NEWS OF THE WEEK.
THE Emperor's pamphlet, La France, Rome, et ?Italie, signed as usual by M. de la Guerronniere, has appeared, and apparently disap- pointed anticipation. It was expected to announce definitively the Emperor's determination with respect to Rome. This it does not do; but the public have, nevertheless, unwisely underrated its importance. It is a cutting satire on the ultramontane party, and its appearance proves, at least, that the Emperor is independent of the clergy. The few remaining organs of the Church bitterly denounce it, and throughout Europe, England excepted, it has been received as the last blow to the temporal power of the Pope: The only hint of positive action it contains is in the last page, where the Emperor pro- mises to retain his sword in Rome, until Italy and the Papacy are in harmonious accord. That accord, it is clear from other passages, im- plies only the independence of the Pope as the spiritual chief of Christendom. The pamphlet reveals the strange fact that all the Catholic Powers of mark have assented to the extinction of the tem- poral power, and that the Pope refuses to admit any differenee of tenure between the states of the Church and the patrimony of St. Peter.
The parti pretre has received during the week another severe blow. M. Louis Veuillot, the editor of the suppressed journal L'Unioers, and perhaps the ablest writer alive on the ultramontane side, re- quested permission to establish a new journal. The Minister of the Interior refused, alleging that the undoubted ability of M. Veuillot would be employed to prevent that reconciliation between religion and civil power which it was the Emperor's object to effect. It is reported in many quarters, and affirmed in the Nord as a fact, that this party will carry an address in the Senate in reply to the Imperial speech, praying for the maintenance of the temporal power. It must be remembered that all classes in France—not excepting Protestants like M. Guizot—support this power, not because it is beneficial to • the Church, but because it impedes the unity of Italy—a consumma- tion every true Frenchman appears to dread. They argue, through M. Came, in rtimi de la Religion, that the Pope, once deprived of his temporal power, will sink into a Patriarch, and that Italy, by its maritime strength and its religious influence, will become arbiter of the Levant. It is needless to observe the last possibility is not one which England would regard with alarm.
Paris has been startled by a great scandal. M. Mires, Chairman of the Railway Bank, Concessionaire of the Turkish Loan, and per- haps the largest speculator in Paris, has been arrested. He is charged, it is said, with having caused large defalcations hi the Roman railways, and paid away great sums left in his hands, as trustee, to further his own speculations, or obtain information. Immediately on his arrest, Viscount de Richemont, collector of taxes in Paris, and member of the Railway Bank Committee of Management, committed suicide. Five or six more arrests are threatened ; and the names of very high personages, including Car- dinal Antonelli, are mixed up in the affair. It Mires, it is alleged, has threatened, if he is crushed, to reveal all he knows, and bring his accomplices down with him. The Turkish Ambassador, it is said, has engaged to preserve the creditors of that Government from loss, but the arrest will be most severely felt at Constantinople, and among the Greek firms all over Europe. The local press has been entirely silent on the subject, and it is rumoured that the inquiry will be hushed up, but the Emperor must be very tired of scandals which bring him no profit, and shake the credit of his administra-
tion. It is curious that the French, to whom this kind of malver- sation is so familiar that they have invented a single word, concussion, to express it, are as sensitive to the dishonour it involves as Eng-
The Tribunal of the Seine has decided that the council of the Impe- rial family has a legal power to decide questions such as that raised by Madame Paterson, that the power has been regularly exercised, and that, consequently, her claim is inadmissible. Madame Paterson will of course appeal to the Court of Cassation, unless some com- promise can previously be effected. Meanwhile, she has been con- demned in costs.
The Parliament of Italy met on the 18th instant at Turin, the deputies assembling in a vast new hall hastily erected of wood. It is of semicircular form, only one metre and a half less in diameter than the old Roman Pantheon, with vast galleries for the public, and ample room for five or six hundred senators. The building, de- signed by M. Pcyron, the engineer, is said to be a miracle of art, but too large for a ball of debate. The King opened the proceedings with the following dignified address;
"Gentlemen Senators, Gentlemen Deputies!
"Free, and nearly entirely united, by the wonderful aid of Divine Pro- vidence, the concordant will of the peoples, and the splendid valour of the armies, Italy confides in your virtue and wisdom.
"To you it pertains to give her common institutions and a firm founda- tion. In endowing with greater administrative freedom peoples that had various usages and institutions, you will take care that political unity, the aspiration of so many centuries, may never be diminished.
" The opinion of civilized nations is favourable to us ; the just and. liberal principles, now prevailing in the councils of Europe, are favourable - to us. Italy herself, too, will become a guarantee of order and peace, and. will once more be an efficacious instrument of universal civilization.
"The Emperor of the French, firmly upholding the maxim of non-inter- vention—a maxim eminently beneficial to us—nevertheless deemed it -proper to recal his envoy. If this fact was a cause of grief to us, it did not chaage the sentiments of our gratitude nor our confidence in his affection to . the Italian cause.
"...France and Italy, having in common their origin, traditions, ands castoms, formed on the plains of Magenta and Solferino a bond that will be' indissoluble.
" The Government and people of England, the ancient country of free- dom, loudly took part for our right to be the arbiters of our own destinies, and they have lavishly bestowed on us their good offices, the grateful re- membrance of which will be imperishable.
" A loyal and illustrious prince having ascended the throne of Prussia, I sent to him an ambassador in token of respect for him personally, and of sympathy with the noble German nation, which I hope will become more andm ore convinced that Italy, being constituted in her natural unity, cannot offend the rights or interests of other nations.
" Gentlemen Senators, Gentlemen Deputies, I am certain you will be anxious to supply my Government with the means of completing the arma- ments by land and sea. Thus the kingdom of Italy, put into a condition of not fearing offence, will more easily find in the consciousness of her own strength a reason for opportune prudence.
"Once my words sounded bold ; it being as wise to dare in season as to. wait in season. Devoted to Italy, I have never hesitated to expose my life and crown, but no one has the right to risk the life and destinies of & nation.
"After many signal victories the Italian army, increasing every day in fame, acquired a new claim to glory by capturing one of the most for- midable fortresses. I console myself with the thought that here will close for ever the mournful series of our civil conflicts.
"The fleet has proved, in the waters of Ancona and Gaeta, that the mariners of Pisa, Genoa. and Venice are revived in Italy.
"Valiant youths, led on by a captain who has filled with his name the most distant countries' have made it evident that neither servitude nor long misfortunes have been able to weaken the fibre of the Italian peoples.
"These facts have inspired the nation with great confidence in its own destinies. I take pleasure in manifesting to the first Parliament of Italy the joy I feel in my heart as King and soldier."
The speech has been exceedingly well received, though it disap- points the extreme party. The first proposal offered in the Senate is an act declaring Victor Emmanuel King of Italy. It will, of course, be passed almost unanimously, but the sanction of a new- title of this high character must be accorded by Europe, not by a single nation. Only one court, however, is now avowedly opposed ti Italian. unity. The French Government will hardly refuse to ac- knowledge its ally, England will eagerly hail the monarchy she has so strenuously helped to build, and the Russian Government does not forget that the House of Savoy is as "legitimate" as any in Europe. The Northern Bee, indeed, argues that the unity of Italy is already accomplished. On the 7th of February it says : "A series of victories has consolidated the actual situation of Italy ; but not one of these victories has been so signal and significant as that which was achieved yesterday at Berlin in the Prussian Chamber of Deputies. It is certain that General La Marmora has contributed less to it than have the few words pronounced by the Deputy Vincke, in yesterday's sitting of the Prussian Parliament.
"By a majority of 159 voices against 146, Prussia has expressed her sym- pathy for the Italian cause. This sympathy, it is true, has not been ex- pressed in a perfectly explicit manner, but, at any rate, there is not in any phrase even the shadow of indifference. The common-place phrase em- ployed was necessary to conceal the sincerity of that sympathy, and it was requisite to conceal that sincerity, because, in entertaining and expressing it, the Prussian Chamber of Deputies puts itself in open opposition to its Government.
"The accession of William I. to the throne has been a decisive moment for Italy. The fate of Venice depends much more on the ulterior policy of Prussia than on the measures of the Austrian Government. If Prussia and Germany side with Austria, the desire of Italy to unite itself in one body will encounter insurmountable obstacles ; Austria alone is not formidable for Italy."
The Italian Government, it is stated, will demand a credit of 3,000,000/. for steel-plated frigates, and means to raise the standing army to 500,000 men. A report is current in the Belgian papers that the King will once more demand the dictatorship, in order to decide the Roman question ; but it is most improbable that Cavour will throw away the moral weight secured to him by his parliamentary majority. It seems certain that Garibaldi has been induced to con- sent to his plans, and that there has been a reconciliation, if not of feeling, at least of policy, between the Liberator and the Premier.
The ex-King of Naples arrived at Rome on the 15th inst., and was visited by the Pope, but intends, it is said, to proceed to Bavaria, where his wife belongs to the reigning family. When Cialdini entered Gaeta, about 11,000 troops surrendered with large stores of ammunition, arms, and cannon. The town had been nearly destroyed by the bombardment, the Piedmontese having thrown 50,000 shells. Sickness had broken out among both the inhabitants and the soldiery. The fortress was much injured, but is still a most valuable possession for the new monarchy. The news of the fall of Gaeta was received at Rome on the 14th February, and in a few hours the orders of the National Committee had been received for a grand demonstration. The people thronged into the Corso, and raised an enthusiastie cheer for Victor Emmanuel and Italy. The national colours were suddenly displayed in the shape of white, green, and red lights, and the Corso was illuminated. The police did not attempt to interfere, and the people good-humouredly obeyed a French "invitation" to dis- perse. The affair reads to Englishmen like child's play, but only those who understand the Southern populations can com- prehend the self-restraint implied under such circumstances in such order. All this while Monsignor de Merode is sending little de- tachments of Papal Zouaves to ravage Piedmontese territory. They are always beaten, but they keep up irritation, and give the Zouaves an appearance of occupation. The streets of Rome, it is said, have become very insecure, no night passing without a robbery or two, and the stiletto being freely used. The fall of the fortress, of course, threw the Neapolitans into an ecstasy of joy, displayed in illumina- tions for three nights, and the influence of the event is already felt in the diminished activity of the reactionaries. The local govern- ment of the province intends immediately to take possession of most of the ecclesiastical property, diminish the number of monasteries, increase the pay of the village clergy, and pension off the friars who now infest the kingdom. It is urging forward railways with some activity, and a concession has been granted to an Englishman for an irrigating canal from the Garigliano, through the plain of Sessa, to the sea. The difficulty in the way of railways seems to be, that con- cessions have been made by the Bourbon Government and that of the Dictator to two different companies, whose claims must be recon- ciled. It is strange that so little of what is passing in Sicily reaches the mainland. For all recorded of the island it might have sunk into the Mediterranean.
Austrian polities are confined, as they have been for some weeks, to the contest between the Emperor and the Hungarians. The struggle, according to the continental journals, approaches a crisis. The people remain firm in their demand for the laws of 1848, and their orators tell the Emperor that unless he observes the constitu- tional provisions of the Pragmatic Sanction, its dynastic provisions will be void. The Government, it is stated, is aware of its danger, but resolved not to yield the point of the unity of the empire. -An army of 85,000 men, composed of non-Hungarians, has accordingly been concentrated in readiness to enter Hungary, and the state of siege has been proclaimed in several counties. A conference between the local notabilities and the Chancellor of Hungary, intended to remove difficulties, ended in nothing. The Hungarian Lord-Lieute- nants refused to recommend their countrymen to pay taxes till the laws of 1848 were restored. The Viennese cabinet relies, it appears, greatly on the "Representation" of the whole empire which will meet in a few days, and in which Hungary will be included. This Represent- ation will consist of two curie, or chambers, the first an English House of temporal and spiritual peers, the second a body of repre- sentatives chosen by the diets. The Representation will have power to make laws for the empire, and its debates will be public. Mem- bers, moreover, will "possess an initiative," that is, they may intro- duce measures without previously submitting them to the executive. The Hungarian Diet will be invited to send its quota. of members, but if it refuses, the laws passed by the Representation will be none the less binding on the entire empire. It is not improbable that the " Representation" may take p strongly German view of the conduct of Hungary, and, by denouncing it strengthen the land of the Kaiser very considerably, The attetnpto employ force will, it is believed, excite insurrection, especially if the state of siege is carried out as it has been at Fiume. The general in command has there issued an order informing the inhabitants that all the following offences will be punished by martial law : " High treason, misprision of treason, disturbance of the public peace, insurrection, rioting, violence towards the civil and military authorities when on duty, malicious injury to the electric telegraphs or railroads, illicit possession of arms or ammunition, tumult, partici- pation in secret meetings, disregard of the orders of the authorities, exciting against the State authorities or against single agents of the same, exciting to hostilities against nationalities, the dissemination of false or alarming news or of predictions (predizioni), verbal or other insults to the civil and military authorities, to employs ofr duty, 'and to military honour,' unlawful meddling in order to prevent the performance of public duty, finally, all those other crimes which, according to law, are within the jurisdiction of the military courts."
Orders like these will merely tempt Garibaldi to precipitate the struggle. Taxes are already collected in Hungary by the soldiery, i and, n short, all the signs which precede revolution are once more manifest in Austria.
The General Assembly of the counties of Transylvania has voted for the reunion of the province to Hungary.
The Prussian Government is actively engaged with the reorganiza- tion of the army. The Landwehr is ready for "mobilization," and 700 of the new rifled cannon have been turned out. These cannon are said to be among the best in the world. At a thousand paces the balls went through four-and-a-half inch iron plates, and at 3500 paces the effect was quite appreciable. Prussia is manufacturing these guns for the whole of Germany, and military deputations from all the smaller states are studying their construction. The preparations to occupy Holstein still continue, and it remains to be seen if the Danish Government will treat the act as a declaration of war. It must be remembered that it is not such in itself, the Diet having the right to coerce the Duke of Holstein as a member of the Federation, although he happens to be also Kinn. of Denmark. Many statesmen in Denmark, it would seem, are inclined to declare the unity of the monarchy up to the Ryder, thus incorporating Schleswig and abandoning Holstein.
It is reported that the Conference at Paris has agreed to extend the French occupation of Syria for three months. The representative of the Sultan, however, protested against any extension of the period first fixed, and on Lord John Russell's theory, his protest ought to be final. The Turkish Government, however, will probably yield rather than risk a quarrel with France for so short a period. The three months, however, carry us into May, by which time the concord of the European Powers may be broken up.
The news from India s of the most distressing character. The famine in the North-West is becoming more and more intense. The drought has now lasted almost unbroken since October, 1859, and throughout Hindostan Proper food has failed both for man and beast. The Government offers work to all persons, without exception, at low rates; and the collectors are authorized to advance to any person his road expenses. The number of sufferers is, however, too great for any measure of relief to touch them. The earth is literally baked, cultivation is stopped, fodder for the stock has perished, and all the vast class who hve from hand to mouth are literally starving. A million and a half of persons will be saved only by direct gifts, and the cost, independent of the loss of revenue, cannot be less than a million and a half sterling. Even with this outlay the loss of life will still be terrible, thousands—especially of women and children— perishing, not of hunger, hut of unaccustomed work and privation. If the spring crop perishes also, the prosperity of the North-West will receive a blow from which it will not recover for a decade. Lord Canning is still travelling in Central India, where his presence must, just now, be most mischievous. The camp of a Governor-General is as injurious to a thinly populated district as a swarm of locusts. The Times says the attempt to write on the changes now taking place in America, is like an attempt to "photograph an earthquake." The facts are so many, and so much depends on the plans of indi- vidual statesmen, that the work of condensation becomes most onerous. Immense efforts are still being made to bring about a com- promise. The people of Washington and of Boston have resolved in favour of concession. The Virginian Legislature has passed reso- lutions to the same effect, but with the reservation that, compromise failing, the State will join the South. Mr. Kellogg, a nephew of the future President, has proposed compromise, based on a geographical division between the North. and South, slavery to be absolutely ex- cluded north of 36 deg. 30 min., all south of that line to be admitted, whether tainted with slavery or not. This compromise offers less than the Virginian proposal, which the South has already, rejected. A peace conference has met at Washington, composed of old political notabilities, such as President Tyler, but its action is already dis- credited. The Legislature of Kentucky has recommended Congress to call a convention of the whole Repnblic, to amend the constitution in a sense which may conciliate both parties to the quarrel. None of these proposals, however, are acted on, or even very frankly discussed. The South, so far as can be perceived, is thoroughly in earnest in its determination to secede. It has gained some important advan- tages. The State of Texas, for .'example, large enough to contain half a dozen States, has finally determined to join the South, and voted itself out of the Union. North Carolina, alsb, has for- mally decided that, failing a compromise which shall protect the rights of the South, she will throw in her lot with the remain- ing slave-holding states. It is believed that Virginia will ar- rive at the same decision, in which case there will be an armed struggle for Washington. The Southern States seem, however, unde- cided whether they are at war or peace with the Federal Government. Thus Captain Haynes has been despatched to Washington to bay Fort Sumter. The South Carolinians say the troops must be there either to menace the State or to protect Federal property. In the former case they must attack the fort, in the latter they are ready to pay for it. Mr. Holt, Secretary of State, declines to entertain the proposition, and it would appear the President is prepared to defend the Federal property. At the same time, the people of Florida have arrested a United States officer, and released him on parole as a prisoner of war, under a pledge not to bear arms against the state. They have also made a truce with the officer in command of Fort Pickens, and Alabama has seized a revenue cutter. Some movements in the north also look like war. 'TheLegislature of NewYork has appropriated 500,000 dollars to fit out a military force. The Governor of Massachusetts has ordered all the military force of the State to hold itself in readiness to march to the assistance of the Federal Government should Washington be attacked, ." which the Government considers probable." The Convention of the -seceding States assembled at Montgomery on the 4th of February, and their programme is said to be as follows: A. constitution will be adopted resembling that of the United States, but without the reserved right of secession. Other slave-holding states will be elected, and an army organized, to be entrusted to Mr. Jefferson Davis, said to be the real leader of the Southern movement. Envoys will he sent to the European Courts to secure the recognition of the Confederacy, and the existing revenue laws will for the present be applied. The Northern representatives in Congress, however, finding that the secession of the South leaves them the majority, are -driving- a protective tariff through the Legislature—a tariff so high as to give the native manufacturers a monopoly of trade. The South will not bear this, and talks of lowering her tariff, and imposing a duty of a halfpenny a pound on the export of cotton, a measure which, if carried, will be severely felt in the North of England, and very pleasantly felt in Western India. The New York Times publishes a long article, describing a conspiracy said to have been long since planned by the South. This is a plan to form the whole South into a strong confederacy, armed out of the resources of the Union, and ready to seize by force all the southern regions down to Nicaragua fitted for slave cultivation. The plot began with the election of Mr. Pierce, and was pursued steadily for eight years. Arms were regularly transferred to the South, and Mr. Floyd issued an immense mass ot acceptances which, being sold North, filled the
• military chest of the Southern conspirators. 'The plan was well laid, and on the election of Mr. Lincoln all the forts but five were seized, and all the magazines of arms, which are now used to furnish a ' Southern army of 30,000 men. The instant this army, which has been drilled by regular officers from the North, is ready, it will be launched against Mexico, and will be joined, it is believed, by all the unquiet spirits of the North. With Mexico and Cuba in their grasp, the Southerners believe they can found a ,grand slave empire round the Gilt All this may be a mere dream, but it is strangely borne out by the few known facts.