24 AUGUST 1833, Page 13


FOUR Piedmontese, who had been compelled to fly their country, to escape the fate of SILVIO PELLICO, for having been guilty of

the crime of patriotism in writing against its oppressors and in fa- vour of liberal principles, came before the Lord Mayor, in a state of utter destitution, to ask for the means of existence and a pas- sage to Brussels, where they had friends. The Lord Mayor sent them to the Society of Friends of Foreigners in Distress ; na- turally supposing, that as these unfortunate gentlemen were fo- reigners and in distress, a charitable society professing to be their friends would afford them assistance. But, to his great surprise, they returned saying that the Society refused them relief, because they were self-exiled for their political opinions! Why, this is not only the most fruitful source of distress to emigrants, but it is precisely the one that entitles them most strongly to our com- miseration and aid. These Piedmontese, though connected with wealthy and respectable families in their native land, could hope for no assistance from their friends there, because they would be obnoxious to the tyranny of their Government if they commu- nicated with them in any way. Is it not monstrous, that a despo- tism pursuing these devoted men and hunting them down like wild beasts, should find ready abettors in a society of Englishmen professing to befriend destitute foreigners ?

Can it be that this Society prostitutes the name of charity to the worship of a political creed? Would these wretched outcasts have been refused relief had they been the victims of revolutionary -frenzy, instead of a cold-blooded government persecution? If -not—and we hope it is not the case—then what a cruel absurdity it is to make a distinction against the objects of political per- secution !—those who are generally compelled to sacrifice every thing to the saving of their life or liberty, and who are proscribed even by their own kin lest they also should be placed in a like situation !