The Red Shirt. Episodes. By Alberto Mario. (Smith and Elder.)—
The tone of this book is so offensive that it is quite possible one may be prejudiced against such merit as it has. It purports to contain certain episodes in Garibaldi's famous invasion of Sicily and Naples, but it is really intended to avenge the indifference with which the world in general and the Italian Government in particular have hitherto re- garded the writer's achievements. It is therefore full of sneers ; the English contingent and the English correspondents, most of the writer's comrades, all Italian constitutionalists, civil or military, even Garibaldi himself when he sinks into " the King's lieutenant," are all served up with the writer's sharpest sauce. Of course a gentleman who rides alone to capture a squadron of cavalry has a small Balaclava charge to himself (and an astonished serjeant) in an outlying valley of the Pyrenees, and when " conical shots from rifled cannon are whistling so near as almost to touch " himself and Garibaldi, " insensibly turned towards the spot whence the grenades came, and stood thus between them and the latter," was quite prepared to take Capua and Gaeta on quite other principles than those of Cialdini, and is ready to lead the nation on " the path to Rome " or through the Quadrilateral. He is quite as disgusted as Bombe himself would have been at the fact that the Italian states- men and soldiers and the great mass of the Italian people have taken the management of their affairs into their own hands, and disposed with great cheerfulness to run his head against a stone wall in the service of his country ; has no notion of any other way of making himself useful to her, and the greatest contempt for all who have. In all this he is but the type of a class, small indeed, but very energetic, and likely to do immense mischief if not restrained by public opinion both in and out of Italy, and it is on that account that we have dwelt at greater length than the volume deserves upon the tone that characterizes it. Those who can get over their dislike of the vanity and spitefulness displayed in it, may find some interesting reading in the account of the night crossing from Sicily to the mainland, and amusement in some of the minor incidents.