14 SEPTEMBER 1872, Page 8

Once more Walpole was tactically beaten, but here again the

can be no mistake either about their activity or their general idea intervened. There were troops at Wilton, persistency. The only doubts must be about their success, pose. They have been taking a leaf out of the book of their play. Then followed the final act of strife. The Northern opponents, and it now remains to be seen what good be able to get out of their leaf. We shall Army had to defend Amesbury, and took post near Stone- they will

henge. The Southerners were to get at Amesbury, if they endeavour to explain this surprising change of tactics, and could. Again Sir John imposed upon Sir Robert, crossed his for the occasion we shall place ourselves, if not exactly at front and the river also, and seized the London road. This the Clerical stand-point, which is a degree of complaisance was effected by a demonstration on Rox Hill, to cover the that perhaps would not be expected from us, at least in such march of the Divisions from Berwick St. James, to Great a position that we may be able to give due account of the Durnford. According to the reports, Walpole was again Clerical hopes and calculations. The Italian Government is outmanceuvred, for he lost his communications without se- already fully aware of the meaning of the new policy, and it is curing those of his rival. He was the victim, he says, of the time that English Liberals should learn to comprehend it also.

general idea, for he assumed that Wilton and Salisbury were Our first reflection—dictated by the circumstance that ever occupied by spectral defenders, whereas the Duke had caused since the aggrandisement of Piedmont the Clericals chiefly them to retreat before an advance of spectral invaders. Into contented themselves with a masterly inactivity, and that the rights and wrongs of the Generals we do not enter, but at present they follow a totally different course—is to this the tyranny of the general idea is comparable to nothing save effect, that the Clericals must either see or imagine they see the conduct of De Quincey's elder brother, who shifted the something which encourages them to alter their attitude. For frontiers of Tigro-Sylvania at his will and pleasure. The twelve years the maxim "No elettori, ne eletti," had been inept general idea apart, it is plain that Michel was sagacious obeyed with almost religious fervour by the Catholic party, and daring, and that Walpole was not sagacious and was and pending the time when the prayers of the faithful should apathetic. The explanation offered is that Michel listened cause fire from Heaven to descend on the Sub-Alpine King to his staff, while Walpole was his own counsel. ' However and his sacrilegious satellites, it seemed as if the House of that may be, purely defensive tactics, unless succoured by the Savoy was to be untroubled by any more terrestrial conse- general idea, were proved for the hundredth time to be a quences of Clerical discontent. If a sceptical outsider pro- broken reed. fessed to doubt whether the fire was so certain to descend from

Thus there have been at work on the theatre and beyond Heaven, he was probably answered by an inexpressible look of the theatre of war two forces,—the useful tacticians and the compassion for his benighted condition. Among people a useless strategists. It was the business of the latter to upset little more to be trusted or a little more behind the scenes, it the former, and provide on behalf of Walpole compensations was often freely enough confessed that a contemptuous refusal for the inventiveness and energy of Michel. We do not dis- to participate in any electoral contests under the Italian pnte the fact that the tactics have been instructive, or that Government had the additional advantage of being eminently the strategy was amusing ; but taken together, the product calculated to prevent the possibility of public defeats. II unreason and discontent. As an example of business-like "Our Catholics are the best in the world," it used capacity on the part of the Horse Guards, we cannot regard to be whispered among shrewd gentlemen in black the campaign as anything but a failure, referable mainly to coats and Roman collars, "but they are disheartened the passion for general ideas, which are mere paper pellets of and disorganised. Catholics have been always slow and tin- the brain. At the best, the Autumn Manceuvres must fall wieldy in the work of organisation. Besides, there is a great short of reality, but they become ridiculous when performed deal of apathy which requires to be quickened. But wait a For the rest, they have been very successful. They have work great things yet for His Church, a devout sentiment stimulated the zeal of the Army ; afforded officers and men which evidently did not exclude the manipulation of tern- instruction with an object, so much more effective than in- poral expedients on the occurrence of a temporal opportunity. struction without an object ; varied the routine duty of camp Meantime, the years have been flying by, the foreigner has and garrison by the novelties of a nomad life ; and to some disappeared from Italy, and while the completion of the degree tested organisation, tactics, and generalship. We have Liberal programme has ever menaced more and more closely not sufficient information to warrant any observations on the the supremacy, or as Catholics say, the liberty of the Church, Tactical experiments—if there were any—nor can we yet the Catholic propaganda has gone on unceasingly, in Triduos at form any definite opinion on the action of the Control Rome, in exhortations from a thousand pulpits, in admonitions Department. Much more evidence than that yet afforded is from ten thousand confessionals. The suffering Church, the needed for purposes of criticism. On the bearing of the troops august prisoner of the Vatican, the spread of infidelity, have there seems to be but one opinion, and it is creditable to been watchwords with which dark-robed or white-robed enthu- regimental discipline. The Auxiliary Forces came out better siesta of every priestly or monastic order have been endeavour- than was anticipated ; but so far as the Volunteers are con- ing to conjure back the zeal of tepid congregations, just as the oerned that is not surprising, for they were virtually picked Theatine, and the Dominican, and the Jesuit endeavoured to men. The Militia appear to have raised the reputation of kindle hearts and steel resolutions in the portentous crisis of that branch ; but we all know that the country regiments only the Lutheran Reformation. As the result of all this propa- want training, clothing, and good food to make them effective gandisnl, we find to-day that the Clericals have discarded a soldiers. Hereafter we shall get the complaints of competent large part of their obedience to the old maxim "Ne elettori, observers. The most salient lesson taught by the Mancenvres ne eletti," and have ventured to challenge conclusions with is,—give up the fatuity of General Ideas, all paper forces and Liberal opponents by the Liberal method of a recourse to the considerations. Define the field and the objects of the cam_ ballot-boxes. It is not too much to say that the Clericals paign, and let the Generals manceuvre as best they can, must have been conscious of some improvement in their Another lesson is,—choose your commanders from among the chances. They have not, indeed, carried off the victory rising generation of soldiers ; for the future belongs to the either in the whole or in the majority of the oases in 1 young or comparatively young, so that the novel, as far as it which they appealed to the vote, but they have won many is sanctioned by experience, may have some chance of being important successes. Even where they were completely defeated recognised. Another year ought to see material amendments they registered at least some votes, and what is most sugges-

ment for recognising the Italian Government even so far as to vote against it, they profess themselves to be fairly satisfied, and make no concealment of their intention to persevere. But let us go again among the shrewd gentlemen in black coats and Roman collars for a full explanation of the Clerical buoyancy of spirits. Not that the black coats and Roman collars will either give us a full explanation, or that every- thing they have to say can be received by Liberals without considerable reserve. Still two and two can be added together, and, as the Spanish proverb says, it is possible to see in the dark with a candle.

The ideas of the Clericals will strike a good many English- men as novel in such a quarter. Accustomed as Englishmen are to associate the triumph of Clericalism with the triumph of the foreigner, it must at first excite a certain surprise to find Italian Ultramontanes expressing the most hearty satisfaction at the absence of the foreigner. "The Austrians and the French supported us, it is true," BO runs the Ultramontane theory. "Placed as we were, we found it hard to do without them, and at the time we would have preferred them to remain ; but it was only a choice of evils, and we would have infinitely preferred them never to have come amongst us. It was a terrible weapon in the hands of the enemies of Holy Church, the Liberals of every shade and pattern, to be able to point at Austrian bayonets in Ancona, and French bayonets in Rome, and to be able to say, Behold the pillars of the Faith!' But the foreigner is now departed, and, though the worst has befallen us which we had to fear, thank Heaven! we can be good patriots and good Catholics at last, and now we have only to prove to all honest Italians that an inde- pendent Italy ought not to mean an anti-Catholic Italy." In fact, whatever credit may be given to the motives which have prompted the conversion of the Ultramontanes, there can be little doubt that the conversion has taken place, and that the Clericals are trying to outbid the Liberals, not only as Catho- lics, but as patriots. It is the old policy of Rome, always faithful to the supremacy of her religious principles, but easily dispensing with fidelity to most things beside. And there can be no doubt that the ready alteration, the strategic change of front, implies a real danger to Liberalism. The ordinary Italian must find it mach harder to resist exhortation and excommunication, not to talk of the " botheration " of all his female relatives, when there is no longer the deep convic- tion of nationality to back him up against St. Peter, and St. Januarius, and the Holy Virgin. Nor are the means by which the Clericals are going to work to build up that Imperium in imperio which is to avenge the Church on the Liberal Kingdom at all devoid of the quality of political expedi- ency.

We have already said that the Clericals have ceased to act strictly up to their maxim, " Ne elettori, ne eletti." It must not be supposed, however, that they have entirely abandoned their abstentionist attitude. On the contrary, of the two sorts of elections, the parliamentary and the municipal, they have strictly confined their participation to the municipal. And they have a very pious reason for the distinction. The oath of allegiance to the House of Savoy is required in the Parlia- mentary elections, while every kind of candidate is equally eligible for seats at the Municipal Boards. Now it would be horrible for a devout Catholic to take an oath of allegiance to the multifold execrated Jailor of the Supreme Pontiff. Looking below the surface of things, however, it is not hard to perceive more than a pious reason for the selection of the municipalities as a field for Clerical manceuvres. The Clericals openly say that the Parliamentary supremacy is worth nothing compared to the municipal. It is, unfortunately for the Italian Government, still the case that the state of internal affairs has not permitted the extension of the Parliamentary suf- frage much beyond similar limits with those which formed the ideal of Orleanism in France. Under Louis Philippe there were not 200,000 voters among a population of 32,000,000, and in Italy under Victor Emanuel there are not more than 500,000 voters among a population of 26,000,000, and as M. Emile de Lavaleye has shown in the Revue des Deux Mondes, not 250,000 electors ever vote. The consequence is, that the present Parliamentary system works by the concurrence of less than one per cent, of the Italian people. On the other hand, the Local Boards offer centres of organisation of the most formidable character. The ordinary mass of the people cannot

be expected to take a deep interest in the distant Parliament, and, as a fact, not even the privileged voters take a deep interest. Besides, in Italy many of the local conceptions are not above the level of vestry politics. The Clericals, accord-

ingly, reason, "If we can control the local boards, we can direct the local populations," and the coalition of Boards would amount to the coalition of populations. To borrow a simile from some recent events in France, the Clericals are seeking to oppose a communal organisation to the govern- mental organization, and to destroy the latter by means of the former. All the powerful agencies of local patriotism will be put in force, if the Clerical attempt succeeds, against the Savoy Monarchy, by a party which at the same time poses as the Heaven-appointed guardians of religion and the hereditary champions of Italy. "Not through our fault, but through our misfortune, were we for a few years apparently allied with the foreigner," is the Ultramontane argument ; "but now, faith- ful Italians, help us to save Holy Church, and your own souls, and the souls of your children." It must be admitted that the appeal, if not sincere, is at any rate skilful, and there is no reason to believe that the Ultramontanes are not zealots as well as tacticians. German Liberals, made keen by their own difficulties, are already expressing anxiety for the future of Italy, and the National Zeitung has warned the Italian Government that "the domination of the Papacy in the sphere of the ideal" is extremely apt to produce very material con- sequences in the material sphere.