI. and canon of St. Peter's. In the year following he was consecrated Archbishop of Tyre, by Cardinal York, previously to being sent as nuncio to Lucerne; and in 1794 he went in the same character to Cologne. In 1805 he was selected to attend the diet at Ratisbon, as extraordinary nuncio from the pope, to hear and endeavour to mitigate, if not to remove, the complaints which the members of the Romish Church made against the Protestant princes of Germany. Della Genga made himself thoroughly acquainted with the matters in dispute, but thought it necessary to return to Rome to consult with Consalvi. Buonaparte, to whom he had been represented as firm and intractable in his views, took advantage of his absence to request that another nuncio might be sent ; and in order to secure the person whom he wished, recommended—which he thought, as coming from him, would have the force of a command—that Bernier, bishop of Orleans, should be appointed to that office. A compliance with the recommendation would have been, in fact, deputing a person to represent the Romish Church who would sacrifice her interests to the wishes of France. Pius VII. resolutely told Napoleon in consequence, that he had rather his interests should be watched by one of his own subjects, than by one who was the subject of another power, and over whom he could not exercise the necessary control. Della Genga returned to his mission, and by his conduct gained the esteem of all with whom he mingled.
In 1808 the affairs of the church took him to Paris, but so uncompromising a defender of the papacy was but coolly received at the seat of empire : the points which he came to discuss were never settled, the conferences were broken off, and he returned to Rome to witness the persecutions which befel Pius VII. Of these he was not an unconcerned spectator,--sparing neither remonstrances nor personal exertions to ameliorate the condition of the pope,
and to avert the insults which were offered to his benefactor and his sovereign. His efforts continued unabated till the forcible abduction of the pope took place, when he retired from the turmoil of public life to the privacy of the Abbey of Montecelli. A great change of employment here awaited him ; with ready versatility he directed his talents to improve the performance of the services in his little chapel, taught the peasants the Gregorian chants, and gave instruction on the organ to such as manifested a taste for music. Filial affection led him to erect a monument to the memory of his mother; while to humble his thoughts, by having a memento of his mortality constantly before him, he caused his own grave to be prepared, and lay down in it that it might be perfectly fitted for him. In the abbey, and thus occupied, he expected to end his days; the influence of his