28 SEPTEMBER 1867, Page 6

GARIBALDI'S DELIRIUM G ARIBALDI has been the ecstatic element in Italian

poli- tics, and a very noble ecstatic element, no doubt ;—nor are we among those who deny that there may be,—very rarely,— a true and noble sphere for ecstasy even in national history. Such a moment there was for Italy, after the long misery of Bourbon and Austrian despotism, in 1859 and 1860, and nobly did Garibaldi seize it. Probably there was never in all history so true an ecstasy of Sincere and legitimate national emotion as that which, spreading all the way from Lombardy to Sicily, ended in the Neapolitan Revolution carried out by Garibaldi, and the annexation of the greater part of the States of the Church to the new Italian Kingdom. But ecstasy can but form a very minute legitimate part of the life of any people, and Garibaldi, who lives in a sort of dream of a Golden Age to come, seems to wish to apply it as the remedy for all the political ills that nations are heir to. He has no real belief in the value or sacredness of Government,—self-government,- at all. Having made the Italian Government great and free, he has just been attempting to disgrace it in the eyes of all other Governments that are either great or free. He has at- tempted to make the nation break the deliberate engage- ment of the national Government,—that is, disavow and dis- honour the Government of their own choice, — and all be- cause he cannot wait for Rome till the nearly approaching moment comes when the Pope shall wield as little secular authority there as he now wields in Florence, or Milan, or Venice. It is, probably, not easy for ordinary men who do not live in dreams of a world of perfect order, and love, and peace, to allow sufficiently for Garibaldi's visionary and unpractical view of national obligations. We can scarcely understand how it is that he and his friends should think it a patriotic task to bring on the very State for whose greatness and freedom they have so long and nobly laboured, the worst of all imputations, that of deliberate ill faith. Garibaldi may, no doubt, think very badly of the September Convention. He may think it was one of those acts of tortuous diplomatic com- promise which he so little loves. He may believe that the nation had no right to bind itself, through its Government, to withhold help from the Roman patriots whom the Papal Government continues to oppress. But it is difficult to understand how he can fail to see that the Government of Italy, having once made that solemn engagement as the price of the withdrawal of the French troops from Rome, could not connive at its violation without a blot on the character of the new kingdom such as would do infinitely more injury to the cause of Italian freedom—nay, to the cause of national freedom generally—than any delay in the deliverance of Rome can possibly do. Putting out of the question altogether the right which Italy would have given France to reimpose her military protectorate over the Vatican,—for it may be that Garibaldi thinks a war with France to defeat such a pur- pose would be a great gain to the nation,—putting this alto- gether aside, what might not be fairly said by those who have always hated the new regime, if they could prove that its first fruits were either international treachery, or—quite as bad for their purpose—executive imbecility ? If the Government had purposely connived at Garibaldi and his Volunteers crossing the border, bent on destroying the existing Government in Rome, it would have been guilty of the worst faith, after the engagement it gave in the September Convention. If it had let them cross without connivance, from sheer stupidity or inertness, in the face of the open declaration of their intentions with which all the world has been favoured, it would have been charged with treachery by the world at large, and convicted of imbecility by all who knew the truth. Was it for this dark stain on a National Government of their own rearing that Garibaldi and his friends were labouring ? If so, they were anxious to undo, by moral means, all that they had done by the nobility of their voluntary sacrifices and patriotism years ago. Had not the Italian Government arrested Garibaldi before crossing the frontier, a great proportion of all the national gain of the last six years,—Garibaldi's own present to the nation,—would have been turned to loss. If Italy does not accept the solemn' engagements of its Government, then the Government is mocked,—and freedom has been shown to be incompatible with order, organization, and national strength. If Italy does accept these obligations, then she must not only acquiesce in, she must openly sanction and approve the step taken by the Administration to prevent any violation of the Roman frontier. Had it been Victor Emanuel instead of Garibaldi who had proposed the expedition, the nation would no less have been bound strenuously to repu- diate the proposal, and to sacrifice either its King or- noblest popular chief to the claims of the national honour. In fact, there is no division of opinion amongst calm spectators of the Italian drama as to the obligations of the Italian. Government. Rattazzi's worst enemies in England,—and we- ourselves have never been amongst his friends,—Garibaldi's warmest friends, are all agreed in approving his arrest, and in approving also any measures,—of course, the gentlest pos- sible,—which may be needful to prevent the resumption of his plans. We confess that we feel more interest in the question how Garibaldi, with all his simplicity and purity of purpose, can have been able to overlook these very obvious and irresistible, considerations, than how the Italians will bear the news of his arrest. For of this we feel no doubt, that by the vast bulk of the Italian nation,—including even a majority of the old Party of Action, Crispi, for instance, being confessedly opposed to. Garibaldi's course,—the Government will be unanimously sus- tained in its attitude of firm resistance to any passage of the Roman frontier by Volunteers in alliance with the Roman Committee. But how can one who has shown such upright- ness of personal character as Garibaldi, and, again, such keen sympathy with national feelings, blind himself to the fact that to break a pledge given by the freely chosen govern- ment of a free nation is to throw a deep slur on that nation's use of its freedom The only answer is, that Garibaldi's- ideal of national freedom has never apparently included the-- sense of national responsibility at all,—responsibility for error as well as for wisdom, for imprudence as well as for prudence,. for unpalatable engagements as well as for willing and spon- taneous promises. His idea of freedom has always been power to yield to ardent impulses, to give full swing at once- to those disinterested but blind emotions of love and hate,— love for gentle and liberal and benevolent actions, hatred for bigoted and dogmatic and suspicious restraints,—which to him make up the sum and substance of actual politics. He sees. that Italy is still unhappy, still, in spite of all she has gained, far from being united and innocent and at rest. He sees the Pope- still ruling in Rome,—the Pope, whose government,—certainly as bad as can be,—is identified by all men of Garibaldi's- school with an almost preternatural and diabolical power for- evil, because it is conducted by a nearly absolute " tyrant- priest," two words in which they concentrate all they can conceive of monstrosity and iniquity. What of freedom fir Italy can there be, thinks this apostle of national impulse, while it is unable to overthrow this tyrant-priest in Rome t The nation cannot be pledged not to attempt this—the most. sacred duty it could have. If the Government is so pledged, it has been owing to an obliquity of judgment and con-, science, by which the nation cannot hold itself bound. It were sin merely to agree to a trace with Rome. To, promise peace with it, is an immorality which imposes no obli- gation on anyone, except that of profound and immediate repent- ance. It is like a vow to lie, or assassinate, or acquiesce in a. secret assassination,—a vow which should only be cleared off the as soon as may be. The nation that loves Garibaldi mu• st abhor the Pope, and love with a passionate love the poor Romans who in vain strive to shake off his hateful authority. Who shall have authority to pledge it to tolerate the one and desert the other? Such, we doubt not for a. moment, has been the general tenor of Garibaldi's thoughts. He cannot see that a solemn responsibility deliberately, though. unwillingly, undertaken, has, and ought to have, far more moral authority for a Government, and the nation which chose that Government, than even the deepest passion of pity for the suffering of a few, and of horror for the tyranny of one. As. an honourable man will control his strongest impulses, both. of love and hate, if he has fairly and deliberately given his word,—so a nation, if it is to have any influence among it$ sister nations, any' respectfor itself, in a word, any character to inspire trust, must follow, not its impulses, but its own deliberately pledged faith. All this Garibaldi cannot see. He has a vision of his own,—of nations conquering all evil

by and magnanimity, and a word or two of generous

Virtue if it may so be, and by baring the sword to smite the neck of the tyrant if it must be; and all the mediate obligations of reciprocal engagements between Governments not thus purified and holy he utterly ignores. In his exalte' moods he fancies himself endowed with a spell over the multitude. He thinks,—

" But Laon's name to the tumultuous throng Were like the star whose beams the waves compel Mid tempests, and his soul-subduing tongue Were as a lance to quell the mailed crest of Wrong. Perchance, blood need not flow, if thou at length Would'st rise ; perchance, the very slaves would spare Their brethren and themselves ; great is the strength Of words."

And so he heads an almost unarmed multitude bent on upset-. ting the Papal rule against the veto of his own Government, —a veto given with the full approbation and consent of the nation at large. This is the dream of a fanatic, who forgets the full- ness of national duty and purpose in gazing with too fixed an eye on his ideal of the spontaneous life of national happiness and peace. He may to some extent fitly teach his nation what to desire ; but no one is less competent to teach it what it is lawful to do and not to do, in order to attain its eager desire as soon and as completely as it wishes.