10 SEPTEMBER 1859, Page 16


TUSCANY IN 1849 AND IN 1859.

To plead for Tuscany in the present crisis of her fate, is a task for which Mr. Thomas Adolphus Trollope is peculiarly qualified by the bent of his studies as well as by the observant habits im- posed on him by his professional engagements during the last eighteen years. For a great part of that time he has resided in Florence, and his letters to the Atheneum and other journals have done much to foster English sympathy with the cause of Italy by their careful portraiture of her social and intellectual life in these days ; whilst his "Youth of Catherine de Medieis" and his "Decade of Italian Women" give evidence of the pains he has taken to read her present condition, capabilities' and as- pirations by the light of her past history. His object in the work now under our hands has been to put the case of Tuscany fairly before the English reader for judgment. He has been an eye- witness of her last two revolutions that of 1849 and that of 1859. He narrates with judicial impartiality the faults and follies that marred the first, and the admirable avoidance of them that dis- tinguishes the second ; and having felt what damning evidence was borne by the acts of '49 against the capabilities of the Italians for realizing their political aspirations, he is bold to ask, what is not due to a nation which has made within the space of ten years an amount of national progress truly unex-

ampled ?

"It is precisely because the difference between the Tuscany of 1849 and that of 1859 has been so surprisingly, so wonderfully great, that the highest hopes may fairly be entertained for its future destinies. A people which could so accept, and so read the lesson to be found in its humiliation and discomfiture, and could in the space of ten years so profit by it, must have in it qualities capable of reaching a high degree of social civilization.

'Are these qualities and capabilities, and the aspirations which nomi- nally and necessarily arise from them, to be crushed by the despotic appli- cation of overwhelming foreign force ? We are assured that such is to be the case. Those who assume to declare the intentions of the imperial pos- sessors of troops, who are willing to fire on their people, tell us that so it is to be. A little nation which has shot so far ahead of the divine-right phase of social civilization that its native soldiers are good for fighting only against a foreign enemy is to be forced back at the bayonet's point, it is calmly stated, to that lower level still occupied by nations whose brute force is as infinitely greater as their worship of and trust in, it are more entire. Al- ready we are taunted with the utter failure of hopes built on the faith that right may prevail over might in this diplomate-ruled world. "It may be so.

"It may be that Europe is yet further from the dawn than those who stand the highest, and are most anxiously looking out for it, have supposed. Yet still, even at the date appended to this page, I do not, will not, believe it. I know that the day must shortly come—I think that it has already dawned—when a nation unconsulted cannot be forced back, protesting, struggling, writhing, under the ignoble yoke it has spurned from off its neck.

"But if such hopes are premature—if it be necessary to speak to such as deem them vain utopian dreams, and know only that 100,000 bayonets are more powerful than 10,000; and if it were possible that a word of warning could reach the brain of such—they might be told (and I write with the most solemn conviction of the certainty of what I say)—they might be told that this great wrong will not be accomplished without encountering an amount of resistance, and occasioning consequences of a kind they probably little dream of. The worm, we blow, will turn ; and there is no Uglier foe to deal with than he who has suffered wrong till he has been driven to de-

spitir of the existence of right. It will be a mistake—mvolving such disasters as Europe has on some three or four not wholly dissimilar occasions witnessed, and still re- members with a shudder—to calculate much at present on the reputation for endurance of a people who, not perhaps for nothing, look daily on that great masterpiece of their mighty countryman which represents the weak- ling David in triumph over his giant foe.'

Undismayed by M. Louis Blanc's terrible exposure of his in- capacity to report truly events passing under his nose, Lord Nor- manby has made himself the traducer of the bloodless Tuscan re- volution of April 27, and has made a series of statements in the House of Lords respecting it, every one of which Mr. Trollope shows to be destitute of foundation. Falsehood in all its grades, from quibbling and sophistry to downright lying and perjury, is an indispensable adjunct of Austrian policy, and poor Lord Nor- manby has suffered himself to be made the dupe and the tool of Grand Ducal mendacity. He has alleged that the Tuscan army was bribed, and that the Marquis Bartolomei received money from France or Piedmont, and scattered it amongst the people. Mr. Trollope proves that these charges are wholly untrue. Lord Nor- manby declared that the safety of the Grand Ducal family was threatened by a mob on the morning of the 27th of April ; Mr. Trollope asserts of his own knowledge that the popular leaders had determined to leave the Grand Duke perfectly free to make up his mind whether or not he would accept the terms offered by the na- tion, and that no appearance of a menace, or exhibition of physical force, was allowed to interfere with the calmness and spontaneity of his deliberations. Such was the prudence, and it might al- most be said, delicacy of the leaders, and such the docile good sense of the people, that the latter most scrupulously abstained during the whole of that day from approaching the Pitti Palace.

Lord Normanby is not less unfortunate in his denials than in his assertions. He stated that he had heard "a report that the Grand Duke had organized a plan of firing on his subjects ; but there was not, from 'beginning to end, one word of truth in it. The whole story arose from the fact that when the safety of the Ducal family was threatened, they returned to the fortress of Bel- vedere and gave orders to have the gates closed against the mob." Mr., Trollope observes in reply :— • Tuscany in 1899 and in 1839. By T. Adolphus Trollope. Published by Chap. man and Hall. " This statement, when read at Florence in the newspaper report of his Lordship's speech, caused very great surprise and considerable indignation. The latter feeling, however, limited itself to accusations against his Lordship of indiscretion in making grave assertions in his place in Parliament re- specting important matters, of which he was evidently singularly ill-in- formed. It was felt that the word of an English gentleman was sufficient guarantee for at least his own belief in what he stated. But when subse- quently the reprint of the speech in a pamphlet, with notes, came to Flo- rence ; and the Italians read there his Lordship's confirmation of his own statement by adducing the testimony of the late Crown Prince of Tuscany, who had told him that there existed no such document as that which had been cited to prove the Duke's intention of firing on the people, it was felt either that his Lordship's trust in.princes was par trop naive or else that he was laughing at them. His Lordship's own word was good for his own impres- sion of the facts, however erroneous. But to adduce the testimony of an Archduke, and in his own cause, too I It was likeln honest, though mis- taken witness, at the Old Bailey, calling for one of the professional gentle- men with straws in their shoes outside the court to come and support his testimony.

" Lord Normanby may now convince himself that his Imperial Highness

was wittingly deceiving him with false i statements, when he asserted that no such paper as the much-talked-of ' orders ' was n existence. And the reader may see that beyond all possibility of doubt, the Grand Duke had organized a plan for firing on his city and people. For the documents in question will be found printed in extenso' both in the original and literally translated into English, in an appendix at the end of this volume. The present writer has himself carefully read the original documents, and pledges himself to their conformity with the copies here given.

"A report made to the provisional government, which was established immediately after the Duke's departure, by one of the officers who was pre- sent, when it was attempted to cause the orders to be put in execution, will also be found in the appendix. • "Rectifying, then, Lord Normanbf s account of this episode in the revo- lution by the aid of these documents, the narrative of what took place within the Pitti and its dependencies may be resumed as follows : "While the Grand Duke was, as we have seen, sending for the Marchese Lajatico, and awaiting his arrival at the palace the Grand Ducal family,

with the exception of the sovereign himself', and eldest son, went from the Pitti Palace to the fortress of Belvedere. The statement in Lord Nor- manby's speech, that they returned thither, is unintelligible. They had previously been residing as usual in the Pitta.

"The time of this visit is ascertained by Lieutenant Angiolini's report to have been about half-past nine. The Duke's message reached the Mar- chese Lajatico at nine.

"Now, the position of the Belvedere fortress,. otherwise called the Fortezza 'di San Giorgio, with regard to the Pitta Palace, is this. Im- mediately behind the palace, and surrounding it on all sides, except the front, which looks on the city, are the gardens of Boboli, open to the public on Sundays and Thursdays, but closed on other days. The 27th of April, of which we are speaking, was a Wednesday. And the gardens were a solitude, broken only by the members of the Grand Ducal household and. the gardeners. Immediately behind the Pitti the ground begins to rise, and the gardens, hanging on the steep hill sides, run up all the way to the city wall, which crests the top of the hill, and to the Belvedere fort, which tops the highest point of it. There is a portal by which the fortress is ac- cessible from the outside of the city wall, but it opens on a very remote and solitary part of the country to be reached only by mounting a hill too steep for wheels, and this gate is, I believe, altogether condemned. There is also another gate by which the fortress communicates with the city, and through which the necessary communication of the garrison is carried on.- But this- door also opens on an extremely remote and obscure corner of the city, at the top of a hill reached only by a long cul-de-sac street, too steep for wheel traffic. Most assuredly there was no crowd, and in all probability no - living soul in front of this gate of the Belvedere on the occasion in ques- tion. What gates then were those which the Grand Duke's family, as Lord Normanby says, ordered to be closed against the mob ? The gates by which they themselves, coming from the Pitti, had entered, open on the peaceful and pleasant solitudes of Boboli. But not only was there no mob outside any of the gates of the Belvedere, there was none, as has been shown, at any time of the day on that side of the Arno ; and at the hour in question, the decent gathering of quiet folk, who have been described as waiting the Duke's decision in front of the Pitti, were not yet there.

"There was no mob, small or great, threatening or otherwise ; the popu- lace were all elsewhere, and there never was a more unfounded assertion than that the safety of the Ducal family was threatened."

It was not the fault of the Grand Duke and his family that the indiscriminate massacre which they had planned was not perpe- trated.

"While the Grand Duke and his eldest son therefore awaited at the palace the result of the negotiations opened with the people through the. Marchese Lajatico, his second son Carlo, who was Colonel of the Artillery, went with the rest of the family across the quiet Boboli gardens to Belve- dere. There the young colonel called Lieutenant Angiolini into Major Mori's office, and then ordered the latter to open the sealed paper contain-

ing the arrangements emanating from the Commander-m2Chief, '—or

literally, from the bureau of the Commander-in-Chief which paper existed in the care of the commandant of the fort, to be read in case of alarm.' The paper was accordingly read, and the Archduke, having first inquired respecting the supply of ammunition in the magazine, ordered the' officer, who makes the report, to hold himself at the orders of the 430n:i mandant of the fortress, to go to the battery and there await ulterior orders. "it is proved, therefore, beyond the possibility of doubt or denial, not only that the Grand Duke had organized a plan of firing on his subjects,' but that it was his wish and intention—or at least that of his son—to put that plan into execution. The military organization of this plan in its details ; the position to be taken up by the batteries ; the calmness and regularity enjoined on the soldiers when firing, one file on each side of a street, into the opposite windows, on the families of the citizens, for fear of wasting their ammunition ; the orders to afford all respectable inhabitants, such as functionaries and placeholders under Government,' an opportunity of retiring with them to a place of safety; all this may be read in the documents Nos. 1, 2, and 3, of the appendix. Further, if any doubt remain on the mind of any person whether it were really the intention of the Archduke, that the orders for firing on the people should be forthwith put in execution, the reply made by Lieutenant Angmlini to his Highness, and the rejoinder of the latter, are on record to prove the fact beyond the pos-' sibility of cavil :— ".' I answered him—Highness, permit me to speak to you frankly and loyally. The measures which have just been read cannot be carried into effect, because the troops will not fire on the people. Highness, you and all the royal family have been deceived hitherto by those who have made you believe the contrary.' "To which the Archduke rejoins—' E Noi " And what is to become of us!'

"Organizedaplan of firing on his subjects ! why it was the trust in which they had lived ! You have been made to believe all this time,' says the officer, driven by the extraordinary stress of circumstances into speaking truth to an Imperial Highness, 'that your troops would on command fire on the people. You have been deceived, for they will not do it.' And the young prince, though not arrived at adult years, yet having learned among the first and most unchangeably normal of the laws surrounding him, the position of an Austrian Archduke among Italian subjects, and the conditions of such an existence, exclaims, 'What, then, is to become of us ! '

Tuscany has in the last ten years, and above all in the last four months, given the most signal proofs of her capacity for freedom, as well as of her invincible hatred for the Austrian yoke. It is for Europe to determine whether a people who have done so much to earn their freedom, and have made such unparalleled moral progress in so short a time, shall be again reduced by brute force into the condition of a satrapy under the most brutalising empire in Europe.

"But rumours come to the little Apennine nation from this and the other quarter of Europe, professing to settle the question of her future deaths , without the pretence even of a reference to her own intentions on the su - ject Tuscany is to be restored to her legitimate sovereign.' Be it so. But possibly we may differ, says Tuscany, as to the legitimacy in question. In any case, Europe will find herself mistaken greatly, if imagining that she has to deal with the Tuscany of ten years ago, she thinks that this Italian people can be quietly, and consistently with her own peace, handed over to this or that possessor in so simple a manner. Whether it is likely, above all, that she will, unless by such violent coercion as must disturb the tranquillity of all Europe, consent to be resaddled with the Austrian en- cumbrance she has just thrown off, may be judged by the following mani- festo, taken from the Government organ, the Monitore of the 21st of July. The present writer is able to assure the English reader that he may receive it with all confidence as the expression of the national sentiments and the national will.

" Yes ! Tuscany is arming herself; and is right in doing so, because she has to drive off the worst of enemies,—him who was beaten at Solferino, if he should attempt to mount the throne of Tuscany. But this arming does not mean having recourse to a general levy, as certain creatures of the late dynasty have spread abroad. Tuscany has men in arms against such an enemy without a levy. She has her army. She will shortly have her na- tional guard. If need were, she would have all her inhabitants in arms. The war-drum would be the bell of every church tower. Let the cities arm themselves ; and when the tocsin shall sound from the belfry, let the peasantry also rise in arms. Let them arm them- selves with scythes, and every other weapon, that their most just in- dignation can suggest—the indignation of an Italian people, which scorns to receive as its sovereign the defeated of Solferino. Of this let Europe be well assured. A nation civilized as Tuscany is, will not endure the outrage that would be inflicted on her, by sending to reign over her, him who but yesterday was audaciously standing by the side of the Emperor of Austria in arms against this country.'

"No, it. will hardly be, I think, that Europe will attempt to reimpose the late Austrian dynasty by force on Tuscany; that she will not do so with- out repenting it, I am sure."